Is this the most effective political ad of 2016?

kander-gun

US Senate candidate Jason Kander was consistently trailing incumbent Roy Blunt in the Missouri race until this month. Many attribute the shift to a simple and memorable ad in response to criticism of Kander's position on gun background checks. Read the rest

In gun violence protest, House Democrats stage sit-in, shut down chamber, and take to Twitter

photo: @RepEsty

Democratic lawmakers today staged a sit-in on the House floor, demanding a vote on gun control legislation. The lawmakers' dramatic action, which shut down the chamber, was a response to the June 12 mass shooting at an Orlando, Florida nightclub that killed 49 people and a response to Monday's vote that failed to advance four gun control amendments.

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Gun control defeated in Senate. #Orlando means nothing if you're paid by the NRA.

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Serious question: Isn't one of the primary purposes of our government to protect American lives? Because today, our government chose not to. Again.

One week after 49 Americans were shot to death in an Orlando nightclub, the Senate today voted no on four different measures to limit gun sales. At least they're consistent. Each time there's a mass shooting, and they occur with alarming frequency and regularity, our politicians do nothing. They tweet thoughts, talk on TV about prayers, and take absolutely zero action.

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Gun-toting Florida mom shot in the back by her 4-year-old may go to jail for 180 days

Jamie Gilt, via Facebook

Jaime Gilt, an obviously Floridian, gun-regulation-hating, 31-year-old mother, was shot in the back while driving. Her 4-year-old son whom she'd been training as a child marksman is reported to have shot her. Ms. Gilt's pistol--which was apparently ready to fire live ammunition--slid out of her purse and into her son's hands, where he put it to immediate use.

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Teen didn't want to wake up and go to school, so he shoots his family

[File]

Yesterday a Tennessee teenager didn't want to wake up and go to school. After threatening them to no avail, the 16 year old male produced a handgun and shot his 67-year-old grandmother twice. His 6-year-old nephew and 12-year-old sister were each struck once. All three are recovering.

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Ted Nugent is an anti-semitic asshole

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Has-been rock musician Ted Nugent made shockingly anti-semitic and idiotic posts to Facebook this week, spurring many pro-gun advocates to call for his removal from the board of the National Rifle Association.

Nugent, an outspoken Second Amendment advocate, posted a photo on Facebook earlier this week calling Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), “Jew York City Mayor Mikey Bloomberg,” former senator Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, among many others, “punks” who would “deny us the basic human right to self defense and to keep and bear arms while many of them have paid hired armed security.”

The Israeli flag appears over or next to each of the 12 faces in the photo, which is the same one that has been shared many times in white suprema­cist cir­cles, according to the Anti-Defamation League....

Nugent later posted a photo of Nazis rounding up Jews during the Holocaust and described gun-control advocates as “soulless sheep to slaughter.”

And there's more.

"Ted Nugent digs in amid anti-Semitic accusations — and calls for his NRA ouster" (Washington Post)

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Chris Christie vetoes NJ bill to prohibit gun ownership by carjackers and terrorists

Image: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia

New Jersey governor Chris Christie used to be a supporter of gun control measures. But he is running for president, and the only way he can get the Republication nomination is to win over conservatives who can't forgive him for shaking hands with President Obama a few years ago. His latest stunt was vetoing a bill that would have prohibited "persons who have been convicted of carjacking, gang criminality, racketeering, or terroristic threats from purchasing, owning, possessing, or controlling a firearm." Not a single member of the Senate or Assembly voted "no" on the bill.

NJ.com reports that Christie initially denied that he'd ever supported gun control, but eventually conceded, "I've changed my mind" on guns:

After having first denied he ever supported a measure to repeal New Jersey's semiautomatic weapons ban, Gov. Chris Christie conceded Wednesday night he's changed his mind since supporting the measure in the mid-1990s. The governor also boasted using his position as New Jersey's executive to loosen New Jersey's gun laws after the Democratic-controlled state Legislature refused to do so, similar to something he's assailed President Obama for doing.

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Texas gun owners lament new open carry laws

yosemite sam

Appears the new open carry laws in Texas, which have expressly allowed guns onto College campuses and into psychiatric hospitals, are back firing against open and concealed carry enthusiasts. Private business and property owners can ban firearms from their property by either posting signs, or verbally informing armed people they are not welcome to carry their weapons. Firearms enthusiasts are finding a lot of new signs around Texas.

