Evening News Wrap Wednesday 4 December 2013.
- ANGUISH AND FEAR: Recordings of 911 calls to the Newtown, Connecticut police department during the Sandy Hook school massacre are released after AP and other news outlets file freedom of information requests. NRA probably listens to recordings and shrugs. (NY Times)
- ASSASSINATION: Hezbollah commander Hassan al-Laqis is gunned down outside his Beirut home; Israel denies involvement. (USA Today)
- "STRUCTURES AND PASTURELAND": An Arizona state agency is blamed for putting those interests over the safety of firefighters, 19 of whom perished battling a massive wildfire earlier this year; the fine is all of $559,000. (NY Times / LA Times)
- FIVE BILLION: That’s the number of cell phone records the National Security Administration collects overseas each motherfucking day. (WashPo)
- A truck carrying radioactive cobalt-60 was found soon after it was stolen in Mexico, its cargo container opened but with the material intact; unfortunately for the idiot(s) who opened it, they could die soon. (CNN / AP)
- BANKS A LOT: The feds will announce new mortgage fraud cases against banks in early 2014. (Reuters)
- Weeks after House Republicans move to cut billions of dollars in SNAP benefits, an analysis shows that the GOP is more likely to represent districts with high levels of participation in the food stamp program than do House Democrats. Republicans shrug. (Time)
- Meanwhile, President Obama calls on Americans to confront income inequality, the “defining challenge of our time.” Republicans shrug again. (Al Jazeera)
- Three former Ukrainian presidents back protesters angry at their government’s decision not to align with the European Union. (BBC)
- A year after going online-only, Newsweek is back in print. (Guardian)
- Pittsburgh Steelers coach acts like a dickhead on the field during a game, gets fined $100,000 and could cost his team a first round draft pick. (NY Daily News)
- KICKER: Scientists announce the oldest human DNA ever recovered — 400,000 years old — and show an “unexpected link” between Neanderthals in what is now Spain and another ancient predecessor of modern humans, the Denisovans from faraway Siberia. Apparently also discovered: the first-ever long-distance relationship. (NBC News)
(Scientific rendering of the Sima de los Huesos people, who lived 400,000 years ago in what is now Spain, by Javier Trueba / Madrid Scientific Films via NBC News)
Two people are dead and two others are in critical condition after gunfire erupted at a northern Nevada middle school Monday morning, according to police. Two students said a beloved math teacher was killed when he told the shooter to put down his weapon.
Police have not identified the two fatalities, except to say one was the gun man, after shots rang out at Sparks Middle School, RGJ.com reports.
The two hospitalized victims are described as two male minors. They were received at Renown Regional Hospital at 7:45 a.m. PDT, hospital spokeswoman Angela Rambo told the Daily News. An earlier report by RGJ identified one victim as being 12 years old.
A student speaking to RGJ, 13-year-old Kyle Nucum, described one of the victims as a male teacher who after spotting a student with a gun rushed at him to get him to put it down.
"We heard a pop, like a loud pop and everyone was screaming, and then the teacher came to investigate,” Nucum said. “I thought it was a firecracker at first, but the student was pointing a gun at the teacher after the teacher told him to put it down, and then the teacher fell and everybody ran away.”
As he and the others were running he said they heard “about four or five more shots.”
Because Nucum was outside near the school’s basketball courts when it happened he said a neighboring lady allowed them to hide in her home.
Nucum approximated the teacher having been shot in chest.”
The New York Daily News, "Sparks Middle School Shooting: Two Dead, Including Teacher Who Tried to Disarm Shooter, Students Say."
Yes, we don’t need to do anything about guns.
