Gun Laws, Causes And Who To Blame

In the aftermath of the shooting in Newtown most people are still trying to get to grips with the enormity of this crime. Twenty young children killed and six teaching staff.

It is hard to take in.

However, certain types of politicians and politicos, who are not given to reflection, are trotting out their particular agendas with indecent haste.

Gawker draws attention to Oregon State representative, Dennis Richardson’s crass comments:

“If I had been a teacher or the principal at the Sandy Hook Elementary School and if the school district did not preclude me from having access to a firearm, either by concealed carry or locked in my desk, most of the murdered children would still be alive, and the gunman would still be dead, and not by suicide. “

Incredibly, Mike Huckabee blames the killings on the separation of Church and State.

According to Pink News, Westboro Baptist Church blames Gays for the shooting.

Salon points out that James Dobson blames gays, abortion for shootings and Mary Elizabeth Williams blasts apart Mike Huckabee’s oafish views.

Astonishingly, someone with a particular affliction uses the killings in Newtown to attack Jews.

JHate explains:
[Warning: links to racist material, as a matter of public record.]

“On his December 14 radio show, American anti-Semitic activist Mark Glenn reveals that the villains responsible for the Sandy Hook school massacre are…wait for it…the Jews. “When you see these kinds of things happening,” Glenn says, “you see these kids basically acting out this program that has been installed on their hard drives since they were born, you have to go to the source. Who programmed them? Who taught them that it was OK to do things like this? And again, for me the bottom line is that it’s the Jewish mainstream media….” Glenn is a longtime anti-Semite who is a commentator for Press TV, a semi-official Iranian broadcast network. In recent months he has also founded an internet radio network featuring a roster of anti-Semitic hosts, based on the blogtalkradio.com broadcasting platform.”

Glenn has a long history as an active antisemite and not unsurprisingly, is a friend of Gilad Atzmon.

The dire, Brendan O’Neill at the Torygraph poses a question without a moment’s intellectual engagement:

“There is one question that the pious critics of America’s so-called gun culture cannot answer. If mass school shootings like that in Connecticut really are a product of the apparently mad Second Amendment, of the fact that guns are widely available in the US, then why did such shootings only take off in the late 1970s and early 1980s? Guns have been available in the US for more than two centuries, but multiple-victim shootings in schools, of the sort that rocked Connecticut and Columbine before it, are a very modern phenomenon. It cannot be simply the availability of guns that leads people to massacre children or their fellow students, or else there would have been horrors like this throughout American history. “

Obviously, the difference was the availability of assault rifles, a product of modern technology. That is part of the reason, all of which eluded the contrarian O’Neill.

The Nation demonstrates how assault rifles are available at Walmart in the US.
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Westboro Baptist Church To Picket Newtown

It is hard to credit the thinking behind Westboro Baptist Church’s decision to picket Newtown High School in the aftermath of the recent massacre:

“The Westboro Baptist Church, the controversial group known for protesting outside funerals of slain U.S. service members, announced that it will picket a vigil for the victims of Friday’s Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, the second largest mass killing in American history.

Shirley Phelps-Roper, a spokesperson for the group and, like most members of the organization, a relative of the group’s founder, Fred Phelps, announced on Twitter on Saturday the group’s plan “to sing praise to God for the glory of his work in executing his judgment.”

It is unclear when the group plans to protest, although a tweet from Margie Phelps implied that it would be during a vigil that will be attended by President Barack Obama on Sunday evening.

Members of the Westboro Baptist Church say that America is being punished for its acceptance of gays and lesbians. In recent days, Phelps family members have sent tweets about the Connecticut shooting that have said “God sent the shooter.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center calls the Westboro Baptist Church “arguably the most obnoxious and rabid hate group in America,” while the Anti-Defamation League calls it “a small virulently homophobic, anti-Semitic hate group.”

I am speechless.

Who Is Sam Bacile?

The short answer is, he doesn’t exist.

He’s a pseudonym, a contrivance, a vehicle to stir up hatred, I have detailed it elsewhere, but the ADL does a much better job:

“The anti-Islam film that has sparked con­sid­er­able out­rage and vio­lence across the Mid­dle East and Islamic world appears to be a prod­uct of sev­eral Chris­t­ian anti-Muslim activists.


Although the false claim that the film Inno­cence of Mus­lims was the work of an “Israeli Jew” received wide­spread atten­tion in the U.S. and abroad, recent reports indi­cate that the film was cre­ated, pro­duced and pro­moted by indi­vid­u­als con­nected to a net­work of anti-Muslim organizations.

