Gun Control

The US Has Already Smashed Its Record for Firearms Found At Airports This Year

The United States has a new record already on the books for 2015, one that should pique the interest of those concerned with air-travel security and the proliferation of Americans carrying concealed guns. As of December 10, a total of 2,471 firearms had been found in carry-on bags at airport checkpoints, according to weekly data published… Read More

Pro Gun Groups Plan To Hold Fake “Mass Shooting” Near University Of Texas Campus

By Tony R. Myhre

A college campus. The sound of gunfire. Screams. Bodies strewn about, covered in blood.

What has all too frequently come flashing across our Twitter streams and TV screens in this case is not another actual campus shooting, but a planned demonstration at the University of Texas, Austin.

This Saturday at noon local time, two gun rights groups, Come and Take It Texas and plan to conduct a “crisis performance” after marching through Austin openly carrying loaded rifles and other weapons according to Matthew Short, a spokesman for the organizations.

Once near the university, “crisis actors” will use props made of cardboard and fake blood while the sound of gunfire rings out from bullhorns to perform a mock mass shooting incident, complete with pretend armed heroes who will apparently end the fake carnage with cardboard weapons of their own.

The groups intend to highlight their positions regarding “gun free zones”, like the UT Austin campus.

“Gun free zones are killing us,”A statement on the event’s Facebook page reads. “These target rich environments are letting our children be murdered by evil people. Now is the time to stand up, take a walk, and put pressure on politicians to ban Gun Free Zones.”

UT Austin is the site of two campus shootings, the Tower shooting in 1966, in which 14 people were killed and 32 wounded by student Charles Whitman. Whitman was killed by police, ending his siege.

In 1990, student Colton Tooley fired shots on campus from an AK-47, before ending his own life in the main library.

Initially, organizers endeavored to hold the event on campus, however this was met by threats of criminal charges by the Board of Regents. Organizers now intend to hold the event on a public right of way, using the university as a backdrop.

June 1, 2015 marked the passage of S.B. 11, the so called ‘campus carry law’, which Governor Greg Abbott signed in to law.

The law gives concealed carry permit holders legal authority to carry their weapons on campus beginning August 1, 2016.

In response to this, UT Texas has set up an advisory board, will hold two public forums and has also set up a survey to explore how the University intends to comply with the statute, while maintaining public safety.

Given the recent terror attack in San Bernardino and the shooting at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado, some feel that this event is in bad taste, and could be potentially dangerous.

Ralph Fisk, the CEO of Fisk Consultants in Hutto, TX, and a published Emergency Management professional with expertise in Active Shooters, Counter-Terrorism and Physical Security, has heard a great deal about this event from his local law enforcement and other campus contacts.

“I understand the right to exercise your first and second amendment rights, as in this case, however that planned demonstration in my opinion is over the top,” Fisk said. “Having a mock ‘active shooter’ incident is better saved for those that exercise these incidents in preparation for an actual attack. As an Open Carry Supporter, I feel this is not something that I personally could support.”

Joan Neuberger, a UT Austin Professor and advocate with the campus organization Gun Free UT, told the Statesman that staging, “a mass shooting during an anxious time for students – finals week – not only breaks rules but shows real disrespect for the feelings of students, faculty and staff who don’t want to have guns around them in the first place, but will be forced to put up with guns in public places in 2016.”

Cover Photo Credit: Derek Key/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

The Supreme Court Just Gave Gun Control Supporters A Big Win

WASHINGTON — In a victory for gun-control advocates, the Supreme Court on Monday rejected a 2nd Amendment challenge to laws that forbid the sale or possession of semiautomatic weapons that carry more than 10 rounds of ammunition. The justices by a 7-2 vote refused to review rulings by judges in Chicago who upheld a ban on… Read More

In Weekly Address, Obama Says It’s “Insane” To Let People On No-Fly List Purchase Guns

In a weekly address posted to the White House website Saturday, President Barack Obama said that people on the government’s “No-Fly” list, a blacklist for suspected terrorists and criminals, should not be allowed to purchase guns. “Right now, people on the No-Fly list can walk into a store and buy a gun. That is insane. If… Read More

New York Times Runs An Editorial On Front Page For First Time In 95 Years

For the first time since 1920, The New York Times, has published an editorial on its front page.

In a historic move for the nation’s “newspaper of record”, the Times published a piece simply titled as the “Gun Epidemic” in its coveted A1 spot.

The editorial calls for the United States to take concrete action to push through gun control measures.

“It is a moral outrage and a national disgrace that civilians can legally purchase weapons designed specifically to kill people with brutal speed and efficiency,” the piece, authored by the whole of the Times editorial board read. “These are weapons of war, barely modified and deliberately marketed as tools of macho vigilantism and even insurrection.”

The piece went on to say that the United States is not even trying to address the issue of gun violence, unlike other developed nations like the UK, France and Norway.

“Certain kinds of weapons, like the slightly modified combat rifles used in California, and certain kinds of ammunition, must be outlawed for civilian ownership,” the piece read. “It is possible to define those guns in a clear and effective way and, yes, it would require Americans who own those kinds of weapons to give them up for the good of their fellow citizens.”

In a separate article that also ran in the Times today, reporter Ravi Somaiya delved into the historical nature of the decision to run an editorial on the front page.

As Somaiya reported, the decision went all the way to the top- publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr.

“Even in this digital age, the front page remains an incredibly strong and powerful way to surface issues that demand attention,” Sulzberger was quoted as saying regarding the decision. “And, what issue is more important than our nation’s failure to protect its citizens?”

