The Watering Hole, Monday, June 16th, 2014: Local Fearmongering

A few days ago, I received the below email from our local State Senator Greg Ball:

Subject: Assault On Our 2nd Amendment Rights

Friend:

After recent anti Second Amendment efforts in the Assembly, the Senate Democrats are now pushing efforts to move legislation sponsored by Senator Peralta (S68A) that would mandate microstamping in New York State. Microstamping involves the expensive and invasive use of laser technology to engrave a microscopic marking onto the tip of the firing pin and onto the breech face of a firearm, so that spent cartridges give information about the firearm.

This is an extreme attempt to turn law abiding citizens into criminals, rather than tackling the real criminals. We must unite in both the Senate and throughout the state, to kill this extreme and costly effort, as we have done in the past.

There is not a shred of credible evidence that proves the technology actually works. This is a back door gun grab by liberal legislators engaged in social engineering, and we will stand our ground to defeat this recent effort.

I will keep fighting up in Albany to stop legislation that would infringe on our Second Amendment rights, but please stay vigilant and talk with your friends in other parts of the state to contact their elected officials.

Yours truly,

Senator Ball’s giant signature follows, but I won’t include it here, honestly, it’s huge.

Anyhoo, this is the gist of my reply to Senator Ball:

“This is an extreme attempt to turn law abiding citizens into criminals” In what way, Senator Ball? If a gun that is used in a crime shows the ID, wouldn’t it assist law enforcement in their efforts to apprehend a criminal? Most of the penalties outlined in the proposed legislation apply to gun manufacturers and gun dealers. If the ‘law-abiding-citizen’ gun owner does not deface his gun, microstamped or otherwise, then he will not be a criminal under this legislation. See Section 6. (A):

“6. (A) Any person who wilfully defaces any machine-gun, large capacity ammunition feeding device or firearm, INCLUDING DEFACING A MICROSTAMPING COMPONENT OR MECHANISM OF A SEMIAUTOMATIC PISTOL, is guilty of a class D felony.”

“…rather than tackling the real criminals.” Can you define who the real criminals are? Do you or your Republican colleagues have any proposals describing how you would “tackle” these “real criminals”?

“We must unite in both the Senate and throughout the state, to kill this extreme and costly effort, as we have done in the past.” The proposed legislation requires that the process cost no more than $12. (See S.7 below)

“There is not a shred of credible evidence that proves the technology actually works.” Um, not according to the text of the legislation’s Section S.6, so you might want to look into this further:

S.6 “…firearm microstamping is a revolutionary forensic technology that produces an identifiable alpha-numeric and geometric code onto the rear of the
cartridge casing each time a semiautomatic pistol is fired; that the alpha-numeric and geometric code on an expended cartridge casing will provide
an initial lead for law enforcement by enabling law enforcement to match the cartridge casing found at a crime to the original owner of the firearm;
that information from completed crime gun tracing is an important element utilized by COMPSTAT and other crime analysis systems to target illegal
firearms trafficking; that microstamping technology continues to produce identifiable markings onto expended cartridge casings even
after thousands of rounds of testing; that this additional tool will help law enforcement investigate illegal gun trafficking, close firearm-related
criminal cases and protect the public; and that legislative action is necessary to require all new semiautomatic pistols sold after January 1, 2016 to be
microstamp-ready.”

“This is a back door gun grab by liberal legislators engaged in social engineering” Now this is just pure fear-mongering strawman tactics, Senator, intended to rile up an already-riled-up base. Contrary to every NRA/Second Amendment worshippers’ rumor-mongering (which started BEFORE President Obama was even elected), that the big bad government was going to be “coming for your guns!”, the proposed S68A legislation mentions nothing about confiscation of guns whatsoever. In fact, the law itself, if passed, would not go into effect until AT LEAST January 1, 2016 OR whenever law-enforcement officials have received notification from microstamp job shops that certain production standards can be readily met; and, in fact, the law would only apply to GUNS MANUFACTURED AFTER JANUARY 1, 2016.

