Red Flag Laws Reduce Mass Shootings and Gun Suicides But The NRA—Always Opposed To Any Law That Would Reduce Gun Violence—Says They Violate “Due Process”

by Elliot Fineman

CEO – Founder

National Gun Victims Action Council

 

June 25, 2018

 

Red flag laws, also known as Extreme Risk Protection Orders or Gun Violence Restraining Orders, let law enforcement and sometimes family members and other acquaintances petition a judge to remove guns from people who pose a threat to themselves or others. Signs are not hard to see.

 

Most mass shooters display many signs of instability and imminent violence. The accused Parkland murderer threatened a classmate’s mother with a rifle. The man accused of a mass shooting in the Ft. Lauderdale airport in 2017 was previously arrested on domestic violence charges. The accused Orlando Pulse nightclub murderer talked “about killing people all the time” according to a co-worker. Should these people have guns?

 

 

 

 

Some states are passing red flag laws, but the NRA fights them saying individuals must have a court hearing before guns are removed––which defeats the purpose of the laws. Individuals can contest the order after removal.

 

In an attempt to discredit a pending Illinois bill, the NRA says it “would allow for the issuance of protective orders to infringe on Second Amendment rights based on third party allegations with little, if any, real evidence and limited ‘due process’ for the respondent.”

 

Does the NRA also oppose dram shop/bartender laws that use prevention (server liability) to reduce drunk driving deaths? The server must not let the drunk leave and drive. If they do, the server/establishment is held liable as an accomplice for any impacts caused by the drunk driver. The NRA would rather wait for the person who has been identified as a threat to themselves or others to actually commit mass murder or suicide before taking their gun(s) away.

 

And speaking of drunk driving, in 1984 Congress required all states to enforce a minimum legal drinking age of 21––not leaving such a deadly issue up to the individual states. Obviously, red flag laws should also be federal.

 

There is another reason for a federal red flag law––such laws have been effective in reducing gun suicide. Over 21,000 Americans die by gun suicide each year. According to the June issue of Psychiatric Services, noticeable drops in gun suicide have followed the enactment of red flag laws.

 

In Connecticut, where enforcement of an existing red flag law was stepped up in 2015, gun suicides dropped by 13.7% from what they were in 2007. After adoption of its 2005 red flag law, considered a national model, gun suicides in Indiana dropped 7.5%.

 

In my upcoming book, to be released this summer, I discuss how the NRA blocks every proposed federal gun safety law—including federal red flag gun safety laws—and perpetuates the gun violence epidemic. The book identifies the 4 simple steps—never initiated before—we can take that will end the gun violence epidemic now.

 

 

Elliot Fineman
CEO – Founder
National Gun Victims Action Council
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NRA Members Armed With Assault Weapons Are Really “Victims”

by Elliot Fineman
CEO – Founder
National Gun Victims Action Council

 

June 2, 2018

 

Teenage survivors of the Parkland shooting are civil terrorists says Oliver North, the new NRA president. The unarmed teens are guilty of “intimidation and harassment and lawbreaking” and “a frontal assault,” he said in a recent Washington Times interview.

 

Not only are the unarmed teens who barely escaped death on February 14, 2018 terrorists, the NRA, which offensively calls itself a “civil rights organization,” is as victimized as African Americans! The teens’ activism harkens back to “the terrible days of Jim Crow and those kinds of things,” said North.

 

 

This is not the first time NRA leaders have likened their organization to oppressed African Americans. A few years ago, NRA board member Ted Nugent compared gun owners to Rosa Parks, the civil rights figure who refused to obey a bus driver’s order to give up her seat in the “colored section” to a white passenger after the whites-only section was filled, in Montgomery, Alabama in 1955.

 

“There will come a time when the gun owners of America, the law-abiding gun owners of America, will be the Rosa Parks and we will sit down on the front seat of the bus, case closed,” he said in an interview.”

 

Nugent also had some words about the Parkland activists. They are “waging a war against ordinary Americans everywhere,” he said.

 

It is hard to know which claim reflects more mental incapacity. That an organization that fights for the “gun rights” of people on the Terror Watch and No Fly lists, convicted felons, domestic abusers and people who have been hospitalized for mental illness is a “civil rights” group.

