Monday, August 27, 2012

Ride The Peace Train 2012

The Peace Train (image from Democratic Party of Lane Co.)
Last Saturday was the annual parade for the Eugene Celebration, in Eugene, Oregon.  Once again, one of the entries in the parade was the Peace Train, a colorful, human-powered train engine followed by train cars, each decorated with the name of a local peace and non-violence organization.  As with last year, Ceasefire Oregon was proud to have a car in the Peace Train.  I love getting out and engaging the public, particularly at events like this one.

We had a number of volunteers help out, either in the march or to help with preparations.  Besides Ceasefire Oregon, other organizations included Million Mom March, the Democratic Party of Lane County Peace Caucus, Skipping Stones multicultural magazine, Veterans for Peace, a group that holds peace vigils, the Eugene Department of Peace, Beyond War, the Eugene Mennonite Church, WAND (who was protesting unmanned drones), CALC, Women in Black.  A city councilwoman was also in the group.

Here is a video of the train, at the staging area just prior to walking in the parade, which I filmed.  Ceasefire Oregon's train car is the one immediately after the engine:

Here is another good video.  Go to timestamp 1:35 - 1:50:

Here is another image of me and the Ceasefire Oregon car, from the KVAL news site:

The parade was very well attended, with thousands of people cheering and clapping for us the entire route.  It is very satisfying to see the level of support our organizations receive here in Eugene.

On to next year!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Violence Policy Center Statement On The Empire State Building Shooting

Jeffrey Johnson, 58, killed a man over a workplace dispute then got into a shootout with police. Nine people were wounded in the shootout, including two police officers, before the shooter was killed. This is at least the fourth mass shooting in the last couple months.

The following is a statement on today's mass shooting just outside the Empire State Building in New York, from the Violence Policy Center:

Violence Policy Center Statement on Shooting Outside Empire State Building

Washington, DC--Following the fourth high-profile shooting in little over a month, this time outside the Empire State Building in New York City and reportedly involving a 45 caliber handgun, the Violence Policy Center, a national non-profit educational organization working to stop gun death and injury, issued the following statement:

“How long are we going to ignore America's gun crisis? Today’s shooting outside the Empire State building is the fourth high-profile shooting in little over a month, following the Aurora, Colorado theater shooting, the Oak Creek, Wisconsin, Sikh Temple shooting, and a shooting outside Texas A&M in College Station, Texas. One can only guess where the next shooting will occur--but we do know that it will occur. Today's shooter reportedly used a 45 caliber handgun to end the life of a former co-worker, offering yet another example of how the ready availability of semiautomatic handguns that can be equipped with high-capacity ammunition magazines destroy lives and make everyone less safe. All Americans deserve the right to feel safe in public spaces--in theaters, their places of worship, and walking city streets. The deadly mindset propounded by the gun industry and the gun lobby that guns are the ultimate problem solver is stripping away the feeling of safety that communities across the country not only expect, but deserve. It is long past time to regulate the out-of-control gun industry that makes these horrendous public shootings possible.”

The Violence Policy Center ( is a national educational organization working to stop gun death and injury. Follow the VPC on Twitter ( and Facebook (!/pages/Violence-Policy-Center/284334690298?ref=ts).

ADDENDUM: A statement from Dan Gross, President of the Brady Campaign Against Gun Violence, whose brother was wounded in a shooting at the top of the Empire State Building in 1997:

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Presidential Candidates: What Is Your Plan To Reduce Gun Violence?

Both President Barack Obama and presidential candidate Mitt Romney have said they are "deeply saddened" for the victims of recent mass shootings, but neither has said what they intend to do to reduce the chances of the next one.  Obama has recently come out against assault weapons, but stopped short of actually proposing legislation or suggesting a reinstatement of the assault weapons ban.  All he had to say was that our leaders should "do something about this senseless violence."  He has also been completely silent on any other gun issue, except for relaxing them (allowing guns in national parks and on AmTrak trains).  Romney has said bluntly that he isn't for passing any new laws to restrict guns (while at the same time hypocritically saying "Clearly there's going to have to be consideration given to how it is these tragedies could be prevented"), even though as governor he had passed more stringent gun regulations, including banning assault weapons in his state.

