100 mayors and 83 police departments and law enforcement organizations from all across New York are calling on the State Senate to pass new handgun microstamping legislation that would help police officers track down violent criminals.
It’s a powerful effort, but it can’t succeed without your help. That’s why we’re launching www.StampOutGunCrime.org to rally support and encourage the NY State Senate to take action.
Microstamping technology leaves a unique code on bullets when they’re fired from a handgun. Those codes help police identify the gun that was used during a crime.
Microstamping is 25 times more effective than our outdated ballistics identification system. That means more guns identified and more criminals brought to justice.
This crucial new technology respects the 2nd Amendment rights of gun owners. Its only purpose is to find the guns used in violent crimes, and to get those criminals off the street.
Add your name to the petition and make sure your State Senator knows that microstamping technology is a crucial step in the fight against gun violence:
Together, we can protect New York families from gun crimes by making sure Albany passes this important new law.
Thanks for standing up to gun crime,
NY Mayors Against Illegal Guns
MAYORS OF THE WORLD FOR PEACE SPEECH:
POWER TO THE PEOPLE
Yoko Ono Lennon, May 4th, 2010
We are gathering here this evening with one concern all of us have. What can we do to stop Hiroshima and Nagasaki from being repeated again to destroy the lives on this planet? This time, it will not be two cities. It will be the world.
It seems the choices we have are either to blow up the planet with all its lives, or stay alive maimed, and slowly die from cancer or other unpronounceable ailments we don’t have the cure for yet. Of course, there is another choice. A good one, the one we are all hoping for. But it’s up to us to do something about it. There is no big powers we can count on.
The governments of the world owe their very existence to the backing of powerful corporations, so, sadly, their initial allegiance will have to be to the corporations, not to the people.
Remember Mad Cow disease? It was covered up for ten years in the United Kingdom, while people were dying from it and not knowing why. At the midst of it, a minister demonstrated on TV to show how it was safe for him and his son to eat beef. This was made as a strong gesture of assurance to the people! People were in a shock, watching that program on TV, still not wanting to believe that a minister of a powerful position may have to comply to the wishes of corporations even at the risk of endangering people’s lives – and in this case, his son’s. Yes. All of us are good at burying our heads in the sand.
I’ve read a very interesting article a few years ago by Michael Fitzgerald called Militarism:
Fitzgerald spoke of being the son of a working class Navy man, and has realized how millions of Americans depended on the permanent war economy for their livelihoods – not limited to people in the military, but people who worked as defense contractors and their employees. “A person cannot be elected to be the President of the country, unless they are supported and voted by the military and defense Industries,” he says. Therefore, “if the President does not take the nation to war, he will not be able to stay President.” The article refers to the fact that Lyndon Johnson said, privately, he feared impeachment if he pulled out of Vietnam. Well, that’s a hell of a statement. If some people immediately wished to bury their heads in the sand again, I understood why.
Most recently, last week, to be exact, the State of Arizona shocked the world by announcing a new law, which seemed predictablly, to point to a very grave future of this country, and for the people who are still holding on to the American dream. The American dream once was a dream for all world citizens. And this announcement from Arizona confirmed the worst to us. John Cory immediately hit back with a strong article called “STORY IN SIX WORDS.” . He mentioned that there was a legend that a colleague once bet Hemingway he could not write a story in ten words or less. Hemingway used six: “For sale. Baby shoes. Never used.” John Cory wrote his own six words at the end of his article: “For sale – By owner – American Dream.”
But, when it was at the darkest, something incredible happened. Our dream was not over yet! It took such a sad situation for people of America to stand up. But we did.
An ocean of people protested Arizona’s new law on May Day in every American city right after the law was announced. One light, a big one, was lit in the world of darkness. Now we know where we are going – towards the light, together. No more burying our heads in the sand!
In such a historical moment, it is very important that the tragedy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki be brought up again as a reminder of what can happen to the world if we forget, and fall back to the world of darkness.
Mayors of the World, Thank you for being here in this room, at this very historical moment in America, to encourage and inspire all of us – that we can do it! What the big power of the government can’t do, we can. We of this planet are still in our embryonic stage. But with your efforts and the strong wishes of the people of the world, I know we can and we will create a peaceful world for ourselves and for this planet.
One day, not too far in the future, we will see ourselves living peacefully and having fun together on this planet without War. Let’s look forward to that day and start working intelligently, to make it happen. Clearly, if the whole world stood up and spoke out for World Peace, we’ll get it.
