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Paul Helmke
Paul Helmke is a professor of practice at Indiana University's School of Public & Environmental Affairs and is the director of the school's Civic Leaders Living-Learning Center. Helmke is the former President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. He also was a lawyer in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where he served three terms as mayor until 2000.
Helmke was President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in 1997-1998 and served on the Board of the National League of Cities. He is a past president of the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns and of the national Republican Mayors and Local Officials organization. Helmke was the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate in Indiana in 1998.
A native of Indiana, Helmke received his B.A. from Indiana University in 1970 and his J.D. from Yale University in 1973. Helmke and his wife have two grown daughters and two grandchildren.

Entries by Paul Helmke

Time to Find Common Ground on Reducing Gun Violence

(15) Comments | Posted December 13, 2013 | 11:45 AM

It has been one year since 20 young children and six of the adults at their school were senselessly massacred, most riddled with at least 10 bullets each from the killer's high-powered guns. While some states have taken steps reducing easy access to such weapons, as a nation we've done...

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School Days, School Days - Let's Keep Guns Out Of School Days

(19) Comments | Posted September 6, 2013 | 3:14 PM

The story of that morning in the college French class still send shivers through me - the loud noises that sounded at first like they were coming from an outdoor construction site, but then got closer; the look of terror on the teacher's face when she told the students to...

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Lugar's Loss: America's Wake-Up Call

(11) Comments | Posted May 17, 2012 | 9:52 AM

Sen. Richard Lugar's loss in the Indiana Republican primary last week raises a number of troubling issues about the current state of politics and the future of governance in our country.

Throughout our history, compromise and bipartisanship have allowed us to face the challenges and opportunities of a...

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Leaving Brady, But Not the Fight to Prevent Gun Violence

(73) Comments | Posted July 8, 2011 | 9:55 AM

On July 10, I will complete my five-year commitment to serve as president of the Brady Campaign and Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. My tenure with Brady will be ending, but I will remain engaged in the movement to reduce gun violence in America. For me, working...

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In the ATF "Fast and Furious" Controversy, Congress Needs to Question Its Own Behavior

(189) Comments | Posted June 29, 2011 | 11:01 AM

If California Rep. Darrell Issa and other congressional members who are in lock-step with the NRA bosses want to get to the bottom of the ATF gun trafficking operation, they need to start looking at their own actions and lack of action. By blocking and loosening laws to prevent...

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Plaxico Burress Can Be a Giant Off the Field

(8) Comments | Posted June 14, 2011 | 1:29 PM

Months before he entered prison in September 2009 for carrying an illegal gun, Plaxico Burress said he realized he had made the worst decision of his life when he armed himself before going to a popular New York City nightclub. Burress believed, mistakenly, that he was protecting himself from...

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NRA's Deadly Agenda Is Out

(191) Comments | Posted May 6, 2011 | 1:44 PM

In yet another sign of how out of touch it is with how people interact in a civilized society, the National Rifle Association is apparently so wrapped up in its paranoid view of the world that it planted an undercover cameraman at our news conference at the National Press Club...

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NRA Fairy Tale Exposed: Many Fewer U.S. Gun Owners

(452) Comments | Posted April 28, 2011 | 1:09 PM

Washington, D.C. -- At the NRA's national convention in Pittsburgh this week, look for the speakers, presidential hopefuls and ardent supporters to rally around the fairy tale that America is a gun-loving country. But don't believe it.

Gun ownership in the nation is at the lowest level ever recorded by...

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So Many Guns, 6-Year-Olds Now Threaten Life

(1167) Comments | Posted April 21, 2011 | 12:13 PM

On Tuesday, when a 6-year-old Houston boy took a gun to school, everyone in the building became a target. The gun fell out of the child's pocket in the cafeteria at Ross Elementary and accidentally discharged. The boy and two other children were wounded.

We are terribly fortunate that...

