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.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Trading guns for education

CeasefireUSA: The GVP Report - February 17, 2015

In The News

Guns for Opportunity Boilermakers Local 154, Pittsburgh, PA, is launching "Guns for Opportunity" program to help fight gun violence in the region. Through it, a firearm can be turned in, and in exchange, an individual will receive free training in the union's welding program. "We want to give an incentive to these young guys, to lay down their guns and give them a chance to do something else."

► A new report from the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, The Truth About Kids & Guns: 2015, finds that unsafe access to guns in the home is a leading cause of death among U.S. children and teens.  Every day, 48 children and teens are wounded or killed by gunfire.

75 percent of Texas police chiefs responding to survey oppose open carry of handguns. The survey was in response to a bill before the Texas Legislature.  90 percent of respondents said that if open carry passes, a license should be required.

Missouri gun deaths surpass vehicle deaths in 2013, part of national trend.  Motor vehicle deaths have long been the leading nonmedical cause of death across the country.  Latest federal data shows, in Missouri,  firearms proved more deadly, and by a wide margin - 880 to 781.

New concealed weapons Idaho law costs state colleges $3.7 million. With the new law that allows gun on campuses, schools are forced to enhance security. Idaho college campuses will have to pay for that with existing funds.

Number of Illinois concealed carry applicants significantly lower than projected.  There were 91,651 active applications for ccw permits in 2014, the first year ccw permits were allowed. The number is about four times lower than what was estimated.  Nationwide, only about 3% of the population has a ccw permit.

Sandy Hook 'truthers' are abusing victims of the tragedy - but one family is fighting back with a creative legal maneuver. Family members of Victoria Soto, a first-grade teacher killed in Sandy Hook, have applied to trademark her name to prevent conspiracy theorists from misusing it on social media.

Apple's App Store is now enforcing a policy requiring game developers to remove images of guns from their App Store screenshots. Multiple developers have reported that Apple rejected games if they use screenshots that show people holding guns, or being maimed or killed.

Street violence stole his smile, but Marcus Norris is getting it back. In 2006, when Marcus was 9-years-old, he was struck in the upper lip by a stray bullet that ripped through the wall of his Chicago apartment.  Now, thanks to Youth Guidance donations, he will get the dental work he needs to replace his missing teeth. "I want to just see how it feels to smile again," he said. 

Community Support

MTV NewsMTV News, This Is What Happened When I Tracked Every Act of Gun Violence in America for 31 Days. 27-year-old Brendan Brown talks about his website: 'Here are the names, here are the stories.'

Philip Gourevitch, The New Yorker,  The Chapel Hill Massacre Blues. Getting blown away by a neighbor just because he's pissed of at you for some ridiculous reason has become the equivalent of a natural disaster in our country, with our gun culture. We're being told to believe that the vigilante killing of three young Americans is socially and politically meaningless.

Times-News, Twin Falls, Idaho, Editorial, The NRA's Imperial Grip on Idaho. Lobbyists hold outmoded power in Idaho, thanks to an amateur Legislature with almost no staff. Special interests write the bills. Legislators just carry them.

New York Times Editorial, Concealed Carry's Body Count. The Violence Policy Center's gathering of just some of the hard facts of gun deaths at the hands of licensed shooters should be received as an alarming check on all the swagger about the woeful phenomenon of more citizens packing more guns.

Daniel WebsterC-Span, Book Discussion. Daniel Webster, director of Johns Hopkins University's Center for Gun Policy and Research, talks about his book, Reducing Gun Violence in America, as part of Book TV's College Series.

Jef Rouner,  Houston, Texas Press,  How my 5-year-old daughter reacted to seeing her first open carry demonstration.  I do not understand why the 2nd Amendment should mean that I have to drive my family through a militia on a Sunday afternoon in a safe neighborhood simply so a few Texans can live-action roleplay with live ammo. My kid is right. It's just stupid.

Danny Westneat, The Columbian, Vancouver, Washington, Legislature's gun ban smack of hypocrisy. If it's so obvious that guns have no place in the statehouse, how is it any less obvious in local city and county council meetings?

Kenyan McDuffie, Washington Post, I am outraged. You should be, too. Everyone should be livid when a minor is murdered, regardless of our socioeconomic status or how far we live from the tragedy. The indifference of adults to the plight of our youth only perpetuates the culture of violence.

Trinity Church David Graham, The Atlantic, Gun violence prevention's biggest advocate: the church? Trinity Church, in Manhattan, wants to turn moral authority into action, taking Walmart to task for selling weapons with high-capacity magazines.

What the Gun Lobby is Doing

► Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) has introduced the 'concealed-carry reciprocity' bill. that would create a lowest common denominator that makes the weakest state requirements for carrying a loaded, hidden gun in public the law of the land.

Open-carry activists not so open about criminal past.  There's a reason some of the loudest activists want Texas to do away with handgun licenses.  Their past crimes mean they can't get one.

The NRA's diabolical new plan for killing gun laws.  The gun lobby is targeting cities and towns with massive legal fees. Under a new Pennsylvania law, the NRA can sue PA towns and cities and expect them to pay its costs if it wins.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Guns can change the way you think

CeasefireUSA: The GVP Report - February 3, 2015

In The News

Mother Nature NetworkMother Nature Network, Guns really do change the way you think. Owning a firearm, holding one or even simply looking at a picture of one has an effect on your brain.