 

Or that an organization whose lobbying has handcuffed the ATF, granted gun makers total immunity from lawsuits and defeated laws for universal background checks, mandatory training for carriers, safe gun storage, limits on magazine capacity is somehow “victimized”?

 

Neither Oliver North nor Ted Nugent could ever be referred to as “law-abiding.” In 1989, North was convicted of aiding and abetting in the obstruction of a congressional inquiry, ordering the destruction of documents and accepting an illegal gratuity to fund Contra rebels in Nicaragua.

 

Nugent is a self-confessed draft-dodger, violated at least 11 California hunting laws and called President Obama a “subhuman mongrel” who should “suck on my machine gun.”

 

Yet these moronic spokesmen liken the NRA to Rosa Parks and African Americans living under Jim Crow laws and declare the Parkland Survivors terrorists, while pushing their lethal, pro-gun agenda.

 

I discuss the simplistic irrationality of the NRA “myth machine” in my upcoming book to be released this summer and explain why we need pay no attention to it to end the gun violence epidemic now.

 


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Secret service? Local laws? Insurance? What Excuse Will the NRA Use For Allowing Gun-Free Zones At Their Next Annual Meeting? Perhaps the Same One They Use At Their Office

Elliot Fineman
CEO – Founder
National Gun Victims Action Council

 

May 9, 2018

 

The media have been buzzing about the gun-free zones that were provided for President Trump and Vice President Pence when they spoke at the recent NRA annual meeting in Dallas.

 

Many have pointed out the hypocrisy of deeming the President and the Veep only safe in a gun-free zone while wanting schools with young children to be full of guns––as well as public buildings, workplace offices and retail establishments. Even some pro-gun advocates say a large gathering of unvetted, armed people––as many as 40 percent who never went through a background check to determine their mental state or whether they’re a felon––is a recipe for disaster. Banning “good guys” from carrying guns also undercuts the entire pro-gun credo, say gun activists.

 

Yet, the NRA claims that gun-free zones are the reasons mass shootings occur so they must be eliminated. (We observe that mass shootings always occur in areas surrounded by trees so to stop mass shootings perhaps there should be tree-free zones.) But the Secret Service does not agree with the NRA and mandates gun-free zones when the President or Vice President speak. The NRA is only too happy to blame the Secret Service for the gun-free zone requirement but a quick look at other NRA annual meetings shows the gun rights organization is surprisingly tolerant of gun-free zones even though they say such zones are the most dangerous place of all and the prime reason for mass shootings.

 

 

 

For the NRA’s 2012 annual meeting in St. Louis, the NRA warned attendees in a post, “Note: The city of St. Louis [not mindful of the dangers of gun-free zones] prohibits the carrying of firearms at the America’s Center Convention Complex.”

 

Despite the NRA’s conviction about the risk of gun-free zones, Andrew Arulanandam, spokesman for NRA headquarters in Fairfax, VA, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch “the NRA will honor the city ban.”

 

At the NRA’s 2015 meeting in Nashville, the NRA was okay with the Bridgestone Arena, which hosted an NRA performance by country music artist Alan Jackson and comedian Jeff Foxworthy, being a gun-free zone. “Bridgestone Arena prohibits the possession of firearms, and always has,” wrote the editor of BearingArms.com about the gun-free concert venue, sounding a little defensive. “Is it really news that the NRA asks members to follow laws?” (It would seem to “really be news” that the NRA was okay with exposing its members to the gun-free zones.)

 

The NRA was also okay with gun-free eating areas at its 2017 annual meeting in Atlanta. “Firearms will be permitted in the Georgia World Congress Center and the Omni Atlanta Hotel at CNN Center. However, be mindful that no guns are allowed in other areas of the CNN [Center] including the food court and retail shops,” explained the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. But won’t diners be sitting ducks?

 

The CNN Center has its own history of gun violence, reported the Toronto Sun. “In 2007, a gunman shot and killed his ex-girlfriend who worked in an adjoining hotel.

 

In Atlanta, as in Dallas, the Secret Service said those attending the speeches of President Trump and Vice President Pence must leave their guns outside the auditorium, exposing both the President and Vice President to the grave danger of a gun-free zone.

