Tag Archives: Gun violence in America

My America? Eighth USA school shooting in 2018! Majority of Americans want more gun control! Stop the madness, Congress and President Trump!!

By Rosalie Tirella

Our hearts break! We pray for Parkland! Another American school shooting! The 8th of 2018 – and it is only FEBRUARY! Schools, the learning, sports, arts and emotional hubs of so many communities are under siege, and our feckless Congress, the empty Trump, hundreds of our state/local pols do NOTHING! DO NOT LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE THEY WERE ELECTED TO REPRESENT!

Kids, parents, teachers, coaches, lunch ladies, janitors … coming together in their Florida high school yesterday to do the quintessential American thing: EDUCATE ALL American kids! Girls, kids of color, kids with special emotional or physical challenges, rich, very poor, brilliant and not brilliant. All American kids have the American right to free public education! And TO BE INSPIRED BY GREAT TEACHERS/STAFF … DO SPORTS … REVEL IN MUSIC, PAINTING, CREATING ART … FIND AND PURSUE THEIR PERSONAL PASSIONS! And, yes, come together to have plain ol’ fun!

Do you remember high school and junior high? I do! The great Worcester Public Schools! K through 12, for me! Providence Street Junior High, Burncoat Senior High … lot of books but a lot of friends, movies, pizza parties, joking around, being silly, hanging out listening to rock n roll, too! Kids and adventures I’ll never forget, courtesy of the grand old Worcester Public Schools. Years later I would become – for a few years – a substitute teacher in the Worcester Public Schools. A different perspective! What cool kids – many struggling, needing guidance and nurturing but still open to the love and learning you get in all great schools! So many good teachers and teacher’s aides – and lunch ladies and coaches – all so dedicated to their kids and our community!

It was the same in Parkland! But yesterday in that Florida high school – a revered American space – lives ended. Worlds were shattered.

What will it take for President Trump and the Republicans in Congress to stop caving to the politically powerful NRA AND LISTEN TO THE MAJORITY OF AMERICANS?

Americans want stricter gun laws – not more loopholes! Is being re-elected really so important to scores of mediocre politicians?! “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country!” – President John F. Kennedy said that. Do you think President Kennedy and brother Bobby (Attorney General) would lead like sicko Trumpo and our gutless Congress? Let our kids die? Die horrific deaths? By assault weapons – like soldiers in battlefields.

American kids aren’t in a war.

American kids aren’t expendable.

AMERICAN STUDENTS MUST NOT DIE WALKING TO SCHOOL, STUDYING ALGEBRA, KIDDING AROUND WITH THEIR BUDDIES IN ENGLISH CLASS… THE MADNESS MUST STOP! Grieving American families don’t quit grieving – ever. Once the TV cameras are turned off and the news vans drive off they hurt forever, think of their dead sons and daughters every day.

Trump’s response to yesterday’s carnage? Ho hum…nothing new to see here. I am sure he will use the tragedy to defend and get in even better with the NRA. He will push for a plethora of guns in ALL our schools! Trump wants every American teacher, school principal, music instructor armed. Carrying a concealed weapon they may be too terrified – or unwilling! – to fire. The obscenity of it all.

I’m certain President Trump will put his big ugly foot in our hearts and slosh it around – make the families, all Americans, hurt even more with his incoherent, emotionally fucked-up, off-the-cuff remarks given after he reads his official statement off the official White House teleprompter. And his asinine, evil Tweets will bring more pain…

Pray for Parkland.

Pray for America.

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From the GUARDIAN. PLEASE CLICK ON THE LINK TO THIS TERRIFIC UK WEBSITE (under “FAVORITES”!) to learn more!

We’ve made some sentences bold. We pray for the dead children and their coach … and their grieving families and community. Their lives will never be the same! – Rose T.

3000

How many US school shootings have there been in 2018 so far?

Attack on a Florida high school is the eighth shooting to have resulted in death or injury during the first seven weeks of the year.

Break the cycle: it’s time to end America’s gun violence epidemic
Lois Beckett in New York @loisbeckett

Thu 15 Feb 2018

Just seven weeks into 2018, there have been eight shootings at US schools that have resulted in injury or death.

Seventeen people have been confirmed dead in the latest shooting in Parkland, Florida, on Valentine’s Day.

Less than a month ago, a 15-year-old student opened fire at a high school in Kentucky, leaving two students dead and 18 injured. Other incidents have been grave, but on a smaller scale.

In early February, one student in Los Angeles was shot in the head, and another in the arm, when a gun concealed in a fellow student’s backpack went off.

The congressman Bill Nelson, a Democrat of Florida, said on Wednesday afternoon: “Are we coming to expect these mass shootings to be routine? And then after every one we say ‘enough is enough’ and then it continues to happen?”

Congress has refused to tighten restrictions on gun ownership, even after 20 children and six educators were massacred in 2012 in Sandy Hook elementary school in Connecticut.

“We’re lessening the threshold of how crazy someone needs to be to commit a mass shooting,” Austin Eubanks, who survived the 1999 shooting at Columbine high school, told the Guardian last fall.

He was speaking in the wake of catastrophic Las Vegas shooting, where a depressed man took up position high up in a hotel, with a large arsenal of guns and ammunition, and sprayed bullets upon a music concert audience, killing 58 and injuring more than 800. Eubanks said he had watched an increasing pace of mass shootings across the US, in schools and elsewhere, with fear and anxiety.

The fifth anniversary of the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting last December passed in subdued fashion, with congressional Republicans refusing to pass new gun control laws and instead pushing for a law that would weaken gun restrictions nationwide and make it easier to carry a concealed weapon across state lines. Donald Trump won the White House campaigning on a promise to support the National Rifle Association (NRA), the influential gun rights group, and oppose any limits to Americans’ right to own guns.

In all, guns have been fired on school property in the US at least 18 times so far this year, according to incidents tracked by Everytown for Gun Safety, a gun control group. In eight of these cases, a gun was fired on school property, but no one was injured. Another two incidents were gun suicides, claiming the lives of one student and one adult on school property.

The repeated tragedies and frightening incidents continue to spark deeply divided political responses, with some Americans urging tighter laws on gun sales and ownership and others advocating for putting more armed guards in schools, or making it easier for teachers and parents to carry their own concealed weapons.

Experts caution that the toll of gun violence on children and teenagers falls heaviest outside of schools. Youngsters are much more likely to be shot in their own homes or neighborhoods than at school, according to research by the school safety expert Dewey Cornell.

But the emotional impact of school shootings has sparked a booming school safety industry. In 2017, the market for security equipment in the education sector was estimated at $2.68bn, according to industry analysts at IHS Markit. Some companies have capitalized on parents’ fears by selling bulletproof backpacks or whiteboards, as well as offering ways to fortify school buildings themselves against attack.

While refusing to pass substantive gun control restrictions, Congress has approved hundreds of millions of dollars in federal spending to help put police officers in public schools, including $45m in 2013, the year after the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting.

Some gun rights advocates have pushed to expand gun-carrying in schools further. Andrew McDaniel, a state legislator in Missouri who introduced legislation last year to make it easier to carry guns in schools, told the Guardian that, in rural schools where it might take 20 or 30 minutes for law enforcement to respond to a school shooting in progress, it made sense to have other armed citizens ready to step in.

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.

Jim – always in style! … McGovern Blasts House GOP For Toothless NRA-Backed Gun Bill

Following House Democrats’ Nearly 26-Hour Sit-In, McGovern Continues Call for Republicans to Act on Bipartisan Gun Legislation

Congressman Jim McGovern led this week’s floor debate for House Democrats calling for action on real legislation to address gun violence. This came less than two weeks after Speaker Paul Ryan and House Republicans abruptly adjourned the House to avoid the debate on gun legislation that Congressman McGovern and House Democrats were calling for with a nearly 26-hour sit-in on the House floor.

Congressman McGovern continued the push for action and called out House Republicans for pushing a bill written by the NRA instead of the bipartisan legislation the American people clearly support.

“The American people overwhelmingly support the No Fly, No Buy bill and universal background checks. And they’re not going to fall for the theatrics my Republican friends are now engaged in this week, which is to bring up an NRA-written bill which they’re going to say is No Fly, No Buy. But what they’re not going to tell you is that all the loopholes still exist.

“It doesn’t matter what this bill purports to do, you can still be on the terrorist watch list and go online to buy a gun. You can still be on the terrorist watch list and not be able to fly, and still be able to go to a gun show and buy a gun. It’s pathetic that the loopholes in our background checks continue to be unaddressed.

