Author Archives: DCG

Texas professor: Americans are ‘unable to handle gun ownership’

The brilliant professor

The brilliant professor

Campus Reform: Americans are “unable to handle” their constitutional right to keep and bear arms, according to one Texas professor.

In a recent column for the Dallas Morning News, John Traphagan—a professor of religious studies and anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin—lambasted Americans for wanting to boost gun ownership and expand concealed and open carry laws. According to Traphagan, the 2012 shooting in Aurora, Colo. and recent biker gang shoot-out in Waco, Texas illustrate an epidemic of “ongoing violence” which he says Americans have become anesthetized to.

“There is simply no need for a civilized society to tolerate the type of gun-related violence that Americans seem to accept as normal,” Traphagan wrote. “Other modern industrial countries have realized… that it is unnecessary for people in a free society to have easy access to guns.”

According to Bloomberg Business, the number of individuals killed in mass shootings in the U.S. over the last three decades equals fewer “than a tenth of 1 percent” of the number of people murdered in America during that same time frame, as estimated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Still, Traphagan maintains that Americans, as a whole, “do not seem to be able to handle gun ownership in a way that permits maintenance of civil society. [T]he evidence is clear — a heavily armed population in the U.S. is not secure because our culture does not seem to lend itself well to allowing the proliferation of guns,” Traphagan wrote.

Instead of allowing for widespread private gun ownership, Traphagan says the solution to preventing additional shootings is to enact additional laws that “prohibit many forms of gun ownership, significantly [curtail] or [eliminate] access to and the ability to purchase guns, and [implement] programs in which the government confiscates or purchases illegal guns already in circulation among the public.”

Traphagan cites the implementation of strict gun control laws in countries including Japan, Australia, and South Korea as standards the U.S. should follow. “Americans need to recognize that one of the greatest threats to national security is their own heavily armed population,” Traphagan wrote. “We need to enact legislation that will greatly reduce gun-related crimes and protect people from the dangers associated with widespread gun access and ownership.”

However, according to a comprehensive 2007 study by criminologists at Harvard University, stricter gun laws in European countries have failed to effectuate significant change. “There is a compound assertion that (a) guns are uniquely available in the United States compared with other modern developed nations, which is why (b) the United States has by far the highest murder rate,” the authors of the study wrote, adding, “though these assertions have been endlessly repeated, statement (b) is, in fact, false and statement (a) is substantially so.”

Traphagan concludes by asserting that Americans are better off living in a society that is secure “because people have peace of mind and experience freedom from violence” than in a secure society where “everyone is ready to shoot on another.”

Despite Traphagan’s confidence in stricter gun laws, Americans have demonstrated mixed feelings towards measures to enhance gun control. According to a 2013 Rasmussen report, less than 20 percent of Americans viewed stricter gun control laws as the most effective means of reducing the number of mass shootings and 62 percent said they do not trust the government to “fairly enforce gun control laws.”

Perhaps the good professor should take a class in Constitutional Studies.

second amendment3

DCG

Teacher arrested after claims he let students have sex in storage closet

 

Quinton Wright

Quinton Wright

WSBTV: A DeKalb County middle school teacher and coach has been arrested after a mother claims he allowed students to have sex in his classroom closet. Quinton Wright was arrested Tuesday afternoon and has been charged with four misdemeanor counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Channel 2’s Tom Regan spoke with the parent Monday, who said she couldn’t believe what was happening.

“I was in a state of disbelief when I read all these messages,” the mother said, asking to remain anonymous.  The mother told Regan she looked at her 14-year-old son’s phone and discovered a shocking exchange of text messages last Thursday between him and Quinton Wright, a math teacher and coach at Champion Theme Middle School in Stone Mountain.

“Basically he’s allowing the students to have sex in a storage room of his classroom,” the mother said.

“He told my son you can have it from 7:30 to like 8:30,” the mother said reading some of the messages. “’Did you tell the girl what’s going to happen? That she cannot tell anybody?’ basically don’t tell anyone I’m allowing you to use my room.”   The mother said the teacher also sent her son a calendar showing teachers’ schedules and a text saying he did not have condoms.

“It’s very sickening and disheartening, because we trust administrators and educators when we drop our kids off at school,” the mother said.

The mother told Regan she pulled her eighth-grader from school Friday and contacted the school’s principal and police.  She said she also filed a complaint.

The DeKalb County school system removed the 25-year-old teacher from the classroom.

The student’s mother told Regan she was suspicious of the teacher from earlier behavior. “He called me when the kids are at their eighth-grade prom and asked if he could come over and take pictures with the boys before the prom, and I said no,” the mother said.

