This past weekend, the National Rifle Association held its annual convention in Houston, Texas. Around 70,000, pro-gun supporters turned out to see speakers like Bobby Jindal, Ted Nugent and Sarah Palin spread second amendment gospel.
But there was also tons of shopping. Gun owners always be shopping! A large part of the convention was taken up with gun shops shilling their wares to an uber-devoted customer base. And because this is America, land of opportunity, gun companies have begun pandering to a heretofore largely ignored population — female gun owners and supporters. In NRA terms, this means producing a bunch of pleasantly pink guns, accessories and clothing to show support for guns. The conference took place just one day after a man shot off an AR-15 rifle inside the Houston Bush Intercontinental Airport, in a thwarted suicide attempt (he was later killed by security). Glenn Beck told an audience at the NRA Convention that the man’s death was a set up by the progressive left. And it also took place on the 43rd anniversary of the Kent State Massacre, in which four unarmed students were killed and dozens maimed by the Ohio National Guard. Keep reading »
Yeah, that’s an actual thing an elected official said. Like, for real. Republican Rep. Steve Stockman of Texas tweeted the remark today, which is cringeworthy on multiple levels — not the least of which shooting people with guns doesn’t sound very “pro-life” to me. Perhaps in his own well-documented twisted mind Stockman thinks that owning guns means you’re just protecting yourself, ergo fetuses (“babies”) need protection from big, bad Planned Parenthood; but this reads to me as an allusion to clinic violence against doctors who perform abortions. Dr. George Tiller was, after all, murdered by an anti-abortion extremist with a gun.
Ugh. There’s believing in a right to bear arms and there’s being a gun nut who suggests children should have guns. [Raw Story]
I really, really, really want this to be an April Fool’s Day joke.
ZMB Industries, which manufactures shooting targets which all resemble zombies, has a “zombie ex-girlfriend” target of a bra-clad woman for presumably-male shooters to “kill.”
Put another way: practice murdering your ex-girlfriend, men! It’s okay! Because she’s a “zombie!”
The Bleeding Ex-Girlfriend Target sells for $89.99 and each one is “hand painted to accurately resemble an infected human that just finished gnawing on his trusted courier’s leg, to give you that realistic look so you genuinely feel the hate.” A site that sells the ex-girlfriend target, Motorcycles & Outdoors, also sells Arab “terrorist” and North Korean soldier targets. My brain can’t even process it all. I’m so disgusted at the cavalier disregard for violence against women that I don’t know what to say. [Motorcycle & Outdoors via Salon]
When I was a 10-year-old, the worst thing a boy did to me was put Scotch tape in my hair. If only! Proof that society is going down the toilet: two fifth grade boys in Colville, Washington, have first-degree murder conspiracy charges against them for plotting to rape and kill their female classmate. They were discovered on February 7 after a child saw one of the boys playing with a knife on the school bus; in a backpack, the kids had a .45-caliber semiautomatic pistol (stolen from a family member) and ammunition. One of the boys explained, “She’s rude and always made fun of me and my friends.” Keep reading »
This week, the National Rifle Association debuted Natalie Foster as the new video commentator for its website, the NRA News Network, to drum up support for the Second Amendment.
Blonde and telegenic, Foster already blogs for her own site, Girls Guide To Guns, “dedicated to women who dig fashion and fire power,” in which she writes about gun ownership as well as girly tips, like New Year’s cocktails and how to look “extra cute” at a gun range. Her site also includes a list of female-friendly shooting ranges. The NRA News Network (which, by the way, is not exactly espousing “news” if these people are editorializing commentators, which they are) also debuted two other new commentators who are both men. Colion Noir, who is black, is an “urban gun enthusiast” and Dom Raso is a veteran. Altogether, the three are meant to appeal to demographics the NRA desperately wants to reach.
But it’s Natalie Foster who is most disconcerting. I don’t doubt the sincerity of her love for shooting at all. In fact, her website is actually kind of cool. But Foster’s involvement with the NRA is calculated to only pose gun ownership as good for women, appropriating the language of the feminist movement to do so. In her intro video, she drops the E-word, explaining how she was “empowered” by learning to shoot a gun. She also poses gun ownership for women as a choice akin to abortion: “Our culture is all about women being able to choose for themselves and if you’re going to be able to choose what you do with your body, why aren’t we able to defend our bodies?” Foster isn’t free from gun-related machismo, either: She swoons over her favorite gun and says shooting it makes her “feel like a badass.” Keep reading »
Remember Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt, the hydra-headed beast that terrorized Lauren Conrad, Brody Jenner and America during the mid-oughts via their appearances on “The Hills” and “I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here”? Well, guess what? Despite going broke after spending all their money on crystals, plastic surgery and pre-Mayan Apocalypse tomfoolery (really), these two jackals are back. With guns. The now-bankrupt pair say that they keep guns in their California home in order to protect themselves from crazy fans that may break in. Which, HAHA, Speidi fans. The pair were recently featured in a UK documentary, appropriately titled “Speidi: Scandal, Secrets And Surgery,” where they bragged about their well-stocked gun room.
“I didn’t feel safe especially with crazed fans and stalkers out there but if somebody broke into our home, this is the only thing that could actually save my life,” said Heidi, while Spencer boasted that though England was an “amazing country,” his gun arsenal was proof of “the amazing laws in America.”
The pair are set to appear on a second season of the UK’s “I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here,” because the British have apparently not reached their Speidi quota. Okay, what’s going on over in England? [Daily Mail UK]
This is disgraceful: a 15-year-old Chicago high school sophomore named Hadiya Pendleton died yesterday in a park where she was murdered as a bystander to gang violence. Less than two weeks prior, Hadiya and her classmates performed in Washington, D.C., for President Obama’s Inauguration ceremony. The Chicago Tribune reports that Hadiya and other students from King College Prep School (one of the top prep schools in the city), were dismissed from class early on Tuesday and so they went to hang out in a park. A gang war broke out and Hadiya, a majorette and volleyball player, was caught in the fray. In addition to her death, a 16-year-old male classmate was also injured and is in serious condition. [Think Progress]
Newark, New Jersey mayor Cory Booker has been leading an initiative to get illegal guns off the streets of the city with police seizures and gun buyback programs. So far, the Newark Police Department has collected and cataloged more than 250 firearms and countless shell casings found at crime scenes, and now they’ve come up with an innovative way to recycle the weapons: melt them down and turn them into a series of steel and brass bracelets called The Caliber Collection. “The result,” according to the website, “is a series of pieces that embody the gun’s transformation from a destructive weapon to a powerful symbol of renewal.” Each of the handmade bracelets (which are surprisingly lovely) are etched with the serial number of the gun it used to be, along with the word “Newark.” Prices start at $150, and proceeds from jewelry sales will be used to fund gun buyback programs to get even more guns off the streets. “This [buyback program] is not a cure-all,” Booker recently explained on The Rachel Maddow Show, “but everybody has the power to do something small to make a difference.” [Buzzfeed]