Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Terror Gap

CeasefireUSA: The GVP Report - November 24, 2015

In The News

Terror GapFrom 2004 to 2014, over 2,000 terror suspects legally purchased guns in the U.S.  A significant gap in federal law allows suspected or known terrorists to legally buy guns. For more information, read the Center for American Progress fact sheet The Terror Gap.

► The Gun Dealer Accountability Act, introduced by U.S. Rep Gwen Moore (D-WI) would require "bad actor" gun dealers to maintain inventory lists and would allow the ATF to do more frequent inspections. 

► 60 Minutes, Is the U.S. ready for smart guns? Firearms that recognize only their owner could curtail the number of suicides and cut down on the resale of stolen guns. Smart-gun technology exists, yet these guns are not mass-produced or sold in the U.S. 

Kids are bringing guns to school on an almost daily basis this academic year. So far this year, at least 77 students - some as young as 4 years old - have been caught with firearms in school.

A former Glock executive is going to prison for selling police guns for profit. Welcome D. Boo was sentenced to 18 months for taking bribes from a firearms distributor in exchange for lower priced weapons marked for sale to law enforcement.

Iron PipelineHow gun traffickers get around state gun laws. About 50,000 guns are found to be diverted to criminals across state lines every year, federal data shows, and many more are likely to cross state lines undetected.

► 20 Senate Democrats ask the Government Accountability Office to issue a report on gun safety, "including the storage and security of guns in households." "Prevention of gun deaths and injury should be an essential component of the federal government's commitment to public health and safety."

Take Action

3rd Annual National Vigil for All Gun Violence Victims

Join Newtown Foundation and Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence.

December 9th at 7pm at St. Marks Episcopal Church on Capital Hill in Washington, D.C. Reserve your seat here.

Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend, December 10-13, 2015. Go here for a list of participants across the country.

Community Support

Emanuel ChurchGun violence experts to converge on Charleston church six months after shooting. Much of the December 4th summit's morning portion, which C-SPAN is expected to broadcast, will consist of panel discussions.

Deni Carise, U Penn School of Medicine, Alcohol has impact on U.S. gun violence. A startling 48 percent of homicide offenders were reportedly under the influence of alcohol at the time of the offense.

Professor Liza Gold, Georgetown University, Debunks the biggest myths surrounding gun suicides.  Because of a host of misconceptions and a lingering social stigma, suicides by firearm receive little popular attention.

Jim Nelson, GQ, America is ready to end its abusive relationship with the gun lobby. There have been more than 300 mass shootings in America so far this year.  Here's why we shouldn't have to settle for "Stuff happens."

Richard Eskow, Alternet, 12 Perfect Responses to Irrational Pro-Gun Arguments. Here's a handy how-to guide for dealing with gun rights extremists.

Mike Weisser, Mike The Gun Guy, Do we really know how to talk about gun violence when people are afraid? The gvp community needs to develop solid options for mitigating fear that reflect not just data-based research, but respond to honest emotions provoked by events which we cannot control.

EJ Montini, The Arizona Republic, Why screen refugees but not gun buyers? The screening process for refugees can take many months, even a couple of years. Yet Arizona is one of the easiest places on earth for a bad guy to get a weapon. 

What the Gun Lobby is Doing

GunTV shopping channel to start its shows in January. To work within gun laws, firearms won't be sold directly to viewers. Orders will be placed with a Louisiana firearms distributor. GunTV will sell ammunition, firearm accessories and outdoor apparel directly to the customer.

Washington state investigating NRA spending committee on late campaign disclosures. The Public Disclosure Commission confirmed that the NRA made at least five campaign-disclosure filings later than the legal requirements.

NRA defends stance on law that allows terror suspects to get firearms. The NRA says it's just trying to protect the rights of law-abiding citizens to buy guns - even if their names appear on a terror watch list.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Fast-tracked research on background checks

CeasefireUSA: The GVP Report - October 27, 2015

In The News

research► A team of Harvard researchers are fast-tracking a study that looks at gun sales and transfers.  Preliminary findings show that roughly 40 percent of people surveyed acquired their most recent firearm without going though a background check. "We're talking about millions of guns that have been transferred without anyone making sure the recipient was legally permitted to have one."

► In first-of-its-kind verdict, Badger Guns found liable in wounding of two Milwaukee police officers. Jury found shoddy business practices and that the store broke four guns laws when clerk sold gun later used in crime.  Jury awarded $6 million in damages to the officers.

