One Year After Parkland, 1,200 More Kids Are Dead by Gunfire

FEBRUARY 14, 2019
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It’s been one year since the devastating massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School—the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that galvanized the nation to take action against gun violence and turned a generation of young people into activists. On February 14, 2018, a former student armed with a semiautomatic AR-15 entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and opened fire, gunning down 17 students, staff and teachers in just three minutes. It was one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history. Students who survived the massacre quickly came to national prominence as leading activists for gun control. We speak with Lois Beckett, senior reporter at The Guardian covering gun policy. Her latest piece is titled “’We can’t let fear consume us’: why Parkland activists won’t give up.”

Deadly shooting at California bowling alley [Yay, USA!]

Police say three people killed and four injured in a shooting at a gaming complex near Los Angeles.

Police said they were searching for a suspect or suspects [Torrance Daily Breeze via Getty Images]
Police said they were searching for a suspect or suspects [Torrance Daily Breeze via Getty Images]

Three men have been killed and four wounded in a shooting in the US state of California after a late-night fight at a bowling alley.

The Torrance Police Department said officers responded to calls of “shots fired” at the Gable House Bowl in Torrance, a town about 40km south of Los Angeles, shortly before midnight on Friday

Multiple victims were found with gunshot wounds inside the gaming venue, which offers bowling, laser tag and an arcade.

Police said three men died at the scene and four male victims were injured, two of whom were transported to a hospital for unknown injuries while the other two injured sought medical treatment on their own.

“Investigators are currently conducting a follow-up investigation, and are working to identify the suspect(s) involved,” the department said in a statement.

Authorities have not released details about what led to the shooting, but witnesses said it stemmed from a fight between two large groups of people at the bowling alley.

‘Complete chaos’

Wes Hamad, a 29-year-old Torrance resident, was at the bowling alley with his 13-year-old niece and cousin when he saw a “huge fight” break out.

Hamad told the Associated Press news agency that the brawl, which lasted about five minutes, blocked the entrance of Gable House Bowl and devolved into “complete chaos”.

“I grabbed my niece and started running toward the far end of the bowling alley,” Hamad said. “As we were running, we heard 15 shots.”

As he was leaving, Hamad said he saw a woman weeping over a man who had multiple gunshot wounds to his head and neck.

Damone Thomas was in the karaoke section of the venue, a regular stop for him and his friends after work on Fridays, when people ran in saying there was a shooting.

The 30-year-old Los Angeles resident said his friend flipped over one of the tables to shield them as they heard gunshots.

Thomas told the AP he didn’t feel scared because he was “just trying to survive”. But when he was driving back home, he said he realised how traumatic the situation had been and he hasn’t been able to fall asleep.

“Closing my eyes, all I can see is the women against the wall crying, not knowing what to do,” he said.

The US has long dealt with the issue of mass shootings. In the first four days of 2019, there have been five mass shootings that resulted in five deaths, according to the Gun Violence Archive, a group that tracks such incidents.

Both Thomas and Hamad said they had never witnessed any violence at Gable House Bowl in the past, but Hamad said he had stopped going for a while because he heard someone with a gun was recently seen there.

“I definitely won’t be going back any more,” he added.

According to health authorities, nearly 40,000 people died in the US as a result of firearms in 2017 – a figure that includes suicides.

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Texas drive-by gunman kills seven year old Jazmine Barnes. [gun control, anyone?]

“I knew she was gone”: Jazmine’s mother speaks from hospital

A manhunt is under way in Houston, Texas, for a gunman who attacked a young family in a drive-by shooting, killing a seven-year-old girl.

Jazmine Barnes, her three sisters and mother, LaPorsha Washington, were driving when an unknown man pulled up alongside them and opened fire.

Jazmine and Ms Washington were shot, and the seven-year-old died in the backseat as a result of her wounds.

Police believe they were targeted at random and have not confirmed a motive.

Authorities say the unidentified gunman is a bearded white male in his 40s, wearing a red sweatshirt, according to Ms Washington’s 15-year-old daughter, who got a glimpse of the man.

Jazmine BarnesJazmine Barnes was shot and killed on Friday by an unknown gunman

He reportedly pulled up beside the family’s car in a red pickup truck on Sunday morning and began firing with no provocation, Harris County Police said.

“We’re going to leave every motive out there as a possibility,” Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said during a news conference on Monday, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Ms Washington, 30, was shot in the arm during the attack and her six-year-old daughter was injured by the broken glass.

From her hospital bed, Ms Washington tearfully told KHOU 11 News: “I replayed this moment in my head over a million times to see – did I cut this man off?

A photo of the red truck police are looking forA nearby business found security camera footage of the gunman’s vehicle

“Did I make a wrong turn in front of him?”

“Did I do anything wrong to cause this man to fire shots at my car? I didn’t.

“I didn’t do anything. He fired off at us for no reason.”

At Monday’s news conference, the sheriff urged anyone with information to come forward, asking locals to review security camera footage in their homes or businesses to help track down the gunman.

“Yes, we know we’re in Texas. Yes, we know we have a lot of pickup trucks out there,” Mr Gonzalez said.

“But when you put the pieces together, consider that we’re looking for a bearded man, possibly in his 40s, driving a red pickup truck. This could be your neighbour. This could be your co-worker.”

He also called on the gunman to turn himself in to avoid any further violence.

