Join Americans Against Gun Violence.

              Before I begin this column, I need to make it clear that I am not an advocate for either side in the gun debate. The fact that I agree and promote many gun-control strategies doesn’t make me a hostage of Mike Bloomberg, nor am I a stooge for the NRA jut because I have been a member of the organization since I was eleven years old. On the other hand, when I discover an organizational development that fits my perspective for what to do about gun violence, I’m not going to hold back.

              And what I recently discovered was an organization, Americans Against Gun Violence, started by a retired ER doctor in California, Bill Durston, who just happens to be a former Marine decorated for ‘courage under fire’ during the Viet Nam war. Bill started his group because he would like to see ‘definitive action’ taken against gun violence, and while he and his members support the ‘reasonable’ public measures being advocated by other organizations – background checks, red-flag laws, blah, blah, blah and blah, this group also has a much different agenda.

              To put it bluntly: what Bill and his folks say is that we will reduce gun violence by doing the same thing that every other advanced country has done; namely, create a national database of gun ownership and initiate ‘definitive’ (i.e., severely restrictive) policies, such as banning assault rifles, creating a national gun database – exactly the kinds of policies which everyone knows will reduce gun violence but are policies usually considered too unyielding to be bought by the gun-owning crowd.

              Where Dunston’s group departs from the accepted, gun-control narrative can be found in their response to the very first question under the FAQ tab: “Should law-abiding people own guns for self-protection?” Answer: “In general, no.” They don’t say that people should be walking around with guns after they have been ‘trained.’ They don’t say that everyone has a ‘right’ to keep a gun for self-protection because of what my late friend Tony Scalia said in 2008. They say – no. Which makes this group the only gun-control group that is willing to take an entirely uncompromising position with Gun-nut Nation over the issue of using a gun for personal defense.

              I started writing about gun violence when I got sick and tired of the gun industry trying to maintain full employment in their factories by promoting the nonsense about how everyone would be more safe and secure if they walked around with a gun. And to make sure that the gun industry wouldn’t be accused of promoting unsafe behavior, they got the NRA to ramp up their training program which now focuses on what the boys in Fairfax call ‘Basic Shooting Pistol,’ a course that prepares someone to use a pistol in self-defense with the same degree of proficiency they would get if they took a lesson from Leonard Mermelstein, who happens to be my cat.

              If the NRA would promote what I consider to be the proper use of guns; i.e., hunting and sport shooting, they’d get no argument from me. But pretending that the only difference between a video shooting game and a live gun is that you have to pass a background check to spend money on the latter, is to foist a marketing scheme on current and would-be gun owners that is completely and totally wrong. Not just wrong, but unsafe to the extreme.

              Unfortunately, most of the gun-control organizations, along with their friends in medicine and public health, find one way or another to somehow avoid taking this direct and no-nonsense approach. Which is why I find the intentions and efforts of Americans Against Gun Violence to be commendable in every respect and I urge you to do what I have just done.

              Which is to join up, send them a donation and help keep them in the game.

12 thoughts on “Join Americans Against Gun Violence.

  1. I am reticent to join, but I’ll check them out. My main concern is this drastic notion of making guns rare will fall heavily on folks like me and my family who don’t wish to write a check for half a year’s property tax to get all the permits that Dr. Durston would likely require and would probably be “may issue” which in Santa Fe, means “don’t count on it”.

    Meanwhile, I do sympathize. More guns don’t make you safer, as far as population statistics. I hope Mike doesn’t mind me departing from the rules slightly. Since the topic of this post is that AAGV doesn’t promote armed self defense, an article in the Sunday Albuquerque Journal seems on point. People are buying guns to defend themselves against the rampant violent crime in the Duke City. No training in their use, of course. Not even from Mike’s cat. The net result seems to be…more people shooting holes in their feet, their house walls, their neighbor’s coffee cups, or their kids finding the hand cannons and experimenting with high velocity projectiles. Or the Family Glock going MIA and ending up for sale on Snapchat.

    Agree with the Doctor that some sanity should prevail on this.

  2. I’ve spent, I don’t know, how many hours over the past 15+ years working on passing gun laws that will reduce gun violence. It’s been a waste because the people who run Brady, Everytown, etc continually engineer their own failures by pushing measures with the word “ban” in them.
    Sorry Mike, I get what you & Dr. Durston are saying, but politics is the art of the possible.

      • Good, It was Unconstitutional Garbage….Just like the Semi-automatic Firearm Ban in Florida that Wiesser helped write.

      • Based on my experience the damage is done when a “ban” bill is proposed.
        It may be a generation from now before we ever see effective federal-level gun laws – largely thanks to the pro-ban folks.

  3. Banning assault-style weapons would not be unconstitutional. But it produces push-back for laws that otherwise have broad support and would save way more lives.
    Mike’s approach is clearly better – I just don’t see our country passing NFA type regulations on assault weapons & handguns for a generation of more.

    • The Problem with trying to BAN “Assault Style” weapons is that it’s a MADE UP TERM that pretty much encompasses ALL SEMIAUTOMATIC FIREARMS IN COMMON USE (legally purchased by Citizens for the last 100 years)…..Which would be UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

    • Not unconstitutional yet but I wouldn’t bet my dinner on it. Recall Justice Kavanaugh’s dissent in Heller II.

      There is a pretty bright line between auto, NFA regulated, and semiauto. There is a very blurry line of semiauto vs. semiauto. Plus, unlike the NFA of 1934 which regulated full auto while they were rare, modern military style semiautos are no longer rare and if you add M1s and M1911’s doled out by the Civilian Marksmanship Program, got even more. As I said several years ago on my own blog, you are suggesting we close the door long after the horses left the barn.

      The big issue (and see Mike’s latest post, esp. the Youtube video) is the proliferation of handguns to people who have neither the skills, maturity, or self restraint to safely own them. A national handgun license might do far more to reduce criminal gun violence (probably not suicide since any old gun will do) than going after black rifles. Having said that, Brent, you and I both know the probabilities of getting red and blue states to agree on a common licensing standard. Especially with Progressives screaming that they are coming for our guns.

      • You Mentioned the CMP…..

        -Seems a little bit disingenuous for the Government to NOW CLAIM that “Civilians were never meant to own Weapons of War”, especially considering that THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT itself, has had a program in place for the last 117 Years (since 1903), where it’s sole mission has been to distribute ACTUAL MILITARY ISSUED WEAPONS OF WAR….to…CIVILIANS!!!!!

      • Indeed, I wonder if anyone told the folks complaining about “weapons of war” that it has been funded government policy to issue these to civilians for well, over a century.

      • To be sure. Proposing some kind of “ban” is self-defeating for far more effective measures. How can even reasonable gun owners then trust these people?

  4. Gosh, I forgot all about the CMP. Thanks for the reminder. Was it true that, at one point, you could lease an M1 for 99 years for $1.00 ?

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