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Reposted from Hunter by TRPChicago Editor's Note: We've come a long way when a sitting U.S. Senator and serious presidential candidate summons up an anti-government private-militia rationale for having guns in the home.. -- TRPChicago
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) listens to a question at the Iowa Agriculture Summit in Des Moines, Iowa,  March 7, 2015.   REUTERS/Jim Young  (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR4SG2Z
Sen. Ted Cruz goes full LaPierre:
"The 2nd Amendment to the Constitution isn't for just protecting hunting rights, and it's not only to safeguard your right to target practice. It is a Constitutional right to protect your children, your family, your home, our lives, and to serve as the ultimate check against governmental tyranny -- for the protection of liberty," Cruz wrote to supporters in a fundraising email on Thursday, under the subject line "2nd Amendment against tyranny."

This "insurrectionist" argument, as Second Amendment expert and UCLA law professor Adam Winkler calls it, is popular among passionate gun owners and members of the National Rifle Association. But major party candidates for president don't often venture there.

Indeed. Relatively few lawmakers are fans of the notion that our guns exist in case everyday American citizens decide they need to start murdering government officials. It is a theory most popular among lunatics and people on FBI watch lists, though the NRA embrace of this central doctrine of the far-right militia movement has given it new prominence. This speaks, however, more to the retooling of the now fully conspiracy-addled NRA into the overt political arm of that militia movement than it does to any new mainstream embrace of the theory.

Which is why Ted Cruz so far finds himself rather alone on this particular party plank, with other potential presidential candidates wanting nothing to do with it.

[Sen. Lindsey Graham] demurred. "I'm not looking for an insurrection. I'm looking to defeat Hillary," he said. "We're not going to out-gun her."
Perhaps, but that's why Ted Cruz is going to get the NRA's endorsement in the race and you're not, Lindsey Graham. The NRA doesn't know if it could out-gun her, but it knows its members should be allowed to try.
Reposted from pdc by poopdogcomedy

Hello fellow Kossacks! I've had the privilege to interview politicians like Rep. Ted Deutch (D. FL-21) and former U.S. Senator Mark Begich (D. AK) in the past but this upcoming interview I am the most excited about. I consider former Congressman and Decorated Admiral Joe Sestak (D. PA) as a friend and I am very thankful and excited that while he's walking across the state of Pennsylvania that he wants to grant me an interview. Of course I could use my fellow Kossacks help so if you have questions for the Admiral, please post them in the comments. I will submit them after the weekend. In the mean time, feel free to get involved and learn more about Sestak's campaign here:

Congressman Joe Sestak stands with his daughter Alex (left) and wife susan (right, behind) as he gives his concession speach after losing to Pat Toomey on Tuesday, October 2, 2010 at the Radnor Hotel.  //ed note: ROB KANDEL / THE MORNING CALL  ***** Headline:  2010 THE YEAR IN REVIEW ** From a quadruple homicide in Northampton to the defeat of Pennsylvania's longest-serving senator, 2010 will go down as a year of heartache, anxiety and political change (12/26/10) *****
Reposted from Support the Dream Defenders by JekyllnHyde
About 2 weeks ago, 2 members of Support the Dream Defenders boldly went where no member of STDDs has gone before, to a town called Netroots Radio, and 2 detectives were on them like powdered sugar on pancakes. Two members of the Daily Kos group Support the Dream Defenders took a break from their agitatin and activatin and gave up the goods so easily, you could hardly tell they were seasoned crimin supporters of the Dream Defenders. Who were the detectives? Justice Putnam and Wink. Who were the Supporters? Tortmaster and 2thanks.

Listen my children, and you shall to the podcast or skim through all 3700 words of the transcript, looking for the highlights. Glance at the green Chart of FOIA Progress, and then surrey down to the stone soul pic comments, where operators are standing b waiting breathless at their keyboards to answer your every question about Support the Dream Defenders and to hear you volunteer to help them in YOUR state (if you live in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Maine, Nebraska, South Dakota, Texas, Wisconsin, or Wyoming) and to see your commentary and links.

