Memorial to the Lost

Memorial to the Lost
at Chester Eastside Ministries

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Marshelle Johnson Accepts Certificate of Recognition for HGC from the City of Chester

Marshelle Johnson accepts a Certificate of Recognition on behalf of Heeding God's Call

Today in TheTrace: Gun Violence tops Police Misconduct as a Very Serious Problem

Gun violence is seen as a serious problem by a greater percentage of people of color than either police misconduct or mass incarceration, a new survey by Benenson Strategy Group of 1,200 registered African-American and Hispanic voters found.  
Eighty percent of African-American respondents characterized gun violence as an “extremely serious problem,” a higher number than said the same of the incarceration rate (69 percent) or police misconduct (50 percent). More than half of Hispanic respondents said gun violence was extremely serious.
The survey was conducted by Benenson, a consultancy, as part of a project called Engaging Communities in Reducing Gun Violence. The project is a collaboration between three nonprofit research organizations: the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, the Joyce Foundation, and the Urban Institute. (The Joyce Foundation is a seed funder to The Trace.)
In response to one question, black and Hispanic voters indicated that they feel that the rest of the U.S. is ignoring the plague of violence that has engulfed their neighborhoods.
Fifty-seven percent of black respondents said they “agree” that most people in the U.S. “don’t care about the gun violence that is affecting communities of color.” An even higher number of African Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 — 64 percent — agreed with the statement.
Of the estimated 30 Americans shot and killed with guns every day, roughly 50 percent are black men — a group that comprises just 6 percent of the population. 
to read more, click here

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

From When Fourth Grade Problems Include Gunfire

by Elizabeth Van Brocklin
Kenya has a choice. During writing exercises, her fourth-grade teacher, Joe Alberti, lets his students sit and work wherever they’d like. Kenya’s desk is near the door, where she has a clear view of arithmetic problems chalked on the blackboard, and printed instructions for what to do in case of a lockdown. But she decides to move to a spot where she can have more space to herself. She picks a pencil from the graveyard of broken stubs in her desk and heads for an open swath of green carpet across the classroom.
Today’s assignment is poetry. The writing prompt is, “Because there was a gun.” Kenya opens her composition book to a fresh page.
She forms each letter carefully. “Because there was a gun,” she prints, “everybody live in fear.”
Around the room, Kenya’s classmates tilt their heads over notebooks, composing their own verses.
“Destroy the Guns!!!!” writes Suehayla.
“Put the gun down,” writes Vanessa.
“Don’t shoot,” writes Robert, “let me live life.”
The poems these students at Samuel Powel Elementary School are writing mark the latest phase in their year-long project on gun violence. Shootings are a daily possibility in the West Philadelphia neighborhoods where many of them live. There are 30 students in the class; according to Alberti, 24 say they know somebody who’s been shot. Even among the few who can’t name any victims within their own circle, the threat of gunfire casts a shadow, crackling through their streets, interrupting their play.
Every student’s experience with gun violence gets equal weight during the project, but many of them have rallied around Kenya. She is 10 years old. Her birthday is September 5, and her favorite colors are pink, purple, and blue. On her last report card, she received four As, four Bs, and one C.
On December 9, 2015, in North Philadelphia, her father was shot and killed.
Around half past nine, the students gather on the carpet to share their work. Kenya begins to read her poem aloud, softly at first. Alberti asks her to speak up. She raises her voice.
Because there was a gun
everybody live in fear.
Because there was a gun
my father isn’t here.
Because there was a gun
some people cry out tears.
Because there are guns
life is a nightmare.
to read more, click here

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Memorial to the Lost at the First United Methodist Church of Media

Saturday morning was rainy, but there was a great team of volunteers at First United Methodist Church of Media, and they got the Memorial to the Lost set up in under an hour.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Memorial to the Lost - Dedication at St. John Chrysostom

It was a beautiful day, and a beautiful dedication.  Then the team from St. John Chrysostom made short work of taking down the Memorial, packing it into bins and bags, dividing the t-shirts up for washing, and loading the bins and bags into the car.

One lady, in her 80's maybe -- Caroline -- was especially tireless.  She said she got strong carrying coal and water for her mother in Ireland.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

In today's Washington Post: A revolutionary idea: Give the ATF the tools it needs to do its job (Congressman Beyer)

Those who oppose gun safety legislation often contend that the president and Congress should enforce existing gun laws before considering any new ones. National Rifle Association President Wayne LaPierre has said that under current federal law, President Obama “could take every felon with a gun, drug dealer with a gun, and criminal gang banger with a gun off the streets tomorrow and lock ’em up for five years or more”; House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), who holds great power over whether gun legislation sees the light of day, has said that “the federal government is not doing the job they should be doing in enforcing our current gun laws.”
We should call their bluff. The truth is that Congress routinely blocks the power of the federal agency responsible for overseeing and investigating firearms sales: the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The ATF is unable to carry out its mission because of the multiple obstacles placed in its path. For example, a 2004 budget amendment blocked the agency from providing data on the tracing of guns used in crimes for any state license revocation action or civil lawsuit. Gun-trace data are critically important for sourcing illegally trafficked firearms and identifying corrupt gun dealers. Another amendment that year banned any requirement that gun dealers keep a physical inventory of their wares. In 2012, Congress said that the ATF couldn’t deny applications to import any shotgun simply because it lacked a sporting purpose. The list goes on.
So what if we didn’t pass new gun safety laws, but instead simply returned to the ATF the authority and autonomy to fully perform its duties? What if this key agency were enabled “to protect communities from violent criminals . . . the illegal use and trafficking of firearms . . . [and] acts of terrorism,” as its mission statement reads, without interference?
to read more, click here