 

Whether “honoring” local laws in St. Louis or asking members to “follow laws” in Nashville keeping its performers safe, the NRA can’t hide its gun-free zone hypocrisy. If they really believed gun-free zones are so dangerous, why would they hold their venues in them?

 

Knowing that guns in an environment make that environment high risk and less safe, the NRA bans guns in its corporate office but wants all other places to allow guns. This will not stand and, in my book to be published at the end of June, you will see how we can stop their hypocritical, vile agenda from moving forward.

 

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Return a Violent Person’s Guns To Him? It Happens All The Time.

 

Many are shocked that the Tazewell County, IL Sheriff’s Office returned four guns belonging to Travis Reinking, the Nashville Waffle House suspect, to his father. Reinking’s weapons were taken from him after he was arrested for behaving aggressively outside the White House in July 2017. A month earlier, Reinking threatened someone with an AR-15 while wearing a pink dress, dove into a public pool and exposed himself to others say police records. The father “was advised that he needed to keep the weapons secure and away from Travis” reads the sheriff’s office report. Yet the Office is also saying “Your son is violent and mentally ill but here are his guns.”

 

This is hardly the first time gun-friendly authorities have returned weapons to violent offenders. Early last year, confessed Fort Lauderdale airport shooter, Esteban Santiago, had his gun returned to him and proceeded to kill five and injure eight with it.

 

On Nov. 7, Santiago walked into an Anchorage FBI office telling agents he was experiencing terroristic thoughts and believed he was being influenced by ISIS, according to police reports. He was incoherent and agitated and had a Walther 9mm pistol in his car. He was given a psychiatric evaluation, transferred to the Alaska Psychiatric Institute and released on November 14. On December 8, Anchorage Police returned Santiago’s firearm to him.

 

Even Santiago’s brother, Bryan, was shocked that U.S. authorities would return his gun when it was known that he was increasingly paranoid and hearing voices. He had also been charged with domestic abuse.

 

Then there is Kyle Aaron Huff, who committed what is known as Seattle’s Columbine in 2006. Police in Whitefish, MT, his hometown, seized Huff’s firearms when he shot up a public art installation called “Moose on the Loose” and was charged with destroying art, a felony. But after Huff pleaded guilty to a reduced misdemeanor charge of mischief, not a felony, authorities cheerfully returned his lethal weapons. Huff went on to kill six at a rave afterparty.

 

Like so many mass shooters, Huff stockpiled weapons. In addition to his 12-gauge pistol-grip Winchester 1300 Defender shotgun and a .40-caliber semiautomatic Ruger P944 handgun used at the rave, police found a Bushmaster XM15 E2S rifle, another handgun and several more boxes of ammunition in his truck and more guns and ammunition in his apartment.

 

Finally, there is the case of James Hodgkinson, whose guns were never taken despite St. Clair County, IL sheriff deputies visiting his house at least six times, domestic abuse charges against him and neighbors complaining of him firing a rifle at trees. St. Clair County, IL sheriff deputies just told him to not shoot at trees. He went on to shoot three last June at the Congressional Baseball Game for Charity in Washington D.C.

 

While the NRA bellows, “the real problem is mental illness” after every mass shooting, behind the scenes it works for the rights of mentally ill people to keep their guns or have them returned.

 

 

After the Virginia Tech murders, NRA lobbyists pushed through a gun restoration provision for mentally ill people in national background check laws. “In several ways this bill is better for gun owners than current law,” boasted the NRA website because “certain types of mental health orders will no longer prohibit a person from possessing or receiving a firearm.”

 

Thanks to the gun lobby maneuver, Sam French, a Virginian who was involuntarily committed to a psychiatric facility and told authorities he heard voices, had his right to possess firearms reinstated and his gun returned after a short court hearing in 2009. Why should hearing voices intrude on his “gun rights” bellowed the gun lobby–a question reactivated by the Nashville massacre.

 

WHY WOULD WE EVER TALK TO THEM?

