Can mothers shame Congress into curbing gun violence? Once again, they will try.

10 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Can mothers shame Congress into curbing gun violence? Once again, they will try..

Petula is a columnist for The Washington Post’s local team who writes about homeless shelters, gun control, high heels, high school choirs, the politics of parenting, jails, abortion clinics, mayors, modern families, strip clubs and gas prices, among other things. House Democrats are adding a controversial new demand to the government funding talks: ending a 19-year old ban on gun violence research by the federal government.

Holding candles aloft and singing This Little Light of Mine with verve, about 500 people held a national vigil for victims of gun violence on Wednesday and spoke of a social movement gathering momentum across America. View Archive The women want to march into the halls of Congress and fill every single representative’s office with the faces of children in their district. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced Thursday that Democrats will insist that the research ban be removed from law as part of the $1.1 trillion omnibus that Congress needs to pass by next week to fund the government.

There was standing room only at the St Mark’s Episcopal church on Capitol Hill, Washington, for the biggest of hundreds of vigils planned across the US this week, spurred by recent deadly shootings from Colorado to California. Families who lost loved ones in the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Newtown, Connecticut, three years ago, traveled to Washington DC for a Wednesday night vigil. Host Elisabeth Hasselbeck opened by saying that “five seconds can mean the difference between life and death” and then introduced a self-defense instructor who demonstrated moves, with several kids, on how to take a gun away from a shooter terrorizing their school.

While there has been a great deal attention paid to the shooters and their victims, less attention has been focused on how the constant violence affects children and the schools that they attend. GOP leaders are almost certain to reject Pelosi’s demand to eliminate the 17-year-old provision, known as the Dickey amendment, in the year-end government funding bill. Say it to their faces — these chubby cheeked, sweet-eyed faces — that nothing can be done about gun violence. “It’s a public shaming campaign,” she said. “We don’t have the answers, but that’s their job. We want to shame them into working to find those answers. “The women who founded MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers) just refused to accept the status quo anymore,” she said. “That’s where we’re at.” The result, 15 years ago, was the Million Mom March on Mother’s Day 2000, which drew hundreds of thousands of women to the Mall.

But she stopped short of saying Democrats would refuse to pass the funding measure if it’s not included. “There’s a vehicle leaving the station, it’s called the omnibus bill — a bus leaving the station, omnibus bill…and we must insist that we cannot have a bill leave the station that still has that ban on research in it,” Pelosi said. Although president Barack Obama has been repeatedly frustrated in his attempts to impose tighter restrictions on access to guns, campaigners suggested there was now a groundswell of public activism comparable to the Black Lives Matter movement or the ultimately successful push for marriage equality. Stop calling this the “new normal”, as if the bullet-riddled bodies of children not much older than toddlers is something we should ever consider typical. Gun rights supporters have long claimed that government agencies use studies to advance gun control, something researchers deny. “In a public health crisis the important treasure is facts, evidence,” Sen.

The Million Moms movement partnered with the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence and they helped create the ASK (Asking Saves Kids) Campaign, which encourages parents to ask the right questions about guns. The last few months, it feels different on the ground – people are acting different. “People that before weren’t paying attention or just didn’t seem to care are now speaking up. I think it always takes time: legislators are the last ones to react and the last ones to catch up, but there’s definitely something different going on. These acts of preventable violence have become so frequent that it has become too easy to depersonalize the victims and lives impacted – another day, another story on the news to become outraged over. It’s horrific that it takes things like San Bernardino and Sandy Hook and Colorado to make it happen, but it’s going to happen.” The Newtown Foundation said more than 350 faith and gun violence prevention organisations in 39 states would hold events commemorating next week’s third anniversary of the Sandy Hook massacre.

We’d been cut off from the news for the day and were just starting to find out about shooting. “This is a hard lockdown,” the voice over the loudspeaker commanded. Democratic leaders have insisted that Republicans remove all “poison pill” riders from the package — policy provisions that Speaker Paul Ryan has said are needed to bring wary Republicans on board to support the massive spending bill. Since that atrocity, it estimates, more than 90,000 Americans have been shot and killed by guns; more than 210,000 have been shot and injured; and there have been more than 1,000 mass shooting incidents where four or more people have been shot at one time. The ongoing debate over those policy additions, including provisions dealing with energy, oil and financial regulations, have slowed the budget process. After the shooting at Umpqua community college in October, Mark Barden and Nicole Hockley – parents of Sandy Hook victims Daniel, 7, and Dylan, 6 who started an organization dedicated to ending gun violence – said, “our nation will once again enter the endless debate about gun control and gun freedom”.

House Democrats have pushed all week — through procedural motions to force consideration of legislation and gumming up votes on the floor — for a vote on a measure that would stop individuals on the terrorist watch list from buying guns. The group said nearly 100 cities across the country would host “Orange Walks” this weekend to demand an end to the scourge; orange was chosen because it is the colour that hunters wear in the woods to protect themselves. Half a dozen major anti-gun violence organisations came together on one platform at Wednesday’s vigil, evidence that a once disparate effort is speaking with one voice.

He asked for universal background checks for all gun buyers, a crackdown on gun trafficking, a ban on military-style assault weapons and a ban on ammunition magazines holding more than 10 bullets. The FBI has said the two shooters in San Bernardino were radicalized Islamic terrorists and officials are investigating the incident as an “act of terrorism.” Strategically it’s along the lines of marriage equality where it just reaches a critical mass, and then once you hit the tipping point, I think there’s no stopping it. They were one of those things that had to be covered in the pre-year staff onboarding: Here is the procedure if your student requires an Epi pen; here is what to do if there’s a fight in your classroom; oh, and on Page 27, please review the procedure for lockdown drills. I think about the drills she went through when she was just two years old in her preschool where she was taught to hide in the event someone came into their building with a gun.

In the after, no one had to look to Page 27, because the procedure had become so common, required so frequently, it was etched in the minds of educators. I remember the last thing she ever said to me was, ‘Get down mom!’ I felt someone standing over my right shoulder and I turned to look and I saw an 18-year-old boy armed with a shotgun. Hide your students as best you can (watch as near-adult sized high schoolers crouch their bodies under desks, manipulate themselves behind bookshelves.) Wait. Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to Obama, told how her grandfather had been killed when his own hunting gun was turned against him by burglars, and said she recently held a White House meeting with gun owners who want change and feel the National Rifle Association (NRA) no longer represents them.

And Congress has become complicit in the evil that we have seen all too often, all too frequently, all too tragically.” He added, to thunderous applause: “We are here because we refuse to accept inaction. I see “Sarg,” the jovial security guard who checks people in and out of the building and we smile sadly at each other, the unspoken question between us: what would we do? Tucson was the site of a mass shooting nearly five years ago, when a gunman opened fire outside a supermarket and gravely wounded former Representative Gabrielle Giffords. Geraldine Hills, the founder of Arizonans for Gun Safety, said: “Our message will be yes, we are here to pray for all of those affected by gun violence, but we’re also here to say that prayers are not enough. I don’t think it then but I do, years later, as we stand huddled in the corner during one of the many lockdowns that has become a part of our daily lives.

It makes us leave our discussion of “To Kill A Mockingbird” so we can crouch in silence in fear of the open window (me trying to remember if I locked the door in the rush to get students to the back.) It makes my teenager ask in a timid voice if she can hold the stuffed dog left over from my Dorothy Halloween costume. The blatant and deliberate misunderstanding of the Second Amendment keeps schools inflicting this uniquely American mental torture on exposed students over and over and over again.

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