Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Arkansas, Oklahoma and Wyoming universities agree - No Guns on Campus

CeasefireUSA: The GVP Report - October 14, 2014

In The News

Oklahoma college presidents More than half of Oklahoma's public college presidents went to the state Capitol to tell lawmakers "placing guns on campus would be a serious mistake."   For the second consecutive year, governing boards of Arkansas' universities voted unanimously to prohibit carrying of guns on their campuses. The Faculty Senate at the University of Wyoming also solidified its position against guns on campus.

California Governor Jerry Brown signs 'gun violence restraining order' law.  The new law allows family members to petition a judge to temporarily remove guns from those at risk of committing gun violence.

► A new study, The Relationship Between Gun Ownership and Stranger and Non-stranger Firearm Homicides, Michael Siegel, MD et al, finds that states with higher gun ownership have a higher incidence of non-stranger firearms homicides - disputing the claim that gun ownership deters violent crime.

Brady memorial Jim Brady remembered as a champion for gun safety.  Vice President Joe Biden was among the many who spoke at the memorial service for Brady who died in August at the age of 73. Biden praised Brady as an example of turning tragedy into action.

Using data to combat gun violence. Experts explain how data from social network maps, acoustic sensors and research can be used in the fight against gun violence.

► Under the Defense Department giveaway program even an Ozarks coroner gets surplus military guns. The coroner's office obtained a .45-caliber pistol, an M-16 rifle and a Humvee. The White House has ordered a review of the controversial program.

► Jurors found Michael Dunn guilty of first-degree murder in the 2012 shooting death of 17-year-old Jordan Davis. Dunn shot into an SUV full of teenagers following a squabble over loud music.

OpenSecrets.org looks at the money gun violence prevention groups and pro-gun groups are spending in the 2014 election cycle at the federal, state and local level. 

2014 National Vigil for All Gun Violence Victims

National VigilPlease join in the second annual  National Vigil for All Gun Violence Victims.

To host a vigil in your state click here. To attend the Thursday, December 11th vigil at the National Cathedral in D.C. click here.  To upload a photo of a loved one lost to gun violence click here. To apply for a special stipend to go to D.C. click here.  To make a donation to support the vigil click here.

Community Support

The EmbassyAs part of the Prospect.3 international art festival in New Orleans, avant-garde art curator Kirsha Kaechele's project, "The Embassy", will includea $100,000 "no questions asked" gun buy-back program combined with a free recording studio in a converted car wash.

Frank Strier, Salon.com, How pediatricians are taking on the NRAAs more kids in the U.S. die from guns than cancer, the NRA is fighting basic safety measures.  Now doctors are pushing back.

Beth Messersmith, MomsRising.org, Lessons mothers have learned in the year since North Carolina relaxed gun laws. Perhaps most importantly we've learned that we can advocate sensible laws that protect our children, families, neighbors. We can hold our N.C. elected officials accountable for protecting the public's safety.

Roland S. Martin, Daily Beast, Where the hell is the surgeon general?  We've got an Ebola crisis on our hands - and no surgeon general to deal with it. Blame the NRA, but Obama and the Senate Democrats, too.

I pledgeOctober 22nd is the Day of National Concern about Young People and Gun Violence. Students across the country are taking the Student Pledge Against Gun Violence. As part of this effort, 64 schools and over 27,000 students in the Eastern District of Louisiana will participate in the Student Pledge event.

Heather Digby Parton, Salon.com, Why "open carry" groups don't get police brutality. Open carry people should realize that nice white men openly carrying firearms on the street aren't being gunned down on sight by police. It's unarmed black men and unarmed mentally ill people of all races who are being gunned down.

Alec MacGillis, New Republic,Democrats who stand with the NRA win nothing. In fact, two of them just might lose this fall. Two Democrats who voted against background checks are up for reelection this year, the NRA turns against senator from Arkansas and doesn't endorse in the race in Alaska.

Richard Martinez, special to the Sacramento Bee, Passage of gun bills shows NRA isn't invincible. After my son was killed, I very publicly declared that "not one more" child should die of senseless gun violence. That's why I committed myself to fighting for stronger gun laws.

