JULY 2018




A Tale of Two Countries


Monday, July 23, 2018, 4:00 – 5:45 p.m. 

Colonial Church in Prairie Village (lower level, east side at back)
7039 Mission Road

all seen statistics comparing gun deaths, gun ownership and gun laws in various countries and sadly, the United States always tops the list. Why?

Join us as we review the data and then examine the stark differences between the United States and Japan, their histories and cultures. We’ll be helped by two speakers: John Matthews, a former diplomat
and political adviser, who has been immersed in Japanese language and culture since his high school days. He lived in Japan and served for 20 years as Executive Assistant to the Japanese Consul in Kansas City. University of Kansas professor David N. Smith,
PhD, with a background in social theory, will discuss how Americans’ fascination with guns intersects political sociology, psychology and economics.

Record attendance for our June meeting!

More than 90 people came out June 25 to hear an excellent panel discuss safety measures being taken in K-12 buildings and panelists’ opinions about arming teachers.

Read the minutes.

Record number of attendees heard a powerful panel at the June 25 meeting.


Mark your calendars for some exceptionally interesting programs in the months ahead. Plan to join us and bring a friend!

Monday August 27
– Guns on Campus 

KU professor and award-winning screenwriter Kevin Willmott will explain why he wears a bulletproof vest in his classroom.

Read about Prof. Willmott and his award at this year’s Cannes Film Festival

Monday September 24
– Gun Violence and the Arts

Local artists will share how gun violence is expressed in their respective mediums, from cartooning to sculpting to play writing.



Democrats running for Kansas Governor take middle of the road approach in debate over guns:

For gun rights or for gun restrictions? Democrats running for governor tread thin line.

Important Stand by the American Medical Association:

Frustrated AMA adopts sweeping policies to cut gun violence.

Nice to see some courage – with the expected backlash:

Gun industry sees banks as new threat to 2nd Amendment.

Megan Jones, lobbying alone in Topeka for sane gun laws:

How one activist from Lawrence fights the gun lobby

Another very important and often overlooked aspect to the need for gun safety
 guns and dementia:

Unlocked and loaded: families confront dementia and guns.

Chilling story about Capital Gazette writer and her final interview:

Teen met with Annapolis victim Wendi Winter about gun violence moments before shooting.

KC Star:
Letters to the Editor
 Carol Rothwell


OCTOBER 8, 2018
Violence: Changing the Conversation

Our planning committee has been busy working on details involved in making this our best Community Forum ever! With Candace Lightner, founder of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, as our keynote speaker
and the exciting new Westport PlexPod venue, we anticipate the largest attendance to date. 

We are now seeking support for the event, and letters have been sent to our members, supporters from previous years and previous Forum attendees inviting them to become sponsors. Registration for
individual attendees is set to open in late August or early September.

We also can report that we’ve chosen Shayla Sullivant, MD, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist at Children’s Mercy, as the Individual Advocate of the Year. And we’ve added a new award category: Organization
Advocate of the Year, which this year will be presented to the Community Interaction Officers of the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department.

Both Dr. Sullivant and the KCPD CIO’s have helped immeasurably with our Lock It For Love project and we are very grateful.



No pay, but lots of psychic wages!

With a growing public profile and a database of more than 1,400 supporters, GAGV sees more opportunities to galvanize the community in curbing gun violence. There’s much to do and we need much more
help – from you. 

We’ll outline our needs in each newsletter hoping those of you with skills matching our needs will volunteer and help keep GAGV’s momentum going. We promise few meetings, mostly hands-on work.

WEBSITE: Help keep the GAGV website current; work with professionals who manage the site.

ADVOCACY: Plan and execute advocacy activities at GAGV’s monthly meetings, e.g. those in attendance writing postcards
to elected officials concerning proposed legislation.

COMMUNITY FORUM: Assist with preparing packets for attendees.

Ready to start earning those psychic wages? Email
Judy Sherry, GAGV president.


Lock It for Love Celebrates its One-Year Anniversary!

we talk about keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people, we don’t think about toddlers. But curious children who find a loaded gun on the nightstand can tragically become one of those dangerous people, as can a temporarily despondent teenager or a
confused older adult.

That’s why we launched Lock It for Love, (LIFL) an initiative to distribute free, high-quality gun locks to families. We know gun locks are available in multiple locations, including police departments,
Children’s Mercy Hospital, mental health centers and libraries. But we proactively provide gun locks at safety fairs, festivals, Boys & Girls Club parent meetings and other community events, and
that makes our program unique in the Kansas City area. We distribute educational material about the importance of safe gun storage and are joined by a local police officer who demonstrates how to properly use the locks This helps dispel the objection that
unlocking a gun is too complicated in the event of a home invasion. To date we have received support from KCMO, KCKS, Independence, Overland Park and Gardner police departments.

As difficult as the discussion about guns can be, we have been received with nothing but appreciation. We often receive additional requests to bring Lock It for Love to other events. These appearances
have raised the profile of GAGV in the community and have now led to our being asked to make presentations to churches, mental health groups and others about our organization and the LIFL program. Because we give people at these events the opportunity to sign
up to receive GAGV information, we have added more than 350 names to our database and now reach more than 1,450 people with our message.

Since our first event on July 29th, 2017, 39 GAGV volunteers have participated in 41 events and distributed 837 free gun locks to recipients from 167 zip codes in the Kansas City metro area! As our
second year of LIFL begins, we hope you will volunteer
 it is a great way to give back to the community and hopefully save a life! If you have any questions,
there will be a LIFL display at the July 23rd meeting, staffed by experienced volunteers. We will also celebrate LIFL’s anniversary and recognize our volunteers. For more information or to sign up to volunteer, please
email us

At the July 23rd meeting, we will celebrate LIFL’s anniversary by recognizing our volunteers and enjoying some sweets.



GAGV was there to support  the Parkland and local kids at the Town Hall June 18 – and a few of us were really head over heels with the message!