By artistlauralynch on June 23, 2015
The following Oped is written by Toni Wellen, CAGV Chair: Charleston, the community of Santa Barbara understands your grief, your sorrow and pain. We have shared the loss of loved...Full Story »
By artistlauralynch on June 22, 2015
The Coalition Against Gun Violence, along with the professional organizing efforts of Sgt. Riley Harwood (seen in the photo above taken by Marian Shapiro) and the Santa Barbara Police Department, held a second...Full Story »
By artistlauralynch on June 22, 2015
A Santa Barbara Vigil Honoring the People of Charleston and the Congregation of the historic Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina was held Friday, June 19th on State &...Full Story »
By Matt on May 27, 2015
by Lynne Gibbs, Mental Health Family Advocate On April 21st, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors failed to take action on a proposal to adopt Laura’s Law in Santa Barbara...Full Story »
By artistlauralynch on April 27, 2015
In the wake of the tragedy in Isla Vista, California, the University of California Santa Barbara community, Campaign2Unload.org, CAGV and others have come together to turn grief into action. Along...Full Story »
By Matt on May 27, 2015
by Joyce Dudley, Santa Barbara County District Attorney
Last year I joined the newly organized group of Prosecutors Against Gun Violence (PAGV). This group is principally made up of elected District Attorneys from across the country, primarily from major cities.
PAGV’s mission is to focus on gun violence prevention strategies ranging from policy advocacy to improved enforcement of existing laws.
Our first meeting was held in Atlanta, Georgia. At that meeting there were several excellent presentations on gun violence relating to a variety of topics including: Mental Illness, Trafficking Weapons, Domestic Violence, Legislation, and Mass Murders. At the end of that meeting we decided to create two future summits, one that focused on the nexus between gun violence and mental illness and the other on the link between gun violence and domestic violence.
Last week we met in Miami to discuss the nexus between gun violence and mental illness. I was one of the conference organizers. My role was to interview potential presenters. I interviewed and was most impressed by David A. D’Amora and Harold I. Schwartz. David is the Director of the National Initiatives Council of State Governments Justice Center in NYC. Harold is the Psychiatrist-in-Chief at The Institute of Living at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. Harold also co-authored the Sandy Hook Report.
Mr. D’Amora explained that clinicians and policymakers who seek ways to reduce violence need to pay greater attention to demographics like age and gender. He also felt massive cuts to mental health care have impacted our ability to intervene early for those showing the beginning signs of mental illness. He additionally believes that we must protect against over-reaction and not leap to the false conclusion that there is a strong correlation between mental illness and gun violence. Finally, Mr. D’Amora reminded our audience to think beyond psychiatric diagnoses by prioritizing interventions that directly address trauma, substance abuse, anger, work, education, family discord, social isolation, and other criminogenic factors.
Dr. Schwartz was also deeply concerned about the lack of treatment for those suffering with mental illness but felt the criminal justice system should focus its attention on evidence-based risks such as: individuals who are convicted of violent misdemeanors; those subject to a temporary domestic violence restraining order; those convicted of two or more DUIs within five years; and, finally, those convicted of two or more controlled substance misdemeanors within five years.
Although not a speaker interviewed by me, I found Dr. Charles Nemeroff’s presentation to be the most illuminating. Dr. Nemeroff, Chairman of the University of Miami Department of Psychiatry, spoke about the strong link between those who were abused as children and those who later become perpetrators of violent crimes.
I came away from the most recent conference confident my office is on the right path by rigorously prosecuting child abusers, drug dealers, and those with relevant prior offenses, while at the same time vigorously supporting the efforts of those who seek treatment for trauma and addiction. I also felt proud of the fact that the laws and programs we have created in California are among the best, but are mere dreams for many prosecutors from other states. Still, we in California must continue to support our state legislators’ efforts to reduce gun violence in every way we can and to remain vigilant in our efforts to both educate and intervene whenever possible.
