Common-sense Gun Laws · Community Activism · Uncategorized

Learn About Gun Owners for Responsible Ownership

This OTYCD post originally went live in February 2018.

 

Learn about Gun Owners for Responsible Ownership (GOFRO), an Oregon-based gun safety group.

 

Paul Kemp, a gun owner who grew up with guns, launched the group after losing a brother-in-law in a December 2012 attack on a Portland, Oregon mall. The 22-year-old shooter used a semi-automatic rifle to kill two people and injure a third.

 

GOFRO supports common-sense gun laws. It asks its members to take the following pledge:

 

“I will practice safe storage.  I will keep my firearms and ammunition locked and separate.

I will support universal background check requirements.  I will not sell or buy a firearm without a background check.

I will support the rights of my fellow citizens to be free from intimidation by the open display of firearms in public.  I will avoid the unnecessary carrying of firearms in public, particularly in places where children are present.

I will always make gun safety a priority in my home, in the field or on the range.”

 

 

 

 

Visit the GOFRO website:

http://www.responsibleownership.org

 

 

Take the GOFRO pledge:

http://www.responsibleownership.org/take_the_pledge

 

 

See its ‘Research/Read More’ page:

http://www.responsibleownership.org/research_read_more

 

 

Donate to Gun Owners for Responsible Ownership:

https://oregongunsafety.nationbuilder.com/donate

 

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the blue button on the upper right or checking the About & Subscribe page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

 

Volunteer for GOFRO:

http://www.responsibleownership.org/volunteer

 

 

Like its Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/GunOwnersForResponsibleOwnership/

 

 

Read a transcript of a January 2018 PBS Newshour interview with the founder of GOFRO (you can also watch the video, which is above the transcript):

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/gun-owning-group-in-oregon-advocates-for-firearm-safety

 

A Note: OTYCD has devoted several posts to common-sense gun laws and gun safety, and will continue to do so.

 

That does not mean, however, that we want to ban all guns. We don’t, and we never have. We are pro-responsible gun ownership. We support people who fully understand the responsibilities of gun ownership, and who show a healthy respect for guns, and whose actions consistently show that understanding and respect.

 

As of February 2018, it’s obvious to most Americans that its gun culture is horrifically, grievously, and unconscionably borked, and its gun laws need to improve ASAP. Here’s hoping the students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas provide the push we need to truly fix things at last.

Action Alerts · Community Activism · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

Make an Appointment to Donate Blood Every Time You Hear About a New Mass Shooting

This OTYCD post originally appeared in November 2018.

 

When news breaks of a new mass shooting in America, make an appointment to donate blood (if you’re eligible to do so). 

 

Because the majority of Americans are in fact sane, we are sickened when we learn of a new mass shooting. It makes us feel powerless as well (and don’t even ask about the decades, yes, decades of effort many of us have devoted, and will continue to devote, to trying to get our gun laws changed).

 

After the June 2017 shooting at the Congressional Republican baseball practice, we at OYTCD suggested that readers donate to the three charities that benefit from the game and also consider donating blood, even if they didn’t live in or around Washington, D.C. Blood donations drop in summer, what with vacations and the other schedule disruptions that come with the season. And Steve Scalise, the Congressman who suffered the worst injuries, definitely needed blood transfusions and continued to need them.

 

So here’s something to consider. Every time you hear about a mass shooting, consider making an appointment to donate blood at a facility near you.

 

Ok, we can almost read your mind–“But I won’t have any blood left if I do that!” If it’s too early for you to donate blood, offer to escort a friend. Or offer to volunteer at a blood donation facility. Or if you’re due to renew your driver’s license and you haven’t indicated you’re an organ donor, do that.

 

Or substitute some other bit of routine community activism that fits. Spend an hour at the library tutoring someone whose first language isn’t English. Donate peanut butter and tuna fish to a food bank. Do something to make your community better that you’ve been meaning to do but haven’t gotten around to yet.

 

Answer an act of random violence by making the world better. Every bit helps, however small it might seem.

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

Common-sense Gun Laws · Community Activism

Learn About Gun Owners for Responsible Ownership

Learn about Gun Owners for Responsible Ownership (GOFRO), an Oregon-based gun safety group.

 

Paul Kemp, a gun owner who grew up with guns, launched the group after losing a brother-in-law in a December 2012 attack on a Portland, Oregon mall. The 22-year-old shooter used a semi-automatic rifle to kill two people and injure a third.

 

GOFRO supports common-sense gun laws. It asks its members to take the following pledge:

 

“I will practice safe storage.  I will keep my firearms and ammunition locked and separate.

I will support universal background check requirements.  I will not sell or buy a firearm without a background check.

I will support the rights of my fellow citizens to be free from intimidation by the open display of firearms in public.  I will avoid the unnecessary carrying of firearms in public, particularly in places where children are present.

I will always make gun safety a priority in my home, in the field or on the range.”

 

 

 

 

Visit the GOFRO website:

http://www.responsibleownership.org

 

 

Take the GOFRO pledge:

http://www.responsibleownership.org/take_the_pledge

 

 

See its ‘Research/Read More’ page:

http://www.responsibleownership.org/research_read_more

 

 

Donate to Gun Owners for Responsible Ownership:

https://oregongunsafety.nationbuilder.com/donate

 

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the blue button on the upper right or checking the About & Subscribe page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

 

Volunteer for GOFRO:

http://www.responsibleownership.org/volunteer

 

 

Like its Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/GunOwnersForResponsibleOwnership/

 

 

Read a transcript of a January 2018 PBS Newshour interview with the founder of GOFRO (you can also watch the video, which is above the transcript):

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/gun-owning-group-in-oregon-advocates-for-firearm-safety

 

A Note: OTYCD has devoted several posts to common-sense gun laws and gun safety, and will continue to do so.

 

That does not mean, however, that we want to ban all guns. We don’t, and we never have. We are pro-responsible gun ownership. We support people who fully understand the responsibilities of gun ownership, and who show a healthy respect for guns, and whose actions consistently show that understanding and respect.

 

As of February 2018, it’s obvious to most Americans that its gun culture is horrifically, grievously, and unconscionably borked, and its gun laws need to improve ASAP. Here’s hoping the students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas provide the push we need to truly fix things at last.

Community Activism · Ethics · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare

Read There Is No Good Card For This: What to Say and Do When Life Is Scary, Awful, and Unfair to People You Love

Read There Is No Good Card for This: What to Say and Do When Life is Scary, Awful, and Unfair to People You Love, by Kelsey Crowe and Emily McDowell.

 

TINGCFT might seem like a not-quite-on-topic choice for a political blog, but bear with us. It’s a great textbook on how to have awkward conversations, how to listen, and how not to be a jerk–skills that are ever more precious and valuable in the time of Trump.

 

McDowell is the genius behind a series of greeting cards that you’d actually want to send to someone who’s going through hell but still has a sense of humor. Crowe holds a doctorate in social welfare, and founded Help Each Other Out, which teaches people how to avoid being the person who ghosts or says and does unhelpful things when bad stuff happens to friends and family.

 

The whole book is a gem, but in particular, it goes over how to help people in the grip of illness, fertility issues, divorce, unemployment, and grief.

 

Some general takeaways:

 

It’s better to do something than nothing. Saying ‘I’m sorry’ is doing something.

Remember it’s about them, not you. Don’t make their problem about you.

Listen.

Your kindness is your credential.

The person who needs help may not respond to your overture the way you’d expect. Don’t hold that against them, and don’t let their response deter you from helping others.

 

 

Buy There Is No Good Card for This at great independent book stores such as The Strand or Powell’s:

http://www.strandbooks.com/index.cfm

http://www.powells.com/book/there-is-no-good-card-for-this-9780062469991/1-5

 

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

Call Your Members of Congress · Ethics · Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS)

Support Elizabeth Warren’s Call to Create a Code of Ethics for Members of the Supreme Court

Note from Sarah Jane: I wrote and queued this post before Brett Kavanaugh was nominated to SCOTUS. Senator Warren’s call, and the bill drafted by Senators Blumenthal and Murphy are that much more needed now.

 

Support Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren’s call to create a code of ethics for sitting members of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS).

 

It might surprise you to learn this, but the nine judges who serve the Supreme Court are not bound by an explicit, formal code of ethics.

 

As with so many other things in a small-d democratic government, norms prevail. It is simply assumed that Supreme Court judges would conduct themselves impeccably, and would not do anything that would make them look partisan.

 

Well, guess what? Not all of them do, and the problem predates the Trump administration.

 

The late justice Antonin Scalia attended political retreats run by the notorious right-wing donor Charles Koch. He dined and hunted with then-Vice President Dick Cheney and declined to recuse himself from a SCOTUS case that involved him. He accepted more sponsored trips than any of his contemporaries on the court, and when he passed away in 2016, he was found dead in bed at a Texas hunting lodge owned by someone who had recently been involved in a potential SCOTUS case.

