Gun Violence

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.

Alexandra Johnson, an attorney and legal advocate committed to politics as an agent for positive change, stressed the importance of voting and getting involved no matter what political party you follow.  She stated that 80% of people want gun control for people with mental health issues and 70% want a national gun data base, but only 56% voted in the last election and in mid-term elections, the turnout is even lower.  She cited the city of Baltimore in their approach to gun violence and the significant reductions in violence they have had as a result.

Becky Morgan, representing Mom’s Demand Action(chapter leader), spoke about their national group and how it started with one person in Indiana and has grown enormously.

Matt Brummund, FBI special agent in St Louis for 15 years, spoke about our gun violence problem.  He stated that St Louis has begun embarking on recommendations from the US DOJ to address youth-related gun violence by establishing a working group.   For more information, go to

Andrea Bauman, co-chair 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

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.   

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

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

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.

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