By Matt on May 27, 2015
The Violence Policy Center’s (VPC) annual report states that gun deaths outpaced motor vehicle deaths in 14 states and the District of Columbia in 2011, the most recent year for which comprehensive nationwide data is available. In 2011, there were more gun deaths than motor vehicle deaths in the following states: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington State, as well as the District of Columbia. Data is from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control and is the most recent available to compare death rates from both products.
In his New York Times article (7-31-14), regarding vehicle deaths, Nicholas Kristof said, “We’ve reduced the fatality rate by more than 95 percent — not by confiscating cars, but by regulating them and their drivers sensibly.” In this fascinating parallel, Kristof informs us that early efforts to require driver’s licenses, set speed limits or register vehicles were met with resistance. It wasn’t until the 1920s that courts routinely accepted driver’s license requirements, car registration and other safety measures. In today’s world regulations on auto designs and safety measures ranging from drunk drivers to restrictions for teenagers have proved to be effective and essential.
This is the third year the VPC has issued its annual report comparing gun deaths to motor vehicle deaths by state. Gun deaths include gun suicides, homicides, and fatal unintentional shootings; motor vehicle deaths include both occupants and pedestrians.
More than 90 percent of American households own a car while little more than a third of American households have a gun. In 2011, there were 32,351 gun deaths and 35,543 motor vehicle deaths nationwide. As a comparison, in 1999, there were 28,874 gun deaths and 42,624 motor vehicle deaths nationwide.
“Firearms are the only consumer product in America not regulated by the federal government for health and safety. Meanwhile, motor vehicle deaths are on a steady decline, thanks to decades of public health-based injury prevention strategies and proven consumer product safety regulation standards designed to reduce death and injury. Gun violence is a public health crisis with an unacceptable toll on human life. … To reduce gun death and injury, firearms must be regulated for health and safety just as we regulate motor vehicles and all other consumer products.” states VPC Legislative Director Kristen Rand.
In 1965 Ralph Nader shocked America with his book, “Unsafe at Any Speed.” This exposé of the American automobile industry’s disregard for consumer safety became a best seller that electrified the consumer advocacy movement. “Unsafe at Any Speed” showed how the automobile industry consistently ignored and even covered up the dangers their products posed for the public. The public outrage encouraged the passage of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act in 1966, which created a regulatory agency empowered to set design standards for automobiles.
Kristof points out that, “The NRA supported reasonable gun control for most of its history and didn’t even oppose the landmark Gun Control Act of 1968. But, since then, most attempts at safety regulation have stalled or gone backward, and that makes the example of cars instructive.”
With gun deaths outpacing vehicle deaths in 14 states, approximately two-thirds of the non-gun owning public is hoping and waiting for someone like Ralph Nader to take on the gun industry.
Ed. Note: The full report can be read here: http://www.vpc.org/studies/gunsvcars14.pdf
By Toni on May 27, 2015
If gun ownership is down but gun sales are not, who is purchasing all the firearms? On the television program VICE, which airs global news documentaries, a recent segment on 3/20/15, “We the People” by Gianna Tobni, explored the growing number of Americans joining Patriot groups, taking up arms and patrolling U.S. borders. The Patriot movement did not get much hype until President Obama was elected, then membership skyrocketed from 800 groups to 1,300 with a membership of around 25,000, according to them, membership continues to expand. These insurgents feel misrepresented by the mainstream media and hold an assumption that there is an erosion of Second Amendment rights, plus an expansion of presidential powers. Their intent is to create a well-armed citizens’ militia to be prepared against what they view as the tyrannical government.
Mark Potok, founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center, has been tracking these groups for years and is seeing a large demographic change. Potok says we ignore the American radical right at our peril. The most recent incident occurred in 2014 when rancher Cliven Bundy, who has been illegally grazing cattle on federal land for 20 years without paying the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), as other ranchers have done, was cited $1 million in fees and penalties. A large group of well-armed individuals blocked the roads and freeways causing BLM agents to back off. We are experiencing a period of extremism. Multiple armed groups of people have led to other violent events: the shooting at the Sikh Mosque in Oak Creek, WI was followed by eight attacks on American mosques. There was also an attack on a Courthouse in Atlanta, Georgia. Jerad and Amanda Miller, who spent time with the Bundy militia, later killed two police officers in Las Vegas before they committed suicide. These insurgent militia groups see immigration as an invasion and falsely believe ISIS is coming across the US border. Such groups incite people to take up violence in the name of their cause.
