Saturday, October 29, 2011

Anonymous Comments Will No Longer Be Allowed


My last blog post was about bullies in the gun lobby and how their followers have taken up the same tactics.  Sadly, this is something I see almost every day in the comments that come through.  It's a sad side-effect that people who promote non-violence, like myself, have to deal with on a regular basis.  It's not really surprising, I guess.  You can't expect people to be peaceful and civil if they spend so much of their mental energy and time preparing to kill people (self-defense included).

Many of you on the pro-gun side who visit here say you value debate on issues, and yet so many of you post foul and threatening messages, especially as "anonymous".  It's cowardly.  Folks on the pro-control side don't post such horrible comments.  Consider this small sampling, all posted as "anonymous" at New Trajectory.  The top one came in this morning:

"No possession of mine is worth the value of a human life, including scum-sucking dope-head career criminals."

Glad to hear that. There are many local people who already know who you are and where you live.

You wouldn't mind if they showed up and took all your shit, right?

Do you have any cute daughters?
Should'nt be too hard tracking you down. I have some topics to discuss with you.

See you soon.

Knock knock
Hey Fag-boy...

Do your children know what a faggot you are? Do they know you drink man-juice?

Do your kids know you butt-fuck corpses?

Take it all in stride fag-bot. CFO is not a legitimate threat. CFO is just you in your mom's basement jacking off into her underwear.

You sick little fuck is simply a source of entertainment for us, and deep down, you know it.

But if walking around town inside a cardboard box makes you feel better about yourself, knock yourself out fag-boy.

Good thing you live in Oregon Baldi or we would have to beat you into submission, so you could be taught that our rights are not to be infringed.

Hey Baldr, should I refer to you as a fat fucking dick-head or a fat fucking douche-bag cunt???

I had allowed anonymous comments for those who did not have profiles that fit the options.  But, clearly, those who would abuse that option have overwhelmed those who would not.  So, from this point forward, no anonymous comments will be allowed.  If you can't man-up enough to put your ID on a comment, then it isn't worth posting anyway.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Gun-Bullies Fear Peaceful Protest

The CEO and executive vice president of the National Rifle Association is quoted as saying "The guys with the guns make the rules."  It wasn't a statement about the philosophy of our Founding Fathers.  It was a threat, leveled against our politicians and the American people.  It was his way of claiming that the NRA and their followers had the political muscle and the lethal arms necessary to bully their way into our laws and push their extremist pro-gun propaganda.

And his followers took it to heart, just as they do the other bumpersticker slogans of the NRA. 

I am reminded of this when I read a recent post over at the Common Gunsense blog, where the author illustrates how extremist gun guys gather at Tea Party rallies, brandish assault rifles and pistols, and claim dominance where they have none, while the police looked the other way and media glamorized their violent message.  A conservative pundit claimed that gun control advocates "cannot win. We outnumber them in this country, and we have the guns. (laughter) I’m not kidding. They talk a mean game, but they will not cross that line because they know what they’re dealing with."  If these things aren't armed threats, I don't know what is.  Could you imagine if people showed up at any other sort of event with weapons like that?  A school play?  A football game?  A county fair?  There would be outrage!  And yet, for some bizarre reason, people are willing to accept it at political rallies.

Recently a gun guy with a concealed carry license infiltrated an Occupy Portland camp, and when the protestors objected to him filming inside their tents, he brandished his handgun at them in a direct threat of force, several times.  Is this what the NRA CEO had in mind when he said "the guys with the guns make the rules?"  Does this excuse the man from using his weapon to threaten people?  A commenter at Common Gunsense seemed to think so, and even suggested the man should have baited the protesters into attacking him so he could shoot them.

Really, it boils down to the flawed "insurrectionist" interpretation of the Second Amendment.  The NRA and their extremists think our Founding Fathers wrote the 2A not to provide for state-supervised militia armies, but rather to allow for common people to overthrow the government whenever they feel things aren't what they want!  So they hide their fetish for guns behind this belief that only the threat of rebellion keeps our government from become a tyranny, or communism, or whatever.  Like all bullies, they justify the use of fear and the threat of violence.

