Connect with us

National

Senate candidates respond to mass shootings

Jessa Reid Bolling

Published

on

Alabama candidates for the 2020 U.S. Senate election have spoken out on the recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, that left 31 people dead and dozens injured. 

Among the candidates for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate who have commented on the shootings are Secretary of State John Merrill, former Chief Justice Roy Moore, U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne, businessmen and former televangelist Stanley Adair and John Serbin of Moody.

A need for more faith and protecting traditional family values was the consensus among many of the republican candidates. 

Merrill published an op-ed through Alabama Political Reporter, in which he argued that the United States does not have a gun control problem. Rather, he believes the U.S. has a “spiritual deficit problem.”

Merrill also said that issues like mental health, racism, violent video games and violent television programs also need to be addressed but that faith is needed to help the country “confront evil head-on.” 

“What we need is more prayer that teaches what Matthew 7:12 speaks of when he said, ‘Therefore, however you want people to treat you, so treat them,’” Merrill said in the op-ed. “We need more thoughts that teach our children to respect life and call out bullying, violence and aggression. And we need to renew our faith because more gun laws will not solve a moral problem.”

Moore issued a response on his Facebook page that mass shootings are “evidence of a moral problem in our Country, not a lack of gun control” and that liberals have prevented the acknowledgment of God in schools, courts and in the public square.

Advertisement

“Without God and recognition of the Christian religion which once formed the basis of our society, we will continue to suffer a national immorality, according to George Washington, the father of our Country, in his Farewell Address,” Moore wrote. 

Byrne called mass shootings “part of the conflict between good and evil.” 

“The hatred we are seeing coincides with the continued breakdown in the values and institutions – like the church – that have always played such an important role in our country,” Byrne said. “We can stop these mass shootings by fixing the breakdown in culture and at the same time protect our Second Amendment rights.”

Advertisement
Advertisement

Adair echoed the claim that there has been a breakdown of the traditional family in America and that the nation has “turned from God, taken prayer out of Schools and allowed other forms of Ideologies’ to now become commonplace in our society.”

“We once were a God-fearing nation that stood on the founding principles of our forefathers,” Byrne said. “I ask the question where will we be in the next thirty years? Will we still remember the words ‘In God We Trust?’ We must as a nation turn back to God.” 

Tuberville said that guns are not the problem with mass shootings in the U.S. and that he wants to properly enforce gun laws that currently exist.

“We must stand up for the time-honored traditions we hold dear in Alabama, especially the 2nd Amendment,” Tuberville said. “I’m against efforts to take away the right to bear arms from law-abiding citizens.” 

Serbin’s view on the shootings was slightly different from his fellow Republican candidates, saying that he believes the most recent shootings are the result of a copycat effect due the amount of coverage that media outlets do on shootings. 

Serbin also calls for more investment in mental health treatment and that he does not believe that more gun control laws will prevent future shootings, as some of his fellow candidates did. 

“What we should do to stop the spread of the social contagion (that motivates copycat shooters) is to stop giving these shooters constant coverage of their grievances,” Serbin said “We shouldn’t know the shooters’ names. We shouldn’t see their pictures. What we need is to get the media on board with breaking the cycle by not giving these shooters notoriety.” 

U.S. Sen. Doug Jones wrote about the shootings on his Twitter account, saying that the shootings are about “more than guns” and that politicians need to make an effort to combat rhetoric that could fuel these types of attacks. 

“We must come together and reject political rhetoric, or any kind of rhetoric for that matter, that divides us and stokes this kind of hatred,” Jones wrote. “Our leaders need to set a positive example that others can follow. That my friends is something we can do now.”

Republican candidate Arnold Mooney was contacted to participate in this article but did not respond to requests for comment.

 

Advertisement

National

Alabama, Oregon groups move to join legal fight over Equal Rights Amendment

Eddie Burkhalter

Published

on

Organizations in Alabama and Oregon have asked a federal judge to let them join in the legal fight over the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. 

Mia Raven, policy director for the grassroots Alabama reproductive rights group the Yellowhammer Fund, and founder of the People Organizing for Women’s Empowerment & Rights (P.O.W.E.R.) House in Montgomery, is joined by the Oregon-based nonprofit VoteERA.org and its president and founder, Leanne Littrell DiLorenzo, in the filing of a motion to intervene in the federal lawsuit. 

Alabama’s attorney general Steve Marshall in December 2019 joined attorneys general for Louisiana and South Dakota as plaintiffs in a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama that argues that the deadline to ratify the amendment has expired. 

The Equal Rights Amendment, if ratified by a 38th state, would ban discrimination based on sex. Proponents of the amendment hope that Virginia’s new Democratic majority means a second chance for the protections for women. 

Congress passed the amendment in 1972 and five years later it was ratified by 35 states, but the deadline to gain the needed 38 states passed in 1979, so Congress extended the deadline to 1982. 

