Posts Tagged ‘Chapel Hill’

Don’t Ask These Parents About Guns On Campus

Saturday, August 20th, 2016

It happened seven times in one month in 2013–gun scares on U.S. college campuses. Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana was locked down for hours while Muncie and Indiana State police searched campus buildings. On the same day, the library at Bridgewater State University in Bridgewater, Massachusetts was evacuated due to a gun scare.

 

Then, in the same month, a disassembled AR-15 rifle, .40-caliber Glock handgun, ammunition for both and body armor were found in a dorm room at Northern Illinois University (where Steven Kazmierczak fatally shot five in 2008) and Central Connecticut State University, Indiana University, Wingate University and A&T State University were locked down from gun threats.

 

The campus shootings continued–at Seattle Pacific University and the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2014; at Umpqua Community College in 2015—as did the gun lobby’s agenda to arm U.S. college campuses. This summer, 50 years after sniper Charles Whitman shot 49 from the University of Texas clock tower, the university complied with a new Texas state law allowing concealed firearms in university buildings. And this week, Attorney General Chris Koster, the Democratic nominee for Missouri governor, filed a lawsuit supporting a University of Missouri professor’s desire to bring a concealed weapon on campus.

 

Except for bars, is there any worse place to have guns? College students are known for their high drug and alcohol use and extreme emotional states including suicidal thoughts. Then there are academic rivalries. In 2014, Purdue University teaching assistant Cody Cousins shot and killed teaching assistant Andrew Boldt in an electrical engineering classroom on the campus. Cousins had 17 university counseling appointments and was treated for amphetamine abuse but legally purchased his gun a week before the murder.

 

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Earlier this summer, UCLA Ph.D student Mainak Sarkar shot and killed William Scott Klug, a much loved professor. Press reports said Sarkar had a “hit list” of other professors he planned to kill and also shot and killed his wife. Like Cousins, Sarkar was known for suspicious and erratic behavior—and like Cousins he was a legal gun owner.

 

No wonder University of Oklahoma President David Boren says, “Placing guns on campus, except in the hands of highly trained law enforcement officers and professionals, would be a serious mistake. It would lead only to tragic results.” No wonder the American College Personnel Association “firmly opposes” guns on college campuses.

 

Of course the gun lobby wants to arm campuses so “good guys with guns can stop bad guys with guns.” No matter that the lobby arms bad guys through blocking universal background checks and tougher trafficking laws and that the last 22 mass shooters obeyed gun laws perfectly and were legal gun owners.

 

“It takes a good guy with a gun to stop a bad guy with a gun” is an insulting and self-serving fantasy that sells guns, fills the morgues and protects no one. If it were true, how were 18 Dallas and Baton Rouge police officers shot last month? How were servicemen at Chattanooga recruitment stations shot last year when they were armed and shot back? Instead of admitting that terrorists, haters and cop killers can and do buy guns, the gun lobby yells we need more guns for “protection.” And now it is bringing its bloody agenda to college campuses.

 

The Year in Gun Massacres: More Bloodshed in More Places

Tuesday, December 29th, 2015

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Guns Have Feelings Too Says the Gun Lobby

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

 

Many have observed that in defending “gun rights,” the gun lobby helps the very bad guys it says it is against. Exhibit A is blocking private sale background checks so criminals can buy guns at gun shows–and do. Exhibit B is the 2004 Tiahrt amendments which block ATF from requiring yearly dealer inventory despite the tens of thousands of “lost” or “stolen” guns that become crime guns.

 

Of course the NRA obstructionism is because universal background checks will lead to “government confiscation” but arming criminals also sells guns to “good guys” because, well, the criminals have guns!

 

Exhibit C is laws, written by the “bill mill” ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) and passed in a growing number of states making it illegal to destroy guns that police seize, often from crime scenes. Yes, the NRA wants to save guns on “death row” because they are “valuable property.”

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The NRA says fears that guns will go back to criminals is “absurd” and if police resold seized guns at a discount it would help lower-income Americans in high-crime areas. But guns resold by police are used in crimes including crimes in which law enforcers are shot says CNNMoney.

 

The new “Don’t Destroy” laws send police out to “face the same guns they risked their lives to get off the street,” says Chattanooga Police Chief Fred Fletcher. Hennepin County, MN Sheriff Richard Stanek agrees.

 

NRA spokesperson Jennifer Baker says seized guns are sold to “law-abiding citizens,” not criminals. But the Charleston, Chattanooga, Chapel Hill, Roanoke, Lafayette, Umpqua, Navy Yard, Fort Hood, Santa Barbara, Tucson, Aurora, and Virginia Tech shooters were all legal gun owners as are most mass shooters. Feel better? Baker also says the reason for destruction of seized guns is that anti-gun violence groups want to “want to get rid of all guns.”

 

It is hard to believe the Constitution-focused, “patriotic” gun lobby is so unabashedly pro-criminal and anti-law enforcement. In addition to releasing crime guns back to the street, it has pushed laws that ban gun buy-backs, a modest but effective way for family members to remove household guns. To demonstrate its contempt for law enforcement, gun victims and gun regulation, Guns Save Life in Champaign IL vowed to sabotage a Chicago buy-back this week by turning in inoperable and rusty guns. “We will be delighted to transact business once more with do-gooders in Chicago,” said its executive director.

