Mass Shooting News - Page 76 of 122 - Unbelievable Shootings In The News

New Florida Bill Seeks To Bury Recordings Of Mass Shootings


from the screwing-the-public-to-save-the-government dept

Florida legislators are thinking about handing some opacity back to Florida law enforcement agencies in the wake of the Parkland school shooting. The tragedy of the event was compounded by on-site law enforcement’s response: that is, there wasn’t any. Faced with increased scrutiny over a handful of mass shootings in the state, at least one legislator’s response has been to bury the bad news under a new public records exemption. [h/t War on Privacy]

In less than three years, Florida has seen the second-deadliest mass shooting – Pulse nightclub – and the second-deadliest school shooting – Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. One gunman killed five at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. Another killed five at a Sebring bank.

Yet Senate Bill 186 would create an exemption to the state’s public records law for all photographs and audio and video recordings that relate to the “killing of a victim of mass violence.” The bill defines mass violence as the killing of at least three people, not including the perpetrator. Violation would be a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison.

Senator Tom Lee’s bill is a gift to the government at large, even if law enforcement agencies and schools will be the most direct recipients of this largesse. If this “privacy protection” had been in place a few years ago, the public would have had no idea how badly the Broward County Sheriff’s Department botched its response to the school shooting. Not only would that have kept the BCSD relatively free of criticism, it would have shielded its oversight — state legislators — from being asked what they were doing to prevent school shootings and/or ensure better response from those expected to serve and protect the public.

Supporters of bills like these claim it’s all about protecting the privacy of crime victims and their families. But as the excellent Sun Sentinel op-ed points out, most requests to block release of recordings originates with governments and businesses rather than the victims and their loved ones. These requests have prevented the public from accessing key details in everything from Dale Earnhardt’s Daytona crash to an inmate’s death at the hands of jailers.

The law already blocks the release of recordings containing the death of a law enforcement officer. This addition could be read to cover any deadly incident in which more than one person is killed. Any whistleblower releasing recordings to show the public what really happened — rather than the official narrative — will now face felony criminal charges for doing the right thing. This isn’t going to restore confidence in government agencies and their response to deadly incidents. All it will do is drive a wedge between them and the people they serve.

Filed Under: florida, mass shootings, recordings



Source link

Tesla whistleblower: Elon Musk claimed I was a mass shooter in revenge campaign


Elon Musk went overboard as he waged a ruthless campaign against a whistleblower who leaked a news story about wastefulness and safety concerns at Tesla’s California factory last year, according to a report.

Tesla’s billionaire boss orchestrated a stunt to falsely portray former Gigafactory employee Martin Tripp as a lunatic who threatened to shoot up the facility after he got caught leaking an exposé to Business Insider last June, Bloomberg Businessweek reported on Wednesday.

According to the Business Insider report, Tesla was shipping cars with unsafe batteries and wasting a “jaw dropping” amount of materials as it ramped up production of the Model 3 sedan.

While investigating to see if Tripp was the leaker, former Gigafactory security manager Sean Gouthro said Tesla’s security team — some of them hired away from Uber — somehow hacked into Tripp’s phone and were able to read his texts in real time.

Gouthro — who has since left Tesla and filed a whistleblower claim of his own with the Securities and Exchange Commission — also claims in the report that a Tesla investigator “installed a device at the factory that monitored everyone’s private communications.”

“They had the ability to do things I didn’t even know existed,” Gouthro told Businessweek. “It scared the s–t out of me.”

Gouthro likewise alleged shocking conditions inside the Gigafactory, with some employees doing meth and cocaine in the bathrooms and having sex in unfinished parts of the factory.

After he was fired, Tripp saw a post online that included personal information — including where he lived — and immediately emailed Musk.

“You have what’s coming to you for the lies you have told to the public and investors,” Tripp wrote.

“Threatening me only makes it worse for you,” the chief executive fired back, adding, “You’re a horrible human being.”

Tesla’s security told police that it had received an anonymous tip that Tripp was planning a mass shooting at the factory. But soon after, law enforcement found Tripp “unarmed and in tears,” according to Businessweek.

The sheriff declined Tesla’s request to make a public announcement about the threat, concluding there wasn’t one. But the following morning, a Tesla rep texted a reporter that the company had received “a phone call from a friend of Mr. Tripp telling us that Mr. Tripp would be coming to the Gigafactory to ‘shoot the place up,’” according to the Wednesday report.

Tripp has launched a GoFundMe page to pay his legal bills in his battle with Tesla.

In a written statement to The Post, Tesla called Gouthro’s claims “untrue and sensationalized, and intended to seek the attention of the media.”



Source link

At least 10 killed in Brazil school shooting including two suspects


Two masked men armed with a gun, knives, axes and crossbows descended on a school in southern Brazil on Wednesday, killing five students and two adults before taking their own lives, authorities said.

Forensic vehicles transport the bodies of the people who were killed in a school shooting at the Raul Brasil State School in Suzano, in the greater Sao Paulo area, Brazil, Wednesday, March 13, 2019.
(AP)

Two former pupils shot dead eight people, most of them students and staff, at a high school near Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Wednesday before turning their weapons on themselves, authorities said.

The two assailants burst into the school grounds in the early morning, armed with a .38 calibre revolver and a “medieval weapon that looked like a bow and arrows,” military police Colonel Marcelo Sales said.

After shooting at students in the yard, the killers headed to the language centre where several pupils were hiding and “committed suicide in a corridor,” he said.

Brazil is one of the most violent countries in the world, and the victims in this case were five students aged 15 to 17, two school officials aged 38 and 59, and a 51-year-old carwash owner who was shot by the attackers before they arrived at the school, said Sao Paulo’s Public Security Secretary Joao Pires de Campos.

TRT World’s Mia Alberti reports.

Eleven other people were wounded in the shooting at the Raul Brasil public school in Suzano, on the outskirts of Sao Paulo in southeast Brazil.

“It’s the saddest thing I’ve ever seen,” said Sao Paulo State Governor Joao Doria.

Tearful residents later held a street mass near the school, where flowers and candles commemorated the dead.

President Jair Bolsonaro expressed his sympathies on Twitter to “the families of this inhumane attack,” describing it as “a monstrosity and enormous cowardice.”

The two assailants, who wore hoods, were identified as former pupils aged 17 and 25. The reasons for the attack are unknown.

Relatives and students react while paying tribute to victims of the shooting in the Raul Brasil school in Suzano, Sao Paulo state, Brazil March 13, 2019.
(Reuters)

Screams of terrified pupils

Worried family members quickly arrived at the school alongside firefighters and security services.

“I found out when my daughter called me and said: ‘Mommy, come quickly, there are injured people, dead people’,” said the mother of one pupil, who gave her name only as Rosa.

The attack took place at around 9:30 am (1230 GMT) during a recess period for some students, authorities said.

Website UO1 said the two killers “entered the school shooting with their heads covered by a hood.”

Another website, G1, published a grainy video purportedly taken inside the school in which the screams of terrified pupils can be heard as they come across dead classmates.

“We locked ourselves in a classroom,” said Milene Querren Cardoso.

“We tried to help each other until the door opened and we thought it was the criminals coming for us; but no, it was the police…
and we ran out.”

GloboNews showed video images of pupils fleeing the scene after escaping over a wall.

Education Minister Ricardo Velez published a statement offering “solidarity with the parents, families and staff at the school in this moment of shock, mourning and pain.”

A vehicle of the forensic team is seen at the Raul Brasil school after a shooting in Suzano, Sao Paulo state, Brazil March 13, 2019.
(Reuters)

‘Encouraging violence’

It is not the first mass school shooting in Brazil’s history.

In April 2011, a former pupil killed a dozen school children and injured many more before turning his gun on himself at a school in the suburbs of Rio de Janeiro.

Brazil had 64,000 murders in 2017 — a rate of almost 31 per 100,000 inhabitants, or three times higher than the level the United Nations classifies as endemic violence.

Far-right leader Bolsonaro controversially passed a law relaxing gun ownership rules soon after assuming power in January, delivering on a campaign promise. He has also spoken out in favour of allowing people to carry weapons on the streets.

Politicians and social media users were quick to debate whether Bolsonaro’s measures, or images from similar such mass shootings on US school and university campuses, were to blame for this attack.

Gleisi Hoffmann, president of the opposition Workers Party, said: “Tragedies like this are the result of encouraging violence and the liberation of the use of weapons.”

But Vice President Hamilton Mourao dismissed any suggestion Bolsonaro’s policy was to blame.

“Are you suggesting the gun those guys had was legal? It’s got nothing to do with it,” he said, although acknowledging that the subject would be discussed.

Source: AFP



Source link

Gun legislation to come before Pittsburgh council Wednesday, but no vote yet


TO THEIR PLAN. >> WE HAVE LINED UP SOME OF THAT HERE, ACADEMIC STUDIES ABOUT THE IMPACTS OF GUN BANS AND GUN VIOLENCE SPIRIT FEDERAL TESTIMONY FROM PAST COURT CASES, ALL OF THIS IS GOING IN CITY COUNCIL FIRE — FILE AS A PREPARES TO VOTE AS SOON AS NEXT WEEK ON PITTSBURGH’S PROPOSE GUN LEGISLATION. >> IN THE PAST FIVE YEARS, MULTIPLE STUDIES CONDUCTED BY RESEARCHERS AT ESTEEMED INSTITUTIONS AND PUBLISHED IN TOP MEDICAL AND PUBLIC HEALTH JOURNALS DEMONSTRATE FIREARM LEGISLATION CAN SAVE LIVES. >> THIS DOCTOR TOLD COUNCIL SHE IS A RESEARCHER AND A PEDIATRICIAN. >> FIREARMS HAVE TAKEN THE LIFE OF FAR TOO MANY OF MY PATIENTS. I HAVE BORNE WITNESS TO THE PAIN OF FAMILIES AS THEY LEARN OF THE DEATH OF THEIR SONS AND DAUGHTERS. REPORTER: TWO OF NINE COUNCIL MEMBERS ABSTAINED FROM PUTTING THIS RESEARCH AND COUNCILS RECORD. >> THE QUESTION IS NOT WHETHER GUN VIOLENCE IS HORRIBLE. THE QUESTION IS DO WE HAVE THE AUTHORITY? >> ALTHOUGH IT IS LEGAL, I THINK THERE IS A WAY TO PASS LEGISLATION THAT IS ALLOWED. >> NO GUN BILL SHOULD BE IN THIS TABLE. BECAUSE THESE ARE STATE LAWS. REPORTER: AS COUNSEL REVIEWS THE RESEARCH ON PUTS IT ON LINE FOR THE PUBLIC TO VIEW, THEY ARE PREPARING TO POSSIBLY VOTE ON THE GUN LEGISLATION IN COMMITTEE AS SOON AS NEXT WEDNESDAY. IN PITTSBU

Pittsburgh’s proposed gun legislation now lists research on issue; amendments, first vote could come next week

Members Corey O’Connor and Erika Strassburger say council has been gathering research, preparing amendments to gun bills

Updated: 6:22 PM EDT Mar 13, 2019

The Pittsburgh City Council has added an estimated 2,200 pages of research — including academic studies about the impacts of assault weapon bans and gun violence and federal testimony from past court cases — to its official file on proposed gun legislation. Wednesday’s actions set the stage for a potential committee vote in one week on amendments to the bills themselves.”In the past five years alone, multiple studies — conducted by leading researchers at esteemed institutions and published in the top medical and public health journals — demonstrate that firearms legislation can save lives, said Dr. Alison Culyba, a pediatrician and violence prevention researcher at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh during the time for public comment at the meeting.”Firearms have taken the lives of far too many of my patients. I have borne witness to the pain of families as they learn of the deaths of their sons and daughters,” Culyba said.Two of the nine council members abstained from putting this research in the council’s record.”The question is not whether gun violence is horrible. The question is, do we have the authority?” said Council member Theresa Kail-Smith, who was one of the abstentions.”Although it’s very nuanced, it is very legal. I think there is a way to pass legislation that is allowed,” said Council member Erika Strassburger, a co-sponsor of the gun legislation.”No gun bill should be at this table because these are state laws,” said Darlene Harris, who was the other abstention.The City Council could vote on amendments to the gun legislation and take preliminary votes on the three bills themselves next Wednesday. Members Corey O’Connor and Strassburger said the council has been gathering research and preparing amendments to the gun bills.In December, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, joined by members of City Council and the state Legislature, said they will work to pass what they call “commonsense gun legislation” for Pittsburgh.The proposals come in the wake of the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting and on the anniversary of the Sandy Hook school shooting. Peduto said it’s clear more needs to be done on gun issues on the local level. He and Wolf also support changes in state law to empower Pittsburgh and other local governments to act.”The only answer we’ve gotten from Washington is, ‘Nothing can be done, there’s nothing that can be done.’ That is not an answer. There are solutions that can be done,” Peduto said during the December news conference attended by gun safety advocates and supporters. “What has stalled in Washington doesn’t necessarily mean that we can’t make it happen at a local level.””We simply cannot accept this violence as a normal part of American life. and now we can’t wait any longer,” Wolf said at the time. The governor supports changes in state law to empower Pittsburgh and other local governments to act.”If we continue to allow so many citizens to live in fear of mass shootings, when we can act right now, right now, to reduce that risk, we’re robbing citizens of their rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” Wolf said.The three bills introduced in the City Council include:-A ban on assault weapons within Pittsburgh.-A ban on accessories, ammunition and weapon modifications often used in mass shootings.-Adoption of “extreme risk protection orders” that would let courts temporarily prohibit someone from having guns if law enforcement or immediate family show the person poses a “significant danger.”Gun advocacy groups have been fighting the legislation.”The ordinances that the city of Pittsburgh is contemplating are illegal. And the city should know this because we beat them in 1994, and we’re going to beat them again,” Kim Stolfer, president of Firearms Owners Against Crime, said in December. “The fact is, what the city’s doing is illegal and there’s very little difference between them and the killer at the synagogue except for a matter of degree. They’re both criminals.”A spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action, Amy Hunter, wrote in an email to Pittsburgh’s Action News 4: “The draft ordinances – if enacted as written – would infringe fundamental rights, violate state law, and cost taxpayers dearly because the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has already twice invalidated similar ordinances. To add insult to injury, these bad policies would do nothing to reduce firearm-related crime. These proposals are nothing more than grandstanding from anti-gun politicians who aren’t concerned about trampling on their citizens’ rights.””I think it has been very clear over the last several years that there needs to be more that is done at the local level, and that requires the changes of laws at a state and federal level that empowers us to protect the people that we call our neighbors,” Peduto said.Members of the City Council had originally said they had hoped to pass the gun legislation for Pittsburgh by Feb. 14, the anniversary of the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida.The gun legislation research items have been posted on the city’s website. 1. 2018-1218 An Updated Assessment of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban- Impacts on Gun Markets and Gun Violence, 1994-2003, 2. 2018-1218 Gunshot wounds, ballistics, bullets, weapons, 3. 2018-1218 Declaration of John J. Donohue, 4. 2018-1218 Declaration of Lucy P. Allen, 5. 2018-1218 Criminal Use of Assault Weapons and High-Capacity Firearms- An Updated Examination of Local and National Sources, 6. 2018-1218 The Impact of State and Federal Assault Weapons Bans on Public Mass Shootings, 7. 2018-1218 Lethality of Civilian Active Shooter Incidents, 8. 2018-1218 Mass Casualty Shooting Venues, Types of Firearms, and Age of Perpetrators in the United States, 1982-2018, 9. 2018-1218 Changes in US Mass Shooting Deaths Associated With the 1994-2004 Federal Assault Wapon Ban, 10. 2018-1218 An Updated Assessment of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban, 11. 2018-1218 Gunshot Wounds- A Review of Ballistics, Bullets, Weapons, and Myths, 12. 2018-1218 Declaration of John J. Donohue, 13. 2018-1218 Declaration of Lucy P. Allen, 14. 2018-1218 Criminal Use of Assault Weapons and High-Capacity Firearms- an Update Examination of Local and National Sources, 15. 2018-1218 The Impact of State and Federal Assault Weapons Bans on Public Mass Shootings, 16. 2018-1218 Lethality of Civilian Active Shooter Incidents, 17. 2018-1218 Mass Casualty Shooting Venues, Types of Firearms, and Age of Perpetrators in the United States, 1982-2018, 18. 2018-1218 Changes in US Mass Shooting Deaths Associated With the 1994-2004 Federal Assault Wapon Ban These are links to the three bills themselves:2018-12182018-12192018-1220

PITTSBURGH —

The Pittsburgh City Council has added an estimated 2,200 pages of research — including academic studies about the impacts of assault weapon bans and gun violence and federal testimony from past court cases — to its official file on proposed gun legislation. Wednesday’s actions set the stage for a potential committee vote in one week on amendments to the bills themselves.

“In the past five years alone, multiple studies — conducted by leading researchers at esteemed institutions and published in the top medical and public health journals — demonstrate that firearms legislation can save lives, said Dr. Alison Culyba, a pediatrician and violence prevention researcher at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh during the time for public comment at the meeting.

“Firearms have taken the lives of far too many of my patients. I have borne witness to the pain of families as they learn of the deaths of their sons and daughters,” Culyba said.

Two of the nine council members abstained from putting this research in the council’s record.

“The question is not whether gun violence is horrible. The question is, do we have the authority?” said Council member Theresa Kail-Smith, who was one of the abstentions.

“Although it’s very nuanced, it is very legal. I think there is a way to pass legislation that is allowed,” said Council member Erika Strassburger, a co-sponsor of the gun legislation.

“No gun bill should be at this table because these are state laws,” said Darlene Harris, who was the other abstention.

The City Council could vote on amendments to the gun legislation and take preliminary votes on the three bills themselves next Wednesday. Members Corey O’Connor and Strassburger said the council has been gathering research and preparing amendments to the gun bills.

In December, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, joined by members of City Council and the state Legislature, said they will work to pass what they call “commonsense gun legislation” for Pittsburgh.

The proposals come in the wake of the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting and on the anniversary of the Sandy Hook school shooting. Peduto said it’s clear more needs to be done on gun issues on the local level. He and Wolf also support changes in state law to empower Pittsburgh and other local governments to act.

“The only answer we’ve gotten from Washington is, ‘Nothing can be done, there’s nothing that can be done.’ That is not an answer. There are solutions that can be done,” Peduto said during the December news conference attended by gun safety advocates and supporters. “What has stalled in Washington doesn’t necessarily mean that we can’t make it happen at a local level.”

“We simply cannot accept this violence as a normal part of American life. and now we can’t wait any longer,” Wolf said at the time. The governor supports changes in state law to empower Pittsburgh and other local governments to act.

“If we continue to allow so many citizens to live in fear of mass shootings, when we can act right now, right now, to reduce that risk, we’re robbing citizens of their rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” Wolf said.

The three bills introduced in the City Council include:

-A ban on assault weapons within Pittsburgh.

-A ban on accessories, ammunition and weapon modifications often used in mass shootings.

-Adoption of “extreme risk protection orders” that would let courts temporarily prohibit someone from having guns if law enforcement or immediate family show the person poses a “significant danger.”

Gun advocacy groups have been fighting the legislation.

“The ordinances that the city of Pittsburgh is contemplating are illegal. And the city should know this because we beat them in 1994, and we’re going to beat them again,” Kim Stolfer, president of Firearms Owners Against Crime, said in December. “The fact is, what the city’s doing is illegal and there’s very little difference between them and the killer at the synagogue except for a matter of degree. They’re both criminals.”

A spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action, Amy Hunter, wrote in an email to Pittsburgh’s Action News 4: “The draft ordinances – if enacted as written – would infringe fundamental rights, violate state law, and cost taxpayers dearly because the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has already twice invalidated similar ordinances. To add insult to injury, these bad policies would do nothing to reduce firearm-related crime. These proposals are nothing more than grandstanding from anti-gun politicians who aren’t concerned about trampling on their citizens’ rights.”

“I think it has been very clear over the last several years that there needs to be more that is done at the local level, and that requires the changes of laws at a state and federal level that empowers us to protect the people that we call our neighbors,” Peduto said.

Members of the City Council had originally said they had hoped to pass the gun legislation for Pittsburgh by Feb. 14, the anniversary of the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida.

The gun legislation research items have been posted on the city’s website.

1. 2018-1218 [Resource A] An Updated Assessment of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban- Impacts on Gun Markets and Gun Violence, 1994-2003, 2. 2018-1218 [Resource B] Gunshot wounds, ballistics, bullets, weapons, 3. 2018-1218 [Resource C] Declaration of John J. Donohue, 4. 2018-1218 [Resource D] Declaration of Lucy P. Allen, 5. 2018-1218 [Resource E] Criminal Use of Assault Weapons and High-Capacity Firearms- An Updated Examination of Local and National Sources, 6. 2018-1218 [Resource F] The Impact of State and Federal Assault Weapons Bans on Public Mass Shootings, 7. 2018-1218 [Resource G] Lethality of Civilian Active Shooter Incidents, 8. 2018-1218 [Resource H] Mass Casualty Shooting Venues, Types of Firearms, and Age of Perpetrators in the United States, 1982-2018, 9. 2018-1218 [Resource I] Changes in US Mass Shooting Deaths Associated With the 1994-2004 Federal Assault Wapon Ban, 10. 2018-1218 [Summary A] An Updated Assessment of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban, 11. 2018-1218 [Summary B] Gunshot Wounds- A Review of Ballistics, Bullets, Weapons, and Myths, 12. 2018-1218 [Summary C] Declaration of John J. Donohue, 13. 2018-1218 [Summary D] Declaration of Lucy P. Allen, 14. 2018-1218 [Summary E] Criminal Use of Assault Weapons and High-Capacity Firearms- an Update Examination of Local and National Sources, 15. 2018-1218 [Summary F] The Impact of State and Federal Assault Weapons Bans on Public Mass Shootings, 16. 2018-1218 [Summary G] Lethality of Civilian Active Shooter Incidents, 17. 2018-1218 [Summary H] Mass Casualty Shooting Venues, Types of Firearms, and Age of Perpetrators in the United States, 1982-2018, 18. 2018-1218 [Summary I] Changes in US Mass Shooting Deaths Associated With the 1994-2004 Federal Assault Wapon Ban