WiriadjajajGunshot victim takes a selfie a day to document his healing. Antonius Wiriadjaja was shot walking to the subway. Now he wants you to see how long and hard the healing process is.  He was in a coma for four days and in physical therapy for seven months. But says he was incredibly lucky that day, he survived relatively unscathed.

What the Gun Lobby is Doing

Glock family goes down, guns blazing. Helga Glock, ex-wife to the gun industry's tycoon, filed a lawsuit in Atlanta federal court. The complaint accuses the gun manufacturer of a racketeering scheme that spanned decades and the globe.

"They've got us hogtied": Inside the gun lobby's strategy conference. Media Matters reports on the Gun Rights Policy Conference. One speaker warned, "the Bloomberg people know gun groups will never support background check legislation, so they can knock our teeth out and there's nothing we can do about it."

For a mere $1,200, you can now outfit an army with as many working AR-15s as you want. A pro-gun advocate has invented a 3-D printer that will allow amateur gunsmiths to create AR-15 assault rifles without serial numbers. The developer commented that "this is a way to jab at the bleeding hearts."

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

In Newtown, healing comes slowly

CeasefireUSA: The GVP Report - September 30, 2014

In The News

Sandy Hook Politico reports on how in Newtown, healing comes slowly. As the two-year anniversary of the deadly shooting approaches, students and staff in the school district still struggle with the sense that school is an unsafe place, post-traumatic stress, anxiety, depression, and grief.

A U.S. District Court judge upheld Highland Park, Illinois' ban on assault weapons and large-capacity magazines. The judge ruled that the ban does not violate the Second Amendment.

Democrats not "shying away from guns" in Colorado district. During last year's CO state senate recall elections, political consultants decided the risk/benefit to "engaging the gun issue" wasn't worth it. But pretending there's no 800-pound gorilla in the room is not a good strategy. Mailer starts to undo this thinking.

Jersey City, New Jersey to award contract for weapons and ammunition under new innovative policy using the city's purchasing power clout.  Bidders had to answer questions regarding how they handle firearms they purchase back from the city, questions about assault weapons and whether they agree not to sell certain firearms to civilians.

► NPR report To Counter Gun Violence, Researchers Seek Deeper Data.  There are big gaps in what gets reported and what doesn't when it comes to gun violence. The CDC has begun offering grants to states to expand the National Violent Death Reporting System.

FBI report New FBI analysis of "active shooter" situations from 2000 through 2013 shows a rise in incidents. The study found an average of six incidents per year from 2000 through 2006. The number rose to 16 incidents annually in the past seven years. Click here to read full report.

► A new report from BMJ Open finds that firearm-related deaths are twice as high among African-Americans compared with whites. The study correlates gun-related deaths to ethnicity and groups the statistics into state-specific categories. Click here to read the full report.

Daniel Webster, Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, talk at TedMed 2014,America's Path to Fewer Gun Deaths. Our standards for legal gun ownership are too low and our laws are too weak to hold individuals accountable if they put guns into the hands of criminals.

Olympia, Washington convicted felon was buying and selling guns on Facebook with little trouble, federal prosecutors contend.  Michael Joanen was able to deal in guns for months before federal investigators caught wind.

Community Support

Bob Costas Bob Costas on The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell.  In what O'Donnell calls   the best defense of gun safety laws, Costas makes a strong case for stronger gun laws.

Kay Campbell, Alabama Media Group, 'Jesus was not a member of the NRA;' no biblical grounds for emphasis on self-defense."It's hard to articulate a strong Biblical case for a heavily armed society," said one of the panelists on "God and Guns" at the Religion Newswriters conference. "That's not Biblical reasoning; that's cultural reasoning."

Hunter, Daily Kos, Sen. Mark Pryor backstabbed his state for the NRA.  It got him nothing. Last year Pryor (D-AR) voted with the NRA against background checks. The NRA just announced a $1.3 million ad buy supporting his Republican opponent in the upcoming election.

Art exhibitGuns in the Hands of Artists  is a new exhibit at the Jonathan Ferrara Gallery in New Orleans, Louisiana. It features works from 30 artists from across the country.

