Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Large Majority of Americans Support Stronger Gun Laws

CeasefireUSA: The GVP Report - June 9, 2015

In The News

Colleen Barry, PhD New research published in American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Two years after Newtown - Public opinion on gun policy revisited, by Colleen Barry, PhD, MPP, et al, finds that a large majority of Americans - including gun owners - continue to support strengthening gun laws. 85 percent of gun owners and 83 percent of non-owners support universal background checks.

U.S. Supreme Court rejects NRA challenge to San Francisco gun laws. The court let stand rulings in favor of a city measure that requires handgun owners to secure weapons in their homes and an ordinance that bans the sale of hollow-point bullets.

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley signed into law a bill that strengthens penalties for domestic abusers and sets new restrictions on gun possession for domestic violence offenders, including a lifetime gun ban for the most severe crimes.

Michigan judge backs Grand Rapids police in open-carry lawsuit. The judge ruled that the police officer acted lawfully when he stopped a man openly carrying a holstered firearm and that the Plaintiff's behavior was "consistent with tactical preparedness for unlawful purposes."

► A new study in Preventive Medicine, Alcohol misuse, firearm violence perpetration, and public policy in the U.S., Garen Wintemute, MD, finds that restricting access to firearms for people who misuse alcohol could prevent firearm violence.

Fatal police shootings in 2015 approaching 400 nationwide. About half the victims were white, half minority. Among unarmed victims, two-thirds were black or Hispanic. Overall, blacks were killed at three tie the rate of whites or other minorities.

Self-defense or illegal homicide? Is Stand Your Ground/Shoot First evolving? Verdict by verdict, cases are educating US gun owners on the limits of the law and clarifying that the laws rarely protect people who willingly put themselves into potentially dangerous situations, and then open fire.

► President Barack Obama, Senator Elizabeth Warren and actress Julianne Moore were some of the ten of thousands of people who were #WearingOrange on National Gun Violence Awareness Day.

► Miami New Times, Eight Months After Mass Shooting at the Spot Nightclub, Liberty City Grapples With Fallout. The Sept. 27, 2014 violence was the largest mass shooting in Miami in decades. More than eight months later, many questions remain.


Recently, the House of Representatives approved their version of the Commerce Justice, and Science Appropriations Act for 2016. The bill contains a number of dangerous "gun riders." The bill now heads to the Senate.  Please, take a moment and call your member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and ask them to NOT include these bad gun riders in the Senate CJS Appropriations bill.

Community Support

HBO HBO Documentary Film, Requiem for the Dead: American Spring 2014, premiering June 22nd, tells the story of those who have been killed by gunfire, whether by homicide, unintentional or suicide. Stories are told with images from social media, frantic 911 calls, police reports and videos.

David McGrath, op-ed, Chicago Tribune, NRA version of 2nd Amendment lacks common sense. Ask any high school English teacher to parse the Second Amendment, and they will say that it does not prohibit common-sense restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns, in spite of the NRA's claim to the contrary.

Danica Davidson, MTV News, 15 Facts About Gun Violence.  #15 - Each day, approximately 32 people are killed by another person through gun violence, 51 commit suicide with a gun, and 45 people are shot accidentally, which sometimes results in death.

Dylan Matthews, Vox, Most gun deaths are suicides not homicides. That's a strong case for stronger gun policies. Suicide is the terminal stage of a disease. It's a preventable death that we can, and should, prevent. And gun control is a necessary tool for doing that.

Michael Sierra-Arevalo, op-ed, Hartford Courant, The Shooting Disease: Who You Know, Where You Live. "Crazy" is a word used to describe the violence and death toll from guns. But it's not random. As any police officer will tell you, gun violence happens in the same places, year after year.

Kaeley McEvoy, Sojourners,Intimate Partner Violence and Guns: A Deadly Combination. The cycle of women shot by their intimate partner is an epidemic that needs to be stopped. Guns are used in fatal intimate partner violence more than any other weapon.

John Boyle, Asheville, North Carolina Citizen-Times, What it's like to carry a loaded gun.  Be sure you're mentally able and willing to kill someone. I'm not joking - that's what this is about.

