Second thoughts, gun rights supporters? What’s it going to take to get you to help stop the violence?
I never intended for this website to be toxic, but rather to bring focus to the growing number of mass and domestic shootings in the United States and Canada, and the immediate need for effective gun control.
Therefore, I will not be posting every mass and domestic shooting reported in the media, but instead encourage you to check out my “Links” page for a list of organizations that can empower you by taking action for positive change. http://www.killingyouiskillingme.com/links
IMPORTANT ART EXHIBITION “GUNS” OPENING SEPTEMBER 24, LOS ANGELES
The neon image shown below is artist Michael Flechtner’s “Elephant Gun..for those who are about to murder.”
Show Dates: September 24th to November 1st, 2016
Opening Reception September 24th, 7-10pm
The Loft at Liz’s fine art gallery (Los Angeles, CA) features an exhibition dedicated to the national dialogue on gun violence on Saturday, September 24th, 2016. The show, titled simply “GUNS”, features an astounding 23 artists’ works on the titular subject. Exhibition events will include a gun control panel by Women Against Gun Violence (WAGV.org) moderated by Dr. Anita Storm. Also featured will be “Gunworlds”, a performance by Maya Gurantz and Elizabeth Goodman. The gallery desires to recognize all sides of the gun control debate, making the show both well rounded and revealing. This exhibition is being jointly curated by art historian Betty Ann Brown, collector Dr. Anita Storm and gallerist Liz Gordon.
Featuring works by John Baldessari, Jodi Bonassi, David Buckingham, Clayton Campbell, Helen Chung, Joyce Dallal, Cheryl Dullabaun, Shepard Fairey, Michael Flechtner, Jane Goren, Mark Steven Greenfield, Alex Kritselis, Meg Madison, Ted Meyer, Sabine Pearlman, Osceola Refetoff, Miles Regis, Milo Reice, Ed Ruscha, Kathy Shorr, Anna Stump, Senon Williams and Kerri Sabine-Wolf.
Plus performance work by Maya Gurantz and Elizabeth Goodman
The topic of gun control has sparked the formation of organizations: Gays Against Guns, Women Against Gun Violence, Americans for Responsible Solutions, the Brady Campaign, and the list goes on. In a day and age where such organizational names are commonplace in the average American’s vocabulary, the debate over gun violence has reached its peak in both popular culture and politics. It has become a topic that many contemporary artists and political commentators alike have based their work on. This show belies the simplicity of the gun control question, and it’s only natural that this team of 23 renowned visual artists are featured to address the underlying complexities of this hot topic debate.
Opening just two months before an election that has the possibility to upset the American political balance, this show is especially opportune. The death rate from gun homicides in the US is equivalent to 27 people shot and killed every day of the year. The debate over gun control is extremely prevalent in all aspects of American life. Taking on gun control from an artistic perspective rather than a directly political one poses a unique potential to enlighten, build open dialogue and to educate. Because of the breadth of the work featured, varying points of view are showcased. The diversity of the artists both in who they are and the work they produce is key in developing an exhibition that analyzes and observes the diverse aspects of this most crucial and timely debate.
Exhibit Walkthrough with Betty Ann Brown
Wednesday October 5th (7-9pm)
Panel Discussion (w/ Women Against Gun Violence and Dr. Anita Storm)
Saturday October 15th (3-5pm)
Gunworlds (performance with Maya Gurantz and Elizabeth Goodman)
Friday October 28th (7-10pm)
A percentage of sales from the “GUNS” exhibition will go to Women Against Gun Violence, www.wagv.org.
For additional exhibit information or private preview opportunities please contact:
Randi Kreeft, Gallery Director
The Loft at Liz’s
453 S. La Brea Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 939-4403 ext. 5
The gun should have had blanks. Instead a 73-year-old retired librarian playacting as a victim in a “shoot/don’t shoot” exercise at a Florida police community event to show her support for the Men in Blue was shot and killed Tuesday night by an officer who mistakenly fired live ammunition instead of blank rounds, according to Punta Gorda, Fla., police. How could this have happened?
Another fatal gun accident leaves a father crying: The gun didn’t kill my son, I did!
(CBC News: By Meagan Fitzpatrick)
Matthew Dwyer’s life lasted just five years, cut short by a bullet that was fired from a gun with a tiny finger on the trigger — his brother’s.
Taylor, three years older, had picked up a small pistol his mother had left on her bedside table. She had put it there to feel safer overnight, while her husband Daron was out of town, and forgot to put it away.
It was early on a Friday morning. As Beth was drying her hair and Matthew brushing his teeth, Taylor pulled the trigger. Nothing happened. He pulled it again, and discharged a bullet that struck Matthew in the head, at close range.
“It’s a kaleidoscope of pain really,” Daron Dwyer says. “No matter how you turn that to try to adjust the focus and see it differently, the colours and the patterns never really form a shape or design.”
He’d spent time talking to his son about gun safety, Dwyer says, but Taylor hadn’t seen this one before, and likely thought it was a toy.
This family’s story is not unique — almost every week it seems there is a similar tale. On June 25 in New Jersey, a six-year-old boy fatally shot his four-year-old brother. Two days before that, a four-year-old girl in Philadelphia fatally shot herself in the head. Six days earlier it was a four-year-old boy in a small Iowa town who did the same thing.
Between 2007 and 2014, 488 children from birth to age 14 were killed in unintentional firearm incidents, according to the Centers for Disease Control. It doesn’t have statistics for last year yet.
Losing a child is devastating under any circumstances, but when it’s because of the actions of another one of your children, it adds a whole other dimension to the tragedy, Dwyer says. Taylor, now 17, just graduated from high school. Overall he’s doing well, but he recently told his father he still replays what happened that morning when he was eight every single day.
Dwyer’s now ex-wife did not face charges for failing to store the gun away from a minor, but in North Carolina, where the family lives, she could have.
Lindsay Nichols, a lawyer with the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, says about half of states have some version of a child access prevention (CAP) law, under which adults who give children unsupervised access to a firearm can be found criminally liable.
Their stringency, and the penalties involved, range considerably. In some states it’s a crime for a minor to access a firearm whether it’s fired or not. In others, there are consequences only if a child causes death or injury.
Smart guns ‘a dumb idea’
Nichols says so-called smart guns (which use personalized biometric sensors, for example, or digital pass codes) would help prevent unintentional shootings. Manufacturers, however, have been reluctant to sell them, fearing the government would take guns without such safeguards off the market.
Erich Pratt, executive director of lobby group Gun Owners of America, opposes the kinds of stricter laws that Nichols wants.
“The so-called smart gun, we say, is a dumb idea,” Pratt says. As for tighter gun-storage laws, he says people need and want their guns easily accessible during an emergency, otherwise, “you are going to have the opposite problem, where good people are going to die.”
Pratt knows the pain of losing a child: his own son died of drowning. All child deaths are tragic, he says, but ones caused by guns get disproportionate attention. “More children die choking on hot dogs … This is just one more way of pushing the agenda to ban, limit, restrict or demonize firearms.”
Pratt adds that it’s “horrendous” to punish grieving parents with charges.
‘This is not an accident’
Shaquille Kornegay, age two, was from Kansas City. This April she fatally shot herself with a handgun her father had left beside their bed.
Courtenay Block, 24, already had a history with police and was on probation. He has now been charged with second-degree murder, as well as drug and child neglect charges.
It wasn’t the first time Shaquille was around her father’s gun. According to officials there was an incident in a motel room in August 2015, during which the toddler and another child were exposed to drugs and a loaded weapon.
Jean Peters Baker, the Jackson County prosecutor, has discretion in deciding whether to lay charges. In Block’s case, she determined they were warranted in part because he had “a complete and utter disregard for the danger that he placed his daughter in.
“This is not an accident. This was a horrible, horrible result of some terrible, terrible parenting,” she says.
Children are regularly being killed by guns, Baker says, and “too often this is part of our consciousness.” She hopes that the murder charge against Block sends a message to gun owners to be more responsible.
Hope after tragedy
Daron Dwyer is trying to create something positive out of his son’s death. He wants to carry on Matthew’s energy and passion and “live wide open” attitude, and is creating a website, Matthew’s Mission, to help link people with volunteer opportunities and fundraising efforts.
For a long time Dwyer was focused on making sure Taylor and Beth were OK. It wasn’t until two or three years ago that he started opening up to a friend about his own pain. He can now smile again when he thinks of Matthew, but the sadness and guilt are never far away.
“You don’t get over the death of a child.”
He often wonders whether he spent enough time with Matthew on gun safety and if he had spent more, whether it would have made any difference. He tries not to dwell on that.
When asked about gun control measures like smart gun technology, he says laws can’t prevent every accident or save every life, and that parent-child relationships are key to safety.
“That’s where the gun control is, it’s in the hands of the parents.”
But he also has a message for families like his who have suffered a great loss: “There is hope after tragedy.”
Here’s another instance of a person with mental illness who was sold guns to “protect her children?” Another notch in the holster of gun violence stupidity and the extreme need for effective gun control.
The time is now. No more excuses. Demand a plan to end gun violence.
Enough is enough! Gun laws must change now!
Watch what happens when a gun store owner confronts President Obama about gun control at a town hall meeting in Indiana.