WORLD AIDS DAY – DECEMBER 1

World AIDS Day has taken place on the first day of December every year since 1988 to bring attention to the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection, mourn the people who have been lost to AIDS, and show solidarity with people living with HIV. The theme this year is “Getting to Zero,” the same theme set by the Worlds AIDS Campaign for the past four years. Over 1.2 million people in the United States live with HIV infection; almost 1 in 8 are unaware of their infection. In the U.S., an estimated 1,194,039 people have been diagnosed with AIDS, and approximately 658,507 people with an AIDS diagnosis have died.

PFLAG OCC and Coastal Aids Network are supporting a candlelight vigil at the Lincoln City Cultural Center on December 1 (6:00 pm). The event is funded by a grant from Levi Foundation. This grant also funds other events and activities including CAN’s HIV testing.

PFLAG Oregon Central Coast Chapter Newsletter, December 2015

12 perfect responses to irrational pro-gun arguments

With the gun control debate hitting a fever pitch, a handy how-to guide for dealing with gun rights extremists

In a recent discussion about gun control on Thom Hartmann’s program, my opponent suggested that gun control advocates like me really have a cultural aversion to guns. That’s a standard ploy for the gun set: when reason isn’t on your side, deploy emotional and personal arguments instead.

“Anti-gun”? I could’ve brought up my own recreational gun use, or even brought out the firing range pass I carry in my wallet. But I’ll admit that I’ve lost a little of my taste for it as our national killing spree continues unabated. What’s more, that would’ve been disrespectful to the millions of Americans who do have an understandable aversion to guns. Personal habits should have no part in a rational policy discussion.

Now that President Obama has made his initial gun control proposals, the crazy’s being ratcheted up to a new level. Rational Americans in all walks of life will be confronted with these kinds of arguments. We’re going to need a playbook. Here are 12 responses you can use when you’re confronted with some of the standard illogical, irrational and emotionally overheated statements that gun extremists use.

1. I’m not anti-gun, I’m pro-kindergartner.

After Newtown, what person in his right mind thinks it’s irrational to propose some common-sense measures to prevent similar tragedies in the future?

2. Saying “If we have gun control only outlaws will have guns” is like saying “If you outlaw drunk driving, only outlaws will drive drunk.”

Rush Limbaugh’s recent variation on the old “only outlaws will have guns” line went like this: “If you have gun control laws, the law-abiding will be the only people that don’t have guns.”

This anti-gun control cliche makes absolutely no sense. We lose our driver’s license if we’re arrested for drunk driving, or if we commit too many other moving violations. But law-abiding people are free to drive. Gun control laws aren’t any different.

3. If dead children are a “distraction,” what subjects are important enough to be worthy of your attention?

As Media Matters reports, an increasing number of gun-extremist righties have suggested that attempts to prevent more deaths, including the deaths of young people at Newtown, Aurora, Columbine and elsewhere, are really just a “distraction” from more important matters.

Try convincing the parents of dead kids that their personal tragedies aren’t important. And if dead kindergartners don’t deserve your attention, what does?

4. So you’ve got “Second Amendment” rights? Where’s the rest of your militia?

The text of the Second Amendment reads: “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

Where are the other soldiers? Who’s in charge? And which state are you protecting?

5. Oh, and congratulations on keeping the Lanza kid so “well-regulated.”

Along with Crazy New York Hermit Dude, the Columbine killers, the Tucson shooter, and all the other members of your “militia.”

6. If I can’t drive without decent vision, I shouldn’t be able to purchase weapons of mass killing after beating my grandmother to death with a hammer.

Maybe I’m off base here, but that just seems like common sense to me.

7. “Freedom to own a gun”? I have the freedom to own a car. But I don’t have the freedom to buy an M1A1 Abrams tank, or the many kinds of rounds — armor-piercing, incendiary, point detonation, delay, airburst, and shotgun-like antipersonnel tungsten balls — manufactured for its 120mm smoothbore cannon.

Statement by NOW President Terry O’Neill on the Shootings in Colorado Springs, CO

November 28, 2015

Washington, DC – NOW extends our heartfelt condolences to the families of those killed, and our wishes for the healing and well-being of those wounded in the assault on the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs.

Let’s be clear: this was an act of domestic terrorism. NOW calls for a full federal investigation into the shooter and any others who may be connected with his act. Terrorists do not act alone. Everyone implicated in this vicious crime — not just the gunman — must be rooted out and held accountable for their acts.

Since last summer, phony videos have circulated, falsely accusing Planned Parenthood of illegal actions. Those videos crossed the line of decency, humanity and legality. But instead of renouncing them, extremist members of Congress, their staffers, operatives and even a Supreme Court justice’s wife relentlessly promoted the videos to whip up a frenzy of hate against women’s health providers.

And now we have a fanatic with a gun rampaging in a Planned Parenthood clinic, killing three people and wounding many others.

We must call this what it is — domestic terrorism — and prosecute it as such. And we must reject the use of deception and hate to further a political ideological agenda.

NOW is proud to #StandWithPlannedParenthood, whose courageous staff provide excellent health care and make women’s lives better every day.

For Press Inquiries Contact

Tamara Stein, planner@now.org, (951) 547-1241

View this statement online by clicking here.