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Mayor’s group highlights new FBI gun violence data

In states that require a background check for every handgun sale, 38 percent fewer women are shot to death by intimate partners

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A coalition of 850 mayors weighs in on the gun control debate.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Along with concerns about the growing number mass shootings, guns are a significant factor in domestic violence, according to a report released last week by a coalition of mayors from across the country.

Using statistics compiled by the FBI, the Mayors Against Illegal Guns report shows that 57 percent of mass shootings involve domestic violence. In states that require a background check for every handgun sale, 38 percent fewer women are shot to death by intimate partners.  In contrast, the number of women killed by intimate partners with other weapons is nearly identical in these groups of states.

The report also shows a 25 percent increase in mass shooting incidents in the past four years, up to 56, or more than one per month. Continue reading

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Op-ed: Obama draws reasonable path in State of Union

President Barack Obama.

President Barack Obama.

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — After listening to President Obama’s speech last night I downloaded the text and read through it twice. The president expressed his willingness to lead on some vexing issues that pose challenges and risks, and extended an ideological hand across the partisan divide that offer a reasonable chance at finding common ground — freezing discretionary public spending for five years could be a huge step toward cutting the deficit, and the president was right-on when he said a shift toward renewable energy could boost the economy.

His call for a free-market path to reducing greenhouse gas emissions elicited some lip-biting by House Speaker John Boehner, but offers a good chance to make meaningful cuts in CO2 pollution, spread across the economy in a way that spurs innovation and adoption of advanced technologies.

On gun control, Obama called on Congress to at least have a thoughtful debate on the scourge of shootings. On this contentious issue, victims have a right to expected elected lawmakers to vote, he said.

Considering what’s at stake economically and environmentally the next few years, Obama’s State of the Union Speech outlined a reasonable path for progress on some key issues, and it would seem that a reasonable majority in the middle of a politically divided country could agree to at least test the president’s cue in the spirit of unity and optimism. Click more to read the full text of the president’s speech.

Continue reading

Colorado’s congressional delegation eyes gun control

Sen. Mark Udall: “We simply must do everything we can to ensure these military-grade weapons are never in the hands of those who would turn them against their community.”

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — As political momentum for addressing gun violence grows, U.S. Sen. Mark Udall came out in favor of a ban on military grade weapons as part of a comprehensive approach to tackling the problem.

Congressman Ed Perlmutter, representing Colorado’s 7th Congressional District, has already announced that he will introduce a bill that would ban assault weapons.

“It’s time to do more. It is Congress’ responsibility to lead, and it’s time for me to take action,” Perlmutter said in a statement. “This is about crime control and doing what we can to deter and prevent the kinds of tragedies we’ve experienced all too often in the last few years. Continue reading

Op-ed: Act now to end gun violence

Bob Berwyn.

In the wake of Aurora murders, Hickenlooper claims we live in a safe country, but outside a war zone, your best chance of being shot is in any major American city

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — Waking to the news of the mass shooting in Aurora brought back haunting memories of 9/11, when the first few hours of the day also passed in a dizzying blur of glimpses at CNN, interspersed with caring for my lively four-year-old.

Friday morning, my thoughts again immediately turned to my son, who was not in the house as the news unfolded, but thankfully far away from Aurora, safely attending a camp at Copper Mountain.

We’ve been to a few midnight movie premieres here in Summit County in recent years, time that was always filled with pleasant anticipation, so I was able to imagine the vibe in the theater last night before the show started.

What I can’t even begin to imagine is the feeling of horror that must have prevailed in the moments when the shooting started, nor the indescribable grief that families of victims are feeling.

As I watched the first few hours of news coverage, I could see an all-too familiar pattern emerging, with initial details about the shooter, the victims, the police response, and finally, reaction and statements from elected officials.

What was missing was a sense of outrage that, in this day and age, an individual can amass that sort of arsenal and use it to do unspeakable harm in a public place. Some of that outrage surfaced here and there in a few sound bites and interviews, but the overall sense of the coverage was, here we go again, and when will it end? Continue reading

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