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OCTOBER 2023 NEWS

Countdown to Annual Forum: Now Just Days Away!

Get ready to join us next Monday, October 9 for the 10th annual Community Forum on gun safety to hear how communities can become safer when multiple generations pool their respective strengths – and their votes – to achieve meaningful gun reform.

This year’s Forum, Gun Safety: Generations Standing Together, hopes to reach a broader audience, including younger adults. That’s why it’s being held in the evening, beginning at 6 p.m. in the Truman Auditorium of the Plaza Library at 4801 Main Street. A special reception begins at 5 p.m. for sponsors and patrons to meet the Forum’s keynote speaker, Brandon Wolf.

Brandon is the 34-year-old survivor of the 2016 mass shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, FL, a horrific experience that led to his becoming an advocate for gun reform and LGBTQ rights. He currently serves as the national press secretary/senior director political communications with the Human Rights Campaign, the largest civil rights organization in the country. He recently published his memoir, A Place for Us.

Brandon and 26-year-old U.S. Representative Maxwell Frost, the only Gen Z member of Congress, attended the recent White House ceremony announcing creation of the first ever Office of Gun Violence Prevention. The two young men represent the generation who grew up with active shooter drills in their schools and now use their voices to call for gun reform. Rep. Frost will be welcoming Forum attendees on video.

Other Forum Speakers
Along with Brandon, advocates from other generations will comprise the Forum panel sharing ideas for working together. The panel includes college student Sam Kim, founder of Students Demand Action at UMKC; high school student Emma Kuhlman, co-president of Shawnee Mission East High School’s East Against Gun Violence; University of Kansas professor Jomella Watson-Thompson, PhD; and legal rights advocate Mark McCormick, deputy director of strategic initiatives for ACLU of Kansas. Lisa Rodriguez, KCUR news director, will moderate the panel’s conversation.
 
The Forum is Grandparents for Gun Safety’s primary fundraiser supporting its work, including the gun safety education program, Lock It For Love. Its volunteers have distributed more than 5,800 free gun locks at community events in the past six years. There’s still time to become a Forum sponsor and/or buy tickets as low as $10 for students. Click here. 

Parking for Attendees
Free, covered parking is available at the Plaza Library with elevators and handicapped spaces included. Signage and volunteers will help guide attendees. Please allow extra time because all vehicles will be entering the parking area from 49th Street.


 

 

At long last: A National Office of Gun Violence Prevention

In encouraging and welcome news for advocates working to reduce gun violence, President Joe Biden has created the first ever Office of Gun Violence Prevention to coordinate efforts of various governmental agencies “to collaborate instead of tackling facets (of gun violence) in isolation.”

The September 22 announcement came in a televised Rose Garden ceremony. According to the White House, the new office will “focus on implementing executive and legislative action. . . to end the scourge of gun violence in America.”

“We’ve reached that point today, in my view, where the safety of our kids from gun violence is on the ballot,” President Biden said in his remarks announcing the new office. “If members of Congress refuse to act, then we’ll need to elect new members of Congress that will act, Democrat or Republican.”
 
Young leaders of the gun reform movement also attended the ceremony, including GGS’ Forum keynote speaker Brandon Wolf and U.S. Representative Maxwell Frost, the only Gen Z member of Congress.
 
The Office of Gun Violence Prevention will give stronger teeth to the 2022 Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the first federal gun legislation passed in nearly 30 years. Among its key points were:

  • $750 million for funding state efforts to create and administer Extreme Risk Protection Orders (Red Flag Laws) that keep firearms out of the hands of individuals determined by a court to be a danger to themselves or others
  • Additional protection for domestic violence victims
  • A clearer definition of a “federally licensed gun dealer” and a dealer’s responsibilities for requiring background checks and keeping detailed records
  • $250 million to fund community-based gun violence prevention initiatives; Kansas City, MO has already received a portion of those funds.

Did You Know?

Millennials, Gen Z and their younger siblings will be a majority of the electorate in just six years.

        Source: Pew Research as reported by the nonprofit Brookings Institution, 2-27-23

Thanks from GGS Board Member, Maribeth Brennaman

“Thank you to all the wonderful GGS members who have recently contributed water, blankets, clothing and books for our homeless community. I’ll continue collecting items throughout the year.” Questions? Call 913-908-2544.

Maribeth Brennaman with recent donations from GGS members.

More appreciation . . . And thanks to everyone who enjoyed a Panera meal, snack or to-go order in last month’s fundraiser. Your support is much appreciated!

Say Their Names

Last year, Kansas City, Missouri, suffered the second-highest number of homicides in the city’s history, recording 171. Sadly, as of this date, 182 lives have been recorded since the start of the year to make 2023 equal to the most homicides in the city’s history, so far.

We say the names of the most recent victims since our last meeting, as a way 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

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Monday, October 9: the 10th Annual Community Forum
Gun Safety: Generations Standing Together
6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Plaza Library, 4801 Main Street, in the Truman Auditorium

Tuesday, October 17: Table of Faiths
Sing a New Song

7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Center for Spiritual Living, 1014 W. 39th Street, Kansas City, MO

November is National Child Safety and Protection Month
 
Tuesday, November 7: Election Day
VOTE!

 
Saturday, November 11: Veterans Day
Remember and honor all who served
 
Monday, November 13: Final GGS Meeting of the Year
Wrapping It Up: 2023 and the Year Ahead

4:00-5:30 p.m.
Colonial Church in Prairie Village, 7039 Mission Road

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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