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IF ONLY THEY WERE ARMED

Saturday, June 24th, 2017

June 24, 2017

 

by

Elliot Fineman

CEO – Founder
National Gun Victims Action Council

 

Less than two years ago, attackers killed 89 at the Bataclan theatre in Paris and injured another 368 people. Donald Trump, Ann Coulter and Newt Gingrich, unable to wait for the three days of mourning then-President Hollande had called for, declared “if only the people in the theater had been armed things would have been different.”

 

While campaigning for the presidency, Donald Trump continued to blame gun violence on “gun-free zones.” For example, he said, the 89 who died in the Bataclan theater in Paris might be alive today if they had been armed. He did not explain how, in the dark, the thousands of people in the audience––having pulled their guns out––would know the good guys holding guns from the bad and not shoot each other or innocent bystanders. Nor did he explain how untrained carriers would shoot accurately when studies show that fully trained police officers in the U.S. miss seven out of 10 shots.

 

Now, after last week’s shooting of Republican members of Congress while they practiced for the annual Congressional Baseball Game for Charity, the same ignorant and opportunistic talk is emerging. The problem wasn’t that a clearly unbalanced and violent person could legally buy assault weapons, the problem was baseball playing lawmakers were unarmed said both Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky and Representative Tom Garrett of Virginia.

 

 

 

The gunman at the baseball practice carried a legally purchased 9-millimeter handgun and a SKS 7.62-millimeter semiautomatic assault rifle which he bought despite domestic and gun violence charges in his past and widely reported alcoholism. He was able to fire 60 shots before being subdued.

 

More than 200 rounds of ammunition and additional SKS rifle components were found in a storage unit the gunman had rented.

 

Like the Paris nightclub shootings, the carnage could not have been stopped by untrained, fearful lawmakers and their aids. In fact, two armed Capitol Police officers themselves were wounded and did not stop the gunman.

 

Recently, NGVAC tested gun carrier self-defense with 77 volunteers at the Prince George’s County police department in Maryland with Mount St. Mary’s University criminologist professors. Even with their guns drawn (so they would not lose time retrieving them from holsters), civilians, including highly trained ones, were unable to approach the accuracy and judgment of trained police officers in all scenarios.

 

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

 

To blame the baseball shootings from which Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana is still recovering on the baseball players being unarmed is an insult to the intelligence of the public and lawmakers. But it keeps the discussion away from questioning why unbalanced, violent citizens—intent on murder—can legally buy all the guns they want including military style weapons.

 

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

www.gunvictimsaction.org

 

 

Why Would A Violent Person Allowed Guns Kill Ask Pro-Gun Voices After Florida Awning Murders

Sunday, June 11th, 2017

After five were killed in a shooting at the Fiamma awning factory in Orlando this week, Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said they’re still trying to figure out why the shooter, who had been fired in April for his violent behavior, decided to return and kill his former co-workers. Is that a joke?

 

A friend speculated that Neumann murdered because of his “troubled” childhood or because rent was due. Is that another joke?

 

Neumann had a 20-year record of crimes including leaving the scene of a hit-and-run accident involving property damage and drug use. A co-worker sought a protective order against Neumann for stalking, but it was dismissed by a judge for insufficient evidence. The next day, the co-worker filed another petition for “repeat violence,” and a temporary injunction was granted. Authorities, however, could not find Neumann’s address to serve it.

 

Despite his criminal history, Neumann enjoyed shooting at targets on the lake behind his home in the Lake of the Woods mobile home park said a friend.

 

 

As we noted two weeks ago, “mere” misdemeanors do not make someone a prohibited gun purchaser. In fact, most mass shooters have criminal records, are clearly unbalanced and relay their violent intentions yet 85 percent pass their background checks. Except the Newtown killer (who was too young to own guns) and the San Bernardino killer (who used a straw buyer) almost all high profile killers were legal gun owners. So much for “laws don’t work because criminals don’t follow laws.”

 

Speaking of San Bernardino, almost 600 people die a year from workplace shootings including the Roanoke TV crew shootings and shootings at the Sioux Steel Co. in Lennox, South Dakota, UPS facility in Inglenook, Alabama, the Renaissance Ross Bridge Golf and Resort Spa in Hoover, Alabama and many more.

