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.

- - -

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.

Business News

Last Update on September 17, 2014 17:29 GMT

CONSUMER PRICES

WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. consumer prices edged down in August, the first monthly drop since the spring of 2013, as gasoline, airline tickets and clothing prices all fell. It was the latest evidence that inflation remains under control.

The Labor Department says consumer prices edged down 0.2 percent last month following a tiny 0.1 percent gain in July. It was the first decline since a similar 0.2 percent drop in April 2013. Core prices, which exclude energy and food, were unchanged in August, the first time there hasn't been an increase since October 2010.

Over the past 12 months, overall prices and core prices are both up a modest 1.7 percent. These gains are well within the 2 percent annual increase for inflation that the Federal Reserve considers optimal.

BUILDER SENTIMENT

US homebuilder confidence soars in September

U.S. homebuilders' confidence in the market for new, single-family homes surged this month to the highest level in nearly nine years.

The brighter outlook reflects growing optimism that sales will rise over the next six months, spurring growth in home construction.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index rose this month to 59, up four points from August. The index has risen four months in a row.

The latest reading is the highest since reaching 61 in November 2005, before the housing bubble burst.

Readings above 50 indicate more builders view sales conditions as good, rather than poor.

Builders' view of current sales conditions for single-family homes, their outlook for sales over the next six months and traffic by prospective buyers each increased in the latest survey.

CURRENT ACCOUNT

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. current account trade deficit narrowed slightly in the April-June quarter, reflecting gains in exports of oil and civilian aircraft and a bigger surplus in Americans' overseas investment earnings.

The Commerce Department says the deficit in the current account shrank to $98.5 billion in the second quarter, down 3.5 percent from the revised $102.1 billion deficit in the January-March period.

It was the smallest current account deficit since an imbalance of $87.3 billion in the final three months of last year. The lower deficit reflected a variety of factors including gains in U.S. exports and a larger surplus in earnings by Americans in their overseas investments.

The current account is the broadest measure of trade, covering not only the flow of goods and services but also investment flows.

EARNS-FEDEX

FedEx 1Q profit, sales top expectations; company to add 50,000 seasonal jobs

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- FedEx plans to hire more than 50,000 extra workers to handle another record year for holiday-season package deliveries.

That's up from last year, when FedEx announced it would hire 20,000 seasonal workers.

FedEx announced its hiring plans Wednesday on a conference call with investors.

Rival UPS says it will hire up to 95,000 seasonal workers. Both companies are benefiting from growth in online shopping.

FedEx Corp. says its net income in the fiscal first quarter is up 24 percent from a year ago, thanks partly to a strong performance by its ground division.

Its results beat analysts' estimates.

FedEx shares have risen nearly 8 percent since the beginning of the year and 41 percent in the last 12 months.

HOLIDAY HIRING-KOHL'S

NEW YORK (AP) -- Kohl's Corp. says it will hire more than 67,000 seasonal workers nationwide for the holiday shopping season, about a third more than last year's 50,000.

The department store operator expects to hire an average of 50 associates per store, up 25 percent from a year ago. Kohl's, based in Menomonee Falls, Wis., operates 1,163 stores in 49 states. It also expects to hire 9,300 people for jobs at its distribution centers and 670 people for seasonal positions in its credit operations.

A retailer's hiring plans can indicate its expectations for the holiday shopping season, which accounts for 20 percent of the retail industry's annual sales, according to the National Retail Federation.

FAMILY DOLLAR-DOLLAR GENERAL

MATTHEWS, N.C. (AP) -- Family Dollar is telling shareholders to reject an unsolicited, $9.1 billion takeover bid by its rival, Dollar General.

Family Dollar is currently trying to arrange a sale to another bargain chain, Dollar Tree.

After repeated rejections by Family Dollar Stores, Dollar General Corp. last week appealed directly to shareholders of Family Dollar Stores Inc., offering them the same price for their shares.

Family Dollar accepted an $8.5 billion buyout offer from Dollar Tree Inc. in July.

Shares of Family Dollar, based in Matthews, North Carolina, are trading close to all-time highs, as are shares of Dollar General, based in Goodlettsville, Tennessee.

PENTAGON CYBERATTACKS

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Senate investigators are blaming China for almost a dozen successful hacker break-ins of computer networks belonging to Pentagon contractors.

A yearlong investigation announced Wednesday by the Senate Armed Services Committee identified at least 50 intrusions since 2012 against unspecified contractors working for the U.S. Transportation Command, or Transcom. It said at least nine break-ins were highly sophisticated and blamed those on China's government.

Investigators said China's military was able to steal emails, documents, user accounts and computer codes. They said it compromised systems aboard a commercial ship contracted by Transcom for logistics routes, and hacked into an airline the U.S. military used.

The newly declassified Senate report says defense contractors have generally failed to report to the Pentagon hacker break-ins of their systems as required under their business agreements.

CHEMICAL SPILL-SETTLEMENT

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- A federal bankruptcy judge in West Virginia has approved a $2.9 million settlement to benefit 300,000 people whose water was contaminated in a January chemical spill.

Judge Ronald Pearson filed the order Tuesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Charleston. A U.S. District Court judge's approval is also needed.

The proposal relies on insurance proceeds from bankrupt Freedom Industries. The spill spurred a tap-water ban for days. Freedom filed for bankruptcy eight days later.

The settlement would let a yet-to-be-determined panel pick public interest projects to fund, potentially including long-term health monitoring or more water testing.

The company whose water supply was contaminated opposed the deal. West Virginia American Water said the settlement would keep thousands of creditors from recovering anything on bankruptcy claims.

The Charleston Gazette first reported the order.

MEIJER-RECALL PENALTY

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Midwest retailer Meijer (MY'-er) Inc. will pay $2 million to settle charges that the firm knowingly sold and distributed hundreds of recalled products.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission says Meijer distributed at least a dozen different recalled products -- from toys to vacuum cleaners -- through a system it operated with a third-party contractor. It's against the law to sell or distribute products that have been recalled.

Among the recalled goods: Fisher-Price toddler tricycles, high chairs by Graco Children's Products, Hoover vacuums and box fans by Lasko.

In agreeing to the settlement, Michigan-based Meijer neither acknowledges nor denies the CPSC charges.

advertisement
Washington Times
advertisement