Real Time Death Toll as of

Is there a potential shooter at BHHS?
98.4% of Americans live within 10 miles of a gun dealer
How Much Money Does Gun Violence Cost in Your State?
Gun Safety
Veterans and Suicide
Most children are shot at home, not in the street
Million Mom March
Guns and Children
Teens, Guns & Suicide
Veterans and Suicide
Sticks and Stones and the school yard killings
Use of Firearms in Youth Suicides
Special Report:  School Violence
5 Questions To Ask When Buying A Gun
4 Things To Practice Every Range Visit
6 Different Ways To Carry Your Gun


The Daily Show - 1/8/13 - Scapegoated Hunter 21:22

Gun Safety

Isn't it amazing that gun trafficking is still at least somewhat legal.

"Currently there is no Federal law prohibiting straw-purchasers, agents who purchase guns for a third party to avoid background checks. It is not a crime to purchase guns in one state, and then sell them out of the back of a truck in another, according to Gillibrand. The legislation will make this circumvention of background check requirements a crime." (Editor: Withou that legislation we are essentially supporting arms dealers in the U.S. If we were allowing this in Iraq we'ed send a drone after them.)

Is there a potential shooter at BHHS?

You can't really tell. It could be the quiet one or the one who gets picked on a lot, or the one who's off the wall or the one who plays sports. You can't really tell. Two percent of the 11th grade Curry County Oregon students said "yes" in the 2014 Oregon Student Wellness Survey to the question "During the past 30 days, on how many days did you carry a gun as a weapon on school property?" (Range from "1 day" to "6 or more days".)

"Congress must keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people by taking two critical steps: 1) Get all the names of people who should be prohibited from buying guns into the background check system. 2) Require a background check for every gun sale in America."

The tragedy in Tucson has brought to light some glaring holes in our gun control system.

Thousands of the records that should be in the background check system—people with documented histories of serious mental illness and drug abuse, like Arizona shooter Jared Lee Loughner—have never been entered.1 And you can still buy guns at gun shows with no background check at all.2

A bipartisan group of mayors from across the country, led by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, is now pushing to close these loopholes.

There is huge public support (over 90%!) for doing this3—but the gun lobby and the NRA are powerful and super well-funded and they will fight this tooth and nail. If we can show overwhelming public demand for the mayors' efforts right now, change is possible.

Can you sign this petition to Congress supporting the bipartisan proposal from Mayors Against Illegal Guns? If we can get over 250,000 signatures, mayors from across the country will deliver them directly to Congress. Click here:

After the tragic mass shooting at Virginia Tech in 2006, Congress passed the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) Improvement Act that created incentives for states to improve the reporting of background information to the NICS database. While it helped (increased the number of records in the database from 300,00 to 1.1 million), the database is still over a million records short. Here are some key facts:4

Twenty-eight states and D.C. still have less than 100 mental health records in the system, in part because this bill was underfunded.

The database only has 2,000 people listed as drug abusers—something that Jared Lee Loughner should have been listed as and would have prevented him from getting the gun he used.

Under this law, federal agencies—including the military—which rejected Loughner due to drug use should have been sharing that information with the NICS database.

Finally, even if the Arizona shooter had failed the NICS background check, he could have walked right into a gun show and bought a gun without any check at all.

The mayors effort focuses on two major components: Fully fund the NICS Improvement Act and strengthen procedures for compliance with the law, and fix the gun show loophole by requiring reasonable background checks at gun shows.

Their proposals are supported by more than 90% of the public, including gun owners.

But the NRA is incredibly powerful and has a lot of allies in Congress. They've prevented important reforms like this before and they could again, unless we all speak out now.

Most children are shot at home, not in the street

Drive-by shootings that leave young people lying in the street may make headlines, but children are actually more likely to be shot at home, results of a study show.

How Much Money Does Gun Violence Cost in Your State?

Here's who pays the most for America's $229 billion a year in gun carnage.