 

In 2013, a Silicon Valley engineer was convicted of fatally shooting three executives at a semiconductor startup on the same day he was fired. In 2012, a fired employee shot and killed five at a Minneapolis sign company. The same year an employee at a Fresno chicken processing plant shot and killed two co-workers.

 

Just six months ago, a disgruntled former Southwest Airlines employee seeking revenge shot and killed Southwest Airlines employee Michael Winchester, father of Kansas City Chiefs long snapper James Winchester at Oklahoma City airport.

 

Of the Fiamma awning massacre (a year after the biggest massacre in U.S. history at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando) Florida Gov. Rick Scott said, “I ask all Floridians to pray for the families impacted by this senseless act of violence.” Senseless, Governor? As senseless as laws that say clearly violent people intent on killing have “gun rights.”

 

 

It Takes A Good Guy With A Gun To Stop A Bad Guy With A Gun–Except When He Can’t

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

May 31, 2017

 

 

Despite the murders of Lincoln County, Mississippi Sheriff’s deputy William Durr and Kirkersville Police Chief Steven Disario last week and the shooting of two Chicago police officers this month, the lie that “it takes a good guy with a gun to stop a bad guy with a gun” persists.

 

Recently, Texas Governor Greg Abbott tweeted if you see a “guns welcome” sign you know you are in Texas. Perhaps the guv felt enough time has elapsed since five Dallas police officers were killed and nine others injured by a gunman last July. Was the gunman’s weapon welcomed in Texas, Gov. Abbott? He was a legal gun owner, after all, and we can’t infringe on a gun owner’s rights just because he is unbalanced and violent.

 

 

 

Ten days after the Dallas massacre, six more police officers were shot and three of them died in Baton Rouge. Again, the gunman was a legal gun owner whose rights we can’t “infringe” upon just because he is unbalanced and violent.

 

The gun lobby says when you start infringing on someone’s “gun rights” just because of their threatening behavior, we are on a slippery slope. Next thing you know, no one can own a gun at all!

 

No, actually, gun lobby, if you restricted someone’s “gun rights” because of their threatening behavior, you’d have eight heroic police officers who would be alive today. (And many more in other cities.)

 

The “patriotic” NRA doesn’t seem to worry too much about cop deaths. Why else would it defend “cop killer” armor-piercing bullets? Why would it lobby for citizens to be able to carry military style weapons that outgun our own law enforcers? The gun lobby also wants to remove restrictions on gun silencers–an appalling pro-criminal stance which confounds law enforcement ShotSpotter technology. Whose side are they on?

 

Since the gun lobby loves its two lies–“it takes a good guy with a gun to stop a bad guy with a gun” and “gun-free zones cause gun violence”– it was strangely silent after the 2015 Chattanooga shootings, exactly a year before the Dallas and Baton Rouge police murders.

 

On July 16, Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez opened fire at an Armed Forces Career Center and U.S. Navy Reserve center, killing four Marines and a sailor and wounding a police officer. Not addressed by the gun lobby was why an apparent terrorist had “gun rights” in the U.S. and was a legal gun owner. (The gun lobby also says people on the No Fly and Terror Watch Lists should be able to legally buy guns.)

 

The gun lobby tried to blame the Chattanooga murders on a “gun-free zone” until Military Times outed them by reporting that, “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.”

 

The gun lobby doesn’t want to talk about legal gun owners who kill our own law enforcement officers and servicemen in places that are not gun-free. It conflicts with its lies that it takes a good guy with a gun to stop a bad guy with a gun and that gun-free zones cause gun violence.

 

 

 

Misdemeanor Convictions Predict Gun Violence

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

by 

Elliot Fineman

CEO – Founder
National Gun Victims Action Council 

 

As an emergency room doctor and director of the Violence Prevention Research Program at the University of California (UC), Davis, Garen Wintemute knows gun violence from both the practical and theoretical sides.

 

 

 

To enhance his research, Wintemute joined the NRA and the rifle and pistol club in Davis. He attended 79 gun shows where he was shocked to see guns sold purely as murder weapons. (One licensed retailer at a gun show displayed a Mossberg Model 500 shotgun with a pistol grip next to a poster that read “Great for Urban Hunting,” recalls Wintemute. Another sign, beside a Savage rifle, read: “Great for Getto [sic] Cruisers.)

