Urge MO Senators to Defend Safety of At-Risk Veterans
A bill approved by the House of Representatives requires the FBI to purge nearly every record it has ever received from the Department of Veterans Affairs from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, expanding firearm access to more than 170,000 veterans with severely debilitating mental impairments. Our veterans face epidemic rates of suicide–20 end their lives each day, over half of them with a gun. Rather than crafting legislation to responsibly and humanely address this devastating issue, the gun lobby and their friends in Congress are working to dismantle any and all gun safety laws and weaken the background check system, which will only worsen this crisis.
The bill now moves to the Senate. Call Senator Blunt 314-725-4484 and Senator McCaskill 314-367-1364 and urge them to take a stand against the gun lobby to defend the safety of our at-risk veterans.
Call Your Senators: Don’t Let the NRA Gut Our Gun Laws
An extremely dangerous bill that would gun Missouri’s gun laws has been introduced in the US Congress. It’s called “concealed carry reciprocity” and it would force Missouri to allow dangerous people from every other state to carry hidden, loaded guns on our streets. This includes convicted stalkers, domestic abusers and people with no training. There’s nothing Missouri would be able to do about it.
This bill is the NRA’s number one priority. Call Senators McCaskill and Blunt to let them know you oppose concealed carry reciprocity. Click here to take action
Keeping Our Kids Safe: Doctors Call for Action
Pediatric trauma surgeon Martin Keller, MD, and pediatric emergency physician Bo Kennedy, MD, reported that between 2002-2015, St. Louis Children’s Hospital cared for 916 children who were injured or killed by firearms. Thirty-five percent of these were younger than 15. The doctors spoke on March 7 at the Pediatric Firearm Injury Symposium: Keeping Our Kids Safe, sponsored by the Washington University Institute for Public Health.
Among the children treated for gunshot injuries were:
- 9-year-old girl who was killed by a stray bullet while she sat in her room doing her homework;
- 12-year-old boy accidentally killed by his friend when playing with his grandfather’s pistol kept under his pillow;
- 2-year-old boy paralyzed when his father accidentally discharged his gun during loading;
- 5-year-old girl caught in a cross-fire as she sat on her front porch;
- 10-year-old boy killed by his mother overwhelmed with mental illness;
- 5-month-old girl shot by her father’s pistol when it fell from his coat;
- 4-year-old boy who found a handgun at home and placed the barrel into his mouth and pulled the trigger as he had often done to get a drink from his water-pistol.
Presenters called for greater public awareness about the danger of loaded, unlocked guns in the home, as well as gun lock programs. Women’s Voices is proud that its “Lock It For Love” program provides awareness, education, and preventive measures as well as free gun locks to families in our community. Pictured above are Women’s Voices members Harriet Kopolow, Lise Bernstein and Dede Berg.
A Florissant woman talks about losing her daughter to gun violence click here
False Promise: Guns Will Keep Women Safe
Strangers lurking in dark alleys are not the biggest threat to women. Find out what is. Click here
Man shoots and kills estranged wife. Read more.
Lack of Political Will to Reduce Gun Violence
In an exit interview with healthcare news site STAT, outgoing director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prvention Tom Frieden acknowledged that “There are many things that we wish we knew more about in terms of how to reduce gun violence.” But he argued that there are available interventions — safely storing firearms, preventing people subject to restraining orders from acquiring guns, and background checks for all gun sales — already backed by strong evidence, but which suffer from a lack of political will.
Friedan, the second longest-serving CDC boss, has drawn criticism from former leaders of the agency for not finding ways to support more federal gun violence research. He told STAT that while the CDC is not banned from studying the issue, Congress has declined to fund requests for such inquiries.
New law Jan. 1, 2017: No permit necessary for concealed carry in Missouri
In Missouri, anyone able to own a gun legally is able to open carry. Starting Jan. 1, 2017, you don’t have to have a permit in order to conceal your weapon. Read more
St. Louis Murder Rate Three Times Greater Than Chicago
Last year in St. Louis, the murder rate was 59.3 per 100,000 residents — more than three times Chicago’s during the same period. The disparity widens when the focus is on the neighborhood level: the risk of being murdered for a person living in Greater Ville, a community in north St. Louis, is five times higher than for the average person citywide. In 2014, 64 percent of St. Louis’s murders occurred in just eight of the city’s 28 wards, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch calculated. These statistics show what The Trace calls “murder inequality”: the concept that violence is not spread evenly throughout cities. Instead, it clusters in relatively small geographic areas.
9 New Stats From 2016 That Help Explain Gun Violence in America: Read more from The Trace.
Vigil to Remember St. Louis Area Gun Violence Victims
The Common-Sense Gun Solutions Committee invites you to CLICK HERE to remember every man, woman and child who fell victim to gunfire in St. Louis city or St. Louis country this year. Some were murdered, some were suicides, and some were victims of accidental shootings. All of them were our neighbors.
Gun Safety Technology Exists. Why Isn’t it Used?
Technology that allows only the rightful owner to use a gun is available. And guidelines have been drafted on how to put this technology into practice. “Smart” guns could save lives, including the thousands of teens who use guns to commit suicide. Click here to see how opposition from the NRA has blocked smart guns from the marketplace.
Loopholes Give Domestic Abusers Access to Guns
- Domestic violence episodes involving guns are 12 times more likely to result in death than those using other weapons or bodily force.
- Domestic abuse situations are five times more likely to be fatal if the abuser has access to a gun.
- Women in the United States are 11 times more likely to be murdered with a gun than women in other high-income countries.
In spite of these horrifying statistics, federal law remains full of deadly loopholes that allow domestic abusers to buy guns and use them to terrorize their partners and even their children. Especially troubling is “the boyfriend loophole.” In many states, abuse of a dating partner doesn’t disqualify an individual from buying a gun the way abuse of a spouse does. My team and I are working tirelessly to pass legislation to modernize the law and recognize that domestic violence is unacceptable, no matter the marital status of the perpetrator. Read more
Accidental shootings kill a child every other day
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 74 minors died from accidental discharges of firearms in 2014, the latest year for which comparable data are available. The AP and USA TODAY analysis counted 113 for that year, suggesting the federal government missed about a third of the cases.
Legislature Votes to Override Gun Bill Veto
Missourians will now be able to carry a concealed weapon without a permit and no safety training. Click here.
SB656 was passed by MO lawmakers on May 13. The bill makes makes it legal for people to carry concealed weapons without a permit. The 72-page proposal also includes an expansion of Missouri’s self-defense laws by allowing a person to use deadly force in public places if they believe a reasonable threat exists.
The Washington Post highlights Governor Nixon’s veto of gun bill and expected override. Read more
To Reduce Suicides, Look at Guns
Experts contend if you reduce a suicidal person’s access to firearms, it’s likely to save his life, even if he attempts suicide with a different method. Read more.
Missouri’s Weak Gun Laws; High Rate of Gun Deaths
Click here to see Missouri’s rating as an F from the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence
Tragedy of Kids & Guns: Preventing Accidental Shootings
Last year at least 278 children unintentionally fired a gun and injured or killed someone. Kids such as the 5-year-old in Missouri who was playing with his grandfather’s handgun when he fired it, killing his infant brother. Read more
About Our Gun Violence Work:
Campaign for Common-Sense Gun Solutions
Launched on Mother’s Day 2013 with a full-page ad in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch See ad.
Lock it for Love
Provides gun safety information and free gun locks to parents and others to prevent accidental shootings. See Lock It For Love page.
Position Paper: Gun violence and gun control. Approved by a vote of Women’s Voices’ members, February 2013
Programs: April 2014 – a forum “Safe & Sound: Smart Strategies to Protect Children from Gun Violence.”; March, 2015 Stolen Childhoods: The Emotional Toll of Gun Violence
April 14, 2016 Gun Violence Through the Lens of the Law