Full site / Mobile. To Top or End. Click Full site for site navigation links at top. Mobile has three-line hamburger menu. Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security all came from Democrats. You pay the taxes while healthier. Republicans prefer you die. 50% in U.S. Fear Bankruptcy Due to Major Health Event. [36]

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Share links: sentencing - sentences - NRA - handguns. This article was written by Timeshifter.

Households with handguns: Canada: 3%. USA: 30%.

Republican/NRA-led drug war

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Timeline: A Crackdown Chronology. Mother Jones. "1995: 24 states now have [NRA's] 3-strikes laws on the books. Drug offenders soon make up 25% of the total prison population, with 10 times as many 3rd-strikers serving time for drug possession as for 2nd-degree murder."

Jeff Sessions and the Conservative Nostalgia for Harsh Sentencing. A new Republican bill would slap nonviolent criminals with 15-year mandatory minimum sentences. August 15, 2018. By Manuel Madrid. American Prospect.

Some people don't know that the National Rifle Association had a large part in causing the huge increase in the U.S. incarceration rate. The NRA strongly lobbied state-by-state for mandatory minimum sentences (also known as "Truth in Sentencing"), and "Two and Three Strikes" laws. Mandatory-minimum sentences are the root cause of the astronomical US incarceration rate according to a New York Times article. The majority of people incarcerated in the U.S. are in prison or jail due to drug-related offenses, crimes to get money for drugs, or drug-related parole or probation violations.
NRA spending on federal elections

At least $55 million in 2016. Much more if internet ads, member mobilization, field operations, and sham issue ads are counted. Data source. [92].

Ozzy Osbourne. If guns don't kill people

See source.

Handgun deaths by country

Republicans support domestic violence

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"the presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the risk of homicide by 500%." This quote is from the article below:

5 Apr 2019: 157 Republicans Just Opposed Renewing The Violence Against Women Act. On HuffPost.

30% of US households own handguns

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The demographics of gun ownership in the U.S.. June 22, 2017. Pew Research Center. From the article:

About four-in-ten adults (42%) report that there is a gun in their household, ... Overall, about seven-in-ten gun owners say they own a handgun or pistol (72%),

Doing the math (.72 x .42 = .30) shows that 30% of US households own handguns.

Guns are responsible for the largest share of U.S. homicides in over 80 years, federal mortality data shows. By Christopher Ingraham. April 2, 2018. Washington Post. "All told, in 2016 gun homicides made up 74.5 percent of all homicides in the United States — the highest share in well over 80 years of complete federal data."

2.9% of Canadian households own handguns

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Percent of Canadian households with handguns - Canada — Gun Facts, Figures and the Law. From the "Gun Numbers" section of the page: "In Canada, the percentage of households with one or more handguns is reported to be":

2005: 2.9%
1999/2003: 1.8%
1995/98: 2.3%
1992/94: 3.9%
1989: 5.2%

Responses are from the 5 sweeps of the ICVS (1989-2005) and the EU ICS (2005), in which victims of crime were interviewed in 31 countries.

van Dijk, Jan, John van Kesteren and Paul Smit. 2007 ‘Ownership of Firearms and Handguns in Countries and Main Cities (percentages): 1989-2005 ICVS and 2005 EU ICS.’ Criminal Victimisation in International Perspective: Key findings from the 2004-2005 ICVS and EU ICS, p. 279. Vienna: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime / UNODC.

Canada. We do not have a mass shooting problem

Canada's murder rate is 1/3 the US rate

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Israel dismisses NRA claims

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Israel dismisses NRA’s claims about guns laws. 2012. The Times of Israel. And: Israel’s gun control laws can make the US safer, too. Feb. 15, 2018. New York Post.

Israel has a LOW rate of civilian gun ownership. Only 6.7 guns per 100 residents. Lower than many European countries. Far lower than the USA at 120 guns per 100 residents. See Wikipedia: Estimated number of civilian guns per capita by country. Israel also has a low homicide rate. See Wikipedia: List of countries by intentional homicide rate. And: Key Gun Violence Statistics* | Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

NRA's part in the drug war

Return to top. See also: Life for pot. And: Republican-led drug war. And: Drug war causes high U.S. incarceration rate.

