Teasing WW III

18:56 15.12.2015(updated 19:37 15.12.2015) Get short URL Pepe Escobar Read more: http://sputniknews.com/columnists/20151215/1031786484/russia-ready-war.html#ixzz3uqHoNk2f “Tense” does not even begin to describe the current Russia-Turkey geopolitical tension, which shows no sign of abating. The Empire of Chaos lavishly profits from it as a … Continue reading





18:56 15.12.2015(updated 19:37 15.12.2015) Get short URL
Pepe Escobar

Read more: http://sputniknews.com/columnists/20151215/1031786484/russia-ready-war.html#ixzz3uqHoNk2f

“Tense” does not even begin to describe the current Russia-Turkey geopolitical tension, which shows no sign of abating. The Empire of Chaos lavishly profits from it as a privileged spectator; as long as the tension lasts, prospects of Eurasia integration are hampered.
Russian intel has certainly played all possible scenarios involving a NATO Turkish army on the Turkish-Syrian border as well as the possibility of Ankara closing the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles for the Russian “Syria Express”. Erdogan may not be foolish enough to offer Russia yet another casus belli. But Moscow is taking no chances.

Read more: http://sputniknews.com/columnists/20151215/1031786484/russia-ready-war.html#ixzz3uqHOMLDW


Continuar leyendo “Teasing WW III”

Guns in America

A Guide To Gun Stores And Ranges Declaring ‘Muslim-Free’ Zones Antonia Blumberg Associate Religion Editor, The Huffington Post Posted: 08/14/2015 08:06 PM EDT Expert advice on what to do if you ever find yourself at gunpoint Published on Apr 15, 2014 … Continue reading


A Guide To Gun Stores And Ranges Declaring ‘Muslim-Free’ Zones

Antonia Blumberg
Associate Religion Editor, The Huffington Post
Posted: 08/14/2015 08:06 PM EDT

Expert advice on what to do if you ever find yourself at gunpoint

Published on Apr 15, 2014

http://www.everytown.org/scenes
Warning: Some may find this video disturbing.
Two million American kids live in a home where this could happen. Will you help stop it?

Published on Jun 24, 2013

Glad he had a gun

Glad he had a gun or the would-be robber (who also had a gun) would have been able to have his way with anything and anyone in the store. Instead, the robber ran away as soon as the other man … Continue reading

Glad he had a gun or the would-be robber (who also had a gun) would have been able to have his way with anything and anyone in the store. Instead, the robber ran away as soon as the other man presented his gun. How differently this would have gone if we didn’t have the Second Amendment!

The clerk is a competent fighter that used proportional limited force to fend off an armed assault. But it would have been simpler if no guns were available. The use of guns requires a lot if infrastructure, at the very least a supply of munition. Yes, guns can be restricted but it is not done because supplying guns and munition to the general public is good business, one of the few left in the States. Guns are not restricted because there is a lot of money supporting the availability of guns. Guns are very big business and the gun lobby is very influential.

The USA is a singularity. There are different degrees of gun control already in place all over the world. Nothing to invent. But in the United States gun advocacy is a religious issue, the Second Amendment a gift from God. Religious believes cannot be argued away. For people that believe in gun ownership any incident reinforces their belief. If there is a massacre, that means that everybody must have a gun. If someone gets killed in an armed assault, that means that everybody must have a gun. If an armed vigilante kills a couple of burglars because they got into the neighbors house, that means that everybody must have a gun.

Let me just said that the problem is not one of control, but the availability itself of guns. It’s not an issue of background checks or the like. The United States has a very violent history. The USA has been built on violence and one of the principles of the American ethos is the worship of the individual. The obvious lesson is that might makes right and the everyone by himself sohould be able, and has the duty, to fight off to protect possessions, family, and life. However, everything is connected and at the end the path of violence will leads us all to self destruction.

I hope, wish, that it is possible to live in peace. How? Getting away from the abstraction of money and giving value to human beings, as the brothers and sisters that we are. How? I Do not really know. Is it our best answer to violence to claim our right to be violent ? Woudn’t be better to eliminate the need, conditions, or the incentive to be violent?

We humans are violent beasts. It is our nature. If you press me on the mechanics of peace I do not know what specific things need to be done to eradicate violence in our society. Maybe there is no way out other than be exterminated by ourselves. We definitely going in that direction. One thing I know is that the problems of our time cannot be solved by individual action. It has to be a communal effort. Also, if we believe in peace, we must walk the way of peace. Not only avoid the use of weapons, but be active in resisting the use of violence by our government.

