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Guns & Domestic Violence: A Lethal Connection

GGS Monthly Meeting & Program
Monday, September 18
4:00 – 5:30 pm
Colonial Church in Prairie Village
7039 Mission Road
Meet in the lower-level Social Hall
Note date change due to Yom Kippur observance

If today is a typical day, domestic violence hotlines nationwide will answer more than 20,000 desperate phone calls asking for help.

That harrowing statistic comes from the National Coalition Against Gun Violence and its research into the role firearms play in intimate partner incidents. Studies show the presence of a gun in domestic violence situations increases the risk of homicide by 500%.

With October designated as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, learn more at our September 18 program from local experts involved in helping victims of domestic abuse. Speakers will include Jane Brown, retired Clay County judge; Annie Struby, Executive Director of Rose Brooks Center and member of the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence; and Ellen Greenberg-Jacobs, Domestic Violence Prosecutor, City of Independence, MO.

Currently, Missouri and Kansas legislators have taken distinctly different stances on firearms and domestic violence. Kansas prohibits possession of firearms by persons convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence within the preceding five years. Missouri allows similarly convicted persons to buy or possess firearms or ammunition, including even persons subject to domestic violence orders of protection.

Join us Monday, September 18, to better understand the complex interaction of firearms and domestic violence and area efforts to mitigate its life-altering effects.

After the meeting, keep the conversation going and stop for dinner with GGS friends at Panera at 83rd and Mission Road. Panera will donate 20% of the proceeds to GGS all day, so if you can’t make the meeting, please be sure to stop by for breakfast or lunch! We’ll send further details in the September meeting reminder. It’s a delicious and easy way to raise money for GGS.

Lock It For Love Closes in on 6,000 Free Gun Locks

Having marked its sixth anniversary this summer and with six events already booked for the fall, Lock It For Love is sure to surpass its current tally of 5,840 high-quality, free gun locks already distributed.

GGS’ signature gun safety program has grown substantially. From attending just a few events in its early years, LIFL volunteers have staffed information tables at 217 community events so far. Educational materials about safe storage and responsible ownership are distributed along with the free gun locks.

LIFL notched its largest single event to date last month. Volunteers distributed 263 free gun locks at Operation Backpack, organized by Ryana Parks-Shaw, 5th District KCMO City Councilwoman and a GGS supporter. This annual back-to-school event helps students get ready for class with new backpacks and school supplies.

Kathryn Strange, Barbara Livers, Gail Roberson, Donna Euston, volunteer at KCMO’s Operation Backpack…

… along with Dale House, Carol Gee, Patti and Jim Regan.

Thank you to the 103 LIFL volunteers who have contributed 1,613 hours to this project. Their ranks continue to grow as GGS expands the program into new areas of the metro.

GGS’ 10th Annual Community Forum: Now Only Weeks Away!

As debate about gun reform continues, statistics from show an increasing number of Americans across age groups support more restrictive gun laws, including 55% of Gen Zers and Millennials and 54% of older Americans. That’s why GGS’ annual Community Forum, Gun Safety: Generations Standing Together, comes at a perfect time.
On October 9, hear featured speaker and gun reform advocate Brandon Wolf, the 34-year-old survivor of the 2016 Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, FL, share his vision. He’ll be joined by a multi-generational panel including:

  • Emma Kuhlman, Shawnee Mission East High School student
  • Sam Kim, UMKC student and president of its Students Demand Action chapter
  • Jamella Watson-Thompson, Associate Professor in the Department of Applied Science at the University of Kansas
  • Mark McCormick, Deputy Director of Strategic Initiatives for ACLU of Kansas
  • Lisa Rodriguez, News Director at KCUR-FM, moderator of the conversation.

This arresting “Faces” Campaign blending old and young faces together was developed for GGS by a local award-winning team of JLB Creative and Mark Eimer Creative. It will be used for all promotional activities, including flier distribution, posters in high-traffic areas and social media.

There’s still time to become a Forum sponsor and support GGS’ work. Learn how! Individual tickets for the Forum are also now available.

Want to know more about generational voting? Read here: Gen Zers and Millennials are reshaping the party divide on guns.

Here’s an easy reference of who’s who by age group.

Did You Know?

4 out of 5 young people believe gun violence is a problem in America.

Source: A study conducted by Southern Poverty Law Center, American University’s Polarization and Extremism Research and Innovation Lab and Everytown for Gun Safety

August: a Good News Month for Gun Reform

While the news surrounding firearms is often bad, last month saw several examples of some very good news.

On August 10, the KCMO City Council passed two gun-related ordinances. The first mirrors federal restrictions on automatic weapons and the possession, manufacture, transport, repair or sale of “machine guns, firearm silencers and short-barreled rifles and shotguns.” The second new city ordinance makes it illegal to sell, loan or give a gun or ammunition to a minor without parental consent. Read more here: KCMO passes ban on automatic weapons, providing firearms to juveniles

On August 13, Illinois became the 8th state passing legislation that reduces the legal protections enjoyed by firearms manufacturers and distributors. In a statement, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, who signed the Firearm Industry Responsibility Act, said, “Gun manufacturers shouldn’t get to hide from the law – and now, they won’t be able to.” Read more here: Firearms industry could face lawsuits for deceptive marketing under new law

A biometric “smart gun” that can be fired only if it recognizes an authorized user’s fingerprint or an image from a facial recognition camera has been developed by BioFire, a new start-up in Colorado. Proponents say the technology represents an important step in gun safety while critics say it infringes upon 2nd Amendment rights. A grandson of GGS member Donna Gould Cohen works with BioFire. Watch here.

Even closer to home: Dr. Denise Dowd, one of GGS’ earliest supporters and the first recipient of its Advocate of the Year Award in 2017, will be honored by Charlie’s House with its 2023 Home Safety Award on September 21. Dr. Dowd is Director of Research at Children’s Mercy Hospital’s Division of Emergency Medicine and is a professor of pediatrics at UMKC’s School of Medicine. Last year GGS Founder and President Judy Sherry received the same award.

Say Their Names

Last year, Kansas City, Missouri, suffered the second-highest number of homicides in the city’s history, recording 171. When including other nearby cities, the metro area recorded 264 homicides. As of August 23 of this year, 164 homicides have been recorded in the metro area. 

We say the names of the 19 most recent victims since our last newsletter, 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

Sunday, September 10  National Grandparents Day

Thursday, September 14  National Voter Registration Day
[email protected]

Monday, September 18  GGS Monthly Meeting & Program
Guns & Domestic Violence: A Lethal Connection 
4:00 to 5:30 pm
Colonial Church in Prairie Village, 7039 Mission Road
Note: date changed due to the observance of Yom Kippur
Support the GGS fundraiser and have dinner at Panera at 83rd and Mission Road after the meeting. Can’t make the meeting? Enjoy breakfast or lunch any time that day and be sure to mention GGS.

Thursday, September 21  Charlie’s House Safety Awards

October – National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

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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