Gun Crazy

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Real Time Death Toll as of

America Undeer the Gun
10 Crazy Gun Laws Introduced Since Newtown

How Reddit Became a Gun Market—and Authorized Its Logo on Assault Rifles
America's Many Fatal School Shootings Since Newtown
Yes, Mass Shootings Are Occurring More Often
When the NRA's Top Lawyer Went on Trial for Murder
10 Pro-Gun Myths, Shot Down
Spitting, Stalking, Rape Threats: How Gun Extremists Target Women
These Women Are the NRA's Worst Nightmare
See our special reports on mass shootings and child gun deaths
Fearing Rising Backlash, NRA Urges Gun Activists to Stand Down
Spitting, Stalking, Rape Threats: How Gun Extremists Target Women
Gun Activists With Assault Rifles Harass Marine Vet on Memorial Day
Target Gets Drawn Into Gun Rights Battle
Target Remains in Crosshairs of Texas Gun Fight
Gun Activists Flaunting Assault Rifles Get Booted From Chili's and Sonic
2:35
Would you honestly feel safer having lunch or dinner in a restaurant, signally or
with your family, surrounded by these guys (and one gal) with all of their guns?

Who should buy a gun, NOW? - An editorial
The Characteristics of Gun Owners
Gun Ownership Higher Among Republicans Than Democrats
The Tea Party and Religion
OMG! Liberal Gun Owners! OMG!
Gun Club for Liberals: The Un-NRA
This Is Where Catholics, Protestants & the Religious Stand on Gun Control (You Might Be Surprised!)
Guns and the Godly - Evangelicals Love Guns
Gun Rights and Gun Control - Demographics - 2010
Related Issues: Guns,

10 Crazy Gun Laws Introduced Since Newtown


In the wake of the Newtown massacre in December, lawmakers in nearly every state in the nation have introduced gun legislation, either to strengthen gun controls or push back against them. There has also been a flurry of activity in local jurisdictions. Some of the proposals fall into the category of reasonable policy ideas, while others just seem to fire wildly, in both political directions. Here are 10 of them:

Glocks and gimlets: Allowing guns in bars has become something of a trend lately. A bill introduced in South Carolina would legalize concealed carry in bars and void the current law punishing the same with a fine of up to $2,000 or three years in jail. Gun owners would be required to remain sober, but the prospect of patrons packing heat in places where alcohol and attitudes mix remains worrisome, especially as self-defense laws grow increasingly lax. Another bill awaiting approval from the state Senate in Georgia would allow guns in bars and churches.

K-12 teachers packing heat: Never mind that recently armed guards in schools have forgotten their guns in restrooms and fired them by mistake: Lawmakers in at least six states have pushed bills since Newtown to allow K-12 teachers to carry guns. A few school districts around the country already allow teachers to carry them; in early March, South Dakota became the first state to sign into law a bill explicitly giving all its teachers the right to do so.

Aiming for an A+ in target practice: In January, Republican state Sen. Lee Bright introduced a bill in South Carolina that would create an elective high school class on gun safety and the Second Amendment taught by police officers. The class would meet at a local gun range and let students fire away. One high school junior said she thought the law could make her school safer (even though students would only use the guns off campus), but told the local news station, "Just getting [guns] into the hands of certain students, that could potentially harm others."

Anger management classes for ammo buyers: Florida Democratic state Sen. Audrey Gibson recently proposed a law that would outlaw the sale of ammunition to anyone in the state who hasn't completed at least two hours of anger management training, regardless of prior history. Gibson said the bill was inspired by a teenager shot to death during an argument over loud music, and she just wanted ammo buyers to be "introspective." Her detractors have called the bill unconstitutional and an "insult" to gun owner

Felony charges for guns that fire more than one round: Gun enthusiasts got worked up about New York's new assault weapons ban limiting magazines to seven rounds—the strictest in the nation—but consider this: Connecticut state Sen. Edward Meyer (D), a gun control advocate who also made news recently for wielding a BB gun in a church, proposed a bill in January that would make it a class C felony to own any gun made to fire more than a single round. The bill hasn't gone anywhere, but if Meyer's intentions were to rile up the right, he succeeded.

Busting business owners for banning guns: A bill introduced in January by Colorado state Sen. Kent Lambert (R) would require businesses open to the public to either allow concealed carry permit holders to bring their guns inside or hire armed security officers (one for every 50 customers). If a business fails to comply and violence on the premises ensues, the business would be held liable for any injuries or deaths that might've hypothetically been prevented by an armed citizen. "There's a responsibility for businesses to provide some security when they have asked people not to defend themselves," Lambert told KOAA News 5.

Felony charges for introducing gun control legislation: Last month, Missouri state Rep. Mike Leara (R) introduced a bill that would charge "[a]ny member of the general assembly who proposes a piece of legislation that further restricts the right of an individual to bear arms, as set forth under the second amendment of the Constitution of the United States" with a class D felony. In fairness, Leara told TPM that he had "no illusions" about the bill passing.

