Bill Kristol Breaks with the Republican Party on Guns, Says People Do Not Have a Right to Assault Rifles

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James Holmes was armed with an AR-15 semiautomatic assault weapon. He’d added a 100 bullet drum, which was theoretically capable of killing 50 or 60 people a minute. Police say the gun jammed, however, so Holmes switched to another gun that was less effective. Even so, he killed or wounded 70 people.

He also had a shotgun and two Glock handguns with him.

“All weapons he possessed, he possessed legally. All clips he possessed, he possessed legally. All ammunition he possessed, he possessed legally,” Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates said last week.

Does the right to own assault weapons supersede the rights of Americans not to be mowed down in movie theaters? It does, according to the NRA, the entire Republican Party and some Democrats. For them, the right to bear arms trumps even the unalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

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Group That Promotes ‘Stand Your Ground’ Laws Reportedly Funded by Microsoft, Amazon, Dell, AT&T, Dozens More

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It has rightly become the subject of outrage nationwide that George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer in Sanford, Fla., was not arrested last month after he allegedly stalked and killed a teenager, Trayvon Martin, whom Zimmerman apparently believed to be a neighborhood prowler.

Zimmerman is free because of a “Stand Your Ground” law in Florida that grants anyone who feels threatened with the right to hurt or kill anyone whom they perceive to be dangerous, regardless of whether the purportedly threatening person is armed. Trayvon Martin, for example, was carrying a package of Skittles and an iced tea.

USA Today reports that “Stand Your Ground” laws have been passed in 21 states:

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Why Are Gun Rights Groups Putting Guns Ahead of Children?

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With the shooting attacks on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona, as well as on law enforcement officers in Indiana, Florida, and Michigan, it’s hard to argue that one of America’s most pressing problems is not enough access to guns. Yet a proposed law in Florida would do just that, with a cruel bonus: it puts children at special risk of taking a bullet.

State Rep. Jason Brodeur (R-Sanford) is behind a bill that would make it a felony for a pediatrician to ask parents if there are guns in the house, and if so, how they are secured. If the doctor is found guilty of asking these questions, the penalty would be a $5 million fine and up to five years in prison.

Surely we have lost our minds.

A proposed Florida law would make it a felony punishable by a five-year prison sentence and a $5 million fine for pediatricians to ask parents if they lock up their guns

In a one-week period in my part of the state, close enough geographically for both stories to be reported by the same local news outlets, two children found guns that the adults who were responsible for them failed to secure. The first incident resulted in a 6-year-old girl shot in the chest.

According to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, when officers first questioned Donnell Burney in the emergency room, he told them he was in front of the house when he heard the gunshot and saw his daughter outside the house holding her side.

According to the arrest report, Burney later told homicide investigators he was cleaning his handgun in the kitchen and left it on the counter when he went to another room.

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Palin Issues ‘Sincere Condolences’ on Facebook After Rep on Her ‘Target’ List Was Shot in Head, Scrubs Website

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Sarah Palin reacted to the passage of the health-care reform last year by issuing a Unites States map showing districts of 20 Democratic House members who’d voted for the law and who she was targeting for defeat in the midterm elections last November. On the map, the targeted districts were indicated by icons that resembled gun sights — crosshairs.

In announcing her campaign to unseat these 20 Dems, she created a little controversy by using violent rhetoric. “Don’t Retreat,” Palin urged her followers. “Instead — RELOAD!”

One of those crosshairs was on the district of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, the Democrat from Tucson, Ariz., who was shot through the head at an event in her district today.

Six people were killed, including a nine-year-old girl, a Giffords staffer and U.S. District Judge John Roll. Twelve people, including Giffords, were wounded.

The alleged shooter Jared Loughner, 22, has been arrested. As of late this afternoon, Giffords was recovering from emergency surgery.

Soon after Rep. Giffords was shot, Palin’s people issued a statement on Facebook. Via Glynnis MacNicol at Business Insider’s The Wire:

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