Please pass my message to the people of your towns and the cities – I say to them that we can do it. We can do it together. With your help, with the help of the mayors of the world, our voice will be made still stronger. We are the Family of Peace.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Thank you again, for your wisdom and courage to speak out as the Mayors of the World. You are opening the door to many professional people who will learn from your stand.
Let’s all stay well till we achieve World Peace.
POWER TO THE PEOPLE!
Yoko Ono Lennon
May 2010, new york city.
Mayors for Peace reception at John Catsimatidis home with Michael Douglas and Yoko Ono
by Apostolos Papapostolou, Greek Reporter
Over eighty mayors, city officials, staff and donors took part in the Mayors for Peace Reception on May 4th in New York, hosted by John and Margo Catsimatidis at their Fifth Avenue apartment. Special guests of the reception were Michael Douglas and Yoko Ono, who endorsed Mayors for Peace and its 2020 Vision Campaign.
At first, Steve Leeper, Chairperson of the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation, introduced Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba, President of Mayors for Peace, who thanked the attendees for their interest and commitment toward nuclear disarmament. It was an occasion for Mayor Akiba to reaffirm his strong ties with America and the American people, established as a high school and college student, and during his academic career. Mayor Akiba also mentioned the growing relationship with the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM), the official nonpartisan organization of US cities with populations of 30.000 or more. In his speech, he quoted Pope John Paul II, who said: “To remember the past, is to commit ourselves to the future”. He concluded his speech with an appeal to get rid of nuclear weapons by 2020.
Michael Douglas also spoke out in favor of nuclear disarmament by 2020, stressing his Belarusian origins and the fact that his ancestral home was downwind from Chernobyl. He has been personally involved in this issue for 40 years. He underlined the fact that he was born in 1944, one year before the A-bombs exploded in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and that he was told at school that if there was “a bright, white flash, to crawl under the desk”. He concluded by saying: “The issue about nuclear disarmament by 2020 is so important – we are racing against time”.
Yoko Ono showed her long-term peace activism by delivering a speech that she entitled “Power to the People”. Her concerns were expressed by the following words: “What can we do to stop Hiroshima and Nagasaki from being repeated again to destroy the lives on this planet? This time, it will not be two cities. It will be the world”. For Ms Yoko Ono, the role of civil society remains critical in addressing the issue of nuclear disarmament: “It is up to us to do something about it. There is no big powers we can count on. In such a historical moment, it is very important that the tragedy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki be brought up again as a reminder of what can happen to the world if we forget, and fall back to the world of darkness”. In her conclusion, she brought a message of hope by saying: “One day, not too far in the future, we will see ourselves living peacefully and having fun together on this planet without War. Let’s look forward to that day and start working intelligently, to make it happen. Clearly, if the whole world stood up and spoke out for World Peace, we’ll get it”.
Other guests included the famous academic activist Jonathan Schell, Chris Cox, grandson of Richard Nixon, Jaimie Colby, correspondent and anchor at Fox News Channel, and Jim Luce of the Huffington Post. The reception was also an occasion to raise funds for the 2020 Vision Campaign: around 40.000 dollars were collected from an auction and private donations.
The last intervention was made by Shigeko Sasamori, a hibakusha, one of the 25 girls known as the “Hiroshima Maidens” that were brought to New York by Norman Cousins for reconstructive surgery. Her speech as a survivor was powerful and inspiring. She recalled the moments when the A-bomb exploded and buried one quarter of her body, and brought destruction in the whole city of Hiroshima: “I saw the airplane. There was a beautiful blue sky. Then I felt a force that knocked me down. None of us could breath. All of our clothes blew off. One-fourth of my body was burned, but I felt nothing. I was in shock. Then I saw how horrible everyone was around me. Such horrible stories. It still makes me cry to talk about it. My friend was alive but half of her body was buried by a burning home. Her mother could not save her and had to say goodbye to go save her other two children”. Ms Shigeko Sasamori was able to come to American. She had been told that Americans were monsters, “but they were very kind to me. They looked different, but their hearts were the same. So many Americans apologized to me, but I said: For what? You did not do this to me! Don’t be sorry”. Hibakushas are not looking for revenge, and with their wisdom they give a testimony of what happened, to make sure that nobody ever allows to drop a bomb on humans again. The final appeal is the one that completely shows the sense of our Campaign: “The world is headed for destruction if we cannot abolish nuclear weapons. Thanks to Mayors for Peace headed by Mayor Akiba — with support from thought leaders such as John Catsimatidis, Michael Douglas, and Yoko Ono — we have a chance. Give peace a chance. Join their voices in the call for nuclear disarmament by 2020!”
