Bell ringing, moment of silence honor shooting victims
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—The bells of the oldest black church in Los Angeles rang out in memory of the Sandy Hook Elementary School victims at 6:30 a.m. today, the time when the massacre began exactly a week ago.
The bells of the First AME Church of Los Angeles in the Adams district tolled 26 times, once for each victim, then rang out a verse of the hymn “Nearer My God to Thee” in a ceremony coinciding with one in Connecticut.
Another ceremony was held at First AME at 9:30 a.m. as part of a statewide moment of reflection in memory of the shooting victims, said church spokesman Michael Ellison-Lewis.
“First AME Church of Los Angeles bells have been rung in many other watershed moments in our church’s over 140-year history,” Pastor J. Edgar Boyd said. “Friday we join others in remembering those who lost their lives tragically and join with the entire community to continue to work toward peace.”
Gov. Jerry Brown called for Californians to observe a moment of silence in memory for the shooting victims at 9:30 a.m., honoring a request Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy made of all his fellow governors.
“Let us all come together collectively to mourn the loss of far too many promising lives at Sandy Hook Elementary School,” Malloy said.
“Though we will never know the full measure of sorrow experienced by these families, we can let them know that we stand with them during this difficult time.”
The Community Rights Campaign plans a candlelight vigil and rally today to remember all victims of violence and to oppose proposals by the LAPD to place police in elementary and middle schools and by Senator Barbara Boxer to send the National Guard onto campuses.
The group, which has described law enforcement as part of “a racist re-enslavement complex,” will hold its event at 5 p.m. at the northeast corner of Western Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard.
In contrast to the call for police to stay off campuses, National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre today called for armed guards in every school.
Nearly three-fourths of the nation’s teachers say they personally would not bring a firearm to their school if allowed, but most educators believe armed guards would improve campus safety, a new survey showed.
Since the December massacre by a lone gunman in Newtown, Conn., many schools have hastened to add safety measures in an effort to prevent similar violence.
The most common step since the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School that left 20 first-graders and six educators dead has been ensuring that all doors are locked, teachers said.
President Obama on Wednesday formally proposed new gun-control policies and initiated 23 separate executive actions aimed at curbing gun violence. The Obama administration can implement about half of the proposals, but the rest will require congressional approval.
Obama called on Congress to swiftly pass legislation to ban assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines for civilian use and to require universal background checks for all gun buyers.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, and Deputy Mayor Guillermo Cespedes have announced the locations for the Citywide Gun Buyback program aimed at reducing the levels of gun violence in Los Angeles. The Gun Buyback was moved from its May date to Wednesday, Dec. 26.
The program will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Los Angeles Sports Arena, Parking Lot 6, 3939 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, and the Van Nuys Masonic Temple, 14750 Sherman Way, Van Nuys.
I was in a cab just the other day when the driver chided me for not knowing football. He was a big Redskins (I call them the Deadskins because they need to change their name) fan, and was obsessed with RG III. I must confess that I did not know who RG III was until he informed me and told me that I was culturally deficient because I lived in Washington, D.C., and did not follow football.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—Responding to last week’s massacre of students at a Connecticut elementary school, police Chief Charlie Beck said today every Los Angeles Unified elementary and middle school will have daily visits from LAPD officers when classes resume in January.
Beck said at least one police officer would make at least one stop daily at every elementary and middle school in the LAUSD—nearly 600 campuses in total. He also offered the department’s assistance to charter and private schools that request added security.