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06/20/2019

Brady President, Kris Brown, Discusses Current Policy Efforts to Curb Gun Violence (June 23rd)

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US gun violence is, in one word, obscene.  It is widely considered an epidemic, even the always cautious AMA termed it a "public health crisis" in 2016.  Through the first five months of this year there were 148 mass shootings that killed or wounded nearly 750 individuals.   It is worth repeating comments I made in April 2018 to introduce Dr. Al-Abga (whom treated victims of the 1999 Columbine High School shooting).  US gun deaths are 96 times higher than in Japan, 55 times higher than in the UK, 32 times higher than in Germany.  Gun violence is particularly common in schools.  Since 2000 there have been over 200 shootings in over 40 states at elementary, middle, high schools and at colleges and universities. Research suggests gun violence is explained largely by one fact: gun prevalence. The US makes up less than 5% of the world's population but owns nearly 45 percent the world's guns, or 300 million that one-third of Americans’ possess.  Ownership is, for example, 150 times higher than in Japan.  This fact largely explains why guns used to commit homicides far exceeds other developed countries.  US gun homicides are 471 times more prevalent than in the UK.  As for whether mental health issues explain US gun violence, the rate of severe mental disorders in the US is no greater than in comparative countries. 

During this 26 minute conversation Ms. Brown discusses Brady United's mission or work activities including its legal efforts relative to the 2nd amendment.  Moreover, she explains current efforts in the Congress to appropriate moneys for federal gun violence research (that has not been conducted for over 20 years) and recently House-passed bills that include regulating gun sales via extending background checks to private fire arm sales.  Ms. Brown also discusses policy plans by Democratic presidential candidates including Sen. Cory Borker to curb gun violence and she discusses the State of Virginia's upcoming special session next month in the wake of the May 31st Virginia Beach shooting that left 12 dead.  

Ms. Kris Brown is the President of Brady.  Ms. Brown began her career working on Capitol Hill for (now former ) Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA), advocating for the bill that would eventually KrisBrown-LipstickLobbyHeadshot_190225_192444become the Brady Act requiring background checks on federally licensed gun sales.  At Brady, she led the lunch of the organization’s safe storage campaign to End Family Fire and formed Brady’s “Team Enough” youth initiative after February 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre in Florida.  A noted media commentator, Ms. Brown was, for example, featured in the November 2018 TIME magazine cover article titled, “Guns in America.”  Ms. Brown has also served as the Chief Legal Officer to a publicly traded company based in Switzerland and as a lawyer practicing at the law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges.  She earned her law degree at George Mason University. 

For more on Brady go to: https://www.bradyunited.org/  

For information on the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2019 go to: https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/1112/text 

The recent debate sparked by FiveThirtyEight regarding the accuracy of CDC's gun injury statistics and titled, "The CDC is Publishing Unreliable Date on Gun Injuries, People Are Using It Anyway," is at: https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-cdc-is-publishing-unreliable-data-on-gun-injuries-people-are-using-it-anyway/

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