Tag: gun control

Lucy McBath Wins Georgia Congressional Race Against Karen Handel

U.S. Congress member Lucy McBath (photo via Getty Images)

by Astead W. Herndon via nytimes.com

Lucy McBath, the gun control and racial justice activist whose son was killed in a 2012 shooting, is now headed to Congress, after winning a razor-thin election decided Thursday morning.

Ms. McBath defeated the Republican incumbent Karen Handel, who only last year won a closely watched special election in the same Georgia district. Though Ms. Handel did not concede the race until Thursday morning, Ms. McBath, who is also a former Delta flight attendant, claimed victory in a statement released Wednesday. The Associated Press officially called the race for Ms. McBath on Thursday morning, with her lead at just under 3,000 votes.

“Six years ago I went from a Marietta mom to a mother on a mission,” she said, referencing her teenage son’s death. Jordan Davis, Ms. McBath’s son, was 17 when he was shot and killed by a white man at a gas station after refusing to turn down the volume of the rap music playing in his car. The man was later convicted of first-degree murder.

The win furthers the advantage in the House for Democrats, who could see more gains in several still-too-close-to-call races across the country. The district, once held by Newt Gingrich, was initially thought to have been out of reach for Democrats, but tightening polls in the campaign’s final weeks pushed the National Republican Campaign Committee, the House political arm, to run several new advertisements in the district in support of Ms. Handel.

“It is clear I came up a bit short Tuesday,” Ms. Handel said on Thursday morning. “Congratulations to Representative-Elect Lucy McBath and send her only good thoughts and much prayer for the journey that lies ahead for her.”

Ms. McBath was once thought to be a long-shot candidate even among members of her own party, and had even first planned to run for state or local office. Now, she will be the first nonwhite person to represent Georgia’s Sixth District, a section of the state overwhelmingly filled with white and affluent voters.

“At the end of the day, whatever you think about me; whatever happens or whatever I become in the future, I’ll still always be Jordan’s mom,” Ms. McBath said during a campaign event last month.

Her win defies conventional wisdom of how minority candidates must campaign in order to gain traction in districts predominately composed of white voters. While some had advised Ms. McBath to dilute the most explicit parts of her son’s murder, she believed it was integral to telling an authentic story about her life and experiences, she said.

During stump speeches on the trail, Ms. McBath would invoke the name of Trayvon Martin, the teenager killed in Florida whose death spurned legions of black activism. She also said, “I’m risking my son’s legacy for the people of this district.”

“What I’m doing today is still mothering his legacy,” Ms. McBath said last month. “I’m extending what I would do for my son to my community.”

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/08/us/politics/lucy-mcbath-georgia.html

Lucy McBath, Mother of Racial Violence Victim Jordan Davis, Wins Democratic Primary for U.S. Congressional Seat in GA

U.S. Congressional Candidate Lucy McBath (photo via bradfordera.com)

by Sarah Ruiz-Grossman via huffingtonpost.com

Gun control advocate Lucia “Lucy” McBath won the Democratic nomination for the U.S. House in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District.

McBath beat her Democratic opponent, businessman Kevin Abel, in Tuesday’s runoff after they finished as the top contenders in the state’s May primary but neither garnered the majority of the vote. She won 53.7 percent of the vote.

McBath thanked her supporters early Wednesday morning, saying she was at a “loss for words.” “We deserve better representation in DC, and I intend to show the good people of #GA06 what a tough, determined mother can do,” she wrote on Twitter. “On to November.”

McBath, a national spokeswoman for gun control group Moms Demand Action, will now face a challenging race against incumbent Rep. Karen Handel (R-Ga.) in November’s general election. Handel famously beat Democrat Jon Ossoff in last year’s special election ― the most expensive U.S. House race in history, with more than $50 million spent on both bids.

McBath was spurred into activism by the 2012 death of her son, Jordan Davis, a black 17-year-old who was shot dead at a Florida gas station by a white man complaining about loud music. Initially planning to run for a state House seat, McBath decided to run for Congress after the February school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 people, most of them teens.

“I knew that I could no longer sit on the sidelines,” McBath wrote on her campaign site, “while the politicians in the pocket of the gun manufacturing lobby decide the future of our gun laws.”

