Posts Tagged ‘self-defense’

Corporate Headquarters Are “Gun-Free Zones–Not Too Many Shootings There

Thursday, February 18th, 2016

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It is hard to believe that every store, restaurant and public place in the US bans smoking yet people carrying lethal weapons–some not even trained or permitted–are welcomed. (more…)

Gun Carriers Fail At Self-Defense In Independent Study at Police Training Facility- July 22, 2015

Monday, July 27th, 2015

CHICAGO, July 22, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ —
A two-day, independent study commissioned by National Gun Victims Action Council of 77 volunteer gun carriers with differing levels of shooting skills has revealed that carrying a gun in public does not provide self-defense unless the carrier is properly trained and maintains their skill level.
The research which asked the question Does the Quality and Frequency of Training Determine the Realistic Use of Firearms by Citizens for Self-Defense? was conducted by professors of criminology, sociology and quantitative research at Mount Saint Mary’s University, Maryland at the Prince George’s County Police Department’s training facility on April 9 and 10, 2015. (full report here.)
Using the same advanced simulating system that Prince George’s County police officers train with, volunteer participants were placed in three real-life scenarios—a carjacking, an armed robbery and a suspected larceny. ( videos here)
Participants already had their guns drawn so they would not lose time retrieving them from holsters. Shooter’s reactions, including judgment and accuracy, were measured and recorded.
In the carjacking scenario, most if not all gun carriers would have been “killed,” regardless of their training level. In the armed robbery scenario, all the carriers who engaged the robbers got “killed.” (Many did not engage because the robbers did not see them so they didn’t feel threatened.) In the larceny scenario, no one was “killed” because the suspect did not have a gun. However, the unarmed suspect was “killed” by overzealous carriers who used lethal force before ascertaining whether he had a gun.
In all scenarios, civilians, including trained ones, were unable to approach the accuracy and judgment of trained police officers.
“For citizens to realistically defend themselves they must have a high skill level. To attain that level requires extensive initial training in the classroom, on the firing range and with real-life scenarios,” said Joe Vince, Director of the Criminal Justice Program at Mount St. Mary’s. “To maintain such levels, semi-annual skill maintenance training, like what police officers go through, is required.”
“The study should be used to inform public policy,” said Elliot Fineman, CEO of National Gun Victims Action Council. “It proves that high skill levels must be attained and maintained for realistic self-defense when carrying in public. Just like an athlete’s skills deteriorate without ongoing training, low-skill carriers cannot defend themselves and are a threat to public safety.”
Five states have passed laws banning the passing of any legislation that would require a gun carrier to have any training and nine more are planning to do the same. The NRA says that “citizens are capable of deciding for themselves” about firearms training and that training requirements are “more unnecessary regulation.” Yet studies overwhelmingly show that concealed carriers don’t reduce crime and that a gun being carried in public creates a real threat to public safety (Harvard Injury Control Research Center 2015, Stanford Report 2014, Violence Policy Center 2002 etc.)
“We require training and maintenance for every potentially dangerous product, including cars–yet guns are allowed to be used without training. This must stop and this study proves it,” said Elliot Fineman.
To view the multimedia assets with this and previous releases, click here.
National Gun Victims Action Council (NGVAC) is a non-profit network of 14 million gun victims, survivors, the faith community and ordinary people leveraging their buying power to change America’s gun laws. NGVAC initiated the successful action that caused Starbucks to change its gun policy. NGVAC pursues novel legal strategies to reduce gun violence and encourages corporate involvement.

Who Needs Gun Laws? Our Top Editorial Graphics in April

Monday, May 4th, 2015

dogsNRAztrackingpoint 12-year-old - Google Searchtown meetingWisconsin Carry Issues Statement In Support Of 'Open Carry Texas
National Gun Victims Action Council (NGVAC) is a non-profit network of 14 million gun victims, survivors, the faith community and ordinary people leveraging their buying power to change America’s gun laws. NGVAC initiated the successful action that caused Starbucks to change its gun policy. NGVAC pursues novel legal strategies to reduce gun violence and encourages corporations to be proactively involved in advocating for sane gun laws. NGVAC can be found at
Join our action to tell corporate America to get off the “sidelines” and take a stand against gun violence including the “can’t miss” sniper rifle sold to civilians. When corporations want sane gun laws, we will have sane gun laws. Follow us at @GunVictimsAct

