Gun Industry Divestment Campaign

Gun Industry Divestment Campaign

Please join the Coalition Against Gun Violence (CAGV) in a Campaign to Divest the University of California system of its holdings in the gun manufacturing industry. In the wake of the...

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Governor Signs Bill to Strengthen “Unsafe Handgun” Law

Governor Signs Bill to Strengthen “Unsafe Handgun” Law

 AB 1964 was a Top Priority of California Brady Campaign. Sacramento, Calif. – Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 1964 on July 18th — legislation that will close a loophole that has allowed...

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Assemblymember Das Williams and Amanda Wilcox, Legislation & Policy Chair, CA Brady Campaign Chapters Testifying on AB 1014 at a Senate Public Safety Committee Hearing June 2014.

2014 California State Legislation. Victory Update!

(Image above: Assemblymember Das Williams and Amanda Wilcox, Legislation & Policy Chair, CA Brady Campaign Chapters Testifying on AB 1014 at a Senate Public Safety Committee Hearing June 2014.) AB 1964 UNSAFE...

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Gun Buyback a  Huge Success!

Gun Buyback a Huge Success!

HUGE SUCCESS AT THE FIRST-EVER SANTA BARBARA GUN BUYBACK EVENT AT EARL WARREN SHOWGROUNDS: as the sponsoring organization Coalition Against Gun Violence (CAGV), A Santa Barbara County Coalition in collaboration...

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America's Gun Violence Culture: The New Normal?

America’s Gun Violence Culture: The New Normal?

Americans cannot allow gun violence to continue to happen in towns across the country at the frequency it is occurring, and to the degree in which it’s now being considered...

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CAGV Year-End Donation/Membership Appeal

CAGV Year-End Donation/Membership Appeal

December 2014

Dear Members and Friends of the Coalition Against Gun Violence, It is time to show your continued support for gun violence prevention by renewing your annual membership today in CAGV (Coalition Against Gun Violence, A Santa Barbara County Coalition). As the only gun violence prevention organization on California’s Central Coast for the past 19 years, CAGV depends on the support of the community to continue its efforts toward making Santa Barbara County a safer place to live. CAGV had a very busy 2014. We hosted forums, vigils, and educational presentations; we rallied support for successful gun legislation; and we sucessfully organized Santa Barbara’s first-ever gun buyback, resulting in the destruction of over 230 firearms. We plan to continue these efforts in 2015 as we also look to celebrate our 20th anniversary. Knowing you are receiving donation requests from many deserving organizations, CAGV hopes you will include our local, grassroots violence-prevention organization in your year-end giving. We are in particular need of donations to fund the gun buyback as CAGV purchases all of the gift cards distributed in exchange for the firearms turned in. Your $100 donation will “buy” a handgun at the buyback which will then be destroyed by the Santa Barbara police department. It’s hard to imagine a more direct way to reduce the potential for gun violence in our community than this. Please renew your membership today, or become a new member at this time with your $25 membership dues via PAY PAL HERE. Membership entitles you to a reduced rate at our annual luncheon and to receive CAGV’s newsletter. Please make a tax-deductible donation toward CAGV’s 2015 gun buyback event via PAY PAL HERE. Or if you prefer you can also send a check payable to CAGV and mail to: CAGV, P.O. Box 699, Summerland, CA 93067. We also invite you to volunteer to help us continue the vital work of CAGV by contacting us here http://sbcoalition.org/contact-us/. Sincerely, Toni Wellen, CAGV Chair

Vice President Biden’s Address to UCSB

It Took an Act of Congress to Address Violence Against Women

This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which was a result of extensive grassroots efforts in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The VAWA was drafted by the office of then Senator Joe Biden (D-DE) with support from a broad coalition of advocacy groups. The Act passed Congress with bipartisan support in 1994. After being renewed with little resistance in 2000 and 2005, Congress let the Act expire in 2011. The problems centered around disagreements about expanded protections for gays and lesbians, Native Americans and illegal immigrants. Read More »

Women Under the Gun: Stalking & Gun Violence

Women Under the Gun: Stalking & Gun Violence

Below is an excerpt from a June 2014 report, “How Gun Violence Affects Women and Four Policy Solutions to Better Protect Them,” by Arkadi Gerney and Chelsea Parsons of the Center for American Progress. 

