Tag Archives: NRA

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.

***********

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.

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.”

Go, Gordon Davis, go!

Guns, abortion and the U.S. Constitution

By Gordon Davis

There are restrictions that governments have imposed on women’s bodies, especially in the constitutionally protected right of women to control their pregnancies.

I believe that a woman should have the right to decide with her doctor what is to be done – without interference from the government.

When I see the protesters at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Piedmont, in Worcester, I am not happy. I am not happy that women in our society are placed in the position of tough decisions about their health. I am working for a society that treats women and all of us in a more respectful way.

I do not believe that men have the right to kill people without government intervention and prevention.

There is no protection in the United States Constitution for our most recent massacre. The U.S. Constitution was not written to protect mass killers of any sort. The document should be amended to make this clearer.

While listening to talk radio, a caller said the same restrictions that applied to women and their health should be applied to men and their guns.  The basis for this is that almost all of the killings done by guns are done by men.

Restrictions would not be imposed on men and their guns as a public safety issue. It would be imposed as an issue of public morality.  We strive to be less of a “wild west” society and more of a country based on gun-less resolutions of problems among individuals. There is no need to justify this public morality as it is self evident.  There is no need to justify moving away from the morality of the nineteenth century to the saner morality for the Twenty First Century.

For women who are pregnant there are laws restricting Planned Parenthood and other clinics: Some clinics are required to meet the standards of a hospital for emergency admittance. There are no emergency admittances at clinics; this is just a pretext.

For men who own or want to buy guns there should be laws restricting gun stores standards of sale – including updated electronic data bases for non-eligible purchasers of guns and ammunition. There should be created a cause for civil action for harm done by any weapon sold to a purchaser who was not eligible for a purchase of guns and ammunition.

The other requirements for men should be:

1.    Mandatory safety training every two years, including watching a video of harm done by guns.

2.   Proof of proper storage capacity, including locked cabinets and trigger locks.

3.   Proof the purchaser is not a danger to himself or to others. This would be a  certificate from a doctor that the purchaser is not suffering from impulse control issues of any sort.

4.  Proof of no violent criminal activity in the last 10 years, including arrests.

5.   A waiting period consisting of the gun store verification of certificates and  proof and the local police verification of the same documents.

6.  A tax on guns and ammunition dedicated to the mitigation of harm of gun violence victims and guns safety programs, etc.

7.  Criminal penalties for the falsification of specific documents and the failure of gun shops to properly apply certificates and waiting periods.

The new gun range in Worcester should check the certificates and proof of eligibility for each gun owner using the facility.

What comes to mind is the old saying: “What is good for the goose is good for the gander.” The morality of gun restriction is self evidently good for us all – except the gunmen.

HOME OF THE BRAVE

By Edith Morgan

We all have an opinion about weapons: How many, what type, who should have them, where to use them, etc. Our country is awash in guns, assault weapons, and ammunition. Our movies and television programs extol weapon-wielding “heroes” who are presented to our children as the “good guys.” Many of grew up to believe that these brave heroes solve their (and our) problems by shooting the bad guys and thus making us safe. But do we actually feel safer? Do all the motion detectors, alarms, guns under pillows and in drawers, foot patrols, surveillance cameras, deadbolts, and the myriad other defensive devices really make us feel safer?  How much more “protection will we need to feel safe?

Perhaps our problem lies in our definition of “Safe.” Cowards are always afraid. Brave people much less so. The persons who will go down in history as having accomplished great things and influenced millions to do better, have stood up UNARMED , against well-armed enemies, and won. Think of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Moses, Jesus, Buddha – and numerous others like them.

Much closer to home, we all know real ”heroes and heroines” who took risks , and unarmed, convinced others to follow their better selves.

For example: her home never had a weapon in it; but when a young Nazi lieutenant came to her door in the middle  of the night to arrest her husband, she had the courage to demand to see the paperwork, and asked the name of his commanding officer. The young recruit, unaccustomed to being questioned, retreated to get the paperwork, giving the family time to get help and make plans. That same woman, on vacation in Paris, walked up to a group of young American students in the hotel lobby where she and her husband were staying, and asked them to take their feet off the glass-topped table, then proceeded to lecture them on how to behave as representatives of their mutual country, America. Back home, this remarkable lady, while on her daily walk with her husband, found their way obstructed by a group  of teenagers loitering on the corner. She marched up to the group and asked them to make way on the public sidewalk so she and her husband could pass. Miraculously, they did. That woman was my mother – who saved our family many times during the difficult days of WW II.

