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Behind the Scenes of GGS:
Take a Peek and Take Part!

GGS Monthly Meeting & Program
Monday, March 27
4:00 – 5:30 pm
Colonial Church in Prairie Village, 7039 Mission Road

Often people feel the staggering problem of gun violence can never be solved. At GGS, we firmly believe our programs can be a part of the solution in our community. The success of those programs depends on active, committed volunteers.
That’s why we hope you’ll join us March 27 to discover meaningful and enjoyable ways to be part of preventing gun violence. Learn more about participating in ongoing GGS projects like these:

  • Producing the annual Community Forum to educate the public about gun violence prevention
  • Making GGS social media posts topical and compelling
  • Understanding how to invest in a socially responsible way
  • Advocating more effectively for gun reform legislation
  • Using artistic talents through Vision Quilt

The March program will follow a fun format and include extra special treats plus drawings for GGS swag. Bring a friend! We look forward to seeing you there.
Note: Since parking options shift while the church is being renovated, we’ll send the latest information with the March 19 meeting reminder.

Separating Fact from Fiction in Covering News

Managers from local TV, radio and print newsrooms told the 60+ people attending our February program how they stay vigilant in trying to ferret out from the daily news barrage information whose intent is to mislead or distort. That’s a common tactic in the debate over gun violence.

“We don’t have the luxury of assuming what crosses our desks every day is accurate or fair,” said Matthew Waggoner, news director at KSHB-41. “It’s a daily challenge and because we can’t be experts on everything, we’ve got to rely on sources we trust.”

Lisa Rodriguez, news director at KCUR, regularly cautions her reporters to “remain skeptical,” to give listeners “more context” surrounding news and for reporters and listeners alike to realize “everyone has an agenda” in the way information is shared.

At The Kansas City Star, reporting gun violence in more depth has continued evolving, according to Ian Cummings, assistant managing editor for breaking news. “Traditionally, we covered gun violence as a crime,” he said. “What we’ve come to learn is gun violence is really a public health problem.”

Advocating Means Meeting, Emailing State Legislators

Visiting in Topeka with state senators and representatives plus mailing postcards and sending emails – all are ways members of the GGS advocacy committee are using to educate lawmakers about the need for gun reform this legislative session.
Advocacy chair Carla Oppenheimer has organized regular trips to Topeka and welcomes anyone interested in sharing information about gun violence with legislators to join her and others who have made the trip. Contact her for more information.
In addition to one-on-one visits with legislators, GGS continues its “Did You Know?” series of sending postcards to Kansas and Missouri lawmakers. Each postcard highlights a well-sourced fact about the human toll of gun violence. The postcards, with stamps and addresses provided, are available at each monthly GGS meeting, ready for attendees to sign and mail. A few extra are also usually available to take for family and friends to sign and send as well.
For Missouri supporters of gun reform, here’s a timely call for advocacy on proposed legislation. Senate bill 10 (SB10) would establish the “Anti-Red Flag Gun Seizure Act” that says any judicial law permitting the confiscation of any firearm, firearm accessory or ammunition from law-abiding citizens would be considered an infringement on the peoples’ right to keep and bear arms. Read a brief summary of the bill here.

Please email all members of the General Laws Committee considering the bill and tell them that temporarily removing firearms from people in crisis can prevent those gunowners from harming themselves or others. Find committee members here, then click on their photos, which will take you to their web pages to send an email.
Special note: Sen. Greg Razer, who represents a portion of Jackson County and supports gun reform legislation, is a member of that committee. When you write to Sen. Razer, please thank him for his continued support.

Remembering GGS Member Gloria Hiller 

Longtime GGS member Gloria Hiller of Overland Park was remembered fondly after her untimely death from cancer on February 16.
“She was an amazing person and a great ambassador for Grandparents for Gun Safety,” said Barb McNeile, GGS Board member and chair of Lock It For Love (LIFL). The gun safety program counted Gloria and her husband Gerald among its key volunteers. The Hillers volunteered for the very first LIFL event in July 2017. “Gloria did so much to make the world a better place.”
Before becoming a full-time community volunteer, Gloria enjoyed a long cardiac nursing career beginning at Shawnee Mission Medical Center, then with Cardiology Services at Olathe Medical Center. She was recognized as an outstanding professional, a mentor to other nurses and as an educator, teaching patients undergoing various heart-related treatments about their care.
Gloria also made an impact through her volunteer work with St. Andrew Christian Church in Olathe and the Johnson County League of Women Voters. She will be greatly missed. Read her obituary here.

Looking Back: Our First Ten Years

During this anniversary year, we’ll share stories about longtime members and volunteers who’ve made an impact throughout GGS’ first decade.
Morrie Pitluck Couldn’t Say No
When Ginny Vineyard came home after attending the first meeting of what would eventually become Grandparents for Gun Safety, she told her husband Morrie Pitluck, “This sounds like something we need to do.”

