Tag Archive for: GunGrabbers

Biden Pressuring Dem Governors for More Gun Control

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Biden-Harris administration is sympathetic Democratic governors to pass more gun control legislation with the apparent belief that if more states pass restrictive anti-gun bills, it will be easier for the administration to push for similar legislation at the federal level.

The White House has already contacted governors in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Rhode Island, Connecticut, California and Delaware. The bills they have come up with are similar in concept and some even use similar language. The legislation usually includes 21+ age restrictions for firearm purchasers, Red Flag bills as well as “assault weapon” and standard-capacity magazine bans.

Nowhere have gun owners been hit harder than in Biden’s home state of Delaware, where a bill that would prohibit magazines capable of holding more than 17 rounds and a bill that would outlaw most semi-auto rifles are awaiting Gov. John Carney’s signature, after flying through the Democrat-controlled General Assembly.

“Every center-fire rifle that’s magazine fed will be banned,” said John Sigler, who is past president of the Delaware State Sportsmen’s Association, past president of the National Rifle Association, and a current NRA Board member.

Delaware is a small state. Sigler has known Biden for decades.

“All of this is being driven by the White House,” Sigler said. “Joe has been a gun banner forever – back to when he was running the Senate Judiciary Committee. My first dealings with him involved ‘Saturday Night Specials’ and ‘Cop Killer’ bullets. This is exactly what those of us here in Delaware feared when he announced he was running for president.”

HB 450 will become law the moment Gov. Carney signs it, which he is expected to do. It will ban 63 firearms by name, as well as any semi-auto rifle with a detachable magazine, any shotgun with a telescoping or folding stock or a revolving cylinder, any pistol with a detachable magazine outside the grip or a threaded barrel, and all pistols and rifles with fixed magazines capable of hold more than 17 rounds.

HB 450 states that gun owners cannot sell, offer for sale, transfer, purchase, receive or possess one of the banned firearms after the effective date – except you can keep what you had on or before the effective date. By prohibiting sales, the bill takes away the firearm’s value.

SS 1 for SB 6 bans magazines capable of holding more than 17 rounds. It, too, awaits Gov. Carney’s signature, which he has promised to do.

There is no grandfather clause in this bill. Anyone who owns a magazine capable of holding more than 17 rounds must surrender it to police for a “buy back” or risk misdemeanor charges for the first offense and felony charges the second time they’re caught with a 17+ magazine.

At first, the bill said the state would pay the owner $10 per magazine, but they only allocated $45,000 for the “buy back.” Now, the bill has been amended to offer the owner “current market value” for their property, which the legislature did not define. It has still only allocated $45,000 taxpayer dollars.

Delaware Sportsmen will sue

The Delaware State Sportsmen’s Association has no choice but to sue once the bills are signed into law, Sigler said. It will be a costly endeavor.

“Our membership is stepping up to the plate, and people we’ve never heard of are contributing,” Sigler said. “We are preparing right now and we will see what transpires, but we will litigate. We promised to sue and we are going to carry out our promise.

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This article was published by the Second Amendment Foundation and is reproduced with permission.

 

This Is The Wrong Time To Compromise With Democrats On Gun Rights Or Anything Else

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

It’s a mistake to view today’s Democrats as fellow Americans who share the same values and goals but have different ideas of how to get there.

 

This past week, a group of ten Republican senators, led by Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, met with the ten Democrat senators, led by Sen. Chris Murphy, in a bipartisan committee to write new federal gun control legislation. According to The Independent, “the legislation will include an expansion of background checks for people under age 21 to include a search of juvenile justice registries, as well as a federal grant program that will encourage states to pass red flag laws, which allow family members or law enforcement to petition courts to temporarily restrict certain persons from owning firearms.”

While Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is hailing this as a great example of compromise and placating the “do something!” crowd, this is rather a shameless concession that will make Americans less safe, less free, and less represented while emboldening today’s toxic Democrats to wreck the country even further.

Except that these two incidents have almost nothing to do with guns or psychopaths, and everything to do with the profound dysfunction of American law enforcement. There were plenty of “red flags” with both shooters that warranted earlier intervention and immediate action, but nothing happened.

In Buffalo, there were already red flag laws, and no one bothered to enforce them. And in the Uvalde shooting, police officers actively impeded any kind of intervention while the shooter was shooting people, mostly children, for at least an hour.

So this new legislation would only empower and enrich incompetent police officers and punish and disable law-abiding Americans. Instead of deterring these monsters with armed civilians, the government will deter those civilians from becoming armed in the first place. Added to this is the costly and politicized bureaucracy to enforce these regulations on people who have done nothing wrong.

Like the right to free speech, the right to due process, or the right to be treated equally, the Second Amendment empowers individuals against all forms of tyranny, whether that be from the state, the corporate elite, the mob, criminal organizations, or any other oppressor. Take it away, and Americans have one less tool to protect their freedom, their property, and their lives.

For people who don’t own firearms, this may be too abstract. Therefore, as a good analogy, they can consider restrictions on their right to own and drive a car (which, by the way, kills thousands more Americans each year than firearms). At that moment, all people would be forced to depend on the government’s approval to drive a car of the government’s own choosing or rely on government-run mass transit.

Perhaps some may be fine with this, living in an urban area where they have a semi-functional bus and subway system and few places to go unless they are rich, leftist, and own a fleet of Teslas. However, the great majority of people would resent being restricted in this way, and object that their right to automobility (which isn’t an amendment but probably should be) was being infringed.

As it is with driving a car of one’s choice, so it is with protecting oneself with a gun of one’s choice. So many social reforms may fall under the heading of “safety,” but they inevitably translate to more government control. This is the Democrats’ whole agenda. Whether it’s gun restrictions, diversity quotas, ending economic security in the name of climate change or eliminating poverty, all of it amounts to the government having more control and making Americans less independent and self-sufficient.

All of this is why Republicans need to stop meeting their political opponents halfway. G. K. Chesterton’s criticism made more than a century ago is still quite apt: “Compromise used to mean that half a loaf was better than no bread. Among modern statesmen, it really seems to mean that half a loaf is better than a whole loaf.” With this new bill, McConnell and the rest of the ilk are celebrating yet another half-loaf while their constituents already suffer from malnutrition.

It’s a mistake to view today’s Democrats as fellow Americans who share the same values and goals but have different ideas of how to get there. Rather, they have completely different goals and will employ any means to achieve them, even if that means putting on show trialsexploiting mass shootings, and intimidating and threatening opponents — to say nothing of rigging electionsbankrupting the country, and ushering in millions of illegal immigrants.

The time for negotiation and “crossing the aisle” is over, and has been for a long time. Democrats have figured this out and continue to push their failed policies with impunity. Republican leadership continues to play political patty cake while their country goes up in flames. The American people are on their own right now. And it’s times like these where an individual’s freedoms matter most, particularly the freedom to defend oneself.

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This article was published by The Federalist and is reprinted with permission.

There’s No Objective Evidence the Federal “Assault Weapons” Ban Saved Lives

Estimated Reading Time: 8 minutes

For the children we can save,” declared President Biden on June 2, “we should reinstate the assault weapons ban and high-capacity magazines that we passed in 1994.” To support this claim, Biden alleged:

And in the 10 years it was law, mass shootings went down. But after Republicans let the law expire in 2004 and those weapons were allowed to be sold again, mass shootings tripled. Those are the facts.

In reality, Biden is confusing terms and distorting data to paint a picture that is opposed to the facts. Such facts include but are not limited to the following:

  • The number of people killed in mass shootings didn’t decline even after the 1986 federal ban on automatic guns, which are more capable of mass murder than the guns Biden wants to ban.
  • The terms “assault weapons” and “high-capacity magazines” are misleading and refer to common weapons used by citizens for hunting and home defense.
  • Before, during, and after the 1994 law cited by Biden, the portion of the U.S. population killed in mass shootings barely budged, and the slight changes are better explained by other factors.

Automatic Firearms Have Been Banned Since 1986

U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant Eddie Hedgepeth looks through the scope of his 5.56mm M4 Carbine. Credit: U.S. Department of Defense

Eight years before the “assault weapons” ban referenced by Biden, Congress passed and President Reagan signed a 1986 law that made it unlawful for civilians to “transfer or possess a machinegun.” Under federal law, the term “machinegun” means “any weapon” that can fire “more than one shot” with “a single function of the trigger.” Thus, the ban includes all types of automatic firearms, including machine guns, submachine guns, and assault rifles. These are the types of guns commonly used by armed forces.

The 1986 ban, which is still in effect, has an exception for guns legally owned before the law was enacted, but because automatic firearms have been heavily regulated since 1934, less than 4 million are currently owned by civilians. The relative rarity and strict regulation of these weapons are highlighted by a 2016 U.S. Department of Justice study that found “no evidence that” any owner of an automatic gun was convicted of using one to commit a crime from 2006 through 2014.

The primary purpose of the 1986 law was to reduce mass shooting deaths by limiting the availability of weapons with rapid rates of fire. As explained in the book Military Technology, “A machine gunner’s weapon fired hundreds of bullets each minute. He could point the weapon in the general direction of his enemy and fire. Even poorly-trained shooters could hit their targets. Automatic weapons made war a far more deadly business.”

Nevertheless, the portion of the U.S. population killed in mass shootings (defined in academic literature as those in which four or more people are killed), didn’t decline in the wake of the law:

Semi-Automatic “Assault Weapons” Were Banned From 1994–2004

AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. Credit: istock/Luevanos

Less than a decade after banning automatic weapons, Congress passed and President Clinton signed a 1994 law that made it illegal to “manufacture, transfer, or possess a semiautomatic assault weapon.” These guns often look like military firearms and share some characteristics with them (like detachable magazines and pistol grips), but they lack their defining feature: the ability to fire multiple bullets with a single trigger pull.

For that reason and the fact that these guns are used for hunting and home defensefirearm specialists typically don’t call them “assault weapons” but describe them as:

  • “modern sporting rifles,”
  • by their make/model (like “AR-15”), or
  • with functional descriptors like “semi-automatic rifle.”

Nevertheless, the politicians who sponsored the 1994 law labeled these semi-automatic guns “assault weapons.” This term sounds very similar to “assault rifles,” which happen to be the most common firearms used by soldiers and terrorists.

The lawmakers’ decision to use those easily confused terms accords with a 1988 booklet written by Josh Sugarmann, the founder of a prominent gun control organization called the Violence Policy Center. In it, he wrote about the “new topic” of “assault weapons” and laid out this strategy for banning them:

The weapons’ menacing looks, coupled with the public’s confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons—anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun—can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons.

Many journalists have advanced this agenda by using the term “assault weapons” to describe a broad range of semi-automatic guns. These include the most commonly sold rifles in America, more than 19.8 million of which are now in circulation.

Numerous journalists and politicians have also conflated “assault weapons” with “assault rifles” by applying both of these terms to semi-automatic guns. This is chronicled in the nation’s leading authority on journalism lingo, the Associated Press Stylebook. A decade ago, the 2011 Stylebook distinguished between “assault weapons” and “assault rifles” as follows:

assault weapon: A semi-automatic firearm similar in appearance to a fully automatic firearm or military weapon. Not synonymous with assault rifle, which can be used in fully automatic mode.

This splitting of verbal hairs between semi-automatic “assault weapons” and military “assault rifles” led journalists to misuse these terms, but instead of fixing this confusion, the 2015 Stylebook made it worse. It did this by combining both terms into a single definition while stating that they “are often used interchangeably,” but “some” journalists “make the distinction that assault rifle is a military weapon….”

The use of similar and even identical terms to describe materially different weapons violates a basic principle of honest reporting stressed in journalism guidebooks: “use jargon only when necessary and define it carefully.”

Like the 1986 ban on automatic weapons, the 1994 ban on semi-automatic “assault weapons” had an exception for guns legally owned prior to the law’s enactment. Unlike the 1986 ban, however, the 1994 ban was not permanent. That’s because lawmakers included a provision that sunset the ban in 10 years as a compromise to secure enough votes to pass it and to provide time to “investigate and study” its “impact, if any, on violent and drug trafficking crime.”

The law required the U.S. Attorney General to conduct and publish such a study within 30 months of the ban’s enactment, and the study concluded that “the public safety benefits of the 1994 ban have not yet been demonstrated.” A similar study funded by the U.S. Department of Justice was published in 2004, the year the law was due to expire. It found that the ban had:

no discernible reduction in the lethality and injuriousness of gun violence, based on indicators like the percentage of gun crimes resulting in death or the share of gunfire incidents resulting in injury, as we might have expected had the ban reduced crimes with both AWs [assault weapons] and LCMs [large-capacity magazines].

On the other hand, the authors of the study noted that the effects of the law “are still unfolding and may not be fully felt for several years into the future,” and so it is “premature to make definitive assessments of the ban’s impact on gun violence.”

When the ban expired in 2004, various members of Congress sponsored bills to renew it, but none of them passed.

“High Capacity” Magazines Were Banned From 1994–2004

Left: 17-Round magazine for handgun. Credit: Magpul. Right: 30-Round magazine for rifle. Credit: istock/zim286

The same 1994 law which banned many semi-automatic guns until 2004 also banned “large capacity ammunition feeding devices” for the same period. The most common of these devices are detachable magazines (or “mags” for short), which hold and feed ammunition into the vast bulk of semi-automatic guns.

