Posts Tagged ‘gun violence’

American Ritual

June 21, 2018

“A Unique American Ritual: The School Shooting,” a short video from the New York Times.

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Mexico’s Murderers: ¡Gracias, NRA!

May 29, 2018

Mexico's Murderers: ¡Gracias, NRA!

There’s only one gun store in all of Mexico, and it’s on an army base. But the southern border region of the US bristles with gun shops.

“… like so many aspects of life in Mexico, the influence of its powerful neighbor to the north is keenly felt: Each day the army gun store sells on average just 38 firearms to civilians, while an estimated 580 weapons are smuggled into Mexico from the United States.

That paradox is increasingly relevant given Mexico’s unprecedented levels of gun violence, which have claimed more than 100,000 lives over the last decade. Last year was Mexico’s deadliest since the government began releasing homicide statistics in 1997. This year, it is on track to surpass that record.”

— “There is only one gun store in all of Mexico. So why is gun violence soaring?” Kate Linthicum, Los Angeles Times

What can be done? For a start, the U.S. can finally ratify the The Inter-American Convention Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives, and Other Related Materials (CIFTA)The National Rifle Association has thrown money around and stalled this for a dozen years, at the cost of thousands of lives.

You think life is cheap in Mexico? So are congressmen here in the USA — you can buy them for the cost of a few assault rifles.

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Guns & Cats

March 13, 2018

“Guns Explained With Cats,” an animation by It’s Alex Clark. Lead Animator: Chris Taniguchi, No cats were harmed in the making of this video.

RelatedMarch For Our Lives, March 24th.

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2017: Have a Lethal Christmas!

December 17, 2017

Have a Lethal Christmas!

Francis X. Clines in the New York Times:

“For the single-day binge of gun sales measured annually after Thanksgiving, the F.B.I. received 203,086 requests for background checks. This is the most ever in a single day, topping last year’s Black Friday high of 185,713 requests. (No immediate tweets from President Trump, the candidate of the National Rifle Association, that this is huge in making America great again.)

There were undoubtedly even more guns actually sold, since an F.B.I. request can cover a buyer’s multiple purchases. All seasonal evidence indicates that AR-15 assault rifles, the battlefield knockoffs familiar to so many Americans in the relentless tales of mass shootings, will be under many Christmas trees. ‘Bang for the buck!’ enthused the blog post of one seasonal shopper. ‘I picked up a Bushmaster carbine with rebate for around $400 … I couldn’t be happier.’”

More:

“Guns were Black Friday must-haves, going by the FBI’s record 203,086 background-check requests,” Cleve R. Wootson Jr., Washington Post

Related:

“Sandy Hook mom slams Trump for hosting NRA head on anniversary of shooting,” Jacqueline Thomsen, The Hill

“Americans Don’t Really Understand Gun Violence,” David Bernstein, The Atlantic

“America’s gun problem, explained,” German Lopez, Vox

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Now Is Not the Time?

October 3, 2017

Now Is Not the Time?

59 people are dead and 527 injured after a man opened fire on the audience at a country music concert in Las Vegas. Can tragedies like this be prevented? Our elected officials must be working on that now, right?

According to White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, “there will certainly be a time for that policy discussion to take place, but that’s not the place that we’re in at this moment.”

You’ve heard this before, every single time Americans slaughter their fellow citizens with mass gunfire. After the Pulse nightclub, the Aurora movie theater, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook Elementary SchoolLuby’s Cafeteria in KilleenMcDonald’s in San Ysidro, and Columbine High School.

So we can’t talk about sensible gun control measures after a senseless mass killing. It’s like that guy who won’t fix the hole in his roof when it’s raining because he doesn’t want to get wet, and when the sun shines he says he doesn’t need to fix it.

More:

“Now is exactly the right time to talk about gun politics,” Mark Kelly, Washington Post

“Chuck Todd: ‘Why is now not the time’ to talk about gun violence?” Josh Delk, The Hill

“Mass shootings are an American problem. There’s an American solution.” Chris Murphy, Washington Post

“If Newtown Wasn’t Enough, Why Would Las Vegas Be Enough?” Charles P. Pierce, Esquire

“Why ‘thoughts and prayers’ is starting to sound so profane,” Kirsten Powers, Washington Post

“We don’t need your prayers in Sin City. We need gun control,” C. Moon Reed, Los Angeles Times

“Washington’s Ritualized Response to Mass Shootings,” Ryan Lizza, The New Yorker

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Black Friday 2016: High-Caliber Sales

November 29, 2016

Black Friday 2016: High-Caliber Sales
‘Tis the season. As the world prepares to wish for Peace on Earth, Americans spent Black Friday 2016 stockpiling firearms. On the day after Thanksgiving the FBI processed a record 185,713 background checks for gun transactions, more than any single day since the NICS system launched 18 years ago, up from last year’s 185,345 background checks. Jingle bells, pass the shells.

