Sisters and Brothers – I’m glad to have you on my side.
Donald Trump and I finally agree on something. He wants to run against me. I want to run against him.
The American people will not support a candidate trying to divide us up by where we came from. They will not support a candidate who does not favor raising the minimum wage and who thinks wages in this country are too high. They will not support a candidate who thinks climate change is a hoax invented by the Chinese. And they will not support a candidate who wants to give huge tax breaks to billionaires like himself.
It would be an extraordinary campaign, and one I am confident that we will win.
With less than one month before Iowa, make a $3 contribution to our political revolution that will win the Democratic nomination, the White House, and take our country back from the billionaire class.
Our campaign is beating Donald Trump by a tremendous margin, and the political revolution we are building together is the best chance for Democrats to win the White House, take back the Senate, and make big gains in the House.
We are doing something unprecedented, and that has a lot of people scared. I am glad to have you on my side.
Yesterday, Donald Trump went to Bernie Sanders’ Mayoral place in Vermont for a campaign trail stop. Read our previous post.
ON A BRIGHT MORNING FIVE YEARS AGO TODAY
The New Year is a time of optimism and new commitments. For me, it’s a very powerful time: on January 8th, I think about how close I came to losing my life on a bright January morning five years ago, when a would-be assassin opened fire on me and my constituents, injuring 12 others and taking the lives of six.
Even though I was shot in the head from three feet away, somehow I survived. And I made a decision that my new life would be lived as my old life was: in service of our country. One thing that means for me today is using my second chance to do everything I can to make this great country safer from the kind of gun violence that took the lives of those around me, and changed others’, and mine, forever.
Instead of focusing on what I cannot do, I’ve tried to live without limits. I’ve set myself tougher and tougher goals. I’ve learned and delivered speeches. I jumped out of an airplane. I spent the night on one of our United States Navy’s aircraft carriers, the USS Carl Vinson. I’ve taken my French horn out of its case for the first time in years. This November, I rode 40 miles in Tucson’s annual charity bike ride, El Tour de Tucson.
And along with my husband Mark Kelly, I have fought to make sure our leaders finally do something to save the lives of the 33 Americans who are murdered with a gun every day.
Today, five years after I was shot, we are making progress. As Congress refuses to act, leaders in the states are embracing commonsense change that keeps guns out of the wrong hands.
This week, we made even more. In the face of Congress’ inaction in addressing our country’s gun violence crisis, President Obama announced his administration is acting to significantly narrow the loopholes that let people buy guns without a background check. It is the right, responsible thing to do.
The president’s reasonable proposal addresses a lethal problem: People in the business of selling guns avoid the current requirement to conduct background checks on their potential buyers by claiming not to be gun dealers, who are required under the law to do background checks.
Go to a gun show, for example, and in the booth right next to these licensed gun dealers whose customers have to undergo a background check you will see people who operate outside of the rules, selling dozens or hundreds of the same guns each year without a background check because they can.
The steps announced earlier this week will narrow those gaps by requiring anyone who sells a significant number of guns or operates like a commercial dealer to get a license and require their buyers to pass a criminal background check. Truly private sales, like simply selling a gun to a neighbor or a friend, will not be affected. But millions of firearms transactions that currently happen with no questions asked will now be subject to a background check.
The president’s proposal makes another key improvement: it addresses the weakness in the background check system that allowed a dangerous man to buy a gun and murder nine innocent people in a Charleston, South Carolina church. It does this by increasing the number of background-check examiners by 50 percent, overhauling the system itself, and revealing which states do and don’t report essential background check records to the FBI.
Other important provisions will require gun dealers to report lost and stolen guns, making it easier for law enforcement to crack down on the illegal gun trade, and to grow investment in gun safety technology and mental health treatment. This is just common sense.
Almost three years ago, when a minority of United States Senators caved to their fear of the corporate gun lobby and blocked sensible, bipartisan background checks legislation, I said that those Senators had failed their constituents, and with every preventable gun death, made shame their legacy.
