Ramona Grigg

Ramona Grigg
Upper Peninsula, Michigan, USA
September 17
Ramona's Voices
I'm a liberal woman from Michigan's Upper Peninsula, old enough to remember where I was when FDR died. My website, Ramona's Voices, was first published on the afternoon of Barack Obama's Inaugural after hearing his call to service. I include many voices much more eloquent than mine, because one voice isn't enough. Liberal-leaning with humor, except when the days are too dark and the enemy is too strong. Then it's war.


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Editor’s Pick
JULY 22, 2012 4:04PM

The NRA and pols protect the guns; who protects the victims?

Rate: 9 Flag


Original title:  Killers aim to kill, Guns do the killing, the NRA protects the guns, Lawmakers protect the NRA, Killers aim to kill.

Suspected Colorado movie theater gunman James Holmes purchased four guns at local shops and more than 6,000 rounds of ammunition on the Internet in the past 60 days, Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates told a news conference this evening.
"All the ammunition he possessed, he possessed legally, all the weapons he possessed, he possessed legally, all the clips he possessed, he possessed legally," an emotional Oates said.
The chief declined to say whether the weapons were automatic or semi-automatic, but "he could have gotten off 50 to 60 rounds, even if it was semi-automatic, within one minute," Oates said.
Good Morning America, July 20,2012
In the wake of the latest mass murder in America, the Aurora, Colorado theater shooting spree, the usual talk about how insanely easy it is to acquire assault weapons and heavy ammo seems to fill every inch of air and space.  In the wake of the Columbine shooting--talk, talk, talk.  In the wake of the Virginia Tech shooting--talk, talk, talk. In the wake of the Fort Hood shooting--talk, talk, talk.  In the wake of the Tucson shooting--talk, talk, talk.  The analysis of the dozens of mass shootings in the past 30 years--talk, talk, talk. The consensus is that it's too easy to stockpile the kind of weaponry crazy people use to massacre innocent human beings whose only deficiency is that they manage to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Immediately upon hearing the outcry, the National Rifle Association goes into defensive mode, taking their usual stance that guns don't kill people, gunmen kill people, so you can't blame the guns and you can't blame the easy acquisition of those guns. because only a few gunmen are nuts enough to go out and shoot up a bunch of people.  (The second most popular NRA stance is that if everyone was armed and ready, things like this couldn't happen.)

Crazy, isn't it?  But here's the craziest part:  The NRA gets away with it.  Every single time.  All of America--or at least those in a position to do something about a runaway gun association--seems to be terrified of a powerful lobby whose only public position is advocating widespread use of all types of guns and ammo, including repeaters, military-type assault weapons, "cop-killer" bullets, the whole shebang.

So here's more talk--not that it'll do any more good than the talk before it, but it has become obligatory now.  We use it in place of actually doing something about the legality of assault weapons, the obligations of gun owners (and their associations), and the rights of those who fall victim to this irresponsible nuttiness:

The website for the NRA's lobbying arm, The Institute for Legislative Action, is here.  If you can figure out a way to get them to pay attention to you without having to join the NRA, go for it.

And if you can figure out a way to get our politicians to pay attention this time, here is where you can reach them:


James Holmes bought four guns and 6,000 rounds of ammunition and went into a movie theater with the sole purpose of mowing people down.  He might have had those same thoughts even if he hadn't had access to guns capable of mowing people down as swiftly or efficiently as these did, but a madman with a single-shot rifle or even a six-gun couldn't kill 13 and wound 70 people within a few minutes. 

That's what has to stop.  That's what the talk is all about.


(Cross-posted at Ramona's Voices)

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I couldn't agree more. This is a superior post. What's strange to me is to hear reasonable people who don't profit from the sale of automatic weapons and don't particularly love guns, parroting the gun manufacturers who do. It's unbelievably twisted. I know people who do love guns; they don't care for this type of thing (who does?), and they don't think the general public should have access to assault weapons or ammo. It's not generally the members of NRA who are for absolutely no gun control, it's the manufacturers of guns who advocate arming everyone. And why is that do you think? (I ask that rhetorically.) Thanks for the links.
It seems the NRA's goal is simply to make the NRA itself more powerful, and to push through legislation for those who make and sell firearms.

The NRA's concern for gun owners is evident in the law they supported, and which was passed in Florida, to make it illegal for pediatricians to counsel parents on firearm safety. (A Federal judge has blocked this law as of July 12, 2012, thank goodness).

How is they being an advocate for gun owners and their children, by any stretch of the imagination?

Thanks for posting this and for all the links.
...meant to say, "how is this being an advocate for gun owners and their children?" I am getting all tongue-tied from their "ends justify the means" mentality. o_O
Yes, the NRA long ago stopped being an association for hunters (which is what hunters still think it is--thereby paying dues to keep it alive and defending to the death the NRA's right to exist) and is almost solely a lobbying outfit now, strictly advocating for the freedom to own anything that shoots, no matter how big or how lethal.

