News Blog

April 2018

Shooting programs taught by the military don’t belong in our schools!

By Pat Elder, Director of the National Coalition to Protect Student Privacy

 

Shooting programs taught by the military don’t belong in our schools!

 

Militarism in our schools is a major contributing cause of gun violence in America. Almost 2,000 high schools have school shooting ranges affiliated with the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) program. Our young people are introduced to our national war culture in their high school cafeterias, where military recruiters forge relationships with kids during lunch.

 

After lunch, the same cafeterias are often transformed into shooting ranges. The marksmanship programs run by the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines typically use CO2-powered long rifles that shoot .177 caliber lead pellets at speeds up to 600 feet per second.

 

Nikolas Cruz, the Parkland shooter, was trained by the Army to shoot a lethal weapon in his high school cafeteria when he was 14. JROTC courses, which often substitute for core curriculum subjects, are taught by retired soldiers from the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines who often do not have college credentials.

 

You can find the high schools in your state that allow the military to teach children how to shoot here.

 

Today, we’re asking you to do a little bit more than simply sign a petition. We want you to engage in a dialogue with your state representatives, and share your legislators’ email responses with us. Then, we want you to be part of a state-centered campaign that seeks out lawmakers who are willing to introduce legislation banning the practice.

 

Typically, you have two representatives in your state’s legislature. The email you’ll send through our system asks them to submit a bill banning the shooting programs and also asks them to contact you, explaining their position. Can you help us find one brave legislator in the United States of America who is willing to stand up against this madness? The US is the only nation where children are trained to shoot by the military in the public high schools. We’re going to stop it with your help.

 

Please contact your legislators to shut down firing ranges in American high schools!

We strongly encourage you to take a few minutes to read two critical pieces on the dangers of the shooting programs and the militarization of children, linked below. They’re compelling and they’ll “arm” you in your battle to get the guns out of our schools:

 

  • This article, GI Nick Cruz, documents the militarization of Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz  through the Instagram images he uploaded. Nik was arrested wearing his JROTC polo shirt. He uploaded photos showing him playing first-person shooter games, like the America’s Army game that the military uses to recruit. Nik is pictured wearing an Army cap, an Army ski hat, and Army camouflage. He is shown holding an Army M 1911-A look-alike air pistol. He is shown hunkered down in his bunker-like camouflage-draped bedroom, and he is shown holding a box of Army ammunition for the Army assault rifle he used to kill.

 

We must get people to connect the dots between gun violence and militarism. Contact pelder@studentprivacy.org with questions or to learn how you can get involved in this campaign.

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April 2018

Remembering VA Tech

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February 2018

Rolling Stone: If We Want Kids to Stop Killing, the Adults Have to Stop, Too

by Matt Taibbi

Over two decades ago, I traveled to a city in the Russian provinces called Rostov-On-Don to interview a psychiatrist named Alexander Bukhanovsky.

Bukhanovsky, now deceased, was famous. If you've seen the movie Citizen X, about the capture of serial killer Andrei Chikatilo, Bukhanovsky was the guy played by Max Von Sydow. He was the Soviet Union's first criminal profiler.

One of the first things he said was that both Russia and America produced disproportionate shares of mass killers."Giant militarized countries," he said, "breed violent populations."

Bukhanovsky at the time was treating a pre-teen who had begun killing animals. He told me this young boy would almost certainly move on to killing people eventually. He was seeing more and more of these cases, he said.

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February 2018

Trump Is Turning the State Department into a Global Weapons Dealer

The Trump administration will soon announce its next move in the ongoing assault on diplomacy and human rights currently taking place in the United States. Through a plan dubbed “Buy American,” the administration is calling for U.S. attachés and diplomats to play a larger role in the sale of U.S. weapons, effectively solidifying their role as lobbyists for the arms industry rather than agents of diplomacy.

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February 2018

Divest Week of Action: Dallas Update

It was 30 degrees on Saturday in Dallas, Texas as we marched from Bank of America to Wells Fargo to Chase.  Even in the freezing temperatures, we held our “Divest from War” signs up high for passing cars to see.  We were marching with a mission.  To talk to each bank manager about their investments in weapons manufacturers.  We marched from Bank of America to Wells Fargo to Chase.

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February 2018

How to Reel In the U.S. War Machine

In recent budget negotiations, Senate Democrats agreed to a boost in military spending that exceeded the cap for fiscal 2018 by $70 billion, bringing the total request to an enormous $716 billion. Inevitably, this means more Pentagon contracts will be awarded to private corporations that use endless war to line their pockets. Democrats capitulated to this massive increase without so much as a scuffle. But the move hardly comes as a surprise, given how much money flows from weapons makers to the coffers of congressional campaigns for both parties.

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February 2018

Congress keeps funding a war machine that the public should divest from

In recent budget negotiations, Senate Democrats agreed to a boost in military spending that exceeded the cap for fiscal 2018 by $70 billion, bringing the total request to an enormous $716 billion. Inevitably, this means more Pentagon contracts will be awarded to private corporations that use endless war to line their pockets. Democrats capitulated to this massive increase without so much as a scuffle. But the move hardly comes as a surprise, given how much money flows from weapons makers to the coffers of congressional campaigns for both parties.

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February 2018

Center for Constitutional Rights Supports campaign to Divest from the War Machine

CCR is joining a coalition of groups in a Week of Action beginning today in support of the Divest from the War Machine campaign. The campaign calls on individuals and institutions to divest from companies that engage in and profit from militarism and war-making in order to reduce their influence in policy-making, support reinvestment in services and programs that meet human needs, promote human rights, and achieve a more peaceful world.

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January 2018

Reasons to Divest from the War Machine NOW

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November 2017

The Only Way to Confront a War Economy is to Confront a Culture of War

Vijay Prashad, author and historian, outlines that the only way to confront a war economy is to confront the culture of war

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