Mass Slayings, German/Russia Pipeline

Grind for January 6th
“Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.”
– Benjamin Franklin


The Headline

More “mass slayings” took place this year in CA than in any other state

The Grind

Despite its strict gun control laws, the state of California had more “mass slayings” this year than any other state.

A “mass slaying” is a violent crime in which four or more people are killed excluding the perpetrator(s). Most mass slayings never make the news because they do not take place in public places.

This year, 211 people were killed in 41 mass slayings – more than any year since the 1970’s. Perpetrators used guns in most of the killings; 8 were conducted using knives and axes.

“The majority of the killings involved people who knew each other – family disputes, drug or gang violence or people with beefs that directed their anger at co-workers or relatives,” notes The Associated Press.

The state of California witnessed eight of the mass slayings, more than any other state.

This statistic gives ammunition (pun intended) to Second Amendment advocates who argue that gun control laws do not prevent gun violence.

The Details

California has gun registration requirements, ammunition controls, universal background checks, confiscation laws, a 10-day waiting period for firearm purchases, a ban on assault weapons, and limits on how many guns a person can buy each month.

The state forbids concealed carry on campuses, even in the case of arming teachers for possible school shootings, and requires buyers to acquire safety certificates before purchasing a gun.

Despite all of these rules, criminals in California were able to conduct eight mass slayings this year.

When asked how to stop the violence, San Francisco resident Marc Coleman said, “Protect the homeland. Take care of ourselves where we’re suffering from, mentally and spiritually, and we’ll stop shooting each other.”

Starting this month, California residents will need to be 21 or older to purchase a semi-automatic rifle. Gun licensing and fees will go up and individuals banned from owning guns in any state will be blocked from purchasing them in California.

California is also gearing up to expand its gun-violence restraining order policy, a program that enables police to seize weapons from any person who has threatened violence, to workplaces and schools.

Starting next month, anyone slapped with a gun-violence restraining order will be banned from purchasing firearms for five years. Starting in 2021, California residents will not be allowed to purchase more than one semi-automatic rifle per month.

None Of Your Business

The Headline

Pipeline dispute could trigger US-EU trade war

The Grind

German lawmakers are calling to block the United States from European businesses after Congress threatened sanctions against any company working on the Nord Stream 2 – a submarine gas pipeline linking Russia to Germany.

When completed, the $10 billion pipeline is expected to double the amount of Russian natural gas reaching Germany.

Lawmakers in the US, Ukraine, and Poland fear the pipeline would give Russia too much power over Europe’s energy supply (not to mention massive profits for Putin).

President Trump has already signed off on asset freezes and visa restrictions for any company involved in the project. One Swiss company has already suspended work on the pipeline in fear of sanctions US lawmakers warned could be “fatal.”

The Details

Germany and the EU responded to the threat with outrage, with one official saying the EU opposed the sanctions “as a matter of principle to the imposition of sanctions against European companies engaged in legal activities.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokeswoman, Ulrike Demmer, said the sanctions would “hit German and European companies and constitute an interference in our internal affairs.”

German lawmakers already frustrated with President Trump over his troop withdrawals, trade tariffs, and abandonment of international agreements say it may be necessary to work closer with Russia and China to fortify Europe’s defenses against US sanctions.

German officials say they will propose a firewall to protect Europe from US sanctions next year when Berlin assumes the EU’s presidency.

“Washington is treating the EU as an adversary,” said one official. “It is dealing the same way with Mexico, Canada, and with allies in Asia. This policy will provoke counter-reactions across the world.”

Russia, unperturbed by the threat, said it would use its own ships to finish the pipeline if its European partners withdraw. As it stands, the project is just under 100 miles short of completion.

Did you know… A rodent’s teeth never stop growing.