March 23, 2016
Condolences to the Citizens of Brussels after ISIS Attack
On March 22, 2016, the Brussels metro station and airport were attacked with bombs by Islamic State (ISIS) guerillas. More than thirty civilians were murdered.
ISIS was quick to claim responsibility. The bombings occurred four days after the arrest of one of the bombers charged in the attacks on Paris in November 2015.
The Brussels murders meet the definition of terrorism: random murders of innocent citizens to instill terror in people’s everyday lives.
Tragically, ISIS’s terror attacks also devastate the daily lives of peaceful Muslims in Europe and the U.S. We hear U.S. presidential (and some European) candidates advocate carpet bombing, murders of ISIS suspects’ families, religious tests for refugees fleeing for their lives, police patrolling of Muslim neighborhoods, and “rounding up” of Muslims. This hatred diminishes us as Americans and will not keep us safe.
We will defeat ISIS by sharing information among European, Middle Eastern, and American intelligence and financial operatives. Our Treasury Department is already weakening ISIS by tracking and shutting down financial support for ISIS guerillas and weaponry.
But this sickening attack underscores the need for vigilance, international cooperation, and determination to face and eliminate the scourge that exploded in Brussels yesterday.
WNDC Board of Governors
WNDC Salutes President Obama’s Executive Gun Safety Initiative
On January 5, 2016, President Barack Obama fought back against Congressional obstruction of the most basic, common sense gun safety initiatives with a modest plan of executive actions to reduce gun deaths.
President Obama felt compelled to act because gunshot deaths are a public health emergency. Homicides, suicides and accidents have caused 836,290 firearms deaths in America between 1989 and 2014, around 30,000 deaths each year. One-third of these deaths involve citizens under 20 years old.
The total number of firearm deaths exceeded the total number of Americans killed in traffic accidents between 1989 and 2014, which was 825,000.
President Obama’s Executive orders would:
1] Close the loophole in national background check regulations that allows potential criminals to avoid background checks by purchasing online, or from gun shows or private sales—rather than from a standard gun store, as current regulations require. (Dylan Roof, who massacred nine church members in Charleston, South Carolina, purchased his gun online.) Of gun owners, 92 percent support background checks.
2] Hire more FBI processors to provide the background checks.
3] Mandate reporting of all lost or stolen weapons.
4] Mandate smart gun technology to prevent accidental shootings and allow tracing of lost or stolen firearms.
WNDC applauds these common-sense mandates, which aim to save lives. We hope all our members and readers will support President Obama’s courageous action and urge their members of Congress to fund these initiatives, as well as his proposed new $500 million investment to increase access to mental health care.