About Us| Issues & Campaigns| Media| Get Involved| New to the Issue?| Donate

April 27, 2011

Pro-Gun Activist to Woman who Lost Sister to Homicide:"Go ring your little bell you stupid ignorant c***."

Not long ago, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) posted a blog detailing personal attacks made on Joan Peterson, a gun violence survivor from Minnesota and the author of the blog Common Gunsense. In 1992, Joan’s sister, Barbara, was shot and killed by her husband three years into divorce proceedings. He took his own life not long thereafter in a psychiatric ward.

Joan recently shared three comments left by a pro-gun activist on her (moderated) blog. "japete" is the screen name that Joan uses to respond to comments on her blog.

"Go ring your little bell you stupid ignorant cunt. We'll be busy advancing in individual states. Deep down, you see what's happening and clutch your rancid crotch stink hole in despair, huh?"

"Hey japete, why don't you clean out your disease-ridden cunt-hole? Does making everyone you walk past sick with fishy shit smell a turn-on for you? I'll bet your sister's dead crotch smells better than yours. Your husband certainly thinks so."

"Hey japete, does your dead sister like hot cock up her ass? Oh wait, I guess it doesn't matter. Perhaps I would insult you if you had the decency to publish my comments, you stupid ignorant cunt. But it is your blog. You don't publish my comments because my logic destroys your world. I guess we'll just have to continue spanking your shit covered cheeks in Congress. Fuck you and your stupid little bell."

The commenter is referring to a bell that hangs in a Memorial Garden in Lake Place Park in Duluth, Minnesota. Periodically, Joan gathers with members of Protect Minnesota (which formed when the Million Mom March Chapters of Minnesota merged with Citizens for a Safer Minnesota) and other organizations at this spot to remember victims of gun violence. Attendees are invited to ring the Memorial Bell for each loved one they have lost to gun violence.

Joan rings the bell each time for Barbara, faithfully.

April 14, 2011

Pro-Gun Activists Call Virginia Tech Shooting Survivor a "Coward"

Recently, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence documented attacks by pro-gun activists on a Minnesota survivor who lost her sister in a domestic homicide. Now, just two days later, another pro-gun activist has made an ugly attack on a gun violence survivor, in this case one who was shot multiple times during the massacre at Virginia Tech.

Commenting on the blog "Snowflakes in Hell: Firearm Policy and Politics in Pennsylvania" (which is run by Keith Milligan, an Election Volunteer Coordinator with the NRA-ILA) a pro-gun activist named Miguel Gonzalez stated the following:

Colin Goddard is now a mouthpiece for the Antin Gun movement because he is in a desperate search for the gonads he lost under a desk at Virginia Tech. It has to shame him to no end that a 76-year-old professor blocking a door with his body showed more balls than he will ever have.

To Andrew Goddard: The only roach that you know, scurried away under a desk that day at VT and is the fruit of your loins

Colin Goddard was 21 years old on the morning of April 16, 2007 when he and the 16 other students in his class began to hear a commotion in another part of the building. Their teacher ordered them to get under their desks and asked someone to call 911. Colin was in the process of doing so when deranged student Seung-Hui Cho burst into the room and opened fire. Colin was hit four times - in both hips, the knee and the shoulder. When he dropped his phone, another student was able to cover it with her hair and complete the call, bringing police to the scene.

By his own admission, Colin will tell you that he was one of the lucky ones that day. 32 students and teachers did not survive the shooting. 16 others were wounded. Nonetheless, it took three painful months of physical therapy before Colin could even get out of a wheelchair.

Colin's father, Andrew, soon got involved with the Million Mom March, an organization with the motto, "Sensible gun laws, safe kids." After hearing about another gruesome mass shooting in Binghamton, New York in April 2009, Colin knew he had to get involved, too. He contacted the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and began interning with them. Today he serves as their Assistant Director of Legislative Affairs.

Gonzalez, for his part, is a pro-gun activist from Miami, Florida who runs the blog "Gun Free Zone." He can also be found on Twitter. And he wasn't the only pro-gun activist who made such accusations about Goddard. Several others followed his lead.