Podcast -
All About Support the Dream Defenders -
Justice Putnam and Wink Grill Tortmaster and 2thanks -
The After Show on Netroots Radio -
February 3, 2015

(Interview begins at about the 31-minute mark.)
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Reposted from Hunter by Glen The Plumber
More, more, more.
Short version: "States' rights" is for suckers.
The National Rifle Association (NRA) and other Second Amendment advocates are throwing their weight behind the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, a bill introduced in both chambers of Congress that would allow gun owners to carry concealed weapons across state lines.

“The Second Amendment doesn’t end at the border of your state,” said Larry Keane, general counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation. “This would enhance the rights of law-abiding citizens to protect themselves when they’re away from home."

The House has passed this same thing before, but now a Republican Senate gets to take it up as well. It's painted as a convenience for obsessive gun-toters who might want to visit other states but who cannot bear the thought of leaving Timmy the Loaded Weapon behind, but it would have the more conspicuous effect of allowing those gun-toters to tote guns in other states even when they would not be able to pass that state's own stricter requirements for concealed carry.
Gun owners who qualify for concealed carry permits in Texas, for example, would be allowed to bring their firearms into states with tougher gun laws where they may otherwise be denied.

"Local law enforcement would be powerless to stop them,” Malte said.

Well won't that be fun. And a fitting action for a Republican Party that has responded to the recent spate of high-profile shootings at schools and in theaters and on public streets with a resolute determination to get guns into the hands of as many more people as possible.
Reposted from Patrick Leary, aka pajoly by Glen The Plumber

By Patrick Leary, a St. Petersburg Neighbor

It is 2.5 weeks since I found out about Mr. Carannante's intent to fire his weapons at a small, makeshift target in his side yard less than 20 feet from where my son plays and where my neighbors sleep (something we've all done precious little of this week). In the ensuing days, I've received a crash course in civic activism and political reality.

I've met both the current and past mayors, spoken with staff of senators, a state representative or two, a Councilman, and a throng of reporters. I've thanked a DJ on air and a shooting range GM in private. I talked to a handful of cops, hundreds of parents at a PTA meeting, interviewed with press in New York, met an activist or two, received advice of former lobbyists, launched a petition  (5,000 names and counting), written 7 blogs, an OpEd, organized a news conference attended by the Mayor, and read the Governor's dismissive form reply to my neighbor.

I also shook the hand of the man who not several days before represented a genuine mortal threat to my neighbors...

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Reposted from numerology doesn't add up by Glen The Plumber

Hat Tip to TXConservative for the heads up on this.

Send in your comments to the ATF now ---- they are taking comments until March 15, 2015

NRA is all over this. It is flying through the gun crowd.

They are responding. Step up to the plate. Turn the AR-15 into a baseball bat.

The NRA Howl here

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Reposted from Digging up those Facts ... for over 8 years. by JekyllnHyde

It's a start. Even though he seems to be explaining "racial bias" as a "mental shortcut" of some cynical police officers -- worn down by their difficult 'seen-everything' dangerous jobs;

Director Comey also calls on police officers to do better. "To design systems and processes to overcome" their racial biases. Including better databases for keeping stats on officer-involved shootings.

Including acknowledging the FBI's own over-reach on tracking civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr, back in day of their predecessors. A disturbing legacy that they must now 'own'.

FBI Director To Address Law Enforcement's Relationship With Minorities

by Lauren Hodges, -- February 12, 2015

In a speech entitled "Hard Truths: Law Enforcement and Race," Comey [FBI Director James Comey] plans to highlight research suggesting a bias against blacks among majority white communities — a bias that he says goes largely unaddressed and leads to dangerous practices among law enforcement officials. NPR's justice correspondent Carrie Johnson says Comey wants law enforcement to acknowledge that bias in order to improve relations with minority communities.
   "He's going to say people who serve in law enforcement have to be honest and acknowledge most of our history has been unfair to minorities and un-favored groups."
Johnson reports Comey's leading by example in his new post as director. He requires new police recruits to visit the new memorial of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Washington, D.C., as a reminder that the FBI once specifically targeted the civil rights leader.

