Christchurch mosque attacks: Gunman pleads guilty to murder, attempted murder and terrorism | Stuff.co.nz

The man accused of the Christchurch mosque attacks has entered shock guilty pleas, bringing relief to survivors and victims’ families.

Amid extraordinary coronavirus lockdown restrictions, Brenton Tarrant, 29, appeared via video-link in the High Court at Christchurch on Thursday morning and admitted 51 charges of murder, 40 charges of attempted murder and a charge of engaging in a terrorist act.

He’d previously pleaded not guilty to all the charges and was scheduled to stand trial on June 2.

GEORGE HEARD/STUFF
Fifty-one people died as a result of the March 15, 2019 attack.

Tarrant, who wore a grey prisoner sweater, was largely silent and emotionless throughout the hearing. He sat alone in a white room with a grey door at Auckland Prison, Paremoremo, where he’s held in maximum security.

The terrorist’s lawyers, Shane Tait and Jonathan Hudson, appeared via video-link from another court room.

Brenton Tarrant pleads guilty to murder, attempted murder and terrorism via AVL in the Christchurch High Court.

The names of all 51 people killed were read to Tarrant, before he was asked how he pleaded to the murder charges.

He replied: “Yes, guilty.”

The same process was followed for the attempted murder charges.

JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON/STUFF
Terrorist Brenton Tarrant pictured at his first court appearance, the day after the mosque shootings.

Justice Cameron Mander remanded Tarrant in custody, but has not yet set a date for sentencing, when the summary of facts would be made public.

Few people knew of the special hearing, which was only scheduled late Wednesday, on the eve of an unprecedented nationwide lockdown to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus.

Six New Zealand journalists attended. Also in court were the imams from both targeted mosques. An-nur (Al Noor) imam Gamal Fouda was visibly upset as the guilty pleas were entered.

JOSEPH JOHNSON/STUFF
Mustafa Boztas still has a fragment of a bullet inside him.

The hearing concluded at 10.30am, but the judge suppressed the outcome for an hour to allow victims, who were unaware of the hearing, to be notified.

The decision to hold the hearing amid the national state of emergency was not made lightly.

Earlier in the week Tarrant indicated to counsel that he might change his pleas. A formal request was made on Wednesday that the matter be brought before the court.

DAVID WALKER/STUFF
Omar Abdel-Ghany, whose father Ahmed Gamal Eldin Abdel-Ghany was killed at Masjid An-Nur.

Mander said both the Crown and defence asked to have the hearing expedited, despite the severe health restrictions.

The courts were considered an essential public service that was able to deal with “priority proceedings without compromising people’s health”.

The judge said he felt the court had the capacity to safely hear the matter by limiting the number of people in court. In total, 17 people were present.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern reflects on the last year following the Christchurch mosque shootings.

It was regrettable the Covid-19 restrictions prevented victims from attending, he said, but the imams had been asked to be present to bear witness to the proceedings.

“It was my assessment that taking the defendant’s pleas at this time was the appropriate course in the circumstances,” Mander said.

“The entry of guilty pleas represents a very significant step towards bringing finality to this criminal proceeding, and I considered the need to take the opportunity to progress the matter was particularly acute coming as it has at a time when the risk of further delay as a result of Covid-19 was looming as realistic possibility.”

Mander said the defendant would not be sentenced before the court returned to normal operations.

The defendant had been remanded to a nominal date of May 1. It was hoped a sentencing date would be confirmed in the interim.

“It is fully anticipated that all who wish to attend court for the sentencing hearing will be able to do so in person.”  

On March 15 last year, Tarrant drove from his Dunedin home to Christchurch with an arsenal of guns and ammunition he’d amassed since moving from Australia to New Zealand in 2017.

The white supremacist entered Masjid An-nur (also known as the Al Noor Mosque) on Deans Ave as Friday prayers were beginning, about 1.40pm, and opened fire – killing and wounding dozens of people.

He then drove across town to the Linwood Mosque where he continued his shooting spree.

