Guns

This Gun Loving Miami Teen Is In Jail On A Child Porn Charge After His Dad Turned His Phone Over To Police

What You Need To Know About This Story:


-An 18 year old student at Miami Krop Senior High School is in jail after his father turned over the teen’s phones to police. 

-Sean Mesa was arrested on charges of possessing child pornography and a charge of improper display of a firearm after police were given his phones to look at concerns his father had regarding his gun use. 

The Miami Herald reports that federal and local investigators knew about Mesa before his father turned over the electronic devices because of various social media posts he has made in the past. 

-Mesa’s father was apparently motivated to turn over the phones after the Parkland shooting. 

-From the Herald

“Mesa came to the attention of U.S Homeland Security Investigations’ Violent Gang Task Force, which forwarded his Instagram and Snapchat photos “recklessly displaying firearms and pointing them at the camera,” according to an arrest warrant.

Miami-Dade Schools Detective John Messenger went to Krop High on Tuesday to try to “engage in a friendly conversation to understand what Sean Mesa’s fascination with firearms was.” 

Mesa, however, bristled — telling him ‘he likes guns and it was his right to post on social media whatever he wished.'”

-After the police visited Mesa at school, his father agreed to turn over the phones to authorities. 

-During the search on the phones, the US Secret Service found video of a 10 year child being sexually abused. Mesa allegedly had shared in a group chat. 
Do you know Sean Mesa? Send us a tip to editor@risenews.net. 

This story is from The Miami Monster, a new brand focused on telling the true stories of what life is like for a young person living in South Florida. Be sure to also follow our founder Joel Franco on Twitter to keep up to date with the latest breaking news in the area.  You can send news tips to editor@risenews.net. 

My Mom Was Killed By A Man With A Gun And It Didn’t Have To Happen

By Angie Bartelt

Raw emotion can be hard to humanize when seeing it on the faces of our leadership, especially during such a partisan time in America.

Time and time again we watch as these men and women deliver news to their people that something terrible has happened with straight faces.

Terrorism, outbreaks of deadly viruses, and mass shootings are reported in the world everyday and we watch with exhaustion- and often frustrations, as world leaders respond.

It is especially disconcerting when we do see our commander-in-chief, brought to tears on national television while professing the need for common sense gun regulation. President Obama spoke of the deaths of those worshipping in Charleston, the college students in Santa Barbara, and the first graders in Newtown.

As a fellow human being, I can clearly understand why the thought of twenty children being murdered under my watch and my administration could have, at least once, brought me to tears.

When we witness death from firearms everyday, it is hard to look at the problem and not want to hunt out a solution.

In 2001, my mother was murdered with a gun by her ex-husband on the front steps of our apartment.

She had been stalked and assaulted multiple times throughout the year prior. He would beat her to a pulp in front of myself, my brother, and our younger cousins. He broke in through our back door and held a knife to her throat, again in front of us children.

Even after exhausting the use of a restraining order and witness protection, she still wasn’t safe.

There was no hesitation when it came to her decision to alert the proper authorities when her life had been threatened, but the laws relating to domestic violence in 2001 failed her and my family.

According to a statistical report by the Law Center To Prevent Gun Violence in 2012, abused victims are five times more likely to be killed by their abuser if the abuser owns a firearm.

According to a statistical report by the Law Center To Prevent Gun Violence in 2012, abused victims are five times more likely to be killed by their abuser if the abuser owns a firearm.

I remember being a small child and seeing my stepfather’s home a few years before the murder.

He had many guns of all sizes, and it never crossed my adolescent brain to question why someone who, by that point, I knew was a gang member could have so many weapons at his disposal.

It was never a question to him, when he owned that many firearms and even a silencer, how he could most easily take my mother’s life.

In 2001, my mother’s murder was cut and dry. An ex-member of the Hells Angels who had access to illegal guns could surely hunt down a single mother in her last semester of college.

But in 2016, I hope that this can be prevented.

The data shows that prohibiting the purchases of a firearm by a person subject to a domestic violence restraining order is associated with a reduction in the number of intimate partner homicides.

In 2014, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law AB-1014, a bill to allow concerned family members or law enforcement officers to petition a court for a Gun Violence Restraining Order (GVRO).

