Arnold Ventures and Joyce Foundation 7.13.21
Dear PPGV Friends and Colleagues,
Exciting new things are happening with gun violence prevention efforts in Michigan! As some of you may know, a new group has formed called End Gun Violence Michigan (EGVM) whose goal is to advocate for sensible gun safety legislation. If efforts to pass laws prove to be unsuccessful, then the group will consider whether a gun safety ballot initiative for the 2024 election is a realistic path forward. EGVM is putting together a wide coalition of groups and individuals from across the state who are passionate about making Michigan a safer place to live. We are deeply grateful to Dr. Jim Peggs who has agreed to represent PPGV in this endeavor moving forward. It is critical that medical and public health professionals have a voice in the effort to end gun violence in our state. Thank you, Dr. Peggs!
End Gun Violence Michigan is planning a Lobby Day on Wednesday, April 13th to advocate for the passage of gun safety legislation that a Michigan State legislature task force has been discussing. It is critical that our representatives know how strongly we support measures such as safe storage of firearms, universal background checks, and prohibiting guns in government buildings.
PLEASE REGISTER TODAY TO ATTEND LOBBY DAY TO MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD!!!
While in-person attendance at meetings with legislators is an incredibly powerful experience, it is understood that this is not feasible for everyone. If you are unable to participate in lobby visits in person, there will also be an opportunity to attend meetings via Zoom. If you’ve never participated in a lobby visit before, don’t worry. There will be a virtual training on Thursday, April 7th.
The push to pass sensible firearms legislation is an important step in our advocacy efforts, as we want to make sure we have exhausted all options in moving things forward. If the legislature does not choose to act, then the next step will be to give serious consideration to creating a ballot proposal.
As always, thank you for your dedication to the prevention of gun violence. We know there are many steps we can take to reduce preventable firearms-related deaths and injuries in our state. While no one law or intervention in itself will solve the problem of gun violence, approaching the issue from a variety of angles with unceasing determination will enable us to make important progress in keeping our patients and our communities safe.
Sonya Lewis, MD, MPH, PPGV Vice President
Jerry Walden, MD, PPGV President
On behalf of the PPGV Board of Directors
Chart Notes Winter-Spring 2022
Docs and Friends,
I hope this finds you well and that the COVID variants have been manageable in your life.
As they say in the media-BREAKING NEWS! We have had not one but two important news stories of consequence to PPGV and our goal of gun safety.
First is the new campaign End Gun Violence Michigan. In January 103 leaders from across Michigan attended a call and pledged to change our gun culture. The press release came on Valentine’s Day that a ballot initiative would be prepared for 2024. Faith leaders, gun violence prevention groups (PPGV), survivors, politicians and others tired of years of legislative inaction said enough. “If the legislature won’t protect us, we may have to pass common sense gun safety laws ourselves.” This is the beginning. For more information go to http://www.migunsafety.org
Then there was a victory in the settlement of the case against Remington by the Sandy Hook victims and their families. This payment of 73 million dollars marks the first time that a manufacturer has had to pay for shooting negligence. The result was directly because the plaintiffs were claiming that Remington marketed their guns, specifically in this instance Bushmaster (an AK47) originally a weapon of war to civilians. It is known that the weapons have become weapons of choice in mass shootings. Remington tried to argue that they had nothing to do with Adam Lanza, the killer, but it became known that he watched hours of video games with these weapons and Duct-taped magazines together as depicted in a version of the game. It was a drawn-out battle, but justice finally came.
Today, Feb 21, in the New York Times Elizabeth Williamson details this story and weaves in another of Lenny Pozner who also lost a child at Sandy Hook. Pozner has taken on disinformation and conspiracy spreaders as his post-shooting vocation with his organization HONR. His is also a brave story. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/20/us/politics/sandy-hook-legal-victories.html?campaign_id=
We will see a better Michigan.
Dear PPGV Friends and Colleagues,
I am furious. I cannot adequately encapsulate the grief, rage, fear, repulsion and frustration I feel as I try to process the trauma that took place at Oxford High School earlier this week. How do we understand the fact that a 15 year-old armed with a 9mm Sig Sauer semiautomatic pistol fatally shot four of his classmates and wounded seven other people (six students and a teacher)? How can we possibly pretend that we live in a civilized society when a child can commit acts of terror using a weapon of war his father purchased four days prior? READ MORE
Pediatric Firearm Injuries and Fatalities: The Clinician’s Guide to Policies and Approaches to Firearm Harm Prevention.November 29th, 2021 | Posted by in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)
In Case you missed it the NRA or Wayne LaPierre’s attempt to get out of trouble with the New York courts by
moving to Texas failed. Spectacularly! This is the same NRA which had most US legislators walking away from gun injury prevention
legislation for years and arguably prevented federal research monies since the 90s is finally in a weakened state. The NYTimes story is below.
Maybe we can get some help with legislation on gun deaths.
Too many people have been killed or injured from our permissive approach to guns. A small step for us but a step.
In Rebuke to N.R.A., Federal Judge Dismisses Bankruptcy Case
The N.R.A. filed for bankruptcy this year as it sought to end run regulatory action in New York, but a judge rejected the strategy.
Wayne LaPierre, head of the N.R.A., speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference in February.
Wayne LaPierre, head of the N.R.A., speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference in February.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times
By Danny Hakim
May 11, 2021
The National Rifle Association’s attempt to evade a legal challenge from New York regulators was tossed out by a federal bankruptcy judge on Tuesday, in a ruling that cast further doubt on whether the group’s embattled chief executive, Wayne LaPierre, would remain at the helm after three decades in power.
The ruling was a victory for Letitia James, the New York attorney general, whose office is seeking to remove Mr. LaPierre and shut down the gun rights group amid a long-running corruption investigation.
Mr. LaPierre, the face of the American gun lobby, now battered by the N.R.A.’s internecine warfare and revelations of extravagant personal spending, had sought to end-run Ms. James by relocating to Texas and filing for bankruptcy there. But the gambit instead proved a strategic blunder: The testimony over a 12-day trial only buttressed Ms. James’s contentions of corruption, and led the judge, Harlin D. Hale, to declare, “The N.R.A. is using this bankruptcy case to address a regulatory enforcement problem, not a financial one.”
Judge Hale, the chief of the federal bankruptcy court in Dallas, also said Mr. LaPierre’s move to file for bankruptcy without telling the group’s board of directors, or his own chief counsel or chief financial officer, was “nothing less than shocking.”
And he warned that any effort to revive the case was likely to lead to another unpalatable outcome: the appointment of an outside trustee to take control of the organization and its finances.
When Mr. LaPierre began bankruptcy proceedings in January, it was not because his organization was in dire financial straits. He conceded in testimony that it was because of a complaint Ms. James’s office filed last year seeking to shut down the N.R.A. and claw back millions of dollars in funds allegedly misspent by him and three other current or former executives.
While the N.R.A. argued in court that it was already undertaking a regime of self-auditing and reform and had cleaned up its practices, Judge Hale wrote that “some of the conduct that gives the Court concern is still ongoing,” adding that the group appeared “to have very recently violated its approval procedures” for large contracts, and that “Mr. LaPierre is still making additional financial disclosures.” He also mentioned continuing “issues of secrecy and a lack of transparency.”
Ms. James, in a teleconference after the decision, said that “the rot runs deep,” and noted that the decision cited “ongoing and lingering issues.” In a statement, she added, “The N.R.A. does not get to dictate if and where it will answer for its actions.” She also said the organization “cannot reorganize in Texas” without her office’s approval, which would not be granted amid a regulatory action.
Mr. LaPierre, in a statement, said that “although we are disappointed in some aspects of the decision, there is no change in the overall direction of our association, its programs or its Second Amendment advocacy.” The N.R.A. was noncommittal about whether it would appeal, but noted in a statement that “the court dismissed the bankruptcy filing without prejudice, meaning the N.R.A. does have the option to file a new bankruptcy case.
|Sonya Lewis||Mar 21, 2021, 9:07 AM (2 days ago)|
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
Our hearts are heavy following last week’s murders of eight people in Atlanta, six of whom were women of Asian descent.
Physicians for the Prevention of Gun Violence is steadfast in our commitment to eliminating the interconnected scourges of racism, misogyny, and gun violence in our nation. As healthcare professionals, we condemn racist rhetoric that finds its lethal expression in cowardly acts of violence, and we dedicate ourselves to ending the cancer of armed hatred.
Each of us has a role to play in speaking out against the American sickness of gun violence. Rejecting helplessness in the aftermath of trauma, there are steps we can take to further the causes of safety and justice.
We urge you to contact your U.S. Senators to voice your support for H.R. 8, The Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021, and H.R. 1446, the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021. These bills were recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, and if signed into law, would require background checks on firearms purchased from private sellers (H.R. 8), and would extend the time period in which background checks must be completed from three days to ten days (H.R. 1446).
Similarly, we urge you to contact your U.S. Senators to voice your support for the reinstatement of the Violence Against Women Act, which was recently approved by the House. Provisions in this act will prevent individuals who are convicted of misdemeanor domestic abuse or stalking from buying guns. This will also close the “boyfriend loophole” by prohibiting domestic abusers from purchasing guns even if they have never been married to, lived with, or had a child with their victim.
Additionally, we urge you to maintain a personal and professional practice of active anti-racism. As healers, we must loudly and consistently condemn white supremacy when we see it. Through our interactions with patients, colleagues, legislators, friends, family, and the general public, we have the opportunity and obligation to be agents of transformative justice in our communities.
As we face the future, we decry senseless bloodshed and we keep the victims and survivors of the Atlanta shootings in our hearts. May we honor their lives and memories with positive action.
8:12 AM (2 hours ago)
I posted the following reflection on my personal Facebook page but I thought I’d also share it with you. I’m just so sick and tired of living this way. Last night I dreamt our family moved to New Zealand.
Anyway, please be safe and thanks to all of you for working to be part of the solution.
It often happens that I give presentations about gun violence in the immediate aftermath of a mass shooting. In fact, I frequently open my remarks by commenting on the timeliness of my talk. Of course, with over 100 Americans shot to death each day (most not in highly publicized incidents) it’s always timely. Today, in the wake of last week’s Atlanta murders, I had this experience once again. I was grateful to have the opportunity to speak about the physician’s role in the prevention of gun violence to members of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute along with my wonderful colleague, Dr. Jim Peggs. I was sorry that our remarks were once again in the aftermath of tragedy.
Today may be the first time that a high profile massacre actually took place *during* my talk. In fact I didn’t learn of the Boulder incident until the presentation was over and I saw the alerts on my phone. It feels disorienting and demoralizing to have taken steps to counteract a crisis while that very crisis was literally in progress. I’m not giving up, of course, but I feel disillusioned, sad, and furious. I grieve for all victims and survivors of these heinous crimes. I grieve for the soul of our nation.
We must do better than this. We do not have to live like animals, hostages to the basest instincts of hate fueled criminals who are armed with obscene, easily obtained weapons and driven by blind rage. Human beings are capable of so much more than constant trauma and senseless carnage. Our American bloodbath is not freedom; it is self inflicted shame. It is the inevitable consequence of a citizenry supersaturated with guns and propelled by grievance. It is the price innocent people pay for unfettered access to cold metal tools of destruction.
We do not have to live in perpetual fear, at the murderous mercy of violent cowards. It is not this way in other countries. It does not have to be this way here either. We must reject helplessness and complacency and we must allow ourselves to feel the raw, sick, searing outrage that gun murder demands.
Gun violence is not normal. Gun violence is not civilized.
I never want to give timely remarks ever again. Ever.