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August 15, 2016

Trump-ShootSomeone

“Boom … boom; such a beautiful sound,” intones The Donald, pointing his tiny index finger at the camera, with the full tank of insightful wisdom he has at his disposal. With the sad confluence of several untoward current trends, the current presidential campaign is taking a particularly lethal turn.

As the NRA seeks to enhance its political capital through sponsorship of Donald Trump’s cause, he cozies ever-closer up to what seems to be his lone remaining institutional supporter. (OK, I exaggerate; white supremacists, the KKK and David Duke remain squarely in The Donald’s camp.)

Into this toxic soup is mixed Trump’s endless hate fest targeting Mexicans and Muslims, his veiled threat to sick Second Amendment zealots on the life of his political opponent, and the recent gratuitous, cowardly murder of a New York City imam and his assistant. Two lives are senselessly taken. Police say that “there is no reason to believe the men were shot because they were Muslim.” But there was no robbery attempt nor any apparent motivation other than pure religious hatred, and we have a national role-model for that. A prime suspect, Oscar Morel, is now under arrest.

Months ago, we witnessed the ugliness of two Mexican-bashing bigots in Boston beating a homeless Hispanic with a pipe and urinating on his face, inspired by Trump’s malevolently demagogic venom. How do we know this? The perpetrators said so; The Donald inspired them with his “leadership.” Thank you, Mr. Trump!

Meanwhile in early August, from the dark security of his garage interior, North Carolina’s Chad Copley bravely stood his ground by fatally shooting an unarmed black youth out on the street whom Copley had gratuitously deemed a “hoodlum.” Before acting, Copley had told a 911 dispatcher,  “I am locked and loaded. I’m going outside to secure my neighborhood.”

Apparently Copley never made it outside the safety of his garage. Just another law-abiding white American citizen, standing his ground from inside his closed garage, exercising his constitutionally-endowed 2nd Amendment rights! How DARE Kouren-Rodney Bernard Thomas be in a place — any place — and black at the same time. Thomas’s family has angrily dubbed Copley “George Zimmerman 2.0.

We’re going to do a lot better because there’s going to be a shootout,” Trump blusters about every mass shooting at home or abroad that comes across his radar screen. There is no possible debate with anybody who pollutes a policy discussion about gun control with such words. None. Revolutionary hero Thomas Paine was prescient when he declared, “To argue with a man who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.”

Trying to do so is analogous to persuading Stalin to take a softer line on his forced collectivization of agriculture in the late, unmourned Soviet Union. The only way to begin winning the GVP battles at the federal level is at the ballot box. The hour for debate has long since lapsed. “Boom … boom” goes The Donald. VOTE!

As John Cassidy recently opined in The New Yorker, Trump’s crazy talk has consequences. The consequences are playing out on the ground as his vitriol supercharges the nasty underbelly of his angry base. Regardless of our electoral outcome in November, it will take a good while to turn “Trump time” back. But we can start with our votes. VOTE!

Please help the President and Democrats up and down the ticket end America’s madness. VOTE!

TalkFirst

Speaking of madness, in his serially racist attempts at insinuation, presidential candidate Donald Trump has raised doubts about Obama’s patriotism, suggesting that the President might secretly harbor Muslim sympathies. The Donald is just askin’. There may be something going on there. People are sayin’.

This year, American gun deaths are  outstripping vehicle accident deaths. We lead the world’s advanced economies in child mortality by firearms, child-on-child mortality by shooting, mass shootings per unit of time or population, private possession of firearms, gun violence against women, homicidal shooting and suicide by firearm.

Our single-city rate of gun deaths compares with other, very violent whole countries. Our gun homicide rate is worse than Pakistan’s, far worse than Sudan’s and not much better than the Congo and Iraq. We are way ahead of the rest of the world in so many categories of gun violence measurement. We are world-beaters. We should be very proud.

The best we can do is to try to understand the roots of our mayhem, to indicate that we’re trying to understand and to strive for solution with an open mind and forgiving spirit. That said, we ask others to join us in identifying candidates for elective office who are trying to understand because too many presently in office show no such intention when partisan point-scoring occupies their attention 24/7.

In international and state-by-state comparisons, the data show convincingly that gun deaths correlate distinctly with high rates of gun ownership. That’s the fact. More guns mean more gun deaths. Arming vulnerable grandmothers with firearms puts them at greater risk for injury or death, not less.

WorkdGunDeaths-OnPoint-Dec-12-2015

More guns mean greater safety from gunfire, so says the gun lobby. If this isn’t willfully ignorant madness, then we cannot in our wildest dreams imagine what is.

Cojones

Please consult the ETM Now News Archive for previous weekly updates.

On various websites, including Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence, the following very helpful research information is posted:

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Demand that our elected leaders lead! Sustain pressure to honor the sacrifices in Orlando, FL, Hesston KS. Kalamazoo MI, San Bernardino CA, Colorado Springs CO; Roseburg OR; Lafayette LA; Chattanooga TN; Charleston SC; Moscow ID; Queens and Chelsea NY, Isla Vista CA; Marysville and Seattle WA; Las Vegas NV; Manchester IL; Troutdale and Portland OR; Fort Hood and Houston TX; Tucson AZ; Aurora, Columbine and Monument CO; the Washington DC Navy Yard; Overland Park KS; Santa Barbara CA; Virginia Tech; Cobb County GA; Newtown CT and anyplace across America.