Tarrant was arrested a short time later after his car, a gold Subaru Outback, was rammed off the road by two police officers on Brougham St as he tried to make his way to a third target, though to be a mosque in Ashburton, where he planned to carry out another attack.

When police searched the vehicle they found several guns and petrol bombs.

NZ’S WORST MASS SHOOTING

In total, 51 people were killed in the terrorist attack, the worst mass shooting by an individual in New Zealand history.

Tarrant was the first person to be charged under NZ’s Terrorism Suppression Act 2002.

Omar Abdel-Ghany, whose father Ahmed Gamal Eldin Abdel-Ghany was killed at Masjid An-Nur, said he could not understand what caused Tarrant to change his plea.

“I’m both shocked and relieved. Shocked at the sudden change in plea, relieved that my family and I, along with other victims won’t have to relive it all through the courts.”

Muslim Association of Canterbury spokesman Tony Green said his immediate reaction was one of enormous relief and great gratitude.

“I think the victims will feel a huge weight has been lifted from their shoulders. Our position has always been to let justice take its course, but a trial would have put a lot of pressure on our families. If you look at the anguish caused by the trial of Grace Millane’s killer you can see how bad it would be for 51 families.”

Mustafa Boztas, who lay on the ground inside the Masjid An-nur with a bullet in his leg, pretending to be dead, said from Turkey he always knew Tarrant would be found guilty. 

“I feel he basically played with our minds and emotionally upset us more for no reason.”

Boztas said he would have stayed in the country instead of going overseas if he’d known Tarrant was going to plead guilty. 

“While it can’t undo the damage it has brought upon our community and country, it gives me hope that this help bring not only justice but some closure to those touched by this event.

“To the families, I hope this brings you peace, and a sense that love can conquer hate. While this closes the criminal proceedings for the shootings, please know there is still a long way to go in recovery for some of us, so thank you for your continued support.”

Yasir Amin, whose father 67-year-old Muhammad Amin Nasir was shot in the back by the gunman shooting from his car, said the guilty pleas were good news.

“It’s good to avoid a trial because we would be reminded of everything, every day of the six week trial. We’ve avoided that mental torture and we’re not in a situation where the outcome is not 100 per cent sure.”

Nasir was to undergo another operation on Monday but the operation was postponed due to Covid-19 measures. He had spent two months in hospital after the shootings and had another 20-day stay in December.

“He is now doing well. He goes for walks and eats well.”

Just about every organ in his father’s body except his heart had been damaged by the shotgun pellets, Amin said.

Nasir was shot about 200 metres from the mosque on Deans Ave. The gunman drove past Amin and his father, who were walking to the mosque along the footpath, when he aimed a shotgun at them from his car. Both ran for their lives but Nasir was shot. Their plight was captured by a motel CCTV camera. 

‘HE’S GOT TO PAY THE TIME’

Tarrant’s grandmother, Marie Fitzgerald, had no idea about the plea until called by Stuff.

“I feel sorry he did the crime, but he’s got to pay the time now.”

She declined to comment further.

Victim Support chief executive Kevin Tso said support was ongoing for hundreds of victims who still need help coping with the trauma of the event and rebuilding their lives.

“We’re pleased victims no longer have to face the trauma of the trial.”

The victims had shown remarkable courage and resilience in the face of a heart-breaking, shocking and senseless tragedy, Tso said.

“They have our utmost respect and promise that we will be here for them for as long as they need us.”

Police Commissioner Mike Bush said the pleas were a “significant milestone in respect of one of our darkest days”.

“I want to acknowledge the victims, their families and the community of Christchurch – the many lives that were changed forever. They have inspired all of us to be a kind and more tolerant community.”

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said it would provide some relief to the many people whose lives were “shattered” on March 15.

“These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, and other witnesses, the ordeal of a trial,” she said.

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Worshippers at the Al Noor mosque photographed in terror threat | Stuff.co.nz

Worshippers at the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch were photographed in an apparent terror threat, two weeks before the first anniversary of the March 15 attack in which 51 worshippers were gunned down. 

