(TPM) A 7-year-old California boy was injured in the chest Saturday while target shooting at a homemade range, Sacramento TV station KCRA reported.

Deputies told KCRA that the boy was shooting at targets with his father on family property while other family members stood behind them and watched. The boy was firing a single-shot .22-caliber bolt action youth rifle with his father’s help, according to a release from the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department.

At one point, the boy grabbed his chest in pain, deputies told KCRA. The father then noticed that his son’s T-shirt had a small hole in it and his son was bleeding from his chest.

What’s interesting here is that everyone did everything right. According to the original KCRA report, “The targets were about 40 yards away” and “Despite the fact that no one noticed any ricochets and the guns were always pointed down-range, the 7-year-old at one point grabbed his chest and complained of pain, deputies said.”

So, despite what the blood lobby tells you, you can take every precaution and still be injured or possibly killed by a firearm. The idea that using firearms can be 100% safe is not true at all. It involves risk. And every time you’re exposed to a firearm, you’re exposed to that risk.

This is why studies that show that gun owners and their families are at increased risk of firearm injury or death should be met with “Well duh!” — because math. There may be a lot of reasons why you’d want to take that risk, but the protection of yourself and your family is one of the worst and most illogical. It’s like using smoking to ward off mosquitoes as a way to avoid disease — your risk of cancer increases, while your risk of contracting West Nile was never statistically significant in the first place.

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You can stop pretending that guns protect women now.

New York Times:

Early last year, after a series of frightening encounters with her former husband, Stephanie Holten went to court in Spokane, Wash., to obtain a temporary order for protection.

Her former husband, Corey Holten, threatened to put a gun in her mouth and pull the trigger, she wrote in her petition. He also said he would “put a cap” in her if her new boyfriend “gets near my kids.” In neat block letters she wrote, “ He owns guns, I am scared.”

The judge’s order prohibited Mr. Holten from going within two blocks of his former wife’s home and imposed a number of other restrictions. What it did not require him to do was surrender his guns.

About 12 hours after he was served with the order, Mr. Holten was lying in wait when his former wife returned home from a date with their two children in tow. Armed with a small semiautomatic rifle bought several months before, he stepped out of his car and thrust the muzzle into her chest. He directed her inside the house, yelling that he was going to kill her.

What saved Holten was not another gun, but a phone. She dial 911, then hid the phone. “The dispatcher heard Ms. Holten begging for her life and quickly directed officers to the scene,” the report tells us.

“For all its rage and terror, the episode might well have been prevented,” NYT goes on. “Had Mr. Holten lived in one of a handful of states, the protection order would have forced him to relinquish his firearms. But that is not the case in Washington and most of the country, in large part because of the influence of the National Rifle Association and its allies.”

I know that the insane and the NRA (I realize I’m being redundant) would argue that Stephanie Holten would’ve been better off had she been armed too. But exchanging gunfire with a lunatic does not guarantee success. And since her kids were present, tragedy would be all that more likely. Gun fanatics live in a fantasy world, informed by action movies, where the “good guy” always comes out on top. But in the real world, criminals aren’t automatically incompetent. Justice is a human construct, not a law of physics. In a gun v. gun confrontation, either party can lose. This is why people with guns are more likely to be shot — if I’m a criminal and someone pulls a gun on me, they’re my primary target. And of course, belief in the “good guys always win” theory promoted by the NRA causes people to take stupid risks.

The fact is that there are people who should not have guns. More guns is not the answer here, fewer guns obviously are. There are situations — and this is one — where meeting the NRA’s definition of “pro-gun” is in reality just pro-crime. Cory Holton is obviously scum. He can live without his guns.

And his ex-wife and kids would stand a better chance of living as well. A woman’s chance of being killed by an abuser increases by 700% if he has access to a firearm. That’s just a fact. And it’s a fact the NRA doesn’t want you to know, because they want to be able to sell guns and ammo to criminals like Stephanie Holton’s stalking, abusive ex-husband.

(Huffington Post) The writer of a much-maligned New York Times article about Michael Brown admitted on Monday that he had made a mistake when he described the slain teenager as “no angel.”

Those two words that John Eligon chose, along with a series of of descriptions about Brown’s “dabbling” with drugs, alcohol and rap music, set off a scorching round of criticism for the way the paper had characterized Brown. The Times dug an even deeper hole for itself by writing a concurrent article about Darren Wilson, the man who killed Brown, in which Wilson was described as a “well-mannered, relatively soft-spoken, even bland person.” Many said that the contrast seemed to fit a pattern in which black victims of crime are maligned in the media.

The small city of Jennings, Mo., had a police department so troubled, and with so much tension between white officers and black residents, that the city council finally decided to disband it. Everyone in the Jennings police department was fired. New officers were brought in to create a credible department from scratch.

That was three years ago. One of the officers who worked in that department, and lost his job along with everyone else, was a young man named Darren Wilson.

The real insurance cancellation scandal is over. Obamacare fixed it.

Los Angeles Times, 2007: One of the state’s largest health insurers set goals and paid bonuses based in part on how many individual policyholders were dropped and how much money was saved.

