Here Today, Gone Tomorrow: The Biggest Gun Grabs of the Last Eight Years

There’s an old saying that says, “To a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.” Hammers can only do one thing: whack stuff (that’s the technical term). If a hammer happens upon a loose screw, it’s just going to keep hammering until that screw either breaks or magically transforms into a nail.

Where am I going with this? Good question. Here’s what I’m thinking—anti-gun politicians are kind of like hammers. To them, every problem that kind-of-sort-of-has-something-to-do-with-firearms can be solved by enacting gun control.

When the vast majority of gun-related murders are committed with handguns, they want to ban “assault rifles” with legislation that won’t stop mass shootings (not saying we should ban handguns, just pointing out how misguided thier efforts are). When 22 veterans commit suicide every day, they want to revoke the Second Amendments rights of vets who need help with their finances. And despite the fact that firearm-related murders are at their lowest point since 1981, members of Congress stage a sit-in over a supposed lack of action on gun control.

Anti-gunner believe that by passing legislation targeting law-abiding citizens (who else does legislation target?), they can reduce the number of firearm-related crimes. That’s the charitable view. The less charitable view is that state and federal politicians don’t like the idea of their subjects being armed, and they’ll do anything in their power to take away their right to own and carry firearms.

Whatever the reason, we’ve seen some bold gun bans in the last eight years, and as President Obama’s tenure in office winds to a close, I wanted to look at just a few of them. I think it’s important to keep these on our radar so we can 1) fight to get them repealed and 2) be vigilant so that this kind of legislation doesn’t see the light of day in other states.


I didn’t know much about the NY SAFE Act before writing this article, so I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry when I read this FAQ published by the New York Governor’s office. Phew. To any New York residents out there, you have my condolences.

The SAFE Act is similar to other “assault weapon” bans in that it prohibits any rifles or pistols with features arbitrarily designated as “military.” These include, according to this PowerPoint from the Governor’s office, folding or telescoping stocks, pistol grips, thumbhole stocks, “second handgrips,” bayonet mounts, and muzzle devices. According to the New York governor, these features make a rifle an “assault weapon” and disallow them from being bought or sold in New York.

Anyone with actual common sense knows that these features do almost nothing to enhance the lethality of a rifle. The Ruger Mini 14 is functionally equivalent to an AR-15. But because it lacks those scary “military” features it isn’t banned in New York (yet).

The SAFE Act imposes a number of additional measures, such as banning magazines of more than 10 rounds and requiring a background check for all private transactions. But the implementation of the new law has been anything but smooth. The Act initially banned any magazines over seven rounds, but when they realized seven round magazines don’t exist, the courts switched it to 10. The pro-gun community gained an additional victory when New York’s governor agreed to suspend a provision that would have required background checks on ammo purchases.

Concerns have also been raised among mental health professionals that too many people have been deemed mentally unstable and too dangerous to carry firearms. As of October 2014, 34,500 people had been placed on New York’s no-gun list, a number one former mental hospital director said seems “extraordinarily high.”

The law has received opposition from law enforcement as well. New York State Sheriffs Association and five individual sheriffs joined in 2013 a court effort to block enforcement of the magazine and firearms bans. Some Sheriffs even went on the record to say that they will not enforce the law.

What’s the status of the Act now? It’s still in effect, but, according to this article, it’s been a “monumental failure.” Not because it’s done anything to reduce crime—again, rifles weren’t used in the vast majority of gun-related crimes in the first place. It’s because “the industry has reacted to the law by simply redesigning the guns to avoid the features the law prohibits and which Cuomo apparently believed made them more lethal.”

The authors sums it up well in the conclusion, and this could really apply to any proposed gun ban:

“So, what is left of Cuomo’s SAFE Act? It has many minor provisions, some of which are working, but from the perspective of criminals, not much has changed. They can still buy all the guns they want to commit crimes. To lawful citizens who want to own a gun, there is a giant government record-keeping bureaucracy, additional cost and waiting times, but little real impact on what firearms they can buy if they want them. The SAFE Act therefore burdens people who do not commit crimes, while having no impact on the real source of gun crime in New York: street violence in poor urban neighborhoods.”


Massachusetts passed an “assault weapons” ban in 1998 prohibiting the sale or manufacture of certain modern sporting rifles, e.g. the AR-15 and AK-47 platforms. Like in New York, the gun industry has been complying with the Massachusetts law by modifying AR-15s and other semiautomatic rifles so they are in compliance with the law (fixed stocks, no muzzle device, etc.).

But just a few weeks ago, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey unilaterally decided to change the law’s interpretation. Now, despite the lack of new legislation, a rifle is illegal if its internal operating system is largely the same as an AR-15 or an AK-47 (bye, bye, Ruger Mini).

“One thing is certain is that this new interpretation is purely a political stunt and has nothing to do with public safety or law,” said Jim Wallace, the executive director of the Gun Owners’ Action League of Massachusetts, aka GOAL.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation announced their intention to sue Healey over her unilateral reinterpretation of the law. “With this ‘Enforcement Action,’ the Attorney General’s office has demonstrated how little it understands about firearms and has generated considerable uncertainty and confusion,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel in a statement. “Attorney General Healey and/or her staff have overreached their authority and decided to legislate from her office without the benefit of any public process.”

Healey cited the recent mass murders in Orlando, San Bernardino, Newtown, and Aurora as motivation for her decision. But, again, laws target the law-abiding—not criminals and mass murderers. And as the Boston Marathon bombing tragically proved, terrorists don’t need firearms to accomplish their objectives.


Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signed a law in 2013 that mandated background checks on all firearms transfers and prohibited magazines of over 15 rounds. Colorado residents, understandably furious, managed to recall two state senators who had supported the bill. Another senator resigned before the recall could take place.

Despite these efforts, the law withstood another recall attempt in the legislature in 2014. The popular magazine and accessory manufacturere, Magpul, had already moved to Texas by that time, and Coloradans have since been able to find ways to work around the magazine ban.

But the fight isn’t over. Universal background checks are still in place.  And this year the Senate passed legislation that would repeal the magazine restrictions. “Until we focus on the perpetrator or criminal who is intent on inflicting as much pain and suffering as possible on innocent people, we will never solve the issue of gun violence,” said the majority caucus chair, state Sen. Vicki Marble. “It takes a person to commit a crime, not an object.”

That’s the good news. The bad news is that the Senate passed a similar bill last legislative session, which the Democrat-controlled House promptly killed. Right now action on the bill has been “postponed indefinitely” by the House Committee on State, Veterans, & Military Affair. It should be reconsidered when the legislature begins session next year.


Less than four months after the tragedy in Sandy Hook, the Democrat-controlled Connecticut legislature passed what some have called the toughest gun-control laws in the nation. You can find more details in this New York Times article, but I’ll just touch on a few of the more draconian measures.

One requires anyone who does not hold a concealed carry permit to acquire a state-issued eligibility certificate for the purchase of any rifle, shotgun or ammunition. Connecticut residents also have to register any “assault weapons” as well as magazines that hold over 10 rounds of ammunition. This isn’t a retroactive gun ban, per se, but failure to comply with the law meant some gun owners were forced to dispose of their weapons and magazines.

In 2014 the Journal Inquirer reported that the state issued orders for 108 residents with high-capacity magazines to destroy their magazines or move them out of state. Why? Because they submitted their registration papers after the Jan. 4, 2014, deadline. Keep in mind—these individuals were not trying to hide illegal magazines. These law-abiding gun owners were (imagine that!) trying to abide by the law. They just submitted their paperwork a few days late.

For firearms manufactured or sold after the laws took effect, the restrictions are almost identical to those in New York—a rifle is banned if it has a detachable magazine and any one of those scary military features.

The legislation also banned armor piercing bullets.

Today these laws are still holding strong. This Supreme Court last month declined to consider a challenge to Connecticut’s gun control measures, effectively upholding the lower court’s decision that the laws are constitutional.


When my editor and I were discussing this article, he mentioned that I should cover “whatever the heck they’re doing in California.” This seems like an appropriate way to describe the plethora of gun and ammunition restrictions foisted on Californians over the years.

California has had an “assault weapons” ban since 1989. However, it didn’t stop there, state legislators have continued to tighten their grip on the sale, manufacture, and possession of everything from handgun ammunition to .50 caliber rifles. They were the first state to issue many of the bans and restrictions we’ve seen in other states over the last eight years. Their magazine ban came in 2000, and they tightened their “assault rifle” restrictions in 1999.

But this past year has seen the harshest measures to date. We published an overview from the National Shooting Sports Foundation when the laws came down, and they aren’t pretty. These are the two major laws that ban certain types of firearms and accessories:

  • AB 1135(Levine) and SB 880 (Hall) Firearms: assault weapons – Expands the definition of assault weapons based on whether a semiautomatic firearm has a detachable magazine, banning thousands of popular firearms.
  • SB 1446(Hancock) Firearms: magazine capacity – Makes it illegal to possess magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds no matter how long a person has owned them. This is significant in that the prior law allowed owners to keep their magazines if they owned them before the law took effect.

The laws take effect in January, but one group—aptly named “Veto Gunmageddon”—is working to overturn them. By September 29 they need 365,000 referendum petition signatures for each of the seven laws they’re looking to repeal. If they can get the laws on the Nov. 8 ballot, there’s a chance they can be overturned. Petitions must be signed at designated petition signing locations, which you can view here. The petitions will be available to sign on Aug. 12, but you must be a registered California voter. Click here to register to vote.


Do you notice a trend, here? Gun grabs in recent history haven’t come from the federal government. They’ve come from the states. The GOP-controlled U.S. Congress has remained stalwart in their defense of Second Amendment rights, which has left the President more or less powerless in his attempts to enact stricter gun control measures.

So I think there are two takeaways. First, get involved in your state elections. If you care about your Second Amendment rights, you can’t just vote for the President every four years and be content. Anti-gunners have moved the battle to the states—we have to fight them there as well.

For my second point, I’m going to backtrack to my first point. The President hasn’t been able to ram his agenda down our throats because the pro-gun contingent controls Congress. What happens when that’s no longer the case? If anti-gunners take control of the Senate and the Presidency (not to mention the future Supreme Court nominations), we could have a serious problem on our hands. So while you’re deciding how to get involved in your state elections, be sure to vote in November’s elections as well.

The fight for the Second Amendment will never be over, but if the millions of gun owners across the United States work together, we can keep the anti-gunners at bay for years to come.

The dvd was no more

I was terrified to turn around. After witnessing the horrors on the dvds I feared that anything could be behind me. But I felt something like spiders along my skin. My head moved without permission. I slowly twisted, terrified of what I would see. I shut my eyes. Maybe if I didn’t look, it couldn’t hurt me. I tried as hard I could to keep my eyes shut, but they were deliberately pulled open. My own fingers were the one to force the lid apart. I hadn’t even felt my arms move.

When I could see properly it was almost a relief. There was no one behind me. I had gotten into my head that a crazed John would be standing there, ready to enact his torture upon me. Luckily that was just a fantasy.

