NRA claims more victims in CA

Guardian quotes a bereaved father (because I don’t see voices that assign a measure of responsibility to the NRA in the NYT’s coverage):

In his statement about the death of his son, Richard Martinez said: “Our family has a message for every parent out there. You don’t think it will happen to your child until it does.

“Chris was a really great kid. Ask anyone who knew him. His death has left our family lost and broken.

“Why did Chris die? Chris died because of craven, irresponsible politicians and the NRA.

Not to mention all the other people murdered. It’s not complicated: private ownership of semi-automatic weapons, among other firearms, should be prohibited.


40 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. Speaking of silent voices in the NYT coverage ...

    I notice that our own Boston Globe has been self-servingly silent about its owner’s role in removing an effective regional anti-gun message. In both its news coverage and in whining editorials like <a href=""this, it dishonestly hides the fact that the Globe’s owner is forcing the removal:

    The sign —the work of Stop Handgun Violence, a Newton nonprofit cofounded by Rosenthal — must be moved by March, a deadline set by the parent company of the Boston Red Sox when it bought the garage from Rosenthal in 2013.

    The reminder that the Boston Globe and Boston Red Sox are both owned
    by John Henry is conspicuously and dishonestly absent.

    • Is the Globe known to be pro-gun?

      It seems examples are adding up of things that make me think, “Wasn’t the Globe supposedly Boston’s liberal paper?”

      • Operative word: "supposedly"

        It’s been decades since the globe was actually liberal. Certainly not since the NYT bought it. It’s not a conservative foghorn like the Herald, but it’s not liberal. It’s just another arm of Corporate Media. Somebody in its bowels decided that the billboard was more likely to lose the corporation money than to make any. Liberal issue? Social responsibility? Not considerations.

        • Even more interesting...

          …since I also thought the NYT was the epitome of liberal press. I always got the sense that whenever someone complained about the liberal media in the print genre they basically meant the New York Times and the Washington Post. There was a time I was reading NYT almost daily and their editorials I thought leaned left.

      • According to Wikipedia...

        According to Wikipedia, John Henry is a Republican (right sidebar of link). My brief Google search for political contributions did not reveal any.

        It appears to me that the Globe has been very friendly to Scott Brown and hostile to Elizabeth Warren. The Globe has two reporters, Noah Bierman and Matt Viser, that are decidedly right-wing in their “news” pieces.

        The decision to force the removal of the anti-gun message is well within the envelope of what a property owner is entitled to do (even though I disagree with that decision).

        The silence about John Henry’s role in that decision is unethical and dishonest.

        • Boston Mayoral Race

          The Globe was also exceedingly biased against Marty Walsh and obviously in the tank for the more conservative John Connolly. They had long articles quoting Connolly extensively and then either quoting Walsh briefly or saying merely that he was at the same event. Their news coverage is
          consistently anti-union and two of their op ed writers are very right wing–
          Jeff Jacoby and John Sununu. At least they have the very wonderful James Carroll whose compassion, insight and historical depth somewhat makes up for their lack of all three.

          • They also picked up John Allen

            Whose Vatican reporting is about all I read from the Globe these days, Herald has better sports coverage and their subsidiary Boston Magazine has David Bernstein for politics. I really don’t know why you’d read the boys from Morrisey Blvd unless you want the Wellesley perspective on inner city issues or enjoy reading puff pieces on the latest good deed the Red Sox did.

            • The Herald, are you kidding me...

              I wouldn’t use that trash to wrap dead fish in. Until they start publishing it on at least 2 ply paper (“quilted”), it will be utterly useless.

              • Sports my friend

                Big Steve Buckley fan. Anything outside of sports is totally agree with the quilted sentiment

                • When they create a Doctor Who sectional, then maybe we can agree.

                  until then, I have no use. And in keeping with the stereotype, I don’t follow any sport at all.

                  Viva la difference!

  2. I'm sorry, but just this once I don't think the NRA's the main story here.

    I’m just going to quote Vixen Strangely here, whose post is one among many today that’s well worth reading in full:

    “What I feel bad for is the world that saw this hate–and never recognized it for the real danger it was because hatred of women is almost normal until he eventually acted on it. I’m not even arsed to call out guns on this one, or how a very damaged-seeming person got hold of same.”

    Yes, the NRA has run amok, and it’s a national scandal, and et cetera. I don’t mean to minimize that. But the big story on this one isn’t even that this guy could buy three handguns and ammo for them. It’s that today the internet is filled with guys who’re on the shooter’s side — not gun nuts who acknowledge that the killings are awful but telling us not to blame guns, but people who’re half an inch from standing up and applauding him — and in a lot of places in our culture, that seems and perhaps is perfectly normal.

    Mandatory disclaimer here: I know damned well that Not All Men Are Like That. But enough apparently are that it’s not illegitimate for the conversation around this atrocity to be about misogyny before it’s about gun control.

    • Lots of lessons and messages here.

      This shooter was horribly bullied, and we need to keep working on taking that seriously. He needed help not only in dealing with the bullying, but it seems also his own demons.

