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Comment Archives: Stories: Special Issues: Citizen Awards

Re: “Citizen Award: Judge Marcia Morey Wants to Make Juvenile Justice More Just

Congratulations Marcia! You are so deserving! It takes a lot of courage and commitment to stay with the work you do in our less than perfect criminal justice system. Thanks for all you do for the often invisible and deserving young people in out city.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by lsthomasson on 02/29/2016 at 1:05 PM

Re: “Marty Rosenbluth: Fighting for the rights of undocumented immigrants

I Am a woman in great need of a civil rights attorney. I came to the Independent a Few years ago to share my story but nothing was done and since then, having no mental illness or violent record, ever, and a professional career destroyed by corruption, I have been placed in the psych ward against my will two times, handcuffed etc. I am not finding a phone number for Marty Rosenbluth....Do you have one for him. My email is Thank you. This is urgent.

Posted by Melissa Felicelli on 02/28/2016 at 8:15 AM

Re: “Citizen Award: Mark Anthony Neal Teaches What It Means To Be a Black Man

The fact that Mark Anthony, who's from a different generation, can find ways to reach the current generation of young people of color, speaks volumes to the rest of us ... And about what we should be doing. Cool write-up.

Posted by Al W. on 02/27/2016 at 11:36 AM

Re: “Citizen Award: How Nation Hahn Turned Tragedy into a Mission

So blessed to call Nation my friend.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by MartinNHM on 02/24/2016 at 7:14 PM

Re: “Working to eliminate food deserts in Southeast Raleigh

One of the many pieces of good work Erin does. Very well-deserved!

Posted by Beth Dotson Messersmith on 03/06/2015 at 6:27 PM

Re: “Advocating for the wrongfully convicted

It's a miracle that the North Carolina Center on Actual Innocence was created, another miracle that it has survived the ongoing wave of legislative vandalism.... Thank you, Christine Mumma....A case that may not be on her list but deserves to be:

Posted by Lew Powell on 03/06/2015 at 9:54 AM

Re: “Working to eliminate food deserts in Southeast Raleigh

Thanks so much!

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by liberaytor on 03/02/2015 at 3:23 PM

Re: “Empowering communities for affordable housing, living wages, health care and more

Attend just *one* CAN meeting to feel newly optimistic about the ability of community engagement to activate change. Thanks to CAN's many partners & participants.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by GG on 02/27/2015 at 9:17 AM

Re: “Working to eliminate food deserts in Southeast Raleigh

Congratulations Erin! The dream is becoming reality everyday. I am honored to be apart of this fantastic cooperative! FERTILE GROUND FOOD COOPERATIVE IN SOUTHEAST RALEIGH!

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Liz Crews on 02/26/2015 at 2:06 PM

Re: “Working to eliminate food deserts in Southeast Raleigh

Congratulations and good luck to Erin Byrd and her colleagues. Another small piece of the struggle to overcome food deserts is being accomplished by Alan Muskat and his Afikomen Project. He teaches an after school program at several elementary schools in Asheville. There the kids learn to identify the most common high dollar mushrooms and edible plants in their area. This is a safe skill that allows kids to put healthy food on the table and perhaps even learn to sell foraged crops to local chefs and develop their entrepreneurial skills. Check it out at:…

4 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Frank Hyman on 02/25/2015 at 11:38 AM

Re: “One mother's attempt to stop gun violence

How come MADD was started by Ms Lighner, as if her male partners and folks were not affected by Cari’s demise? Grassroots efforts have to be supported by pressure from above. How much support has MADD received from the walls of power? Despite initiative from the very top, how much progress has been made on gun control from the middle and bottom? I know why…..

Neither gun control, nor female president, is probable, until there is true democracy. In my book, “African Student in Russia” I argued democracy has to mirror traditional family -- the basic building block of demos/people. By default, a traditional family is 50 % male, and 50 % female. The government (“mediocosm”) -- which unites the micro (family) and the macro (society) -- has to be equally balanced along gender lines. Otherwise, we are still in ancient Athens, the origin of democracy where the landless, slaves and women were excluded from the “people” category. We still have “homocracy” (male-rule). The machismo-laden political institution will not support gun control. Women lose more than men in guns/wars – grandpas, fathers, uncles, husbands, brothers, sons, grandsons – hence the imperative of true democracy. Monies, movies and speeches provide temporary solutions. Only gender-balanced branches of government can control guns, wars and violence against women.

