Fox News Ramps Up Intimidation Machine Before NRA Convention

Prior to the NRA convention, the NRA PR team works with Fox News and their home grown trolls to intimidate and discredit gun-control activists. A coordinated attack is underway right now.

Amanda Gailey, left, and Catherine Koebel, co-founders of The Great American Gun Melt, protest outside NRA lobbyist Chris Cox’s home in Alexandria.

My friend Amanda Gailey protested outside of NRA lobbyist Chris Cox’s home and his wife’s business, Ivy Lane Linens & Living in Old Town Alexandria Virginia, a few weeks ago. I wrote about it here, NRA Fears Women Brandishing Posters Protest Gun-Lobbyist Cox

Both protests were peaceful and legal. The Coxs called the police at both locations. The police made it clear the protesters did nothing wrong, however a woman identified as Cox’s wife did assault Catherine Koebel, one of the two protesters at the business, when she snatched the video recording phone from her hand and threw it on the ground. Catherine Koebel declined to press charges

The WaPo did a story about this. Protesters target NRA lobbyist’s home and wife’s business.

Tucker Carlson did a story about it during his ‘The Aggressive Left” segment under the heading “Campus Craziness.”

Tucker was very concerned about people going to Cox’s house to protest. He questioned Jason Nichols, a University of Maryland professor about it asking,“Is it okay, if you decide you disagree with someone you can show up at his house and scream at his wife and kids?”

Gailey and her fellow protester did not scream at Cox’s wife and kids. I have a copy of the entire protest recorded as evidence. They also were on a busy public intersection. (Watch the last section of the video below. WARNING not polite language, photo of child who was shot.)

Tucker is really concerned about what is “normal” and asked, “Do decent people do this?” He states he believes that this crosses over into, “indefensible behavior.”

Tucker says doing this is not okay. “It’s disgusting and wrong.” Those are his words. If you have the stomach for it, watch the first part of his smarmy, annoying, disingenuous segment.

Fox Intimidation 
Today it appears Carlson sent a producer to Lincoln Nebraska in full Jesse Watters, James O’Keefe mode. The producer and a cameraman showed up in a truck outside Gailey’s home, followed her to her daughter’s middle school and then confronted her. He didn’t give his full name, or the program he was working for, just Charles.

Charles Couger, a producer for Tucker Carlson on Fox News

He starts with, “All we want to know is whether you’re comfortable…”

Meanwhile Gailey starts recording, identifies the truck and asks the name of the producer and the station he is with. He declines to say it on camera for Gailey.

“Are you okay with people confronting you about your political beliefs in your private life like you did to Chris Cox?”

Gailey gives her message to Cox, reiterating the point of her protest, that Cox makes his money off of the death and misery of Americans. He can live in a fancy neighborhood because he sucks his wealth out of dead children’s bodies. Every bullet from every gun in every dead baby in this country profits Chris Cox.

[BTW I have the full video from Gailey’s POV and it is available for Rachel Maddow’s producers. Especially if Carlson does a segment on this…]

Tucker said in his “Campus Craziness” segment that standing on a street corner with a sign outside someone’s house is “a threat.”

Carlson’s comment mirrors the language of the NRA attorney for the Coxes who said, “These coordinated tactics have crossed the line of civility and human decency.”

GOP Intimidation 
The producer also asks Gailey about the three state senators trying to take her on. (Nebraska politicians Holloran, Erdman and Brewer are attacking Gailey because she and her group, Nebraskans Against Gun Violence, blocked NRA legislation.)

Gailey was not doing anything wrong using her 1st Amendment rights, but the politicians think she should be more civil. They believe professors should model what they call “right behavior” propriety, civility and respect for opposing viewpoints, which they state “used to be the hallmarks of a good education at UNL.” (Link)

Also Gov. Pete Ricketts rescinded Gailey’s “Admiral in the Nebraska Navy” award after Gailey testified against a bill the governor supported. Nebraska is a landlocked state, it’s a joke award given to people who are nominated by friends. Ricketts is speaking at the NRA convention this Friday.

The coordination that the NRA complains about and the threats that they talk about are classic projection. They pitched the idea to Carlson, who sent a producer out with the premise, “Liberal snowflakes don’t like it when THEY are protested! Make the liberal snowflakes cry!” This is a variation of the tactic used by James O’Keefe and his people or the Koch-funded conservative group Turning Point USA people (who have actively gone after Gailey and other professors at UNL.) They try to turn the tables on liberals with false equivalencies, “You liberals say you are tolerant but you won’t tolerate my hate speech!”

