Monday, February 25, 2013

One Young Gun-Violence Victim Beats the Odds

Every day in this country 37 children and teens are shot. Some of them die and some are left with injuries that last the rest of their lives.

The Chicago Reporter looks at one teen, 18-year-old Ondelle Perteet, who was shot in the jaw in Sept of 2009. The doctors told him he would never move anything below his neck. But he has fought to regain the use of his left arm and the ability to stand. Still, he spends his days in his wheelchair, watching life move around him.

Go here to read his story.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Take a break from reading and watch one of these informative videos


The GVP Report - February 19, 2013


NBC - Guns in AmericaWatch NBC News week long series, Flashpoint: Guns in America. Reports include: The faces behind the numbers;  How did mentally ill killer amass an arsenal?; and Smart gun technology.

PBS - After NewtownWatch PBS weeklong "After Newtown" programming.  Includes specials from PBS NewsHour, FRONTLINE, Washington Week, NOVA, Need to Know and more.

►Watch the Senate Judiciary SubcommitteeSenate Judiciary Subcommittee hearing on reducing gun violence. Panelists included U.S. Attorney Timothy Heaphy; Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe ; Suzanna Hupp, survivor of 1991 mass shooting in Killeen, TX. 

Center for American Progress video report Watch Center for American Progress report After Tragedies, Coloradans unite around Universal Background Checks.

State of the UnionWatch President Obama, State of the Union address, "Gabby Giffords deserves a vote. The families of Newtown deserve a vote." calls on Congress to act on behalf of victims of gun violence.

Watch exclusive video of Fort Hood Shooting aftermath and interview with survivors who want event classified as terroist attack, not workplace violence.

Newtown testimoniesWatch Newtown parents, first responders and teachers testify at Connecticut legislative hearing on gun violence.


In The News

Federal case outlines how guns made their way from Indiana to Chicago. Gang member got weapons from college student who went on shopping sprees across state line.

Special election for Jesse Jackson Jr's Congress seat pits NRA-supported Democrat against gun-control advocates. Mayor Bloomberg's PAC makes endorsement and runs ad against NRA supported Halvorson. Halvorson drops out of race.

Bipartisan deal close on expanded background checks. Four Senators are "95 percent of the way" on background check bill.

California State Senator receives death threat over gun violence prevention legislation. Police arrest suspect and find illegal weapons and bomb-making materials.

► Preliminary study by Daniel Webster, Johns Hopkins University, finds evidence that repeal of Missouri permit-to-purchase handgun law resulted in a sharp increase in homicide rate.

► New Public Policy Polling shows more voters consider NRA endorsement a negative and say they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who had the NRA's support.


Community Support

Frank Jewell, Duluth, MN News Tribune, Right to Life Trumps Right to Own Any Gun You Want.  We can't build a fortress around every child on their way to school or around every woman terrorized by domestic violence. The idea that a gun in every pocket somehow protects us has been proven mightily wrong.

Lucy Berrington, Womensenews, Obama Gun Measures are for Wives, Ex-Lovers, Too. Background checks could save the lives of women such as Jennifer Lynch, murdered by her husband on Valentine's Day 2006.

Cynthia Tucker, Where are the hunters for sensible gun laws? Advocacy for sensible gun laws is no indication of a visceral anti-gun mindset. It is quite possible to own firearms while still endorsing stronger gun control measures.

Poka Laeunui, Yes! Magazine,From the Culture of Aloha, a Path Out of Gun Violence. It is a domination, individualism, and exclusion - or DIE - deep culture that pervades our leisure, work, and politics.

Paul Rosenberg, Aljazeera.com, Gun lobby's bad aim shoots down myth of 'constitutional conservatism' Opponents to Obama's call for gun control are clueless about such basics as the nature of executive actions, how a bill becomes law, the role of courts in determining the legality of legislation, and the nature of treason.

► The Nation, Shut Down the Merchants of Death. High school students ask school board to stop buying supplies at retailers like Walmart that sell assault weapons and other strategies targeting the $12 billion-a-year gun industry.


What the Gun Lobby is Doing

► Wayne LaPierre, NRA Executive Vice President, Op-Ed  Stand and Fight. "The enemies of freedom demonize gun buyers and portray us as social lepers. But we know the truth."  In response to op-ed - Joe Scarborough calls it "so laced with racial overtone" and Coney Island residents point out that crime dropped after Hurricane Sandy.

► In Kansas, NRA pushes a bill that would outlaw anti-smoking programs fearful future state money could be spent to discourage gun ownership.

► The NRA has funneled millions of dollars to a front group that spends its money electing judges and state attorneys who are tough on crime - unless those crimes involve gun control laws.

► Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio has hired sex offenders, domestic abusers and other members with criminal records to serve on his armed "posse" to patrol local schools.


Friday, February 15, 2013

The NRA vs. America

Rolling Stone magazine reports on The NRA vs. America: How the country's biggest gun-rights group thwarts regulation and helps put military-grade weapons in the hands of killers.