April 15, 2018

 

by Elliot Fineman

Founder and CEO

National Gun Victims Action Council  

 

 

It has been two months since the Parkland high school massacre yet shocking, hateful comments continue to surface from public pro-gun figures. Most recently, Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, tweeted that students who marched in the National School Walkout Day should “pick up a history book and you’ll realize what happens when u give up freedoms and why we have them.” To emphasize her idiotic point, she included an image of shoes of Holocaust victims.

 

 

Ms. Thomas should be the one picking up a history book. Instead she displays her utter ignorance by citing the Hitler analogy which has been disproved so many times. In point of fact, had the Jews not had their guns confiscated by the Nazis, there would have been 135,000 Jewish men and young boys who would have had guns (presumably rifles) and, according to Ms. Thomas and the pro-gunners, been able to do what no invaded country such as France, Hungary, Poland, Austria and the Netherlands had been able to do: defeat the might and power of the Third Reich.

 

The absurdity of this position is matched only by the delusional assertion that the students who marched for improving gun safety laws in fact really want to give up their freedoms. (Misguided pro-gun sentiment evidently runs in the family. In 2016, Clarence Thomas broke decades of total silence on the bench to observe that the right to own a gun should not be infringed upon by a mere misdemeanor for domestic violence, thus advocating the absolute right of domestic abusers to purchase and own guns.)

 

But there’s more. Jamie Allman, another distinguished idiot and a conservative TV and radio commentator in the St. Louis area, said that he would use a “hot poker” on Parkland spokesman David Hogg.

 

Not to be undone, Leslie Gibson, a declared Republican candidate for the Maine House of Representatives called Parkland activist Emma Gonzalez a “skinhead lesbian” in a tweet.

 

Better known distinguished idiots also weighed in. Fox News’ Laura Ingraham taunted David Hogg over being rejected from colleges and NRA board member Ted Nugent called the Parkland shooting survivors “liars” and “poor, mushy-brained children” and urged people to “keep your gun handy” to shoot those who agree with them on sight.

 

The inability of pro-gunners to empathize with gun violence survivors but rather to openly attack them defies belief. It is like attacking victims of a plane or train crash who are seeking better transportation safety laws. It is downright ghoulish.

It is reminiscent of the Westboro Baptist Church which dishonored the funerals of U.S. soldiers who died in combat with anti-LGBT accusations and slurs.

 

It is naive to think there can be any point in conversation with pro-gunners like this about gun safety regulations or reform. They have nothing to say and cannot hear. Best of all, we do not need to waste a moment talking to them. We have the numbers (100 million who want gun safety laws versus one million who want none). We can end the gun violence epidemic quickly, on our own. I discuss how to do this in my upcoming book to be released in June.

 

 

More Pornographic Than Porn: Assault Weapon-Promoting Magazines That Kroger Will No Longer Sell

March 22, 2018

 

by Elliot Fineman
CEO – Founder
National Gun Victims Action Council

 

Imagine life without magazine covers like “assault weapons– the most versatile firearms you can legally buy,” “buying and shooting combat-proven rifles with lethal firepower,” and “whispering death: suppressors for assault rifles.”

 

 

The same newsstands that ban porn magazines nevertheless stock such gun pornography–– magazines designed to glorify and incite the killing power of assault weapons replete with lurid color spreads and enhanced models.

 

Now Kroger, the largest supermarket chain in the U.S.—with 2,782 grocery stores, 2,268 pharmacies, 782 convenience stores and 1,489 supermarket fuel centers—has announced it will stop selling magazines about assault rifles in its stores. Not surprisingly, gun advocates vow to boycott Kroger but the company will no doubt not notice.

 

The announcement came weeks after Kroger announced it will no longer sell guns to customers under 21. Now, that’s corporate responsibility.

 

Assault weapons like the AR15, used in so many recent mass shootings, are a major profit center for gun makers, marketed as “modern sporting rifles.” Despite AR15 massacres, including Parkland, the NRA tweeted an AR15 photo with the slogan “I’ll control my own guns thank you,” on March 14, the day of the national student walkout.

 

The NRA claims, “sporting rifles” are no more dangerous than other weapons but trauma surgeons strongly disagree. “The tissue destruction is almost unimaginable,” says Dr. Jeremy Cannon who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and is a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force Reserve. “Bones are exploded, soft tissue is absolutely destroyed. The injuries to the chest or abdomen — it’s like a bomb went off.”

