Op-ed: Real liberty for all means more gun limits

"This is not about “confiscating guns.” We are not embarking upon some slippery slope toward gun prohibition as the gun lobby alarmists will claim. It’s not about taking away the constitutional right to bear arms. It’s about respecting freedom and liberty for all by asking those who desire to own guns to fulfill their civic duty and recognize that both citizenship and gun ownership come with responsibility."

- News & Observer op-ed 10.21.17

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Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/opinion/op-ed/article180039046.html#storylink=cpy
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Press Release: Love and lament: A service of prayer in a season of heartache

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, October 5, 2017 

Contact: Becky Ceartas (919) 260-4766

Chapel Hill, NC – North Carolinians Against Gun Violence and the United Church of Chapel Hill will have a candlelight vigil to demand action to end gun violence in honor of the 59 killed and more than 400 injured in Las Vegas in the deadliest mass shooting incident in modern U.S. history.

The vigil will be part of a nationwide tribute in partnership with the national gun violence coalition pushing for common sense gun laws to end gun violence.

The service will take place on Wednesday, October 6th at 12pm at the United Church of Chapel Hill, 1321 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd.

The Las Vegas mass shooting was the 272nd mass shooting in 2017, defined as four or more people shot in one incident.

Becky Ceartas, executive director of North Carolinians Against Gun Violence, said the events highlight the need to stop loosening gun restrictions.

“It’s time for the House of Representatives to immediately abandon the NRA-supported Sportsmen's Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act,” Ceartas said.

The SHARE Act would deregulate silencers, making them readily available without background checks at gun shows and on the Internet.

“Legislators must also oppose the National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, which would allow gun owners from states with weak permitting laws to carry their concealed weapons in states with strong permit requirements,” Ceartas said.

North Carolinians Against Gun Violence also recommends policies such as passing laws to require background checks for sale of all guns; banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines; repealing the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which provides legal immunity for the gun industry; and adequately funding federal gun violence research.

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Why Congress won’t act on gun violence without NRA permission

The News & Observer, 10.6.17

We act as if the unending massacres that are occurring at concerts, high schools, baseball practices, college campuses, churches, military installations, movie theaters, elementary schools and so forth are acts of God – like hurricanes or tornadoes.

We pray for the victims and their families, we fly flags at half-mast and we shake our heads in sorrow, as we should.

But thinking of them as beyond our control ignores the connection between the carnage and the world’s most lax gun laws.

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Opinion: Why Do We Ignore Initiatives That Reduce Gun Violence?

The New York Times. 10.6.17

In the wake of this week’s devastation in Las Vegas, it is important to remember that this kind of headline-grabbing mass shooting constitutes only a tiny fraction of the gun murders in our country. There were over 8,000 gunshot homicides in 2014, according to the F.B.I.’s most recent calculations, and gun violence is the first and second leading cause of death for African-American and Latino males between ages 15 and 34.

Many have thrown up their hands in despair over these numbers, but the good news is that proven strategies to protect people from being murdered by firearms do exist.

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NC Has Large Loophole in Gun Law After Vegas Shooting

Public News Service, 10.5.17

While the nation mourns the lives lost and injuries suffered from the deadliest shooting rampage in modern U.S. history, questions are emerging about how to prevent future incidents. 

A national report card from the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence indicates North Carolina isn't doing enough to prevent gun violence, giving the state a grade of D- for its current laws. 

Laura Cutilletta, the Law Center’s legal director, says the Tar Heel State has a big loophole.

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My dad's gun

The Herald Sun. 10.5.17

When he was a boy, my dad received a marvelous gift: his father’s own boyhood rifle.

It’s a beautiful object. Burnished wood stock, a thundercloud-grey barrel. After my dad died, it was the one thing I really wanted. At this moment – 2:45 a.m., cat stretched beside me in my Durham home, dog twitching on some dream chase, my daughter sleeping in her room – my dad’s gun hangs on my dining room wall.

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NC senators got more money from the NRA than most lawmakers. Here’s why.

The Charlotte Observer. 10.4.17

As America once again debates its gun laws in the wake of a mass shooting, a new report has found North Carolina’s two U.S. senators among the top beneficiaries of money from the National Rifle Association.

Only one of the 535 members of Congress has gotten more help from the NRA than Republican Sen. Richard Burr, according to The Center for Responsive Politics. Only three, including Burr, got more than GOP Sen. Thom Tillis.

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Opinion: Thoughts and prayers and NRA funding

The New York Times, 10.4.17

Most Americans support stronger gun laws — laws that would reduce deaths. But Republicans in Congress stand in the way. They fear alienating their primary voters and the National Rifle Association.

Below are the top 10 career recipients of N.R.A. funding – through donations or spending to benefit the candidate – among both current House and Senate members, along with their statements about the Las Vegas massacre. 

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Country Musician Flips on Gun Control After Shooting

US News and World Report, 10.2.17

A country music guitarist has changed his position on gun control after surviving a deadly mass shooting at a Las Vegas music festival that left him fearing for his life.

Caleb Keeter, lead guitarist of the Texas-based Josh Abbott Band, took to Twitter on Monday to share his personal experience in the wake of the shooting that left at least 58 people dead and hundreds injured. Keeter said he had supported the Second Amendment all of his life – until Sunday.

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Perspectives: Why I boycotted Congress’s latest empty moment of silence for gun victims

The Washington Post, 10.3.17

We all awoke Monday to a grim ritual. As we looked at our phones, we saw that dozens of people had been slaughtered in Las Vegas by a madman with a gun. For the victims, survivors and families, this is a nightmare come true. My heart aches for them, even as it swells at the thought of the first responders who rushed to help the many Americans who felt the awful reality of meaningless death and avoidable loss.

But now what? The question cannot be escaped, even by those who wish the whole subject would go away. We are the most powerful nation in the world, a city upon a hill, exceptional. But we can’t seem to stop — or even slow — the regular murder of our citizens in headline-grabbing mass shootings or in the daily count of suicide, assault and domestic violence that ends the lives of nearly 35,000 of us a year.

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