We have become a country known for violence and lawlessness, and the saddest part is that a growing minority seems to think it's just a part of being "free". And our lawmakers are so afraid of the NRA's ability to sway voters, they're willing to pretend that making military grade weapons available to the public doesn't create problems. It's disgusting..
BOB MUNDEN. Who is Bob? Check him out on Youtube.

Guess what? semi-auto's are not the problem....they aren't even the solution.

you know who I fear?

Soviet female snipers from WWII.

Just...do the research.. just do it. Trust me.

This madness about "gun controll" is retarded. I wish you could see it...but of course you can't. it's easy to blame guns. They're right there and inanimate.

Try getting real sometime. That's harder.

If out of work American Army vets were employed in theatres and malls in America as designated snipers to eliminate potential threats, we would of course be safer...of course...wolves are hated in this culture..
we'd rather beleive in the fairy tale of saftey, in the form of gun control.

You are a fucking moron...but I love you, none the less.
You want more gun laws. There are over 20,000 now. The shooter broke dozens of them plus who knows how many more. So what in your twisted mind makes you think one more would have stopped him?
Nice. Missed the whole point, did you? Or do you just answer this and similar posts with the same words, no matter the content?

I want those big, military-type guns out of the hands of ANYONE outside of the military. There is no reason for any ordinary citizen to own them. NONE.

There is no reason for the National RIFLE Association to get themselves behind ownership of lethal weapons capable of mowing down dozens of people in mere seconds.

This guy bought those big guns and that big ammo and it was ALL LEGAL. That he was allowed to do that so easily is not just stupid, it's criminal. So exactly what is it that you're defending?
". . .who protects the victims?"
Nobody. That's why it's a good idea to be able to
protect yourself.

The truth is neither side will give an inch because both sides want the totally opposite outcome. NRA will not budge and neither with the pro-gun removal groups. When one side wants all removal of guns the other side will respond the same and resist any move in that direction.

As we speak gun sales have gone up 41% in Aurora since the shooting. In public we may say something should be done to prevent guns getting into the hands of those who would harm others, but in private we go out and buy a gun.

People are not just afraid of criminals and crazies, but also the rising power of government that finds more and more ways to arrest, detain, and confiscate private property without due process.

Personally would rather take my chances in a free society then give more and more power to a government that continues to become more and more detached from the people whom they serve.
Great post. Don't have anything particularly original to add, except my dismay that on the front page of the Denver Post was the headline that gun sales are up -- way, way up. Welcome to the decline of America, folks.
M Todd, the truth is, nobody is advocating the removal of ALL guns. That's a myth with no basis in fact. That is not what this piece is about, as I've indicated in the last two paragraphs. It's about the misuse of laws that allow American citizens to own the kinds of guns only the military should be able to use.

The second part of your comment, that there is so much distrust of government people feel the need to arm themselves, is another myth that makes absolutely no sense. If those people who claim to be so afraid of the government never came out of the woodwork during the full eight years Dick Cheney was president, I'm not buying the notion that suddenly they're afraid of THIS administration.

Both of those myths gain momentum because government distrust gets votes in certain circles. The Tea Party is full of those people, and now they're strong enough to put miserably ignorant and unqualified people in congress.

They gained their strength by appealing to voters' fears and paranoia, and the gun issue is just one of many hot buttons designed to nullify the government and give the country over to private interests.

There is no such thing as a "free society". There is always an entity running things. The question is whether we want a government of the people or a government of the one percent. I'll take my chances with a government of the people any day.
For me the saddest thing about this oversaturation with weapons is that the majority of gun deaths in the US (about 56%) are suicides, and in the US, a quarter of all homicides are of family members. Most gun deaths, about two thirds, are self-inflicted or shooting a family member. Having a gun in the home increases the risk of a gun death in that home.

Rather than buying more weapons with the idea of "kill or be killed" as a response to all this, maybe we should all teach our children that killing is taboo, starting from a very early age. It is taboo to kill another person.
So you don't like the big scary "military " guns. First would you like to describe what that is? Looks have nothing to do with function.

In 1963 when Oswald killed JFK he used a rifle made in 1940 that was bolt action. He fired 3 rounds in about 3 seconds scoring 2 hits on a moving target one of them being a head shot.

While this was a tragic event the guns that he had, the amount of ammo he had, didn't have anything to do with it. This was someone who, for whatever reason, decided that he was going to commit mass murder. There are several ways he could have done it. He could have bought his guns and ammo from your neighborhood thug and not have gone through the legal process. The bombs that I believe I read about, don't have the time to check right now, he could have thrown into the crowd. Heck, he could have just filled a few bottles with gasoline and a rag, lit them on stage and thrown them into the crowd and he would have killed as many, if not more, that he did and those he wounded would have been badly burned.

