Tuesday, April 14, 2015

9% of Americans are Angry, Impulsive and Have Access to a Gun

CeasefireUSA: The GVP Report - April 14, 2015

In The News
Dr. Jeffrey Swanson In a new study in Behavioral Sciences and the Law  Duke University of Medical School Professor Jeffrey Swanson finds an estimated 9 percent of adults in the U.S. have a history of impulsive, angry behavior and have access to guns. Study participants who owned six or more firearms were also far more likely to carry guns outside the home.
Sarah Brady, tireless advocate for gun violence prevention, died of pneumonia at age 73.  After her husband, James Brady, President Reagan's press secretary, was shot in the head during an attempt to assassinate Reagan in 1981, Jim and Sarah Brady spent the rest of their lives advocating against gun violence.
► A bill introduced in the U.S. House by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) would provide up to $2,000 in tax credits for gun owners who voluntarily hand over assault weapons to their local police departments.
► In Denver, Chicago, Milwaukee, New Orleans and other cities, shell casings from crime scenes are loaded into the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network within days of a crime.  Matched shell casings have helped lead to at least 35 arrests in more than 50 shootings in the two years since Denver began using the technology.
► Investigative report by The Flint Journal  finds that stolen Flint police guns have been used in crimes around Michigan. In all, 17 service pistols and shotguns are officially listed as stolen, while another 22 guns are listed as lost or missing - including a sub-machine gun.
Reserve Tulsa, Oklahoma deputy who fatally shot a man thinking he was holding a stun gun when he pulled the trigger was one of 'lots of' wealthy donors in the Tulsa reserve program. Robert Bates, 73, is a local insurance company executive who has donated thousands of dollars worth of items to the Sheriff's Office since becoming a reserve deputy in 2008.
No Questions Asked Everytown for Gun Safety investigated Oregon's online gun market and found an estimated 25,000 unlicensed guns posted for sale each year and of the people seeking guns in unlicensed, online sales, 1 in 18 are barred from owning guns by state or federal law.
► Two studies find that youth injured by firearms are more likely to commit a crime with a firearm in the future.  The use of firearms is infectious, much like a virusDr. Ali Rowhani-Rahbar, University of Washington, looked at data over a 10-year period in Seattle. In the other study, Dr. Patrick Carter, University of Michigan, looked at data from Flint.
Harvard Professor David Hemenway is working on surveying a wide range of experts on guns.  Some of his preliminary results find that only 5% of these researchers think a gun in the house makes it safer64% of researchers think a gun in the house makes it more dangerous, while 32% are neutral or think it depends.

Community Support
Jane Dougherty Jane Dougherty, If my sister was armed: The reality of guns in schools. I have sat through committee hearings and listened to the gun lobby activists avow that my sister Mary, the school psychologist at Sandy Hook, should have been armed. These people have a Hollywood idea of what my sister would have been capable of that terrible Friday morning.
Firmin Debrabander, How Gun Rights Harm the Rule of LawThe well-meaning citizens who arm themselves in droves, perhaps even in public, are in that very process threatening the peace and order they seek to preserve, and claim to uphold.
► Public Radio International, Gun owners face much higher murder risks, researchers said. Then the NRA silenced them.  Back in the early 1990s, the Centers for Disease Control and the National Center for Injury Prevention provided funding for studies on gun violence. The NRA was not pleased.
Jeremy Borden, Post & Courier, Charleston, South Carolina, Lawmakers wary of domestic violence gun ban because of political risks. Rep. Chip Limehouse believes a gun ban keeping convicted batterers from having firearms is needed if the state is going to stem an epidemic of domestic violence. But he is worried voting for the bill could be used against him in a primary.
Jean BakerJean Peters Baker, Jackson County, Missouri prosecutor,Public safety threat involving Missouri firearms must be fixed. Last year I warned the legislature that it was about to approve language with potentially deadly consequences. The legislature didn't listen then, and now it's poised to make things worse.
Nathan Robinson, Accidental shootings by kids contradict many of the NRA's best talking points.  Guns cannot be both safe and ubiquitous; the inevitable consequence of widespread gun ownership is a never-ending series of tragedies involving children.
JD Supra, Pro Bono Q&A: How One Law Firm is Helping a California City Curb Gun Violence. Farella, Braun & Miartel partner Tony Schoenberg discusses his work related to defending a Sunnyvale ordinance that bans the possession of large-capacity gun magazines.
Greg Sargent, Washington Post, Why expanding background checks would, in fact, reduce gun crime. Daniel Webster, a leading expert on gun violence, director of Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, responds to questions about background checks and conservative misdirection and distortions.
Mike Weisser, Mike the Gun Guy, Kansas Joins the Crazy Carry States. We require candidates for the police academy to pass a battery of physical tests before we let them carry guns, but we seem unwilling to exercise the same degree of caution or common sense when it comes to whether John Q. Public should be allowed to go around armed.
Matt Lallo, Salon, A gun lover sees the evils of gun culture: White supremacists, Obama haters, and me. When I went to sell the pistol I once loved, I came face to face with a black hole of potential human destruction.

