THEY ARE AT THE TOP OF THE LADDER!!!!
Well, day two of the Johns Hopkins Gun Control Symposium saw what I think is the most troublesome aspect of this version of gun policy.....absolute control of the gun policy. I am absolutely not a gun rights person.....the total opposite, but I know when policy is about keeping people safe and when it is about using it against people. We see from Hopkins the desire yet again to used it against people.
I think most people supporting controls agree on the 3 main issues: end access to assault rifles and large magazines; stricter gun background checks; and ownership licensing that gives ongoing oversight. Even gun enthusiasts see most of these as necessary. The problem with Hopkins is it usual zeal to own the solution and its history of a less than balanced approach to how laws are implemented. As I said yesterday, they do not even recognize the crimes at the top and for today's discussion I will note that all of the thousands of people guilty in these massive corporate frauds would be felons if charged and convicted.....which they would have been in normal Rule of Law circumstances. Also, raise your hands if you think the richest are more guilty of drug and alcohol abuse than the lower/middle class...........EVERYONE KNOWS THERE IS A TREMENDOUS ABUSE OF ALCOHOL AND DRUGS BY THE AFFLUENT.....ONLY, THEY RARELY GET CHARGED WITH A CRIME. The lower-class on the other hand have been charged to an inch of their lives for all kinds of drug and alcohol offenses.......and this is where Hopkins intends to double-down on gun ownership and criminal penalties.........it will be illegal in most cases for anyone who is a minority to own a gun and the penalties for being found with a gun will be strengthened. So, if you have a felony, if you have been charged with an alcohol or drug crime, if you under 21, if you are an illegal immigrant, if you are guilty of any violent crime......could be a street fight........YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO OWN A GUN. THEY SAY THERE WILL BE A 10 YEARS RESTRICTION FROM THE TIME OF THE CRIME. IF YOU ARE FOUND WITH A GUN, THE PENALTIES WILL BE MADE MORE HARSH.....THINK ZERO TOLERANCE AND THREE STRIKES.
They had a gentleman who went on a bit much about the fact that the intent was to totally disarm almost all people and he referred to tyranny and absolute power. He came off as a Tea Party extremist as he tried to make a big point in a small time allotment but he hit the ball out of the park......THE HOPKINS APPROACH TO GUN CONTROL IS ABOUT COMPLETE DISARMAMENT AND IT IS BEING DONE UNDER A VERY CORRUPT ATMOSPHERE WITH MOST PEOPLE NOT TRUSTING GOVERNMENT OR CORPORATIONS.
Do you realize who would fall into the categories described above.......ALMOST ANYONE THEY WANTED TO CHARGE!!!!! HONESTLY!!!
So, again we have a good issue like gun control being manipulated to completely take away Constitutional freedoms.....think Education Reform and how it is being used to privatize public education and this is all being led by Hopkins. HOPKINS IS TRYING TO TAKE THE LEAD ON AN ISSUE AND FRAME IT TO THEIR ADVANTAGE. Is it a bad thing to take guns away from most people? It would not be a problem if the people taking them were not far more guilty than the people losing them and if the idea were not to criminalize and incarcerate another generation of poor people for this War on Guns.
They would not call on me again as c-span was still recording so I did not get to say all of this and my major concern is that the term 'FELON' is so arbitrary in the US ....a homeless person fined for loitering over and over and failing to pay fines is made a felon. Drug possession of small amounts makes you a felon. Stealing a $800 color TV makes you a felon. Partying at all night raves on Times Square taking copious drugs.....Wall Street office parties with binge drinking and sexual assaults....domestic violence by a corporate executive taking too much cocaine.....STEALING TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN CORPORATE FRAUD....NO FELONY. So these crazies are bad guys who can own guns!!!!
