Was it an act of “pure evil?”

Was the mass murder in Las Vegas an act of “pure evil” as stated by Donald Trump or was it something else? Is mental illness “pure evil” or some chemical imbalance in people’s brains? I do believe there is evil. Don’t get me wrong. But I am very uncomfortable branding all bad things evil.

At some point I think we as a society need to start taking a long, hard look at our own contributions to these unspeakable acts. Is it easier to control mental illness or whether citizens and residents get their hands on inordinate amount of weapons with little or no background checks as to stability and temperament to own such weapons?

I don’t necessarily want to go round up everyone’s weapons. I have been clear on that in the past. I want certain weapons to be available to most of us. Simple guns, pistols, rifles that the average citizen can use for personal protection should be available for purchase and ownership for most of the population. However….

Weapons like those used in the Vegas massacre should not be owned by everyone. Now, should certain individuals be allowed to purchase such weapons after presenting themselves for intense vetting? Yes, probably. Gun ownership of those types of semi automatic weapons should not be the default.

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Among the tens of thousands of people who took part in the National Rifle Association convention here, women were an obvious minority.

The thing that seemed to unite them was an overwhelming enthusiasm for President Trump.

“Look at what he’s putting his family through for us,” said Anne Jansen, an artist selling jewelry handcrafted out of bullet casings and shotgun shells.

“It’s for us. Right? He’s doing nothing but things for us. . . . To the resistance, it’s like, follow him. Take a chance. Follow him. He’s your leader. Are you an idiot?”

Jansen had never voted for president before supporting Trump in November. At 53, the self-proclaimed bohemian from Quincy, Ill., had only cast a ballot once before in her life, when she wrote in Mickey Mouse for president.

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Packing heat at the polls?



The Prince William County electoral board, wary of the heated atmosphere of the coming Election Day, considered seeking a one-day ban on weapons at polling places located on private property but was rebuked by a gun-friendly state legislator.

Late last week, Del. Robert G. Marshall (R-Prince William) sent a letter to the board pointing out that it has no power to ban guns from polling places except for schools and courthouses, where weapons are prohibited by state law.

Election officers across the state say they are worried about conflicts at the polls after Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump urged his supporters to “watch” others at the voting booths, while also asserting that the election is “rigged.”

So go to your place and vote, and then go pick some other place, and go sit there with your friends and make sure it’s on the up and up,” Trump said at a recent rally in Michigan. “Because you know what? That’s a big, big problem in this country, and nobody wants to talk about it. Nobody has the guts to talk about it. So go and watch these polling places.”
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Trump: Pinocchios, burning pants and bad judgement


WILMINGTON, N.C. — Donald Trump was ticking through a list of reasons to support him over Hillary Clinton on Tuesday when he decided to linger on one.

“If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks,” Trump said with a shrug at a rally here after accusing Clinton of wanting to strip Americans of their gun rights. He paused, then softly offered a postscript: “Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know.”

The denouncements came swiftly from Clinton’s campaign and her allies — and from outside politics. The insinuation, critics said, was that Trump was inciting his followers to bear arms against a sitting president. And Trump’s response was just as swift: He’d said nothing of the sort but was merely encouraging gun rights advocates to be politically involved.

The pattern has repeated itself again and again. First come Trump’s attention-getting expressions. Then come the outraged reactions. The headlines follow. Finally, Trump, his aides and his supporters lash out at the media, accusing journalists of twisting his words or missing the joke. It happened last week, when Trump appeared to kick a baby out of a rally, then later insisted that he was kidding. It happened the week before, when he encouraged Russia to hack Clinton’s emails, then claimed he was just being sarcastic.

And with each new example, Trump’s rhetorical asides grow more alarming to many who hear them — and prompt condemnations from an ever-wider universe of critics. On Tuesday, for instance, even Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), one of Trump’s most ardent defenders, struggled to fully embrace his comments. Sessions insisted in an interview on CNN that Trump did not mean to encourage violence, but he acknowledged that Trump’s words were “awkwardly phrased.”

Do I think Trump really threatened violence against Clinton? No. What he did was innuendo. The danger of such statements is that some not-too-stable person might take his innuendo literally and attempt to cause bodily harm.

