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Tucson, Juarez and an Assault Weapons Ban

Posted on Jan 18, 2011

By Amy Goodman

The Glock 19 semiautomatic pistol that Jared Loughner is accused of using in his rampage in Tucson, Ariz., is, according to Glock’s website, “ideal for versatile use through reduced dimensions” and is “suitable for concealed carry.” The site continues, “Compact and subcompact Glock pistol model magazines can be loaded with a convincing number of rounds,” from the standard 15 up to 33. The shooter was able to kill and wound to the extent that he did, with six dead and 13 injured, because he had a semiautomatic, concealed weapon, along with the “extended magazine.” He was attempting to reload the weapon with another extended magazine when a brave, unarmed woman knocked his next clip from his hand.

Jared Loughner confirmed Glock’s claim that 33 is a “convincing” number of rounds. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y., doesn’t need convincing, though. Her husband, Dennis McCarthy, was gunned down on the Long Island Rail Road on Dec. 7, 1993, when Colin Ferguson pulled a semiautomatic pistol out of his bag and methodically made his way along the afternoon commuter train, randomly shooting passengers. He too killed six people and wounded 19, including McCarthy’s son, Kevin. Ferguson was tackled, as was Loughner, while reloading his weapon. In both cases, the act of reloading the gun created a pause in the shooting that allowed unarmed citizens to take action.

Carolyn McCarthy mourned the loss of her husband and nursed her critically injured son back to health. He had been shot in the head. Carolyn McCarthy then decided to go further, to try to heal the nation. She lobbied her Long Island member of Congress, Republican Daniel Frisa, to support the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban. He refused. McCarthy had been a nurse for 30 years, and a lifelong Republican. Turning her anger into action, she switched to the Democratic Party, ran for Congress against Frisa and defeated him in 1996. She has been in Congress ever since, and is one of the staunchest supporters there of common sense gun laws.

The 1994 law prohibited a number of weapons outright, as well as extended-capacity magazines like Loughner used. The law expired in 2004 under President George W. Bush. In response to the Tucson shooting, McCarthy is introducing the Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Devices Act. In a letter to other members of Congress seeking co-sponsors, she says the bill “will prohibit the transfer, importation, or possession of high-capacity magazines manufactured after the bill is enacted,” and, thus, “the increased difficulty in obtaining these devices will reduce their use and ultimately save lives.”

The ban on these bullet clips is a start. But ultimately, the guns themselves—semiautomatic weapons—are the personal weapons of mass destruction that are designed not to hunt animals, but to kill people. These guns need to be controlled. By controlling them, we will reduce violence not only in the United States, but across the border in Mexico as well.


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In Ciudad Juarez, just 300 miles from Tucson, directly across the border from El Paso, Texas, Mexican officials say more than 3,100 people were killed in drug violence last year, the bloodiest year to date. In May 2010, President Felipe Calderon spoke before a joint session of the U.S. Congress and called for a reinstatement of the assault weapons ban. According to law enforcement officials, 90 percent of the guns picked up in Mexico from criminal activity are purchased in the United States.

Susana Chavez was a poet and activist in Ciudad Juarez. She popularized the phrase “Not one more dead.” She was buried last week in Mexico, just as the bodies of Tucson’s youngest victim, 9-year-old Christina Greene, and federal Judge John Roll were being prepared for burial in Arizona. A month earlier, anti-violence campaigner Marisela Escobedo Ortiz was shot in the head while maintaining a vigil to demand that the government take action in pursuit of the killers of her 17-year-old daughter, Rubi Frayre Escobedo.

The U.S. group Mayors Against Illegal Guns has just released the results of a bipartisan survey, which found that 86 percent of Americans and 81 percent of gun owners support background checks on all gun sales. The group maintains a website, Close the Gun shows, the ready access to semiautomatic weapons and the additional availability of extended-capacity magazines are a recipe for the massacres that occur every few years in the U.S., and every few weeks in Mexico.

In the wake of the Tucson shooting, amidst calls for bipartisanship and civility, now is the time for Democrats and Republicans to join together to pass a permanent ban on assault weapons, and make us all safer.

Denis Moynihan contributed research to this column.

Amy Goodman is the host of “Democracy Now!,” a daily international TV/radio news hour airing on more than 800 stations in North America. She is the author of “Breaking the Sound Barrier,” recently released in paperback and now a New York Times best-seller.

© 2011 Amy Goodman

Distributed by King Features Syndicate

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BR549's avatar

By BR549, April 3, 2012 at 8:40 am Link to this comment

Airsoft King, April 3 at 1:41 am
“Existing gun laws have been claimed to help protect innocent people like us, but somehow there are still loopholes that people exploit and manage to get their hands on assault weapons to do harm onto others.”

Those “loopholes” are allowed to exist and are part of a systematic multi-administrational program to allow malcontents across or within any border to be manipulated by unscrupulous and opportunistic power hoarders to control populations and resources. “Operation Fast and Furious” was the Obama administration’s name for the continuation of Bush the Idiot’s policy (Operation Wide Receiver) of flooding arms across the Mexican boarder to then attack the Second Amendment. The same tactic is still used to facilitate regime change for any small country holding any aspirations of sovereignty or nationalism that might be contrary to US foreign policy; read that as “economic interests”.

Hitler had everyone register their guns and then after altering policy, knew exactly where to send the soldiers to confiscate those same firearms. Mao and Stalin achieved the same result, albeit far less gracefully. The whole idea was to make the population defenseless and fearful; that is, after all, the dream of every corrupt politician and would be despot. And what do we have, a multi-administration attempt to convince the “useless eaters” (that’s their language, not mine) that it is in our best interest to eliminate the 2nd Amendment. 

While we are at it, people should understand exactly the scenario that the 9th and 10th Amendments creates, then it is easy to see why creeping federal bureaucracy then targets the other eight original amendments. Feeling safer yet? If anyone is appalled at the senseless killing on the streets and feeling less comfortable, they should be. With a culture as large and wealthy as ours, the only reason that gun violence has increased is because it was allowed to by design while the wealth of this country has been plundered, ....... and the places it has increased the most, not surprisingly, is in the areas with the most gun control.

Have a nice day.

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By Airsoft King, April 3, 2012 at 2:41 am Link to this comment

Existing gun laws have been claimed to help protect innocent people like us, but somehow there are still loopholes that people exploit and manage to get their hands on assault weapons to do harm onto others.

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By drbhelthi, February 10, 2011 at 7:37 am Link to this comment

” It will be a direct result of how sick this country
has become.” prisnersdilema

Has become?
It was founded by mercenaries of the Queen of Spain,
purveying her brand of “Christianity.” Which
mercenaries initiated genocide of the original
inhabitants, whom they described as gentle and

Subsequently, years later, a group of self-exiles
from “Great Britain” formulated a document that
established order and propriety. For several hundred
years. Until the GHWBushSr family was invented. About
the same time as the CIA. Both of which initiated the
Hitler form of “democracy.” And spread it around the
world. More recently with the aid of zionists.

Now, spreading “democracy” to the government of Egypt
is underway.  In order to establish a DC-controlled
puppet instead of a self-controlled dictator. In
order to stop the trickle of life-sustaining supplies
to the folk of Palestine. In order to speed up the
total demolition of Palestine, and conversion into
“IIIisrael”. In order to speed up a similar undertaking
in Iran. In order to transfer control of the area to
the NAZI-types and zionist-types.

A continuation of a form of genocide for which
“IIIisrael” has a long history.  Add to them
“caucasian christians” from Europe, more recently
their cousins, WWII NAZI-types.

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By roy dahlin, February 10, 2011 at 2:09 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

My dear Br… Affirm indeed I’ve read the Declaration of Independence more than once.  I’ve paid particular attention to the last 2 sentences as you suggest & their implications.  I say it is overdue for a change of the gov’t. usurpers we have & pull its teeth once and for all.  the agenda is to mislead the people as to the acutal intent of the founding documents to their detriment.
Yahwah bless.

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By PS, February 8, 2011 at 6:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am only going to make a few simple comments on this article. Do you realize there were murders commited before Colt? Calling firearms by there full name shows your ignorance in the field. So what you’re saying is that by passing these laws, we will stop violence? Has prohibition of any kind ever worked? We haven’t fixed the drug problem in our country by making them illegal. Lets spend more tax dollars on disarming our good citizens that just want to protect themselves. You realize banning firearms will enable only police and criminals to have guns. There are significantly more criminals than police. The ATF reported that gun crimes actually increased during the 10 year ban. It’s absurd. I hope you see the light one day, before you strip us of our freedoms and bastardize our constitution. Cheers.

