Category Archives: #NEVERAGAIN

A Benicia perspective on outbreak of mass shootings – 20 dead in El Paso today

Hate is a factor, Trump fanning the flames

By Roger Straw, August 3, 2019

So today 20 innocent people were gunned down by a white supremacist in a Walmart in El Paso, Texas.  Another 26 were seriously injured, some critically.  Earlier this week, two store workers were killed in a Walmart in Mississippi.  And on Sunday this week, another white supremacist gunman opened fire at the Gilroy Garlic Festival near San Jose, California, killing three of us and injuring 15 .

In just this last week, according to MassShootingTracker.com, 43 were killed and 75 injured in mass shootings.  In 2019, 291 mass shootings have taken place so far – that’s 291 mass shootings in 215 days!  In those 291 horrific events, 335 individuals have been murdered and 1,111 others were injured.

In May, a gunman killed 13 people at a municipal building in Virginia Beach. The month before, on the last day of Passover in April, a vocal anti-Semite attacked a synagogue in Poway, California, killing one person and injuring three.

This is a crisis.  President Trump’s racist tweets and actions have added momentum to the white supremacist element in the U.S.  (See NY Times, Why Does Trump Fan the Flames of Race-Based Terrorism?)

I have documented this trend on a number of occasions – see previous Benicia Independent gun control stories(Also, note archives on local Benicia gun reporting halfway through this article.)

The most recent shooting in El Paso (below) caught my attention today, and deserves your careful consideration.  What will our leaders DO to stop this!?


Mass Shooting at El Paso Walmart Leaves 20 Dead

The gunman “started shooting everyone, aisle by aisle,” an eyewitness says.
Justin Hamel/The Daily Beast

EL PASO—A lone gunman killed at least 20 people inside a crowded Walmart on Saturday morning, according to eyewitnesses and officials.

“A day that would’ve been a normal day for someone to leisurely go shopping, turned into one of the most deadly days in the history of Texas. Lives were taken who should still be with us today. Twenty innocent people from El Paso have lost their lives, and more than two dozen more are injured,” Texas Governor Greg Abbott said at an evening press conference.

At least 22 people were transported to area hospitals, including a 4-month-old girl. At least nine people were in critical condition at Del Sol Medical Center, where three of them were said to be in “life-threatening” condition. The victims there ranged in age from 35 to 82, but no further details were immediately available.

Police have not yet identified those killed, though Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced on Twitter late Saturday that three Mexican nationals were among the 20 people killed.

Police said one person is in custody and they have ruled out multiple shooters. The suspect has been identified as 21-year-old Patrick Crusius of Texas, according to a senior law-enforcement source. Authorities are investigating a purported manifesto posted online shortly before the attack.

Justin Hamel/The Daily Beast

“Right now we have a manifesto from this individual, that indicates to some degree, it has a nexus to potential hate crime,” El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen said at a press conference. Allen, who stopped short of naming the suspect, said authorities were still working to “validate” that the manifesto was penned by the alleged gunman.

More than a thousand people were inside the Walmart near the Cielo Vista Mall when the shooting started around 11 a.m. A woman named Karina, who declined to give her last name, said she was driving in the parking lot with her 7-year-old daughter when she saw a white man in his twenties in front of the store’s main entrance, dressed in all black and carrying a long rifle. Karina said she heard what sounded like “balloons popping” and saw the gunman shoot another man at “point-blank” range.

Then the gunman entered the store, as captured by surveillance footage.

Miguel Rodriguez said he was shopping for a toy for his 7-year-old son when he heard gunshots and ducked to the ground. He said a person “started shooting everyone, aisle by aisle, with rage.”

Justin Hamel/The Daily Beast

Britney, a 19-year-old who declined to give her last name, said she was with her 16-year-old brother and her mother in the store’s underwear aisle when she heard shooting. The family dropped to the ground. Then Britney said she grabbed her mother and brother’s hands and they ran out of the store.

