I'm Kenney Mencher. I'm an artist who left a tenured professorship in 2016 to pursue making art full time. This blog is about art, art history, with a emphasis on human rights. I make homoerotic art featuring bears, otters & other gay wildlife.
Wednesday, September 2, 2020
At the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) and Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence (Ed Fund), we are committed to reducing gun violence in all its forms and ensuring that equity is a core tenet of our work. We recognize that there is an immediate way to begin exercising our responsibility to make our country more equitable and safe for all Americans, and we look forward to working toward this goal with our partners. We hope you will join us.
In order to share the good work the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) and Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence (Ed Fund) have been doing, we are sending out a monthly update with articles and press featuring our staff. We want to remind you that the best way to stay up-to-date is to visit www.csgv.org and www.efsgv.org as well as follow us on social media including Facebook and Twitter.
As usual, don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or ideas. Thank you for your continued support.
(August 30, 2020) Josh Horwitz, Executive Director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, said, “Dangerous chaos ensues when guns are added to volatile situations. In America today, guided by Donald Trump’s violent rhetoric and encouragement of untrained, unregulated, unprepared ‘militias,’ the gun culture has grown tragically out of hand. There are just too many guns out there, and too many people are too quick to use them, including law enforcement, ignoring the infectious nature the first shot fired can lead to. America must ask, why are we a nation where using arms is too often a first step, rather than the very last? Our president has failed to de-escalate and defuse violence, instead inciting and inflaming it. Massive change is critical to address the violence and its root causes.”
(August 28, 2020) Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Director of State Affairs Jen Pauliukonis said, “The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence thanks Assemblymember Chiu, Senators Jackson and Weiner, and all of their colleagues who came together to pass this vitally important bill. Once again, California demonstrates its national leadership by taking this bold step to protect public health and curb gun violence. If widely adopted, microstamping could help law enforcement solve more gun crimes and identify firearm trafficking channels. In many cities across California, fewer than half of all gun homicides are solved, leaving victims and families without closure. Microstamping technology has the potential to help identify gun trafficking channels, resolve unsolved murders, and hopefully provide closure for victims and survivors of gun violence.”
(August 27, 2020) “Veteran suicide is a public health crisis,” said Dakota Jablon, CSGV’s Director of Federal Affairs, and Suicide Prevention Specialist at the Ed Fund. “Veterans are at far greater risk than other adults, and of those who die by suicide, almost 7 out of 10 use a firearm. But it doesn’t have to be this way. We know that anything that delays the time between suicidal thoughts and action – such as reducing access to firearms – can save lives, by allowing more opportunity for intervention. Lethal means safety counseling creates these opportunities, by working with veterans to limit their access to firearms during times of increased risk.”
(August 26, 2020) Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Executive Director Josh Horwitz said, “The shooting of protesters last night in Kenosha illustrates the dangerous chaos that ensues when guns — especially weapons of war — are added to an already volatile situation. It has become far too common in this country, under Donald Trump’s encouragement of unregulated militias, to shoot first and ask questions later. Last night’s violence in which an armed citizen, a teen no less, shot and killed two people and injured at least one other comes 24 hours after Trump celebrated a Missouri couple who recklessly aimed guns at protestors. Today’s gun culture rife in American society has corrupted our moral fiber so extensively that even our president promotes killing fellow citizens. It’s time that Americans put down their guns and practice deescalation — this applies to law enforcement, political leadership, and everyday Americans. How many more people must die before we start valuing human life over our guns?”
(August 24, 2020) Kami Chavis, Vice President of Strategy and Programming at the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, said, “The Kenosha police officers responsible for shooting Jacob Blake used their guns as a violent tool of power and racism, and their actions must be immediately investigated. Blake, like so many Black men before him wounded or killed by police officers’ triggers, must see justice…Jacob Blake’s name is now another on a long list of those who have been harmed or killed as a result of bias, racial injustice and gun violence. It is up to law enforcement to take the responsibility to work with the communities they protect, not against them.”
(August 12, 2020) “The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence supports the efforts of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus to address systemic racism that is the root cause of violence in far too many communities,” said Lori Haas, Senior Director of Advocacy and Virginia State Director at the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. “These issues have been ignored for too long by the Virginia General Assembly — and so many other lawmakers across the country. We are at a profound moment of reckoning on race in America. It is time for Virginia to do better. We support the policy priorities of the VLBC for the upcoming special session.”
(August 6, 2020) Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Executive Director Josh Horwitz said, “Today is a wake-up call to NRA members. The National Rifle Association deserves to be dissolved. It has abandoned its mission of gun safety and training, corrupted the meaning of the 2nd Amendment, and betrayed its members. The organization no longer serves a purpose beyond making liars rich…40,000 Americans die by gun violence every year. The NRA under its corrupt leadership has stood in the way of reasonable efforts to address this national epidemic. Today’s actions by Attorneys General James and Racine represent a monumental moment for progress toward gun violence prevention and the fight for a safer America.”
“I am one of hundreds of thousands of Virginians who live with mental illness. Like many people with mental illness, I understand the need to reform our approach to mental health and policing. I understand because I’ve experienced the flaws of our current system firsthand. As the Virginia General Assembly convenes Tuesday for a special session on criminal justice and police reform, I will be watching to see if legislators act in the best interests of constituents like me. I will be watching to see whether they support legislation that would allow trained mental health professionals, rather than armed first responders, to respond to mental health crises.”
PRESENTATIONS & TESTIMONY
On Wednesday, August 19, as part of the DNC’s virtual programming for the 2020 Democratic National Convention, Director of Federal Affairs Dakota Jablon joined Brady, the Community Justice Action Fund, Everytown, Giffords, and March For Our Lives for a roundtable discussion moderated by Representative Lucy McBath on everyday gun violence in America.
On Wednesday, July 29, Vice President of Strategy and Programming Kami Chavis presented for the Safe Tennessee Project on the intersection of police violence and gun violence and reform opportunities at the local and national level.
MEDIA MENTIONS // ARTICLES & PRESS
On August 30, Executive Director Josh Horwitz appeared on 60 Minutes. The episode, which originally aired in November 2019, focused on extreme risk protection orders (ERPO). Watch the full episode here.
“Many citizens in the Commonwealth are not gun owners and understand the risks of guns in too many places and the increased risk of injury or death from those firearms,” said Lori Haas of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. “City and county boards are responding to their citizens’ desires and wishes and regulating where and when and at what events firearms are allowed.”
“The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence strongly endorses the Lori Jackson Domestic Violence Survivor Protection Act,” said Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Director of Federal Affairs Dakota Jablon. “Expanding the definition of intimate partner to include current and former dating partners would protect individuals who have historically not received adequate protection. Making temporary domestic violence protective orders gun prohibitory will ensure victims are provided safety through the entire domestic violence protective order process. The Lori Jackson Domestic Violence Survivor Protection Act is based in evidence and would help save countless lives; we are proud to support this bill and thank Senator Blumenthal for his leadership.”