Trump Tweets ‘Build the Wall’ After Immigrant Is Acquitted in Kathryn Steinle Case

Trump Tweets ‘Build the Wall’ After Immigrant Is Acquitted in Kathryn Steinle Case

A disgraceful verdict in the Kate Steinle case! No wonder the people of our Country are so angry with Illegal Immigration.

The jury was not told the killer of Kate was a 7 time felon. The Schumer/Pelosi Democrats are so weak on Crime that they will pay a big price in the 2018 and 2020 Elections.

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U.S. Will Keep Older Cluster Munitions, a Weapon Banned by 102 Nations

U.S. Will Keep Older Cluster Munitions, a Weapon Banned by 102 Nations

Arguments against the use of cluster munitions are twofold. Because of their wide dispersal pattern, submunitions may strike civilians who are not even close to intended targets. Additionally, many types of submunitions fail to properly detonate at a higher rate than other weapons, resulting in bomblet “duds” that can explode even years later and kill civilians.

Military bomb disposal technicians have estimated that cluster munitions have a dud rate as high as about 20 percent. The 2008 policy, signed by the defense secretary at the time, Robert M. Gates, gave the Pentagon 10 years to develop and use cluster munitions that “do not result in more than 1 percent unexploded ordnance” by 2018. Mr. Gates declined to comment on Thursday.

At the time he signed the memo, the American military had only one weapon it claimed met that goal, the BLU-108 Sensor Fuzed Weapon, which the Air Force used widely during the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

But that 1 percent claim was quietly walked back in 2016 after photographs in Yemen showed large numbers of dud Sensor Fuzed Weapons that were dropped by Saudi Arabian warplanes. The United States provided those cluster bombs to the Saudis.

Shortly afterward, the bomb’s manufacturer, Textron Systems, announced that it would cease production of Sensor Fuzed Weapons. Textron’s former chief executive officer, Ellen M. Lord, now serves as the under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics. However, Textron has no plans to restart manufacturing cluster munitions, said a spokesman for the company, David Silvestre.

The last known use of cluster munitions by the United States military was a December 2009 strike in Yemen, when Navy warships fired multiple Tomahawk cruise missiles carrying bomblets. The target was “a confirmed A.Q.A.P. terrorist training camp,” according to a former senior American military officer familiar with the decision to launch that attack, using a term for Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. The military believed there were no civilians in the area, said the former officer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss details of the sensitive operation.

The American military’s account has been publicly challenged. Amnesty International reported that the 2009 attack killed 41 people, including 14 women and 21 children. The group also reported finding dud submunitions at the site.

It is unclear whether the new change will cease the destruction of the existing cluster munition stockpile, as required by the 2008 policy. Older cluster artillery shells, for example, containing submunitions with a high dud rate, for years have been sent to an Army ammunition plant in McAlester, Okla., to be demilitarized.

A spokesman at the plant said he was unaware of the policy change and did not know whether demilitarization operations were still active there.

Thomas C. Crosson, a Pentagon spokesman, said that the new policy maintained the goal of procuring only cluster weapons with a dud rate of 1 percent or less, but that the deputy defense secretary could waive those limits “under extreme wartime circumstances.”

Army data from earlier this year, obtained by The New York Times, said that the American arsenal contained more than 2.2 million cluster munitions in the United States and 1.5 million abroad — most of them in South Korea.

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A Mixed-Race Royal Couple? It Wouldn’t Be the First

A Mixed-Race Royal Couple? It Wouldn’t Be the First

In fact, black women have become royals for years and years, unbeknown to many.

Some aristocratic families in Europe have already broadened the idea of what sort of spouse is acceptable, said Archduke Franz Ferdinand von Habsburg-Lothringen, whose great-great-great-grandfather was Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria, king of Hungary. His wife, Archduchess Lei von Habsburg-Lothringen, is an African-American lawyer who grew up in the traditionally black New York City neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant and in Columbia, S.C.

“For the modern Habsburgs,” Mr. von Habsburg said in a telephone interview, “the importance of who your wife is is more about whom you have fallen in love with than how they fit into the aristocratic family.” That he is an archduke rather than a count reflects his family’s shift. In the past, he would have lost his title for his marriage, but now he and his wife have kept it and are presented in family gatherings as such. “The family modernized its rules to survive,” he added.