Assault Rifles vs Assault Posters

Two days ago in Phoenix there was a “die in” calling for better gun laws in Arizona. A group called Patriot Movement AZ (or Arizona Patriots) protested the students and teachers by shouting at them while open carrying handguns on their hips.

Jennifer Harrison, of member of Patriot Movement Arizona, who shouted at children at a protest in Phoenix while carrying a gun.

Another photo of Jennifer Harrison and Arizona Patriots with Arizona Governor Doug Ducey

There is a huge qualitative difference between an armed protest and a paper one. In Arizona they are both legal. Does Tucker see these armed protests as normal and what “decent people do?”

When the Maryland professor addressed the question of protesters going to the Coxs’ house he said, “I’m assuming he’s armed.” referring to Cox. Carson recoiled in shock, “It’s not a matter about being armed. I hope we aren’t suggesting it’s going to get to gun play. I’m asking a philosophical question.” (BTW, armed security were both at the house and at the business.)

Yeah right. This is a classic NRA open carry gun toter “philosophical” question, “I’m just showing off my 2nd Amendment right on my hip. What are you afraid of? The gun is just an inanimate object. It’s all legal.” But of course armed protesters ARE suggesting that it might get to gun play, and they will “win the discussion” because of it.

One of the ways that the NRA uses its power is to unleash its fan base against individuals who oppose them. They especially love to go after women. They like to tell them just how afraid they should be if they don’t carry guns. And then some show up with their guns as proof that it’s a scary world out there.

Patriot Movement, AZ Note the alleged White Power hand sign

Keep an eye out for individuals like this who show up to peaceful protests armed. It turns out that for some of them it is NOT legal for them to carry.

As we have been seeing in Florida and other states, people who shouldn’t legally have guns, sometimes still do. The system just hasn’t caught up recording and submitting their mental health issues. Maybe their father gave them back their guns that they weren’t supposed to have. Check up on open carry people to see if they should be carrying.

I’m glad Gailey recorded this because it can be used now in advance to counter the NRA/Fox/GOP narrative. This is the method that I advise people to use when they are up against the O’Keefe’s and Turning Point USA trolls.

However, EVEN when the whole video is available to disprove the accusations, the politicians, NRA trolls and Fox RW media still keep pushing their lies and their desired narrative. That is why I always suggest to my activist friends “ABR. Always Be Recording!” Video can be useful in the future. I know, I’m from it!

Ways to Stop, Slow or Stall Guns In Schools Programs From Growing

Here are a few tactics that might be useful to stop guns in schools programs.

PDF link to report on liability from arming teachers

PDL Link to report on liability with SRO

Ways to Stop, Slow or Stall Guns In Schools Programs From Growing These are based on historical methods that have worked in other states:

1) Demand to see the data on gun programs effectiveness “How effectively can someone with a gun protect a school from someone else with a gun?” Everyone fumbles when it comes to the documented failures of SROs in school shootings. It’s always, “If only…” and “Well, next time…” or “We just need more people with guns in the schools!”  They are not effective for this purpose.

The Post analysis found that gun violence has occurred in at least 68 schools that employed a police officer or security guard. In all but a few of those incidents, the shootings ended before law enforcement of any kind interceded — often because the gunfire lasted only a few seconds. Prolonged attacks, of course, can be even more fraught, as McClanahan’s experience illustrates.

Of the nearly 200 Post-identified incidents of school gunfire, only once before this week has . . . → Read More: Ways to Stop, Slow or Stall Guns In Schools Programs From Growing

Failures in Hiring, Training and Supervision of SROs Lead to Government Liabilities

I recently wrote a piece on the school board meeting in Brevard County in Florida. Why Are School Boards Putting More Guns In Schools? One of the speakers, Connie Rookie, a military law enforcement vet, sent me a copy of this article from the National Association of School Resource Officers, NASRO. “Arming School Personnel, School Safety Reform and Liability. from 2015.

I’ve contacted the author, Professor Bernard James to do a follow-up on legal liabilities issues in the state of Florida.