But our government isn't a tyranny, it's a democracy, and if a majority of citizens aren't pleased with their representatives, they get voted out.  The Founding Fathers intended it to be a peaceful transition based on reason, not force, and actively put down rebellions in their time (like the Whiskey Rebellion).

Really, what the NRA and their extremist pals fear the most, like all bullies, is that peaceful protest and non-violent transition will negate the need for force and render moot their justifications for violent talk.  Like the guy in Portland, they just can't handle the fact that peaceful protesters can change our government, making null and void the flawed insurrectionist argument.  They mock our message of non-violence, try to smear it, and attempt to infiltrate it, but brandishing weapons and posting fake photos won't fool the American people into believing.  Peace worked in the 70's with the hippie movement.  It worked in India, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and other countries.  It worked recently in Egypt and Tunisia.  It's working in Jordan and Syria and Yemen.  It works with every election in America.  And it's working now with the Occupy movement.  You don't need a gun to make a difference.

So, do "the guys with the guns make the rules?"  No, not in a civilized nation, and we won't let them.  We won't vote them into office.  We won't listen to their lies.  We'll call them out when they spout violence.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Another Successful Gun Turn-In

One of the goals of the Ceasefire Oregon Education Foundation is to sponsor gun turn-ins, where members of the public can bring unwanted firearms to be disposed of voluntarily, no questions asked, and redeem the guns for $50 gift certificates to Fred Meyer grocery and department store.  These are gun owners who, for whatever reason, no longer feel safe having a gun in their home.  Older people who can no longer safely use their weapons, or whose spouses died and they don't feel comfortable using them.  People who have family members who are depressed or violent.  New parents with children.  People with guns that are no longer in good shape.  Or simply people who need that little bit of cash to get by.  Whatever the case, they can hand over their guns for gift certificates and the police department will take possession of the guns and destroy them, all without adding to the flood of weapons in our community.

Last weekend was the second gun turn-in this year in Portland, with forty guns handed over (We collected 13 rifles, 6 shotguns, 21 handguns, 3 pellet guns, and some ammo).  We were happy to have cooperation and funding from the city (Thank you, Mayor Adams!) and the Portland Police Department.  Combined with the last two turn-ins in December 2010 and April 2011, that comes to over 400 guns.  Over the last 16 years of gun turn-ins, 7,564 firearms have been removed from our streets and homes!

HERE is a link to an article in the Oregonian newspaper on this week's turn-in event.

Portland Police Officer James Escobar (right) and Reserve Officer John Kirby (center) process two rifles and two handguns turned over Saturday to Ceasefire Oregon, while Cadet Daniel Nguyen begins the paperwork. The owner of the four guns said he no longer felt comfortable having them in his house since becoming a father. 

One of the patrons at this week's event, Ken Pyburn, turned in a couple .22's to pay for his Thanksgiving turkey.  From the article:

The Portland resident also is not opposed to guns. Rather, as far as he's concerned, the .22-caliber handgun and a .22 rifle he donated are too small to be of much use.

"I'm an old Army guy, a military policeman," he said. "Believe me, I know what it takes in a self-defense situation."

But Pyburn has no use for the powerful National Rifle Association and its anti-gun control agenda. "I'm not anti-gun, but I am anti-NRA," he said. "There's no practical way to keep guns off the street without a national registration system."

(It's interesting to note that on the same page where this article was printed in the Oregonian were news briefs on shootings that had taken place the day before:  a deadly hunting accident (where a man mistook a hiker for a bear), a gang shooting, a bus stop shooting, and a suicide by gun.  There were a total of three gang shootings this past weekend in Portland.  A few days before, there was also a man with a conceal carry permit brandishing a gun against protestors at the Occupy Portland gathering.)