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Jim and Sarah Brady: We'll Never Know How Many Lives They Saved

(363) Comments | Posted March 30, 2011 | 9:03 AM

President Bill Clinton once How%20many%20people%20are%20alive%20today%20because%20of%20Jim%20and%20Sarah%20Brady%3F%20How%20many%3F%20Countless.&ei=KiuTTbmmMIu70QHu6_jMBw&usg=AFQjCNFedeuyoPdtGc0cudHixXmHmtPY5Q&sig2=_I8NB9G0TQJhYFz2Z7Wy3w&cad=rja" target="_hplink">summed up the public service of Jim and Sarah Brady this way: "If it hadn't been for them, we would not have passed the Brady Law, and then the ban on assault weapons, and on cop-killer bullets...How many people are alive today because of...

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Obama: "Let's Work Together to Prevent Gun Violence"

(536) Comments | Posted March 18, 2011 | 2:59 PM

What America has been doing to prevent gun violence isn't working. It's not enough. And if we're going to change what we've been doing, we have to talk about what's good, what's bad, and what's ugly about America's approach and policies.

After the shocking mass shooting in Tucson on January...

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NRA Should Have No Say Over CDC Firearms Studies

(553) Comments | Posted March 11, 2011 | 3:06 PM

Atlanta, we have a problem. And it's bigger problem than Charlie Sheen's meltdowns, although it's not likely to get nearly as much attention. If the National Rifle Association is being granted the opportunity to influence firearms reports conducted by researchers for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), this practice must...

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LaPierre vs. Reagan: Different Lessons on Guns

(1242) Comments | Posted February 12, 2011 | 3:15 PM

After a month of silence following the horrifying Tucson shootings, the NRA's "top gun", Wayne LaPierre, returned to his same old talking points before the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, D.C. this week. His speech consisted of a string of opportunistic arguments for even weaker gun...

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Virginia Tech Student Colin Goddard Returns to Campus, With Powerful Film

(440) Comments | Posted February 7, 2011 | 7:47 PM

Wednesday represents an important homecoming for a key member of our staff. Colin Goddard, Assistant Director of Federal Legislation for the Brady Campaign, will be in Blacksburg, Virginia for the first screening of the powerful documentary, Living for 32.

The film has earned critical acclaim and was selected...

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ATF, Strong Gun Laws Needed to Fight Illegal Guns

(28) Comments | Posted January 31, 2011 | 5:12 PM

According to a recent report in the Washington Post, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) could suffer budget cuts of almost 13 percent, which would effectively eliminate Project Gunrunner, a program designed to combat gun-trafficking from the U.S. to Mexico.

Any cuts to the already...

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Gun Violence Destroyed Christina's Dreams

(440) Comments | Posted January 25, 2011 | 10:18 PM

In our country's history, our most successful presidents demonstrated that the best way to honor and secure our principles was to back them with the force of law.

When L.B.J. wanted to pay homage to John F. Kennedy and to secure the right of African-Americans to "flourish", he did...

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Giffords Shooting Is an American Tragedy We Need to Urgently Address

(812) Comments | Posted January 8, 2011 | 4:21 PM

Being the target of violence has always been a risk for those in public office in this country. The organization I head, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, is named after an individual, Jim Brady, who was shot and seriously injured nearly 30 years ago while serving as President...

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The Defenders Takes on the Second Amendment

(182) Comments | Posted December 10, 2010 | 12:13 PM

After seeing all the ads on CBS referencing the Second Amendment and this week's episode of The Defenders, I watched the new series for the first time - and was pleasantly surprised.

No, it didn't match the acting quality of the early 1960s lawyer show of...

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NRA Sides With Mass Killers Over ATF

(813) Comments | Posted November 19, 2010 | 9:35 AM

There the NRA goes again -- siding with the common gang member and drug dealer who wants to use a semi-automatic weapon to wreak havoc in our communities.

assault weapon

Too bad about the bloody, injured, paralyzed, and door-knob-dead bodies. Too...

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Gun Violence Victims Deserve "Do Something" Congress

(229) Comments | Posted November 4, 2010 | 10:23 AM

An angry electorate... More divided than during the Bush years... Marked by nasty ads and commentary, over-the-top rhetoric, and even violence.

These are just some of the ways that political observers have described American voters and the 2010 mid-term elections.

Without a doubt, many election contests were bitterly fought and...

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