“Function” Versus “Form”–Banning Bump Stocks

 

 

by Elliot Fineman

CEO – Founder

National Gun Victims Action Council

 

October 10, 2017

 

 

There is a lot of excitement today in the media and at a number of Gun Violence Prevention Groups though not at NGVAC. They are pleased to see some bi-partisanship support for banning bump stocks and to hear that the NRA has indicated it would support such an initiative. Many are pleased that any gun regulation at the federal level is being considered at all.

 

Bump stocks allow the conversion of semi-automatics––which can shoot 80 – 100 bullets per minute––to fully automatic which can shoot 600 – 800 bullets per minute. They are sold by gun dealers now—as are other devices that do the same thing. They are the most popular because they are the cheapest of the devices (costing between $100 and $200).

 

Actually, the NRA––which has blocked all gun safety laws for more than 40 years––has not suddenly become reasonable: it is up to its old tricks. The NRA has only agreed to have the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) review bump stock regulations to prevent a congressional vote on the record for any federal gun control regulation. (The NRA always promotes its irrational “slippery slope” argument i.e., if we ban bump stocks it is the first step to “taking your guns away.”)

 

There is another reason the NRA prefers to deal with the ATF rather than Congress. It was the ATF that shockingly ruled in 2010 that bump stocks are not covered by any gun regulation because they are “parts.” Moreover, ATF rules can be overridden by executive actions unlike congressional actions.

 

However, if the ATF does not act and the fate of bump stocks is in the hands of Congress, the NRA has a second trick up its sleeve. It will offer to trade its “leniency” on bump stocks for passage of the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act. This shocking bill would let gun owners with concealed carry permits issued in any state—including states that do not require training or permitting as a requirement for carrying— legally carry their weapons in any state.

 

At NGVAC we believe the gun violence prevention groups should avoid arguments with the pro- gunners and the NRA about the construct (form) of the gun and how to prevent it from being converted to a fully automatic. These are trivial issues to debate and are completely beside the point as you can see in this graphic.

 

 

 

The law that is needed is: no one can have a gun––whether semi-automatic, assault weapon, sporting rifle, handgun etc.—

that can shoot more than 10 bullets per minute. It is the function of the gun not the form that makes it so lethal. This means magazines cannot exceed 10 bullets and a ban on possession or sale of any adaptive devices that expand the limit of 10 bullets per minute.

 

How can we get a magazine limit of no more 10 bullets per minute passed at the federal level? How can we ban any conversion devices? I discuss this in depth in a book I am writing that will be available by early spring.

 

 


www.gunvictimsaction.org/donate

www.gunvictimsaction.org

 

Why Is this Sniper Weapon Still Legal?

October 5, 2017

 

It has been over three years since NGVAC called for banning of the sale of the Precision Guided Firearm (PGF) TrackingPoint. A smart scope military-style sniper rifle, TrackingPoint, allows someone who has never fired a gun before to hit a target the size of a soup can from 1,000 yards away—that’s 10 football fields or over half a mile. Until this weapon, only a few, elite, military-trained snipers could achieve this skill level.

 

Ads promise civilians “mission dominance, force multiplication, and remarkable battle overmatch in the war on radical Islamic terrorism.” They also show how the sniper weapon turns a 12-year-old girl “into a sniper.”

 

 

When we called for the ban, the TrackingPoint application was amazingly distributed by the tech giants Apple or Google. The CEOs of the firms did not respond to our letters about the dangers to public safety they were enabling by selling such ghoulish aps for TrackingPoint’s rifles.

 

While we did not hear from either tech giant, Anson Gordon, a spokesman for the TrackingPoint sniper weapon, called our action “a direct attack on our guns and our freedom,” adding “If we start banning technology like this, what’s next? What scope is next? What firearm is next? We have to stand together to prevent this kind of erosion of our constitutional rights.”

 

The pro-gun press got on the bandwagon defending the extreme sniper weapon with no defensive or sporting use with cries of “victimhood” and the “slippery slope.”

 

“And Then They Came For The Bolt-Actions,” bewailed one blog!

 

“Your Hunting Rifle Is Next,” wailed a similar blog.

 

The Vegas massacre is only the latest example of a nation terrorized by snipers. In 2014, when sniper Eric Frein was at large in the Pennsylvania woods, schools were closed and parents were terrified about their children’s safety. Frein was sentenced to death for the 2014 Pennsylvania State Police barracks attack in which he shot and killed one State Trooper and seriously injured another.

 

In October, 2002 snipers John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo kept the Washington region paralyzed for three weeks as they killed people who were pumping gas, shopping, walking to school, mowing lawns and going to restaurants. During the the Beltway sniper attacks, ten people were killed and three others critically injured in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

 

The Vegas incident has opened a new chapter in gun violence and law enforcement. Outdoor events are especially in jeopardy. Why is the TrackingPoint sniper rifle with which criminals can easily target a Supreme Court Justice, politician or school bus driver from a half mile away, legal?

