Tuesday, July 8, 2014

If we had universal background checks, guns wouldn't kill so many people

CeasefireUSA: The GVP Report - July 8, 2014

In The News

Missouri graphDaniel Webster professor of public health at Johns Hopkins University, talks with the New Republic, Guns Kill People. And If We Had Universal Background Checks, They Wouldn't Kill So Many. "Without universal background check requirements, there is little deterrent to selling guns to criminals or gun traffickers."

► New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a bill that would have banned ammunition magazines with more than 10 rounds saying "I will not support such a trivial approach to the sanctity of human life." Hours before his decision families from Newtown delivered a petition with 55,000 signatures asking him to sign the bill.

► A new Quinnipiac University poll finds that 92 percent of American voters, including gun owners, support requiring background checks for all gun sales.

► In a University of Washington study, Dr. Frederick Rivara finds that hospital patients with gunshot wounds are 11 times more likely to die from gun violence within five years. Those who had a prior arrest for gun-related or violent crime were 43 times more likely to be slain within the next five years than those without either.

► A Louisiana court ruled a new amendment to the state constitution guaranteeing the right to bear arms does not allow convicted felons to possess firearms. A federal judge upheld Colorado's new stronger gun laws that mandate background checks for all gun sales and limit ammunition magazines to 15 rounds.

Georgia school leaders are turning down a new option to arm teachers, saying it doesn't make kids safer and creates new problems. The first day of Georgia's new guns everywhere law saw a gun draw-down between two men openly carrying guns in a local store.

One hundred sixty-three U.S. House Democrats signed a letter to Speaker Boehner demanding that he allow "a vote on substantive legislation to address gun violence."

► Chicago area Congresswoman Robin Kelly released The 2014 Kelly Report on Gun Violence in America the first-ever Congressional analysis of the nation's gun violence epidemic that offers a blueprint for ending the crisis.

► Experts offer solutions on how to stop mass shootings. Solutions include gun violence restraining orders, assisted outpatient treatment and violent misdemeanor convictions as disqualification for gun purchase and possession.

Community Support

Let the Children LiveThe Milwaukee, Wisconsin Clarke Street Boys & Girls Club teens helped to create a psa, Let The Children Live. It is dedicated to 10-year-old Sierra who was shot and wounded on the playground where the video was filmed.

Tammerlin Drummond, Oakland Tribune, A Boston group, LIPSTICK (Ladies Involved in Putting a Stop To Inner-City Killings) focuses not on the men doing most of the shooting but on the women who buy guns for them. The idea is to educate women about the dangers of buying or hiding guns for men in their lives.

Shaun Wallace, Liberal America, A British Guy goes Off On The American Gun Culture (With Citations). We honestly do not understand your love affair with the gun. How a modern western democracy has such stupid gun laws is scary. America is so insular they don't notice.

Himat Batra, Journal Star, Peoria, Illinois, If Past Is Prologue, There's Hope for Gun Control. We should always remember that vested interests never forego their privileges easily.  Some successful struggles of the past - the abolition of slavery, the Civil Rights Movements, women's suffrage - testify to that.

► New Jersey Jewish Standard, Local Rabbi Takes Aim at Gun Violence Prevention. Rabbi Joel Mosbacher is leveraging the purchasing power of cities and states - who buy 40 percent of the guns in the country - to pressure gun manufacturers to create safer gun distribution standards. "So far we've got 30 jurisdictions signing on to the campaign."

Marie Crandall, Associate Professor of Surgery at Northwestern U., What Isn't funny About the Accidental Penis Shooting. The issue of unintentional firearm injuries and the attendant burden of death and disability is not really funny at all.

Iulia Filip, The Atlantic, Doctors' Role in Stopping Gun Violence. With proper training and guidelines, physicians could determine who is fit to carry a gun. Doctors are qualified to do this, but they need guidance. The problem is there is currently no standardized national protocol for assessments.

Sally Lieber, Palo Alto Online, Stemming the tide of gun violence. Instead of acquiescing to the gun industry, we can take action in our own communities. We can continue to hold Congress accountable but still move forward. Strong, common-sense measures to deter gun violence can - and must - be advanced in every local community.