I am not strong or brave. If my family is in danger, or my house compromised I will feel anger. I know myself quite capable to be violent with the weak and meek with the powerful, but I can make the reference of Gandhi: He said that the way of peace is a manly way, and one must be willing to be cut down by machine fire, but that if one does not have the will to go the peaceful way we must still fight for our convictions.

Today there is enough wealth in the world to eradicate war and hunger. NO need for countries to fight for resources, NO need to have a gun in the house to fend off people. Yet we live in a system that no only tolerates hunger and poverty but that actually generates and needs poverty to function, that treats humans as materiel and constantly is pressing for more work for less pay. In a system that not only gets caught in wars but that fabricates wars for profit of the few.

Is not a problem of better gun control. Th system must be changed in a fundamental way. And it is not a question of socialism in the pejorative sense that most American understand it to be. No, it is a question to put human life and dignity above monetary profit.

The answer is in serving God and others, not ourselves. A stronger sense of community is necessary. The harder part is to transcend our sense of us and them. There is no them, we are all us. To have everybody really understand this is the challenge.

gun violence vs. gun ownership

From Facebook Joshua Tewksbury I have been responding to posts by others about the link between policy (jn this case gun policy) and gun violence, and I decided to do a bit of my own checking on this, to make … Continue reading

From Facebook

12248_10151351186253855_275840393_nJoshua Tewksbury

I have been responding to posts by others about the link between policy (jn this case gun policy) and gun violence, and I decided to do a bit of my own checking on this, to make sure I was right about this link. The graphic below relates gun violence (deaths per 100,000) vs. gun ownership (guns per 100). Now if you look closely, you will see that I have restricted the data to the 47 countries with an Human Development Index of  > .73, or “very high” according to UNDP

(more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_Human_Development_Index).

All the data comes from public sources, see

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_firearm-related_death_rate

and

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Number_of_guns_per_capita_by_country.

The link is very clear between these – and look where the US sits here. The use of HDI to group countries into similar groups, where guns have a similar impact on violence, is worth considering, but it is clearly a better metric than GDP (for all sorts of reasons).

Happy to share the data if anyone wants to play with it further

THE SECOND AMENDMENT

SO YOU THINK YOU KNOW THE SECOND AMENDMENT? Posted by Jeffrey Toobin Read more: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/comment/2012/12/jeffrey-toobin-second-amendment.html#ixzz2FTHQ31LB Does the Second Amendment prevent Congress from passing gun-control laws? The question, which is suddenly pressing, in light of the reaction to the school massacre in Newtown, … Continue reading

SO YOU THINK YOU KNOW THE SECOND AMENDMENT?

Posted by 

Read more: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/comment/2012/12/jeffrey-toobin-second-amendment.html#ixzz2FTHQ31LB

Does the Second Amendment prevent Congress from passing gun-control laws? The question, which is suddenly pressing, in light of the reaction to the school massacre in Newtown, is rooted in politics as much as law.

For more than a hundred years, the answer was clear, even if the words of the amendment itself were not. The text of the amendment is divided into two clauses and is, as a whole, ungrammatical: “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” The courts had found that the first part, the “militia clause,” trumped the second part, the “bear arms” clause. In other words, according to the Supreme Court, and the lower courts as well, the amendment conferred on state militias a right to bear arms—but did not give individuals a right to own or carry a weapon.

Enter the modern National Rifle Association. Before the nineteen-seventies, the N.R.A. had been devoted mostly to non-political issues, like gun safety. But a coup d’état at the group’s annual convention in 1977 brought a group of committed political conservatives to power—as part of the leading edge of the new, more rightward-leaning Republican Party. (Jill Lepore recounted this history in a recent piece for The New Yorker.) The new group pushed for a novel interpretation of the Second Amendment, one that gave individuals, not just militias, the right to bear arms. It was an uphill struggle. At first, their views were widely scorned. Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, who was no liberal, mocked the individual-rights theory of the amendment as “a fraud.”

But the N.R.A. kept pushing—and there’s a lesson here. Conservatives often embrace “originalism,” the idea that the meaning of the Constitution was fixed when it was ratified, in 1787. They mock the so-called liberal idea of a “living” constitution, whose meaning changes with the values of the country at large. But there is no better example of the living Constitution than the conservative re-casting of the Second Amendment in the last few decades of the twentieth century. (Reva Siegel, of Yale Law School, elaborates on this point in a brilliant article.)