They have written the policy, provided the expert testimony, created polling information that supports their 26 gun control policies, and are ready for their famous coalition forming. WE DO NOT WANT LAWS THAT WILL SEND PEOPLE TO PRISON FOR YET ANOTHER SERIES OF TRUMPED UP CRIMES. IT IS ALREADY HAPPENING IN BALTIMORE!!! I liked when the Australian expert on gun control made clear how laws in Australia and laws in America differ as to reaching goals:
In Australia, we do not seek to criminalize we seek to deter people from what we deem bad behavior. This was said in response to what legal actions are taken if people are found to lie on applications for gun ownership/businesses. We simply don't give them a license. The person in the audience wanted to hear about legal charges to criminalize the person!!! THAT IS WHY THE US IS # 1 IN THE WORLD FOR INCARCERATION AND AUSTRALIA CONDEMNS THE US FOR BEING #1. THESE GUN POLICY REFORMS SEEK TO CONTINUE DOWN THIS PATH!!!
IF YOU DO NOT HEAR YOUR POLITICIAN SHOUTING LOUDLY AND STRONGLY ABOUT GUN CONTROL LAWS THAT SEEK TO CRIMINALIZE PEOPLE AND NOT JUST CHANGE BEHAVIOR....
VOTE YOUR INCUMBENT OUT OF OFFICE!!!!
Why Power Corrupts and Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely
Dr. Robert Aziz Psychoanalytical therapist
Posted: 08/07/11 08:50 PM ET
The option to impose one's will on another is an option that position alone wrongly affords all too many individuals. Indeed this option to impose on, rather than work with, this option to impose on without any regard whatsoever for due process, becomes, in the hands of most, a license to harm, if not destroy the careers and lives of others. People do, after all, inexplicably lose their jobs; careers do get gently nudged onto the rocks; professional marginalization does occur; first-rate organizational, social and political initiatives do encounter untenable resistance, if they are not obstructed altogether; minority oppression does occur; individual whim decimates cultures and destroys countries.
There are some obvious explanations as to why individuals would abuse the authority associated with their formal positions. The existence of an altogether unrelated drive for personal gain would be at the top of that list, such as we saw unleashed through the financial sector before ultimately taking the form of the housing crash, which devastated not only America, but the global economy. I would further imagine that the existence of malice toward others characteristic of economic, social, political, religious, ethnic and racial injustices would be a close second. Now as much as we have just cast a wide net, something else I have observed, based on my work for over two decades as both an executive consultant within the business sector and psychoanalytical therapist, is that the majority of these abuses of position, as they present in their everyday forms within business, professional and political circles, are attributable to something far less sinister, albeit no less destructive. What I have been led to conclude is that managerial or leadership incompetence is a significant factor when it comes to such abuses within business, professional and political circles.
Power is that to which leadership necessarily defaults in the absence of being able to contain and process meaning with others and within oneself. In the absence of functional interpersonal [with others] processing and functional intrapsychic [internal] processing there can only be power. In the absence of functional processing and meaning there can only be the dynamics of imposition, will and power. We should add to this the alarming fact that many individuals, by way of promotion or other circumstances, eventually find themselves holding positions of authority that exceed their leadership/consciousness capabilities to function within meaning rather than power. Looking to current events, even after we allow for the normal restrictions of partisanship politics, does not the pure inanity of the debt ceiling fiasco provide us with more evidence of this point than we care to see? How could we not conclude that those holding positions of authority had exceeded their leadership/consciousness capabilities to function within meaning rather than power? With the stakes so high for the world's foremost economy and by extension yet again the global economy, in light of the leadership/consciousness vacuum, is it any wonder that for the first time in the history of the United States action, in the form of the downgrading of the US credit rating, had to be taken by an outside party to contain the chaos, to contain that which was not being properly processed.
So why does power corrupt? It corrupts because it gives license to unconsciousness and neglect. It corrupts because it licenses individuals to unilaterally, unreflectively and thus arbitrarily impose their will on others. It licenses individuals to impose their will without having properly engaged and processed through the Reality at hand. Power inflates the ego and through it the ego is erroneously led to believe it has the power to make people, ideas and even Reality itself disappear without due process. In the big picture nothing is further from the truth. Power corrupts because it gives license to unconsciousness, and in so doing it not only destroys the growth opportunity of the victim of such imposition, but no less the growth opportunity of the victimizer. Failure to engage another in consciousness, not only does the other individual harm, but it no less does serious harm to oneself, for in both cases the precious opportunity to extend consciousness by way of self-organizing nature is altogether lost, corrupted.
