Tag Archives | Guns

Can We Prevent Firearm Suicides?

"Handgun collection" by Joshuashearn - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Handgun collection” by JoshuashearnOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

At Psychology Today, Romeo Vitelli explores the epidemic of firearm suicides in the US:

Does owning a gun increase the likelihood of suicide?  Based on most suicide statistics, the answer appears to be yes.

According to data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, suicides account for more than 60 percent of all firearm deaths in the United States.   In 2013 alone, 41,149 suicide deaths occurred of which the majority were firearm-related.    In that same year, the number of deaths from homicide was only a fraction of that figure (16, 121).

So why aren’t people paying more attention to this appalling death toll?   Within weeks of the school shooting at Sandy Hook, more than half of all U.S. states introduced legislation to boost security in schools despite the lack of clear evidence that metal detectors and a police presence in schools were actually effective.  

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The NRA’s Brazen Shell Game

The National Rifle Association, or NRA, is one of those American institutions that people tend to either love or hate. According to this Yahoo News investigation, however, even those who love the NRA may balk at it’s brazen diversion of donations to political causes the donors never signed up for:

Occupy the NRA

Photo: Occupy Global (CC)

Early last summer I began making contributions to the National Rifle Association — a dollar here, a dollar there — to see where my money would end up. Some of it quickly found its way into the account of the National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund, the NRA’s political action committee. And that was of no small interest, because I never knowingly contributed to the NRA-PVF. For me, this wasn’t a big problem; my contributions were a spit in the bucket for an organization that spent $37 million on the 2014 elections and operates on an annual budget of more than a quarter of a billion dollars.

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Here’s What Happens When You Open a Gun Store in the Middle of NYC

Guns on sale in New York? Unthinkable, right?

nyc guns store

The gun store on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

 

Check out this PSA from Grey Advertising, via Adweek:

States United to Prevent Gun Violence and its agency, Grey New York, have teamed up for some truly hard-hitting PSAs, including 2013’s famous “Ed” spot, which won a Silver Lion in Film at Cannes. Now, they’ve moved on to a new tactic—a social experiment set in the real world.

They did what they’re calling “the unthinkable”—opened a real-looking gun store on the Lower East Side of Manhattan and invited first-time gun buyers to check it out, with hidden cameras rolling.

To create drama, they put disturbing tags on each weapon, indicating which models were used in particular mass shootings, unintentional shootings, homicides and suicides. Needless to say, the fresh-faced buyers end up looking rather pallid by the end, and aren’t quite as excited to head home with a firearm.

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The NRA vs Pediatricians

There is a public health crisis in America that doctors are not talking about. And not for lack of words. They are being gagged to say nothing. There is legislation in Florida and several other states that actually bans pediatricians from talking about basic gun safety with parents!

1.7 Million children in America live with an unlocked and loaded gun in their home. Every year, 140 children die because of accidental shootings.

Enough is enough.

The National Rifle Association and the gun companies will stop at nothing to make a profit off of the lives of our loved ones.

Help us expose the real NRA and the gun companies who finance them.

Share this video with the parent of a child you love. Help us work toward a world where gun safety is celebrated, not silenced in the name of profit. 

Thanks for all you do,

Robert Greenwald, President
Brave New Films

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Ferguson Police Testing ‘Less Lethal’ Guns

Too little too late? The Washington Post reports on the Nerf-like guns showing up in the now notorious Ferguson, Missouri:

About a month after a white officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Mo., the city’s assistant police chief, Al Eickhoff, took to Google and searched under the words “less lethal.”

Eickhoff, a 36-year veteran of Missouri police work, said he was looking for any new device, weapon or ammunition — any alternative to lethal force — that might have prevented a deadly result when Michael Brown and Officer Darren Wilson encountered each other in the noonday heat last August.

"THE ALTERNATIVE" from Alternative Ballistics

“THE ALTERNATIVE” from Alternative Ballistics

 

Browsing a California company’s Web site, Eickhoff found pictures and videos of an odd-looking, blaze-orange device docked on a normal handgun barrel. When a bullet fired, it melded with an attached projectile the size of a ping-pong ball that flew with enough force to knock a person down, maybe break some ribs, but not kill him, the product’s makers said — even at close range.

