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Sun

28

Oct

2007

Another Poster Child for the NRA
Sunday, 28 October 2007 00:00
by Jayne Lyn Stahl
PUBLISHER'S NOTE: Since we have been flooded with emails, letters and a few death threats - how about we all read the First Amendment once again - it's one that you claim you defend with your guns.

Just as the NRA bases its political activity on the principle that gun ownership is a civil liberty protected by the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights, The First Amendment to the United States Constitution (which prohibits the federal legislature from making laws that infringe the freedom of speech and infringe the freedom of the press) protects the right of Jayne Lyn Stahl to express her OPINION. Some of you who have written in claim that NRA members are law abiding, etc but others, at the same time, have made serious death threats against Stahl via email - which negate the other claims completely.

This story is now about a bunch of white guys threatening to off a woman who writes for this publication and one who cares deeply about her country and the disastrous direction it has taken. All those stupid enough (which appears to be more than a few 'law abiding' NRA members) to actually email threats - are traceable via your IP address whether or not you try and hide behind a proxy.

Furthermore, the image was not chosen and created by Stahl but rather the editorial team. She had nothing to do with the imagery which most of you seem to be most offended by. Our publication is not USA-based (we are not American) and we reserve the right to print what we want on our website, on our servers, and in our country whether or not we agree with what has been published (though in this case we fully agree with the Stahl's opinion of the NRA).

My opinion as publisher? The email threats are some of the most appalling and disgusting things I have ever read. Fine you don't like what she wrote... but fantasizing about killing her kind of proves my point about 'gun nuts' in the NRA (I captioned the image). The caption does NOT call all NRA members 'gun nuts' but does point out that the organization has been empowering them for over 100 years (can't you people read?). It now appears that would seem to be a correct analysis if the death threats received are anything to indicate.

What do I think about the NRA?

The NRA's support for wildlife management programs that allow hunting and opposing restrictions on devices like crossbows and leg hold traps is ignorant and regressive. Never mind the issue of opposing gun control in any form.

As someone who has family that hunts moose for food - I have no problem with people owning guns. This is a non-issue for me and I have eaten moose, musk ox, caribou and other venison. My family that own guns in Canada are honest people who don't have a problem letting the government know what's in their gun cabinet. They also have licenses to drive their cars.

So if you are a law-abiding American, what's the problem with gun registration? Surely, as an organization, if you disagree with gun registration (on the basis of invasion of privacy) then you much also disagree with a government that wiretaps its citizens and suspends habeas corpus - allowing the government to hold a person indefinitely (including US citizens), without charges being filed against him or her, without a court hearing, and without entitlement to a legal consultant?

But no, The NRA (who are still in bed with the Bush Administration) actually lobbied Bush to oppose efforts to make international trade in small arms more transparent at the UN Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms therefore protecting and concealing those who wish to export (illegally or not) American 'Gun Culture' abroad (see weapon$ manufacturer$).

Exercising influence over your own political milieu is one thing - forcing it on the rest of the world (which includes me) is another.

Personally as someone who is not American, now consider the USA, with its current administration, to be a plutocratic kleptocracy which violates the very spirit of those who founded the country... one based on the idea of freedom from a government that extends the personal wealth and political power of government officials and the ruling class at the expense of the population. What was once a country that I admired greatly has descended into, what I consider, a militaristic rogue state supported by organizations such as the NRA that perpetuate myths largely for economic principals that increase and protect the wealth of a few over the majority.

The United States has higher per capita rates of incarceration than any other country in the world (including Russia and China) so its clear that throwing more people in jail is not solving the problem of violent crime which continues unabated and at a rate that far exceeds anywhere else in the world. And the expansion of a privatized penal system in the US is not one to be admired but rather be embarrassed by - as is a for-profit Gulag with over two million people is nothing to be proud of.

The real enemy you have to protect yourself against is organizations and governments that use and incite fear as a tool for their agenda (which is almost exclusively economic at the end of the day).

The NRA is now nothing but a cult, an empty husk of what was once a legitimate organization, funded by weapons manufacturers, with a  few 'gun nuts' worshipping the gun in all its manifestations and beyond all common sense, who seem to get off on making threats against women via email.

by Jayne Lyn Stahl

Only a few hundred miles outside of Milwaukee, in a town of 2,000, a twenty year old "off-duty" deputy sheriff, and part-time police officer, apparently went bezerk, and went on a shooting spree, at an undisclosed private house, taking the lives of at least six people. The suspect, Tyler Peterson, was himself fatally shot by "authorities," some of whom may have worked at the same sheriff's office. Many of the specific details of this crime are being withheld, and there is only speculation about the motive. (AP) A mother of one of the victims suggests jealousy might be behind the killer's rampage.


Okay, it's not like this is the first time a police officer has been involved in a violent crime, and okay, maybe we can rationalize this outrageous, and horrifying event by noting what a rare occurrence it is to see members of law enforcement committing homicides. Oh, and yes, maybe it's completely inappropriate to talk about ready access to firearms of all kinds, especially when we're talking about police. But, what does the police manual, in Crandon, Wisconsin, say about carrying a weapon when off duty? Yes, of course, this appears to have been a crime of passion, so one wouldn't expect the deputy sheriff to consult his manual beforehand.

That said, there appears to be far greater leniency with respect to the carrying, and use, of weapons by members of law enforcement in this country than is desirable. Interestingly, as you know, police officers in Great Britain don't carry guns, and that country has a much lower incidence of violent crime.

There are many who will use the "rotten apple" argument in defense of America's law enforcement, and say that police departments needn't bother taking a closer look at the way they train their recruits with respect to when, where, how, and why they discharge their weapons, tear gas, and tasers. Maybe they're right. The commission of a crime like this by a police officer is clearly an anomaly, but we, as a society, can no more afford complacency, and apathy, when it comes to the actions of those we entrust with enforcing our laws than with those we elect to higher office.

And, factoring the National Rifle Association, and the abuse of legal, and illegal, weapons in this country, out of the equation, there have been way too many images, on the news, lately of policemen holding down an agitated, and anguished 45 year old woman at a Phoenix airport,.as well as rounding up members of Code Pink at a recent Lieberman/ McCain rally, and tasering an overzealous undergraduate at a Florida university for refusing to succumb to campus police after making controversial comments about impeaching the president. Oh, this is only what has been captured on camera. You wouldn't have to be there to guess how law enforcement handled the so-called Jena 6, in Louisiana, when making their arrests judging by some of the amateur video that has made its way to primetime news of big city police beating up Rodney King, and others like him in inner cities around America.
But, what does this have to do with a clearly deranged young man who, possibly after what may have been little more than a lover's quarrel, does in his girlfriend, and her whole family? Simply this, when we are bombarded with news accounts of soldiers gunning down innocent Iraqi citizens, of Los Angelenos being tear gassed for speaking out against draconian measures targeting illegal immigrants, of riot police routinely making their presence felt at anti-war protest rallies, of youngsters being tasered, whether they be students at a college in South Florida, or young men of color in our nation's inner cities, how can any reasonable person possibly expect anyone who has access to a gun not to model the kind of obscene, irrational behavior that destroyed the lives of six, and will force the state attorney general of Wisconsin to consider what the evaluation process is, and how it is this 20 year old got to be a member of a sheriff's department in the first place. Hopefully, too, the attorney general will place more restrictions on the use of deadly force by the police on the police, or on any human being. Deadly face is no substitute for due process.

While one often thinks of Charleton Heston when thinking about the NRA, in this age of the cowboy, any gun-toting madman will do just as well..

Hopefully, the terrible event that took place in Wisconsin today will compel us all to examine empowerment by weapon, as well as an issue increasingly swept under the table, that of police brutality, and abuse of power. We know we've arrived when the "authorities" who shot the off-duty deputy sheriff to death themselves face review. We have become far too accepting of fatal shootings by on-duty police officers just as we're far too tolerant of those who think it's their constitutional right to bear arms, even when, increasingly, it's at the expense of innocent life.

This officer who fired his gun, and took the lives of six isn't the only poster child for the NRA; each of his victims is, too.

Clarification:  Please note:  I NEVER described members of the NRA, nor would I describe members of any group, as 'gun toting sickos.'  I NEVER used the word 'sicko' until now, nor am I responsible for the image that went with the original article.  I have nothing but ABSOLUTE RESPECT for law enforcement, and was merely suggesting that anyone who wants peace, regardless of their uniform, join with others who wish to contain the ABUSE of firearms, and assault weapons. "
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Jimmy Montague said:

Jimmy Montague
off-duty cops carry guns
off-duty cops carry guns because cops are never really off duty. If, on his way home from work, a cop sees an armed robbery in progress and doesn't do anything about it, and if his superiors find out he saw it happen and did nothing, that off-duty cop is in deep doo doo. Off-duty cops carry guns because they never know when they're going to be confronted by someone they arrested and sent to prison or by someone they beat up in the back of a squad car. Off-duty cops carry guns because it's the smart thing to do. So do district attorneys and judges and other such types. Cops and district attorneys and judges, furthermore, don't need permits to carry concealed weapons. If I was a judge and someone told me I had to go about in public unarmed, I'd quit my job. You would, too, in that situation, if you were smart.
 
