(420Times) Marijuana may be legalized for recreational purposes in Colorado and Washington, but the latest memorandum from our beloved government clearly states that they intend to continue to focus on “preventing marijuana possession or use on federal property,” which leaves residents from the abovementioned states that want to carry a few grams on a hike or camping trip at risk of federal prosecution.
Just ask Karen Strand from Tacoma, Washington. She didn’t feel that possessing a small container of marijuana that she is state-authorized to use for medical purposes would be of any concern when she went hiking in Olympic National Park this summer. And why should she be concerned, people aren’t cited on federal lands for possessing pharmaceutical prescriptions.
But to her surprise, Karen was pulled over on a remote gravel road by one of the park’s rangers for having a broken taillight, cited for marijuana possession on federal property and unfortunately became one of over 27,000 people nationwide that have been fined for the very same reason since 2009.
Usagi, a super-typhoon, reached category 5 strength Thursday, and continued to grow past category 5.
Super-typhoon Usagi reached category 5 strength Thursday, and continued to grow as it moved toward Hong Kong Friday. Its peak winds intensified dramatically in two days, from 75 mph to over 160, making it the strongest storm of the year so far.
The storm passed over very warm waters on Thursday — up to 86 degrees Fahrenheit — which added more energy to the storm.
Usagi’s passage near the Philippines prompted evacuations in the north, and Taiwan has issued an “Extremely Torrential Rain Advisory” for much of the island. The center of the typhoon is expected to pass just south of Taiwan, causing heavy rains, strong winds, and a storm surge on its south and east coast tonight and Saturday.
China issued a yellow alert for the incoming storm, with red being the only more severe warning. The storm is expected to weaken before making landfall near Hong Kong on Sunday, though it could end up significantly to the north or west of the city of over seven million.
But Hong Kong is a city at risk for major flooding from a large storm surge. A report by Wyss WS Yim of the Guy Carpenter Asia-Pacific Climate Impact Centre, found that Hong Kong is at risk for coastal flooding, with 15% of its total land area dangerously close to sea level, and a “trough effect” caused by extensive land reclamations.
And while the city’s “cliffed coastal topography” makes it less susceptible to the consequences of sea level rise, a 2007 report from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Lau et al said that if the IPCC’s mean estimation of sea level rise comes to pass, 50-year floods could happen every three years. If sea levels rose by the IPCC’s upper best estimate, 50-year floods would occur yearly.
Hong Kong’s most recent major typhoon was Ellen in 1983, which killed 10, left 345 injured or missing, and sunk or damaged 260 oceangoing vessels.
How Many Mass Shootings Occurred In The US Since Jan 2013? 254, With 6 Occurring Since The Navy Yard Shooting ⇒
reddit: the front page of the internet
Welcome to the world’s only crowd sourced mass shooting tracker, as featured on the Huffington Post, the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, the Young Turks, the FX Network’s"Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell" and more!
The most obscene incidents of gun violence usually do not make the mainstream news at all. Why? Because their definition is incorrect. The mainstream news meaning of “Mass Shooting” should more accurately be described as “Mass Murder”.
The official FBI definition of Mass Murder is four or more people murdered in one event. It is therefore only logical that a Mass Shooting is four or more people shot in one event.
Here at GrC, we count the number of people shot rather than the number people killed because, “shooting” means “people shot”.
For instance, in 2012 Travis Steed shot 18 people total on a spree. Miraculously, he only killed one. Under the incorrect definition of mass shooting, Travis would not be considered a mass shooter! Arguing that 18 people shot during a mass shooting is not a mass shooting is absurd.
The only requirement is that four or more people are shot in a spree, likely without a cooling off period. This may include the gunman himself (because they often suicide by cop or use a gun to kill themselves to escape punishment), or police shootings of civilians around the gunman. The reasoning behind the latter being that if the shooter is arrested, he will often be charged with injuring people the police actually shot, as that is a foreseeable result of a shooting spree.
The gun lobby benefits from our ability to save those who would otherwise die, even though those gun shot victims are still just as shot and will never be the same. The NRA evades the gigantic costs of gun injuries to society (and taxpayers) who often pay the costs for the medical care of the wounded. We refuse to ignore the victims of gun violence who survive mass shooting sprees, and we believe the media does a disservice to mass shooting victims by ignoring them unless they are killed.
Imagine this scenario:
[4 people are shot by a lone gunman who then kills himself. The victims are all alive at the moment.]
A reporter goes up to a victim who has been shot and asks “What’s happened here?” The victim replies “There has been a mass shooting, that gun owner just shot four of us.” The reporter replies “Sorry, that wasn’t a mass shooting.”
"But we still got shot. I’m bleeding from a bullet wound."
"But you didn’t die. Even if you did die, the others might live. The media really hasn’t properly labeled and tracked mass shootings, are we supposed to start with yours?"
"That would be nice. Where did you get your definition?"
"From a blogger who read the definition of mass murder from a 2005 report on the FBI website."
"Oh. Well did you read it too?"
"Well I did. Here is how they define mass murder, and not mass shootings:
>Generally, mass murder was described as a number of murders (four or more) occurring during the same incident, with no distinctive time period between the murders.
New Generally Accepted Definition:
>The general definition of spree murder is two or more murders committed by an offender or offenders, without a cooling-off period.
The victim continued, obviously angry and ranting at this point: “But they really didn’t settle on one. That definition explicitly uses the term mass murders not mass shootings, the FBI uses precise terminology because they deal with victims who have been shot, and they know not all of them are successfully murdered. They therefore would never say “this definition is supposed to be used for all mass shootings.”
