Nearly 200 Music Industry Artists, Executives Demand Stricter Gun Control Laws

Almost 200 leading music industry figures have signed an open letter demanding Congress to pass bills for stricter gun control laws, including legislation that will prevent potentially dangerous individuals from purchasing firearms, reports The Wrap.  Lin-Manuel Miranda, Paul McCartney, Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga, and Demi Lovato were just a few of the names on the list. “As leading artists and executives in the music industry, we are adding our voices to the chorus of Americans demanding change,” the letter published by Billboard reads.

New Book on Corporations and Global Health Governance

Case Studies on Corporations & Global Health Governance, edited by Nora Kenworthy, Ross MacKenzie and Kelley Lee, presents interdisciplinary case studies on how corporations influence global health governance and how they could be held more accountable.  The empirical studies examine several industries across high, low and middle income countries and explore the impact of corporations and their allies on the governance processes that shape population health.

Gays Against Guns: civil disobedience campaign to target gun companies

Hundreds of gay activists will begin a campaign of civil disobedience and direct action against gun companies and their supporters, to demand an end to the epidemic of gun violence blighting the US, reports The Guardian. Members of Gays Against Guns, a group formed in the wake of the massacre of 49 people at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando earlier this summer, said they would “no longer stand by and watch the gun industry profit from death”. Above, the group pictured during the 2016 NYC Pride March. Credit.

Public Opinion Regarding Whether Speaking With Patients about Firearms Is Appropriate: Results of a National Survey

Health care providers have been encouraged to discuss firearms with patients; whether patients view these discussions as appropriate is unclear.  In an online survey of U.S. adults, researchers found that two thirds of non–firearm owners and more than one half of firearm owners in the United States believe that health care provider discussions about firearms are at least sometimes appropriate.

Citation: Betz ME, Azrael D, Barber C, Miller M. Public Opinion Regarding Whether Speaking With Patients About Firearms Is Appropriate: Results of a National Survey. Ann Intern Med. [Epub ahead of print 26 July 2016] doi:10.7326/M16-0739

Guns, trade secrets and the public’s right to know

A stark battle between corporate and public interests is taking place in a courtroom in Bridgeport, Connecticut, where the families of 10 children killed in the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School are suing Remington Arms, the company that makes and sells the semi­automatic weapon used by the killer, writes Alison Frankel  for Reuters. The fight is over Remington’s marketing and sales information.  Read more.

Assessing the health impact of transnational corporations: its importance and a framework

A framework for assessing health impact of transnational corporations. Source.
A framework for assessing health impact of transnational corporations.

The adverse health and equity impacts of transnational corporations’ (TNCs) practices have become central public health concerns as TNCs increasingly dominate global trade and investment and shape national economies. Despite this, methodologies have been lacking with which to study the health equity impacts of individual corporations and thus to inform actions to mitigate or reverse negative and increase positive impacts. A new report in Globalization and Health  describes a framework designed to conduct corporate health impact assessment (CHIA), that was developed at a meeting held at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center in May 2015.

Continue reading Assessing the health impact of transnational corporations: its importance and a framework

Judge Compares Guns to Cigarettes In Sandy Hook Lawsuit

A Connecticut judge struggled for reasons to avoid dismissing a potentially groundbreaking lawsuit against Remington Arms, reports Forbes. At one point she asked lawyers whether claims against the manufacturer of the gun used in the Sandy Hook school massacre were similar to tobacco litigation.  At the end of the hearing in Superior Court in Bridgeport Judge Barbara Bellis urged attorneys for the gun maker and families of the victims to consider sending a crucial question about the applicability of a state consumer-protection statute to the Connecticut Supreme Court for review, because, she said, “One way or another it is going to end up there.”

Gun Industry Describes Mass Shootings like Orlando as a “Big Opportunity”

Above, a Glock 17, one of the two guns used in the Orlando shooting. Credit

Lee Fang writes in The Intercept that in recent corporate presentations, leading gun makers celebrated the fact that consumers bought more firearms because of the December terrorist attack in San Bernardino. And, prior to the massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando on Saturday night, executives were telling investors to expect another big bump — because of the upcoming elections.

Continue reading Gun Industry Describes Mass Shootings like Orlando as a “Big Opportunity”

Kalashnikov, Maker of AK-47, Looks to Rebrand

As part its broad new marketing effort, the Russian gun maker Kalashnikov now sends representatives to gun stores across Russia to promote its products, reports the New York Times. At a gun shop in Moscow’s suburbs, Kalashnikov has provided two window displays exclusively for its rifles, and racks and shelves to sell branded T-shirts and shoulder patches. “The idea is to surround the customer with the brand, so he is not tempted to spend money anywhere else,” said a company spokesman. “It’s a very modern approach. Some people want black plastic, some people want beechwood, some people want walnut…No two comrades have the same taste.”

NRA is now almost entirely a pro-Republican group, spending more money than ever to ensure Congress doesn’t enact any gun safety laws

For four decades, the National Rifle Association has pumped millions of dollars into federal elections, supporting both Republican and Democratic candidates who voted in accordance with the gun group’s strict view of the Second Amendment. That era is over, reports the New York Daily News and The Trace. “What you’re seeing is that the NRA is now operating at the core of the Republican national party coalition,” says Michael Malbin, executive director of the Campaign Finance Institute, a leading think tank on money in politics. “They’ve essentially zeroed out Democrats. They used to give to them as a way to maintain leverage in both parties.”