I stood. It was impossible not to shiver. I was exhausted. After watching those disturbing videos I felt almost as if I had gone through them myself. Maybe a meal or some water would help. But before I could go I noticed something out of the ordinary.

On the bookcase behind the table there was a camera. It was sitting innocently between two of my favorite books. I didn’t remember owning a camera. There was a small red light blinking on the top. From somewhere in my memory I recognized this as meaning it needed its battery changed. I approached the camera as though it were a wild animal. When I lifted it, the weight surprised me. It was dull black. Thoroughly used and dented. But it worked. It was losing power, but it had been recording. It was set up perfectly to view my back, the table, and my computer.

I brought the camera closer to my chest and it immediately died. The screen was blacker than anything I had seen. I saw myself in the darkness. I needed to move on. I needed to put the camera down and get out of there. But I couldn’t. I wasn’t ready. Or was it that I wasn’t able?

I sat back down at the table. Instinctively I knew how to eject the memory card from the camera. It popped out and lay in my palm. I knew then that this was the third video I had to watch. It wasn’t a dvd, and it hadn’t truly been delivered to me, but this was what I had to watch next.

I put the memory card into the slot in my computer. It prompted up a folder on the screen. I clicked to open it but instead it opened a strange folder on my desktop. The title was “Ka.” There were three subfolders – “Prisoner”, “Luck”, and “Death” (in that order.) I tried to click the “Prisoner” folder but it wouldn’t open. The same thing happened with “Luck.” The “Death” folder opened without an issue. Within in were three video files. “The Man in Black”, “The Door”, and “Margot is not Margot.”

“The Man in Black” begins with running. Margot runs across a room. She is screaming in an almost inhuman voice. The cameraperson is trying to catch her. They follow her from room to room, getting closer and closer. In one sickening shot she looks behind her shoulder and her face is one of pure terror. This was the first time I really saw Margot’s fear.

Finally Margot trips over a rug. The cameraperson is upon her instantly. She cries and struggles but is held down. It doesn’t take long for the camera to fall beside the pair. As expected, it is John on top of her. He is still wearing his ski mask and gloves.

It becomes clear that John is just holding her down. He doesn’t try to hurt her or anything else more sinister. Margot fights like her life depends on it. There are a solid three minutes of her fighting. Like the other videos, I couldn’t look away. It was difficult to watch but I was stuck. It was like I had my own John holding me in the chair.

Finally Margot calms down. She looks into his face. They stare at each other like strangers. Then Margot starts to laugh. She is wracked with laughter the same way she was wracked with sobs just minutes earlier. Her body rattles with the sounds she makes.

John doesn’t let go. He says, “You’ve forgotten the face of your father.”

She bends upward, pushing her face towards his. “He has no face, John. You know that.”

John is clearly angered by this. “He has a face. A strong face. Face place. Place where the face was faced.”

“Show me then.” She lays back against the floor. “Show me my father’s face, John.”

John sits up, crossing his arms. He is mouthing words but nothing makes sense. Margot does not seem surprised by this odd behavior. Maybe he had done this before. Maybe he often mouthed unintelligible words at her as though they were having a conversation.

Margot lets him do this for a few minutes with a look of glee and rage. Then she realizes her arms are free. John is no longer holding her down. With a strong hand she thrusts upward and grips the ski mask. Before John knows what is happening Margot has grabbed the mask and thrown it across the room.

This is when I realized Margot’s previous words were absolutely true. John had no face.

Of course, he does have a face. There is something holding his eyes in. There is the resemblance of nostrils and a gaping hole of a mouth. But his entire head is covered in horrible burns. His face is made up of scar tissue that twisted and crumpled like dull red roots. He has no eyebrows or lips. Just disgusting flesh mounds around his teeth (of which he has very few).

Panicked, John dives off of Margot and runs to get the mask. Margot gets to her feet in seconds. She grabs the camera and begins running. She runs through the house and gets to the front door. She tries the doorknob but it won’t budge. Margot screams at the door and turns to try somewhere else. But suddenly there was John, blocking her way.

Margot lets out a small terrified shriek and drops the camera. The scene turns to yellow before ending.

I wanted to stop. Any normal person would call the police, get out of the house, or at least delete the files. But my soul was drawn to these videos. I was inexplicitly tied to the suffering of Helen and Margot. Revoltingly, I was also drawn to the madness in John. Maybe I was mad too. My hand tapped the mouse to start the next video.

“The Door” starts with the picture of the small structure from the first video. It flashes and distorts, switching quickly to John talking into the camera. He is in the house with Helen. Helen’s stomach is large and it’s clear she’s pregnant. There is something odd sitting on her belly. It looks like a jaw bone.

John circles Helen, who stares at the ground. She has given up hope. The anger and rage I saw in previous tapes has been replaced with hopelessness. John zooms in on her stomach and the jaw bone. The stubs of her legs are also visible. It seems like John wants to show Helen off.

John says, “Say it.”

Helen licks her lips. “Da-da,” she replies.

“No, say the whole thing.”

She starts to cry quietly. “Da-da-chum,” she says sadly.

John makes small happy noises. “Now raise your claws.”

Helen slowly raises her arms in the air. For the first time her underarms are visible. Both have identical tattoos of a key. The key was crude, with an S shape at the end. She holds her hands up until John grunts. She drops her arms to her sides. In a quiet, sad voice she asks, “Why don’t you just kill me?”

John zooms out on the scene. Margot is creeping in the background, but neither adult notices her. “I do not kill with my gun,” he replies.