That was almost 10 years ago, and the couple became early members. “How could you not get involved?” Morrie said. “Progress on this issue moves at a glacier-like pace, but without organizations like Grandparents there wouldn’t be any progress at all.”
Morrie spent 32 years as director of market research at Bernstein-Rein, one of Kansas City’s premier advertising agencies. Those skills were key factors in his conducting the research that led to the 2021 rebranding of Grandparents Against Gun Violence to today’s Grandparents for Gun Safety and its tag line Stand With Us!
In his research, “talking one-on-one to members and hearing from the horses’ mouths what people thought about gun violence and the organization” was one of the most rewarding experiences of his long tenure with Grandparents. “Sometimes on issues like these you think you’re all alone out there, so being around like-minded people is important,” he said.
He considers Lock It For Love one of GGS’ best projects. The gun safety education program has distributed nearly 5,300 free gun locks the past five years. “It’s impossible to really measure (how many lives may have been saved), but in our heart of hearts, you know that program has done something good,” he said. “There’s a saying in the research business that statistics are no substitute for judgment, and Lock It For Love is an example of that.”
Morrie retired from Bernstein-Rein in 2015. Since then, he’s served as a docent at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and often walks to the museum from home. He and Ginny have four grandchildren, ages 6 years to 9 months.

Partners for Peace 

Barb McNeile (foreground) and Judy Sherry load dozens of stuffed animals, books, Legos and art supplies donated by attendees at GGS’s February meeting and intended for children who have experienced gun violence. The items were delivered to Kansas City’s Partners for Peace, one of the new third-party partners distributing free gun locks through Lock It For Love. Barb then shared more LIFL information with Peace participants.

Missouri ranks 9th and Kansas 21st among all other states in deaths from firearms per 100,00 people, according to an analysis by the nonprofit Violence Policy Center of data from 2021, the most current year available.

News You Can Use 

Letter to the Editor published in The Kansas City Star Sunday, February 26, from Joan Jacobson, GGS Board member. Her letter points out the NRA’s Eddie Eagle “gun safety” program puts the responsibility on children to keep themselves safe around firearms. She also stresses the critical importance of adults taking primary responsibility for their weapons by storing them securely and out of the reach of children. Read her Letter to the Editor


January 30 Opinion Piece in The Washington Post by Dr. Megan Ranney, keynote speaker at the GGS’ 2021 Community Forum. She writes:

We need more research on guns. Here are 5 questions we can answer.

  1. How often do firearm injuries happen and to whom?
  2. Can we know who is at risk before they pull the trigger?
  3. How do we act effectively once we know who is at risk?
  4. How can we change firearms themselves?
  5. How do we create and sustain leadership in communities most familiar with firearms and firearm injury?

Washington Post subscribers can read the full article here.


January 24 column in The New York Times by Pulitzer Prize winner Nicholas Kristof: A Smarter Way To Reduce Gun Deaths.

Kristof refers to laws that could curb gun violence but can’t get passed by Congress. Such laws include universal background checks and raising the minimum age to purchase firearms. He writes about “harm reduction” interventions such as requiring waiting periods after purchase; capping the number of guns owned; raising the cost of handgun purchases to reduce demand, and requiring gun owners to be covered by insurance. New York Times subscribers can read the full article here.

Say Their Names

Last year, Kansas City, Missouri suffered the second-highest number of homicides in the city’s history, recording 171 deaths. When including other nearby cities, the metro area recorded 264 homicides. 
We say the names of the 14 most recent victims to honor their lives while we keep true to our vision that one day everyone in our community will be safe from gun violence. 

Mark Your Calendar

Tuesday, March 7
Monthly field trip to Topeka & the Kansas Legislature

11:30 am – 5:00 pm
Interested in going? Contact Carla Oppenheimer for details at [email protected]
Monday, March 27
GGS monthly meeting & program – Behind the Scenes of GGS: Take a Peek and Take Part!

4:00 – 5:30 pm; Colonial Church in Prairie Village, 7039 Mission Road
Monday, April 24
Field trip to tour Charlie’s (Safety Demonstration) House

2425 Campbell Street, KCMO
2:00 – 4:00 pm; look for details in the April newsletter.

Monday, October 9
We’re planning to make our 10th Annual GGS Community Forum our biggest and best!
6:00 pm at the Plaza Library. Details to come.

Our Vision

All members of our community have the right to feel safe from gun violence.

Our Mission

We focus on working for solutions, educating the community and seeking common ground reform that respects the rights of gun owners and non-owners alike.


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Grandparents for Gun Safety

P.O. Box 8617

Prairie Village, KS 66208-0617

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