Showing posts with label gun control. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gun control. Show all posts

Saturday, April 01, 2023

Democratic Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries letter to Republican leadership to hold vote on gun legislation

House democratic Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries wrote the following letter to the Republican Speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy urging him to hold a vote on “common sense gun safety legislation” following this week’s deadly shooting at a Christian school in Nashville.

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Senate chaplain ask for more than ‘thoughts and prayers’ needed after Nashville school shooting

During his opening prayer Senate Chaplain Barry Black called on lawmakers to “move beyond thoughts and prayers,” a day after Monday’s school shooting in Nashville.

Watch his prayer below:

Saturday, July 30, 2022

Rep. Donald Payne statement on passage of assault weapons ban in the House of Representatives

NJ congressman Donald Payne Jr. released the following statement after the House passed a bill banning assault weapons:

Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr. helped pass a bill today to prevent the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines for civilian use. The bill, the Assault Weapons Ban of 2021 (H.R. 1808), would reduce the amount of such weapons on American streets and allow states to use grants to buy back semiautomatic weapons and high-capacity magazines from Americans who own them already. America had a similar ban on assault weapons from 1994 to 2004. During that time, mass shooting deaths dropped 70 percent and there were 40 percent fewer crimes committed with assault weapons.

“There is no reason why civilians should have assault weapons or high-capacity magazines,” said Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr. “They are weapons of war and should not be on American streets. This bill will lower the incidents of gun violence and save lives. In addition, I am proud that this bill includes a provision to provide communities with federal grants to buy back assault weapons from American owners. I introduced a bill called the Safer Neighborhoods Gun Buyback Act, which would fund such grants and local gun buyback programs. I hope the Senate passes this bill soon because we must do more to prevent gun violence across America.”

Monday, June 13, 2022

"Blood on Your Hands", a plea to the United States Congress to act on gun violence

Hello, my name is George L. Cook III. I wrote this poem, "Blood on Your Hands" in response to the shooting in Uvalde, Texas and Buffalo, New York. I am begging the United States Congress to actually do something about gun violence in this country, and thoughts and prayers is not what I want. Watch me recite the poem in the video below.

This poem is in my new poetry book, The Blood Is On Your Hands Poems About Gun Violence available now on Amazon.

Purchase the book on Amazon:

Paperback******* Kindle

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Sen. Cory Booker Statement on Senate Group Reaching Bipartisan Compromise on Gun Control Bill

Senator Cory Booker (Dem-NJ) released the following statement after a group of 20 U.S. senators, of which he was one reached a deal on the framework for bipartisan legislation on gun control:

I support these bipartisan measures that would begin to curb gun violence in America. I hope my colleagues on both sides of the aisle will find a way to make these changes and provide these resources. We need to continue our efforts to pass common sense gun safety laws. 

The proposal includes:


Support for State Crisis Intervention Orders

  • Provides resources to states and tribes to create and administer laws that help ensure deadly weapons are kept out of the hands of individuals whom a court has determined to be a significant danger to themselves or others, consistent with state and federal due process and constitutional protections.


Investment in Children and Family Mental Health Services

  • National expansion of community behavioral health center model; major investments to increase access to mental health and suicide prevention programs; and other support services available in the community, including crisis and trauma intervention and recovery.


Protections for Victims of Domestic Violence

  • Convicted domestic violence abusers and individuals subject to domestic violence restraining orders are included in NICS, including those who have or have had a continuing relationship of a romantic or intimate nature.


Funding for School-Based Mental Health and Supportive Services

  • Invests in programs to expand mental health and supportive services in schools, including: early identification and intervention programs and school based mental health and wrap-around services.


Funding for School Safety Resources

  • Invests in programs to help institute safety measures in and around primary and secondary schools, support school violence prevention efforts and provide training to school personnel and students.


Clarification of Definition of Federally Licensed Firearms Dealer

  • Cracks down on criminals who illegally evade licensing requirements.


Telehealth Investments

  •  Invests in programs that increase access to mental and behavioral health services for youth and families in crisis via telehealth.


Under 21 Enhanced Review Process

  • For buyers under 21 years of age, requires an investigative period to review juvenile and mental health records, including checks with state databases and local law enforcement.


