Category: Fact Check

Why the Biden Administration’s New Executive Action Won’t Reduce Gun Violence

Why the Biden Administration’s New Executive Action Won’t Reduce Gun Violence

Why the Biden Administration’s New Executive Action Won’t Reduce Gun Violence

On March 14, 2023, the Biden Administration announced a new executive action to reduce gun violence and to make our communities safe. But Americans have seen this before, haven’t we? Our government proposes a solution that will prevent gun violence in the nation and gun violence continues. After reading the new action, I am saddened to say our government is exposing us to another “Groundhog Gun Day.”

Connecticut was one of the first states to enact red flag laws. Yet this “Provision State” has experienced one of the most horrific mass-shootings in history. What Connecticuter can forget Adam Peter Lanza, who shot and killed 28 children at the Sandy Hook Elementary School? I know I cannot.

America’s undivided attention on the purchaser’s background is a Gadarene decision to make it appear as if the U.S. is tackling the gun epidemic in the nation, when in reality, its action have little to no effect.

While red flag laws are beneficial in preventing gun-related suicide deaths, there is little evidence to show the efficacy against mass-shootings.

Another important point to make is how the Biden Administration has changed its language regarding domestic terrorism. For instance, the Biden Administration has now cleped these individuals: “domestic abusers.” However, it is important to call these acts what they are: domestic terrorism. What is more, many of these individuals have little to no criminal record. Indeed, Payton S. Gendron, Salvador Rolando Ramos, Adam Peter Lanza, DeWayne Antonio Craddock and Ahmad Al Aliwi Al-Issa all had little or no criminal record at the time they committed their shootings.

Why the Biden Administration’s New Executive Action Won’t Reduce Gun Violence: Because Red Flag Systems Are Triggered by Criminal Records

Another important point to make is that red flag systems are triggered by criminal records. If an individual wants to commit a mass-shooting but does not have a criminal record, their purchase will not be red flagged. This means an individual with no criminal record who seeks to commit a mass-shooting can purchase a gun. Therefore, red flag systems are ineffective.

Even if this method closes the loophole for people with felony convictions and domestic terrorists and prevents them from purchasing a firearm legally, it does not avert the illegal purchase of a firearm. In light of these facts, it’s safe to say—or unsafe to say depending on how you look at it—that the Biden Administration’s new executive action will not reduce gun violence.

Fact Check: Higher Approvals for LGBTQ+ Asylum Activists?

Fact Check: Higher Approvals for LGBTQ+ Asylum Activists?

Fact Check: Higher Approvals for LGBTQ+ Asylum Activists? On 21 December 2022 Beryl Ohas published an article in GCN News claiming LGBTQ+ activists have it easier in the international protection process. Is it true? Before I get to the answer, I want to say that I empathise with Ohas and at no time discount her experiences as an LGBTQ+ person navigating the asylum process.

Fact Check: Higher Approvals for LGBTQ+ Asylum Activists? No, LGBTQ+ Asylum Activists Are Not Approved at a Higher Rate

Ohas claims in The truth about being granted refugee status as an LGBTQ+ person in Ireland, that International Protection “protocols only favour activists, or educated and successful LGBTQ+ refugees.”

First, asylum protocols do not favour activists or educated and successful LGBTQ+ refugees in Ireland. In fact, protocols are more likely to disfavour them on the grounds that it is believed that “the more knowledgeable” the asylum seeker, the easier it is for them to create an asylum-friendly scenario, which the International Protection Office may believe to be superficially compatible with the conditions known to exist in the country of origin. To illustrate this point one only need to refer to the case of Bulelani Mfaco, a well-known activist in Ireland, who has been vocal about homophobia and attacks in South Africa, but still had his asylum application rejected in 2019. Danni Askini, an American trans activist who sought asylum in Sweden also had her claim rejected. This clearly demonstrates LGBTQ+ activists are not approved at a higher rate.

Quianna Canada's Sup-advocacy

While I concede, one could be a climate change activist but know little about climate change, activists usually advocate for—or against—an issue because they know much about it, or have lived experience with that issue. What Ohas seems to omit from her article is that there have been cases of heterosexual asylum seekers using the LGBTQ+ ground to get asylum. Indeed, evidence demonstrated that hundreds of asylum seekers lied about sexual orientation just to be granted asylum in the Netherlands.

Another truth omitted from Ohas’ article is that LGBTQ+ persons who come from ‘safe countries’ are regularly denied Refugee Status despite meeting the definition. This practice is at odds with the European Parliaments resolution, who pointed out that LGBTQ+ people can be subjected to abuse in countries held to be ‘safe’ for asylum determination and may have entirely legitimate claims.

LGBTQ+ Asylum Seekers in Ireland From Islam Can Fully Be Themselves

While I agree with Ohas, less popular, antisocial and introverted LGBTQ+ individuals regularly experience discrimination, the claim that LGBTQ+ Muslims cannot be themselves in Ireland is misleading. This argument forces Ireland to shoulder the burden, when in fact the burden belongs on the shoulders of the Islamic community. First, ‘Muslim’ is not a country or continent. Muslims are people who adhere to the Islamic religion. Second, I haven’t found a law on the books in Ireland that requires LGBTQ+ asylum seekers to be part of the Islamic community. Indeed, the ECtHR explicitly held that Sharīaʿ law is not compatible with the European Convention of Human Rights. The explicit ruling of the ECtHR and the fact that Muslims are people who adhere to the Islamic religion leads one to believe that LGBTQ+ asylum seekers who identify as Muslim are likely adhering to Islam.

Most LGBTQ+ persons who are persecuted in Islam would not purposely re-associate themselves with the religion in Ireland because they understand that a hard line may be drawn between sexuality and spirituality. Indeed, a gay Muslim who attended a mosque in Ireland found out the hard way when a Sheikh forbade his lifestyle. The admonishment to his gay lifestyle also resulted in the man abandoning the Irish Muslim Council when he found himself without anywhere to pray for fear of judgement. He also told the Irish Mirror he’s now questioning whether he’s welcome among Muslims at all. As can be seen, it is not Ireland that is preventing LGBTQ+ asylum seekers from fully being themselves.

No, LGBTQ+ Asylum Seekers Do Not Have to Celebrate Pride

Pride celebration is not required in order to receive a Refugee Declaration. Article 10 of the Irish Constitution states everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right includes freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This means that public authorities in Ireland cannot require LGBTQ+ asylum seekers to celebrate Pride. Several high profile LGBTQ individuals in western countries, such as Blair White and Lewis Oakley, do not necessarily celebrate Pride month. In addition to these voices, Ally Hills uploaded a video in 2021 Reacting to Gays Who Hate Pride. If LGBTQ+ citizens do not have to celebrate Pride, then it follows that LGBTQ+ asylum seekers do not have to celebrate it just to get a Refugee Status Declaration.

Intrusive Questioning of LGB Asylum Seekers Have Changed

While there have been cases where gay asylum seekers have been asked intrusive questions in visa interviews, most International Protection officers generally avoid intrusive questions. Intrusive tests, the submission of intimate evidence, and questioning about sexual practices are explicitly prohibited as they infringe on a person’s rights under the EU Charter. We know this if we look at C-473/16 F v. Bevándorlási és Állampolgársági Hivatal, where the CJEU clarified which evidence is permitted in assessing asylum claims based on sexual orientation. The CJEU’s judgment in A.B.C. v. Staatssecretaris van Veiligheid en Justitie also delineates what cannot be asked, as well as what the decision maker is not able to receive as evidence in sexual orientation cases. As noted above, both cases demonstrate the changes being made in the International Protection process as it relates to intrusive questions.

No, There is No ‘Imaging’ of LGBTQ+ Persons in Western Countries

Ohas argues that “the use of stereotypical western imaging of LGBTQ+ sex, expressions of identity through rainbow-coded fashion styles is the framework within which ‘truth’ is legitimised and validated.” However, this could not be further from the truth. The rainbow flag is a symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) pride and LGBT social movements. The colors reflect the diversity of the LGBT community and the spectrum of human sexuality and gender. In other words, there are many shades of gray as it relates to human sexuality and gender. If there are many shades of gray in western society when it comes to gender and sexuality, then we cannot possibly accept the argument that there is a western imaging conspiracy being used to deny LGBTQ+ applicants.