If we look around our neighborhood, I think we could find people who display that kind of bravery every day: parents, teachers, friends, neighbors – who stand up for what is right, armed only with the courage of their convictions, They should be the real heroes to whom we pay homage. And sometimes, we are smart enough to elect such a person to represent us – a person who speaks truth to power again and again, does not enrich himself at our expense, and bravely forges on despite the odds.

 

 

America, you must not look away (How to finish off the NRA)

By Michael Moore, filmmaker

The year was 1955. Emmett Till was a young African American boy from Chicago visiting relatives in Mississippi. One day Emmett was seen “flirting” with a white woman in town, and for that he was mutilated and murdered at the age of fourteen. He was found with part of a cotton gin tied around his neck with a string of barbed wire. His killers, two white men, had shot him in the head before they dumped him in the river.

Emmett Till’s body was found and returned to Chicago. To the shock of many, his mother insisted on an open casket at his funeral so that the public could see what happens to a little boy’s body when bigots decide he is less than human. She wanted photographers to take pictures of her mutilated son and freely publish them. More than 10,000 mourners came to the funeral home, and the photo of Emmett Till appeared in newspapers and magazines across the nation.

“I just wanted the world to see,” she said. “I just wanted the world to see.”

The world did see, and nothing was ever the same again for the white supremacists of the United States of America. Because of Emmett Till, because of that shocking photograph of this little dead boy, just a few months later, “the revolt officially began on December 1, 1955” (from Eyes on the Prize) when Rosa Parks decided not to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. The historic bus boycott began and, with the images of Emmett Till still fresh in the minds of many Americans, there was no turning back.

In March of 1965, the police of Selma, Alabama, brutally beat, hosed and tear-gassed a group of African Americans for simply trying to cross a bridge during a protest march. The nation was shocked by images of blacks viciously maimed and injured. So, too, was the President. Just one week later, Lyndon Johnson called for a gathering of the U.S. Congress and he went and stood before them in joint session and told them to pass a bill he was introducing that night – the Voting Rights Act of 1965. And, just five months later, President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law.

In March, 1968, U.S. soldiers massacred 500 civilians at My Lai in Vietnam. A year and a half later, the world finally saw the photographs – of mounds of dead peasants covered in blood, a terrified toddler seconds before he was gunned down, and a woman with her brains literally blown out of her head. (These photos would join other Vietnam War photos, including a naked girl burned by napalm running down the road, and a South Vietnamese general walking up to a handcuffed suspect, taking out his handgun, and blowing the guy’s brains out on the NBC Nightly News.)

With this avalanche of horrid images, the American public turned against the Vietnam War. Our realization of what we were capable of rattled us so deeply it became very hard for future presidents (until George W. Bush) to outright invade a sovereign nation and go to war there for a decade.

Bush was able to pull it off because his handlers, Misters Cheney and Rumsfeld, knew that the most important thing to do from the get-go was to control the images of the war, to guarantee that nothing like a My Lai-style photograph ever appeared in the U.S. press.

And that is why you never see a picture any more of the kind of death and destruction that might make you get up off your couch and run out of the house screaming bloody murder at those responsible for these atrocities.

That is why now, after the children’s massacre in Newtown, the absolute last thing the National Rifle Association wants out there in the public domain is ANY images of what happened that tragic day.

But I have a prediction. I believe someone in Newtown, Connecticut – a grieving parent, an upset law enforcement officer, a citizen who has seen enough of this carnage in our country – somebody, someday soon, is going to leak the crime scene photos of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. And when the American people see what bullets from an assault rifle fired at close range do to a little child’s body, that’s the day the jig will be up for the NRA. It will be the day the debate on gun control will come to an end. There will be nothing left to argue over. It will just be over. And every sane American will demand action.

Of course, there will be a sanctimonious hue and cry from the pundits who will decry the publication of these gruesome pictures. Those who do publish or post them will be called “shameful” and “disgraceful” and “sick.” How could a media outlet be so insensitive to the families of the dead children! Someone will then start a boycott of the magazine or website that publishes them.

But this will be a false outrage. Because the real truth is this: We do not want to be confronted with what the actual results of a violent society looks like. Of what a society that starts illegal wars, that executes criminals (or supposed criminals), that strikes or beats one of its women every 15 seconds, and shoots 30 of its own citizens every single day looks like. Oh, no, please – DO NOT MAKE US LOOK AT THAT!

Because if we were to seriously look at the 20 slaughtered children – I mean really look at them, with their bodies blown apart, many of them so unrecognizable the only way their parents could identify them was by the clothes they were wearing – what would be our excuse not to act? Now. Right now. This very instant! How on earth could anyone not spring into action the very next moment after seeing the bullet-riddled bodies of these little boys and girls?

We don’t know exactly what those Newtown photographs show. But I want you – yes, you, the person reading this right now – to think about what we do know:

The six-year and seven-year-old children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School were each hit up to eleven times by a Bushmaster AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. The muzzle velocity of a rifle like the AR-15 is about three times that of a handgun. And because the kinetic energy of a bullet equals one-half of the bullet’s mass multiplied by its velocity squared, the potential destructive power of a bullet fired from a rifle is about nine times more than that of a similar bullet fired from a handgun.

Nine times more. I spoke to Dr. Victor Weedn, chairman of the Department of Forensic Sciences at George Washington University, who told me that chest x-rays of a person shot with a rifle will often look like a “snowstorm” because their bones will have been shattered into fragments. This happens not just because of the bullet’s direct impact, but because each bullet sends a shock wave through the body’s soft organs – one so powerful it can break bones even when the bullet didn’t hit them. A video here shows what the shock wave looks like in the “ballistic gelatin” used by experts to simulate human tissue. (Would Gabby Giffords have survived if shot by a rifle rather than a Glock pistol? Probably not, says Dr. Weedn; the shock wave would have damaged the most critical parts of her brain.)

As horrifying as this is, there’s more; much more. Dr. Cyril Wecht, past president of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, told me this:

The kind of ammunition used by the Newtown killer would have produced very extensive, severe and mutilating injuries of the head and face in these small victims. Depending on the number of shots striking a child’s head, substantial portions of the head would be literally blasted away. The underlying brain tissue would be extensively lacerated with portions of hemorrhagic brain tissue protruding through the fractured calvarium and basilar skull, some of which would remain on portions of the face…actual physical identification of each child would have been extremely difficult, and in many instances impossible, even by the parents of any particular child.

We also know this, according to Dr. Wecht:

In one case, the parents have commented publicly upon the damage to their child, reporting that his chin and left hand were missing. Most probably, this child had brought his hand up to his face in shock and for protection and had the hand blasted away along with the lower part of his face.

Veronique Pozner, the mother of Noah, the six-year-old boy described by Dr. Wecht, insisted that the Governor of Connecticut look at Noah in an open casket. “I needed it to be real to him,” she said. The Governor wept.

The pictures showing all this exist right now, somewhere in the police and medical examiner’s files in Connecticut. And as of right now, we’ve somehow all decided together that we don’t need to look, that in some way we’re okay with what’s in those pictures (after all, over 2,600 Americans have been killed by guns since Newtown) – just as long as we don’t have to look at the pictures ourselves.

But I am telling you now, that moment will come with the Newtown photos – and you will have to look. You will have to look at who and what we are, and what we’ve allowed to happen. At the end of World War II, General Eisenhower ordered that thousands of German civilians be forced to march through the concentration camps so they could witness what was happening just down the road from them during the years that they turned their gaze away, or didn’t ask, or didn’t do anything to stop the murder of millions.

We’ve done nothing since Columbine – nothing – and as a result there have been over 30 other mass shootings since then. Our inaction means that we are all, on some level, responsible – and therefore, because of our burying our heads in the sand, we must be forced to look at the 20 dead children at Sandy Hook Elementary.

The people we’ve voted for since Columbine – with the exception of Michael Bloomberg – almost none of them, Democrat or Republican, dared to speak out against the NRA before Newtown – and yet we, the people, continued to vote for them. And for that we are responsible, and that is why we must look at the 20 dead children.

Most of us continue to say we “support the Second Amendment” as if it were written by God (or we’re just afraid of being seen as anti-American). But this amendment was written by the same white men who thought a Negro was only 3/5 human. We’ve done nothing to revise or repeal this – and that makes us responsible, and that is why we must look at the pictures of the 20 dead children laying with what’s left of their bodies on the classroom floor in Newtown, Connecticut.

And while you’re looking at the heinous photographs, try saying those words out loud: “I support the Second Amendment!” Something, I’m guessing, won’t feel right.

