April 2019 Newsletter

GRANDPARENTS AGAINST GUN VIOLENCE

APRIL 2019 NEWSLETTER

Winchester. Glock. Smith & Wesson: Names to Know

Monday, April 22
4:00 – 5:45 pm
Colonial Church in Prairie Village
(lower level, east side at back)
7039 Mission Road

Because we advocate for gun safety, it makes sense to know more about the guns themselves. That’s why we’ve accepted the challenge from Chris Haxel, our December speaker and KCUR’s “Guns & America” reporter, to more fully understand firearms so we can advocate with confidence for sensible gun regulations.

This month we’ll hear from two speakers. John Ham, senior investigator and Public Information Officer for the U.S. Justice Department’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), will “show and tell” a variety of firearms available to the public. In addition, we will have a presentation about the Missouri Department of Conservation’s very rigorous training course for applicants seeking  a hunting permit. We might even meet one of his young trainees!

Join us Monday April 22 for this important and informative meeting.

ADVOCACY CORNER

The Advocacy Committee, represented by Carol Gee, Carla Oppenheimer and Julie Young, presented the program for our March 25 meeting: WARNING NEEDED: GUNS CAN BE DANGEROUS. They covered three issues: King County WA regulations requiring warning signs about the dangers of firearms to be posted at firing ranges and gun stores; the research they conducted – visiting eight of more than 33 local stores and firing ranges and finding none had posted a warning sign saying firearms can be dangerous; and next steps of this project which include developing a sample message for posting, then reviewing with some of the stores they visited and also contacting the KCMO Health Department for their support. As with warnings about the health hazards of smoking cigarettes and consuming alcohol, warnings about the dangers of using firearms may take years, too. Even so, it’s important to start the process.

March 25, 2019 meeting minutes.

Following the Advocacy Project’s presentation, attendees reviewed 25 Ways to be Politically Active. We soon discovered many of us are already advocating in one or more ways. And those who had yet to get started said it may be easier than they thought!

Barb McNeile and Chris Glenski demonstrating the Lock It For Love set up used at the 73 events LIFL has done since July 2018.

We can add a 26th way to be an advocate: show appreciation when something positive happens. Therefore, at the end of the meeting, the Advocacy Action was to send postcards to Dick’s Sporting Goods thanking them for their decision to remove guns from 125 of its stores. And here are even more ways to get involved with these upcoming activities.

Dick’s Sporting Goods to Remove Guns From 125 Stores

And of course, as #17 on the list of 25 Ways to be Politically Active indicates, there’s no better way to advocate than with your vote. In the Tuesday April 2 primary, voters in Kansas City, MO will narrow the field of candidates for Mayor and City Council to run in the June general election. This guide from the League of Women voters provides important information about the candidates.

Mark Your Calendars

Wednesday April 4
Community Peace Walk
commemorating the legacy for non-violence of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Begins at 5:30 pm at Greater Works Family Worship Center, 5902 E. Bannister Road and ends at South Patrol at 9701 Marion Park Drive. Flyer.

Sunday April 7
Community Remembrance Walk Honoring Lives Lost to Gun Violence in K.C.                                               

Sponsored by Mothers in Charge.
Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center
3700 Blue Parkway, KC, MO

8:45 am – Remembrance Walk
9 am – Celebration of Life

Information and Registration

Monday April 22
GAGV Monthly Meeting
Colonial Church
71st & Mission Road, Prairie Village
4:00-5:45 pm

John Ham, Public Information Officer, KC office of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)

No GAGV meeting in May due to June 2 Gun Violence Awareness Day activities – details to follow

Monday June 24
GAGV Monthly Meeting
Colonial Church
71st & Mission Road, Prairie Village
4:00-5:45 pm

Wrap-up of legislative sessions in Kansas & Missouri: The Good, the Bad and the Bills Not Passed, featuring elected officials from both states. Details to follow.

