Petition to U.S. Congress
Stop gutting federal gun laws
Now is not the time for silence. It's time for outrage. Our hearts go out to the families and friends of the hundreds of people that were killed or injured at the Mandalay Bay Casino mass shooting in Las Vegas, the worst in the nation's history. But sympathy will not save the 33,000 Americans who will be killed this year by gun violence. Legislators beholden to the gun lobby will no doubt say now is not the time to talk about gun laws. There is no other kind of attack on Americans that is met with this level of indifference. It needs to stop. Right now Congress is considering deregulating silencers which would make it harder to identify from where gunshots are coming in active shooter situations. The House is close to passing a bill making it easier for people to carry concealed weapons to any state in the nation with not so much as a background check. Tell Congress #Enough. Sign this petition to tell Members of Congress to: Vote no on H.R. 3668, the SHARE Act that would gut long-standing regulations on silencers and loosen restrictions on armor piercing bullets. Block H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act that would force states to honor the concealed carry weapons permits of every other state, regardless of how lax the other state's law. Ban weapons of war: assault weapons and large capacity magazines, which have no place in the hands of private citizens. (photo credit: D. Becker/Getty Images)
Petition to U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives
March for Our Lives: An Act to Protect & Save Your Children
In the tragic wake of the seventeen lives brutally cut short in Florida, politicians are telling us that now is not the time to talk about guns. March For Our Lives believes the time is now. Created by, inspired by, and led by students across the country, we will no longer risk our lives waiting for someone else to take action to stop the epidemic of mass school shootings that has become all too familiar. We support the right of law-abiding Americans to keep and bear arms, as set forth in the United States Constitution. But with that right comes responsibility. We call on all the adults in Congress elected to represent us, to pass legislation that will protect and save children from gun violence. Our elected officials MUST ACT by: 1. Passing a law to ban the sale of assault weapons like the ones used in Las Vegas, Orlando, Sutherland Springs, Aurora, Sandy Hook and, most recently, to kill 17 innocent people and injure more than a dozen others at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Of the 10 deadliest shootings over the last decade, seven involved the use of assault weapons. No civilian should be able to access these weapons of war, which should be restricted for use by our military and law enforcement only. These guns have no other purpose than to fire as many bullets as possible and indiscriminately kill anything they are pointed at with terrifying speed. 2. Prohibiting the sale of high-capacity magazines such as the ones the shooter at our school—and so many other recent mass shootings used. States that ban high-capacity magazines have half as many shootings involving three or more victims as states that allow them. Limiting the number of bullets a gun can discharge at one time will at least force any shooter to stop and reload, giving children a chance to escape. 3. Closing the loophole in our background check law that allows dangerous people who shouldn’t be allowed to purchase firearms to slip through the cracks and buy guns online or at gun shows. 97 percent of Americans support closing the current loopholes in our background check system. When Connecticut passed a law requiring background checks on all handgun sales, they saw a 40 percent reduction in gun homicides. 22 percent of gun sales in this country take place without a background check. That’s millions of guns that could be falling into dangerous hands. A background check should be required on every gun sale, no exceptions. The children of this country can no longer go to school in fear that each day could be their last. Please sign our petition and demand a comprehensive and effective bill be immediately brought before Congress to address these gun issues.
Petition to U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives
Pass Common Sense Gun Control
I am a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS, where the school shooting happened on 02/14/18. I am close friends with one of the victims and I want common sense gun control to be passed to prevent more families from losing loved ones in these terrible tragedies. I'm lucky that I was on the other side of the school when the shooting started and was evacuated quickly. Nick Cruz killed SEVENTEEN people, some who were freshman just starting their second semester of high school, others seniors who just committed to the colleges of their dreams. He took away their hopes and aspirations. He should not have been able to carry an assault rifle. We need to convince our elected officials that now is the time to speak up against the NRA and promote some form of gun control. They should not be worrying about how much money they will make or whether they will be re-elected. Innocent people are DYING because of gun violence. These children and heroes might be alive today. There’s a reason why other countries don’t have mass shootings and as a nation, we should work towards that. Please sign and share this petition with everyone you know. Nobody should have to face tragedies like this.
