Saturday, February 9, 2013

RANDOM SHOTS! Guns Banned In California, Lincoln Screenwriter Admits Changed History In Film, California Dumbing Down Kids, and More!

FIRST SHOT!

Guns Banned In California?

California's Democrat lawmakers seek toughest gun laws in nation

Just weeks after the state of New York enacted the nation's toughest gun laws, California lawmakers now say they want California to do even more in response to recent mass shooting in Connecticut.

Democrats overwhelmingly control the California State Legislature, and now residents of California are about to see how it feels to have the Democrats in complete control.

This week they revealed 10 proposals that they said would make California the most restrictive state for possessing firearms.

As if in competition with New York as to who can circumvent the US Constitution the best, Democrats held a news conference at the State Capital with San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and other anti-gun politicians and police chiefs in attendance.

Sounding like he was truly in some sort of competition, Villaraigosa said, "California has always been a leader on the issue of gun safety. New York has stepped up and stepped forward. California needs to answer the call."

And friends, if you don't think the Democrats at the State Capital have lost their collective minds, you should be very scared at what they are coming up with.

Among the measures is one that would outlaw the future sale of ALL semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines - no matter if it is strictly a hunting rifle or not. The restriction would prevent quick reloading by requiring bullets to be loaded one at a time.

Lawmakers also want to make some prohibitions apply to current gun owners, not just to people who buy weapons in the future.

Like New York, California also would require background checks for buying ammunition and would add to the list of prohibited weapons.

Something California has been doing for a long time now, but they are trying to make it sound like they are just starting it - all for politics.

Those buying ammunition would have to pay a fee and undergo an initial background check by the state Department of Justice, similar to what is required now before buyers can purchase a firearm.

No kidding, Democrats want Californians to go through background checks when buying ALL ammunitions - including shotgun shells, and pellets for air rifles.

After a few background checks, your name goes into a Criminal Database sort of setup as if law abiding citizens are Criminals. Subsequent background checks would be done instantly by an ammunition seller checking the Justice Department's records.

The California Democrats also would ban possession of magazines holding more than 10 bullets, even by those who now own them legally. All would have to be registered.

Sam Paredes, executive director of Gun Owners of California, promised that gun proponents will fight the measures in court if they become law.

"It strikes me as if these folks are playing some sort of game of one-upsmanship with New York at the expense of law-abiding citizens, and that's just unconscionable," he said about lawmakers.

Republicans are saying that Democrats Legislators are exploiting the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary to push their own anti-gun agendas.

"The laws they are (proposing) would have made no difference in the Connecticut shooting whatsoever," Sen. Dan Logue said.

He added that lawmakers need to focus on other issues that lead to violence. "We've got the issue of PlayStations, where there is violent games," Logue said. "I mean, what about Hollywood and what they are putting out?"

Three bills have been introduced, with others to come before this month's deadline for submitting legislation.

The measures are the most stringent to date among numerous proposals introduced this year all in an effort to completely ban firearms and ammunition from law abiding citizens in California.

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg said he is confident Democrats can use their majorities in the Assembly and Senate to send the measures to Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown this year.

Brown has declined to comment on weapons legislation before it reaches him, but it is pretty certain that he will sign anything his political party puts in front of him regarding anything part of the ultra-liberal agenda.

Other proposed measures in California would ban so-called "bullet buttons" that can be used to quickly detach and reload magazines in semi-automatic rifles, and update the legal definition of shotguns to prohibit a new version that can rapidly fire shotgun shells and .45-caliber ammunition.

The state also would restrict the lending of guns to keep weapons from felons, mentally ill people and others who are prohibited from ownership.

Instead of fixing a horrible economy, prison overcrowding, gang violence, an increasing crime rate, bankrupt cities, wasteful spending, political graft, hunger and homelessness, the Democrats want to deflect their inability to deal with California's real problems and instead try to pull the public's attention of something that California already has - the strictest gun control laws in the nation.

We here in California are under attack from our own state government. Yes, our rights are under attack by a state government who caters only to the 44% who are Democrats - those who put them in office.

And yes, California politicians wonder why more and more people today are either buying more and more bulk ammunition and preparing for civil unrest - or leaving the state all together.

It seems that a war of some sort is on the horizon in California. Whether it is political or civil in nature, I do not know for certain. But I do know this, because of their blatant lack of representation and respect for our rights as Americans, I can really understand all the talk regarding people preparing for the worse to take place here.


SECOND SHOT!

Screenwriter Admits He Changed History - "Lincoln" Film Factually Inaccurate

Tony Kushner, the screenwriter for the movie "Lincoln," has conceded that he was not accurate in his portrayal of a 19th century vote on slavery.

While facts are not correct, he said his changes adhere to widely accepted standards for the creation of a historical drama. Imagine that, you are not depicting events accurately - but he still believe that its OK to do so.
One US Congressman that doesn't think so is U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney. He has actually taken the time to point out an important flaw in the fictional movie which represents itself as historically accurate.  

And yes, now Congressman Courtney has said that he was pleased screenwriter Tony Kushner acknowledged that the Connecticut Congressmen who was depicted in the movie did not vote against a Constitutional Amendment outlawing slavery - as it is depicted in the film.