Yes, someday a Sandy Hook mother – or a Columbine mother, or an Aurora mother, or a mother from massacres yet to come – will say, like the mother of Emmett Till, “I just want the world to see.” And then nothing about guns in this country will ever be the same again.

Pack your bags, NRA – you’re about to be shown the door. Because we refuse to let another child die in this manner. Got it? I hope so.

All you can do now is hope no one releases those photos.

NRA promises “fight of the century”

From The Guardian: – R. T.

NRA promises ‘fight of the century’ over President Obama’s bold gun control plan

By Ewen MacAskill and Ed Pilkington, The Guardian

Students participate in a prayer service for victims of the Newtown, Connecticut, mass shooting at St. Rose of Lima School in Miami on Friday, December 21.

Students at the St. Rose of Lima School in Miami participate in a prayer service for the victims of the Newtown, Conn., massacre. CNN

President Obama pledges to use ‘full weight’ of his office to get sweeping reforms aimed at curbing gun violence.Link to video: Obama unveils significant new gun control reforms

Barack Obama mounted the biggest challenge in two decades to America’s deeply ingrained gun culture on Wednesday, announcing a sweeping set of proposals to ban automatic weapons, limit magazines to 10 bullets, introduce universal background checks for all firearms buyers and increase scrutiny of mental health patients.

At a carefully stage-managed White House press conference a month after the Sandy Hook school massacre, Obama said the US had waited too long to tackle gun violence and it was time to act.

Flanked by a group of schoolchildren, Obama said: “This is our first task as a society: keeping our children safe. This is how we will be judged, and their voices should compel us to change.”

Obama said his reforms are intended to reduce not just these killing sprees but the everyday gun violence suffered across the US. In the month since Newtown, 900 Americans had been killed by guns, he said.

“In the days ahead, I intend to use whatever weight this office holds to make them a reality,” he said.

The National Rifle Association immediately vowed all-out opposition to his proposals, warning it was preparing for “the fight of the century”…

to read more, click on the link below …

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jan/16/obama-gun-control-plan-nra#_methods=onPlusOne%2C_ready%2C_close%2C_open%2C_resizeMe%2C_renderstart%2Concircled%2Conload&id=I2_1358535552109&parent=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.guardian.co.uk

Celebrating the Prince of Peace in the Land of Guns

By Michael Moore, filmmaker

After watching the deranged, delusional National Rifle Association press conference, it was clear that the Mayan prophecy had come true. Except the only world that was ending was the NRA’s. Their bullying power to set gun policy in this country is over. The nation is repulsed by the massacre in Connecticut, and the signs are everywhere: a basketball coach at a post-game press conference; the Republican Joe Scarborough; a pawn shop owner in Florida; a gun buy-back program in New Jersey; a singing contest show on TV, and the conservative gun-owning judge who sentenced Jared Loughner.

So here’s my little bit of holiday cheer for you:

These gun massacres aren’t going to end any time soon.

I’m sorry to say this. But deep down we both know it’s true. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep pushing forward – after all, the momentum is on our side. I know all of us – including me – would love to see the president and Congress enact stronger gun laws. We need a ban on automatic AND semiautomatic weapons and magazine clips that hold more than 7 bullets. We need better background checks and more mental health services. We need to regulate the ammo, too.

But, friends, I would like to propose that while all of the above will certainly reduce gun deaths (ask Mayor Bloomberg – it is virtually impossible to buy a handgun in New York City and the result is the number of murders per year has gone from 2,200 to under 400), it won’t really bring about an end to these mass slayings and it will not address the core problem we have. Connecticut had one of the strongest gun laws in the country. That did nothing to prevent the murders of 20 small children on December 14th.

In fact, let’s be clear about Newtown: the killer had no criminal record so he would never have shown up on a background check. All of the guns he used were legally purchased. None fit the legal description of an “assault” weapon. The killer seemed to have mental problems and his mother had him seek help, but that was worthless. As for security measures, the Sandy Hook school was locked down and buttoned up BEFORE the killer showed up that morning. Drills had been held for just such an incident. A lot of good that did.

And here’s the dirty little fact none of us liberals want to discuss: The killer only ceased his slaughter when he saw that cops were swarming onto the school grounds – i.e, the men with the guns. When he saw the guns a-coming, he stopped the bloodshed and killed himself. Guns on police officers prevented another 20 or 40 or 100 deaths from happening. Guns sometimes work. (Then again, there was an armed deputy sheriff at Columbine High School the day of that massacre and he couldn’t/didn’t stop it.)

