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February 27, 2012

"A Small Price to Pay"

During a day in which a horrific school shooting occurred at Chardon High School in Ohio—leaving three students dead and two injured—pro-gun activist John K. Haslach of Dunellen, New Jersey left the following comment on the National Gun Victims Action Council (NGAC) Facebook page:

A dead child is a small price to pay to protect our 2nd A rights to stop unjust laws and keep out forgeign invaders!

Haslach wasn't the only pro-gun activist on the attack following the shooting. Hank Fackovec of Woburn, Massachusetts left the following comment on the Facebook wall of Students for Gun Free Schools (SGFS):

People and organizations like SFGFS are responsible for these injured and dead children - If there was an armed teacher - the horror could have been prevented or minimized. Shame on you.

SGFS is an organization that was created to honor Reema Samaha, one of the victims of the 2007 mass shooting at Virginia Tech. "In order to keep her memory alive and try to prevent future tragedies, our mission opposes efforts to allow guns in our schools," SGFS states. The organization's founders include Omar and Randa Samaha, Reema's siblings; Lily Habtu, who was shot in the face and arm at Virginia Tech; and Colin Goddard, who was shot four times during the massacre. The notion that they are responsible for what happened at Chardon High School is beyond the pale. It is equally horrific to suggest that the answer to school shootings is to arm K-12 teachers and instruct them to gun down troubled teens rather than giving them the support and counseling they truly need.

Linda Gaither of the Episcopal Peace Fellowship in Ithaca, New York also became a target of pro-gun activists when she urged Starbucks to reconsider its policy allowing loaded guns in its stores following the Ohio tragedy. Pro-gun activist Devon Siefried of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania lashed into her, writing:

Dance in that blood, Linda. Dance in the blood. You're disgusting.

This horrifying "dance in the blood" rhetoric is, sadly, common among pro-gun activists. Frequently, it is directed at individuals who have lost their loved ones to gun violence. Yesterday, Andrew Johnston (AKA “Weer’d Beard”), who has been mentioned at this blog before, attacked Joan Peterson in a blog entitled, "Blood Dancing 101." Joan lost her sister Barbara in 1992 to gun homicide. In the blog, Johnston claims that Joan and others who advocate for stronger gun laws to prevent tragedies...

...talk about dead victims with zero concern for their situation. This is called “Blood Dancing” and they SHOULD be ashamed of it, but they are not. Are they insane? Yes, yes they are!

Finally, Joan received the following comment from a pro-gun activist Dan Roberts (AKA "Son of the Revolution") at her blog "Common Gunsense." Roberts was responding to a blog Joan posted reagarding the shooting at Chardon High School, in which she wrote, "We can pass more gun laws and we should. Making parents responsible for children getting their hands on guns would help. 28 states have some form of Child Access Prevention laws. Laws requiring mandatory reporting of lost and stolen guns may stop gun owners from being careless with their guns. Safely storing guns should be of utmost importance to keep guns away from the hands of children and teens as well as theft. Guns in the hands of children must first pass through the hands of an adult." Roberts saw this as an opportunity to boast about his six-year-old daughter's proficiency with a bow and gun.

He left a hyperlink that goes to his blog "That Every Man Be Armed" and a piece he wrote entitled, "The Next Top Shot." There he says of his daughter, "I started drilling her on gun safety when she was three. She then moved to trigger time on my lap with my 10/22 by age four, by five she could correctly name all the parts and almost completely reassemble my Ruger .45 by herself and she got her own pink Cricket Bolt Action .22 for her sixth birthday."

Meanwhile, the United States continues to lose more than 3,000 children and teens annually to gun violence.

February 24, 2012

President Obama Called a "Jugeared Wonder-Tard" by Pro-Gunner

As we've noted before at this blog, nothing enrages a pro-gun activist like a woman speaking out, publicly and confidently, for tougher laws to prevent gun violence. As result, women frequently bear the brunt of some of most vociferous and threatening attacks by pro-gun activists.

