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Results tagged “Public Safety”

December 19, 2012

The Virginian-Pilot reports, "As Gov. Bob McDonnell on Tuesday said the time is ripe to discuss educators being armed, one state lawmaker was forging ahead with plans to make that a reality. "'If people were armed, not just a police officer but other school officials who were trained and chose to have a weapon,' the governor said in his monthly appearance on Washington-area radio station WTOP, 'certainly there would have been an opportunity to stop aggressors coming into the schools.'"

Progressive Point: Children and their parents should feel secure in the knowledge that schools are safe places for learning. Turning schools into armed camps is not the answer. Public safety policy should follow the lead of law enforcement, not the gun manufacturers' lobby.

If more guns equaled less gun violence, America wouldn't have the highest rate of gun deaths in the industrialized world. Instead of turning teachers into armed guards, we should let them focus on teaching and learning and demand our leaders worry about keeping dangerous weapons off the streets.

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Get the Facts:

  • A February 2012 poll found 66% of Virginia voters supported maintaining the Commonwealth's one-gun-a-month law. [NBC Washington, 2/20/12]

  • Bipartisan research conducted on behalf of Mayors Against Illegal Guns found broad support in Virginia for stronger violence prevention measures. [Mayors Against Illegal Guns, 11/30/12]
    • 88% of Virginians support requiring gun owners to pass a background check.
    • 91% of Virginia gun households support requiring gun owners to pass a background check.

  • Polling from Lake Research Partners in two Southwestern Virginia State Senate districts found broad support for strong gun violence prevention measures. [Education Fund To Stop Gun Violence, January 2012]
    • Voters in both districts want to make gun laws stronger, not less restrictive.
    • More than seven in 10 voters oppose guns on campus.
    • More than six in 10 voters oppose the repeal of one-gun-a-month.
    • Ninety-four percent of gun owners support universal background checks.

  • Polling of NRA members conducted by Luntz Research found strong support for gun violence prevention measures. [Mayors Against Illegal Guns, 7/24/12]
    • 87% of NRA members agree that support for Second Amendment rights goes hand-in-hand with keeping guns out of the hands of criminals.
    • 4% of NRA members and 87% of non-NRA gun owners support requiring criminal background checks of anyone purchasing a gun.
    • 79% of NRA members and 80% of non-NRA gun owners support requiring gun retailers to perform background checks on all employees - a measure recently endorsed by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for the firearms industry.
  • America has the highest rate of gun deaths in the industrialized world. [Media Matters, 7/24/12]

  • 40% of gun sales -- six million guns a year -- are sold by unlicensed dealers who aren't required to conduct background checks under federal law. 80% of inmates surveyed got their guns through private transfers. According to law enforcement, closing this loophole is the single most important thing to do start saving lives. [Mayors Against Illegal Guns]

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October 30, 2012

The New York Times editorializes, "Disaster coordination is one of the most vital functions of 'big government,' which is why Mitt Romney wants to eliminate it. At a Republican primary debate last year, Mr. Romney was asked whether emergency management was a function that should be returned to the states. He not only agreed, he went further... He said it was 'immoral' for the federal government to do all these things if it means increasing the debt. It's an absurd notion, but it's fully in line with decades of Republican resistance to federal emergency planning."

Progressive Point: When a natural disaster like Hurricane Sandy strikes, Americans pull together. The aftermath of this storm shows why the federal government's safety net and emergency response is so important. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan would cut funding for vital agencies like FEMA and limit federal government's ability to respond.

We're Americans, and we don't turn our backs on neighbors when they're in need or tell communities "you're on your own" when folks have lost houses and livelihoods. Romney and Ryan's plan to defund FEMA would mean Americans would have to rely on businesses trying to make a buck off of their misfortune or cash-strapped states without the proper resources. National disaster coordination is a vital role of our federal government and shows we are strongest when Americans work together.

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Get the Facts:

  • During the Republican primary debate last year, Mitt Romney called federal disaster relief spending "immoral" and that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) should be privatized. (ThinkProgress, June 14, 2012)

  • "Over the last two years, Congressional Republicans have forced a 43 percent reduction in the primary FEMA grants that pay for disaster preparedness. Representatives Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor and other House Republicans have repeatedly tried to refuse FEMA's budget requests when disasters are more expensive than predicted, or have demanded that other valuable programs be cut to pay for them. The Ryan budget, which Mr. Romney praised as 'an excellent piece of work,' would result in severe cutbacks to the agency, as would the Republican-instigated sequester, which would cut disaster relief by 8.2 percent on top of earlier reductions." (New York Times, October 29, 2012)

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 27, 2012
Contact: Lori Haas, Virginians for Responsible Gun Laws, (804) 399-4893
Anna Scholl, ProgressVA, (434) 218-2113anna@progressva.org

IN WAKE OF AURORA SHOOTINGS, WHY ARE 12 VIRGINIA LEGISLATORS SPENDING TAXPAYER MONEY ON AN ORGANIZATION WITH 17-YEAR HISTORY OF OPPOSING COMMONSENSE VIOLENCE PREVENTION?

Public should ask if the continued use of taxpayer funds to subsidize the American Legislative Exchange Council is inappropriate

Salt Lake City, UT - In light of the July 20th shooting in Aurora, Colorado, it's time for Virginia families to question why Virginia legislators continue to spend taxpayer funds on an organization that has opposed commonsense gun violence prevention measures for over seventeen years. Twelve Virginia legislators are currently in Salt Lake City at the closed-door American Legislative Exchange Council conference. Since at least 1995, ALEC, at the urging of member and sponsor, the National Rifle Association, has pushed model firearm legislation that destroys families and communities.   Of note, ALEC's model legislation initiatives include a "Resolution on Semi-Automatic Firearms" that opposes bans on weapons like the Smith & Wesson M&P 15 Assault Rifle equipped with a 100 round drum magazine that James Holmes used to kill or injure 70 Americans in Aurora, CO

Since 1995, ALEC has pushed legislation roundly opposed by Virginia families, including attempts to legalize guns on campus and to force Virginia to recognize concealed handgun permits from other states whose standards are not as tough as ours.

While ALEC has recently attempted to distance itself from its own radical record on gun policy, the events here in Salt Lake City tell a different story. Far from being disowned, the National Rifle Association is a prominent exhibitor in the conference hall. Chuck Cunningham, political director at the NRA, is in attendance and meeting with legislators and the NRA is sponsoring a trip to a local shooting range on the last day of the conference.

Virginia families need to know why legislators who are members of ALEC continue spend taxpayer funds in support of an organization with such a dangerous public safety record. 

Lori Haas, the mother of a VA Tech shooting survivor who is in Salt Lake City this week, said,  "Legislators are entitled to their own opinions, but not to use taxpayer dollars to subsidize campaigns for irresponsible and dangerous public policy. As was made clear again this week, assault weapons are deadly instruments of war designed with one purpose--to kill and wound large numbers of people--and have no place in our communities. The more we learn about ALEC, from their support of Stand Your Ground Laws to advocating for Assault Weapons in our communities, it's clear they have a long record of opposition to measures combating gun violence that cannot be redeemed. It's past time for our elected representatives to stop spending our dollars to support such radical positions."

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Virginians for Responsible Gun Laws, a project of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, seeks to secure freedom from gun violence through research, strategic engagement and effective policy advocacy. 

ProgressVA is a multi-issue, progressive advocacy organization devoted to engaging citizens from across the Commonwealth around issues of immediate state and local concern. www.ProgressVA.org

One Bob McDonnell says public safety is government's top priority while the other cuts millions from public safety budgets while laying off Port Authority Police.

Senate candidate Dick Black touts an endorsement from Governor McDonnell on his campaign website and has taken over $11,000 from McDonnell's leadership PAC. But which Bob McDonnell is Black standing with in his campaign--the one who says he supports public safety or the one who cuts millions of dollars from public safety budgets and fires police officers? 

This morning on WRVA radio, McDonnell stated, "first and foremost the responsibility of government is public safety". Unfortunately, that statement is not reflected in McDonnell's actions. First, his 2010 budget amendments cut millions of dollars from public safety budgets. Then, McDonnell's handpicked Virginia Port Authority board announced they were laying off the majority of the port's police force and replacing them with rent-a-cops who won't even carry guns. Finally, McDonnell instructed agencies, including public safety, to prepare for additional across the board budget cuts of up to 6%. Bob McDonnell says one thing and does another when it comes to Virginia's public safety.

"Voters in Northern Virginia deserve clear answers about which Bob McDonnell Dick Black stands with in his campaign for State Senate," said Anna Scholl, Executive Director of ProgressVA. "Does Black support the Bob McDonnell that prioritizes public safety or the Bob McDonnell that guts public safety budgets and lays off police officers?"

Black declares on his website, "I am committed to keeping our communities safe." Virginia voters need to know: will Black follow Bob McDonnell's lead and simply pay lip service or will he truly support government's responsibility when it comes to public safety.

One Bob McDonnell says public safety is government's top priority while the other cuts millions from public safety budgets while laying off Port Authority Police

Senate candidate Jeff Frederick touts an endorsement from Governor McDonnell on his campaign website. Senate candidate Caren Merrick has taken over $25,000 from McDonnell's leadership PAC. But which Bob McDonnell are Frederick and Merrick standing with in their campaigns--the one who says he supports public safety or the one who cuts millions of dollars from public safety budgets and fires police officers?

This morning on WRVA radio, McDonnell stated, "first and foremost the responsibility of government is public safety". Unfortunately, that statement is not reflected in McDonnell's actions. First, his 2010 budget amendments cut millions of dollars from public safety budgets. Then, McDonnell's handpicked Virginia Port Authority board announced they were laying off the majority of the port's police force and replacing them with rent-a-cops who won't even carry guns. Finally, McDonnell instructed agencies, including public safety, to prepare for additional across the board budget cuts of up to 6%. Bob McDonnell says one thing and does another when it comes to Virginia's public safety.

"Voters in Northern Virginia deserve clear answers about which Bob McDonnell Jeff Frederick and Caren Merrick stand with in their campaigns for State Senate," said Anna Scholl, Executive Director of ProgressVA. "Do Frederick and Merrick support the Bob McDonnell that prioritizes public safety or the Bob McDonnell that guts public safety budgets and lays off police officers?"

Caren Merrick declares on her website that government safety must be a government priority and insists, "what it does, it must do well." Jeff Frederick told the Fairfax Times "Richmond needs to better prioritize our tax dollars to put...public safety first." Virginia voters need to know: will Merrick and Frederick follow Bob McDonnell's lead and simply pay lip service or will they truly support government's responsibility when it comes to public safety.

One Bob McDonnell says public safety is government's top priority while the other cuts millions from public safety budgets while laying off Port Authority Police

Senate candidate Ben Loyola touts an endorsement from Governor McDonnell on his campaign website. Senate candidate Mickey Chohany has taken over $50,000 from McDonnell's leadership PAC. But which Bob McDonnell are Loyola and Chohany standing with in their campaigns--the one who says he supports public safety or the one who cuts millions of dollars from public safety budgets and fires cops?

This morning on WRVA, McDonnell stated, "first and foremost the responsibility of government is public safety". Unfortunately, that statement is not reflected in McDonnell's actions. First, his 2010 budget amendments cut millions of dollars from public safety budgets. Then, McDonnell's handpicked Virginia Port Authority board announced they were laying off the majority of the port's police force and replacing them with rent-a-cops who won't even carry guns. Finally, McDonnell instructed agencies, including public safety, to prepare for additional across the board budget cuts of up to 6%. Bob McDonnell says one thing and does another when it comes to Virginia's public safety.

"Voters in Hampton Roads deserve clear answers about which Bob McDonnell Ben Loyola and Mickey Chohany stand with in their campaigns for State Senate," said Anna Scholl, Executive Director of ProgressVA. "Do Loyola and Chohany support the Bob McDonnell that prioritizes public safety or the Bob McDonnell that guts public safety budgets and lays off cops?"

Ben Loyola declares on his website that he "will work hand-in-hand with Governor Bob McDonnell to ensure the security and safety of all Virginians." Mickey Chohany says he "keep our citizens safe from criminals, terrorists, and others." Virginia voters need to know: will Loyola and Chohany follow Bob McDonnell's lead and simply pay lip service or will they truly support government's responsibility when it comes to public safety.

 

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