Friday, July 7, 2017

Oregon legislators pass bipartisan bill to reduce suicide and domestic violence deaths

A statement from Ceasefire Oregon:

Today the Oregon legislature passed SB 719, the Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) bill, which allows families and law enforcement to prevent tragedies by petitioning a court to temporarily suspend a person’s access to firearms and other dangerous weapons. The bill, cosponsored by Senator Boquist and Senator Burdick, is expected to be signed into law by Governor Kate Brown.

Oregonians now have an important tool to help reduce suicide, domestic violence, and shootings.

“People who are thinking of killing themselves or harming others often often show signs or declare their intentions well before committing the act. The first people to see those signs are often family members,” stated Joanne Skirving, president of Ceasefire Oregon. “An ERPO gives families and law enforcement a chance to intervene and perhaps prevent a tragedy. In Oregon, where suicide is 85% of all gunshot deaths, temporarily removing access to guns is especially important to prevent suicide.”

Washington state voters passed Initiative 14911, an ERPO law, in November 2016 by a 40 point margin (70% to 30%). Indiana and Connecticut2 also have versions of ERPO. In 2014, California passed AB 1014,3 called a Gun Violence Restraining Order, in response to a killing rampage earlier that year in Isla Vista.

Jenna Yuille of Americans for Responsible Solutions noted, “In 1999, Connecticut became the first state to pass a similar law and they've seen life-saving results. In the first 14 years of its implementation, police issued 762 orders, which helped save dozens of lives.4 We thank Senators Boquist and Burdick for their efforts to make ERPO a reality in Oregon.”

Once an ERPO has been filed, a court must find clear and convincing evidence that an individual is threatening harm to self or others, before the court can order the respondent to temporarily surrender any guns to the police. The respondent will not be able to buy, sell, or possess other firearms for a temporary period of time.

Penny Okamoto, executive director of Ceasefire Oregon explained the ERPO due process protections. “To protect the rights of the respondent, the bill establishes procedures for the respondent to request a hearing. The burden of proof is on the petitioner to show clear and convincing evidence.”  Okamoto added, “ERPOs are not to be taken lightly. False applications of ERPO or violation of ERPO is punishable by one year’s imprisonment, $6,250 fine or both.”

Passage of this bill has been a bipartisan effort across Oregon.

“Oregon continues to show that we can move past partisanship to find common ground when it comes to gun safety,” said Oregon Alliance for Gun Safety President Jenn Lynch. “Building on our bipartisan work in 2015 to address the nexus between domestic violence and gun violence, this legislation shows how leaders can move past political posturing to find real solutions to make our communities safer.”

Passing this bill is the culmination of work by many gun violence prevention advocates in Oregon including the family of Laura Magee, Melissa Keyser, Central Coast Ceasefire Oregon, Ceasefire Oregon, Americans for Responsible Solutions, the Oregon Alliance for Gun Safety, Gun Owners for Responsible Ownership, League of Women Voters of Oregon, Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility, Oregon Brady Campaign, Pastor Mark Knutson, Rev. Lynne Smouse Lopez, Rev. Chuck Currie, Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, Moms Demand Action, and Everytown for Gun Safety and thousands of individual gun violence prevention advocates across Oregon.
  1. Swanson, Jeffrey W. and Norko, Michael and Lin, Hsiu-Ju and Alanis-Hirsch, Kelly and Frisman, Linda and Baranoski, Madelon and Easter, Michele and Gilbert, Allison and Swartz, Marvin and Bonnie, Richard J., Implementation and Effectiveness of Connecticut's Risk-Based Gun Removal Law: Does it Prevent Suicides? (August 24, 2016). Law and Contemporary Problems, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN:

Friday, December 16, 2016

Another Pro-Gun Republican Has Had Enough Of Oregon Firearms Federation's Extremism

I'm laughing tonight.

Oregon Firearms Federation (or "OFF", which bills themselves as "Oregon's only no-compromise gun lobby"), and their rabid executive director, Kevin Starrett, are no strangers to extremism.  They lie, distort, and belittle in order to try to get their way.  They are far worse than the NRA, and often accuse the NRA of being "too compromising."  Any time there is even a hint of gun violence prevention bills, OFF immediately jumps to extreme conclusions and mobilizes against those horrible liberals comin' to take their gunzzz (This is the same group that has tried to pass bills to allow felons to be armed, to allow convicted drug offenders to carry concealed guns, and even to force schools at all levels to have mandatory gun classes for kids, among other extremist positions, and they have gleefully burnt effigies of the governor on the capital steps, marched through the capitol building with assault rifles, and stood behind gun violence victims in legislative hearings while sporting loaded handguns in open intimidation of those brave presenters).

