Ocasio-Cortez hits NRA after New Zealand shooting: ‘What good are your thoughts and prayers? – ‘Morgan Gstalter 03/15/19 07:29 AM EDT


Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) on Friday tore into the National Rifle Association after at least one gunman opened fire at two New Zealand mosques, leaving at least 49 people dead.

The New York lawmaker condemned the fatal attack on Twitter, focusing her message on the American gun group.

“At 1st I thought of saying, “Imagine being told your house of faith isn’t safe anymore. But I couldn’t say ‘imagine,’” the lawmaker wrote, citing the deadly shootings at a Charleston, S.C. church, a Pittsburgh, Penn., synagogue and a Sutherland Springs, Texas church.

“What good are your thoughts & prayers when they don’t even keep the pews safe?” She added.

Ocasio-Cortez noted that “thoughts and prayers” is a reference to the NRA phrase she says is “used to deflect conversation away from policy change during tragedies.”

The progressive congresswoman called on communities to “come together, fight for each other & stand up for neighbors.”

“Isolation, dehumanizing stereotypes, hysterical conspiracy theories & hatred ultimately lead to the anarchy of violence,” she wrote on Twitter. “We cannot stand for it.”

Ocasio-Cortez added that she greatly admires New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

Ardern called the shootings one of New Zealand’s darkest days,” according to the Associated Press, adding that it was “an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence.

“It is clear that this can now only be described as a terrorist attack,” Ardern said.

The prime minister raised the national security threat to the second-best level following the shootings.

Authorities have charged one person and detained three others in the attack. They also defused explosive devices after the gunman published live footage of the shooting and published a “manifesto” calling immigrants “invaders.”

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Inside The Swedish City Where Gun Violence is on The Rise – VICE News Published on Mar 30, 2017


Donald Trump’s recent comments lamenting a nonexistent terrorist attack in Sweden have put the Scandinavian country’s crime rate into the global spotlight. But while the terrorist incident might not have happened and the crime rate in Sweden has only been rising modestly, one city there does have a real problem with gang violence.

Malmö, Sweden’s third-largest city, has seen a spike in shootings this year already; and given Sweden’s reputation as a refugee-friendly nation, many commentators have been quick to point a finger. And now, hysteria from both the Left and the Right is overshadowing the facts.

VICE News went to speak to some of those caught up in the violence in Malmö.

 

How to Stop Terrorists From Taking Advantage of Our Lax Gun Laws – POLITICO Magazine


Here is an alarming truth: Our current gun laws fail to prevent suspected terrorists from arming themselves on American soil.

Source: How to Stop Terrorists From Taking Advantage of Our Lax Gun Laws – POLITICO Magazine

Surviving ‘Chi-raq’: How communities take a stand against violence – by Sarah Hoye November 3, 2015 1:15PM ET


Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at Nov 4, 2015 1.01

CHICAGO – In 2006, 18-year-old Terrell Bosley, who played the bass in several church bands, was helping a friend unload his drum set from his car when shots rang out outside of a church on Chicago’s far South Side.

His mother, Pam Bosley, was preparing dinner while her husband was helping their two other sons with their homework when she got the call that her son had been shot.

“We ran to the church,” she said. “Police was everywhere.”

Later that night, Terrell died at a nearby hospital.

“[Terrell] didn’t do anything wrong. He was in college and working a job, doing so much, doing all the right things,” she said. “And at church, a place that’s supposed to be safe.”

This year, Chicago has had nearly 400 homicides, with most of the victims being young and black. After the bullets, their friends and families are left to heal – and to try to move forward.

 

Article continues:

http://america.aljazeera.com/watch/shows/america-tonight/articles/2015/11/3/surviving-chiraq-chicago-communities-stand-against-violence.html

Why Gun Dealers Are Hardly Ever Subjected to Inspections – By Leon Neyfakh OCT. 30 2015 4:27 PM


A new report found that gun dealers tend to escape the oversight of law enforcement. Photo illustration by Juliana Jiménez. Photo by Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images.

A new report found that gun dealers tend to escape the oversight of law enforcement.
Photo illustration by Juliana Jiménez. Photo by Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images.

Guns end up in the hands of violent criminals in many ways, and one of the most frequently cited arguments against gun control is that people who intend to use guns to commit murder will be able to do so even if law-abiding citizens who want to buy guns for legitimate purposes are forced to jump through more hoops. But the fact is that many “crime guns” are originally purchased at federally licensed gun dealers, rather than acquired on the black market. And according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, a small handful of dealers—just 1.2 percent—are responsible for supplying more than half of them. To be clear, this doesn’t necessarily mean these dealers are knowingly colluding with criminals—lots of crime guns are bought by “straw purchasers,” who pass them on to traffickers and who are not always easy to identify—but it does suggest something’s not working.

An eye-opening report from the Trace—a new website that specializes in coverage of gun issues—reveals why these gun dealers tend to escape the oversight of law enforcement: Last year, just 7 percent of the 140,000 licensed gun dealers nationwide were subjected to ATF inspections.