By artistlauralynch on October 28, 2014
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 May 23, 2014, tragedy in Isla Vista, California, the University of California Santa Barbara community, Campaign2Unload.org, and CAGV have come together to turn grief into action. Along with students, faculty and alumni we are demanding action from the University of California: Transparency of its $88 billion endowment and a ban on all future investments in the gun industry.
The UC community deserves to know whether its institution is helping to fund gun violence; and the governing board of the University of California has a moral obligation to take a clear stance against investing in the gun industry that continues to endanger the UC community and the nation.
The Regents of the University of California must stand with UCSB and fight to prevent more senseless tragedy by pledging it will not invest in gun violence.
• PLEDGE TO STAND WITH UCSB to demand that UC Regents adopt a gun-free endowment: http://www.campaign2unload.org/pledge-to-stand-with-uc-santa-barbara-and-say-not-one-more/
• SIGN THE PETITION to tell the University of California Board of Regents to take a clear stance against investing in gun violence: http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/university-of-california-1
• LEARN MORE ABOUT DIVESTMENT & the Campaign to Unload. Start a Campaign in your City or on your Campus: http://www.campaign2unload.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Divestment-Toolkit_UCSB.pdf
By Toni on September 11, 2014
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 »
By Toni on September 11, 2014
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 »
By Toni on September 11, 2014
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.
By artistlauralynch on July 22, 2014
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.
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.
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
The Coalition Against Gun Violence extends appreciation to each one of the people and entities who donated to the CAGV's 2014 Gun Buyback Event. These are the folks who wanted to make this happen and believed a gun buyback would help make this a safer community. There would not have been a buyback without their support. The Santa Barbara Police Department under the auspices of Sgt. Riley Harwood played a major role in organizing a smooth and efficiently run event.
CAGV and the community of Santa Barbara wishes to thank Vons Grocery Stores in Santa Barbara for discounting gift cards worth $100 each to give people in exchange for firearms turned on at the June 14th Gun Buyback. This generous donation facilitated CAGV’s offer of $100 for a handgun, rifle or shotgun and $200 for an assault weapon. Kudos to Vons Grocery Stores for their donation towards a safer community.
Charles and Francine Freund
The Martinez Family
Pamela McLean and Frederic Hudson
Anne Smith Towbes
Jana and Jeff Young
Democratic Women of SB County
Mark & Sally Hamilton
Colin and Joan Jones
Ann Reiss Lane
League of Women Voters
Peter & Elisa Merkl
Carol & Anthony Nicoletti
Richard & Maryan Schall
Carol & Ali Shabrami
Alfred & Stephanie Shuman
Chris & Mark Silverstein
Larry & Toni Wellen
Mary Ellen Wylie
Marty & Joe Blum
Tina La Monica
Our Daily Bread
Ablitt’s Fine Cleaners & Launderers
Bavarian Performance Specialists for European Cars, Thousand Oaks
FrameStore – Custom Framing, Thousand Oaks
Fresco Café and Bakery
Garden Market Restaurant, Carpinteria
Home Improvement Center
In Bloom Orchids
Jeannine’s Restaurant & Bakery
Lure Fish House & Oyster Bar, Camarillo, Ventura, Westlake Village
Ottavio’s Italian Restaurant, Camarillo
Pascucci Italian Restaurant
Pierre Lafond/Wendy Foster
Santa Barbara Frame Shop and Gallery
Shang Hai Chinese Restaurant
Shine Blow Dry Bar
The Painted Cabernet
The Palace Grill
Trader Joe's Milpas
WONDER Gift boutique
The tragedy of children lost to their families forever has overwhelmed the souls of people nationally and internationally with near wordless grief. With the loss of a child, grief does not abate or come to closure. Many families have turned grief into action. We know from past massacres that thoughts and prayers are not enough. We demand action!
