Tag Archives: gun violence

Worcester Mayor Joe Petty Renews Call for Statewide Gun Buyback Day

· Remembering the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting

· Collecting real and replica guns, which are also used to commit crimes

For the fifteenth annual Goods For Guns Day, 16 cities and towns in Central Massachusetts have agreed to participate in this year’s program, December 10th from 9 – 3 PM.

Worcester Mayor Joseph M. Petty is once again calling on his fellow mayors to join him to make the anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting the date of a yearly, statewide gun buyback day.

“Today I am again asking my fellow mayors to work within their own cities, and with their District Attorney’s and healthcare providers, to join us and honor the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting by making our cities safer and healthier.” Mayor Petty said, “We remember the victims of the Newtown shooting by dedicating this program every year in their memory.”

“Thirty-three thousand lives were lost to gun violence last year, but the vast majority of those deaths, around twenty-two thousand, are suicides” said Mayor Petty. “This is not just about getting guns off the streets; it’s about making sure that if you have a gun in your home, that it’s secured. It’s about safer streets and healthier homes and making sure the violence we saw in Newtown never happens here.”

Dr. Michael Hirsh is the medical director for Worcester’s Division of Public Health, as well as a pediatric trauma surgeon at the UMass Memorial Children’s Medical Center and longtime gun safety advocate.

“This program is an opportunity, for families with guns in their households, to either dispose of them or to get a trigger lock to secure them,” said Dr. Hirsh. “This will ultimately lower the number of suicides, lethal domestic violence events, accidental shootings, and burglarized firearms that end up in criminal hands.”

The yearly Goods for Guns program in Worcester is sponsored by both UMass Memorial Medical Center and Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early Jr.’s office.

“Our goal is, and always has been, getting unwanted and unsecured guns out of the house,” Mr. Early said. “This has benefits on so many levels. Reducing accidents and tragedies in Worcester County benefits us all.”

“As the Level One Trauma center for central Massachusetts, our caregivers are all too familiar with what can happen when there is an unsecured firearm in the home,” said Eric Dickson, MD, president and CEO, UMass Memorial Health Care and an emergency department physician. “This buyback program has undoubtedly saved lives in our region and is a powerful instrument for educating the community on the importance of responsible gun ownership.”

“Unsecured weapons are a risk both to public health and public safety. Most gun crimes are committed using illegally-obtained firearms, which makes it an urgent priority to get any unsecured guns out of our homes before they fall into the wrong hands,” said City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr.” Worcester is proud to lead the way in this effort to make our communities safer.”

This year’s buy back added the cities of Fitchburg, Leominster and Dudley. Fitchburg Mayor Stephen L. DiNatale said, “The City of Fitchburg is proud to be participating in a regional effort to help community members place unwanted firearms in the hands of our local law enforcement. Similar to education, Goods for Guns is an excellent way to reduce the likelihood of theft, misuse, or accidents with improperly stored firearms.”

Police departments in Worcester, Millbury, Grafton, Leicester, Southbridge, Oxford, Northbridge, Webster , Dudley, Charlton, Spencer, Leominster, Barre and Fitchburg, will exchange guns for gift cards of varying amounts on December 10:

$25 rifle or replica guns

$50 pistol

$75 semiautomatic weapon of any kind

Residents are instructed to contact their local police departments for local buyback hours.

Residents of ANY city or town may drop off their weapons anonymously at ANY PARTICIPATING police station, in exchange for gift cards. Gun owners are further welcomed to pick up a trigger lock free of charge from the police stations listed above. This year’s buyback will also be accepting realistic toy guns and replicas.

Since the inception of the Goods for Guns program in 2002, almost 3,000 guns have been returned to law enforcement officials in Central Massachusetts. Last year’s program took 340 weapons off the street and out of the home in just one day.

The full list of cities and towns participating is as follows: Worcester, Westboro, Northborough, Southbridge, Leicester, Leominster, Barre, Fitchburg, Oxford, Dudley, Millbury, Grafton, Charlton, Spencer, Northbridge, and Webster.

Congressman McGovern: Moments of Silence Not Enough, We Need Action to Stop Gun Violence

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Go, Jim, go!!!!

