Vigils for Victims of Gun Violence – This Wednesday
Join us at one of the three sites holding vigils this Wednesday in remembrance of all victims of gun violence. A British columnist commented that if America couldn’t tighten its gun laws after 20 first-graders and six educators were massacred in 2013, then it would never happen. The columnist was somewhat correct, as the US Congress has resisted going against the gun lobby, but efforts to prevent gun violence have been progressing in the states, such as Colorado in 2013 and, presumably, this coming legislative session.
We will gather to honor the dead and injured, and proclaim to our fellow citizens and elected leaders that it is time for an end to the carnage. Join us at one of the three sites.
Hampden Ave. and Colorado Blvd. (SW and NE corners)
Lincoln St. sidewalk in front of the Colorado capitol
West Colfax and Wadsworth Blvd. (SE corner)
Date: Wednesday, December 12, 2018
Time: Arrive at 4:00 p.m.
Words of Remembrance: 4:15 p.m.
Sharing our Messages: 4:30-5:30 p.m.
Bring: Lighting: candles or flashlights
Signs with non-political and honoring messages
CFCU (Colorado Faith Communities United to End Gun Violence) spearheaded the vigils, with Colorado Ceasefire, GAPS (Golden Action for Public Safety), and the League of Women Voters also participating.
Newly-elected Colorado congressional representatives Joe Neguse (CD2) and Jason Crow (CD6) have joined the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force headed up by Chairman Mike Thompson. On the official announcement, Member-Elect Neguse said “We have seen too many tragedies due to gun violence here in Colorado, and I am hopeful that we can make this a top priority this Congress.” Members-Elect Neguse and Crow join their fellow Colorado Congressional Representatives Diana DeGette (CD1) and Ed Perlmutter (CD7) on the Task Force.
NRA – from Russia with Love?
Tomorrow Maria Butina, 30, is appearing in court to change her plea to federal charges of working as an agent for the Kremlin in the United States. Part of her activities included forming bonds with the National Rifle Association officials and others during the 2016 presidential election campaign. Expectations are that Butina will plead guilty.
Butina was a gun rights activist In Russia (somehow, that just seems ironic) and has been incarcerated for five months because she was believed to be a flight risk. Prosecutors claim Butina was working at the direction of Alexander Torshin, a Russian government official who has been sanctioned by the U.S. government. Butina was romantically involved with Paul Erickson (not Sean Connery), who helped her with connections in GOP-world.
Torshin and Butina inculcated friendships with NRA leaders and even hosted NRA members in Moscow, when some NRA dignitaries met with the Russian Foreign Minister. People in Gun Violence Prevention are most focused on the money aspect. The NRA spent $30 million to help elect Donald Trump and another $40 million lobbying and electing others. As most of this is “dark money,” it is difficult to determine the source. There are still unanswered questions as to whether any Russian money made it into the NRA election coffers. Such financial assistance is illegal.
Check out the Washington Post article from today for more information.
Raccoon Revenge? Another Example of Concealed Carry Wisdom (?)
“After a raccoon climbed up a telephone pole in Colorado Springs, a man walking by responded in the way that seemed natural to him: He tried to shoot it down, reports KRDO. Police say its not clear how he botched the attempt, but 67-year-old Don Upshaw was taken to the hospital with a gunshot wound to his lower leg. Apparently, he was trying to shoot the raccoon with his revolver, but ‘ended up on the wrong side of the barrel.’” From High Country News, July 23, 2018.
Although Ceasefire is an all-volunteer organization, we do contract with a lobbyist to assist us in our advocacy at the capitol. Because of the highly successful elections, we anticipate a number of proactive gun violence prevention proposals this coming session, including ERPO (red flag), which Ceasefire spearheaded this past year. More bills translate into higher lobbying costs. Your assistance in this is crucial to making Colorado safer. You can donate to Colorado Ceasefire Legislative Action by clicking here or by mailing your donation to Colorado Ceasefire Legislative Action, P.O. Box 7501, Denver, Colorado 80207.
Guns in Schools
The Trace asked nine teachers and administrators how they wrestle with the specter of school shootings. One claimed “The Day I have to Carry a Gun to Teach, I’m Done.” Read their stories here. It seems that every time there is a shooting that grasps our attention and makes us even more cognizant of the insanity of our loose gun laws, the gun lobby takes it as an opportunity to make for even more guns in more places. Now their pressure effort is to arm public school teachers (Note: have to take a deep breath after typing that). For six years, we at Ceasefire have worked with others to defeat such ludicrous proposals at the state capitol (The worst bills were sponsored by Sen. Tim Neville and Rep. Patrick Neville, both of whom are on the ballot in November).
An innovative trio of folks (writer, psychologist and composer) have created three provocative short videos and calls to action, appropriately titled “Stop the Madness.”
- The majority used legally purchased firearms
- Had a history with the site they attack
- Do not have a long history of mental health issues
- Many engage in behaviors that may indicate impending violence
The study examined six major stressors: mental health issues, financial problems, marital problems, drug abuse, family conflicts, and conflicts at school. Click here to read the full report:
Mass Shootings Continue Unabated
In mid-May, a student used a handgun and shotgun to shoot and kill 8 classmates and 2 teachers at his high school in Santa Fe, Texas. The weapons belonged to his father, who clearly was negligent in storing his firearms. Now that schools are out for the summer, school shootings aren’t a daily concern, but that doesn’t mean that disgruntled individuals will discontinue their shooting rampages against fellow workers or fellow citizens. Last week, a gunman blasted his way into the office of The Capital, an Annapolis, Maryland, newspaper. Five journalists and support staff were killed. Mike Littwin, of the Colorado Independent, wrote this moving tribute to his friend and colleague who was killed in the “endlessly tragic news cycle that America has refused to address.” A contract reporter at The Capital shared her story of hiding out during the siege while her colleagues were fatally shot and wonders when America will act.
Note to elected officials: Regardless of what your gun lobby funders say, IT IS ABOUT THE GUNS!
Channel 7 News, Round table finds greatly differing opinions on role of guns in increasing school safety.
DENVER – While it never really went away, after the second school shooting in two weeks, the issue of school safety and guns in school is back in the political spotlight.
Marnie Kamensky, President of Colorado Ceasefire Outreach, was at the table.
“I think a huge misconception is that we want to take away people’s guns and that’s not it at all,” Madison Rose with Never Again Colorado told Anne Trujillo on this weekend’s Politics Unplugged. “We want to find some kind of balance. Something within the gun reform debate that we can use and work on to help ensure the safety of our children in schools.”
Armed and aging: A conversation about seniors, dementia and the right to bear arms…
University of Colorado Medical School study just released Monday find the number of adults with Alzheimer’s and dementia is steadily increasing, but questions around their access to firearms remain largely unaddressed. The study finds firearms are the most common method of suicide among people with dementia, but it explores other serious concerns with firearm possession and dementia. People with dementia can experience hallucinations, delusions, aggression and paranoia, and the study’s lead author, Dr. Emmy Betz with the University of Colorado School of Medicine, found many older adults have access to guns.
During these Dog Days of Summer….
The hot weather days between early July and early September are called Dog Days because the star Sirius (also called Canicula), which represents the hound of the Hunter Orion, makes its first visible rising during the summer. The days are also called “canicular” from canine.
We welcome your ideas, your participation, and your support! Postal Address: Colorado Ceasefire P.O. Box 7501 Denver, CO 80207
Telephone: 303-380-6711 Email: email@example.com