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By BR549, February 3, 2011 at 8:11 pm Link to this comment

Over the years, I have done much historical research about and within shipwrecks, some into the colonial era and prior, and I can tell you as much as any historian that the “meaning” of various words and phrases has migrated from what they meant in the past. That begs the question of how to redefine, in today’s terms, what was meant back then, AND might this then be considered a convenient loophole around the static/living document dilemma, that we must reinterpret the text in order to follow the intent of the founders? But reinterpret it with respect to what, yesterday’s Fox News?

The fact that the term’s meanings have changed at all always seems to give these Congressional, Judicial, and Presidential parasites more opportunities to pull a bait and switch on the voters. School children become more convinced that a “Civics Class” is about how to buy a foreign car, while professional politicians and the judiciary up the ante by pulling even MORE wool over the voters’ eyes. THAT’s the problem. So while anyone with at least one working brain cell would endeavor to at least attempt to better understand what those words meant at the time they were written, only self-serving political opportunists would pervert our founding documents for their own agenda. So, if I keep repeating myself about people needing to read the Federalist/AntiFederalist Papers (collectively known as the Federalist Papers) or the Virginia and Kentucky “Resolutions of ‘98”, it is because through the years of dialogue between the framers, before and after ratification, the differences of opinion were well understood.

I would also add that the second section, the Preamble, is STILL very clear about the dilemma of determining what the difference was
between the establishment’s perception of an insurrection versus the citizens’ need to throw a bunch of corrupt bastards out on their ears.

To quote the DOI: “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.—Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. Be sure to read those last two sentences several times (after Prudence). Not much to misunderstand there.

You stated, “The 2d Amend. has nothing to do with self defense, sport, hunting, etc. That is protected in the 9th Amend.” I would further state the difficulty many people have in interpreting the 9th has to do with seeing only the other stated rights as being viable. What the 9th did was to further reinforce the individual sovereignty of the citizens through the other amendments, (and this is important),  .... as long as anyone operating under the 9th didn’t also violate anyone else’s 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th Amendment rights, in particular, because those were rights that were more likely to be violated by one citizen upon another. In short, we were free to contract with anyone, for any reason, at any time, for any amount, as long as it didn’t interfere with the Commerce Clauses. (What happened with that fiasco is another discussion.)

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By drbhelthi, February 3, 2011 at 4:06 pm Link to this comment

Perhaps the most evasive element, is predicting what
an allegedly “dangerous person,” who owns a gun,
plans to do with it.  Where are the statistics to
associate dangerous persons with the intent to
murder, PRIOR TO THE EVENT?  They do not exist, as
this variable is not definable, thus cannot be
statistically evaluated. 

Was the policeman in Seattle who shot Mr. Williams in
cold blood in early January, identifiable as a
dangerous person?  Are all former soldiers returning
from the bloody murder fields in Iraq, Afghanistan,
Pakistan and elsewhere “classifiable” due to their
Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome - or much worse mental
state, in many cases.  In no case is an accurate
formulation of information available, which enables
accurate predictions, prior to an event of murder, or
suicide.  Genuine suicide, not an event when wrists
have been slit, after the person was murdered. 

The bugle call for identifying “dangerous persons” in
order to prevent selling a gun to such persons sounds
noble.  At least up front, to naïve´ folk who are
impressed with superficiality.  However, the concept
is at best a conundrum, and at worst a non sequitur.

When a legal scholar such as Chief Judge of the U.S.
District Court for Arizona, John Roll, declares such
a clause in the Brady Gun Law to be unconstitutional,
it is a very complex issue that cannot be solved by a
petition signed by ten zillion sincere but naïve´
folk.  Nor by having such valuable scholars as John
Roll assassinated, because they hinder the
machinations of the dishonest few who govern a
nation, who want to render the population

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By nonwo, February 2, 2011 at 7:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr. BR-549,
Mahalo, thank you, for your insightful response.  I see that you’ve also studied the law and the Fed. Constitution as written.  Agreed that the “well regulated militia” means one that is well disciplined and trained by responsible leadership.  They are not rabble, immoral, unconscionable, uncaring and irregular.  On the contrary the members of the militia are disciplined and adhere to the whole Constitution of the United States of America.  It is not in their providence to pick and choose which provisions they randomly choose to adhere.  Doesn’t even the U.S. serviceman take and oath to support and defend the Constitution without reservation?
Agreed that the militias were intended to be separate and independent of the federal government in order to curb any indiscretions that entity may violate the interest of the people.  The only true purpose of government is to protect the interest of the people.  It, militia, was intended to act for instance in the current situation with the sacking of Mubarak in Egypt.  This militia force would go head to head against the errant regime. (envision one side deploying muskets and the other M-14’s, M-4’s and more; this is what Ms Goodman and others of her ilk advocate.)  Of course all measure of diplomacy would be employed before the use of force of arms.  In terms of the Egyptian non-violent action is what were envisioned by the early and wise leadership of the fledging Union of American States.
Affirmative, the early and wise leadership envisioned that the government apparatus would be co-opted at some point and the people had to have the means to check such usurpations.  The 2d Amend. has nothing to do with self defense, sport, hunting, etc. That is protected in the 9th Amend.
May Yahweh be with you all.

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By BR549, February 2, 2011 at 2:42 pm Link to this comment

“It plainly states for all to see and read, the people who are the militia must maintain order and security for their communities and the state.”

Exactly, it meant being disciplined, and not having some ragtag band of angry townspeople charging off to string some poor bastard from a tree limb. Regulate, in your sense, the correct sense, meant structured and disciplined, NOT micromanaged by the federal government, which they knew was a potential problem to begin with. Why go through all the laborious deliberation about state sovereignty and state republics if they were going to have the feds take over, anyway? They didn’t, yet we still have these uninformed Lefty-libtards and Right-fascists trying to massage our statically intended Constitution into some warm and fuzzy “living document” to suit each one’s agenda, which, by the way, are remarkably similar.

Maybe after a hundred years of being able to thwart corruption, we might actually be worthy of a living document status. Until then, we are still considered a six year old who just found the keys to Daddy’s car; all the imagination but without any sense of responsibility to go with it.

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By nonwo, February 2, 2011 at 3:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


I’m responding to Ms Goodman’s uninformed comments she made on her show and aired 1 Feb.’11.  She referred to her so-called “gunshow loophole”.
There is no such thing as a “gunshow loophole”.  This is a made up concept by uninformed individuals who may have an agenda to try to hoodwink the masses.

To adequately explain this concept we should go back to see what the law mandates.  This law is the supreme law of the land or otherwise called the Federal Constitution, 1787.  Therein is the “Bill of Rights” amended to the body of the Constitution 15 Dec. 1791.
Directly after the First Amendment, is the one called the second amendment.  Yes this is the one where so many surprisingly have amnesia over because of the inconvenient law.  I’m further surprised that some folks who call themselves lawyers at the Center for Constitutional Rights haven’t read it.

For your convenience, I quote: 
Amendment II
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
The plain Amerikan-English language isn’t difficult to extract its meaning unless the reader has some other agenda than what is mandated in the black letter of the law.  It plainly states for all to see and read, the people who are the militia must maintain order and security for their communities and the state.  In order for the state or nation to remain free and secure, it is the people that will make it so.  Not no standing army, national guard or FBI, but the people.  In order for the people to secure this free state or nation, they must not be impeded as to their free access to keep and bear arms.  The representative civil servants must not infringe upon this right that fundamentally belong to the people individually and predates the U.S. Constitution.  Like it or not, that is absolutely what it states.

Now there is a principle in Amerikan jurisprudence that any statute, code, regulation, ordinance, etc. that is contradictory or in contravention to the supreme law of the land, it is unconstitutional and is a nullity.  Therefore, any measure called for by a legislative body for registration, background checks, waiting period, race, type of arm, capacity of arm, etc. are unlawful and has no force and effect of law.  The man selling through private sale merely asks for I.D. since he agreed to do so with the show vendor.  Therefore this private seller is perfectly within the law to require no background checks, etc.  On the other hand, it is a completely different story in the case of a licensed dealer called an FFL.  This commercial seller is under license and contract with the BATFE and must follow the terms of the contract to the letter.  Now do you see why there is no such thing as a “gunshow loophole?”

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By nonwo, February 2, 2011 at 2:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This continuation of my last comments to Ms Goodman:
Lastly, I wholly agree with you that no one has the right to kill a U.S. Congresswomen or a Federal judge among others.  The right to keep and bear arms cannot be confused to be a license to kill or murder another.  They are not the same as you appear to believe.  Otherwise we’d see at least 10% of private arms owners killing and maiming people each and every year if your hypotheses is correct.  There are by government estimates some 60 to 70 million private arms owners in the Union today.  Suppose a mere 10% would follow your hypotheses about using their instruments to kill or maim others?  We’d be seeing 6 million deaths or maiming of individuals in the Union each year at the hands of these criminals.  We plainly aren’t seeing this reality in the field.  If this were the case, we’d see the eradication of the entire population inside of 15yrs.  The last time I checked, the population in the whole of the Union is growing, not receding.  Amy when will you be agitating to disarm the U.S. armed forces.  I’d wager they kill more people than any armed society have.