It is Widely Understood that Asylum Seekers Miss Their Families

It is widely understood that asylum seekers miss their families. Candi McDow states “When you miss someone it means you really care about the person and you value them.” You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t miss your loved ones or certain aspects of your nation. For example, I miss Cream of Wheat and cannot find it anywhere in Ireland. I don’t think anyone would say, “Oh, you miss Cream of Wheat? Then you must not be persecuted!” Or, “You miss your family? People who miss their family are not persecuted!” People understand persecution in different ways. I think the best way to educate someone on persecution, without revealing intimate details about oneself, is to talk about it.

Where Ohas Gets it Right: Direct Provision

In the midst of misinformation Ohas does get it right on direct provision. Some asylum seekers in Ireland do have to share room with homophobic people, which promotes bullying and discrimination. While I disagree with Ohas that heterosexual refugees are highly homophobic and transphobic, there is an argument to be made that the myopic mindset could be the result of religious dogma, which emboldens an individual’s unwillingness to integrate to create a safe space for everyone.

To read more articles like Fact Check: Higher Approvals for LGBTQ+ Asylum Activists?, be sure to write me.

Were Irish Locals Fighting Asylum Seekers? East Wall Protests on December 5, 2022

Fact Check: Asylum Seekers Were Not Fighting Irish Locals

Were Irish locals fighting asylum seekers? Or is it anti refugee sentiment?

Fact Check: Asylum Seekers Were Not Fighting Irish Locals

Were Irish locals fighting asylum seekers? A local posted a video to Twitter this evening that depicts what appears to be an alleged fight between Wicklow locals and migrants. The video has raised the question as to whether the fight is related to recent anti refugee protests in East Wall and Fermoy, or the harassment of women. Other protests were held in Fermoy near Loreto Sports Hall and Dublin this evening.

It cannot be denied that anti refugee sentiment has increased in Ireland over the past weeks. Some claim this is due to the housing allocation of ‘military aged male’ international protection applicants in small communities. A local further states single male asylum seekers harassing the local women is the cause of the migrant conflict.

The Immigrant Council of Ireland believes the “protests against the arrival of applicants for asylum and international protection in places like East Wall, Dublin and Fermoy, Cork threaten to cause division within the communities,” which one can infer could not be connected to the harassment of women.

Were Irish Locals Fighting Asylum Seekers?
Courtesy of @RealMessageEire

What does it mean to harass a woman? The Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act (1997) harassment legal definition states it is an offence to harass another, without lawful authority or reasonable excuse. According to § 10 (2), a person harasses another if:

(1) They intentionally or recklessly cause serious interference with the person’s peace and privacy or cause alarm, distress or harm to that persons and,

(2) Their actions are such that a reasonable person would realise that the actions would cause such interference, alarm, distress or harm.

Some examples of harassment are persistently following, watching, and pestering women or any person. This may also include “cat-calling” and “slut shaming.”  Conall Ó Fátharta states the most common harassment in Ireland is sexual harassment. For example, a 2019 poll found 32% of women aged between 18 and 34 experienced some form of sexual harassment. As stated by Fátharta, “women are much more likely to have suffered sexual harassment, while younger age groups are more likely to have suffered either violence or harassment.”

Were Irish Locals Fighting Asylum Seekers? East Wall protesting immigration into Ireland marching on 05 December 2022
Courtesy of @DiarmaidOCon

What should one do if migrants are harassing women in Wicklow? Women who are being sexually harassed by a migrant or any person, should contact the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre. Women can call their National 24-Hour Helpline at 1 800 77 8888, at any time of day or night. The crisis centre also offers free and confidential listening and support service for anyone who has been sexually harassed or sexually assaulted. For the locals, this “is the tip of the iceberg. It will only get worse in every town and city.”

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