October 09, 2007 | url
Votes: +0

Big Gay Al said:

0
More like a poster child for Gun Control, and why it doesn't work
http://www.pinkpistols.us
If Wisconsin (and Illinois) joined the other 48 states and allowed concealed carry for self defence, there might not be 6 dead victims. In deed, there might have been just one dead attacker.

Not that the liberal left would ever admit this. But in general, those of us to take the time and expense to get a CCW permit, are generally much more law-abiding than the public at large.
 
October 10, 2007
Votes: +0

NRA life member said:

0
What a piece of trash.
Statistically NRA members have lower crime rates than police offices. Maybe if all police were NRA life members their numbers would improve. I have carry permits in four states and I can assure you if I was present during this incident or the Virginia Tech tragedy there would have been fewer victims. Why do authors like this preach that it’s wrong to judge people because of their beliefs unless it comes to firearms ownership?
 
October 23, 2007
Votes: +0

John Cochran said:

0
teacher
I read your article on the police article and a couple of others, directed at Hillory C. and the President. You're quite good at penpointing some very serious issues. Thank you. I agree with all that you said (time to drop the other shoe), but it would seem that you would have seperated the NRA's stances and the murders by the off-duty officer. I say that in my limited literary experience. The tragedy of the murders fairly speaks for itself and your ability to bring light to issues connected to the crime might well have been more directed to screening of officer recruits, training, mental health support, etc. of our law enforcement officers.
The NRA like any other organization has a very broad agenda. Might it not be more prudent to point out both the good and the bad aspects of the NRA and not throw the baby out with the bath water? They have done some very good things in being proactive on gun safety for those who may choose to defend their own home, business, family members. The other issues might be addressed seperately and not raise ire and alienate some of the very people whom you wish to convert to your side of the issue. Your style is up front and thought provoking. Thank you for bringing up some burning issues to your readers. Hopefully, they will take some of your good and use it when they go to the ballot box.
I will continue to read some of the other editorials you've written and may be able to use them in my class. You may not be a favorite to some, but I'll bet you have your following. Yes, our governments (plural, referring to local, county, state and federal) have some huge problems, but they also have a huge following that still believes in the Constitution. Many of us just want to follow the fabled American Dream and live our lives in peace and safety. Unfortunately, there are those predators that depend on that and use our good faith in our system to commit their crimes, taking advantage of others. Keep on them, Ms. Stahl, and expose those to the light, part of our hope is that good people, like you, will foil their graft and help America to heal its wounds before too many are hurt.
Just a bit more. Please spend some effort on shining some light on the good things people and organizations do. It is such a drag to constantly be bombarded with doom and gloom when there is so much good going on that is ignored by the media. Perhaps some might see the good as efforts of propaganda to cover up some of the more dasterdly events, but reflect for a moment what effect all that negetivity might be having on our youth, they might think evil and bad in normal. I don't think it is.
 
October 28, 2007
Votes: +0

Rodney said:

0
King of the Ghetto
Ca, ca, can't we all just get along?
 
November 03, 2007
Votes: +0

Mike Willis said:

