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What Are Guns Designed To Do?

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As we move towards the Fall and a new session of the Supreme Court of the United States, we will certainly see more and more comments, editorials, and high-strung debates about gun ‘rights.’ This is because the Court is going to take up a challenge to New York’s Sullivan Law and by extension, the existence of discretionary approval for concealed-carry of weapons (CCW) in New York and a few other states.

Ever since two formidable gun researchers, Art Kellerman and Fred Rivara, published work in 1993 and 1994 which found a clear connection between access to guns and increased rates of homicide and suicide, the debate about the social value of guns has swung back and forth.

Our friends in Gun-nut Nation cite research by Gary Kleck, which proposes that using a gun for self-defense results in many violent crimes, perhaps several million violent crimes not being committed each year. On the other hand, research by supporters of Kellerman and Rivara find the opposite to be true.

I happen to think that both sides in this debate tend to ignore a fundamental point. What we do know about gun violence is that the overwhelming number of deaths and injuries caused by using a gun happen to involve guns that are designed for one purpose and one purpose only, which is to shorten human life.

Why do we suffer 14,000 gun homicides as against 75,000 or more non-fatal gun assaults each year? Because the shooter didn’t shoot straight.  It’s really as simple as that. The United States is the only country in the entire world which grants its citizens free, legal access to guns that are issued to our troops. Does this unique legal tradition result in a lower rate of violent crime than we find elsewhere? Not one bit. To the contrary, it gives us a much higher rate of violent crimes that end in a death.

The latest manifesto about the value of walking around with a gun is a piece in National Review where the author takes issue with the ACLU for putting up a podcast which claims that the 2nd Amendment has been used to deprive Blacks of gun ‘rights.’ The podcast’s main speaker is Carol Anderson, whose book on how the 2nd Amendment was drafted and used as a racist code was reviewed by me right here.

Basically, what I said in that review is that her history of the 2nd Amendment’s historical roots may be true, but it’s certainly not the case today that giving Whites CCW licenses but denying the same privilege to Blacks results in more Whites killing Blacks.  Homicide, particularly committed with a gun, is an intra-racial, not inter-racial affair. Yes, shootings have spiked during the Pandemic, but it’s not because Whites are assaulting Blacks or Blacks assaulting Whites.

The reason that Gaston Glock’s gun became the handgun of choice for military, police and gang-bangers was not because it has a polymer frame and not because it takes a double-stack mag. It’s because the barrel is cut with polygonal rather than spiral grooves. What this means is that the bullet runs up the barrel without the escape of gas, which makes the bullet move much faster when it leaves the barrel, which makes the gun much more lethal, even if the bullet doesn’t hit a vital spot.

In other words, what Glock’s gun was designed to do, and this design was then quickly adopted by just about every other company manufacturing guns for the military and police, was to disable or kill someone no matter how quickly the gun would be drawn, pointed, and used.

The issue isn’t whether the 2nd Amendment gives any law-abiding the ‘right’ to walk around with a gun. The issue is whether the 2nd Amendment should give Constitutional protection for the purchase and ownership of guns that were designed only for the purpose of ending human life.

And before you start telling me that you have a ‘right’ to own any gun you want, just remember that what is considered ‘defensive’ gun use to one person may be ‘offensive’ gun use to someone else.

Gun Notes: Research on Guns (Guns in America): Weisser, Michael R.: 9780578453149: Amazon.com: Books

Will The ‘Public Health Approach’ Reduce Gun Violence?

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              There seems to be a general consensus in Gun-control Nation that the most effective way to deal with gun violence is to take a ‘public health approach.’ What this means is that we first define gun violence as a public health ‘threat, then we try to figure out which populations are more susceptible to the threat, then we figure out why the threat occurs, and then we come up with a plan which takes all those issues into account.

              Isn’t this what we did with Covid-19?  First, we learned that a lot of people were getting sick, and the sickness was a serious medial event. Then we learned that the most vulnerable populations were the seniors. Then we figured out that the disease spread mostly through close contact between hosts and potential hosts. Then we developed a vaccine and tried to get everyone to take the shot.