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Prince Maximilian of Liechtenstein and his bride, the fashion designer Angela Gisela Brown, at their wedding at the Church of St. Vincent Ferrer in New York in 2000.

Credit
Stephen Chernin/Associated Press

He and Ms. von Habsburg are not the only mixed-race couple. Mr. von Habsburg’s brother married a South Sudanese woman, and other European royals with black spouses include Prince Maximilian of Liechtenstein, whose wife, Angela Gisela Brown, is an Afro-Panamanian from New York City, and Christian Louis, Baron de Massy of Monaco, who married a Guadeloupian.

The history of black royalty, and of race itself, may be more complicated than contemporary mythology would suggest. One historian theorizes that Queen Charlotte, the wife of King George III (who ruled England from 1760 to 1820) was the descendant of a Portuguese royal family with African ancestry. He also suggests that Alessandro de Medici, the 16th century duke whose progeny inhabits royal houses across Europe, was mixed race.

And black women have, of course, married African aristocracy for millenniums and continue to do so.

The fact that those unions are not celebrated with such fanfare was not lost on critics. They noted that the progeny of an empire that transported Africans as chattel and occupied broad swaths of the Continent as a colonial power was being celebrated for marrying a person whose ancestors it likely subjugated.

But the vision of a black princess is alluring because it supplies a bit of escapism. African-American women still face a number of ills: We are more likely to have suffered from depression than white women but less likely to be treated for it, more likely to die from cervical cancer, and less likely to find our Prince Charming through dating apps, according to OKCupid.

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A young Motor City Comic Con attendee, dressed as Tiana from the Disney film “The Princess and the Frog,” in Novi, Mich., in 2014.

Credit
Paul Warner/Getty Images

The hunger for a black princess was only partly sated by fictional characters like Princess Tiana, the Disney character; Nella the Princess Knight, the biracial Nick Jr. character; and Lisa McDowell, the character who would go on to marry the prince of Zamunda in “Coming to America.” Even the show “Scandal,” in which Kerry Washington plays Olivia Pope, the daughter of a man so powerful that he controls the rulers of nations, is a royal drama delivered in the trappings of modern American life.

So is princessing all it’s cracked up to be? Ms. von Habsburg, the American archduchess who married into Austrian-Hungarian aristocracy, said that she has a low-key life except for occasional formal large family gatherings in castles throughout Europe. And when she and her husband think of cultural clashes, Thanksgiving is what comes to mind rather than royal etiquette. (At one point, he asked for col-LARD greens, much to her amusement.)

“It’s not an American princess fantasy, but an American opportunity fantasy,” she said of her life. “Sometimes, in our communities, we don’t get across that all children — children of color — have a right to experience everything in the world. If you are standing in a castle at a black-tie affair next to your husband, you belong there.”

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No Accidental Candidate, Alabama Democrat Laid Path for Years

No Accidental Candidate, Alabama Democrat Laid Path for Years

A former United States attorney, Mr. Jones, 63, has relied most heavily on a community of liberal lawyers and veteran prosecutors who have vouched for him in Washington. Among Mr. Jones’s champions have been Mr. Holder, who served with Mr. Jones as a federal prosecutor, and Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia, the former vice-presidential candidate whom Mr. Jones befriended more than a decade ago.

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Former Vice President Joe Biden spoke at a rally for Doug Jones in October in Birmingham. Mr. Jones supported Mr. Biden’s run for president in 1988.

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Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

More than a dozen former United States attorneys cut checks to Mr. Jones’s campaign by the end of September, from states across the South as well as California, Massachusetts, Michigan and New York. Mr. Kaine contributed $5,000, the maximum amount allowed from his political action committee in May, three months before any other Democratic senator gave him a donation.

Even before Mr. Moore faced a debilitating scandal, Mr. Jones had established a clear financial advantage. He finished September with about $1 million in the bank, nearly double Mr. Moore’s modest war chest, and that disparity has likely grown.

In many cases, Mr. Jones’s allies described backing him as an act of friendship rather than strategy, given Alabama’s forbidding political hue. Mr. Jones began calling them early this year to argue that he could actually win, meeting a combination of encouragement and skepticism. At a reunion dinner of Clinton-appointed prosecutors in October, Mr. Jones checked in with his former colleagues via FaceTime.

