Nearly 45,000 People Killed by Firearms in US in 2017

Washington, Dec 15 (Prensa Latina) Nearly 40,000 people were killed in United States last year by firearms, compared to 28,874 in 1999, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported.

A report from the CDC noted that that number includes suicides, which reached 23,854, the highest figure in 18 years, and homicides, which totaled 14,542.

The document stressed that the current rate of deaths by firearms is 12 per every 100,000 inhabitants, in contrast to 10.3 per 100,000 in 2007.

CNN quoted the text, which specified that last year's 39.773 deaths by firearms is a record since that data began to be collected in 1979.

Similar numbers were presented by the Education Fund to Stop Violence with Firearms a few days ago.

In response, the National Rifle Association, an organiztaion that supports US citizens' right to carry firearms, estimated on Twitter that the arms control is the the response to face that pandemic.

However, figures contradict that stance as in 2017 the US reported the highest rate of suicides with firearms in the states where arms possession rates are the highest in the country.

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Four people, including boy, killed in New York City shooting

(Reuters) - Four people, including a young boy, were shot and killed on Monday in a New York City apartment, police said.

Two females, one male and a boy, about five years old, were found dead from gunshot wounds inside the apartment in the borough of Queens, after police and emergency crews were called to the scene a little before 9 p.m., New York City Police Department Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea told a news conference.

Police are investigating if the shooting was a murder-suicide, Shea said.

“We will take the evidence where ever it leads us,” he said. “We don’t want to leave any stone unturned.”

 

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85% of world's 1bn firearms held by civilians, study shows

As many as 85 percent of the world's one billion legal and illicit firearms are held by civilians – far exceeding the number of those held by modern armed forces and law enforcement agencies, a Swiss-based think tank revealed.

There are roughly one billion firearms in the world, and the vast majority of them are in civilian – not military – hands, according to a new study by a think tank in Switzerland.

The Small Arms Survey, which provides research and expertise on weapons proliferation and armed violence, examined the ownership of automatic pistols and revolvers, rifles, carbines, assault rifles and sub- and light-machine guns, held by civilian, military and law enforcement entities.

 
Patti Sapone

A total of 857 million firearms, both legal and illicit, are estimated to be held by civilians, including individuals, private security companies, non-state armed groups and gangs. The US topped the list of heaviest-armed nations, with its citizens possessing 393 million weapons. The figure means that there are roughly 121 guns for every 100 Americans.

Trailing far behind their American counterparts are Indians, who own 71 million guns, and the Chinese, who possess over 49 million firearms.

"The key to the United States, of course, is its unique gun culture," said Aaron Karp, the author of the study. Americans, the study notes, are inclined to own arms converted from military variants.

"As of 2016, 42.3 percent of hunters and shooters were reported owning at least one AR15 platform (M16-style rifle) or semi-automatic assault weapon such as AR15- or Kalashnikov-style rifle," it says.

Discussions about gun control, mental health, and law enforcement powers have dominated public discourse in the US from time to time, quickly becoming relevant in light of mass shootings or gun-related violence. Some observers raised concerns over easy access to civilian-issue weapons in the United States.

"It's insane, and you know, we license cars. You can't just get in a car and drive it," Dave Lindorff, an investigative journalist, told RT. "But you can get a gun and shoot it. You don't need any training, you don't need any licensing," he added, referring to the "nuttiness" of some state legislation allowing concealed carry.

Interestingly, the number of guns in military arsenals is far less impressive, the paper shows. Stockpiles belonging to armed forces in 177 countries contained at least 133 million firearms. Russia, China, North Korea, Ukraine and the US combined have the largest stockpiles of small arms.

The Russian military possessed the largest military firearms arsenal (30.3 million), but announced the disposal of over 10 million weapons back in 2010, including four million Kalashnikov assault rifles, the Small Arms Survey stressed.

READ MORE: US military spending grew for 1st time in 6 years in 2016 – study

Many military-owned firearms had made their way to non-state – and often illicit – markets, the researchers warned. Collapse of state authority, like the one that happened after the US-led 2003 invasion in Iraq, saw terrorist groupings seizing weapons from government arsenals.

Another 22.7 million firearms were held by law enforcement agencies worldwide, making up a tiny two percent of all small arms in the world. Whereas the US was dominant in civilian-gun ownership, the report said that the country was only fifth in law enforcement holdings, behind Russia, China, India and Egypt.

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USA: Concrete Jungle

Should there was any doubt, it has already vanished. United States has become an elegant jungle swarmed with millionaires, the bruised middle class and homeless people, among others.

In this regard. El Nuevo Herald columnist Guillermo Descalzi wrote on Monday that his government is characterized by its lavish indifference and fears an unbridled extreme right.

The latter includes, firstly, President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

The journalist added that politicians bow their heads before the National Rifle Association (NRA) “that has planted USD $23 billion for them since 1990 to provide its interests with shade”.

Institution has flatly refused to eliminate the Second Amendment to the 1791 Constitution that blesses guns purchase and possession.

Since 2013, there have been 291 school shootings and 18 so far this year.

Journalist and writer Guillermo Descalzi stresses that it is time to acknowledge that there are mental health patients who curiously go unnoticed, as well as that it is Hemingway’s time and to say farewell to arms.

He also pointed out that “action must be channeled in this Hemingwayesque country”.

It’s good to remember that during the 2016 elections Trump proclaimed himself a friend of the National Rifle Association, and assured he would protect its interests, as he has done so far.

That organization is one of the lobbies that manage real power in U.S., as it happens with the Jewish one and others.

One may ask: Who is to blame for the recent brutal killing of 17 teenagers in Florida?

The same individual who has defended to the death free sale of rifles and other weapons in US stores.

As well as those who, led by Donald Trump, have become champions of the sale and use of guns and powerful rifles in that country.

