If you have listened to the news any in the last few days, you have seen an orgy of media reporting devoted to the murders in Santa Barbara. I say murders because while three of the killings by the narcissistic individual involved a firearm, the other three involved a machete and a hammer. Nonetheless, one of the parents of the victims in his grief blamed the killings on "craven, irresponsible politicians and the NRA".
This post isn't meant to go into all the legal niceties that the killer observed in obtaining his firearms or how stringent a process the California DOJ's DROS (Dealer's Record of Sale) imposes on firearm sales but rather the blood dancing coming from the Brady Campaign. I would go so far as to call it "craven".
Below is an email I received from the Brady Campaign at noon today. I don't know why I'm supposed to call Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) as I live in North Carolina and not Arizona. Nonetheless, I'm sure millions of these emails are going out today aimed at senators who voted against Manchin-Toomey last year.
Dear (redacted),Given that Dan Gross began his career in the advertising industry, I'm not surprised that he cherry-picks his "facts" and doesn't let the truth get in the way of his agenda.
This Memorial Day weekend, while Americans across the nation were honoring our fallen soldiers, we were also overwhelmed by another tragedy – a murderous rampage by a gunman at the University of California-Santa Barbara that claimed six lives and left eight others wounded.
One of those killed was Chris Martinez, whose father Richard had this to say about his devastating loss:
“Chris died because of craven, irresponsible politicians and the NRA. They talk about gun rights. What about Chris' right to live?”The Brady Campaign stands firmly with Mr. Martinez. He got it exactly right. Politicians continually ignore the will and the well-being of the American public and, instead, take their marching orders and money from the corporate gun lobby.
Shamefully, these politicians do not care who is buying guns – convicted felons, domestic abusers, rapists – just as long as the corporate gun lobby is happily making the biggest possible profit.
Now more than ever, it is essential that we Americans rise up and call out the corporate gun lobby and the ‘craven’ politicians who do their bidding.
Call Senator Flake at 1-866-383-3901Tell him that you haven't forgotten when he voted against the amendment to expand Brady background checks and chose to stand with the corporate gun lobby instead of representing the overwhelming majority of his constituents who support background checks.
The gun lobby has millions of dollars from big gun corporations. We have the truth and the voice of every decent American who wants and deserves a nation safe from gun violence.
Thanks to Americans like Richard Martinez, that voice of truth is starting to be heard. Let’s show Mr. Martinez that we are right there beside him. Call Senator Flake today and remind him that he works for the American public and not the corporate gun lobby.
Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
P.S. You can make a difference by joining Brady supporters from around the country at the 2014 Brady National Summit in D.C. from June 9 – 10.
Does the National Rifle Association get substantial donations from firearms manufacturers? Yes but the amount is dwarfed by the amount of money that memberships and individual donations bring in. The gun lobby is you and me and not some amorphous big corporation where big-wigs sit around lighting their cigars with $100 bills.
Would the universal background checks for private sales mandated by Manchin-Toomey have prevented the tragedy in Santa Barbara? No. The killer purchased his firearms legally, underwent the California DOJ's background checks, was limited to one handgun purchase within a 30 day period, had to wait 10 days (or more) before taking possession of his handgun as required by law, and only had California-compliant magazines in his possession. It should be pointed out that the DROS system is available on-line to any law enforcement officer to check on purchases and is linked to mental health reports including whether a person had been hospitalized or has been prescribed anti-anxiety medications.
And that link at the bottom of Gross' email? If you want to attend their so-called summit, you have to pay and they take all major credit cards including Amex and Discover.
If you want to see craven behavior, just go to any of the gun prohibitionists' websites. Whether it is the Brady Campaign trying to raise money, the Violence Policy Center trying to push their "research", or Everytown Moms for Illegal Mayors trying to build their email list, you are going to see craven behavior - or what I'd call blood dancing - at its worst.