Our ongoing investigation of gun violence, which costs the United States at least $229 billion a year, includes data on the the economic toll for individual states. Wyoming has a small population but the highest overall rate of gun deaths—including the nation's highest suicide rate—with costs working out to about $1,400 per resident. Louisiana has the highest gun homicide rate in the nation, with costs per capita of more than $1,300. Among the four most populous states, the costs per capita in the gun rights strongholds of Florida and Texas outpace those in more strictly regulated California and New York. Hawaii and Massachusetts, with their relatively low gun ownership rates and tight gun laws, have the lowest gun death rates, and costs per capita roughly a fifth as much as those of the states that pay the most.

Million Mom March

Million Mom March is a national grassroots, chapter-based organization dedicated to preventing gun death and injury and supporting victims and survivors of gun trauma. We are concerned community members. We have lost a loved one, survived an injury, or recognized that no one is immune to our national epidemic of gun death and injury. Like the majority of Americans, we favor stronger gun laws to protect our communities from gun-related trauma. We have come together to save lives by working for the adoption of stronger gun laws and to offer compassionate support to the victims and survivors of gun trauma.

Time Out for NRA Chief Wayne LaPierre for announcing a Gun theme store planned for Times Square in New York City, a place city officials have worked hard to rid of violent crime. "What better place to enable more people to get involved in shooting?" oozed LaPierre on this NRA marketing scheme to promote gun use. ''It's fun for the whole family."


1. After Arizona Shootings Background Checks Examined, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, January 14, 2011

2. Fix Gun Checks, Mayors Against Illegal Guns

3. In Aftermath of Tucson Shooting, New Bipartisan Poll Shows Americans, Including Gun Owners, Support Tougher Laws to Keep Firearms Out of Dangerous Hands, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, January 18, 2011

4. Fix Gun Checks, Mayors Against Illegal Guns

5. Arizona Shooter's Gun Purchases Should Have Been Blocked, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, January 17, 2011

Guns and Children

The image in the upper left hand corner is a print ad which appeared in Rolling Stone Magazine. It reads "Louis Taylor* hid ihs .357 Magnum so well, it took his son 6 years to find it. Louis Taylor kept his handgun unloaded in a locked case. The bullets were kept hidden in another part of the house. How did his sxi year old son, Ron, end up dead? Like every child there was nothing in his house he didn't know about. If you think you can keep your handgun out of the hands of your children...please, think again. 1- children are killed by a handgun everyday."  It was sponsored by Cease Fire in D.C. *This is a true story, the names have been changed to protect the family.

Sticks & Stones

The front page of the San Francisco Chronicle read "Killing Rampage at School:  Suicide attack blamed on 2 students." Just two students? Or is it a wake-up call for all of us?

We can blame it on the availability of guns, or movies, television or war toys as innocent as GI Joe. We can even point, in this case, at Goth. But in doing that, I suggest we look where our other three fingers are pointing and take responsibility for the part we played in this scenario. Yes, all of us. For, you see, I think the problem goes much deeper that what the newspapers or "expert" psychologist are saying. The problem lies within virtually every home in America. While the solution may be more difficult, I think problem is very simple.

Sticks & Stones

The front page of the San Francisco Chronicle read "Killing Rampage at School:  Suicide attack blamed on 2 students." Just two students? Or is it a wake-up call for all of us?

We can blame it on the availability of guns, or movies, television or war toys as innocent as GI Joe. We can even point, in this case, at Goth. But in doing that, I suggest we look where our other three fingers are pointing and take responsibility for the part we played in this scenario. Yes, all of us. For, you see, I think the problem goes much deeper that what the newspapers or "expert" psychologist are saying. The problem lies within virtually every home in America. While the solution may be more difficult, I think problem is very simple.

Name calling. Feeling insecure in our selves, or developing a dislike or even hate of people who are different from us (race, religion, sexual preference, and the hate list goes on), we start by passing on jokes that malign others, then name calling behind someone's back, then finally to their face. Names beyond the many raciest names we all know.

