Archive for the 'Gun Control' Category
Thankfully, there is still more than one way to skin a cat––or in this case ‘skin’ gun manufacturers profits. After the Sandy Hook massacre, across the country––States, cities, teachers unions, churches, universities, etc.––are divesting their retirement funds from gun manufacturing companies.
For instance, when the California State Teacher’s Retirement System pension fund (CalSTRS) announced it was reviewing its $ 750 million in Cerberus Capital Management, that fund told PR Newswire: “we have determined to immediately engage in a formal process to sell our investment in Freedom Group.”
Freedom Group describes itself as the largest firearms maker in the United States. Its stock value, as well as that of other manufacturers dropped drastically in the last month. The ‘Washington Post’ reports:
“Smith & Wesson dropped 5.2 percent to close Monday at $8.65, extending its slide to 9.3 percent over two days after Friday’s massacre. Sturm Ruger has fallen 7.8 percent during the period, while Cabela’s, an outdoor-gear retailer that sells guns and ammunition, slumped 7.3 percent.”
It turns out that in addition to votes for gun-control politicians and financial support for such national advocates, ordinary Americans have additional power. Harry Keiley, a high school teacher with the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District and chairman of the board’s investment committee, told Hotspyer.com:
“I sat there with all of my thoughts and feeling very powerless knowing that I don’t sit on the Supreme Court, I don’t cast a vote in the United States Congress, I don’t sit in the state Legislature. I’m a school teacher and dad. And then it dawned on me … that I and this board are not powerless.”
Advising divestment, New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio told Associated Press (AP): “It’s a bad investment to put money behind companies that put military-grade weapons on our streets and refuse to take responsibility for the outcome. We should not be giving capital to an industry that is responsible for the deaths of thousands of Americans each year . . . it’s our moral responsibility.”
While its teachers’ unions are already divesting, other N.Y. City employees––i.e. police, firefighters, clerks, etc.––spoke to AP about dropping foreign gun makers as well:
“The city’s pension funds, worth $127.8 billion, have nearly $18 million invested in Brazilian gun maker Forjas Taurus, which sells the Taurus line of firearms in the U.S.; nearly $14 million in Olin Corp; $2 million in Sturm Ruger; and $1.7 million in Smith & Wesson.”
One wonders if those who make, sell and buy guns truly understand the depth of anger Americans feel about their trade that ends in the deaths of thousands of our citizens each year. As used Christian Bibles state: “They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course (Psalms 37: 9).” Actions by these cities, unions, etc. may help to put those societal foundations back in place.
Only because of the Sandy Hook massacre have many weakness of federal and state gun laws become public. To remedy these glaring neglects, politicians and private organizations urgently need strongly voiced support from Americans.
Major weaknesses include the: 1) Six years in which Congress has blocked the appointment of a head for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF); 2) Looping holes avoiding background checks of criminal or mentally ill buyers in private exchanges or at gun shows; 3) Insufficiency of national data on gun purchases; and 4) Rampant illegal gun trafficking across states and venues.
The first three of these issues are undoubtedly included in upcoming recommendations. However, gun trafficking may not be part of present plans. A New York Times editorial, ‘The Bid to Stop Gun Trafficking,’ insists better gun control must include a crack-down on the easy exchange of guns:
“Notably missing is a concerted crackdown on illegal gun trafficking. . . final recommendations should include a measure to stem the illegal gun trade and make it easier for law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute gun traffickers and the straw buyers and rogue dealers who enable them.” The editorial explains the ATF needs authority to impose penalties, and additional manpower to for inventory checks of gun dealers suspected of abetting gun trafficking.
Representative Elijah Cummings, Ranking Member of the Committee on Insight and Government Reform, defines gun trafficking as: “the transfer of a gun when an individual knows the gun will be transferred to a person who is prohibited by law from carrying a gun or to a person who intends to use the gun illegally.”
Mr. Cummings and Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney introduced in Congress the ‘Stop Gun Trafficking and Strengthen Law Enforcement Act.’ If passed, the legislation would criminalize such ‘straw purchases’ and “keep high-powered firearms out of the hands of dangerous criminals.” New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is to introduce a similar bill in the Senate.
In ‘Scientists Urge End to Limits on Gun Safety,’ Reuters writes that the National Rifle Association prevents research by “more than a hundred scientists from virtually every major U.S. university” to propose solutions for gun violence.
These scientists write: “While mortality rates from almost every major cause of death declined dramatically over the past half century, the homicide rate in America today is almost exactly the same as it was in 1950 . . . Politically-motivated constraints left the nation ‘muddling through’ a problem that costs American society on the order of $100 billion per year.”
Such obstructions have only led to abominably increasing death rates. Bible prophecies promise: “ . . . The LORD cometh out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain (Isaiah 26: 21).” Until He comes, honorable Americans must attack all sources of gun death rates or share in that punishment!
