Tag Archives: sandy hook

PUTTING A PRICE ON THE HEADS OF OUR CHILDREN,BY Louise Annarino,December 18,2012

18 Dec

PUTTING A PRICE ON THE HEADS OF OUR CHILDREN,By Louise Annarino, December 18, 2012

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What price do we put on the heads of our children? If there were not so much money involved, the U.S. could have regulated the gun industry long ago. Following the money we learn:

– “Net sales from continuing operations for the second quarter were a record $136.6  million, up 48.0% from the second quarter last year,” states a press release by Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation. While market drops for other industries it escalates for the gun industry. This is one business where uncertainty increases profit.

-As of 2011, there were approximately 5,400 licensed firearms manufacturers and 950 importers in the United States, The United States Department of Justice Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives reports. THis does not include miltary armament sales.

-Arms sales (agreements), by Supplier, 2003-2010 (in billions of constant 2010 U.S. dollars)

Supplier Total Sales in US Dollars (billions) Percent of total sales
United States 170.764 39%
Russia  81.059 18%
France  37.4 8%
United Kingdom  29.803 7%
China  15.272 3%
Germany  22.807 5%
Italy  15.134 3%
Other European  47.024 11%
Others  23.654 5%
Source: Richard F. Grimmett, CRS Report for Congress; Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations, 2003-2010, September 22, 2011If you are viewing this table on another site, please see http://www.globalissues.org/article/74/the-arms-trade-is-big-business for further details and context.

-”Industrialized countries negotiate free trade and investment agreements with other countries, but exempt military spending from the liberalizing demands of the agreement. Since only the wealthy countries can afford to devote billions on military spending, they will always be able to give their corporations hidden subsidies through defence contracts, and maintain a technologically advanced industrial capacity.

“And so, in every international trade and investment agreement one will find a clause which exempts government programs and policies deemed vital for national security. Here is the loophole that allows the maintenance of corporate subsidies through virtually unlimited military spending.”— Stephen Staples, Confronting the Military-Corporate Complex, presented at the Hague Appeal for Peace, The Hague, May 12th 1999.

TAXES GENERATED IN THE UNITED STATES

TAX IMPACT                                  BUSINESS TAXES                                 EXCISE TAXES

Federal Taxes                                  $2,503,904,614                                     $487,998,107

State Taxes                                       $2,071,203,685

Total Taxes                                      $4,575,108,309                                     $487,998,107

Chart from (National Shooting Sports Foundation) NSSF website www.nssf.org/.

-in 2010, Dun and Bradsrteet listed 661 U.S. manufacturers of small firearms or parts. It is estimated these private companies generated approximately $1.2 billion per annum.

-Gun dealers foster political uncertainty to boost sales as illustrated by the following comment by Rick Gray, owner of Accuracy Gun Shop in Las Vegas: “Clinton was the best gun salesman the gun manufacturers ever had. Obama’s going to be right up there with him.”, International Herald Tribune; November 8, 2008. Fear-mongering of Democratic candidates, including the scary African-American president, creates political advantage for the Republican candidates and increases profits for gun manufacturers. Using race to divided the country only increases uncertainty and fear, driving up sales. Is it any wonder Republican- and some Democratic-congresspersons not only refuse to regulate gun and armament  manufacturing and sales; but,also support shadow corporate welfare within defense spending bills?

IF ONE CHILD IS UNSAFE,NONE ARE SAFE,By Louise Annarino,December 16, 2012

16 Dec

IF ONE CHILD IS UNSAFE,NONE ARE SAFE,BY Louise Annarino,December 16, 2012

During the first 2 weeks of September 2012, 32 Americans were killed in Detroit; one of them and Iraq Vet and father of five children named David Nelson, who pushed aside a woman neighbor about to be shot by her husband in a domestic dispute and took the bullet himself. (http://www.myfoxdetroit.com/story/19568205/32-people-murdered-over-15-day-period-in-detroit ).

 

Chicago has already seen 400 Americans murdered within its borders during 2012. During August 2012 alone, 38 persons were killed.( http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/01/chicago-homicides-reach-4_n_1929015.html ).

 

In Columbus,Ohio 83 Americans had been murdered between January 1 and  November 29, 2012.  The breakdown: 88% male, 70.7% African-American, 56.5% age 20-39, 79.3% shooting victims. ( http://www.dispatch.com/content/pages/data/crime-safety/homicide/homicides.html ).

 

During the past year, more than a 1,000 children died before their first birthdays in Ohio. The breakdown: 6.3% white, 5.7% Latino, and 15.8% African-American; likely the highest in the nation for African-American babies. ( http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2012/11/29/black-infant-deaths-worst-of-bad-news.html ).

 

More than 1 in 5 of all American children live in poverty; 1 in 3 American children of color live in poverty. As a result, America loses half a trillion dollars per year in lost productivity, increased health care costs, and increased crime. ( http://www.childrensdefense.org/newsroom/child-watch-columns/child-watch-documents/forward-for-children.html ).