The general population, women included, believes “homocracy” is the norm – hence the uphill battle a female presidential candidate will face in “conventional democracy.” With 64 % females in parliament, Rwanda is leading the world toward “democracy.” Belgium has over 50 % female ministers. USA has 18 % Congresswomen, occupying 80th place. Gender-based violence in Congo, India, Pakistan, and elsewhere can only lessen after true democracy. The global male-dominated power bases are silent partners in the violence against women, and prevalence of wars in the streets, jungles, schools, and Kandahar badlands.

O. Kyara, PhD

0 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Onesphor Kyara on 06/12/2014 at 10:40 AM

Re: “One mother's attempt to stop gun violence

There are so many problems with this piece, and Ms. Haldeman's opinions about law-abiding citizens exercising the right to bear arms to defend themselves and their families. I suppose I can go point-by-point...

“The group, the brainchild of an indignant Indiana woman...“ Watts is a former Monsanto PR executive currently funded by Bloomberg.

“membership has swelled to almost 130,000 people...“ Having a list of email addresses in not the same thing as having members.

“There have been 30 school shootings in the United States since Newtown...“ Unlikely. The few that have occurred were psychopaths targeting kids they knew were defenseless in “Gun Free” schools.

“The statistics are sobering. A recent World Health Organization study found that Americans have 88 guns per 100 people...“ This is “sobering”? Why?

“there are about 10 gun-related deaths per 100,000 people” No. Actually there are about 4.7/100K. If you exclude cities that ban guns (e.g. Chicago & DC) this number drops to about 2/100K, similar to UK and Canadian rates.

“a child is shot in this country every 30 minutes...” Only if you consider 18-24 y/o gang members killing themselves over drugs to be “children”.

"I remind business owners: You're not prohibiting a human," she says. "You're prohibiting a weapon." You are encouraging encroaching on the fundamental rights of Americans. The right to bear arms derives from the right to life – we all have a right and responsibility to defend ourselves.

"We've had 30 years of an unchecked gun lobby creating the narrative in this country" True. This explains murderous “Gun Free Zones” and pointless “Assault Weapons Bans”. It is past time to eliminate these bad laws that only punish the law-abiding.

“The group now has 10 full-time staff members in North Carolina” Really? If true, they must be funded by Bloomberg. We don't need New York gun control in NC.

"It's kind of sad" Yes. It is sad that misguided people think that disarming people protects them.

14 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Ken Soderstrom on 01/31/2014 at 6:31 PM

Re: “Thava Mahadevan of The Farm at Penny Lane

Congratulations Thava! You have done so much for recovery and mental health in North Carolina! Proud to have visited Penny Lane- its a wonderful oasis!

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by femmeartis on 01/30/2014 at 8:49 PM

Re: “One mother's attempt to stop gun violence

Karen Boekschoten, what is "common sense gun reform?" Taking guns away from people who obey the law? Making it harder for those same people to buy guns in the first place? You all have no answers other than "all guns are bad and therefore need to be banned."

28 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by Greg Tarpley on 01/30/2014 at 10:52 AM

Re: “One mother's attempt to stop gun violence

What an inspirational person this woman is! I am utterly indebted to these women working to assure that our families and children can continue to live safely in our country. I pledge to do one thing every day to help this country achieve gun sense. We need more people to stand up and demand common sense gun reform.

10 likes, 34 dislikes
Posted by Karen Boekschoten on 01/30/2014 at 10:43 AM

Re: “One mother's attempt to stop gun violence

This is quite a monologue we have going here. When will someone from MDA come along to engage us in a healthy debate?

16 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Greg Tarpley on 01/30/2014 at 10:25 AM

Re: “One mother's attempt to stop gun violence

"The group now has 10 full-time staff members in North Carolina, with volunteers statewide, ..." Well that is a big budget! I wonder where the $$ comes from? Humm? Any chance the author of this post, Billy Ball knows who is funding this work? I guess he didn't think you need to know those facts.