Have we covered the whole country yet? Yep, almost!

…  And in the meantime  …

SandyHook

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86 Comments

  1. lili

     /  August 11, 2016

    Now is the time for all good Americans to gather and voice their views

    ‘DONALD TRUMP, YOU ARE FIRED.’
    WITHOUT THE GUNS OF COURSE.
    IF YOU MEANT OPPOSING HILLARY AT THE BALLOT BOX, THEN YOU SHOULD HAVE SAID SO.

    Like

    Reply
    • Thank you, Lili, for pointing out the “walk-back” aspect of Trump’s Second Amendment-Hillary Clinton comment.

      Like

  2. Maggie

     /  August 2, 2016

    The second amendment should have been repealed once we had a standing army/military. It applied to a militia not to individual ownership.

    Like

    Reply
  3. Scott

     /  July 13, 2016

    I am a registered Republican, a veteran of the Persian Gulf War and the father of 2 young children. Common sense gun safety regulation now!

    I support only gun violence champions and will not vote any candidate who will not stand up to the gun lobby!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  4. Marv

     /  June 16, 2016

    Years ago I wrote a satirical song called “Guns Are Us” about the crazy logic of weapons proliferation on both a small scale (to individuals) and large scale (supplying weapons to countries, dictators, revolutionaries, etc.). The lyric of the last verse is:

    We don’t give a damn about some silly old laws
    That tell us what’s legal or not
    ‘Cause we’ve got some friends in high places
    Who own lots of shares of our stock
    We’ve got one concern – as you’ve probably heard
    There are too many killings each day
    So promise that you’ll be careful
    We want everyone to be safe

    Like

    Reply
  5. David

     /  June 14, 2016

    I think responsible ownership is the key. This means that Citizens should have both periodic background and mental checks, and there should be an approved list of firearms that a Citizen can carry (restrictions on types of guns are already in force so this is not something new).

    How will this in any way restrict 2nd amendment rights? If we are truly interested in having law abiding sane people exercise their 2nd amendment rights, we should do this. I never understand how an assault rifle is adding any more utility for people trying to defend themselves if they have a hand gun.

    Ask yourself this simple question: what additional benefit has been produced by having people armed to the hilt with assault weapons that would not otherwise happen with a hand gun?

    Also the old argument about arming yourself against your state is nonsense. Today, you would need tanks and missiles to do it effectively. A better way to tackle the state would be in court if you felt your rights were violated.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  6. Larry

     /  May 31, 2016

    I’ve always had some thoughts with regard to gun control, and would be glad to hear your comments.

    1) Despite the ponderous wording, constitutional scholars seem to agree that the second amendment is there to ensure the people can protect themselves against a tyrannical government. The left needs to acknowledge that like it or not, it’s there in back and white and isn’t going to be repealed anytime soon. It’s part of America. However, at the time that tyrannical government would come at you with a horse and musket. Now it’s an Apache helicopter. So unless we’re ready to make Stinger missiles available to the people like we did the mujahideen, also not likely anytime soon, then the right needs to acknowledge that gun control is already in place, and that it’s a good thing, and that from time to time revisiting those controls may be needed.

    2) To spur thinking about those controls, I’d suggest two things that will sound absurd, but only because of your perspective.
    a) Let’s teach Stand Your Ground laws and gun safety to everybody in Florida, and everywhere else there is a Stand Your Ground law. Make sure every young black man knows when it is legal to shoot someone, and how to do it safely and legally. I imagine there are plenty of situations where that man would perceive a threat, and he would be justified in shooting. I also imagine that if the NAACP announced this policy on Monday, Stand Your Ground laws would be repealed by Wednesday.
    b) Let’s offer bus rides for vulnerable, law-abiding citizens to every gun-show where loopholes make it possible for the wrong people to own guns. I think we can all agree those law abiding citizens need protection, and you could find such people at every mosque. I imagine emergency legislation to close gun show loopholes would be enacted before the busses parked.

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  7. Observer

     /  May 23, 2016

    Are you funded by Michael Bloomberg, or an organization that he funds?

    Like

    Reply
    • We are funded by nobody beyond our own volunteered sweat dedicated to preventing needless gun violence and promoting gun sanity. We fully support Michael Bloomberg’s work in this regard. Thank you for asking.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. alif

     /  May 19, 2016

    Self defends is a Human Right, and unfortunately, that right cannot be excersized without “equalizing” weaponry: guns. Whether we like it or not, more guns in the hands of the “general public” is unavoidable. We absolutely *need* to either ratchett up police presence to police state plus levels (both undesirable, and unaffordable), or, allow the carrying of deadly weapons by the masses.

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    • Alif, you present a stark binary choice between a public armed to the teeth with lethal weaponry or an authoritarian police state. We believe that there are many more constructive options than this between the two extremes you posit, and just about every civilized country in the world except, possibly, the United States proves it.

