Get ready to strap on your stupid: David Smalley vomits “Why Gun Nuts Lie – I Know From Experience”

So I came across an article this morning where David Smalley, Proud Atheist, lectures America about “Why Gun Nuts Lie – I Know From Experience” – and with a premise like that, you know you are in for quite a wild ride.

First, he starts with his credentials:

I live in Texas. I’m a gun owner. I have a concealed handgun license. I’ve taught my kids how to fire weapons.

I also understand and appreciate our Constitution. I’m fully aware of the 2nd Amendment, and how its authors wanted to prevent government tyranny. Considering what they had gone through, they had every right to demand such a thing.

I know enough about weapons to have a near perfect score on my firing test, to know that the “c” in SR9c stands for “compact” to make the weapon easier to hide; and to know that the AR in AR-15 doesn’t stand for ‘Assault Rifle,’ but ‘Armalite’ after the original company who made the gun.

Am I a gun nut? Maybe. But I like to keep myself skeptical and informed. And that includes realizing when I’m being illogically influenced by my culture, and taking necessary steps to correct it.

Great, you’d think someone so informed would also be up to speed on current laws and important court decisions like Heller v DC or McDonald v Chicago.  Of course, he isn’t as smart as he thinks he is.

At this nation’s beginning, it made sense for the citizens to be armed similarly to the government to prevent tyranny.

Today, that’s ridiculous. The very concept is outdated. Some have said to me; the point is for the citizens to be “as armed as well as the government.”

Really? The concept is outdated? This would seem to indicate that Mr. Smalley’s beliefs are predicated on either strawman arguments or a lack of history (or both).  We’ll go into detail though, don’t worry.

For starters, today, the military has fully automatic M-16s. Citizens can’t buy that. You have to get a tamer version: AR-15.

You can’t have flame throwers, bombs, bazookas, Z10 attack helicopters, bradleys, tanks, fighter jets, nuclear reactors, or a plethora of other secret military weapons you don’t even know exist.

Mr Smalley shows a fundamental lack of knowledge with these statements, starting with current gun control laws.  Citizens can buy fully automatic M-16s, they are regulated as Machineguns under the National Firearms Act of 1934.  Flamethrowers? Not even federally regulated (even CNN scratched their head on that) and there are models for sale online right now in various configurations.  Bombs & Bazookas? They are considered “destructive devices” and have similar paperwork to machineguns.  Attack helicopters (Z10? wtf) & fighter jets? Uh, here ya go. Bradleys, tanks? Whoops.

So right off the bat, Mr. Smalley is entirely full of shit.  Of course if you confront him on this, he will shift the goalposts to whine about how you can’t buy the latest in military weapons systems like AH-64 Apaches with full Block upgrades, or a F-22, but that is besides the point – anyone citizen based uprising doesn’t require full air dominance & support.  They just have to apply the same asymmetric warfare principles that were used against the US in Iraq, Afghanistan & Vietnam.

Secondly, what if you were? I could hand you 50 AR-15s, give you 1000 illegal bombs, steal you a couple of tanks, and smuggle in some bazookas, and even let you fully train 500 of your closest friends.

If the government wants your shit, they’re going to take it.

You still wouldn’t be a match for even a single battalion of the United States Marine Corps. Not to mention the Air Force, Army, Navy, National Guard, Secret Service, FBI, CIA, and Seals.

So stop acting like your little AR-15 is going to stop tyranny.

There’s the money shot!  The argument is “your AR-15 doesn’t matter against the full weight of the US Government.  At a base level, he’s correct – one person cannot stand against the government.  One person, however, can make a difference, whether they are Ed Snowden, or Bradley Manning, or others.  If Mr. Smalley had a base level of knowledge, he’d recall back to how WWI was started before making such a vacuous argument.

Here’s the thing though: We’ve been at war since just after 9/11 – 15 years now.  Despite that, we haven’t been able to pacify two areas that are smaller than Texas.  We still have troops deployed in Afghanistan, and despite “withdrawing” from Iraq, we have troops fighting there as well.  So while one man with a rifle can’t make a difference, it would behoove Mr. Smalley to recall the riots in Baltimore and Ferguson, or the LA Riots from the 90s,  before dismissing the effectiveness of large groups of people.  Larry Correia has a great article on why your “citizens can’t stand up to the government” argument is not grounded in reality, I suggest you read it.

But that can’t be all of his argument now, can it? Of course not:

Just be honest. You like it because it makes your pee-pee big, and when you fire it, it gives you a tingle in your no-no place.

