Have you ever wondered why the GOP Senate continually sides with the NRA on all gun-related proposed legislation, and against well over a majority of their constituents, Democrat, Republican and Independents? They’ve been bought, including Nevada’s own Sen. Dean Heller (to the tune of a $122,000 scholarship from the NRA)!
— by CAP Action War Room
As Florida Governor, Jeb Bush Pioneered The Nation’s First “Stand Your Ground” Law
This Friday, Jeb Bush is scheduled to address the National Urban League, one of the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organizations. He is going to be on the hot seat – and deservedly so. As Governor of Florida, Jeb worked hand in hand with the NRA to pioneer the nation’s first Stand Your Ground law, brought to national attention when George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin. The results, detailed in a new CAP Action report, have been devastating. Here are a few of the findings outlined in the report:
- Since the passage of the law, Florida’s gun homicide rate jumped above the national average – and has stayed there. In the 6 years prior to the law‘s passage, the rate of gun homicides in Florida was 3.7 per 100,000 residents, below the national average rate of 4 murders per 100,000 residents. After Stand Your Ground was passed in the state, the average gun homicide rate jumped to more than 4.5 murders per 100,000 residents in Florida while going down nationwide. In the two years following the enactment of the Stand Your Ground law, the number of gun-related homicides in Florida increased by more than 200 cases.
- Florida’s Stand Your Ground law appears to have a disparate impact on black communities. A study by the Tampa Bay Times of nearly 200 Stand Your Ground cases in Florida found that defendants seeking to avoid criminal liability for a homicide by mounting a Stand Your Ground defense were significantly more likely to be successful if they killed a black victim than a white victim. In fact, from 2005 to 2012, defendants who raised a Stand Your Ground defense in Florida were 24 percent more likely to avoid criminal liability for a homicide if they killed a black victim.
- The impacts of Stand Your Ground have translated to an additional 600 homicides per year across the country. Within one year of Gov. Bush’s signing, 21 other states had introduced the legislation and 13 had enacted expanded self-defense laws. A 2012 study by researchers at Texas A&M University found that Stand Your Ground laws led to more homicides: States that enacted such laws saw an 8 percent increase in homicides, which translated to an additional 600 homicides per year across all states with these laws. National Urban League’s own 2013 study found that in states that enacted Stand Your Ground laws between 2005 and 2007, the rate of justifiable homicides increased by 53 percent.
A new op-ed drawn from CAP Action’s report and written by Ben Jealous, former president and CEO of the NAACP, highlights how Florida’s Stand Your Ground law poses an even larger threat in Florida because the states gun laws are so weak. In fact Florida’s gun laws remain so lax that George Zimmerman, who in addition to shooting and killing Trayvon Martin, was arrested for assaulting a police officer, the subject of a domestic violence restraining order, arrested 3 times for domestic violence, and threatened to kill a man during a road rage incident, is still permitted carry a gun in Florida.
BOTTOM LINE: America has Jeb Bush to thank for Stand Your Ground. And as research continues to suggest, America has this NRA-backed law to thank for hundreds more gun homicides every year and a disproportionate impact on communities of color.
This material [the article above] was created by the Center for American Progress Action Fund. It was created for the Progress Report, the daily e-mail publication of the Center forAmerican Progress Action Fund. Click here to subscribe.
If you were at Winnemucca’s Labor Day Parade or the Pancake Breakfast on Saturday, you would have had an opportunity to meet and talk to or at least wave at Andrew Martin who is running for State Controller on the November ballot.
As an Assemblyman and member of the Economic Forum Andrew has worked on Nevada’s budget, understands our finances, and knows what needs to be done to improve our economy. Andrew is a business owner, Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF), and Certified Internal Controls Auditor (CICA). Mr. Martin has over 28 years of professional experience providing accounting, advisory, audit and tax services to a diverse group of business, individual, governmental, and non‐profit clients.
His opponent, Ron Knecht, is a “limited government conservative” who was a member of the “Mean 15” and who has signed onto Grover Norquist’s “Taxpayer Protection Pledge” of no new taxes. He’s a proudly professed NRA member (who also proudly supports “campus concealed carry) and who was elected to the Nevada Assembly once and NOT returned. But, most importantly, where Andrew clearly holds certifications beneficial for the job, Mr. Knecht is a Mechanical Engineer by profession and has managed a few budgets and made a few investments.
Really? That’s the best fiscal and financial expertise the Republican Party has to offer up? Somebody who diligently works side-by-side with Sharron Angle to shut government down?
“Fiscal responsibility, transparency and accountability isn’t just a campaign slogan, it is what I believe in, and they are the principals by which I will operate the Office of the Controller.” — Andrew Martin
As our Nevada State Controller, Andrew Martin has pledged to:
- Strengthen the State’s fiscal oversight and accountability, which will benefit the economic health of Nevada and improve our outlook for the future.
- Assure that our tax dollars are being spent wisely to accomplish tangible results, linking dollars spent to measurable outcomes that are tied to state-wide priorities, such as higher student test scores, lower crime rates, and a healthier population.
- Collect debts owed to the State so that Nevadans who work hard and pay sales, gas, real estate and other taxes don’t have to carry the load for businesses that don’t.
- Make sure the worldwide financial community knows that Nevada is a great place to invest, improving Nevada’s business climate, boosting our economy and stimulating job creation.
