Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Trading guns for education

CeasefireUSA: The GVP Report - February 17, 2015

In The News

Guns for Opportunity Boilermakers Local 154, Pittsburgh, PA, is launching "Guns for Opportunity" program to help fight gun violence in the region. Through it, a firearm can be turned in, and in exchange, an individual will receive free training in the union's welding program. "We want to give an incentive to these young guys, to lay down their guns and give them a chance to do something else."

► A new report from the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, The Truth About Kids & Guns: 2015, finds that unsafe access to guns in the home is a leading cause of death among U.S. children and teens.  Every day, 48 children and teens are wounded or killed by gunfire.

75 percent of Texas police chiefs responding to survey oppose open carry of handguns. The survey was in response to a bill before the Texas Legislature.  90 percent of respondents said that if open carry passes, a license should be required.

Missouri gun deaths surpass vehicle deaths in 2013, part of national trend.  Motor vehicle deaths have long been the leading nonmedical cause of death across the country.  Latest federal data shows, in Missouri,  firearms proved more deadly, and by a wide margin - 880 to 781.

New concealed weapons Idaho law costs state colleges $3.7 million. With the new law that allows gun on campuses, schools are forced to enhance security. Idaho college campuses will have to pay for that with existing funds.

Number of Illinois concealed carry applicants significantly lower than projected.  There were 91,651 active applications for ccw permits in 2014, the first year ccw permits were allowed. The number is about four times lower than what was estimated.  Nationwide, only about 3% of the population has a ccw permit.

Sandy Hook 'truthers' are abusing victims of the tragedy - but one family is fighting back with a creative legal maneuver. Family members of Victoria Soto, a first-grade teacher killed in Sandy Hook, have applied to trademark her name to prevent conspiracy theorists from misusing it on social media.

Apple's App Store is now enforcing a policy requiring game developers to remove images of guns from their App Store screenshots. Multiple developers have reported that Apple rejected games if they use screenshots that show people holding guns, or being maimed or killed.

Street violence stole his smile, but Marcus Norris is getting it back. In 2006, when Marcus was 9-years-old, he was struck in the upper lip by a stray bullet that ripped through the wall of his Chicago apartment.  Now, thanks to Youth Guidance donations, he will get the dental work he needs to replace his missing teeth. "I want to just see how it feels to smile again," he said. 

Community Support

MTV NewsMTV News, This Is What Happened When I Tracked Every Act of Gun Violence in America for 31 Days. 27-year-old Brendan Brown talks about his website: 'Here are the names, here are the stories.'

Philip Gourevitch, The New Yorker,  The Chapel Hill Massacre Blues. Getting blown away by a neighbor just because he's pissed of at you for some ridiculous reason has become the equivalent of a natural disaster in our country, with our gun culture. We're being told to believe that the vigilante killing of three young Americans is socially and politically meaningless.

Times-News, Twin Falls, Idaho, Editorial, The NRA's Imperial Grip on Idaho. Lobbyists hold outmoded power in Idaho, thanks to an amateur Legislature with almost no staff. Special interests write the bills. Legislators just carry them.

New York Times Editorial, Concealed Carry's Body Count. The Violence Policy Center's gathering of just some of the hard facts of gun deaths at the hands of licensed shooters should be received as an alarming check on all the swagger about the woeful phenomenon of more citizens packing more guns.

Daniel WebsterC-Span, Book Discussion. Daniel Webster, director of Johns Hopkins University's Center for Gun Policy and Research, talks about his book, Reducing Gun Violence in America, as part of Book TV's College Series.

Jef Rouner,  Houston, Texas Press,  How my 5-year-old daughter reacted to seeing her first open carry demonstration.  I do not understand why the 2nd Amendment should mean that I have to drive my family through a militia on a Sunday afternoon in a safe neighborhood simply so a few Texans can live-action roleplay with live ammo. My kid is right. It's just stupid.

Danny Westneat, The Columbian, Vancouver, Washington, Legislature's gun ban smack of hypocrisy. If it's so obvious that guns have no place in the statehouse, how is it any less obvious in local city and county council meetings?

Kenyan McDuffie, Washington Post, I am outraged. You should be, too. Everyone should be livid when a minor is murdered, regardless of our socioeconomic status or how far we live from the tragedy. The indifference of adults to the plight of our youth only perpetuates the culture of violence.

Trinity Church David Graham, The Atlantic, Gun violence prevention's biggest advocate: the church? Trinity Church, in Manhattan, wants to turn moral authority into action, taking Walmart to task for selling weapons with high-capacity magazines.

What the Gun Lobby is Doing

► Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) has introduced the 'concealed-carry reciprocity' bill. that would create a lowest common denominator that makes the weakest state requirements for carrying a loaded, hidden gun in public the law of the land.

Open-carry activists not so open about criminal past.  There's a reason some of the loudest activists want Texas to do away with handgun licenses.  Their past crimes mean they can't get one.

The NRA's diabolical new plan for killing gun laws.  The gun lobby is targeting cities and towns with massive legal fees. Under a new Pennsylvania law, the NRA can sue PA towns and cities and expect them to pay its costs if it wins.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Guns can change the way you think

CeasefireUSA: The GVP Report - February 3, 2015

In The News

Mother Nature NetworkMother Nature Network, Guns really do change the way you think. Owning a firearm, holding one or even simply looking at a picture of one has an effect on your brain.

► Violence Policy Center, States with Weak Gun Laws and Higher Gun Ownership Lead Nation in Gun Deaths. Analysis of 2013 data finds Alaska and Louisiana have the highest gun death rates in the nation, while Hawaii and Massachusetts have the lowest.

The gun that was used to wound two New Hope, Minnesota police officers had been auctioned off by the Duluth Police Department. The gun had been confiscated by the Duluth Police, then sent to an online auction site where it was bought by a straw buyer for the shooter.

No NotorietyParents of Aurora shooting victims ask media outlets to stop using the name of mass shooters. "The quest for notoriety and infamy is a known, motivating factor for people that want to commit mass killings or copycats. All we're asking is after the initial identification of a mass killer refer to them as the 'shooter' or 'defendant.' It's not that difficult."

► AlJazeera America, Guns in Schools: Psychologists say defense measures could traumatize kids. Schools are still the safest place for children. Metal detectors and security guards have been shown to increase students' fear of crime and cause them to feel less safe at school. This report is part of a seven-part series examining the issues surrounding school shootings.

Missouri and Kansas lawmakers propose anti-gun violence bills. In a rare show of bi-state and bi-partisan unity Rep. Stacey Newman, a Democrat from MO and Rep. Barbara Bollier, a Republican from KS, will present legislation to focus on domestic crimes and gun violence prevention.

gun range in yard St. Petersburg, Florida man builds gun range in yard, neighbors outraged.  21-year-old Joseph Carannate told reporters "I don't want to have to go to a gun range, when I can just go outside my door." Police say the range is not against the law despite being in the middle of a residential neighborhood. 

Virginia state Senate panel advances gun violence prevention bill. Two days after rejecting a bill that would prohibit gun possession for anyone convicted of stalking, assault and battery or sexual battery, a Senate committee reconsidered and approved an amended version of the bill.

TSA seized a record 2,212 firearms from carry-on luggage in 2014.  83% of the guns were loaded. Guns included an assault rifle with two loaded magazines discovered at DFW and a 94-year-old man with a loaded .38 caliber revolver clipped to his belt at LGA.

Community Support

3 1/2 minutesDemocracy Now,  Black Lives Matter: New Film on Jordan Davis Captures Family's Struggle to Convict White Vigilante. Amy Goodman talks with Jordan Davis' parents and discusses the new film "3 1/2 Minutes."

► Daily Kos, Rep. Robin Kelly introduces H.R. 224 and the NRA doesn't like it one bit The bill would require the U.S. Surgeon General to submit to Congress an annual report on the effects of gun violence on public health and the status of actions taken to address such effects. 

► Melissa Harris-Perry Show, Do open carry laws make people less safe? Panelists discuss a Florida case involving an African American man who was tackled to the ground for carrying a gun even though he had a permit and whether open carry laws make people more or less safe.

► Vox.com, 10 Things I Wish People Understood About Suicide. Suicide is often impulsive. If the impulse is thwarted, and the person survives, they overwhelmingly report being glad they lived. Physical and conceptual barriers to suicide have been shown to work.