Words and condolences aren't enough.  We need action to stop the madness.

Given the horrifying statistics, the 100,000 shootings a year, and the overwhelming state of gun violence in our country that makes other advanced nations stare in shock at us, I have one very urgent question for our presidential candidates:

As president over the next four years, what actions do you intend to take to reduce gun violence?

The first presidential debate is on October 3, and it will take place within 10 miles of both the Aurora shooting and the Columbine High School shooting.

Please go to this website and sign the letter asking that Mr. Lehrer ask the candidates about their plan to reduce gun violence:

We are better than this, as a nation.  Let's make a new trajectory for our communities away from gun violence.

UPDATE (10/5/12):  The first debate did not include a question, or any comment from the candidates, regarding gun violence or gun legislation.  Let's hope they will in future debates.  See my post from today regarding the debate.

UPDATE (10/13/12):  Mitt Romney today released a statement regarding his views on a number of topics, including gun regulation.  From an article:

He said he does not believe that the United States needs additional laws that restrict the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms and believes in the safe and responsible ownership and use of firearms and the right to lawfully manufacture and sell firearms and ammunition. 
"[Mitt] recognizes the extraordinary number of jobs and other economic benefits that are produced by hunting, recreational shooting, and the firearms and ammunition industry, not the least of which is to fundwildlife and habitat conservation," his campaign said. "Mitt will enforce the laws already on the books and punish, to the fullest extent of the law, criminals who misuse firearms to commit crimes. But he does not support adding more laws and regulations that do nothing more than burden law-abiding citizens while being ignored by criminals. Mitt will also provide law enforcement with the proper and effective resources they need to deter, apprehend, and punish criminals."

Clearly, reducing gun violence by improving laws is not a priority for Romney.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Portland Gun Turn-In A Success

One of the key events put on each year by the Ceasefire Oregon Education Foundation is the gun turn-in event, held once or twice each year.  Anyone can turn in unwanted guns, no questions asked, and receive a gift card in exchange.  Each working gun will be exchanged for a $75 gift certificate to Fred Meyer stores (up to three per person).  Non-working guns and BB/Pellet guns receive a gift certificate to a fast food restaurant.  No questions asked.  Portland Police Department was there to take the weapons, check them for safety, and check their serial numbers.  The guns are then destroyed.

This turn-in, there was a total of 235 weapons:  64 rifles, 44 shotguns, 114 handguns, 10 pellet guns, 1 crossbow, 2 non-working guns.

This is an excellent win-win situation.  People who are unable or unwilling to keep a gun safely will turn them in, making homes and streets safer in the process, and in return are able to get a gift card for food or necessary department store items. 

And who turns in the guns?  Not criminals, most likely.  What criminal would knowingly approach a police officer with a crime gun?  No, these are widows who don't know how to handle their husband's weapon, or new parents who understand that guns in the home are a danger to children, or people who inherited weapons and understand that a gun in the home is 22 times more likely to harm them than to be used to protect them.  Occasionally it is someone with a gun that is defective to the point of being dangerous.  In all these cases, the gun is clearly more of a liability than a blessing.  Gun owners and non-gun owners alike should be glad this is happening.

Lucy Mashia with her three grandchildren at the Portland event
People like Mrs. Lucy Mashia, who is featured in the news video.  Her son, Leonard James Irving, was gunned down last June, leaving behind three small children (also seen in the video).  She knows more than most the danger of guns in the wrong hands in our society.

From the video:
"My son loved life so much and someone just took his life, a bad decision, a five-second decision to pull the trigger," she said. "My heart is going to be heavy for the rest of my life."

Irving was about to turn 35 before he was shot and left for dead in the street. Instead, his three young children are getting older without him.

"I cannot fill the role," Mashia said. "All I can do is be grandma, you know?"