Sheriff visits in your living room: A bill to ban assault weapons in Washington, introduced by state Sen. Ed Murray (D), was roundly criticized by conservatives and liberals alike for violating gun owners' civil liberties. The legislation allowed current assault weapon owners to keep their guns, but only if they allowed the local sheriff to inspect their homes once a year to ensure the guns were safely stored. Murray followed up with a revised bill without that language, telling the Seattle Times, "I have to admit that shouldn't be in there."

Rejecting or even arresting the feds: Speculating about a federal gun grab, lawmakers in at least 15 states have introduced bills aimed at barring officials from enforcing federal gun laws. In Montana, a voter referendum championed by gun lobbyist Gary Marbut would grant police the authority to arrest FBI agents trying to enforce gun laws and charge them with kidnapping. In Arizona, Richard Mack has called for his fellow sheriffs to refuse to enforce federal law. The proposals, the latest nullification protests against the Obama administration, would most likely be unenforceable since, well, they violate federal law.

Requiring literally everybody to have one: Next month, the city council of Nelson, Georgia, will vote on a law that would mandate gun ownership for the town's "safety, security, and general welfare" and for "emergency management." The proposal, modeled on a law in nearby Kennesaw, includes exemptions for felons, the mentally ill, and those who oppose guns. Towns in Idaho and Utah are considering similar laws. In Byron, Maine, population 140, a mandatory gun law was rejected even by the man who proposed it, after he concluded that he should have just made it a recommendation.
Source: www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/03/crazy-gun-laws-newtown

Who should buy a gun, NOW? - An editorial


If you are a person of color, under 50, live in the city or suburban, are Democrat or Independent, BUY A GUN and learn how to use it. Because most guns are in the hands of those in the other categories and they know how to use them.
Source: www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/07/15/the-demographics-and-politics-of-gun-owning-households/

The Characteristics of Gun Owners


The latest survey of American gun-owners looks at the culture they live in.

Americans still love their Second Amendment, it seems. According to a new survey, nearly 30 percent of adults in the United States own guns, with the most common gun-toters being married, white men ages 55 and up.

The results fall in line with recent previous surveys of American gun ownership, even down to the "married" commonality. As Gallup noted in its 2013 poll:

The reasons behind the relationship between marital status and gun ownership are not obvious, though it could be that marriage rates are higher among other subgroups that tend to own guns, such as older Americans and those who are politically conservative. Married people may also have greater financial resources to own a gun.

Why do certain people choose to own guns? Why do others choose not to? Surveyors have tried to answer this in different ways, with famed statistician Nate Silver notably correlating gun ownership with political party affiliation. But in this most recent survey, conducted in 2013 but published yesterday in the journal Injury Prevention, public-health researchers from Columbia University and Boston University correlated gun ownership with the culture surrounding an individual. Almost one in three gun-owners answered "yes" to at least one of four questions researchers considered markers of living in a "gun culture": Would your social circle think less of you if you didn't own a gun? Would your family think less of you if you didn't own a gun? Does social life with your family involve guns? Does social life with your friends involve guns? In contrast, only six percent of non-gun owners lived around a gun culture, according to the study.

Almost one in three gun-owners answered "yes" to at least one of four questions researchers considered markers of living in a "gun culture."

Laws may also matter a lot to gun ownership. The proportion of people who own guns varies vastly by state, the researchers found. Only five percent of Delawareans own at least one gun, for example, while 58 percent of Arkansans do. And, not surprisingly, people living in states with laxer gun laws were 31 percent more likely to own a gun than people living in states with stricter laws.

These answers, in turn, are steps toward bigger picture policy questions on gun ownership in America. They show that those interested in changing rates of gun ownership—whether by decreasing them or increasing them—might do well to aim at state-level lawmaking, or at the cultural forces that bring friends and family together around firearm sports.
Source: www.psmag.com/politics-and-law/who-owns-guns

The Tea Party and Religion


The Tea Party movement clearly played a role in rejuvenating the Republican Party in 2010, helping the GOP take control of the House and make gains in the Senate. Tea Party supporters made up 41% of the electorate on Nov. 2, and 86% of them voted for Republican House candidates, according to exit polls. But the precise nature of the Tea Party has been less clear. Is it solely a movement to reduce the size of government and cut taxes, as its name – some people refer to it as the Taxed Enough Already party – implies? Or do its supporters share a broader set of conservative positions on social as well as economic issues? Does the movement draw support across the religious spectrum? Or has the religious right “taken over” the Tea Party, as some commentators have suggested? 1

A new analysis by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life finds that Tea Party supporters tend to have conservative opinions not just about economic matters, but also about social issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage. In addition, they are much more likely than registered voters as a whole to say that their religion is the most important factor in determining their opinions on these social issues.2 And they draw disproportionate support from the ranks of white evangelical Protestants.

