A slight majority (51 percent) of respondents to a survey conducted Jan. 10-11 by Vision Critical & Angus Reid believe the Tucson shooting last Saturday was an isolated incident resulting from an individual's action. About a third (31 percent) said the shooting was the consequence of a negative tone in U.S. politics. And 37 percent said they expect there will soon be more such incidents. In addition, 73 percent of respondents said that citizens should be allowed to carry a concealed firearm, although only 9 percent said they should be able to do so without obtaining a permit. In Arizona, as well as Alaska and Vermont, no such permit is required.
The poll surveyed 1008 American adults and had a 3.1 percent margin of error.
Some 56 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with the way President Barack Obama handled the aftermath of the shooting and 50 percent voiced satisfaction with the way the media handled their coverage.
The surveyors asked several questions about attitudes toward firearms, including:
"If it were up to you, would you prefer to have stricter firearm laws, looser firearm laws, or would you
keep existing regulations the way they are?"
All - 50 percent;
Democrats - 65 percent
Republicans - 30 percent
Independents - 51 percent
All - 13 percent;
Democrats - 6 percent
Republicans - 19 percent
Independents - 15 percent
• Keep existing:
All - 27 percent;
Democrats - 18 percent
Republicans - 44 percent
Independents - 31 percent
• Not sure:
All - 10 percent;
Democrats - 10 percent
Republicans - 7 percent
Independents - 4 percent
"Below is a list of weapons. For each one, please say whether this type of weapon should be
available to every American who is eligible to own firearms, or only to the police and other authorized
• Every American who is eligible to own firearms should have access to these weapons:
Handguns - 70 percent
Rifles/Shotguns - 73 percent
Semi-automatic firearms - 26 percent
• Only the police and other authorized persons should have access to these weapons:
Handguns - 21 percent
Rifles/Shotguns - 18 percent
Semi-automatic firerms - 63 percent
Handguns - 9 percent
Rifles/Shotguns - 8 percent
Semi-automatic firerms - 10 percent
"Across the U.S, states have different regulations related to how individuals can carry a concealed
weapon in public. Thinking about your own state, which one of these options would you prefer to
• Citizens should not be allowed to carry a concealed weapon at all:
All - 24 percent
Democrats - 32 percent
Republicans - 15 percent
Independents - 25 percent
• Citizens should be granted a permit to carry a concealed weapon if local authorities agree to it:
All - 16 percent
Democrats - 17 percent
Republicans - 19 percent
Independents - 16 percent
• Citizens should be granted a permit to carry a concealed weapon if they meet specific criteria laid out in the law:
All - 47 percent
Democrats - 45 percent
Republicans - 54 percent
Independents - 44 percent
• Citizens should be allowed to carry a concealed weapon without any permit.:
All - 9 percent
Democrats - 4 percent
Republicans - 11 percent
Independents - 11 percent
• Not sure:
All - 4 percent
Democrats - 2 percent
Republicans - 2 percent
Independents - 4 percent
Vision Critical did not report whether it found differences between men and women or by race or age.
A California man who has been accused of threatening Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) and other political figures was arrested Wednesday and charged federal court.
Charles Turner Habermann -- a 32-year-old Palm Springs, Calif., resident with a $3 million trust fund -- was arrested Wednesday morning on allegations that he made threatening phone calls to the office of the Seattle Democrat late last year....
Federal prosecutors in Seattle described statements left by Habermann in two Dec. 9 phone calls as an "expletive-laden" effort to influence McDermott's vote on tax policy. According to charging documents, Habermann to have threatened to kill McDermott's friends and family, then, in the second call, threatened to put McDermott "in the trash."
Contacted by the investigators the day after the messages were left, Habermann allegedly admitted to threatening McDermott and a congresswoman not identified in court documents.
"He said he was trying to scare them before they spent money that didn't belong to them," FBI Special Agent Dean Giboney told the court....
Jenny Durkan, U.S. attorney for Western Washington, said in a statement that such threats "are intended to silence debate, not further it."
"We are blessed to live in a country that guarantees and protects the freedom to disagree with our government and speak our minds," Durkan said in a statement. "That protection, however, does not extend to threats or acts of violence."
McDermott is the second Washington politician in less than a year's time to be subject to threats that ended up in an arrest. In the case of Charles Wilson, and eastern Washington man who repeatedly threatened Sen. Patty Murray, the threats ended in a conviction, and this statement from U.S. District Court Judge John C. Coughenour, who "described the Eastern Washington man's actions as terrorism and Wilson, by extension, as a terrorist":
"The very foundation of our system of laws and government, and the promise of democracy is that political change is accomplished through reasoned debate, through persuasion, and through voting," Coughenour said, reading from a text prepared by law clerk Colin George. "And we have a word for people who try to effect political change through violence and threats of violence....
"Terrorism is not an ethnicity. Terrorism is not a color. Terrorism is replacing peaceful political participation with violence."
It's hard to think of a more fitting statement for this week.
For more discussion, here's N in Seattle's diary.
