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 ceasefireoregon.org 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 RawStory.com 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.




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Monday, June 13, 2016

A Statement From Ceasefire Oregon On The Orlando Shooting

A statement from Ceasefire Oregon:  


Ceasefire Oregon and Ceasefire Oregon Education Foundation are horrified by the mass shooting early this morning in Orlando, Florida. Fifty people were shot to death and at least 53 were injured after a gunman armed with an assault rifle and handgun opened fire in a crowded nightclub. 

This mass shooting has already been labeled by law enforcement as an act of terror and a possible hate crime.
   
Ceasefire Oregon and the Ceasefire Oregon Education Foundation grieve for the fallen and the injured, and for their families and friends. We also grieve for our nation as we suffer from the deadliest mass shooting in our nation's history.
  
We call on all Americans to respect each other as fellow citizens and as human beings who are valued and cherished.
   
At this time, we ask all Americans to do everything possible to help Orlando. If you live in Florida, please take food to the families and the local first responders. Offer rides to the hospital to friends and families of survivors. Babysit. Hug. Listen.
   
Where ever you live, donate blood. Do it today. Even if you don't live in Florida, someone in your state needs blood.
   
Tomorrow we will talk about steps we must take to end America's unique and tragic madness of gun violence. But for today, please show all Americans how much we honor and respect each other. 
   
Respectfully,
   
The Board of Directors of Ceasefire Oregon and the Ceasefire Oregon Education Foundation

Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Orlando Shooting

Another day, another mass shooting.  This time it's different from the usual (you know, the sort of mass shooting of four or more people that happens nearly every single day in America).  This time it was the worst in America's history.  50 dead.  At least 50 injured.  By one unstable man with an assault weapon and high-capacity ammo magazines.

I feel horrible for the victims, their families, their friends, their community, and for us all.

I think this image says it all....


I think our President sums up our appropriate response quite nicely:


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Saturday, May 14, 2016

More Shootings For Trivial Reasons

Every day in America there are numerous examples of people shooting at others for trivial reasons.  These aren't robbers, rapists, gang members, or druggies.  These are people who aren't felons.  These are people whom the NRA dubs "law abiding gun owners" worthy of owning guns with little or no regulation whatsoever.

I've blogged on other examples in the past.  Things haven't changed.  Here are just a few examples I've collected in just the last couple weeks:


  • Taking too long to go to the bathroom in Connecticut:  Shawn Cummins, 22, was hanging out in a neighbor's apartment and had been drinking.  Someone else was in the bathroom when he needed to use it. Impatient, Cummins pulled out a concealed handgun, which he had a permit for, and fired it through the door of the bathroom, narrowly missing the occupant.  Cummins then left the apartment and fired another round into the side of the building.
  • Dispute over feeding squirrels in Colorado:  Jon Marc Barbour, 59, of the Colorado town of Gunbarrel (no irony there, I'm sure), liked to feed neighborhood squirrels with lots and lots of peanuts, despite protests from neighbors.  When another neighbor argued with him about it, then got into a fight, Barbour pulled out his gun and shot the neighbor in the buttocks.
  • Throwing eggs in Oregon:  68-year old William Dean Thomas' house had just been "egged."  He was outside his house, cleaning it up, when the egg throwers showed up again, throwing eggs at him from their car.  Angry, Thomas pulled out his handgun and opened fire on them. Luckily he missed.
  • Reserved seating in a church in Pennsylvania:  Robert Braxton III, 27, was in Sunday church services and sat down in a pew spot that had been reserved for someone else. When he was told the seat was reserved, he became angry, but was cooling off after talking to an usher. That's when conceal carry permit holder Mark Storms, 46, approached Braxton and told him to leave, warning him that he had a gun. An argument ensued, and Braxton took a swing at Storms.  Storms responded by pulling out his gun and shooting Braxton twice, killing him.
  • Argument over a cheeseburger in Florida:  25-year-old Benjamin Middendorf got angry with his 28-year old brother over whether or not he wanted a cheeseburger.  Benjamin then pulled out his gun and shot his brother in the chest, killing him.
  • Argument over a parking spot at a school in Ohio:  Two men wanted to park in the same parking spot, in the parking lot of Medina High School, with their kids in the car with them.  That's when one of the dads pulled out a gun and threatened the other father with it.
  • Daughters wouldn't leave their home in Oregon:  54-year-old Lynn Hakala decided that her two 18-year old daughters should leave the home where she lived with them. When they refused, she pulled out a gun and fired it.  Luckily, they weren't hit.
  • Decided to play "hero" and shoot at unarmed shoplifter in Arizona:  25-year old John Haag witnessed a man running from a Walgreens store and realized he was a shoplifter. He then pulled out a concealed handgun, for which he had a permit, and a car chase ensued, during which Haag shot at the unarmed shoplifter, then bragged about it on Facebook.
  • Pulling a gun on fighting teen on school campus in Mississippi:  38-year old Shawana Smith was at her son's high school when her son and another boy started fist-fighting. Even though guns weren't allowed on school campuses there, she pulled out her gun and threatened the other boy with it.  Luckily the act was caught on video and she was arrested.
  • Road rage between truckers in Florida:  Truck driver George Guerrero had pulled out of a construction zone and changed lanes, apparently infuriating another trucker, who then tailgated Guerrero and then bumped Guerrero's truck, causing him to veer off the road.  The angry driver then shot at Guerrero, killing him.  The suspect has not been found.