These are links to the three bills themselves:

2018-1218

2018-1219

2018-1220

AlertMe



Source link

Daily Bulletin: Mass Shootings Are a Top Voting Issue for Gen Z and Millennials


Good morning, Bulletin readers. Last year, The Trace and FiveThirtyEight reported that the CDC’s data on gunshot injuries is out of step with other estimates. The agency came out with new numbers earlier this year. They’re even shakier! That story and more, below.

Receive this daily news briefing by email every morning. Sign up here.

NEW from THE TRACE: The CDC’s gun injury data is becoming even less reliable. Researchers and journalists frequently lean on injury estimates from the nation’s premier public health agency, which are updated annually. But its data for gunshot patients is “unstable and potentially unreliable,” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s own standards. Since we first flagged the problem, the CDC has put out new figures. They’re even less reliable than its prior estimates. “You just can’t use those numbers,” a leading gun violence researcher told us. Sean Campbell and Daniel Nass have the update. Related: Read the original story, published in partnership with FiveThirtyEight.

NRA board members vs. NRATV. The New York Times reports that two of the gun group’s board members have expressed concerns about the incendiary rhetoric pushed by its streaming service. “Since the founding of NRATV, some, including myself and other board members, have questioned the value of it,” said top lobbyist Marion Hammer in a statement echoed by Willes K. Lee, leader of the National Rifle Association’s Outreach Committee. Lee added that CEO Wayne LaPierre appeared “livid and embarrassed” after watching an NRATV segment that showed Thomas the Tank Engine characters wearing digitally added Ku Klux Klan hoods to mock racial diversity. Their statements follow a round of cutbacks at the media operation, including the firing of one of its well-known hosts.

Mass shootings are a top voting issue for Gen Z and millennials. According to a new Harris poll commissioned by Axios, mass shootings are among the top political priorities for people in their 30s and younger, along with racial equity, immigrant rights, climate change, and health care. Separate research by Pew estimates that those two groups will make up 37 percent of the electorate in 2020.

The number of gun owners in California has more than doubled since 2008. As of January 2019, the state was home to more than 2.5 million known gun owners, according to California Department of Justice data. A decade ago, there were fewer than one million. From The Trace archives: Why estimates of American gun ownership vary so widely.

Florida lawmakers want to make it illegal for children to post photos of guns online. The proposal is intended to stop shootings that stem from social media threats, the proposal’s backers say. And they want to hold parents accountable if their children are caught posting photos online with a gun that wasn’t properly stored.

A man killed his wife and two of her friends after she tried to stop him from driving drunk. Police say Marlee Jones Barnhill of Mississippi was pleading with her husband to not drive away from her 27th birthday party drunk on Friday night when he became angry and pulled a gun out of his car. After fatally shooting her in the chest, police say he went back inside and killed two others. Hours before the incident, Barnhill posted a video blog telling her followers: “Have a great night, be safe whatever you’re doing, we’re gonna be safe, and I will talk to y’all later!”

ONE LAST THING

T-shirt printers offer artful mementos for grieving loved ones. In many American cities, airbrushed R.I.P. T-shirts are a common way to memorialize those left behind by gun violence. In a photo essay, Topic documents the tradition in Miami, home to dozens of these printing shops. “We wear them on the regular,” says one woman of the T-shirts designed for her 31-year-old sister, who was killed by a stray bullet while sitting on her porch last year.  “I never thought that I would see my sister on a shirt this soon.”

 



Source link

Kids around the world plan to skip school this Friday to demand action on climate change


Young people around the world are not interested in excuses when it comes to dealing with climate change.

Every year of their lives has been one of the warmest recorded. Extreme weather events, including floods, wildfires and heat waves, are becoming the new norm. Many believe that, if nothing is done to stop global warming, their generation will be left to deal with catastrophic consequences.

That’s why, on March 15, tens of thousands of students worldwide will be cutting class and taking to the streets to demand that elected officials act.

Here’s what you need to know about their movement.

How we got here

The global climate strike on March 15 is an offshoot of the #FridaysForFuture movement, which has been active around the world for months.

It began with Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old environmental activist, who in August 2018 started skipping school on Fridays to protest outside Sweden’s parliament.

You might remember how she roasted the global elite at the World Economic Forum by telling them they were to blame for the climate crisis. Before that, she delivered a damning speech at the United Nations’ climate conference COP24, telling climate negotiators they weren’t “mature enough to tell it like it is.”

Thunberg has said she won’t stop her sit-ins until Sweden is in line with the Paris Agreement, an accord that aims to limit a global temperature rise this century to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Her protests have inspired thousands of young people around the world. Students in countries including Australia, Thailand, Uganda and the United Kingdom have already skipped school to demand that their governments act against climate change.

Students in more than 90 countries and more than 1,200 cities around the world plan to join the strike in what could be one of the largest environmental protests in history.

Why they’re striking

The question many student protesters have for officials who might scold them for cutting class is: What’s the point in going to school if climate change might destroy all hope of a future?

Right now, they say, they’ve got bigger things to worry about.

That’s because world leaders only have 11 more years to avoid disastrous levels of global warming, according to a 2018 report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change(IPCC).

If human-generated greenhouse gas emissions continue at the current rate, the planet will reach 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels as soon as 2030. That threshold is critical.

Global warming at that temperature would put the planet at a greater risk of events like extreme drought, wildfires, floods and food shortages for hundreds of millions of people, according to the IPCC report.

According to the report, curbing global warming would require “rapid and far-reaching” changes in land use, energy sources, infrastructure and industrial systems. The students who are protesting don’t think enough is being done.

In an open letter published in The Guardian newspaper, a group of youth-led climate activists called climate change “the biggest threat in human history” and said young people will no longer accept the inaction of world leaders. They’re taking matters into their own hands, “whether you like it or not.”

“We have the right to live our dreams and hopes,” the letter reads. “Climate change is already happening. People did die, are dying and will die because of it, but we can and will stop this madness.”

Young climate activists are hoping to spark a widespread dialogue about climate change, following in the footsteps of their peers in Parkland, Florida, who led a national conversation about gun control after a mass shooting at their school.

What they want

The demands of students vary from country to country, but one common thread among them is that countries cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Strikers in Australia are fighting against a controversial coal mine project and are demanding a full transition to renewable energy by 2030. Among the demands of the UK protesters is lowering the voting age to 16.

Kids in the US want a radical transformation of the economy. Here’s what that agenda includes, according to the Youth Climate Strike website:

a national embrace of the Green New Deal
an end to fossil fuel infrastructure projects
a national emergency declaration on climate change
mandatory education on climate change and its effects from K-8
a clean water supply
preservation of public lands and wildlife
all government decisions to be tied to scientific research

Who’s on their side

The kids leading the March 15 strike don’t yet have high school diplomas. But a whole bunch of grown-up scientists say these kids know what they’re talking about.