“Please, Johnny. I can’t do this.” She begs.

“You just haven’t moved on yet,” he responds. He is calm. Her desperation has almost no effect on him.

Helen picks up the jaw bone and studies it. Then, like a lightning strike, she stabs herself in the neck. John screams and drops the camera. The bone sticks out of Helen’s neck like a stray hair. She sputters, blood filling her windpipe. John is panicking. He pulls the bone out as quickly as possible. But this just causes more blood loss. Helen is smiling.

John calls out, “Girl! Come here! Help!”

I assume he was referring to Margot. But Margot does not come. John scrambles for a second before calling for her again. Yet she still does not arrive. Reluctantly, John leaves Helen to go find Margot.

The screen is filled with Helen gradually bleeding out. She coughs on her own blood. But she looks content. Helen looks right at the camera. She tries to say something. It is hard to make out, since fluid was overcoming her mouth and throat. But she might have said, “Joke’s on you.”

Margot creeps into the room behind Helen. She briefly touches her hair. It is the touch of deep love. Margot’s face is full of regret. She picks up the camera, whispering, “Pleasant nights,” before leaving the room.

She walks quietly around the house until she reaches the front door. It is open. John is outside screaming, yelling for the girl. She sneaks through the doorway. Crouching, she circles behind the house. Then she takes off running. The camera bounces as she sprints away. John’s long scream can be heard in the background.

Margot breaths heavily. The scenes cut between the image of the small structure and footage of her running. The sun moves in the sky. Margot runs with the energy of someone who might never run again. Finally the scene switches to the footage from the very first video, “Origin.” Now it is clear that Margot is the one holding the camera, walking around the structure with the altar inside. There is a crunch from behind her and she hides. After a few moments the scene is abruptly cut.

The video was over.

Instead of relief, panic drenched my body. I was trying to understand what happened. Did Margot escape? Where was she anyway? Who was Helen and John to her? How did she get there? My fingers shook. Where was she now?

I would find out as the next video began to play. “Margot is not Margot” is completely different than the rest of the videos. It is not shot by a handheld camera in a creepy house. Instead, it is a clip of a talk show. It lookes like it had been shot in the early 2000’s. The host is a warm older man who closes his eyes when he talks.

A round of applause begins the video. The man is sitting in a comfortable chair with a must less comfortable one across from him. He smiles. As the clapping stops, he leans forward and puts his hands together.

“Today we are meeting a very special girl,” he says solemnly. “A girl who has gone through more than any person, let alone a little girl, should ever have to go through. Her identity has been obscured for many years to protect her from her assailant. However, now that she has turned 18, she wants to tell her side of the story.” The man stood. “Please join me in welcoming Tabitha!”

The audience erupts in applause. Slowly someone enters the stage. She is a small woman with short cut hair. She walks with a bit of a limp. Her dress is plain. If you walked by her you would never notice her. But with the giant lights shining down upon her tiny frame, she is exposed. She turns her face instinctively away from the camera. It takes her entirely too long to cross the set and sit in the chair.

I reached my hand up and touched the screen. The woman looked so familiar. She had the same eyes as Margot. In fact the more I stared, there was no doubt. This was Margot as a grown up. But there was something else I recognized. Something too close to admit.

The man on screen moves to hug Tabitha but she shrinks back. He adapts quickly and sits in his chair. The applause stops. He looks pityingly at Tabitha. “Welcome, my dear.”

She nods her head but says nothing.

The man compensates, “We are so happy to have you with us to share your story. All of us remember the Indian Lake Maniac. It had a huge impact not only on Wisconsin, but on the entire country. The man called John, whose identity could never be verified, tortured and terrified you and your mother for years. Tell us – how did you survive this?”

Tabitha raises her head. Her voice was not hesitant. It sounded like Margot’s voice. “I separated myself from what was happening around me.”

“What do you mean by that?” probes the host.

“I was still me, but I was also far away. Maybe I was walking on the beach or sleeping under the stars. But I knew my body was there and my real brain was there.” She takes a breath. “I was locked in that house, but my imagination could wander anywhere I wanted.”

“That is so brave,” the man responds. Some people in the audience start to cry. Others hug each other. Tabitha sees them but doesn’t seem to understand their behavior.

The host continues, “What exactly did John do to you?”

Tabitha stiffens. “Why do you want to know that?”

“Um…” the man clearly is not prepared for the odd woman. “Maybe a better question would be, how did you escape?”

Tabitha smiles, finally. “He called her Helen. Not her real name. I don’t remember her real name. The world has moved on. But before it moved on, we hatched a plan. She was pregnant with my second little brother. The first John killed. But the second my mother killed. She told me, she said ‘When you hear John yell, you hide. You find that secret place and hide from him. Then when he opens the door to look for you, you run across the beam and get out. Keep running. Run until you don’t have legs anymore.’ That’s what she said. And that’s what I did.”

The host begins to talk but Tabitha interrupts him. “I made it to the beam and ran. I ran all the way to where he left Jake. That’s what he called him, Jake. I don’t remember his real name. His body was gone but I could still smell him. He mutated into something different. He was in the ground now. I hid behind the chapel until John was gone. I stayed there for days. A man and a woman found me. I was almost dead, almost gone too. Almost with my little brother. They told me I was lucky they found me. They made me go over everything he did in detail. They poked my body in the same places he did. And then they forgot about me. Like I said, the world moved on.”

The man is speechless. Tabitha doesn’t care. “He called me Margot. But I won’t let him name me. Giving something a name gives it power. I had a name before the world moved on, but that wasn’t me either. So I named myself. Margot died at Indian Lake. She died just as much as my mother, just as much as my brother, and just as much as Shardik the bear. And the rest.”

