VIRTUAL EVENT: How Gun Owners Can Play a Role in Preventing Gun Violence

6/1/2020

Gun Owners For Gun Violence Prevention

Wednesday, June 3

Gun owners must be part of the conversation to End Family Fire and prevent gun violence. We convened panelists for a webinar to talk about what gun owners can do to promote a culture of responsible firearm ownership, racism within America's gun culture, and what being a responsible gun owner means to them.

Our speakers underscored that white gun owners must speak out about racism within American's gun culture. According to Donald Trump, white protesters armed with AR-15s are "very fine people," but unarmed Black protestors seeking justice for George Floyd are "thugs." Says Kayla Hicks of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV), "responsible white gun owners must take the lead on this" and speak out against racism.

    Additional resources

    Moderator

    Dr. Kyleanne Hunter, Vice President of Programs at Brady and Marine combat veteran

    Dr. Hunter is a US Marine Corps combat veteran serving multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan as an AH-1W “Super Cobra” attack pilot. Kyleanne’s actions in combat were awarded 7 Air-Strike Medals. Kyleanne also served as the Marine Corps’ Legislative Liaison Officer to the House of Representatives and the military liaison for the House Democracy Partnership. A long time gun violence prevention advocate, she co-founded Vets for Gun Reform and has appeared on multiple national and international media outlets speaking on the issue. She recently gave a TED talk on the American problem of weapons of war in places of peace. Kyleanne is currently an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s Masters’ in National Security Studies program. She also serves as the chair of the Employment and Integration subcommittee of the Secretary of Defenses’ Advisory Committee on Women in the Services.

    Panelists

    Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05), a veteran of the Vietnam War, purple heart recipient, and chairman of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force

    Rep. Thompson represents California's 5th Congressional District. The district includes all of Napa and parts of Contra Costa, Lake, Solano and Sonoma Counties. He was first elected in 1998. Prior to serving in Congress, Thompson represented California's 2nd District in the California State Senate, where he chaired the powerful Budget Committee. In 1990, Thompson was the first Vietnam veteran elected to the California State Senate. He served in combat with the U.S. Army as a staff sergeant/platoon leader with the 173rd Airborne Brigade where he was wounded and received a Purple Heart. He was also an instructor at the Army's Airborne School. In the wake of the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, Thompson was named Chair of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force. Thompson is a hunter, gun owner and strong supporter of the Second Amendment. He also believes that Congress should do more to reduce gun violence.
In February of 2013, Thompson’s task force released a comprehensive set of policy principles that will reduce gun violence and respect the Second Amendment, including expanding the criminal background check system to all commercial firearm sales.

    Mark House, chair of Brady's New York Regional Leadership Council and a lifelong hunter and target shooter

    Mark House is the principal of Bronx Engineering and Technology Academy in New York City and Chair of Brady's New York Regional Leadership Council. Prior to moving to New York, Mark lived and worked in both Virginia and Maryland. Mark grew up in Frederick, Maryland, and is a lifelong hunter and target shooter. In New York City, he continues to pursue this passion as a member of a local gun range. Mark believes very strongly in stopping gun violence and often speaks about the intersection of his work as a principal keeping students safe, his love of being a father and trying to keep his own kid safe and his lifelong hobby and passion involving firearms. It is this intersection that brought him to Brady, along with his friend Josh Solomon, another Brady RLC Member. Mark lives in Harlem with his wife and daughter.

    Kayla Hicks, Senior Advisor to Executive Director, Josh Horwitz, for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV); gun owner with particular interest in responsible firearm ownership

    In addition to her role at CSGV, Kayla Hicks has served as a State Organizer for Virginians for Responsible Gun Laws (VRGL) and currently leads the Virginia Action Network (VAN). In her positions, she is responsible for the organization’s outreach to impacted communities that are disproportionately affected by gun violence. These communities are also historically underrepresented in the debates on this issue and are often brushed aside by their elected officials. Kayla seeks to engage these unserved and underserved communities through free workshops that provide the tools necessary to enact real change. Kayla brings more than 25 years of experience organizing diverse groups — union and labor, workforce groups, grassroots efforts, elections, and campaigns — in more than 15 states. As a gun owner herself, Kayla has a particular interest in responsible firearms ownership. She also has a passion for helping others and volunteers as a victim’s assistance advocate in Virginia. She is dedicated to community service and resides in Virginia, where her husband serves as a law enforcement officer.


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