Petition to Jeff Bezos, Amazon, Amazon.com
Remove NRA TV from Amazon's Streaming Service & Website
My oldest friend (for nearly 20 years) has a son who attends Marjory Stoneman Douglas and was there last week, huddling and hiding for his life. For 30 anxious minutes, we knew there was a school shooting but has no word on his safety. We learned he was okay fairly quickly, but too many others weren't so lucky. After seeing 17 young people lose their lives, I was angered to see the defensive reaction from the National Rifle Association - and upset when I saw that Amazon hosts NRAtv, a channel with the slogan “America’s Most Patriotic Team on a Mission to Take Back The Truth." It’s a 24-hour streaming service with 22 original series that promote the NRA's propaganda, and there’s even an entire segment devoted to how it should be easier to purchase an AR15. Amazon needs to remove NRAtv.com from their services, sites and offerings immediately. The NRA has long ignored its role in promoting gun violence and betrayed the names of good and responsible gun owners. It’s time to hold it, and its partners, accountable. The NRA represents millions of gun owners BUT nowhere near all or a majority of U.S. gun owners. In fact, less than 10 percent of gun owners belong to the NRA. We need to include gun owners in this fight - responsible people who don't feel that the NRA speaks for them - so let's keep this fight focused. The NRA is a group that's rotten to the core and a company like Amazon should not be spreading its message. Not anymore. We must remember to respect the First Amendment above all else. If NRA members want to watch NRA TV, they can find it without Amazon's promotion. There is no place in your home for brands that earn money through the NRA. Sign this petition, then flood Amazon's Legal Department with calls at 206-266-4064. We already shook up their PR Department and got their long-running media hotline to temporarily shut down (206-266-7180), although it’s still worth a try during business hours, since they’ll likely put it back up again at some point.
Petition to Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, Vermont Governor, Patrick J. Leahy, Elizabeth Warren, Marco Rubio, Mitch McConnell, Florida State Senate, Charles E. Schumer, John McCain, Dianne Feinstein, Bill Nelson, Harry Reid, Tim Kaine, Al Franken, Orrin G. Hatch, Amy Klobuchar, Chris Murphy, Chuck Grassley, John Cornyn, Dean Heller, Bill Cassidy, Shelley Moore Capito, Lisa Murkowski, Susan M. Collins, Joni Ernst, Richard Blumenthal, Tom Udall, Debbie Stabenow, Heidi Heitkamp, Tammy Baldwin, Sherrod Brown, Doug Jones, Angus S. King Jr., Nancy Pelosi, Joseph P. Kennedy III, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Daniel Webster, Patrick Murphy, Rick Scott, Ron DeSantis, Kathy Castor, Florida State House, Alcee L. Hastings, Ted S. Yoho, Joe Donnelly, Cory A. Booker
school lockdown security alarms in all public schools in America
We want standardized lockdown alarms throughout all public schools in this country. We want pull alarms with a specific sound, and specific lights, in every hallway and classroom. This system, although a last response, would give students and educators a faster response and would reduce confusion at a time when knowledge of surroundings and fast responses are most critical to survival. For a nation that has seen so much violence in the past 20 years, we have to do better. Cost does not matter when it comes to the safety of our children and their right to live safe, free and happy lives. Let's build safer schools. We believe it starts with standardized lockdown alarm systems in all public schools. Just as we did with fire alarms, we need to create the infrastructure and standards necessary for school safety in the event of a lockdown. As an educator who works in public schools, I believe that it is mandatory that we increase the level of safety in all our schools. PLEASE sign this petition and support this cause. We demand lockdown alarms and safer schools.
Petition to Tom Graves, Johnny Isakson, David Perdue, Nathan Deal, Chuck Payne, Kasey Carpenter
Create & mandate mental health safety labels for guns, their accessories & carry permits.
Everyone who encounters a gun is at risk of harming themselves and other people. Though many people who have access to a gun may not be mentally ill, it is hard to predict when someone may experience a mental health crisis. For those who have access to a gun when distressed, impaired judgement and thinking can result in unnecessary loss of life through gun violence. Those people need to know they can choose help instead of harm. Creating and mandating mental health safety labels for conceal carry applications, guns and gun accessories will save lives. Similar to cigarette warning labels, mental health safety labels will be eye-catching, short and comprehensive while promoting the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. An example label may include: "Are you thinking about hurting yourself or someone else with a weapon? You're not alone. Confidential help is available for free 24/7 through the National Lifeline. 1-800-273-8255." This label will be put in a variety of locations: inside gun cases, on gun magazines, ammo boxes, etc. Prompting someone to pause and recognize their motivation for a purchase or use of a gun and its accessories can save lives. As a mental health professional, I understand how difficult it can be reach out for help. I also understand that the risk for suicide and homicide increase after the purchase of a gun. Often people who perpetrate gun violence or complete a suicide haven't been given opportunities to pause or think about their impulsive actions. Creating and mandating a mental health safety label doesn't stigmatize someone for their thoughts, but it does give them a choice in a difficult moment.
Petition to Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate
Increase security in schools to prevent mass-shootings
I’m a high school student and I was terrified by footage of the Parkland school shooting I saw online. It was the seventh school shooting in our country since the beginning of the year. Insufficient school security is one reason why this keeps happening – that’s why I started a petition to change that. This time, a former student named Nikolas Cruz opened fire on his old classmates, murdering seventeen and injuring many others – and they never saw it coming. The shooting continued for an extended period of time before any police officer showed up to stop him. How could this have been stopped? I believe we need more federal funding directed to schools for security measures like recruiting more officers to be placed in our schools. We can prevent dangerous people from gaining access to our schools. We can add things like bulletproof windows and metal detectors. Basic safety measures make sense for schools everywhere. You can add your name to this petition to speak out and demand action. We’ve grown accustomed to a cycle where we mourn for a few weeks and post a social media status on how sad and tragic these events are. But what will we actually DO as Americans to stop this? We need to demand real change from our leaders so that these victims don’t become another hashtag and statistic – only to be forgotten until the next mass shooting event. Please sign this petition calling on our Congress to provide funds to support better security at our schools and protect students, like me.
Petition to Barack Obama, Arne Duncan, Hillary Clinton
Emotional Health Education and Emotional Intelligence to prevent mass shootings
I consider what I'm proposing to potentially be a solution to the vast majority of issues we face in the world. I believe the solution to things like school shootings, bullying, suicides, rampant child neglect, crime, even wars starts with the emotional intelligence of children. This idea came to me shortly after taking a course based on The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People book and hearing about yet another school shooting. The pattern I noticed underlying all of these issues boiled down to a person or group of people making an incredibly bad decision that negatively affects everyone involved, all because of a lack of emotional health. I consider things like war, crime, discrimination, racism, resource inequality, etc to be signs of an immature civilization. With emotional health education starting early and being widespread, we could replace those things with peace, cooperation & security, true equality, abundance, and so many other positive things. We could usher in a whole new age of prosperity and exploration. I'm thinking of a Star Trek like near future here, at least socioeconomic-wise if not technologically speaking. This isn't necessarily an attempt to teach children how or what to think; it's definitely not brainwashing. It's more about teaching children habits that will lead to more constructive and positive ways of thinking. I want to really drive this point home. This is more "meta" than teaching someone how or what to think. This is more of a "what do I do with my current thoughts and feelings" and a "how do I want to think and feel" and how to go about bringing that to fruition. Some might say, "we've done just fine without emotional health education (or the government telling us how to think/feel)," but then I ask, "have we?" We've been repeating history throughout the entire existence of our species. War and conflict permeate that history. The only thing that has changed is technology. Are we doomed to continue repeating history until we self-destruct? Will we continue doing the same thing over and over again with this new technoligy until we unwittingly end up being ruled or destroyed by it? We need the same kind of progress we see in technology, in our individual and collective behaviors. Otherwise, we're just really very pretty, well groomed, cave men/women that happen to live inside wooden shelters all the while shaking increasingly destructive weapons at each other in threatening manners. What you think becomes what you believe, what you believe becomes what you feel inside, what you feel affects your behaviors, and your behaviors affect your actions and what shape your life takes. I've already attempted to contact various political figures, including our president, about this idea. I've stated to them that the more I hear in the news about school shootings, suicides, discrimination, and world problems, the more I think that people need to be taught how to manage their thoughts and emotions in public schools as early as possible. I think there should be a psychology and or self-improvement component to our education. It's not enough to assume that kids will learn this sort of thing from their parents, because if their parents don't know how to manage their thoughts and emotions, how are they going to teach that to their kids? Lack of healthy thought and emotion management is the root of the problem; the "why" these tragedies are happening in the first place. A lot of people don't know the first thing about managing their thoughts and emotions. Most people believe that they are victims of circumstance. It's the reason for kids taking their lives, parents take their family's lives, people feeling like they're not good enough. So many tragedies and they all start with those small seeds planted in our minds when we're young and vulnerable. I believe that every human being should be given the opportunity to learn how to manage and cope with their thoughts and emotions. A friend of mine brought up a few very important and interesting questions about the effectiveness of this educational program. What if a particular child doesn’t have a happy home life? How is that going to affect their progress with this material? Will it reduce or nullify the effectiveness, the benefits, and the overall desired outcome to greatly reduce or eliminate tragedies that stem from a lack of internal emotion and thought management? I understand the difficulty of making emotional health education stick to children when there are other things in their life that may contradict it, but this could be something that could be addressed as part of the education. I think that this can be overcome with time and steady, progressive change. It’s an understandably expected variable, and it can be accounted for. The result of this could be that the 1st generation of children to learn the material will learn it from a teacher who does not understand it themselves because they do not live it, and then go home and experience life in ways that could be contradictory to what they learn. The 2nd generation of children will learn the material from the same teachers, who have been teaching it for many years by this point, or new teachers, who were a part of the 1st generation to learn it. They go home and experience life in ways that are less contradictory to what they learn because their parents would be familiar with the material. Each generation going forward would become more familiar and more successful with the material learned, and live home lives more consistent with that material. Suddenly you have 99.999% of children with happy home lives and high grades. The amount of time it would take to reach this ideal outcome could be discouraging to some, but it is absolutely necessary and expected as a natural evolution toward a more mature society, so we better get started ASAP and quell the urge to need instant gratification. A child's physical health and well-being are very important in the grand scheme of this idea. It goes back to Maslow's hierarchy of needs. This is something that can be taught, and over time, addressed and solved. I don't believe that this needs to be solved first, at least not in the greater scheme of things. Individually, it is definitely a problem that needs to be solved before said individual can "move up the hierarchy" so to say. But the point I'm trying to make is very similar to the "help yourself first before you are capable of helping others" argument. You need to get your oxygen mask on first, before helping someone else with theirs, otherwise, you could pass out before succeeding, and then you'll both be passed out. Essentially, helping even a few will eventually help everyone in the long term. I've made it a habit to collect various sources of information that could be used to put together a learning program that would teach children how to be emotionaly healthy. One example of an activity that would improve emotional intelligence is keeping a positive event journal. Kids would learn to keep their focus on the positive aspects of their lives. What you focus on grows. For younger children, who have yet to learn to write, they could draw and or show and tell something positive about their day. This isn't to say that negative events should be ignored. They can be learned from and or gotten help for. So perhaps there could be a "lessons learned" journal where children think about things that happened that day that they didn't like and come up with positive solutions; a what to do about this problem, or what to do better next time. A solution oriented mind is a happy and productive one. Another example is learning to be cognizant of thoughts and emotions; what to notice, current habits? Mindfulness meditation and mindfulness practices are a great idea as well. A friend of mine showed me a Facebook story about primary school children in Berkshire having these meditation classes "...to help them manage their own behaviour and anxieties, and improve concentration" - https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=934795656611025&id=153132638110668&__mref=message_bubble These are just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many other helpful concepts that can be taught in so many different ways. Part of the challenge of putting together an educational program like this is figuring out what to teach and when to teach it. At what point in a child’s life would teaching them certain concepts be most beneficial to their positive psychological development? The first source of information that I think would be helpful in putting together this educational program is the book "7 Habits to Highly