Tell Democratic Leadership: Force A vote On Gun Control Now, Including A Ban On Assault Weapons


Excerpt from: CREDO Action

On Monday, directly following an official moment of silence for the victims of the tragic Orlando shooting, Democrats in the House of Representatives shouted down Speaker of the House Paul Ryan in a bold, public display of disgust with his and his party’s devotion to hollow and empty gestures instead of real action on gun control.1

On Wednesday, Democrats in the Senate, led by Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy, launched a talking filibuster to try to force a vote on universal background checks and closing the terror watchlist gap. After a filibuster of nearly 15 hours, Republicans reportedly agreed to vote on narrowly focused bills to require universal background checks and close the terror watchlist gap.

We appreciate these Democratic members for their public stands against the NRA’s lock on the Republican party, and want to make sure they know that there’s massive grassroots support for them to do more, and do more now.

With public outrage and attention focused again on the issue of gun violence, now is the time for Congress to go big to stop the massive wreckage and violence inflicted by guns in our communities. The leaders of the Democratic Party – Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and President Barack Obama – should build on the momentum of their colleagues’ actions, put aside business as usual, and use every tactic at their disposal to force a vote on comprehensive gun control legislation that includes a ban on assault weapons before ANY other legislative action occurs in Congress.

They have the power to force this issue and make it their absolute top priority. Now is the time to do exactly that.

Tell Democratic leadership: Force a vote on a comprehensive gun control package, including a ban on assault weapons.

It’s painfully clear that Republicans are too firmly in the grip of the NRA to even allow a vote banning military-grade assault weapons that have absolutely no business in the hands of ordinary citizens. But Republican intransigence is no longer a suitable excuse for Democrats to accept the status quo – not after 49 Americans were shot and killed, and over 50 wounded, in a horrific hate crime against the LGBT community.

Democratic leaders have the tools and leverage at their disposal to elevate this issue and make it the top priority in Washington right now. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi can force a vote in the House through a tactic known as a “discharge petition,” which would force every member of Congress to take a position and vote on an assault weapons ban. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid can deploy a number of procedural votes to force every member of the Senate to go on record on whether an assault weapons ban should be considered. And all three, including President Obama, can pledge to take up no other legislative business until this critical issue of American safety and security is addressed. We need to make sure they know we’ll have their backs if they lead in this bold way.

In addition to advocating for narrowly focused measures such as universal background checks, Democrats should forcefully push for a comprehensive gun control legislation package that includes banning the manufacture and sale of assault weapons and large capacity magazines for civilian use; banning convicted domestic abusers, stalkers and people convicted of violent hate crimes from buying guns; and ending the ban on gun violence research.

A national tragedy and public crisis like this calls for leadership and clarity. With public opinion strongly on Democrats’ side, there is absolutely no reason why they can’t take bold, extraordinary measures to ensure the safety and security of Americans while forcing every member of Congress to go on the record about whether they care more about American lives or the NRA’s political support.2

  • Tell Democratic leadership: Force a vote on a comprehensive gun control package, including a ban on assault weapons.
  • Tell Democratic leadership:
    “Do everything in your power, including halting all other legislative business, to force a vote on comprehensive gun control reforms, including banning the sale of assault weapons.”
  • Go to the below to sign the petition:

http://act.credoaction.com/sign/Democrats_Gun_Control?t=7&akid=18593.7785905.ijOdlg

Thank you for your activism.

Heidi Hess, Senior Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

Rebecca Shabad, “Democrats shout down Paul Ryan after Orlando shooting moment of silence,” CBS News, June 13, 2016.
Reena Flores, “After Orlando, do Americans support assault weapons ban?,” CBS News, June 15, 2016.

© 2016 CREDO. All rights reserved.

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Gun Control Now: Congress Must Ban Assault Weapons


Excerpt from: CREDO Action

Another horrific mass shooting happened yesterday, leaving at least 50 dead and 50 more wounded at an LGBT club in Orlando.

As the death toll from the tragedy in Orlando continued to mount, Republican politicians were quick to offer their prayers and condolences to the families and friends of the victims.

