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Peerie Maa
10-15-2012, 06:34 AM
A view of US gun politics and the US Election from outside


15 October 2012 Last updated at 02:58
Election silence over Trayvon Martin and America's guns
Related Stories

Viewpoint: America's gun control impasse (http://forum.woodenboat.com/news/magazine-18877454)



It has been one of the biggest stories in America this year, but the BBC's Raphael Rowe found there is one subject that neither candidate in this year's presidential election wants to talk about - guns.
The shooting death of black teenager Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman in a gated community in Florida in February led to a fierce debate about racial profiling, justice and the easy availability of guns.
It also raised questions not just about America's gun culture, but the lobby effort that led to the creation of the so-called "stand your ground" laws that we have come to learn so much about.
They are now in place in 24 states, with Florida being the first.
"It is the rare politician in America, even liberal politicians, who will vocally support increased gun control”

Quote Roger Simons Political columnist
The law expands on a centuries-old British legal principle that permits the use of deadly force in self-defence of your own home. It also grants immunity from arrest, detention and prosecution.
<snip>

Influence
The driving force behind the rollout of "stand your ground" bills in legislatures across America was an umbrella organisation called the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a conservative, pro-business group that receives funding from the NRA and is 98% funded by corporate and sponsor donations.
With a $7m budget (£4.4m) and more than 2,000 members or sponsors, the NRA took its model bill to ALEC to push upon state legislators.
The Trayvon Martin killing has caused critics to claim that ALEC has undue influence and question what they say is an unhealthy relationship between legislatures, the NRA and corporate America.
Lisa Graves, executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy, called ALEC a "corporate bill mill" and said large corporations - including large British-based multinationals such as BP, GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca - that give money to ALEC are helping to fund their lobbying efforts, regardless of whether or not they have any interest in being part of the pro-gun lobby.
"Their money helps support ALEC's overall operations, its propaganda machine and its efforts to get these bills pushed in state houses across the country."
In a statement, ALEC said it has disbanded its committee that pushed "stand your ground" laws out to legislators and has no current policies on the law.
Politicians 'afraid' Scott Maxwell, a columnist for the Orlando Sentinel newspaper who has covered the Trayvon Martin killing extensively, said the level of influence of groups such as ALEC is worrying.
"We're reached a point in this…country where legislators and congressmen aren't the ones writing their bills any more...the corporations or these think tanks are and that's a scary thought…in some regards democracy is increasingly in this country, for sale."
Despite other recent high profile gun crimes, including June's mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado during a screening of the new Batman film that left 12 dead, the wider issue of gun control, the reach of the gun lobby and the "stand your ground" laws are all seemingly off-limits in this election season.
While both President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney spoke out about a search for answers amid the media storm that followed the Trayvon Martin shooting - which took place in a key battleground state - the silence since has been notable.
Political columnist Roger Simons gave his take on the reasons why the two presidential candidates remain silent: "They're afraid, they are afraid to lose voters. It is the rare politician in America, even liberal politicians, who will vocally support increased gun control."
Panorama: Kill at Will? America on Trial is on BBC One, Monday, 15 October at 20:30 BST

Paul Pless
10-15-2012, 07:09 AM
More importantly, you know what neither candidate is touching, and its glaring in its absence?

Environmental issues. . .

skuthorp
10-15-2012, 07:10 AM
Waste of electronic space PM.

hanleyclifford
10-15-2012, 07:47 AM
Thanks for reminding us why we don't want to be British anymore.

Bob Adams
10-15-2012, 08:09 AM
Thanks for reminding us why we don't want to be British anymore.


+1.

Waddie
10-15-2012, 08:54 AM
Darn Americans hanging on to their rights. Why can't they be more British and just give up their rights to the government? Like the right to privacy, free speech and, dare I say it, the right to self defense. Britons are subjects, not citizens, and act like it.

regards,
Waddie

Iceboy
10-15-2012, 10:08 AM
+2 Nice to know that in the UK anyone can just walk into your house and commit a crime without being in peril from the homeowner.
Thanks for reminding us why we don't want to be British anymore.

Gerarddm
10-15-2012, 10:24 AM
Iceboy and other, what absolute nonsense. Jingoistic hoplophile twaddle.

I daresay England taken as a whole is more civilized than we are.

Clarkey
10-15-2012, 10:44 AM
Thanks for reminding us why we don't want to be British anymore.

Which part?

BrianW
10-15-2012, 12:24 PM
Eh... one guy thought he was a cop, the other thought he was a gangster.

Guess it's better to pretend you're a cop.

Next issue....

Waddie
10-15-2012, 12:32 PM
Iceboy and other, what absolute nonsense. Jingoistic hoplophile twaddle.

I daresay England taken as a whole is more civilized than we are.

How would indigenous people all over the globe respond to your assertion that the British are highly civilized? Let's ask the Kenyans who were tortured and starved, or maybe various ethnic groups in India how they feel about your comment. Yeah, the British are noted for their great treatment of native people, just ask the Aborigines of Australia. Maybe that's why they are all interested in bringing lawsuits over their treatment at the hands of the British, you know, those highly civilized people. Or press gangs, or the Irish famine........

regards,
Waddie

hanleyclifford
10-15-2012, 12:36 PM
Iceboy and other, what absolute nonsense. Jingoistic hoplophile twaddle.

I daresay England taken as a whole is more civilized than we are. Don't let the door whack your backside...you, your bowl, and Diogenes to boot!

Jim Bow
10-15-2012, 12:51 PM
I recently waded through the crowds of curbside drinking loud pub crawlers while walking from the South Kensington tube station back to my hotel.
Had it been the sane scenario at home in Seattle, I would have gone blocks out of my way to avoid the crowds.

BTW: Thank you for "Jingoistic hoplophile twaddle".

Peerie Maa
10-15-2012, 01:20 PM
I recently waded through the crowds of curbside drinking loud pub crawlers while walking from the South Kensington tube station back to my hotel.
Had it been the sane scenario at home in Seattle, I would have gone blocks out of my way to avoid the crowds.

BTW: Thank you for "Jingoistic hoplophile twaddle".

Business or holiday? I hope that you did enjoy your visit, which ever bought you to London.

Clarkey
10-15-2012, 01:31 PM
How would indigenous people all over the globe respond to your assertion that the British are highly civilized? Let's ask the Kenyans who were tortured and starved, or maybe various ethnic groups in India how they feel about your comment. Yeah, the British are noted for their great treatment of native people, just ask the Aborigines of Australia. Maybe that's why they are all interested in bringing lawsuits over their treatment at the hands of the British, you know, those highly civilized people. Or press gangs, or the Irish famine........

regards,
Waddie

What is that story about casting the first stone?

Iceboy
10-15-2012, 01:35 PM
Hilarious.
Eh... one guy thought he was a cop, the other thought he was a gangster.

Guess it's better to pretend you're a cop.

Next issue....

Iceboy
10-15-2012, 01:39 PM
If your idea of being civilized is to have every aspect of your life under government scrutiny, cameras at every corner, permission needed to own anything but a butter knife under 3 inches long I'll remain an unwashed barbarian thank you very much.
Iceboy and other, what absolute nonsense. Jingoistic hoplophile twaddle.

I daresay England taken as a whole is more civilized than we are.

gilberj
10-15-2012, 03:09 PM
The gun question is one issue. We have been all over it here on the forum a number of times.
I think the main point perhaps of the OP is that the biggest worry is the hijacking of democracy be special interest groups lobbys and think tanks with substantial corporate backing. It is worrying when our political leaders are afraid to speak to issues like this. This is happening in all our countries, not just the USA.

Peerie Maa
10-15-2012, 03:35 PM
Waste of electronic space PM.
Two out of twenty posts shows you are wrong :D

Oh . . . wait a minute . . . :(