The host waits a few moments before putting on a fake smile. He turns to the camera. “We’ll be right back with Tabitha, the only survivor of the Indian Lake Maniac.”

The footage stops on a close up of Tabitha’s face. If you look very closely, you could see an odd looking eye tattooed on her collarbone. The video then goes black.

I could barely breathe. I touched my own collarbone. There, under my fingertips, lay my own tattoo. It was the same odd shaped eye in red ink. It came to me in a dream. Or so I thought.

I blinked and felt woozy. I hadn’t eaten anything all day. This was normal – I was used to going many hours without eating. But at that moment I felt close to passing out. My small apartment was growing even smaller. I noticed the clutter for the first time. My chest hurt.

All of a sudden the memory card activated. There was one file on it. It opened without me touching it. The footage made me gasp.

It was of me. The back of my head. I was doing something on my computer. There was a brown paper bag next to me, some scotch tape, and a large black marker. After a few minutes I ejected something from the computer. It was a dvd. Carefully I pulled out a small wooden bear from my pocket, and wrapped them both in the brown paper. With care I wrote my name on the front.


I put in another dvd to burn. While it was working I started to draw. I awkwardly created a rose on a piece of construction paper. When the dvd was ready I threw both in a black trash bag. I put the bag under the table and the package in my arms.

I then stood and turned to the camera. I smiled into the lens. Leaning forward, lips almost touching, I whispered, “Warm days and pleasant nights.” Then I turned the camera off.

An odd sensation washed over me. I felt like I had seen that footage before. How long had I been sitting at this table? My apartment felt foreign. I wanted to leave. But before I could I took the camera and put the memory card back into it. I reached into my pocket and found not the bear, but rather a pair of batteries. I placed them in the camera, turned it on, and put it back between my two favorite books – On Writing and Song of Susannah. I stumbled towards the door, eager to get some fresh air. I had to leave this place. I ran across the floor.

When I opened it a small package lay on the porch. I paused for a moment. I had forgotten why I had even come to the door in the first place. I picked up the box and took it inside.

Is it so strange to open a box on your doorstep? It was addressed to me. That means it was mine. Of course I would open it.

Judge upholds Cleveland's gun registry, strikes down several gun law provisions as unconstitutional
A Cuyahoga County judge ruled that some provisions of Cleveland's new gun ordinance were unconstitutional, but upheld the majority of the law, including a requirement that gun offenders register with the city.

Common Pleas Judge Shirley Strickland-Saffold ruled Monday that three of Cleveland’s laws enacted in April 2015 violated a state law that gives state legislators preemptive control over gun laws, including a provision that allowed police officers to confiscate guns.

The ruling came after Ohioans for Concealed Carry filed a constitutional challenge against the ordinance just days after it was passed by city council.

Jeff Garvas, president and founder of the concealed carry group, said that the ruling corroborates his organization’s claim that the ordinance was passed in the face of a prior Ohio Supreme Court ruling against the city six years ago.

“Her ruling cites three cases where the City of Cleveland passed ordinances that are unconstitutional,” Garvas said. “The City of Cleveland has been told three times now that they’re not allowed to do this, twice by the Supreme Court.”

Parts of the new gun ordinance that were upheld include:

  • A rule that prohibits leaving a firearm where it can be accessed by someone under the age of 18.
  • A provision that requires people who aren’t gun dealers to report the sale of guns or weapons
  • The law that requires gun owners to report lost or stolen firearms to the city,
  • A requirement that gun offenders self register with the city.
  • A provision that requires police to be notified if a gun is found on school property.
  • A ban on the negligent transfer of firearms to someone who is intoxicated or is a convicted felon (state law already prohibits reckless transfer).
  • An increased penalty for failing to secure a dangerous ordnance, such as an explosive material or device.

The four provisions that were overruled:

  • A new, stricter definition of automatic weapons.
  • The prohibition of shooting a firearm within 500 feet of a park, playground, or recreation center.
  • A provision allowing police to seize a gun from someone drinking, disturbing the police, threatening bodily harm or causing a disturbance or violence.
  • A provision prohibiting the defacing of identification marks on firearms or the possession of defaced firearms a misdemeanor; it is already a felony under state law.

“Registration, even if it remains law, it serves no preventative purpose,” Gravas said. “All it is is keeping a record of people who committed a crime, and you can find that record already at the clerk of court’s office. All it is, is window dressing on an urban crime problem.”

GOP plots early wake-up call for Clinton
Looking past Election Day, Republicans sketch plan to stymie a President Hillary Clinton agenda. By ANNIE KARNI

Hillary Clinton has managed to win support from Republicans without conceding any part of the progressive economic agenda she outlined during the Democratic primary.

But with fall approaching and momentum on Clinton’s side, Democrats and Republicans alike are looking over the horizon to a thornier reality: if elected, Clinton would likely become the first Democrat since Grover Cleveland to enter office without control of both houses of Congress.

That means the bipartisan show of support she has now – thanks to Donald Trump and the “alt-right,” conspiracy-driven campaign Clinton attacked Thursday in Reno – is likely to evaporate as soon as the race is called. If she wins the presidency, Clinton would likely enjoy the shortest honeymoon period of any incoming commander-in-chief in recent history, according to Washington strategists, confronting major roadblocks to enacting her ambitious agenda, as well as Republican attacks that have been muted courtesy of the GOP nominee.