I am sorry to offer this reality check on our much-needed march toward a bunch of well-intended, necessary – but ultimately, mostly cosmetic – changes to our gun laws. The sad facts are these: Other countries that have guns (like Canada, which has 7 million guns – mostly hunting guns – in their 12 million households) have a low murder rate. Kids in Japan watch the same violent movies and kids in Australia play the same violent video games (Grand Theft Auto was created by a British company; the UK had 58 gun murders last year in a nation of 63 million people). They simply don’t kill each other at the rate that we do. Why is that? THAT is the question we should be exploring while we are banning and restricting guns: Who are we?

I’d like to try to answer that question.

We are a country whose leaders officially sanction and carry out acts of violence as a means to often an immoral end. We invade countries who didn’t attack us. We’re currently using drones in a half-dozen countries, often killing civilians.

This probably shouldn’t come as a surprise to us as we are a nation founded on genocide and built on the backs of slaves. We slaughtered 600,000 of each other in a civil war. We “tamed the Wild West with a six-shooter,” and we rape and beat and kill our women without mercy and at a staggering rate: every three hours a women is murdered in the USA (half the time by an ex or a current); every three minutes a woman is raped in the USA; and every 15 seconds a woman is beaten in the USA.

We belong to an illustrious group of nations that still have the death penalty (North Korea, Saudi Arabia, China, Iran). We think nothing of letting tens of thousands of our own citizens die each year because they are uninsured and thus don’t see a doctor until it’s too late.

Why do we do this? One theory is simply “because we can.” There is a level of arrogance in the otherwise friendly American spirit, conning ourselves into believing there’s something exceptional about us that separates us from all those “other” countries (there are indeed many good things about us; the same could also be said of Belgium, New Zealand, France, Germany, etc.). We think we’re #1 in everything when the truth is our students are 17th in science and 25th in math, and we’re 35th in life expectancy. We believe we have the greatest democracy but we have the lowest voting turnout of any western democracy. We’re biggest and the bestest at everything and we demand and take what we want.

And sometimes we have to be violent m*****f*****s to get it. But if one of us goes off-message and shows the utterly psychotic nature and brutal results of violence in a Newtown or an Aurora or a Virginia Tech, then we get all “sad” and “our hearts go out to the families” and presidents promise to take “meaningful action.” Well, maybe this president means it this time. He’d better. An angry mob of millions is not going to let this drop.

While we are discussing and demanding what to do, may I respectfully ask that we stop and take a look at what I believe are the three extenuating factors that may answer the question of why we Americans have more violence than most anyone else:

1. POVERTY. If there’s one thing that separates us from the rest of the developed world, it’s this. 50 million of our people live in poverty. One in five Americans goes hungry at some point during the year. The majority of those who aren’t poor are living from paycheck to paycheck. There’s no doubt this creates more crime. Middle class jobs prevent crime and violence. (If you don’t believe that, ask yourself this: If your neighbor has a job and is making $50,000/year, what are the chances he’s going to break into your home, shoot you and take your TV? Nil.)

2. FEAR/RACISM. We’re an awfully fearful country considering that, unlike most nations, we’ve never been invaded. (No, 1812 wasn’t an invasion. We started it.) Why on earth would we need 300 million guns in our homes? I get why the Russians might be a little spooked (over 20 million of them died in World War II). But what’s our excuse? Worried that the Indians from the casino may go on the warpath? Concerned that the Canadians seem to be amassing too many Tim Horton’s donut shops on both sides of the border?

No. It’s because too many white people are afraid of black people. Period. The vast majority of the guns in the U.S. are sold to white people who live in the suburbs or the country. When we fantasize about being mugged or home invaded, what’s the image of the perpetrator in our heads? Is it the freckled-face kid from down the street – or is it someone who is, if not black, at least poor?

I think it would be worth it to a) do our best to eradicate poverty and re-create the middle class we used to have, and b) stop promoting the image of the black man as the boogeyman out to hurt you. Calm down, white people, and put away your guns.

3. THE “ME” SOCIETY. I think it’s the every-man-for-himself ethos of this country that has put us in this mess and I believe it’s been our undoing. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps! You’re not my problem! This is mine!

