Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Women and Guns

CeasefireUSA: The GVP Report - February 16, 2016

In The News

This month, three mainstream magazines take a look at women and guns. Marie Claire partners with Harvard Injury Control Research Center on a groundbreaking national survey of women's relationship with guns.  Cosmopolitan magazine tells readers "It's Time To Talk About What Guns Have to Do With Dating. It's more than you might realize."  And Glamour spotlights eight women, all survivors of mass shootings, who are fighting to make everyone safer.

► Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who died suddenly, wrote the controversial opinion on guns, District of Columbia v Heller. His death throws the supreme court's divided stance on the second amendment into question.

► Two recent court decisions: The 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals sent a challenge to Maryland's assault weapons ban back to a lower court for further review saying it needs to be evaluated by a more rigorous standard.  The Missouri Supreme Court ruled a recent state constitutional amendment of the right to bear firearms does not allow nonviolent felons to carry guns.

► A new study in Epidemiologic Reviews, The Transmission of Gun and Other Weapon-Involved Violence Within Social Networks, Dr Melissa Tracy el al, asserts that a better understanding of the relationship between gun violence within social networks and individual gun violence risk is critical in preventing the spread of gun violence.

A new study from Violence Policy Center, Silencers: A Threat to Public Safety, examines how the gun industry is pushing legislation to weaken federal and state regulation of silencers.The study also documents examples of criminal activity involving silencers.

► Reuters Special Report, Why Obama and other gun control advocates own stock in firearms makers. Gun company stocks are common in retirement and college savings plans.  Find out how to divest at Unload Your 401k.

► Philadelphia NBC10 investigative report, Mapping Philly's gun Violence and the Impact on Families looks at how gun violence is impacting the city neighborhood by neighborhood.

Community Support

Brave New Films, Making a Killing: Guns, Greed and the NRA, tells the stories of how guns, and the billions made off of them, affect the lives of everyday Americans.

► Portland, Maine Press Herald editorial, Waterville assault leads police chief to incorrect conclusionOwning a gun is actually not the way to deter criminals like the perpetrator of a recent horrific attack.

Mike Weisser, A Gun Dealer Talks Straight About Guns. The massive increase in gun sales, particularly since 2009, did not represent new consumers.  It represents current consumers stocking up on these adult toys.

John J. Lennon, Prison Wisdom, Easy access to guns helped me commit murder.  I've changed but the loopholes remain. The phenomenon known as straw purchasing is a dangerous loophole that has remained open for decades. I got guns this way in the mid-nineties.

► Chicago, Illinois Sun Times editorial, A good gun bill yet to draw an NRA objection. A bipartisan proposed bill would help authorities better enforce gun laws now on the books related to illegal attempts to buy weapons.

Rick Ellison, Milford, Ohio, op-ed, Constitutional solution to guns.  The real problem is ammunition. And something can be done about that, without having even the slightest impact on the constitutional right of Americans to bear arms.

JoeySalads uses a hidden camera to see how easy it is to buy a gun legally at a gun show in California versus illegally through an ad on Craigslist.

What the Gun Lobby is Doing

► After NRA board member Ted Nugent posted an anti-Semitic graphic to his Facebook, even far-right gun groups condemned his actions. The NRA responded by saying individual board members do not speak for the organization.

A bill offering a tax credit for gun classes advances in the Arizona House. The legislation would offer up to an $80 credit for the firearm training class needed for a concealed-weapons permit.

A look inside the 2016 SHOT Show.  A fortified bonanza of white men and manhood, 630,000 square feet of wall-to-wall gun supporters who think more guns are the answer.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Laws that make it tougher to buy guns help reduce violence

CeasefireUSA: The GVP Report - February 2, 2016

In The News

► East Bay Express investigative report, The Gunrunner and the Peacemakers, examines how California's strong firearm regulations help catch gunrunners and make it harder for felons to get their hands on guns.

Facebook bans private gun sales. The company said it will ban users from coordinating private sales of firearms on Facebook and Instagram. The ban does not apply to licensed gun dealers.

► Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, Gun Law Trendwatch,  looks at positive and negative trends in state gun bills being considered in 2016.

► A new study in The Lancet, Policy misperceptions and support for gun control legislation, Peter Aronow and Benjamin Miller, finds that  41% of respondents believe that federal law already requires universal background checks.