This blog features such an attack on Joan Peterson, a gun violence survivor from Minnesota and the author of the blog Common Gunsense. In 1992, Joan’s sister, Barbara, was three years into divorce proceedings with her husband. After he left bizarre messages on her answering machine, Barbara got a restraining order against him. One day, Barbara and a male friend went to her husband’s house to deliver some paperwork regarding the divorce. Her husband erupted in anger and shot both of them in cold blood, killing them. Prior to the shooting, he had no violent criminal history. He took his own life not long thereafter in a psychiatric ward.

On February 17, 2012, Joan authored a blog entitled, "It's a Guy Thing." She commented on a controversial House of Representatives hearing that occurred the day before, in which a panel consisting only of men offered testimony on why religious institutions shouldn't be compelled to offer certain types of health care to women (e.g., access to birth control bills and other forms of contraception) under the Affordable Care Act.

Joan began to think about a quote we hear often in the world of gun violence prevention: Wayne LaPierre's famous quip, "The guys with the guns makes the rules." In Joan's words:

The guys. With guns. Making the rules. Hmmmm. Let's think about that for a while. First of all, apparently there were no founding sisters or women involved in the beginnings of our democracy. Who made the rules back then? Who got to decide about the wording of our Constitution? ... Remember now, these guys (and a very small group of women) with guns make up about 2-3% of Americans eligible to own and carry guns. Should they get to make the rules for the rest of us? ... The guys with the guns and those they have intimidated into believing their world view, have passed laws in 49 states now allowing some form of carrying concealed weapons around in public. When the laws passed, these guys convinced legislators that we would all be safer if they were allowed to carry their guns into every nook and cranny of our communities. Some of them may have mentioned that this would also make they and their families safer, thinking there is danger lurking everywhere they go. I don't know why the 97% or so of Americans who don't carry concealed or openly displayed guns don't feel that same danger risk. So for those folks who feel unsafe wherever they go, we have passed laws that allow for loaded guns in Starbucks stores, in churches, in colleges (or so they hope) in grocery stores, malls, etc. Yes, shootings have happened in all of these places, mostly by crazed people who shouldn't have had guns in the first place. And even people with guns could likely not have stopped these shootings. Some commenters on this blog even wrote that they wouldn't try to protect the public in these cases. It would be every "man" for himself ... I'm very happy that the guys in my life are not like the guys I have described in this blog post. Change is coming. Women are speaking out and claiming their place in the important debates of our time.

Joan might as well have blown a dog whistle for the white male "Culture Warriors" in the pro-gun movement. Several commenters jumped in to claim that more women are involved in shooting activities than ever, a dubious claim given that gun ownership among American women has remained totally flat over the past three decades.

Joan then made the following comment about Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum's controversial statements about religion:

That was the last straw. Pro-gun activist "Thomas," a frequent commenter at Common Gunsense, jumped in and left the following comment:

The "bell-ringing" that Thomas is referring to takes place in a Memorial Garden in Lake Place Park in Duluth, Minnesota. Periodically, Joan gathers with members of the group Protect Minnesota (which formed when the Million Mom March Chapters of Minnesota merged with Citizens for a Safer Minnesota) and other organizations to remember victims of gun violence. Attendees are invited to ring the Memorial Bell for each loved one they have lost to gun violence.

As for the rest of Thomas' comment, well, it speaks for itself.

February 23, 2012

The Starbucks Militia

On Valentine's Day, the National Gun Victims Action Council (NGVAC) called for an ongoing boycott of the Starbucks coffee chain because of their company policy allowing individuals to bring loaded guns into their stores. The President and CEO of NGVAC is Elliot Fineman, whose son Michael was murdered in 2006 by a paranoid schizophrenic who legally obtained a gun. Fineman says that Starbucks is "[betraying] their claim to be a socially responsible company" by implementing a policy that follows state gun laws, even where they are weak and involve little or no screening of gun carriers. Currently, 28 states allow residents to Open Carry loaded guns in public without any permitting, screening or training requirement. There are also four states (Alaska, Vermont, Wyoming and Arizona) that allow residents to Concealed Carry loaded guns in public without any screening, training or permitting. All of these states also allow "private sales" of firearms, which do not require any background check. Individuals bringing loaded guns into Starbucks in these states could be felons, wife beaters, sex offenders, severely mentally ill, etc., and law enforcement would have no way of telling if they are dangerous until they pull the trigger.

