Las Vegas gun show targets women, other first-time buyers.
Gun manufacturers love to sell more guns, despite all the related, senseless deaths, and an emerging market is women. Rifles, shotguns, and other large penis substitutes were usually the guests of dishonor at the annual Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show in Las Vegas. Now, the SHOT show (get it?) is highlighting "small, lightweight and concealable guns" because that's what girls like.
The Crime Prevention Research Center, a gun-rights group, boasted that the number of Americans with concealed-carry permits rose to almost 18.7 million in 2019. It was a still depressing 12.8 million in 2015. Gun lovers don't consider this statistic evidence that Donald Trump has made America significantly less safe. No, Trump's actually delivered exponentially more freedom for us than that tyrant Barack Obama. We're now free to secretly pack heat in the event someone at the supermarket tries to take the last melon from us.
Oklahoma and Kentucky legalized concealed carry without a permit last year, which on the one hand is really dumb but on the other, bloodier hand is great for business. Other states have reduced the cost of permits (firearm populism!) and "simplified" the tests for permits. We presume it's something like "How mad are you right now?"
Did everyone forget that MLK was shot?
Monday was Martin Luther King Day, and some creeps thought this was an ideal time to protest reasonable gun safety laws in Virginia. Dr. King was the leader of a prominent non-violent movement. He changed the world without pulling a gun. Then a racist shot and killed him. Guns and Dr. King's legacy don't mix positively. However, Antonia Okafor Cover, spokesperson for Gun Owners of America, turned up on "Fox & Friends" Tuesday and suggested that the gun rally was the culmination of Dr. King's "dream." This was because it was not overtly a white supremacist rally.
COVER: This was by far, hands down, the worst white supremacist rally I have ever seen. There were people shaking my hand. I mean, they even let me speak, for goodness sake. So, it's almost as if MLK's dream to see that people judge people based on the content of their character and not the color of their skin had actually become reality,
First place, people of different races uniting to publicly hump guns was not in any way Dr. King's dream. He actively opposed the Vietnam War, which was an inclusive expression of American violence. There was more to Dr. King's dream than people being judged based not on the color of their skin but the content of their 45 calibers. He also dreamed that Mississippi would be transformed into an "oasis of freedom and justice." There's clearly still work to do.
This country's damaged.
It's Monday of the three-day Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, and you'd think the least we could do as a nation to honor his memory is go 72 hours without gun violence. It can't be harder than Dry January or Veganuary. We're not giving up booze or pretending to enjoy cauliflower "steaks." Why can't we take a pause on killing each other?
That's too much to ask, it seems. Last night in Kansas City, Missouri, a man opened fire on a line of people waiting to enter the 9ine Ultra Lounge bar. He killed one woman and wounded at least 15 people. There is no clear motive. An armed security guard killed the shooter.
According to the 9ine Ultra Lounge's Facebook page, last night was "Sold Out Sundays." This was apparently an event to celebrate the Kansas City Chiefs beating the Tennessee Titans and advancing to the Super Bowl. Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker described the shooting as a "tragic end to such a wonderful day in Kansas City."
A round up, of sorts!
Today, on a day celebrating the legacy of Martin Luther King, a man who was murdered by a racist gun nut, a bunch of gun nuts, many of whom are racist, are gathering in Virginia to protest some completely reasonable gun control laws proposed by the state government and supported by Governor Ralph Northam. So far, there hasn't been any violence, but given the fact that the rally is being attended by some of the most violent white nationalist groups in the country, don't hold your breath.
Last week, six neo-Nazi members of the violent white nationalist group "The Base" who had been planning to attend the rally were arrested for a variety of criminal behavior, including planning to murder some people and building an illegal assault rifle. For the past several weeks, other neo-Nazi and militia groups have been eagerly talking of their plans to attend the rally as well.
This morning, Donald Trump, acknowledging the protest, was quick to remind Republicans across the land that Democrats were coming for their guns by enacting super reasonable gun control laws aimed at curbing mass shootings.
Yeah, that's definitely not going to incite anyone to do anything untoward!
Are you for shocked?
