BOWIE, Ariz. (AP) — A second-grade student at a southeastern Arizona elementary school is facing charges for allegedly bringing two guns and ammunition to school, authorities said Wednesday.
Cochise County Sheriff’s officials said they were called Monday to Cochise Elementary School in Bowie on reports that a 7-year-old student had a weapon.
Deputies met with school officials and the student and said a handgun and ammunition was found in his backpack and a second gun also was discovered.
Authorities contacted the student’s parents and gave the boy a juvenile referral for charges of misconduct with a weapon and a minor in possession of a firearm.
A sheriff’s spokeswoman said it was unlikely that the boy’s parents will face charges in the incident, which remains under investigation.
[...] headlines and commentators repeat a common refrain: The U.S is the only country where this happens.
Nowadays that may be true, but 26 years ago, it happened in Scotland. In March 1996, a gunman entered Dunblane Primary School, killing 16 students, a teacher, and injuring 15 others. To this day, it is the deadliest mass shooting in UK history.
But that's where the similarities end. In the aftermath of the shooting, parents in Dunblane were able to mobilize with the kind of effectiveness that has eluded American gun control activists. By the following year, Parliament had banned private ownership of most handguns, as well as semi-automatic weapons, and required mandatory registration for shotgun owners. There have been no school shootings in the U.K since then.
A new ISO-approved measure will also allow sharing of suspicious purchases with law enforcement
Credit card purchases of firearms in the US can now be tracked and purchases deemed suspicious can even be shared with law enforcement, according to a new measure approved by an organization that sets parameters for business transactions.
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) voted in favor of creating a merchant code for firearms stores, according to Reuters
Merchant codes are four-digit codes that categorize retailers across all industries; until now, gun purchases had been classified under “miscellaneous retail stores” or “sporting goods stores.”
While the measure has been lauded by politicians such as Massachusetts senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey among others, it isn’t clear how this process will work.
Numerous top level credit card companies such as PayPal, Stripe and Square don’t allow gun purchases. For the credit companies that do allow the purchases, the total cost can be extra high due to interests.
As a result, many gun buyers often use cash for their purchases; potential buyers are often seen asking in online forums whether it’s better to buy guns with cash or credits, with many voting for cash.
Meanwhile, fintech companies such as Credova, built for the purpose of allowing installment plans for gun purchases, shrug off their role when asked about how people like the Uvalde, Texas, shooter purchased guns through their platform using a debit card.
John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety, welcomed ISO’s decision, which was announced on Friday, and said it’s now crucial for this to be implemented thoroughly.
“Today’s announcement is a critical first step towards giving banks and credit card companies the tools they need to recognize dangerous firearm purchasing trends – like a domestic extremist building up an arsenal – and report them to law enforcement,” he said in a statement shared with the Guardian.
Amalgamated Bank, which brands itself as a “socially responsible bank” had requested the codes to the ISO.
On Friday, they celebrated their victory, thanking their partners, including New York governor Kathy Hochul and New York Attorney General Tish James.
Priscilla Sims Brown, President and CEO of the bank, said in a statement that the code will open the path for banks to report suspicious or illegal gun sale activity in a way that will not interfere with legal gun sales.
“This action answers the call of millions of Americans who want safety from gun violence and we are proud to have led the broad coalition of advocates, shareholders, and elected officials that achieved this historic outcome,” she added.
The tracking and blocking of illegal gun sales has already made headway with FBI background checks, according to Everytown.
In 2020, the FBI background checks led to blocking more than 300,000 illegal gun purchases, nearly double the number of 2019.
The same year, gun purchases skyrocketed as people were stuck indoors during the first wave of the pandemic; records show there were 20m legal purchases in 2020, up from 12.4m the year before.
In a statement, the Alliance for Gun Responsibility said: “We are glad to see the financial industry take action to recognize that it has a role to play in helping keep our communities safe. Passing stronger gun laws is essential, but it is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to addressing the gun violence epidemic.”
The Democratic break from the National Rifle Association is complete: For the first time in at least 25 years, not a single Democrat running for Congress anywhere in the country received an A in the group’s candidate ratings, which were once a powerful influence in U.S. elections.
