Welcome to Common Gunsense

I hope this blog will provoke some thoughtful reflection about the issue of guns and gun violence. I am passionate about the issue and would love to change some misperceptions and the culture of gun violence in America by sharing with readers words, photos, videos and clips from articles to promote common sense about gun issues. Many of you will agree with me- some will not. I am only one person but one among many who think it's time to do something about this national problem. The views expressed by me in this blog do not represent any group with which I am associated but are rather my own personal opinions and thoughts.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Keeping the "occupiers" safe?

Some days my readers send me things they think prove their own point. Such was the case when one of my gun rights extremist readers sent me this video:

After you watch this, see if you think the video is proof that "occupiers" are carrying guns at rallies. That is why my reader sent me this- to prove that I am wrong about the folks at the occupy movements and that in time, someone would bring a gun ( see my post about this here) But in the video there is a group of "veterans" dressed in camouflage clothing claiming to be some sort of self proclaimed border patrol. They are carrying AR-15s and the man on the video is spouting all of the NRA talking points. They came to make their point with their guns. They are not friends of Occupy Wall Street (OWS). These are the guys with the guns who like to show up at public places with their guns just because they can. Listen to "veteran" say that he's there to protect his second amendment rights- hardly what the occupy movement is about. And then he gets into the ATF's operation "Fast and Furious" and pronounces that those involved in the program committed treason. Oh, and he's also there because of all the Mexicans coming over the border into Arizona. What does that mean? Is he intending to shoot them? Where is common sense? 

I thought I smelled a rat when this video was sent to me by one of the gun rights extremists who read my blog. It turns out the the man at the rally interviewing the "veteran" is a member of this organization- Freedoms Phoenix:
We recognize that Freedom was taken from us the moment the ink was drying on the Constitution. Today's governmental structure is imploding under its own weight, and its death rattles aren’t going to be pretty. At Freedom’s Phoenix we observe, comment and try to stay out of the way. We know Freedom will rise from the ashes, and we want to make sure that everyone's Freedom is never signed away again by those who believe they have the power to do so.
What is Freedoms Phoenix? It appears to be about Libertarianism. Does that sound like a member of an OWS group to you? But the more important information to know about this video is that the man in uniform is a pretty unsavory character. While it is true that the man, J.T. Ready, was a marine, it turns out that he had his problems while serving his country. Here is some information about the man who came to protect the occupiers in Phoenix:
J.T. (Jason Todd) Ready, a former member of the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement, specializes in bashing immigrants. After being court-martialed twice, Ready was discharged from the Marines for bad conduct in 1996. Ready, who has run for various Arizona offices usually without success, advocates for the placement of landmines on the border and rails against Jews and nonwhites. In June 2010, Ready led a group of armed extremists into the Arizona desert to apprehend immigrants and drug smugglers.
And further, he has a criminal history according to the article linked above at the website of the Southern Poverty Law Center:
In 1992, Ready was arrested for damage to property and aggravated assault with a weapon. He accepted a plea bargain and was convicted of assault. Ready had been with a friend who destroyed a car mirror with a baseball bat. 
In 1996, while serving in the Marine Corps as a lance corporal, Ready was court-martialed twice. The first time, after being absent for eight days without authorization, he was convicted of unauthorized absence, failing to follow an order or regulation, and larceny and wrongful appropriation. He was convicted, demoted to private and jailed for three months. Later that year, Ready was court-martialed again for conspiracy, assault, and wrongful solicitation and advice. He was found guilty, spent six months in detention, and was discharged from the Marine Corps for bad conduct.
In 2007, Ready was pulled over for driving a vehicle with a fake license plate. He was carrying a 9mm Beretta handgun at the time. Ready was arrested and charged for possessing a traffic preemption emitter, which is an illegal device that can change traffic lights from red to green.
Read on. It gets more and more interesting and more and more scary. Should Ready be carrying those guns around in public places?  It's hard to believe that he would show up publicly and agree to be interviewed. This video reveals the lengths to which the far right will go to prove their own points.  Does my reader believe in the stuff spouted by this Neo-Nazi and tea party member?