"And the blogger, however well intentioned, didn’t want to track actual mass shootings. That’s a lot of work, and no one outside of the Violence Policy Center really tracks it, so he had nothing to draw upon if he wanted to to whip something up. He was stuck."
The reporter looked up from his Twitter account, “Look, the FBI created that definition so that they could ignore shootings like yours. We like it because we are just as lazy as them and don’t want to track them either. No one has ever publicly tracked actual mass shootings as they are properly defined. Why would you expect organized gun violence reporting? That’s not the media’s job. To be honest, your story is going under the fold in our local section. No one cares.”
"No one cares because they don’t realize how many mass shootings are occurring. Maybe they would if you did your job."
Wow. That’s a lot of well informed snark from a gun shot victim. Who do gun shot victims think they are, anyway? But you get the point.
Let’s summarize and keep it simple by giving an accurate and precise definition of a mass shooting:
A mass shooting is when four or more people are shot in a spree, likely without a cooling off period.
And guess what? Now we are giving you the tools to track it. So please report mass shootings accurately.
Alleged Navy Yard Shooter’s Troubled Past Forced Him Out Of The Navy, But Didn’t Stop Him From Buying Guns ⇒
If “a pattern of misconduct” was enough to end Aaron Alexis’ military career, what would it take to prohibit him from legally carrying a gun?
Details are still emerging about Aaron Alexis, the 34-year-old ex-Navy officer who allegedly killed 12 people on Monday at Washington’s Navy Yard. Records indicate that Alexis had been suffering from “a host of serious mental issues, including paranoia and a sleep disorder” and reported hearing “voices in his head.” He was involved in at least two incidents involving a gun and in January of 2011 received a discharge from the Navy.
But if “a pattern of misconduct” was enough to end Alexis’ military career, what would it take to prohibit him from legally carrying a gun?
A new study called “License To Kill” out today from the Center for American Progress tries to answer that question by examining how states regulate concealed carry permits. News reports indicate that Alexis received a concealed carry permit from Texas and purchased a shotgun in Virginia.
Federal law prohibits felons, domestic abusers, the mentally ill, and other broad categories of individuals from receiving concealed carry licenses. Many states ban additional categories of people — those who commit misdemeanors or have a demonstrated history of alcohol- or substance-abuse problems — from carrying guns, and two dozen states grant local officials varying degrees of discretion in denying concealed carry permits. In those jurisdictions, for instance, prior arrests and a history of violence could lead to a denial of application for a concealed carry permit. Arkansas, Montana, and Utah, the CAP report notes, could deny applications to individuals with “past patterns of behavior or participation in an incident involving unlawful violence” that would make it “reasonably likely” that they could pose risk to the community.
In 10 states, authorities can “look more deeply into whether the individual possesses the high level of moral character required to be entrusted with the responsibility of carrying and, in some states, whether they have a demonstrated need to carry a firearm.”
Texas, however, is a “shall-issue” state. The Texas Department of Public Safety must issue a concealed handgun license if the applicant meets certain qualifications. Texas does prohibit carrying for some misdemeanants convicted within 10 years, but is one of 21 states that don’t grant authorities discretion in granting permits.
Texas law also “requires the Governor of Texas to negotiate agreements with other states that issue concealed handgun licenses so that Texas may recognize such licenses.” Virginia, where Alexis may have purchased a weapon used in the shooting, has a written agreement with Texas, requiring the state to honor Texas’ licenses.
For years, the National Rifle Association has worked to establish national gun reciprocity, advocating for a new federal mandate that would override existing state laws and allow anyone with a concealed gun carry permit issued by one state to carry guns into any other state. In April, the measure received 57 votes in the Senate, one more than an amendment expanding background checks. Both fell short of the 60-vote threshold, however.
The District of Columbia has some of the toughest gun laws in the country, but it is a victim of lax gun laws elsewhere. A 2010 report from Mayors Against Illegal Guns, finds that 98.2 percent of all guns used for crime in the District come from states with weaker gun laws, including Virginia.
This post has been updated to reflect the latest news about the ongoing investigation.
Colorado Republican Reps. Mike Coffman, Cory Gardner, Doug Lamborn, and Scott Tipton support disaster relief for their state but voted against emergency aid for Superstorm Sandy victims.
As historic floods of “biblical” proportions continue to ravage Colorado, President Obama signed an emergency declaration on Sunday — a move that was encouraged by a bipartisan letter last week from the state’s nine-member Congressional delegation. But the four Republican Congressmen who are now supporting disaster relief for their own state were among those voting earlier this year against the emergency aid funding for Superstorm Sandy victims on the East Coast.
Colorado Republican Reps. Mike Coffman, Cory Gardner, Doug Lamborn, and Scott Tipton joined their delegation in asking the president to send emergency funds to help their constituents combat and recover from the more than 14 inches of rain that have flooded Colorado this month.
All four also signed onto a July 10, 2013 letter from the entire delegation to President Obama asking him for a federal major disaster declaration for summer wildfires. Their request noted that such a declaration would “provide urgently needed resources and support to the state, communities, and especially the families who have been uprooted by these wildfires.”
But back in January, a vote in the House of Representatives provided $50 billion in Sandy relief, yet among those voting against the bill were Coffman, Gardner, Lamborn, and Tipton. Their opposition stemmed, in part, because they we unable to steer some of the Sandy aid to their own state. Though he had himself sought disaster aid after damages from Colorado wildfires in June 2012, Lamborn even voted against a smaller $9 billion emergency Sandy relief bill 11 days earlier.
Not to be cynical about it, but I’m just not impressed with that new Chipotle ad.