A New York Times analysis of the N.R.A.’s letter grades for more than 900 general election candidates, the last of which were published this week, identified the milestone. It is the culmination of a yearslong trend of eroding support for the hard-line views of the organization, which retains strong allegiance from Republican candidates but has lost any semblance of bipartisan support.
Of the more than 450 Democrats who will be on House or Senate ballots in November, only one, Representative Jared Golden of Maine, received even a B. Three received C’s, 23 received D’s and 370 — 81 percent of the total — received F’s. (The rest received a “?” rating, meaning they had no public record on gun policy or had made contradictory statements.)
The numbers were even starker among the roughly 200 Democrats running for re-election, 98 percent of whom received F’s.
There were more defections from the party line among Republicans, though they were still in the single digits: One, Representative Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, received an F, and seven, including four incumbents, received D’s. Notably, 24 percent of Republican candidates received a “?” rating, a mark the N.R.A. says “often indicates indifference, if not outright hostility,” to gun rights.
That amount has increased sharply among Republicans; it was 11 percent a decade ago. By contrast, “?” grades among Democrats declined over the same period to 13 percent from 33 percent. Many Democrats used to avoid going on the record about guns out of fear of the N.R.A.’s well-funded backlash.
All told, of 926 major-party candidates on House and Senate ballots this year, 36 percent received A’s and 40 percent received F’s, making 2022 the third election in a row in which the N.R.A. assigned more F’s than A’s.
While Republicans have always supported the N.R.A. in larger numbers, it was not long ago that the group also had meaningful Democratic backing: In 2012, 70 Democrats running for the House or Senate received A’s. That is now unheard-of. The last Democratic incumbent with an A rating was Collin Peterson of Minnesota in 2020, when he lost re-election.
Most incumbents received the same grade this year as the last time they ran, which is typical. Only 14 saw their grades change, seven in each direction.
Almost all of those incumbents were Republican: the seven who were upgraded and six of the seven who were downgraded. (The one Democrat was Representative Sanford D. Bishop Jr. of Georgia, who went from a C to an F; as recently as 2018, he had received an A and an N.R.A. endorsement.) The downgraded Republicans — Senators Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Marco Rubio of Florida and Todd Young of Indiana, and Representatives Steve Chabot of Ohio, Tony Gonzales of Texas and David Joyce of Ohio — all went from A’s to B’s.
Mr. Rubio’s new grade reflected his decision to endorse limited gun restrictions after the Parkland, Fla., shooting in 2018. (Since senators receive ratings only when they run for re-election, this is the first year in which he has been graded since 2016.)
The other Republicans who were downgraded voted for the bipartisan gun bill that passed in June. It was the first time in nearly three decades that Congress — long held in check by N.R.A. lobbying — passed any significant restriction on guns.
it's undeniable that the USA is the only country that refuses to do what it takes to stop school shootings...
Many Republicans in Congress agree with Representative Matt Gaetz that the Second Amendment “is about maintaining within the citizenry the ability to maintain an armed rebellion against the government, if that becomes necessary.”
This purported right to overthrow the government means that the people must enjoy access to weapons that are wholly unnecessary for hunting or self-defense, such as military-style assault weapons. As Representative Chip Roy, a Republican, argues, the Second Amendment was “designed purposefully to empower the people to resist the force of tyranny used against them.”
Some champions of this insurrectionist theory of the Second Amendment seem to glorify violence against public officials. Two weeks before the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection overran the U.S. Capitol, Representative Lauren Boebert declared that the Second Amendment “has nothing to do with hunting, unless you’re talking about hunting tyrants, maybe.”
Statements such as these were irresponsible enough before Jan. 6. Today, such talk courts disaster. It valorizes the brutality of the worst insurrectionary domestic attack at the Capitol in U.S. history, freezes our ability to pass reasonable gun safety legislation and justifies even more deadly political violence. It is essential to reject the myth that frustrated citizens have a Second Amendment right to raise arms against the government — an outrageous betrayal of our Constitution.
This is especially critical at a time when the former president Donald Trump is warning darkly that his potential indictment by government authorities would lead to “problems in this country the likes of which perhaps we’ve never seen before” and is dangling future presidential pardons before convicted Jan. 6 rioters, all while his Q-Anon-influenced followers behave in ever more cultish and disturbing ways.
Let’s start with this basic reality check. Of the more than 900 people charged with crimes tied to Jan. 6 — including smashing windows, assaulting Capitol officers and conspiring to overthrow or interfere with the government — not a single charge has been dismissed by any federal (or state) court on the grounds that the Second Amendment or any other part of the Constitution gives them the right to engage in violent insurrection against the government.
This is for excellent reason. The Constitution treats insurrection and rebellion as political dangers, not protected rights. Article I gives Congress the power to “provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions.” The guarantee clause in Article IV tells the United States to guarantee a republican form of government to the states and protect them “against invasion; and on application of the legislature, or of the executive (when the legislature cannot be convened) against domestic violence.” These provisions followed Shays’ Rebellion, an armed uprising in Massachusetts in the 1780s.
After the Civil War, the 14th Amendment disqualified from public office anyone who had sworn an oath to support the Constitution but then participated in “insurrection or rebellion” against the United States.
Despite all this abundant repudiation of insurrection and rebellion in the body of the Constitution, some House Republicans still parrot National Rifle Association talking points and insist that the Second Amendment — in invisible ink — protects the right of private citizens to overthrow the government by force.
But nowhere did the framers of the Second Amendment profess that idea, much less embody it in the constitutional text, something that might give pause to self-proclaimed originalists and textualists spouting the theory. Nor did the Supreme Court ever hold during the Civil War that the Confederates had a right to overthrow the Union to defeat what they clearly saw as President Abraham Lincoln’s tyranny. On the contrary, the Supreme Court has emphasized the federal government’s power to enforce the law and quell insurrection.
The Supreme Court has been clear that the Second Amendment’s reference to a “well-regulated militia” means well-regulated by the government. In 1886 the court upheld an Illinois law criminalizing private paramilitary groups as a legitimate measure “necessary to the public peace, safety and good order.” The “militia” is not some reserve power to rebel against the government but the well-organized instrument by which state and federal governments have opposed domestic violence.
Today, all 50 states forbid private paramilitary organizations — a reality at odds with the theory that self-appointed private militias or vigilantes can take up arms and start hunting alleged despots or other political opponents. Raising arms and levying war against the United States can at a certain point become treason under Article III.
When I point out these problems with constitutional insurrectionism, my G.O.P. House colleagues fall back on two responses. First, they quote profusely from Patrick Henry — of “Give me liberty or give me death” fame — which is amusing because Henry was an anti-Federalist who opposed the ratification of the Constitution. It’s like quoting speeches by the Confederate leader Jefferson Davis to settle the meaning of the 13th and 14th Amendments.
More seductively, my Republican colleagues invoke the American Revolution and the idea in the Declaration of Independence that after a “long train of abuses and usurpations,” aggrieved people have the right to “alter or to abolish” the bonds holding them to a tyrannical government.
This is true, of course, but also perfectly irrelevant. The revolutionaries undoubtedly asserted their right as a matter of natural law to overthrow a tyrannical government. But that is completely different from the claim that the American Constitution itself — our binding positive law — guarantees a right to overthrow the American government. Our Constitution does not even guarantee the right to engage in nonviolent civil disobedience to press reform, as Martin Luther King Jr. and John Lewis learned from the inside of many a jail cell. Much less does the Constitution guarantee the right to engage in violent civil disobedience to revolt.
If the American government were to engage in true tyranny — like slaughtering and oppressing the population — we the people would undoubtedly have a right to recite our grievances, proclaim our cause to the world, cut the ties that bind and engage in the kind of revolutionary struggle that the American colonists did. But it would be meaningless and silly to argue that it is the Constitution that granted us the right to do all that.
As the historian Garry Wills long ago explained: “A people can overthrow a government it considers unjust. But it is absurd to think that it does so by virtue of that unjust government’s own authority. The appeal to heaven is an appeal away from the earthly authority of the moment, not to that authority.”
The romantic but entirely fraudulent insurrectionary theory of our Constitution allows Mr. Trump’s followers to suggest that the mass destructive violence of Jan. 6 was something other than criminal and should be established as a model for right-wing politics in this century.
But the way we pursue real grievances about electoral disputes in America is through the law and the courts. Mr. Trump and his followers brought more than 50 lawsuits that were rejected by federal and state judges all across the land. Their team should have taken these losses as America’s debunking of their big lie and gone home.