I would think that Christina Greene would have wanted Guantanamo brig to be closed for a better world.  How can a U.S. president preach non-violence to honor the death of a promising child like Christina and at the same time hypocritically prosecute 2 so-called “wars” against Afghanistan and Iraq?  Further, foment against Pakistan, Yemen and Iran?

I also called your attention on your website and once while you were in CMH, Columbus, 2010, that the program name is a wrong concept.  Democracy is a form of governance only in Washington, D.C.  That power is exclusively exercised by the U.S. Congress in session.  It is 51% of the U.S. Congress critters voting on one side of an issue.  In the Union, not country, the lawful form of government is a republican form.  Otherwise, your right to free speech can be abrogated by a simple majority voting to deny you that right.  Can that be so?  In N.Y. nation state where you live, it has a constitution, therefore, by definition it cannot be a democracy.  Why would you want to mislead the greater majority of your viewers?

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By nonwo, February 1, 2011 at 7:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

this continuation of prior msg.:
Murder, rape, and the like have been common law crimes for centuries and even before arms were developed.  Simply banning the instrument or tool will not prevent crime from happening any more than so-called “wars against terror”.  The crimes are committed by abusive people and not by inanimate objects.

I can understand you Ms Goodman to be anti-arms, but I wouldn’t think that Mr. Juan Gonzalez would be or Sharif Kouddous.

By all means, I don’t believe that a call to arms is the 1st order, but only as a last resort.  In the case of Tunisia and Egypt, there is no need to escalate to an armed conflict since headway is progressing.  The so-called “Amerikan Revolution” became violent only after great attempts for peaceful resolution and a long train of abuses.  However, if you give away your means of last resort, you hamper and constrain your chances of ever accomplishing your end goal.  There is the deterrent factor that goes along with the armed society.  No U.S. government would dare to aggravate the people so long as they are armed.  This physiological factor is what keeps the ruling apparatus from complete tyranny against the interest of the people.  What chance does the civil servants have against some 30 million aggravated armed citizens in a popular cause?  Look at recent developments in Tunisia and now developing Egypt.

There is a larger dynamic at work here than simply the open and availability of arms.  It is the despair and large disparity between the classes.  It is the erosion of the middle class, morality and erosion of individual rights.

Though I firmly believe you are wrong in your blind quest to ban arms from the Amerikan people, I stand in defense of your saying and speaking against this fundamental and enumerated right the same way I support you in your complaint against the false arrest and abuse in MSP.

I’m indeed surprised that you stand up to establish a right for civil marriage for “gays” and such, but work against someone else’s rights.  There is a word for this.

Lastly, I wholly agree with you that no one has the right to kill a U.S. Congresswomen or a Federal judge among others.  The right to keep and bear arms cannot be confused to be a license to kill or murder another.  They are not the same as you appear to believe.  Otherwise we’d see at least 10% of private arms owners killing and maiming people each and every year if your hypotheses is correct.  There are by government estimates some 60 to 70 million private arms owners in the Union today.  Suppose a mere 10% would follow your hypotheses about using their instruments to kill or maim others?  We’d be seeing 6 million deaths or maiming of individuals in the Union each year at the hands of these criminals.  We plainly aren’t seeing this reality in the field.  If this were the case, we’d see the eradication of the entire population inside of 15yrs.  The last time I checked, the population in the whole of the Union is growing, not receding.  Amy when will you be agitating to disarm the U.S. armed forces.  I’d wager they kill more people than any armed society have.
more to follow.

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By nonwo, February 1, 2011 at 3:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Comments to Amy Goodman of DemNow! On her anti-gun stance, 27 Jan.’11:

I viewed your show on DemNow! aired on 27 Jan. ’11 on your reporting that some state, Az or Ut’s, house passed a resolution adopting an arm as the state’s arm.  I believe it was Utah since that is where John Moses Browning is from and who designed many of such arms.  I believe as you described it, the arm adopted was the U.S. Pistol, caliber .45, Model of 1911, Automatic Colt Pistol, ACP.  This arm was designed and developed by John Browning and adopted by the U.S.A. in the year 1911 on 29 Mar. to replace the anemic .38 LC side arm.  It was adopted by 27 nations as their official service sidearm.  Shortly, we’ll celebrate the ACP’s 100th anniversary since adoption.

I do not presume to attempt or believe that I would change your mind about arms.  I cannot sit idly by without saying something in defense of the individual fundamental right to keep and bear arms as ensconced in the Federal Constitution, 1787 and confirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court on 2 occasions.  Yes, granted the U.S. Supreme Court isn’t always correct in its opinions as glaringly shown in the Citizens United case confirmed.  I also believe this high court was incorrect in the 1st case it opined on the right to keep and bear arms in the Heller case concerning Washington, D.C.  I believe though it was correct in the McDonald v. Chicago case.

I believe you are wrong headed on this issue and on the wrong side of history.  Should the Haitians had the right and use of the individual arm, history would have been different for their nation and not suffered that horrendous and crippling payment for reparations to France.  The Haitian people wouldn’t have faired so badly under the puppet dictators they had imposed upon them.  In the case of the Jews, the history would have been different were the Jews armed against their Nazi oppressors.  A few brave ones fought off the Nazis at the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.  The German people would have acted differently were they also armed and not have had their individual arms taken from them.  The Nazi regime oppressed many Germans to the point that many assassination attempts were taken against the Nazi Führer.  The ability of an armed society would more than likely have changed the course of history to the positive.  The history of the E. Timorians might have been different were they an armed society instead of being subject to the violent oppressive regime.  On the positive side for an armed society is the case of Switzerland where an armed citizenry called the militia withstood conquering for almost 400yrs.  In spite of the Swiss militia being armed with fully automatic assault weapons in their respective homes, the crime rate is so low they don’t even keep a record of them.  The same thing happened in the fledging modern Israeli state, where the armed citizen, the Hagannah, defended and allowed the fledging nation to develop to the point where it now is an oppressor.  The Cuban militia is also armed with the AK-47 fully automatic assault weapon in their homes and yet the crime rate is very low there.  Let’s look at the so-called “Amerikan Revolution”.  There at the beginning, it was the confidence and will of the people, militia, who armed themselves to take on the world’s greatest power and in large measure succeeded.  The U.S. S.Ct. ruled in the mid-30s in U.S. v. Miller, that the individual citizen who equips himself his private arm is a requirement of the militia.  This is necessary for the peace and order of his community.
You must remember that a free society, one that is armed, is messy and will likely yield some domestic crisis; this goes along with the turf of the U.S.’s form of governance.  Simply perish the thought that one can legislate crime out of existence.  It has never happened. 
More to follow.

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By drbhelthi, January 29, 2011 at 9:54 am Link to this comment

The homicide statistics of DC improved swiftly, when
the CIA, MOSSAD and “fellow travelers” discontinued
assassinations within the DC “state lines.”

Of course, USGov & DC statisticians disregard the
several thousand murdered on eleven Sep. 2001. 
Although military weapons of mass destruction were
used, an entire “clan” was involved in the planning and
execution of the execution, although only a handful were kingpins.

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By BR549, January 22, 2011 at 11:01 am Link to this comment


Where do we establish what an assault weapon is? There are devices for connecting two and sometimes three ammo clips together. While these admittedly have to be rearranged at the end of each clip, they do make the process of fumbling for the next clip a much shorter one. Loughner may not have even been that proficient in his murderous endeavor, while
Titled: Cowboy Fastdraw Championships
What is it about the libtards that they become so viscerally threatened by the mere presence of a firearm? The camaraderie and friendship in this group is just what I have found in the NRA. The media has portrayed the NRA out to a band of angry paramilitary cutthroats, when this clip shows the other side of the picture. What is it exactly that these gun control advocates don’t understand about American history?
Title: 3 Year Old Learning to Shoot
While I do not condone teaching shooting to children anywhere near this young, the mother at least was bracing the gun by the foregrip. As is very typical with kids, they often learn that they don’t like that unpleasant recoil and choose not to “play” with these. Similarly, a hand saw can be dangerous and, after a child pricks his finger, he’s likely not going to want to “play” with it anymore. Storing guns away from childrens’ access, is, however, one law that definitely made sense. In my sons’ cases, I taught them each, early on, the difference between tools and toys, and I never had a problem with either of them accidentally diving into anything they shouldn’t have.
Title: Machine Gun Grandma
I love this one. Such a sweet Grandmother. Meanwhile, on the West Coast and all up along the Northeast Corridor of the US, Wisconsin and Illinois, the media has the TV hypnotized sheep cringing in abject fear for their own lives and thinking that the police are somehow going to magically be there for them when an intruder threatens them in their home.
Title: Why Switzerland Has The Lowest Crime Rate In The World
While I don’t believe the title is accurate, that doesn’t change the fact that the Swiss have been aware, since Thomas Jefferson’s time, of what they needed to do to deter an invasion. Listen to what the man says about his encounter with the holocaust survivor.