Of course, nobody could want an AR-15 (or equivalent rifle) because they are fun guns to shoot. Or that they are excellent for home protection. Or that they work for shooters as tall as 6’6″, or children barely in their teens. No, it’s because we’ve got little dicks.  And Mr. Smalley has a vast amount of experience with the genitalia of gun owners because he’s clearly conversant and can speak from experience having handled many of them, right?

So what’s next? Oh, more of the usual antigun talking points:

A collection of studies from 2012-2013 found that having a gun in your home significantly increases your risk of death—and that of your spouse and children. If you have a gun (regardless of how it’s stored), everybody in your home is more likely than your non-gun-owning neighbors and their families to die in a gun-related accident, suicide or homicide.

 

Oh look, a list of 10 strawman arguments from Mother Jones, followed by a moronic “correlation = causation” argument that ignores that firearms homicides or suicides aren’t even on the top ten lists of ways to die in America.  Guess what, Mr Smalley – owning a car makes it more likely you’ll be in a car accident too.  Please, let go of your pearls.

Gun owners and their families are not more suicidal than non-gun-owners, research shows. Nor are they more likely to have a history of depression or other mental health problems.

But they—and their families—are at significantly increased risk of successfully taking their lives with a gun.

Sure, because firearms are pretty efficient like that.  But, as I’ve stated before, “Remove guns, PROBLEM SOLVED” doesn’t work with suicides either, as people will switch methods.  See (gun free) Japan with 2x our suicide rate, and (gun free) South Korea with more than 2x our suicide rate, and (heavily gun restricted) Belgium with 1.33 our suicide rate.

Next, Mr. Smalley fails at the google:

Let’s play a little research game. Google: “man fights off gang of bad guys with AR-15” and the first thing that pops up is a video of criminals shooting at a moving car with handguns.  …

Your fantasy of wiping out those 14 burglars, like Rambo spraying bullets from your AR-15, just isn’t going to happen.

It doesn’t happen. Period.

It doesn’t happen? Oh ok.  Let’s try that with videos. First result for “man defends with AR-15” is this:

Second result:

Here’s another video:

And here’s a woman defending her home in Detroit with a Hi Point carbine:

Hmm, sure looks like people defend themselves with rifles, Mr. Smalley.

I’m not advocating for you to lose all your guns. Even aware of the statistical dangers, I struggle with what to do with mine. I want my kids to be educated on the dangers, but I don’t want to act like guns make me safer. At least if I’m being skeptical even when it hurts.

Ah yes, the “No one wants to take your guns” strawman rears its head.

Here’s an idea: Disarm yourself.  If you don’t want a gun, don’t buy one. We’re pro-choice like that. As a matter of fact, I’d suggest you sell all of yours immediately because you sound like an asshole and I’d hate for you to hurt yourself or someone else.  Because you aren’t being skeptical: you are showing confirmation bias and are ignoring information that counters your viewpoints.

Then comes the litany of gun control masturbation:

But we have to draw the line somewhere. The bottom line is, we just need common sense. And we need to stop lying to ourselves.

I detailed my proposal for gun legislation on Dogma Debate #211: Guns & Atheists. But here’s the gist of it:

Treat guns like cars.
Mandatory licenses
License renewals
Mandatory training
Mandatory insurance
Operating laws
Operating age limits
Restrict some models
Require safety inspections
Mandatory registration
Background checks

I’m drawing the line well before that, because you aren’t educated enough about the laws to have a layman’s opinion and your facts are wrong.

Your laundry list is dumb for a few reason. For one, you don’t want to treat guns like cars, because if you did, you’d actually be making the case to loosen laws.  Here’s a couple things for you to read about why your argument has the facts exactly backwards:

All of those lay it out in very simple language why your argument is dumb.

Mandatory licenses? This is a non-starter unless they are freely available on a shall-issue basis.  By the way, Illinois has mandatory licenses for even purchasing ammunition under their Firearms Owner Identification requirements. Guess how that works out for them?

But hey, are you going to be ok with 16 year olds getting concealed carry permits? Because that’s what you are asking for.

Mandatory training? I’m down for that if you make it part of K-12 public school curriculum.  Otherwise you are just using dogwhistle racism to try to deny those who live in lower income brackets the ability to defend themselves.

Mandatory insurance? There’s not an insurance company out there that’s going to cover criminal actions (the primary reason you want firearms insurance, right?) and suicide requirements are pretty strict in existing health insurance as well.  But again, this goes back to dogwhistle racism as the people most likely to be victimized are also the same group disproportionately represented as homicide offenders.

