JUNE 2018




Arming Teachers: Reading, Writing & now Remingtons?


Monday, June 25, 2018, 4:00 – 5:45 p.m. 

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

It’s a question up for seemingly endless debate: how to keep kids safe from school shooters.

Rather than discuss limiting manufacture of assault weapons, tightening access to guns and requiring safe storage of weapons, some parents and legislators suggest arming teachers in their classrooms
will protect students from school shooters. Will adding more guns at school and putting them in the hands of people trained as educators, not sharpshooters, make schools safer for our children and grandchildren?

Join us Monday June 25 to hear a wide range of perspectives. Our panel will consist of Brian
Watson, principal of Tomahawk Elementary School in the Shawnee Mission School District; Nancy Sims-West, Ed.D., French and journalism teacher at Indian Woods Middle School, also in Shawnee Mission; Scott Macek, who teaches math, social
studies and science at Coronado Middle School in Kansas City, Kansas, as well as Brett Parker, an English teacher in the Olathe School District who’s also a Kansas State Representative from Overland Park.

Since January, some 23 shootings have occurred in American public schools including the tragedies at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida in February (17 dead) and at Santa Fe
High School in suburban Houston, Texas in May (10 dead). Even though it’s now summer vacation, a new school year begins in August.
And then what?


HELP WANTED! 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.

RESEARCH: First assignment is to gather data on gun ownership and gun violence in other countries for July 23
GAGV program ‘A Tale of Two Countries’.

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

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



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

Monday July 23
– A Tale of Two Countries
We’ll examine the gun culture in other countries with an emphasis on comparing the United States with Japan, which has one of the lowest gun violence rates in the world.

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 playwriting.

Monday October 8 Heartland Coalition’s 5th Annual Community Forum:

Gun Violence – Changing the Conversation
Become a Forum sponsor and meet keynote speaker and Mothers Against Drunk Driving founder Candace Lightner at the Patron Reception, Sunday October 7 at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art on the Plaza.

Register as a sponsor now
. Online registration for $30 single admission to the Forum will be available beginning Wednesday August 15.




Another heartbreaking story about unlocked guns:

Two-year-old dies after shooting himself in West Valley City, father charged with manslaughter.

Still another reason not to arm teachers:

One roadblock to arming teachers: Insurance companies

These students are our hope:

Publix suspends political donations amid anti-gun protest

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

How one activist from Lawrence fights the gun lobby

Important to read, particularly the bottom of the column on page two, with firearms being the most common method:

Kansas suicide rate up 45% since 1999, among the largest increases nationwide

Another article from the KC Star reinforcing means matter:

Short take: an obvious way to curb suicides

KC Star:
Letters to the Editor



With legislative sessions in both Kansas and Missouri now complete, we can call each a modest success. Primarily that’s because no ‘bad’ bills passed despite several that were introduced in both
states. Kansas even passed a moderately ‘good’ one! We’ll stay vigilant since bills that fail are often re-introduced in future sessions.

Our main goal remains defeating bad bills and getting good bills passed. For example, in both states Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) bills were introduced, though not passed, allowing judges
to temporarily keep firearms away from people who show warning signs of gun violence. Those were good bills worth fighting for!

Bad bills defeated in Kansas

– lowered the concealed carry age to 18, but also required training and a permit to legally carry a gun on college campuses. Likely to be re-introduced and could be adopted.

 – increased the likelihood that school districts may allow teachers to carry concealed guns by forcing reluctant insurance companies to insure schools having guns.

Good bill passed in Kansas

 – keeps guns out of the hands of domestic abusers but also partially lifts a ban on silencers. 


Bad bills defeated in Missouri

 was a ‘guns everywhere’ bill that allowed concealed carry in bars, daycare centers, private K-12 schools, polling sites on Election Day, amusement parks, casinos and other public locations. It also prohibited public colleges and universities from
enacting any policies banning concealed carry. 

 would have further weakened public safety by eliminating local governments’ ability to restrict the open carrying of firearms.

Good bill introduced in Missouri, but no action taken

 – would have established “Blair’s Law” which specifies a person would be guilty of a Class D felony of unlawful use of a weapon if, with criminal negligence, he or she fires a gun into or within the limits of any municipality. 

Especially with the Kansas primary election in August and midterm elections in November, we encourage you to keep current on legislative issues, communicate with your elected officials and research
new candidates running. We recommend this article from CNN: 25
WAYS TO BE POLITICALLY ACTIVE (whether you lean left or right)



National Gun Violence Awareness Day (Wear Orange) a Tremendous Success!

Here and around the country, the annual Gun Violence Awareness Day on June 2 drew wide support from a variety of people and organizations.

In Kansas City, GAGV and MOMS Demand Action spearheaded the efforts of the Heartland Coalition Against Gun Violence at the second annual Juneteenth Celebration at the Gregg/Klice Community
Center in Kansas City, MO. Activities for the hundreds who attended included arts and crafts, games for children and a 
Cultural Parade of marching bands, drill teams, civic clubs and various
organizations that wound its way through the 18th & Vine Historic District.

GAGV displayed its Lock It for Love program, MOMS showed its Be Safe display and the NAACP offered help with voter registration. And of course, we all wore ORANGE! See photos of the event below.

Around the country Wear Orange Day was recognized in myriad ways, according to statistics from Everytown for Gun Safety.

  • More than 160 national nonprofit partners and 400 community partners participated
  • Over 282,000 orange-wear-and-shares were posted on social media
  • Over 200 buildings in the U.S. lit up orange in 47 states plus the District of Columbia
  • 24,000 people attended wear orange events around the country (more than double the 11,000 participants last year)
  • More than 100 members of Congress from both parties shared #WearOrange



Lock It for Love Display: Rebecca Mathews and husband Tom, Ann Weaver and Judy Sherry



Carly Oppenheimer and daughter Linzi at the Fishing Pole Game



Carla helping one of our youngest participants!