 

Warren complained after Neil Gorsuch, the man Trump appointed to Scalia’s seat after the GOP schemed to prevent hearings on President Obama’s choice, Merrick Garland, spoke at a September 2017 lunch at a Trump-branded hotel that was sponsored by the Fund for American Studies, a conservative group.

 

Without an ethics code in place to guide him, Gorsuch was free to say yes, but it would have been smarter for him to decline. It had ‘bad optics’ written all over it.

 

The fact remains, however–judges on lower courts are bound by ethical codes, but SCOTUS members are not. The example of Scalia, a smart man who stupidly dismissed claims of conflict of interest in the case involving Cheney by saying, “I do not believe my impartiality can reasonably be questioned,” and “If it is reasonable to think that a Supreme Court Justice can be bought so cheap, the Nation is in deeper trouble than I had imagined.”

 

You can be the most principled, ethical person who ever walked the earth and if you enjoyed the extracurriculars that Scalia did, it’d still look hinky. Because dammit, they look hinky. Why even go there?

 

With Trump stampeding norms like they’re houses of cards and Jenga stacks, it’s probably time to spell out, explicitly, what so many other past and current SCOTUS members understand without needing explainer documents. It’s time for a SCOTUS code of conduct.

 

Back in April 2017, Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, along with House Rep Louise Slaughter, introduced the Supreme Court Ethics Act of 2017. If passed, it would address the problem. The bill is S. 835 in the Senate and H.R. 1960 in the house.

 

Sample script for your MoCs: “Dear (House Rep/Senator Lastname,) I am (Firstname Lastname, of town, state). I am calling to ask you to support Senator Elizabeth Warren’s call to create a formal code of ethics for sitting members of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS), and to ask you to support bills now in Congress that would create the code. Both bills are named the Supreme Court Ethics Act of 2017. In the Senate, the bill is S. 835, and in the house, it’s H.R. 1960.

We live in charged times, and Neil Gorsuch agreeing to speak to a conservative group at a Trump hotel property is the sort of thing he can do, but shouldn’t. His accepting the offer shows bad judgment on his part, and the last thing we want in a SCOTUS judge is bad judgment. Surprisingly, while members of lower courts are formally bound by a code of ethics, the nine who sit at SCOTUS are not. Given the off-duty adventures of the late Antonin Scalia and others, I think it’s time to support the creation of a set of binding guidelines that detail what SCOTUS members can and can’t do. It would improve the reputation of the court by giving it a means to show the public that it is fighting partisanship and the perception of partisanship. Thank you for listening.”

 

 

Read about Gorsuch’s speech, Senator Warren’s reaction, and calls to create an ethics code for sitting SCOTUS members:

http://thehill.com/regulation/court-battles/352920-gorsuch-speaks-at-trump-hotel-event-despite-criticism

http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/358163-warren-gorsuchs-links-to-koch-brothers-are-an-ethics-problem

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/11/01/supreme-court-ethics-problem-elizabeth-warren-opinion-215772

 

 

Visit the website of Fix the Court, a nonpartisan advocacy group that calls for ethics rules for SCOTUS:

https://fixthecourt.com

 

 

Like Fix the Court on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/FixTheCourt/

 

 

Follow it on Twitter:

@FixTheCourt

 

 

Donate to Fix the Court:

https://fixthecourt.com/donate/

 

 

See the GovTrack entries on The Supreme Court Ethics Act of 2017, both the Senate and the house versions:

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/hr1960

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/s835

 

 

Read about the late Antonin Scalia’s adventures away from the court, and his refusal to recuse himself in the Cheney case. In particular, see the 2016 New York Times article that included a sidebar that showed how often the nine justices travel:

http://www.cnn.com/2004/LAW/03/18/scalia.recusal/

 

Call Your House Rep · Call Your Members of Congress · Call Your Senators · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Support Immigrants and Refugees · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Call Your MoCs And Demand That They Keep Doing Everything They Can to Reunite Migrant Families, July 26 2018 Edition

Call your MoCs and demand that they keep doing everything they can to reunite migrant families.

 

We are reposting this follow-up item which initially ran on July 10, 2018 because the Trump administration has formally and unequivocally missed the deadline to reunite all children aged five and under with their families.

 

That deadline was, in fact, July 10, and the administration had signaled that it would likely miss it. See this ABC News story confirming as much:

https://abcnews.go.com/amp/Politics/trump-administration-misses-court-deadline-reunited-separated-children/story?id=56520065

 

We need to stay on this. OTYCD will periodically update and re-run this post as long as the Trump administration fails to do the right thing.

 

Original text follows.

 

Team Trump is still doing a lousy job of reuniting the migrant families that it parted at the border under its disgusting and immoral zero-tolerance policy.