 

Among Wintemute’s most compelling conclusions from his research is that prior misdemeanor convictions are a clear and consistent predictor of future criminal activity, including violent and firearm-related crimes.

Misdemeanor laws vary by jurisdiction and carry punishments from fines to incarceration or both. They range from minor offenses like disorderly conduct, criminal mischief or traffic violations to simple assault. Unlike felony assault which includes striking, or threatening to strike a person with a weapon or object, brandishing a gun or shooting a person and rape or robbery, simple assault can be considered a misdemeanor. It would include pushing or slapping another person in a heated argument, or engaging in threatening or intimidating behavior, such as raising a fist.

 

Felons are denied the right to own or purchase guns (the NRA is fighting this) but a misdemeanor does not make someone a prohibited purchaser. Often, those with domestic violence convictions try to bargain them down from felonies to misdemeanors so they can own guns. They are often successful.

 

Misdemeanors definitively predict violence contends Wintemute. “Handgun purchasers with at least 1 prior misdemeanor conviction were more than 7 times as likely as those with no prior criminal history to be charged with a new offense after handgun purchase,” he and his co-authors wrote in a research paper in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

 

Those with 2 or more prior convictions for misdemeanor violence were at greatest risk for violent offenses like murder or non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery or aggravated assault, said Wintemute and his co-authors.

 

But “even handgun purchasers with only 1 prior misdemeanor conviction and no convictions for offenses involving firearms or violence were nearly 5 times as likely as those with no prior criminal history to be charged with new offenses involving firearms or violence,” said the JAMA article.

 

As many states allow gun purchases by those who have been convicted of misdemeanors, such as assault, Wintemute’s research was seen as a threat to gun sales and the supposed gun “rights” of convicted criminals.
To stop Wintemute’s research, which had been funded by the CDC, the NRA persuaded the Republican Congressman from Arkansas Jay Dickey to insert language in an appropriations bill prohibiting the CDC from promoting “gun control.” The ban has been renewed every year since 1996.
Moreover, in 2012, the CDC research restrictions were extended to encompass the Department of Health and Human Services which is its parent organization.

 

It is shocking that the gun lobby and pro-gun politicians would ignore and suppress research that could clearly minimize the gun violence epidemic in favor of letting those convicted of misdemeanors buy guns.

 

The NRA says criminals and “bad guys” should not have guns. Yet they block any law that would make those convicted of misdemeanors prohibited purchasers. The NRA is actually a “bad guy’s” best friend. In fact, the NRA and its supporters work for the “gun rights” of those convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors.

 

www.gunvictimsaction.org/donate

www.gunvictimsaction.org

Billions Of Non-Gun Owner Tax Dollars Pay For Gun Owners’ Hobby

Saturday, April 22nd, 2017

April 22, 2017

 

by Elliot Fineman
CEO – Founder

NGVAC

 

Last week the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) released a report claiming the firearms and ammunition industry and helps the economy. It contributes $51.3 billion to the economy, generates $6.8 billion in tax revenues and excise taxes and employs over 141,000 people, says NSSF

 

What the report does not mention is that the total annual cost of gun violence in the U.S. is $229 billion, according to Mother Jones. That includes $8.6 billion in direct spending from medical expenses to court and prison costs, 87 percent of which– $7.5 billion– is paid for by taxpayers. That sum exceeds what NSSF claims it generates in tax revenues and represents only a portion of taxpayers’ costs.

 

 

The $7.5 billion significantly understates the taxpayer cost because taxpayers also pay a portion of the $221 billion of indirect gun violence costs such as lost earning power of victims and their family caregivers who can no longer work and required medical and skilled nursing care. In addition to the more than 10,000 who die from gun homicides each year in the U.S., 80,000 are shot but survive often with severe permanent disabilities.

 

For example, Mother Jones cites a teenager paralyzed from the neck down by gun shot who can no longer feed, toilet or dress himself or turn over in bed and will live the rest of his life in a nursing home, paid for by the taxpayers under Medicaid. Over two decades, the price tag for this one patient’s skilled nursing care is upwards of $1.7 million.

 

Mother Jones, further reports that a single gun homicide in America “is nearly $400,000. And we pay for 32 of them every single day.”