The threat was issued on Sunday night on an encrypted messaging app, accompanied by a photo of a masked man sitting in a car outside the mosque. 

A police spokeswoman has confirmed an investigation into the threat is underway. 

Christchurch’s Al Noor was one of two mosques targeted in a racially motivated mass-shooting on March 15, 2019. The alleged terrorist, an Australian national, awaits a trial due to begin in June. 

Police and St John staff outside the Al-Noor mosque after the March 15, 2019 terror attack. (file photo)

Security Intelligence Service director Rebecca Kitteridge last month warned that some Kiwis have been inspired by the March 15 terror attack, and monitoring such people had been difficult.

The threat and accompanying photo was posted anonymously to more than 2000 followers on a messaging channel on the encrypted communication app Telegram.

Do you know more? Email thomas.manch@stuff.co.nz

The image shows a man wearing dark sunglasses and a balaclava printed with an image of a human skull. Through a car window the front of the Al Noor mosque can be seen. 

In the background, four people are visible at the entrance of the mosque. 

The message attached, written in both English and Russian, implies the people at the “same mosque” would be greeting each other for the “last time”. A gun emoji, or symbol, is also used in the message. 

The image was posted on a messaging channel dedicated to celebrating the March 15 terror attack. 

CHRISTEL YARDLEY/STUFF
Islamic Women’s Council national co-ordinator Anjum Rahman said police were already conducting enquiries into the threat.

Police were aware of the threat and enquiries were ongoing, a spokeswoman said.

Such threats to the community were taken “extremely seriously”. The spokeswoman declined to answer questions about security arrangements for the anniversary of the March 15 terror attacks. 

An SIS spokesman declined to comment on the specific threat.  

Islamic Women’s Council national co-ordinator Anjum Rahman​ said she was told of the threat early on Monday morning, and notified both mosque leaders and senior police officers. 

“[The police] were already aware and were looking into that threat,” she said. 

“There have been threats, more oblique threats, to other mosques in the last six to eight months or so. We know there is ongoing activity, I would just say the public should be vigilant and report anything that they see as suspicious.”

She said it would be helpful to have a visible police presence at the mosques as the anniversary of the attack approached.

Al Noor imam Gamal Fouda has been contacted for comment. 

In February, Kitteridge said New Zealand’s spy agencies were investigating some 30 to 50 people for a potential terror risk at any one time. 

She said it was challenging to monitor such people as they “tend to live in encrypted chat rooms” — such as Telegram. 

Kitteridge would not say if any specific terror plans had been intercepted.

Messages on the Telegram app first alerted the public to the arrest of a 27-year-old soldier connected to far-Right groups, in November 2019. 

The soldier now awaits a military trial, facing charges of accessing a computer system for a dishonest purpose and for disclosing information that prejudiced the security or defence of New Zealand. 

Authorities across western nations continue to grapple with the terror threat posed by adherents to far-Right and white supremacist ideologies. 

The director of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, Mike Burgess, last week told reporters that small cells of such extremists posed a growing and enduring threat.

Days earlier, in the United States, the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security increased the terror threat level regarding homegrown white supremacists to “high”. 

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The Disgusting Matt Lauer News, and Vindicating Ann Curry

NEWSLETTERS
The Daily Beasts Obsessed
Everything we cant stop loving, hating, and thinking about this week in pop culture.
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This week:

  • Were still thinking about Ann Curry.
  • Go see Parasite.
  • The wildest detail of the Rihanna Vogue story.
  • Dont be jealous of my pumpkins.
  • Goodenough.
Once Again, Vindication for Ann Curry

In light of the disgusting revelations that surfaced this week, there are many things I wish for Matt Lauer. Because of those revelations, among many other reasons, I wish to know how NBC News bosses Andy Lack and Noah Oppenheim still have jobs. And because of all the horseshit Ive witnessed covering TV news and morning television over the last decade, there are many things, as always, I wish for Ann Curry.

