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Action Alert: Virginians for Responsible Gun Laws

Dear Supporters,

Virginians for Responsible Gun Laws would like to offer our sincere thanks to everyone who promoted and attended the Vigil & Advocacy Day at the State Capitol in Richmond on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  The event was a huge success and had the largest attendance of any Advocacy Day ever (in 23 years)!

It was a great kick-off to the legislative session, but our work is just beginning.  Legislative committees in the General Assembly will now begin debating gun-related bills. Their votes on these bills will be critical in deciding their ultimate fate in the Virginia House and Senate.

“Sometime this year, if the statistical projections prove accurate, firearm deaths will surpass automobile accidents as the leading killer of Americans younger than 25.”

Next week there will be important gun violence prevention bills that will keep guns away from domestic abusers, stalkers, and other dangerous individuals.   Call the members of the Senate Courts of Justice Committee and tell them to pass the following bills.

SB 768 (McEachin) – Universal background checks on all gun sales with an exeption for family members

SB 943 (Favola) – Restricting possession of firearms for those convicted of violent misdemeanors.  

SB 909 (Howell) – Restricting possession of firearms for those subject to protective orders. 

Contact the following members and tell them to Vote YES for these bills.

Sen. Tommy Norment: (804) 698-7503 district03@senate.virginia.gov
Sen. Mark Obenshain: (804) 698-7526 district26@senate.virginia.gov
Sen. John Edwards: (804) 698-7521 district21@senate.virginia.gov
Sen. Ryan McDougle: (804) 698-7504 district04@senate.virginia.gov
Sen. Richard Stuart: (804) 698-7528 district28@senate.virginia.gov
Sen. Jill Holtzman Vogel: (804) 698-7527 district27@senate.virginia.gov
Sen. William Stanley: (804) 698-7520 district20@senate.virginia.gov
Sen. Bryce Reeves: (804) 698-7517 district17@senate.virginia.gov
Sen. Thomas Garrett: (804) 698-7522 district22@senate.virginia.gov
Sen. Ben Chafin: district38@senate.virginia.gov

Thank you,

Lori Haas
State Director
Virginians for Responsible Gun Laws
The Educational Fund & Coalition to Stop Gun Violence

#Republicans Post Doctored Version Of State Of The Union, Censor Facts On Climate Change

BY EMILY ATKIN

The official website for House Republicans has posted on YouTube a doctored version of President Obama’s State of the Union address which cuts out comments where the President was critical of Republican rhetoric on climate change, ThinkProgress has learned.

In the website’s “enhanced webcast” of the State of the Union speech, President Obama’s comments criticizing Republicans for saying they are “not scientists” when it comes to climate change are erased.

At the 43:25 minute mark, President Obama is supposed to say “I’ve heard some folks try to dodge the evidence by saying they’re not scientists; that we don’t have enough information to act. Well, I’m not a scientist, either. But you know what — I know a lot of really good scientists at NASA, and NOAA, and at our major universities. The best scientists in the world are all telling us that our activities are changing the climate, and if we do not act forcefully, we’ll continue to see rising oceans, longer, hotter heat waves, dangerous droughts and floods, and massive disruptions that can trigger greater migration, conflict, and hunger around the globe.”

Instead, the entire section is skipped.

The 43:25 minute mark is not the only place where the video is edited. At the 44:51 minute mark, a section is edited out where Obama spoke of respecting “human dignity,” prohibiting torture, and speaking out against anti-Semitism. The section that is edited out reads as follows: “As Americans, we respect human dignity, even when we’re threatened, which is why I’ve prohibited torture, and worked to make sure our use of new technology like drones is properly constrained. It’s why we speak out against the deplorable anti-Semitism that has resurfaced in certain parts of the world.”

A spokesperson for House Speaker John Boehner’s office did not immediately respond to ThinkProgress’ request for comment on whether the edits were intentional or not.

Tuition-Free Community College for Responsible Students

In our growing global economy, Americans need to have more knowledge and more skills to compete — by 2020, an estimated 35 percent of job openings will require at least a bachelor’s degree, and 30 percent will require some college or an associate’s degree. Students should be able to get the knowledge and the skills they need without taking on decades’ worth of student debt.

