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Jan 21 2014

Yosemite Sam will have to move to the East coast

There has been another school shooting, this time at Purdue. One person is dead, and the shooter has been arrested.

Meanwhile, in Florida, a pair of Republicans have proposed rewriting their “stand your ground” lawto expand it.

The current bill would amend the state’s expansive Stand Your Ground law—which permits residents to use deadly force in numerous circumstances—so that it also allows the nebulous "threatened use of force." In effect, it means that gun owners could walk free for brandishing their gun in a threatening manner or firing a shot indiscriminately to "warn" a potential assailant.

That also means gun owners would get blanket immunity from the state’s "10-20-life" law, which mandates an automatic 10-year sentence for anyone accused of flashing or using a gun in the commission of a felony.

Oh, boy — a whole state full of Yosemite Sams, waving their guns in the air and shooting away, all completely legally.

But the two Republicans didn’t write the bill, they’re just sponsoring it. Who wrote it? A former president and current lobbyist for the NRA, Marion Hammer. Being a politician sure is the cushy life. No work at all; if you’ve got a bill to regulate an industry, you just ask the industry to write it for you.

43 comments

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  1. 1
    Crimson Clupeidae

    What could possibly go wrong….

  2. 2
    Anthony K

    if you’ve got a bill to regulate an industry, you just ask the industry to write it for you

    Well, who would know better?

    Now, if you’ll just make my cheque out to ‘cash’, I’ll be on my way. I have a campaign finance paper trails to obfuscate.

  3. 3
    kevinalexander

    Whoa! Goldarnit! Idjit Legislators!

  4. 4
    wondering

    Expanding the stand-your-ground law? Oh, so black Americans can use it for self defense?

    Oh wait, what was I thinking. This will just lead to more innocent black people getting shot for even more spurious reasons.

    *incoherent rage*

  5. 5
    rq

    I have a friend at Purdue. She recently posted a Facebook message that she was safe on the other side of campus in the vet school. To everyone’s relief.

  6. 6
    Anthony K

    If this kid, killed in Orlando on Thursday had final words, they would have been “Please don’t say mean things to responsible gun owners.”

  7. 7
    Anthony K

    Sorry, the ‘kid’ linked to in comment #6 iswas 21.

  8. 8
    jnorris

    All I can hope for is the legislators are doing this just to win reelection and know this will not advance during this session.

  9. 9
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Why do I keep getting visions of white males brandishing guns around women, Hispanics, Cubans, and blacks in an effort to keep them from going into a voting place and casting a ballot.

  10. 10
    Rey Fox

    Well, as we all know, if a bullet doesn’t hit anyone within about twenty feet or so, it just magically disappears into the air.

  11. 11
    Georgia Sam

    I call this the “shoot-out at the OK Corral” theory of self protection. Wyatt Earp wannabes, living in an adolescent macho fantasy world. But the most frightening thing to me is that a lot of these idiots have very itchy trigger fingers. Their fondest hope is that they will someday have an excuse for shooting somebody. As we see in the news almost every day, they frequently find a reason — or invent one.

  12. 12
    carlie

    (Psst, Anthony K – please read comment 197 in the Lounge)

  13. 13
    Lynna, OM

    Cross-post from the Lounge:

    Missouri legislators passed some crazy pro-gun, anti-federal government laws before. The Governor of that state vetoed the unconstitutional laws, but far-right Missouri legislators are not deterred. They are trying again.

    A Missouri Senate panel is taking up legislation that would send federal agents to jail for enforcing federal gun control laws in the state.

    The measure being heard by the Senate General Laws Committee on Tuesday would declare certain federal gun control policies “null and void.” Agents enforcing them could spend a year in jail, be fined up to $1,000 and face other civil penalties. [Kansas City Star link.]

    Even in an era of Republican radicalism, this is just nuts.

    This new proposal isn’t identical to the one Nixon vetoed in July, but it’s no less offensive. It would declare federal laws that “tax firearms and create a chilling effect on gun ownership, require registering or tracking of firearms or forbid the use of guns by law-abiding citizens” to be null and void in the state of Missouri.

    It would be up to Missouri to decide whether federal gun laws are acceptable. If federal officials enter Missouri to enforce federal laws that Missouri doesn’t like, they would have to be accompanied by a county sheriff when executing a warrant – or face criminal charges themselves.

