Posts Tagged ‘guns’

Secret service? Local laws? Insurance? What Excuse Will the NRA Use For Allowing Gun-Free Zones At Their Next Annual Meeting? Perhaps the Same One They Use At Their Office

Wednesday, May 9th, 2018

Elliot Fineman
CEO – Founder
National Gun Victims Action Council

 

May 9, 2018

 

The media have been buzzing about the gun-free zones that were provided for President Trump and Vice President Pence when they spoke at the recent NRA annual meeting in Dallas.

 

Many have pointed out the hypocrisy of deeming the President and the Veep only safe in a gun-free zone while wanting schools with young children to be full of guns––as well as public buildings, workplace offices and retail establishments. Even some pro-gun advocates say a large gathering of unvetted, armed people––as many as 40 percent who never went through a background check to determine their mental state or whether they’re a felon––is a recipe for disaster. Banning “good guys” from carrying guns also undercuts the entire pro-gun credo, say gun activists.

 

Yet, the NRA claims that gun-free zones are the reasons mass shootings occur so they must be eliminated. (We observe that mass shootings always occur in areas surrounded by trees so to stop mass shootings perhaps there should be tree-free zones.) But the Secret Service does not agree with the NRA and mandates gun-free zones when the President or Vice President speak. The NRA is only too happy to blame the Secret Service for the gun-free zone requirement but a quick look at other NRA annual meetings shows the gun rights organization is surprisingly tolerant of gun-free zones even though they say such zones are the most dangerous place of all and the prime reason for mass shootings.

 

 

 

For the NRA’s 2012 annual meeting in St. Louis, the NRA warned attendees in a post, “Note: The city of St. Louis [not mindful of the dangers of gun-free zones] prohibits the carrying of firearms at the America’s Center Convention Complex.”

 

Despite the NRA’s conviction about the risk of gun-free zones, Andrew Arulanandam, spokesman for NRA headquarters in Fairfax, VA, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch “the NRA will honor the city ban.”

 

At the NRA’s 2015 meeting in Nashville, the NRA was okay with the Bridgestone Arena, which hosted an NRA performance by country music artist Alan Jackson and comedian Jeff Foxworthy, being a gun-free zone. “Bridgestone Arena prohibits the possession of firearms, and always has,” wrote the editor of BearingArms.com about the gun-free concert venue, sounding a little defensive. “Is it really news that the NRA asks members to follow laws?” (It would seem to “really be news” that the NRA was okay with exposing its members to the gun-free zones.)

 

The NRA was also okay with gun-free eating areas at its 2017 annual meeting in Atlanta. “Firearms will be permitted in the Georgia World Congress Center and the Omni Atlanta Hotel at CNN Center. However, be mindful that no guns are allowed in other areas of the CNN [Center] including the food court and retail shops,” explained the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. But won’t diners be sitting ducks?

 

The CNN Center has its own history of gun violence, reported the Toronto Sun. “In 2007, a gunman shot and killed his ex-girlfriend who worked in an adjoining hotel.

 

In Atlanta, as in Dallas, the Secret Service said those attending the speeches of President Trump and Vice President Pence must leave their guns outside the auditorium, exposing both the President and Vice President to the grave danger of a gun-free zone.

 

Whether “honoring” local laws in St. Louis or asking members to “follow laws” in Nashville keeping its performers safe, the NRA can’t hide its gun-free zone hypocrisy. If they really believed gun-free zones are so dangerous, why would they hold their venues in them?

 

Knowing that guns in an environment make that environment high risk and less safe, the NRA bans guns in its corporate office but wants all other places to allow guns. This will not stand and, in my book to be published at the end of June, you will see how we can stop their hypocritical, vile agenda from moving forward.

 

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Return a Violent Person’s Guns To Him? It Happens All The Time.

Monday, April 23rd, 2018

 

Many are shocked that the Tazewell County, IL Sheriff’s Office returned four guns belonging to Travis Reinking, the Nashville Waffle House suspect, to his father. Reinking’s weapons were taken from him after he was arrested for behaving aggressively outside the White House in July 2017. A month earlier, Reinking threatened someone with an AR-15 while wearing a pink dress, dove into a public pool and exposed himself to others say police records. The father “was advised that he needed to keep the weapons secure and away from Travis” reads the sheriff’s office report. Yet the Office is also saying “Your son is violent and mentally ill but here are his guns.”

