Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Aurora, Colorado Shooting


The GVP Report - July 24, 2012


Aurora Shooting VictimsOur deepest sympathies go to all those affected by this terrible tragedy.  Click here for more information about the victims of the shooting. They had one thing in common. They were eager to watch the new Batman movie.


Aurora Shooting

At about 12:38 a.m. on July 20th, James Holmes allegedly tossed two gas canisters into a sold out movie theater and began shooting into the crowd. 12 people were killed and at least 58 others were wounded. For in-depth coverage of the tragedy go to The Denver Post.

► CNN, Colorado Shooter's Rifle Jammed During Rampage, the assault rifle jammed due to a problem with the 100-shot magazine feeding it. One of the survivors said he would not have been alive if the suspect's gun had not jammed.

► Politico, Shooting Prompts Call to Curb Online Ammo. At various stores online, apparently without raising an eyebrow or a red flag, James Holmes was able to buy 3,000 rounds for an assault rifle, 3,000 rounds for Glock handguns and another 300 shotgun shells.

► Media Matters, Aurora and the Media Myth of Public Opposition to Gun Control. Some in the media are distorting public opinion to predict that the events in Aurora will not have an impact on the debate over gun violence prevention. In fact, polls indicate public support for a broad range of stronger gun restrictions, including the reinstatement of the assault weapons ban.


Background

Violence Policy Center - Bullet Holes: Semiautomatic Assault Weapons - What Are They? What's So Bad About Them?

Violence Policy Center, NRA-backed law made possible Internet ammunition sales reportedly exploited by Colorado shooter and removed recordkeeping requirements, NRA reaps profits from such sales today.

Map of Mass Shootings Mother Jones, MAP: 36 Murders Across America in 30 Years. Report maps killings carried out by lone shooter, during a single incident in public places, where shooter took the lives of at least four people.

NBC Today Show,How Easy Is It to Get An Assault Weapon? Jeff Rossen investigates how easy it is to buy the same types of guns used by James Holmes with no background check and no questions asked.

Violence Policy Center,The Militarization of the U.S. Civilian Firearms Market, looks at the rise of the militarized civilian gun market and its impact on public health, safety, and crime in the U.S. and the world. 


Community Support

Jason Alexander, @IJasonAlexander, There is no excuse for the propagation of assault weapons. They are not guaranteed or protected by our constitution.  If they were, then we could all run out and purchase a tank, a bazooka, a SCUD missile and a nuclear warhead.

►  Cliff Schecter, 5 Issues That Divide Gun Owners and NRA Leadership. The NRA's membership agrees with most Americans that our gun laws should protect our families, not the financial interest of a clique of elites.

Bill Moyers & Michael Winship, The NRA Has America Living Under the Gun. Every year there are 30,000 gun deaths and 300,000 gun-related assaults in the U.S. Firearm violence costs our country as much as $100 billion a year. Toys are regulated with greater care and safety concerns than guns. So why do we always act so surprised?

New York Daily News, Blood on Hands of Obama, Mitt and NRA! Through their inaction and their silence, Obama and Romney have fallen into line with all those who enabled Holmes to take hold of that AR-15 and will enable others to do so in the future unless America's political leaders develop the courage to fight to save lives.

Scott Thill, Why Batman Believes in Gun Control, What would Batman do in the wake of such an incident? He'd shake his head at us for making it easy for the Aurora shooter to acquire the weaponry he used to violently warp reality.

Doktor Zoom, Wonkette, An Armed Society is a Bullet-Riddles Society: Notes from the Periphery of a Shooting. For all of the gun-fondlers' claims that the Aurora shootings could have been stopped if only one or more audience members had been carrying, I have to be very skeptical.

Russ Baker, Who What Why, Did You Hear About the Shooting? One of the most striking things about shooting incidents in America...is how common they are. Another striking thing is how often the media fails to note the previous point, or to explore what that means - or what might be done about it.

Gail Collins, New York Times, Guns and the Slog. The gun control advocates, who used to fight for sensible laws on universal background checks and registration, now devote most of their time to stopping states from making it legal to carry concealed weapons in a kindergarten, or to shoot someone you sort of suspect may intend to hurt you.

Cenk Uygur, The Young Turks, Politicizing Guns: If Not Now, When?  It's a trick. When people tell you that you shouldn't politicize a tragedy like the shooting in Aurora, they are unwittingly helping to spread NRA propaganda.

Melissa Harris-Perry on Gun Violence StatsMelissa Harris-Perry, People Are Not Numbers. Tragic - that's the word that comes to mind when we're thinking about what happened in Colorado. But, still we can't lose sight of the shattered lives and loss that occurred there, we also have to remember the tragedy that happens around our country on a daily basis.


What the Gun Lobby is Doing

The NRA has chosen to ignore the shooting in Aurora. They continue to focus on the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty portending that the treaty "could seriously erode our Second Amendment right to bear arms."

