Republicans Say it’s Too Soon to Talk About Guns After Las Vegas’ Shooting. How About Sandy Hook?

by Hunter – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has some notions on when we should be discussing new legislation to deal with the nation’s now near-daily mass shootings. Well that’s a shame. If it’s premature to talk about action after Las Vegas, though, perhaps we could instead use the opportunity to finally talk about legislative solutions to the Pulse Nightclub murders? It has been over a year since that day….. has enough time passed for the Senate to act? Specifically:  Sahil Kapur   @sahilkapur McCONNELL dismisses talk of new gun laws after Vegas massacre: “I think it’s premature to be discussing legislative solutions.” 2:20 PM – Oct 3, 2017 What about the Umpqua Community College mass shooting, in Oregon? It’s been two years since that one, is it still premature? What about the race-motivated murders of black American churchgoers in South Carolina? What about Sandy Hook? The Virginia Tech mass murder killed 32—that was in 2007. Surely,...

Read More...


What More is There to Say on Gun Laws? (VIDEOS)

by BillMoyers.Com Staff – There comes a point where you feel like there’s nothing more to say about gun violence that hasn’t already been said. Over the years, we’ve done many, many stories on gun violence in America. In the days following the Sandy Hook massacre, Bill Moyers urged us to remember the victims of the Sandy Hook massacre by name. He read out the names of all 26 victims and observed that “laws are hard to come by, civilization just as hard. But democracy aims for a moral order as just as possible — which means laws that protect the weak, and not just the strong.” On the one-year anniversary of the tragedy at Newtown, we explored the role of guns in America’s national psyche throughout history. And talked to Francine and David Wheeler, the parents of 6-year-old Ben, who died at Sandy Hook. The Wheelers became hopeful activists working doggedly for...

Read More...


What do Bullets Really do to Bodies? Changing the Conversation on Gun Violence

by Kelly Macias – How can we possibly talk about guns in a way that hasn’t been talked about before? If we didn’t change the debate after Sandy Hook when 20 children were killed, it’s doubtful that we’ll ever actually do it. That’s been my story and I’ve largely stuck to it for the last five years—until I read this piece about trauma surgeons at Temple University Hospital in North Philadelphia. As a country,” Goldberg said, “we lost our teachable moment.” She started talking about the 2012 murder of 20 schoolchildren and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Goldberg said that if people had been shown the autopsy photos of the kids, the gun debate would have been transformed. “The fact that not a single one of those kids was able to be transported to a hospital, tells me that they were not just dead, but really really really really dead. Ten-year-old...

Read More...


Are We Monsters?

by NEAL GABLER – We are a failed country because we have lost our compassion and sense of community. Warner Brothers and Universal have both been dusting off an inventory of classic monsters — King Kong, Godzilla, The Mummy, The Wolf Man, etc. — which prompted New York Times film critics Manohla Dargis and A.O. Scott to speculate whether this was a reaction to a contemporary America, where monstrousness now seems to run rampant. When you add a film like the mega hit Get Out, about human monsters, you get the feeling that maybe Hollywood is onto something. Monster films have always dealt with anxieties — the Depression in the ‘30s, the Soviet threat and nuclear threat in the ’50s, technological change in the ‘60s and ’70s. But today, the  danger is different. Today the danger is us. Are we monsters? I know it is a distinctly odd question to ask, the...

Read More...


The Cult of Guns in America

by KATHY KIELY – Two gun control leaders think it can be broken but only with a lot more work and intensity. For two leaders of the long-stymied efforts to enact stricter gun control laws, the future looks at once hopeful and apocalyptic: A political breakthrough seems tantalizingly close, they say, but only if supporters up their game to overcome opposition that is behaving more like a cult than a political movement. That is the strikingly similar message offered by Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), in a speech this week at the National Press Club, and veteran gun control lawyer Dennis Henigan, in a recent interview with BillMoyers.com. The two men come to the issue from very different chronological places: Henigan, a bespectacled public interest lawyer whose hair is more salt than pepper, graduated from Oberlin College the same year Murphy was born, and spent 23 years at the Brady Campaign to...