A group of more than 100 US-based climate scientists released a letter last week in support of the US strike, saying that students’ demands for immediate action on climate change are consistent with the latest science.

“They need our support, but more than that, they need all of us to act. Their future depends on it; and so does ours,” the letter said.

Scientists in other countries have released similar letters of support for past strikes.

Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar has also expressed support, saying she will attend the national strike in Washington, D.C. Omar’s 16-year-old daughter, Isra Hirsi, is one of the national organizers of the strike, along with 12-year-old Haven Coleman and 13-year-old Alexandria Villaseñor.

But not everyone has been on board.

A spokesperson for UK Prime Minister Theresa May criticized student protests in February, saying that striking “increases teachers’ workloads and wastes lesson time,” adding that kids should be in school training to be scientists and engineers so that they can tackle the problem. That same month, an Australian education minister warned students and teachers that they would be punished if they went on strike during school hours.

How to get involved

There are strikes happening in more than 90 countries. For information about upcoming strikes around the world, check out this map on the Fridays for Future website.

In the US, a national strike is planned in Washington, D.C., along with strikes in nearly 50 states. To find one in your area, check out this map on US Youth Climate Strike’s website.

If you’re thinking about joining a strike but are worried about the consequences you might face from your school, the American Civil Liberties Union has a guide to student rights during walkouts and protests.



Source link

Volunteers collect plastic to build benches in honor of Santa Fe HS shooting victims



SANTA FE, Texas (KTRK) — A community project could provide some Santa Fe community members with comfort after the mass shooting at Santa Fe High School.

Instead of taking a spring break trip, a group of volunteers spent hours finding joy in another way.

Santa Fe student Brook Bigford says sorting through plastic may be tedious, but she doesn’t mind.

“I love the project, and I know that it’s going towards a good cause,” Bigford said.

The project required thousands of people to donate lids, including water, soda and peanut butter bottles.

The goal eight months ago was 2,000 pounds, but the group raised double that amount.

“I’m getting better,” Bigford said. “It was hard at first, but I feel like making a difference is really helping me.”

Ten months ago, 10 people were killed at the high school when Dimitrios Pagourtzis opened fire inside the campus.

As the one year anniversary approaches, the Resiliency Center wanted to do something to honor the victims.

“What we will be doing is turning them into 10 memorial benches to honor those who had fallen on the May 18 shooting,” Santa Fe Resiliency Center spokesperson Wendy Norris said.

Once bagged, the plastic will be delivered to a business in Indiana that turns plastic into benches.

“Benches provides that place to sit and reflect. It’s a long-term thing that will be there for years to come,” Norris said.

Before the plastic can be shipped, the group of volunteers have to keep sorting.

“I want them to think that things are changing,” Bigford said. “Somebody is doing something about it to make other people feel better.”

The group is still trying to figure out where the benches will go. The goal is to have the benches finished before the one year anniversary in May.

Copyright © 2019 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.



Source link

NU gymnast turns tragedy into motivation after Parkland shooting


Abby Johnston is a survivor, and that’s something she’ll never take for granted.

Most people know the story by now: on Feb. 14, 2018, 17 students were killed in a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. It sparked rallies across the country and a national conversation on gun violence.

That day, Johnston left school about an hour early for practice, just like every day. At practice, a woman working at the front desk of the training facility asked Johnston whether she knew about what was going on at her school. Johnston said no, and was subsequently informed of the shooting.

After that, the phone calls and text messages came rolling in.

Johnston said the next few hours were “crazy.” She and the other gymnasts she trained with were unable to leave the gym as a precaution, as they had no idea what could be going on outside.

Johnston wasn’t even able to hug her parents until hours later.

“After the shock was over it just kind of hit,” Johnston said. “That’s when I had my moment and I realized what was going on on a deeper level.”

For Johnston’s parents, the moment was also filled with panic. The first sign that something was amiss were the helicopters and sirens coming by, interrupting the quiet of a small, tight-knit community. Johnston’s parents then turned on the TV to see what was going on. Although they knew Abby typically left school early for practice every day, there was still uncertainty. Wednesday’s were Abby’s “swing day:” most days she would go to practice, but would sometimes take Wednesday’s off to study.

“It was sheer panic, trying to reach your child to see if they’re okay,” said Abby’s mother, Amy Johnston. “You’re watching on the news, going ‘one dead, three dead, five dead, seven dead.’”

Before the shooting impacted their lives forever, the Johnston family wasn’t always based in Parkland.

Abby Johnston was born in Commerce Township, Michigan, but moved to Parkland when she was young. In her words, she was “a crazy three year old, bouncing off the couch and running wild.”

It got to the point where her parents needed her to channel that energy somewhere else. She found the place to do that in gymnastics class.

In Florida, Johnston found success in the gym with her club, American Twisters. Her most accomplished years came in high school, as she was the all-around state champion in both 2016 and 2017.

In 2016, she was the Regional Beam Champion, while she was the Regional Floor Champion in 2017 along with a top-five finish on beam at the 2017 Junior Olympic National Championships.  

In early 2018, the events in Parkland changed Johnston’s life. The days, even weeks immediately following the tragedy were difficult as she attended funeral after funeral, vigil after vigil and memorial after memorial.

However, Johnston and the Parkland community decided to push for a positive change out of the tragedy. Their voices sparked the March For Our Lives movement and the hashtag #NeverAgain.

“We had kids go to the Oval Office and meet with Trump and we had rallies all over the nation,” Johnston said. “Just seeing that we can make it something positive and try to make a change in the world, it’s really important.”

The tragedy affected Johnston’s athletic career as well. Just three days after the shooting, she competed in the Magical Classic in Orlando, a qualifying meet for the Nastia Liukin Cup.

She didn’t go to practice on Thursday, but made the decision to compete on Saturday, just days after the shooting. Johnston didn’t end up qualifying for the cup, but had a great all-around performance, coming in third.

“Looking back I know I was like, ‘These 17 don’t get to do any of their passions anymore and I wanna compete for them,’ so I had 17 people who are more than just my supporters but the reason why I do it,” she said.

Johnston didn’t go back to school until days later as she tried to cope with the trauma. One day, she took the time to go down to the beach and relax, which helped her realize the opportunity she had been given.

“I was able to see this is what I still get the chance to do, I still get the chance to be here, I need to make the most of it,” Johnston said. “I’m more alert about everything, I don’t take things for granted, I enjoy all the opportunities I’ve been given.”

Johnston said it was easier for her to look towards the future because she was a senior and had things like prom and graduation to look forward to. That summer, she focused on getting away from school and spending time with friends and family.

In fact, Johnston said the tragedy strengthened her relationship with her family.

“Once we were all home as a family, that was a good feeling of safety because we knew we were all under the same roof,” Johnston said. “I think we grew from that, I knew I could always go to them, me and my sister became closer, and we always wanna have each other.”

Johnston began preparing for college life as a gymnast at Nebraska after graduating in May. Johnston always knew she wanted to return to the Midwest and chose Nebraska because she fell in love with the campus atmosphere.

When she arrived in Lincoln for the fall semester, she had to make some minor adjustments, just like any out-of-state college student. However, she also had to make some emotional adjustments in her new surroundings.

