Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Guns and The Arts

The GVP Report - January 21, 2014

Guns and The Arts

► Movie producer Harvey Weinstein is working on a new film taking on the NRA and has pledged to choose projects that "aren't violent or as violent as they used to be." He added, "You have to look in the mirror, too. The change starts here, it has already."

Gun Down Anti-Violence CampaignMemphis College of Art students' Gun Down Anti-Violence Campaign. The young artists took the community's stories and put them on canvas so "people can see that youth aren't standing for violence in their community."

► Academy Award winner Steven Soderbergh will stage The Library at NY Public Theater. "The Library is about one of the most disturbing and important issues of our times - gun violence. The theater, like our nation, needs to deal with this."

► Monologist Mike Daisey's new production Story of the Gun looks at the political and emotional issue of gun control.  "Talking about the issue and reflecting on the power of this tool is what will help us be better in the future."

Sean Penn Actor Sean Penn turns his 65 guns into a sculpture by Jeff Koons saying "a strong woman who happens to be from South Africa" changed his mind about owning guns. 

In The News

► In a new study in the Annals of Internal Medicine, Accessibility of Firearms & Risk for Suicide & Homicide Victimization Among Household Members, Andrew Anglemeyer, et al, found a heightened risk of dying from suicide and murder for those who own or have access to a gun. People who lived in homes with firearms were between two and three times more likely to die from either cause compared to those who didn't live with a gun.

Morristown, NJ joins the growing list of towns pledging to review police gun purchase policies. New Jersey Together says that tax-funded military and police agencies buy 40 percent of guns sold in America and should use their clout with gun makers to push for reforms.

Procedural error ends recall effort against Idaho school board chairman who proposed to arm school staff.  "The recall galvanized opponents of armed school staff and helped demonstrate the level of community opposition to the proposal."

► MSNBC Reports, Guns + Impulsive Teenagers = Tragedy. What the gun lobby doesn't tell you - and the statistics do - is that most gun owners are not the heroes of their own stories: they are the victims.

Airport gun seizures The number of guns confiscated at U.S. airports jumped 20% in 2013 to 1,828, with Atlanta airport leading the way. Five guns were seized on the average day across the nation's airports.

Keeping public buildings free of guns proves too costly for Kansas towns. A new state law allows communities to ban guns at city halls, libraries, etc. as long as local governments pay for metal detectors and security guards to keep guns out.

► Mother Jones report, How Reddit became a gun market - and authorized its logo on assault rifles. Since 2011, part of the popular online forum has grown into an active marketplace for assault rifles, high-capacity magazines, and other powerful firearms.

Community Support

Alison Knopf, Behavioral Healthcare, A Portrait of Adam Lanza: Gun Control & Mental Health System at a Crossroads. The bottom line: access to guns doesn't go with severe mental illness, and people with mental illness need a lot better access to treatment than they are getting now.

The Arizona Republic, Our View, Mervin Brewer should have left cops and robbers to the cops. A trained police force is best protection against crime, not a shoot-out in the mall parking lot. Police officers are trained to assess and de-escalate dangerous situations, not shoot first and figure things out later.

Rob Ryan, Gainesville Sun, Why are we bringing guns to movie theaters? Are we collectively so afraid to do something so simple and innocuous as going to the movies now that we need to start packing heat? And if so, what does that say about us?

Tim Phillips, Salon.com, Can neuroscience help settle the gun control debate? New scientific studies show sacred values play a role in driving human behavior, indicating that communicating about the differences in value systems may be the key to resolving the gun debate.

David Warsinger, MIT The Tech, A bipartisan solution to gun violence - better bullets. Emerging technologies could save lives and transform the debate. Bullets that are less lethal but that have more stopping power can reduce gun violence while pleasing gun owners, safety advocates, and even the NRA.

What the Gun Lobby is Doing

The NRA is directly behind a bill loosening Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law.  The bill, which would permit gun owners to brandish a gun or fire warning shots, was written by Marion Hammer, a former NRA president.

NRA settles with Rhode Island Board of Elections for $63,000.  The NRA violated state law when if funded its Rhode Island PAC from its federal PAC.

► Media Matters, 5 things to know about the gun industry's annual trade show. # 5 - No personal guns allowed. Personal firearms are explicitly prohibited on SHOT Show exhibition premises.