Federal law prohibits a person from possessing a gun if he has committed a felony or if he has committed a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence against a spouse, live-in girlfriend, or woman with whom he has had a child. However, federal law places no restriction on firearm possession by a person who has committed a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence against a dating partner or who has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of stalking. Yet, as of 2008, more women were killed by dating partners than by spouses. Currently, federal law does not prohibit convicted stalkers or unmarried domestic abusers from buying guns. Furthermore, most states do not require background checks of private firearms sales. Offenders in these states can often avoid background checks by seeking out private sellers. Read More »

Guns, Public Health & Mental Illness

Guns, Public Health & Mental Illness

A Public Forum Review by Elizabeth Downing, M.D. 

This 90-minute public forum was presented on July 8, 2014, in Los Angeles and included short presentations by six different experts in the fields of law, emergency medicine, psychiatry/psychology, public policy and public health. The emphasis was on guns, public health and mental illness and it was noted that this particular topic especially came to the forefront, in a bipartisan manner, following the Newtown tragedy. In March 2013, a national consortium was convened to study and formulate an evidence-based approach to the issue of gun violence and mental health. In nine short months, this esteemed group was able to produce a document of both facts and recommendations on this timely topic.

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LAURA WILCOX
March 5, 1981 — January 10, 2001
Laura’s Law was named after Laura Wilcox who was shot and killed by a seriously mentally ill person in 2001. Amanda and Nick Wilcox, Laura’s parents, worked to advocate forAssembly Bill 1421 now known as Laura’s Law, which was signed into law by Governor Gray Davis in 2002.

CAGV Supports Laura’s Law for Santa Barbara County

In California there is a lack of support services for families who attempt unsuccessfully to obtain help for a mentally ill family member. This is sometimes due to limited county facilities or lack of decent housing; therefore countless chronically mentally ill patients bounce from the street to the jail to the hospital and back again, never getting better. They may go off medication, become dangerous, and revolve through the court and mental hospital doors. This is termed “the revolving door,” which does nothing to help these patients and incurs county costs for ER visits, law enforcement, jails and court time — frustrating to all concerned.

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Public Town Hall Forum Sept. 28th • 3-5pm SBCC Fé Bland Forum

Public Town Hall Forum Sept. 28th • 3-5pm SBCC Fé Bland Forum

CAGV is sponsoring a Town Hall Community Forum to discuss a major national concern about why American culture continues to experience violence against women. The event will begin with the first showing in Santa Barbara of a powerful documentary by Jackson Katz, Ph.D., Creator and Primary Writer of “TOUGH GUISE 2: Violence, Manhood & American Culture.” The documentary explores misogyny and why men are so frequently the perpetrators of violence.

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Investigator Lance Badger from the Santa Rosa police department shows an AK 47 assault style weapon (left) and Andy Lopez's toy replica gun (right) at a press conference at the community center in Santa Rosa, California, on Wednesday, October 23, 2013. Photo: Liz Hafalia, The Chronicle

Imitation Gun Leads To Child’s Death

Editor’s Note: Last year, a Northern California deputy sheriff shot and killed a 13-year-old boy carrying a pellet gun. The officer will face no charges, because the gun looked realistic and he felt himself under threat. Tragedies like this happen all too often, as you will read below. [Image: Investigator Lance Badger from the Santa Rosa police department shows an AK 47 assault style weapon (left) and Andy Lopez's toy replica gun (right) at a press conference at the community center in Santa Rosa, California, on Wednesday, October 23, 2013. Photo: Liz Hafalia, The Chronicle]

October 2013. Santa Rosa, California – Andy Lopez, a 13-year-old boy was fatally shot by a sheriff’s deputy because the toy gun he was holding looked real. Toy guns are supposed to be differentiated by a bright orange plug at the end of the barrel. However, the tip on Lopez’s gun broke off when he dropped the gun. This is why these guns should not be made to look anything like the real guns. A small orange plug is simply not enough.