I wish for her to rise each morning, well-rested, to a breath of crisp, invigorating air. Maybe theres a whiff of warm croissants coming in through the window, stoking an appetite for the knowledge she will immerse herself in that day. I wish for her curiosity about the world to be satiated, but I wish for her to have found the balance between being activated by the news without being too traumatized by the horror of it all. I wish for her to feel things, but not so deeply it hurts.

I wish for her to be greeted every day at 4:30 p.m. with a healthy pour of white wine. I wish for a non-stop parade of knowing, warm smiles from passersby on the streets. I wish for her to stumble on a $20 bill on the street, though I know she will do something saintly with it, rather than indulge in spending it on herself. I wish for her weekends to be spent at the beach, a relaxing convalescence from this crazy thing we call life, energizing her to return to her journalistic pursuits when Monday morning calls.

I wish for her to see, as it already appears she has, the Matt Lauer news, breaking seven years after his role in forcing her exit from the Today show, as a call to continue to mentor and galvanize female journalists.

And for everyone who, in response to the grotesque Lauer news, has called for Curry to get her own show, I wish for you to know that she hasChasing the Cure Liveand I wish for you to watch it.

Over a decade ago when I first started my career, I interviewed Curry at an event. The conversation turned personal, for both of us, and in the middle of it she reflexively gripped my hand and stared deeply into my eyes, forging an electric, compassionate connection as she spoke.

I have come to terms with the fact that I will never understand what the hell TV executives and, presumably, audiences value in hosts and journalists; what, really, did Matt Lauer bring all those years to justify tolerance of his behavior? But the way Curry led her thirst for facts and truth with empathy always struck me and still does. (For what its worth, those same traits are why I think Hoda Kotb is so good in her new role at Today.)

Anyway, these developments are heinous and pathetically emblematic of a broken system in television. Every time things like this come out, I think about Ann Curry and how she was treated. And then I wish the world for her.

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Parasite Is the Best Movie of the Year

I dont think Ive ever experienced a movie quite like Parasite. In the time since I first screened the new film, out Friday, that is what has stuck with me, that watching it is an experience. It sounds like such hooey cinephile nonsensean experience that I am rolling my eyes at myself while typing the words. But it is so true.

It is the best movie Ive seen this year. I implore you to see it! I can also tell you nothing about it!! Sorry!!!

The film is written and directed by Bong Joon-ho, best known for his English-language titles Snowpiercer and Okja. It is about an unemployed, impoverished family who infiltrate the lives of a wealthy and glamorous upper-class clan. I refuse to tell you anything else about it, and beg you not to seek out much more information than that.

Maybe youre a spoiler-phobe or maybe your entire 90s wasnt ruined by knowing that Bruce Willis was dead the whole time before you saw The Sixth Sense. Wherever you are on that spectrum, I truly, deeply believe that knowing what happens in this movie is a significant detriment to your viewing experience.

I dont want to overhype it, or make you think youre in for twists so unbelievably good that the wig is going to leap right off your head. But the film is one of the most stressful cinematic experiences Ive had. It drives up your heart rate to lethal levels, and once youve come to terms with the fact that your heart just lives in your throat now, it changes gears completely. Now all of a sudden your heart is over there in your forehead, and then exploding out your back, and then making its way to your left pinky. I dont know how it happens, I just know that it is what Bong Joon-ho does!

The film has been called a black comedy, which it sort of is. Its been ruled a horror film, which it sort of is, too, as well as a thriller, which, yeah, that fits. But its also really none of those things either. I am very aware that none of this information is helpful but I hope you take the spirit of itGO SEE PARASITE, YOU GUYS!!!and run with that all the way to the theater.

The Rihanna Vogue Detail That Shocked Me

There were a lot of details in the new Vogue profile of Rihanna that made headlines. Theres just how much money shes made by injecting long-overdue diversity and inclusivity into the worlds of beauty and fashion, tapping into a traditionally ignored market: actual people. Her next album is being worked on and it will be reggae-inspired, though there is still no time frame for its release.