We send those closest to our hearts, our precious innocent children to where we think is a safe place –our neighborhood schools. But in the land of the free, our hearts are filled with fear because there is no safe place in a country where 300,000,000 firearms are easily accessible. The reality is that only one-third of Americans own firearms, and 300,000,000 firearms have not created a safer America. Whether these weapons are legally owned or not, does not matter. A legal upstanding gun owner is one argument or one crisis away from violence. These dangerous killing weapons are in homes, presumably protecting the family from harm.
No other country in the Western world has this kind of violence attributable to firearms. America’s culture of violence provides a crucible for permissible murderous acts. Let us not play politics with death and sorrow. Let us consider conflict resolution and what all sides can agree upon.
WE CAN AGREE ON THESE FACTS:
WE MUST AGREE TO TAKE ACTION:
More than 20 family members and victims of mass shootings met in Washington, DC with leaders in Congress and the White House calling on them to seriously address gun violence in this nation. The group released the following letter asking leaders and the American public for a meaningful dialogue and swift action:
“We are Republicans and Democrats, from “blue states” and “red states.” We live in cities, suburbs and rural areas. We are from many different walks of life. Some of us own guns. Some of us don’t. “We know that the overwhelming majority of Americans support sensible solutions that would have prevented many of our tragedies, and can prevent many more every day.”
The full text of the letter can be read and signed at http://wearebetterthanthis.org/
The Declaration of Independence states the inalienable rights of the people to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness; and that a government is necessary to ensure our Safety and Happiness. The first duty of all elected officials is the safety of the public.
WE ARE NOT SAFE. WE DEMAND ACTION!
CAGV Works To Educate Santa Barbara County & Central Coast Neighborhoods Since 1994 • Contact information here:
(805) 564-6803 • firstname.lastname@example.org
GOVERNOR BROWN SIGNS SIX GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION BILLS IN 2014!
AB 1014 GUN VIOLENCE RESTRAINING ORDER (GVRO) – Skinner and Williams
This bill will establish a procedure to allow concerned family members or law enforcement officers to petition a court for a GVRO. In situations where there is sufficient evidence for a judge to believe that an individual poses a danger to self or others, the GVRO would temporarily limit the individual from purchasing or possessing firearms or ammunition and would allow law enforcement to remove any firearms or ammunition already in his or her possession. To avoid the potential for abuse of this new procedure, the bill would create penalties for anyone who files a petition intending to harass the named individual or knowing that any of the information provided in the petition is false.
SB 505 POLICE WELFARE CHECKS – Jackson
This bill would require law enforcement agencies in California to develop and implement written policies and standard protocols pertaining to the best manner to conduct a check on the welfare of a citizen when such check is motivated by a concern that the individual may be a danger to himself or herself or to others. The bill would also require those policies to encourage a peace officer, prior to conducting a welfare check, and whenever possible and reasonable, to conduct a search of the Department of Justice Automated Firearms System to determine whether the person is the registered owner of any firearms.
AB 1609 TRANSFER OF FIREARMS PURCHASED OUT OF STATE – Alejo
Currently, federal law makes it illegal to purchase a handgun outside of California and bring it into the state unless the firearm is shipped to a licensed dealer in California to complete the transaction. Federal law also requires that any dealer outside of California selling a long gun to a California resident who has traveled to another state to purchase a long gun comply with all California laws in completing the transaction. However, federal authorities do not have the resources to enforce existing laws and California has no state law governing these transactions at all. This bill would require all firearms purchased outside of California by California residents intending to possess those firearms in California to be shipped to a licensed dealer in California in order to complete the transaction. The California dealer making the transfer would have to comply with all California requirements including, among others, the completion of a background check, complying with the 10-day waiting period, and ensuring that the purchaser has a valid firearm safety certificate
AB 1964 CLOSING THE "SINGLE-SHOT EXEMPTION" LOOPHOLE – Dickinson
(Sacramento) California law requires that all semiautomatic handguns models sold in the state be certified as not unsafe by the Department of Justice after meeting certain required safety standards. Prior law included an exception for so-called “single shot” pistols that could be temporarily modified to not fire on a semiautomatic basis in order to circumvent California’s safety standards. AB 1964 closes that loophole by clarifying that the unsafe handgun law applies to semiautomatic pistols that have been temporarily or permanently altered so that they will not fire in a semiautomatic mode.