► Thoughts At Large blog, An Open Letter Response to Millionaire LaPierre. You seed paranoia to sell guns, blame the consequences on everything else and cash your checks. To you I say: There is change coming. It will not happen overnight or without great pain, but change is coming.

Ann Friedman, New York Magazine, The Scary Reason Some Men Like Guns Better Than Women. The headlines have come to reflect the message in a way that is chillingly consistent: These men control guns. These men wish they controlled women. These men use guns to control women. What was once perceived as the stuff of women's-studies classes has become routine news analysis.

What the Gun Lobby is Doing

► Rob Astorino, a Republican gubernatorial candidate in New York, is featured on a billboard in the Finger Lakes asking "Would you rather Register to Vote or register Your Guns? The billboard targets voters who want to repeal the SAFE Act, the state's new, strong gun laws.

Open Carry Texas goes for 'In Your Face' approach to the gun debate.  CJ Grisham, a 20-year Army veteran, leads the group of gun-carrying activists who carry around assault rifles in public. Grisham says he still battles with PTSD from his tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, including the memories of the seven people he says he killed in combat.

Waitresses at Shooters Grill in Rifle, Colorado openly carry loaded handguns on the job. A sign on the front door reads: Guns are welcome on premises. Please keep all weapons holstered unless need arises. In such case, judicious marksmanship is appreciated.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The NRA's Very Bad Year at the Supreme Court

CeasefireUSA: The GVP Report - June 24, 2014

In The News

Supreme Court The U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision upholding a law that forbids lying about buying a gun for someone else is only the latest in a string of setbacks the high court has dealt the gun lobby. Mother Jones looks at the NRA's very bad year. 

►"You Allow Your Heart to Be Broken Every Day."  Families of shooting victims describe the struggle of lobbying for stronger gun laws and how they keep going. 

► Two important new reports about women and gun violence:  Guns and Violence Against Women from Everytown for Gun Safety gives a summary of domestic violence laws in all 50 states and uncovers gaps in the law that are particularly harmful to women.  Women Under the Gun from the Center for American Progress looks at how gun violence affects women and offers four policy solutions to better protect them. 

Gun TracesWhere Do Guns Traced in Your State Come From?  Using data from the ATF, Pro Publica maps firearm traces in each state for 2012, including both imports and exports. 

States With Weaker Gun Laws and Higher Gun Ownership Lead Nation in Gun Deaths.  Violence Policy Center analysis of new data from the CDC highlights the importance of state legislation to prevent gun violence. 

'Gun Violence Restraining Order' Idea May Get Traction, Experts Predict. California Healthline looks at newly proposed state legislation to create a clear path of action for police to search for and confiscate weapons if they believe individuals could be a threat. 

Annals of Epidemiology,  Mental Illness and Reduction of Gun Violence and Suicide, Jeffrey Swanson et al. The researchers found that mass murderers with mental health problems, while they receive a tremendous amount of media attention, are not typical of those who commit violent crimes, and the vast majority of those with serious mental illness do not engage in violent acts. 

The U.S. House of Representatives Actually Managed to Pass a Gun Safety Bill.  The House passed a small appropriation that will improve the NICS database used to conduct background checks on gun sales.  Click here to see the roll call vote.

Unload Your 401kThe Unload Your 401k campaign from States United to Prevent Gun Violence and the Campaign to Unload won three awards, a Titanium Lion, Silver Lion and Bronze Lion, at the Cannes Lions 2014 festival. Is your 401k invested in public gun companies? Find out here

David Wheeler, invited by the International Action Network on Small Arms, speaks to member states at the Fifth Biennial Meeting of States on small arms and light weapons at the United Nations. Wheeler's son Benjamin was killed in the Sandy Hook shooting.

Community Support

Peniel Joseph, The Root, Gun Violence is the Civil Rights Issue of Our Time. We betray the legacy of the civil rights movement - and fail to value black life - if we don't take steps to end gun violence. 

