TWW Roundup: Out of Control
Last week the nation was shaken by gun violence yet again and the GOP refuses to do anything to stem the rising tide of gun related bloodshed. Congressman Steve Scalise (R-LA), who has received almost $20,000 from the National Rifle Association (NRA), and four others were injured when a man opened fire during a Capitol Hill baseball practice. On the same day, four people died and two were injured in a shooting at a UPS office in San Francisco. But this is nothing new in the U.S. where mass shootings committed by men and police shootings of black men are out of control, yet have become as American as baseball.
On average, 12,000 people a year are killed by guns, whether by accident, homicide or suicide–that’s more than 32 people per day. On average, EVERY DAY seven children are killed by guns. Another 40 are injured but survive. If any other household item killed seven children a day and injured another 40, you can bet it would be illegal. But the NRA is a powerful gun lobby, and through its association, its political action committee and its nonprofit organization, it floods MILLIONS of dollars to members of Congress every year. And then they encourage their five million members to also donate and campaign on behalf of NRA sanctioned candidates.
Behind Closed Doors
There has been much speculation but little else about the Senate GOP health care bill being revised by 13 men behind closed doors. Even the Health and Human Services Secretary, Tom Price, admits he hasn’t seen it. Since the GOP has hinted they will send the bill to the floor without hearings, Democrats have grown frustrated with the lack of transparency and cooperation.
Senate Democrats are trying to take control by threatening to use procedural maneuvering to halt business in the Senate if the bill comes for a vote. A bipartisan group of governors has also written to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell criticizing the House’s version of Trumpcare that the Republican Senators are working on. They are insisting that crafting reforms to the current healthcare program needs to be BIPARTISAN. Continue making those calls and let your members of Congress know that you support healthcare for all!
Last week dealt two more blows to the Trump Administration. The long anticipated ruling in the Dakota Access Pipeline lawsuit was decided in favor of the Dakota Sioux Tribe. The judge ruled that the environmental impact statement was insufficient and should have considered the environmental impact of potential spills. The judge ordered the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct further environmental impact analyses. Though the opinion stopped short of halting the pipeline, it did say the judge would consider that in a later ruling.
Also last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the lower court’s ruling against the Trump Administration’s Muslim ban 2.0. While Trump continues to threaten to take the case to the Supreme Court, many Americans are pleased that the court has seen through Trump’s obvious racial and religious bias. Perhaps the most vindicating part of the ruling was the court’s acknowledgement of Trump’s notoriously unhinged tweets. His Twitter statements about the ban were used as evidence against him, including his habit of emphasizing certain words using all capital letters.
Those of us sickened by gun violence–the Pulse Nightclub shooting, Sandy Hook Elementary School, the San Bernardino Inland Regional Center and the list goes on and on–we have to become as well organized and vocal as the NRA. There may be five million members of the NRA, but that’s only one percent of the U.S. population. The majority of us must scream from the rooftops that we can no longer tolerate living under the impending threat of losing loved ones, children and friends to gun tragedies.
Together We Will USA urges you to make your voice heard on the issue of gun control:
- Check here to see if your local members of Congress receive money from the NRA and if they do, call them out on it!
- If your Congressperson is pro-guns, contact them and express your outrage by calling, emailing, faxing and visiting them in person.
- Join organizations such as The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Everytown for Gun Safety, Americans for Responsible Solutions and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense.
- Organize peaceful protests, vigils and die-ins.
- Refuse to be silenced!
Brady Campaign, Key gun violence statistics
Everytown, Gun violence by the numbers
The Hill, Capitol Hill shaken by baseball shooting
The Washington Post, Has your U.S. Congressperson received donations from the NRA?
Ty Starks Morgan is an attorney who has worked in the foster care system for 23 years. She is the mother of two teen sons, two dogs, three cats, and a plethora of rescued foster animals.
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