Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Nevada could put background checks on ballot soon

CeasefireUSA: The GVP Report - November 25, 2014

In The News

Nevada Nevadans for Background Checks have turned in the largest number of signatures ever gathered for a ballot initiative in Nevada. The initiative would require background checks for all gun sales. If the Legislature fails to pass the bill this year it will go directly to voters as a ballot measure in 2016.

Jay Leno cancels appearance at SHOT Show.  Leno was scheduled to speak at the National Shooting Sports Foundation gun industry trade show in Las Vegas but cancelled after pressure from gun violence prevention groups.  Leno said he was unaware that the NSSF was a pro-gun lobbying group based in Newtown, CT.

► A new report from the CT Office of the Child Advocate concludes that Sandy Hook killer Adam Lanza's anti-social and emotional problems began presenting in grade school but teachers failed to notice. It also noted that "access to guns is relevant to an examination of ways to improve the public health."

Guns may soon have wireless networked chips embedded to log their every action.  Some TX and CA police departments have already ordered the guns but fierce aversion from some gun owners has curtailed the making of a consumer version of the smart chips.

Hidden ScarsThe Hidden Scars of Chicago's Guns.  PTSD affects many victims of violent crime in the city, but few seek help. With about 2,000 shootings and more than 300 murders in the city each year, the strain on those who survive - victims and perpetrators - can be great.

► In a new study in Journal of Black Studies, The Role of Media in the Disparate Response to Gun Violence in America, Wanda Parham-Payne finds that the media portrayals of gun violence depend on race, leading to often very disparate policy responses.

A massive, high-volume gun trafficking ring from Florida to New York City has been broken up by police. Eight people were arrested. Police allege that the suspects funneled firearms from Florida, a state with lax gun laws, to New York City, often using Chinatown buses.

Viraj Pandit, M.D., a researcher at the U. of Arizona presented research to the American College of Surgeons showing that states with tight regulations on the purchase and control of guns have fewer injuries and deaths from firearms. "Strict firearm legislation may help to reduce firearm-related injuries and mortalities, and help to reduce the years of life lost," said Pandit.

► New research from Stanford University confirms that right-to-carry gun laws are linked to an increase in violent crime. This debunks earlier claims that more guns lead to less crime. Professor John Donohue and his colleagues have provided the most convincing evidence to date that right-to-carry laws are associated with an increase in violent crime.

2014 National Vigil for All Gun Violence Victims

National VigilAs we near the 2nd anniversary of the Newtown shooting, please join us this December for National Vigils and Events in Washington, D.C. and around the country.  

To host an event in your state click here. To attend the Thursday, December 11th vigil at the National Cathedral in D.C. click here.  To upload a photo of a loved one lost to gun violence click here. To apply for a special stipend to go to D.C. click here.  To make a donation to support the vigil click here.

Community Support

91%John Richie, director of the award-winning documentary Shellshocked, on the effect of gun violence on New Orleans teenagers, has a new project, 91 Percent. The figure comes from a Jan. 2013 national poll that found 91 percent of Americans favor background checks on people buying guns.

David Katz, M.D., Public Health as Political Prisoner. If a foreign government took the U.S. Surgeon General hostage, I'm confident we'd be pretty upset.  Yet our own political system has managed to hold Dr. Vivek Murthy's nomination hostage.

► Los Angeles Times editorial, A sane gun law is under fire in San Diego. Until an appeal court struck down the law, CA counties had the option of restricting applicants for concealed weapons permits if there was a "good cause." Now, the same court has ruled that the state of CA has no standing to appeal that decision.

Shawn VanDiver, A Navy Vet's Case for Gun Control. A former Navy weapons instructor lays out the simple steps lawmakers can take to make us all safer.

Maria Konnikova, The New Yorker, Is there a link between mental health and gun violence? Mental illness is easy to blame, easy to pinpoint, and easy to legislate against in regards to gun ownership.  But that doesn't mean that it is the right place to start in an attempt to curtail violence.

Richard Gibson & Joshua Caruso, Cleveland, OH,  The time is now to halt the flow of illegal guns. Operation Samson II, led by ATF and Cleveland police, was successful. It proved that, with the right focus and resources, law enforcement can investigate criminal patterns and identify who in the county is distributing crime guns, and arrest and prosecute those who break the law.

