Tuesday, March 18, 2014

15 States Have Strengthened Gun Laws Since Newtown Shooting

The GVP Report - March 18, 2014

In The News

Evidence and Policy Developments15 states plus D.C. strengthened their gun laws in the year following the Newtown shooting. "Contrary to popular belief, the tragic loss at Sandy Hook led to a number of significant policy developments," says Daniel Webster, ScD, MPH, of Johns Hopkins. New data, research and developments can be found in Updated Evidence and Policy Developments on Reducing Gun Violence in America from Johns Hopkins press.

► Andrew Solomon, The New Yorker, The Reckoning: The father of the Sandy Hook killer searches for answers. "You can't mourn for the little boy he once was. You can't fool yourself," said Peter Lanza.

► Seattle Times, Shooting Accidents Soar; State Gun Laws Remain Unchanged. In 2012, more Washington state residents were seriously hurt in unintentional shootings than in any year since 1995. Yet despite a public outcry and promises by lawmakers to take action, no gun safety laws have changed.

Rye Brook, NY Police Department joins effort to encourage gun manufacturers to play a part in reducing gun violence. The police department has resolved to review future firearm purchases so that it considers manufacturers who employ responsible gun distribution practices.

Gun Violence Aimed at Black Males Triggers Concern. Several new studies confirm what most people have suspected all along: No group is harmed more by gun violence than young Black males.

U.S. Supreme Court refuses to halt Sunnyvale, CA's enforcement of a voter approved ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines. The Court denied an emergency request by the NRA to block the city ordinance.

President Obama asks Congress for $182 million to prevent gun violence. The proposals are part of the budget package and include money for gun safety programs, inspections of retailers, research and pilot projects. 

Community Support

The Young Turks The Young Turks, Are You Afraid We Might Shoot You?  Good, Says Pro-Gun Lobbyist. Larry Pratt, Gun Owners of America, is "kinda glad" that politicians are fearful of being shot.

NY Times Editorial, Craven Statehouse Behavior. A Georgia bill would allow a convicted felon who kills someone with an illegally possessed gun to seek justification under the state's Stand Your Ground/Shoot First law.

MarketWatch, 10 Things the Gun Industry Won't Tell You. 1. Owning our product may be hazardous to your health. 2. Fear is good for our bottom line. 3. Guns get special treatment under the law. 4. We want your kids to play with guns.

David Waldman, Daily Kos, GunFAIL LX, Welcome to Hooters! Is that a gun in your pants, or.... An extraordinarily tough week for the kids this time around, with 13 unintentionally shot, and  a number of very young ones among the victims.

Topher McDougal and Robert Muggah, Firearms Industry Benefits from America's Gun Violence. While citizens bear the costs, it is ultimately the manufacturers, retailers, and marketers that profit from the country's tsunami of gun violence.

Maria Ruiz-SantanaCosmopolitan Magazine, I Survived a Campus Shooting. Maria Ruiz-Santana was one of the 26 people shot at Northern Illinois University in 2008. She is now Officer Maria, one of a handful of women on the force.

Media Matters, The New York Times' Tired Political Analysis on Stronger Gun Laws. Since the 1994 election, the media have baselessly claimed that an all-powerful NRA will motivate angry voters to defeat candidates who defy them. But little evidence shows guns are an electoral loser for Democrats.

Sarah Clements and Ronnie Mosley, Generation Progress, Our Generations' Greatest Fight:  A Future Free From Gun Violence. We believe that our generation's struggle, our question longing for an answer, is whether we can succeed in stopping gun violence, in making our communities safer for our own children.

What the Gun Lobby is Doing

NRA Tries to Sink Surgeon General Nominee. The NRA is opposing President Obama's nominee for Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy, telling Senators they will "score" the vote on Murthy's confirmation. But Media Matters points out what conservatives get wrong in their smear campaign against Dr. Murthy.

► The Arizona House of Representatives spent several hours this week debating five pro-gun bills Democrats say are unnecessary and a waste of time. One bill would allow authorities to charge a person accused of taking someone's gun, but doing so is already a felony offense.

► Wayne LaPierre, Executive VP of the NRA, spoke at the recent conservative convention CPAC. He told the audience that "there is no greater freedom than the right to survive, to protect our families with all the rifles, shotguns and handguns we want."

► NY Daily News reports that a Troy, NY pastor is holding a church raffle for an AR-15-type rifle and the Kentucky Baptist Convention is reaching out to 'unchurched' young men by offering free steak dinners and a chance to win a gun.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Having a Gun in the House Doesn't Make a Woman Safer

The GVP Report - March 4, 2014

In The News

► The Atlantic, A number of studies have found that  having a gun in the house doesn't make a woman safer.  In cases where self-defense matters most, women tend to find their own weapons turned against them.

