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Andrew Gaeckle, Mugged and Shot Two Years Ago, Hosting Fundraiser at Grand Central Feb. 2nd

by Prince Of Petworth — January 28, 2013 at 1:30 pm 13 Comments


Dear PoPville,

My name is Andrew Gaeckle. Two years ago, Jan 29th, 2011 I was mugged and shot outside my house in NW Washington DC.

To this day I am so thankful to have made a full recovery and continue to live life to the fullest. Each year in a a celebration of life I host an annual party call “Attacking Gaeck is Wack”. A pun on my last name. Last year was a big hit with 120+ attendees. This year for 2.0 I’m hoping to have another great turn out particularly, because following Gabrielle Gifford’s launch of the American’s for Responsible Solutions PAC I was inspired to make a difference and be part of this meaningful discussion.

Though different in magnitude, Rep. Gabby Giffords and I each approach our two year anniversary (Jan 2011) and the personal experience of horrific gun violence. Gabby Giffords continues to be a tremendous inspiration in my life because of her willingness to make a difference, her joy for life and courage through unimaginable hardship.

I launched a fundraising campaign in support of Americans for Responsible Solutions. We raised $2,600+ over the past few days and over the coming weeks and months I hope to raise $12,911 representing the day I was shot 1/29/11 and to help bring awareness and leadership to these issues that call for shared responsibly:

to ensure the safety of the guns we may own
the call for action to address mental illness and assist those suffering
responsible changes to gun laws, and
the comfort compassion and love for all those who we encounter.

Attacking Gaeck is Wack 2.0 will be held at Grand Central in Adams Morgan Saturday Feb 2nd at 9pm (2447 18th St NW.) Following that event I will be working friend and colleague, and other organizations across DC like Project DC, OneRaceOnePlace (OROP) and others to reach my goal of $12,911.

  • Carlos B

    Rooting for the guy and glad to see the speedy recovery, but I don’t see how these sort of anti-NRA non-profits could in any way reduce crimes like the one perpetrated on Andrew, as the gun used to shoot him was i) not an assault weapon or otherwise on the listed of weapons bans are sought on and ii) is already illegal to carry in DC even for certifiable sane law-abiding citizens. DC has enough gun laws. Now they have to be (gasp) enforced, even if it means (gasp) doing time for gun offenses.

    • Anonymous

      Carlos, did you even read the article? “Anti-NRA” non-profits often also include support for victims of gun violence, anti-gang initiatives, a focus on increased mental health, and yes, changes to existing laws. Your view is incredibly short-sighted and perpetrates the entire myth that we are in too deep to ever change. Shame on you.

      • Carlos B

        I even took a good look at the http://action.americansforresponsiblesolutions.org/ website before posting, yes. Their agenda focuses on the following:

        Universal background checks for gun purchases.

        Limit high capacity magazines.

        Ban assault weapons.

        Enact stricter laws against gun trafficking.

        Step up Justice Department prosecutions of felons and others who attempt to purchase firearms but are not lawfully permitted to.

        Step up Justice Department prosecutions of felons and others who attempt to purchase firearms but are not lawfully permitted to.

        I am not saying that we are “in too deep to ever change,” rather that the aims of this PAC and the current gun control debate you see on TV relates closely to mass shootings but is extremely attenuated from gun crimes committed in urban areas with already-strict gun control laws on the books. DC can improve, but the actions that need to be taken are different from those that need to be taken are not the same as those in places where anyone can buy & walk around with a loaded AR-15.

        This is a reality. Sorry

    • guest

      Carlos B – well stated.

  • Anonymous

    Side comment… Was a suspect ever arrested in this case?

