Indivisible Ventura: October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and domestic violence is a gun violence issue

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17 mins read


Action: This is a good day to remind your legislators that we know exactly which group is holding up H.R.8. – Universal background checks.

background checks

H.R. 8 – “To require a background check for every firearm sale.” was passed by the House on Feb. 27, 2019, and was cosponsored by these legislators. (Brownley and Carbajal are both cosigners). Eight months later, it still hasn’t seen the inside of the Senate. Meanwhile, NRA friend, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) has just launched his misdirected RESPONSE Act, which concentrates on mental health, despite minimal evidence that it’s tied to mass shootings, along with more shooter drills, increased surveillance of students and expedited executions of mass shooters. Nearly 1,700 children and teens die by gun homicide every year and that’s the best they can do. In comparison, vaping has killed a total of 33 people, yet our president is already planning to ban e-cigarette flavors that appeal to children.

The president is creating a myth that the House has done nothing but concentrate on impeaching him. Tell your senators that we are not fooled. 

Minimal script for Democratic senators: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want our Senator [___] to remind their GOP colleagues that we know that they are responsible for preventing H.R. 8  from coming to a vote. We are aware that every day, 100 of our number are killed with guns, and every month, that adds up to a cumulative tragedy the scale of 9/11, happening all across our country.

Minimal script for Republican senators: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Senator [___] to remind their GOP colleagues that we know that they are responsible for preventing H.R. 8  from coming to a vote. We are aware that every day, 100 of our number are killed with guns, and every month, that adds up to a cumulative tragedy the scale of 9/11, happening all across our country. Every picture we see of a tiny casket, a row of crosses outside a shooting site, or sobbing relatives, we will remember at the polls that you stood by and did nothing.

Contact:
Senator Feinsteinemail, DC (202) 224-3841, LA (310) 914-7300, SF (415) 393-0707, SD (619) 231-9712, Fresno (559) 485-7430
and Senator Harrisemail, DC (202) 224-3553, LA (213) 894-5000, SAC (916) 448-2787, Fresno (559) 497-5109, SF (415) 355-9041, SD (619) 239-3884
Who is my representative/senator?: hq-salsa.wiredforchange.com 

Action: Learn about March for Our Live’s “Peace Plan for a Safer America. 

If you aren’t signed up for updates from March for Our Lives, do so here.

(March for our Lives) Every day in America, more than 100 lives are taken by the deadly epidemic of gun violence. Among young people, gun violence has become a top cause of death, second only to drug overdoses. It has many root causes, including hate, poverty, and despair. It’s a deeply intersectional issue, inextricably bound with our long journey for racial justice, economic justice, immigrant rights, and the rights of our LGBTQ allies. And it’s amplified by the societal belief that a gun can solve our problems.

  • Every 16 hours, a woman is fatally shot by her partner — so we are demanding an end to the “boyfriend loophole.” – a boyfriend who is or was simply dating the victim, but not sharing a residence or children.
  • At least 54% of mass shootings are committed by abusers — so we are demanding universal background checks.
  • A woman is 500% more likely to die in a domestic violence situation when a gun is present — so we are demanding federal extreme risk protection orders.
  • Black women are 2x more likely to be fatally shot by an intimate partner than white women — so we are demanding bold, comprehensive, and intersectional legislation to end this epidemic.
  • We cannot look at preventing one form of violence without looking at the other. Gun violence and domestic violence are connected — and they are both public safety epidemics.

We don’t have to live like this: in fear for our lives and our families. The federal government has failed in its responsibility to protect the safety and well-being of the public with regard to the nation’s gun violence epidemic. The time for comprehensive and sweeping reform is now. We need ambitious leadership throughout the whole of government to stand in opposition to the gun lobby and industry in order to secure a peaceful America for generations to come.

By raising the standards of gun ownership, we can save lives and help break the cycle of domestic violence. We have the power to demand change and make our country safer, both in our neighborhoods and in our homes. Gun violence is destroying our generation. This is simply unacceptable. That’s why, as survivors and students of March For Our Lives, we believe it’s time for a Peace Plan for a Safer America.

Below is an outline of the March for our Lives Peace Plan. To view the entire plan, click here.

1. CHANGE THE STANDARDS OF GUN OWNERSHIP

  • Advocate and pass legislation to raise the national standard for gun ownership:
    • Raising the minimum age for gun possession to 21.
    • Create a national registry of firearms sales to make gun owners responsible for their weapons and hold them accountable when those weapons are used in a crime. 89 percent of Americans favor expanded background checks for gun purchasers.
    • Limit of one firearm purchase per month.
    • Prohibit any and all online firearm and ammunition sales or transfers, including gun parts.
    • Require gun owners to safely store firearms, including implementing national standards for locking devices on guns.
    • Require gun owners to report guns that are lost or stolen to local law enforcement within 72 hours.
  • Create a national licensing and registry system that promotes responsible gun ownership;
    • Make it as hard to buy and transfer a firearm as it is to drive and transfer a car. Regulation of cars led to a dramatic improvement in auto safety.
    •  Connecticut’s gun licensing system has caused its firearms homicide rate to decline 40%, with firearm suicides dropping by 15%.
    • Licensing would be multi-step approval process, overseen by a law enforcement agency, that requires background checks, in-person interviews, personal references, rigorous gun safety training, and a waiting period of 10 days for each gun purchase.
    • Licenses would need to be renewed yearly with after successfully completely refresher courses.
    • Annual licensing fees for anyone who wants to obtain a national gun and ammunition license. Gun violence has indirect and direct costs of hundreds of billions of dollars each year, and any responsible gun owner would pay into the national licensing system for the ability to possess and use firearms.
  • Ban assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, and other weapons of war;
  • Create policies to disarm gun owners who pose a risk to themselves or others;
    • expand prohibited categories for obtaining a gun license, with a focus on those with a propensity for violence. 76% of Americans support “red flag” laws to identify dangerous persons and deny them guns.
  • Create a national gun buy-back program to reduce the estimated 265-393 million firearms in circulation by at least 30%.
    • Australia’s national gun buy-back program was associated with as much as a 57% reduction in firearms deaths. 75% of Americans favor a voluntary buyback program in which the government would purchase firearms from current owners.