Nakoula Bas­se­ley Nakoula, a 55-year-old California-based Cop­tic Chris­t­ian, appears to be the one respon­si­ble for cre­at­ing the impres­sion that the film was cre­ated and sup­ported by Jews. Accord­ing to Amer­i­can offi­cials in an inter­view with the Arabic-language tele­vi­sion sta­tion Al Hurra, Nakoula is the alleged pro­ducer and film­maker of the anti-Islam film. Nakoula ini­tially exposed his role to inter­na­tional media under the pseu­do­nym Sam Bacile, a fic­ti­tious indi­vid­ual that the Asso­ci­ated Press had ini­tially reported was “an Israeli film­maker based in Cal­i­for­nia.” In the inter­view with the AP, Nakoula, speak­ing under a pseu­do­nym, said the film cost $5 mil­lion to make “and was financed with the help of more than 100 Jew­ish donors.” These claims have since been dis­proved with the rev­e­la­tion that Sam Bacile does not exist.

Steve Klein is a California-based anti-Muslim Chris­t­ian activist and for­mer U.S. Marine who claims that he pro­vided con­sult­ing ser­vices for the pro­duc­tion of Inno­cence of Mus­lims. In a recent inter­view fol­low­ing the out­break of vio­lence in Cairo and Beng­hazi, Klein described the film as being designed to spark out­rage. In addi­tion to his alleged role in the film’s tech­ni­cal pro­duc­tion, Klein is founder and board mem­ber of Coura­geous Chris­tians United (CCU), an orga­ni­za­tion that protests out­side of mosques, abor­tion clin­ics and Mor­mon tem­ples. CCU issued a state­ment today denounc­ing the film and indi­cat­ing that Klein had been removed from the board. Many of the links on the group’s web­site redi­rect read­ers to sites designed to con­vince Mus­lims, Mor­mons or Jehovah’s Wit­nesses to con­vert to Chris­tian­ity. Klein is also the founder of Con­cerned Cit­i­zens for the First Amend­ment (CCFA), an anti-Muslim group whose pri­mary ini­tia­tive is to warn high school stu­dents that they are being brain­washed through courses and les­son on Islamic his­tory. He has spo­ken at con­fer­ences on the sub­ject of Islam at the Church at Kaweah, a mil­i­tant Chris­t­ian church base in California. “

Update 1: Spiegel follows up:

“After the protests began, sources leaked a phone number to the Associated Press news agency. When reporters dialed the number, a man answered who claimed to be Sam Bacile, the film’s director. “Islam is a cancer,” he said, adding that he was an Israeli Jew who wanted to spread the truth about Islam. Some 100 Jews had donated money to the project, he said, supposedly to the tune of $5 million. Anyone who says something like that is not only willing to accept a few deaths; he is, at least in the eyes of many Muslims, also getting the state of Israel involved.

But the journalists felt that there was something about his story that didn’t add up. They found the address that corresponds to the man’s cell phone number. The man who came to the door in a cul-de-sac in Cerritos near Los Angeles denied being Bacile. He said that he was only responsible for managing the film team’s logistics, and showed them his driver’s license, but covered his middle name with one of his fingers. The journalists were able to read Nakoula Nakoula — and the rest was research. They found out that Nakoula was convicted of federal bank fraud charges in 2010. He was given a 21-month prison sentence and ordered to pay $790,000 (€600,000) in restitution.

Now, the reporters knew that his real name was Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a Coptic Christian from Egypt with US citizenship. According to police records, he maintains at least 14 aliases. “Basseley” sounds almost like “Bacile”. US investigators believe that Sam Bacile, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula and the director are one and the same person.

Update 2: Also, my previous posts Anti-Islam Film, The Truth Emerges and Anti-Islamic Film, Who, What and Where?

Anti-Islam Film, The Truth Emerges

As I previously commented, the background information to this tawdry and poorly produced anti-Islam film was questionable.

I was surprised that the Wall Street Journal took at face value the statements from the supposed producer.

We are meant to believe that he was “an Israeli-American” and the more laughable element that he had “100 Jewish donors”.

To me that didn’t ring true, and the details coming out from America confirmed that.

It is fairly obvious that one aim of this crude project, by anti-Muslim bigots, was to stoke up hatred towards Jews. Why else pretend to be an “an Israeli-American” and talk of “100 Jewish donors”?

ABC has more information:

“The controversial “Innocence of Muslims” was written, produced and directed by a convicted drug manufacturer and scam artist, who has told authorities he actually wrote the script in federal prison and began production two months after his June 2011 release from custody.

Authorities say Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, of Cerritos, California, admitted his role in the film, after seeking help from law enforcement in dealing with death threats he has received since the release of the film. Excerpts from the film led to outrage and violence in the Arab world.

Authorities told ABC News that Nakoula told them he and his son, Abanob Basseley, 21, were responsible for producing the movie which, he reportedly said, cost between $50,000 and $60,000 and was shot in a little over 12 days.

Authorities say he claimed the money for the movie came from his wife’s family in Egypt.”

Rob Eshman made the point, How Nakoula Basseley Nakoula aka ‘Sam Bacile” Libeled Jews.

This is Time’s who is who on that film.

Jeff Goldberg spotted these issues a few days ago.

I can’t disagree with Jeff’s summation:


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