After the Vegas shooting, I decided to research the charity groups working to reform gun laws. Time passed. I got busy. My attention was drawn to other news.
Sadly, this week in a Texas church, we had the second deadliest shooting this year. Gun law reform is back in the news. So, I am getting this post up so I can send it out every time we have another "mass" shooting.
I am making this post after the good news for Democratic candidates across Virginia and other states in the November elections. A Democratic candidate won running on a platform to end gun violence (after he had lost his girlfriend to gun violence) and, in doing so, defeated a candidate heavily supported by the NRA. His story is here.
It also comes after segments on Morning Joe that discussed the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Heller that makes everyone feel so helpless. Experts on the show said that reform can happen at the state level, even if our national legislators are too afraid of the NRA to act. The segments ran the first week of November 2017: "Can Texas be a catalyst for change in [sic] reform?" and "Debating the Second Amendment and gun control."
I also recommend that you watch a very good segment with Chelsea Handler. She interviews representatives from two reform groups shortly after the Vegas shooting. They outlined paths to reform. One representative suggested texting your federal legislator "Love Vegas" 877-877. Handler was recently honored for her efforts to end gun violence.
Update: In Fall 2018, NPR republished this University of Washington study. It showed that per capita guns deaths in the U.S. exceeded deaths in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, all high conflict zones in the Middle East.
[T]he U.S. has the 28th-highest rate [of gun deaths] in the world: 4.43 deaths due to gun violence per 100,000 people in 2017. That was nine times as high as the rate in Canada, which had 0.47 deaths per 100,000 people — and 29 times as high as in Denmark, which had 0.15 deaths per 100,000.
The 2017 figures paint a fairly rosy picture for much of the world, with deaths due to gun violence rare even in many countries that are extremely poor — such as Bangladesh, which saw 0.07 deaths per 100,000 people.
Prosperous Asian countries such as Singapore and Japan boast the absolute lowest rates, though the United Kingdom and Germany are in almost as good shape.
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The institute also estimates what it would expect a country's rate of gun violence deaths to be based solely on its socioeconomic status. By that measure, the U.S. should be seeing only 0.46 deaths per 100,000 people. Instead, its actual rate of 4.43 deaths per 100,000 is almost 10 times as high.As far as the charity groups listed below, I have picked one of them and make automatic monthly contributions. I am committed to this reform. I worked at a small law school that experienced gun violence. Faculty and students were murdered or gravely injured. These were preventable tragedies.
Update: We will not get the responsible gun control legislation we need until politicians see us a force that exceeds the influence of the NRA. We are not there yet. Gun rights groups outspent gun control groups in the 2018 election. But, spending by gun control groups has increased.
There have been other attempts by outside spending groups to counter the NRA's gun rights campaign, including an $8.6 million effort during the 2014 election cycle. That total was nine times as much as gun control advocates spent during the 2010 and 2012 cycles combined.
The bulk of that gun control spending, some $8.2 million, came from Americans for Responsible Solutions, a group founded by shooting victim and former Rep. Gabby Giffords, D-Ariz., and her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly. Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Everytown for Gun Safety spent $390,000, the CRP reports.
So, please. Put your money where your values are.
Here is a list of the 308 mass shootings from January 1 to November 10, 2018 in the U.S.
Note to the haters: I curate all comments, so yours will never appear. My blog. My content.
Coalition to Stop Gun Violence
Everytown for Gun Safety
Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
New Yorkers Against Gun Violence
Newtown Action Alliance
Violence Policy Center
Americans for Responsible Solutions with Gabby Gifford
States United to Prevent Violence
Stop Handgun Violence