Personally, when I’m looking to hire a State Controller, I’m looking for someone who is pledging to do what’s best for Nevada’s citizens, not someone who is beholding to Grover Norquist, someone who doesn’t live in Nevada, and who most likely knows absolutely NOTHING about the needs of Nevadans. I don’t know about you, but I’m planning to pony up to the voting booth during early elections to cast my vote for the best qualified candidate for the job: Andrew Martin!
The Republican nominee in the Texas gubernatorial race should know better than to embrace someone spouting racist and sexist views.
— by Jim Hightower
Ted Nugent, the old rocker from the Seventies, is now just plain old. And off his rocker.
A political novelty act for the far right and a front man for the National Rifle Association, Nugent regularly spews venomous, vulgar, race-laced, abusive hate speech about liberals, Democrats, gun laws, and creeping communism.
In January, for example, he tongue-lashed President Barack Obama. Nugent called our commander in chief a “communist-raised, communist-educated, communist-nurtured subhuman mongrel.”
Naturally, Greg Abbott — the Republican candidate for governor of Texas — promptly invited this scurrilous lout to come for a visit.
Abbott is currently the state attorney general. As a dyed-in-the-wool tea party extremist, he apparently thought it would juice up his far-out GOP flock to have the rabidly nutty Nugent come campaign with him.
Ted came. He embraced the gubernatorial wannabe as his “blood brother.” But the brotherhood gambit backfired.
Even Republican leaders wondered aloud why Abbott would, as one put it, “keep company with a noted misogynist and bigot.” In addition to Nugent’s disgusting “subhuman mongrel” slur, the old rocker has also admitted to being “addicted” to underage girls. But if that’s not out there enough, it’s well known to Vietnam Veterans across this country that Mr. Nugent managed to dodge the draft by physically and publicly crapping in his pants.
The issue, however, isn’t Nugent’s sordid character, but Abbott’s.
Hugging an infamous predator and hate-monger for political gain is both morally repugnant and politically stupid. Yet, Abbott continues to cling to Nugent’s embrace, tersely (and cluelessly) saying: “It’s time to move beyond this.”
A campaign aide even tried to paint Nugent’s endorsement as a positive: “We appreciate the support of everyone who supports protecting our constitution.”
Everyone, including sexual predators and overt racists? How about mass murderers?
Shouldn’t a candidate for governor — even in Texas — draw a sharper moral line?
OtherWords columnist Jim Hightower is a radio commentator, writer, and public speaker. He’s also editor of the populist newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown. OtherWords.org. Photo Credit (Ted Nugent): chascar/Flickr
Senate inaction on guns was inexcusable in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing.
— by Marc Morial
Acts of terror like the ones committed at the Boston Marathon are reprehensible and lack moral or logical explanation. They rock us to our core.
They also unite us in common purpose. Victims and their families seem to become our own loved ones. We want to ease their pain. We want to do something to ensure that this doesn’t happen again. Our togetherness as a nation is often most evident when something happens that’s meant to break us.
Nearly 12 years after the 9/11 attacks, terrorism in our homeland still seems a nearly impossible reality — one that none of us want to accept. Still, communities across America are terrorized each day. But rarely do these victims and their families receive national media attention, or better yet, our collective attention.
Every year, 100,000 people are shot or killed with a gun in America. Every day, these acts of terror are carried out in homes, on playgrounds, schoolyards, neighborhood streets, even in houses of worship — turning spaces that should represent peace and sanctuary into places that elicit danger and fear.
Just two days after the Boston Marathon bombing, the Senate had an opportunity to curb another kind of terror facing our nation by taking modest steps toward keeping guns out of the wrong hands. Yet, it voted down a sensible gun background check bill. Never mind that 90 percent of Americans and 74 percent of National Rifle Association members support universal background checks. It didn’t even matter that a majority of senators (54-46) actually voted in favor of the bill. Because of the Senate’s 60-vote majority rule, along with the distortions and political threats from NRA leaders, the bill went down in defeat.
President Barack Obama called it “a shameful day in Washington.” Former lawmaker and gun violence survivor, Gabrielle Giffords, added, “I will not rest until we have righted the wrong these senators have done, and until we have changed our laws so we can look parents in the face and say: We are trying to keep our children safe.”
We share her determination. Whether in Newtown or scores of other communities across the nation, one point is clear: Guns in the wrong hands can be weapons of mass destruction as deadly as a terrorist’s bomb.
Where, we wonder, is the unified purpose in Congress to work toward firearm safety to address the reign of gun-related terror devastating so many of our neighborhoods?
Let’s be clear: This issue is not about gun confiscation, nor is it an attack on anyone’s rights. We know that this step is not a cure-all for the plague of gun violence in America. But, it is at least a first step towards doing all we can to ensure the safety of our citizens.
The city of Boston and its people deserve all the support and attention they have received in the wake of this horrific tragedy. I just hope that we can elevate our sense of unity, urgency and purpose to do what is right for the countless of Americans whose lives have been ended or forever changed by gun violence. Let’s not forget, in addition to killing with homemade bombs, the Boston terrorists also used guns in killing MIT police officer Sean Collier and seriously wounding Massachusetts Bay transit officer Richard H. Donohue.
As we pray for the dead, the wounded survivors, and their loved ones, we urge the nation to unite against terror — including gun violence — everywhere. We must all heed the words of eight-year-old Martin Richard, the boy who perished in the Boston Marathon bombing: “No more hurting people. Peace.”
Marc Morial is the president and CEO of the National Urban League and the former mayor of New Orleans. www.nul.org Distributed via OtherWords (OtherWords.org)