Friday, December 21, 2012

Fla. senator files 'stand your ground' revision

Trayvon Martin shot, killed Feb. 26

Published  9:46 AM EST Dec 20, 2012

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. —The state Senate's Democratic leader has filed a bill revising Florida's "stand your ground law" following the Trayvon Martin shooting.

Sen. Chris Smith of Fort Lauderdale said on Wednesday said his bill (SB 136) was inspired by the unarmed 17-year-old boy's death in Sanford. Martin was shot by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman who is claiming self-defense under the law.
One key change would eliminate protection from prosecution for someone who provokes violence or pursues a victim. The bill also would remove automatic immunity from arrest or detention and clarify that a suspect can be arrested following a questionable death.
It is likely to face opposition from Republicans who control the Legislature and backed the current law. A panel created by Gov. Rick Scott has recommended no major changes.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The NRA Has a Head Start Against Newly Energized Gun Control

Protesters marching with the social activist group CREDO

Dec 18, 2012 4:45 AM EST

Americans anxious to join the fight for stricter gun-control laws in the wake of the Newtown school shooting are finding there isn’t much of a fight to join—and the NRA is supremely organized. David Freedlander reports. 

Imagine you live in Connecticut, not far where the Sandy Hook massacre took place. Or, say, Oak Creek, Wisc., where a gunman shot and killed six at a Sikh temple in August. Or in Denver, Colo., near the Aurora movie theater, where 12 were shot in July.

 Fed up, and maybe a little scared for your safety, you decide that something needs to be done. But what? You check out the nation’s most prominent gun control group, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, hoping to find an organization to join or at least some simple steps you can take immediately to join the fight—a march to attend, a congressman to pressure, news of legislation coming up before key committees in your local state legislature. For each state, the website gives you a generic form to fill out to contact your state chapter, which may be several towns over, a button to donate money to the group, and a link to learn about local gun laws.

Compare this with the National Rifle Association, which for years has been reaching out aggressively to would-be supporters everywhere from college campuses to CPAC by culling conservative email lists and by catching people at the point of sale of a firearm. Indeed, if you are thinking about joining the NRA, it is probably because the group has already reached out to you.    READ MORE

 Note: There's a White House petition on gun control that's receiving runaway votes, HERE

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sixteen US Mass Shootings Happened in 2012, Leaving at Least 88 Dead

President Barack Obama wipes his eye as he talks
about the Connecticut elementary school shooting,
Friday, December 14, 2012, in the White House briefing
room in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Connecticut shooting: Gunman forced his way into school, police say

Connecticut State Police say a gunman who massacred 26 children and adults at an elementary school before committing suicide forced his way into the building. By Tina Susman, Brian Bennett and Michael Muskal December 15, 2012, 9:34 a.m. NEWTOWN, Conn. -- The gunman in one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history forced his way into a Connecticut elementary school, where he killed 26 children and adults before turning a weapon on himself, state police said Saturday, adding that they were continuing to search for evidence to explain how and why the rampage took place. “We're doing everything we need to do to literally peel back the onion, layer by layer,” State Police spokesman, Lt. J. Paul Vance told reporters at a news conference. The gunman “was not voluntarily let into the school,” Vance said. “He forced his way in.” Vance did not name the gunman, who has been identified by other law enforcement sources as Adam Lanza, 20, who lived in town with his mother, Nancy. PHOTOS: Shooting at Connecticut school Sources have said that Lanza began his spree by killing his mother and then driving to Sandy Hook Elementary School several miles away. At the school, those sources said, he fired two handguns, killing 20 children and six adults before killing himself. READ MORE

Super MoonWalking

Top 10 Worst School Massacres Worldwide

by Samehrocks, January 1, 2008

It is always tragic when a large number of people lose their lives, but it is worse when the deaths are of children. This is a list of ten of the worst massacres at schools.
10. Cologne school massacre 11 killed | 22 injured | Walter Seifert

9.The École Polytechnique Massacre 15 killed 14 injured | Marc Lépine | the worst school massacre in Canada’s history.

8. Columbine High School Massacre 15 died | 24 injured | Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold

7. University of Texas Clock Tower Shootings 18 killed | 31 injured | Charles Whitman

6. Dunblane massacre 18 killed | Thomas Hamilton | (the deadliest attack on children in United Kingdom history)

5. Erfurt massacre 17 killed | 7 injured | Robert Steinhäuser (Worst German Rampage)

4. Ma’alot massacre 26 killed | 60 wounded | DFLP, PLO | Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Palestine Liberation Organization

3. Virginia Tech 32 killed, many more injured | Seung-Hui Cho

2. Bath School disaster 45 died | 58 injured | Andrew Kehoe

1. Beslan school hostage crisis At least 386 dead, including 31 hostage takers | Over 700 injured | Shamil Basayev’s Riyadus Salihiin group

Addendum: Red Lake High School massacre 10 killed | 12 injured | Jeff Weise

Deadliest U.S. school shootings

Updated 11:50 am, Friday, December 14, 2012  from sfgate


Iraqis cannot forget what Americans have done here.

by Cathy Breen on 4/12/2012

“It is not written in our hearts, it is carved in our hearts.” I awoke this morning still shaken with these words in my head.

Yesterday I was in Ramadi and Fallujah. Instead of bringing a message of caring, of empathy for their suffering and a desire for peace, my presence as someone from the U.S, seemed to open wounds that are unfathomably deep.

I sat in on a lecture, given in English, to maybe fifty or more young men and women at a college in Ramadi. They were all about 22 and 23 years of age, in their last year of a 5-year program. That means they were about 13 or 14 years old during the U.S. led invasion and beginning of the occupation. I was invited to speak by the president as an “honored guest” after the lecture. To my embarrassment the professor graciously hurried through his lecture on my account. I had everyone’s attention. It was awkward for me, and after introducing myself, I said I would be grateful to hear from them. There was only silence. I am sure my words sounded empty, trite and artificial.

Then a young man in the front row only a couple of feet from me said in a quiet voice “We have nothing to say. The last years have been only sad ones.” Again there was silence.

Sami, my host from Najaf and part of the Muslim Peacemaker Team, stood and shared. He told the story of how, after the U.S. bombing assaults on Fallujah, he and others came from the Shia cities of Najaf and Karbala, to carry out a symbolic act of cleaning up rubble and trash in the streets of Fallujah. This gesture, he said, melted hearts and healed some of the brokenness between Sunni and Shia. He spoke of the delegation of peacemakers from the United States who were just in Najaf for twelve days, of the work to build bridges and seek reconciliation.

An impassioned young woman from the middle of the lecture hall spoke up. It was obviously not easy for her. “It is not,” she said, “about lack of water and electricity [something I had mentioned]. You have destroyed everything. You have destroyed our country. You have destroyed what is inside of us! You have destroyed our ancient civilization. You have taken our smiles from us. You have taken our dreams!”
Someone asked, “Why did you this? What did we do to you that you would do this to us?”