 

This is hardly the first time gun-friendly authorities have returned weapons to violent offenders. Early last year, confessed Fort Lauderdale airport shooter, Esteban Santiago, had his gun returned to him and proceeded to kill five and injure eight with it.

 

On Nov. 7, Santiago walked into an Anchorage FBI office telling agents he was experiencing terroristic thoughts and believed he was being influenced by ISIS, according to police reports. He was incoherent and agitated and had a Walther 9mm pistol in his car. He was given a psychiatric evaluation, transferred to the Alaska Psychiatric Institute and released on November 14. On December 8, Anchorage Police returned Santiago’s firearm to him.

 

Even Santiago’s brother, Bryan, was shocked that U.S. authorities would return his gun when it was known that he was increasingly paranoid and hearing voices. He had also been charged with domestic abuse.

 

Then there is Kyle Aaron Huff, who committed what is known as Seattle’s Columbine in 2006. Police in Whitefish, MT, his hometown, seized Huff’s firearms when he shot up a public art installation called “Moose on the Loose” and was charged with destroying art, a felony. But after Huff pleaded guilty to a reduced misdemeanor charge of mischief, not a felony, authorities cheerfully returned his lethal weapons. Huff went on to kill six at a rave afterparty.

 

Like so many mass shooters, Huff stockpiled weapons. In addition to his 12-gauge pistol-grip Winchester 1300 Defender shotgun and a .40-caliber semiautomatic Ruger P944 handgun used at the rave, police found a Bushmaster XM15 E2S rifle, another handgun and several more boxes of ammunition in his truck and more guns and ammunition in his apartment.

 

Finally, there is the case of James Hodgkinson, whose guns were never taken despite St. Clair County, IL sheriff deputies visiting his house at least six times, domestic abuse charges against him and neighbors complaining of him firing a rifle at trees. St. Clair County, IL sheriff deputies just told him to not shoot at trees. He went on to shoot three last June at the Congressional Baseball Game for Charity in Washington D.C.

 

While the NRA bellows, “the real problem is mental illness” after every mass shooting, behind the scenes it works for the rights of mentally ill people to keep their guns or have them returned.

 

 

After the Virginia Tech murders, NRA lobbyists pushed through a gun restoration provision for mentally ill people in national background check laws. “In several ways this bill is better for gun owners than current law,” boasted the NRA website because “certain types of mental health orders will no longer prohibit a person from possessing or receiving a firearm.”

 

Thanks to the gun lobby maneuver, Sam French, a Virginian who was involuntarily committed to a psychiatric facility and told authorities he heard voices, had his right to possess firearms reinstated and his gun returned after a short court hearing in 2009. Why should hearing voices intrude on his “gun rights” bellowed the gun lobby–a question reactivated by the Nashville massacre.

 

WHY WOULD WE EVER TALK TO THEM?

Sunday, April 15th, 2018

April 15, 2018

 

by Elliot Fineman

Founder and CEO

National Gun Victims Action Council  

 

 

It has been two months since the Parkland high school massacre yet shocking, hateful comments continue to surface from public pro-gun figures. Most recently, Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, tweeted that students who marched in the National School Walkout Day should “pick up a history book and you’ll realize what happens when u give up freedoms and why we have them.” To emphasize her idiotic point, she included an image of shoes of Holocaust victims.

 

 

Ms. Thomas should be the one picking up a history book. Instead she displays her utter ignorance by citing the Hitler analogy which has been disproved so many times. In point of fact, had the Jews not had their guns confiscated by the Nazis, there would have been 135,000 Jewish men and young boys who would have had guns (presumably rifles) and, according to Ms. Thomas and the pro-gunners, been able to do what no invaded country such as France, Hungary, Poland, Austria and the Netherlands had been able to do: defeat the might and power of the Third Reich.

 

The absurdity of this position is matched only by the delusional assertion that the students who marched for improving gun safety laws in fact really want to give up their freedoms. (Misguided pro-gun sentiment evidently runs in the family. In 2016, Clarence Thomas broke decades of total silence on the bench to observe that the right to own a gun should not be infringed upon by a mere misdemeanor for domestic violence, thus advocating the absolute right of domestic abusers to purchase and own guns.)

 

But there’s more. Jamie Allman, another distinguished idiot and a conservative TV and radio commentator in the St. Louis area, said that he would use a “hot poker” on Parkland spokesman David Hogg.