Read More...


Here’s How Long It Will Take America To Forget About The Orlando Massacre

by JUDD LEGUM – The mass shooting at an Orlando LGBT club left 50 people dead, making it the deadliest in American history. The motivations of the suspected killer, Omar Mateen, are still being fleshed out. He is said to have been angered months ago when he saw two men kissing. He also reportedly called 911 before the attack and pledged allegiance to ISIS. The Orlando massacre will likely prompt a discussion about gun safety legislation in America. But, if history is any guide, such a discussion will be brief. Four out of the five deadliest mass shootings in the U.S. have taken place since 2007. The shootings at Virginia Tech (2007, 32 killed), Sandy Hook (2012, 27 killed) and San Bernardino (2015, 14 killed) all prompted intense interest — and a small spike in the discussion about gun control. But by two months later, interest in these events —...

Read More...


Oklahoma Teachers Are Allowed To Carry Concealed Guns. But Don’t Ask Which Ones

by CORY HERRO – Lawmakers in Oklahoma are moving to keep secret the names of public school teachers and staff who carry concealed weapons around students. After concerned parents requested the names of armed school personnel, the Oklahoma House approved legislation this week exempting these names from open records requests. The bill now moves to the Oklahoma Senate, where it will likely be approved. Governor Mary Fallin (R) has not indicated whether or not she supports the bill. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Jeff Coody (R), says secrecy is for the safety of the armed personnel. But Rep. Jason Dunnington (D) thinks parents have a right to know. “I voted against this bill as a parent with children in the Oklahoma public school system,” he told ThinkProgress. “If a teacher has firearms in the classroom, parents should be able to know who that is. What if the teacher is a notorious gun lover...

Read More...


Sandy Hook Parents Pen Editorial Correcting Senator Sanders

by Zain – Mark and Jackie Barden lost their seven year old son, Daniel, in the massacre at Sandy Hook. They write in the Washington Post today to take issue with the position of Senator Sanders regarding the lawsuit they and ten other parents have brought against Remington. Senator Sanders expounded on his view at the last Democratic debate in Michigan and these bereaved parents are not happy with his characterisation of their suit, via The Washington Post: We write in response to Sen. Bernie Sanders’s comments about our lawsuit at the recent Democratic presidential debate in Michigan. Sanders suggested that the “point” of our case is to hold Remington Arms Co. liable simply because one of its guns was used to commit mass murder. With all due respect, this is simplistic and wrong. This case is about a particular weapon, Remington’s Bushmaster AR-15, and its sale to a particular market: civilians. It is not about...

Read More...


US Gun Victims put Manufacturers in Their Crosshairs

by Kristen Saloomey – Families sue firearms producer, arguing that it should not market and sell lethal military-style weapons to civilians Do gun manufacturers market their products to appeal to potential mass murderers and the mentally unstable? That’s what some American families who lost their loved ones in the Sandy Hook School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, believe – and now they are suing Bushmaster Firearms, arguing that the gunmaker should not be allowed to market and sell lethal, military-style weapons to the public. “The manufacturer is marketing to people like Adam Lanza and they know it,” Mark Barden, whose seven-year-old son Daniel was one of 26 people Lanza shot and killed at the school in 2012, told reporters before a court hearing on Monday. “And now we know it and it’s time that everybody knows it and it’s time they take responsibility for that.” School shooting In December 2012, Lanza used...

Read More...


Today Is 3 Years Since The Sandy Hook Massacre – This Is What We Have To Show For It

by CHRISTIAN DRAKE – I remember that morning three years ago very clearly. I woke up late and started reading Facebook. Immediately I knew something was wrong in the world. Vaguely detailed posts ranting about guns and gun violence were showing up from friends who hardly ever talk about anything outside of baked goods and their cats. I knew that I had to find out what happened. It was everywhere on the news. There was another mass shooting. I was ready to hear that because of what I had read on Facebook. What I wasn’t ready for was where it had happened, and what had occurred. It was the Sandy Hook massacre. Twenty first graders and 6 adults were slaughtered in what was supposed to be a safe place by just one more lunatic who had too easy access to high-capacity machines of death. The nation was injured. Reactions were...

