How to Spot Misleading Statistics in the Gun Control Debate
The academic debate over gun control consists mainly of a war of statistics. New studies come out every few weeks, and as a result, both sides are constantly locking horns over the validity or invalidity of this-or-that study in this-or-that country.
For those who aren’t formally trained in data analysis, this debate can seem impossible to navigate. How should untrained laypersons go about interpreting the findings of statistical studies?
It’s About Resistance, Not Prevention
Statistics come in all shapes and sizes, so the first thing we need to do is determine which kinds of statistics are relevant to the gun control debate and which are irrelevant. To do this, we need a clear understanding of what the gun control debate is fundamentally about. We can’t separate the relevant from the irrelevant if we aren’t clear about how to frame the issue.
So, what is the debate over gun ownership fundamentally about? Many seem to think that it’s about deterrence; that is, whether gun ownership prevents crime. The most well-known proponent of this view is John Lott, who argues that shall-issue right-to-carry laws are effective at reducing crime rates by means of deterring criminals. Lott’s research has been corroborated by a number of other studies and criticized by others.
Regardless of whether Lott’s research stands up to scrutiny, I want to suggest that it’s mistaken to think about the gun ownership debate chiefly in terms of crime prevention. On the contrary, whether there exists a right to own guns depends chiefly on whether guns are reasonable means of resisting crime.
Although prevention is more socially desirable (it is better that a crime not happen in the first place), any deterrent benefits that guns may have would owe to their resistance benefits, so the latter is more fundamental. Guns are valued for self-defense primarily because of their ability to dispense lethal force, which means that resistance—not prevention—is primary. Prevention is an added benefit, but it is secondary.
None of this is to say that Lott’s research is wrong. Rather, the point I’m making is that prevention and resistance are two very different things, and the latter is what the gun debate is fundamentally about.
To illustrate the difference, let’s suppose that I encounter a mugger while taking a walk. I brandish my firearm to the mugger, who is undeterred and rushes me with a knife. I then shoot the mugger, stopping the crime. In that situation, my gun has failed to prevent a crime, but it was successful at resisting a crime. The gun was an effective and reasonable means of self-defense even though it failed to deter the would-be mugger.
This is a very crucial point that must be carefully appreciated. Even if guns don’t prevent crime by reducing the overall crime rate, it wouldn’t mean that guns are not a reasonable means of resisting crime. As far as gun rights are concerned, the single most important issue is simply the question of whether guns do a good job when deployed against a criminal assailant. Deterrence is not the key issue at stake.
The Wrong Kinds of Studies
With that point in mind, we are now in a position to evaluate the relevance of empirical studies. Suppose for the sake of argument that pro-control advocates are right that gun ownership or right-to-carry laws do not deter crime. What follows from this? Nothing much, actually. Since the gun debate is primarily about whether guns are reasonable means of resisting crimes, the fact that guns may not work to prevent crime doesn’t really damage the case for gun ownership.
This same is true even if guns increase crime. Let’s revisit the earlier scenario involving the mugger. Suppose that upon seeing my brandished gun, the mugger becomes enraged and charges me. In that case, not only has my gun failed to prevent a crime, it may actually have worsened one. But that wouldn’t mean that my gun wasn’t a reasonable means of resisting crime, nor that I wasn’t justified in using it to defend myself.
The point here is this: even if studies showing that gun ownership or right-to-carry laws increase crime are right, they’re irrelevant. It doesn’t follow that guns are not effective when used in self-defense. Since the merits of gun ownership center around their resistance benefits, it is misleading to attack that by focusing on their lack of preventative benefits. The failure of a gun to prevent crime doesn’t imply its failure at resisting crime.
Proponents of gun control are therefore guilty of a subtle sleight of hand when they cite studies showing that guns lead to more crime or that gun-owners have a higher risk of being killed by a gun. Even if all these studies are true (and there is considerable reason to doubt that they are), they are wholly irrelevant to what is actually at stake in the debate over gun ownership. It confuses the risk that guns have in general with their effectiveness when used for self-protection.
Now to be fair, many gun advocates are guilty of making this same mistake, in that they frame the entire debate in terms of deterrence and crime prevention. While it’s not wrong to look at these questions, they should be secondary to what really matters. Gun advocates should direct their primary attention to the number of defensive gun uses and the effectiveness of guns in self-defense, as they pertain directly to the core issue of the gun debate: resisting crime.