► A new study in Violence and Gender, Firearm Ownership and the Murder of Women in the U.S., Michael Siegle and Emily Rothman, finds that women living in states with high rates of gun ownership are more likely to be shot and killed by someone they know than those residing in states with fewer firearms. Every 10% increase in gun ownership was associated with a 10.2% increase in gun-related murders of women.

How America's gun manufacturers are quietly getting richer off taxpayers. Since 2003, state and local governments from Alabama to Tennessee have given more than $120 million worth of taxpayer funds to at least seven major firearms companies.

Gun violence not a mental health issue, experts say, pointing to 'anger' and suicides. Gun violence and mental illness are public health problems "that intersect at the edges" but have little overlap. Gun ownership restrictions related to mental health are too broad and can miss people who are suicidal and have pathological anger.

It's That Easy

Read Daniel Ruth's column in the Tampa Bay Times  Open Carry Bills Are Bad for Tourism,  then sign the petition telling the Florida tourist industry that you and your family want a gun-free vacation.

Community Support

Sundance Film Festival takes on mass shootings and guns in America. Gun violence was the main subject of four new films at Sundance - two feature documentaries ("Newtown," "Under the Gun") one short documentary, "Speaking is Difficult," and one feature film, "Dark Night."

1300 churches across South Carolina take a stand against gun violence as part of Stand Up Sunday. Churches are also asking at least nine members of their congregation to come to a Statehouse rally for stricter background checks on gun purchases.

Linda Carvel, A new game plan: Treat gun violence like smoking. Make gun violence as politically incorrect as smoking cigars, cigarettes and pipes in restaurants, schools and grocery stores. 

Harvard ForumPreventing Gun Violence: Public Health Perspectives examines gun violence through a public health prism. Panelists talk about patterns of violence and explore dynamics at state and Congressional level that impact public safety measures.

Dennis Henigan, Dear Democrats, Stop Worrying About Paranoid Gun Owners. Allowing gun policy to be dominated by the need to reassure fearful gun owners will not get us the strong gun laws we need and deserve.

Matthew Hess, Veterans should lead push for more secure gun laws.  The military's standards for weapons safety are exceptionally high. Veterans - with their weapons experience and training - have a responsibility to lead the fight for more secure gun laws.

Gillian Brockell, What one year in mass shootings feels like. 374 mass shootings, in 365 days, in one video. Watch this motion graphic and hear the 911 calls to get a complete picture of the human toll.

What the Gun Lobby is Doing

The NRA Strikes Back in Virginia.  One month ago, Virginia announced it would no longer recognize concealed-carry permits from 25 states. On Friday, the state reversed itself.

How has the US gun lobby been so successful?  BBC report on how the NRA transformed from a hunting and marksmanship club into a political lobbying group.

NRA victories in Congress grow with chief lobbyist's role. A look at Chris Cox, 45, a big-game hunter from Tennessee who has used the NRA's bully pulpit and his access to Republican leaders to ward off what he says are attempts to take away Americans' guns.

Why Do You Own A Gun? Kyle Cassidy took cross-country trips, photographing gun owners in their homes and recorded their answers to the question.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Guns Are Our Shared Responsibility

CeasefireUSA: The GVP Report - January 19, 2016

In The News

In an op-ed published in the New York Times, President Obama stated, "Even as I continue to take every action possible as president, I will also take every action I can as a citizen. I will not campaign for, vote for or support any candidate who does not support common-sense gun reform.Listen to the President talk about the work ahead and how you can get involved.

► Part of the recent executive actions from the President includes improvements to the NICS background check system. Obama is asking the team that fixed Healthcare.gov to work its magic on the background check system.

Internet gun sales and background checks explained. Sometimes guns purchased online require a background check.  Sometimes they don't. Here's how to know the difference.

► A new report from Violence Policy Center finds there have been more than 800 deaths at the hands of Concealed Carry Killers since 2007.

► A new study, Violent Death Rates: The US Compared with Other High-income OECD Countries, 2010, finds that the US accounts for 82% of all gun deaths among 23 high-income countriesand the gap between gun deaths in the US and other nations is getting wider. 

FFL vs StarbucksA new mapping project finds that there are six gun dealers in the U.S. for every StarbucksGo here to check out the data in your area.

