Category Archives: Sean gets Results

How North Carolina receives carpetbaggers Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly

EDITED TO ADD: One of the stated aims of the Giffords/Kelly tour was to visit states where vulnerable Senators voted for or against the Toomey/Manchin gun control bill. Senator Kay Hagan, (D-NC) voted for T/M and is one of the most vulnerable Senators in the 2014 election. I saw no evidence at all that Hagan made any attempt to meet with Giffords or Kelly during this visit. This matches what happened in North Dakota where Democrats distanced themselves from her politically as well as physically.

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North Carolina is shedding its reputation as The Massachusetts of Dixie when it comes to gun laws. We are poised to end a bunch of stupid prohibitions with House Bill 937. And if there’s one thing that North Carolinians can’t stand it’s outsiders coming here to tell us how to run our lives. Strange how a kid from California can move here and go all native, huh? All you Yankee Carpetbaggers, GO HOME!

Today was the last day of Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly’s whirlwind tour of the USA. Seven states in seven days.

Anyone know what this is?

Gabbys plane

That is a photo of the private jet Gabby and Mark flew around in. It’s a $25,000,000 Candair Challenger CL-600. It’s owned by Montfort Aviation, which is owned by the Montfort brothers. Charlie Montfort owns the Colorado Rockies baseball team. It must be nice to have such generous friends to fly you all across the USA to push for further infringements on our rights.

Dubbed the “Rights and Responsibilities Tour” (and hilariously hash tagged #RandRTour, yeah, that plane looks like Rest and Relaxation to me!) Giffords and Kelly seemed to be pushing the Spiderman theory of gun ownership. “With great power comes great responsibility.” The reality is that their organization, “Americans for Responsible Solutions” has four goals.

  1. Ban all private firearm transfers
  2. “Limit” all “high capacity” magazines. Limit appears to mean “ban.”
  3. “Limit” all “assault weapons” however they decide to define that. Limit appears to mean “ban” on this one as well.
  4. Stop “Gun Trafficking.” I guess they plan to make it illegaler. Double illegal? Triple illegal?

So however they spin themselves, they are just another garden variety gun grabber group. We met them on those terms.

It took a lot of doing to find out where the R&R Tour was going to show up. So much so that I actually went to the airport to meet the plane in hopes of getting info on their planned stops for today. The cops kicked me out.

Luckily, the media told us what was happening. We heard several variations, but the basics were that they would shoot sporting clays, have a round table discussion with gun owners, and meet with their supporters. The general consensus was that their round table discussion with gun owners would happen at “The Pit Authentic Barbecue” in downtown Raleigh at around 11AM. Paul Valone of Grass Roots North Carolina couldn’t make it, so he put me in charge and asked me to make it happen. With less than 10 hours notice, we wrangled a crowd of about 25-30 people. Here we are at the beginning when the media showed up

IMG_2208

Photo Credit: Eric S, Raleigh

Immediately the media descended. I gave 4 on camera interviews and one print interview. Our main message was, not surprisingly, “Why is Gabby Giffords trying so hard to avoid the group she claims to represent?” That message set the tone for a lot of the coverage.

WRAL, channel 5.

Giffords meets with gun control supporters in Raleigh

Former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords visited Raleigh Sunday as part of a nationwide “Rights and Responsibilities Tour” to highlight ways they believe tougher laws can reduce gun violence.

Pro-gun rights group Grass Roots North Carolina criticized the couple for sitting down only with members of their organization rather than reaching out to gun owners across the political spectrum.

The group, which last week offered 100 rounds of free ammo to the first person to track down where Giffords would be, also questioned why details of the visit were not released until Saturday morning.

“Why are they hiding from the gun owners they claim to represent?” the group said in a statement Friday.

Here’s the video. I don’t speak on camera, but I spent quite a bit of time explaining to the reporter how they billed this as a “Round table with gun owners,” but we gun owners were excluded. I guess he listened. Listen for the bomb he drops on them for excluding us. You can see me in the crowd scene rocking the purple shirt.

UPDATE: The WRAL video has been pulled from the WRAL website. We’re trying to get another copy.

Note also how many people they have in the “round table.” Fourteen. We had double that on the street outside.

Here’s how NBC17 spun it.

Giffords brings gun control tour to Raleigh

RALEIGH, N.C. – A gun rights group staged a protest Sunday at The Pit restaurant, where former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, met to support tighter gun control laws.

But the gathering was “by invitation only” which led members of Grass Roots North Carolina to ask why they were not invited.

“We’d like to know why Gabby Giffords is hiding from the very gun owners she claims to represent,” said Sean Sorrentino, while protesting outside.