That’s why saying “bomb” at an airport or on a plane is a really stupid thing to do. Homeland security doesn’t know you aren’t some nut-job.

Once again, poor judgement on Trump’s part.  With Trump, there is just a sea of stupid remarks to deal with that reinforce his incredibly poor judgement.  Additionally, Hillary does not want to abolish the 2nd amendment.  That is a pure lie.  4 Pinocchios.  7 pairs of pants on fire!

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Police officers ambushed and killed in Baton Rouge

After Dallas, after Baton Rouge, after so much violence, can we put the myth to bed that keeps telling us that all that is needed is “a good guy with a gun.”

I am sure these officers were well-armed. Their guns didn’t do them a lot of good, did they? The officers are still dead.

The platitude and slogans have to stop. Wayne LaPierre is simply not correct. A good guy with a gun isn’t an instant cure for the violence in this country.

Virginia: Do reinstated voting rights mean easier reinstated gun rights?



Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s order last month restoringthe voting rights of 206,000 felons had an unintended consequence: It’s now easier for those ex-offenders to regain the right to own guns.

Before the order, felons who wanted to legally possess firearms first had to go through the process of having their civil rights reinstated, including the right to vote, to sit on a jury and to run for office.

That process — which involved submitting forms that were scrutinized by the secretary of the commonwealth’s staff, using the governor’s authority — is no longer in place.

Instead, felons who have completed their sentences can go straight to the step of petitioning the circuit court for firearm rights. Prosecutors review those petitions and can intervene if they believe a felon should continue to be barred from owning a weapon.

Days after McAuliffe (D) signed the April 22 voting-rights order, which was strongly opposed by leading Republicans in the GOP-controlled legislature, Secretary of the Commonwealth Kelly Thomasson warned commonwealth’s attorneys of a potential increase in gun rights requests.

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Zimmerman taunts Trayvon Martin’s parents


It wasn’t enough for George Zimmerman to kill Trayvon Martin.

In an interview with The Daily Beast this week, Zimmerman made it clear he has no remorse about shooting the 17-year-old boy to death in Sanford, Florida, and bears outright hostility for the parents whose son he took away forever.“They didn’t raise their son right. He attacked a complete stranger and attempted to kill him,” Zimmerman said of Martin.

“Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin did everything they could to capitalize on her son’s death,” he said. “She was never a mother figure to him. Tracy Martin couldn’t have cared less about their son. He treated him like a dog without a leash.”

Four years after Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin, the acquitted killer is trying to turn a profit on the gun he used to do it.
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Judge finds DC gun law violates right of self defense




A federal judge ruled Tuesday that a key provision of the District’s new gun law is probably unconstitutional, ordering D.C. police to stop requiring individuals to show “good reason” to obtain a permit to carry a firearm on the streets of the nation’s capital.

U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon found that the law violates the “core right of self-defense” granted in the Second Amendment, setting aside arguments from District officials that the regulation is needed to prevent crime and protect the public.

“The enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table,” Leon wrote in a 46-page opinion, quoting a 5-to-4 Supreme Court decision in 2008 in another District case that established a constitutional right to keep firearms inside one’s home.

Leon said the right applies both inside and outside the home.

“The District’s understandable, but overzealous, desire to restrict the right to carry in public a firearm for self-defense to the smallest possible number of law-abiding, responsible citizens is exactly the type of policy choice the Justices had in mind,” he wrote.

So what happens from here?   What does all this mean?

The Tuesday ruling imposed a preliminary injunction, pending further litigation. The decision means the city cannot deny concealed-carry permits to residents who do not show a good reason for needing a gun but otherwise would qualify for the permits.

What about non-residents who feel the need to carry a weapon inside the District of Columbia?



“Damaged masculinity,” guns, and mass shootings

There were 374 mass shootings in 2015, according the crowd-sourced database Mass Shooting Tracker. Watch this motion graphic and hear the 911 calls to get a complete picture of the human toll. (Gillian Brockell,Julio Negron/The Washington Post)

What was Eric Harris of Columbine notoriety without his killing instruments?  His journals give us insight into his mind.


Harris was born with a birth defect in his leg. He also had a chest deformity that required surgeries just before high school. He had a noticeable, sunken chest. His hopes to follow his father into the military — to be a tough guy, a Marine — were likely to be unrealized.