She said Wednesday that Jordan was her “rock & inspiration” through the race.

As a “Mother of the Movement” ― part of a group of women who’ve lost a child to gun violence or in police custody ― McBath advocates for “common sense gun violence prevention laws,” including background checks, raising the age for firearm purchases to 21 years old and fighting against “conceal carry” measures. The two-time breast cancer survivor is also pushing for more affordable health care and improving women’s access to health services.

Source: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/lucy-mcbath-georgia-democratic-primary_us_5b4e6062e4b0de86f487c43d

VOTE! Lucy McBath, Mother of Slain Teen Jordan Davis, in Runoff for GA Congressional Seat

Congressional candidate in Georgia’s 6th District Lucy McBath (R) speaks onstage during Vanity Fair’s Founders Fair at Spring Studios on April 12, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for Vanity Fair)

by Jay Scott Smith via thegrio.com

She wants gun control reform for a very personal reason and decided to run for Congress with the hope of changing things herself.

Lucy McBath is set for a runoff election this coming Tuesday against Atlanta tech businessman Kevin Abel for the Democratic nomination in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District. McBath is a gun control activist and the mother of 17-year-old Jordan Davis, who was murdered in Jacksonville, Florida in 2012 when he was shot by Michael Dunn, a white man angered that he and his friends would not turn their music down.

Dunn, who attempted to claim the shooting was in self-defense because he felt “threatened” by the boys arguing back at him, was convicted of first-degree murder. “I didn’t understand how there were these kinds of tragedies happening all over the country,” McBath told CNN. “And why aren’t our legislators talking about it?”

Davis said she was inspired to run when she saw Donald Trump speak after February’s high school mass shooting in Parkland, Florida. She says she knew the president was lying when he implied he would challenge the NRA. “It’s just not enough to have the marches and the rallies and the speeches and the remarks, unless we have people who are willing to create the bills to make this a safer nation,” she told CNN.

After her son’s death, she retired from her job as a Delta Airlines flight attendant and became a national spokeswoman for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and Everytown for Gun Safety. She has testified before Congress, joined Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail in 2016, and was among the Mothers of the Movement who spoke at the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

McBath came in first in the primary race in front of Abel, a South Africa native who she will face in the runoff this Tuesday. McBath won 36 percent of the vote in the May primary, while Abel secured 30.5 percent of the votes cast.  The runoff winner will challenge incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Karen Handel.

Abel claims that despite coming in second in the primary, he is the better candidate simply because he feels McBath “can’t beat Handel” in the bloody-red state of Georgia.

McBath is undeterred and unapologetic about her policy positions. “Yes, we are in a gun state,” says McBath. “And yes, we are in a red state. But I know people are sick and tired of being sick and tired. I know people now want change.”

Source: https://thegrio.com/2018/07/22/lucy-mcbath-jordan-davis-mother-runoff-for-ga-congressional-seat/

U.S. House Democrats Stage Sit-in Led by John Lewis on Floor of Congress Over Guns

Rep. John Lewis sits next to Rep. Gregory Meeks on the floor of the House of Representatives in Washington, D.C., on June 22, 2016.
Rep. John Lewis sits next to Rep. Gregory Meeks on the floor of the House of Representatives in Washington, D.C., on June 22, 2016. (LAUREN VICTORIA BURKE)

article by Lauren Victoria Burke via theroot.com

At noon Wednesday, members of the House shut it down—all the way down.

In a historic act of protest, Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives refused to observe the regular order of the House, staging a sit-in protest over the lack of legislation on gun control.

The protest Wednesday occurred after House Republicans ignored several demands from House Democrats to take action on guns after 49 people were murdered in an Orlando, Fla., nightclub June 12. Their first demand came during a moment of silence for the victims of the mass shooting after Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) attempted to ask Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) if action on gun-related measures was possible. Ryan gaveled Clyburn down.

Wednesday’s effort was led by civil rights legend Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and featured several members of the Congressional Black Caucus who have had to deal with continuing gun violence in their districts. The group included Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.), who represents parts of Detroit; Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.); and several others.

