Gun violence in the United States results in thousands of deaths and thousands more injuries annually. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2013, firearms (excluding BB and pellet guns) were used in 84,258 nonfatal injuries (26.65 per 100,000 U.S. citizens) and 11,208 deaths by homicide (3.5 per 100,000), 21,175 by suicide with a firearm, 505 deaths due to accidental discharge of a firearm, and 281 deaths due to firearms-use with “undetermined intent” for a total of 33,169 deaths related to firearms (excluding firearm deaths due to legal intervention). 1.3% of all deaths in the country were related to firearms.
His speeches after mass shootings — speeches that have become a bit of a morbid ritual, given how regularly the shootings occur — have grown angrier, more emotional, and more disgusted at America’s gun violence problem and Congress’s unwillingness to do literally anything to stop it.
“This is a political choice that we make,” Obama declared Thursday night, October1. 2015. after the 294th mass shooting of 2015, “to allow this to happen every few months in America.”
But let’s be clear about precisely what kind of choice this is. Congress’s decision not to pass background checks is not what’s keeping the US from European gun violence levels. The expiration of the assault weapons ban is not behind the gap. What’s behind the gap, plenty of research indicates, is that Americans have more guns. The statistics are mind-blowing:
America has 4.4 percent of the world’s population but almost half of its civilian-owned guns.
Today was a very special day for many who fought for the Confederate flag to come down from the Capitol grounds in Charleston, South Carolina.
The precipitating event to bring this to fruition occurred on the evening of June 17, 2015.
A mass shooting took place at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, United States.
Nine people were killed, including the senior pastor, state senator Clementa C. Pinckney; a tenth victim survived. The congregation is one of the United States’ oldest black churches and has long been a site for community organization around civil rights.
Not living there, I’m not privy to the state’s politics, debates and local discussions. I’ve seen this political “personality” on the news recently. I’ve seen her impassioned expressions about the removal of this symbol of hate, racism and slavery.
“On the evening of June 17, 2015, a mass shooting took place at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, United States.
Nine people were killed, including the senior pastor, state senator Clementa C. Pinckney; a tenth victim survived.
The congregation is one of the United States’ oldest black churches and has long been a site for community organization around civil rights.
I’ve been seeing way too much coverage of the terrorist rather than of the victims, which isn’t right, so I made this. Went more realistic to get more of a resemblance, and all information is based off what I could find on the internet. Hopefully it’s all accurate, if something isn’t, please tell me.
“In wake of the tragic massacre of nine members of the AME Emanuel Church in Charleston, Gov. Nikki Haley is calling for the removal of the Confederate flag which flies on the premises of the seat of our government.
It’s long overdue and a no-brainer that this divisive symbol has no place on Statehouse grounds.
Put it in a museum, put in in your backyard, put it on the back of your truck, but don’t let it fly on Statehouse grounds.
The Confederate flag is an anachronism — a thing that seems to belong in the past and not to fit in the present — and a contradiction in the direction South Carolina seeks to go.
This is an opportune time to capitalize on tragedy. It’s sad that it took such a horrific event to bring Gov. Nikki Haley and Sen. Lindsey Graham to this stark realization.
But “the arc of the moral universe is long but bends towards justice.”
It must be kept in mind that this is the removal of the flag from the state Capitol. There are many of them all over the South. There are decals on vehicles, there are personal flags, there are souvenirs … you name it.
This is an ingrained value, a feeling of “heritage” and pride in some people.
Maybe because they don’t know the real meaning behind it, maybe because they truly believe in white supremacy, maybe because they are racist, maybe because they are just plain mean.
This is a “step” …. the first step in a long journey.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Lao-tzu
Born and raised by underpaid public school teachers in Sanford, Fla., Andy Marlette graduated from the University of Florida and became staff editorial cartoonist at the Pensacola News Journal in 2007.
Marlette received a priceless editorial cartoon education while living with his uncle and Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Doug Marlette in Hillsborough, N.C.
Doug’s tragic death in July of 2007 made evermore poignant the elder Marlette’s fierce and faithful devotion to the art form of editorial cartooning as a cornerstone of American free speech. With this in mind, Andy works daily to learn and uphold the disciplines and values passed on to him by his late uncle.
Dylann Roof, 21, has been identified as the suspect in the mass shooting at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday, June 17. The FBI says Roof is from Lexington County, South Carolina.
The suspect reportedly told a survivor, “I have to do it. You’re raping our women and taking over the country. You have to go.”
The Charleston Police Department describes Roof as a white male with a slender build. Roof was captured Thursday morning, June 18, in Shelby, North Carolina.
Has confessed to carrying out the shooting massacre that left nine people dead at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina.