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

Monday, January 19th, 2015

 January 19, 2015


Elliot Fineman


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

Beware the Law-Abiding Citizen–Doctor Shoots Motorist in Road Rage Incident

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015


You’d think a doctor would know the sanctity of life. But that didn’t stop 71-year-old surgeon James Stephen Simon from shooting 70-year-old William Osenton twice in a road rage incident in Marin County, CA last summer. Simon was charged with attempted voluntary manslaughter and assault with a firearm and released on $250,000 bail. Police seized more than 50 guns and 200 boxes of ammunition from Simon’s home. Yesterday, a Marin County judge dismissed charges against Simon. “I’m so proud to be an American,” the tearful surgeon told reporters. “I’m proud to live in America.”

Join our action to tell corporate America to get off the “sidelines” and take a stand against gun violence including the “can’t miss” sniper rifle sold to civilians. When corporations want sane gun laws, we will have sane gun laws. Follow us at @GunVictimsAct

IT'S THE GUNS, STUPID radio show–episode 10

Saturday, June 28th, 2014

Here are clips from our June 25 IT’S THE GUNS, STUPID radio show

Episode 10


Robyn Thomas is Executive Director of the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, a national non-profit organization founded by attorneys focused on providing comprehensive legal research and expertise in support of smart gun laws that save lives.

Do Gun Laws Work? Yes! (w/ Robyn Thomas)

How Any State’s Loose Gun Laws Threaten Us All (w/ Robyn Thomas)

The Myth of Gun Self-Defense (Elliot Fineman and Robyn Thomas)

Why Bringing A Gun To Work Is A Bad Idea (Elliot Fineman, Martha Rosenberg
NGVAC Senior Editor)

Why Corporate America Can Not Stay Neutral On Gun Violence (Elliot Fineman)

Why You Should Boycott Hallmark (Elliot Fineman)


Are You Falling for the Latest Pro-Gun Ruse?

Saturday, March 1st, 2014

The pro-gun lobby has successfully changed the gun violence argument from asking how mass shooters pass background checks and buy guns legally to why weren’t there more guns around. Almost every mass shooter from Seung-Hui Cho (Virginia Tech), James Holmes (Aurora), Jared Loughner (Tucson) and Stephen Phillip Kazmierczak (Northern Illinois University) to the more recent shooters, Aaron Alexis (Navy Yard) and Paul Ciancia (LAX airport) sailed through their background checks and bought the weapons legally.


These facts unseat the pro-gun lobby’s meme that “criminals won’t obey laws” because these criminals did obey laws–and the law smiled on them. (Nor did Adam Lanza’s mother break laws in amassing her many weapons and regularly taking her son to shooting ranges.) So now the pro-gun lobby wants to pretend the issue isn’t the EZ procurement of guns but lack of more guns to stop the bad guys who easily procured them.

The “gun-free zone” meme is not just an insult to every citizen who does not want to live in an armed society, it is an insult to law enforcement personnel who give their lives to protect us. By implying that the lack of “armed citizens” is the reason for gun deaths in a shooting, it actually equates cop wannabes like George Zimmerman and Michael Dunn (the loud music shooter) with hired and trained law enforcement personnel.

Open and concealed carriers are so full of fear, they are afraid to go where normal people go–including children, the elderly and 90 lb women–every day unless they have their loaded lethal weapons. Yet they parlay this cowardice into some kind of public service in which they are protecting you and me. Most, if not all, examples of “armed citizens” protecting the public are anecdotal and there are even instances where the “armed citizens” added to the bloodshed. When the ABC news show 20/20 conducted an experiment of “carriers” protecting against an armed assailant they failed miserably, sometimes even failing to get their gun out or a shot off.

According to the “gun-free zone” meme, a mass shooter chooses a gun-free zone because no one will shoot back. Does anyone believe Aaron Alexis chose the Navy Yard or Paul Ciancia the LAX airport because they were “soft targets” with no armed guards? Or the Fort Hood shooter? Hello? But there weren’t “armed citizens” in the actual room the pro-gun lobby would whine as if the 20/20 experiment and other instances haven’t buried this fallacy once and for all.