The Trump campaign got $30 million from the NRA, which claimed a Clinton administration would ban the assault-type weapons prized by militias and mass murderers, and would confiscate all privately-owned  firearms. The Obama presidency has been good for gun merchants, who predicted a Trump victory would see a slump in sales, but it hasn’t happened. There are anecdotal accounts that the 2016 election prompted a rise in gun purchases by anxious African Americans. See, Donald Trump is boosting the economy, even before his inauguration.

More:

“FBI runs more background checks than ever after gun sales soar on Black Friday,”Alex Yablon, The Guardian

Related:

“Burglars rob militia family bungalow of guns, machetes, grenades and body armor,” Travis M. Andrews, Washington Post

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Gunshot Death. It’s the American Way.

June 14, 2016

There were 43 shootings in the USA on Sunday. One of them was in Orlando. The toll: 67 dead (including 5 children) and 94 injured.

More:

“We’re 164 days into 2016. We’ve had 133 mass shootings.” Sarah Frostenson and Sarah Kliff, Vox

“1,000 mass shootings in 1,260 days: this is what America’s gun crisis looks like,” The Guardian

“Gun Industry Describes Mass Shootings Like Orlando as a ‘Big Opportunity,’” Lee Fang, The Intercept

“A Brief History of America’s Massive Gun-Buying Spree,” Bryan and Dave Gilson, Mother Jones

 Gun Violence Archive website

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Reducing Gun Violence

January 5, 2016

Reducing Gun Violence

President Obama made public remarks Tuesday on the need to curb America’s epidemic of gun violence.

“Our right to peaceful assembly — that right was robbed from moviegoers in Aurora, high schoolers in Columbine and from first graders in Newtown. First graders. And from every family who’d never imagined that their loved one would be taken from our lives by a bullet from a gun.

Every time I think about those kids, it gets me mad. And by the way, it happens on the streets of Chicago every day.”

“We know we can’t stop every act of violence, every act of evil in the world. But maybe we could try to stop one act of evil, one act of violence. We maybe can’t save everybody, but we can save some.”

“How did we get here? Each time this comes up, we are fed the excuse that common sense reforms might not have stopped the latest massacre or the one before that, so why bother trying.”

The President commented on his forthcoming executive actions:

“These are not only recommendations that are well within my legal authority and the executive branch, but they’re also ones that the overwhelming majority of the American people, including gun owners, support me doing.”

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Report: Black Friday, 2015

December 3, 2015

Report: Black Friday, 2015
It’s the season when we prepare to wish “peace on earth and goodwill to all” by buying gifts and decorations. Americans spent Black Friday 2015 stockpiling firearms. On the day after Thanksgiving, the FBI processed a record 185,345 background checks for firearms purchases, 2 every second. That’s the same day an armed American attacked a women’s health clinic in Colorado Springs and shot to death a police officer, a mother of two, and an Iraq War veteran.

On Wednesday two shooters armed with assault rifles killed 14 people and wounded 17 others at a San Bernadino nonprofit social service center.

God bless us one and all.

More:

“Black Friday saw most federal gun background checks ever in a single day,” Justin Wm. Moyer, Washington Post

Related:

“Gun background-check database missing vital information,” Anita Kumar, McClatchy Newspapers

“How ‘active shooter’ became a depressing part of our vocabulary,” Emily Badger, Washington Post

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Colorado Springs: God & Guns

December 1, 2015

Colorado Springs: God & Guns
It was the home of Garrett Swasey, Jennifer Markovsky, and Ke’Arre Stewart. It’s White Evangelical Mecca, where it’s perfectly normal to walk down the street carrying an AR-15 assault rifle. Welcome to Colorado Springs.

“Colorado’s second largest city, with a population of 445,800, has built itself a reputation as a playground for white, pro-gun, pro-life Evangelical Christians. It is also home to one army base, two air force bases, and an air force.”

— “Colorado Springs: a playground for pro-life, pro-gun evangelical Christians,” Josiah Hesse, The Guardian

So when you visit Colorado Springs, bring your Bible, your ski vest and your flak vest.

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