Coming from politicians who not only refuse to act to reduce gun violence, but who also foster and promote anti-LGBT bigotry and hate through their words, their party platform and their legislative actions, those “thoughts and prayers” don’t mean much.1

Breaking the NRA’s chokehold on Congress will require massive grassroots pressure on our elected officials, demanding they deliver more than thoughts and prayers in the face of our epidemic of gun violence. Can you add your voice today to tell Republican leaders to vote on a meaningful package of gun control reforms, including an assault weapons ban?

Republican members of Congress respond to gun tragedies while they’re in the news. But, they don’t take responsibility for how their actions, and inaction, lay the groundwork for hate crimes and gun violence, nor do they take action to prevent these tragedies from happening again. Instead, they offer up either fleeting sentiments or xenophobic and racist policies.

They need to pass real gun control now, including:

  • Closing the terror gap by allowing the Department of Justice to block guns sales to anyone on the terror watch list. Between 2004 and 2014, more than 2,000 people on the list purchased guns in the U.S.
  • Closing the loophole that allows people to buy guns without undergoing background checks through private sales, at gun shows and online. An estimated 40 percent of all firearms transferred in the U.S. are transferred by unlicensed individuals not required to conduct background checks on buyers.3
  • Banning convicted domestic abusers and stalkers from buying guns. Abused women are five times more likely to be killed by their abuser if that individual has access to a firearm.4
  • Prohibiting the manufacture and sale of assault weapons and “large capacity” magazines for civilian use.

In 2014 alone, the gun lobby spent over $30 million on political advertising and lobbying to influence legislators in Congress and state capitals across the country.5 If Republicans really want to protect Americans, they need to break their blind allegiance to the NRA and pass gun control legislation. But they’ll never act unless we force them. Can you add your voice today?

Tell Republicans in Congress: It’s time to pass real gun control legislation.

When Republicans disagree with advances in women’s rights, LGBT rights, or civil rights, they don’t just offer their thoughts and prayers, they push legislation. In just the last year, Republicans in Congress and in state legislatures across the country have worked to make abortion impossible to access, to discriminate against LGBT people, and to take away voting rights. At the same time, they have aggressively pushed the NRA’s agenda to weaken gun laws, from campus carry to permitless carry to stand your ground.

If all Republicans can offer after this weekend’s massacre are their thoughts and prayers, or misguided scapegoating of Muslim communities that plays into their base’s racism and xenophobia, that speaks volumes. It shows that current Republican leaders in Congress lack the care, or courage, to act.

  • Tell Republicans in Congress: “Thoughts and prayers” are not enough. We need real gun control. 
  • “It’s time to put your constituents before the NRA. Bring a real gun control legislation package, which includes a ban on assault weapons, to the floor of the House and the Senate.”

Go to the link below to sign the petition:

http://act.credoaction.com/sign/Orlando_Gun_Control?t=7&akid=18521.7785905.Uxp2aq

Thank you for your activism,

Heidi Hess, Senior Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

References:

David Weigel, “Few Republicans mention LGBT community in Orlando reactions,” Washington Post, June 12, 2016 and Jennifer Bendery and Matt Fuller, “Republicans Kill Spending Bill Over Its LGBT Protections,” HuffingtonPost.com, May 26, 2016.
“Closing the Terror Gap in Gun Background Checks,” Everytown for Gun Safety, July 21, 2015.“Universal Background Checks & the “Private” Sale Loophole Policy Summary ,” Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, September 10, 2015.”Gabby Giffords, National Domestic Violence Prevention Leaders Applaud New House Legislation to Keep Guns out of the Hands of Abusers,” Americans for Responsible Solutions, July 22, 2015.Ben Geier, “NRA’s Massive Political Spending Gains Attention,” Fortune, December 3, 2015.

© 2016 CREDO. All rights reserved.

Humanity And Dignity Under The Gun


POSTED BY MIKE HERSH  JUNE 12, 2016

As a federal political action committee, mainly focused on electing progressive candidates to federal offices, Progressive Democrats of America has generally not weighed in on gun violence issues. That changes today. We have always held that an injury to one is an injury to all. Today, even as we grieve about the tragedy at the Pulse LGBTQ nightclub in Orlando, we are expressing our deep commitment to doing all that we can to end the severe and nearly constant level of gun violence in our nation.