What the Gun Lobby is Doing
►  Five things to know about the NRA's new president Jim Porter. The Alabama lawyer is a conspiracy theorist who calls the Civil War the "War of Northern Aggression."
'Concealed Carrie,' Pink Guns, and the NRA Convention's Attempts to Appeal to Women. Women were in the minority at the NRA's annual meeting last weekend, but those who did attend were not ignored.
The Outdoor Channel's new gun documentary promises a parade of right-wing media gun myths. The new documentary on gun-free zones will feature myths including the false claim that gun-free zones encourage mass shootings.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Guns With History

CeasefireUSA: The GVP Report - March 31, 2015

In The News

Guns With History Guns With History, a new campaign from States United to Prevent Gun Violence, aims to inform people who are interested in purchasing a gun for safety of the potential risks and unpredictable outcomes. Watch the video then visit the website to find out if a gun will make your life safer.

Annual Review of Public Heath has published a special issue devoted to gun violence prevention and policy. Articles include: Evidence to Guide Gun Violence Prevention in America; The Epidemiology of Firearm Violence in the 21st Century U.S.; and A Public Health Model to Reduce Gun Violence.

Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, 2015 State Gun Law Trendwatch rounds up and analyzes the positive and negative legislative trends.

► Recent legislative victories include: Virginia Governor McAuliffee vetoed three irresponsible gun billsMontana Governor Steve Bullock vetoed two gun rights bills; West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin vetoed bill to let people carry concealed handguns without permits North Dakota Senate defeated concealed-carry of guns in schools.

National Education Association, neaToday, States Look to Throw Open School Doors to Concealed Weapons.  State lawmakers in nearly 20 states are looking at bills that would allow guns in k12 schools or on college campuses.

► A new poll from Everytown for Gun Safety finds that 88 percent of likely 2016 voters oppose legislation that would allow gun owners to carry their concealed weapons without a permit.

Violence Policy Center new website, Concealed Carry Killers. The evidence is clear that all too often, private citizens use their concealed handguns to take lives, not to save them.

► Just hours after meeting with Chicago Bulls star Joakim Noah to discuss Noah's "Rock Your Drop' anti-violence campaign, the manager of Chicago rapper Lil Durk was gunned down.  See Noah's comment on the murder here.

Community Support

Raw Tools Blacksmith Mike Martin beats "swords into plowshares." Through his organization, Raw Tools, Martin turns guns into garden tools. A recent event in Pennsylvania was attended by Penn State students and local religious organizations.

Brian McDowell, The Chanute Tribune, Kansas, Targeting a proposed new gun law.  I don't currently own any firearms and prefer to protect by estate with a baseball bat, three trained attack cats, and a generally warm relationship with local police. I have never felt that not owning a gun has ever left me at risk for anything.

Mike The Gun Guy, Want to take a public health approach to gun violence? Ask the NRA for help. Know why the NRA has been so successful selling the positive utility of guns? Because they have adopted a public health strategy for convincing the public and lawmakers that what they are saying is true.

