Sunday, January 6, 2013

Gun Violence in America, Why?

I know the gun control issue is a divisive and polarizing issue in America. I believe that this divisiveness and polarity is due to the fact that our country has a “Gun Culture” that is based in our laws and traditions. I also believe that the gun violence in America is directly associated with our business, media, and political system and not the product of the actual guns that are available to the American people.

The reason that I believe this? Let's take a look at the National Rifle Association. The NRA was once an honorable organization that trained youth organizations and police departments in firearm safety, marksmanship, and responsible gun use. Today, the NRA is a political shill for any private interest that contributes to their organization. I go to the San Diego Police Range on a regular basis to practice my pistol and revolver skills. I don't see much good the NRA is doing for the citizens of San Diego at the San Diego Police Range. As a matter of fact, I was a federal law enforcement officer from 1995-1998. The NRA called me a jackbooted thug when I was risking my life keeping the violent convicted felons inside the walls of a correctional institution. I am not a member of the NRA, but I constantly get the fear mongering propaganda in the mail from them. The NRA is always asking me to become a member, contribute to the NRA to protect my gun rights. How do they get my mailing address? Every time I buy ammunition, accessories, or firearms, there is a data mining involved with the purchase account that spits out my personal information to the NRA. Who pays for this data mining? The NRA of course. Does the NRA have it in its best interest to permanently solve the gun rights issue? No, they would have to go back to serving the American shooting public in a nonpolitical way. There is no money or glory in that.

On the other hand, as a person who has run for local public office I get solicitations from many nonprofit groups. One of these non profits is Handgun Control Inc. They are the opposite end of the Gun Rights group from the NRA. They are just as interested in ending gun violence as the NRA is. If gun violence disappeared tomorrow, Handgun Control Inc. would have no reason to exist. No reason to pay their executives, directors, and employees the salaries that they make. This is also true of the Center to Prevent Gun Violence and all of the other non government organizations that reap massive donations after some insane person shoots up a business, school, church, or other gathering place. Over the years, I have received many solicitations, surveys, and other correspondence from these organizations. I have noticed in all of these solicitations, they don't post, write, or even reference the four firearm safety rules. You would think that an organization that espouses the need for firearm safety would be interested in helping their fellow citizens understand the four basic rules for safe firearm ownership.

Since I have brought up the Four Firearm Safety Rules, I feel that I must post them for everyone's personal knowledge:

  • All firearms are always loaded
  • Never let your muzzle cover anything that you are not willing to destroy.
  • Never place your finger on the trigger, unless your sights are on target and you are ready to fire.
  • Be sure of your target, what is behind your target, and the range conditions around you.
The first firearm safety rule means that all guns, including toy guns, BB guns, or any other type of projectile platform must be considered to be loaded and ready to fire at all times. There is no such thing as an unloaded gun.

The second firearm safety rule also applies to all of the classes of guns from above. This rule pertains to every case a firearm in in the hands of a human being.

The third firearm safety rule is probably the most broken rule of the four. It is also the rule that causes the most unintentional discharges of firearms.

The fourth firearm safety rule is the one that experts and beginners seem to forget in the heat of the moment the most. This leads me to believe that everyone should be especially vigilant about all shooters following it.

The next issue that has to be addressed in our gun culture is education. In America today, there are over 300,000,000 firearms. There are also 100,000,000 gun owners who own those firearms. Why does our public school system not have a portion of health education dedicated to firearm safety? Why do our academic scholars, teachers, and public safety professionals not have answers about firearm safety in their education and syllabuses? We have 20,000 firearm homicides, suicides, and accidents a year in this country, but no tangible assets assigned to educating the American people about the safety issues, morality, and legal implications for the use of firearms. If this situation involved automobiles, power tools, or industrial equipment, there would be a comprehensive education program that would concentrate on promoting and improving safety.

