Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A gun is far more likely to be stolen than used in self-defense

The GVP Report - April 16 , 2013

In The News
► A Violence Policy Center study finds Guns are Rarely Used to Kill Criminals or Stop Crimes.  In fact, a gun is far more likely to be stolen than used in self-defense.  Read the full report here.
Francine Wheeler gives Weekly Address Francine Wheeler, mother to 6-year-old Ben who was killed at Sandy Hook, delivered the Weekly Address for President Obama,  urging people to "please help us do something before our tragedy becomes your tragedy. " Also watch the 60 Minutes interview with the Newtown families.
► Politico looks at Gun control - one vote down, many more to come, and what is likely to happen in the Senate as they begin debate on gun violence prevention legislation.
U.S. Supreme Court declines to challenge New York gun law.  The court declined to consider the appeal of a case challenging New York's law that residents must establish "proper cause" for obtaining a concealed weapons permit, leaving the requirement in place.
►  ABC News, CDC Ban on Gun Research Caused Lasting Damage. New research will take years to conduct and require a labor force that no longer exists. Only 12 or 15 people in the whole country are still researching gun violence.
How Gun Violence Has Shaped Lives.  Oregon Public Broadcasting looks at three lives forever changed by guns. Reporter David Peisner revisits The Ghosts of Jonesboro: Fifteen years After a School Shooting, a Small Town is Still Recovering. CNN interviews Gabby Giffords and finds that while she describes herself as "Stronger, better, tougher", she will never be the same.
► Center for American Progress, America Under the Gun, finds that many of the states with the weakest gun laws also have the highest levels of gun violence.  Where does your state stand on this 50-state analysis of gun violence? Read the full report here.

Community Support
The Colbert Report Stephen Colbert reports on howNorth Korea, Iran, Syria and the NRA, what he is calling the Axis of Freedom, are all opposed to the U.N. Small Arms Treaty.
► National Journal, Explaining the Gender Gap on Gun Control.  Most women support strengthening guns laws, compared with fewer than half of men. 65 percent of women favor stronger gun laws, compared to 44 percent of men.
Maureen Dowd, Chris Murphy's Crucible, takes a look at the junior senator from Connecticut who has been thrust to the forefront of the Sisyphean battle for gun safety.
► CNN Report, Guns and Suicide: One mother's heartbreaking tale. Dorothy Paugh lost her father to suicide by a a gun 50 years ago, and one year ago, she lost her son in the same way.
Michael Tomasky, The Gun Lobby's Dumbest Argument.  Of course new gun laws won't stop all violence, but this argument shows total ignorance about the reasons that we make laws in the first place.
Dennis Bailey, When a Politician Embraced Gun Control - and Won.  A 1990 Maine congressional race proved that a politician in a fiercely pro-gun state can stand up to the NRA and win.
Tom Diaz, How the Gun is Killing Americans. Excerpts from Diaz' book The Last Gun: How changes in the Gun Industry are Killing Americans and What it Will Take to Stop It.
Adam Gopnik, The Cultural Fight for Guns. The new argument for keeping as many guns as possible in the hands of as many people as possible tend to be broadly fatalistic and something sniffily "cultural."

What the Gun Lobby is Doing
► Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, the second-largest gun rights organization in the country, is urging support for the compromise gun sale criminal background checks bill drafted by Sens. Manchin and Toomey.  The move is a break with the NRA.
► The Boston Globe, To his base, NRA's LaPierre is a 'guy who will never fold.' Supporters see LaPierre as a steadfast Second Amendment purist. Critics see him as a paranoid figure.
► MediaMatters, Authors of NRA's School Safety Report sell security gear and training.  5 of the 13 members of the taskforce who produced the report that calls for an increase in armed school personnel work for a company that sells products to private security and law enforcement.
► Mother Jones, Inside the NRA's Koch-funded dark-money campaign.  How the NRA sold its grassroots firepower to the Kochs, Karl Rove, and conservative donors.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

What does the public really think about guns?