The GVRO will temporarily prohibit the individual from purchasing or possessing firearms or ammunition and allow law enforcement to remove any firearms or ammunition already in the individual’s possession.

With this as an example of common sense law, the lives of endangered Americans can be spared.

The statistics go on in regards to the all too-often problem of victims who are being threatened or violated by a partner, more often than not when a firearm is present.

Again, abused women are five times more likely to be killed by their abuser if their abuser owns a firearm.

Some more facts from the Law Center To Prevent Gun Violence:

“A recent survey of female domestic violence shelter residents in California found that more than one-third (36.7%) reported having been threatened or harmed with a firearm.

“In nearly two-thirds (64.5%) of the households that contained a firearm, the intimate partner had used the firearm against the victim, usually threatening to shoot or kill the victim.”

Shockingly, women who suffer from domestic violence are eight times more likely to be killed if there is a firearm in the home.

These women, like my mother, flee to protect themselves and their children, but that is not always the final solution.

Guns create a problem bigger than the need for self-defense. Whether or not the gun in the home is meant for protection, the truth is that instead of being used as a safety tool, guns are being used by abusers to harm or kill women more than they have saved them.

As a direct victim of the worst scenario of domestic violence, I urge you to fight for the lives of our families, friends, and fellow mankind.

As a direct victim of the worst scenario of domestic violence, I urge you to fight for the lives of our families, friends, and fellow mankind.

The most common weapon men use to kill women is a gun.

This is a fact. This is not a random quote that crossed the internet. It is something you won’t hear out of the mouths of any of the Republican presidential candidates, but this ruins, and often ends, lives.

This is not just my story. This is millions of families in our country, not just the ones we see on the news. This epidemic of gun violence used against women is a fight bigger than women rights.

This is about human rights and human lives.

The president’s tears should not be on the forefront of the debate as to why common sense gun regulation is necessary in 2016 America.

Instead, we need to be talking about the ways in which these kinds of regulations, from improving tracing of lost or stolen firearms to proper background checks, can work in a bipartisan legislation to make our country safer and protect our women and children.

As a person whose entire perspective on life was shattered by gun violence as a child, I urge anyone who sees common sense gun control as negative to reconsider.

Take a moment and think about what your life would have been like if a criminal with a gun took your mother’s life.

I urge you to think about the children in our country going through that at this very moment.

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Angie Bartelt (bottom right) with her mother. Photo Credit: Angie Bartelt

According to the Brady Campaign, every day 31 people in this country are murdered with a gun.

That means that since my mother’s murder, 169,725 people have been murdered, with women being five times more likely the victim of this heinous crime.

I beg of anyone to reconsider their views on gun regulation for our mothers.

How many more people have to lose their mother like I did?

How many more people have to lose their sister, father, daughter, son, cousin, uncle, aunt, or friend?

How long will it be before it won’t be weird for me to say I lost my mother to gun violence because it has become normal? I wouldn’t wish this pain on anyone.

I hope you feel the same.

Cover Photo Credit: Elvert Barnes/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

On American Violence: Is It Guns, Terrorism Or Our Culture?

America. Opening a history book about the United States will take you on a journey through violence. Period paintings, drawings, and certainly texts of many varieties from the mid to late 1700’s all speak to the core belief that the colonists had in using firearms and violence to get themselves out from under the control of the British Crown.

And they did. The visceral effect of the Declaration of Independence on the people and the codifying force of the subsequent Constitution on this new republic had an affect on people who had no desire to be oppressed, unfairly taxed, abused or maligned.

In fact, the Constitution was amended to reflect the deeply held belief that guns belonged in the hands of every person – to be ready to repel invaders, keep the peace and protect themselves from anything that might try to intrude upon the basic freedoms that these visionaries embedded in to these lawful constructs.

Could it be that our fascination with guns is so deeply rooted in our psyche as Americans, because of the anti-colonial and refugee mindset of our founding fathers; through today, where (as the Constitution implies), we must always be at the ready to defend ourselves, and our nation?

