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.