So, the next time you see a study showing how gun ownership may increase crime or one’s chances of dying, know that it is irrelevant to what is actually at stake. Being able to make the distinction between prevention and resistance won’t make you an expert at data analysis, but it will go a long way in helping you wade through the morass of anti-gun statistics.
The Right Kinds of Studies
The type of studies we should be paying attention to are those studies that deal directly with the effectiveness of guns when used in a self-defense scenario. On that topic, there is a clear and overwhelming consensus that guns are effective when used in self-defense.
A 1993 study published in the Journal of Quantitative Criminology found that out of eight different forms of robbery resistance, “victim gun use was the resistance strategy most strongly and consistently associated with successful outcomes for robbery victims.”
A 2000 study published in the Journal of Criminal Justice found that men and women who resisted with a gun were less likely to be injured or lose property than those who resisted using some other means or who did not resist at all. In the case of women, “having a gun really does result in equalizing a woman with a man.”
A 2004 study published in the journal Criminology found that out of sixteen different forms of victim self-protection, “a variety of mostly forceful tactics, including resistance with a gun, appeared to have the strongest effects in reducing the risk of injury.”
Finally, a 2010 study published in Crime and Delinquency found that resistance with a gun decreased the odds of robbery and rape completion by 93 percent and 92 percent, respectively.
Taking stock of these points, the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council concluded in a 2013 review of the literature that
studies that directly assessed the effect of actual defensive uses of guns have found consistently lower injury rates among gun-using crime victims compared with victims who used other self-protective strategies.
When it comes to the use of studies and statistics, both sides tend to focus on the impact of gun ownership and right-to-carry laws on causing or deterring violence. These are certainly interesting issues to examine, but deterrence (or lack thereof) isn’t actually relevant to the key question in the gun debate. What matters is simply the question of whether guns are effective at doing what they’re designed to do. And on that question, there is clear consensus that guns are extremely effective at self-defense.
It seems a lot of people have a misconception of the meaning of the Second Amendment; The Bill of Rights gives no one anything. What it does do is stop the government from infringing on your right that is inherent to you just being a person. This goes way back 200 years in British common law.As for getting the soldiers and National Guard on our streets to make them safe. Can’t do that because of Posse Comitatus. It makes it illegal for federal troops to be used as a police force. If you don’t think this is a problem, check on the fiasco of the aftermath of the Boston bombing where the police dressed like the military went door to door without warrants. If you didn’t want to comply, the police broke into your house and searched it anyway.
There are estimated between 5 million and 10 million AR-15s in America. As of this writing, there have been 20 AR-15s used by school shooters. That is 0.0002 percent of AR-15s. You are worried about this? This is going to sound heartless but your child is more likely to be hit by lightning than be killed by a school shooter. It isn’t callous, it is just math.
If you really want to understand the Second Amendment, read “The Federalist Papers” written by the real writers of the Constitution — James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay — in particular numbers 29 and 36.
Rock Island County activist Eliza Siep is all in favor of legislation that she believes will make Illinois communities safer by protecting Second Amendment rights.
“I would stand for that,” Siep told Rock Island Today of a push among some lawmakers in the county to have the area designated as a Second Amendment Sanctuary County. “If people want guns in our state, in our counties and in our cities, I actually feel safer. When I’m walking around the Walmart I would love to think that somebody would be carrying a concealed weapon legally and would be able to help out. When people have their firearms legally, they’re able to protect themselves and others if need be.”
Rock Island County Republican Party Chairman Drue Mielke
Rock Island County Republican Party Chairman Drue Mielke
In adopting such a policy, Rock Island County officials would be following in the footsteps of Effingham, Mercer, Henry, McDonough, Stark, Henderson and LaSalle counties, all of which have recently passed resolutions not to enforce state laws that they believe “unconstitutionally restrict the Second Amendment.”
Rock Island County Board member and County Republican Chairman Drue Mielke told WQAD that he was recently approached by a local citizens group so intent on adopting the legislation that they were thinking of trying to have the issue appear on the 2020 ballot as an advisory referendum.
Siep said her mind is already made up.
“Even in schools, I wished that teachers had the right to bear arms,” she said. “Whatever we can do to keep our streets and children more safe, I’m willing to do. If people have guns around me and they’re willing to use them correctly, I am more than happy to have them.”
Siep said she can only hope that more Illinois residents will come to feel as she does on the issue.
“I hope that Chicago would follow suit and try something different because whatever we’re doing hasn’t worked,” Siep said.
