Posts Tagged ‘Charlie Hebdo’

Gun-Free Zones Under Donald Trump

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

 

by Elliot Fineman
CEO – Founder
National Gun Victims Action Council

 

December 22, 2016

 

While campaigning for office this summer, Donald Trump, the NRA’s candidate, blamed gun violence on “gun-free zones.” For example, the 90 who died in the Bataclan theater in Paris last year would be alive today if they had been armed he said. (He did not explain how, in the dark, the 1,000 people in the audience—having pulled their guns out—would know the good guys holding guns from the bad—and not shoot each other, or innocent bystanders. Nor did he explain how untrained carriers would shoot accurately when studies show that fully trained police officers in the U.S. miss 7 out of 10 shots.)

 

Nor would the Charlie Hebdo staff, also gunned down in Paris, have stopped the bad guys if they had been armed admitted a pro-gun group that restaged the massacre in Dallas a week after the January 7, 2015 shootings. At least nine states have now passed laws allowing civilian carriers to have no training at all—it’s an infringement of “gun rights”—yet carriers without any skills are expected to keep environments safe.

 

Trump also blamed the 2015 murders of four Marines and a Navy sailor by Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez at Chattanooga military posts on gun-free zones though he was embarrassingly wrong. (Military Times says, “At least two service members involved in the Chattanooga shooting were carrying personal weapons during the attack, in possible violation of current military rules, and unsuccessfully returned fire in an attempt to stop the homicidal gunman.”)

 

Trump and the gun lobby are shockingly silent when they can’t blame violence on “gun-free zones” as in the shooting of 18 police officers last summer in Baton Rouge and Dallas. Weren’t they “good guys with guns”?

 

Gun-Free Zones Provide The Safest Environments

 

Trump and the gun lobby are also shockingly silent on the most well-established gun-free zones in the world—corporate boardrooms and headquarters. No major corporation in the U.S.—including the NRA— permits guns in its corporate headquarters and boardrooms. Why? Because guns in an environment make that environment dangerous.

 

Metal detectors, guards and secure building floors thwart any gun carriers from getting near corporate officers. When was the last time anyone heard about a shooting in those very dangerous “gun-free zones” known as corporate headquarters?

 

Of course, virtually all of these same corporations that shield their officers from gun risks allow their employees and customers to face them by permitting guns in their stores and outlets.

 

Yelling “gun-free zone” lets zealots ignore the element of surprise that kills so many heroic law enforcers. Instead, they pretend that everyday armed citizens can do what law enforcers do. President Reagan’s own highly trained Secret Service couldn’t stop him being shot—but armed teachers, students and school staff will stop shooters? Dream on, gun advocates.

 

Carrying Guns Does Not Provide Self-Defense

 

We at NGVAC have tested gun self-defense with 77 volunteers at the Prince George’s County police department in Maryland with Mount St. Mary’s University crime researchers in the most exhaustive study of gun self-defense to date. Civilians, even with their guns drawn (so they would not lose time retrieving them from holsters), were unable to approach the accuracy and judgment of trained police officers in all scenarios—including highly trained civilians. They were “killed” despite their weapons, failed to stop the bad guys and even “shot” at bad guys who were unarmed.

 

Civilians didn’t even take cover reported the Washington Post on our research. “They didn’t attempt to issue commands to their assailants. Their trigger fingers were either too itchy — they shot innocent bystanders or unarmed people, or not itchy enough — they didn’t shoot armed assailants until they were already being shot at.”

 

In Trump’s and the NRA’s upside-down world, gun-free zones are the cause of gun violence not guns: more guns in more places make us safer they say. Yet numerous studies show just the opposite is true—but, of course, those are only facts.

 
National Gun Victims Action Council
www.gunvictimsaction.org/donate

www.gunvictimsaction.org

 

Charlie Hebdo Re-enactment Reveals NGVAC Tenet: Carrying a Gun Does Not Provide Self-Defense

Monday, January 19th, 2015

 January 19, 2015

 

Elliot Fineman

CEO

National Gun Victims Action Council (NGVAC)

 

Open and concealed carry laws are based on the tenet that carrying a gun provides “self-defense” to citizens. We at NGVAC disagree.

 

President Reagan was surrounded by Secret Service agents on the lookout for assassins yet John Hinckley Jr., untrained and armed with a $45 gun, shot the President, his press secretary, a police officer and a Secret Service agent. If carrying a gun provided self-defense, why would any law enforcement officer be killed? And if highly-trained officers are killed, why would armed citizens do better? The folly of “citizen defense” is exposed in the ABC 20/20 special “If I Only Had a Gun,” and recent episodes in which carriers’ guns were stolen.

 

Now a test of whether carrying provides self-defense conducted by a gun rights group has again proved it does not. The group, Texas-based The Truth About Guns, simulated the Charlie Hebdo shooting 12 times at Patriot Protection, a defensive and firearms training facility in East Plano with armed “employees” intent on defending themselves against the gunmen. Only one “employee” escaped death–by running away not by shooting back–and none of the armed employees “killed” the simulated gunmen.

