Moms Demand Action call for Corporate Gun Sense

Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence member group Moms Demand Action (MDA) unveiled a new corporate accountability action this week. Noting that moms and women account for nearly 80% of all household spending, MDA is asking that they spend their money at businesses that support gun sense. That means using our money to put pressure on businesses not to partner with the gun lobby, not to sell assault weapons, and not to allow guns on their premises regardless of what state laws permit. And of course to say thank you to business that support gun sense by spending our dollars their instead.

So who is on MDA lists? We’ll start with the good guys: Peet’s Coffee & Tea, IKEA, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Square, and Comcast all have policies that help prevent gun violence. Say thank you by shopping with them!

On the other hand, Starbucks, Walmart, Cabela’s, Wyndham, and National Car Rental have policies that favor the gun lobby at the expense of American safety.

“Moms have learned a lot about the lax gun laws in America since the mass shooting of 20 elementary school students in Newtown, and now we’re learning about weak corporate gun policies that endanger our children,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “For example, many moms are unaware that if they take their children to a Starbucks in a state that allows open carry of guns, their children may be standing next to a customer who has a loaded weapon.”

Find out more about these companies and get involved in the push for corporate gun sense today!

AFSSGL Hold Community Forum in West Roxbury

Advocates for Safe and Sound Gun Laws (AFSSGL) held a Community Forum on Gun Violence at Temple Hillel B’nai Torah in West Roxbury on Sunday, May 19th.  Approximately 50 people came to hear presentations from Angus McQuiklen of the Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence and States United to Prevent Gun Violence and Nancy Robinson from Citizens for Safety.

wroxbury8Rabbi Barbara Penzner of Temple Hillel B’nai Torah welcomed the group with by reading from a  statement on gun violence on the Homepage of the Massachusetts Board of Rabbis. She emphasized the moral outrage that forms the foundation of all our work on gun violence. , She reminded us that silence is a form of complicity and urged us to speak out “that one not be joined with people of blood, ” quoting early Jewish Scholar Rabbi Abraham ibn Ezra While passionate about the epidemic of gun violence, Rabbi Penzner also noted that she did not believe it was necessary to ban all guns. Rather, she urged us to work toward solutions that would curb the tragedies playing out every day without infringing on the rights of responsible gun owners.

Angus McQuilken

Angus McQuilken

Angus McQuilken emphasized that preventing gun violence is not incompatible with Second Amendment rights. “The government already draws lines,” McQuilken argued, noting that we are not allowed to have anti-ballistic cruise missiles, black hawk helicopters, or even fully automatic machine guns. Machine guns are heavily regulated, hard to get, and consequently don’t make headlines as instruments of tragedy outside the field of war. The 30,000 Americans who die from gunshot wounds every year are killed by handguns and semi-automatic weapons. McQuilken argued for federal laws to expand background checks to cover gun shows and private sales, which account for 40% of all gun sales, as well as a ban on semi-automatic assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

While Massachusetts has some of the strongest gun laws in the country, and correspondingly the lowest gun fatality rate second only to Hawaii, McQuilken sees room for improvement. Police chiefs in MA have the discretion to refuse handgun licenses to people they do not deem suitable, even if that person passes a background check. McQuilken would like to see this same discretion extended to FID cards for long guns. Noting that half of all gun deaths are suicides, McQuilken would like to see Massachusetts adopt a similar policy to Hawaii, where people applying for gun permits must sign a waiver for access to mental health records. While McQuilken agrees that the mentally ill are no more likely to commit violent crime than other people, he argues that they are more likely to commit suicide. However, he also reminded the audience that these were his personal views, and not the views of the organizations of which he is a part.

The Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Violence has not taken a position on the issue of background checks and mental illness.

Nancy Robinson and Robert Lewis

Robert Lewis and Nancy Robinson

Nancy Robinson of Citizens for Safety spoke to the everyday tragedies of gun violence in inner cities that don’t make national headlines: “I’ve been to the open casket funeral of a two-year-old boy who was buried the way he died: in his mother’s arms. I could see the bullet hole in his little body.” While Robinson agrees that legislative change, particularly stronger background checks, would help prevent such heartbreaking violence, she argues that the people who face gun violence everyday can’t afford to wait for the law. She urges us to ask: “Where does the gun come from?” According to an article on shootingauthority,  it turns out that most guns used to commit violent crime are illegally trafficked. When Citizens for Safety discovered that many of these trafficked weapons are purchased by women coerced into buying and hiding weapons for men who are barred from purchasing guns, they began Operation LIPSTICK–a peer-to-peer education project among urban women. They are working together to stop the flow of illegal guns into urban neighborhoods.

wroxbury6Following the presentations and a lively discussion, community members signed postcards to their state legislators urging them to support the five principles of the MA Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence.

