Tag Archives: gun safety

Profile in Courage: Rep. Randy Friese Stands Up for Gun Safety

Only one Arizona legislator had the courage to stand up against gun violence: Rep. Randy Friese, a Democrat from Tucson. Watch the 4-minute YouTube video or read the transcript below as he calls for his colleagues to act, just days after the Parkland, FL, mass murders.

Friese had introduced HB2023 to ban bump stocks, but he could not get it heard in the Judiciary and Public Safety Committee where it was assigned. He used procedural motion to bring the measure directly to the House floor for a vote. But Rep. John Allen, a Republican from Scottdale, used a second motion to stop it from being debated.

Every Republican member of the Arizona House voted against gun safety, refusing even to hear the bill against bump stocks.

The GOP legislators are intentionally out of touch with the electorate:

  • 72% of registered voters support a ban on bump stocks.
  • 88% of Americans support universal background checks.
  • 81% think that a person should be at least 21 to buy a gun.
  • 70% endorse a ban on high-capacity magazines.
  • 68% support a ban on assault weapons.

Rep. Friese’s speech on the Arizona House floor is truly a profile in courage.


We are facing an epidemic of gun violence. And this violence is everywhere, unfortunately, it’s in our schools. It’s touching the lives of children. We must act. The country is waiting for us to act. The time is now. We have an obligation to take action, we have a mandate to take action, we have the authority to take action. If we don’t recognize our authority to take action, we are failing. We are failing our country, we are failing our children, we are failing our students.

There are students in Florida today, since the last mass killings in schools, that have shown more leadership and courage than legislators across the country, than people who represent us in DC. I congratulate those young people. I ask us to be responsible to them and what they are asking us to do.

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Guns in America community forum at the Loft Cinema

Guns in America: Where Do We Go From Here community forum

at Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. on Monday Feb. 26, 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

“In the aftermath of yet another school shooting – this one taking 17 lives – please join Ward 6 Tucson City Council member Steve Kozachik for what is sadly a timely, and yet necessary renewed conversation about gun control in America. Kozachik, along with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense have invited U.K. photojournalist Jamie Hunter to come and share his thoughts. Hunter visited multiple locations around the U.S. documenting all sides of the gun control issue. His presentation is titled “Guns in America – where do you go from here?” Following Hunter’s photo presentation we will open the forum for questions and comments from the audience. The event is free and open to all.”

https://loftcinema.org/film/guns-in-america-where-do-you-go-from-here/

“Organizer of Guns in America: Where Do You Go From Here: Local gun violence prevention groups. Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, GVPAZ (Gun Violence Prevention Arizona) , & GGW.”

Trump’s damn fool idea to arm teachers is no solution

On Wednesday, President Trump hosted a listening session with school shooting survivors and families of victims at the White House. Rather than announce his support for legislative solutions already pending before Congress for quick action, the answer to unprecedented gun violence in our schools that he has settled upon is, you guessed it, the NRA’s position – even more guns in our schools!— let’s arm 20 percent of our teachers and make them part-time police officers authorized to use deadly force, an extra job that no one has suggested they be paid for!

Today, Trump doubled down on arming some teachers, defends NRA:

President Trump on Thursday doubled down on his idea of arming some teachers as a deterrent for school shootings and praised the top leadership of the National Rifle Association as “Great American Patriots.”

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This is a damn fool idea. The best explanation I have seen, so far, as to why this is so obviously a damn fool idea is from Lawrence O’Donnell in this segment of his The Last Word program on Wednesday evening. Lawrence: Why arming teachers is a fantasy war game (you may have to click on the video’s sound bar to get audio). UPDATE: Trump vowed during the 2016 campaign to end “gun free zones” at schools.

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I cannot explain it any more clearly and succinctly than Lawrence O’Donnell does. Why can’t we have this kind of sound, informed, reasoned and rational analysis from our elected leaders? Instead of ridiculous bumper sticker slogans like “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun“? Because they are beholden to special interests like the gun lobby for their campaign financing.

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Gov. Ducey and GOP legislature fail to protect our children with reasonable gun safety regulation (Updated)

First, a preface.