Despite these problems, pro-gun activists were outraged when they heard about the NGVAC boycott and quickly announced a "buycott" of their own. Here is what the "buycott" called for, as described by the "Guns for Everyone" blog:

First, make sure to visit Starbucks on February 14th and carry proudly. Even if you don’t carry, or don’t OC [Open Carry], let them know that you appreciate their policy. But seriously, just man up and carry that heater like a BOSS. Stop being a pussy.

Pro-gun activists then began to flock to the Starbucks Facebook page to tell of their gun-carrying exploits, post photos of their handguns and assault rifles, and attack all those who disagree with the company's policy concerning firearms. This led to some truly ugly rhetoric, some of which is chronicled here:

There was pro-gun activist Joe Amber Barrett of Leesburg, Florida, who told one woman "FOAD [Fuck Off And Die] you dirty hippy" when she announced that she was boycotting Starbucks:

Pro-gun activist Josh Sumpter invoked the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre to justify Starbucks' current firearms policy. When CSGV Director of Communications Ladd Everitt pointed out that both the Virgina Tech Review Panel and the families of the victims and survivors of that tragedy are unanimous in their support for stronger gun laws, Sumpter said, "that just proves that the VT review panel and the families [of the 32 students/faculty killed and 25 wounded during the massacre] are okay with the tragedy happening again." Pro-gun activist Jonathan Kiviniemi of New Albany, Indiana thought this was wonderful and jumped in to echo Sumpter, adding, "they are essentially saying they want it to happen again."

There was a bizarre comment from insurrectionist gun blogger Kurt Hofmann, who thanked Starbucks for "refusing to be conscripted into the anti-gun jihadists' culture war."

Another woman, who posted a "No Guns in Starbucks" photo, was called a "twat" by pro-gun activist Andy Rau.

Pro-gun activist Shay Robertson thanked Starbucks for "having a backbone" and said, "Not everyone in America is a snivelling developmentally disabled functioning retard who is afraid of inanimate objects." Pro-gunner Jeff Adamson loved it and commented, "Please don't insult snivelling developmentally disabled functioning retards by comparing them to anti-gunners."

Other commenters were labelled "faggots" and "homos" by pro-gun activists Adler Smith and Eric Fanning of Oregon City, Oregon.

One pro-gun activist, James Sarah, had a warning for children. He told a commenter, "Keep your children out of Starbucks. I go in to enjoy a cup of coffee and read a paper. It is very disturbing to have some snot nosed little brats running around and making all sorts of noise. My hand gun has never made a peep in Starbucks."

Pro-gun activist Ray Brower of Loveland, Colorado posted a photo of his AR-15 assault weapon and wanted everyone to know it was his "anti-socialist freedom rifle. And he was certainly not the only pro-gun activist to share gun porn on the Starbucks Facebook page. Their photos wall is covered with it. Here are some examples:

You've got to give Starbucks executives some credit, though. Their store policy might be OK for us, but they personally want no part of these guys when they're armed. "They surely know the threat to safety people carrying guns pose," says Reverend Jackie Lynn, Executive Director of the Episcopal Peace Fellowship. "Why else would Starbucks ban guns from its corporate headquarters, Starbucks shareholder meetings and have a company policy forbidding employees (partners) from bringing guns to work?"

Great question.

February 20, 2012

Making Light of a Presidential Assassination

Pro-gun activists have a funny way of observing Presidents Day. Two days ago, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence posted the following photo and status update to our Facebook page to wish everyone a wonderful Presidents Day weekend:
Alabama pro-gunner Willis Peacock was quick to respond with a reference to the tragic 1865 assassination of President Abraham Lincoln:

maybe one shoulda owned a helmet...