As we pause to remember the nation’s war dead, it’s worth remembering that Memorial Day was first celebrated by Black Union troops and free Black Americans in Charleston, South Carolina at the end of the Civil War.
As historian David Blight recounts in his masterful book, “Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory” (2001), Charleston was occupied by Union troops in the spring of 1865, most white residents having fled the city. In this atmosphere, the free Black population of Charleston, primarily consisting of former slaves, engaged in a series of celebrations to proclaim the meaning of the war as they saw it.
The height of these celebrations took place on May 1, 1865, on the grounds of the former Washington Race Courseand Jockey Club, an elite facility which had been used by the Confederates as a gruesome prison and mass grave for unlucky Union soldiers. Following the evacuation of Charleston, Black laborers had dug up the remains of Union soldiers, given them a proper burial, and built the trappings of a respectful cemetery around the site to memorialize their sacrifice.
The History and Legends of Anne Bonney and Mary Read
Anne Bonney and Mary Read are the most famous — and ferocious — women pirates in history, and they are the only ones known to have plied their trade in the Western Hemisphere.
Anne Bonney, born in County Cork, Ireland, was the illegitimate daughter of lawyer William Cormac and his housemaid. They immigrated to America after Anne’s birth in the late 1600s and settled on a plantation near Charleston, South Carolina. A headstrong young woman “with a fierce and courageous temper,” she eloped with a young ne’er-do-well, James Bonney, against her father’s wishes. James took her to a pirates’ lair in New Providence in the Bahamas, but in 1718, when Bahamian Governor Woodes Rogers offered the King’s pardon to any pirate, James turned informant.
Anne was disgusted with his cowardice and soon after, she met and fell in love with the swaggering pirate Captain Jack Rackham. Disguising herself as a male, she began sailing with him on his sloop Vanity, with its famous skull-and-crossed-daggers flag, preying on Spanish treasure ships off Cuba and Hispaniola. It is reported that she became pregnant by Jack and retired from piracy only long enough to have her baby and leave it with friends in Cuba before rejoining him and her adventurous life on the high seas.
Mary Read was born at Plymouth, England, about 1690. Her mother’s husband was a sea-faring man who left on a long voyage and was never heard from again. He’d left his wife pregnant and she gave birth to a sickly male child who died soon after the illegitimate birth of his half-sister, Mary. The mother waited years for her husband to return and when her money ran out, she took Mary to London to appeal to her mother-in-law for financial help. She knew this old woman disliked girls, so she dressed Mary in boy’s clothes and made her pretend to be her son. The mother-in-law was fooled and promised a crown a week to help support them. Mary continued to masquerade as a boy for many years, even after the old woman died and the financial aid ended.
During the Golden Age of Piracy (1700-1725), legendary pirates like Blackbeard, Bartholomew Roberts and Charles Vane commanded mighty ships, terrorizing any merchant unfortunate enough to cross their path. Yet two of the most famous pirates from this age served on a third-rate pirate ship under a second-rate captain, and they never held an important position on board such as quartermaster or boatswain. They were Anne Bonny and Mary Read: bold women who left behind the stereotypical domestic chores of women at the time in favor of a life of adventure on the high seas! Here, we separate fact from myth in regards to two of history’s greatest swashbucklerettes.
They were both Raised as Boys
Mary Read was born into complicated circumstances. Her mother married a sailor and they had a son. The sailor was lost at sea about the time Mary’s mother found herself pregnant by another man. The son, Mary’s half-brother, died when Mary was very little. The sailor’s family did not know about Mary, so her mother dressed her as a boy and passed her off as her dead half-brother in order to get financial support from her mother-in-law. Apparently, the scheme worked, at least for a while. Anne Bonny was born out of wedlock to a lawyer and his maid. He grew fond of the girl and wished to bring her into his home, but everyone in town knew he had an illegitimate daughter. Therefore, he dressed her as a boy and passed her off as the son of some distant relations.
They were Tough and knew how to Defend Themselves
Bonny and Read may have been in a somewhat precarious situation – two women on board a pirate ship – but pity the fool who tried to take advantage of them. Before turning pirate, Read, dressed as a man, served as a soldier in an infantry regiment and as a pirate was not afraid of accepting (and winning) duels with other pirates. Bonny was described as “robust” and once badly beat a would-be rapist: “…once, when a young Fellow would have lain with her, against her Will, she beat him so, that he lay ill of it a considerable Time.” (Johnson, 164).