Of course, like all the gun turn-ins, there are the pro-gun extremists who turn out at the entrance to the event to hassle anyone who attends, hollering at people who come to turn in their guns, offering to pay big money for their weapons.  Some convince the patrons to sell them their guns.  But the real reason the extremists are there, of course, is just to protest our attempts to remove weapons from the streets and from those who might abuse them.  These are the people who want more guns for more people in more places, at any cost, and fight to remove commonsense controls.  Their answer to gun violence is to add more guns to our community and oppose any measures to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, children, or the dangerously mentally ill.

Like myself and many who work to reduce gun-related violence, our organizers understand the value of removing guns from homes where they can be abused.  Consider the facts:

  • Keeping a firearm in the home increases the risk of suicide by a factor of 3 to 5 and increases the risk of suicide with a firearm by a factor of 17 (Kellermann, 1992, p. 467;  Wiebe, p. 771).
  • Keeping a firearm in the home increases the risk of homicide by a factor of 3 (Kellermann, 1993, p. 1084).

Again from the Oregonian article

Back at the Ceasefire Oregon collection point, organizer Liz Julee expressed a much different sentiment. The native of western Kentucky said she's lost five family members over the years to gun violence. Four uncles and cousins were shot in various disputes, domestic squabbles or hunting accidents. Her clinically depressed mother used one of the family's hunting rifles to commit suicide.

"Her name was Helen Bridges, she was 48," Julee said. "I do this work in her honor."

If you have a gun in your home that you need to discard, you don't have to wait until the next gun turn-in.  Most police departments will take them, free of charge (but without giving you a gift card, of course), and most of those departments destroy those weapons. 

Sources for statistics:

Harvard School of Public Health: Harvard Injury Control Research Center. Homicide – Suicide – Accidents – Children and Women, Boston: Harvard School of Public Health, 2009,

Kellermann, Arthur L. et al., “Suicide in the Home in Relation to Gun Ownership,” New England Journal of Medicine, 327(7) (1992): 467-472.

Kellermann, Arthur L. MD, MPH, et al., “Gun Ownership as a Risk Factor for Homicide in the Home,” New England Journal of Medicine, 329(15) (1993): 1084-1091.

Wiebe, Douglas J. PhD. “Homicide and Suicide Risks Associated With Firearms in the Home: A National Case-Control Study,” Annals of Emergency Medicine 41 (2003): 771-82.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Pro-Gun Extremist Hero Jailed For Gun Crime

Yesterday I got another anonymous threat posted as a comment to this blog, this time threatening to hunt me down at home.  Yawn.  This dufus didn't even know what city I live in.  To Mr. Anonymous, please note that, like all comments sent to me, I now have your IP address.  This is yet another example to me that people who spend their time and mental energy preparing themselves to kill people are all too often only a shade away from being criminals themselves.

The pro-gun crowd likes to pretend that only hardened criminals and gangbangers are shooting up our communities, insisting that those who have concealed weapons permits don't murder people.  They portray themselves as absolutely law-abiding, patriotic, and only interested in self-protection. 

And yet, all the time, I see reports of previously law-abiding gun owners who commit gun-related crimes, including murder, with those guns they supposedly purchased for self protection.  This includes concealed carry permit holders

According to the Violence Policy Center, more than 100 people have been killed by holders of handgun-carry permits since 2007, including nine law enforcement officers. "They shoot each other over parking spaces, at football games and at family events," says the center's Kristin Rand. "The idea that you're making any place safer by injecting more guns is just completely contradicted by the facts."

It doesn't help the pro-gun extremists' case when one of their own is arrested for a gun crime.  Representative Curry Todd was arrested this week for driving drunk while carrying a loaded handgun in his car.  This is particularly interesting since Todd was the sponsor of a bill to allow concealed carry guns in bars in Tennessee.  He swore that those who have concealed firearms would never be the sort to get drunk while carrying.  'Cuz, you know, people wouldn't drink in bars!  What could possibly go wrong when you combine guns and alcohol in bars?

Adam Dread, a Nashville attorney who formed a coalition to fight Todd on the law, called the arrest "poetic justice."

