African-Americans Feel Left Out of the Gun Debate

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As the Parkland kids enjoy an outpouring of support, many who have been fighting for gun reform for years are wondering why no one is listening to them.

Weeks after the Parkland shooting, Johnetta Elzie, a civil rights activist who rose to prominence during the 2014 Ferguson protests, scrolled through her Twitter feed like most Americans, observing how the media treated the Parkland students fighting for gun reform—and she was perplexed.

These students’ ideas and voices were welcomed, she observed, while her voice and others like hers had been shunned and even ignored just four years earlier after the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri. Even though, to her, they were all speaking out against the same thing: gun violence in America.

 The difference was that Elzie had been protesting police violence, specifically, which she believes is a major part of the broader gun violence debate. While the Parkland kids were lauded, she was labeled a “threat actor.” FBI agents attempted to contact her about her plans to protest at the 2016 Republican National Convention, a tactic she insists was meant to intimidate her and her family. Similar complaints and calls to action by advocacy groups like the Black Youth Project 100, Black Lives Matter, NAACP chapters and the American Civil Liberties Union were criticized and classified as attacks on American law enforcement heroes.

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Watch: Constitutional Lawyer Explains the Real Motivation Behind the Second Amendment—and It’s Bad News for the NRA

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Source: https://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/real-motivation-behind-second-amendment

Posted by The NON-Conformist

Rifle Purchase Age Increase ‘On The Table’ For RNC, Despite NRA Opposition

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Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel told The Washington Examiner that the committee was weighing whether to support President Donald Trump’s proposal of increasing the age for rifle purchases from 18 to 21-years-old.

“I don’t know. We’ll see where that goes. I think it’s on the table,” she told the Washington Examiner in an article published Monday. “We have to look at the whole picture.”

She said Trump has been “thoughtful” in his propositions following the latest school shooting in Parkland, Florida that left 17 people dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School after a 19-year-old former student attacked the school. 

“I think the President’s been very thoughtful in what he’s proposing,” she said. “He’s listening to these parents. I think universally, we want to make sure our schools are safe. Period.”

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NRA Chief directs rant at Dems, FBI and Media

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Video PBS News Hour via YouTube

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5 Places Hypocritical Republicans Ban Guns for Their Own Personal Safety Do as they say, not as they do.

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After every mass shooting, a portion of this country insists the real problem is that there aren’t enough guns. The group that pushes this absurd lie includes Republican politicians, many of whom fear that admitting otherwise would drive away NRA donor funds. There’s been a lot of recent discussion about how GOP legislators do nothing in response to gun massacres, but a 2016 Harvard Business School study proves that’s not quite true. In states with overwhelmingly Republican legislative bodies, after mass shootings, “the number of laws passed to loosen gun restrictions [increases] by 75 percent.” Despite being counterintuitive and demonstrably dangerous, more firepower is the GOP’s go-to solution because “something something don’t tread on me.”

It’s a bad-faith proposition. A party that truly believes guns are the way out of this thing, and that an even more heavily armed populace will ensure American safety, would make different personal choices. In fact, we can gauge GOP disingenuousness on the gun issue just by noting all the places Republican politicians frequent where weapons are banned. Pointing out their hypocrisy has never helped to shame the GOP into decency, but it’s worth a review nonetheless.

Here are five places hypocritical Republicans ban guns in order to ensure their own personal safety.

1. The White House

Along with making Mexico pay billions for a wall it opposed and never taking a golfing vacation, Trump promised on the campaign trail to legislate a future in which guns could legally be brought into every kindergarten classroom and nursery. “My first day, it gets signed, okay? My first day,” Trump told supporters in Vermont in 2016. “There’s no more gun-free zones.”

While it’s true no president could unilaterally scrap federal law, it’s also true that Trump’s complicit Republican Congress would probably greenlight any pro-gun horrorshow he could dream up. Yet, in the year since he took office, Trump has not spoken out once—even via his digital bullhorn at Twitter—against the anti-freedom gun ban at the White House. What better way for this president to signify his wholehearted support for gun-based lifestyles than by letting White House visitors from around the world—especially those who live under the tyranny of gun control abroad—bring all the guns they want into the People’s House?

