245 Comments

Absolutely agree. I woke up thinking about the right to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness and read this post: “There are a lot more than 21 victims in Uvalde. The media seems to gloss over the fact that fifteen victims were hospitalized, as if the fact that they survived is some kind of exhale, a happy ending.

My brother survived and has lived with a bullet in his brain since he was shot at seven years old. He can’t hold a job, can’t leave the house, suffers from severe PTSD and traumatic brain injury.

My best friend Dani survived and lives with PTSD and a body full of shrapnel from being shot five times at close range with hollow point bullets.

I have two friends who survived Columbine and now are confined to wheelchairs for the rest of their lives, dealing with the many medical complications that come from living with paralysis. They are also plagued by pyscho Columbine killer fans who stalk them, and gun nuts who accuse them of being crisis actors.

Pat, a boy I dated in high school, was an EMT who airlifted kids out of Columbine. The trauma from that day destroyed him. He suffered terrible PTSD and lost his career. He was in a tailspin for years.

We often hear about the 45,000 Americans killed by guns every year, but rarely do we hear about the more than 100,000 gunshot victims who survive, and the family members whose lives are shattered.

We don’t hear about the grueling trials, medical bills, the lifelong physical and emotional complications, the inability to work.

We don’t hear about those who survive the loss of a loved one; the grieving parents, widows, and children left behind.

The media rarely reports on the trauma experienced by the witnesses, the EMTs, the police, the people who clean up the blood and the mess.

We don’t hear about the marriages that crumble in the aftermath, the parents who die of heart attack or cancer, or suicide, after the loss of a child.

We don’t hear about the mothers who give up their own lives and lose their careers so they can care for an incapacitated child, or the community members whose sense of safety and justice has been forever shattered.

The victims of Uvalde are countless. Think of the children and teachers who witnessed the deaths, the ones who attended the dying, who attempted and failed to save lives. Most, if not all of them, will live with PTSD, nightmares, and depression. Most of them will likely never feel safe in school or at any public event again. It will affect their work lives, their relationships, the way they raise their children.

Gun violence is a monster with vile tentacles that reach far and wide. It is a public health crisis of epic proportion to which our nation’s GOP legislators have turned a blind eye, while offering nothing but hollow “thoughts and prayers.”

So what can you do? I am begging you to VOTE in every election. Every single one.

To SPEAK UP against this sick gun culture, even when it’s uncomfortable.

To hound your Senators to pass sensible gun reform.

Put this number for Congress in your cell phone (202) 224-3121. Use it often. You will be able to reach your two Senators and your member of Congress.

Tell them to pass Universal Background Checks. To ban assault weapons (we did it before, we can do it again). To pass Ethan’s Law (Safe Storage).

And lastly, do not give up hope. We fought the tobacco lobby and eventually overcame. We fought the religious lobby and eventually passed marriage equality. '

We can topple the gun lobby, but it will take all of us. We can’t afford for anyone to sit on the sidelines.

At the scene of every mass shooting, witnesses say, “I never thought it could happen here.”

Sharing this from a post from a friend on Facebook.

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author

Thank you for this, Catherine.

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Thank you. This is central. Let’s force the banks to choose NOW.

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founding

I am so sorry for all your friends and family who have been so horribly affected. But I have been thinking along the same lines. Can the enablers of these terrible crimes, including gun manufacturers, the banks that support them, legislators, etc., not be sued into the ground for denying these people their rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? I know it’s hard to prove but there are plenty of smart lawyers. Surely they can come up with a winning strategy. A class action suit sounds like an excellent idea to me.

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Unfortunately, they have deep pockets and can absorb all the lawsuits!

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There’s a limit, though. Lawsuits can actually win, no matter what!

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If it's a big enough dent in their dough, it may get their attention!

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Thank you and I am posting this on Facebook. But there is something the Federal Legislature could do and, maybe, pass the GOP gauntlet. Why could we not impose a tax on the excess profits of gun manufacturers to pay for the health (including mental health) of those injured by mass murderers. And also defray the costs of families left to cope with this senseless carnage.

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founding

And how about requiring anyone who owns a gun to carry liability insurance?

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I absolutely agree with that too, even though I despise the greedy insurance corporations, this could be a good outcome.

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founding

I’m wondering how many insurance companies would participate though.

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For enough money they will insure anything, It's the payouts they balk.

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Fay Reid ; Since there are mass shootings more and more frequently, the cost to insure weapons would be prohibitive ; Hence : Exhibit A for justification for banning assault weapons.

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We all need car insurance with medical liability coverage for harm done by accidents, don't we?

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Very well stated Catherine. So sorry about your brother. You hit the nail on the head. The nicotine industry kills people because of the CHOICES people make. HOWEVER, when we "educate" others we can make our voices heard. You are correct. We can NOT topple the gun industry but we can make change happen. The president has the house and senate right now. If the USA can't make change happen on gun laws in the next 6 months then we deserve more massacres to watch as our children and good citizens die. Thank you for caring. Sending you hugs.

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The tobacco industry with the avid support of the trumpsters both in and out of Congress are supporting bills to undo all the good we have accomplished.

