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March 28, 2012

Pro-Gun Activists on Trayvon Martin: "Nigs gonna nig."

Two weeks ago, we posted a blog that compiled a series of offensive comments made by pro-gun activists in the wake of the murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin by 28-year-old concealed handgun permit holder George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida. With controversy over the shooting still raging across the nation, pro-gun activists have yet to temper their remarks. Last week, several flocked to the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence's Facebook page to leave a series of racist postings.

Pro-gun activist Eric Preisser of Fort Worth, Texas—the creator of the People Against the Brady Campaign [to Prevent Gun Violence] Facebook page—responded to the shooting of Trayvon Martin by stating, "nigs gona nig."

Preisser was echoed by pro-gunner Alexander Rocha of Oceanside, California, who replied, "damn that so sick, nigs gunna nig I guess." In the next breath, Rocha was telling us we should give more guns to "law abiding civilians" like him so the "criminals will be on an equal playing field."

Patrick Green, was outraged over the reaction to the murder. "Black kids like that get killed everyday," he wrote, "but as soon as one bad apple shoots him it's OMG WE NEED TO GET RID OF ALL FIREARMS OMGEE! to be honest you sound like teenage girls I mean cmon guys its the second amendment if you dont like it dont buy a gun its incredibly easy."

Pro-gun activist Thomas O'Neill found the topic of shootings involving children hilarious and commented, "Did you guys know that there is a new kind of bullet that is actually built with technology that can pin-point the trajectory to people's heads?! 1 to 4 year old specifically!"

McKenzy Mallon had a good laugh, too, writing, "NO! Guns are evil devices made by evil people! If Zimmerman was not allowed to carry an assault machine gun Trayvon would still be ALIVE!"

"FAMAS [a French assault rifle] assault clips killed mah baby jamal," said pro-gun activist James Butterscotch, mocking the loss of African American children to gun violence. On his Facebook profile, Butterscotch lists his high school as "FUCK SCHOOL NIGGA IMA BE A DOPE DEALER."

Then pro-gun activists began to impersonate African-Americans on the CSGV Facebook page. Posting as "Edward J. Bleachwood," one pro-gunner commented, "if it wasnt 4 guns that yung nigga be still alive." Another pro-gun activist(s) posting under another fake identity, Flight-Cpl Izmash Assaultclip, loved it, replying, "Which young nigger? There are alot of young niggers. People only care if guns kill them. If they are stabbed it won't even make a sidebar." On his Facebook page, "Izmash" then wrote, "1 black kid gets shot(Pretty good way to go) = OMG RACISM HORRIBLE WHITE PEOPLE (Hispanic, Actually) ARE HORRIBLE RACISTS THEY ARE ALL BABY KILLERS. (typed more like: dat racist yo. ma nigga got popped cuz he be BLACK, he aint do notin' wrong. )."

Then there is the fake identity created by a pro-gun activist, named "Gi Vemeaclip." The profile's "Favorite Quotation" is "Nigga you gay." The college is listed as Virginia Tech. The high school is listed as Columbine High School. In pro-gun circles, this qualifies as humor.

Writing to the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, "Gi Vemeaclip" then made up a story about a dead brother, stating, "Hey people. While this tragedy about the 17 year old kid getting shot is horrific, this is our time to fight the gun nut's uppresor. My little brother was shot at a Detriot Pistons game by someone with a criminal record. He purchased these from a gun show. Unlike today's social media it didn't even get mentioned except a mention in a tiny article in the local newspaper. Detriot is like a Zone in that abandonment nuclear powerplant in ukraine. yet michigon allows open carry. Our governments should have the ablility to modify the constitution. Its what our forefathers would have wanted. If the people don't want the second amendment then it should be removed. If they don't want the first, then it should be removed as well. It should be 'for the people.'"

Finally, we end with a comment left by pro-gun activist Rooster Coburn, who lives just south of Sanford in Florida. On a Huffington Post blog about the NRA's "Stand Your Ground" law in that state, "Rooster" wrote, "Africa for the Africans. India for the Indians. Florida for the Floridians!"