Or maybe Trump hasn’t brought up the matter because he doesn’t actually want strangers bringing guns into the White House, seeing as they can and do kill people at the squeeze of a trigger.

2. The Republican National Convention

The quadrennial gathering of this country’s most dedicated Republicans should be a place where GOPers can briefly escape oppressive gun-free “safe spaces” and live on their own gun-riddled terms. Attendees should be permitted—nay, required—to come armed to the teeth. Downtime convention activities should be strictly gun-focused. (Think ball pits, only filled with guns. Cocktail hours, only the drinks are all guns.) At the very end, instead of confetti, the audience should be showered in loose ammo.

But instead of a three-day orgy of gun lust and ammosexuality, the Republican National Convention is a gun-free zone. Guns were banned at the RNC in 20082012 and 2016, and that’s not for lack of trying by those who bothered to petition for bringing guns to the party. For some strange reason, the RNC keeps choosing venues that explicitly ban guns, almost as if it was looking for a convenient excuse. The Secret Service keeps banning guns from the events, almost as if it knows the whole “good guy with a gun” claim is a just a myth. And not a single Republican politician has raised their voice to demand guns be allowed on the convention floor, almost like they’re tacitly admitting to being iffy on the whole “responsible gun owners” thing.

3. Mar-a-Lago

A staffer told ABC News back in 2016 that guns were banned from Trump’s Palm Beach golf property, where the president spends so much time it’s hard to know when he’s doing the actual job of presidenting. That policy appears to still be in place, according to a Politico report from late last year. “Pocket knives, laser pointers, pepper spray, and any other items deemed to be a safety hazard are not permitted on property,” a letter the club sent to members cautioned. “Any items surrendered will not be returned.”

4. The U.S. Capitol Building

Surely, a Congress that has steadfastly refused to pass gun legislation is cool with guns in the Capitol building, if only to make a patriotic point. Why not let the Senate and House galleries double as shooting galleries, since guns are such a national point of pride? When are the gun-loving legislators of Congress, who believe that murdered 6-year-olds are just the price of freedom, going to change the rules so the U.S. Capitol building can become the guntopia it’s meant to be?

The short answer is never. Guns are banned on the Capitol grounds and inside the building itself, which includes the House and Senate galleries. Visitors are also warned against bringing “black jacks, slingshots, sand clubs, sandbags, knuckles, electric stun guns, knives (longer than 3”), martial arts weapons or devices…razors, box cutters, knives, knitting needles, letter openers…mace and pepper spray.”

Which all raises the question: what kind of heartless, cruel and immoral people consistently vote against gun control for most Americans’ work lives, but cynically keep guns far away from their own place of business?

5. Republican Town Halls

In early 2017, when Republican legislators realized that angry crowds were showing up in town halls to speak against repeals of the Affordable Care Act, they found two ways to avoid those meetings. The first was to label their own constituents “paid protesters.” The second was to demonize civically engaged voters as violent mobs. It was all for show, of course. In fact, as Talking Points Memo notes, “guns are frequently prohibited at GOP congressional town hall meetings, especially after the shooting of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in 2011. Even stalwart conservatives like Rep. Paul Ryan and former Rep. Allen West opted to ban firearms at their town halls.”

Texas Republican Louie Gohmert even went so far as to invoke Giffords as a political prop to get out of being berated by the people he supposedly serves.

“At this time there are groups from the more violent strains of the leftist ideology, some even being paid, who are preying on public town halls to wreak havoc and threaten public safety,” Gohmert claimed in a statement. “The House Sergeant at Arms advised us after former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords was shot at a public appearance, that civilian attendees at Congressional public events stand the most chance of being harmed or killed—just as happened there.”

Giffords, incredibly, had to release a statement encouraging Republicans to do their damn jobs.