The Trace has observed a wonderful exchange on a Texas gun rights forum:

Others had a more measured responses. “I would LOVE to OC everywhere I go,” Lynyrd wrote. “The fact is, it makes some people uncomfortable. Time may change that, but it will take years.” He cautioned his fellow gun owners to remember that “most all of the places we go outside our homes is still PRIVATE PROPERTY.” (Business owners can verbally notify open-carrying customers that they are not welcome in their establishments, regardless of whether a sign is posted or not.)

Weighing in again, the original poster, LTUME1978, felt that for Texas’s concealed carriers, the damage had been done. “The lid is off this can of worms and it will never go back,” reads a later post in the thread. “I hope the right to walk around looking like Wyatt Earp is worth it to the open carry folks because a lot of us are loosing our right to concealed carry and it may cost some of us our lives for your privilege to play cowboy.”

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Texas' state run psychiatric hospitals are now gun friendly

yosemite sam

An unintentional oversight in a new Texas law, enabling open-carry advocates to make the world even more dangerous, has opened up Texas state run psychiatric hospitals to guns. Formerly even law enforcement officers would lock up their guns before entering, now everyone is free to defend themselves.

This from the Austin American-Statesman:

Licensed gun owners can now bring their firearms into Texas’ 10 state psychiatric hospitals.

Before the state’s new open carry law went into effect, guns were banned at those state facilities. No one — visitors, deliverymen and the like — could bring firearms anywhere on campus. Even local law enforcement officers, who were already allowed to bring their weapons into the facilities, regularly lock up their guns before entering Austin State Hospital out of an abundance of caution.

Now visitors can bring guns into the buildings where patients live. Employees are still prohibited from bringing them on campus.

The stars at night, are big and bright. Makes it easier to aim. Read the rest

Guns Don't Kill People, Toddlers Do

A man shows a girl how to hold an airsoft gun at a 2013 NRA meeting. [Reuters]

This year in America, people are being shot by toddlers on a weekly basis. Check out this infographic on 2015 U.S. shooting stats, from the Washington Post's grim data-crunchers.

From The Washington Post's Wonkblog:

This week a 2-year-old in South Carolina found a gun in the back seat of the car he was riding in and accidentally shot his grandmother, who was sitting in the passenger seat. This type of thing happens from time to time: a little kid finds a gun, fires it, and hurts or kills himself or someone else. These cases rarely bubble up to the national level except when someone, like a parent, ends up dead.

But cases like this happen a lot more frequently than you might think. After spending a few hours sifting through news reports, I've found at least 43 instances this year of somebody being shot by a toddler 3 or younger. In 31 of those 43 cases, a toddler found a gun and shot himself or herself.

Gun law reform now.

[HT: Kashana Cauley]

A young NRA member, gets her photo with a non-toy rifle at an NRA convention [REUTERS]

A man shows a boy how to sight down an electronic rifle at an NRA meeting. [Reuters]

A young girl with a working handgun at an NRA convention. [REUTERS]

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Defend America. No more dead children. No more grieving parents.

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DEFEND AMERICA t-shirts.

Says Mike Monteiro of Mule Design:

“Freedom is going to school without fear of getting shot. Freedom is taking your kids to the movies without fear of taking a bullet. Freedom is watching your kids grow up, skinning their knees, getting their first crush, and growing old. Defend America. Get rid of the guns. Mule Design is donating the profits from this shirt to Everytown.”

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Guns stay locked up in San Francisco

yosemite sam
The NRA won't be happy about this outcome.

Defensive gun ownership is a farce

The story that gun owners defend themselves in numbers large enough to justify the tragic number of accidental gun deaths is pure fantasy.

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Fifteen Years After A School Shooting

Buzzfeed's David Peisner writes about the aftermath of a 1998 school shooting in Jonesboro, Arkansas, that left five dead and ten more wounded. To this day, the small town feels the pain—a pain shared by Newtown and many others. Read the rest

Cody R Wilson's 3D-printed guns: the VICE documentary

Defense Distributed's Cody R Wilson "figured out how to print a semi-automatic rifle from the comfort of his own home."

Drug cartel violence in Mexico, an animated video explainer

An animated short on the escalating drug cartel violence on the US-Mexico border.

Internet crackpots believe Newtown massacre was staged, citing "absolute" Photoshop proof

"Yes, there really are Newtown truthers," writes Alex Seitz-Wald in Salon. And they can tell by the pixels.