Tuesday, May 21, 2013

This Fight Is Not Over

The GVP Report - May 21, 2013

In The News

OFA delivers petitions to CongressDespite the temporary defeat of the Manchin-Toomey bill in the Senate the fight to strengthen gun laws is not over.  The Senate is working to gain additional votes and the House is working on a companion bill authored by Rep. Pete King (R- N.Y.)  H.R. 1565 already has 176 cosponsors. Organizing for Action recently delivered 1.4 million signatures to Congress demanding action and stressing that We Will Not Back Down. The Center for American Progress details 9 reasons why progress on stronger gun laws is within reach.

► A California law passed in 2007 that requires all new semi-automatic handguns be equipped with microstamping technology is now in effect after years of delay.  New guns must stamp a bullet casing with a code identifying a gun's make, model and serial number whenever the gun is fire.

► Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley signed sweeping legislation strengthening Maryland's gun laws.  The new law requires anyone buying a handgun to submit fingerprints to obtain a license, limits gun magazines to 10 rounds, and bans 45 types of assault weapons.

► The US State Department told Cody Wilson to remove 3-D plastic gun blueprints from his website but not before the plans had been downloaded across the world. Now, policymakers are scrambling to catch up with this new frontier of gun control jurisdiction.

► MediaMatters, Conservative media misread Dept. of Justice report on fall of gun homicides, ignoring multiple factors that could account for the decrease.

► NPR All Things Considered reports on The Low-Tech Way Guns Get Traced. It involves lots of phone calls and often, manual labor.

► A new study by Stephen Teach, MD presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies meeting finds that nearly one in five children and teens found to be at risk for suicide report that there are guns in their homes and 15 percent of these youth know how to access both the guns and the bullets.

Guns obtained in a January gun buyback in Seattle, Washington will be melted down and turned into steel "bricks" that will be adorned with messages about gun violence penned by Seattle school children and placed throughout the city.  Seattle students in grades 1-12 can submit quotes to the Weapons to Words contest.

Community Support

Shell Shocked Shell Shocked is a new documentary film that looks at violence and crime in New Orleans, the murder capital of the U.S..  The filmmakers look to activists, community leaders, police and the children who live in these violent circumstances for positive solutions to an extremely negative situation.

James E. Causey, Milwaukee, WI Journal Sentinel, Are You Safer Owning a Gun for Home Protection?  Dr. Eric Fleegler, Harvard Medical School, told me I would be much safer if I didn't own a gun in a home invasion than if I did own a gun. I didn't believe him, so we went through a series of exercises.

► An important new book from Tom Diaz, formerly of the Violence Policy Center, The Last Gun: How Changes in the Gun Industry Are Killing Americans and What Will It Take to Stop ItRead what one book reviewer has to say. 

Amy Showalter, Forbes.com, Five Reasons the NRA Won the Recent Gun Control Debate That Have Nothing to do with Politics. There are lessons we can learn from the recent battle on background checks.

Charles Simic, New York Review of Books, Shooting Our Way to Safety. Following on the premise that the more guns a person owns, the safer he and his family are going to be, the nation Wayne LaPierre and his supporters envision is one in which law enforcement would be supplanted by vigilantes in our communities.

Robert Wielkopolski, New Jersey Star Ledger, Why Does the NRA Fear Facts? As a magistrate in Alaska for 32 years, I saw firsthand that choice of weapon often influenced body count. Yet the NRA blocks knowledge that could reduce gun deaths like the auto industry tried to silence Ralph Nader.

Arkadi Gerney, The New Yorker, Guns and My Mother. For five years, I managed Mayors Against Illegal Guns, but I never told anyone - not the people I worked with every day, or the victims I convinced to go on camera to share their stories - how my own life was changed by a gun.

Snoop No Guns AllowedSnoop Lion (AKA Snoop Dogg) has launched a design contest in conjunction with his new single, No Guns Allowed. "The song is a call to action for people everywhere to come together and help end the senseless gun violence that claims lives every day."

What the Gun Lobby is Doing

► Adam Kokesh hopes to lead 1,000 protesters armed with guns in Washington, D.C. on the 4th of July. Kokesh compares himself to Mahatma Gandhi.  He also calls D.C. chief of police a "criminal" for reminding Kokesh that under D.C. law it is illegal to carry a gun openly or concealed.

► A vendor at the NRA's annual convention sold a target, called "the ex" of an ex-girlfriend that bleeds when you shoot it. The company, Zombie Industries, markets itself as the maker of "life-sized tactical mannequin targets" that you shoot directly at.

► Christina Wilkie & Nick Wing, This is what happens when the gun industry sees kids as customers, looks at the various ways the gun industry and the NRA market to children.

► The NRA has sent out mailers in Colorado urging people to sign a petition to recall Democratic state Senate president John Morse after the state recently strengthen gun laws. "They're just testing here to see if they can take out the Senate president and make a statement, a statement that says: 'Don't ever be a leader and be for sensible reforms,'" Morse said. "And they're targeting me because I'm in a swing district, surrounded by conservative ideologues."