Browsing articles tagged with " NRA"
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The Link Between Gun Violence, Race and Politics in America versus US Human Rights Obligations

Apr 6, 2014   //   Politics, Tolerance, Top Story  //  Comments Off

This article explores the interrelationships between gun violence, race and politics in America versus human rights obligations our country assumed following its ratification of the International Convention to End all forms of Racial Discrimination. Our country’s progress under that treaty will be reviewed by the UN’s CERD in August of this year in Geneva, Switzerland. In what was called an act of public shaming by media, in March of this year the UN committee overseeing our country’s obligations under another treaty we have ratified (the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights) cited numerous human rights abuses by our country – included was rampant gun violence and the proliferation of stand-your-ground laws. An important question becomes why our government is not aggressively intervening to put a halt to the grossly disproportionate loss of life and injury to gun violence in a segment of its own citizenry.

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Selection of the AR-15 Rifle in Premeditated Indiscriminate Mass Shootings

Apr 1, 2013   //   Politics  //  Comments Off

A total of four independent, premeditated and indiscriminate mass shootings occurred in the latter half of 2012. There was no connection between the shooters and the victims, and no reason was established in the selection of victims other than inflicting mass casualties. An AR-15 rifle was the weapon used in all four of these events. The odds of this particular weapon being selected for all four of these independent events simply by chance was estimated to be less than one in a million using two different approaches. The intentional selection of this firearm is additionally supported by the behavior of all four shooters. It is felt that this finding fundamentally changes the assault weapon debate. It is not that this weapon was simply being used at these events, there is little if any doubt that it was being intentionally selected as a weapon of choice in those premeditated indiscriminate mass killings. As this weapon is being actively sought for these events, leaving it unregulated and expanding public availability could only increase the opportunity for its use in future mass shootings of the nature we witnessed in 2012.

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The Problem with Congress? Look No Further Than the Gun Debate

Feb 18, 2013   //   Politics  //  Comments Off

With 11 of the 18 Senate Judiciary Committee members benefitting from gun lobby financial contributions, the impartiality of both their opinion and eventual votes is drawn into question. The Newtown incident has laid bare, as no other has in the past, the inherent conflict lawmakers face regarding their obligation to legislate in the public’s best interest versus special interest pressures that threaten their ability to retain office. This current debate has morphed into something larger than regulating the gun market. It provides clear evidence that our Congress needs to fundamentally change the way it operates.

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Gun Safety and Children: Our Government’s Appalling Double Standard

Jan 30, 2013   //   Politics  //  Comments Off

Had a corporation in an industry federally regulated for safety been aware of a high level of product-related death and injury in children, obstructed attempts to look into the matter, obstructed dissemination of information about the matter, impeded the work of local, state and federal law enforcement, while continuing to increase public exposure to more powerful versions of the product that claimed multiple other young lives, those involved would have faced criminal prosecution. Yet our own lawmakers are so engaged while keeping firearms unregulated for safety and pocketing backdoor money from the gun industry through the NRA. The double standard is staggering. The behavior is reprehensible if not scandalous. Our free press should step forward, as only it can, to explore this issue.

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Letter to Eric Cantor. Gun-Related Deaths in US Children: Government Complicity

Jan 13, 2013   //   Politics  //  Comments Off

Despite Information being available for at least 15 years showing that US children experience a grossly disproportionate loss of life from gunfire as compared to other wealthy industrialized countries, Congress has acted to obstruct both the generation and dissemination of such information while allowing increasingly more powerful weaponry onto the market. This while accepting NRA financial contributions derived, in part, from the very industry that financially benefits from its actions. It is argued that Congress, by its lack of intervention and obstructionist behavior, is complicit in contributing to the high level of gun-related death in America’s children. The Second Amendment was never intended to justify such a disparate loss of young life.

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The Link Between Widespread Gun Ownership and Gun Violence in America

Jan 7, 2013   //   Politics  //  Comments Off

Examination of raw data as well as multiple academic studies support the link between widespread gun ownership and increased gun violence across both countries and states. The US exhibits by far the largest per capita gun ownership and gun-related death rate of any other industrialized Western democracy. With US citizens already in possession of nearly 300 million firearms, the current debate should include the broad-based interpretation of the Second Amendment, promulgated by the gun lobby, regarding our country’s current size, urbanization, and technological advancements in weaponry.

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Gun Rights Fatal Flaw: Attacking American Diversity

Nov 15, 2012   //   Politics, Tolerance  //  Comments Off

Although individual groups representing blacks, Hispanics, and women have called for stricter gun control measures in the past, none of them have carried enough clout at the polls to effect legislative change. But what we just witnessed in this past general election is a game changer.

