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16 Year Old Girl Stabbed At Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade Dies

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Shira Banki, the 16-year old girl who was stabbed at Thursday’s gay pride parade in Jerusalem, has succumbed to her wounds.

On Thursday several thousand people attended Jerusalem’s gay pride parade. It was relatively peaceful and joyous, until Yishai Schlissel allegedly started stabbing people. There were six victims, some treated at the scene, some transported to the hospital. One, a 16-year old girl named Shira Banki, was critically wounded. She died today in the hospital of her wounds.

Yishai Schlissel had just been released from prison weeks earlier, serving 10 years of a 12 year sentence for stabbing three people at Jerusalem’s 2005 gay pride parade. 

Schlissel reportedly had made threats before his release, and after, but before the parade, “distributed hand-written anti-gay pamphlets calling the LGBT rally ‘shameful’ and ‘blasphemous,'” the International Business Times reported.

The ultra-orthodox Jew wrote: “It is incumbent upon every Jew to risk beatings or imprisonment and together to stop the desecration for the sanctity of His name. If we refrain from declaring war, they’ll feel free to spread this shame all over the world.”

He also gave interviews to media outlets heaping scorn on the gay parade.

An LGBT advocacy group, Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance, had organized the pride event, the Washington Blade reports. 

“The LGBTQ community in Jerusalem and the Jerusalem Open House mourn her death at the hands of a fanatic, consumed with hatred and fear. The knife that fatally injured Shira was sharpened by years of incitement,” the group said in a statement in response to Shira Banki’s death. “That knife targeted all those who believe in a just society, where every woman and man can live freely, without fear of violence and persecution. That knife has wounded all those who believe in life and in God’s creation.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement, “Shira was murdered for courageously supporting the principle that each and every person has the right to live their life in security and respect.”

“We will not allow this loathsome murderer to undermine the basic values upon which the Israeli society is based. We staunchly condemn this attempt to sew the seeds of hatred and violence among us and will act to bring the murderer to justice,” he added.

Jerusalem’s mayor also denounced the “murder of this young girl at the Gay Pride Parade on the streets of Jerusalem.”

“We will continue to allow full freedom of expression in this city, we will continue to support all groups and communities, we will enhance education and tolerance for others in our school system, and we will not be deterred by those who are trying to prevent it,” Mayor Nir Barkat said.

The police have come under fire for not foreseeing the possibility Schlissel would strike again.

 

 

Image by Anna Ahronheim via Twitter

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‘Taking Us All for Fools’: Critics Decimate Greg Abbott’s Claims and Defense of His Actions in Wake of School Shooting

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Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott in a press conference that left reporters frustrated defended his actions and insisted his earlier praise for law enforcement’s widely criticized response to the Uvalde school massacre was the result of being “misled.”

“I am livid about what happened,” Abbott declared, blaming others for his “recitation of what people in that room told me.”

Critics aren’t buying his claims.

Abbott, who’s in the middle of a heated re-election campaign, appeared extremely defensive when reporters asked him questions.

“Let’s be clear about one thing. None of the laws I signed this past session had any intersection with this crime at all,” Abbott told reporters when asked if he would call the legislature back for a special session, as The Texas Tribune’s Sewell Chan noted.

“No law that I signed allowed him to get a gun,” Abbott insisted.

“The answers fell pretty flat,” opined MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace, who noted the press event lasted just 36 minutes, less time than the police officers “stood outside and did nothing,” which was 47 minutes.

Abbott ended the press conference with many reporters almost begging him to take more questions. As the governor got up and left one frustrated reporter was caught on a hot mic saying “unbelievable.”

Chan, who is the editor in chief of the Tribune, added on Twitter: “Abbott rejects background checks as a simplistic and ineffective fix. Wouldn’t have prevented Sutherland Springs and Santa Fe shootings, he says. Tries to turn focus to broken mental health system.”

Former FBI assistant director for counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi on MSNBC delivered a strong rebuke to Governor Abbott’s remarks.

“No amount of free flights, no amount of free caskets, no amount of mental health counseling is going to bring back any one of those murdered children,” Figliuzzi said, referring to Abbott’s announcement an anonymous donor is putting up  $175,000 for funeral expenses of those who were murdered in the shooting and said the state will pay for mental health treatment.

Abbott also insisted that since Texas became a state it’s been legal for 18-year-olds to buy long guns.

Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime was murdered in the Parkland school shooting, blasted Abbott:

And long guns of today, as Figliuzzi noted, are often semi-automatic “killing machines.”

“The governor seems completely unable to understand that he can easily make a distinction when you’re talking about whether an 18-year-old should buy an assault rifle or not. And all he cares about is a century of history in Texas on long guns. We didn’t have the AR-15 style assault weapons back then.  He can easily make a distinction and say, ‘you can go hunting, here are the rifles you can do, you can buy, you can possess – and here’s an assault-style rifle.'”

“If he thinks that people are stupid and unable to understand that there is a clear distinction between a killing machine and a hunting rifle, that he’s taking us all for fools.”

 

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‘I Apologize for Interrupting Your Press Conference’: Tearful Texas Democrat Urges Greg Abbott to ‘Do Something’ on Guns

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The Texas Democratic State Senator who represents Uvalde stood up during Greg Abbott’s Friday afternoon press conference and almost begged the Republican Governor to “do something” about gun violence after Tuesday’s massacre at Robb Elementary School that took 21 lives.

Abbott was trying to place the blame for the school shooting on mental health despite the gunman having no documented issues, and told attendees, “we’re focusing our attention on the wrong thing.”

That was not good enough for Democratic State Senator Roland Gutierrez, who politely introduced himself and said, “I’m not making a political speech.”

“My colleagues are asking for a special session, you’re getting a letter tomorrow,” from the Senate Democratic Caucus.

“We’ve asked for gun control changes – I’m asking you now, bring us back in three weeks.”

Gutierrez grew emotional, sounding as if he was choking up, and added, “I apologize for interrupting your press conference about the needs of this community. I’ve been here for three days with all of these elected officials – this county judge has been working his ass off,” he continued.

“I don’t know how to express the loss of the families that I’ve talked to,” he added.

“You have to do something, man,” Gutierrez said, all but begging the governor to take action, and saying his “own colleagues are calling me and telling me this is enough.”

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Watch: Right Wing Host at NRA Convention Likens 18 Year Olds Buying Guns to 3rd Graders Deciding Gender

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A host from a right-wing streaming service covering the NRA convention in Houston decided to compare conservatives’ growing active opposition to the rights and existence of transgender people, to the majority of Americans demanding expanded gun control legislation.

“We are being told by the left that a third-grader has the knowledge to determine if they were born a boy or they were born a girl, whether or not they want to stay that gender that they were born with,” said Brian Glenn, Right Side Broadcasting’s director of programming and correspondent.

“And if we feel like at a third grade you can make decisions on your gender, then I think by the time you’re 18 you should have enough maturity – assuming you’re not a complete psychopath – to buy a handgun and exercise your Second Amendment.”

Of course, that hypothetical third-grader is harming exactly no one and later can reverse that decision if they choose, which the vast majority do not.

That hypothetical 18-year old, or, in the case of this week’s horrific tragedy, an actual 18-year old, buying two AR-15 style assault weapons and hundreds of rounds of ammunition within three days of their 18th birthday, gunning down 21 people including 19 elementary school children, cannot reverse any of those decisions.

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