For many years I have been paying attention to the rates of gun violence, including murders. The murder rate had been declining for several years, but just in the past few years MANY MORE murders have been occurring. The highly publicized MASS MURDERS are only the tip of the iceberg of gun violence.
Overwhelming majorities of voters DEMAND Congress pass strong laws, but too many members of Congress are refusing to do that — either because they support the gun lobby for ideological reasons, and/or because gun manufacturers and pro-gun groups are funding their election campaigns. Republicans are MUCH more likely to be subservient to the gun lobby, while Democrats are MUCH more likely to want to pass laws to reduce violence.
And no, unlike the racist fear-mongering promoted by Trump and his supporters, the violence is NOT being caused by immigrants or refugees. The gun violence is overwhelmingly caused by white Americans who were born here. Some of them have left documentation supporting Trumpist or racist beliefs.
On September 28, 2021, the non-profit organization Guns Down America (www.gunsdownamerica.org) reported this and urged us to call upon President Biden to take strong action:
The pandemic, panic-purchasing of firearms, and social unrest have taken a terrible toll. In 2020, our nation’s murder rate saw the largest spike since national record-keeping began in 1960. According to the FBI, the United States experienced 21,500 homicides last year, raising the murder rate by an astonishing 29 percent. Tragically, 19,436 Americans died in gun related homicides.
We know that gun purchases also increased in 2020, as an estimated 6.5 percent of adults bought firearms during the pandemic. And while last year’s increase in homicides is likely the result of various factors, including the social and economic disruptions of Covid-19, research has repeatedly found that higher rates of gun ownership are associated with more gun violence and deaths.
President Biden has the ability, and the responsibility, to use all the tools at his disposal to end the gun violence epidemic in our country. Send President Biden a letter right now telling him he MUST make gun violence prevention a top priority for his administration. Our lives depend on it.
On Monday September 27, 2021, a different non-profit organization, Newtown Action Alliance (www.newtownaction.org), reported this and asked us to urge Congress to take strong action:
Last Thursday, one person was killed and 15 others were injured in a Kroger grocery store in Colliervile, Tennessee during the 515th mass shooting incident in America since January 1st. This shooting was the 10th mass shooting incident in Tennessee this year. Sadly, mass shootings in America increased during the coronavirus pandemic, and even doubled in July 2020 compared to a year earlier.
… We will continue to urge Congress to pass the Denver Accord, a set of comprehensive gun laws to end all forms of gun violence in our nation. The House should have passed more lifesaving bills by now and the Senate should support the $5 billion investment for community violence intervention programs in the Build Back Better Act. AND the Senate Democrats must #EndTheFilibuster to pass universal background checks, assault weapons ban, safe firearm storage, and other crucial gun safety bills that the majority of Americans support—including Republicans and gun owners
On Friday September 24, 2021, Guns Down America (see first item above) reported this and called for action. (Kroger is the parent company of the Fred Meyer retail chain.)
Yesterday, a man armed with a firearm walked into a Kroger grocery store in Collierville, Tennessee. He killed one person and injured 12 others before turning the gun on himself. The incident marked the 517th mass shooting in the first 267 days of 2021.
And while investigators are still working to determine a motive, one thing is clear: American businesses are directly impacted by our nation’s lax gun laws. Kroger itself has suffered at least 125 instances of gun violence in or near its stores since 2014 and it must play its part in keeping its customers and employees safe from gun violence.
In 2019, after we pushed Walmart to step back from gun sales and ask customers not to bring firearms into their stores, Kroger followed suit. They too announced a prohibition against open carry of firearms. But the company continued to make political donations to Senators who stand in the way of gun reform.
According to our analysis of data from OpenSecrets, Kroger’s PAC donated to at least 26 Senate Republicans since 2016, giving to such lawmakers as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), both of whom are working to expand access to incredibly deadly weapons.
That’s why we need your help in asking Kroger to reconsider its political giving in the years ahead and end donations to lawmakers who put their own employees and customers at risk. Will you send a message to Kroger’s CEO, CFO, COO, and General Counsel right now?
On July 26, 2021, Newtown Action Alliance (see above) sent this information:
According to Everytown for Gun Safety’s study, firearms are now the leading cause of death for children and teens in America. Since January 1st, 889 children & teens have been killed and 2,347 have been injured by guns.
3,233 Motor vehicle
Over four months ago, the House of Representatives passed HR8 to require background checks on all gun sales. The U.S. Senate has NOT YET voted on this basic foundational lifesaving bill that is supported by over 90% of Americans OR confirmed President Biden’s nominee David Chapman for ATF Director.