Most people did not know what she had been through, therefore the options she had for opening up were limited.

This ended up being a positive for Johnston, as she learned how to be more open with those around her.

“Coming into Nebraska, I was a very personal person. I’m not very open, I like to internalize everything by myself, and I always thought that was the way it had to be,” Johnston said. “I’ve learned that there’s a great deal of people that are here to support you. I have a great team and great coaches.”

Johnston received support from both teammates and coaches in her freshman year, along with help from the sports psychology program. The young gymnast’s ability to stay strong in tough situations has helped her get to this point.

“In her mind, it’s never been an option that she wouldn’t persevere and be successful,” Amy Johnston said. “She’s going to find a way, it’s just who she is.”

This season, Abby Johnston has been an immediate contributor for the Huskers. She set a career-best score of 9.825 on floor in Nebraska’s win against Southern Utah on March 2.

Halfway through her freshman year, Johnston has her goals set for the rest of her time at Nebraska. She aims to do her very best in school because “school takes you farther,” and wants to compete as much as she can.

Even if she’s not able to see as much time competing as she likes, Johnston is happy to support her other teammates in any way she can.

Johnston is not alone on her journey, she has the memories of the 17 people who lost their lives in Parkland to motivate her.

“I don’t just do it for myself anymore, I do it for my team mainly,” Johnston said. “And then I always know I have another team of 17 behind me.”

sports@dailynebraskan.com



Source link

Worker made threat at Aurora nursing home, referenced Henry Pratt shooting: cops


A disgruntled worker at an Aurora nursing home was charged after making threatening statements Tuesday afternoon about grabbing a weapon from his vehicle to “pull a Pratt,” an apparent reference to the mass shooting last month at the Henry Pratt Company in the western suburb.

Officers responded at 1:22 p.m. to a call of a person with a weapon at Symphony of Orchard Valley nursing home at 2330 W. Galena Blvd., police said.

Duane Moss, 54, had been overheard telling fellow employees that he was “fed up with problems at work” and planned to grab a weapon from his vehicle to “pull a Pratt,” police said. No weapons were found when responding officers searched Moss and his vehicle.

Moss, of Aurora, was then arrested and charged with a single count of disorderly conduct, police said. He was released on bond and is scheduled to appear in court on April 15.

On Feb. 15, 45-year-old Gary Martin killed five workers and wounded six other people, including five cops, as he was being fired from Henry Pratt. Martin’s mother told the Sun-Times her son was “stressed out” before the shooting, which ended with him being killed by police.



Source link

Gun Control Activists Should Also Take on America’s Drone Wars


Students from schools across Los Angeles attend a nationwide protest on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine school shooting, April 20, 2018. (Reuters / Andrew Cullen)

EDITOR’S NOTE:&nbspThis article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com. To stay on top of important articles like these, sign up to receive the latest updates from TomDispatch.

Thank you for signing up. For more from The Nation, check out our latest issue.

Subscribe now for as little as $2 a month!

Support Progressive Journalism
The Nation is reader supported: Chip in $10 or more to help us continue to write about the issues that matter.

Thank you for signing up. For more from The Nation, check out our latest issue.

Travel With The Nation
Be the first to hear about Nation Travels destinations, and explore the world with kindred spirits.

Sign up for our Wine Club today.
Did you know you can support The Nation by drinking wine?

In the wake of the February 14, 2018, mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which killed 17 students and staff members, a teacher said the school looked “like a war zone.” And to many young Americans, that’s exactly what it felt like. But this shooting was different. Refusing to be victims, Parkland survivors disrupted the “thoughts and prayers” cycle by immediately rallying student activists and adults across the country, mobilizing them around such tragedies and the weapons of war that often facilitate them.

Ad Policy

Recent history suggested that such a movement, sure to be unable to keep the public’s attention or exert significant pressure on lawmakers, would collapse almost instantly. Yet, miraculously enough, the same fear — of their school being next — that had kept young Americans paralyzed for almost 20 years was what drove these newly impassioned activists not to back down.

Let me say that, much as I admire them, I look at their remarkable movement from an odd perspective. You see, I grew up in the “school-shooting era” and now work for a non-profit called ReThink Media tracking coverage of the American drone war that has been going on for 17 years.

To me, the U.S. military and CIA drones that hover constantly over eight countries across the Greater Middle East and Africa, and regularly terrorize, maim, and kill civilians, including children, are the equivalents of the disturbed shooters in American schools. But that story is hard to find anywhere in this country. What reports Americans do read about those drone strikes usually focus on successes (a major terrorist taken out in a distant land), not the “collateral damage.”

With that in mind, let me return to those teenage activists against gun violence who quickly grasped three crucial things. The first was that such violence can’t be dealt with by focusing on gun control alone. You also have to confront the other endemic problems exacerbating the gun violence epidemic, including inadequate mental health resources, systemic racism and police brutality, and the depth of economic inequality. As Parkland teen organizer Edna Chavez explained, “Instead of police officers we should have a department specializing in restorative justice. We need to tackle the root causes of the issues we face and come to an understanding of how to resolve them.”

The second was that, no matter how much you shouted, you had to be aware of the privilege of being heard. In other words, when you shouted, you had to do so not just for yourself but for all those voices so regularly drowned out in this country. After all, black Americans represent the majority of gun homicide victims. Black children are 10 times as likely to die by gun and yet their activism on the subject has been largely demonized or overlooked even as support for the Marjory Stoneman Douglas students rolled in.

The third was that apathy is the enemy of progress, which means that to make change you have to give people a sense of engagement and empowerment. As one of the Parkland students, Emma Gonzalez, put it: “What matters is that the majority of American people have become complacent in a senseless injustice that occurs all around them.”
Current Issue

‘;
magazine_button_text_307512 = ”;
magazine_button_url_307512 = ‘https://www.thenation.com/email-signup-module-donate/’;
magazine_button_bg_color_307512 = ‘#ffcf0d’;

}else

magazine_text_307512 = ‘

Subscribe today and Save up to $129.

‘;
magazine_button_text_307512 = ”;
magazine_button_url_307512 = ‘https://ssl.palmcoastd.com/06601/apps/NEW_US?ikey=I**GAB’;
magazine_button_bg_color_307512 = ‘#dd3333’;

if( magazine_text_307512 !=” )
jQuery(“#magazine_text_307512″).html(magazine_text_307512);

if( magazine_button_text_307512 !=” )
jQuery(“#magazine_button_307512″).html(magazine_button_text_307512);

if( magazine_button_url_307512 !=” )
jQuery(“#magazine_button_307512 a”).attr(“href”,magazine_button_url_307512);

if( magazine_button_bg_color_307512 !=” )
jQuery(“#magazine_button_307512 a input”).css(“background”,magazine_button_bg_color_307512);

Washington’s Expanding Drone Wars

Here’s the irony, though: while those teenagers continue to talk about the repeated killing of innocents in this country, their broader message could easily be applied to another type of violence that, in all these years, Americans have paid next to no attention to: the U.S. drone war.

Unlike school shootings, drone strikes killing civilians in distant lands rarely make the news here, much less the headlines. Most of us at least now know what it means to live in a country where school shootings are an almost weekly news story. Drones are another matter entirely, and beyond the innocents they so regularly slaughter, there are long-term effects on the communities they are attacking.

