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Wednesday, December 19, 2018

For an activist, Kathleen Glueck is exceptionally polite. When speaking, she reflexively checks her tone, careful to not monopolize a conversation.

“I’m rattling on too much,” she says, unnecessarily apologetic.

After sending me data to make her case, she writes, “Don’t want to inundate you with too many reference materials cluttering up your email!”

Bring it on.

America needs to hear more from the likes of this Cape Cod grandmother. And they will. Despite her gentle demeanor, Glueck admits she is “a dog on a bone” about gun violence.

There is a reason why. She has eight grandchildren. One was a 4th grader at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT the day Adam Lanza went on his rampage with assault weapons.

Glueck’s grandson survived. But he heard the entire killing spree — the screams, the gunfire, the pleading — while hiding inside a cabinet meant for storing musical instruments. Lanza killed himself outside the classroom.

“I can’t take away the grief and lifelong challenge for my family,” she said. “But I just have to do something.”

Grandmothers Against Gun Violence is her something. (Visit the group’s website at

This is how social change occurs. Bit by bit, voice by voice. As Glueck points out, society didn’t always think smoking was bad for the lungs. We didn’t always use seatbelts or find it necessary to pick up after our dogs in the park. But people do now, reflexively even, without question.

Grandmothers Against Gun Violence began inauspiciously in January, as the creation of another concerned grandmother, Linda Alhart of Cummaquid, MA. Alhart wrote a letter to her local newspaper after the Newtown murders expressing dismay at the bloodshed.

People began to contact her, echoing her desire to create a safer community, proposing some outlet for their grief. They began having gatherings that quickly outgrew Alhart’s living room. You just need a heartbeat to join, they say. The members press the message that they are not against guns, just gun violence.

Now, Grandmothers Against Gun Violence has more than 100 members. It has pending 501(c)3 status, meaning contributions will be tax deductible. Alhart is looking into forming chapters in other states. And they’ve affiliated with the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, along with a few other gun safety groups.

Like the handful of mothers who founded MADD, and the bereaved sister behind the breast cancer foundation Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and the father whose passion helped initiate the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Grandmothers Against Gun Violence are committed and vow to be tenacious.

What they will not be is argumentative, at least not in the conventional manner we’ve come to expect in the gun control debate.

Grandmothers Against Gun Violence are not itching for a fight with the National Rifle Association. (As it happens, Glueck’s father, an avid hunter, was a member.) They are bipartisan and uninterested in belabored dissertations on the Second Amendment.

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33 Responses to A Victim’s Grandmother Takes On Gun Violence

  1. I am not a Grandfather, but will shoot anyone that has entered my home uninvited since it’s my Right to use my shotgun to eliminate an intruder at any cost to them. Once I know they are dead than that’s when I will call the Police, but not an Ambulance since they’ll need the Morgue to pick up a stiff that entered a well protected home.

    • Good for you, but do you need an ak-45 to accomplish this? Do you need a weapon that fires massive rounds of ammunition? No I didn’t think so.

      • One shot will do it, if you know where to aim. Between the two blind eyes will be enough since there isn’t anything behind them to stop the bullet from exiting .

        • Your so funny.. Thanks for the chuckle. I do not own guns, never will but that doesn’t mean I’m against them..Only for those who use them irresponsibly. Background checks are essential in order to distinguish these responsible gun owners. To object to such needed legality because you think in conspiracies is only sanctioning those who would shoot you for fun and profit. The slogan, “When guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns” is a fantasy as the law will never be able to take weapons away from responsible law abider’s no matter how hard they tried (short of gestapo tactics which everyone would determine almost immediately) but they definitely will know who and possibly where those outlaws are hanging out. As for your scenario tax payer.. I wouldn’t think of visiting you (or anyone else) without first announcing myself so your response would indeed be creditable.

          • I will only shoot, if someone doesn’t stop on my orders, so they have to decide, if they want to see their new born baby or their ugly wife. I think they rather see their new born baby. Call ahead and you are welcome to visit us. Just kidding because we may live a few thousand miles apart.

