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When Roger West first launched the progressive political blog "News From The Other Side" in May 2010, he could hardly have predicted the impact that his venture would have on the media and political debate. As the New Media emerged as a counterbalance to established media sources, Roger wrote his copious blogs about national politics, the tea party movement, mid-term elections, and the failings of the radical right to the vanguard of the New Media movement. Roger West's efforts as a leading blogger have tremendous reach. NFTOS has led the effort to bring accountability to mainstream media sources such as FOX NEWS, Breitbart's "Big Journalism. Roger's breadth of experience, engaging style, and cultivation of loyal readership - over 92 million visitors - give him unique insight into the past, present, and future of the New Media and political rhetoric that exists in our society today. What we are against: Radical Right Wing Agendas Incompetent Establishment Donald J. Trump Corporate Malfeasence We are for: Global and Econmoic Security Social and Economic Justice Media Accountability THE RESISTANCE

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


Here we go again, yet another mass shooting, this time at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., claiming the lives of 13 people including the suspect.

George Zornick, of The Nation, called the scenario “the latest iteration of a now-familiar US news event,” which is a very sad commentary of our time. It’s hard to think that when he said “a now-familiar US news event,” he meant anything other than this has become frighteningly familiar, which is something that should never have been allowed to happen. His piece focuses on the U.S.’s growing gun problem, and how the NRA and their ilk, both in and out of Congress, fight against even reasonable measures in the face of these awful tragedies.

For instance, following the Sandy Hook tragedy, Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-TX), Governor of Virginia Bob McDonald, Governor of Texas Rick Perry, and others, issued statements to the effect that, had the teachers been armed, lives could have been saved that day. NRA President Wayne LaPierre also said something to that effect, and blamed violent video games for the escalating mass shootings here.

The NRA also proposed having armed guards at every school, which is something that may or may not be effective. Gunmen have cut down trained police officers before, Columbine High School had an armed guard with 15 years service in the Jefferson County sheriff’s department, who was unable to stop the shooters.

Known gun zealot Ted Nugent weighed in on the Aurora movie theater shooting, predictably suggesting that if moviegoers had been armed, lives would have been saved, despite strong evidence and even demonstration that the ability to accurately pull a concealed weapon, aim it, and fire it without also getting hit and without hitting innocents isn't something that can be done remotely well without extensive and ongoing training. To say nothing of the fact that James Holmes was wearing quite a bit of body armor.

After Sandy Hook, Ann Coulter weighed in on school shootings, saying that the way to stop them is more laws that allow concealed carry. She cited a study done by economists William Landes of the University of Chicago, and John Lott, of Yale University, who looked at mass shootings from 1977 to 1995, and says they found no evidence that waiting periods, stronger background checks, and other things touted by Democrats as “reasonable gun control measures” had any effect. However, apparently, they did find that concealed carry laws do have an effect. This reason is two-fold: One, the criminals won’t know who’s packing and who isn't, and will therefore be less likely to actually commit their crime. And two, people will be armed and able to take down a shooter before he fires off more than a couple of rounds.

The right-wing media is already pushing an agenda for even weaker gun laws, chanting the familiar, and frankly maddening, refrain that more guns there could and would have stopped this. According to MediaMatters, Fox News’ Martha MacCallum said that people aren’t allowed to carry weapons on a military base and that the shooters targeted the area because of that. That statement ignores research that only 23% of mass shootings occur at gun-free zones, according to author Matt Gertz.

Some random blogger thoughts:

What's the answer? I can think of many solutions for reigning in the Americans who favor guns over everything else, but unfortunately, there are not enough "patriots" that are willing to stand up to the four million strong of the NRA. Which is frightening in itself, where this organization can bully 316 million Americans.

One such solution, education, The Prevention Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating the public about violence (and other issues), advocates approaching the issue from a public health perspective. One thing they support is the CDC’s restored funding to conduct research into violence, something the NRA opposes because they fear the studies will scare people into supporting stronger gun laws.

What can we expect when we live in a country where its harder to get a job, harder to vote, and harder to get healthcare than it is to purchase a weapon of mass destruction? At what point readers, do we get serious with gun laws? Americas narcissistic view of self preservation is irrational, stupid, ignorant and reckless - another mass shooting, and another chance to do absolutely nothing about gun safety and violence.

Praying for the victims is an empty gesture and does nothing to actually aide the want to help you say, then get off your ass and do something that will prevent the next shooting -  to those that say today is not the day to debate gun control, you're right, the day to do it was yesterday.

Another mass shooting, and conservatives immediately rush to say that there weren't enough guns on site. But the reality is, an armed citizen has never ever stopped a mass shooting in 30 years - yet we all know, all to well, that somewhere out there, this very moment, Wayne LaPierre revises his usual speech to explain how the NRA is the real victim in all these mass shootings!

So quiet is the night, as the Guns Over People, the bully pulpit, and the NRA ponder how they can keep screaming about Benghazi and ignore the Navy Yard massacre all in the same breath!

Congratulations NRA, you are once again today's worst organization in the world!

Roger West