► A new report from the Center for American Progress looks at The Harmful Effect of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. The federal law, enacted in 2005, grants broad immunity from liability to gun manufacturers and dealers in federal and state courts.

► The Government Accountability Office has released a report on firearms trafficking to Mexico.  The report finds that 70% of the guns seized in Mexico originated in the U.S. and that high-caliber firearms make up half of all the guns seized and traced.

It's That Easy

Stand with President Obama, take the pledge to "not campaign for, vote for, or support any candidate who does not support common-sense gun reform."

Community Support

Monte Frank, Team 26, 10 reasons why 2015 was a year of progress for gun violence prevention.  The gun violence prevention movement made significant strides in 2015, laying the groundwork for more progress in 2016.

Mike Weisser, Mike the Gun Guy, Is Obama correct when he calls gun violence an 'epidemic?' He sure is. In 2001, all gun deaths and injuries totaled 92,031.  By 2013, gun deaths and injuries had increased to 117,146.

Evan Defilippis & Devin Hughes, The myth behind defensive gun ownership.  Guns owners are far more likely to see their weapons harm a family member than be heroes warding off criminals.

Dave Perry, Aurora Sentinel, Aurora Subway robbery vigilante is a good guy with a gun but bad news for the public. No doubt the 26-year-old had the best of intentions when he pulled out his gun and shot at a fleeing robbery suspect. But it was a horrendously bad decision and a crime that was equally as dangerous and more insidious.

John Quaintance, The New Yorker, The Second Amendment: Original Intent.  A satirical look at James Madison and Thomas Jefferson discussing the meaning of the Second Amendment.

William Porter, Denver Post, You may know gun safety, but do the parent's of your child's playmate? "I would rather be safe by asking than sorry I didn't. I would rather create an uncomfortable relationship than attend an unfortunate funeral."

Adam Winkler & Cara Natterson, There's a simple way to reduce gun violence: Raise the gun age. People under 25 are responsible for a disproportionate amount of America's gun violence. Nearly 50% of all gun homicides are committed by people younger than 25. Mass shooters are often young, too.

Lonnie & Sandy Phillips, Empty chair filled with meaning for parents of gun violence victim. The empty chair at the President's State of the Union address represents our loved ones taken by gun violence. It symbolizes the enduring suffering and resolve we understand all too well.

Time.com, What it's like to own guns in a country with strict gun regulation. People who love to shoot in Australia look at the situation in America with dismay. All these mass killings are giving our sport a bad name. It's making everybody fear people like me, where they should have no fear.

Norah Vawter, I know what everyday gun violence means. I was shot by a stranger when I was 4. My mom was shot, too, saving my life. She was left paralyzed and died 20 years later.

What the Gun Lobby is Doing

NRA again leaves out millions in political spending from tax forms. After failing to disclose $33.5 million in political activity from 2008 to 2013, the NRA failed to disclose another $25 million in political spending to the IRS in 2014.

U.S. Senate sets hearing on President Obama's executive actions.  Sen. Shelby has asked Attorney General Lynch to testify at a Jan. 28 hearing on the president's actions.  Shelby considers the actions "executive overreach."

Texas gun owners worry that open carry is backfiring.  On an online forum, concealed carriers claim that a new law is leaving them unwelcome at more private businesses. 

Wayne LaPierre wants to debate President Obama - he should debate 1999 Wayne LaPierre first.  1999 LaPierre was an adamant background check supporter. Today he has positioned himself as a virulent opponent of expanding background checks. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

President Obama works to address our epidemic of gun violence

CeasefireUSA: The GVP Report - January 5, 2016

In The News

Weekly Address President Obama is taking a number of steps this week to address our epidemic of gun violence.  His first Weekly Address of 2016 looked at the unfinished business of gun violence prevention. On Monday, Obama met with Attorney General Lynch and others to discuss options for reducing gun deaths.  As a result of the meeting, the President issued new Executive Actions to reduce gun violence and make our communities safer. On Thursday, the President will join CNN in a one-hour live town hall, "Guns in America." 

A handful of armed militiamen have occupied a federal facility near Burns, Oregon as part of a protest on behalf of two local ranchers.  Here's what you need to know to make sense of this situation.

