States' rights are one of the greatest impediments to reducing gun violence in the United States.
This was something I noticed when I chronicled the journey of getting my gun license in Boston. It's also all-but-confirmed by the recent release of the ATF's gun tracking data. From The Trace:
According to the most recent ATF statistics, released in August, the bureau traced 332,101 guns in 2018. The average time-to-crime of those weapons was 8.8 years. That’s why a particularly short time-to-crime raises red flags for law enforcement, since it often suggests the weapon was acquired for criminal purposes.
In California, for example, 12 percent of the guns recovered in the state had a time-to-crime of less than one year. When you isolate only those guns that originated in Nevada and were recovered in California, the figure jumps to 23 percent — almost one in four. (Nationally, 10 percent of all guns had a time-to-crime of less than one year.)
For the pro-gun NRA crowd, this essentially proves that gun regulation doesn't work; that's a reason they love to talk about Chicago so much, even though most of the illegal guns there come from Indiana. But I don't actually buy that at all. The issue is and always been about ease of access. Most people aren't going to go out of their way to navigate the black market, trading Bitcoin over Silk Road just to get a gun. If you live in California, and have a cousin in Nevada (or even just know a guy who knows a guy), it becomes less of a "black market" trade, and more of a favor. Read the rest
In Yelville, Arkansas, a 66-year-old experienced hunter died after he was gored by a buck he shot. From CNN:
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When his nephew found him, the hunter was alert and talking, and was even able to call his wife. But he stopped breathing by the time paramedics could get him to the hospital, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission said.
Officials are not certain that the antler wounds are the official cause of his death, the commission said in a statement. He may have died from other medical issues such as a heart attack, the statement said, but there will be no autopsy.
Injuries resulting from wounded deer are not uncommon, said Joe Dale Purdom from the Game and Fish Commission.
Kaleb J. Cole (aka "Khimaere") is the 24-year-old leader of the Washington State cell of the Atomwaffen Division, an international network of violent Neo-Nazis. Aside from generally spewing hateful rhetoric, Cole had also been seen participating in Atomwaffen's "Hate Camps," sharpening his rifle skills for more extremist violence.
Fortunately, he no longer has access to any guns. From The Daily Beast:
[Cole] had his guns seized on Oct. 1st, according to King County Court records. The move came after the Seattle Police Department filed a 62-page “Extreme Risk Protection Order” petition against Cole on Sept. 26, according to electronic court records. Among the weapons that had been in Cole's possession were a pistol and an AK-47 variant with a high-capacity drum magazine.
To be clear, Cole has not been charged on any specific crimes. As far as anyone's aware, he hasn't killed anyone—at least not yet, although there is arguably reason to believe that he plans to. In addition to the target-practice videos where he can be seen chanting "Race war now" with the rest of his buddies, Cole has openly admitted to his fascist beliefs, and support for armed insurrection.
Again: not technically crimes. But valids cause for concern. That's where the "Red Flag" or "Extreme Risk" laws come in. They're basically restraining orders, but for guns.
One of the biggest struggles with reducing gun violence in America is that a lot of the proposed legislation also infringes on civil liberties. For example: the various "No-Fly Lists" that the government maintains have no clear criteria or due process, which ends up punishing people innocent Muslims, government employees, and literal fucking babies. Read the rest
If the Webbys have any legitimacy, than a content of the year award should go to Willie McNabb for his famous tweet. It generated endless brilliant mockery online. But Reply All interviewed Willie and learned two things: (1) he's a terrific sport; and (2) he had a point.
The first part of episode #149 features an interview with Willie, in which he acknowledges how goofily he phrased his tweet and thus invited mockery. He then describes the genuinely frightening time feral hogs swarmed his children as they were playing outside. The second part of the episode explores the widespread and seemingly hopeless nature of the feral hog problem.
You can listen here. Read the rest
Hasbro's got a new foam dart gun, the $50 Nerf Ultra One blaster, and to make sure that owners of this toy arrange their affairs to the benefit of Hasbro's shareholders, the company has engineered a digital rights management system that detects and refuses to fire third-party darts, which sell by the hundreds for just a few bucks (the official darts are $10 for 20), which means that party organizers running Nerf wars will have to scale back their ambitions or shell out like crazy.
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Armalite created the AR-15, sold the rights to Colt in the fifties, and the design long ago emerged from patent and became widely-copied. The AR-15 itself will no longer be made for consumers by Colt, it says. It says they're just not that popular among consumers and the company needs to focus on institutional sales.
The fact of the matter is that over the last few years, the market for modern sporting rifles has experienced significant excess manufacturing capacity. Given this level of manufacturing capacity, we believe there is adequate supply for modern sporting rifles for the foreseeable future. ... At the end of the day, we believe it is good sense to follow consumer demand and to adjust as market dynamics change. Colt has been a stout supporter of the Second Amendment for over 180 years, remains so, and will continue to provide its customers with the finest quality firearms in the world.