One of the things that maybe surprised everyone after the assassination attempt on Gabrielle Giffords is the fact that the United States has not had a confirmed director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms for four and a half years. Potential[...]
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I was and still am a little conflicted about last nights memorial service. There has been a lot of talk about mourning the victims of the killing spree in Arizona, but I am not mourning. It is not that I don?t have empathy for the dead and wounded and their families, I do in spades. It is that I don?t know any of them personally and it is hard to mourn a stranger, even one cut down in childhood.
Which is not to say we should not honor them and the loss there families have experienced. They were innocent victims of a terrible crime. They were not people involved in nefarious activities that led them to a dangerous place, they were just ordinary citizens who went to hear a Representative speak at a local grocery store. They should be remembered and memorialized, if for no other reason than as the President said, doing so gives us an opportunity to open a conversation in their names on how we can prevent these types of massacres in the future.
"Originally posted at Squarestate.net"
I will say, that on a personal level, I found the cheering and whistling unseemly. I have been told that I should not judge the way that others grieve and it has been suggested that I might find a New Orleans funeral unsettling with the clapping and the marching band, but that is not the case at all. There is no tradition for getting 27,000 people to enter a stadium or two and cheer for the dead. There could be one if we wanted it but it is not traditional in the Southwest or anywhere else in the United States.
I understand how it happened though. This was held on a college campus and a president who is very popular was coming. People spent all day waiting to get seats, and then the arena was well lit. All these things mirror rock concerts (except the lighting) and so the mood for some of the young folks was probably more festive than it should have been at an event like this. Call me an old stick in the mud but I know that both my maternal and paternal Grandmothers would have boxed the hell out of my ears if I had whistled and cat called at any kind of memorial service.
As for the substance of the service, I thought it was very good. It was great news to hear that Rep. Giffords had opened her eyes and worked to focus. There is a real and whole human being in there. The more she does things like this the more likely it is that she will beat the odds and have a functional life post shooting. A ray of hope in a dark event.
There are probably some of my atheist brethren who were annoyed by the bible readings by the Director of Homeland Security and Attorney General, but the thing on those is funerals and memorials are not for the dead. They are beyond our help or harm, but they are very much for the living. For the millions of Americans who have a faith those word provided comfort and ritual that let them know their grief was heard and they had honored the dead.
Gov. Jan Brewer is tough for me to judge. I find so many of her words and actions objectionable that I have an automatic negative bias against here. Still she fulfilled the role she needed to. I don?t know if she is Gabby Giffords friend or not, but it was good of her to say it and to put the first bandage on wound between the Left and the Right in this nation and in her state.
President Obama gave a very good speech to my mind. It was the right tone holding up the ideals of representational government and reminding all of us that if we want the American ideal then we all have a role to play. It may be willful on my part but I choose to see is his call to civility on both sides not as a false equivalence but as being graceful. When you are the one who already acts and speaks reasonably, then it is mere grace to say ?We should all tone down our rhetoric? it is not an admission of culpability but a way to bring an intransigent opponent to a reasonable place. It was interesting to me that he said ?A more honest debate? which was a direct, if subtle jab at the tactics of the Right.
It seemed to me that the President was a little discombobulated by the cheering as well. He has a habit of pausing for effect which many in the crowd took as applause lines and he was visibly uncomfortable with the standing ovation he received at the end of his speech. I give him high marks for deciding to end it by him and the First Lady sitting down.
All in all it was a good event I think. We spoke well of our dead, praised the heroes of that horrible day and heard news which tells us that life goes on. This is the point of all memorials and funerals. Sadly I do not expect it to actually heal the rift in this nation.
The Twitter-verse has and comments on blogs left and right have shown that we still have a lot of our fellow citizens who want to ?be right? who will use an event that should not be partisan to accuse and mock those who participated. While I was startled and made uncomfortable by the whistles and cheers at the event, I save my condemnation for those who can?t put aside their issues even for an hour to honor the child who was killed.
Not every event with political figures is a time to push an agenda. If we are only political actors and do not cultivate our humanity then we will never have the nation we want. There is such a thing as propriety and even our worst and most heated adversaries deserve to be thought of as human. There is no one on the Right I would wish dead or ill to. Some of them I believe belong in prison, but that is for their crimes, their actions, I would never on my worst day wish them dead and when they are dead I will hope that they rest in peace, even if I think there actions in this life were reprehensible.
Memorials are supposed to be a time of reflection. How you react to them also reflects what is inside you. If you have found that you are saying things that overtly political about memorial, maybe it is time for a little more introspection and a little less exposition. For me I will say that I hope with all my heart that the families of the dead and the wounded find a way to get passed this, to find that life goes on and to make it as good as they can in the name of their loved ones. For the rest of us, I hope that we can find a way to make sure that this kind of thing happens less often, whatever the combination of policies and rhetoric that requires.
The floor is yours.
The American Patriot Foundation has claimed to World Net Daily that due to their support of a birther army doctor, the group has received "dozens of threatening phone message, e-mails and letters during 'birther' Army officer Terrence Lakin's legal proceedings the past few months, including two letters that view the words 'GOP' and 'Birthers' through a sniper scope."