Monday October 14
Gun Violence: Insights from Both Ends of the Gun

Our Sixth Annual Community Forum
BEST Conference Center
KU Edwards Campus
126th & Quivira, Overland Park
9 am – 2 pm

Presented by the Heartland Coalition Against Gun Violence, a program of Grandparents Against Gun Violence. Check future monthly newsletters for additional details.

Happy Birthday from you to GAGV!

If you’d like to make your birthday a giving celebration rather than a getting occasion, consider using Facebook to do that by supporting GAGV. Three members recently steered almost $1,900 in birthday donations to GAGV!

Here’s how: close to your birthday, go to the Home page on Facebook. On the left side column under ‘Explore,’ click on ‘Fundraisers.’ Then click on ‘Raise Money’ and follow the prompts to choose Grandparents Against Gun Violence. Set the amount you hope to raise and write a short description of why support from Facebook friends for a favorite cause like GAGV is better than any card or gift. Click on ‘Create,’ post and then enjoy seeing all your birthday gifts roll in. Thank you and many happy returns!


News You Can Use 

Sandy Hook parents win right to sue gun manufacturers; this is a huge victory!

Sandy Hook Massacre: Remington and Other Gun Companies Lose Major Ruling Over Liability

Guns allowed everywhere in Missouri:

Missouri bill would allow guns in bars, churches, day cares. What could possibly go wrong?

Then Kansas proves they are just as nuts as Missouri – lowering the age for concealed carry. Checkout our Facebook page to see the many comments!

Kansas House passes bill dropping concealed carry age to 18

And then we see the coverage we get around the world! Reprinted in the London Daily Mail: 

Gun-owning Kansas City couple challenge rules which requires Missouri foster parents to lock away weapons and ammunition separately

The bogus link between mental health and gun violence:

Media Coverage of the Mentally Ill Exaggerates Their Role in Gun Violence

Great publicity for GAGV in KSHB Safe KC segment:

Grandparents use wisdom, time in effort to reduce gun deaths

Membership Matters

Dues-paying members are the backbone of GAGV, and we thank those of you who are already members. We hope many of you reading this newsletter and/or attending our monthly programs will consider becoming members, too. Your membership dues help pay for a variety of expenses including:

  • High quality gun locks for our Lock It For Love Program at $5/lock. Since beginning in the summer of 2017, LIFL has distributed 1,770 locks plus accompanying educational info.
  • Printing LIFL info and our widely-distributed Words Matter gun thesaurus.
  • Costs associated with hosting GAGV monthly meetings and programs, including space rental.
  • Myriad costs incurred producing the annual Community Forum on Gun Violence.

In addition, having a substantial number of dues-paying members shows the community and potential grantors there is solid support for our mission, which is to reduce gun violence to keep all children safe at home, at school and in our community. That’s one reason we’ve kept yearly membership dues very reasonable so most anyone who supports our mission can join ($25/individual or $40/family).

Perhaps the most intangible but worthwhile reasons for being a GAGV member are these:

  • You’ll feel proud supporting an all-volunteer organization working tirelessly to prevent gun violence and promote gun safety, and
  • You’ll enjoy being part of a group of like-minded, interested and interesting men and women who share your goals.

Member of the Moment

In this occasional feature, we’ll spotlight a new or current member of GAGV. This month our Member of the Moment is Ann Hall, a dedicated Lock It For Love volunteer.

If you’ve volunteered for any Lock It For Love events, chances are you’ve crossed paths with Ann. She’s a speech pathologist, retired from the Blue Valley School District, and grandmother of two – three-year old Caroline and two-year-old Ethan, both of whom live out of state.

Following are a few thoughts from Ann, you can read her full interview.

What motivated your concern about gun violence? 

I’ve always been concerned about the proliferation of guns but having worked in public schools the shooting in Newtown, and the thought that children were not safe in their school, really hit home.

What keeps you interested in GAGV? 

The meetings are so interesting! And I like the new focus on advocacy. Also, I want to make a difference, and I’m so glad I found GAGV!

Above, Ann with her two grandchildren (above), and working an LIFL event.