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Jim McGovern called out House Republicans this week for refusing to take action to pass commonsense legislation to address gun violence in the wake of the tragic shooting in Orlando this past weekend. This followed an outcry by Democrats on the House floor on Monday, June 13th, after Republicans held a moment of silence and refused to answer questions from House Democrats about bringing up gun legislation. Congressman McGovern said these moments of silence are “becoming an empty gesture,” adding “It’s not enough. It’s time for action.”

“We stood here and for 10 seconds we had a moment of silence,” said Congressman McGovern, adding “Is that it? What about legislation? What about action to prevent these types of tragedies from happening in the future?”

Congressman McGovern called for the House to take up legislation to (1) stop people on the FBI’s No-Fly list from being able to buy guns, (2) ban assault weapons like the ones used in Orlando and other mass shootings, and (3) prevent people convicted of hate crimes from being able to buy a gun.

“We have been here on this floor calling for moments of silence after terrible tragedies like the one in Orlando again and again and again and again. It’s not enough,” McGovern continued. “Surely this Congress, Democrats and Republicans, can come together and do more than just have a moment of silence. This is common sense and both parties need to come together and take action.”

“It’s not enough to come here after terrible tragedies like the one in Orlando where 49 people lost their lives and 53 were wounded and to just have a moment of silence,” McGovern concluded. “It’s becoming an empty gesture. We need to follow it up with action, and the American people – no matter their political ideology or political party – all want us to do something. Instead, all we can do is have a moment of silence. I would just say to my colleagues, it’s not enough. It’s time for action.”

Full Transcript of Congressman McGovern’s Speech:

“In the aftermath of this terrible tragedy in Orlando, the Speaker of the House asked for a moment of silence to pray for the victims., those who lost their lives, those were injured, and their families. And we stood here and for 10 seconds we had a moment of silence. One of our leaders, Mr. Clyburn, sought to get the Speaker’s attention to ask a question. Basically, the question was, is that it?

“What about legislation? What about action to prevent these types of tragedies from happening in the future? And he was gaveled down. And there was a lot of outrage here on the House floor. And I think justifiably so. We have been here on this floor calling for moments of silence after terrible tragedies like the one in Orlando again and again and again and again. It’s not enough.”

“Surely this Congress, Democrats and Republicans, can come together and do more than just have a moment of silence. Mr. Clyburn was asking about whether or not we could bring to the floor the bill that basically says if you’re a suspected terrorist and you’re on the FBI’s No-Fly list, then you ought not to be able to go into a gun store and buy a weapon of war. Asking if that could come up for debate and could we have a vote on that?

“He was also going to raise the issue about whether or not we could revisit legislation that would call for a ban on assault weapons. The weapon that this killer used was an assault weapon and it was perfectly legal for him to buy. Is it worth a discussion as to whether or not we ought to place limits on the purchase of such weapons?

“He was also going to raise the issue about whether or not we could pass the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, a bill that would prevent criminals who have been convicted of misdemeanor assaults against a victim based on his or her race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or disability from causing further harm with a gun.

“This is common sense and both parties need to come together and take action. For the life of me, I can’t understand why there is a hesitancy by the leadership of this House to grapple with some of these issues. It’s not enough to come here after terrible tragedies like the one in Orlando where 49 people lost their lives and 53 were wounded and to just have a moment of silence. It’s becoming an empty gesture. We need to follow it up with action, and the American people – no matter their political ideology or political party – all want us to do something. Instead, all we can do is have a moment of silence.

“I would just say to my colleagues, it’s not enough. It’s time for action.”

Be there! Vernon Hill: mega crime watch meeting for our urban neighborhoods!

Neighborhood Public Safety Meeting!

Thursday, August 13

7:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.

