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This is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

Monday, April 16, 2007

 

19 Rounds

I don't know about you, but I'm getting tired of hearing "Guns don't kill people. People kill people."

people with guns kill people, usually, without guns.

19 Rounds. That's how many bullets a 9MM handgun can hold. it can hold that many because the federal law which allowed that same gun to hold only ten rounds had expired.

33 dead Virginia Tech students at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA. The worst school massacre in US history.

Now I know I'm just a bleeding-heart Liberal who wants to take all of the guns away from all you deer and rabbit hunters, but I can't help but think that maybe - just maybe - Virginia's gun laws are a little too lax for my liking. Here they are in a nutshell, as reported by the Brady Campaign to prevent gun violence (http://www.bradycampaign.org/legislation/state/viewstate.php?st=va):

ANTI-TRAFFICKING
Is there a one-handgun-per-month limit on gun sales? Yes

That's one gun per month. If the Virginia Tech gunman had purchased his two guns in Virginia he would have had to wait about 31 days to have them both - unless he bought the first one in February, I guess.

ASSAULT WEAPONS
Are there limitations on assault weapons and magazines? No
This is the law which expired allowing the as-of-yet unidentified gunman to load 19 shots per magazine rather than just ten.

BACKGROUND CHECK AT STATE LEVEL
Do state police perform a background check in addition to federal NICS check? Yes
As long as this gunman didn't have a state or federal record, his access to the type of guns used in this attack was basically unlimited

CCW LIMITS
May police limit carrying concealed handguns? No
As long as this gunman had asked the state police of sheriff, he would have been given a permit to carry a concealed weapon. No further questions asked. And if this gunman had brought the guns in from another state, that would have been good enough as well. He wouldn't have even had to tell the police about his weapons.

CHILD-SAFETY LOCKS
Must locking devices be sold with guns? No
Hey... They got to learn sometime. Ten bucks for a child lock? That's beer and cigarette money your talking about there buddy.

GUN SHOW CHECKS
Are background checks required at gun shows? No
At those cash and carry gun shows, the Virginia Tech gunman could have just simply walked in, bought a gun, and minutes later start firing at anything and everything in his sights.

JUVENILE POSSESSION
Are minors restricted from possessing guns? Kind of
18 year olds are treated just the same as any other adult when it comes to the purchase or possession of a handgun. Well at least they can't drink.

LICENSE OR PERMIT TO PURCHASE
Is a license/permit required to buy handguns? No
Just call it "Kill and Carry"

LOCAL GUN LAWS - PREEMPTION
May cities enact laws stronger than the state's? No
What's good for the goose is good for the gander. So if Virginia Tech now wants to restrict gun access on their sprawling campus, they simply wouldn't be able to do it.

REGISTRATION
Are all guns registered with law enforcement? No
So if this gunman had merely shot and killed the first two people in the dorm, he might have actually got away with it and have been able to keep on using that same gun in future killings.

SAFETY STANDARDS
Are there consumer safety standards on guns? No
Kill at your own risk..

SECONDARY SALES
Are background checks required on 'private' gun sales? No
Buy a gun and sell it to your friendly felon.

WAITING PERIOD
Is there a waiting period on gun sales? No
Buy your gun and kill all in the same day. As Homer Simpson whined to the gun shop owner, after being informed of a waiting period to purchase a handgun, "But I'm angry now."

I just hope that these lack gun laws, most of which receiving a rating of "F" by the Brady Campaign, had nothing to do with these killings. After tall, the NRA are people too. it's time for national, sensible gun laws to protect those of us who aren't "packin'".

-Noah Greenberg



Making Iraq Even More Dangerous

Now we have a better idea of who the enemy is in Iraq. Muqtada al-Sadr (I like to sing his name to the Lion King song, Hakuna Mutata) is ordering his Cabinet members to leave the Iraqi government. This is not a good plan for a man who says he wants peace in his country. It's the words of someone who wants to escalate the sectarian violence in Iraq.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who has been kow-towing to al-Sadr's wishes since his election, mostly because the cleric's support helped get him elected, will have a much harder time doing the already impossible (assuming, of course, that it's possible to be more impossible) - getting Sunnis and Shi'ites to stop killing each other. Trying not to sound too much like a Bushie, I do wonder how much the Iranians had to do with Muqtada al-Sadr's mindset.

The ministers "withdraw immediately from the Iraqi government and give the six Cabinet seats to the government, with the hope that they will be given to independents who represent the will of the people,"
-Al-Sadr, from a statement

No talking - No negotiating - no noting. Just a definitive statement that could in no be spun to be positive. Al-Sadr sounds more and more like President Bush and his "no negotiating with the enemy" statements.

The funny (as in ironic) thing is that al-Sadr wants the same thing that most of us Americans want: The removal of American troops from Iraq. In fact, the leader of the Mahdi Army is using a timetable as the excuse for the removal of his ministers. This is, of course, in direct conflict with  the wishes of President Bush and al-Maliki,

"the withdrawal of multinational forces is linked to our armed forces' readiness to take over the security command in all provinces."
-al-Maliki

The problem is this: Now that al-Sadr says he wants a timetable to insure his help in making Iraq a safer place, there is no way in the world that George W. Bush - the man who can't spell Diplomacy - would ever consider such a demand, even if it were, eventually, put into request form. One wonders what would happen if Bush and al-Sadr were ever to have a meeting.

Calling Tony Blair... Calling Tony Blair... It's time for another Bush-Negotiating lesson.

The Democrats are offering President Bush an out which he, of course, will never take. There is room to negotiate with House and Senate Dems to include a soft timetable in Iraq. All three sides (Bush, the Democrats and al-Sadr) could claim a victory and get on with the job of creating a lasting peace in the war-torn nation.

