Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Large Majority of Americans Support Stronger Gun Laws

CeasefireUSA: The GVP Report - June 9, 2015

In The News

Colleen Barry, PhD New research published in American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Two years after Newtown - Public opinion on gun policy revisited, by Colleen Barry, PhD, MPP, et al, finds that a large majority of Americans - including gun owners - continue to support strengthening gun laws. 85 percent of gun owners and 83 percent of non-owners support universal background checks.

U.S. Supreme Court rejects NRA challenge to San Francisco gun laws. The court let stand rulings in favor of a city measure that requires handgun owners to secure weapons in their homes and an ordinance that bans the sale of hollow-point bullets.

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley signed into law a bill that strengthens penalties for domestic abusers and sets new restrictions on gun possession for domestic violence offenders, including a lifetime gun ban for the most severe crimes.

Michigan judge backs Grand Rapids police in open-carry lawsuit. The judge ruled that the police officer acted lawfully when he stopped a man openly carrying a holstered firearm and that the Plaintiff's behavior was "consistent with tactical preparedness for unlawful purposes."

► A new study in Preventive Medicine, Alcohol misuse, firearm violence perpetration, and public policy in the U.S., Garen Wintemute, MD, finds that restricting access to firearms for people who misuse alcohol could prevent firearm violence.

Fatal police shootings in 2015 approaching 400 nationwide. About half the victims were white, half minority. Among unarmed victims, two-thirds were black or Hispanic. Overall, blacks were killed at three tie the rate of whites or other minorities.

Self-defense or illegal homicide? Is Stand Your Ground/Shoot First evolving? Verdict by verdict, cases are educating US gun owners on the limits of the law and clarifying that the laws rarely protect people who willingly put themselves into potentially dangerous situations, and then open fire.

► President Barack Obama, Senator Elizabeth Warren and actress Julianne Moore were some of the ten of thousands of people who were #WearingOrange on National Gun Violence Awareness Day.

► Miami New Times, Eight Months After Mass Shooting at the Spot Nightclub, Liberty City Grapples With Fallout. The Sept. 27, 2014 violence was the largest mass shooting in Miami in decades. More than eight months later, many questions remain.


Recently, the House of Representatives approved their version of the Commerce Justice, and Science Appropriations Act for 2016. The bill contains a number of dangerous "gun riders." The bill now heads to the Senate.  Please, take a moment and call your member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and ask them to NOT include these bad gun riders in the Senate CJS Appropriations bill.

Community Support

HBO HBO Documentary Film, Requiem for the Dead: American Spring 2014, premiering June 22nd, tells the story of those who have been killed by gunfire, whether by homicide, unintentional or suicide. Stories are told with images from social media, frantic 911 calls, police reports and videos.

David McGrath, op-ed, Chicago Tribune, NRA version of 2nd Amendment lacks common sense. Ask any high school English teacher to parse the Second Amendment, and they will say that it does not prohibit common-sense restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns, in spite of the NRA's claim to the contrary.

Danica Davidson, MTV News, 15 Facts About Gun Violence.  #15 - Each day, approximately 32 people are killed by another person through gun violence, 51 commit suicide with a gun, and 45 people are shot accidentally, which sometimes results in death.

Dylan Matthews, Vox, Most gun deaths are suicides not homicides. That's a strong case for stronger gun policies. Suicide is the terminal stage of a disease. It's a preventable death that we can, and should, prevent. And gun control is a necessary tool for doing that.

Michael Sierra-Arevalo, op-ed, Hartford Courant, The Shooting Disease: Who You Know, Where You Live. "Crazy" is a word used to describe the violence and death toll from guns. But it's not random. As any police officer will tell you, gun violence happens in the same places, year after year.

Kaeley McEvoy, Sojourners,Intimate Partner Violence and Guns: A Deadly Combination. The cycle of women shot by their intimate partner is an epidemic that needs to be stopped. Guns are used in fatal intimate partner violence more than any other weapon.

John Boyle, Asheville, North Carolina Citizen-Times, What it's like to carry a loaded gun.  Be sure you're mentally able and willing to kill someone. I'm not joking - that's what this is about.

Matt Valentine, op-ed, Politico Magazine, Texas Just Made College Less Safe.  University leaders have thought guns on campus are a bad idea since 1824. So why do states keep allowing it? The fact is, you are less likely to be murdered on a school campus than in the general population.

Joseph Huff-Hannon, Rolling Stone, Toddlers Are Shooting Each Other: We Don't Need Guns in Schools. I've been tracking shootings involving toddlers for research for my satirical play, Bullets Over Preschool. The title was inspired by the story of a 4-year-old who shot up a daycare center with a 9mm he found in his father's truck.

Claire McCarthy M.D, Boston Children's Hospital, Why Don't We Treat Gun Safety Like Car Safety?When we talk about motor vehicle safety laws we don't argue about car rights. We would think it was absurd if someone said it was their right to drive faster than the speed limit. We get that cars are dangerous. But somehow gun safety discussions end up being about rights - instead of safety.

What the Gun Lobby is Doing

Republicans aim to use the DOJ funding bill to push gun riders.  House Republicans have attached several gun riders to the DOJ appropriations bill in an effort to block a number of gun regulations from the Obama administration.

► Louisiana's state legislature decided to eliminate a tax holiday for hurricane equipment and school supplies, but keep one for guns and other hunting tools.

Man with rifle scares at airport: How important is civility to open-carry? Now that some states have decided that residents can carry weapons even at the airport, Americans have watched a steady stream of primarily white males testing the boundaries of what is acceptable when it comes to guns in public places.

► Larry Pratt, head of Gun Owners of America, argued that "the Second Amendment was designed for people just like the president and his administration" and added that if the present government wants "to go tyrannical on us, we got something for 'em."