The re-interpretation of the Second Amendment was an elaborate and brilliantly executed political operation, inside and outside of government. Ronald Reagan’s election in 1980 brought a gun-rights enthusiast to the White House. At the same time, Orrin Hatch, the Utah Republican, became chairman of an important subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and he commissioned a report that claimed to find “clear—and long lost—proof that the second amendment to our Constitution was intended as an individual right of the American citizen to keep and carry arms in a peaceful manner, for protection of himself, his family, and his freedoms.” The N.R.A. began commissioning academic studies aimed at proving the same conclusion. An outré constitutional theory, rejected even by the establishment of the Republican Party, evolved, through brute political force, into the conservative conventional wisdom.

And so, eventually, this theory became the law of the land. In District of Columbia v. Heller, decided in 2008, the Supreme Court embraced the individual-rights view of the Second Amendment. It was a triumph above all for Justice Antonin Scalia, the author of the opinion, but it required him to craft a thoroughly political compromise. In the eighteenth century, militias were proto-military operations, and their members had to obtain the best military hardware of the day. But Scalia could not create, in the twenty-first century, an individual right to contemporary military weapons—like tanks and Stinger missiles. In light of this, Scalia conjured a rule that said D.C. could not ban handguns because “handguns are the most popular weapon chosen by Americans for self-defense in the home, and a complete prohibition of their use is invalid.”

So the government cannot ban handguns, but it can ban other weapons—like, say, an assault rifle—or so it appears. The full meaning of the court’s Heller opinion is still up for grabs. But it is clear that the scope of the Second Amendment will be determined as much by politics as by the law. The courts will respond to public pressure—as they did by moving to the right on gun control in the last thirty years. And if legislators, responding to their constituents, sense a mandate for new restrictions on guns, the courts will find a way to uphold them. The battle over gun control is not just one of individual votes in Congress, but of a continuing clash of ideas, backed by political power. In other words, the law of the Second Amendment is not settled; no law, not even the Constitution, ever is.

Read more: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/comment/2012/12/jeffrey-toobin-second-amendment.html#ixzz2FTHFcv5L

Print Your Own Gun… or Not

This is one of those blog posts that will likely be laughably obsolete within a couple of years. It’s not exactly news that 3D printing technologies have been used to print parts of working guns. So far, the firing chamber still needs to be a piece of real metal, and can be purchased off the […]

RepRap Mendel 3D printer

This is one of those blog posts that will likely be laughably obsolete within a couple of years.

It’s not exactly news that 3D printing technologies have been used to print parts of working guns. So far, the firing chamber still needs to be a piece of real metal, and can be purchased off the shelf; but the main mechanical part — where bullets are loaded and triggers are pulled and shells are ejected — can be printed at home on a common 3D printer. It is this part, usually called the lower receiver, that constitutes the legally controlled “gun”. In other words, the part of the gun that makes it a gun, and that you’re in trouble if you make without being a licensed firearm manufacturer, is the part that’s easiest to print yourself.

As of this writing (which is why I said this post will soon be obsolete) common 3D printers can only make stuff out of various plastic resins. It’s sort of possible to 3D print things out of metal, but it’s a much longer process and requires several additional steps. Metal bits can be deposited along with a resin binder, and the object then has to be infused with metal and baked, a process which requires additional hardware. But at the rate that 3D printing technology is evolving, this probably won’t be the case for very long. Femtosecond lasers are one possible technology that might make for-real metal printing available to the masses without any complicated additional steps. 3D printing already allows the construction of devices replete with moving parts all intact.

So it’s not a terrible argument when the pro-gun lobby says that it’s a fool’s errand to try and ban guns. They’re already here, and they’re going to continue to be easier and easier not just to buy, but to make.

However, one argument against this is that it’s still illegal to make your own gun, just as it’s illegal to sell pirated movies over the Internet. Web server companies that host 3D data files for guns could be open to prosecution, and that’s not trivial. The average Joe Blow can no longer easily launch some freeware program like Napster and easily download any movie or song; you have to have more specialized knowledge, and have to employ knowingly criminal intent to find the right servers and do whatever it is you do. This type of thing will likely keep the 3D gun modeling data very hard to find as well.

Obviously, anyone who really wants to do it will be able to.

However, this is not new to 3D modeling. There are many independent gunsmiths in the world, and many of these are licensed firearm manufacturers. A lot of them build reproductions of classic antique firearms; some build specialized competition weapons. It has always been the case — and will always continue to be the case — that a few simple metalworking tools allow anyone to manufacturer any type of gun they want. You do not need a 3D printer. You do not need to wait for 3D printing to become better. You can, right now, get ahold of some secondhand tooling and manufacture any type of firearm you wish, with nothing more than knowledge and skill. Unlike 3D modeling data files, which are likely to become subject to laws, conventional gun blueprints are widely available in books.