Massive NRA lobby, pro-gun judges and other key factors which could defeat any gun buy-back scheme in the US
A number of Democratic presidential hopefuls have sought a buyback but the number of guns in circulation is at 16 million and the challenge is huge.
So the gun grabbing proggies may be coming to the understanding that their fantasies are just that; fantastical
Democrat presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke has proposed a massive buy-back in a bid to curb the shooting menace which is rampant in American society. The Representative from Texas vowed in a recent debate to take back the deadly AR-15 and AK-47 rifles from people. However, O’Rourke’s idea has not struck a chord with many, even from his own party, for people feel there are far too many weapons in the country to confiscate. However, O’Rourke is not the only politician to have proposed such an idea. At least two other Democratic candidates in Kamala Harris and Julian Castro, besides other leaders, have backed the idea of buying back weapons.
O’Rourke’s idea has a similarity with New Zealand government’s move of buying back guns following the mosque massacres in Christchurch in March 2019. Six days after the attacks, New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern government came up with a ban on “military-style” semi-automatic rifles. New Zealand’s neighbor Australia is also known to have implemented strict gun-control laws in the mid-1990s that have reduced the menace on their soil substantially.
Can gun violence in the US be controlled the way it has been in Australia and New Zealand? In New Zealand, over 10,000 firearms were bought by the government in less than a month as part of its gun buyback scheme.
In the US, the number of guns in circulation is at 16 million which creates an immense challenge in rounding them up. New Zealand has a population of around five million while the US is home to 330 million people and it is the third most populous country in the world. Buying those many guns back will also put the government’s finances under a big pressure.
The number of AR-15 and AK-47s in the US is estimated at a staggering 16 million, creating logistical challenges to take them out of circulation. Many gun owners are also unwilling to turn in the weapons, and if the government offered to buy them all back at face value, the price tag could easily run into billions of dollars. New Zealand also doesn’t have gun ownership as a constitutional right which makes it less challenging for the government to impose the sanction.
But apart from the problem with the quantity or constitutional right, there are some other realistic reasons that make the idea of buying back weapons in the US a tough one.
The NRA challenge:
Irrespective of the growing anti-gun voice in the US and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors designating it as a domestic terror organization because of its pro-gun stance, the National Rifle Association (NRA) is not withering away any time soon……
The Second Amendment of the Constitution makes it challenging for the anti-gun groups. The left-leaning states have shown more interest in carrying out gun-control measures but overall, the country’s judicial system has emerged as a hurdle. The Supreme Court has said more than once in recent times that right to keep personal weapons is constitutionally assured…………..
Lack of genuine will
The problem with America’s gun violence is that the anti-gun groups come up with their demands and movements after a tragedy occurs while the pro-gun lobbies maintain their stance consistently…………
The Democrats came to control the House of Representatives in the mid-term elections in 2018 and one would think that this could put the pro-gun Republicans under some challenge. But the way the House congressional districts are laid out, many by state legislatures controlled by the GOP, more seats have the possibility of tilting towards the right……….
Senate Republicans Shut Down ATF Nominee
GOP senators wary of Chuck Canterbury’s support for gun control
Chuck Canterbury, President Trump’s nominee to serve as head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, is likely to see his nomination withdrawn due to stringent opposition from Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Washington Free Beacon learned on Thursday.
“Chuck Canterbury does NOT have sufficient support in the Judiciary Committee and is now expected to be held up instead of getting a vote today,” a GOP Senate aide told the Free Beacon on Thursday morning. “Republican members are (1) Concerned about his stances on gun control, and (2) there is still some bad blood for him flipping the Fraternal Order of Police in support of the First Step Act (after opposing the more moderate version), allegedly in exchange for the ATF Director nomination.”
“His 2A views are bad and he’d lose a lot of votes in committee,” a second Senate source told the Free Beacon. “We expect the White House will pull him given lack of support from Republicans on the Judiciary Committee.”
At least one Republican senator, Utah’s Mike Lee, seemed to agree with this assessment when reached for comment.
“Sen. Lee has concerns about Canterbury’s Second Amendment views and is pleased the markup has been delayed,” Lee’s office told the Free Beacon.
Canterbury, who served as the president of the national Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), was expected to receive a vote out of committee Thursday morning. But his nomination was blocked by conservative Republicans who voiced concerns about his stances on gun control.
