Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Canada: Israel disputes NRA claim

The Globe and Mail

Officials challenge NRA’s claims about Israeli gun policies

JERUSALEM — The Associated Press

Far from the image of a heavily-armed population where ordinary people have their own arsenals to repel attackers, Israel allows its people to acquire firearms only if they can prove their professions or places of residence put them in danger. The country relies on its security services, not armed citizens, to prevent terror attacks.

Though military service in Israel is compulsory, routine familiarity with weapons does not carry over into civilian life. Israel has far fewer private weapons per capita than the U.S., and while there have been gangster shootouts on the streets from time to time, gun rampages outside the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are unheard of.

The National Rifle Association responded to the Dec. 14 killing of 20 first-graders and six adults at a Connecticut elementary school by resisting calls for tighter gun control and calling for armed guards and police at schools. On Sunday, the lobby's chief executive, Wayne LaPierre, invoked his perception of the Israeli school security system to back his proposal.

“Israel had a whole lot of school shootings until they did one thing: They said, ‘We're going to stop it,’ and they put armed security in every school and they have not had a problem since then,” Mr. LaPierre said on the NBC News show Meet the Press.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

It's time...please watch

Yesterday's's NRA position?

Hat tip to

Rational thought vs the NRA

PJ:  Rational thought does exist in America as the following article proves.  Sadly up until now, those thoughts have been mere whispers compared to the powerful shouts of the nation's gun lobbies who want guns...more and more guns...without regulations in place for their purchase, possession and use.  

For decades gun advocates have distorted the Constitutional Second Amendment which simply states:

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." 


Hmmmm...the founding fathers wanted regulation of firearms...?  Who would'a thunk it?  

Slate Magazine

When Gun Nuts Write Gun Laws, Nuts Have Guns

We are living in the world the NRA has made.

So this is what Wayne LaPierre came up with, with a week to reflect on the news that a law-abiding gun owner's legally purchased rifle, in the hands of her firearm-trained son, had been used to slaughter 20 kids: more guns, more law-abiding gun owners, more more more lead-spraying death machinery, more killing to stop the killers until all the killers have been killed. Only when we have eliminated the threat of "gun-free school zones," the danger and horror of children going through a school day unsurrounded by the implements of death, will we all feel safe.

People who live in the world of causes and effects and verifiable truths, the world the NRA has long since abandoned, had no trouble pointing out the flaws in LaPierre's analysis—the fact, for instance, that there had been an armed deputy sheriff on duty at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999. Around the time LaPierre was speaking, someone in Pennsylvania was shooting another batch of people, including armed state troopers.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Holy Cow--The most dangerous country in the world

PJ: The NRA's answer to gun violence= more guns. The  Head of NRA says,

"Only ‘Good Guy’ With A Gun Can Stop ‘Bad Guy’ With A Gun" the recent altercation at the Florida pizza shop* where the guy with the gun (which he obtained legally) shot the unarmed guy because the unarmed guy was complaining about the wait time for his pizza...Could the NRA please tell me which one was the good guy?


Talking Points Memo

LaPierre Calls On Congress To Put Armed Police Officers ‘In Every Single School’

Gun deaths this week in the US

Slate Magazine 

How Many People Have Been Killed by Guns Since Newtown?

Slate partners with @GunDeaths for an interactive, crowdsourced tally of the toll firearms have taken since Dec. 14.

Please go to this link for the startling statistics:

UK: An American love affair: Guns, guns and more guns

PJ:  What a pathetic reaction by some in America:  arm teachers...provide tiny children with bullet proof backpacks...more guns not fewer....  Will children eventually have to wear full bodyarmor? Will teachers have to carry their assigned weapons or face disciplinary action? Will everyone in America soon be outfitted with combat gear to go the the cinema?  

This last Sunday, in Florida*, a man complained about the slow service at a pizza take away. Another man took action and shot the unarmed man...twice. The shooter had no history of mental illness and was carrying his weapon legally.  Is this what gun enthusiasts want? What if a teacher took matters of disagreement with...anyone...into their own hands and used their (required) gun to deal with the altercation? Is this the safe world that America wants for their children?


The Independent

Newtown massacre: US races to stock up on weapons ahead of potential new federal ban

Rather than recoiling from the gun, Americans are emptying stores of ‘sporting rifles’ while online prices soar

David Usborne
It is a sad tradition in America that each mass shooting is followed by a surge in gun sales, in part because people calculate they need more firepower to protect themselves. That explains why the days since last Friday have also seen a surge in sales of special backpacks for school children lined with bullet-proof material. Their manufacturers allege they work well as shields in classroom firefights.

Now, however, there is the added fear among gun enthusiasts that new restrictions are around the corner and they had better get the weapons they covet before it’s too late.

UK: Murdoch's power goes beyond Fox's propaganda

The Guardian

Why the US media ignored Murdoch's brazen bid to hijack the presidency

Did the Washington Post and others underplay the story through fear of the News Corp chairman, or simply tin-eared judgment?
So now we have it: what appears to be hard, irrefutable evidence of Rupert Murdoch's ultimate and most audacious attempt – thwarted, thankfully, by circumstance – to hijack America's democratic institutions on a scale equal to his success in kidnapping and corrupting the essential democratic institutions of Great Britain through money, influence and wholesale abuse of the privileges of a free press.

In the American instance, Murdoch's goal seems to have been nothing less than using his media empire – notably Fox News – to stealthily recruit, bankroll and support the presidential candidacy of General David Petraeus in the 2012 election.