    To be clear, this is not in a legal gray area. This isn’t a judgment call. It’s not a question that could go either way if tested in the courts. Rather, the question of whether states can reject federal laws they don’t like was decided in the middle of the 19th century – and it was a dispute the nullification crowd lost. [Maddow Blog link.]

  14. 14
    intergalacticmedium

    Watched Bowling for Columbine last night, probably one of the most gripping and disturbing documentaries I have ever watched.

  15. 15
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    OT:

    Is an intergalactic medium bigger than an interplanetary large? An interplanetary super-size?

    /OT.

  16. 16
    robro

    Georgia Sam @#11

    I call this the “shoot-out at the OK Corral” theory of self protection. Wyatt Earp wannabes, living in an adolescent macho fantasy world.

    Ironically, that shoot out, perhaps the most famous and certainly the most iconic of the Wild West, was ostensibly a police action to enforce Tombstone’s no-carry laws. Of course, there’s more to it than that (class war between townies and cowboys, politics, petty revenge, etc) but that was the legal reason for the Earp’s confronting the four young men.

  17. 17
    Ichthyic

    The Earps are all dead.

    The Clantons have arisen again.

  18. 18
    carlie

    It’s homeopathy – the least amount of gun control provides the most safety.

  19. 19
    nich

    It’s getting to the point where one now reads about these things and almost thinks “Only one death…not that bad this time.”

  20. 20
    Anthony K

    Thanks carlie!

  21. 21
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @nich:

    Oh, F. I totally did that.

  22. 22
    unclefrogy

    being effectively self regulated seems to work for the oil, coal, chemical industries and banking well enough why single out the gun business for special treatment?
    uncle frogy

  23. 23
    vaiyt

    The more guns we have, the safer we are. Therefore, as the number of guns in circulation approaches infinity, crime and violence should plummet to zero.

  24. 24
    khms

    Sure. Once everyone is buried by a metric ton of guns, no more crime and violence.

  25. 25
    timgueguen

    Ed had a post today about how the gun companies are hoping Hillary Clinton does well in the next election cycle, as it will encourage the cranks to go out and buy more guns and ammo. Meanwhile Ruger, one of the major makers, sold almost as many guns in 2013, by itself, as the entire industry sold 20 years ago. The industry is also heavily increasing its marketing to women. http://freethoughtblogs.com/dispatches/2014/01/21/gun-industry-sees-big-2016-from-fear-buying/

  26. 26
    vaiyt

    Fear = profit. Therefore, we should rejoice when fear takes hold of the population! What a wonderful industry!

  27. 27
    jodyp

    Apparently Marion Hammer did NOT write the legislation, as Gawker reports. She was just asked to co-sponsor and promote it.

    My right wing associates have explained to me that this means that Gawker’s article is completely wrong forever, and therefore warning shots are just fine.

  28. 28
    Holms

    I see this state is trying the ‘if everything is legal, we have less crime’ approach to law enforcement.

  29. 29
    gerryl

    Not sure if anyone has posted this in another comment section, but it sure seems to fit here:

    In their usual tone-deaf way, local Republicans (Multnomah Co. Oregon in bluest Portland) are raffling off an AR-15 “in honor of Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln and the U.S. Constitution.”

    Yes, somebody had the bright idea to give away a gun to honor two great Americans who were killed … with guns.

    http://www.koin.com/news/multnomah-county/multnomah-republicans-apologize-for-gun-raffle

  30. 30
    shockna

    Yes, somebody had the bright idea to give away a gun to honor two great Americans who were killed … with guns.

    It’s not just bright, it’s extremely progressive for these fanatics. I’m willing to bet there’s at least one gun group that thinks they should have given it out to honor Nathan Bedford Forrest on Martin Luther King Day, and that the members of these groups are complete pinkos for honoring MLK. *vomit*

  31. 31
    anuran

    I have guns.
    I hunt with them.
    I teach firearms safety.
    I used to shoot competitively.
    When my neighborhood was a lot sketchier I had a concealed carry permit. When it got better I let the permit lapse.
    I have pointed a gun at someone who was trying to break into my house in the middle of the night. He left. Nobody got shot.

    Bills like this are the reason I quit the NRA twenty years ago.