Yoko Ono helps Mayors for Peace
from New York Post
Yoko Ono and Michael Douglas joined the mayors of Nagasaki and Hiroshima at the Upper East Side apartment of John and Margo Catsimatidis the other evening to help Mayors for Peace, the international group dedicated to the abolition of nuclear weapons. The reception included mayors from Britain, France, New Zealand, Israel, Croatia and Spain.
Listen to the Families
27 April 2010, NY Times Editorial
There are two tragic anniversaries this month. It is 11 years since two Colorado students gunned down 12 of their fellow classmates and one teacher at Columbine High School and three years since 32 students and faculty members were gunned down at Virginia Tech.
Those horrors haven’t slowed the gun lobby’s relentless push to weaken the nation’s already far too weak gun laws — or Congress’s eagerness to do the gun lobby’s bidding. Last week, House Democrats had to pull back legislation that would have finally given the District of Columbia a voting representative in Congress because of amendments tacked on to the bill that would have gutted local gun laws.
The only bright spot in all of this is that gun victims’ families and Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a bipartisan group co-led by Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City, are fighting back. They have begun a campaign to get Congress to close the loophole that has allowed criminals, troubled teens and the mentally ill to evade federal background checks and purchase weapons from unlicensed private dealers at weekend gun shows.
The Columbine shooters used four high-powered weapons obtained by a friend, no questions asked, from “hobbyist” gun-show dealers. These shows are a leading source of illegally trafficked guns — a large number of guns recovered in crimes come from states that do not require background checks at gun shows.
Senators Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, Jack Reed of Rhode Island and Dianne Feinstein of California, all Democrats, have introduced a bill that would close the loophole nationally. It now has 17 sponsors. Shamefully missing from the list are Senator Mark Udall of Colorado and Senators James Webb and Mark Warner of Virginia.
In a newspaper ad last week, Tom Mauser, whose son Daniel was murdered at Columbine, called on Senator Udall to sponsor the legislation. Relatives of victims and a survivor of the Virginia Tech massacre took out their own ad.
“Every day in the United States, 35 people are murdered with guns — that’s a Virginia Tech-sized massacre every single day,” they wrote in an open letter to the two senators from Virginia. “We have seen firsthand the incredible toll that gaps in the federal background check system have on public safety, and we live with the personal toll every single day of our lives.”
The mayors’ group also ran TV ads last week, pressing the three senators, and several others, to support the bill. In the House, meanwhile, three Virginia representatives have circulated a letter seeking co-sponsors for their pending Gun Show Loophole Closing Act.
Before any more tragedies happen, lawmakers need to stop listening to the gun lobby and start listening to their constituents. Mr. Udall? Mr. Warner? Mr. Webb?
After years of inaction in Washington, people from all across the country are coming together to push for common sense gun laws, and we’re closer than ever to reaching our goal.
Today’s editorial is right: Now is the time for our elected officials to act. But to get the votes we need, it’s going to take more people, more energy, and more voices raised together.
Help us reach 50,000 signatures to Close the Gun Show Loophole:
Thanks for all you’re doing,
Mayors Against Illegal Guns
The Gun Show Loophole
Did you know that if gun dealers call themselves “private sellers” at gun shows, they can ignore the law and sell their guns to anyone — no background check, no records made, no questions asked?
It’s called The Gun Show Loophole, and it’s how violent criminals get their hands on guns.
Join me in calling on Congress to close the Gun Show Loophole and require criminal background checks every time a gun is sold.
It’s time to close the loophole and protect innocent Americans from gun violence.
Sign The Petition. Close The Loophole.
Background Checks for all sales at Gun Shows.
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Massachusetts (Sen. Scott Brown)| Ohio (Sen. George Voinovich) | Maine (Sen. Olympia Snowe and Sen. Susan Collins) | Colorado (Sen. Mark Udall) |Virginia (Sen. Mark Warner and Sen. Jim Webb)
Dear Family of Peace
Too many innocent people & children are victims of tragic shootings.
Let’s stop criminals getting guns.
Yoko Ono Lennon
April 20th, 1999: Columbine High School
APRIL 20th IS THE 11th ANNIVERSARY OF THE MASS SHOOTING AT COLUMBINE HIGH SCHOOL
THE GUNS USED AT COLUMBINE WERE PURCHASED AT A GUNSHOW WITHOUT A BACKGROUND CHECK
About the Gun Show Loophole
The Gun Show Loophole is a serious gap in our nation’s gun laws, which allows individuals to buy guns without passing a background check. Over the years, this loophole has resulted in countless tragic shootings — including the one at Columbine High School and the recent shooting of Pentagon police officers.