Governor Ralph Northam has declared a state of emergency in Richmond, Virginia, ahead of a gun rally taking place there on Monday. Police are gearing up and weapons have been temporarily banned from the state Capitol.
It's not just any gun rally. It's not just a bunch of NRA twerps who want to deck themselves out like Rambo and scream "FROM MY COLD DEAD HANDS" a whole bunch. It's a gun rally that will be attended by a bunch of right-wing militias and white supremacists — and in light of everything that's been going on for the last few years, the city is bracing for a potential armed conflict.
If anyone ever wanted an advertisement for restrictions on gun purchases, I'm going to say that a cavalcade of neo-Nazis screaming about a "race war" at the state Capitol of Virginia is a good one.
He's here to PEW PEW PEW some Constitution!
West Virginia's legislative session is less than a week old and things are already really stupid.
And I'm not even talking about making measles great again, outlawing almond milk, trying to steal counties from other states, or the fundamental American right to hunt coyotes with night vision goggles.
What I'm talking about today is a very special piece of legislation called the Firearms Freedom Act.
If you're new to West Virginia politics, it's time to take a swig of moonshine and huff a few sharpies, because we're goin' in!
Those aren't gunshot wounds, they're FREEDOM HOLES.
We're a week into the new year, and already America's Responsible Gun Owners are making clear just how responsible they are. For starters, here's the National Rifle Association and Ted Cruz (a wholly owned subsidiary of the NRA) warning that "The Left" is going to take your freedom, because The Left hates your freedom, making them no different from the 9/11 evildoers.
Weirdly, Cruz insists that if you aren't free to buy an AR-15 with a high capacity magazine, you'll become "dependent on government," probably because you'll need food stamps if you can't shoot 30-50 feral hogs a week. Maybe Trump is slashing SNAP eligibility to support gun rights. He also insists the the Holy Second Amendment is
about the God-given right [...] to defend your home, to defend your family, to keep your children safe. That's a right that is foundational. It is right at the beginning of the Bill of Rights, because without the ability to protect your life, to protect your liberty, all of your other rights can be taken away.
Now, if you want to get all technical about it, the sacred, foundational right of an individual to own a firearm dates from 2008, with the DC v. Heller decision, in which the Supreme Court for the first time in history adopted the NRA's interpretation. And for that matter, as this 2014 Politico piece (required reading for all Wonkette readers!) explains, even the NRA's maximalist position dates largely from the 1970s. The notion that the Constitution "always" protected an individual right to own a firearm, for self-protection and overthrowing a tyrannical federal government, is pure historical revisionism. It has a hell of a lot to do with the Goldwater-Wallace-Reagan wing of 20th Century conservatism than with Jefferson and Madison. "Original intent" my ass.
So how are Americans exercising their liberties in the first week of this shiny new decade? About as brilliantly as ever! Saturday in Milwaukee, two children, aged 12 and 13, were shot by some asshole because they had thrown snowballs at his car. Milwaukee police tweeted that
It was BEAUTIFUL.
Lift your glasses and drink a toast to 2019, Wonkers, because this was the year the NRA as we know it died. Oh sure, the gunhumpers lobby is still stumbling around like a dangerous drunk, hurling insults and lawsuits. But the NRA will never again re-establish its stranglehold over American politics. This year, the self-dealing and grift at the core of the organization was laid bare, and now it's just a mad rush for the principals to steal as much as they can before the entire edifice comes crashing down around them. YOU LOVE TO SEE IT!
About as much as they could hope for.
A man with a shotgun opened fire in a church in White Settlement (yes, really), Texas, yesterday, killing two parishioners before two members of the church's armed volunteer security team shot and killed the gunman. Police and state and local officials praised the quick response by the security volunteers for preventing a far worse massacre, and advocates of guns everywhere triumphantly pointed to the incident as proof guns save lives, at least after some lives are already lost.
'Kill all males' could mean anything.