The next factor that affects our gun culture is the media. The media has to be the most mercenary factor in the gun issue. The news media needs circulation. This is true of television, radio, and print. The news media loves sensationalism, sensationalism sells papers, commercial content, and advertisement. Movies show heroes and villains alike violating the four firearm safety rules, callously killing other human beings, and using firearms to solve problems that are simply out of the realm of possibility. Video games are worse, the video game's popularity has trained many young Americans to believe that gunning down another human being is completely wonderful and good. There are no legal or moral implications in the virtual world for killing human beings. Couple this with a market that pays the most to the game that is the most violent and young people are going to have the wrong idea about firearm use and misuse.

Then there is the hypocrisy of the television news media. The news media constantly screams that there are too many guns and gun deaths in the United States of America. They scream how the evil NRA and gun factories are at fault for these horrific events. Yet, I have never seen a talking head on any network use his access to the American people to state the four firearm safety rules. Those talking heads are always in favor of hunting and target shooting. They are always against those evil assault weapons. They are always in favor of this gun ban or that new law. I have never heard a talking head state honestly that the 20,000 gun laws that are on the books are not enforced. I have never heard one of those talking heads follow up on a mass shooting in regard to the people who assisted the shooter in his deed. Why do the talking heads never give the names of the people who provided guns to minors or crazy people who commit mass shootings? Why are these people given a pass? Why doesn't every American know the names of Robyn Anderson, Mark Maines, and Philip Duran? These are the people who provided the Columbine idiots Klebold and Harris the firearms that they used to gun down 13 human beings. What happened to these individuals? How were they charged? Were they charged with a crime? Why are the news networks not reporting these facts? The prior mentioned individuals obviously violated firearm laws that are on the books. Why doesn't the average American know what happened to them or even their identity? I guess that kind of information is not news worthy. This is only one example of the media's inability follow up and live up to their responsibility.

Speaking of journalistic responsibility, sensationalism always comes first. In a recent “Meet the Press” episode, I watched the commentator, David Gregory hold up a 30 round standard NATO assault rifle magazine. I know that this show is filmed in Washington D.C. I also know that it is a crime to possess, transfer, or sale one of these magazines in the Washington D.C. jurisdiction. Why was Mr. Gregory not arrested and charged with a crime? How did Mr. Gregory obtain this magazine? Who provided it to him? Why does this magazine exist in a jurisdiction that it is illegal to be in? I won't hold my breath for the answers to those questions. Firearm laws have to pertain to everyone. No one should be able to deal their way out of a firearm violation. I believe the term “Zero Tolerance” was coined exactly for situations like this. Imagine Mr. Gregory charged, tried, and convicted for just possessing that magazine. Imagine how the populace would view breaking firearm laws if they knew even the powerful and connected could not get away with violating those laws.

Finally, there is the perception and law as it pertains to firearm violence. Perception is one area that the American people are misinformed. The term “Assault Weapon” and “Assault Rifle” are thrown around by every media talking head day in day out. The problem with these terms is they have actual meaning that most Americans don't understand. The first “Assault Rifle” was the Sturmgewehr 44. It was invented by the German military industrial complex during World War II. The weapon was designed to provide the German army with a weapon that could fire both semi automatically and fully automatically. That means that it could fire one shot for every pull of the trigger or multiple shots for a pull of a trigger. The weapon had a selector switch that changed the mode of fire. The German war machine was in a desperate situation regarding raw materials. Because of this, the Sturmgewehr 44 was manufactured using cheaper processes like metal stampings. It was also chambered for a new cartridge. The new cartridge was 7.92 X 33 Millimeter. This cartridge was dimensionally and ballistically weaker than the standard German military cartridge, the 7.92 X 57 Millimeter. This cartridge was designed for three reasons:

  • The new cartridge used less brass, gunpowder, and lead, and was weaker.
  • The new cartridge was more prone to wound enemy soldiers, rather than kill outright.
  • Because the new weapon was produced using cheaper methods, it would not handle the standard German military cartridge. The weapon design was weaker.
Now that you know the history of the “Assault Rifle”, you must take most of what you hear from the media with a grain of salt. Today, in America, we have a law named the “National Firearms Act of 1934”. This law makes it illegal to make, transfer, or sale any weapon that has the ability to fire more than one round per pull of the trigger. Violation of this law is a federal felony. So those ugly black guns that the news media show on television are not “Assault Rifles”. No gun store can sell machine-guns or assault rifles to the public. Speaking of those ugly black semiautomatic rifles that you see for sale in gun stores and at gun shows, they are chambered for rounds that are too weak to hunt with. Most of those rifles are chambered for 7.62 X 39 or 5.56 X 45 Millimeter (.223 Remington.) These cartridges are not allowed to be used to hunt animals like Deer, Bear or Elk. The reason that they are not allowed is because they do not kill the animal humanely or at all. These rounds are designed to wound enemy soldiers. The thought behind this choice is a wounded soldier takes several people to support, a dead soldier no one has to care for. So much for the media hype.

To sum up the problem of firearm violence in America, we must consider more than the tool being misused. We must consider our role in promoting violence. We must consider the legal system's inability to enforce the 20,000 gun laws that are already on the books. We must consider being our brother's keeper, in regard to our family members, neighbors, and friends who are mentally ill. We must consider that many of the groups who profess to be solutions to the gun violence problem do not have a vested interest in solving it. We must change our education system to better serve the American people from becoming victims of firearm violence. We must hold our media, television, movies, and radio to higher standard regarding reporting the facts and reducing the sensationalism. Finally, we must demand that our political leaders quit using the firearm violence issue to raise contributions and exacerbate a problem that is above petty partisanship. In closing, the American people have a right to keep and bear firearms, but we also have a responsibility to use them correctly. The American political, legal, and civic ideals are based on compromise and consensus. Let's move ahead and use the best aspects of American life to work together to solve this problem.
-Paul Broadway

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Paul gets the nod from Roger Hedgecock!

San Diego's "Radio Mayor" yesterday declared his support for Paul Broadway for the District 3 seat on the San Diego City Council. Paul, his wife Marcia, and all the members of our committee are of course very pleased.

Roger declared the big-spending candidates Todd Gloria and Stephen Whitburn, who skipped the on-air debate last Friday, as unfit to serve as councilmembers since they lack the fortitude to face an outspoken critic. Meanwhile, James Hartline and his minions have managed to stuff Roger's online poll (subject to being removed at any time of course) to the extent that Hartline appears to carry more than 60% of the vote. Sorry James, there just aren't that many people in District 3 who are going to buy into your "ex-gay" routine.

Hear Roger's endorsements for Districts 1, 3, 5, and 7 on Roger's site - see Wednesday, May 21, 2008 5 PM at this link. You can also go back to last Friday and hear the District 3 debate as it was played on the air. (Some of the livelier exchanges among the candidates occurred during commercial breaks.)

This just in Saturday, May 31 - Roger's endorsement page

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Would you like to help Paul get elected? Here's one way...

Please see our How You Can Help page on the campaign Web site. We've added several colorful window decals, bumper stickers, and full-age posters in GIF format, also Word or PowerPoint documents for convenient printer setup. Create Paul Broadway propaganda on your printer in the privacy of your home, or be an office rebel and sneak a few onto the nice color machine at work when the boss isn't looking.

The picnic yesterday at Hollywood Park in City Heights was a great success. About 40 people showed up to eat and chat with Paul and the committee. Thanks to all who attended!

We'll have a small army of middle-aged white guys in Hawaiian shirts, some creative folks, kids, etc. out canvassing neighborhoods in the North Park area next weekend. Please contact Paul directly if you'd like to volunteer your soles to the effort.

Home (619) 284-2331


Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I don't like the Strong Mayor form of government

Right now, we have a political situation in San Diego that is going to define how we continue on as a city. We have the Strong Mayor form of government in place. With that form of government, we have lost some checks and balances that protected the citizens of San Diego from our duly elected leaders.

Because there is an appearance of ultimate power being wielded by our politicians, or because our City Attorney loves to take on causes that he is outnumbered on, we have a war between the City Attorney's office and the Mayor's office. The whole fiasco is about the dreaded pension fund issue. You know, the 2.1 BILLION dollars that the city allowed to be grafted from our public coffers by civil servants in the form of work credits.