He also has a School Safety Law Blog  and a list of his articles on Legal Updates at NASRO  I specifically want to point out the piece, “Government Liability and the failure to train? I’m especially interested to see if this 2009 study referenced was updated.

“None of the SROs interviewed in a 2009 study  “received[d] training in mediation, basic de-escalation techniques, or in detecting symptoms and behaviors of youths who have been exposed to violence, trauma, or abuse” and “rarely had any formal knowledge of, or training in, adolescent psychology or development, how to secure the respect and cooperation of youths, or on the behavioral precautions and protections that need to be taken with youths [who have] Individual Education Plans (IEPS) “As a result, SROs may not be properly equipped for their varied . . . → Read More: Failures in Hiring, Training and Supervision of SROs Lead to Government Liabilities

How Do Responsible Gun Owners Confiscate Guns from Mental Ill Friends and Relatives?

The NRA will want to make the Waffle House shooting about mental illness, but is also about how to restrict, remove or confiscate guns from people who might be a threat to themselves or others.  In 2012 I wrote this piece asking the question, “Dear Tim: I’m worried my gun-carrying son will hurt others, how do I get his concealed weapons permit revoked?”

What if your gun carrying friend or son is losing it and you are afraid for his life or the life of others. What do you do? What can you do? Let’s say he legally owns guns and has a legal concealed carry permit. He hasn’t been judged mentally ill by a judge, but he is clearly dangerous. What if your state doesn’t have a gun violence restraining law?

Recent laws in California give people a way to keep guns out of the hands of people in this situation.  Illinois, where Travis Reinking is from, recently passed a Violence Order of Protection Act, but state representatives are rewriting the bill and renaming it the Firearm Restraining Order.   Back in 2012 I asked responsible gun owners, “How would you handle this? The disturbed person is more . . . → Read More: How Do Responsible Gun Owners Confiscate Guns from Mental Ill Friends and Relatives?

Why Are School Boards Putting More Guns In Schools?

I spent 8 hours watching and re-watching a Florida school board meeting.  I saw a group of smart, articulate women, and a few men, create strong cases against the proposal to arm teachers and staff.  They provided excellent information and examples of the problems when you bring guns into schools on a permanent basis.

Brevard County School Board appears to be dedicated to a controversial program to arm school staff, despite calls from the superintendent and sheriff to focus their efforts elsewhere and despite droves of residents who have been protesting the program. Tim Shortt / FLORIDA TODAY

I was especially pleased to see them bring up the issue of negligence with guns, liability and ongoing cost of insurance. Especially concerning for school districts is the huge financial risk because of Monell liability.  These were questions the board was unable to answer.  (Video link of the Brevard County school board expressing their confusion around liability, insurance, and asking questions about costs.)

Then I watched some people, who had just explained all the serious problems with guns in schools, come out in support of guns in schools. What the what? In this case these guns would be in the hands of police officers, called . . . → Read More: Why Are School Boards Putting More Guns In Schools?

Parkland Teacher’s Gun Accident Raises Questions for School Boards

Yesterday a Stoneman Douglas teacher left a loaded gun in a public restroom.  A drunk, homeless guy found it and fired it. Luckily nobody was hurt, but “they found a casing in a corner of the bathroom and later found a projectile also in the bathroom.”

Stoneman Douglas teacher Sean Simpson, left his gun in a bathroom

The teacher, Sean Simpson, was arrested and “charged with failing to safely store a firearm, a second-degree misdemeanor.”

The homeless guy, Joseph Spataro, 69, was charged with trespassing and firing a weapon while intoxicated.

This is an important story because it raises questions about who pays for the damage caused when there is an accident involving a gun that was legally carried into a public building, business, church or school that chose to allow the gun inside.

I’m sure someone will dismiss this incident because “technically it didn’t happen in a school.” But incidents just like this happen all the time, there is even a “guns in bathrooms” tumblr page.  With more guns, and new concealed carriers, more of these type of incidents will happen in schools.  However, no gun, no gun accident. But for the gun, there would be no gun left in . . . → Read More: Parkland Teacher’s Gun Accident Raises Questions for School Boards

NRA Fears Women Brandishing Posters Protest Gun-Lobbyist Cox

The NRA and their supporters really don’t like people protesting against their leaders who profit from death and destruction. My friend Amanda Gaily peacefully and legally protested outside the business of the wife of NRA-Lobbyist Chris Cox and outside Cox’s home (which is on a busy public road). The NRA/FOX PR team went nuts. They started up the noise machine,  Tucker Carlson mischaracterizing her protest.  He asked a Maryland professor “Is it okay, if you disagree with someone you can show up his house and scream at his wife and kids?”