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Open-Carry Activists Police the Police—With Guns Of Their Own

Another Texas police story, but this one has a different spin: open carry gun rights activists are aggressively policing the police, often with armed confrontations, per this report at Daily Beast:

On any given night in Arlington, Texas, a group of open-carry activists turned self-appointed cop-watchers can be found walking by the side of the road, in safety-yellow reflector vests with cameras pointed at police. They carry “FILM THE POLICE” signs, and sometimes, in a habit that’s become of increasing concern to the officers being watched, they’re carrying guns of their own.

New Hampshire Open Carry 2009.jpg

Photo: Lucio Eastman (CC)

These armed activists’ mission—ostensibly to hold the police accountable by recording every interaction—has found new meaning in light of recent deaths of unarmed citizens like Mike Brown and Eric Garner. Indeed, members of the Texas group have adopted the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” cry popularized during protests of the men’s deaths.

The group is led in part by Kory Watkins, an Olive Garden bartender trainer and a bandwagon activist who also presides over Open Carry Tarrant County (OCTC).

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Can God Beat the NRA?

For those of you who thought God funded the NRA, sorry, turns out s/he might be on the other side of the gun debate. From The Daily Beast:

National Rifle Association.svg

“Do not stand idly by while your neighbor’s blood is shed.” Leviticus 19:16

That Biblical passage is the guiding principle for the grassroots organization “Do Not Stand Idly By,” created in 2012 to counter gun violence. Sure, we’ve recently seen a host of new groups tackle this issue, but Do Not Stand Idly By (“DNSIB”) is different for two big reasons.

First, it’s a faith-based initiative spearheaded by Christian, Muslim, and Jewish leaders (although it welcomes people of other or no faiths.) Framing the argument of the need to reduce gun violence in religious terms will undoubtedly move many—possibly even some on the right.

Second, the focus of DNSIB is going to the source. No, I’m not talking the Book of Genesis.

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What the Hell Is a Little Girl Doing With an Uzi?

OK Second Amendment defenders, what do you say to this question (posed by Cliff Schecter at Daily Beast) in the wake of the now notorious gun range death of a 9-year-old girl’s instructor: “What the Hell Is a Little Girl Doing With an Uzi?”

Yesterday afternoon, the “NRA Women” Twitter account sent out a simple and yet ghoulish message to its followers. With an embedded link to an article on their website, it reminded its adherents of “7 ways children can have fun at the shooting range.”

No matter that merely two days earlier, at the Bullets & Burgers Gun Range in the Las Vegas area, a 9-year old girl had been handed an Uzi, lost control while firing it in fully automatic mode, and accidentally shot the instructor standing next to her in the head (he later died after being airlifted to hospital).

Uzi of the israeli armed forces.jpg

Photo by Uziel Galishto (CC)

Hell, the gun range didn’t even shut down.

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The NRA Pissed Off the Wrong Nerd Genius

BillGates2012.jpg

“BillGates2012″ by World Economic Forum – Flickr )CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons).

Cliff Schecter reports that Bill Gates is donating $1 million for universal background checks for putative gun buyers, at Daily Beast:

Somewhere in a large glass tower in Northern Virginia, there’s a guy who runs guns with a French name having a bad day. With good reason.

It was reported Monday that Bill Gates, Microsoft co-founder and incredibly wealthy guy, and with his wife, Melinda, have given $1 million to Initiative 594 in Washington state. The ballot initiative, if passed by voters on November 4 (and it currently enjoys overwhelming support), will require universal background checks for all firearm purchases in the state.

Gates is only the latest Washington billionaire to give to the effort, with original Amazon investor Nick Hanauer providing crucial early funding, and more recently upping his overall donation to $1.4 million. Additionally, Gates’s Microsoft co-founder, Paul Allen, has provided $500,000 for the cause.

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