Written by Jason Alexander in response to the Aurora cinema Batman massacre in July.I'd like to preface this long tweet by saying that my passion comes from my deepest sympathy and shared sorrow with yesterday's victims and with the utmost respect for the people and the police/fire/medical/political forces of Aurora and all who seek to comfort and aid these victims.This morning, I made a comment about how I do not understand people who support public ownership of assault style weapons like the AR 15 used in the Colorado massacre.That comment, has of course, inspired a lot of feedback. There have been many tweets of agreement and sympathy but many, many more that have been challenging at the least, hostile and vitriolic at the worst.Clearly, the angry, threatened and threatening, hostile comments are coming from gun owners and gun advocates. Despite these massacres recurring and despite the 100,000 Americans that die every year due to domestic gun violence these people see no value to even considering some kind of control as to what kinds of weapons are put in civilian hands.Many of them cite patriotism as their reason true patriots support the Constitution adamantly and wholly. Constitution says citizens have the right to bear arms in order to maintain organized militias. I'm no constitutional scholar so here it is from the document itself:As passed by the Congress:"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."As ratified by the States and authenticated by Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State:"A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."So the patriots are correct, gun ownership is in the constitution if you're in a well regulated militia. Let's see what no less a statesman than Alexander Hamilton had to say about a militia:"A tolerable expertness in military movements is a business that requires time and practice. It is not a day, or even a week, that will suffice for the attainment of it. To oblige the great body of the yeomanry, and of the other classes of the citizens, to be under arms for the purpose of going through military exercises and evolutions, as often as might be necessary to acquire the degree of perfection which would entitle them to the character of a well regulated militia, would be a real grievance to the people, and a serious public inconvenience and loss."Or from Merriam Webster dictionary:Definition of MILITIAa : a part of the organized armed forces of a country liable to call only in emergencyb : a body of citizens organized for military service: the whole body of able bodied male citizens declared by law as being subject to call to military serviceThe advocates of guns who claim patriotism and the rights of the 2nd Amendment are they in well regulated militias? For the vast majority the answer is no. I believe tomatoes and cars have purposes other than killing. What purpose does an AR 15 serve to a sportsman that a more standard hunting rifle does not serve? Let's see does it fire more rounds without reload? Yes. Does it fire farther and more accurately? Yes. Does it accommodate a more lethal payload? Yes. So basically, the purpose of an assault style weapon is to kill more stuff, more fully, faster and from further away. To achieve maximum lethality. Hardly the primary purpose of tomatoes and sports cars.Then there are the tweets from the extreme right these are the folk who believe our government has been corrupted and stolen and that the forces of evil are at play, planning to take over this nation and these folk are going to fight back and take a stand. And any moron like me who doesn't see it should.a. be labeled a moronb. shut the f upc. be removedAnd amazingly, I have some minor agreement with these folks. I believe there are evil forces at play in our government. But I call them corporatists. I call them absolutists. I call them the kind of ideologues from both sides, but mostly from the far right who swear allegiance to unelected officials that regardless of national need or global conditions, are never to levy a tax. That they are never to compromise or seek solutions with the other side. That are to obstruct every possible act of governance, even the ones they support or initiate. Whose political and social goal is to marginalize the other side, vilify and isolate them with the hope that they will surrender, go away or die out.These people believe that the US government is eventually going to go street by street and enslave our citizens. Now as long as that is only happening to liberals, homosexuals and democrats no problem. But if they try it with anyone else it's going to be arms ageddon and these committed, God fearing, brave souls will then use their military esque arsenal to show the forces of our corrupt government whats what. These people think they meet the definition of a "militia". They don't. At least not the constitutional one. And, if it should actually come to such an unthinkable reality, these people believe they would win. That's why they have to "take our country back". From who? From anyone who doesn't think like them or see the world like them. They hold the only truth, everyone else is dangerous. Ever meet a terrorist that doesn't believe that? 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Given that the concept of these tours is to highlight the beauty of a destination (even the villain in the edgy thriller "In Bruges" waxed poetic about the Belgian city's charms), we were intrigued by the popularity of a new Stockholm tour based on Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy. I loved the books, and, like many of my friends, put my life on hold earlier this summer while I devoured all three in more or less one sitting. And the phenomenon is international, as I discovered during recent trips to France and Scandinavia, where every third person seemed to be reading "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" or its sequels. But, let's face it; these are not stories that celebrate the iconic images associated with Sweden, neither its scenic beauty nor its inhabitants, whom many Americans imagine to comprise friendly blondes obsessed with outdoor sports. If anything, readers are shocked by the dark side of the country that Larsson portrays in his novels, which teem with serial killers, corrupt government officials and institutionalized prostitution rings. But rather than shy away from the publicity, the Stockholm City Museum is offering a popular guided Millennium tour in English that walks visitors by many of the sites highlighted in the series, including cafes, restaurants and even the apartments belonging to Larssons anti hero, Lisbeth Salander, and her foil, journalist Mikael Blomkvist. Alas, the island of Hedestad, whose bleak winter beauty is the backdrop of the first book, is fictional. offer 'Beercation' packageThe JW Marriott Chicago has partnered with the Lagunitas Brewing Co. to offer the Lagunitas Beercation package through Dec. Stay. Love' planThe Scarlet Huntington, a 134 room hotel in San Francisco's Nob Hill neighborhood, introduced the Eat. Stay. Love package, valid through Nov. 30. 315794 041 Air Jordan 1 Retro Stealth Royal Red,Winnipeg will consider selling some of its golf courses or converting them into parks after auditors discovered city run golf courses are in a "downward spiral" and have racked up massive debt. In a report released Monday, city auditors recommend Winnipeg moves to get out of the golf business to avoid further financial losses. Winnipeg Golf Services is a special operating agency that runs 12 public golf courses and is currently $8 million in debt. Auditors say financial losses will continue to mount unless Winnipeg takes swift action to contract out the management of Crescent View, Kildonan Park and Windsor Park golf courses. The report said Winnipeg should consider selling Assiniboine, Wildewood and Canoe Club golf courses when their leases expire. In the long term, auditors suggest, Winnipeg should stop operating golf courses and sell some of the property for commercial or residential development. The report said the city should review consolidating St. Boniface and Windsor Park golf courses into one championship course. The recommendations must be approved by executive policy committee and city council, and will be presented to council's audit committee on Friday. Winnipeg Golf Services lost $1.1 million last year, and is projected to lose another $1 million in 2011. "Without immediate action, massive losses will continue, and deferred capital investment will mount," the audit report states. "The city's golf courses are in an accelerating downward spiral." Part of the problem, the report states, is the supply of golf courses in Winnipeg outstrips the demand by 10 per cent, and some city owned facilities are in need of significant upgrades. Fewer people are golfing at city run courses, as competition from privately run facilities has increased. Iain Day, acting chief operating officer for Winnipeg Golf Services, said the agency has struggled in recent years and the audit's recommendations came as little surprise. He said there is an over supply of golf courses in the Winnipeg area, and municipal and private courses have suffered in recent years from a declining demand and poor weather. Day said it's too early to speculate how golfers will react to the potential sale of some city courses. "If you play one of these courses obviously it means a lot to you," Day said. "If you grew up playing Windsor and Kildonan, there's an emotional attachment." Auditors suggest contracting Crescent View, Kildonan Park and Windsor Park courses to management firms, so the city could receive annual rents of $100,000 along with property taxes and investments nearing $1 million for each 18 hole facility. Winnipeg has already contracted out the management of its other courses, though the report states the city has lost money on some of these agreements. Winnipeg leases Assiniboine, Canoe Club, Rossmere, Transcona, St. Boniface and Wildewood golf courses to semi private clubs. Auditors say the arrangements are "significantly adverse" to the city's financial interest since the contracts cost the city in excess of $500,000 per year. The report suggests Winnipeg should identify courses under lease or contract that could be put up for sale or converted to open park space. "It'll take a while for that to happen, we'd have to get direction from council to do that," Day said, noting Winnipeg must give leased courses five years notice. WINNIPEG will consider setting up a fraud hotline to increase the number of tips about possible waste in city departments. A new city audit report, released Monday, says many cases of waste and fraud likely go unreported since the City of Winnipeg requires staff to report it to a supervisor. Fraud and waste includes things such as a misuse of city funds or resources, duplication of work, unethical behaviour and confidentiality breaches. Since Winnipeg first created a fraud reporting policy in 2006, only three incidents have been reported, including two incidents in 2007 and one in 2008. Auditors say tipsters would be more likely to report fraud and waste via a hotline since they can remain anonymous. The report says a typical Canadian organization loses five per cent of its annual revenues to fraud every year. Other cities such as Calgary, Ottawa, and Toronto have implemented fraud hotlines. The idea needs to be approved by executive policy committee and council. The report will be reviewed by council's audit committee on Friday.
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