Matt Valentine, op-ed, Politico Magazine, Texas Just Made College Less Safe.  University leaders have thought guns on campus are a bad idea since 1824. So why do states keep allowing it? The fact is, you are less likely to be murdered on a school campus than in the general population.

Joseph Huff-Hannon, Rolling Stone, Toddlers Are Shooting Each Other: We Don't Need Guns in Schools. I've been tracking shootings involving toddlers for research for my satirical play, Bullets Over Preschool. The title was inspired by the story of a 4-year-old who shot up a daycare center with a 9mm he found in his father's truck.

Claire McCarthy M.D, Boston Children's Hospital, Why Don't We Treat Gun Safety Like Car Safety?When we talk about motor vehicle safety laws we don't argue about car rights. We would think it was absurd if someone said it was their right to drive faster than the speed limit. We get that cars are dangerous. But somehow gun safety discussions end up being about rights - instead of safety.

What the Gun Lobby is Doing

Republicans aim to use the DOJ funding bill to push gun riders.  House Republicans have attached several gun riders to the DOJ appropriations bill in an effort to block a number of gun regulations from the Obama administration.

► Louisiana's state legislature decided to eliminate a tax holiday for hurricane equipment and school supplies, but keep one for guns and other hunting tools.

Man with rifle scares at airport: How important is civility to open-carry? Now that some states have decided that residents can carry weapons even at the airport, Americans have watched a steady stream of primarily white males testing the boundaries of what is acceptable when it comes to guns in public places.

► Larry Pratt, head of Gun Owners of America, argued that "the Second Amendment was designed for people just like the president and his administration" and added that if the present government wants "to go tyrannical on us, we got something for 'em."

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

.13 Seconds - Faster than the blink of an eye

CeasefireUSA: The GVP Report - May 26, 2015

In The News

.13 Seconds The Atlanta Journal-Constitution special report, .13 Seconds. Faster than the blink of an eye, a stray bullet fired in celebration crossed a Lilburn street and turned a holiday into a tragic night. Since that moment, in Georgia, you have been more likely to die in a shooting than a car crash.

Gun deaths up in Georgia, 44 other states. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution analysis of data finds that only D.C. and four states reported fewer gun deaths in 2013 than in 2003. Nationwide, gun deaths rose by 12 percent over the last decade.

► A new study in Behavioral Sciences and the Law, Gun Violence Restraining Orders: Alternative or Adjunct to Mental Health-Based Restrictions on Firearms? by Shannon Frattaroli et al, finds that the gun violence restraining order is a new tool for preventing gun violence and a promising strategy for reducing firearm homicide and suicide.

► Center for American Progress new report The Bureau and the Bureau. A review of the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and a proposal to merge it with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Rachel Maddow Outrage Rachel Maddow shares a story that pushes her outrage-o-meter into the red zone. A Colorado law requires the family of an Aurora mass-shooting victim to pay $220,000 in legal fees to the ammunition maker they tried to sue.

What background checks data reveals about gun purchases in America, Governing magazine. Most states ran fewer firearm background checks last year, but that's only part of the story.

7 in 10 schools now have shooting drills, needlessly traumatizing huge numbers of children. Schools are now treating mass shootings like tornadoes and earthquakes - disasters beyond their control that students must be prepared for at all costs.

St. Louis, Missouri, top prosecutor launches gun violence prevention campaign website. StLouisGunCrime.comprovides data on gun crimes and court cases and access to resources.

Cerbeus, unable to sell assault rifle manufacturer Remington Outdoor, will let investors cash out. The California State Teachers' Retirement System has long called for the sale of the gun maker.  The investment firm will take Remington out of its main private equity funds and put it into a separate financial entity.

► Reveal, the Center for Investigative Reporting, Gun shows highlight states' differing laws on firearms, compares gun shows in California and Nevada to see how state laws impact the events.

Community Support

Guns in bathrooms A new Tumblr page, Guns Left in Bathrooms, chronicles examples of guns forgotten by their owners and guns shot in public restrooms across the country.

Jason Prystowsky, MD, 'Sometimes You Hear the Bullet'; In the ER the Night of the Isla Vista Shooting. I am an emergency physician with Cottage Hospital and a professor at UCSB. I had the burden and the privilege of working in the emergency room the evening of May 23, 2014.