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A Glimpse Into Non-Self Defense Concealed Carry Killings at Eating and Drinking Establishments

Jun 14, 2012   //   Politics  //  Comments Off

Despite claims that “there have been no problems” with concealed weaponry in eating establishments (including those those that serve alcohol), an examination of non-self defense killings by CCW permit holders between May 2007 and May 2012 revealed multiple instances of such killings at establishments that serve food and beverage.

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Guns vs Cars? Would You Send Your Child There

Jun 3, 2012   //   Politics  //  Comments Off

An alternative way to consider the risk difference between gun-related and traffic-related fatalities is presented. To permit the grossly disproportionate rate of gunfire deaths in US children to continue is indefensible. It is time that politicians are made to publicly defend their voting record in obstructing availability of information about the health risks of guns while expanding public exposure to firearms.

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“Guns in Restaurants/Bars”: Establishment Owner Liabilities and Rights Infringement

Mar 25, 2012   //   Politics  //  Comments Off

A number of states have enacted legislation that allows concealed carry weapon (CCW) permit holders to bring handguns into establishments that serve alcoholic beverages. Similar legislation is pending in North Carolina (House Bill 111). During legislative debate much emphasis is placed on the ‘right’ of ‘law-abiding citizens’ to carry guns for protection. But, could this legislation conflict with existing state and federal law and thus potentially infringe on establishment owner’s rights and/or subject them to liability? Recently completed legal research in the state of North Carolina concluded that it might.

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The Link Between Gun Violence, Race and Politics in America versus US Human Rights Obligations

This article explores the interrelationships between gun violence, race and politics in America versus human rights obligations our country assumed following its ratification of the International Convention to End all forms of Racial Discrimination. Our country’s progress under that treaty will be reviewed by the UN’s CERD in August of this year in Geneva, Switzerland. In what was called an act of public shaming by media, in March of this year the UN committee overseeing our country’s obligations under another treaty we have ratified (the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights) cited numerous human rights abuses by our country – included was rampant gun violence and the proliferation of stand-your-ground laws. An important question becomes why our government is not aggressively intervening to put a halt to the grossly disproportionate loss of life and injury to gun violence in a segment of its own citizenry.


NC Voter ID Law vs Human Rights: Lawmaker Communications Should Be Made Available

Did NC lawmakers knowingly put a law into effect that violates legal obligations the US has accepted under an international treaty to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination? Additionally, the deleterious effects of racial discrimination and political marginalization on longevity, health, and childhood development are well-publicized. Did lawmakers knowingly put a law into effect that could only help to sustain, and even create, conditions that contribute to premature death and a host of serious health problems in African-Americans, including impaired childhood development? With our current knowledge base regarding the millions of lost and damaged lives due to the deleterious effects of racial discrimination, laws like NC’s Voter ID law should be viewed as something far more serious than just an obstruction of a civil right.


Voter ID Law and a Human Rights Atrocity of Unspeakable Proportions

The estimated six year shortfall in life expectancy between African-Americans versus white Americans, largely attributable to disproportionate adverse socio-economic conditions created by over two centuries of racist portrayals and discriminatory legislative/policy actions, results in 240 million lost years when applied to a population of nearly 40 million African-Americans (2010 census). The estimated premature loss of life in just the existing African-American population of today totals into the millions of individuals and is conservatively estimated to easily exceed at least ten percent of that population. In considering the potential cumulative loss of life since the beginning of the 20th century, it becomes apparent that the United States is in the midst of an ongoing and prolonged human rights atrocity of considerable magnitude, in direct contrast to our country’s position of being a standard bearer of human rights in the international community. Recent restrictive Voter ID Laws, such as North Carolina’s, that disproportionately disenfranchises the African-American poor, can only work to maintain the adverse conditions that contribute to premature death in a historically discriminated population. The concerns expressed here extend into other political actions such as gerrymandering along racial lines that effectively reduces African-American representation. Further, these concerns are held to represent serious human rights issues that violate at least three treaties both signed and ratified by the United States.

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The Year the GOPs Con Game was Exposed

The GOP’s decision to reinstate tax cut policy in 2001 exposed their hand. It was not about deficit reduction, growing the economy, or job creation. It was about ideology and, no doubt, special interests. It was a backdoor approach where government revenue was cut in an attempt to curtail spending on popular programs they otherwise could not take head-on. This while obstructing the work of Congress, spinning a web of deceit about the benefits of their policy, and weakening our country’s financial standing. It’s time to play hardball during ‘fiscal cliff’ negotiations and force them to be specific about what spending cuts they are talking about to offset the tax benefits they wish to preserve for the wealthiest. They wouldn’t have the nerve.