Posts Tagged ‘guns’

President Trump—To Keep Us Safe Shouldn’t We Ban Terror Suspects On the No-Fly List From Legally Buying Guns in the U.S.?

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

by Elliot Fineman

CEO

National Gun Victims Action Council

 

 

February 1, 2017

 

President Trump, on June 15, four days after the biggest mass shooting in U.S. history in Orlando you tweeted, “I will be meeting with the NRA, who has endorsed me, about not allowing people on the terrorist watch list, or the no-fly list, to buy guns.” You were absolutely right. The “terrorist loophole” as the legality of terror suspects buying guns has been termed is a huge and constant threat to all Americans.

 

 

During your September 26 debate, five weeks after the massacre, you told Hillary Clinton “I agree with you,” and that “I think we have to look very strongly at no-fly lists and watch lists.” Again you were right. The “No Fly List,” maintained by the United States federal government’s Terrorist Screening Center (TSC) contains the names of an estimated 109,000 people. All these people cannot buy a plane ticket—they are considered too dangerous and too much of a threat—but they can legally buy any guns they want including assault weapons.

 

The “No Fly List” is a smaller version of the “Terror Watch List” estimated to include as many as 800,000 names. According to the Government Accountability Office, people on the Terrorist Watch List pass their background checks 91 percent of the time!

 

Blocking potential terrorists from entering this country as your immigration ban is designed to do does not protect us from suspected terrorist who are already in the country and can legally buy all the guns they want.

 

Despite the Orlando bloodshed, legislation to close the “terror loophole” failed in Congress and the nation still remains at great risk. It is a positive sign that a bill blocking anyone on federal terrorism watch lists from buying guns in Wyoming was introduced this week. “We need to do something about people who are going to attack us getting weapons to do it,” said co-sponsor Sen. James Anderson, R-Casper.

 

President Trump, to protect us from terrorist assaults please issue an an executive order closing the “terrorist loophole” today. You are the only one who can keep us safe.

 

 

Gun-Free Zones Under Donald Trump

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

 

by Elliot Fineman
CEO – Founder
National Gun Victims Action Council

 

December 22, 2016

 

While campaigning for office this summer, Donald Trump, the NRA’s candidate, blamed gun violence on “gun-free zones.” For example, the 90 who died in the Bataclan theater in Paris last year would be alive today if they had been armed he said. (He did not explain how, in the dark, the 1,000 people in the audience—having pulled their guns out—would know the good guys holding guns from the bad—and not shoot each other, or innocent bystanders. Nor did he explain how untrained carriers would shoot accurately when studies show that fully trained police officers in the U.S. miss 7 out of 10 shots.)

 

Nor would the Charlie Hebdo staff, also gunned down in Paris, have stopped the bad guys if they had been armed admitted a pro-gun group that restaged the massacre in Dallas a week after the January 7, 2015 shootings. At least nine states have now passed laws allowing civilian carriers to have no training at all—it’s an infringement of “gun rights”—yet carriers without any skills are expected to keep environments safe.

 

Trump also blamed the 2015 murders of four Marines and a Navy sailor by Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez at Chattanooga military posts on gun-free zones though he was embarrassingly wrong. (Military Times says, “At least two service members involved in the Chattanooga shooting were carrying personal weapons during the attack, in possible violation of current military rules, and unsuccessfully returned fire in an attempt to stop the homicidal gunman.”)

 

Trump and the gun lobby are shockingly silent when they can’t blame violence on “gun-free zones” as in the shooting of 18 police officers last summer in Baton Rouge and Dallas. Weren’t they “good guys with guns”?

 

Gun-Free Zones Provide The Safest Environments

 

Trump and the gun lobby are also shockingly silent on the most well-established gun-free zones in the world—corporate boardrooms and headquarters. No major corporation in the U.S.—including the NRA— permits guns in its corporate headquarters and boardrooms. Why? Because guns in an environment make that environment dangerous.