Guns, he reasoned, could give him power and control.

“I am (expletive) armed,” he wrote in his journal. “I feel more confident, stronger, more Godlike.”

What was he without guns?

“The weird looking Eric kid,” Harris wrote.

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Secret Service nixes firearms at the RNC


The Secret Service on Monday quashed the hopes of gun rights advocates who were pushing for the open carry of firearms to be allowed at this summer’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

An online petition in support of the effort rapidly gained signatures and attention in the past week, applying pressure to pro-gun Republican officials and presidential contenders to walk the walk when it comes to guns. But on Monday, the Secret Service said that only law enforcement personnel will be allowed to carry firearms at the event.

“Title 18 United States Code Sections 3056 and 1752 provides the Secret Service authority to preclude firearms from entering sites visited by our protectees, including those located in open-carry states,” Secret Service spokesman Robert K. Hoback said in a statement. “Only authorized law enforcement personnel working in conjunction with the Secret Service for a particular event may carry a firearm inside of the protected site.”

Ticket or not, any unauthorized person with a gun will not be allowed into the event, he said.

Why on earth would any of the candidates want guns inside the convention center?  There are enough fruits and nuts wandering around as it is.  Arming them would surely spell trouble for someone.

If the Secret Service says no, then that’s that.

Son saves mother, faces murder charges


A Virginia teenager who authorities said intervened when his mother was being attacked by her boyfriend — fatally shooting the man — has been charged with second-degree murder.

Police said the son, who is 15, shot and killed John Conroy Jr., 37, as Conroy physically attacked his mother during an argument at their house.

The teen faces charges of second-degree murder and use of a firearm during the commission of a felony, Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Duncan Minton said. The teenager’s name is not being released because he is charged as a juvenile.

Minton said every homicide in Virginia is “presumed to be murder in the second degree,” but that the charge can be reduced or increased as the investigation goes on.

“Because of the fact that he’s a juvenile and because there may be extenuating circumstances, there is a whole wide range of things that could happen,” Minton said.

 This is so screwed up!  Why must we presume that the killing is murder in the second degree?   It sounds to me that like the boy did the right thing.  He saved his mother from being attacked.
Tell me in what bizarro world this behavior is wrong?  It sounds to me like instant self defense or mother defense.
Wait!  Why am I acting so shocked?  I know someone this happened to.  Anytime you shoot someone, the burden of proof is very high, at least in Virginia.
I hope the kid gets off.  It sounds like he has been traumatized enough.

Is the boy in custody? Is he out on bond? The news video raises many unanswered questions.

McAuliffe signs gun compromise into law

Close-Up of Man Holding .45 Caliber Handgun


 Declaring the start of a “new era,” Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) on Friday signed into law a package of gun bills, the product of a deal struck with Republican lawmakers that cost him the support of some of his strongest allies in the fight for gun control.

Opponents of the compromise, including Andy Parker, the outspoken father of a television journalist who was killed in southwest Virginia, noted that McAuliffe’s victory lap came on the six-month anniversary of his daughter’s shooting.

But underscoring what McAuliffe said was the historic nature of the deal, the governor signed the bills in the Executive Mansion, the first time he used the home for this purpose, and hinted at his legacy.

“I’m so proud to announce that a new era begins today here in the commonwealth of Virginia,” he said. “These new laws will serve as permanent protections for our citizens. They will remain in place when I leave office.”

The deal would expand the rights of concealed-carry handgun permit holders in Virginia and around the country in exchange for tighter restrictions on domestic abusers and voluntary background checks at gun shows.

McAuliffe is a pragmatist.   He is smart enough to know that he would not win a show down with the NRA.  So he did the next best thing–he compromised.

Part of the anti-gun lobby’s problem is that they go after things that aren’t really problems, at least in the statistical world.  For example, can anyone find a case where some concealed weapon permit holder has come into the state and killed someone?  I don’t think so.

Regardless of who thinks who is right, both sides walked away with something they wanted.  The NRA people got their concealed weapon permits from other states recognized.  The gun control folks got their tighter restrictions on domestic abusers codified, including removing those guns belonging to the domestic abusers.  In addition, there will be a state police officer at all gun shows to run voluntary background checks on private sales.  While these gun control initiatives might not seem like much, it’s a start, especially the domestic abuser part.