Read more here


Nicole is now enacting her plan of being the only girl in the F4 with Corey/Paul/Vic 😂😂😂

We told y'all this would happen but you continued to believe that it was a smart move to keep Nicorey around 😂

Now Jatalie/Meech are targets and P/V are sitting pretty.

It’s time to admit that the Nat/Meech HOH week was tragic and all the wrong moves were made.

Oh, now I remember what the other thing I meant to post about Raglan was - CSI Raglan.

There was this dead pig, to be cooked, and it had been arranged that it would be part of a live weapons test to see just what the historical weapons we re-enact would actually do to an organic human-analogue. It was very educational, scary in implication, and I’d urge HEMAists and re-enactors to look into this: I’d brought along my live rapier (17th Century Deschaux pattern, a French type) and used this to determine stuff like how much force does it take to run someone through, what happens when you twist the blade, and so forth.

Nowadays we have our puncture-tested clothing, and debate the calibration of how hard we make a touch with the point of the blade - are we doing it too hard or too lightly?

Long story short, the force required to reach out and press the light switch… put the blade clean through the carcass and our the other side. Think about that for a minute. Now think about this: the force we’d think of a good thrust in SCA fencing - say twice as the light switch - put the blade six inches into the carcass… through mail. Or chainmail as most people call it.

What this means is when you see a movie where they put the tip in and then give it a dramatic shove… In real life it’d already be through the guy. Puncture proofed clothing? With pointy blades it’d make no difference. This is why we have rubber blunts on the points, folks. Twisting the blade left a nice pencil-diameter tube through which any internal fluids would just pour out nicely.

A variety of other weapons were tried - an axe blade didn’t cleave, but smashed ribs, a warhammer’s spike left a diamond-shaped gusher both with and without mail… A scimitar didn’t cleave, but worked well on the thrust. I’m focused on the rapier simply because that was my part. I did take the matching parrying dagger also, but didn’t bother use it - I suspect the mail would have stopped it because the wider blade would give the material more surface to push against.

So, yeah, fascinating stuff, lovely bit of experimental learning.


read it on the AO3 at http://ift.tt/2bplWmR

by pascaler23

Sherlock gets some ideas when he sees John licking jam off his finger, so he comes up with a plan to enact them.

Words: 3214, Chapters: 1/1, Language: English

read it on the AO3 at http://ift.tt/2bplWmR

File this under Demented Monkees Music Cameos…

So, late one night, I am running through the program guide for the cable station Turner Classic Movies, and I happen to see that they are playing a bunch of short films. One of them in particular catches my eye…

(image courtesy of pinterest.com)

This is a short movie that stars and was written and directed  by Robert Downey Sr (his collaborator was film editor, Robert Soukis). Having been previously unaware that Downey Sr was a filmmaker himself, I was intrigued and decided to watch it.  

What I didn’t know ahead of time was just how weird this movie is. Basically, it’s a mashup of a Civil War era solider somehow ending up in the 1960s, alongside footage of interviews talking about the singles bar scene, a series of bizarre re-enactments of attempts on President Garfield’s life (including the one that was successful) and the saga of a man and woman with a *ahem* bizarre and explicit carnal relationship….

Anyway, during the part where they show a very odd looking Garfield frolicking with a woman and then flailing to death in bed, the song This Just Doesn’t Seem To Be My Day can be heard in the background. 

Now, it’s not hard to see the attempt at black humor here. Indeed, it would be difficult for your day to get much worse than finally dying after being shot some time previous. Still, there is something truly disturbing to me as a Monkees fan to be listening to this song while watching someone who looks like Max Schreck from Nosferatu pretend to be President Garfield passing away in bed.

(image courtesy of bfi.org)

But it gets even better….

Toward the end, the man and woman who had spent most of this film making out are suddenly visited by a talking monkey. Said monkey decides to demonstrate his (thankfully quite tame) lovemaking technique….

…while the Theme Song from The Monkees plays over the action. 

(image courtesy of filmforum.org)

I wish I was making this up, but I assure you that I am not…..

I don’t know if Downey had permission to use these songs. I somehow doubt it given the context they were used in. But considering how this movie came out in 1968, it’s not hard to imagine that this would have caught the attention of the people seeing it even if it flew under the radar of the copyright holders at the time. 

Either way, it’s a very very strange moment in Monkees Music History….

Council Notice; Aug 27th 2016

Beaches banned, all naturals on curfew until further notice.

Following the devastating attacks on the Oceana Kingdom orchestrated by the Pearl Rebellion and a currently unknown third party, the Council has enacted a curfew on all naturals and magically-aware humans until further notice. It ifs currently known that the rebellion failed, although King Bonhwa’s life was tragically taken from him while the events transpired, and both the Council and the royal family are in talks of how to properly honor his death.

Due to the traumatic events, King Seokhyeon has offered extensive healing to anyone who may wish to either erase their memories of the events or repair their fragmented minds after the tragedy of what happened, but he can only take one or two people per week to do so. If you are interested, please contact the Council immediately.

We will be having an emergency meeting on August 29th to further discuss where we should go from here. The natural community has been dealt a heavy blow– we advise you all to be very careful, especially in the face of recently rising numbers of murders by the Jung Family in the southern area of Busan City.

Unless given permission from the Council, all naturals are currently banned from the beaches, merfolk or not. This is for your safety as we investigate the death of King Bonhwa and the battle that followed afterwards. Thank you for your patience, and remember to always contact the Council if you ever fear for your safety or well-being.

- The Ruling Council of the Naturals of Busan, South Korea

18thcenturycrossroads  asked:

Can I have a ship please?! My name is Jessica. I'm 5'4. Brunette. With blue/green eyes. I love history and I love to go to re enactments or visit haunted abandoned places. My favorite season is fall. I love to go to fall fairs and events, or just walk around outside and enjoy the fall weather and the changing of the leaves.