 

Not to be undone, Leslie Gibson, a declared Republican candidate for the Maine House of Representatives called Parkland activist Emma Gonzalez a “skinhead lesbian” in a tweet.

 

Better known distinguished idiots also weighed in. Fox News’ Laura Ingraham taunted David Hogg over being rejected from colleges and NRA board member Ted Nugent called the Parkland shooting survivors “liars” and “poor, mushy-brained children” and urged people to “keep your gun handy” to shoot those who agree with them on sight.

 

The inability of pro-gunners to empathize with gun violence survivors but rather to openly attack them defies belief. It is like attacking victims of a plane or train crash who are seeking better transportation safety laws. It is downright ghoulish.

It is reminiscent of the Westboro Baptist Church which dishonored the funerals of U.S. soldiers who died in combat with anti-LGBT accusations and slurs.

 

It is naive to think there can be any point in conversation with pro-gunners like this about gun safety regulations or reform. They have nothing to say and cannot hear. Best of all, we do not need to waste a moment talking to them. We have the numbers (100 million who want gun safety laws versus one million who want none). We can end the gun violence epidemic quickly, on our own. I discuss how to do this in my upcoming book to be released in June.

 

 

Known To Be Violent and Mentally Disturbed, the Parkland MSD High School Killer Passed His Background Check. So Did 81% of Mass Killers Since 1998. What Does This Tell Us About Background Checks?

Thursday, March 1st, 2018

February 28, 2018

by Elliot Fineman

Founder and CEO

National Gun Victims Action Council  

 

The principle discussed below is part of a series excerpted from my book to be published in June 2018 about four simple steps to stop the totality of the gun violence epidemic now and keep our children safe. Note: the steps do not depend on asking/persuading federal lawmakers to do the right things––we know they won’t. The steps will FORCE them to.

 

Two things: 1) Background checks as they exist are seriously flawed. 2) While we need to have a background check for every gun sold, (currently that is not the case) We need a new type of background check––both expanded and comprehensive.

 

For the background check we conduct today, the name of a would-be gun purchaser is run through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS)––the database of prohibited purchasers maintained by the FBI. It includes, among others, felons, domestic abusers and people with adjudicated mental disabilities. If they are not on the list, they pass and can buy a gun(s); if they are on the list they cannot.

 

Sounds simple enough but the reality is the database is missing millions of records.

 

For example, 71 million mental health records of people with serious mental disabilities should be in the NICS database but as of June 2017, there were only 4.5 million. States do not have to submit any prohibited purchaser data and past programs to incentivize them to submit data have met with minimal success.

 

Further, due to HIPAA, patient confidentiality and the potential for reprisal lawsuits, it is not realistic to expect that all the names of people with serious mental disabilities would be entered into the database.

WHAT WOULD AN EXPANDED AND COMPREHENSIVE BACKGROUND CHECK SYSTEM LOOK LIKE? It is a fail-safe system we already use—and have used for decades—for the purchase, sale and transfer of machine guns. Controlled by the National Firearms Act of 1934 every machine gun is registered—and every current machine gun owner or would-be purchaser (or relative to whom the machine gun owner might want to transfer the machine gun including his children) must go through an expanded, comprehensive background check.

 

This includes having to submit fingerprints and a photograph which is kept on file, a criminal record check, examination of local records, interviews with local law enforcement, neighborhood, school and work place acquaintances as well as an interview with the would-be purchaser.

 

Machine guns have not contributed to the gun violence epidemic. The major reason is the requirement for comprehensive background checks which ensure that criminals and people with mental disabilities cannot own or possess them.

 

Further, because there is a federal registry of machine gun owners, should a current owner become mentally disabled, this would be known and their machine gun(s) removed by local law enforcement.

 

Today’s background check system is flawed. Conducting more of them will do little to halt the gun violence epidemic. We need expanded, comprehensive background checks for all gun sales—they work and are clearly constitutional.

 

 

Elliot Fineman holds an engineering degree from MIT and has served as a strategic marketing consultant to Fortune 500 companies including top corporations like Accenture, KPMG and the Boston Consulting Group. Following the murder of his son in 2006 by a paranoid schizophrenic who had legally obtained the gun, he founded National Gun Victims Action Council.