 

The NRA and gun owners will shout and rant that it is not fair for law-abiding gun owners to be paying for the cost of criminal violence. But that, as well as the claims of economic benefits from the gun industry, misses the point.

 

If I do not own a car, my tax dollars are not used to pay for the cost of car-driving deaths and accidents. Law-abiding drivers pay for them through their insurance. Additionally, their premiums have a built-in excess to cover costs generated by illegal drivers who do not have insurance.

 

The NRA and gun owners would further argue that taxpayer dollars are used to pay for highways and bridges that motor vehicles use. But, what they don’t mention is that these roads and bridges have “public utility” ––they allow food, consumer and commercial goods, construction materials etc. to be moved from region to region.

 

Guns, on the other hand, have no “public utility”; they are an individual, private hobby that taxpayers should not have to finance.

 

What makes the NRA’s and gun owners’ position even more outrageous is that they oppose and defeat any law that would make it harder for criminals to get guns; this causes far higher rates of gun violence—and consequently far higher taxpayer costs.

 

Additionally, making sure criminals have guns allows the NRA to turn around and say everyone must carry a gun—at all times— to protect themselves from armed criminals. In the 1996 NAACP suit against American Arms, the expert witness Lucy Allen reported that handgun sales to criminals represent minimally 22 percent of annual handgun industry sales. (See reference below). ATF veterans we have spoken with place the figure at 30 percent.

 

A fair solution to cover the cost of gun violence would be for the law-abiding gun owners to carry insurance as do the law-abiding car drivers. Further, there should be a tax on gun and bullet purchases just as there is for gasoline and tires. The gun owners want the pleasure of owning their guns but do not want the responsibility of covering the cost of gun violence. That is patently unfair to the law-abiding citizens who do not own guns and have no interest in gun-related activities.

 

Elliot Fineman
CEO – Founder
National Gun Victims Action Council
www.gunvictimsaction.org/donate

www.gunvictimsaction.org

 

 

 

*See Expert report of Lucy P. Allen at 7, NAACP v. Acu Sport, Inc., 271 F. Supp. 2d 435, 522 (E.D.N.Y. 2002) (confirmed as accurate by the court in 201-03 of its Findings of Facts).

 

 

 

Justice Gorsuch—Do Domestic Abusers Have “Gun Rights”?

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

 

Last summer Justice Clarence Thomas broke 10 years of silence to weigh in on the “gun rights” of domestic abusers. Why can’t domestic abusers have guns he asked? “Give me another area where a misdemeanor violation suspends a constitutional right,” he grumbled.

 

 

Weeks later in Pennsylvania, seemingly on cue, Mark Short, despite two prior police reports of domestic violence, legally purchased a gun and killed his wife and their three young children (pictured) two days later.

 

Everyone from criminologists, to law enforcement officers, to psychologists knows domestic violence predicts gun violence and death. But thanks to the gun lobby we allow and enable––actually sit on our hands and wait––imminent murders because of “gun rights.”

 

This week’s San Bernardino killer Cedric Anderson is a case in point. Despite a 30-year history of battery charges and domestic violence allegations, he was not barred from legally buying a gun and killed his wife and a student this week. The phenomenon is increasingly known as gendercide.

 

Just as with Anderson, few were surprised that Marcus Dee was capable of shooting and killing former girlfriend Nadia Ezaldein on Black Friday of 2014 in front of horrified shoppers at Nordstrom’s on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile. He had a long domestic violence history. Six days before the murder, Dee attacked a friend of Ezaldein, causing broken bones. Month’s earlier, court documents reveal the victim’s sister said Dee had “cracked Ezaldein’s ribs, broke her jaw, ripped her clothing, stabbed her jacket with a switch knife, ripped her boots, bruised her lip, threw her clothing out the window and put a gun in her mouth.”

 

Many and perhaps most killers have similar violent histories.

 

“Cho Seung-Hui, the Virginia Tech shooter, was investigated for stalking two female students,” and “Elliot Roger, who killed six people in Isla Vista, California, in 2014, tried to shove several women off a 10-foot ledge at a party and claimed in a ‘manifesto’ that his violence was part of his ‘war on women,’” writes the Slate’s Christina Cauterucci. Esteban Santiago, who killed five at the Fort Lauderdale airport and Omar Mateen, who killed 49 at the Pulse nightclub, were also domestic abusers she writes.

