Tuesday, October 17, 2006

John Kerry Healey

From today's Boston Globe:

Healey gets gun owners group's backing

Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey, who has touted crime fighting in her run for governor, has been endorsed by the state's top gun owners group after she scored 95 percent on a questionnaire that asks candidates if they agree with the organization's agenda to weaken state gun-control laws.

Note the choice of verb, "weaken". I'd have gone with "reform" or "overhaul, in the furtherance of personal choice and liberty", but that's just me.

Healey, the Republican nominee for governor, refused a Globe request for her answers to the questions by the Gun Owners Action League. The group, which also refused to release her answers, said its rating shows Healey "expressed strong support for gun rights."

Oh, really? We'll see about that.

The league's questionnaire asks candidates if they support or oppose creating a system for ballistic fingerprinting, easing restrictions on granting firearm licenses to those with police records, and curbing the power of local police chiefs to deny permits to carry guns.

As far as issuing gun permits for people with police records goes, you'll note the Globe didn't get into any detail on that one. What they left out was that their definition of "police records" includes drunk driving arrests from 40-plus years ago in some cases. But, heaven forbid the Globe accurately report on the issue. Why, there are evil, scary guns involved here! We must protect the children at all costs!

The editors at the Globe would be quite happy to leave you all with the impression that Kerry Healey wants to hand out guns to convicted murderers, rapists, and drug dealers. Truth and accuracy be damned! There's an agenda to push here.

One of the questions, asking whether any gun should be banned, relates to whether there should be a ban on assault weapons and high-powered handguns that fire rounds police say can pierce bulletproof vests worn by officers.

Because people who shoot at police officers are going to change their ways once they see that gun ban go into effect - in much the same way our drug laws succeeded in bringing about a swift and decisive end to cocaine and heroin abuse throughout the Commonwealth.

Also, I don't claim to have a complete and thorough understanding of Massachusetts General Law, but I'm pretty sure we've got something on the books already that makes it illegal to shoot a police officer, regardless of whether or not the shooter is also a police officer.

Healey's campaign insisted that she supports the state's current gun-control laws, including the ban on assault weapons.

So, apparently, she supports Chief Crowley's right to deny a resident of Quincy the right to self-defense over a lost rental video.

Or Chief O'Leary's right to deny a U.S. Army second lieutenant and future military doctor, living in Brookline, the right to own a gun, based on the allegation that he had loud neighbors.

Yet, she managed to score a 95 percent???

"Responsible gun owners have rights and deserve legal protections under the law," said press aide Laura Nicoll. "Massachusetts has appropriate laws in place to protect public safety without infringing on the legal rights of gun owners."

How about the rights of non-gun owners, those folks who would like to own a gun to protect their families, but can't because Mayor Menino has taken it upon himself to deprive them of that right?

You support a system that has made it impossible for many law-abiding citizens in Massachusetts [read: low-income, people of color] to become gun owners, while at the same time talking about protecting the rights of gun owners.

What's wrong with that picture?

An Oct. 7 letter from Healey, posted on the league's website, focuses on the interests of sportsmen, not on crime. "I come from a hunting and fishing family, and, as governor, I will remain committed to maintaining that tradition and protecting the interests of sportsmen," she wrote.

Who's writing her material here? John "Shotgun" Kerry?

And, this bullshit was good enough to score 95 percent???

Methinks GOAL needs to revamp their grading curve.

The rest of the article gets really deep into "Too Stupid to Fisk" territory, but that's never stopped me before.

Paul Birks -- vice president of the International Brotherhood of Police Officers which has endorsed Democrat Deval Patrick [$$$ cha-ching $$$ - ed.] -- said his Boston-based, nationwide union respects the right of gun ownership, but said there are "common-sense limits."

Further irrefutable proof that one man's "common sense" is another man's "go fuck yourself". See links above.

But, the clear-cut winner is...

"Sportsmen don't hunt game with assault rifles that spray-fire armor-piercing bullets," Birks said. "It's that simple."

And, that ridiculous piece of hyperbole-laden rhetoric has as much less relevance in this discussion than the color of my underwear.

It's that simple.

I don't know how any law enforcement officer could support a candidate who, like Kerry Healey, accepts the endorsement of a gun group that doesn't recognize the need for some common-sense limits."

Requiring a responsible, law-abiding husband and father of two to shell out upwards of $900 for permission to own a gun is a "common-sense limit". Now, let's ask the Patrick camp how they feel about requiring someone to show a photo ID in order to vote in an election. Why that's a gross violation of a person's constitutional rights!!!

How about a $100 state blogging license?

Or a law limiting public protests to one-a-month?

Come on, people, we're just talking "common-sense limits" here.

This gas bag Birks needs to spend a little more time talking to the men and women whose interests he claims to be representing.

A criminologist said the group's agenda would deny law enforcement the tools to battle crime and put too many dangerous guns on the street.

As opposed to the Deval Patrick plan of putting more dangerous criminals on the street. A gun is only as dangerous as the individual holding it. It's that simple. Lock up the criminals, crime goes down. Though, that's not nearly as "compassionate" an approach as disarming the non-criminals.

[Jack Levin, a Northeastern University professor of criminology and director of the school's Brudnick Center on Conflict and Violence] said that gun control, particularly relating to handguns [until the next category of guns to be targeted is announced - ed], is a central piece in the battle against crime.

Because, it isn't already illegal for crimials to carry guns and use them in the commission of violent crimes.[/rolleyes]

"Notwithstanding the recent rise in gun-related homicides locally, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts continues to have a relatively low rate of murder, thanks in part to the fact that so few residents own or carry firearms," Levin said in an e-mail.

Do these people actually listen to what comes out of their mouths?

Compare the rate of legal gun ownership in Boston to that of any town in western Massachusetts that has, as Mr. Levin so astutely notes, a "relatively low rate of murder", and tell me what you find.

Then, compare the rate of gun-related crime to the level of local restrictions on gun ownership, and the prevalence of narcotics trafficking and use in the community.

There are many communities in Massachusetts that enjoy a very low rate of violent crime, while at the same time, recognizing the right of the people to own and carry guns for their personal protection.

If Mr. Levin's assertion was based in anything remotely resembling reality, the violent crime rates of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont would all be significantly higher that ours here in the People's Progressive Republic of Massachusetts.

Fewer criminals = less crime.

Am I going to fast for you?

Mr. Levin's statement also explains quite nicely how the rate of violent crime in England has dropped as precipitously as it has, since handguns were banned a few years back.

Oh, wait..no it hasn't.

Anyway, enough of that dead horse abuse for now.

Here's my questionnaire for Ms. Healey and Mr. Patrick.

1. Do the people of Massachusetts have the right to protect themselves and their families from harm?

(a) Yes
(b) No

It's that simple.