Woodland Hills-based Health Net Inc. avoided paying $35.5 million in medical expenses by rescinding about 1,600 policies between 2000 and 2006. During that period, it paid its senior analyst in charge of cancellations more than $20,000 in bonuses based in part on her meeting or exceeding annual targets for revoking policies, documents disclosed Thursday showed.

The revelation that the health plan had cancellation goals and bonuses comes amid a storm of controversy over the industry-wide but long-hidden practice of rescinding coverage after expensive medical treatments have been authorized.

The practice was known as “rescission.” Companies hired people to go through the insurance forms of people undergoing expensive medical treatment, looking for typos or minor inaccuracies. If you forgot to mention a tooth filling — boom! — no chemotherapy for you. You’d have no insurance coverage at all and a pre-existing condition. You were screwed. This was the unregulated, free-market approach that Republicans tell you is so wonderful and perfect.

Obamacare made the practice illegal and in May of 2010, this particular corporate scam ended industry-wide.

"[Insurance companies] look for anything that they could say ‘you didn’t tell us about,’" Dale Rice, whose 17 year-old daughter’s coverage was pulled in the middle of a health crisis, told the Chicago Tribune. “They hope that people just lay down and die and don’t fight.”

The insurance industry was denying coverage and literally allowing people to die after taking their money for years. That’s a cancellation scandal and going back to that is not an option.

Just when you think you’ve reached the bottom of GOP racism, you realize there is no bottom.

Josh Marshall:

Gabriela Saucedo Mercer, a candidate for Congress in Arizona, is an immigrant from Mexico herself but when it comes to “Middle Easterners”, Chinese and apparently various brown-skinned people who don’t come from Mexico, she doesn’t want them here “legally or illegally” because they mix in and look like Mexicans.

See, it works this way; middle easterners all look like Mexicans and this is a bad thing because with every middle easterner “their only goal in life is to, to cause harm to the United States.” And, since they all look like Mexicans, how are we supposed to know who’s the terrorist and who isn’t? Better just to not let any middle easterners in, because 9/11.

The least surprising part of the whole story: “She has been endorsed by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R), who is scheduled to attend a fundraiser for Saucedo Mercer on Sept. 12 in Tucson, Ariz.”

Drudge, Fox News just making shit up.

Talking Points Memo:

Fox and Friends, committed to covering the issues of the day, had a report Thursday morning on “Talk Like a Pirate Day,” an international holiday held on Sept. 19. The Obama campaign even celebrated the swashbuckling occasion by tweeting a picture of the president posing in the Oval Office with a pirate. “Arrr you in?” the campaign asked in its tweet.

And, cue the conservative headlines. “BUT NO TIME FOR NETANYAHU…” the Drudge Report bannered Wednesday night…

“TOO BUSY FOR ISRAEL / PRESIDENT FINDS TIME FOR PIRATE, LETTERMAN,” Fox and Friends’ screen read Thursday. “This pirate got a sit-down in the Oval Office yesterday,” Fox and Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade said on-air. “So much for the Middle East peace. The White House doesn’t even have time to meet with Israel, but the president got a private sit-down with a pirate yesterday in the Oval Office. Sorry, Bibi,” Steeve Doocy added.

One small problem: the photo was taken in May 2009 for use as a joke during the White House Correspondents’ dinner.

After being caught in a lie, Fox has not issued a retraction or correction. It’s false, they know it’s false, and they don’t care. Try to act surprised.

Effort to blame everything but guns for violence begins to turn a bit creepy.

Raw Story:

A Connecticut community is to hold an amnesty of violent video games in the wake of last month’s mass shooting in Newtown.

Organisers Southington SOS plan to offer gift certificates in exchange for donated games, which will be burned. The group, a coalition of local organisations, says its actions do not assert that video games were the cause of the killings in nearby Newtown, but argues that violent games and films desensitize children to “acts of violence”.

Except they don’t:

A study by Texas A&M university last year found that exposure to violent games “had neither short-term nor long-term predictive influences on either positive or negative outcomes”. Christopher J Ferguson, one of the report authors, wrote in Time magazine in December that “there is no good evidence that video games or other media contributes, even in a small way, to mass homicides or any other violence among youth”.

Besides, there’s no evidence that Adam Lanza was influenced by video games in any way. Absolutely none. We don’t even know if he was a gamer. This is all a desperate attempt to take the heat off guns by scapegoating First Amendment rights and organizing a 21st century version of book burning. If you want to solve the problem, then the problem is guns. Get cracking.

If you don’t want to solve the problem, then you pull bullshit stunts like this one.

(TPM) Georgia Rep. Hank Johnson proposed legislation on Thursday aimed at demilitarizing domestic police forces, amid national criticism of heavily armed cops going after protesters in Ferguson, Mo.

"Our main streets should be a place for business, families, and relaxation, not tanks and M16s," the Democratic congressman wrote in a "Dear Colleague" letter to members of Congress. "Unfortunately … our local police are quickly beginning to resemble paramilitary forces."

The Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act would prevent the transfer of certain military-grade equipment from the Department of Defense to local law enforcement agencies. That includes some automatic weapons, armored vehicles, armored drones, silencers and flash-bang or stun grenades.

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