Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Blood Money

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The GVP Report - May 29 , 2012

In The News

NYAGV Who is Paying for What?Research by New Yorkers Against Gun Violence reveals that taxpayers have been subsidizing two gun manufactures in NY with more than $11.4 million in public funds.  "Giving millions of dollars in taxpayer money to the gun industry in sweetheart deals while innocent New Yorkers die each year by guns cannot be justified," said NYAGV executive director Jackie Hilly.

► Louisiana voters will be asked in November whether to approve a constitutional amendment that would rewrite the state constitution provision on gun ownership.  "This is not about the citizens of Louisiana," said an opponent. "This is about an NRA agenda.  The NRA wants to use Louisiana as a pawn in a larger scheme." 

► Foreign Policy magazine looks at the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty and discusses why controlling the international arms trade can help to build stable societies. 

► "I look at the Trayvon Martin case, and what happened to my son is almost the same thing," says Daniel Adkins, an Arizona father who mourns the death of his only son. Is the state's Shoot First law the reason why the shooter hasn't been arrested?

► The federal trial against two Alaskan militia leaders charged with conspiring to commit murder, conspiracy to commit kidnapping and weapons charges has begun.  Prosecutors allege that their group, the Alaska Peacemakers Militia, amassed a cache of firearms and unregistered weapons including fully automatic machine guns, grenades and launchers. 

► Reversing the Iowa Resources Commission, Gov. Terry Branstand rescinded a rule against use of lead ammunition in dove hunts. The ban was intended to protect public and animal health.  Despite the availability of alternative types of ammunition, the Iowa Firearms Coalition said their rights were being taken away.

Community Support

The OnionThe Onion (satire) NRA Sets 1,000 Killed in School Shooting As Amount It Would Take For Them to Reconsider Much of Anything. "Yeah, that's probably the only way we'd reassess at this point."

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Felon Crackdown: A Bill Hits Illegal Gun Carriers With A Stiff Penalty, notes that "this bill is that rarest of things, a gun measure that both the gun lobby and its opponents and support" and urges the PA Senate to pass the bill as is. 

Eric Sapp, Eleison Group, The Most Important Treaty You've Never Heard of and How the NRA Wants It Dead. Looks at the upcoming United Nation's negotiation on the first ever Arms Trade Treaty.  There is more international oversight of the sale of bananas and iPods than grenade launchers and AK-47s.

► Nasty Jack, Are Militia Fanatics a Real Threat to America? According to a report there are 411 private, armed militas in the U.S., the largest group, the Michigan Militia, with over 10,000 members.

Mansfield Frazier, Alan Dershowitz is Wrong: Trayvon Martin's Alleged Killer Must Be Tried. There are simply too many unanswered questions to even suggest dropping the charges.  This case cries out for a very public and thorough airing of the facts.

Police Chief Richard Clark, Honor Fallen Police Heroes by Preventing Gun Violence.  Noting that in 2011, for the first time in 14 years, firearms were the leading cause of line-of-duty deaths, outnumbering traffic fatalities, Clark asks state and federal officials to support policies that better protect the public and the police from preventable gun violence.

The Young TurksCenk Uygur, The Young Turks, In Trayvon Martin Shooting, There is Absolutely One Guilty Party: Guns. "I know, progressives aren't supposed to fight back on guns. But at least someone's got to stand up, and it's going to happen right here."

Trevor Barton, second grade teacher, Gun Violence Claims Too Many Young Victims, writes about his student, killed in an unintentional shooting while playing at a friend's house. "He wanted to be old, strong and daring. But life is fragile. The world lost so much creativity, compassion and commitment in the death of one little boy by a single gunshot."

Aram Roston, In Florida, It's Often Shoot First, Learn the Law Later.  Roston wanted to see for himself how hard it is to get a concealed weapons permit in Florida.  The answer: Not Very.

What the Gun Lobby is Doing

Media Matters reports on Jim Pontillo, the owner of FMK Firearms, The Crazy Person Behind The Daily Caller's Free-Gun Giveaway and the e-mail promotion handing out dangerous weapons just to get a little bump in traffic.

► Brian Darling of the Heritage Foundation is worried that Congress Not Standing Ground on 2nd Amendment and looks at the gun bills currently before Congress.

► Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed into law a bill that will allow Oklahoma residents with concealed weapons permits to openly carry their firearms. "As a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and a gun owner myself, I'm happy to sign this bill into law," she said.

► A group of gun rights activists who want to do away with the requirement that an individual obtain a permit before carrying a loaded, hidden gun in public held a rally at the state Capitol in Lansing, Michigan. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Pro-Gun Bills Blocked

The GVP Report - May 15, 2012

In The News

Pro-gun bills failed in:

► The New Hampshire Senate killed a bill that would have allowed residents to carry a concealed gun without a permit.  Said one lawmaker, "I would say to those groups pushing for this: You are out of your mind if you think we can't have any restrictions whatsoever."

