Guns & America

145 CEOs Urge Senate To Act On Gun Violence

Sep 12, 2019

The chief executives of many prominent U.S. companies sent a letter to U.S. senators on Thursday urging them to pass new federal gun control laws.

“Gun violence in America is not inevitable; it’s preventable,” the letter from 145 CEOs reads. “There are steps Congress can, and must, take to prevent and reduce gun violence.”

As kids across the country head back to school for the year, the question of how to keep students safe is constant and ever-evolving, especially when it comes to mass shootings. One recent active shooter training at Pinnacle Charter School in northern Colorado focused on three actions: evacuate, barricade, and fight.

Standing on blue gym mats, under bright fluorescent lights, a trainer and a student lean in, heads close.

For Some School Staff, Back-To-School Means Back To The Shooting Range

Sep 10, 2019

Instructor Graham Dunne is holding up some printouts with faces on them. He tells his students they’re smaller than real heads.

“Here’s some useless knowledge from being a sniper,” he says. “The average human head is 6 inches across by 10 inches high. These are probably half that.”

We’re at the Flatrock Regional Training Center in Commerce City, Colorado. Usually the people training here are law enforcement, but today they’re teachers, principals, bus drivers, coaches, and school administrators, 13 of them.

In the last few weeks, Democratic presidential candidates, Congressional leaders, and even the President, have been proposing various gun control policies to curb gun violence in America. But a recent study from the Journal of Rural Health shows that certain firearm laws are more effective at reducing violence than others, depending on if you live in an urban or rural area.

Wednesday night, thousands of El Pasoans streamed into Southwest University Park, for a community memorial to honor the 22 victims of the mass shooting that took place just over a week ago, on Aug. 3.

Upon entering the city’s minor league baseball stadium, visitors were greeted by a group of therapy dogs who traveled from Nebraska to provide comfort.

Image of the North Carolina State Legislature Building in Raleigh.
Mark Turner / Wikimedia Creative Commons

After two mass shootings this past weekend, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and President Donald Trump joined in support of states passing “red flag” laws. These laws allow a judge to order a temporary removal of firearms from a person threatening violence against themselves or others.

Businesses can do more to protect their customers and the public from mass shootings, experts say, after more than 30 people were killed over the weekend in two separate incidents.

On Saturday morning, a gunman stormed a Walmart shopping center in El Paso and killed at least 22 people, in an apparently racially motivated attack against Hispanics. Less than a day later, in Ohio, another shooter opened fire in a popular nightlife area, killing nine people.

Following the shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, which killed at least 31 people, lawmakers started to point to one factor that could have contributed to shootings: violent video games.

Here’s the problem: They don’t.

What Is A Red Flag Law?

Aug 5, 2019

Among the popular gun policy proposals raised in the aftermath of shootings like those in Sandy Hook, Parkland and now El Paso and Dayton, the call for “red flag” laws has become a common refrain.

But like universal background checks and closing the “gun show loophole”, “red flag” laws aren’t self-explanatory.

Every time there’s a shooting in the United States that leaves multiple people injured or dead, a few things happen in reaction. Public officials express their condolences, there’s often a call for legislative action. And reporting begins to come out referencing how many similar shootings have taken place that year.

Police officers often work secondary employment as armed security guards in their police uniforms. It is a widespread practice that raises many unanswered questions about oversight and the use of public resources for private purposes.

On weekend nights in Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood, questions about oversight come into full view.

Tremont is a few blocks of popular bars and restaurants surrounded by a neighborhood of single family houses. It is affluent by Cleveland standards, with home prices climbing above $400,000.

A new study says that fatal shooting cases are getting measurably more attention from police than non-fatal shootings. But one expert thinks giving fatal shootings more attention might not be the most efficient way to combat gun violence.

Fatal and non-fatal shooting cases often start the same way: A gun is fired; someone is hit.

But if someone is killed by those shots, the case gets handed off to the police department’s homicide unit.

Throughout the 2020 campaign, Guns & America will be tracking policy proposals made by candidates for president.
Luis Melgar / Guns & America

Polling shows guns are among the top priorities for many Democratic voters and gun issues remain a big topic in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary.

A fund administered by the RAND Corporation is awarding nearly $10 million dollars to researchers across the country to study gun violence, injecting new funding into a topic that has seen relatively little attention from the scientific community over the past two decades.