Fifty people are dead in Orlando.
Over the Memorial Day weekend, more than 60 people were shot in Chicago. Unless we stand together to break this cycle of gun violence, tomorrow we will await the next breaking news story about the latest gun tragedy. While we have not yet formulated our specific position on gun control, we will be engaging our leadership, our chapters, and our base in this process. We simply cannot and will not accept a society in which mass shootings have become so commonplace.

As the horrendous massacre in Florida demonstrates, intolerance and hate as well as too-easy access to weapons of mass murder make a deadly combination. No other major nation on earth suffers from the unrelenting onslaught of mass murder by gunfire. Nations most-similar to ours–such as England, Canada, and Australia–have taken necessary steps to prevent mass-shooting tragedies as well as rampant gun violence. Only the United States has refused to act.

Our elected officials have failed to act, largely because of powerful special interests including gun and ammunition manufacturers. PDA calls upon these industries and their political operatives to stand down. In the name of common sense and human decency, stand down and let rational, thoughtful people address the epidemic of gun violence.

While, fortunately, horrendous hate crimes of this magnitude are relatively rare, abuse and crimes of hate occur daily. PDA calls upon the President, the Congress, and all state and local officials to finally treat this national emergency with seriousness and effectiveness. We also call upon all civil society leaders to condemn hate crimes and bigotry of any kind.

Together, we must defend ourselves against all forms of hate. From the bullying a gay or non-gender conforming child suffers, to Swastikas painted on the doors of a synagogue. From anti-Muslim words and even physical attacks, to the centuries of racism against people of color. From the virulent sexism targeting women to the nativism and xenophobia oppressing immigrants. All these acts of hate strike at the very heart of the American Dream.

Today we stand with all who value peace. We stand with all who value justice. We stand with all who support equality. We grieve for Orlando today as we have grieved for so many communities in the past, and we commit ourselves to ending the stranglehold the gun lobby has on American society and our democracy.

In solidarity,

Donna, Mike H, Judy, Mike F, Janis, Deb, Kim, and Conor
PDA’s National Team

Tell Congress: No Legal Immunity For The Gun Industry


Excerpt from: CREDO Action 

Stop the NRA.

It’s appalling. Gun manufacturers and gun dealers are the only industries in America that are protected from lawsuits when their products lead to violence and death.

That’s not by accident. The NRA promoted, and Congress passed, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), in 2005. The bill gives legal immunity to the gun industry by preventing lawsuits against gun manufacturers or dealers for negligence that leads to gun-related violence and death.

That kind of one-sided gift to an entire industry could never have been passed if Congress weren’t deeply in the pockets of the NRA. Fortunately, two members of Congress — Rep. Adam Schiff and Sen. Richard Blumenthal — have introduced a bill, the Equal Access to Justice for Victims of Gun Violence Act,1 that would repeal this horrible law and allow victims of gun violence to hold gun manufacturers and dealers accountable when their negligence leads to death. We need to do everything in our power to get this law passed.

The immunity that Congress gave the gun industry in 2005 means that victims of gun violence who try to hold gun manufacturers and dealers accountable are punished twice: once when they suffer a tragedy due to gun violence and then again in the courts.

That’s exactly what happened to the parents of Jessica Ghawi, who was killed in a mass shooting at an Aurora, Colorado movie theater. They filed a lawsuit against Lucky Gunner, the online ammunition dealer that sold 4,000 rounds of armor piercing bullets to the gunman who murdered their daughter. They tried to hold Lucky Gunner accountable for selling ammunition to a person with a violent background, but because of the PLCAA their lawsuit was immediately thrown out. And because of an additional gun industry immunity law in Colorado,they were also forced to pay $203,000 for the company’s attorney fees.2

That kind of special treatment exists for no other industry, and for good reason. Our justice system is precisely the forum to decide when and how companies should be made accountable when their products lead to harm, and that process should be available to everyone. It isn’t Congress’s job to decide who’s allowed to pursue justice in our courts — especially if it’s driven by a political desire to reward gun lobbyists with deep pockets.

