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Mass Shootings – A New Study.

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              Back in 2015 a car pulled up in front of a barbershop in Tulsa, a guy got out of the car with an AK-47, walked into the shop and started blasting all over the place.  He was trying to kill a customer who was sitting waiting his turn, but instead a bullet went through the head of the barber and he was dead. Now hold that thought.

              Our friend Tom Gabor has just published a book, Carnage, Preventing Mass Shootings in America, which analyzes 1,029 mass shootings that took place in 2019 and 2020. The data for this study comes from the Gun Violence Archive, which is one of eight groups or organizations which track mass shootings in the United States. Gabor says that he used the GVA because they have a ‘professional staff’ and derive their information from more than 2,500 law enforcement and media venues every day.

              Unfortunately, most of the internet media operations which report gun violence events (or any other event, for that matter) cut and paste their texts from another source which has cut and pasted the same text from yet a third, or a fourth, or a fifth source. Frankly, Gabor could have gotten more or less the same data by just entering a few key words like ‘shooting’ and ‘guns’ into Google Alerts and receiving a daily Gmail feed.  How do you think I come up with a new story almost every day?

              Gabor identifies seven organizations plus one author, our friend Louis Klarevas, who try to keep track of mass shootings in an ongoing way. These folks all define a mass shooting as an event in which a minimum of two to four people are injured and/or killed. So, the question immediately occurs: how come the magic number for counting something as a mass shooting is set at two, three or four?  Why not set it at five? How about six? Nobody seems to know.

              It turns out, moreover, that when all is said and done, the ways which we usually define shooting events by the reason they occur, where they occur, the types of people involved, and the types of guns which are used in the assaults, is really little different for mass shootings as opposed to the humdrum, daily, one-on-one shootings that take place a couple of hundred times every day. And since, as Gabor notes, mass shootings result in roughly 2% of all the yearly gun-violence casualties, what’s the big deal?

              Let’s go back to what happened at the Gifted Hands Barber Shop in Tulsa on February 5th, 2015. The guy with the AK-47 was trying to kill the guy sitting in a chair waiting to get his hair cut.  He sprayed bullets all over the place and one of the rounds from the AK went through the barber’s head.

              I talked to one of the cops who investigated this shooting, an officer who had been doing homicide work in Tulsa for more than a dozen years.

I asked him, “Why did the guy with the AK-47 shoot up the whole place? Didn’t he just want to put one into the guy who was waiting his turn?”

Please read the officer’s response slowly and carefully: “That’s what they always do. They always want to shoot the gun as much as they can. They want to spray bullets all over the place.”

I define a mass shooting not by how many people get hit, but how many bullets come out of the barrel of the gun. If what the Tulsa cop told me is not unusual for how people use guns to shoot other people, then we have an explanation for the increase in mass shootings which says something much more serious and profound than all the usual bromides – poverty, drugs, inner-city hopelessness -put out there about gun violence today.  

Are we developing not just a culture of violence but a celebration of violence as well?

Please sign our new petition: https://www.change.org/bankillerhandgunsnow

Want Help Selling Guns? Hire Alex Jones.

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              Conspiracy theories, i.e., blaming someone for doing something whether they did it or not, have been around since the snake gave Eve an apple for a snack, but the whole thing got a big boost during the Presidential tenure of Trump, who now refers to himself as #45. This way he’s hoping that everyone will forget that he lost the election in 2020, even though the election was stolen, which is another conspiracy theory in case you didn’t know.

              Anyway, one of the most prolific conspiracy theorists, Alex Jones, just got his legal head handed to him when the Supreme Court – that’s the Court that’s now so conservative thanks to #45 – refused to hear his appeal about how he has been sanctioned for spreading conspiracy theories about the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook.

              The horrible mess at Sandy Hook Elementary School was the event which created today’s concern about gun violence, as well as giving rise to national gun-control groups like Brady and Everytown, which now rival or surpass the NRA in terms of money, political influence, and size. The CDC has even restored money for gun research into its budget, and a new gun bill may even wind up on the Oval office desk.

              Meanwhile, back in 2012, Alex Jones became a nationally known conspiracy theorist because of what he began saying after Sandy Hook, which was that the whole thing was staged by the federal government to promote a new gun bill and the disarming of America in order to expand the control exercised by the Deep State.