“Crazy people shoot up schools and other institutions because they are crazy and harbor some angst toward those institutions,” wrote a recent poster on our website. “It’s the same reason they tend to shoot family members or close acquaintances. They are not targeting ‘soft targets,’ they are targeting places with lots of people, lots of publicity, and some sort of revenge motive. There is no evidence that these crazy people would be in ANY way discouraged by a minimally trained civilian waiting to pull his gun for the first time. Statistically, such a person will only serve to increase the chaos and help the shooter claim more victims in the crossfire.”

If the self-flattering fiction of gun-free zones that are soft targets because they lack George Zimmermans and Michael Dunns were true, why are there no shootings in Congress or other government buildings? Why are there no shootings in every corporate headquarters in America which are also gun-free zones since they ban guns?

The gun-free zone fiction is an insult to the public and law enforcement personnel. It flatters the cop wannabes who have morphed their fear of going places unarmed into some kind of public service. Thanks but no thanks.

Are you DONE ASKING for sane gun laws? Force them! Join the thousands making the TELL AND COMPEL™ pledge.

How Many Gun Lovers Does it Take to Change a Light Bulb? It Wouldn't Need Changing if it Weren't in a Gun-Free Zone!

Monday, January 27th, 2014


Is there any gun violence event that gun lovers won”t blame on not enough guns or a gun-free zone? President Reagan and three others shot by John Hinckley, Jr. in 1981? It was practically a gun-free zone–except for the Secret Service! The Pope shot two years later–where was security? Mass shootings at the Washington Navy Yard, LAX, Fort Hood, Columbine, Virginia Tech? Why didn”t they have armed civilians instead of armed guards?


The gun lobby”s relatively new meme of “gun-free” zone offends on many levels. It disses law enforcement personnel who risk and give their lives when gun violence breaks out. (Earlier this month, Elkhart, IN police saved the life of a store manager even as the gunman was poised to kill him.)


It insults the public”s casinos The reason the Tucson, Aurora, Virginia Tech, Navy Yard, LAX, Purdue and Maryland mall shootings happened is not because sick young men pass their background checks with flying colors often days before their rampages but because there weren”t George Zimmermans present!!


It flatters the gun lovers. These “tough guy” bullies deem themselves the REAL law enforcers not our trusted and trained law enforcement personnel. Shootings happen because the civilian paranoid corps is blocked, say the gun worshippers and we “only” have real law enforcement. It is reminiscent of the old bumper sticker, “If you hate the police, next time you”re in trouble call a hippie.”  Next time we”re in trouble let”s call George Zimmerman.




The “not enough guns” meme is embarrassingly transparent. Gun carriers and lovers are among the least brave, most cowardly people on earth. They are literally afraid to go places where children, old people and 100 lb. women go every day unless they have their lethal weapons! Yet they try to turn their cowardice, paranoia and lack of bravery into some kind of public service in which they are actually protecting you and me!  A good example is Curtis Reeves who allegedly saved the public from someone throwing popcorn in a Florida movie theater this month by shooting him dead. Good thing he had that gun to protect us! (Though clearly more guns are needed at the movies so good guys like Reeves can be shot if they turn into bad guys when shooting bad guys themselves. In fact, let”s hold movies on firing ranges and issue white and black hats just to be on the safe side.)


The “not enough guns” meme is nonsensical and delusional. Of 62 mass shootings in the United States since 1984, not one has been stopped by an armed civilian reports Mother Jones magazine including the Tucson shooting in gun friendly Arizona. Police do not want civilians involved in shootouts nor are cop wannabes even able to get out a shot in many cases as tested by a 20/20 experiment. Of course the gunosphere is full of anecdotes about someone”s brother-in-law”s roommate”s dog groomer who stopped a criminal by flashing his firepower and puffing his chest. Wheee! But they remain anecdotes. Like the fish that got away, the “enforcers” never seem to have a police report to back them up because they didn”t report the incident. Don”t they want to stop criminals?


The last danger with the “not enough guns” meme is verifiability. Most law-abiding “good guy” avengers are self-proclaimed. Chances are Darion Marcus Aguilar thought of himself as a good guy as he allegedly strode into the skate shop Zumiez yesterday and killed two. After all, he passed his background check! Cody Cousins probably also thought of himself as a good guy as he allegedly murdered teaching assistant and Eagle Scout Andrew Boldt at Purdue last week.



Are you DONE ASKING for sane gun laws? Force them! Join the thousands making the TELL AND COMPEL™  pledge.