Stop Mass Shootings (MoveOn Gun Control Team)

On Sunday, a gunman with a military assault-style weapon killed three people, including a 6-year-old boy, and injured 12 at a garlic festival in California. It was the 42nd mass shooting in July alone and the 246th in America this year.1

These shootings need to stop. At festivals. At schools. At places of worship. At night clubs. At movie theaters.

There are so many simple, clear steps that lawmakers can take to reduce the epidemic of gun violence in America—by passing into law policies that are supported by an overwhelming majority of Americans and even most gun owners.2,3

Universal background checks. Closing the gun show loophole. Banning assault weapons such as AR-15s. Banning bump stocks.

Indeed, the Democratic U.S. House passed two bills that would accomplish many of these goals earlier this year, but Mitch McConnell and the GOP—at the bidding of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and gun manufacturers—won’t even allow the bills to come up for a vote in the Senate.4 They won’t even allow federal funding for research into gun violence.5 It’s outrageous. And it’s heartbreaking.

That’s why we’re going to hold McConnell and other vulnerable GOP senators accountable and defeat them in 2020, starting with putting up billboards in central, high-traffic locations in their home states that highlight their role in America’s gun violence epidemic. Will you pitch in $3 to help us pay for the billboards?

Yes, I’ll chip in now to help hold GOP lawmakers accountable, fight the NRA, and end the epidemic of gun violence in America.

The horrific massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School nearly seven years ago should have been a tipping point on gun violence in America, but since then:

  • There have been approximately 2,185 mass shootings.6
  • Congress has passed into law zero measures to make our children and communities safer.
  • The NRA and gun manufacturers continue to write big checks to Republican politicians.

According to polls, Mitch McConnell and other GOP senators who are up in for re-election in 2020 are increasingly vulnerable.7 But to defeat them in 2020—which is the only way we can finally pass legislation to address America’s gun violence crisis—we need to make sure their constituents know that they’re standing with the NRA and blocking commonsense reforms to address America’s gun violence epidemic.

We didn’t budget for the billboards, which is why we’re asking you to chip in now, so we can quickly purchase them. We can only do it if we raise the money now. Can you chip in $3—or whatever you can afford—right now?

Yes, I’ll chip in to help hold McConnell and other NRA-funded politicians accountable.

We can never forget that the GOP is culpable in these heartbreaking and avoidable gun deaths, as a result of their obedience to the NRA’s dangerous agenda. Let’s make sure that the voters in their states know it, too.

Thanks for all you do.

–Emily, Emma, Stephen, Manny, and the rest of the team

Explosive Investigation Uncovers Greed & Infighting at NRA, Shattering “Myth” of the Group’s Power

Is the National Rifle Association imploding? As the nation grieves over another deadly school shooting, we turn to look at how internal turmoil inside the NRA threatens the future of the gun lobbying group. A major new report published by The Trace in partnership with The New Yorker finds that while the NRA has blamed its recent financial woes on left-wing attacks on the Second Amendment, the real damage to the organization comes from within. Chief among the NRA’s problems is its three-decade-old relationship with Oklahoma-based public relations firm Ackerman McQueen. The firm, which is behind the NRA’s imaging, messaging and most of its initiatives, was paid more than $40 million dollars in 2017. We speak to Mike Spies, staff writer at The Trace.

Colorado student, Kendrick Castillo, 18, died charging school shooter

Kendrick CastilloKendrick Castillo, 18, was killed in the shooting at his school

A teenager died in a shooting at a Colorado high school – days before his graduation – while charging one of the attackers, his classmates say.

Eighteen-year-old Kendrick Castillo was the only fatality in Tuesday’s assault allegedly by two students near Denver.

Eight other pupils were injured before the assailants were arrested.

The attack took place just 8km (5 miles) from Columbine High School, the site of one of the country’s most notorious shootings 20 years ago.

America’s latest school shooting unfolded at the STEM – science, technology, engineering and math – School Highlands Ranch in an affluent suburb of Denver.

A school staff member comforts a child after the shootingA school staff member comforts a child after the shooting

‘I wish he had gone and hid’

Classmate Nui Giasolli told US media she was in her British literature class when one of the suspects turned up late and pulled out a gun.

Kendrick lunged at the gunman, “giving us all enough time to get underneath our desks to get ourselves safe, to run across the room to escape”, she said.