The professor repeated that although he doesn’t know all the details, it sounded like a legal protest. Carlson kept pushing the issue focusing on civility and decorum.  The same types of issues that three Nebraska State Senators are concerned about when it comes to this protest.  Not the content, not the validity of how Cox profits from death, just the behavior.

Well. I’m a friend of Gaily’s and I  have video footage of Gailey’s legal peaceful protests.  We can compare that with the kind of protests the NRA engages in with actual shouting at children while carrying guns. Below is the piece I wrote when this first happened.

Today . . . → Read More: NRA Fears Women Brandishing Posters Protest Gun-Lobbyist Cox

What Are The Costs and Consequences of Metal Detectors in Schools?

Schools districts across the country are having town hall meetings to discuss school safety.  A number of solutions will be proposed. Unfortunately, sometimes the people with faulty solutions are great at selling them and getting funding for them. When people are afraid, they often write big checks to the people who claim to offer a solution. Remember those nude X-ray scanners that were put in at airports? They didn’t work. Scientists: Body Scanners Don’t Work, Corbett Was Right   Did you know that the Department of Homeland Security chief, Michael Chertoff, promoted the technology and Homeland Security placed the government’s first order, buying five Rapiscan scanners? Eventually the government bought over 300 of the machines that didn’t work.

One of the suggestions people will make in these Town Halls will be for metal detectors. Lincoln Journal Star education reporter Margaret Reist asked Jon Sundermeier, Lincoln Public School Security Coordinator this question during podcast about security for Lincoln Public schools. “There is a lot of talk about metal detectors. Do we need metal detectors? Why do we not have metal detectors?”

Jon Sundermeier, LPS Security Coordinator

“Again, that’s another community decision. If you think about when you visit the Lancaster County courthouse, if you look at the staff there, . . . → Read More: What Are The Costs and Consequences of Metal Detectors in Schools?

Lawmakers Determined To Get Guns In Schools

Right now the NRA and their supporters are using the Parkland shooting as an opportunity to get multiple people carrying guns into schools all around the country. I’ve been watching legislative sessions and Town Halls in Kansas, Tennessee and Florida where lawmakers are voting to create and fund armed teachers programs.

Here is Republican Randy Fine during a Town Hall on March 28th sponsored by Florida Today   First he said that in his meeting with 12 Parkland students, they didn’t ask about gun control. Then, “What I’ve heard is you like more guns in schools. You just want them to be SROs.”

The NRA strategy in Florida (and other states) is to go to lawmakers who are in charge of school safety and say, “Fund the programs that put people with guns in and around schools.” Then that money gives the NRA lawmakers financial leverage over school safety programs. The money goes to NRA approved training programs in schools and programs to train teachers to use guns.

I’ve watched education resources in Tennessee and Florida get carved up for programs putting guns in schools.  When people asked to move that training money to a totally different areas that didn’t involve guns,  they found . . . → Read More: Lawmakers Determined To Get Guns In Schools

How NRA is Making Armed Teachers A Reality In Kansas

In my piece Let’s Stop The Armed Teachers Plans In Florida And Other States, I mentioned how in Kansas in 2013, the sole insurance provider for public schools, EMC, said it would not insure any school that armed teachers.

Other insurance carriers may have come forward at the time to provide insurance for these armed teachers, but their rates would have been higher, because of the greater liability risks.  The combination of no insurance, or very expensive insurance, stopped armed teachers from being placed in public schools back in 2013.

NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action saw this insurance roadblock and developed a plan. Someone suggested to lawmakers in Kansas that they insert an amendment in a bill that says “Insurance companies can’t refuse to provide a policy to a school district with armed teachers.”

Next, they added a passage that says the insurance company cannot charge unfair discriminatory premiums, policy fees or rates. This is an attempt force the insurance carriers to eat the cost of the  higher premiums necessary to cover the additional risk of gun accidents.

The NRA’s strength isn’t just money, it’s also their legislative strategy and politically active base.  I only found out about this hearing on . . . → Read More: How NRA is Making Armed Teachers A Reality In Kansas