AB 1591 COURT NOTIFICATION – Achadjian
Under current law, courts are required to notify the California Department of Justice if they make a determination about a person’s mental state which would prohibit him or her from possessing a gun under California law. AB 1591 will speed up this process by requiring such notifications to be made within one court day.
AB 2310 UNLAWFUL DETAINER ACTIONS – Ridley-Thomas
This bill will extend a pilot program that allows city prosecutors or city attorneys to bring unlawful detainer actions (which lead to an eviction) against tenants to abate a nuisance caused by illegal conduct involving unlawful weapons or ammunition. In addition to Los Angeles County, AB 2310 would extend the program to both Sacramento County and Alameda County, and would run through January 1, 2019. The idea behind the pilot program is to give local law enforcement a method to evict unlawful and potentially dangerous tenants when landlords may be unwilling to act for fear of retaliation.
FEDERAL LEGISLATION ON THE TABLE:
HR 4806 PAUSE FOR SAFETY ACT – Congresswoman Lois Capps
(Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties)
S. 2445 PAUSE FOR SAFETY ACT – Senator Barbara Boxer
(CA with co-sponsors, Senators Dianne Feinstein (CA) and Richard Blumenthal (CT))
How did Florida’s gun death rate suddenly become almost 50% higher than California’s? The question is particularly relevant to the 2012 election. After 1999, when Republicans won control of Florida’s Legislature and the Governor’s office, they passed 38 gun-friendly laws, culminating in Stand Your Ground (SYG). This notorious 2005 law allows people to use lethal force in self-defense in public places even when they could avoid it. After SYG, between 2005 and 2009 (the latest CDC data) Florida’s firearm homicide rate shot up 21%.
In contrast, California—a Democratic state—had been strengthening its gun laws since the early 1990’s. As the regulations took effect its gun homicide rate declined dramatically—by 53% from the 1993 California (and national) peak, far more than the decline in the rest of the nation.
Since the 2005 SYG law, remarkably, Florida’s firearm homicide rate soared higher than California’s, even though California is a more urban state with greater inner-city gang and gun violence problems.After SYG more Floridians brought guns into their homes. Not coincidentally, from 2005 to 2009 Florida’s gun suicide rate jumped 20%, driving its total suicide rate up 16%. (Suicide attempts with firearms are much more likely to be lethal than are attempts by other means.)
Florida’s total firearm mortality rate also increased—by 20% from 2005 to 2009. (In 2005, 1,824 Floridians died by gunfire; in 2009, 2,306 died.) By 2009 Florida’s firearm mortality rate was almost 50% higher than California’s, because that state’s firearm mortality rate had continued to drop. California’s gun policies helped cut gun deaths without infringing on Constitutional rights.Source: Griffin Dix, President, Oakland/Alameda County, Brady Chapter
Jerad and Amanda Miller randomly killed two police officers who were eating in a pizza restaurant. The Millers considered law enforcement as oppressors. They placed a “Don’t Tread on Me” flag and a Nazi swastika on one officer and left a note saying, “This is the beginning of the revolution,” on the other officer’s body, according to authorities. The Millers ran to a nearby Walmart, where they killed a bystander Joseph Wilcox, 31,who hoped to confront the suspects. Wilcox was carrying a concealed weapon and moved toward Jerad Miller. Amanda Miller shot Wilcox who was trying to protect others The Millers barricaded themselves inside Walmart during a firefight with responding officers. Assistant Sheriff Kevin McMahill said police fatally wounded Jerad. A Walmart video shows the Millers holding firearms, which they pointed at each other. Finally Amanda Miller turned the gun on herself. There were there red flags: Miller threatened to shoot staff at Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles after his suspended driver’s license was taken from him during a traffic stop. Detectives did not perceive the “potential for an ongoing threat.” Two other threats regarding domestic violence and an alleged sexual assault of neighbor