As Veterans for Peace put it, “Here at home, deaths of students and others killed in mass shootings and gun violence, including suicide gun deaths, are said to be the price of freedom to bear arms. Civilian casualties in war are written off as ‘collateral damage,’ the price of freedom and U.S. security.”

And yet, after 17 years, three presidents, and little transparency, America’s drone wars have never truly made it into the national conversation. Regularly marketed over those years as “precise” and “surgical,” drones have always been seen by lawmakers as a “sexy,” casualty-free solution to fighting the bad guys, while protecting American blood and treasure.

‘;
inline_cta_font_color_307512 = ‘#000000’;

inline_cta_button_text_307512 = ”;

inline_cta_url_307512 = ‘https://www.thenation.com/inline-module-donate/’;

inline_cta_bg_color_307512 = ‘#ffcf0d’;

}else

inline_cta_text_307512 = ‘Support Progressive Journalism

If you like this article, please give today to help fund The Nation’s work.

‘;
inline_cta_font_color_307512 = ‘#000000’;

inline_cta_button_text_307512 = ”;

inline_cta_url_307512 = ‘https://www.thenation.com/inline-module-donate/’;

inline_cta_bg_color_307512 = ‘#ffcf0d’;

if( inline_cta_text_307512 !=” )
jQuery(“#inline_cta_307512″).html(inline_cta_text_307512);
cta_1_check_307512 = true;

if( inline_cta_button_text_307512 !=” )
jQuery(“#inline_cta_btn_307512″).html(inline_cta_button_text_307512);
cta_1_check_307512 = true;

if( inline_cta_url_307512 !=” )
jQuery(“#inline_cta_btn_307512 a”).attr(“href”,inline_cta_url_307512);
cta_1_check_307512 = true;

if( inline_cta_bg_color_307512 !=” )
jQuery(“#inline_cta_btn_307512 a input”).css(“background”,inline_cta_bg_color_307512);
cta_1_check_307512 = true;

if( inline_cta_font_color_307512 !=” )
jQuery(“#inline_cta_btn_307512 a input”).css(“color”,inline_cta_font_color_307512);
cta_1_check_307512 = true;

if( cta_1_check_307512 )
jQuery(“#inline_cta_1_module_307512”).addClass(“tn-inline-cta-module”);

According to reports, President Trump actually expanded the U.S. global drone war, while removing the last shreds of transparency about what those drones are doing — and even who’s launching them. One of his first orders on entering the Oval Office was to secretly reinstate the CIA’s ability to launch drone strikes that are, in most cases, not even officially acknowledged. And since then, it’s only gotten worse. Just last week, he revoked an Obama-era executive order that required the director of national intelligence to release an annual report on civilian and combatant casualties caused by CIA drones and other lethal operations. Now, not only are the rules of engagement — whom you can strike and under what circumstances — secret, but the Pentagon no longer even reveals when drones have been used, no less when civilians die from them. Because of this purposeful opaqueness, even an estimate of the drone death toll no longer exists.

Still, in the data available on all U.S. airstrikes since Trump was elected, an alarming trend is discernible: there are more of them, more casualties from them, and ever less accountability about them. In Iraq and Syria alone, the monitoring group Airwars believes that the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS is responsible for between 7,468 and 11,841 civilian deaths, around 2,000 of whom were children. (The U.S.-led coalition, however, only admits to killing 1,139 civilians.)

In Afghanistan, the U.N. recently found that U.S. airstrikes (including drone strikes) had killed approximately the same number of Afghan civilians in 2018 as in the previous three years put together. In response to this report, the U.S.-led NATO mission there claimed that “all feasible precautions” were being taken to limit civilian casualties and that it investigates all allegations of their occurrence. According to such NATO investigations, airstrikes by foreign forces caused 117 civilian casualties last year, including 62 deaths — about a fifth of the U.N. tally.

And those are only the numbers for places where Washington is officially at war. In Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, and Libya, even less information is available on the number of civilians the U.S. has killed. Experts who track drone strikes in such gray areas of conflict, however, place that number in the thousands, though there is no way to confirm them, as even our military acknowledges. U.S. Army Colonel Thomas Veale, a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS, put it this way last year: “As far as how do we know how many civilians were killed, I am just being honest, no one will ever know. Anyone who claims they will know is lying, and there’s no possible way.”

After a U.S. strike killed or injured an entire Afghan family, the trauma surgeon treating a four-year-old survivor told NBC, “I am sad. A young boy with such big injuries. No eyes, brain out. What will be his future?”

In other words, while America’s teenagers fight in the most public way possible for their right to live, a world away Afghanistan’s teenagers are marching for the same thing — except instead of gun control, in that heavily armed land, they want peace.

Trauma Is Trauma Is Trauma

Gun violence — and school shootings in particular — have become the preeminent fear of American teenagers. A Pew poll taken last year found that 57% of teens are worried about a shooting at their school. (One in four are “very worried.”) This is even truer of nonwhite teens, with roughly two-thirds of them expressing such fear.

As one student told Teen Vogue: “How could you not feel a little bit terrified knowing that it happens so randomly and so often?” And she’s not exaggerating. More than 150,000 students in the U.S have experienced a shooting on campus since the 1999 Columbine High School massacre, considered the first modern mass school shooting.

And in such anticipatory anxiety, American students have much in common with victims of drone warfare. Speaking to researchers from Stanford University, Haroon Quddoos, a Pakistani taxi driver who survived two U.S. drone strikes, explained it this way:

‘;
inline_cta_2_font_color_307512 = ‘#ffffff’;

inline_cta_2_button_text_307512 = ”;

inline_cta_2_url_307512 = ‘https://ssl.drgnetwork.com/ecom/NAT/app/live/subscriptions?org=NAT&publ=NA&key_code=68F1CGS&type=S’;

inline_cta_2_bg_color_307512 = ‘#cc0e0e’;

}else

inline_cta_2_text_307512 = ‘Subscribe to The Nation  for $2 a month.

Get unlimited digital access to the best independent news and analysis.

‘;
inline_cta_2_font_color_307512 = ‘#ffffff’;

inline_cta_2_button_text_307512 = ”;

inline_cta_2_url_307512 = ‘https://ssl.drgnetwork.com/ecom/NAT/app/live/subscriptions?org=NAT&publ=NA&key_code=G8F1CTA&type=S’;

inline_cta_2_bg_color_307512 = ‘#cc0e0e’;

if( inline_cta_2_text_307512 !=” )
jQuery(“#inline_cta_2_307512″).html(inline_cta_2_text_307512);
cta_2_check_307512 = true;

if( inline_cta_2_button_text_307512 !=” )
jQuery(“#inline_cta_2_btn_307512″).html(inline_cta_2_button_text_307512);
cta_2_check_307512 = true;

if( inline_cta_2_url_307512 !=” )
jQuery(“#inline_cta_2_btn_307512 a”).attr(“href”,inline_cta_2_url_307512);
cta_2_check_307512 = true;

if( inline_cta_2_bg_color_307512 !=” )
jQuery(“#inline_cta_2_btn_307512 a input”).css(“background”,inline_cta_2_bg_color_307512);
cta_2_check_307512 = true;

if( inline_cta_2_font_color_307512 !=” )
jQuery(“#inline_cta_2_btn_307512 a input”).css(“color”,inline_cta_2_font_color_307512);
cta_2_check_307512 = true;

if( cta_2_check_307512 )
jQuery(“#inline_cta_2_module_307512”).addClass(“tn-inline-cta-module”);

“No matter what we are doing, that fear is always inculcated in us. Because whether we are driving a car, or we are working on a farm, or we are sitting home playing… cards – no matter what we are doing, we are always thinking the drone will strike us. So we are scared to do anything, no matter what.”