S.7 “This act shall take effect January 1, 2016, or at such time that the superintendent of the state police has received written notice from one or more microstamp job shops that such shop or shops are willing and prepared to produce microstamp structures on two internal surfaces of a semiautomatic pistol as defined in subdivision 26 of section 265.00 of the penal law for a price of twelve dollars or less at a production level of one thousand semiautomatic pistols per batch, whichever occurs later…”

So your guns-above-all-else-type of constituents can stock up to their heart’s content with non-microstamped weaponry.

“…and we will stand our ground to defeat this recent effort.”

This, Senator, offends me even more than your previous incendiary words.

While (S68A) would not have prevented, nor might not prevent, a tragedy such as the Sandy Hook shootings, any and every effort to do so warrants at least discussion. Yet you insist on using the volatile phrase “stand your ground”, which is now synonymous with “you can shoot anyone you want if they look at you the wrong way, or play their music too loud or, well, whatever, AND you can get away with murder! [Women need not apply.]” Your total lack of human tact or empathy is astounding. The people in Newtown/Sandy Hook are our neighbors. Perhaps you’ve forgotten that a teacher in the Pawling School District lost a child at Sandy Hook? You talk about this legislation’s (imagined) effect on law-abiding citizens, what about the effect of ignoring such a horrific slaughter of truly innocent children? Would you publicly label those particular parents of Newtown victims who are now advocating stricter gun laws “gun-grabbers”?

“I will keep fighting up in Albany to stop legislation that would infringe on our Second Amendment rights, but please stay vigilant and talk with your friends in other parts of the state to contact their elected officials. Not for much longer, Senator. [State Senator Ball has announced that he would not be running for public office once his term is up.]

Senator, IF this legislation ever passes, I hope that you will not be out there telling people these irresponsible, incendiary lies. In the meantime, why doesn’t the NY State Senate work toward gun-control legislation that could prevent another Sandy Hook, another Columbine, another Aurora, etc., etc. There have been over 70 shootings since Sandy Hook in public places such as schools, malls, plus killings like the recent one in Florida where a father killed three children and his wife before turning the gun on himself.

But the scariest shooting of all occurred last week when two of Cliven Bundy followers killed, in cold blood, two Las Vegas policemen on their lunch break at a local pizzeria; then the couple adorned each corpse with a Gadsden (“Don’t Tread on Me”) Flag. Shortly thereafter, after killing another innocent civilian, they killed themselves, too cowardly to face responsibility for their despicable act. A libertarian pundit, Adam Kokesh, “argued that because America’s political institutions — including the police — have become “homicidal … against freedom,” it was wrong to see the Millers unprovoked killing spree as acts of murder rather than self-defense. Kokesh argued next that the Millers had, if anything, saved lives by murdering two police. “Think of how many lives might have been saved by this incident,” he urged his audience. “How many people would these cops have killed had they not been killed?” “We can only hope that some of the officers in America are listening — if you care about your own safety”

Seriously, Senator Ball, please remember that words have consequences. The kind of rhetoric you use in your email could be the spark that lights some mentally unstable New Yorker’s fuse. Is that really what you want?”

Sincerely,
blahblahblah

 

Open thread–what’s on your mind today?

51 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Monday, June 16th, 2014: Local Fearmongering

  1. Excellent response to the drivel of a Gunnuttistanian retard.

    As for moi, I am so goddamn sick of hearing, from wingnuts everywhere, about the latest “assault on the second amendment” — itself a total untruth, a false flag, a straw man, a red herring, a bold-faced lie — choose the proper descriptor(s). I only wish that someone out there SOMEWHERE would actually have the cojones to display a tidbit of intestinal fortitude and DEMAND an all-out ASSAULT on the stupid and ridiculous Second Amendment, to demand either outright repeal, or rewrite, or at the very LEAST, proper interpretation of the current version as it stands. Such might be a person in politics whom I could genuinely support.

    • Yep. I expect an increase in gun and ammo sales in the near future. Our government can’t round up 3 million illegal aliens whom the right despise yet somehow our government is going to go around the country and take away all of our beloved guns.

