Saturday, December 26, 2015

Gun Safety Weekly Update!

Incredible Artist Melts 1,527 Guns to Make Shovels for Planting Trees.

At this time of year, when many people are wishing for peace on Earth – and wondering how they can bring more tranquility and love into their own lives and the lives of all who share this planet – one Mexican artist is making a powerful statement about the type of world he would prefer to live in.

Pedro Reyes lives in the city of Culiacán, which experiences the highest rate of gun-related deaths in Mexico. He believes that failure “is the outcome of a certain perspective,” and that positivity can be found even in the midst of destruction. Much of his artwork revolves around transforming objects that people regard as negative or frightening, and showing how they can be made into constructive tools. This is the exact approach he has taken with discarded guns, asking residents of Culiacán to give him unwanted guns in exchange for a coupon they could use to buy electronics or household appliances. He ended up collecting 1,527 guns as part of the project – called Palas por Pistolas – and what he did with them is truly inspiring.

Reyes melted down the guns and turns them into shovels, which were then used to plant trees in the local community.
Incredible Artist Melts Down 1,527 Guns to Create Shovels Used to Plant Trees
 The shovels were distributed to art institutions and public schools, with the aim of planting 1,527 trees.
Incredible Artist Melts Down 1,527 Guns to Create Shovels Used to Plant Trees
Reyes said the intention behind Palas por Pistolas was to “show how an agent of death can become an agent of life.”
Incredible Artist Melts Down 1,527 Guns to Create Shovels Used to Plant Trees
“If something is dying, becoming rotten and smelly, I think there is a chance to make a compost in which this vast catalog of solutions can be mixed in an entirely new way,” he explained. His project has acquired a great deal of positive attention, with some of the shovels making their way to locations such as the Vancouver Art Gallery, the San Francisco Art Institute, and the Maison Rouge in Paris.

It just goes to show that there is always a positive solution available, even for the most seemingly intractable problems of society, if we are willing to think creatively about it and consider – as Reyes said – how to transform the situation into “an agent of life.” To view more of Reyes’ artwork, or find out more about him, visit his website. All image source: Pocho

Mika Brzezinski to Rick Santorum: "Why aren't you working on white men with guns".
Rick Santorum suggested that Muslims are not doing enough to combat Islamic jihad. He said not all terrorist are Muslims but all Jihadist terrorists are Muslim. He also said that enough Muslims are not doing the job to help eradicate the jihadists among the fold.
Mika Brzezinski slammed Rick Santorum on the spot by pointing out that based on his argument he should be working on white men that are effecting mass killings with guns.
"I will turn the argument around on you," Mika asked. "Why aren't you working on white men with guns. I mean come on Rick Santorum. You know better. You are smarter than that. Now telling Muslim Americans they all need to come and talk about the tiny percentage of their community that kinda point frankly ...  But yet, you look at the data of white men with guns wrecking havoc on this nation, why aren't white men coming together. Why aren't you calling them to do that?"
Mika is right. ThinkProgress reported the following.
Though terrorism perpetrated by Muslims receives a disproportionate amount of attention from politicians and reporters, the reality is that right-wing extremists pose a much greater threat to people in the United States than terrorists connected to ISIS or similar organizations. As UNC Professor Charles Kurzman and Duke Professor David Schanzer explained last June in the New York Times, Islam-inspired terror attacks “accounted for 50 fatalities over the past 13 and a half years.” Meanwhile, “right-wing extremists averaged 337 attacks per year in the decade after 9/11, causing a total of 254 fatalities.”
Kurzman and Schanzer’s methodology, moreover, may underestimate the degree to which domestic terrorists in the United States are motivated by right-wing views. As they describe the term in their New York Times piece, the term “right-wing extremist” primarily encompasses anti-government extremists such as members of thesovereign citizenmovement, although it also includes racist right-wing groups such as neo-Nazis. Thus, it is not yet clear whether Dear, who made anti-abortion remarks but also reportedly referenced President Obama, was motivated in part by the kind of anti-government views that are the focus of Kurzman and Schanzer’s inquiry.
It is time that truth prevails. It is time to stop a false narrative from taking hold.

It's been a bad year for the NRA. Do you want to know how bad?

So bad that their "guns everywhere" agenda was defeated in 33 states. So bad that presidential candidates are parading their "F" ratings from the NRA on the campaign trail.

It's even been so bad that the NRA had to raise its membership fee to $40 for the first time in twenty years, because they're afraid they "won't be able to compete in the election a year from now." [1]

It couldn't be clearer: They're afraid of us. But what's also clear is that they're circling the wagons and preparing for an even bigger fight in 2016.