Such a divided issue. Some people believe that by taking the guns away, their world will become safer. The reality, however, is that the rest of the world hasn’t gotten that message and that even our own Congress is complicit. It isn’t about gun safety here at home so much as it concerns the need for weapons to be manufactured at all by any country. Once that problem is solved, and we are able to nurture other countries as we could our own population, under a sense of stewardship, THEN no one would need to have them. When that day comes, call me; I’ll gladly turn mine in.

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By JohannG, January 21, 2011 at 11:19 pm Link to this comment

Assault weapons should obviously be banned. Drugs
should obviously be legalized and thus controlled.
Americans pay a high price every year (highest gun-
related homicide rate of any industrial country,
highest incarceration rate of any industrialized
country, etc.) for the privilege of maintaining
irrational laws.

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By BR549, January 21, 2011 at 5:24 pm Link to this comment

jaguirrejja, January 21 at 8:14 pm
“BR549 you make me tired. You run at themouth like a faucet that never stops!”

Thank you. I guess I’m getting through even to a meathead like yourself. Why then, when the email from Truthdig notified you that a post had been made by me, did you even bother to respond, or are you just foaming at the mouth?

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By jaguirrejja, January 21, 2011 at 3:14 pm Link to this comment

Thank you to the person who wrote that guns are about money—the almighty dollar or whatever currency exists in the country that supplies them! Money, money, money—dinero, dinero,dinero—power,power, power!—poder, poder, poder! BR549 you make me tired. You run at themouth like a faucet that never stops!

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By BR549, January 21, 2011 at 1:21 pm Link to this comment

I think the point here was more that the US is not the only point of origin, and certainly not the only source for sale or transfer for foreign manufactured weapons, and that pointing the finger of blame on gun store owners, whether in Tennessee, Virginia, or Texas, does absolutely nothing to address the true nature of the problem.  In an attempt to prop up the Brady Bill people’s daft notions of correcting our social ills through gun control, they only fall further victim to the very people in the legislature who allow this to happen on the sly. Oliver North is the perfect example of what has gone wrong with this country. A consummate traitor could be found nowhere else.

The whole system is corrupt and if Jefferson or Madison saw what this has become, they would have used their 2nd Amendment right to shake their heads and then blow their own brains out in disgust. My guess is that, back then, most of those politicians who would have perpetrated crimes of the present day order would have, after a trial of course, been found dangling from a rope by the Capitol steps.

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By Inherit The Wind, January 21, 2011 at 12:47 pm Link to this comment

And Berettas are Italian.  Lots of people make guns and their mass-production was invented by Eli Whitney.

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By Fat Freddy, January 21, 2011 at 7:46 am Link to this comment


Also, Glocks are Austrian, and Uzis are Israeli.

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By Fat Freddy, January 21, 2011 at 7:29 am Link to this comment


You could do a lot more damage with a tank.
The pity is, you can’t conceal it.

Funny you should mention that. In 1946, the Galletta Brothers bought a surplus army tank to clear land to farm. That company they started is now “Atlantic Blueberry”, and it is the largest blueberry producer in the world, and still family owned. But, you know, weapons are only used for killing people.

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By Romantic Violence, January 21, 2011 at 1:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Has anyone though that maybe there is a grand design in all of this. Just a thought. I was thinking that maybe this has a multiplicitous and strategic importance to those that would benefit from:

1) eventually allow the Mexican ‘crisis’ along with illegal immigration, to balloon to such proportions that American citizens will demand that the ‘government’ do something; particularly with the unrelenting violence of the drug trade. You’ve already witnessed the effects of the drug trade upon legislation here in America during the 80’s and 90’s before the ‘War on Terror’; trading safety for security which translates into another prohibitive gun decree(s.)

2)secure Mexico via annexation; Mexico’s government is corrupt and is unable to manage its domestic affairs and thus it loses it claim as a sovereign nation however, Mexico is resource rich along with a population of millions of poor that could be used as potential slave labor. Corporations exploit rich countries.

3)With Mexico ‘annexed’, fulfill the old Confederate dream of advancing into Central and South America particularly Venezuela whose oil reserves are estimated to be in excess of those of Saudi Arabia.

Just something to think about.

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By BR549, January 21, 2011 at 12:03 am Link to this comment

And what of the HKs from Germany or the AK47s from China? These aren’t just American made weapons. Everyone seems to be diving into the pool, here.

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By chris234, January 20, 2011 at 10:28 pm Link to this comment

You have heard that 90 percent of the crime guns came from the U.S. Well it turns out that Mexican authorities confiscated 35,943 weapons including 2800 grenades and gave the ATF only 11,055 to be traced. So only a third of the weapons confiscated were handed over to the U.S. Of those the ATF said 94percent came from the U.S. The ATF did not respond to other questions about the traced weapons, such as how many were tracked to U.S. foreign military exports or U.S. direct commercial sales. The Mexicans kept the high value weapons for themselves. So where did the other guns come from and how many of those traced were sent down legally. Any way you look at it the 94 percent is way off. I can’t emphasis strongly enough that you can’t believe anything our politicians say.

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By chris234, January 20, 2011 at 9:57 pm Link to this comment

Legal U.S. Arms Exports May Be Source of Narco Syndicates Rising Firepower

Type this into your Google search and hopefully you will pull up and read the whole article from where I got my last blog.

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By BR549, January 20, 2011 at 8:50 pm Link to this comment

Jim Morehouse,

Yes, they already knew that legalizing drugs would ruin the drug trade, but then, that’s not why the Clintons and the Bushes were allowing the drug shipments to continue. It was about funding the CIA and its alphabet soup of dysfunctional relatives all along. But at least they all wore their American flag lapel pins for the camera.

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By chris234, January 20, 2011 at 8:47 pm Link to this comment

The deadliest of the weapons now in the hands of criminal groups in Mexico, particularly along the U.S. border, by any reasonable standard of an analysis of the facts, appear to be getting into that nation through perfectly legal private-sector arms exports, measured in the billions of dollars, and sanctioned by our own State Department. These deadly trade commodities — grenade launchers, explosives and “assault” weapons —are then, in quantities that can fill warehouses, being corruptly transferred to drug trafficking organizations via their reach into the Mexican military and law enforcement agencies, the evidence indicates.

“As in other criminal enterprises in Mexico, such as drug smuggling or kidnapping, it is not unusual to find police officers and military personnel involved in the illegal arms trade,” states an October 2007 report by the for-profit global intelligence group Stratfor, which Barron’s magazine once dubbed the Shadow CIA. “… Over the past few years, several Mexican government officials have been arrested on both sides of the border for participating in the arms trade.”

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By chris234, January 20, 2011 at 8:29 pm Link to this comment

According to information compiled by the Federation of American Scientists, Mexico acquired $1.3 billion worth of arms and equipment through U.S. direct commercial sales between 2002 and 2007.

Some $5.8 million worth of arms and equipment were from U.S. military surplus sales between 2002 and 2006. Arms sales include pistols, rifles and grenades.

Mexican drug cartels can obtain weapons in several ways. They include black-market purchases and deal-making with Mexican military sources.

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By Jim Morehouse, January 20, 2011 at 6:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Has it occurred to anyone that changing the drug laws,
in particular, marijuana laws such as was on the ballot
in California, that the profit from the sale of illegal
drugs would plummet?  When the money is gone, so is the
impetus for the crime and murders to control the drug
traffic. Profits from drugs, especially marijuana, are
so high because it’s illegal.  It’s a self perpetrating
business, both the drug trafficking and the so called
law enforcement agencies, the other “cartel” in the
mix.  It’s not about guns per se, it’s about money.

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By BR549, January 20, 2011 at 6:27 pm Link to this comment


Great job. It makes one wonder why it was so difficult for Amy to get off her butt
and do some actual investigative journalism. This is no time in our country for
anyone to think they can rest on their laurels.

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By BR549, January 20, 2011 at 6:25 pm Link to this comment


Great job. It makes one wonder why it was so difficult for Amy to get off her butt and do some actual investigative journalism. This is no time in our country for anyone to think they can rest on their laurels.