Canterbury’s nomination seemed in trouble during his July confirmation hearing when he frustrated Republican senators by refusing to deviate from the official positions of the FOP on gun control. He avoided answering questions about his views on the Second Amendment and even explicitly said he did not understand ATF regulations well enough to say what gun control policies he could or could not implement.
“If you’re not familiar with the process running the ATF, then you are not qualified,” Sen. John Kennedy (R., La.) told him at the time.
It was Canterbury’s views on gun control, however, that sealed the deal. His past support for universal background check proposals and for President Obama’s attorney general Eric Holder were both major stumbling blocks, according to the second Senate source.
While head of the FOP, Canterbury explicitly supported background checks. In a 2013 letter, he told then-Senate Judiciary chairman Patrick Leahy (D., Vt.) that “expansion of background checks on firearm purchasers” was an “absolutely critical” element of “addressing gun violence.”
“We believe the most logical starting point to address gun violence is the expansion of the background check system,” Canterbury wrote on behalf of the FOP. “Incomplete or absent background checks create a gaping hole in the wall between firearms and criminals.”
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, just 10.5 percent of gun violence offenders purchased their firearm through a transaction that would be covered by any expanded background check proposal. Additionally, a Free Beacon analysis earlier this year found Colorado’s universal background check law had little effect on the number of checks done in the state, suggesting it was not as effective as advocates claim.
In 2009, Canterbury testified on behalf of then-nominee Holder, calling “his positions, his policy work, and the official acts … consistent with the goals of the FOP.” Holder would go on to oversee operation Fast and Furious, a gun-running investigation where officials allowed guns to be sold to people connected with Mexican cartels in an effort to track their networks. The program was poorly overseen and led to the death of a Border Patrol agent. Critics argued the program’s failure was due to Holder’s negligence.
Opposition to Canterbury also stemmed from his convincing the FOP to change its position on the FIRST STEP Act, the White House’s landmark criminal justice reform bill. The FOP initially opposed FIRST STEP, but changed its view after several revisions.
GOP Senate aides indicated that Canterbury was integral in bringing about this shift and that his work on FIRST STEP helped him clinch the ATF nomination, a view further indicated by Politico reporting in May. The Fraternal Order of Police did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
While GOP aides expect Canterbury’s nomination to be withdrawn, that has yet to happen officially.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment as to its intentions.
They’re calling Beto O’Rourke the “AR-15 salesman of the year” after he forcefully stated in the last Democratic debate that an O’Rourke presidency would mean the mandatory government confiscation of such rifles. His exact quote was: “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47– We’re not going to allow it to be used against our fellow Americans anymore.”
He’s the first to be so direct, but he isn’t treading into empty waters. Many Democratic presidential hopefuls want to curb, regulate, and restrict gun ownership and sales.
America has seen tragic gun violence recently. Everyone can agree that these seemingly regular mass-shootings are horrific and detestable. We can do more as a society to prevent these occurrences. But the guttural reaction of the left to use government regulation to fix the problem is harmful, not helpful, to the safety of the American public.
The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution does not grant the right to bear arms to the American citizen. Here, many misunderstand the basic founding principles of our country. The right to bear arms, just like the right to free speech, assembly, life, and liberty, are all rights we are born with. Neither the Constitution nor any federal law grant those rights, they are our inheritance. The Second Amendment reminds and restricts the government from its ability to interfere with those rights. Here’s the full text of the Amendment:
“A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
Our founders had no more ability to grant us those rights than the modern American political leader has to take them away. They are natural rights: ours and ours to keep. Even repealing the Second Amendment wouldn’t change this. And we should be so thankful. A government that has the power to grant rights has the power to take them away – and the nullifying, retracting, or ignoring of natural rights by government has been the vehicle by which the most egregious human rights abuses have and will continue to take place worldwide.
Even the most ardent progressive would agree that protecting human rights at home and abroad is a persistent and unending challenge of the civic minded activist. Nothing can secure a people’s rights more firmly than to recognize they are ours by birth, not granted by any human or government. For this alone I encourage the left to rally around the American system and think twice before slashing into any Constitutional protection…………….
There are about 393 million guns owned in America, or 46% of the world’s total gun supply. After the Christchurch shooting this year in New Zealand, the mandatory government buyback program made underwhelming performance, barely making a scratch in the estimated number of firearms held by the public. And that was in a country with far less identity wrapped around the right to bear arms.
The government simply cannot collect them all.
Cities in America with some of the strictest gun control laws often appear among the list of the top 10 cities with the highest gun-crime rates in the country…………..
