#DisarmHate Week: remembrance and action for Orlando and Charleston

States United - #GrassrootsGVP Report - June 9, 2017

#DisarmHate Week of remembrance and action for Orlando and Charleston.  States United and our 32 affiliates joined a diverse coalition of organizations to honor victims of hate-fueled gun violence in America and to demand that political leaders do more to prevent the approximately 8,000 hate crimes committed with guns that occur every year in America. This week marks one year since the mass shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando and two years since the mass shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston. Last week, Congressman David Cicilline (D-RI) and Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced new legislation – the Disarm Hate Act – that would prohibit people convicted of misdemeanor hate crimes from possessing or purchasing guns. As it currently stands, under federal law a violent or threatening misdemeanor hate crime conviction does not prohibit someone from buying or having a gun.

Alexandria shooter used assault rifle commonly encountered by law enforcement. According to the Violence Policy Center, the model of assault rifle used by the Alexandria shooter was responsible for at least 23 line of duty deaths of law enforcement officers from 1998 to 2015. In six of those incidents, rounds fired from the weapon penetrated bullet-resistant vests. Polling data released Tuesday shows that 76% of Americans favor an assault weapons ban and 75% favor a ban on high-capacity magazines.

NBC to broadcast Megyn Kelly’s interview with Sandy Hook denier. Despite threats of a lawsuit from the several families of Sandy Hook victims, the dropping of Megyn Kelly from a hosting position of an event for Sandy Hook Promise, and an enormous public outcry NBC has said they will air the Megyn Kelly’s taped interview of Sandy Hook denier Alex Jones this Sunday. Jones is continuing to push more Sandy Hook conspiracy theories in the lead up to the show. Our Connecticut affiliate, Connecticut Against Gun Violence, is gathering signatures on this petition as part of the campaign to stop the airing of the interview.

Cycle of our shame: nearly one mass shooting per day in the United States. According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been at least 156 mass shootings – defined as FOUR or more shot and/or killed in a single event not including the shooter – in our nation this year. That’s an average of nearly one per day. The high-profile incidents in Alexandria and San Francisco made national news, but the archive reported a total of 9 mass shooting incidents this week, and most of them have missed national coverage. Many of these ignored mass shootings have a deadly connection with domestic violence or impact marginalized communities in our country.