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.


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