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By chris234, January 20, 2011 at 4:47 pm Link to this comment

MEXICO CITY, Mexico (CNN)—In the face of spiraling drug violence that has shaken the country, the Mexican army has taken a lead role in attempting to thwart the narcotraffickers. But its ability to do so has been hurt by a large number of desertions, government officials say.

At present, some 40,000 forces are deployed throughout the nation against the traffickers, according to the secretary of defense.

But during the past six years, some 150,000 soldiers have deserted, with their departures disproportionately affecting forces stationed in Guerrero, Sinaloa, Michoacan and Chihuahua—all considered fronts in the government’s fight against drug cartels.

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By chris234, January 20, 2011 at 4:04 pm Link to this comment

By Wayne LaPierre, Executive Vice President

BATFE Set Sights On Wrong Target

Wayne LaPierreThe Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) has gotten slim returns out of the $80 million or more spent on its Project Gunrunner—a mission largely based on the phony claim that armed violence committed by Mexican drug cartels on Mexican soil is fueled by guns obtained from federally licensed retailers in border states.

That’s the conclusion the American public should draw from two scathing reports conducted by the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG).

In its

In November 2010, OIG issued its full report, which condemned BATFE’s total lack of success in penetrating Mexico’s arms acquisition networks.

OIG found that “ATF has not focused its enforcement on complex conspiracy investigations with multiple defendants. ...” Virtually all of BATFE’s efforts involved “straw purchasers and corrupt dealers, not those who organize and command the trafficking operations.”

Further, the OIG report concluded “tracing of guns seized in Mexico [is] not producing usable investigative leads” and that Mexican law enforcement officials considered ATF tracing a bust.

The OIG missed the obvious question: What if U.S. gun stores are not a primary source of firearms for the 40-billion dollar (yearly U.S. profits alone) Mexican cartels? Note that the brutal violence in Mexico is committed by cartel paramilitaries—mostly renegade ex-military. And they are armed with machine guns, grenade launchers and RPGs—none of which are sold at U.S. retail stores.

In a remarkably detailed July 7, 2010 Bloomberg Markets magazine report on the involvement of U.S. banks in ongoing laundering of billions of U.S. dollars in Mexican cartel drug profits, the article described one small example of the breathtaking scale involved. On April 10, 2006, Mexican officials commandeered a DC-9 jetliner at an airport near Mexico City. “They found 128 black suitcases, packed with 5.7 tons of cocaine, valued at $100 million.”

Other sources chronicle individual cartels operating whole fleets of obsolete air cargo planes, moving thousands of tons of drugs in a complex global smuggling network. One cartel is reported to operate a fleet of 60 such airliners.

So, the obvious question never asked of BATFE’s mission on the border is this: What if the combined drug cartels—with yearly profits equaling one tenth of the Mexican gross national product—are meshed with another set of global criminal cartels with an equal profit center—ruthless black market arms traders?


Imagine the head of the Sonora cartel riding in his multi-million dollar, bomb-proof, armored HUMVEE, fresh from inspecting a DC-10 loaded with eight tons of cocaine. He turns to his drug smuggling logistics expert and says, “I want you to go to Bob’s Bait and Sporting Goods in Pima, Ariz., and obtain for me a TEC-9. I understand Bob is lax with his federal paperwork.”


Within days of the release of the OIG investigation, CBS’ “60 Minutes” reported on an international undercover operation by the Drug Enforcement Agency that resulted in the arrest and extradition of a former Soviet military officer deemed to be among the world’s major criminal figures.

In the indictment of Viktor Bout, federal prosecutors described a sting operation under which Bout was to provide mines, grenades, surface-to-air missiles and thousands of AK-47s to Colombian narco-terrorists. CBS sources described Bout as a merchant who provided murderous African civil wars with hundreds of thousands of fully automatic small arms, grenades and RPGs and who armed Islamic terror organizations and who was “courted by drug lords.

Wouldn’t you think that the Mexican cartels might just use a black market global air-fleet operation like this to arm themselves?

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By Chris, January 20, 2011 at 3:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: Damian

There was a story on channel 10 in San Diego about the guns our government was sending to the Mexican police and military. The reporter took us into where the confiscated guns were stored and showed us these weapons which you cannot buy at a gun store because they were military grade. The cartel gets grenades, rocket launchers and 50 caliber machine guns. I am offended because you accuse me of falsehoods because you just want to sit back and regurgitate the lies from the media. Anyway the reporter said that the previous year there were 16,,000 desertions. How dare you call me a liar when you have done no research on the subject. Yes there may be some smuggling of guns got at gun shops but it is minuscule compared to what goes down there. If anybody wants to research this issue just put the words into your search engine. There was an article in the American Rifleman written by Wayne LaPierre that tells where cartels get their weapons directly instead of from deserters. Of course Damian wouldn’t read it because the NRA is the enemy. The channel 10 expose was several years ago.

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By Peter Knopfler, January 20, 2011 at 2:47 pm Link to this comment

Sorry AMY I live in Mexico No guns for regular people
strict gun control and Here we have the highest murder
rate in the World, everyone is fearfull and no one can
protect themselves those who have no guns are always at
the mercy of those who have guns. Even My Daughter held
up at knife point middle of a busy shopping center lots
people no help. The same Day in Tucson, 51 dead 15
will end up it total fear like Mexico.

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By jr., January 20, 2011 at 2:26 pm Link to this comment

Yes, now there’s the answer, a ban assualt weapons; perhaps you’ll want to take away their forks and knives while you’re at it!?

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By BR549, January 20, 2011 at 1:04 pm Link to this comment

“Mexico’s problem isn’t gun control.  It’s massive endemic corruption.”

Bingo ...... just like here!

The decrease in gun related violence has been going on since roughly 2002, all over the country. Gun Control legislation can’t account for the decrease in states where legislation is more permissive.

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By Inherit The Wind, January 20, 2011 at 12:25 pm Link to this comment

Here are some rambling facts-
Washington DC has the strictest gun control in the nation, and it is probably one of the most violent places to live. More people have died there from gun
violence than in all of the last 30 years of the N. Ireland conflict.


I love bullshit “statistics” like this.

Here’s a more concentrated pair of facts:

In 1991, Washington, DC had its peak number of homicides with 479.

In 2010, Washington, DC saw its homicide rate decline to 131.

In other words, the murder rate has dropped STEADILY by 72.6% in 19 years.

So…how does one infer that gun control has failed?

BTW, in 1990, New York City, which, with the Sullivan Act, has had the strictest gun control laws for 50-75 years, had a murder rate of 2,245, but, adjusting for population, if it had DC’s 1991 rate, there would have been over 6000 murders—almost 3x as many as there were.

And, in 2009, NYC had FEWER homicides than DC had in 1991!  Yup, less than 470, NOT adjusted for population.

As for Mexico’s southern border: It’s porous quality is more a liability for Guatemala than for Mexico, as Mexican drug gangs have moved into Alto Verapaz, and are terrorizing the local Mayan population.

Mexico’s problem isn’t gun control.  It’s massive endemic corruption.

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By RG, January 20, 2011 at 10:21 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am interested in Chris’s comment about weapons in Mexico coming from deserting police. Can you point us to some sources on desertion rates or other stats that support this? It seems like there are a lot of guns in the hands of the narco-traficants. Has someone made some estimates?

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By tedmurphy41, January 20, 2011 at 5:50 am Link to this comment

You could do a lot more damage with a tank.
The pity is, you can’t conceal it.

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By BR549, January 20, 2011 at 1:32 am Link to this comment

Steve and Yrscrewed,

Unfortunately, as much as I liked this article about “11 year old Patricia
Harrington”, it appears to be false.

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By Frances FrainAguirre, January 20, 2011 at 12:03 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Guns are a diversion from the ELEPHANT in the room!
What do you think the ELEPHANT is?  Guns don’t kill people, mentally ill persons kill people unless,one is acting in self defense. How many mentally ill people are walking among us and we do nothing about them! People in the university knew, I expect that the young man’s parents knew, his friends knew something was wrong. How many of us know when there is something wrong with a person’s thinking and behavior. We, in this country, have done very little to solve this problem. What kind of education is there about mental illness? Mental illness needs to be treated the same, if not more readily, than physical illnesses. Oh well, we’d rather be diverted to talking about everything and everyone except the real problem. Mental illness in many cases is caused by an imbalance of chemicals in the brain. When will we rise above the stigma of mental illness and do something about it. Nothing will be done. We will only talk around the ELEPHANT in the room ad infinitum and ad nauseum! By the way, greed plays a big part in the drug war—be it by the cartels, our military, our pharmacy corporations, our financial industry, etc.

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By yrscrewed, January 19, 2011 at 11:02 pm Link to this comment

Hey Steve R, when did this happen?

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By Bethany, January 19, 2011 at 10:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


These discussions and subsequent realization of my own hypocrisy have inspired me.  So:

I’d love any thoughts/suggestions/rants.