Let’s go to the tape. Watch how they’ve edited it to make it appear that I answer every question Mark asks. This reporter made me look awesome. (If the video doesn’t load for you, this is the link to watch it at their website)

WNCN: News, Weather for Raleigh. Durham, Fayetteville

ABC weighs in with this

Gabrielle Giffords holds Raleigh gun control rally

Not bad.

Here’s News 14 Carolina. I see that I need to work on not sounding so flat.

Here’s the print story from News 14

Gabrielle Giffords meets with Raleigh gun owners to discuss gun control

RALEIGH — Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords visited North Carolina as part of a nationwide tour to promote tougher gun laws.

Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, met with gun owners and victims of gun violence at The Pit restaurant in downtown Raleigh.

The group, Grassroots North Carolina, protested Giffords’ appearance criticizing it for being an “invitation only” event.

“They said they were speaking for the gun owners. Well, they’re hiding from the gun owners,” said Sean Sorrentino.

And finally, the Raleigh newspaper, The News and Observer.

Giffords, NC group both claim to represent gun owners’ best interests

RALEIGH — Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords urged a small group gathered Sunday at The Pit restaurant to keep up the battle to expand criminal background checks on gun sales.

Across the street, about 20 protestors with Grass Roots North Carolina held signs saying “Guns Save Lives.” The protest was the group’s latest attempt to show its frustration with Giffords’ message and with event organizers. A day earlier, Grass Roots North Carolina President Paul Valone publicly offered 100 rounds of free ammunition to the first person to identify the firing range Mark Kelly, Giffords’ husband, visited Sunday morning. The offer was made because Giffords’ and Kelly’s group, Americans for Responsible Solutions, didn’t publicly release details surrounding their Raleigh visit, Valone said.

By keeping the details hush-hush, Giffords and Kelly were not engaging with real gun owners, just a pre-selected group, he said.

Grass Roots North Carolina protest organizer Sean Sorrentino disagreed. Expanding criminal background checks places a hurdle in front of gun owners, Sorrentino said.“It’s saying I have to prove my innocence before I can use my Second Amendment rights,” he said.

Our mission was to deny them the chance to claim to be the middle ground. They are trying to play the “We’re moderate” card. Note how every reporter titled their story except N&O. “Gun Control.” There’s no euphemisms like “Gun Safety.” No “Common Sense Gun Laws.” It’s straight up “Gun Control.” That is pure win for our side.

I am really pleased with how the protest went. GRNC looked pretty good and Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly were variously tarred as lying about the round table and as plain old gun controllers.

If they were hoping to sweep in and change anything, they’ve failed. They’ve only managed to get my face on 3 of the 4 major news channels and GRNC’s repudiation of them in every single story printed. Having failed in their mission, they got in their jet and flew to Asheville so Gabby can continue her rehab.

I hope that Gabby gets better. There’s no reason a would be assassin should destroy her life. There’s also no reason she and her husband should try to use that assasination attempt to take away our rights.

Blogger crashes MAIG Presser, Durham Herald-Sun covers it

The setup

A trio of Triangle mayors led by Durham’s Bill Bell on Thursday sought to put pressure on U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan to support an expansion of mandated pre-purchase background checks of would-be firearms owners. 

 Quoting me

The mayors at Thursday’s event had to deal with pushback from critics of the potential legislation, particular Sean Sorrentino, a Raleigh blogger who terms himself “pro-choice on self-defense.”

Sorrentino said the prospective background-check legislation would make “me, my wife and my friend into felons” by unduly restricting loans or even momentary transfers of possession of a firearm.

The mayors lie in response

Bell and Kleinschmidt rejected the criticism, Kleinschmidt arguing the bill would only cover sales and ensure that “the people purchasing firearms are not felons or seriously mentally ill.”

This is one of two things. Either the mayors know this is a lie, or they are so ignorant of the law being proposed that they don’t know it covers every transfer. Here’s the law itself

‘(3) For purposes of this subsection, the term ‘transfer’–

‘(A) shall include a sale, gift, loan, return from pawn or consignment, or other disposition; and

‘(B) shall not include temporary possession of the firearm for purposes of examination or evaluation by a prospective transferee while in the presence of the prospective transferee.

Whoops.

So Mayors, which is it? Are you simply ignorant of what the bill says? Or are you lying?

Readers, why don’t you ask them? Here are their email addresses.

[email protected][email protected], [email protected]

Send them a link to this post and ask them which it was. Were they they lying when they said that S649 applies only to sales? Or were they just too ignorant to know better?

You can even hit them on Twitter if you have an account. Just click to send the following tweet to them.

Q: @CityofDurhamNC @MayorMarkK & @JackieHolcombe: Lying about firearm transfers? Or just ignorant? http://bit.ly/XQDAOj 

We should never allow politicians to lie to us unchallenged.