 

Metal detectors, guards and secure building floors thwart any gun carriers from getting near corporate officers. When was the last time anyone heard about a shooting in those very dangerous “gun-free zones” known as corporate headquarters?

 

Of course, virtually all of these same corporations that shield their officers from gun risks allow their employees and customers to face them by permitting guns in their stores and outlets.

 

Yelling “gun-free zone” lets zealots ignore the element of surprise that kills so many heroic law enforcers. Instead, they pretend that everyday armed citizens can do what law enforcers do. President Reagan’s own highly trained Secret Service couldn’t stop him being shot—but armed teachers, students and school staff will stop shooters? Dream on, gun advocates.

 

Carrying Guns Does Not Provide Self-Defense

 

We at NGVAC have tested gun self-defense with 77 volunteers at the Prince George’s County police department in Maryland with Mount St. Mary’s University crime researchers in the most exhaustive study of gun self-defense to date. Civilians, even with their guns drawn (so they would not lose time retrieving them from holsters), were unable to approach the accuracy and judgment of trained police officers in all scenarios—including highly trained civilians. They were “killed” despite their weapons, failed to stop the bad guys and even “shot” at bad guys who were unarmed.

 

Civilians didn’t even take cover reported the Washington Post on our research. “They didn’t attempt to issue commands to their assailants. Their trigger fingers were either too itchy — they shot innocent bystanders or unarmed people, or not itchy enough — they didn’t shoot armed assailants until they were already being shot at.”

 

In Trump’s and the NRA’s upside-down world, gun-free zones are the cause of gun violence not guns: more guns in more places make us safer they say. Yet numerous studies show just the opposite is true—but, of course, those are only facts.

 
National Gun Victims Action Council
www.gunvictimsaction.org/donate

www.gunvictimsaction.org

 

Oklahoma City Airport Shooting Death Was Workplace Violence

Thursday, November 17th, 2016

 

Most people remember the San Bernardino holiday party massacre and the on-camera Roanoke shootings of TV crew members last year. But they do not necessarily think of them as workplace shootings–which they were.

 

As many as 800 people die a year from workplace violence in the US, 80 percent from guns. This week, Southwest Airlines employee Michael Winchester, father of Kansas City Chiefs long snapper James Winchester, became the latest casualty of a workplace fatal shooting at Oklahoma City airport. Police say the murderer was Lloyd Dean Buie (pictured, courtesy of AP), a disgruntled former Southwest Airlines employee seeking revenge.

OKC airport killing of Southwest Airlines employee likely workpl

 

Since the early 2000’s, the NRA has sought an armed workplace. It’s an extension of “the current Castle Doctrine” it says. Letting “good guys” on the job defend themselves against “bad guys” is so important, it has pushed through laws in Indiana and North Dakota that allow employees to sue their employers if asked about gun possession. In North Dakota, the NRA pushed through a law banning employers from asking if employees’ vehicles parked on company property have weapons in them and a law in Georgia that bars employers from making employment conditional on not bringing guns to work.

 

There’s just one problem with the NRA workplace agenda. It is the employees doing the shootings–not “bad guy” criminals!

 

Months before the San Bernardino and Roanoke shootings in 2015, employees at a Moorestown, New Jersey security company and at the Sioux Steel Co. in Lennox, South Dakota killed co-workers. The year before, an enraged UPS employee wearing his uniform killed three in Inglenook, Alabama, an employee shot and killed his supervisor at the Renaissance Ross Bridge Golf and Resort Spa in Hoover, Alabama and an employee shot and killed the CEO of ArrowStream, a top tech company in Chicago’s downtown. In 2013, a Silicon Valley engineer was found guilty of fatally shooting three executives at a semiconductor startup on the day he was fired.

 

2012 was also a bloody year. A fired employee at a Minneapolis sign company went on a workplace shooting rampage that left five dead and three injured. Lawrence Jones, an employee at a Fresno chicken processing plant, shot and killed co-workers. Jones “walked up to 32-year-old Salvador Diaz in the grinding room, put the handgun to the side of his head and pulled the trigger,” reported the Associated Press.