But really, Mashia feels there is more to do and more to say and wants the violence to stop. But being at Saturday's turn-in event is one way she's trying to make a difference and stop the violence. Also there was Portland Police Bureau Sgt. Tim Sessions, who has helped with the event for years. He doesn't know if it will really ever prevent a gang shooting since most of the people at Saturday's event had inherited guns and were unsure what to do with them.
Sessions, however, said the event will prevent both crime and death.

"These are unwanted guns," he said. "People who have unwanted guns usually don't store them or secure them in a way that would prevent theft or even accidents happening within their homes."
The same day, there was a similar gun buy-back in Lansing Michigan, sponsored by the city and its Guns for Groceries program.  Each gun was redeemed for a $100 gift card for food.
Within about 2½ hours, the program bought back nearly 100 guns using roughly $10,000 that had been donated to the effort to reduce crime and shootings in Lansing, Police Chief Teresa Syzmanski said. The city-sponsored program offered a $100 Meijer gift card for every weapon that was turned in Saturday to police on a “no questions asked” basis.
Syzmanski said all the weapons will be destroyed.
“We’ve been burying too many young people in this community. It’s one more tool,” said Mayor Virg Bernero, who visited the event. “Any guns taken off the streets is helpful.”
While Bernero said he doesn’t expect criminals to turn in their guns, he hopes the program will reduce weapon thefts and help keep guns out of the reach of young people. Bernero, who says he is not anti-Second Amendment, said it is the first gun buyback program in the city in many years.
The article gives an example of a man who turned in his long-unused shotgun, out of fear that his 6-year old daughter might find it.

Back in June, there was a gun turn-in in Chicago.  A total of 5,500 guns were handed over in the one-day event!
“I’m quite certain that if you look at some of these heavy weapons we certainly are making a difference here, just by getting these guns off the street,” McCarthy said at a Saturday evening news conference to show off some of the weapons.
The firearms ranged from an M-60 machine gun and sawed-off shotguns to to pen-like “zip” guns that can fire a lethal round. Of the 5,500-plus weapons, about 700 turned out to be BB-guns or replicas, McCarthy said.
During the gun turn-in Saturday, dubbed “Don’t Kill a Dream, Save a Life,” Chicagoans could turn in firearms, no questions asked, at churches to get $100 gift cards for each firearm. BB-guns and replicas were worth $10 cards. Some locations ran out of gift cards and had to give people IOUs.
Of course, the pro-gun extremists come out in force to oppose turn-ins.  Some stand outside the event, heckling those who attend and who volunteers for the event, and trying to buy guns off of anyone trying to turn guns in.

If you read the comments from the Portland turn-in, you'll see the usual statements from them.  One suggested the guns should have been given to children's charities.  Another stated "first the cops turn there guns in then maybe I will think about it myself," as if he needs his guns to fight police.  Another suggested that only criminals would turn in the guns.

Another couple commenters suggested that turning over guns in events like this would allow our tyrannical government to take over.  One wrote:
Of corse they want our guns, they are the only things standing in the way of the total fascism our government seeks.
Another stated,
THIS IS THE BIGGEST COMMIE PLOT EVER DEVISED TO TURN "CITIZENS" INTO "SUBJECTS!!!!!!!!" These morons are not real Americans!!!  They have an obligation to own and carry firearms to keep the peace AND GOVERNMENT from taking over!!!  THEY ALL NEED TO MOVE TO SOME EUROPEAN COMMUNIST COUNTRY!!! This country was not founded on surrendering your firearms.  It just demonstrates how brain dean and lacking critical thinking these excuses for human beings really are.
Lovely.  As if their pea-shooters would pose any resistance to a highly-trained army armed with modern military weapons.  These commenters seem to forget that many countries, such as Canada, England, Australia, and most of Europe, which have far stricter gun regulations (and less than 200 shootings a year, I might add) have somehow nonetheless remained a democracy.  They also seem to forget all those countries which overthrow dictators by peaceful means, without the need for widespread civilian gun ownership (such as India, Egypt, Tunisia, Lithuania, Estonia, Russia, Poland....).  But I digress.

