Category Archives: Mass shootings

The Virginia Beach shooting confirms that gun violence is a national emergency

By Editorial Board, The Washington Post, June 1 at 2:45 PM

The Virginia Beach shooting confirms that gun violence is a national emergency

Mourners pray on Saturday for the victims of the mass shooting in Virginia Beach. (Eric Baradat/AFP/Getty Images)

THE TWELVE victims killed in the Virginia Beach massacre were the people who knit the sinews of a society together, who plot the course of overhead wires and underground pipes, who set the course of roadways and sidewalks. They were municipal engineers and administrators, account clerks and agents, all of them making sure in some way or another that the essential connections and pathways everyone relies on would keep functioning. One of the victims had come simply to follow the rules, and file for a permit.

MassShootingTracker.org

That they were murdered in cold blood at their workplace on Friday afternoon is another sign that our society is not functioning properly in the face of an awful scourge. Mass shootings at schools, newspapers, concerts, nightclubs and factories have become a threat to public health and safety in the United States, an epidemic of violence resulting in hundreds of deaths every year. Would the nation’s politicians be mute and paralyzed if, say, 199 people were killed by food poisoning, a defective toy, or an automobile part malfunction? That is the number who have died in mass shootings so far this year (along with 643 nonfatal gunshot wounds), according to one group that keeps track. Sadly, sensible gun control generates headlines for a few days after each massacre, but then nothing happens.

The reason for this inaction is no mystery: Politicians are intimidated by a gun rights movement, led by the National Rifle Association, that has for too long stood in the way of action. There are promising signs that this year’s crowded field for the Democratic presidential nomination might generate some long-overdue commitment to gun control, and some Democrats in Congress are devoting fresh attention to the crisis, which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has suggested is a national emergency. But the hour is late. The answers are not rocket science: universal background checks for gun purchases; banning semiautomatic assault rifles, which are weapons of war; putting limits on high-capacity magazines, which allow mass shooters to take more and more lives (these magazines were used by the Virginia Beach shooter) and other measures.

The authorities in Virginia Beach announced they would say the shooter’s name only once. No doubt, many mass shooters may have been motivated by the perverse attraction of media notoriety, and so it will be interesting to see if this well-intentioned move has any impact, given today’s relentless and intense news and social media environment.

But something greater must be done. The Virginia Beach shooter put a sound suppressor on his .45-caliber semiautomatic pistol so that the death shots were muffled, perhaps denying others the warning that would have allowed them to escape. It is long past time to remove the silencer that seems to suppress action on gun-control legislation, to treat mass shooting as the epidemic it is, and do everything possible to save lives.

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    Must watch video: Fareed Zakaria on CNN: Global Lessons on Guns

    Repost from Youtube

    CNN: Global Lessons on Guns – A Fareed Zakaria GPS Special

    Breaking CNN News Today Nov 25, 2018

    An incredibly important and informative analysis of gun violence in the U.S. and in various countries around the world.  Zakaria has been following this deadly issue for years, and presents here a carefully researched study with alarming results.  [NOTE: the video is only viewable on Youtube. The >arrow> will give you a link.]

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      Desmond Tutu awards peace prize to Parkland shooting survivors

      Repost from NBC News

      “I am in awe of these children,” Tutu said at the ceremony on Tuesday.

      Image: March For Our Lives
      Emma Gonzalez and other Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students conclude the March For Our Lives in Washington on March 24. Shawn Thew / EPA file
      By Associated Press, Nov. 20, 2018 / 9:56 AM PST

      FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The Parkland students who created an international movement to raise awareness for gun violence after a deadly school shooting were awarded the International Children’s Peace Prize on Tuesday.

      During a ceremony in Cape Town, South Africa, Archbishop Desmond Tutu presented the award, calling the student organization March For Our Lives one of the most significant youth-led mass movements in living memory and its founders “true change-makers.”

      “I am in awe of these children, whose powerful message is amplified by their youthful energy and an unshakable belief that children can — no, must — improve their own futures,” Tutu said.

      In the moments after 17 of their classmates and teachers were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, David Hogg, Emma Gonzalez, Delaney Tarr, Ryan Deitsch and Jaclyn Corin and more than a dozen others sprang to action, doing countless media interviews, grilling lawmakers about gun reform during town halls, and sparking massive walkouts and peaceful protests at schools across the country.

      Matt Deitsch, a Parkland alumnus whose two younger siblings were students at the time of the shooting, immediately left college to help form March For Our Lives.

      Hogg, Gonzalez, Corin and the Deitsch brothers were in South Africa to accept the award. Gonzalez said the award “serves as a major reminder that the universe is on the side of justice and that we will win because our cause is one of peace.”

      Manuel Oliver, whose son Joaquin was killed, also spoke during the ceremony. The group was joined by two students from Chicago Strong, a youth-led initiative to end gun violence in their hometown, who have worked closely with their cause.

      Cameron Kasky
      Cameron Kasky, center, speaks at a news conference on June 4, 2018, in Parkland, Florida, where a group of school shooting survivors announced a multi-state bus tour to “get young people educated, registered and motivated to vote.” Wilfredo Lee / AP

      Since the Valentine’s Day massacre, the students have gained international attention, raised millions of dollars from the likes of Oprah Winfrey and George Clooney for their grassroots movement and made a slew of television appearances.

      Hundreds of thousands attended their Washington, D.C., march this spring to raise awareness about gun violence and advocate for safer schools. Many of the students have called for a ban on assault rifles and universal background checks. The organization says more than 25 states have passed legislation consistent with their cause, including Florida.

      Over the summer, the students hit the road, visiting 80 communities in 24 states to help register young voters and spread their message about gun violence. Their tireless efforts even landed them on the cover of Time magazine.

      Marc Dullaert, founder of KidsRights and the International Children’s Peace Prize, said the students “transformed a local community protest into a truly global youth-led and peaceful protest-movement.”

      In Parkland on Tuesday, a charity group pledged $1 million to create artworks to help the community heal.

      Bloomberg Philanthropies said it’s making the grant to Parkland and Coral Springs for their project, “Inspiring Community Healing After Gun Violence: The Power of Art.” Five artists and teams will create temporary projects for public display. Community workshops and talks will discuss using art for emotional healing.

      Most of the 17 victims were from the cities.

      The charity was founded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who started the news agency bearing his surname. He has been an outspoken supporter of groups with the goal of decreasing gun violence.

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