              His relentless lying about the Sandy Hook massacre landed him in court, when he was sued for defamation by several Newtown parents who were threatened and harassed by some of his more fervent believers. Ultimately, Jones admitted that it was his rants, not the massacre, which weren’t true. But he’s still faced with being a defendant in the civil case.

              The other defendant in a civil action brought by the parents of children killed at Sandy Hook is the gun industry itself. Remington, which owns the company y that manufactured the AR-15 used at the school, is being sued under a state law called ‘negligent entrustment,’ which prohibits a vendor from selling a product which is too dangerous to be owned. The lawsuit is on hold because of the Remington bankruptcy, but at some point, it also will be heard.

              The gun industry tried not once, but twice to have this suit overturned, citing the industry’s protection from torts under the PLCCA law. But PLCCA specifically exempts protection under ‘negligent entrustment’ statutes, which is why the Federal Appeals Court allowed this lawsuit to go forward because the “parents deserve their day in court.”

              So, sooner or later the gun industry will have to defend itself for the very first time for making products that are too dangerous to be owned or sold. And no doubt Remington will try to convince a jury that it’s not guns that are dangerous, it’s the people who use guns illegally or inappropriately who are a danger to themselves and everyone else.

              The defendants in the Sandy Hook lawsuit will also try to make an argument in front of the jury that guns like the AR-15, when used properly following standard, gun-safety rules, are nothing more than very effective ‘tools’ for protecting individuals and families from harm. Indeed, the advertising for assault rifles repeats this self-defense message again and again.

              The narratives being promoted by Gun-nut Nation to justify access to assault rifles are as meaningless, and stupid as what Alex Jones used to say about Sandy Hook. And for that matter, the gun industry makes the same, stupid arguments about why everyone should own and walk around with a concealable, handgun designed for the military like a Glock or a Sig.

              Which is why we now have two petitions online: A petition to ban assault rifles (https://www.change.org/Ban_Assault_Rifles_Now) and another just-posted petition to ban those handguns (https://www.change.org/bankillerhandgunsnow). 

            Ban those guns and gun violence disappears.   

Sandy Hook: A Man Sold A Gun (Guns in America Book 7) – Kindle edition by Weisser, Michael R.. Politics & Social Sciences Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

An Approach To Gun Violence That Works!

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              This past weekend we took a drive out in the country and passed by this billboard as we came into Cambridge, NY. The town is located on Route 22, which is the old, north-south highway between the Hudson River and Vermont.  It’s a beautiful road and meanders through a bunch of red-brick factory and farming towns, most now survive by becoming latte and gourmet bakery destinations for the weekend crowds.

              This area, Washington County, is also one of the prime hunting areas in all of the Northeast. It’s also an area which hasn’t voted for a Democrat since before I don’t know when. In 2013, when Andy rammed through a gun-control bill following Sandy Hook, lawn signs protesting the new law sprouted all over towns like Cambridge. As I drove up Route 22 this weekend, there were still some Trump2020 signs and banners around.

              In other words, Cambridge, NY isn’t Cambridge, MA, it isn’t Bethesda, MD. It isn’t Bryn Mawr, PA. It’s not where members of Gun-control Nation tend to live. To the contrary, it’s a place where most people believe that a gun in their home will keep them ‘safe.’ In fact, the only violence that occurs in towns like Cambridge is when someone picks up a loaded gun and shoots himself.

              Between 1991 and 2015, gun suicides in New York State dropped by 37%. But in Washington County during that same period of time, gun suicides have remained at a high rate of 7.2 per 100,000, the sixth-highest county rate in the entire state. In 2019, all of New York State registered a gun-suicide rate of 3.91, half as high as the Washington County rate.

              For all the talk about a national, red-flag law, or what is known as an Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO), New York State has such a law. Anyone who has or has had the slightest familial connection to someone else can go into a local court and a temporary order removing all the guns from the home of a potentially dangerous individual (a danger to himself or someone else) can be issued that same day. And if you’re not in some way domestically connected to the person whom you believe might do himself harm, you can always get a local cop to act on your behalf.

              So, let’s say you live in a town like Cambridge. And let’s say your next-door-neighbor is an old man, a widower, the kids have long since moved away. And let’s say you knock on the guy’s front door because you haven’t seen him in a couple of days. And let’s say he opens the door, and you can tell that things just aren’t all that right. And let’s say that you know the old guy used to go hunting and he owns a bunch of guns. All you have to do to keep this guy from blowing his brains out in Cambridge is to make a phone call. That’s it.

              And what I don’t want to hear from anyone who reads this column is that ‘everyone has the right to decide how and when they want to end their life.’ I used to get occasional emails from the idiots who read previous columns about how suicide risk increases in the presence of a gun. I’m assuming that the people who sent me those emails are now hiding from the FBI following their attempt to invade the Capitol on January 6th.

              I’m really happy to see that the money I send Brady every month is helping to pay for that billboard on Route 22. I’d like to see that billboard outside of every town which finds itself losing residents because people make a quick and often thoughtless decision to end their lives with a gun. How long do many people think about gun suicide before picking up the gun? Maybe ten minutes, maybe less.

              Think that anyone living in Cambridge, NY will pay attention to a Congressional debate in D.C. about a national ERPO law? But you can’t miss that billboard on the way into town.

Want To Make Your Guns Safe? You Can’t.

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Guess which civic-minded organization has become enamored of gun safety? It’s America’s ‘oldest civil rights organization,’ a.k.a., the NRA.   I just received an email from their training division which says: “Whether you’re a new gun owner looking for a concealed carry course or an experienced marksman who wants to take their training to the next level, NRA Certified Instructors have a course for you.”

And here are the courses now being offered:

  • Pistol Training.
  • Rifle Training.
  • Shotgun Training.
  • Self-Defense Training.
  • Home Firearm Safety.

Here’s how the NRA describes the home safety course: “Non-shooting course and teaches students the basic knowledge, skills, and to explain the attitude necessary for the safe handling and storage of firearms and ammunition in the home.” It’s a four-hour course, no shooting involved, you can even take the course online in the ‘privacy’ of your home.

In the privacy of your home. That’s a good one. This is the same ‘privacy’ that you need to own a gun in order to protect it. This is the same ‘privacy’ which is being threatened by those gangs that are roving around Lindsey Graham’s home in Seneca, SC. Which is why ol’ Lindsey needs to keep an AR-15 in the privacy of his home.

But not to worry. Go out today, buy yourself a nice, new AR-15 and then sign up for the NRA course which teaches you how to keep and use that gun safely in the ‘privacy’ of your home. Nothing like privacy when it comes to owning a gun.

Want the best news of all about this NRA safety course?  It’s not only designed and delivered by America’s ‘first civil rights organization,’ it’s also a strategy and an approach to good health. Virtually every medical organization also recommends that you follow the same gun-safety rules and practices promoted by the NRA if you want to keep a gun in your home.

And not only do the medical groups believe that you can learn how to practice gun safety in the privacy of your home, they’ll even give you a nice, simple, easy-to-read brochure which explains how to own, store, and use guns in a safe way. 

Here’s the gun safety brochure that was developed by the Massachusetts Medical Society. Anyone can read through this pamphlet in a couple of days. But if you want to save yourself the trouble, in April the NRA’s gun-safety course is being offered more than 80 times just in Massachusetts alone. What could be safer than that?

I’ll tell you what could be safer. Don’t bring the gun into your house. Or if you have one of those guns in your home right now, just take it down to the little gun shop on the corner and sell it back. That’s the only way to be safe around guns. Get rid of the guns.

Now I’m not about to take any of the 60-odd guns I have lying around and sell them to Joe the Gun-shop Owner.  I’m a gun nut and I like my guns. But I’m not going to kid myself into thinking that those guns can be made to be ‘safe.’ They can’t. That’s not what guns are all about.

Of course, there are degrees of risk from different kinds of guns. My Glock 17 and my Ruger Mini-14 are a lot more dangerous to have around than Grandpa’s old shotgun that we found in the basement after he died, and Grammy was carted off to the lovely rest home. That old Sears-Roebuck shotgun probably doesn’t even work, so it’s a pretty safe gun.

But my pistol and my assault rifle weren’t designed to be safe. They also weren’t designed to protect me from all those ANTIFA and BLM gangsters prowling around outside my home. These guns were designed to do one thing and one thing only – to inflict fatal injuries on human beings every time they are used.

What physicians and everyone else who are concerned about 125,000 fatal and non-fatal gun injuries that we suffer every year should be saying is this: Get rid of the guns.

You can say it today by joining the more than the more than 3,300 folks who have signed our petition right here: https://www.change.org/Ban_Assault_Rifles_Now

Are Schools Safe? Not According To A New Book.

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I have just finished reading a book, Children Under Fire – An American Crisis written by John Woodrow Cox. Because he’s a reporter for The Washington Post, the book has been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. I’m sure the book will wind up on the short list for a National Book Award, and for all we know, maybe Cox is in the running for a Nobel Prize too.

There’s only one little problem, however, with this book. When it comes to giving us the facts about out gun violence, Cox just gets it wrong.

The book is a very detailed, very emotionally laden story about how two kids dealt with fatal shootings, in one case of a school classmate, the other the killing of the kid’s dad. The latter took place outside of an elementary school in Washington, D.C., the former on the campus of a school in a remote, South Carolina town.

Two shootings, one involving a Black, the other involving a White that occurred in two very different communities. The whole point of the book is to argue that notwithstanding the racial, demographic, cultural and geographic differences between where these two shootings occurred, the results were the same: loss of a precious life, intense trauma for the survivors, meaningless efforts to stop such events from happening again. 

What Cox refers to as a ‘crisis,’ is that so much of this gun violence seems to involve schoolchildren, either as perpetrators, victims, onlookers or family members of someone in a shooting event.  He says that “nearly 39,000 young people ages five to eighteen were killed by bullets between 1999 and 2017,” [p. 112]    

The actual number is 39,186, but Cox forgets to point out that 28,568 of these victims (73%) were 16 years old or above.  Which means that probably three-quarters of the kids who Cox believes were in school when they were killed, may actually not have been attending school at all.

There are roughly 50 million children enrolled in pre-K to 12th grade.  So, the percentage of school kids who are involved in gun violence is somewhere around .0002 percent.  Wow.  That’s some crisis.

Cox goes on to argue that in order to figure out what to do about this crisis, we need more research. He then relates what has become a standard bromide in gun-control circles about how Congressman Jay Dickey, who authored the amendment to the CDC budget that eliminated funding for gun research, ended up regretting his action in the year or so prior to his death.

I have read virtually every, single piece of evidence-based research on gun violence that has been published since Art Kellerman and Fred Rivara published the two articles in 1993 and 1994 which found that access to a gun created a health risk. Many of these articles are based on analyzing the race, gender, income, age, blah, blah, blah and blah of the perpetrators and victims of gun violence. 

I have never read one, single piece of research which even attempts to figure out whether the victims or the shooters were enrolled in school when the shooting actually occurred. Not one. And Cox says we need more research?

The book contains an interesting chapter on what Cox calls the ‘charlatans’ who have created a cottage industry selling security programs to schools, even though schools are very safe locations, certainly safer than the street. Cox interviewed a bunch of these phonies who were exhibiting their products at a national school safety trade meeting held at Orlando in 2018.

Funny, but Cox somehow manages to miss what is probably the biggest, single school security program of all, a scam outfit called Stop the Bleed, which sells tourniquet kits that plug up a bullet hole in someone’s head.

Who owns a company which uses a shabby marketing strategy based on a fear of non-existent violence to peddle its products?  None other than the American College of Surgeons, that’s who.

This book is long on emotion and short of facts. Which makes it typical of how many people who should know better talk about guns.

The Assault Rifle Finds A New Champion.

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              So now the companies that manufacture the AR-15 assault rifle have a new champion who is touting the value and importance of this kind of gun. It’s none other than Lindsey Graham, the second-ranking member of the GOP Senate caucus, who came out and said he was happy to have an AR-15 in his house to protect himself against a “roving gang.”

              Graham’s house in South Carolina is located in the town of Seneca, which is located in Oconee County, the foothills of the Appalachians in the northwest corner of the state. Know how many people live in Seneca?  Nobody. Know how many ‘roving gangs’ are floating around Oconee County? None.  But Graham needs an assault rifle to stay happy and healthy in his home.

              Back in 2013, Joe got in a lot of trouble when he told Field and Stream Magazine that he kept a shotgun in his house which Jill would use to shoot anyone who tried to break down the front door. He made a point of saying that his house was located out in the woods, that he was often away from home and Jill was by herself, and that teaching her how to use a shotgun for self-defense had been a good thing.

              This was the first time that a national politician ever advocated armed self-defense. You would think that the NRA and the entire Gun-nut Nation would have jumped for joy. You would wonder how come the owners of Mossberg, or Browning, or some other company that made shotguns didn’t immediately show up at Joe’s office and present him with a new gun.