“To the politicians who have abandoned their civic obligations, I say this: Have some courage,” Giffords’ message said. “Many of the members of Congress who are refusing to hold town halls and listen to their constituents’ concerns are the very same politicians that have opposed common-sense gun violence prevention policies and have allowed the Washington gun lobby to threaten the safety of law enforcement and everyday citizens in our schools, businesses, places of worship, airports, and movie theaters.”

In an interview later, Giffords stated, “If you don’t have the guts to face your constituents, then you shouldn’t be in the United States Congress.”

And maybe, if you don’t have the guts to deal with the laws you force the rest of us to live under, you for sure shouldn’t be involved in making them.

By Kali Holloway / AlterNet

Posted by The NON-Conformist

Trump reportedly doesn’t think high-school kids should be able to buy guns and may seek law raising the age limit???

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  • President Donald Trump reportedly told those close to him that he was open to the idea of a law barring those under 21 from buying rifles like the AR-15.
  • The AR-15 has been used in the deadliest shootings in recent US history, including last Wednesday’s massacre in Parkland, Florida, and handgun sales by federally licensed dealers are already restricted to those over 21.
  • Trump has already signaled he’s willing to take steps toward gun control, moving this week to ban bump stocks.

President Donald Trump’s meetings with victims of last week’s Florida school shooting appear to have made an impact on him, as he reportedly has told people close to him that high-school kids shouldn’t be able to buy guns.

Jonathan Swan of the news website Axios reports that Trump privately said he was open to a law barring those under 21 from buying rifles like the AR-15, which has been used in the deadliest shootings in US history.

Today, federal law has a minimum age of 18 for purchases of rifles or shotguns from licensed dealers and of 21 for handguns. Federal law also says, however, that unlicensed people, such as a friend who is making a one-off sale, can sell rifles or shotguns to those of any age and can sell handguns to those over age 18. States are allowed to make further restrictions.

Handguns are thought to be a higher security risk because they are easily concealed, even though rifles like the AR-15 are more capable in terms of range and ammunition capacity.

Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old suspect in last week’s Parkland, Florida, attack, the deadliest high-school shooting in recent US history, legally bought the AR-15 authorities say was used in the attack.

Swan cited an anonymous source as saying Trump was holding “loose and open-ended” talks about gun legislation, though the source cautioned that any proposal regarding ages of gun buyers was not close to being decided. Trump is hosting a listening session with high-school students and teachers from Parkland at the White House on Wednesday.

Throughout his presidency, Trump has proved responsive to media coverage, and the survivors of the Florida school shooting have become a sustained and vocal presence calling for gun control in the wake of the tragedy.

Trump has already proved flexible on the issue of gun control, on Tuesday ordering the Justice Department to hasten its proposed regulations on the sale of bump stocks, the devices that attach to the back of a semiautomatic rifle and allow it to function as an automatic weapon.

By Alex Lockie/BusinessInsider

Posted by The NON-Conformist

Rubio Defends NRA Ties, Says ‘Genie’s Out Of The Bottle’ On AR-15s

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During a tense interview aired Sunday, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) again rejected many Floridians’ criticism that certain gun control laws would have prevented Wednesday’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

He also defended his ties to the National Rifle Association, and blamed congressional inaction regarding such mass shootings on “people just mov[ing] on.”

Rubio hasn’t personally attempted to address mass shootings through legislation, he said, because “we don’t fully understand everything that could’ve been done to prevent this.”

Much of the mourning following the shooting at Stoneman Douglas, which left 17 dead and more injured, transformed with surprising speed into passionate political advocacy. And, perhaps aside from President Donald Trump, more of that passion has been directed at Rubio, a large beneficiary of the gun lobby’s support, than anyone else.

“I see this reported, it’s unfair, I’ve never said we can’t do anything,” Rubio said, repeating a point he made on the Senate floor Thursday. He added: “What I have said is that the proposals out there would not have prevented it, and that’s a fact.”

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