Posts Tagged ‘homicide’

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?

 

 

People With Mental Illness Buying Guns? The NRA is Okay with It

Saturday, October 15th, 2016

It is no secret that many mass shooters have severe psychiatric illnesses at the time of their crimes. From Virginia Tech, Aurora and Tucson, to the Navy Yard, Umpqua, Roanoke and Orlando shootings, most shooters exhibited clear mental illness before their deeds.

 

What is a secret is that while the gun lobby says the “real problem” behind gun violence is mental illness, it actually works–stealthily- behind the scenes to restore the “gun rights” of people with severe mental illness.

 

 

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After the Virginia Tech murders, NRA lobbyists were successful in pushing through a provision in the NICS [National Instant Criminal Background Check System] 2007 amendments that allows the restoration of gun rights of mentally ill people if they “will not be likely to act in a manner dangerous to public safety” and if “the granting of the relief would not be contrary to the public interest.”

 

The NRA, in a newsletter to its followers, did not hide the fact that the maneuver was a con job that looked like tightened gun access but actually did the opposite–improved access to guns for people with mental illness.

 

“In several ways this bill is better for gun owners than current law,” read the NRA website. “Under H.R. 2640, certain types of mental health orders will no longer prohibit a person from possessing or receiving a firearm. Examples are adjudications that have expired or been removed, or commitments from which a person has been completely released with no further supervision required. Also excluded are federal decisions about a person’s mental health that consist only of a medical diagnosis, without a specific finding that the person is dangerous or mentally incompetent.”

 

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”?

 

Another man who was involuntarily hospitalized in a psychiatric facility because of a meth addiction also had his “gun rights” restored, reported the Oregonian. He soon had a “new XDM Springfield handgun at his side,” wrote the paper. Nice.

 

Reject These Gun Lobby Lies

 

The U.S. gun violence epidemic which takes 90 lives a day, 31 from homicides, is predicated on key gun lobby lies. “Criminals don’t follow laws,” says the lobby despite the fact that 85 percent of mass shooters since 1981 have been legal gun owners not criminals.

 

“It takes a good guy to stop a bad guy” says the lobby despite the fact that 18 law enforcement officers were shot by legal gun owners (not “criminals”) in one week this summer.

 

And finally, “the real problem is mental illness” says the lobby even as it helps people with mental illness own guns. But of course every country in the world has mental illness–rich and poor, industrialized and developing. What they do not have are massacres like Virginia Tech, Aurora, Umpqua or Orlando because they don’t have the gun lobby arming their mentally ill population.

 

Beware the Law-Abiding Citizen–Patient Fatally Shoots Doctor in Boston

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

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According to his family, Stephen Pasceri, 55, of Millbury, was a nice guy and a law-abiding citizen. The problem was he was mad at cardiovascular surgeon Michael Davidson who he blamed for his mother’s recent death. According to the Boston Herald, Pasceri was a “churchgoing Army veteran and father of four” who “snapped” last week at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and murdered Dr. Davidson. “I think it comes down to the fact that my brother thought it was the doctor’s fault that my mother died,” said Pasceri’s sister.

Armed family members unhappy with patient care–it is another reason to beware the law-abiding citizen.

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What the NRA Says and What NGVAC Says–2

Friday, November 21st, 2014

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Join our action to tell corporate America online casino 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.

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NGAC holds first forum in Youngstown, Ohio!

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

On Tuesday, January 25 Elliot Fineman traveled to Youngstown, Ohio at the invitation of ACTION, an interfaith organization that works to improve the community in Mahoning Valley.

ACTION hosted a forum on gun violence and how National Gun Victims Action Council’s strategy to harness the economic power of gun victims, survivors, family, friends and faith leaders will lead to gun laws that protect public safety and respect the rights of legal gun owners at the same time.

The Youngstown Vindicator, which sent a reporter to the meeting, estimated that 50 people attended the presentation. Those who attended were inspired by Elliot’s strategy to restore sanity to our gun laws and increase the safety of our communities.

While he was in Youngstown, Elliot did interviews with two television stations, a radio station, and two newspapers–all of which were interested in his message of hope about reducing gun violence.

Check out the news page soon for links to the broadcast and print interviews with Youngstown media outlets.

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