Maria Butina, NRA-linked Russian, pleads not guilty to being Kremlin foreign agent

This is the story that may unravel the presidency of Donald Trump. Read the rest

US public schools are still theoretically safer than combat-zones

Politifact ran the math on Gwen Graham's Washington Post story comparing numbers of 2018 US school shooting deaths vs 2018 US armed service combat deaths to-date. Schools have seen more deaths than combat this year. Politifact, however, reminds us that combat-zones should be be more dangerous than public school.

Combat zones should be more dangerous, but are not. How incredibly we are failing.

Poltifact:

Graham wrote, "So far this year, more students have been killed in schools than soldiers in combat zones."

On the numbers, she is right. This year at least, within Graham’s stated parameters, exactly twice as many students have died in school shootings than military personnel have died in combat zones.

It is important to know, however, the likelihood of being killed in a combat zone is still vastly higher than it is in a school.

The statement is accurate but needs additional information. That meets our definition of Mostly True.

Earlier this month my daughter, aged 11, spent an afternoon sheltering-in-place at her school. There was an unrelated-to-school incident of domestic violence a block or two away. The sound of shots appropriately sent the school into 'save the kids' mode. My daughter huddled in a corner for 3.5 hours. This is not the school experience our kids should have: wondering when it will be their turn to die. Read the rest

Senate Judiciary Committee finds Russia funded Trump campaign via the NRA

The Senate Judiciary Committee believes NRA leadership were likely tools evil enough to have been a channel for funneling illegal foreign money into Trump's 2016 campaign.

More interesting to me: are Americans who maintain 'gun ownership is insurance against the US Government' now unwitting Russian insurgents?

Via the Daily Beast:

The Senate Judiciary Committee said Wednesday that the Russian government apparently used the National Rifle Association to help Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016. “The committee has obtained a number of documents that suggest the Kremlin used the National Rifle Association as a means of accessing and assisting Mr. Trump and his campaign,” according to a report on the panel’s preliminary findings on Russia and the presidential campaign. The NRA may have been used to “secretly fund Mr. Trump’s campaign,” the report states. While the report didn’t discuss the documents, it said two Russian nationals—Alexander Torshin and Maria Butina—were “involved in this effort.” Torshin, a member of Russia’s central bank, hosted an NRA delegation in Moscow in 2013. Butina, founder of a pro-gun group in Russia, boasted at a Washington, D.C. party following the election that she was “part of the Trump campaign’s communications with Russia,” The Daily Beast reported last year.

Read the rest

Dallas restaurant tires of NRA convention racists

After listening to tons of racist and ignorant horseshit from NRA conference attendees, the owner of Dallas-area eatery Ellen's decided to donate a portion of this weeks proceeds to groups pursuing reasonable gun legislation. The NRA asked its members to eat elsewhere.

Everyone wins except the people dead of gun violence.

Via Share Blue:

Ellen’s, a restaurant in downtown Dallas where the NRA is holding its annual convention, had a message printed on its customer receipts: “Thanks for visiting Ellen’s! A portion of this week’s proceeds will be donated to organizations dedicated to implementing reasonable and effective gun regulation.”

Most Americans consider that a sensible message — especially following the mass shootings at Columbine, Sandy Hook, Aurora, Parkland and the daily murders all around the country. But it angered the NRA.

The group tweeted an image of an Ellen’s receipt. “Attn @AnnualMeetings attendees. Steer clear of Ellen’s in downtown Dallas! Why go there when there are so many other great choices.”

Joe Groves, the owner of Ellen’s, said he added the message because of what he heard from NRA convention attendees. “I’m making a list of the vile, racist, moronic conversations overheard from NRA attendees eating at the restaurant,” he wrote on Facebook. “They don’t even speak softly.”

He told the website Eater that the attendees have insulted his wait staff with racial epithets. One person reportedly asked a Latino staff member, “Your illegals are kept in the kitchen, right?”

