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Response to Peace Innovation Labs Post
Ideas for Presenters

I recently read an article about some brave souls who are being opposed by the NRA. CHECK IT OUT:
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-08-16/nra-locked-in-gun-battle-with-pennsylvania-mayors-over-town-laws.html

I also read a news release about a private/public innovation partnership involving businesses, universities, research organizations and the federal government. Together these articles stimulated some ideas for our Peace Lab. Check out my notes on the NRA matter*****
guns
Pennsylvania Mayors are implementing local ordinances requiring residents to report lost and stolen firearms after being defeated by the NRA when they proposed statewide laws doing the same. The NRA was thrown out of court when they attempted to get the local ordinances overturned by State Courts. The court said “no one had a legal right to fight the laws, because no one had been harmed.” “Now the gun rights organization is championing a bill that would let it sue cities over the reporting rules-even if no one is charged for breaking them.”

So reports William Selway of Bloomberg News in a story printed by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on August 17, 2012. Currently a Pennsylvania House bill is pending that gives the NRA “and other gun groups the right to challenge the local measure anyway.”

Mayors standing up for more gun control include Michael Nutter (Philadelphia), Ed Pawlowski (Allentown), Mike Bloomberg (NYC)-also founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent of Bloomberg News--, Rick Gray (Lancaster), John Linder (Chester)

Governors supporting more gun control include Steve Beshear (Kentucky), NRA spokesperson Andrew Arulanandam did not respond to the journalist’s questions.

Gun control advocacy groups include CeaseFirePA, Mayors Against Illegal Guns and others. Professor Harry Wilson (Roanoke College, Salem, VA) is a political scientist who has studied gun control and politics according to Selway.
Says Selway, “with Congress loath to act, the battles have shifted to state capitals, where the NRA has successfully backed more expansive self-defense laws, helped defeat measures aimed at identifying guns used in crimes and supported challenges to cities that pass firearm rules.”

Pennsylvania is joined by six other states that are introducing local legal regulations “such as bans on carrying weapons through public parks and into city hall meetings.

All else being neutral, it could be a strategic boon for PCI to go to the aid of these mayors. There is great potential for a David vs Goliath battle with PCI being the face of David. This could raise our profile considerably. Finally, we may want to announce that a PCI initiative to support these mayoral steps for public safety has been underway. If this strategic mission were woven into the actual ”lab dialogue”, it would be great.

The collaboration article caused me to conclude that the list of proposed panelists may need to be altered. I think we should shoot for more heavyweights. For example, the sponsors of the Nobel Peace Laureates Summit in Chicago included The McArthur Foundation. I would think that their Program Officer for the event would be an ideal pick; alternately, a Board member would work. I also believe an independent institute or a University based institute would be appropriate. I also think a local reporter for Bloomberg News would help PCI begin cozying up to Mike Bloomberg. I believe that you, Rev Margo, should be the spiritual leader and innovator on the panel. If the Board finds it acceptable for me to be the moderator, I will surely find a way to be in Chicago for the event.

Finally, I believe that we need to include facebook, twitter and chat room observations and questions in the audience portion of the Peace Innovation Lab. This will require some orchestration, but it can be done.

I have been researching peace organizations. The War Resisters League appears to have some strength. Tell me what you know about them.

I know this is a lot to absorb. You can both see that I have bought in completely and, having done so, I am blessed with tremendous creative juices. This has been my nature all of my adult life. Spirit blesses me with innovations whenever my heart is fully engaged.

by  - Lawrence J. Toliver - August 19, 2012

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