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“NRA Getting A Bang For Its Bucks”: Gun Sales Rise Sharply After Newtown Shooting

Firearm sales are surging across the country in response to President Barack Obama’s promise to pursue new gun control laws in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, CT.

According to a December 18 Fox News report, shortly after the massacre, consumers began buying huge numbers of AR-15 rifles — the same type used by shooter Adam Lanza — in preparation for Congress to reinstate the assault weapons ban:

–The Colorado Bureau of Investigation says it set a new record for single-day background check submittals this past weekend.

–In San Diego, Northwest Armory gun store owner Karl Durkheimer said Saturday “was the biggest day we’ve seen in 20 years. Sunday will probably eclipse that.”

–In southwest Ohio, from dawn to dusk a Cincinnati gun show had a line of 400 waiting to get in, said Joe Eaton of the Buckeye Firearms Association. ”Sales were through the roof on Saturday,” said Eaton. “People were buying everything they could out of fear the president would try to ban certain guns and high-capacity magazines.”

The initial sales surge has proven surprisingly durable in the days since the shooting. Several gun store owners told Outdoor Life’s John Haughey that the weekend before Christmas was one of their busiest ever.

According to local reporting, gun sales have also skyrocketed in Arizona and New Mexico.

One weapons company, Brownells Inc. — which claims to be the world’s largest supplier of firearms accessories and gunsmithing tools — says that it sold an astonishing three and a half years worth of ammunition magazines in three days after the Newtown shooting.

This is the second major surge in gun sales over the past two months; they also rose sharply directly after President Obama’s re-election on November 6th.

The rapidly rising sales help to explain the motivation behind the NRA’s inflammatory response to the Newtown shooting. Although Wayne LaPierre’s defiant speech and appearance on Meet The Press were widely panned, they kept guns in the headlines, which have kept gun sales high. Over the past seven years, the gun industry has donated between $14.7 million and $38.9 million to the NRA’s corporate-giving campaign; even if Congress does reinstate the assault weapons ban in the coming months, it’s pretty clear that the NRA has gotten a good bang for its buck.

By: Henry Decker, The National Memo, December 26, 2012

December 27, 2012 Posted by | Guns | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“We Did What We Could”: With Suffering All Around Us, Some Lessons Are Learned Too Late

In December 2001, my father sent his first-ever Christmas card to me.

He even signed it, “Love, Dad.” Unprecedented. Throw some tinsel on my head and watch me sparkle like a snow globe; that’s how happy I was.

Dad came from the “show, don’t tell” school of parenting. He supported his family and shoveled the snow from the walkway before any of us were out of bed. His love was to be understood.

His postscript on that 2001 card made clear that despite the arrival of his one-time-only Christmas greeting, nothing had changed.

“I got a card from the wife of a man I used to work with,” he wrote. “She was at the church when you spoke, and she said you were the best they ever had. Don’t get the big head.”

What he didn’t mention was that he had attended my speech, too, delivered in the church of my childhood. He also skipped the part about how he had grinned through the whole darn thing.

Each December, I pull out Dad’s Christmas card and prop it up on my desk. He’s been gone for six years now, and the sight of his cramped handwriting makes him feel a little less far away. His admonishment about this head of mine is a reminder that in his own way, he loved me very much.

I spent way too much energy wishing my father would just come out and say it. Well into my version of adulthood, I’d end every phone call with, “I love you, Dad.” His response: “Yep.” Sometimes he’d mix it up by saying, “OK.”


Once in a while, I’d push back. “A-a-a-a-nd you love me, too?” His response every time: “Well, if you already know it, there’s no need for me to say it.”


When he finally wrote “Love, Dad” on that card, there was no victory. It was his second Christmas without my mother, and his heart was broken. How I longed for the days when Mom was still around and Dad’s “yep” was code for what he meant to say. Some things we learn too late.

This has been a long year for many Americans. Even if our own lives bobbed along without incident, it was hard to ignore the suffering of those around us. We did what we could. We attended funerals and hospital rooms, wrote checks and volunteered, worried ourselves sick and bowed our heads in prayer. Some of us smiled for no reason, and strangers felt a little less alone.

This Christmas season, the tragedy in Newtown, CT, altered the holiday for all but the most hardhearted among us. One minute we were shopping for stocking stuffers; the next minute we were trying to remember to breathe. Twenty young children and six adults who risked their lives to save them were dead. What? What? It was that horrible, that unbelievable. We never will be the same.