Effective People." I also enjoyed the "taking responsibility for your life" and learning to love yourself aspect of "You Can Heal Your Life" by Louise Hay. The movie of the same name is pretty phenomenal. Dale Carnegie material could be good too as well as mindfulness practices. The mindfulness solution is a book I personally own. The following is a list of links I've collected on the subject: https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/21-signs-youre-mentally-stronger-143500494.html http://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/smart-living/10-toxic-people-you-should-avoid-at-all-costs/ar-AAdW3iu?li=AAa0dzB http://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/smart-living/19-things-unhappy-people-do/ss-AAetk9M http://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/mind-and-soul/12-cheap-ways-to-hack-your-life-for-happiness/ss-AAe3BM4 http://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/smart-living/22-things-you-can-do-to-love-yourself/ss-BBnmLDz#image=3 http://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/mind-and-soul/13-things-mentally-strong-people-dont-do/ar-AAfTKls?li=BBnb7Kz http://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/smart-living/57-small-things-you-can-do-every-day-to-be-happier-and-more-successful/ss-BBnYlII http://www.msn.com/en-us/health/wellness/naturally-happy-people-never-do-these-6-things/ar-BBnJbXR?li=BBnba9O http://www.msn.com/en-us/health/weightloss/40-tips-for-motivation-that-actually-work/ss-AAgrvTt http://www.msn.com/en-us/health/wellness/12-habits-of-people-who-look-and-act-younger-than-their-age/ss-BBotQ2k#image=1 http://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/mind-and-soul/50-ways-to-feel-better-about-yourself-right-now/ss-BBoth83 We can use the fundamental concepts in these books and other sources, to develop a program that everyone can agree on, with subject matter that will be beneficial to children at target ages. I've actually tasked myself with going back over the material in the two books I mentioned and trying to develop a program targeted at children at different ages. This way, I'll have something concrete to offer. It could be a model or guide for educators to follow in developing a program that will address emotional health education. Any positive influence on any children like this would mean a positive influence on other children and a general positive influence on society going forward. A good point was made to me, recently, about this idea: not everyone is going to buy into it. I'm sure that we can expect, more often than not, people not buying into this, because that is the state of mind most people exist in, in the world today, and is part of the problem this idea would strive to solve. I think the goal I want to convey, is that there will always be some sort of opposition to an idea in some form and quantity, and that's a healthy, natural thing to occur. The goal is to address each objection that comes our way in a constructive, collaborative manner, so that the quantity of our opposition, shrinks. The fact of the matter is, we do not have a good, universal system in place to address this problem of emotional health, without alienating individuals in some way. Sure, right now, there are school councilers, doctors, and psychiatrists that individuals can voluntarily meet and interact with, but I don't believe it's enough. Take the 2012 Aurora shooter, James Holmes, for example. He saw a psychiatrist. He was on medication. It didn't help him the way he needed it too, and ultimately, he made a very poor decision and took the lives of many people, in effect, causing a massive general negative effect to that community and their future and "what could have been." My solution is to have daily group emotional health education, not to discuss everyone's problems, because that, in my opinion, is a destructive activity, and any discussion of problems that NEEDS to be discussed, maybe for safety purposes, would be a private matter. This daily group emotional health education would focus on practical techniques for how to effectively manage thoughts and emotions. A good way to gradually introduce and or pilot this kind of program, could be starting it as an after school activity for students and parents who are interested in finding a solution for their children's emotional problems, bullying problems, or even their school work problems (you could make the argument that learning to address certain thoughts and emotions that might be affecting a child's education could improve their grades). They already have a mindfulness meditation program I linked too, earlier in this letter, that's in place to address children's anxieties and general peace of mind. I was pretty excited to hear about that. Eventually, we'd have groups of students, educated in thought and emotion management, becoming a positive influence on others. The results will speak for themselves. The idea will sell itself. More people will become interested. My hope is that this idea isn't taken up by just one political group, and have its necessity debated. I would hope that both political groups would be interested in the emotional health education of our children as a way to benefit life and our society, and reduce unecessary death and crime. It could be suggested that there are alternative ways of going about addressing this issue, and the political groups could choose which way they think would be most effective. If you agree with my idea and if there's anything that you can do or any advice that you can give to help make this a reality, I would greatly appreciate it. I consider this petition to be a living document; it will grow and be refined and improved as I discuss it with others and do my own work to create something concrete that could serve as a prototype for what something like this could look like. I plan on keeping signees who are interested in updates, updated on changes that I make to this document. Thank you for your time and consideration, Andrew Beehler