Just saw a note that the Fordham Univ. Law Review is coming out with a symposium issue on the Second Amendment -- strangely, without a single recognizable pro-individual rights author (and almost without recognizable authors at all).
Aha, thought I -- is the Joyce Foundation at it again? Sure enough, a Google quickly turned this up: "The papers and commentaries presented at the conference will be published in the Fordham Law Review in Fall 2004. The conference was funded by a generous grant from The Joyce Foundation."
Why would I say Joyce is at it again? Well, in 2000 Chicago-Kent Law Review issued a similar symposium issue. A bit of inquiry found ... well, let me give you background first. Law reviews are run on a shoestring. They're edited by students themselves, and very proud of that tradition. Editors get paid a pittance (I got $600 a year back in 1975), and authors of articles never, never, get paid.
A bit of inquiry showed that Joyce had done some serious bankrolling. The law review consented to having an outside editor for that issue, who surprisingly was anti-Second Amendment. (And when pro-Second Amendment law professors volunteered to write, he refused to allow it). He got paid $30,000. Authors of the articles in it got $5,000 each for their time. The rest of the grant went for buying a load of reprints to be sent to judges. So Joyce had essentially bought a issue of the review, stacked the deck of authors, and then mailed a load of copies to judges.
Recently there was an interesting article in the NY Post on how an official of the Pew Charitable Trusts was caught on video explaining how the Trusts had invested millions in campaign finance reform. He explained:
Treglia came up with a three-pronged strategy: 1) pursue an expansive agenda through incremental reforms, 2) pay for a handful of "experts" all over the country with foundation money and 3) create fake business, minority and religious groups to pound the table for reform.
"The target audience for all this activity was 535 people in Washington," Treglia says — 100 in the Senate, 435 in the House. "The idea was to create an impression that a mass movement was afoot — that everywhere they looked, in academic institutions, in the business community, in religious groups, in ethnic groups, everywhere, people were talking about reform."
Sounds like Joyce has the act down pat. Use millions to bankroll supposed experts, create fake groups (more on this in extended remarks), and pursue a broad agenda through supposedly modest and incremental measures. And when I say millions ....
Download Joyce's 2003 financial statement from this page and you'll find Joyce invested no less than $1.25 million on its antigun efforts in that one year. (The Foundation's net worth is over $600 million). The funding was for a wide range of efforts, including one to set up campaigns to write newspapers and ask that they refuse firearm want ads.
$400,000 of that apparently went to create a "Second Amendment Research Center" at Ohio State, headed by Saul Cornell, who has written in support of the collectives rights view. article here. Other sums went for a study arguing that shooting ranges are environmentally hazardous due to lead.
Other projects being funded currently, from Joyce's webpage include a Harvard study "funded in part by the Joyce Foundation" that attributes teen suicides to firearms laws, a book by David Hemingway, who "has been a Joyce grantee for his pioneering work," that calls for a public health approach to gun law issues, and " a new book based on a symposium supported by the Joyce Foundation and edited by legal scholar Carl T. Bogus" that "cast[s] doubt on the individual rights interpretation of the Second Amendment."
So Joyce's millions are being invested on a broad front. Create studies that argue guns are health menace, that even regulated shooting ranges are environmental risks, bankroll supposedly local groups that will try to cut off newspaper ads (and presumably won't dissolve once that is done), create law reviews that will oppose the individual rights view and ship them to judges.