Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, in lieu of an in person annual fall dinner this year, we’re going to be hosting our first annual “virtual” fall conference via Zoom on Sunday, November 15, from 12 noon-2 PM PST. Our keynote speaker will be Dr. Michael North of Scotland. Dr. North lost his five year old daughter, Sophie, in the mass shooting committed with handguns at the Dunblane Primary School in Scotland in 1996. Dr. North subsequently helped lead a successful campaign in Great Britain to completely ban civilian ownership of handguns. (Great Britain already had a ban on automatic and semi-automatic rifles.) Since the ban went into effect, there have been no subsequent school shootings, and the rate of gun deaths in Great Britain is currently 1/60th the rate in the United States.

In addition to the keynote address by Dr. North, during the first hour of the conference, a prominent San Francisco Bay Area attorney, Mr. Anthony Schoenberg, who successfully defended a gun lobby challenge to a local ordinance banning large capacity magazines in the case of Fyock v. Sunnyvale, will speak about the Second Amendment and the need to overturn the Supreme Court’s rogue 2008 Heller decision. Americans Against Gun Violence president, Dr. Bill Durston, will wrap up the first hour with a reprise of portions of his talk at the American Public Health Association annual conference in October and a discussion of the opportunities and challenges that a new Biden/Harris presidential administration will present for progress in preventing gun violence. There will be an opportunity for Q&A after each of the scheduled presentations.

The second hour of the conference will be devoted to a more free form discussion in which we’ll invite supporters to provide input concerning how we can work more effectively together to achieve our goal of reducing rates of gun violence in the United States to levels at or below the rates in the other high income democratic countries of the world – countries in which mass shootings occur rarely, if ever, and in which the rate of gun deaths is, on average, one tenth the rate in our own country.

There is no fee to participate in the conference, and you don’t have to already be a paid member of Americans Against Gun Violence to take part in it, but we are asking everyone who plans to participate to register in advance. Due to technical issues related to the Zoom platform, the conference will be divided into two parts, with the first hour being conducted as a Zoom “webinar,” and the second hour being conducted as a Zoom “meeting.” To register for the two parts of the conference, just click on the links below and enter your name and email address.

Click on this link to register  for the webinar beginning at 12 noon PST.

Click on this link to register for the meeting that immediately follows the webinar (beginning about 1 PM PST).

After you register via the above links, you’ll be sent an email from Americans Against Gun Violence via the Zoom server with the links for logging in on the day of the conference, Sunday, November 15. In the email regarding the first hour, the starting time will be listed as 11:30 AM. This is the earliest time that you can log in. Note, though, that the webinar itself will start at 12 noon.

We’re not requiring any fee to register for the November 15 conference, but since the conference is being held in lieu of our annual fall dinner, and since our fall dinners have been our main fundraising events, we would appreciate it if everyone who plans to participate in the conference and who is not currently a paid member of Americans Against Gun Violence would take this opportunity to join for just $25/year ($10/year for students); and we’d also appreciate it if participants would consider making an additional contribution to Americans Against Gun Violence, if you’re able, to support our other ongoing work.