 

Fifty-seven magazines with assault weapons content will be removed from Kroger shelves including: Guns & Ammo, Guns Magazine, Firearm News, Military Surplus, Modern Firearms, On Target, Recoil, Rifle Shooter, S.W.A.T., Special Weapons, Tactical Firearms, Gun Buyer Annual, Gun Guide, Gun World and World of Firepower.

 

Guns & Ammo made headlines in 2013 when contributing editor Dick Metcalf––a 37-year gun journalist––said he had no problem with mandatory gun-owner training to get a license for concealed carry. Pro-gun advocates sent an avalanche of outraged emails to the magazine, web posts and threats to its advertisers and demanded that he be fired. Metcalf was fired in three days and the magazine’s editor Jim Bequette forced to resign shortly thereafter.

 

Kroger’s decision is a tremendous step that will serve to dial back the glorification of the killing power of assault weapons.

 

It is time to ask why any stores sell gun pornography magazines that breathlessly hawk “lethal firepower” and “whispering death.” This is something the student movement could focus on and call attention to as part of its March for Our Lives efforts for school safety.

 

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Known To Be Violent and Mentally Disturbed, the Parkland MSD High School Killer Passed His Background Check. So Did 81% of Mass Killers Since 1998. What Does This Tell Us About Background Checks?

February 28, 2018

by Elliot Fineman

Founder and CEO

National Gun Victims Action Council  

 

The principle discussed below is part of a series excerpted from my book to be published in June 2018 about four simple steps to stop the totality of the gun violence epidemic now and keep our children safe. Note: the steps do not depend on asking/persuading federal lawmakers to do the right things––we know they won’t. The steps will FORCE them to.

 

Two things: 1) Background checks as they exist are seriously flawed. 2) While we need to have a background check for every gun sold, (currently that is not the case) We need a new type of background check––both expanded and comprehensive.

 

For the background check we conduct today, the name of a would-be gun purchaser is run through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS)––the database of prohibited purchasers maintained by the FBI. It includes, among others, felons, domestic abusers and people with adjudicated mental disabilities. If they are not on the list, they pass and can buy a gun(s); if they are on the list they cannot.

 

Sounds simple enough but the reality is the database is missing millions of records.

 

For example, 71 million mental health records of people with serious mental disabilities should be in the NICS database but as of June 2017, there were only 4.5 million. States do not have to submit any prohibited purchaser data and past programs to incentivize them to submit data have met with minimal success.

 

Further, due to HIPAA, patient confidentiality and the potential for reprisal lawsuits, it is not realistic to expect that all the names of people with serious mental disabilities would be entered into the database.

WHAT WOULD AN EXPANDED AND COMPREHENSIVE BACKGROUND CHECK SYSTEM LOOK LIKE? It is a fail-safe system we already use—and have used for decades—for the purchase, sale and transfer of machine guns. Controlled by the National Firearms Act of 1934 every machine gun is registered—and every current machine gun owner or would-be purchaser (or relative to whom the machine gun owner might want to transfer the machine gun including his children) must go through an expanded, comprehensive background check.

 

This includes having to submit fingerprints and a photograph which is kept on file, a criminal record check, examination of local records, interviews with local law enforcement, neighborhood, school and work place acquaintances as well as an interview with the would-be purchaser.

 

Machine guns have not contributed to the gun violence epidemic. The major reason is the requirement for comprehensive background checks which ensure that criminals and people with mental disabilities cannot own or possess them.

 

Further, because there is a federal registry of machine gun owners, should a current owner become mentally disabled, this would be known and their machine gun(s) removed by local law enforcement.

 

Today’s background check system is flawed. Conducting more of them will do little to halt the gun violence epidemic. We need expanded, comprehensive background checks for all gun sales—they work and are clearly constitutional.

 

 

Elliot Fineman holds an engineering degree from MIT and has served as a strategic marketing consultant to Fortune 500 companies including top corporations like Accenture, KPMG and the Boston Consulting Group. Following the murder of his son in 2006 by a paranoid schizophrenic who had legally obtained the gun, he founded National Gun Victims Action Council.

 

National Gun Victims Action Council (NGVAC) is a non-profit network of 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.

 

Mass shootings Make Federal Lawmakers More Hostile to Gun Safety Laws (press release)

 

February 15, 2018

 

by Elliot Fineman

CEO

National Gun Victims Action Council

 

Yet again, an unspeakable tragedy has struck at a U.S. school––– the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. It has been followed by a unified voice of lawmakers, gun violence prevention groups and the general public calling for federal action to halt the gun violence epidemic.

 

The fact is, however, as seen in the chart below, change that would prevent these school tragedies and halt the gun violence epidemic is not possible at the federal level at this point because mass shootings make federal lawmakers more hostile to gun safety laws. Nor can it be halted at the state level. Imagine seatbelt or drunk driving laws mandated in a few states as a solution for safe driving compared with a national policy.

 

 

As can be seen in the chart, after the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012, both Senators in 17 states voted against Universal Background Checks (UBCs)––a background check for every gun sold. After the San Bernardino shooting in 2015, that number jumped to both Senators in 20 states voting against UBCs. And after the 2016 Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting––the deadliest shooting in U.S. history before Las Vegas––the number jumped to both Senators in 23 states voting against UBCs. That represents a 35 percent increase of federal lawmakers hostile to gun safety laws since Sandy Hook.

 

After the Las Vegas 2017 slaughter, gun safety laws were not even brought up for a vote. Republicans in Congress stated that they did not consider the Las Vegas shooting, in which 58 were killed and 851 injured, to be a reason for changing existing gun laws.

 

Given this bleak track record is there any realistic hope for halting school shooting tragedies and the gun violence epidemic? Are we at a dead end? Absolutely not! Under the We’re Done Asking© program––detailed in my book to be published this summer––the public will see how a combination of novel legal strategies, economic levers and corporate involvement can force hostile federal lawmakers to take the necessary action.

 

Further, in the book, I show how four simple steps can overcome the NRA’s intentionally crafted myths which have prevented federal action and perpetuated the gun violence epidemic we have been forced to live under.

 

 

Contact email: editor@gunvictimsaction.org

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About: National Gun Victims Action Council (NGVAC) is a non-profit network of 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.

 

“Back Our Blue” Says the NRA While Putting “Our Blue” at Risk

In a current NRA video promoting its Back Our Blue–Cars for Freedom donation campaign, Wayne LaPierre says, “Our country’s law enforcement officers represent the best of American courage. Yet today, a deceitful media has put their courage under fire—making the job more dangerous for our police.”

 

No, actually it is the NRA that makes the job of police officers “more dangerous.”

 

 

Thanks to the open carry laws the NRA has successfully gotten on the books in many states, no one stopped police killer Gavin Eugene Long in Baton Rouge in 2016 even though police received a call about a suspicious person carrying a rifle. Open carrying was not unusual so law officers did not have “probable cause” to question Long. Long went on to shoot six police officers and three died. Backing Our Blue?

 

Thanks to open carry laws, a week earlier in Dallas, Micah Xavier Johnson drew no suspicion from authorities despite being clad in tactical clothing and armed with a rifle. He went on to kill five officers and injure seven others. Backing Our Blue?

 

(The NRA says such armed citizens have the right to “defend” themselves and others against “bad guys.” Why did none of the Dallas and Baton Rouge open carriers near the police shooter stop the murders? Weren’t they the “good guys with guns” who will stop crime that we always hear about?)

 

After the Dallas massacre, Police Chief David Brown said, “It’s increasingly challenging when people have AR-15s slung over their shoulder and they’re in a crowd. We don’t know who the good guy is versus the bad guy when everyone starts shooting.”

 

Norm Stamper, former chief of the Seattle police department, agrees. When multiple people on a scene are openly carrying weapons, it is almost impossible to distinguish a law-abiding gun owner from someone who is about to commit a violent crime. It’s “extremely jarring and jolting” for cops to see a gun on open display, even if the law condones it, said Stamper.

 

“I wish more of our legislators could see past the ideology,” says Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn. “They have no concern about the impact [of open carry] in urban environments that are already plagued by too many guns and too much violence.”