 

With lethal shootings in church, schools, on US highways and even during newscasts, the public space is no longer safe. We have asked President Obama to declare a state of emergency as he did in 2009 when the swine flu became a daily, public health threat.

 

 

Sign here

tinyurl.com/nshoqg3

 

 

These mass shooters have “rights” says the gun lobby

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015

 

One of the gun lobby’s biggest assets is the public’s short memory. Who remembers that Army Specialist Ivan Lopez shot 18 and killed 3 at Fort Hood last year? People barely remember that Alison Parker and Adam Ward were killed on-camera six weeks ago during a newscast.

 

This summer’s bloodshed in a church, movie theaters and at recruitment stations followed by shooting deaths on three US campuses in one week has roused politicians out of their deep gun denial. Clearly, a Congress that thought universal background checks, an assault weapons ban and better trafficking laws were too extreme after Sandy Hook, won’t be swayed by fifty new bereaved parents of slain college kids.

 

Still, there is a big difference between President Obama taking “executive actions” as politicians and anti-gun violence groups urge and invoking a true state of emergency. When the country is faced with large-scale danger, the President can declare a National State of Emergency which allows bypass of federal laws to protect citizens. During the swine flu epidemic in 2009, the President suspended laws governing hospital procedures, patient treatment and federal funding to save lives, as 20,000 were hospitalized and 1,000 died.

 

The gun lobby maintains that gun laws don’t work because “criminals don’t obey laws” but it is one of the lobby’s most lethal lies. The Virginia Tech, Northern Illinois, Tucson, Santa Barbara, Navy Yard, Fort Hood and Aurora killers were legal gun owners as were the recent Charleston, Chattanooga, Lafayette, Roanoke, Roseburg and Flagstaff murder suspects. In fact, most mass shooters have no trouble buying gun after legal gun. (We don’t know about the gunman who killed a Texas Southern University student the same day as the NAU Flagstaff shooting, because he is still at large.)

 

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Not only do mass shooters follow gun laws, there is a chilling intentionality to their murders. Purdue University student Cody Cousins who shot and killed a teaching assistant in a classroom last year, legally purchased his gun a week before the murder. Aaron Alexis bought his legal gun at Sharpshooters in Lorton, VA two days before he killed 12 at the Washington Naval Yard in 2013.

 

Yet according to the gun lobby (and the pols in its thrall), gun lovers with arsenals and stockpiled ammo, who watch violent videos all day and issue social media threats have “rights” until they shoot our kids. On the tip of a woman whose former boyfriend was collecting strobe and laser enhanced assault weapons despite a domestic violence conviction, NGVAC notified the Glendale, AZ and Henderson, NV police departments both of whom told us he had “gun rights” until he killed. What?

 

When mentally unbalanced and homicidal gun enthusiasts can buy weapon after legal weapon for their mass shootings, the nation is beyond the need for “executive actions.” It is time to declare a state of emergency.

 

Tell President Obama it is time to declare a state of emergency–before the next copycat mass shooting.

 

tinyurl.com/nshoqg3

Your Brain On Guns

Monday, March 30th, 2015

In “My Month With a Gun,” anti-gun violence activist and author Heidi Yewman describes an encounter with a suspicious man in a parking garage stairwell.
 
“I thought about the 9mm in my purse as I clumsily continued down the stairs in my skirt and heels. He followed me,” she writes. “I thought: ‘Should I pull the gun out? Should I point it at him?’ My heart racing, we finally got to the lobby door, where the man simply passed by me. I’d grown paranoid. He wasn’t the bad guy I perceived him to be, and the gun did not make me safe.”
 
“It’s a good thing a gun was present or a heated argument could have broken out,” goes an old joke. But time and time again, the presence of a gun escalates everyday anger, fear and suspicion into lethal events.
 
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Who can forget the three Muslim students killed last month in Chapel Hill allegedly over a parking space? If the alleged perpetrator Craig Hicks weren’t a gun lover, a fistfight might have broken out.
 
Last week in Hudson, Florida, 12-year-old boy allegedly shot his 6-year-old brother to death, wounded his older brother in the leg and then turned the gun on himself. First reports said the boys were arguing over how to cook dinner.
 
Barbara Campochiaro, sister of Helen Campochiaro, the mother of the boys told the Tampa Bay Times that her sister owned a firearm and the children “were raised with gun safety.” As happens with chilling regularity, the gun in the home for “protection” was used against its own occupants.
 
Also last week, a Houston woman driving to work was shot in the head after she honked at another driver, police said. Maybe the shooter felt threatened–the honker could have been a bad guy. Maybe he was standing his ground. The woman is in critical condition at a local hospital, with bullet fragments lodged in her brain.
 
What if every time you were mad enough to kill, you could? Add guns to a road rage incident or cooking dispute and that is exactly what happens.
 
Join our action to tell corporate America to get off the “sidelines” and take a stand against gun violence including the “can’t miss” sniper rifle sold to civilians. When corporations want sane gun laws, we will have sane gun laws. Follow us at @GunVictimsAct


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