As concerned citizens, we stand with over 500 mayors from all across America in asking Congress to step up and close the Gun Show Loophole.
It is critical that criminal background checks are conducted on all purchasers at gun shows — including people who buy from private sellers.
As we commemorate the tragedies at Columbine and Virginia Tech, we are reminded that legislative action is long overdue.
More and more innocent victims of gun violence are hurt or killed every day. It’s time for Congress to take action and close the Gun Show Loophole.
A recent multi-state undercover investigation of private sellers at gun shows demonstrates just how easy it is for criminals to take advantage of the Gun Show Loophole. The investigation of 7 gun shows in 3 states involved undercover buys from 47 gun sellers using hidden cameras.
Watch hidden camera videos from the investigation to see how easy it is for criminals to take advantage of the Gun Show Loophole:
To learn more about the investigation, visit www.GunShowUndercover.org.
The investigation found:
- Private sellers illegally engaged in the business: The investigation found private sellers were selling numerous guns, admitted to frequenting many gun shows, and some even had employees. These private sellers were apparently engaged in the business of selling guns while avoiding the requirement to perform background checks.
- Gun sales to people who may not be able to pass a background check: Even though private dealers are not required to perform background checks, they cannot sell to someone who they have reason to believe is prohibited from buying guns. 19 of 30 private sellers – 63% – broke the law by completing a sale to a buyer who they thought could not pass a background check.
- Straw Sales: Licensed dealers cannot allow someone to fill out the paperwork and undergo a background check if the dealer knows the person is not the actual buyer of the gun. This is a “straw sale” and it is a federal felony. 16 of 17 – 94% – of licensed dealers were willing to sell to someone who appeared to be a straw purchaser, in violation of federal law.
What is the Gun Show Loophole?
There are two types of gun sales in the U.S. – licensed, regulated sales, and private, unregulated sales.
Responsibilities of Licensed Sellers: Dealers engaged in the business of selling guns must have a federal firearms license (FFL) and they must run the names of buyers through the National Instant Background Check System (NICS) to make sure that the person is not a convicted felon, domestic violence offender, mentally unstable, or other another type of prohibited purchaser. FFLs must keep records so that if the gun is later found at a crime scene, law enforcement can trace it to the buyer.
Responsibilities of Private Sellers: People who say they are hobbyists or collectors and claim to make only occasional sales can sell firearms without a license. Unlike licensed sellers, federal law does not require these private sellers to conduct background checks on buyers or retain sales records.
The Problem: “Gun Show Loophole” refers to the fact that current federal law allows private sellers to sell firearms without conducting background checks or keeping sales records. This loophole gives criminals and gun traffickers an easy source of guns. While private sellers are exempted from running background checks no matter where they make the sale, this loophole is associated with gun shows because they are the largest and most central marketplace where these private sellers can easily connect with purchasers who wish to avoid detection.
Key Facts About the Gun Show Loophole:
- According to Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), 30% of illegally trafficked guns are connected to gun shows. 1
- An undercover investigation of private sellers at gun shows found that 63% of private sellers broke the law by selling to people who they thought could not pass a background check. 2
- States that have not closed the Gun Show Loophole export guns involved in interstate trafficking at twice the rate of states that require background checks by private sellers at gun shows. 3
Who Supports Closing the Gun Show Loophole?
- The Public: 87% of Americans support closing the Gun Show Loophole.4
- Gun Owners and NRA Members: 85% of gun owners and 69% of National Rifle Association (NRA) members agree with closing the Gun Show Loophole.5
- Mayors Against Illegal Guns: More than 500 members of Mayors Against Illegal Guns have called on Congress to close the Gun Show Loophole. Read the coalition’s letter to Congress.
1- U.S. Department of Treasury, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Following the Gun: Enforcing Federal Law Against Firearms Traffickers (2000)
3- The Movement of Illegal Guns in America, Mayors Against Illegal Guns Report, December 2008, http://www.mayorsagainstillegalguns.org/html/trace/analysis.shtml
4- 2008 Greenberg, Quinlan, Rosner Poll
5- December 2009 poll by Republican pollster Frank Luntz. Download PDF
In 2009, murders of police officers including guns increased by 26%
63% of private sellers sold guns to people even when they said they couldn’t pass a background check.
According to ATF, 30% of illegally trafficked guns are connected to gun shows.