          • Just be sure to remember the gun rule – Be sure you ID your target/threat and what is behind it(careful of shoot-thru/over-penetration) even a pistol round can go thru your wall and your neighbors wall and kill some one.
            Plus Someone may not hear you or understand what is happening. Make damn sure you ID them.
            You dont want to shoot your wife, son, mother, police, kid next door, someone actually just lost, etc…….
            I keep a Tactical Light by my gun for ID purposes at night.
            And one in the car.

      • Mr Kalisnikov(Sargent in the Russian army in WWII) did not develope the AK until 1947 thus it is more correctly the AK47 short for Automatic Kalisnikov 1947.
        As for using it for defense – It is the preferred weapon of the gangs since it is relatively cheap compared to the US AR15 but still a more powerful gun, more powerful than the AR15 but much less accurate.
        Many Americans prefer the AR15 for home defense since it is more accurate, and much more versatile in use for hunting and sport.
        Many who are not very good with a hand gun feel the need for an AR
        Most intruders run in pairs and threes. if you are not very good with a hand gun you can easily run out of ammo and they can overtake you so many prefer the AR with the standard 30rd Mag for self/home defense.

        Keeping them out of the hands of the crazies and killers is the key – not banning the gun or its capacity.
        Anyone who has been in a real gun fight knows that accurate shooting is not like on the range, its a whole new very scary world.

        • Thanks for the lesson and sorry you have been through such ordeals in life that warrant you to feel this way. I myself am a sharp shooter and am not scared of intruders, luckily never had to encounter any.

          • Good for you in not having to deal with such things. Hope your luck continues.
            As a Certified Firearms Instructor and Competitive shooter I am not afraid of intruders either. I too can actually hit what I am shooting at, even under battle stress. What I DO fear is having to actually shoot one.

            The Need for an AR
            It has been close a few times,
            Once – they were coming for me(and several men, women & children with me camping) to do us harm even kill us. 5 drunk red-necks with guns. They had already shot at us earlier. I had them in my sights facing them squarely at 10 yds at night way back in the mountains in a State Park, but they stopped and retreated when I told them too(In strong terms they could understand)(ps WE could NOT retreat), so no one got shot. So having a gun was the difference there. And prevented a sure bad result. These type are usually cowards and when confronted by a gun will usually backdown and leave. I only had a 5 shot pistol though and really needed(against 5 with rifles) an AR15 Rifle with a 30rd mag(if it had gotten ugly). I pulled a strong but still Lucky Bluff.
            Again- Training, Responsible ownership, Security Systems, and keeping guns out of the wrong hands(Crazies, Bangers, Intruders, the un-trained, etc) is the answer to the guns problem. Not removing mine from me.

          • I am not for not allowing these weapons to be sold, I just don’t understand why anyone would have a problem with having them registered. I would be the first to register if I owned one.

          • All guns *Legally* bought thru dealers are registered now. Thru the states.
            2 bullets are fired at the Mfgr. – 1 goes to the Fed and one to the gun buyer. For tracing.
            And Background Cks are run thru the State and FBI data bases.
            Thus there is already a Register in place(for legal guns) and gun owners at the State Level..
            The *Rub* is establishing a *Federal Register* of *Gun Owners*.
            The road/path to confiscation. Which is the desired result by many people in power in the Govt now(I can support that claim if need be).
            The British tried that once before at Lexington and Concord and got shot at all the way back to Boston.
            How much do you trust the Fed Govt? Especially if your life may be on the line?
            I generally trust the/our Govt to do the right thing, but am very leery on this issue of future confiscation. As proposed by Feinstein in congress. And desired by the current Admin.

          • We did not have this problem of school killings in the 60’s, 70’s or 80’s.
            Back in the 1990’s the mental institutions were essentially emptied in favor of treating them at home with the new designer drugs, That is about the same time we started having these school killings by young white men on anti-depressants. The data correlation is clear on this. These video war games showing them what to use and how has not helped any,
            Adam Lanza played them constantly. And he clearly was a crazie.

          • The emptying of mental health institutions in the later part of the last century was not “in favor of treating them at home with the new designer drugs” as you suggested. It was a move to save money; it was cheaper to treat them “at home.” (You get what you pay for, and we’re still getting it.)

            BTW, this is an excellent argument for extensive background checks for firearm purchases.

