(Keep up with the boycotts here)
“Math is hard”…
On October 31st, 2017, a radicalized muslim man from Uzbekistan killed 8 people in downtown NYC with a truck. Although it was a horrific act that Trump politicized to strike out at the immigration policies of the time, that death toll was dwarfed by our informal and continuous nation-wide shooting war against each other. At that time, we put together a graphic depiction of the number of citizens killed in the month after the Las Vegas shootings in business-as-usual America. (tl:dr…3,791 people shot, 1,195 dead).
OK, kids, long division – no calculators: At least 15,549 people died of gun violence in 2017. Find the monthly average and use that to determine how many months it will take us to surpass the 2,996 death toll of the 9/11 terrorist attack? Show your work. (Answer 2.312 months)
Extra credit: How many 9/11-attacks’ worth of deaths did we have in 2017? (Answer 5.2)
Yet we still refuse to treat this as a national emergency.
(Demonizing the mentally ill is not actually a solution. Stop it now.)
Maybe people don’t understand how many children are dying too.
So, here’s some illustrated statistics on the deaths of our kids.
✝️ = dead, 👤 = injured
Since the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High, at least 69 kids under 18 have been shot. 26 of them were killed. (Those numbers are from the nonprofit, nonpartisan Gun Violence Archive.) This is what that looks like for us visual learners.
✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ 👤 👤 👤 👤 👤 👤 👤 👤 👤 👤 👤 👤 👤 👤 👤 👤 👤 👤 👤 👤 👤 👤 👤 👤 👤 👤 👤 👤 👤 👤 👤 👤 👤 👤 👤 👤 👤 👤 👤 👤 👤 👤 👤
Nineteen children are shot on an average day in the U.S.
👤 👤 👤 👤 👤 👤 👤 👤 👤 👤 👤 👤 👤 👤 👤 👤 👤 👤 👤
That’s at least two Little League lineups worth every 24 hours, and more than 7,000 kids under 18 each year, according to a July paper from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 1,300 of them die.
This is what 1300 dead children looks like for us visual learners.
Black teenage boys are particularly at risk. More than a third of black males who die between the ages of 15 and 19 are killed with a gun, according to 2014 CDC statistics.
Firearm suicides kill more than 1,000 children and adolescents each year.Guns are the means of 40 percent of all youth suicides, and suicide rates among America’s young people have been rising, as an article accompanying a new study released last week notes: Between 1999 and 2014, they tripled for 10- to 14-year-olds and jumped 50 percent for 15- to 24-year-olds.
A child dies in an accidental shooting every week. And that’s likely an undercount, USA Today and the Associated Press reported last May.
✝️ x 52 weeks = ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️ ✝️
It’s because of the numbers above that the United States has far more child gun deaths than any other high-income nation. Among wealthy, industrialized countries, 91 percent of children under 15 who are killed by guns die in the U.S., per a 2010 study.
“All students deserve to go to a school in a place without guns,” Judith Browne Dianis, executive director of the Advancement Project’s National Office, told Truthout. “Communities of color know all too well that schools with armed police and metal detectors don’t make students feel safe. Making schools feel like war zones or prisons is not the solution.”
FIRST – SERIOUSLY, NOTHING WILL CHANGE IF WE DON’T VOTE OUT POLITICIANS WHO WON’T PUT OUR KIDS’ SAFETY FIRST. (or ours!)
- Make a pact with your kids
- Make a pact with your grandkids.
- Download and sign this contract from Parentspromisetokids.org.
BAN SEMI-AUTOMATIC WEAPONS AND LARGE CAPACITY AMMUNITION MAGAZINES – “YES” on H.R. 5087 and S. 2095 – Assault Weapons Ban
People are very fond of their AR-15’s. Their lightness and lack of recoil, qualities that some dismissed as “toy-like”, now make them “first” weapons of choice for children. Adults will explain that they really are just “platforms” for specialized hunting or marksmanship equipment, a lethal Lego set. All this obfuscates that semi-automatic weapons, pink hand grips or no, were designed as a military grade weapons of war and are the mass shooter’s go-to gun. (newsweek) (military.com)
Only seven states (including CA) plus DC have banned semi-automatic weapons and only two others regulate them. Large capacity ammunition magazines holding up to 100 bullets, have been banned by only eight states (including CA) plus DC
Action: Urge your legislators to co-sign and vote for Congressman David Cicilline’s HR 5087, a House companion bill to Senator Feinstein’s Senate bill S. 2095, to ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines or thank them if they’re already supporters. Check here for your legislator’s position: HR 5087 (Thanks, Reps. Brownley and Carbajal) and S.2095. (Thanks, Senators Feinstein and Harris!) Contact information at bottom.