Dozens of people from inside the mall who were evacuated lined a nearby street. A man carrying a Bible went from group to group, asking people to pray with him.
Justin Hamel/The Daily Beast

The El Paso shooting is the latest in a series of deadly attacks on public places. On Monday, a disgruntled employee killed two people in a Walmart store in Mississippi. Last Sunday, a gunman killed three people and injured 15 at the Gilroy Garlic Festival near San Jose, California. In May, a gunman killed 12 people at a municipal building in Virginia Beach. The month before, on the last day of Passover in April, a vocal anti-Semite allegedly attacked a synagogue in Poway, California, killing one person.

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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: as of August 2019, the VIDEO that was previously viewable on Youtube can no longer be found anywhere on the internet.  If you can stand the obnoxious ads at the beginning of this audio, you can listen to Zakaria’s excellent analysis.]

    NO LONGER AVAILABLE (saved here in case it returns somehow…)

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      Doctors clash with NRA over gun deaths – #thisisourlane

      Repost from the Vallejo Times-Herald
      [Editor: For fuller coverage and graphic images, see the Chicago Tribune.  – RS]

      Doctors clash with NRA over gun deaths

      By Lisa Marie Pane, The Associated Press, November 22, 2018
      Dr. Deborah Greenhouse of Palmetto Pediatric in Columbia, S.C., works on her laptop. Greenhouse is one of several doctors joining a social media storm over guns and doctors, sparking a fight between the physicians and the National Rifle Association.  BRISTOW MARCHANT — THE STATE VIA AP

      The photos from doctors came quickly and in succession: blood-stained operating rooms, blood-covered scrubs and shoes, bullets piercing body parts and organs.

      The pictures on Twitter were an emotional response to a smack down by the powerful gun industry lobby, which took issue with the American College of Physicians’ call late last month for tighter gun control laws. The recommendations included bans on “assault weapons,” large capacity magazines and 3D printed firearms.

      “Someone should tell self important anti-gun doctors to stay in their lane. Half of the articles in Annals of Internal Medicine are pushing for gun control. Most upsetting, however, the medical community seems to have consulted NO ONE but themselves,” the National Rifle Association tweeted.

      Physicians across the United States seized on the phrasing, taking to Twitter with 22,000 comments and the hashtags #thisismylane and #thisisourlane, posting photos of their encounters with gun violence and offering their own personal stories of treating such
      wounds.

      The debate gained new urgency this week with the shooting death of an emergency room doctor outside the hospital where she worked, as physicians argue shootings are a public health crisis that they must play a key role in trying to stem. Dr. Tamara O’Neal was killed Monday outside a hospital in Chicago in what police say was a dispute with her ex-fiance. The shooter and two other people — a responding police officer and a resident in the hospital’s pharmacy — also died.

      “It just shows that not only is this is in our lane, but this happens to us,” said Dr. Joseph Sakran, a trauma surgeon at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore who as a 17-year-old was shot in the throat by a stray bullet fired during a dispute at a high school football game.

      Sakran created a Twitter account @ThisIsOurLane which in just two weeks has attracted nearly 15,000 followers. They include Dr. Peter Masiakos, a pediatric trauma surgeon in Boston, who wrote “The Quiet Room” just hours after the mass shooting at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, about breaking the news that a loved one has died.
      “We need to start talking about this as a public health issue. Politics aside, we have a problem that no other country has, and we shouldn’t,” Masiakos said.

      About 35,000 people each year are killed by guns in the United States, and about two-thirds are suicides. That’s about 670 people per week and among the largest number of civilian gun deaths in the world.

      The world’s highest rate of gun deaths is in El Salvador with a rate of 72.5 per 100,00; the rate in the U.S. is 3.1 per 100,000. Among all European countries, the rate never breaks 1 gun death per 100,000, according to Small Arms Survey, a Switzerland-based research organization that examines firearms and violence.

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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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