The analysis shows that most people who agree with the religious right also support the Tea Party. But support for the Tea Party is not synonymous with support for the religious right. An August 2010 poll by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life found that nearly half of Tea Party supporters (46%) had not heard of or did not have an opinion about “the conservative Christian movement sometimes known as the religious right”; 42% said they agree with the conservative Christian movement and roughly one-in-ten (11%) said they disagree.3 More generally, the August poll found greater familiarity with and support for the Tea Party movement (86% of registered voters had heard at least a little about it at the time and 27% expressed agreement with it) than for the conservative Christian movement (64% had heard of it and 16% expressed support for it).

In addition to the August poll, this analysis draws on other Pew Research Center polling from September 2010 through February 2011. The polls included a variety of questions about the Tea Party, social and economic issues, and the role of religion in forming people’s opinions on these issues. The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press has additional resources on the Tea Party. See, for example, the analyses from February 2011 and April 2010.

Conservative and Critical of Government

As previously reported by the Pew Research Center, the Tea Party is much more Republican and conservative than the public as a whole. Indeed, Tea Party supporters are more conservative on economic issues and the size of government than either Republicans in general or all registered voters.4 According to a September 2010 survey by the Pew Research Center, almost nine-in-ten registered voters who agree with the Tea Party (88%) prefer a smaller government with fewer services, compared with 80% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents and 56% of all registered voters.

In the same survey, fully 87% of Tea Party supporters said government is almost always wasteful, 8 points more than Republicans overall (79%) and 26 points more than all registered voters (61%). And while more than half of registered voters (54%) said that corporations make too much money, Tea Party supporters were inclined to see corporations as making a fair and reasonable amount of profit. Indeed, Tea Party supporters took this position by a 2-1 margin (62% fair profit vs. 30% too much profit). A somewhat smaller percentage of all Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (55%) said corporations make a fair and reasonable profit.

Conservative on Social Issues, Too

In addition to adopting a conservative approach to the economy, Tea Party supporters also tend to take socially conservative positions on abortion and same-sex marriage. While registered voters as a whole are closely divided on same-sex marriage (42% in favor, 49% opposed), Tea Party supporters oppose it by more than 2-to-1 (64% opposed, 26% in favor). Similarly, almost six-in-ten (59%) of those who agree with the Tea Party say abortion should be illegal in all or most cases, 17 percentage points higher than among all registered voters. Tea Party supporters closely resemble Republican voters as a whole on these issues.

On immigration, Tea Party supporters are 20 percentage points more likely than registered voters overall to say better border security is the most important priority in dealing with illegal immigration (51% vs. 31%). About half as many Tea Party supporters (10%) as registered voters on the whole (22%) see the establishment of a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants as the top priority.

Tea Party backers also heavily favor the rights of gun owners. The September survey found that those who agree with the Tea Party favor protecting gun rights over controlling gun ownership by more than 4-to-1 (78% vs. 18%). Registered voters overall divide almost evenly on this issue (51% give priority to gun rights, 45% give priority to gun control). A January 2011 survey, conducted by the Pew Research Center in the wake of the Tucson shootings, showed no significant change in public views on the issue of gun control and gun rights.

Influence of Religion

According to an August 2010 survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, Tea Party supporters are much more likely than the public overall to cite “religious beliefs” as the biggest influence on their views of same-sex marriage and abortion. Roughly half of Tea Party backers said their religious beliefs are the most important influence on their views of gay marriage (53%) and abortion (46%). Furthermore, Tea Party supporters who cited religion as a top factor were overwhelmingly opposed to same-sex marriage and legal abortion. By contrast, 37% of registered voters overall cited their religious beliefs as the most important influence on their views of same-sex marriage and 28% cited religion as the primary influence on their views of abortion.

Strong Support from Evangelicals

Support for the Tea Party varies dramatically across religious groups. Surveys from November 2010 through February 2011 show that white evangelical Protestants are roughly five times as likely to agree with the movement as to disagree with it (44% vs. 8%), though substantial numbers of white evangelicals either have no opinion or have not heard of the movement (48%). Three-in-ten or more of white Catholics (33%) and white mainline Protestants (30%) also agree with the Tea Party, but among these two groups at least one-in-five people disagrees with the movement.

Among Jews, the religiously unaffiliated and black Protestants, however, there is more opposition than support for the Tea Party. Nearly half of Jews (49%) say they disagree with the Tea Party movement, compared with 15% who agree with it. Among the unaffiliated, more than four-in-ten (42%) disagree with the movement while 15% agree with it. About two-thirds of atheists and agnostics (67%) disagree with the movement. Most black Protestants polled (56%) say they have not heard of the Tea Party or have no opinion about it. But among black Protestants who offer an opinion, those who disagree with the movement outnumber those who agree with it by more than 5-to-1 (37% disagree vs. 7% agree).

The Tea Party and the Conservative Christian Movement

Americans who support the conservative Christian movement, sometimes known as the religious right, also overwhelmingly support the Tea Party. In the Pew Research Center’s August 2010 poll, 69% of registered voters who agreed with the religious right also said they agreed with the Tea Party. Moreover, both the religious right and the Tea Party count a higher percentage of white evangelical Protestants in their ranks (45% among the religious right, 34% among the Tea Party and 22% among all registered voters in the August 2010 survey). Religiously unaffiliated people are less common among Tea Party or religious right supporters than among the public at-large (3% among the religious right, 10% among the Tea Party and 15% among all registered voters in the August poll).