Jazmine’s father, Christopher Cevilla, told reporters his daughter was a “loving, caring” young girl.

7-year-old Jazmine BarnesSeven-year-old Jazmine Barnes was in the second grade

“What if that was your daughter?” he said. “Please step up at this point in time and help me and my family get justice for my baby girl.”

The images of the pickup truck have been widely shared online as the manhunt continues.

Ava DuVernay, director of films Selma and A Wrinkle in Time, was one of the many voices on social media calling for the gunman’s capture, sharing the family’s story in a tweet.

Some social media users are suggesting the attack was a hate crime, although police did not say they are treating race as a factor in the shooting.

Civil rights attorney Lee Merritt and activist Shaun King have offered a $50,000 (£39,600) cash reward for anyone who can help capture the suspect.

California plans stricter gun laws in 2019

California is going to ban anyone under 21 from buying rifles, shotguns and semiautomatic weapons.

Sexual Predator/Comic Louis CK makes fun of the Parkland School Shooting survivors.

Louis CKLouis CK wrote, directed and acted in I Love You Daddy

Survivors of the Parkland school shooting in Florida have hit out at comedian Louis CK after he was heard poking fun at them in a stand-up set.

The leaked audio apparently came from one of his comeback routines a year after he admitted sexual misconduct.

In it, he ridiculed the Parkland pupils who have become anti-gun activists.

Survivor Ryan Deitsch tweeted: “It’s a shame when you sink so low that your comeback plan is to make fun of school shooting survivors for speaking out.”

Another survivor, Sofie Whitney, said he “must be really intimidated by us kids”.

Alex Wind said the audience members who could be heard laughing and clapping at Louis CK’s jokes were “just as much at fault”. And Delaney Tarr, who had to hide in a cupboard from the gunman, added her voice.

Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime was killed in February’s shooting, suggested the comic “come to our house and try out your new pathetic jokes”.

Jaime was one of 17 people who were killed when a 19-year-old expelled former student opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on 14 February.

A group of students went on to set up the campaign group March For Our Lives to lobby for tighter gun control measures.

In his routine, Louis CK could be heard making fun of the survivors, saying: “Why does that make you interesting? You didn’t get shot. You pushed some fat kid in the way, and now I’ve got to listen to you talking?”

A version of the comic’s expletive-laden set was posted on YouTube on 30 December.

Louis CK’s career took a downturn after he admitted several instances of sexual misconduct in November 2017. He said he had “wielded power irresponsibly” and could hardly wrap his head around the “scope of hurt” he had caused.

His statement also said: “I have spent my long and lucky career talking and saying anything I want. I will now step back and take a long time to listen.”

That time seems to be up, however, and he returned to performing low-key shows in comedy clubs in August.

Part of the leaked routine also included criticism of young people identifying as gender neutral and people with learning difficulties.

The BBC has contacted Louis CK’s lawyer for a response.

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Gov. LePage’s daughter Lauren hired by NRA for New England director’s position

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Lauren LePage will oversee all legislative and political activities for the NRA across Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine Gov. Paul LePage’s daughter has been hired by the National Rifle Association as its new state director for Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

Lauren LePage previously attended the University of Maine School of Law and worked on President Donald Trump’s campaign in Maine before managing Republican Shawn Moody’s 2018 unsuccessful run for governor. The Bangor Daily News reports NRA media liaison Lars Dalseide said Thursday that she will oversee all legislative and political activities for the NRA across the three states.

She also formerly led Maine People Before Politics, a group that worked in concert with the term-limited Republican Gov. LePage.

Lauren LePage did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Charlottesville Riot fascist Alex Fields Jr, who drove his car into Heather Heyer, found guilty of her murder

Alex Fields Jr is seen attending the "Unite the Right" rally in Emancipation Park, Charlottesville, Virginia, August 12, 2017Alex Fields Jr (l) was pictured taking part in the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville

A man who drove his car into a crowd of protesters in Virginia, killing a woman, has been found guilty of murder.

Alex Fields Jr, a 21-year-old described by prosecutors as a white supremacist, was on trial over the incident in Charlottesville in August 2017.

Heather Heyer, 32, died when the car hit a group of people protesting against a white nationalist rally.

Mr Fields’s lawyers had insisted that he had acted out of fear for his own safety.

He faces 20 years to life in prison and will be sentenced at a later date.

The jury at Charlottesville City Circuit Court, which deliberated for less than a day, found him guilty on all the charges including murder; five counts of aggravated malicious wounding; three counts of malicious wounding and one count of hit and run.

Fields, from Ohio, also faces 30 other federal charges relating to hate crimes to which he has pleaded not guilty.

What happened in Charlottesville?

The white supremacist rally was one of the largest such gatherings in America in decades and drew hundreds of neo-Nazis, white nationalists and Ku Klux Klan members.

The “Unite the Right” march was organised to protest against plans to remove a statue of General Robert E Lee who had fought for the pro-slavery Confederacy during the US Civil War.

Dozens were injured in the violence that erupted between the marchers and counter-protesters.

Graphic video of the incident involving Mr Fields’s car was widely shared on social media.

A demonstrator carries a sign remembering Heather Heyer during a protest on August 13, 2017 in Chicago, IllinoisImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionHeather Heyer died after being struck by the car in Charlottesville