In Memoriam: Remember the victims of gun violence and demand stronger gun laws

Amnesty International Group 39 is a partner in this important event, organized by Squirrel Hill Stands Against Gun Violence, Bend the Arc: Pittsburgh and CeaseFirePA.

Thursday, October 24, 4-5pm, North Shore Riverfront Park (beneath the Mr. Rogers statue). Download flyer.

We will honor: the 11 victims of the October 27 shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue, All the victims of gun homicide in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County and the victims of mass shootings across the nation over the past year.

We will demand: that our legislators pass stronger gun laws to stop the carnage once and for all.

The event will be largely silent – no speakers, no chants, with an emphasis on visually communicating our message. We will provide signs for participants to hold that include the name of the event (In Memoriam) and a place for each participant to insert the gun violence incident date that is most meaningful to them. Each sign will also include messages calling for specific gun violence prevention legislation, such as ‘Universal Background Checks Save Lives’ and ‘22,000 Americans die of Gun Suicide Each Year – Pass Extreme Risk Laws Now!!’

Please try to arrive by 3:45 to sign in an pick up a sign. More info.

Group 39 members lobby for Saudi focus case and gun legislation

On September 3, five members of Group 39 met with local staff at Senator Toomey’s office in Pittsburgh. The group presented two requests:

  • They aksed Senator Toomey to raise the case of the group’s focus case with the authorities in Saudi Arabia. This case, newly adopted by us this summer, is about two prisoners of conscience, Drs. Mohammed al-Qahtani and Abdullah al-Hamid, who were co-founderes of the Saudi human rights organization ACPRA. Both men were convicted to long prison sentences of 10 and 11 years, respectively, in unfair trials. Their fate is symptomatic for the worsening human rights situation in Saudi Arabia overall.
  • Additionally, they asked Senator Toomey to support Senate Bill 42, which would implement universal background checks on all gun sales in the U.S. In particular, group members emphasized the need to cover sales at gun shows and private sales, as well as a maximum waiting period of at least three days for the background check to be completed.

Voices Against Gun Violence

A Letter-to-the-Editor Writing Workshop

In lieu of our Group 39’s regular May meeting, we are hosting a workshop on writing Letters to the Editor in the issue of gun violence and gun control. The workshop will include some instruction on best practices for writing a LtE; information about recent newspaper articles on the issue; and materials for writing drafts. The idea is that each participant writes one letter that night, and sends it to her/his favorite newspaper later from home (we’ll provide instructions where to send it to). We’ll also have options for people who don’t have internet at home. Light refreshments will be provided.

When: Wednesday, May 8, 7pm
Where: First Unitarian Church (Schweitzer Room), 605 Morewood Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Download flyer

Group 39 members lobby for sensible gun legislation

On January 29, 2019, several members of Group 39, together with activists from CeaseFirePA, went to Harrisburg to call for sensible gun legislation. They participated in a rally and met with State Representative Dan Frankel to call for the following improvements to Pennsylvania firearms laws:

  • Universal background checks;
  • Ban on assault weapons and military-style accessories;
  • Safe storage requirements for gun owners;
  • Extreme Risk Protection Orders, which enable courts to temporarily remove guns from people who are at risk of harming themselves and others.