On another note; when anyone like Karren or her husband -unarmed citizens- are attacked what do they do? The call people with guns, the Police! Think of this for a minute.

25 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Eric Dailey on 01/30/2014 at 10:21 AM

Re: “One mother's attempt to stop gun violence

It amazes me that well educated people like Kaaren can be so short sighted. I guess, in the rarefied air of academia, it's difficult to deal with reality.

Our free nation, based upon experiment after experiment, has repeatedly proven that prohibition doesn't work. Prohibition just makes things worse. It enables the shift from individual crime to massively organized crime. Whether alcohol, drugs or guns, prohibition just leads to a greater social divide, increased danger for citizens and profit for criminals.

If you prohibit guns in certain places, it attracts armed criminals who know that law abiding citizens cannot defend themselves. If you prohibit guns, criminals will steal them from the law abiding or traffic them from places where they are available. If you completely prohibit guns or classes of guns, criminals will make a fortune providing them on the black market.

American citizens proved the folly of gun prohibition last year by their actions when congress began considering this misguided infringement on constitutionally guaranteed individual rights. They bought more guns faster than at any time in our country's history, and then created a market run on ammunition.

The only rational people that want gun prohibition in our country are the criminals, whose violent actions will become easier and more effective.

Legitimate study after academic study has adequately proven my point. The prevalence of violent armed attacks on or near school campuses absolutely proves the danger of establishing protection free gun prohibition zones where our most precious children spend their days completely unprotected from mass insane violent armed criminals.

You can take Bloomberg's money to establish organizations like MDA, and make inflated claims for participation and effectiveness, but the truth is that emotional commitment to this folly is regressive and will not help solve the problem.

28 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Marc Erickson on 01/30/2014 at 10:16 AM

Re: “One mother's attempt to stop gun violence

There you go again, Kaaren. You say, "Guns may save lives...But they take lives too, at a rate far greater than they save lives" -- another "factoid" bludgeoned into the collective consciousness.

But is it true, Kaaren? Despite claiming to be a scholar, you don't cite empirical evidence (your side rarely does, at least not truthfully) because there isn't any. By contrast, let's look at work by the researcher who has probably done more to study defensive gun use than any other: *Liberal* criminologist Gary Kleck of the University of Florida.

Specifically, let's look at his book "Targeting Guns: Firearms and Their Control," which contains an excellent literature review on defensive gun use. Noting that flawed methodology in the "National Crime Victimization Survey" (NCVS) led to under-reporting of defensive gun use, he turned to your beloved co-conspirator Phil Cook, of Duke University, who has been cooking the books on the topic for years: "Faced with estimates that he [Cook] himself had helped develop, which radically contradicted his earlier acceptance of the deviant NCVS estimates, Cook refused to accept the verdict of the evidence." Refused? Doesn't sound like an unbiased research to me.

But after earlier noting that guns are used in self defense at least 2.1 -- 2.5* million times per year, here is the gem of the book: "Thus the best available evidence indicates that guns are used about three to five times as often for defensive purposes as for criminal purposes" (p.160).

So please, Kaaren: Tell us why we shouldn't believe you are just making this stuff up as you go along.

* "Armed Resistance to Crime: The Prevalence and Nature of Self-Defense with a Gun", Kleck, Gary and Gertz, Marc J., Criminal Law and Criminology, v.86, n.1, (1995).

26 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by F. Paul Valone on 01/30/2014 at 10:14 AM

Re: “One mother's attempt to stop gun violence

Perhaps it would be good to look at the study from The Pew Research Center.

The title (also in the link): "Gun Homicide Rate Down 49% Since 1993 Peak; Public Unaware"

So even as the gun ownership rates have been increasing, thanks to the best gun salesmen on the planet (Presidents Clinton & Obama), the homicide rate has been decreasing.

It just couldn't be that Moms Demanding Banning and Mayors Against Guns are attacking the wrong problem, could it?

29 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by David Phillips on 01/30/2014 at 9:28 AM

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