It seems that our Mayor is doing the work of the pension board that he appointed. He is taking action unilaterally, so the pension board does not have to act in open meetings. He wants to allow those extravagant and somewhat questionable benefits to be extended to new employees of the city. Those same benefits that are destroying our credit worthiness and bond ratings as a city.

It is not the Mayor's responsibility to do the pension board's work, nor is it the Mayor's job to oversee the pension benefits of the city's employees. But, here is the rub, the last pension board was indicted and will be tried for their actions that led to San Diego's biggest financial scadal to ever present its ugly head in public so far. If the new pension board violates the Brown Act or involves itself in any wrongdoing, they will be hung out to dry in a judicial sense. You do know whose reputation that will reflect on? The Mayor's, of course!

The citizens of San Diego have two allies to protect our interest from the Mayor and his greedy benefactors. The first ally is Michael Aguirre. That mild mannered and somewhat disheveled lawyer who is always asking pesky questions and interpreting the law to our benefit. The same City Attorney that has spawned radio and television commercials about all of the issues that he is involved in. In my opinion, Mr. Aguirre is doing the best and bravest job I have ever witnessed by a civil servant.

There are a lot of political interests out there who do not care for Mr. Aguirre. I can name a few just to support my statement: the Mayor, a majority of the City Council, Sunroad Development Co., and a large majority of the city's employees. You see, Mr. Aguirre is turning off the spigot of graft and collusion in our city's political machine. He is working for the Citizens of San Diego, not developers and their stooges.

The second ally that we San Diegans can count on is the Municipal Code! The Muni Code, as it is referred to is the best protection that we mere citizens can count on at Golden Hall! The very action the Mayor is arguing to allow is outlined in the Municipal Code. If our politicians can interpret the Muni Code to their whims, we are lost. Please support your City Attorney and let the Mayor know that what he is doing is not appreciated. Write an e-mail or letter stating that he recuse himself from all pension board matters. Remember, this is an issue that has decades of taxation that we will bear. If you want the best outcome from this political fiasco, let the City Attorney do his job unfettered and free of the political collusion by our Mayor and City Council.

-Paul Broadway

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Paul will host a picnic on Saturday, May 10 at Hollywood Park

In recognition of the hard work that our committee members, artists, and other volunteers have contributed to Paul's campaign, there will be a picnic in Hollywood Park on Saturday, May 10 from midday until sunset.

Paul plans to show up early, about 10:00 AM. This is a BYOC (Bring Your Own Cooler) event. Paul will provide meat, other grillables, and some condiments.

Please see our Events page for a map of the area. The green arrow is not well-placed; parking is at the southern end of Hollywood Park, the long, thin green area just east of the Azalea Park neighborhood. From Fairmount Avenue, take either Laurel or Maple Street West to Sumac Drive. Follow Sumac south to the parking lot entrance. Or if you happen to live in the area, walk in via your favorite side entrance.

Come meet Paul and help him unwind a little from his hectic work and campaign schedule!

Saturday, April 19, 2008


Welcome to Paul Broadway's Blog!

Paul is a US Navy veteran and proud member of VFW Post # 7420, a homeowner who has lived in San Diego for twenty-five years. He served as a federal public safety officer and currently makes his living as a factory mechanic, but is best known as the owner-operator, with wife Marcia, of the popular and well-regarded San Diego landmark, Sparky’s.

He accepts no monetary contributions, and pledges to serve one term only.

He asks for your vote to effect fundamental change in a City Council that tolerated corruption and dangerously misplaced priorities at City Hall.

“Public service is a duty, not a career. We have enough career politicians. We as a community need to get things done. We need and deserve a city that works for us.”

Paul’s core issues:

- Compliance with all federal, state, and local law
- An A credit rating
- Water policy that makes sense
- Justice in the pension fund scandal
- Our city as a center for green business

Paul and his core supporters will use this blog as a launch point for interactive discussions with voters. Main topics will present Paul's positions on issues, his vision for the future of San Diego and District 3, and his thoughts on other matters. We welcome comments and questions from anyone.