"He spent all his time arguing that as a permit holder that we don't violate the law, we're responsible and of course we would never drink when we had our guns, and then be arrested for the very thing that he was out there clamoring about is a little bit of poetic justice if you will," Dread said in an interview on

And, gee, wouldn't you know that Todd is also the chairman of the newly-formed House Firearms Taskforce?  He promptly resigned from that position.  Apparently the taskforce has now been cancelled.  Hmm. 

"This is only the latest example of the dangers of guns carried in public and underscores the futility of trying to predict who will act responsibly and who will ultimately endanger public safety,” says Kristen Rand of the Washington, D.C.-based Violence Policy Center.

If one of the heroes of the pro-gun movement can't keep himself clean of gun crimes, what does it say for the others? 

Image taken from HERE.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Accessories for the Gun Fetishist

Back in July I posted a blog entitled "You're Probably A Pro-Gun Extremist If ...." which listed some very good indicators that you may fall into that category.  I consider it a public service.  To treat a problem you first have to realize you have a problem, right?

Well, another sign that you may be a pro-gun extremist is if you have paraphernalia proudly displayed around your home which advertises your fetish for guns.  No, I'm not talking about NRA hats or bumper stickers, or that nicely displayed collection of antique six-shooters, or the new laser sight you bought.  I'm talking about everyday items that now have to have a gun theme, items which proudly proclaim, "Guns are in my everyday thoughts!  Come to my home, where everything should be gun-related!"

For instance, lighting.  Here's a great gallery of lamps which feature guns as the stand.  Name your category, they have it:  Tommy guns, semi-auto handguns, revolvers, assault rifles.  Some are chrome, others golden.  One even states at the base, "Happiness is a hot gun."  Ah, nothing says "cozy home furnishings" more than that!  And here's a gun lamp that goes even further.  Just aim the gun and pull the trigger and the lamp turns off, knocking the shade askew.  Yay!  Now you can live out a snippet of your home invasion fantasy every time you fall asleep.  Sweet dreams!

And you can wake up to your home defense fantasies, too, with a shooting alarm clock!  In fact, there are TWO to choose from.  One is sorta old fashioned, with a gun that is actually attached to the clock.  But more impressive is this newer one with a pop-up target, which has "bang" sounds, a countdown for shooting, and a voice that tells you how excellent your shooting was.  Heck, nothing is better to wake up to than gunfire, right?

Once you're awake, it's time to get dressed.  Put on your Ted Nugent shirt and NRA cap... but wait!  What about the shoes, ladies?  Why, now you can get stylish with these pumps that feature handguns as the high heels!  There's plenty of styles to choose from.  And where will you hide your concealed firearm?  Putting it in your purse is so passé.  How about in your bra?  Yes, with the Flashbang holster, you can put your small semi-auto handgun in the front between your breasts.  With a hand up your shirt and a quick-release, you can be defending yourself in style!  As they say, "Nothing comes between a woman and her gun!"  And for those who fumble, it doubles as a do-it-yourself mastectomy kit, too!

Now it's time to step out for a quick smoke.  No self-respecting gun owning smoker would be without a gun lighter, right?  Aw, aren't they cute?  Now you can light up while, at the same time, proclaiming your love of fire AND firearms!  Shucks, why not go all out and get one that looks like the real thing?  What's the harm in it?  Of course people DIE because they mistake real guns for lighters.  Like this case, or this one, or this one.  Eh, who cares?  It's not illegal or immoral for such things to be made.  We've got our rights, you know!  And you're smokin' in style, too!

But even if you shoot yourself to death with your real-gun-you-thought-was-a-lighter, you can even express your gun fetish after your death!  You could, for instance, have a coffin made out of smashed guns.  But I think a more touching expression of your gun fetish would be to pack your ashes into live bullets.  Yes, that's right, for one low, low price of $850 you can have your ashes put into 250 shotgun shells.  Said one of the turkey-hunting inventors about what his friends could do with his ashes and what they would think, "He could rest in peace, knowing that one more turkey, the last thing he saw, was Clem screaming at him at 900 feet per second."  Or you could go with 100 high-caliber rounds, or pistol rounds, etc.  Heck, they could have a 21-gun salute at your memorial service and have people shoot you sky-high.  Glamorize guns even after you die!  Nothing says you love Second Amendment rights, to whatever extreme, more than the combined smell of gunpowder and human remains.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Oregon Should Ban Guns On Public College Campuses

Continuing on the topic introduced in a previous post....