Ceasefire Oregon Education Foundation and other organizations will continue to sponsor gun turn-ins.  They make sense.  Logical people understand that not everyone should have guns, even if it is their right to do so.  Getting guns out of the wrong hands is the responsible thing to do. 

Mrs. Lucy Mashia had a valuable statement in that first video as she stood there holding her dead son's three children:
"Everybody has a bad day, but if you have a gun, that bad day may turn into your last day."

ADDENDUM (8/19/12): A related news article on the Portland turn-in, illustrating the pro-gun hawkers who offer to buy guns from those turning them in, or profit or "on a principle."

ADDENDUM (8/19/12): Another gun turn-in today, this one in Queens, New York, brought in 509 guns.  From the article:
A total of 509 guns were surrendered at a Queens church on Saturday as part of an effort to clean up street violence in the borough, the NYPD said.
Among the firearms collected in the six-hour buyback event at the New Jerusalem Baptist Church in Jamaica was an AK 47, a TEC-9; and a Calico 9mm with a 50 round magazin, cops said.
Amid a wave of gun violence that plagued the city streets this summer, the NYPD, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown and State Sen. Malcolm Smith hosted a gun buyback initiative. People turning in working handguns, rifles or shotguns received $200 bank cards.
Queens resident Catherine Cruz found the initiative a perfect opportunity to give up her .25-caliber automatic handgun she once considered her “security blanket.”
“I have a 5-year-old granddaughter and I don’t want her to find it,” said Cruz, 53, who added that she used to carry the firearm in her purse every day on her bus commute to work for “protection.” But she stopped carrying it when she got a car.
ADDENDUM (8/20/12): Yet another gun turn-in, in Ocala, Florida, brought in 50 weapons.  From the article:
In four hours Saturday, residents turned in 41 functional handguns, one non-working handgun, two pellet rifles, one pellet gun, two shotguns and two rifles at the Ocala Police Department during the Gun Buy Back program, held at OPD headquarters.
Each functional handgun turned in was exchanged for a $50 Walmart gift card, with a limit of two cards per person.
Non-working handguns and long guns were accepted for disposal.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Guns And Other Weapons In The Airport

Every now and then I hear a report of another stupid gun owner who is caught trying to bring a loaded gun through security at the airport.  Either they are too ignorant and irresponsible to realize they had a gun on them, or they are purposely breaking federal law.  Either way, they should have their gun rights permanently removed.

Consider this recent case of a man who was turned away from the TSA checkpoint because he had a loaded .22-caliber handgun on him, at Portand International Airport.  He was told to go check it into his bag.  Rather than do that, though, he instead decided to hide it in a potted plant in the main lobby, thinking he could retrieve it when he returned from his trip!  Never mind that thousands of people pass through there every day, including families with small children.

Here's an article about two incidents of loaded handguns caught on passengers at Utah airports.

Here's a report from just a couple days ago of an 81-year old man who had a loaded 9mm gun with extra ammo in his luggage, without notifying anyone.

But despite all the reports I've seen, it still shocked me to read the following statistic from a gallery of weapons found so far this year in airport screenings (bolding added):

The TSA reports that it's confiscated 821 firearms in 2012 to date (691 of which were loaded). Some were stowed away in creative places, like in a potted plant or inside stuffed animals.

Some recent guns and ammo confiscated by TSA
OMG!  821 firearms so far this year?  Most of them loaded?  What are people thinking?

They've also confiscated knives, machetes, live and inert grenades, a bazooka round, blasting caps and detonators, and even swords!

I then visited the TSA blog and saw report after report, and image after image, of many of these weapons.

Unfortunately, not all are captured initially, like this woman who took a gun through in her purse, or this businessman who unintentionally took a gun through in his laptop bag (and reported it afterward).  I wonder how many more are never caught.  According to that last link, "up to 70% of tests done at certain airports failed to identify such items."  Yikes!

