Sunday, December 22, 2013

23 Gun Safety Victories Since Newtown

The GVP Report - December 24, 2013

In The News

Media Matters reports on 23 Gun Safety Victories Since Sandy Hook including the once-in-a-generation bipartisan gun law bill still in Congress and major gun reform enacted at the state level.

President Obama marks one-year anniversary President Obama marks the one-year anniversary of the tragic Newtown shooting. "We have to do more to keep dangerous people from getting their hands on a gun so easily. ... We must choose love. And together, we must make a change."

Mother Jones special report Newtown: One Year After. Segments include: 194 Children Shot to Death; Half of Americans Now Have Tougher Gun Laws; Gun Lobby's Assault on Small Towns; Producer of Assault Rifles Made a Killing.

► New York Times interactive guide to state gun laws enacted in the year since Newtown. 1,500 gun bills were introduced, 178 passed at least one chamber, 109 have become law.

American Psychological Association new report Gun Violence: Prediction, Prevention and Policy. There is no single profile that can reliably predict who will use a gun in a violent act, but individual prediction is not necessary for violence prevention.

► Exeter, Rhode Island town council recall election over gun permits is rejected. Voters reject the recall by a margin of 63 to 37 percent. All four councilors retain their seats.

Center for American Progress report The Gun Debate One Year After Newtown:Assessing Six Key Claims About Gun Background Checks.

► The FBI says it has helped to disrupt or prevent nearly 150 shootings and violent attacks this year, in part by steering potential gunmen toward mental health professionals.

► NBC News Investigative Report - Newtown anniversary: US schools keep trying wrong fixes to deter school shootings, experts say. Researchers who study school shootings say the nation has done the wrong things, again and again, to prevent these rare but frightening events.

► East Bay Express, Life, Death, and PTSD in Oakland, California. How violence and poverty are traumatizing the city's youth. There is a growing awareness that PTSD is born and bred in our neighborhoods and there is a movement to relieve the burden these children carry.

Community Support

Rachel Maddow Rachel Maddow, Legends of the Recall, The conventional wisdom says 'Guns are part of who we are, so get over it.' Or don't get over it.Don't get over it when they say that there can be no changes. We have a choice. And we can make change.

Jenny Deam, Los Angeles Times, Columbine shooting continues to cast shadow over schools. For students, the idea that they must prepare for gunfire at school has become routine.

Leonard Steinhorn, History News Network, White Men and Their Guns. The issue, really, is why so many white middle-American men view any effort to regulate firearms as an assault on their very identity - and thus fight sane and rational laws as if their lives and liberties were at stake.

Mike Littwin, The Colorado Independent, Never mind secession, we got sheriffs. Welcome to Colorado where (some) gun laws are not laws at all. Do we really think sheriffs should be allowed to nullify laws?

Ted Mandell, Washington Post, Sports offers the arena to raise awareness of gun violence. Imagine if the Boston Red Sox had walked off the field during the final game of the World Series, demanding that the country act to protect its children from school shootings.

Dan Kois, Slate, A Year of Gun Deaths: What Slate learned from trying, and failing, to record every death by gun in America since Newtown. Slate's gun-deaths count will be taken over by The Gun Violence Archive starting in January 2014.

Steven Fulop, Mayor of Jersey City, A New Approach on Gun Reform. Police departments are huge buyers of guns and ammunitions but have not taken advantage of their power in the marketplace to demand change from gun manufacturers. Jersey City will be asking all bidders six socially responsible questions.

Tom Harvey, Gun Insurance Blog, Questions and Answers on Mandating Gun Insurance. How to make gun insurance workable and protect everyone.

Gary Gutting, New York Times, Who Needs A Gun? It's easier to get people to see that they don't want something than that they don't have a right to it. Focusing on the need rather than the right to own a gun, many may well conclude that for them a gun is more a danger than a protection.

What the Gun Lobby is Doing

► Eric Stern, Salon, What the NRA's really shooting for: Getting Republicans elected to office. To see how the gun group really does business, go behind the scenes with this candidate as he sought their backing.

► Armed Citizen Project launches We Don't Dial 911 Shotgun Christmas.  Their goal is to collect and distribute nine hundred and eleven shotguns to needy families living in high crime neighborhoods, especially single mothers.

► Matt Valentine, Salon, Gun activists have a new craze - and it's more dangerous than you think. The new front line in the battle over gun rights is "open carry." Here's why it has psychologists deeply concerned.

► Robert Draper, New York Times Magazine, Inside the Power of the NRA. Though the NRA's opponents still question whether the group is really as indomitable as it is perceived, at a certain point, political mythology engineers its own reality.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Too Young To Die

The GVP Report - December 10 , 2013

In The News

Too Young to Die Too Young to Die: Celebrating Young Lives Cut Short. MSNBC's Michele Richinick chronicles the lives of children who died from gun violence in the past year.