And what's more, the case that I made that the Tea Party rallies were full of folks with guns and spouting questionable rhetoric is true. Here is Ready at a Tea Party rally in 2009.
These uber right wing Tea Parties continue to be a magnet for extremists and crazy folk of all stripes. Though I wasn't able to make the recent hate-Obama rally that took place July 4 at the Arizona state Capitol, I have since discovered from info provided from some pals that none other than local neo-Nazi J.T. Ready spoke at the event.
Further, in researching this video and the links to other questionable organizations, it turns out the the neo-Nazi group has endorsed the "Occupy Wall Street" movement. Another of my readers sent me the link above. Does he believe the OWS group is in some way affiliated with neo-Nazis? Did the occupiers go out and seek the endorsement of the neo-Nazis? From the link from the American Nazi Party:
Racial Comrades: I am going to address the issue of this "Occupy Wall Street" fervor that has been sweeping the land like a breath of cleansing air! 
This issue is TAYLOR MADE for National Socialists, as well as WN who are serious about DOING SOMETHING - MORE - than shouting "racial slurs" and acting like "poster boys of hate" loons.
After all - JUST WHO - are the WALL STREET BANKERS? The vast majority are JEWS - and the others are SPIRITUAL JEW materialists, who would sell their own mother's gold teeth for a PROFIT. And MORE and MORE people are AWARE of this truth, are not only NOT afraid to TALK ABOUT IT - they're shouting it on WALL STREET!
I urgently URGE all of you to TAKE PART and JOIN IN when these protests hit your neck of the woods. Produce some flyers EXPLAINING the "JEW BANKER" influence - DON'T wear anything marking you as an "evil racist" - and GET OUT THERE and SPREAD the WORD! Put as a "contact point" on your literature, our www.ANP14.com address - it won't immediately "scare off" some of these scaredy-cats for even looking at our FACTS - for FACTS they ARE! 
Well, it's hard to know what to say to such rhetoric. I believe it speaks for itself. The website is replete with the Swastika. These folks might be upset about our economic system but I submit to you that their reasons are different from the occupiers and that the only thing they have in common is anger with the system. Their goals and their motives here are not the same and they should be challenged by Americans. If these folks insert themselves into the movement, it is for nefarious reasons. Attacks on Jews and immigrants are abhorrent. Note that the author of the writings above is concerned that they not appear to be racist. Really? Here is what the Southern Poverty Law Center has to say about the group:
While some neo-Nazi groups emphasize simple hatred, others are more focused on the revolutionary creation of a fascist political state. Nazism, of course, has roots in Europe, and links between American and European neo-Nazis are strong and growing stronger. American neo-Nazi groups, protected by the First Amendment, often publish material and host Internet sites that are aimed at European audiences -- materials that would be illegal under European anti-racism laws. Similarly, many European groups put up their Internet sites on American servers to avoid prosecution under the laws of their native countries.
Some of the neo-Nazi groups have been involved in Tea Party politics as well. This article from Media Matters points out the numerous times White Supremicists have addressed tea party rallies and organized in what they say is "fertile ground" for them:
"The Tea Parties are fertile ground for our activists," said A3P Pennsylvania Chairman Steve Smith. "Tea Party supporters and the A3P share much common ground with regard to our political agendas."
The A3P official position on race in America is clear: "If current demographic trends persist, European-Americans will become a minority in America in only a few decades time. The American Third Position will not allow this to happen."
The SPLC lists groups affiliated with Nazis. The American Nazi Party which is linked above, is located in Michigan. Here is what the Chairman of their chapter, Rocky J. Suhayda, says about who they are:
As Aryan Revolutionaries, we recognize the fact that behaving in the manner of past activities, little progress has been achieved for our Cause. That is why we have taken a new direction. In the American Nazi Party, you will find no uniforms or ranks, we do not engage in publicly exposing our Comrades to undo publicity through pointless and dangerous Rallies or Marches. We instead stress Small Cell, and Individual Activism as the path for which to build our Movement, as securely and in a responsible manner as possible.
We are looking for Men and Women, who are willing to sacrifice for the Good of the Folk, not people who are looking for aggrandizement, titillation, or simply causing undirected and useless mayhem. This is not a game or a gang.
It is a very serious Struggle that we are involved in for the very existence of our White Nation of people. Those who are simply intent on pranks or causing trouble should perhaps look elsewhere for stimulation.
So pardon me if I am skeptical of any attempts by groups such as these to attach themselves to the OWS movement. Lots of questions need to be asked here. Most importantly is why extremist and racist groups such as the ones described above are interested in involvement with the OWS movement. Where is common sense?



  1. Wow! Turns out the evil concealed carrier who threatened the OWS people was himself threatened by OWS and called the "N" word.


    "Does he believe the OWS group is in some way affiliated with neo-Nazis?"
    Why wouldn't the Nazi's endorse the OWS? They are saying the same thing.

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4137855,00.html (Yeah, I know, not all of them but even one sets the tone -- look at how the Tea Party was judged)

    "Listen to "veteran" say that he's there to protect his second amendment rights" This fool has no second amendment rights. His dishonorable discharge precludes his owning a gun under federal law. So arrest him, don't paint him as a typical gun owner.

    Seems to me that giving children alcohol poisoning (http://www.kpax.com/news/occupy-missoula-protester-facing-child-endangerment-charge/#) might need just as much common sense as not locking up your guns. Ya Think?

    Or the peaceful OWS attacking reporters. What would have happened if this took place at a Tea Party rally?


    or how about the poster child OWS member who runs the "I hate the Marine Corps" website?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/oct/27/occupy-oakland-scott-olsen-surgery?CMP=twt_fd and http://web.archive.org/web/20100507023132/http://www.ihatethemarinecorps.com/

    I can't believe you want to tie your horse to this wagon.

  2. Good work, japete. I've found, too, that following the links cited by gun extremists often leads to dead links, misquoted websites, and just plain subterfuge like in your example. It's instructive to us all to have you track down things like this.

  3. Robin- I couldn't find some of the things you referred to in the links you sent. Do remember that I said that I wouldn't condone violence by the OWS groups or offensive rhetoric. You have missed the point, as usual, and are trying hard to go "tit for tat" with me while ignoring the neo-Nazi presence at Occupy Phoenix. Do you support it? The anti semitism stuff coming from OWS members has been debunked by quite a few Jewish folks in the media who have been at some of the sites without seeing anti-semitic signage or rhetoric. Let's just look at the bigger picture here. There are splinter groups and folks whose motives are not in agreement with the original focus of the groups. They need to be called out for what they are doing and hopefully that will happen. For the most part, the groups are being pretty peaceful with some exceptions. In Duluth, where I live, the group is absolutely peaceful with the support of law enforcement so far. They are camped right outside of the City Hall where the Police Chief's office and the County Court House where the Sheriff's office is. They are not bothering anyone so far. Here is from one of the articles you sent:" This time the police did nothing except circle around the demonstrators and discourage them from jumping on to an overhead freeway. More than 1000 protesters kept marching through the city streets until long after midnight, shouting an occasional "shame on you" at motorcycle cops and taking care to pick up their own litter. They even picked up pieces of a fence they had earlier pulled down and stacked them in neat piles around Frank Ogawa Plaza, in front of City Hall." I hope this is how they all behave going forward. And "tie my horse to this wagon"? What does that mean. Have you noticed that in polling, the majority of Americans now support the OWS group? They understand what the group is about- after the GAO released it's report the other day about the increasing wealth of the wealthiest, making what the group is doing credible, it's hard to argue with their complaints. They are valid. Some folks who show up have different agendas. I suppose that was inevitable. But their agenda is not violent or hatred against minorities, immigrants, Jews, etc. as is that of the neo-Nazi groups to which I referred.

  4. "Do you support it? The anti semitism stuff coming from OWS members has been debunked by quite a few Jewish folks in the media who have been at some of the sites without seeing anti-semitic signage or rhetoric."

    Did you read my post? Of course I don't support it. I just said that the Nazi has no gun rights and should be thrown in jail. I also said that I cannot tell the difference between his antisemitism, the antisemitism of the KKK who also endorsed these people and OWS. What I also can't see is that with all the stories of attacks on police and others, vandalism by the OWS people, rapes, drug use, feeding alcohol to minors how you can keep apologizing for them. One concealed carrier does something criminal or stupid and you tar the entire population and with these people you say it was all done by "splinter groups."

    I am not tit for tatting you. I am telling you that you cannot paint these people as the innocent downtrodden, that their rhetoric has a resemblance to that of the KKK and Nazis that support them and that there is no way the Nazi is a second amendment activist since he cannot legally touch a gun.

  5. Their rhetoric in no way resembles that of the KKK or the neo-Nazis? Didn't you read my post? I said that the OWS did not seek these endorsements. That is not who they are. No one is saying that. These groups are attaching themselves uninvited and their motives are suspect.

  6. I'm not surprised. The OWS movement is being slandered from the Conservatives on one end (such as with fake pics of violence or anti-troop signs, or accusations about the protesters only being ignorant middle-class kids), and extremist groups like the one associated with Ready, on the other end. They are attempting to infiltrate and co-opt the message. Both attacks are pitiful and easy to see through, unless you're already blinded by the right wing fringe.

    The sad thing to me is that many of those for whom the OWS movement is fighting for -- people who have been harmed by those who have caused our Recession or who actively fight for healthcare or other benefits -- are the ones who are buying the false messages about OWS.

  7. "Their rhetoric in no way resembles that of the KKK or the neo-Nazis? " It sure looks like a lot of signage that appears anti-Jewish.

    You'll love this one --- the Nazis explain why they love OWS.





    If it walks like a duck and sounds like a duck and looks like a duck...

  8. Robin-As to the links sent, Commentary magazine is this: " The magazine was one of the leading voices of neoconservatism by 1976, and remains so today, although in the 21st century it has less influence than before.[citation needed] Benjamin Balint says it was the "Contentious Magazine That Transformed the Jewish Left Into the Neoconservative Right"[1] Historian Richard Pells concludes that "no other journal of the past half century has been so consistently influential, or so central to the major debates that have transformed the political and intellectual life of the United States."[2]"- Hardly a neutral source when it comes to the OWS movement.
    Here is a column written by Richard Cohen about the non existant anti semitism- http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/where-are-the-anti-semites-of-occupy-wall-street/2011/10/24/gIQAP89eDM_story.html?wprss=rss_opinions
    " This was my second visit to the Occupy Wall Street site and the second time my keen reporter’s eye has failed to detect even a hint of the anti-Semitism that had been trumpeted by certain right-wing Web sites and bloggers, most prominently Bill Kristol. He is a founder of the Emergency Committee for Israel, which has been running cable TV ads alleging a virtual hate rally at the Occupy Wall Street site and calling on President Obama and other important Democrats to denounce what is — as it happens — not happening there. The commercial ran on Fox News the very day I was at the site."

    Don't send me any more of your links. We will not agree about this one. The facts are the facts. OWS is not anti-semite or neo-Nazi.

    Have you not figured out yet that we are on opposite ends of the political spectrum? I am writing this blog for many people but not to argue with you about whose articles are better. I feel like I'm in some kind of a school yard fight with a bunch of bullies.
    Have a nice week-end everyone.

  9. At times I thought the interviewee was a set up, but in Arizona (and elsewhere) these guys do exist.

    Thanks for posting it. I borrowed it for my blog.

  10. I think it could have been a set-up considering who the interviewer was. But then the guy just went off saying crazy things. The interviewer himself was saying crazy things as well about the dollar and the silver standard. What's that all about?