► Delaware County, PA, Daily Times editorial, Brad Fox law a start in curbing gun violence Staci Dawson just became the first person in the state to be sentenced under a law that mandates harsh penalties for people who make straw gun purchases; that is, they illegally purchase guns for felons who cannot buy them.

Scott Maxwell, Orlando Sentinel, Silencers: Florida's latest sideshow distraction in guns. Each and every year, the NRA pushes some new issue - regardless of significance - designed solely to gin up controversy and swell its membership rolls.

Ivory Jon Stewart, The Daily Show, notes that because of ivory sales, more elephants are dying than can be born and African terrorist groups use ivory to gain capital. The Obama administration is working to ban all non-antique ivory sales. "It makes total sense!" said Stewart. "Elephants get preserved, terrorists get denied funding, what kind of asshole would be opposed to it? Oh, an NRAsshole."

What the Gun Lobby is Doing

►  Rob Cox, BreakingViews, Good news for guns is bad for gunmakers. Colt Defense warned of a possible default. Freedom Group saw its debt ratings cut by Moody's. Sturm Ruger and Smith & Wesson have taken a beating in the stock market. Their problem is that weapon sales are driven by fear.

21 states want a court to overturn Maryland's post-Sandy Hook assault weapons ban. The law is among the nation's strictest. It was challenged by opponents shortly after passage and was upheld by a federal judge. That decision is currently being appealed. 21 states have joined in a filing last week.

Right-wing media falsely claim that museums need to give up their guns. Media outlets are misleadingly promoting the report that a Washington state museum will have to return firearms on display following passage of the background check initiative.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

It was a great night for gun violence prevention

CeasefireUSA: The GVP Report - November 11, 2014

In The News
► victory partyOn election night, if you back stronger gun laws things went even better than you could have reasonably expected. The big news was in Washington State where a ballot initiative for universal background checks passed with 60 percent of the vote.
► Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy said the stronger gun laws passed after the Sandy Hook shooting helped him pick up votes in Newtown against his Republican opponent. "I think there was an appreciation that we stepped forward and we did the right thing, and we weren't afraid to do the right thing when it came to guns," Malloy said.
► Colorado Democrats win back seats lost in last year's gun recall election. Voter turnout in Tuesday's election far exceeded the 20% of voters who cast ballots in the 2013 recall vote. Democrats won both seats with a comfortable margin.
► Former Boston Mayor Tom Menino, who died recently, is celebrated for his leadership.  Menino and NYC Mayor Bloomberg worked together to form Mayors Against Illegal Guns. "Tom spoke passionately about the victims of gun violence and felt that a mayor's number one responsibility was protecting the public," said Bloomberg.
► Melted guns recycled into new steel. Guns turned in during a gun buy-back in Cleveland, Ohio  will be melted down. The steel company ArcelorMittal, a partner in the buy-back, said they were pleased to be able to recycle the steel "into consumer goods that improve the quality of all our lives."
► The award winning Gun Crisis Reporting Project in Philadelphia, PA, has ceased daily reporting.  The project has been viewed as a success, "we made a difference, as communicators and catalysts," Jim MacMillan said, but "funding has been impossible,"
► A new law took effect in Wisconsin which requires individuals accused of violence in a domestic abuse restraining order to turn over all of their  firearms to either their local sheriff or to a person not involved in the case.
► A new study, Gun Possession among American Youth, Sonali Rajan and Kelly Ruggles, finds "multiple risk behaviors, beyond more commonly discussed indicators of poor mental health" associated with youth gun possession . The study identified more than 40 different behavioral factors other than mental illness that are strongly associated with gun possession.

2014 National Vigil for All Gun Violence Victims
National VigilAs we near the 2nd anniversary of the Newtown shooting, please join us this December for National Vigils and Events in Washington, D.C. and around the country.  
To host an event in your state click here. To attend the Thursday, December 11th vigil at the National Cathedral in D.C. click here.  To upload a photo of a loved one lost to gun violence click here. To apply for a special stipend to go to D.C. click here.  To make a donation to support the vigil click here.