► Providence, Rhode Island Journal, Exeter showdown: Recall election over gun permits divides town.  On Saturday, Dec. 14th, Exeter residents will vote whether to recall four Town Council members because they want the attorney general to handle all local applications to carry concealed weapons.

Consortium for Risk-Based Firearm Policy, new report, Guns, Public Health, and Mental Illness: An Evidence-Based Approach for State Policy highlights recommendations based on research into how to curb gun violence, looks at what works, what doesn't and how to balance the complex mix of rights and public safety.

2013 State ScorecardBrady Campaign and Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, 2013 State Scorecard: Why Gun Laws Matter. 21 states enacted new laws to curb gun violence in 2013, with 8 of these states passing major reforms.  Gun laws really do matter.

House passes plastic gun ban extension, Schumer wants tougher bill.  The U.S. House passed a 10-year extension of the 25-year-old ban on plastic guns. The Senate also renewed the ban, but did not address 3-D printed guns.

Colorado State Senator Edie Hudak resigns seat to end recall threat, hold Democrats' Senate majority. Hudak resigned rather than risk facing a recall election.

► 5280, The Denver Magazine, The Colorado Woman. When the state Legislature's female leadership took on gun control in early 2013 everyone knew the debate would be red-hot. But no one predicted the sexism and violent threats that would be fired.

Behind the BloodshedUSA Today, Behind the Bloodshed: The Untold Story of America's Mass Killings. Since 2006, there have been more than 200 mass killings in the United States. They happen far more often than the government reports, and the circumstances of those killings are far more predictable than many might think.

► Media Matters, Shoddy Polling on "Stricter Gun Control."  CNN is promoting a poorly-worded poll question to suggest that there is "fading support" for new laws that strengthen firearms regulation.

Community Support

America, The National Catholic Review, Inexcusable Inaction Sad to say, no one should be surprised by the next Sandy Hook. U.S. politicians consistently refuse to legislate common sense gun control measures,and U.S. voters let them get away with it.

Fareed Zakaria, CNN,  The real tragedy of America's gun violence. One of the most important tasks for a government is to keep its citizens - especially its children - safe, on the streets and in their schools. Every other developed country in the world is able to fulfill this basic mandate. America is not. 

Mark Munger, Duluth, Minnesota, News Tribune, A judge's view: Let tragedies bolster political will to end gun violence. Some of the folks who've done terrible things were mentally ill. Others were simply alienated. They were all angry men, feeling aggrieved, with ready access to firearms.

History of the Brady bill Steve Kornacki, MSNBC, reminds us that it took twelve years for the Brady Background Check law to finally pass Congress and be signed into law.  Also, a panel discussion on the plastic gun ban renewal.

Nat Rudarakanchana, International Business Times,Private Equity and Social Responsibility: The Odd Courtship Between Private Finance and Public Causes, looks at the Campaign to Unload, a coalition critical of investments in gun manufacturers and their protest against Cerberus Capital Management.

Jodie Gummow, Alternet, Latest Fatal 'Stand Your Ground' Shooting Prompts Call to Amend Self-Defense Laws. The fatal shooting of a 72-year-old man who suffered from Alzheimer's raises questions about 'stand your ground/shoot first' laws in the U.S.

Lt. Col. Robert Bateman, Esquire,It's Time to Talk About Guns and the Supreme Court. We crossed the line some time ago, it has just taken me a while to get around to the topic. Sadly, that topic is now so brutally evident that I feel shame. Shame that I have not spoken out about before now - shame for my country, shame that we have come to this point.

Kevin O'Holleran, Washington Post Opinions, Support for gun control helped a candidate win in Virginia. More than a year out from Election Day, dealing with gun violence was a fundamental messaging point for Mark Herring, the new Virginia attorney general-elect. 

What the Gun Lobby is Doing

►  The Guardian, ALEC facing funding crisis from donor exodus in wake of Trayvon Martin row. The rightwing lobbying group has lost more than 40 corporate members and 400 state legislators over the past two years.

► Raquel Okyay, Guns & Patriot, in an interview with Skip Coryell, firearm expert, explains why Women are the 'Holy Grail' of the gun rights movement.

► Erich Pratt, Gun Owners of America, argues that the 1988 Undetectable Firearms Act was poorly written and shouldn't be reauthorized.  In part because the Bill of Rights guarantees that gun rights "shall not be infringed."

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

More Guns = More Suicides

The GVP Report - November 26, 2013

In The News

► A new study in International Review of Law & Economics, Firearms and Suicides in US States, authors Justin Briggs & Alexander Tabarrok found  "strong, positive effects of gun prevalence on suicide." They also report that "suicide is often a rash and impulsive decision - most people who try but fail to commit suicide do not recommit at a later date."