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This may be the single best exposition on why significant gun reform is necessary. Thank you for sharing these thoughts.

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So true. Cars do the same. Drive slow, follow the rules, don't drink and drive.

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founding

@Steve E Law. First, can't find a person by that name? Drawing an equivalency between accidents and willful malevolent murders is just wrong, regardless of the statistics.

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Yes, The car comparison seems unrelated here.

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WTF???

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It’s obvious you are not a liberal! That’s ok but why are you on this forum? Is it because you want to counter liberal arguments? I don’t think you successfully did that.

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deletedJun 2, 2022·edited Jun 3, 2022
Comment deleted
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The statement is so important, and obviously sincere, that I don’t really think it matters where it came from.

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Even if it's made up, it speaks to an outcome of shootings nobody ever thinks about.

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I think it would be great if California can be the front runner in pushing back against the selfish and evil intent behind the laws like those made in Texas that say our children and others do not deserve protection. The very least Texas could do is compromise and support firearms legislation that removes high powered weapons of war from the market as long as just anyone can get these killing machines. They should be reserved for military or regulated use.

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founding

Despite our fires, floods, droughts, and earthquakes, we Californians have some pretty cool stuff to offer. 😀

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Jun 2, 2022·edited Jun 2, 2022

Paula B. ; Hahaha! It must be worth the high cost. At least they care about the quality of food, air and water, and are not afraid to tell people that they should stop using gas powered lawn mowers and leaf blowers!

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founding

Well, that’s debatable at times. But don’t believe the hype about leaf blowers. We still have them.

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I heard they are transitioning to electric battery operated ones. Or maybe some are pushing for that. I hate when I'm trying to nap and the peace is shattered by mowers and those horrid leaf blowers.

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founding

Totally agree. I don’t know. I’m not sure that’s happening in Ventura County. We’re run by Republicans.

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tough slog that.

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Our neighbor here in MA has an electric lawn mower, and even though it is not self propelled like her older gas mower, she likes it. It is quiet, and she can manage it though she is 71 years old. So there is hope for me, as I am pretty much the same age.

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I love mine. Easy to operate and maintain.

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Anne ; Thanks for the info.

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My husband was born in Pasadena and raised in Salinas. The only reason he is not there is the cost of living. He is a true Scotsman and hates to spend money. Somebody in this family has to look at those things!

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founding

I completely understand. It is ridiculously expensive to live here, which wasn’t always the case. We bought our house in 2013–it’s doubled in value since then! Tiny nothings go for $1.3 million or more, depending on location. But that’s just in the last year or so. It was bad before that but now it’s insane. I’m wondering if there will be s foreclosure boom soon because who can afford that? With property taxes at 1.25% the taxes alone are impossible.

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Paula B. ; In the last 2 years, more than a dozen new homes have been built on our street. Ours is 40 years old and some are older. There is a 57 year old modest ranch that just went on the market for triple what it was recently worth, just a few houses down. The new ones are a few hundred thousand. Nearby, over half a million to a few million. This was a town where college kids would rent, along with working class buyers; (teachers, police officers, trades people). My daughter and son in law said they could not afford to live here even if we gave them the house. Other seniors in the area are concerned about being forced out by higher taxes. Our home doubled in value since 2012, when we bought it. Two new schools built ; new high school in 2016 and an elementary through 8th grade just now. Tax rate is definitely up.

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founding

That’s crazy. So obviously it’s not just from the pandemic. Is this all from a lack of building or is something else going on? I honestly think low interest rates have a lot to do with it. I know Robert disagrees but I think he’s wrong.

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Paula B. ; Another pressure was the supply chain thing and 'inflation' ; I have builders coming into my business and saying they were going to build a house then decided not to , b/c of the high cost of lumber among other things, Cheaper and quicker to rehab or flip an existing one. I am certainly not an expert on these things though.

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Paula B. ; I have read that there is a 'housing shortage' in this whole country. I have also read about Wall Street investment concerns going after homes to control the housing market by 'rent to own' schemes and buying modest properties and doing 'infill' ; increasing the density of living spaces within the former house lot size. This has happened in a nearby town where the locals are all fired up. Suddenly, it looks like Rio or something with crowded streets that were formerly comfortably spaced lots with trees and swings on the porch. This may have started in the pandemic, when so many could not keep up, even with Cares Act money and other interventions. The wolves at the door knew that the subsidies would end and had their plan of 'attack.' I know the locals are doing what they can to change some of the rules to prevent any more damage. Don't know the details, I just read the paper about local things.

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Sounds good. How do we get California to do this? Are there people in the legislature willing to introduce legislation? Have you contacted your representatives?

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author

Yes, and I'm trying to light this fire. Others of you from California (or New York -- another state with huge bonding authority which also has strong gun controls) should do the same.

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Yes and with this year being an election year we might stand a chance of being heard. I have a lackadaisical Assemblyman and a Republican State Senator, but I can, and will write to Gavin Newsom, he at least is intelligent. Thanks.

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Jun 2, 2022·edited Jun 2, 2022

It's time to boycott the guilty banks no matter what Texas wants, or any other selfish greedhead state legislators want to do to have their ill gotten gains.