Just a few of the points made in the article:

  • After the Columbine shooting Wayne LaPierre stated, "We believe in absolutely gun-free, zero-tolerance, totally safe schools. That means no guns in America's schools, period."
  • Over the past 15 years, the NRA has morphed into a front group for the firearms industry, whose profits are increasingly dependent on the sale of military-style assault rifles. 
  • Of the top 15 gun manufacturers, 11 now manufacture civilian assault weapons. 
  • Membership dues bring in less than half of the NRA's yearly expenses. To stay afloat, the NRA relies on tens of millions in grants and gifts increasingly linked to the gun industry. 
  • The NRA has partnered with the American Legislative Exchange Council to push a series of laws at the state level that do nothing to suppress crime, but do boost gun sales. 
Read the full article here

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Facts Checked, Myths Debunked and Helpful Debate Guides



The GVP Report - February 5, 2013


In The News

► As the discussion about gun violence prevention continues it is helpful to keep the following articles handy. FactCheck.Org: FactChecking GOP Response to Obama Gun Plan. MediaMatters: 16 Media Myths About Proposals to Strengthen Gun Laws. Think Progress: The Ultimate Guide to the Gun Safety Debate. Mother Jones: 10 Pro-Gun Myths, Shot Down. The Atlantic: Gun Violence in America: 13 Key Questions (With 13 Concise Answers)

David Wheeler testimonyPublic hearings on gun policy have begun, including hearings by the Connecticut legislature and the U.S. Senate, where former congresswoman Gabby Giffords spoke.  Go here to watch the powerful testimony from David Wheeler whose son was killed at Sandy Hook. The White House also continues to keep up the demand for action on gun violence.

► Mother Jones investigation: Want to Buy a Gun Without A Background Check? Armslist Can Help. Looks at the world of private, online gun sales. Think Progress reports How I Was Able to Buy 4 AR-15s in 20 Minutes through Armslist with no background check required.

► Salon.com: No Really, Americans Support Gun Control, reports on 12 polls since Newtown that show a consistent pattern of support for gun violence prevention measures, including over 90% support for universal background checks, an absurdly high number

► Associated Press: Tracing a Firearm is a Low-Tech Process.  There is no national database of guns. Not of who owns them, how many are sold annually or even how many exist. When police want to trace a gun, it's a decidedly low-tech process.

►Slate.com: The Pentagon's Unholy Alliance: How Chuck Hagel could single handedly do more to advance gun control than almost anyone else. In 2005, the Pentagon endorsed a bill that made gun distributors and manufacturers immune from lawsuits. As Secretary of Defense, Hagel should rescind that position.

► New York Times: Selling a New Generation on Guns. Threatened by long-term declining participation in shooting sports, the gun industry has poured millions of dollars into a broad campaign to ensure its future by getting guns into the hands of more, and younger, children.


Community Support

► The Sun News, Cleveland, Ohio: Beachwood Rabbi Leading Fight for Increased Gun Control.  Gun violence has touched every community Rabbi Robert Nosanchuk has served. He said it is time to speak up, because otherwise lawmakers will think people approve or do not care about specific laws and issues.

Daily Show looks at Senate Hearings The Daily Show with Jon Stewart reviews the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on guns. "Gun rights advocates argue that guns are a necessary protection from a government simultaneously on the verge of fascism and impotence."

► Ruth Marcus, Washington Post: The Phony Pro-Gun Argument, disputes Senate Judiciary testimony of Gayle Trotter,  Independent Women's Forum, noting women are far more likely to be the victims of gun violence than to benefit from using a gun in self-defense.

► Christian Science Monitor, Answer to Gun Violence May Lie in Nonsmoking Campaigns. A lesson in curbing a risky product like guns can be found in the recent history of nonsmoker rights.

► Portland, Maine Press Herald: Arming Teachers Wrong Response to Gun Violence.  Putting guns in schools, possibly in untrained hands, would expose students to danger.

► David Fellerath: I'm a Gun Owner. But I Want Nothing To Do With the NRA.  Gun owners need to get our heads out of the sand and meet non-gun owners on common ground.


What the Gun Lobby is Doing

For Maine gun club, benefits of required NRA membership outweigh negatives. One way the NRA helps expand its membership is to offer benefits to gun clubs, in exchange for requiring club members to join the NRA.

This gun rights backer, armed with his Glock and his blog, is always on alert. Washington Post takes a look at Rob Farago who runs TheTruthAboutGuns.com.

How Video Games Fund Arms Manufacturers. Simon Parkin examines the virtual weapons trade, from marketing guns to young people to selling lucrative licenses.

► Violence Policy Study warns of "Next Wave" of assault pistols for sale in the United States. AK-47 and AR-15 assault pistols that combine the power of an assault rifle with the concealability of a handgun lead the way.