      Gun owners should have to carry gun insurance and I’m guessing if the law was changed to actually hold gun manufacturers liable for deaths caused by their products, we just might see full support from the NRA for stricter gun laws, the end of gun show sales loopholes and a push for universal background checks. Of course we also need a serious discussion about mental health issues in this country.

      • That could work, yes, providing that the law’s sanity clause includes a proviso that no registered Republican is ever to be considered eligible for gun purchase or ownership. That might, in fact, be about all that’s required, come to think of it.

      • It has been rumored that, even while in a medically induced coma, “The Stig” was observed racing gurneys around the circuit of hallways at the hospital against other patients in exchange for real food.

  2. Hillary Clinton told a German magazine the United States should follow Germany, where Angela Merkel is chancellor, and have a woman in charge.

    But Hillary totally doesn’t know if she’ll run for president.

    • Hillary’s time has come… and gone. We are definitely ready for a woman President, but Hillary is far too entrenched in the Corporate Party.
      Elizabeth Warren would be ideal, but at this time I think she may accomplish more good by NOT becoming the hamstrung figurehead the Presidency of the United States has become.

  3. I’m getting tired of legislation like this being accused of being aimed toward “law-abiding citizens.” Clearly, and unmistakably, the law is aimed at catching criminals who commit crimes with guns. Law-abiding citizens who do not use their guns in the commission of a crime have nothing to fear from this technology, as it will never be used against them. I do not understand how it would.

    • Sometimes the impression persists that gun nuts actually believe the notion that, since guns are a god-given and constitutionally-protected RIGHT, and since both god and the constitution do not authorize or permit crime, that therefore gun use can never ever be criminal. In other words, any action by anyone to keep guns out of anyone’s hands is criminal and obviously aimed only at law-abiding citizens.

      Wayne LaPierre would surely agree.

    • They think they have the right to have secret guns, because government. I favor registration of every gun and complete traceability of all weapons and ammo. I do not fear accountability for the use of the weapons I own. I do not fear government will come to take my gun, and for those that do, can’t they just use their guns to prevent that should it ever really happen? Isn’t that what they’re stockpiling the things for?

      • I entirely agree. I will also take the logic one step further.

        I own guns and I’m not afraid that the government is going to come and kill me because I own them. If you own guns and are afraid that the government is going to come and kill you because you own them? Get rid of the guns. Problem solved.

    • yeah Wayne those “law abiding citizens” who may have a gun stolen, but yet wouldn’t report it to the police?

      geezzz…..they’re not “very law abiding” if they’re worried about anything other than helping authorities recover a weapon.

    • That’s the best thing I’ve read all day.
      Karma’s going to be a real bitch for the driver that left the dog there to die.

  4. I think it’s a mistake to put too much stock in the theory that the NRA is driven mostly by profit through gun sales. If that was the case they would be making a whole lot more profit pimping cars or soft drinks. We must consider that some of their motivation is to “get rid of the flaws” of our modern democracy.

  5. I see why you have trouble listening to Thom Hartmann. He’s got Bryan Fischer of the AFA on to debate the Bible definition of marriage.

  6. Hillary Clinton: Bible Is ‘The Biggest Influence On My Thinking’

    Oh puhleeze, let the pandering tour begin….

  7. Omygod, the end of Amurka is at hand!! “They” are coming for our guns, the guns of law abiding Amurkans everywhere!!

    WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court dealt a rare blow to the gun lobby Monday by ruling that purchasers must report when they are buying firearms for other people.

    The 5-4 decision upheld two lower courts that had ruled against so-called straw purchasers, even though the justices acknowledged that Congress left loopholes in gun control laws passed in the 1960s and 1990s.

    For gun purchasers to be allowed to buy from licensed dealers without reporting the actual final owners of the firearms, the justices said, would make little sense.

    “Putting true numbskulls to one side, anyone purchasing a gun for criminal purposes would avoid leaving a paper trail by the simple expedient of hiring a straw,” Justice Elena Kagan wrote for the slim majority.

