MoCo students create organization for gun control

  • Published in Local

MoCo Gun ControlStudents from several high schools meet to talk about controlling access to handguns. PHOTO BY ABBY CRUZIt started with a text message from a friend.

Dani Miller, a 17-year-old junior at Winston Churchill High School, looked down at her phone and saw that a friend from Springbrook High School had just added her to a group text chain with two other Springbrook students. Miller quickly added 17-year-old Montgomery Blair High School senior Brenna Levitan, who added some of her friends, who added their friends, who would add theirs, and so on.

Before long, the exponentially-growing group included students from 22 schools across the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia who began meeting frequently at places like Rockville Town Center and the Silver Spring library.


Local students march on Washington

  • Published in Local

Students march on CapitolStudents march on the Capitol in Washington, D.C. PHOTO BY ABBY CRUZWASHINGTON, D.C.Thousands of students walked out of their high schools today in the Washington D.C. area. Students first walked out of their high schools, marched towards the nearest metro stops, rallied at the White House, and then finished their protest at the United States Capitol. 

"I protested today because I know there are a lot of students, children, and people who feel unsafe in their school," said Honor Kalala, 17, a senior at Montgomery Blair High School and one of the student leaders today. "It's not only about kids in school; it's about people on the street. I’m just not okay with it!" she said.


Gun advocates and control supporters rally in Annapolis

  • Published in State

ANNAPOLIS — Even a casual observer who visited the House of Delegates’ offices Tuesday could easy deduce the issue of the day by taking notice of the sartorial sameness displayed in the long lines of activists waiting to testify – gun control.

The corridor outside the House Judiciary Committee’s chamber, was packed full of redshirted advocates, gun lobbyists and other Marylanders seeking to add their voice to the debate, whether it was for or against more gun legislation. While last month’s deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida provided new momentum to a longstanding push for more gun control laws, those in attendance at Tuesday’s public hearing came not to take part in the ongoing national debate on guns, but rather to weigh in gun issues closer to home in Maryland.


Before you go too far . . .

Richard JeniThe late comedian Richard Jeni once said in reference to American politics if you’ve gone too far to the right or too far to the left then you’ve . . . gone too far.
And here we are in 2018. Our president says to the nation during a joint news conference how much he enjoys conflict and how happy his White House is. “Believe me everyone wants to work in the White House,” he said an hour before Gary Cohn became the latest to say “Not so fast.”


Rex Tillerson actually got this one right

MC DC NRAs Solution to EverythingAdmittedly, I was not a fan of naming the head of Exxon-Mobil as the head of the State Department, but I must give credit where credit is due. Rex Tillerson was exactly right when he described the current occupant of the Oval Office as a moron. The president proves the accuracy of that assessment on an almost daily, if not hourly, basis but no example is better than his current cure-all for eliminating gun massacres in schools: arming teachers!
Now, to be quite honest, if I were a teacher in a classroom and there was a shooter with an assault rifle in the hallway firing at will, I would definitely wish I had in my possession a firearm. That goes without saying.
However, simply adding the arming of teachers, as some eight states currently allow, into the broader discussion is not what makes Trump a moron. It is his sincere belief that he just came up with the solution that seemed to have eluded everyone else other than the NRA. The expression on his face when he shared this brainstorm with the survivors of school gun violence is priceless.
The fact that he is incapable of assessing the full range of ramifications of his, in his mind, brilliant solution is truly frightening coming from a sitting president. Not realizing the complexity of the issue and the need to implement a broad range of actions, including fewer guns, to address this epidemic of mass shootings is what truly makes him so unfit for the office he now holds.


Survivors of Florida school shooting inspire audience at Blair High School event

  • Published in Local

Congressmen Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) and Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) stand with survivors of the Valentine's Day shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. The survivors met with local high school students at Montgomery Blair High School Monday night.  PHOTO BY ABBY CRUZ Congressmen Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) and Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) stand with survivors of the Valentine's Day shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. The survivors met with local high school students at Montgomery Blair High School Monday night. PHOTO BY ABBY CRUZ  SILVER SPRING — Students from various high schools in Montgomery County filled the auditorium at Montgomery Blair High School last night to welcome survivors from the Valentine’s Day shooting that happened at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

As media waited outside during the event, a black van pulled up in front of the school at 7:52 p.m. and one by one, the survivors of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School made their way into the building. Also in attendance was Congressman Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) representing the Parkland community, and Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), the organizer of the event. While media were not allowed inside at the request of Montgomery County high school students in attendance, Raskin said survivors would speak with reporters after the event. However, the Parkland survivors left afterwards without speaking to reporters, claiming fatigue.