Center for American Progress report, Young Guns: How Gun Violence is Devastating the Millennial Generation finds that young people are disproportionately both the victims and the perpetrators of gun violence.  Read the full report here.

California's attorney general is asking an appeals court to reverse itself and restore the leeway local government had to decide who can carry a concealed firearm. The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence has filed an amicus brief that supports the attorney general's request.

► WBUR Boston, When Massachusetts Criminals Want A Gun, They Often Head North. More than half of the guns seized by police come from other states. The biggest suppliers by far were New Hampshire and Maine.

► Milwaukee, Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, ATF Agents Lost Track of Dozens of Their Own Guns, Reports Show.  Agents left their guns behind in bathroom stalls, at a hospital, outside a movie theater, on a plane, or simply on top of their car and drove away.

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear two appeals from the NRA. The justices let stand a ruling that upheld federal law that prevents those 18-20 from purchasing a handgun or ammunition from a licensed firearm dealer and a Texas law that prohibits those 18-20 from carrying loaded, hidden handguns in public.

Occidental College Occidental College bans investments in assault weapons companies. Occidental is pledging to stay away from any investments in companies that manufacture assault weapons and high capacity ammunition magazines for general public sale. The move is the first of its kind for an American university.

Miami-Dade Mayors Rally Behind Plan to Control Gun Industry with 'Market Forces.' 14 local Florida governments will ask gun companies bidding on police gun contracts to show how they keep guns out of the hands of ineligible or mentally ill buyers and how they spot straw buyers.

Community Support

Real Sports Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel looks at marketing shooting sports to children. Follow a 13-year-old as clerks refuse to sell him cigarettes or beer but a gun show dealer sells him a gun, no questions asked.

Lewis W. Diugiud, Kansas City, Missouri Star, In the U.S., Guns Have More Value Than Children. Guns have rights and a constitutional amendment. Children don't. We do more to protect guns than we do to protect children.

Greg Kampikian, professor at Boise State University, Idaho, When May I Shoot a Student?  At present, the harshest penalty available here at Boise State is expulsion. But now that lethal force is an option, I need to know which infractions may be treated as de facto capital crimes.

Ron Baker, Gwinnett Magazine, A Father and Gun Owner Confronts the Limitations of Responsibility. Recently, my wife took my daughter in to use the restroom and found an unattended pistol lying atop the toilet paper dispenser. The pro-gun contingent likes to talk about responsibility. They talk about it in spite of statistics.

BewareMartha Rosenberg, OpEdNews.com, Are George Zimmerman and Michael Dunn "Protecting" Us?  Open and concealed carriers are so full of fear, they are afraid to go where normal people go - including children, the elderly and 90 lb women - every day unless they have their loaded lethal weapons. 

Tim Murphy, Mother Jones,Loaded Chambers: A Brief History of Politicians Accidentally Shooting Things. Shoot happens when public servants unintentionally fire, drop, and forget their firearms. Part II - Why Politicians Shouldn't Pack Heat.

Dahlia Lithwick, Slate.com, "Stand Your Ground" Nation. America used to value the concept of retreat. Now we just shoot."Stand your ground/shoot first" laws are changing the way the rest of us think about self-protection. Which is the world the NRA dreams of constructing: Everyone armed and paranoid that everyone else is armed.

Daily ShowJon Stewart, The Daily Show, Unjustified. Jon Stewart reacts to the Michael Dunn verdict in the murder trial of teenager Jordan Davis.

What the Gun Lobby is Doing

► Media Matters, 20 Years After Brady Bill Enacted, Conservative Media Still Attacking Gun Background Checks. Members of conservative media have used false statements and paranoid rhetoric to fight legislation to require background checks for more than 20 years.

Florida bill would allow warning shots against attackers. The bill would expand "stand your ground/shoot first" law to allow people to fire warning shots. The NRA is supporting the legislation.

► ThinkProgress, NRA Urges Senate to Reject Surgeon General Nominee Over Gun Violence Prevention Stance. The NRA objects to the nominee, Dr. Vivek Murthy, because he believes doctors should ask patients about gun ownership and discuss gun safety procedures, believes there should be more federal funding of gun violence research, and supports universal background checks and an assault weapons ban.

► The Missouri Senate bowed to pressure from the NRA and stripped a provision requiring gun owners to report stolen weapons from a bill.  Said one state senator, "We are blind followers in here right now. Because one special interest group opposes the amendment, everyone decides to run."