See main sections below:

Scaring crazy people into not being crazy, and not killing large numbers of people. That is what the NRA believes long long mandatory minimum sentences are going to do. It hasn't happened. A better idea is universal background checks, and preventing crazy people, violent people, wife beaters, and child abusers from getting legal firearms in the first place. It is important to note that not all classes of the mentally divergent have a higher risk of violence or suicide. So some of the higher functioning ones could be allowed to have guns.

Most inmates are incarcerated due to the drug war.

The Big House That Wayne LaPierre Built. "In 1993 [NRA's] CrimeStrike spent $90,000 to put on the ballot in Washington state a new kind of sentencing law called 'Three strikes and you're out', ... Within just a few years, 23 states had enacted variations of the three-strikes statutes."

Backed by NRA CrimeStrike, the nation's first "Three Strikes and You're Out" law was enacted by ballot initiative in Washington state in 1993, sending a shock-wave reverberating through legislatures in 21 states and the U.S. Congress over the next two years. ...

In California, however, the Three Strikes language was very broad -- with any of 500 felonies counting as a possible third strike to trigger a 25-to-life sentence -- plus it included a doubling of the prison term for a second strike.

Above quote (emphasis added) from: Getting Tough on Crime: The History and Political Context of Sentencing Reform Developments Leading to the Passage of the 1994 Crime Act. Published in Sentencing and Society: International Perspectives. Edited by Cyrus Tata and Neil Hutton. Ashgate Publishing Limited, Hampshire, England, 2002.

Firearm death rates in high-income countries

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Gun-related deaths in high-income countries. Deaths per million people. Suicides in gray on the left. Homicides in darker color on the right. USA is the long bloody line at the end.
Gun-related deaths in high-income countries

Click to enlarge.

NRA demonization of drug users

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The National Rifle Association (NRA) has often demonized drugs as a way to distract clueless Americans from restricting handgun ownership as Canada does. For example:

NRA ad 2013 Feb 14

Jesus dude

Hey, angry white male Republican voters! Lighten up, dudes. Jesus' first miracle was turning water into wine. Jesus healed using cannabis [34]. Stop worshiping Ronald 6 Wilson 6 Reagan 6, and "Just Say No", and the NRA's mandatory minimums.

The mandatory minimum sentencing laws at the federal level, and in many states, apply to marijuana possession above a certain amount, or growing above a certain number of plants. For more charts of all federal mandatory minimums (not just for marijuana and other drug offenses), see these pages.

The "truth-in-sentencing" (mandatory minimum sentencing) and "Two and Three Strikes" laws apply to many nonviolent criminals. At both the federal and state level. See history farther down of the NRA's state-by-state CrimeStrike campaign. With help from ALEC and Corrections Corporation of America.

  • Federal Judge Quits, Calls Judicial System Unjust. June 25, 2003. Associated Press (AP) story, National Public Radio interview, and Judge John S. Martin's statement. "The result, he said, is a slew of lengthy prison sentences for low-level drug dealers 'who society failed at every step.' ... While many judges have criticized sentencing guidelines, it is unusual for a judge to publicly cite the frustrations of the job in stepping down." See also: Let Judges Do Their Jobs. By Hon. John S. Martin Jr..

Dissenting Opinions of Judges, Federal Drug Sentencing, Mandatory Minimum Sentences. A list of many articles by judges. At November Coalition site.

Timeline of mandatory minimum sentencing (does not include jail inmates): State and federal prison incarceration rate timeline with highlights

Homicide rate is higher in the USA

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See Wikipedia:

Chart below. Homicide rates of USA (top line), Australia, Canada, Spain (ESP), Great Britain, and the Netherlands.

Homicide rates of USA and Western nations 1950 - 2010

Above chart is from: OECD "How Was Life?", page 147. And this article.