March 15, 2012

Pro-Gun Activists Weigh in On Murder of Florida Teen

A recent shooting in Florida has generated national controversy about civilian gun-toters, race, and the National Rifle Association's dangerous "Shoot First" laws (now enacted in more than 25 states). On February 26th, concealed handgun permit holder George Zimmerman, 28, tailed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in his car as Martin walked back to his father's fiancee's home after buying snacks at a local 7-11. Zimmerman was the self-appointed "captain" of his neighborhood watch program and continued his pursuit of Martin even after a police dispatcher told him to leave the boy alone. When police eventually arrived on the scene, they found Martin laying in the grass dying. He had been shot in the chest by Zimmerman. Because of an NRA-written law that was enacted in Florida in 2005—which significantly liberalized the use of lethal force in public—Zimmerman has yet to be arrested.

Most Americans are outraged about the totally unnecessary taking of a young life and calling for justice to be done. Some pro-gun activists, however, have other, disturbing ideas about the murder of Trayvon Martin.

Commenting on a post at "Shall Not Be Questioned" (a blog authored by NRA Election Coordinator Keith Milligan of Langhorne, Pennsylvania), several pro-gun activists expressed thoughts which speak for themselves. First up was "mobo," who wrote, "OMFG, not that this has anything to do with anything really, but 'TREYVON' was this kid’s name? What on Earth is the matter with people? How is a kid supposed to get a respectable job when he grows up when the first thing the employers see is 'Treyvon' on the top of the resume?" He couldn't even be troubled to spell the deceased young man's name correctly. But "Heather from AK" didn't care. She replied, "That’s actually one of the more normal names, these days." Mobo added that no name "scream[s] 'ghetto' like Trayvon ... I guarantee you at least one juror will be inclined to aquit the shooter in part because of the victim’s name."

"dustydog" then suggested that Trayvon Martin got what he deserved, writing, "Kids, it is wrong to beat up armed people. As the unofficial motto of DS [Defensive Shooting] says, “The defenseless victim deserves what he gets.” Whether or not Martin "beat up" Zimmerman is unknown. Regardless, the notion that Martin deserved to be killed because he was not carrying a gun is grotesque.

Pro-gun activist "emdfl" was also quick to blame the killing on Martin, writing, "IIRC from the story, that poor, innocent, (17yo)chillin was visiting his stepmother/father(?). Probably from up north where it’s perfectly acceptable to smart mouth/attack older white people asking you what you are doing in their neighborhood. Unfortunately, Treyvon forgot he wasn’t in the disarmed-victim zone he is used to working in." Martin was actually from Miami, Florida and had no criminal record. Zimmerman, on the other hand, has been arrested for assaulting a police officer.

Next up was the following comment from "Moshe Gintel": "I think the young negro was stopped by Zimmerman, and the kid strong-armed Zimmerman. The kid probably took off on Zimmerman’s race and if he was alive, the kid should be charged with a ‘Hate Crime’ Horrid case of anti semetism. Jews should congratulate the Sanford police chief for not arresting Zimmerman." One of the many problems here is that George Zimmerman is not Jewish.

"Sage Thrasher" made it clear what his "gut reaction" was to the shooting: "You’re right about state of mind. If you’re walking in a strange neighborhood and a car starts shadowing you really slowly on the sidewalk is your first thought going to be 'neighborhood watch' or 'drive by'? Same if you see a teenage walking through your neighborhood: kid buying snacks or mugger? No matter how open minded you are, your reaction is going to depend partially on both your race and the race of the other person; much of that driven by statistics, probability and your own life experiences. (Personally, if I’m minding my own business walking back from a store and car starts following me, my first thought probably isn’t going to be 'somebody wants directions' unless it’s a very nice neighborhood.) In the same way, many of our (and I’ll admit, my) gut reactions to this story are based partially on the age and race of the two participants in trying to decide who the actual 'victim' was in this case."

Finally, Clayton Cramer, the author of a new report for the CATO Institute entitled, "Tough Targets: When Criminals Face Armed Resistance from Citizens," drew the following conclusion on his blog: "Zimmerman, the shooter, had a bloody nose and blood on the back of his head. Based on what the witness said, it sounds like he was getting hit pretty hard by the 17 year old. Regardless of how bad a decision Zimmerman made in confronting Trayvon Martin, once it reached this point, shooting was the right decision."

Really? It's the "right decision" to respond in a fistfight by shooting and killing the other guy? Is this what now passes for the "rule of law" in the pro-gun community? "Shoot First," indeed...

March 12, 2012

Wisconsin Gun-Toters Dabble in Misogyny, Homophobia

Back in May 2011, we examined some disturbing comments that were posted at a Facebook page called "Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort Lies." The page serves as a platform for pro-gun activists to attack the Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort (WAVE) and its executive director, Jeri Bonavia. WAVE "is Wisconsin's only statewide grassroots organization solely dedicated to reducing gun violence, injuries and deaths."

One would think that the folks at "WAVE Lies" would be in a slightly better mood these days. On July 6, 2012, Wisconsin's Republican Governor, Scott Walker, signed legislation into law (with National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action Executive Director Chris Cox immediately at his side) that allows the state's residents to carry loaded, concealed handguns in public.

But that apparently hasn't improved their spirits. On February 11, pro-gun activist Rob Luke of Barbaroo, Wisconsin posted a doctored photo of Jeri superimposed on a Playboy magazine cover at the "WAVE Lies" page. Pro-gunner Grant Guess of Racine Wisconsin—who fancies himself a "Defender of Truth, Justice and The American Way," jumped in and commented, "That cannot be Jeri...she is far fuglier than that in any pic I've seen of her. Brrrrrrrrrrr." John S. Whittemore, a member of the U.S. Army at Fort Sill, agreed, writing, "OMG, that is one fugly bitch!"

That derogatory term is apparently quite popular at "Wave Lies." It was also used by Navy enlisted man Max W. Schmidt when Jeri blocked him on Facebook (one can only wonder why).

More explicit language was also employed. A few days later, Grant Guess added the following comment:

Who in their right mind would lay the pipe to anyone as fkn butt-ugly as Jeri?? I would not hit that with a dead dog's dildo. I prefer my women to actually look like one.

Commenting on the "WAVE Lies" page on March 2, pro-gun activist Justin Mann said of those who support tougher laws to reduce gun violence:

They are ignorant and they will be victims. Just how things work.

Grant Guess liked what he heard, and commented:

We need sheep like the folks at WAVE so that the wolves have someone to bend over and brutalize. That's how most of them are conceived...

In the parlance of pro-gun activists, a "wolf" is a criminal and a "sheep" is a civilian who does not carry a loaded gun in public. The gun-toters are the "sheepdogs," who guard the sheep and herd all parties as necessary.

Guess' comment—with its reference to rape—was eerily similar to comments made about Jeri Bonavia and her college-age daughter in May at the "WAVE Lies" page.

When Guess found out that Jeri posted his comment on the Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort Facebook page, he was incensed, and adding the following comment at the "WAVE Lies" page:

We are never going to change their minds because they are truly fucking twisted, irrational victims of incest or other brain damage. Fuck 'em and feed 'em fish heads. We have the power, they don't and I take great comfort in that knowledge, LMFBO.

The next target on the "WAVE Lies" Facebook page was Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Director of Communications Ladd Everitt, and now the pro-gunners indulged their homophobia. First page moderator Sean Hobena, the owner of Bad Bones BBQ in Minocqua, Wisconsin, described Ladd as "an effeminate homosexual throwing a hissy fit." "After seeing his photo, there can be no doubt that he is a master of tuning meat whistles," added Grant Guess. "I thought he specialized in the Skin Flute?" asked Hobena, taking the distasteful, sophomoric joke about as far as it could possibly go.

Max W. Schmidt and his buddies at "WAVE Lies" like to describe Americans who care about gun violence as "hoplophobes," a made-up term invented years ago by virulent racist/misogynist/homophobic NRA board member Jeff Cooper. But what do you call a group of grown men who hang around a Facebook page all day making comments like the ones cited above?