Charles Topher, IfYouOnlyNews.com, Ammosexual answers to this question shed a true light on American 'Gun Culture' A Facebook page recently posted this question to their fans: I am a gun owner because____. Overwhelmingly the answer was "because I can."

►  Kimberly Yonkers, CNN, The firearms tragedy we forget about. Guns are a particularly effective way to commit suicide. While firearms are the means used in only 10% of suicide attempts, they are fatal more than 95% of the time.

Tampa Bay Times, Florida, Editorial, Public safety sacrificed on altar of NRA. It's been a banner session in Tallahassee for gun zealots and the NRA and a terrible one for common sense and public safety.

National Public Radio, Weekend Edition, William Electric Black tackles gun violence in 5 ambitious plays. Every day, this one shot, that 14-year-old, that 15-year-old, a young girl, basketball star, top-10 in the country just gunned down. So it's just gnawing at me, scratching at me. And I said I have to do something.

Laurie Roberts, The Republic, Phoenix, AZ, Arizona Legislature: felons deserve guns, too. The AZ Legislature is taking steps to ensure that criminals never have to undergo the indignity of a background check before they buy a gun in this state.  A bill would block voters or future Legislatures from requiring background checks.

Andrea Grimes, RH Reality Check, I made a joke about guns and a man threatened to assault me. Last weekend I made a joke about a secret gun vaporizer on Twitter and then spent three days reporting the myriad rape and death threats I received over social media.

What the Gun Lobby is Doing

In the hunt to be the 2016 GOP pick, top contenders agree on 1 thing: Guns. There are 15 noteworthy contenders for the Republican Party's presidential nomination. Together, they own at least 40 guns.

Glock lawsuit: Gun biz run like the Mob.  Gunmaker Gaston Glock allegedly hired a team to root out embezzlement - then turned on them when they found his own dirty dealings.

Fox claims that FBI report that doesn't cover mass shooting falsified mass shooting data. Fox News relied on claims from discredited gun researcher John Lott to falsely suggest that an FBI report inflated the occurrence of mass shootings, possibly for political reason. The report in question explicitly noted in its introduction, "This is not a study of mass killings or mass shootings."

Secretive group destroys candidates' chances, leaves few fingerprints. NRA-launched Law Enforcement Alliance of America targets state races and has succeeded in helping knock out 12 state-level candidates in 14 years. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

#ImUnloading Against Gun Violence

CeasefireUSA: The GVP Report - March 17, 2015

In The News

#ImUnloadingEntertainment icon Snoop Dogg and tech leader Ron Conway declare #ImUnloading against gun violence. The new PSA, from States United to Prevent Gun Violence and Campaign to Unload, is part of Unload Your 401k campaign to divest from the gun industry and asks, is your 401k invested in  guns?

► A new study in JAMA Pediatrics  analyzed suicides among people aged 10 to 24 and found that suicide rates were nearly doubled in rural areas, compared to urban areas. Gun suicides were nearly three times more common in rural areas. This may be because gun ownership is high in rural regions.

► NY Times, Blocking the Paths to Suicide. Suicide can be a very impulsive act, especially among the young. While mental health and substance abuse treatment must always be components in treating suicidality, researchers are stressing another avenue: "means restriction." More attention needs to paid to access to guns.

America has more guns in fewer hands than ever before. Data released from the General Social Survey shows that in 2014, the number of American households owning guns remained at 40-year lows. Guns were present in fewer than a third of U.S. households.

► A federal appeals court upheld Sunnyvale, CA ban on possessing ammunition magazines holding more than 10 rounds.  The court ruled that evidence indicates large-capacity magazines "results in more gunshots fired, results in more gunshot wounds per victim, and increased the lethality of gunshot injuries."

Bill Badger Bill Badger, hero during Gabby Giffords shooting, died due to complications from pneumonia. He was 78.  Badger helped subdue the gunman who shot and killed six people and wounded 13 others. After the incident, Badger and his wife embarked on a three-year journey across the country to push for stronger gun laws.