Lately, an Oregon politician named Val Hoyle has been in the running to fill a soon-to-be-vacated state senate seat.  In past years, Val Hoyle had gotten an A rating from OFF.  That is, until she dared to co-sponsor a bill for universal background checks (Oregon Senate Bill 941), at which point her A was turned to an F.  She understood that, according to four different polls of Oregonians, the bill was supported by the public to the tune of 79-90%!  The bill passed and was enacted in May of 2015.  The response from OFF and its followers was immediate and extreme.  They urged their followers to disobey the law (yes, as usual, the pro-gun movement is also pro-criminal).  They vengefully started a movement to try to recall Hoyle and three other Oregon politicians who had supported the bill, which failed miserably, and they also started a movement to get county commissioners to pass resolutions against the bill.

The county commission of Lane County, here where I live, and where Val Hoyle's house district was located, was one of those commissions that passed such a resolution (you can read it HERE).  In fact, they passed it AFTER the bill had been passed, which means that their statement that they would refuse to fund or enforce the law was a breach of their oath of office.  Four of the five members of that commission are very conservative Republicans (and it was those four who voted for the resolution).  Jay Bozievich signed the resolution on the commission's behalf.  Lane County residents were overwhelmingly FOR Senate Bill 941, so Mr. Bozievich was going against the wishes of his constituents.  Oh, how OFF crowed about that little victory (even though it did nothing to stop the law from being enacted)!

Well, there was a vote by the Lane County Commissioners this week, to decide if Hoyle would fill the Senate seat, or if it would be filled by another Democratic candidate named Jim Manning.  OFF lobbied hard to flood the commission's email with anti-Hoyle emails, with the usual name-calling (they called her a "Bloomberg stooge," "Bloomberg's handmaiden," "anti-gun zealot," and other names, in part because Michael Bloomberg had given her a campaign donation).  In the end, Manning was voted into the position instead of Hoyle (the vote was 3-2 for Manning), so OFF celebrated and claimed the victory as their own.  Jay Bozievich was one of the two votes for Hoyle.  According to an article, very few of the deluge of emails from the gun guys were from constituents who actually lived in Hoyle's district, and the emails didn't affect the commissioner's decisions.

But, as usual, the extremist comments from OFF and its supporter soured their own reputation with the politicians they inundated.

The reason I'm laughing is because OFF posted a statement from Jay Bozievich on their Facebook page, in response to the recent vote against Hoyle.  See a screenpic of that posting, to the right.

That's right:  the very Republican far-right commissioner, who signed a resolution against background checks on their behalf, is sick of OFF's extremism and has let them know, in no uncertain terms, that they are a "non entity that does not have any real power."

Bozievich was correct.  OFF is destructive to their own cause.  Every time they send out their email alerts or open their mouths in hearings, OFF proudly displays their extremism for all to see.


Thursday, November 10, 2016

2016 Election: Gun violence prevention laws make great strides in WA, CA, NV

The shocking outcome of the presidential election leaves many unanswered questions about what steps will be taken in the next four years at the presidential level to reduce gun violence. (CBS compiled a list of Donald Trump's policy proposals.) Ceasefire Oregon Action Fund and our sister organizations will continue to work at the national and state level to reduce gun violence.
Gun violence prevention initiatives in California, Washington and Nevada were successful. We congratulate our gun violence prevention colleagues for their excellent work!

-California overwhelmingly (67% to 33%)  passed Proposition 63, which prohibits high-capacity magazines and creates a court procedure to restrict prohibited people from buying firearms. 

-Washington overwhelmingly (71% to 29%) passed I-1491 which allows families of people in crisis to ask a judge to issue an extreme-risk protection order to temporarily prevent a loved one from having access to firearms.

-Nevada passed Question 1 which requires background checks for almost all firearm sales.

-Maine's universal background check initiative failed but garnered 48% of the vote.

Ceasefire Oregon Action Fund is thrilled to see so many progressives elected to office in 2016. We look forward to working with all the legislators to reduce gun violence in Oregon.

Thank you for your great support!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Ask your candidate: Where do you stand on gun violence prevention?

Ceasefire Oregon

Texas Congresswoman Barbara Jordan said it best:

"Government is too important to be a spectator sport."

She was talking to all of us. Know the issues and where your candidate stands on gun violence prevention.

Registered Oregon voters should have received their ballots by now. If you didn't get yours, call the Oregon Elections Division at 1-866-673-VOTE (1-866-673-8683)

Find your Oregon legislators here.

