Sunday, May 4, 2014

Racist Gun Jerks…and the laws that protect them.

"The guns and the bombs, the rockets and the warships, are all symbols of human failure." - Lyndon B. Johnson

In Oak Creek, Wisconsin, on the morning of August, 5, 2012, a degenerate, racist fuck-up by the name of Wade Michael Page took it upon himself to open fire on unarmed and vulnerable Sikh men and women who were just starting to file in to their Gurudwara (temple) to prepare food for Langar.  A Sikh communal meal that emphasizes equality and common roots, which was to take place later that day.   

As some women cooked the feast and children studied in the basement below for Sunday school, he walked up, and according to a weapons instructor who lives nearby, "ripped off", meaning shooting as fast as you can pull the trigger.  The head priest, Satwant Kaleka, bravely attempted to tackle the shooter and was shot twice and killed, along with 5 others.  There was a fire fight with police, one of which seriously injured before the gunmen shot himself. 

They had no clue, no chance...a terrifying scenario to consider.  

Something in particular really irked me while reading through the information of this story, besides for the obvious horror.  The weapon used in the shooting was, predictably, a legally purchased semi-automatic hand gun.  

On July 28th he walked into the "Shooters Shop" in a small town outside of Milwaukee looking for a handgun, particularly a 9MM.  
He filed the written background check, which as I'll explain later, miserably failed.   The other "check"  to buy this weapon is what really shocked me.  

Kevin Nugent, owner of the store, was responsible to "feel out" the vibe of the purchaser to determine whether he was dangerous or not.  He said in later interviews that his justification to sell included:
"He did not look strange and appeared calm."
"He didn't have a shaved head or 9/11 tattoo"
"He didn't talk stupid or act stupid"
"He raised no eyebrows whatsoever"

According to an LA Times article, Nugent added he's very strict, and said he reserves the right not to sell to customers who appear irate or under the influence.  The same article says Page paid $650 cash for a Springfield Armory XDM semi-automatic with three 19-round ammunition magazines.  He picked up the gun two days later, took it to the shops basement range for target practice and left.  

Obviously this is the weapon he used to murder 6 people, 7 including himself less than a week later. 

According to the NRA website detailing Wisconsin's gun laws, the owner submits a background check through the Department of Justice to check for criminal history, domestic violence, involuntary commitment and tribal restraining orders.  If those are clear and you pass the eye test, after 48 hours the deadly weapon is yours.  

As if this process wasn't arbitrary and dangerous enough.  There WERE red flags on this maniac prior to the shooting.  He served in the army for 6 years before receiving a "general discharge", which are given to service members whose performance is satisfactory but is marked by a considerable departure in duty performance and conduct expected of military members.  He was demoted and given his discharge for "patterns of misconduct" including being drunk while on duty and going absent without leave.  

On top of this, the Souther Poverty Law Center had flagged both of his bands (a singer apparently) for being "racist white-power" groups.  On top of that, the Anti-Defamation league had both his girlfriend and he tied to white power extremist groups going back years before. 

With those elements in place, leaving the judgement of a semi-automatic weapon purchase to a citizen, and private store owner whose general interest is to make money is deplorable.  I'm not blaming this man Kevin Nugent for the shooting, I'm blaming the laws in place for giving that man the authority or judgement to hand these weapons out.

Our system failed, again, and will continue to without change.    

It often blows my mind how the laws can be created and bent and mangled to protect things that don't need any damn protection.  I usually like to be optimistic and or "centric" in these articles, but the fact that I need more paperwork to get car registration than a gun and still have to hide pot from the cops, while this sort of thing happens, is plainly obscene and absurd.  Down with the NRA.  

5 comments:

  1. Good points and I agree. Way too easy to pick up a gun and do god knows what with it. However there is a little hope...check out illinois gun laws, particularly foid card. It's still very flawed, but I believe it's on the right track. Hopefully these continuous acts of terror on Americans BY Americans will keep lawmakers thinking..

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  2. I don't understand how you think the laws, or lack thereof, and the NRA are to blame for what this man did. What other law could have prevented this man's actions? To start, there are already laws against murdering people. He clearly wasn't considering that one when he decided to take the lives of innocent people. We already have sufficient and reasonable laws in place for the lawful acquisition of a gun. This man passed a background check, and while the additional details uncovered later revealed his wasn't nice and not a good government employee, there was nothing in his history that was enough reason for him not to purchase a weapon. The problem was that he was crazy and no one knew because he did not reveal it; not that no one checked. We can't wish away guns and nor do I ever want to. Certainly, in a ideal world everything would be perfect and sane, but this isn't that place. I support the NRA because they support me. They fight for my right to own my weapons and be responsible for the safety of myself and my family.

    See it from the other side for a moment. I strongly suggest you look up Colion Noir on youtube. Actually here is the link~

    http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC193r5YXcpQJV34N99ZbhzQ

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment, and I will definitely try to understand your side and watch this link.
      That being said, I could not disagree with you more. The idea that easy access to semi-automatic weapons is necessary to be "responsible for the safety of myself and family" is crazy to me. Most people, myself included aren't trying to create a gun-free America. I'm not naive and I know that can't exist. But, people with your outlook I find paranoid, dangerous and archaic.

      How can you plainly write you don't understand people wanting to change the laws in order to keep these guns out of not just his hands, but anyones. These guns are not necessary for protection and/or hunting. If they are to exist in my country, I want to be DAMN sure they stay out of the hands of a drunk, white supremacist. I mean, fuck dude, if they googled his fucking name they would have found what a nut this guy was. So you're saying that law is working? I'm sorry, but I truly think you're wrong.

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  3. solid response. growing up being sent to canada in the summers for hockey school, I was never a big fan of the place. generally, there was one or two americans at the camps and you can imagine how that went over.

    However, their gun laws are probably a good model to draw off of given its effectiveness as a criminal deterrent.

    I did get a kick out of the irony of your opening quote:

    "The guns and the bombs, the rockets and the warships, are all symbols of human failure." - Lyndon B. Johnson

    This coming from the guy who escalated the Vietnam war into the debacle that it became.

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