Week in Review

May 28 – June 1, 2018

National Gun Violence Prevention Month
Each June our country comes together to raise awareness around the issue of gun violence. On Wear Orange Weekend, June 1-3, thousands of people will wear orange to show their support for more effective gun laws. Through this simple act of awareness, Americans send a unified message to elected officials that it is time to act and stop our nation’s gun violence epidemic.

To kick-off National Gun Violence Prevention Month, Grammy-nominated artist Brandi Carlile, in coordination with Giffords and the Alliance for Gun Responsibility, released a music video that promotes gun violence prevention and includes highlights of the Seattle March For Our Lives.

In a statement covered by NPR, Carlile had encouraging words for the youth choosing to stand up for gun violence prevention.

“The kids in this video left their houses, put down their phones and showed up in Seattle to protest gun violence and ask for the adults in this country to take responsibility for what’s happening to them in their schools. This is the way I would want my daughter to communicate and this is a generation I am in complete support of.”

Top Hits
Gabby Giffords’ Fight Against Gun Violence Just Got A Major Reboot | Bustle | Erin Delmore
Most of the students meeting with Gabby Giffords were only five years old when she was elected to national office, and only nine years old when she was injured, but their awe of the former congresswoman is apparent. When she speaks to them — a rehearsed paragraph of motivational lines she’s practiced with a speech coach — the room falls to a hush. “I’ve seen great courage when my life was on the line,” Giffords tells the New Jersey high school students. The former Arizona congresswoman suffered a gunshot wound to the head in 2011 when she was shot at point-blank range during a “Congress on Your Corner” event outside a Safeway grocery store in suburban Tucson.

Parkland killer boasted of mass murder plan in cell phone videos | Reuters | Rich McKay
The teen charged with shooting 17 people dead at his former high school in Parkland, Florida, boasted of plans to commit mass murder in a series of cell phone videos recorded by him before the rampage and released on Wednesday by prosecutors. In one of the three video clips, Nikolas Cruz, 19, calmly declares, “Hello. My name is Nik and I’m going to be the next school shooter of 2018.” He goes on to say: “My goal is to kill at least 20 people with an AR-15,” referring to the assault-style rifle he is seen holding in the footage.

In One Year As A Journalist, I’ve Lost Track Of All The Mass Shootings I’ve Covered | Refinery29 | Kate Guarino
Sometimes it starts with alert, or a tweet. Maybe I’m in a meeting and it’s a few minutes before I hear anything. Each time the same thought crosses my mind: “Here we go again.” I have been a full-time journalist and member of the American workforce for 316 days and I’ve lost count of how many mass shootings I’ve

Republican House member adds another gun violence scapegoat to the list – porn | Vox | Li Zhou
Republican Congress member and Tennessee gubernatorial hopeful Diane Black added another scapegoat to the gun violence list: porn. “I think it’s deterioration of family … violent movies … pornography,” Black said, as part of a discussion with ministers in Clarksville, Tennessee, last week, during which she touched on the rise in school shootings. Black also suggested that kids were using the internet in ways that could lead to violent behavior. “They are looking for something … maybe on the internet, maybe with a small group of friends, and they are going in the wrong direction,” she said, according to a recording published by HuffPost.

How the NRA transformed from marksmen to lobbyists | Washington Post | Ann Gerhart and Chris Alcantara
Gun control tapped into the turmoil of the 1960s, exposing tensions of race and class, and between rural and urban Americans. The National Rifle Association, founded in 1871, 100 years after the Founding Fathers inked the Second Amendment, began to wield power by amplifying its members’ fears of being disarmed in lawless times, and it used that energy to influence gun legislation in Washington.

Under the Radar     
Women Should Be at Vanguard of the Gun-Control Movement | Bloomberg | Kara Alaimo
The mass shooting at a school in Texas on May 18 brought renewed calls for stricter gun-control laws. This focus should include another, less-visible, aspect of the crisis: The killing by firearms of hundreds of women each year by their intimate partners. It’s clear that gun control is a women’s issue. Of the 39,000 gun deaths in America In 2016, 456 were from mass shootings. But, on average, more than 561 women are killed by these weapons each year by their husbands, ex-husbands, common-law husbands or boyfriends, according to the Associated Press.

School Shooting Survivors Are Making Their Voices Heard — Through Lipstick | Refinery29 | Rachel Krause
We are less than halfway through 2018, and the United States has already seen 23 school shootings that resulted in at least one person — other than the gunman — being injured or shot dead. In the two-and-a-half months since three adults and 14 students were gunned down at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, another 15 people have lost their lives on school grounds.

The surprising way gun violence is dividing America | Washington Post | Andrew Van Dam
On average, there are 276 gun homicides a week in America. There are 439 gun suicides. All told, there are, on average, nearly 1,200 incidents involving gun violence, every week, in America. This landscape of gun violence — suicides, homicides, mass shootings, accidents — is not evenly distributed. Instead, it plays out over geographic and political dividing lines — and these may help explain why individual Americans see the issue so differently.

Quinnipiac University: Support For Gun Control Dips in Texas, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Bare Majority For Arming Teachers

  • 49 percent of Texas voters support stricter gun laws, compared to 45 percent who oppose.
  • 94 percent of Texas voters support background checks for all gun sales.
  • 51 percent support allowing teachers and school officials to carry guns on school grounds.

Morningside College: First Morningside poll shows Iowans divided on state’s gun laws

  • 42 percent of respondents say Iowa firearms laws should be made more strict, compared to 41 percent who think the laws should be kept the same.

Texas: Gov. Greg Abbott announces school safety plan and proposed changes to gun laws after Santa Fe shooting
Less than two weeks after 10 people were killed in a southeast Texas school shooting, Gov. Greg Abbott laid out a wide-ranging school safety plan — including programs for mental health screenings, expanded school protections and even a few, narrow measures regulating gun usage — and left the door open to calling lawmakers back to Austin to pass some of those priorities.\

Connecticut: Students, teachers bear witness to Malloy’s signing of bump stock ban
Students spearheading gun-control movements joined teachers and activists Thursday in welcoming Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s law banning the use of bump stocks to enhance the rate of fire of semi-automatic rifles. Malloy proposed the bill to ban bump stocks and other rate-of-fire enhancers in October following the Las Vegas concert massacre where bump stocks were used to kill 58 people and injure 581 more. But the governor attributed its passage largely to students across Connecticut who have actively pushed for reform, commemorating their efforts by hosting the Thursday morning bill-signing ceremony at Hartford’s Bulkeley High School library.

Illinois: Gun bills advance in Illinois legislature
Some of the less-controversial proposals in Gov. Bruce Rauner’s public safety package have begun to move through the Illinois General Assembly as standalone bills ahead of the body’s adjournment on Thursday. Among them, Senate Bill 3256, mandating a 72-hour waiting period following the purchase of a firearm, passed the Illinois House 72-44, a veto-proof majority, and heads to the Senate for approval.

North Carolina: Would tougher gun laws make NC schools safer? Depends on who you ask.
There’s no debate that North Carolina schools can be made safer, but a town hall Tuesday showed there’s disagreement on whether tougher gun control laws is the right answer to the problem. The panel of elected officials, students, law enforcement and mental-health professionals at Tuesday night’s forum at Sanderson High School agreed that steps such as more mental health workers are needed in the wake of recent national mass school shootings.