National Rifle Association (NRA) officials insist they have contributed enough money to Congressional politicians to stop any assault weapons ban. Having spent some $ 17 million in last year’s political races, the organization expects America’s political leaders to value their money over a child’s blood.
Emerging from the shadows, replacing bombastic spokesman Wayne LaPierre, NRA President David Keene, argues the NRA needs to get even more than the millions they already receive from gun and ammunition manufacturers.
Fighting against any attempt by national leaders to re-establish the assault weapons ban, or background checks covering all gun purchases, or the size of multi-round gun clips, Keene looks to the size of NRA’s contributions to Congress.
Over the weekend, Keene condemned any attempts to ban assault weapons or the hundred-plus magazine bullets each such rifle can carry. “We don’t think any of those things work. Our objection to those things is that they interfere with people’s rights without doing anything to solve the problem.”
The only concession he would accept is a data base of the mentally ill to prevent them from purchasing firearms. Otherwise, Keene promised the NRA would make it extremely difficult for any other recommendations from Vice President’s Commission on gun control to get pass Congress.
crooksandliars.com writes: “A 2011 report from the Violence Policy Center determined that 74 percent––or as much as $38.9 million––of the up to $52 million corporations had contributed to the NRA over six years had come from the firearms industry.”
And because of those continuing millions, Keene expects Congress to vote against gun safety. He believes that NRA money is powerful enough to cause American leaders to ignore the blood of those 20 children at Sandy Hook School, or those 260 children gunned down in Chicago in the last three years alone, etc.
However, other Americans are organizing to oppose NRA efforts to resist better gun safety. Arizona shooting victim, former Congresswoman Gabby Gifford, and her husband astronaut Mark Kelley, have formed a political action committee ‘Americans for Responsible Solutions,’ to raise significant funding.
Also, parents of Sandy Hook victims, have organized against opposition to gun safety. Called, the Sandy Hook Promise Group, victims’ parents aim to have communities around the country begin serious discussions about gun safety.
Such organizations as these signal not only finances but votes. Soon––as the Sandy Hook massacre should already demand––the question before every Congressperson and Senator will be: “Do I choose NRA gun money or the future shed blood of America’s children and adult victims of that gun lobby?”
Used Christian Bibles relate that the blood of Abel, murdered by his brother Cain, still speaks to God (Hebrews 11: 4 and 12: 24). NRA and Congress members should understand that the blood of gun victims also speaks to Him and thus should be speaking to them as well!
While the video in which he threatens to “start killing people” if the government comes after his guns went ‘internet viral,’ James Yeager, erstwhile firearms instructor from Tennessee, had his license to carry firearms revoked.
The Jackson Sun reports: “The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security on today announced the suspension of James Yeager’s handgun carry permit.” It claims the Department’s decision to suspend Yeager’s handgun carry permit is based on a “material likelihood of risk of harm to the public.”
Yeager, age 42, made the video because the federal government is moving to take executive action and/or pass legislation for gun control. Tennessee Commissioner Bill Gibbons told WBIR.com: “The number one priority for our department is to ensure the public’s safety. Mr. Yeager’s comments were irresponsible, dangerous, and deserved our immediate attention.
“Due to our concern, as well as that of law enforcement, his handgun permit was suspended immediately. We have notified Mr. Yeager about the suspension today via e-mail. He will receive an official notification of his suspension through the mail.” Gibbons cited Tennessee Safety Law TCA 39-17-1352 for support.
As owner of Tactical Response, a firearms and tactical training school in Camden, Tennessee, Yeager’s business––which advertises a ‘staff trained to kill’–– is jeopardized. Officials insist neither Yeager nor his school is State-certified.
“Yeager has the right to seek review of the department’s decision in the general sessions court of his county of residence or through the Department of Safety and Homeland Security,” The Jackson Sun claims.
Raw Story.com adds: “In a video posted to YouTube and Facebook on Wednesday, . . . Yeager went ballistic over reports that the president could take executive action with minor gun control measures after the mass shooting of 20 school children in Connecticut last month.”
Concerning stricter gun control laws, Raw Story quotes Yeager’s video: “I’m telling you that if that happens, it’s going to spark a civil war, and I’ll be glad to fire the first shot. I’m not putting up with it. You shouldn’t put up with it. And I need all you patriots to start thinking about what you’re going to do, load your damn mags, make sure your rifle’s clean, pack a backpack with some food in it and get ready to fight.”
After trying to edit the video, Yeager finally took it off the internet. “I was angry when I made the video and probably should have metered my words better. I am not plotting to kill any officials or anything like that,” he told Channel 4 News. He has also hired an attorney.
Christian messages stress that those who choose violence as the first and last resort are finally consumed by it: “For they know not to do right, saith The LORD, who store up violence and robbery in their palaces (Amos 3: 10).”
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