 

This is unconscionable. Those kids need to be with their parents. They never should have been separated in the first place.

 

Others on Twitter (apologies as I cannot recall who) pointed out that it’s in Team Trump’s interest to delay and drag their feet as long as possible, because the longer this goes, the harder this becomes to fix. If the delays go on long enough, Team Trump could try to argue it’s too late to fix the problem, and a court could agree with them.

 

Also alarming is the information relayed in a July 6, 2018 tweet storm by Jay Inslee, governor of Washington state, which we will reproduce here:

 

My office recently learned the shocking revelation from that reunification could mean placing a separated child with ANY long-term sponsor — regardless of whether it’s their parents, other family in the US, family back in their home country or in long-term foster care.

[Interjecting to add an OH HELL NO to the notion that ‘reunification’ means placing migrant kids with anyone except the parents they came here with]

 

If true, this interpretation blatantly ignores the terms of the court order. The federal government has also recently admitted that reunification is being used as a bargaining chip to induce parents to agree to voluntary deportation.

 

 

The governors who joined Inslee in fighting Team Trump’s sick policy are from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, New York, and Oregon. If you’re from Washington state or any of the other five, please call your governor’s office to say thanks.

 

Find your governor’s contact information here:

https://www.usa.gov/state-governor

 

 

To the larger point: We need to keep the pressure on.

 

You will be entirely unsurprised to learn that Celeste Pewter (@Celeste_Pewter) has written and tweeted a pair of scripts on this very point: One for your Senators and one for your House Rep.

 

Have at it, and please scroll all the way down to learn how you can support Pewter’s work.

 

Here is Pewter’s script for your Senators:

And here is Pewter’s script for calling your House rep on this. Please scroll down to learn
how to support her work.

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the

page. And tell your friends about the blog!

How to support Celeste Pewter, author of the black-backgrounded script above:

In addition to following Pewter on Twitter (again, her handle is @Celeste_Pewter) you

can support her in other ways.

 

 

 

After you call your elected representatives on these two topics, tweet about the

experience using the #ICalledMyReps hashtag.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Call Your House Rep · Call Your Members of Congress · Call Your Senators · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Support Immigrants and Refugees

Call Your MoCs And Demand That They Keep Doing Everything They Can to Reunite Migrant Families

Call your MoCs and demand that they keep doing everything they can to reunite migrant families.

 

Team Trump is still doing a lousy job of reuniting the migrant families that it parted at the border under its disgusting and immoral zero-tolerance policy.

 

This is unconscionable. Those kids need to be with their parents. They never should have been separated in the first place.

 

Others on Twitter (apologies as I cannot recall who) pointed out that it’s in Team Trump’s interest to delay and drag their feet as long as possible, because the longer this goes, the harder this becomes to fix. If the delays go on long enough, Team Trump could try to argue it’s too late to fix the problem, and a court could agree with them.

 

Also alarming is the information relayed in a July 6, 2018 tweet storm by Jay Inslee, governor of Washington state, which we will reproduce here:

 

My office recently learned the shocking revelation from that reunification could mean placing a separated child with ANY long-term sponsor — regardless of whether it’s their parents, other family in the US, family back in their home country or in long-term foster care.

[Interjecting to add an OH HELL NO to the notion that ‘reunification’ means placing migrant kids with anyone except the parents they came here with]

 

If true, this interpretation blatantly ignores the terms of the court order. The federal government has also recently admitted that reunification is being used as a bargaining chip to induce parents to agree to voluntary deportation.

 

 

The governors who joined Inslee in fighting Team Trump’s sick policy are from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, New York, and Oregon. If you’re from Washington state or any of the other five, please call your governor’s office to say thanks.

 

Find your governor’s contact information here:

https://www.usa.gov/state-governor

 

 

To the larger point: We need to keep the pressure on.

 

You will be entirely unsurprised to learn that Celeste Pewter (@Celeste_Pewter) has written and tweeted a pair of scripts on this very point: One for your Senators and one for your House Rep.

 

Have at it, and please scroll all the way down to learn how you can support Pewter’s work.

 

Here is Pewter’s script for your Senators:

And here is Pewter’s script for calling your House rep on this. Please scroll down to learn
how to support her work.

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the

page. And tell your friends about the blog!

How to support Celeste Pewter, author of the black-backgrounded script above:

In addition to following Pewter on Twitter (again, her handle is @Celeste_Pewter) you

can support her in other ways.

 

 

 

After you call your elected representatives on these two topics, tweet about the

experience using the #ICalledMyReps hashtag.