The politicians who wrote the law applied the term “high capacity” to mags that hold more than 10 rounds, even though these are standard on many popular handguns and rifles. For example, the stock magazine for a Glock 19, one of the best-selling handguns in the world, holds 15 rounds.

In fact, mags that hold more than 10 rounds are so common that more than 150 million of them are currently in circulation in the United States.

As a general rule, mags with more capacity are a tactical advantage because they allow the shooter to fire more bullets without reloading. However, a trained gunman can swap out a mag in one second. This allows mass shooters to effectively bypass the capacity restriction by bringing multiple mags to an attack. In contrast, it is not practical for the many millions of citizens who legally carry concealed firearms to keep a stockpile of mags on their waist.

Another tradeoff on mag size is that larger ones are bulkier, which can make weapons less concealable and harder to maneuver. Also, very large mags tend to jam, like the 100-round magazine used by the perpetrator of the 2012 “Dark Knight” movie theater massacre in Aurora, Colorado.

What Happened in the Wake of the 1994 Law?

The 1994–2004 ban on certain semi-automatic guns and 10+ round mags correlates with a slight decline in the portion of the U.S. population killed in mass shootings, but the association is weak, and there is no clear pattern:

Furthermore, the ban did not begin until the last 3.5 months of 1994, and:

  • production of these weapons in 1994 was more than twice that of a typical year because people rushed to buy them before the ban took effect.
  • a 2002 paper in the Journal of Quantitative Criminology found that the rush to buy these guns “produced the unintended consequence of making AWs more accessible” through at least mid-1996.
  • the portion of people killed in mass shootings was lower in 1996 than in six of the eight years that followed while the ban was in effect.

Most importantly, Biden’s statement suffers from the sophomoric myth that association proves causation. Students are taught to avoid this fallacy in high school, but reporterscommentators, and even scholars often embrace it. In the words of an academic textbook about analyzing data:

Association is not the same as causation. This issue is a persistent problem in empirical analysis in the social sciences. Often the investigator will plot two variables and use the tight relationship obtained to draw absolutely ridiculous or completely erroneous conclusions. Because we so often confuse association and causation, it is extremely easy to be convinced that a tight relationship between two variables means that one is causing the other. This is simply not true.

The reason why this is not true is because many other factors can affect events like mass shootings, and there is frequently no objective way to isolate and quantify the effects of a single factor. With regard to the 1994 ban, just a few of the many factors that could have been at play during this era include the following:

  • The very same 1994 law that enacted the firearm and magazine restrictions also contained a massive array of measures to reduce violent crime, including incentives for states to increase “the percentage of convicted violent offenders sentenced to prison” and increase “the average prison time which will be served in prison by convicted violent offenders.” This is significant because the vast bulk of murders are committed by people with long rap sheets.
  • Wall-to-wall media coverage of mass shootings—which began with the Columbine school massacre of 1999—has since motivated many copycat killers seeking fame. Notably, the infamous Columbine mass murder occurred in the midst of the 1994–2004 ban.
  • Less than 1% of all murders in the U.S. occur in mass shootings, and the overall murder rate fell by 39% during the years of the ban. Thus, the slight decline in mass shootings may be a consequence of the much larger decline in all murders. This is why the 2004 DOJ-funded study concluded that “we cannot clearly credit the ban with any of the nation’s recent drop in gun violence.”

Using the childish logic of Biden, one would be forced to conclude that the right-to-carry law enacted by Florida in 1987 is responsible for the massive drop in murder rates that occurred in its wake:

The chart above shows what a strong association looks like, but even still, one cannot draw definitive conclusions from it because a multitude of other factors could be at play.

Biden’s & PolitiFact’s Phony Data

As proven by the data above, Biden’s claim that “mass shootings tripled” after the 1994–2004 ban has no basis in reality. However, a PolitiFact article by Jon Greenberg alleges it is “mostly true.”

PolitiFact attempts to support this claim by citing a paper published in 2019 by the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery. The details of this study are hidden behind a $60 paywall, but there, the authors reveal that their count of mass shootings is “restricted to incidents reported by all three” of the following sources: “Mother Jones Magazine, the Los Angeles Times and Stanford University.”