Like I said "it's a start" ... but it needs to go further.

Like examining and re-thinking the abuse-filled Officer Quota System.

Like examining and correcting the built-in "Institutional Racism," in the form of Due Process Denied, based on the color of your skin.

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Reposted from Support the Dream Defenders by JekyllnHyde
Senator Oletha Faust Goudeau proposed changes in the way that Kansas handles issues of police-related shootings.   Senator Goudeau hopes that her legislation, KS-SB-216, provides a framework that protects both officers and the community.
SB 216, The Special Prosecutor Bill, named the Investigation and Review of Deaths Involving Law Enforcement Officers, was introduced to our legislature this week.

SB 216 requires that the Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) operate investigations in all law enforcement shootings that results in a death. It prevents local agencies from investigating themselves in shootings where someone is killed. It requires that if fault is found, the Attorney General will prosecute the case himself or herself or assign a special prosecutor to prevent any conflicts of interest from arising. This will remove the impression of bias that families currently experience with local district attorneys investigating the cases.

This law will ensure a common-sense approach to law enforcement and provide many families relief in knowing that their loved one's death was not in vain.

This bill echoes part of the Michael Brown Over-Policed Rights Act. The MBOPRA is the bill which Support the Dream Defenders (STDDs) crowd-sourced at Daily Kos last fall. That law has been subsequently promoted by both the NAACP and the ACLU. Congressman G. K. Butterfield, the recently elected chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, said that the number one priority of that group this year is to focus on relations between police and African Americans. He added that he was very concerned about this issue, given recent tragic developments.
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Thu Feb 12, 2015 at 06:44 AM PST

Concealed Carry’s Body Count

by teacherken

Reposted from teacherken by Glen The Plumber

The New York Times offers the data from this report from the Violence Policy Center that the NRA and its supporters would rather we not have, because it makes it clear that concealed carry costs more lives than it saves.  In this editorial, the Times notes

There is no central tally of the effects, with states often barring release of concealed-carry data and Congress hewing to the gun lobby’s opposition to research on guns’ effects on public health. But a methodical gleaning of eight years of news accounts by the Violence Policy Center, a gun safety group, found that in research involving 722 deaths in 544 concealed-carry shootings in 36 states and the District of Columbia, only 16 cases were eventually ruled lawful self-defense — even though this has been a major gun rights selling point for the new laws.
But it gets worse:  
More gravely, the study found that the fatalities included 17 law enforcement officers shot by people with legal permits along with 705 slain civilians. There were 28 mass shootings (involving three or more victims) in which 136 people were killed — even though concealed carry has also been sold as a defense against massacres like the one in Newtown, Conn.
Please keep reading.
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Reposted from Patrick Leary, aka pajoly by night cat
This sat 8' from my neighbor's side fence where my kids play. There is no backstop. Behind it another fence and a home immediately behind that. The back wall of the home is direct path should any round miss its target, and everyone misses. In fact, NYPD can miss 22% of their FIXED targets and still qualify. Miss here, and there's a bullet hole in his neighbors home, at the least.
I've launched a Facebook pageto help folks find the petition to ban these things in dense residential neighborhoods.

My son is 9. His best friend is 10 and that little boy has a 7 year old little sister. My son loves playing at their house. These are no computer game kids. They have a tree fort, rope ladders, tree swings and even a zip line. It is perfect place for the sort of innocent, creative, and active outdoor play I enjoyed as kid so many years ago. There's just one problem:

The outdoor "gun range" next door. That's right, the homeowner behind their property has decided his front yard, which is 8 feet from my friend's back yard property line and a few houses away from mine, is the perfect spot for a gun range. This is a residential neighborhood in the city limits of Saint Petersburg, Florida. The lots are as small at 1/4 acre. A gun range. With real guns. With real bullets.

