Guns & America

Colonial Church in Prairie VillageMonday, December 3, 2018
4:00 – 5:45 p.m. 
(lower level, east side at back)
7039 Mission Road

Our speaker is Chris Haxel, KCUR reporter who will spend two years here reporting on the role of guns in American life. His work is part of a new national Guns & America reporting collaborative, which includes nine other pubic media news rooms around the country. He will discuss his work meeting and interviewing people from all sides of the opinion spectrum about guns and will then answer questions.

We will have an opportunity to learn a great deal from Chris during his tenure here – so let’s give him a big welcome with a big attendance on Monday, December 3!

Make Note!

December 3 – Toys for Teens (and Tots too!)

Please bring to our meeting unwrapped gifts for teens, who are often overlooked. Suggestions include hats, gloves, socks and personal hygiene items, plus gift items such as ear buds, speakers/radios and water bottles. Of course, toys for kids of all ages are also appreciated.

December 14 – Sandy Hook Remembrance Vigil, 6:30-7:30 pm

NOTE location change: We will be joining Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action to demonstrate at the intersection of 43rd and State Line.

We will have candles and GAGV signs – feel free to make your own!

January 28 – our first meeting of 2019!

Our speaker is Professor Don Haider-Markel, the KU professor who did the research about gun owners being more active voters that the rest of us.

The Case Against Assault Rifles

Since the most recent tragedies at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh and the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, there has been renewed discussion about assault rifles and why they are not universally banned. We are now learning in terrible, graphic detail the horrific damage they inflict on their victims

While the argument generally centers on the ability to kill or wound more people quickly, it’s also important to understand why bullets from these weapons brutalize the body.

How powerful assault-style rifles lead to devastating wounds

This is very hard to watch – but makes the point very graphically

What makes the AR-15 style rifle the weapon of choice for mass shooters?

News You Can Use 

In case you missed this great news about TOMS shoes – check out this article and then take action!

   Toms Donates Record $5 Million to End Gun Violence


A powerful article about the NRA:

   It’s Time to Talk About the NRA

A poignant article from a Parkland teen – reminds us why we continue to make this fight:

   I am 18. I belong to the massacre generation.

Children’s Mercy Research Study and LIFL

Dr. Shayla Sullivant, Child Adolescent Psychiatrist at Children’s Mercy, and recipient of the GAGV Advocate of the Year at the October 8 Community Forum, is conducting a research project to ascertain whether attitudes and behaviors change after hearing a presentation about the challenges of parenting a teen prior to a crisis. The presentation, titled “Prepped and Ready: Parenting into the Teen Years” is made to parents of adolescents, and emphasizes prevention. Attendees complete a survey of attitudes and behaviors before and then immediately after the presentation, with a follow-up email to evaluate whether actual changes were made. Subjects include screen time, opioid addiction, vaping, eating disorder prevention and safe gun storage.

Following are just a few of the many facts cited by Dr. Sullivant regarding firearm deaths:

  • 82% of youth who use a firearm in suicide use a gun belonging to a family member. (National Violent Death Reporting System, 2016)
  • Suicides with a firearm increased 60% among youth between 2007-2014.
  • Only 18% of youth who died by suicide with a firearm were getting mental health treatment when they died (making risk assessment and prevention so important). (Fowler et al, 2017)

At the conclusion of Dr. Sullivant’s presentation, GAGV Lock It For Love volunteers, joined by a police officer from the local community, demonstrate and distribute locks, and share info about safe gun storage in the home. To date we have distributed 115 locks at three presentations: Rockhurst High School and St Therese Church in Kansas City, MO and Blue Valley West High School in Overland Park. Three more presentations are scheduled, with more to come. The goal is to enroll 500 parents in the study; so far there have been more than 100 parents at each event.

We have worked with officers from the Kansas City and Overland Park police departments and the upcoming events will include KCKS and Topeka departments, and the JOCO Sheriff Department.

It is an honor to take part in this research project and we look forward to learning from the results of the study.

The following article reinforces the importance of safely storing guns, and includes a quote from Denise Dowd, Children’s Mercy ER physician – and our first Advocate of the Year!

It includes this statistic: Almost half the gun injuries were from assaults, nearly 40 percent were unintentional and 2 percent were suicides. The statistics included only reflect ER visits; sadly, many of the kids who use a gun to take their lives die before they make it to the ER, so the percentage of suicides is actually higher.

Guns send over 8,000 US kids to ER each year, analysis says