Paul Coggins, a lawyer based in Dallas who was the United States attorney for the Northern District of Texas, said Mr. Jones had reached out to him, laying out his strategy, before announcing for the race. Mr. Coggins said he donated out of a sense of loyalty, but doubted his friend’s odds.

“Like a lot of checks I write in red states, I thought: This is something you’re doing for a friend,” Mr. Coggins recalled. “I thought, ‘You’re a great guy, but really? A Democrat running in Alabama?’”

Given the party’s dismal standing in the state, Mr. Jones has largely tried to avoid advertising his out-of-state connections. He has presented himself as an independent-minded lawman and canceled a fund-raising trip to Washington to avoid stirring controversy at home. Despite Mr. Moore’s problems, the Republican has led in recent polls, and Mr. Jones’s party label could well prove an insurmountable obstacle.

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Mr. Jones, shown at a campaign event in Talladega, Ala., in November, has presented himself as an independent-minded lawman and canceled a fund-raising trip to Washington to avoid stirring controversy at home.

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Drew Angerer/Getty Images

But Mr. Jones has not been shy about his Democratic affiliation. When national dignitaries visited Alabama, he was often there to greet them: Having supported Joseph R. Biden Jr. for president in 1988, Mr. Jones kept in touch and chauffeured Mr. Biden from the airport in Muscle Shoals to the funeral of Senator Howell Heflin in 2005. During the presidential election last year, Mr. Kaine visited Birmingham to raise money and huddled briefly with Mr. Jones while he was there, according to an aide.

The two men spoke shortly before Thanksgiving, according to Mr. Kaine. Mr. Jones’s campaign declined to make him available for an interview.

Gregory Vega, a close friend of Mr. Jones who served as the top federal prosecutor in Southern California, said Mr. Jones had long mulled a political campaign before lunging at a surprise vacancy in the Senate. He ran briefly for the Senate in 2002, but dropped out early and complained that Democrats had written off the state.

“His desire for going back to public service always kind of gnawed at him,” said Mr. Vega, who helped organize the Washington fund-raiser at the home of his cousin, Jose H. Villareal, a prominent lawyer and Democratic fund-raiser.

Former Representative Artur Davis of Alabama, who ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2010 as a Democrat, said Mr. Jones established himself as a political gatekeeper in Birmingham after leaving appointed office. Mr. Jones, then in private practice, hosted two fund-raisers for him after peppering him with political queries.

In the Senate race, Mr. Jones’s most important relationships have come from two main circles: fellow trial lawyers and civil rights activists. Best known for securing the convictions of two men responsible for bombing Birmingham’s 16th Street Baptist Church in 1963, Mr. Jones collaborated in office with several national Democrats invested in civil rights, including Representative John Lewis of Georgia.

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The Rev. Abraham Woods, left, embraced Doug Jones, then a federal attorney, after Mr. Jones successfully prosecuted a former Ku Klux Klansman for the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church.

Credit
Bernard Troncale/The Birmingham News, via Associated Press

Mr. Lewis has backed him energetically for Senate, publicly endorsing him before the Democratic primary and privately urging other lawmakers to support his candidacy. Mr. Lewis addressed the Washington fund-raiser for Mr. Jones as a kind of character witness, emphasizing his sense of social justice, two attendees said.

Representative Terri Sewell of Alabama, the state’s only Democrat in Congress, said in a recent interview that Mr. Jones was a known quantity to House Democrats before the Senate race, because he often participated in pilgrimages, led by Mr. Lewis, commemorating the 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery.

Dick Molpus, a former Mississippi secretary of state, said he had met Mr. Jones in 2004 at an event in Neshoba County, Miss., marking the murders of civil rights workers. Recalling Mr. Jones’s speech there, Mr. Molpus said he donated to Mr. Jones’s Senate campaign early, despite viewing it as a “symbolic race.” He said he viewed Mr. Jones as a “Southern hero.”

The support of black leaders like Mr. Lewis and Ms. Sewell has been a cornerstone of Mr. Jones’s strategy in a race that may hinge on African-American turnout. Even with their energetic help, it is unclear whether Mr. Jones can generate sufficient enthusiasm among black voters to win.

If Mr. Jones was seen, among his friends, as a likely candidate at some point, he confided more focused aspirations to a few former colleagues from the Clinton administration starting in 2015. Jim Johnson, a former assistant secretary in the Treasury Department, said Mr. Jones had described his hope to run for high office over a lunch in Birmingham early that year.