              Last year, probably 130,000 people were victims of gun violence. This year, it looks like the number will be more. So, what have we learned about how to deal with this problem using the ‘public health approach?’

              First, we have learned, and we have known this for many years, that most of the people who are both victims and spreaders of this particular health threat are males. We also know that with the exception of suicides, most of the victims and spreaders of gun violence are between the ages of 16 and 35. We also know that most of the victims and spreaders had some degree of contact before the outbreak of the violence itself. Finally, we also know that most of the victims and spreaders are located in high-crime, inner-city neighborhoods, and a disproportionate number are non-White.

              All the foregoing information can be found in a new book, Gun Violence Prevention, A Public Health Approach. The book, co-edited by our good friend Linda Degutis, was just published by the American Public Health Association, and is designed as “both a primer and a handbook for public health practitioners, advocates, students, policymakers and the public, and will make information about the public health approach to gun violence accessible.”

              The book is a collection of well-referenced articles covering just about all the relevant topics for which the public health approach should be understood and used – homicide, suicide, intimate partner violence, social justice, media, advocacy – the works.

              I applaud Linda Degutis and her co-editor, Howard Spivak, for putting together a fairly comprehensive analysis of how public health research and methodologies can be brought to bear against the violence caused by access to guns. There is, however, one little problem with the ‘public health approach’ to gun violence, which the co-editors mention at the very beginning of the text, but do not actually see it as a problem at all.

              Here’s what they say: “This is NOT a book about taking all the guns away. This is NOT about the Second Amendment. This is about creating an environment in which we can be safe given that there are guns present.”

              If the purpose of public health is to create a zero-sum result for any large-scale threat to health, then I hate to break it to Drs. Degutis and Spivak, but you can’t ever achieve that goal as long as the guns are around. The co-editors justify their argument by citing how public health has been used to make cars safer and reduce vehicular injuries while still allowing people to own and drive cars.

              But the analogy between auto injuries and gun injuries doesn’t work. And it doesn’t work for one, simple reason, namely, if someone is injured while driving from here to there, then we figure out whether it was the fault of the driver, or the fault of the car’s design, and we come up with strategies to fix one or both.

              If I were to walk into a room occupied by 15 people, then pull out my Glock 17 and empty the mag, I could kill everyone in that room in 20 seconds or less.

              Know what? That gun would be functioning exactly the way it should function and I would have used it the way it was designed and sold to be used.

Isn’t It About Time We Opened Up That ‘Secret’ Gun Business?

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              Our good friends at The Trace have just published a story about how an old law suit may be used to bring the gun industry out of the shadows and give everyone access to all those gun-industry ‘secrets’ which we have never been told before. The story concerns a lawsuit by the city of Gary, IN charging gun makers with failing to prevent their products from ending up in the ‘wrong hands.’

              One of the common mis-perceptions about the gun business which floats around in Gun-control Nation is the idea that the gun industry is this secret cabal of bloodthirsty gun makers who go out of their way to keep their business as quiet and as far away from public scrutiny as they can.

              The ‘public’ face of the industry, so it is said, is the NRA. But behind the scenes, working to make sure that guns end up being used to kill, injure, and maim, are these bloodsucking, ‘opaque’ gun makers whose behavior is really the reason that gun injuries even occur.

              And what is worse, these stealthy manufacturers are protected by the federal government because they are not only immunized against class-action suits under the notorious PLCCA law,  but their products are also not controlled in any way by the Consumer Products Safety Council which was set up to track injuries caused by all consumer products like bicycles and teddy bears.

              No wonder the gun industry gets away with murder in a literal sense.

              Except there’s only one little problem with this scenario, which our friends at The Trace appear to have discounted as well. And the little problem is that it’s simply not true. In fact, the gun industry is regulated to a much greater degree than any other consumer-product industry, believe it or not.

