April 2018 Newsletter

 

GRANDPARENTS AGAINST GUN VIOLENCE

NEWSLETTER
 APRIL 2018

 

APRIL MEETING

March for Our Lives KC – Through the Eyes of Local Student Organizers

Monday, April 23, 2018, 4:00 – 5:45 p.m. 
Colonial Church in Prairie Village (lower level, east side at back)
7039 Mission Road

They’ve impressed us with their poise and passion. At our April meeting, we’ll meet some of the students who organized last month’s successful rally and march in Kansas City. A panel of students
committed to changing our gun laws will share their perspectives, what they hope to accomplish and how they plan to make it happen. Let’s show these smart, courageous young people our support and learn how we can help!

Also, for April’s National Volunteer Month we will remember the late Pat Russell, one of our founding members whose work on behalf of GAGV’s goals set the standard for volunteer service. Her husband,
Dr. Tom Russell, will be with us to present our quarterly volunteer award, now named the Pat Russell Volunteer Appreciation Award in her honor.

If you couldn’t attend the March meeting on bullying, you missed an excellent one. Check out the photos on our Facebook
page
.

MARCH
MEETING MINUTES

 

 

DON’T MISS THESE IMPORTANT ARTICLES

Is there really a gun culture?

America’s Made Up Culture of Guns
 

 

Even in Tennessee’s gun country, keeping armed people out of schools is not too much to ask.

There Is a Middle Ground on Guns
.

Astonishing information about gun manufacturers and their immunity from legal action against them:

The worst law in America exists to protect gun manufacturers from being sued
 

 

LOCK IT FOR LOVE  A
TRUE SUCCESS STORY

When we introduced Lock It for Love last July, we had no idea how quickly the program would take off! With the support of Kansas City Mayor Sly James, the Kansas City Police Department and Children’s
Mercy, we began attending community events such as health fairs and back to school nights, primarily in the Kansas City metro area, to share our safety message and distribute free gun locks. We have since expanded to neighborhood association meetings, suicide
prevention programs and presentations at Boys and Girls Clubs. At every event and presentation, our trained volunteers work with a police department partner; he or she demonstrates how to use the gun lock properly while we stress responsible gun ownership
with our educational materials. 

As we expand our reach to the entire metro both sides of the state line, we now have relationships with six police departments including KCMO, KCKS, Independence, Overland Park, Gardner and Leawood.

Our statistics tell the story. Eight months into the program we have distributed 634 gun locks at 26 events and have used the talents of 33 volunteers. We have already participated in 7 events this
year and already received requests to attend 17 more events in the weeks ahead! Each appearance increases the visibility of GAGV and gives our volunteers an important way to make a difference in protecting children’s lives.

Contact us if you would like to volunteer or have a suggestion for a Lock It for Love event.

 

LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

Despite the tragic school shootings in Parkland FL, and the call for sensible gun regulation, Missouri and Kansas continue their attempts to loosen gun laws rather than make them stronger.

In Kansas the Senate approved two bills.

HB
2145
 keeps guns out of the hands of domestic abusers but also partially lifts a ban on silencers. 

HB
2042
– as passed by the House, HB 2042 would lower the concealed carry age to 18, but also require training and permitting to legally carry a gun on college campuses. The Senate version removed the age change and training provisions.

When House bills are altered by the Senate, the committees must reconcile the differences and then send to the full House for a final vote. On April 6, the House approved the Senate change in HB
2145.

HB 2042 remains in Senate/House conference committee. Also, on March 20

HB 2789
was introduced
which would  increase the likelihood that districts may allow teachers to carry concealed guns by
forcing reluctant insurance companies to insure schools having guns. There was a packed hearing on March 27 for the bill, which is not currently expected to be voted out of committee. Read
more from the KC Star: Bill that
promotes arming Kansas teachers draws opposition, concerns about secrecy
.

Missouri legislators opted not to pass ANY positive gun regulation bills out of committee,
just the bad ones.
HB 1936
is a “guns everywhere” bill that allows concealed carry in bars, daycare centers, private K-12 schools, polling sites on Election Day, amusement parks, casinos and other locations. It also prohibits public colleges and universities from making any
policies banning concealed carry. 

 

The bill passed out of the Rules-Legislative Oversight Committee on an 8-3 vote in March, but there is still time to

contact your Missouri state representatives
to share your thoughts. Everytown for Gun Safety also encourages Missouri residents to sign this petition:

Missourians Opposed to HB 1936 & 1937
.

 

 

Kansas
City’s March for our Lives on March 24 was a tremendous success. More than 6,000 people – students who organized the march and adults who support their efforts – braved cold, dreary weather to make our voices heard. The event here was one of many all over
the country, all saying loud and clear: we have had ENOUGH! Enough of avoiding the conversation about gun violence. Enough being bullied by the NRA. And enough fearing for the safety of our children and grandchildren.

The event program featured more than 25 presentations – including brief remarks from our President, Judy Sherry – and a sobering roll-call of gun violence victims in our community in 2017. Kansas
City Mayor Sly James gave an impassioned speech acknowledging the students who have stepped up to lead us with their passion and skills. He encouraged them to keep up the fight and urged the adults to follow their lead and support them in every way.

As a part of the organizing group, GAGV had a display table at the event, staffed by volunteers. Many march-goers were tremendously interested in us and what we do. We added 179 people to our database
that day, bringing the total number of individuals who receive our information to more than 1,300!

And not everyone was from Kansas City! Here is an excerpt from a message that day:

We live in Northwest Arkansas but still want to hear from you. We believe in the cause you support! We are grandparents of six wonderful grandchildren with another on the way and we want an end
to the easy access to weapons like AR-15s and stronger background checks… I am definitely a supporter of the 2nd amendment, but we need gun reform and stronger laws. We do not need more guns! Enough is enough! Thank you again for your work.

Check out our
Facebook page
for event photos and a link to news coverage.

The students are moving us closer to the goal of sensible gun regulation because they refuse to accept the status quo. They have pledged to work to elect those who support the cause and oust those
who do not.

And their activism continues. Students from Blue Valley schools will stage a march on April 20 to recognize the 19th anniversary of the shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado. The
event will start at 4 pm at Church of the Resurrection in Leawood and will feature student speakers and activists. GAGV members are encouraged to attend. Watch for more news on our Facebook page.

These awesome young people are leading the country into a broader conversation about gun violence. We will continue that work as well with our 2018 Community Forum – Gun Violence: Changing the Conversation on
Monday, October 8.
Save the date
now, and watch for more information soon.