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DECEMBER 2021 NEWS

Where We’ve Been, Where We’re Going

As we share our final newsletter of 2021, we reflect on our accomplishments and look forward to achieving new goals in the year ahead.

We know there’s much to do, locally and nationally. Most of our goals are directed at what can be done in our own metro community. What’s lacking from our national lawmakers is any action regarding common ground gun reform. Even worse, legislators in both Kansas and Missouri have loosened gun laws, making it easier to acquire firearms with next to no regulations.
 
We’ve already spoken about the competing verdicts in the Kyle Rittenhouse and Ahmaud Arbery murder trials; read our statement here and on our Facebook page. Now we’re reeling from still another firearm tragedy, this time at Oxford High School in Oxford, Michigan, in a shooting that killed four students and wounded eight others. The common thread in the Rittenhouse and Oxford shootings is the use of assault-style weapons by teenagers too young to legally purchase any firearm.

The urgent need for safe firearm storage is also front and center in the Oxford case where an unlocked handgun found in a dresser drawer was the weapon, according to media reports. As noted in our list of accomplishments and goals, the GGS Lock It For Love program has focused on this critical issue the past four years. Our volunteers have distributed more than 4,600 free, high-quality gun locks in the metro area while also sharing educational information about the dangers of unlocked firearms.

At the national level, we’ll continue our advocacy efforts on the need for banning assault-style weapons and seeking universal background checks.

Learn more about the year in review and the year ahead here.

December 14 Commemoration of Sandy Hook

In every year since our founding, we take time to remember the tragic December shooting of 20 children and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT. We know their families and many of the survivors remain deeply affected by the events of that day and the loved ones who died.

This year marks the ninth anniversary. As part of collaborating with our grandparent colleagues, we’ll join the Cape Cod group for its Sandy Hook program. We encourage you to join the virtual program on Tuesday, December 14, at 5:00 pm CST.
Zoom Link  (Meeting ID: 858 4282 8175 Passcode: 804185)
Meeting Flyer

Read more about our coast-to-coast collaboration in the minutes from November’s combined meeting.

In the 22 years since the mass shooting at Columbine High School, Congress hasn’t passed a single, major gun safety bill into law, according to the Giffords Law Center.

2022 Programming to Spotlight Standing Together

Gun violence doesn’t begin with a weapon, as every speaker emphasized during October’s Community Forum webinar. Taking collaborative action to mitigate its underlying risk factors of homelessness, unemployment, declining neighborhoods and gaps in education will guide GGS’ programming theme next year: Standing Together.

We plan to delve more deeply into what we can do right here, right now, to improve those underlying causes as identified by the Forum’s keynote speaker, Megan Ranney, M.D., who along with others describes gun violence as an ongoing public health epidemic.

GGS programs will highlight the strategies of local organizations working on those seemingly intractable problems, share their hard-won success stories and most importantly, learn how GGS and its supporters can contribute to tangible solutions by Standing Together.

As we brace for wintry weather that begins the new year, we’ll initiate the series by focusing on efforts to improve the lives of homeless people on both sides of the state line. Watch for details in our January newsletter.

Say Their Names

These are the 16 lives lost since our last newsletter. We say their names while we keep true to our vision that one day all people in our community will be safe from gun violence.

129. Michael Williams, 33, on October 25
130. Malvin L. Wallace, 56, on October 26
131. Theron Porter, 28, on October 30
132. Kamari Bridges, 15, on October 31
133. William Phillips, 47, on November 6
134. Stephon Johnson, 30, on November 8
135. Niecko Goldsby, 18, on November 8
136. Latoshia Johnson, 43, on November 9
137. Malik McCree, 25, on November 11
138. Carlyle Williams, 65, on November 22
139. Edmon Alexander III, 32, on November 26
140. Justin Doza-Adams, 27, on November 29
141. Isaiah Abraham-Brown, 19, on December 1
142. Jeffrey Phillips, 59, on December 3
143. Unknown woman on December 3
144. Duan R. Bryant, Jr., 21, on December 4

Using Art to Stand Together

Saint Andrew Christian Church has been a longtime, active partner of Grandparents for Gun Safety, collaborating with us on our Acts of Kindness and Vision Quilt projects. Last month the church displayed quilt panels made by their members and invited others to use their creativity in expressing concerns about gun violence.

GGS members Linda Brown and Jodi Dinkins proudly displayed Saint Andrew’s quilt panels. Jodi’s orange “Innocence Shattered” panel hangs next to her.

We invite all of our readers to Stand With Us as we work to keep our community safe and raise public awareness about the breadth of gun violence. Send us your photos and ideas how we can Stand With You.

What’s in a Name? A Lot!

We continue updating our printed and electronic materials to reflect our new name, logo and messaging introduced this fall. Last month we launched our new website, and because it remains a work in progress, we hope you’ll visit the site often for updates. Please send us your comments and suggestions.

Holiday Shopping with AmazonSmile

If you plan to shop online for the holidays, remember to start at AmazonSmile and look for us. We’ve submitted our new name, but because Amazon is a little busy at the moment, the change may not happen as quickly as we hope. For now, find us by going to Grandparents Against Gun Violence.
We know many of you support multiple organizations by rotating your online shopping among them; we’re delighted when it’s our turn. Thank you for Standing With Us! when you use AmazonSmile.

Mark Your Calendar

December 14: Commemoration of 2012 Sandy Hook shooting. Zoom program with Cape Cod’s Grandmothers Against Gun Violence
Flyer
Time: 5:00 pm CST
Zoom Link  (Meeting ID: 858 4282 8175 Passcode: 804185)

January 1, 2022: Best wishes for a happy, healthy and safe new year!

January 24, 2022: GGS monthly meeting 4:00 – 5:30 pm (Zoom + in-person)
Strategies to Help the Homeless: What You Can Do Here

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Grandparents for Gun Safety

P.O. Box 8617

Prairie Village, KS 66208-0617

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