Florida’s State Attorney is pursuing 60 years behind bars for Marissa Alexander, a Black woman who fired a “warning shot” in the direction of her estranged husband and his two kids.
In August 2010, Alexander’s husband allegedly read messages from her ex on her cell phone and got so enraged that he strangled her neck and threatened to kill her. She grabbed a gun from the garage, where she was stuck inside, and fired a “warning shot” into the air, near where his kids were standing. She did not injure or kill anyone yet she was unsuccessfully able to argue the Stand Your Ground law. An appeals court threw out the case and in November, Marissa was released on bond from her 20-year conviction. Now, State Attorney Angela Corey is seeking 60 years — three times the original sentence — as punishment. Keep reading »
Earlier today we learned about the charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter against 54-year-old Theodore Wafer in the death of 19-year-old Renisha McBride.
On November 2, the Michigan man shot McBride in the face through a closed and locked screen door at his home when she knocked on his front door earlier this month after getting into a car accident nearby. Wafer claims his gun went off accidentally and also that he believed she was an intruder. Prosecutors said there was no sign of a forced entry at all.
After two weeks of frustration for civil rights activists, Detroit prosecutors have finally charged Wafer. MSNBC spoke today with Renisha’s mom and dad, Monica McBride and Walter Simmons, who have stayed out of the public eye these past few weeks. Keep reading »
It’s hard not to feel powerless in the face of the frequent gun violence (especially after today’s shooting at Los Angeles International Airport). Instead of just wishing she could help, Toby Milstein took action. Like countless others, Toby was distraught when she heard the news of the movie theater massacre in Aurora, Colorado, in 2012. She worried that her brother, who was in Colorado that summer, had been injured. She soon learned he was safe, but she couldn’t stop thinking about how often she’d been seeing mass shootings in the news.
Toby, a senior at Barnard College in New York City, also noticed the popularity of guns and skulls in fashion. The imagery, which she refers to as “aggressive iconography,” became her inspiration to create a necklace with the shape of a gun on the pendant. The words “Wear It: Don’t Bear It” are displayed on the pendant to remind those who wear it to be responsible with firearms. Keep reading »
Marissa Alexander, a Florida mother who was sentenced to 20 years in prison in May after firing a warning shot at her abusive ex-husband, will get a new trial.
In August 2010, Alexander’s ex-husband allegedly read messages from her ex on her cell phone, became angry, strangled her and threatened to kill her. After the broke free, the 31-year-old mom of three fired a handgun into the air in an attempt to scare him off. Note: she didn’t actually injure him or anyone else.
Keep reading »
An eight-year-old boy in Dallas, Texas, was shot in the face on Tuesday in yet another horrific act of gun violence. Donald Maiden, Jr. was allegedly playing tag around an apartment complex when he was shot by 46-year-old Brian Cloninger. Police “have not been able to determine a motive,” Raw Story reported. Cloninger, who was seen waving a gun at people before the shooting, is being held on a $2.2 million bond after being charged with injury to a child. Meanwhile, Donald Maiden had just celebrated his 8th birthday on Sunday and now he’s hospitalized in critical but stable condition. Our thoughts are with his family. [Dallas News] [Raw Story] [Image of handgun via Shutterstock]
In what is sure to cause at least some controversy, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence has released this PSA in protest of the various “Stand Your Gun” laws around the country, reenacting the night Trayvon Martin was killed. In the video, we see a man (representing Zimmerman) following a young black man (representing Martin) walking down a dark street, while the sound of Zimmerman’s real 911 call plays. There are gunshots, and then the sound of the 911 call from a neighbor reporting the shooting. Instead of just seeing one body lying on the grass, there are multiple, all wearing hoodies. The PSA is sure to have its critics, particularly because Zimmerman’s attorneys did not use Stand Your Ground as his defense — they stuck to regular ol’ self defense. (However, it is worth noting that the judge’s instructions to the jury in the case made it clear that they needed to consider whether Zimmerman was within his rights to “stand his ground” the night he shot Martin, and one juror told Anderson Cooper that “stand your ground” was one reason why the jury didn’t convict.) What do you think of the PSA? Is it successful? [YouTube]
Last weekend, families across the country gathered for hot dogs, fireworks, American flags, and clouds of bug spray. So much bug spray. My family was no different: we had our annual party at my sister’s house. But our party was better this year: we had a kiddie pool and a bucket filled with squirt guns. As the Fun Aunt (read: the only one with no children, which means I have surplus energy to run around the yard with the little monsters), I quickly armed myself and sneak-attacked some kiddos with a spray of water to the face. We ducked behind bushes and trees, shrieking with glee and, honestly, relief at a the cool bursts of water on a 90-degree suburban day.
But as we dodged and weaved and got wet, something occurred to me. I was playing with a gun. A toy gun, sure. But I was playing with a toy gun with kids. Keep reading »