      Like

  9. You are a LOONY… Not because all the organizations you list don’t bring tears to anyone who knows their impetus for coming onto being. But your conscious disregard for reality is so astounding that it begs a response. First, you flagrantly manipulate the statistics to coalesce around your premise. You totally ignore that GUNS are here to stay until you DISARM the police…as in England. Which by the way is used as an example of gun control laws by your ilk and then conveniently you leave out that the POLICE on the street in England are ALSO DISARMED…

    You continue to bogus-ly go after assault rifles…knowing FULLY that they represent less than 1% of the firearms used to Kill in all categories. Why because your just a hate group, using tragedy to advance your personal opinions and agenda. Just like the pro gun folks, self centered in their belief systems. Right and wrong go out the window to both your groups. There is a right place for guns AS YOU KNOW..and it belongs on the list of Freedoms. Where one has the freedom of choice versus being told their choices by the next organized group that relishes their self anointed righteousness over clean pure logic which is based on the real playing fields of daily life that exist not only in the USA but around the world.

    Trying to dictate faulty logic based on tragedy is the cheapest and lowest form of persuasion. The current slogan of Make America Great will fall short for the majority of Americans unless greed is reigned in. I don’t see this happening any time soon for various human failings. So guns and crime will continue and thus gun ownership AS IT WAS WRITTEN should NOT be infringed despite the tragedies occurring from the misuse of guns…or misuse of drugs or misuse of vehicles or simply the insanity that spreads from hopelessness derived from poverty and poor health care.

    You ignore the larger picture that causes tragedies and focus on a aberrant statistical argument which insults those who own guns for very good reasons. Let me know when you abolish real fear and insecurity that is the cesspool of daily life for millions of Americans. And then your reliance on ARMED police who only arrive after the fact. Maybe if you add to your cause to disarm the police and all that would follow from that argument, might I join your cause to disarm the public.

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    • There’s no doubt that we choose argumentation that supports our strongly held viewpoint. That’s why it is called “argumentation,” just as yours is. We’re not trying to make your point. We’re satisfied to make our own.

      Like

  10. Nathan O

     /  January 12, 2016

    It seems that some folks have confused our democratic elections with us being a democratic government. You don’t get to vote away natural rights, sorry. Otherwise they would never have been referred to as inalienable rights. But I do beleive I’ve wandered into the cuckoo section of the Internet, so I doubt this will be heard or understood over all endless pecking and cackling.
    Your imagined “right” to feel safe does not trump my actual right to self defense. Nor do your dead.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • “My” dead? Nor does “my” right to life trump “your” right to kill me? Can you possibly be serious? Have you read the Declaration of Independence? And do you really think that you’re protecting yourself packing heat? Have you considered that you are really endangering other people?

      I feel that this comment takes us straight to the dead twilight zone of gun zealotry, but I know it’s mild compared with some of what’s said out there in the killing field.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. The New York Times posted Claudia D’s comment to the armed occupancy in Oregon at 10:19 a.m. My effort is to build a government that is responsive to all citizens via The Fair Elections Fund–a Whole New Ball Game. Reasonable gun regulations is one of those elements.
    @thefairelection

    Liked by 1 person

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  12. I know what a terrible problem the out of control gun violence is in the US and how discouraging it is for so many Americans, but I did get the feeling from what I read and heard tonight that what began as the expression of opinion and serious concern here and there has spread and is expanding out in concentric circles gathering momentum and support. As a non-American not living in the US, I really don’t know what I am talking about, but that was the feeling I got – especially after the presentation in the Washington cathedral which was very moving.

    Liked by 1 person

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  13. Your comment in NYT “In the Gospel according to the Republican script, shooting Russian planes out of the sky over Syria will apparently make us safer”… you do know that Hillary supports a no-fly zone over Syria, don’t you? Being blind about what the leading Democrats really are will not result in success.

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    • HRC once supported a no-fly zone. Perhaps on Saturday, if anybody is watching, we’ll find out if her position has evolved in the light of new realities. To my knowledge she has not explicitly bragged that she would engage the Russian air force in a “hot” war during which Russia would down our aircraft, too. Then what? We dread to think.

      As far as “leading Democrats” are concerned, neither Bernie Sanders nor Martin O’Malley has advocated going to war with Russia. I suggest that neither has Hillary.

      But enough. This is a blog about preventing gun violence. Thank you for your comment.

      Like

    • Be wary of politicians whose positions evolve according to their political needs.

      Like

    • And who, pray tell, would that be?

      Like

    • That would be Hillary Clinton… same person who is half the Clinton couple that has received $100+ million from corporations the past seven years… same Hillary who refused to oppose the TTP a few months ago when there was a chance it would be defeated, but whose position has now evolved to opposing the TTP when there is now no chance of it being killed… basically Hillary did not oppose the TTP earlier to please the corporations, but now opposes it as a meaningless sop to the unions.

      I am all for gun control (the 2nd Amendment was passed at a time when the high powered automatic assault rifles did not exist), however I prefer not to be gullible when it comes to both Republican and Democrat politicians.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Frank

     /  November 17, 2015

    It makes you wonder why the terrorists would bother with us when we kill as many people as 9/11 every five weeks.

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  15. John M

     /  November 5, 2015

    Video of Nationsl Cathedral event by United to Stop Gun Violence: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=2BgC1fY49Lk
    http://mikethegunguy.com/

    mikethegunguy
    News and Notes About Guns

    The GVP Community Had A Big Night At The National Cathedral And They’ll Have More.
    Yesterday I had the great honor and pleasure to attend the United To Stop Gun Violence event at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. I joined hundreds of others for a program of remarks, tributes, musical moments and videos, all focusing on the issue of gun violence and Videowhat needs to be done to stop it now. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to sit within the lofty and majestic naves of the Cathedral and not feel inspired by what you see and hear. But I can tell you in this case that we could have been sitting around a campfire in Rock Creek Park and the feelings of strength, dedication and sense of purpose would have been the same.

    cathedral2 The program was the handiwork of the Cathedral’s Gun Violence Prevention Group who were described as a “band of determined advocates” in the program that we all received. Let me tell you something right off the bat. This bunch isn‘t just determined; they are determined to succeed. The first thing that impressed me more than anything else about the evening was the shared commitment to solving this problem no matter how long it takes.