The GVP Report - April 2, 2013

In The News
► A Center for American Progress issue brief finds a clear consensus around a variety of common-sense gun laws. And finds Americans believe responsible law-abiding citizens have a right to own guns but much more needs to be done to keep dangerous guns from the wrong hands. Pollsters too often present these two as opposing ideas, but the vast majority of Americans view these concepts as consistent and complementary.
Obama Day of Action As part of the National Day to Demand Action President Obama met with gun violence survivors. "Less than 100 days ago Newtown happened and the entire country was shocked. And the entire country pledged we would do something about it and that this time would be different. Shame on us if we're forgotten. I haven't forgotten those kids."
► Connecticut Democratic and Republican state legislators worked to put together the strongest and most comprehensive gun violence prevention bill in the U.S.  It will be voted on this week and is expected to easily pass. 
► Dr. David Grimes, Guns Don't Offer Protection - Whatever the NRA Says, finds that the insistence that guns protect people from rape and violence is not rooted in scientific reality
► Search warrants show that Newtown shooter Adam Lanza had assembled an arsenal of guns, knives and ammunition.  
► A new study from Cleveland State University, Adding Up The "Butcher's Bill": The Public Health Consequences of America's System of Gun Regulation, finds that nearly one million people in the United States were shot from 2001 to 2010.
► A New Orleans judge ruled that after the recently passed Louisiana constitutional amendment the state statute forbidding felons from possessing firearms is now unconstitutional. The 2012 amendment change said gun ownership is a fundamental right and laws must approach it with "strict scrutiny", the highest level of judicial scrutiny.
► A federal appeals court overturned a lower court ruling and upheld Maryland's tough restrictions on carrying hidden loaded handguns in public places.
A Washington Post analysis of CDC data finds a white person is five times as likely to commit suicide with a gun as to be shot with a gun while for each African American who uses a gun to commit suicide, five are killed by other people with guns.

Community Support
Carrie Lendroth Battaglia, Newtown Action Alliance,  Letter from Sandy Hook Mom.  We are furious. Furious that 26 families must suffer with grief so deep and so wide that it is unimaginable. Furious that common sense has gone out the window. Furious that lawmakers are too scared to take a stand.
Charlotte & Harriet Childress, Philly.com,Mass Murders a White-Male, not Mental-Health, Issue. Nearly all the mass shootings in this country in recent years have been committed by white men and boys. Unlike other groups, white men are not used to being singled out.
Marilyn Sewell, Changing the Gun Culture, Cultural change takes time, but we can begin with the rule of law, the way we ended slavery, the way we gave women the right to vote, the way we integrated public schools. Let sensible laws lead the way. Changes in consciousness will follow.
Mark Follman, USA Today, NRA's Gun-Free Zone Myth. Not only is there zero evidence to support the claim that most mass killings take place in gun-free zones, an examination of shootings indicates the NRA is just plain wrong.
Peter Houlahan, The Right to Life vs. the Right to Bear Arms. I was in the third  EMT crew to arrive at Sandy Hook. We did not treat or transport a single patient. To have had all children and adults still in the buliding "pronounced" on-scene with zero transported is almost unimaginable.
Joe Nocera, New York Times,Saving Children From Guns. Why can't we childproof guns? In an age of technological wizardry why can't we come up with a gun that wouldn't shoot when being held by a child? Or a thief? Or an angry teenager? Turns out, we can.
Zerlina Maxwell, Ebony, Why Doesn't America Care About Dead Children? The reaction to Newtown was appropriate and yet also highlights the lack of response to the almost daily incidents of gun violence in inner city communities like Chicago. 
The Daily ShowJon Stewart of the Daily Show returns from vacation and checks in on one of the top items on the legislative agenda - gun violence prevention. And also sends his staff to check in with Ladd Everitt of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.

What the Gun Lobby is Doing
► The Armed Citizen Project will be giving away shotguns to single women and homeowners in crime-ridden neighborhoods in Tucson, Arizona and other cities across the U.S. 
► Media Matters looks at How the NRA Frustrates Enforcement of Federal Gun Laws by weakening the ATF.
► The NRA sent pro-gun robocalls to households in Newtown, Connecticut.  "I received one of these," said a Newtown resident. "I was insulted and offended."