By way of power you corrupt; by way of power you are corrupted. By way of absolute power you absolutely corrupt; by way of absolute power you become absolutely corrupted.
As someone who attended this symposium I will shout out that Hopkins is taking the timing of gun tragedy to push policy that goes far beyond what the public wants and it is doing so with such extreme bias in polling and statistics it will take your breathe away. As a gun control advocate I will side with the Australian gun control expert who commented on what types of penalties come with breaking these gun control laws.....'In Australia, we seek to change behavior not to criminalize people over this issue'. That is what is disturbing with Hopkins approach in that it seeks to criminalize the process and deny ownership to a wide swath of people. Since the poor are the only ones charged as felons for actions everyone does regarding drugs and alcohol, they are the ones squarely in the sights of this Hopkins gun control policy. It's like killing a fly with by dropping a piano on it.
You will see all of the broad ideas that everyone supports and none of the onerous policies that criminalize ever.
Bloomberg urges federal gun control reforms at Hopkins summit Posted: 11:40 am Mon, January 14, 2013
By Associated Press
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is calling for federal gun control reforms.
Bloomberg outlined his proposals Monday at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health at a summit on reducing gun violence.
The two-day summit began one month after the mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.
Bloomberg is urging President Barack Obama and Congress to increase background check requirements for firearms purchases.
He also says the federal government needs to get tougher on gun trafficking. Bloomberg says the federal government must also limit assault weapons and magazines with more than 10 rounds.
Democratic Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley also outlined some reforms he plans to seek in Maryland. They include banning assault weapons and tougher licensing requirements. They also include proposals to increase school safety.
I WANT TO INCLUDE THIS CRITIC OF THE HOPKINS GUN CONTROL BECAUSE IT IS THE ONLY ARTICLE NOW OUT THERE THAT ADDRESSES WHAT I SEE AS THE CONCERNS. AGAIN, I AM FOR ENDING ASSAULT WEAPONS AND LARGE MAGAZINES, GUN REGISTRATION AND BACKGROUND CHECKS........WHAT I DO NOT WANT IS FURTHER CRIMINALIZATION OF AN ALREADY ENTRENCHED PEOPLE IN POVERTY WHICH IS WHAT THIS DOES. WE ARE WATCHING AS A LARGE SEGMENT OF OUR POPULATION IS LOSING ALL OF ITS RIGHTS AS CITIZENS UNDER THE GUISE OF CRIMINAL PROSECUTION. O'MALLEY AND YOUR INCUMBENT ARE NOT TELLING YOU DETAILS THAT FURTHER CIVIL RIGHTS AND CIVIL LIBERTIES VIOLATIONS!!!!!
VOTE YOUR INCUMBENT OUT OF OFFICE.
I AGREE THAT THE POLICY SUPPORT IS BIASED AND THE PEOPLE CREATING THE POLICY HAS THE AGENDA OF ENDING GUN RIGHTS FOR THE MAJORITY OF PEOPLE IN AMERICA.
Why the John Hopkins Report Calling for Tougher Gun Laws is Flawed 10/25/12 | by S.H. Blannelberry Guns.com
On Thursday, researchers at the John Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research released their report on gun control. What were their findings?
Isn’t it obvious? We need tougher gun laws!
Here are their key points briefly recapitulated, with the help of CNS News:
“High-Risk” Individuals Should be Prohibited from Owning Guns
A “high-risk” individual includes those suffering from substance abuse problems (alcoholics, drug addicts), anyone convicted of a violent offense, including misdemeanors, those who are charged with a felony but plea-bargain to a lesser charge.