#FreeCommunityCollege will help so many Virginia students reach higher. #SOTU

#FreeCommunityCollege will help so many Virginia students reach higher. Read the full fact sheet on the President’s proposal here. #SOTU

12 statements by Martin Luther King Jr. you won’t see conservatives post on Facebook today

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As the country celebrates the holiday in his honor, you will likely see the same quotations from Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech shared again and again. To combat the scrubbed and sanitized version of the Civil Rights leader that will be filling up your Facebook timelines, Raw Story presents a different take of the life and thought of this slain American hero.

  • “So we have been repeatedly faced with the cruel irony of watching Negro and white boys on TV screens as they kill and die together for a nation that has been unable to seat them together in the same schools. So we watch them in brutal solidarity burning the huts of a poor village, but we realize that they would hardly live on the same block in Chicago. I could not be silent in the face of such cruel manipulation of the poor.” — “Beyond Vietnam
  • “This almost ‘lunatic fringe’ of modern child care has been responsible for most strange and fantastic methods of child rearing in many American homes. The child is permitted to almost terrorize the home for fear of having its individuality repressed. Somewhere along the way every child must be trained into the obligations of cooperative living.” — “Advice for Living
  • Of the four children killed in the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing: “They have something to say to every politician who has fed his constituents with the stale bread of hatred and the spoiled meat of racism. They have something to say to a federal government that has compromised with the undemocratic practices of southern Dixiecrats and the blatant hypocrisy of right-wing northern Republicans.” — “Eulogy for the Martyred Children
  • “Organized labor has proved to be one of the most powerful forces in removing the blight of segregation and discrimination from our nation.” — “A Look to the Future
  • “I can well understand your antagonistic attitude toward the Christian church for its failure to match practice with profession in the area of the brotherhood of man.” — “Advice for Living
  • Upon being arrested in Fulton County, Georgia: “Much to my chagrin, the jail is segregated, also.” — “Press Release from Dr. King
  • “Freedom only comes through persistent revolt, through persistent agitation, through persistently rising up against the system of evil.” — “The Birth of a New Nation
  • “It is a sad day for our country when men come to feel that oppressed people cannot desire freedom and human dignity unless they are motivated by Communism.” — “Letter to Harry Truman
  • “It seems to me that one must decide to either play gospel music or rock and roll. The two are totally incompatible. The profound sacred and spiritual meaning of the great music of the church must never be mixed with the transitory quality of rock and roll music.” — “Advice for Living
  • “The principle of self-defense, even involving weapons and bloodshed, has never been condemned, even by Gandhi, who sanctioned it for those unable to master pure nonviolence.” — “The Social Organization of Nonviolence
  • “Marriage is at bottom a mutual agreement between two individuals. One always has the freedom to say yes or no to the agreement.” – “Advice for Living
  • “We must be concerned not merely about who murdered them, but about the system, the way of life, the philosophy which produced the murderers.” – “Eulogy for the Martyred Children

 

Martin Luther King, Jr.: All Labor Has Dignity

Martin Luther King, Jr.

On February 12, 1968—President Lincoln’s birthday—as Dr. King traveled from state to state, garnering rousing support for the Poor People’s Campaign, more than a thousand sanitation workers in Memphis walked off the job. A month into the strike, on March 18, strikers and their supporters packed Bishop Charles Mason Temple of the Church of God in Christ in what the Reverend James Lawson would describe as a “sardine atmosphere.” With few notes, King addressed the overflowing church by connecting the localized strike to the plight of all workers, especially those in the service economy.

[The following speech was delivered by Dr. King in support of the Memphis sanitation workers’ strike, just two weeks before he was assassinated in the same city.]

“My dear friend James Lawson and to all of these dedicated and distinguished ministers of the gospel assembled here tonight, and to all of the sanitation workers and their families and to all of my brothers and sisters—I need not pause to say how very delighted I am to be in Memphis tonight, and to see you here in such large and enthusiastic numbers.

As I came in tonight, I turned around and said to Ralph Abernathy, “They really have a great movement here in Memphis.” You are demonstrating something here that needs to be demonstrated all over our country. You are demonstrating that we can stick together and you are demonstrating that we are all tied in a single garment of destiny, and that if one black person suffers, if one black person is down, we are all down. I’ve always said that if we are to solve the tremendous problems that we face we are going to have to unite beyond the religious line, and I’m so happy to know that you have done that in this movement in a supportive role. We have Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, members of the Church of God in Christ, and members of the Church of Christ in God, we are all together, and all of the other denominations and religious bodies that I have not mentioned..”

Read the rest here..