Missing in a lot of the coverage is the fact lots of companies make AR-15s. Colt not making AR-15s is like Sony not making laptops. Read the rest
Some of the biggest names in business, including the CEOs of Twitter, Uber, Reddit, Conde Nast, Bad Robot and a host of others sent a letter to Congress this morning urging immediate action on gun violence. The letter follows similar pleas from Walmart after shootings at the country's largest retailer left nearly 30 people dead in less than a month.
A copy of the letter was shared with the New York Times:
Many of the requested actions in the letter have already passed the House, but have been brought to a crawl in the Senate by NRA-pawn "Massacre Mitch" McConnell. Yesterday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi expressed frustration with a reporter from the San Francisco Chronicle who asked about her decision to not bring the House back in August to keep the pressure up on McConnell and the Senate.
No reaction to the letter as of yet from Senate Republicans. Shocking, I know.
Business Leaders Call on Congress to Act on Gun Violence (NYT) Photo: Michael Spocko/Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0) Read the rest
Apple and Google have been ordered by the U.S. government to hand over names, phone numbers and other identifying data of at least 10,000 users of a single gun scope app, Forbes reports Friday in an investigative feature. Read the rest
Following Walmart yesterday, retailer Walgreens is prohibiting customers from openly carrying guns in its stores. It posted a succinct press release, quoted here in full:
We are joining other retailers in asking our customers to no longer openly carry firearms into our stores other than authorized law enforcement officials.
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The wife of a West Virginia pastor apparently wanted to shoot another woman, but the Pastor realized her intent as she stormed out of the Church to fetch her pistol. Her husband followed her to her car where a single shot was fired, in the Church parking lot. Reportedly they wrestled for the weapon.
According to authorities, Melinda walked out of the church during the disagreement and went to her car in the parking lot, where she got her handgun.
Realizing what she intended, Earl and followed her outside.
Willis reports Pastor Toney intercepted his wife before she was able to come back inside the church and attempted to wrestle the gun out of her hand. The weapon fired a single shot during the struggle, but nobody was hurt.
Haywood, who was leaving the church when the gun discharged, called the police and told them that she was Toney's intended target. The department reviewed parking-lot surveillance video but could not determine whether the pistol was aimed at Haywood before it was fired.
Image via the NEW LIFE APOSTOLIC CHURCH Read the rest
After two shootings in their El Paso, Texas and Southaven, Mississippi stores, the CEO of Walmart has announced major changes to the chain's gun sale policies, including no longer selling ammunition for assault-style weapons and discontinuing the sale of handgun ammunition. Read the rest
Glad no one was hurt, but seriously? $250? Read the rest
Pockets are not actually in the bill of rights. Read the rest
Some Californians are looking to limit when law enforcement can employ 'deadly force.' Others ensured their taking of lives stays a semantic game.
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The legislation emerged from a push for new rules in response to police killings of unarmed black men such as Stephon Clark, who was shot last year after a police chase that ended in his grandmother's backyard. The officers in that shooting said they believed Clark had a gun; he was found to have been holding a cellphone, and prosecutors said in March that the officers would not face criminal charges.
The new law reflects a compromise between civil rights advocates who say it will save lives and law enforcement groups that want more clarity on the use of force — but do not want to undermine legal protections for officers.
"The whole debate boils down to two words: 'necessary' and 'reasonable,' " Ben Adler of Capital Public Radio reports. "Right now, deadly force is justified if a reasonable officer would have acted similarly in that situation. So in other words, what a typical officer would have done based on his or her training. When the law takes effect in January, that standard will change to when the officer reasonably believes deadly force is necessary."
But Adler also notes that the law mostly avoids offering a specific definition of "necessary" — a move that is widely seen as leaving the interpretation up to the courts, where judges will weigh what is "necessary" in the context of officers' use of force.
All the participants at the 3-day Volusia, Florida orgy were naked and used aliases, and for obvious reasons, DNA-based identification "is not going to be an option, which means we'll probably never find out who stole the Glock from the bedside table. (Image: Eyes Wide Shut/Warners; Askild Antonsen, CC BY-SA, modified) (Thanks, Gnat!)
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The NRA's internal finances have come under close scrutiny this past year, after Oliver North launched a failed coup intended to unseat longtime CEO/cult leader Wayne LaPierre, triggering so much internal strife that the organization's dirtiest laundry ended up getting aired in retaliatory strategic leaks by each camp.
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Wayne LaPierre, the embattled leader of the National Russian Asso— whups, typo there, the National Rifle Association, is opposed to new so-called 'red flag' gun restrictions being proposed by lawmakers after back-to-back gun massacres in Dayton and El Paso this week. Read the rest