Mr. Johnson was visiting landmark sites of the civil rights movement with his daughter, and considering a campaign of his own for governor of New Jersey. Mr. Jones, he said, took them to the 16th Street Baptist Church and spent more than an hour describing the attack and investigation.

At lunch, Mr. Jones raised his interest in becoming a candidate. “He was decidedly focused,” Mr. Johnson said. “We did not talk about the tactics of a run, but it was clear.”

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Chicago police tout 14% homicide drop, and concede there’s more to do

Chicago police tout 14% homicide drop, and concede there’s more to do

Still, the number of killings in the nation’s third-largest city in 2017 remains higher than in almost any other year of the past decade — and Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said his officers know there’s more to do.
“I would say … we’re making progress. … But it’s going to take time to root out everything we need to do,” Johnson told reporters Friday outside a church on the city’s southwest side.
15 men exonerated in one day -- and 7 Chicago cops taken off the street

15 men exonerated in one day -- and 7 Chicago cops taken off the street

More than 620 people have been killed in the city so far in 2017, the Chicago Tribune reports. Chicago police say that’s a 14% decline from this point last year — a year that ended with 786 homicides.
Johnson also highlighted the following stats for the year’s first 11 months as evidence the Windy City is making strides:
• 703 fewer shootings, a 21% decline from this point in 2016;
• 798 fewer shooting victims, a 20% decline.
But while the number of killings may be down this year from last, this year’s 624 homicides already total well above most yearly tallies in Chicago for the past decade.
“It’s important to keep in mind these numbers aren’t a spike of the football by any means,” but an indication progress is being made, Johnson said.
Johnson and City Alderman Jason Ervin, who also attended Friday’s news conference, acknowledged that current crime levels still sow fear in neighborhoods.
“Definitely, it’s going to take some time to translate into people feeling safer, but definitely, it’s a positive start,” Ervin told CNN affiliate WGN.

Crime-fighting investments made

The 786 homicides in 2016 represented a spike of more than 60% over 2015. It was the largest single-year homicide increase in 25 years among the five most populous US cities, according to the Justice Department.
Between 2007 and 2015, the number of yearly homicides in Chicago hovered between 400 and just about 500.
Johnson said certain investments, including technology, have helped police tackle crime this year.
US homicide rate spiked nearly 8% in 2016, FBI report finds

US homicide rate spiked nearly 8% in 2016, FBI report finds

That includes putting “strategic decision support centers” in neighborhoods that have struggled with violence, he said.
Those centers use predictive crime software that helps police commanders decide where to deploy officers. They also provide “additional cameras, gunshot detection systems, and mobile phones to officers in the field who receive real-time notifications and intelligence data at their fingertips,” Chicago police say on their website.
The department also is in the midst of a hiring spree that will see the roster grow by 1,000 officers, Johnson said.
In June, the police department and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives announced a new task force aimed at decreasing the spread of illegal guns throughout Chicago.
The task force includes an additional 20 ATF agents, as well as 12 Chicago police officers, two Illinois state troopers, six intelligence analysts and state and federal prosecutors.

Neighbors’ lax gun laws cited

Though Chicago has a reputation as a murder haven, it hasn’t had the nation’s highest per-capita homicide rate. In 2015, 13 large cities — population 250,000 or more — had higher murder rates (murders per 100,000 people). That didn’t include a host of midsized cities with more murders per 100,000 residents.
Also, cities such as Atlanta; Washington; Oakland, California; Memphis, Tennessee; and Kansas City, Missouri, all had higher violent crime rates in 2015.
But Chicago’s murder rate has been higher than that of the country’s two larger cities, Los Angeles and New York. Johnson was asked whether Chicago’s reputation as a violent place bothered him.
“It’s frustrating, because when you look at the crime in Chicago, we have our challenges. We have our gun violence,” he said. “Chicago is so big that we get a lot of attention because New York and L.A., quite frankly, are seeing bigger reductions than we are.”
Lax gun laws in surrounding states also put Chicago at a disadvantage, compared with New York and Los Angeles, Johnson said.
“We’re sitting between Wisconsin and Indiana, who have very lax gun laws, so the illegal flow of guns coming into this city is a lot larger than theirs,” he said. “That just means we have more illegal guns on our streets.”

