Bloomberg has released two new ads that make the claim: Newtown was a horrible incident and we just can't stand by and let these attacks continue. Guess what? I completely agree. The difference is that Bloomberg asserts that gun control is the solution. I think that getting rid of gun-free zones would be an important start. From CNN:Ten days before the first anniversary of the Newtown elementary school massacre, two gun control groups released a chilling new television ad that portrays a potential school shooting. Mayors Against Illegal Guns–the group backed by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg–and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense partnered up to produce the commercial, which comes 30-second and 60-second versions. Released online Wednesday, the spot is set to air on cable news networks this week.
The ad, titled "No More Silence," shows a roomful of young children standing for a moment of silence to mark the Newtown anniversary. It also features scenes of other members of a community bowing their heads to mark the moment. "On December 14th, we'll have a moment of silence for Newtown," the ad's narrator says. A ticking clock can be heard throughout the ad, building up suspense. Then halfway through the spot, a presumed shooter can be seen carrying a large duffel bag as he or she walk towards what looks like a school. "But with 26 more school shootings since that day," the narrator continues, "Ask yourself: Is silence what America needs right now?" . . .
Doug Drinkwater has a very interesting article over at the TabTimes. He points out that while the initial prices of Android devices are lower, the real question is what is the price per month of use and the quality of that use.
1) Unlike Apple, Android devices don't have their operating systems updated when new versions of Android come out. The problem then is that many of the newest Apps may only run on the newest versions of Android. Android devices thus become obsolete much faster.
2) Androids generally just aren't as useful as iPads. "iPad continues to dominate for mobile browsing and mobile commerce. There are three possible interpretations of this: These tablets are being bought in emerging markets (but not China, since Chinese devices generally aren't activated and so won't be in these numbers) and not using western sites. They're being bought in developed markets and being used much less, or not at all. They're being bought and not used for the internet - they're cheap kids' tablets, baby monitors, points of sale devices..."
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Obama's approval rating has fallen 12 percentage points over the last year, but the drop in his support among some groups is larger than it is for others. The original Gallup data is available here.
Newest Fox News piece: "NFL hypocrisy -- Bloomberg anti-gun ads ok but ad about ‘protection’ is banned?"
My newest op-ed piece at Fox News starts this way:New York City Mayor and gun control advocate Michael Bloomberg sure knows how to get his way. This week the NFL, after featuring anti-gun ads during the last two Super Bowls, it decided that an ad offering the opposite point of view in the upcoming Super Bowl XLVIII on February 2 was just too much. The NFL turned down an ad from a company called "Daniel Defense" which sells guns and outdoor gear that discussed "personal protection and fundamental rights." It featured a former Marine talking his family's safety, noting that he is ultimately responsible for their protection. Unlike Bloomberg’s ads, the "Daniel Defense" ad never even mentions the word "gun," just the concept of personal protection. The very end of the initial version of the ad did show the company's logo, a picture of a gun. But this wasn't the stumbling block, as the company told the NFL that it would happily to remove the logo and replace it with a picture of an American flag. Still the NFL found that unacceptable. . . .
Virginia gun sales set a new high for Black Friday as the number of firearms sold statewide continues to soar and is just days away from setting an annual record.
City dwellers are not known for being fond of blood sports. As the nation has grown less rural, the number of hunters has declined. People whose acquaintance is limited to "Bambi" tend to recoil at the notion of shooting deer or other game animals. But a convergence of developments makes it more plausible than ever for the skeptical to find virtues in hunting.
The anniversary of the massacre at Sandy Hook is approaching, and many on the Left are preparing to celebrate it with a new gun-control push. OFA, Moms Demand Action, and Mayors Against Illegal Guns have all signaled their intention to use the date as a rallying point on which to push for extended federal background checks. Some may go even further, ranging into an “assault weapons” ban or a restriction on “high-capacity” magazines.
Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America (MDA), Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG), and Organizing for Action (OFA) have all made clear they intend to use the first anniversary of the heinous crime at Sandy Hook Elementary to push for stricter gun control laws.
According to a new CNN/ORC International survey, 49% of Americans say they support stricter gun control laws, with 50% opposed. The 49% support is down six percentage points from the 55% who said they backed stricter gun control in CNN polling from January.
Attorney General Patrick Morrisey today announced that West Virginia and 25 other states and one territory have filed an amicus, or friend of the court, brief with the U.S. Supreme Court opposing a federal government attempt to prosecute legal gun owners who wish to sell a weapon to another person who can legally own and purchase firearms.