Penalties for Straw Purchasing

  • Cracks down on criminals who illegally straw purchase and traffic guns.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Senators Kamala Harris and Cory Booker statements on West Texas shootings

Senators Kamala Harris and Cory Booker released the following statements on the Odessa and Midland Texas shootings, in which 21 were injured and at least five were killed:

Sunday, June 02, 2019

Cory Booker Speech On Gun Violence At California Democratic Party State Convention

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker delivered a passionate about gun violence at the California Democratic Convention after hearing about the twelve city government employees who were killed by a co-worker in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Watch his speech below:

Friday, May 10, 2019

Cory Booker's plan to end gun violence

Cory Booker's plan is the most sweeping gun violence prevention proposal ever advanced by a presidential candidate.
To make justice a reality for all, we have to end the epidemic of gun violence and invest in communities that have been shattered by the trauma left in its wake. To do that, we need to adopt a plan that introduces aggressive gun safety measures — the most forward-leaning this country has ever seen.
Cory’s plan would:
  • Keep guns out of the wrong hands
  • Hold gun manufacturers accountable
  • Bring the fight to the NRA
This is a personal fight for Cory. His perspective is rooted in his experience living in Newark, NJ, and working to stem the tide of violence for the past 20 years — as a tenant organizer, on the city council, as mayor, and as a senator. Last month, Cory kicked off his campaign for president with a call to bring people together to make justice for all real. He highlighted gun violence prevention specifically in his call to action:
We won’t wait for more thoughts and prayers for communities that have been shattered by gun violence — from Pittsburgh to Parkland to Charleston to communities where kids fear the fireworks of Fourth of July because to them they sound like gunshots.
We will pass universal background checks. We will ban assault weapons and close the loopholes that allow people who should never have a gun to get one. We will bring a fight to the NRA like they have never ever seen before. And we will win.
That’s why today, Cory is unveiling the most sweeping gun violence prevention proposal ever advanced by a presidential candidate, which at its core has a simple but effective idea: Licenses for guns.
Beginning on Day One in office, Cory would take action to close dangerous loopholes in gun sales, crack down on gun manufacturers, and invest in communities impacted by gun violence.
Here’s how he would do it:
Keep guns out of the wrong hands with gun licensing:
Just as a driver’s license demonstrates a person’s eligibility and proficiency to drive a car, a gun license demonstrates that a person is eligible and can meet certain basic safety and training standards necessary to own a gun.
Here’s how it would work: Individuals could seek a gun license at a designated local office, widely available in urban and rural areas, similar to applying for or renewing a passport. They would submit fingerprints, provide basic background information, and demonstrate completion of a certified gun safety course.
The FBI would then verify submission of required materials and run a comprehensive background check before issuing a federal gun license, after which the license-holder could freely purchase and own firearms. The license would be valid for up to five years before renewal with regular, automatic checks to flag non-compliance with license terms.
Recognizing that many states have already implemented state licensure programs, states could continue to do so, provided that they meet baseline federal standards.
Bring real regulation and oversight to gun manufacturers:
Nowadays, there is more regulation over toy guns than real ones. While medicine, children’s toys, and any number of other consumer products are subject to regulation by the federal government, firearms are exempt.
In other words, gun manufacturers have little incentive to make their products safer. Cory will work to close this loophole in federal oversight and allow the Consumer Product Safety Commission to ensure gun safety by making safety warnings and issuing recalls for faulty firearms.
End legal immunity that prevents victims of gun violence from seeking justice:
While civil liability can be applied to sellers and manufacturers of nearly every product, as a result of a 2005 law the gun industry is immune from nearly all lawsuits. The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) allows the gun industry to ignore public safety implications of the misuse of their products, such as gun trafficking.
Cory will fight to end gun industry immunity by repealing PLCAA and allow victims of gun violence to have their day in court when a gun dealer or manufacturer has acted negligently.
Require handgun microstamping:
Microstamping is technology that allows law enforcement to identify the source of ammunition used in crimes by making a shell casing traceable to the specific gun that fired the round. Unfortunately, in many cases, there is little evidence left behind at crime scenes, resulting in a homicide “clearance rate” of just 62 percent. Microstamping technology would allow law enforcement to trace crime guns as soon as a shell casing is found, helping to prevent future crimes from occurring.