Minimal Script: I’m calling from [zip code] to thank Rep./Sen. [___] for supporting [Rep. HR 5087/Sen. S.2095) Assault Weapons Ban of 2018.
Minimal Script for non-supporter: I’m calling from [zip code] to ask Rep./Sen. [___] to co-sign and support us and our kids by voting “YES” on [Rep. HR 5087/Sen. S.2095) Assault Weapons Ban of 2017.
BAN BUMP STOCKS – YES on H.R. 3999 & S. 1916 – Automatic Gunfire Prevention Act
Action: Ask your legislator to ban Bump stocks devices that allow rifles to fire more rapidly, allowing a semi-automatic weapon to behave like an automatic one. At least 15 states are considering legislation to ban bump stocks after they were used in the Las Vegas shooting. (Check your legislator’s position here. (Rep. H.R.3999. /Sen. S.1916) (Reps. Brownley and Carbajal haven’t co-signed, send thanks to Senators Feinstein and Harris!) Contact information at bottom.
UNIVERSAL BACKGROUND CHECKS – “YES” on HR. 4240 – “Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act of 2017”/ S.2009 – Background Check Expansion Act.
Federal law requires background checks on firearms sold by federally licensed firearms dealers. However, 40% of all gun sales in America occur privately at gun shows, flea markets, over the internet, or between individuals. Universal background checks remain the most effective policy to reduce gun violence in our communities, yet only 19 states (including CA) require them. Meanwhile, studies show that people are dying in the wake of unregulated gun shows. Note that these two bills are not identical. HR 4240 specifically mentions not creating a permanent gun registry for those who have passed the background check, as provided for in the Brady Act. Pardon a brief rant/digression…The history of our deliberately ridiculous registry system, which consists of single copies of paper files kept in file drawers, boxes, or paper bags at over 60,000 licensed gun dealers until they retire or die, is described clearly here and here. Surrendered records go here to die.
Neither of these bills will alert us to any arsenal-building if the gun buyer is careful. If they don’t buy too many guns too quickly, they can amass as many as they want, completely legally. No law enforcement officer can know what they may be facing before they knock on a door as gun ownership cannot be traced by name. This completely bizarre federal law is thanks to the NRA. Since 1986, we’ve had no searchable database of America’s gun owners. This right here is the NRA’s bright red line…
Action: Ask your legislator to support universal background checks. Check here and here if they’ve co-signed yet.(Thanks, Reps. Brownley and Carbajal, Senators Feinstein and Harris!) Contact information at bottom.
EXTREME RISK PROTECTIVE ORDERS – “YES” on HR 2598/S.1212
Extreme risk protection orders (ERPO) allow families or law enforcement to petition a court to temporarily remove guns from the possession of individuals who may be at risk of injuring themselves or others. Only two states allow ERPOs to be initiated by family members.
Action: Ask your legislator to vote yes on Extreme Risk Protection orders. Check here and here if they’ve co-signed yet.(Thank Reps. Brownley and Carbajal and Senator Feinstein. Need Senator Harris to sign on.) Contact information at bottom.
REPEAL THE DICKEY ACT. – “YES” on HR 1832,HR 1478,& S.834 – Demand re-authorization of the CDC to study gun violence.
Our lifetime chance of being mortally shot in the US is 1 in 315. Not huge compared to heart disease and cancer at 1 in 6 and 7 respectively, but higher that the 1:491 odds of dying as a passenger in a car, van or truck, or the 1:611 chance of dying as a pedestrian. Being killed in a mass shooting is currently 1 in 11,125, far greater than in an earthquake, tornado, or cataclysmic storm. Also greater than the odds published in an earlier version of this article, published last year had the odds for gun events at 370 and 15,325 respectively. Guns violence is becoming more dangerous and we need to study it.