Higher rates of gun ownership are associated with higher rates of gun deaths involving an intimate partner or family member, according to new research published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Large-capacity magazines, containers that hold more than 15 rounds of ammunition, have been illegal in Colorado since 2013. Lawmakers passed the ban following the 2012 mass shooting at a movie theater in Aurora.

After a tumultuous few months, the National Rifle Association suffered another in a series of blows Friday, when a second Attorney General opened an investigation into its nonprofit status.

The Attorney General for the District of Columbia is looking for “financial records, payments to vendors, and payments to officers and directors,” for the NRA and the NRA Foundation, Inc., the group’s charitable foundation, according to a press release issued Friday.

Nationwide, police shoot black people at a rate three times higher than white people. Between 2013 and 2018, 28% of police shooting victims were black, twice their proportion of the overall population, according to the Mapping Police Violence Project.

A study from researchers at Duke University and the University of Chicago found that about 40 percent of the prisoners they surveyed did not own a gun six months before committing the crime that landed them in prison.

“What they told us was that they had a lot of experience in obtaining guns but they didn’t hang onto them,” said the study’s lead author, Philip Cook, a professor at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy.

Since 2005, if you purchase a gun in the United States, you’re going to be given a free gun lock. It’s a federal law. But many gun safety experts don’t believe the most popular kind of these locks are effective at keeping people, especially older children, from gaining access.

A new study published in the journal Preventive Medicine suggests mental health and gun violence aren’t as closely related as people often think.

The study looked at how mental health symptoms and gun access impact two gun behaviors: if a person is likely to carry a gun outside their home and if they have threatened someone with a gun.

As public interest in fatal police use of force continues, a growing number of police departments have begun using body-worn cameras as tools for transparency and documentation of civilian interactions.

The family of a victim of the 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting has filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Nevada against gun manufacturers that sell AR-15 style rifles.

The shooting, which took place on Oct. 1, 2017, during a music festival, left 851 people injured and 59 dead, including the perpetrator. The incident is the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

Oregon Sheriffs Offer A Lesson To Their Peers Elsewhere

Jul 3, 2019

Early this past June, Coos County Sheriff Craig Zanni was in his Coquille, Oregon, office fielding an email from a sovereign citizen. The sender was claiming that the Oregon state government doesn’t have grounds to operate because it can’t provide him with a copy of the 1859 State Constitution.

Sovereign citizens reject the legitimacy of the state and federal government. All of it: taxation, currency, the courts and, of course, gun laws.

On a chilly Friday night in Windsor, Colorado, the conservative, gun-loving rocker Ted Nugent entertained a crowd, talking about the Constitution, politics and freedom during a fundraising event for Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams.

“Well, well, well. What have we here? This must be real Colorado!” Nugent said to the crowd. “When I started coming here rockin’ and rollin’ in 1967… Boy, I was in Colorado, man! Ranching, rugged, individual-tough-s***-kicker Colorado! Now it’s like drooling hippie Boulder! What happened there?”

While the hustle of the city may call to some, it doesn’t attract everyone. Many people move to rural areas for the space — a big backyard where they can shoot their guns off the back porch and let children run around. And some move in the pursuit of peace and quiet.

Many advocates and politicians push universal background checks on gun purchases as a way to decrease gun violence. But researchers at Johns Hopkins University say there’s a more effective solution to preventing homicide and suicide: requiring a license to purchase a handgun.

Very Few Gun Owners Want To Buy A Smart Gun

Jun 21, 2019

Smart guns, also known as “personalized guns,” use technology like fingerprint readers or radio frequency identification (RFID) to let only authorized users unlock the gun and fire it.

New research shows many gun owners aren’t interested in purchasing them.

Expanding The Market

Researchers at Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research found 48% of the gun owners surveyed had heard of smart guns.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam on Tuesday called a special legislative session on gun violence, citing last week’s deadly mass shooting that claimed 12 lives.

The first time Clevelander Robert Woodard saw someone who had been shot, it was overwhelming.

“So me running to the scene and me getting there and them bleeding and I’m just as hysterical as them,” Woodard remembered. “It’s like, ‘Wow, what do I do?’ I have no tools. I have no anything.”

So last summer Woodard, a violence prevention worker with a group called the Wolfpack, completed a first aid training on how to stop bleeding.

Matthew Richmond, WCPN

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