This guy broke hundreds of laws. Your anti-gun feelings and laws would not have stopped him if his aim was to do what he did. One more law, or one more restriction, would not have prevented this from happening. Your knee-jerk, liberal, anti-gun bias will solve nothing. So why not think of something that will work next time and forget all the feel-good reactions?
Catnlion, you wanna see knee-jerk? Read your comment again. First of all, Lee Harvey Oswald wasn't a "mass murderer", so no comparison there.

Second, I'm not anti-gun, I'm anti-weaponry.

And third, I'll ask again--what are you defending? You seem to put all guns into the same category, as if there are no differences, when you know damn well there are. When the guy buys 6.000 rounds of ammunition, he's not buying BBs. The gun that jammed was capable of firing off 100 rounds in the time it takes to say, "Oh, SHIT!"

We're talking about heavy duty weaponry in the hands of any citizen who wants one, and you know it. So give it a rest, already. Your arguments are old and tired and full of holes.
You have yet to tell us what exactly you want banned and how you are going to do it. You haven't said what you consider "weaponry". Once you figure out what you don't like how are you going to keep someone that is good with a file and knows anything about guns from converting a semi-auto in to a full auto? You also haven't said how your new law is going to be the one that will stop someone who is out to kill somebody from doing it. You don't think they won't just violate your new law also?

These two are alike. One wanted to make sure a president died and the other just wanted to make sure somebody died. The point is they both set out to kill somebody. Do you think that LHO cared if he killed somebody other than Kennedy? So if you were in the way that LHO would not have shot you to get to Kennedy? No a murder is a murder.

You missed the point of LHO anyway. He used an antique gun and did a lot of damage in very little time. You don't need a fully automatic weapon to kill lots of people anyway. In fact the weapon he had was not fully automatic. Your description of how fast he could fire 100 rounds is way off. How fast can you pull the trigger 20 times, change clips, and do that 5 times? It takes a little more time than the time to say liberal.

So quit beating around the bush and tell us exactly what you want banned. I don't think you even know what it is.
Forgot, who am I defending. I'm defending the millions of gun owners who have no desire to go out and kill someone.

The guy who goes out and buys 6000 rounds of ammo is just spending money. You don't think he could fire all that do you? The amount of ammo this nut job bought is just a red herring for those of you who want it.
No, you're not defending ALL gun owners, you're defending those who buy and sell assault weapons. I want to know why? And quit putting words in my mouth. You can't stop someone from killing if they're bent on killing. But you can make it harder for them to get the kinds of weapons that will allow them to become mass murderers.

My God, what is it that you don't get about this? Keep the heavy artillery in the military and in museums and out of the hands of anyone who feels like buying them.

That's it. That's all I'm saying. If you still don't get it, go back and read my post and click on the links I've provided. We're all saying pretty much the same thing. They way we handle guns and ownership in this country is NUTS.
I have found that whenever you write about guns you are dogged (or in your case catted) by those would engage you in a debate entirely on their own terms. "What would you ban?" Etcetera. On a number of occasions people have joined OS solely to attack with standard NRA rhetoric or worse. It goes with the turf.

Of course we can regulate guns more effectively than we do, and we can enforce our regulations more effectively.

Many critics want to characterize those would regulate weapons more rigorously in some absolutist terms.

The fact is if we had the political will we could address the most egregious cases of inappropriate arms proliferation clearly and effectively:

No anonymous Internet ammo
Follow Illinois' example on ammo sales
Follow Diane Feinstein's proposals on banning semi-automatic assault rifles like AK-47s
Outlaw clips of more than 15 rounds
Force background checks on gun show and private sales

These are just a few common sense examples of how to better regulate the weapons trade without unduly restricting 2nd amendment rights.

Oh, and no grenades. No howitzers. No functional tanks.

Nutcase arguments such as that people without guns will use bombs should be ignored. Fine then. Let deranged killers attempt to learn to build bombs in their basements. That is a lot harder than buying 6,000 rounds on the web. And maybe some of them will be caught by their moms. And maybe some will blow themselves up.

Sidetrack arguments are the norm when we address gun control. The rule should be: ignore idiots.

I was particularly impressed by your list of additional reading for people who are actually serious about learning more on the topic.

May I also suggest a ProPublica piece recommending some of best gun reporting in the U.S? Readers can find it here.
Ramona, there are those who advocate all guns out of the hands of private citizens. The problem is where do you draw the line if those who wish to draw the line do not want to stop until there are no guns.

Also the idea that all second amendment supporters are republican, pro military, and support the NRA is a myth. This fight has been going on long before Obama took office. Many second amendment advocates strongly objected to Bush's patriot act and removal of due process in the name of national security.