At the Worcester Senior Center

128 Providence Street

CAM00226

We need to save our inner-city neighborhoods! EVERYONE has to speak up, work together, be brave – and hopeful! The mayor is right – we can’t arrest our way out of the problem – but we can tamp things down, cool things off with an intensified police presence.  I am OK with city councilor Konnie Lukes’ suggestion – bring in the Massachusetts State Police.  It’s political grandstanding but who gives a shit at this point. The staties are here anyways.  Let their people supplement IN A VERY VISUAL WAY what the city has going already – bring in their cars, uniformed guys and gals. I WOULD LOVE A STATE POLICE CRUISER SITTING IN THE SAINT MARY’S CHURCH PARKING LOT NEAR MY HOUSE. So would all the other good people on my street! People are afraid! Single moms with cute little kids, single family home owners, young guys who have nothing to do with the chaos and are just typical teens hanging out together or walking to a friend’s house. There are so many good people living in our urban core, day in and day out. They deserve to go to work, let their kids ride their bikes on the sidewalk, walk down to the mini-mart IN RELATIVE PEACE. The bad apples will move on/be dealt with if we get the police presence we need! (photo by R.T: the corner of Lodi and Lafayette streets, where ICT editor Rosalie grew up and played as a little kid . Lafayette, Bigelow, Endicott – all inner-city Woo residential streets, part of our urban core, THAT WE CANNOT LET DIE, streets that can benefit from a stepped-up WPD police presence, coupled with Mass. State Police.)     – R. Tirella 

Please join Worcester Mayor Joseph Petty, City Manager Ed Augustus, District Attorney Joe Early, Jr, and …

… representatives from the Worcester Police Department

Emergency Communications

and the Worcester City Council in a conversation about our city and our neighborhoods and the ways that we can all help!

BE THERE!!!

PLEASE!!!!

Tomorrow, Monday! Gun Violence Hearing …

… at Assumption College, Salisbury Street. 10 a.m. in Hagan Hall. We need stronger gun laws! Let your voice be heard! There have been too many shootings in Worcester, a few in the heart of our city, our up and coming downtown. What a drag it is to be driving to City Hall and have Front Street shut down, blocked off by police cruisers as our cops deal with the next crazed gun guy.

We’re sick of it.

Attend this, one of five, state-sponsored public hearings. Our legislators want to know where we, the people, stand on this very important issue. Gun violence stands in the way of true inner-city revitalization. Worcester, Lawrence, Lowell, Springfield and other Massachusetts Gateway Cities will benefit from beefed up gun laws.

Be at Assumption to let our politicians know what we want/need.

– Rosalie Tirella

Please watch ‘Bowling for Columbine’ with me tomorrow night

By Michael Moore, filmmaker

Friends, I am hosting a nationwide series of house parties this Saturday night where tens of thousands of people will gather together in living rooms to watch ‘Bowling for Columbine’ and then hold a live “town hall” to discuss what the 310 million of us who aren’t members of the NRA are going to do about our continual gun tragedies.

Please, please join me and be part of this! With Senator Harry Reid this week announcing he’s too afraid to bring the assault weapons bill up for a vote – “because we’ll lose!” – you can see how now more than ever that if we the people, on a mass, grassroots level, don’t get it together, the status quo will remain the same and we can just sit back and wait for next week’s gun massacre.

So, I don’t know what you’re doing Saturday night, but I’m asking you to please spend it with me. I need you to email or text or call a few friends, family members, neighbors or co-workers and invite them over to you home to be part of the virtual nationwide gathering – first to watch my movie, and then to participate live, online, with me and a panel I’ve put together to discuss a plan of ACTION. And, as Saturday is only two days away, I need you to make those calls and send those texts TODAY.

Thanks to the good people at Netflix, you’ll be able to watch ‘Bowling for Columbine’ for free this Saturday! Last night we got a call from them and they told us they will stream the movie for free starting tomorrow so everyone can watch it. If you’re already on Netflix, then you’re all set.If you’re not, they’ll give you a free one-month trial subscription so you can stream the movie into your home on Saturday.

There are many other ways to get the movie too, just click here.

This nationwide movie night/town hall is being put on by a number of groups including Moveon, USAction, Progressive Democrats of America, RootsAction and the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. This is going to be a big night, so please be part of it. Our plan is to watch the movie at 7:00 PM ET. You can watch it then or you can watch it earlier or later, depending on when’s best to have people over to your house. The only thing that’s at a fixed time is the live online Q &A/discussion with me. That will happen at approximately 9:00 PM ET. It will also be available later on my website in case you can’t join us until 10:00 or 11:00 PM.

Friends, this is the moment to make this happen. The gun lobby is on the ropes but they are confident of victory because there is no comparable group as big and as well-funded on our own side to fight them. What we do have is the majority of Americans who have spoken loud and clear since Newtown that we want, at the bare minimum, some sensible laws passed to bring this gun violence down.

The time is now. Call your friends today and invite them over on Saturday night. We can do this if we all start to act.

See you Saturday!