The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (sic) has announced it is winding down operations. It will be merging its sister organization Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence (sic) with Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Prevention. The new organization will be called the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions.
According to CBS Baltimore, the new center will be co-led by Daniel Webster who led the Bloomberg School center and Joshua Horwitz who was executive director of CSGV.
The release from JHU’s Bloomberg School of Public Health said the new center would “bring a public health lens to reduce gun violence in the U.S., focusing on research while expanding evidence-based advocacy for effective and equitable policies. They also say the new center will be financed by foundations, private donors, and other sources. I read this to mean that they will be getting significant monies from Michael Bloomberg, his own foundations, and the Joyce Foundation.
The press release goes on to say:
The Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions will focus on prevention strategies that, if implemented broadly, would significantly reduce gun-related death and injury. It will:
- Conduct research to evaluate and strengthen public health approaches to gun violence such as community violence intervention programs and handgun purchaser licensing.
- Advance the use of racial equity impact analysis when considering policies to address gun violence.
- Advance evidence-based policies such as handgun purchaser licensing and laws to remove firearms from those at risk of harm to self or others.
- Develop new approaches to curb political violence and address the misuse of personally manufactured firearms, commonly referred to as ghost guns.
- Track public opinion on policy and violence-reduction programs through surveys.
“Our Center will continue to apply strong research methods to assess the effectiveness of strategies intended to prevent gun violence,” says Webster. “With our new colleagues, we will now have even more capacity to bring meaningful policy change through evidence-based advocacy.”
“Our biggest successes have come when the evidence meets the moment,” says Horwitz. “Right now is one such moment. This new Center will put the evidence-based solutions identified and developed by our new colleagues directly into the hands of the policymakers ready to make change.”
There are two major implications from this merger. First, the growth of Everytown and Giffords relegated CSGV to being a gun control bit-player with not even marginal influence. The most they could do is stomp their feet, post angry tweets, accuse gun rights activists of being “insurrectionists”, and try to get a dozen people to attend a demonstration.
They just had no future within the gun control industry. According to their Form 990, they were barely covering expenses. They had a little more than a half million dollars in revenue and about the same in expenses of which Joshua Horwitz’s salary consumed about a third. By contrast, Everytown had revenues of approximately $85 million.
The second major implication is that Michael Bloomberg is going to push the supposed public health implications of the criminal misuse of firearms in his attempt to get legislation passed. I don’t think this merger would have happened without the consent, implied or expressed, of Bloomberg. This was not a merger of equals. If anything, it was a takeover that consolidated more of the 501(c)(3) gun control world under his influence while getting rid of a bit-player that could have muddied the message.
In one sense I am sad to see CSGV go away. They provided material for many blog posts with their craziness. You could always depend upon Horwitz to be foaming at the mouth about “insurrectionism” while their former communications director Ladd Everitt could be depended upon for invective about gun rights. I was a “gun extremist” while my friend Kurt Hofmann was branded a “traitor“.
CSGV may be leaving but I still have my commemorative patch!