Citizen activists, members of the Delaware Coalition Against Gun Violence and four members of the Delaware General Assembly will gather on Dec. 13 for a town hall meeting that will recap the common-sense gun violence legislation that passed in Delaware in 2015-16, and forecast what opportunities and challenge are likely to arise in the years ahead.
“With the outcome of the presidential election, gun rights activists have started pushing for a unprecedented wave of pro-gun legislation, including legalizing silencers, allowing gun owners who have a concealed carry permit in one state to conceal carry in any other state, and eliminating Gun Free Zones,” said Erik Raser-Schramm, executive director of the Delaware Coalition Against Gun Violence. “These policies will not make our communities safer. Several good, common-sense pieces of legislation that will make our communities safer have become law in Delaware over the past several years. The question is not just about how to keep that momentum going – it’s about how we can resist a movement that would push us backwards.”
Dennis Greenhouse, chair of the Delaware Coalition Against Gun Violence Legislative Fund, and Liane Sorenson, chair of the Delaware Coalition Against Gun Violence Educational Fund, will offer reflections on the past two years and talk about how Delaware became a national leader in passing gun violence prevention legislation.
In the second half of the meeting, Sen. Bryan Townsend, Rep. Paul Baumbach, Rep. John Kowalko and Rep. Ed Osienski will appear in a panel discussion and Q&A with the audience focused on the 2017 legislative season.
The Delaware Coalition Against Gun Violence Town Hall Meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 13 at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Newark at 420 Willa Road in Newark. The meeting is free to the public. RSVPs are appreciated, either on the organization’s Facebook page (facebook.com/decagv) or by email to email@example.com.
Delaware Coalition Against Gun Violence, Movement for a Culture of Peace, and EPiX present a free advance screening of UNDER THE GUN, a new film about gun violence in America, executive produced and narrated by Katie Couric.
Tickets are free with advance registration:
Watch the trailer at: : bit.ly/UnderTheGunFilm
This pre-release event is the only screening in the Delaware Valley before Under the Gun airs on the EPiX network. It will be followed by a discussion conducted by Delaware Coalition Against Gun Violence and Movement for a Culture of Peace.
Variety reported that “In “Under the Gun,” Couric and director Stephanie Soechtig (“Fed Up”) examine why, despite the increase in deaths at the hands of guns and the outpouring of shock and outrage that comes with it, our nation has failed to respond with meaningful action. What is keeping the two sides of this debate — those favoring stricter gun control laws and Second Amendment purists like the NRA — from finding common ground? Through the lens of families impacted by the mass shootings in Newtown, Aurora, Isla Vista, Tucson, as well as the daily gun violence in Chicago, the film examines why our national politicians are refusing to act and what is being done at the state and local levels. The filmmakers decided not to mention the names, nor show the photos, of any shooters in the documentary.”
The film was an official selection at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. The Sundance Institute wrote: “Rather than becoming a screeching polemic that plays to its intended audience, Under the Gun is a fair look at both sides of the national debate.”
Printable flyer and graphic for Under the Gun (Movement for a Culture of Peace):
Sandy Hook Riders Honor Victims,
Seek Gun Violence Reforms by Congress
“Team 26” from Newtown CT will rally at the Perkins Student Center at the University of Delaware on Monday, April 11.
You can ride with Team 26. Meet at 10:00 a.m. at Curtis Mill Park on Paper Mill Road. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
A 400-mile bicycle ride from Newtown CT to Washington DC to raise awareness of gun violence is stopping for a rally at the University of Delaware on Monday, April 11.
Delaware Governor Jack Markell, Team 26 leader Monte Frank, Newark Mayor Polly Sierer, and University of Delaware students will be among the speakers. Markell and Sierer, several state legislators, and others from the community will ride with Team 26 from Curtis Mill Park to the 10:30 a.m. rally at the Perkins Student Center.
The ride from Sandy Hook to the Capitol aims to raise awareness of the gun violence epidemic, to support common sense legislation to reduce gun violence, and to honor the 20 children and 6 educators killed at the Sandy Hook School and all victims of gun violence throughout the Nation.