Clearly, we are no longer our brother’s and sister’s keeper. You get sick and can’t afford the operation? Not my problem. The bank has foreclosed on your home? Not my problem. Can’t afford to go to college? Not my problem.

And yet, it all sooner or later becomes our problem, doesn’t it? Take away too many safety nets and everyone starts to feel the impact. Do you want to live in that kind of society, one where you will then have a legitimate reason to be in fear? I don’t.

I’m not saying it’s perfect anywhere else, but I have noticed, in my travels, that other civilized countries see a national benefit to taking care of each other. Free medical care, free or low-cost college, mental health help. And I wonder – why can’t we do that? I think it’s because in many other countries people see each other not as separate and alone but rather together, on the path of life, with each person existing as an integral part of the whole. And you help them when they’re in need, not punish them because they’ve had some misfortune or bad break. I have to believe one of the reasons gun murders in other countries are so rare is because there’s less of the lone wolf mentality amongst their citizens. Most are raised with a sense of connection, if not outright solidarity. And that makes it harder to kill one another.

Well, there’s some food for thought as we head home for the holidays. Don’t forget to say hi to your conservative brother-in-law for me. Even he will tell you that, if you can’t nail a deer in three shots – and claim you need a clip of 30 rounds – you’re not a hunter my friend, and you have no business owning a gun.

Meetthenra.org – all you need to know about the REAL N. R. A.

 
 
Former firearms instructor for the American Pistol Institute.

After serving in the military in World War II and the Korean War, Cooper founded the American Pistol Institute (API), which offered classes for both civilians and law enforcement personnel. Cooper is considered to be a pioneer in the use of handguns. His two-handed firing technique, which was developed at a time when handguns were typically fired with one hand, is now the standard for shooters. Cooper was a prolific author during his lifetime, publishing books on firearms technique, big game hunting, as well as a politicized gun rights newsletter. The term “hoplophobia” (fear of guns) was coined by Cooper in 1962, and continues to be used by pro-gun activists. In 2001, Cooper received a lifetime appointment to the National Rifle Association’s Executive Council. He passed away in 2006 and his memorial ceremony was held the next year at the National Rifle Association Whittington Center in New Mexico. A 2011 retrospective of Cooper published in the National Rifle Association’s American Rifleman magazine declared, “No one has ever done so much for so many as John Dean Cooper.” Shooting Illustrated, another NRA publication, eulogized Cooper as “an American patriot” and “a scholar.”

Controversial Actions and Statements

Controversial Actions and Statements:

Jeff Cooper (Former Board Member)

Immigration | Political Violence | Race

Jeff Cooper (Former Board Member)

Republican Party (GOP) | Race | Religion

Jeff Cooper (Former Board Member)

Education | Religion

Jeff Cooper (Former Board Member)

Religion

Jeff Cooper (Former Board Member)

Education

Jeff Cooper (Former Board Member)

Race

Jeff Cooper (Former Board Member)

In Vol. 13, No. 7 of Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries published in July 2005, Cooper wrote, “For those who are thinking of equipping your own private army, the Socom 16 appears to be the best thing now available.” The “Socom 16” is a nickname Cooper gave to an automatic rifle produced by Springfield Armory.

Vigilantism

Jeff Cooper (Former Board Member)

Religion

Jeff Cooper (Former Board Member)

Republican Party (GOP) | Political Violence

Jeff Cooper (Former Board Member)

In Vol. 13, No. 7 of Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries published in July 2005, Cooper made reference to the war in Iraq, describing it as “this Holy War.” Referring to the religious traditions of Muslims, Cooper said that Americans should “resort to pig−like pollution of these murderers and their survivors” because “tradition has it that the Ay−rab is horrified by anything swine−like.”