 

National Gun Victims Action Council (NGVAC) is a non-profit network of gun victims, survivors, the faith community and ordinary people leveraging their buying power to change America’s gun laws. NGVAC initiated the successful action that caused Starbucks to change its gun policy. NGVAC pursues novel legal strategies to reduce gun violence and encourages corporate involvement.

 

Shoot the Left Wing Demonstrators Says the NRA…But Buy Our Insurance First

Saturday, July 1st, 2017

 

July 1, 2017

 

By now, most people have seen the creepy, menacing NRA ad by TV and talk radio host Dana Loesch. Over footage of street rioting, she intones:

 

“They use their media to assassinate real news. They use their schools to teach children that their president is another Hitler…[they] smash windows, burn cars, shut down interstates and airports, bully and terrorize the law-abiding — until the only option left is for the police to do their jobs and stop the madness…The only way we stop this, the only way we save our country and our freedom, is to fight this violence of lies with the clenched fist of truth. I’m the National Rifle Association of America, and I’m freedom’s safest place.”

 

No wonder, Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn. tweeted “I think the @NRA is telling people to shoot us.”

 

This is not the first time the NRA has used images of rioting minorities and left wingers to grow members.

 

Ten years ago, an NRA brochure called “Freedom in Peril,” (pictured) leaked to the press, shows an Aryan nation under siege by “illegal alien gangs” and darker peoples and homeowners defending themselves by shooting from their rooftops.

 

The 27 page brochure attacked Hillary Clinton, Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein, Charles Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, Michael Bloomberg, Katie Couric, Michael Moore, George Soros, Rosie O’Donnell and even the United Nations. (“The U.N. represents the world’s wealthiest and most organized enemy of the very freedoms our nation offers to all. They’ve already been successful in orchestrating gun bans in once-free countries like England, Australia, Canada and South Africa.”)

 

PLAYING BOTH SIDES OF THE STREET

 

At NGVAC we have pointed out for five years how the NRA plays both sides of the street—fighting laws to keep “bad guys” from getting guns and then yelling to the rooftop set “the bad guys have guns” to sell more guns.

 

Dana Loesch’s ad is another example of playing both side of the street. Before you shoot those demonstrators says Loesch in a simultaneous ad for Carry GuardTM, buy NRA insurance.

 

“The truth is, right behind your firearm, your second most important self-defense protection is a rock-solid carry policy,” Loesch says. “Today’s America is the most lawsuit-happy culture in the history of the world. And gun owners face the extra threat of widespread bias and misunderstanding. In this environment, if you are going to carry a firearm in self-defense, you have no choice but to find the strongest, most comprehensive coverage from the most trusted name you can find.”

 

After you shoot these demonstrators, the NRA’s Carry GuardTM will provide you “immediate access as needed to supplementary payments for bail, bonds, legal retainer fees, firearm replacement, compensation while in court, psychological support and cleanup costs,” says Loesch.

 

Yes, the same “clenched fist of truth” that is “freedom’s safest place” will also sell you insurance.

Justice Gorsuch—Do Domestic Abusers Have “Gun Rights”?

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

 

Last summer Justice Clarence Thomas broke 10 years of silence to weigh in on the “gun rights” of domestic abusers. Why can’t domestic abusers have guns he asked? “Give me another area where a misdemeanor violation suspends a constitutional right,” he grumbled.

 

 

Weeks later in Pennsylvania, seemingly on cue, Mark Short, despite two prior police reports of domestic violence, legally purchased a gun and killed his wife and their three young children (pictured) two days later.

 

Everyone from criminologists, to law enforcement officers, to psychologists knows domestic violence predicts gun violence and death. But thanks to the gun lobby we allow and enable––actually sit on our hands and wait––imminent murders because of “gun rights.”

 

This week’s San Bernardino killer Cedric Anderson is a case in point. Despite a 30-year history of battery charges and domestic violence allegations, he was not barred from legally buying a gun and killed his wife and a student this week. The phenomenon is increasingly known as gendercide.

 

Just as with Anderson, few were surprised that Marcus Dee was capable of shooting and killing former girlfriend Nadia Ezaldein on Black Friday of 2014 in front of horrified shoppers at Nordstrom’s on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile. He had a long domestic violence history. Six days before the murder, Dee attacked a friend of Ezaldein, causing broken bones. Month’s earlier, court documents reveal the victim’s sister said Dee had “cracked Ezaldein’s ribs, broke her jaw, ripped her clothing, stabbed her jacket with a switch knife, ripped her boots, bruised her lip, threw her clothing out the window and put a gun in her mouth.”