While most people who agree with the conservative Christian movement support the Tea Party, many people who support the Tea Party are unfamiliar with or uncertain about the religious right. In the August poll, almost half of Tea Party supporters said they had not heard of or did not have an opinion on the conservative Christian movement (46%). Among those who did offer an opinion, however, Tea Party supporters agreed with the religious right by a roughly 4-1 margin (42% agreed with the religious right, 11% disagreed).

Overall, the Tea Party appears to be more widely known and to garner broader support than the religious right. The August survey found that 86% of registered voters had heard of the Tea Party, compared with 64% who had heard of the conservative Christian movement; among Republican and Republican-leaning voters, 91% had heard of the Tea Party compared with 68% who were familiar with the conservative Christian movement. About half of Republican and Republican leaning registered voters (51%) agreed with the Tea Party in the August poll, as did more than a quarter (27%) of all registered voters. By contrast, about three-in-ten Republican and Republican leaning voters (31%) said they agreed with the conservative Christian movement, as did one-in-six registered voters overall (16%).

The Pew Forum will continue to monitor the role of religion in politics, social issues, candidates and political parties throughout the 2011-12 primary and general election cycle. Please visit Religion & Politics 2012 to read our latest reports.

Footnotes:


1 See, for example, “Is the Religious Right Taking Over the Tea Party?” Huffington Post, Oct. 27, 2010. Also, “Tea Party Closely Linked to Religious Right, Poll Finds,” ABC News, Oct. 5, 2010. (return to text)

2 All analyses in this report are based on registered voters. (return to text)

3 Respondents were asked “How much, if anything, have you heard about the conservative Christian movement sometimes known as the religious right? Have you heard a lot, a little, or nothing at all?” Those who said they had heard at least a little were then asked “In general, do you strongly agree, agree, disagree, or strongly disagree with the conservative Christian movement, or don’t you have an opinion either way?” (return to text)

4 Throughout this analysis, Tea Party supporters are defined as those who say they “strongly agree” or “agree” with the Tea Party movement. Most, but not all, Tea Party supporters identify with or lean toward the Republican Party. In a February 2011 Pew Research Center poll, for example, 82% of registered voters who agree with the Tea Party say they identify with or lean toward the Republican Party
Source: www.pewforum.org/2011/02/23/tea-party-and-religion/#rtn4 This analysis was written by Scott Clement, survey research analyst at the Pew Forum, and John C. Green, senior research adviser to the Pew Forum and professor of political science at the University of Akron

OMG! Liberal Gun Owners! OMG!


ABC News recently published an article that wasn’t inherently hostile to the Second Amendment, and most amazingly, to gun owners. And yes, that’s news. What’s the catch, you ask? The topic was liberal gun owners, and ABC took pains to point out that they are not members of the NRA. “Gun owner and Second Amendment advocate Marlene Hoeber isn’t your typical member of the National Rifle Association. In fact, she isn’t a member of the NRA at all.” . . .

The Oakland, Calif., laboratory equipment mechanic regularly visits firing ranges, where, along with other members of her gun club, she shoots a variety of weapons. ‘Guns are fun to play with,’ she says. She even makes her own ammunition.

She has no use, however, for the NRA’s conservative political agenda. By her own description, Hoeber is a feisty, liberal, transgender, tattooed, queer, activist feminist.

She belongs instead to another gun advocacy group entirely–The Liberal Gun Club–whose membership ranges, she says, ‘from socialists, to anarchists who can quote Marx, to Reagan Democrats.’

Its mission, she says, is to provide ‘a place for gun owners to talk to other owners about neat gun stuff, without having to hear how the president is a Muslim-usurper-socialist running a false-flag operation.

In truth, the NRA focuses entirely on Second Amendment-related issues. It supports politicians of both parties — and independents, too — who are faithful to the Second Amendment, regardless of their political positions on other issues. Got that, Marlene? The NRA does not take political positions on other issues. It never has. ABC News knows this, but continues to mislead:

Whereas the NRA has some 3 million members, according to Guidestar, and a budget of some $250 million, The Liberal Gun Club has 1,200 members nationally and a budget of $10,000, according to its head, Ed Gardner.

Although liberal gun owners are presumed not to exist, Gardner says they most certainly do.

By the most recent estimates, he says, about 40 percent of registered Democrats are gun owners (versus 60 percent of Republicans). He thinks 40 percent grossly understates the number of liberal owners. Reason: when some strange pollster calls an owner and asks, ‘Do you own a gun?’ many say no to protect their privacy, according to Gardner.

Where to begin? The NRA’s membership is now closer to 5 million and increasing daily. It has added more than a million members since President Obama was elected in 2008.