The juiciest bits, of course, are about politics: She confirms that she turned down the Super Bowl Halftime Show in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick, and she called Donald Trump, in specific reference to his response to the mass-shooting epidemic, the most mentally ill human being in America right now.

But there was a passage in the profile that has rattled me so viscerally that my bones shook and heart moaned when I read it. It is when writer Abby Aguirre says this: Normally I bring a list of questions, but I didnt have time to prepare one, which I make a split-second decision to confess.

A person showed up to interview Rihanna for Vogue without having prepared.

Everyone has different reporting styles. Staying awake at night poring through everything thats ever been written about an interview subject, scripting questions, ordering and reordering them, strategizing, and even pre-planning small talk and icebreakers isnt for everyone. And the writer is candid about the fact that the interview snuck up on her after Rihanna moved the appointment several times.

Would I have still scribbled down an outline, a handful of questions, or some mantras of encouragement before I even put presumed to put pants on for this interview? Yes. But hey, as Rihanna herself says in response, were all winging it, I guess.

The Only Good Thing About Halloween Are My Pumpkins

I do not like Halloween. I do not like people who like Halloween. But cranky as I get anytime someone uses the word spooky or tries to tell me about their costume, there are two traditions I partake in: eating candy cornscrew you, its deliciousand having an absolutely ridiculous jack-o-lantern carved.

I do not know if Brent Heuser, pumpkin carver extraordinaire, is delighted or embarrassed each year when I assign him an uber-gay design to craft during his residency at the High Line Hotel. This year, he carved me a fabulous rendering of Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn, and Bette Midler during the You Dont Own Me finale of The First Wives Club, which I very much look forward to my boyfriend rolling his eyes at as it rots on our dining room table for the next three weeks.

Last year, he carved me Ryan Phillippes butt scene from Cruel Intentions, a photo of which made its way to the actor himself, who appeared good-naturedly baffled by it.

If Im being honest, it was a tough call to go with The First Wives Club this year over my second choice, Andrew Scott as the Hot Priest cradling a guinea pig in Fleabag. But Brent will be at the High Line Hotel for a few more weeks should any of you be looking for some gourd-eous temporary art.

More Than Goodenough

The Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded this year to a man named John B. Goodenough. I read this news on Wednesday and havent stopped laughing since.

What to Watch This Week:

Parasite: Duh!

The Addams Family: Charlize Theron as Morticia Addams? Sure!

Looking for Alaska: Finally, a good teen drama this fall.

What to Skip This Week:

Gemini Man: Will Smith is in this movie and Im not kidding when I say I only found it existed five minutes ago.

Insatiable: I cannot BELIEVE this show is coming back.

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At Least 2 Movie Theater Chains Ban Masks At ‘Joker’ Screenings

DENVER, Sept 26 (Reuters) – The Landmark Theaters chain will ban costumes and masks for moviegoers during screenings of the film “Joker,” it said on Thursday, following concerns expressed by families involved in a 2012 mass shooting during a Batman film in Colorado.

The Los Angeles-based chain, which runs 52 theaters in 27 markets, said it wanted customers to enjoy the film as a “cinematic achievement.”

“But no masks, painted faces or costumes will be permitted into our theaters,” it said in a statement to Reuters.

The film opens in theaters on Oct. 4.

Landmark joins the nation’s largest movie chain, Kansas-based AMC Theatres, which has banned masks in theaters since the Colorado massacre that killed a dozen and wounded scores, and re-affirmed that ban.

AMC, which runs more than 650 cinemas, reminded customers this week that while it allowed costumes, it did not allow masks.

“Guests are welcome to come dressed in costume, but we do not permit masks, face paint or any object that conceals the face,” it said in a statement widely reported in the media, including Variety.

Landmark did not give a reason for its ban.

But it follows a letter from the families of some victims of the shooting at a 2012 showing of the Batman movie, “The Dark Knight Rises” in Aurora, Colorado, to Warner Bros., the studio behind the “Joker,” expressing concern.

Some of those at the midnight screening in the packed Aurora theater had been wearing costumes. The mass shooting at the Century 16 Theater multiplex owned by Cinemark USA Inc killed 12 and wounded 70.