► Sputniknews.com, Hip-Hop organization wants Google to stop showing gun ads on rap videos. The Hip-Hop Chess Federation wants Google, YouTube and U.S. Concealed Carry Association to stop ads for guns and gun paraphernalia to selections frequented by teens in general and minority youth specifically. "There must be higher standards of ethics."

► Slate.com, The Myth of the Good Guy With A Gun. The NRA is wrong: Owning a gun is far more likely to harm you than protect you. The evidence overwhelmingly shows that guns leave everybody less safe, including their owners. 

► McGill International Review, Who Do You Protect?: Police Brutality and Gun Control. There should be a clear separation of labor: those who fight crime and those who create a safe environment. Leave the gun slinging to those who are specially trained for it while the regular police make sure everything else is under control.

► Greeley, Colorado Tribune,Arming school staff is a dangerous answer to a serious problem.  It is not worth the risk of increasing the odds of someone getting shot at Frontier Academy for the unlikely chance a staff member could stop a crazy person brandishing a gun.

OrtizTime.com, Go Inside the Lives of Families Affected by Gun Violence. Carlos Javier Ortiz spent eight years documenting the effects of gun violence on communities in Chicago and Philadelphia. His work appears in his newest book, We All We Got. The Bronx Documentary Center will show Ortiz's work until March 22, 2015.

What the Gun Lobby is Doing

►  Bill would allow Texas teachers to kill students. A Texas state rep has introduced a bill that authorizes instructors to use deadly force in defense of the educator's person or in defense of students. Teachers would also have the right to use deadly force in defense of school property.

►  A new Alaska Republican wants gun control for EPA agents. The senator wants to ban police officers who work for the Environmental Protection Agency from carrying firearms in an effort to start "to limit the federal government in terms of some of its power and authority, but also in terms of oversight."

Proposed firearm bills in Nevada would do away with the need for a permit in order to carry a concealed weapon, allow guns on college campuses, and do away with the current requirement that Las Vegas residents register their handguns.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Precious Lives

CeasefireUSA: The GVP Report - January 20, 2015

In The News

Precious LivesPrecious Lives is a two-year project about young people and gun violence in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area.  371 Productions will produce 100 weekly public radio reports. Each story ends with a clear way that listeners can get involved or find help. Community partners include Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort.  Listen to the first story: How do you measure the loss of a five-year-old girl?

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder vetoed a bill that could have given concealed weapons permits to persons subject to restraining orders in stalking or domestic abuse cases.

ShotSpotter technology helps to combat gun violence in Springfield, MA. Total crime was down 19 percent last year and incidents of gunfire logged by acoustic sensors are down by 50 percent. ShotSpotter said gunfire incidents declined by more than 20 percent in the 31 U.S. communities that use the technology.

To reduce gun violence, know thy neighbor.Yale University researchers found that the more closely knit people reported their neighborhood to be, the less exposure to violence they had.

U.S. House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force announces vice-chairs in 114th Congress.  Task force chair Congressman Mike Thompson (D-CA) announces 11 vice chairs. Thompson said they "have a wide range of expertise and will bring unique ides to the table as we work to reduce and prevent gun violence."

► If the trend continues, deaths by guns will overtake deaths caused by cars in America this year. The Center for American Progress looking at data from the Center for Disease Control first spotted this trend. Bloomberg Government also compiled data, concluding that guns will be deadlier than cars for all age groups.

Terrorism the media overlooks. The media reports on terrorist plots in the Middle East and radical Islamists but often steers clear of white, homegrown, Christian-based anti-government radicals in the U.S.  A recent plot to blow up a police station in Atlanta, GA was virtually un-covered by the mainstream media.

Why the CDC still isn't researching gun violence, despite the ban being lifted two years ago. President Obama requested $10 million for the CDC's gun violence research in his last two budgets. But the Republican-controlled House has continued to block the funding.

Community Support

Troy PrestonDan Rodricks, Baltimore Sun, How did accused parking-space killer get guns? Troy Preston was shot to death over a parking spot while his 4-year-old son watched. Where did the accused killer, a convicted felon get the guns? If he bought his guns and ammunition, then the sellers should be held criminally liable.