Wright’s bons was set at $4,000.

messed up

DCG

Boy Scouts of America bans water gun fights; ‘pointing a firearm’ is not kind

are you serious

Washington Times: The Boy Scouts of America has put out approved activities for its members, and water gun fights are strictly prohibited.

A blog for the organization’s leaders said May 6 that pointing simulated firearms at people is not allowed.

obama-gun-gesture DCG

“Why the rule? A Scouter once told me this explanation I liked quite a bit: A Scout is kind. What part of pointing a firearm [simulated or otherwise] at someone is kind?said Bryan Wendell on the scouting website.

The rule is clarified in the Boy Scouts of America National Shooting Manual, which says “For water balloons, use small, biodegradable balloons, and fill them no larger than a ping pong ball. […] Water guns and rubber band guns must only be used to shoot at targets, and eye protection must be worn.”

Negative feedback flowed into the comments section of the blog. “This makes BSA look ridiculous and has little if any impact on safety,” said Gary Holeiwnski.

Sometimes I just have to laugh out loud at how idiotic some things in our society have become. We can’t squirt each other with water guns because it is a ‘simulated’ gun. I can’t believe BSA is so worried about the PC police that it has a policy like this,” added commenter Gary USMC.

“Yes, let’s carry every policy to the absurd extreme. That will certainly help scouts shed that geeky image,” added another commenter.

The Boy Scouts of America National Shooting Manual guidelines are to be followed by anyone involved with Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, Venturing, Sea Scouting, or shooting sports committees, the document adds.

DCG

Judge stops DC from enforcing part of ‘good reason’ gun law

Here's my "good reason" to carry...

Here’s my “good reason” to carry…

Fox News: People in the nation’s capital no longer have to show a good reason to get a permit to carry concealed handguns outside their homes and businesses. 

The District of Columbia’s police chief said Tuesday that she’s dropping this requirement, a centerpiece of the city’s handgun-control legislation, after a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction against it.

The good judge gets it right.

The good judge gets it right.

This is round two for the city and U.S. District Judge Frederick J. Scullin Jr., who also found the city’s ban on carrying handguns outside the home unconstitutional last year. Now he’s stopped the city from enforcing the key provision of a law the D.C. Council adopted in response.

The city’s law, one of the nation’s toughest, says a person must show a “good reason to fear injury to his or her person or property” or another “proper reason for carrying a pistol” to get a concealed-carry permit. Reasons might include a personal threat, or a job that requires them to carry or protect cash or valuables.

“For all intents and purposes, this requirement makes it impossible for the overwhelming majority of law-abiding citizens to obtain licenses to carry handguns in public for self-defense, thereby depriving them of their Second Amendment right to bear arms,” Scullin wrote in his 23-page ruling. His next hearing in the case is July 7.

States including Maryland, New Jersey and New York already require people to provide a reason for these kinds of permits, and federal courts have found them to be constitutional, according to a report the city did before passing its own new law.

D.C. Attorney General Karl A. Racine said he still believes the law is “constitutionally valid,” but his statement did not say whether the city will appeal.

Attorney Alan Gura, who is suing the city on behalf of the Second Amendment Foundation and three individuals, said he expects an appeal and won’t be surprised if the city asks to reinstate the requirement pending a final decision in court.

Alan M. Gottlieb, who founded the Washington state-based foundation, said he’s “delighted.” Requiring a reason for a permit “stinks, and always did stink, and now everybody knows it,” his statement said.

D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier, who has final decision-making authority on issuing the permits, said she won’t deny anyone for failing to show a reason. She also said she doesn’t think the preliminary injunction will prompt a spike in applications. About 100 people have applied for permits, and very few have been denied, she said.

“The vast majority of people applying for permits to carry in the District are not D.C. residents,” Lanier said on NewsChannel 8’s “NewsTalk” program. “Our residents are very clear that this is not something they wanted.”

DCG

It pays to work for UK government: Number of NHS fat cats retiring on six-figure pensions soars 700% in just five years

mafia

Daily Mail: The number of health service fat cats retiring on millionaire pensions has soared 700 per cent in the past five years. Despite the worst NHS funding crisis in a generation, six-figure payouts were made to 143 executives last year, compared with just 18 in the year 2009/2010.

The number of employees given bumper pension pots of more than £75,000 ($118,023 US) also quadrupled in the same time frame. Meanwhile, the number of £50,000-plus retirement deals has more than doubled, despite a £30billion ($47,209,500,000 US) funding blackhole. The extraordinary packages, mainly being handed out to boardroom big hitters, would pay for nearly 23,000 frontline nurses.

