Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Case for Gun Policy Reforms in America

The GVP Report - October 30, 2012

In The News

► A new report from researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, The Case for Gun Policy Reforms in America,  examines policies and initiatives for reducing gun violence. "When you deny high-risk people access to guns, the evidence shows that saves lives," said lead author Daniel Webster. "And when you regulate all gun sales, fewer guns get diverted to criminals."

► Michigan police are searching for a gunman linked to 24 shootings in 4 counties, most occurring near Interstate 96. A motorist was wounded Saturday when a bullet came through the driver's side door and struck him in the left hip.

ABC News reportABC News report Hidden America: Children Caught in Chicago Gang War Crossfire. Looks at the children of Chicago who are "living in a war zone" and visits with one 7-year-old boy afraid to play outside or walk to and from school.

Thousands Gather to Mourn Slain Nassau County Cop Arthur Lopez. The 29-year-old officer was gun downed by an ex-con during a traffic stop after a hit-and-run accident.

► New York Times, Unarmed and Gunned Down by Homeowner in His 'Castle', looks at the Montana shooting death of Dan Fredenberg.  Brice Harper was not prosecuted due to the state's Castle Doctrine law.  Self-defense or a way to kill without consequences?

► The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Houston, Texas has ruled that the U.S. may ban gun dealers from selling handguns to people under age 21. The unanimous decision noted that "Congress was focused on a particular problem: young persons under 21, who are immature and prone to violence, easily accessing handguns."

Community Support

Jessica Pieklo, Care2.com,It's Open Season on Women, Thanks to the NRA. Sensible gun control is a feminist issue and the lack of any real controls on firearms in this country poses a very real and dangerous threat to our health and safety.

Nasty Jack, NRA Attacks Barack Obama on Gun Control...So Who Cares Anymore. The NRA's presence and influence have been severely compromised in the way gun violence has taken over the country in the last year. 2013 is the year for gun control advocates.

Do you allow guns on campus? Bruce Reyes-Chow, Patheos.com, Asking the Question, "Do You Allow Guns on Campus?" Soon my first born will be heading off to college. We have begun making our list of questions and filters for schools. I do not want my child going to a college that has loose gun policies, so I'll be paying close attention to legislative trends.

American Academy of Pediatrics Renews Commitment to Preventing Gun Injuries in Children. The AAP is renewing its call to reduce the destructive effects of guns in the lives of children, including counseling parents about safe gun storage and supporting legislation. Read the AAP policy statement "Firearm-Related Injuries Affecting the Pediatric Populations."

Alexis Rhiannon, Madonna Brings a Gun Onto a Colorado Stage, Has Officially Lost Her Mind. Come on, Madonna.  Maybe it's time to sell off some of your robo-parts and buy some compassion and humility at auction.

Cyrus Vance, Manhattan District Attorney, Gun Trafficking: A Taboo Subject in Our State and National Politics. Every child, on every block of every neighborhood, has the right to walk to school and home without fear of getting shot. And yet, the subject of gun law reform remains taboo for many of our state and national elected officials.

What the Gun Lobby is Doing

Georgia Store Offers Gun Raffle Tickets to Voters. Bring in your "I voted" sticker to Adventure Outdoors to enter a raffle for a Glock handgun or Browning rifle. The secretary of state's office warned the store that offering the raffle only to people who voted may be violating the law.

NRA Steps Up Attacks on Obama After Gun Control Comment. After President Obama said he would like to see the assault weapons ban reintroduced, an ominous new ad began airing in swing states saying Obama is chipping away at people's right to bear arms.

Basic Cable's Ballistic Endgame: Ted Nugent, Discovery, and the Rise of Anti-Science TV. The Discovery channel's transformation into the NRA Network is a harrowing example of "network decay." Discovery isn't the only channel to be subject to this critique, but the arrival of Ted Nugent on their roster is a new low suggestive of just how much more socially destructive television can become.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Russia Developing Gun That Recognizes Its Owner

The GVP Report - October 16, 2012

In The News

Russian gun A Moscow based research group is developing a next generation of firearms equipped with a user identification system and a special blackbox to register any action of the weapon. If the firearm gets into unauthorized hands it will not shoot.

► Palm Beach Post,'Shoot First' Self-Defense Raises More Questions Than Answers, examines 11 years of Florida homicide data to try and determine the impact of the controversial law.

► Cook County, Illinois Mulling Violence Tax on Guns & Ammunition. Money raised would go into the budget that pays for public health clinics, hospitals, courts and jails.

► As Military Suicides Rise, Focus Is on Private Weapons. With half of all military suicides committed with privately owned guns, Congress is set to overturn a NRA backed 2011 measure that prevents the military from discussing gun safety with potentially suicidal troops.

Democracy Now Democracy Now,Months After Aurora Massacre, University of Colorado Sparks Fear, Outrage by Allowing Concealed Guns. Amy Goodman talks with Colorado state representative Claire Levy and University of Colorado assistant professor Noah Molotch.

Take Action

Sign the Petition -Discovery Channel/Outdoor Channel: Ted Nugent Poaching and Lust for Guns and Killing is Not Entertainment. Ted Nugent has pleaded guilty twice to illegal hunting activities that were filmed for Outdoor Channel shows. Now the Discovery Channel is offering the NRA board member even more air time.

Community Support

► William Hartung, Center for International Policy, Why Obama is Silent on Gun Control as NRA Goes Global.  The damage caused by the NRA and its advocacy for loose gun control regulations is not limited to the U.S. Perhaps the most infamous case of the international influence of the NRA has been its role in blocking the creation of a global Arms Trade Treaty.

