Thursday, November 10, 2016

2016 Election: Gun violence prevention laws make great strides in WA, CA, NV

The shocking outcome of the presidential election leaves many unanswered questions about what steps will be taken in the next four years at the presidential level to reduce gun violence. (CBS compiled a list of Donald Trump's policy proposals.) Ceasefire Oregon Action Fund and our sister organizations will continue to work at the national and state level to reduce gun violence.
Gun violence prevention initiatives in California, Washington and Nevada were successful. We congratulate our gun violence prevention colleagues for their excellent work!

-California overwhelmingly (67% to 33%)  passed Proposition 63, which prohibits high-capacity magazines and creates a court procedure to restrict prohibited people from buying firearms. 

-Washington overwhelmingly (71% to 29%) passed I-1491 which allows families of people in crisis to ask a judge to issue an extreme-risk protection order to temporarily prevent a loved one from having access to firearms.

-Nevada passed Question 1 which requires background checks for almost all firearm sales.

-Maine's universal background check initiative failed but garnered 48% of the vote.

Ceasefire Oregon Action Fund is thrilled to see so many progressives elected to office in 2016. We look forward to working with all the legislators to reduce gun violence in Oregon.

Thank you for your great support!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Ask your candidate: Where do you stand on gun violence prevention?

Ceasefire Oregon

Texas Congresswoman Barbara Jordan said it best:

"Government is too important to be a spectator sport."

She was talking to all of us. Know the issues and where your candidate stands on gun violence prevention.

Registered Oregon voters should have received their ballots by now. If you didn't get yours, call the Oregon Elections Division at 1-866-673-VOTE (1-866-673-8683)

Find your Oregon legislators here.

Is your State Senator up for re-election? Find out here.

Is your State Representative running for re-election? Find out here.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Right now is a great time to ask the candidates questions about their positions on gun safety.
  • Do you believe gun violence is a problem in Oregon? 
    • Fact: In 2014 alone, 497 Oregonians lost their lives to gun violence.1
    • Fact: Over 85% of guns deaths in Oregon are suicides.1
    • Fact: Just last year, Oregon suffered from our deadliest school shooting yet. (Umpqua Community College, Roseburg)
    • Fact: Gunshot wound was a predominant mechanism of death in the incidents of IPV-related homicide.2
  • Do you support an assault weapons ban?3,4
  • Do you support legislation to limit firearm magazine capacity to 10 or fewer bullets? (Oregon's cartridge limit is five when hunting large game.)5,6
  • Would you support a law that requires safe storage for firearms?7
  • Do you believe people should be required to complete training before they can buy a firearm? (Training could include accurate shooting, gun safety and safe storage, conflict de-escalation, and/or anger management.)
  • How would you improve Oregon’s mental health system to help reduce the suicide rate by firearm?8
  • What will you do to reduce gun violence? 
    • Increase standards of gun ownership.9
    • Require secure storage for all firearms.
    • Require research into gun violence in Oregon.
    • Close the Charleston Loophole.10

Call or email your candidates or elected officials today. Ask them the questions listed above and request a reply. Be sure to tell them you're a voter in their district!

Thanks for your work to prevent gun violence.

Ceasefire Oregon Board of Directors

5. Large Capacity Magazines, Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence
6. Ceasefire Oregon supports a magazine limit of 5 cartridges based on the Oregon limit of cartridges permitted when hunting large game.
7. Safe Storage and Gun Locks, Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence
8. Suicide Prevention Resource Center, Oregon Public Health Authority
9. Ceasefire Oregon's Plan to Reduce Gun Violence: Prohibition of gun ownership for 10 years if a person has multiple offenses involving misdemeanor violence, alcohol or drug abuse, domestic violence, a domestic violence restraining order or serious juvenile offense.
10. Close the Charleston Loophole: HB 4147.  2016 Oregon Legislative Session

Make a difference today

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

September Is National Suicide Prevention Month.

September is National Suicide Prevention Month.
You could save the life of someone you love.
Did you know? In Oregon, at least one person every day takes his life by shooting himself to death.
Each year an average of 379 people in Oregon committed suicide using a gun. 
The highest rate of suicide by firearm is by White males over the age of 65. 
Removing firearms from the home, even temporarily, can save the life of someone you love.
From 2010 to 2014:
  • 2,280 Oregonians died from firearms injuries.
  • 1,897 were suicides.
  • The highest firearm injury death rate occurred among White males, aged 65 and older, due to a high suicide rate (38.7 per 100,000).
  • Firearms were used to kill in 87% of the homicide/suicide murders in Oregon.
  • Almost half (44%) of people who died by firearm suicide had a depressed mood.  One-third had a diagnosed mental illness. About a quarter (27%) were being treated for a mental illness and 13% had a history of suicide.
To reduce the risk of suicide, keep all firearms securely locked, unloaded and stored separately from ammunition or store the firearms in another location such as a firearm storage facility. (If you transfer firearms to a friend, even temporarily, you are required by law to perform a background check on the person to whom you are transferring the firearms.)
Firearm owners are not more suicidal than non-firearm owners; rather, their suicide attempts are more likely to be fatal. If highly lethal means are made less available to impulsive attempters and they substitute less lethal means, or temporarily postpone their attempt, their survival odds greatly increase.