The gunman, James Holmes, is serving multiple life sentences after being convicted of mass murder, despite pleading not guilty by reason of insanity.

The new film depicts the mental breakdown of the Joker character, the nemesis of Batman in various movie, television and comic book adaptations, that leads to violence.

The families’ letter also urged Warner Bros. to end political contributions to candidates who take money from theNational Rifle Association and to fund gun violence intervention programs.

In response, Warner Bros. issued a statement of sympathy for the victims and their families, Entertainment Weekly said.

“Our company has a long history of donating to victims of violence, including Aurora, and in recent weeks, our parent company joined other business leaders to call on policymakers to enact bipartisan legislation to address this epidemic,” WarnerBros. said, media reported.

But the movie does not endorse real-world violence and does not hold up the Batman villain as a hero, it added.

Los Angeles police aim to step up visibility during the film’s opening weekend.

“The Los Angeles Police Department is aware of public concerns and the historical significance associated with the premiere of the Joker,” it said in a statement to Reuters.

“While there are no credible threats in the Los Angeles area, the department will maintain high visibility around movie theaters when it opens.”

Aurora police have said Cinemark will not screen “Joker” at the Colorado multiplex, where they continue to provide enhanced security.

“We recognize this release may cause concern for the families, friends, first responders and beyond,” police said in a statement on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Keith Coffman in Denver, and additional reporting by Rich McKay in Atlanta; Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Christian Schmollinger)

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Not Even Thoughts and Prayers From NRAJust Boasts About Its Legislative Wins

At times like this, I pay a visit to the NRAs website. If youve never looked at it, do so. As youd expect, its a slick and professionally produced affair, nearly all of it devoted to boasting about the groups successes and legislative wins.

There wasnt a word, Sunday morning, about the weekends carnage in El Paso and Dayton. There was, however, one piece of content that the weekends events turned into a macabre joke. The lead story, so to speak, on the home page was something called A Statement by NRA Executive Vice President and CEO Wayne LaPierre.

Yes, I was nave enough to think that this was going to be about the weekends shootings. It would be evasive and dishonest, of course, but at least it would acknowledge that these horrors had occurred.

But when I clicked on it and started reading it, I saw that in fact it was a statement to members explaining why the NRA was going to stop producing live television for NRATV. This was not of course the NRAs fault, because nothing is ever the NRAs fault, according to the NRA. Instead, LaPierre pinned the problem on our longtime advertising firm and website vendor, which had failed to deliver upon many contractual obligations. Rest assured though that NRATV would continue to exist, airing exclusive video content. The world cant live without that.

From time to time, I visit the web page of the NRAs Institute for Legislative Action (ILA). This is the dark heart of it, where they brag about how many politicians they own. I nosed around this page on Sunday morning, and lo and behold, the top item Trending Now was about a governor whod just signed 10 pro-Second Amendment bills into law. The governor in question is Greg Abbott, of Texas, who Saturday bemoaned one of the most deadly days in the history of Texas.

Ten laws! One measure prohibits no firearms clauses in future residential leases, which is great, right, because it means that people who rent apartments can build up whatever caches of semi-automatic weapons they want. Another prevents school districts from prohibiting the presence of firearms in private cars on school property. This is great, too, because it allows teachers to come to school armed. Of course, it logically does the same for unstable people who want to shoot up a high school. But the price of liberty is high.

And another strikes the words churches, synagogues, or other places of worship from an existing firearms law, clarifying that these places havethesame right enjoyed by nearly all other controllers ofprivate propertyin the state to decide whether to allowLicenseToCarry holders on their premises. Because packing heat in church is just what Jesus would want.

(Sunday night, long after this essay was posted, the NRA got around to mentioning that Our deepest sympathies are with the families and victims of these tragedies, as well as the entire communities of El Paso and Dayton. The statement from LaPierre, however, remained atop its website, with no mention on the homepage of the massacres.)

