Gun Violence Prevention and Election Results
Across the nation, it was clear that the Republican party was riding a red tide. Not all of that tide reached Colorado’s heights, as demonstrated by the re-election of Governor John Hickenlooper. After signing a number of bills to strengthen Colorado’s gun laws, Hickenlooper was heavily targeted for defeat by the gun lobby. “We are very pleased with this victory,” said Eileen McCarron, president of Colorado Ceasefire Capitol Fund, Colorado’s longest standing grass-roots gun safety advocacy group.
In 2013 two Colorado senators were recalled for their votes and actions in support of the new gun laws. Last night, both of the replacement senators (Sen. Bernie Herpin in Colorado Springs and Sen. George Rivera in Pueblo) were ousted by comfortable margins.
Even in the sea of Republican wins, many of those wins were by extremely close margins, indicating that voters in those districts are not clearly in one camp. Polling shows that the public continues to support reasonable gun safety measures. Both parties will need to continue to be responsive to an electorate that believes common-sense gun approaches should prevail.
Looking at other races across the country, one can see the voters approved of rational approaches to gun laws. In the wake of the Newtown school shooting, Connecticut and New York, like Colorado, passed comprehensive reforms to strengthen state gun laws. Both Governors Cuomo and Malloy survived attacks by the gun lobby and were re-elected.
In Washington state voters overwhelmingly supported, 60% - 40%, a citizens’ initiative to require background checks for firearms sales at gun shows and on the internet. Reflecting on the Washington state victory, Tom Mauser, whose son Daniel was killed at Columbine, remembered the work he did to close the gun show loophole in Colorado in 2000 by citizens’ initiative. Mauser noted “When citizens have the opportunity to vote directly on gun violence prevention, they choose wisely. People intuitively understand it makes absolutely no sense to sell lethal weapons to criminals, to those who have a history of violence or to those who are dangerously mentally ill. Background checks are the best and proven means to preventing those sales.”
► 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.
► 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.
VIDEO FROM AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS
Gun violence is the second leading cause of death for children.
Video on Protecting Children from Gun Violence
Surprising fact: Half of gun deaths are suicides - Yahoo! News
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