President Obama's commitment to common-sense gun regulations is as strong as ever, even though his administration is delaying a proposal to ban a type of armor-piercing ammunition.

Florida may rethink "bullets in the backyard."  In 2011, the FL Legislature, with help from the NRA, approved a law imposing fines on local governments that set their own gun laws. Law enforcement officers could also be fined $5,000.  Since that time anyone can set up a shooting range and shoot into a berm of dirt in their backyard.

A bipartisan group from the U.S. Congress introduced legislation to expand background checks on gun purchasers Republican Rep. Peter King, NY and Democratic Rep. Mike Thompson, CA, co-authored the legislation.

Community Support

Child's Requiem Composer Steven Sametz's "Child's Requiem" is a special piece of music to honor the Sandy Hook victims. Sametz also reached out to elementary school kids across the country for their stories about the impact of gun violence.

Don of All Trades, A Senseless Death.....  "The officer fought through the angry crowd and put a dying 5-year-old boy he didn't know in his car. Did he have to do that? No. Still, it didn't matter on this night. Five years shouldn't be anyone's time."

Benjamin Corey, Patheos.com,I'm Not Scared of Muslims, I'm Scared of White Guys With Guns. I'm scared of the weirdos who take their AR15s shopping with them at Walmart just to prove a point, who are advocating that anyone should be allowed to carry a concealed gun without any type of permit or training.

► Metro.us, The makers of 'The Hunting Ground' on campus sexual assault and the gun controversy. The directors discuss their latest activist documentary and say the idea that guns on campus could stop sexual assaults is "ridiculous."

Shorr photoSlate.com, All of These People Survived Being Shot. Since 2013, Kathy Shorr has photographed 51 people around the country. Most of the images were taken at the spot where the subjects were shot. Shorr hopes to turn the work into a book and traveling exhibition.

Justin Peters, Stop Calling Children's Gun Deaths "Accidental" They're the fault of criminally negligent parents and guardians - who must be prosecuted. "Accidental" implies that nobody is at fault. But you can absolutely predict tragic outcomes from irresponsible gun storage practices, and you can easily assign blame.

Francis Clines, NY Times, The Final Post-Mortem on Sandy Hook. The 277-page report  to Gov. Malloy concludes that there is "no legitimate place in the civilian population" for high-powered battlefield rifles and large-capacity ammunition magazines designed for the military.

Kasai Rex, Fear and the Gun Lobby. The common American delusion that a gun is the key to safety in an inherently unsafe world is not only fallacious; it's dangerous.

The G- WordThe Daily Show, The G- Word. Jordan Klepper travels to Florida to investigate legislation that prevents doctors from discussing gun safety with their patients.

What the Gun Lobby is Doing

The NRA's stranglehold threatens the whole world. In addition to its outsize influence on American politics, the NRA influences U.S, foreign policy as well - specifically, the implementation of international treaties. 

Gun bill would tie hands of Arizona voters.  State lawmakers are moving to deny future legislatures - and even future voters - the power to mandate background checks on the private sale of guns.

► Radio show host Alex Jones brandished an assault weapon and criticized a gun safety PSA as a "full out assault on the basic underpinnings of this country" during a recent broadcast.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Where there are more guns, more women die

CeasefireUSA: The GVP Report - March 3, 2015

In The News

Azrael interviewDr. Deborah Azrael, Harvard School of Public Health explains what decades of research can tell us about guns, women and myths of self-defense. "What we know is that if a woman is going to be killed by a firearm, she's most likely to be killed by a current or former intimate partner. What we know is where there are more guns, more women die. That's just incontrovertibly true." 

Eight health professional organizations and the American Bar Association stress that "deaths and injuries related to firearms constitute a major public heath problem in the U.S." and issue a call to action.

U.S. District Court Judge upholds California cartridge-microstamp law. The ruling stated that the California law that bans new semiautomatic handguns that don't stamp identifying information on bullet cartridges doesn't violate the Second Amendment because gun owners don't have a right to buy specific types of firearms.

In alarming ruling, Missouri's gun-friendly Constitution now allows felons to possess weapons.  A circuit court judge in St. Louis ruled that Missouri's new constitutional amendment can't prohibit a felon from possessing a gun.