This year, Team 26 is advocating for universal background checks and supporting grassroots efforts at the state and local level. As America’s bike messengers, they will be delivering a petition to Congress to keep guns off campuses, which currently has more than 36,000 signatures.
The team of 26 cyclists represents the 26 children and teachers killed at the school by a lone gunman armed with a military-style assault rifle. After leaving Delaware, the riders will cycle to Baltimore on their way to Washington, D.C., for a Tuesday rally at the Capitol. Download a full-size poster (pdf).
This is the bike team’s second visit to Delaware in support the work of the Delaware Coalition Against Gun Violence (DeCAGV) and other gun violence prevention groups. Last year, Team 26 rallied at the Hockessin PAL Center.
Additional sponsors are Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus.
SCHEDULE for Monday, April 11:
7:30 a.m. Team 26 leaves West Chester, PA, on the third day of their 4-day, 400-mile ride from Newtown CT to Washington DC.
9:30 a.m. Team 26 crosses into Delaware from Chadds Ford. Riders will pass through Yorklyn and Hockessin on their way to Newark.
10:00 a.m. Team 26 arrives at Curtis Mill Park (287 Paper Mill Rd., Newark 19711) to link up with Delaware cyclists, including Governor Jack Markell and Newark Mayor Polly Sierer, to ride the final mile to the Perkins Center (325 Academy St, Newark, DE 19716).
10:30 a.m. Rally at University of Delaware
Perkins Student Center – 325 Academy Street, Newark, DE
- Governor Jack Markell
- Monte Frank – Team 26
- Newark Mayor Polly Sierer
- Eliza Eggleston, U of D student from Newtown CT
- Brian Fahey, U of D graduate and member
DeCAGV Advisory Board
- Dennis Greenhouse, DeCAGV Board Chair
11:00 a.m. Public meet and greet with members of Team 26
11:30 a.m. Team 26 departs for Baltimore for a 4:00 pm rally
Will Protect Victims of Domestic Violence
October 2, 2015 – Dozens of advocates for domestic violence prevention and sensible gun regulation applauded today Delaware Governor Jack Markell’s signed a bipartisan bill that addresses gaps in Delaware law to help protect domestic violence victims from abusers with access to firearms.
“Today is a victory for common sense and a victory for safer communities,” said former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, the Co-Founder of the gun violence prevention organization Americans for Responsible Solutions (ARS), ARS partnered with the Delaware Coalition Against Gun Violence (DeCAGV) and the state’s Coalition Against Domestic Violence (DCADV) to pass SB-83 with bipartisan majorities in both houses of the Delaware General Assembly.
“In the face of calls from Delaware’s domestic violence survivors and public safety officials, Republicans and Democrats came together to pass a law that helps keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and protect vulnerable people and their families,” said Giffords. “And with Governor Markell’s signature now affixed to this bipartisan proposal, Delaware will be a safer place to live.”
The bill’s sponsors, Sen. Margaret Rose Henry (D-Wilmington) and Rep. Valerie Longhurst (D-Bear), participated in the signing ceremony. Attorney General Matt Denn also supported SB-83.
Liane Sorenson, chair of DeCAGV’s Educational Fund and former Republican state senator praised the legislation. “I’ve been working on protecting Delaware’s domestic violence survivors for 23 years, and I was on the Delaware Domestic Violence Coordinating Council during my career as a legislator. We are still fighting these battles today and this commonsense law will make a difference, and it will save lives. Today is yet another sign that Republicans and Democrats can come together around responsible solutions that help limit domestic abusers’ access to guns and protect vulnerable people and families,” said .
The bill, which goes into effect on January 1, 2017, and was co-sponsored by Democratic and Republican legislators, will protect victims of domestic violence and dating violence by helping prevent domestic abusers’ access to guns, without affecting the Second Amendment rights of law abiding people. The law will:
Prevent individuals convicted of dating partner violence within the past five years from buying or owning guns. Under current Delaware law, when a dating abuser or a former cohabitant is convicted in a court of law beyond reasonable doubt of “misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence” he or she is permitted to purchase or possess a gun. This poses a serious danger to the victim and his or her family. This legislation will prohibit abusers who have been convicted for a misdemeanor crime of a domestic violence when the victim was a substantive dating partner or when the criminal offense happened within 3 years from when the relationship ended from owning or possessing guns for 5 years.
