Category Archives: Guns and Gun Violence

‘Truly Evil’ Clarence Thomas Offers Defense of Guns for Domestic Abusers

“The Thomas dissent is only further proof that he is simply a threat to America,” said the father of a mass shooting victim.

By Jessica Corbett. Published 6-21-2024 by Common Dreams

Associate U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Screenshot: Library of Congress

“Thank goodness. Also, Clarence Thomas is truly evil.”

That’s how one progressive pollster responded Friday to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 8-1 ruling in United States v. Rahimi, which upheld a law prohibiting individuals subject to a domestic violence restraining order from possessing a firearm.

Critics across the political spectrum called Thomas’ lone dissent in the case “insane” and blasted the right-wing justice as “fucking awful,” a “corrupt lunatic,” and a “contemptible POS” who “continues to undermine the safety of women and disgrace the court.”

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US Jury Holds Chiquita Liable for Colombian Death Squad’s Murder of Banana Workers

“The verdict does not bring back the husbands and sons who were killed,” said one attorney, “but it sets the record straight and places accountability for funding terrorism where it belongs: at Chiquita’s doorstep.”

By Brett Wilkins. Published 6-11-2024 by Common Dreams

Then-AUC commander Carlos Castaño is seen here with some of his paramilitary fighters. Photo: Carlos Castaño Gil/Facebook

In what case litigants are calling the first time an American jury has held a U.S. corporation legally liable for atrocities abroad, federal jurors in Florida on Monday found that Chiquita Brands International financed a Colombian paramilitary death squad that murdered, tortured, and terrorized workers in a bid to crush labor unrest in the 1990s and 2000s.

The federal jury in West Palm Beach, Florida found the banana giant responsible for funding the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) and awarded eight families whose members were murdered by the right-wing paramilitary group $38.3 million in damages.

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‘Alliance With White Nationalists’: Texas Gov Rebuked for Pardoning Shooter of BLM Protester

“This pardon not only undermines the justice system but also sends a chilling message that politically motivated violence is acceptable,” said Democratic Texas state Rep. Ron Reynolds.

By Olivia Rosane. Published 5-17-2024 by Common Dreams

Garrett Foster and his fiancée. Photo: Anna Mayo

Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a pardon on Thursday for Daniel Perry, who was convicted of fatally shooting Black Lives Matter protester Garrett Foster in 2020.

Abbott’s pardon came less than an hour after the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles recommended it, Austin-based investigative journalist Tony Plohetski noted on social media. In addition to releasing him from prison, the pardon grants Perry “restoration of full civil rights of citizenship,” including the right to own a gun.

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Study Links Abortion Restrictions and Intimate Partner Homicide

“In thinking about pregnancy itself as a risk factor for homicide, it follows that the ability to prevent or end a pregnancy” could have “immediate implications” for the safety of pregnant people, said one researcher.

By Julia Conley. Published 5-8-2024 by Common Dreams

On the day of the 50th anniversary of when Roe v. Wade was argued at the Supreme Court, abortion rights supporters held a candlelight vigil in front of the Court. Photo: Victoria Pickering/flickr/CC

A new study links abortion restrictions to an increased risk that pregnant people will be murdered by their intimate partners—and since researchers examined laws that were in place before the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and cleared the way for statewide abortion bans, the authors warn that the threat may be even greater than the analysis shows.

In the study released Monday, researchers at Tulane University looked at five separate abortion restrictions and compared them to the intimate partner homicide rates reported by the National Violent Death Reporting System at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Poor People’s Campaign Plans June 29 Mass Assembly, March in DC

“This is a crisis moment for our democracy,” said one campaigner. “We need for our political leaders to become moral leaders and take seriously the needs and priorities of the millions of people struggling simply to survive.”

By Jessica Corbett. Published 4-29-2024 by Common Dreams

Rev. William J. Barber II at the Democracy Awakening rally at U.S. Capitol in 2018. Photo: Becker1999/flickr/CC

Leaders of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival on Monday announced plans for the Mass Poor People & Low-Wage Workers’ Assembly & Moral March in Washington, D.C. on June 29, just over four months before the U.S. elections.

The aim of the assembly and march is to “mobilize the one-third of the U.S. electorate who are poor and low-wage infrequent voters” as well as to pressure political leaders to embrace a 17-point agenda during the 2024 election cycle and beyond.