Joe Courtney said he hopes a correction can be made before the film is released on DVD.

"My effort from the beginning has been to set the record straight on this vote, so people do not leave the theater believing Connecticut's representatives in the 38th Congress were on the wrong side of history," Courtney said.

After watching the movie over the weekend, Rep Courtney praised the artistry of the film about President Abraham Lincoln's political struggle to abolish slavery, but he took issue with a scene that shows two Connecticut congressmen vote against the 13th amendment.

Rep Courtney asked the Congressional Research Service to investigate, and it reported that all four Connecticut congressmen backed the amendment in a January 1865 vote.

In a letter to the film's director, Steven Spielberg, the congressman includes a tally of the 1865 vote by the state's congressional delegation and a passionate defense of the state's role in emancipating millions of blacks.

A spokeswoman for Disney, which distributed the DreamWorks film, had no comment on whether any changes will be made to the film either theatrically or in DVD form. My bet is that since it cost too much to edit something like that, that it won't be corrected. It would be nice if I were wrong about that.

Tony Kushner, the "Lincoln" screenwriter, said in a statement Thursday that the film changed two of the delegation's votes to clarify the historical reality that the 13th Amendment passed by a very narrow margin. He said the film "made up" new names for the men casting the votes so as not to ascribe actions to real people who did not perform them.

"In making changes to the voting sequence, we adhered to time-honored and completely legitimate standards for the creation of historical drama, which is what 'Lincoln' is. I hope nobody is shocked to learn that I also made up dialogue and imagined encounters and invented characters," Kushner said.

Kushner said he disagreed with Courtney's contention that accuracy is "paramount" in historical drama and said Connecticut should not feel as though it is defamed in the film.

He also said Courtney was incorrect in saying Connecticut was "solidly" pro-Lincoln, saying he received 51.4 percent of the state's vote in the 1864 election.

Courtney, who represents eastern Connecticut, said there was some local opposition to Lincoln but also noted the state lost more than 4,000 soldiers on the side of the Union in the Civil War.

"Their sacrifice emphatically demonstrates Connecticut's fidelity to the struggle to preserve the Union and end slavery, which is represented in 'Lincoln' dramatically by the House's vote on the 13th Amendment. The four members of Connecticut's delegation reflected that commitment on January 31, 1865, and they deserved a better legacy than the screenplay portrayed," Courtney said.

I find it interesting that this screenwriter can admit to being responsible for "made up dialogue and imagined encounters and invented characters" yet wants to argue the amount of support Abe Lincoln got from Connecticut in the 1864 election - which by the way, according to the papers at the time, Lincoln was supposed to lose.

In my opinion, if you are doing a historical piece of work, then a writer is responsible for getting the facts right.

Instead of having to use "made up dialogue and imagined encounters and invented characters," and yes also have Lincoln using vulgar language which he was known not to use, he should have went simply with what we know - or can be researched and verified.

As one noted Lincoln Historian has said regarding the movie, "One thing the movie leaves out is his [Lincoln] relationship with Frederick Douglass. Lincoln came to know Douglass and admire him greatly, and Douglass did come to the White House."

But then again, since the "Lincoln" screenwriter admits to changing history for his own reasons, he obviously doesn't care about getting things right.

In the screenwriter's response to Rep Courtney, published in the Wall Street Journal, Kushner wrote: ...

"I respectfully disagree with the Congressman’s contention that accuracy in every detail is 'paramount' in a work of historical drama. Accuracy is paramount in every detail of a work of history. Here’s my rule: Ask yourself, 'Did this thing happen?' If the answer is yes, then it’s historical. Then ask, 'Did this thing happen precisely this way?' If the answer is yes, then it’s history; if the answer is no, not precisely this way, then it’s historical drama."

In other words, being correct, honest, accurate, precise, factual, are things that he doesn't concern himself with.

It seems that he can make up dialogue, imagine encounters, invent characters, make an audience think that Abraham Lincoln was some foul mouth megalomaniac, and all the while change historical accuracy because his screenplay is not history but instead a historical "drama".

The problem here lies in the fact that many will take this movie as factual and believe it. And yes, there lies the responsibility of the film maker to get it right. He owes it to the public to get it right. If he has any sense of right and wrong, he will try to depict it factually.

NEXT SHOT!

State of California No Longer Requiring Eighth Grade Algebra

California will no longer require eighth-graders to take algebra — a move that is line with the Common Core standards being adopted by most states, but that may leave students unprepared for college.

Last month, California formally shifted to the Common Core mathematics standards, which recommend that students delay taking algebra if they aren’t ready for it. Previously, algebra class was a requirement for all eighth-graders in the state.

The Common Core State Standards Initiative, which is sponsored by the National Governor’s Association, is an effort to unify diverse state education curricula. Forty-five other states and the District of Columbia have signed on so far.

But some education experts worry that the change will further damage struggling students’ college chances, since early proficiency in Algebra I is an excellent predictor of college graduation, according to the Mercury News.

