Tag Archive: Arizona

New Republic wants the full “ghastly” video of 9-year-old NJ girl’s Uzi shot killing her gun coach


39 year old Army Reserve veteran with a year and a half experience working as a gun instructor at Last Stop and their Burgers and Bullets

Bullets and Burgers, where according to its website, you can go on an Extreme Sniper Adventure or have a Bachelorette Party while chomping on meatburgers, is now closed and may be out of business. But before its instructor got his head blown off by a little girl with an Uzi, the tourist trade made it the top attraction in the Vegas area (it’s just over the border in gun-totin’ Arizona). Eight years old is the minimum to get your Rambo on, which seems to be “industry standard”. The Roberts family of South Jersey, whose 9-year-old competitive shooter daughter Shyanne testified against lowering NJ’s gun magazine limit, says they blame the instructor, not the kid (who has still not been identified).

Mohave County Sheriff Jim McCabe, whose office released the video, said the full version of the incident was “ghastly.”

Words Have Consequences

With the tragic mass murder in Arizona we have to ask the question, was this expected? The only answer can be that yes, it was.

Right wing politicians and pundits have created an atmosphere of hate and intolerance through their words and actions over the last few election cycles and now their words may have become manifest.

With Sarah Palin using a map with rifle scope targets to indicate areas where elections must be “Won at any cost” and using terms like “Don’t Retreat, Reload!” With radio personalities like Rush Limbaugh calling for violent resistance and candidates like Sharon Angle claiming that if the elections don’t swing in the direction of their candidates, that they would be forced to “explore 2nd amendment solutions.”

We watched a campaign cycle following Barack Obama’s election in which many right wing organizations and individuals promoted propaganda and statements that denigrated both him and those who voted for him. They used terms like “Traitor” and “Socialist” or “Nazi” in order to make the impression that they were somehow dangerous to or the enemies of America. At hundreds of rallies and town hall events across the country, people used racially charged images and words to build hatred and anger. They suggested that the violent overthrow of the standing government was somehow a patriotic concept being necessary if the upcoming elections didn’t go in their favor.

Even in New Jersey, the level of anger and vitriol created by Chris Christie can be viewed as beyond civil. Using the bully pulpit to target civil service employees and teachers, berating and belittling people who disagree with him. Having people physically escorted to the stage to be glowered over and then physically removed from events when they have questioned his ideas and actions. This behavior  promotes a perception that those on the other side are somehow insubstantial and less than deserving of respect and their right to be heard.

Listening to the callers into NJ 101.5 seething and raging about state workers and educators or the veiled suggestions by the on air personalities that the state would be better off if they were “Gone”.  All of this has contributed to a level of barely controlled fury that only needs a small spark to become wholesale violence.

Many public workers described a level of fear and uncertainty about their safety following the onset of Chris Christie’s attacks and accusations. As he used terms like “Drug Pushers” to describe teachers and put the pains of New Jersey tax payers squarely on the shoulders of the public sector, how could he not see that he was dividing the people and creating two camps in a war? Listening to the words of his followers on NJ 101.5 defined the atmosphere with a disturbing clarity. He admitted that he was a listener and can’t claim he wasn’t aware of the impact his words were having. Quite the opposite, he relished and nurtured the situation with every town hall gathering and press conference.

There is a message to be discerned in the acts of those like Sarah Palin in the hours following the shootings in Arizona when she started having her images and remarks “Targeting” politicians on the Left with rifle scope icons and violent words scrubbed from her press releases and websites.

It may turn out that the Arizona gunman doesn’t align himself with any political ideology, but that doesn’t matter in regards to the hatred and anger that has become so central in the political discourse of the Right.

This has become our political reality. For the hard Right, it isn’t about who’s right or wrong anymore but rather about who can incubate the anger and hatred to swing the argument in their favor or scare the other side away from the polls.

We have to demand better from our representatives and refute the hatred that is being used to promote campaigns and ideologies.  

Tea Party 2nd Amendment Solutions?

Arizona Democratic Congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords, was shot at a

constituents town hall meeting,

Arizona Congresswoman Among 12 Shot at Tucson Grocery

She was shot at during her campaign against a Tea Party Candidate in 2010 and

received multiple death threats from rightwing extremists.

It seems that one of these threats has been taken to a horrible end with this

mass shooting.

It should be noted that there were many referrals by Tea Party activists and a

candidate or two about taking "Second Amendment Solutions" to deal with any

democrats that might win the seats they were running for.


Denouncing Racial Profiling

Promoted by Jason Springer

UPDATE: you can view the text of the resolution here

Like many elected officials throughout the country, I was shocked and appalled by the recent immigration legislation passed in  Arizona legalizing racial profiling and eroding civil rights.  Immigration is a federal issue that needs to be tackled by Congress – not by local governments and the states.  We need a uniformed policy tackling an array of issues arising out of the problem on the Mexican-American border, not piecemeal attempts by the states to regulate a federal issue.  

In Haledon we have a strong Latino population that has been making strong contributions to our community.  Councilman Reynaldo Martinez – the first Dominican American elected to the Haledon Council – is one example.  In his 4 years on the Council he has been a strong voice in balancing our budget, improving our quality of life, and bringing more people into the democratic process.  We need to encourage more participation by the Latino American community – not dissuade it like the Arizona law will surely do.  

That is why I am proud to announce the resolution passed last night by the Haledon Council denouncing Arizona’s actions.  I see first hand everyday the impact the Latino population has in Haledon: a commitment to family values, a hard work ethic, and an investment in making our borough a better place to live. As Dr. Martin Luther King stated in his Letter from Birmingham Jail: “an injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”  We need to make our voices heard against this injustice.    

By empowering local law enforcement officials to demand a citizen produce documentation of citizenship, we are fueling an already explosive issue. It is obvious we officials will be targeting in Arizona, and I agree with Assemblywoman Nellie Pou in her assessment of this law: it is Un-American.  It chips at our civil rights and instills a fear into immigrants legally in our country of being harassed and detained by law enforcement.  

So please, sign our petition against this Arizona legislation.  We need to let local and state officials all over the nation know that we will not stand idly by and let the civil rights of any ethic group be eroded.

Alpha Phi Alpha boycotts Arizona

This week, the Phoenix Suns responded to their home state’s harsh new immigration law by playing basketball wearing jerseys reading: Los Suns.

Bravo. But we also got word of protest closer to home. Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity – with more than 3,000 members in New Jersey – is boycotting, pulling their annual convention from Phoenix and giving their business to Las Vegas. This is the oldest collegiate African American fraternity in the country, and counts among NJ members Ron C. Rice, who stands for re-election Tuesday as Newark West Ward Councilman, Princeton’s Cornel West, and Randall Pinkett. Also Alphas: Martin Luther King, Jr. and Thurgood Marshall.  Here’s the  Alpha president:

Our late Alpha brother the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, in a letter he wrote while sitting in the Birmingham Jail, ‘injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ Alpha Phi Alpha’s decision to boycott Arizona continues that same fight, fought during the Civil Rights era. We will not only speak with our voices and our feet, we will speak with our economic clout; and we will not spend our money in Arizona and urge other organizations and people who believe in equality under the law, to do the same.

This year’s convention includes a special Summit on the African-American Male, and is expected to draw up to 10,000 participants, revenue Arizona’s now going to lose.

And here’s a thing: if Alpha Phi Alpha keeps the same convention date for Las Vegas as they had in Phoenix, that puts them in Vegas the same time as Netroots Nation. And that’s going to make Las Vegas one hot, hot, hot town in July.