► Dean Obeidallah, Daily Beast, It's Time to Think Big or Shut Up on Gun Control. What can be done that's different? Here are a few suggestions. Some are activities already happening that need more support, while others are more long-term ideas.

Mike Weisser, Mike the Gun Guy, Concealed Carry Laws Don't Decrease Gun Violence -- But the NRA Continues to Say the Opposite. The "decrease" in gun violence in this country ended in 2002.  The rate of fatalities and injuries has slightly increased since then while the number of states that now issue ccw has roughly doubled since 2002. 

Arkadi Gerney, Think Progress, Chicago: Cesspool of Gun Crime or Victim of Gun Laws in Neighboring States?  Chicago is not the "murder capital" of the U.S., it ranks nowhere close to the top. 60% of guns recovered in crimes in Chicago originated in other states.

The Colbert Report Stephen Colbert,  The Colbert Report, Open-Carry Backlash. "I'm sad to report that the response to the Chipotle chiprotest was for a whole slew of restaurants to suppress gun lovers." 

Evan DeFillippis, Slate, Guns Kill Children. The overwhelming evidence that pediatricians are right and the NRA is wrong. The empirical evidence indicates that the presence of a gun makes children less safe. 

Washington Post editorial, No Place is Safe Under America's Gun Policy. That's because Congress refuses - even in the face of increasingly frequent shootings - to even consider, let alone enact, any kind of responsible gun control. 

Adam Weinstein, Gawker, It's Really Hard to Be a Good Guy With a Gun. I was a typical gun person, in that I believed myself better trained than my peers, as good as a cop. But what proof did I have? And what risk was I willing to take? When my son was born, all of my questions suddenly had a very basic answer. Now, all my guns live with my father. 

Reno Berkeley, All Voices New Mexico, Stronger Gun Laws Could Lead to Fewer Gun-Related Suicides. In less than one year, my family has been hit by three suicides. Three different beautiful people. And they all had one thing in common: They ended their lives with guns.

What the Gun Lobby is Doing

► Florida Governor Rick Scott signed a law that expands on the state's Stand Your Ground/Shoot First rules to allow people to brandish weapons and fire warning shoots if they feel threatened

The devious, NRA-backed plan to turn Missouri into the wild west for gun owners. A ballot question sounds simple enough, but if it passes, it will turn Missouri into a virtual free-for-all for firearms. 

Gun researcher John Lott relies on falsehoods to downplay the gun violence threat to women.  In an effort to discredit Moms Demand Action, Lott uses misleading claims and comparisons. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

How the NRA rewrote the Second Amendment

CeasefireUSA: The GVP Report - May 27, 2014

In The News

Michael Waldman bookMichael Waldman, How the NRA rewrote the Second AmendmentThe Founders never intended to create an unregulated individual right to a gun. Today, millions believe they did. Here's how it happened. (This article is adapted from Waldman's new book The Second Amendment: A Biography).

Democrats push to restart CDC funding for gun violence research. New legislation would increase CDC funding from zero dollars to $10 million. The NRA calls the push "unethical" and an "abuse of taxpayer funds."

A federal judge upheld Washington D.C.'s tough gun registration laws, finding that the regulations crafted in response to the landmark D.C. v. Heller Supreme Court decision "pass constitutional scrutiny."

Spitting, Stalking, Rape Threats: How Gun Extremists Target Women. Mark Follman, Mother Jones, explores the dark side of America's war over guns. Also see his follow-up story, No, the Spitting Attack on a Paralyzed Mom Was Not a Hoax.

WMC News report WMC News, Memphis, Tennessee, Guns in day care experiment teaches lifelong lessons to both kids and their parents. News investigators partnered with a day care owner, police and a local hospital to start a conversation that could save your child's life.

Why Don't We Know How Many People Are Shot Each Year in America?Doctors and researchers have been advocating for better gun injury data for decades. But fierce political battles over gun violence research has meant that we still don't know basic facts.

Unfinished receivers, a gun part that is sold separately, lets some people get around laws. The metal piece that holds the critical mechanisms that allow guns to fire are unregulated and readily available online, enabling people to build an assault rifle themselves.