Cory will fight to require that microstamping technology be incorporated into new models of semi-automatic handguns sold in the United States.
Close the “Boyfriend Loophole”:
While current law forbids an abusive spouse or ex-spouse convicted of abuse or under a restraining order from purchasing a firearm, the same commonsense rule does not extend to non-felony abuse at the hands of dating partners or former dating partners.
The risk of homicide in a domestic violence incident increases by 500 percent with the presence of a gun. Cory will make closing the “Boyfriend Loophole” a top priority.
Ensure a background check on every gun sale by closing the loophole on guns show and online sales and the so-called “Charleston Loophole”:
Background checks are foundational to any gun safety policy, but loopholes in current law allow individuals to purchase guns in private sales from strangers without a background check. Current law requires that federally licensed firearms dealers conduct background checks on individuals seeking to purchase a firearm in commercial transactions, but prohibited purchasers — such as criminals and domestic abusers — can exploit this loophole simply by finding an unlicensed seller.
More than 90 percent of American voters — and nearly 70 percent of NRA members — support universal background checks.
Ban assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, and bump stocks:
Large capacity ammunition magazines and assault weapons have been present in many mass shootings in the US, made for no other purpose than to kill people quickly and efficiently.
Provide dedicated funding for research on gun violence as a public health issue:
For the first time in modern history, the CDC announced that deaths from gun violence surpassed automobile accidents. Automobiles have become safer, in part, as a result of federal investment in research, but Congress has not provided federal funds to research gun safety.
After nearly two decades of shameful inaction, Cory will make a significant investment into research on gun violence, including into evidence-based approaches to reducing gun suicide.
Modernize and strengthen the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF):
As a result of relentless lobbying by the gun lobby, the ATF is drastically underfunded and has its hands tied. According to reporting by the New York Times, in the year beginning in October 2016, while more than half of inspections of licensed firearm dealers were cited for violations, less than one percent led to the loss of a license.
Cory will increase funding at ATF and would repeal the restrictive riders on ATF’s budget that restrict law enforcement’s ability to investigate crimes and crack down on gun dealers.
Support extreme risk prevention order laws:
An extreme risk protection order (ERPO) empowers family members or law enforcement to petition a court to temporarily remove firearms from individuals showing warning signs of hurting themselves or others. Cory will incentivize states to pass ERPO laws, along with robust due process protections.
Limit gun buyers to one handgun per month:
Limiting bulk purchases of firearms is essential to combating gun trafficking. Under current federal law, which contains no limit on the number of firearms one can purchase, traffickers will make bulk purchases in states with weak gun laws and then resell in states with stricter rules.
Require firearm owners to report lost or stolen firearms:
Researchers estimate that the majority of lost or stolen firearms are never reported, which limits the ability of law enforcement to trace the source of guns used in crimes. When law enforcement is able to trace a crime gun to the purchaser of record, he/she will often claim that it was lost or stolen to deny responsibility.
Cory will take the commonsense step to require gun owners to report their lost and stolen firearms, building on evidence that shows a correlation between the enactment of state reporting laws and major reductions in illegal gun trafficking.
Ramp up funding for community-based violence intervention programs:
Cory will direct new federal funding to support evidence-based programs similar to those he supported as mayor of Newark. According to a recent report by the Giffords Law Center, adopting a strategy of relationship-driven social services and more narrowly-targeted law enforcement interventions allowed Oakland, CA to cut annual shootings and homicides in half.
Additionally, Cory will provide grant funding to local law enforcement to combat gun violence to adopt new technology, including acoustic gunshot detection systems.
Increase trauma support for survivors and communities impacted by gun violence:
Cory would fight for resources and support for families and communities impacted by the scourge of gun violence.
Call on the IRS to conduct an investigation into the NRA’s tax status:
Currently, the NRA is exempt from federal tax under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. Cory is calling on the IRS to investigate whether certain activities recently reported in the news media should lead to revocation of its tax-exempt status.
Finally, beginning on Day One in office, Cory will take executive action to build on ongoing efforts and take concrete steps forward — closing dangerous loopholes in gun sales, cracking down on unscrupulous dealers and gun manufacturers, and investing in communities impacted by gun violence.
Add your name if you stand with Cory and his plan to end the epidemic of gun violence in our country:

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Owning a gun does not disqualify Kamala Harris from running for president

By George L. Cook III AfricanAmericanReports.Com

In the interest of full disclosure let me state that I am not a Kamala Harris supporter but I am a Democrat and as one I will support the winner of the Democratic primary. My purpose of writing this op-ed is to warn all Democrats, both progressive and moderate about ideological purity test hurting the party.

President Lyndon Johnson has been quoted as saying "You know the difference between cannibals and liberals? Cannibals only eat their enemies."

That statement is becoming even more true with upcoming 2020 Democratic Presidential Primary which is turning into a battle between moderate and progressives.

That brings me to a USA Today opinion piece written by Progressive Peter Funt who is a writer and host of "Candid Camera." Peter Funt writes that Kamala Harris should be qualified because she owns a gun. The argument he makes is that Harris' gun ownership somehow makes her less credible or hypocritical when it comes to gun control.

Harris owns a gun as someone who was a former prosecutor who had reason to worry about her safety. She keeps the firearm locked up and in a safe place in her home. Funt's arguments is another example of a purity test that doesn't help Democrats win the presidency in 2020.

The fact is many Democrats are okay with gun ownership but what common sense gun laws when it comes to who can own a gun, what types of firearms are legal, and how many guns one person can have. Most of us want laws that will prevent mass shootings and keep our children safe in schools.

Funt's rhetoric not only hurt Harris in this case but Democrats as a whole.

Here are three ways it hurts us Democrats:

1. The op-ed plays right into fringe right-wing fears that Democrats believe no one should own a gun and that the government wants to take their guns. A master charlatan like Trump would capitalize on that to remain, President of the United States.

2. This purity test will disqualify potentially good candidates like Harris, Beto O'Rourke, and Pete Buttigieg who also own guns. I don't think that what anyone wants as we want the best candidate up against Trump.

3. Fighting against gun ownership will hurt Democrats in swing states like Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. All states that Trump won and that Democrats need to retake the presidency.

I think those are three important reasons to back off the gun purity test.

In closing I would like to state that we as Democrats have to be careful about how candidates and their supporters go after each other during the primary season. The reason being that the winner of the Democratic Party will need to bring the party together after the primary season.

One way to do that is to get former candidates to endorse, and that becomes much harder when people feel that their candidate of choice was unfairly attacked. It also becomes much harder when losing candidates are so damaged by attacks during the primary that they lose credibility to endorse anyone or that their supporters are so angry that they stay home or worse yet vote for a third party candidate.

I don't care if you label yourself as liberal, moderate, or progressive Democrat, at the end of the day we are all Democrats, and we have to stop cannibalizing ourselves, or we will hand Trump a second term.

What's it going to be?

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Michelle Obama shows support for students fighting for sensible gun laws

As survivors of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting capture the nation’s attention with their persistent and powerful calls for sensible gun laws, former first lady Michelle Obama has expressed “total awe” and support for the young activists.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Kamala Harris condemns gun violence after mass shooting in Sutherland Texas

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) called for gun control after a mass shooting at a church in Sutherland, Texas which left multiple people dead and wounded on Sunday.

Senator Harris tweeted:

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Statement from the National African American Gun Association on Las Vegas shootings and gun laws

In light of the tragic shooting incident in Las Vegas in which 58 died, and over 500 were wounded I reached out to the National African American Gun Association for a statement. Phillip Smith,  president of the NAAGA, responded. While I don't agree with most of his response and much of it is what you would expect from a pro-gun organization, he did make some concessions as far as common sense gun laws that the NRA has not. Read his statement below. George L. Cook  III African American Reports.

To: George L. Cook III

Re: Las Vegas Shootings - Perspective

Hello George,

I want to say that first and foremost our Organization The National African American Gun Association would like to express our sorrow and deepest sympathy for the victims and families of the Las Vegas Shooting.
This is a tragic loss for everyone in the United States,  as Americans we all feel the pain from this......

When a Nation is hit with something like this it is easy and almost a natural reaction to point blame to a person, group, or Laws which might fill the void and provide some sort of rational answer...........we want to vent , scream, and talk about how this happened.........that is easy but it doesn't accomplish anything but becomes a divisive tool for certain organizations 

The first target of these conversations is almost always by default "Gun Laws" and how they need to be changed to take away people's rights to own Guns or severely limit them from the General public....typically the discussions range from taking Assault Rifles, enforcing background checks, improving Mental Health infrastructure, and changing the general public's taste for Guns

As in the case of the Las Vegas shooter he was a person who didn't have a previous record and was determined to
complete his mission.  Even the Las Vegas Police and Criminal Justice professionals have stated there was nothing Law Enforcement or the public could have done that would have prevented it.  He was an evil person acting as a "Lone Wolf" set out to do evil things to the public at a Concert.....

The Bigger question to me isn't what we should do next but what we shouldn't do as knee-jerk reaction

What we shouldn't do is start taking Gun Rights away from Law Abiding citizens like myself and millions of others in the United States.  You don't punish the good guys only to give Bad guys even more chances to kill folks because  Law Abiding Americans will now be totally defenseless.  Criminals and Mad Men are always going to find a way to have guns either Legally or Illegally that is a fact................ A good analogy is if you have a individual drunk driver kill several people on the highway and the  first reaction by the Government is to take everybody's car away in society because of the tragic event. That wouldn't seem logical or make sense,  nor does it seem rational to start taking guns away because of some evil person (s) action. 

