Tuesday, April 15, 2014

1.5 million U.S. children

CeasefireUSA: The GVP Report - April 15, 2014

In The News
Monster in the Closet1.5 million U.S. children are living with unlocked, loaded guns. Deaths and injuries from unsecured guns are preventable. Watch and share States United new video, Monster in the Closet. 
►The American College of Physicians, Annals of Internal Medicine Reducing Firearm-Related Injuries and Deaths in the U.S., offers nine strategies to address the societal, medical, and regulatory barriers to reducing gun violence deaths and injuries. ACP recommends that firearm safety be approached as a public health issue so that policy decisions are based on scientific evidence.
► Nearly 100 U.S. Senate and House Democrats are asking President Obama to take executive action to close loopholes to ban imports of military-style firearms. The ban began during the George H.W. Bush administration but was allowed to lapse under President George W. Bush.
► For thesecond time in less than five years President Obama travels to Fort Hood in Texas to honor the memory of U.S. Army soldiers killed in a shooting.  Gunman killed 3, wounded 16 before committing suicide.
► Christian Science Monitor,Why NRA battles courts for right to carry a concealed weapon.  The NRA employs about two dozen in-house lawyers and hires many more outside lawyers fighting to expand the right to carry guns outside the home. So far, federal judges across the country have rejected the NRA's legal challenges.
► St. Louis, Missouri, Public Radio, Dr. Saaid Khojasteh and Dr. David Jaffe contend that when children are exposed to gun violence, it becomes a public health issue. Dr. Jaffe sees gun regulation as akin to regulations put in place for driving or smoking. "We've come, through research, to understand that appropriate regulation is good for the public health."
Lawmakers send letter to U.S. House Speaker Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi urging them to block gun riders included in appropriations bills in recent years that have put prohibitions on gun control research at the CDC and have restricted ATF's ability to require gun dealers to keep inventories.
Champions of ChangeThe White House honored nine Champions of Change who work to prevent gun violence across the nation and advocate for stronger gun laws. Honored were James Johnson, Glenn Garrett Grayson, Jamira Burley,  Mark Barden, Nosheen Hydari, Pamela K. Simon, Sarah Clements, John Woods and Teresa A. Crawford.

Community Support
► Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, The five extra words that can fix the Second Amendment, looks at the effective marketing campaign by the gun lobby that changed the interpretation of the Second Amendment and offers a simple fix.
Cliff Schecter, Daily Beast, Florida's Zombie Apocalypse Gun Bill. In case of riots, emergencies, or World War Z, Florida may throw out all rules on guns. This is crazy, even by Florida standards.
Tim Steller, Arizona Daily Star, In Arizona, if you get scared to death, you can kill the person scaring you. David Mota shot and killed a man who never made any clear physical threat. The man didn't have a gun. In AZ that doesn't matter. Feelings matter. Fears matter. Facts don't matter.
Joanna Zelman, Huffington Post,The One Question I Am Asked in Every Country I Visit. "Why do Americans love guns so much?" When I ask my international friends why they don't own guns, I get blinks of confusion.
Amnesty International At Amnesty International's annual Human Rights Conference, gun violence was one of the 10 issues addressed. "One issue in particular that we're hoping to engage on a greater degree is gun violence and talking about it in a human rights lens," said deputy executive director Cammie Croft.
Chad MacDonald, Quiet Mike,Guns in America: Freedom from the Fear of Firearms. Taking down pro-gun talking points one at a time.
Timothy Johnson, Media Matters, The Gun Is Never the Problem: A Guide to Right-Wing Responses to Mass Shootings. Conservative media rush to blame mental health, video games, a lack of armed people present - anything but the fact that the shooter was able to get a gun.
Trinity ChurchRev. Dr. James H. Cooper, Rector of Trinity Wall Street, New York, fights to include a proposal in Wal-Mart's shareholders proxy asking if Wal-Mart should sell products that are especially dangerous to the public, like high capacity ammunition magazines.
Phillip Morris, The Plain Dealer, Gun companies must play a greater role in stopping the slaughter of innocents. And we must start to ask more about where shooters get their guns.
Lt. Col. Robert Bateman, Esquire, Maybe Our Wallets Can Help Solve Our Gun Problem. The simple solution is not a new law or judicial ruling. It is "voting" with our wallets. Tell every store, every restaurant, "I am never coming back to this store until you ban guns on your property."

