During these Dog Days of Summer….
The hot weather days between early July and early September are called Dog Days because the star Sirius (also called Canicula), which represents the hound of the Hunter Orion, makes its first visible rising during the summer. The days are also called “canicular” from canine.
Take Action on Gun Exports
The Trump Administration has proposed transferring oversight of firearms exports from the State Department to the Commerce Department. The Violence Policy Center has enumerated the expected negative ramifications of this proposal:
- Weakens oversight of sales of assault weapons
- May also deregulate 3D printing of guns
- Could weaken regulations on firearms imports
- Likely will lead to more U.S. guns getting into hands of criminal and terrorist organizations and human rights abusers.
- Would make you, the taxpayer, pay for the licensing costs, rather than the gun dealers.
- Would remove Congressional oversight of firearms exports.
Not surprisingly, this transfer is a priority action for the NRA and rest of the gun lobby in order to
increase international sales. (It’s all about MONEY!)
Take a moment while it’s cool inside to send a message of opposition to the State Department. Click here to send a message to the State Department. Do it today. Deadline is July 9th.
With the June 26th primary behind us, we now know who will be on the general election ballot this November. In the hugely expensive ($35+ million) Governor’s race, the remaining candidates are Jared Polis (D) and Walker Stapleton (R). Although we endorsed other candidates in the primary because of their more consistent stances and voting records, it is clear that Jared Polis is Ceasefire’s preferred choice for Colorado’s next Governor. We have since had discussions with Polis’ staff on his positions, and they well match ours. And Just for starters, Stapleton claims that he will overturn all the 2013 “misguided gun control laws.” We keep a running examination of gubernatorial candidate stances and information on our web site: www.ColoradoCeasefire.orgunder Legislature and Governor.
RMGO Election Sputter
The Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO) actually fared quite poorly in the primary elections.
As of the June 27th reporting, their donations and expenditures for the primary were over $14,500, but they donated to six candidates in Republican primaries. Of those, they were successful in only one race, blocking Rep. Dan Thurlow’s attempt to unseat Sen. Ray Scott in Grand Junction. Notably:
- Frank Francone was edged out by Colin Larson for Rebublican nominee for the open seat in HD22 (Littleton)
- Diane Holbert (wife of state Sen. Chris Holbert) lost in her effort to stay as Douglas County Commissioner
- Chad Day, sheriff of Yuma County and head of the Colorado County Sheriff’s Association, lost his re-election bid. Sheriff Day is memorable to us for his stating in testimony several years ago that we need high capacity magazines to protect ourselves from our own government. Voters were likely upset with Day’s deputizing wealthy out-of-staters who donated to the department and then were able to carry concealed firearms anywhere.
So why is this election sputtering so important? During the lobbying effort to get the red flag bill introduced his year, Republican legislators confessed political concerns of crossing the RMGO. Yes, back in 2012, RMGO was quite aggessive and successful in its Republican electioneering, but fared poorly in 2014, 2016 and even more so this year. As we head into the 2019 legislative session, Republican legislators should be reminded that their fears of the RMGO are overblown. Its bark belies a somewhat defanged creature.
- The majority used legally purchased firearms
- Had a history with the site they attack
- Do not have a long history of mental health issues
- Many engage in behaviors that may indicate impending violence
The study examined six major stressors: mental health issues, financial problems, marital problems, drug abuse, family conflicts, and conflicts at school. Click here to read the full report:
Mass Shootings Continue Unabated
In mid-May, a student used a handgun and shotgun to shoot and kill 8 classmates and 2 teachers at his high school in Santa Fe, Texas. The weapons belonged to his father, who clearly was negligent in storing his firearms. Now that schools are out for the summer, school shootings aren’t a daily concern, but that doesn’t mean that disgruntled individuals will discontinue their shooting rampages against fellow workers or fellow citizens. Last week, a gunman blasted his way into the office of The Capital, an Annapolis, Maryland, newspaper. Five journalists and support staff were killed. Mike Littwin, of the Colorado Independent, wrote this moving tribute to his friend and colleague who was killed in the “endlessly tragic news cycle that America has refused to address.” A contract reporter at The Capital shared her story of hiding out during the siege while her colleagues were fatally shot and wonders when America will act.
Note to elected officials: Regardless of what your gun lobby funders say, IT IS ABOUT THE GUNS!