 

“Robert Lewis Dear, the alleged 2015 Planned Parenthood shooter; John Houser, who killed two and injured nine in a movie theater in Lafayette, Louisiana, in 2014; and James Huberty, who killed 21 people at a California McDonald’s in 1984,” all had domestic violence histories as well reports Vox.

 

All six alleged murderers were legal gun owners whose “constitutional right” to own a gun could not be taken away just because they wanted to kill says the gun lobby and Justice Thomas.

 

If victims of domestic violence were men, would the male dominated gun lobby ignore the body count? In one week in September 2015, eight women were shot by intimate partners and five died.

 

Hours after receiving probation for violating a domestic violence protection order, James Terry Colley, Jr. shot and killed his wife Amanda Cloaninger and her friend Lindy Dobbins in St. Augustine, Florida. Two days later, Blessing Okereke was fatally shot by her husband in Dallas. The following day, Nuria Kudlach was fatally shot in Pennsylvania and her husband charged with murder. Hours later, Sonja Wells Raine was fatally shot on her job in Pascagoula, MS by her enraged husband. Two other women were shot by their partners but survived.

 

Justice Gorsuch—will you find that “gun rights” trump the mere misdemeanors that lead to women’s deaths like your colleague Justice Thomas? Will you enable gendercide?

 

 

This Mass Murder Suspect Has Gun Rights Says The NRA

Wednesday, March 29th, 2017

 

There have been dozens of mass shootings since six were killed in Kalamazoo, MI a year ago allegedly by Uber driver Jason Dalton (pictured). People have already forgotten about the mass shootings at a Cincinnati nightclub and in Sandford, Florida this week not to mention the Fort Lauderdale airport shootings earlier this year.

 

(People have also forgotten about the shootings of 18 police officers in one week last July in Dallas and Baton Rouge all by legal gun owners and all disproving the NRA’s insipid memes that “it takes a good guy with a gun to stop a bad guy with a gun” and “gun-free zones” are the problem.)

 

Still, the case of the Uber driver suspect Jason Dalton is worth revisiting because it is a carbon copy of most mass shooter cases. The murderers are loners who everyone from friends to family to therapists know are mentally unbalanced. The murderers exhibit violent, threatening behavior and in some cases announce their intentions over social media. And, with the exception of the Newtown and San Bernardino murderers, the killers pass their background checks, some even buying their murder weapons hours before their sprees.

 

Police reports say Dalton told investigators the Uber app on his cellphone had commandeered his car and mind which led to the killings. The remark is reminiscent of the confessed Fort Lauderdale airport killer who said voices were responsible for his murder of five and injuring of six.

 

Six people were killed on February 20, 2016 in Kalamazoo including a father and son in a car dealership and four women leaving a show at Western Michigan University’s Miller Auditorium. Two other people were injured at two different locations and they are still recovering.

 

Dalton, the accused gunman, is so mentally disturbed he had to be carried from an earlier court appearance in chains. He will not be allowed in the courtroom for his upcoming trial. Yet the NRA says people with mental illness have “gun rights” and recently successfully campaigned for the right of mentally impaired Social Security recipients to own guns. It also works for the right of people who have been hospitalized for mental illness to have their guns returned. After the Virginia Tech murders by another mentally ill gunman who passed his background check, the NRA bragged on its website that a new bill it helped push through “will no longer prohibit a person [with certain types of mental health orders] from possessing or receiving a firearm.”  Dalton seemed a “nice guy” said the NRA’s Cam Edwards after the Uber driver was arrested.

 

The deaths of six people and injuries of two in Kalamazoo are just the price of liberty maintains the NRA. We do not believe in “gratuitously tak[ing] away the rights of people because when you begin taking away the rights of people that you don’t like, that’s the slippery slope,” said NRA lobbyist Marion P. Hammer to the press. How about the rights of people leaving a car dealership or an auditorium to not be killed by a mentally ill gunman, Hammer?

 

 

When the NRA has to choose between the lives of the six dead in Kalamazoo (or 49 in Orlando, nine in Umpqua, nine in Charleston and 12 at Washington’s Navy Yard) and the “gun rights” of someone whose cell phone actually talks to him—we all know its decision. The NRA’s stance does not just blaspheme survivors of gun violence, it blasphemes all Americans. Why? Because the NRA also thinks people on the No Fly and Terror Watch lists have “gun rights.”

 

People Who Want to Kill Themselves and Others Have Gun Rights Too Says the NRA

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

 

March 15, 2017

 

 

 

 


 

It almost seems like satire. The NRA is calling an Illinois bill that would allow family members afraid a loved one will shoot himself or others to petition the courts to remove firearms for a limited amount of time “anti-gun.”
 
After Elliot Rodger killed six people and injured 14 others near the campus of University of California, Santa Barbara in 2014, California passed a similar gun order of protection law in which family members and friends can request a restraining order from a judge before gun violence occurs. “When someone is in crisis, the people closest to them are often the first to spot the warning signs, but almost nothing can now be done to get back their guns or prevent them from buying more,” said Democratic Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner of Berkeley in supporting the legislation.
 
Assemblywoman Skinner is right. When a gun owner becomes unstable and likely to shoot himself and others, family, friends and coworkers are usually the first to know. They are also often the victims as we saw with the murders of the Stay and Short families.
 
Many soon-to-be murderers post their homicidal intentions on social media like Elliot Rodger, whose mother called 911 after seeing his YouTube page postings. Others like the Tucson, Aurora, Navy Yard, Virginia Tech and Fort Lauderdale murderers are known to be seriously mentally ill.
 
The brother of Esteban Santiago, the confessed Fort Lauderdale airport killer, asked why his brother was allowed to keep his gun after U.S. authorities knew he’d become increasingly paranoid and was hearing voices. Santiago claimed the FBI and CIA made him watch ISIS videos and he had previously been charged with domestic abuse. His gun was returned to him by police after a psychiatric evaluation and he proceeded to kill five and wound six with it.
 
(His case is reminiscent of that of Kyle Aaron Huff who killed six at a Seattle rave after police in Whitefish, MT returned his seized gun.)
 
It is no secret that the NRA works for the “gun rights” of convicted felons, domestic abuse suspects, mentally disabled social security recipients and people who have been hospitalized for mental illness. After the Virginia Tech murders, NRA lobbyists pushed through a gun restoration provision in national background check laws for people with mental illness.
 
“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.”
 
It is no surprise the guns-for-everyone NRA opposes the Illinois bill in favor of  waiting until bloodshed occurs to remove a gun. The bill is “ripe for abuse by individuals that disagree with the Second Amendment,” bellows the NRA “and the mere insinuation that gun ownership makes you a danger to yourself or others is offensive and insulting,”  No, NRA: the real “offense” is to families and strangers gunned down by someone who everyone knew would murder.
  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pro-Gun Group Largely Agrees With Our “Pseudo Report”

Friday, March 3rd, 2017

Elliot Fineman

CEO

National Gun Victims Action Council

 

March 3, 2017

 

Two years ago, Bearing Arms, a leading pro-gun website, ridiculed our objection to the TrackingPoint military-style sniper rifle that lets someone who has never fired a gun always hit a target the size of a cell phone from 1,000 yards away.

 

One year ago, Bearing Arms called NGVAC “fanatical fascists” for asking President Obama to declare a national state of emergency over gun violence. Violent crime is not an “’epidemic’” said the gun advocacy group–2014 had “less than 8,500” firearm homicide victims.

 

Now, the gun advocacy group finds itself agreeing with the 57-page report of the independent study we commissioned from professors of criminology, sociology and quantitative research at Mount Saint Mary’s University in Maryland, conducted at the Prince George’s County police department training facilities. The name of the study was: Firearms Training Self-Defense & Does the Quality and Frequency of Training Determine the Realistic Use of Firearms by Citizens for Self-Defense?

 

 

 

Test subjects, with varying skill levels, who participated in the research were allowed to have their guns drawn during three simulated scenarios the Prince George force uses (a carjacking, an armed robbery and a suspected larceny). The result was that civilians, including trained ones, never approached the accuracy and judgment of trained police officers–the quality and frequency of firearms training completely determined citizens’ ability to defend themselves.

 

While Bob Owens of Bearing Arms agrees with the basic findings of our research–that “concealed carry certification courses mandated by many states… are inadequate,” that “quality firearms training is invaluable” and that “scenario-based training…is imperative…to survive a real-world encounter”–he also terms our study “pseudo-scientific.”

