Monthly Archives: May 2016

The Shock of Ordinary Gun Violence

editorial, New York Times, MAY 26, 2016

Only in America: A computer algorithm about guns has been created to predict who is most likely to be shot soon, or to shoot someone.

The Chicago Police Department, desperate to reduce gun violence by street gangs, authorized this unusual tool three years ago and has been using it to track and caution the most likely offenders.

It is a remarkable state of affairs that local governments must resort to such an approach to deal with the reality of gun mayhem. Yet it is sadly understandable, too, as a timid Congress cowed by the gun lobby fails to enact stronger gun-control laws for a nation increasingly flooded with high-powered weapons.

As a rule, a public anesthetized by gun abuse tends to pay attention to the ubiquity of guns in this country when massacres seize the headlines, like the San Bernardino terrorist attack that left 14 dead, or the shooting of 20 schoolchildren in Connecticut. But the full problem is far more widespread, deadly and almost routine, according to a survey by a team of reporters from The Times reviewing a year of these multiple shootings.

Tracking 358 armed encounters last year in which four or more people were killed or wounded, including attackers, the team counted 462 dead and 1,330 wounded, some scarred for life….

read more at New York Times

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DEBATE ON GUNS FRONT AND CENTER THIS ELECTION

By George Zornick, The Nation Magazine, May 24, 2016

This Will Be a Historic (and Terrifying) Election for Gun Control
Donald Trump is willing to go where few other presidential candidates have gone when it comes to gun rights.

When he ran for reelection in 2012, Barack Obama never talked about gun control. That’s almost hard to remember now, after Newtown transformed Obama and he spent massive political capital trying to make Congress act on comprehensive reform. While Obama has since pledged not to even campaign for Democrats who don’t support gun-control legislation, his speech at the Democratic convention in Charlotte four years ago never alluded to gun violence.

This was no small feat, considering mass acts of gun violence shook the country throughout the summer of 2012. After the Aurora, Colorado, theater shooting in July killed 12 people and wounded scores more, Obama said only that he wanted “to arrive at a consensus around violence reduction—not just of gun violence, but violence at every level, on every step, looking at everything we can do to reduce violence.” He proposed no new gun reforms.

Less than a month later, when six people were shot and killed at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, Obama again declined to make gun safety a campaign issue. Reporters asked White House Press Secretary Jay Carney if the president wanted new laws, and Carney essentially said no. “We need to take common-sense measures that protect Second Amendment rights and make it harder for those who should not have weapons under existing law from obtaining weapons,” he replied.

The upcoming presidential election will be dramatically different, as dueling speeches from Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton this past weekend demonstrated. Like few other elections before it, 2016 will feature gun control as a huge and explosive issue. Continue reading

Secret Service shoots man with gun outside White House

By BEN NUCKOLS, Associated Press, LA Faily News, 5/21/16

WASHINGTON >> A U.S. Secret Service officer shot a man with a gun who approached a checkpoint outside the White House and refused to drop his weapon, the Secret Service said.

The White House was briefly placed on a security alert after the Friday afternoon shooting, which happened within view of sightseers as sidewalks were crowded with families, school groups and government workers….

read more at LA Faily News

West Chester Mayor gives Starr Bright Proclamation

On Wednesday, May 18th, the West Chester Borough Council met, and Mayor Carolyn Comitta read a proclamation in the name of gun violence prevention, which she presented to Starr Bright.  Starr is a gun violence survivor who shared her story with the Borough Council and the audience, concerning a mentally imbalanced man who entered her church and shot her in the spine with a .32 caliber pistol.  She related the tremendous pain and long recovery she has undergone, mentally, physically and emotionally. She spoke movingly about how she had to learn to forgive the shooter to help with her recovery,  and the evolution into becoming an activist for change.  She is a member of Everytown For Gun Sense, Moms Demand Action and the Chester County Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence.

Starr with Mayor

Tom Buglio, director of the CCCPGV spoke about how even in wonderful and bucolic Chester County, gun violence, like a bolt of lightning, can strike anywhere.  He related 4 incidents in Chester County, including  the 17 year old boy shot and killed in West Chester last August, as well as one just two weeks ago near Phoenixville where a man shot his girlfriend with a 12 gauge shotgun, leaving 3 children motherless.

In coordination with Everytown for Gun Safety,  the CCCPGV will lead a March for Gun Sense on Thursday, June 2nd in downtown West Chester at 11AM at the Old Courthouse Steps.  Wearing orange, the color representing gun safety by hunters and picked by friends of Hadiya Pendelton to honor her and all victims of gun violence, the march is intended to raise awareness that gun violence is a public health crisis that needs immediate attention.  The March will end at Borough Hall, where community leaders will hold a press conference.  All are welcome.

Tom Buglio: director, CCCPGV

Rally for Background Checks in Harrisburg

500 + very boisterous people descended on Harrisburg on Monday, May 16th to make it known that Pennsylvania needs Universal Background Checks on every gun sale, including private long gun sales- the PA loophole.  Grandparents, parents, children, advocates from the suburbs, from the inner city, from Philly and Pittsburg, and victims of gun violence, mothers who lost children, partners who lost loved ones, all came to let their legislators know that too many people are dying – currently in PA 1400 per year.

Rep. Steve Santarsiero and Rep. Dwight Evans are at the podium: co-sponsors of HB 1010 to close the long gun private sale loophole in PA.

A woman who was shot at a government meeting told her tragic story, as a mentally disturbed loner, Rockne Newell, who was having his property condemned, came to a local government meeting with a semi-automatic rifle, and killed her husband, and two other government officials while shooting 6 in all. She said that her husband took the bullet that was meant for her.  Tragedy, determination, and unity for a just cause was the theme.

It was a great day to get energized for the job ahead, and Harrisburg heard our voices loud and clear.

Tom Buglio- director: Chester County Coalition To Prevent Gun Violence

 

 

At Least 90 Child Shootings in 2016

Everytown for Gun Safety, 5/12/16 (updated over time)

The U.S. has one of the highest reported rates of unintentional child gun deaths in the world. And Everytown research indicates that the number of incidents involving death and injury are significantly underreported.

These aren’t accidents. They’re preventable. More than two-thirds of these tragedies could be avoided if gun owners stored their guns responsibly and prevented children from accessing them. (Read our June 2014 report, Innocents Lost: A Year of Unintentional Child Gun Deaths.)

Miss. Waffle House worker shot dead after telling customer not to smoke inside

New York Daily News, 5/13/16

A Mississippi man allegedly shot and killed a Waffle House employee after she wouldn’t let him smoke inside the building.

A waitress in a Biloxi Waffle House asked Johnny Mount, 45, to snuff out his cig but he refused and instead pulled out a handgun and shot the woman a little after 1 a.m. on Friday.

Police arrested Mount at the scene. He had the 9mm pistol concealed beneath his shirt, cops said….

read more at New York Daily News