Read More...


Tragedies to Question, Tragedies to Ignore

by Jacinda Townsend – When a white male shoots people, we ask why, but no explanations are needed when the killers are Muslim In December 2012, my three-year-old was enrolled in preschool, my eight-year-old at a neighbouring elementary school. I’d spent the autumn dropping them off in the morning against the brilliant backdrop of falling leaves, and with winter then upon us, the trees stood lined with enough frost to make it seem like it snowed overnight. The Indiana skies were the kind of grey that, when the sun tried to shine through, my older daughter would call it “the end of time”. December 14 was the last day of school before the winter break. Like most American children, mine were terribly excited – they’d have a holiday party, eat cookies, and do little to no actual schoolwork. Like most parents, I was just as excited: I’d have my children at...

Read More...


Sandy Hook Senator: It’s Not Congress’ Job To Pray

by EMILY ATKIN –   In the days after a deranged young man fatally shot 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) was grateful for any thoughts and prayers directed toward his community. “Having lived through the Sandy Hook experience, I know that thoughts and prayers are important,” he told ThinkProgress on Friday. “We appreciated them from every corner of the globe.” But four years later, following yet another mass shooting committed by a couple whose guns were purchased legally, the Connecticut senator has had enough of prayer — at least when it comes from his Senate colleagues. On Wednesday, hours after the massacre in San Bernardino, Murphy sent out a tweet condemning the many members of Congress who publicly offered “thoughts and prayers” for victims of Wednesday’s massacre in Sen Bernardino. Murphy subsequently went viral. News outlets like CNN, Vox, the...

Read More...


The Ethnicity of San Bernardino Shooters Doesn’t Matter

by Khaled A Beydoun – Whether they are named Dylann or Mohamed, US scrutiny will fall squarely on the shoulders of US Muslims Fourteen killed, and tens more injured. At approximately 11am on Wednesday morning, several gunmen opened fire inside the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California. The facility, which houses patients with disabilities, seemed an unlikely target for domestic terrorists. Yet the carnage that ensued makes it the biggest mass shooting since the Sandy Hook tragedy of December 2012, when 26 people, including 20 young students, were killed. Only five days after the attack on the Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado Springs, the San Bernardino attack again raises questions about the racial contours and ideological colours of domestic terrorism. NEWS: US police probe motive of California mass shooting For decades in the United States, domestic terrorism has been defined almost exclusively along racial and religious lines. The legal term,...

Read More...


Democratic Senator SHREDS Ted Cruz For Using Sandy Hook Tragedy As Example Of His Courage

by STEPHEN D FOSTER JR – Ted Cruz thinks making sure gun nuts can continue killing kids at will makes him courageous, so this Democratic Senator put him in his place. A pro-Ted Cruz super PAC, which calls itself “Courageous Conservatives,” has released an ad hailing Cruz as a hero who ignored the killing of 20 first-graders at Sandy Hook Elementary School to stand up for gun rights even though most Americans screamed for gun control. “After Sandy Hook, Ted Cruz stopped Obama’s push for new gun control laws,” the ad brags. Indeed, Cruz joined just about every single Republican in the Senate to block legislation that would have strengthened background checks even though an overwhelming majority of Americans support stronger background checks for all gun buyers. A vast majority even support laws preventing people with mental illness from owning a gun. And this isn’t just among Democrats and independent...

Read More...


Conservative White People Are The Greatest Terror Threat To America

by VERA – A study by the New American Foundation (NAF) has recently discovered that the biggest terror threat to America is actually homegrown: Conservative white people. The data was conducted by reviewing terror attacks on American soil over the last 14 years, with findings that revealed most attacks were not carried out by outsiders or jihadists, as many have grown to believe. They were, by majority, done by white supremacists or radical anti-government groups. In the foundation’s study, terrorism was defined as idealogical violence and excluded several mass shootings. Because they didn’t fit the guidelines, shootings such as Sandy Hook, the movie theatre shooting in Aurora Colorado in 2012, or the killing of three Muslim students in North Carolina a few months ago were not part of the study. However, the Charleston Massacre in which nine African Americans were shot dead by white supremacist Dylann Roof was included in the study, as his beliefs that...

Read More...


Two Years Later, Sandy Hook Teachers Are Worried Their Mental Health Funds Will Dry Up

by SAM P.K. COLLINS – After a gunman killed 20 children and six adult staff members during a school shooting in 2012, the U.S. Department of Education awarded the Newtown, Connecticut school with a grant of more than $6 million to help with recovery efforts, nearly half of which provided trauma and grief counseling services for community members. Two years later, the tragedy may have faded from some Americans’ minds. But it’s still a pressing issue for teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary, who are making an appeal to national teachers union leaders for additional funds that will ensure the continuation of these mental health services for students, staff members, and members of the community. “It’s those services that are being provided not only to themselves, but they were equally concerned about the services that were being provided to the members of the community as a whole because not only is it...

Read More...


Rush Limbaugh on “Another School Shooting”

by Carol Kernahan – On December 14, 2012, 26 people, 20 of them children, were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut.  Here is Limbaugh’s comment four days later on December 18: What if there is nobody or nothing to blame? Would that make this inexplicable horror unbearable?  What if we didn’t rush to judgement? What if we didn’t waste our thoughts, prayers and actions on assigning blame for the sake of mere recrimination? What if we calmly and ruthlessly learned whatever lessons we can from the massacre — and prevented the next one?  What if it wasn’t one thing, but everything, that set off Lanza?What if it is no more complicated than the guy just did it?  In other words, excrement happens.  That’s true.  You can’t get funding for excrement happens.  You can’t advance a political agenda on excrement happens.  You can’t blame your political opponents for excrement...

Read More...


Guns: ‘They’re Just Like Vacuum Cleaners’, According to the NRA (VIDEO)

by VALERIE BEAUMONT – NRA News commentator Billy Johnson wants you to know that guns are just pieces of metal and plastic, like lawnmowers and vacuum cleaners. Sure, you can’t mow your lawn with a gun, but you sure can mow down a crowd of innocent people in a movie theater — and while you may not be able to clean up a mess with a gun, you can make one, which is just as much fun…right? The video, “Demystifying Guns,” aims to delve “into about the irrational, media-fed, hysterical fear of guns that is prevalent in our society.” And since Columbine, Sandy Hook, and all of the other mass murders that have marred our nation’s recent history were committed by people using a gun as a tool, obviously there isn’t a single issue with the ready availability of these metal-and-plastic deathsticks. “Somehow we have completely dehumanized gun violence, and have...

Read More...


Why Gun Control Groups Have Moved Away from an Assault Weapons Ban

A decade after the ban expired, gun control groups say that focusing on other policies will save more American lives by Lois Beckett –   The morning after the Sandy Hook shootings, Shannon Watts, a mother of five and a former public relations executive, started a Facebook page called “One Million Moms for Gun Control.” It proved wildly popular and members quickly focused on renewing the federal ban on military style assault weapons. Nearly two years later, Watts works full-time as the head of the group, now named Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, is a significant player in a coalition financed by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. But while polls suggest a majority of Americans still support an assault weapons ban, it is no longer one of Watts’ top priorities. “We’ve very much changed our strategy to focus on public safety measures that will save the...

Read More...


Hillary Clinton Blasts Gun Nuts For Acting Like Terrorists Across America (VIDEO)

by  Stephen D. Foster Jr – Over-obsessed gun nuts are firing away across the country. They’re wielding and waving firearms in an attempt to intimidate the general public. As a result, people are in fear for their lives and the lives of their children as weaker gun laws, racism, sexism, and revolutionary fervor collide to create an atmosphere that has resulted in 74 mass shootings since Sandy Hook. But rather than back down in the face of such violence, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is standing her ground and calling the ammosexuals out for what they are: terrorists. On Tuesday, Clinton appeared on CNN to answer some questions and she fielded one about gun violence in America. Clinton referred to gun fetishists as “a minority of people” who are terrorizing the country and called for banning assault weapons and strengthening background check laws. “We cannot let a minority of...

Read More...