Tag: guns

Trump hints at declaring martial law in Illinois’s largest city, even though seven cities have higher murder rates

A few hours ago, President Donald Trump took to Twitter and hinted at possibly declaring martial law in Chicago over the city’s high murder rate:

I really don’t know of any presidential powers at Trump’s disposal that could be used in regards to a city having a high murder rate outside of two presidential powers: one would be to declare a state of emergency in Chicago, and the other would be declaring martial law in Chicago. Unlike a state National Guard or a state militia, the President cannot take over a city police force.

States United, part of the Mike Bloomberg-aligned pro-gun control political network that has been known to support far-right Republicans, has a couple of infographics about the actual state of the Chicago murder crisis:

As you can see, guns originally purchased in states like Indiana, and, to a lesser extent, Wisconsin and Mississippi, all three of which have weaker gun safety laws than Illinois does, have played a large role in Chicago’s murder crisis, and seven U.S. cities (St. Louis, Baltimore, Detroit, New Orleans, Cleveland, Newark, and Memphis) all have higher murder rates than Chicago does. Despite the facts, Trump and his Republican allies haven’t hinted at martial law in cities with a higher murder rate than that of Chicago, and Trump and his Republican allies want to make it easier, not harder, for people to take guns across state lines.

While murder is a serious problem in this country, declaring martial law is going to do absolutely nothing to solve the murder crisis of Chicago or any other city.

3% of Americans own half of America’s guns

If you’re wondering how small the demographic that the NRA and other gun lobby groups are fighting tooth and nail to protect against people who want common-sense gun safety legislation, it’s a very small demographic. It’s not quite as small as the demographic that has an obscenely large portion of of our nation’s wealth, but it’s pretty close to being as small:

Half of America’s civilian-owned guns are owned by only 3% of American adults. Here’s some more detail about the very small gun hoarder demographic in this country:

Americans own an estimated 265m guns, more than one gun for every American adult, according to the most definitive portrait of US gun ownership in two decades. But the new survey estimates that 133m of these guns are concentrated in the hands of just 3% of American adults – a group of super-owners who have amassed an average of 17 guns each.

The unpublished Harvard/Northeastern survey result summary, obtained exclusively by the Guardian and the Trace, estimates that America’s gun stock has increased by 70m guns since 1994. At the same time, the percentage of Americans who own guns decreased slightly from 25% to 22%.

I’m not advocating for taking guns away from law-abiding citizens, but it makes absolutely no sense for a person to hoard dozens of guns.

Kathleen Vinehout for Governor of Wisconsin? NO WAY!

It’s become public knowledge in Wisconsin political circles that State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout (D-Alma) really wants to run for the Democratic nomination for Governor of Wisconsin in 2018.

However, Vinehout is not a progressive, and, in fact, her views on some political issues are in line with far-right Republicans like Scott Walker.

Prior to being elected to the Wisconsin State Senate, Vinehout was a member of Democrats for Life, an anti-abortion organization. As a Wisconsin State Senator, Vinehout voted with Scott Walker and the gun manufacturers’ lobby for legislation designed to make it easier for off-duty and former police officers to carry out school shootings in Wisconsin public schools. While Vinehout is great on most economic issues and issues related to ending corruption in politics, her views on social issues are very right-wing and more in line with Republicans like Scott Walker.

While I will not move to Wisconsin to run for governor myself, after this year’s general election, I will write a blog post strongly criticizing a second potential Democratic candidate for Governor of Wisconsin. Make no mistake about it, the individual who I will criticize is the embodiment of a Scott Walker Democrat, and, if the individual were to run for governor, the individual would have a lot of support from the Democratic establishment, but I will not provide any more clues as to who the individual is at this time.

Hillary is about to go extremely negative on Bernie

It’s official…the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign and their allies in the Democratic establishment and the corporate media are about to go extremely negative on Bernie Sanders in the lead-up to the Wyoming Democratic caucuses and the New York primary:

Even worse, Hillary’s henchpeople have gone as far as to say that they regard party unity as being completely irrelevant right now, and they’ll worry about party unity once the race for the Democratic nomination is settled. That is an extremely dangerous move for Hillary, as there are many Bernie supporters who already have nothing but contempt for the Democratic establishment, and going extremely negative on Bernie would only further outrage them.