              You can think all you want, but what happened was that the entire pro-gun noisemaking industry came out against what Joe had just said. He was reckless, he was breaking the law, he was telling people to do what they should never do.  One idiot even said that if you shot a shotgun into the air, the pellets would fall down and kill someone when the pellets hit them in the head.

              The reason that Joe’s comments were universally condemned by the movers and shakers of Gun-nut Nation is that Democrats aren’t supposed to ever say anything positive about guns. That’s a narrative which has always been owned by the GOP. If Democrats were all of a sudden to come out in favor of guns, it would be tantamount to Republicans calling for an increase in funding for food stamps.

              Yesterday my little petition to ban assault rifles, which went up last Thursday night without any publicity at all, went over 2,500 names.  As of this moment, the petition is up to 2,730 signatures. When I started this petition I was hoping that maybe, God willing, I would wind up with a thousand names.  I suspect the petition will hit 5,000 names by this time next week.

              I’m going to send a link to Lindsey Graham’s comment out to everyone who has supported my gun-ban idea because there’s nothing that makes people get behind an idea when someone who disagrees with them says something as dumb as what Graham has just said.

              I think this country is in a much different place right now than it has been for the last four years. And I think that we need to be careful if we make any assumptions about the current political scene based on what went on between the 2016 election and what is going on today.

              If you haven’t signed the petition to ban assault rifles, please do it now. And please send the petition to everyone you know.  Thank you for your support, your comments and your good cheer.

Sign it here: https://www.change.org/Ban_Assault_Rifles_Now

We Need To Get Rid Of These Guns.

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              When I started my petition to ban assault rifles five days ago, I thought I would be lucky to get several hundred signatures. As of this morning, with no publicity whatsoever, we have gathered more than 1,660 names along with more than $1,000 in donations, the latter basically covering the costs incurred by Change.org for administering the petition and sending it around.

              Here’s the link: https://www.change.org/Ban_Assault_Rifles_Now.

              So, all of a sudden, what started out as just a little effort on my behalf to send a message to my friends, has become a serious affair. And yes, I am going to do everything I can to make this petition seen and supported by everyone who would like to see gun violence come to an end.

              Yes – there will be a website. Yes – there will be a Facebook page. Yes – there will be more promotions like the one running right now which gives you a free Kindle copy of my new book on assault guns. And yes, I do happen to own a 501c3 which at some point I will begin to use as an organizational venue and ask you all to join.

              If my little petition to ban assault rifles had gathered a couple of hundred names over the last five days, I wouldn’t be making any plans to move this issue forward at all. But the petition happens to be registering more than 300 signatories every day!  So, something’s going on out there and I need to respond to whatever that something happens to be.

              On the other hand, let me make it clear that I am not (read: not) trying to undercut or undermine the honest efforts of any advocacy group which has developed and is promoting a different agenda to reduce the violence caused by guns. I donate monthly to Brady and Everytown, and I have no intention of cutting those payments back. Reducing gun violence shouldn’t be a competition – we all want to do the same thing.

              That being said, I still believe, and if someone wants to argue this point with me, I’m always willing to give them some space on my blog, that banning the guns which are used to commit gun violence is the only way to reduce gun injuries to a point where such events are no longer considered to be a public health issue at all.

              For all the talk about approach gun violence as a public health issue, you don’t clean up the dirty water in Flint by making it a little less dirty. You don’t prevent the risk of tobacco by telling smokers to smoke less. You don’t prevent the spread of a virus like Covid-19 by saying that you only need to wear a mask when you go out some of the time.

              Either you have a preventive approach to medical risk, or you don’t. And such a strategy won’t work if you promote a strategy which allows people to decide for themselves how much they want to behave in a certain way. If we took that approach with car accidents, then why bother with speed limits or seat belts?

              You think the guy who stops at the gun mill and gets loaded on his way home from work doesn’t know that he’s doing something he shouldn’t do?  Of course, he knows. But he does it anyway.  I mean, what the Hell. What’s wrong with glass of beer. Or two? Or three?

We’re human beings. We all do stupid and careless things. And you’re not going to make an appreciable difference in gun violence rates if you allow people to buy and own guns that are designed only for the purpose of committing gun violence, no matter how responsible the owners of those types of guns behave.

You can’t make an AR-15 rifle ‘safe.’ You can’t make a Glock 17 ‘safe.’  Neither the AR-15, nor the Glock 17 is a ‘sporting’ gun. And anyone who says otherwise is either lying or doesn’t know anything about guns.