Who, precisely, presumes that liberal gun owners don’t exist? Certainly not the NRA and not most gun owners. In fact, conservatives — gun owners or not — often point to the hypocrisy of liberal/progressive politicians and others who labor ceaselessly to disarm the law-abiding while they are themselves surrounded by armed security or in possession of nearly impossible-to-get concealed carry licenses in places like New York City, Chicago or Los Angeles.

It’s also well known and well reported that gun owners — the majority of whom lean conservative/Republican — tend not to reveal their gun ownership to pollsters. Liberals might reasonably have an additional reason not to self-identify as gun owners: fellow liberals might disapprove.

Other gun owners, particularly conservatives, find gun ownership almost entirely reasonable and unremarkable, but ABC tries to suggest otherwise:

The Liberal Gun Club is not alone in catering to left-leaning gun advocates. Kindred institutions include the Blue Steel Democrat, Gun Loving Liberal, Pink Pistols and the online publication American Gun Culture Report.

On its website, Pink Pistols (slogan: ‘Pick On Someone Your Own Caliber’) urges ‘gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or polyamorous persons’ to take up arms legally.

‘We teach queers to shoot,’ says the site. ‘Then we teach others that we have done so. Armed queers don’t get bashed. We change the public perception of the sexual minorities, such that those who have in the past perceived them as safe targets for violence and hateful acts will realize that now [they are] armed and effective with those arms.

To this, the overwhelming majority of gun owners would likely say, “Uh, OK.” ABC’s representation of these particular gun owners seems to suggest that they believe that everyone else must fully accept all of their political/sexual leanings. If so, this is inherently irrational. No one likes everybody. No one has to like everybody or fully accept everything they do or believe. People often choose to associate based on common interests — such as gun ownership — but may never invite many of the people who share those interests to their homes. This too is entirely reasonable and unremarkable, though ABC labors to portray it otherwise.

The article lists a variety of apparently leftist gun-favoring groups, including anarchists(?), and asks:

“To what extent does the gun industry support any of these groups?

Hoeber of The Liberal Gun Club tells ABC News, ‘We haven’t heard a peep. We’d certainly be interested in support from the industry, if the industry was interested in being seen as supporting us. Whether we would take their money would be up to the membership. We’re not likely to turn anybody away.”

Says Ed Gardner about the gun industry, “It would be great to be recognized by them. We’re not your typical gun owners.” But, he says, apart from some outreach from makers of gun accessories, the industry hasn’t offered any support.

Again, most gun owners and organizations would reply, “Uh, OK.” The gun industry doesn’t “support” individual gun owners or groups, generally not in print, and certainly not financially. Manufacturers and trade groups focus their attention on legislation and legislators, understanding that in so doing, they are supporting the free market and the Second Amendment for everyone regardless of political leaning or sexual orientation.

“Hoeber says her own romance with guns began in childhood.

Growing up in Philadelphia, she says, she was 6 in 1976, during the Bicentennial. ‘The whole city was crawling with geeks in tri-corner hats and short pants explaining to small children how a flintlock worked. I was hooked.’

Living in San Francisco in her early 20s, she walked into a S.F. gun store and saw a reproduction of an old, black powder rifle. ‘I could buy that and take that home,’ she says she said to herself—and she did. ‘I’m a technical and mechanical person. Tinkering is a major element in my personal involvement with firearms.”

Again, so-called “conservative” gun owners would almost certainly reply, “good for her,” and would see her thinking as similar to their own.

“We asked if there is any distinction to be made between the kinds of guns a liberal likes and the kinds a far-right conservative might prefer.

Within the gun community, she says, conservatives have a stereotype about the kind of guns liberals like. ‘Conservatives assume, when they hear of our existence, that we’re all into fancy double-barreled shotguns and rifles with wooden stocks.’ That’s not the case, she says. ‘Our position is that scary black guns are very much okay. We do have members who think a limit on magazine capacity might be worthwhile. I personally don’t believe that that kind of restriction makes the world a safer place.”

I suspect Hoeber, if ABC is quoting her accurately, is reflecting what some conservatives might think about limousine liberals, the idle rich who wish to enjoy what they would deny to others. Most gun owners, however, probably have no real preconceptions about such thing — if they think about them at all. ABC is apparently hoping to get Hoeber to reflect their prejudices. Another example:

“Positions advocated by the Northern California Chapter of The Liberal Gun Club include:

‘Additional regulations on lawful gun owners are over-prescribed political placebos that fail to cure the underlying systemic societal problems that are the root causes of violence. Instead of window-dressing ‘solutions’ like so-called ‘assault weapons’ bans and magazine capacity restrictions, we support root cause mitigation for violence prevention: stronger mental health care, addressing poverty, homelessness and unemployment.”

Conservative gun owners can easily support most of this, however some would surely take exception to the idea that poverty, homelessness and unemployment cause violence. This would not, however, keep them from embracing fellow gun owners, or their support of the Second Amendment.

