Tag Archives: gun violence

Ducey & #AZLeg Debate Gun Violence Prevention Ideas

Arizona House Democrats

Arizona House Democrats call the Governor’s gun safety plan a “missed opportunity” at meaningful reform to curb gun violence and the loss of innocent lives.

Since the Parkland High School massacre a few weeks ago, students across the country have been demanding that elected officials do their jobs and protect them against gun violence in schools and other public places.

Last week, 75 students visited the Arizona Legislature and the Governor’s Tower to ask for legislation on universal background checks, banning bump stocks, and more counselors (not more guns) in schools.

Yesterday, Governor Doug Ducey revealed his plan to tackle gun violence in Arizona. It nips around the edges of what students and others have been demanding on social media, in our Legislative email inboxes, and in the streets, but it falls short of meaningful reform. For example, Ducey’s plan does include a small amount of money for more school counselors. Currently, Arizona has a ratio of approximately 1:920 counselors to students. The national recommendation is 1:250. Ducey’s bill would add ~120 new counselors– far less than needed. As with the opioid bill, Ducey met with a small group of Republican and Democratic Legislators to compile this plan, but this time, Ducey didn’t include any of the Democrats’ ideas.  (Read the mainstream media’s take on  Ducey’s plan here or read the Blue Meanie’s take here.)

What else could be done in Arizona? Below the fold, you’ll find a list of Democratic bills that never got a hearing.

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Republicans Recess as Students & #AZHouse Dems Stand in Silence for Gun Violence Victims

Rep. Isela Blanc welcomes the March for Our Lives students to the Arizona House.

More than 75 students took a day out of their spring vacation to visit the Arizona Legislature today, March 14, 2018, to advocate for safe schools and safe public places.

The students met with lawmakers in the morning and attended the Arizona House Floor Session in the afternoon. During the always-entertaining points of personal privilege, 24 Democrats stood up, introduced three or four of the students, read a short message to lawmakers from one of the students, and repeated their three demands: universal background checks on all gun sales, banning bump stocks, and more counselors not guns in schools.

After 24 introductions, 24 personal student messages to lawmakers and 24 re-statements of their three common and popular demands, Rep. Kirsten Engel (Dem #25) stood up and read a statement about today being the one-month anniversary of the Stoneman-Douglas High School Shooting and slowly read the name and age of each victim. At the end, she asked for 17 minutes of silence, one for each victim.

Speaker Mesnard said that there had been other tragedies, and every tragedy gets only one moment of silence. After a longish moment, Mesnard started the floor session, but the Democrats were still standing. When he realized that we weren’t going to sit, he recessed to allow the gallery to clear. The students all stood up and shouted “Never again!” several times. At the end, one young man shouted that lawmakers should do their jobs and protect them (paraphrasing). Why do Republicans shy away from common sense gun safety laws when they profess to be “pro-life”?

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Governor Ducey should work with Rep. Randy Friese on ‘risk warrants’

During a radio interview Monday evening, Governor Doug Ducey said he will ask lawmakers to adopt a law that would allow courts to take guns away from people who are violent or mentally ill. With backing of Governor Ducey, Arizona could be on verge of stricter gun laws:

Citing the massacre in Florida and other recent mass shootings, Ducey said parents and police need a tool so they can ask a judge to intervene in cases where a person has shown signs that they are a danger to others.

“If we can prevent it and use the power of the office and the law… that’s what we’re going to do and I intend to do it,” Ducey said during the interview on KTAR (92.3 FM). “I think we need to act in those situations.”

The interview came after governor held nine meetings last week about the issue. He met with lawmakers, educators, prosecutors, students and other groups to hear their ideas about how to improve school safety after the shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 people.

Legislation Ducey described Monday could be part of a compromise proposal.

Well, governor, do your research. You do not have to reinvent the wheel because there already is model legislation from other states that addresses this issue.

In 1999, Connecticut became the first state to pass a law that allows police to preemptively remove firearms from persons deemed at risk of causing serious injury to others or self. The statute, C.G.S. § 29-38c, authorizes time-limited gun removal (for up to one year) under a civil court “risk warrant” process based on probable cause, even if the person of concern has no record of a gun-disqualifying mental health or criminal adjudication.

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Democratic Candidates for LD10 House Shine in Drive to Oust Clodfelter

 LD10 Democratic candidates.jpg

Left to right, candidates Kirsten Engel, Domingo DeGrazia, Nikki Lee and Catherine Ripley

Democrats have four impressive candidates for the Arizona House in Legislative District 10 in eastern Tucson, united in their effort to oust Republican incumbent, Todd “Confederate” Clodfelter.

  • UofA Law Professor Kirsten H. Engel is running for a second term in the AZ House, after serving on the Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee, and Judiciary and Public Safety committee.
  • Newcomer Domingo DeGrazia, son of famous Tucson artist Ted DeGrazia, is a licensed pilot and a trial attorney in juvenile court. “I have a constant drive to better myself, creativity and tenacity to see a fight through to the end,” he says.
  • Catherine Ripley is a retired 26-year Navy officer and current political science teacher at Pima College (and earlier at Harvard, Boston University, and M.I.T.). In her first run for office, she says, “I’m a former diplomat, Mom, and business executive. I’ve seen famine and war. I’m here to bring my skills and experiences, and have the tools to hand Todd Clodfelter a defeat he’ll never forget.”
  • Running as a Clean Elections Candidate, newcomer Nikki Lee has a young campaign team of Millennials, including herself at age 36. “We have so much excitement on our campaign, doing innovating things, understanding the life of young people.”  She has  launched the “A to Z podcast” for young people.

LD10 has two AZ House members and one Senator, David Bradley, who was on hand and running without opposition. Clodfelter is notorious for his Confederate Flag screen saver, which he claimed wasn’t racist. His signature legislation throws a meager $150 tax credit at teachers to cover school supplies rather than help them in any meaningful way.

If you could pass one bill…

Asked if they could pass only one bill in the Republican-majority House, the candidates said it would be to:

Engel: End the hundreds of corporate sales tax loopholes and use the money to fund public schools.

DeGrazia: Stop gun violence.

Lee: Help veterans recover from PTSD and brain injuries.

Ripley: Enact common-sense gun policy, including a ban on bump stocks.

If you could reverse one law…

Asked what law or bill they would want to stop, the candidates said:
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Marijuana to Bump Stocks to Tax Giveaways: How Did your #AZHouse Rep Vote?

Arizona House Democrats

There have been many lively debates in the Arizona House in 2018. This team of House Democrats fought for consumer protections and fought against risky financial deals in a “regulatory sandbox.” (Pictured are Reps. Mitzi Epstein, Kelli Butler, Athena Salman, Pamela Powers Hannley, Ken Clark and Isela Blanc.)

In the middle of each Legislative Session, there is a frenetic time period called “crossover week”. It is characterized by a flurry of debates and votes in a compressed timeframe. The purpose is to pass on as many wacky bills as possible in each chamber of the Legislature before successful bills are passed to the other chamber. (Hence, the name “crossover week”).

In the last two weeks, the Arizona House has voted on more than 100 bills. I think the House is up to ~250 bills that we have sent to the Senate. Of course, this list includes the good, the bad and the ugly. Below the fold are a few of the recent votes on gun violence, tax giveaways, mandatory sentencing, and drugs. All of these bills are still alive and have been sent to the Arizona Senate. If you don’t like these bills, tell your Senators and Representatives. (On the voting below, green = yes, red = no, purple = excused absence, yellow = absent.)

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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.”