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How to boycott the state of Texas.

On Twitter, #BoycottTexas hashtag lists many national and regional businesses that call Texas home. Some of the biggest include 7-11, American Airlines, Dell Technologies, Dr. Pepper, Exxon-Mobil, Frito Lay, Michaels Stores, Phillips 66, Pizza Hut, Southwest Airlines, Sysco, USAA, Valero, Whole Foods Market, and countless others.

This was in response to the Texas abortion laws.

https://spectrumlocalnews.com/tx/south-texas-el-paso/politics/2021/09/02/-boycotttexas-movement-rises-in-objection-to-state-s-new-abortion-law

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I agree with the previous responses in thanking you. I have been avoiding purchases coming out of Texas (as well as other Red states) for some time now. But a good list of specific companies is a new addition to that process.

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Whole Foods is owned by Amazon. Are they now headquartered in Texas?

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Yes, thanks for this Daniel, interesting link to that news. I do know that the company Salesforce did offer their employees in Texas a company supported move out of the state for anyone who wanted to leave and work elsewhere for Salesforce. Regarding Georgia's repressive voting laws, I particularly noted that ONLY MLB took a stand against the state and pulled out, no other company did. That was a huge disappointment as it indicated corporations are rethinking corporate responsibility.

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founding

I think some film production companies have pulled their shoots from Georgia for just that reason.

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Wow, thanks for that Paula. I'm not aware but that wouldn't surprise me particularly. Good for them!

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Daniel Solomon ; Thank you for the info.

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Thanks Daniel Solomon, an excellent start!

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Social responsibility? How can anyone receive millions in annual benefits and claim to be socially responsible? Foundations are required to give 5 % +- to nonprofits each year. What cash grants are banks required to give?

Yes, California should join with other states to find as many ways as possible to squeeze the gun industry.

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Go for California. I live in Texas and the only way to get to a Texan is to play their own game.

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founding

And vote for Beto.

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I like your idea very much:

"But secondly, no firm should be penalized by pro-gun states like Texas for trying to be socially responsible. How to counter Texas’s law? Lawmakers in progressive states like California (whose bond market is even larger than Texas’s) should immediately enact legislation that bars the state from dealing with any firm that finances the gun industry. "

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Well, it certainly shows what is truly important to Texas and it isn't the lives of its citizens.

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founding

And so much for Republicans complaining about government picking winners and losers. What hypocrites.

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Besides your JPMorgan example, there are also many large corporations that have made public pledges to support efforts to achieve racial justice, and do so, but also contribute to politicians who espouse the great replacement conspiracy theory. It seems that many (most?) large corporations can’t make themselves adhere to principle if it might cost them some money.

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Isn’t this law a form of corporate regulation? Play our way or don’t play at all? I thought the GOP was all about deregulation and small government.

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The GOP is about WEALTH and greed.

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founding

Exactly my thoughts.

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I can’t find L. Boyce’s comment.

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Okay, I finally found it. Sorry.

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Vote out the elected influenced/bribed by the arms industry-gunmakers-NRA lobbyists to pass such legislation. This requires we find a way to expose such deals to those of us who care about sending our loved ones to places which are just about everywhere a mass killing or any gun killing can occur-schools, shopping centers, mass transit etc. You get the point.

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Thank you for posting this tremendously important statement. Yes, the banks must be forced to choose.

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This highlights how difficult it will be to change the gun culture in this country. California's laws should be the precedent, however.

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Thank you for alerting us to what the GOP in Texas as enacted so as to coerce banks to support the gun industry. It's hard to see these things clearly since they are written about in obfuscating language.

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Jun 2, 2022·edited Jun 2, 2022

There are more of us than just bond holders in the country. We need to sever our ties with JPMorgan-Chase (as I have) and even Texas as much as possible. We need to practice the Amish skill of shunning for all those who revere guns over human beings except for their use as targets.

Or, for those who just feel we cannot escape this tar pit, we need to mass produce T-shirts for our children with targets on their backs.

It takes about 10 solid years to make a 35 year-old experienced trauma surgeon. It takes an 18 year old about an hour with an AR-15 to fill up his or her dance card for a full month.

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Robert raises an interesting example. There have been other attempts (some successful, some not) to deploy government and pension investments for political/policy purposes. The coal industry in WV and oil in TX are at play on this too. It will take large states like CA and NY to battle on this.

Seems like capitalism faces a lot of foes, or should that be flaws? Meanwhile, unbridled profiteering finds another means of digging out the dollars.

Meanwhile, if we want to see change, we have to fight for a Democrat Congress in 2022, fight for Democrat voices at Statehouses (even in Texas), and be prepared for virtually anything in 2024.

Having had an inspiring/motivating evening with my grandchildren, I’m “Fired Up, Reday To Go!” I’m attending a fundraiser tonight.

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Good for you! Be inspired.--Gov. Abbott is so cruel and pro-gun he should lose his re-election bid.

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founding

It seems we are riddled with corruption, money & profits at it's roots. Whatever happened to a modest profit? indeed, to a modest way of life? Quietude offers so much more than ill-gotten glitter. Thank you, Robert, for all your research & teaching.

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