ABC’s piece appears to be another attempt, though maybe not as egregious as most, by the legacy media to turn supporters of the Second Amendment against each other. Gun owners aren’t a monolithic block of people who think, act and vote in lockstep. On the range, people care about safety first and foremost, then having fun. The number of tattoos, piercings, Obama-Biden and Sierra Club bumper stickers people sport mean little.

I would hope that progressive gun owners would come to understand that the Second Amendment is the guarantor of all other liberties. As I would hope they recognize those who want to destroy the Second Amendment and what that would inevitably mean for the rights not only of various minorities, but for every American. If and when they do, they might find it harder to reconcile support for their Second Amendment with support for lefty politicians.

However, no doubt to the chagrin of ABC and the rest of the legacy media, conservative gun folk tend to be far more accepting and tolerant of firearms fans of all stripes than the media are willing to publicize. It’s their own stereotypes and preconceived notions that keep them from recognizing it.
Source: www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2014/03/mike-mcdaniel/omg-liberal-gun-owners-omg/

Gun Club for Liberals: The Un-NRA


Gun owner and Second Amendment advocate Marlene Hoeber isn't your typical member of the National Rifle Association. In fact, she isn't a member of the NRA at all.

The Oakland, Calif., laboratory equipment mechanic regularly visits firing ranges, where, along with other members of her gun club, she shoots a variety of weapons. "Guns are fun to play with," she says. She even makes her own ammunition.

She has no use, however, for the NRA's conservative political agenda. By her own description, Hoeber is a feisty, liberal, transgender, tattooed, queer, activist feminist.

"NRA: Practice Range" app released for ages 12 and up

She belongs instead to another gun advocacy group entirely--The Liberal Gun Club--whose membership ranges, she says, "from socialists, to anarchists who can quote Marx, to Reagan Democrats."

Its mission, she says, is to provide "a place for gun owners to talk to other owners about neat gun stuff, without having to hear how the president is a Muslim-usurper-socialist running a false-flag operation."

San Jose member Walter Stockwell describes it as the NPR of gun clubs--without the tote bags.

Whereas the NRA has some 3 million members, according to Guidestar, and a budget of some $250 million, The Liberal Gun Club has 1,200 members nationally and a budget of $10,000, according to its head, Ed Gardner.

Although liberal gun owners are presumed not to exist, Gardner says they most certainly do.

By the most recent estimates, he says, about 40 percent of registered Democrats are gun owners (versus 60 percent of Republicans). He thinks 40 percent grossly understates the number of liberal owners. Reason: when some strange pollster calls an owner and asks, "Do you own a gun?" many say no to protect their privacy, according to Gardner.

The Liberal Gun Club is not alone in catering to left-leaning gun advocates. Kindred institutions include the Blue Steel Democrat, Gun Loving Liberal, Pink Pistols and the online publication American Gun Culture Report.

On its website, Pink Pistols (slogan: "Pick On Someone Your Own Caliber") urges "gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or polyamorous persons" to take up arms legally.

"We teach queers to shoot," says the site. "Then we teach others that we have done so. Armed queers don't get bashed. We change the public perception of the sexual minorities, such that those who have in the past perceived them as safe targets for violence and hateful acts will realize that now [they are] armed and effective with those arms."

The site notes that 31 states allow qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons and recommends that gays embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns.

The American Gun Culture Report, in publication since 2006, asks on its website:

"Do you like guns but hate 'gun people'? Are you uncomfortable when political 'progressives' support every Amendment from the Bill of Rights but [not] the 2nd? Does it make you crazy when 'conservatives' swear to uphold the 2nd Amendment but look the opposite way when other rights are trampled on?" If so, it says, then AGCR is for you.

Gun day organizer: We're not extremists

The publication is an outlet for the gun-related writings of "liberals, libertarians, queers, feminists, anarchists and socialists."

To what extent does the gun industry support any of these groups?

Hoeber of The Liberal Gun Club tells ABC News, "We haven't heard a peep. We'd certainly be interested in support from the industry, if the industry was interested in being seen as supporting us. Whether we would take their money would be up to the membership. We're not likely to turn anybody away."

Says Ed Gardner about the gun industry, "It would be great to be recognized by them. We're not your typical gun owners." But, he says, apart from some outreach from makers of gun accessories, the industry hasn't offered any support.

Hoeber says her own romance with guns began in childhood.

Growing up in Philadelphia, she says, she was 6 in 1976, during the Bicentennial. "The whole city was crawling with geeks in tri-corner hats and short pants explaining to small children how a flintlock worked. I was hooked."

Living in San Francisco in her early 20s, she walked into a S.F. gun store and saw a reproduction of an old, black powder rifle. "I could buy that and take that home," she says she said to herself—and she did. "I'm a technical and mechanical person. Tinkering is a major element in my personal involvement with firearms."

Her weapons today include a WWII M1 carbine rifle and a .44-caliber pistol.

We asked if there is any distinction to be made between the kinds of guns a liberal likes and the kinds a far-right conservative might prefer.