It’s time to repeal this law and restore gun victims’ access to our justice system so that the gun industry can be held accountable when their negligence leads to violence and death in our communities. Tell Congress to reverse this terrible mistake and spend its time reducing gun violence instead of handing the gun industry special privileges.

  • Tell Congress: 
    “Repeal immunity for the gun industry by passing the Equal Access to Justice for Victims of Gun Violence Act.”
  • Go to the link below to sign the petition:

http://act.credoaction.com/sign/NRA_Immunity?t=6&akid=16742.7785905.1QP8-e

Thank you for standing up to the NRA today,

Heidi Hess, Senior Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

References:

“Dem bill would let shooting victims sue gun makers, dealers,” The Hill, January 27, 2016.

“We Lost Our Daughter to a Mass Shooter and Now Owe $203,000 to His Ammo Dealer,” The Huffington Post, September 25, 2015.

© 2016 CREDO. All rights reserved.

What Republicans Can Actually Do To Make Us Safer – Bring Us Real Gun Control Legislation


Excerpt from: CREDO Action

This week marks three years since 20 first graders and six educators were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.

Since Sandy Hook, gun violence has continued unabated in the United States because Congress has done nothing to prevent it.

Republicans in Congress offer their “thoughts and prayers” to the victims and their families each time there’s a mass shooting, but they consistently fail to act to make Americans safer. Just one day after the horrific shootings in San Bernadino, California, Senate Republicans voted to block four gun control bills that could actually begin to address gun violence.

It’s past time for Congress to consider a meaningful package of gun control reforms, including an assault weapons ban and universal background checks. But breaking the NRA’s chokehold on Congress will require massive amounts of grassroots pressure demanding a real change.

Pro-NRA members of Congress respond to tragedies while they’re in the news, but never take action to prevent them from happening again. Instead, they offer up either fleeting sentiments or xenophobic and racist policies, as they did in the aftermath of the Paris terror attacks.

It’s outrageous that Republicans are so eager to fearmonger and race bait on behalf of our “safety” but refuse to do anything to combat the epidemic of gun violence that kills more than 33,000 Americans every year. If Republicans actually want to make us safer, they must do everything they can to pass a comprehensive package of gun control reforms, including a bill to close the NRA-backed terror gap which has allowed more than 2,000 people on the terror watch list to purchase guns since 2004.1

Policies like blocking refugees or discriminating against them based on their religion are especially offensive when there is legislation that Congress could pass right now to actually reduce gun violence. The Senate could:

  • Close the terror gap by allowing the Department of Justice to block guns sales to anyone on the terror watch list. Between 2004 and 2014, more than 2,000 people on the list purchased guns in the U.S.
  • Close the loophole that allows people to buy guns without undergoing background checks through private sales, at gun shows and online. An estimated 40% of all firearms transferred in the U.S. are transferred by unlicensed individuals not required to conduct background checks on buyers.2
  • Ban convicted domestic abusers and stalkers from buying guns. Abused women are five times more likely to be killed by their abuser if that individual has access to a firearm.3
    Prohibit the manufacture of assault weapons and “large capacity” magazines for civilian use.

In 2014 alone, the gun lobby spent over $30 million on political advertising and lobbying to influence legislators in Congress and state capitals across the country. If Republicans really want to protect Americans, they need to break their blind allegiance to the NRA and pass gun control legislation. But they’ll never act unless we force them. Can you add your voice today?

Petition Republicans in Congress:

  • “Thoughts and prayers” are not enough. It’s time to pass real gun control legislation. “It’s time to put your constituents before the NRA. Bring real gun control legislation to the floor of the House and the Senate.”

Go to CREDO Action today sign this petition and make your voice heard!

 

Thank you for your activism.

Heidi Hess, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets
“Closing the Terror Gap in Gun Background Checks,” Everytown for Gun Safety, July 21, 2015.

“Universal Background Checks & the “Private” Sale Loophole Policy Summary ,” Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, September 10, 2015.