Community Support
 Cliff Schecter, One of the Midterms' Little-Noticed Big Losers: The NRA.  Ballot measures are a way to go around bought-off legislators and unpopular-yet-powerful, right-wing corporate interests like the NRA. While our system remains broken, this is a roadmap for the near future.
► Westchester United, part of the Do Not Stand Idly By campaign, held an event in New Rochelle, NY.   Community groups and public officials are working together to ask gun manufacturers to provide information on their distribution practices and safety technologies.
► The National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence called for background checks on all gun purchases, including private and gun-show sales. 
► Chris Peak, The Psychology of Guns. Guns remove the intimacy of killing. The thought of having to approach and kill your vicitm by using physical force is unsettling. So we kill from thirty feet away - away from the blood, away from having to personalize and internalize the act.
► Innocent TargetsBritish artist Anthony Burrill's,  Innocent Targets, is a series of shooting range posters depicting archetypal examples of the innocent victims killed by gun-related crimes in the U.S. each year.  The quotes included on each poster reminds viewers of the sheer absurdity of America's gun crime situation.
► Newsday Editorial, Don't Let NRA Shoot Down Vote on Surgeon General. With Ebola anxiety gripping the nation, the confirmation of a surgeon general is one key piece of unfinished business for the U.S. Senate. The NRA is blocking a vote on nominee Dr. Vivek Murthy. This is no time for special-issue myopia.
► Jennifer Sinor, Chronicle of Higher Education,Guns on Campus Have Already Curtailed Free Speech. Anita Sarkeesian cancelled a talk at Utah State University because of threats of violence. The university could not guarantee a gun-free audience because state law allows concealed weapons on college campuses.
► Mike Weisser, Mike the Gun Guy, Do Guns Make Us More or Less Safe? The NRA Seems To Be Winning the Argument. In the arena of public opinion, the folks who believe that guns are a risk have fallen far behind. Why is there such a clear disconnect between the consensus among health researchers and the general public regarding the safety of guns?
► Launa Hall, Rehearsing for Death: A Pre-K Teacher on the Trouble With Lockdown Drills. Instead of controlling guns and inconveniencing those who would use them, we are rounding up and silencing a generation of schoolchildren, and terrifying those who care for them. We are giving away precious time to teach and learn while we cower in fear.
Colbert Report
Stephen Colbert, The Colbert Report, The NRA vs. Pennsylvania's Pet-Eating Ban. You can have a dog for dinner in Pennsylvania thanks to the NRA.

What the Gun Lobby is Doing
► Media Matters, NRA's Election Message: "Vote Your Guns" because ISIS might be outside your house and you may need a gun in case of electromagnetic pulses or cyber attacks.
► Bob Cook, One More Thing Keeping Kids From Hunting: American Gun Culture. For the umpteenth year in a row there are stories about how there aren't as many kids, or people in general, as there used to be out hunting.
► Media Matters, Three Bizarre Ways the Gun Lobby Media is Downplaying a Major Background Check Victory. Conservative media and the NRA offer weak arguments in an attempt to spin the outcome of the Washington background check ballot.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Loaded With Lead

CeasefireUSA: The GVP Report - October 28, 2014

In The News

Loaded with LeadSeattle Times three-part investigative report, Loaded With Lead,  examines lead hazards at shooting ranges nationwide. Part 1: Lead poisoning is a major threat at America's shooting ranges;  Part 2: Bellevue shooting range poisoned dozens; Part 3: Young shooters at risk. At a shooting club in Vancouver, WA, 20 youngsters tested positive for lead overexposure.

Rate of Mass Shootings Has Tripled Since 2011. Scholars from Harvard School of Public Health and Northeastern University analyze three decades of data and find that in 2011 the U.S. entered a new period in which mass shootings are occurring more frequently. 

Minneapolis, Minnesota police are at the forefront of new gun ID technology.  They are using the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network to match bullets to crimes around the city.

► Outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder laments the inability to enact stronger gun laws.  "The thought that we could not translate that horror [of the Newtown shooting] into reasonable gun safety measures that were supported by the vast majority of the American people is for me something that I take personally as a failure and something that I think we as a society should take as a failure, a glaring failure, that I hope will ultimately be rectified."