Lakin was sentenced to six months in a military prison last month after refusing to deploy to Afghanistan over concerns that President Obama may not be a U.S. citizen.
The American Patriot Foundation, the group that set up his legal defense fund, now claims that they've been targeted for being birthers -- or "eligibility activists," as WND calls them.
"I've been called a subversive and an enemy of the state, not to mention moron, insufferable little b-tch and a lot of other similar nasty comments," APF spokesman Margaret Hemenway told World Net Daily. "I write a lot of them back to tell them that e-mail rage, like road rage, is neither healthy nor adult behavior and remind them it is the fundamental obligation of citizenship to support the U.S. Constitution."
Here's a sample of a threatening letter Hemenway claims she received:
The use of the crosshair, if real, is especially resonant in light of the shootings in Tucson over the weekend that included Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who remains hospitalized in critical condition after being shot in the head. Sarah Palin has been repeatedly walloped in the media for posting a map with a crosshairs drawn over Giffords' district in March 2010.
Even in the annals of political nonsense, this one sort of throws me. A number of conservative commentators and pundits united in outrage over t-shirts that the University of Arizona made up for last night's event. [...]
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Of course they are. They won and now they have a majority in the House to make life that much easier. Too bad the middle class isn't feeling the same love from Washington.
And this pride had led to happiness among the rich, with 71 percent saying they are happy, up from 40 percent in 2007.
"It's because they didn't know they could survive something this bad," Taylor told the Luxury Marketing Council of New York on Wednesday. "They have got competent, they have gotten close to their family, they have self-esteem from their ability to handle a crisis."
"Happiness is now the abiding object of affluent American life, not success," he said. "They're really happy with their ability to operate under pressure."
Right-wing terrorist Charles Habermann threatened to kill her too
Demented apologists-- some of whom like Limbaugh, Beck and Palin go beyond mere apologists and into the realm of inciters-- for right-wing terrorist and assassin Jared Loughner claim their incendiary words don't matter. Many in the Republican Party's congressional delegation, from Virginia Foxx (R-VA), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Trent Franks (R-AZ), Paul Broun (R-GA), Rand Paul (R-KY) and Allen West (R-FL) to more ostensibly respectable figures like Lamar Alexander (R-TN) are frantic to deny that Loughner's mindset is rooted in the basic tenets of the American Right and refuse to acknowledge a report by the Secret Service blaming Palin's hate-mongering for a huge uptick in violent threats against President Obama.
Sarah Palin's attacks on Barack Obama's patriotism provoked a spike in death threats against the future president, Secret Service agents revealed during the final weeks of the campaign.
The Republican vice presidential candidate attracted criticism for accusing Mr Obama of "palling around with terrorists," citing his association with the sixties radical William Ayers.
The attacks provoked a near lynch mob atmosphere at her rallies, with supporters yelling "terrorist" and "kill him" until the McCain campaign ordered her to tone down the rhetoric.
But it has now emerged that her demagogic tone may have unintentionally encouraged white supremacists to go even further.
The Secret Service warned the Obama family in mid October that they had seen a dramatic increase in the number of threats against the Democratic candidate, coinciding with Mrs Palin's attacks.
Michelle Obama, the future First Lady, was so upset that she turned to her friend and campaign adviser Valerie Jarrett and said: "Why would they try to make people hate us?"
According to the criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Seattle, Habermann left two threatening, expletive-filled voicemail messages at the Seattle office of McDermott on December 10.
In the first message, according to the complaint, Habermann called McDermott, a Democrat, "disgusting, filthy, murderous" and a criminal and threatens to kill him if he ever "f---s around with my money."
In the second message, Habermann said, among other things, that he will "hunt that guy down and I'll f---ing get rid of him."
Habermann was scheduled to make an initial court appearance on the charges on Wednesday afternoon and could face ten years in prison if convicted.
From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE...
Attn C&J Subscribers: the PayPal Thingee is Working Again
Pardon the meta, but those of you who subscribe to C&J have probably gotten a notice (or two or three) from PayPal recently informing you that the account was suspended. I probably owe you an explanation.
Without going too far into the weeds, the primary reason is because the IRS now requires PayPal to keep records on certain accountholders, and they in turn needed to verify some information. The secondary reason, of course, is because I toilet-papered the CFO's trees last Halloween and, man, Mr. Dupuis sure has a lot of surveillance cameras.
I'm happy to report that, after handing over several tax documents, letters, ticket stubs, passports, the eye of Sauron, the Holy Grail (I chose...wisely), a random old lady from a Bingo hall and a few stiff drinks, they finally lifted the curse on the C&J account and the shingle has been re-hung.
If you received a notice from
the Borg PayPal saying that your subscription had been cancelled (or if you'd like to become a new subscriber), it's now safe to re-up:
As always, thank you for keeping this humble corner of the republic purring and whirring. My apologies for the inconvenience and panic this has caused, and I'm glad it has a happy ending. I only wish I could say the same thing about tonight's Martian invasion.
Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]
This is touching. Press Gaggle aboard Air Force One by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Rep. Debbie[...]
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