Jennifer Carlson, LA Times, op-ed, Why Men Feel the Need to Carry Guns. Sociologists now want to understand why some Americans not just own but also carry guns.

John Traphagan, Dallas Morning News, When will we examine our heavily armed culture? As a whole, Americans do not seem to be able to handle gun ownership in a way that permits maintenance of a civil society.

Errol Louis, CNN Political Commentator, In Waco carnage, a message to America. Is American culture now so drenched in weapons - and so wearily accustomed to violence - that a bloody massacre barely registers as news?

The Guardian, Trigger warning: 10 shocking truths about gun violence.  #10 - The US is the only country that relaxes gun laws after a massacre.

Mike Weisser, Mike the Gun Guy, When the Ad Council starts talking about gun safety, everybody listens. The Ad Council is running gun-safety messages on television and radio stations around the country, funded by a million dollar grant from the Department of Justice.

Professor Daniel Webster, Johns Hopkins University, The News & Observer Op-Ed, Making it easier for criminals to get guns in North Carolina. Research indicates that proposed changes in NC law would lead to more violence crime. If you want to know what happens when a state repeals a law requiring background checks for all handgun sales, you can look to the state of Missouri.

Firmin Debrabander, Salon, The NRA's sinister project: Turn America into a "shoot first" society. The gun rights movement warns of a society riddled with pervasive threats - increasingly, they come from police officers, or their absence, or their recklessness. And the NRA gets its way: more guns on our streets.

What the Gun Lobby is Doing

► Florida Governor Scott signed into law an NRA backed bill that allows people to carry a gun without a concealed weapons permit during a declared state of emergency.

NRA opposition affectively squashed a provision in a Louisiana bill that would expand the definition of domestic abuse victims.  The provision would have allowed those accused of abusing "dating partners" to be charged with domestic abuse and prevented them from owning a firearm.

► NRA debuts 2016 conspiracy: Hillary Clinton is coming for your guns. An article in the NRA's magazine claims Clinton "wants control over every aspect of your right to keep and bear arms - so she can deny it at will."

Sturm, Ruger & Co firearms has promised to donate $2 to the NRA for each gun sold.  This doubles the amount it pledged to the organization following the 2012 election.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Good News from the States

CeasefireUSA: The GVP Report - May 12, 2015

In The News

Brown signs bill Progress is being made from coast to coast. In a landmark victory, Oregon Governor Brown just signed a bill to expand background checks to nearly all gun sales. In Vermont, Gov. Shumlin signed a bill that would ban gun possession for people convicted of certain serious crimes.   In Washington, Governor Inslee signed a bill to allow families to request notification when police return guns to loved ones. Also in Washington, a federal judge threw out a lawsuit challengingparts of the state's new expanded background check law.

► A new study in Preventive Medicine by Harvard Professor David Hemenway and UVM Professor Sara Solnick, The Epidemiology of Self-Defense Gun Use, looks at data from the National Crime Victimization Surveys and concludes there is little evidence that using a gun is uniquely beneficial in reducing the likelihood of injury or property loss.

► A new study in the American Journal of Public Health by University of Southern Mississippi Professor Michael Anestis et al, The Association Between State Laws Regulating Handgun Ownership and Statewide Suicide Rates, finds that states with strong handgun laws exhibit lower overall suicide rates and suicide by firearms rates and a smaller proportion of suicides in such states result from guns.

International media focuses on Aurora theater shooting trial. The interest of foreign media is exceptional, highlighting a particular aspect of the case: to some it appears an all-American atrocity, part of the American "gun disease."

► guns in bathroomsA member of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's security detail and a member of Speaker John Boehner's security detail both left loaded firearms in bathrooms on Capitol Hill. An 8-year-old visiting the Capitol with his parents found one gun in the bathroom of the Speaker's suite.

►Four police officers have been shot and killed in the line of duty in May. 25-year-old Brian Moore of the New York City Police Department was shot in the face while on patrol in Queens.  43-year-old Sgt. Greg Moore of the Coeur d'Alene, Idaho Police Department was shot when he stopped to check on a man walking down a dark street.  25-year-old Officer Liquori Tate and 34-year-old Officer Benjamin Deen of the Hattiesburg, Mississippi Police Department were shot during a traffic stop.