Nevada in 2017 became the 36th state to ratify it, and was followed by Illinois in 2018.

“We have worked for decades seeking to ensure the ratification of the federal ERA.  Our decision to seek to intervene in the states’ pending lawsuit is a reflection of our persistent devotion to guaranteeing equal rights under the law for all people.” said DiLorenzo and Raven in a joint statement. 

Advertisement

Attempts to reach Raven for comment were unsuccessful. 

Since the lawsuit was filed, attorneys general in Tennessee and Nebraska have joined Alabama as plaintiffs fighting ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. 

Continue Reading

National

Shelby: Administration is “lowballing” the cost of the coronavirus

Brandon Moseley

Published

on

Tuesday, the Trump Administration asked the Congress for an additional $2.5 billion for planning for a possible coronavirus outbreak in the United States. U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Alabama) accused the administration of “lowballing” the actual cost.

Shelby is the Chairman of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee.

“It seems to me at the outset that this request for the money, the supplemental, is lowballing it, possibly, and you can’t afford to do that,” Shelby told HHS Secretary Alex Azar on Tuesday during a hearing on the agency’s budget request. “If you lowball something like this, you’ll pay for it later.”

Shelby told reporters afterward he doesn’t have a new number in mind but that it will be “higher” than the $2.5 billion requested by HHS.

Azar said the administration would work with Congress if lawmakers think more money is needed.

“We’ll be of the mindset to fund this crisis, not to underfund it in any way, and I hope this administration would look at this as something they cannot afford to let get out of hand,” Azar said.

The Trump administration’s request includes $1.25 billion in new funding. The rest to be taken from existing health programs, including $535 million from fighting Ebola. Coronaviruses are a normal occurrence throughout the animal kingdom. This virus was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China in December. It is believed that the disease originally existed in bats, which are a food source in China. Since then over 80,000 people have contracted the illness in 37 countries and over 2,700 have died. Researchers are referring to this strain of the coronavirus as COVID-19.

Advertisement

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned that at that point it appears that it is inevitable that the virus will come to America.

“Disruption to everyday life might be severe,” said Nancy Messonnier, director of CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

The U.S. currently has 57 cases of COVID-19. 40 of those are Americans who were former passengers of the Diamond Princess cruise ship. On Friday, the administration suggested that some of those infected Americans could be treated at a federal facility in Anniston. A plan that local officials and the Alabama Congressional delegation both urged the administration to reject.

Advertisement
Advertisement

On Sunday, Shelby said, “I just got off the phone with the President. He told me that his administration will not be sending any victims of the Coronavirus from the Diamond Princess cruise ship to Anniston, Alabama. Thank you,
@POTUS, for working with us to ensure the safety of all Alabamians.”

“It’s not so much of a question of if this will happen in this country anymore but a question of when this will happen,” Messonnier said. “We are asking the American public to prepare for the expectation that this might be bad.”

Channel 42 TV is reporting that the UAB Health System is making preparations for the coronavirus by purchasing additional equipment and training staff in how to deal with the infectious disease which devastated medical professionals in Hubei Province.

(Original reporting by the Hill, Web MD, and Channel 42 News contributed to this report.)

Continue Reading

National

Alabama Republicans attack Jones for voting against Pain-Capable Unborn Protection Act

Brandon Moseley

Published

on

Tuesday, U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-Alabama) and 43 other U.S. Senators voted against The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would prohibit abortion after 20 weeks’ gestation, at which point scientific research unequivocally shows that unborn babies experience pain. Republicans were quick to attack Jones for the pro-abortion vote.

Alabama Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan said in a statement, “Senator Doug Jones’s NO vote on the Pain Capable Act shows that once again he is completely out of touch with the majority of Alabamians.”

“In 2018, 59% of Alabamians voted in favor of Amendment 2, which recognized the rights of the unborn and withholds state funding for abortions,” Lathan explained. “Yet Senator Jones continues with his arrogant ways, voting against the will of his constituents. Just last week, when he was asked about this important legislation, Senator Jones laughed.”

“Alabamians will remember this vote – along with so many others – when they cast their ballots on November 3rd,” Lathan said. “Senator Jones will be replaced with someone who respects the majority’s wishes and supports Alabama values. We thank Senator Richard Shelby for once again honoring the wishes of our pro-life state as he voted to support ending abortions after 20 weeks and continues to be a consistent pro-life warrior.”

Former U.S. Senator and 2020 GOP Senate candidate Jeff Sessions (R) said that this is shameful and should not be tolerated.

“It is not surprising that Doug Jones joined 43 other senators today to vote against legislation prohibiting abortion after 20 weeks, causing the bill to fail,” Sessions said. “Just last week, Jones laughed off today’s vote regarding late-term abortions when asked by a constituent about his position and called the question ‘stupid.’ This is shameful and must not be tolerated.”