    The second thing that impressed me was the diversity of the crowd, both on the stage and in the audience watching the event. Every major religion was represented, there were no racial ‘minorities’ because, if anything, people of color seemed to be everywhere I looked, as well as speaking and performing on the stage. And as opposed to NRA get-togethers or gun shows where the guys far and away outnumber the gals, at last night’s event clearly the women had the upper hand.

    Finally, what impressed me most of all was the number of organizations and groups who displayed literature, sign-up sheets, fresh fruit and (thank goodness) Snickers to slake the hunger and thirst of itinerant travelers like me. The whole point of the evening was to create a venue in which as many organizations as possible could introduce themselves to a wider audience, engage folks to get more involved, and build an even greater sense of purpose in the gun violence prevention community as a whole. I spent time chatting with a number of the organizational staff and I figured out that these groups probably represented at least 100,000 activists, if not more.

    Now 100,000 may sound like a paltry number when compared to the millions which the NRA claims to represent, but the issue isn’t numbers, it’s energy and commitment, which is what will ultimately prove out. The fact that the NRA claims to have 4 million members basically means that 3-4% of the nation’s gun owners give the NRA thirty bucks a year to get a monthly magazine (which happens to be a very good publication) and a decal for their car. They can also buy some low-cost gun insurance, get discounts at some motels, the standard fare offered by any membership organization, whether it’s the NRA or the AARP.

    I’m not questioning the fact that some NRA supporters are always willing to stand up, shout out, do whatever they can do to ‘protect’ their 2nd-Amendment ‘rights.’ But while the NRA makes its members feel they share a common bond, namely, the ownership of guns, I don’t suspect they draw many people into the pro-gun fold unless they own guns. And here is where the GVP community, if it continues to forge ahead, has a potential for strength that the NRA simply can’t match. Because when all is said and done, more and more Americans just don’t believe in guns.

    I was convinced that the push to strengthen gun laws would run for about a year after the massacre at Sandy Hook. The gun-control clamor didn’t even last that long after Gabby was shot. But I didn’t get the feeling that the people who were present at the Cathedral last night are going to fade away. If anything, I suspect that GVP as a defining issue in the public dialog is here to stay.

    Liked by 1 person

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  16. I certainly do not frequent conservative news outlets, so am (pleasantly) surprised that The American Conservative published my comment: http://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/who-are-the-most-electable-republican-candidates/ (C. Davison, down near the bottom). The Citizens United decision started my campaign finance reform effort. Now, morality drives it. @thefairelection

    Liked by 1 person

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  17. As a Sanders supporter, I wish to hell he would shift to stronger positions and statements. In my limited reading,even Hillary is weak( no assault weapon ban), and the best is Martin O’Malley, who proposes:
    – banning the sale of assault weapons
    – requiring everyone who buys a gun to be fingerprinted and get a license
    – pushing gun-makers to install updated safety technology
    – making gun trafficking a federal crime
    – establishing a national firearms registry
    – requiring better home storage of guns
    – setting a minimum age requirement of 21 to own a handgun

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  18. Barbara K

     /  October 3, 2015

    Thank you ETM for your efforts in keeping this issue alive. I would so love to be able to help support the organizations you put forth that need donations, but unfortunately am among the senior citizens on very limited incomes. I will, however, continue to put forth my voice (NYT comments section is how I found your website) as often as I can to try to move our great nation to a safer place for my grandchildren. My heart breaks for the many children around the world who live in fear, and we are creating a nation that fosters that same problem

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Thank you so much, Barbara. By all means do what you can when you can. Every voice counts A LOT. This life-and-death issue needs yours!

      Like

  19. Ken

     /  July 14, 2015

    You run a very passionate blog. And I feel your frustration about our inability to stop the madness. Strategically, I think we need to re-frame the debate. Right now, the debate is all about protecting the individual’s right to bear arms, as written in the 2nd Amendment and incorrectly expanded by the Supreme Court. But there is another right that should counter-balance that: the right of citizens to enact sensible laws and regulations in the name of public safety.

    Let’s ask this question: If a group of citizens can decide they want to live in a state, town or city that permits guns, why can’t another group decide the opposite? When does my right to live in a safe environment trump another’s right to carry guns? If the 2nd amendment provides protection to bear arms, when is that balanced against my right to public safety? The problem is that the NRA, Congress, and Supreme Court have only focused on expanding the gun carriers rights, while no one is focused on promoting public safety. Not everyone wants to live in an armed environment. Can we approach this question through legislation, court challenges to regulations, and challenging our political candidates to bring some balance to this issue? I should be able to find or establish with my fellow citizens, a gun-free place to live in a country that values life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

    Now taken to its end point, this leads to repealing the 2nd amendment, and allowing Congress, states, cities, and towns to enact whatever gun regulations they see fit. However, let’s not ask for that up front, because it’s a non-starter. Let’s slowly but diligently advocate from the public safety angle, simply stating that non-gun owners should have equal rights, and see where that leads. Spread the word, and maybe some 2016 candidates will get the message.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Jock McC, CT

       /  July 18, 2015

      A problem is that there is no explicit provision for a right to safety or security in the Constitution. The Fourth Amendment’s “right of the people to be secure” is designed against unreasonable searches and seizures only. So what will be the source of legal arguments that safety needs to balance the right to bear arms?