Evan DeFilippis and Devin Hughes, The Myth Behind Defensive Gun Ownership. Despite having nearly no academic support in public health literature, the myth that millions of gun owners successfully use their firearms to defend themselves and their families from criminals is the single largest motivation behind gun ownership.

Todd Frankel, Washington Post, The study that gun-rights activists keep citing but completely misunderstand. The National Academies' Institute of Medicine and National Research Council's study clearly makes the case for why more gun-violence research is needed. But gun-rights supporters zero in on just a few statements and ignore the overall point that injuries and deaths involving firearms are a pressing public health problem.

Jennifer O'Connell, Irish Times, Worried about gun violence? Have a lollipop. There are many things I love about living in the US, but my children having to do a drill "in case a crazy person ever breaks into our school" isn't one of them.

Victoria Lewis, The Oregonian, Kids should talk about guns in school. Kids don't need another lecture from adults. They need to hear what their peers think, the ones who hate guns, the ones who love them and the ones who haven't decided.

► Editorial, Daily Times, Primos, PA, Act 192 is Pa.'s shameful gift to gun lobby.  The new law allows gun advocates to sue PA cities that enact their own gun control ordinances. They don't even have to show they have been harmed by the ordinances. Last Wednesday, the NRA did not waste any time exploiting the outrageous law and filed suit against Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Lancaster.

Debbie Smith, Nevada state senator, Nevada needs expanded gun checks. Last June a Las Vegas shooting left three people dead. One of the shooters used Facebook to buy a rifle despite having numerous felony convictions. Closing the background check loophole would help keep felons like him from getting guns.

Dan Simpson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Whitewashing the gun lobby. The NRA is not about protecting the Second Amendment, it's about selling guns. The PBS "Frontline" piece "Gunned Down" was inadequate, to the point of raising my suspicions that it was involved in a whitewashing of the NRA.

Lynda Waddington, The Gazette, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Why your gun makes me nervous.  I am angered by lawmakers and gun advocates who preach blind trust in the same breath as they extol the dangers of society as their reason for needing to carry a weapon in a bookstore.

What the Gun Lobby is Doing

► A group of gun enthusiasts took weapons into the Washington state House gallery to protest a new voter-approved gun background-check law. In response, Lt. Gov. Owen announced the public will no longer be able to openly carry guns in the chambers. He said it didn't make sense to allow people to openly carry firearms while banning backpacks, signs and umbrellas.

► A Texas gun rights group reenacted the Paris massacre with "armed civilians" and everyone still died. The only time the "armed civilian" survived was when the volunteer playing him ran away.

► A proposed South Carolina bill would require all public school students to take an NRA-approved gun rights course "for at least three consecutive weeks during one grading period in each academic year."

► Attorneys general from 26 states filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court over a San Francisco ordinance requiring locked storage for handguns, arguing it threatens the Second Amendment right to bear arms. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals earlier declared the burden of storage was small in the face of ample evidence that storing handguns in a locked container reduces the risk of deaths.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Success stories you might not have heard

CeasefireUSA: The GVP Report - January 6, 2015

In The News

Success stories MSNBC looks at gun violence prevention success stories you haven't heard. Stories include: confirmation of Dr. Vivek Murthy as U.S. surgeon general, $73 million to improve the NICS background check system and a variety of state legislation that strengthens gun laws.

10 Newtown families sue Bushmaster, gun distributor and seller for wrongful death. The lawsuit reads, "In order to continue profiting from the sale of AR-15s, defendants chose to disregard the unreasonable risks the rifle posed outside of specialized, highly regulated institutions like the armed forces and law enforcement. Plaintiffs seek nothing more and nothing less than accountability for the consequences of that choice."

2014 saw a continued decline in murders in America's big cities even as the number of shootings were on the rise. In the 10 cities with the highest number of murders, 6 saw a significant drop in the murder rate while 2 showed significant increases.

► The number of law enforcement officers killed by firearms in the U.S. in 2014 jumped by 56 percent compared to 2013.  This included 15 ambush assaults. The states with the most officer deaths were California, Texas and New York.

