"As busy as the gun lobby is in promoting macho myths about self-defense -- stand your ground and outshoot the bad guys -- it is no less dedicated to spinning myths for lawmakers to use as excuses to avoid enacting laws to deal with the shooting sprees that regularly afflict the nation. This was clear at the opening Senate hearing on gun controls this week, where Judiciary Committee members seemed to have largely swallowed gun lobby propaganda that the evidence shows the original 10-year ban on assault weapons was ineffective.... The false statistics comfort members of Congress who fear the gun lobby or their more conservative constituents, or both, and are blocking a new and stronger ban on assault weapons proposed by Senator Dianne Feinstein."
NY Times Editorial, "The Moment for Action on Gun Control, January 15, 2013:
"Some lawmakers are already talking about focusing on the background checks and bowing to gun lobby's opposition to an assault weapons ban. That shouldn't stop the administration and its allies from demanding that all these provisions be passed immediately. With the deaths of Newtown's children still so fresh, the public will be repulsed by lawmakers who stand aside and do nothing."
"But in the 10 years since the previous ban lapsed, even gun control advocates acknowledge a larger truth: The law that barred the sale of assault weapons from 1994 to 2004 made little difference.
It turns out that big, scary military rifles don't kill the vast majority of the 11,000 Americans murdered with guns each year. Little handguns do.
In 2012, only 322 people were murdered with any kind of rifle, F.B.I. data shows.
Most Americans do not know that gun homicides have decreased by 49 percent since 1993 as violent crime also fell, though rates of gun homicide in the United States are still much higher than those in other developed nations. A Pew survey conducted after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., found that 56 percent of Americans believed wrongly that the rate of gun crime was higher than it was 20 years ago."
Story here. Brady will sue on behalf of the parents of a child killed in the Aurora CO shooting, against the dealer who sold the ammunition and some unnamed others.
I cannot figure this one out. First, the tort law is pretty clear that (with very narrow exceptions) a person does not have a duty to prevent someone else from committing a crime that harms someone else. Second, how can an ammunition dealer, of all people, be expected to know that a buyer whom he has never met plans on using the ammo in a crime? In other words, even if there was a legal duty, where is the negligence? Third, unless the killer bought all his ammo from that one dealer, how can the dealer be shown to have any involvement?
And to top it off... the murders were committed on July 20, 2012. From what I can see, Colorado has a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury. So the statute ran nearly two months ago. Oops. Now, Brady could contend that it's suing for a minor, and the statute of limitations doesn't begin to run until a minor's 18th birthday. BUT the minor died, and the article says the suit is actually brought on behalf of her parents (wrongful death statutes differ somewhat in this respect, in some the suit is brought on behalf of the decedent's estate, in some it's brought by the survivors in their own right).
It does sound like a civil action that is a sure loser, brought in hopes of gaining publicity. That of course runs a big risk of getting hit with sanctions.
Protestors picket national police championships, as if learning to shoot accurately had much to do with questions about whether a shooting was justified. Of course, it's being consistent to some degree. Most just assume that firearm skills = being an accessory to crime applies only to the general citizenry.
From one of their spokeswomen: "Green said women and girls should be aware that lax gun laws lead to gun violence which can beget domestic violence."
Some 19th century wag wrote something like: "If a man engages in casual murders, next he will descend to excessive drink and pilfering, and thence sink to profane oaths and sabbath-breaking, and so become utterly lost."
From Glenn Reynolds, "The Second Amendment as Ordinary Constitutional Law," arguing that the 2A has become a normal part of Con law, legal doomsday did not come, and courts might as well accept that. Then, from David Wolitz, comes "Second Amendment Realism," suggesting that that just means the courts will screw it up like they have all the rest of the field. He phrases it a little more tactfully.
First story here. An armed gang tries to rob tavern workers after closing time, one victim opens fire and kills one of the robbers, with police later arresting the remainder. The robbery gang was responsible for dozens of armed robberies over the past three days. The shootee also had a string of arrests for robbery, auto theft, fleeing and whatnot, and had been injured in a gang shooting a few weeks ago.
And last month, a Milwaukee nurse, a victim of an attempted carjacking, shot one carjacker. The day before, the shootee had shot a person during an attempted carjacking; when his accomplice was rounded up, police arrested ten more suspects believed to be involved in dozens of robberies and carjackings.
Hat tip to Tamara Keel.
Brady Campaign, in a desperate quest for continued relevance, announces it will protest "bad apple" licensed dealers. "Bad apples" are to be measured by the raw number of BATF traces tracing guns back to them.
1. Licensed dealers can sell only after the buyer passes a background check (and their first target is in Illinois, where the buyer must pass another check and get a Firearms Owner ID Card as well). So it stands to reason that the targeted FFLs are not selling to criminals. More likely, to legit buyers who had their guns stolen by criminals (the trace still goes back to the dealer who made the sale, not to the thief).
2. Traces are not the same as guns used in crime. BATF encourages police to trace every gun that comes into their possession, including, for example, guns recovered from a gun burglar.
3. Brady is using only raw numbers, not percentages of sales. If traces are randomly distributed among dealers, the largest dealers in the area will have the most traces. Just as, in my city, if cars used in drive-by shootings were traces, the biggest numbers would come from the 2-3-4 biggest auto dealers in town, and very few from the more numerous dealers with 20-30 used cars on their lot. (The city has likewise 2-3 major gun dealers, about 5 medium ones, and probably dozens of small ones, Back when getting a license was simple, it probably had hundreds.).
But why worry, so long as it generates some media coverage and maybe adds a few members to a a foundering organization.
SAF is holding it at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Chicago O'Hare Airport, on September 26, 27 and 28, 2014. Drat, I won't be able to make it, but for any who can, the event is very useful, and free (so are the extensive materials distributed with it. You can make hotel reservations by calling 888-421-1442 -- mention you are attending the conference, and the rate will be $112/night.
UPDATE: the logistics and economics of such a gathering can differ. A Gun Rights Policy Conference brings together a few hundred activists. It's no measurable economic boost to the locality, and SAF can afford to make its location a defiant gesture. An NRA convention, in contrast, brings together 50,000 or so gunnies and hunters (in addition to the activists) and is a major economic boost, hence NRA won't hold conventions in an antigun city. The two events have utterly different economic impacts and, in a policy sense, face entirely different considerations.