Teen arrested after wearing NRA T-shirt to school

Within the gun community, she says, conservatives have a stereotype about the kind of guns liberals like. "Conservatives assume, when they hear of our existence, that we're all into fancy double-barreled shotguns and rifles with wooden stocks." That's not the case, she says. "Our position is that scary black guns are very much okay. We do have members who think a limit on magazine capacity might be worthwhile. I personally don't believe that that kind of restriction makes the world a safer place."

Positions advocated by the Northern California Chapter of The Liberal Gun Club include:

"Additional regulations on lawful gun owners are over-prescribed political placebos that fail to cure the underlying systemic societal problems that are the root causes of violence. Instead of window-dressing 'solutions' like so-called 'assault weapons' bans and magazine capacity restrictions, we support root cause mitigation for violence prevention: stronger mental health care, addressing poverty, homelessness and unemployment."
Source: abcnews.go.com/Business/gun-club-liberals-challenges-nra/story?id=22557321

This Is Where Catholics, Protestants & the Religious Stand on Gun Control (You Might Be Surprised!)


In the days and weeks following the horrific “Batman” movie theatre shooting in Aurora, Colorado, and the Sikh temple tragedy in Wisconsin, gun control has been an issue up for debate and discussion. As the dispute intensifies over how politicians and law enforcement officials should handle firearms regulations, there’s an interesting new poll out that explores what people of faith think about the issue.

The study, conducted by Public Religion Research Institute and Religion News Service (RNS), came up with some fascinating findings. While the nation is divided (and views on firearms are somewhat tough to gauge overall), religious groups have very clear opinions on the matter.

First, let’s look at Americans on the whole. In the wake of these tragedies, 52 percent of the nation is content with the notion of stricter gun laws, compared to 44 percent that is not. But when you start diving into the subgroups, results turn down-right interesting. For example, while 51 percent of whites own guns, only 23 percent of non-whites have them in their possession.

Gun Ownership in America
Percent who report living in households that have guns

Non-white

23

Northeast

27

Catholic

32

Democrat

34

Unaffiliated

36

Independent

36

Female

38

West

41

All Ameicans

42

South

42

Male

46

White

51

Midwest

53

White Mainline

54

White Evangelical

58

Republican

60

Tea Party

63

Source: Public Religion Research Institute, PRRI/RNS Religion News Survey, August, 2012 (N+1,006)

But the intrigue doesn’t end there. On the faith front, only 35 percent of white evangelicals support stricter gun laws. That’s starkly different when compared to 62 percent of Catholics and 60 percent of individuals who count themselves unaffiliated to a particular faith.

Black Protestants are even more ardent about strengthening gun control laws. As RNS notes, a 2011 ABC News/Washington Post poll found that 71 percent of this cohort wants to tighten up the laws that are currently on the books. RNS continues, with some of the reasons why these proportions may be playing out:

The Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest who called for tighter gun control after the movie theater massacre last month, offered several reasons why U.S. Catholics may be more likely to support it.

“Catholics may congregate more in urban centers and may be more exposed to violent crimes than people in other parts of he country,” said Martin, the author of “The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything.”

“And Catholics might be more sympathetic to government regulation, because the church has always seen legitimate government as one way of expressing the will of the people,” Martin continued. What’s more, he said, “there might be a slightly greater appreciation for the notion of the common good, which is enshrined in Catholic social teaching, in addition to individual rights.”

Certainly, one can argue for gun control as a primary factor in crime reduction, but when asked to select the single most important “thing” that could end mass shootings, there was no consensus. On the whole, 27 percent of Americans (no specific cohort, but the nation as a whole) said that gun control is the most important, 22 percent said that it is increased mental heath screening and 20 percent claimed that placing more emphasis on God and morality is the answer.

What do you think is the most important thing that could be done
to prevent mass shootings from occuring in the United States?

Sticter gun control laws and enforcement

27%

Better mental health screening and support

22

Stricter security measures for public gatherings

14

Allow more private citizens to carry guns for protection

11

Put more emphasis on God and morality in school and society

20

Others/don't know/refused

6

Source: Public Religion Research Institute, PRRI/RNS Religion News Survey, August, 2012 (N+1,006)

We’ll allow the Public Religion Research Institute to tell you some of the more fascinating findings among specific subgroups in this portion of the study:

  • Members of the Tea Party movement are three times more likely than Americans overall to say that allowing more private citizens to carry guns for protection is the most important thing that can be done to prevent shootings (35% vs. 11%).
  • Democrats are roughly three times more likely than Republicans to say that stricter gun control laws and enforcement is the most important measure to prevent mass shootings (38% vs. 13%).
  • Close to 4-in-10 (36%) white evangelicals say that placing more emphasis on God and morality in school and society is the most important thing that can be done to prevent mass shootings.