More people killed by US domestic gunmen (1,516,863) since 1968 than in all wars fought by America (1,396,733). [93]. From June 13, 2016 article in The Express.

Killed by firearms in USA 2001-2013

Survivors of gun violence are fed up. CNN.

Mass Incarceration and high murder rate damage U.S. Global Peace Ranking. June 9, 2016 article in U.S. News and World Report. See: Wikipedia: List of countries by incarceration_rate.

A gunman killed 35 people in Australia
Washington Post: Oregon dispute arises from small fires and mandatory minimum sentencing. Jan. 4, 2016 article. Irony of white Oregon militias opposing mandatory minimum sentences championed by racist NRA Republicans to target black drug users. And: The Big Lie in the War Against Drugs. "two enemies: the antiwar Left, and Black people."

Most firearm deaths in the USA are from handguns. [94][95]. Canada has a much lower rate of handgun ownership than the USA. See chart. Canada has a much lower murder rate. See Wikipedia: List of countries by intentional homicide rate.

Number of guns per capita by country

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The table at the above link is currently way out of date. For more recent rates look up the individual countries here:

See also:

Americans are against mandatory minimums

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Poll on mandatory minimum sentencing for non-violent drug offenders

Above chart from here: Here’s how much Americans hate mandatory minimum sentences. By Christopher Ingraham. October 1, 2015. Washington Post.

Papa Bush doubles down on War on Drugs

US incarceration rate timeline

Number incarcerated in the USA peaked in 2008. Let us not forget about the astronomical increase in the number of correctional officers, too. 469,500 in 2012. See: Correctional Officers : Occupational Outlook Handbook : U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Return to top. Share link: Papa Bush.

Some think there won't be room for them in jail. We'll make room. We're almost doubling prison space. Some think there aren't enough prosecutors. We'll hire them, with the largest increase in Federal prosecutors in history.

Life for pot

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See main article: USA. Life for pot. See also: Number of marijuana prisoners in the USA.
Jeff Mizanskey 2015 Sep 1

Jeff Mizanskey 2015 Sep 1

Buried Alive. Non-violent drug sentencing

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NRA CrimeStrike campaign

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Cops say legalize pot. Ask me why

He is Howard J. Wooldridge. See Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, and Facebook pages worldwide. Wikipedia: LEAP. Share link.

The NRA must not be proud of their original CrimeStrike program. At the time of this writing, the NRA website ( does not mention their original CrimeStrike program. See this search of their website for "CrimeStrike". It only finds a television program.

Fortunately, Google finds the history of CrimeStrike elsewhere:

Getting Tough on Crime: The History and Political Context of Sentencing Reform Developments Leading to the Passage of the 1994 Crime Act. Published in Sentencing and Society: International Perspectives. Edited by Cyrus Tata and Neil Hutton. Ashgate Publishing Limited, Hampshire, England, 2002. Quote (emphasis added):

At the start of the Clinton administration in 1993 (and in the face of Clinton's strong expressions of support for gun control) the National Rifle Association announced it would launch a national campaign to get tough on criminals (Balz 1993). This was seen by many as a ploy to divert support away from Democratic gun control initiatives. NRA CrimeStrike -- a division of the National Rifle Association which had been founded in 1991 to "focus on the failures of America's criminal justice system" was then headed by Steve Twist, a close associate of Bob Corbin, the former Arizona Attorney General who had served as President of the NRA. According to its internet advertisements, NRA CrimeStrike has worked to pass "truth in sentencing" laws in Arizona, Mississippi, and Virginia; and "Three Strikes and You're Out" laws in Washington, California, Delaware, Georgia, North Carolina, Vermont, and Pennsylvania. ...

Backed by NRA CrimeStrike, the nation's first "Three Strikes and You're Out" law was enacted by ballot initiative in Washington state in 1993, sending a shock-wave reverberating through legislatures in 21 states and the U.S. Congress over the next two years. ...