 

Needless to say business owners, property owners and human resource professionals see the deadly danger of “bring your guns to work.” The Florida Retail Federation, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, Volkswagen, Caterpillar, Bridgestone and FedEx have all spoken out about the gun lobby’s workplace gun agenda. “Guns are inappropriate in our workplaces and workplaces include parking lots. We control those,” said the Florida Retail Federation. “Possession of firearms in the workplace or on company property is strictly prohibited,” said Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida which knows a little about the medical costs of gun violence.

 

Still, ask the NRA what causes gun violence including workplace and it will say “bad guys” who “don’t obey gun laws” despite the fact that 85 percent of mass shooters are legal gun owners and Southwest employee Lloyd Dean Buie who killed Michael Winchester this week was himself a legal gun owner.

Shot By Your Own Gun? Gun Advocates Don’t Want to Talk About It

Saturday, September 3rd, 2016

It has been more than two years since the Rev. Kenneth Walker was killed in Phoenix with a .357-caliber gun owned by his fellow priest Rev. Joseph Terra. Weeks later, New Jersey resident Stephen McMahon was killed with his own gun after an altercation outside his home. The same week minister Donald Frazier was killed with his own weapon during a botched robbery attempt at his home on the Fourth of July in suburban Houston. During a struggle, the intruder grabbed Frazier’s gun and shot him with it said authorities. Neighbors said they thought the gunshots were fireworks.

 

It is anathema to gun advocates but heavily armed “good guys” are often killed by “bad guys” anyway, sometimes with their own guns. In January of 2013, Frank Petro, longtime owner of Frank’s Gun & Taxidermy Shop was killed at his gun dealership in Conemaugh, PA. with his own gun. The next day, Keith Ratliff, business manager of the popular YouTube gun show FPSRussia was shot and killed in Carnesville, GA while surrounded with his guns. Ratliff’s show, which featured his friend Kyle Myers showing off the fire power of weapons and triggering explosions while faking a Russian accent, was viewed by millions. The next month “American Sniper” Chris Kyle, arguably the nation’s best shot, was shot and killed on a gun range—not exactly a gun-free zone.

 

When asked how gun experts and enthusiasts could be victims of the “bad guys” they are armed against, gun advocates always cite the element of “surprise” as if that weren’t the definition of gun crime. Do they think criminals will yell “draw” from a block away like the old West?

 

When it comes to armed people killed with their own guns, pro-gunners especially don’t want to talk about women. That is because telling women to “arm themselves too” is the way the gun lobby justifies its aggressive promotion of domestic abuser “gun rights.” Both Michigan and Louisiana have weighed “gun rights” against the rights of women to not be killed by intimate partners and SCOTUS Justice Clarence Thomas actually broke his decades long silence to weigh in on the issue. “Give me another area where a misdemeanor violation suspends a constitutional right,” he said, suggesting domestic abusers shouldn’t lose their ability to carry guns.

 

domestic

 

Yet death at the hands of an armed, irate intimate partner is a leading cause of women’s deaths in the U.S. A year ago, Amanda Cloaninger and her friend Lindy Dobbins in St. Augustine, FLA were shot and killed by her husband hours after he received probation for violating an order of protection. Two days later, Blessing Okereke was shot and killed by her husband in the Bank of America tower in Dallas. The following day, Nuria N. Kudlach was fatally shot at her home in State College, PA– her husband was charged—and hours later Sonja Wells Raine was fatally shot on her job in Pascagoula, MS by her husband. Also shot by enraged husbands during the same week last summer but not killed were Francisca Jew at a donut shop in Devine, TX and an unidentified Arlington, WA woman.

 

Pro-gun lawmakers rely on the public’s short memory to avoid passing new guns laws. After 18 police officers were shot this summer by legal gun owners who passed their background checks despite clear red flags they went on vacation, hoping we will forget. After the Orlando massacre—the worst in U.S. history—they refused to even ban terrorist suspects from buying guns. Like domestic abusers, terrorist suspects apparently have “gun rights.”