2. HALVE THE RATE OF GUN DEATHS IN 10 YEARS

  • Mobilize an urgent and comprehensive federal response:
    • Empowering weakened federal agencies: The gun lobby has weakened the enforcement authority of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and prevented even basic scientific research by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Beginning with the next Administration, we demand increased federal funding for a multi-agency approach to tackling gun violence, including increased funding for ATF, DOJ, CDC, HHS, NIH, HUD, and DOE initiatives.
    • Educate Americans about the risks surrounding guns: the presence of a firearm in your home dramatically increases your chance of death. Working with the CDC and interested advertising partners, the National Director of GVP must launch a public safety campaign around the dangers of firearms.
    • Distribute resources to address the intersectional dimensions of gun violence: 
      • Community-based violence reduction – urban gun violence, which accounts for a majority of the 14,000 gun homicides each year, is completely addressable.
      • Police violence – we cannot talk about gun violence in communities without talking about our national challenges with police violence. Officer-involved shootings are now a leading cause of death for young American men.
      • Suicide prevention – suicides represent the majority of gun deaths in America, accounting for nearly two-thirds of gun deaths, with half of all suicides committed with a firearm.
      • Intimate partner violence – firearms make intimate partner violence all the more dangerous; American women are five times more likely to be killed in a domestic violence incident when there is a gun in the home and many recent mass shooters have been linked to domestic violence.
      • Mental and behavioral health programs – we believe that there is a false choice in our country today: stronger gun laws or more behavioral health funding. First, it is crucial to acknowledge: mental illness is not a risk factor for interpersonal gun violence; in fact, individuals struggling with mental illness are more likely to be victims of gun violence than offenders.
  • Declare a national emergency around gun violence and announce an audacious goal to reduce gun injuries and deaths by 50% in 10 years, thereby saving up to 200,000 American lives.

3. ACCOUNTABILITY FOR THE GUN LOBBY AND INDUSTRY

  • Hold the gun lobby and industry accountable for decades of illegal behavior and misguided policies intended to shield only themselves;
    • Reexamine the District of Columbia v. Heller interpretation of the Second Amendment; Many distinguished jurists from across the political spectrum have excoriated the Heller decision as contrary to the historical record and the height of judicial activism.
      • Attorney general study on the Heller decision
      • Federal judicial nominations – the next generation of federal judges appointed by the President need to be champions of gun violence prevention and a different interpretation of the Second Amendment.
      • Supreme Court reform – finally, given the structural limitations of the U.S. Supreme Court, we stand with several presidential candidates, former Attorney General Eric Holder, and various democracy reform groups in recommending that we have a national conversation about strategies to ensure the Court’s independence from partisan political influence and interference.
  • Initiate both FEC and IRS investigations into the NRA,
  • Fully repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. PLCAA gives gun manufacturers and dealers broad immunity from legal liability.
  • Consumer safety standards for firearms – unlike a variety of other consumer products like cars and toys, firearms are specifically exempt from consumer product oversight over their manufacturing and design.

4. NAME A DIRECTOR OF GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION

Appoint a National Director of Gun Violence Prevention (GVP) who reports directly to the President, with the mandate to operationalize our federal goals and empower existing federal agencies such as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) – agencies that have all been structurally weakened by the gun lobby. The National Director of GVP would begin by overseeing a down payment of $250 million in annual funding for research by the CDC and other federal agencies on gun violence prevention.

5. GENERATE COMMUNITY-BASED SOLUTIONS

Fully fund targeted interventions addressing the intersectional dimensions of gun violence, including community-based urban violence reduction programs, suicide prevention programs, domestic violence prevention programs, mental and behavioral health service programs, and programs to address police violence in our communities.

6. EMPOWER THE NEXT GENERATION

Automatically register eligible voters and mail voter registration cards to all Americans when they turn 18. Create the “Safety Corps,” a Peace Corps for gun violence prevention. The younger generations are disproportionately affected by gun violence. They should have a say in how their country solves this epidemic.

Oct 26 – Ventura Critical Mass “Solidarity Bike Ride” in Oxnard

Oct 27 – Free IMMIGRATION LEGAL AID Fair – Volunteers Needed! Every last Sunday of the month we assist residents, alongside immigration lawyers, in filling out paperwork for citizenship, DACA and green card renewals. Can’t make it? Help fund this event

Nov 2 – Asylum Advocacy Conference

Nov 7 – Mud and Dust – Climate Future at Oxnard College Live

Nov 9 – Borderline Strong Party In The Park


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