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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50% of American guns owned by 3% of population – study

Half of America's guns are owned by just 3 percent of the population – and those people own an average of 17 firearms each, a new survey says. It also found that the number of male gun owners is decreasing, while female ownership is on the rise.

The unpublished Harvard/Northeastern survey – which was obtained by the Guardian and the Trace – estimates that America's gun stock has increased by 70 million guns since 1994, with the current number totaling 265 million.

However, the rise in guns hasn't come with a rise in owners. In fact, the number of people owning guns has actually decreased from 25 percent to 22 percent.

Females v males

The 3 percent drop in gun owners was heavily influenced by a dramatic decrease among men. In 1994, 42 percent of American men described themselves as gun owners, compared to 32% of in the new study.

Meanwhile, female gun ownership is on the rise, with 12 percent saying they own guns in the new survey, versus 9 percent in 1994. Females were also most likely to be in the category of those who only owned handguns.

However, the researchers were quick to stress that the jump is not significant, as female gun ownership has fluctuated between 9 percent and 14 percent in various surveys since the 1980s.

But the numbers do align with the National Rifle Association (NRA) figures which claim that the number of women enrolling in its pistol course almost doubled from 2011 to 2014, from about 25,000 a year to nearly 46,000 a year.

Political & racial trends 

Despite any increase in female gun owners, the majority of owners tend to be white, male, conservative and live in rural areas.

Thirty percent of conservatives said they were gun owners, compared to just 19 percent of moderates and 14 percent of liberals. The strongest predictor of ownership was military service, with 44 percent of veterans saying they owned a gun.

Twenty-five percent of white and multi-racial Americans said they owned a gun, compared with just 16 percent of Hispanics and 14 percent of African-Americans.

Those most likely to only own handguns were African-American (44 percent) and Hispanic (33 percent). People in the “handgun only” category were also more likely to live in an urban area, and were less likely to have grown up in a house with a gun. Only 21 percent of whites fell into the “handgun only” category.

What fuels gun ownership?

Lead author Dr. Deborah Azrael, a Harvard School of Public Health firearms researcher, said the data points to gun ownership being driven by “increasing fearfulness” which must be addressed.

 
“If we hope to reduce firearm suicide, if we hope to reduce the other potential dangers of guns, my gut is, we have to speak to that fear,” Azrael said.

She went on to state that the answer is not to focus on the gun owners with dozens of weapons, but on the nearly 50 percent of gun owners who have just one or two firearms.

“To change their behavior with respect to guns, and the ways in which they store them, or their decision-making – we could have a really big impact on suicide,” she said.

Azrael also noted that she doesn't “know anybody who thinks or talks seriously about confiscating guns,” but went on to compare the situation to that of cigarettes.

“From a public health perspective – you don’t seize cigarettes.” But, she said, “You do try to make good science available. You do try to help people think about the risks and benefits of the behavior they choose to undertake.”

Approximately 20,000 of America’s more than 30,000 annual gun deaths are suicides.

The study is based on a survey of nearly 4,000 Americans who were questioned only in 2015 by market research company GfK, with a panel of opt-in participants who are paid to complete surveys on various topics.

It is currently undergoing peer review, and is scheduled to be published in the autumn of 2017 by the Russell Sage Foundation. The survey has, however, gone through an initial round of comments and revisions from a group of leading firearms researchers, according to Azrael.

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Unarmed Ohio Teen Tyree King Killed By Police

The teenager was shot dead after he tried to pull a gun from his waistband; the weapon was later confirmed to be a BB gun.

A police officer fatally shot a 13-year-old black boy late Wednesday night in Columbus, Ohio, after he “pulled a gun from his waistband,” authorities said. The gun was later discovered to be a pellet gun, according to local press reports.

RELATED: Global Protests Haven’t Stopped US Police from Killing Black People

The boy was identified as Tyree King and according to officials he was shot by police officers investigating an armed robbery in the area. He died at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus. 

Police described the BB gun as resembling a weapon, “with an attached laser sight.” A man with King at the time of the shooting has been taken into custody, authorities said, but have not released his identity.  

Police in Columbus said that officers arrived at the place and identified three people matching the suspects' descriptions. When they approached the men to interview them, two ran away.

"Officers followed the males to the alley ... and attempted to take them into custody when one suspect pulled a gun from his waistband," officers said in a statement.

RELATED: Black Mother Killed in Her Home by Baltimore Police, Child Shot

In recent years, U.S. police have faced increasing criticism for the killing of unarmed civilians, typically people of color, sparking nationwide protests, as well as a fierce debate over racism in policing. 

According to human rights activists and organizations, Black people in the U.S. are far more likely to be shot at, arrested and imprisoned by police than any other demographic group. A 2012 study by the Malcolm X Grassroots movement revealed that a Black person was killed by police or surrogate personnel every 28 hours in the U.S. 

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Miami: Another of its Fallen “Angels”

El Nuevo Herald journalist Daniel Shoer Roth wrote a pathetic article on the constant killing of children in that city.

Now, he referred to the case of Jada Page, the 8-year-old girl, whose life was cut short by a shot on the head.

Shoer Roth’s analysis appeared last Friday in El Nuevo Herald under the title: “The Death of Jada”.

It reads, let‘s talk openly, the premature and violent death of that poor little angel adds another cry to the despair that criminality imposes us.

It explains that she was starting fourth grade in a new school, where she would foster friendships and aspire to knowledge.

Last Sunday, adds the article, the little girl was on the way to the movies with her dad, when a fatal shot from a shooting outside her house struck her.

“A wounded girl. A miracle begged for her salvation that will never work. A demolishing tragedy”.

According to Shoer Roth, Jada’s name joins a long list of children murdered on the dangerous streets of Miami’s marginal neighbourhoods.

There, he states, armed violence is on a war footing and leaves serious social consequences in our city.

The author of the article, who lives there, is able to touch local reality and rules the following:

“The story of children fallen in crossfires from local gangs, drug trafficking and proliferation of weapons in the hands of criminals repeats once again”.

El Nuevo Herald said that little Jada and her dad were about to go outside their house, when they were shot from a moving vehicle, and as a result of it a shot struck the girl in the back of the head.

According to the police, her dad, wounded too, was the target of the criminals.

“I don’t understand how they can sleep at night knowing they killed my child….”, shouted her mother in front of reporters.

And many inhabitants? Observers say that, absorbed in their things, the majority “is quite indifferent”.

A similar tragedy took place half a year ago, when boy King Carter, 6, was playing with other kids in the vicinity of his home.

At the same time, some teenagers from rival gangs clashed in the vicinity and shot him to death.

Has this situation changed in the neighbourhoods of Miami?

Experts have just denied it, saying that parents of kids like King and Jada “still fear that shootings claim the life of their children”.

And the case of this Florida city is not unique in U. S., so it’s a huge cynicism to demand Cuba, Venezuela and other independent countries, to copy the current democracy of the North.


Translated by Jorge Mesa / Cubasi Translation Staff

There's a call to end 'gun violence' at this year's Teen Choice Awards

The ongoing issue of gun violence in the US was raised at the Teen Choice Awards in Los Angeles.

Hollywood actress Jessica Alba was joined on stage by teenagers who've been directly affected by recent shootings in America.

She asked viewers to use the hashtag #StopTheViolence, saying: "It keeps happening, and it has to stop.

"Tonight we stand together with these teens united in a call for peace and an end to this violence."

Ne-Yo's performance also highlighted the controversial issue by performing Marvin Gaye's What's Going On.

The Dolan Twins
The Dolan Twins won Choice web stars award and Choice YouTuber

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