Dangerous People Who Should Not Have Guns Routinely Pass Their Brady Background Checks. What Can Be Done?

Sunday, August 28th, 2016

By Elliot Fineman

CEO – Founder
National Gun Victims Action Council

 

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Fund Memorializes Mom, 3 Kid

Since the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) was established, FBI data show that 222 million Brady background checks were conducted from 1998 to 2015. Of those 2.4 million (1.2%) were blocked.

 

We are told to take comfort from these data but what we are not told is how many of the 220 million that were not blocked should have been. (The NRA has made sure these data cannot be collected.)

 

Over 85% of Mass Killers Pass Their Background Checks

 

According to Mother Jones magazine, of 83 mass shootings since 1981, all but 12 were legal gun owners meaning that 71 (over 85%) had passed their Brady background check.

 

Recent high-profile murderers who passed their Brady background checks include the Orlando, Dallas and Baton Rouge shooters and the Tucson, Aurora, Fort Hood, Navy Yard, Santa Barbara, Charleston, Planned Parenthood, Chattanooga, Kalamazoo, Roanoke, Umpqua, and Lafayette shooters.

 

Purchasers With a History Of Violence, Domestic Abuse and Anger Issues Consistently Pass Their Background Checks.

 

Almost daily we hear the toll of gun owners who passed their background checks but unleashed gun violence at the workplace, on the highway or upon their intimate partners.

 

Megan Short, 33, (pictured with children) recently murdered along with her three children in Sinking Spring Borough, PA was trying to leave an abusive relationship when the shocking violence happened.

 

Her husband went to a licensed gun shop in Lancaster County and purchased a .38-caliber handgun and a stock of ammunition two days after his wife expressed fears of her wellbeing to police.

 

Homicidal, and with two prior police reports for domestic violence, Short nevertheless passed his background check and committed the murders.

 

A year ago, in Roanoke, VA a clearly mentally deranged applicant—known to have a history of violence and anger control issues—purchased a gun two weeks before killing two reporters as they were broadcasting.

 

What Can Be Done— “Brady Plus” Background Checks

 

What will stop this carnage? Real background checks—perhaps to be called “Brady Plus” background checks—that should be as thorough as background checks conducted for adoptions.

 

Models of “Brady Plus” background checks already exist—in the U.S. to buy a machine gun and in the U.K. to own or purchase guns in general.

 

As I wrote on November 22, 2015 (Gun Control We Actually Do Today– And Have Done For Decades- And It Works. What A Surprise!)

 

“…every machine gun is registered— and every current machine gun owner or would-be purchaser or relative the machine gun owner might want to transfer the machine gun to— including their children—must go through a full (total) background check.

 

This includes having to submit fingerprints and a photograph which are kept on file, a criminal record check, examination of local records, interviews with local law enforcement, a character evaluation including neighborhood acquaintance interviews, work place interviews and personal interviews.”

 

Real Background Checks Work

 

Because of these thorough U.S. background checks, there have not been any machine gun incidents (shootings/murders) in decades. They are Exhibit A for the efficacy of real background checks.

 

“Brady Plus” Background Checks Can Only Happen if President Obama Declares A State Of Emergency Due To The Gun Violence Epidemic.

 

“Brady Plus” background checks are not going to happen at the congressional level. To issue the executive order that such real background checks would require, President Obama must first declare a National State of Emergency due to the gun violence epidemic. It is essential you get friends, family and people in your world to sign our petition calling on President Obama to act now.

 

Elliot Fineman
CEO – Founder
National Gun Victims Action Council
www.gunvictimsaction.org/donate
www.gunvictimsaction.org

Trump’s “Enemies” List, like the NRA’s, Keeps Growing

Monday, July 25th, 2016

 

“It’s the temperament, stupid!” Many who fear a Trump presidency are less worried about his policies than his “attack back” reflex which is his most distinguishing characteristic.