Paris terror attack simulation conducted in Texas by gun group -

 

 

 

“Problem was, I ran out of ammunition, and they kept coming,” said volunteer employee Parks Matthews who was shot in the back of the head, forearm and finger despite his firearms training. “I wasn’t smart enough to get out of the way and take cover.”

 

At NGVAC, we are not surprised at the results. For three years, we have challenged the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA) to exactly such a simulation at police training facilities with agreed upon carriers and scenarios and it has refused. To remove any financial hardship, we proposed both NGVAC and ISRA post $50,000 earnest money, which the winner would keep, less the costs of the simulation. Given the bias-free terms and financial windfall to the winner, ISRA’s refusal meant only one thing: it knew it would lose.

 

While ISRA did not acknowledge our challenge, other gun rights groups suggested we would rig the results. That’s why the failure of The Truth About Guns’ simulation is shocking: it was conducted by a gun rights group.

 

Even without the Charlie Hebdo and ABC 20/20 simulations, statistics show a gun does not protect carriers and actually heightens their risk. Epidemiologists at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine found that people with a gun were 4.5 times more likely to be shot in an assault than those not possessing a gun.

 

The Truth About Guns admits its failure. “Suffice it to say, things did not go well for the faux victims when a single armed defender faced a two-person terrorist team armed with rifles,” wrote publisher Robert Farago. “It’s interesting to see how people react under stress. It’s not what you’d expect people do,” conceded group member Nick Leghorn. (The Truth About Guns’ Dan Zimmerman may not be convinced. He writes that “more than just one good guy with a gun would likely have been needed to save lives.”)

 

If carrying does not provide self-defense, as proved again this week by The Truth About Guns, why are open and concealed carry laws, based on this myth, on the books? The only protection they provide is of gun manufacturer profits. The inescapable fact is that the element of surprise always defeats the gun carrier.

 
National Gun Victims Actions Council is the U.S.’s largest gun victims group. Join our effort to get corporate America to take a stand against gun violence. When corporations want sane gun laws, we will have sane gun laws.  Follow us! @GunVictimsAct

What the Charlie Hebdo Attack Reveals About U.S. Gun Law Insanity

Friday, January 9th, 2015

 

By Elliot Fineman

CEO of National Gun Victims Action Council (NGVAC)

 

As French police went house to house the day after the Charlie Hebdo terror attack, news outlets reported that suspects Cherif and Said Kouachi were on the U.S.’s “no fly” list.

 

The brothers were entered into the U.S. government’s Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE) system, the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center watch lists and finally into the U.S.’s “no fly” list, reports Yahoo News. The “no fly” list prevents people who are considered a “threat to civil aviation or national security” from buying any ticket for commercial aircraft in the United States.

Terror suspects in Charlie Hebdo massacre were on U.S. Ôno flyÕTerror suspects in Charlie Hebdo massacre were on U.S. Ôno flyÕ

Yet, because of the U.S.’s insane gun laws, the brothers, if they lived here, could amazingly have gone into any licensed gun dealer and legally bought as many guns as they wanted because being on the “no-fly” list does not make someone a prohibited gun purchaser in the United States!

 

People who are on the U.S.’s “no-fly” list but are still allowed to legally buy guns in the U.S. is why, at NGVAC, we do not ask for common sense laws–we ask for sane laws. U.S. gun laws are not lacking in common sense–they are insane.

 

Other examples of insane U.S. gun laws include gun manufacturers being the only consumer industry exempt from liability lawsuits, guns not being required to be registered or their owners licensed and no background checks conducted for gun show and private sales.

 

As the U.S.’s largest gun victims’ group, NGVAC is baffled and infuriated at how such insane gun laws remain on the books, despite shooting after grisly shooting. There is only one reason. When any sane gun law is proposed, the gun lobby, led by the NRA, plays its “confiscation card.” A new gun regulation, like universal background checks, will lead to the government taking everyone’s guns, it shouts. Both paranoid and insulting to the intelligence, the “confiscation card” allows the NRA to defeat sane gun laws at the same time it widens its guns-everywhere-all-the-time agenda with more insane laws.

 

One example is the NRA actually agitates for laws that allow soldiers diagnosed with PTSD and people with severe dementia to legally purchase guns. What could go wrong? And, recently, the NRA got guns legalized in national parks and on Amtrak trains–ironically on the property of the same government it says wants to confiscate guns.

 

The gun lobby also defends sales to civilians of TrackingPoint’s “can’t miss” sniper rifle which has no defensive use and is ready-made for terrorists, insurgents and hate groups. Its ads show a 12-year-old girl hitting a target 1000 yards away–ten football fields–every time.

 

As international terrorism increases, we in the U.S. should not feel exempt or safe. Certainly there are cells in the United States ready to commit the type of barbarism that happened this week in France. And, even if such terrorists make the government’s “no-fly” list, thanks to the gun lobby they can still legally buy guns. Allowing this situation is not a lack of “common sense”–it’s insanity.

National Gun Victims Actions Council is the U.S.’s largest gun victims group. Join our effort to get corporate America to take a stand against gun violence. When corporations want sane gun laws, we will have sane gun laws. @GunVictimsAct

 


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