igorvolsky Profile picture
Executive Director of @gunsdownamerica | Author of https://t.co/hVrTvVbVgj (out now!) | Email me: igor@gunsdownamerica.org | All opinions are mine.
human Profile picture Gemgeogeek🌊🌊🇺🇸✌❤🌊🌊 #RESISTER Profile picture 2 added to My Authors
1 Jul 20
1/ @FBI conducted 3.9 million screenings in June, representing an increase of 148% in sales-related background checks over June of 2019.

Americans bought an estimated 2.3 million guns in June of 2020.
@FBI 2/ Four separate weeks in June of 2020 are now in the top 10 highest weeks of background checks conducted by @FBI since the bureau began keeping data in 1998.
@FBI 3/ June 1, 2020 - June 7, 2020, the period that saw the most intense rallies against police brutality & racist policies, is now the 2nd highest week of background checks on record.

Many Americans responded to the anti-racist protests by buying more guns.
Read 6 tweets
9 Jun 20
1/ The powerful #GeorgeFloydProtests are *already changing* how cities are thinking about policing all across the country. This thread lists what #BlackLivesMatter and the protests have already achieved since late May. Please let me know if I've missed anything.
2/ Mayor Bill de Blasio on Sunday vowed to cut an unspecified amount from the New York Police Department’s $6 billion budget and redirect it toward youth and other social programs. nytimes.com/2020/06/08/us/…
3/ In Albany, NY State lawmakers on Monday began passing a wide-ranging package of bills targeting police misconduct, including a ban on the use of chokeholds, repeal of a statute that has hid the disciplinary records of police officers from public view. nytimes.com/2020/06/08/us/…
Read 17 tweets
8 Jun 20
Watch this super interesting conversation with the former police chief of Camden, NJ.

In Camden, city leaders dissolved the entire police department in 2012 and fully rebuilt it to focus on community policing.

After this reform:
- murders ⬇️ 70%
- violent crime ⬇️ 46%
Every police officer war fired and had re-apply for a job.

The department built a new culture rather than changing existing culture.

They focused on “the empowerment of the community before enforcement of the law.”

Community reclaimed the streets vs. police militarizing them
Camden adopted an 18-page use-of-force policy. The rules emphasize that de-escalation has to come first....An officer who sees a colleague violating the edict must intervene.

Reports of excessive force complaints in Camden ⬇️ 95% since 2014. bloomberg.com/news/articles/…
Read 3 tweets
5 Jun 20
"If even the earliest attempts at centralized police forces would have alarmed the Founders, today’s policing would have terrified them." -- @radleybalko
writes in Rise of the Warrior Cop
@radleybalko "Aggressive, SWAT-style tactics are now used to raid neighborhood poker games, doctor’s offices, bars and restaurants... This sort of force was once reserved as the last option ...[now it's] increasingly used as the first option to apprehend people who aren’t dangerous at all"
@radleybalko "In the 1990s and 2000s, the company Heckler and Koch marketed its MP5 semi-automatic weapon with the slogan “From the Gulf War to the Drug War—Battle Proven.”
Read 41 tweets
3 Jun 20
1/ America has 393 million firearms in civilian hands, firearms which can transform disagreements into fatalities

So far, we had at least 62 instances of gun violence at the #GeorgeFloydProtests and 15 people died

(They were killed by civilian agitators, not law enforcement)
2/ We're tracking gun incidents at the #GeorgeFloydProtests and found multiple instances of:

- ppl brandishing firearms & pointing guns at protesters

- ppl bringing stockpiles of firearms to protests (found examples of MAGA folks & others doing this)

- ppl firing at police
- several instances of business owners using firearms to stop looters

- several instances of people driving by in cars and pointing their firearms at protesters

You can see all the data here: docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d…
Read 5 tweets
2 Jun 20
1/ It's important to note that as Americans are protesting police brutality, Trump is encouraging more violence, both from the "very well armed military" he's threatening to deploy AND from his base with his reference to "Second Amendment rights" during yesterday's remarks
2/ In fact, Trump's own DHS warned states in late May that extremists, including white supremacist, are inciting followers to engage in violence and start a second Civil War by shooting in a crowd. Many of these folks are attending #GeorgeFloydProtests fully armed
3/ All of this is happening against the backdrop of SURGING GUN SALES.

As you guys know, I've been tracking this pretty closely and yesterday, @FBI released new numbers for May

In May of 2020, we experienced a 79% ⬆️ in firearm-related background checks as compared to May 2019
Read 9 tweets
1 Jun 20
1/ Anarchist & militia extremists could try to exploit the protests surrounding the death of George Floyd, the Department of Homeland Security warned in an intelligence note sent to law enforcement officials around the country.
2/ The DHS memo also says that 2days after Floyd’s death, “a white supremacist extremist Telegram channel incited followers to engage in violence and start the ‘boogaloo’—a term used by some violent extremists to refer to the start of a second Civil War—by shooting in a crowd.”
3/ One Telegram message encouraged potential shooters to “frame the crowd around you” for the violence, the document said. politico.com/news/2020/06/0…
Read 8 tweets
29 May 20
1/ This line in Trump’s tweet: “when the looting starts, the shooting starts”... is a quote from Miami Police Chief Walter Headley

In Dec 1967, months before riots at GOP Convention in Miami, Headley used that quote to announce “get tough” policy for policing black neighborhoods
2/ Headley promised to use shotguns, dogs, & “stop and frisk” tactics.