Race | Religion

Jeff Cooper (Former Board Member)

In Vol. 12, No. 12 of Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries published in November 2004, Cooper wrote about the recent presidential election won by President George W. Bush, stating, “And [close] it was, but not so much as the left−leaning media would have us expect. The important thing is that we did win, and now we have the chance to do something about this evil religious conflict that threatens to engulf the world … We may give thanks as Thanksgiving approaches in the realization that most Americans prefer to face up to a violent challenge rather than to cut and run. Hurray for our side!” Cooper added, “At school long ago I was told of one of the early church fathers, Telemachus by name, who taught that one of the delights of the blessed in heaven would be looking over the ramparts and relishing the torments of the damned below. This struck us as a bit rough for a true Christian, but after our recent election I can see how it might apply to our current domestic scene.” Cooper then turned to the topic of the war in Iraq, stating, “We continue to reflect upon the need to identify our objective in this Holy War. We certainly have the ability to destroy our enemies; but first, of course, we must be able to point out who they are. The fanatics cannot be intimidated, since tactical suicide is in their minds the pathway to paradise. Therefore they must be personally destroyed. The policy was set forth at the notorious Siege of Beziers. ‘Omnes moritatem. Deus suos cognoscet.'” Cooper is referring to a quote attributed to the Abbot of Citeaux Arnaud Amalric during the Siege of Béziers: “Kill them all, God will know His own.” Finally, Cooper shared an observation from a Marine, “Consider the following: ‘And I know you don’t have much use for female Marines (neither do I, but let’s keep that quiet) but there is one out here who is pulling more than her weight and is doing things no one else could do. She is an educated Syrian−born Lance Corporal, an absolutely delightful and fascinating person. Because of her particular abilities, she can go with units on a variety of missions and help calm a situation by speaking to the women and children, which is something no male Marine can do effectively. She has also done yeoman’s work as a translator for the interrogators. All of that is even more impressive when you hear what career she walked away from to enlist in the Marine Corps: she was a practicing physician. I wouldn’t have believed it unless I saw it myself.’”

Republican Party (GOP) | Religion | Women’s Rights

Jeff Cooper (Former Board Member)

Political Violence

Jeff Cooper (Former Board Member)

Poverty | Race

Jeff Cooper (Former Board Member)

Gay Rights

N.R.A. creating a new normal in USA: It is OK to slaughter school children

Photos: Town in Sorrow After Shooting

I thought, at minimum, the N.R.A. would sign on to background checks at gun shows/for private sales. Nope. This brings American life to a new low: We are telling the world that the massacre of innocent babies is OK in America. This will lead to more massacres of innocent babies in America.

School children-massacres – it will become the new normal in America.

President Obama needs to step up and issue some executive orders. NOW. – R. Tirella

Photos: Community in Sorrow After Conn. Shooting

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From The New York Times:

N.R.A. Calls for Armed Guards in Schools to Deter Violence

By 
Published: December 21, 2012

WASHINGTON — The National Rifle Association on Friday called for schools to be protected by armed guards as the best way to protect children from gun violence.

The group, long the most vocal and influential organization generally opposing stricter regulation of firearms, said that steps other than gun control, including cracking down on criminals and fighting violence in the media and on video games, would be most effective.

Wayne LaPierre, the group’s executive vice president, read a statement at a news conference but did not take questions. He also criticized violent video games and spoke of the need to deal more effectively with the mentally ill.

Gun-free school zones identified by signs, he said, “tell every insane killer in America that schools are the safest place to effect maximum mayhem with minimum risk.”

If guns are used to protect banks, airports, and politicians, he asked, why is it “bad when it is used to protect our children in their schools?”

“It’s not just our duty to protect them, it’s our right to protect them,” he said.

During the news conference, which was broadcast live on multiple cable channels, protesters repeatedly interrupted, raised a banner saying “NRA killing our children” and shouting similar messages, such as “N.R.A. has blood on its hands” and “ban assault weapons now.”

In the days immediately after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., the N.R.A. remained largely silent as pressure mounted for stricter regulations of guns and other measures to confront violence.

On Tuesday, it scheduled the news conference, saying that it is “prepared to offer meaningful contributions to make sure this never happens again.” But it offered no specifics.

He accused the news media of being “consumed by hatred of the N.R.A.”

The N.R.A. has about four million members, and exerts its influence on lawmakers through campaign contributions and by rating their votes on gun related legislation.

According to polling data released on Thursday by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, public attitudes about gun control have shifted only modestly since the Newtown shootings. “Currently, 49 percent say it is more important to control gun ownership, while 42 percent say it is more important to protect the right of Americans to own guns,” the center said. Five months ago, opinion was almost evenly divided on these questions; four years ago, a majority said they favored stricter gun control.

To read more, please click on link below:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/22/us/nra-calls-for-armed-guards-at-schools.html?hp&_r=0

More stories/videos/photos on Newtown, gun violence. Click on links below.

Photos: Community in Sorrow After Conn. Shooting

APTOPIX Connecticut School Shooting