Road for Change
This summer, the students of March For Our Lives are making stops across America to get young people educated, registered, and motivated to vote. They will be in the Denver area on July 13. When people across the country rallied at the March For Our Lives just over two months ago, these students showed our politicians that we refuse to accept gun violence as an unsolvable issue. You can read their Mission Statement at https://marchforourlives.com/mission-statement/
Presenters: Parkland High School Students
Date: Friday, July 13
Time: 7 – 8:30 p.m.
Location: Shorter Community AME Church, 3100 Richard Allen Court, Denver
To Register, go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/road-for-change-colorado-tickets-47571509666?aff=eivtefrnd
Common Sense Laws to Prevent Gun Violence
- Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times lists 10 laws that would make a difference. Thankfully, we have accomplished some of those steps here in Colorado, but there is still much more we can do. The Extreme Risk Protection Orders and Bump Stocks ban bills were the first proactive legislation we’ve been able to introduce in five years. They both failed but illustrate why we need to change the Senate. One of the laws Kristof mentions that we don’t have is a Safe Storage or Child Access Prevention Law (although we tried five times between 2000 and 2008 undertaken a number of times).
- GVPedia director rebuts article published in The Hill by John Lott (gun rights apologist). Lott had suggested safe storage laws are useless.
Channel 7 News, Round table finds greatly differing opinions on role of guns in increasing school safety.
DENVER – While it never really went away, after the second school shooting in two weeks, the issue of school safety and guns in school is back in the political spotlight.
Marnie Kamensky, President of Colorado Ceasefire Outreach, was at the table.
“I think a huge misconception is that we want to take away people’s guns and that’s not it at all,” Madison Rose with Never Again Colorado told Anne Trujillo on this weekend’s Politics Unplugged. “We want to find some kind of balance. Something within the gun reform debate that we can use and work on to help ensure the safety of our children in schools.”
I urge ATF to finalize its proposed rule clarifying that bump fire stocks, along with other “conversion devices” that enable semiautomatic weapons to mimic automatic fire, qualify as “machineguns” under the National Firearms Act and are generally illegal to possess.
On the night of October 1, 2017, a gunman opened fire from a hotel room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel into the 22,000 person crowd at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival in Las Vegas, Nevada, killing 58 people and injuring more than 500. The gunman fired more than 1,100 rounds of ammunition in 11 minutes, using semi-automatic rifles modified with dangerous firearm accessories designed to dramatically accelerate the rate of gunfire, commonly known as “bump fire stocks.” These devices are intended to circumvent the restrictions on possession of fully automatic firearms in the Gun Control Act of 1968 and the National Firearms Act of 1934 by allowing an individual to modify a semiautomatic rifle in such a manner that it operates with a similar rate of fire as a fully automatic rifle. While often marketed as a novelty item for recreational shooters, bump stocks and similar “conversion devices” that accelerate the rate of fire of a semiautomatic firearm are extremely dangerous and pose a substantial risk to public safety.
In the absence of immediate action by Congress, ATF should finalize its proposed rule, clarifying that conversion devices like bump fire stocks are included in the definition of “machinegun” under the National Firearms Act of 1934. And then Congress must act as well—to ensure that manufacturers cannot continue to endanger public safety by designing devices that imitate machine guns and subvert the law. The continued presence of these dangerous devices puts all of our communities at risk and both Congress and ATF must take action quickly to address this threat.
Take ACTION: Contact ATF on Bump Stock Ban
ATF is collecting comments on a proposed rule that would ban bump stock-type devices under the National Firearms Act. The proposed ruling language and supporting materials can be found here. Comments can be submitted on-line via this link. They MUST be submitted by June 27th. Below is suggested language for your comments (from the Center for American Progress):
Armed and aging: A conversation about seniors, dementia and the right to bear arms…
University of Colorado Medical School study just released Monday find the number of adults with Alzheimer’s and dementia is steadily increasing, but questions around their access to firearms remain largely unaddressed. The study finds firearms are the most common method of suicide among people with dementia, but it explores other serious concerns with firearm possession and dementia. People with dementia can experience hallucinations, delusions, aggression and paranoia, and the study’s lead author, Dr. Emmy Betz with the University of Colorado School of Medicine, found many older adults have access to guns.
The Denver Post notes that violence in Denver continues at high levels. There were 56 homicides in 2017 and 2016, and already in 2018 there have been 13 homicide victims, 12 of which were by gunfire.
Check your knowledge of Gun Violence
Take this quiz from The Trace to see how well you know the issue of gun violence in our country.
We welcome your ideas, your participation, and your support! Postal Address: Colorado Ceasefire P.O. Box 7501 Denver, CO 80207
Telephone: 303-380-6711 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org