Governor Wolf Pushes Congress on Gun Safety, Proclaims “March for Our Lives Day” in Pennsylvania

first_imgGovernor Wolf Pushes Congress on Gun Safety, Proclaims “March for Our Lives Day” in Pennsylvania March 23, 2018 National Issues,  Press Release,  Public Safety Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf sent a letter to the Pennsylvania Congressional delegation praising recent gun safety measures in the federal omnibus bill and pushing for further action, including banning military-style weapons like the one used in the Parkland shooting tragedy.The governor also proclaimed Saturday, March 24, “March for Our Lives Day” in Pennsylvania with many local events planned in the commonwealth in support of the Washington D.C. march. March for Our Lives supporters are primarily young people asking their representatives to make their safety a priority and address gun violence in our schools and communities.The governor’s letter echoed the sentiments of march organizers by applauding students throughout the country who participated in the March 14 walkout and “passionately speak out and demand action in response to the terrifying reality of gun violence in our nation.”The letter states, “I write today to thank you for listening to these students and taking important steps to prevent another tragedy like the one in Parkland, but also to urge you to take additional action to ban military style weapons that have been used to commit these heinous crimes.”Gov. Wolf’s letter conveys support for the spending bill’s “several commonsense, bipartisan measures that, while long overdue, are a step in the right direction.” These include the STOP School Violence Act of 2018 and critical tools in the bill to coordinate training for teachers, school officials, and law enforcement.The letter also mentions the Fix NICS (National Instant Check System) Act to help prevent individuals with a history of mental illness or criminal convictions from buying firearms.“Our commonwealth’s background check system – Pennsylvania Instant Check System (PICS) – is one of the top systems in the nation and federal funding played an important role in what makes PICS work so well. Not all states and federal agencies have such an effective system in place and I know firsthand the limited resources governors must work with. Additional federal funding is crucial.”Gov. Wolf expressed his support of the bill’s clarification for the Centers for Disease Control and other agencies to conduct research on the causes of gun violence, something that stopped via the passage of the Dickey Amendment in 1996’s omnibus spending bill. Former Arkansas Representative Jay Dickey, for whom the amendment is named, has said that research would not infringe on the rights of gun owners and can and should continue because “doing nothing is no longer an acceptable solution.”The governor also called for bans on military-style weapons and accessories, such as the AR-15 and bump stocks.“Law enforcement officials throughout the commonwealth support these bans. They know that ending the sale of these weapons will make our communities safer. Had Congress not allowed a ban on these weapons to expire in 2004, the deaths that have occurred in Orlando, Las Vegas, Sandy Hook or Parkland may have never happened. These tragedies are becoming far too common. You must act to prevent another town being added to this list.“I know that these measures will not prevent all tragedies. However, we cannot use that as an excuse to not act to protect our constituents.”The full content of the letter can be read on Scribd and as a PDF here.Read the March for Our Lives Day proclamation on Scribd and as a PDF here.Dear Representative/SenatorEarlier this month, we saw American students throughout the country passionately speak out and demand action in response to the terrifying reality of gun violence in our nation. I write today to thank you for listening to these students and taking important steps to prevent another tragedy like the one in Parkland, but also to urge you to take additional action to ban military style weapons that have been used to commit these heinous crimes.The omnibus spending bill contains several commonsense, bipartisan measures that, while long overdue, are a step in the right direction. The STOP School Violence Act of 2018 provides resources to make our schools safer. Training and coordination between teachers, school officials and law enforcement, and the development of reporting systems for threats of school violence and the funding for states contained in this bill are critical tools we need to protect our children.The Fix NICS Act will help prevent individuals with a history of mental illness or criminal convictions from buying firearms. Our commonwealth’s background check system – Pennsylvania Instant Check System (PICS) – is one of the top systems in the nation and federal funding played an important role in what makes PICS work so well. Not all states and federal agencies have such an effective system in place and I know firsthand the limited resources governors must work with. Additional federal funding is crucial.I am also pleased to see that the bill clarifies that the Centers for Disease Control and other agencies can conduct research on the causes of gun violence. Medical groups such as the American Medical Women’s Association, the American College of Preventive Medicine and the American Academy of Pediatrics have supported this. Even the amendment’s original sponsor, former Representative Jay Dickey, has said that research would not infringe on the rights of gun owners and can and should continue because “doing nothing is no longer an acceptable solution.”As I said, these are steps in the right direction, but they cannot be the only actions taken. It is not the time to say “we’ve done all we can” and wait for the next tragedy to happen. Now is the time to ban military-style weapons like AR-15s and dangerous accessories like bump stocks. Law enforcement officials throughout the commonwealth support these bans. They know that ending the sale of these weapons will make our communities safer. Had Congress not allowed a ban on these weapons to expire in 2004, the deaths that have occurred in Orlando, Las Vegas, Sandy Hook or Parkland may have never happened. These tragedies are becoming far too common. You must act to prevent another town being added to this list.I know that these measures will not prevent all tragedies. However, we cannot use that as an excuse to not act to protect our constituents. Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to this incredibly important dialogue. Please feel free to reach out to my office to continue this conversation.SincerelyTOM WOLFcenter_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

Homosexuals must not be demonized, says Bahamas bishop

first_imgBishop Simeon Hall. Image via:blackchristiannews.comNASSAU, Bahamas — Baptist Bishop Simeon Hall said on Thursday in The Bahamas that homosexuals ought not to be demonized by homophobic clergy, but they, like anyone else, should be invited to the church to, “experience the transforming power of God.”“Over the last three days, three young men contacted me since I made this statement to all those with a sexual orientation to seek help,” said Hall at a Rotary Club of West Nassau luncheon. “One of these men came to my office on Tuesday evening, the other on Wednesday and the other has an appointment.“Their painful and sordid stories were frightening, but my response to them was pastoral.”In a statement on Monday, Hall urged homosexuals to seek help to turn away from their “non-productive and deadly practice”.Hall said on Thursday, “I do not demonize anyone, their sexual preference notwithstanding.“But what I find disturbing is men absent, men unable to take care and provide for their families, men dying and leaving children to fend for themselves and men infecting their partners with HIV/AIDS.“All this negatively contributes to a society already on the edge of disintegration.”Hall claimed that the sexual practice of men who have sex with men (MSMs) is negatively impacting the growth and development of The Bahamas.“If this sexual practice [has led] to an increase of 14 percent of our men contracting HIV/AIDS, then it is clear that this practice, which, by the way, can produce nothing, is now…deadly and is a threat to our national infrastructure.”Hall released his statement on Monday in response to a Nassau Guardian article that revealed that the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in The Bahamas among MSMs is near 14 percent, which is nearly double the eight percent documented in 2008 by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).“All over this nation leaders are crying about the absence of men; the church, the schools [and] young women looking for strong ‘male men’ to marry them,” Hall said on Thursday.“My appeal, therefore, is to the homosexual community to seek help so that they can play their God ordained role in our communities already distressed with crime, social distress and disorder.”By Royston Jones JrNassau Guardian Staff Reporter Share Share Share Tweetcenter_img Sharing is caring! 15 Views   no discussions NewsRegional Homosexuals must not be demonized, says Bahamas bishop by: – November 19, 2011last_img read more