Wrongful death lawsuit filed against Armslist for sale of gun used to kill three women and wound four others. Lawsuit says Armslist created the marketplace that allowed the shooter to obtain a gun without a background check despite being prohibited under federal law from owning a gun. 

2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Connecticut and New York laws banning assault weapons and large-capacity magazines. The court held the laws did not violate the Second Amendment because there was a substantial relationship between the bans and the "important - indeed, compelling - state interest in controlling crime."

► A new study, Children and Unintentional Firearm Death, Injury Epidemiology, Hemenway & Solnick, finds that children in the U.S. are at far greater risk of unintentional gun death than children in other developed countries and estimates these unintentional deaths to be 80% higher than reported by the Vital Statistics system.

► Ohio State University Professor Brad Bushman talks about the dozens of studies that show the "weapons effect": people act more aggressively in the presence of a gun.

What became of the boy who shot his sister dead. In 1989, 10-year-old Sean Smith unintentionally killed his 8-year-old sister. "For a long time after I was self-destructive in every way imaginable," Sean says. It took a lifetime for him to forgive himself. 

Community Support

The Nightly ShowLarry Wilmore, The Nightly Show, Nationally Conversatin' About Guns. Larry deals with his emotions about the Washington Post report that toddlers are involved in unintentional shootings on a weekly basis.

Amy Schumer continues her campaign to end gun violence.  She joined with her cousin, Sen. Chuck Schumer, to support a background check bill and to urge people to use the hashtag #aimingforchange and write Congress.  "We need a public outcry."

Christopher Ingraham, Most Americans are wrong about whether concealed carry makes us safer. It's clear that "more guns, less crime" is at best a misleading simplification of the relationship between concealed carry and public safety, and at worst a "completely discredited" notion. But the persistence of the idea is testament to gun rights advocates' success in selling it. 

Lawson Clarke, A gun owner who is perfectly comfortable with gun licensing. I'd like to take a moment to present the step-by-step process by which I became a licensed gun owner in Massachusetts.

► A new film, The Armor of Light, follows an Evangelical minister and the mother of a teenage shooting victim who ask, is it possible to be both pro-gun and pro-life?   Go here to learn how to Host A Screening.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, How many times do we need to say it? We have to change gun laws. Now. The death toll mounts, our children are slaughtered, and we bicker like a stubborn couple arguing about what color to paint the den.

Jim McCarthy, My Sane Gun Policy. We regulate automobiles, we need a license to operate them. We regulate medical doctors, food production, air travel, hairdressers, etc. We regulate to keep us safe. If we can regulate all of these things, why can't we regulate guns?

Andre Spicer, What advocates for stronger gun laws can learn from smoking ban. Some people are asking why they should tolerate guns in their workplace when they don't tolerate smoking. The main driver of smoking bans was concern about human health. Shouldn't workplaces ban guns for health reasons too?

MHP Dear NardyneMelissa Harris-Perry, Dear Nardyne Jefferies. One D.C. mom whose daughter was murdered is on a crusade to ensure attention is paid to the photos of death just as much as to the images of life.

Take Action

UNITED TO STOP GUN VIOLENCE  -  Washington National Cathedral  -  Washington, D.C.  -  Tuesday, November 3, 2015, 7 p.m.  -  #StopGunViolence  -  Meet policymakers committed to enacting common sense gun safety measures and network with leading national gun violence prevention groups.

What the Gun Lobby is Doing

Gun lobby pushes bill to ease restrictions for buying firearm silencers.  The "Hearing Protection Act" was introduced in the Senate and would weaken the current background check and eliminate the ATF application fee.

NRA pushing bills across the country that force police to sell seized guns back to the public. Since 2009, 11 states have passed laws that either or encourage or require police to sell seized guns.  Some of the laws ban police from destroying guns altogether, even guns from gun buy back programs.

NRA commentary admits the odds of needing a gun to defend yourself are infinitesimal. While acknowledging the long odds of actually needing a gun for self-defense, the commentary still promoted guns as a life-saving tool.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

This is something we should politicize

CeasefireUSA: The GVP Report - October 13, 2015

In The News

statement on Roseburg In a statement on the shooting in Roseburg, Oregon, President Obama said, "Our thoughts and prayers are not enough. It does nothing to prevent this carnage from being inflicted someplace else in America. ... This is something we should politicize. It is relevant to our common life together, to the body politic. ... We're going to have to change our laws. And this is not something I can do by myself."

