Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Bullet Trajectory is The Shortest Path Between Tucson and Norway

(Today we have a guest blogger:  Penny Okamoto.  Penny is a longtime volunteer and, until recently, Executive Director, for Ceasefire Oregon and the Ceasefire Oregon Education Foundation.)

Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords courageously returned to Washington D.C. on August 1 to vote to avoid government loan default. The Congresswoman is making a remarkable recovery from an assassination attempt that left six dead and 12 others injured by Jared Loughner, a maniac wielding a Glock with high capacity magazine clips.

In Norway, just ten days before Ms. Gifford’s return to Congress, another maniac wielding a Glock with high-capacity magazine clips, Anders Breivik, sadistically gunned down 68 people.

Seventy-four people dead on two continents, killed with high capacity magazine clips bought legally from one country:  the United States.

It’s difficult to determine how many others worldwide have lost their lives to guns outfitted with high-capacity ammo clips between January and July, but seventy-four is an embarrassment to America.

If Congresswoman Gifford’s colleagues sincerely wish to help her and the victims of the Norway massacre then they should pass laws banning all sales of high-capacity guns and magazine clips.

Let’s put lives ahead of politics and pocket change.

Ceasefire Oregon and the Ceasefire Oregon Education Foundation send our deepest condolences to the victims of all gun violence.

[A related article:]


  1. Here's a good article about Breivik and how he bought his high-capacity ammo clips from the U.S.:

  2. Good post by your guest. I hope she writes again.

  3. If they are only good for killing people, why let the police have them? If the police need them for self-defense, then why should I be prohibited from having them, given I use my Glock for the purpose of self-defense from the same criminal element the police deal with.

  4. I mean no disrespect to the Congresswoman but just exactly what was "courageous" about her trip to Washington?

    Okay, there is the fact that as a city the 6th highest Homicide rate, 50th highest forcible rape rate, the 7th highest robbery rate, 23rd highest aggravated assault rate.

    By comparison Fort Worth has the 51st highest homicide rate,25th highest forcible rape rate ,49th highest robbery rate, 48th highest aggravated assault rate.

    I'm not trying to be facetious. I am seriously trying to figure out what is courageous about a woman returning to work?

  5. Bob, perhaps you do not understand that Congresswoman Giffords was shot in the head during an assassination attempt. Venturing into public after an assassination attempt takes guts because, as she painfully well knows, anyone can get any kind of gun in the United States and try again to kill her.

    Also, perhaps you have been fortunate enough to never suffer a serious injury so you do not realize how much pain and effort are involved in accomplishing even simple tasks, let alone travel.

    To be courageous enough to stand up again in public, to cast your vote, to represent your people, to not be cowed by maniacs when you are in pain all the while knowing that someone might be waiting to kill you is, indeed, courageous.

    Congresswoman Giffords does not look to a gun and bullets for courage but looks within herself--where true courage lies.

  6. @ Sebastion: are you seriously trying to compare your daily life to the duties of a policeman? Police, as part of their job, put themselves in harm's way, and as a result they must be well armed. Still, I haven't heard of the typical beat cop using a high-capacity clip with their handgun. The exception is SWAT teams, which take on the worst of the worst situations and need to outgun the bad guys. The typical law-abiding citizen will hardly be in such a situation, and has not reasonable need for such weaponry.

  7. Penny,

    Every day I walk the streets, go to work, shop and visit friends, I know that someone can try to kill me.
    They don't need a firearm to do it. 32% of all murders are committed without a firearm being involved.

    I've been injured, I've been hurt and ill. I know what it takes to travel. So the aspect of recovering from an injury is courageous?

    I'm not denigrating her recovery or her efforts. I think they are remarkable. However that is not the same as courageous.

    Do you think John McCain is courageous? How about the thousands of other city, county,and state representatives who do the same thing as Ms. Giffords did every day?

    It is the life they chose. What is courageous about doing your job?

    Congresswoman Giffords does not look to a gun and bullets for courage but looks within herself--where true courage lies.

    Now your bigotry is showing. Guess all those cops who walk the streets every day are cowards, eh?
    How about the millions of business owners who have firearms but live and work in crime ridden neighborhoods -- they open their businesses every day facing odds worse than Ms. Giffords -- are they cowards?

    Do you not see the crime statistics? Know that people have 1 in 2 odds of being a victim of violent crime in their life time?

  8. Police carry firearms to defend themselves. The criminals they encounter on the streets are the same criminals ordinary citizens carry guns to protect themselves from.

    It is true that the police are paid to put themselves in harms way, but it is the job of the police to bring suspects to justice, not to shoot them. Police carry firearms to defend themselves. The most common police standard issue is the Glock 17 and Glock 19. The 17 holds 17 rounds, and the 19 holds 15. Both of those magazines would be banned under your proposals, except for law enforcement, who apparently only have a need to murder large numbers of people, according to your side's own rhetoric.

    Almost all police carry magazines that hold more than ten rounds. I can't think of any department that still issues firearms who's standard capacity is less than ten. Most police, like most citizens, will never fire a shot in their defense through their entire careers. Yet they are still carrying firearms that hold more than ten rounds. Ask your local police what model side arm they issue. I guarantee you it holds more than ten rounds by default.

  9. "Still, I haven't heard of the typical beat cop using a high-capacity clip with their handgun"

    The laws that you endorse classify 'high capacity' as more than 10 rounds. Most modern handguns standard magazines hold more than that so the police DO use 'high capacity' magazines typically.

    Again, why the magic number 10? Is there some research supporting that number or is it just arbitrary? Why do the police need so many rounds? Why do you consider their lives to be more important than the average citizen?

  10. First off, maybe some form of agreement should be reached on what constitutes a "large capacity magazine": 15+ rounds, 30+ rounds, etcetera.