Last week, a report commissioned by the Washington state House of Representatives detailed the ties between Rep. Matt Shea and the armed "patriot" movement, including his participation in three armed standoffs against federal law enforcement. The report said Shea had helped plan the 2016 Bundy Dildo Militia takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, saying his participation amounted to engaging in "an act of domestic terrorism against the United States." On Monday, the New York Times published a detailed story on the report and on Shea's vision for how he and his wingnut buddies could seize power in the Pacific Northwest and establish a theocracy, once America finally gets the blessed second Civil War that Barack Obama was so intent on bringing. It's some pretty good journamalism, all in all! Bummer it was graced with one of those indelibly bland New York Times headlines that bends over backward to downplay Shea's rightwing radicalism:
Congratulations to the New York Times for the most dishonest use of "alternative" since Kellyanne Conway! Reminds us of other great headlines:
- Titanic Takes Alternative Route
- Jeffrey Dahmer Pursued Alternative Diet
- Japanese Navy offers Alternative to Hawaii's Sunday Routine
- Jack Ruby Had Visions of an Alternative Justice System
No more 'access journalism' for this guy!
Former Arkansas Gov. and failed presidential candidate Mike Huckabee is celebrating Sacred Baby Festival with some duck hunting, and he happens to know what Heaven will be like: a lot of killing animals, plus shout-outs to a favorite brand of firearms!
Amazing reading. I'll be in my bunker.
An independent report commissioned by Washington's state House of Representatives finds that Rep. Matt Shea, who likes playing Jesus Warrior with militia types, helped to plan the 2016 Bundy Slob Militia takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, as well as another, less-publicized armed confrontation between militia goobers and federal agents in Idaho in 2015. Like many crazies in the so-called "Patriot" antigovernment movement, Shea was in part radicalized by traveling to Nevada in 2014 to help Cliven Bundy declare war on federal agents.
In addition to those three armed standoffs, the report says Shea
took part in a group chat in 2017 where he "condoned violence and intimidation" of his political opponents, and offered to conduct background checks on them.
The report also details how, from 2014 to 2019, Shea routinely used online forums to encourage his supporters to harass and intimidate "activists, government officials, Muslims, and others who speak or act in opposition to his personal beliefs and political agenda." As one does.
He seems nice!
The consequences were pretty darn quick, as reported by Crosscut, a nonprofit news consortium that covers the Northwest (it's a pretty cool outfit!). After the report was released yesterday, Washington state's House Republican Caucus suspended Shea, cutting off his access to shared House legislative staff and barring him from all Republican internal meetings and reindeer games. Shea has also been booted from membership on two House committees, as well as from his ranking position on the House Energy and Environment Committee.
As you might expect, Shea took to Facebook to whine he's being WITCH HUNTED!
The poor persecuted dear.
Just ask him, he'll tell you all about it in the third person.
Poor, poor Wayne LaPierre! The NRA CEO recently sat down with New York Times reporter Danny Hakim to talk about how depressed he is from all the legal battles engulfing his death-stick lobby group for the past two years.
"It was horribly painful. I mean, it's the most painful period of my life."
Probably not as painful as getting shot or losing your child in a school shooting because the NRA blocked an assault weapons ban. But, you know, really painful! And it's not as if Wayne LaPierre isn't touched by the scourge of gun violence. Having to go out and defend his organization when all these people are saying "Hey, how come it's more important for you assholes to carry a murder weapon around all day than for my kid to stay alive?" takes a lot out of a man.
"All these horrible tragedies — after every one, Wayne would be the guy going out there in the media," he said, referring to himself in the third person. "From Columbine to — you name it — to the Navy Yard to Aurora to Sandy Hook. Every one of them, I was the guy — Parkland — I was the guy out there in the media." The N.R.A. was "so miscast by the media," he insisted, he saw little reason to engage reporters. "You just didn't get a fair shot anymore."
Say what you will about Ackerman McQueen (AMc), the parasitic infection cum advertising company which handled the NRA's media appearances for the past 20 years, but at least those moochers stopped Wayne from giving interviews like this one.
But is a part 'designed and intended for use converting a weapon into a machinegun' actually turning it into a machine gun? And how many angels on the head of this pin?
