Becky Ceartas's activity stream

  • published 1.31.19 intern blog in Blogs 2019-03-04 04:57:47 -0500

    1.31.19 intern blog

    Duke University Hosts Panel on Reducing Gun Violence

    January 31, 2018

        Duke University students, faculty, and staff, along with residents of the Durham community, gathered on campus Tuesday evening for a student-organized panel on reducing gun violence. Co-sponsored by the Office of the Vice-Provost, panelists included professors from numerous schools within the University, including Professor Phillip Cook from the Sanford School of Public Policy, Professors Darrell Miller and Joseph Blocher from the Law School, and Professor Jeffrey Swanson from the School of Medicine.

        David Prisch, a junior majoring in Political Science, put the panel together after the tragic Tree of Life shooting in Pittsburg, which occurred in October of this past year. Prisch stated that “even if we can’t eliminate hatred and violence, we can do more to curtail their power to destroy”. The event was moderated by Carlee Goldberg, a student from Parkland, Florida who has experienced the devastating consequences of gun violence first-hand. The panel brought together experts from various fields to discuss opportunities to progress in tackling this multifaceted problem.


    Outlined below is a brief summary of the panelists’ responses to the moderator questions.


    Q: How do we make gun ownership safer in America?

        Professor Swanson emphasized the necessity for the implementation of consistent gun ownership laws across the fifty states, however sweeping laws are much more difficult to implement after DC v. Heller (2008). He noted that the current ownership criteria is flawed in that it does not correlate with potential risk. Professor Blocher added that “people too often think you have to make a choice between gun rights and regulations, but that’s not true as a matter of history or a matter of doctrine”.


    Q: What are the interesting trends in gun regulation?

        Professor Cook explained that “the tectonic shift in gun politics happened in 2018 with the Parkland large extent due to the student leadership coming out of that school”. The raising of these voices led to the recognition that kids across America are riddled with the fear of gun violence each day. Professor Swanson added that the root of this fear is so irrational that we must demand a solution to it. However, Swanson noted that a small percentage of gun deaths derive from such mass shootings, and solutions to one kind of gun violence are not necessarily solutions for another. For example, Red Flag Laws were enacted as a result of this post-Parkland public outcry, but research on the effectiveness of such laws shows that they have a greater impact on reducing suicide than preventing gun-based homicide.


    Q: What do you think that students, or the general population, can do to address the problem of gun violence?

    Professor Cook emphasized that opportunities to get involved politically have greatly increased in recent years, and if you prefer to stay more distant from direct politics, you can still make an impact by volunteering for local groups in the Durham area. Individual ability to influence policy is greater on the local level than the federal level - start small and move big. Professor Blocher added the current momentum is the greatest he’s seen in all of the years he’s been working on this issue. And finally, Professor Swanson made his greatest piece of advice clear: “Vote”.



    Written by Brina Melton, Duke University student intern for NCGV

  • signed Ban Military-Style Assault Weapons 2017-10-11 04:49:57 -0400

    Ban Military-Style Assault Weapons


    As you likely know by now, the Florida high school shooter, the Las Vegas shooter, the Orlando shooter, the Sandy Hook shooter and many others, used military-style assault weapon. These weapons are designed to kill as many people as possible as efficiently as possible. They should not be available to civilians.

    It is well past time for the Congress the United States to act.

    Please tell our Senators to ban military-style assault weapons now. Add your name to the petition today.


    702 signatures



    Dear Senators Burr and Tillis:

    Yet again the nation faces a tragic massacre helped along by easy and inappropriate access to military-style assault weapons. This time it is 17 dead at a Parkland, Florida high school. Before that it was 58 victims in Las Vegas, 26 killed in Sutherland Springs.

    Military-style semi-automatic assault weapons are designed to efficiently kill as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time available. There is absolutely no reason for assault rifles, assault pistols, and assault shotguns to be sold on the civilian market.

    Congress did not act after Aurora, Sandy Hook, Orlando, Las Vegas, Southerland Springs and many other devastating mass shootings. It’s high time Congress stopped sacrificing lives and work to address this crisis before even more lives are lost.

    We ask that you act now to prevent more carnage by supporting an effective ban on the civilian use of these weapons. Military-style assault weapons, high capacity magazines and bump stocks do not belong in our homes, our streets, our schools, our malls, our movie theaters, our places of worship, or in any of our other gathering places. It is well past time to act but it’s not too late to spare more Americans from death at the hands of killers using these weapons of mass destruction.

