Jan. 11th, 2011

A person known to be mentally disturbed easily buys a gun that shoots 31 bullets -- and what is everyone talking about? Chain store logos vs viewfinder marks.

“The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, for example, used red bull’s eyes on a map to show the GOP candidates in its sights. Ryan Rudominer, a spokesman for the DCCC, told the Palm Beach Post over the weekend that the Democratic map was not threatening since it used an image that is also associated with Target, the national retail chain.”
Better gun control is at least what we should be trying for. Or, as they say, better enforcement/application of the existing laws.

Apparently Loughner would have failed his background check for gun purchase, if the various people who had complained about his condition in the past had been listened to (or if they had complained more persistently).

"Jan 8 (Reuters) - The suspect in Saturday's shooting rampage in which a U.S. congresswoman was critically wounded was unstable and had been known to make death threats in the past, the local sheriff said."

Jared Loughner has been making death threats by phone to many people in Pima County including staff of Pima Community College, radio personalities and local bloggers. When Pima County Sheriff’s Office was informed, his deputies assured the victims that he was being well managed by the mental health system.

Cholla Jumps is a local Arizona blog whose owner has good credentials.
ETA: Inserted owner James Kelley's credentials below the cut.*

“As we understand it, there have been law enforcement contacts with the individual where he made threats to kill,” Dupnik said during a press conference Saturday evening.

The Cholla Jumps blogger's credentials:
Read more... )
[ ETA: The exact same symbol is a 'printer's register mark'. And something similar is on electronic gadgets to show where to put the positive end of the battery! I'm so going to go out and shoot someone every time I change a battery! ]

For those who are concerned about the "crosshairs targeting of Giffords" supposedly used by Palin, please Google Unicode 2316. You will find that this particular Unicode symbol, intended for use with geographic presentations, has nothing to do with firearms and telescopic sights.

See http://www.fileformat.info/info/unicode/char/2316/index.htm

[ H/T to http://community.thenest.com/cs/ks/forums/thread/47614413.aspx ]

Before 2004, when the Federal Assault Weapons Ban expired, the shooter never would have been able to get off so many shots before pausing to reload. The ban, enacted in 1994 in the wake of mass killings in San Francisco and Waco, limited gun magazines to a maximum of ten rounds. Assuming that the shooter would've achieved the same hit ratio with the smaller clip, he would have shot six people and maybe killed one or two instead of shooting 20 and killing half a dozen.
The Brady Campaign is supporting a new bill by Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) that would renew the Assault Weapons Ban, a Democratic priority that the Obama administration had essentially abandoned.
After Tucson: Why Are the Mentally Ill Still Bearing Arms?

As far back as the Gun Control Act of 1968, there have been federal laws against selling weapons to mentally ill individuals. But the Virginia Tech tragedy in 2007, in which the shooter Cho Seung-Hui was able to pass two federal gun background checks even after a state court ruled that he was dangerously mentally ill, highlighted the need for better record-keeping and interagency communication to enforce those laws. (More than 30 people died in the incident.) Saying that unstable individuals are disqualified from buying firearms is meaningless if the national background-check system, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), has no record of their illness. [....]
[T]here should be more than 2 million records in that database, if all the states cooperated fully. According to the Brady organization’s records, Arizona was not even the worst offender — at least the state ramped up its reporting somewhat in the wake of Virginia Tech. But still, Arizona’s own estimate is that the state has 121,700 records of disqualifying mental illness that should go into the NICS database. From the beginning of 2008 to October 2010, however, it submitted only 4,465 records. Worse than Arizona were states like Louisiana, which submitted only one record during that time frame, and Nebraska and Pennsylvania, which didn’t submit any.
Twitter feed from someone who apparently was a friend of Loughner’s through 2007 (but hasn’t seen him for the last three years).
Tweets include: “As I knew him he was left wing, quite liberal. & oddly obsessed with the 2012 prophecy.”
“he was a pot head & into rock like Hendrix,The Doors, Anti-Flag. I haven’t seen him in person since ’07 in a sign language class”
“He was a political radical & met Giffords once before in ’07, asked her a question & he told me she was ‘stupid & unintelligent’”
“I haven’t seen him since ’07. Then, he was left wing.”
“more left. I haven’t seen him since ’07 though. He became very reclusive.”
“liberal in wanting to change the way the world was run, we both wanted to. He took it to an extreme I never would’ve.”
“also probably more libertarian & definitely socially liberal.”
“we listened to political punk in high school & agreed with their leftist opinions for the most part Anti-Flag was our band.”
“well for the Bush/Kerry election we all wore ’1 term president’ buttons. That election was HUGE to us.”
“not as I knew him no. Very accepting of everyone. But that was 3 years ago”
“3 years ago when I saw him last he was more leftist. Now I don’t know.”
Daily Kos June, 2008
“…we can narrow the target list by looking at those Democrats who sold out the Constitution last week. I’ve bolded members of the Blue Dogs for added emphasis…”

Rep. Giffords was one of the bolded Blue Dogs on the target list.

This refers to the Democratic map I posted earlier, with red bullseyes on vulnerable states and a list similar to Palin's (including Giffords).
Mr. Loughner's first meeting with Ms. Giffords in 2007. Mr. Loughner said he asked the lawmaker, "How do you know words mean anything?" recalled Mr. Montanaro. He said Mr. Loughner was "aggravated" when Ms. Giffords, after pausing for a couple of seconds, "responded to him in Spanish and moved on with the meeting."
Personally I guessed Palin would use whatever graphic symbol was convenient to suggest gunsight crosshairs, because it fits with her frequent gun metaphors. Still it's odd that she'd refer to her symbols as 'bullseyes' when they're quite different.

"Remember months ago “bullseye” icon used 2 target the 20 Obamacare-lovin’ incumbent seats? We won 18 out of 20 (90% success rate;T’aint bad)"

What 'bullseye' does describe -- is the icon on the DNC map at Kos which had basically the same message: races to target.

If I weren't too lazy, I'd count the names by each map....

Anyway, here are some symbols for comparison.

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