Mom’s Demand Action Mother’s Day Walk around Jamaica Pond

 

mother's day walk 2The Boston Area Mom’s Demand Action joined 25 other groups nationwide for a Mother’s Day walk for gun sense in America. During the walk, the group distributed copies of their 5 Point Call to Action.  Although the we had a grey, drizzly mother’s day, the crowd was energetic. A fantastic speech from Senator Katherine Clark and inspiring music from John MacLean contributed to the success of the walk.

See coverage in the Boston Globe here.

 

Mom’s Demand Action releases Call to Action

The Boston Area chapter of Mom’s Demand Action has released a 5 point Call to Action to make stronger gun laws a reality. The five points emphasize communications with the legislature by attending upcoming hearings, contacting the joint chairs of the committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security, and contacting your representatives. The call to action provides all the necessary contact information, so take action today!

West Roxbury Forum: Reducing Gun Violence- Where do we go from here?

While the United States Senate may have let down the American people by failing to pass legislation requiring background checks for all gun sales, the fight for sensible gun reform continues. The US House of Representatives has its own background check bill, and there are several bills being proposed here in Massachusetts. Join Advocates for Safe and Sound Gun Laws and Temple Hillel B’nai Torah at a community forum to discuss how we can have an impact on these discussions on Sunday, May 19, 2013 at 7:00 PM. The forum will feature speakers Nancy Robinson  of Citizens for Safety and Angus McQuilken of States United to Prevent Gun Violence. The forum will be held at Temple Hillel B’nai Torah at 120 Corey St West Roxbury. Click here for a map, and here to download a flyer.

 

 

Mom’s Demand Action to host Morther’s Day in Boston and Cape Cod

Mother's Day_e
Thousands of parents all across the country will be walking with local Moms Demand Action chapters in their towns on Saturday, May 11th to honor the eight mothers who lose children to gun violence each day in America. The Greater Boston Area walk will take place around Jamaica Pond at 3:30pm for an opportunity to meet other gun safety advocates who are demanding action in the greater Boston area. We will meet at the rotunda. During the walk, participants are asked to carry eight flowers to honor the eight mothers who lose children to gun violence each day in America. Each event will culminate in a quiet place while a mom reads the Mother’s Bill of Rights aloud.
Special guest speaker: Senator Katherine Clark
 
“I am honored to join this group as we come together to remember the children killed by gun violence in our communities and across this nation.  As a mother of three sons, I cannot bring myself to imagine the heartbreak that their parents and families carry with them on Mother’s Day and every day,” said Senator Katherine Clark. “Our best hope is to work together to develop, implement and demand sensible gun laws now.  In so doing, we honor the memory of those lost and help to create a world worthy of all our children.” 
 Great News:
Anne and Linda at GAGv have teamed up with Moms Demand Action members to host a walk on Cape Cod on Saturday at 3:30pm as well! They will meet at the corner of Union Street and Route 6A to the Optimist Cafe and back in Yarmouth, MA.
We hope you can all join us.

Congressman Ed Markey and Stop Handgun Violence Demand ATF Plan for Printed Plastic Guns

Markey Demands ATF Plan for Printed Plastic Guns
 
New technology allows 3D printing of guns capable of evading metal detectors; Gun safety advocates join Cong. Markey in raising questions
 
WASHINGTON (May 8, 2013) – Following the creation and successful testing of a plastic gun created with a 3D printer, Congressman Ed Markey (D-Mass.) asked the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives how the agency intends to deal with the emerging technology and the threat it poses to public safety. A Texas gun maker used a 3D printer to manufacture the plastic firearm, whose only metal components were a nail firing pin and a metal shank necessary to ensure compliance with federal law. The blueprints for this new weapon are publically available on the Internet.
 
In his letter to ATF, which is available HERE, Cong. Markey raises concerns that individuals could use the blueprints made available by the company Defense Distributed to manufacture guns in their home that will not adhere to current regulations for firearms. By omitting elements like a metal shank, these weapons could pass undetected through metal detectors and x-ray machines at airports, secure buildings, and schools.
 
“We just saw with the Boston bombings how homemade devices can wreak incredible havoc. These homemade, stealth firearms could pose new threats to law enforcement, American citizens, and children across our country,” said Cong. Markey. “ATF needs to take a hard look at this emerging technology, and whether distributing the schematics to print these firearms is a blueprint for another tragedy.”
 
Cong. Markey’s concerns were echoed today by leading gun safety advocates.
 
“It’s critical that law enforcement anticipate the rapid changes in firearm technology and plan ahead in order to protect public safety. Other than terrorists and criminals, it serves no one’s interest to allow unrestricted access to this undetectable plastic gun technology without regulation,” said John Rosenthal, the founder of Stop Handgun Violence and a gun owner himself.
 

“We can’t allow technology to outpace public safety. We need to ensure that federal agencies charged with enforcing our nation’s gun laws are prepared for new technology that could put guns in the hands of criminals and terrorists.  Representative Markey is to be commended for leading on this emerging issue,” said Kristen Rand, Legislative Director for the Violence Policy Center.