Are you a teacher? Learn the signs of suicide and what you can do to prevent a tragedy. Read the Oregon Health Authority's informational page "What Every Teacher Should Know" or download the brochure.

The Ceasefire Oregon Education Foundation partners with Lines for Life and the Oregon Youth Suicide Prevention Program.

For more information: Oregon Violent Death Reporting System, Oregon Injury and Violence Prevention Program

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Gun-Related Art Installations By Sculptor Michael Murphy

Three works of suspended art by Michael Murphy

"Identity Crisis"


2013 site-specific sculptural installation by Michael Murphy for the Association of Visual Arts in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The work consists of 1200 black ping pong balls, braided fibers, steel, and PVC. 10' X 20' X 10'

"Gun Country"

150 toy guns, 12' X 20' X 12' Installed on the roof of UICA in Grand Rapids, MI for Artprize 2014

You can find more work by Michael Murphy at his webpage, here:

Monday, July 18, 2016

Oregon Governor Kate Brown's Initiative To Reduce Gun Violence

A statement from Ceasefire Oregon...

Ceasefire Oregon is proud to be part of Governor Brown's new initiative to reduce gun violence.

Governor Brown's initiative includes:
  • Prohibiting purchases of extended-capacity magazines. This type of ammunition enables shooters to fire 10, 30 or even 50 bullets before stopping to reload the gun.  
  • Expanding the types of relationships that qualify under domestic violence by closing the "boyfriend loophole." This legislation will ensure that people convicted of certain domestic violence and stalking crimes will no longer have access to firearms. 
  • Closing the Charleston loophole so individuals who should not own a gun are not able to buy one simply because authorities were unable to complete a background check in a few days.
  • Strengthening existing law through executive order to give law enforcement the tools needed to track and analyze gun transactions.
  • Establishing a work group to review and assess firearms-related domestic violence offenses.
  • Directing the Oregon Health Authority, through executive action, to report annually on gun violence, its effect of public health and to recommend policies to reduce gun violence in Oregon.
In addition, Governor Brown calls upon Congress to end gun violence by:
  • Banning assault weapons and extended-capacity magazines. (S. 4269)
  • Strengthening anti-terrorist legislation so individuals on the FBI's watch list are prohibited from purchasing a firearm in the United States.  (H.R. 1076)
Governor Brown's actions are strong, positive steps we can take to stop the gun violence that we witness daily. Please call her office now at (503) 378-4582 to thank her. 
To stay up to date on the Governor's actions and to learn what you can do to stop gun violence, visit our website at and encourage your friends to do the same.
Working together, we can put an end to the scourge of gun violence. 

Addendum:  The transcript of Gov. Brown's speech can be found HERE.  You can find an additional fact sheet of Gov. Brown's "Oregonians United to End Gun Violence" announcement HERE.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

National ASK Day

Today, June 21, is National ASK Day.  Asking Saves Kids.  Please visit Ceasefire Oregon Education Foundation's page for information on ASK.

As responsible parents, we must ask the difficult questions for our children's safety when they visit a new place for the first time:  Will there always be someone with them?  Are the medicines locked up? Are there guns in the home?

And if there are guns, how are they stored?

I am happy to say that, for the second year in a row, Kitty Piercy, Mayor of the City of Eugene, Oregon, and member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, has proclaimed today as ASK Day for the city.  See below for the proclamation.

HERE is a previous blog post with some relevant statistics about children and guns.  For instance:
1 in 4 kids and teens whose parents own guns say they have seen or touched a gun without their parents’ knowledge.
Almost 90 percent of accidental shootings involving children are linked to an easy-to-find, loaded handgun in the house.

88% of the children who are injured or killed in unintentional shootings are shot in their own homes or in the homes of relatives or friends.
HERE is a previous blog post that compares parents' perceptions about guns in the home compared the reality shown by statistics.  It's shocking how underestimated the danger is.

Kids and guns don't mix, but if you feel you must allow it, then please insure that those guns are locked up, out of sight, and unloaded.  Talk about the issue and the danger.  And always ASK about guns where your children visit!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Powerful New Allies To Help Prevent Gun Violence

The Gun Violence Prevention movement has long struggled to make headway against the huge lobbying efforts and money pumped into legislator's pockets.  But mass shooting after mass shooting, every increasing, has opened more eyes to the growing danger of gun violence in our society, and with each tragedy there are more supporters of our cause.  After Sandy Hook, for instance, we saw the formation of Moms Demand Action Against Gun Violence, funding efforts by Michael Bloomberg, and 

After the mass shooting in Orlando, at the Pulse club, with a record 49 people killed, plus the shooter, and 53 injured, more people than ever have come forward.  Notably, three powerful groups have thrown in their support.

The LGBTQ movement: Violence and murder against those of alternative sexual orientation has
only increased in recent years, with a massive jump in just the last year of 20%.  From a article, citing results from a report released by The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP):

The number of murders of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people jumped 20 percent in the United States last year, activists said on Monday, releasing their findings a day after a mass shooting at a Florida gay nightclub left 49 people dead. 
The violence in 2015 was the highest since 2012, according to the report by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP). ...
Beverly Tillery, who heads the New York City Anti-Violence Project, which coordinates the NCAVP, called for public discussion on LGBTQ people and violence. 
“This is … a tragedy that belongs to LGBTQ communities, but a tragedy that belongs to the entire nation as well,” she said. 
And given that the majority of those shot at the Pulse club were LGBTQ, it stands to reason that this demographic has now fully committed to the GVP movement.  In fact, 50 organizations signed a joint open letter to Congress calling for stronger gun legislation, including universal background checks, a renewed assault weapon ban, closing the Terror Gap, and stronger legislation against hate crimes.

I have every faith in the LGBTQ movement and their goals.  In the words of my friend, Mike The Gun Guy, from his blog post:
I don’t know what’s going to happen with the Senate vote this week and I care but I really don’t care.  Because the momentum created by the Orlando tragedy won’t go away.  And let’s not forget that when LGBTQ began its historic push for cultural change, many of Gun-nut Nation’s best friends (right-wing Evangelicals, political conservatives) tried to block their way. Guess what?  They lost.  And if LGBTQ gets behind gun violence prevention, Gun-nut Nation will lose that one, too.

The American Medical Association (AMA):  Though a number of other national health and medical associations have taken a stance in favor of increased gun regulation and a lifting of the federal ban on funding gun violence research, this week the AMA joined those ranks at their 2016 annual meeting, declaring that gun violence is a "public health crisis."  In a public release, they stated,
"With approximately 30,000 men, women and children dying each year at the barrel of a gun in elementary schools, movie theaters, workplaces, houses of worship and on live television, the United States faces a public health crisis of gun violence," said AMA President Steven J. Stack, M.D. "Even as America faces a crisis unrivaled in any other developed country, the Congress prohibits the CDC from conducting the very research that would help us understand the problems associated with gun violence and determine how to reduce the high rate of firearm-related deaths and injuries. An epidemiological analysis of gun violence is vital so physicians and other health providers, law enforcement, and society at large may be able to prevent injury, death and other harms to society resulting from firearms."
and they stated that they would lobby Congress for stronger gun reform, including waiting periods and universal gun background checks.

There was also a call to action by the AMA:
AMA policy guides our advocacy efforts for patients and physicians and at this meeting, we built on existing policy with several key developments:
  • Officially calling gun violence in the United States a public health crisis that requires a comprehensive public health response and solution
  • Directing the AMA to actively lobby Congress to overturn legislation that for 20 years has prevented the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from researching gun violence
  • Calling for background checks and a waiting period for all firearms purchasers, whereas previous policy only dealt with handguns
Numerous surgeons and other medical professionals testified at the meeting about their experiences with gun violence.  For instance:
One physician testified that she had treated so many gunshot victims as a resident that she was told to stop tracking the head and neck surgeries she performed because she had more than enough to demonstrate her competency to complete her training. 
A young emergency physician shared that trying to revive gunshot victims and treat the wounded had become shockingly routine for him. What’s more, he noted that even as an academic physician treating such a high number of victims, he doesn’t have the ability to turn to data to examine how these injuries might be prevented.
Indeed, gun violence is an urgent public health crisis, and an evidence-based approach is the only logical way to address the problem.  

Veterans Coalition for Common Sense:  A group of former senior military officials,
including General David Petraeus, General Wesley Clark, and General 
Stanley McChrystal, along with other generals and admirals, and spearheaded by Captain Mark Kelly, have formed this new group of veterans committed to the GVP movement, Veterans Coalition for Common Sense, splintering off from Captain Kelly's other group, Americans for Responsible Solutions.  HERE is the official organizational announcement with the signatures of each of the military leaders who founded it.

“Veterans are folks that understand firearms and weapons. These are people who swore an oath to defend the Constitution, which includes the Second Amendment,” Kelly said. "At the same time, we have a problem with more than 30,000 people dying from gun violence and have to act.” 
The group also plans to address the outsized impact of guns used in veteran suicides. Nearly two-thirds of veterans who kill themselves do so with a firearm, according to data from the Department of Veterans Affairs. 
The article then goes on to point out:
A 2013 Global Strategy Group poll of 804 veterans found 84 percent agreed with the statement that “we can protect responsible gun owners’ Second Amendment rights while still making it more difficult for criminals and other dangerous people to obtain guns.”

No doubt, in the coming days, we will see more national groups join forces with the GVP movement.  Despite this week's failure, once again, by our federal leaders to pass any meaningful gun reform bills, the people will not be ignored.  Our lives are on the line, and together we will demand action and vote out those who continue to allow dangerous people to get their hands on guns.