I'm as annoyed as anyone else at the searches at the security checkpoints.  I used to get quite angry about it.  But now that I know so many dangerous and irresponsible people are trying to get weapons through there, I don't feel quite so bad about it.  I'm glad they were caught!

UPDATE (9/29/12):  The TSA has updated their numbers.  From a New York Times article:

Through Friday, 1,105 guns have been found this year, a pace that is higher than last year’s. In 2011, the total was 1,320, up from 1,123 in 2010, the agency says. 
Security experts attribute the increase to two factors: a rise in gun sales and the sharp growth of so-called right-to-carry laws across the country that significantly relax regulations on carrying guns in many areas of public life, from colleges to hospitals. 
Invariably, according to the T.S.A., travelers at airports with guns in their carry-on bags say they simply forgot they had them. “It’s almost always inadvertent rather than intentional,” said David Castelveter, a spokesman for the agency
Like other professionals in security, law enforcement and firearms safety, Mr. Castelveter was baffled by how anyone could forget that they were carrying a gun. 
“I’m a Vietnam vet, and when I went through training I was taught that my gun was my best friend — and God forbid you should ever lose sight of that fact. I would never, ever not know that I have a gun in my bag.”


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Thomas Caffall – Another Law-Abiding Gun Owner… Until He Wasn’t

Murderer Thomas Caffall, gun nut

Let me introduce to you Mr. Thomas Caffall, Texas gun nut.  Mr. Caffall loved his dog.  He was an ardent conservative and fan of FOX News, Michelle Bachmann, Sarah Palin, and Glenn Beck, was a fan of “Tea Party Patriots,” and was against Obama.  And he was a law-abiding gun owner.  In fact, he LOVED his gunzzz.  In every way he fit the typical gun fetishist.

How do I know this?  Because I went to his Facebook page.  There you can see just how much he loved his guns.  He was very proud of his restored Russian Mosin Nagant rifle, and had many pictures of it.  He also had a picture of his new AK-style assault rifle, a Czech vz. 58, which he bought for $799, no tax, no shipping, from  As he said, “Just picked it up today, can’t wait to try it out on the range.  :)”.  See the screencapture and picture with his comments.  He knew all about the cost it would take to get a fully-automatic machine gun, and seemed to dream of it. 

screenshot of Caffall's assault rifle, with his comments, from his Facebook page

Of course, the gun lobby and their lap dogs want us to think that assault rifles have nothing at all do to with killing large numbers of people.  If you listened to them, you’d think these “sport rifles” were only made to do target shooting and to shoot varmints

Caffall linked to an article advertising that you could get a free AK-47 with the purchase of a truck, in Florida.  “anyone looking for a new car needs to read this!” he wrote.

He had interesting quotes.  One, inaccurately attributed to George Orwell, stated, “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” 

He then quotes Edmund Burke with an “intellectual quote of the day”:  "People crushed by the law, have no hopes but from power. If laws are their enemies, they will be enemies to the law; and those who have much to hope and nothing to lose, will always be dangerous."

As you can see from another screencapture (which is a partial representation), his likes included pages for gun companies and organizations, like the NRA, Mosin-Nagant, Beretta, vz. 58, Glock, Dragunov.

His list of “inspirational people” included snipers Vasily Zaytsev, Simo Hayha, and Carlos Hathcock, and gun inventors like Mikhail Kalashnikov, John Garand, Samuel Colt, and John Browning.

He was also mentally ill and dangerous and a “ticking time bomb”, according to his mother and stepfather, as stated in a news report

"He was crazy as hell," Richard Weaver, gunman Thomas Caffall's stepfather, told Houston station KPRC television.

"At one point, we were afraid that he was going to come up here and do something to his mother and me," Weaver said.

Shawn Kemp, a local acquaintance of Caffall’s, told The Eagle newspaper that he “fits the profile of a dude who might snap.”

Caffall seemed depressed and often talked about guns and war, Kemp told the newspaper.