They Weren’t the only Women Pirates
Although they’re arguably the most famous real-life female pirates, Anne Bonny and Mary Read are far from being the only women ever to take up piracy. The most notorious is Ching Shih (1775-1844), a one-time Chinese prostitute who became a pirate. At the height of her power, she commanded 1,800 ships and 80,000 pirates! Her rule of the seas off of China was nearly absolute. Grace O’Malley (1530?-1603) was a semi-legendary Irish chieftain and pirate.They were good at being pirates.
They were good at being Pirates
If Bonny and Read are any indication, the pirate captains of the golden age were missing out by sticking to all-male crews. The two were every bit as good at fighting, manning the ship, drinking and cursing as any other member of the crew, and maybe better. One captive said of them that they “were both very profligate, cursing and swearing much, and very ready and willing to do any Thing on board.”
They both chose Piracy as a Career
Like most of the pirates of the era, Bonny and Read made the conscious decision to become pirates. Bonny, who was married and living in the Caribbean, decided to run off with Calico Jack Rackham and join his pirate crew. Read was captured by pirates and served with them for a while before accepting a pardon. She then joined an anti-pirate privateering expedition: the would-be pirate hunters, most of whom were former pirates themselves, soon mutinied and returned to their old ways. Read was one of those who actively convinced the others to take up piracy again.
They had a Complicated Relationship with one another
According to Captain Charles Johnson, a contemporary of Read and Bonny, the two met while both were serving on Calico Jack’s pirate ship. Both were disguised as men. Bonny became attracted to Read and revealed that she was really a woman: Read then also revealed herself to be a woman, much to Bonny’s disappointment. Calico Jack, Bonny’s lover, was allegedly very jealous of Bonny’s attraction to Read until he learned the truth, at which point he helped both of them cover up their real gender.
They didn’t Fool Anyone
Rackham may have been in on the ruse, but it apparently wasn’t much of a secret. At the trials of Rackham and his pirates, several witnesses came forth to testify against them. One such witness was Dorothy Thomas, who had been captured by Rackham’s crew and held prisoner for a time. According to Thomas, Bonny and Read dressed as men, fought with pistols and machetes like any other pirate and were twice as ruthless: they wanted to murder Thomas to prevent her from eventually testifying against them (which so happened, as it turned out). Nevertheless, Thomas knew them at once to be women “by the largeness of their breasts.” Other captives said that although they dressed like men for battle, they dressed like women the rest of the time.
They didn’t go out Without a Fight
Rackham and his crew had been active in piracy on and off since 1718. In October of 1720, Rackham was discovered by pirate hunters led by Captain Jonathan Barnet. Barnet cornered them off the coast of Jamaica and in an exchange of cannon fire, Rackham’s ship was disabled. While Rackham and the other pirates cowered below decks, Read and Bonny remained on the decks, fighting. They verbally berated the men for their spinelessness and Mary Read even fired a shot in to the hold, killing one of the cowards. Later, in one of the most famous pirate quotes of all time, Bonny told Rackham in prison: “I’m sorry to see you here, but if you had fought like a man you need not have hanged like a dog.”
They escaped Hanging because of their “Condition”
Rackham and his pirates were swiftly tried and found guilty: most of them were hanged on November 18, 1720. Bonny and Read were sentenced to hang, but both of them declared they were pregnant. A judge ordered their claim checked out and it was found to be true, a fact which automatically commuted their death sentence. Read died in prison shortly thereafter, but Bonny survived. No one knows for sure what became of her and her child: some say she reconciled with her rich father, some say she remarried and lived in Port Royal or Nassau.
~Their Tale has Proved Very Inspirational~
The story of Anne Bonny and Mary Read has captivated people ever since their arrest. Captain Charles Johnson made a big deal of them in his book, which certainly helped his sales. Later on, the notion of female pirates as romantic figures gained traction. In 1728 (less than ten years after Bonny and Read’s arrest), noted playwright John Gay wrote the Opera Polly, a sequel to his acclaimed Beggar’s Opera. In the opera, young Polly Peachum comes to the New World and takes up piracy as she searches for her husband. Ever since, female pirates have been part of romantic pirate lore. Even modern fictional she-pirates like Angelica, played by Penelope Cruz in Pirates of the Caribbean: on Stranger Tides (2011) owe their existence to Read and Bonny. In fact, it’s safe to say that Bonny and Read have had a far greater impact on popular culture than they ever had on eighteenth century shipping and commerce.
~Pirates on the seven seas, Ann Bonny, Mary Read, filibusters of the Indies~
~~Published on Oct 29, 2012~~
The Irish Mary Read dressed as a boy sails as a seaman to the new colonies in the Caribbean and then joins the crew of the pirate Calico Jack. She makes the acquaintance of English Ann Bonny, also disguised. Intrepid adventurers, they scour the Caribbean until the last fight where, despite the courage of these two women, the drunken crew surrender.