Tag Archives: gun laws

Happiness IS a warm gun

21 Oct

Well, the gun advocates were right! If you allow people to have more guns and more freedom to use them in public places, the world will become a safer place.

Case in point: Prominent feminist video game critic Anita Sarkeesian, was planning on appearing at a speaking engagement at Utah State University last Wednesday to discuss the portrayal of women in video games, but the University received an anonymous Email that threatened “The deadliest school shooting in American History” if her appearance and speech were not canceled.

The Email even went on to describe the nature of the attack and stated:

“If you do not cancel her talk, a Montreal Massacre style attack will be carried out against the attendees, as well as students and staff at the nearby Women’s Center. I have at my disposal a semi-automatic rifle, multiple pistols, and a collection of pipe bombs.”

Ms. Sarkeesian however had decided to go ahead with her presentation because she always receives similar threats whenever she plans a speaking engagement… that is until she was informed by Utah University’s campus security that Utah’s concealed carry laws meant it would be possible for guns to be present at the University’s speaking event.

Utah has an Open Carry law and permits the concealed carry of loaded weapons with a permit and in Utah a person may carry firearms into banks, bars, public universities, and state parks… and with a permit, a person may also carry those weapons into public schools…but Utah does not require concealed carry permit holders to notify police officers of their permit or possession of firearms…even when stopped by police officers.

So how would anyone know if there were a person or persons in the audience with concealed weapons who might be potential mass murders as opposed to law abiding avengers in waiting? In light of that simple dilemma, Ms. Sarkeesian decided not to try and find out and so she canceled her speaking engagement and everyone stayed home…where they were safe and at least knew who had the guns.

Sounds like a perfect solution wouldn’t you say?

Is Justice in America, Blind, Deaf or Dumb?

23 Feb

In 2012, A 47 year old Florida resident who carried a concealed weapons permit, along with a concealed weapon, sat in his car at a Jacksonville convenience store when 4 teenagers pulled in next to him with their rap music blaring from their car stereo. The man complained about the loud music to the teenagers and asked them to turn it down. One of the teenagers argued with the man and angry words were exchanged. The Floridian said that he felt threatened because he thought that he saw a weapon pointed at him from inside the other car so he pulled out his gun and fired 10 shots into the SUV, killing one of the teenagers.

2 years later the man was brought to trial on 1st degree murder charges and after listening to the evidence and witnesses a jury of Floridians deliberated for 30 hours over 4 days and decided that the shooter was guilty…of ATTEMPTED murder! Even though he had shot and killed a 17 year old boy, attempted murder was all they could agree upon.

And even though there was no weapon found in the SUV and even though the jurors still had the option of finding the defendant guilty of second degree murder or manslaughter, with Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law in effect, the jurors decided that they couldn’t decide if the shooter was acting in self defense or not…after all he did testify that he “felt threatened.”

Wow! So, I guess it was a good thing that there were other potential victims in the SUV that he was able to attempt to murder because otherwise he would have gone home a free man…apparently in Florida the teenager that was killed doesn’t count as actually being hit with the bullet just because he happened to be shot to death.

And this is what we get with more guns owned by more people who are given more rights to carry them around with additional rights to defend themselves whenever they see fit to do so. Which is exactly what our Founding Father’s hoped for the future of flintlock wielding American militiamen, and their targets, when they composed the Second Amendment…isn’t it?

Still I know there are gun advocates everywhere who believe that more citizens carrying concealed weapons make for a safer world. But what we are seeing rather, is a world of aggravated, angry and now armed citizens who still do not feel really safe unless they shoot first and ask questions later. Why wait for the intruder to break into your house when you can go outside and stalk him first?

So citizens beware! From now on when you travel from state to state check the laws of that land because these United States are fast becoming 50 autonomous territories free to set their own interpretations of the 2nd Amendment into the pages of their own separate but equal law books. And if while traveling, you happen across an angry citizen of that free state, who tells you to turn down your music or put away your annoying cell phone or take off your hat or pull down your hooded sweatshirt or to just stop looking so suspicious, you’d better say, “yes sir!” or “No Ma’am!” or “Excuse me. I didn’t know that I was bothering you. May I please be excused?” And for god sakes smile, and raise your hands…but not too fast…palms open…and avert your eyes perhaps…anything you can think of to look non-threatening and friendly and subservient will do… I guess…

Otherwise you might wind up dead! Shot by a fellow U.S. citizen with their legally concealed weapon.

Unless of course a convoluted law and a confused jury say that you weren’t.

 

 

 

 

Oops, My Bad

27 Apr

 

Here in New Jersey a six year old boy was accidently shot by his 4 year old neighbor after the 4 year old child went into his house and brought outside a loaded rifle which then went off accidently. In Tennessee only a few days before a 4-year-old boy grabbed a loaded gun at a family cookout and accidentally shot to death the wife of a sheriff’s deputy.

In both instances, as far as I know, no charges have been filed against the gun owners but in New Jersey under state law, anyone who knows that a child under the age of 16 could access a loaded firearm in their home can be charged with a disorderly persons offense if they fail to secure it or install a trigger lock.

But even if charges are or were filed, is a disorderly persons charge enough for such negligence by a gun owner? Isn’t it basically a slap on the wrist and an invitation to merely say, “Oops, my bad,” when people have been killed with a weapon that you own to “make yourself safe”?

The United States Supreme Court says that accidentally shooting a gun during the commission of a crime should bring the same penalties as intentionally using a firearm. This decision came when the court upheld the conviction and sentence of Christopher Michael Dean, who was arrested for trying to rob a bank in Rome, Ga., in 2004.

A gun went off accidentally during the attempted robbery and the discharge brought an automatic 10-year sentence for firing a weapon during a crime. Dean appealed, saying the automatic sentence shouldn’t count since the firing of the gun was accidental but Chief Justice John Roberts, said the law “does not require that the discharge be done knowingly or intentionally.” He also added that if criminals want to avoid the penalty for accidental gunfire, they can lock or unload the firearm, handle it with care, leave the gun at home, or avoid having one in the first place.

Imagine that?

And Mr. Dean received 10 years in prison even though no one was injured when the gun went off.

According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control statistics About 600 Americans die in accidental shootings every year. However prosecutor’s rarely if ever bring charges even though the required charge may only be a simple misdemeanor…and most commonly their reaction to a tragedy like this is that the families have suffered enough so why make matters worse…

But is, oops, my bad, enough? Or should there be mandatory  legal consequences and compensation made to the aggrieved families?  I am not in favor of  jail time for tragedies like the ones in Toms River or Tennessee, but I would like to see heavy fines imposed on gun owners who in cases like these did not properly care for or secure their weapons. And I mean fines on the order of, oops, my house now belongs to your family…

So my question is what if any kind of penalty should be imposed on gun owners who do not secure their firearms and whose firearms are then  used in the killing of another person whether accidental or not? I’d especially like to know what gun owners and advocates think. Is it fair to ask lethal weapon owners to be legally responsible for their gun’s use or would this send us on the slippery slope to Hitler’s America… again?

 

GRACEFIFTEENTEN

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