GVP: Gun Violence Prevention

The GVP Group challenges and works to change our society’s ever-increasing culture of violence through education, discussion, advocacy, and action.

Participants work together for change through committees they form.  (Link to current committees) The GVP Group cooperates with state and national gun violence prevention groups.  (put link here)  All residents are encouraged to join this group.  GVP Group is a moderated email discussion group.

Join the GVP Group by sending a blank email to GVP+subscribe@groups.ioTo confirm your subscription, just reply as instructed in an email that you will receive.  If the subscription procedure fails, seek help by email to GVP@riderwoodlife.com.  Group leaders may also be contacted through this address.  Send messages to the whole GVP Group by email to GVP@groups.io.

Big Successes in 2023

Wear Orange Weekend

On June 2, 3 and 4, 2023, for the first time at Riderwood, we had a Time to Remember and Honor all of those who have been killed by gun violence throughout our land.  We honored those killed in Mass Murders and Murders, those killed through Suicide, those killed in Accidental Deaths, and those killed by Domestic Violence.  Click here RIDERWOOD WEAR ORANGE EVENT   6-2-23 to read the script for this ceremony.  This was attended by over 120 people gathering together outside of our Wellness Center.  It was to honor, but also to rededicate ourselves to the ongoing work of gun violence prevention.

We continued this remembering and honoring for three days by many people wearing orange to the dining rooms.  It was good to see this honoring happening in such a visual form.

In this way we took part in the National Wear Orange Weekend that happens across the United States.  We wear orange because it is the color hunters use to protect themselves.  We want to protect ourselves and everyone else from being shot.  If you want to know how this Wear Orange Weekend was started, please click here wearorange.org/about/.  It is a very sad but lovely story.

We are grateful to our hard working Wear Orange Committee: Mim Ostenso, Carlotta Watkins, Marlene Dunsmore, Bob Tiller, Pat Moskof, Elaine Tiller and Phyllis Nash, as well as to our photographer, Bill Henderson.

Thanks to our Great Wear Orange Planning Committee

Legislative Success

Other Successes in 2023 were Legislative.  The great new laws passed in Maryland were worked on by our GVP Legislative Committee enlisting all of us to take part.  These new laws include:

  • A well crafted response to the Supreme Court’s Bruen decision:  banning guns in specifically-identified places where the public congregates, including health care facilities, museums, amusement parks, stadiums, colleges, casinos, polling places, governmental buildings and places where alcohol or cannabis is sold for on-site consumption.
  • Establishing that a private property owner must give express permission before guns can be carried onto that property.  The presumption in state law will now be that guns are not permitted on private property unless permission has been granted.
  • Eliminating the open carry of guns in public places where handguns are permitted.  A legally-carried gun must now be concealed in any public setting.
  • A requirement for safe and secure storage of guns in any location, including a home where a child under the age of 18 might be able to access them.  Known as “Jaelynn’s Law”, this is a response to a murder committed five years ago when a teenager took his parent’s gun that was not securely stored, and shot his girlfriend, Jaelynn.
  • Creating education programs around both safe storage of guns and youth suicide prevention.
  • Tightening the process for issuing gun permits (which is done by the state police), so that permits will be denied to anyone who has demonstrated a propensity for violence.
  • Raising the age for obtaining a concealed carry permit from l8 to 21.
  • Requiring the state police to collect data on all firearms that have been surrendered as part of protective orders issued by courts (something not done systematically until now).

Hugh thanks and kudos to House Speaker Adrienne Jones and Senate President Bill Ferguson for placing a high priority on getting these measures passed, as well as to the delegates and state senators who put in long hours in crafting strong and comprehensive bills.  Kudos to Governor Wes Moore who happily signed all of them at a special celebratory ceremony.

Opponents of the new statues immediately initiated legal proceedings, with the goal of getting most or all of them declared unconstitutional.  We need to continue our hard legislative work.

Please join the Gun Violence Prevention Group of RW and help create more success in 2024.  You can make a difference.  We need your ideas and support on committees and activities.

Opportunities for Involvement

Monthly NRA Vigil

On the 14th of each month at 10a.m. there is a one-hour protest vigil at NRA Headquarters in Northern Virginia.  Signs are provided to everyone and there is easy street parking.  Bring a folding chair if you desire.  Bob Tiller arranges carpools from Riderwood.  His contact information is in the Riderwood Resident Directory, available online at My Erickson or on paper from your front desk.

It is on the 14th of the month because it began right after the Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre on December14, 2012, where 26 people were killed, including 20 young children.  The vigils have occurred every month since that tragedy.  When the 14th is on a Sunday, the vigil begins at 2:00 pm.

Neighbors working

NRA Protestors

Riderwooders Hard at Work

Education Committee

This committee plans relevant education events for Riderwood residents and is always open to new and informative ideas.  Bring your time and energy to informing the Riderwood Community about Gun Violence Prevention issues in our community, state and nation.  This committee is chaired by Pat Moskof.  Contact her through the Riderwood Resident Directory either online or at the front desk.

GVP Steering Committee

The GVP steering committee decides on the priorities and order of business of the GVP Group and manages the general course of its operations.  The committee interacts with Riderwood staff on behalf of the GVP.  Contact Bob Tiller to volunteer. His contact information can be found in the Riderwood Resident Directory either at the front desk or online.

