Short Summary of 2015 Legislative Session - PDF
Short Summary in Word doc
►A study published in the August issue of the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, Firearm Ownership and Violent Crime in the U.S., finds that higher ownership of guns in a state is linked to more firearm robberies, more firearm assaults and more homicides in general. "We found no support for the hypothesis that owning guns leads to a drop or a reduction in violence crime," said researcher Michael Monuteaux. "Instead we found the opposite."
► A new study from the Congressional Research Service,Mass Murder with Firearms: Incidents and Victims, 1999-2013, finds that "the prevalence, if not the deadliness, of "mass public shootings" increased in the 1970s and 1980s, and continued to increase during the 1990s, 2000s, and first four years of the 2010s.
► A Florida state Supreme Court ruled that defendants using the Stand Your Ground/Shoot First defense must prove they are entitled to immunity, instead of prosecutors proving they weren't. A report from the Center for American Progress, Jeb Bush's License to Kill, looks at the impact the Stand Your Ground/Shoot First law has had on Florida and the 24 states that have also enacted the law.
► A federal appeals court upheld a controversial Florida law that restricts doctors from asking questions and recording information about patients' gun ownership. Dubbed the "docs vs. Glocks" law, the measure includes a series of restrictions on doctors.
► University of Colorado Hospital emergency physician Emmy Betz, How To Talk About Guns and Suicide. Betz shares her experience at the nexus of conversations about trauma, guns and suicide.
► Congress quietly voted to extend a ban on gun-violence research. One week after the tragic shooting at Charleston's Emanual AME Church, the House Appropriations Committee voted 32-19 against an amendment that would have lifted the 19 year-old ban on funding for the Center for Disease Control to research the causes of gun violence as a public-health issue.
► What happened to the $1.3 Billion Congress approved to improve federal gun background checks? The NICS Improvement Amendment Act of 2008 was intended to improve lapses in state record keeping. But almost 90 percent of that money has never been spent.
► The scarcity of guns for purchase in New York and the lack of heroin in Vermont allows gun traffickers to make a significant profit on guns. In Vermont you can legally buy a gun through a private sale at a gun show, yard sale, or from a private sale online. If you are willing to break the law you can drive the weapon to NY and sell if for triple the price.
► Retired U.S. Army General Russel Honore tells reporters thatAmerica is mired in a state of denial about its gun culture and that's harming the country. "We've confused the right to bear arms with the right to carry arms all the time anywhere or anyplace you want."
► One year later, a mother still seeks justice in her daughter's death. Donna Bryan's daughter, Katherine, was shot in the head when her husband's friend discharged his gun while showing off a Western-style quick-draw twirl he had been practicing. Katherine, who was five months pregnant, died of her injuries. Prosecutors declined to press charges against the shooter.
Every Monday We the People for Sensible Gun Laws holds a vigil in front of the White House. Last week they were joined by Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes and D. C. Mayor Muriel Bowser. "We the people decide what the Second Amendment means and we insist on strong legislation around gun control."
► Paris, Bay Area hip-hop artist, Guns Are Killing My Community.Guns are ravaging the black community. But without reform of our gun laws, and an acknowledgement that people are dying while the gun industry profits, this will continue to be my community's holocaust.
► Sarah Clements, Generation Progress, wrote An Open Letter to Amy Schumer imploring her to join the gun violence prevention movement. Schumer responds by joining her cousin, Senator Chuck Schumer, at a press conference to help him announce a new plan to crack down on mass shootings and gun violence in America.
► The Conversation, How big tobacco gifted campaigns of misdirection and misinformation to the gun lobby. By the 1980s, having seen the success of the tobacco campaign that sought to distort rather than engage debates, the NRA hardened its position.
► KL Johnson, Progressive Press, A Gun Walks Into A Bar ..... We do not have to live with this affliction, this sickness, these knee-jerk, asinine reactions when a mass shooting occurs. Repeal the godforsaken Second Amendment. There, I said it.
► Nico Lang, Salon, America's white masculinity complex and the myth of the "senseless" mass shooting. What is senseless about a man with a record of violence against women, who publicly espouses misogynistic views, shooting up a movie theater that's screening a movie starring and written by a feminist icon in an audience that was predominantly women? Nothing.
► Bill Mefford, The Hill, The House's Hypocrisy. Despite numerous horrific, tragic events, Congress has done absolutely nothing to prevent gun shootings from happening again and again.The House of Representatives is simply not interested in public safety.
► Mike McIntire, NY Times Sunday Review, What Makes a Shooter Do It? Guns are great equalizers, especially for people with limited voice, people on the fringes of society who may be rejected by peers. Many shooters turn out to be people who are looking for something larger than their own small lives.
► Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, Obama's Evolving Outrage On Guns. During his Presidency, he's gone from a kind of rote acknowledgment of the issue to a deeply felt recognition of its centrality. Seeing the President's metamorphosis suggests that, as the old song had it, a change is going to come.
► Eric Conrad, Florida Politics, We're Just Haggling Over Price.The Gun Lobby walks up to the American People and asks "Would you allow me to sell as many of my products in an unregulated manner, including to the mentally unstable and criminally minded, if it only cost you a few tens of thousands of deaths a year?" The People respond: "Of course. No one should limit our liberty." The Gun Lobby then asks: "What if that included an average of two mass shootings a month in elementary schools, movie theaters, and places of worship?" "Of course not!" the People respond. "We value the lives of innocent citizens. What kind of country to do take us for?" Gun Lobby: "We've already established that. Now we're just haggling over price."
