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Posts Tagged ‘universal background checks’

Yesterday, the Democratic-led House of Representatives Judiciary Committee voted along party lines to approve three measures: a so-called red-flag bill, a ban on standard-capacity ammunition magazines (often miscalled “high-capacity”) for consideration by the full House and legislation to prohibit people convicted of violent hate crime misdemeanors from possessing firearms.  It’s all part of a coordinated strategy between House and Senate Democrats to put pressure on Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell to allow a vote on gun control bills including so-called “universal” background check legislation that passed the House earlier this year.

Meanwhile, President Trump is being pressured to signal his support for “expanded” background checks (whatever that means) and so-called red flag laws.  Bearingarms.com editor Cam Edwards asks the question today whether President Trump will cave or “dance with the ones that brought him to the White House?”

H/T Cam Edwards

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One of the strongest voices pushing back against the Democrats and the gun banners since this weekend’s shootings has been radio talk show host Mark Levin. I recommend you go back and listen to the entire podcast of Monday’s show and at least the first hour of last night’s program.  He started out last night with this:

The pressure is on to destroy the Second Amendment. If you believe President Trump is the reason that this mass shooting took place then why do you need to take away our weapons? All the Democrats need to do is defeat Trump, right? So why go after the Second Amendment? Because it’s a lie! Two domestic terrorists with socialist, racist and progressive views commit atrocious acts of terror and they continue to blame Trump. Despite one shooter’s support for Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, they still blame Trump. The Democrats and the media endlessly lobby for more gun control without ever casting blame on themselves. Then, Joe Biden, Beto O’Rourke and others say they’re open to taking tyrannical measures to make the United States more like Australia (a gunless society). Every major communist and fascist in history gained control by eliminating everything we protect in our First and Second Amendments; speech, press, faith, and the right to keep and carry guns. Afterward, despite Trump’s multiple disavowal’s of white supremacy, Sen. Cory Booker and sympathizers in the media continue to malign Trump falsely accusing him of racism. It’s difficult to see if they even care about this shooting at all, or just relish in attacking Trump and the Second Amendment.

Gun owners are under attack on multiple fronts.  Republicans are caving under withering pressure.  Now is the time to call your congressmen and senators, even if they support gun control because they need to know your views.  Even if they don’t support our rights, they do keep track of he number of calls they get on an issue.

 

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Marsha Mercer has this op/ed in the Lynchburg News and Advance (it appeared in other newspapers as well) that discusses gun laws and the 2020 Presidential Race.  It regurgitates the questionable claim that 90 percent of the public supports so-called “universal” background checks (no ballot initiative trying to enact these have ever gotten more than 60% support and one in Maine actually failed to pass and got less than 50%).  She closes out the opinion piece with this:

No one wants more mass shootings. The 2020 campaigns and election offer us the chance to show we care enough to try to stop them.

Legal gun owners are not the problem and the restrictions mentioned would only apply to legal gun owners so exactly how would passing more gun control actually stop mass shootings?

 

 

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President Obama and the gun ban lobby would have us believe that their proposal for so-called “universal” background checks and bans on standard capacity ammunition magazines are just commonsense.  It’s what they don’t tell us that should have us worried.  For instance, Independence Institute Director of Research Dave Kopel has recently written about the unintended (or likely intended) consequences of “expanded” background checks as laid out by Everytown for Gun Safety.  Now NRANews commentator Dana Loesh goes a step further in identifying what the gun ban lobby really wants.

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Dave Kopel has a great piece over on the Washington Post’s Volokh Conspiracy blog that details just what so-called “universal” background checks mean for safety training and self-defense.  Make no mistake, the gun ban lobby’s version of background checks is not what most people think of when the term is used:

The Bloomberg system applies to every firearms “transfer.” In normal firearms law, a “transfer” means “a permanent exchange of title or possession and does not include gratuitous temporary exchanges or loans.” Chow v. State. 393 Md. 431, 473, 903 A.2d 388, 413 (2006).

However, the Bloomberg laws create a very different definition. For example, the Washington state law says that “ ‘Transfer’ means the intended delivery of a firearm to another person without consideration of payment or promise of payment including, but not limited to, gifts and loans.” Rev. Code Wash. § 9.41.010(25). In other words, it applies to sharing a gun while target shooting on one’s own property, or to lending a gun to a neighbor for a weekend hunting trip.

Under the Bloomberg system, transfers may take place only at a gun store. The transfer must be conducted exactly as if the retailer were selling a firearm out of her inventory. So the transferee (the neighbor borrowing the hunting gun) must fill out ATF Form 4473; the retailer must contact the FBI or its state counterpart for a background check on the transferee; and then, the retailer must take custody of the gun and record the acquisition in her Acquisition and Disposition book. Finally, the retailer hands the gun to the transferee and records the disposition in her Acquisition and Disposition book. A few days later, after the hunting trip is over, the process must be repeated for the neighbor to return the gun to the owner; this time, the owner will be the “transferee,” who will fill out Form 4473 and undergo the background check.

Kopel goes on to explain why this is bad for self-defense and safety training.  Read the entire article and file it for use when explaining why we oppose this move by the gun ban lobby.

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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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With several races yet to be determined, we do know that Republicans have gained a majority in the U.S. Senate.  With this change, pro-rights forces have also strengthened their hand in the chamber.  Here in Virginia, it appears that NRA “C” rated Senator Mark Warner has survived a scare from Republican Ed Gillespie with Warner clinging to a lead of just under 13,000 votes, although Warner has yet to claim victory and Gillespie has yet to concede.  It is possible that neither will happen until the state canvass votes is complete.  One note on the Gillespie race, if all of the people who cast a vote for 7th District GOP candidate Dave Brat and 10th District GOP candidate Barbara Comstock had also cast their ballots for Ed Gillespie, he would be celebrating victory.  For instance, in Chesterfield County, Gillespie underperformed the two GOP House Candidates also on the ballot (Chesterfield is split between the 4th and 7th Congressional Districts) by almost 5500 votes – almost half of his overall margin of loss.  How people could vote for Dave Brat and then cast a vote for Mark Warner, someone who has supported Barack Obama 97% of the time, is beyond me.

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Even though he is likely to win, Warner has to be smarting this morning.  Dan Palazzolo, a professor of political science at the University of Richmond, told the Richmond Times Dispatch:

“Voter turnout matters greatly. Too many Democrats stayed home, which is as much a reflection on Warner than Obama. He has lost 15 percent of his vote share from 2008.”

Over all, it was a good night for gun owners but there were some While candidates supporting firearm freedom won across the nation, gun owners in Washington State suffered a loss with the passage of Initiative 594 (I-594).  That is the initiative that supporters said would require background checks before you sell your privately owned firearm to another private individual, but in reality does much more. I-594 was approved with about 60% of the vote and the competing initiative I-591, which would not allow any background checks that exceeds what federal law was losing with about 55% of the vote against.  The gun ban lobby is already gathering signatures for a similar initiative in Nevada, and future campaigns are being planned for Arizona and Maine.  Look for them to push even harder for such a law in Virginia from the General Assembly.  Virginia is not an initiative state and their only avenue is to get the General Assembly to pass a law.

So, this election is behind us (with one runoff to be held in Louisiana) and we now look forward to the General Assembly elections in Virginia in 2015 where all 100 seats of the House of Delegates and 40 seats in the State Senate are up.  We have a very slim pro-rights margin in the State Senate and we need to protect and hopefully build in that next year.  Gun owners and take a break and enjoy the holidays, but then it’s time to get back to work in 2015.

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