      Like

    • The preamble to the Constitution says, in part, “…establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves …” Given that’s the purpose of the whole system, that’s the legal foundation.

      Like

  20. Layla

     /  July 8, 2015

    Talking strictly about “sane gun control” does not answer the question of why we need it. We need gun control because those citizens who live in fear of guns are having their rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness usurped by the NRA and the gun manufacturers. If a community is prohibited by the NRA from enacting reasonable gun laws, or is having guns forced down its throat, as has happened in my own community, what kind of “democracy” is that? Where is MY freedom?

    A person has the “right” to bear arms, or “own” guns according to the conservative interpretation of the God-forsaken 2nd Amendment. That does not, in my opinion, give him the right to wave it in my face. I don’t want to see it. I don’t want to be near it. I’m afraid to visit public places like malls, churches, stores, parks–because I’m afraid someone with a gun will take “offense” at who knows what, and start shooting. If some citizens are forced to live in fear because other citizens insist on “rights” that go beyond the boundary of the strict wording of the 2nd Amendment, then our “democracy” is no more.

    The NRA and its allies are practicing intimidation and extortion and we should not let them. It’s time for the gun control groups to file a class action suit against the NRA, the gun manufacturers, and their toadies in Congress on behalf of victims, victims’ families, and all of us who feel our rights are being taken away,

    Gun control needs to be brought before the Supreme Court again. It’s time. It’s past time. How many more innocent lives must be snuffed out before all the gun control groups band together and do something that will have a real impact towards making “freedom” more than “just another word?”

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  21. when the citizens of DC were allowed to finally own guns within the city limits, murder rates in the city drastically were reduced. coincidentally, the murder/violent crime rates in suburban maryland drastically increased at that same time. this is just one article, but i do encourage you to do a little research and actually learn some truth. after all, the left is so “open minded,” i feel confident you will gladly open your mind to these truths…

    http://silverunderground.com/2012/12/record-low-murder-rate-in-washington-dc-after-gun-ban-lifted/

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    • Thank you for the comment and the link, Brent. As for your suggestion about needing to do “a little research” and to “learn some truth,” I’ll keep on that challenge, and try to distinguish between coincidental phenomena and cause-and-effect. Your post says nothing about fail-safe, universal, nation-wide background checks. What truths do you find or lose in that line of argument, which is pretty much what ETMN is about?

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  22. http://thehill.com/regulation/legislation/232633-senate-republican-unveils-gun-rights-bill on bill allowing carry concealed weapons across state lines. Jock

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    • Thank you, Jock. This is an important and scary news item. We need to contact our senators and congressional reps. I fear that the last line of resistance until 2017 is President Obama. I can’t imagine he’ll let this atrocious assault on local legislative discretion (call it what it is, “states rights”) slip past his veto pen, if it gets that far.

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  23. frank

     /  January 19, 2015

    until recently I had never owned a gun and had only fired one about a dozen times 20 years ago in the military. with the lawlessness shown in katrina and ferguson as well as other rioting events, i thought i would get one for protection ‘just in case’. not to mention i dread the thought of sending my daughter to college defenceless.
    all that is besides the point except to describe myself as just a concerned father and not a ‘gun nut’.
    my point is the toddler shooting his mother in walmart. that was NOT the fault of the toddler nor was it the NRA’s fault. it was a mother who was not careful and something was terribly wrong in the entire scenario. i have taken my family to the shooting range,so they are familiar with the gun we have and know what NOT to do. 16 year old daughter, 11 year old son and 45 year old wife …. none of them can easily chamber a round or turn the safety off. therefore, this mother had a weapon in a fully loaded, round chambered and cocked state …. who’s fault is that?
    gun ownership provides security but guns must be handled correctly. this woman paid for the mistake with her life and the child will have that guilt for life, unfortunately.
    i do not know what the answer for stupid mistakes is .. but its certainly not demonizing an effective tool for personal security.

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    • Many thanks for your comment, Frank. You have mentioned your commitment to family protection. To me, nothing warrants more respect than that. There are no easy answers as to how to achieve it. As for the horrific Idaho shooting, I agree that the mother bears the first line of responsibility. My sense about the NRA is that we can safely assume that the NRA would reject out-of-hand any discussion regarding regulation to protect children from the poor judgment of adults. The NRA does not discuss; it obstructs and demonizes. In this sense I believe it bears responsibility for America’s gridlocked capacity to address problems like this. We have regulations about the design and installation of child safety car seats. We have traffic laws. These laws do not exist for responsible drivers and parents. They exist to regulate those likely to exercise bad judgment or outright wrong-doing.

      I won’t go on except to thank you again for contributing to this discussion.

