Category Archives: common sense gun laws

Sometimes the polite way doesn’t work. Then we take to the streets.


On June 12th, 49 LGBT club-goers were slaughtered and 53 more injured with an assault weapon in Orlando, FL. The US Congress had no response besides the usual prayers and a strangely deafening moment of silence. That’s why Gays Against Guns is replacing moments of silence with moments of action to make our elected representatives pass sensible gun reforms.
Two weeks after the Orlando massacre, and just days after Congressman John Lewis’s sit-in on the House floor highlighting Congressional inaction on gun safety, hundreds of GAGers marched in the NYC Pride Parade, 49 of them shrouded in white veils and carrying signs with the names and faces of each Orlando victim.
In early July, GAG “named, shamed, and blamed” NRA puppet Congressman Lee Zeldin (R-LI) with a demonstration in his district and a puppet in his likeness. GAG members demonstrated outside Trump Tower on the opening night of the Republican National Convention. They staged “die-ins” outside two New York City Reebok Crossfit stores after learning that the winner of an annual fitness contest would receive a Glock handgun–the same gun used against Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and 19 others in Tucson, AZ in 2011. New GAG chapters are sprouting up across the nation, with actions to shame politicians in the NRA’s pockets this election season.
We’re in. Greater NYC for Change has long fought for sensible gun safety laws–laws supported by 90% of Americans and a large majority of NRA members.
We’ve seen the massacres, but also the daily gun violence that kills 33,000 Americans each year. Other nations–the UK, Canada, and Australia among them–have responded to crisis with life-saving gun regulations. Here at home, we increasingly recognize the futility of polite lobbying of politicians. Constituents need to know who is working for them, and who is working for the gun industry.
There’s more: Gun violence disproportionately affects minority and vulnerable communities–children at Sandy Hook, worshipers at a Charleston prayer group, young Black men, and the LGBT community, itself the target of an estimated 20% of all hate crimes. Trans women and LGBT people of color are at greatest peril. But as the direct actions led by ACT UP and others in the fight against HIV-AIDS and for Marriage Equality demonstrate, the LGBT community knows how to fight–and get results.

YOU can join us. Email and “like” GAG  on Facebook. You don’t need to be gay to join GAG. All you need is a healthy disgust at politicians who won’t do their most fundamental job: ensuring our safety and protecting us from danger.

This could be it — the tipping point.

One day, we may look back on this summer as the time when our nation resolved it would no longer tolerate racialized policing. The time when we took the first concrete action to change the way law enforcement agencies engage communities of color. When we reminisce, perhaps we will scratch our heads and wonder what took so long for us to even acknowledge the problem.

Many of us will be proud to say that we were there and helped do it. Together.

No matter what the coming days hold, let us never forget the lives lost to one of the most horrific manifestations of institutionalized racism. Dear Ally for Justice, step back and allow space for people affected by discriminatory policing to grasp and discuss the real possibility that they, too, could become a hashtag one day. Let’s listen openly and refrain from derailing these dialogues by centering other policy agendas.

Most importantly, let’s be mindful. Black Lives Matter is an affirmation of equality, not a demand for supremacy. This outcry is not preceded by an invisible “only,” nor does it exclude other, unspoken lives. If you’re tired of hearing and seeing Black Lives Matter, be thankful that your survival does not depend on this pledge becoming a reality.

  I N   M E M O R I A M  

Philando Castile, 32, had worked for the St. Paul, MN public school system since the age of 19. Recently promoted to a supervisory position in Nutrition Services, he was working as a cafeteria manager at the J.J. Hill Montessori Magnet School at the time of his murder.

The kids called him “Mr. Phil.” In the words of a co-worker, “Kids loved him. He was smart, overqualified, … quiet, respectful, and kind. I knew him as warm and funny; he called me his ‘wing man.’”

On the news of his death, a parent wrote, “Every day he fist-bumped my kids, even when they were acting up. He knew every single [student] by name, pushed extra food in them like a grandma, and sneaked extra graham crackers into my son’s bag because [he] got a kick out of it. My borderline autistic son hugged him every day….This was a good man.”

Alton Sterling, 37, was raised by his aunt, Sandra Sterling, who called the large, jovial man a “generous giant.” The father of five children, he had his own struggles with law enforcement, but was respected, kind, and deeply loved by his family. At the time of his fatal encounter with police, he was living in a shelter run by a church group in Baton Rouge, LA and making his living selling music CDs. He was widely known as a “people person” and called “Big A” by his customers.

