By Craig McDermott, cross-posted from Random Musings
And the "malice" isn't just on the part of the shooters...
There's a couple of gun stories going around that, on the surface, are unrelated. However, they are probably more closely related than "Second Amendment activists" (a euphemism for "gun nuts") would care to admit.
First up: an "effect".
From Mother Jones, written by Dana Liebelson and Stephanie Mencimer –
Back in December, not long after the massacre at Sandy Hook school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, Bloomberg News published a study suggesting that by 2015, guns would kill more Americans than traffic accidents do.
The comparison struck a nerve, and the factoid has become a talking point in gun control debates on Capitol Hill. But it's clear from the data that the prediction wasn't just a hypothetical. A number of states have already hit this grisly milestone.
From the story, Arizona's shameful numbers –
Yes, in 2010, there were already more gun deaths than traffic deaths in Arizona.
Yet, while there are scads of laws regulating the use of motor vehicles in AZ, there are many fewer such laws regarding the use of firearms in AZ, and those laws are made fewer and weaker seemingly every time the Arizona legislature meets.
Now, a cause (or at least, a contributing factor):
Why this counterintuitive approach to this public health crisis masquerading as a political disagreement?
The Arizona legislature is controlled by Arizona Republicans, who consider possessing and using firearms without restriction a "right" that is more sacrosanct than the right of others to live.
From KPHO, written by Lindsey Reiser –
The season of holidays gatherings is upon us but the raffle prize at one holiday party has some scratching their heads.
District 26 Republicans get together once a month, and also during the holidays. The holiday gathering also happens to be four days before the anniversary of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
"We don't do raffles hardly at all, mainly for Christmas and for shock value," joked Craig Ray.
"To raffle off an AR15, a military-style assault rifle, the same rifle used to murder those children almost a year ago, is completely inappropriate," said District 26 Democratic committee chairman Randy Keating in response. His group is collecting money for a group called Arizonans for gun safety.
The chairman of the Republican committee, Raymond Jones, said it's pure coincidence and wasn't malicious.
Sad to say, this sort of this can no longer really be called "shocking".
And they have a tough case to make to prove that raffling off the type of weapon used to massacre children and teachers in Newtown, CT is "pure coincidence".
From a 2011 ABC News story, written by Amy Bingham –
Forget quilts and cookies, the Pima County Republican Party in Arizona is auctioning off a handgun at their next party fundraiser. And not just any handgun, the same series of pistol that was used in the Tucson shooting of Rep. Gabriel Giffords in January.
“Help Pima County get out the vote and maybe help yourself to a new Glock .45. Get yourself a new Glock 23 .40 cal handgun for just 10 bucks- if your name is draw. That’s right for just 10 dollars this gun could be yours,” reads the Pima GOP’s flyer that was sent to supporters Aug. 26.
“This raffle shows a stunning lack of judgment and sensitivity in raffling of the same make of weapon used in the January shooting,” said Jeff Rogers, the chairman of the Pima Country Democratic Party. Pima County includes Tucson. “It’s a slap in the face of a grieving community.”
Well, no one can accuse them of being them of being inconsistent.
However, given their track record of trafficking fundraising from the same types of weapons used in infamous mass shootings, we can all accuse them of being malicious, no matter their protestations to the contrary.
To contribute to Arizonans for Gun Safety, go to the LD26 Democrats' donation page.