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  24. Tom J

     /  January 19, 2015

    What I dont understand is why every police union in the US is not fighting the proliferation of guns in the USA? Who can blame a policeman for shooting first and asking questions later when odds are every violent criminal he has to deal with every day has a gun in his posession. They are risking their lives every day and their job is turning into a nightmare so the gun companies can continue to cash in.
    Come on cops its your lives, more than anyone elses on the line. They need to be the ones leading this.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment, Tom. I believe that most police personnel and their unions back common sense gun sense measures and oppose the dismantling of existing controls. That said, I agree that the voice of law enforcement needs to ramp-up to become far more powerful than it has proven to be so far.

      Like

    • Prijador

       /  October 4, 2015

      Um, that’s because Law Enforcement Officers have a real good idea of who is using firearms to commit crimes – and it’s not your average NRA member… With depressing frequency, it’s gang or drug related…

      Liked by 1 person

  25. jock

     /  December 13, 2014

    Boston Globe, 12/13:PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A suspected gang member opened fire on a group outside an alternative high school Friday, sending three young people to the hospital in what Portland police said appeared to be a gang-related shooting.

    Jock

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  26. Jock

     /  August 20, 2014

    Mass. gun control bill shares data nationally for background checks, gives Chiefs via courts power to take guns from dangerous people. http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2014/08/13/patrick-signs-bill-tighten-mass-gun-laws/gpzNpS7u6TXupmeN3EojcJ/story.html?hootPostID=04dccfc26624ed89b9b5be23c97ba040

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Thanks, Jock. ETM Now has been eagerly awaiting news of progress on the Massachusetts omnibus legislation on gun sense. And so a continuing chapter has been written. Much appreciated!

      Like

  27. Patricia

     /  August 18, 2014

    If the National Rifle Association would stick to RIFLES, I’d begin to listen.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Thank you Patricia. As the ETM blog indicates, here we do not see the NRA as a positive force in the debate about gun sense.

      That said, we do agree with pieces of the NRA agenda; for example, that the gun problem in America goes way deeper into the national culture of anger, fear and violence than anything that background checks or assault rifle regulation can fix.

      That said too, we still desperately need BG checks and assault rifle regulation as starting points for making America safer and saner.

      Like

  28. jock

     /  August 4, 2014

    Brady dies: http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/08/05/us/politics/james-s-brady-symbol-of-fight-for-gun-control-dies-at-73.html

    So good that Jim Brady’s family made good from his suffering.

    Like

    Reply
  29. Jock

     /  August 4, 2014

    Washington Post re Washington state’s 2 conflicting initiatives: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2014/08/04/gun-control-gun-rights-advocates-push-dueling-ballot-measures-in-washington/
    Gun control initiative has good support per polls, thanks in part to contributions.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  30. You might be interested in https://www.dailykos.com/campaigns/892
    Jock

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Great idea, thanks Jock. What ETMNow has is stickers, originally designed for car bumpers (no longer recommended) but great for laptop covers. They’d be much too small as signs for the Brooklyn event. Might also be a good idea for ETMNow to migrate from stickers to picketing placards, or caps or T-shirts, but here we’d be getting out of freebie range.

      Like

  31. Elkach

     /  May 24, 2014

    Charlottesville is in Virginia, not WV.

    Like

    Reply
    • Oops. Double oops. Actually my geography ain’t half bad but this is embarrassing. Many thanks!

      Like

  32. Mary (CT)

     /  May 15, 2014

    Having taken shooting classes recently for the first time, I was marveling at how easy it is to forget whether the gun is loaded, which is more alarming when one thinks how often recreational shooting goes hand in hand with alcohol. Yet increasingly, states are allowing guns in bars! There is clearly NO COMMON SENSE in the gun debate. It is purely emotional, exacerbated by the politics of the time.

    Thanks John, for making a grass roots effort to keep common sense alive.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Thank YOU, Mary, for helping to keep this conversation alive. I can only guess, but perhaps you are among the many American gun owners who recognize the grave responsibility of ownership and exercise their 2nd Amendment rights honorably and responsibly. Thank you for that, too. In no manner is ETM Now opposed to the legitimate exercise of 2nd Amendment rights. We are opposed to the notion that citizens, through their elected representatives, are utterly powerless to demand reasonable controls on lethality.

      Like

  33. Thank you, Gabriella and John from CT, for your support but even more so, for keeping this badly-needed discussion alive.

    Like

    Reply
  34. Gabriella

     /  May 14, 2014

    I’m writing to you from New Haven, Connecticut….a city which has one of the highest homicide rates in the country. Not too far away is Sandy Hook…a once bucolic town where people once thought that guns were only a problem for poor, urban New Haven. The truth is we are ALL wounded by gun violence. Rich or poor, black or white, old or young. Gun violence can only be described as madness….as your website suggests.

    Thank you for being one of the sane voices.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  35. Thank you very much for resuscitating your website. It is badly needed. One reason it is needed has to do with data. I have a student in my class who did his project on the ethics of gun control legislation. He is a fine young man and did a good job on this project. But he, like me, tends to cherry pick data that supports his existing position. Doing so is relatively easy with statistics on the effects of guns, because as in all complex dynamics, it’s not simple sorting out cause and effect. So, it would be a service if you could continue to provide the most solid, salient, and decisive data so that people at large can be armed with facts and data instead of bullets and BS.