Is your State Senator up for re-election? Find out here.

Is your State Representative running for re-election? Find out here.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Right now is a great time to ask the candidates questions about their positions on gun safety.
  • Do you believe gun violence is a problem in Oregon? 
    • Fact: In 2014 alone, 497 Oregonians lost their lives to gun violence.1
    • Fact: Over 85% of guns deaths in Oregon are suicides.1
    • Fact: Just last year, Oregon suffered from our deadliest school shooting yet. (Umpqua Community College, Roseburg)
    • Fact: Gunshot wound was a predominant mechanism of death in the incidents of IPV-related homicide.2
  • Do you support an assault weapons ban?3,4
  • Do you support legislation to limit firearm magazine capacity to 10 or fewer bullets? (Oregon's cartridge limit is five when hunting large game.)5,6
  • Would you support a law that requires safe storage for firearms?7
  • Do you believe people should be required to complete training before they can buy a firearm? (Training could include accurate shooting, gun safety and safe storage, conflict de-escalation, and/or anger management.)
  • How would you improve Oregon’s mental health system to help reduce the suicide rate by firearm?8
  • What will you do to reduce gun violence? 
    • Increase standards of gun ownership.9
    • Require secure storage for all firearms.
    • Require research into gun violence in Oregon.
    • Close the Charleston Loophole.10

Call or email your candidates or elected officials today. Ask them the questions listed above and request a reply. Be sure to tell them you're a voter in their district!

Thanks for your work to prevent gun violence.

Ceasefire Oregon Board of Directors

5. Large Capacity Magazines, Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence
6. Ceasefire Oregon supports a magazine limit of 5 cartridges based on the Oregon limit of cartridges permitted when hunting large game.
7. Safe Storage and Gun Locks, Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence
8. Suicide Prevention Resource Center, Oregon Public Health Authority
9. Ceasefire Oregon's Plan to Reduce Gun Violence: Prohibition of gun ownership for 10 years if a person has multiple offenses involving misdemeanor violence, alcohol or drug abuse, domestic violence, a domestic violence restraining order or serious juvenile offense.
10. Close the Charleston Loophole: HB 4147.  2016 Oregon Legislative Session

Make a difference today

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

September Is National Suicide Prevention Month.

September is National Suicide Prevention Month.
You could save the life of someone you love.
Did you know? In Oregon, at least one person every day takes his life by shooting himself to death.
Each year an average of 379 people in Oregon committed suicide using a gun. 
The highest rate of suicide by firearm is by White males over the age of 65. 
Removing firearms from the home, even temporarily, can save the life of someone you love.
From 2010 to 2014:
  • 2,280 Oregonians died from firearms injuries.
  • 1,897 were suicides.
  • The highest firearm injury death rate occurred among White males, aged 65 and older, due to a high suicide rate (38.7 per 100,000).
  • Firearms were used to kill in 87% of the homicide/suicide murders in Oregon.
  • Almost half (44%) of people who died by firearm suicide had a depressed mood.  One-third had a diagnosed mental illness. About a quarter (27%) were being treated for a mental illness and 13% had a history of suicide.
To reduce the risk of suicide, keep all firearms securely locked, unloaded and stored separately from ammunition or store the firearms in another location such as a firearm storage facility. (If you transfer firearms to a friend, even temporarily, you are required by law to perform a background check on the person to whom you are transferring the firearms.)
Firearm owners are not more suicidal than non-firearm owners; rather, their suicide attempts are more likely to be fatal. If highly lethal means are made less available to impulsive attempters and they substitute less lethal means, or temporarily postpone their attempt, their survival odds greatly increase.

Are you a teacher? Learn the signs of suicide and what you can do to prevent a tragedy. Read the Oregon Health Authority's informational page "What Every Teacher Should Know" or download the brochure.

The Ceasefire Oregon Education Foundation partners with Lines for Life and the Oregon Youth Suicide Prevention Program.

For more information: Oregon Violent Death Reporting System, Oregon Injury and Violence Prevention Program

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Gun-Related Art Installations By Sculptor Michael Murphy

Three works of suspended art by Michael Murphy

"Identity Crisis"


2013 site-specific sculptural installation by Michael Murphy for the Association of Visual Arts in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The work consists of 1200 black ping pong balls, braided fibers, steel, and PVC. 10' X 20' X 10'

"Gun Country"

150 toy guns, 12' X 20' X 12' Installed on the roof of UICA in Grand Rapids, MI for Artprize 2014

You can find more work by Michael Murphy at his webpage, here: