Photo of the day

From a Guardian gallery of photos from great vacation destinations:

Machu Picchu, PeruA llama’s-eye view of the legendary Inca settlement at Machu Picchu, isolated high in the Peruvian Andes.

Photograph: Jim Turner/National Geographic

NRA Nation

On a recent shooting in Colorado Springs:

Two days before Noah Harpham killed three people in a Colorado Springs shooting rampage, the 33-year-old wrote an incoherentInternet essay post and rambled in a video uploaded to YouTube.

“Hey, folks, this is Noah. Gettin’ my blog live,” Harpham says in the brief recording while walking around a room as techno music blares in the background.

Harpham goes on to talk nonsensically about a pastor’s sermon. In the essay, he writes of “mind-control technique” and God.

The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office on Monday afternoon formally identified Harpham as the gunman in the vicious Saturday slayings that spanned several city blocks. He died in a shootout with police.

Witnesses watched in horror as Harpham picked his victims off. One of them, the bicyclist, pleaded for his life before being killed.

“I heard the (young man) say, ‘Don’t shoot me! Don’t shoot me!’ ” Naomi Bettis, a neighbor who witnessed the killing, said Monday…

While on the phone with police, Abshire said he saw Harpham turn and shoot at two women. By the time Abshire reached the pair, one of them had stopped breathing, he told newspaper.

“She was dead,” Abshire said.

It appeared one of the women had been shot in the face, he said.

Worst part?  The police were warned several minutes before the shooting:

“I heard the (young man) say, ‘Don’t shoot me! Don’t shoot me!’ ” Naomi Bettis, a neighbor who witnessed the killing, said Monday.

Bettis said she recognized the gunman as her neighbor — whom she didn’t know by name — and that before the initial slaying she saw him roaming outside with a rifle. She called 911 to report the man, but a dispatcher explained that Colorado has an open carry law that allows public handling of firearms. [emphasis mine]

Argghh!  I’m sure it’s of great comfort for the families of the victims to know that Colorado citizens are free to walk around with a firearm without any police concern.  I’m sure that’s got to make those lost live’s all worth it.  As Ben Carson so eloquently put it, ”

“There is no doubt that this senseless violence is breathtaking, but I never saw a body with bullet holes that was more devastating than taking the right to arm ourselves away.”

Really?!  Ben Carson is a sick f*ck (and you know how I feel about cussing).  You know what’s devastating?  A woman out taking a walk shot through the face and a bicyclist shot after pleading for his life so that we can live in NRA Nation where any idiot and/or maniac has the right to own a gun virtually unimpeded.  Only in America.

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