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Rebuking Call to Arms, California Teachers Choose Firearm Divestment


Society & Culture  (tags: activists, americans, california, children, culture, education, ethics, family, freedoms, politics, safety, society, Teachers )

Kit
- 681 days ago - commondreams.org
Pension group voted unanimously in response to Sandy Hook school shooting. This very large pension will no longer be investing in the manufacture of fire arms.



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Kit B. (276)
Thursday January 10, 2013, 4:13 pm
(Photo: George Frey /Getty Images)


A California teachers' pension fund voted unanimously on Wednesday to divest itself of firearms holdings, in a clear rebuke of the recent proposals to arm teachers as a means of preventing future school shootings.

Calling the Dec. 14 massacre at Sandy Hook elementary school a "tipping point" for the group, the $154 billion California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS), one of America’s largest pension funds, began the formal divestment process on the basis that ammunition clips and assault rifles "pose extreme dangers to public health and safety" and that "divestment from the makers of these products complies with the board's fiduciary duty," said Treasurer Bill Lockyear.

Investment Committee Chairman Harry Keiley called the action necessary "given the unspeakable and tragic loss of life that occurred in Connecticut last month—the latest in an ongoing line of similar incidents involving assault weapons and mass casualties."

According to the Associated Press:

CalSTRS is invested in private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management, which owns the manufacturer of an assault rifle used in last month's Connecticut school massacre. The pension fund also owns shares of Sturm, Ruger & Co. and Smith & Wesson Holding Corp., two publicly traded gun manufacturers.

The New York Times adds that

the move puts the California teachers’ fund at the forefront of a movement to reconsider whether investing in firearms is an appropriate way for states and cities to cover the retirement costs of their workers. Since the shootings, officials of other public pension funds, including those in New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts, have said they were searching their portfolios for firearms investments.
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By: Lauren McCauley, staff writer | Common Dreams |
 

Jennifer C. (169)
Thursday January 10, 2013, 4:51 pm
Thanks.
 

Tamara Noforwardsplz (185)
Thursday January 10, 2013, 5:03 pm
I think it is an excellent move on their part. Thanks Kit.
 

marie c. (168)
Thursday January 10, 2013, 5:05 pm
Noted thanks Kit
 

Pat B. (353)
Thursday January 10, 2013, 5:06 pm
Will other states follow? This is really good news. Thank you, Kit for this.
 

Kit B. (276)
Thursday January 10, 2013, 5:08 pm

I think with all the talk about teachers needing guns in the classrooms this is a reaction. Not a bad one either. When a group can do something they believe makes a positive statement than I do support that. I support teachers anyway.
 

Kit B. (276)
Thursday January 10, 2013, 5:10 pm

Pat, we know that Texas teachers don't get to make those "men-folk" decisions. TRS decides where the pension money will be invested even if their decisions have been bad to poor.
 

Jae A. (322)
Thursday January 10, 2013, 5:16 pm
I had heard this was on the table but not that it is turning into a most welcome reality ! They sure as heck get my Thumbs Up....
 

Pat B. (353)
Thursday January 10, 2013, 6:00 pm
Thanks, Kit for the TX input. I figured as much on this state. You cannot currently send a star to Kit because you have done so within the last week. Shame I can't send you more.!!
 

pam w. (191)
Thursday January 10, 2013, 6:07 pm
Quite simply....I LOVE THIS!

Thanks, Kit!
 

Betsy Bee (1047)
Thursday January 10, 2013, 6:19 pm
Great news, Kit. Thank you very much. Now, that is taking the high ground.
 

Lynn Squance (232)
Thursday January 10, 2013, 10:34 pm
"The New York Times adds that

the move puts the California teachers’ fund at the forefront of a movement to reconsider whether investing in firearms is an appropriate way for states and cities to cover the retirement costs of their workers. Since the shootings, officials of other public pension funds, including those in New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts, have said they were searching their portfolios for firearms investments."

Ethical investing --- nice to see. I wonder how well Cerebus Capital et al will weather this little storm. I'm sure that they will find another investor with no ethics.
 

Fran away F. (114)
Thursday January 10, 2013, 11:11 pm
I doubt that the NRA had anticipated the concern for ethical investing from public employees. However "well" companies like Cerebus may handle the situation, this is encouraging news.
 

Craig Pittman (46)
Friday January 11, 2013, 6:11 am
A great example for other pension funds and invetors. This is a wonderful example of the power in grass roots power in action.
Thanks very much for this Kit.
 

Arielle S. (316)
Friday January 11, 2013, 7:46 am
Hallelujah! Good to know there are folks in this country with common sense...
 

lee e. (114)
Friday January 11, 2013, 3:01 pm
It's so nice to see a state reject the teerrorist activity of an organization like the NRA -- It'sis a truly evil group and I can only hope nothing but ill will toward it!
 

Lin Penrose (92)
Friday January 11, 2013, 5:28 pm
Thanks for the good news Kit. Educators are more intelligent and ethical than some investment companies would wish for! Hope other states will, or can, follow California's example.
 

Mitchell D. (130)
Friday January 11, 2013, 5:43 pm
Hit these bastards where the money is!! I love it.
This relates to my numerous comments around Care2, about the NRA being a lobbying group for the munitions industry, and caring not a whit about citizens, or the 2nd amendment,but only about supporting the industry that funds it.
Kit, you have made my day.
 

Kit B. (276)
Friday January 11, 2013, 6:06 pm

That Mitch hits dead on. I only wish more NRA member would realize that and stop sending in money to support a group that does not support them. Though the NRA is not the only lobby group it does seem to be the loudest.

What these teachers have done sends a loud clear signal to gun manufacturers.
 

Theodore Shayne (56)
Saturday January 12, 2013, 9:55 am
Coupled with Seattle's decision to eradicate any investments in armament based industries this could start a national trend. Noted
 

Terry King (109)
Saturday January 12, 2013, 10:11 am
"Printer's ink has been running a race against gunpowder these many many years. Ink is handicapped, in a way, because you can blow up a man with gunpowder in half a second, while it may take twenty years to blow him up with a book. But the gunpowder destroys itself along with its victim, while a book can keep on exploding for centuries." "Morley"
 

Lois Jordan (56)
Wednesday January 16, 2013, 5:39 pm
Thanks for the good news, Kit. I hope to see a huge grassroots campaign to do this in other states.
 
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