The NRA’s largest 2016 outlay was the $30.3 million it spent in support of Donald Trump. “[T]he NRA’s investment, which was more than any other outside group, paid for a slew of ads that directly targeted the same voters who propelled Trump to victory.”

Now the FBI is investigating whether a top Russian banker with ties to the Kremlin illegally funneled money to the National Rifle Association to help Donald Trump win the presidency. FBI investigating whether Russian money went to NRA to help Trump:

FBI counterintelligence investigators have focused on the activities of Alexander Torshin, the deputy governor of Russia’s central bank who is known for his close relationships with both Russian President Vladimir Putin and the NRA, the sources said.

It is illegal to use foreign money to influence federal elections.

It’s unclear how long the Torshin inquiry has been ongoing, but the news comes as Justice Department Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s sweeping investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election, including whether the Kremlin colluded with Trump’s campaign, has been heating up.

Disclosure of the Torshin investigation signals a new dimension in the 18-month-old FBI probe of Russia’s interference.

* * *

Investigators for three congressional committees probing Russia’s 2016 operations also have shown interest in Torshin, a lifetime NRA member who has attended several of its annual conventions. At the group’s meeting in Kentucky in May 2016, Torshin spoke to Donald Trump Jr. during a gala event at the group’s national gathering in Kentucky in May 2016, when his father won an earlier-than-usual NRA presidential endorsement.

So there’s this aside.

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Weird GOP Legislator Blocks Bill to Prohibit “Bump Stocks” on Guns

AZ State Rep. Eddie Farnsworth is stonewalling gun safety legislation.

AZ State Rep. Eddie Farnsworth is stonewalling gun safety legislation. He is some kind of weird gun worshipper.

A gunman in Las Vegas opened fire on the crowd at a music festival last Oct 1. murdering 58 people and injuring 851 more. During the horrific crime, the shooter fired more than 1,100 rounds from his hotel room using a “bump fire” stock to turn a rifle into an automatic weapon.

Today, a GOP legislator in the Arizona state house is blocking a bill that would outlaw bump stock devices and trigger cranks, defying popular support for this common-sense gun safety measure.

Republican state Rep. Eddie Farnsworth, who is the Chair of the state Judiciary and Public Safety Committee said that the bill will NOT get a hearing, because he thinks it’s a waste of time and personally doesn’t support it.

However, the general public is interested in having this bill heard, according to the organization Gun Violence Prevention Arizona.

The bill, HB 2023, was introduced in January by state Democratic Rep. Randy Friese and Rep. Daniel Hernandez, both of Tucson. Friese, who is a trauma surgeon, saved the life of then-Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head at a supermarket parking lot in 2011. Hernandez, who was an intern in her office at the time, held his hand over Giffords’ wound to slow the bleeding.

Voters in Arizona can contact Farnsworth to demand a hearing on the bill, by: Continue reading

Fathers’ Day Reflections: My Dad– Working Man & Gun Owner (video)

James L. Powers, Sr.

Daddy was a cowboy at heart.

Today is Fathers’ Day. It’s been almost 20 years since my Dad, James L. Powers, Sr., passed away… far too young.

Many of you have heard my speeches about my Dad’s unwavering support for the United Steelworkers. He was a long-time member and an officer in his local in Lorain County. That is… until the last strike when Thew Shovel closed the plant in Ohio and moved to the south for cheaper, non-union labor. As a vice president, grievance man and a contract negotiator, Dad was a strong fighter for working men and women, and he argued politics and unions with everyone, particularly his father (my grandpa).

Dad, the Working Man

Dad was one of those boisterous, in-your-face union guys that you see in the movies. He was a third-generation electrician, a Navy vet, an NRA member, an avid outdoorsman, a hunter, a John Wayne aficionado, a great dancer, a quirky style icon, a ham radio nut, and a Republican, until Nixon broke his heart and he changed his registration to Democrat after Watergate. He drank to much, fought in bars, won and lost rings and watches playing craps, and carried a switchblade and sometimes brass knuckles. (Truth be told: he may have won those two prizes shooting dice. Jimmy and I were always fascinated to see his winnings in the morning.)

Thew Shovel was in South Lorain, a grungy, hard-scrabble place with economic immigrants from all over the US and the world.

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