So, Nikolas Cruz is not the one who should be taken to the dock, but Donald Trump, firstly, and NRA’s executives, secondly.

 

Translated by Jorge Mesa Benjamin / Cubasi Translation Staff

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Fifty Religious Groups Demand Gun Control in U.S.

Washington, Nov 13 (Prensa Latina) While the debate about gun control is still open in the United States today, local media published a letter in which 50 religious organizations demand that Congress take actions on gun violence.

The groups, which make up the Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence Coalition, called for Congress to 'take immediate action to curb the onslaught of gun violence plaguing our nation.'

The coalition noted the shootings that have taken place at houses of worship in recent years, including the 2015 church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, and the shooting at the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, in 2012.

In the letter, addressed to the Republican and Democratic leadership in the House of Representatives and the Senate and published on the website of The Hill, the groups noted, 'It is horrifying that innocents were massacred in a house of worship once again, a terrifying reality for all people of faith in this country who believe that their congregations are sanctuaries of peace, safety, life, and love.'

'We would welcome the opportunity to discuss our coalition's legislative priorities with you. All people in our beloved country deserve to feel safe in their houses of worship and their communities; inaction is immoral and wrong,' says the letter.

In the document, the groups called on Congress to take action to close loopholes that allow domestic violence offenders to own and buy guns, implement a universal background check system and pass an assault weapons ban, among other demands.

The letter on gun control was published when democrats and several social sectors are calling to take actions to prevent gun violence after the shooting in Texas and the worst shooting in U.S. history, as a result of which 58 people were killed in Las Vegas, Nevada, on October 1.

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Two Killed In San Francisco Shooting Spree, Police Arrest A 61-Year-Old

San Francisco:  At least two people were killed and three others injured in a shooting spree in San Francisco, police said.

The shooting took place on Monday in Clearlake Oaks in Lake County, CBS San Francisco reported.

According to authorities, Clearlake resident 61-year-old Alan Ashmore was arrested on two counts of homicide as well as multiple other counts of assault with a firearm following the late Monday morning shooting spree.

Authorities were trying to determine a motive in the seemingly random shooting spree.

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8yo boy kills 5yo sister and injures brother with handgun

A Florida mother could face criminal charges after her 8-year-old son killed his younger sister and injured his brother with a handgun while they were home alone.

The 8-year-old boy is currently helping Jacksonville Police with inquiries into how he came into possession of the firearm and discharged a single fatal bullet from the gun. 

Police in Jacksonville say the three children had been left alone in an apartment for an “undetermined period of time” on Saturday, while their mother went to a local store.

Police believe the shooting at a Roosevelt Gardens apartment complex to be accidental but have not ruled out charges being filed.

“Our investigation revealed that at the time of the shooting, the only occupants inside the apartment were an 8-year-old boy, a 5-year-old girl and a four-year-old boy,” police chief Chris Butler said.

“The mother had left the apartment for an undetermined period of time, so the children were home alone.

“Somehow the 8-year-old boy got possession of a handgun and discharged the handgun one time, striking both of the other children.”

READ MORE: 13-year-old with fake gun shot by private investigator

The bullet struck the five-year-old girl, killing her, while her four-year-old brother suffered a “non-life-threatening gunshot wound.” He is being treated at a local hospital, where doctors expect him to make a full recovery.

Witnesses to the incident are still being interviewed.

“We believe that as an agency, in absence of any other information being developed, that unfortunately this is a tragic, accidental shooting,” Butler said.

He said there was nothing to indicate that the shooting was intentional.

The Florida Department of Children and Families, which offers child welfare services, is assisting with the case. Meanwhile, a therapist has been provided to the 8-year-old boy who fired the weapon.

Speaking at a police press conference, Butler said charges have not been filed against anyone “at this time” and admitted he was reluctant to comment on an active investigation.

However, he said that previous cases involving violence carried out by children have seen the parents charged.

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Houston shooting suspect is dead - police

The suspect in a Houston, Texas spree shooting has been killed, police said. At least six people sustained injuries. The scene is now "contained," but residents have been asked to avoid the area.

The Houston Police Department has confirmed "an active shooter situation in a shopping center near the corner of Weslayan and Bissonnet in southwest Houston."

Police also tweeted the shooter was shot by law enforcement. There are no reports of other suspects at this time, but the scene is "still active."

Gunman down after active shooter situation in West University. Not 5 min from the house. Photo cred

A bomb squad will be checking the suspect's vehicle.

The attack is believed to have started at about 6:20 am local time. A witness told local ABC13 channel he heard about 100 “steady gunshots” being fired.

Six people were taken to hospital following the incident, representatives from the local fire department confirmed.

Media also report there may be others who suffered light injuries from broken glass or other factors.

Here's a look at one of the vehicles shot by active shooter - Weslayan at Bissonnet

The shooter was described as black and carrying a revolver. Police shot and killed him.

@KHOULauren BREAKING: HFD says suspect in active shooter investigation is dead. pic.twitter.com/U15AI2J6ZS

"At this time, the shooting scene is believed to be contained, but residents are asked to please avoid the area of Weslayan Street between Westpark Drive and Bissonnet Street as it is still an active response and investigation scene," police said.

Victims were seen lying on the ground, with multiple gunshots initially reported from the scene.

Local attorney Skip Cornelius told ABC13 his son was shot by a bullet that made its way to his car, which was in the parking lot, but wasn’t hurt badly.

West U active shooter: Officers say suspect may be down - reports of several injured

Numerous ambulances arrived at the scene. Weslayan Street was briefly closed.

A triage area has been set up in a parking lot.

UPDATE: Gunshots heard near shopping center at Weslayan and Bissonnet.

The surrounding stores are usually busy at this time, according to local media.

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