“We don’t mind being accused of police brutality,” the New York Times reported him saying at the time. “They haven’t seen anything yet” Headley said.
3/ Headley’s stop & frisk policy was a disaster.

2 months after he announced the policy, 2 patrolmen strip-searched Robert Owens, a teenager suspected of carrying a concealed knife into a pool hall. The cops then dangled Owens by his feet over a bridge above the Miami River.
Read 18 tweets
13 May 20
1/ The ties between armed vigilante & white supremacy groups are real

The armed demonstration at the North Carolina @Subway was organized by “Blue Igloo” a homophone for "boogaloo," a movement of online racists & xenophobes who are pushing for a race war

@SUBWAY 2/ The term emerged in the summer of 2019 on social media platforms shared by gun activists & white supremacists. It is derived from the 1984 movie "Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo" and serves as code for a potential second civil war vice.com/en_us/article/…
@SUBWAY 3/ The "Blue Igloo" group that showed up at @Subway appeared at General Assembly in Raleigh, NC on Friday carrying firearms. To organize the event group's administrator tagged more than a dozen other boogaloo-themed Facebook accounts triad-city-beat.com/armed-boogaloo…
Read 10 tweets
18 Apr 20
THREAD: Literally everything Trump just said about Virginia's new gun reform laws at #PressConference is a complete lie.

I did a comprehensive fact check and will use this thread to break down his false claims. 1/
Trump claimed Virginia exploited #COVID to pass gun reform.

FALSE. Dems ran on gun reform in Nov. 2019 & began passing these measures in Feb. BEFORE the pandemic 2/
Trump claimed VA's gun laws would "take away your guns

FALSE. The new laws expand background checks, re-impose a one-handgun-a month rule, establish a Emergency Risk Protection Order, require owners to report stolen weapons, ⬆️fines for guns left out in front of children 3/
Read 7 tweets
17 Apr 20
As Trump is tweeting about the need to liberate Virginia with guns - and @NRA is very giddily RTing - I want you to meet Ross Alameddine, who was murdered in the Virginia Tech shooting 13 years ago.

Alameddine, 20, was a sophomore English major from Saugus, Mass.
@NRA As Trump is tweeting about the need to liberate Virginia with guns - and @NRA is very giddily RTing - I want you to meet Christopher James Bishop, who was murdered in the Virginia Tech Shooting 13 years ago.

Bishop was a German instructor.
@NRA Since Trump is now urging Virginians to use guns in order to "liberate" the state, please meet Brian Bluhm, a graduate student who was working toward a master's degree in water resources before he was killed with guns in Virginia Tech 13yrs ago almost to the day.
Read 28 tweets
1 Apr 20
1/ According to @FBI the National Instant Criminal Background Check System conducted 3.7 million screenings in March, the highest number recorded since its inception in 1998 as Americans panic-bought firearms in response to #CoronavirusPandemic

THREAD on why this is alarming
@FBI 2/ @NRA has spent weeks urging the public to panic-buy guns in response to the coronavirus pandemic as it works to rehabilitate its image and pump even more guns into our neighborhoods.
@FBI @NRA 3/ Panic-buying a gun can infect your home w/ something even more dangerous than coronavirus

While individuals defend themselves w/ a gun in less than 1% of crimes in which there is contact btwn assailant & victim, access to a gun 3x the risk of suicide & 2x the risk of homicide
Read 6 tweets
30 Mar 20
BREAKING: NJ governor updates his executive order to allow gun shops to be open by appointment in response to Trump's guidance deeming gun shops "essential."

"It wouldn't be my definition, but that is the definition on the federal level"
.@GovMurphy stresses that anyone who purchases a gun should "keep their firearms locked and in safe storage"
@GovMurphy Given this update, according to my tracking, only 5 states still have their gun shops temporarily closed in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

To stay updated on this, sign-up for our newsletter ➡️StopTheCoronavirusGunSurge.org

Read 3 tweets
10 Mar 20
1/ Shooter who killed 10 in 2018 Santa Fe shooting purchased 50 rounds of handgun ammo &140 rounds of shotgun ammo online from @LuckyGunner (despite being underage)

Paid for it w/ @AmericanExpress gift card. @FedEx delivered ammunition w/ no signature

@LuckyGunner @AmericanExpress @FedEx 2/ Note that this isn't the first time ammunition from @LuckyGunner has been used in a mass shooting. In 2012: a man purchased 4,000 rounds of ammunition from @LuckyGunner & shot and killed 12 people.
@LuckyGunner @AmericanExpress @FedEx 3/ The companies involved in this story -@LuckyGunner, @AmericanExpress, @FedEx- must reform their policies so under-age individual can't illegally purchase ammunition on their site, pay for it using a gift card, and get it delivered straight to their door no questions asked.
Read 5 tweets
24 Feb 20
1/ Gun makers are softening their image to “put a better face in front of people" & "ramp up its appeal to women, children and members of minority groups"

That's right: gun makers are increasingly advertising to WOMEN, CHILDREN & MINORITY COMMUNITIES

2/ Firearm industry realizes that to survive into the future it must "broaden its reach beyond the aging white men who have been its core customers" -- and so they're now trying to sell their products to other demographics.

