2021 in Review & 2022 Ahead

The year was a sobering one as the pandemic continued exacerbating a myriad of risk factors affecting gun violence. Unemployment and homelessness increased as did the sale of firearms, a large share to first-time buyers. Mental health was more at risk, especially among disaffected young people isolated from school and classmates. Gun violence remained a public health epidemic with no life-saving vaccine in sight.

Yet GGS adapted and continued its efforts to educate, advocate and participate – in the community, on Zoom and even in forging bonds coast-to-coast with other like-minded grandparent groups. GGS is committed to better understanding the underlying conditions that lead to gun violence and seeking sensible, common ground reform that respects the
rights of gun owners and non-owners alike.

We’re Buoyed by Our Accomplishments

  • Adopted the new name Grandparents for Gun Safety that better reflects our emphasis on gun safety along with a new companion tag line, Stand With Us! Together, they reinforce our commitment to work with groups and people of all ages and outlooks to curb deaths and injuries from firearms.
  • Developed new affiliations with grandparent organizations in Massachusetts and Washington state that, like GGS, were founded in the weeks after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012.
  • Distributed more than 4,600 free, high-quality gun locks through our four-year-old Lock It For Love program, with help from 14 metro-area police departments and other community partners.
  • Presented the 8th annual (and second virtual) Community Forum: Gun Violence – Strategies to Curb This Public Health Epidemic. Co-sponsored by a coalition of 22 like-minded community organizations and 100+ individuals.
  • Continued offering stimulating monthly educational programs in person and on Zoom, drawing an average attendance of 70+ people. Among program topics: examining gun ownership from the perspectives of religion, political affiliation, urban and rural communities, Black Americans and more.
  • Maintained a robust presence in the traditional media and on Facebook and Instagram along with the continued distribution of our informative monthly e-newsletter.
  • Persisted in ongoing efforts at the KCMO City Council to pass a resolution requiring signage wherever firearms are sold, warning potential buyers of firearms’ danger.

Our 2022 goals need your involvement. Together, we’ll achieve them!

  • Use Stand With Us! as a springboard for broader and deeper community engagement.
  • Develop Stand With Us! projects through Board, Communications and Advocacy Committees to involve and energize GGS members.
  • Build on the 2021 Forum theme of successful strategies in curbing gun violence by focusing the year’s monthly programming on local organizations working to reduce its contributing risk factors.
  • Collaborate regularly with grandparent groups in Massachusetts and Washington state to build a network of supporters across the country that can coordinate coast-to-coast action and activities.
  • Enlarge GGS’ Board of Directors and create a new Advisory Board of community leaders.
  • Hire an Administrative Assistant to support GGS’ expanding public presence and outreach.
  • Produce the ninth annual Community Forum in partnership with a coalition of like-minded local organizations and individual sponsors.
  • Expand Lock It For Love by developing new methods to increase distribution of free gun locks and educational materials in the metro area and beyond.