              If I want to open a store and sell cigarettes to the residents in my town, I just need to get a retail license from the Town Clerk which costs $20 bucks and open an account with the State Department of Finance so that I can send them a monthly payment for the sales tax that I collect. I also have to make sure that my store isn’t across the street from a school, and I have to post a sign in the store that I will not sell cigarettes to anyone under the age of twenty-one.

              Want to know what I have to do to sell guns along with those cigarettes? I not only have to get the retail and sales tax licenses and post the same signage in my shop, I also have to get both state and federal dealer’s licenses to receive and sell guns, along with having my shop inspected by the local police chief who then signs off on my federal license application to the ATF.

Once I get my dealer’s license from the Feds, I then have to keep meticulous records on each and every sale of a gun. I also have to make sure that every customer who buys a gun is first approved for that purchase by the FBI, and these records can all be examined at any time by an ATF team which can walk into my shop without prior notification of a any kind, and hang around checking these records for as long as they like.

Incidentally, these ATF inspectors can and do also show up and examine the same information at every gun-making company and every wholesaler who sells guns to retailers like me.

Are you going to tell me that cigarettes are less dangerous than guns, particularly now that many of the most devoted cigarette addicts are switching to vapes whose health risks we still don’t even understand?

The article in The Trace laments the fact that 16,000 people will be killed this year in gun homicides. The CDC says that more than 440,000 people will die from smoking this year.

And everyone’s so concerned about bringing the ‘secret’ gun industry into the open? Give me a break.

Amazon.com : what is an assault rifle?

Chicago Wants To Reduce Gun Violence By Doing A Gun Buyback That Isn’t A Buyback.

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              There’s a self-styled entrepreneur in the neighborhood where I work who walks around every day with a shopping cart picking up empty bottles and cans. When his shopping cart is full, he goes to some redemption center, dumps the bottles and cans in some kind of big machine which turns them into metal and glass that can be used to make more bottles and cans. Then he gets some cash, goes home and the whole process begins again the next day.

              This guy does particularly well in the summer months because that’s when everyone’s sitting outside on the stoop drinking soda and beer to keep cool. Most of the neighborhood folks dump their empties in a garbage can next to their homes which makes it easier for this guy to fill up his shopping cart without having to run around picking up just one can here or one bottle there.

              I started thinking about my neighborhood can and bottle collector when I read a media story out of Chicago where Mayor Lori Lightfoot has announced a new program to reduce gun violence by paying residents of the 2nd City to turn in unwanted guns. She’s setting up a million-dollar fund which will be used to pay anyone who brings a gun to the police – details to be forthcoming soon.

              What Mayor Lightfoot is referring to as a “bold and creative action” is no different than what happens at gun buybacks which take place in various cities from time to time. In New York, the Attorney General has been sponsoring gun buybacks in different cities since 2013 and has collected more than 3,200 guns.

              Do gun buybacks work? It depends on what you mean by using the word ‘work.’ There doesn’t seem to be any direct connection between the number of guns collected in a buyback and the before-and-after stats on violent crime. But there does seem to be some value in buybacks because they alert the community both to the issue of gun violence, as well as helping to promote more governmental and police attention to reducing the violence caused by guns.

              What bothers me about the Chicago program, however, is not whether the buyback will work or won’t work. The problem is that the program is designed, according to Mayor Lightfoot, to incentivize people to turn in ‘illegal’ guns.

“We need everyone’s help to make sure we are doing everything we can to address this horrible plague of illegal firearms,” says Her Honor, the Mayor.

Actually, the good citizens of Chicago don’t have to turn up at the po-leece and drop off an ‘illegal’ gun. All they have to do is give the cops a ‘tip’ as to where the cops can find an illegal gun. 

So, this program isn’t a gun buyback. It’s a gun tip-off. Call the cops, tell them that so-and-so next door has a gun he’s not supposed to have, and you get some kind of reward.