Protect victims who have fled their homes from their abuser. Current Delaware law only prohibits gun possession by a person convicted of victimizing a cohabitant if they were living together at the time of the crime. This means that an abuser does not lose his or her gun eligibility if he or she is convicted for a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence after the victim fled the home. This legislation would ensure convicted abusers are prohibited from possessing firearms for five years when the criminal offense happened within 3 years from when the victim fled the home.
Help enforce existing law by requiring that people subject to a Protection From Abuse order, who have been instructed to surrender their firearms, identify to the court how they have done so. The bill would also help ensure that guns are surrendered pursuant to a PFA order by clarifying that the abuser must turn over these weapons immediately upon the request of a law enforcement officer or, if no request is made, within 24 hours at a staffed police station.
Congresswoman Giffords visited the Delaware State Capitol in May and called on lawmakers to pass SB 83 and help keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers. A survey of registered Delaware voters conducted on behalf of Americans for Responsible Solutions found that a broad majority of Delawareans – including gun owners – support the bill’s key elements. Click here to read a summary of the research’s findings.
Fifty percent of fatal and near-fatal domestic violence incidents in Delaware involve a gun.
Between 1996 and 2013, guns in Delaware were used in 40 homicides of intimate partners, and in 13 homicides of other people in domestic violence incidents (family members, children, and bystanders killed in these shootings). Guns were also used in 17 domestic violence-related suicides.
Nationally, women in the U.S. are 11 times likely to be murdered with a gun than women in other developed countries, and more than half of all murders of America’s women are committed with a gun. Abused women are also five times more likely to be killed by their abuser if that individual has access to a firearm.
On Friday, October 2, Delaware Governor Jack Markell will sign SB-83, a bill that extends protection from gun violence in dangerous domestic abuse situations. The bill passed the General Assembly in June after an extensive campaign by a coalition of domestic violence groups and advocates of sensible gun laws.
The Delaware Coalition Against Gun Violence (DeCAGV) was instrumental in this campaign. We marshaled allies across the state and nation, including numerous local groups and national organizations such as States United to Prevent Gun Violence, Americans for Responsible Solutions, and the Center for American Progress.
DeCAGV does not take credit for this legislation. We acknowledge that voters across Delaware saw its merit and urged their legislators to support it. Our contribution to its success was in connecting advocates for women (the principal victims of domestic violence) with those who seek a sensible, practical approach to stemming the epidemic of gun injuries and deaths plaguing Delaware and the nation.
At a senate hearing on SB-83 in early June, more than 25 witnesses testified in favor of the common-sense bill. The law will
- Prohibit gun possession by a person convicted of misdemeanor dating-partner violence within the past 3 years
- Prohibit gun possession by any person convicted of a violent misdemeanor against a former cohabitant (who lived with the perpetrator) during the past 3 years
- Ensure that domestic abusers ordered to surrender their guns to a police agency or to a federally licensed gun dealer. Subjects will also be required to identify to the court that they have surrendered their firearms
- Prohibit gun purchases by an abuser while he or she is subject to an emergency Protection From Abuse orde
- Prohibit gun purchases by an abuser while he or she is subject to an emergency Protection From Abuse order
DeCAGV thanks leaders in both the Delaware Senate and House for sponsoring and supporting this bill, which will become effective on January 1, 2017. The primary sponsor in the senate was Sen, Margaret Rose Henry; in the House it was Rep. Valerie Longhurst.
The bill will be signed during a ceremony at 10:00 a.m. at the YWCA Home Life Management Center—which provides long-term shelter and services fro victims of domestic abuse.
Join DeCAGV to Welcome Team 26:
Sandy Hook Ride on Washington
Monday, March 30 — 10:00 to Noon — Hockessin PAL
7259 Lancaster Pike, Hockessin 19707
- Who: Team 26: the Sandy Hook Bike Team from Newtown, Conn.