Personally, I believe that the Sanders campaign needs to go as far as to openly question Hillary’s patriotism. Already, the corporate media, as if they got the cue before most of us did, is wasting no time launching blatantly unpatriotic attacks on Bernie by attacking his staunch opposition to free-trade giveaways as hurting the economies of third-world countries. Contrary to what imperial and corporate-minded politicians like Hillary, Paul Ryan, and Ted Cruz believe, it’s not the responsibility of the federal government to stimulate the economies of third-world countries or any other foreign countries. It’s the job of the federal government to ensure that America’s economy is strong.

If Hillary is going to attack Bernie on guns, then it’s best for Bernie to attack Hillary on her complete lack of economic patriotism.

NRA-supporting DINO Ron Kind finally gets a primary challenger

For the first time in a very long time, U.S. Rep. Ron Kind of the 3rd Congressional District of Wisconsin is facing credible opposition within his own party. That’s because Myron Buchholz, a retired history teacher from the Eau Claire area, is seeking the Democratic nomination in the 3rd District of Wisconsin.

Very little is known about Buchholz, outside of the fact that he is politically aligned with Bernie Sanders and considers himself to be answering Bernie’s call for ordinary Americans to take back our country from big-money special interests. No information is available as to whether or not Bernie actually recruited Buchholz to run against Kind (I highly doubt that is the case).

Ron Kind, on the other hand, is well to the ideological right of Hillary Clinton on many political issues, including guns, where Kind has taken money from the NRA and received their endorsement in 2010. On gun issues, Kind has voted for, among other things, allowing guns in national parks and wildlife refuges. On other issues, Kind has voted the corporate Democratic line, including supporting President Obama’s free trade deals that have shipped Wisconsin and American jobs overseas.

I strongly encourage Democrats of the 3td Congressional District of Wisconsin to take a serious look at Myron Buchholz.

Wisconsin Republicans want to put guns in the hands of criminals nationwide

President Barack Obama recently pledged to use executive action (fact sheet here) requiring, among other things, licensing of the dealer and background checks on the purchaser on all gun sales in the United States. This executive action is clearly designed to make it much harder for criminals to obtain firearms.

Now, Scott Walker, the Governor of Wisconsin and a failed Republican presidential candidate who dropped out after his own party firmly rejected him on the national stage, is asking Brad Schimel, the Republican Attorney General of Wisconsin, to sue the federal government in an attempt to overturn the president’s executive actions.

Should federal courts side with Walker and Schimel, it would, once again, be ridiculously easy for a known criminal or someone else who is not legally allowed to possess a firearm to obtain a gun and kill people. For example, in 2012, Zina Haughton and two of her co-workers were shot and killed at a Brookfield, Wisconsin spa by her estranged husband, who purchased a gun online despite being under a restraining order that legally prohibited him from possessing a firearm. Had there been a strictly-enforced requirement of background checks on all gun sales in 2012, Zina Haughton would almost certainly be alive today.

Scott Walker and his far-right political allies in Wisconsin want to make it easier for criminals and others who shouldn’t be allowed to possess firearms to obtain firearms. That is absolutely asinine, and the vast majority of Americans think that it’s asinine as well.

Wisconsin Republican state legislator calls for gun owners to carry out vigilante executions

Wisconsin State Rep. Bob Gannon (R-Slinger) issued a press release calling for state legislators to pass legislation designed to put guns in the hands of drunk Wisconsin college students.

If you think that’s irresponsible, what’s even more irresponsible is Gannon’s remarks calling for concealed-carry permit holders to shoot and kill alleged criminals:

Wisconsin does not have a death penalty law, but with significant practice and careful aim, law abiding citizens can help clean our society of these scum bags. Criminals no longer have any fear of our courts or our prisons, so it’s time that the citizens of this fine state stand up and fight back. A gang banger in the mall with a gun is going to think twice if there could be a law abiding CCW holder standing behind them fully prepared to shoot center mass, as this is how you’re trained to eliminate the threat these creeps pose to you, your family, and all law abiding citizens unwillingly dragged into their public crime spree.