    • I didn’t know you lived is such a crime ridden area. No one is saying you can’t have your shotgun. What everyone wants is that criminals and mental patients have obstacles to getting their hands on weapons so you and your children can be safer

      • I don’t, but maybe because they know the consequence should they break into my home by word of mouth. Anyhow, they know better. I have signs posted unless it’s an illegal that never learned to read English, so he’s done for the night.

    • I hope you don’t shoot your teenager who is sneaking in after curfew, or the meter reader or your neighbor who is returning your garden hose.

      • I don’t have to worry about that because I handcuff them to their beds every night, so they won’t sneak out.

  2. I too am a Grandmother of 23 and a great granfmother of 9. Some of my five sons and grandchildren are avid hunters and own guns. I myself just recently gave my pistol to one of my grandchildren because I’m 81 yrs. old and no longer go shooting. But before I gave away my weapon I made sure my grandson was quialified to own a gun, that he knew how to use it and was responsible for his actions. I called the local police dept. and asked if there was anything that i needed to do before giving my grandson my pistol ( a 38 caliber weapon).

    I am a firm believer in backgrounf checks for all gun owners! If anyone is not mentally ill or a gang member they shoulld have no objection, and if this simple rule saves even ONE life, how can anyone object to it’s passage. I have a feeling that if anyone objecting to this were to loose a family member or loved one to gun violence they would change their opinion quickly.

    Military type weapons belong where they were meant to be, in the military, not in the hands of private citizens. Most hand weapons today are able to shoot multiple rounds, but why do we need more than several shots to protect ourselves..

    • I too am also against “Gun Violence”, but what about when it comes to/at me?
      You need more shots if you are facing multiple attackers, especially if they are armed.
      For reference, in Vietnam(Thru the war), it took (on avarage) 50,000 rounds fired by trained soldiers to kill one enemy.
      This is not exact but close – A woman was recently attacked by 3 men. She had only a 5shot 38 revolver. She was hiding in her home(Georgia I think). They found her(hiding in a closet in the attic). She fired all 5 shots and hit 2 in the face!. All 3 survived but got scared off. Fortunately they left but what if they had not? If the one not shot had not been scared off he could have gotten her.
      I was once faced with 5 drunk rednecks with rifles way back in the mountains.
      They had already taken some shots at us. I was defending several women and children. I had only a 5 shot revolver but really needed an Assault Rifle with at least 2-3 high cap magazines. That night – I faced them down but used the revolver and a very lucky big bluff to do it. Coward bastards.
      Its a big country, we dont all live and play in nice gated, protected communities or high rises.
      And, unfortunately, there are predators everywhere in this country who will kill you for $5.

      In short – you need high cap magazines against multiple threats(like the gang I faced) especially if you are not that good a shot like most honest people.
      And you need a rifle if you are fighting against rifles. Military? the gangs use AK47’s (a military style assault rifle). I should be allowed to have equal firepower for self defense which means an “Assault Rifle” that is what the AK47 is. My Assault Rifle choice is the American AR15. Note – this is not the full-auto military version. It is the semi-auto civilan version.
      Why do you want me to be vulnerable to the gangs, robbers, thieves and other predators with no defense? Or is it you just dont care about what happens to me and other responsible gun owners?

    • Short answer, because MOST gun nuts are cowardly pieces of sh.t, that only attack the helpless, and the innocent. I’m ashamed to admit it, but I wish if there has to be another GUN massacre, that it occurs at the country’s biggest Gun Show!

      • Most gun enthusiasts are good people.
        The Predators of society(Bangers, Thieves, robbers, etc) are the ones
        attacking the helpless(their favorite targets) and the innocent.
        You know – the ones lurking in the shadows who suddenly appear from nowhere and bet the crap out of you, hold a gun on you, maybe kill you and take your money or whatever you have.
        And the School Gun Massacres, all of them, are being done by young white men on drugs(usually anti-depressants) – research it.
        Lets hope there will be no more massacres but there probably will be until we get a handle on securing the schools and gun free zones and the young men on drugs problem.

        • Your first sentence is nothing more than an assumption. I could easily say most Americans are good people. Both statements have merit, but neither statement addresses the indisputable fact that this country has way damn too many GUNS! Even the guns that start out the legal, right way, too many end up in the wrong hands. I’m sure that Adam Lanza’s mother was a fine, upstanding, citizen. Tragically, her guns ended up being used in the most horrific GUN crime in the U.S. in my 57 years. Sorry sir, too too many FREE countries have proven time and again, that we don’t need all these guns to keep our freedom.

          And you know what, the US Military laughs at you people who think you could mount any real attack, against a fully outfitted Marine Battalion. It’s a joke. Let it go, save a few innocent children.

          I was born and raised in Miami, Florida. Left there at 17, jolined the Marines. Returned 4 years later, left again in 1980, moved to Las Vegas. Lived there until 1993, then settled down in a quieter section of Florida. My point, living in what has been considered two of the most dangerous cities in the U.S. I have NEVER needed a gun, not once.

          More guns means more gun deaths, that’s the fact!

          • As for there being too many guns in the country – I will agree there are too many guns in the wrong hands. And not enough training for those in the hands of good people. So we can agree on that part anyway.
            Since I was already 10yr old when you were born, dont tell me who has more experience.
            My experience at gun shows has been that most people there are basically good people and I have probably had a lot more experience with that than you. So that is an *assessment* based on experience and not a *mere assumption*
            The bad guys dont get their guns at gun shows, they steal them or buy from straw people, etc.
            I have put my life on the line to protect children(against very serious armed threats) so dont even start with that s*it about how I dont care about the children.
            As for children being killed in schools, it is all being done by young white men(16-28) on drugs.
            That is just a fact that needs to be addressed. Again – research it.

            I did not bring up the issue of Overthrowing the Govt and dont advocate or wish it.
            But since you wrongly accused me of it I will address it:
            A popular insurgency is very difficult to suppress, even for Marines.
            You can win most of the battles but usually not the War.
            That is how the American Colonials beat the British.
            The VC beat the US in Vietnam – even with Marines.
            And the Taliban will win(in the end) in Afghanistan – even with Marines.
            I am glad we have Marines and appreciate your service, they/you can be a powerful force, but they are not the answer to everything.
            ps1 As a Certified Firearms Instructor, I am one of the guys who teach you guys(mostly SF and SWAT) how to shoot and handle your weapons safely.
            ps2 You seem to have some anger issues you might need to address(exa attacking/accusing me of things I have not said)

  3. Believe it or not, I could also hit what I aimed at because I was taught correctly, before I was allowed to own a gun, even though I was a woman.

    I am not against anyone owning a weapon, however I do not find any excuse for anyone objecting to having to register before purchasing one. You certainly are intitled to your opinion as am I, I hope you never have to be put into a position where you need to use more than a pistol with more than mulitple rounds.
    Written with Respect

  4. She sounds like most grandparents I know, willing to go the distance for their grandchildren. However, while she does not want to be confrontational, it is foregone that the NRA will not allow her to be stoic. They will insult her and they will incite others to call her names she has never even dreamt about. However, once she realizes that the NRA is motivated by the desire to sell more guns and nothing else, then the task becomes somewhat easier. Once she realizes that the reason Adam Lanza’s mother even had those guns in the first place was that the NRA made it legally possible for her to do so and they helped make her a target for the marketing practices of the renewed gun industry. God bless you, Ms. Glueck, and may God smile favorably on you enterprise.

  5. If you are going to shoot you need to shoot to kill or your life will always be in danger, if you miss and these thugs decide you need to die, and they’ll come back in the future.

  6. You can take solace in the fact that eventually Universal Single Payer Health Care INSURANCE will be available to EVERYONE in the country.
    WHEN that happens THEN the assessment of a persons suitability to possess firearms can be reviewed every time a medical insurance form for payment is submitted to wit:
    Physician fills in required form containing procedures performed & DIAGNOSIS CODES. DIAGNOSIS CODES identify a person that is suffering from a ‘mental’ problem. Once the insurance claim is submitted it is a simple matter to scan the claim for DIAGNOSIS CODES associated with mental disorders & flag that individual as a potential ‘problem’.
    THEN the COPS can go get the individuals firearms before they have an opportunity to play Batman or the Joker in a crowed XMAS shopping maul.
    So if you’re against so-called OBAMACARE & you’re for restricting firearms possession to only those who aren’t insane or on drugs or chronic boozers (Republican right wingers need not worry; being a Republican is not YET showing as a DIAGNOSIS CODE identifying you as crazy but that will come over time.)

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