Relatives of 11-year-old gunshot victim Tayloni Mazcyk gather during a press conference on Monday. Doctors say the Brooklyn girl was paralyzed after being shot in the neck and spine; no arrests have been made. Family members say the shooting — one of more than two dozen in New York City this past weekend — is only one part of what they called an “epidemic” of gun violence. (Photo: Aaron Showalter / New York Daily News)
“There’s 12,000 people that are going to get killed this year with guns and 19,000 that are going to commit suicide with guns, and we’re not going to walk away from those efforts (to ban illegal guns). …This is a scourge on the country that we just have to make sure that we get under control and eliminate.”
New York City mayor MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, on reports that both his office and the offices of Mayors Against Illegal Guns — which he founded — received threatening letters laced with ricin poison.
If a gun nut can’t kill you with a gun, he’ll find some other way.
(via the New York Times)
The Glock executive testified that he would keep doing business with a gun dealer who had been indicted on a charge of violating firearms laws because “This is still America” and “You’re still innocent until proven guilty.”
The president of Sturm, Ruger was not interested in knowing how often the police traced guns back to the company’s distributors, saying it “wouldn’t show us anything.”
And a top executive for Taurus International said his company made no attempt to learn if dealers who sell its products were involved in gun trafficking on the black market. “I don’t even know what a gun trafficker is,” he said.
The world’s firearms manufacturers have been largely silent in the debate over gun violence. But their voices emerge from thousands of pages of depositions in a series of liability lawsuits a decade ago, before Congress passed a law shielding them from such suits in 2005, and the only time many of them were forced to answer such questions.
Much of the testimony was marked confidential, and transcripts were packed away in archives at law firms and courthouses around the country. But a review of the documents, which were obtained by The New York Times, shows the industry’s leaders arguing, often with detachment and defiance, that their companies bear little responsibility, beyond what the law requires, for monitoring the distributors and dealers who sell their guns to the public.
The executives claimed not to know if their guns had ever been used in a crime. They eschewed voluntary measures to lessen the risk of them falling into the wrong hands. And they denied that common danger signs — like a single person buying many guns at once or numerous “crime guns” that are traced to the same dealer — necessarily meant anything at all.”
– The New York Times, "Gun Makers Saw No Role In Curbing Improper Gun Sales"
Choice quotes from the American Rifleman article linked to here by Talking Points Memo:
- From the slideshow intro: “Many of these movies… take us back to simpler times, when dreaming of saving the day got us through that oh-so boring class.”
- From a review of Red Dawn:"Up until the fall of the Berlin Wall, many folks prepared for a possible invasion by what Ronald Reagan called the ‘Evil Empire.’" Man, gun nuts were delusional even back then.
- On The Terminator, which, remember, is a science fiction film: “This movie made shooters realize the importance of firepower, and that preparedness might be needed in the future.” You know, just in case a time-travelling killer android comes looking for you.
- On The Godfather: "That (Michael Corleone) built his empire through violence is only that much more alluring." Oh really.
- On The Matrix, a film that contains “a line that could easily be the catchphrase of many gun owners when asked what they need: 'Guns. Lots of guns.'”
- On The Road Warrior: ”This movie made some people realize that ammunition is a commodity, and would be useful if the world ever does hit the fan."
Most folks recognize the movies are fiction, meant as a form of escape.
The NRA apparently takes them at face value.
“Several men with assault rifles and hand guns crashed a Mayor’s Against Illegal Guns National Day to Demand Action event in Indianapolis, Indiana on Thursday and stood silently as the state chapter of Moms Demand Action held a rally in favor of limiting the availability of military style weapons and universal background checks.”
Men With Loaded Rifles Intimidate Moms Gathered At Gun Safety Rally | ThinkProgress
This is just fucking creepy and intimidation.
of constipation —
the fabric of gun nuts.
(Photo of the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre by Michael Reynolds / EPA via the New York Daily News)
Things Conservative Gun Nuts Say, Vol. 1.
(via The Colbert Report)
I’ll post this grim reminder from Slate regularly, going forward.
Because at some point this number will finally get to the gun nuts.
Not sure why politicians are scared pissless of the National Rifle Association.