- What: Only Delaware stop during their third annual Ride on Washington
- Where: Police Athletic League, Hockessin
- When: Monday, March 30, 10:00 to Noon
Why: Team 26 is riding from Newtown to Washington to honor the 26 victims of the Dec. 14, 2012, Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre and all other victims of gun violence—and to support common-sense state and federal gun reform. Since Sandy Hook, there have been more than 50 deaths from gun violence in Wilmington alone. DeCAGV is working every day to reduce the violence and to keep our kids and communities safe.
Join the Rally: Meet members of Team 26 as they take a short break during the third day of their 400-mile ride from Newtown to Washington. We’ll have music and balloons, plus the WiLDWiCH food truck serving beverages and sandwiches.
10:00 to 1:00
At the PAL Center
Ride with Team 26: Cyclists who would like to join Team 26 for the final few miles of the ride should assemble at the Center for Creative Arts in Yorklyn at 10:00 a.m. To register as a rider, email email@example.com.
- Questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Download a pdf copy of our poster here:
Sandy Hook Ride Poster Final2
Building a Culture of Peace
Co-sponsored by Pacem in Terris and the Delaware Coalition Against Gun Violence
All events are held in the Daughty House adjacent to Westminster Presbyterian Church parking lot, 1503 W. 13th Street, Wilmington, DE 19806. For more information, call 302-656-2721. For detailed descriptions of these programs, visit www.depaceminterris.org
Tuesday, February 3, 7 pm
Treating Violence Like a Contagious Disease
TED Talk – Dr. Gary Slutkin
TED Talk – Scilla Elworthy
The Ripple Effect
A Film by Christiana Care Health System
Chaz Molins, Violence Intervention and Prevention Coordinator
Christiana Care Health System
Impacts of Gun Violence on Communities
Tuesday, February 10, 7 pm
Shell Shocked (film)
Mass Incarceration and the New Jim Crow
Tuesday, February 17, 7 pm
Broken On All Sides (film)
A New World View
Tuesday, February 24, 7 pm
One Day of Peace
Two TED Talks – Jeremy Gilley & Jody Williams
Tuesday, March 3, 7 pm
A Step Too Far? A Contemplation On Forgiveness
DeCAGV Supports the Movement for a Culture of Peace
Since November, the Movement for a Culture of Peace has held a public forum the first Saturday morning of every month. Delaware Coalition Against Gun Violence invites you to what will be a provocative panel discussion of the public health issues raised by gun violence. Acting director George Higgins will moderate the discussion.
Saturday, Feb. 7, 9:00 to 11:30 a.m.
Trinity Episcopal Church
1108 North Adams. St (corner Pennsylvania Ave.)
Wilmington DE 19801
Why think of gun violence as a public health problem?
Consider this from the Journal of the American Medical Association in winter 2013, just after the Newtown, Conn. school shooting:
Injury prevention research can have real and lasting effects. Over the last 20 years, the number of Americans dying in motor vehicle crashes has decreased by 31%. Deaths from fires and drowning have been reduced even more, by 38% and 52%, respectively. This progress was achieved without banning automobiles, swimming pools, or matches. Instead, it came from translating research findings into effective interventions.
Given the chance, could researchers achieve similar progress with firearm violence? It will not be possible to find out unless Congress rescinds its moratorium on firearm injury prevention research. Since Congress took this action in 1997, at least 427 000 people have died of gunshot wounds in the United States, including more than 165 000 who were victims of homicide. To put these numbers in context, during the same time period, 4586 Americans lost their lives in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The United States has long relied on public health science to improve the safety, health, and lives of its citizens. Perhaps the same straightforward, problem-solving approach that worked well in other circumstances can help the nation meet the challenge of firearm violence. Otherwise, the heartache that the nation and perhaps the world is feeling over the senseless gun violence in Newtown will likely be repeated, again and again.
Yet, as the full article points out, the gun lobby actively works to prevent the gathering of data by the CDC and other entities that would allow the very same injury prevention research to focus on gun violence.
This is just one of the things that will be discussed at the Movement for a Culture of Peace forum on Feb. 7. Our panelists will be:
Pediatrician David Chen, M.D., M.P.H., Nemours/A.I. DuPont Hospital for Children
Zak Kozberg, Constituency Organizer, Americans for Responsible Solutions
LaVaida Owens-White, Nurse Consultant, Christ Our King Parish
The discussion will be moderated by George Higgins, acting director of the Delaware Coalition Against Gun Violence.