Black and Latino students in California are significantly more likely to fail eighth-grade algebra, and 80 percent of those who fail it once will fail it again when they take it in high school.

A study published by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area claims that some minority students who score well enough to place into advanced math classes are often mistakenly held back.

“School districts have been disproportionately requiring minority students to repeat Algebra I even after they scored proficient or advanced on the Algebra I California standardized tests,” said Kimberly Thomas Rapp, executive director of the committee, in an interview with The Daily Caller News Foundation.

The new standard is a step back for California, and may leave students, particularly minority and low-income students, unprepared for college, said Rapp.

“Back in ‘97 when the state went to a standard that expected students to take Algebra 1 in the eighth grade, that was really about looking forward to college competitiveness and preparing our public school students to be ready to compete to access college systems after high school,” she said. “The reality is what we’re now doing is lowering the standards.”

Instead, Rapp proposed that California schools improve the mathematics curriculum for students in the fifth, sixth and seventh grades, so that they are better prepared for Algebra I in eighth grade.

I believe that California will simply reject any suggestion to make students work harder.

My information tells me that many students entering Junior Colleges after High School are ill prepared for what is expected by them there. I'm told by using test scores from Junior Colleges, it is evident that students lack the basics of English and Math when leaving High Schools.

By cutting back Algebra requirements, we are only dumbing down our kids even further. Too bad the Democrats who run California don't care about strengthening education instead of the weakening it.

NEXT SHOT!

Poll: Most women believe they should not be forced into combat

The majority of American female voters support the idea of women serving in combat, but not being drafted, according to a national poll from Quinnipiac University released Thursday morning at the National Press Club.

Seventy-seven percent of female voters indicated that they favor the combat policy change, the poll showed.

When asked about the reinstatement of the draft, only 28 percent of American voters were in support. Despite widespread favor toward women in combat, only 48 percent of females supported women being drafted, while 59 percent of men supported the idea.

“There is a sizeable difference in how men and women feel,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, in the press release. “There’s clearly a gender gap,” Brown later told The Daily Caller. “But we couldn’t ask why. … We do data, we can’t read minds.”

Women were also timid supporters on the question of whether women in combat will improve military effectiveness. Only 46 percent saying it would.

The data reveals that female voters may believe that women should be allowed to serve in open combat alongside men, but they should not be forced to do so through a draft.

Brown also said he had “no idea” how voters would have responded if they had been asked about whether or not women were capable of performing the same as men in combat. Imagine that!

LAST SHOT!
CA assemblyman proposes “marshal program” in California schools

California Assemblyman Tim Donnelly held a press conference to announce the introduction of the School Marshal Program, created to “protect children from violent intruders in the classroom.”

Similar to federal air marshals who are meant to “blend in” with passengers, this measure authorizes school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools to use general purpose funds to provide training to qualified, volunteer teachers, administrators, or janitors who are willing to carry firearms on campus as part of the school marshal plan.

The proposed law builds on the 1995 Gun Free Zone Act, which permits teachers and school staff members to carry concealed firearms if their district permits it.

“We’re not proposing to simply arm teachers,” Donnelly told me, “we’re going to train them to use the CCW they are already have…In 1995, they obviously felt it was important to not deny that right to teachers who felt that need, A.B. 202 just reiterates existing law.”

I asked Assemblyman Donnelly how this potentially controversial approach will protect both students and faculty.

“This is going to build an invisible line of protection around kids by protecting the identity of the marshals,” Donnelly said. “A killer’s goal is to kill. Now he’ll know there are sharks swimming with the fish. The killer isn’t going to know if there’s one gun on campus or 10.”

“Politicians have been exploiting the tragedy in Connecticut and have threatened to ban ammunition, create even more restrictions—none of which would have saved the lives of the children and teachers at Sandy Hook,” he said .An important part of the measure is to protect the identities of potential marshals so they don’t become targets.

Assemblyman Donnelly became emotional as he talked about the courage of the Sandy Hook teachers.

“Talk about heroism—we have a moral obligation to people like young Vicki Soto, who flung herself in front of her students at the cost of her own life,” Donnelly said. “We need to make sure others like her won’t be defenseless when faced with a deranged madman, looking into the face of inexplicable evil.”

UPDATE from Assemblyman Donnelly:

”This is not a state mandated program. AB202 simply empowers local school districts to designate teachers, administrators and staff, who currently have a CCW permit, and volunteer to undergo additional training. Current law allows any school personnel who have a valid CCW permit and permission from their district to conceal carry on campus now. (Ironically, that exemption was protected in the Gun Free School Zone Act of 1995).

We envision that local districts who choose to adopt this plan will obtain training for those volunteers who agree to be designated, “School Marshals” from their local police or sheriff’s training officer at little to no cost.

AB202 does protect the identity of all School Marshals from public disclosure, thereby creating an invisible line of defense around the kids because the perpetrator will never know which teacher is armed, much like the Air Marshals program. Godspeed.”

For more information about the School Marshal Program visit his California Assembly website: http://arc.asm.ca.gov/member/AD33/

I really believe that any protection in today's schools can't hurt.


Story by Tom Correa

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