Two dozen U.S. Senate Democrats unveiled a sweeping new campaign to strengthen gun laws focused on three areas: bolstering current background check requirements, closing loopholes for guns bought online and at gun shows, making gun trafficking a federal crime.

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation that will ban the carrying of concealed guns on school and university campuses in the state.

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh sent letters to his attorney general counterparts across the country urging states to adopt handgun permit-to-purchase laws, pointing to Johns Hopkins research that shows permit requirements are associated with reductions in gun deaths.

► Armed With Reason, What Caused the Two-Decade Dip in Crime Rates? Not 'Good Guys with Gun.' Gun rights advocates claim concealed carry is the answer to stopping criminals.  The data says that's simply not possible.

Gun violence researchers becoming an endangered species? Public health researchers stay away from the field because there's simply not enough money and the work is stressful - many who study gun violence report receiving angry emails and death threats from those who want unrestricted gun ownership.

Misleading coverage of a major gun study highlights the danger of fast reporting. The study found that criminals are very much influenced by existing gun laws. Yet media pick-up boiled the study down to the notion that universal background checks don't work - a conclusion the researchers from the study emphatically deny.

Community Support

Ed Berliner Conservative talk news host Ed Berliner tells listeners, "It's time to put to bed this Second Amendment absolute right. Force gun owners to undergo intrusive background checks including mental health exams, take required gun safety courses, renew them every year and be held criminally responsible when failing to lock up weapons. As a gun owner, I'll volunteer, I'll be the first in line."

Bob Cesca, Salon, In the wake of another mass shooting, Fox News tells us the best we can do is prepare for the next one.  We're being convinced that we have no choice but to prepare our children for massacres. Why? Because the NRA is committed to selling millions of deadly consumer products.

Derrick Jackson, Boston Globe, A welcome Democratic duel over gun control. Democratic presidential hopefuls are suddenly dueling over stricter gun law measures. Just four years ago this would have been unthinkable.

Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, The Second Amendment is a gun-control amendment. We know how to fix this. Gun control ends gun violence as surely as antibiotics end bacterial infections, as surely as vaccines end childhood measles - not perfectly and in every case, but overwhelmingly and everywhere that it's been taken seriously and tried at length.

Jennifer Tucker & Matthew Miller, What the Clean Air Act can teach us about reducing gun violence. Gun manufacturers could easily do more to address the problem of deaths and injuries resulting from accidents and crimes involving their products, but, like manufacturers of most commodities, won't do so unless new nonvoluntary standards emerge.

Hollye Dexter, How Americans contribute to the culture of gun violence. Film makers know that even though we yell at Congress with outrage after every mass shooting, we will still pay big bucks to accept gory violence as holiday entertainment. 

Alex Pareene, Gawker, The Gun Control Movement Needs Its Own Pro-Life Fanatics. It means constant marches and protests, and open and blatant harassment of your political opponents. It also means going all-in on gore. It means waving gruesome photos of dead children in the faces of Republican legislators, gun store owners, and gun manufacturers.

Joshua Holland, The Nation, Tactical Experts Destroy the NRA's Heroic Gunslinger Fantasy. Even the Secret Service, an agency that has all the weaponry and training they could ever need has never fired a weapon in defense of a president during an assassination attempt. They're trained to throw their body in front of the protectee, not to open fire.

Ruth Gleen, Ms. Magazine, Keeping Domestic Violence Survivors Safe. Guns are used to terrorize far more often than they are used to kill. One survey respondent tells of repeatedly waking up at night to the sound of her abuser releasing the safety on the gun he is holding to her head.

It's That Easy

People MagazineWatch this short video by People Magazine Editorial Director Jess Cagle.  Then find your U.S. House and Senate members on the list provided. Contact them, let them know that from now on, "routine" responses just won't cut it.

What the Gun Lobby is Doing

5 indefensible Tweets from the NRA since the Oregon gun massacre. The organization aggressively tweeted out information intended to head off any efforts to strengthen gun laws. Much of the information was wildly misleading or just plain inaccurate.

Ben Carson is far from the only conservative saying gun control caused the Holocaust. Absolutely everything Carson has to say about this is wrong.

CNN allows discredited gun researcher John Lott to push five myths about guns in a seven-minute interview. Lott made numerous false claims about guns during the appearance.