      The other societal message that needs fixing is expectations about sexuality. There is absolutely NOTHING WRONG with still being a virgin at 22 and certainly not while still a minor. It sounds like he was expecting to “see action” so to speak shortly after hitting puberty. He was mocked for what he called “involuntary celebacy” and came to believe himself worthless on that account. When you see yourself as worthless it’s a short leap to not seeing the worth in others either, and thus killing becomes less of a big deal. Of course, this rampage confirms that the girls and women who rejected him were right to do so. Maybe they saw something in him that made them reluctant.

    • I think the NRA angle is a good one.

      The House will be taking up gun control legislation this week. Will be interesting to hear what candidates and organizations have to say in light of another massacre.

      Does anyone know if CA has a similar law to MA with regard to discretion? I’d like to think that if someone had discretion they would have sized this guy up as unsuitable.

      Pro-gun advocates, meanwhile, are “dead-set” against proposals that would give local law enforcement officials greater discretion in issuing firearms licenses, says Jim Wallace, executive director of the Gun Owners’ Action League, a state affiliate of the National Rifle Association.

      Currently, police chiefs can deny a license to carry a handgun if they deem the applicant “unsuitable” — even if that person clears a criminal background check. The House’s gun violence committee suggested extending that same discretion to the issuance of “firearms identification cards” for rifles and shotguns.

      Btw, does this help Grossman since he did that whole staged debate thing?

    • Guns are the issue

      We don’t yet have thought control or at least not total thought control. If we did, perhaps we could legislate against misogyny. We need to stay focused on the guns.

  3. Powerful words

    This Adam Gopnik essay in the New Yorker was a powerful response to the powerful words of a father who has lost and grieves.

    “Why did Christopher Michael-Martinez die? Because the N.R.A. and the politicians they intimidate enable people to get their hands on weapons and ammunition whose only purpose is to kill other people as quickly and as lethally as possible. How do we know that they are the ‘because’ in this? Because every other modern country has suffered from the same kinds of killings, from the same kinds of sick kids, and every other country has changed its laws to stop them from happening again, and in every other country it hasn’t happened again.”

  4. My heart aches for the victims of this massacre and their families.

    3 of the victims were killed by a knife, hammer and hatchet, any proposals to put restrictions on the size of a blade larger than a Swiss Army knife? We had two people use a pressure cooker and ball bearings to blow up the Boston Marathon, should those purchases now be tracked? The Newtown killer played violent video games, should we now prohibit these games from being sold?

    Perhaps we should look to Hollywood and stop movies like ‘The Hunger Games’ and MTV videos, Myle Cyrus dancing on stage with a foam finger, and all pornography for that matter. Ted Bundy did say hard-core porn fueled his violence.

    During the BP oil spill, I said we are all to blame since we still drive cars, use oil in just about everything we do, and push the oil companies to drill in high-risk deep water instead of tapping ANWR. The same here with this tragedy in CA, there is a lot of blame to go around and any new laws or restrictions must be all inclusive (Hollywood, video game industry, TV programming to name a few). I am willing if you are.

    • This is such a stupid argument.


      • No it's a poison pill

        “You want to regulate guns? OK, but we have to regulate everything else too!” So our side backs off.

        But that might be changing, slowly.

        • It's a smokescreen

          It reminds me of that Simpson’s episode where a bear meanders onto Evergreen Terrace and attacks Homer, leading the panicked citizens to demand a costly and unneeded Bear Patrol, and when they have to pay taxes, the profile in courage known as Mayor Quimby blames immigrants and skips town.

          Similarly, Wayne LaPierre blames video games, he blames Hollywood movies, he blames everything but the actual device that is still smoking and has left several corpses in it’s wake. It would be as if Michael Moore blamed George W. Bush’s pro life stance for 9/11. They aren’t related at all!

          I am also sick of reading comments from ‘sensible gun owners’ appalled at the NRA and it’s direction without actually doing anything about it. Any gun owner who wants to keep powerfully dangerous weapons designed to kill people, particularly the ones designed to kill law enforcement, should end their association with the group. They don’t deserve a seat at the table. Give it to the parents of the victims, let them set the policy since they are the ones suffering under the status quo.

          It’s all interconnected. If we could get rid of Citizens United, the filibuster abuse, and expand the House so that rural populations stop getting overrepresented these common sense solutions would’ve been passed by now. But none of those first reforms will happen, so the closest we will get is weak tea crap like background checks-the Affordable Care Act of gun safety.

          It’s frustrating. I truly was naive enough to think Sandy Hook was a sea change. Even Bill Kristol and Gen. McChrystal were calling for gun control after that, and now it’s just the silence of the status quo. I had tickets to see the Dark Knight Returns the night after the attacks, and I was far more scared about a copycat than I have ever been about a terrorist on any flight I ever took. These are the real terrorists and it’s time to disarm them.

      • Don't you think danfromwaltham is a Democrat posing as a conservative Republican.

        I think he is covertly trying to discredit conservative Republicans by, as you said, making extremely stupid arguments in support of Republican positions.