State Legislative Committee

The GVP State Legislative Committee focuses on our state legislature, which is in session from mid-January to mid-April.  See our successes in 2023 here.  During the fall we continue to meet with our legislators to influence the Maryland legislative goals for 2024 session.  Possible legislative goals for 2024 are banning Assault Weapons in Maryland and ways to hold the gun industry accountable for the violence.  For more information contact Yale Stenzler.  His contact information can be found in the Riderwood Resident Directory either at the front desk or online.

Wear Orange Weekend 2024 Committee

Join this committee to plan, organize and execute a community wide Wear Orange event.  It will be held the first weekend of June, 2024, and is a time of honoring those killed through gun violence in our nation.  insert hyperlink To volunteer contact Carlotta Watkins.  Her contact information can be found in the Riderwood Resident Directory either at the front desk or online.

Gun Violence Prevention Designer License  Plate Committee

Help create a committee to research and then work to get a designer license plate for the state of Maryland.  This would include designing the plate itself and going through the state process to get it approved.  This is a good time to work on this in Maryland because we have sympathetic legislators and governor who are likely to support us.  Virginia has a designer plate for gvp and would help us know the process they did.  Contact Elaine Tiller if you have an interest.  Her contact information can be found in the Riderwood Resident Director either at the front desk or online.

We welcome your ideas and help to develop new activities or to work on the above.  If you have something that you want to work on to prevent gun violence please contact us.

Gun Violence Prevention Advocacy Groups

Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence

The mission of Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence (mdpgv.org) is to reduce gun violence through policy development, empowerment through strategic education, and advocacy at the community and legislative levels. Our advocacy addresses gun violence in all forms, homicide, suicide, murder, mass murders, domestic abuse killings, and daily shootings. We work with the Maryland legislature to draft, pass and implement gun violence solutions. We fight the corporate gun lobby and work to defeat dangerous legislation proposed by gun rights extremists. We use various tools to educate the public and legislature on gun violence prevention. Our website contains information on legislative activities.

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America

Moms Demand Action (momsdemandaction.org) is an important grassroots activist organization formed by stay-at-home mom Shannon Watts following the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012.

Everytown for Gun Safety

Everytown for Gun Safety (www.everytown.org) is an umbrella organization coordinating the activities of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

Sandy Hook Promise

Our mission is to educate and empower youth, children and adults to prevent violence in schools, homes and communities.  We have programs for anonymous reporting when you have concerns about others or self, programs to enable kids to befriend other kids who are lonely and left out.  These programs can happen in your local school with your help.  sandyhookpromise.org

Coalition to Stop Gun Violence

The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (csgv.org) seeks to secure freedom from gun violence through research, strategic engagement, and effective policy advocacy. CSGV is comprised of 47 national organizations working to reduce gun violence. Its coalition members include religious organizations, child welfare advocates, public health professionals, and social justice organizations.

The Brady Campaign

The Brady Campaign (bradyunited.org) works to pass and enforce federal and state gun laws, regulations, and public policies through grassroots activism, electing public officials who support gun control legislation, and increasing public awareness of gun violence.

Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence

The research is clear:  gun laws work to save lives.  The nation’s courts agree: gun law are fully compatible with the second amendment. And the American people have spoken:  our weak gun safety laws are killing nearly 40,000 Americans every year. Things must change. https://giffords.org/lawcenter/gun-laws/

John’s Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Prevention and Policy

Our goal is to bring public health expertise and perspectives to the complex policy issues related to gun violence prevention.  We research gun violence prevention.   https://www.jhsph.edu/research/centers-and-institutes/johns-hopkins-center-for-gun-violence-prevention-and-policy/

Alarming Statistics on Gun Violence

  • Guns are the leading cause of death for children and teens in the United States, surpassing deaths from motor vehicles, disease, and all other injuries.
  • Gun deaths in the America have steeply risen now topping over 40,000 per year.  The ten year increase is an astonishing 43%.
  • Over half of all suicides in the United States involve guns, and over half of all deaths re suicides.
  • Since the beginning of the 21st century, more than 2 million people have been shot in America, and more than one-third of all of those have died.
  • About 80% of all murders in our nation involve a gun.
  • To drive a car in our country a person must go through testing and licensing, but to own a gun in many states, you can to to a store and buy one.
  • A woman is five times more likely to be murdered when her abuser has access to a gun.  Every month 70 women are fatally shot by an abusive partner.
  • Three million children are exposed to gun violence annually, resulting in long term trauma and suffering.
  • An average of 8 children are unintentionally shot everyday with improperly stored firearms.
  • The states with the lowest gun death rates are generally those with the strongest gun laws.  Those states with the highest gun deaths are generally those with the weakest laws.
  • Pick any multi-decade period in the last century–such as the previous 40 years or the last 80 years–and the numbers show that more Americans have died from guns here on our soil than have died in wars during the same period.
  • The annual number of gun death in the U.S is about the same as breast cancer deaths.  Deep concern over the tragedy of breast cancer has led to intense scientific research, public awareness campaigns, numerous fundraising events, public art, and even a postage stamp.  Where is the comparable concern about the tragedy of gun deaths?  Where is the urgency to reduce gun violence?  When will we and our leaders make the same commitment to end to ending gun violence that has been made to end breast cancer?