A pro-gun blogger crashes MAIG’s press conference (*VIDEO*)

UPDATE: Want to “Punch Back Twice as Hard?” Check out this post with email addresses and twitter link to call the mayors out for their deceit.

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Today was awesome. I had to be in Durham today, and just this morning I found out that the Durham Mayor, a (Illegal) Mayors Against Illegal Guns was holding a press conference to push for passage of Harry Reid’s anti-gun bill. There’s something really cool about seeing the faces of three Mayors when they realize that they’ve invited a question at a press conference from a political opponent.

Harry Reid’s bill, S649 includes an almost carbon copy of Senator Shumer’s “Fix Gun Checks Act.” That bill would have criminalized something I did last year. My wife wanted to learn to shoot my Ruger 10/22. I took my rifle to a friend’s farm and gave it to him. My wife went up to his farm and he taught her to shoot it safely out on the “back forty.” Then he put it in her truck and she brought it home. He had the rifle for about 4 months. S649 would put all three of us in Federal prison for 5 years each, minimum. I asked the mayors, “How would making me, my wife, and our friend Mike into federal felons keep criminals from selling guns to each other on the streets of Durham, Morrisville, or Chapel Hill?” Here’s the video that they played at 6pm.

(RSS Readers, click HERE to see Video)

 I wish you could see how it went down. It was incredibly fun to mess up their set piece press conference. They had children from a local school, a bunch of the sort of women you’d expect for something like this, and some dorky looking fool in a cheap suit and a bad haircut who claimed to be working for MAIG.

The story that went with this video quoted me pretty extensively.

Not everyone at the Durham event, however, agreed with stricter background checks.

Sean Sorrentino, who runs the site NC Gun Blog, said universal checks won’t work because criminals will still figure out ways to get guns.

“I don’t’ think background checks are anything but one more way to trap citizens and send them to jail when all they want to do is exercise their constitutional rights,” he said.

Sorrentino said he believes much of the proposed federal legislation just hurts law-abiding citizens and that there is a lot of detail that people haven’t considered.

For example, he said, it would be illegal for him to loan a gun to a friend to practice shooting – a felony crime that could land him in federal prison for five years.

“If you can’t be trusted with a firearm, you can’t be trusted without a custodian,” Sorrentino said. “If I can’t hand you a firearm and feel safe, then maybe we ought to consider putting you in a place where you can be taken care of.”

I’m particularly proud of dropping David Codrea’s custodian line on them.

If I see other versions of this video, either on WRAL or on NBC17, who also interviewed me, then I’ll post them.

UPDATE: Check out this post with email addresses and twitter link to call out the mayors for their deceit.

How murderous is the USA anyway? or Piers Morgan really is racist!

Miguel points out that the USA is listed 108th in intentional homicide rate. He points out that for Piers Morgan to say

“And you have by far the worst rate of gun murder and gun crime of any of the civilized countries in this world.”

It’s both disingenuous AND racist. Let’s look at the Wiki page “List of Countries by Intentional Homicide Rate.” Taking that data, organizing it and turning it into a bar graph we get this.

Murder Rate Overall

See that little red circle? That’s “murderous” USA compared to everyone else. We barely beat out Turkmenistan for 108th place.

That graph is hard to see, so here’s all the graphs.

Countries with homicide rates 20 or above per 100K

 Murder Rate above 20

Countries with homicide rates 10 to <20 per 100K

Murder Rate 10 to 20

Countries with homicide rates 5 to <10 per 100K

Murder Rate 5 to 10

Countries with homicide rates 2 to <5 per 100K

Murder Rate 2 to 5

Countries with homicide rates 1 to <2 per 100K

Murder Rate 1 to 2

Countries with homicide rates <1 per 100K

Murder Rate 0 to 1

I’ve helpfully colored in the USA at 4.2 murders per 100K. You should also bear in mind that our rate of 4.2 is not just murder, but murder and non-negligent homicide. It’s an entirely different discussion when we start comparing how different countries report their data. (TL/DR version: Japan lies as a matter of police procedure)

Piers Morgan is being disingenuous when he points solely to “gun murder” and “gun crime.” We as Americans don’t care if a murder is committed with a gun or a knife, or with “personal weapons.” Dead is dead. I’ll be happy to accept 4.2 per 100K rather than worse in 107 other countries.

Piers Morgan is also a racist when he says that any country with worse murder rates is not civilized. Like Miguel says, perhaps Piers longs for the days of British Imperialism, where Englishmen went abroad to force other “uncivilized” nations to be more like (Formerly Great) Britain.

Let’s take Piers Morgan EXACTLY at his word. He only wants to talk about GUN murder. Here’s a graph of the Wiki data from “List of Countries by Firearm Death Rates.” I’ve organized it by firearm homicide rate, highest to lowest.

Murder Rate Guns

For those of you who can’t read tiny print, let me make a list of all the “Uncivilized” countries that Piers Morgan dismisses.

  1. El Salvador
  2.  Jamaica
  3.  Honduras
  4.  Guatemala
  5.  Swaziland
  6.  Colombia
  7.  Brazil
  8.  Panama
  9.  Mexico
  10.  Philippines
  11.  Paraguay
  12.  Nicaragua
  13.  Zimbabwe
  14.  Costa Rica
  15.  Uruguay
  16.  Argentina
  17.  Barbados
  18.  United States

Hell, some of those places are so civilized that rich white folks go there on vacation.

Near as I can tell, the majority of these countries they are modern representative democracies.There are a few hell holes on the list, but taken as a whole, the only difference between most of these countries and the USA is the fact that the USA is majority white. So when he says we have the worst “Gun Murder” and worst “Gun Crime” rates of any “Civilized” nation, what he’s really saying is that we’re the worst in that category for “white” nations. He sees civilization strictly in terms of race. If that’s not racist, I don’t know what is.

I dare Piers Morgan to go to each of these countries embassies and tell them that he thinks that they are “uncivilized.” If he’d film it, his network would be able to make Super Bowl level advertising rates on his program. Everyone would tune in to watch an annoying racist prick get his ass kicked.

Murder By Numbers: England and Wales

Back about two years ago I wrote about murderers and their relationship to their victim. The discussion was about the common refrain heard from anti-gunners “the killer was known to the victim.” Anti-gunners like to pretend that by saying that killers and victims usually know each other that this somehow translates into “people kill their family members.”

This is total hogwash, but there is a reason that the anti-gunners try this. They know that, on average, women are more likely to be anti-gun than men. They hope that by lying by omission that they can convince women that they are in terrible danger by living with a man who owns a gun.

On Twitter today someone tried to trot that old story out. The difference is that he lives in the UK, so I didn’t have the data for him. Luckily the Home Office happens to post that data for England and Wales.(PDF. If you prefer Excel spreadsheets of the data, try this) I haven’t looked for Scotland, but I’m sure it exists. Let’s look at some numbers.

This is a handy chart of the relationship of homicide victims age 16 and up in England and Wales in the 2009/2010 data series. This is one year, not two years, apparently the Home Office doesn’t use January 1 as the start date for crime data. The above chart is based upon this data.

So here we can see the underlying data. You can see that the data on Under 16 (U16) is pretty clear. By a three to one margin, children under 16 are killed by family/friends, mostly by parents. I felt that the U16 numbers skew our data, so I factored them out. We aren’t interested (at least in this discussion) in child abuse. We are talking about murder and homicide among adults.

What we see is that while family/partner homicide is almost 29% of the total, those numbers are smaller than BOTH non-family acquaintance homicide and stranger killings. Even in England and Wales, you’re more likely to be killed by someone you know than you are to be killed by someone you know well enough to be sleeping with.

One caution. The England and Wales data, unlike the US data, lumps “unknown relationship” in with “Stranger.” I think this makes sense as if you can’t determine a relationship, then they are strangers, but the FBI disagrees. Keep this in mind if you wish to compare data across countries. 

If you want more England and Wales crime data, you can look for it here.

FBI Uniform Crime Reports are here.

9-11 and Anti-Muslim Bias

Before we get flooded with navel gazing posts blaming America for our evil tendency to treat Muslims like crap after the attacks on 9-11, let’s explore some facts. All statistics are available at the FBI Uniform Crime Reports website.

Hate crimes in general are quite rare in the US. There are over 300 million people in the US, and in the last 14 the total number of hate crimes has never exceeded 10,000. Of those, hate crimes motivated by the religion of the victim have never exceeded 20% of the total for the year.

Here’s a graph of total hate crimes vs. religiously motivated hate crimes.

Religiously motivated hate crimes compared to total hate crimes

You can see that as hate crimes go, religiously motivated hate crimes are not a large percentage of the total.

This is meaningless if all the religious hate crimes in the US are against Muslims, so let’s look at two main religious groups who suffer hate crimes.

There was that one spike in reported anti-Muslim hate crimes in 2001, but even then, the level has never even approached the levels of anti-Jewish hate crimes.

There are very few “Hate Crimes” in the US. Of that very small number, less than 20% are religiously motivated. Of that even tinier percentage, anti-Jewish hate crimes dominate the statistics. That tells me that, media hysteria aside, there is no reason to attack Americans as being generally hostile to Muslims.