In claiming progress on the White House's initiative, Biden renewed his call for action at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue. "Now, it's not enough to take these steps on our own -- we still need Congress to pass comprehensive legislation to reduce gun violence," he said.
Obamacare apparently isn't good enough for Harry Reid's staff, Reid exempts some of his staff from having to go through Obamacare
One would think that this one fact would be devastating for Obama's case this week about how wonderful the system was. From CNN:Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, one of Obamacare's architects and staunchest supporters, is also the only top congressional leader to exempt some of his staff from having to buy insurance through the law's new exchanges. Reid is the exception among the other top congressional leaders. GOP House Speaker John Boehner, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell have all directed their staffs to join the exchange, their aides said. . . .
A Congressional Research Service (CRS) report shows that while gun ownership climbed from 192 million firearms in 1994 to 310 million firearms in 2009, crime fell—and fell sharply. According to the report, the "firearm-related murder and non-negligent homicide" rate was 6.6 per 100,000 Americans in 1993. Following the exponential growth in the number of guns, that rate fell to 3.6 per 100,000 in 2000.
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Note how gun sales spiked in November 2008, but they were down in November 2009, though still higher than previous Novembers. The same spike occurred again in November 2012, and again the November a year later shows the same pattern -- lower than November 2012, but still higher than all the previous Novembers.
The pattern seems clear: Obama wins election and there is a very large temporary increase in gun sales. Gun sales remain high a year later, but down from what they were right when Obama was elected.
Politico says that renewing the plastic gun ban is a "small gain" for gun control efforts. I actually think that gun control advocates are making gains, but not in terms of the issues that this piece at Politico is looking at. The article in Politico is entitled: "Gun control efforts must settle for small gains."The Republican House version of the bill, which would renew the law with no additional provisions, passed the chamber on a voice vote Tuesday afternoon — meaning no roll call was taken to provide a list of who had supported or opposed the measure. But the Democratic-controlled Senate is where things get complicated. . . . New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, the No. 3 Democratic leader, will likely attempt on Monday to pass a more comprehensive bill, one that requires a piece of metal to be permanently attached to guns to prevent them from becoming undetectable by removing their metallic parts. Republicans are expected to object to Schumer’s move, meaning he wouldn’t be able to secure a vote before the current law expires. The Democratic strategy appears to be a messaging effort to push the GOP to articulate its opposition. Ultimately, the Senate is expected to just swallow the House version. . . .
I have already put up a post on the NFL rejecting a pro-defensive gun use ad. Some are now arguing that getting rejected has actually been good for the Daniel Defense ad because that has generated so much more media coverage. But Bloomberg's ads had the best of both worlds: getting on the Super Bowl and also getting a lot of very favorable news coverage. I couldn't find any news stories saying something bad about the Bloomberg ads. Here are some comments from the 2013 ad. Note that none of these publications have anything so far about the Daniel Defense ad being turned down.
A gun control group founded by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg aired an advertisement during the Super Bowl calling for background checks. The 30-second spot by Mayors Against Illegal Guns aired in the Washington area at the end of halftime of the game between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers. The ad calls on lawmakers to pass rules requiring background checks on guns. It is narrated by children, with "America the Beautiful" playing in the background. . . .From the New Yorker:
Five children and one grown-up appear in “It’s Time,” a Super Bowl ad bought by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a group that has behind it more than eight hundred mayors and the personal money of Mike Bloomberg of New York. The children are playing and smiling and posing in front of an American flag. The grown-up—Wayne LaPierre, executive vice-president of the N.R.A.—is seen in a video from 1999, testifying that he has no problem with closing the loophole that allows allows unlicensed dealers to sell guns to anyone they like, with no background checks at all. He does now: at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on gun violence, LaPierre said having all gun buyers go through background checks would create a “universal federal nightmare.” . . . This is a more frank act of lobbying than the cheerful ad the group ran last February, when the Giants were playing the Patriots and Bloomberg and Thomas Menino, the mayor of Boston, sat next to each other in jerseys and talked about how they might disagree about bagels and the Red Sox but were at one in support of the Second Amendment—with some limits. And it wasn’t a general evocation of tragedy, like having children from Newtown sing “America the Beautiful” with Jennifer Hudson. Bloomberg seems to have decided that this moment is less about supplicating or pretending there’s no real discord, and more about getting a bill through Congress. That will involve putting cracks in the N.R.A.’s defenses. . . .From the Business Insider is entitled "Mike Bloomberg's Gun Control Group Will Air This Devastating Super Bowl Ad Slamming A Big NRA Flip-Flop":
The gun control group founded by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will air a 30-second ad during the Super Bowl featuring a child narrator and aimed at the NRA's flip-flop on background checks. Because of the high-profile spot the Super Bowl affords it, the ad is perhaps the most significant gun-control push from Bloomberg's group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns. . . .Other news stories include Slate, the Daily Caller, and other stories that I am not going to take the time to list.