Many of those same Senators, along with a lot of other elected officials and other candidates for president, will be quick to haul out the talking points the gun lobbyists in Washington gave them and attack the president’s reasonable action.
They will warn of dire consequences.
They will willfully spread misinformation.
The truth is this: These new steps will hurt no one, but they will protect many.
Around mile 32 of the bike ride I did this November, I almost gave up. I’m mostly paralyzed on my right side, and even though I’d been training for months, my body was tired and it was hard to keep going. But I remembered my goal. I had a team of friends and supporters with me, so we just kept pedaling together. And then we crossed the finish line.
Reducing the number of Americans murdered or injured by guns is also not easy. Like I always say: it’s a long, hard haul.
But we cannot falter now, and we cannot wait for a Congress in the gun lobby’s grip to prevent some of the 12,000 gun murders that happen in our country every year.
That’s why I’m standing shoulder to shoulder with other responsible gun owners, with moms and teachers, with law enforcement, with veterans, and with the president in support of commonsense change that makes our country a safer place to live.
– Gabby Giffords
JUSTICE, FAIRNESS AND EQUITY
|The Department of Justice and police violence against African-Americans|
|The petition to Attorney General Loretta Lynch reads:
“It’s clear that when it comes to African-Americans being brutalized or killed by police, we cannot trust local law enforcement officials to bring perpetrators to justice. The Department of Justice must step in and use the full weight of its authority and resources to ensure the full investigation and prosecution of any law enforcement officials, including police officers, who fail to protect and stand up for Black lives.” Add your name:
Tamir Rice. Sandra Bland. John Crawford III. Eric Garner. Tanisha Anderson.
Black lives taken by police violence. Prosecutors who stack the deck. Police killers who face no consequences.
It’s a national crisis that demands a national response. The Department of Justice must step in to ensure the full investigation and prosecution of all law enforcement officials, including police officers, who brutalize or kill African-Americans.
Last month, when prosecutors failed to bring charges against the police officer who shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice, people were outraged and horrified, but not necessarily surprised — police officers who kill African-Americans routinely escape consequences because prosecutors act to protect police.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has the authority to investigate excessive force or other actions by law enforcement officials to determine if they are civil rights violations, either against an individual or as a “pattern or practice” against a community.1,2.
These investigations are vital because local police and prosecutors, intent on protecting police and their own political careers, may conduct sham investigations, or actively engage in cover-ups to bury key evidence.3 These investigations can also reveal systemic problems within local police departments or prosecutors offices.
Given the DOJ’s authority, Attorney General Lynch must take action to ensure the constitutional rights of African-Americans are protected, whether from police violence, or the prosecutorial misconduct that lets police officers go free. Rather than wait to see if local officials will do the right thing, Attorney General Lynch should immediately deploy the resources of the FBI and the DOJ’s Civil Rights division to conduct a full investigation any time an African-American is brutalized or killed by police.
Tell Attorney General Loretta Lynch: Local law enforcement can’t be trusted. It’s up to the Justice Department to hold police officers and prosecutors accountable for failing to protect and stand up for Black lives. Click here.
DOJ investigations can result in charges being brought against individual officers or in consent decrees with offending police departments. Even when the DOJ does not find grounds to bring civil rights charges against officers or departments, their investigations can shine important light on the racism and misconduct endemic in police departments and prosecutors’ offices, allowing local leaders to organize and demand change.4
Police violence and prosecutorial misconduct perpetuate a racist criminal justice system where African-Americans are constantly in danger and where those in power are able to justify and excuse their actions — avoiding consequences and blocking systemic change. Attorney General Lynch has taken many steps to help break this pattern, including advocating for national collection of use-of-force data and conducting investigations in places like Ferguson, Baltimore and Chicago.5,6
It’s time for the Justice Department to take even more leadership by committing to use its authority and resources to ensure the full investigation and prosecution of any law enforcement officials who fail to protect and stand up for Black lives. Sign the petition:
Thanks for taking action.
Heidi Hess, Senior Campaign Manager