► Think Progress, Tea Party Senator: Keeping Guns from 'Demented Individuals' Will 'Restrict Our Freedoms'. In response to the Colorado shooting, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) said he would oppose gun control efforts that could be used to "restrict our freedoms" and instead suggested arming "responsible" people to combat "sick, demented individuals who want to do harm."


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Truth About the Fast & Furious Scandal


The GVP Report - July 10, 2012


In The News

A Fortune Magazine six-month investigation reveals that the ATF never intentionally allowed guns to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels.  Unfortunately, Republicans pushed forward with the U.S. House vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress.

► A report from the Florida Sun Sentinel finds that Florida is Not Checking National Mental Health Records for Gun Carry Permits.  Because the concealed weapons permits are handled by the state Agriculture Dept, not a law enforcement agency, federal regulations prohibit them from receiving information from the NICS background check system.

Control Arms Coalition protestingGuns, Bullets, Human Rights on Agenda at Arms Treaty Talks.  A month-long talk to draw up an international Arms Trade Treaty began at the United Nations July 2nd.

► Google Bans 'Guns, Ammunition & Knives' from its Online Shopping Site. A letter from Google stated, "Our company has a strong culture and values, and we've chosen not to allow ads that promote products and services that are incompatible with these values."

► The Oakland Tribune reports on how Federal Laws Restrict the Public's Access to Trace Information on Crime Guns and how this hampers the Oakland police Gangs/Guns Intelligence Task Force. "If the department wanted to know which gun dealers within 100 miles were responsible for the most gun traces, it couldn't find that out."

A Miami federal judge has struck down a state law that barred physicians from discussing gun ownership with their patients.  A doctor from the Florida Academy of Family Physicians said, "My fear is that the state will appeal and keeping wasting money to fight windmills. This is an ideologically driven, politically motivated vendetta by the NRA that has to stop."

► A working paper released with the National Bureau of Economics Research found that states with "Stand Your Ground/Shoot First" laws see a "significant increase in the number of homicides among whites, especially white males." The study estimates "between 4.4 and 7.4 additional white males are killed each month as a result of these laws."



Community Support

Youth Rights Media - UnspokenYouth Rights Media screened their new documentary "Unspoken". The film was created by 15 New Haven, CT teens and aims to deliver knowledge about gun violence and what it means to be on the path that leads away from that.  See the film here

► Henry Louis Adams, The Threat of Celebratory Gunfire is Real! asks the public to educate themselves on the dangers of this activity and find an alternative method for celebratory purposes. "Like" Citizens Against Celebratory Gunfire and Senseless Gun Violence on Facebook. 

Brian Palmer, Slate, Why Is the NRA So Powerful? examines how the gun lobby leverages modest resources into outsized influence. The group relies on scores of independent gun magazines, thousands of gun shops, and gun clubs across the country to spread its message well beyond its membership.

► Philadelphia Inquirer, Seeing Cure For Violence, talks with Jim MacMillian about his website #GunCrisis: Philadelphia and his efforts to fight gun violence.  Download the Gun Crisis Org App from iTunes.

AmericaBlog, NRA Board Member Ted Nugent: America Might Be Better Had South Won the Civil War,points out that a prominent NRA board member thinks slavery would have been a worthwhile price to pay.  And concludes "those Democrats who take NRA money should be ashamed of themselves."

Nasty Jack, It's Time to Reboot the NRA, The NRA started as a reasonable organization, founded for the purpose of teaching marksmanship and gun safety.  It has evolved into a gang of unreasonable lunatics demanding that anyone should be able to own a gun and take it anywhere they want to.

Lindsay Lohan► The Atlantic Wire, Let's Get Rid of the 'Celebrity with Gun' Photo Trope Now and Forever.  Lindsay Lohan is just the latest to pose for a celebrity-with-gun-accessory photo. These photos are just another lame gimmick from those who hope to shock but end up looking mediocre at best - sad, even tragic, at worst.


What the Gun Lobby is Doing

MediaMatters, NRA Kicks Off UN Arms Treaty Conference with Fearmongering, looks at the NRA's hysterical - and baseless - claim that the treaty could "seriously restrict your freedom to own, purchase and carry a firearm."

Group Turns Tables on Chicago Gun Turn-In, Uses Money for Gun Camp.  An Illinois pro-gun group took advantage of a Chicago gun buyback program.  The group turned in sixty  "rusty, non-firing junk" guns and received $6,240 in gift cards.  They used the money to buy ammunition for an NRA youth camp in Bloomington.

► MediaMatters, NRA Money Unspoken Factor in Fox's Coverage of "Bipartisan" Contempt Vote, looks at how Fox news ignored the fact that the 17 Democrats who voted to hold the Attorney General in contempt of Congress all received money from the NRA Political Victory Fund PAC during the 2010 and 2012 election cycles.