"I don’t know the guy well, but I’ve been around him enough to know, well, that I’m not surprised at all,” Kemp said, adding that he had heard that Caffall planned to pawn some of his guns to pay his rent. 

"We were hoping he'd kill himself before doing something like this," Richard Weaver said. "We are just devastated for the families this SOB killed."

Even though the parents knew Caffall was a danger to himself and others, thanks to our gun culture there is almost no way they could have had his guns removed, just as the parents of the CafĂ© Racer shooter weren’t able to.

So what we had in Caffall was a man who had immersed himself into the gun culture, purchased many weapons including at least one assault weapon, was saturated with libertarian thought, and was dangerous even to his own parents.

But in America, that’s just fine for owning as many guns as you wish.

Constable Brian Bachmann
Then, yesterday, Constable Brian Bachmann, husband and father of two children and a 20-year veteran of law enforcement, arrived at Caffall’s College Station residence to serve an eviction notice.  Seems Caffall was buying too many guns and not paying his rent.  Caffall snapped and opened fire.

When the 30-minute firefight was over, Constable Bachmann and an innocent bystander, Chris Northcliff, were killed.  Caffall was mortally wounded, dying later.  Towne Holdsworth, who was helping her daughter move nearby, was wounded and is in critical condition.  A second officer was wounded in the calf.  Two other officers were wounded by shrapnel. 

In all, three people, including the shooter, were killed, and four were injured, by a previously law-abiding gun owner who was also mentally ill and armed with an assault weapon.

Was the gun he used the same one he had been so excited about purchasing, as pictured above?

Did he picture himself as a “rough man” standing “ready to do violence” as he had quoted on his Facebook page? 

Did he see himself as “crushed by the law” and an “enemy to the law” as in the Burke quote?

If you were able to go back in time before the shooting and talk to Caffall, would he claim that he owned his weapons for liberty and self-defense?  That owning an assault rifle was some sort of patriotic statement?

Don’t tell that to the victims and their families.  There are too many victims.  We are better than this.

The day of the shooting, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney once again towed the NRA message that no new legislation could help prevent shootings.  To Mitt and the NRA, such shootings are acceptable and unavoidable, and the cost of our "freedom."  But I care to differ.  Better mental health screening and reporting might have removed his guns or kept him from purchasing them and preventing the sale of assault weapons would have limited his lethality.  If our presidential candidates are not interested in creating new laws to reduce the 100,000 shootings a year, then what is their plan?  Do they have one at all?  Go HERE and demand that they answer this important question.

UPDATE:  Constable Bachmann was a police instructor and one-time police officer of the year.  If he can't defend himself against an armed attacker, what does this say about civilian conceal carry gun owners?

Friday, August 10, 2012

How Many Shootings Does It Take?

I just read a blog post at Random Musings, where the author wonders what the “magic number” of gun deaths is to lead to real action.  In his words:

I don't know if anyone from the NRA/gun lobby will read this, or would dare to admit it if they did, but if they happen to do so, I have a couple of questions for them -

How many guns have to be sold before your 
benefactors in the firearms industry find that even their unbridled avarice is met?

How many innocent people have to die before your bloodlust is satiated?

It’s a good question.  When confronted with all the horrifying numbers, the gun extremists write it off as “the cost of freedom,” or attribute all the shootings only to gangs or drug dealers or the random mentally ill loonies out there.  The NRA doesn’t seem to care, as long as the “donations” from gun and ammo manufacturers keep rolling in.

So what does it take for the NRA to agree to stricter gun regulation, as they used to before extremists took over in the late 70s?  You remember, back when the NRA was actually more about gun safety and hunting than it was about politics?  They actually supported and proposed some of the earlier pro-control gun regulations.

How many deaths does it take for our legislators to stop listening to the NRA?

How many deaths does it take for citizens to stand up and demand the legislators pay attention?  After all, the VAST majority of citizens, including gun owners, support stronger regulation, such as background checks for all gun sales, blocking terrorists on the terrorist watch list, and bans on assault weapons and high-cap ammo magazines.

