Now, About That Gun

On August 13th, after a short foot chase, a young Milwaukee resident turned to face a Milwaukee police officer. The police officer said the suspect was holding a hand gun. The officer shot and killed the suspect. A hand gun was recovered at the scene. This recovered weapon was reportedly stolen from a home in Genesee in Waukesha County.

The Milwaukee Police Department described the weapon as a semi-automatic hand gun and was loaded with 23 rounds.

A semi-automatic hand gun with 23 rounds. I haven’t seen any more recent descriptions of the gun so I don’t know what make or model it is or whether 23 rounds is its maximum or just what it contained when recovered.

But what does a young man in Milwaukee need with a hand gun that holds 23 rounds? What does a home owner in Waukesha County need with a gun that holds 23 rounds. What do you or I need with a gun that holds 23 rounds.

The West was won with six shooters.

Dirty Harry cleaned up San Francisco with six shots…or in all of the confusion was it only five?

Even the United States Army…a place where maximum fire power is imperative…issues Baretta M9 pistols holding 15 rounds.

So why do we allow guns with such large capacities on our streets and in our homes? I would suggest limiting hand guns to 6 or 8 or 10 rounds…limit magazines to those numbers…and just plain get rid of everything else.

Yes, yes, that is an awful idea…I mean there is the 2nd Amendment and all…but I can’t own a rocket propelled grenade, a howitzer, or a nuclear weapon…so there are limits to the 2nd Amendment…I am just suggesting we move the line a bit.

Anyone know why it’s the 2nd Amendment and not the first?? Is freedom of speech and religion more important? And without looking what’s the 3rd? I will admit I had to look it up.

Bill O’Reilly Changes His Stance On Gun Control

After decades of holding the party line on the Second Amendment, broadcaster and conservative pundit Bill O’Reilly changed his stand on gun control in the post-Orlando world. Something of a remarkable turn of events:

There is too much gun crime in the USA, and high-powered weaponry is too easy to get,” he said. “That’s the fact. So let’s deal with it. We all have the right to bear arms, but we don’t have the right to buy and maintain mortars. Even if you feel threatened by gangsters or a New World Order. No bazookas, no Sherman tanks, no hand grenades.”

“That’s because the Second Amendment clearly states the government has a right to regulate militias, made up of individuals,” he continued. “They have that right in the name of public safety. Therefore, Congress should debate what kind of weapons should be available for public sale. And the states, the individual states, should decide what kind of carry laws are good for their own people.”

O’Reilly said new laws were “definitely needed” in the face of new terrorist threats and mass murders.

“The FBI and other federal agencies need the power to stop suspected terrorists or other evildoers from buying weapons,” he said. “That law needs to be very precise.”

“Also, gun dealers all across America should be required to report the sale of certain kinds of guns, heavy weapons, directly to the FBI,” he continued. “Not handguns, not talking about that, but other weapons that would be defined by Congress. That is a sane approach and would make it a lot tougher for the Omar Mateens of the world to get the weaponry to kill.”

I don’t imagine too many of his fellow travelers will follow suit but it does change the dynamic on the conversation. With the filibuster starting in the Senate today, we’ll see if something new begrudging and too little bill finally comes out of Washington.

Just a side note…it is interesting that Yahoo is reporting this on their finance page.

Donald Trump Is An

Those of you who follow Blogging Blue regularly realize that I generally refer to the people I am writing about with respect (not 100% successful but that’s the trend). Even those who I am in vehement opposition to will be referred to by an appropriate title and full name and not a nickname or pejorative skewing of their given name. But I am going to make an exception today.

Donald Trump is a piece of sh*t.

Before the bodies were even removed from the nightclub in Orlando he was patting himself on the back for being right about terrorism in the country. Before even knowing the motivation for the attack he was once again defaming American Muslims and threatening the Muslim world. Before we even knew some of the side stories about the assailant he was screaming Radical Islam…which may not even be the case here.

Donald Trump is a piece of sh*t.

Because the president is keeping an even keel on this whole episode and not using the preferred verbiage that Mr. Trump ‘requires’, he is suggesting that the president resign.

Donald Trump is a piece of sh*t.

Mr. Trump has essentially accused the president of treason…implying the president was in on it or condoned it or wanted it to happen.

Donald Trump is a piece of sh*t.

He told Sirius XM that a top advisor to the Clinton campaign who is a Muslim could be a Saudi spy or closet terrorist.

I am going to forgo posting quotes and links in the appropriate places. If you are reading Blogging Blue, I would hope you read other sources and have already seen these things. But here are a couple of random links: Trump, More Trump, More More More Trump.

Donald Trump is a piece of sh*t. There, that should keep me from getting any press credentials to his campaign!

Gun Death Suicides In Large Cities By Ideology

OK…I ‘pulled the trigger’ too soon on the Crowpac graphics. The slide show is worth working through…but this one is a bit scary for the locals…Look over to the right:

waukesha co gunsuicide

Or this one…
WI Gunsuicide

While this data adds further complexity to the debate on guns, it should also shape the debate over mental health in America. And no matter where you stand on these issues, there’s one thing we should all agree on – policy issues are always more complex than they appear on the surface.

Gun Deaths by State Ideology

This was published by Crowpac back in January but I hadn’t seen it before today. Posted without additional comment:

This is the original chart we published detailing gun deaths per capita. Information on gun-related deaths (which encompasses homicides, suicides and accidental deaths resulting from a firearm discharge) is sourced from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. State ideology scores are based on the political donations of each state’s residents, calculated by Crowdpac’s algorithm which analyzes over 100 million campaign contribution records.

gun deaths chart

Yes Virginia, There Is A Sanity Clause!