► An artist created a video about gun violence. In response, gun extremists left thousands of comments. These are their words.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

How to reduce our murder rate by 30 to 50 percent

CeasefireUSA: The GVP Report - September 29, 2015

In The News

Webster Ted Talk Professor Daniel Webster, Johns Hopkins University, talks about a specific policy path that will reduce our murder rate. "Our gun laws allow too low of standards for legal gun ownership and are too weak to hold people accountable when their actions put a gun into the hands of criminals."

► A new study in the Journal of American Medical Association Pediatrics, State Gun Law Environment and Youth Gun Carrying in the U.S., Xuan & Hemenway, finds that stricter state gun laws help keep firearms out of the hands of youth.

► A new study in the Journal of Criminology, Concealed Handgun Licensing and Crime in Four States, Charles Phillips et al, finds that issuing more concealed carry permits does not decrease crime.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo called for national gun violence prevention legislation during eulogy for a top state attorney who was killed by a stray bullet. "It's not enough for NY to pass a gun law and close the front door when the guns are coming in the back door."

Missoula, MT City Council will consider a proposed ordinance to require background checks on all gun sales.  Some city council members are frustrated with the state legislature's refusal to deal with this issue.

U.S. Court of Appeals struck down some of Washington, D.C.'s gun laws while upholding others. The court ruled the District's prohibition on registering more than one gun a month was unconstitutional. The court upheld provisions that require gun owners to be photographed and fingerprinted and complete a firearms safety course.

► The Connecticut State Elections Enforcement Commission ruled that a campaign finance complaint against the NRA can move forward. The complaint alleges that the NRA's federal PAC was used to fund contributions to candidates for state office in violation of CT law.

► NY Times, When Columbine Is Invoked, Fears Tend to Overshadow Facts. Some scholars recommend examining school shooting not as a discrete phenomenon but as one aspect of this country's broader wave of gun violence.

► The Trace, When a Bullet Enters a Body: Gun Violence as Seen by a Trauma Surgeon. Unless you get shot in the heart - in which case you will die in minutes - it will usually take hours to die. In the movies you always die quickly from a gunshot wound. But not in real life.

Community Support

Jessica Lonnie & Sandy Phillips, We Lost Our Daughter to a Mass Shooter and Now Owe $203,000 to his Ammo Dealer. We brought our lawsuit because we thought it was outrageous that companies could sell a dangerous man an arsenal without getting any information from him. We did not seek any money in our case.

Spocko, Crooks and Liars, It's Time to Change How the Media Covers Shootings. Here are some suggestions on what can be done and how you could help.

Laura Finley, PeaceVoice, Guns No Answer to Rape on Campus. Studies do not bear out that arming women helps prevent sexual assault or domestic and dating violence. In part, this is because most frequently sexual assault occurs within a dating relationship.

Katie McDonough, Fusion, The Boyfriend Loophole: How a law with two missing words is letting domestic abusers buy guns. Under current law, people convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence are only banned from owning guns if they are married to, have children with, or live with their victims.

Protest WUSA9, Hundreds Protest Firearms Being Sold Near School in McLean, VA. "I'm very concerned that they chose to put a gun store in the backyard of a grade school." The new store is just yards from the back of Franklin Sherman Elementary School.

Professor Jennifer Tucker, Wesleyan University, The Not-So-Wild West. The Wild West was the setting for some of the nation's first gun-control laws. People couldn't just walk around with guns. There was a clear understanding that civilized people did not walk around America's towns and cities carrying guns.

James Andres, Western Michigan University Herald, More Guns Won't Make You Safer. The claim that everyone is able to defend themselves - that they can instantly turn into a stone-cold killer, that they will be in a position to respond effectively, that they will hit their target - is something that should be challenged. 

It's That Easy

One of the missions of States United to Prevent Gun Violence is to educate supporters on the issues of gun violence because we know that increased awareness is the first and most important step toward creating positive social behavior around gun violence.  

Please consider forwarding the GVP Report to friends and family - this alone, is a step toward creating a healthier America!

What the Gun Lobby is Doing

Donald Trump's new gun policy lines up perfectly with the NRA's agenda.  In 2000, Trump supported the ban on assault weapons but his newly released policy paper on guns is a full-throated endorsement of the NRA's wish list.

► Jeb Bush promotes his record on guns by claiming, "In Florida we have a background check." But he never mentions the private gun transfers, with no background check, that are legal in the state.

► The Florida legislator who brought America the Stand Your Ground/Shoot First law has just introduced a bill that would set a new legal standard for establishing when self-defense claims can block prosecutors from taking a case to trial.