were dismissed. “Because an individual may online espouse ideology that is anti-government or anti-police does not make them translate into a murderer,” an investigating officer said. “What happened to change these two people into murderers, we don’t know.” Authorities said three weapons were recovered from the suspects: a Smith & Wesson M&P 9 mm handgun, a Ruger .38-caliber revolver and a Winchester 1300 12 gauge shotgun with a pistol grip. The weapons were not registered, as required by law. More details about the killers emerged. Kellie Fielder said Amanda Miller was her best friend. The Millers stayed with her for about two weeks before the shooting. She saw them leave on that fateful day, armed to the teeth. “There were two duffel bags in a cart. They had two duffel bags on their back,” Fielder said. “She just hugged me and said, ‘I love you, thank you for everything.’” Fielder said she never thought they were planning the carnage. “I was stupid, I guess,” Fielder said. “I got five deaths on my shoulders. I should have called the cops,” she said, crying. “I’m so so, so sorry — to everybody. I’m sorry.”
In yet another horrific domestic violence tragedy involving firearms, Lee Haskell, dressed as a delivery man, went to his ex-wife Melanie’s relatives’ home and asked Cassidy, age 15 for her parents, he told her his name and the girl recognized him as her ex-uncle. Cassidy tried to close the door on him, but he kicked it in. Inside were two boys, 13 and 4, and two girls, 7 and 9. He tied up the five children and awaited the arrival of the parents, Stephen Stay, 39, and Katie Stay, 33, who arrived shortly and were also tied up. Haskell asked them for the whereabouts of his ex-wife. When he received no satisfactory answer, Haskell shot each member of the family in the back of the head. Authorities identified the dead as Stephen Stay, 39, and Katie Stay, 33, their two boys, ages 4 and 14; and two girls, ages 7 and 9. Cassidy played dead and despite her injuries called 911 telling authorities the shooter was en route to the home of other relatives.
Haskell was jailed in 2008 in Utah on charges of assault and domestic violence that were later dismissed. In October 2013, Katie Haskell filed a protective order against him. It was dismissed after the couple filed for divorce that was finalized Feb. 14, 2014. Her sister, Katie went to Utah last fall to help Melanie escape the relationship and start a new life in Texas.
A 3-hour standoff ensued when deputies cornered Haskell in a nearby neighborhood. He is in custody, charged with murder. Cassidy who suffered a bullet fracture to her skull has been discharged from the hospital and is with her grandparents.
John Izeal Smith, 35, is accused of shooting and killing three people in a possible tenant-landlord dispute. Smith, barricaded inside a home, fired heavily at police officers with a rifle. Bullets struck two police cars. Police had responded to multiple calls of gunfire and someone shooting indiscriminately at people passing by. One man who rushed in to help was killed. Police came under heavy attack as they approached one of the victims outside. Smith called police and a dispatcher and crisis negotiator finally persuaded Smith to leave the home unarmed and surrender to authorities. Smith is suspected of killing a woman inside the home and killing two persons outside the home. Two additional people suffered minor to moderate injuries. The victim’s names have not been released as of this posting.
Two men were killed and 18 other people wounded, including two 15-year-old boys, in shootings in Chicago. Damion Bryant, a 32-year-old man was shot and pronounced dead. The other homicide, Addarium Thompson, 27, was killed and his mother, a 50-year-old woman was shot in the chest and is in serious condition. The other incidents throughout the day and evening appear to be random drive-by shootings, some serious. All were hospitalized.
FALL 2014 Newsletter VOL 20 No. 3 (4.1 MB) Tough Guise 2: Violence, Manhood and American Culture, It Took an Act of Congress to Address Violence Against Women, Women Under the Gun: Stalking and Gun Violence, Guns Public Health and Mental Health, CAGV Supports Laura’s Law for Santa Barbara County
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