Jersey City, NJ is the first municipality in the nation to require gun companies that supply its police department with weapons to disclose more about their business practices.  Questions include how firms dispose of old weapons and comply with background check laws.

All In with Chris Hayes, Guns in America. Hayes debates Richard Feldman, a former NRA lobbyist and talks with Michael Waldman, Brennan Center for Justice, about the history of gun laws in America.

Community Support

Cliff Schecter, The Daily Beast, How the Gun Nuts Try to Excuse Away the Santa Barbara Slaughter - and Why They're All Wrong. As terrible as this was, it could hae been much worse if he had been able to buy an assault weapon and high-capacity magazine. 

Mark O'Mara, CNN legal analyst,I'm a gun owner and I want gun control. We have a problem with gun violence in this country. I think this much is not in dispute The real debate is this: What do we do about it?

Mark Heisler, Forbes contributor, America 2014: Waiting to Hear If Your Daughter is Among Victims of Latest Mass Shooting. You read these stories all the time. Mass shooting. Community-wide horror. Here's one you don't ever want to have to do: I google "UCSB shooting victims" with our daughter's name.

truth-o-meterTampa Bay Times, Florida, PunditFact, Gun advocate Larry Pratt says 'smart guns' fail 20 percent of the time. The scientists who conducted that research say Pratt's citation is misapplied. Even more, their research is a decade old and they say technology has changed since then.

John Feinblatt, New York Daily News op-ed, Death rides the Iron Pipeline. Georgia's lax gun laws help criminals here kill. All 155 of the weapons recovered recently by the NYPD came from one place: Georgia. 90% of all crime-related guns recovered in NYC come from out of state. From states like Georgia with lax gun laws.

Matt Grossman, Sunlight Foundation guest author, Money Can't Buy You The NRA. In the history of major policy change it is nearly always a slow, arduous process of internal coalition building between interest groups, legislators and administrators.

Deborah Rogers & Howard Segal, Bangor Daily News, Maine op-ed, Campus lifestyles, easy access to guns: A cocktail for violence at US colleges. The age of onset of some severe psychiatric conditions, turbulent university life, pressure to do well academically and to fit in socially may "trigger" mental illness for the vulnerable.

Qudsia Raja, YWCA USA, To Keep Women Healthy, We Must Protect Them From Gun Violence. If you're a woman in the U.S., you're more likely to die at the hands of a gun than in any other developed nation in the world.

Brandy Zadrozny, Pediatricians take on the NRA over gun safety. Over the past three decades, the American Academy of Pediatrics has been an outspoken voice on the issue of gun control, a position that has landed it on the NRA's list of enemies.

What the Gun Lobby is Doing

California Congressional Candidate Sends Pro-Gun Robocall Hours After Deadly Mass Shooting. Republican Congressional candidate Tony Strickland, who used to represent Santa Barbara as a state senator,  sent hundreds of robocalls touting his endorsement by the NRA one day after the UCSB shooting.

Open Carry Texas tells its members "to cease taking long arms into corporate businesses unless invited." This comes after incidents at Jack in the Box and Chipotle. For more information about the men who took their assault rifles into a Dallas Chipotle go here.

Friendly Fire. Vivek Murthy, nominee for surgeon general, earned the ire of the NRA, and the NRA scared off the necessary rump of Democrats. 

Fox chief investigative reporter, Emily Miller, fabricates Hillary Clinton quote "Nobody should have guns" and "there's too many guns." In fact, Clinton expressed the opposite sentiment, referencing "the right of people to own guns."

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Media fails when it comes to reporting on new gun laws

CeasefireUSA: The GVP Report - May 13, 2014

In The News

Tacking State Gun LawsA new report from Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, Tracking State Gun Laws, finds recent media narratives on new state gun laws are far from accurate. And that 8 states have made very significant changes to strengthen gun regulation while only 4 states have enacted laws that significantly weakened gun regulation.

States Move to Keep Guns Out of the Hands of Domestic Abusers. Lawmakers in Minnesota and Louisiana overwhelmingly passed bills this month barring people convicted of domestic violence from possessing or purchasing guns.