Oh, but it gets so much better. Here are the words of our community association president in an email to the community this evening:

This is not a "back yard" gun range.  It's an amateur and reckless set-up in which a man has to stand in his front yard and fire toward his house (and therefore at the house behind him), at a pile of sand held together with an old wooden palette.

The pile of sand is 8' from a neighbor's property where small children live and about 20' feet from the children's bedroom windows.  

The owner of this house has arrests for DUI, cocaine and hydrocodone, and has had 2 domestic violence cases filed against him. His son has announced he is coming to the house with a "variety of guns," including an assault rifle.

Shocked yet? Oh, it gets better still. This is Florida.
That's right. Florida law allows people to build and maintain shooting ranges in their backyards. And unless an owner becomes negligent or reckless, there's nothing a neighbor can do.

For example:

* There's no restriction on the type of firearms or ammunition that can be used in a backyard shooting range.

* There's no restriction on the time of day or night your neighbors can use their gun range.

* And there's no restriction on gun ranges near a public school, day-care center or neighborhood playground. Talk about the need for duck-and-cover lessons.

We need your help DKos community. We need your help America. We need the help of sane people everywhere. Please follow over to see how you can.
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Reposted from Hunter by Glen The Plumber
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett speaks at a news conference on the Penn State campus in State College, Pennsylvania January 2, 2013.  Corbett said he will file a federal lawsuit against the NCAA over sanctions it levied against Pennsylvania State Univer
Gov. Tom Corbett heralded the new anti-law law, because of course he did.
If you live in Pennsylvania, your town isn't allowed to have gun safety laws anymore. This is because of (Ex.-)Gov. Tom Corbett, the National Rifle Association, and a collection of the usual fetishists who insist that their rights to [insert action here] with a loaded gun in their hand trumps any common-sense restrictions your community might want to put on them. Oh, and they don't have to live in your community to sue it for violatin' their right to shoot things. Or show that the rule harmed them. Or really anything, because America's least-regulated militia will not tolerate you fearing for your safety when it comes to them and their toys:
[Obsessed lawyer guy] has sent letters to nearly 100 municipalities on behalf of four pro-gun group clients—American Gun Owners Alliance, Concerned Gun Owners of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvanians for Self Protection, and Firearms Owners Against Crime (FOAC)—notifying them that their gun laws could get them sued. By Prince's count, at least 45 towns have already repealed their gun ordinances or promised to, for fear of costly legal challenges.
This would be restrictions like not being allowed to shoot your gun within city limits (Pittsburgh) or a requirement that you report lost or stolen guns so that someone knows you've lost it (Allentown). And all of it is because Republicans shoved through the new your-town-can't-have-gun-laws bill into what had been a generic bill toughening laws against metal theft. This itself would be a violation of a Pennsylvania state constitutional requirement that each bill may only address one topic, which is why the Pennsylvania Attorney General refused to defend the law in court, but it's still resulted in a flurry of repeals of basic gun safety laws by towns in the state that don't want to bear the expense of being sued.

So there's your report on the state of democracy in America. If you're a gun fetishist you still don't have to follow the same sort of common sense safety rules that might apply to cars or bicycles or microwave ovens because the NRA and other pseudo-militias simply don't want to, and if you're a lawmaker passing laws allowing for more guns in more places you don't have to follow all your other state laws because guns trump all, and we still have a lot of people getting shot accidentally by morons or intentionally by psychopaths and we still have no real intention of doing a damn thing about that because the morons and the psychopaths have their own goddamn lobbying groups.

