Category Archives: Guns, violence, crime

Old Wounds

Survivors of gun violence are re-traumatized daily, exposed to a hideous and never-ending onslaught of shootings, both in real life and through the media.

Our injuries are constantly reopened, and yet are invisible. We are survivors of community violence, suicides, mass shootings, domestic violence, and all other intentional or unintentional shootings.

Today, my message to all gun violence survivors and our allies is: Let’s never forget to take care of ourselves and one another! We have to remember that our trauma can affect us for decades and that even old wounds can reopen.

Old wounds never closed for Austin Eubanks, 37, a survivor of the Columbine High School shooting in 1999, who was found dead in his home in Steamboat Springs, CO on Saturday. Today, Colorado Ceasefire–an all-volunteer statewide organization that has worked for freedom from gun violence since 2000–stated the following in a press release:

Only last month, the Littleton community held ceremonies remembering those killed and wounded twenty years ago. Eubanks was in the library on that fateful day and saw his best friend shot and killed, before he was shot twice. He struggled with opioid addiction as a result of the shooting and later became a public speaker discussing the issues of addiction, last speaking at a conference on May 2nd of this year.

After the Parkland shooting, Eubanks began to speak out on gun violence issues. In a video he said: “But if we’re not looking at the ability that citizens have in our society to kill large numbers of people, we’re not looking at the real problem here.” He held in particular disregard the idea of arming teachers, calling it an “incredibly ridiculous idea.”

Eubanks said “The biggest frustration I have is, that when a tragedy like this occurs, by in large, we fracture into two camps – either gun legislation or mental health. The fact is both play an enormous role in this.”

Mass shootings have devastating effects on survivors that can continue for years. Annemarie Hochhalter, was seriously injured and wheelchair bound from the Columbine shooting. Only six months later, her mother Carla Hochhalter took her own life. Jeremy Richman, whose daughter Avielle, was shot and killed in the Sandy Hook massacre, took his own life this past March, just days after two students of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school also ended their own lives.

Eubank’s family released a statement saying that Austin had “lost the battle with the very disease he fought so hard to help others face…We plan to continue his work.” Our thoughts are with the family of Austin Eubanks. Blessed be his memory.

In solidarity,

Karen Abrams, Interim Executive Director
States United to Prevent Gun Violence

Don’t forget to check out what YOUR state is doing to make our communities safe from the scourge of gun violence every day, and to protect survivors from future trauma!

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The Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting Is the ​Inevitable Result of​ Trump’s Vile Nationalism

By Sasha Abramsky, The Nation, October 27, 2018

Shame on all those who have been silent—or, worse, supported the president’s agenda.

We don’t yet know everything that motivated the Pittsburgh synagogue shooter Robert Bowers. And, truth be told, we may never know exactly what psychological aberrance led to his deadly rampage this Saturday morning.

Bower’s twitter postings, however, give at least a partial window into his soul. The man is a rabid nationalist. He believes that Jews seek to control the world. He is convinced that Jews, via HIAS, the refugee-rights and -resettlement organization formerly known as the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, are bringing in “invaders”—such as the caravan of destitute and terrified Central American families walking their way north through Mexico.

Bowers is a Nazi sympathizer. And, unlike Cesar Sayoc, the man suspected of mailing more than a dozen pipe bombs to political and media figures around the country over the past week, he hates Trump, believing that Trump isn’t nearly nationalist enough and, in fact, is controlled by a cabal of globalist Jews.

But here’s the thing: While Bowers might fashion himself as an anti-Trump figure, the reemergence of deadly anti-Semitic violence perfectly fits the awful political moment Trump himself is presiding over. The viciously nationalist rhetoric Trump now uses at his rallies, his onslaught against “globalists”—the word itself, along with “cosmopolitan” has always been anti-Semitic code for “Jewish”—his demonizing of immigrants, of refugees, of asylum seekers, his accusation that George Soros is somehow behind the caravan of Hondurans and Guatemalans, this is quite simply fodder for anti-Semites. “Soros” to anti-Semites in 2018 is a similar slur to “Rothschild” in the previous century….

continue reading at The Nation

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And soon they’ll be taking care of thoughts…

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by | March 22, 2018 · 9:13 am

The Only Way To Prevent Gun Violence Is To Reduce the Number of Guns

by David Atkins, Washington Monthly, February 17, 2018

I’m tired of this. Americans are tired of this. Mass shootings are now occurring with a depressing regularity, including well over a dozen school shootings 2018 alone.

Each and every time we are subjected to the same arguments, a circular merry-go-round of desperate anger from families and mainstream Americans, shocking bad faith and callousness by those who want to preserve the status quo, and callous opportunism by those trying to shoehorn their own separate issue advocacy into the discussion. The cycle of violence and reaction is a mandala of pain and futility.

And every time the bottom line is and remains the same: if you want to end gun violence, reduce the number of guns. It’s that simple. There is no other answer. The simple reason is that the only difference between America and other industrialized nations on the issues so often blamed for gun violence is access to guns….

continue reading at Washington Monthly

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