Nicholas Kristof, New York Times, Stranger Danger and Guns. "I may have been a fool for trying to reclaim my phone. But we're all idiots for accepting a society where knocking on a door is a deadly risk."

Harmon Leon, Cracked.com, 5 Terrifying Things I Learned While Buying Guns on Facebook. Most people agree that in a perfect world, there'd be a few obstacles in between, say, a disturbed teen and a brand-new assault rifle. But here's what we found instead.

BET Hip Hop AwardsAllHipHop partnered with the League of Young Voters and Snoop Dogg to bring their gun violence prevention campaign #NoGunsAllowed to the 2014 BET Hip-Hop Awards red carpet in Atlanta, Georgia.

Tom Sullivan, Huffington Post,The Midterm Election in Aurora, Colorado Where My Son Was Shot Must Address Gun Control. Our children's lives and our communities are at risk. Let the politicians in Washington know that enough is enough. We will work for change, with or without them.

Peace Tournament NBA Stars Fight Gun Violence with Basketball at Chicago Church. St. Sabina Parish hosts the third annual Peace Tournament.  NBA All-Star Joakim Noah,  NBA legend Isiah Thomas and others helped with the event.

What the Gun Lobby is Doing

► Washington Post, The NRA's over-the-top ad stretches the facts with its images. Fact Checker gives a new ad airing in Louisiana against Senator Mary Landrieu Four Pinocchios (factual whoppers).

► Wicomico County, Maryland Sheriff Mike Lewis told a local tv station,  "Who am I to tell them they shouldn't have a magazine with 30 rounds behind the door when some thug is trying to break into their home?" The Maryland Attorney General responded by saying, "If a sheriff takes an oath to defend the laws in Maryland, then that sheriff has taken an oath to defend this gun law."

► Larry Pratt, Gun Owners of America, tells interviewer that Democratic lawmakers are rightly afraid of being shot by gun owners because "that's what the Second Amendment is all about."

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Cities Find New Ways to Go After Gun Violence

CeasefireUSA: The GVP Report - September 16, 2014

In The News

Philadelphia mayorGoverning Magazine. With gun control legislation failing at the federal level, cities get creative and find new ways to address gun violence. Hampered by preemption laws, cities shift away from going after weapons themselves to a new focus on curtailing their unsafe use.

Sept. 16 marks the first anniversary of the Navy Yard shooting that killed 12 and left three injured. Jennifer Bennett carries an eight-inch scar from that day. "I'm a warrior and a survivor," she declares. "I have a determination not to give in."

17-year-old Kai Kloepfer from Boulder, CO just won the $50,000 Smart Tech for Firearms Challenge for his smart gun prototype, a gun that unlocks with your fingerprint.  However, some recipients in the $1 million contest have chosen to remain anonymous due to fear of a gun rights-fueled backlash.

► A Chronicle of Higher Education investigative report finds that at least 117 colleges have acquired equipment from the Department of Defense including grenade launchers, M-16 assault rifles and armored vehicles.

► Art HayhoeArthur Hayhoe was a tireless advocate for stronger gun laws. As the director of Floridians for Gun Safety, he fought for more background checks and against Florida's deadly Stand Your Ground/Shoot First law.  Art died this week at age 82.  He will be missed.

► Pro Publica, The Hidden Cost of Gun Violence: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Thousand of Americans in high-violence neighborhoods have develop PTSD. 24-year-old Aireana and her children are among the few who've been able to get treatment.

"Active Shooter" drills spark legal complaints. Critics say the simulation exercises can traumatize those taking part. Some experts say recreating the chaos of a mass shooting is no way to prime for emergencies.

► Social Science Research Network, The Impact of Right to Carry Laws and the NRC Report, Abhay Aneja et al. New study finds that the strongest evidence of a statistically significant effect of RTC laws is an increase in aggravated assault crimes.

► Atlanta Journal-Constitution investigative report, In greater numbers, Georgia killers, child molesters free to arm. A growing number of violent offenders have received pardons that restore gun rights. Last year 31 percent of gun-rights pardons went to violent felony offenders.

► Urban Institute, State Variation in Hospital Use and Cost of Firearm Assault Injury, 2010, Embry Howell et al. New study finds that national gun violence costs totaled $670 million in 2010, with most of the cost being paid for by the public. And that males - especially black males - are more likely to be victims of firearm assault.

► Charleston Post and Courier seven-part series on domestic violence in South Carolina, Till Death Do Us Part. Awash in guns, saddled with ineffective laws and lacking enough shelters, South Carolina is a state where the deck is stacked against women trapped in the cylce of abuse.

Community Support

► Australian Jim Jefferiesstand up comedian Jim Jefferies, Baretalks about something that sort of splits the crowd a little bit, gun control. Powerful routine, but beware, much profanity used. 

Salt Lake City Tribune, Editorial, Utah gun accident shows danger of guns on campus. People who think it makes a school safer to allow teachers, janitors and lunch room ladies to pack heat on campus have watched way too many James Bond movies.

Alice Speri, Vice News, The last thing Missouri needs is more guns, but that's exactly what it's getting. Republican lawmakers override the governor's veto and vote to expand open carry and lower the age for concealed weapon permits. The state has recently been at the heart of a national controversy over the killing of unarmed 18-year-old Michale Brown by Ferguson police.

Amanda Gailey, Salon, "Wretched, disgusting commie leftists": My nightmare fighting gun nuts in a red state. Want to understand why it's so hard to win the most basic gun safety reform? Here's how the debate so often goes.

Los Angeles Times, Editorial, A reasonable gun measure prompted by Isla Vista rampage.  The measure, approved by the Legislature, would let relatives seek a court order to remove weapons from a family member who displays signs of violence.

Mike The Gun Guy,  Guns sales have tanked and here's the reason why. While the gun industry tried to explain the surge in sales as new customers, the hard, cold facts are that most of the sales were to people who already owned guns and were sensitive that gun legislation might take their precious toys away.

Chad MacDonald, Forward Progressives, Gun fanatics are creeping my Facebook profile. Mark Kessler, gun rights advocate, came to my profile, found a picture with my family to comment about his guns underneath of, and then followed a tag to my wife's profile. He did not find me randomly, he came looking for me.

Bill GatesCliff Schecter, Daily Beast, The NRA pissed off the wrong nerd genius. Bill Gates is donating $1 million to Initiative 594 in Washington state, a ballot initiative for universal background checks - and there's more where that came from.

Leonard Pitts, Jr, Miami Herald, U.S. is exceptional - and stupid, too. A 9-year-old girl unintentionally shot and killed a gun range instructor: What kind of shooting range allows a prepubescent girl to fire an Uzi? What kind of parents think it's a good idea? And what kind of idiot country does not prohibit such things by law?

What the Gun Lobby is Doing

► Rob Cox, Buzz Feed, My Year in the NRA.  I grew up and raised my family in Newtown, CT - and own guns. After 26 of my neighbors were massacred, I signed up to see how the organization that controls our gun debates works.

► Alabama Today, Where in Alabama are residents most heavily armed?  A county-by-county analysis of concealed weapons permits, plus 17 gun owners tell why they carry.

► A group of heavily-armed Arizona border militia members mistook conservationists researching bats for illegal immigrants or smugglers. The militia group, from Colorado, was armed and wearing camouflage when it stopped the researchers.

► Don Gonyear, National Public Radio, Guns boom in 2014 campaign ads. This year lots of ads are featuring candidates with firearms shooting at things: TVs, drones, copies of the Affordable Care Act.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Gun Wars

CeasefireUSA: The GVP Report - August 19, 2014

In The News

Gun Wars Gun Wars is the 2014 project of the Carnegie-Knight News21 program. Journalism student fellows spent five months researching guns. Then 29 fellows traveled to 25 states, producing the most exhaustive report ever published by News21. 

Americans for Responsible Solutions and Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence have released a new toolkit for lawmakers and advocates:  Commonsense Solutions: How State Laws Can Reduce Gun Deaths Associated With Mental Illness.  The toolkit gives a manual for understanding the breakdowns in state laws that allow the dangerously mentally ill easy access to guns.

A federal judge upheld Maryland's new law that bans assault weapons and large-capacity magazines. The judge concluded that "the Act substantially serves the government's interest in protecting public safety."

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick signs gun violence prevention bill into law. The bill includes provisions focused on school safety, mental health, background checks and enhanced criminal penalties for gun crimes.

► New state efforts to stop gun violence:  Delaware has created a statewide unit targeting illegal gun sales and distribution of firearms.  New York City will create a Gun Violence Crisis Management System.

► A preliminary report from the American Bar Association Task Force finds that  Stand Your Ground/Shoot First laws are associated with increased homicide rates and reinforce racial bias. The report concludes that "the application of SYG laws is unpredictable, uneven, and results in racial disparities."

National Poll on Children's HealthThe annual National Poll on Children's Health from the University of Michigan shows childhood obesity remains the top health concern for children, but when asked about national concerns, adults put school violence and gun-related injuries in the top 10.

► The Atlantic, The Question Doctors Can't Ask. Is there a gun in your home? If so, is it secure? A Florida law now prevents physicians from discussing firearm safety with patients.

► A Detroit jury found Theodore Wafer guilty of second-degree murder in the shooting death of Renisha McBride, rejecting his "castle doctrine" defense. Renisha's mother said that the jury's verdict showed that "her life mattered."

Community Support

The Economist,  The Ferguson Protests: Guns, police and the people. The killing of Michael Brown happened because America's citizens and its police are too heavily armed, and too quick to believe they have a legitimate right to shoot someone in a disagreement.

Kin Killing KinA new art exhibit in Indianapolis "Kin Killing Kin", depicts deadly gun violence involving young black males. The exhibit trains local high school students to serve as tour guides. The art will travel across the country after it leaves Indiana.

Keith Boykin, Huffington Post, Does the Second Amendment Only Apply to White People?  Imagine what might happen if black people started buying up scores of weapons at gun stores and posting pictures carrying them on the streets.

Becky Mason, Ohio Domestic Violence Network, A Gun Increases The Chances the Victim Will Die. American women are 11 times more likely to be murdered with guns than women in other developed countries. Perhaps the most tragic element here is that many of these deaths could have been prevented.

Brenda Gazzar, Los Angeles Daily News, Jewish Community Center Shooting Survivors Turn Pain into Action.  15 years after a gunman's shooting spree at a Jewish center in Granada Hills, survivors and their families work to prevent gun violence.

Diane R. Girardot, MA, LPC, How To Prevent Suicide and Other Gun Deaths.  The most pressing issue in gun violence prevention is addressing suicide, not gang-related crime or mass shootings. When you add statistics about domestic violence intimidation, coercion and unintentional death from firearms, a very real national crisis becomes evident.

Francis Wilkinson, BloombergView, NRA Defeats Politicians, Loses on Internet. The Internet preserves the NRA's folly, then amplifies the ensuing mockery. It also reminds people of the many innocents killed just because some reckless or insecure person had a gun.

Beau Bridges, actor, Why I Helped Jim Brady Fight for Gun Control. The man walked directly to me in a restaurant and placed the business end of his pistol between my eyes. The stranger quickly became the most important person I had ever met.

Open-Carry TrailblazersThe Colbert Report, Open-Carry Trailblazers. Stephen Colbert reviews the children's book My Parents Open Carry. "This book is long overdue," Colbert concluded. "I wish there were more firearms in children's books."

What the Gun Lobby is Doing

The NRA is quietly fighting for your right to kill elephants for their ivory. The organization is pushing for a law that would allow wealthy safari elephant hunters to bring home their large ivory trophy.

U.S. gun owners see Obama conspiracy in sanctions on Russia's AK-47. The recent blacklisting of Russian arms manufacturer Kalshnikov is seen by some as an insidious means to curb Second Amendment rights.

Texas board considers allowing alcohol at gun shows. The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has proposed rules allowing alcohol sales during some gun shows. Venues would be required to prohibit live ammunition in the facility during shows and require any firearms be disabled.

How a new book revises the gun lobby's post-Newtown intransigence. Frank Miniter's forthcoming book The Future of the Gun presents a revisionist history of the NRA's extremism during the legislative battle over guns following the Newtown shooting.