Week in Review

April 16-20, 2018


The National Day of Action and the Post-Columbine Generation

Students from over 2500 schools walked out of their classrooms to mark the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting. Earlier this week, the nation also paused to remember the 11th anniversary of the shooting at Virginia Tech. Since the February 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, students have been relentless in forcing America to have a conversation on gun violence prevention.

Earlier this week, former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, co-founder of Giffords said these students “are marching, they are participating, and they are warning politicians to show the courage to address the crisis of gun violence or get voted out. That means that this week’s anniversary is also going to be another opportunity to organize and to take a stand. To renew our call for action to keep our kids and communities safe.”


Top Hits

How to tell if the gun-control movement is going to be a major player in November | Amber Phillips | Washington Post
Almost everyone you talk to on the Democratic side of politics says there’s something different about the gun debate this election season. Anecdotally, suburban moms are volunteering for Democratic candidates in part because they say they are concerned about shootings in their children’s schools. With a couple of tweets, a survivor of the Parkland, Florida, high school shooting in February was able to get several companies to boycott Fox News’s Laura Ingraham’s prime time show after she mocked him. And candidates in Virginia and Pennsylvania won competitive races recently while supporting gun-control measures.

Police chiefs implore Congress not to pass concealed-carry reciprocity gun law | Washington Post | Tom Jackman
The nation’s police chiefs are rising up against another conservative crime-fighting initiative, sending a letter to leaders of Congress on Thursday opposing a bill that would allow gun owners with concealed-carry permits in one state to carry their concealed weapons in all 50 states.

The Gun Control Debate Seems Quiet, But The NRA Is Facing A String Of Defeats In The States | BuzzFeed News | Paul McLeod
The National Rifle Association has suffered a string of surprising defeats this year on the state level, where gun control activists are finding success even as Congress avoids doing anything significant to address gun violence. There has been a palpable spike in support for gun control across the country since February’s Parkland, Florida, school shooting. This can be seen through hundreds of thousands of people attending a gun control rally in Washington, DC, several big-name brands breaking with the NRA, and just simple polling.

Democratic House candidate Jason Crow thinks he can run on gun control — and win | Vox | Ella Nilsen
Colorado’s Sixth Congressional District was the site of the deadly 2012 Aurora movie theater shooting and close to the 1999 Columbine massacre. Right now, the Sixth is represented by Republican Rep. Mike Coffman, but a Democratic House candidate thinks he can beat Coffman in November by running a campaign to end gun violence. Attorney and Army veteran Jason Crow still has to win his primary on June 26, but he has the backing of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and the gun control advocacy group started by former Rep. Gabby Giffords.

Teen birthday vote drive targets pro-gun lawmakers | Reuters | Peter Szekely
Gun control advocates are planning to send birthday packages to newly turned 18-year-olds in 10 states where they believe pro-gun lawmakers are vulnerable. Inside each: a voter registration form. The effort is part of a teen voter sign-up campaign aimed at electing a gun control-friendly Congress in November by seizing the momentum of a movement driven by young people shaken by gun violence, organizers told Reuters. “I think young people are going to make a huge difference in this election, and the new energy we’re seeing is going to tip the scales in a number of races,” said Isabelle James, political director for Giffords, which advocates more restrictive gun laws.

Under the Radar

National Teachers Union Cuts Ties With Wells Fargo Over Bank’s Ties To NRA, Guns | NPR | Stacey Samuel
The American Federation of Teachers said Thursday that it is cutting its financial ties with Wells Fargo as a result of the banking giant’s relationships with the National Rifle Association and gunmakers. The AFT, a 1.7-million-member national union, is dropping the bank as a recommended mortgage lender, to which it currently channels more than 20,000 AFT mortgages. The decision came after Wells Fargo dismissed the union’s request to cut lending ties with or impose new restrictions on firearms business partners following the mass shooting Feb. 14 that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

Many mass shootings involve stolen guns: Shouldn’t gun owners keep them locked up? | Salon | Amanda Marcotte
In December 2012, 20-year-old Adam Lanza stole a gun from his mother, Nancy Lanza. He then murdered her in her sleep and drove her car to the local elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, where he murdered 20 children and six adults before shooting himself in the head. A few days earlier, across the country in Clackamas, Oregon, a 22-year-old man named Jacob Tyler Roberts committed a similar crime on a smaller scale. Roberts shot three people at the local shopping mall, killing two of them and seriously wounding the third, before shooting himself.

When Guns Get Stolen | GazetteXtra | Frank Schultz
The first burglary of a gun shop just outside of Janesville escaped most people’s notice. People will remember the highly publicized burglary in April 2017 when Joseph Jakubowski broke into Armageddon Supplies on Highway 14 in the town of Janesville and took 18 firearms, leading to a massive manhunt. But the burglary about eight months before at the same shop is interesting because two of the six handguns stolen ended up in big cities—one in Milwaukee and the other in Chicago. The incident is one of many examples of local guns being stolen—some from cars that were left unlocked—and then showing up in big-city crimes. Experts say locking up guns at home and in vehicles and increasing security at gun shops would go a long way in keeping local guns from falling into the wrong hands.

Data and Reports

PEW: Pew reports a majority of U.S. teens fear a shooting could happen at their school, and most parents share their concern.

  • 57% of teens say they are worried about the possibility of a shooting happening at their school.
  • Roughly two-thirds (64%) of nonwhite teens, including 73% of Hispanics, say they are at least somewhat worried about this, compared with 51% of white teens.
  • 39% of teens say that allowing teachers to carry guns in schools would be very or somewhat effective at preventing school shootings; 35% of teens say this would be not at all effective.

Harvard IOP: New poll shows growing support for stricter gun control among younger Americans | Washington Post.

  • 64 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds favor stricter gun-control laws, regardless of whether they plan to vote in November.
  • 58 percent of voting age Americans support an assault weapons ban.
  • 37 percent said they will “definitely be voting” in the midterm elections.

Violence Policy Center: Violence Policy Center released its 12th edition Black Homicide Victimization in the United States.

  • Missouri ranks first in the rate of black homicide victims at 46.24 per 100,000.
  • For the year 2015, blacks represented 13 percent of the nation’s population, yet accounted for 51 percent of all homicide victims.

Everytown for Gun Safety: New Polling: 89 Percent of Minnesota Gun Owners Support Background Checks on All Gun Sales

  • 89 percent of respondents – including 89 percent of gun owners – support requiring all gun buyers to first pass a criminal background check, no matter where they buy a gun and no matter whom they buy a gun from.
  • This support crosses party lines: 84 percent of Republicans and 94 percent of Democrats support requiring all gun buyers to first pass a criminal background check, no matter where they buy a gun and no matter whom they buy a gun from.


Wisconsin: Wisconsin appeals court reinstates spa shooting lawsuit | Star Tribune | Todd Richmond

A state appeals court reinstated a lawsuit Thursday against a website that facilitated the purchase of a gun used in a mass shooting in suburban Milwaukee five years ago, rejecting arguments that federal law absolves the website’s operators of liability. A restraining order barred Radcliffe Haughton from possessing a firearm, but he purchased a gun through firearms trading site and used it to kill his wife and two of her co-workers at Azana Salon & Spa in Brookfield in 2012. He wounded four other people during the shooting before killing himself.

Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania lawmakers to advance 5 bills intended to reduce gun violence | TribLive | Wes Venteicher

At least five bills meant to reduce gun violence will be given a chance to move forward in the Pennsylvania state House following two weeks of hearings that ended Wednesday, said Judiciary Committee Chairman Ron Marsico, R-Dauphin County. The proposals would tighten rules for relinquishing firearms after domestic violence convictions, create “extreme risk protection orders” to prevent purchases by people deemed to be at risk of killing themselves or others, add police training for domestic violence calls and allow people to voluntarily exclude themselves from being able to purchase firearms for set periods of time.

New Jersey: It’s tough to buy a gun in New Jersey. So where do all the guns used in crimes come from? | | Nicholas Pugliese

New Jersey’s gun laws make it one of the hardest states in which to buy a weapon. So where do most of the guns used in crimes here come from? States like Pennsylvania, Virginia, South Carolina and Florida. Seventy-five percent of traceable guns recovered by authorities in New Jersey are purchased in states with weaker gun laws, according to an analysis by The Record and of federal firearms trace data and a gun-law scorecard published by the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

Vermont: New Vermont law used to keep school shooting plot suspect from getting gun | CBS News | CrimeSider Staff

A day after Vermont’s governor signed a package of gun control measures, one of the new laws was used to keep a school shooting plot suspect from possessing dangerous weapon. A superior court judge signed an extreme risk protection order Thursday saying Jack Sawyer, 18, poses an extreme risk of physical harm to himself and others. Republican Gov. Phil Scott said he changed his stance on gun restrictions after reading the police affidavit in the Sawyer case. He signed bills Wednesday that raise the age to buy firearms, ban high-capacity magazines and make it easier to take guns from people who pose a threat.