No one is putting the blame for these shootings directly on the gun group or the politicians in its pocket. We are blaming them for the fact that ours is such a blood-splattered land, completely unlike anyplace else in the world.

Other countries do sensible things. Youll recall that after that mass shooting in New Zealand in March, the countrys parliament banned assault weapons six days later. Six days! New Zealand has not, incidentally, escaped the NRAs notice. The second trending item, under Governor Abbotts heroic efforts, was called Never Enough: New Zealand pushes even more gun control.

Yes, because sane countries do something. Here in the United States, these things happen, and we do nothing. We even watched 20 first graders get slaughtered by a crazy man in Connecticut, and we did nothing. More than 100 pieces of gun legislation have been introduced in Congress since around the time of that Sandy Hook massacre. Not one has passed. Most dont even get voted on. Then, every so often, Moscow Mitch decides its time to go through the charade of giving a gun control bill a vote, and the Republicans all vote no.

And now lets talk about Donald Trump. Where the NRA said nothing about the massacre in El Paso, Donald Trump Saturday at least did tweet to condemn the hateful act. Fine. But remember that he had been in the very same El Paso back in February, where he riled people up and bragged about border patrol agents arresting undocumented immigrants who were guilty of murders, murders, killings, murders (at which point the crowd started chanting build the wall!). The El Paso shooters apparent manifesto mentioned a Hispanic invasion of Texas.

More recently, Trump spoke to the NRA-ILA convention in Indianapolis in April. The right to bear arms is under assault, he said. But not while were here.

He then used the occasion to announce that he was pulling the United States out of the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty. You know that he revoked U.S. acceptance of the Paris climate accord and the Iran deal. But you probably didnt hear about this one. It regulates international trade in conventional weapons. It entered into force in 2014, and 101 nations have accepted it. Not the United States. The Senate, led by you know who, never ratified it. And it is opposed, of course, by the NRA.

This is what the NRA does, day after day and week after week, largely out of public view. They buy politicians like Abbott (A Rating from the NRA) and state legislatures and even presidents. They dream up laws normal people wouldnt even conceive oflaws that make sure the horrors like those we have just witnessed in El Paso and Dayton happen and will continue to happen. Each new bloodbath should bring us closer to finally acting, but if anything the country is moving in the opposite direction. All in the name of freedom.

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Alejandro Bedoya calls out Congress during MLS game over mass shootings

Philadelphia Union captain Alejandro Bedoya brought attention to this weekends mass shootings when he called out Congress after scoring for his team

America

Philadelphia Union captain Alejandro Bedoya brought attention to this weekends mass shootings in Ohio and Texas when he called out Congress after scoring for his team in Washington DC.

The USA international scored his teams opening goal in their 5-1 win over DC United on Sunday. After Bedoya scored he ran over to a TV microphone and shouted: Hey Congress, do something now. End gun violence. Lets go! The comment could be heard on Fox Sports coverage of the game.

Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1)

Philadelphia Union soccer player Alejandro Bedoya scores a goal in tonight’s game against D.C. United, runs over to a field microphone and shouts, “Congress, do something now. End gun violence.”
Via FS1 pic.twitter.com/7WH4PA08cs

August 5, 2019

The 32-year-old is from Weston, Florida, close to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, which was the site of a mass shooting in 2018. Before Sundays game he had made his thoughts on gun policy in the US clear. Seeing more thoughts and prayers bullshit, he wrote on Twitter. Words without actions are just worthless. America, it seems, is becoming a dystopian society. When Bedoya was asked to clarify by another user on Twitter how he would address the problem of gun violence he expanded on his views. We can start with stricter background checks, red flag laws, making a registry for gun purchases, closing gun show loopholes, and taxing ammunition, he wrote.

Alejandro Bedoya (@AleBedoya17)

Seeing more thoughts and prayers bullshit.
Words without actions are just worthless. America, it seems, is becoming a dystopian society.
Do something!!! Enough!!!

August 4, 2019

This weekends shootings left 29 people dead. There have now been 31 mass shootings in America this year, defined as those where at least three people are killed by gun violence in a single episode.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us

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