► The Trace looks back at the most powerful sentences about gun violence prevention published in 2015

Violence Policy Center's new report, State Firearm Death Rates Ranked by Rate, 2014, finds that states with weak gun laws and higher gun ownership lead the nation in gun deaths. 

► The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence's new report, 2015 Gun Law State Scorecard, reveals a strong correlation between smart gun laws and fewer gun deaths. 

► Washington state King County Superior Court Judge upheld Seattle's new tax on gun and ammunition sales.  The judge dismissed the NRA's lawsuit seeking to block the tax. 

► The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a Florida law that prohibits doctors from asking patients questions about gun ownership, ruling that the law does not violate doctors' First and 14th Amendment rights.

► Virginia Attorney General Herring announced the state will no longer recognize out-of-state concealed handgun permits from 25 states because the states have lax concealed gun permitting laws compared with Virginia.

► IBT Times special report, Bullets Beyond Recall: Defective Guns Outside US Government's Reach.  Unlike virtually any other consumer product sold in the US the federal government has no authority to force the recall of potentially defective firearms.

Gun deaths in your district: What have your elected representatives done?  Find out how many people near you have died from guns in 2015, where your congressional representatives stand on the issue and how much money they're received from the gun lobby.

This is what gun violence looks like:  6-year-old Toshia Kinebrew, of Cincinnati, Ohio, was shot outside her apartment in July 2015.  The shooting left her paralyzed.  Her medical bills have surpassed $1 million and her recovery and treatment are far from over. 

It's That Easy

Here is a list of resources on how you can get involved, get informed and take action.

10 Resolutions to #EndGunViolence in 2016

Community Support

active shooter chartGeorge Rodrigue, The Plain Dealer, Fear, facts and questions of guns.   It's impossible to review gun-safety research without concluding that on average every new gun in America increases the risk of homicide and suicide.  The risk is greatest for the guns' owners and then for the people closest to them.

Timothy Johnson, Media Matters, What 2016 holds in store for guns, the NRA, and the Presidential election.  Gun safety has emerged as a major campaign issue for 2016.  The NRA will use the issue to try to swing the elections and stop new legislation.

Mat Thompson, Salon.com, I have given away my guns: I'm a Texan and a hunter, but I won't be part of gun culture any more I was raised to be a responsible gun owner and until we can pass common-sense gun laws, I just don't feel responsible in owning a gun. 

Trinity Wall Street church presses Cabela's to stop selling high-capacity firearms.  The church filed a shareholder resolution to be voted on at Cabela's annual 2016 meeting.  The church raised a similar complaint at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. last year.

Gary Gutting, NY Times, Guns and Racism. Perhaps we just haven't realized the extent to which gun violence is destroying urban black communities. But once we realize this, our passion for justice and hatred of racism should galvanize us to action. 

Mike Weisser, Mike the Gun Guy, Where do crime guns come from? Not necessarily from where you think.  Hundreds of thousands of guns are stolen every year. We can't have a substantive conversation about reducing gun violence without asking how to prevent the theft of guns.

Delphine d'Amora, Mother Jones, 6 signs the NRA is losing its stranglehold on gun policy. In schools, communities, states, and even in the federal government, people are taking action to curb the gun violence epidemic.

Christopher Hooks, Texas Monthly, Why the mock mass shooting matters. A small group of gun rights protesters put on a "fake mass shooting" at the University of Texas at Austin. The protesters were hugely outnumbered by counter-protesters.

A. J. Somerset, Alternet.org, The disinformation gunmakers want you to believe about women and guns. The popular ideas about women and guns exist chiefly in the minds of men with guns.

What the Gun Lobby is Doing

There's something funny about the NRA's tax filings.... A New York Post review of the NRA's tax forms finds years that were littered with information gaps and apparent falsehoods.

► U.S House and Senate Republicans blocked a bill that would give government funds to gun violence prevention research.  The omnibus government funding bill keeps in place the 17-year-old ban on money for the CDC and the NIH to do research on guns.

Stag Arms gun manufacturer pleads guilty to violating federal firearms laws.  Owner Mark Malkowski pleaded guilty on behalf of the company to a felony count of possession of machine guns not registered to the company. He will pay a $100,000 fine and not be permitted to own, operate or manage a firearms company.

Gun Owners of America: An introduction to the country's most controversial gun group.  How Larry Pratt and the small lobbying group has made a name for itself by pulling at the NRA's right flank.