Thus in the spring of 2011 – less than 10 weeks before Murdoch's centrality to the hacking and politician-buying scandal enveloping his British newspapers was definitively revealed – Fox News' inventor and president, Roger Ailes, dispatched an emissary to Afghanistan to urge Petraeus to turn down President Obama's expected offer to become CIA director and, instead, run for the Republican nomination for president, with promises of being bankrolled by Murdoch. Ailes himself would resign as president of Fox News and run the campaign, according to the conversation between Petraeus and the emissary, K T McFarland, a Fox News on-air defense "analyst" and former spear carrier for national security principals in three Republican administrations.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

How to rid a country of gun violence

 The Washington Post

Fareed Zakaria
Fareed Zakaria
Opinion Writer

The solution to gun violence is clear

Is America’s popular culture the cause? This is highly unlikely, as largely the same culture exists in other rich countries. Youth in England and Wales, for example, are exposed to virtually identical cultural influences as in the United States. Yet the rate of gun homicide there is a tiny fraction of ours. The Japanese are at the cutting edge of the world of video games. Yet their gun homicide rate is close to zero! Why? Britain has tough gun laws. Japan has perhaps the tightest regulation of guns in the industrialized world.

The data in social science are rarely this clear. They strongly suggest that we have so much more gun violence than other countries because we have far more permissive laws than others regarding the sale and possession of guns. With 5 percent of the world’s population, the United States has 50 percent of the guns.
There is clear evidence that tightening laws — even in highly individualistic countries with long traditions of gun ownership — can reduce gun violence. In Australia, after a 1996 ban on all automatic and semiautomatic weapons — a real ban, not like the one we enacted in 1994 with 600-plus exceptions — gun-related homicides dropped 59 percent over the next decade. The rate of suicide by firearm plummeted 65 percent. (Almost 20,000 Americans die each year using guns to commit suicide — a method that is much more successful than other forms of suicide.)

Ironically..... Kinder Surprise are banned in the USA because they pose a danger to small children.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Please read this America

The New York Times

Do We Have the Courage to Stop This?

IN the harrowing aftermath of the school shooting in Connecticut, one thought wells in my mind: Why can’t we regulate guns as seriously as we do cars?  
So let’s treat firearms rationally as the center of a public health crisis that claims one life every 20 minutes. The United States realistically isn’t going to ban guns, but we can take steps to reduce the carnage. 

American schoolchildren are protected by building codes that govern stairways and windows. School buses must meet safety standards, and the bus drivers have to pass tests. Cafeteria food is regulated for safety. The only things we seem lax about are the things most likely to kill. 

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has five pages of regulations about ladders, while federal authorities shrug at serious curbs on firearms. Ladders kill around 300 Americans a year, and guns 30,000.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Probably my last post....The insanity of the GOP continues

PJ:  After the election, I watched and read so many pieces that outlined the end of the crazy in the GOP that I was a bit skeptical.  Isn't this what pundits said in 2008?  

Sadly, many republicans have drifted into a frightening universe that is so far right and so far wrong that the entertainment value of American politics has left me.  I am saddened by the hatred and misinformation that surfaces on Fox News and fright-talk radio on a daily basis.  I am shocked at the bigotry and vitriol that is evidenced by today's conservative talkers.  Dear readers, the US is not drifting into communisim as the rantings of the hate-filled Sarah Palin insisted in her role as a Fox News expert said the other day.  There is no need to "take your country back!" from other Americans as the right-wing chants since the election of President Obama.  There is no boogie man waiting to control every American citizen holded up in the White House.  There is no reality to back up the fear of "Sharia Law" that so many on the right postulate.  Susan Rice did not cause the greatest scandal since Watergate as Senator John McCain insists.  And no, the UN is not lying in wait to take over the US.   

I do hope that sanity will eventually prevail but I'll not hold my breath.  There is too much unfounded fear and hatred circulating.  A fear and hatred that has been manufactured by a right-wing that has lost perspective; a right-wing  that believes unfounded propaganda; a right-wing that is nursed with a steady diet of misinformation and lies; a right-wing that refuses to accept fact vs the fiction that feeds it.  The party that once supported science and education is now the party that disputes both. 

From Bloomberg

Help Republicans Rescue Their Party From Itself

Cruelty, fear, cowardice, xenophobia and disrespect invaded the inner sanctum of the U.S. government this week, bringing embarrassment and dishonor to what was once the greatest deliberative body in the world: the U.S. Senate.

On Dec. 4, former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, an 89- year-old Republican whose right arm was shattered in combat during World War II, was wheeled into the Senate chamber by his wife to rally support for a United Nations treaty that should have been entirely unobjectionable.

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, negotiated under President George W. Bush and signed by more than 150 nations, takes a stand against “discrimination on the basis of disability” and in favor of “respect for inherent dignity.” It’s a largely symbolic document with implementation language that consists mostly of a weak recommendation for “due consideration” of its lofty aims. Even so, with U.S. leadership, it could promote compassion for the disabled in dozens of countries where they are cruelly shunned.

Senator James Inhofe, an Oklahoma Republican who long ago discredited himself as a serious person by championing junk science on climate change, said on the Senate floor, “This unelected bureaucratic body would pass recommendations that would be forced upon the United States if we were a signatory.”
That’s completely false. Not a single clause or phrase in the treaty impinges on national sovereignty, unless one believes -- as some xenophobic neo-isolationists do -- that the UN itself is a threat to the U.S.