Did it ever occur to Mayor Lightfoot that crimes are usually solved because the cops get an ‘anonymous’ tip? How can you give an anonymous tip about a gun crime if you want to get a reward? And by definition, anyone in possession of an ‘illegal’ gun has already committed a crime.

I don’t want to play Friday morning quarterback but to me, this scheme (to quote Grandpa) sounds pretty fa-cocktd.  Over the July 4th weekend, the Windy City celebrated our country’s independence with 104 people shot, of whom 19 were killed. In other words, we have a gun-violence pandemic in Chicago which is much worse than the pandemic from Covid-19.

Over the July 4th weekend, an average of 5 persons were admitted to a Chicago hospital for Covid-19 illness each day. Admissions to hospitals for gun injuries should be so low.

Back in 2007, our good friend Kathy Kaufer Christoffel published a fundamental article on gun violence, “Firearm Injuries: Epidemic Then, Endemic Now.” 

I think we need to give Dr. Christoffel’s article a new title because gun injuries were epidemic back then, but for sure they are pandemic now.

What Can We Do About Crime?

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              So, yesterday Joe holds a meeting at the White House to figure out what to do about crime which seems to be out of control in cities like Chicago and New York. He’s got all the usual suspects sitting around the table – the cops, the big-city mayors, the ones who always show up when we get worried about crime. And crime is a big problem for Joe right now because the latest polls show that this issue could kill the Democrats in 2022 with the suburban vote. 

              One of the attendees at the meeting was our friend Eric Adams, the newly-elected Mayor of New York City who says he’s particularly concerned about losing wealthy residents to low-crime states like Florida because, as he puts it, “they’re not worried about high taxes, they’re worried about high crime rates.”

              I can just see it now. Some dude who lives in Scarsdale or Chappaqua, one of those wealthy New York suburbs, gets up in the morning and takes the commuter train down to New York. Then he gets off the train in Grand Central Station and switches to the subway for a quick ride downtown to Wall Street.

              Except since he’s all worried about crime, instead of getting off the subway at the Wall Street Station, he gets off at the Fulton Street stop, switches trains and takes the subway out to the Utica Avenue stop, or maybe the stop at Ralph Avenue.

              Know where this dude has ended up?  In the middle of a Brooklyn neighborhood called East New York. Which happens to be not far from the 88 NYPD Precinct, where Eric Adams did his 20 years when he was on the job. It also happens to be the neighborhood where a large number of the city’s 225 murders and 11,033 aggravated assaults have taken place this year.

              By the way, for all the screaming headlines about how crime is ‘out of control,’ the year -to-date increase in New York is around 5%. Granted, this increase is on top of a much greater spike in crime that occurred in 2020, when the ‘Chinese virus’ was supposed to disappear by April but managed to stick around.

              On the other hand, what is alarming is the increase in shootings from last year to this. The increase from 2020 to 2021 in the number of people shot is up by 22%, the number of shooting incidents is up by almost 30%.  To quote Grandpa, this is ‘nisht gut.’

              Now if that dude from Scarsdale wants to walk around East New York or one of the other high-crime Brooklyn neighborhoods like Bed-Stuy (‘do or die’) instead of going down to his Wall Street office at Morgan Stanley and getting to work, he probably should be carrying a Glock or a Sig because, after all, why would he ever want to go anywhere without being able to exercise his 2nd-Amendment ( and God-given) ‘right’ to defend himself against crime?

              But you can’t just walk around New York City with a gun in your pocket the way you can walk around in places where the state legislature has wisely given residents the freedom to strap on a gun. Because in New York City, the Sullivan law makes it almost impossible for the ‘good guys’ to carry guns. It’s only the ‘bad guys’ who carry guns.

              Now the fact that the ‘bad guys’ who commit all that gun violence are using their guns to shoot other ‘bad guys’ happens to be an aspect of gun violence that is usually overlooked. Know how many murders occurred last week in the area around Wall Street? None. Know how many shootings were reported in that same area? None.

              But that dude from Scarsdale who comes into the city every day completely unarmed is making plans to move to Florida because he’ll be able to protect himself from crime once he settles down in the Gunshine State.

