Texas Marks ’66 Sniper Attack as University Prepares for ‘Campus-Carry’ Law

By DAVID MONTGOMERY, New York Times, JULY 30, 2016

AUSTIN, Tex. — On Aug. 1, 1966, Charles Whitman ascended the University of Texas clock tower here with a trunk full of weapons and unleashed 96 minutes of terror that effectively became a template for mass shootings and aroused in the public a new sensitivity to the threat of violence in public spaces.

Mr. Whitman, a 25-year-old student, Eagle Scout and Marine veteran, killed a receptionist and two members of a visiting family inside the tower. He then went onto the observation deck and began spraying sniper fire, turning a tranquil summertime campus into a scene of chaos and death.

In the half-century since, Mr. Whitman’s savagery has been echoed in mass shootings on other university campuses and at workplaces, elementary schools, post offices, movie theaters and nightclubs. And what seemed unthinkable in 1966 was re-enacted with alarming repetition in places like Columbine High School in Colorado; Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va.; Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.; and the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla….

read more at New York Times


“Rep. Costello, do your job!”

by Nathaniel Smith, Politics: A View from West Chester, 6/29/16

“Rep. Costello, do your job!” was the first of several chants by the 25 people assembled under his office window on West Market St. on June 27.

Then, it was on to “Background checks now!” and “No guns for terrorists!”

And “What did Congress do after Sandy Hook?” Reply: “Nothing!” And the chants went on to a list of other mass shootings after which Congress likewise did nothing.

Chester County Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence leader Tom Buglio pointed out that 80-90% of Americans poll as wanting background checks and gun denials for individuals on the terrorist watch list—issues about which Rep. Ryan Costello (R PA-06) won’t meet with CCCPGV personally, though his office staff has.

According to Buglio, Costello is typical of today’s US House: he took $10,000 in NRA funding 2 years ago and avoids every chance to engage with gun violence prevention advocates…

CCCPGV Costello rally.jpgread more at Politics: A View from West Chester. Photo: Marty Molloy, candidate for PA Senate 9, speaks at the rally.

West Chester councilwoman speaks on gun violence

by Jeremy Gerrard, Daily Local News, 2/18/13

Affected by gun violence in her life, West Chester Borough Council Vice President Cassandra Jones took to Washington D.C. last week to speak to legislators on the current high profile topic of gun legislation.
Courtesy photo West Chester Borough Council Vice President Cassandra Jones meets with First Lady Michelle Obama.

Jones was one of 120 people, all victims of gun violence, who were invited to the White House Tuesday as part of an effort organized by the group Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

“It was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life,” Jones said. “It was phenomenal.”

Attendees included victims of the Aurora Colo. shooting, the Newtown Conn. Shooting and Arizona shooting.

When Jones was six years old, her mother was shot. While she survived, Jones said the shooting handicapped her mother and came with complications that contributed to her early death at 43.

Until recently Jones said she was unable to remember or deal with the memory of her mother being shot.

But through the tool of writing, Jones has opened up that chapter of her past. Jones said she has been in the process of writing an autobiography for a number of years now and recently added to it which included her story of the shooting. Jones said she is writing the book as a tribute to her mother.

“I’m really very passionate about this issue because I’m the survivor,” Jones said.

In January, Borough Council responded to the recent shooting in Newtown, Conn. by passing a resolution that calls for new gun legislation.

The 3-page resolution, brought to council by Mayor Carolyn Comitta, highlights three areas of action: the passage of the Fix Gun Checks Act, which would require a background check for every gun sale and ensure that all criminals and other dangerous people who are prohibited from buying a gun are listed in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System; passage of legislation that would keep military-style weapons and high-capacity magazines off the streets; and legislation that would make gun trafficking a federal crime. …

read more at Daily Local News

photo supplied by Cassandra Jones:

CJones :MObama

Cassandra with FLOTUS (Michelle Obama!)

“I had the most amazing experiences last week in DC. Mayors Against Illegal Guns was invited to a congressional hearing, to a White House briefing and then to a watch party for the Presidents’ State of the Union speech.

So fulfilling to be a part of these national conversations on violence among our youth in this country. God will give you the desires of your heart!”

Cassandra Jones

  • West Chester Borough Democratic Committee
    Committeeperson, Ward 2
  • Member of West Chester Borough Council