And yet, Christmas came.

Now the new year barrels toward us, a force of promise and uncertainty. May we welcome it with gratitude that we are here to greet it.

As I write this, snow is threatening to bury our house here in Ohio. My youngest daughter and her boyfriend spent the morning on cellphones, trying to reschedule canceled flights home. Halfheartedly, I try to hide my joy.

They are in a hurry, but I’m old enough to be on the other side of that impatience. All of our family was happy and healthy this Christmas. I know that kind of luck runs out.

I also know that my daughter’s heavy sighs mean only that she is young, with plans that did not include two more nights with her mother. I will not misread her signals, nor will I complain. Her love is understood.

For that, we can thank her grandfather for a lesson once learned too late.


By: Connie Schultz, The National Memo, December 26, 2012

December 27, 2012 Posted by | Guns | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“The Prettification Of The Gun Culture”: The Pro-Gun World Is Aggressively Exploiting Female Fears To Grow Their Base

Here is something that becomes clear when you look at polling data on support for gun control laws, both after Sandy Hook and over the past several years: The same demographics that rejected Republicans in the presidential election are likeliest to support gun control, notably Latinos of both genders and women across the board.

White male Republicans in redder regions are still the base for untrammeled gun rights, even if they’re not the only ones. But when it comes to women, that number had been slowly moving in the NRA’s favor — and it’s all part of a plan.

Four years ago, 30 percent of women told Pew that gun rights were more important to them than controlling gun ownership. This April, that number was 39 percent — still less than the 60 percent of men who favored gun rights, but a dramatic rise nonetheless. And these women were likelier to be white; in the same poll, 57 percent of whites picked gun rights over gun control. African Americans and Latinos overwhelmingly told pollsters they preferred gun control.

This is why we have “Packing Pretty.” This is why we have the NRA Women’s Network. And it’s why we have “Flash Bang bra holsters.”

Nancy Lanza wasn’t the only woman who liked to shoot. For years, gun manufacturers and their political enablers have clearly recognized that they need to broaden their base. There is a saccharine-pink infrastructure built around trying to get women to pack heat, and it’s working by nearly every measure. The marketing often holds out the specter of rape as an incentive, despite the fact that the majority of rapes are perpetrated by acquaintances, and domestic violence-related deaths run along similar lines. That’s working, too: In one survey, a majority of the new female gun buyers proclaimed that they owned guns for self-defense.

That was the rationale of Regis Giles, who runs the site Girls Just Wanna Have Guns, and who gave a memorable speech at CPAC last year saying she was “sick and tired of seeing defenseless girls being abducted in broad daylight by some fruity freak who gets aroused by raping and abducting them.” (Nearly two years after I first encountered these words, I’m still confused by “fruity.”)

Giles is from a combative and visible conservative family; her sister posed as a prostitute alongside “pimp” James O’Keefe to ensnare ACORN, and her father has a shouty Christian radio show. Her commentary on last week’s tragedy — on a site framed with images of bloodstains — included “Quite frankly it is retarded that schools haven’t enforced their security measures after Columbine,” and suggestions for all school staff to be required to carry guns to work. Watch out, Wayne LaPierre: These ladies are coming for your job.

This destructive fantasy of a woman shooting down her rapist may sound more like feminist empowerment than Charlotte Allen blaming weak women for the children’s deaths, but it’s a distortion that puts more women and men at risk. All the pink holsters in the world can’t change that.


By: Irin Carmon, Salon, December 26, 2012

December 27, 2012 Posted by | Guns, Women | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“But Not For Statutory Rights”: Gun Nuts Ignore The First Amendment To “Protect” The Second

Protect the Second Amendment, screw the First!

Tens of thousands of people have signed a petition calling for British CNN host Piers Morgan to be deported from the United States over his gun control views. And sadly, I’m not surprised.

Morgan has taken an aggressive stand for tighter U.S. gun laws in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., school shooting. Last week, he called a gun advocate appearing on his Piers Morgan Tonight show an “unbelievably stupid man.” And that is Mr. Morgan’s opinion, which he is entitled to, whether you like his accent or not. Entitled to, you ask? Is he a citizen of this country?! Well, there are a few folks, namely our founding forefathers, and more currently constitutional legal experts, who were pretty clear with regard to whose speech is protected by the First Amendment. Noncitizens and permanent residents are also protected under the First Amendment–that is unless, like those of us who are citizens, we’re yelling fire in a crowded theatre.