This op-ed by Ceasefire Oregon was published on October 4, 2011,
without footnotes, on page B7 of The Oregonian and at
We have added the footnotes below.

Oregon should ban guns on public college campuses

A long-standing ban on guns on Oregon public college campuses was overturned by the Oregon Court of Appeals on September 28. The court held that the Oregon State Board of Higher Education lacked the necessary legal authority to regulate firearms on Oregon college campuses. The court’s decision was on a narrow and technical legal issue, but it left more than 90,000 students suddenly vulnerable to an influx of firearms on campus.

Guns on college campuses pose a significant risk to college students. Research shows that gun-owning college students are more likely than other students to engage in risky behavior (including binge drinking), use cocaine or crack, be arrested for a DUI, vandalize property, and get in trouble with police.1 Rather than offering a measure of protection, gun ownership among students is associated with behaviors that are likely to put the owners and others at risk for injury. A drunken college party is a risky place; a drunken college party with a loaded gun is much more dangerous.

Suicide is another major risk that guns pose to college students. Over 1,000 college students commit suicide each year, and an additional 24,000 attempts are made.2 Last spring, the University of Oregon’s Daily Emerald reported that 55 percent of college students consider committing suicide. (“Learning to Cope,” Oregon Daily Emerald, April 22, 2011.)

Restricting access to lethal means significantly reduces the risk of impulsive suicide.3 Nine out of ten people who survive a suicide attempt will not die by suicide later in life.4 But if a gun is used in a suicide attempt, more than 90 percent of the time it is fatal, compared with a 3 percent fatality rate for suicide attempts by drug overdose.5 Some campus gun owners may be well-trained and responsible, but a friend or roommate’s gun can be as lethal as one’s own. Keeping guns off campus gives students time to reconsider.

Personal weapons do not provide meaningful protection against the horrific school shootings that have grabbed headlines in recent years. Reacting under the extreme stress of a school shooting, the civilian shooter poses a grave threat to students and staff, who can be caught in the crossfire. Even trained police officers, on average, hit their intended targets less than 20 percent of the time.6 In a survey of over 400 campus police chiefs, 86 percent of them disagreed or strongly disagreed that "allowing students to carry concealed weapons on campus would prevent some or all campus killings."7 That opinion is shared by Colin Goddard, a student survivor of the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting, who experienced firsthand the chaos of a campus shooting.8

Gov. John Kitzhaber and the Oregon Legislature need to act immediately to ban guns in Oregon public schools. Guns on campuses pose an elevated and unacceptable risk to students and staff at all educational levels.

UPDATE (10/14/11):  An article from Lane Community College's newspaper, The Torch, with a comparable argument:

UPDATE (11/8/11):  The Oregon University system chooses not to appeal the ruling for now:


1. Miller, Matthew, David Hemenway, and Henry Wechsler, “Guns and Gun Threats at College,” Journal of American College Health 51(57) (September 2002):62–64; Miller, et al., “Guns at College,” Journal of American College Health 48(7) (1999).
2. Cintron, Miriam, “College Campuses Grapple with Escalating Suicide Rates,” (on file with Brady Center).
3. Lewiecki, E. Michael and Miller, Sara A., “Time to Reconsider,” Journal of the American Medical Association 305 (11) (March 16, 2011).
4. Owens D, Horrocks J, and House A. “Fatal and non-fatal repetition of self-harm: systematic review,” British Journal of Psychiatry 2002; 181:193–199, at
5. Miller, Matthew, et al., “Household Firearm Ownership and Rates of Suicide Across the 50 United States,” Journal of Trauma (April 2007):1029.
6. Morrison, Gregory B., “Deadly Force Programs Among Larger U.S. Police Departments,” Police Quarterly 9 (2006):331–332.
7. Thompson, Amy, James H. Price, Adam Mrdjenovich, Jagdish Khubchandani, “Reducing Firearm-Related Violence on College Campuses—Police Chiefs’ Perceptions and Practices,” Journal of American College Health 58(3) 2009:247–254.

