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

Concealed Carry Mother Killed By Her Two Year Old Son

This is simply tragic on every conceivable level. I am not going on a tirade about concealed carry with this post. But given concealed carry is the law of the land now…just how much training before getting a concealed carry permit should be required?

This comes from a conversation about this incident that I had on New Year’s Eve with someone who has young children and is familiar with a variety of firearms. He found it inconceivable that the gun was ‘loaded’…that a round was in the chamber. He was very doubtful that a two year old would have the ability to chamber a round. I asked why would you have a handgun in your purse with the safety off and he stated that such a weapon may not have had a safety. So the gun was essentially ready to fire…and in the hands of a two year old did so with fatal consequences…no one should die from a few moments of inattentive parenting.

The victim’s father-in-law, Terry Rutledge, told Associated Press that she “was a beautiful, young, loving mother.”

“She was not the least bit irresponsible,” he said. “She was taken much too soon.”

Rutledge was a nuclear research scientist at the Idaho National Laboratory, The Spokesman-Review of Spokane, Washington, reported.

So the mother was obviously educated but at this point…at this moment in time…it is hard to say she wasn’t irresponsible…but no one should die from a few moments of inattentive parenting.

But do we really require sufficient gun training and experience before we issue a concealed carry permit? I am not suggesting that the deceased didn’t have sufficient training or experience…because I don’t know. But in general what should the expectations be? Does inexperience put not only the gun owner at risk or is the general public at risk as well?

Idaho suggests that it requires sufficient familiarity with a gun before the local sheriff’s department issues a concealed carry permit. From the Idaho Attorney General’s website:

Do I have to take any classes to obtain a concealed weapons license in Idaho?

You may demonstrate familiarity with the firearm. Usually, one of the following courses is required:
a.A hunter education or hunter safety course approved by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game or a similar agency of another state;

b.A National Rifle Association firearms safety or training course or any National Rifle Association hunter education course;

c.A firearms safety or training course or class offered by a law enforcement agency, community college, college, university, or private or public school or firearms training school. You may wish to utilize instructors certified by the National Rifle Association or the Idaho State Police;

d.A law enforcement firearms safety or training course or class offered for security guards, investigators, special deputies, law enforcement agencies or security enforcement agencies.

A county sheriff may grant you a license without completing one of the courses if:
a.You present evidence of equivalent experience with a firearm through your participation in an organized shooting competition or military service; or

b.You are licensed or have been licensed to carry a firearm in Idaho or an Idaho county or city, unless the license has been revoked for cause.

This all sounds good, but I also found this in my research for Idaho training. A website that suggests you can earn your permit with one hour of online training:

Protect Yourself & Your Family

We understand the importance of earning your concealed carry certification as soon as possible, so we’ve made it simple and to the point. Gain free instant access to our training program and test then receive your certificate immediately.

Online certification is convenient and simple. You can earn your certification in 1 hour starting right now. Watch the safety training program for free. No registration necessary.

Take control of your safety today.

In contrast to the AG’s site which suggest classes with trained instructors and the actual handling of weapons, this website sounds absolutely scary.

Here are the legal requirements for training in Wisconsin according to our AG:

CCW applicants must provide ONE of the following forms of firearms training.

1. A copy of a Hunter Education certificate from Wisconsin’s Hunter Education program or a substantially similar program that is established by another state and recognized by the Department of Natural Resources. NOTE: You may obtain a duplicate Wisconsin Hunter Education certificate online or by ordering a replacement card from the DNR.
2. A copy of a current or expired CCW license from another state that has not been revoked for cause. You must also include form DJ-LE-289 affirming this fact.
3. Documentation of completion of small arms training while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, Reserves, or National Guard. Acceptable forms of documentation include a DD-214 or DD-256 form showing an honorable or general under honorable conditions discharge, a certificate of completion of basic training, or a service record of completion of small arms training.
4. A certification letter from the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Standards Board or a letter from a Police Department stating you served as a police officer and completed training.
5. Documentation that you completed private security training from the Department of Safety and Professional Services or a similar course in another state. Training must include a Firearms Certification of Proficiency.
6. A certificate of completion from a firearms safety or training course that is conducted by a national or state organization that certifies firearms instructors, a law enforcement agency, technical college, college, university, or an instructor certified by a national or state organization that certifies firearms instructors. If you participate in one of these courses, attach a copy of the certificate or affidavit from that course containing the following information:

a. The applicant’s name.

b. The name of the firearms safety or training course.

c. The date on which the applicant completed the firearms safety or training course.

d. The name of the instructor who taught the firearms safety or training course

to the applicant and the name of the agency or organization that certified the


e. The certificate or affidavit must also include evidence that the course

completed was a firearms safety or training course as defined in Jus 17.03(7).

Sufficient evidence consists of one of the following:

i. A signed statement by the instructor who taught the firearms safety and

training course affirming that the course met the specifications as defined

in Jus 17.03(7).

ii. Information on the certificate or affidavit sufficient to establish that the

course met the specifications as defined in Jus 17.03(7). The department

has provided a model training certificate for this purpose.

Model Certificate

iii. A signed statement by the applicant that the course met the specification

as defined in Jus 17.03(7), see question #17 on the application.

Is that sufficient to help prevent tragedies like the boy and mother in Idaho?

And are classes or trainers like this really effective in insuring that concealed carry owners know how to protect not just themselves but their weapon? Do they truly meet the intent of the law even though might meet the letter of the law?

Wi. Concealed Carry Training Academy

Be More Prepared than 99% of Americans when it comes to Personal Safety and Protection in this 2+ hr. course

We’ll show you 3 things you should always carry for Self Defense
(Not Guns, Total cost less than $75 and No CCW Required)

Learn over 40 tips, Tricks, Techniques, and Strategies for your Personal Safety
No Gun Experience Needed-This is a NON Shooting,
NON Physical NO Test Course and Qualifies as Training for your Wi. CCW–Guaranteed

Whoa…what? “No Gun Experience Needed-This is a NON Shooting…Course…”

What should be the minimum training for a concealed carry permit? The ability to shoot it? The ability to clean it? The ability to load it? The ability to holster it safely? The ability to clear it? The knowledge to protect it from others…particularly children? Shouldn’t a permit owner be expected to actually know how to use a firearm…at least???

And then there’s the tendency for owners of firearms to be the victims of their own guns…but that’s another topic for another time…but this tragedy too is a prime example.

Five Year Old Boy Shoots and Kills His Two Year Old Sister

I am not even sure what to say about this…I am totally incredulous that someone would think that a 22 caliber rifle is a reasonable gift for a four year old…that a parent wouldn’t keep it locked up at all times…and that once again the I didn’t think it was loaded comment comes up.

But this is a tragedy that didn’t have to happen:

A 5-year-old boy accidentally shot his 2-year-old sister to death in rural southern Kentucky with a rifle he had received as a gift last year, authorities said.

The children’s mother was home at the time of the shooting Tuesday afternoon but had stepped out to the front porch for a few minutes and “she heard the gun go off,” Cumberland County Coroner Gary White said. He said the rifle was kept in a corner and the family didn’t realize a bullet was left inside it.

White told the Lexington Herald-Leader the boy received the .22-caliber rifle as a gift.

“It’s a Crickett,” White said, referring to a company that specifically makes guns, clothes and books for children. “It’s a little rifle for a kid. … The little boy’s used to shooting the little gun.”

And I find it incredible that essentially a toy company makes an actual weapon that is designed precisely to appeal to minor children and no body has a problem with that.

“Shame on You Senator Ron Johnson” – Milwaukee Protest


Because of Senator Ron Johnson’s abhorrent “NO” vote to a simple background check bill for those purchasing guns at a gun show or from private residents, Johnson once again proved to be one of the most radical and predictable senators in the history of Wisconsin.

The law as it stands now, requires all Americans to pass a background check through the National Instant Background Check (NICS) to prevent felons and those with severe mental illness to own a firearm.  However, currently there are loopholes for gun shows and private sales.  The last known data shows that 40 percent of the guns purchased in this country are done in these ways.

According to a Marquette poll in March, 81 percent of Wisconsinites supported “background checks for people who buy guns at gun shows or from private residents in Wisconsin.”  Also,  54 percent of Wisconsinites favor banning assault-style weapons.

Knowing this, Senator Ron Johnson heartlessly decided to ignore this data, to ignore his constituents, and worse, to ignore Wisconsin families that lost loved ones due to gun violence, like Wisconsin’s own Amardeep Kaleka, whose father, Satwant, was murdered in the mass shooting in Oak Creek on August 5, 2012, in the Sikh temple he helped found.

Amardeep and Pardeep Kaleka’s videos demanding for a plan.





Disgusted by Senator Ron Johnson’s vote, I was determined to join a protest scheduled at his Milwaukee office on Saturday.

At the event, I had a chance to talk to one of the organizers, Paul Geenen from Organizing for Action.

While discussing Obama’s press conference right after the measure was struck down, Geenan stated, “Yes, he was very upset.  We’re all upset.  That’s why we are here today, because we want to tell Senator Ron Johnson ‘shame on you’ for voting against the universal background checks that over 90 percent of Americans support”.

Geenen stated that he believes Ron Johnson voted this way because of the “incredible power of the NRA”.

“We’re here to prove that we’re not going away and that we too have power.” Geenen stated.  “We may not have the same financial reserves as the NRA, but we can make up with it in other ways.”

Now that this bill was defeated, Geenen explains that the next step is looking towards the 2014 upcoming elections for the State and the Senate.

But what can we do now?  Well, it sounds cliché, but it truly is contacting your representatives about the issue of gun violence.  If you have the time to complain and argue on Facebook, than you have the time to call your representative or email them or at the very least, post a comment on their Facebook page.

Because as Paul Geenen stated,  “We’ve got moment.  We’ve got motivation.  This issue is not dead.  We’re going to keep pounding away at it.”

That we will.

Below is Senator Ron Johnson’s contact information.

Washington, D.C. Office

386 Russell Senate Office Building

Washington, DC 20510

(202) 224-5323


Milwaukee Office

517 East Wisconsin Avenue

Suite 408

Milwaukee, WI 53202

(414) 276-7282

Fax: (414) 276-7284

Listen to my full interview with Organizing for Action’s Paul Geenen.

Photos of the event.








Video of President Obama’s press conference, which includes an introduction by the father of a Sandy Hook victim.


Read the bill for yourself here: Universal Background Check Bill

Why Wouldn’t the NRA Support Universal Health Care?

Why is it those who support the status quo on assault weapon ownership and say we can reduce gun violence with better mental health standards are most often the same people who are against single payer universal health care? Couldn’t we do better providing mental health care if everyone had access to mental health providers via universal health insurance? You don’t suppose we could get the NRA to back universal health care do you?

Pro-gun Rights Activists Petition to Deport Piers Morgan

Another ridiculous petition:

Tens of thousands of people have signed a petition calling for British CNN host Piers Morgan to be deported from the U.S. over his gun control views.

A petition created Dec. 21 on the White House e-petition website by a user in Texas accuses Morgan of engaging in a “hostile attack against the U.S. Constitution” by targeting the Second Amendment. It demands he be deported immediately for “exploiting his position as a national network television host to stage attacks against the rights of American citizens.”

So when did the second amendment become more important that the first amendment?