  32. 32
    sc_770d159609e0f8deaa72849e3731a29d

    A hypothetical question: if I shot someone on the grounds that they looked as if they were the sort of person who might carry a concealed weapon and discharge it randomly in my presence, thereby putting me at risk, would I be committing a crime under this proposed law?

  33. 33
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @timgueguen #25

    I particularly enjoyed this line:

    “On the expo floor, guns are everywhere at booths in pink, yellow and chartreuse. More woman buyers [for retail establishments] are also a distinct departure from past years, and that’s likely to be a permanent change.”

    Of course, to get teh ladeez to buy teh bang-bang sticks, we make teh bang-bang sticks pink ladee coloured! Derp!

  34. 34
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @Anthony K #6

    There’s a kid in the comments acting derisively towards anyone who claims SYG is racist. My response:

    Robert Gardner The intent of the legislation is not racist, but the real-world effect it is having definitely is. It would appear that the race of the victim (person killed) matters more than the race of the shooter. Of those people who cite SYG as a defence, 73% of those who killed a black person walk free, compared to 59% of those who’s victim was white. Not a huge difference, but hardly negligible.

    http://www.tampabay.com/news/courts/criminal/race-plays-complex-role-in-floridas-stand-your-ground-law/1233152
    (News story)

    http://tampabay.com/stand-your-ground-law/data
    (raw data)

  35. 35
    Anri

    sc_770d159609e0f8deaa72849e3731a29d @ 32:

    A hypothetical question: if I shot someone on the grounds that they looked as if they were the sort of person who might carry a concealed weapon and discharge it randomly in my presence, thereby putting me at risk, would I be committing a crime under this proposed law?

    To answer your question, we would need to know the skin colors of the parties involved. That’s a vital factor, y’see…

  36. 36
    WithinThisMind

    Why don’t they just write the law to say what they really want it to say?

    ‘If you shoot a minority, ‘sall good, just say you felt uncomfortable or something’.

  37. 37
    David Marjanović

    Yosemite Sam! In addition to the very beginning, I recommend 7:00–7:24 and 7:28–7:43.

  38. 38
    Useless

    And when the warning shot hits the threatening person, that’s warning enough? Sounds like Florida has really come up with a clever idea this time. Since such laws are often named after victims, is this one the Zimmerman Protection Law?

    I don’t know whether that expanded law or having Rick Scott as a governor makes me feel so desperate to to move to Florida.

  39. 39
    bushrat

    @29 gerryl – So what you’re saying is asshole conservatives want to raffle off a gun to celebrate the 2 people that were most hated, by the asshole conservatives of their time, the two people that were murdered with a gun by asshole conservatives. Oh the sweet, sweet irony.

  40. 40
    jnorris

    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls at #9:

    Why do I keep getting visions of white males brandishing guns around women, Hispanics, Cubans, and blacks in an effort to keep them from going into a voting place and casting a ballot.

    Almost, but no prize. Texas Gun Bullies Use Semi-Automatics To Terrorize Mothers Against Guns-NRA Remains Silent

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/rickungar/2013/11/11/texas-gun-bullies-use-semi-automatics-to-terrorize-mothers-against-guns-nra-remains-silent/

  41. 41
    kyoseki

    In effect, it means that gun owners could walk free for brandishing their gun in a threatening manner or firing a shot indiscriminately to “warn” a potential assailant.

    That also means gun owners would get blanket immunity from the state’s “10-20-life” law, which mandates an automatic 10-year sentence for anyone accused of flashing or using a gun in the commission of a felony.

    Uh, isn’t this precisely what Marissa Alexander was convicted of (and sentenced under)?

  42. 42
    Useless

    Marissa was different. She was a woman who is black, and she may only have been badly beaten (and she didn’t shoot the perp). Zimmerman was a white male who feared for his life, and he shot Martin. Marissa was behaving in a dangerous and irresponsible manner. There’s a big difference. Now that Marissa has been safely taken out of circulation, it’s time to pass a new law.

    I’m glad I could clear that up for you.

  43. 43
    kyoseki

    Marissa’s conviction was overturned, she’s facing a retrial.

    Passing this law would probably stop her from being convicted again.

    There are a few other people in jail or awaiting retrial for doing the same thing (20 years for firing a warning shot), it would probably help them too.

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