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

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”?

 

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

 

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

 

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”

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

 

 

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.

 

Too Mentally Disabled To Manage Your Affairs? Enjoy Your Guns Says Congress

More than 17 million people 65 and older own a firearm in the U.S. and many suffer from memory, thinking and judgment problems and Alzheimer’s disease say public health researchers. Hallucinations and “aggressiveness combined with a highly intimidating and lethal weapon like a firearm creates a particularly dangerous situation for the person with Alzheimer’s and his caretakers,” say researchers, even imperiling whole neighborhoods.

 

Now Congress has voted that Social Security recipients so impaired that they need help managing their own personal finances cannot be kept from buying guns– overturning one of Obama’s last executive orders. The order sought to address the many missing mental health records in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS)—estimated to be 19 out of 20. Federal law prohibits people suffering from a mental health issue from buying guns but, and it is a big but, states are not mandated to supply mental health records to federal authorities—sending them is voluntary.

 

 

Grasping at Straws

 

Many have observed with a pro-gun Congress, White House and Supreme Court, the gun lobby is running out of clarion calls to raise money and members and grasping at straws. Does anyone really believe the lack of “reciprocity” laws, guns in schools or too many silencer laws is the first step toward “confiscation”? Really?

 

Still, during the summer of 2015 with massacres at a Charleston church, Lafayette movie theater, Chattanooga recruitment stations and at a live news broadcast in Roanoke, the lead story on the NRA’s facebook was not the bloodshed (all by legal gun owners) but what it called the “largest gun grab in American history.”

 

The “Obama social security system plans to deny 4.2 million people the Right to Keep and Bear Arms,” screamed the NRA, capitalizing the phrase to Make It More Important. Denying people who cannot manage their own affairs and have dementia, schizophrenia, psychotic disorders and other problems guns is persecution screamed the NRA.

 

 

People with dementia, cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s should have guns for the same reason people who have been hospitalized for mental illness, convicted felons, domestic abuse suspects and people on the No Fly and Terror Watch Lists should have guns: the NRA does 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,” says NRA lobbyist Marion P. Hammer. “Don’t like?” How about “don’t trust with lethal weapons?”

 

Most mass shooters are known by their families and in their communities as mentally unbalanced yet they buy their guns legally, a list that includes the Orlando, Dallas, Baton Rouge, Tucson, Aurora, Fort Hood, Navy Yard, Santa Barbara, Charleston, Planned Parenthood, Chattanooga, Kalamazoo, Roanoke, Umpqua, and Lafayette murderers. The Fort Lauderdale airport murder suspect walked into an FBI field office and admitted hearing voices yet Alaska cops returned his gun to him. He had “gun rights” says the gun lobby and now…Congress.

 

 

President Trump—To Keep Us Safe Shouldn’t We Ban Terror Suspects On the No-Fly List From Legally Buying Guns in the U.S.?

by Elliot Fineman

CEO

National Gun Victims Action Council

 

 

February 1, 2017

 

President Trump, on June 15, four days after the biggest mass shooting in U.S. history in Orlando you tweeted, “I will be meeting with the NRA, who has endorsed me, about not allowing people on the terrorist watch list, or the no-fly list, to buy guns.” You were absolutely right. The “terrorist loophole” as the legality of terror suspects buying guns has been termed is a huge and constant threat to all Americans.

 

 

During your September 26 debate, five weeks after the massacre, you told Hillary Clinton “I agree with you,” and that “I think we have to look very strongly at no-fly lists and watch lists.” Again you were right. The “No Fly List,” maintained by the United States federal government’s Terrorist Screening Center (TSC) contains the names of an estimated 109,000 people. All these people cannot buy a plane ticket—they are considered too dangerous and too much of a threat—but they can legally buy any guns they want including assault weapons.

 

The “No Fly List” is a smaller version of the “Terror Watch List” estimated to include as many as 800,000 names. According to the Government Accountability Office, people on the Terrorist Watch List pass their background checks 91 percent of the time!

 

Blocking potential terrorists from entering this country as your immigration ban is designed to do does not protect us from suspected terrorist who are already in the country and can legally buy all the guns they want.

 

Despite the Orlando bloodshed, legislation to close the “terror loophole” failed in Congress and the nation still remains at great risk. It is a positive sign that a bill blocking anyone on federal terrorism watch lists from buying guns in Wyoming was introduced this week. “We need to do something about people who are going to attack us getting weapons to do it,” said co-sponsor Sen. James Anderson, R-Casper.

 

President Trump, to protect us from terrorist assaults please issue an an executive order closing the “terrorist loophole” today. You are the only one who can keep us safe.

 

 

Even About Silencers, the NRA Silences its Own Ranks

 

Pity the poor NRA. With a solidly pro-gun Congress, White House and Supreme Court it can no longer scream the “government is going to take your guns” to raise money. In scrambling for ways gun owners are still oppressed it can’t come up with much more than “there are too many restriction around silencers.”

 

Not all its ranks agree. Responding to a graphic on the NRA Facebook page displaying how few crimes are committed with silencers, one supporter posted, “Those are silly stats. I try to support the NRA but really?…Alternately, it is reasonable to suggest that I should be allowed to purchase a RPG [Rocket-propelled grenade]. No crime in the USA has ever been committed with one. Therefore, they are safe to own.” Two other posters dared to agree.