According to the Trace, oversight rules prevent the ATF’s 780 inspectors from checking in with a given dealer more than once a year unless they have a warrant to do so. But in reality these inspections happen even less frequently than that: Though the ATF has set a goal of making sure that every dealer in the country is inspected every three to five years, statistics show that in 2013, just 42 percent of gun dealers had been subjected to an inspection in the previous five years.

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http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/crime/2015/10/gun_dealers_why_the_bureau_of_alcohol_tobacco_firearms_and_explosives_inspected.html

Obama to push for prison reform, gun control in Chicago – By Jordan Fabian – 10/27/15 12:01 AM EDT


Seeking to build support for a bipartisan criminal justice overhaul, President Obama will speak to a group of police chiefs on Tuesday in his hometown of Chicago.

But Obama also plans to wade into the politically divisive issue of gun control during his speech to the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

“He will continue to push for criminal justice reforms that will make the system smarter, more effective, and more fair, while addressing the need for commonsense gun safety reforms,” a White House official said in a statement.

Obama is seeking to capitalize on bipartisan momentum behind reducing the nation’s large prison population, which could hand him a major legislative victory during his final 15 months in office.

The president and Democrats argue mass incarceration has ripped apart families across the country, especially in communities of color. Republicans have emphasized the high cost of imprisoning nonviolent drug offenders.

Obama asked Congress this summer to send him a criminal justice reform bill by year’s end. That effort took a step forward last week, when the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced a proposal that would reduce certain mandatory minimum sentences.

The legislation still faces a long road to passage — the House and Senate must vote on it. But if it reaches Obama’s desk, it would be a significant achievement given partisan divisions in Congress that have been deepened by election-year politics.

At the same time, Obama has vented his frustration at lawmakers for failing to pass new restrictions on gun sales following a series of mass shootings that have cast a cloud over his presidency.

The White House is aware of the symbolism of speaking out on the issue in Chicago, where gun violence has reached record levels. The city had experienced 2,300 shootings this year as of the end of September, up by 400 at the same point in 2014. Homicides have jumped by 21 percent.

“The problem of gun violence is all too familiar to our nation’s police officers and is a critical threat to public safety and their safety,” the White House official said.

Obama said he would not be afraid to “politicize” the issue of mass shootings earlier this month after a gunman killed ten people at an Oregon community college.

 

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http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/258174-obama-to-push-for-prison-reform-gun-control-in-chicago

Gun control advocates hail ‘significant’ victory in Wisconsin gun shop case – Joanna Walters in New York Wednesday 14 October 2015 18.26 EDT


Decision favouring police officers who sued gun dealer believed to be the first such lawsuit successfully fought against the gun industry in the US for 10 years

Patrick Dunphy

Advocates for stronger gun safety laws have hailed a rare victory in a lawsuit brought by victims of a shooting against the gun dealer that sold the pistol used to injure them.

A landmark case concluded in Wisconsin late on Tuesday with a jury awarding more than $5m in damages to two police officers who were shot by an 18-year-old who had paid an older friend to buy a gun for him illegally at the dealership.

It is believed to be the first such lawsuit successfully fought against the gun industry in the US in the 10 years since federal legislation was passed to protect gun makers and sellers from legal action at the state and federal level.

It was only the second such lawsuit to get to the jury stage at trial in that time, with the other case having been found in favor of the gun shop in a court case in Alaska in the summer.

Patrick Dunphy, the lawyer representing the Milwaukee police officers who won the latest case in Wisconsin, said that they sued the gun shop for a wider cause than just their own.

“The goal was both to achieve justice for themselves but also for others in this community. We need to clean things up around here,” Dunphy told the Guardian on Wednesday.

He added that their unusual victory should give hope to other victims around the nation trying to sue gun shops or firearms manufacturers after a shooting, but warned that such cases face high hurdles and his clients won against the odds.

“If some gun dealers around the country realize that they may have their feet held to the fire because of the punitive damages in this case, then that’s a bonus. I hope they listen to this verdict,” Dunphy said.

The gun dealer in the Wisconsin case was shown to have sold a firearm in a transaction known as a “straw purchase”, which is illegal under federal law.

But the business and its owners were not prosecuted by the authorities for the crime, which would have been the role of the federal government’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF). It was instead the victims of a crime committed by the man who illegally acquired the gun, who had to sue in civil court, Dunphy explained.

“Funds to the ATF have been dramatically cut. The major enforcement arm of the government has been gutted by budget cuts going back a decade. We were very fortunate in this civil case to have irrefutable evidence on our side,” Dunphy added.

The ATF has experienced severe pressure on its funding and personnel.

The firearms civil case in Wisconsin was brought by Milwaukee police officer Bryan Norberg and now-ex officer Graham Kunisch against Badger Guns, a store on the outskirts of the city.

 

Article continues:

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/oct/14/wisconsin-gun-shop-damages-gun-control