DO YOU KNOW HOW TO ASSESS THESE SOCIAL ILLS LIKE ALCOHOLISM AND DRUG ADDICTION.....MOST PEOPLE ARE ADDICTS FOR LIFE SO THIS IS A LIFE RESTRICTION. I DON'T WANT GUNS IN ANYBODY'S HAND, BUT WE KNOW THAT THESE LAWS WILL FALL ON PEOPLE ALREADY STRUGGLING TO SURVIVE AND COMPLETELY DISENFRANCHISED.
Also, anyone under the age of 21 should be banned from owning a firearm.
“When you deny high-risk people access to guns, the evidence shows that saves lives,” said Daniel W. Webster, director of Hopkins’ Center for Gun Policy and Research and the report’s lead author, told the Baltimore Sun. “And when you regulate all gun sales, fewer guns get diverted to criminals.”
With respect to the 18-20-year-olds, Hopkins said, “We do not allow that group to legally drink beer, but in 45 of 50 states, that group can legally own a handgun.”
Close the ‘Gun Show Loophole’:
The Brady Law is “necessary but insufficient,” the research team argues, because it only requires FFLs to conduct background checks on prospective buyers. Private sellers are not obligated to conduct background checks. In essence, this “loophole” needs to be closed. THAT IS GOOD
Boost regulation and oversight of gun-sellers:
The report also blames Congress for limiting public access to crime-gun trace data, and for providing firearm manufacturers and retail sellers with “broad protections from lawsuits.” THAT IS GOOD
“Data from federal gun trafficking investigations indicate that scofflaw gun dealers are the most important channels for diverting guns to traffickers and criminals,” the report states (Really? Fast and Furious anyone?).
Eliminate “right-to-carry” laws
They “do not make us safer and likely increase aggravated assaults,” the Center argues, rejecting John Lott’s research that shows the opposite is potentially valid. THIS IS GOOD
Regulate the design of guns
“Not all firearms are created equal,” the report states. “Aside from ammunition capacity, other characteristics of firearms that are relevant to public safety include how easily the gun can be concealed, and how prone it is to misfire or fire unintentionally.”
The Hopkins team advocates reintroducing the now-expired 1994 ban on assault weapons and large capacity magazines. THIS IS GOOD
The public wants stronger gun regulation:
“Contrary to recent media reports, a large majority of the public, including gun owners, favors remedying many current weaknesses in our gun laws,” the paper concludes.
It also mentions the “real political hurdles” to enacting new gun control laws—“the gun lobby” being a “substantial” hurdle.
“But politicians who want to correct flaws in our current laws, which enable dangerous people to get guns, could do so knowing that there is broad support for those policies, the reforms are constitutional, and the policies would enhance public safety.”
Commentary and Analysis
There are many red flags in this report (no specific breakdown of how drug and gang-related violence impacts the homicide rate, no acknowledgement that the National Research Council found that the AWB, while it was enforced (1994-2004), had zero impact on gun violence, no admission that cities like Chicago, Baltimore and Washington DC, which have some of the strictest gun laws in the country have disproportionately high crime rates, no talk about the government run, fatally flawed gun walking operation Fast and Furious and its deadly ramifications both along the border and in Mexico, no mention of the fact that over the past two decades there’s been a massive expansion of concealed carry rights and crime has gone down nationwide, etc.) But here are three that really stood out to me:
Follow the Money
Who funded this study? THIS IS TRUE!
As mentioned it’s the John Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, which is a division of the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Yes, to be clear, that’s “Bloomberg” as in New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the fearless leader of the most aggressive pro-gun control organization in the country, Mayors Against Illegal Guns.
This information is courtesy of Philanthropy News Digest:
Since graduating from Johns Hopkins University in 1964, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg has given generously to his alma mater and other nonprofits in Baltimore, the Baltimore Sun reports.
Bloomberg recently gave $120 million to help build the new $1.1 billion Johns Hopkins Hospital and $5 million to the Open Society Institute-Baltimore. With the gift to the hospital, Bloomberg, who has amassed what Forbes estimates to be a $22 billion fortune as the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg L.P., has given some $800 million to Johns Hopkins since he paid his way through college with loans and a job as a parking lot attendant. That makes him the university’s largest donor — and possibly the largest single donor to any university in the United States.