 

But when another poster wrote “If all citizens could own what the military owned every major city in this country would make Iraq/Afghanistan look like a playground fight. You have to understand that not everyone is a law abiding gun owning citizen like you or me. We live in different times than the 1800s,” the bloodletting began

 

“Are you a Bloomberg employee in Hong Kong?” someone quickly retorted because the poster had an Asian last name. Others piled on.

 

Many have observed the gun lobby’s bully tactics against politicians and citizens who resist its agenda. But what it does to its own ranks is no better.

 

Remember what happened to outdoors personality and big game hunter Jim Zumbo when he wrote “Maybe I’m a traditionalist, but I see no place for these weapons [black rifles] among our hunting fraternity. I’ll go so far as to call them ‘terrorist’ rifles. We don’t need to be lumped into the group of people who terrorize the world with them,” in a 2007 blog?

 

Zumbo was termed a “turncoat” and stripped of his Outdoors Network TV show and position with Outdoor Life magazine. His TV show was restored only after he visited the ranch of NRA board member Ted Nugent to learn the beauty of so-called “black rifles” for hunting animals.

 

Zumbo even issued an unctuous recantation. “I’ll do all I can to educate others who are, or were, as ignorant as I was about ‘black’ rifles and the controversy that surrounds them,” he vowed. “My promise to you is that I’ll learn all I can about these firearms, and by the time this week is out, I’ll order one.”

 

 

In 2013, Guns & Ammo contributing editor, Dick Metcalf and magazine editor, Jim Bequette were fired over a column that contained a simple plea for mandatory gun-owner training. Gun lobby shock troops piled on. Making sure someone carrying a lethal weapon knows how to handle and shoot it is an infringement of the Second Amendment they hissed.

 

In an obsequious apology a month later, Bequette wrote that he thought the training column “would generate a healthy exchange of ideas on gun rights” but was wrong. “I owe each and every reader a personal apology” he said. “Our commitment to the Second Amendment is unwavering.”

 

Savaging dissenters might have worked for the gun lobby when the government was “going to take your guns,” but will it fly now? Does any sane person believe silencer restrictions are the first step to “confiscation”?

Gun Lobby Thankful No One Remembers These Airport Shootings Before Fort Lauderdale

The Fort Lauderdale airport mass shooting in which five died and eight were injured has already been forgotten—except by the victims’ families.

 

Nor does anyone seem to remember that less than two months before it a gunman shot and killed the father of an NFL player at Oklahoma City’s Will Rogers World Airport. The man who was killed, Southwest Airlines employee Michael Winchester, father of Kansas City Chiefs long snapper James Winchester, was victim of “workplace violence” said police. Lloyd Dean Buie, a former Southwest Airlines employee apparently seeking revenge, was charged in the murder. Like the Fort Lauderdale airport shooter, Buie was a legal gun owner.

 

The gun lobby appreciates the public’s short memory in which mass shootings “just happen” like tornadoes or ice storms—and are quickly forgotten. Nothing to see here, says the gun lobby. No laws needed to keep innocent people from being shot in the airport and other public places. By the time the next airline passenger checks his firearm through and loads it on arrival like confessed airport murderer Esteban Santiago, the public will have forgotten Fort Lauderdale.

 

Three years ago there was another Fort Lauderdale-like airport shooting. On November 1, 2013, in Terminal 3 of the Los Angeles International Airport Paul Anthony Ciancia opened fire with a rifle, killing a U.S. government Transportation Security Administration officer and injuring several other people. Ciancia carried a note saying he wanted to kill TSA officers and asked people if they were with TSF before shooting.

 

Like the Fort Lauderdale shooting, passengers fled in a frenzy, hiding in the concourse area and running for street exits. Ciancia was carrying a semiautomatic .223-caliber Smith & Wesson M&P-15 rifle, five 30-round magazines and hundreds of additional rounds of ammunition contained in boxes, said news reports. Due to the weaponry, police could not let paramedics enter the crime area and as a result TSA Officer Gerardo I. Hernandez, age 39, bled to death. Seven Ciancia victims were later treated at the scene.

 

Like Santiago, Ciancia was a legal gun owner whom a comprehensive background check would have detected as mentally unbalanced. Yet 85 percent of U.S. mass shooters and a shocking number of non-mass shooters pass their background checks—including Dylann Roof who murdered nine church worshippers. Ciancia’s rampage also could have been stopped by a gun order of protection—those around him said they knew he was intent on gun violence—or a registry of owners to detect who has become unstable since a gun purchase. The gun lobby fights both provisions and shockingly lobbies for greater gun rights for the mentally ill.

 

After a massacre like Fort Lauderdale, even gun friendly politicians realize that little-to-no gun safety laws are the reason for the bloodshed and deaths. Florida Gov. Rick Scott, in whose state the worst gun massacre in U.S. history happened, now expresses support for keeping guns away from people with mental illness. But as long as the public forgets a mass shooting a week ago, the massacres will continue you. The gun lobby thanks you.

 


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