Losanjealous.com's random Nietzche's Family Circus.
Thought before I got back to writing about gun control, I'd provide the above distraction of (via Andrew Sullivan today (blog entry,email). "Neitzche Family Circus" which randomly pairs one of Bil Keane's (bio,email) The Family Circus cartoons with a quote by Friedrich Nietzche. The caption which came up for this cartoon :
Extreme positions are not succeeded by moderate ones, but by contrary extreme positions.Dang No distractions there. As for extreme positions, I'll send this quote to Michael Daly (email) and the Editor (email) at the New York Daily News.
In "Yes, Virginia, guns kill innocents," published the day after the Virginia Tech murders, Daly's harsh tones painted all of us in the Commonwealth with the same broad brush he'd use on the NRA or worse, Gun Owners of Virginia. I agree with Daley and Bloomberg's Mayor's that Virginia guns pose problems for New York, as well as other cities in the Northeast, yet found myself as disgusted with his words as those of the sponsor of H.B. 2653, which outlawed Mayor Bloomberg's sting operation of the same. And that's the correct bill number, not "Bill 2106," as listed by Daly.
And as for ridiculing our election of Jim Webb, did Daly notice Webb has had the spine to stand up to Bush on Iraq and Iran, to irritate the Cato Institute in talking about income disparity in the Wall Street Journal, to oppose General Pack's homophobic remarks, and to co-sponsor progressive legislation including the union card-check provisions deplored by the Chamber of Commece. He's only departing from what I'd support once, regarding, I'll admit, an anti-gun control measure for the District of Columbia.
Would Daly have preferred a vote for George Allen, who had an A+ NRA rating, as did, by the way some New Yorkers (Fosella, Kelly, Reynolds, et. al). Can Daly tell the difference between the general voting record of Allen and the equally A+ Rick Boucher (who represents Blacksburg down to Abingdon)? Does Daly know New York gun owners hope to organize to "take-out" pro-Bloomberg candidates in the Democratic primary? Did Daley notice Virginians re-elected Bobby Scott (NRA grade D-), James Moran (F) and Tom Davis (C), one of the few Republicans NRA grades low? Did Daly read Webb's dignified April 16 statement
I want to express my profound sympathies to the entire Virginia Tech community for the tragic shooting that occurred on the campus earlier this morning. My heart goes out to the parents and families of the victims of this senseless act.Of the four current gun control measures, only one has originated in the Senate and has no co-sponsors to date, so it is hard to fault Webb. It will be interesting to see how things evolve.
Virginia Tech is a great institution. The young people who were lost today had demonstrated an enormous amount of promise. There is very little that I can add in terms of describing the depth of our feelings and our regret that this incident has occurred. It is an incredible human tragedy.
Hopefully once the grieving is done,we can find ways that will prevent these sorts of incidents from happening in the future.
And for the other extreme position, consider Dale City Delegate L. Scott Lingamfelter (R-Dale City) who penned House Bill 2653 which " prohibits anyone other than a law enforcement officer or someone under an officer’s supervision from attempting to persuade a firearms dealer to make an illegal sale." Am I allowed, as an independent, to say I hope they field a strong candidate against him? After all, in Kansas, Tiahrdt has whole blog about him. Governor Tim Kaine has announced he's signing the bill. Below is the letter I'll email tomorrow to Governor Kaine, so I can mail a similar one to Potomac News (email), Lingamfelter's hometown paper, with a copy to the Democratic Party chair for the District 31, Pete Frisbie (email).
You said in a March 23 news release that you were signing H.B. 2653 because it "will ensure that trained, authorized officers, not individual citizens, media, or interest groups, are enforcing the law."
Can your office please provide me with statistics on how many such stings have been conducted by officers and which Virginia dealers were found to be allowing "straw purchases?"
How did you react when you learned that the four businesses in Madison Heights, Danville, South Boston and Richmond, among the 15 sued by New York City in May, 2006, were alleged to have sold 500 crime guns which the city's police department recovered between 1994 and 2001 and that NYC-hired private investigators from the James Mintz Group caught the dealers allowing one individual to provide the money, select the gun, and direct the purchase, while the other filled out the required paperwork? That three dealers in Midlothian, Rocky Mount and Roanoke (where I live) were among another dozen sued in December 2006 for selling 300 crime guns recovered between 1994 and 2002 and for allowing "straw purchases" by the Mintz Group investigators?
Do "straw purchases" allow friends with no criminal records to stand in a felon's place for background checks?
The Tiahrt amendments to federal spending bills now prohibit the ATF from publishing gun tracking reports. The last such report revealed in 2000 that "49 percent of traceable guns recovered in New York City were first purchased at FFLs [Federal Firearm Licencees] in Southern States: Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina." Additionally, "[n]early 75 percent of crime guns recovered in New York City were first purchased at FFLs located 250 miles or more from New York City.
Potomac News reported on April 10, 2007, less than a week before the tragedy at Virginia Tech that the NRA had awarded Dale City Delegate L. Scott Lingamfelter (R) as a "Defender of Freedom" for penning the H.B. 2653 "inspired" by NYC Mayor Bloomberg. Lingamfelter said the Mayor "has, I think, wrongly pointed to Virginia for the sources of his troubles. His problems are on the streets of his city not in the towns and cities of Virginia....If you want to clean up New York City we suggest you hire more police as opposed to coming south of the Potomac River to trifle with rights of Virginians."
Would you agree with Lingamfelter that such gun dealers play no part in crime in NYC? Please explain.
H.B. 2654 was heavily supported by the Virginia Citizens Defense League, who sponsored the "Bloomberg Gun GiveAway." The group issued a news release on April 16, "Gun Control Claims Lives at Virginia Tech." It also said in in another news release on April 16 about the failure of H.B. 1572, which would have prevented prohibiting handguns on campus, "Well, Mr. Hincker [Tech's Associate Vice President University Relations and chief spokesman] - are you still happy? Militia, Police, and Public Safety Committee - still think you did the right thing?"
How would you respond to this group?
Thank you for your kind attention to this matter.*
- Email from Sabrina that she'll take a gun control essay for LLRX.
- Phone conversation with Kim ditto for the NRFP.
- Called Yvonne about Clean Water Protection Act lobbying. She invited me to stay with her while I'm in the DC area.
- Called Cindy Rank, who tells me Frank Pallone (D-NJ) will soon submit the Act with 61 co-sponsors. Rank is sending a copy of an email, so I can get started on the blog entry for Congresspedia.