              I love how the discussion about gun violence continues to fill the room with hot air.

Catalog | TeeTee Press

Will Andrew Cuomo End The Gun Business?

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Yesterday Andy Cuomo signed a law that he hopes will help reduce gun violence in New York. When it comes to going after the gun industry, Andy is, without doubt, the strongest and most dedicated public official in the United States. He’s the guy who, in 1999, wrote the agreement that Smith & Wesson signed with the Clinton Administration that almost put S&W out of business.  In 2013, he rammed the SAFE ACT through the New York State Legislature which was the toughest gun-control law passed after Sandy Hook.
So now, in response to a startling increase in shootings in New York City, we now have another gun law in New York which responds to “the dangers to safety and health and creation of a public nuisance caused by the sale, manufacturing, distribution, importing and marketing of firearms.”

Basically, the law says that any dealer who sells a gun that winds up being used in an act of gun violence will not only be subject to legal sanctions imposed by the state government, but also can be sued by anyone who was damaged by someone else who assaulted them by using that gun. 

In other words, this law gets around the immunity from personal damages that the gun industry has enjoyed under the Federal PLCCA law and was specifically drafted to avoid being in conflict with the PLCCA law.

And by the way, the law clearly states that a dealer who sells a gun which ends up in the ‘wrong hands’ can be held responsible even if this dealer had absolutely no intention of using his business to sell any kind of illegal gun. If I were a dealer in New York State, I’d close my shop down by the end of this week.
And also by the way, the law isn’t just aimed (pardon the pun) at dealers who do business in New York State. It specifically says that anyone engaged in the business anywhere who sells a gun that is used to commit gun violence in New York State can be held liable under this law. Which means that if a dealer in, say, South Carolina, sells a gun to someone who then has the gun stolen and this gun somehow winds up being picked up by the cops in Brooklyn after a shooting of someone on Bushwick Avenue, the dealer in South Carolina can be sued because maybe he didn’t take proper precautions to make sure the gun would always be kept in a safe and proper way.
This new law won’t be on the books two weeks before the gun industry goes into court and tries to get the statute overturned. Because new laws have a way of spreading from state to state and if this version of the ‘Albany flu’ were to be copied in some other Communist state like California, or Illinois, or anywhere else where the blue team rears its ugly head – watch out!  Bye-bye guns.
Last week the Commies who rule the city of San Jose passed a law which requires gun-owning residents to carry liability insurance on their guns. The monies would be used to cover the costs of police response to shootings, medical costs of treating gun injuries and even the charges for carrying the wounded to a hospital and the dead victims to the morgue.
Why San Jose? Because recall that on May 26th a guy showed up at the city’s public transportation hub with his trusty assault rifle, shot and killed 9 people and then shot himself. 
Remember when every neighborhood had a drug store, a hardware store and even a clothing store? They’re all replaced by chains. What makes this New York State law a threat to the gun industry is the fact that guns are the only consumer item that are still sold in small, independent retail stores. And the owners of these stores don’t have money to hire lawyers if they get sued for selling a ‘crime’ gun. 
The New York State gun law could be the start of bye-bye American pie.
                  

Celebrate The 4th – Shoot Someone With A Gun!

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The more I think about it, the more I believe that the good residents of the city of Chicago have found the perfect way to celebrate America’s birthday, which is to get out there with their guns in the streets of the Windy City and mow everyone down. 

After all, what’s more uniquely American than the 2nd Amendment? And the 2nd Amendment says that every red-blooded American is entitled to own a gun.

 And by the way, the 2nd Amendment doesn’t say that I have to possess a license to own a gun. It also doesn’t say I have to be of a certain age to own a gun. So why is everyone always making such a big deal about ‘legal’ versus ‘illegal’ guns?

I think we need more, not less Americans to behave on July 4th the way that Chicago behaved on America’s birthday when 17 people were killed and another 87 were wounded with guns.

