'I would like you to put my trauma center out of business'

There's been no shortage of moving footage and remarks in response to this morning's mass shooting at the Navy Yard, but it's these comments from Dr. Janis Orlowski, the chief medical officer at the MedStar Washington Hospital Center, that seem likely to linger.

See the video at Rachel Maddow's page.

"There's something evil in our society that we as Americans have to work to try and eradicate," Orlowski said after decrying what she called "senseless trauma."

"There's something wrong here when we have these multiple shootings, these multiple injuries," she continued. "There is something wrong."

"I would like you to put my trauma center out of business," Orlowski added. "I really would. I would like to not be an expert on gunshots and not to be an expert on this."

"It's a great city. It's a great country, and we have to work together to get rid of this," she concluded. "Because we just cannot have, you know, one more shooting with, you know, so many people killed."

Dr. Orlowski added, "Let's get rid of this. This is not America."


Something IS wrong

There comes a point when you have to look in the mirror and ask what the heck is going on, in gunland, in Congress, in Raleigh, in everywhere. In the whole of human race. Something terrible is happening, something beyond the realm of reason.

How else to explain the frenzy of fuck-you politics in play, with one side pushing the other side to and past the point of no return?

We are sick.

Something is wrong - it's called greed

The Institute for Southern Studies highlights a report issued today by the bipartisan Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition in collaboration with the National Urban League and VoteVets. The conclusion:

The report, titled "Shoot First: 'Stand Your Ground Laws and Their Effect on Violent Crime and the Criminal Justice System," found that states with such laws have seen their "justifiable homicide" rate rise by an average of 53 percent in five years following their passage. Over the same period, states without such laws saw justifiable homicides fall by an average of 5 percent.

The increase was not simply the result of more homicides being classified as "justifiable" but of an overall rise in firearm-related and total homicides in Stand Your Ground states, the report found.

The jump in homicides deemed justifiable was particularly dramatic in some states, especially in the South. The average annual number of such killings rose by 54 percent in Texas, 83 percent in Georgia, 200 percent in Florida, and an eye-popping 725 percent in Kentucky.

Who cares about a few dead citizens when we have to consider the rights of individuals to pull out a firearm when someone makes them feel uncomfortable?

"Stand Your Ground" or, as I like to call it, "Right to Be Killed by Your Paranoid Gun Nut Neighbor" laws are pushed hard by the National Rifle Association.

From Raw Story comes this report today:

A new report released by the Violence Policy Center entitled Blood Money II: How Gun Industry Dollars Fund the NRA (pdf) disproves the NRA’s claim that it receives no money from the gun industry. The NRA has received at least $1 million from the Freedom Group, which manufactured the Bushmaster assault weapon used in the December 2013 mass-shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut.

At the annual meeting of the NRA in May 2013, the Freedom Group was inducted into the NRA’s “Golden Ring of Freedom” which is reserved for those groups that have “given gifts of cash totaling $1,000,000 or more.”

What's a few dead school kids and innocent bystanders when you've got guns to sell?

Bushmaster, by the way, is headquartered in Madison, North Carolina.

And, if that wasn't enough to raise concern, the FBI released data today showing that the US has significantly more murders than other industrialized nations:

The survey said 14,827 people were murdered last year in the United States, well down from 24,526 in 1993, when the country’s population was smaller.

But the 2012 murder rate — 4.7 murders per 100,000 people — was significantly higher than in most other wealthy nations.

The comparable rate is 0.4 in Japan, 0.8 in Germany, 1.0 in Australia 1.1 in France and 1.2 in Britain, according to figures compiled by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Among nations assessed by the Paris-based club of market economies, only Brazil, Estonia, Mexico and Russia had higher murder rates.

Who cares about "facts" when we have "Second Amendment Rights" to protect, right?

We went through this debate in the 1930s and came out of it with sensible gun laws that protected the rights of individuals to use weapons for sport and self protection. It took years of gangs armed with submachine guns spilling blood indiscriminately throughout the country to do it.

Now, with gun manufacturers buying laws to sell as many guns as possible and using fear-mongering tactics to stir up gun enthusiasts, I don't see a way out of this mess.

What will it take?

That's what a majority of Americans keep asking.

Yet there is NO movement among the NRA-paid-for GOP gun nuts. None.

And another mass shooting happens. And another. And another.

And nothing is done.

What will it take?

I can't imagine.

"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014

Ed Show ties gun laws and campaign finance

Ed Schultz ‏@WeGotEd

Gun laws are connected to campaign finance reform. Ed Show commentary tonight. 5pm

Martha Brock

The AR-15 and the 'old' NRA

The Navy Yard shooting involved an AR-15 style weapon.

Yep, you've heard of it before - it's the same weapon used in the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shootings, the murder of two in an Oregon shopping mall, Sandy Hook, a series of shootings that killed six people in California, and several others.

This style of weapon was illegal for civilian use until the NRA pushed through legislation a few years ago.

I'd like to remind everyone that the National Rifle Association supported Federal gun control laws up through the 1960s. At Congressional hearings in 1934, the president of the NRA stated:

"I have never believed in the general practice of carrying weapons. I seldom carry one. ... I do not believe in the general promiscuous toting of guns. I think it should be sharply restricted and only under licenses."

All that changed with a coup in the NRA's leadership:

The NRA also endorsed the first major federal gun control law of the modern era, the National Firearms Act of 1934. During hearings on the proposed legislation, which imposed heavy restrictions on machine guns and other gangster weapons, Karl Frederick was asked how the Second Amendment affected this groundbreaking law. His answer was astounding: "I have not given it any study from that point of view."

Protection for guns "lies in an enlightened public sentiment and in intelligent legislative action," Frederick wrote elsewhere. "It is not to be found in the Constitution."

In fact, the Second Amendment is remarkably absent from the NRA's signature publication, American Rifleman, until the 1960s. You can go to the library and peruse decades of issues and not see any mention of the constitutional provision thought to be the heart and soul of the organization.

All that changed in 1977. That year, the leadership of the NRA decided to retreat from political lobbying and refocus on recreational shooting and outdoors activities. This sparked a backlash among a group of hardline gun rights advocates who were upset that the NRA had endorsed the Gun Control Act of 1968 -- the first significant federal gun legislation since the 1930s. Motivated by the belief that guns weren't primarily for hunting but for personal protection in an era of rising crime rates, the hardliners staged a coup at the annual meeting of the membership, ousting the old leaders and committing the organization to political advocacy.

From then on, American Rifleman featured the Second Amendment on almost every other page.

Interesting info, but

I hear on TV and read in media today he only had a shotgun he had recently legally purchased in Northern Virginia. He may (or may not) have gotten other weapons from security forces during his attack on the base.

Martha Brock

The victims

When I left the Navy back in 1983, I worked for a couple of years for a "Beltway bandit" defense consultant based in Charleston, doing engineering/logistics support work for the Navy Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA). The engineers and project managers I worked with there were "salt of the earth" types, the typical engineers with pocket protectors and slide rule cases held up by their belts and horn-rimmed glasses perched on their noses - right out of Walter Cronkite voice-overs of pictures from Mission Control at Cape Canaveral.

Some will see these hard-working, low-key, professionals as bureaucrats in a bloated government agency, while others will see them as the face of the military-industrial complex. Tonight, they are our brothers and sisters, and I join them in mourning the loss of their friends and coworkers.


The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR