Jerry Belair

Meet Jerry, one of our founding Board Members!

Why did you choose to serve on the Stop Handgun Violence Board?
I had worked in gun violence prevention in California in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. When John Rosenthal began SHV in 1994 it was an easy transition.

Having hunted in New Hampshire and Canada as a youth, I had knowledge of firearms and gun safety. It was obvious to me that the evolution of the gun culture to military-style firearms with large capacity magazines was in no way a second amendment right. The NRA had simply evolved from a gun safety promoter and habitat protection advocate to the “Madison Avenue” of the gun industry convincing legal citizens to arm themselves against criminals armed by NRA endorsed legislation.

What is your most memorable Gun Violence Prevention event?
The Million Mom March in D.C. was definitely memorable. I remember walking with Hillary Clinton for a couple of miles; I got to speak with her a bit and was really impressed.

Has gun violence personally impacted you?
My nephew; a very sweet, talented, gentle guy working for the TSA, and a father of 3 young girls; came home, upset at something and shot himself in the head with his family present.

What’s your favorite Massachusetts destination?
Shogun sushi restaurant in Newton!

Fun Fact:
I read a story about a blue whale carcass coming ashore at Vandenberg Air Force base. It was below a 90 foot cliff in a restricted area but I just had to try and recover it for display. I organized a group from San Luis Obispo and called Dr. Chuck Woodhouse in Santa Barbara who put together more volunteers, got some people to donate winches and a crane and got approval from the Air Force. We worked for 3 months in the waves cutting off meat from the bones and hauling them up the cliff one at a time. The upper skull alone weighed 2 1/2 tons! So, If you are ever at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History check out the skeleton of the 72 foot blue whale, the largest, most complete one in the world!

Celebrate Jerry’s commitment to end gun violence and join him at our 25th Anniversary party on October 24, 2019.