 

Are Groups Of White Armed Vigilantes Militias Or Racist Gangs?

 

 

by Elliot Fineman
CEO – Founder
National Gun Victims Action Council

 September 10, 2017

The hate groups that converged on Charlottesville last month––neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan, white nationalists––were so well armed, they looked like an  invading army wrote the New York Times. “They had better equipment than our State Police had,” said Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe.

 

These armed vigilantes invariably say they are militias exercising their Second Amendment rights not lawless, hateful gangs intimidating minorities. Yet, while they claim they do not intimidate minorities, the only place they ever seem to appear is in minority neighborhoods.

 

They impersonate police or military when in fact they are self-directed lawbreakers who feel justified in shooting anyone they––in their own minds––deem a “threat.” They want to serve as judge, jury and executioner.

 

Similar vigilante gangs were seen in Ferguson, Missouri in 2015 after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown by a white police officer in 2014. Members of the right-wing group Oath Keepers who say they serve “military, police, and citizens who pledge to fulfill the oath to defend the Constitution” (while they violate it) roamed the mostly black community with assault weapons.

 

If armed right-wing groups are “militias” to whom do they report? Who gives them orders and discipline? Who inspects and directs them? The Second Amendment clearly specifies a “well-regulated” militia which these self-regulated groups are not.

 

These unofficial armed groups are racist gangs symbolically trying to bring back the days of slavery when official state militias prevented slave uprisings. In fact, the only reason we have the Second Amendment was to enable the horror of slavery to continue.

 

Slavery was the heart of the economic life of the slave states—without forced labor their economies could not survive. The state militias were used to control slaves and to suppress rebellion. They employed brutal methods of terror such as murder and arson––methods which later would be adopted by the Ku Klux Klan. State militias were required because the slave population was such a large proportion of the total state population.

 

For example, as per the 1790 census, in Virginia slaves were 39 percent of the total population, in South Carolina 43 percent and in Maryland 32 percent.

 

Committing to include the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights removed the threat of Congress using its constitutionally granted power to disarm the state militias. This was the price that had to be paid for ratification.

 

Patrick Henry, who opposed the Constitution, reminded the delegates at the Constitutional Convention in Richmond in 1788 that “The militia were the last and best defense against slave insurrection.” 

 

Today’s white armed vigilante gangs are not patriots defending the Constitution or aiding law enforcement officers. They echo the horror of the slave state militias and eagerly carry on this racist tradition.

 

 


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www.gunvictimsaction.org

 

 

Is There a Gun Violence Tipping Point? No––History Shows It’s a “Tripping Point”

by Elliot Fineman

NGVAC CEO

 

July 23, 2017

 

After every horrific mass shooting, Gun Violence Prevention Groups (GVPGs) and the general public express hopes that we have finally reached a “tipping point.” A point where gun violence has became so epidemic––so prevalent, so deadly, so over-the-top––that lawmakers will have to act. Certainly many thought after the shooting of Arizona Representative Gabby Giffords in 2011, lawmakers would act since one of their own was shot.

 

 

 

Giffords and 18 others were shot and six died during a constituent meeting at a Tucson supermarket parking lot by a legal gun owner, who was conceal and carrying because of Arizona laws. A month before the massacre, he passed a background check which allowed him to buy the 9-mm Glock 19 semiautomatic handgun used in the shootings. Being suspended by Pima Community College for mental illness and denied admission into the Army did not prevent him passing his background check.

 

The public, already shaken by the violent attack on lawmakers, was then sent reeling the next year––first by the Sandy Hook massacre and then the Aurora movie theater massacre. Neither were the “tipping points” the public expected and wanted.

 

On the contrary, history shows that what is expected to be a tipping point is actually a tripping point. Mass shootings make federal lawmakers more hostile to gun safety laws.

 

Consider this: 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 19 states voting against UBCs. And after the 2016 Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting–the deadliest shooting in U.S. history? The number jumped to both Senators in 23 states voted against UBCs––a 35 percent increase since Sandy Hook.

 

Even after the shooting at the Congressional Baseball Game for Charity a tipping point was not reached. Just the opposite occurred. The Congressional response was to pursue loosening the gun laws––allowing more people to carry in more places for self-defense. Despite the anecdotal claims and bellowing of the gun lobby and gun extremists, it has been proven over and over by rigorous studies that carrying a gun does not provide self-defense. If it did, no police officers would ever get killed. The element of surprise always defeats the gun carrier.

 

 

There are two things common to every mass shooting. First, the killer is almost always a legal gun owner who passed their background check despite clear signs of violent behavior or mental illness. And second, despite the horrific violence and the overwhelming desire of the public for gun safety laws, it is a certainty that the Congressional response will be to loosen gun laws. In gun “Wonderland” the tipping point always becomes a tripping point.