Important yet absent from the gun control debate is an examination of how many crimes are prevented because of legally owned guns, or the role of guns as a defensive verses offensive tool. An Obama-era CDC study estimated as many as 3 million crimes are prevented in the US by guns annually—or 8,200 a day. According to the Foundation for Economic Education:
60 percent of convicted felons admitted that they avoided committing crimes when they knew the victim was armed. Forty percent of convicted felons admitted that they avoided committing crimes when they thought the victim might be armed.
I believe the issue we face in society is not a product of the guns we own but of the lack of morality we are fostering. We are seeing a devaluing of the nuclear family unit, the secularization of society, a de-emphasis of religion and tradition, and an embrace of emotional and identity politics.
America should curb gun violence with a measured and principled response.
The guns we own, and even the Second Amendment that protects the right to own them, is an easy but misplaced target. And it is a starting point of dire vulnerability from which our recognition of natural rights can be dismantled.
I’m not praising guns, I am explaining the rationale behind the sacred rights that we each carry with us by virtue of being born, and how unique and important it is that the American Constitution recognizes and prohibits the government from taking these from us, including the right to bear arms. We shouldn’t be so quick to forsake Second Amendment protections in misplaced attempts to tackle gun violence because other precious rights will become negotiable in the same way at a later time. We can’t stop the bleeding on this one. Either we acknowledge and protect all natural rights, or we have none.
Bryan Griffin of the London Center for Policy Research is a lawyer and author who specializes in American policy in the Middle East.
Earlier this month, the Nevada Supreme Court ruled a person charged with misdemeanor domestic battery is entitled to a trial by jury, because the state Legislature in 2017 enacted a law saying someone convicted of such a crime could have their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms denied.
In keeping with a 1993 U.S. Supreme Court decision, our state’s high court had previously held that only those persons charged with a “serious” crime are entitled to a jury trial, which was defined as a crime carrying a sentence of greater than six months.
The unanimous opinion written by Justice Lidia Stiglich stated the change in state law to prohibit firearms possession by someone convicted of domestic violence effectively increases the “penalty” and makes the crime “serious” rather than “petty.”
“In our opinion, this new penalty — a prohibition on the right to bear arms as guaranteed by both the United States and Nevada Constitutions — ‘clearly reflect[s] a legislative determination that the offense [of misdemeanor domestic battery] is a serious one,’” Stiglich writes in a case out of Las Vegas.
The ruling concludes, “Given that the Legislature has indicated that the offense of misdemeanor domestic battery is serious, it follows that one facing the charge is entitled to the right to a jury trial.”
Attorney Michael Pariente, who represented appellate Christopher Anderson, told the Las Vegas newspaper, “I applaud the Nevada Supreme Court for unanimously doing the right thing. I think it’s a huge decision. They spoke with one voice, and it’s a good day for people who are charged with misdemeanor domestic violence. It forces the prosecutor to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt to a 12-person jury instead of one single, sitting judge.”
But Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford, whose office argued against allowing a jury trial in such cases, put out a statement saying, “The devastating consequences of this decision cannot be overstated. Misdemeanor courts across this state are not equipped for jury trials, and this decision could have a widespread chilling effect on domestic violence victims coming forward. My office is working hand-in-hand with city, county, and federal officials to formulate a response and prevent the domestic violence epidemic in this state from further devastating our communities. The most immediate priority for my office is doing whatever it takes to ensure more people are not killed by their abusers as a result of this decision.”
Frankly, we have to ask: Why did it ever come to this?
The Webster’s definition of “all” is: “the whole amount, quantity, or extent of; every member or individual component of; the whole number or sum of; every.”
You see, Article 3, Section 2, of the U.S. Constitution states: “The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury …”
The Sixth Amendment reads: “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury …”
The Nevada Constitution says: “The right of trial by Jury shall be secured to all and remain inviolate forever …”
How the U.S. Supreme Court decided “petty” crimes do not warrant a trial by jury is beyond our feeble minds, but in any case the Nevada high court is to be applauded for deciding that the denial of the fundamental right to bear arms constitutes a serious matter and deserves a trial by a jury of one’s peers. — TM
Dianna Muller, who served in the Tulsa Police Department for 22 years and is the founder of gun advocacy group The DC Project, was among the witnesses at the House Judiciary Committee hearing.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA (September 24, 2019) — Today, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) announced the filing of an important legal brief in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals regarding the State of California’s ban on so-called “large-capacity” magazines that hold more than ten rounds of ammunition. The brief is available online at FPCLegal.org………
The brief argues that so-called “large-capacity” magazines are inherent components of functional firearms; that they are constitutionally protected because they are “in common use” for lawful purposes; and that because they are constitutionally protected, they cannot be banned.