 

Many and perhaps most killers have similar violent histories.

 

“Cho Seung-Hui, the Virginia Tech shooter, was investigated for stalking two female students,” and “Elliot Roger, who killed six people in Isla Vista, California, in 2014, tried to shove several women off a 10-foot ledge at a party and claimed in a ‘manifesto’ that his violence was part of his ‘war on women,’” writes the Slate’s Christina Cauterucci. Esteban Santiago, who killed five at the Fort Lauderdale airport and Omar Mateen, who killed 49 at the Pulse nightclub, were also domestic abusers she writes.

 

“Robert Lewis Dear, the alleged 2015 Planned Parenthood shooter; John Houser, who killed two and injured nine in a movie theater in Lafayette, Louisiana, in 2014; and James Huberty, who killed 21 people at a California McDonald’s in 1984,” all had domestic violence histories as well reports Vox.

 

All six alleged murderers were legal gun owners whose “constitutional right” to own a gun could not be taken away just because they wanted to kill says the gun lobby and Justice Thomas.

 

If victims of domestic violence were men, would the male dominated gun lobby ignore the body count? In one week in September 2015, eight women were shot by intimate partners and five died.

 

Hours after receiving probation for violating a domestic violence protection order, James Terry Colley, Jr. shot and killed his wife Amanda Cloaninger and her friend Lindy Dobbins in St. Augustine, Florida. Two days later, Blessing Okereke was fatally shot by her husband in Dallas. The following day, Nuria Kudlach was fatally shot in Pennsylvania and her husband charged with murder. Hours later, Sonja Wells Raine was fatally shot on her job in Pascagoula, MS by her enraged husband. Two other women were shot by their partners but survived.

 

Justice Gorsuch—will you find that “gun rights” trump the mere misdemeanors that lead to women’s deaths like your colleague Justice Thomas? Will you enable gendercide?

 

 

States to Repeal Drivers License Training Requirements–Inspired by New Gun Bills

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

 

 

February 22, 2017

 

by Elliot Fineman

 

 

(satire) Several U.S states plan to repeal training requirements to obtain motor vehicle licenses including the need to pass a road and written test. “We got the idea from gun reciprocity legislation pending in Congress which allows someone licensed to carry a gun in one state to carry in any state,” said Butch McGill, Illinois Secretary of State. “Since some states require no training whatsoever, allowing people who have never even fired a gun to carry a gun, we realized that training requirements to operate a motor vehicle are also unnecessary. People can be trusted to train themselves with no risk to the public whether cars or guns.”

 

A growing number of states are passing laws that that make mandatory training requirements for carrying a gun illegal and states are moving in the same direction with motor vehicle operation. “The government should not deem it necessary to micromanage the citizen exercise of essential rights,” says the NRA, quoted on the Wisconsin Gun Owners Organization web site. Citizens “are capable of deciding for themselves that attending firearms training is the responsible thing to do.”

 

“Training requirements are a ruse by a tyrannical government to eventually confiscate all guns and cars,” said Chuck Hunter, head of Guns Everywhere All the Time, a national, grassroots organization headquartered in Waco, TX. Earl Singleton, executive director of Cars for Tots, in Defiance, MO concurs. “Requiring people who carry guns in public to know how to handle or shoot their weapons is a stark example of government overreach as are driver training requirements,” said Singleton.

 

Not everyone agrees with the states’ move to drop training requirements and allow citizens to train themselves. “This is appalling,” said Betty Lou Williamson who has worked as a clerk in the Illinois Department of Motor Vehicles for 27 years and previously worked in the driver testing facility in Brownsville itself.

 

“People who don’t even know where the gas pedal is can now be driving down the street, endangering life and limb. People who have never used a car’s brake or turned right or left will now be driving down the street. What is the Secretary of State’s office thinking?”

 

In a short interview, Secretary McGill dismissed such criticism. “On the basis of pending gun reciprocity bills, we now realize that requiring training to operate a motor vehicle is a violation of citizens’ rights and likely will lead to car confiscation.” The age requirement for a drivers license remains said McGill.

 

 

 

Elliot Fineman

CEO – Founder

National Gun Victims Action Council

www.gunvictimsaction.org/donate

www.gunvictimsaction.org

 

Elliot Fineman, NGVAC CEO,  is available as a gun violence prevention media expert.

 

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.


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