John Castillo, Kendrick’s father, described him as “the best kid in the world”, in an interview with the Denver Post.

He said it was not surprising to him that Kendrick was said to have charged one of the shooters as they entered a classroom.

“I wish he had gone and hid,” said Mr Castillo, “but that’s not his character.

“His character is about protecting people, helping people.”

Kendrick was an only child. Mr Castillo said he and his wife are “in a haze”.

The 18-year-old was passionate about science and robotics.

He was going to study at a local college in the autumn, planning to major in engineering, his father said.

Another STEM senior, Brendan Bialy, is also being praised as a hero for helping subdue one of the gunmen.

Brendan BialyBrendan tackled one of the gunmen

Brendan is a recruit for the US Marine Corps but was not trained specifically on active shooter protocols.

Marine Capt Michael Maggitti said in a statement that Brendan’s admirable courage “resulted in the safety and protection of his teachers and fellow classmates”.

Kendrick and Brendan are not the only examples of student heroism recently during a shooting.

Last month at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, a 21-year-old student, Riley Howell, died while tackling a gunman, buying classmates crucial moments to escape, said police.

18-year-old Devon EricksonDevon Erickson, 18, has been named as one of the suspects

How did the Colorado shooting unfold?

Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock said the attack happened just before 14:00 local time (20:00 GMT) on Tuesday.

He told reporters the two attackers came in through an entrance that did not have a metal detector and attacked students in two locations.

Both suspects were pupils at the charter school.

There were around 1,800 students on campus at the time of the attack, Sheriff Spurlock said.

Officers arrived on scene within minutes.

“We did struggle with the suspects to take them into custody,” the sheriff said.

Florida teachers can arm themselves under new gun bill!

Critics question if the solution to gun violence is the presence of more guns, warn of the danger of teachers misfiring.
Firearms instructor Mike Magowan uses a rubber training pistol to demonstrate a shooting stance ,during a teachers-only firearms training class offered for free at the Veritas Training Academy in Sarasota, Florida  [File: Brian Blanco/Reuters]
Firearms instructor Mike Magowan uses a rubber training pistol to demonstrate a shooting stance ,during a teachers-only firearms training class offered for free at the Veritas Training Academy in Sarasota, Florida

Florida’s legislature on Wednesday passed a bill allowing teachers to carry guns in the classroom, expanding a programme launched after the deadly high school shooting in Parkland with the aim of preventing another such massacre.

Florida’s House of Representatives voted 65 to 47 to pass the bill after hours of debate over two days in which the Republican majority thwarted Democratic efforts to amend, stall or kill the measure. Florida’s Senate approved it 22 to 17 last week.

Republican Governor Ron DeSantis is expected to sign the bill into law, enabling school districts wishing to take part in the voluntary Guardian programme to arm those teachers who pass a 144-hour training course.

On February 14, 2018, a former student armed with a semiautomatic rifle opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, killing 17 people and wounding 17 others.

President Donald Trump and the National Rifle Association have argued an armed teacher could provide the best defence against a shooter bent on mass murder.

Gun control

Opponents questioned whether the solution to gun violence should be the presence of even more guns and warned of the danger of a teacher misfiring during a crisis or police mistaking an armed teacher for the assailant.

More than 1,200 children in US killed by guns in the last year

Its passage marks a victory for gun-rights advocates, who were on the defensive a year ago when Parkland students inspired nationwide protests in favour of gun control.

After the Parkland shooting, Florida politicians rushed through legislation that required schools to place at least one armed staff member or law-enforcement officer at each campus.

The law also imposed a three-day waiting period for gun purchases and raised the age limit for buying rifles from 18 to 21.

Although last year’s law allowed some school personnel to carry weapons, guns were still banned from the classroom.

Backers of arming classroom teachers revived the issue this year, arguing that school shootings often erupt too quickly for law enforcement to respond.

Florida remembers Parkland high school shooting victims

In anticipation of passage, school employees in 40 of Florida’s 67 counties already enrolled in or planned to take the 144-hour course, a spokesman for the Speaker of the House said. Some counties have resolved not to participate in the Guardian programme.

Florida’s gun-control advocates had made stopping the proposal a top priority, among them Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense, which is funded by billionaire and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

 

The Aftermath: Mass Shootings in the US

Two dead in shooting at North Carolina university campus

Police say one suspect in custody after attack that also left four people wounded.