Guess who…?

Originally posted by deanthekingofhell

Crowley likes you, a lot. He enjoys that you know about things that happened in his time, and loves to accompany you to re-enactments and haunted houses. Generally he likes to spoil you and take you to places that you might never not have been able to go without his help.

colonel-jeff-tracy  asked:

“I have some pretty exciting news, Scotty. Remember how me and Mommy had to go visit the doctor yesterday? It’s because Mommy has a new baby brother or sister growing in her tummy.” He paused, not knowing if Scott remembered the concept of siblings growing in bellies from John or not.

Scott’s busy re-enacting the greatest battle of all time with his planes and rockets and Blue, the furry one-eyed toy dog he’s treasured for even longer than he can remember.

He can’t remember the pre-Johnny days but he can remember when the little guy was born and how noisy life suddenly became. Johnny’s two now, walking and talking but not as much as Scott can and it’s kinda boring.

Thus when daddy enters the warzone, Scott’s only concern is the ground support that just got squashed. “Daddy!” He tugs on Blue’s head, the rest of the poor dog flattened by their commander’s butt. Then what daddy said registers with him and the whole of Scott’s face seems to wrinkle into a frown.

It’s not awful having a baby brother around but it’s not as much fun as the little guy was expecting it to be. He has to be quiet when Johnny’s napping and has to share all his toys when the tiny red-headed boy comes crawling to see what his big brother’s up to. Scott doesn’t mind but he wishes it was more fun!

“We get a puppy instead?” He suggests, ever so hopefully.

Francia, vergognati.

A French politician has threatened to file a lawsuit against anyone who shares photos or videos of police enforcing a ban on the burkini — the full-body bathing suit, designed for Muslim women, that has suddenly become a symbol of religious and social tensions in France. The statement comes after the widespread circulation of photos showing a Muslim woman removing her clothes in front of four male police officers on a beach in Nice.

Christian Estrosi, president of the Regional Council of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur and deputy mayor of Nice, said in a statement Wednesday that the photos “provoke defamatory remarks and threats” against police agents. He added that legal complaints have already been filed “to prosecute those who spread the photographs of our municipal police officers and those uttering threats against them on social networks.”

Nice, Cannes, and several other French cities have recently enacted bans against the burkini, with supporters arguing that the swimwear is not “respectful of good morals and of secularism,” and that it poses risks to hygiene and security. Socialist Prime Minister Manuel Valls has said that the burkini represents the “enslavement of women,” while former President Nicolas Sarkozy, who announced his 2017 presidential campaign this week, described it as a “provocation” that supports radical Islam.

The argument for the ban rests, ostensibly, on the French principle of laïcité, which aims to keep religion out of the public sphere, and on the basis of gender equality. But critics say the burkini bans only serve to further stigmatize France’s Muslim population — the largest in Europe — at a time when tensions are running high following terror attacks in Nice and the northern city of Rouen this summer. The French feminist group Osez le Féminisme! excoriated the bans in a statement released this week, saying they serve only to humiliate Muslim women “on the grounds of sexism and racism,” and other rights groups have challenged the bans in court. France’s highest administrative court will hear a complaint on Thursday.

The photo that circulated this week was taken in Nice, and first published by The Daily Mail and The Guardian. In the image, taken by a French photographer, four male police officers surround the woman and appear to issue a fine. With the men still standing over her, the woman was photographed removing her long tunic top. The agency that released the pictures in the UK said in a statement to The Guardian that the woman was fined and left the beach, but the office of Nice’s mayor denied that she had been forced to remove her clothes, telling AFP that she was only showing the officers that she was wearing a swimsuit under her clothes. Notably, the woman was not wearing a burkini, but a long-sleeved tunic, headscarf, and leggings.

“The position of Estrosi is very dangerous because it shows how people in power in France are completely disconnected from reality,” says Yasser Louati, a civil rights activist who has been an outspoken critic of French policies perceived to be discriminatory against Muslims. “If citizens cannot denounce unfair practices and the public humiliation of women, then who can?”

Rather than seeking to temper online outcry, Louati says Estrosi should “question the way those policemen behaved, and he should question himself.”

“Those pictures were shared because they expressed global outrage,” Louati adds. 

“So yes, I will definitely share them, and if he wants to sue me, be my guest.”

- The Verge

Articolo Originale

You’re a prophet, capable of seeing a great villain bring about the end of the world in the future. The problem is you see no savior, no Chosen One to stop the evil. So, you enact a several millennia long plan to breed one into existence.


One Hundred Years of the National Park Service

“Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That there is hereby created in the Department of the Interior a service to be called the National Park Service…The service thus established shall promote and regulate the use of the Federal areas known as national parks, monuments, and reservations hereinafter specified by such means and measures as conform to the fundamental purposes of the said parks, monuments, and reservations, which purpose is to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.”

An Act of August 25, 1916, Public Law 64-235, (39 STAT 535) to Establish a National Park Service, and for Other Purposes, 8/25/1916

File Unit: Laws of the United States, 1915-16, 64th Congress, 1st Session, Part 3, Public Acts 163-241, 1789 - 2011Series: Enrolled Acts and Resolutions of Congress, 1789 - 2011Record Group 11: General Records of the United States Government, 1778 - 2006

Yellowstone. The Grand Canyon. Yosemite. For many Americans, the mere mention of these sites conjures up images of grandeur and magnificence.