Egos will need to be in check and reality will need to come to the surface in order for that to happen.

Good luck to us.

-Noah Greenberg



An Invitation

Dr. Bob Bowman, Lt. Col. USAF (ret)
on his "Patriots Tour" in Okla.City www.ThePatriots.us
7 pm, Wednesday, April 18
Mayflower Congregational Church
3901 NW. 63rd Street, OKC

Bob Bowman is truly a warrior turned peace activist.
Dr. Bowman challenges us to “Take Back America for the People."
His "Patriots Tour" calls for a government that:
(1) Follows the Constitution
(2) Honors the Truth, and
(3) Serves the People.

Dr. Robert M. Bowman, Lt. Col., USAF, ret. is President of ISSS (Institute for Space and Security Studies), Executive Vice President of Millennium III Corporation, and retired Presiding Archbishop of the United Catholic Church. The recipient of the Eisenhower Medal, the George F. Kennan Peace Prize, the President's Medal of Veterans for Peace, the Republic Aviation Airpower Award, the Society of American Military Engineers' ROTC Medal of Merit (twice), the Air Medal with five oak leaf clusters, the Meritorious Service Medal, and numerous other awards, he is one of the country's foremost authorities on national security.

Colonel Bowman flew 101 combat missions as a fighter pilot in Vietnam and directed all the DoD “Star Wars” programs under presidents Ford and Carter. He has been an executive in both government and industry, and has chaired 8 major international conferences. Professor Bowman taught at 5 colleges and universities, serving as Department Head and Assistant Dean. His Ph.D. is in Aeronautics and Nuclear Engineering from Caltech. He has lectured at the National War College, the United Nations, Congressional Caucuses, the Academies of Science of six nations, and the House of Lords.

Dr. Bob Bowman ran for President in the Reform Party in 2000 and was the Democratic candidate for the US Congress from the 15th Congressional District of Florida in 2006. Bowman and his wife of 51 years, Maggie, have 7 children and 21 grandchildren.

Bowman says, "No more undeclared wars of aggression. No more spying on the American people. No more exporting jobs. No more NAFTA. No more government lies, false-flag attacks, and cover-ups. No more corporate welfare. No more health plans written by insurance companies and pharmaceutical manufacturers. No more energy policies written by Exxon and Enron. No more trillions in debt. Most importantly, no more using our sons and daughters to kill for corporate profits."

sponsored by:
The Peace House - - - www.peacehouseok.org

e-mail: bob@ThePatriots.us or DrBob@Bowman2008.com or bob@rmbowman.com



In response to, "By Monday, we may be back to normal with the exception of 'Imus in the Morning"'. Is 'normal' what we really wanted?", Pat Thompson writes:

I didn't like what he said, nor do I listen to him -- but this is America, and Free Speech is still one of our rights. I am disgusted with the media -- "all Imus, all the time, for ten days". Before that it was "all Anna Nicole Smith" for weeks. Unfortunately, a real tragedy came out of this mess -- rushing to a meeting with Imus and the Rutgers girls, our Governor, Jon Corzine, was horribly injured, and may not survive, or ever be the same. An eyewitness, interviewed by the NY Times, in an article on Friday, stated that the State Trooper who was the driver of Corzine's vehicle gave the "thumbs up" signal to other troopers who arrived on the scene. What was that for? What happened to the red pickup truck? Was this another "Wellstone Airlines" kind of trip? The driver was seat belted, and his airbag deployed; why didn't Corzine's airbag work?

Why, within minutes of this crash, was the scene crowded with men in dark suits, according to the eyewitness, a lot of CIA types. Who wants to get rid of the Democratic Governor of New Jersey? The man who is trying to bridge a several billion dollar budget shortage and remedy a failing state pension system....
Scary stuff, but my President was shot to death when I was 16 years old. My Presidential candidate was shot to death on my 21st birthday -- Bob Kennedy. The last time we had a Senate majority, Sen. Wellstone's plane went down. And the entire Clinton term was hijacked by attacks on him and his wife. Gore won the election, but lost due to a Supreme Court decision. Kerry probably won, but shenanigans in Ohio, plus Swift Boat attacks doomed his campaign, although he did win in the exit polls..... I don't have much hope for any Democratic candidates. I do feel that it is a real miracle that people like Ted Kennedy and Patrick Leahy are still alive.



And Rhian writes:

In a clear sign of its intent to reign in dissident American media personalities, and their growing influence in American culture, US War Leaders this past week launched an unprecedented attack upon one of their most politically ‘connected’, and legendary, radio hosts named Don Imus after his threats to release information relating to the September 11, 2001 attacks upon that country.

According to European reports of the events surrounding Don Imus that have gripped the United States this past week, it was during an interview with another American media personality, Tim Russert, who is the host of a television programme frequently used by US War Leaders, wherein while decrying the state of care being given to American War wounded stated, “So those bastards want to keep these boys [in reference to US Soldiers] secret? Let’s see how they like it if I start talking about their [in reference to US War Leaders] secrets, starting with 9/11.”

Unable to attack such a powerful media figure as Don Imus, directly, the US War Leaders, and as we have seen many times before, resorted to a massive media attack against him using as the reason a racial slur against a US woman’s basketball team, but which has been pointed out by other media outlets was not by any means a rare occurrence for the legendary radio icon to make.

But, to the US War Leaders, Don Imus represented the most serious threat, to date, of the growing assault against them by America’s media personalities threatening to expose the truths behind the events of September 11, 2001 and the Iraq/Afghanistan Wars; and to such an extent that another American media personality, Rosie O'Donnell, has expressed concern that US Military Leaders could actually imprison Mr. Imus.


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-Noah Greenberg