Gun injuries go down by 20% during NRA conventions

Here's a fascinating finding: When the NRA holds its annual convention, the national rate of gun injuries goes down temporarily by 20% -- seemingly because the 80,000-odd attendees are hanging out and listening to talks, instead of handling their guns.

That's the finding by two researchers -- Anupam Jena of Harvard Medical School and Andrew Olenski of Columbia University -- who crunched the numbers. They looked at the rates of hospital ER visits and hospitalizations for firearm injuries, during the actual days of NRA convention dates and in periods three weeks before and after. Sure enough, the accident rate dropped significantly during the convention dates.

One would expect, if you took the NRA's own arguments at face value, for its members to be among the best-trained folks around guns, with a relatively low accident rate. But as Scientific American writes ...

If guns were perfectly safe in the hands of trained NRA members, Jena and Olenski reasoned, they should have found no differences between gun injury rates on convention days versus other days. Yet injury rates were, on average, 20 percent lower on meeting days. “We believe this is due to brief reductions in gun use during the dates of these meetings,” Jena says. “The main implication is that guns carry inherent risk even among individuals who we might consider to be skilled and experienced in the use of firearms.” Importantly, they did not find any corresponding drop in firearm crime rates on convention days, which suggests NRA meeting attendees are not responsible for a large proportion of U.S.

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House passes motion that lets members buy bulletproof vests with your tax dollars

Oh, this is fun: No one in the government seems to be doing much of anything to help curb gun violence, but they're totally willing to use your tax dollars on bulletproof vests to keep their corpulent asses from getting zipped.

According to The Hill, The Committee on House Administration, by voice vote, passed a measure to make bulletproof vests a reimbursable expense. The motion also makes it cool for members to hire security to cover their six during public appearances, when they're at their office or taking a whizz at an Olive Garden during a working lunch. The Hill's Avery Anapol points out that the motion to keep House members safe from bullets that regular folks have to deal with on their own comes on the heels of Steve Scalise (R-La.) returning to Washington after getting shot last summer during a ball game. So, yeah, I can see why they're a little jumpy, but c'mon.

Given that members were already granted an additional $25,000 to implement greater security measures last year in the wake of Scalise's shooting, their being able to put risk management add-ons on the tab of taxpayers has a rotten smell to it – especially in light of the discussion surrounding school shootings and gun ownership these past few weeks/month/years.

Image: National Photo Company/Wikimedia Commons Read the rest

58 killed and at least 515 injured by gunman in Vegas

58 are dead and hundreds more injured after 64-year-old gunman Stephen Paddock began shooting into a concert crowd on the Las Vegas strip. Taking aim from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel, he killed himself as officers charged into his room, was killed by officers reports the BBC.

The attack is the worst mass shooting in recent US history.

Sheriff Joe Lombardo described the shooting as a "lone wolf" attack. He added that police were now confident they had located a woman, earlier named as Marilou Danley, who was suspected of travelling with the gunman before the attack.

Sheriff Lombardo said he was unable to give accurate details of dead and wounded, but confirmed two off-duty police officers were among those killed.

A video taken by a concertgoer shows the moment automatic gunfire erupted. No victims are depicted in this footage.

Extended footage here show the first minutes of the attack. Three bouts of gunfire, each 10-20 seconds long with about 30 seconds between, into the crowd, followed by more shots and muffled automatic fire about a minute later. If that was the end of it, it was all over in 2 minutes.

This is more harrowing footage illustrating the view of the crowd that Paddock had from the Mandalay Bay and the helpless panic as more shots were fired. Read the rest

6 killed in terror attack on Quebec mosque

Two suspects are in custody after gunmen opened fire in a Quebec mosque, killing six and injuring eight. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned it as an act of terrorism aimed at the Muslim community.

"It is heart-wrenching to see such senseless violence. Diversity is our strength, and religious tolerance is a value that we, as Canadians, hold dear," Trudeau said in a statement.

The identities of the suspects have not yet been released. Nor have authorities identified a motive in the attack on some 40-50 worshipers gathered at the Quebec City Islamic Cultural Centre. Mass shootings in Canada are rare, reports USA Today.

It comes amid heightened tensions worldwide over President Trump’s ban on admitting refugees and travel restrictions on certain Muslim countries.

"Muslim-Canadians are an important part of our national fabric, and these senseless acts have no place in our communities, cities and country," Trudeau said in his statement. "Canadian law enforcement agencies will protect the rights of all Canadians, and will make every effort to apprehend the perpetrators of this act and all acts of intolerance."

At least one news outlet mistakenly reported that two white supremacists were identified as the shooters, sourcing the details to a fake Reuters Twitter account. CBC News reports that the attackers were masked, had Québécois accents, and yelled "Allahu akbar" as they fired upon praying congregants. A witness told them that...

"... the bullets hit people that were praying. People who were praying lost their lives. A bullet passed right over my head.

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Shooting at South Carolina's Townville Elementary school injures 1 teacher, 2 kids. Teen suspect arrested.

Two students and a teacher were injured in a shooting today at Townville Elementary School in Anderson County, South Carolina. A teenager identified as the shooting suspect is now in police custody.

“A bad man came to our school today,” 4-year-old Townville student Amber Jolly told a television news reporter. Read the rest

Triple shooting streamed on Facebook Live, just days after Philando Castile gun death

It's been less than a week since the deadly shooting of Philando Castile by police was broadcast on Facebook Live. Already, another U.S. shooting has been live-streamed with Facebook's popular tool. A triple shooting in Norfolk, Virginia, last night injured three men, one of whom Facebook Live-streamed the entire incident. According to reports, T.J. Williams (above) was one of the three victims, and is the person from whose phone the Facebook Live broadcast originated. Read the rest

Kalamazoo spree killer picked up Uber fares between shootings

A man accused of killing at least 6 people in Kalamazoo was an Uber driver who picked up fares between shootings, reports CNN. The rampage continued for seven hours, according to their source, and Jason Brian Dalton was still looking for fares after he was done. One even joked with him: "you're not the shooter, are you?

"For all intents and purposes, he was your average Joe. This was random," said Hadley.

Getting appeared to struggle at times for the right words, if there were any, at Sunday's news conference.

"There is this sense of loss, anger (and) fear," he said. "On top of that, how do you tell the families of these victims that they were not targeted for any other reason than they were a target?"

Reading stories about this guy, (taken alive, obviously) I'm struck by how obvious and shopworn the "lone white gunman" stock story is getting. Lots of mental health speculation, he-was-a-good-boy, what could possibly happened with this guy, "Average Joe", etc. Read the rest

At least 5 killed in Saskatchewan, Canada school shooting

Five people were killed in a school shooting in the northern Saskatchewan community of La Loche, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said late Friday. Read the rest

Two rampage killer attacks today in California. Great job, America.

One attack took place at the University of California Merced campus: 5 stabbed, suspect commits suicide by cop. Another attack in San Diego, in a mixed residential and business area north of the city core known as Banker's Hill. The San Diego shooting is an "active situation" at the time of this blog post. Read the rest

Boy, 11, asks girl, 8, to see her puppies. She declines. He shoots and kills her.

Authorities in Tennessee say an 11-year-old boy has been detained on first-degree murder charges after shooting and killing an 8-year-old neighbor with a shotgun because she would not show him her pet puppies.

The gun belonged to the boy's father. The two kids went to the same school.

Neighbors interviewed by local news reporters identified the victim as Maykayla Dyer.

"Wanting to see a puppy, the little girl laughed and told him no... and that was it," said neighbor Chasity Arwood.

"Watching the Tennessee football game, heard the bang," Arwood said. "And then everybody screaming that he shot her baby girl." Read the rest

10 killed in Oregon college shooting

10 are dead at Umpqua Community College in southern Oregon after a gunman began shooting at about 10:30 a.m. Thursday. Read the rest

Another day, another movie theater shooter in America: Nashville Edition. Open Thread.

The shooter is reported to have died at the scene. America: What the fuck?

Aurora shooting suspect's psychiatrist alerted colleagues of threat, but officials never contacted police

The University of Colorado psychiatrist who treated mass shooting suspect James Holmes was so concerned by his behavior, she alerted colleagues in June that he was potentially dangerous. CNN reports that "University officials never contacted Aurora police with Fenton's concerns before the July 20 killings." She "made initial phone calls" about engaging a university threat response team in early June, according to the report, but things "never came together" because Holmes began the process of dropping out of school around this same time. Once he was no longer a student, they "had no control over him." Read the rest