► Michael Skolnik, Silence the Bullets in Chicago. Mothers wail. Grandmothers sit in silence. Fathers seethe with anger. Girlfriends' bodies shake uncontrollably while tightly gripping sides of caskets. For black and Latino communities, funerals for dead children have become weekly occasions.

► Mike McClellan, East Valley Tribune, Arizona - Mexico's Firearm Superstore. With the death of Border Patrol Agent Nick Ivie recently, the danger those men and women face on a daily basis entered our collective consciousness once more. But before we had time to even honor the sacrifice Agent Ivie made for his country, some politicians weighed in with predictably political comments.

► Jarvis DeBerry, The Times-Picayune, Education Nor Money Inoculates Against Gun Violence. "We had very high hopes for her," said Kendall of his sister Marguerite who was gunned down at her boyfriend's house.  "We're all college graduates. My mother's a Dillard graduate. I'm a Dillard graduate. Not in a million years did we think this would happen to our family."

► Rachel MaddowRachel Maddow, MSNBC, Hollow Point, looks at the NRA endorsement of Romney for president. "The NRA is not looking to honestly compare the two candidate's records on gun rights. The NRA just wants the Republican. That's what they want. That's why they exist. They are a Republican interest group and to describe them any other way is to play into their spin."

What the Gun Lobby is Doing

► NRA Political Victory Fund releases their Grades and Endorsements for 2012.   Local state house races in all 50 states as well as races for the U.S. Congress are detailed.

NRA endorses Mitt Romney. Chris Cox, chair of the NRA Political Victory Fund, also noted that "Today we live in an America led by a president who mocks our values, belittles our faith, and is threatened by our freedom."

► Capitol Report: NRA Plays to Gun Owner Fears in Swing States Like Wisconsin. The NRA has bought more than $1.3 million in TV ads in Wisconsin, Florida, Ohio and Virginia. The "Defend Freedom, Defeat Obama" ad tells viewers the president is "chipping away at our Second Amendment rights."

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

More Guns, More Mass Shootings - Coincidence?

The GVP Report - October 2, 2012

In The News

Annual mass shooting casualtiesMother Jones, More Guns, More Mass Shootings - Coincidence? reports that the rate of mass shootings has increased and in situations in which armed civilians attempted to intervene, they not only failed to stop the shooter but also were gravely wounded or killed. 

► Washington Post, Sniper Shootings 10 Years Later, Haunt Those It Touched. In October 2002, a shooting spree in the D.C. region left 10 dead and 3 wounded and paralyzed the region for more than three weeks.  In addition to those impacted in D.C. an Alabama victim of the DC snipers tries to rebuild her life in Georgia.

► New York Times, That Loaded Gun in My Carry-on? Oh, I Forgot. TSA reports that the number of guns found at airport security has been steadily rising. Invariably travelers say they simply forgot they had them. A TSA spokesperson comments, "I would never, ever not know that I have a gun in my bag."

► BBC Magazine, Why British Police Don't have Guns. In the U.K. most front-line officers do not carry guns. "There's a general recognition that if the police are walking around with guns it changes things."

► Media Matters, DOJ Inspector General Report: No Evidence for Right-Wing Media's Fast & Furious Gun Control Conspiracy. The report finds "no evidence the agents had improper motives or were trying to accomplish anything other than dismantling a dangerous firearms organization."

Community Support

► Michael Haynes - Broken Dreams ESPN, OTL: Michael Haynes - Broken Dreams. Michael was on his way to a college basketball scholarship and his dreams of playing in the NBA when he was shot and killed less than a block from his Chicago home while trying to break up a fight.

Mark Follman, Mother Jones,Mitt Romney Loves a Good Gun Conspiracy. Romney has eagerly courted the pro-gun crowd while ignoring a request to meet with survivors of the Tucson and Aurora mass shootings.

Eric Boehlert, Media Matters, Rampage Nation: When A Gun Massacre Isn't Even Big News. A shooting in Minneapolis that left six dead received scant national news coverage. How can a nation have a debate about gun control when the epic, random eruptions of violence that guns produce aren't even thoroughly covered as news?

USA Today, Concealed Carry vs. Colleges. You don't need a Ph.D. to understand that letting college students pack heat is a recipe for tragedy.

Theresa Brown, New York Times, The Human Cost of the Second Amendment, Spend time in a trauma center and see the victims of gun violence as they come in bloody and terrified. Our country's blind embrace of gun rights made this violent tableau possible, and it's playing out each day in hospitals and morgues all over the country.

Arnie Arnesen, Providence Journal, White Guys With Guns Beware. How did the Shoot First law pass in statistically safe New Hampshire? According to the bill supporters, it has everything to do with knees and public parking garages.

David Olimpio, The Good Life, We Don't Want to Play Anymore. Guns don't kill people, people carrying guns out of unreasonable fear and suspicion kill people. It's simple: if you're carrying a gun, you're looking to use it. 

What the Gun Lobby is Doing

► The Detroit News, NRA Role in Training Gun Owners Under Scrutiny in Oakland County. The NRA does not require testing of their firearm instructors for physical or mental soundness or firearms knowledge and safety, and does not track if they've been convicted of violent crimes, imprisoned or placed in a mental hospital.

► Mother Jones, The NRA Surge: 99 Laws Rolling Back Gun Restrictions. Between 2009-2012, 37 states have made it easier to own, carry, and conceal firearms.

Governor's Club Gun Range Gets City Approval to Serve Alcohol. The new gun range in Powder Springs, Georgia will include a cocktail lounge. According to the owner, "Unfortunately, drinking is part of our society and there's a certain amount of concern that we would not be successful if we did not have the ability to serve alcohol."