“This case presents the type of Second Amendment challenge the Supreme Court has ruled on more than any other: a challenge to a prohibition on particular arms. And the Court’s precedent is clear: if the arms are commonly owned by law-abiding citizens, they cannot be prohibited,” said FPC Director of Research and brief lead author, Joseph Greenlee. “Evidence presented in this case shows that over 100 million magazines of the type that the State of California bans are owned in America. It is therefore indisputable that the magazines are common, and as such, their prohibition violates the Second Amendment.”
A former police officer made a bold proclamation during a congressional hearing Wednesday regarding a proposed assault-weapons ban: she would not comply.
Dianna Muller, who served in the Tulsa Police Department for 22 years and is the founder of gun advocacy group The DC Project, was among the witnesses at the House Judiciary Committee hearing. The session on an otherwise contentious issue flew largely under the radar amid the Trump-Ukraine controversy and Democrats’ impeachment push. But reflecting the gun control divide in the country — amid a spate of deadly mass shootings that prompted renewed calls for strict laws — Muller said that such a ban would force lawful gun owners to either give up their arms or become criminals.
“Please don’t legislate the 150 million people just like me into being criminals. It has happened. You’ve already done it,” Muller said, referring to the Trump administration’s ban on bump stocks, the devices that use a semi-automatic weapon’s recoil to make it rapidly fire like an automatic. “I was a bump stock owner, and I had to make a decision: do I become a felon, or do I comply?”
Should the government pass an assault-weapons ban, Muller declared, “I will not comply.”
Muller and others at the hearing focused on the practicality of a ban, pointing out what they claimed were mainly “cosmetic” differences between weapons such as the AR-15 and standard semi-automatic hunting rifles. This issue was also raised by Heritage Foundation senior legal policy analyst Amy Swearer when Rep.Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., went down the line of witnesses asking if they believed hunting rifles should be banned if they are semi-automatic.
Swearer said no, stating that there was no difference in the mechanics or function of an “assault weapon” or a semi-automatic hunting rifle. Dayton, Ohio Mayor Nan Whaley, who recalled the recent mass shooting in her city, did not give a definitive answer to Sensenbrenner’s question, nor did Dr. Alejandro Rios Tovar, a trauma surgeon who treated victims of the attack in El Paso, Texas. Charlottesville, Va., Chief of Police RaShall Brackney indicated she was in favor of a ban on “any weapon that could be used to hunt individuals.”
( I guess we need to ban rocks & sticks then! What an idiot)
Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., countered the idea of a hunting rifle ban by referring to his assault-weapon ban bill. Cicilline said that more than 200 weapons are exempt from the bill, so there is really no issue of eliminating hunting rifles.
Swearer also testified against the idea that law-abiding citizens have no need for weapons like AR-15s, recalling how her mother, a gun novice, had difficulty accurately firing a handgun at a shooting range, but was much more effective when she used an AR-15.
“As I read the Second Amendment, it doesn’t say the right to bear arms shall not be infringed unless the gun has scary features,” Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said.
Anti-gun Representatives tried and failed on Wednesday, September 18th to override Governor Chris Sununu’s vetoes of three-anti gun bills.
House Bill 109 would have effectively banned the private transfer of firearms, with exemptions too narrow to matter. As written, the bill would have imposed a definition of “commercial sales” broad enough to cover private transactions at gun shows, forcing nearly all individuals transfer through Federal Firearm Licensed (FFL) dealers. Between 1) the narrowness of the bill’s supposed “exemptions” for private individuals outside of gun shows; and 2) the broad scope of the definition for “commercial sales,” the “exemptions” for New Hampshire citizens were effectively useless.
House Bill 514 would have hindered the Second Amendment rights of New Hampshire citizens by imposing an arbitrary three-day waiting period (excluding weekends and holidays) between citizens and the firearms they purchase. Limited “exemptions” were hitched to requirements involving prolonged safety courses and certain long gun purchases.
House Bill 564 would have prohibited law-abiding citizens from carrying firearms for self-defense while on school grounds (except when picking-up or dropping-off students and, even then, only if the firearm remained in the vehicle). This counterintuitive law would have impeded the very type of protection that citizens and students deserve under the Second Amendment. The bill’s wonky “exemptions” for leaving firearms in vehicles were riddled with limitations that would have forced parents to make an absurd choice between their family’s security or their child’s participation in school activities.