A new feature of the Saturday morning forum will be more time devoted to networking opportunities. Come as an individual or representing your organization. This is the Movement you need to connect the dots between us, to work together toward a culture of peace.
The Delaware Coalition Against Gun Violence is pleased to honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., by participating in this event. George Higgins, acting director of DeCAGV will be on the panel.
Confronts Institutional Racism
“The Issue of Race Deeply Shapes America”
Monday, January 19th
10:00 AM – Noon
YWCA Delaware recognizes MLK, Jr. Day each year by presenting an Action Forum to raise awareness and inspire action to affect social change around issues of racial disparity and race relations. Join us for this year’s Action Forum to address institutional racism based on the fact that race continues to be a significant factor in every dimension of life such as employment, education, economics, housing, health care, crime, political candidates and public policy. The focus of the forum is to engage the community, willing executives and public policymakers to become proactive in finding common ground to close the racial divide in Delaware communities.
Confronting Institutional Racism
This forum will create opportunities for the community, business, government and political leaders together to have open and honest dialogue regarding racial justice issues that broadly impact the success of people of color and the entire Delaware community. The panelist will be talking about the need to develop workable solutions in the workplace and our communities, placing emphasis on the fact that diversity has real purpose and in our collective strength lies unity. We must move beyond racial dialogue and develop more integrative workplaces by creating risk-free environments that allow people to freely contribute their best ideas by genuinely being included. Influential people must move out of their comfort zone and serve as examples for others to do the same by establishing circles of inclusion.
Special Guest Panelists
Chair of the US Constitution, 4th Amendment Search and Seizure Committee of the Coalition to Dismantle the New Jim Crow
Michele was educated in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania public school system and attended the University of Pennsylvania and Dickinson Law School. She worked for both the Defender’s Office and the District Attorney’s office in Philadelphia; was a member of the Human Relations Council in the early 1970’s; has a broad based background in business, finance, and the law; has lived in Delaware on and off for approximately 40 years; has three grown children and four grandchildren; and is currently a student in the Master of Liberal Arts program at the University of Delaware – a lifelong student.
Acting Director of the Delaware Coalition Against Gun Violence
During his career, George served as emissary from the DuPont Company to US Navy Commander in Chief Pacific. Following retirement, George has been a key player in alliance with the offices of the Governor and the Attorney General, working in concert with the Delaware Coalition Against Gun Violence to energize public action resulting in the enactment of Delaware’s first Background Check and Lost or Stolen Gun laws.
Dr. Yasser Payne
Associate Professor of the Department of Black American Studies at the University of Delaware
Dr. Yasser Payne is an Associate Professor in the Department of Black American Studies at the University of Delaware. Dr. Payne completed his doctoral work at the Graduate Center-City University of New York where he was trained as a social-personality psychologist. He also completed a postdoctoral fellowship funded by the National Institute of Drug Abuse where he worked on a re-entry and intervention based research project in New York City’s largest jail, Rikers Island—a project designed to reduce: (1) recidivism, (2) drug use, and (3) other risky behavior leading to HIV/AIDS.
Roy Sudler, Jr.
Mt. Zion A.M.E. Church’s Chairman of the Social Action Commission
Roy earned a Bachelor of Science with a concentration in Family Management from Morris Brown College in 1999. From Wilmington University, he received his first Masters Degree in Human Resources in 2002 and his second Masters in Healthcare Administration in 2006. Roy is a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.From 2001 to 2003, he served as the NAACP Labor Relations Chairman for the Delaware Central Branch. In 2004, Roy was appointed by the Mayor to the Dover Human Relations Commission where he served as Community Programs Chairperson from 2004 to 2009; in 2010 he was elected Chairman.In 2014, Roy accepted an appointment from Governor Jack Markel to the State of Delaware’s Human Relations Commission; in addition to currently serving in Dover as Mt. Zion A.M.E. Church’s Chairman of the Social Action Commission. In May 2014, the City of Dover’s Council Committee asked him to come back and serve on the Legislative Finance and Administration Committee.Roy occupies his time managing Mishoe Cove, LLC and his construction business, Sudler & Mishoe General Contracting Builders, LLC. .