    Like

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  36. jock

     /  April 17, 2014

    Powerful video.
    Very glad you are continuing.
    Jock

    Like

    Reply
  37. Back in business, April 2014

    Like

    Reply
  38. I am from Newtown and in fact my wife was a science teacher at the middle school. We raised both our kids there and our daughter’s high school classmates are the parents of Jessica Rekos who lost her live 12/14/12. We have five cars so I would like to purchase some additional stickers. We recently hosted the 18 runners for the “Team Jessica” running in the Cape Cod Ragnar Relay Race this past weekend.
    http://www.youcaring.com/memorial-fundraiser/team-jessica/40635

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  39. John M

     /  April 14, 2013

    Democracy is defined as a form of government which is governed by the will of the people, usually through free elections. Recent polls indicate that 90 percent of United States citizens favor universal background checks for gun ownership. So the up-coming vote in Congress will determine whether the Unites States is in fact a democracy.

    Like

    Reply
  40. We need to understand the awesome responsibility of gun ownership, that gun ownership must be regulated for public health and safety, and that human life is the most important right of Americans and all humankind.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  41. Many thanks, Pavel, for reading and replying. I’ll post a little more later. As for the logo, I’m thinking about what could replace the “ban guns” image. Maybe a gun icon with a green check-mark for background checks. I dunno, but I’ll work on it. I’d like to see a few stickers beyond the bumper of my own car. If you’re interested you might consider helping with a Facebook page. Sadly, I’m FB-phobic, but I’m “for” any kind of publicity that works.

    Like

    Reply
  42. Pavel

     /  March 24, 2013

    John, thank you for your thoughtful reply. I think we agree on everything, actually. Having once been a member of the NRA, I agree with you completely – that organization is behaving in a very disturbing manner, to say the least. The messages perpetuated by the gun makers in the many magazines I’ve looked at and the NRA have been extremely confrontational, partisan, and at times truly reprehensible. I’ve met NRA members who think that it’s good that NRA is being so “outspoken”… On the other hand, I’ve heard NRA members say that they think that the leadership of the NRA is nuts. Based on the history of the NRA, it looks like it has not necessarily benefitted from its close partnership with (or subversion by) the gun manufacturers. There’s a very nefarious commercial energy that has corrupted the NRA, and I hope its members wake up to this at some point.

    I see what you mean about this being a fight. Yes, it is, but at the end of every battle and at the end of most wars, peace follows. Since we’re brainstorming, how about the idea that we hold this peace as the ideal that we’re working towards?

    In the end, we have to have a patchwork of laws that work for everybody in our country. So, what will that mixture of local, state and federal laws look like? What benefits everybody and preserves as much freedom as possible? Well, starting with a small list, we have:
    1. All would agree that illegal gun trafficking must be curtailed. Better background checks are clearly necessary, and some local measures may be appropriate.
    2. Mental health – this is largely a community issue in the way that it must be addressed, and while troubled people should be kept away from guns by law, we must also recognize that we need much, much greater penetration of mental health services in many of the most troubled communities.
    3. Allocate money for research on the above and other gun and violence-related issues. The congressional restrictions on scope of such research make no sense at all. We need to deal with evidence and make further legislation based on evidence.

    As for other specific issues, like magazine capacity, concealed carry laws/restrictions, what would a consensus look like? I think these issues are actually harder to push through just because they are specific… To exaggerate slightly, some of the people who are worried about their freedoms will think that that magazine capacity regulation is akin to the government choosing their pets or forks for them. With regard to concealed carry, I’ll say one thing – if we’re going to have it in densely populated regions, then more training must be mandated. So, there’s room for local regulation, but once again, hard to discuss specifics and research on the impact of concealed carry as well as laws regulating it is lacking. Before people start citing various crime statistics, they need to take a deep breath and fully comprehend the idea that association is a vastly different thing from causation, but that’s a different conversation…

    The most problematic part of all of the above is that the level of violence is reflected by the overall health of the community – laws and enforcement will do little in troubled communities full of torn families that live under great stress, surrounded by illegal activities and in need of money… so, I’d say let’s do the things that are most important/consensus builders on guns and then take on the real elephants in the room: smart/green economic development of impoverished areas and education reform. Many governments have done this, and finally, we’re making progress.

    So, how do we take on these issues? I think that among the most influential approaches is the one chosen by political satirists like John Stewart. Gun massacres and murders are not funny, but if I remember this correctly from college, satire is effective because people respond better to positive or humorous messages. Satire does not have to be funny, by the way. So, let’s brainstorm and figure out exactly what both sides are fighting for and see if we can put forward slogans/satirical remarks that would be effective. Another way would be through inspirational messages, but they have to be specific. Finally, we can just state the things we think we can build a consensus around! Maybe we can find a way to say that we’re looking for a consensus that would suit everyone and address everybody’s concerns.

    Maybe gather these messages through a contest here and on facebook?

    Let’s keep the brainstorming going.

    Pavel

    Like

    Reply
  43. In response to Mike and Pavel. I’ve taken a few days to respond because your points bear discussion; they caused me to re-think. First, Mike, I’m not sure who you mean by “the masses.” I would define the Newtown grade-school kids as a “mass” of a particularly tragic mold. The kids’ families, of course would call them “individuals” or even a more endearing term if they could do so any longer. Perhaps some research on the relationship between household safety and gun ownership would help focus this debate.