”Gabby Giffords, National Domestic Violence Prevention Leaders Applaud New House Legislation to Keep Guns out of the Hands of Abusers,” Americans for Responsible Solutions, July 22, 2015.
© 2016 CREDO. All rights reserved.

Tell President Obama: Now Is The Time To Take A Stand Against Islamophobia


Excerpt from: CREDO Action
The horrific violence this week in San Bernardino, where 14 people were killed and 21 were wounded, is difficult to comprehend. We stand with the victims and their families.

With two Muslims identified as the reported perpetrators of Wednesday’s attack,1 we also stand with the people most likely to become the victims of backlash and violence over the coming weeks – American Muslims.

Right-wing extremists in the political and media establishment, including prominent Republican leaders, have already seized on racism and incendiary rhetoric – inciting hate crimes against innocent Muslims.2

Instead of taking up any reasonable proposal to protect our communities from senseless gun violence, Congressional Republicans have been too busy working on xenophobic legislation that feeds into the very ideologies that often underlie such heinous acts of violence. But what we need most in this moment is for our leaders, especially our President, to stand up for all Americans.

Six days after the 9/11 attacks, President George W. Bush visited a mosque and spoke out against the harassment of Arabs and Muslims in the US.3 It was a symbolic act, but an important one.

But President Obama has yet to visit a mosque in the United States.4 Doing so would go a long way to both denounce the hateful rhetoric that leads to violence and discrimination, while striking at the heart of a small group of extremists who would wield a twisted interpretation of Islam as a tool for violence.

Progressive champion Rep. Keith Ellison has already urged his Congressional colleagues to show solidarity with their local Muslim community by visiting a mosque. President Obama should answer Rep. Ellison’s call.

In his statement after the San Bernardino shooting, President Obama went out of his way to speak out against gun violence and hold Congress accountable for their inaction. But he said nothing to stem the predictable anti-Muslim xenophobia sure to follow.

Right-wing extremists were quick to launch into blanket rhetoric targeting the Muslim community following the shooting massacre in San Bernardino. With the facts still unclear, and before there was a shred of evidence to back it up, Sen. Ted Cruz had already declared the shootings “yet another manifestation of terrorism, radical Islamic terrorism here at home” and insisted that “we are in a time of war.”5 The New York Post plastered the headline, “Muslim Killers,” on its front page.

  • Given rhetoric like this, it’s no wonder that since the terror attacks in Paris several weeks ago, Muslims in America have been increasingly under siege:A Muslim taxi driver was shot in the back by a passenger who questioned his nationality and begin ranting about ISIS.6
  • Cable news has aired messages deeming Muslims “unusually violent,” calling for death squads to wipe them out, and labeling Islam a destructive force.7
  • Numerous other Muslim men and women have been asked to leave flights, including one case where one was accused of acting suspiciously for watching the news on his phone.8
  • Armed protesters surrounded a mosque in Texas carrying automatic weapons, then posted the home addresses of those who worship there.9
  • Other mosques have faced threats, vandalism, fake bombs, and attacks from the community.10
  • Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has called for a registry of American Muslims and other candidates have compared them to “rabid dogs,” among other hateful remarks.11
  • Twenty-six Republican governors have vowed, without any legal authority, to block Syrian refugees from their states.12

In the face of such a climate of fear, public rejections of Islamophobia by prominent national elected leaders — including visits to mosques — would send a powerful message that America is a nation where all are welcome and violent hatred is not welcome.

Whatever the heinous motivations of Wednesday’s mass shootings were, we as a society must not cave to hate, fear, and blanket islamophobia. To do so, we only perpetuate the cycle of hate and violence from which such acts arise.

We reject the politics of hate and fear, and condemn those who peddle or cave to it; we reject any attempts to demonize Muslim, Arab or South Asian communities; and we reject any efforts to use tragedies to justify deportations, ramp up militarization in the Middle East, suspend civil rights, or close our borders.

CREDO members have spoken out against Islamophobia, called on Senate Democrats to reject efforts to demonize Muslims, denounced Trump and Carson’s hateful rhetoric and the actions of governors who reject refugees. Now we need to show our leaders how they can begin to turn the tide, starting with the powerful symbolic actions of denouncing Islamophobia and visiting an American mosque.