“This is the right thing to do, when you look at the polling data and it shows that 90 percent of the American public says we should not allow terrorists to be able to walk in a store and buy a gun and kill 50 people,” former Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) told The Root steps away from the House floor. “We don’t lose on this. The Congressional Black Caucus did lead this.”
Continue reading “U.S. House Democrats Stage Sit-in Led by John Lewis on Floor of Congress Over Guns”

President Obama to Announce New Executive Action On Guns To Expand Background Checks

President Barack Obama (Courtesy: YouTube)
President Barack Obama (Courtesy: YouTube)

In his continued effort to curb gun violence and strengthen gun laws, President Obama is set to announce an executive action on gun sales at the top of the new year, CNN reports.

While the president and his administration have not yet fleshed out the action, changes include expanding the “background check requirement to additional sellers,” the report notes. Those close to the proposal, however, warn “unforeseen circumstances could delay an announcement.”

From CNN:

Gun control advocates and White House officials say the focus remains on the so-called “gun show loophole,” which allows certain sellers of guns — at gun shows and elsewhere — to avoid conducting background checks before making sales.

Months after the Newtown, Connecticut elementary school massacre that claimed 26 victims, the then-Democratic majority Senate rejected a similar proposal.

Congress would still need to act in order to make background checks fully universal. But advocates and administration lawyers have struck upon a provision in the law that could allow for Obama to expand the background check requirement to additional sellers.

[…]

Aside from the background check provision, people familiar with Obama’s plans say his new gun control announcement will include new funding for government agencies to better enforce existing gun laws.

The White House did not comment on an accurate timeline for the executive order, but White House spokesman Eric Schultz said the president was “expressing urgency” to effectively push forth steps to curb gun violence on his own following the number of mass shootings Obama has had to address in just the last year alone.

article via newsone.com

How Former Youth Gun Toter Camiella Williams Became a Gun Reform Activist

camiellaCamiella Williams grew up in a violent neighborhood in Chicago and bought herself a gun for $25 when she was in sixth grade. Tired of all the death and pain around her, Camiella has changed her life and is now working toward peace.

As an activist and gun reform advocate, the 26-year-old speaks about the ways people can reduce gun violence. She told MTV Act about her background, the reality of the underground market for guns and ways that our generation can truly make a difference.

ACT: You grew up around violence and were used to it. What experiences changed your views on gun violence and inspired you to make a difference?

CAMIELLA: My personal stories changed my views. I have been affected by gun violence directly and indirectly. I’ve lost loved ones to gun violence, and I’ve seen violence. My home was shot up before. My neighbors upstairs were shot and killed. The blood was still on my porch. Seeing all this is what made me want to make a difference. I got tired of going to funerals. I got tired of crying and living in sorrow. That’s basically what it was: You go to a funeral every other week.

ACT: Many people are unaware of the underground market for guns. Can you tell us a bit about it?

CAMIELLA: In the community I grew up in — Englewood, on the south side of Chicago — guns are very accessible because they were selling them in hole-in-wall restaurants and hole-in-a-wall apartments and unnamed convenient stores. If you want a gun, you can get a gun. You don’t have to have a FOID [Firearms Owners Identification] card, you don’t have to be 18 or 21. If you say, “Hey, I want a gun,” and you know somebody who can get you a gun, they’ll get it for you. 

Camiella 4

ACT: Some people feel that gun reform would infringe on their Second Amendment rights. What are your thoughts on this?

CAMIELLA: Gun reform will not infringe on Second Amendment rights. First you have to think about our rights to live in peace and be happy. The issue that people do not understand is that in order for these guns to become illegal, they were once legal. Meaning that someone — a straw purchaser [someone who buys a gun for someone else who can’t legally buy them or doesn’t want their name tracked] or a gun dealer — went and bought these guns and brought them back to the community and is there selling them. They look at it as, “You shot somebody? I sold you the gun, yeah, so what? You shoot somebody, that’s on you.”

For example, in 2006, Starkesia Reed was shot and killed in Englewood. Her shooter went to a gun dealer and bought an AK-47 [an assault rifle originally made for the military] for $150. He shot up the block and a bullet ending up going through her eye. When I went to court with the family of Starkesia Reed, the gun dealer testified, “Yeah, I sold him the AK-47.” And that was it. He knew [the killer’s] I.D. was fake, there wasn’t a thorough background check. He knew he didn’t look like a hunter, but he sold him the gun anyway. And now we have an innocent 14-year-old girl dead. The gun dealers are not being held accountable.

