Groundhog Day—Twisted Minds Enabled with Guns

alongby Elliot Fineman
CEO – Founder
National Gun Victims Action Council


October 29, 2018


In the movie Groundhog Day, Bill Murray relives the same day over and over. So it is with us when it comes to horrific gun violence committed by twisted minds. When the horror occurs:


         1) The delusional pro-gun minority—represented by the NRA and the 46 senators from the 23 pro-gun states that always vote against any gun safety law––assures us that this has nothing to do with guns and further if the victims had been armed they could have defended themselves and prevented the horror.



         2) The sane gun violence prevention majority laments the latest horror and declares that finally it’s time for the federal legislators to put their ideological differences aside and pass necessary gun-safety laws.


         3) No gun-safety laws are passed; nothing happens.


         4) The next gun horror occurs and steps 1-3 are repeated.





It is time for this to end––for the sane majority to take control and bring rational behavior to the running of our country.


These past weeks, an extreme white supremacist went into a Louisville, Kentucky Kroger—after trying unsuccessfully to enter a predominantly black church—and shot and killed two African Americans, using racial epithets.


In court filings, he identified himself as having a schizoaffective disorder. In a different court filing, his ex-wife identified him as a paranoid who had stopped taking his medication.


The gunman’s criminal record includes charges of assaulting his ex-wife and elderly parents. He was prohibited from possessing firearms for two years, yet his misdemeanor convictions were not severe enough to prevent him from possessing a firearm, as would a felony conviction says the Courier Journal. He was legally able to buy his guns.


According to the New York Times, the Pittsburgh synagogue murderer had 21 guns registered to him, including at least one assault weapon. For the safety of society, sanity demands that we know if anyone is accumulating an arsenal—a sure indicator that they are preparing to commit major horrific gun violence.


For example, the Las Vegas killer possessed 47 guns including numerous assault rifles. Thirty-three had been purchased in the year before his murders and he also had several thousand rounds of ammunition.


Due to successful lobbying the delusional pro-gun minority has had passed laws that prohibit a gun registry and therefore we cannot track those amassing guns and ammunition. Before the Aurora Colorado massacre, the murderer had purchased over 6,000 rounds of ammunition.


Also, in October a mass school shooting was barely averted when a mother who had received a racial hate message alerted police. A 20-year-old resident of Lawrenceburg, Kentucky was arrested in his driveway with a gun, 200 rounds of ammunition, a 100-round high-capacity magazine, bulletproof vest in his car and plans to shoot up local schools.


Since the current background check system was put in place, 85 percent of mass gun killers passed their background check.


In virtually every case involving twisted, mass gun murderers, their mental disturbance and capacity for violence were well known in their communities. Interviews with people who knew them would have revealed that they were people who should not have access to guns—current background checks would not.


Clearly, we need a different kind of background check—a universal comprehensive one that includes interviews with potential purchasers of guns and those who know them.


Further, with a gun registry we would know who was acquiring excessive numbers of guns and ammunition and could take preventative action before the arsenal was assembled and used with deadly consequences.


Based on history, we know with certainty that no matter the gun horror, as things stand, a gun registry, universal comprehensive background checks and essential gun safety laws will not be passed by federal lawmakers.


Thus, the rational majority who want to see gun safety laws now must force this to happen—and can do so by using the economic leverage of their enormous purchasing power. There are 100 million Americans who want gun safety laws. This, compared with the NRA’s five million members who oppose every gun safety law. The economic power of 100 million dwarfs that of five million.


How to launch the majority’s economic power is both described and initiated in my forthcoming book, scheduled for release during the first quarter of 2019.


It is time for the majority to take back control using the economic levers of their enormous purchasing power—and we will start with guns.


Elliot Fineman
CEO – Founder
National Gun Victims Action Council


Let’s Boost Gun Industry Sales By Arming Teachers and Pretending We’re Protecting School Children From Gun Violence

Elliot Fineman
CEO – Founder
National Gun Victims Action Council


August 25, 2018


Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is considering a plan to let states use federal tax dollars to buy guns for teachers to protect school children from armed intruders.


After the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012, the NRA vehemently opposed the passing of any gun safety laws and instead pushed for arming teachers as the only way to protect school children from gun intruders. Days after the February 2018 Parkland massacre, the NRA continued the refrain and Trump agreed. Lawmakers in seven states introduced bills legalizing armed teachers.



Yet arming teachers is such a reckless and dangerous idea that when Kansas passed a law in 2013 after Sandy Hook allowing concealed weapons to be carried by teachers and staff, the EMC Insurance Cos. who provided liability insurance to over 85 percent of Kansas school districts refused to insure districts that allowed guns.


In the real world, a shooting situation creates enormous stress for the person defending. Heart rates accelerate, the mind is stressed and there is limited time to steady the firearm, assess the situation and make an accurate shot. Adrenaline is released and both the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems are activated. These physical responses do not occur when at a shooting range shooting at a fixed target that does not shoot back.


Such stress affects all police officers. That is why continually trained police officers miss on average 3 out of 10 shots. Studies of police accuracy under stress in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago confirm this reality.


To imagine that an armed teacher who received minimal training could possibly be successful at defending against an armed, surprise killer who has invaded a school wearing body armor and blazing away with an assault weapon is beyond the limits of credulity.


The best way to protect our school children is to have the appropriate set of gun laws. These are the same laws that other countries with private gun ownership have, and because of them they do not have an epidemic of school shootings like the US does.


The NRA argument for arming school teachers is a vile ruse pretending to keep school children safe while avoiding the passing of appropriate gun safety laws that would. It is an unconscionable way of enriching the gun industry. There are approximately 140,000 private and public elementary and secondary schools and colleges in the US. How many teachers at each school will be provided with guns–five, ten, 20? The windfall to the gun industry is staggering.


In my upcoming book, to be released this fall, I discuss this and other critical issues. The book, “We Are Done Asking,” identifies and launches the 4 simple steps we can take to end the gun violence epidemic now.


Elliot Fineman
CEO – Founder
National Gun Victims Action Council

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


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.


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 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.



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.



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.



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


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:



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.