Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Dream Defenders

The GVP Report - August 6, 2013

In The News

Dream DefendersIn response to the Zimmerman acquittal, the Dream Defenders have occupied the Florida statehouse, demanding a special session on the state's Stand Your Ground/Shoot First law.  Gov. Scott has agreed to hold hearings on the law. The group also wants a special session to address racial profiling and the school-to-prison pipeline.  For an interview with the groups' executive director Phillip Agnew click here.

► After seven years of gridlock and obstruction by the gun lobby, the Senate finally voted to confirm a permanent director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

► A new study by Third Way analyzed internet gun sales in 10 states and found more than 15,000 guns for sale online without background checks.  And 2,000 web ads where buyers were intentionally seeking private sales without a background check.

► Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid predicted the Senate would vote again on background checks sometime before the midterm elections, but probably not before the beginning of 2014.

► A U.S. Court of Appeals upheld New Jersey's law requiring residents show a "justifiable need" to get a permit to carry a concealed handgun in public. The court ruled the mandate does not conflict with the Second Amendment. 

► Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued an opinion stating local school districts can't use state law to employ teachers and staff as guards who can carry guns on campus. A Clarksville district had planned to use the law to arm more than 20 teachers and staff when school starts this year.

► A Pew Research poll found that gun rights supporters donate four times more money and are more politically involved than gun violence prevention advocates.  Gun rights supporters are also more likely to vote for a candidate who agrees with their gun views.

Deb Cotton was one of 19 people shot during  a Mother's Day rally in New Orleans. She spent seven weeks in the hospital and endured eleven surgeries. Doctors said it was a miracle she survived.  She has over $50,000 in medical bills.

Gun suicides are on the rise nationwide. While suicide attempts usually stem from temporary setbacks, access to guns makes the equation much more lethal because those who choose a gun over pills, cutting or hanging almost never survive.

Community Support

Protect Children Not Guns 2013Children's Defense Fund, Protect Children Not Guns 2013, a compilation of the most recent and reliable national and state data on gun violence in America. In 2010, 2,694 children and teens died from guns and 18,270 suffered nonfatal gun injuries.

MTV, Every Action Counts, Melanie David Wages a Personal Fight Against Gun Violence. Melanie's brother was shot and killed in 2010. She recently went on stage to share her story as part of Girl Be Heard's "9mm America" show.

► Bill De Blasio, Public Advocate for the City of New York,Under Pressure to Divest, Eight Financial Firms Dump All Gun Stocks, 14 More Cut Holdings.   De Blasio's partners in the divestment campaign plan to build on this momentum. For more information about hedge funds and money managers invested in gun holdings go here.

► Tammerlin Drummond, Oakland Tribune, Children Exposed to Urban Gun Violence Suffer Warlike Trauma. Students in disadvantaged communities suffer from PTSD, just like children in Iraq. But people expect them to leave all those emotions outside and walk into school like any other student in a middle-class or upper-class neighborhood.

Bill Moyers talks with Tom DiazBill Moyers talks with Tom Diaz, former Violence Policy Center policy analyst, on Dangerous Gun Laws and how a lethal combination of self-defense laws and concealed carry laws makes us more vulnerable to gun violence.

► Dog Gone, Penigma, Contradictions: the Law Versus Police and Public Safety Campaigns. While following a person is legal, being followed is generally perceived as suspicious and threatening, and the public is consistently advised to be aware of it and to fear it. This seems to be an overlooked aspect to the Zimmerman trial.

►Council on Foreign Relations, Policy Innovation Memorandum, A Strategy to Reduce Gun Trafficking and Violence in the Americas. The flow of high-powered weaponry from the U.S. to Latin America exacerbates soaring rates of gun-related violence and undermines U.S. influence. But actions can be taken to reduce the availability of assault weapons and ammunition.

What the Gun Lobby is Doing

► Alex Seitz-Wald, Salon, "America's Scariest Police Chief" Suspended. The borough council of Gilberton, PA had suspended its "militia-founding, "libtard"-hating, conspiracy-theorizing police chief," Mark Kessler.

► Timothy Johnson, Media Matters, NRA's Wayne LaPierre: Despite Obama's Claims, "Many People" Believe Tyranny is "Lurking Just Around the Corner." In a recent op-ed, LaPierre also warned the administration is attempting to "disarm citizens on multiple fronts."

► Eli Stokols, 5280 The Denver Magazine, Dudley Brown's War. The executive director of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners has been aiming to remake Colorado politics using hyper-aggressive and confrontational political strategies.

► Denver Post, Senators John Morse, Angela Giron recall elections set for September 10th. The two state senators are the target of recalls by constituents for their support of stronger Colorado gun laws implemented this month.

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