Senator Schumer sure makes the danger of 3D printed guns look immediate and ominous. From the Huffington Post:
"We are looking at a world in which anyone with a little bit of cash can bring an undetectable gun that can fire multiple bullets anywhere — including planes, government buildings, sporting events and schools," Schumer said. "3-D printers are a miraculous technology that have the potential to revolutionize manufacturing, but we need to make sure they are not being used to make deadly, undetectable weapons." . . . Others such as Eric Holder have made a big deal about these printers. From Fox News:
“This is an extremely serious problem,” Holder said in a statement. “This is a very worrisome threat to law enforcement and to people who fly every day. We can’t have guns legally in circulation that are not detectable by metal detectors.” . . .Of course, 3D plastic guns aren't really completely undetectable, though it does make the problem more difficult. From the Huffington Post:
Currently, X-ray machines used in many federal facilities can detect 3D weapons, unless they are broken down into component parts, in which case it may be up to security officials to recognize the individual components of the weapon. "Not every place you go to is like the airport," Griffith said. "A lot of places, [like] courthouses, all they have are metal detectors." . . .Computer World has this about how dangerous the plastic gun is to those who use them.
Last week, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) published videos demonstrating how some plastic models of the Liberator were able to fire up to eight rounds, while others exploded on the first round; the success of the weapon depended on the polymers and printers used. . . .A couple of the results of the BATFE test:
A truly all-plastic firearm “would be very unreliable and very unsafe,” according to Larry Keane, senior vice president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a trade group representing gun manufacturers that’s allied with the National Rifle Association. . . .Other law enforcement organizations around the world are even much less positive. From Gizmodo:
Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione called a press conference today after the NSW [Australia] Police Force concluded its experiments with 3D printable weapons, including The Liberator. The boffins over at the NSW Police bought themselves a 3D printer for $1700 and decided to test how easy it would be to build their own gun. They downloaded the blueprints for The Liberator from the internet and printed out two weapons to test fire. All in all, they printed the 15 parts required to assemble The Liberator in 27 hours and assembled it within 60 seconds with a firing pin fashioned out of a steel nail. The two guns were test fired into a block of resin designed to simulate human muscle, and the first bullet penetrated the resin block up to 17 centimetres. NSW Police Ballistics division confirm that it would be a fatal wound if pointed at someone. What’s interesting about the second device they tested, however, was the “catastrophic failure” of the weapon. Translation? It exploded. The plastic gave way to the brutal force of an exploding .38 caliber bullet and the barrel exploded. . . . The law banning plastic guns is particularly useless because metal used in the gun to make it legal could be easily removed.
Schumer said the Liberator's CAD blueprint allows for a piece of metal that can be easily removed and plays no functional role but renders the gun legal; bullets can be fired from the gun even though it is made entirely of plastic. . . .The Undetectable Firearms Act was passed in 1988, then renewed in 1998 and again in 2003. Here is something that I wrote about plastic guns back in 2003 and something about 3D printing earlier this year. To me the more important problem is the fact that metal guns that work identically to other manufactured guns can be made using 3D printers.
Philadelphia is posed to ban 3D printed guns that aren't made by licensed gun makers. Other articles on the 3D plastic gun debate are here and here.
Earlier this year, Connecticut politicians took advantage of the horrific Newtown shootings to dust off a wish list of draconian firearms restrictions and race them through the legislative process into law. The restrictions wouldn't have prevented the mass murder—they would have been completely irrelevant to the crime, in fact—which may be why they were rammed through under "emergency certification" with no referrals to committees or public hearings. Among other things, the new law requires registration of "assault weapons" and high-capacity magazines by January 1, 2014. Any student of history could have predicted officials' current concerns now that relatively few residents are complying with the law and telling the state what they own as the deadline fast approaches.
The House approved a bill Tuesday that would extend a ban on manufacturing plastic firearms that are not detectable by security screening devices.
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-Any Television Camera), dedicated foe of private ownership of firearms, is deeply concerned that the Undetectable Firearms Act will sunset on December 9, 2013. He also thinks simply renewing the law once again is insufficient to deal with the Dread Scourge of 3D printed plastic firearms that will soon be coming to a playground near you unless much tougher restrictions are imposed. His magical belief that just one more law will stop people from printing whatever they damned well please in the privacy of their workshops is a tad baffling -- unless you realize that, after so many years in government, he's basically nuts.