The revelations, obtained through a Freedom of Information request, come after it emerged that NHS bosses were given pay rises worth £35million last year. Some executives earned more than £1million. Even at hospitals with the worst standards of care directors enjoyed pay packages worth up to £5,000 a day. The average chief executive in England now takes home £185,255 in salary alone, far higher than the Prime Minister’s £142,500 pay.

Taxpayers are also being shafted by a wave of NHS bosses who are exploiting a pension loophole to cash in their retirement pots early. Some are ‘retiring’ for just 24 hours to maximise their entitlement – before returning to their posts full-time on the same huge salary as before. The provision was originally put in place to help lower-paid nurses who should be allowed to continue working part-time, in case they struggle on just their pension. But it has now become a lucrative loophole exploited by highly-paid executives. Others are being paid through personal service companies – a common tax avoidance tactic.

After the information was published by the NHS Pension Scheme, Unite’s Barrie Brown said health visitors, paramedics and school nurses could only dream of such a high sum, with the average NHS pension is just £6,000 for men – and even less for women.

‘Our members are now expected to work longer, pay more and receive less pension with the new NHS pension scheme the Government implemented on April 1,’ he said. ‘Senior staff who receive these very high pensions can opt to retire early with reduced but very good pensions. The majority of staff who prop up the NHS wouldn’t have that option.’

Hospital campaigner Sam Zair, whose 89-year-old mother Bernice was failed by the NHS, last night hit out at the huge payments. Mrs. Zair, a dementia sufferer, had been admitted to hospital with a water infection but died of pneumonia after allegedly being left on a mattress on the hospital floor.

County Councillor Mr. Zair, of Bishop Auckland, County Durham, said: ‘It is an absolutely obscene amount of money being paid out to people at the top of the NHS. It just goes to show that the money going into the NHS is not going where it is needed most. I wonder whether patient care is secondary to these people.

Chief executive of the Taxpayers’ Alliance campaigner Jonathan Isaby said the money could have paid for an army of nursing staff. ‘Pensions of this extraordinary size are a thing of the past in the private sector because they’re totally unaffordable,’ he said. ‘Taxpayers shouldn’t be picking up the tab for lucrative pensions at a time when we’re trying to reduce a £90 billion deficit. Every single penny of taxpayers’ money spent on the NHS needs to go into front-line services and patient care, not lining the pockets of retirees.Clearly the NHS needs to wake up and smell the coffee.’

Liz Emerson, co-founder of the Intergenerational Foundation think-tank, said the new Tory Government needs to cap ‘unsustainable’ pensions. She said the increase in six-figure sums ‘dispels the myth that we are all in it together’. ‘The current public sector pension liability is almost £1.7 trillion in the red,’ she said. ‘Young private sector workers, overburdened by student debt, high rents and poor pay, may well start to question why they should have to shoulder the burden of these over-generous fat-cat pensions.’

Labour shadow health minister Jamie Reed said a probe is needed ‘to ensure fairness from bottom to top in the NHS’. A Department of Health spokesperson said: ‘It is vital that every penny of taxpayers’ money is spent to achieve the best outcomes for patients. The Government has already made significant reforms to the NHS pension scheme to save £800m a year. This includes linking pensions to career average earnings, rather than final salary and a higher retirement age.

nhs

Now we know why NHS has been doing this (gotta pay for these fat-cat pensions some how):

DCG

Medical Expert Confirms Unborn Children Feel Excruciating Pain During Abortions

20_week_fetus

LifeNews.com: On May 12, 2015, David A. Prentice, Ph.D., Vice President and Research Director of the Charlotte Lozier Institute, was invited to speak on the science of fetal pain on Point of View radio talk show. On May 13, 2015 the United States House of Representatives passed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.

Ms. Penna Dexter: We want to talk about fetal pain […] because this bill is so much stronger. It actually bans abortions after twenty weeks, and that’s because – I don’t think there’s a doubt now that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks?

Dr. David Prentice: The science is pretty conclusive at this point. And there are always going to be people, especially those in favor of abortion, who will say, “Oh that really doesn’t happen, and they’ll throw up a smokescreen. And what they usually do is they refer to an old study back in 2005 that was published actually by people who had associations with Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.

But the real science – and there’s some new things in fact, that have come out in the last few months – but the science pretty conclusively demonstrates: Young babies still in the womb at 20 weeks after conception, and probably even earlier, do indeed feel pain, and in fact, may feel more intense pain than a newborn or an adult

Ms. Dexter:  And that is because [of] their development?

Dr. Prentice: Exactly, they have a higher density of nerve receptors. Like you said, your skin is not very thick at that point, but there is another aspect.