Reposted from Mr. Grassroots by Glen The Plumber
Rep. Robin Kelly attended a celebration for what would have been Blair Holt's 23rd birthday to lend her support to the Blair Holt Memorial Foundation. Rep. Kelly said about the movement, "It is important that we keep up the fight for common sense gun control and violence prevention and the Blair Holt Foundation is doing important work on this front." Also in the photo; left to right, Annette Nance-Holt (mother of Blair Holt - CFD), Rep. Robin Kelly, Camiella D. Williams (grassroots gun reform advocate) and Ronald Holt (father of Blair Holt - CPD).
Goal Thermometer

The National Rifle Association (NRA) and its monopoly on the "final word" on guns and the Second Amendment, coming to an end thanks to Rep. Robin Kelly's emergence on the national stage as an articulate national spokesperson for "common sense" gun reform. The NRA has taken notice and don't like what they see.

On Jan. 8, 2015, near the beginning of the 114th Congress, Rep. Robin Kelly (IL-02) introduced a bill in the House of Representatives known as H.R. 224. Simply stated, the bill would require the United States Surgeon General of the Public Health Service to submit to Congress an annual report on the effects of gun violence on public health. Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of H.R 224, and annually thereafter, the "U.S. Surgeon General of the Public Health Service shall submit to Congress a report on the effects on public health of gun violence in the United States during the relevant period, and the status of actions taken to address such effects."

Simple stuff, right? Wrong, at least according to the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA), which is now on record as opposing H.R. 224. Did I write "opposing?" My error, I should have wrote "strongly opposes."

Congresswoman Robin Kelly responded to the NRA attack piece, with a statement she released to this writer:

In the interest of staying above the fray and focusing on constructive discourse about gun safety, I've long ignored the NRA's vicious, dishonest and irrational attacks on me and my efforts to reduce gun violence in America.

But first and foremost, I am not anti-gun. I come from a family of policemen and recreational hunters and respect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens to own guns. I've never been anti-gun. However, I am proudly and unabashedly pro-common sense gun reform that respects the Second Amendment while also respecting the right of every American to live free from the threat of gun violence. I believe we can strike this balance and that reasonable, rational and responsible gun owners agree.

I ask the NRA, why imbue the debate on gun reform with such venom and vitriol if you truly believe you're on the side of right? An argument is only diminished when delivered with disrespect. And with this particular piece of legislation - the call for the U.S. Surgeon General to investigate the public health impact of gun violence - there is an opportunity to finally put one aspect of the gun debate to rest. If the NRA is so convinced that there are no public health effects of gun violence and that the very premise that American society suffers from a gun violence epidemic is false, then I say support my bill, which amounts to commissioning a study on the issue, and prove me wrong.

If the truth is truly what the NRA seeks, if they are not merely paying lip service to the concept of gun safety, then join me in investigating the true impact of gun violence in America and if, as I suspect, we discover that gun violence is a slow-motion plague afflicting our nation, I ask them to work with me to find solutions that save lives while preserving the rights of law-abiding gun owners.

That's a call I'd like to see them issue to their members rather than riling them up to come after me based on lies, gross distortions of my position on gun reform and attacks on my character.

Because it's not about me.

It's about the 30,000 Americans who die each year from gun violence and about the thousands more who live in fear daily because their basic right to personal safety is threatened by gun violence in their communities. We owe it to them to elevate the debate and put forth a good faith effort to solve our nation's gun violence problem. I'm all in and I ask the NRA, where are you?

Why all of a sudden is the NRA-ILA so concerned with a harmless piece of legislation introduced by a member of the minority party in the House of Representatives? It is because Rep. Robin Kelly is no ordinary member of the minority party in the House of Representatives.

It was Rep. Robin Kelly that not only won a 2013 special election in the Democratic primary against a crowded field, defeating 11 candidates on Feb. 2013, Kelly also defeated the the NRA and made clear in the campaign she was running as much against the NRA as she was her many opponents.

The timing of the NRA-ILA posting coincides with a recent Roll Call piece in which Rep. Kelly expressed an interest in running for the Democratic nomination for United States Senate in Illinois in 2016. The NRA-ILA understand the stakes involved, should Rep. Kelly defeat Senator Mark Kirk. Winning back the "Barack Obama" seat would mean the Democrats would be one seat closer to regaining the majority in the U.S. Senate.

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