Will you accept the NRA's challenge and match their new membership fee with a year-end gift of $40 or more?

Make the NRA's worst fears come true
For the first time, the gun lobby has a real opponent: You and me.

We caught them off guard in 2015. But this fee increase shows they're gathering even more resources to push their dangerous vision of guns for anyone, anywhere.

We have to keep growing stronger if we're going to keep our families safe. How do we do it? By defeating their candidates, challenging their lies, and blocking their dangerous bills at the state and federal level. But we can only do it with your support.

Please give $40 now to help this movement shut down the NRA at every turn.

Let's make their worst fears come true.

Look at the front page of this newspaper. This is what the NRA is up against -- passionate, determined supporters like you, who refuse to let the gun lobby dictate the terms of this fight any longer.

After the slaughter of 14 Americans in San Bernardino, Calif., when two people armed with high-powered rifles and handguns ambushed unsuspecting Americans in a conference room, United States senator and Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz held a press conference to issue a familiar refrain we hear after every major gun tragedy:

If only there had been a "good guy" with a gun there. Or, as Sen. Cruz put it:

"You stop bad guys by using our guns."

We heard the same call after the recent tragedy at a medical clinic in Colorado Springs, and after attacks in Paris, where 129 people were murdered in a theater by terrorists armed with guns and explosives. That's when former presidential candidate and Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich took to Twitter to issue his call to arms:

"Imagine a theater with 10 or 15 citizens with concealed carry permits."

I know that the political advocates for this "good guy with a gun" mantra like Sen. Cruz and many of the other politicians and lobbyists think that this is a politically expedient catch-phrase to support their own interests.

I doubt career politicians like Sen. Cruz and the rest of the Washington operators have had much experience with gunfights.

In my experience, being the good guy when the bullets start flying is very difficult.

I say that as someone who spent 25 years serving our military. For many of those 25 years, I was a member of a Special Missions Unit.

I've been in dark rooms with "good-guys and bad guys" going at it with guns, and let me tell you something:

Gunfights are crazy.

Gunfights are hard.

On my final combat mission, I was shot in the leg with an AK-47 from about 30 feet away and it blew my femur in half.

I hope that was my last gunfight.

Here at home, there are almost 13 million Americans who have a license to carry a concealed weapon. The vast majority of them are responsible, law-abiding and good-hearted people. Many of them want to be prepared to be the good guy, to do the right thing and to save lives.

I hope they never have to face being the target of a dangerous person with a gun. Because it's hard to make the right decisions.

There are groups of individuals, like me and my fellow Special Operators, both military and law enforcement, who train for years to be good at close quarters shooting: shooting with discernment, keeping your head clear and making snap decisions before you pull the trigger -- all while being shot at by the enemy.

And after dedicating their lives to being good operators in those extreme circumstances, even those professionals make mistakes.

Then consider that people like us trained for firefights for years, and that in many states there is virtually no training required for someone to legally carry a loaded, hidden gun.

So think about 10 or 15 people, who are weekend shooters with limited tactical training, deciding to shoot it out with a criminal in a crowded office holiday party, a medical clinic or a darkened theater, while people are screaming and running, and no one knows who or how many of the people shooting are the "good guys" and how many of them are the "bad guys."

In some cases, can a "good guy" with a gun neutralize the threat and help save lives? Absolutely. But it doesn't happen very often. It is, for the most part, a myth perpetuated by people who've never been shot at.

I am a proud Navy combat veteran. I risked and nearly gave my life in dozens of combat situations in defense of our Constitution. I value the Second Amendment and the right of responsible Americans to own guns for self-defense.

But people need to know that it is a fallacy to believe that the everyday gun owner can be expected to make all the right choices in a dangerous, fast-moving situation like a mass shooting with high-powered weapons.

When the bullets are flying, determining "who's who in the zoo" is hard.

If the scenario that Sen. Cruz envisions were to ever unfold, we'd have a lot more dead innocents. And it would probably include some of the "good guys."

We're taking on the NRA in even more state capitols across the country this year. Can you make a gift of $25 or more to help make 2016 the Year of the Mom? (Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America)
Providence Journal Front Page
Images like these are popping up in newspapers across the country.

Because when moms sit in the front row, the NRA (and the elected officials in their pockets) know we mean business.

This year alone, we defeated 64 NRA priority bills. [1] We've proven time and time again that we have the heart and the mom-power to take them down. How? By showing up, speaking our minds, and reminding lawmakers who they really work for.

Make a donation to help shut down the NRA and make 2016 the Year of the Mom:
Thank you for continuing to prove that this movement is a force to be reckoned with.