 

Why? A citizen’s gun use is “radically different” from law enforcement officers who often have “no idea who the good guys or bad guys are” he writes. There is “far less shoot/don’t shoot ambiguity” with citizens because they know the bad guy “because of his current violent actions.”

 

When a citizen sees someone being robbed by a gunman at the grocery store, he only needs to determine if the gunman “constitutes a deadly force threat, and determine whether he wants to get involved, and if so, if he wants to open fire,” explains Owens. There are at least two risks to such vigilantism. The gunman may “turn around and blow” the carrier away without warning, writes Owens and police may mistake the vigilante for the gunman if he doesn’t call “911 and identify yourself as a concealed carrier who was forced to shoot an armed robber in self defense.”

 

Another reason our research is pseudo, says Owens, is “the subjects of the test were forced to role-play in a law-enforcement training scenario” forgetting that he just called scenario-based training “imperative” and ignoring the fact that a car jacking is a real world citizen risk.

 

If NGVAC “actually gave a damn about determining the importance of training and how much training is required to prevail in a gunfight, they wouldn’t have to rely on scenarios, but could instead put in the work and post the results showing the level of formal training must (sic) victors in gunfights have under their belts,” concludes Owens.

 

While the two types of research are not mutually exclusive, we welcome Owens’ research suggestion. If supplied with police reports and the cooperation to interview “victors in gunfights,” NGVAC will gladly study their training level and invites Bearing Arms to collaborate with us in this study.

 

Why does the quality of training matter? A growing number of states are passing laws that make mandatory training requirements for carrying a gun illegal. The result is that people who have never even fired a gun or received any training at all are carrying guns in public. Does anyone really believe that these people will be able to defend themselves? Further, with pending federal “reciprocity” laws they will soon be free to carry in any state or city.

 

 

 

States to Repeal Drivers License Training Requirements–Inspired by New Gun Bills

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

 

 

February 22, 2017

 

by Elliot Fineman

 

 

(satire) Several U.S states plan to repeal training requirements to obtain motor vehicle licenses including the need to pass a road and written test. “We got the idea from gun reciprocity legislation pending in Congress which allows someone licensed to carry a gun in one state to carry in any state,” said Butch McGill, Illinois Secretary of State. “Since some states require no training whatsoever, allowing people who have never even fired a gun to carry a gun, we realized that training requirements to operate a motor vehicle are also unnecessary. People can be trusted to train themselves with no risk to the public whether cars or guns.”

 

A growing number of states are passing laws that that make mandatory training requirements for carrying a gun illegal and states are moving in the same direction with motor vehicle operation. “The government should not deem it necessary to micromanage the citizen exercise of essential rights,” says the NRA, quoted on the Wisconsin Gun Owners Organization web site. Citizens “are capable of deciding for themselves that attending firearms training is the responsible thing to do.”

 

“Training requirements are a ruse by a tyrannical government to eventually confiscate all guns and cars,” said Chuck Hunter, head of Guns Everywhere All the Time, a national, grassroots organization headquartered in Waco, TX. Earl Singleton, executive director of Cars for Tots, in Defiance, MO concurs. “Requiring people who carry guns in public to know how to handle or shoot their weapons is a stark example of government overreach as are driver training requirements,” said Singleton.

 

Not everyone agrees with the states’ move to drop training requirements and allow citizens to train themselves. “This is appalling,” said Betty Lou Williamson who has worked as a clerk in the Illinois Department of Motor Vehicles for 27 years and previously worked in the driver testing facility in Brownsville itself.

 

“People who don’t even know where the gas pedal is can now be driving down the street, endangering life and limb. People who have never used a car’s brake or turned right or left will now be driving down the street. What is the Secretary of State’s office thinking?”

 

In a short interview, Secretary McGill dismissed such criticism. “On the basis of pending gun reciprocity bills, we now realize that requiring training to operate a motor vehicle is a violation of citizens’ rights and likely will lead to car confiscation.” The age requirement for a drivers license remains said McGill.

 

 

 

Elliot Fineman

CEO – Founder

National Gun Victims Action Council

www.gunvictimsaction.org/donate

www.gunvictimsaction.org

 

Elliot Fineman, NGVAC CEO,  is available as a gun violence prevention media expert.

 


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