These killers in Littleton, Colorado weren't athletes, or pep squad leaders, or the popular kids at school. The "killers" at the previous school killings weren't either. But those are the people they targeted. And, I think, they just got tired of being called weirdo's, nerds, geeks, freaks, stupid, slobs, or whatever words the in-crowd uses to attack someone's self-esteem. After a while, these young men can't deal with it anymore and return the attack in the only way they can see that will stop the abuse.

The message they are sending is "Stop calling me names" and no one is listening. So, the name-calling and ridicule continue. And the communities involved start focusing on an action plan and gun control and fences around the schools and more security checks, more shakedowns, and the list goes on. While short-term those may be necessary, they are only short-term solutions.

We all must get actively involved with this problem. Really look at all the ways each of us becomes a perpetrator. Then, start teaching our children about the dangers of name calling and the importance of developing respect for everyone, especially those who are different in some way than we are. Outside the home by standing up and saying "Stop calling him (or her) names" or "I don't think that joke is funny" or "Stop sending me those emails." In school, send the name callers to the principles office.

As an adult, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me." But as a kid who doesn't "fit in," or look the part, or isn't as popular as "Joe cool," names not only hurt, they kill.

Possible Solutions

It can get frustrating as a parent or non-parent knowing what to do. And, while there are a number of good books and how to work to reduce teen violence, cultural violence and the shadow violence that lurks without each of us, many of us won't go to the effort of getting one of these books to start the work now.

In the meantime, the following are some steps you can take to stop violence among young children, from Parenting for Peace & Justice:

Speak out to your family, friends, and co-workers to develop an awareness of the "accepted" violence among teens and children, including name calling, insults, pushing, shoving and kicking.

Support conflict-resolution programs in your home, school and community to help children (and adults) learn now to solve problems without resorting to violence (hitting, kicking, throwing something, slamming doors, phones, pencils, etc.).

Volunteer in parent education classes or as a "resource parent" for young teen and first-time parents to help participants parent without resorting to violence. Volunteer for the teen crisis line, if you really want to get a reality check about what's happening to the youth in your community! If you're man enough, that is.

Help your children select nonviolent toys, television programs and movies. DON'T BUY WAR TOYS!!! Read books to your children that promote peaceful conflict resolution.

Speak out against movies and television programs that glamorize violence or make it funny. TV Violence

Lead by example. Children learn more from our actions than our words. And check out the following song/poem.

See also Books on anger, violence-domestic, violence-rape, violence-sexual and the Issues of TV Violence, Domestic Violence, and Prison plus a Q&A Slide Guide on Gangs and Safe Dating plus Resources for Alternatives to Violence programs.

What is Killing Our Soldiers?

The Time Magazine cover story, "One a Day" recently alerted us to the heartbreaking high-rates of suicide among our military. In June, The Associated Press reported that "the 154 suicides for active-duty troops in the first 155 days of the year far outdistance the U.S. forces killed in action in Afghanistan - about 50 percent more." In July, the Army suicide rate(link is external) doubled that of June. Sadness and disbelief seem to be normal reactions to these statistics, as they leave each of us to shake our heads in dejection, silently wondering why this is happening and how we can stop it.

What is driving these military men and women to end their lives?

It's no secret that the highly stressful, often traumatic conditions of war can have psychological and physiological effect on one's mental health. Many soldiers suffer from the stresses inherent in their military service. Many who have been deployed and redeployed suffer from PTSD, resulting from exposure to the horrors of a war. The stress and injuries, including Tramatic Brain Injury, that our fighting men endure can create changes in the brain that impact mood and impulsivity, making it more likely for them to engage in or act upon self-destructive inclinations.