Around 9:30 p.m., students began to leave the event, some deeply concerned. Sophie Holt, 16, a sophomore at Albert Einstein High School said she attended last week’s school walkout protest and attended this event at Blair because she believes the Parkland survivors’ movement is important and hopefully will change current gun laws.

“There has been so many mass shootings in the past 10 years in this country, we need a change in this country,” said Holt. “The fact that they’re [survivors] willing to stand up there and like, make a difference and get the message across to the country that we really need to make a change, I think that’s really cool,” she said.


Gun control legislation to be reconsidered

  • Published in State

Maryland FlagThe mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida that killed 17 people last week has brought new attention to state bills on gun control and school security as legislators and citizens alike look for answers after a recent wave of horrific mass shootings. 

The shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, where a former student walked into the school and killed 17 people with an AR-15 style assault rifle, is the latest mass shooting in the past year which has prompted law makers in the state to introduce a series of gun control measures. 

“Until our national government, Congress and the president make some reforms that affect all states, we can have the strongest laws on the book, people still can get guns legally because there are states with other laws,” said Del. Kathleen Dumais (D-15).


“How much blood?”

  • Published in Local

Local high school students join protest at White House demanding gun control 

Local high school students join the protests at the White House Wednesday. PHOTO BY SUZANNE POLLAKLocal high school students join the protests at the White House Wednesday.                   PHOTO BY SUZANNE POLLAK  Hundreds of County high school students walked out of class at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday en route to the U.S. Capitol, where they rallied in favor of gun control.

After walking to the nearest Metro Station, classmates came together at Union Station to show their outrage against the National Rifle Association and to demand something be done to stop school shootings.

At Montgomery Blair, students said that while school officials did not sanction the protest, they took no action to stop it.

As the students streamed out of the school, Assistant Principal Dirk Cauley addressed them through a megaphone, warning them to follow their police escort and stay on the sidewalks.

Besides Blair, high school students from Bethesda-Chevy Chase, Richard Montgomery, Northwood, Einstein, Wootton, Oneness Family Montessori School in Kensington among others marched up First Street to the Capitol, where they heard short speeches by Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-8th District) and Jen Pauliukonis, president of Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence.

“It’s ridiculous how they are not making this into a big enough deal,” Blair sophomore Griffith Wacht said. “We are doing this to show them they can’t get away with it,” he said, referring to Congressional inaction concerning gun control.


Enough with the prayers already

MC DC Trump on Gun Violence in America 1bSomewhere in the United States right now, as you read this, the next victims of a mass murder are going about their business of life and have no idea what’s in store for them.
They don’t know they’ll soon be victims – perhaps before the ink dries on our newspaper.
They have no way of knowing how they’ll die, or when; whether they’ll die next to their loved ones or die running for safety.
They will just be dead and the dead can’t do anything about it.


It's never too early to talk about gun control

MC DC Wash Rinse Repeat in BW 1bIt is not too soon. Today's the day to talk about guns in the aftermath of the horrific tragedy that took place just a few short weeks ago in Las Vegas.
Let's start the discussion with some math. This country averages about 90 deaths by gun per day. That is about 33,000 gun deaths per year, every year. Compare that statistic to Japan which had one gun death last year. That is one.
Want more math? The population of this country is about 320 million and the number of guns in this country is about 265 million. Of those 265 million guns about half, or 130 million guns, are owned by only three percent of the population. 78 percent of the population do not own a firearm.
Here's an even better statistic: with only about five percent of the population, the United States accounts for 50 percent of all guns in the world.
One more statistic: there have been, to date, 273 mass shootings, or shootings that take at least four lives, in the United States this year.
Now let's add up all the numbers and what do we get? It is time to do something because doing nothing is not working. In the aftermath of the deadliest mass shooting in our history, a record which seems to be broken every year or so, the Republican Congress said “too soon.”

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