At the "Snowflakes in Hell" blog in question, a user going by the name of "Colin" added, "+1,000,000 for Miguel! My feelings exactly. I was raised to call a spade a spade, and Goddard’s definitely a coward (and a liar to boot)."

Another commenter at the blog, "cargosquid," then stated, "As for Colin Goddard, he didn’t 'freeze.' By his own words, he was hiding under a desk for at least 10 MINUTES, before the Cho showed up. He refused, consciously, to defend himself OR leave the target area. Lockdown? Screw that. What is he, a child?" "cargosquid" is a pro-gun activist from Richmond, Virginia who runs the blog, "United Conservatives of Virginia." A video of him being interviewed can be seen here.

Pro-gun activist Link Porterfield Tweeted the following at CSGV about Goddard: "Civil rights activist calls a coward a coward." Porterfield is from Boise, Idaho and runs the blog, "What's So Funny About Peace, Love and Ammunition?" His Twitter account is @peaceloveammo

Finally, Kurt Hoffman, a pro-gun activist from Southern Illinois, Tweeted at CSGV to show us a blog he wrote about Colin in which he called him "contemptibly, loathsomely evil."

Why these individuals chose to say such things about Colin and his father—whatever their policy or philosophical differences with the Goddard family might be—is beyond imagining.

[Editor's Note: Since this blog was published, Keith Milligan has changed the name of his blog from "Snowflakes to Hell" to "Shall Not Be Questioned."]

April 12, 2011

Attack on Survivor of Violence By Pro-Gun Activist

When you work in the field of gun violence prevention, you get used to seeing hostility and vitriol from those on the opposite side of the debate. But one thing you never get used to is personal attacks on victims of gun violence.

On April 11, 2011, Link Porterfield, a pro-gun activist from Boise, Idaho who goes by the screen name of "Link P" made such an attack during a Twitter exchange with the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV). Tweeting through his account @peaceloveammo, Porterfield suggested that our organization "has an undiagnosed case of Peterson syndrome." This was a derogatory reference to Joan Peterson, a gun violence survivor from Minnesota and the author of the blog www.commongunsense.com. In his Tweet, Porterfield linked to a blog by another pro-gun activist in Idaho, Joe Huffman, where Huffman attacked Joan and named what he described as a "mental defect" after her.

Our staff at CSGV knows Joan personally and has great respect for her. We replied to Porterfield that Joan is a courageous and great American.

Porterfield's response? "Peterson is no survivor of gun violence. Her sister was murdered by her criminal brother in law. She wasn't even there."

It's hard to imagine why anyone would feel compelled to make such a statement about someone whose sister was lost to gunfire.

The facts of Joan’s loss are as follows ... In 1992, Joan’s sister, Barbara, was three years into divorce proceedings with her husband. After he left bizarre messages on her answering machine, Barbara got a restraining order against him. One day, Barbara and a male friend went to her husband’s house to deliver some paperwork regarding the divorce. Her husband erupted in anger and shot both of them in cold blood, killing them. Prior to this incident, he had no violent criminal history. He ended taking his own life not long thereafter in a psychiatric ward.

Sadly, this type of incident is not uncommon in the United States. 69% of homicides in our county are committed with a gun (CDC, 2007). In 78% of cases, the perpetrator and victim know each other. In 23% of cases, they are family (FBI Uniform Crime Report, 2008).

For her part, Joan was restrained and gracious about the words of Porterfield. "Gun rights activists like to think that only ‘criminals’ shoot other people," she told us via email. "It doesn't fit with their world view when everyday people shoot other people because it makes them look bad."

That was not the end of it, however. Another pro-gun activist, Keith Milligan (AKA "Sebastian") from Pennsylvania, blogged in defense of Porterfield. In the blog he explained, "Our religion is the role firearms play within the American cultural and political framework. It is heresy to the other side, because their religion centers around victimhood."

The thought that Joan's "religion" might be acting to prevent others from experiencing the same tragedy she experienced apparently didn't cross his mind.