No More Silence–Remembering the Anniversary of the Newtown Shooting

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Coalition Makes Strong Showing at Worcester Hearing on Gun Violence

Members of the Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence from across the state gathered at Assumption College in Worcester for the second of the regional legislative hearings on Gun Violence. Testifiers shared their personal experiences of gun violence, as victims and survivors who have lost people they love.

Ned Notis-McConarty speaking, with his brother Peter McConarty

Ned Notis-McConarty speaking, with his brother Peter McConarty listening

Dr. Peter McConarty, a survivor of multiple gunshot wounds,testified about the need to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. In 1983, Ivan Dunbinsky shot Peter five times—in his right arm, in both legs, and twice in the abdomen. Dunbinsky had two old guns with small ammunition clips. The police told Peter that “if he had been carrying a more powerful weapon I would have been dead. It is a fact that if Dunbinsky had not needed to stop and reload, I would have been killed. Peter spoke powerfully about the trauma both he and his family endured because of the shooting, and called on MA legislatures to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

Peter’s brother Ned Notis-McConarty, a leader in the B-PEACE for Jorge antiviolence campaign of the Episcopal Diocese, also testified. The B-PEACE for Jorge campaign began after 19-year old Jorge Fuentes was shot and killed outside his home in Dorchester in September 2012.

Nikeirah Slaughter from Teen Empowerment

Nikeirah Straughter from Teen Empowerment

Nikeirah Straughter of Teen Empowerment spoke eloquently about the death of Jorge Fuentes in her testimony. But Jorge’s shooting was not an isolated tragedy. Five of Nikeirah’s friends have been shot in the past three months, one of whom was shot 5 times. Although he survived, Nikeirah described him as living in a “prison in his own mind,” too afraid of the outside world to attend his own graduation. He will not leave the house without a gun, which he purchased without ID from a straw purchaser. “My community is dying from straw purchasing,” Nikeirah said. “Something has to give I’m not saying take away all the guns, and I’m not trying to take away anybody’s rights.” Nikeirah acknowledges the other dangers she faces in her community—of rape, assault, and kidnapping—but does not believe that carrying guns for protection is the solution. Turning to a previous testifier, she said, “I respect that you want to protect your family, but you have to respect us too.”

Levi Doumbia from Teen Empowerment

Levi Doumbia from Teen Empowerment

Levi Doumbia, of Teen Empowerment, also spoke to the problems of straw purchasing and trafficking in urban areas. “I am a strong supporter of ‘guns don’t kill people, people kill people—with guns’, so  people who freely walk through the community killing human beings unjustly should be prohibited from purchasing firearms,” Levi argued, turning a well-known adage of the NRA on its head.  Like many who testified at the hearing, Levi has friends and family who have been victims of gun violence. But he also acknowledged the people he has known who have been perpetrators. “That makes it a very serious situation in my eyes—to know that people I know and love are on the streets causing pains for others and their families.”

Over 30 teens and youth from Teen Empowerment, the NAACP Pipeline to Leadership Program, and Roxbury Presbyterian Church rode to the hearings in a bus organized and sponsored by the church. Other testimony came from the Worcester Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence, Mom’s Demand Action, the League of Women Voters, clergy, and the youth from the LEAD organization at Leominster High School.

Members of the Coalition are urging the MA State legislature to pass laws that would strengthen background checks, provide one suitability standard for all gun purchases including long-guns, prohibit high-capacity magazines and assault weapons, and work to reduce trafficking in illegal firearms.  While Massachusetts is a leader in gun violence protection, we still lose more than 200 people a year to gun violence.

 

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America Endorses Rep. Ed Markey

