Our comedian buddy Lee Camp on BBC Newsnite with wingnutty Sharon Angle:
It all sounds so familiar….
I agree in principle that people have free will and it’s not the job of the state to make decisions for them. But in some cases, allowing people to make really stupid decisions that affect others (what if this guy hit the gas tank?) — well, maybe the state should sort of guide them away from their own worse instincts. Like this guy:
A Spotsylvania County man with a valid concealed-weapon permit died after a semi-automatic pistol without an external safety discharged as he tried to adjust the weapon, which was tucked into his waistband, investigators have concluded.
The 45-year-old man was sitting in the front seat of his family’s minivan in a shopping center parking lot on Sunday when his .40-caliber Glock discharged, authorities said.
“For some reason, maybe for comfort, he reached out and went to adjust it,” said Spotsylvania sheriff’s Capt. Liz Scott. “The detective thinks that in doing so — in just grabbing it — he inadvertently grabbed the trigger.”
“This particular weapon does not have an external safety,” Scott added.
The single shot struck the man in the hip and he bled to death in a matter of minutes, the captain said.
The incident is at least the second in Virginia in 15 months in which a concealed-carry permit holder accidentally shot himself in public.
On Sept. 11, 2010, a Bedford County man with a permit accidentally shot himself in the thigh at a Lynchburg restaurant as he apparently reached into his pants pocket to pay a bartender for a beer. The .45-caliber Glock 36 was unholstered. Permit holders are not permitted to drink alcohol in restaurants while carrying a concealed weapon.
The man was later convicted of recklessly handing a firearm, given a 30-day suspended jail sentence and fined $500. He also was ordered to give up his concealed-carry permit for a year.
In the Spotsylvania case, police said the victim was sitting inside his family’s van with his four children outside the Giant grocery store in the Harrison Crossing shopping center.
As emotionally traumatic as it was for these kids, imagine if he’d shot one of them instead. He’d be up on charges of reckless endangerment! That’s the thing that drives me nuts about the NRA absolutists: They’re not even sensible. Allowing every single person who wants one to strut around carrying a handgun – especially without any kind of training – is just stupid. You wouldn’t let a teenager drive a car without anyone teaching them. How much more dangerous is a gun?
The man’s wife was about halfway out of the van, intending to walk to the store to return a DVD, when she heard a pop, which she and the children, all younger than 10, initially believed was a balloon bursting. There were balloons in the van.
The man threw the gun to the floorboard and said, “Oh my God, I think I just shot myself,” according to Scott.
The man was pronounced dead after being taken to Mary Washington Hospital in Fredericksburg.
This post is written as part of the Media Matters Gun Facts fellowship. The purpose of the fellowship is to further Media Matters’ mission to comprehensively monitor, analyze, and correct conservative misinformation in the U.S. media. Some of the worst misinformation occurs around the issue of guns, gun violence, and extremism, the fellowship program is designed to fight this misinformation with facts.
The supercommittee was a super dud, but Congressional Republicans continue to outmaneuver and cow Democrats, who are supposed to be protecting the social safety net. More here.
She saves her lovin’
Early in the mornin’
Just for me.
Interesting, because a few months ago, I commented in a Post piece about long-term unemployment and they contacted me to ask if I would write about my experience. “You mean, for free?” I said, ever tactful. “Well, no, we really don’t have the money,” the guy said. (He said he was an intern.) I told him I wasn’t interested in working on the Graham family’s content farm, but “thanks for asking.” So this doesn’t surprise me:
At least thirteen people have departed the [Washington] Post under “cake-less” circumstances (i.e. quietly) in the past year, writes Guild unit co-chair Fredrick Kunkle.
The script goes like this: an employee is summoned to a meeting where she hears that “the bar has been raised.” She is told her work does not meet this supposed new standard. She is handed an envelope with a buyout offer and given a deadline to surrender her job or face disciplinary action because of her allegedly poor performance. She is reminded that disciplinary action progresses from warnings to suspensions and termination.
Never mind that the people targeted so far have included veteran journalists with years of distinguished service. Or that talk of a “raised bar” comes as the Post relies more than ever on interns, bloggers, freelancers, readers or comically inexperienced content creators to fill pages.
Kunkle points out that half the thirteen who have left so far this year have been African-Americans or Latinos, but that the reason this is happening is a lack of money. The Post lost $6.2 million in its most recent quarter.
The original Guild piece adds:
Or that some allegations of poor performance – as documented by the new, pseudoscientific evaluation system and its across-the-board top score of “3” – have included highly subjective and weaselly criticisms such as inserting too many pop culture references in stories. (We are not making this up.) Other reasons worthy of disciplinary action? Not having enough sources. Not writing more “impact” stories. Not landing on A1 often enough. One staff writer was given a 30-day production quota as follows: at least one deeply textured A1 story, at least one news feature, profile or takeout worthy of the Metro front or A1, at least three dailies a week and at least three blog posts per week. No mention of a Twitter quota. Yet.
No mention of too many anonymous sources or too many self-serving leaks, of course. After all, their paper would be almost empty!
FBI headquarters in Washington, DC claims it does not have any internal documents on the protest movement known as Occupy Wall Street, according to a letter the agency sent to Truthout in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.
On October 31, Truthout filed a FOIA request with the FBI seeking a wide range of documents, including “emails, memos, audio/video, transcripts, reports, threat assessments” in which Occupy Wall Street was discussed internally by agency officers and senior officials and/or any correspondence the agency had with local law enforcement and/or with local government officials.
Our request also sought documents related to any discussions that may have taken place “between FBI personnel, including FBI field agents” and the “CIA and Department of Homeland Security (DHS), related to the protest movement known as ‘Occupy Wall Street.'”
FBI FOIA Chief David Hardy responded to our FOIA request in a letter dated November 15, which said, “based on the information [Truthout] provided, we conducted a search of the Central Records System. We were unable to identify main file records responsive to the FOIA.”