► The Tennessee legislature adjourned without voting on a bill that would prohibit employers from banning guns in employee's cars in their parking lots.  The bill was heavily opposed by TN's largest businesses and universities, because the bill would have allowed guns on campuses.

► The Kansas Senate indefinitely tabled a bill that would have allowed guns in more public buildings.  The bill would have allowed hospitals and colleges to ban concealed weapons but they would have to explain their reasons to the attorney general's office.

Mother's Day message from Sybrina FultonTrayvon Martin's mother, Saybrina Fulton, released a video message for Mother's Day asking parents nationwide to support the Second Chance campaign working to reform, repeal and prevent passage of new Florida-style "Shoot First" laws around the country.

New Jersey Attorney General announced a new initiative to target gun violence.  Tactics include investigations focuses on seizing weapons in violent areas, disrupting the supply-chain of weapons trafficking, and aggressively prosecuting those involved in illegal gun sales.

► ATF works to fight "lying and buying" straw-purchases in an effort to stop the pipeline of illegal guns from Memphis to Chicago.  The mother of a victim calls for stronger laws, "My son is in the cemetery.  The young man who brought the gun to Illinois is in the penitentiary.  But, what happened to the gun dealer?"

► A reporter spends a night with Miami-Dade Police Dept.'s Gang Unit and learns that the gangs take advantage of Florida's weak gun laws, one gang member will have a concealed weapons permit, allowing them to legally carry a loaded, hidden gun. 

Community Support

Spocko, My FireDogLake, Trayvon's Mom and My Mom on Protecting Their Kids.  "I read about gun enthusiasts and I wonder, what is the equivalent on my side? Perhaps we are developing 'public safety enthusiasts.' We are for laws that makes everyone safer, not just one at the expense of others."

Lanny Davis, Holder, Fast and Furious, and the Double Standard, Rep. Issa has abandoned a bipartisan critique of the misguided Fast and Furious and is trying to hold Holder in contempt of Congress for doing what Republican administrations have done over the years. 

Patricia Maisch, hero survivor of the Tucson shooting, has sent a letter to the House Oversight Committee expressing concern that Rep. Issa has spent too much time investigating Holder and not enough time trying to prevent future shooting tragedies

Glen Laden, Settling Conflicts: Guns and Homeschooling. When a conversation ensues a discovery is made: Most people really are not at one end of the spectrum or the other in the debate over gun ownership.  There are areas of agreement.

The Daily Show, Free at Last, Free to BlastThe Daily Show, Free at Last, Free to Blast. Aasif Mandvi talks to MO State Rep. Wanda Brown about her Second Amendment crusade to release gun owners from the shackles of persecution. 

Sen. Sylvia Larsen, N.H. state legislator, Let's Repeal State's 'Stand Your Ground' Law. In 2011, the Republican-led Legislature overturned Gov. Lynch's veto of the bill that models the Florida law.  Now it's time to repeal the law and return to the sensible laws we've lived safely under for many years. 

Media Matters, Investigative Reporters Slam NRA-Backed Bill Targeting Illegal Gun Sale Stings. "This law appears to create a shield for illegal conduct.  We would be very concerned with any attempt to criminalize legitimate reporting," said ProPublica.org managing editor.

Walter Rodgers, Christian Science Monitor, Florida-style 'Stand Your Ground' Gun Laws Sub Impulse for Intelligent Thinking. "I've had pistols held to my head from Bosnia to Beirut.  Your best self-defense is your tongue. Rarely does one find oneself in a confrontation that can't be talked out of, and where having a gun would have made things safer."

What the Gun Lobby is Doing

A firearms auction website, trying to profit off Trayvon Martin's death, was selling gun range targets that featured a silhouette in a hoodie with crosshairs aimed at the chest. A bag of Skittles is tucked in the pocket and a hand is holding a can of iced tea.

► An email campaign that has the endorsement of Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) depicts a rifle pointing at President Obama's head and a message about an imaginary "million rifle ban" the president is allegedly seeking to implement.

► The U.S. House voted to block a requirement that border-state gun dealers alert federal law enforcement about multiple rifle sales.  The reporting requirement is an effort to stop gun smuggling to Mexican drug cartels.  Since it started in August, 120 criminal investigations have been launched that have led to 25 prosecutions of more than 100 defendants

► AWR Hawkins, AmmoLand Shooting Sports News, explains why the right to keep and bear arms is a God-given right, intrinsic to our very being, with which we were endowed by our Creator. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

68,000 Guns to Mexico

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The GVP Report - May 1, 2012

In The News

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives released data from 2007- 2011 documenting 68,000 guns recovered from crime scenes in Mexico, traced back to the United States.   Meanwhile, a new Obama administration requirement that gun stores in border states report multiple sales of military-style assault rifles has resulted in 123 criminal investigations in South Texas alone.  The National Shooting Sports Foundation has sued to stop the new reporting program.