    Pavel, you’ve made several good points. For example, I agree that the image of a crossed-out gun is not only counterproductive, it also fails to represent our beliefs. We believe that responsible citizens have a 2nd Amendment right to own firearms, just as they have the right to drive cars. We also affirm that, through their Government, Americans have the right to regulate all lethal instruments, to “organize the militia,” so to speak. We have constitutional rights to life and the pursuit of happiness (among others) that we do not wished gunned down. We’d welcome an idea for a more appropriate icon than the “X’d-out” gun. Trust us, we’d consider it.

    You’ve also made the reasonable point that at least some of the offered bumper stickers seem unnecessarily confrontational. Maybe so; you’re not the first “ETMNow” supporter to suggest this. However, some supporters feel that they’re not edgy enough. Our anger has subsided since Newtown but not our grief. This worries us because national attention is predictably fading. One thing is for sure: the NRA never abates its anger nor its spiteful rhetoric. See Wayne LaPierre in “Meet this Press” this AM (3/24/13). His comments push the boundaries of madness, unless we agree that a grown man stomping his feet and screaming “NO! NO! NO!” in full toddler tantrum mode represents adult sanity.

    Should we confront peanut butter with walnut fruitcake? Probably not. Point given. But in the face of bumper stickers that threaten “Guns don’t kill people; I do,” or “Keep honking; I’m re-loading,” I’m not sure how we capture the attention of a Congress that strips proposed legislation of any meaning, and creates loopholes big enough for 18-wheelers to breach. I’m not sure what we do to fight back. And whatever else we wish, it IS a fight.

    We sadly admit that these bumper stickers are not flying off the shelf. Perhaps we should offer a new campaign sticker advocating “COJONES FOR CONGRESS?” We’ve got one but we haven’t offered it for distribution yet. If you ask for one; we’ll order it right away!

    Thanks for your thoughtful perspectives.

    Like

    Reply
  44. Mike

     /  March 21, 2013

    You are unaware of the consequences of the masses giving up their means of protection

    Like

    Reply
  45. Pavel

     /  March 21, 2013

    I don’t have anything against your overall message of reducing gun violence, but I think that this message alienates most of the gun owning population right away. A gun crossed out? The “Just say ‘no carry'” slogan? Seriously? To most gun owners, this sounds like you’re going to war before even thinking about sanctions…
    Yes, even 1 senseless death is too much, and we have to have this dialog, but it won’t even start with messages like this.
    We are all mad as hell that people keep getting murdered, but both sides think that they have overwhelming evidence on their side and the simple fact is… neither side does! Why? Because we have had very little money invested in research on the subject and laws were passed and are still being passed that prohibit research on this and stop researchers from issuing official recommendations! Well, that’s a point of common ground, but I think nobody’s going to even talk about it because we’re going to waste energy talking about 30-round clips.
    Background checks – another great idea – let’s make sure those happen, BUT please stop idiotic newspapers from publishing maps, names and addresses of registered gun owners! They didn’t break laws, and they have families, so how do you expect them to agree with you about anything at all if you make them a target for break-ins before you even start a conversation? Now after that episode in New York, you think those people would vote for any sort of a background check or a gun registration.
    More and better mental healthcare – let’s take care of this urgent need! Who would disagree with that?
    By the way, do you actually expect people who want better gun control/universal background checks/mental health requirements to use these bumper stickers if they live in conservative areas? Aren’t those the people you want to have this dialog with? Not all of them get their news from the Faux news network, and not all of them listen to Rush Limbaugh, but even those that don’t will have the urge to key your car in most red states.

    You see, we need balance… let’s start with something we all agree on and just hold our ground. Let’s not start by pissing off the other side and losing our chance to collect actual data and have professionals gain an ability to make recommendations.
    This idea that you need to make bold statements to make your point clear is precisely the problem with today’s political climate in the U.S. So, please think a bit harder about your sticker design, and then people who are sick of all the polarization and misinformation will consider supporting you.
    -Pavel

    Like

    Reply
  46. Jessie

     /  January 28, 2013

    An important effort to spread the word on curbing gun violence in America. Inspiring idea, and more than necessary until the needless shootings and deaths subside.

    Like

    Reply
  47. Five new stickers for February 2013! Download the order form here, or from “Order Now” page, or top of home page..

    Like

    Reply
  48. Jane

     /  January 23, 2013

    John, This is inspired and inspiring and gives hope for change to an entrenched mindset fueled by fear. These awful tragedies are mindless, needless and heart wrenching. Hopefully more voices speaking out in favor of “No Carry” will carry more pressure to Congress to make change. Jane

    Like

    Reply
    • Thanks Jane. Saw Exec Dir of NRA last night. He’s very concerned about the inconvenience of having to register gun ownership transfers with a public authority. I wonder how he feels about registering his truck that carries the rack that carries the guns that kill people, even six-year olds. The Government he says he fears is us, including him and his single vote that equals everyone else’s.

      Like

  49. Tony

     /  January 18, 2013

    GOOD FOR YOU, JOHN! THIS IS A VERY IMPRESSIVE BIT OF WORK ON YOUR PART!!
    LET ME KNOW IF I CAN HELP. TONY

    Like

    Reply
    • Thank you, Tony. You might say ETM Now is enjoying a slow but encouraging start. I’ve sent out some stickers. I plan to do some promotion and will be asking for various kinds of help. Much appreciate your offer; no doubt I’ll come a-knockin.

      Best, John

      Like

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