What the Gun Lobby is Doing
► Open Carry Texas publicly posted on YouTube the name and phone number of a woman who called Plano, Texas police with concerns after seeing men with assault rifles on the street.
► Think Progress, Stand Your Ground/Shoot First Is About to Get Even Worse in Florida. A bill to extend Stand Your Ground-like protections to those who point a gun at an attacker or fire a gun as a warning has been sent to Gov. Rick Scott. The law is likely to expand immunity for violent conduct and includes a provision to keep Stand Your Ground records secret.
► Media Matters, NRA Picks Reverend Who Blamed Sandy Hook on Secularism to Keynote Prayer Breakfast. Dr. Franklin Graham will lead prayer breakfast at NRA's 2014 annual convention in Indianapolis. Said massacre at Sandy Hook is "what happens when a society turns its back on God."

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Supreme Court rules 9-0 in domestic violence gun possession case

The GVP Report - April 1, 2014

In The News

Supreme Court rulingIn a 9-0 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court strengthened a federal law that bars anyone convicted of domestic violence from possessing a gun.

► In other court rulings, a federal appeals court in California upheld a San Francisco ordinance that requires handgun owners to keep their weapons locked up and a a city code that prohibits the sale of hollow-point bullets. Also, a Milwaukee, Wisconsin judge ruled in favor of two police officers in their lawsuit against Badger Guns. The ruling clears the way for the case to go to trial.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed a law that allows a judge to require someone with a history of domestic violence and who is under a restraining order to surrender their guns. Inslee called the bill a sign that "we can do common-sense things here around gun violence."

Pittsburgh pastor Glenn Grayson honored by President Obama as one of the Champions of Change. Rev. Grayson is one of nine grassroots leaders who will be honored for taking critical steps to reduce gun violence in their communities.

► Darryl Levings, Kansas City, Missouri, Star investigative report, Dangerous consequences: Preserve a mental health patient's gun rights, or protect the public? Looks at the struggle to balance privacy and gun rights against public and patient safety. 

► GunCrisis.org, Annual murder and shooting analysis released; Outlines great progress and vast challenges in Philadelphia. 2013 data from the Philadelphia police shows a tremendous gun violence reduction but once again young black men were vastly overrepresented among the continuing victims.

► Media Matters, Florida journalists: Stand Your Ground/Shoot First changes will hurt reporting. Proposed changes to Florida law will make it far more difficult to report on cases involving the controversial Stand Your Ground/Shoot First law.

Community Support

Piers Morgan Piers Morgan concluded his final CNN show with one final plea for stronger gun laws. "Now it's down to you," he said. "It is your country. These are your gun laws. And the senseless slaughter will only end when enough Americans stand together and cry, 'Enough!'"

Pooja Bhatia, Ozy.com, A Well-Regulated Militia. Most Americans support stronger gun laws, but legislation doesn't pass. Cities are looking to do an end run around legislative impasse. Police departments purchase a significant number of guns, why not leverage that buying power to influence the gun industry?

► WTXF-TV, Company Fighting Newark Gun Violence Helps Teen Go To School. Jewelry For A Cause takes guns from the streets of Newark through gun buy backs, melts them down and turns them into bracelets stamped with the serial numbers of the guns from which they came.

Jay Bookman, Atlanta, Georgia Journal-Constitution, A guided tour of 'nation's most extreme gun bill.'  I have to think that many who voted for the bill last week have to be secretly appalled by what they have done, what they lacked the guts to stop. All they knew was that this was a gun bill, and on gun bills you vote yes, without regard to its contents or impact.

Tim Steller, Arizona Daily Star, Protect kids from guns? Arizona legislators won't hear of it. State lawmakers are deep in the weeds of expanding gun rights, but an effort to protect kids from unsecured loaded guns is impossible to even discuss. "Their priorities are all messed up," said one state rep. "I swear we're going to have personhood for guns or voting rights for guns soon."

Guns, Grief and grace documentary project Three-part facilitated discussion series on gun violence in America comes to Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  The discussion will be held at Frank Zeidler Center for Public Discussion and will include screening of the three part documentary film Guns, Grief and Grace in America.

Gregory Curfman, M.D. et al, The New England Journal of Medicine, Vivek Murthy for Surgeon General. Dr. Murthy's nomination for surgeon general appears to be in jeopardy. The critical question is this: Should a special-interest organization like the NRA have veto power over the appointment of the nation's top doctor? The very idea is unacceptable.

Tony Norman, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Post-Gazette. Why can't gun lovers handle rational limits? Why aren't gun-rights advocates willing to tolerate rational limits on who can and can't buy guns? I remain mystified by the gun lobby's embrace of virtual anarchy.

What the Gun Lobby is Doing

►  Gun Manufacturer Smith & Wesson donates $600,000 to NRA. James Debney, president of Smith & Wesson presented Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the NRA,  with the check during a factory visit. Next year Smith & Wesson employees will have the option of getting an annual NRA membership as a paid employee benefit.

► Think Progress, Why Gun Manufacturers are Embracing Bitcoin. One of the biggest appeals of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin is that funds are virtually untraceable and cloak buyers' identities. This could make illegal gun sales easier and harder to control.