Click here and here to see if your legislators are on-board yet. (Thank everybody! Reps. Brownley and Carbajal have co-signed on HR 1832 and Senators Feinstein and Harris are both cosigners of S.834!)
HR 1832 – To Authorize the appropriations of funds to the CDC for conducting and supporting research on firearms safety or gun violence prevention.
HR. 1478 – Gun Violence Research Act: To repeal the provision that in practice prohibits the Department of Health and Human Services from sponsoring research on gun violence in fiscal year 2017, and for other purposes.
S.834 – (Companion bill to HR 1832)
Minimal Script for Reps. who support this: I’m calling from [zip code] to thank Rep./Sen. [___] for co-sponsoring (Rep. H.R.1832. & H.R. 1478/Sen. S.834) – Reauthorization of the CDC to study gun violence.
“NO” on S.446 – the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act.
Minimal Script for non-signer: I’m calling from [zip code] to thank Sen. [___] for not supporting S.446 – Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 (Thank both Feinstein & Harris)
Minimal script for co-signer: I’m calling from [zip code] to ask Sen. [___] to remove your co-sponsorship for S.446– Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017. Your vote will determine my next vote for you..
CALIFORNIA STATE LAW PROPOSALS: “YES” on SB1100.
Sen. Anthony Portantino, D-La Cañada Flintridge has stated that he’s amended Senate Bill 1100 on Wednesday to prohibit someone from purchasing more than one gun in 30 days and to increase the age limit to buy all firearms to 21. Current state law sets the age limit to purchase rifles and shotguns at 18 and imposes a higher age restriction of 21 on handgun sales. Revised wording is not yet available on the state website and we’ll update this when it’s available.
AGE LIMIT ON GUN PURCHASES – (No # yet) Age 21 Act
Under current federal law, an 18 year old can legally buy a semi-automatic rifle (compared to the requirement that they be 21 to purchase a handgun). Some states have passed laws to increase the minimum age to 21 for certain types of gun sales, but only Hawaii and Illinois have passed laws to make 21 the minimum age for all gun purchases. The Age 21 Act would create parity in federal firearms law by prohibiting the sale of those assault weapons to individuals under the age of 21. (PDF of text here)
WAITING PERIODS – waiting for a bill with long enough times
Waiting period laws mandate that a period of time elapse between a gun purchase and the physical transfer of the gun to the owner. They allow gun owners to think about their intentions and allow more time for a thorough background check to take place. Only nine states and DC have waiting periods laws.
H.R. 4018 provides for only a 3-day waiting period before a person may receive a handgun, which the Gifford Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence says is inadequate. Subject to certain exceptions, here are more useful waiting periods. California – 10 days, District of Columbia – 10 days and Hawaii – 14 days.
REQUIRE GUN OWNERS TO BE LICENSED, REGISTERED, AND COMPLETE SAFETY TRAINING – Waiting for bill
We require licenses for all sorts of activities, like driving and fishing. Yet most states do not require a license before purchasing a weapon that can kill people. Only 14 states have some form of gun licensing in place, and only 8 of those states require some sort of safety training to obtain a license. Requiring gun owners to register their firearms ensures gun owner accountability, yet only 6 states and DC require registration of some or all guns.
ELIMINATE “SHOOT FIRST” LAWS – Waiting for bill.
Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old teenager, was shot walking home because he “looked suspicious” (read: because he was black). His killer, George Zimmerman, was found not guilty due to Florida’s “shoot first” or “stand your ground” law, which allows a person to use deadly force in a public place in self-defense, even if such force can be avoided by the person’s retreat. Shoot first laws are a threat to public safety because citizens are able to shoot anyone they deem to be “suspicious.” In a nation with a deeply embedded history of systemic racism, these laws disproportionately affect our communities of color. A study conducted by the Urban Institute concluded that when the attacker is white and the victim is black, the homicide is 281% more likely to be found justified than if the victim is white. 35 states currently have “shoot first” laws that need to be eliminated.
