No more thoughts and prayers PA needs action!

In the last 24 hours, we have learned of two deadly mass shootings in PA, one in Reading and one in Fayette County.  While investigations are ongoing, we know at least four men were killed in Reading, and at least five people were killed in Fayette County.  Already, information is indicating that the Fayette County shooter was armed with a semi-automatic assault rifle and was motivated by domestic issues.

This story is not surprising.  The mix of domestic disputes and guns is often fatal.  The easy access to guns in PA, particularly semi-automatic rifles which can be sold in private sales without background checks, only increases the danger inherent in these situations.

To have two mass shootings so close together in our state is itself horrifying.  But late Friday afternoon, we also learned that at least one, and possibly two, school shootings were averted in Western PA by the quick action of students, parents, the schools and law enforcement. In  the suspected student’s home, police found an arsenal, including a semi-automatic rifle.

We need to know how the shooters are obtaining these weapons, and we need to take steps to prevent such access. We can and must do more in Pennsylvania to keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have them.  “We know how to do it,” said CeaseFirePA Executive Director Shira Goodman, “but our elected officials in Harrisburg lack the will to take action.”

Goodman continued, “We simply cannot afford to go on this way.  Undoubtedly, officials will offer thoughts and prayers to the victims and survivors, but without a commitment to take action, those gestures are meaningless.”

Posted in General Interest |

Something is Very Wrong

Between Monday and Tuesday, there were three school shootings in America. At Marshall County High School in Western Kentucky, two students were killed and 18 more were wounded.

One of the victims, 15 year old Bailey Nicole Holt called her mother as she died, “She called me, and all I could hear was voices, chaos in the background,” her mother Secret Holt told the press. “She couldn’t say anything, and I tried to call her name over and over and over, and she never responded.”

And then yesterday we learned that at least one and possibly two school shootings were thwarted in Pennsylvania — by students speaking out and fast action by the schools and police.

And how do President Trump and other elected officials respond?  With thoughts and prayers, of course. Not with leadership or resolve or action to prevent this. Not with the strength to stand up and shout that we value the lives of our children more than the profits of gun manufacturers. Not with the courage to speak truth to the lies and propaganda of the NRA who tells us that guns make us safer.

We need and deserve better. Thoughts and prayers without commitment and action are meaningless. It’s time to make clear that this is not normal, and we’ve had enough.

Posted in CeaseFirePA News, General Interest | Tagged , , , |

Let the ATF know

The ATF is currently receiving comments from the general public pertaining to bump stocks.  Comments may be submitted until 1/25/18. Below, are the steps needed to submit a comment and attached to this email are sample letters that may be used.

To submit a comment:

Attached to this is CeaseFire Pennsylvania’s statement that we are issuing to the ATF.  Feel free to use it or language from it.  CeaseFire Pennsylvania Bump Stock Comment (1)

Posted in General Interest |

Think Bump Stocks Should be Regulated as the Dangerous Devices They Are? Let the ATF Know!

On October 1, 2017, the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history took place when a gunman armed with semi-automatic rifles started shooting from a Las Vegas hotel down into a crowded street concert. The rifles and ammunition the gunman possessed were deadly in their own right, but he also used an accessory called a bumpstock to modify his semi-automatic rifles to fire more rapidly, to mimic the fire of a fully automatic machine gun.

Across the nation, Americans realized that these “accessories” need to be regulated. Congress and/or the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) must act. And now, some states have taken action. Bills are even pending in PA. But there is a possible national solution. BATF is asking for comments about a proposed rulemaking that would clarify the definition of “machinegun” in the National Firearms Act of 1934 to include conversion devices like bump fire stocks that convert a semi-automatic rifle into the functional equivalent of a fully automatic rifle.

We have a chance to be heard. Anyone can submit a comment on the proposed rulemaking, and we know that people who want these deadly devices to remain unregulated are doing so.

Please take a moment and submit a comment to the ATF. You can do it online, and we’ve provided a draft comment for you.


Form submission (You can paste this in or write your own comment!):

I believe the ATF should ban bumpstocks under the same rule through which they regulate machine guns. Bumpstocks are used to increase the rate of fire of a semi-automatic weapon.  They do so with deadly results.  Las Vegas was a massacre.  ATF must take into account the toll of gun violence on communities like Las Vegas, in terms of injuries, loss of life, and the financial loss to businesses in the communities that are affected. The continued presence of these dangerous devices poses a continuing threat to all of our communities and both Congress and ATF must take action quickly to address this threat to public safety.

We hope you will submit a comment today!


Posted in General Interest | Tagged , , |

Gabby Giffords on the seven-year anniversary of Tucson: “[T]ragedy has given me agency, courage and historic purpose in the movement to save lives from gun violence.”

U.S. Congresswoman Gabby Giffords is no stranger to anger about our lax gun laws. Seven years ago,  she was shot in front of a shopping center in Tucson, AZ, while meeting with some constituents. Luckily for all of us, not only did she survive this attempted assassination, but she has courageously fought for common-sense gun regulations ever since. In an editorial published today in USA Today (…/seven-years-after-be…/1011400001/), she called out Congress for its inaction in the wake of seemingly countless mass shootings.

“These days,” she writes, “people are angry, and justifiably so. They ask whether leaders have forgotten about our responsibility to protect our children. They wonder why in a country as great as ours, it feels as if we’re no longer able to solve our biggest problems. They feel hopeless, having witnessed Congress fail to act after Newtown, after Charleston, after Las Vegas, after Sutherland Springs.”

But, Giffords said, instead of allowing ourselves to be overwhelmed by the government’s failure to act, we must remain strong and diligent: “We said then [in 2013, when she and her husband began their fight] — as we’ve said all along — that addressing the gun violence crisis was going to be a marathon, not a sprint. Five years into this fight, looking back and reflecting on just how far we’ve come is what gives me hope, inspiration and the strength to persist…. If you’re frustrated by the fact that your leaders have yet to do anything to address gun violence, don’t forget that you get the final word. After all, there’s only one remedy for a Congress that won’t take action to keep us safe: a Congress that can.”

We’re proud to stand with Gabby, her husband Mark Kelly, and their Giffords (formerly Americans for Responsible Solutions) organization as we fight for safer communities. We promise that we won’t rest until we pass common-sense gun laws and gun violence is kept at bay for all Pennsylvanians and all Americans.


Posted in CeaseFirePA News, General Interest |

Happy New Year

Wishing all of you a happy, healthy New Year! Please work with us to take a stand against gun violence in 2018!

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