Petition President Obama: “Take a stand against islamophobia in the aftermath of the San Bernardino shootings. Denounce the rising tide of anti-Muslim violence by speaking out and making a public visit to an American mosque.”

  • Click the link below to sign the petition:

https://act.credoaction.com/sign/denounce_islamophobia?t=7&akid=16248.7785905.RDjBov

Thank you for speaking out.

Murshed, Heidi, Josh, Mark, Jin, Jordan, Colin, Elijah and Ari
CREDO Action from Working Assets

Alana Horowitz Satlin and Andy Campbell, “Police Search For Motive Behind San Bernardino Shooting,” HuffingtonPost.com, December 3, 2015.
David A. Fahrenthold and Jose A. DelReal, “‘Rabid’ dogs and closing mosques: Anti-Islam rhetoric grows in GOP,” Washington Post, November 19, 2015.
Samuel G. Freedman, “Six Days After 9/11, Another Anniversary Worth Honoring,” New York Times, September 7, 2012.
Ali Gharib, “ Obama Should Stand With Ahmed—at His Mosque in Texas,” The Nation, September 17, 2015.
Dave Weigel, “Ted Cruz says San Bernardino shooting may be ‘radical Islamic terrorism’,” Washington Post, December 3, 2015.
Peter Holley, “Passenger rants about Islamic State before shooting Muslim taxi driver in back,” Washington Post, November 30, 2015.
Max Fischer, “It’s not just Ahmed Mohamed: anti-Muslim bigotry in America is out of control,” Vox.com, September 16, 2015.
Anealla Safdar, “US Muslim forced off plane cites Islamophobia,” Al Jazeera, November 26, 2015.
Petula Dvorak, “Words matter in attacks on Planned Parenthood, Black Lives Matter and Muslim refugees,” Washington Post, November 30, 2015.
Ibid.
Fahrenthold and DelReal, “‘Rabid’ dogs and closing mosques: Anti-Islam rhetoric grows in GOP.”
Sarah Frostenson and Dara Lind, “Here’s a map of every state refusing to accept Syrian refugees,” Vox.com, November 18, 2015.

CREDO Action is a publication of Working Assets | credomobile.com

Lethal Terrorist Attacks In The United States Since 9/11


Data from: http://securitydata.newamerica.net/extremists/deadly-attacks.html

Deadly Attacks Since 9/11
Homegrown Extremists
NSA Analysis: Jihadist vs. Homegrown Extremists

The tables below show the lethal terrorist incidents in the United States since 9/11.

Deadly Jihadist Attacks
Total number of people killed:                                  45
Plot name                                                          # Persons killed
2015 San Bernardino Shooting                                  14
2015 Chattanooga, TN Military Shooting                 5
2014 Washington and New Jersey Killing Spree    4
2014 Oklahoma Beheading                                           1
2013 Boston Marathon Bombing                                4
2009 Little Rock Shooting                                            1
2009 Fort Hood Shooting                                            13
2006 Seattle Jewish Federation Shooting                1
2002 Los Angeles Airport Shooting                           2

Deadly Right Wing Attacks
Total number of people killed:                                  48
Plot name                                                           #Persons killed
2015 Colorado Planned Parenthood Shooting         3
2015 Charleston Church Shooting                              9
2014 Las Vegas Police Ambush                                     3
2014 Kansas Jewish Center Shooting                          3
2014 Blooming Grove Police Shooting                       1
2012 Tri-State Killing Spree                                          4
2012 St. John’s Parish Police Ambush                       2
2012 Sikh Temple Shooting                                          6
2011 FEAR Militia                                                             3
2010 Carlisle, PA Murder                                               1
2010 Austin, TX Plane Attack                                       1
2009 Pittsburgh Police Shootings                              3
2009 Holocaust Museum Shooting                            1
2009 George Tiller Assassination                               1
2009 Flores Murders, Pima County, AZ                   2
2009 Brockton, MA Murders                                       2
2008 Knoxville, TN Church Shooting                       2
2004 Tulsa OK, Bank Robbery                                     1