 

Arrested For Drugs, Harassment, Robbery, Sexual Assault and Worse But Allowed to Keep a Gun? Yes and He Killed With It Last Week

The triple murder in Gardendale, Alabama last week for which authorities blame Kenneth Lever barely made the news. Gun owners who get mad and kill their wives and other family members happen too frequently to rate headlines anymore.

 

But the case of Kenneth Dion Lever is grislier than most. In addition to charges of deviant sexual intercourse with a child, aggravated indecent sexual assault of a child, indecent assault of a person less than 13 years of age, corruption of minors and dissemination of explicit sexual material of a minor, the gunman also had a rap sheet that included arrests for drug possession, robbery and assault reports New York Daily News. Dana Lever, the gunman’s ex-wife had filed for an order of protection just months ago in December 2016.

 

Despite the order of protection police say Lever was laying in wait and ambushed his ex-wife, her sister Bonnie Reeves Foshee and her sister’s husband Don Austin Foshee, shooting them all fatally. Despite his charges and even time in jail, Lever still had his gun.

 

“It was obvious it was a well-thought-out plan,” said Gardendale police Lt. Bryan Lynch. “He came for that reason. We don’t know if he was targeting all three, or if that’s just how it happened.”

 

Why did Lever still have his gun? According to the York Daily Record/Sunday News, “In Alabama, if a judge finds that there was enough evidence of abuse for a permanent PFA [protection from abuse petition], a defendant can’t be in possession of a firearm.” But, under a temporary PFA order it is “not a requirement” for someone to give up his weapon and Lever was under a temporary order.

 

The lenient laws that favor domestic abusers over their families are common in the U.S. thanks to the gun lobby. Why should someone be denied his right to a gun for a “mere” misdemeanor of domestic violence Justice Clarence Thomas famously asked last year. The gun lobby works passionately under the radar for the “gun rights” of convicted felons, people charged with domestic abuse and people who have been hospitalized for mental illness. It also passionately believes people on the Terror Watch and No-Fly lists should be able to buy and own guns. We wish we were making this up.

 

 

We lay the three deaths of innocent people in Alabama last week by a perpetrator clearly intent of such violence at the feet of the gun lobby. The gun lobby places “gun rights” over the lives of innocent Americans and blatantly helps the criminals it says it is against.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shoot the Left Wing Demonstrators Says the NRA…But Buy Our Insurance First

 

July 1, 2017

 

By now, most people have seen the creepy, menacing NRA ad by TV and talk radio host Dana Loesch. Over footage of street rioting, she intones:

 

“They use their media to assassinate real news. They use their schools to teach children that their president is another Hitler…[they] smash windows, burn cars, shut down interstates and airports, bully and terrorize the law-abiding — until the only option left is for the police to do their jobs and stop the madness…The only way we stop this, the only way we save our country and our freedom, is to fight this violence of lies with the clenched fist of truth. I’m the National Rifle Association of America, and I’m freedom’s safest place.”

 

No wonder, Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn. tweeted “I think the @NRA is telling people to shoot us.”

 

This is not the first time the NRA has used images of rioting minorities and left wingers to grow members.

 

Ten years ago, an NRA brochure called “Freedom in Peril,” (pictured) leaked to the press, shows an Aryan nation under siege by “illegal alien gangs” and darker peoples and homeowners defending themselves by shooting from their rooftops.

 

The 27 page brochure attacked Hillary Clinton, Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein, Charles Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, Michael Bloomberg, Katie Couric, Michael Moore, George Soros, Rosie O’Donnell and even the United Nations. (“The U.N. represents the world’s wealthiest and most organized enemy of the very freedoms our nation offers to all. They’ve already been successful in orchestrating gun bans in once-free countries like England, Australia, Canada and South Africa.”)

 

PLAYING BOTH SIDES OF THE STREET

 

At NGVAC we have pointed out for five years how the NRA plays both sides of the street—fighting laws to keep “bad guys” from getting guns and then yelling to the rooftop set “the bad guys have guns” to sell more guns.

 

Dana Loesch’s ad is another example of playing both side of the street. Before you shoot those demonstrators says Loesch in a simultaneous ad for Carry GuardTM, buy NRA insurance.

 

“The truth is, right behind your firearm, your second most important self-defense protection is a rock-solid carry policy,” Loesch says. “Today’s America is the most lawsuit-happy culture in the history of the world. And gun owners face the extra threat of widespread bias and misunderstanding. In this environment, if you are going to carry a firearm in self-defense, you have no choice but to find the strongest, most comprehensive coverage from the most trusted name you can find.”

 

After you shoot these demonstrators, the NRA’s Carry GuardTM will provide you “immediate access as needed to supplementary payments for bail, bonds, legal retainer fees, firearm replacement, compensation while in court, psychological support and cleanup costs,” says Loesch.

 

Yes, the same “clenched fist of truth” that is “freedom’s safest place” will also sell you insurance.

IF ONLY THEY WERE ARMED

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

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

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

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.

 

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www.gunvictimsaction.org


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