February 2020 Newsletter

FEBRUARY 2020 NEWSLETTER

GRANDPARENTS AGAINST GUN VIOLENCE

Heart-to-Heart Conversations: LOVING THE FACTS

Monday, February 24
4:00 – 5:45 pm
Colonial Church in Prairie Village
(lower level, east side at back)
7039 Mission Road

Facts matter, and in this election year, knowing the facts about gun violence is even more critical. Here’s one that usually surprises people: 1/3 of firearm deaths are homicides while 2/3 are the result of completed suicides and preventable accidents. Clearly, we mourn homicide victims, but we must also emphasize the scope of other firearm deaths. Sharing that information in constructive ways can spur preventative action.

Since February is the month of love, we hope you’ll love seeing two local actors role-play ways we can share important facts with people who don’t yet share our views. Mary Gay Rodgers and Don White, GAGV supporters and local thespians, will illustrate some effective ways to share facts in loving, non-confrontational ways. They may even ask for help from audience volunteers, so be ready!

Join us February 24 for a spirited afternoon of Learning to Love the Facts.

Here’s a great way to show love to our community: we’ve learned from our partners at AdHoc Group Against Crime that the Nob Hill neighborhood in KCMO faces a housing crisis. More than 80 families will soon be displaced from Nob Hill Apartments at 94th and Cleveland because of unhealthy living conditions ignored by the building’s owner. The Community Assistance Council is helping these families by providing nonperishable food, hygiene items, clothing, towels, bedding, pillows, etc. Please bring what you can for these struggling families to the February meeting. Thanks in advance.

Advocacy Corner

This year we’ll continue our commitment to encourage an advocacy action at every meeting. On February 24 we’ll inaugurate our three-month program of sending a postcard with three gun violence facts to legislators who deserve our love and even those who don’t! Postcards will be signed at the February, March and April meetings, then mailed to legislators on both sides of the state line during their respective sessions.

In other advocacy updates: we continue working with the KCMO Health Department to pass an ordinance requiring gun sellers and commercial gun ranges to post signs warning of the dangers in keeping unlocked firearms in the home.

Another ongoing advocacy project is the distribution of our proactive yard signs. The sign’s message is clear: 60% of gun deaths are by suicide and safe gun storage can save lives. The signs will be available at every GAGV meeting. Our hope is to see them displayed throughout the metro area. GAGV has underwritten the cost for the initial order, so the first sign is free to members. Each sign costs $10 to produce, so if you want more than one sign, we’d appreciate a donation of $5 to $10 so we can keep purchasing and distributing more of them.

January Meeting Highlights: Great Start to Our Year of Collaboration

As usual, we had a full house of more than 80 people who heard presentations from five organizations that share our goals and have supported our annual Community Forums.

Damon Daniel, president of AdHoc Group Against Crime; Jill Buford, founder of Mothers United; Leslie Mark, Indivisible KC leader; Shanna Burgess, Johnson County Mental Health Center and De Soto high school student Hayley Moss, both with #zeroreasonswhy; John Pauldine, MainStream Coalition, and Kara Werner of Moms Demand Action outlined the missions and activities of their organizations and suggested opportunities to work together or individually in achieving our common goal of preventing gun violence. Loren Stanton, GAGV member, also described his new organization Gun Violence Prevention Project, his work advocating in Topeka and invited us to join him when he visits legislators.

We’ll continue sharing collaboration opportunities with our community partners throughout the year. Read their comments in the meeting minutes and see photos from the meeting on the Grandparents Against Gun Violence Facebook page.

Panelists Damon Daniel, Jill Buford, Leslie Mark, Shanna Burgess,  Hayley Moss, John Pauldine and Kara Werner

Mark Your Calendars

Wednesday February 12
After Parkland movie
7 pm screening
21c Museum Hotel
219 W. 9th Street, KCMO

The film includes interviews with Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students, teachers and families of victims, beginning shortly after the tragic shooting on February 14, 2018 and in the months following.

Tickets are free, but reservations are required. Visit our Facebook page to reserve tickets. Wear your orange when you attend. Wear your GAGV shirts, hats or buttons!

Monday, February 24
GAGV Monthly Meeting

4:00 – 5:45 pm
Colonial Church in Prairie Village

Heart to Heart Conversation: Loving the Facts

    News You Can Use 

    Speaking of facts, the statistics  in the following story advance our understanding of the issue this past year.

    13 Statistics That Help Explain Gun Violence in 2019

    The Kansas City Star applauds the work of #zeroreasonswhy, among the presenters at our January meeting:

    In Johnson County, suicides dip after parents and teens team up on prevention effort

    What our Lock It For Love project is designed to prevent:

    Kansas City-area man charged with murder after 2-year-old shot himself with a handgun

    We LOVE Our Members!

    Our members are smart, compassionate individuals who have witnessed the tragedies of Sandy Hook and the daily ravages of gun violence in our nation and our city with horror and sadness. They’ve shown their dedication to protect our children and cities with membership in our organization. As we begin this important year, we urge those of you who read our newsletter and attend our meetings to take the next step and become a dues-paying member.

    Even if you don’t have the time to be personally involved, your membership adds power to our voice when we advocate for gun safety by promoting safe storage and supporting sensible legislation. Membership dues have helped us accomplish so much, including the distribution of more 2,700 free gun locks at 115 community events through our Lock It For Love program and hosting six thought-provoking Community Forums on gun violence featuring nationally known keynote speakers. Because of these programs, we continue to be recognized as the go-to source for local media looking for insight on gun violence issues.

    Numbers matter, so please consider becoming a member today and adding your voice to ours. You can join at www.moksgagv.org or mail your tax deductible $25 check ($40 for a family) to Grandparents Against Gun Violence, P.O. Box 11193, Overland Park, KS 66207 or bring it to the February 24 meeting.

    And because we especially LOVE our members who are couples, we plan to honor them in our March newsletter! Plan to attend February’s meeting so we can get a great group photo!

    Julie and Tom Young are  just one of our “regularly  attending” couples. Hoping for a group photo for next newsletter!

    “Somebody has to stand when other people are sitting. Somebody has to speak when others are quiet.”

    – Bryan Stevenson, activist attorney and founder of the Equal Justice Initiative; also author of Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption which inspired the current film Just Mercy, now showing in local theaters. 



    Grandparents Against Gun Violence is a 501(c)(3) organization based in Kansas City, Missouri, that focuses on issues related to gun violence in Kansas and Missouri. We are working with community partners on strategies such as distributing gun locks to help gun owners protect the children in their homes from tragedy.

    P.O. Box 11193, Overland Park, KS 66207  |  [email protected]

    Donate to Grandparents Against Gun Violence

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