For the aforementioned reasons, but also as history has unfolded, to help us protect our national interests, or impose them on others for our own gain? The Civil War. The Mexican – American War. The expansion of western settlement through the slaughter, forced relocation and internment of Native Americans. Those events are from our earliest history, and depict our collective dependence on firearms to both maintain our thirst for freedom, and to simultaneously fuel our growing thirst for territory and power.

The ‘carry forward’ from this long and storied history is that our reliance upon guns is now permanently rooted into our culture. Throughout the world, the US has always had a reputation for being unnecessarily violent, particularly where guns are concerned. But are these perceptions grounded in reality, or is this belief based solely on cultural differences?

It is literally inarguable that a firearm by itself is not the causation of our more recent mass shooting epidemic. ‘Guns don’t kill people – people kill people’. Much like a knife, stick, brick or rock by itself is not usually responsible for the death of a person, guns by themselves are incapable of killing or causing grievous bodily harm.

Someone must take that implement or weapon and pull the trigger. The access to weapons for those who would endeavor to harm others is at the core of the argument of so called ‘gun control’ efforts. That however requires deeper exploration.

There are studies, statistics and opinions all over the map, but suffice to say, there is no clear benefit to gun bans, or stricter gun control measures in modern society, as is plainly visible in these statistics. So what gives? Why the argument that banning guns, or enacting even tougher gun control measures like a ban on certain magazine capacities, or styles of weapons would have any significant impact on curbing mass shootings?

Waiting lists and months long processes to obtain even the most basic of services, such as initial and even secondary evaluations to facilitate accurate diagnosis and treatment; leaves a great many people falling through the very large cracks.

The truth is – it wouldn’t. Those bent on destruction or murder will get guns by other means than legally purchasing them. There is in fact sufficient evidence to demonstrate that many of the violent gun related crimes that have us persistently discussing ‘gun control’ are in fact committed with stolen guns.

To even suggest a ban on guns would facilitate an instrument by which the government would then be compelled to confiscate them. Outside of the obvious constitutional implications, that in and of itself would undoubtedly lead to legal challenges, mass protests, and perhaps even armed insurrection (or as some would say ‘a revolution’).

The fact is that the 2nd Amendment was constructed by the “Founding Fathers” as an instrument to facilitate not only the protection and defense of one’s self against attack or tyranny, but also to enable the Country as a whole to protect itself from potential invaders.

Photo Credit: Valerie Everett/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Photo Credit: Valerie Everett/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

According to historical documents examined by the author (and widely available in the public domain), the Constitution -and specifically the 2nd Amendment; was articulated in this way to give “We The People” the ability to ward off an overreaching government with designs on the degradation or eradication of basic civil liberties. We are who and what we are as a Nation because of the wisdom of these documents and founding principles.

I would go so far as to speculate that any would be foreign invaders would have to take in to account the might of not only our military prowess, but also the plain fact that Americans are armed to the teeth as they draw up their battle plans. It’s also worthy mentioning that the Supreme Court has routinely upheld the right of the individual to ‘keep and bear arms’.

Are guns really the problem here?

While our understanding of the human mind, and the ability to more effectively treat mental health issues has vastly expanded in the last 30 years, the trend in access to effective mental health treatment, particularly where the poor, homeless and our military veterans are concerned has left huge gaps in the effective delivery of those services. There aren’t enough qualified practitioners to treat the vast numbers of people who require access to those services.

Waiting lists and months long processes to obtain even the most basic of services, such as initial and even secondary evaluations to facilitate accurate diagnosis and treatment; leaves a great many people falling through the very large cracks.

Struggling to navigate the already arduous landscape that is their daily life. And yet, while over 60% of those who have carried out “mass shootings” since 1970 have had significant mental health diagnoses and presentation, there is also no clear means by which to associate mental health with mass shootings.

Why? Because those with pronounced mental health issues are already supposed to be incapable of purchasing firearms legally. It’s the law. Yet these killers still obtained access to weapons and killed a great many people.

‘Mass shootings’ has become a household term, but why? Why at this point in time? Perhaps these are symptoms of a society that has fallen into a moral slump. A society that’s obsessed with instant gratification via fast food, lightning fast information, electronic pacification and communications tools. Are these things responsible for an overall decay in the fabric of the principles upon which our great nation was built? Do we suffer from a fog of what reality is and was up until this latest technological revolution began?