► A new study in JAMA Psychiatry by Joseph Simonetti et al, finds that U.S. teens report easy access to firearms, even when they have mental health problems that put them at an increased risk of suicide. The study notes that firearms are the second most common means of suicide among adolescents and calls for strategies to decrease firearm access in this age group.

► A new study in American Journal of Public Health, Mental Illness, Mass Shootings, and the Politics of American Firearms, by Jonathan Metzl and Kenneth MacLeish, reviews some central assumptions that frequently arise in the aftermath of mass shootings.

ChartMother Jones puts Garen Wintemute's new study, The Epidemiology of Firearm Violence in the Twenty-First Century U.S., into handy charts and Q&A format to answer such questions as: which kills more Americans, guns or cars?; and  at what age do gun suicides and gun homicides kill the most people? 

► Media Matters discusses what the media isn't saying about support for stronger gun laws in articles hyping a controversial polling question in the recent Pew Research Center gun rights survey.

► People Magazine, Shot by a middle school classmate, Kendal Sanders rebuilds her life - and forgives.  Last January, Kendal, then 13, was shot by a 12-year-old classmate at school in New Mexico.  "He did something that's going to continuously, for the rest of my life, challenge me," she says. "And after he gets out, he's done. But I'm never going to be completely normal, like everyone else."

Community Support

NewtownAdam Gopnik, The New Yorker, The Newtown Lawsuit and the Moral Work of Gun Control. The filed complaint is worth reading in full, not only because of the unbelievable suffering and cruelty it details on that terrible morning but also because it offers an indisputable argument: the gun manufacturer is guilty of having sold a weapon whose only purpose was killing a lot of people in a very short time.

Times-News, Twin Falls, Idaho, editorial: Guns, Deaths and the NRA.  It's time for a real conversation about guns in America, one that's been silenced for too long. Guns are dangerous, even if the gun industry's primary mouthpiece refuses to admit it.

William Parkinson, The Sentinel, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, Concealed-Carry's Tragic Toll. When all this concealed-carry nuttiness reaches its end, when otherwise intelligent people discover they've been hoodwinked by the firearms industry, maybe, just then, we all can breathe a touch easier.

FreakOutNation, The NRA's Most Insane Moments of 2014. Yes, We Shortened the Very Long List. When the whole "let's give Santa a bowl full of bullets for Christmas" debacle happened, it was just one of many slippery slopes the NRA fell down in 2014.

Mike the Gun Guy, Want To Get Shot With Your Own Gun? Carry It Concealed. There is not a single, credible study which validates the idea that using a gun to defend yourself against a criminal attack is any better than other ways, such as running away, or calling the cops.

Mike Kelly, North Jersey Record, Access to guns again is focus in tragedy's aftermath. There are many disturbing threads to be examined in the story of the assassination-style murders of NY police officers Ramos and Liu. But the story of how Brinsley managed to obtain a handgun could turn out to be the least surprising.

Eleanor Bader, Truthout, Book Review, The Last Gun: How Changes in the Gun Industry are Killing Americans and What It Will Take to Stop It, by Tom Diaz.

USA Today editorial, Amid Court Secrecy, Guns Continued to Kill. Remington finally proposes settling nationwide class action suits by installing new triggers in some rifles.

Sabrina Siddiqui, How the NRA Lost Its Battle To Defeat Vivek Murthy as Obama's Surgeon General. In a final appeal to their colleagues, Senators Blumenthal and Murphy asked what about Murthy's statements on gun violence was inaccurate. "Dr. Murthy is right. Gun Violence is a problem that this country should be addressing," Murphy said.

Michael A. Cohen, The Boston Globe, Three Ways to Increase Gun Safety in the Home. Every day there resides among Americans a clear and present danger - millions of guns, many purchased for home protection that are having the exact opposite effect.

What the Gun Lobby is Doing

► Frontline: Gunned Down: The Power of the NRA, explores the NRA's history, political evolution and influence. 

Texas Gun Slingers Police the Police. In Arlington, Texas, armed open-carry activists are challenging cops as they do their jobs, in escalating confrontations.

'Machine Gun America' Theme Park Opens in Orlando. Kids as young as 13 can shoot high-powered automatic machine guns at the attraction which unashamedly romanticizes violence.