WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — Gun control advocates, including one of the survivors of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting and the parents of one of the victims, are marching 50 miles (80 kilometers) across Massachusetts this week to the headquarters of gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson as part of a youth-led push for stricter gun laws. About 40 students and supporters set off from downtown Worcester in central Massachusetts on Thursday morning holding signs denouncing gun violence and chanting slogans criticizing gun makers and the National Rifle Association. They're destined for Smith & Wesson's headquarters in Springfield, where they'll hold a large demonstration Sunday. As he set off with marchers, David Hogg, a survivor of the February massacre at a Parkland high school who has since become a prominent gun control advocate...
The two year anniversary of the nations second largest modern gun massacre, the Pulse Nightclub shooting, brought together a collection of gun reform groups for a rally in New York City’s Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, Tuesday. The Plaza sits between the United Nations building and Donald Trump’s “Trump World Tower.” The decision to hold the rally and die-in at the Plaza, was not accidental. It was a message to the world that not all American’s are okay with the senseless gun violence in this nation. The other message was to Trump – and that came in the form… of the voter registration forms that the League of Women Voters were handing out. The groups present at the rally showed the diversity of NYC and those that were victim to gun violence.
Countering the messaging emanating from the National Rifle Association's convention across the street, a student-organized protest took place in Dallas on Saturday to denounce the powerful lobbying group's "dangerous agenda." The "Rally 4 Reform," organized by StudentsMarch.org, brought together advocates for common sense gun reform who rallied outside City Hall. The event was just across the street from the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, where the NRA's gathering—which promises a "weekend of fellowship and fun!"—is underway. "Our generation is the post-Columbine generation," organizer Waed Alhayek from the University of Texas at Arlington told KERA News. "We've seen tragedy after tragedy after tragedy," she said. "After the Parkland students stood up, even older people are saying, 'Why have we accepted thoughts and prayers?' on Twitter."
High school students joined hands to lead over a half a million demonstrators in the “March For Our Lives” anti-gun protest on Saturday. They decried gun violence in their schools and criticized the National Rifle Association (NRA) response to mass shootings that have swept the country in recent years. They delivered a message to politicians funded by the gun lobby that they will “never again” let mass shootings happen because of easy access to guns. The vast numbers and intense feelings pervading the march may signal that an absolutist view of “gun rights”—that the Second Amendment is inviolable and should be allowed to trump students’ safety at school—will no longer be tolerated in the mainstream. Among the March’s demands are a moratorium on AR-15 assault weapons, a ban on bump stocks and other devices which render guns into fully automatic weapons, mandatory background checks and an increase in the age of eligibility to purchase guns.
These students are not just mobilizing their peers to fill the streets this weekend, but to change laws. Guided by the messaging of the national March For Our Lives, the students are calling for universal background checks, banning high-capacity magazines and ending the sale of assault weapons. Student organizers across the country voiced frustration with inaction from their representatives, but are prepared to take on leadership where their elected officials will not. “If adults aren’t going to end this, if Congress isn’t going to end this, if everyone’s just going to keep talking in circles, then we’ll stand up and we’ll fix this ourselves, we’ll do the work where adults haven’t been willing to,” Pierce said.
Wednesday, March 14, was one month after the Parkland school massacre in Florida. Students from more than 3,100 schools marked the event with a National Walkout day. Estimates are more than one million students walked out of their classrooms at 10:00 am. Many students planned to walk out of class for 17 minutes — one for every person killed during the horrific mass killing. The students demanded gun law reforms to show solidarity with the students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida where the attack occurred on Valentine's Day.
In the two weeks since the Florida school massacre, state lawmakers around the country have introduced bills to ban bump stocks, ban assault weapons, and expand background checks — and also to arm teachers, lighten penalties for carrying without a permit, and waive handgun permit fees. If history foretells, the gun-rights bills will have a better chance at success. In the years since Sandy Hook, when 26 were slain in 2012, states have enacted nearly 600 new gun laws, according to data compiled separately by the National Rifle Association and the Giffords Law Center to Reduce Gun Violence. Nearly two-thirds of those were backed by the NRA. It is “indisputably true” that there have been far more new laws that loosen gun restrictions than tighten them, said Michael Hammond, the legislative counsel at Gun Owners of America, a Virginia-based “no compromise” gun lobbying organization.
Apparently there is nothing worse in America than the act of shooting white people. Ever since the latest attack at a Florida high school there has been talk of little else. The school shooting enveloped every other issue and was used to vilify Russia, the FBI, Bernie Sanders and the National Rifle Association all at once. One cannot watch a Youtube video without being subjected to the NRA’s public relations juggernaut meant to quiet a population which had forgotten about shootings for a while. America has a unique history with firearms. The settler colonial state enshrined gun ownership into the constitution because of a determination to maintain chattel slavery and the violent enforcement which had to go with it.
