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 in Action Groups to bring change. The GVP Group cooperates with state and national gun violence prevention groups. All Riderwood residents are encouraged to join this group. GVP Group is a moderated email discussion group similar to Chatterwood.

Join the GVP Group by sending a blank email to GVP+subscribe@groups.io. To 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 GVP Group by email to GVP@groups.io

Gun Violence

  • Gun deaths in the U.S. have steeply risen in recent years, topping 40,000 per year. The ten-year increase is an astounding 43%.
  • Guns are the leading cause of death for children and teens in the United States, ahead of motor vehicles, disease, and all other injuries.
  • Since the beginning of the 21st century, more than 2 million people have been shot in America, and more than one-third of all those people have died.
  • About 80% of all murders in America involve a gun.
  • Over half of all suicides in America involve guns, and over half of all deaths are suicides.
  • Three million children are exposed to gun violence yearly, resulting in immense trauma.
  • The states with the lowest gun death rates are generally those with the strongest gun violence prevention laws, and those with the highest 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 deaths 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 relative urgency to reduce gun violence? When will we – and our leaders – make the same commitment to ending gun violence that has been made to ending breast cancer?

Action Groups
Action Groups are where the actual work is done. Anyone can join and work with the action groups that interest them. Join by choosing from the lists below and following the instructions given. The Action Groups are independently run by their members.

  • GVP National Legislation
    Federal legislation  This group will focus on the U.S. Congress and legislation that affects the entire nation.  Among the issues that advocates want Congress to enact are: a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, a federal safe-storage law, and repeal of the gun industry’s protection from liability when their products are used to commit crimes.

  • GVP State Legislation
    State legislation This group will focus on our state legislature, which will be in session from mid-January to mid-April.  Among the issues expected to receive serious attention from Maryland legislators are: requiring safe storage of all guns in homes, designation of sensitive places where carrying guns is prohibited (e.g. hospitals), and expanding the criteria for prohibiting gun ownership to include people with a violent history. For more information, contact Dodge Wells. Contact information can be found in the Riderwood Resident Directory, available at your front desk or online at MyErickson.

  • GVP Mental Health Issues
    Mental health  This group will focus on mental health as a factor (even if not always the cause) in gun violence.  Among the topics to be explored are why “red flags” aren’t being acted upon more proactively to prevent gun violence; what organizations are in place (or might need to be in place) to do so; and how we might apply to gun violence prevention the admonition used in other contexts, “if you see something, say something!” 

  • GVP Education
    The GVP Education Group works on projects to prevent the carnage and culture of Gun Violence. 

  • GVP Editorial Board
    The GVP Editorial Board is responsible for the appearance, style, correctness, and content of the GVP Group RiderwoodLife.com pages and listserv headers.
    We particularly welcome members with skills in writing, editing, WordPress administration, and groups.io moderation.

  • 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 and Erickson staff on behalf of the GVP group.

Information about gun violence prevention

Here are groups involved in the gun violence prevention movement at the national, state, and local levels. Some of the groups sponsor events.

NRA Monthly Vigil

At 10 AM on the 14th of each month, there is a one-hour protest vigil at NRA Headquarters in Northern Virginia. Signs are provided, and there is easy street parking. Bring a folding chair if you desire. Bob Tiller will help arrange carpools from Riderwood.  His contact information is in the Riderwood Resident Directory, available online at MyErickson or on paper from your Front Desk.

Why is it on the 14th? The Sandy Hook Massacre was on December 14, 2012 (26 people were killed, including 20 children). The vigils have occurred every month since that tragedy. When the 14th is on a Sunday, the vigil begins at 2:00 PM.

Riderwooders at the NRA June 14, 2021

Elected Representatives

You can also contact your elected representatives with your opinions about gun violence prevention. Representatives in Montgomery County or Prince George’s County.

Gun Violence Prevention Advocacy Groups

The Brady Campaign

The Brady Campaign (www.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.

Coalition to Stop Gun Violence

The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (www.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.

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.

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.

Mayors Against Illegal Guns

Mayors Against Illegal Guns (mayors.everytown.org) is a coalition of over 1000 current and former mayors across the country who have joined together to prevent criminals from possessing guns illegally.

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,, from suicide, partner homicide, mass shootings, 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.

November 16, 2022
Bethesda Beat of Bethesda Magazine
Yesterday on my drive into the newsroom I passed Trinity Lutheran Church in North Bethesda, where orange signs that said “Prayers AND Action” had been put in the yard. Orange is the color of the gun violence awareness movement. When I saw the signs, I wondered if they were put up in response to Sunday’s shooting at Clyde’s of Chevy Chase, which led to two men being hospitalized. Or, perhaps it was a response to a shooting in Silver Spring last week, where a 19-year-old Hyattsville resident was killed, and two others were hospitalized.

It could even have been in response to the tragedy a couple of hours south of us in Charlottesville, where I used to cover local news, where three University of Virginia football players were shot and killed, and two more were injured late Sunday night.

Our county, state and country have been no strangers to gun violence in recent days, weeks and months. These tragedies have impacted countless families, friends and community members. And some public officials are taking action.

Yesterday, the Montgomery County Council unanimously passed a bill that prohibits the possession of firearms within 100 yards of some public places throughout the county, including those with wear and carry permits issued by Maryland State Police.

According to the bill, the places of public assembly can include a park; place of worship; school; library; recreational facility; hospital, and other public spaces. It also includes government buildings or government-owned property, polling places, and other facilities. Law enforcement officers are exempted.

Council President Gabe Albornoz, who was the lead sponsor of the bill, said at the council meeting that while some may say more policy isn’t the answer, he believes this is what needs to happen to prevent more tragedies.

“Just in the last 24 hours, we learned three lives were taken senselessly [at the University of Virginia] … and there was a fight at Clyde’s that escalated in large part because somebody had a gun,” Albornoz said. “As the parent of four children, this is not the world I want my kids growing up in.”

As the state and county welcome new public officials in the coming weeks, community members will be watching to see what the people they elected plan to do about gun violence locally and nationally.
Ginny Bixby
Politics and Enterprise Reporter, Bethesda Beat