We often write you at critical times, pivotal moments when we have to clearly announce who we want to be and what we stand for. Although there should be no choice here, we again find ourselves at such a moment. There are not multiple sides, there is no nuance, there is no question. What we witnessed in Charlottesville was hatred, racism, and the worst that America can be. The only choice now is to reject that hatred and racism and to work to transform America into the best we can be.
The Nazis, Klan members and other white supremacists who gathered in Charlottesville were armed to the teeth. It is by sheer luck and the grace of God that we are not mourning more than the terrible deaths of Heather Heyer, Lt. H. Jay Cullen and Trooper-Pilot Berke MM Bates.
We cannot dismiss what happened in Charlottesville as fringe or unusual. We must face it head on and acknowledge that racism, xenophobia, antisemitism, Islamophobia, homophobia, and all the other antis and phobias are part of America. And then we must commit to fight that all and to disarm hate. There is no other choice, there is no other side.
Sometimes, it seems the challenges we face are so big that only a superhero could save the day. As much as we love Wonderwoman, Spiderman, and the Avengers, we can’t escape reality and leave the hard work to those super-powered beings.
Whether it’s expanding background checks, keeping guns out of our schools, or simply asking the neighbor if there is a gun in the home before sending the kids to play, solving our problems is up to us. We can all be heroes. It just takes stepping up.
You don’t need a sword, shield, or even special powers. You need courage and the will to do what’s right.
With all of the uncertainty in the news, we just want to thank you for stepping up and taking a stand against gun violence. To us, you’re the heroes.
Our partners at Americans for Responsible Solutions (ARS) have released a series of fact sheets pertaining to attempts to federally mandate national reciprocity. This mandate would force states to recognize conceal/carry licenses from other states. Even if a state has fewer or no standards to obtain a license the state would have to recognize it. “Here in Pennsylvania, we have a clear process for obtaining a concealed carry license — a process that respects the decisions of local law enforcement. Why should we be forced to allow unlicensed, unvetted people from out of state to carry concealed guns here in Pennsylvania? I hope Pennsylvania’s leaders will oppose this bill and stand up for our safety,” said our Executive Director Shira Goodman.
ARS Conceal Carry Fact Sheet will take you to the fact sheet which compares PA and neighboring state WV.
When I was growing up, a new set of pencils or a lunch box would have been a good back to school gift. Unfortunately that’s not what the NRA and gun lobby have in mind. They are hard at work to pass a bill that would allow guns in school. We would even see armed teachers in elementary schools!
Can you chip in $25, $50, $100, or $250 right now and help us fight this very dangerous and absurd legislation?
Here at CeaseFirePA, we believe in the old fashioned back to school gifts. While the gun lobby tries to make our schools less safe, we’re buying 250 new backpacks for at risk youth in PA. Your contribution will also help us fund this project and others like it.
Can we count on you to help us work to keep our schools safe and to make sure those who need it most have a back to school gift that counts?
Last night, CeaseFirePA held vigils in Pittsburgh and Bucks County to remember those who lost their lives and those whose lives were forever changed five years ago during the Aurora shooting. A small crowd gathered at the Warrington Regal Theater in Bucks County for a “Flash Vigil,” a very short ceremony to mark the anniversary and send three clear messages:
We remember Aurora and will honor the victims and survivors with action.
In the five years since Aurora, Congress and the PA legislature have failed to take any measures to make our communities safer, and this is unacceptable.
We have the right to be safe and feel safe in movie theaters, churches, schools, and anywhere we come together to work, play, pray and learn.
You can watch a video of the “Flash Vigil” on YouTube.
We chose the Warrington theater because Bucks County legislators have a mixed record on gun violence prevention policies, and we want them to know we expect them to stand up for our safety with every vote.