So, I’m going to continue my little project to get rid of non-sporting guns.  I hope you’ll join me.

https://www.change.org/Ban_Assault_Rifles_Now.

Get it Free: Amazon.com: What Is An Assault Rifle? eBook: Weisser, Michael: Kindle Store

The CDC Gets Back Into Gun Research.

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              So, the CDC is now funding research about gun violence, and the spigot has been opened to the tune of almost $8 million in 16 grants which are aimed (pardon the pun) at preventing firearm-related violence and injuries. The research projects, according to the CDC, must ”help inform the development of innovative and promising opportunities to enhance safety and prevent firearm-related injuries, deaths, and crime,” and “rigorously evaluate the effectiveness of innovative and promising strategies to keep individuals, families, schools, and communities safe from firearm-related injuries, deaths, and crime.”

              Some of the research projects are being carried out by researchers who have a long and distinguished pedigree in gun research, such as Ali Rowhani-Rahbar, Andrew Morral and Patrick Carter. Other projects are being led by investigators who are not quite so experienced, but hopefully this funding will give them the opportunity to reach a wider audience with their research.

              This is the first time the CDC has supported public health research on gun violence since 1997, when the sluicegate was closed down. Ironically, the former wife of Jay Dickey, the late Congressman who stopped CDC gun funding, was one of the individuals who testified in front of Congress last year to get the money out back into the CDC budget. So, you never know.

              Most of the research involves trying to figure out how to mitigate ‘risk factors’; that contribute to various kinds of gun violence – suicide, exposure to violence, unsafe gun storage, lack of community-based interventions, and so forth. 

              Frankly, this is the same kind of research that gun-control researchers have been doing for the last twenty-five years without the CDC money. Oh – I forgot!  The New York Times has

now decided that we shouldn’t use the term ‘gun control’ any longer. It’s too ‘prejudicial.’  It’s like calling someone ‘Chinese’ instead of AA-PI. What we need to do is substitute the words ‘gun safety’ for ‘gun control.’ That’s what the Brady Campaign figured out after they took over a bankrupt advocacy group, Handgun Control, Inc., which couldn’t get enough financial support to push the idea of ending gun violence by getting rid of handguns.

              Back in 1959, the Gallup Organization ran a national poll which asked Americans to decide whether banning handguns was a good thing. Not more restrictive licensing but an absolute ban.  Sixty percent of the respondents to that question backed a handgun ban. The percentage of Americans who now back a handgun ban is now down around 25 percent.

              If the 1959 Gallup poll results had been fashioned into a law, we wouldn’t suffer from gun violence today. Think that we have gun violence because we own 300 million guns? Think again. We have gun violence because we are the only country in the entire world which gives resident free access to the types of guns that are designed only for the purpose of being used to injure yourself or someone else.

              With all due respect to my friends who do gun research, I don’t see the CDC spending one dime on trying to figure out how to stop gun makers like Glock, Sig, Beretta, Smith & Wesson, Springfield Armory, Kahr Arms – want me to name a few more? – from making and selling guns that shouldn’t be in the hands of anyone at all.

              We don’t even need to give these kinds of gun s out to the cops. You think they needed to use a gun to kill George Floyd?

              As you may know, I have started a petition to ban assault rifles. It’s been up now for five days and we are well over 1,100 names. I have also published a little book which explains everything you need to know about assault rifles and today you can get the Kindle edition for free.

              Banning assault rifles is a no-brainer. Banning concealable handguns that load military-style ammunition will be a little more difficult to do. But that’s okay – I’m only 76 years old and I will shortly put up a website and a Facebook page to explain why the guns which create gun violence need to go.

              If you haven’t signed our petition, please do it now: https://www.change.org/Ban_Assault_Rifles_Now

Want To Reduce Gun Violence?

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              The World Health Organization defines violence as a threat to health when someone tries to injure themselves or someone else. If they try it with a gun – voila! – we have gun violence.

              The United States suffers from an elevated rate of gun violence because we are the only country in the entire world which gives its residents free access to guns that are designed, manufactured, sold and used for the purpose of committing violence. And note that the WHO doesn’t distinguish between attacking someone else because you want to hurt them or defending yourself from getting hurt. Either way, it’s violence, okay?

