Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Gun Wars

CeasefireUSA: The GVP Report - August 19, 2014

In The News

Gun Wars Gun Wars is the 2014 project of the Carnegie-Knight News21 program. Journalism student fellows spent five months researching guns. Then 29 fellows traveled to 25 states, producing the most exhaustive report ever published by News21. 

Americans for Responsible Solutions and Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence have released a new toolkit for lawmakers and advocates:  Commonsense Solutions: How State Laws Can Reduce Gun Deaths Associated With Mental Illness.  The toolkit gives a manual for understanding the breakdowns in state laws that allow the dangerously mentally ill easy access to guns.

A federal judge upheld Maryland's new law that bans assault weapons and large-capacity magazines. The judge concluded that "the Act substantially serves the government's interest in protecting public safety."

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick signs gun violence prevention bill into law. The bill includes provisions focused on school safety, mental health, background checks and enhanced criminal penalties for gun crimes.

► New state efforts to stop gun violence:  Delaware has created a statewide unit targeting illegal gun sales and distribution of firearms.  New York City will create a Gun Violence Crisis Management System.

► A preliminary report from the American Bar Association Task Force finds that  Stand Your Ground/Shoot First laws are associated with increased homicide rates and reinforce racial bias. The report concludes that "the application of SYG laws is unpredictable, uneven, and results in racial disparities."

National Poll on Children's HealthThe annual National Poll on Children's Health from the University of Michigan shows childhood obesity remains the top health concern for children, but when asked about national concerns, adults put school violence and gun-related injuries in the top 10.

► The Atlantic, The Question Doctors Can't Ask. Is there a gun in your home? If so, is it secure? A Florida law now prevents physicians from discussing firearm safety with patients.

► A Detroit jury found Theodore Wafer guilty of second-degree murder in the shooting death of Renisha McBride, rejecting his "castle doctrine" defense. Renisha's mother said that the jury's verdict showed that "her life mattered."

Community Support

The Economist,  The Ferguson Protests: Guns, police and the people. The killing of Michael Brown happened because America's citizens and its police are too heavily armed, and too quick to believe they have a legitimate right to shoot someone in a disagreement.

Kin Killing KinA new art exhibit in Indianapolis "Kin Killing Kin", depicts deadly gun violence involving young black males. The exhibit trains local high school students to serve as tour guides. The art will travel across the country after it leaves Indiana.

Keith Boykin, Huffington Post, Does the Second Amendment Only Apply to White People?  Imagine what might happen if black people started buying up scores of weapons at gun stores and posting pictures carrying them on the streets.

Becky Mason, Ohio Domestic Violence Network, A Gun Increases The Chances the Victim Will Die. American women are 11 times more likely to be murdered with guns than women in other developed countries. Perhaps the most tragic element here is that many of these deaths could have been prevented.

Brenda Gazzar, Los Angeles Daily News, Jewish Community Center Shooting Survivors Turn Pain into Action.  15 years after a gunman's shooting spree at a Jewish center in Granada Hills, survivors and their families work to prevent gun violence.

Diane R. Girardot, MA, LPC, How To Prevent Suicide and Other Gun Deaths.  The most pressing issue in gun violence prevention is addressing suicide, not gang-related crime or mass shootings. When you add statistics about domestic violence intimidation, coercion and unintentional death from firearms, a very real national crisis becomes evident.

Francis Wilkinson, BloombergView, NRA Defeats Politicians, Loses on Internet. The Internet preserves the NRA's folly, then amplifies the ensuing mockery. It also reminds people of the many innocents killed just because some reckless or insecure person had a gun.

Beau Bridges, actor, Why I Helped Jim Brady Fight for Gun Control. The man walked directly to me in a restaurant and placed the business end of his pistol between my eyes. The stranger quickly became the most important person I had ever met.

Open-Carry TrailblazersThe Colbert Report, Open-Carry Trailblazers. Stephen Colbert reviews the children's book My Parents Open Carry. "This book is long overdue," Colbert concluded. "I wish there were more firearms in children's books."

What the Gun Lobby is Doing

The NRA is quietly fighting for your right to kill elephants for their ivory. The organization is pushing for a law that would allow wealthy safari elephant hunters to bring home their large ivory trophy.

U.S. gun owners see Obama conspiracy in sanctions on Russia's AK-47. The recent blacklisting of Russian arms manufacturer Kalshnikov is seen by some as an insidious means to curb Second Amendment rights.

Texas board considers allowing alcohol at gun shows. The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has proposed rules allowing alcohol sales during some gun shows. Venues would be required to prohibit live ammunition in the facility during shows and require any firearms be disabled.

How a new book revises the gun lobby's post-Newtown intransigence. Frank Miniter's forthcoming book The Future of the Gun presents a revisionist history of the NRA's extremism during the legislative battle over guns following the Newtown shooting.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Who Gets Shot In America

CeasefireUSA: The GVP Report - August 5, 2014

In The News

Who gets shot?For over a year, Jennifer Mascia, tried to find out who gets shot in America and to document the shootings in the New York Times Gun Report blog.  More than 350 posts and 40,000 deaths later, here is what she learned. The story is part of a series from Raw Story, Trigger Happy: Can anything slow down America's epidemic of gun violence?