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Chicago gang members seek new lives through writing, reading memoirs

Chicago gang members seek new lives through writing, reading memoirs

“My shirt went from fresh white to blood red,” Johnson says. “Ambulances and firefighters is all I heard.”
On a recent night in Chicago, Johnson was joined by a dozen other former gang members and at-risk African American men in their 20s who are trying to escape gang life.
They’re part of a voluntary rehabilitation program that includes writing and reading their own memoirs.

‘New Beginnings’

Sitting on a tall director’s chair under a spotlight, Johnson read from his memoirs, which he titled “New Beginnings,” in front of an audience of more than 100 people.
“It saddens me to have to wake up every day and see these wounds on my body,” Johnson read into the microphone. “What if I retaliated and put myself in a hole, which would prevent me from seeing my daughter?”
Former gang member Bruce Knights read from his memoirs he titled “The Deepest Truth.”
“Why do we live in a world together but yet feel alone? Who truly understands why? Does the pain I receive define who I am? Do I live in a fantasy, or is reality so real that I wish I was living in one?”
Writing and reading their memoirs is part of a program called CRED, or Creating Real Economic Destiny, which places the young men in “cohort” groups while teaching them job skills, providing intensive life and trauma coaching, and tutoring toward their high school diploma or GED.
CRED says the memoirs idea came from a program in El Salvador that began in 2012. It targeted gang-affiliated young people in public schools, prisons and juvenile detention centers, with the published works used to engage with families, guards and the general public. The homicide rate in El Salvador hovers around 69 per 100,000. Chicago’s rate is about 15 per 100,000.
The Chicago program was launched last year by the Emerson Collective and former US Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who moved back to Chicago after his years working in the Obama administration to find that violence in the city had gotten worse, not better. Duncan, the former CEO of Chicago Public Schools, was part of the audience listening to the men read from their memoirs.
“It’s emotional. It’s inspiring. It’s heartbreaking, but these are remarkable young men, who are telling unbelievable truths and making themselves vulnerable,” Duncan told CNN.

An honest day’s work

The training can last up to 18 months and some of the young men, who had been making thousands of dollars selling drugs on the street, now arrive at learning sessions at 7 a.m. as they work toward getting jobs in manufacturing, retail and construction that pay $12 to $20 an hour.
Duncan said the group’s goal, which includes bringing former rival gangs together to try and form a “brotherhood,” is simple: “We want to make Chicago safer, we want to reduce shootings, we want to reduce the homicides. And we work directly with the young men in the communities who are most likely to shoot or be shot.”
Duncan admits that fixing the problem isn’t easy. He calls the program “a work in progress,” but says he’s encouraged by early signs.
“Some of the guys from the first cohort are now mentoring, supervising the other cohorts,” he said.
“I know we are keeping guys alive. I know we are preventing retaliations, but as a city we have a long way to go.”
Dressed in a black suit, crisp shirt and neatly fitting tie, Lonnie Williams read from his memoirs, “New Steps and New Moves,” which described what it was like being raised by an aunt.
“Until this day I can’t decide what made me lose respect for my aunt. But between watching her snort coke and being locked in the basement the majority of my childhood, who could blame me? So I left.”
Williams later moved in with his sister and struggled to get by. In his memoir, which he read to an audience that included family and friends, as well as strangers, he said, “My brother was selling crack, so I chose that as a means to survive.”
After watching his uncle get sentenced to a long prison term, and having a son of his own, Williams is now part of the CRED program in hopes of finding an “honest life.”
“I think about the 35 years my uncle just got,” he read, pausing occasionally to look up at the audience. “Or that my son asks me, ‘Dad, why you keep leaving me?’ or ‘Why don’t you love me?’ I would be speechless. Although my moves are to protect his future, I also have to remember that I’m a big part of his present. He is getting older and so am I. And to be part of the solution, I have to stop being part of the problem.”

