Posts Tagged ‘The Truth about Guns’

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

"Oh, That." Guns So Common, Air Travelers "Forget" Them

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

It is happening more and more. T.S.A. screeners at the airport, in addition to finding hidden bottles of shampoo, are finding guns that passengers “forgot.” It is “a vivid indication of the normalization of casual gun-ownership,” said the New York Times this week. “Airports in states with lax gun laws tend to have the highest incidence of firearms at checkpoints.”

Last year, a Littlestown man on his way to Music City USA was found to have a loaded gun in his carry-on bag at the Baltimore–Washington International Airport. The wife of rock musician and NRA board member Ted (“Obama is a subhuman mongrel”) Nugent was caught with a gun in her carry-on luggage at the Dallas airport. At the Bismarck airport, also last year, a Utah man was trying to disarm his gun so he could check it onto a plane when it went off. Oops. Both a pastor and a Chicago lawmaker have recently “forgotten” they were carrying lethal weapons which were found by airport screeners when they tried to board planes.

Rules around flying with guns are clear. Travelers may only transport unloaded firearms in a locked, hard-sided container or as checked baggage. All firearms, ammunition and firearm parts, including firearm frames and receivers, are prohibited in carry-on baggage. Which part of this do gun lovers fail to understand?

It is easy to see why gun carriers at the airport would be inclined to make the same mistake again. Nothing happens to them. Unlike a drunk driver who can lose his license and face jail time, gun owners are not licensed to begin with so there is no license to lose. Let’s enforce existing laws!

Passengers caught with guns as they try to board airplanes are subject to state law and in most states their gun is returned and they are told to put it in their car before boarding. Ouch. While police may confiscate the weapon and make an arrest, they usually let the passenger with a lethal weapon he”forgot” proceed on his way. Gun carriers will, after all, be gun carriers.

Even if the carrier has no criminal intent, guns go off accidentally and can kill passengers and crew members. They can cause structural damage and, in certain cases, go through the plane’s fuselage causing everyone to be ejected from the plane due to explosive decompression. Like the open and concealed carriers, we are all threatened when gun enthusiasts, fueled by the gun lobby’s “guns everywhere” movement, pack weapons.

Why isn’t bringing a gun into the security zone of an airport a felony? Because lawmakers ignore the 90 percent of the nation that does not want to live in an armed camp in favor of belligerent and threatening “gun advocates” who use extortion and mob-like tactics to get their way.

 

donkeytucson As long as the law continues to smile on gun carriers who treat their lethal weapons like cell phones, these “forgetful incidents” will keep occurring.

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