Three years after Trayvon Martin's killing, his mother meets Medgar Evers' widow. Myrlie Evers-Williams and Sybrina Fulton's personal stories are separated by five decades, but these women share parallel lives.

To sell or destroy? Law enforcement agencies weigh fate of seized guns. After a confiscated gun auctioned off by the Duluth Police Department was used in a New Hope City Hall shooting, police departments are reassessing the risks of returning seized guns to the public rather than destroying them.

How Jonathan Hutson, Brady Campaign, used a Twitter account to stop a homegrown terrorist in his tracks.  After Hutson notified the authorities, 28-year-old David Lenio, who threatened to kill school children and Jews, was arrested by FBI and local Montana police.

Community Support

Voices From Within Dan Slepian, TEDxSingSing. "Voices From Within" project is a video and education initiative that uniquely addresses the epidemic of gun violence directly through the voices of inmates living with the consequences of their deadly choices.

Jeffrey Swanson and Paul Appelbaum, Angry and Armed: A Lethal Combination. A Harvard study estimates that over 10 percent of the adult population in the U.S. exhibits impulsive angry behavior and has firearms at home. A smaller proportion are angry and carry guns outside the home.

Brian Hicks, Charleston, SC Post & Courier, Stick to your guns, South Carolina - and take them away from abusers. This week the SC state Senate passed legislation to ramp up penalties for people convicted of criminal domestic violence - including taking away their guns for up to 10 years. Now we just have to hope that the state House shows as much common sense.

Gail Collins, New York Times, A Gun on Every Corner. A permit to carry a concealed weapon from Mississippi is concrete proof of the owner's ability to fill out an application. In Virginia, you can take an online course.

Mike Weisser, Mike the Gun Guy,  Why 'armor-piercing' bullets are flying off the shelves. The ATF is proposing a ban on the manufacture of certain bullets that can penetrate body armor worn by police.

Katherine DeHayes Brandy Zadrozny, Daily Beast, Florida Shooter: I Killed A Pregnant Woman. Don't Jail Me. In an exclusive interview, the man who shot and killed a pregnant woman and her unborn baby last summer says his life has been "hell" since the incident. He has considered suicide and has gotten rid of every gun he owns.

Renee Graham, Boston Globe, The Gun in the Nightstand. When I was 12 I found my father's gun. It's stunning to consider how easily I could have killed someone, shattering their loved ones, and leaving my own family in ruins. The simple fact is that an unsecured gun in a household with children is an invitation to tragedy.

Sharon Panitch, VT Digger, Gun Hearing Gives Disturbing Lesson. While at the Statehouse to testify for background checks someone in hunter orange walked by my 10-year-old daughter and her friend in their GunSense t-shirts and made the comment, "Nice shirt, girls. Hope they're bulletproof."  And I was told that I should be tried for treason.

Dr. Chana Sacks, New England Journal of Medicine, In Memory of Daniel - Reviving Research to Prevent Gun Violence.  As a hurting cousin and as a determined physician, I believe there is a path to better understanding and to reducing firearm-related violence.

Anne Skomorowsky, Columbia University Medical Center, You think your drunk college-age daughters are bad with their iPhones? Imagine them with guns. Lawmakers who argue guns in the hands of college women will prevent rape reveal their ignorance of the circumstances around college sexual assault, which typically occurs between people who know each other and is often complicated by alcohol and drugs.

What the Gun Lobby is Doing

Inside the conservative campaign to stop cops from enforcing federal gun laws. Conservative lawmakers in at least 11 states are pushing legislation that would prevent state law enforcement from enforcing some or all federal gun restrictions.

► Conceal Carry Travel USA has launched a website to allow people to search for businesses that welcome concealed carry permit holders and their loaded, hidden weapons.

National Rifle Association donations soar to $96.4 million, up 11.5%, after Newtown school massacre. According to IRS filings, in 2013 contributions and grants to the NRA increased by 11.5% and its total revenue increased by 35.8% to $348 million.