Saturday, December 22, 2012

Gun Kook Wayne La Pierre's "Solution" = A Moronic JOKE!

Even while Caleb Medley, victim of the July Aurora mass shooting is recovering from his head wounds - and facing massive medical costs - the Newtown, CT massacre erupted with 20 first graders mowed down and 6 adults who taught at the school.

Within a week of that we beheld the spectacle of NRA honcho Wayne LaPierre (yesterday) proposing his own solutions to massacres like Newtown: "Bring in more guns!" as in "Let's have 'good guys' with guns instead of 'bad guys'"! Or at least many more. He wants "armed cops" at every single school in the nation, which number about 100,000 according to a Denver Post Editorial today which also tosses the NRA solution into the dumpster. Is he serious? According to cost estimates cited last night on ABC, a minimum of $6.7 billion would be needed to effect such a plan. Where the HELL is the money going to come from when a penny-pinching GOP House won't even fully fund the recovery of the Sandy storm victims and this same House has: a) defunded state programs across the nation, causing police numbers to be whittled down, and b) defunded Embassy budgets - including security, which led directly to the Benghazi episode, though they want to now blame the State Dept. Don't buy it!

Next, even if a cop could be posted at all 100,000 schools in the nation, that wouldn't make a dime's worth of difference! Everyone except those of us here in Colo. seems to forget that Columbine High in Littleton, CO had a number of armed police on the day that Eric Harris and Dylan Kliebold opened up on students and teachers. All Harris and Kliebold did is stake out the police comings and goings by time before they made their move, including moving explosives into the school. Any other would-be shooters with half a brain would do the same ....ANYWHERE!  Besides, for a 1-2 acre typical H.S. campus and all the buildings you'd need (practically) something like 20 cops per school not just one! And they'd have to be on moving patrol ALL the time.   That would launch the cost into the stratosphere, at over $135 billion a year!

Oh, Wayne assures us if the police solution is too much, maybe the schools could have "volunteers". Oh, you mean like maybe having 100,000 George Zimmermans - the guy that took out Trayvon Martin in Sanford, FL? I don't think so, Wayne!

Wayne then goes on to blame the "violent video games" and that mentally unstable people who watch them will be affected and besides they contribute to a culture of violence. He named several, including 'Grand Theft Auto'. I do agree these games are violent and hence may trigger aggressive impulses, but the fact that millions of people play them and aren't affected shows that Wayne's solution of banning or regulating them is as whacky as his cop solution.  Besides, if you're going to do that, then the next thing is getting rid of all the violent TV movies. Have you seen some of them, including one that features a kid donning a SWAT helmet, uniform and kevlar vest while sporting ten automatic weapons (and multiple clip magazines)  who shoots up a town killing about 60 people?

Lastly, Wayne advocates for launching a "national database for the mentally ill". While this sounds reasonable at first blush, actual statistics for all past mass shooters disclose it wouldn't work. While the Virginia Tech shooter Seung -Hui Cho, and  Aurora shooter James Eagan Holmes might have been picked up, neither Eric Harris, Dylan Kliebold, or most of the others would have. The reason is that most of the killers were visibly normal kids or adults who didn't configure to any Diagnostic and Statistical Manual criteria. It was only immediately near the time of the killings that they suddenly experienced a stress melt down precipitating their actions. Only by the most persistent observation would any anomalies have been detected, as Dylan Kliebold's mother noted after Columbine. The only way to detect these guys then, would have been via suddenly out of character actions as disclosed by a constant monitoring database - say as used by the National Counter-Terrorism Center (see below) or the private monitor "Life Linear".

The true source of the problem, however, isn't violent video games or TV videos, but rather the proliferation of powerful automatic and semi-automatic weapons along with muliple clip magazines. This morning on MSNBC a tally was done of recent mass shootings. The data showed 68 mass shooters used semi-automatic weapons, 35 used automatic weapons. The remaining 26 used revolvers or ordinary single shot rifles. Thus, the need to control the automatic and semi-automatic weapons is clear, if we truly wish to see an end to these massacres.

Someone asked me yesterday if I believed it would all finally stop, and our legislators would act if someone went into a nursery and killed all the infants there, like Lanza did the 1st graders at Sandy Hook. I said I didn't believe so, because the gun culture is so entrenched in this country and has become so irrational that the abnormal has been adopted as the new normal. Every clown, jackass and Johnny Reb Obama-hater now believes that he has a right to own as many Bushmaster .223s or other AR-15s as he wants, as well as the mega-clip magazines to go with them. These whackos will cite "Second amendment" rights despite the fact the Second days NOTHING about owning such weapons. As well, the Second historically has been in the context of being a member of a state MILITIA,  not individual ownership, but judicial mutation has widely expanded the original meaning.

In a worthwhile book entitled 'Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right To Bear Arms in America', a professor of constitutional law at UCLA - Adam Winkler- has masterfully documented how guns were regulated from the earliest days of our Republic. As an example: laws that banned the carrying of concealed weapons were passed in Kentucky and Louisiana in 1813, in Indiana in 1820 and in Tennessee and Virginia in 1838. Similar laws were later also passed in Texas, Florida and Oklahoma. The then governor of Texas in 1893 was heard to proclaim:

The mission of the concealed weapon is murder. To check it is the duty of every self-respecting, law abiding man".

WOW! How times have changed! Now, thanks to NRA pressure on spineless lawmakers, concealed weapons can be carried into National Parks and Colorado allows them to be carried into university classrooms! Anyone know how to spell T-R-O-U-B-L-E?

Meanwhile, Winkler showed that congress passed the first set of laws regulating, licensing and taxing guns in 1934. Though the law was challenged and wound up in the Supreme Court, in 1939, the crazies lost. FDR's Solicitor General framed the argument correctly to the Court:

"The Second Amendment grants people a right that is not one which may be utilized for private purposes but only exists where the arms are borne in a militia or some other military organization provided by law and intended for protection of the State."

The SC decision was unanimous. The decision remains settled law. While this sane and sober take prevailed for several more decades, it started to unravel by the 1970s as various Right wing (wouldn't you know?) groups coalesced to challenge gun control based on spurious "private gun ownership" interpretations, and successively overturned laws in state legislatures - much like the abortion opponents are now doing (as in Virginia, where its AG Cuchinelli 'read the riot act' to state health clinic adminsitrators ordering them to cooperate with a new state edict to limit safe abortions, "or else"). But we need to know this is how these vipers succeed.

Undissuaded by the gun crazies' arguments, especially that the 2nd amendment granted every man the right to keep and bear arms on his own, Chief Justice Warren Burger responded that this interpretation was "one of the greatest pieces of fraud on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime."

Well, it's good Justice Burger didn't live so long as to see the arrival of automatic weapons and the claim that the 2nd amendment provided for the ownership of those too!

So WHAT can be done that can stop this nonsense in the shortest time? I believe the only clear solution, also incidentally the boldest, is an Executive Order! No, this Executive Order would emphatically not take away anyone's guns or rifles - even automatic or semi-automatic. The Executive Order would instead mandate simply that  "No multiple clip magazines are allowed for anyone who is not serving in a combat area in the active military".

The Exec. Order would apply to ALL gun -ammo sellers, including online. It would be enforced by the full strength and power of the Security government arm we already know exists.

The most likely one would be the National Counter-Terror Center (cf. 'U.S. Terror Agency to Tap Citizen Files', The Wall Street Journal, Dec. 13, p. A1). As the article notes:

“The rules  now allow the little known National Counter-Terrorism Center to examine the Government files of all U.S. citizens for possible criminal behavior, even if there is no reason to suspect them…….The NCTC can copy entire government databases – flight records, casino employee lists, names of Americans hosting foreign exchange students and many others. The agency has new authority to keep data about innocent U.S. citizens for up to five years, and to analyze suspicions patterns of  behavior”

Of course, such “suspicious patterns of behavior” would include – in the wake of an executive order such as I noted – anyone trying to sell or purchase multiple clip magazines for weapons! Then – if detected – as this agency would surely do- the full hammer would be brought down on the violators.

Some may question whether an Executive Order can go this far. I say it can, and I can even cite an historical example:   Executive Order 11,110,  issued on June 4, 1963 by John Fitzgerald Kennedy, to issue U.S. Notes outside the Federal Reserve (see e.g.  JFK at the time believed the Fed went too far and the actual money-creation powers rested with the Treasury not an outside private concern. He knew he couldn't issue an order to "repeal" the Fed or limit its money creation powers directly, so he did it in an incremental fashion by releasing $4.2 billion of such notes, about equal to $30 billion in today's dollars.

This would be analogous say, for Obama issuing an executive order limiting access to multiple clip magazines. Let's get straight on this that Lanza was using clips with 30 rounds in each! It was because of these multiple -loaded clips he was able to pump up to 11 high velocity bullets into each child so they didn't stand a chance. Removing the high capacity clips, therefore is the solution, but I do admit (as in the case of JFK with his release of U.S. notes outside the Fed) it would require titanium balls.  The President would have to have them to not only go up against the NRA minions, but all the freakazoids, mainly in the South, who are convinced their automatics and mega-clips are as sacred as their bibles. They will yelp about "infringing their 2nd amendment rights" but again, Obama wouldn't be doing anything of the sort. They could keep all the guns they want, even automatics-- they'd just not be able to have high capacity clips too. If a court challenge is forthcoming let it come.

Originally, I had considered the solution might be stock or mutual fund disinvestment, say such as California teachers threatened Cerberus Capital Management with (threatening to pull out $750b in pension funds) and Cerberus then ceasing ownership in Bushmaster. But then I realized this could only work if all other teachers' pension funds acted too, and they clearly aren't.

We need to also dispel the fairy tale that more guns is the answer to getting more security. None of the other OECD nations have this, and they all show 2-4 times fewer gun deaths. The REAL un-Americans are those who have twisted the meaning of the 2nd Amendment to their own ends, with the result that the fallout has created a never-ending sea of maimed, crippled and murdered gun victims. It is time now to stop this insanity, but I am afraid it will take enormous courage on the part of Obama to do so.

Relying on congress is a non-starter, especially when the Reepos won't even allow an agency head for the ATF. Nor will they ever vote to limit high capacity clips. The ball then is in Obama's court as per issuing an executive order such as I noted. He can do so, and moreover, he has the NCTC to back him up in detecting any flouters! Make no mistake the NCTC is here to stay. It is far better to employ them full time to catch and nail violators of an Executive Order such as I described, than to merely be on endless "fishing expeditions" of innocent citizens.

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