► Violence Policy Center, States with Weak Gun Laws and Higher Gun Ownership Lead Nation in Gun Deaths. Analysis of 2013 data finds Alaska and Louisiana have the highest gun death rates in the nation, while Hawaii and Massachusetts have the lowest.

The gun that was used to wound two New Hope, Minnesota police officers had been auctioned off by the Duluth Police Department. The gun had been confiscated by the Duluth Police, then sent to an online auction site where it was bought by a straw buyer for the shooter.

No NotorietyParents of Aurora shooting victims ask media outlets to stop using the name of mass shooters. "The quest for notoriety and infamy is a known, motivating factor for people that want to commit mass killings or copycats. All we're asking is after the initial identification of a mass killer refer to them as the 'shooter' or 'defendant.' It's not that difficult."

► AlJazeera America, Guns in Schools: Psychologists say defense measures could traumatize kids. Schools are still the safest place for children. Metal detectors and security guards have been shown to increase students' fear of crime and cause them to feel less safe at school. This report is part of a seven-part series examining the issues surrounding school shootings.

Missouri and Kansas lawmakers propose anti-gun violence bills. In a rare show of bi-state and bi-partisan unity Rep. Stacey Newman, a Democrat from MO and Rep. Barbara Bollier, a Republican from KS, will present legislation to focus on domestic crimes and gun violence prevention.

gun range in yard St. Petersburg, Florida man builds gun range in yard, neighbors outraged.  21-year-old Joseph Carannate told reporters "I don't want to have to go to a gun range, when I can just go outside my door." Police say the range is not against the law despite being in the middle of a residential neighborhood. 

Virginia state Senate panel advances gun violence prevention bill. Two days after rejecting a bill that would prohibit gun possession for anyone convicted of stalking, assault and battery or sexual battery, a Senate committee reconsidered and approved an amended version of the bill.

TSA seized a record 2,212 firearms from carry-on luggage in 2014.  83% of the guns were loaded. Guns included an assault rifle with two loaded magazines discovered at DFW and a 94-year-old man with a loaded .38 caliber revolver clipped to his belt at LGA.

Community Support

3 1/2 minutesDemocracy Now,  Black Lives Matter: New Film on Jordan Davis Captures Family's Struggle to Convict White Vigilante. Amy Goodman talks with Jordan Davis' parents and discusses the new film "3 1/2 Minutes."

► Daily Kos, Rep. Robin Kelly introduces H.R. 224 and the NRA doesn't like it one bit The bill would require the U.S. Surgeon General to submit to Congress an annual report on the effects of gun violence on public health and the status of actions taken to address such effects. 

► Melissa Harris-Perry Show, Do open carry laws make people less safe? Panelists discuss a Florida case involving an African American man who was tackled to the ground for carrying a gun even though he had a permit and whether open carry laws make people more or less safe.

► Vox.com, 10 Things I Wish People Understood About Suicide. Suicide is often impulsive. If the impulse is thwarted, and the person survives, they overwhelmingly report being glad they lived. Physical and conceptual barriers to suicide have been shown to work.

► Sputniknews.com, Hip-Hop organization wants Google to stop showing gun ads on rap videos. The Hip-Hop Chess Federation wants Google, YouTube and U.S. Concealed Carry Association to stop ads for guns and gun paraphernalia to selections frequented by teens in general and minority youth specifically. "There must be higher standards of ethics."

► Slate.com, The Myth of the Good Guy With A Gun. The NRA is wrong: Owning a gun is far more likely to harm you than protect you. The evidence overwhelmingly shows that guns leave everybody less safe, including their owners. 

► McGill International Review, Who Do You Protect?: Police Brutality and Gun Control. There should be a clear separation of labor: those who fight crime and those who create a safe environment. Leave the gun slinging to those who are specially trained for it while the regular police make sure everything else is under control.

► Greeley, Colorado Tribune,Arming school staff is a dangerous answer to a serious problem.  It is not worth the risk of increasing the odds of someone getting shot at Frontier Academy for the unlikely chance a staff member could stop a crazy person brandishing a gun.

OrtizTime.com, Go Inside the Lives of Families Affected by Gun Violence. Carlos Javier Ortiz spent eight years documenting the effects of gun violence on communities in Chicago and Philadelphia. His work appears in his newest book, We All We Got. The Bronx Documentary Center will show Ortiz's work until March 22, 2015.

What the Gun Lobby is Doing

►  Bill would allow Texas teachers to kill students. A Texas state rep has introduced a bill that authorizes instructors to use deadly force in defense of the educator's person or in defense of students. Teachers would also have the right to use deadly force in defense of school property.

►  A new Alaska Republican wants gun control for EPA agents. The senator wants to ban police officers who work for the Environmental Protection Agency from carrying firearms in an effort to start "to limit the federal government in terms of some of its power and authority, but also in terms of oversight."

Proposed firearm bills in Nevada would do away with the need for a permit in order to carry a concealed weapon, allow guns on college campuses, and do away with the current requirement that Las Vegas residents register their handguns.