Posts Tagged ‘Orlando’

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.

 

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.

 

Think You’re Safe at the Beauty Parlor? These Gun Victims Weren’t.

Saturday, March 14th, 2015

It has been exactly two years since Jacqueline Bouvier Hardy was pulled off a city bus in Northern Indiana by a former boyfriend and shot to death in front of horrified bystanders, including children. “Jackie” as she was known, was a mother of three who had filed an order of protection against the shooter, Kenneth Knight.

 

More recently, horrified Black Friday shoppers at Chicago’s Magnificent Mile Nordstrom’s watched Marcus Dee shoot and kill his girlfriend, Nadia Ezaldein, while she worked at the cosmetics counter.

 

Nearly half the women killed every year in the United States are murdered by intimate partners, mostly with guns, reports the New York Times. Intimate partner homicide increases by 500 percent when a firearm is present.

 

It is not just the women stalked by violent, armed exes who are terrorized. Increasingly, gun-wielding exes kill the women in proximity to their wives and girlfriends. In 2012, the year of the Sandy Hook massacre, Bradford Baument strode into Las Dominicanas M & M Salon near Orlando, a salon his wife managed, and fatally shot three, injuring his wife. In Sioux Falls, S.D., Tyrone Smith strode into the Cost Cutters salon where his girlfriend worked, despite being jailed for domestic violence and under an order of protection and fatally shot the manager. The same year, in suburban Milwaukee, Radcliffe Haughton, who had a long history of violence against his wife and was under an order of protection fatally shot his wife, Zina, and two other women at Azana Salon & Spa in front of horrified customers and employees.

 

Article: Loose and Non-Existent Background Checks Cost Women's L

 

In 2011, Scott Evans Dekraai killed eight including his wife at the Salon Meritage in Orange County. Last year Maria Nunez McDaniel was fatally gunned down at Julia’s Salon Dominican Hair Studio near the Paulding-Cobb county line in Georgia by her husband Robert Steven McDaniel. And last month, Aquilina Nino Garcia who worked at Salonz Beauty Suites in Miami was fatally gunned down by her boyfriend in front of horrified customers and employers.

 

From Oscar Pistorius to George Zimmerman to Ismaaiyl Brinsley (who fatally shot two New York policemen in December after shooting his girlfriend) gun bullies’ preferred target is often unarmed, defenseless women. The gun bullying even rises into the top NRA ranks.

 

Thirty-nine guns belonging to the NRA’s own New York City field representative Richard D’Alauro were confiscated in 2010 after charges of assault, harassment and endangering the welfare of a child were filed against him. Luckily, D’Alauro’s order of protection expired and he can again have his 39 guns—he may have to defend himself against bad guys. He “continues to live in fear” says his lawyer, of outrageous charges. Speaking of living in fear, his wife Maribeth testified on Capitol Hill that she endured years of bullying and abuse from the NRA honcho.

What if every month or so an enraged armed woman stormed into Charlie’s or Lou’s bar or a workplace and summarily shot her ex and everyone around him? Despite the men filing orders of protection and notifying authorities of the threats? Would the NRA still defend “gun rights” of suspected abusers under orders of protection? If the dead were men?

 

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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