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America announced today that it will endorse Rep. Ed Markey in the U.S. Senate race in Massachusetts. Moms Demand Action – a national nonprofit, nonpartisan, grassroots organization that educates, motivates, and mobilizes moms and families to take action for stronger gun laws and policies that save lives – believes Rep. Markey is the best candidate to help address gun violence, which kills or injures an American child or teen every 30 minutes.
“Moms Demand Action supports legislators who understand that new and stronger gun laws are the number one priority for American moms, and that the safety of our children and families depends on how they’ll vote on gun issues after they’re elected,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “Rep. Markey’s record and values demonstrate that he would vote in our children’s best interests, not for special interests.”
Rep. Markey is a committed supporter of stronger gun regulation. He was a co-sponsor of the Gun Show Loophole Closing Act in the 111th, 112th and 113th Congresses. He co-sponsored of the Stop Online Ammunition Sales Act in both the 112th and 113th Congresses. And he is currently a co-sponsor of Rep. John Tierney’s Personalized Handgun Safety Act, which would require “personalized handguns” to prevent children and other unauthorized users from firing said weapons. Rep. Markey also co-sponsored and supported the original Assault Weapons Ban, and worked to reinstate the ban after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary.
“Rep. Markey has a proven track-record as a champion of gun-safety legislation in Congress,” said Dawn Tringas, a chapter leader for the Greater Boston Area Chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “Rep. Markey has made gun reform legislation a priority, and he has demonstrated his dedication to keeping the families of Massachusetts, and all of America, safe from preventable gun violence. As Massachusetts moms, we commend Rep. Markey’s commitment to the safety of our children and families and we support his candidacy for the U.S. Senate.”
About Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America
Much like Mothers Against Drunk Driving was created to change laws regarding drunk driving, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America was created to build support for common-sense gun reforms. The nonpartisan grassroots movement of American mothers is demanding new and stronger solutions to lax gun laws and loopholes that jeopardize the safety of our children and families. In just five months, the organization has more than 100,000 members with more than 90 local chapters in 40 states across the country.

Moms Demand Action call for Corporate Gun Sense

Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence member group Moms Demand Action (MDA) unveiled a new corporate accountability action this week. Noting that moms and women account for nearly 80% of all household spending, MDA is asking that they spend their money at businesses that support gun sense. That means using our money to put pressure on businesses not to partner with the gun lobby, not to sell assault weapons, and not to allow guns on their premises regardless of what state laws permit. And of course to say thank you to business that support gun sense by spending our dollars their instead.

So who is on MDA lists? We’ll start with the good guys: Peet’s Coffee & Tea, IKEA, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Square, and Comcast all have policies that help prevent gun violence. Say thank you by shopping with them!

On the other hand, Starbucks, Walmart, Cabela’s, Wyndham, and National Car Rental have policies that favor the gun lobby at the expense of American safety.

“Moms have learned a lot about the lax gun laws in America since the mass shooting of 20 elementary school students in Newtown, and now we’re learning about weak corporate gun policies that endanger our children,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “For example, many moms are unaware that if they take their children to a Starbucks in a state that allows open carry of guns, their children may be standing next to a customer who has a loaded weapon.”

Find out more about these companies and get involved in the push for corporate gun sense today!

Mom’s Demand Action Mother’s Day Walk around Jamaica Pond

 

mother's day walk 2The Boston Area Mom’s Demand Action joined 25 other groups nationwide for a Mother’s Day walk for gun sense in America. During the walk, the group distributed copies of their 5 Point Call to Action.  Although the we had a grey, drizzly mother’s day, the crowd was energetic. A fantastic speech from Senator Katherine Clark and inspiring music from John MacLean contributed to the success of the walk.

See coverage in the Boston Globe here.

 

Mom’s Demand Action releases Call to Action

The Boston Area chapter of Mom’s Demand Action has released a 5 point Call to Action to make stronger gun laws a reality. The five points emphasize communications with the legislature by attending upcoming hearings, contacting the joint chairs of the committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security, and contacting your representatives. The call to action provides all the necessary contact information, so take action today!

Mom’s Demand Action to host Morther’s Day in Boston and Cape Cod

Mother's Day_e
Thousands of parents all across the country will be walking with local Moms Demand Action chapters in their towns on Saturday, May 11th to honor the eight mothers who lose children to gun violence each day in America. The Greater Boston Area walk will take place around Jamaica Pond at 3:30pm for an opportunity to meet other gun safety advocates who are demanding action in the greater Boston area. We will meet at the rotunda. During the walk, participants are asked to carry eight flowers to honor the eight mothers who lose children to gun violence each day in America. Each event will culminate in a quiet place while a mom reads the Mother’s Bill of Rights aloud.
Special guest speaker: Senator Katherine Clark
 
“I am honored to join this group as we come together to remember the children killed by gun violence in our communities and across this nation.  As a mother of three sons, I cannot bring myself to imagine the heartbreak that their parents and families carry with them on Mother’s Day and every day,” said Senator Katherine Clark. “Our best hope is to work together to develop, implement and demand sensible gun laws now.  In so doing, we honor the memory of those lost and help to create a world worthy of all our children.” 
 Great News:
Anne and Linda at GAGv have teamed up with Moms Demand Action members to host a walk on Cape Cod on Saturday at 3:30pm as well! They will meet at the corner of Union Street and Route 6A to the Optimist Cafe and back in Yarmouth, MA.
We hope you can all join us.