Want to play cop? This town will sell you a badge and a gun permit. The police chief in the village of Oakley, Michigan has started an auxiliary police program.  $1,200 for a uniform, bullet-proof vest and gun, plus some additional donations to the police department will get you a police badge and the right to carry a gun almost anywhere in the state.

#ProtectAllWomen Is Your State Acting to #ProtectAllWomen? New interactive website from Americans for Responsible Solutions, Everytown, Generation Progress, Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence and National Domestic Violence Hotline.

Washington, D.C. to begin accepting first applications in decades for concealed-firearm permits. Move comes after federal judge's ruling striking down the District's long-standing concealed-carry ban.

► After the shooting at the National War Memorial and Parliament in Ottawa, Canada, a look at how gun control works in Canada. Canada's laws are meaningfully stronger than those in the U.S.

2014 National Vigils for All Gun Violence Victims

National VigilPlease join us this December for the second annual  National Vigils for All Gun Violence Victims.

To host an event in your state click here. To attend the Thursday, December 11th vigil at the National Cathedral in D.C. click here.  To upload a photo of a loved one lost to gun violence click here. To apply for a special stipend to go to D.C. click here.  To make a donation to support the vigil click here.

Community Support

Eric Liu, Citizen University, Gun Violence Isn't Somebody Else's Problem It is not normal, in a civilized nation, to have over 30,000 gun deaths a year.  Somebody's child was killed Friday because that child went to school. Somebody has to do something about it. In ways full of both risk and responsibility, you are that somebody.

Prosecutors Against Gun Violence, a coalition of prosecutors from across the country, gathered for the first time in Atlanta to discuss ways to fight gun violence.

Sojourners Sojourners, Faith in Action for Social Justice, new study guide, Elevating the Issues: Gun Violence. Complements videos from The 2014 Sojourners Summit and features articles from Sojourners magazine and God's Politics blog. For use with small study groups or individual study.

Ellen Painter Dollar, Patheos, It's Still a No Brainer for Christians to Support Gun Law Reform. Jesus had a lot to say (and show) about vulnerability, fear, self-protection and violence - and it wasn't "arm yourself."

Cliff Schecter, Daily Beast, The Fear About Things That Won't Kill Us Is Killing Us. Scare-mongering by opportunistic politicians and media are hiding the real killer in our midst: the pervasiveness of guns, which kills up to 30,000 Americans every year.

Scott Van Pelt, One Big Thing, ESPN Radio. Van Pelt  reacts to the recent tragic events in Canada and wonders what would happen if here in the U.S. we reacted the same way every time someone was shot and killed.

Danny Westneat, The Seattle Times, When selling guns to felons is no problem, that's a problem. Even the experience of mistakenly selling assault rifles to an eight-time felon isn't enough to convince some gun enthusiasts of the need for background checks.

Brilliance How about a story where jewels, love and humor defeat the guns?!  An American and Australian team up to make a film,  Brilliance,  that comments on the senselessness of gun violence.

Gary Legum, Wonkette.com, Liberal lawmaker owns a gun and favors gun control. Impossible!  We feel we must once again point out that owning a gun is not incompatible with advocating for laws that would hold gun owners legally responsible for any mayhem someone might commit with that gun.

Mike Weisser, Mike the Gun Guy, Missouri is the latest state to prohibit doctors from talking about guns. The real reason the gunnies want to push physicians out of the discussion about gun violence is that they want to disconnect gun ownership from violence to make guns more acceptable, more enjoyable, more normal.

What the Gun Lobby is Doing

Cerberus said it would stay out of the gun debate.  Why are executives it appointed fighting gun safety laws?  The company said it would sell a gun manufacturing conglomerate called Freedom Group, but now executives are helping to finance anti-gun-control ads in Connecticut.

► Media Matters reports Dana Loesch's new book, Hands Off My Gun: Defeating the Plot to Disarm America, botches quotes from the Founding Fathers.

Open Carry gun extremists march through downtown St. Louis, Missouri with handguns and assault rifles to put a new Missouri gun law to the test.  A counter protest was held by members of Amnesty International.