Saturday, June 18, 2016

Should Members Of Congress Pay For Their Complicity In Mass Gun Slaughter?


If you read DWT with any regularity you probably know we're pretty tough on law and order around here. This isn't an "abolish the death penalty" blog. This is a "let's use the death penalty much more" kind of blog-- albeit not until we have a perfected justice system that doesn't penalize suspects for being minorites or for poverty. Once that's all set, you better hope I'm not ever a judge. For example, all the Members of Congress who have carried out the diktats of the NRA in regard to ending the assault weapons ban-- how would you like seeing Heidi Heitkamp and every Republican senator on trial for the mass murders in Orlando's Pulse? You probably know the sanitized fictional version of what happened to Dan White, Harvey Milk's and George Moscone's assassin. Take my word for it, justice was rougher than than the official report of suicide. The LGBT community isn't a bunch of wimpy liberals who get pushed around by red necks who gravitate towards gun violence because of their penis-size insecurities. Sorry... off the topic there.

And how about the NRA's number one handmaiden in Congress, Paul Ryan? Should he be on trial for all those deaths? I'm not prejudging in case I wind up on the jury... which I'd sincerely want to be.

Eugene Stoner invented the AR-15, the implement of mass destruction used in the Orlando slaughter that the Republicans have allowed to permeate our country, bringing nothing but death and destruction in it's wake. His family told NBC News that Stoner never intended it for civilian use.
The AR-15 is the most talked about gun in America.

But the AR-15's creator died before the weapon became a popular hit and his family has never spoken out.

Until now.

"Our father, Eugene Stoner, designed the AR-15 and subsequent M-16 as a military weapon to give our soldiers an advantage over the AK-47," the Stoner family told NBC News late Wednesday. "He died long before any mass shootings occurred. But, we do think he would have been horrified and sickened as anyone, if not more by these events."

The inventor's surviving children and adult grandchildren spoke exclusively to NBC News by phone and email, commenting for the first time on their family's uneasy legacy. They requested individual anonymity in order to speak freely about such a sensitive topic. They also stopped short of policy prescriptions or legal opinions.

But their comments add unprecedented context to their father's creation, shedding new light on his intentions and adding firepower to the effort to ban weapons like the AR-15. The comments could also bolster a groundbreaking new lawsuit, which argues that the weapon is a tool of war-- never intended for civilians.

Eugene Stoner would have agreed, his family said.

The ex-Marine and "avid sportsman, hunter and skeet shooter" never used his invention for sport. He also never kept it around the house for personal defense. In fact, he never even owned one.

And though he made millions from the design, his family said it was all from military sales.

"After many conversations with him, we feel his intent was that he designed it as a military rifle," his family said, explaining that Stoner was "focused on making the most efficient and superior rifle possible for the military."

He designed the original AR-15 in the late 1950s, working on it in his own garage and later as the chief designer for ArmaLite, a then small company in southern California. He made it light and powerful and he fashioned a new bullet for it-- a .223 caliber round capable of piercing a metal helmet at 500 yards.

The Army loved it and renamed it the M16.

But after Stoner's death in 1997, at the age of 74, a semi-automatic version of the AR-15 became a civilian bestseller, too, spawning dozens of copy-cat weapons. The National Rifle Association has taken to calling it "America's rifle."

The bullets that tore through the Pulse nightclub in Orlando were Stoner's .223 rounds, fired from a AR-15 spin off made by Sig Sauer.

In all, an AR-15 style rifle has been used in at least 10 recent mass shootings-- including at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, and a work party in San Bernardino, California.

"What has happened, good or bad, since his patents have expired is a result of our free market system," Stoner's family said. "Currently, a more interesting question is 'Who now is benefiting from the manufacturing and sales of AR-15s, and for what uses?'"

That's the question for the rest of us.
So just to be clear, yes, the Member of Congress who have voted to end the assault weapons ban should be put on trial. That may be a fantasy at this point-- unless you realize that elections are trials too. Think about that when you consider voting for Republicans in November. They're accessories to mass murder and they don't deserve public trust... to put it mildly. Hold them accountible:
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At 11:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd trust you to be a judge, DWT. You'd be fair but tough and unforgiving of what's unforgiveable. So good to hear about what the Stoner family is making public. This site is the first place I'd heard this. That's not an uncommon thing at all in my years of reading your blog. A good source for the most crucial and pertinent bits of information which then are used as a basis for thought-provoking analysis.

As for this, "Take my word for it, justice was rougher than than the official report of suicide": Can you provide further reading about this, or maybe dish some our way? You can't just leave it totally as mystery, can you? Heh.


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