Thank you for reading this edition of Gun Reform Roundup: the latest news from the Commonwealth, New England, and the Nation.
Here are the biggest stories this week:
1) John Rosenthal Pens Op-Ed in Attleboro Sun Chronicle Denouncing the House’s Passage of Concealed Carry Reciprocity
The U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass Concealed Carry Reciprocity. Regular readers will know how terrible this bill is. We must stop it in the Senate. Read John Rosenthal’s op-ed in Attleboro Sun Chronicle: Congress has blood on their hands.
Defeating this bill is the number one priority for our organization and every other major gun violence prevention group, including Everytown, Moms Demand Action, Giffords, and the Brady Campaign.
- CCR, also known as Federally-Mandated Concealed Carry, would make it legal for more dangerous and untrained people to carry loaded, hidden guns in more public places in Massachusetts.
- This bill would totally decimate Massachusetts’ gun permitting system by forcing our state to allow ANYONE who is allowed to carry a gun in their home state, to carry guns in Massachusetts, regardless of the licensing requirements in that state. We have the lowest gun death rate in the nation, thanks largely to our permitting requirements. We must not go backward; public safety requires it.
- This is not a national standard, it is a race to the bottom where the states with absolutely no permitting requirements become the law of the land.
- Even in the wake of the worst mass shootings in modern American history, Congress is still bending to the will of the gun lobby to put more guns in untrained hands across America.
- Police chiefs across our state and nearly every law enforcement agency have proclaimed opposition to this bill because of its disastrous consequences for public safety. Officers would have to become experts on licensing requirements for all 50 states, and the bill would hold officers personally liable if they question the validity of someone’s concealed carry permit. This would undoubtedly lead to some violent offenders slipping through.
- National Law Enforcement Partnership, Survivors of Gun Violence, the American Bar Association, National Faith Groups, the League of Women Voters, and 17 state Attorneys General have all written letters to Congress urging them to oppose this dangerous legislation.
2) Nationwide Vigils Planned for 5th Anniversary of Sandy Hook Shooting
Spearheaded by the Newtown Action Alliance’s National Vigil in Washington, DC, there will be vigils held to honor victims of gun violence and discuss actions to prevent future deaths. This week will mark the 5-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook shooting in Newtown, CT.
A list of Massachusetts vigils can be found at the bottom of this email. There will be events in Boston, Beverly, Westford, Warwick, Northborough, Andover, Arlington, Amesbury, Natick, Topsfield, Hyannis, Williamstown, and Westfield. Some are as soon as TOMORROW!
3) Goods for Guns Buybacks to Take Place Across Massachusetts This Saturday
Please click here to view a Facebook event and a flier with the locations. More are listed below in the upcoming events section. Get gift cards just in time for the holidays by turning in old (or new!) guns. This is totally anonymous! No questions asked. Click here to learn more from UMASS Memorial Hospital in Worcester. And check out this episode of Health Matters for more.
4) St. Susanna Catholic Church in Dedham, MA Displays List of Victims of Mass Shooting in Nativity Scene
The decision of a local church to display names of victims of gun violence in their nativity scene has received national attention. The Boston Globe also published a story.
“We chose [to include] these events to highlight [that] this can happen anywhere,” Pastor Stephen Josoma of St. Susana Parish in Dedham, MA, told NBC News. “It has happened at nursing homes, schools, military bases, or concerts, and there doesn’t seem to be a place that is safe.”
5) NPR: Gun Violence Survivor Greg Gibson’s Moving Meeting with His Son’s Killer
This could not have been easy. Greg Gibson is an incredible man and an incredible advocate for gun safety. We are proud of him as he makes his healing journey. Click here for the NPR story.
6) Sandy Hook Shooting May Have Amplified Gun Deaths Two Times
After the Sandy Hook shooting, there was a huge increase of gun sales and an accompanying increase in accidental shootings and gun deaths. See the data and research from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) here.
7) PBS NewsHour: House Debates on Concealed Carry Reciprocity
8) More Coverage of the Historically Dangerous Concealed Carry Reciprocity Vote
9) Public Health Researcher Dr. Daniel Webster Talks About Role of Media
Dr. Daniel Webster of Johns Hopkins University talked to Media Mattersabout the media’s responsibility to cover the harmful effects of lawmakers gutting gun licensing laws.
10) Military Officers Urge Congress to Address Gun Violence Crisis
Sixteen of the nation’s top retired military commanders are urging Congress to pass gun violence prevention legislation. Click here to read more from the Washington Post.
11) Westfield, MA Gun Maker Savage Arms Faces Lawsuit Over Exploding Rifles
“Gun maker’s exploding rifle leaves trail of injured hunters” – The Boston Globe.
December 16, 9:00am-3:00pm: Goods for Guns – Gun Buybacks at Various Locations in Central Massachusetts. Get gift cards for old guns and free gun locks even if you don’t turn in a gun. TOTALLY ANONYMOUS. Locations include Worcester, Barre, Charlton, Dudley, Fitchburg, Grafton, Leicester, Leominster, Millbury, Northbridge, Oxford, Rutland, Southbridge, Spencer, and Webster. Click here for the Facebook event and list of locations.
May 2018: Advocacy Training Workshop hosted by Stop Handgun Violence, Boston University Activist Lab, and M+R Labs.
2017 National Vigils for Victims of Gun Violence – Massachusetts Events
December 13, 7:00pm; Beverly, Ellis Square, 12 Ellis Sq.: Candlelight Vigil for Victims and Call for Action on Gun Violence. Speakers include Stop Handgun Violence founder John Rosenthal. Hosted by the Beverly Multifaith Coalition. (in case of rain, the location will change to First Parish Church in Beverly)
December 14, 5:30pm; Amesbury, Main Street Congregational UCC, 145 Main Street (at the gazebo): Candlelight Vigil for Gun Victims and Anniversary of Sandy Hook (5:30-6:30) and Conversation about Gun Violence (6:30-7:00).
December 14, 6:00pm; Natick, First Congregational Church in Natick, 2 East Central Street: Candlelight Vigil for Gun Victims and Anniversary of Sandy Hook, and Pledge Drive for Action on Gun Violence.
December 14, 6:15pm; Boston, First Church in Boston, 66 Marlborough Street: Candlelight Vigil for Gun Victims and Anniversary of Sandy Hook, with Speakers and a Pledge Drive for Action on Gun Violence. Speakers include State Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz, author and survivor Greg Gibson, Bishop Alan Gates, and Rev. Stephen Kendrick. Hosted by Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence.
December 14, 7:00pm; Topsfield, The Meeting House of the Congregational Church of Topsfield, 9 E. Common Street: Newtown, An Evening of Remembrance: screening of the documentary Newtown, followed by a candlelight vigil for victims of gun violence, hosted by HUGS (Hands Up for Gun Safety)
December 14, 7:00pm; Hyannis, First Baptist Church, 486 Main Street: Candlelight Vigil for Gun Victims and Anniversary of Sandy Hook, hosted by Cape Cod Grandmothers Against Gun Violence
December 16 & 17, time TBD; Williamstown, St. John’s Episcopal Church, 35 Park Street: Candlelight Vigil for Gun Victims and Anniversary of Sandy Hook, and Pledge Drive for Action on Gun Violence
Date and time TBD; Westfield, UCC Second Congregational Church, 487 Western Ave: Candlelight Vigil for Gun Victims and Anniversary of Sandy Hook, and Pledge Drive for Action on Gun Violence.
Thank you for reading through to the end and for your commitment to preventing gun violence. We hope to see you at a vigil this week.
Stay safe and strong.
The Stop Handgun Violence Team