    Kagan, a New Yorker who acknowledged during her 2010 confirmation hearings that she was not very familiar with guns, was opposed by four conservative justices, led by Justice Antonin Scalia — who famously has taken her hunting on several occasions.

    “No piece of information is more important under federal firearms law than the identiry of a gun’s purchaser — the person who acquires a gun as a result of a transaction with a licensed dealer,” Kagan said. . . .

    http://crooksandliars.com/2014/06/supreme-court-rules-against-straw

    • Yes, it is sad news for all of baseball. We’re watching the Mets game, and occasionally one or another of the announcers will tell stories about Gwynn. He was an amazing player who always beat the stuffing out of the Mets.

  8. for fucksake…i’d like to get through on goddamn day without dickwad Kanye West or at least one fucking Kardashian twat staring back at me as I search the “news” for actual relevant NEWS!

    • rAmen! That is not news…nor is it news who has gone from having ‘bangs’ to a bob haircut…who the eff cares besides the person who decided on how they should look?

  9. Thanks for the excellent research on this Jane.
    I bought a firearm last fall, after a bobcat killed 5 chickens and only ate 2… As the shop owner was putting me through the paces and packing up the piece he said: “If you are ever in New York you’ll need this when you register the firearm…” It was a shell casing in a little brown envelope, for the purpose that has been described in your post. I have no problem with the technology or the purpose, and actually think it’s a good idea. For the right-wing screechers to object is ludicrous. One would think that any law abiding citizen would welcome it, but then thinking things through doesn’t seem to be a forte of the gun nutters.
    I’m also on the other side of the continent from New York State, and bobcats aren’t likely to come back around to pick up spent casings. Hopefully they’ll be halfway to Arkansas before slowing down long enough to think about having their uncivilized rights violated.

    • Thanks, glad you liked it. As soon as I read his email, I knew I had to research the legislation. It was certainly simple enough to understand, and obviously nothing like what Ball described. I’m thinking of posting this (well, probably an abbreviated version) on the local online newspaper–I think I still have blogging rights there.

      I also noticed a yard sign on my route to work that said “Repeal the S.A.F.E. Act”, (the gun legislation that Governor Cuomo signed, I believe in early 2013, shortly after the Newtown/Sandy Hook tragedy.) I checked the internets, and found that, for the most part, the yard signs are offered at S.C.O.P.E., Shooters Committee on Political Education. I haven’t had a chance yet to see what they consider “political education.” 😦

      • Go for the local commentary Jane, your position is well reasoned. You can’t reach the dyed in the wool ammosexuals, but you can sway some folk on the fence.

  10. You cannot make this shit up. So there is actually a seminar this fall, sponsored by the Hertog Foundation, which explores the origins of the terrible decision-making that led us into the worst foreign policy mistake since Vietnam. And the fair and balanced teaching team?

    “It will be led by Paul D. Wolfowitz, who served during the Persian Gulf War as the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy and as Deputy Secretary of Defense during the first years of the Iraq War, and by Lewis Libby, who served during the first war as Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy and during the Iraq War as Chief of Staff and National Security Adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney.”

    http://hertogfoundation.org/advanced-institutes/the-war-in-iraq-a-study-in-decision-making/

    • This could be useful if they explore how arrogance and confirmation bias allow folks to make truly bad decisions. I’m guessing that’s not what their going for.

      • Please fix the their /= they’re thing, I’m very tired, not illiterate.

    • I say we round up the usual suspects and stone them.

      But seriously he is also is a member of the militaristic/war mongering group behind PNAC or ‘Project For A New American Century’ which believed in regime change in the Middle East via our superb, 21st century military would succeed.

      This was the group that kept pressuring President Clinton into going to war with Iraq in the late 90’s. This the group who basically stated that in order for them to advance their agenda of war there needed to be some type of cataclysmic event like a New Pearl harbor to get the American people to support war. Two years later George W. Bush is selected POTUS and 9/11…happens….next, more war.

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