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Three Million Army of Moms and A Billionaire join to make Gun Laws Tough in USA

"Moms Demand Action" group's members regularly turn out for rallies at statehouses around the country to push for new, Everytown-backed gun-safety legislation

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Image Source: Ruby Wallau/NPR
  • 3 million-strong citizen army of moms are bringing the fight to the National Rifle Association (NRA)
  • “Everytown For Gun Safety” and “Moms Demand Action” together have some 3.5 million supporters
  • Everytown has helped push through legislation to block domestic abusers from owning a gun

Devastated by the recent shootings, a new gun control group has emerged. With billionaires on board and an army of 3 million-strong citizen army of moms, they are bringing the fight to the National Rifle Association (NRA)

Much of the ground-swell behind this crusade comes from just regular people pulled into it for their own reasons. After the mass-murder at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Conn, Shannon Watts could not control her anger as the victims were grade-school children.

Six and seven-year-olds shot dead in their first-grade classrooms. Determined to do something about it, she went online and started searching for a group to join or to donate money to. Unable to find anything, she decided to put up a Facebook page: “One Million Moms For Gun Control. “Starting with just 75 friends on her regular Facebook page, the likes went on from the hundreds to the thousands to the tens of thousands. “Moms Demand Action” became the new name, when it crossed a million likes.

As the group grew, Watts caught the notice of Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire former Mayor of New York who was ready to launch “Everytown For Gun Safety” with a pledge of $50 million. What it lacked were foot soldiers. And today the two groups have merged and together have some 3.5 million supporters, said the NPR report.

The National Rifle Association which had been a gun-lobbying superpower for generations has finally met its match.

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According to the NPR report, the “Moms Demand Action” group’s members regularly turn out for rallies at statehouses around the country to push for new, Everytown-backed gun-safety legislation. After the latest shooting at Orlando, the fight is getting more intense.

Tina Meins, the daughter of a shooting victim in the San Bernardino, California, shooting last December and other survivors of gun violence joined Democratic senators yesterday on Capital Hill, to push for tougher gun control laws.

The 40 Democratic senators who participated in the filibuster ended up winning a promise that legislation would come up for a vote, following a week of partisan congressional battles over ways to prevent future attacks like Orlando.

She speaks to VOA,“ People don’t understand that the ease of accessibility is really going to contribute to potential attacks. People don’t understand the risk, especially in cases like Orlando and San Bernardino. I don’t think people understand the risk of homegrown terrorist attacks.”

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Participants with One Million Moms for Gun Control, Image Source:NPR

Everytown for Gun Safety trained Tina Meins and more than 800 other gun violence survivors to meet with politicians, speak in public and write op-eds as part of a growing nationwide movement. This new gun control group has been instrumental in several campaigns and talks on gun legislation.

On Wednesday, June 15, the state chapter leader for the group, Jennifer Herrera spoke with local politicians at a vigil in front of City Hall in Alexandria.
“My sorrow over the tragedy in Orlando runs deep,” she says, “but make no mistake, we are making strides every single day.”

Everytown has started producing results. It has helped push through legislation to block domestic abusers from owning a gun. In some contests the group has outspent the NRA and won.

In the past week, her group organized more than 50 vigils, met with scores of lawmakers, made 52,000 volunteer phone calls to members of Congress, and sent in more than 100,000 petition signatures urging congressional action. She believes that a big change is underway.

-prepared by Ajay Krishna, an intern at NewsGram. Twitter: @ajkrish14

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Tamil Nadu Relaxes TV Serial Shooting Restrictions Further

Tamil Nadu has relaxed conditions for TV serial shooting

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Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami has announced relaxation in TV serial shooting norms in the state. Wikimedia Commons

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami on Saturday announced further relaxation in television shooting in the state.

In a statement issued here he said the television serial shooting will be allowed from May 31 onwards with a maximum of 60 persons at the spot including actors and technicians.

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Initially the government had fixed the number of persons at the shooting spot at 20. Pixabay

The other conditions that the government had earlier laid down were: Shooting is allowed only indoors or in the houses having compound walls; No shooting is allowed in public places, except in rural and on COVID-19 containment areas; No permission for onlookers; Spraying of disinfectant before and after the shooting at the shoot spots; Barring actors, all others should wear masks and maintain social distance.

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During breaks actors too should wear masks; All equipments, vehicles coming to the shooting spots should be sanitized. (IANS)

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Handwara Attack: The Tale of Bravery and Sacrifice

Remembering our heroes of Handwara Attack

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Indian glad

By Muskan Bhatnagar

How many of us remember the names of the army officers who lost their lives while serving the nation? How many of us remember the sacrifices made by our defense forces and their families to protect us? How many of us remember the horror tales of the terrorist attacks on national borders? Hardly a few of us. We tend to forget the sacrifices, the immense bravery, and the spirit of the officers who lay down their lives fighting for the country.

It’s not been long since we faced a terrorist attack. In the late hours of May 2, an Indian army colonel, a major, two soldiers, and a Jammu and Kashmir police sub-inspector carried out one of the deadliest operations in Handwara. A 12-hour long operation to avoid a hostage situation cost us the lives of the brave hearts of India. Two terrorists were also neutralized in the encounter as per a statement released by the Indian Army.

Colonel Ashutosh Sharma, Major Anuj Sood, Jammu, and Kashmir police Sub-Inspector Sageer Ahmed Kazi, Lance NK Dinesh, and NK Rajesh lost their lives in a gunbattle with terrorists in North Kashmir. Just a few days have passed by and it seems like everyone has forgotten their sacrifice.

Why is it so, that we tend to normalize martyrdom of soldiers? It requires immense bravery and courage to serve the country without fearing death. Then why do we forget their sacrifice in a few seconds?
No, their job is not to die, but to fight for the nation and protect us. And when they lose their lives while protecting us, it is a great loss. The loss is as big as a celebrity death. When a legendary actor dies, the whole nation mourns. On the other hand, when a soldier is martyred, it is just a matter of a few minutes, and very quickly, we move on.

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Our Army deserves a lot more respect and appreciation than we give. Wikimedia Commons

Are real-life heroes not as important as reel life heroes? And if not, then why? The soldiers, standing on the borders, protecting us all including the reel life heroes are as important as any other celebrity. They are the pride of this nation. They undergo harsh living conditions and circumstances just to make sure that none of us suffers or dies. Like us, they too have families whom they have to leave back at home to protect us.

Many families lose their sons, fathers, and brothers. These families wait endlessly to meet their loved ones who serve the nation, they spend countless nights worrying, and then one sudden day they have to face their worst fear of losing that member of the family. Women are widowed, children and parents are devastated, but they all are proud. And so are we.

Terrorist attacks on the borders are not given any importance as compared to the terrorist attacks in cities. My question is why? Yes, in cities civilians are involved and a huge number of people die but the same happens when terrorist attacks take place on the borders of the nation. The soldiers are martyred. Then why do we overlook the news of terrorist attacks on the army?

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This shows how we have normalized martyrdom of soldiers in our lives. Their sacrifice is overlooked as we tend to think that it’s a part of their job, but it isn’t. They don’t stand on the borders to die. They stand there to fight till the end, to bravely face the enemy and to protect the nation and its citizens. It is their love and passion for the country and their bravery that makes them what they are. They deserve all the respect and appreciation, which we fail to deliver.

Appreciation is not something which our respected soldiers demand, it is something which they deserve.
The least we can do is to acknowledge their bravery, courage, and sacrifice, and pay homage to them and always remember the tale of their bravery.

My homage to the brave hearts and may God give strength to their families.

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Guidelines for Shooting Resumption Yet to be Formalised: Producers Guild of India

Safety protocol for shooting yet to be formalised

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Producers Guild of India said that the guidelines for resumption of shooting have not been finalised yet. Pixabay

Producers Guild of India has issued a statement clarifying that the final safety protocols and guidelines for resumption of shooting activities are yet to be formalised.

“A work-in-progress document prepared by the guild of draft guidelines for resumption of shooting activities has recently been circulating widely in the media and industry,” Producers Guild of India spokesperson said.

“This is to clarify that the document is only an early internal draft prepared by the Guild in preparedness for the future resumption of shooting activities. Any final safety protocols and guidelines will be formalised only after comprehensive consultations with government officials, medical professionals and relevant industry bodies.”

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“Any final safety protocols and guidelines will be formalised only after comprehensive consultations with government officials, medical professionals and relevant industry bodies.” Producers Guild of India spokesperson said. Pixabay

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This comes after certain media outlets reported that the guild has drafted several safety measures for shooting post the lockdown, which includes the cast and crew providing the result of their swab test before reporting on the set. There will be temperature checks of the unit every morning, a doctor and a nurse would be present on the set for an initial period.

Meanwhile, the Producers Guild of India had earlier donated fully-equipped tents and vanity vans of Bollywood stars to the police force, particularly female cops, across 22 key locations in the city, as the uniformed personnel battle it out to protect Mumbai from the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic. (IANS)