HOW CAN YOU ADVOCATE FOR GUN LAW REFORM IN YOUR STATE?
You can try to find out what gun legislation is being considered in your state at Fast Democracy by selecting your state and using the search term “firearm.” But advocacy groups like Moms Demand Action, Everytown for Gun Safety, and Community Justice Reform Coalition have been fighting to end gun violence in our communities for decades. The best thing to do is to team up with these expert advocacy groups and join their efforts to fight for gun reform in your state!
CHANGE YOUR LANGUAGE
DON’T WASTE OUR TIME. DON’T LEGISLATE STUPID THINGS – like arming teachers.
This bright idea brought to us by the same fevered and uninformed imagination that started the “Mexico-will-pay” scam. One of the NRA’s favorite fantasies is the good-man-with-the-gun myth and Trump is stepping right into it. Despite Trump’s generous offer to pay armed teachers a little bit more, we must stand up for our teachers and ask that they be protected by sane gun legislation, like the rest of us.
Action: Tell you legislators that this craziness is not OK. Contact information at the bottom
Minimal Script: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Sen./Rep. [___] to know that we expect him/her to firmly reject any solution to gun violence that depends on arming our teachers.
Contact your Legislator
Rep. Julia Brownley: (CA-26): DC (202) 225-5811, Oxnard (805) 379-1779, T.O. (805) 379-1779
or Rep. Salud Carbajal: (CA-24): DC (202) 225-3601, SB (805) 730-1710 SLO (805) 546-8348
Which one is yours?: www.phoneyourrep.com
Senator Feinstein: DC (202) 224-3841, LA (310) 914-7300, SF (415) 393-0707, SD (619) 231-9712, Fresno (559) 485-7430
and Senator Harris: DC (202) 224-3553, LA (213) 894-5000, SAC (916) 448-2787, Fresno (559) 497-5109, SF (415) 355-9041, SD (619) 239-3884
Other Rep./Senator Contacts: www.phoneyourrep.com
Why the military, with the option of both full or semi-automatic settings, prefers the semi-automatic setting. (military.com)
- I’m Republican. I Appreciate Assault Weapons. And I Support a Ban. (nytimes)
- Democrats, please stop screwing up basic gun terms (thinkprogress) (gunshowtrader)
- The Unchecked Influence of NRA Lobbyist Marion Hammer. Florida Republicans have allowed the relentless pro-gun operator to become a de facto member of government.(thetrace) (nytimes) (Miamiherald) (huffpost)
- Gifford’s State Gun Law Scorecard
- Gifford’s Gun Laws by State
- Everytown for Gun Safety Gun Law Navigator
- CA gun show laws
- CA private sale laws
- CA ammunition regulation
- We’re combat veterans. We support the students demanding gun reform. (wapo)
- The good guy with a gun theory, debunked (Vice)(NBC)(AmericanProgress)(splinter news)
- One Teacher’s Brilliant strategy to stop future school shootings and it’s not about guns.(readers digest)
- A letter from a furious teacher (medium)
- Don’t Blame the Mentally Ill. Blame the Guns. The real threat isn’t “madmen”—it’s accessibility. (nation)
- The NRA’s plan to “harden” schools is terrifying. Key recommendations include getting rid of trees as well as windows.(MotherJones)
- The real reason Congress banned assault weapons in 1994 and why it worked (wapo)
- The boys are not alright. (nytimes)
- Here’s What It’s Like At The Headquarters Of The Teens Working To Stop Mass Shootings (buzzfeed)
- #ArmMeWith: Teachers Lead Opposition to Trump’s Plan to Give Educators Guns. “Teachers, we must as a nation and profession, refuse to be armed. This is not a professional development that we are willing to participate in.”(commondreams)
- NRA School Shield Program
- Despite NRA’s hard line on guns, some conservatives are rethinking the issue (pbs)
- In my part of red America, no one sees guns as part of the problem (Wapo)
- Why are conservatives so obsessed by guns. (slate)
- Catholic bishops are calling on all those of good will to demand action to protect these young Americans. (NYtimes)
- Black teens have been fighting for gun law reform for years (teen vogue)