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Archive for the ‘gun control’ Category

Seed Newsvine

Reuters reports this afternoon that:

The Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday responded to the deadliest shooting rampage in modern American history by passing legislation to help keep guns out of hands of the mentally ill.On a voice vote, the House sent the measure — which would be the first major gun control bill enacted since 1994 and bolster background checks for gun buyers — to the Democratic-led Senate for needed concurrence.

The bill was drafted in consultation with the 4 million-member National Rifle Association, the nation’s biggest gun-rights group, after a deranged gunman killed himself and 32 others in April at Virginia Tech university.

“I think the chances are very strong that we can get this passed in the Senate,” said Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, provided the legislation is not laden with amendments that gun rights backers find objectionable.

It is a start. Interestingly the NRA apparently participated in the drafting of this bill–has the leadership of the NRA finally come to their senses. Gun control does not mean depriving Americans of the right to own weapons. It does not mean that Americans cannot hunt or participate in the infantile sport of shooting at paper targets. Gun control doesn’t even mean that one is deprived of the right to join the militia. As I have blogged many times before, making it more difficult to place weapons in the hands of those that are likely to to harm to themselves and others reduces the probability that another Virginia Tech is imminent. Hooray for the courage of the House. Now will the Senate follow suit? Will the lame duck sign legislation that limits placing guns in the hands of the mentally incompetent? All I know is that it is a beginning. I for one will be watching for the outcome.

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Seed Newsvine

Idaho and guns seem not to mix well. I don’t think my next vacation will be planned for Idaho. Need I say more?

clipped from www.reuters.com
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – At least four people were shot by a sniper in the town of Moscow, Idaho, CNN and local media reported on Sunday.
Moscow police confirmed there had been a shooting but declined to give any details on the phone.
CNN said two officers and two civilians were shot at around 1 a.m. PDT (0800 GMT) but their condition was not known.
At least 75 shots were fired and up to seven blocks were cordoned off, it added.
Local radio station KXLY said the shots, believed to be from a high-powered rifle, were shot from a Presbyterian church and targeted the town’s courthouse. It said on its Web site no more shots had been heard since 1 a.m.

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Seed Newsvine

Time for me to move on a bit. I have said all I want to say about gun control for a while. In this post I turn to an even more frightening example of the greed of the global capitalists, the engineering of the food supply.Genetic engineering and the food additive industries are currently nearly free to do as they wish with and to the food supply. The FDA has been traditionally slow to respond to problems in the food supply and tends to be overwhelmed in the exercise of their regulatory and inspection functions, mainly because the agency is underfunded and cannot adequately staff to fulfill its Congressional mandates.

There are significant unknown dangers in both producing and eating genetically engineered foods. For example see Genetically Engineered Food: A Self-Defense Guide for Consumers by Ronnie Cummins, Ben Lillston and Frances Moore Lappe who discuss the business of genetic engineering. Or read The Politics of Precaution: Genetically Modified Crops in Developing Countries (International Food Policy Research Institute), or The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, by Michael Pollan if you want to gain some insight into the absolute dangers of giving biotechnology a blank check to alter the food supply.

In the case of the clip below, the food additive industry, in the attempt to increase profits, add melamine to animal feed in order to boost protein. Animals, other than pets, eat that food and pass on the effects to humans. What is not know is the effect of melamine on people.

There are two possibilities here. One is that there is no effect. Oh sure, some goats and pigs and cattle may bite the dust but the deadly effect does not transfer to human beings when the flesh of these animals is eaten or the milk consumed, The other possibility is that there is a transfer effect from animal flesh or by products to human beings in which case some humans may die as a result of eating the tainted flesh.

There are some who would say lets wait until ALL the evidence is in before we act. I suspect these are the same people who say let’s not respond to global warming because not all the evidence is in. Others respond by seeking appropriate regulation of an essentially unregulated industry NOW in order to avert a potential disaster. I fall in the latter crowd. It is better to do something than nothing. It is better to place one’s bets in the ethical support of action than to ignore the potential danger to humans.

clipped from www.chicagotribune.com
WASHINGTON —
The tainted pet food scare, which has swelled into a serious crisis for animal lovers, now has spread to humans.
California officials have revealed that the contamination got into the food chain: About 45 state residents ate pork from hogs that consumed animal feed laced with melamine from China. Melamine is used to make plastics, but it also artificially boosts the protein level—and thus the price—of the glutens that go into food.
It was already fatal for some pets: 17 cats and dogs are confirmed dead, more have likely died without being reported, thousands have suffered kidney problems, and 57 brands of cat food and 83 of dog food have been recalled. On top of that, roughly 6,000 hogs will be destroyed because they ate tainted feed.
The effects of melamine on people are thought to be minimal, but no one really knows. Its consumption by humans is considered so improbable that no one has even studied it.