► Media Matters, NRA News promotes dubious acts of self-defense to advance false gun violence narrative. The daily segment pushes the false claim that guns are more likely to be used in self-defense than to commit a crime.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Obama Issues Two New Executive Actions on Guns

The GVP Report - January 7, 2014

In The News

White House seal President Obama announced two important new executive actions dealing with mental health and access to guns. One clarifies what it means to be committed to a mental health institution and the other deals with HIPAA rules and putting adjudication records in the NICS system.  Click here for more information.

► New York Times Investigative Report, When the Right to Bear Arms Includes the Mentally Ill. Police often find themselves unsure how far they can go when seizing firearms from mentally unstable people and how to respond when the owners want the guns back.

► Union County, New Jersey will become the second government in NJ to require vendors who wish to sell firearms to county law enforcement agencies to answer questions on gun safety and responsibility.

►Dick Metcalf, one of the country's preeminent gun journalists, has been banished for questioning the gospel of guns. After writing a piece for Guns & Ammo magazine titled "Let's Talk Limits" he was fired from the magazine and his tv show was cancelled.

► Crime gun seizures rise, but so do firearm thefts in Orange County, Florida.  Stolen guns are so lucrative and easy to sell that burglars target homes and cars seeking guns. Victims who don't securely store guns are unwittingly contributing to a black market of guns.

Federal court upholds New York ban on assault weapons. The ruling by a federal court judge found the SAFE Act, that restricts assault weapons does not infringe on Second Amendment rights. However, he tossed a provision that limits a magazine that can hold 10 rounds to just seven bullets.

A federal judge overturned Chicago's ban on the sale of firearms, ruling that the ordinances aimed at reducing gun violence are unconstitutional.  The judge will temporarily stay the effects of the ruling while the city decides whether to appeal.

► Country star Toby Keith opens new restaurant in Woodbridge, Virginia with a house rule that no guns are allowed inside. Prominently displayed on the front door is a sign saying: "NO GUNS PERMITTED."

Community Support

National Youth Day of Action Janaye Ingram, After a Year of Gun Violence, Mass Shootings, Let's Pledge This One to Peace. Join the National Action Network's Youth Move on January 8th at events in NYC, Atlanta, D.C., Chicago, Los Angeles, Buckeye, AZ and Birmingham, AL for the National Youth Day of Action Against Gun Violence.

► Boston NPR Radio,Some Women Decide Their Place Isn't In the Illegal Gun Trade. Reports on a new initiative in Boston, Operation LIPSTICK (Ladies Involved in Putting a Stop to Inner-City Killings) that calls attention to the role women play in the illegal gun trade.

► The Register-Guard, Eugene, Oregon editorial,Connecticut's new gun control law could be a national model. The legislation is both comprehensive and reasonable and is "the kind of common-sense legislation that Oregon legislators should have approved last year."

William Rivers Pitt, The Year of the Gun. Working to keep living children from becoming dead children is something every American should be able to get behind. Let's give it a try, and see what happens. The baby you save may be your own.

Lt. Col. Robert Bateman, Esquire, Want Guns? Go to Baghdad. In Iraq, every single household may have one assault rifle. This seems to be Wayne LaPierre's ideal. Somewhat curiously, this social experiment is not really working.

► Stanford Social Innovation Review,Social Change via the Living Room. Mike de la Rocha, founder of The Living Rooms Across America Tour, talks about the art of cross-sector convening and storytelling to tackle gun violence in the United States.

The Guns of Montclair. The Metor Industrial Arts Foundation is asking Beretta, one of the world's largest gun manufacturers, to follow the same ethical and legal standards that they do in non-U.S. markets, regardless of whether it is required by U.S. law.

Six Foot Tall Philadelphia painter, William Kosman's new rap video "Six Foot Tall." "I want to emphasize the ongoing tragedy of gun violence by showing examples of how firearms have destroyed people's lives and inflicted pain on families."

What the Gun Lobby is Doing

► Media Matters, The 12 Worst Things the NRA and its Media Allies Said in 2013. The report chronicles 12 lowlights from a year punctuated by extreme NRA rhetoric.

Company leaves Colorado in protest of gun laws made in response to mass shootings.  Magpul Industries, one of the country's largest producers of ammunition magazines, is leaving Colorado for Wyoming and Texas because of new state laws that include restrictions on the number of bullets a magazine can hold.

► New pro-gun group creates registry to identify gun-friendly restaurants. 2Amendment.org has created a sticker for the door of restaurants who are pro-Second Amendment. They are also creating a website registry.

► Media Matters, This Network Wants to Be The Official Channel of the Gun Lobby. The Outdoor Channel announced the "expansion of its strategic partnership with the NRA" and a new "multi-year talent and endorsement agreement" with NRA board member Ted Nugent.