Philadelphia Mayor Blasts NRA After Gunman Shoots and Injures Six Police Officers (is that what it took?)

H10 philadelphia mayor jim kenney shooting police officers nra gun control

Police in Philadelphia have arrested a gunman who sparked an almost eight-hour standoff after he opened fire on officers serving a warrant for drug crimes, injuring six officers. A 36-year-old suspect was taken into custody around midnight after a SWAT team fired tear gas into the building where he’d holed up. The man was reportedly heavily armed and had an AK-47 assault rifle. This is Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney.

Mayor Jim Kenney: “It’s aggravating. It’s saddening. And it’s just something that we need to do something about. And if the state and federal government don’t want to stand up to the NRA and some other folks, then let us — let us — police ourselves. But they preempt us on all kinds of gun control legislation. Our officers deserve to be protected, and they don’t deserve to be shot at by a guy for hours with an unlimited supply of weapons and an unlimited supply of bullets.”

Was it okay as long as it was just regular citizens? Children?

Walmart under fire for pro-gun T-shirts

In wake of two shootings, T-shirts sold by third-party vendors on Walmart website ignite social media storm.Following a mass shooting at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas and a shooting at a Walmart in Southaven, Mississippi, the largest retailer in the United States is facing criticism for allowing the sale of pro-gun tee-shirts on its website [File: Luke E. Montavon/Bloomberg]

Following a mass shooting at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas and a shooting at a Walmart in Southaven, Mississippi, the largest retailer in the United States is facing criticism for allowing the sale of pro-gun tee-shirts on its website [File: Luke E. Montavon/Bloomberg]

Walmart Inc., already facing pressure for being a major vendor of guns and ammunition in the U.S. after a pair of shootings inside its stores, is feeling renewed heat on social media over a selection of pro-gun T-shirts for sale on its website from third-party vendors.

One shirt, for sale by a vendor called Tee’s Plus, suggests buyers can either be gun owners or victims. Another, offered by third-party seller Old Glory, is emblazoned with a crosshairs reading “gun control is being able to hit your target.”

Commenters on social media were divided on the gun owner shirt. Some called it “disgusting” and “horrifying,” while others argued that “most people in the country completely agree with the sentiment of this shirt.”

As news outlets began to report on the shirts, some of the original listings were no longer available.

Two people died in a shooting at a Walmart in Mississippi on July 30. More than 40 were shot in an unrelated attack Aug. 3 at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas. An additional shooting may have been thwarted Thursday when a gunman wearing body armor was stopped by an armed private citizen outside a Walmart in Springfield, Missouri.

A spokesman for Walmart did not immediately reply to a request for comment. The t-shirts weren’t being sold by Walmart itself, but by outside sellers who can sign up to advertise products on Walmart’s website.

As one of the country’s biggest firearms retailers, Walmart is a frequent target of anti-violence activists. In 2015, the company stopped selling military-style weapons, citing sluggish demand. Last year the company said it would increase the age to purchase firearms and ammunition to 21 years old.

It’s not the first time Walmart has gotten into hot water for controversial t-shirts for sale on its website. The retailer felt heat in 2017 after a third-party seller offered t-shirts that suggested killing journalists. The t-shirts read: “Rope. Tree. Journalist. Some assembly required.” Last year, its website offered t-shirts from third-party sellers with “IMPEACH 45” emblazoned across the front in big capital letters — a call to bring down the 45th U.S. president, Donald Trump.

–With assistance from Leslie Patton and Joe Deaux.

Wal-Mart: America’s #1 gun salesman.

After the recent tragic shootings in El Paso, it’s absolutely unthinkable that Walmart would continue to profit from gun sales. They must stop the sale of guns in their stores now!

Walmart must prioritize community safety over profits made from gun sales. They must stop the sale of guns in their stores now!Sign Matthew’s petition

Companies like Dick’s Sporting Goods have already taken actions to use their economic leverage to curb gun violence.1

Walmart is one of America’s largest gun sellers and must be part of the movement to end gun violence. The company has taken some steps in recent years—but the stores are still selling weapons of destruction and selling bullet-proof backpacks at the same time. Walmart has the power to make a real difference, not just cosmetic changes.

Please join with us and ask Doug McMillon, the Chief Executive of Walmart, to stop the sale of guns in his stores now.

Click here to add your name to this petition, and then pass it along to your friends.

Thank you.

—Matthew Hildreth, Rural Organizing

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.

Trump heeds NRA, says he’s pulling US out of Arms Trade Treaty

Trump tells gun lobby he intends to revoke status of US as a signatory of the treaty, which wasn’t ratified by Senate.