Similar symptoms of post-traumatic stress, trauma, and anxiety are commonplace emotions in countries where U.S. drones are active, just as in American communities like Parkland that have lived through a mass shooting. Visiting communities in Yemen that experienced drone strikes, forensic psychologist Peter Schaapveld found that 92% of their inhabitants were suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, with children the most significantly affected. Psychologists have come up with similar figures when studying both survivors of school shootings and children who have been psychologically affected by school-lockdown drills, by the media’s focus on violence, and by the culture of fear that has developed in response to mass shootings.

The Voices Left Out of the Conversation

The Parkland students have created a coherent movement that brings together an incredibly diverse group united around a common goal and a belief that all gun violence victims, not just those who have experienced a mass shooting, need to be heard. As one Parkland survivor and leader of the March For Our Lives movement, David Hogg, put it, the goal isn’t to talk for different communities, but to let them “speak for themselves and ask them how we can help.”

The Parkland survivors have essentially created an echo chamber, amplifying the previously unheard voices of young African-Americans and Latinos in particular. At last year’s March For Our Lives, for instance, 11-year-old Naomi Wadler started her speech this way: “I am here today to acknowledge and represent the African-American girls whose stories don’t make the front page of every national newspaper, whose stories don’t lead the evening news.”

In 2016, there were nearly 39,000 gun deaths, more than 14,000 of them homicides and almost 23,000 suicides. Such routine gun violence disproportionately affects black Americans. Mass shootings accounted for only about 1.2% of all gun deaths that year. Yet the Parkland students made headlines and gained praise for their activism – Oprah Winfrey even donated $500,000 to the movement – while black communities that had been fighting gun violence for years never received anything similar.

As someone who spends a lot of her time engrossed in the undercovered news of drone strikes, I can’t help but notice the parallels. Stories about U.S. drone strikes taking out dangerous terrorists proliferate, while reports on U.S.-caused civilian casualties disappear into the void. For example, in January, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command claimed that a precision drone strike finally killed Jamel Ahmed Mohammed Ali al-Badawi, the alleged mastermind behind the deadly October 2000 suicide bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen. Within a day, more than 24 media outlets had covered the story. 

Few, however, focused on the fact that the U.S. command only claimed al-Badawi’s death was “likely,” despite similar reports about such terrorists that have repeatedly been proven wrong. The British human rights group Reprieve found back in 2014 that even when drone operators end up successfully targeting specific individuals like al-Badawi, they regularly kill vastly more people than their chosen targets. Attempts to kill 41 terror figures, Reprieve reported, resulted in the deaths of an estimated 1,147 people. That was five years ago, but there’s no reason to believe anything has changed.

In contrast, when a U.S. airstrike — it’s not clear whether it was a drone or a manned aircraft – killed at least 20 civilians in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, in December, 2018, only four American media outlets (Reuters, the Associated Press, Voice of America, and the New York Times) covered the story and none followed up with a report on those civilians and their families. That has largely been the norm since the war on terror began with the invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001. In the Trump years so far, while headlines scream about mass school shootings and other slaughters of civilians here, the civilian casualties of America’s wars and the drone strikes that often go with them are, if anything, even more strikingly missing in action in the media.

When Safa al-Ahmad, a journalist for PBS’s Frontline, was asked why she thought it was important to hear from Yemenis experiencing American drone strikes, she responded: 

“I think if you’re going to talk about people, you should go talk to them. It’s just basic respect for other human beings. It really bothered me that everyone was just talking about the Americans… The other civilians, they weren’t given any names, they weren’t given any details. It was like an aside to the story… This is part of the struggle when you construct stories on foreign countries, when it comes to the American public. I think we’ve done [Americans] a disservice, by not doing more of this… We impact the world, we should understand it. An informed public is the only way there can be a functioning democracy. That is our duty as a democracy, to be informed.”

This one-sided view of America’s never-ending air wars fails everyone, from the people being asked to carry out Washington’s decisions in those lands to ordinary Americans who have little idea what’s being done in their name to the many people living under those drones. Americans should know that, to them, it’s we who seem like the school shooters of the planet.  

Waking Up An Apathetic Nation

For the better part of two decades, young Americans have been trapped in a cycle of violence at home and abroad with little way to speak out. Gun violence in this country was a headline-grabbing given. School shootings, like so many other mass killings here, were deemed “tragic” and worthy of thoughts, prayers, and much fervid media attention, but little else.

Until Parkland.

What changed? Well, a new cohort, Generation Z, came on the scene and, unlike their millennial predecessors, many of them are refusing to accept the status quo, especially when it comes to issues like gun violence.

Every time there was a mass shooting, millennials would hold their breath, wondering if today would be the day the country finally woke up. After Newtown. After San Bernadino. After Las Vegas. And each time, it wasn’t. Parkland could have been the same, if it hadn’t been for those meddling kids. Having witnessed the dangers of apathy, Gen-Z seems increasingly to be about movement and action. In fact, in a Vice youth survey, 71% of respondents reported feeling “capable” of enacting change around global warming and 85% felt the same about social problems. And that’s new.

For so long, gun violence seemed like an unstoppable, incurable plague. Fed up with the “adults in the room,” however, these young activists have begun to take matters into their own hands, giving those particularly at risk of gun violence, children, a sense of newfound power – the power to determine their own futures. Whether it’s testifying in front of Congress in the first hearing on gun violence since 2011, protesting at the stores and offices of gun manufacturers, or participating in “die-ins,” these kids are making their voices heard.

Since the Parkland massacre, there has been actual movement on gun control, something that America has not seen for a long time. Under pressure, the Justice Department moved to ban the bump stocks that can make semi-automatic weapons fire almost like machine guns, Florida signed a $400 million bill to tighten the state’s gun laws, companies began to cut ties with the National Rifle Association, and public support grew for stricter gun control laws.

Although the new Gen Z activists have focused on issues close to home, sooner or later they may start to look beyond the water’s edge and find themselves in touch with their counterparts across the globe, who are showing every day how dedicated they are to changing the world they live in, with or without anyone’s help. And if they do, they will find that, in its endless wars, America has been the true school shooter on this planet, terrorizing the global classroom with a remarkable lack of consequences. 

In March 2018, according to Human Rights Watch, American planes bombed a school that housed displaced people in Syria, killing dozens of them, including children. Similarly, in Yemen that August, a Saudi plane, using a Pentagon-supplied laser-guided bomb, blew away a school bus, killing 40 schoolchildren. Just as at home, it’s not only about the weaponry like those planes or drones. Activists will find that they have to focus their attention as well on the root causes of such violence and the scars they leave behind in the communities of survivors.

More tolerant, more diverse, less trustful of major institutions and less inclined to believe in American exceptionalism than any generation before them, Generation Z may be primed to care about what their country is doing in their name from Afghanistan to Syria, Yemen to Libya. But first they have to know it’s happening.



Source link

Copyright Mass Shooting News 2019
Shale theme by Siteturner