By Jacob Ogles for Advocate - Capitol Police arrested seven members of Gays Against Guns after the group staged an ACT UP-style die-in at the Hart Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C., on Monday. The protests occurred the day after yet another mass shooting, this time leaving 26 dead at a Texas church. Members of the group today brought their disruption to the offices of Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who each have lost constituents in mass shootings but maintain A ratings with the National Rifle Association. “We knew we were risking arrest,” said Tim Murphy, a member of GAG NYC. “But we are holding them accountable as puppets of the NRA.” Those arrested include Murphy, Mari Gustafson, John Grauwiler, Natalie James, Lewis Bossing, Michael Adolph, and John Becker. Murphy tells The Advocate that protesters conducted a die-in at the atrium for the Hart building, and video shows the individuals writhing around like wounded gunshot victims, chanting “how many more have to die.” The disruption, which included protesters loudly shouting, “You’re killing us with money from the NRA,” went on for about 10 minutes before police asked protesters to leave. When the protestors refused to do so, arrests began. Murphy says GAG members did not resist arrest. Each one was detained for a matter of hours by police and charged a $50 fine before being released.
By Rebecca Peters for The Guardian - The mass murder in Newtown Connecticut a year ago caused shock and sorrow all around the world. In Australia it also revived memories of our own horror on a similar scale, when dozens of people innocently going about their day were gunned down by a disturbed young man. Our tragedy occurred in 1996 at the Port Arthur historic site in Tasmania, one of Australia's most popular tourist destinations. The dead numbered 35, with more than 20 others injured. The victims ranged in age from 3 to 72. They included children, teens, adults and seniors; tourists and local workers; several couples, a pair of brothers, a mother and her two little daughters, and members of a retirees' club on an outing. This was not the first shooting massacre we had suffered, but it was the largest in living memory. The tragedy ignited an explosion of public outrage, soul-searching and demands for better regulation of guns. We changed our laws. As a result, gun deaths in Australia have dropped by two-thirds, and we have never had another mass shooting. Every country is unique, but Australia is more similar to the US than is, say, Japan or England. We have a frontier history and a strong gun culture. Each state and territory has its own gun laws, and in 1996 these varied widely between the jurisdictions.
By Liz Essley Whyte for the Center for Public Integrity. Despite massive losses for Democrats in races from the White House to governors’ offices Tuesday, those on the left celebrated some significant victories with state ballot measures. From marijuana to minimum wage to gun control laws, they won many key initiatives among the 162 statewide measures — part of a concerted plan put in motion more than a year ago to circumvent Republican-led legislatures and take policy questions directly to voters. Progressive advocates appeared to lose major healthcare initiatives in California and Colorado, however. The Center for Public Integrity tracked how those fighting over these measures shaped their messages with TV ads, typically an expensive yet far-reaching endeavor. Media tracker Kantar Media/CMAG estimates that more than $384 million was spent through Monday just to air TV ads about such measures this election.
By Hina Shamsi and Chris Anders for ACLU - In the wake of the attack on LGBTQ Americans in Orlando, gun control is again at the forefront of the national conversation. It is also the subject of proposed legislation in Congress. We at the ACLU, like many other Americans, are appalled by the Orlando tragedy. We have deep concerns, however, about legislative efforts to regulate the use of guns by relying on our nation’s error-prone and unfair watchlisting system. That’s why we sent a letter today to the Senate, opposing legislation from Sen. Cornyn (R-Texas), which uses the watchlisting system as a predicate for gun regulation, and also opposing a proposal by Sen. Feinstein (D-Calif.)...
By Eleanor Goldfield for Act Out! - Meet the people making a killing off of death plus the how and why gun owners are pro gun control and WHY gun control is the only common sense policy available. Next up, the stand against fracked gas and oil pipelines is a national fight, being fought on local levels by activists all over the political and social spectrum -- and here's how you can get involved. But first – shots fired.
By Nadia Prupis for Common Dreams - At least 16 people were arrested during a peace vigil outside the National Rifle Association (NRA) on Tuesday, as activists staged a "die-in" to demand gun reform in the wake of the mass shooting in Orlando earlier this month. The demonstration, organized by the peace group CODEPINK, began Monday night and lasted into Tuesday morning as activists blocked the entrance to the NRA's headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia and lay down on the ground to symbolize victims of gun violence.