And don’t think there wasn’t plenty of competition from other cities whose residents decided to celebrate July 4th in this same, uniquely American way.

In Cincinnati, two teens shot each other dead and three other teens were wounded when an argument between two kids turned into a gunfight because they both were carrying guns. In New York City, the weekend shooting toll was at least 25 victims. All in all, the holiday weekend running from July 2nd through July 4th may have produced 500 shooting victims countrywide, including at least 145 who ended up dead.

Every year the TV news always starts its coverage of the July 4th celebration by talking about the crush in airports and on highways because the ‘holiday travel’ story is a demonstration that the country is alive and well. It was particularly an important story this year because it was a reminder again of how we are finally getting out from under Covid-19.

But maybe next year the media might want to consider starting off the holiday weekend coverage with a screenshot of a couple of kids cleaning and loading their guns or shooting at some old tin cans in the back yard. And then the story can always bring in some idiot who brags about how he never leaves home without his gun because he has the God-given ‘right’ to defend himself from all those ‘thugs’ in the street.

Now that the weekend has ended, we will for sure be treated to the other notable American tradition, which will be a noisy argument about what kind of laws we should pass to keep Americans from killing each other in this uniquely-American way. Other countries don’t share this tradition because they already have laws that keep guns not just out of the ‘wrong’ hands but out of everyone’s hands.

Incidentally, the numbers I stated above about how 145 out of 500 shooting victims died over the weekend has to be a serious undercount of the total who got shot. There’s simply no way that the guys who banged away this weekend have practiced enough to kill only one out of three persons who got shot.  I’m willing to bet that the overall holiday shooting toll will be more like 700 or 800 victims, if only that.

For those among you who are concerned about this penchant we seem to have for killing each other with such abandon and evident delight, is that the July 4th holiday only comes once a year. Which means that beginning next weekend, the number of people who get killed and wounded with guns can drift back down to 300 gun murders and assaults – the normal weekend rate.

In 2019, less than 4% of all the victims of gun violence were under 14 years old. The reports from this past weekend, however, seem to indicate that younger kids are now engaged in gun violence both as victims and shooters of guns.

There’s nothing like getting the next generation ready to share in a traditional way of life, right?

Gun Violence | TeeTee Press

How Do We Know That Gun Violence Is Up?

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              Now that the death rate from Covid-19 is beginning to finally bottom out, with an average count over the past week of less than 350 deaths per day, everyone is starting to get worried again about the number of people dying because they have been shot by guns. So far this year, it appears that gunfire has killed more than 8,100 people, or 54 fatal shootings every day. Meanwhile, during the previous six years, the daily gun-homicide average was 14 deaths per day.

              These numbers come from our friends at the Gun Violence Archive (GVA), which has been tracking shootings since 2014.  The GVA scrapes information about gun violence from a variety of open-source venues, including media and other websites, online police reports, government, and other digital repositories, all together totaling 7,500 sources which may or may not contain daily data about injuries caused by guns.

              The good news is that the GVA website gives you current numbers, whereas the information aggregated by the FBI and the CDC is, at best, several years behind. The GVA listings also allow for studying the details about individual gun events and can be searched by individual shooting events in specific states.

              The not so good news is that because most of the data appears to be lifted from online media reports, the degree to which such reports really capture gun violence trends is often determined by the old news adage about how the editors decide what stories get the daily space, i.e., if it bleeds, it leads.

              Unfortunately, a murder always seems to bleed more than an aggravated assault. Which is why the GVA gun violence numbers are probably near reality when it comes to counting homicides, but don’t come close to telling us what we need to know about non-fatal gun assaults. Because the truth is that the only difference, the only difference between fatal and non-fatal gun assaults is that in the latter case, the guy with the gun didn’t shoot straight.

              The CDC used to publish an annual number for non-fatal gun injuries but has deleted the numbers for every year since 2012. Prior to that year, their yearly estimate was somewhere around 60,000, give or take another 15,000 shooting events. In other words, the CDC was admitting that it’s methodology for estimating non-fatal gun assaults was so weak that maybe the actual number was 50% higher (or lower) than what their numbers actually show.