James Brady, press secretary for President Reagan and survivor of 1981 shooting, dies at 73. Brady joined his wife Sarah in working for the passage of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act in 1993. The bill imposed a background check on gun purchasers.

Three steps forward: Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed a bill that would have allowed teachers to carry concealed guns on school property. California Gov. Jerry Brown signed two gun safety bills, one closing a loophole in CA's "Unsafe Handgun" law and the other speeds up communication on mental health records.  A federal appeals court ruled that, despite a state law, convicted felons in Montana can't own firearms.

Two steps back: A federal appeals court upheld a Florida law known as the "physician gag rule" that punishes doctors for talking to their patients about guns. A federal judge ruled that the District of Columbia's complete ban on carrying handguns in public was unconstitutional. The ruling has been put on hold to allow D.C. to revise the law.

C-Span hearing on guns and domestic violenceThe Senate Judiciary Committee held its first-ever hearing on guns and domestic violence. The panel discussed measures to close loopholes in current federal law dealing with stalkers and perpetrators of domestic violence. The full hearing can be viewed on C-Span.

Mother Jones, Why the Suspected Texas Shooter's Domestic-Violence History Didn't Keep Him From Owning Guns. Ronald Lee Haskell, who shot and killed his sister-in-law, her spouse and four of their five children, had a history of domestic violence. How did he get a gun?

Rolling Stone Magazine takes an in-depth look at America's Gun Violence Epidemic. Features include Gun Survivors Speak Out, How to Beat the NRA in 7 Not-So-Easy Steps and The 5 Most Dangerous Guns in America.

► A new book, Gun Violence, Disability and Recovery, from the Surviving Gun Violence Project, makes a convincing case for the rights of gun violence victims through reports and stories from countries around the world.

CNN ReportsCNN Reports, What Happens When You Don't Die?, looks at three people who were shot and left paralyzed. "Imagine being fully independent, get a gunshot wound and all of a suddenly you're paralyzed, you can't work, you can't take care of bodily functions. That's what we're dealing with."

Community Support

Christy Martin: My Gun Didn't Protect Me. I'm a woman who knows how to defend herself. As one of the most successful female boxers, I made a career of dispatching would-be assailants. But all my years of training proved useless when my abusive husband decided he would murder me with my own gun.

Stand Up Chicago Chicago Bulls star Joakim Noah through his Noah's Arc Foundation has launched the "Chicago Stand Up" psa campaign urging Chicagoans to put down the guns and stand up for peace "in order to bring some hope, change and support to the community."

Mary Scott Huff, My Summer, So Far (Part 4). The message I've received from the universe has been loud, clear, and redundant: April 27, My friend reminded me that I have not done anything to change the gun violence problem in my country. June 10, Text from my daughter, "Mom, there's a shooter in my school. I'm okay, but I wanted to tell you that I love  you."

Emily Badger, Washington Post, More guns, less crime? Not exactly. Let more people carry conealed guns, and assaults go up. Put more guns in circulation, and more bad things are bound to happen.

NPR Radio, A Year After Trayvon-Zimmerman Verdict, What's Changed? A roundtable discussion with Michael Skolnick, Keli Goff, Neil Minkoff and Leonard Pitts.

Fred Sauter, Democrat & Chronicle, Essay:NRA Has Lost A Member The NRA has missed opportunities for civil discussion by stonewalling many proposed rational changes in gun laws. They could have a role in crafting national standards if they would recognize that the public is demanding change and be a constructive part of it.

Wonkette.com, Philosophy Professor On Dealing With Open-Carry Advocates: Don't Be Here Now. Jack Russell Weinstein, professor of philosophy at U. of North Dakota, talks about a possible response to the presence of "open carry" advocates in a restaurant: leave.

Archie comicVox.com, Squeaky-clean comics hero Archie is dying to prove a point about gun control. In the July issue, Archie dies because he took a bullet to protect his good friend, gay senator Kevin Keller, as part of a storyline that examines issues of gun control.

What the Gun Lobby is Doing

► Brian Judy, a senior Washington state lobbyist for the NRA, compared supporting gun control to paving the way for the Holocaust. His remarks were aimed at Nick Hanauer, Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility, whose family fled Germany to escape the Nazis.

Smith & Wesson Hit For Overseas Bribes. The company has agreed to pay $2 million in fines for bribing officials in Pakistan, Indonesia and other countries as it tried to sell firearms to military and law enforcement agencies overseas.

The NRA's Murder Mystery. One court sent him to prison for shooting a woman. Another set him free over bad police work. Was the NRA's top lawyer railroaded - or a "bad guy with a gun"?

► NRA videos advocate making gun training for children "necessary to advance to the next grade" and allowing blind people to carry loaded, hidden guns in public.