 

When provoked, Trump has attacked everyone from news outlets/reporters (including Fox News) to leaders in his own party like governors Scott Walker, Rick Scott and Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain. He has even attacked mega donor Charles Koch, Karl Rove (once the Republican party “architect”) and federal judges. Does he even think before he fires?

 

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In his “get even” reprisal reflex Trump is just like the gun lobby he has recently* come to embrace. (*In 2015, his Chicago Trump International Hotel and Tower sported a “no guns” sign.) The gun lobby is notorious for shooting its wounded and taking no prisoners.

 

Does anyone remember what happened to outdoors personality Jim Zumbo when he said this about military style weapons in 2007: “Maybe I’m a traditionalist, but I see no place for these weapons among our hunting fraternity. I’ll go so far as to call them ‘terrorist’ rifles,” he wrote on a blog. “We don’t need to be lumped into the group of people who terrorize the world with them.”

 

Zumbo was promptly called a “turncoat” by his brethren. He was stripped of his Outdoors Network TV show, Outdoor Life magazine position and his relationship with Remington Arms. His TV show was restored after he issued this offensive recantation. “I’ll do all I can to educate others who are, or were, as ignorant as I was about ‘black’ rifles and the controversy that surrounds them,” he vowed. “My promise to you is that I’ll learn all I can about these firearms, and by the time this week is out, I’ll order one.” In the words of George Orwell, Zumbo loved Big Brother, too.

 

Then there was the termination and resignation of editors at Guns & Ammo magazine in 2013 for daring to call for mandatory gun-owner training–a clear violation of “gun rights” said the gun lobby. Why should people carrying lethal weapons know how to handle or shoot them? The government “should not deem it necessary to micromanage the citizen exercise of essential rights,” said the NRA.

 

And how about these reprisals in Florida? The NRA launched a rabid campaign calling Republican state lawmaker Charles McBurney ”unfit” to be a circuit court judge in the Jacksonville area. His “crime”? When chairing the House Judiciary Committee, he did not bring a bill up for vote that would have strengthened Florida’s “stand your ground” law.

 

A few years before that, lawmaker Juan-Carlos Planas, who had served in the Florida House, opposed a bill allowing gun owners to leave weapons in their cars at work. Many employers and property owners oppose guns stored on their property for obvious reasons from insurance and accidents to workplace beefs and deliberate violence. But, by defending property owner rights, Planas was shocked to receive a grade of “D” from the NRA.

 

“I went to Marion Hammer [a fierce gun lobbyist] and was like, ‘How the hell can you name me anti-gun?’” he recounts. “She was like, ‘You earned that rating.’” They are no doubt the same words Trump says to those on his growing enemies list.

 

 

 

 

 

What If Gun Violence Were Spread By Mosquitos?

Monday, February 15th, 2016

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February 15, 2016
 
It took less than two weeks for President Obama to request $1.8 billion from Congress to fight the Zika virus. (more…)

Shooting at Aurora, CO Starbucks—No Gun “Requests” Not Enough

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

starbucksphoto610_custGuns
February 3, 2016
 
Last weekend in Aurora, Colorado a juvenile was rushed to the hospital after a shooting at a Starbucks. (The same Aurora where 82 were shot at the movies.) Police said there were no arrests or suspects. Was it an “accident”? (more…)

MORE RUSSIAN ROULETTE AND NOW IT’S ON OBAMA AND IT IS NOT EXECUTIVE ACTIONS

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

by Elliot Fineman
CEO National Gun Victims Action Council
December 2, 2015

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(more…)

A Time for Mourning… Or A Time To Promote An Absurd Pro-Gun Fanatic Position?

Monday, November 16th, 2015

Paris, France
by Elliot Fineman
CEO National Gun Victims Action Council

November 16, 2015
 
I was not going to write anything about guns in this week’s update. My only comment was going to offer my complete and heartfelt sympathy to the French people who lost loved ones in the unthinkable Friday evening massacre and to express my deep anguish about the lives cut short by the madness of ideological fanatics.
 
(more…)


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