“We are not going away. This issue is too important. We are not going to be silent. We are going to continue to use every means available to us to raise our voices and to demand that the leadership of this House respect not the wishes of the Democratic minority, but respect the wishes of the vast majority of the American people, Democrats and Republicans alike.”

Text of Speech by Congressman McGovern:

“I want to thank the gentleman from Texas, Mr. Sessions, for the customary 30 minutes and I really want to thank him because after what happened two weeks ago when we in the minority were denied any debate time on the rule or the underlying bill, I know that being given the automatic 30 minutes is no longer something that we should assume.

“We’re doing three rules today that would provide for the consideration of legislation on a separation of powers bill, a health savings account bill, and a financial services bill. All three bills, I want my colleagues to know, are going nowhere. There are statements of Administration policy saying that the Administration would veto them.

“Some of these bills are so bad I’m not even sure the Senate would consider them. They’re either press releases that were written in the Republican congressional campaign committee or they are bills that are so loaded up with extraneous materials and riders on all kinds of subjects that have nothing to do with the underlying legislation that, again, we’re just sitting here, debating bills that have no future, that are going nowhere. We’re wasting the time of our colleagues, we’re wasting taxpayer money.

“What we should be debating here today is legislation that would provide for comprehensive background checks on anyone who wants to buy a gun. And also legislation that says if you are on an FBI terrorist watch list and cannot fly on an airplane, then you should not be able to go into a gun store and buy a weapon of war, or buy any gun for that matter. Those are the two pieces of legislation that we tried two weeks ago to get the Speaker of the House to give us a debate and vote on. And we still demand consideration of these two very basic, commonsense pieces of legislation that I believe will save lives in this country. And quite frankly, that’s what we should be concerned with. How we better protect our constituents. How we better protect the American people.

“The issue of gun violence is something that Democrats and Republicans alike care about. In fact, the legislation we want to bring to the floor was offered by a Republican member, the distinguished member from New York, Peter King. He’s the prime author of both these pieces of legislation. This problem is something that worries the American people, trouble the American people, but doesn’t seem to trouble the people in charge of this House.

“Listen to this statistic from PolitiFact: ‘So many people die annually from gunfire in the United States that the death toll between 1968 and 2011 eclipses all wars ever fought by the country. There were about 1.4 million firearm deaths in that period compared to 1.2 million U.S. deaths in every conflict from the War of Independence to the war in Iraq.’

“Two weeks ago, many of us came to this floor and joined with our colleague John Lewis and Katherine Clark, John Larson, Mike Thompson, and so many others in a protest, a sit-in. And the reason why we did that is because the frustration level on this side of the aisle is boiling over.

“This is supposed to be a deliberative body where important issues get debated and voted on. And instead, this has become a place where trivial issues get debated passionately and important ones not at all.

“In the aftermath of this terrible tragedy in Orlando where 49 people were killed, all we could do in this House was have a moment of silence. That was it. So that’s what that protest was all about. That’s what that protest was all about. We had exhausted every other way to try to get this legislation to the floor. And every time we tried to go through regular order we’re blocked, we’re blocked, we’re blocked. Enough.

“The American people overwhelmingly support the No Fly, No Buy bill and universal background checks. And they’re not going to fall for the theatrics my Republican friends are now engaged in this week, which is to bring up an NRA-written bill which they’re going to say is No Fly, No Buy. But what they’re not going to tell you is that all the loopholes still exist.

“It doesn’t matter what this bill purports to do, you can still be on the terrorist watch list and go online to buy a gun. You can still be on the terrorist watch list and not be able to fly, and still be able to go to a gun show and buy a gun. It’s pathetic that the loopholes in our background checks continue to be unaddressed.

“All we’re trying to do is have our moment where we can debate this issue which, again, is a bipartisan issue. It’s not a partisan issue. The two pieces of legislation that we are trying to bring to the floor are offered by a Republican member.

“So we are not going away. This issue is too important. We are not going to be silent. We are going to continue to use every means available to us to raise our voices and to demand that the leadership of this House respect not the wishes of the Democratic minority, but respect the wishes of the vast majority of the American people, Democrats and Republicans alike.”