    Baldur would be incorrect if he is referring to the "typical beat cop using a high-capacity clip with their handgun" if we are talking about 15-17 round magazines since those are pretty much standard for semi-auto pistols. Extended round ones--yes.

    Sebastian's comment that "I use my Glock for the purpose of self-defense from the same criminal element the police deal with."

    I am pretty sure that Sebastian is not a full time Law Enforcement Officer and does not put himself in the situations that LEOs do on a regular basis as part of their job.

    We can get into the civil and criminal legal liabilities for civilians attempting to engage in law enforcement, as well as other outcomes. The bottom line is that it is not advisable for non-LEOs to try to play police.

    As such, they do not have a "need" for these items.

  11. The point of the post was that America is providing the world, Al Qaeda included, with high-capacity ammunition and that this is all done for the sake of money over the lives of innocent people.

    The question of armed police officers is a subject for another day.

    The Second Amendment has become a marketing tool for the gun lobby. Americans pay the price in a body count every day and now Norway has added bodies to the altar of the nra.

    Breivik and Loughner armed themselves with ammunition from the U.S. We should ban the sale and transfer of all high-capacity ammunition as well as the possession of high-capacity ammunition.

  12. Penny, I don't disagree with you, but I would warn you to be very careful what you say as a more experienced activist in the gun control movement.

    Most of my pro-gun control posts are found at mikeb30200 these days.

    Baldur knows where to find me if you need help.

  13. It's interesting to note the bogus rhetoric often used by many gun control advocates regarding "high capacity" magazines: good only for massacres, etc. Yet when it's pointed out that most police use them, they magically have legitimate use but only in situations supposedly unique to police.

    While it may be the case that a given average police officer may be more likely to need a firearm than a given average civilian, there are many more civilians. And once a firearm is needed, many of the same features that make a firearm suited for police use are also an enhancement for civilian use.

    For example: When using a firearm for defense, one needs to disable the assailant(s) before running out of ammo, and even police have an amazingly low ratio of hits to shots fired. It may be that civilians might have an even lower such ratio -- making civilian need for "high capacity" magazines even greater.

  14. Bogus Rhetoric? Seriously, JayF.

    Police and professional law enforcement go into situations that no sane civilian should attempt and do have a need for these.

    To even propose that you need these for self-defence "because the police have them" is silly.

    Unless, you are not a sane civilian.

    In that case, you probably shouldn't own a gun in the first place.

  15. Even if police need these magazines, the law I've read that's been suggested also allows exemptions for retired LEOs as well.

    If they're no longer on "the force", so to speak, then there's no legitimate reason for them to have any less restrictions than your average citizen, and yet several laws do allow retired LEOs unnecessary exemptions, which is unjustifiable.

    Several times now, I've read demands for irresponsible laws banning certain weapons and accessories, using the phrase "only useful for mass murder", or something similar.

    Every time, the claim is made that police need these weapons/accessories in their duties.

    Now let's be open here, we both know one claim is a lie. Be honest for once and tell us which one.

  16. Guy, I don't know which specific proposed law you're referring to. In my opinion, though, once an officer is retired, I see no reason why they would need to continue having access to firearms with high-capacity magazine clips, or assault rifles.

  17. I gave a typical example of "bogus rhetoric" regarding "high-capacity" magazines, of which a great deal abounds.

    Police and professional law enforcement do go into some situations more than civilians do -- yet once into situations in which a firearm is needed, many of the same features that make a firearm suited for police use are also an enhancement for civilian use, and I gave an example. In fact, there is much overlap in police and civilian firearms in areas other than magazine capacity.

  18. Why do you refer to Ms. Gifford's shooting as an "attempted assassination?" It was tragic, to be sure.

    An "assassination" is almost always for political motives, whether legitimate or rational, or not. And whatever you may say about Loughner, it cannot be said that there was a political motive, or even a political connection to this shooting.

    The only political motives here are by those victim disarmament advocates who used, and continue to use, the victims for their own purposes. The shooting itself was entirely the act of an insane individual. This is clear despite the rather desparate attempts of the media and some rather despicable political figures to make it a political event.

    BTW- Sebastian is correct. If a "high-capacity" magazine is appropriate for police, for their defense or the defense of others, why is it not appropriate for non-LEOs?

    Is my life of lesser value? Am I not entitled to be able to adequately defend myself? Should the circumstances warrant it (and I hope very much never to be in those circumstances), am I not entitled to as many rounds as is necessary to protect myself and my family? I cannot predict - and neither can you - how many rounds may be necessary. Neigher can I - nor can you - predict when or where same may be necessary.

    My life isn't worth defending? Or am I disposable in pursuit of your own agenda?

  19. @ GMC70: look up "assassinate":

    "to kill suddenly or secretively, especially a politically prominent person; murder premeditatedly and treacherously."

    The motive doesn't have to be political, though often it is. In this case, it was a "politically prominent person", in a premeditated murder, by someone posing as a concerned constituent at a rally (thus, "treacherous").

    Yep, fits the definition.

  20. Let's say your dream law to ban "high capacity" magazines and "high capacity" ammunition (whatever that is) gets passed.

    If an otherwise law-abiding citizen who has one of these magazines, or the ammunition in his/her possession, how should they be punished?

    What should they be charged with?
    What punishment do you propose for the justice system to administer to someone caught in violation of your law?

  21. I like very much what Penny has to say, and I see Baldr has just the commenters to keep her on her toes.

    For me, magazine capacity laws are pretty far down the list. My solution is here.

  22. So mikeb likes very much what Penny has to say, but her solution and call to action is "pretty far down the list"? LOL

    On the other hand, her solution and call to action might be much easier to enforce if only mikeb's proposals were in place first.