Continue reading “How Former Youth Gun Toter Camiella Williams Became a Gun Reform Activist”

Democratic, GOP Senators Reach Deal on Gun Background Checks

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two key senators have reached a bipartisan deal on expanding background checks to more gun buyers, a Senate aide and lobbyist said Wednesday, an agreement that could build support for President Barack Obama’s drive to curb firearms violence in the wake of the elementary school shootings in Connecticut. (See video of yesterday’s  gun control speech in Connecticut by President Obama above.)

Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Patrick Toomey, R-Pa., planned to announce their compromise later Wednesday morning. Subjecting more firearms purchases to federal background checks has been the chief goal of Obama and gun control supporters, who promote the system as a way to prevent criminals and other potentially dangerous people from getting the weapons.

Meanwhile, the Senate is ready for an opening vote on restricting guns as Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., set a roll call for Thursday on starting consideration of the firearms legislation. The background check deal makes it even likelier that Democrats will win enough Republican support to thwart an effort by conservatives and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to block consideration from even starting.

Continue reading “Democratic, GOP Senators Reach Deal on Gun Background Checks”

Obama’s Second Term: Twelve Issues and What He’ll Try Do About Them

second-term-twelve-issues.jpg

In his second Inaugural Address, Barack Obama outlined several issues that he plans to focus on during his final term. Some other policy areas went largely unmentioned, but were first-term priorities that might receive more attention over the next four years. Here’s a look at the President’s record on twelve key issues: what he’s said, what he’s accomplished so far, and what he might be planning. For further details, read Ryan Lizza’s 2012 inside account of the debates over the President’s second-term agenda.

arms-control.jpg

What he’s said:
“I believe the United States has a unique responsibility to act—indeed, we have a moral obligation. I say this as President of the only nation ever to use nuclear weapons.”
March 26, 2012; Seoul, South Korea.

What he’s accomplished:
The Administration oversaw the ratification of a new Strategic Arms-Reduction Treaty with Russia in April, 2010, which will significantly reduce the number of deployed strategic weapons. It coöperated with Israel in the development of Stuxnet, a computer virus aimed at sabotaging Iran’s nuclear program. The U.S. also led a coalition to initiate harsh sanctions against Iran in order to pressure the country to abandon its program. The President hosted the Nuclear Security Summit in April, 2010.

Possible second-term goal:
Ratify the 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty. Contain Iran’s nuclear program. Pressure China and Russia to more aggressively oppose Iran and North Korea’s nuclear programs. Continue reading “Obama’s Second Term: Twelve Issues and What He’ll Try Do About Them”

President Barack Obama’s Profound Visual Argument for Gun Control

Barack Obama, gun control

President Barack Obama, accompanied by children who wrote to the president about gun violence following last month’s school shooting in the US, signs executive orders. Photograph: Charles Dharapak/AP

Barack Obama signs a series of executive actions in favour of gun control, flanked by children who wrote to him after the killings at Sandy Hook. Their parents or guardians stand behind them. While the children reflect the president’s solemnity, the supervising adults are finding it hard not to grin with pride at their kids’ involvement in this historic occasion.

It might look cynical. It might seem a bit obvious. The imagery here is so crystal clear they might as well have had a big sign saying “Children! Future!” (as they sing at The Simpsons’ Springfield elementary school).

But if you think that you probably haven’t got a child. Or perhaps you rationalised the US’s horror at the shootings that led to this photograph as colossal hypocrisy in the face of alleged massacres of non-American children by military drones. For some on the left it seems Obama is little better than a child murderer himself, while for the gun-toting right, his desire to restrict gun access is an assault on freedoms defined in the 18th-century political discourse that is the Constitution of the United States:

“A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to bear Arms shall not be infringed.”

And this is the point of Obama’s photo opportunity with America’s children. The debate about gun control is a debate about history and its burdens. When that amendment was added to the constitution in 1791, the authors surely did not think they were setting down the Ten Commandments of national identity, to be preserved unaltered forever. Or if they did, well … they are dead.

Continue reading “President Barack Obama’s Profound Visual Argument for Gun Control”