              So, when the media carries a story today about the surge in gun violence which seems to be happening throughout the United States, the data being used to track this surge only counts what is probably less than one-third of all such events, and could be even less than one-tenth, or even less than that. 

              The World Health Organization (that’s the organization we used to belong to) defines violence as an intentional attempt to injure yourself or someone else. The injury can be fatal or non-fatal, it can be physical or psychological. Either way, intentional attempts to injure someone else which result in that person’s death, are a small part of a much larger whole.

              We can get a partial image of this larger whole by looking at the numbers published by the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) which is an annual report out of the Department of Justice based on interviews with 160,000 respondents in roughly 95,000 households throughout the U.S. Like every other government report, there are the usual complaints about accuracy, reliability, blah, blah, blah, and blah.

              Be that as it may, the 2019 report, which you can download here, shows that there were more than a million assaults that year. Although the type of weapon isn’t specified, we can assume that many of those assaults involved guns.

              The bottom line is that we really have absolutely no idea about whether gun violence is going up or going down. So how do you figure out a new law to prevent or reduce gun violence when you can’t tell whether the law, once enacted, will work at all? 

              You can’t.

Why Are Guns Lethal: 9781536814002: Reference Books @ Amazon.com

How Should We ‘Sell’ Gun Violence?

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This is going to be a tough column to write because I have no choice but to criticize the efforts of a man and wife who lost a son to gun violence and are now devoting themselves to raising public awareness about preventing gun violence, or what we refer to as GVP.  The couple, Manuel and Patricia Oliver, lost their son in the massacre at Parkland High School in 2018, and they now run a program which “uses urban art and nonviolent creative confrontation to expose the disastrous effects of the mass shooting pandemic. It also brings focus to the NRA’s corrupt maneuvers to buy lawmakers, while forcing solutions which are essential to healing mass shooting victims’ families’ lifelong grief.”

Last week they got serious media attention when they posted a video showing David Keene, past-President of the NRA, and the hated John Lott allegedly delivering commencement speeches to a parking lot filled with 3,044 empty chairs. The chairs represented students who have not been able to graduate from high school because at some time or another because they have been gunned down.

The commencement was allegedly going to take place at ‘James Madison Academy’ in Las Vegas, except there is no such school in Las Vegas or anywhere else. Both Keene and Lott delivered their remarks in a television studio which, they were told, were warm-ups for their actual speeches later that day. But then they were told that the commencement had been cancelled because of concerns about Covid-19.

So, you do a taping of Keene and Lott from behind as they are saying whatever they said to an empty room. Then you edit the tape and put in a picture of a bunch of empty chairs and – voila! – you’re ready for prime time on the GVP network, i.e., YouTube, Democracy Now and everywhere else. If Donald Trump could hold a daily press ‘briefing’ in a room in the White House made to look like the South Lawn, what’s to stop anyone from creating total fiction with a video file and a software package like Adobe’s Premier Pro?

Again, please understand that I’m not even remotely trying to criticize Manny and Pat Oliver for what they did. My concern is how their foray into the public debate over gun violence may turn out to have a result which is exactly the opposite from what they and other GVP advocates intend.

Right now, the political alignment in D.C. is exactly what it was every time the Federal Government passed a law regulating guns: a liberal President and both Houses of Congress controlled by the blue team. Will Joe introduce a gun bill sometime soon? I suspect so. Will the bill get signed into law? WTFK?

But even if the Senate can’t find 60 votes, for that matter they couldn’t find 60 votes after Sandy Hook. But Obama’s attempt to pass a bill (with the help of Joe Manchin, by the way) inaugurated the birth of a true, national, grass-roots GVP movement, which will only be more invigorated if a new gun bill is introduced this year.

That being the case, here’s my problem with the video meme produced by Changethe Ref which shows Keene and Lott supposedly talking to a bunch of empty chairs.