0
First Amendment Protects Opinion? Really?
As a political science major, I study the constitution and the founding fathers opinions on that document with some regularity. The First Amendment does NOT protect opinion, nor does it guarantee anyone the right to speak as they will. What it does guarantee is protection for political dissidents against the Federal Governments powers of censure. Think the Alien and Sedition Acts under John Adams. Those laws reflected those of ancient Rome, making it illegal to speak out in opposition to the Federal Congress, the major powerhouse of the era. So to express your opposition against the Federal Government was against the law at the time. However, these laws were thrown out under Jefferson as they were "unconstitutional." But, time and time again, the Supreme Court has ruled that offensive, slanderous, or libelous words are completely illegal, and that speech codes are completely acceptable. There is, in fact, an entire battery of words that you cannot say in public, without facing some kind of fine. Look at Mr. Imus or Dwayne "The Dog" Chapman. One was fired, and one is looking at losing his television show, over a WORD that some find offensive. Opinions are no more protected against other citizens than the wind is driven by giant birds that hover over the poles. If the Federal Government was coming down and saying that Ms. Stahl was to be censored, you would be correct to whip out the Constitution and point out their error. When other citizens say she is misplaced, or foolish, that holy document offers you no protection. If you are so concerned about people having the right to their opinions, then the opinions of those who wrote in to Ms. Stahl, even the idiots who threatened her life, are protected as well, and you have done them a disservice by calling them on it, as they called you. The entire Bill of Rights is Holy, from the Freedom of Political Speech, to the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, to the Right to be Safe in your Person, the Right Not To Be Searched By a Cop Who Is Having A Bad Day, to the Right Not to Self-Incriminate, all the way to the last, the Tenth, that states that any right not found explicitly laid out or enumerated in the Constitution lies within the power of the States and the People. Let's not look at the morality of the thing, but the LEGALITY. And, according to our Constitution, the most stable governing contract ever written by the hands of man, we Americans have an inalienable right to own, possess, carry, arm ourselves, and defend ourselves against tyranny or oppression in all it's fine forms, the firearms the Ms. Stahl argues against. That she is entitled to her opinion cannot be argued. That her opinion is protected by the First Amendment is questionable. That her opinion is correct, well, that is up to each of the readers to decide.
 
November 04, 2007
Votes: -1

MIke Phillips said:

0
Interesting
It is interesting that only the people that commit crimes with guns is reported in the headlines, but the many instances of people that stop crimes or protect them selfs with a weapon is seldom (if ever) reported in the headlines.
It is also interesting that in the UK a person was shot in the head by police that do not carry guns. Police shoot 27-year-old Jean Charles de Menezes seven times in the head.... http://www.rationalreview.com/content/37823
 
January 06, 2008
Votes: +0

T.L. Kiser, Sr said:

0
"A bunch of white guys threatening to off a woman"
With that comment and your derogatory remarks about the NRA, you tell everyone that reads your trash what you are really all about. How did you determine that those who alledgedly threatened anyone was White? My guess it's just another example of what how you do business. You can try to make yourself look like a concerned citizen but the truth shines through. I am forwarding your column to as many people as I can as an example of what a true cowards and idiots, the anti gun fanatics are. You have no idea what you are saying it's obvious and you didn't do much research either. What we know about you and your publication is that you hate white males and anyone that stands up for their 2nd Amendment Rights! And by the way, I know the First Amendment rather well......and in my opinion it doesn't cover yellow journalism like Stahl's article or your comments at the top of this page. The imagery you used was also a falsehood. The NRA only defends a gun owners rights from being stolen by groups such as yours. The 2nd Amendment was written by our founding fathers....but I guess you just see them as enablers, huh?
 
March 09, 2008
Votes: -1

Todd said:

0
what the?
I can't believe you can keep your job after writing something like that!!!!
 
April 08, 2008
Votes: -1

Doyle Wheeler said:

0
Homicide xaminer
Mike Wells Said
Mike your comments were intelligent and well spoken until you got to the point where you defended the rights of the idiots that made threats against the life of the lady that wrote the original piece. There is no defense for them no matter what organization they may belong to. With 4,000,000 members you can bet some of them are going to be nut bags that have no business having fire arms. Anyone that was stupid enough to email her a death threat may face federal prosecution and loose their right to own any fire arm. Imagine the irony in that. So what this guy was a part time deputy and he killed some people. Recently a doctor in New York hired a killer to killer her husband. I write about homicides all over this county and there are a lot of them. A few of them though not nearly the number claimed by some NRA members are even law abiding citizens defending themselves or others, there called justifiable homicides. The NRA does not deserve to be trashed they have done a lot of good. Personally I think we go a little over board with some of the weapons people have but hey I also agree that the people that lay out several thousand for a 50 cal. are not out committing crimes with it.
Problem is some of these weapons are being stolen and ending up in the hands of gangs. How the heck are cops supposed to defend themselves against a 50 cal? Hasn't happened but it will. Oh well very well written piece until you tried to defend these shit head that threatened a woman because they didn't like what she said. I'm an NRA supporter but I'm a person that hates a chicken shit coward! So any of you big bad boys that feel tough making email threats to a woman want step up and get a piece of this old soldier take your best shot. Sounds like most of you your best shot would be from a distant at my back!!!!!!! Damn I hate cowardly chicken shits!
 
October 17, 2009
Votes: +1

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