In California, however, the Three Strikes language was very broad -- with any of 500 felonies counting as a possible third strike to trigger a 25-to-life sentence -- plus it included a doubling of the prison term for a second strike.

The book chapter discussed above mentions this NRA report from the early 1990s: CrimeStrike Special Report: Elements for an Effective Criminal Justice System. Author: CrimeStrike, A Division of the NRA.

US incarceration timeline

November Coalition graph. Some Congressmen and police who prosecuted the War on Drugs now believe it caused a large increase in the United States incarceration rate. See Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, and larger chart with sources. See template. Incarceration peaked in 2008.

Showing Holes. By Peter H. Stone. Mother Jones. January/February 1994 Issue. Quote from article (emphasis added):

The NRA also made the major blunder of taking on Joseph McNamara, the well-known former head of the San Jose, California, police department. The NRA ran an ad, headlined "So You Want Legalized Drugs in America?", that distorted McNamara's beliefs and angered many law enforcement officials.

CrimeStrike, which combines state lobbying with national advertising and direct-mail blitzes, appears to have been launched partly to woo back the police community. It is also aimed at diverting public attention from gun-control measures and focusing it on NRA-backed campaigns to pass tougher sentencing laws and build more prisons in several states. This past election season [1993], CrimeStrike succeeded in pushing initiatives through in Washington and Texas.

NRA and Charlton Heston Criticize Safety Valve. DRCNet Activist Guide, Issue: #2, August 1994. Quote (emphasis added):

In a highly dishonest advertisement by the National Rifle Association on CNN last Tuesday, actor Charlton Heston criticized the Crime Bill, claiming that it would let 10,000 drug dealers back out on the streets.

The NRA Strikes Back. By Chris Bryson, In These Times, March 17, 1997, pp. 18-19. Click "full page" link for full-size pages. Quote (emphasis added):

the NRA formed CrimeStrike in 1991 as a division of its lobbying arm, the Institute for Legislative Action. ... CrimeStrike logged its first victory in November 1993 when it backed Washington state's "Three Strikes and You're Out" initiative, the nation's first. ... That success was rapidly followed by similar victories in California and Virginia, where NRA lobbyists again provided essential money and manpower to "three strikes" campaigns. In Virginia and Mississippi, according to CrimeStrike state legislative affairs director Susan Misiora, the NRA was "instrumental" in passing truth-in-sentencing measures which lengthened average prison sentences.

When Misery Means Profit: Immigration Enforcement, the Prison Industry and ALEC. 2011 article by AZ resists ALEC. See Wikipedia: American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Article quote (emphasis added):

In the early 1990s, the NRA, an ALEC member, initiated a campaign called CrimeStrike designed to win passage of ALEC’s “Truth in Sentencing Act” and “Habitual Violent Offender Incarceration Act” in state legislatures. Between 1993 and 1995, truth-in-sentencing laws were adopted by twenty states and by 1998 ALEC could declare victory as truth-in-sentencing bills had become law in 40 states. In addition, 25 states now have three-strikes laws similar to ALEC’s model legislation. Of course, the result of this legislation is predictable and well documented: during the 1990s, prison construction boomed, the incarceration rate doubled driven by a prison population expansion of one-half million people and private jailers secured lucrative new contracts to house thousands of inmates from overcrowded public facilities.
US criminal justice cost timeline

$228 billion total in 2007 according to BJS data. $36 billion in 1982 (not adjusted for inflation). Detailed yearly costs timeline is here (scroll down). See inflation-adjusted chart. BJS is U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics. The majority of prisoners are incarcerated due to the drug war. See drug war charts and maps. State prisons averaged $31,286 per inmate in 2010. See: Costs of U.S. drug war.

Not for Praise, but for Principle. August 18, 1995. An address to the 17th Annual NRA National Shooting Coaches and Instructors Conference. By Thomas C. Wyld, Director, PR & Communications, National Rifle Association. Institute for Legislative Action. Fairfax, Virginia. Quote (emphasis added):

That's why, in the first six months of this year alone, NRA's Institute for Legislative Action, through its CrimeStrike Division, has worked toward criminal justice reform and victims' rights in fifteen states -- from "Three Strikes You're Out" in Vermont to the "Hard Time for Armed Crime" Initiative in Washington state. Think about that. Criminal justice reform. And victims' rights. In fifteen states. In just six months. By one citizens' group. Yours. The National Rifle Association. NRA is working for -- and passing -- Two and Three Strikes laws to ensure that repeat offenders are kept behind bars for life. NRA is working for -- and passing -- truth-in-sentencing to require violent criminals to serve eighty-five percent of sentences imposed.

Corporate Con Game. June 21, 2010. By Beau Hodai, In These Times. Quote (emphasis added):

In the early '90s, the ALEC's Criminal Justice Task Force was co-chaired by Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), the country's largest private prison company. During those years, the National Rifle Association (NRA), another task force member (and the current task force co-chair), initiated a campaign to introduce two pieces of ALEC-inspired legislation at the state and federal level: the so-called "truth-in-sentencing" and "three-strikes-you're-out" laws. Truth-in-sentencing called for all violent offenders to serve 85 percent of their sentences before being eligible for release. Three strikes called for mandatory life imprisonment for a third felony conviction. The NRA campaign, dubbed "CrimeStrike,"...

10 Myths of Gun Control. March 1996, NRA Institute for Legislative Action. Quote (emphasis added):

NRA is meeting that challenge with its CrimeStrike division, established to advance real solutions to the crime problem while protecting the rights of all honest citizens. Working in states across the nation, CrimeStrike has worked for passage of "truth in sentencing laws" which require that criminals actually serve at least 85% of time sentenced, "Victim's Bill of Rights" constitutional amendments, and "Three Strikes You're Out" laws.

Disenfranchised from voting, college, jobs

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This racist drug war is triply hard. People convicted of misdemeanor cannabis offenses, and other drug offenses, are blocked from getting much college financial aid. Drug convictions of all kinds can block job opportunities. And worst of all felons can be blocked permanently from voting. It is the epitome of Nixon's drug war racism and the "Southern strategy". See Wikipedia: Felony disenfranchisement. See map of U.S. felony disenfranchisement laws by state. See news.

2nd Amendment supported slave patrols

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Just like the NRA uses the second amendment to support mandatory minimum sentences to fight the racist drug war.

Shoulda Robbed a Bank

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Drug Sentences Driving Federal Prison Population Growth, Government Report Finds. By Phillip Smith, Sept. 13, 2012. - A comment:

What I saw during my 5 years in Federal Prison. by UndertheRadar (not verified), September 20, 2012, 12:33pm. I stayed 5 years in Federal Prison for a marijuana offense. While I was there, I watched armed bank robbers come and go in as little as 17 months. One lad was in for armed Post Office robbery with a sawed off shotgun...his stay, 20 months. When I went to the parole board after 3 years 'behind the wall,' I pointed this out to the panel members. Their response, "You must understand that yours was a very serious offense." I laughed about that for 2 more years (as I still sat in prison), then wrote my book: Shoulda Robbed a Bank. When I was in, the entire Federal Prison population was just over 28,000. Drug offenders made up 53% of that number. I see today that population has risen to over 218,000. Prison is big business. It used to be called 'slavery.' Please read Shoulda Robbed a Bank. I need the money... It's available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.

People incarcerated for drug offences

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See main article: People in prisons and jails in the USA for drug-related crime. And: Number of marijuana prisoners in the USA. And: Drug war causes high U.S. incarceration rate. And: The U.S. Drug War. Republicans lead.

489,000 in 2013 (see chart below). For drug offenses alone.

Need to add in drug-related burglary, robbery, murder, etc..
All to get drug money, defend turf, etc.

More articles and links

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Truth in sentencing:

See Google News: mandatory minimum. And sorted by date.

Handguns, firearms, deaths. By country

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Chart below: Household ownership of handguns and firearms by country. For U.S, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and European nations.

2004-5 firearm ownership by household by country 2

2004-2005. See info.

Percentage of homicides via firearms by region

Source: Page 18, Figure 11. International Statistics On Crime and Justice. European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control. Affiliated With the United Nations. Edited by S. Harrendorf, M. Heiskanen, S. Malby.

Handguns equal high murder rate

2004-5 firearm ownership by household by country

2004-2005. See info.

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Stats for people shot in the USA

The U.S. stats for shootings are startling. Above graphic is old. For more recent info: About Gun Violence | Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence:. See Wikipedia: Brady Campaign. See table of CDC stats: Gun Death and Injury Stat Sheet 2008 & 2009.

In 2005 almost 3% of households in Canada possessed handguns, compared to 18% of U.S. households that possessed handguns. See chart. Canada has a much lower homicide rate than its neighbor to the south, the USA.

In 2011, 72% of the 8,583 homicides committed using firearms in the United States were committed using handguns. See: Expanded Homicide Data Table 8 - Murder Victims by Weapon, 2007-2011. By the FBI (U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation)

Nearly all of Western Europe bans or severely restricts handguns. Rifles and shotguns are legal to own. The murder rates are much lower than in the USA. See Wikipedia:

GOP wants easy way to buy silencers

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Lower gun death rates via gun control laws

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Wanting sensible traffic laws don't make me anti-car

Handguns and long guns. By country

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Table 18 heading: "Ownership of firearms and handguns in countries and main cities (percentages). 1989-2005 ICVS and 2005 EU ICS." From the report intro: "A large portion of the latest data in this report comes from the European Survey on Crime and Safety (EU ICS), organised by a consortium led by Gallup Europe, co-financed by the European Commission’s Directorate General for Research and Technology Development."

The percentages in table 18 below are by household (click to enlarge).

Household ownership of firearms and handguns by country and city

More info.

NRA, handguns, youth murders in Chicago

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Return to top. See above chart for household possession of firearms and handguns by country.

The NRA refuses to acknowledge that countries with low rates of handgun ownership have much lower murder rates. Only nationwide handgun restriction works well.

The statistics do not show the terror and post-traumatic stress of living in the war zones where many urban high schools in the USA are found.

"We spent five months at Harper High School in Chicago, where last year alone 29 current and recent students were shot. We went to get a sense of what it means to live in the midst of all this gun violence, how teens and adults navigate a world of funerals and Homecoming dances."

NRA's heroic gunslinger myth

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10 Pro-Gun Myths, Shot Down

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High-capacity magazines should be banned

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New Zealand bans types of semi-automatic weapons, high capacity magazines after mass shooting. 21 Mar 2019.

High-capacity magazines for rifles make some sense, but not much, in making the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution more effective as a bulwark against tyranny. But they cause far more damage in mass shootings. They should be banned. Both for handguns and long guns. See this article explaining why a single rifle shot is so much more deadly than a handgun shot:

The proliferation of handguns is far more important in causing higher murder rates than long guns. Getting rid of handguns is what is necessary. Rifles and shotguns do not need to be banned. An "assault rifle" that is legal in the USA is just a semi-automatic rifle. Many hunting rifles are semi-automatic.

Fully-automatic rifles (machine guns) are no longer legal in the USA for the most part.

Handguns are laughable weapons for defending against tyranny. They should be banned since most murders in the USA are committed with them.

For more info and points of view:

Bump stocks should be banned

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The elephant is the mascot of the Republican Brownshirts. See: Holy War on Drugs, Republican-led mass incarceration. Share link.

More cops, more guns, more jails

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See: Drug war causes high U.S. incarceration rate.

Whatever good the NRA has done is far outweighed by its part in creating an incarceration nation. See Drug war charts and maps. See Wikipedia: Mandatory minimum sentencing, and Two and Three Strikes laws. On the day of the Mayan apocalypse, Dec. 21, 2012, the NRA marched in: "LaPierre announced that former Rep. Asa Hutchinson [ex-DEA chief], R-Ark., will lead an NRA program that will develop a model security plan for schools that relies on armed volunteers." Many of them trained and indoctrinated by the NRA. NRA Press Conference: Wayne LaPierre Calls For Armed Police Officers At Every School. Huffington Post, Dec. 21, 2012.

  • Eisenhower on armed guards in schools

    Armed guards, many of them indoctrinated and trained by the NRA.

  • US prison industry. New form of slavery

George Orwell, rifles, and tyranny

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George Orwell: "The totalitarian states can do great things, but there is one thing they cannot do: they cannot give the factory-worker a rifle and tell him to take it home and keep it in his bedroom. That rifle hanging on the wall of the working-class flat or labourer's cottage, is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there." -- January 8, 1941 in an article for the London Evening Standard. See source.

The Republican Party (GOP) and the NRA are responsible for mass incarceration, and removing rifles and voting rights from millions of drug users and non-violent felons across the United States. See: Can Convicted Felon Purchase or Possess a Firearm?.

Handguns don't defend against tyranny. That is laughable. Rifles defend against tyranny. And the country of Orwell, the UK, bans handgun ownership for the most part. See Wikipedia: Gun politics in the United Kingdom. All handguns do is greatly increase the murder rate.

Canada versus USA

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American Exception. Inmate Count in US Dwarfs Other Nations'. April 22, 2008. New York Times. Page 1, section A, front page. Archive. From the article (emphasis added):

Still, it is the length of sentences that truly distinguishes American prison policy. Indeed, the mere number of sentences imposed here would not place the United States at the top of the incarceration lists. If lists were compiled based on annual admissions to prison per capita, several European countries would outpace the United States. But American prison stays are much longer, so the total incarceration rate is higher. ... "Rises and falls in Canada's crime rate have closely paralleled America's for 40 years," Mr. Tonry wrote last year. "But its imprisonment rate has remained stable."
Danny Zuker on Canada

Wikipedia: Danny Zuker. His Twitter feed. Canada has a much lower rate of handgun ownership than the USA. See chart. Much lower incarceration and murder rates too.

New York Times: "Rises and falls in Canada's crime rate have closely paralleled America's for 40 years," Mr. Tonry wrote last year. "But its imprisonment rate has remained stable." [125] [126]. April 22, 2008.

Youtube video. Pot and Politics: Chris Bennett at Occupy Vancouver (15 Oct 2011). The Harperization of the Drug War in Canada (one minute into video). Speech discusses Prime Minister Stephen Harper's attempts at slavish imitation of the U.S. drug war and mandatory minimum sentencing.

Children and teen gun death rate

See source article. By The Huffington Post. See image info. [35].

Finland's open prisons

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Listen to the audio too.

"By the end of this period of 'decarceration,' Finland had one of the lowest rates of imprisonment on the continent. Lappi-Seppälä says crime didn’t increase as a result. 'The lesson from Finland was that it was perfectly possible to drop the use of imprisonment [by two-thirds,]' he says, 'and that did not disturb the crime trend development in Finland.' What did work was a gradual reintroduction into normal life, the kind that the open prisons offer. About a third of Finnish inmates are housed in open prison, and Finland’s Criminal Sanctions Agency says inmates who go through open prisons are less likely to be arrested again. The reoffending rate drops almost 20 percent. Open prisons also cost less."

Germany's kinder and safer prisons

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Germany has much lower incarceration and murder rates than in the USA.

"Inmates live in rooms and sleep in beds, not on concrete or steel slabs with thin padding. They have privacy—correctional officers knock before entering. Prisoners wear their own clothes, and can decorate their space as they wish. They cook their own meals, are paid more for their work, and have opportunities to visit family, learn skills, and gain education. ... There is little to no violence—including in communal kitchens where there are knives and other potentially dangerous implements. And the maximum time inmates spend in any kind of punitive solitary is eight hours. ... In Germany, prosecutors and judges are not elected. As career civil servants, they are insulated from public opinion."

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