► States United to Prevent Gun Violence won 14 Lions for its "Guns With History" campaign at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.
► Women Against Gun Violence applauds the decision of the Los Angeles City Council to ban the possession of high-capacity gun magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, calling it a "life-saving measure."
► Everytown for Gun Safetyfiled a lawsuit seeking public records on crime guns from the ATF. This type of data provides unique insights into gun trafficking.
► Safe Tennessee Projectwarns of dangers of Tennessee's new guns-in-public parks law, especially at big-crowd events like Chattanooga's Riverbend Festival.
► Illinois Council Against Handgun Violencecongratulates the winners of its20th annual Student Voices Contest. The state-wide essay, poetry, spoken word, and art contest is open to students in 1st - 12th grades.
► John Rosenthal, Stop Handgun Violence, op-ed,
Gun Sale Background Check 'Breakdown' by NRA Design
► A Tale of Two Cities - Proof that handgun purchaser licensing saves lives. Read the Missouri and Connecticut studies.
► Violence Policy Center,Gun-Running Nation, How Foreign-Made Assault Weapons are Trafficked from the U.S. to Mexico and What to Do About It.
► Protect Minnesota calls for legislators to plug loopholes in state gun laws in response to a rise in homicides in Minneapolis.
► CeasefirePA objects to state legislator's plan to reintroduce an NRA backed bill that would allow interest groups to sue local municipalities over their firearms ordinances.
► Eileen McCarron, Colorado Ceasefire, lte, Colorado gun violence in the news: A sampling of one day's headlines.
► Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, The Policies that Could Have Prevented the Charleston Shooting.
► North Carolinians Against Gun Violence "incredibly pleased" with compromisesreached in hot-topic state gun bill.
► New Yorkers Against Gun Violence asks Apple to #DisarmTheiPhone, to remove the gun emoji and take a stand for stricter gun accessibility.
|What the Gun Lobby is Doing
► In June, Colt Holding Company filed for bankruptcy protection, citing $269 million in unsecured debt. The company's most famous product was the single-action pistol known as the "Peacemaker" (the Colt .45) issued to U.S. Calvary during the Civil Way. Colt's union is asking the state of Connecticut to give financial support to the company. Colt employes 610 people in West Hartford, CT.
► The National Shooting Sports Foundation, the lobbying organization of gun manufacturers and dealers, has rejected a call from Democratic senators and police organizations to delayed guns sales beyond three days to people who haven't been cleared by the NICS background system.
► There has been a big shift in how 2016 Republican candidates talk about their personal guns. Candidates are shifting from talking about enjoying firearms as sporting tools to elevating guns as mystical guarantors of freedom and safety.
Grassroots Groups having success!
►Blacksmith Mike Martin beats "swords into plowshares." Through his organization, Raw Tools, Martin turns guns into garden tools. A recent event in Pennsylvania was attended by Penn State students and local religious organizations.
► Brian McDowell, The Chanute Tribune, Kansas, Targeting a proposed new gun law. I don't currently own any firearms and prefer to protect by estate with a baseball bat, three trained attack cats, and a generally warm relationship with local police. I have never felt that not owning a gun has ever left me at risk for anything.
► Mike The Gun Guy, Want to take a public health approach to gun violence? Ask the NRA for help. Know why the NRA has been so successful selling the positive utility of guns? Because they have adopted a public health strategy for convincing the public and lawmakers that what they are saying is true.
► Charles Topher, IfYouOnlyNews.com, Ammosexual answers to this question shed a true light on American 'Gun Culture' A Facebook page recently posted this question to their fans: I am a gun owner because____. Overwhelmingly the answer was "because I can."
► Kimberly Yonkers, CNN, The firearms tragedy we forget about. Guns are a particularly effective way to commit suicide. While firearms are the means used in only 10% of suicide attempts, they are fatal more than 95% of the time.
► Tampa Bay Times, Florida, Editorial, Public safety sacrificed on altar of NRA. It's been a banner session in Tallahassee for gun zealots and the NRA and a terrible one for common sense and public safety.
► National Public Radio, Weekend Edition, William Electric Black tackles gun violence in 5 ambitious plays. Every day, this one shot, that 14-year-old, that 15-year-old, a young girl, basketball star, top-10 in the country just gunned down. So it's just gnawing at me, scratching at me. And I said I have to do something.
► Laurie Roberts, The Republic, Phoenix, AZ, Arizona Legislature: felons deserve guns, too. The AZ Legislature is taking steps to ensure that criminals never have to undergo the indignity of a background check before they buy a gun in this state. A bill would block voters or future Legislatures from requiring background checks.
► Andrea Grimes, RH Reality Check, I made a joke about guns and a man threatened to assault me. Last weekend I made a joke about a secret gun vaporizer on Twitter and then spent three days reporting the myriad rape and death threats I received over social media.
Tana and Jason Shane were shot and killed and their 26-year-old daughter Jorah was injured when the family stopped to help a broken-down motoriston the side of the road in Pryor, Montana. 18-year-old Jesus Deniz Mendoza, of Worland, Wyoming told investigators he he shot the family because he was getting tired of waiting around and because the daughter laughed at him. Jorah's aunt told reporters they have kept the television off in Jorah's hospital room and she doesn't know about her parents. The aunt is not sure how they break the news.