Don’t forget that the Oklahoma City bombing was accomplished with a rented truck, ammonium nitrate fertilizer [Note: this was written prior to the tragic Texas plant explosion on April 17], and nitromethane racing fuel, plus a trigger of commercially available explosive. It is a fool’s errand to try and prevent such attacks by controlling the materials, which, for practical reasons of running a society, must continue to be commercially available. It is somewhat less of a fool’s errand to block legal access to 3D firearm data files. But it remains a fool’s errand to prevent anyone from doing anything with a 100-year-old manually operated gunsmith’s lathe to do whatever they want to do in their basement.

3D gun printing? It’s sensational, it’s alarming, and it makes for great press; but it will never be the only way for criminals to create their own guns.

Gun culture

Immediately after the suicide of Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher, who police say murdered his girlfriend at their home before driving to the Chiefs’ practice facility and shooting himself in front of the team’s coach and general manager, thoughts … Continue reading

Immediately after the suicide of Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher, who police say murdered his girlfriend at their home before driving to the Chiefs’ practice facility and shooting himself in front of the team’s coach and general manager, thoughts turned to the role concussions and brain injuries may have played in the tragedy.

But during halftime of last night’s Sunday Night Football broadcast, NBC’s Bob Costas brought up another angle: the role guns, and our nation’s lax gun laws, played in the tragedy. After a brief introduction, Costas quoted Kansas City-based columnist Jason Whitlock, who wrote yesterday that he believed both Belcher and his girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, would be alive today were it not for Belcher’s possession of a gun

National Rifle Association

“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” Wayne LaPierre, chief executive of the NRA Today’s NRA press conference was a shameful evasion of the crisis our country is facing. … Continue reading

“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,”

Wayne LaPierre, chief executive of the NRA

Today’s NRA press conference was a shameful evasion of the crisis our country is facing. Their proposed solution to reduce mass shootings like the one in Newtown, CT: put armed guards in every school in America.

The NRA’s extreme leadership has completely lost touch with the American people, their members, and reality. Today, they made it even more clear with what they didn’t say:

Not a word about background checks. Not a word about assault weapons and high capacity magazines. Not a word about ending gun trafficking.

Not an ounce of common sense.

Please join me in rejecting the NRA’s vision of a world where everyone is armed and no one is safe.

Tell your members of Congress you Demand A Plan to end gun violence.

You would think that following the execution of 20 first graders, the NRA would finally come around to the need for common sense gun laws. Instead, they doubled down on their extreme agenda.

What we need are the tough new laws that we know will keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people and protect our children.

What we don’t need is a culture of fear that increases gun sales while putting our families at even greater risk.

Tell your members of Congress that it’s time to stand up to the NRA:

http://www.DemandAPlan.org

Thanks you for standing against the gun lobby,

Mark Glaze
Mayors Against Illegal Guns

In Washington on Friday, influential National Rifle Association (NRA) broke a week-long silence with a robust defence of its pro-gun position.

Wayne LaPierre, chief executive of the NRA, criticised politicians who had “exploited” the tragedy in Newtown for “political gain” and took aim at laws designating schools as gun-free zones.

“They tell every insane killer in America that schools are the safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk,” he said.

Mr LaPierre called for a national database of the mentally ill and blamed violent video games and films for portraying murder as a “way of life”.

He spoke out against the media for demonising lawful gun owners, and for suggesting a ban on certain types of weapon would be effective.

Congress should authorise funding for armed security in every school in the country, he said, adding that an “extraordinary corps” of trained professionals could be drawn from active and retired police officers, security professionals and firefighters around the country.

Mr LaPierre was interrupted twice by anti-gun protesters carrying banners and declaring that the NRA had “blood on its hands”.

The guns used in the shooting had been legally bought by the gunman’s mother, Nancy Lanza.

The shooting has seen some pro-gun congressmen say the mass shooting has prompted them to change their views on whether guns should be regulated more strictly in the US.

Meanwhile California Senator Dianne Feinstein, who has been an advocate for tighter gun laws, said she would introduce new legislation when Congress meets for the first time in the new year.

But there is no bipartisan consensus on the issue, with others backing the NRA line that teachers in schools should be armed in order to better defend students if a shooting occurs.