LOOK: Front page of The New York Times, Saturday 12-5-2015.

Cover Photo Credit: Twitter/New York Times (Screen-grab).

When It Comes To Mass Shootings, Your “Thoughts And Prayers” Are Meaningless

The following is the opinion of the writer of this piece and not necessarily of Rise News.

It happened again Wednesday. Another community was shaken to the core by violence and the ubiquitous sound of gunfire.

This time, it was San Bernardino, CA. As the full facts of the incident are still being sorted out, this will not be a rant about terrorism.

Instead, this is about the reactions. According to the Boston Globe, there have been 355 mass shootings in 2015. Note that, as of yesterday, there have been 336 days in 2015.

Here’s a pause to let that sink in.

The United States of America, the “free” country that champions “liberty” is the site of more than one mass shooting a day.

And if you think that number will taper off as the year draws to a close, you are delusional. There will be more.

But again, this isn’t about what could be done to stop this, or what should be done. This is about the people who actually have the power to make changes, and yet do nothing.

Every time a tragedy like this occurs, people jump on social media to send condolences to the victims. This ranges from Mr. and Mrs. Doe to the President.

And with many of these posts, a common phrase is typed. A phrase which has become the default for grief; “My thoughts and prayers”.

This phrase, and variations thereof, is absolutely meaningless. It is just as meaningless no matter who says it, but it is particularly nauseous to read when it is spouted by the very people who should be doing something.

Allow me to break down why it’s meaningless in a rational sense before the political discourse starts.

Thoughts do not get anything done. Words do not get anything done. Actions get things done. And until there are actions taken, nothing will change.

It is up to normal human beings to create change.

The New York Daily News hit this on the nose with cover that ran on Thursday.

You will notice that all (save for House Speaker Paul Ryan) of the Twitter posts the headline highlights are from present contenders for the GOP presidential nomination. You might also notice that they are all Congressmen.

These very men, along with many others of course, have the power to enact new laws. They could put into place stricter gun regulations, or alter conceal-carry laws, or something. But they don’t. And they won’t.

The simple reason: gun violence gets them paid. We all know about the NRA, the National Rifle Association.

While not all gun-owners are registered members, the NRA makes up the largest gun lobby in Washington. As a lobby, they dole out money in the form of campaign contributions to various elected officials.

Of course, this is with the understanding that said officials will work for the benefit of the NRA by either passing or blocking certain bills in either state or national Congress.

So do you want to know how much the NRA is putting in politician’s pockets? Well the numbers are sometimes sketchy, but you can look here and here to start.

Igor Volsky the Director of Video at Think Progress sent out a series of Tweets yesterday, along with an article detailing how much money certain members of Congress received from the NRA.

The common ground between all these politicians listed? They all sent out Tweets yesterday with some version of “thoughts and prayers”.

To sum this all up, look at a Tweet posted yesterday by Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT):

This is poignant because of where Murphy is from.

In 2012, he was the Representative for Connecticut’s Fifth District, which included Newtown, the site of the Sandy Hook massacre. He has seen his constituents killed, and he is tired of seeing the same ever-repeating platitudes said with no substance to back them up.

It is time for America and Americans to open their eyes. These are not one-off incidents of lunatics. This is terror enabled by the very people who should be doing their best to keep Americans safe.

It is time to stop gun violence. And it is time to call out those who put the almighty dollar above safety and security.

This will happen again. And when it does, there will be no time for your “thoughts and prayers.”

Cover Photo Credit: Ben Townsend/Flickr (CC 2.0)

U.S. Universities Struggle With Specter Of Concealed Weapons Laws

By Camila Saenz

Mass shootings across the United States seem to be rising at an alarming rate.

Fears of mass shootings on college campuses are also acute in the nation and there are some who wish to add more weapons to the mix in order to fix the problem.

A new law- known as the Campus Carry Law will be going into effect in Texas on August 1, 2016, the date marking the 50th anniversary of the UT Tower sniper shooting.

The UT Tower sniper shooting was one of the first mass shootings on a college campus in the United States, when a former U.S. Marine killed 16 people.

Read More: Donald Trump Says He Would Take In 0 Syrian Refugees During National TV Town Hall

The Campus Carry law will allow for those who have a concealed weapons permit to carry a handgun on campus.

“I’ve spent my whole life around guns. I grew up in Texas hunting. I spent 37 years in the military. I like guns, but I just don’t think having them on campus is the right place,” University of Texas System Chancellor William McRaven told CNN.

McRaven is a former Navy SEALs admiral responsible for directing the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

 “It isn’t about restricting people it is about making sure students feel safe on their campuses.”

UT Professor Daniel Hamermesh has already announced his intention to retire from the University.

“With a huge group of students my perception is that the risk that a disgruntled student might bring a gun into the classroom and start shooting at me has been substantially enhanced by the concealed carry law,” Hamermesh wrote to the UT president.

At Florida International University in Miami, many students and staff are against Campus Carry and do not want for the law to become active in Florida.

“I would rather that statute didn’t pass,” Alexander Casas, chief of the University’s police department told the FIU student newspaper, the Beacon.

Casas told the Beacon that more guns on a college campus would only make the situation more dangerous.

“Campus carry not passing would not infringe on our second amendment,” said Nicole Perdomo, a FIU student said. “It isn’t about restricting people it is about making sure students feel safe on their campuses.”

Eight states allow students and staff to carry concealed weapons on the grounds of public colleges: Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Utah, Wisconsin and Texas.

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Cover Photo Credit: F Delventhal/Flickr (CC By 2.0)

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