There are certain pathways that sort of tone down pain. If I hit my thumb with a hammer, I’m going to feel it because the pain sensation goes up to my brain, but there is also a return path to try and tone that down. That doesn’t even start to develop until about the time that you’re born, so you don’t get this dampening of the pain.

In fact, there was a study done, reported just a couple weeks ago, where they were looking at pain experience of newborns – just between one and six or seven days old and adults, and the headlines were, “Babies feel pain like adults and they feel it more intensely.”

The study actually looked at regions of the brain associated with pain using very sophisticated technology and comparing not really pain, just sort of like you’d take the end of a pencil and press it against the bottom of this baby’s foot, a little bit of pressure, a little sensation there.

A lot of the babies even slept through this whole procedure, but they were in this functional MRI machine, very sophisticated technology, and then they would do the same thing to adults to see how they responded.

Eighteen of the twenty pain regions lit up in babies, eighteen of the twenty that are the same as adults, and at four times as sensitive. So again, you don’t develop this feedback loop to shut down pain until right about that time, and it takes even several months after birth for it to start to mature.

Now, wind back the clock to five months after conception, you’re a little past halfway through development in moms womb. You don’t even have that feedback loop at all; it’s not starting until months later in your life – and now the pain is very intense. We don’t know exactly how much, but much more intense for the small amount that you might feel as an adult.

Ms. Dexter: So one of the arguments that’s made is that at twenty weeks the baby doesn’t have a mature cerebral cortex. What do you say to that argument?

Dr. Prentice: Well, if your listeners aren’t up to speed on brain anatomy, the cortex is sort of the outermost part that is, in terms of your conscious thoughts and so on, it’s the last part of the brain to develop.

There is indication that some of that neuronal material in your brain is already present, starting to be formed certainly by twenty weeks after conception, but it also turns out that that’s not the most important part of your brain for pain perception.

There’s another deeper layer that forms early in your brain called the thalamus, deep inside your brain. It forms even earlier in development – probably about 8 to 12 weeks is when you start to see it forming, and those nerve tracks already connect to the thalamus by the time you are 20 weeks after conception, or after fertilization.

In fact, there are individuals who are born without the cerebral cortex, and they feel pain. We know that for a fact.

So, you don’t need that cortical layer to actually feel pain. What you need are these deeper parts of the brain and simply the neural tracks for sensation. And those are definitely formed, intact, and responding by twenty weeks after conception.

Ms. Dexter: That argument that no mature cerebral cortex, and that’s necessary for perception of pain, that’s one of your smokescreen arguments that you’ve been talking about?

Dr. Prentice: It is definitely a smokescreen.

abortion-rights

Read the rest here. To listen to the audio: http://pointofview.net/show/tuesday-may-12-2015/?listen_now=1

DCG

Another brutal weekend: 40 shot, 1 fatally, in Chicago gun violence

rahm_emanuel_2

MyFoxChicago: A man was killed and at least 39 other people — including an 81-year-old woman — were wounded in shootings across Chicago between Friday afternoon and early Sunday.

About midnight Saturday, Ronnie Montgomery, 24, was found on the sidewalk in the 1300 block of West Hastings, according to police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office. He had been shot in the chest and shoulder. Montgomery, of the 700 block of West Marquette, was pronounced dead at 1:20 a.m., according to the medical examiner’s office.

The 81-year-old great-grandmother, Iola Burress, was shot about 5 p.m. Friday, just minutes after viewing the body of her recently deceased daughter at a South Side funeral home. Iola Burress, 81, survived being shot four times, relatives told the Sun-Times. Her 34-year-old grandson, Sylvester Burress, was also shot in the drive-by attack in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood.

“It’s very hard right now because we’re trying to bury her daughter and assist her and then this happens today during the wake,” said Yolanda McBride, Burress’s granddaughter, on Friday. McBride’s mother, Laverne Burress, 60, is the daughter the 81-year-old was mourning. On Saturday, relatives said Iola Burress had to miss her daughter’s funeral.

Chicago Police said that Iola Burress and her grandson were standing outside in the 7800 block of South Carpenter when they were shot by someone who was in a passing white SUV.

The grandmother, who suffers from dementia, was shot in the right wrist and abdomen, while her grandson was shot in the hip, police said. They were both taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn. Both were released on Saturday, relatives told the Sun-Times.

The most recent nonfatal shooting happened Sunday afternoon in Englewood.

About 12:20 p.m., a 22-year-old man was outside in the 400 block of West 65th Place when someone walked up and shot him in the right arm, police said. He was taken to Stroger Hospital in good condition.

At least 36 other people have been shot across the city since 1:55 p.m. Friday.

Welcome to Chicago sign

See also:

DCG