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The most recent Gallup Poll (done before VT) indicates that the majority of Americans favor a combination of new legislation and stricter enforcement of existing gun control laws. The poll also indicates that only a minority of American homes (43%) indicate gun ownership, the majority of those households are in the South or rural areas of the United States. But why should I speak when the clip does a better job…

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Seed Newsvine

The clip below, while a bit old, presents an interesting and very funny take on gun control issues. Rock, for me, has the ability to take difficult issues and squeeze the most from each one. Found this one on You Tube posted about 8 months ago. Laugh with me!

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Seed Newsvine

I know of no gun that up and walked itself into a building and began shooting, reloading and shooting some more by itself. That being said, it is a certainty that without the gun attached to the hand of the person doing the shooting there would be far less carnage in this world.Seung-Hui Cho was a well prepared assassin ten days ago. He was prepared to shoot at least one round every three seconds for as long as he was the only armed person in the building. I know, I know, wouldn’t it be just ducky if we had a concealed weapons law so that students or professors or the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker could have shot Cho before he did more damage. Or would that just lead to more carnage? I suggest the latter. The more guns the more gun violence. Cho would not be deterred by the fact that some bozo carried a weapon in his pants, around his ankle, or under his jacket. It would just have made the situation more interesting for him. He knew he was going to die anyway the cake was sliced.

The real question is why did the cops take over 5 minutes to enter the building. The Tribune article points out that since Columbine the police policy is that the first 4 officers that arrive on the scene of a mass shooting wait for nothing and storm in. Since Cho killed himself at the first recognition that the police were in the building think about how many more lives could have been saved if the armed police wearing body armor reacted more quickly. This speaks to the need for more and better training of university police forces as they would be the first responders to this type of crisis when it happens again.

clipped from www.chicagotribune.com
BLACKSBURG, Va. —
The bloodbath lasted nine minutes — enough time for Seung-Hui Cho to unleash 170 rounds from his two pistols, or about one shot every three seconds.
During that time, Virginia Tech and Blacksburg police spent three minutes dashing across campus to the scene. Then they began the agonizing process of breaking into the chained-shut building, which took another five minutes.
The five minutes police spent breaking into the building proved to be crucial. During that time, Cho picked off his victims with a hail of gunfire. He killed himself after police shot through the doors and rushed toward the carnage.
In addition to the 170 rounds Cho fired inside Norris, investigators found unused ammunition in the building, though Flaherty was unsure how much was left. Investigators have compiled 500 pieces of evidence from Norris Hall alone.

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Another case of a PERSON WITH A GUN KILLING PEOPLE WITHOUT GUNS. One has to wonder whether David Howard Thurm woke up in the morning with homicide on his mind, whether he went to his perfectly legal locked gun safe, removed his revolver from the perfectly legal gun safe, removed the appropriate trigger lock, and went on his shooting spree with his perfectly legal handgun.What possible excuse for this behavior will the unconditional Second Amendment gun nuts be able to produce that doesn’t ring with sanctimony? Oh, sure, guns don’t kill people…You can’t control what people might do with a gun…Regulate gun ownership and the criminals will still get their hands on guns. None of this rings with the absolute truth that had David Howard Thurm not had ready access to a revolver, a weapon that has, as its primary purpose, the function to kill or maim another human being, Laura Schoellmann would still be alive.

Schoellmann is the real hero in this story. She chose to protect her co-workers by assuring that they reached safety at the risk of her own life. Her selfless sacrifice, her commitment to the well being of others is the ultimate ethical act. David Howard Thurm, on the other hand, took his own life in the cowardly act of refusing to face responsibility for his actions. I wonder if he was a card carrying member of the National Rifle Association? I wonder how often he attended the Church of his choosing?

Come on Congress, the time for real gun control is NOW!

clipped from news.yahoo.com
HOUSTON – A man facing eviction from a luxury apartment complex shot and killed the manager and then himself after writing an e-mail to friends saying he had died, police said. At least two other people were injured.
Police said the gunman first shot a neighbor through his door, then reloaded his revolver and stormed the complex’s office, shooting the manager and pistol-whipping a man trying to serve the eviction notice, police said.
Frantic residents called the office to warn workers that a gunman was on his way to them. The manager, identified by her employer as Laura Schoellmann, warned co-workers to get out, and police credited her with saving lives before she was killed.

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