The study was conducted between August 8 and August 12, 2012 among a random sample of 1,006 adults aged 18 and older. The margin of error is +/- 3.5 percentage points at the 95% level of confidence

You can read the rest of the results here.
Source: www.theblaze.com/stories/2012/08/16/this-is-where-catholics-protestants-the-religious-stand-on-gun-control-you-might-be-surprised/

Guns and the Godly


Evangelicals Love GunsWhere do American Christians stand on guns and gun-related violence? Christianity, after all, is a religion that professes love and peace. Admittedly, the Christian Bible’s frequent depiction of Christ (“The Prince of Peace”) as rejecting violence seems contradicted by his remark that he had come not to bring peace, but a sword. But this statement can be interpreted as meaning that his preaching would cause religious divisions in society, rather than that he approved of the spread of weapons and war.

Also, of course, Christians are supposed to revere the Ten Commandments, which include the injunction: “Thou shalt not kill.” Not surprisingly, then, during the first three centuries of the Christian church, it was staunchly pacifist. And even thereafter, Christianity has often emphasized turning the other check and loving one’s enemies. So you would expect that, by a wide margin, American Christians—and particularly Protestants, who emphasize their return to early Christianity—would reject the plague of guns and gun violence that has engulfed the United States.

If gun murders simply reflect a turning away from God, though, it’s hard to understand why gun violence is so much more prevalent in the United States than in other economically developed countries.

But you would be wrong.

According to the polls, white evangelical Protestants are the U.S. religious group most likely to have access to guns, with 57 percent of them living in homes with one or more persons owning such weapons. The runners-up are the less numerous white mainline Protestants, 55 percent of whom have one or more gun owners in their households. By contrast, only 31 percent of Catholics fall into this category, while Jews appear even less likely to live among people packing guns.

The divergence in attitudes toward gun control is even more striking. According to an August 2012 survey done by the Public Religion Research Institute, only 35 percent of white evangelical Protestants and 42 percent of white mainline Protestants favored the passage of stricter gun control laws, as compared to 62 percent of Catholics and 60 percent of people without religious affiliation. In 2013, after additional gun massacres, another opinion survey by the same non-partisan organization found that white evangelical Protestants continued to constitute the religious group least likely to support stricter gun control laws, with only 38 percent in favor and 59 percent opposed. By contrast, the passage of stricter gun control laws was favored by African American Protestants (76 percent), Catholics (67 percent), the religiously unaffiliated (60 percent), and, for a change, white mainline Protestants (57 percent). Although Jews were apparently not polled on these issues, there were numerous indications that they also supported gun control by a wide margin.

How should this white Protestant (and particularly white evangelical Protestant) fondness for gun ownership and hostility to gun control be explained? After all, there should be something disturbing to people committed to love and peace about the fact that, among all economically-developed countries, the United States has by far the highest rate of gun-related murders in the world—indeed, about 20 times the average for the next 30 countries on the list. Also, 87 percent of white evangelical Protestants describe themselves as “pro-life.”

The embrace of guns by many white Protestants is bolstered by a number of arguments linked to their religious assumptions. One contention is that the United States was established by God and, therefore, the Second Amendment to the Constitution (which they allege guarantees individual gun ownership) is sacred. Another is that depriving people of “self-defense” deprives them of a God-given right. In addition, they tend to believe that corrupt, un-Christian values, rather than the easy availability of guns, lie behind the frequency of gun massacres.

Mike Huckabee, who has a strong appeal to white Protestants, particularly of the evangelical variety, often draws upon these themes. “We don’t have a crime problem, or a gun problem, or even a violence problem,” he said on Fox News after one massacre. “We have a sin problem. And since we’ve ordered God out of our schools and communities . . . we really shouldn’t act so surprised when all hell breaks loose.”

lawrence-wittnerIf gun murders simply reflect a turning away from God, though, it’s hard to understand why gun violence is so much more prevalent in the United States than in other economically developed countries. Americans, after all, are much more religious than people in other developed nations. According to a 2009 Gallup poll conducted in 114 countries, 65 percent of respondents in the United States said that religion played an important role in their daily lives. By contrast, only 30 percent said that in France, 27 percent in Britain, 24 percent in Japan, 19 percent in Denmark, and 17 percent in Sweden. Similarly, the murder rate in the American South — where the white Protestant Bible Belt is located—has long been the highest in the United States.

A more satisfactory explanation for the unusually high rate of U.S. gun murders and massacres might lie in the fact that other countries have strict gun control laws that have limited gun ownership and use. And this, in turn, might result from the fact that they do not labor under the burden of a predominantly evangelical white Protestantism, committed to gun-owners’ “rights” at all costs.

lawrence wittnerGiven the size of this constituency in American life, as well as its disproportionate influence in American politics, gun killings—which claim some 30,000 American lives each year—are unlikely to taper off soon. Indeed, racists, religious fanatics, the mentally ill, criminals, police, and, yes, average Americans will continue to gun down their neighbors with great frequency year after year. As Sarah Palin, an evangelical Protestant, told her enthusiastic followers: “We say keep your change, we’ll keep our God, our guns, our constitution.”
Source: www.laprogressive.com/evangelicals-love-guns/

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The proliferation of guns must be stopped...We must also stop glorifying the materialism that drives people to violence. - Marian Wright Edelman



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