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By Beltwaylaid, January 19, 2011 at 10:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Wow!  We now know how to destroy the United States of America.  Just ban extended magazines.  The exponential asininity of the NRA brainwashed water haulers is only exceeded by the overpowering nauseous stench of the ever refreshed blood in the streets from a country held hostage by percussive madness.

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By BR549, January 19, 2011 at 8:53 pm Link to this comment

Fat Freddy,

Nice post. There are those who would say we are all to blame for allowing our politicians to get away with the abuses they’ve perpetrated upon the citizens of this country, and I suppose that is true. But as you you say, Loughner pulled the trigger. As for the rest of us, I believe we placed our trust in a body of individuals whom flat out could not be trusted. It was for that reason that the Declaration spoke of tyranny and despotism and why Jefferson felt so strongly about nullification.

Our culture has been tossed in this technological rat race that is quickly proving to have outpaced our culture’s collective evolutionary capability to deal with it. The result has been higher and higher numbers of people who no longer trust this runaway train and their acting out is what we saw with Loughner. Instead of addressing the real issues, however, one administration after another continues to cover up its ineptitude by shooting one messenger after another. If these people can’t do the job they campaigned for, let someone else do it. The problem is that they CAN’T do it and don’t want anyone else in there who would show that the population had been getting fleeced while they were in office. The legislature in particular, has had access to social planning models for decades through experts from around the world, and yet it has always chosen to pad its nest first and let the dust settle for everyone else. These are men without a soul.

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By Fat Freddy, January 19, 2011 at 7:22 pm Link to this comment

I wonder how many people there are, that own Glock 19s with 33 round magazines, that don’t commit mass murder. My double barrel 12 ga, with 00 buckshot is usually good enough to stop your average, run-of-the-mill home invasion, but it’s not very practical to bring out and use against a car jacking. The Glock 19 is one of the best handguns on the market. If I’m not mistaken, it’s the weapon of choice for law enforcement. The 33 round clip, however, is a bit impractical, but, if there’s ever a rise in civil disobedience, with widespread riots and looting, I think I’d prefer to have that 33 round clip. You may feel safer if there was a ban on semi-automatic weapons, but being able to own these guns, makes me feel safer. There are many women who were the victims of violent, and sexual crimes, who now carry handguns. That’s because there’s never a cop around when you need one. That’s not just a cliche, it’s the truth. Cops do not prevent crime. They can’t. Cops investigate crimes after they happen. The police are not here to “protect” you. If you believe that, then why is there so much crime, in the first place?

The funny thing is, just because you ban something, doesn’t mean it’s going to disappear. They banned alcohol. Did that disappear? The banned drugs, and even declared a “war” on drugs. Did they disappear? Not even close. How many things have been banned? And you know what? I bet if they lifted the ban on drugs, there would be a lot less violent crime in Juarez.

It seems everybody, and their Mother, is trying to blame “something” for what happened in Tucson. I’ll bet dollars to donuts that the people who are trying the hardest, are his lawyers. People on the right are trying to blame marijuana, and people on the left are trying to blame “assault weapons” and political rhetoric. All these people are doing is making excuses. If you want to blame someone or something, blame the individual. It was Loughner’s decision to commit mass murder.,WTV

And let me ask a question. Loughner didn’t work. How was he able to afford a $500 handgun? When you answer that question, you’ll have two more people to “blame”.

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By Rodney, January 19, 2011 at 7:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Gun control or sensible gun laws, the Republicans
want more guns. They would allow blind citizens to
own guns to protect themselves also. We die by the
sword because everyday we live by it. Let’s use their
theory and give everyone a gun. If bank tellers had
guns there would be no bank robberies but a few
customers may get shot. If everyone on a plane had a
gun we wouldn’t have any hijackings but the plane
would go down anyway when the fuel tank get shot up.
How about arming all of the teachers, probably a few
children dead but maybe we’ll get the student who
brought the gun to class. The truth of the matter is
that we are a nation of cowboys and guns are as
American as baseball hot dogs and apple pie. We would
have another civil was before the cowboys even limit
of control any type of weapon or magazine. We don’t
hunt for food we hunt for people. We sell more guns
and more weapons to more nations that all of the
other countries combined. We believe in democracy at
the barrel of a gun. We even get killed by the same
guns we sell to other nations. With Presidents and
political figures shot and 25000 gun murders a year
we still want more guns, more magazines no
restrictions. Racism and fear fuels the desire for
guns. The cowboys fear of minorities that they have
historically abused be it Native Americans, African
Americans or Latino’s is why we will never give up
our guns. So don’t be shocked by the next mass
shooting,don’t be appalled by the next assassination.
The cowboys would have it no other way.

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By Artful Dodger, January 19, 2011 at 5:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Open Letter to Democracy Now!

Dear Democracy Now!:

Could Democracy Now! please cover House Bill 67, To extend expiring provisions of the USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005 and Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 until February 29, 2012? I have not heard Olberman, Maddow, or Schultz talk about the coming House vote on extending provisions of the Patriot Act. Shouldn’t we at least have some debate about it in the media? The vote will probably be at the end of February, and yet not a mention of the coming vote is made on the progressive/liberal web sites of Counterpunch, the Nation, or Mother Jones. No one has interviewed Rep. Mike Rogers, the Republican from Michigan, who is the lone sponsor of HR 67. Please cover this.


I know this is slightly off topic,but I cannot find an opening the media to broach this. Please publish.
Please copy and circulate my open letter, and please call your Congressperson. There has been an amazing black out on the issue. Let’s peacefully dismantle the police state.

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By Damian, January 19, 2011 at 5:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

@Chris What are you talking about? the guns are smuggled by criminals directly from the USA into the border towns of Mexico. The desertion rate is astronomical? please, don’t talk if you don’t know the situation

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By SoTexGuy, January 19, 2011 at 5:01 pm Link to this comment

The fact that arguments against any reasonable limits to personal ownership and use of firearms are emotional, not rational, is made obvious in this thread.

For those who seek to arm themselves against our own government, I somewhat sympathize! yet when ZE or whatever incarnation of Blackwater or any such mercenary arm of the security state comes for you and your guns.. they will be up-armored and armed to the extent that you may as well be using a blunderbuss! That’s assuming you aren’t just taken out by a drone while you’re enjoying your morning constitutional..

How’s that for fringe philosophy?


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By Tom Stelene, January 19, 2011 at 4:22 pm Link to this comment

There is a purpose for civilians to own a 30-rd. pistol mag - fun! So keep your hands off please and mind your business. (No, I don’t have one, but I probably would if my Glock was 9mm and not a .45.)

And what is ‘reasonable weaponry’? All guns are equally potentially deadly and should be handled the same. There’s no degree of lethality.

A firearm’s action type or magazine capacity does not make it a death ray or “personal weapon of mass destruction.” If Jerkner’s 33-capacity mag is such a destructive evil implement, how did a woman survive to get close enough to hit him? Doesn’t she know that she is supposed to be dead in the presence of it?

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By Chris, January 19, 2011 at 4:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have had great respect for Amy Goodman but I find it distressing that she continues to misrepresent the guns going to Mexico. Most of these guns coming from the U.S. are sent there by our government to the Mexican military and police where the desertion rate is astronomical and the deserters take their weapons with them. I have sent in numerous E-mails to the effect but Goodman continues to pass on the misinformation about our lax gun laws and the need to reinstate the assault weapons ban.

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By Ed, January 19, 2011 at 4:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Just as speech is protected, so is the right to bear arms.

Is ALL speech protected?
Well, no. But, most is.

Should citizens have the right to own ALL forms of weapons?
Well, no. You can’t own certain military weapons, bombs, etc.

Does the government, by the people and for the people have a responsibility to protect society?

If the public thinks these extended magazines or assault weapons themselves are a public hazard in the hands of normal citizens, then they should be banned.

Its a worthy debate as to where the line on weapons ownership extends.

Should I be able to own bombs to defend my property?

Society needs to decide what a rational use of force a citizen can have and still maintain their constitutional right to bear arms.

My opinion is that extended magazines and assault rifles are more firepower than necessary to satisfy the right to bear arms and protect yourself.

For those of you who disagree, where should the line be drawn and why not offer up an argument as to why these things are ESSENTIAL to personal protection?

remember, you can’t yell fire in a crowded theater.
why? to protect society.

shouldn’t we be talking about the same kind of rational restrictions to the 2nd amendment?

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By SoTexGuy, January 19, 2011 at 3:44 pm Link to this comment

This is awkward for me because I own firearms and am not for any ban on personal ownership of reasonable weaponry..

But in response to a recent comment here’s the deal.. what IS the purpose of an over-sized 30+ round magazine except to kill or maim many people? Answer.. there is no other purpose. That’s what they are designed and marketed for and.. that’s why that young man had them.