A Senate staffer tells me gun legislation is dead, at least for the time being, because of the impeachment inquiry.
— Stephen Gutowski (@StephenGutowski) September 25, 2019
Sometimes you have to come to the conclusion that TPTB in congress really don’t want to deal with it anyway; except as a grandstand for their next re-election campaign.
One of these days I will put together a list of the most commonly held incorrect assumptions about popular social attitudes in the US. Included in said list will be the belief that young people are enthusiastic gun grabbers who are finally going to see to it that the American citizenry is forcibly disarmed. David Hogg was an organic phenomenon, grown out of the fertile soil of young men who spent their teenage years playing Call of Duty, after all–nothing manufactured about his story!
From a YouGov survey released a few days ago, results from the three questions addressing gun control by respondent age cohort:
Parenthetically, “buyback” is an Orwellian term. To buy something back, one must first sell the thing. The federal government didn’t sell any of these guns. It didn’t manufacture any of them, either. Such a program would not involve buying anything back–it would involve the theft of the personal property of American citizens in blatant violation of the US Constitution–with forcibly stolen funds, of course.
It is remarkable how little most people who are adamantly opposed to firearms know about them. In general, of course, blissful ignorance of guns is perfectly fine. But if you are a legislator, and you set out to ban something, you do have a duty to know what it is you want to make illegal.
Sheila Jackson Lee is the latest to embarrass herself. She wants to ban America’s most popular rifle, and she knows nothing about it. Not only that, she lies in support of her policy preference:
“I held an AR-15 in my hand, I wish I hadn’t. It is as heavy as 10 boxes that you might be moving. And the bullet that is utilized, a .50 caliber, these kinds of bullets need to be licensed and do not need to be on the street.” – Rep. @JacksonLeeTX18 pic.twitter.com/U71ir6BHZH
— Jason Howerton (@jason_howerton) September 23, 2019
As I said, there is nothing wrong with being ignorant of a subject–unless you are a legislator, and you want to force everyone else to conform to your ignorant views.
Competing factions inside the White House have stymied efforts to unite behind gun legislation, further delaying President Donald Trump from getting behind any plan.
On one side is Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and adviser, and Attorney General William Barr. Both are urging the president to back new firearms restrictions — including expanded background checks for gun sales — insisting he can be the leader who succeeds on an intractable issue that has bedeviled his predecessors and that he can win back moderate suburban voters in the process, according to people involved in the discussions.
On the other side, a group that includes Donald Trump Jr., the president’s son and an avid hunter, and a top aide to acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, is telling Trump he risks losing support from his conservative base if he pushes too aggressively on new gun control legislation, they say.
Then there’s Trump, who has heard all of these arguments privately but publicly hasn’t committed to any plan. For weeks, he’s left Washington guessing on whether he’d support any gun control legislation and what form the legislation would take.
The competing forces have created paralysis with just about everybody involved in the discussions — most notably senators — and have delayed the White House’s release of its long-awaited package, possibly jeopardizing the effort to enact meaningful legislation following this summer’s mass shootings that claimed dozens of lives.
The White House didn’t initially respond to a request for comment but after publication spokesman Hogan Gidley refuted the story.
“This is ridiculous, we are completely united in developing exactly what the President wants — which are meaningful solutions that will protect the second Amendment, make American communities safer and potentially prevent these types of tragedies from ever occurring again,” he said in a statement.
Introducing her new gun-control legislation on Monday, Congresscritter Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) proved conclusively that she’s just too uninformed to go anywhere near the subject. She claims to have “held an AR-15 in my hand,” which weighed as much as “10 boxes that you might be moving.” She also claimed the rifle fired a .50 caliber round, and that “these kinds of bullets need to be licensed and do not need to be on the street.”
Show of hands, who has been paying attention to the various lawsuits dealing with the ATF’s reinterpretation of Bump Stocks? Because to be completely honest, I haven’t been paying as much attention as I clearly should have been. In their most recent court filing, the ATF has admitted some truly explosive news. Namely, they concede that they do not have the authority to reinterpret the definition of machine guns in the bump stock ruling under the National Firearms Act (NFA).
