Gun Violence

The Truth About Suicide & Guns

There are 20,000 gun suicides in the U.S. every year, more than 50 every single day. That’s more than half of all suicides and two-thirds of all gun deaths, according to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

Research shows a gun in the home makes a suicide three times more likely. There are a few reasons why the presence of a gun in the home is a risk factor for suicide. First is the surprising impulsivity of many suicide attempts. Guns are also so much more lethal than other methods. Most people who survive a suicide attempt do not go on to die by suicide, but only one in 10 people who attempt suicide by gun get that second chance.

Limiting easy access to a gun for someone who considers or even attempts suicide can literally be the difference between life and death.  Read more

September is National Suicide Prevention Month.  Click here for more information.

Stolen Guns Pose Substantial Risk to Public Safety 

Missouri ranks 14th highest in the nation for the number of guns stolen from homes–30,697 between 2012-2015.  A recent study study identified a few common traits of gun owners who are victimized by theft: Those who own many guns, those who regularly carry their guns outside their homes, and those who do not employ safe storage practices while at home face a higher risk of gun theft.  Read more

Women’s Voices’ “Lock it for Love” project provides free gun locks in the St. Louis area.  For more information click here.

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

Women’s Voices Participated in a Gun Violence Forum

June 19, 2017

Womens Voices participated in a panel discussion at the St. Louis Safety Group Meeting at the Carondelet Park ‘Y’ moderated by Dee Brown who founded this group four years ago.   The four panel members each spoke about the group they represented and how the group addresses gun violence.

Andrea Bauman, member of the Women’s Voices Campaign for Common-Sense Gun Solutions Committee,  spoke about our Lock it for Love program and the ASK event at City Hall on June 21.  The national ASK day reminds parents to ask if there are unlocked firearms in areas where children play and is sponsored by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

16 Children Hospitalized Daily for Gunshot Wounds

The majority of the children under 15 hospitalized with gunshot wounds were unintentionally injured and said these accidents could easily have been prevented if the guns had been locked up. An estimated one out of three US homes with children has a gun, and about 1.7 million US children live in homes with unlocked and loaded guns.  Read more

 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.   

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

Vigil to Remember St. Louis Area Gun Violence Victims

December 2016

Facebook cover social media 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

October, 2016

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.

Read article here

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