March 8, 2012

In Wake of School Massacre, Ohio Gunrunner Seeks Profit Over Penance

On the morning of February 27, T.J. Lane, a 17-year-old sophomore, opened fire in the Chardon High School cafeteria with a Ruger .22-caliber Mark III target pistol, killing three students and wounding two others. It was a terrible tragedy—even in a country where mass shootings have become a daily occurrence—that stirred the nation and broke the hearts of residents of Geauga County, Ohio.

Not everyone was focused on mourning and paying their respects, however...

Scott Weber is one of the most profitable firearms dealers in Ohio and an outspoken pro-gun activist. He owns Gunrunner Online Auctions and a gun shop in Burton, Ohio. Before entering the gun dealing business in 2000, Weber taught at a high school and was employed by Beretta to showcase the company's products. He is scheduled to begin hosting a talk radio show this month on WNIR-FM and hopes to develop a TV show about his business that is similar to "Pawn Stars" or "American Pickers."

On the day of the massacre at Chardon High School, Weber recounted his immediate reaction to the shooting on his "Burton Blog":

I stopped my workout and went into the lockeroom and put my coat on. I went to the office desk and got onto a phone and called my gun stores. I got a hold of my manager who was there early. I said, "Make sure everyone has on handguns as usual and our riot guns and M4's are loaded and available. Run security up by 3." "Already done, boss," he said.

Beyond that spasm of paranoia, no grief was forthcoming. Weber used the rest of the blog as a "gotcha" moment:

OK, what have we been saying on this blog for YEARS now? Just because you're in Geauga County, does NOT mean you're safe! And what else have we been saying? Where ever there is a "No Gun" zone, rest assured this is WHERE THE SHOOTINGS WILL OCCUR because the shooter will not encounter any resistance ... As I've said before: ARM YOURSELF. Your life is in your own hands. DO NOT rely on law enforcement to protect you. They come way, way too late..."

It was a convenient (and always timely) message for a man who sells guns for a living...

A few days later, Christopher Evans of The Plain Dealer contacted Weber and asked him if T.J. Lane's access to guns was a factor in the shootings. Both Lane and his family have a long history of violence and criminal conduct. Despite this fact, reports indicate that "about two dozen weapons were discovered in FBI searches of Lane's relatives' homes." Ohio has no "Child Access Prevention" law to hold gun owners accountable if a child or teen gains unauthorized access to their firearms.

Nonetheless, Weber had this to tell Evans:

It has nothing to do with accessibility of guns. I'm not gonna enter that conversation. It's absurd.

But Weber was just getting warmed up. The day after Evans' editorial appeared in The Plain Dealer, he wrote a scathing blog attacking the newspaper and anyone who might agree with its conclusion that access to guns played a role in the tragedy at Chardon High School. Weber started his piece out with a homophobic rant:

I don't read the Plain Squealer ... From what I have heard, they are in big money trouble (no one else is reading them either!) and all they have left is a bunch of "B" and "C" grade "journalists" (I use that term very loosely) who are tremendously LIBERAL and ANTI-GUN. Most are queers from what I've heard, so they often write about promoting queers to marry in Ohio (it's not possible to have such a union, but I hear they are for it-they stick together, these queers).

Weber then began a name-calling tirade that would do a middle-schooler proud:

What I think is hilarious is that far left/communist/Obuma loving journalists-the PD's vast make-up-are FORCED to cover the GUN OWNING REVOLUTION that is taking place right now! ... So I say to all of the gun-hating, lily-livered, bed-wetting liberal "journalists" (read that as typists and hacks) who write anti-gun swill with their stupid terms that they trade back and forth like the empty heads that they are (examples: "Assault Weapons", "Cop-Killer Bullets", "Unlicensed gun dealers", "High Capacity Magazines", "Gun Show Loopholes", "Saturday Night Specials", "Rogue Gun Dealers", etc.) guess what? KEEP WRITING ALL THE SWILL YOU DO BECAUSE YOU ARE CAUSING HUGE RUSHES TO GUN STORES AND AUCTION SITES AND WE LOVE IT! ... Hey, these days you can barely get into the door of a Cleveland gun show, the gun stores are three and four deep on the counters waiting to buy and online sites like mine are BOOMING! Why? Because the gun buyers are saying: "Fuck you!" to the gun writers and the anti-gunner politicians! I get VAST entertainment out of these hack anti-gun "writers" ... I just laugh and then load up my best AR-15 and blast-off a few magazines off my back porch! Salute! And then I strap on my two concealed handguns and off I go!