Trump speaks to guests at the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum at the 148th NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits [Scott Olson/Getty Images/AFP]
Trump speaks to guests at the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum at the 148th NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits

US President Donald Trump announced on Fridayat the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) annual meeting that the United States will drop out of an international arms treaty signed in 2013 by then-President Barack Obama but opposed by the NRA and other conservative groups.

Trump told members of the gun lobby that he intends to revoke the status of the US as a signatory of the Arms Trade Treaty, which was never ratified by the US Senate.

“We’re taking our signature back,” Trump said to thousands of cheering attendees, many wearing red hats emblazoned with the Republican president’s “Make America Great Again” slogan.

The NRA has long opposed the treaty which regulates the $70bn business in conventional arms and seeks to keep weapons out of the hands of human rights abusers. The lobbying group argues it would undermine domestic gun rights, a view the Obama administration rejected.

Trump added that the United Nations will soon receive formal notice of the withdrawal.

The 193-nation UN General Assembly overwhelmingly approved the treaty in April 2013 and the US, the world’s top arms exporter, voted in favour of it despite fierce opposition from the NRA.

‘Re-open the floodgates’

Trump’s action drew an immediate rebuke from some international human rights groups.

“The United States will now lock arms with Iran, North Korea and Syria as non-signatories to this historic treaty whose sole purpose is to protect innocent people from deadly weapons,” said Oxfam America President Abby Maxman.

Adotei Akwei, of Amnesty International USA, said in a statement, “With this announcement the Trump administration will re-open the floodgates for arms sales with weakened human rights criteria.”

So far, 101 countries have formally joined onto the treaty. Another 29, including the US, have signed it, but not yet formally joined. 

US leaving INF Treaty to get out of its obligations: Russia

Trump was joined on his trip to Indianapolis by White House National Security Adviser John Bolton, an advocate of withdrawing the US from international treaties out of concern they might undermine US authority.

With Friday’s announcement, Trump continued his drive to roll back Obama-era initiatives.

Nearly two years ago, Trump announced that the US would withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, which aims to reduce global carbon emissions that scientists link to harmful climate change. Republicans argue the US economy would suffer if it met the deal’s carbon-reduction goals. He has also pulled the US out of the landmark 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

Public sentiment shifts

Trump’s announcement on Friday came as he vowed to fight for gun rights, saying Second Amendment is “under assault”, but “not while we’re here”.

And in a pre-emptive attack against his 2020 Democratic challengers, Trump claimed without evidence that the other party wants “to take away your guns”.

WATCH

Reality Check: The NRA wasn’t always anti-gun control

An emboldened NRA had high hopes and ambitious plans for easing state and national gun regulations after pouring tens of millions of dollars into the 2016 presidential race, seeing its dark horse candidate win and Republicans in control of both branches of Congress.

But much of the legislation the group championed has stalled, due, in part, to a series of mass shootings, including the massacre at a Parkland, Florida, high school that left 17 dead and launched a youth movement against gun violence that has had a powerful impact. And Democrats won control of the House in the midterms.

At the same time, the group is grappling with infighting, bleeding money and facing a series of investigations into its operating practices.

The NRA, said Adam Winkler, a UCLA law professor and expert on gun policy, has dramatically changed its messaging over the last two years, with its NRATV service advocating a panoply of far-right political views that have turned off some members.

At the same time, public sentiment has shifted. A March AP-NORC poll found that 67 percent of Americans overall think gun laws should be made stricter – up from 61 percent in October 2017. And a June 2018 Gallup poll found overall favourable opinions of the NRA down slightly from October 2015, from 58 percent to 53 percent. Unfavourable views have grown from 35 percent to 42 percent.

Against that backdrop, Democratic politicians have become more comfortable assailing – and even actively running against – the NRA and pledging action to curb gun violence. And gun control groups like Everytown, which is largely financed by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and a political action committee formed by Gabby Giffords, the former Arizona congresswoman wounded in a shooting, have become better organised and more visible, especially at the state level.

That reversal was made clear during the 2018 midterm elections, when those groups vastly outspent the NRA.

Winkler said that the group had scored some victories under Trump, including the appointment of two Supreme Court justices who may be open to striking down gun laws.

But overall, he said, “On the legislative front, the NRA has been frustrated”, with priorities like national reciprocity for concealed carry laws and a repeal of the ban on silencers stalled.

Instead, Trump introduced a new federal regulation: a ban on bump stocks after a man using the device opened fire on a crowd of concertgoers on the Las Vegas strip, killing 58 people and wounding hundreds.

California plans stricter gun laws in 2019

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

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.