Those who hate McAuliffe over it might want to think about what they have now vs what they had before.    You can stand on principle all you want but at the end of the day, you end up just standing.  McAuliffe got something done.

Gun owners urge NRA to scratch “Cat Scratch Fever” Nugent for anti-semitic remarks



Gun owners are pressuring the National Rifle Association to boot longtime board member Ted Nugent from the organization’s leadership ranks after the rock star’s social media outburst that depicted prominent American Jews as the men and women “really behind gun control.”

Nugent, an outspoken Second Amendment advocate, posted a photo on Facebook earlier this week calling Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), “Jew York City Mayor Mikey Bloomberg,” former senator Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, among many others, “punks” who would “deny us the basic human right to self defense and to keep and bear arms while many of them have paid hired armed security.”

The Israeli flag appears over or next to each of the 12 faces in the photo, which is the same one that has been shared many times in white suprema­cist cir­cles, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

The post prompted applause from anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi groups.


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Dear Cargo, I feel your pain….voting rights

Dear Cargo,

I am dedicating this thread to you.  Why?  Because I felt your pain.  Just for a moment.

You have continually said that gun ownership is a right  and that you shouldn’t have to apply or register to bear arms because doing so was a right.  (or something to that effect.)

I feel like I am having to dance and jump through hoops just to be able to vote.  I think everyone here knows that I have a bad knee and  that on any given day it could make me unable to go to the polls.  I also have breathing issues but that is another story.

I like to vote by mail.  It’s easier, it is legitimate, and it ensures that I will be able to vote in the event that the knee is acting up.  So, tonight I thought to myself…I had better apply for that absentee ballot since March 1 is right around the corner.

Finally I find how to apply online.  It is fairly well hidden.  Then I started filling out the form.  Nothing is intuitive.  The form has changed since last time.  Now I had to give a social security number and….tah daaaaaaaxahhhhhhh…..my DMV number so that my signature can be compared.

Why must I do all this just to be able to vote?  Voting is a right.  I shouldn’t have to go through all this bullshit.  My knee hurts.  I don’t feel like limping to the foyer to get my purse.

Where is the voter fraud?  Show me where the voter fraud is and I might feel just a little bit better about going through all this malarky.  Why would someone say they were me, risk  going to prison just so they could cast a vote, in my name?  How absurd.

Cargo, I feel about voting like you do about guns.  It is much easier to own a gun than it is to vote.  Tell me, when you buy a mail order gun, does DMV have to be involved to compare your signature?  I seriously doubt it.  If I am wrong, please tell me.

The Governor and 2Aers strike a deal



 Gov. Terry McAuliffe plans to announce Friday that Virginia will restore handgun reciprocity agreements with nearly all states, in a stunning reversal of a firearms policy that had angered Republicans and gun rights advocates across the nation.

The about-face is part of a deal that McAuliffe (D) struck with Republican leaders one month after Attorney General Mark R. Herring (D) ended the right of gun owners in 25 states to have their concealed carry permits recognized in Virginia.

In exchange, Republicans will agree to a major concession: Anyone subject to a permanent protective order for a domestic violence offense will be prohibited from carrying a firearm for the two-year life of the order. The issue had been a nonstarter in the Republican-controlled General Assembly.

“This is a bipartisan deal that will make Virginians safer,” McAuliffe spokesman Brian Coy said. “It also demonstrates that Democrats and Republicans can work together on key issues like keeping guns out of dangerous hands.”

 The agreement marks the first break in a logjam in the state over gun rights and gun control marked by heated rhetoric on both sides.
The NRA applauds the bi-partisan agreement.  Not all the gun groups do, however.
There were other concessions made:

It includes an amendment offered by Sen. Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax City) that says Virginia will not honor an out-of-state concealed carry permit held by a person whose Virginia concealed carry permit was previously revoked — a practice known as “state shopping.”

In another concession, state police must be present at all gun shows to administer background checks in private sales of guns on a voluntary basis. McAuliffe’s budget includes $100,000 to fund the activity.

Those seem like common sense ideas that might make us a little bit safer.  Those are all measures that make most of the voters happy–all but the most strident of the gun activists.