Television station WBTV reported that gunfire erupted about 5:45 pm local time near the university's Kennedy Hall administrative building. [Logan Cyrus/AFP]
Television station WBTV reported that gunfire erupted about 5:45 pm local time near the university’s Kennedy Hall administrative building.

Two people have been killed and four others wounded – two with life-threatening injuries – in a shooting at the University of North Carolina.

UNC Charlotte issued a campus lockdown late on Tuesday afternoon, saying shots had been fired. Later in the evening, the campus was declared secure after a suspect was taken into custody.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said in a statement on Twitter that one person was in custody and no one else is believed to be involved.

Television station WBTV in Charlotte reported that gunfire erupted about 5:45 pm local time (2145 GMT) near the university’s Kennedy Hall administrative building.

The Mecklenburg EMS, an independent agency that handles emergency services for the county, confirmed that two people were dead on the scene and that four others were taken to a nearby hospital, two of them with life-threatening injuries.

Embedded video

Breaking News Global@BreakingNAlerts

BREAKING: Video shows police responding to active shooter at UNCC Charlotte – 6 shot, one in custody.

Aerial shots from local television news outlets showed police officers running toward a building, while another view showed students running on a campus sidewalk.

The police later said that the campus had been secured and that officers were going through buildings to let people who had sheltered in place know that it was safe.

Sam Rice, a senior on UNC Charlotte’s tennis team, told Spectrum News that he was in the library studying for a final exam when he heard people yelling “shooter, shooter”.

He said he heard police yelling for people to stay down and stay on the floor.

He was “waiting for someone to tell us everything was going to be OK”.

When people were told to leave, he ran out in his socks, running over glass on the floor.

Students and faculty file out of buildings with their hands up during a lockdown after a shooting on the campus of University of North Carolina. [Logan Cyrus/AFP]

“We are in shock to learn of an active shooter situation on the campus of UNC Charlotte. My thoughts are with the families of those who lost their lives, those injured, the entire UNCC community and the courageous first responders who sprang into action to help others,” Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles said on Twitter.

Columbine survivors mark twentieth anniversary of massacre

Samantha Haviland was a student at Columbine High School when the 1999 shooting happened

Survivors of the Columbine High School shooting have been speaking at a remembrance ceremony in Denver to mark the twentieth anniversary of the massacre.

Twelve students and a teacher were murdered by two teenagers.

One former student, Patrick Ireland, who was injured by bullets, said no one from the school or surrounding community had emerged unscathed.

The event was the culmination of three days of commemorations. Earlier, members of the public left flowers and cards at a memorial to the victims.

Bill Clinton spoke at the remembrance ceremony via video link


Columbine students and staff also marked the day by taking part in community service projects.

Survivor Will Beck places flowers at the Columbine Memorial at Clement Park in Littleton, ColoradoWill Beck placed flowers at the Columbine Memorial at Clement Park in Littleton, Colorado

 

Sean Graves, a massacre survivor and 2002 graduate, speaks during the Columbine Remembrance Ceremony at Clement ParkSean Graves, a massacre survivor and 2002 graduate, spoke during the ceremony

 

Crosses with the names and portraits of the victims at Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens, also in Littleton, ColoradoCrosses with the names and portraits of the victims at Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens, also in Littleton, Colorado

 

People gather to remember loved ones at the Columbine MemorialPeople gathered to remember loved ones at the Columbine Memorial

 

Spencer Greenlee, a student at Columbine High School, sits in prayer at the memorialSpencer Greenlee, a student at Columbine High School, sat in prayer at the memorial

 

Candles wrap around a collection of flowers laid at the memorialCandles around a collection of flowers laid at the memorial

 

Visitors read a poem left the memorialVisitors read a poem left at the memorial

Women’s March 2019: Thousands across the US march for third year!

Women and supporters across the US march against Trump amid government shutdown and controversy within the movement.

Washington, DC – Sherry Cain, a 78-year-old Kentucky native, said she’s lived a long time and has seen a lot of change in the world, “but never anything like this in our country”.

That’s why she brought her family to Washington, DC on Saturday for the third annual Women’s March.

“I am just so fearful for their future if continue on this road,” she told Al Jazeera, pointing to the government shutdown, US President Donald Trump’s immigration policies and what she called the “abdication of Congress of their duties”.

“We have to do something,” she said.

Four generations of the Cain family – Sherry, her daughter, granddaughter and great grandson – joined thousands of women and their supporters who marched nationwide.

This year’s march came against the backdrop of a partial government shutdown, now in its 29th day, that started after Trump refused to back down on his demand for more than $5bn in funding for a wall on the US southern border.

The forecast of rain and snow in Washington, DC, on Saturday, combined with the National Park Service limited snow removal services due to the shutdown prompted DC organisers to change the route of the march, according to local media. Participants started at Freedom Plaza, a few blocks from the White House, instead of the National Mall, as initially planned.

Sherry Cain brought her daughters, granddaughter and great-grandson to the march [Laurin-Whitney Gottbrath/Al Jazeera]

Protesters marched past the Trump International Hotel chanting, “All for one and one for all, stop the shutdown, stop the wall.”

At one point, a woman released a Trump baby balloon into the air and the crowd started waving, cheering and yelling, “good-bye!”

New US Congress makes history with record number of women

Some held signs that called for Trump to be impeached, others emphasised the need to believe survivors of sexual assault and rape, and many demanded an end to the shutdown.

Raquel Chee held a sign that read, “See me. I am still here.”

“We are here to tell everybody …that we’re not going anywhere,” said Chee, a member of the Window Rock Navajo Nation in Arizona.

She told Al Jazeera she brought her four children with her to the march to give a voice to her brother, uncles and and murdered or missing indigenous people across North America.

“We are here to speak out for them, remember them and bring light on the issue that our relatives go missing and murdered all the time,” she said.

Raquel Chee said she’s march for all the indigenous people who have been murdered or gone missing [Laurin-Whitney Gottbrath/Al Jazeera]

Historic gains

The Women’s March movement began after the 2016 election of Trump. The day after his inauguration in January 2017, millions worldwide marched for women’s rights.

According to organisers, this year’s march focused on the success of the 2018 midterm elections, which saw a record number of women run and get elected to office. The first Muslim women, Native American women, and youngest woman were recently sworn into Congress.

The movement also hopes to turn its attention to the presidential race in 2020.

Thousands marched past the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC, chanting ‘stop the shutdown, stop the wall’ [Laurin-Whitney Gottbrath/Al Jazeera]

In major cities, however, participants held separate marches due to controversy within the Women’s March movement.

In November, Teresa Shook, one of the Women’s March co-founders, accused other organisers of steering “the Movement away from its true course”, referring to allegations of anti-Semitic ties directed at Linda Sarsour, who criticises the US’s policy towards Israel, and Tamika Mallory, who maintains an association with Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam.

READ MORE

US Women’s March: Controversy around co-president

In a Facebook post, Shook called on Sarsour, Mallory, Bob Bland and Carmen Perez to step down and “to let others lead who can restore the faith in the Movement and its original intent”.

The four organisers denied the allegations, but Sarsour said in a statement that the movement “should have been faster and clearer in helping people understand our values and our commitment to fighting anti-Semitism”.

Since then several local marches and activists have sought to distance themselves from the national movement.

Despite the controversy, thousands of women showed up to marches on Saturday.

This year’s march came after a year of historic gains for women in politics in the US [Laurin-Whitney Gottbrath/Al Jazeera]

Although the number is far less than the first march in 2017, 19-year-old Howard University student Ciana Moore said it’s still important to continue standing up for everyone has been affected by Trump’s presidency.

“It’s amazing to see all different types of women, all ages, people from all over coming together,” she told Al Jazeera as the Washington, DC march was just getting under way.

“It’s really empowering to be here for each other.”

SOURCE: by / AL JAZEERA NEWS

Maine: Woman’s March 2019

Marchers in Maine marched in Portland, Bethel, Eastport, Machias, and Brunswick.

PORTLAND, Maine — The 2019 Women’s March Maine brought thousands of people together in solidarity to advocate for women all over the state.

Marchers in Maine marched in Portland, Bethel, Eastport, Machias, and Brunswick.

In Portland there were hundreds lining Congress, High, and Pearl streets.

Women's March Maine 2019

Spokesperson for the Women’s March Maine Sarah Gaba says, “We’ve been organizing locally to advocate for the policies that matter to us, and impact women’s lives, and we’re flooding the streets in solidarity with our sisters in DC to remind the country that Maine resists”.

Author: Lydia Libby, Newscenter Maine