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]
Just weeks after the Newtown tragedy, and merely days after another shooting at a California high school, the fine folks of the National Rifle Association have decided that now is the perfect time to release a new mobile target practice app, aimed at helping gun owners to become more accurate shots. The app is packaged as an “information” tool, providing gun owners with safety tips (like “keep your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to shoot”) and state-by-state gun law information. But the target practice portion of the program is on there, too. It looks a lot like any other first-person shooter video game — you know, one of the many things besides actual guns that the NRA blames for gun violence — except this one is put out by the National Rifle Association, and it’s ostensibly aimed at improving the skills of real-life shooters.
And the truly great thing about the app? It allows users to switch up between guns. So you may start out with an M16, but for just a $1, you can upgrade to an AK-47. So awesome — anybody with a smart phone can practice shooting an assault rifle.
And oh, the Target Practice app is recommended for shooters ages four and up. Sick. [Gizmodo]
Last week was a heavy one for the people of India. One Wednesday, a 17-year-old girl who had been gang raped committed suicide because police were dragging their feet in bringing her justice. Then, on Friday, a 23-year-old woman who had been gang raped and brutally beaten died from her injuries, which included head trauma and having her intestines removed.
So today, I am not entirely surprised to read a piece about Indian women applying for gun licenses. Keep reading »
Hello from out here in Man Card America, where proving your masculinity to the dude-friends who are vigilantly looking to revoke your “Man Card” if you get caught engaging in unmanly activities like being scared, doing what your girlfriend wants to do sometimes, enjoying a song by a woman, or drinking the wrong kind of cheap light beer is an ongoing campaign. If you look at the advertisements of the past several years, you’d think that having your Man Card revoked was, like, a real thing that could actually happen. Keep reading »
In the week following the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, where 27 people were murdered, everyone everywhere has been yakking about their opinion on guns. Some people think more people should carry guns, so they can protect everyone else from the “bad guys.” Other people — and I myself fall into this camp — say the less access to guns, the better.
The most hot-button area of focus has been on guns in schools and whether more guns in the hands of security guards, teachers or administrators will make students more safe. Heh, remember being a kid and seeing after school specials about how we should keep guns out of school?!
So I thought it would be interesting to check in with one small town in Texas that allows its teachers to carry concealed weapons. Keep reading »
I love guns. I’m from West Texas — most of us harbor respect for guns, if not outright love.
I vacillate between the high sixties and the mid eighties, which is good for a woman who only gets to shoot trap once a year. I keep about the same record as my father, who shoots competitively and is a former homicide and narcotics detective.
My mother’s hips and knees can’t take the standing around anymore, but for most of her life she was just as good a shot as my father.
She smiles knowingly every time I hit a sporting clay.
“It’s because you’re a woman,” is her theory. “You have a lower center of gravity than men, which gives you a more solid stance.” Keep reading »
“It’s unthinkable.” That’s what headlines are proclaiming and friends are telling me about the absolutely devastating massacre in Newton, Connecticut.
For me, it’s the complete opposite. I can’t stop thinking about it. Since the first moment the internet started buzzing with slips of information, my mind latched on and couldn’t let go. Days later and it still hasn’t. I’m not sure it ever will.
Why? Keep reading »