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Mass Shootings and Gun Laws: Canada Does What America Won’t Do

NNPA NEWSWIRE — As of May 18, 2022, individuals and businesses transferring or selling a non-restricted firearm in Canada need to confirm the recipient’s identity and check the validity of their gun license with the Registrar of Firearms before completing the transfer, including by providing the recipient’s license number and any other information requested. Canadian officials said the new rule would help prevent people who cannot have a firearm from getting one.
The post Mass Shootings and Gun Laws: Canada Does What America Won’t Do first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

According to the Gun Violence Archive, 2022 has quickly become the year of Mass Shootings.

Researchers, who label mass shootings as incidents where four or more people are injured or killed (not including the shooter), noted that there have already been more than 231 mass shootings this year in the United States.

With an average of more than one mass shooting per day, there hasn’t been a week in 2022 without at least one incident.

While America’s lawmakers grapple with deep ties to the National Rifle Association and a reluctance to do much about the gun violence crisis that most recently resulted in the deaths of small children in Uvalde, Texas, and senior citizens at a supermarket in Buffalo, Canada has provided the blueprint to stop mass shootings.

As of May 1, 2020, the government north of the border said it has prohibited over 1,500 models of assault-style firearms and specific components of some newly prohibited firearms – including AR-15 and M4 weapons.

To help accomplish that, lawmakers provided a criminal code amnesty period that remains in effect until October 2023. The government designed the amnesty period to “protect individuals or businesses who, at the time the prohibition came into force, were in lawful possession of a newly prohibited firearm from criminal liability while they take steps to comply with the law.”

Canada’s Minister of Public Safety, the Honorable Marco Mendicino, announced new and more stringent rules governing the sale or transfer of non-restricted firearms.

As of May 18, 2022, individuals and businesses transferring or selling a non-restricted firearm need to confirm the recipient’s identity and check the validity of their gun license with the Registrar of Firearms before completing the transfer, including by providing the recipient’s license number and any other information requested.

Canadian officials said the new rule would help prevent people who cannot have a firearm from getting one.

Further, firearms businesses must retain sales and inventory records related to non-restricted firearms.

“This will make it easier for law enforcement to trace crime guns. In addition, the records will be held by businesses — not the government — and the police will need reasonable grounds to get access to them, often with judicial authorization,” Mendicino said.

“We are taking action to keep Canadians safe from gun violence. To that end, we are bringing common-sense regulations that strengthen public safety through validated ownership, transparent business records keeping, and license verification before purchasing a firearm,” the public safety minister asserted.

“Today’s regulations will help ensure that firearms do not end up in the wrong hands, assist police in tracing guns used in a crime, and are part of the broader strategy to keep communities safe.”

Meanwhile, in America, the New York Times reported that mass shootings come against a worsening adolescent mental health crisis, one that predated the pandemic but intensified by Covid.

“Much of the despair among teenagers and young adults has been inwardly directed, with soaring rates of self-harm and suicide,” the newspaper reported.

“In that sense, the perpetrators of mass shootings represent an extreme minority of young people, but one that nonetheless exemplifies broader trends of loneliness, hopelessness and the darker side of a culture saturated by social media and violent content.”

In recounting mass shootings in America, the Times noted that, in addition to Buffalo and Uvalde, there was a mass shooting at a supermarket in Boulder, Colo., in March 2021 that the police said was carried out by a 21-year-old man.

There’s also the massacre by a 21-year-old gunman targeting Hispanic shoppers at a Walmart in El Paso in August 2019 that resulted in 23 deaths.

Additionally, a 17-year-old student in Santa Fe, Texas, stood accused of shooting and killing eight students and two teachers in May 2018.

At Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., in February 2018, a 19-year-old former student killed 17 people.

Reportedly, only two of the 30 deadliest mass shootings recorded from 1949 to 2017 involved shooters younger than 21: The first was the massacre of 13 people by two teenagers at Columbine High School in 1999, and the second came when a 20-year-old killed 27 people, most of them children, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in 2012.

“How much more carnage are we willing to accept?” President Joe Biden pleaded as he asked Congress to produce and move new gun laws.

“Enough is enough,” Biden declared. “Don’t tell me raising the age won’t make a difference.”

The President said he wants Congress to restore bans on selling assault-style weapons with high-capacity magazines, or what Canada and its two-party government system have done.

“Much of the gap in how these two countries handle contentious policy questions comes down to something that can feel invisible amid day-to-day politicking, but maybe just as important as the issues themselves: the structures of their political systems,” Journalist Max Fisher wrote for the New York Times.

Fisher noted that Canada operates under a parliamentary system. Its head of government, Justin Trudeau, is elevated to that job by the legislature, of which he is also a member, and which his party, in collaboration with another, controls.

“If Mr. Trudeau wants to pass a new law, he must merely ask his subordinates in his party and their allies to do it,” Fisher wrote.

“There is no such thing as divided government and less cross-party horse-trading and legislative gridlock.”

The post Mass Shootings and Gun Laws: Canada Does What America Won’t Do first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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Fighting an Unjust System, The Bail Project Helps People Get Out of Jail and Reunites Families

In addition to posting bail at no cost to the person or their family, The Bail Project works to connect its clients to social services and community resources based on an individual’s identified needs, including substance use treatment, mental health support, stable housing and employment.

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Adrienne Johnson, the regional director for The Bail Project, told NNPA’s Let It Be Known that the organization seeks to accomplish its mission one person at a time.
Adrienne Johnson, the regional director for The Bail Project, told NNPA’s Let It Be Known that the organization seeks to accomplish its mission one person at a time.

Hundreds of thousands of individuals locked up in jails almost daily — many find it challenging to pay bail

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

As public support for criminal justice reform continues to build — and as the pandemic raises the stakes higher — advocates remain adamant that it’s more important than ever that the facts are straight, and everyone understands the bigger picture.

“The U.S. doesn’t have one ‘criminal justice system;’ instead, we have thousands of federal, state, local, and tribal systems,” Wendy Sawyer and Peter Wagner found in a study released by the nonprofit Prison Policy Initiative.

Together, these systems hold almost 2 million people in 1,566 state prisons, 102 federal prisons, 2,850 local jails, 1,510 juvenile correctional facilities, 186 immigration detention facilities, and 82 Indian country jails, as well as in military prisons, civil commitment centers, state psychiatric hospitals, and prisons in the U.S. territories,” the study authors said in a press release.

With hundreds of thousands of individuals locked up in jails almost daily, many find it challenging to pay bail.

Recognizing America’s ongoing mass incarceration problem and the difficulties families have in bailing out their loved ones, a new organization began in 2018 to offer some relief.

The Bail Project, a nationwide charitable fund for pretrial defendants, started with a vision of combating mass incarceration by disrupting the money bail system.

Adrienne Johnson, the regional director for The Bail Project, told NNPA’s Let It Be Known that the organization seeks to accomplish its mission one person at a time.

“We have a mission of doing exactly what we hope our criminal system would do: protect the presumption of innocence, reunite families, and challenge a system that we know can criminalize poverty,” Johnson stated.

“Our mission is to end cash bail and create a more just, equitable, and humane pretrial system,” she insisted.

Johnson said The Bronx Freedom Fund, at the time a new revolving bail fund that launched in New York, planted the seed for The Bail Project more than a decade ago.

“Because bail is returned at the end of a case, we can build a sustainable revolving fund where philanthropic dollars can be used several times per year, maximizing the impact of every contribution,” Johnson stated.

In addition to posting bail at no cost to the person or their family, The Bail Project works to connect its clients to social services and community resources based on an individual’s identified needs, including substance use treatment, mental health support, stable housing and employment.

Johnson noted that officials created cash bail to incentivize people to return to court.

Instead, she said, judges routinely set cash bail well beyond most people’s ability to afford it, resulting in thousands of legally innocent people incarcerated while they await court dates.

According to The Bail Project, Black Americans are disproportionately impacted by cash bail, and of all Black Americans in jail in the U.S., nearly half are from southern prisons.

“There is no way to do the work of advancing pretrial reform without addressing the harmful effects of cash bail in the South,” said Robin Steinberg, Founder, and CEO of The Bail Project.

“Cash bail fuels racial and economic disparities in our legal system, and we look forward to supporting the community in Greenville as we work to eliminate cash bail and put ourselves out of business.”

Since its launch, The Bail Project has stationed teams in more than 25 cities, posting bail for more than 18,000 people nationwide.

Johnson said the organization uses its national revolving bail fund, powered by individual donations, to pay bail.

The Bail Project has spent over $47 million on bail.

“When we post bail for a person, we post the full cash amount at court,” Johnson stated.

“Upon resolution of the case, the money returns to whoever posted. So, if I posted $5,000 to bail someone out, we then help the person get back to court and resolve the case,” she continued.

“The money then comes back to us, and we can use that money to help someone else. So, we recycle that.”

Johnson said eliminating cash bail and the need for bail funds remains the goal.

“It’s the just thing to do. It restores the presumption of innocence, and it restores families,” Johnson asserted.

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PRESS ROOM: EPA Administrator Regan to Join Leaders of Civil Rights, Environmental Justice Movement for Significant Announcement in Warren County, North Carolina

NNPA NEWSWIRE — U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael S. Regan will be joined by significant figures from the civil rights and environmental justice movements, including Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr., president and CEO of the National Newspaper Publishers Association and other participants from the original Warren County protests for the event.
The post PRESS ROOM: EPA Administrator Regan to Join Leaders of Civil Rights, Environmental Justice Movement for Significant Announcement in Warren County, North Carolina first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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Administrator to honor legacy of environmental justice and civil rights at event in Warren County, site of protests that launched the movement 40 years ago

WASHINGTON (September 22, 2022) – On Saturday, September 24, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael S. Regan will travel to Warren County, North Carolina to deliver remarks on EPA’s environmental justice and civil rights priorities and the progress we’ve achieved since the first protest and march that launched the movement 40 years ago this week. Administrator Regan will make a significant announcement on President Biden’s commitment to elevate environmental justice and civil rights enforcement at EPA and across the federal government and ensure the work to support our most vulnerable communities continues for years to come.

Administrator Regan will be joined by significant figures from the civil rights and environmental justice movements, including participants from the original Warren County protests for the event.

Who:
EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan
Congressman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01)
Environmental Justice and Civil Rights Leaders
Warren County residents and community leaders
Additional stakeholders

What: Remarks on EPA environmental justice and civil rights priorities and honoring the legacy of the environmental justice and civil rights movement
When: Saturday, September 24, 2022,
Doors Open: 11:30 AM ET
Program: 12:45 PM ET
;
Where: Warren County Courthouse
109 S Main Street
Warrenton, NC 27589
Livestream: A livestream of this event will be available at epa.gov/live.

The post PRESS ROOM: EPA Administrator Regan to Join Leaders of Civil Rights, Environmental Justice Movement for Significant Announcement in Warren County, North Carolina first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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September 26 | Governance at the Local Level | The Conversation with Al McFarlane

Join Al McFarlane (Host), Brenda Lyle-Gray (Co-Host) and Special Guest Co-Host Diana Hawkins, Executive Director for …
The post September 26 | Governance at the Local Level | The Conversation with Al McFarlane first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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Join Al McFarlane (Host), Brenda Lyle-Gray (Co-Host) and Special Guest Co-Host Diana Hawkins, Executive Director for …

The post September 26 | Governance at the Local Level | The Conversation with Al McFarlane first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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