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A force for change: Coping with grief through activism and advocacy

A force for change: Coping with grief through activism and advocacy

There are many examples making headlines all over the country.
Chris Hurst was an evening news anchor at WDBJ in Roanoke, Virginia, when his girlfriend, Alison Parker, a reporter, and her cameraman, Adam Ward, were shot and killed during a live interview one morning in August 2015.
Eventually, Hurst left his spot at the anchor desk, inspired to run for office and address some of the issues that led to Parker’s death — though he stresses he’s not a single-issue candidate, and gun control wasn’t a focus during his campaign.
Also this week, the uncle of Philando Castile — a black man killed by a police officer last year during a traffic stop — became a reserve officer in St. Paul, Minnesota. He plans to help be the change he wanted in the department and his community.
The meaning of a senseless death

The meaning of a senseless death

Mary Fetchet, a clinical social worker who lives in New Canaan, Connecticut, lost her son, Brad, in the terror attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
When she visited the family assistance center in New York City, set up to provide aid to victims’ families, Fetchet said she was “struck by the magnitude of the event, seeing thousands of families coming from around the country and around the world.”
It was that experience, in part, that led Fetchet to start Voices of September 11th, an organization that works to provide resources to, and address the needs of, September 11 survivors, first responders and victims’ families.
“When I think about how it’s changed my life, I almost see my life in two chapters,” Fetchet told CNN. “Before 9/11 and after 9/11.”
But what drove these people, in the midst of their grief, to try to be the force for change?

Making sense of the insensible

David Kessler, an author, grief expert and founder of Grief.com, told CNN that these families have undergone what he calls the sixth stage of grief: “Finding meaning.”
“We come away from something so devastating that we go, ‘The story just can’t end this way,'” Kessler said. “Their life needed to matter, and their death needed to have some meaning, so for many people, that spurs us into action.”
Philando Castile's uncle is now a reserve police officer, with the blessing of his family

Philando Castile's uncle is now a reserve police officer, with the blessing of his family

Dr. Robin Gurwitch, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University who has spent most of her career studying the effects of trauma on children, agreed with Kessler’s assessment that some people who deal with a traumatic, insensible loss are looking to find meaning in their suffering.
In the aftermath of a traumatic loss, Gurwitch said, people ask themselves, “What are some things I can do to honor the life of the person that’s no longer here?”
Sometimes that’s done by drawing attention to the things that caused the traumatic death, she said.
There are those like John Walsh, who founded the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and started the TV show, “America’s Most Wanted,” after the abduction of his 6-year-old son, Adam, in 1981. Walsh now hosts CNN’s “The Hunt with John Walsh.”
More recently, Mothers of the Movement, a group of mothers who have lost their children to police violence, are advocating for reform at the cross section of race and policing. During the 2016 Democratic National Convention, they stumped for Hillary Clinton.
But Gurwitch points to the families of children killed in December 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary as examples of people who have made sense of their children’s deaths by using their experience to help others. Many of those families started a foundation, she said, focusing on a different piece of what contributed to the loss of their child.
After mass tragedies, this carpenter builds crosses to help a nation grieve

After mass tragedies, this carpenter builds crosses to help a nation grieve

For example, Mark and Jackie Barden — whose 7-year-old, Daniel, was killed that day — started the Sandy Hook Promise alongside parents of other victims of the shooting. The nonprofit seeks to change public policy and prevent gun violence, whether it’s criminal, suicide or by accident.
Jeremy Richman, a neuroscientist whose 6-year-old daughter, Avielle, was killed at Sandy Hook, started the Avielle Foundation, which calls attention to mental health issues through research and community engagement.
Such causes “help in terms of recovery and resilience,” Gurwitch said, but “there’s still going to be those times that are going to be challenging, that are going to be hard.”

Memorializing their loved ones

When people are pushed into advocacy or social work as a result of a traumatic loss, part of the benefit for those affected is in keeping busy, but it’s also a way to memorialize their loved ones, explained Joanne Cacciatore, an associate research professor at Arizona State University who studies traumatic grief.
“In my research, one of the reasons that parents most want to get active in volunteering and doing things has to do with remembering, honoring and making sure that the world doesn’t forget — not only this terrible thing that happened, but also the beautiful person (that was lost),” she said.
Casket maker provides free coffins for Texas shooting victims

Casket maker provides free coffins for Texas shooting victims

In 1996, two years after her own daughter died, Cacciatore started the MISS Foundation, which offers support to families who have experienced the death of a child.
The foundation and “random acts of kindness” were the best way to remember her daughter, she said.
“For me, really, compassion was the most powerful thing,” Cacciatore said. “It just felt like that was the only way I would survive it.”