I don’t think we get anywhere explaining gun risk to gun owners by blaming the ‘other side.’ I don’t think that a narrative which focuses on anything other than the lethality of guns when they aren’t being used for hunting or sport advances the GVP agenda one, single bit.

The United States is the only country in the entire world which gives its residents free access to guns that were designed and are used today only for the purpose of ending human life. That’s right – it wasn’t just the AR-15 rifle whose design was specifically intended for military use. This happens to be how and why all those concealable, polymer, hi-capacity handguns made by Glock, Sig, Beretta, et. al., also first appeared.

That should be the message about gun violence put out there by all my GVP friends.

The Deadliest Pathogen: Guns and Homicide (Guns in America): Weisser, Michael R.: 9781792317866: Amazon.com: Books

The Dumbest Gun Law Passed This Year.

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              I used to think that the dumbest gun law ever produced came from Matt Gaetz who, when he was a State Senator in Florida, introduced a law (which went nowhere) that would have allowed patrons who were shot by someone in a gun-free zone to sue the owner of the property who had made his space gun free.

              But the Governor of Missouri, Mike Parson, is about to sign into law a bill which is even dumber than the law put out there by child-molester Gaetz. This is a law called the ‘2nd-Amendment Preservation Act,’ which prohibits the police in Missouri from enforcing federal laws which would be “considered infringements on the people’s right to keep and bear arms, as guaranteed by Amendment II of the Constitution of the United States.”

              Exactly what laws are they talking about? The most egregious infringements on gun ‘rights’ in Missouri would be any federal law which would result in “any registration or tracking of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition.”

              So, if a local police department shows up at a crime scene, let’s say a murder, and finds a gun next to the corpse which was evidently used to kill the guy, according to this new law the cops can’t ask the ATF to trace the gun in order to figure out who may have actually committed the crime.

              And why do the good people of Missouri need such a law? Because according to the Governor’s office, this law will “empower people to protect themselves.” The Governor’s spokesperson, Kelli Jones, actually said this. She actually stated those exact words.

              In 2019, the most recent year for which we have data, Missouri was one of 7 states with a murder rate in double digits, specifically the rate was 10.23 murders per 100,000 residents. There were only 4 states in 2019 which suffered from a higher rate of murders where the killer used a gun. So why not make it harder for the cops to figure out who pulled the trigger when they find a dead body on one side of the street with his head blown off and then find the gun on the other side of the street?

              Obviously, the guy who got his head blown off wouldn’t have been a murder victim at all if he had taken the trouble to ‘empower’ and protect himself, right? And how could this guy have empowered himself to make sure he didn’t get his head blown off by someone else?  That’s simple. All he needed to do was go out and get himself a gun.

              I can certainly understand why the head of Missouri’s gun-control group, MOMS, would issue a statement calling this law something with no benefit at all. But that’s not completely true, because after all, as the fear of Covid-19 abates and less people feel they can protect themselves from the virus by buying a gun, the guys who own gun shops in Missouri will need to find some way to boost sales.

              Know how many guns were purchased in Missouri last month? Try 40,192.  Know how many guns were sold in Missouri in April? Try 51,356.  In March it was 65,739.  So, over the last three months, gun sales in Missouri have dropped by almost 40%! That’s no good. No good at all.

              If it weren’t for the idiot state legislator, Jered Taylor, who sponsored this bill, and the idiot Governor, Mike Parson, who signed the bill, the gun business in Missouri might collapse, and then all those state residents who still need to empower themselves to keep themselves safe would be sh*t out of luck.

              Maybe what those poor folks would have to do is sneak into someone’s house when they’re not around and swipe one of their guns. And if the neighbor reports the theft to the cops and the cops want to trace the gun, then the local cops will also be sh*t out of luck.

              Missouri’s known as the ‘show me’ state. Want to show me a law that is dumber than this new gun law? 

Why Are Guns Lethal: 9781536814002: Reference Books @ Amazon.com

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