Using that methodology—which relies on the absurd notion that all three of their sources have complete data stretching back for decades—the study presents the following chart that shows zero mass shooting deaths in 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2002, and 2004:

In other words, the paper ignores numerous people killed in mass shootings during the period of the ban, pretending as if these events and many others never took place:

  • The 1995 Corpus Christi, TX workplace shooting, where a gunman murdered five people.
  • The 1996 Fort Lauderdale, FL workplace shooting, where a gunman murdered five of his former coworkers.
  • The 1997 Orange, CA workplace shooting, where a gunman murdered four people.
  • The 2001 Melrose Park, IL workplace shooting, where a gunman murdered four people.
  • The 2002 Rutledge, AL farm shooting, where a gunman murdered six members of his girlfriend’s family.

Further illustrating the inanity of this study, Dr. Louis Klarevas of Columbia University, a Ph.D. who specializes in mass-casualty violence, skewered the paper for having “a large number of misclassifications.”

Yet, PolitiFact treats this deceitful data as if it were fact, and healthcare professionals are invited to be brainwashed by it because the paper is “Accredited for Continuing Medical Education.”

Summary

In his speech, Biden declared that his gun control strategy is part of “my Unity Agenda,” but he betrayed this claim in the same speech by making a partisan plea for votes while attacking Republicans. If “Congress fails” to implement his agenda, said Biden, “I believe the majority of you will act to turn your outrage into making this issue central to your vote.”

Contrary to Biden’s claim that his agenda would save lives:

  • there is no association between the number of people killed in mass shootings and the 1986 ban on automatic guns.
  • there is a weak association between the number of people killed in mass shootings and the 1994–2004 ban on certain semi-automatic guns and 10+ round mags.
  • the weak association is easily attributable to other factors.
  • the “mass shootings tripled” statistic is patently false.
  • bans on magazines that hold 10+ rounds give mass murderers a tactical advantage over law-abiding citizens who carry guns to protect themselves and others.

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This article was published by JustFactsDaily and is reproduced with permission.

The Media Has Reached an Agreement on Guns, Not the Senate

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

If the legacy media had their way, your front door would explode and seconds later you’d be hip-deep in armed gun-grabbers delivering high-caliber butt-strokes to your noggin until you surrendered the combination to your gun safe. That is the level of anti-gun bias today’s legacy media uses whenever they report on anything related to guns or the Second Amendment. Their recent stories on developments in the Senate are no exception to this rule.

“The Senate has finally reached an agreement on guns,” a CBS news actor breathlessly announced Monday morning. Except the Senate hasn’t reached any agreement. Ten Republican Senators have agreed in theory to back a gun-control framework, which is lightyears away from agreeing to support an actual gun-control bill.

Once again, the legacy media is way ahead of the actual story. Once again, they are reporting what they want to happen, instead of what actually happened. Rather than reporting the truth, today’s media consistently pushes its own agenda, which in this case is their belief we need more gun control.

To be clear, a bipartisan group of 20 Senators – 10 Republicans and 10 Democrats – led by Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), announced yesterday their support for a proposal, which is not a bill.

According to a press release from Murphy’s office, the proposal is “a commonsense, bipartisan proposal to protect America’s children, keep our schools safe, and reduce the threat of violence across our country.”

“Families are scared, and it is our duty to come together and get something done that will help restore their sense of safety and security in their communities,” Murphy said in the statement. “Our plan increases needed mental health resources, improves school safety and support for students, and helps ensure dangerous criminals and those who are adjudicated as mentally ill can’t purchase weapons. Most importantly, our plan saves lives while also protecting the constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans. We look forward to earning broad, bipartisan support and passing our commonsense proposal into law.”

You can read the full text of Murph’s proposal, as well as which Senators have announced their support, here.

Is this development concerning to those of us who value our God-given constitutional rights? Yes, it certainly is. However, we do not yet know what provisions of the proposal will be included in the bill, or even if there will be an actual bipartisan bill.

The National Rifle Association said as much in a statement released Sunday night:

“As is our policy, the NRA does not take positions on “frameworks”. We will make our position known when the full text of the bill is available for review. The NRA will continue to oppose any effort to insert gun control policies, initiatives that override constitutional due process protections, and efforts to deprive law-abiding citizens of their fundamental right to protect themselves and their loved ones into this or any other legislation.” ​

While some of the concepts contained in the Senators’ proposal are likely unconstitutional, it is a proposal, not legislation, at least not yet. We need to monitor developments closely and keep in contact with our elected representatives. While the gun banners are celebrating wildly while the cameras roll, do not fall victim to the media’s spin. That friends, is exactly what they want. They survive solely on clicks and ratings. Do not feed the media beast.

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This article was published by The Second Amendment Foundation and is reprinted with permission.