    Thank you.


    Add signature

  • published No to the Deregulation of Silencers 2017-09-11 05:19:37 -0400

    No to the Deregulation of Silencers

    Please sign our petition urging Congress to REJECT any legislation deregulating the sale of firearm silencers and make them easily accessible to criminals who want to conceal their crimes.



    203 signatures

    As a North Carolinian, I urge you to please vote against the SHARE Act.

    Silencers are already easy to buy if you’re a responsible person with a clean criminal record. If silencers are deregulated, there will be nothing to stop criminals from adding silencers to their growing arsenal: a public safety threat that we have successfully countered for the past 80 years.

    This bill puts the profits of gun manufacturers ahead of public safety. We know that during active and mass shooting situations, hearing and seeing gunshots can mean the difference between life and death. Protecting communities and law enforcement is more important than gun company profits. So, please vote against the SHARE Act.


    Add signature

  • signed Minutes Matter 2016-05-15 06:56:39 -0400

    Minutes Matter

    Take the Pledge!

    5 pledges

    I pledge to think and speak of suicide as something that can be prevented.  Lives can be saved.


    I pledge to keep any firearms in my house safely locked.


    I pledge to break the silence and speak with my friends and family about suicide awareness and prevention, letting them know that "minutes matter" for everyone.



    Add pledge

  • signed up on Action Alert Sign-Up 2016-03-18 11:15:08 -0400

    Action Alert Sign-Up

    Sign-up here for action alerts, current events, and other ways to support the work of North Carolinians Against Gun Violence. Together we can end gun violence and make North Carolina safe for everyone!

    Sign up

  • published Who We Are in About 2015-02-04 14:28:15 -0500

    Who We Are

    North Carolinians Against Gun Violence is made up of supporters across the state. NCGV board members are selected by our Board of Directors and elected by our general membership. 


    2018 Board of Directors 

    Don Arabian is a retired senior executive from the Federal government who is a local community organizer and strong advocate of gun violence prevention programs in South East North Carolina.

    David Beck, born and raised in Winston-Salem, is the Director of Public Policy and Media Relations at Self-Help Credit Union in Durham since 1998. 

    Beth Berngartt is currently retired after a career as a paralegal followed by over 20 years working in the non-profit management field in Raleigh.  She has been an active advocate against gun violence since moving to North Carolina from Georgia in 1989.

    Chip Carnathan has served on the NCGV Board for 5 years and has been a member of the organization for 7 years.  He is active in a wide range of civic, recreational and community groups in Orange and Durham counties.

    Kris Evans holds an MBA and while she has spent the last decade out of the workforce to raise her kids, she has been an active volunteer with a number of non profits in the Charlotte area.

    Wesley McMahon has ten years of experience working with non-profit organizations. He is currently a full time father of two young children and an active advocate against gun violence.  He is the Treasurer for NCGV.

    Dr. John Moses is a pediatrician at Duke Medicine and the President of the Board of Directors of NCGV.

    Zoe Nichols is a high school senior. She’s survived a code red drill, knows how to fire a gun, and believes that gun safety and personal freedom go hand in hand

    Aleta Payne is Executive Director of the Johnson Service Corps; she is a native Virginian but has been a resident of North Carolina for almost two decades.

    Renuka Soll has volunteered in her community while raising her children. She has been residing in North Carolina for about 15 years.

    Jeremy Sugg is a husband, father and attorney in Charlotte who advocates for responsible gun ownership, and common-sense gun regulations.



    Staff and Consultants

    Rebecca Ceartas, Executive Director, has been leading NCGV since 2014 and has 18 years of experience with non profits.

    Tracy Kondracki, Finance Administrator Consultant, founder of the Green Bean Counters, providing business services to non-profits and other environmentally & socially mindful small businesses since 2005.

    New Frame, Lobbyists




  • commented on Unload Your 401k 2014-09-26 11:07:06 -0400
    Thanks for your comment Elizabeth. Would you be interested in volunteering with us in a different way – ?

  • wants to volunteer 2016-01-03 05:35:37 -0500

    Volunteer Survey

    Below are ways that you can get involved with North Carolinians Against Gun Violence. After you fill out the form, we will be in touch with you to talk about your interests. Thank you very much for volunteering to keep North Carolinians safe from gun violence.