Lincoln, of course, was shot in the back of head by John Wilkes Booth as he sat watching a play in the Presidential Box at Ford's Theater.

Alabama residents can take great comfort in the knowledge that Peacock, like Booth before him, is walking the streets with a loaded handgun. Maybe you'll even see him at the local Starbucks!

Pro-Gun Activist on Kid Shootings: "In all honesty, I really don't care."

Most pro-gun activists will make a real effort to convince you that they really do care about gun violence, while simultaneously insisting that there is absolutely nothing that can be done to prevent it (thereby conveniently absolving themselves of any responsibility to have to do something about it). But recently we met two pro-gunners who just came out and told it like it is!

The conversation in question happened on February 20, 2012 on the Facebook page of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. One of our fans had posted a link to a disturbing new blog, "Kid Shootings." The description of the blog is as follows:

Kid Shootings is a collaborative effort brought to you by authors from Ceasefire Oregon Education Foundation, Protect Minnesota, and States United Against Gun Violence. This blog highlights any and all timely cases of minors, ages 17 and under, who are involved in gun crimes or dangerous situations involving guns in the United States, which we can find reports of. Reported cases span the whole range of incidents: homicides and attempted homicides, accidents, suicides, stray bullet reports, defensive, law enforcement, robberies, kidnappings, “near misses,” and other categories. Some kids are shooters (including intentional and accidental), but most are victims.

Pro-gun activist Charles Cornett from Columbus, Texas jumped in first to comment on the blog posting. Cornett's Favorite Quotation as listed on his Facebook page is, "Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice. Ammo is cheap, life is expensive." So it's no surprise that his thought on the matter was the following:

We lose 5,000 teens alone every year in car accidents, does that mean we should ban cars too?

It was a typical pro-gun feint—bring up the issue of automobile deaths to distract and change the subject; and hope that people don't realize that decades of extensive regulation of both automobiles and our roads have saved countless lives. Contrast this with the firearms industry, which remains the most unregulated industry in America.

Cornett was then challenged by the original poster in the thread, however, who replied:

You make the assumption I wish to ban guns, but I do not. What have you done, Charles, to reduce kid shootings, or teen driving accidents, for that matter?

With Cornett challenged to ante up on his mock concern regarding teen driving accidents, he found support from another pro-gun activist, Daniel Collien of Churchton, Maryland. Collien is a wonderfully candid pro-gunner who lists "Insurrection" as one of his "Activities and Interests" on Facebook. He wrote:

I hope he hasn't done anything. From a completely detached standpoint, there's too many damn people. 7 billion on a planet that can really only sustain 3 billion people. 3000 here or 5000 there, it is no matter.

But Cornett refused to let Collien upstage him in sheer cruelty. He added:

What have I done? Absolutely nothing, why? Because in all honesty, I really don't care.

Lost your child, your own flesh and blood, to senseless gun violence? Don't worry. The planet is overpopulated! And pro-gun activists? Well, they're doing everything they can to help us trim our numbers here in the United States.

February 19, 2012

Anti-Semitism Anyone?

The following remark was pasted to the Wall of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) Facebook page by pro-gun activist Christopher Carter on February 19, 2012:

Jews want your guns so they can treat you like Palestinians.

It is impossible to tell who Carter had in mind when he made his remark, but CSGV executive director Josh Horwitz is Jewish.

February 18, 2012

Pro-Gun "Humor"

The following image was left on the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) Facebook page by pro-gun activist Ryan Ashley on February 18, 2012. Many Fans of CSGV's Facebook page are victims and survivors of gun violence. Some of them have lost loved ones, including children, to gun suicide. In the modern pro-gun movement, this qualifies as "funny."

February 14, 2012

Valentine from a Pro-Gun Activist

Isn't he the sweetest thing ever?

What nonviolent person wouldn't want to have a "rational" and "logical" conversation with the folks from the Anything About Guns Facebook page?