Chris Hayes reportsChris Hayes, MSNBC, reports on the gun the NRA doesn't want sold. There is a legal, smart firearm that could be a game-changer for gun safety. And thanks to the NRA, you can't buy it.

Waseca, Minnesota, Dad Agonizes Over Son's Dark Side. David LaDue questions himself about the signs he might have missed after his son is charged with plotting to kill his family and massacre as many people as he could with bombs and guns at the local junior and senior high school.

► New report from Center for American Progress, Oil and Gas Industry Investments in the NRA and Safari Club International: Reshaping American Energy, Land and Wildlife Policy, looks at how the growing influence of the oil and gas industry is influencing the NRA to lobby against American land and wildlife conservation.

Montana killing: Deadly clash of teenage mischief, pot and self-defense?The killing of a German exchange student renews international criticism of US 'stand your ground/shoot first' self-defense laws. 

How Chicago is using psychotherapy to fight crime - and winning. The program is called Becoming a Man and consists of weekly sessions with groups of no more than 15 high school boys.

U.S. Supreme Court declines to consider a challenge to New Jersey law that restricts most residents from carrying concealed handguns in public The court lets stand a lower court ruling upholding the law that requires citizens prove a "justifiable need" to carry a gun in public.

Community Support

Turning guns into symbol of peace Melissa Harris-Perry, MSNBC, Using art to turn guns into a symbol of peace. Ryan Feeney, an Indianapolis firefighter and artist  is using guns to sculpt a dove shaped memorial for homicide victims using more than 150 confiscated guns.

Philip Cook and Kristin Goss, The Gun Debate: What Everyone Needs to Know. This new book thoroughly covers the latest research, data and developments on gun ownership, gun violence, the firearms industry and the regulation of firearms.

Michael Vincent, Australian news correspondent, No Sense in US Gun Violence, can't understand "why no one in this country is shocked that a child not only has access to a gun but will use it to take a life."

Heather Digby Parton, Salon.com,"Look at my gun!" Why NRA's scary "open carry" craze is not about freedom. Freedom for a man with a gun trumps freedom for parents of kids who feel endangered by him. Our scary new reality.

The Daily ShowJon Stewart, The Daily Show, Gunny Delight, examines the notion that guns are part of the solution to current cultural disagreements. No matter what the question, the answer is always "that's why you need a gun."

Saul Cornell, Fordham University, History and 'Heller': The Past as a Two-Edged Sword. In D.C. v. Heller, Justice Scalia engaged in a revisionist exercise, rewriting history to further his ideological agenda. Heller's misuse of history borders on the scandalous.

Joe Henderson, The Tampa, Florida Tribune,For NRA, even minor setback means war.  After the state Senate votes down an NRA backed bill, their lobbyist attacks the Florida Sheriffs Association that testified against the bill.

Jeff Beer, Fast Company, Are Your Retirement Investments Helping Gun Companies?  A new psa can tell you and help you get your money out.

David Frum, The Atlantic, Why gun-rights backers win while other conservative causes lose. The NRA offers an outlet for the right's cultural anxieties that is clothed in a populist message of empowerment.

Chad MacDonald, Quiet Mike, John Lott: The Key to Defeating Gun Lobbies. We need to silence the man most responsible for the misinformation being spread about gun control.

What the Gun Lobby is Doing

►  Gun bans in state Capitols but not bars draw cries of hypocrisy. The push to permit guns in more public areas largely ends at the doors of America's statehouses.

The NRA just created its own Netflix to convince young people that guns are cool. The NRA would like you to meet Colion Noir. He's the host of their new show which premieres May 11 on NRA Freestyle. This is just one of the new shows the NRA plans to launch.

6 Crazy Campaign Ads with Candidates Shooting Guns at Things. These six candidates decided it was important to let the voting public know that in addition to their other qualifications, they're also pretty handy with guns. 

► Missouri House passed a bill to allow more individuals to use deadly force in self-defense. Unlike Stand Your Ground/Shoot First laws, the basis for this bill is not fear of imminent death or great bodily harm but rather protecting against "unlawful entry."  The bill could allow babysitters, bar patrons and shoppers to use deadly force.