    Become a volunteer

  • followed ASK - Asking Saves Kids 2014-05-17 09:43:40 -0400

    ASK: Asking Saves Kids


    I ask because:

    • Every 3 hours a child or teen is killed in a firearm related incident
    • For every child that is killed by a firearm 4 more are injured

    • Firearm injuries in the U.S. are the 2nd leading cause of deaths in youths ages 15-24

    • More children in the U.S. die from gunfire that from cancer, pneumonia, influenza, and HIV/AIDS combined

    • Most 3 year olds can pull the trigger of a gun

    • Not asking is too high a risk


    Asking is simple. “My child is so curious these days. I need to ask, is there an unlocked gun in your house?"


  • signed Ask Before You Eat - Pledge 2013-09-05 19:00:29 -0400

    Ask Before You Eat - Pledge

    Beginning October 1, 2013 North Carolina bars and restaurants, even those that serve alcohol, must allow permit holders to carry their concealed handguns on the premises UNLESS the owner posts a “conspicuous notice” prohibiting them.

    North Carolinians against Gun Violence (NCGV) has laminated signs available for owners of restaurants or bars who do not wish to allow weapons in their establishments. NCGV is also growing a list of the places posting against weapons. This list is available on our website so people know where to take their families that will still allow us to eat in peace.

    We would love to add your establishment to that list.

    Use the form below to pledge to post against weapons in your business. You will receive an information packet, including a laminated sign.

    Please note: by signing below you will be included on our list of restaurants.

    As a local bar or restaurant owner I care about the safety of my staff and customers.  No one in my establishment should need to worry about the threat of loaded, concealed weapons.

    I will be posting against weapons at my business.

    Add Pledge

  • signed Today is the Day via 2013-04-02 10:00:09 -0400

    Today is the Day

    We share our prayers and thoughts with Newtown, Connecticut following the tragic events that unfolded at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012. The unbelievable massacre which claimed the lives of 20 young students and six adults.

    We must offer more than prayers and sorrow. Have we reached a point where our children cannot attend school without fear of being gunned down by a homicidal maniac who has obtained easy access to firearms?  As mothers and fathers this simply cannot be acceptable; cannot be our way of life.

    Today, American families must demand immediate action by our elected leaders to reform our gun laws. If elected officials cannot find their voices now and call for change—if NRA campaign contributions and threats continue to dictate their decision-making, taking priority over the preservation of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness—what will it say about them? 

    Moreover, if we allow them to remain silent, what will it say about us?



    122 pledges
    Sign below to pledge your support to work with NCGV to hold our elected officials accountable. Common sense gun laws can and do save lives.  
    We need our political leaders to be strong and do the right thing, no matter the opposition.
    We need you to build a safer North Carolina and America.
    Add Pledge

  • published Progress We Have Made 2012-06-27 18:20:00 -0400

    Progress We Have Made

    NCGV has been fighting hard to reduce gun violence and keep our streets safe for nearly 20 years.  But right now, we’re seeing the perfect storm of reduced funding and an onslaught of state legislation that threatens the progress NCGV has made.  But there is good news:

    Thank you for standing with NCGV to tell legislators not to pass the Concealed Carry in Bars and Restaurant bill!  This bill looks like it will be a no-go for 2012.   We deserve not to worry about loaded guns in family restaurants. 

    But, NCGV’s primary mission of reducing gun violence and promoting gun safety remains as urgent as ever.  Please help us continue to defend your right to be safe and free from gun violence, and support NCGV today!  Even the smallest contributions can go a long way toward helping us preserve that freedom.

    $17 will provide lifesaving information for 100 families who are concerned about how guns are stored in homes where children play and visit. Asking about guns saves kids!

    $43 will purchase one violence prevention program curriculum for 35 kids. Developed by youth for youth!

    $126 will provide one week of our six week comprehensive violence prevention programming for a youth struggling with their direction in life. One graduate of our program stated, “This program changed the way I see things.” On the verge of failing out of middle school, this participant has gone on to graduate from high school as an honor roll student, attends college classes, and works with youth in his community!

     $254 will sponsor a youth sports team to promote positive activities for youth who would not otherwise participate. One season of sports can teach a lot of cooperation and conflict resolution!

    $499 will train the trainer to teach people who routinely come in contact with adolescents to recognize the warning signs of suicide. More lives are lost to suicide by firearm than all other forms of gun violence combined - and it can be prevented!

    Please donate today!