February 13, 2012

Parenting, Pro-Gun Style

The United States is a country in which more than 3,000 children and teens die each year from gunfire. An additional 17,000+ are injured by gunfire every year. Put simply, it's a level of pain and suffering unequaled anywhere else among industrialized democracies. And it's caused by by the weakest gun laws in the civilized world.

Few things are sacred among pro-gun activists, however, and even this subject is a source of levity and entertainment for them. Furthermore, they will always be the first to tell you that kids and guns are a great mix, despite abundant evidence to the contrary. This blog focuses on four recent stories that provide a disturbing look at American gun culture and how it affects the young.

First, we recently received some new YouTube comments from gun violence prevention activist Abby Spangler. Many of you will remember Abby as the Virginia mom who has received a litany of misogynist, threatening comments from pro-gun activists. Turns out that Abby has a new fan on YouTube who is very proud of his gun collection.

That individual is a 14-year-old who goes by the screen name of "Shedneom," and here is what he had to say to Abby:

Im 14 and have a full automatic m16 and ak47, a tank, a semi a rocket launcher, a silencer for all of the above, a .50 caliber assualt sniper rifle thats anti tank, 10,000 explosive burning deadly rounds.three .50 caliber pistols, a fully automatic 12 guage shotgun. and all my guns use highcapacity magazines that hold up to 500 rounds and there always loaded in the house.

But the young man wasn't done just yet. He giddily sent Abby this follow-up comment:

And I forgot to mention that i play violent video games daily, lol.

Perhaps we should be kind and give Shedenom's parents the benefit of the doubt, assuming they're not even present in the home. They're certainly making no positive difference in this young man's life even if they are.

The next comment we discovered featured a novel solution to problem of parenting kids around guns. Posting on a thread about "Guns and Kids" at PoliticalForum.com, pro-gun activist "Black Monarch" offered the following thought about what one should do with children who are too "stupid" to avoid shooting themselves with the guns you leave laying around:

Note: stupid kids may get ahold of guns and shoot each other or themselves. If your kids are stupid, give them up for adoption to protect your guns.

Everybody has their priorities, right?

Sometimes nothing helps with parenting like a loaded gun, however. That's what North Carolina dad Tommy Jordan showed the world when he posted the following video on Facebook to "discipline" his teenage daughter:

Oh, how to analyze this fabulous example of parenting? Allow us to quote a pastoral counselor who frequently posts at the CSGV Facebook page:

A "parent" who sees no problem with possession and use of a weapon is bad enough. A "parent" who sees use of his weapon as a "parenting tool" is a significant cause for concern. ANYONE who thinks that violence is a solution to ANY situation, is dangerous. Add to that, a child who's now been humiliated publicly for her behavior and has been taught by example by said parent, and who has access to WMD, and this points to a very dangerous mix. It may be too late for "intervention" for that family and closer to time for yet another family dissolution.

Despite the fact that the video earned him a visit from Child Protective Services, Jordan brags on his Facebook page, "If I had it to do again... let's see...I'd do it almost the same." What would he change? Well, he wishes he hadn't smoked a cigarette in the video, regrets using the word "ass" in reference to his daughter, and "maybe [I'd have] used the .22 instead of the .45," Jordan tells us. Talk about missing the target...

Finally, we present an even more inspiring example of pro-gun parenting. On February 9, The Today Show launched a new investigative series. Their first target was private firearm sales, so they ventured out into shopping mall parking lots in Phoenix, Arizona, to buy military-style assault rifles from individuals who are not legally obligated to either conduct background checks or keep any records of sale.

One of the private firearms sellers in The Today Show segment brought his 7-year-old son with him to sell an undercover investigator a tactical shotgun and an assault rifle straight out of the trunk of his car, no questions asked. "I probably couldn't pass [a background check]," the investigator told the man (meaning he could have been a felon, a wife beater, a sex offender, or mentally ill—just to name a few categories of prohibited purchasers). The man sold him the guns anyway and passed the cash directly to his son, adding, "I hate, I hate the government." He then ran away liked a coward when reporters attempted to question him on camera.

Perhaps it's now time to end this blog, because we simply no longer have the words...