      • Yup, that's what you get with trolls


    • Never let a tragedy go to waste? (Sorry, Rahm...)

      It’s only natural to to blame the instrument when your agenda is about banning that instrument. I don’t recall complaints about the AAA’s support of automobiles when the last mass murder in Santa Barbara was done by an automobile. If it were real that banning guns would save lives, I would support an initiative to change the US Constitution, but guns or other weapons will exist with or without laws as will violent people.

      The worst school mass murder was accomplished without a gun in Bath, Michigan. Could that happen again, without guns?

      “If somebody wants to kill people, they don’t need a gun to do it.” –Ice T

      • Except that it is real

        If it were real that banning guns would save lives, I would support an initiative to change the US Constitution, but guns or other weapons will exist with or without laws as will violent people.

        Except that it is real. I’ve posted extensively about the Australian model in the past-but I find it particularly instructive. Not only did it’s assault ban (accompanied gradually and enforced via fines and a buyout, national registry, and stricter ownership standards completely eliminate the risk of high casualty events, it also significantly reduced the run of the mill gun crime by over 50%.

        In the last 16 years, the risk of dying by gunshot in Australia has fallen by more than 50 percent. The national rate of gun homicide is one-thirtieth that of the United States. And there hasn’t been a single mass shooting since Port Arthur.

        I might add, we could pass this law now without altering a word of the 2nd amendment. Nobody is talking about banning guns. To use the car analogy, rather than banning automobiles-a better take on this would be mandating seat belts and airbags in cars, or mandating that chrome dashboards be phased out. All of those mandates were opposed by the auto industry but saved thousands of lives without really altering the day to day ownership experience of a car owner.

        I would argue the same for guns. The vast majority of gun owners would not be affected, only the ones who intend to use their guns to kill other people or basement dwelling morons who want to scare the shit out of Chipotle patrons. Former felons, the mentally handicapped, and youth under 21 should be prevented from being able to purchase firearms of any kind. Local law enforcement should know who all the gun owners are in a community, and should be able to look up a gun owners record in a database much like they would a fingerprint.

  5. More info

    On how Australia’s system works.

    And I would add before you, DFW, or another commentator talks about knife control or banning cars to actually look into the evidence based policy other countries have adopted and give evidence based reasons for why they would not work here. Otherwise the evidence that existing policies are failing to work are measures in body bags, not percentages.

    • Where is your stats on Australian violent crime stats going up since the gun ban?

      “In 2008, the Australian Institute of Criminology reported a decrease of 9% in homicides and a one-third decrease in armed robbery since the 1990s, but an increase of over 40% in assaults and 20% in sexual assaults.”

      So there is your tradeoff, more rapes and higher violent crime if people just give up their guns like the lemmings in England and Australia. Yet, you want the crap that fills these mental idiots with sex and violence to get a pass. Jim called this a poison pill, I call it gut check time. Do you really want to solve the gun violence, then don’t go after the millions who own firearms and require registry and hoops and hurdles and banning of certain types of firearms, without banning the poison that comes out of Hollywood and the music industry and the millions they make.

      • Hmm

        1) Care to provide a source for that quote?
        2) Care to provide evidence linking modern music and Hollywood to a rise in crime?

        Crime is dropping nationally, thanks in part to the Omnibus Crime Bill which included forms of gun control. Gun suicides however have gone up, as have the rate of mass shootings, both of which are far lower in Australia.

        Movies are getting more violent and music more explicit and it seems to have no affect on the crime rate which has been reduced.

        You got nothing but bullshit Dan, I got facts on my side.

      • Instead of a WSJ op-ed, go to the source

        The Australian Institute of Criminology report begins with this:

        The public’s perception is that violence is increasing, but trends in violent crime reported to police since the early 1990s reveal a mixed story. Homicide has decreased by nine percent since 1990 and armed robbery by one-third since 2001, but recorded assaults and sexual assaults have both increased steadily in the past 10 years by over 40 percent and 20 percent respectively. The rate of aggravated assault appears to have contributed to the marked rise in recorded assault, and for both assault and sexual assault the rate of increase was greater for children aged under 15 years, with increases almost double that of the older age group. Neither population changes among young adult males nor rates of offending seem to explain the trends in recorded violent crime, and indicators of change in reporting to police provide only a partial explanation. Based on self-reported victimisation and reporting to police, it would seem increased reporting of assault is somewhat responsible for the rise in recorded assault rates against adult victims. However, victimisation survey data suggest there has been little change in rates of sexual assault, although reporting to police by women seems to have increased. Victimisation survey data also do not illuminate the most significant recorded increase in violent victimisation, against children, as they are collected less frequently and only apply to those aged at least over 15 years. The paper speculates that the rise could be due to better public understanding of child protection issues and increased reporting due to public awareness of what constitutes physical and sexual assault – especially within the family – but this requires further investigation to examine how many recorded violent crimes against children relate to current and/or past events and of the relationship to the offender.

        A wise person does not accept anything off the WSJ op-ed page as being fact-based. The specific claims of the column have been debunked all over the place.

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