Additionally, the military’s “man up” mentality is destructive to someone who is struggling with their mental health or having thoughts of suicide. David Rudd wrote in USA Today, “The military is not a culture that embraces perceived weakness or illness; it’s contrary to the notion of an effective fighting force.” Recent comments from Major General Dana Pittard(link is external), who commands one of the country’s biggest Army bases, illustrate the destructive and uneducated attitudes certain authoritative military members can have toward suicide. Pittard was heavily criticized for writing that he is '"fed up with soldiers who are choosing to take their own lives," referring to them as “selfish” and telling them to “act like an adult.” Statements like these can only hurt someone at-risk for suicide. These men and women need help, support, and encouragement in their fight against their own self-destructive thoughts. The overall attitude of the military, in which individual human interests are subjugated to the greater value of the unit, can further contribute to feelings that you don’t matter as a person or an individual, or a lack of self-worth.

Suicide expert and Dean of the College of Social & Behavioral Science at the University of Utah and Scientific Director wrote in The New York Times(link is external),

The Department of Defense has done a remarkable and admirable job of increasing access to mental health care and combating stigma, work that will change the field significantly for decades to come. Regardless, though, the warrior culture does not embrace psychological injury, with large percentages of those suffering opting not to pursue care. The net result is an increase in personal suffering, high divorce rates, escalating numbers of service members dying by suicide, and families left to grieve tragic and unnecessary losses.

So what can our government do?

On August 31, in a speech to soldiers at Fort Bliss, President Obama addressed the seriousness of increased suicide and mental health issues in the military. Obama said, “Today I’ve signed a new executive order to give our troops, our veterans, and our families better access to mental health care. We’re going increase the number of folks manning those crisis hotlines, so help is there when you need it most. We’re going to add even more counselors and mental health providers. We’re launching a new awareness campaign, starting tomorrow, and I’m directing a new task force to find out what works best, so we’re doing everything we can to help those in need and save lives.”

Specifically, this executive order directed the Veterans Administration to hire 1,600 new mental health professionals and to expand the capacity of its crisis line so those who are in crisis can see a counselor within 24 hours. The VA will also hire 800 peer support counselors. Paul Sullivan, the former executive director of Veterans for Common Sense, said, "This is an unexpected and very positive move in the right direction. It's not just a step. It's a huge leap." The new task force will recommend other ways the government can help those suffering from traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Of equal importance was the statement that Obama directed to the soldiers: "I know that you join me in saying to everyone who's ever worn the uniform, if you're hurting, it's not a sign of weakness to seek help. It's a sign of strength.” As he spoke to remove the stigma against admitting to suicidal feelings and asking for help, the President said, “We're here to help you stay strong. Army strong. That's a commitment I'm making to you."

A Military Helpline exists that can be reached anytime at 1-888-457-4838. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline also has a special line for veterans that can be reached when you call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The Defense Department’s website "Real Warriors"(link is external) encourages service members and veterans to seek the care they need and offers videos, testimonials, and valuable information to help them do so.

What can we do?

When a person is suicidal, he or she is in a detached, disassociated state in which they are experiencing severe self-critical thoughts often telling them that they are no good, that they do not matter or that they don't belong. Soldiers often experience thoughts that they are a failure, weak, and to blame. When they return home, their self-attacks often increase. They frequently feel alienated from and at odds with the rest of society. The long absences and personality shifts that result from combat take a toll on their family relationships. This combination of factors is sure to increase soldiers' sense of being isolated and not belonging, all of which exacerbate suicidal attitudes.

At Fort Bliss, President Obama emphasized “that everyone has a responsibility to help a comrade who's hurting.” Here are some things we can do to help:

Recognize the warning signs - There are warning signs for when a person is suicidal, but too often people aren’t aware of them. Some of the signs include: disrupted sleep, isolation, loss of interest, extreme self-denial, lack of pleasure, intense self-hatred, feelings of not belonging or of being a burden to others, and suicidal talk (“You will be better off when I am gone.”). They also include a significant increase in agitation. You can see a full list of warning signs here.By learning these warning signs, we are all much more likely to identify those at risk for suicide and reach out to them before it is too late.

