© Susana Raab 2009: Colin Goddard, Lily Habtu, Omar and Randa Samaha, and Abby Spangler of Stop Easy Guns

© Susana Raab 2009: Colin Goddard, Lily Habtu, Omar and Randa Samaha, and Abby Spangler of Protest Easy Guns

I read in the paper today that some relatives of the September 11 victims are lobbying to create a day of service on 9/11, not a holiday – a memorial or labor day esque fiasco now known better for predictable sales than honoring those for whom the holiday was dedicated.  I had the pleasure this week of photographing another set of activists: Colin Goddard, Lily Habtu, Omar and Randa Samaha, and Abby Spangler of the group, Protest Easy Guns.  Colin and Lily were each shot during the Va Tech shootings and the Samahas are the siblings of Reema, who did not survive the shooting.  Abby Spangler is a cellist, mother of two, and just someone who was motivated to help in the aftermath of the shootings.  Together they are lobbying Congress to force mandatory background checks at gun shows throughout the country, to close the gun show loophole, which currently does not require background checks at these events.  Certainly nobody chooses to be the victim of a crime or terrorist act.  And while I am impressed by the activism of these people and those who would remember 9/11 with a day of service, I am sure that the act of doing something positive helps them in their healing processes, and makes a positive out of a negative, while of course never eradicating the act or the heinousness.

We don’t need to wait till Congress legislates a national day of service for 9/11 – we can honor them by just consciously going out of our ways to be kind or do something for someone.  It doesn’t have to be monumental, it just has to be intentional.

Stepping off the soap-box now.  Regular programming will resume shortly.


5 thoughts on “Remembrance

  1. I’m sure it was an honest mistake…Protest Easy Guns and and other anti-rights organizations have been feeding you misinformation for so long it’s understandable that you are confused on the issue.

    Federal law does not exempt any events…including gun shows…from any provision of federal law…including background check requirements. The laws are no different for sales conducted in gun shows than for those conducted elsewhere.

    The term “gun show loophole” is a mischaracterization coined by anti-gun activists to mask their true agenda. This is their modus operandi and they’ve been employing it religiously for decades.

    Furthermore, while the above mentioned victims of Virginia Tech have every right to lobby for and support any change in laws that they care to espouse, their status as victims grants them no particular moral authority or insight into this issue. The perpetrator of Virginia Tech did not obtain any of his firearms from gun shows. Not only that, but he purchased them through licensed dealers at retail locations and passed the required background checks and obeying all applicable laws…including the “one gun a month” law that gives lie to the Protest Easy Guns contention that it only took a matter of minutes for the perpetrator to obtain his guns; it took him a minimum of 30 days…and two separate background checks.

    The “loophole” in Virginia mental health reporting requirements that enabled the perpetrator to pass those background checks was closed shortly after the inadequacy was discovered. This action was supported by the NRA and Virginia Gun rights organizations.

    Further enactment of gun control laws has nothing to do with Virginia Tech, and the exploitation of these people’s status as victims as an appeal to moral authority is nothing more than a ploy intended to stifle debate and opposition. Frankly, the blatant attempt to capitalize on the tragedy and victims of Virginia Tech to advance a purely political agenda is disgusting.


  2. Sailorcurt is a disgusting waste of life. Your so-called rights are our right to death. And how dare you belittle those who suffered and still are.


  3. Sailorcurt, I try to be polite, even with idiots, but you’re making it difficult.

    All private sales should be regulated. I can buy a gun with no ID, no background check–at a gun show, from a *private* seller, as you well know. I have done it. Twice. Once, I used a paper xerox of a driver’s license. They wouldn’t accept that xerox at any of the bars downtown, so why should they accept it for purchasing a gun?

    Stop trying to mislead people and please, please find a hobby that doesn’t result in people dying.


  4. As a civilized country we regulate and do our best to give limitations to the use of those instruments that can result in death (ie cars, medications, violent speech, etc.) I stand with you of Close the Gunshow Loophole to affirm that we can responsibly manage the use of guns without chaotic ownership (buying quickly and inexpensively at Gun Shows). We all know that this routinely leads to the death of family members, particularly unprotected children, and to victims of crime and mental illness. Thank you for your advocasy.


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