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The NRA slogans just don't work anymore

Updated: Thursday, September 26, 2013
The NRA slogans just don
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – It has been a violent two weeks in Michigan, with several deadly shootings across the state.

In this installment of Tom’s Corner, Tom Van Howe says the slogans from the National Rifle Association just don’t work anymore.

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A good friend of mine is touring Croatia right now. A week or so ago, when he told our golf group where he was headed, one of them said;

“Whoa, aren’t you going to be a little worried about your personal safety?”

Croatia does have a history of civil war and some terrorism.

The fourth guy laughed and said, “Just imagine what it would be like to be a Croatian embarking on a visit here; that would make you worry about your own safety.”

I’ve been dwelling on that conversation ever since. The fourth guy was right on target. Despite its history, there is little to no violent crime in Croatia, murder is rare.

If you are a Croatian visiting the United States and you do a little research, you’ll quickly learn that about 37 percent of American households have weapons and those gun owners own two-thirds of all the weapons that exist in the world today.

You’ll learn that the number of gun owners is down by 25 percent over the past 40 years, but the number of guns owned by that group is up astronomically.

You’ll learn that American police officers own a total of roughly 900,000 guns, that civilians own roughly 300 million.

That there were 33,000 murders in the United States two years ago, about the same last year and that the vast majority of them were committed with guns.

Two weeks ago, after a dozen more people were shot dead at the Washington Navy Yard by a 34-year-old man with a security clearance who heard voices in his head.

Wayne La Pierre, the head of the NRA, once again trotted out his worn-out slogan that “the only thing to stop a bad man with a gun is a good man with a gun.”

At odds with virtually every chief of police in every city in the country, La Pierre continues the drumbeat for his view that more guns is better, that if we all carried we’d all be better off because the good guys will win, and I’m tired of it.

This stream of bird seed from him and others like him is simply making us numb to the reality of violence that is all around us.

Saginaw, two nights ago, triple shooting. Two are dead.

Muskegon, over the weekend, three dead, another wounded at the Elks Charity Lodge. There a dying teenage girl asks police to tell her mother and her sister that she loves them.

Kalamazoo, over the weekend, two people shot and hundreds flee a party at the Phi Beta Sigma fraternity house at Western Michigan University.

Lansing, eight days ago, four young people shot and wounded at Sexton High School.

Ludington, two weeks ago, MSP trooper Paul Butterfield pulls over a truck and is shot in the head by the idiot behind the wheel.

Detroit, over the past month, too many shootings and deaths to talk about here, both children and adults are victimized, at least 30 in all.

A couple of weeks ago, Detroit and Flint are named the two most dangerous cities in the nation, guns and death all over the place.

It’s gotten to the point that when I read those stories in the paper or hear them on TV, I zone out. It’s the result, I think, of a helpless feeling that with all the power and wealth of the NRA and the fear they engender in our lawmakers, nothing is ever going to change, that we’re simply stuck with the brutality and violence the status-quo has to offer.

Last week, as the apparent result of a road-rage incident, two men, both described by others as “good guys” shot it out at a car wash in Ionia. Both carried concealed weapons permits, one of them is believed to have owned up to a hundred guns.

Both of them are dead and I’m wondering if Wayne La Pierre could help us out and tell us, which one was the good guy? Does it make a difference, or is this what happens when too many good guys, who live their lives in fear, carry guns for protection against other fearful good guys who carry guns for protection?

This is madness.

In this corner, I’m Tom Van Howe.

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Some 16,000 truckers haul cargo, and the strike isn't expected to shut down all business at the ports.

The drivers are contractors for the trucking companies, but they're fighting to become company employees, saying it would mean better wages and workplace protections.

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Most economists say a still-subpar economy and low inflation will keep interest rates at record lows at least until September.

On Wednesday, the Fed could clarify its plans after ending its latest policy meeting. But analysts caution against expecting any specific guidance on the Fed's timetable for a rate hike.

Too many uncertainties still surround the U.S. economy and Fed's policymakers may want to leave themselves maneuvering room until their view of the economy's health becomes clearer.

For 6 1/2 years, the Federal Reserve has held its key interest rate near zero.

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Fitch downgrades Japan citing economic concerns

(UNDATED) -- Fitch Ratings is lowering Japan's credit rating as the country wrestles with staggering debt.

Fitch says the government did not include sufficient measures in its budget to replace a deferred tax increase this fiscal year, which ends next March.

Japan's debt is the largest among developed nations and more than twice the size of the economy.

The ratings agency downgraded Japan's long-term foreign and local currency issuer default ratings to "A" from "A+." It also lowered its senior unsecured foreign and local currency bonds ratings to "A" from "A+."

Fitch says that though Japan cut corporate tax rates in the current fiscal year, it wants to cut them again in the next year. It says those factors increased the ratings agency's uncertainty over Japan's political commitment to consolidation.

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NEW YORK (AP) -- Chipotle says it has completed phasing out genetically modified ingredients from its food.

The Denver-based chain had already been using mostly non-GMO ingredients, but said in late 2013 it was working on transitioning to a tortilla that did not use them.

Most of the country's corn and soybean crop is genetically modified to have certain traits like resistance to plant diseases.

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The Mount Laurel, New Jersey-based bank said today it had earnings of 15 cents per share.

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After months of complaints from customers, Discover Financial Services announced today that it has reached an agreement with Apple Inc. that will let its cardholders make payments in participating stores through Apple Pay by using an iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus or Apple Watch.

With Apple Pay, credit card numbers are not stored on the device or on Apple servers. A unique device account number is assigned and each transaction is authorized with a one-time unique security code.

Discover customers will also be able to use Apple Pay with iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 when paying for goods and services within apps starting in the fall.

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