► A new study in Journal of Urban Health, Social Networks & the Risk of Gunshot Injury, Andrew Papachristos finds a person's social network is a key predictor in whether they will become a victim of gun homicide, even more so than race, age, gender, poverty, or gang affiliation.

Rachel Maddow Show Rachel Maddow looks at  Idaho State Rep. Mark Patterson. He was convicted of assault with intent to commit rape, had his concealed weapons permit revoked, but under state law is still allowed to carry a hidden, loaded gun in public.  Full transcript here.

►The Connecticut State's Attorney has released the final report on the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.  The report shows no clear motive for the shooting but does show that Adam Lanza was obsessed with mass shootings.

► The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a federal law that imposes a lifetime ban on gun possession by people convicted of domestic violence.

► One year after her son, Jordan Davis, was shot to death at a gas station in Florida, Lucia McBath is working to change Stand Your Ground/Shoot First laws. "If we don't speak out and if we don't work to advocate gun safety more will continue to die."

► The decades-old law banning undetectable, plastic firearms is set to expire at the beginning of December. A proposed, updated version of the bill would also ban 3-D plastic guns. The measure requires a gun's receiver, slide and barrel to be made from metal.

► Dan Freedman, Agency Forms Unlikely Alliance, More Than Once, the NRA helped ATF. But "the gun lobby has scared ATF," says Brady Center lawyer Jon Lowy. "That's not a resource question and it's not even a question of law. It's a cultural problem."

►Judy Woodruff, PBS, interviews ATF head B. Todd Jones, the new director of ATF.  Jones talks about the agency's outdated technology, system vulnerabilities and the challenges of reining in gun violence and keeping up with new technologies despite limited resources.

Community Support

How to SurviveDarryl Holliday, E.N. Rodriguez, Chicago Reader, How To Survive a Shooting. Nortasha Stingley's 19-year-old daughter, Marissa, was shot dead just blocks from her home. How do you get over a thing like that?

Kathleen Horan, WNYC News, In Harms' Way: Remembering New York City's Kids Killed by Gunfire. Listen to this report on ten teens, 9 boys and one girl, the unlucky ones in a year of record low homicides in NYC.

Dedrick Muhammad, The Root, Outgunned: Reducing Violence with Economic Opportunity. Examines how closing the economic gap is key to stemming inner-city homicides. Part 4 of a five-part series from NAACP.

Justin Peters, Slate, A Guide for Reporters: How to Write About Unintentional Child Shootings.  The guns in question are typically left out in the open and parents often overestimate their kids' expertise with firearms. Here are some guidelines on the questions to ask to make reporting on this issue more fruitful.

Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, How A Gun Dealer Sees It. Looks at Michael Weisser, gun shop owner and author of Guns for Good Guys; Guns for Bad Guys. "Weisser is truthful about guns and gun violence in ways that underline the essentially cultural, or symbolic, nature of the practices involved."

► Huffpost Live begins a series on gun violence in America and documents the stories of lives unnecessarily lost.  Click here for Gone Too Early: Children and Guns. Click here for Mass Shooting Victims Tell Their Stories.

Dave Perry, Aurora, CO Sentinel, Why Colorado Hates Gun Control and Loves the Idea of Controlling Guns. 55 percent of those polled don't want new gun control. But a whopping 85 percent approve of the new law that requires gun buyers to undergo a background check. An astounding 78 percent of Republicans also approve of the law.

Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates, The 2nd Amendment Has Outlived Its Usefulness. With speakers Alan Dershowitz, John Donvan, David Kopel, Sanford Levinson and Eugene Volokh.

The Daily ShowJason Jones, The Daily Show, Not-So-Angry Voters. Jones goes to Colorado in the wake of the recall election to try and motivate unmotivated, reasonable people to vote.

What the Gun Lobby is Doing

► Brandy Zadrozny, The Daily Beast, The Scare Campaign of Open Carry Activists. A growing faction of gun rights advocates believes brandishing big guns will help everyone feel safer. But their protests have been inciting more fear than support. 

► Michael Gardner, U-T San Diego. While recall elections in Colorado move ahead, recall campaigns in California over gun rights bogs down. Gun-rights activists have yet to file any papers to launch recall campaigns against several California lawmakers.

► Timothy Johnson, Media Matters.  NRA News Host claimed that Glamour magazine's Women of the Year Awards, honoring Malala Yousafzai and Gabby Giffords, had an "anti-gun agenda" and made "the world a more dangerous place for women."

► Marion Hammer, past president of the NRA and Florida gun lobbyist,  op-ed objecting to Leon County Florida ordinance that requires background checks for firearm purchases. The ordinance seeks the participation from FFL dealers to run the background checks. Hammer claims this is an "assault on your rights" and the ordinance wants gun dealers "to sell you out."