Another NRA fan reportedly told black employees they “don’t sound black” and asked if they were from India.

Read the rest

Gun ban at Pence-featured NRA convention has Parkland students baffled. Why more guns at schools, but zero at conventions?

As you recall, after the Parkland school shooting in February that killed 17 people including 14 students, the NRA was adamant that schools would be safer if it were staffed with gun-toting faculty members. “To stop a bad guy with a gun, it takes a good guy with a gun,” is the mantra of NRA CEO Wayne La Pierre. So it's pretty incredulous that when Mike Pence speaks at the NRA's forum this weekend, all guns will be banned from the event.

According to Politico:

The NRA posted a disclaimer on the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum event page, saying that due to Pence’s attendance, Secret Service will be responsible for event security. Therefore, “firearms and firearm accessories, knives or weapons of any kind will be prohibited in the forum prior to and during his attendance."

Needless to say, the Parkland survivors are taken aback.

"The NRA has evolved into such a hilarious parody of itself," Parkland survivor Cameron Kasky tweeted.

Others responded to the tweet with the same astonishment over the NRA's hypocrisy:

Read the rest

Pennsylvania school district issues teachers billy clubs to combat gun violence

If a gun toting mad-person enters a classroom in Pennsylvania's Mill Creek Township school district they'll find themselves challenged by an army of billy club wielding school teachers!

Pennsylvania will soon likely have a shortage of school teachers and a lot of extra billy clubs laying around.

Via CNN:

After the shooting in Parkland, Florida, a school district in suburban Erie, Pennsylvania, began formulating a school safety plan. Among its measures: handing out miniature wooden baseball bats to all 500 of its teachers.

In an online message, Millcreek Township School District Superintendent William Hall said the bats "could be used as a tool against an active shooter just like any other item in the immediate room," adding that they will remain locked in the classroom and "are only to be used/available in a hard lockdown situation."

On social media, however, the idea is being roundly mocked.

Read the rest

Parkland student activists drive American right berzerk, supercharge attack on public education

While people around the world were inspired by the resilience, fearlessness and savvy of the students who created a national gun-control movement in the wake of the Parkland shooting, American right-wing leaders looked at these kids and saw evidence of the urgency to destroy public education and replace it with religious private schools and charter schools. Read the rest

Florida students succeed where so many have failed, force state legislature to pass gun control rules despite ferocious NRA lobbying

On March 7, the Florida legislature passed a gun control bill in a bipartisan 67-50 vote, banning bump-stocks and imposing a 3-day waiting period on long-gun purchases and raising the minimum age for their purchase to 21; the legislation is a mixed bag as it also includes millions to arm and train school employees. Read the rest

Ajit Pai forced to return the gun the NRA gave him as a prize for his neutracidal rampage

The annual CPAC freakshow reached a new absurdist peak last week when Trump FCC Commissioner was awarded the NRA's Charlton Heston Courage Under Fire Award for his cowardly back-shooting of America's most beloved policy, the sweet and tender Net Neutrality. Read the rest

Watch: The Yes Men's short documentary on the NRA's murder-happy nature

In 2016, the Yes Men (previously), everyone's favorite political pranksters, hoaxed the NRA: today, they've released their short documentary, which lays bare the NRA's internal culture of racist-driven fear and gun-humping murderous fantasies. Read the rest

The NRA actually used to support gun control

In this video, AJ+’s Sana Saeed breaks down the long history of the NRA, from its beginnings as a post-Civil War sports club to its present day pro-gun activism. It turns out the group wasn’t always the aggressive Second Amendment defender it is today; the NRA actually used to support gun control. NPR has a similar video featuring senior political editor and correspondent Ron Elving discussing the history of the NRA too:

As NPR’s accompanying article explains:

The power of the organization is legendary, especially the widely published report cards it issues giving A to F grades to lawmakers. The cards have been credited with the election (or blamed for the defeat) of many a candidate, including incumbents.

