Guns & America

Children are more likely to die of firearm-related injuries in states with looser gun laws, according to a study published by The American Academy of Pediatrics on Monday.

Firearm injuries are one of the leading causes of death among children in the United States.

The Catch With Free Gun Cable Locks

Jul 9, 2019

Since 2005, if you purchase a gun in the United States, you’re going to be given a free gun lock. It’s a federal law. But many gun safety experts don’t believe the most popular kind of these locks are effective at keeping people, especially older children, from gaining access.

A new study published in the journal Preventive Medicine suggests mental health and gun violence aren’t as closely related as people often think.

The study looked at how mental health symptoms and gun access impact two gun behaviors: if a person is likely to carry a gun outside their home and if they have threatened someone with a gun.

The family of a victim of the 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting has filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Nevada against gun manufacturers that sell AR-15 style rifles.

The shooting, which took place on Oct. 1, 2017, during a music festival, left 851 people injured and 59 dead, including the perpetrator. The incident is the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

A study from researchers at Duke University and the University of Chicago found that about 40 percent of the prisoners they surveyed did not own a gun six months before committing the crime that landed them in prison.

“What they told us was that they had a lot of experience in obtaining guns but they didn’t hang onto them,” said the study’s lead author, Philip Cook, a professor at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy.

As public interest in fatal police use of force continues, a growing number of police departments have begun using body-worn cameras as tools for transparency and documentation of civilian interactions.

Oregon Sheriffs Offer A Lesson To Their Peers Elsewhere

Jun 24, 2019

Early this past June, Coos County Sheriff Craig Zanni was in his Coquille, Oregon, office fielding an email from a sovereign citizen. The sender was claiming that the Oregon state government doesn’t have grounds to operate because it can’t provide him with a copy of the 1859 State Constitution.

Sovereign citizens reject the legitimacy of the state and federal government. All of it: taxation, currency, the courts and, of course, gun laws.

In the daylight hours of a recent Wednesday afternoon, a 33-year-old man was shot and killed in Southeast Washington, D.C., just a short walk from where children at Savoy Elementary School were in their afternoon classes. Hendley Elementary School, roughly a mile away, was recently hit by bullets, reportedly for the second time in a month.

Very Few Gun Owners Want To Buy A Smart Gun

Jun 14, 2019

Smart guns, also known as “personalized guns,” use technology like fingerprint readers or radio frequency identification (RFID) to let only authorized users unlock the gun and fire it.

New research shows many gun owners aren’t interested in purchasing them.

Expanding The Market

Researchers at Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research found 48% of the gun owners surveyed had heard of smart guns.

When a heavily armed gunman stormed his former place of work and fatally shot 12 people in Virginia Beach, Virginia, last week, he was just the latest example of workplace killers taking personal and professional grievances out on one-time colleagues.

While incidents of mass violence of any kind are rare, experts worry workplace violence is a persistent problem and may be on the rise.

Heath Druzin / Boise State Public Radio

Ramon Amoureux has been in the gun business for decades and through a lot of elections. And, as he knows well, his bottom line shifts with the political winds.

Guns Make Some Women Feel Safe, From What?

Jun 3, 2019

At this year’s National Rifle Association annual meeting, President Donald Trump invited some special guests on stage. The first was a young mother from Virginia, April Evans.

“One night in 2015 she was alone with her two-year-old daughter when an intruder broke into her home violently,” said Trump.

“April took care of it.”

The crowd swooned.

The first time Clevelander Robert Woodard saw someone who had been shot, it was overwhelming.

“So me running to the scene and me getting there and them bleeding and I’m just as hysterical as them,” Woodard remembered. “It’s like, ‘Wow, what do I do?’ I have no tools. I have no anything.”

So last summer Woodard, a violence prevention worker with a group called the Wolfpack, completed a first aid training on how to stop bleeding.

Matthew Richmond, WCPN

Lynn Rolf III owns a lot of guns, but only one makes him stop and think whenever he sees it.

“I’ve had conversations with one of my pistols numerous times about how easy it would be to put it in the mouth,” he said. “Pretty one-sided.”

Rolf had those conversations inside a “dark tunnel” he fell into after returning from a deployment to Iraq shortly after the war began in 2003.

If in recent years it seems that school shootings are happening more frequently, occupying public discourse and media coverage, it’s because they are. Although school shootings are still very rare compared to daily gun violence, the data show they are happening more often.

Nearly 2 million records were added last year to the FBI database used to prevent criminals from buying a gun, according to a new FBI report on the operations of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS.

That’s an 11% increase over 2017.

The Masculine Ideal Is Killing American Men

May 14, 2019

Kneeling in a tree line on a foggy morning in Canby, Oregon, Alex Bates and Andrew Pollmann are scanning the woods for potential threats.

They’re decked out in tactical chest rigs to hold rifle magazines, Ops-Core helmets and Harris radios. This is the real gear soldiers use in combat, and they both look virtually indistinguishable from actual soldiers — except they’re maybe a little cleaner.

Bates throws a purple smoke grenade. Then he, Pollmann, and the rest of the Phantom Fury AirSoft team run into the woods, rifles at the ready.

In the wake of the shooting at the K-12 STEM School in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, parents all over the country are struggling with difficult conversations about safety at school. One student was killed and eight were injured. Hundreds more lived through the terrifying experience of a shooting at their school.

The reality is that school shootings are traumatic events. And they can have long-lasting consequences.

The Big Business Of School Security

May 7, 2019

As school security has become a top priority in communities across the country, security companies have found a thriving new market for their products. But in a sea of gadgets and technology, how do school districts effectively sift through and find the products that can truly help prevent a school shooting?

The ‘Big Aha Moment’

The Chatham County School District has about 8,700 students within its system and is situated in the center of northern North Carolina, a mix of rural and suburban communities.

A Florida teen arrived at Denver International Airport last week and then purchased a shotgun at a gun store in the suburb of Littleton. What followed was a massive, frantic manhunt and the closure of schools all over northern Colorado. Questions about the legality of that gun purchase persist.

After decades of decline, the rate of Americans killing their intimate partners has seen “a sharp increase” in recent years. Data shows that uptick is exclusively due to gun-related murders.

2:30 p.m. update: Gun store owner releases statement

The Littleton gun store that sold Pais a shotgun says they did so legally. The owner of Colorado Gun Broker posted on Facebook that Pais went through a full background check and was cleared by NICS and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.

11:41 a.m. update: Sol Pais confirmed dead by FBI

A young Florida woman who traveled to Colorado and bought a shotgun for what authorities feared would be a Columbine-inspired attack just days ahead of the 20th anniversary was found dead Wednesday in an apparent suicide after a nearly 24-hour manhunt.

Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Shrader said 18-year-old Sol Pais was discovered by the FBI with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

States across the country are passing gun control legislation in response to mass shootings, as groups like Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America gain political clout. In deep red states, though, activists must both temper their expectations and reckon with residents and lawmakers often hostile to any limitations on their right to bear arms.

Public health researchers across the U.S. are eager to find possible solutions to gun violence. Gun ownership data helps researchers study how guns are used in various crimes and could reveal opportunities for preventing firearm-related deaths. But there is no federal registration requirement for guns. And without concrete numbers of gun ownership, how can researchers pin down the problem?

The answer: They use alternative measurements to get a handle on the data.

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