► Tallahassee, Florida, NRA"s Hammer Rips Gov. Scott's Staff Response on Gun Bill. After the Florida National Guard attorney testified against a bill that would allow people without concealed weapons permits to carry guns during forced evacuations prompted by emergencies, such as hurricanes, NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer emailed Gov. Scott's staff, complaining they weren't doing enough to help the NRA backed bill. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

15 States Have Strengthened Gun Laws Since Newtown Shooting

The GVP Report - March 18, 2014

In The News

Evidence and Policy Developments15 states plus D.C. strengthened their gun laws in the year following the Newtown shooting. "Contrary to popular belief, the tragic loss at Sandy Hook led to a number of significant policy developments," says Daniel Webster, ScD, MPH, of Johns Hopkins. New data, research and developments can be found in Updated Evidence and Policy Developments on Reducing Gun Violence in America from Johns Hopkins press.

► Andrew Solomon, The New Yorker, The Reckoning: The father of the Sandy Hook killer searches for answers. "You can't mourn for the little boy he once was. You can't fool yourself," said Peter Lanza.

► Seattle Times, Shooting Accidents Soar; State Gun Laws Remain Unchanged. In 2012, more Washington state residents were seriously hurt in unintentional shootings than in any year since 1995. Yet despite a public outcry and promises by lawmakers to take action, no gun safety laws have changed.

Rye Brook, NY Police Department joins effort to encourage gun manufacturers to play a part in reducing gun violence. The police department has resolved to review future firearm purchases so that it considers manufacturers who employ responsible gun distribution practices.

Gun Violence Aimed at Black Males Triggers Concern. Several new studies confirm what most people have suspected all along: No group is harmed more by gun violence than young Black males.

U.S. Supreme Court refuses to halt Sunnyvale, CA's enforcement of a voter approved ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines. The Court denied an emergency request by the NRA to block the city ordinance.

President Obama asks Congress for $182 million to prevent gun violence. The proposals are part of the budget package and include money for gun safety programs, inspections of retailers, research and pilot projects. 

Community Support

The Young Turks The Young Turks, Are You Afraid We Might Shoot You?  Good, Says Pro-Gun Lobbyist. Larry Pratt, Gun Owners of America, is "kinda glad" that politicians are fearful of being shot.

NY Times Editorial, Craven Statehouse Behavior. A Georgia bill would allow a convicted felon who kills someone with an illegally possessed gun to seek justification under the state's Stand Your Ground/Shoot First law.

MarketWatch, 10 Things the Gun Industry Won't Tell You. 1. Owning our product may be hazardous to your health. 2. Fear is good for our bottom line. 3. Guns get special treatment under the law. 4. We want your kids to play with guns.

David Waldman, Daily Kos, GunFAIL LX, Welcome to Hooters! Is that a gun in your pants, or.... An extraordinarily tough week for the kids this time around, with 13 unintentionally shot, and  a number of very young ones among the victims.

Topher McDougal and Robert Muggah, Firearms Industry Benefits from America's Gun Violence. While citizens bear the costs, it is ultimately the manufacturers, retailers, and marketers that profit from the country's tsunami of gun violence.

Maria Ruiz-SantanaCosmopolitan Magazine, I Survived a Campus Shooting. Maria Ruiz-Santana was one of the 26 people shot at Northern Illinois University in 2008. She is now Officer Maria, one of a handful of women on the force.

Media Matters, The New York Times' Tired Political Analysis on Stronger Gun Laws. Since the 1994 election, the media have baselessly claimed that an all-powerful NRA will motivate angry voters to defeat candidates who defy them. But little evidence shows guns are an electoral loser for Democrats.

Sarah Clements and Ronnie Mosley, Generation Progress, Our Generations' Greatest Fight:  A Future Free From Gun Violence. We believe that our generation's struggle, our question longing for an answer, is whether we can succeed in stopping gun violence, in making our communities safer for our own children.

What the Gun Lobby is Doing

NRA Tries to Sink Surgeon General Nominee. The NRA is opposing President Obama's nominee for Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy, telling Senators they will "score" the vote on Murthy's confirmation. But Media Matters points out what conservatives get wrong in their smear campaign against Dr. Murthy.

► The Arizona House of Representatives spent several hours this week debating five pro-gun bills Democrats say are unnecessary and a waste of time. One bill would allow authorities to charge a person accused of taking someone's gun, but doing so is already a felony offense.

► Wayne LaPierre, Executive VP of the NRA, spoke at the recent conservative convention CPAC. He told the audience that "there is no greater freedom than the right to survive, to protect our families with all the rifles, shotguns and handguns we want."