Even the nuances of the group’s affection, an A+ over an A grade, for example, can make the difference for candidates, especially in Republican primaries.

That is why the NRA has anchored the opposition in every major gun-related debate since it altered its main aim from marksmanship to hard-edged political activism. That change came 40 years ago and was related to other shifts in political sentiment, including the departure of Southern rural conservatives from the Democratic Party. All these helped elect the first presidential candidate to ever be endorsed by the NRA, Ronald Reagan, in 1980.

Read the full article on NPR’s website. Read the rest

Taking one cent, ever, from the NRA should disqualify you from ever running for office as a Democrat

New Jersey State Senator Jeff Van Drew wants to run for Congress as a Democrat; he visited 17-year-old Emily McGrath's school, Egg Harbor Township High, where McGrath questioned him about whether he'd taken money from the NRA; Van Drew said he hadn't, and he was lying. Read the rest

You know who hates Net Neutrality? The NRA.

It's CPAC! The annual far-right hootenanny for preppers, false-flaggers, climate deniers, truthers, and the sort of person who closes their eyes and thinks of The Fountainhead, featuring Marion Maréchal-Le Pen of France, Nigel Farage, Sean Hannity, and mass-murder enthusiast Wayne LaPierre. Read the rest

FBI launches investigation of NRA over pro-Trump Russia money

McClatchy DC reports that the FBI is investigating whether a Kremlin-tied Russian banker illegally funded money to the National Rifle Association to help Trump win the presidency.

FBI counterintelligence investigators have focused on the activities of Alexander Torshin, the deputy governor of Russia’s central bank who is known for his close relationships with both Russian President Vladimir Putin and the NRA, the sources said. It is illegal to use foreign money to influence federal elections.

AKs for everyone!

Last year, WaPo wrote about the gun-toting end of American conservatism palling around with Putin. Read the rest

"Good guys" with guns cause panic, delay investigation into Walmart shooting

Shoppers drawing their firearms to help stop a more aggressive 2nd amendment rights enthusiast did not. Shoppers report panic, while the local police suggest the investigation was slowed up to 5hrs.

If one draws a weapon, they become a suspect and create more work for the boys in blue.

Via the Denver Post:

When a gunman opened fire inside a Walmart in Thornton Wednesday night, shoppers screamed and ran for cover — and others pulled out their own handguns.

But those who drew weapons during the shootings ultimately delayed the investigation as authorities pored over surveillance videotape trying to identify the assailant who killed three people, police said Thursday.

Although authorities said “a few” individuals drew handguns, they posed no physical hazard to officers. But their presence “absolutely” slowed the process of determining who, and how many, suspects were involved in the shootings, said Thornton police spokesman Victor Avila.

Read the rest

Nonsensical Rifle Addiction: America's terrible epidemic

Bellevue Theatre Amsterdam's Sunday with Lubach sets their scopes on the NRA. Read the rest

"Good guy" with a gun shoots woman in the leg

A Detroit firearms enthusiast scared off an attacking pitbull by shooting its victim in the leg! Apparently the force of the impact caused ol' Cujo to run away.

The mauling/shooting victim was taken to a local hospital where the 53 year-old woman was pronounced dead.

The shooting is under investigation.

The dog is still on the loose.

Via CBS:

Police say a woman who was being attacked by a stray dog in Detroit has been fatally shot after a man fired a gun at the dog and hit her instead.

CBS Detroit cites police as saying the woman, 53, was mauled by a pit bull while walking on Monday evening, was shot in the hip and taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Her name wasn't immediately released.

Police responded and searched for the dog, but it wasn't immediately found.

Detroit police Captain Darin Szilagy says the man lived in the area. Szilagy says he was trying to be a "good Samaritan" and had a license to carry a concealed weapon. Szilagy says it's a tragic story, but notes "we're responsible for every round we fire."

The shooting is under investigation and prosecutors likely will review the case.

Read the rest

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