Learn the helper tasks – Once we suspect a person may be suicidal, we must carry out a course of action that can help ensure his/her safety(link is external). We can engage a person by asking them directly how they are feeling and showing that we have real concern for them. We can then help this person develop an action plan that will keep them out of harm’s way and get them to the help they need. When encountering someone we suspect may be suicidal, it’s invaluable to know the list of helper tasks (link is external)as well as the dos and don’ts of suicide prevention(link is external). In addition, someone who is feeling suicidal can learn coping strategies(link is external) that can help them get through a crisis.

Don’t let suicide be a silenced topic – If you are concerned that someone is at risk for suicide, it is important to ask them directly whether they ever consider suicide. By doing so, you are not planting the idea in this person’s head but you are offering them the chance to open up about thoughts they may have been keeping from the world. Allowing someone to talk about these feelings is important.

Join Dr. Lisa Firestone for a free Webinar on Suicide Prevention(link is external) on Sep. 10 or for a CE Webinar for mental health professionals(link is external) on Sep 25. Learn more here(link is external)

Remember The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline(link is external) If you or someone you know is in crisis or in need of immediate help, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). This is a free hotline available 24 hours a day to anyone in emotional distress or suicidal crisis.

5 Questions To Ask When Buying A Gun

Is this for home defense, or daily carry? Determining what job you need your gun for will help you choose the proper tool for the job. For example, a home defense gun may lead you to higher round capacity, night sights, or a larger frame. A daily carry gun needs to fit your lifestyle, and whether or not you will carry openly or concealed.

2.What is the warranty from the manufacturer? Is it a lifetime warranty, or limited? Most companies offer excellent warranties, and the customer service representatives are good to work with.

3.What is the reputation of both the seller and the manufacturer? Do a bit of research and find out what both companies are like to deal with. You want to make sure that both the seller and the manufacturer are available for questions and assistance, should they arise.

4.Can you readily get the caliber? For example, 9mm, .380, .38 Special, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP are easy to obtain, but .32 (long and short), .25, and .22 Magnum are incredibly difficult, and tend to be quite expensive when you can locate it. Price for practice (or range) ammo may be a factor to consider also. Generally speaking, 9mm is a lower price than 38 Special, .380, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP.

5.Are there aftermarket accessories? The internal parts of magazines will wear out with use over time, so you want to make sure you can get replacements, and at a reasonable price. You may also want to consider sights (night sights, XS Big dots, etc), are there modifications available for controls (such as extended slide releases or magazine releases), trigger modification kits, laser sights, and grip modification kits. Holsters are much easier to obtain, but some rare models of handgun may need a custom holster created.

Making a handgun purchase can be quite involved. Asking questions, doing research on brands and models, as well as handling and shooting as many different models and calibers prior to making a purchase will make the decision much easier.

Remember, the best gun for you is the one that you are the most comfortable with, in the highest caliber you are consistently accurate with. Shooting is a perishable skill, be prepared to gain and maintain your proficiency with regular range visits. Happy Shooting!

4 Things To Practice Every Range Visit

There are many of us in the shooting sports, who approach each range visit not only with great eagerness, but also a deep seated desire to improve on our skill set. Shooting is a degradable skill, and whether you are a bulls-eye competition shooter or a defensive-style shooter, proper practice is essential to not only maintaining your current level of training, but to improve beyond it.

With the goal of improving in mind, here are four exercises to warm up with during each range session. These are simple exercises, that help me focus and make the most out of each session. I tend to begin slowly, as I have a tendency to get a bit “amped up” shall we say, and fight an inclination to get trigger happy and indulge in some rapid fire. (Not that there is anything wrong with this- but I do need to concentrate on shot placement rather than letting lead fly for kicks.)