Ceasefire Oregon works to reduce gun violence. For more information, please visit our website,, or contact us at 503.220.1669 or

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Three Judicial Rulings On Firearms Issues Tuesday

Normally I try to be focused on one topic in my blog posts, but it's been a busy 24 hours for commonsense judicial rulings regarding gun regulation.  Namely, there have been three judiciary decisions of note.

FIRST:  A win for our side.  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld a ban on semi-automatic assault rifles in D.C., and a ban on high-capacity ammo magazines.  As stated in the ruling (LINK) (each paragraph below is taken from different parts of the document):

We hold the District had the authority under D.C. law to promulgate the challenged gun laws, and we uphold as constitutional the prohibitions of assault weapons and of large-capacity magazines and some of the registration requirements.

The Committee on Public Safety received evidence that assault weapons are not useful for the purposes of sporting or self-defense, but rather are “military-style” weapons designed for offensive use. See generally Testimony of Brian J. Siebel, Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence (Oct. 1, 2008). The Committee concluded assault weapons “have no legitimate use as self-defense weapons, and would in fact increase the danger to law-abiding users and innocent bystanders if kept in the home or used in self-defense situations."

The District likewise contends magazines holding more than ten rounds are disproportionately involved in the murder of law enforcement officers and in mass shootings, and have little value for self-defense or sport. It cites the Siebel testimony, which relies upon a report of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) stating that semi-automatic rifles with large-capacity magazines are not suitable for sporting purposes.

I couldn't agree more.  It sets an important precedent for federal law. 

SECOND:  Another win for our side.  A federal court in Lubbock, Texas, ruled against the NRA in their attempt to lower the legal age to purchase handguns from gun dealers from 21 to 18.  From the ARTICLE:
Thursday the judge ruled that federal restrictions on gun sales to young person are in fact reasonable and constitutional.  Quoting from previous case law the judge ruled, "The Constitution permits legislators to 'draw lines on the basis of age when they have a rational basis for doing so at a class-based level."
Thursday's ruling also says,

Congress identified a legitimate state interest—public safety and passed legislation that is rationally related to addressing that issue.

And what is that "legitimate state interest -- public safety" referring to?  It's no doubt referring to the fact that ages 18-20 are PRIME age for gun deaths.  Gun-related deaths by homicide and suicide are the number 2 and 3 causes of death in that age range, not too far behind unintentional deaths (where 0.8% were due to firearms).  Firearms were used for 84.1% of homicides and 45.6% of suicides (according to CDC WISQARS data for 2008, the last year available).  Of the 10,658 reported total deaths, firearms led to 2257 deaths, or about 21.2%.

Compare that to the age range between 21-30, where firearms led to 17.5% of deaths.  The next age range, between 31-40, drops even further, to 9.2%.

Similar trends hold for these age ranges for violent crime, as well.

THIRD:  A draw.  The Supreme Court refused to hear a case regarding the constitutionality of concealed carry of firearms without a permit (ARTICLE).  It turned down the appeal of a Maryland man who had been charged with carrying a concealed firearm without a permit, caught while supposedly transferring his weapon between homes.   From the article:

Maryland countered that the Supreme Court made clear in its 2008 decision, District of Columbia v. Heller, that its holding would not undercut the enforcement of reasonable restrictions on guns. Maryland’s permit requirements were reasonable restrictions, the state argued.

And here is the noted statement from the DC v. Heller opinion:

Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose:  For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues.

Based on that statement, I'm rather disappointed the court didn't hear the case.  They didn't say so far why they refused the case.  Could it be because the court leans toward the conservative side?