Community Support

Million Mom MarchStacey Newman, Missouri State Representative, Celebrating Mother's Day and the 15th Million Mom March. I'll always remember the masses of people covering the Capitol mall for endless blocks. And today I keep working to motivate voters to use their power on election day and insist that their elected officials not be bought by the gun lobby.

Mary Plouffe, Maine Voices, Portland Press Herald, Concealed Guns Conceal Emotions. In a simple research study in a college campus lab, subjects expose to a gun showed increased testosterone and increased their aggressiveness response to three times the non-gun exposure group. Is that reactivity what we want in our streets and our restaurants and our businesses?

Robert Spitzer, New York Times, Stand Your Ground Makes No Sense.The result of ten years of Stand Your Ground/Shoot First laws, according to the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, is hamstrung investigations and legal protections greater than those afforded to police officers. Not only have these laws failed to increase public safety, they have also turned the clock back to the mythologized mayhem of the Wild West.

Jorge Rivas, Fusion, Trayvon Martin's mother: 'Collectively we have a problem'  "Prior to this happening to my son I didn't know anything about 'stand your ground,' and I think people are more aware of these types of laws and racial profiling and the disparities we have here in the United States."

Sidney Burris, GunSense, No, Johnny, Gandhi wouldn't have supported the American gun lobby. Maybe you've seen the quote that misrepresents Gandhi's position on guns, and does so intentionally. But in truth, Gandhi felt that armed resistance was one step above outright cowardice, and nothing more.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch Editorial, Too many guns, too many killings, too many excuses. Leaders in St. Louis and Kansas City looked at strategies to combat violent crime. Kansas City tried something different and got good results. St. Louis chose to "do what we've always done." Everything hasn't worked out.

Joel McNally, Express Milwaukee, The Republican Failure on Gun Violence. After the tragic shooting at Newtown, Republicans all over this country proved once and for all just how pro-life they truly were. Which was not at all.

Dave Perry, Aurora Sentinel, Aurora theater shooting trial fires holes right through reckless gun rights arguments. Watch the gut-wrenching testimony from victims of the shooting and tell me again how Holmes could have unleashed this kind of terror with a switch blade or a chain saw.

Radio Diaries, From Bullets to Balance Sheets. As a teenager, Kamari Ridgle was a drug dealer and a drive-by shooter until a near-death experience led him to his true love ... accounting.

What the Gun Lobby is Doing

New NRA Conspiracy Theory Claims Obama Will Ban All Ammo. Wayne LaPierre claims that President Obama will move to ban sales of all firearm ammunition before he leaves office, thus making "the very real nightmare of every single gun owner in this county" a reality.

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signs a bill that "prohibits the use of any public funds, personnel, or property to enforce any federal law or regulation that regulates the ownership, use, or possession of firearms, ammunition, or firearms accessories."

Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed into law an unprecedented statute to dismiss a third party lawsuit against gun manufacturers and retailers. Some wonder if the new law violates due process rights.

Knives are the new guns in lawmakers' Second Amendment expansion. Legislatures that relaxed gun laws after the gun lobby's decades-long push are now loosening restrictions on switchblades, dirks, daggers and poignards.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

What does gun violence really cost?

CeasefireUSA: The GVP Report - April 28, 2015

In The News

Cost of gun violence Mother Jones investigative report asks What Does Gun Violence Really Cost?  How much care would the survivors of gun violence and the victims' families need? What are the effects on the broader community and how far out would those costs ripple? Take a look at the documented stories of eight survivors and some of the prices paid. Then look to see who pays the most for America's $229 billion a year in gun carnage and find out how much money does gun violence cost in your state?

Families steel themselves for the trial of the Aurora theater killer in Colorado. The trial is expected to be one of the longest and most emotionally wrenching criminal trials in a state touched by mass shootings. Some victims' family members have vowed to stay away, others are planning to be at the courthouse as much as they can bear.

U.S. appeals court upholds Highland Park, Illinois' assault weapons ban. The 2-to-1 decision concluded the 2013 ban does not violate the Second Amendment, saying municipalities ought to have leeway in decided how to regulate firearms.

Oregon teacher terrified by surprise "active shooter" drill in schoolhouse files federal lawsuit. The elementary school teacher was sitting at her desk when a man dressed in a black hoodie and goggles burst through the door, leveled a pistol at her face and pulled the trigger.

Insurance risks of guns on campuses not addressed by lawmakers. Legislators in Nevada and elsewhere do not consider providing funding to state universities if insurance costs rise after approval of legislation allowing guns on campuses.

Police in New York state learn new strategy to reduce gun violence. Studies show most shootings in cities involve only about 1 percent of the young men in a city's most dangerous neighborhoods.  The new strategy deals directly with that 1 percent.

When a gun is not a gun. An analysis of shootings by Philadelphia police officers found fifteen percent of those shot were unarmed and in half of these cases, an officer reportedly misidentified a "nonthreatening object or movement" as a weapon.  Some of this could be due to a psychological phenomenon called "affective realism": the tendency of your feelings to influence what you see.

Community Support

U Fine?Sienna Burnett, performs at 2015 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational.  "U Fine?" is a powerful commentary on guns and shootings in our nation and a mother's concern for her daughter's safety.

► Amanda Gailey, New Republic, Why Americans Don't Treat Fatal Gun Negligence as a Crime. Every year many gun owners unintentionally cause death and injury yet face no legal consequences. In criminal and civil courts, the legal system often fails to hold negligent gun owners accountable for such harm.

David Hemenway, Harvard University, There's Scientific Consensus on Guns -- and the NRA Won't Like It. Can reporters please stop pretending that scientists, like politicians, are evenly divided on guns? We're not.  Researchers agree guns make our society more dangerous.

Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, launches a yearlong initiative, Confronting the Public Health Implications of Gun Violence.  The program will explore what we know, what we need to know and what to do.

► Tim Johnson, Media Matters, Will the Media Report on the NRA's Second Consecutive High-Profile Nomination Defeat?  The failure of the NRA to stop the confirmation of two Obama nominees - Surgeon General Vivek Murthy and U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch - offers evidence that the NRA does not always get its way in Congress.

After the Shooting After the Shooting - students, journalists and members of the Chapel Hill, North Carolina  community respond to the murders of three Muslim students.  The interactive website aims to elevate the conversation and look deeply at the factors contributing to this shooting.

Joel Kendrick, Flaglerlive,Responsible Gun Owner? Then Break-up with the NRA and Its Irresponsible Distortions. The NRA skews facts on self-defense and leans on its allies in Congress to gag gun violence research. It's essentially made ignorance the basis for garnering support from its members.

► Bridget Kuehn, Journal of the American Medical Association, Battle Over Florida Legislation Casts a Chill Over Gun Inquiries. Physicians have cause for concern about guns in patients' homes. Yet  the ability of Florida doctors to continue routine inquiries about guns in the home without the fear of being reported to the state medical board now rests in the hands of the US Court of Appeals.

Cliff Schecter, The Daily Beast, NRA Makes a Gun Cartoon for the Kids. The NRA wants you to think of the children - after marketing guns to them.

Morning Edition, National Public Radio, The Day One Man Decided to Give Up His Gun. "I knew that my anger was so bad, if I don't control this thing, I'm going to hurt somebody or somebody's going to hurt me."

What the Gun Lobby is Doing

► Yahoo News investigation - The NRA's Brazen Shell Game with Donations. Thousands of transactions almost certainly violated multiple provisions of the Federal Election Campaign Act and a legion of state and federal anti-fraud statutes. 

Misleading Breitbart.com campaign baselessly links country star Tim McGraw with gun confiscation.  The musician has come under attack over his planned performance at a benefit concert for Sandy Hook Promise.

► Gun advocates in Oregon filed petitions to recall three Democratic lawmakers who sponsored legislation to require background checks for private gun sales.

► 2016 Republican candidates for President are all eager to flaunt their support for the Second Amendment. The latest issue they are tackling is how far they would extend gun rights and how easy it should be to carry a firearm in public.