An elderly woman intervened and most probably ended the carnage in Tucson when that nutcase tried to re-load.. If he had been forced to reload when his first 10 or 15 round magazine was expended would that little girl be still alive? or others spared? Answer.. YES!

Look, guns don’t kill people.. right! But demented people without ultra-high-capacity weapons designed for the purpose of killing and wounding crowds of people won’t and can’t kill and wound so many innocent people.

That’s the way I see it.

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By paullake, January 19, 2011 at 3:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The sad fact is that our culture is one of the most violent on the planet. We have
more guns per capita, more citizens in prison, more deaths on the streets and
make more profit from the manufacture and sale of weaponry than any other
country on earth.It is an industry that has become one of the pillars of our
economic strategy. You get what you do in this world. When your heart is
controlled by fear and your mind limited by self interest,you get death in the
streets. Congress will never challenge the corporate gun lobby or the senseless
fears of our citizenry. It is a tyranny of cowardice that prevails.

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By Tom Stelene, January 19, 2011 at 3:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The 33-round magazine (or ‘bullet clip’ in anti-gun ignoramus speak) is originally for the Glock 18 machine pistol which has been around for 25 years! Now there is a mass shooting with one of these mags and suddenly it needs to be banned?! Please! Would you feel better if Loughner used 3 Clinton-ban 10-round mags instead to shoot those people?

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By SoTexGuy, January 19, 2011 at 2:59 pm Link to this comment

Amy Goodman is doing a better job at informing us here in the USA about gun violence at home and in neighboring Mexico than most anybody.

She still falls short.

Juarez is always in the news! Also Tijuana as well as a few other popular or known Mexico destinations. Here in south Texas, adjacent to the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, a mostly unpublicized war is ongoing.

There are daily encounters between our own border guards and smugglers. Hundreds of kilos of narcotics are interdicted weekly.. counting the pot, sometimes thousands! Heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine.. more?

Recently in a border city near me the Mexican authorities got in to a gun battle and confiscated a truck stacked to the top with new, in the box, AK47s plus hundreds of high capacity magazines and many thousands of live rounds for these weapons. This is just one incident of many. If these weapons did not come from America, then from where?

In San Fernando just south of here, where more than three score migrants were discovered executed in a farm building.. a recent seizure included .50 caliber semi-automatic Barret rifles and high-energy! This isn’t drug violence.. it’s an insurgency! Small business owners are being coerced to fund it.. and officials are in the sights as well.. ‘plata O plomo’ it is called.. For the unenlightened that means do what we say and take the money or get the lead..

Are weapons legally purchased in Texas going across and arming these thugs and gangs? Oh no! according to the ignorant nay-sayers! As a gun owner and enthusiast I’ll tell you this for sure from my own personal experience.. Firearms get less expensive the further one is from the Mexico border. Want to pay MSRP plus for a weapon?!.. shop Brownsville or Pharr, Eagle Pass and Del Rio.. According to a friend the Virginias are where to go for the best deals..

Anyway, why is this so? According to common sense and most everyone I know it’s because here in south Texas gun buyers are in competition with the Mexico cartels!

Anybody who looks in to these facts and won’t admit it’s true is in deep denial.


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By tropicgirl, January 19, 2011 at 2:01 pm Link to this comment

Amy. Amy.  Amy. You are embarrassing yourself. Just go away.

People are no longer thinking about protecting themselves against criminals,
(although due to police budget cuts, that is a huge consideration, not to be a
sitting duck). But we are now thinking the most horrible thoughts, of rogue police
and rogue secret police, who would stage events, shoot down airplanes, blow up
buildings, plant devices, and send crazy shooters, against us, our politicians, our
muses, and our presidents, and blame others.

All the things the media gatekeepers, such as yourselves, should at least be
warning us about, instead of asking us to disarm.

I think you have political alzheimers.

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By BR549, January 19, 2011 at 1:00 pm Link to this comment

I used to admire your enthusiasm when you went after the injustices of the Bush Administration, but now, with the injustices of the this administration, you’ve abandoned your cause and your moral compass. Not that you would have have noticed, but, sadly, I gave up on you a year and a half ago.

The Glock 19 is no more an assault weapon anymore than a kitchen knife or an automobile. Its 9mm format is one of the most common ones on the market. Less lethal than a 45, many people buy 45s solely because they don’t want the other party to recover. Now all of a sudden, 9mms will be the Lame Stream Media’s weapon du jour, solely because of the blithering ignorance of the media and their ever persistent need to find something else the scare the public with. The Glock 19 holds 15 rounds and is just as dangerous in the hands of overzealous law enforcement and psychotic military misfits as it is in the hands of fruit-loops like Loughner. These people feed on fear and it doesn’t make any difference which tools they use to generate it. Their sociopathic behavior, whether by Loughneresque fruit loops or overzealous law enforcement, is still a miner’s canary for a culture with problems we refuse to address. Too many bleeding heart liberals watch the news and personally visceralize, to their horror, what they’ve seen on the tube and immediately think that taking guns away is somehow going to be the answer. It’s easy, and for a while, they can say, “I feel so much safer now,” but that myopia never addresses the root of the real problems that are to blame.

In 2005 for example (pick any year, really) there were 7,575 “handgun” deaths (of the 10,100 firearm death total in the US. At the same time, we had 43,443 automobile deaths. If we tried to get away from using automobiles and go back to a more agrarian culture, I’ll bet all those yuppie liberals in their Volvos would be crying bloody murder, but to the rest of the sane members of what’s left of this decaying culture, we see the problem for what it really is; a near total collapse of our moral code and personal integrity, among the population as well as, and in particular, the legislature. Our problem, after all is corruption.

Rather than do the difficult homework and address the erosion of our social fabric and the part our elected officials play in that accelerated erosion, the bleeding hearts fall right into the very hands that are seeking to deny the population of the means to preserve the ENTIRE Constitution, not just the Second Amendment. The death rate from pharmaceuticals is 7.5x higher than the homicide rate and yet people lose patience in dealing with BigPharma and take out their frustration on guns; as if that will even address the problems at all. The death rates from cardiac diseases and diabetes are far higher than gun deaths and yet, since you can’t conveniently put your finger on that problem, you address what you perceive to be the easy way out.

The media (this stupid article included) continually fans the fires of fear and mortality among the sheep in the population and it is this social irresponsibility that has given ‘handguns’ their bad press. It is the person who pulls the trigger who is guilty. Outside of that, a firearm is merely a tool. If the media ditched its hype on handguns and instead chose to target Drano, you can bet that, overnight, half the population would be clearing the shelves of it while the other half would stop using table salt in restaurants out of fear, and Loughner wouldn’t have given the Glock a second thought because it was the fear that he was after. At what point are we going to intelligently address the erosion of our mutual connectedness, the one that our corrupt Congress has allowed, if not intentionally accelerated, its demise?

Shame on you, Amy.

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By Romantic Violence, January 19, 2011 at 11:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“the guns themselves—semiautomatic weapons—are the personal weapons of mass destruction that are designed not to hunt animals, but to kill people. These guns need to be controlled.” I remember Billy Bob Clinton made that same assertion during his presidency; while duck hunting himself. The 2nd Amendment was not and is not about hunting animals-period. What part of ‘shall not be infringed’ don’t you understand?

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By yrscrewed, January 19, 2011 at 11:38 am Link to this comment

When guns “PREVENT” acts of violence, is it reported by the left wing media paparazzi? Nooooooooooo It’s not worth reporting.
The other day a maniac came barreling down I-95 and killed 4 people.  His motorcycle exploded in the back of two innocent people, did you hear the one? Noooooooooooooooo
The citizen’s of any country should have the right to protect oneself, defend oneself, unless you live in a country where there is not crime. 
Do you really know how many ‘innocent’ Americans are murdered by the police in this country? Noooooooooooo

Now if you really want freedom move to China, Cuba, Haiti, Iran or many more repressive regimes that murder. 

By the way our own Country is murdering people as we speak in Afghanistan and Iraq. Are those wars legal? Noooooooooooooo Millions died. Where is the left wing media paparazzi?

No guns are a necessary evil to protect from the evils of crime by the government and criminal.  Although they are one and the same.

The second amendment was put there to protect us from government.  The real criminal are in the government killing with the military industrial complex and the pharmaceutical industrial complex or the Hospital Industrial Complex, etc.

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By Tom Stelene, January 19, 2011 at 11:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am a gun-owner and hunter and this piece is really bad, especially this: “The ban on these bullet clips is a start. But ultimately, the guns themselves—semiautomatic weapons—are the personal weapons of mass destruction that are designed not to hunt animals, but to kill people. These guns need to be controlled. By controlling them, we will reduce violence not only in the United States, but across the border in Mexico as well.”