But looking at the numbers from these sources alone – of 330 terrorist attacks in the United States, since our founding – only 34 are attributed to Islamic terrorism.

The disconnection between our ability to effectively interact with each other, particularly for those who are disenfranchised, maligned, bullied, teased or are otherwise already mentally unstable – could very well be fueling this epidemic. Life has become so virtual – so cold and distant from our humanity, in comparison to the childhood of Gen X’ers for example.

There is no clear answer or solution to the ‘gun problem’. Accordingly, the solution to mass shootings is not nearly so clear as the likes of the New York Times or New York Daily News would surmise in their recent opinion pieces. We don’t have a gun problem, we have a people problem.

This brings us to the topic of terrorism. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) defines terrorism as “the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.” See also Title 22 of the United States Code. Based on those definitions, it is hard to imagine that 102 terrorist acts have been committed on US soil since 9/11. 9/11 itself was three separate acts, at three locations – the Twin Towers (or World Trade Center), the Pentagon, and the plane crash in Somerset County, PA.

225 terror attacks took place, again using this definition, prior to 9/11. While some may be familiar, like the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, I’d never heard of bombings at the LA Times Building, Morgan Bank in NYC, or Chicago’s Haymarket square – which cumulatively killed 71 and injured 380 people. These attacks occurred between 1886 and 1920.

Digging further down in to these numbers, I wanted to examine how many of these attacks were related to “Islamic terrorism”. Those two words are played over and over again on TV, radio, and seen in print and social media all day, every day. The inference is that if we don’t call a possible radical Islamist, or jihad related attack “Islamic terrorism”, then we’re somehow lacking in patriotism, or un-American.

But looking at the numbers from these sources alone – of 330 terrorist attacks in the United States, since our founding – only 34 are attributed to Islamic terrorism.

About 10%, this is true both before, and after 9/11. There are other numbers on this, but drawing off this data set, there is a bigger picture here, both as it relates to our terrorism problem, but also the political maneuvering going in to convincing us who we should fear.

Okay, so what can you do? Care about each other. Pay attention to each other. If you see that someone is in distress – say something. If you see the warning signs of a person who is unraveling before your eyes – do something about it, vs. ignoring the raw humanity of the person is crisis in front of you. The American Psychological Association published a list of things the any of us can do to help prevent violence from occurring. In fact, there are violence prevention experts in many major cities that teach companies, schools and organizations how to empower their HR, security and even ‘rank and file’ personnel to help interdict and prevent violence in those environments. (Felix Nater of Nater Associates comes to mind).

Basic takeaways? Guns aren’t going away. Violence is human nature. Terrorism is violence and weapons combined. The whole ‘if you see something, say something’ campaign really works. There’s a list I saw recently that scared the hell out of me. A list of terror plots that have been disrupted, since 9/11. Again, many of these weren’t familiar to me.

What if someone had called and reported the unstable behavior of any of a number of the mass shooters in our recent times? Could these atrocities have been avoided? I’d suggest that the answer to that question is yes.

Scrutiny, law enforcement investigation and even something as simple as accessing advanced mental health or counseling services could have served to prevent at least some of this violence. If you’re not part of the solution, you’re a part of the problem.

Cover Photo: Peretz Partensky/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

WATCH: Video Of Mock “Mass Shooting” Near University Of Texas Campus

Pro-gun activists staged a mock “mass shooting” near the campus of the University of Texas at Austin on Saturday to make a statement about gun free zones.

The event was controversial to say the least, with a public safety expert telling Rise News that the stunt was “over the top“.

A video obtained by the Austin American-Statesman, shows how the event turned out. The video was produced by two pro-gun organizations, DontComply.com and Come and Take It Texas. (So take it with a Texas size grain of salt.)

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

WATCH:

H/T: Rise News reporter Tony R. Myhre for the tip.

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

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.

Like this piece? Rise News just launched a few weeks ago and is only getting started. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with global news. Have a news tip? (No matter how big or small!) Send it to us- editor@risenews.net. 

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

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