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Gun Control Wins in Virginia

The GVP Report - November 12 , 2013

In The News
McAuliffe McAuliffe's win in Virginia a bulls-eye for gun control. Governor-elect Terry McAuliffe told voters "I don't care what grade I got from the NRA." His spurning of the NRA and his victory may very well represent a long awaited shift in the way gun-politics are played in purple states.
► A new study in December's Pediatrics finds that gun violence in PG-13 movies has more than tripled since 1985, and now exceeds the level found in R-rated movies.
Why Sunnyvale, California could be the next front in the national gun-control fightOn election day Sunnyvale voters approved a gun control measure by a vote of 66 percent to 34 percent.  The NRA has already vowed to sue.
► The Smart Tech Foundation has pledged at least $1 million in grants to engage innovators to find technological solutions to gun violence. 
Study: White racism linked with opposition to gun control The study finds a link between gun ownership, opposition to gun control, and "symbolic racism" - racist attitudes that are not overt, but nevertheless color one's view of the world.
Supreme Court on gun control: Waiting and watching, for now. Since the historic Heller ruling in 2008 the Supreme Court has repeatedly declined to take up gun-rights appeals, letting stand lower-court rulings preserving various restrictions on civilian gun ownership.
Justice DeniedComprehensive report details consequences of gun industry immunity. A new report from the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence details how a 2005 law has become a means for the gun industry to hide irresponsible business practices and exposes the unprecedented legal immunity provided to the gun industry.
Targeting South Philly's top criminals. Focused Deterrence, a new strategy of the Philadelphia police which combats gang gun violence through outreach and targeted enforcement, has decreased shootings and cut homicides in half.
Gun injuries from 2003 to 2010 totals $19 Billion in hospital costs. A new study aimed to better understand why unintentional injuries, suicides, and homicides stemming from firearms were the three leading causes of death for 15-to 34-year-olds in the U.S. They found over 250,000 firearm-related hospitalizations during these eight years.
Criticism of ATF comes with its limited resources.  ATF has long been a bureau under siege, a hostage of sorts in the long war over guns and their proper place in America's social fabric. It is the federal agency that gun enthusiasts love to hate.
Trayvon Martin's mother testifies on Capitol Hill about "Stand Your Ground" laws. Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin held a Senate subcommittee hearing on stand your ground laws. Lawmakers also heard from Lucia Holman McBath whose son was fatally shot in a similar case in Florida last year. She said the law "defies all reason."

Community Support
Renee Loth, Boston Globe,Private gun sales, public tragedy. It's been 50 years since Oswald bought his rifle mail-order. One thing hasn't changed: the unregulated private sale of firearms.
Sonali Kolhatkar, TruthDig,The LAX Shooting, Domestic Terrorism and the NRA. In a civilized country, the NRA would accept heavy regulation of guns just as the auto industry accepts rigorous driver's license tests as a necessary safety precaution.
► New York Daily News, Wife of NRA top brass has become loud voice of gun control advocates. Maribeth D'Alauro has emerged as a strong, public advocate to curb gun violence. "I feel very passionate now that I've had the experience that I've had," she says.
Long Island Rail Road MassacreNewsday, 'Long Island Rail Road Massacre' documentary looks at victims' stories, gun control. The 90-minute film details the events of Dec. 7, 1993, when Colin Ferguson fatally shot six people and injured 19 aboard the Long Island train.
► KickStarted, Beyond the Crossfire. Two teachers supervise 45 high school students as they investigate what young people can do to reduce the amount of gun violence in our country. You can help.
Hugh Jim Bissell, Daily Kos, Guns and Suicide: Gun Suicides Rise and Fall with Gun Sales.In the U.S., guns are used more often in completed suicides than any other suicide method.
Tom Harvey, If You Let Your Guns Get Stolen, You're a Menace to Society. A lot of gun owners consider their guns their own business, but when they're stolen they're everybody's business.

What the Gun Lobby is Doing
► Media Matters, How The Gun Rights Community Quashes Any Public Dissent on Gun PolicyGuns & Ammo contributing editor Dick Metcalf was fired for saying ownership of firearms is subject to some regulation.  Metcalf responds to the firing here.
► Politico, 'Gun radio' is up in arms. On programs such as "Gun Talk," "Cam & Co.," "Talking Guns" and "Armed American Radio," the rights of gun owners lead every single day.
► Media Matters, Gun Culture's Burning Man: Letter From the Knob Creek Machine Gun Shoot. Since 1979, the Shoot has drawn growing numbers of full-auto aficionados to the wooded hills of West Point, Kentucky.
► Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee says if you cut out just four states, U.S. gun-homicide drops to Belgium's level. PolitiFact rules this statement as "pants on fire" on their truth-o-meter.