These incidents are the result of allowing anyone to purchase and own a gun with no training whatsoever, including training on the appropriateness of a situation or the heavy responsibilities of gun ownership, and no regard whatsoever for the temperament of the buyer.  As a result, simple disputes over trivial reasons turn deadly.

Update (5/15/16):  A late addition from today's news:  

--> Cutting in line for the taco truck in Texas:  39-year-old Rigoberto Jose Castillo was standing in line at a taco truck at 2AM when a group of people cut in line.  A fist fight erupted.  That's when one of the group, went to his vehicle, retrieved a loaded handgun, and fired into the line, killing Castillo.  He then tried to shoot a witness, but the gun jammed.  Then he fled the scene.

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Saturday, January 30, 2016

More Accessories For The Gun Fetishist

I once posted on the many great accessories available to those who love their gunzzz so much that they must have accessories to go with them in their everyday activities.  But there's no shortage of others, and it is high time I posted some more....
Flower Shell

Let's say you've just returned from a long week occupying a federal refuge area and just need to take it slow.  What better way than gardening?  And the ONLY way any self-respecting gun guy should garden is by using guns, of course!  Just purchase some Flower Shells, shotgun shells loaded with flower seeds, and start blasting at the ground!  It's easy!  You could shoot at the ground to plant some poppies, or just aim out over the soil to scatter some wildflowers.  Boom!


Shower gun safe
After all that hard work in the garden, you'll need to take a shower.  Since you never know when a druggie/rapist/robber/terrorist will jump out at you from behind the shower curtain, be sure to put your handgun into the shower gun safe, right there next to your lavender conditioner.  Careful your soapy fingers don't slip on that trigger!


"open carry" tee shirt
As you get dressed, be sure to put on your gun-holster yoga pants and stick a second pink gun in your gun-holster bra (careful not to shoot yourself in the eye like this Michigan politician did).  And just to play it safe, in case you can't openly carry your piece in public, put this "open carry tee shirt" on.  Looks like the real thing!  But be sure to follow the advice of the maker and don't put your hand on the "gun" on the shirt, for fear police will think it's the real thing and shoot you!  You'll want to accessorize that outfit with an actual, working pistol ring on your finger and some bullet earrings.
iPhone case


Walk out the bathroom, pulling the gun door knob on the way, and then pull out your phone to call your liberty-lovin' militia pals to come over for some pistol-packin' fun.  Careful, though, don't let the police think that gun-shaped iPhone case is the real thing.  You might regret that it looks so realistic.


Assault rifle forks
After your pals and you shoot up some good, old-fashioned, women-shaped targets that bleed, you can sit down at the dining table and enjoy the fruits of your latest elk hunt on your favorite gun motto plate, eating your meat with assault rifle forks and musket-shaped cutlery. Don't forget to set plates for the kids, such as the one that says "G is for gun."


Playing "Ca$h 'n Guns"
After dinner, why not play a fun game of Ca$h 'n Guns, where you can have lots of laughs by pretending to shoot each other.  As one fan of the game put it, "Often personal vendettas have more to do with what happens than making the best move.  The game involves pointing a foam gun at people."  Fun!  Careful not to confuse the foam guns with the real ones on your hips.


Shotgun shell shot glasses

Be sure to pour you and your buddies some nice, stiff drinks from your pistol decanter into your shotgun shell shot glasses (complete with bandoleer), or maybe some gun drinking glasses with some bullet-shaped ice cubes, too.


Once your pals leave, and you stumble off to bed, fluff up your gun pillows, pull down your camo sheets, and put your gun into the bed holster.  No lock needed!



Bed holster
Oops, you drank too much, thought you heard a noise in the middle of the night, and unintentionally shot yourself to death?  Well, no worries.  Your love of guns can see you off to the afterlife, too.  Just have your pals pack your cremated remains into shotgun shells and shoot you to Heaven!  Nothing says "Freedom" more than going out in a puff of gunpowder!

There's simply no end to the ways you can feed your gun fetish, night and day!