Earlier this week in Cincinnati, lawyers for the Department of Justice and anti-gun-control nonprofit Gun Owners of America sparred over what makes a weapon a machine gun.
Newly manufactured automatic machine guns have been illegal in the United States since 1986. But, until earlier this year, civilians could legally possess devices bump stocks, which allow a user to mimic the firing motion of a fully automatic weapon.
Oddly enough, the Trump administration is on the right side of this one, defending the bump stock ban against challenges from people who care more about guns than gun violence.
On Wednesday, a conservative panel of the conservative Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in Gun Owners of America v. Barr, a case challenging the ban on bump stocks. And right now, things aren't looking great for the future of the bump stock ban.
It's less than they deserve, but it's a start.
The NRA got 99 problems, and Letitia James is a really big one. Yesterday The New York Times reported that the New York attorney general dropped a new subpoena on the gunhumpers lobby. The NYAG has so many questions! Like did the NRA maybe make a whole bunch of illegal campaign contributions by throwing cash at GOP media vendors that happened to find its way into campaign ads for Republican candidates? And is the NRA's charitable foundation illegally funneling tax-deductible donations to the NRA lobbying arm? And how sorry is the NRA that it's chartered in New York state?
Just kidding about that last one. Letitia James already knows the answer is ALL THE SORRIES IN THE WORLD.
The AG is reportedly seeking records related to an FEC lawsuit filed by former Rep. Gabby Giffords' group alleging that "the NRA coordinated political ad spending and placement with these candidates' campaigns using a network of shell corporations, effectively evading federal contribution limits and shielding millions of dollars of political spending from public and government scrutiny in violation of FECA."
What, you don't speak lawyer? That's okay, the congresswoman included this nice picture.
In plain English, everybody in those pink boxes works at either 815 or 817 Slaters Lane in Alexandria, Virginia. And by sheer coincidence, the companies have a whole lot of staff overlap, too. Almost like these are all the same entity with some flimsy corporate dividers erected to preserve the illusion that candidates aren't illegally coordinating their ads with PACs. ALMOST.
George Zimmerman, Larry Klayman Team Up To Do More Evil Sh*t To Trayvon Martin's Family, DEFINITELY AREN'T RACIST
Shit is fucked up and bullshit.
George Zimmerman, apparently not satisfied with having merely shot Trayvon Martin dead in 2012, is now suing Martin's family and everyone involved in the second-degree murder case against Zimmerman, even though the trial ended in Zimmerman's acquittal. But you see, decent people nationwide detest George Zimmerman, and for some crazy reason think he's a racist. Plus he can't seem to hold a job, and his attempts to make a living selling shitty racist art, signing autographs, or auctioning off the not-murder weapon haven't brought in the wealth and acclaim he clearly deserves. Surely some evildoers must be responsible for that. Couldn't be anything George Zimmerman did, because he's a very great guy.
Please disregard the domestic violence.
So that's why he and wingnut lawyer Larry Klayman are suing Trayvon Martin's family and a few thousand other people, demanding $100 million in damages from all those who conspired to defame Zimmerman and manufacture evidence against him and just generally ruin his life. The defendants, the suit claims, "have worked in concert to deprive Zimmerman of his constitutional and other legal rights."
Oh yes, and would you believe that, by sheer coincidence, the lawsuit is based on claims in a book and "documentary" movie with the compelling title The Trayvon Hoax: Unmasking the Witness Fraud That Divided America, released in September. And the lawsuit is being flogged to media outlets by the movie's director, Joel Gilbert, who's described by the Daily Beast as "a fringe filmmaker who traffics in conspiracy theories." You don't say!
A cynic might even suspect Zimmerman, Klayman, and Gilbert know the lawsuit will have every bit as much success as Klayman's other legal efforts, but that it might generate some book sales and movie downloads. But that's a very uncharitable take. Probably the book and movie are simply so full of astounding new evidence proving George Zimmerman is the real victim that Klayman and Zimmerman had no choice but to file the lawsuit, to correct the public record. All Zimmerman wants is his good reputation back. And One Hundred MILLLLLION dollars.
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