Helping others through their experience

Cacciatore isn’t alone in feeling that her ability to help others helped her. Some people benefit from altruistic acts, like reaching out to others after a loss, Gurwitch said.
“We know that when people are really struggling, even though you’re hurting, if you reach out and try to help someone, it helps you do better,” she said.
It could be as simple as writing a letter to first responders in your community who were first on the scene of the tragedy, or something as big as creating a foundation to change how the public considers gun control or mental health services, Gurwitch said.
Fetchet, whose son was killed in the 9/11 attacks, said that because of her background in social work, she felt she was “in a unique position, because I had an understanding of the impact of traumatic events.”
“I almost felt like I had an opportunity and a responsibility to make a difference,” she said.

‘Creating a new future’

Kessler, who dealt with the loss of his 21-year-old son more than a year ago, said the people who are able to move forward and find meaning in their loss are the ones who are “creating a new future.”
“That loss can paralyze you,” he said. “But it can also help you grow in ways that you never thought.”
Fetchet echoed this sentiment. As awful as losing Brad was, his death prompted a change in her life’s work, and she’s proud of the “great strides” she and others affiliated with the Voices of September 11th have been able to make in developing the 9/11 memorial and providing help to victims of the tragedy.
“The loss of my son has had a profound impact on me,” Fetchet told CNN. “It was certainly a life-changing event that in a sense expanded my life’s journey, personally and professionally.”

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Do we love our guns more than our children?

Do we love our guns more than our children?

I remember how someone saw and called a teacher; how someone got her to the ground and disarmed her. I remember how two men lifted her small body and carried it out of the school, and out of our lives. We were, that day, all spared, and we went on living. That was in 1988, during the same school year the nation was rocked by the Stockton massacre — the first large shooting on a public school campus, a shooting that took place a few hours from my town. We lived in the vibration of that fear. And as kids, we asked our parents why this would happen, and how to make it better.
Tess Taylor
Nearly 30 years later, my son goes to the same elementary school I attended. He’s in first grade and each day he and other neighborhood kids swing their lunchboxes at the crosswalk before getting in line for class on the same yard I played on at his age.
I am teaching my son how to cross the street safely, how to make playdates, how to read. He has just lost his two front teeth, is starting to read chapter books, and is obsessed with Greek myths. He’s learned drills for earthquakes and fires. He’s also learning the drill for what happens when an “unsafe person” comes to school. He’s 6 years old, and he already has had to absorb that each day there’s a chance that someone could come and shoot him in his classroom.
I know it too, which is why when my phone flashed with an alert for a shooting in Northern California schools after the Rancho Tehama shooting, my blood ran cold and I had to sit down and let the wave of grief pass over me before I could even read further. I only partly exhaled.
Rancho Tehama is three hours away, but the truth is, it’s still too close. Sandy Hook is too close. Sutherland Springs is too close. Las Vegas is too close. Charleston is too close. Any day, any moment, it could be any of us, or any of our children, any of their bright lives. And the question I asked when I was 12 still hangs in the balance: What are we doing to make it better?
Cancer patient: Treat gun violence like cancer

Cancer patient: Treat gun violence like cancer

Not everywhere is like this. Last year, my family and I left the US to spend time in Northern Ireland, a place not historically known for its peace. As we enrolled my son for school in downtown Belfast, he asked the school principal to describe the school drills. She looked a bit puzzled. She told him about the fire drill. And he asked her “do you have unsafe person drills”?
As he asked us, all of our faces crumpled. “No, love,” she said. “No, we do not.” And: they don’t. Like other developed countries, like most other countries, period, they don’t now expect that people might come into their schools and shoot their children.
Living in Europe I could sense how other countries are baffled by the fact that we put up with this. My son also wants to know. I also want to know why we insist on passing on such trauma to our children. I have tried to understand why a city that was caught in shattering decades-long terrorist struggle is now safer for its children than small towns in California or Texas. I have tried hard to imagine what is in the heart of someone who offers “thoughts and prayers” after yet another massacre, but says “it’s not the time” to even learn how to enact sensible regulation of guns.
In the US, we alone bear this burden and this fear: Of the 23 richest nations in the world, according to a 2011 study, we now have 87% of the gun violence, and according to the Journal of TRAUMA Injury, Infection, and Critical Care, 87% of children killed by guns are killed here. Think of it: across the world, 87% of the children killed by guns are killed here, in our country. Breathe into that fact. Imagine all those bright bodies, all the bodies you can, the noses, the eyelashes, the hopes.
Why Americans don't give a damn about mass shootings

Why Americans don't give a damn about mass shootings

When my son looks at me and tries to ask why this is the case, I cannot think what to tell him. I can only believe that for now at least, we are a country that continues to keep loving our guns more than we love our children; that we put our guns above the health of our children, and above the health of each other.
We live in a country where we do not even allow the CDC to study gun violence as the epidemic it is; where we cannot pass the simplest ban on automatic rifles; or where the Air Force fails to keep guns out of the hands of someone it itself noticed was abusive; where men with a history of abusive behavior again and again go on public rampages.
I am tired of living in a cycle where we choose our own trauma and violence over solutions. I am furious at politicians who accept money and then cower before the gun lobby. I am furious that a few loudmouthed interest groups force the rest of us to raise generations of children in fear. I am furious that we do not have adequate mental health services for people in need. I am furious that we are not demanding more of our politicians and more of ourselves. I am tired of treating white male domestic-abusers who massacre people as some kind of unsolvable problem. I can only believe that for now at least, we are a country who keeps loving our guns more than we love our children.
Personally, I’ve begun to feel that my Second Amendment rights are being violated. I was promised the right to a well-regulated militia, and instead I see a nation that falls victim, week after week, body after body, to a series of unstable people with elaborately hoarded arsenals. I am absolutely sure our founders would be appalled. I am absolutely sure that our founders would not wish that we run out and buy even more guns because of it.
This is a country of hunters and sportsmen, my family included. I cannot foresee an America without guns. I can imagine an America, though, where we act as if our children’s lives are worth more than our guns, where we decide that we can no longer tolerate living within a raging epidemic of violence. I can imagine an America where we worry more that a domestic abuser will get a gun and kill someone than we worry about the brief annoyance of a background check. I can imagine an America where we don’t imagine we need guns in churches, schools, or Starbucks, national parks.
Thirty years ago, I walked off a field alive. Far too many American children have not been so lucky. It should not be luck. We should be confident in our daily peace. There should be no unsafe person drills here.

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Man makes crosses for gun violence victims – CNN Video

Man makes crosses for gun violence victims – CNN Video
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owl.$element.find(‘.cd.cd–active’) : $carouselContentItems.find(‘.cd.cd–active’);$owlPrevItem.removeClass(‘cd–active’);$owlPrevItem.find(‘.media__over-text’).remove();$owlPrevItem.find(‘.media__icon’).show();$owlFirstItem = CNN.Utils.exists(owl._items) ? jQuery(owl._items[showIndex]) : $carouselContentItems.eq(showIndex);$owlFirstItem.find(‘.cd’).addClass(‘cd–active’);$owlFirstItem.find(‘.media a:first-child’).append(‘

Now Playing

‘);if (Modernizr && !Modernizr.phone) {$owlFirstItem.find(‘.media__icon’).hide();}}CNN.Videx.Metadata.init({dateCreated: videocardContents.dateCreated,descriptionText: videocardContents.descriptionText,duration: videocardContents.duration,sourceLink: videocardContents.sourceLink,sourceName: videocardContents.sourceName,title: videocardContents.headlineText},{videoCollectionDivId: ‘cn-r82ddp’,videoDescriptionDivId: ‘js-video_description-r82ddp’,videoDurationDivId: ‘js-video_duration-r82ddp’,videoTitleDivId: ‘js-leaf-video_headline-r82ddp’,videoSourceDivId: ‘js-video_sourceName-r82ddp’});if (CNN.Utils.exists(videocardContents.showName)) {if (CNN.Utils.exists(videocardContents.showUrl)) {showDetailsSpanContent = ‘‘ + videocardContents.showName + ‘ | ‘;} else {showDetailsSpanContent = videocardContents.showName + ‘ | ‘;}}fastdom.measure(function getShowInfo() {var $show = jQuery(‘.metadata__show’),$isShowDetailsSpanExists = $show.find(‘span’).hasClass(‘metadata–show__name’),$showName = jQuery(‘.metadata–show__name’);fastdom.mutate(function updateShowInfo() {if (!$isShowDetailsSpanExists) {$show.prepend(‘

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