Virginia Will No Longer Recognize Concealed Carry Permits From 25 States!

In a few moments of firearms lucidity the State of Virginia noticed that not all conceal carry permit requirements are create equal…and just maybe the citizens of their commonwealth would be better served if every Rambo, Dirty Harry and Rooster Cogburn wasn’t allowed to carry while travelling through Virginia:

Virginia is reforming its gun control policies in an effort to curb weapons from getting in the hands of those trying to inflict harm, according to an announcement from the state’s Attorney General, Mark R. Herring, on Tuesday. In accordance with the new policy change, the commonwealth will no longer recognize concealed carry permits from 25 other states while within state boundaries.

New guidelines are also being set in Virginia to determine which residents are eligible to purchase guns within the state. The Washington Post reported, “Virginians with a history of stalking, drug dealing or inpatient mental-health treatment cannot obtain a permit in a state with comparatively lax laws and carry a handgun legally at home.”

“While you are here, you are subject to the commonwealth’s gun laws,” Herring said during a press conference on Tuesday, according to the Post. The state will cut ties with 25 states, essentially making it illegal for residents of those states to carry guns openly (sic) throughout Virginia, beginning Feb. 1, 2016, following the State Police superintendent’s approval.

The 25 states affected by the policy change include Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Washington, Wisconsin (emphasis mine) and Wyoming, according to the Post.

The part about carry guns openly is apparently a rookie writing mistake since the gist of this is about concealed carry. But it is interesting that some states are starting to look at what their neighbors are doing…or not doing!

‘I’ve had enough,’ says Oak Creek mayor after San Bernardino killings

This is an Op Ed piece from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel by Oak Creek Mayor Stephen Scaffidi. I am printing it in it’s entirety but here is the link to it on JSOnline. Hopefully they won’t mind but this is too important to not post (so please click the link so they get a page view):

I’ve had enough.

Wednesday afternoon I was greeted by the news from San Bernardino, Calif., that at least 14 people were killed in another mass shooting incident, this time at a public facility.

I’m tormented by the stark realization that as a nation that prides itself as the voice of justice and compassion to the rest of the world, we can’t go through a week’s news cycle without hearing about another mass shooting and innocent people losing their lives, often in the most violent and brutal manner.

As a mayor who dealt with this issue firsthand at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin shooting on Aug. 5, 2012, I’m weary of getting calls from news media asking me to comment on the most current mass shooting incident, especially when they ask me the question: What can we do about it? Controlling individual behavior is difficult, if not impossible, and trying to guess — in advance — what might motivate someone to commit an act of hate and violence will always be a challenge.

But in sharing this collective national shock whenever this happens, I would argue that we’re witnessing a fundamental and profound failure of our duty to protect our citizens from violence in any way possible, and we’ve turned over the debate to politicians, bloggers and lobbyists, all who hide behind tired, clichés and fundamentally dishonest reasons why we can’t do anything about it.

The U.S. Constitution is a powerful and wise document, but with the rights it endows come responsibility, and I would argue that in the case of gun ownership, which is a right guaranteed by the Second Amendment, we’ve let that right define the culture and environment in which we live to a degree that it has taken over our consciousness and made our citizens feel less safe.

As an elected official, I feel the burden of the question every time a mass shooting takes place. What should I be doing? What can I do to lessen the likelihood that it will happen again? Why don’t we as a country take actions to reduce violence?

The answer, of course, is we could, but we don’t. We use silly arguments and fall back into entrenched, absolutist positions that may make us feel better as part of a defense of our own personal agendas or political tastes. We bury our head in nonstop television coverage that progresses from eyewitness accounts, to hastily-arranged news conferences to medical trauma centers, but stops short of moving forward on any legislation, policy or social changes that could actually make a difference.

I am a gun owner. But I have to believe that one of the popular responses to mass shootings — arm everyone and encourage individual and aggressive action against a mass shooter — is at best naive, and at worst, dangerous. Law enforcement professionals are highly trained and understand through direct experience that carrying a gun is a powerful responsibility and doesn’t guarantee that a shooter will be stopped.

The shooting at the Sikh Temple was a clear example of that, with one of our most experienced officers coming within an inch of losing his life. Expecting citizens to prevent or slow down perpetrators of violence seems logical, and in some cases might actually be possible, but it could result in the gun owner losing his or her life when mistaken for the shooter. As a country, we’ve lived through the “wild west” mentality of frontier justice. It didn’t work. It only made the weakest members of our society less safe.

And it won’t work now.

What can we do?

Why not start with researching and funding programs that have been proven to reduce violence? We live in a country of tremendous resources and brilliant minds who tackle difficult and complex problems every day. Why would we not care as much about this epidemic of violence as we do about all the other ways people die every day?

Planned Parenthood Shooting: Classic Blame the Victim!

A state lawmaker in Colorado is blaming Planned Parenthood for the terrorist shooting in Colorado Springs: “Rep. JoAnn Windholz wrote in a Facebook posting Monday that Planned Parenthood is “the real culprit” for violence.” Not surprisingly Rep. Windholz is a Republican.

“Violence is never the answer, but we must start pointing out who is the real culprit,” Windholz wrote.

She called Planned Parenthood the “true instigator of this violence” because it provides abortions.

“Violence begets violence,” Windholz wrote, concluding with a plea to pray for women who get abortions and doctors who perform them.

The lawmaker confirmed to The Associated Press on Tuesday that the posting is accurate but said she had nothing more to say about it.

No, I am sure that it has nothing to do with the hysterical campaign slogans and speeches and debate points coming out of the GOP presidential race nor the discredited video of a few months back…nothing at all.

And I don’t think those killed were violent individuals who instigated violence…I just don’t.