 

The NRA has no remorse about how open carry laws facilitate police shootings. After the Dallas massacre of police officers, the NRA actually wrote that it would be “the greatest dishonor to their memory” to allow “the Democratic establishment” to pass stronger gun safety laws. Bereaved families would likely not have minded stronger gun safety laws.

 

A quick look at NRA history shows similar disregard for “Our Blue.” In 1980 and again in 2015, the NRA vigorously opposed a ban on “cop killer” bullets which are capable of piercing the light body armor typically worn by police; many types are readily available today. Now, the NRA is lobbying for lifting restrictions on silencers an unabashed pro-criminal action that will disable law enforcement gunshot detection and location systems.

 

No, it is not a “deceitful media” making the job more dangerous for our police––it is a deceitful NRA that does not “Back Our Blue” at all.

 

Is There Anyone Who CAN’T Buy a Gun in the U.S.?

The gun lobby loves the fact that the public quickly forgets mass shootings. Who, for example, remembers the Vegas shooting? It has been a whole six weeks. Who remembers the First Baptist Church shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas? It has been a whole two weeks.

 

As long as the public forgets mass shootings (except, of course, victims’ families) no one asks why it is legal for someone to buy 33 guns in 12 months (the Vegas shooter) or buy guns despite domestic and animal abuse charges (the Sutherland Springs shooter).

 

 

An estimated 85 percent of all U.S. mass shooters are legal gun owners––the so-called “good guys” who laws should not infringe upon, say gun lobbyists. That is why when a terrorist opened fire at an Armed Forces Career Center and U.S. Navy Reserve center in 2015, killing four Marines and a sailor and wounding a police officer, the gun lobby tried to blame the murders on a “gun-free zone” instead of laws that let a terrorist buy guns.

 

They were wrong. Military Times reported, “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.”

 

That is also why when 18 police officers were shot in Dallas and Baton Rouge in 2016, the gun lobby refused to address the laws that let such murderers buy their guns legally despite clear red flags.

 

Existing laws allowed the 2015 Charleston, Roanoke and Umpqua Community College killers to buy legal guns. They allowed the 2013 Washington Naval Yard killer to buy guns legally. (Like other mass shooters, he had a military misconduct record.) Existing laws let Alice Boland, a suspect in a botched school shooting in South Carolina, pass a background check in 2013 despite being charged in 2005 with threatening to assassinate President George W. Bush. 

 

Is there anyone who can’t buy a gun?

 

Violent people legally buying guns is not a new issue. Headlines in Chicago in 1988 read “Laws Failing To Keep Guns Out Of Hands Of Disturbed,” and “Suspect Had History Of Bizarre Acts,” when Laurie Dann shot six students at the suburban Hubbard Woods Elementary School.

 

Dann had been investigated by authorities in three states for repeated threats to kill people and had even stabbed her ex-husband with an ice pick. Yet Dann had no trouble purchasing a Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum, telling the salesman that she needed it for self-defense according to published reports.

 

Ten years later, also in suburban Chicago, white supremacist Benjamin Nathaniel went on a racist shooting spree murdering the African American Ricky Byrdsong, the former Northwestern University Men’s Basketball Coach, a 26-year-old Korean doctoral student and wounding nine Orthodox Jews and an African-American minister.

 

Smith was issued a gun owner’s ID card by the state of Illinois, which enables someone to buy guns, two weeks before the shootings. Illinois police said his background check did not reveal an order of protection filed by an ex-girlfriend. Smith also disseminated hate literature at Indiana University and officials say he was known for peeping into women’s windows and drug use which did not prevent his gun owner’s ID card.

 

In 2006 in Goleta, California, Jennifer San Marco killed six at a postal facility and a neighbor. The murderer was known for shouting furiously to herself, peeling off her clothes in random parking lots and kneeling in prayer by the roadside but passed her background check and bought a gun legally anyway…

 

“Criminals don’t obey laws” and “all we need to do is enforce existing laws” are the gun lobby’s two favorite mantras to stop new and better gun laws. Yet both are clearly lies and each new mass shooting refutes them.

 


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