That quote shows Goodman’s “firearm illiteracy.” That passage is both false and ridiculous. There is no such thing as a “bullet clip.” Second, semi-automatic HUNTING rifles have been around for 100 years. Calling them personal WMD’s is hysterical, rhetorical nonsense. Lastly, gun control never reduces crime but increases it. Do the research, please - before opining.

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By Steve R, January 19, 2011 at 10:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


Ban the guns and PEOPLE will find other ways to kill PEOPLE!

Here’s the best example I have come across for “gun control”:

Two illegal aliens, Ralphel Resindez, 23, and Enrico Garza, 26, probably believed they would easily overpower home-alone 11-year-old Patricia Harrington after her father had left their two-story home. 

It seems the two crooks never learned two things: they were in Montana, and Patricia had been a clay-shooting champion since she was nine.

Patricia was in her upstairs room when the two men broke through the front door of the house. She quickly ran to her father’s room and grabbed his 12-gauge Mossberg 500 shotgun.

Resindez was the first to get up to the second floor only to be the first to catch a near point blank blast of buckshot from the 11-year-old’s
knee-crouch aim. He suffered fatal wounds to his abdomen and genitals.  When Garza ran to the foot of the stairs, he took a blast to the left shoulder and staggered out into the street where he bled to death before medical help could arrive.

It was found out later that Resindez was armed with a stolen 45-caliber handgun he took from another home invasion robbery. That victim, 50-year-old David 0’Burien, was not so lucky. He died from stab wounds to the chest.

Ever wonder why good stuff never makes NBC, CBS, PBS, MSNBC, CNN, or ABC news?

An 11 year old girl, properly trained, defended her home, and herself, against two murderous, illegal immigrants, and she wins,  She is still alive. Now THAT is Gun Control!

Tell us Amy Goodman and Carolyn McCarthy - if this was YOUR daughter, and let’s say an HIV/AIDS positive rapist was breaking in, and the nearest cops are 5 minutes away, what would be the best protection for YOUR daughter?

A condom I guess huh?

I often wonder why you bleeding hearts don’t want to ban CARS as well? They kill far more people every year than guns do.

Could it be that you realize that CARS don’t kill people - PEOPLE DRIVING CARS KILL PEOPLE!

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By Bruce, January 19, 2011 at 10:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

REALLY?!?!?!  Do we REALLY want to model ourselves after Mexico??  Mexico has stricter gun laws than the United States, yet, as this article pointed out, has a pretty high murder rate.  In fact, Mexico’s murder rate per capita is at least twice ours in the United States!  Banning these types of weapon in the U.S., will just create a black market somewhere else, and, let’s be honest, when has prohibition REALLY worked anywhere??  As the saying goes, if you make guns illegal, only criminals will have guns!

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By louiss123, January 19, 2011 at 9:01 am Link to this comment

oops..always check your spelling’

ah yes..more coercion..that thing the left and the right have in common. Here
are some rambling facts-
Washington DC has the strictest gun control in the nation, and it is probably
one of the most violent places to live. More people have died there from gun
violence than in all of the last 30 years of the N. Ireland conflict.
We have a War on Drugs that we spend billions on..and we cant even keep
‘drugs’ out of prison! a war on guns? Like we have the manpower or
resources to accomplish that.
Deaths by modern medicine(Iotragenic)is the 3rd..some say the #1 killer in this
country. If any other industry killed this many people(say the airlines)we would
come unglued, screaming for change. We are screaming for more, and even
free, health care!
I’m sure Amy means well, but she does what all on the left do..demand our
Nanny state to force even more laws in our face. As some previous folks said,
we need to look within and have adult dialogues about a whole host of issues.
EVEN if it is uncomfortable to do so. Again..the people on the left who want
gun control, and the people on the right who dont..ask,,really look,,what to you
have in common?

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By louiss123, January 19, 2011 at 8:59 am Link to this comment

ah yes..more coercion..that thing the left and the right have in common. Here
are some rambling facts-
Washington DC has the strictest gun control in the nation, and it is probably
one of the most violent places to live. More people have died there from gun
violence than in all of the last 30 years of the N. Ireland conflict.
We have a War on Drugs that we spend billions on..and we cant even keep guns
out of prison! a war on guns? Like we have the manpower or
resources to accomplish that.
Deaths by modern medicine(Iotragenic)is the 3rd..some say the #1 killer in this
country. If any other industry killed this many people(say the airlines)we would
come unglued, screaming for change. We are screaming for more, and even
free, health care!
I’m sure Amy means well, but she does what all on the left do..demand our
Nanny state to force even more laws in our face. As some previous folks said,
we need to look within and have adult dialogues about a whole host of issues.
EVEN if it is uncomfortable to do so. Again..the people on the left who want
gun control, and the people on the right who dont..ask,,really look,,what to you
have in common?

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By prisnersdilema, January 19, 2011 at 1:35 am Link to this comment

What happened in Arizona, was a tragedy, as was what happened on the Long Island Railroad.

However, doing something realistic about gun control, is unlikely, for the same reasons, that nothing realistic will be done about any of this country’s problems.

The lobbyists, will kill it, with disinformation, and bribery - called campaign contributions, and all the political manipulations that they have available to them.

At best what we will get is cosmetic change, enough to fool the ignorant back home, that congress has done something, and then the world will go on as usual.

For the sake of argument, I will point out, that in the inner city in this country, Los Angeles, Chicago, and many others, for the last several decades, weekend death tolls from small arms fire, have been heading toward the hundreds for all cities combined. Often including small children and infants.

Yet it seems impossible, for anything to happen about that.

Maybe it’s because, the poor are expendable, and don’t have a lobbyist who can call attention to their plight.

The same things can be said about Mexico, its the drug hunger of the Gringo’s, that is feeding the fire.

30,000 dead there so far.

Yet, with a realistic drug policy, it could be over over night.

No one bothers to ask, what’s wrong with this country, why do we have so many drug addicts, addicted to street drugs, and prescription medications? Why do we have so many sick people here?

A realistic drug policy is not going to happen, because of the people who are getting rich from it. Once again, poor people are expendable.

My fear is that someday,there is going to be a gun battle somewhere in this country, between armed citizens. It will produce a high body count unlike anything we have seen before.

I’m sure it’s every policman’s nightmare, trying to sort out, the innnoscent dead from the guilty dead. It will be a direct result of how sick this country has become.

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By Stev, January 19, 2011 at 12:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“According to law enforcement officials, 90 percent of the guns picked up in Mexico from criminal activity are purchased in the United States.”

No, sorry.  90% of TRACEABLE guns were found to be from the US.  Most guns are not traceable.  Realistically, US guns would be lucky to supply 10% of the weapons used in the violence caused by drug prohibition.

If you want to act like a journalist, please get your facts correct.

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By Frank, January 19, 2011 at 12:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A lot of this information is pretty skewed /inaccurate. That 90% figure is what weapons are sent to the ATF to that could be successfully traced.

“In 2007-2008, according to ATF Special Agent William Newell, Mexico submitted 11,000 guns to the ATF for tracing. Close to 6,000 were successfully traced—and of those, 90 percent—5,114 to be exact, according to testimony in Congress by William Hoover—were found to have come from the U.S.

But in those same two years, according to the Mexican government, 29,000 guns were recovered at crime scenes.”

Mexico’s problems lie within their own borders, corrupt police officials, high desertion in their military (150,000 in a 6 yeah period), and their own ability to not secure their southern border (they have a 500 mile southern border and only have about 150 agents to watch it, compared to the US/Mexico border which have tens of thousands of border patrol agents to work it), not guns coming through their US border. Not to mention what’s coming across the US border is likely handguns and semi-automatic rifles, while what’s coming through their southern border is likely fully automatic weapons from one of the low intensity conflicts in South and Central America, or from police and military stores.

Then there’s the vastly unscientific notion that lower capacity magazines would actually have changed the outcome, given you’ve had much deadly shooting sprees happen in situations where low capacity magazines [(I refuse to call a 10 round magazine a normal capacity one when a modern 9mm handgun will have a 15-17 round normal capacity magazine) Virginia Tech, over 30 killed] or where extremely draconian gun laws were in effect (Cumbria in the UK, done with a .22 caliber rifle, 12 dead + the gunman). Quite frankly, you don’t know what was going through the Tuscon shooter’s mind and what would have been different if he was limited to 10 round magazines (I actually heard that one of the reasons he fumbled to reload his gun was because of the aftermarket extended magazine jamming, which several brands of inexpensive aftermarket magazines are known to do, but I haven’t found a source for that).

I’d like to see some kind of response from the author to this post, but I doubt I’ll get a satisfactory one.

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