The NRA is the shill of the republican party and much of there blathering is partisan politics not true advancement of lawful and responsible gun ownership and is one of the reasons I am not a member.

I operate from a simple idea that absolute power will corrupt absolutely. I do not believe we live in a dictatorship now, but I also understand it could happen. And I think the founders of this country also understood it and that is why the second amendment was written.
You don't need an AK-47 to kill a defenseless Bambi. Isn't $110 per pound a little expensive for venison?

See Murder at the Movies by Lyle Elmgren on Open Salon
lyle, no one wants to shoot Bambi, we are after his deadbeat dad who abandoned his family. The 7.62 is a relatively cheap round and is actually very efficient for deer hunting, would not be my choice, but lots of people use it for hunting because of cost. Also, most military style weapons are designed for bad weather and conditions which makes them ideal for hunting since most hunting seasons are in the late fall and early winter.

Besides the argument is not guns for hunting, but for defense which includes handguns and those weapons designed for that purpose. We tend to consider the needs of urban settings, but in rural areas most of those who have weapons for defense prefer the AR-15 which is the civilian semi-auto only version of the M-16 to keep distance between would be attackers.
Poor Ramona. I feel for you with the semiautomatic weapon supporters defending themselves with false arguments that no one on the side of gun control is making, then winning that ridiculous argument. Out-of-control government that they've been made to fear is in reality out-of-control corporations corrupting our government. You have more to fear from the gutting of federal institutions like the EPA and CDC than you do from terrorists.

Our energy, yours, mine, Reinvented's, S. Klingamen's, and Clay Ball's energy is better spent banding together and supporting the Brady Center than it is to argue with the brainwashed like M Todd and Mr. Socks, the Clintons' dead cat.
You know this is liberal talking points because nobody supporting gun laws will answer the question of limiting what except with vague references to things like "weaponry".
You know this is liberal talking points because nobody supporting gun laws will answer the question of limiting what except with vague references to things like "weaponry".
latethink, I am a supporter of the constitution not any particular weapon choice. And understand that any government including our own is made up of people, and people are people throughout history. The more power they have the more they move towards corruption.

I do not think Obama is a socialist or has some master plan to rule the world. I also see no real difference between democrats and republicans when it comes to reducing constitutional rights. Bush and Chaney may have introduced the Patriot Act, but Obama did not repeal and has continued to add to it. The National Defense Act continues moving us towards a government that can arrest and detain anyone. Each year more and more "reasons" pop up for more and more laws that invade your privacy, reduce due process, and allow search without probable cause.

The second amendment is one of the biggies like free speech and freedom of religion and belief. Mess with any of them and you accelerate towards totalitarianism. Maybe not today, but as I said people are people and they act pretty consistently throughout history.
Catnlion, you have mastered the Rovian art of Right Wing nitpicking whenever your arguments are dashed. Congratulations! Sticking to the idea that you can't figure out what "weaponry" means takes away any need for you to 'splain your side of it. Good going!

M Todd, that whole second amendment thingy smacks of paranoia to me. The "government" isn't a potential enemy, the "government" is us. We have the capacity to vote and to make our voices heard. We can make change without needing to arm everyone.

There is no real danger of totalitarianism in this country, as long as we maintain our right to vote,ensure our three branches of government, and keep our press honest and on guard. We've been lax on all points but that doesn't mean we can't swing back toward a true representational form of government.

The Second Amendment is a smokescreen that has been polluted to mean anything fringe groups want it to mean. It's now means nothing like what our Founding Fathers meant.

Here is an excellent piece on how the Second Amendment came to be so corrupted: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/04/23/120423fa_fact_lepore#ixzz21SeA6m79
Ramona, Right now every voice is heard because corporations are people. Lobbies are only interested in what is best for all of us, and citizen groups are not funded by billionaires who want to sway elections.

Any country can become a totalitarian state why would you think we are exempt? No I do not believe we are one now, but human nature is what it is. The founders understood it and that is why they placed the constitution above the government so that it would remain a government of the people.

Thank you for making my point.

Your whole argument is based on what you want to call weaponry. AK's don't fire that big of a round. Neither do AR's. So what do you want to get rid of?

So please do me a favor and answer the question. What weapons do you want to get rid of and why those weapons and not others?
catnlion, in case you missed this in my earlier comment:

Catnlion, you have mastered the Rovian art of Right Wing nitpicking whenever your arguments are dashed. Congratulations! Sticking to the idea that you can't figure out what "weaponry" means takes away any need for you to 'splain your side of it. Good going!

It is you who made MY point. (btw, I hear the Wingers are paying commenters to keep this crap going. I hope you're getting in on it. Hate to think you're doing this for nothing.)
Nope, I just love to hear from a liberal who only knows talking points and when you ask them to explain one of them they will come up all kinds of BS but they will never explain their answer. Why? Because they can't. They only know what they are told to think and they can't explain it.