Finally, Weber concluded with a threat of violence, making reference to a frequent commenter at his blog:

Larry Taylor-writer of [the] letter above is one of the nation's top trap shooters and was a former Navy SEAL. I have shot MANY competitive targets with him. The PD writers would do well NOT to mess with guy... Larry's on MY SIDE and he's one of the GOOD GUYS. I call tell you this: If any of the bed-wetters came around Larry and starting talking anti-gun, this Good American who fought for the Bill of Rights would put their dentist in the next highest tax bracket!
But the day wouldn't have been complete if Weber didn't call for the cash one more time, so he did:

Meanwhile, as Christopher Evans wrote in the wake of yet another shooting in the Cleveland area in which a 13-year-old accidentally killed his 10-year-old brother, "Another family devastated. Another child gone. Only the guns remain."

March 6, 2012

Pro-Gun Activist on Reagan Shooting Survivor: "The Faggot Should Have Died"

March 30, 1981 was a dark day for America. On that day, a mentally ill man, John Hinckley, Jr., ambushed President Ronald Reagan and his entourage outside the Washington Hilton Hotel and fired six shots before being subdued. He injured four: President Reagan (a bullet lodged in the president's lung about an inch from his heart), D.C. police officer Thomas Delahanty, Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy, and Reagan's press secretary, Jim Brady.

Brady was the most severely injured of the four. He was shot in the head and remains permanently disabled to this day. As he worked his way through a grueling rehabilitation process, Jim and his wife, Sarah, became passionate advocates for gun violence prevention. They were particularly disturbed by the fact that Hinckley was able to legally buy the revolver used in the shooting despite a history of mental illness. In those days, there were no background checks on gun buyers. Purchasers filled out a form that asked them about potential disqualifiers, but there was no process for law enforcement to check and authenticate their answers. It was an "honor system" of the most dangerous sort.

In the late 80s, Jim and Sarah pushed for the introduction of legislation to establish a background check system for gun buyers. President Reagan made his feelings clear about the legislation on the assassination attempt's ten-year anniversary:

March 30...marks an anniversary I would just as soon forget, but cannot ... Four lives were changed forever, and all by a Saturday-night special –a cheaply made .22 caliber pistol–purchased in a Dallas pawnshop by a young man with a history of mental disturbance. This nightmare might never have happened if legislation that is before Congress now–the Brady bill–had been law back in 1981.

The Brady bill became law on November 30, 1993. To date, the law has stopped nearly two million prohibited purchasers from buying guns through federally licensed firearms dealers (FFLs). There is no telling how many lives this has saved, but it is certainly many. Jim and Sarah Brady remain engaged in the battle for better gun laws to this day. During a trip to Capitol Hill last year to advocate for legislation to ban high-capacity ammunition magazines (like the ones used in the January 2011 massacre in Tucson), Jim encouraged gun violence prevention activists to "fight fiercely." "I wouldn’t be here in this damn wheelchair if we had common sense [gun] legislation," he noted.

Most Americans admire Jim Brady for his courage, determination and unflappable sense of humor—in the face of the worst personal tragedy imaginable. Some pro-gun activists, however, wish nothing for Jim Brady but death.

The Starbucks Facebook page has become a hotbed of pro-gun extremism as of late, and recently someone (crudely) impersonated Jim Brady there. When confronted by Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) Director of Communications Ladd Everitt about it, the pro-gun activist in question responded as follows:

Personally I wish he would just let go of that last thread of life already. He's already undone a lifetimes worth of constitutional law. As far as I'm concerned he should die a traitors death.

Pro-gun activist Joe Adams of Colorado was equally blunt in commenting on a photo of Jim Brady at CSGV's Facebook page, writing:

lol the faggot should have died when he got shot!

It's impossible to understand why anyone would direct that type of cruelty at a man who has sacrificed so much for his country and fellow citizens.