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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.

Close The Charleston Loophole? We Need To Ban Assault Weapons – Now!

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              So Joe goes on TV yesterday, gives a very strong, sober and brief address about the Colorado shooting, and tells the Senate to act on the two gun-control bills already passed by the House. One of the bills, H.R. 8, would expand background checks to most private sales. The other bill, H.R. 1446, would close what is referred to as the ‘Charleston loophole,’ a problem with the current NICS system which allegedly let Dylann Roof buy a gun, then walk into a church in Charleston, S.C. and kill 9 Black members of a Bible study class.

              Under current law, the FBI has 3 days to respond to a background check request, but if the necessary information isn’t given to the FBI within 3 days, the sale and transfer of the gun can proceed. H.R. 1446 would extend the time that the FBI would need to complete a background check to 10 days, the theory being that 10 days would provide time for more background information to be accessed and a final ‘proceed-don’t proceed’ decision to be made.

              There’s only one little problem, however, with the narrative which promotes the idea that Dylann Roof wouldn’t have been able to buy the gun he used in his assault on the church in Charleston if the FBI had been able to take more than 3 days to check him out.  In fact, what happened was that Roof had pleaded guilty to a drug charge which should have disqualified him from owning guns, but the information somehow never got forwarded from the local cops to the FBI.

              The people working for the FBI-NICS operation could have been given a year to decide about Roof’s legal fitness for gun ownership and they still wouldn’t have come up with anything that would have disqualified him from buying that gun. Somehow, and nobody has ever figured this out, the information about Roof’s drug arrest simply got lost.

              But let’s say, for the sake of argument, that there had been a proper referral of information about Roof from the local cops to the Feds. And let’s say, for the further sake of argument, that Roof had been told by the dealer that he couldn’t buy the gun.

              How difficult do you think it would have been for Roof to get his hands on a gun without going through a background check?  I lived in South Carolina. In South Carolina everyone has a gun.

              The problem with both bills waiting for Senate action is that they are responses to gun violence which regulate the behavior of people who own or ant to own guns. We use laws to regulate all kinds of behavior, but when it comes to regulating how someone behaves with a gun, all you need is one crazy nut to walk into a movie theater, a school, a night club, a concert, a supermarket, or any other place where there are a lot of people and the carnage can be beyond belief.

              The only way to prevent such horrendous events from happening on a regular basis is to regulate the products which are used to create these unspeakable tragedies again, and again, and again.  

              Of course, the moment we start talking about regulating the guns, the other side starts screaming about protecting their 2nd-Amendment ‘rights.” Ever hear of a legal doctrine called ‘negligent entrustment?’ It means that a seller of any product is liable for the damage caused by that product if he knows that what he is selling is too dangerous to be sold.

              This doctrine is the basis for the lawsuit against Remington on behalf of the families of the children who were murdered at Sandy Hook. And the Federal courts have held this lawsuit to be valid not once, but twice. So, we have a clear recognition that banning assault weapons because it’s simply too dangerous to give anyone the opportunity to kill 20 human beings in 4 minutes or less, has nothing to do with so-called 2nd-Amendment ‘rights’ at all.

              Please sign our petition to ban assault weapons and please send it to all your friends.

              Thank you:  http://chng.it/pHTVCLJqjr

What Do Gun Owners Think About An Assault Weapons Ban?

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AR

In light of all the post-Parkland talk about an assault weapons ban, I thought I would ask the one group that would be most directly impacted by such a measure – gun owners – to share their thoughts on such a ban. So I put a little survey up and have so far collected roughly 400 responses, the survey runs another week, but I thought I would publish the early results now.

Actually, I first began with two surveys, one for gun owners and one for non-gun owners, but I deleted the non-gun owner survey because too many of the gun owners felt it incumbent upon themselves to answer both surveys, which skewed the results of the latter survey to a degree that I can’t trust the results.  I’ll deal below with the reasons why many gun owners who answered the survey behaved in such a childish fashion, for the moment let’s just put it down to a generalized case of arrested mental development which, unfortunately, tends to infect a small segment of the gun-owning community, particularly those members of the community who have anointed themselves as the public defenders of 2nd-Amendment ‘rights.’

Anyway, back to the survey.  To make sure that the survey was getting a representative response (I pay Facebook to run ads for my survey) I ask respondents to identify the region in which they live.  Here was the result:

region

The survey is representative for gun owners nationally, particularly because from other surveys I have conducted, the region of residence tends to be the one demographic that influences attitudes about guns more than anything else.

So how do gun owners feel about an assault weapons ban?  They are against it – gee, big surprise.  And they are against a ban whether or not currently-owned assault weapons have to be surrendered or not – against either option to the tune of 95 percent.

I also asked survey respondents whether they actually owned an assault rifle and 70% said they did, but this numeric reflects the fact that the survey specifically referred to an assault weapons ban, which means that AR-owners would answer the survey in greater numbers than what they represent within the gun-owning population as  whole. On the other hand, nearly two-thirds of the respondents who identified themselves as owning assault riles said they used the rifle for hunting and sport shooting, with roughly 36% saying that they bought the gun for self-defense.  This is an interesting finding, given the degree to which the gun industry has been promoting black guns as the latest and greatest ‘tool’ for personal defense.

Overwhelmingly, to the tune of 90% or slightly higher, gun owners did not think that assault rifles are too dangerous for civilian ownership, nor did they want magazine capacity to be limited to 10 rounds. And last, roughly nine out of ten respondents said they would not comply with a gun ban, so much for the NRA‘s endless paeans to ‘law-abiding’ gun owners.

What this survey indicates, and I will publish final results next week, is that gun owners have little enthusiasm for regulating assault rifles, but this should come as no surprise. I have never been comfortable with national polls (e.g., Pew, Gallup) which show strong support among gun owners for additional gun regulations, such as expanding background checks or otherwise inhibiting the flow and availability of guns.

On the other hand, let’s recognize that within the gun-owning population, as within any broad-based group, we will always find a hard core who are particularly eager to jump on social media to express the most stupid and infantile beliefs simply because: a) they have nothing better to do; and, b) it’s fun.

What makes an assault rifle attractive to most of its owners is the degree to which you can pretend you are mowing down all the bad guys. Take an AR onto the range and you instantly become that kid you once were before adult life intervened. And if someone threatens to make it difficult for you to recreate those happy days, why not do what children always do when someone threatens to take away their toys?

Throw a tantrum. Why not?  Yelling a few curse words is almost as much fun as shooting a gun.

 

 

 

Take A Survey On Assault Weapons.

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AR

This is a completely anonymous survey which gives gun owners an opportunity to report how they feel about the ownership of assault weapons and current plans to regulate such weapons more strictly.  The survey can be completed in 2 minutes or less and we will post results on a weekly basis.

 

If you are a gun owner, take this survey.

Remember, this survey is completely anonymous. Even Survey Monkey doesn’t know who you are.

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