ATF Admits No Legal Authority for Bump Stock Ruling
Let’s back up and provide some context. So, on December 26th, 2018, the ATF issued a final ruling on “bump stocks”. A bump-stock is a device that allows an operator of a firearm to simulate automatic fire by muscle power. While previously the ATF had decided that bump-fire or slide-fire stocks were legal devices, they then reclassified them as illegal machineguns. All current owners were ordered to destroy them. If you did not do so, you faced up to 10 years in federal prison.
Naturally, a lot of people became somewhat ticked off that the ATF would seemingly arbitrarily change their ruling to make thousands of Americans potential felons overnight. As a result, many people filed lawsuits. One such lawsuit was filed by the New Civil Liberties Alliance on behalf of plaintiff W. Clark Aposhian.
This Case in Particular
This lawsuit rests on a fairly straightforward presumption. The complaint states that since all legislative powers lie with Congress, the ATF, as a part of the executive branch, cannot reinterpret statutes to mean something else. Since the law regarding machineguns has not changed, bump stocks can’t be reclassified as machineguns.
There are another 30 odd pages of the original complaint, but that’s about the gist of things. Mr. Aposhian is a law-abiding citizen, the ATF told him that bump stocks were legal so he bought one. The filing states that the ATF lacks the authority to reclassify bump stocks, and thus the ATF has violated Mr. Aposhian’s constitutional rights, as well as exceeding its constitutional remit as part of the executive branch.
ATF Bump Stock Ruling Admission – Why Should We Care?
The million-dollar question. Why do we care? Because as of September 18th, the ATF has written a court brief that admits it exceeded its constitutional remit as part of the executive branch. The court filing states specifically that;
The statutory scheme does not, however, appear to provide the Attorney General the authority to engage in “gap-filling” interpretations of what qualifies as a “machinegun”. Congress has provided a detailed definition of the term “machinegun”…
The New Civil Liberties Alliance, on behalf of Mr. Aposhian, quickly filed a for a preliminary injunction. Essentially, as Mr. Aposhian has suffered “irreparable harm” from the deprivation of his lawfully-acquired bump stock, and the ATF (in the opinion of the Plaintiffs) clearly lacks the authority to cause such deprivation, the Final Rule on Bump Stocks should be struck down.
ATF’s Brief on the bump stock ruling is behind a login-wall in the PACER system. It can be found in the 10th Circuit Court’s filings, case number 19-4036, Aposhian v. Barr, et al.
This case is not about whether gun control is a good idea. Rather, Mr. Aposhian’s appeal raises key issues about how an agency may create such a ban—that is, whether agency regulations may contradict a statute passed by Congress. The appeal also challenges the notion that a mere interpretive rule can bind third parties, such as owners of bump stocks.
The bump stock rule made it a new federal crime to own a bump stock, even one purchased with ATF’s prior permission. ATF knows it didn’t have the authority to enact such a law. Instead of defending the rule, ATF now pretends the ban is just a recommendation for the public. NCLA is confident the court will see through ATF’s games and strike down this invalid rule.” —Caleb Kruckenberg, Litigation Counsel
ATF is caught between a rock and a hard place. The agency lacks legal authority to issue a so-called legislative rule, but a mere interpretive rule is not legally allowed to bind any third parties outside the government. By ordering half a million bump stock owners to surrender their devices—or face prosecution—ATF has acted in a completely unconstitutional fashion. It is high time for the federal courts to put a stop to this regulatory nonsense.”
—Mark Chenoweth, Executive Director and General Counsel
Congress could have passed bipartisan legislation making bump stocks illegal. Instead, ATF has tried to ban them via administrative action in the Bump Stock Final Rule. This Court has a constitutional obligation to strike down ATF’s attempted legislative rewrite. Otherwise, the Executive Branch will usurp Congress’ legislative function in other areas, and the Constitution’s careful limits on how laws are made will be undone.
Those who want to repeal it? They don’t want that reminder; Which just happens to be guns, and what they can be used for.
I’ll keep this brief. The 2nd Amendment is often mischaracterized by both the left and even its defenders on the right. To state it simply, our right to keep and bear arms is a natural right, one that is granted to everyone by powers higher than man.
Read it carefully: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
Many misconstrue this as the founders giving us the right to bear arms by codifying it in the Bill of Rights. But in reality, this amendment was not intended to grant a right to anyone. It is simply a reminder of the existence of the right, an explanation of why this right is so important to the nation, and a decree that the right itself is above reproach from government……..
Law-abiding gun owners are the true targets of all forms of gun control. We know this because the proposed measures will adversely affect us while doing nothing to stop violent criminals.