Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Clash Over Guns in National Forests

CeasefireUSA: The GVP Report - August 18, 2015

In The News

Backcountry guns Since 2010, United States Forest Service officers have handled 8,500 shooting incidents inside national forests. Illegal shootings have intensified precipitously in recent years. The New York Times takes a look at the culture clash over guns in the backcountry and how hikers are increasingly conflicting with recreational target shooters.

► The latest Pew Research Center poll shows 85% of Americans favor expanding background checks. Support was strong among both Republicans and Democrats. But other proposals are more divisive: 85% of Democrats favor creation of a database to track gun sales, compared with 55% of Republicans.

► The Seattle, Washington City Council voted unanimously to establish a tax on gun and ammunition sales and to require gun owners to report lost and stolen firearms to police. 

► In a new study in the current issue of American Journal of Public Health, Firearm Prevalence and Homicides of Law Enforcement in the U.S., David Swedler, et al find that police officers are three times more likely to be shot and killed on the job in high gun ownership states in comparison with low gun ownership states. 

► Criminologist Tom Nolan, a 27-year veteran of the Boston Police force, blames poor discipline for the shooting deaths of unarmed men like Michael Brown. The message needs to come from the top: If you engage in a deadly force incident, there will be a meticulous investigation and if you violate procedures and policies you will be disciplined.

What you should know about Senator John Cornyn's NRA-supported bill to "help fix" the background check system.

► Dozens of Alabama sheriffs speak out about serious concerns with the state's concealed weapons permit laws. They said the Lafayette movie theater shooter was "a poster child for what we have been trying to say the last several years about public safety and not doing away with background checks" for permits.

► A Michigan circuit judge has ruled that a Clio-area father can legally open carry his handgun inside of his daughter's elementary school despite a legal challenge from the school district.

► A Wisconsin state appeals court has upheld a ban on carrying firearms on city buses in Madison. The court ruled the state's preemption statute only covers city ordinances, not a Metro policy rule like Madison's.

Accounts from the front lines of urban gun violence: Baltimore, Maryland. What do you do when your daddy says it's alright to murder a man? When your mother tells you to go out and sell drugs?

Community Support

Young TurksCenk Uyger, The Young Turks, reacts to the Michigan ruling allowing open carry guns in elementary schools.  "The country has lost its mind. His so-called right trumps all of your rights, including your right to have some sort of peace of mind when you send your kid to elementary school."

David Hemenway, Harvard School of Public Health, op-ed, Does owning a gun make you safer?  The evidence is overwhelming that a gun in the home increases the likelihood not only that a household member will be shot accidentally, but also that someone in the home will die in a suicide or homicide. In addition, hundreds of thousands of household guns are stolen each year. The public health costs of gun ownership are very high.

Senator Edward Markey, guest column, Gun violence is preventable, not preordained. Congress has failed the American people on gun violence. How many more gun-related deaths do we need to suffer before there is enough political will in Congress to ensure there is not one more?

Mike Weisser, Mike the Gun Guy, Do armed citizens know how to protect themselves with guns? I doubt it. The gun industry has never, ever done a single study that tests the idea that a good guy can stop a bad guy with a gun.

GunSenseIsMyThing, The Wild West world of online gun exchanges. Think of Armslist.com as a Craigslist for guns. The site has disclaimers about not selling guns out of state or to felons. Of course there is no way to enforce any of this.  Take a look at what's for sale now in Tennessee.

E! Online, Kim Kardashian goes on passionate Twitter rant about gun control, says "Laws have to change!" The Tweet was in response to reports that the Texas shooter who killed 2 adults and 6 children bought his gun online, with no background check.

Bert Olivier, Thought Leader, Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift and American gun culture. Cyrus is often labelled a bad role model, while Shift is seen as a good role model. But Cyrus observes the hypocrisy of frowning upon images of her naked body while condoning Shift's projection of images that implicitly justify gun violence.

Crime Scene: Breathe Life Collaboraction theater group new production, Crime Scene: Breathe Life, is a followup to its 2013 play A Chicago Anthology. The play draws from newspaper articles and firsthand accounts to tell stories that examine how gun violence is playing out across Chicago. It is being performed at different venues in Chicago throughout the month of August.

What the Gun Lobby is Doing

► Texas open carry activist CJ Grisham announced that he is running for state senate. Grisham heads the group Open Carry Texas. Grisham lost his Texas concealed weapons permit after a 2013 arrest, but state law allows him to continue to carry a loaded, hidden gun in public using another state's permit. 

► The Rocky Mount United Methodist Church in Jemison, Alabama has turned an overgrown gully behind the church into a gun range. "This is an opportunity for us to reach out in the name of Jesus Christ in a setting that is completely unique," said the church's pastor.

► Donald Trump regularly calls for getting rid of "gun-free zones." But ThinkProgress spoke with a number of hotels and golf courses in the Trump empire and found multiple locations did not allow guns on the property, even if guests had a concealed weapons permit.

► Gun advocate John Lott was the real author of a viral Fox News op-ed written from the perspective of a female stalking victim. Taylor Woolrich wanted to raise awareness about stalking. "I didn't realize I was being turned into an NRA puppet," she said.

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