You Can't legislate or force Morality upon the masses of the public......when you try do that you then become the next Dictator, Communist, or worse a Hypocrite. 
Do I believe in Practical and common sense laws when it comes to Gun Laws ........Yes I do...absolutely !

  • No I don't think a person should have a "Bump Stock" because you basically have "Machine Gun" and that is too much 
  • No  you can' have a gun if you are on the terror watch list
  • No you can't have a gun if you beat your wife and kids and are considered a  serial Domestic Abuser.
  • No if you have a violent Felony Record  you can't ever have a gun

We live in a Society where most of us are decent hard working Americans...but on occasion we will see someone lacking "Humanity for his fellow Man and wants to lash out and hurt as many individuals as they can....That is something that can't be corrected by any group of laws or local restrictions........unfortunately that is the nature of some people in society

Philip Smith
National President
National African American Gun Association

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Civil Rights icon John Lewis revives gun control push after Las Vegas shooting

Civil rights figurehead Rep. John Lewis, D-Georgia, re-upped the pressure on his Republican colleagues Wednesday to pass gun control legislation in the aftermath of Sunday’s mass shooting in Las Vegas.

Lewis and several of his House Democratic colleagues held a press conference on the steps of the U.S. Capitol to honor the victims of the shooting and protest Congress’ inaction on gun control in recent years. He was joined by House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and former Congressman Gabby Giffords, who narrowly escaped death after she was shot in the head at a constituent meet-and-greet in 2011.

“This Congress has failed the American people. As in Newtown and Aurora and Charleston and Orlando, now in Las Vegas, how many more must die? A hundred? A thousand? 10,000? A million? What is your blood price? How many more must die?” Lewis asked, according to Politico. “But there’s no number, is there? There’s no amount of blood or pain or death or suffering that would move this Congress to act. We hold moments of silence and vigil. We offer our thoughts and prayers, but it’s all a show, a placeholder until people forget.”

The group called for passage of a bill that would strengthen firearm background checks. Lawmakers also want Congress to establish a bipartisan Select Committee on Gun Violence to study the issue and recommend other potential legislation.

Their effort did not work. House Speaker Paul Ryan declined to bring up for a vote anything that would tighten gun laws and raised the prospect of punishing the Democratic lawmakers for breaking the chamber’s rules.

Minds are not likely to change this time either. Lewis reportedly approached Ryan earlier this week to see if he would come to Wednesday’s press conference, Politico reported. Ryan declined.


Friday, October 06, 2017

African-Americans should apply for gun licenses to scare lawmakers into action

By Leonard Greene NY Daily News

America would have tighter gun laws in 24 hours if every black person in America went out and bought a firearm.

In fact, black people wouldn't even have to purchase the guns. All we would need to do is fill out the gun license applications and get background checks.

Lawmakers would be passing stricter gun laws quicker than you can say bump stock.

That's the evil attachment Las Vegas madman Stephen Paddock used to legally turn his semi-automatic weapon into a rapid-fire killing machine when he unloaded Sunday on a crowd of country music concertgoers, killing nearly 60 outside his Las Vegas hotel.

In the days since, the White House has reaffirmed its commitment to the Second Amendment.

But how quickly would that change if black people started exercising their Second Amendment rights, and took advantage of ridiculous open carry laws?

Elected officials would amend the Constitution in a heartbeat, because nothing would scare America more than the thought of a heavily armed black population.

Not a credit card data breach.

Not North Korean nukes.

And, nothing, not even holding a gun to their heads, would move members of Congress to pass meaningful gun control faster than a flood of applications from black people threatening to stockpile weapons of their own.

I call it the Hotel Pool Theory.

Not long ago, racist white people were so against swimming with blacks that many hotel owners shut down their swimming pools rather than desegregate their facilities.

Likewise, Republican senators, and even the National Rifle Association for that matter, aren't about to stand around and let law-abiding black people have equal access to guns.

Not under today's laws, where restrictions are so lax you can practically buy a gun out of a vending machine or get one free with a gas station fill-up.

According to the Congressional Research Service, there are already more guns in the United States than there are people.

What we need are stricter laws, and legislation that would outlaw bump stocks instead of imposing “additional regulations” as the NRA suggests.

Applications from African-Americans and background checks on black buyers would be more than enough to scare lawmakers into action.