CNN Reports: Fine Line Between Self-Defense and Murder► CNN Reports - Unstable Ground: The Fine Line Between Self-Defense and Murder, looks at four deadly force cases that test the boundaries of "Shoot First" laws.

Police Chiefs Focus on Disparities in Gun Violence, With an Eye Toward Solutions.  250 police chiefs from around the country meet to try to identify the causes of gun violence and find solutions. 

Kentucky Supreme Court rules against university.  Universities may still ban anyone from carrying a gun on campus but can't prohibit guns stored in vehicles saying it is "contrary to a fundamental policy, the right to bear arms."

► Controversial gun show loophole exposed in New Hampshire when it is discovered gun sold at local gun show used in police shooting where police chief died.

► The trial of the man accused of shooting and killing actress and singer Jennifer Hudson's mother, brother and nephew showcases the violent Chicago neighborhood and spike in city's homicide rate

► Republican Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell has sent every governor in the nation a letter asking for support in improving background checks in gun sales. The letter encourages the states to evaluate reporting of mental health and other critical information to the NICS system.

► Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) has put a hold on the controversial Nationalize Concealed Carry bill. Stating the dangerous bill - which is opposed by law enforcement - would undermine states' rights.

Community Support

Tom Gabor, firearms policy expert, Guns for Self-Defense Mean More Costs, Not More Benefits. Sound public policy requires we move beyond anecdotes and examine the evidence of net benefits or costs of defensive gun use.

► Margie Omero, Democratic pollster, "Controlling" the Gun Debate: An Open Letter to All Pollsters, questions the wording of the recent Pew polling and warns that gun "control" is an anachronism and urges pollsters to rewrite gun questions. 

Jay Bookman, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Second Amendment Is Not An Excuse For Vigilantes, looks at the man and his son who held their new neighbors, an older man and woman, at gun point, with an AR-15, because they didn't recognize the couple

Lily Raff McCaulou, I Hunt, but the NRA Isn't for Me. I'm a hunter and a sportswoman. I own guns, but not for self-defense. I support gun control laws. I would happily vote to repeal the Stand Your Ground law in my home state. In other words, the NRA does not represent me.

Russell Simmons Gun Shots! The New American HeartbeatHoodies Up. Guns down. We must stop pressing snooze on our alarm clocks and wake up to the fact that our gun use in this country is out of control. 

Kellie Mejdrich, senior and Bolles Fellow at the University of Arizona, Obtaining Arizona Concealed Weapons Permit Takes 'Little More Than a Lunch Break and $100'. Kellie is a 22-year-old woman who has never touched a gun in her life, yet easily obtained an Arizona ccw permit. 

Dee Dee Garcia Blase, foundress of the largest Hispanic Republican group in the nation, Ted Nugent and the NRA Should Receive the "Lee Harvey Oswald" Award Regarding Obama Violent Rhetoric. Reminds us that Oswald bought his gun through an ad in an NRA magazine and calls on the NRA and Mitt Romney to denounce Ted Nugent.

Tim Skubick, MichiganLive, Majority in Poll Says Keep Guns Out of Schools, Churches,  72 percent of those polled in Michigan favor keeping concealed weapons out of schools, churches, bars, day-care centers and hospitals.

Dan Simpson, former U.S. ambassador, It's Time to End the Gun Nuttery. Look at who benefits from lax gun laws that facilitate and encourage the sale of guns.  It is clearly the arms industry that benefits.  Drug dealers and enforcers benefit.  America's police clearly do not.

What the Gun Lobby is Doing

Media Matters, reports from the NRA Annual Meeting: the official battle cry for the campaign to defeat President Obama - "All In."  And follows-up with The NRA's Disastrous Week, which included fighting with their legislative ally ALEC and having their spokesman, Ted Nugent, visited by the Secret Service.

NBC News and Mayors Against Illegal Guns are just two organizations that have done eye opening undercover reporting on gun sales with no background checks.  In response, the NRA has teamed up with ALEC on a bill that would make these gun sale stings illegal

► Tennessee is the second state to consider a bill that would make gun owners a protected minority class in the workplace.  "Given that Tennessee has not legislated a minimum wage for workers it's remarkable that these legislators believe it's necessary to create statutory employment rights for gun owners," said a Tennessee civil rights attorney. A Missouri Senate panel recently endorsed similar legislation.