  11. you might be right we dont need guns in the hands of the 99ers they seem not as nonviolent as some would make them out to be

    There were some instances of vandalism, which interim Police Chief Howard Jordan said had been instigated by "60 to 70 anarchists ... bent on causing problems."

    When protesters smashed windows at banks, a grocery and two small businesses, videos showed the instigators were mostly wearing black, with bandanas over their faces

    Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/11/02/BA8Q1LPI1J.DTL#ixzz1cbjx0Hhg

  12. Anthony- I don't know why you sent this. You proved my point here and not yours. Or maybe I am not understanding what you are getting at. The protesters in Oakland were, for the most part, non violent. There were few if any arrests today. So some who inserted themselves into the group, as I have talked about, made some trouble. The main group is not about that.

  13. Check this out dear readers- J.T. Ready was asked to leave the Occupy Phoenix location-- http://mediamatters.org/gunfacts/201111030020

    I guess they knew he wasn't supporting their cause.

  14. Anthony- I'm done with this thread. You missed the whole point of my blog, as usual. The new-Nazis and other similar groups have not been invited by the OWS movement to be supporters. They are trying as hard as they can to discredit the movement. They will not succeed. I will not be arguing this point any more so don't bother to send me anything else. Take a rest and have a good night.

  15. Apparently you can't read Anthony. Good night and quit bothering me. People like you are not welcome on my blog.

  16. Japete, I think a valid point on OWS vs. the Tea Party movement is that there has been to my knowledge no appreciable issues at Tea Party events. The news would have been plenty happy to splash it around. They certainly showed the open carry types at those events. There was no meaningful civil disobedience at Tea Party events.

    The same cannot be said of OWS, though admittedly violence and civil disorder has been fairly rare. The violent (or at least disobedient) incidents that have occurred cannot all be laid at the feet of provocateurs of non-OWS folks.

    Bottom Line: In all the talk of the "dangerous" tea party, OWS seems to have a greater track record of disorder and even violence.

  17. George- the OWS group has made it clear that they want to be non-violent and have made it clear they do not support the violence that has occurred by the splinter groups. But when a group such as the neo-Nazis opportunistically endorses the group just to make trouble, that is a problem and that is my point.

    1. The assertions that the occupy movement was in any way anti-semitic is a lie. That was just more of the faux news crap --- like the hoax about a guy take in a dump on a cop car.

      Laci and I tracked that little gem down when we became suspicious because the only paper to run it was the utterly disreputable Daily Mail in the UK -- on a par with amazonian half boy half bat nonsense on the cover of the national Enquirer. Laci, clever man, tracked the car to the correct precinct --- in BROOKLYN. NOT MANHATTAN. That event never happened.

      Likewise the anti-semitic assertions; rather the Occupy movement where that was supposed to happen held services for the Jews among them, and were quite supportive.

      I first heard about JT Ready from a rabid righty who was long on gullibility any right wing conspiracy theory and short on fact checking and critical thinking. He used the blognomen Aztec Red. I guess he got tired of being laughed at, but he kept going bringing it on himself with stupid things.

      I've elaborated a bit more, mostly with videos of this jerk and his damned gunz shrieking and foaming hatered at the mouth.

      Unless I was reading too fast, you missed mentioning that he had a conviction at the age of 18 for assaulting a young woman. I have to wonder if his entry into the marine corps was one of those diversion sentences?

      Not reallys someone you want as sheriff who has such a lengthy and comprehensive history of law breaking.

      I have to wonder if the GOP candidate for sheriff having just filed his papers as having the official party endorsement along with the Tea Party candidate having done so might have made Ready feel a bit unwanted. Especially with the Dems sending out mass mailings telling people NOT to sign any petitions on his behalf.

      I wonder if it will come out how many guns he has and if he had permits for them? He was accused of having shot at possibly illegal migrants over the Easter weekend, and there had been calls for a federal investigation. That couldn't have helped.... I have aprox. a half dozen videos of his connections and comments on penigma.blogspot.com