First, breathe. Simple, right? Breathe in, breathe out, lather rinse repeat. However, as it was pointed out to me recently, when I get excited, there is a decided tendency to hold my breath. Holding my breath decreases my accuracy quite a bit. To combat this, I inhale, squeeze the trigger, exhale, hold the trigger, inhale and allow trigger to reset, squeeze the trigger… You get the idea. Initially this exercise is done deliberately slowly, to reset my initial desire to get overly enthusiastic and trigger happy.

Second, another valuable training tool- practice proper magazine changes! Initially, do them slowly with precision, at eye level. In the event that you need to defend yourself, being able to change your magazines and maintain awareness of the situation around you is critical. By practicing reloads at eye-level, you not only are eyes-on with the target, but you are also back on target much quicker.

Third, trigger control. In the first step, I mentioned the importance of breathing during and after your trigger squeeze. Now, you are going to take it one step farther. After you take the shot, hold your trigger to the rear until you recover your site picture. Rather than releasing the trigger, allowing it to spring forward completely, maintain pressure and hold the trigger all the way to the rear. When you have recovered your site picture, ease the pressure up, allow the trigger to move forward to the reset point. Then, take your follow up shot. Your shot placement will improve drastically.

The fourth thing is always critical, and comes first, middle, last and always. Practice proper safety habits. Avoid becoming complacent at all costs. By following the four rules of gun safety, you are ensuring the safety of all those who are shooting with you.

Have a plan for your shooting trip. Do your best to establish excellent safety habits, and remember to breathe and move with purpose and deliberation.

6 Different Ways To Carry Your Gun

We have examined various holster materials, let’s take a look at the next step- determining how you wish to carry your gun. Depending on your state laws, you have a wide variety of options. Do yourself a favor though, and make sure you utilize the proper source to determine legal carry methods for your state. The best resource I can point you to is not your local law enforcement. Instead, take some time to read over

For most, carrying their gun is a matter of picking an IWB (inside waist band,) or OWB (outside waist band) holster. Carry options branch from there, to the appendix position, ankle holsters, shoulder holsters, and belly band style. There are options for ladies, that we will examine in another post.

Each carry method presents their own challenges. If you reside in a state that has strict rules about concealed-only carry, and whether or not your gun can print (print meaning a passer by can see the outline of your firearm even though it is concealed,) understand that you may need to make some wardrobe adjustments in order to comply with your state laws. For IWB, you may need to go up a bit in waist size, in order to slip your holster and gun in comfortably. Make sure you can access and draw your gun smoothly and easily from your IWB carry position.

Carrying your gun in the IWB/ appendix position is a very popular and secure position. It is quite comfortable (with the proper holster) and also has the added benefit of being the fastest position to draw from.

Ankle holsters are quite popular with law enforcement officers, seeking a secure location for a back-up gun (or a BUG.) Finding a good holster for your ankle can be a challenge and it will alter the way you walk a bit.

Shoulder holsters are not seen very often, since there are other, safer carry methods available.

If you opt to carry with your gun holstered in the small of your back, choose a holster for the opposite of your dominant shooting hand. For example, if you are naturally right handed, choose a left handed holster. The reason behind this is gun position and draw.

Belly bands are another potential option, as they are easy to position, adjustable in size, and allow for right or left handed draw.

No matter what on-body style you choose, make sure you use a good, solid belt to help keep your gun stable. Take some time at home to carry, so you can find out the most comfortable position. You’ll also be prepared for Decepticons as well.

Carry safe, carry smart and Happy Shooting!

Special Report:  School Violence

Time magazine includes the following stories: How to Spot a Troubled Kid. Depression:  Do pills help or hurt?  How bad is the copycat problem.  The tide turns on guns. The case for smaller schools.

*     *     *

Guns don't die, children do.

You call it an assault weapon. The NRA calls it a hunting rifle. I call it a PWMD. - Personal Weapon of Mass Destruction otherwise known as a civilian Massacre weapon. - Gordon Clay