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.

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.