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Tennessee GOP Shuts Down Debate, Passes Bill Allowing Handguns for Teachers

“Instead of protecting kids,” said one Democratic lawmaker, “they’ve protected guns again.”

By Julia Conley. Published 4-24-2024 by Common Dreams

Protesters rally for gun reform at Tennessee state capitol in March 2023 Screenshot: MSNBC

A Democratic leader in the Tennessee House on Tuesday warned that a bill pushed through by Republicans to permit teachers to carry concealed handguns was “nothing but a bad disaster and tragedy waiting to happen,” after the GOP cut off a debate and refused to include amendments that aimed to add safety measures to the legislation.

House Bill 1202 passed in a 68-28 vote, and Republican Gov. Bill Lee, who has never vetoed legislation, is expected to sign it, clearing the way for the state to require school districts to allow teachers to carry firearms without notifying students’ parents.

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Advocates ‘Elated’ as Biden DOJ Closes Gun Show Loophole

“To be clear, that ‘gun show loophole’ has been a death sentence for countless Americans, and that will change with this action,” said one gun violence prevention advocacy leader.

By Julia Conley. Published 4-11-2024 by Common Dreams

Advocates rally in favor of gun control measure. (Photo: Peter Cedric Rock Smith//flickr/cc)

The White House on Thursday honored “the will of the vast majority of the American people,” one Democratic lawmaker said, as President Joe Biden announced a final rule closing a loophole that has left tens of thousands of firearms dealers able to sell guns without running background checks on purchasers.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) will require anyone “engaged in the business” of selling firearms for a profit to register as a federally licensed firearms dealer, which will require them to conduct background criminal and mental health checks on their customers.

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‘Absolutely Absurd’: Tennessee GOP Advances Concealed Guns for Teachers

“We should not be afraid to send our kids to school, but extremist lawmakers are hellbent on expanding the gun lobby’s guns everywhere agenda and putting our kids at risk,” said one state campaigner.

By Jessica Corbett. Published 4-10-2024 by Common Dreams

Moms Demand Action members protest a Tennessee bill to arm teachers on April 9, 2024. (Photo: Moms Demand Action Tennessee/Facebook)

Gun control advocates, including families of mass shooting survivors, condemned Tennessee Senate Republicans for a 26-5 vote along party lines on Tuesday to advance legislation allowing teachers and staff to carry concealed firearms in public schools.

“Since the devastating shooting at the Covenant School in Nashville last year, the [Tennessee] Legislature has had the opportunity to take meaningful action on gun safety,” said Moms Demand Action executive director Angela Ferrell-Zabala. “Instead, they have chosen to ‘debate the safety of their communities’ behind closed doors in a process that has often excluded their constituents and their own colleagues.”

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US Government Sued Over ‘Unethical Destruction’ of Wolf Population

“The Fish and Wildlife Service is thumbing its nose at the Endangered Species Act and letting wolf-hating states sabotage decades of recovery efforts,” said one conservation leader.

By Jessica Corbett Published 4-8-2024 by Common Dreams

Gray wolf. Photo: USFWS Midwest Region/flickr

A pair of conservation coalitions on Monday made good on their threats to sue the U.S. government over its denial of federal protections for gray wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains, where state killing regimes “put wolves at obvious risk of extinction in the foreseeable future.”

The organizations filed notices of their plans for the lawsuits in early February, after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) determined that Endangered Species Act protections for the region’s wolves were “not warranted.” The Interior Department agency could have prevented the suits in the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana by reversing its decision within 60 days but refused to do so.

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Mexico is suing US gun-makers for arming its gangs − and a US court could award billions in damages

By Timothy D. Lytton. Published 2-16-2024 by The Conversation

Photo: Mexperience

The government of Mexico is suing U.S. gun-makers for their role in facilitating cross-border gun trafficking that has supercharged violent crime in Mexico.

The lawsuit seeks US$10 billion in damages and a court order to force the companies named in the lawsuit – including Smith & Wesson, Colt, Glock, Beretta and Ruger – to change the way they do business. In January, a federal appeals court in Boston decided that the industry’s immunity shield, which so far has protected gun-makers from civil liability, does not apply to Mexico’s lawsuit.

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