If Republicans like Bob Gannon get their way, Wisconsin will become a state full of George Zimmerman-like gun-toting stalkers hunting and killing people, especially minorities and women. That’s downright barbaric.

Right-wing extremists are the biggest threat to America

It’s become inherently clear to me that right-wing extremists are the biggest threat to America today.

Last night, President Barack Obama gave a rare speech from the Oval Office about ISIS, national security, gun control, and the recent San Bernardino shooting. In his speech, Obama said that letting the right define America’s fight against ISIS and other Islamic fundamentalist terror groups as a fight between America and Islam is exactly what ISIS wants. He’s right.

Republicans running for president, such as Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio, as well as Republican elected officials and right-wing blowhards, support launching a full-scale war against ISIS, spying on American Muslims, and other extreme measures. The truth of the matter is that those type of measures would do little more than play into the ISIS narrative that America is at war with Islam, thus emboldening ISIS and leading to U.S. involvement in yet another long, drawn-out war in the Middle East. Furthermore, Republican and NRA opposition to efforts to ban those on U.S. no-fly lists encourages terrorists to buy guns in order to carry out terrorist attacks on U.S. soil.

It’s not Islamic fundamentalists that pose the biggest threat to America today. It’s our own country’s right-wing extremists, who want to aid and abet ISIS and other similar terror groups.

An Arkansas pastor speaks the truth about conservatives and their un-Christian ways

Melanie Tubbs, a college professor and Christian pastor from rural Arkansas, wrote this piece a little more than a month ago on the progressive website Liberal America about how conservatives in this country, while promoting their Christian faith at every opportunity, act in a very un-Christian manner. The piece is certainly a must-read, even if you’re not of any kind of Christian faith (I’m an atheist, and I’ve read the piece).

Here’s a couple of points that Pastor Tubbs made in her piece:

I live my life for God, but I do not think God belongs in our Constitution. Separation of church and state; It’s a thing. Look it up.

[…]

Consenting adults have a constitutional right to get a government document certifying their legal marriage. The 14th amendment guarantees it. Not only that, marriage is love, what this country is needing to combat the hate and violence we are infected with. Love and marriage are not what we should be focusing on. Starving children, mass shootings, immoral lobbying, planet destroying, violence, and hate, those are our problems.

I strongly encourage other progressive-minded people in Republican strongholds to speak out about their values. There are many progressive-minded people in this country, even in the strongest of right-wing strongholds.

Hillary Clinton wants to destroy rural America by putting gun manufacturers completely out of business

Losing ground in recent Democratic presidential primary and caucus opinion polls, Hillary Clinton is trying one last thing to save her campaign from falling behind the Bernie Sanders campaign in the opinion polls in even more states. She’s proposing ending the gun manufacturers’ legal immunity from lawsuits every time someone uses one of their products for its intended purpose of killing a person or other living thing (such as a deer or a rabbit).

Make no mistake about it, gun violence is a serious problem in this country. We have far more mass shootings in this country than any other country, and, to put it mildly, it is a problem that needs to be addressed. I strongly support common-sense gun safety measures like universal background checks, closing the gun show loophole, and enacting a ban on assault weapons outside of the military, and these are all measures that Bernie Sanders supports. However, I cannot reasonably support completely eliminating legal immunity for gun manufacturers for reasons I will explain in the following paragraph.

I live in a region of Illinois that has a lot of deer hunters. While I’m not a hunter myself, and I’d never use a firearm for any reason, I can tell you for certain that Hillary’s plan to allow people to sue gun manufacturers every time some jackass decides to use a gun for its intended purpose of killing someone would put gun manufacturers in this country completely out of business, at least in regards to the civilian market. Without anyone to manufacture guns for the purposes of deer-hunting, downstate Illinois would lose a large part of its economy if Hillary were to get her way.

I thank Bernie Sanders for standing up and opposing the ridiculous idea of ending lawsuit immunity for gun manufacturers. He’s a real friend of rural America.