  • I am Andrew Gaeckle and I am a 2nd amendment supporter along with my family. We own guns and are hunters just as Gabby and Mark Giffords http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2013/01/07/gabby-giffords-mark-kelly-tucson-shooting-gun-control/1816383/ and many across this great nation. I believe in the right to protect ourselves and appreciate the NRA; however it is tragic the NRA has for too long controlled this conversation and refused to allow a reasonable discussion around gun violence and the 30,000 annual deaths or the fact that 40% of gun purchases are private citizen to private citizen transactions without background checks. The fact is guns kick people http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/12/26/guns-kill-people-in-one-chilling-graph/ over 1,318 death just since the Newtown massacre http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/crime/2012/12/gun_death_tally_every_american_gun_death_since_newtown_sandy_hook_shooting.html. Gun ownership should never be taken lightly. Whether mass shootings, mental illness, gang violence or any other means by which gun violence has challenged our society we need to find ways to address these issues, to ensure the safety of the guns we may own and the right to their ownership, to call for action to address mental illness and assist those suffering, responsible changes to gun laws and to provide comfort, compassion and love for all whom we encounter. That is why I support American’s for Responsible Solutions.

  • jo sargent-forbes (mamma)

    So glad you are well; that was a horrible time for you. Tell me a bit more what you are fundraising for; may send you a check. Jo

    • Hi Jo, thank you for your support. My goal is to raise funds to support the Americans for Responsible Solutions. A PAC established by Gabby Gifford and Mark Kelly to raise awareness and offer solutions around Gun Violence.

      I believe in the right to protect oneself; however it is tragic the NRA has for too long has controlled this conversation and refused to allow a reasonable discussion around gun violence. Regardless of how gun violence has challenged our society we need to find ways to address all these issues. We must ensure the safety of the guns we own, call for action to address mental illness and assist those suffering, and implement responsible changes to gun law.

  • Casey

    As an avid firearms enthusiast myself, I have mixed feelings about this whole gun control issue. On the one hand I understand wanting to keep my guns and not be punished for the actions of an unreasonable few, but on the other I see no practical reason for some guns. Anyone who knows me, including Andrew (we went to school together) would ever accuse me of being liberal, but I feel that Andrew is right when he says that for too long the gun lobby refuses to have a reasonable discussion about guns. While I agree, Andrew’s unfortunate incident would not have been prevented by what this group is lobbying for, I think that some change would be prudent. While the 40% number may be true or false, it is unreasonable that people can buy guns without some sort of background check regardless. I also agree that people are not prosecuted as far as they should be when trying to buy firearms illegally. Closing the gun show loophole makes sense to me. Limiting magazine capacities isn’t going to hurt anyone who uses firearms legally. If you can’t hit what you’re aiming at in 10 rounds I don’t want to live near you because you’re more likely to hit me through my window. And if you legitimately need more than 10 you should have called the police or could easily have another magazine handy. I keep a shotgun with 5 shells loaded for home defense and my wife keeps a revolver on her side. I don’t think banning semi automatic assault rifles will help anything, but then again I don’t think it would hurt things either. They are super fun to shoot, don’t get me wrong, I have two myself, but I see no practical reason for them either that couldn’t be easily made up for with a hunting rifle. Some say for defense but that goes right back to the 10 round question. On the other hand, why are we worried about something that kills so few people each year compared to say, car accidents? Perhaps you could take a class and get an assault rifle permit? If you can afford an $800 to $1,000 dollar baseline AR-15, you can afford a $50 dollar permit class. I think the biggest issue is that people get too worked up and emotional and neither side will listen to the other or do what is best for everyone, not just for themselves.

    • Anonymous

      The gun lobby is evil.
      I won’t knock your enthusiasm for guns, but the NRA has made our country worse.

  • Anonymous

    Gun violence in DC is so horrible, I wish it would end. So many youth lose their life and take life away, it almost seems like it’s now ingrained in the psyche of so many of the young people here as the cool hip thing to be. Every effort to change it is good by me.

    • Anonymous

      This makes me think of the “violence interrupters” program in Chicago (Over the weekend, I watched the documentary about them, The Interrupters, that appeared on Frontline last season.) They’re doing some really interesting work in trying to get out ahead of potential conflicts in Chicago’s neighborhoods, and mediate by encouraging young people to think through the consequences, not act violently on their anger, and not perpetuate a cycle of retaliation. (The program hires Interrupters that have turned their life around after gang involvement and/or incarceration, which helps them establish credibility and relatability with the youth they try to reach.) Granted, the rate of shootings in Chicago is still high, and no one’s pretending this is a cure-all, but they’ve had some successes, and I think the approach is unique. I wonder if something similar has been tried in DC?

  • Anonymous

    It is beautiful that you are doing this.


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