In recent years, the N.R.A. has aggressively lobbied federal and state governments to dilute or eliminate numerous regulations on gun ownership. And the clearest beneficiary has been the gun industry — sales of firearms and ammunition have grown 5.7 percent a year since 2007, to nearly $12 billion this year, according to IBISWorld, a market research firm. Despite the recession, arms sales have been growing so fast that domestic manufacturers haven’t been able to keep up. Imports of arms have grown 3.6 percent a year in the last five years.

The industry has, in turn, been a big supporter of the N.R.A. It has contributed between $14.7 million and $38.9 million to an N.R.A.-corporate-giving campaign since 2005, according to a report published last year by the Violence Policy Center, a nonprofit group that advocates greater gun control. The estimate is based on a study of the N.R.A.’s “Ring of Freedom” program and very likely understates the industry’s total financial support for the association, which does not publicly disclose a comprehensive list of its donors and how much they have given.

Officials from the N.R.A. have repeatedly said their main goal is to protect the Second Amendment rights of rank-and-file members who like to hunt or want guns for protection. But that claim is at odds with surveys that show a majority of N.R.A. members and a majority of American gun owners often support restrictions on gun sales and ownership that the N.R.A. has bitterly fought.

For instance, a 2009 poll commissioned by Mayors Against Illegal Guns found that 69 percent of N.R.A. members would support requiring all sellers at gun shows to conduct background checks of prospective buyers, which they do not have to do now and which the N.R.A. has steadfastly argued against. If lawful gun owners are willing to subject themselves to background checks, why is the association resisting? Its position appears only to serve the interest of gun makers and dealers who want to increase sales even if it means having dangerous weapons fall into the hands of criminals and violent individuals.

Businesses and special-interest groups often cloak their profit motives in the garb of constitutional rights — think Big Tobacco and its opposition to restrictions on smoking in public places and bold warnings on cigarette packages. The Supreme Court has made clear that the right to bear arms is not absolute and is subject to regulations and controls. Yet the N.R.A. clings to its groundless arguments that tough regulations violate the Second Amendment. Many of those arguments serve no purpose other than to increase the sales of guns and bullets.

the power of the gun lobby

BATTLEGROUND AMERICA One nation, under the gun. BY JILL LEPORE APRIL 23, 2012 There are nearly three hundred million privately owned firearms in the United States: a hundred and six million handguns, a hundred and five million rifles, and eighty-three million shotguns. … Continue reading

BATTLEGROUND AMERICA

One nation, under the gun.

BY  APRIL 23, 2012

There are nearly three hundred million privately owned firearms in the United States: a hundred and six million handguns, a hundred and five million rifles, and eighty-three million shotguns. That works out to about one gun for every American.

The United States is the country with the highest rate of civilian gun ownership in the world. (The second highest is Yemen, where the rate is nevertheless only half that of the U.S.) No civilian population is more powerfully armed. Most Americans do not, however, own guns, because three-quarters of people with guns own two or more. According to the General Social Survey, conducted by the National Policy Opinion Center at the University of Chicago, the prevalence of gun ownership has declined steadily in the past few decades. In 1973, there were guns in roughly one in two households in the United States; in 2010, one in three. In 1980, nearly one in three Americans owned a gun; in 2010, that figure had dropped to one in five.

Men are far more likely to own guns than women are, but the rate of gun ownership among men fell from one in two in 1980 to one in three in 2010, while, in that same stretch of time, the rate among women remained one in ten. What may have held that rate steady in an age of decline was the aggressive marketing of handguns to women for self-defense, which is how a great many guns are marketed. Gun ownership is higher among whites than among blacks, higher in the country than in the city, and higher among older people than among younger people. One reason that gun ownership is declining, nationwide, might be that high-school shooting clubs and rifle ranges at summer camps are no longer common.
Although rates of gun ownership, like rates of violent crime, are falling, the power of the gun lobby is not. Since 1980, forty-four states have passed some form of law that allows gun owners to carry concealed weapons outside their homes for personal protection. (Five additional states had these laws before 1980. Illinois is the sole holdout.) A federal ban on the possession, transfer, or manufacture of semiautomatic assault weapons, passed in 1994, was allowed to expire in 2004. In 2005, Florida passed the Stand Your Ground law, an extension of the so-called castle doctrine, exonerating from prosecution citizens who use deadly force when confronted by an assailant, even if they could have retreated safely; Stand Your Ground laws expand that protection outside the home to any place that an individual “has a right to be.” Twenty-four states have passed similar laws.

Read more: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/04/23/120423fa_fact_lepore