HAPPY NEW YEAR! Hope you had a great holiday season and are now ready for a productive, educational and successful new year. Let’s get started!

Gun Owners: Why Their Voices Seem Louder

Monday, January 28, 2019
4:00 – 5:45 p.m. 
Colonial Church in Prairie Village
(lower level, east side at back)

7039 Mission Road

Our speaker is Prof. Don Haider-Markel, who chairs the political science department at the University of Kansas and co-authored a study examining political activity among gun owners. Prof. Haider-Markel and his KU colleagues, Mark Joslyn, political science professor, and Abbie Vegter, graduate student in political science, compared the political activity and behavior of gun owners with non-gun owners in presidential elections spanning 40 years, from 1972 to 2012. Their findings show gun owners became more politically active during that time (while the study ends with 2012, we can certainly assume the trend has continued).

The study, Gun Owners are More Politically Active, explores various reasons why and suggests the increased political action of gun owners contributes to the confounding fact that gun control legislation has failed to pass Congress despite a majority of Americans favoring some kind of gun regulation. 

Another study published by Profs. Heider-Markel and Joslyn found most people overestimate the number of gun owners in the United Sates. That misconception can also affect the lack of progress in getting gun legislation approved. Most People Overestimate Total Number of US Gun Owners.

You’ll leave this meeting better informed and ready to act, so join us January 28!

December in Review

More than 70 people attended December’s meeting, eager to hear KCUR’s Chris Haxel describe his work in the new, national Guns & America reporting collaborative with nine other NPR stations across the country.

A spirited Q&A session followed Chris’s remarks. His first KCUR report was about the study authored by KU Prof. Don Heider-Markel, our featured speaker at this month’s upcoming meeting. Chris’s most recent report is about the local gun shop called Frontier Justice, whose owners spoke to us more than a year ago. Kansas City Gun Store Courts Women Shoppers With ‘Nordstrom’ Approach.

December 2018 Meeting Minutes

More than 75 attendees came to hear Chris Haxel talk about the NPR Guns & America project

On December 14, GAGV joined members from MOMS Demand Action, Mothers in Charge and Students Demand Action for a vigil commemorating the sixth anniversary of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary. We demonstrated on the four corners of the intersection at 43rd and State Line, reaching people from both Missouri and Kansas. Many motorists responded, honking horns and giving us thumbs up.

Judy Sherry, Peggy Zilm, Carla Oppenheimer, Chris Glenski, Donna Euston (not pictured : Ann Nelson, Mary Marnett and MJ McCall)

Judy Sherry and Rosilyn Temple of Mothers in Charge both spoke at the vigil

News You Can Use 

Bump stocks are to be banned nationally although the new law won’t go into effect until at least March of this year.

Eleven states already ban bump stocks: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. More than a dozen other cities and states are considering such bans. Unfortunately, Kansas and Missouri are not among them.

Nearing Las Vegas shooting anniversary, Justice Department moves ahead on bump stock ban

Don’t miss this passionate gun control column written by U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), entreating us “not to let our country turn into a war zone.” Sen. Duckworth is a former Army helicopter pilot and combat veteran who lost both legs in the Iraqi War.

I’m a combat veteran. We cannot allow our country to be turned into a war zone

This article outlines various gun control laws beginning in  1791 when the bill of rights, including the 2nd amendment, was ratified. It ends with the 2008 Supreme Court “Heller” decision extending gun right to individual.

Here’s a Timeline of the Major Gun Control Laws in America

More tragic facts about children and gun deaths:

Guns kill twice as many kids as cancer does, new study shows

Guns send 8,300 kids to hospitals each year, study finds 

Progress in 2018 and a New Theme for 2019: The Year of Advocacy

Last year’s theme of the Year of the Volunteer was a tremendous success. We added more than 50 volunteers to our Lock It For Love (LIFL) program, attracted many new helpers for the annual Community Forum and every quarter recognized an outstanding GAGV volunteer.

Throughout 2019 we’ll direct our efforts to advocate for our two primary priorities: gun safety and sensible gun regulation. We’ll seek out new LIFL audiences to learn about gun safety while continue connecting with legislators at all government levels about gun regulation.

The obvious question is “How?” Our plan is to implement a call, write, make yourself heard Advocacy Action at each GAGV meeting. These monthly action steps will be developed by a group of GAGV volunteers coordinating The Advocacy Project. Steps may include emailing businesses with “thanks or spanks,” writing postcards to legislators, attending a demonstration or vigil like the Sandy Hook observance, signing and circulating petitions and more (while always being mindful of certain limits based on our nonprofit status as a 501(c)(3) organization). If you’d like to join The Advocacy Project and add your ideas, write us and we’ll respond immediately.

The Advocacy Committee will meet January 10 at 4:00 p.m. at Leawood Library at Town Center  join us!

The following quote is a perfect one to usher in The Year of Advocacy: