CFSA Presents at National Gun Violence Prevention Conference

Our Co-director, Beth Joslin Roth presented the work of CFSA at the annual National Gun Violence Prevention Coalition conference last week in Washington D.C. hosted by the Center for American Progress.  Not even 2 months old, CFSA was hailed as one of the new gun violence prevention organizations doing good work across the country.

CFSA was thrilled to have terrific partners with us at the conference, including (l to r) Dr. Stephanie Bonne, Co-Chair of the American Medical Women’s Association Gun Violence Task Force, Newark NJ; MO State Rep. Stacey Newman, CFSA Co-Director, St. Louis, MO; Beth Joslin Roth, CFSA Co-Director, Memphis, TN and Poli Rijos-Saitta, Gun Violence Initiative director, Institute for Public Health, Washington University, St. Louis, MO.

The news of the day was sobering with 259 children under 18 years of age as of November 30, 2016 unintentionally shot this year.  Numerous states do not yet have laws holding adults criminally responsible for these shootings or laws requiring firearms to be stored securely away from children.

Many physicians, lawmakers and gun violence advocates asked to become partners with us at the conference, eager to work alongside CFSA in their own states and communities to “stop kids shooting kids”.  We’d love you to work with you also —just click HERE to become a CFSA endorser also.

New CDC Data Understate Accidental Shooting Deaths of Kids

We knew that child gun deaths were underreported.  We also knew we are essentially limited by police reports and diligent media around the country. This is exactly why Children’s Firearm Safety Alliance began our own data collection – HERE.  We also know that even we are missing incidents and need the federal government to make child gun deaths a priority.  Exactly how many children are we willing to sacrifice to the gun lobby before we all get serious? 
December 9, 2016 – by the Chicago Tribune

A review of shootings nationwide by The Associated Press and USA TODAY Network found that at least 141 deaths of minors were attributed to unintentional or accidental shootings in 2015 — 83 percent higher than what the Centers for Disease Control reported.

Advocates for stricter laws and new technology meant to keep guns away from children argue that many of the deaths are preventable, and the undercount is significant because it can skew the public policy debate. Lobbyists for the firearms industry, including the National Rifle Association, cite the CDC statistics to argue that such deaths are so rare that voluntary education — not additional laws or regulations — are needed.

CDC officials have acknowledged that their statistics are low because they rely on how coroners classify the fatalities on death certificates. Some coroners rule deaths in which one child unintentionally shoots another as a homicide — rather than an accidental discharge — because they fit the definition of being killed by another. They also can classify them as undetermined if the intent is unclear — for example, if it’s not certain whether a minor committed suicide or accidentally shot himself.

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Smart Guns WOULD Save Kid’s Lives So Why Can’t We Have Them?

The New York Times ran this editorial on November 27, 2016 – one on which we entirely agree.  Yes – why doesn’t the gun lobby want to at least save the lives of little kids who should not be accessing dangerous weapons?

The Department of Justice has issued official guidelines for the manufacture of smart guns — weapons that, like smartphones, have technology to allow only the rightful owners to use them. The guidelines aim to “shape the future of gun safety technology,” as called for under an executive order issued in January by President Obama, in the face of Congress’s refusal to deal with the nation’s horrendous toll of gun deaths.

Nearly 7,000 children committed suicide with guns from 1999 to 2014, and thousands of people are killed every year with misappropriated guns. How many lives might be saved if guns were equipped with fingerprint scanners, radio frequency chips or other evolving technology that blocks anyone but the owner from using them?

The National Rifle Association gun lobby was quick to sneer that the guidelines, issued on Nov. 16, were a desperate effort by Mr. Obama to claim “a ‘win’ during his waning days in office.” Actually, the guidelines reignite the promise of smart guns — a promise cut short 16 years ago when the N.R.A. led a boycott of Smith & Wesson after the gun manufacturer pledged in a White House agreement to explore smart-gun technology.

The technology is available.

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CFSA Joins with Gun Violence Prevention Coalition to Endorse Hillary Clinton for President & Tim Kaine for Vice President of the United States

Sandy Hook, CT- Newtown Action Alliance, States United to Prevent Gun Violence Action Fund, Art=Ammo Artists Against Gun Violence, CeaseFire Pennsylvania, Children’s Firearm Safety Alliance, Colorado Ceasefire Legislative Action, The Connecticut Effect, The ENOUGH Campaign, Greenwich Council Against Gun Violence, GunControlToday, New Castle Promise, New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, Northwest Corner Committee for Gun Violence Prevention, Pride Fund to End Gun Violence, Rabbis Against Gun Violence, Reston-Herndon Alliance To End Gun Violence and Stop Handgun Violence Foundation proudly endorse Hillary Clinton for President and Tim Kaine for Vice President of the United States of America.

From the very outset of her campaign, Secretary Clinton has elevated the conversation on gun violence prevention to the national level. Again at the final presidential debate, she reaffirmed her support for the Second Amendment and reasonable regulations to keep Americans safe from gun violence. In stark contrast, Donald Trump has embraced the corporate gun lobby to a degree never seen in presidential elections.

The 2016 Election is one of the most consequential for the gun violence prevention movement. For four long years since the Sandy Hook School shooting, Congress has failed to take any action to strengthen the nation’s lax gun laws. Since that tragic day, Congressional inaction has contributed to 400,000 Americans being killed or injured by guns and increasing incidents of mass shootings that have devastated more and more communities across the nation.

Our next President will be tasked with leading the 115th Congress to pass common sense measures to end gun violence and appoint Supreme Court justices who will balance gun safety with Second Amendment rights.

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Keeping toddlers away from loaded handguns shouldn’t cause a debate

October 21, 2016 – by Mary Sanchez of the Kansas City Star

Who could possibly be against keeping guns out of the hands of toddlers?

imgresPlenty of people, it would seem, if you were able to follow Hillary Clinton’s argument in Wednesday’s presidential debate about a landmark Supreme Court ruling on the Second Amendment, and the vituperative reaction to it.

It’s a bit of a rabbit hole that Clinton threw herself into, but that’s pretty typical of the mind-numbing ideological stalemate that has frozen out common sense in the gun control debate. So let me explain.

Clinton was challenged about her opposition to the famous District of Columbia v. Heller decision of 2008 that struck down a gun control law passed in Washington, D.C., in 1975. For Second Amendment stalwarts, the Heller majority opinion, written by the late Justice Antonin Scalia, is darn close to holy scripture. The 5-4 decision was a broad affirmation of an individual’s right to private gun ownership for self-defense. It is huge.

Clinton said that she supported the individual’s right to own guns but disagreed with the ruling in that it didn’t support “reasonable restrictions.”

“What the District of Columbia was trying to do was to protect toddlers from guns,” Clinton said.

This sent gun rights people howling. They savaged Clinton for misrepresenting the crux of the D.C. law and the principles on which the decision turned. Nowhere in the law or the decision are children mentioned, they objected.

But that’s a little beside the point. A federal petition filed in support of the original law did argue for its use in keeping children safe, Politifact reported soon after the debate.

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