But that doesn’t seem to faze the gun rights activists. They are fighting back, creating a petition on December 21 on the White House E-petition website. This was done by a user in Texas accusing 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.” The petition has already hit the 25,000 signature threshold to get a White House response.

Unfortunately for Tex and those who signed this petition, they shouldn’t hold their breath. Noncitizens, and especially permanent residents, have statutory rights to remain in the country unless they’ve done (or there’s sufficient reason to think they’ve done) certain bad things—at least until Congress revises the statutes to broaden the grounds for deportation. Even if the Executive Branch decides to deport someone, it has to have statutorily authorized grounds, and it has to provide hearings at which an immigration judge decides whether the conditions for deportation are met. The government may not criminally punish noncitizens—or presumably impose civil liability on them—based on speech that would be protected if said by a citizen. See Bridges v. Wixon (1945).

And how has Piers Morgan responded? Actually, he seemed unfazed, perhaps even amused by all of this. On Twitter he urged his followers to sign the petition, and in response to one article about the petition he said “bring it on” as he appeared to track the petition’s progress. “If I do get deported from America for wanting fewer gun murders, are there any other countries that will have me?” he wrote.

What bothers me about this is the blatant hypocrisy of those gun rights proponents. As a liberal, I push for stricter gun control measures; I always have, even before Columbine, Virginia Tech, Tuscon, Aurora, Portland, and Newtown, and I have been attacked by the right for wanting to take away their Second Amendment right to bear arms. I and other liberals have been clear we don’t want to take their rights away, we just want to protect other Americans, especially our children by restricting military-style weapons with high volume magazine clips. Yet when someone voices their opinion and it is completely contrary to what a gun proponent believes, they have no trouble tramping on their rights…namely the First Amendment.

Look, I’m no Piers Morgan fan. As a broadcaster, I get tired of radio programmers and networks hiring people with pretty British accents. I’m a fan of not only buying American, but “hiring American,” since I know so many people out there who are unemployed in the field of broadcasting and, quite frankly many of whom I feel are much more talented and qualified interviewers and broadcasters than Mr. Morgan. I don’t make the decisions as to who they put on the air at CNN, but I do have a choice what network or program I tune into. And I can assure you, Mr. Morgan’s show is not on my list of favorites programmed on my television.

If the gun enthusiasts really want to hurt Mr. Morgan for his opinions, they should realize it’s his ratings, not his residence address they should be attacking. Because if Mr. Morgan’s ratings plummet, CNN will hand him his walking papers and as Mitt Romney once proposed, Mr. Morgan will deport himself–perhaps back over the pond for a better cup of tea.


By: Leslie Marshall, U. S. News and World Report, December 26, 2012

December 27, 2012 Posted by | Citizenship, Constitution | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“A Very Naughty Boy”: John Boehner Gets More Than 2,000 Lumps Of Coal For Christmas

House Speaker John Boehner will be greeted by more than 2,000 pieces of coal when he returns to Washington after what was unlikely to have been a relaxing vacation in Ohio amid the standoff over the fiscal cliff.

The coal is being delivered by The Action—a campaign to end the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent—which says Boehner has been extra “naughty” this year.

Last week, Boehner proposed legislation called “Plan B” that would have ended the Bush-era tax cuts on those with income of up to $1 million, but some House Republicans refused to support it. Democrats and Republicans disagree over whether the nation’s wealthiest taxpayers should see higher rates, but both parties agree they want to avoid tax increases for the middle class.

On, The Action entreats supporters to call Boehner’s office because he “is desperate to protect the richest Americans at the expense of the rest of us.” For each call made, the campaign promises to hand deliver one lump of coal to Boehner’s office. As of this writing, the campaign counts 2333 pieces of coal as ready for delivery.

President Barack Obama will be back in Washington Thursday to try to negotiate once more with Congress to avoid the fiscal cliff before tax increases and spending cuts kick in at the end of the year.


By: Elizabeth Flock, Washington Whispers, U. S. News and World Report, December 26, 2012


December 27, 2012 Posted by | Budget, Politics | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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