It’s a fair question, is it not? Who really funded the study and what findings did he/she expect to see?
In calling for the end of concealed carry rights, the Hopkins team said the following:
So-called right to carry (RTC) laws allow individuals who are not legally proscribed from possessing firearms to carry concealed weapons in public, either by making it easy to get a permit to do so, or by not requiring such permits at all. Arguments for RTC laws are premised on the idea that everyone who is eligible to legally own a firearm is law-abiding, and is at low risk for committing a violent crime. Research cited above concerning weak standards for legal firearm ownership calls this into question. A recent review of concealed carry permit holders in North Carolina examined criminal offending in the group over a five-year period. During that period, more than 2,400 permit holders were convicted of crimes (excluding traffic violations), including more than 200 felonies and 10 murders or manslaughters. An additional 900 had been convicted of a drunk driving offense, an offense commonly associated with substance abuse.
This paragraph is very misleading. For starters, no one within the gun community argues that all CCW permit holders are perfect, law-abiding citizens. The reality is people are fallible.
However, what can be argued, and what I showed when I examined that same NC study is that CCW permit holders are less likely to commit crimes than the general population. This is, indeed, true.
It wasn’t just my conclusion, the New York Times indirectly admitted as much in its write up of the study:
In the end, most researchers say the scattershot results [about whether concealed carry increases or lowers crime] are not unexpected, because the laws, in all likelihood, have not significantly increased the number of people carrying concealed weapons among those most likely to commit crimes or to be victimized.
This key point was omitted from the report, which is tantamount to lazy research on behalf of the Hopkins team (though, it could also be a deliberate obfuscation of the truth).
The Luntz Poll
With regards to public support for gun control, the researchers dismiss objective Gallup polls, which show that by and large the public opposes tougher gun laws, and instead choose to cite one commissioned by Mayors Against Illegal Guns and conducted by media wordsmith Frank Luntz.
I examined this Luntz poll when it was released in July and I noted that the survey is worded in an idealistic fashion, with no mention of an actual piece of legislation that would ground the questions in reality. In other words, there’s no indication of opportunity costs or the practical ramifications of what supporting some of these measures would mean for gun owners.
Therefore, my conclusion was rather straightforward: “Overall, the poll is worthless. It doesn’t ask any real, policy-based questions. It’s all political fluff” (for more on this, click here). THIS IS CORRECT....THEY DO NOT INCLUDE SOME OF THE MOST CONCERNING LAWS BEING CONSIDERED AND DELIBERATELY USE BROAD WORDING.
Given the fact that this poll is not only useless but also flagrantly biased, one has to ask why a team of professional researchers with PHDs and JDs opted to cite it in their report?
While I think my complaints against the report’s conclusions have considerable merit, I believe John H. Josselyn, legislative vice president for the Associated Gun Clubs of Baltimore, had an infinitely more succinct and cogent rebuke.
He told the Baltimore Sun, “Attempting to control criminal behavior through additional gun laws is the rough equivalent of trying to control drunk driving by making it more difficult for sober people to purchase a car.”
Indeed. To back up his claim, he pointed to a 1991 Hopkins paper that found no clear difference between homicide rates in the United States and Canada in the late 1970s, even though Americans owned far more handguns then, according to the Sun.
It goes with out saying, but instead of looking for ways to limit the availability of guns, the Hopkins team should spend its time and research dollars looking at ways to improve the lives of “high-risk” individuals, ways to get them off of drugs and keep them from resorting to a life of crime.
I TOLD THESE HOPKINS PEOPLE THAT IT IS INDEED THE ISSUES OF POVERTY THAT CREATE THE CRIME AND GUN USE. WE ALREADY ARE SENDING PEOPLE TO JAIL FOR BEING POOR....THESE KINDS OF LAWS WILL BE USED TO PUT MORE OF THE SAME PEOPLE IN JAIL FOR LONGER PERIODS OF TIME.