Last week the activist organization CODEPINK announced that, in a close 204-216 vote, the House of Representatives blocked an amendment that would have halted the sale of U.S. made cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia, which has used the munitions as part of their devastating military campaign against Yemen.
It is CODEPINK‘s hopes to “turn to the Senate to end this one aspect of U.S. complicity in Saudi war crimes, we’ve discovered that Rhode Island Democratic Senator Jack Reed is leading the charge to keep the flow of weapons going – weapons manufactured in his own state by a company that donates to his political campaigns!”
On a positive note, June 1st the activist organization said: “We are happy to announce that, late last week, the Obama administration announced its decision to block sales of cluster munitions to Saudi Arabia. Thank you for your help in reaching this victory.” (Referring to their petition).
Their press statement continues: “Now that the US government has realized the horrendous effects of the Saudi use of U.S. cluster bombs, it must act to prevent further death and destruction from other U.S. weapons. Join us in calling on President Obama to ban ALL weapons sales to Saudi Arabia.”
“On June 20th more than 100 activists – lead by CODEPINK – held an overnight vigil in front of the National Rifle Association (NRA) headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia, where eighteen (18) of us were arrested this morning for blocking the NRA entrance.
“We were there to memorialize the forty-nine (49) victims of the senseless mass shooting in Orlando and to protest the roadblock the NRA has been to even the most moderate and widely supported gun control measures. Sadly but unsurprisingly, just hours before our vigil began, the U.S. Senate rejected every gun control measure before it, including universal background checks which are supported by more than 4 out of 5 gun owners.
“The same day, the US Senate failed to pass commonsense legislation that would make us all safer. They didn’t pass it because of money. Money that the gun manufacturers don’t want to lose in revenue from sales of assault rifles and a shrinking of their customer base to only legal buyers by closing the gun show loophole. Money that the gun manufacturers use to bankroll the NRA. The same money that the NRA then uses to influence politicians, lobby against gun control legislation, and build their base of membership and supporters. We must recognize the influence of money in our politics, and the link between guns, greed, and fear.
“We must be just as relentless as the NRA has been in pressuring Congress, we must continue to speak out, and we must not fall back into the complacency, apathy, and succumb to the feelings of powerlessness that plagues our politics and prevents progress.” writes Brendan Orsingeron in his article on Codepink.
Adding that, “49 are dead, 53 are wounded, and even more lives traumatized and affected because of a gun — an assault rifle — the AR-15 — which had no business being in the hands of a civilian, much less one with a violent background.”  (Referring to the recent Orlando massacre in Florida.)
To be clear, the Senate wasn’t even considering the assault weapons ban (CODEPINK) is advocating for – a measure that is critically necessary to get weapons of war out of our communities – they were considering much weaker measures, such as universal background checks and banning gun sales those on the terror watch list.
Thanks to the NRA’s stranglehold on Congress, not even these minor restrictions, supported by a vast majority of Americans, could pass.
CODEPINK reports that there are: more than 30,000 gun deaths in the U.S. each, and every year, the clear and present danger to our lives and the lives of those we love is the NRA.
The outrageously powerful lobby firm has blocked gun control to the point where gun violence is now the leading cause of death for 15-24 year olds.
The activist organization emphasized “It is time that we all rise up and demand action from Congress, NOW!”
Go to CODEPINK‘s website and learn how you too can tell your Senator that you demand they protect American lives, and stand up to the NRA by passing an assault weapons ban now.
“We are still in mourning for the victims of Orlando. We ask you join us in working to make sure that a massacre of this proportion never happens in our country again.
“Alice, Alli, Aniqa, Ariel, Chelsea, Janet, Jodie, Jules, Mariana, Marwa, Medea, Nancy, Rebecca, Sam and Tighe“
References: CODEPINK newsletter: ENOUGH is ENOUGH!!
Greed and Guns stand no chance against PEOPLE POWER!
CODEPINK is a women-led grassroots organization working to end U.S. wars and militarism, support peace and human rights initiatives, and redirect our tax dollars into healthcare, education, green jobs and other life-affirming programs.