Many Americans live on the fiscal cliff, just over its edge struggling to hang on, or at the bottom of the cliff all of their lives. Many Americans face the threat of violence and death daily in American cities and towns. The silence has been deafening in addressing these issues. It is not that Americans have been unaware of the problem; but, their solution has been to flee to suburbs and gated communities rather than addressing the needs of fellow Americans they identify as “the other”. Too many Americans have “gunned up”,allowing fear of going over the cliff with the “other”.

We are each outraged over the mass murder in Sandy Hook. We cannot escape the faces of those young, and so beloved children. We must try to understand such violence and do all we can to avoid another Sandy Hook. It may not be possible.

But, I must ask,where is your outrage over the Americans killed by violence in the hearts of our cities every night? Over the infant mortality rate for our babies? Over the 3532 American Iraq War dead? The continued deaths of innocents abroad by arms and aircraft manufactured in America?

I grieve the loss of life in Sandy Hook,Connecticut.  I also grieve the loss of life each night on the streets of Columbus, Detroit, Chicago, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Miami, and every city-large or small- in our violence-loving, gun-toting country. When will we start speaking for our children and families everywhere? Who can promise we will do all we can to protect them? Can you? I wonder.

 

SANDY HOOK PUTS US ALL ON THE HOOK,By Louise Annarino,December 16,2012

16 Dec

SANDY HOOK PUTS US ALL ON THE HOOK,By Louise Annarino, December 16,2012

I have finally stopped crying every time I think about Sandy Hook Elementary School. So many of us are afraid to allow such grief to overwhelm us, fearing we will lose our minds. Since the death of John F.Kennedy, I have been a public crier. I cry over news reports. I cry if I see anyone else cry. I remember once hearing Italian actress Sophia Loren respond to an interviewer’s comment about her beautiful eyes, “If you haven’t cried, your eyes can’t be beautiful.” She then went on to describe what horrors she and her mother experienced in Italy during WWII…with tears in her eyes.

Tears teach.Tears tell us what matters most, whom we most care about,whom and what we are willing to suffer for…even die for. We must pay attention to, and find answers to our tears. I am not sure, however, that we are asking all the right questions when it comes to gun violence. We must discuss the limitations and expansion of gun control consistent with the U.S. Constitution. After all, any bill Congress passes must overcome constitutional challenge before the U.S. Supreme Court. Clearly, the 2d. amendment right to bear arms, like the 1st.Amendment free speech provisions, should be subject to reasonable regulation. It is ironic to argue one “cannot yell fire in a crowded theatre” but one can carry in a weapon, even into a bar full of drunks. The Wild West has taken root in middle America.

However, gun control did not prevent Sandy Hook. It appears Mr. Lanza withdrew his purchase request from a local gun shop when informed he had to await a 2 week back-ground check. Not willing to wait so long he used guns belonging to his mother. His mother? Who needs assault weapons in their homes? We hear descriptions of safe and friendly Sandy Hook where violence is unexpected; so, why the arsenal at the Lanza residence? No matter what gun control laws we pass,even if they work for most cases, we cannot prevent every violent act so long as we behave with such senseless abandon regarding gun ownership. What is it with us that  the problem always belongs to “the other guy”? And lock-down did not save Sandy Hook Elementary; the gunman forced entry.

It reminded me of meeting all students Affairs staff called by the OSU Dean of Students during the Spring 1970 student strike.As an RA in Lincoln Tower I was required to attend. There, we were told of plans, to which I strongly objected, to build a fence around the administration building to block access, and to protect it from protesters. The protest was in response to a refusal by the President to meet with the student body and Afro-Am presidents and receive a petition requesting recruitment of minority faculty-staff-students, establishment of a minority affairs office and  Black Studies Department, and policies and programs to end racism in on and off-campus housing etc. I suggested the university use the money for the fences to fund such programs and end the protest peacefully. Why is our first response to a crisis fear rather than problem solving?

As we begin the discussion on gun regulation, let us seek to solve problems rather than fear the loss of our guns, or their proliferation. Let us focus on how and why guns are used; and how we can assure ownership and use is reasonable for the good of our communities. As NYC Mayor Bloomberg instructed host David Gregory on this morning’s MEET THE PRESS, just because some drivers speed does not mean we should stop regulating speed limits on city streets and highways. Such laws save thousands of lives every day.

We may never answer why Mr. Lanza killed his own mother and so many innocent children and educators in Sandy Hook. Our minds cannot comprehend such “violent reasoning”. Even so, we can do something to stop the violence in our own and nearby communities throughout the state of Ohio.  We may not stop another mass murder in America; but, we can reduce gun battles and drive-bys on city streets. It is time to wipe the tears away and get to work on sensible gun regulation.