              The gun industry would like you to believe that using a gun to defend yourself isn’t gun violence, it’s armed, self-defense. But this nonsense is simply the industry’s attempt to avoid being regulated and frankly, I can’t blame them for promoting such a stupid and totally false idea. After all, do banks like being regulated? Do insurance companies spend millions of dollars lobbying Congress because they want to be told what to do?

              I’m not saying that we should ban all guns. I’m saying that if we want to reduce gun violence to any measurable degree, we have to get rid of the guns which cause the violence. There’s no other way.

              Unfortunately, the approach to reducing gun violence which is the accepted and promoted narrative both by gun-control researchers and advocates, is the idea that we can continue to allow gun companies to design, manufacture and sell products whose only usefulness is for the commission of violence, as long as we figure out a way to keep these products out of the ‘wrong hands.’

              How do we know the difference between people with ‘right’ hands and people with ‘wrong’ hands?  We make everyone who wants to buy a gun fill out a form which tells us whether that particular individual is a ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ candidate for gun ownership based on how they have behaved up to the moment they actually buy the gun.

              Even if this kind of predictive strategy would actually work, what about the 60 or 70 million guns out there that could be used to commit gun violence right now? Hey – wait a goddamn minute!  Aren’t there at least 300 million guns floating around?

              That’s right.  There probably are more than 300 million guns sitting in homes. garages, basements all over the place.  But, and it’s a very important but, most of the guns owned by Americans weren’t designed to commit gun violence. They were manufactured and sold to people who used them to take a pot shot at Bambi in the woods, or blast away at a target at the local range, or maybe freeze their rear ends off while sitting in some swamp while the geese coming back from Florida fly overhead.

              On the other hand, the concealable, polymer-framed handguns which are chambered for military grade ammunition, guns from companies like Sig, Beretta, Smith & Wesson, and Glock, were all designed for military and tactical use. Ditto the AR-15 which is now given to our troops in a version that shoots in semi-automatic mode.

              We don’t need to ban all guns. We need to ban guns that are not designed for hunting or sport. Several years ago, I looked at a list of more than 9,000 crime guns picked up by the cops and I ran a word-check of those 9,000 guns against the following names: Remington, Winchester, Marlin, Browning and Savage.  These happen to be the five largest manufacturers of hunting guns. 

              Know how many times those five words came up against a list of 9,000 crime guns?  Try less than 50 times. And when those names did come up, in every, single case it had something to do with licensing, not any kind of violent crime at all.

              You want to do universal background checks? Go right ahead. Want to pass a national ‘red flag’ law? Fine. Do that too.

              Want to end gun violence in the United States? Get rid of the guns which cause the violence. There’s no other way.

Pushing 700 signatures: https://www.change.org/Ban_Assault_Rifles_Now.

Why Ban Assault Rifles?

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              Here are 5 reasons why Mike the Gun Guy, a bone-fide gun nut, believes that assault rifles should be banned. Not regulated – banned.

Reason #1: Assault rifles are the weapons of choice when someone wants to kill as many people as possible.  Since 2012 there have been 10 mass shootings resulting in 30 or more dead or wounded victims. Every single one of these shootings was accomplished with and AR or an AK.

              Reason #2. Mass shootings like Parkland, Sandy Hook or Aurora kill or wound less than 3% of all gun victims each year, but these events devastate the communities in which they occur.  The Sandy Hook Elementary School had to be torn down after 2012 because residents of Newtown suffered emotional trauma every time they drove past the site.

              Reason #3. Assault rifles like AR-15s, and AK-47s are not (read: not) sporting guns. They are designed and used as tactical weapons, i.e., destruction of human life. These are tactical guns even when they only fire in semi-auto mode. They can be used for hunting or sport shooting, but that’s not what they are designed to do.

              Reason #4. Banning assault rifles does not infringe on 2nd-Amendment ‘rights’ at all. The 2nd Amendment is an amendment, not a ‘right.’ Rights are defined by laws and the Courts have held consistently that government can outlaw guns that are too dangerous for ordinary ownership or use.

              Reason #5. If the Federal Government were to compensate every owner of an assault rifle at fair market value for turning in his/her gun, the total cost would be 11 billion dollars. The 2020FY budget is $4.83 trillion dollars. As Bill Clinton would say, do the math.  It’s nothing.

If you haven’t, please sign our petition: https://www.change.org/Ban_Assault_Rifles_Now

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