I mean, isn’t it enough already that there are 100,000 people shot a year in America?  That’s 270 people shot each day, in homicides, assaults, suicides, and accidents, and 87 of them die.  33 of them are murdered.  Aren’t those numbers shocking enough?  The gun lobby insists that “an armed society is a polite society” as the bumpersticker slogan says, but we are already the most armed country of them all.  Their way hasn’t worked.

Isn’t it enough that we lead the advanced world in gun-related deaths

…that we have more gun deaths in a year than during any war since WWII, including Vietnam? 

…that there are now more gun deaths in 10 states than car deaths, with other states coming close to even?

.. that we now have multiple mass murders every month, whereas years pass between them in most advanced nations.

So, what will it take??  At what point will our leaders take action to keep guns out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them, such as by demanding background checks for all gun sales, including private sales?  How many mass murders will it take to finally ban assault weapons?  At what point will the background check system actually be strengthened?  At what point will we mandate safe storage of guns in homes with children?

Will it take running gun battles in every town, every week? 

From the City of Houston's video
Will every school and theater have to have an armed guard in every room?

Will every family in America have to lose someone to gun violence first?

Will every city and organization have to make evacuation plans for shootings, as the city of Houston did with a recently produced video?

How much of a war zone are we willing to tolerate?  How much blood will it take?

Or will the gun lobby continue pressing for gun deregulation and more guns in more hands until we’re all dead or living in fortresses?

I want to know, Mr. LaPierre.  How many deaths does it take?

Monday, August 6, 2012

A Statement On The Sikh Temple Shooting

Below is a joint statement put out by the Violence Policy Center, and signed by 32 national groups and leaders who work to prevent gun violence, including Ceasefire Oregon, regarding the recent shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin.

National, State, and Local Gun Violence Prevention Groups Issue Joint Statement on Wisconsin Sikh Temple Shooting 
Washington, DC--Following the second gun massacre in a little over two weeks, this time at a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin leaving six victims dead and others critically wounded, national, state, and local gun violence prevention organizations (see list at bottom) issued the following joint statement: 
“Our deepest sympathies go to all those affected by this terrible tragedy. 
"Once again, a place where communities gather is the site of carnage because of our nation’s unwillingness to face the issue of gun violence.  While our nation reels from yet another mass shooting in less than three weeks, our elected officials offer little beyond sympathy and words of reassurance.  At the same time, the gun industry continues to churn out increasingly lethal weapons with no concern for the role they play in such violence.  The victims and survivors of gun violence--from Aurora to Oak Creek to the next inevitable community--deserve better and demand more.  The lives of the 30,000 Americans who die each year from firearms, their friends and families, and the communities decimated by gun violence must take precedence over the profit-driven goals of the gun industry.  Each of our organizations calls on our elected leaders to take action to stop the next mass shooting.  Congress must listen to those affected by gun death and injury, not those--like the National Rifle Association and the gun industry--who not only make such violence possible, but profit from it.”  
National Organizations
Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and its national network of chapters
Coalition to Stop Gun Violence
Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence
Protest Easy Guns
States United to Prevent Gun Violence
Violence Policy Center 
State and Local Organizations
Arizonans for Gun Safety
Women Against Gun Violence (California)
Ceasefire Maryland
Ceasefire New Jersey (a project of the Coalition for Peace Action)
Colorado Ceasefire
Connecticut Against Gun Violence Education Fund
Georgians for Gun Safety
Gun Violence Prevention Center of Utah
Hawaii Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence
Hoosiers Concerned About Gun Violence
Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence
Maine Citizens Against Handgun Violence
Stop Handgun Violence (Massachusetts)
Northland Brady Chapter (Minnesota)
Million Mom March, Richmond, VA chapter
New Yorkers Against Gun Violence
North Carolinians Against Gun Violence
Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence
Lance Orchid, National Organizing Director, Gun Violence Prevention
Protect Minnesota
Virginia Center for Public Safety
Washington CeaseFire
Wisconsin Anti-Violence Educational Fund