This is incredibly dangerous.
3/ We are already a country awash in firearms (there are more firearms than people in the United States) & the industry is *actively circumventing existing laws* to bring banned dangerous weapons to market & make firearms of ever increasing lethality
Read 5 tweets
13 Jan 20
.@jokermovie has 11 #OscarNoms

Since @WarnerBros is profiting from fictional films w/ gun violence, it should do everything in its power to make it harder for people to carry out violence in the real world

@WarnerBros must end political donations to @NRA backed candidates
@jokermovie @warnerbros @NRA In September, we launched a campaign arguing that during a period of federal inaction, @WarnerBros has a responsibility to keep its audiences safe from gun violence.

This came as authorities were warning the public about potential acts of gun violence at @jokermovie screenings
@jokermovie @warnerbros @NRA .@jokermovie was coming out all over the world, but only in US were we seeing threats of gun violence

Why? Because only in US are guns so readily available and easy to get.

@WarnerBros responded to a letter from @MamaRedfield outlining its responsibility to act by agreeing...
Read 5 tweets
11 Dec 19
1. On Tuesday 2 men, possibly motivated by anti-Semitism, opened fire in Jersey City, killing 4.

The incident is part of a growing tide of hate crimes against Jews

(NYPD received 200 anti-Semitic hate crime complaints in 2019, up almost 1/3 from the same period in 2018)
2. We don't know if there's a direct connection here, but what's troubling is that this shooting happened just two days after Trump peddled anti-Semitic stereotypes during a speech, portraying Jews as money-grubbing types who care only about their wealth nytimes.com/2019/12/09/opi…
3. The U.S. Jewish community experienced near-historic levels of anti-Semitism in 2018, including a doubling of anti-Semitic assaults and the single deadliest attack against the Jewish community in American history: adl.org/news/press-rel…
Read 5 tweets
5 Dec 19
.@mikebloomberg just announced a new plan for reducing gun violence -- his vision is far bolder than anything the mayor has previously supported and, as I'll argue in this thread, emblematic of how the center has shifted in the gun debate. nytimes.com/2019/12/05/us/…
This April, when @thenewpress published my book Guns Down & @gunsdownamerica embarked on a multi-city town hall tour to talk about raising the standard for gun ownership in America, our public conversation was dominated by smaller incremental solutions to address the gun problem
As we traveled the country, Americans told us they support bolder solutions like firearm licensing, cracking down on the gun industry & investing in violence intervention programs. America was ready to think bigger in order to build safer communities with *fewer guns*
Read 7 tweets
30 Oct 19
1. @ChelseaCParsons & @RukmaniBhatia have released a report called "Bullet Control." It analyzes our laws around ammunition & recommends significant reforms to help keep us all safe.

I've finally read it & this thread will highlight its findings! cdn.americanprogress.org/content/upload…
@ChelseaCParsons @RukmaniBhatia 2. Under current law, EVERY ammunition sale in US can proceed w/o a background check and w/o any records kept, regardless of type or quantity of ammunition purchased.

Individuals can stockpile large quantities of ammunition -- as many mass shooters have -- no questions asked.
@ChelseaCParsons @RukmaniBhatia 3. Individuals who sell ammunition are not required to obtain a federal firearms license and can operate a substantial business selling ammunition with exactly zero government oversight.

They're also required to keep exactly zero records on these sales.
Read 5 tweets
6 Oct 19
1. I'm absolutely devastated to wake up to news of another mass shooting in America -- this one at a bar in Kansas that left 4 people dead and 9 injured. #kansascityshooting
2. We've experienced 320 mass shootings so far in 2019. They're so commonplace in America -- but they don't have to be.

There are things we can do right now to raise the standard for gun ownership in America and make firearms significantly harder to get.
3. Yes we must continue to demand that our lawmakers pass reforms that will help keep us all safe.

But our federal government is deadlocked and we need to figure out how to break that stalemate and help create both cultural and political change that will pave the way for reform
Read 6 tweets
27 Sep 19
1. A bombshell Senate investigation has uncovered that @NRA acted as a "foreign asset" for Russia in 2016 by underwriting the efforts of known Kremlin assets in forming relationships with powerful American politicians. npr.org/2019/09/27/764…
@NRA 2. Top @NRA officials were fully aware that Maria Butina & Aleksander Torshin were Kremlin assets yet continued to *pay for* and *facilitate* their introductions into American political organizations, including a 2015 trip to Russia.
@NRA 3. @NRA even tried to hide payments related to the 2015 trip NRA officials took to Russia and found ways of "getting the trip off the NRA's books."

Read 5 tweets