► NY Daily News reports that a Troy, NY pastor is holding a church raffle for an AR-15-type rifle and the Kentucky Baptist Convention is reaching out to 'unchurched' young men by offering free steak dinners and a chance to win a gun.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Having a Gun in the House Doesn't Make a Woman Safer

The GVP Report - March 4, 2014

In The News

► The Atlantic, A number of studies have found that  having a gun in the house doesn't make a woman safer.  In cases where self-defense matters most, women tend to find their own weapons turned against them.

Center for American Progress report, Young Guns: How Gun Violence is Devastating the Millennial Generation finds that young people are disproportionately both the victims and the perpetrators of gun violence.  Read the full report here.

California's attorney general is asking an appeals court to reverse itself and restore the leeway local government had to decide who can carry a concealed firearm. The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence has filed an amicus brief that supports the attorney general's request.

► WBUR Boston, When Massachusetts Criminals Want A Gun, They Often Head North. More than half of the guns seized by police come from other states. The biggest suppliers by far were New Hampshire and Maine.

► Milwaukee, Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, ATF Agents Lost Track of Dozens of Their Own Guns, Reports Show.  Agents left their guns behind in bathroom stalls, at a hospital, outside a movie theater, on a plane, or simply on top of their car and drove away.

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear two appeals from the NRA. The justices let stand a ruling that upheld federal law that prevents those 18-20 from purchasing a handgun or ammunition from a licensed firearm dealer and a Texas law that prohibits those 18-20 from carrying loaded, hidden handguns in public.

Occidental College Occidental College bans investments in assault weapons companies. Occidental is pledging to stay away from any investments in companies that manufacture assault weapons and high capacity ammunition magazines for general public sale. The move is the first of its kind for an American university.

Miami-Dade Mayors Rally Behind Plan to Control Gun Industry with 'Market Forces.' 14 local Florida governments will ask gun companies bidding on police gun contracts to show how they keep guns out of the hands of ineligible or mentally ill buyers and how they spot straw buyers.

Community Support

Real Sports Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel looks at marketing shooting sports to children. Follow a 13-year-old as clerks refuse to sell him cigarettes or beer but a gun show dealer sells him a gun, no questions asked.

Lewis W. Diugiud, Kansas City, Missouri Star, In the U.S., Guns Have More Value Than Children. Guns have rights and a constitutional amendment. Children don't. We do more to protect guns than we do to protect children.

Greg Kampikian, professor at Boise State University, Idaho, When May I Shoot a Student?  At present, the harshest penalty available here at Boise State is expulsion. But now that lethal force is an option, I need to know which infractions may be treated as de facto capital crimes.

Ron Baker, Gwinnett Magazine, A Father and Gun Owner Confronts the Limitations of Responsibility. Recently, my wife took my daughter in to use the restroom and found an unattended pistol lying atop the toilet paper dispenser. The pro-gun contingent likes to talk about responsibility. They talk about it in spite of statistics.

BewareMartha Rosenberg, OpEdNews.com, Are George Zimmerman and Michael Dunn "Protecting" Us?  Open and concealed carriers are so full of fear, they are afraid to go where normal people go - including children, the elderly and 90 lb women - every day unless they have their loaded lethal weapons. 

Tim Murphy, Mother Jones,Loaded Chambers: A Brief History of Politicians Accidentally Shooting Things. Shoot happens when public servants unintentionally fire, drop, and forget their firearms. Part II - Why Politicians Shouldn't Pack Heat.

Dahlia Lithwick, Slate.com, "Stand Your Ground" Nation. America used to value the concept of retreat. Now we just shoot."Stand your ground/shoot first" laws are changing the way the rest of us think about self-protection. Which is the world the NRA dreams of constructing: Everyone armed and paranoid that everyone else is armed.

Daily ShowJon Stewart, The Daily Show, Unjustified. Jon Stewart reacts to the Michael Dunn verdict in the murder trial of teenager Jordan Davis.

What the Gun Lobby is Doing

► Media Matters, 20 Years After Brady Bill Enacted, Conservative Media Still Attacking Gun Background Checks. Members of conservative media have used false statements and paranoid rhetoric to fight legislation to require background checks for more than 20 years.

Florida bill would allow warning shots against attackers. The bill would expand "stand your ground/shoot first" law to allow people to fire warning shots. The NRA is supporting the legislation.

► ThinkProgress, NRA Urges Senate to Reject Surgeon General Nominee Over Gun Violence Prevention Stance. The NRA objects to the nominee, Dr. Vivek Murthy, because he believes doctors should ask patients about gun ownership and discuss gun safety procedures, believes there should be more federal funding of gun violence research, and supports universal background checks and an assault weapons ban.

► The Missouri Senate bowed to pressure from the NRA and stripped a provision requiring gun owners to report stolen weapons from a bill.  Said one state senator, "We are blind followers in here right now. Because one special interest group opposes the amendment, everyone decides to run."