The Tetons - Snake River,” Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming., 1933 - 1942, from the series Ansel Adams Photographs of National Parks and Monuments, 1941 - 1942

As the conservator of the United States’ most storied and important landmarks, the National Park Service is charged with the preservation and operation of each of the nation’s 59 national parks, as well as hundreds of protected shorelines, preserves, and historical landmarks.

This summer, the National Archives will be commemorating the 100th anniversary of the National Parks Service by displaying the document that founded the NPS, the Organic Act of 1916.

Though the first national park had been established at Yellowstone on March 1, 1872, it and subsequently designated national parks were only loosely managed under the Department of the Interior.

By establishing a National Park Service, the Federal Government ensured the efficient and responsible conservation of national landmarks for future generations.

The passage of the Organic Act was the result of a collaborative effort between businessmen, government officials, and private citizens, who together  had advocated for the establishment of a National Park Service for decades.

President Wilson signed the bill on August 25, 1916, and the National Park Service was born.

The Organic Act provided for the appointment of a full-time Director of the National Park Service as well as a support staff to manage the parks from Washington, D.C. These employees were to be paid out of a pool of funds appropriated by Congress. Additionally, the Parks Director was tasked with organizing the system of local officials and park rangers that operated each site.

Today the National Park Service employs over 22,000 full time employees as well as 221,000 volunteers across more than 400 park areas. Each year, the National Park Service enables more than 275 million visitors to experience the beauty and wonder of America’s protected landmarks.

The National Archives will be displaying the Organic Act of 1916 in the East Rotunda Gallery from June 30 through August 31, 2016. Plan your visit and see the origins of the National Park Service for yourself!

Originally posted by todaysdocument

(Dogs at Yosemite National Park,  excerpted from the film “Yosemite Valley“)

Keep reading at On Exhibit: One Hundred Years of the National Park Service | Prologue: Pieces of History


With the Voter Protection Act gutted, civil rights groups are battling voter suppression

In many ways, election observers are a first line of defense against lingering Jim Crow-era voter suppression tactics that date back to the end of slavery. Black voters are still especially vulnerable to strict ID requirements at the polls, reductions in early voting periods and onerous voter registration deadlines, experts say. Election observers have said these tactics increase fears among minority and elderly voters that someone is trying to take away their right to vote.

Wilson, who is black and teaches about the intersection of race and the law, remembered one 20-year-old black voter remarking to her, as he walked into a campus polling station to vote on primary day: “I better get in here and vote, before they put us back in slavery.”

That might sound like hyperbole. But that sentiment has been echoed among voting rights advocates, ever since the U.S. Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act in 2013. The VRA, enacted in 1965 to prohibit racial discrimination in electoral laws, no longer includes federal oversight needed to stop discrimination before it happens.

follow @the-movemnt

Transgender people will be able to use affirming bathrooms in federal buildings
The Obama administration this week will announce a directive that will require federal buildings to guarantee transgender bathroom access.

The Obama administration is announcing a new directive that in all federal buildings — of which there are more than 9,000 — transgender people must have the right to use the bathrooms that affirm their gender identity.

The new regulation is the latest in a series of pro-trans policy positions the Obama administration has taken.

The Justice Department in May filed a civil rights lawsuit against North Carolina over House Bill 2, which bans trans people from using restrooms consistent with their gender identity and prohibits local municipalities from enacting LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination measures.

The Obama administration last October filed a brief in support of Gavin Grimm, a trans student who filed a lawsuit against his Virginia school district’s controversial policy that bans him from using the boys restroom or locker room. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2012 ruled that discrimination against employees on the basis of their gender identity amounts to sex discrimination under federal law.


►►Tyrant S3E6 : Truth and Dignity


Air Date : July 6th, 2016
Season Number : 3
Episode Number : 6
Episode Name : Truth and Dignity
Networks : FX
Genres : Drama, War & Politics

Barry’s tough policies put Daliyah in grave danger. Al-Qadi enacts a risky plan to broach peace. Fauzi puts his feelings on the line, leaving Daliyah conflicted. As the elections reel out of control, Barry cracks down on the political process. Leila’s relationship with Cogswell creates a wedge between her and her sister.

Adam Rayner, Anne Winters, Jennifer Finnigan, Sibylla Deen, Waleed Elgadi, Ashraf Barhom, Noah Silver

The bloody violence that surrounded Partition was inevitably a gendered violence. Women yet again bore the brunt of the bloodshed, abuse, and humiliation enacted by men of each creed during the 1947 split. Rape was used as a weapon by the Muslim, Hindu, and Sikh communities to dishonor and degrade each other as these communities hastily crossed the new borders dividing Pakistan and India. As such, protecting and destroying the honor of women - and thus the honor of the family and by extension, the community - became a significant issue across Hindustan.

Patriarchs of each family were known to drown, suffocate, or behead their daughters out of fear that the incoming raiders would kidnap, rape, and/or forcibly marry the young women. Men who successfully pillaged villages of a different religious background would capture their women, force them to convert, marry them, and have them bear children. This, along with rape, became a symbol of triumph against the imagined enemy whether they were Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, or any other group. Likewise, the loss of a woman’s honor was seen as defeat as well, thus becoming one of the metrics by which each community measured its self-preservation. Indeed, the dehumanization of women and their subsequent exploitation as tools of political warfare in the context of personal and communal honor was a practice that was prevalent as much as it was normalized.

Honor, again, became the crux of Partition and its desecration and preservation became the key modes of offense and defense. Honor became synonymous with the brown woman’s dignity, and brown women were the central victims in the bloodshed initiated by brown men in power at the time.