Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Bloody FAIL

Yesterday, we uncovered the horrific discovery Jill Schaller made when she learned that a Reno police officer sold a gun to her severely mentally ill son. This was illegal. But because the officer failed to perform a background check on Schaller's son, we're only learning of this now.

This harrowing tale seems to be reviving talk of Governor Brian Sandoval's (R-NRA) veto of the SB 221 state background checks bill last month, and of US Senator Dean Heller's (R-NRA) decision to join the G-O-TEA veto of an even more modest federal background checks bill. This is forcing Nevadans to revisit the frightening reality of the easy path to gun violence here and nationally. The RGJ's Ray Hagar posted a story earlier today on the renewed talk of gun safety in light of the Reno police scandal.

“This incident shows exactly why Gov. Sandoval made a dangerous and life-threatening mistake to veto SB221,” said activist Teresa Crawford of ProgressNow Nevada. “This is exactly why we need legislation like this here in Nevada to keep guns out of the wrong hands. I hope now he understands why we need this legislation.” [...]

“The background check provision is really important,” [State Senator Justin] Jones [D-Enterprise] said. “In this case, it is clear that if the seller had engaged in a background check and the records had been properly transferred to the Washoe Court, then the transfer would have not gone forward.

Jones noted his bill would require that those records be transferred in five days.

“We have a great need to make sure our records are transmitted from our courts quicker to our Department of Public Safety,” Jones said.

But instead, Governor Sandoval vetoed SB 221. And Senator Heller filibustered the Manchin-Toomey bill. And Reps. Joe Heck (R-?!) and Mark Amodei (R-Where This Occurred) continue their pitch perfect silence on the whole matter.

OK, so Nevada Republicans want to pretend that gun violence is not a big deal. Try explaining that to the families of children murdered with guns.

“We’ve demonstrated that we’ve made a lot of progress in reducing youth violence, but the study also points out that this progress is slowing and homicide is still a leading cause of death,” Corinne David-Ferdon, a behavioral scientist in the CDC’s Violence Prevention and Injury Center, told Reuters. “It’s important we get these programs in place early in young people’s lives to help disrupt the development of violent attitudes and behavior in early childhood and middle childhood.”

In the past several months, particularly after a mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary killed 20 young students and seven adults, there has been a renewed push to protect children’s health by preventing gun violence. Thousands of Americanshave gone onto be killed by guns after the Sandy Hook tragedy, including many very young children accidentally shot by firearms kept in their homes.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) — the nation’s largest group of pediatricians, representing over 600,000 doctors across the country — has pressured Congress to enact stricter policies to combat gun violence, pointing out that guns are the leading cause of death among minors. But the NRA isn’t particularly interested in efforts to frame gun safety as a public health issue. The powerful lobbying group actively works to discredit the AAP’s work around gun control, and has blocked scientific research into the health effects of gun violence for years.

For all the rhetoric from the NRA and its favorite politicians of "protecting Constitutional rights", they seem to care nothing about the right of America's kids to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The families of Trayvon Martin, Janay Mcfarlane, Christina Green, and Newtown, Connecticut, know this all too well. So why do we continually allow the likes of the NRA and ALEC call the shots on gun safety laws?

Something must change. Our children continue to pay the price of inaction. This is just one EPIC FAIL that can't be ignored.

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