The House on Thursday approved a pair of bills that would expand and strengthen background checks for gun purchasers, as Democrats pushed past Republican opposition to advance major gun safety measures after decades of congressional inaction.

In votes that fell largely along party lines, the House passed legislation that would require background checks for all gun buyers and extend the time given to the F.B.I. to vet buyers flagged by the national instant check system.

Despite being widely popular with voters, the measures face what is expected to be insurmountable opposition in the Senate, where Republicans have resisted imposing any limits on guns, including stricter background-check requirements.

The House voted 227-203 to approve the universal background check measure. The vote was 219-210 to pass a second one giving federal law enforcement more time to vet gun purchasers.

Both pieces of legislation are aimed at addressing gaps in existing gun laws.

The measure passed on Thursday would require purchasers shopping for firearms online or at gun shows to have their backgrounds vetted before they could receive a weapon. They are not currently required to do so, although in-person purchasers, who make up the majority of such transactions, are.

The second bill addresses what is known as the “Charleston loophole,” which restricts to three days the time period for the F.B.I. to conduct a background check, allowing many purchasers to evade them. The provision allowed Dylann Roof, the white supremacist who killed nine people in 2015 at a historically Black church in Charleston, S.C., to buy a handgun even though he should have been barred from purchasing the weapon. The bill would extend the amount of time the F.B.I. has to complete a check for an additional week, to 10 days.

“Let’s not add more names to this registry of grief,” Representative Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the No. 2 Democrat, said, reading from a lengthy list of recent mass shootings and noting that they had sharply fallen in the last year. “Let’s not rely on a pandemic to do what we ought to have done so long ago. Let’s pass these bills and reduce gun violence the right way.”

Democrats first passed the legislation in 2019, shortly after they recaptured control of the House, making it a centerpiece of their agenda as they sought to capitalize on an outpouring of student activism in favor of stricter gun safety measures after a school shooting in Parkland, Fla., in 2018. Polling then and now, conducted by multiple firms, shows that over 80 percent of voters support the legislation.

Last month, President Biden called on Congress to enact the bills in a statement commemorating the three-year anniversary of the Parkland shooting.

“This administration will not wait for the next mass shooting to heed that call,” he said.

Still, the bills approved on Thursday will join a growing stack of liberal legislation that is widely popular with voters but appears destined to languish in the 50-50 Senate, where Democrats must win the support of 10 Republicans to pass most major measures. It is part of a concerted strategy to increase pressure on Democrats resistant to eliminating the legislative filibuster while forcing Republicans to take difficult votes ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.

“We are not going away until this legislation passes,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said. “We will meet the challenge to the conscience of the country, when it comes to the gun violence crisis in our country.”

According to Everytown for Gun Safety, unprecedented increases in gun sales, combined with economic distress and social isolation due to COVID-19, are intensifying the country’s gun violence crisis.

The United States has seen the collision of two major public health crisis: COVID-19 and gun violence. While millions in the U.S. rushed out to purchase guns in the middle of a global pandemic, thinking they were buying safety, research shows that they were in fact exposing themselves to higher risks of gun violence. At the same time, structural inequities fueling community gun violence have been exacerbated. Moving forward, we must invest in policies that improve the plight of all Americans and save lives.

I never intended for this website to be toxic, but rather to bring focus to the growing number of mass and domestic shootings in the United States and Canada, and the immediate need for effective gun control.

Therefore, I will not be posting every mass and domestic shooting reported in the media, but instead encourage you to check out my “Links” page for a list of organizations that can empower you by taking action for positive change.






The neon image shown below is artist Michael Flechtner’s “Elephant Gun..for those who are about to murder.”

Show Dates: September 24th to November 1st, 2016
Opening Reception September 24th, 7-10pm

The Loft at Liz’s fine art gallery (Los Angeles, CA) features an exhibition dedicated to the national dialogue on gun violence on Saturday, September 24th, 2016. The show, titled simply “GUNS”, features an astounding 23 artists’ works on the titular subject. Exhibition events will include a gun control panel by Women Against Gun Violence ( moderated by Dr. Anita Storm. Also featured will be “Gunworlds”, a performance by Maya Gurantz and Elizabeth Goodman. The gallery desires to recognize all sides of the gun control debate, making the show both well rounded and revealing. This exhibition is being jointly curated by art historian Betty Ann Brown, collector Dr. Anita Storm and gallerist Liz Gordon.

Featuring works by John Baldessari, Jodi Bonassi, David Buckingham, Clayton Campbell, Helen Chung, Joyce Dallal, Cheryl Dullabaun, Shepard Fairey, Michael Flechtner, Jane Goren, Mark Steven Greenfield, Alex Kritselis, Meg Madison, Ted Meyer, Sabine Pearlman, Osceola Refetoff, Miles Regis, Milo Reice, Ed Ruscha, Kathy Shorr, Anna Stump, Senon Williams and Kerri Sabine-Wolf.

Plus performance work by Maya Gurantz and Elizabeth Goodman

The topic of gun control has sparked the formation of organizations: Gays Against Guns, Women Against Gun Violence, Americans for Responsible Solutions, the Brady Campaign, and the list goes on. In a day and age where such organizational names are commonplace in the average American’s vocabulary, the debate over gun violence has reached its peak in both popular culture and politics. It has become a topic that many contemporary artists and political commentators alike have based their work on. This show belies the simplicity of the gun control question, and it’s only natural that this team of 23 renowned visual artists are featured to address the underlying complexities of this hot topic debate.

Opening just two months before an election that has the possibility to upset the American political balance, this show is especially opportune. The death rate from gun homicides in the US is equivalent to 27 people shot and killed every day of the year. The debate over gun control is extremely prevalent in all aspects of American life. Taking on gun control from an artistic perspective rather than a directly political one poses a unique potential to enlighten, build open dialogue and to educate. Because of the breadth of the work featured, varying points of view are showcased. The diversity of the artists both in who they are and the work they produce is key in developing an exhibition that analyzes and observes the diverse aspects of this most crucial and timely debate.

Exhibit Walkthrough with Betty Ann Brown
Wednesday October 5th (7-9pm)

Panel Discussion (w/ Women Against Gun Violence and Dr. Anita Storm)
Saturday October 15th (3-5pm)

Gunworlds (performance with Maya Gurantz and Elizabeth Goodman)
Friday October 28th (7-10pm)

A percentage of sales from the “GUNS” exhibition will go to Women Against Gun Violence,

For additional exhibit information or private preview opportunities please contact:
Randi Kreeft, Gallery Director
The Loft at Liz’s
453 S. La Brea Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 939-4403 ext. 5

The gun should have had blanks. Instead a 73-year-old retired librarian playacting as a victim in a “shoot/don’t shoot” exercise at a Florida police community event to show her support for the Men in Blue was shot and killed Tuesday night by an officer who mistakenly fired live ammunition instead of blank rounds, according to Punta Gorda, Fla., police. How could this have happened?