March 2020 Newsletter

MARCH 2020 NEWSLETTER

GRANDPARENTS AGAINST GUN VIOLENCE

Behind the Badge: Struggles Our Police Partners Face

Monday, March 30
NOTE: This is a week later than our usual 4th Monday meeting
(moved due to spring break)

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

Every day police officers face uncertain danger as they answer calls of potential homicides, domestic violence, drug overdoses, car accidents, abused children and more. They’ve got to think fast, comfort victims, confront the perpetrators, protect themselves and their partners, then document every incident. They face stress at almost every turn.

That stress can lead to physical and mental health problems, marriage and family issues, post-traumatic stress syndrome and at the very worst, suicide. In 2018, more police officers nationwide died by suicide (167) than were killed in the line of duty, according to the nonprofit law enforcement support group called Blue H.E.L.P.

At GAGV, we feel especially close to police officers who serve as partners in the Lock It For Love program that has distributed 2,800 free gun locks. Our urban and suburban police partners have joined us at 118 community events on both sides of the state line, demonstrating the correct way to use the locks and providing invaluable support as we promote safe storage of weapons. We care about them just as they care for our community.

So join us March 30 to better understand their challenges. We’ll hear police friends from Kansas City and Prairie Village tell their stories and explain how their departments are helping them to better handle their often dangerous work.

We LOVED the FACTS in February

Because facts are the basis of most communication, we began February’s program with a quiz on firearm facts. Many of us were surprised at what we knew and didn’t know.

Joy Koesten, Ph.D., a lecturer in the communications department at the University of Kansas, gave us tips on how to discuss important facts with people who don’t share our views. She spoke from personal experience as well, having served in the Kansas Legislature and now running for Kansas Senate District 11. Mary Gay Rogers and Don White role-played some effective ways to share firearm facts in non-confrontational ways.

See the meeting minutes and the quiz and its sourced answers


1 + 1 = Couples Who Make GAGV’s Voice Stronger

We’re delighted so many couples regularly attend our monthly meetings. To be more inclusive, we changed our name from Grandmothers to Grandparents some years ago and hoped for more male participation. We’re gratified many men now participate as members, volunteers and committee workers. They help make our gender-friendly name an accurate one!

Can you spot the happy twosomes you know who make GAGV a true couples’ activity?

Mark Your Calendars

Monday, April 30
GAGV Monthly Meeting
4:00 – 5:45 pm
Colonial Church in Prairie Village

Attitudes about firearms in rural and urban communities.

Monday, May 18
(note date change due to Memorial Day)
GAGV Monthly Meeting
4:00 – 5:45 pm
Colonial Church in Prairie Village

Nadine Johnson, Executive Director of ACLU of Kansas.

Legislative Coffees sponsored by the Johnson County Library and the League of Women Voters of JOCO. All start at 10 am.

Saturday, March 14: Monticello Library, 22435 West 66 Street Shawnee, KS. (this is in the western part of JOCO close to K7 and Shawnee Msn. Pkwy.) Sen. Barbara Bollier, Rep. Tom Cox.

Saturday March 28: Gardner Library, 137 E. Shawnee Street, Gardner, KS. Sen. Molly Baumgardner, Sen. Julie Lyn, Rep. John Resman.

Saturday April 11, 2020: Central Resource Library, 9875 West 87 Street, Overland Park, KS. Sen. Barbara Bollier, Sen. John Skubal, Rep. Jan Kessinger, Sen. Nancy Lusk.

EXCITING NEWS ABOUT GAGV!

We now occupy office space on the second floor at Colonial Church, the venue of our monthly meetings. This space provides a permanent place for volunteers to pick up LIFL supplies. Also, our friends at Colonial have generously offered use of many of their additional meeting rooms where we’ll begin holding committee meetings. We’re delighted to take this next professional step and are grateful to Colonial for its ongoing support.

    News You Can Use 

    An intriguing legislative idea has been proposed to fund mental health in Kansas with a sales tax on guns and ammunition:

    Could Kansas tax guns and ammunition to fund state’s struggling mental health system?


    Fear of gun violence stokes fears: 48% of people worry they or a family member will become a victim of a mass shooting and 24% have changed how they live their lives because of gun violence. (American Psychiatric Association.)

    A Kansas City couple’s win over rogue gun dealers shows some weapons are illegal even in “wild-west, no-holds-barred, gun-happy Missouri.”

    KC couple’s win over rogue gun dealers shows some weapons are illegal — even in Missouri


    Very interesting article from a writer who carries his gun on hikes. Read the whole article to discover what he says about the responsibility of owning a gun. Get all the way to the last line where he says what to carry: pepper spray!

    Should you carry a gun outdoors?


    The Sandy Hook parents received a big win with court approval to proceed with their lawsuit against Remington Arms. The victory indicates some small progress in undermining the Protection of Lawful Commerce Arms Act of 2005 (PLCCA) passed in 2005. It granted the gun industry immunity from nearly all lawsuits, leaving families of gun violence victims without an avenue to seek justice.

    Gun Industry Immunity

    Advocacy Corner

    At our February meeting, we inaugurated our three-month program of sending informative postcards to our area Kansas and Missouri legislators. Attendees were asked to sign at least three postcards before they left the meeting. A small committee of volunteers then met to address and mail 250 postcards. At our meetings this month and in April, we’ll sign and send postcards with different messages and expand the recipient list to include the governors and federally-elected officials in both states. Here’s an example of our first postcard.

    Sadly, there is no legislative activity in either state to consider positive gun legislation, so our best hope is to ensure defeat of the “bad” ones. Here’s a brief legislative update:

    Kansas and Missouri Updates

    MISSOURI:

    HB 1638 and HB 2056 are similar “guns everywhere” bills, allowing persons to carry deadly weapons on college campuses, inside K-12 private schools, churches, bars, hospitals, day cares, amusement parks, casinos, stadiums and other locations.

    HB 1961 would have required all schools to have an armed person on premises and could have fined principals if they failed to comply. An amendment removed the requirement that every building in a school district have armed personnel but would have permitted “volunteers” to be selected as School Protection Officers (SPO) along with teachers and administrators, as allowed under current law. According to the bill’s sponsor, “volunteers” are limited to former military personnel and law enforcement officers, who would be subject to background checks. Fining school principals is no longer included in the bill.

    KANSAS:

    HB 2111: This bill would expand background checks to include all sales at gun shows and over the internet. 

    HB 2129 and SB 183: These are “red flag” or Extreme Risk Protection Order bills that would allow family members and law enforcement to seek a court order for the temporary removal of weapons from individuals shown to be a risk to themselves or others.

    SB 261: This bill would require all guns be secured with gun locks or in gun safes in households occupied by anyone under age 18.


    Help Wanted

    We already know you help by attending our monthly meetings (usually 80 of you EVERY time!), volunteer for Lock It For Love, bake cookies, sign postcards, etc. etc. etc. But we can still use a little more support! Here are a few areas of need:

    • Take and distribute yard signs. With better weather the signs will be easier to place in warmer ground. The signage helps spread our message
    • Purchase and wear GAGV swag. Choose from t-shirts, ball caps and sweatshirts. Being out-and-about in GAGV spirit wear is another great way to spread our message and start friendly conversations about gun safety.

    And if you enjoy our monthly programs, consider volunteering to help. Here are three ways:

    • Join the Program Committee. Meet just three times per year to generate ideas for programs.
    • Handle the planning details for just one program during the year.
    • Suggest ideas for programs you want to see.



    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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