2020 GOP Senate candidate Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-Montrose) said that Doug Jones has failed the people of Alabama again with this vote.

Advertisement

“Doug Jones has failed the people of Alabama once again by voting no on the 20-week abortion ban,” Byrne said. “The U.S. is just one of a handful of countries, including China and North Korea, that allow these horrible late term abortions. I believe life begins at conception and that every life is worth protecting. This vote is just another reason to #FireDougJones!”

“While serving in the Senate and as the Attorney General, I have a 100% pro-life record,” Sessions continued. “I was, myself, a co-sponsor of the legislation brought forward today, The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which continues to be blocked by pro-abortion advocates like Doug Jones each year.”

“I’m very thankful we now have a strong defender of the unborn in President Donald Trump,” Sessions added. “In our President’s own words just two months ago, ‘Together, we are the voice for the voiceless.’ This is the kind of leadership pro-life advocates have needed and will continue to support in this battle. Thank you also to Senator Richard Shelby for representing true Alabama values today and protecting the least of these.”

Advertisement
Advertisement

The National Republican Senate Committee is working to defeat Doug Jones and replace him with a Republican.

“Anti-Trump Democrat Doug Jones has given up on Alabama,” said NRSC spokesperson Nathan Brand. “Whether it’s his work to remove President Trump from office or votes today to side with the pro-abortion lobby, Jones doesn’t stand for the values Alabamians hold dear.”

The Republican primary is on March 3.

Continue Reading

National

Doug Jones: Anniston could still be called upon to treat coronavirus patients

Brandon Moseley

Published

on

U.S. Sen. Doug Jones issued a statement Monday about the possibility of coronavirus patients being transported to and housed at the Center for Domestic Preparedness in Anniston, Alabama.

“Over the weekend, my staff and I participated in briefings regarding the announcement that Americans from the Diamond Princess cruise ship who tested positive for the coronavirus might be transported to and housed at the Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) in Anniston, Alabama,” Jones said. “We were advised that the announcement on Saturday regarding the CDP was premature, and although the CDP is one of a number of contingency sites, at this time, the multi-agency plan anticipates using other sites first.”

“It is my understanding that this information is being provided to officials in Anniston, and the folks at the CDP have been told that if their facility is needed in the future, adequate notice and details will be provided,” Jones continued. “I urge the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Centers for Disease Control to do all they can to provide the best care possible for those who must endure quarantine and those who are suffering from this virus.”

“My first priority is to protect the people of Alabama, and I have the utmost confidence that, if called upon, the unmatched professionals at the CDP will rise to the occasion,” Jones stated. “I urge the Administration to continue to keep Congress and the American people informed about their response to this virus and their efforts to prevent any further infections in the United States. We will continue to monitor this evolving situation with hope and compassion for all affected.”

The Calhoun County Commission has announced plans to sue to prevent the City of Anniston from being used to house infected virus patients. They are arguing that while the CDP is used for training purposes, it is not equipped to deal with providing medical care for potentially dozens of people needing serious medical treatment in a quarantine situation.

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), Coronaviruses are a common family of viruses that is found throughout much of the animal kingdom. This strain of the virus appears to have originated among bats, which are eaten by the Chinese. The virus appears to have crossed species and was first identified in China’s Wuhan City in Hubei Province. Researchers are referring to the disease caused by this strain COVID-19.

As of Monday there have been 80,154 COVID-19 diagnosed cases. 27,591 of those have recovered and been released from medical care. 2,701 people have died from this. Most of the deaths have been in China; but the death toll now includes twelve in Iran, nine in South Korea, seven in Italy, two in Hong Kong, as well as one death each in the Philippines, France, Japan, and Taiwan. This leaves 49,762 active cases of the illness. Of these currently Infected patients, 40,547 (81%) have mild conditions. 9,215 (19%) are currently in serious or critical condition.

Advertisement

There are 691 cases of COVID-19 that have been diagnosed among the passengers and crew of the Diamond Princess. Four of these have already died. 35 of these are in serious or critical condition. Only ten are totally recovered from their illness. Only a portion of the passengers were Americans.

To this point, there are only 53 diagnosed cases of COVID-19 in the United States, but that is up from 35 on Sunday. There have been no deaths yet, but six of these are in serious or critical condition. The stock market was down more than one thousand points on Monday due to fears that the coronavirus is going to negatively impact global trade, particularly the flow of manufactured goods coming out of China, the world’s second-largest economy. The outbreak in South Korea is particularly alarming for Alabamians given our close trade ties with the country, particularly with Hyundai having a manufacturing plant in Montgomery.

For more about the possible coronavirus pandemic, click here.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Authors

Advertisement

The V Podcast

Facebook

Trending

.