This eighth-grade boy, wearing a hooded sweatshirt, was walking near his home when Deputy Gelhaus and his partner spotted the boy from their patrol car carrying what appeared to be an AK-47. The deputies stopped their car and ordered Andy to drop the gun, but as the youth turned toward the officers, Gelhaus saw the rifle barrel rise upward and he fired eight shots at the boy, according to police accounts. The gun turned out to be an imitation AK-47 capable of shooting pellets or BBs. The orange tip of the barrel designed to distinguish the replica from a real gun had been broken off.

Northern California prosecutors will not bring criminal charges against the deputy who shot and killed a 13-year-old boy who was carrying a plastic replica of an assault rifle that the officer mistook for a real gun. The Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office concluded that deputy Erick Gelhaus “honestly and reasonably” believed he faced an imminent of threat of death or serious bodily harm to himself or others when he shot the youth. Protests were held in response to the officer being set free, however, the root of the problem is the toy itself. Without the existence of toy guns that look real that boy would not have been killed.

Andy’s “weapon” was only a pellet gun, capable of causing no more harm than a few stings.   Yet there are questions that must be asked: why are such weapons called toy guns or imitation guns. And why do parents buy toys with a potential for harm of any sort, even though they don’t envision this sort of tragedy.

A bill introduced by California State Senator Kevin de Leon since Lopez’s death would require BB and air guns to be more clearly marked as toys. Distinguishing features throughout, such as brightly colored plastic, are required for other toy guns. However, that California law requirement does not currently apply to BB and air guns.

CALIFORNIA: Ban Toy Guns That Look Like the Real Thing! PETITION HERE

Andy’s parents bought their 13-year old son an “imitation” gun, which resulted in his death. Below is a story that didn’t end in a violent tragedy, but did involve “imitation” guns, this time with third graders.

Coastal View News: “Imitation Guns Lead to Scares at Local School”

July 3, 2014. Carpinteria, Santa Barbara County, California —Three third-grade boys have been referred for expulsion. One boy allegedly brought an airsoft gun to school as requested by another boy. Other students saw the gun on campus. One of the third graders shot two boys in the legs while they were walking off-campus after school. Two weeks later, another third-grade boy had a pellet gun in his backpack and was reported by four students to whom he showed the gun in class. On his walk home he allegedly aimed it at other children who fled and told their parents who called the school.

The above local newspaper report elicited the following letter to the editor by Toni Wellen, Chair of CAGV:

TO PARENTS BUYING IMITATION GUNS: Airsoft guns and BB guns are not toys. Non-powder guns, BB, air and pellet guns are inherently dangerous weapons that can inflict potentially severe or lethal injuries, particularly on children.

Parents read these statistics: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have compiled national data on non-powder gun injuries that illustrate the inherent danger of these weapons. Between 2001 and 2011, non-powder guns injured 209,981 people nationwide, including 145,423 children age 19 or younger.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, BB guns and pellet rifles cause an average of four deaths per year.

A New York Times investigation, “In recent years, dozens of police officers in Texas, California, Maryland, Florida and elsewhere have shot children and adults armed with what they believed were handguns but that were determined later to be BB guns or other types of air pistols.”

If an Airsoft gun is used in committing a crime, the law makes no difference between replicas and real firearms. If you chose to threaten someone with anything that resembles a gun, you will be punished and risk being shot by law enforcement.

Schools are supposed to be safe havens. Historically they have been. However in the 18 months since Sandy Hook there have been 74 school shootings. Schools and parents are on edge and rightly so. What are your children experiencing emotionally during a lock down drill?

The fact that these students aimed and shot their guns, demonstrates their knowledge that this “toy” could harm. Santa Barbara County Schools have a zero tolerance policy regarding guns on campus. Parents need to consider a zero policy regarding buying a so-called toy that encourages aggressive behavior and can cause harm because the person ultimately responsible is the parent and not the child