New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg says he hears that President Obama will make a major speech on guns. Mayor Bloomberg welcomes that, telling us that a solution for gun safety must come from the federal level:
This country has got to stop all this carnage. Our kids are getting killed. Our cops are getting killed. Innocent people just walking down the street are getting killed.
You know, we brought crime down in New York so low that it is dramatically safer than almost any other big city in the country.
On the other hand, we can't stop the guns that get brought across the border from other states. That's up to the federal government. In fact, Route 95, which goes from here down through Pennsylvania all the way straight down the coastline, is called the Iron Pipeline because of all of these guns. People go buy them in a store, put them in the trunk of their car, and just drive up.
Twitter pal Jim Law asks, "What's a decent interval after a funeral?"
Whatever that interval is, we're apparently there. Today's report in the Arizona Republic lays out the facts -- that Republicans have a super-majority now in the state House and Legislature, that Republican Governor Jan Brewer won't say what she'll do with the bills unless they reach her desk. The proposed laws would allow for the carrying of guns into many public places, like government buildings and college campuses, in the name of making everyone safer. If you wanted to be exempt from that, you'd have to post a sign and provide a firearms locker. And if you wanted bring a gun in and felt you were wrongly prevented from doing so, you'd be able to sue.
Today's report spends about 12 words, by a generous count, of the shootings in Tucson that killed six people and wounded several others, including Rep. Gabriel Giffords. Twelve words in one sentence -- "Lawmakers from many other states are pushing weapons laws -- some in reaction to acts of violence like the shooting near Tucson, and some because of the more-conservative makeup of their legislatures following the November election."
The administration of New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg says it's plenty easy to buy a guy in Arizona as it is. Mayor Bloomberg sent people undercover to the Crossroads of the West Gun Show in Phoenix, on January 23. The Times runs a transcript of one encounter:
Investigator: "So, you're not one of those, you know, dealer guys, right?"
Seller: "No. No tax, no form, you don't have to do transfers or nothing."
Investigator: "Yeah, yeah."
Seller: "Just see an Arizona ID and that's it with me."
Investigator: "So no background check?"
Investigator: "That's good, because I probably couldn't pass one, you know what I mean?"
Gun sold, for $500.
If you want to know what democracy looks like, check out New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's argument for why a mosque and Islamic community center should be allowed to build near Ground Zero.
And if you want to know what hypocrisy looks like, check out today's fundraising appeal from the American Center for Law & Justice, "Not on Our Watch: No to Islamic Mosque at Ground Zero." As Right Wing Watch points out, the far-right ACLJ is now leading the fight for and against limits on religious freedom.
Apparently ACLJ has also had with it the democratic process. The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, whose members are appointed to three-year terms by the elected mayor, voted 9-0 yesterday to let the project go forward.
ACLJ writes, "New York's Landmarks Preservation Commission has failed the people of New York, our 9/11 heroes, and concerned citizens of America by UNANIMOUSLY denying landmark status to the proposed site." And then the good part: "Generously support the ACLJ as we file a court challenge to stop this mosque from ever being built on this hallowed site."
The group makes quite an issue over local planning ordinances in general, and especially where they concern conservative Christian groups. ACLJ devotes a section of its website to Land Use & Zoning -- the list of recent news there includes updates on the Manhattan mosque proposal as well as stories about displaying the Ten Commandments. "The law is clear: First Amendment freedoms must be protected," ACLJ writes. Except when it involves a religion you don't like or an issue you can raise money on.