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Archive for October, 2015

The L.A. Times reports that when President Obama returns to his hometown of Chicago on Tuesday to address the annual International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Conference, that he will use the platform to push for gun control:

Obama will talk about the need for tougher gun laws with police chiefs gathered in Chicago on Tuesday, aides say, as part of a broader conversation about violence and how police can work more effectively with their communities to combat it.

He’s traveling to Chicago simply because that’s the site of the annual gathering of the International Assn. of Chiefs of Police, but advisors say he’s well aware of the symbolism in returning to his hometown amid this debate.

Obama will have a receptive ear as many big city chiefs are in favor of gun control and the IACP has in the past endorsed such policies as banning modern sporting rifles.  Obama’s remarks come however at a time when multiple polls of the public show Americans oppose stricter gun laws or that addressing mental health issues are more important.

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Jazz Shaw has a great post over on Hot Air that really picks apart those numbers that the main stream media used to take President Obama up on his challenge to compare the number of Americans killed by terrorism and those killed by people who used a gun.

GunDeaths1

He chose to focus on 2011, probably because some government numbers lag behind others and that was the year for which he could get the most complete stats:

First of all, look at the number of gun deaths on that chart from 2011. It’s 32,351. That’s a lot of gun deaths to be sure. So that’s the total number of murders by gun owners, right? The answer is not only Hell No, but it’s not even remotely close. It’s true that this figure is close to the total number of human lives ended in incidents involving a gun, but that’s all incidents. So how did those deaths happen?

Straight from the CDC where most of the media is drawing their numbers (while not as good of a source as the FBI or the Justice Department) we can find out that of those 32,352 gun deaths, 21,175 of them were suicides. That leaves us with 11,177 deaths to account for. But as it turns out, the FBI records that 8,583 deaths were murders of various sorts involving guns of all types. The remaining roughly 2,500 were accounted for by accidents and unintentional injuries. These include hunting accidents, toddlers getting hold of unsecured weapons and shooting somebody or just plain idiots who proved Darwin right.

Then he delved into the type of firearms used in those murders:

GunDeaths2

After almost every mass shooting, one of the top three proposals from the gun ban lobby is we have to ban so-called “assault weapons.”  That’s just one more “check off the list” proposal because when we look at the actual 8,583 gun murders committed in 2011, only 323 were committed with rifles. That’s not just “assault” rifles,  that’s all rifles, including bolt action, hunting rifles and all the rest. Shaw notes that the number committed with so called “assault” rifles were a fraction of the total.  Compare that with the almost “1,700 who were stabbed as well as nearly 500 murdered with blunt objects and and more than 700 beaten to death by somebody with their bare hands.”  I guess the advocates for victims killed with hammers and fists will soon be calling for a ban of those too.

Then there are the calls for so-called “universal background checks.  Shaw addresses that:

So we’re down to 8,583 intentional killings using guns. That’s still one heck of a lot of bodies, and surely enough to justify new background checks and other restrictions on legal gun purchases, right? Again… not even close. The Justice Department has been studying the question of legal vs. illegal sources of guns used in crimes for decades, going back to this study issued in the early nineties. They admit that the numbers are simply too hard to track for us to pin down exact figures, but the trends are steady over the years. The vast majority of guns used in crimes were gotten through illegal means outside the legal purchase regimen followed by law abiding gun owners. Roughly one quarter of inmates convicted of gun crimes admitted to having stolen a gun in that study. For the ones that weren’t stolen directly, another 2004 study showed that 40% of convicts bought their guns on the black market and another 37% got them through the “gray market” in various illegal methods.

In fact, one study after another has shown that legally purchased weapons which followed all the normal firearms transfer rules accounted for somewhere between six and eight percent of all murders. And the majority of those were domestic violence incidents, violence between family members, crimes of passion and, yes… murders committed by the insane. But let’s give the gun grabbers the benefit of the doubt, round it up and say that ten percent were committed with legally purchases guns. That works out to around 850.

We can agree that 850 is still too many people, but it’s nowhere near the 32,000 per year that the gun ban lobby typically talk about.

The vast majority of people who die by firearms do so at their own hand, suicide.  As Shaw and others have noted, that’s not a gun control issue.  Accidental (or negligent as I prefer to call them) deaths are also a small part of the total but those numbers have been going down steadily over the years and the NRA and the National Shooting Sports Foundation have done a good job helping to make that happen.

So, the next time someone pushing gun control tries to trot out that over 30,000 people a year die because of “gun violence” you now have the facts to effectively refute them.

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News reports are already surfacing talking about an increase in gun and ammo sales in the wake of the Oregon Community College shooting.

In Huntington, guns shop owner John Ray Rice said every time the conversation pops up, guns sales go up in suit.
“It’s just common human nature; I need to protect myself and my family,” Rice said.
Much of the common sense legislation proposed in Congress involves stricter background checks, a ban on assault style weaponry and capping magazine size, making it harder for gunmen to kill in large crowds.
“I don’t think that’s common sense,” Rice said.

Look for the monthly NICS reports to show an increase in background checks when the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) shares the information on October sales next month.

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Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe will not be running for reelection this November, but his hopes are high for his legislative agenda. According to WTOP, McAuliffe has made it a priority for Democrats to become the majority in the Senate, allowing him to pursue his gun control proposals. I had the chance earlier this week to talk about the WTOP article and this year’s election with NRANews’ Cam and Company host Cam Edwards, where I noted Democrats need only two more seats in the Senate for a clear majority, and only one with Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam as the tie-breaking vote. Six races are considered to be competitive this year. Because it is the state association affiliate of the NRA, VSSA is urging Virginia gun owners to visit the NRA-PVF website, and cast their votes for candidates that support the Second Amendment.

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