His cousin, Elliott Sterling, said, “If somebody asked for blues or country music, he’d know it all. He couldn’t make it in a regular job, but he could make it selling CDs. He could converse with everybody.”

An aunt, Regina Adams, remembered: “When he was little, I used to always tell him to go home. I wish I could tell him to go home now.”

TAKE THE #M4BL PLEDGE, and share widely to help end the systemic violence that visits Black communities every day.

GNYCfC SUPPORTS CAMPAIGN ZERO to end police violence in America by limiting police interventions, improving community interactions, and ensuring accountability. Its ongoing review of police union contracts is available here.

They Deserve a Vote

The letter below is from our friends at the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.



Last night, the President said it well: 

Gabby Giffords deserves a vote. The families of Newtown deserve a vote. The families of Aurora deserve a vote. The families of Oak Creek, and Tucson, and Blacksburg, and the countless other communities ripped open by gun violence – they deserve a simple vote.


The President and Vice President have laid out a plan to curb the rampant violence in our communities caused by guns falling into the wrong hands. We must not rest until our legislators do everything in their power to protect our families, our friends, and our entire communities from the constant loss of life caused by gun violence. We must not accept that nothing can be done, because doing nothing hasn’t worked.

Bills to protect our communities have been introduced. Now, our legislators need to vote.

We need you to call your representatives right now. They need to hear from you immediately to tell them that you will not accept inaction.  Tell them they need to side with the American people who want real solutions to gun violence. Call your legislators and tell them that you support:

1)      Background checks with every gun sale;
2)      A ban on military style assault weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines;
3)      Making gun trafficking a federal crime with real consequences; and
4)      Background checks on the sale of ammunition.

Find your member of Congress now and call:

All of our legislators — no matter where they fall on this issue — are constantly hearing from those who want them to side with NRA lobbyists and gun manufacturers, people more interested in making money than protecting our communities. Don’t let them drown out your voice for the sake of greed and profit.

We all deserve to be free from the constant threat of gun violence in our neighborhoods, in our movie theaters, in our places of worship, and in our schools.

Call right now. It is time to get this done.

Thanks again,


Robyn Thomas
Executive Director
Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence

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For upcoming events and ways to be involved, visit our website.


Microstamping: Save Lives, Solve Crimes!

Gun control has become a key progressive concern, central to affirming the role of government regulation of public safety in the face of tea party assertions of putative “Second Amendment” rights.

And we are now very close to victory on a key legislative priority: a microstamping bill that is resoundingly supported by gun-control groups and leaders in law enforcement has just passed the NYS Assembly.  It is only two or three votes shy of clearing the State Senate later this month. S 675, the Senate version, would go a long way toward fulfilling a longstanding aim of its advocates, putting an indelible signature on gun ownership and on the use of instruments of lethal violence.

Microstamping imprints a unique alpha-numeric code on every shell casing ejected from a semi-automatic handgun, allowing police and investigators at a crime scene to trace the casings back to the original gun purchaser. Supported by police departments, law enforcement organizations, district attorneys, and over 100 mayors from across New York State, microstamping would help solve long-open crimes, often committed by hardened criminals. But perhaps most importantly, it would go far toward limiting the persistent tragedies of daily life in big cities and other communities–the drive-by shootings, the random shots into crowds or outside of schools and other civic institutions that result in often-traceless deaths and, inevitably, in the devastation of families and communities.

The recent Memorial Day weekend alone witnessed shootings in New York City boroughs that resulted in several seemingly unmotivated deaths–crimes that are currently unsolved because they are traceless, but that could be easily resolved with an electronic click, were legal requirements for microstamping in effect.

Greater New York City for Change is partnering with New Yorkers Against Gun Violence to phone bank this week, calling on constituents of the few wavering state senators, including Marty Golden here in Bay Ridge, to do the right thing for public safety and to enforce its number-one legislative priority. Our friends at Tribeca for Change, Democracy for New York City (DFNYC), Upper West Side Democrats for Progress, Downtown East for Obama, and Brooklyn for Barack, among other groups, are in, too. We need your help, so please join us for an hour or two, in numbers! A sweet victory–for common-sense regulation, public security and well-being, and an end to the too-powerful control of the gun lobby over democratic rights– is at hand if YOU get involved.

Phone Banks to Pass Microstamping (S 675)

227 West 17th Street, 6th Floor, Manhattan, NY (between 7th and 8th Ave)

Tuesday, June 7, 6pm-9pm

Thursday, June 9,  6pm-9pm


Posted by Kate Linker