Age limits? Why?  This sounds like you aren’t interested in safety whatsoever.  We have 360x more children 12 & under being injured in bicycle accidents every year (144,573 in 2014) than firearms (460 again 2014).  Hell, almost 6800 kids under 12 almost drowned in 2014.  Even looking at fatal injury data, bicycles killed 29 kids, 597 were drowned, 43 fell to their deaths, and 44 were killed unintentionally by firearms.  Roughly the same number of kids died falling down stairs or off ladders as were accidentally shot.  Double digit numbers of deaths, while tragic and horrendous for the families, are not reasons to curtail constitutional rights.

Model restrictions? Why? What restrictions?  Let me guess, ones that scare you based on cosmetic features.  We already have model restrictions, thanks, and we don’t need more for dubious reasons.

Safety inspections? Why?  Sounds like you aren’t a fan of privacy either.

Mandatory registration? LOL no.  Sorry! First, registration schemes are the epitome of Southpark’s Underpants Gnomes style gun control logic.  It’s one of those ideas that sounds good in theory, but doesn’t actually work out in practice.  Why? Because when guns are stolen, or straw purchased, or otherwise disappear, your registry is useless. Registries are good for one thing, and that’s revenue generation.  Past that, they don’t work unless the firearm is recovered at the crime scene… and if you have the gun, you typically have the shooter too.

Finally, Background Checks. See Illinois above.  If you want truly effective background checks, open a publicly accessible NICS portal that requires two party token authentication and you’ll have actual gun owners supporting the concept.  Meanwhile until straw purchasing and the like are eliminated, not to mention burglary, you are missing the crime gun forest for the trees.

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President Obama lies to the nation while shedding crocodile tears, then compares gun control to civil rights. Shameful.

This afternoon, President Obama showed a stunning display of dishonesty, idiocy, and emotional blackmail during a press conference covering his executive orders on gun control.  Here’s a transcript of his remarks: http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2016/01/05/transcript-president-obamas-remarks-on-gun-violence/

President Obama started with a statement about the shooting of Gabby Giffords, and

That’s why we’re here today. Not to debate the last mass shooting, but to do something to try to prevent the next one.

Strange, I can’t think of any mass shootings that would have been prevented by a background check.  In fact:

Each time this comes up, we are fed the excuse that common-sense reforms like background checks might not have stopped the last massacre, or the one before that, or the one before that, so why bother trying. I reject that thinking. (Applause.) We know we can’t stop every act of violence, every act of evil in the world. But maybe we could try to stop one act of evil, one act of violence.

Some of you may recall, at the same time that Sandy Hook happened, a disturbed person in China took a knife and tried to kill — with a knife — a bunch of children in China. But most of them survived because he didn’t have access to a powerful weapon. We maybe can’t save everybody, but we could save some. Just as we don’t prevent all traffic accidents but we take steps to try to reduce traffic accidents.

Seriously?  The President said background checks were “common sense” and then segued into Sandy Hook, a mass shooting that background checks singularly wouldn’t have prevented.  You know, because Adam Lanza murdered his mother to get her guns (which she was background checked on, and duly registered).    Jared Loughner, perpetrator of the Giffords shooting in Tuscon was background checked too.  Later on he states:

Our right to peaceful assembly -– that right was robbed from moviegoers in Aurora and Lafayette. Our unalienable right to life, and liberty, and the pursuit of happiness -– those rights were stripped from college students in Blacksburg and Santa Barbara, and from high schoolers at Columbine, and from first-graders in Newtown. First-graders. And from every family who never imagined that their loved one would be taken from our lives by a bullet from a gun.

With the exception of Newtown, each of these perpetrators were background checked.  How on earth can he use these to justify background checks? How?  Even CNN knows that background checks probably won’t stop mass shootings.  It’s not like the White House hasn’t been asked these questions before either – watch them duck and weave when asked whether their proposals would actually stop mass shootings back in December, 2015:

Yes, the gun lobby is loud and it is organized in defense of making it effortless for guns to be available for anybody, any time. Well, you know what, the rest of us, we all have to be just as passionate.

Seriously?  Wow, let me just rush right out and pick up a new M4 at 7-11.  He made this statement  just seven sentences after talking about the gun lobby lying.   He then went on to make this claim:

A  violent felon can buy the exact same weapon over the Internet with no background check, no questions asked.

This right here is complete unvarnished bullshit.  It’s got no basis in fact, guns aren’t shipped to your door from an internet sale, especially from gun dealers.  There’s no exemption for background check requirements if a sale is done online.  This is just an updated version of the so-called “gun show loophole” (which also doesn’t exist)

But what really galls me is this statement:

And, yes, it will be hard, and it won’t happen overnight. It won’t happen during this Congress. It won’t happen during my presidency. But a lot of things don’t happen overnight. A woman’s right to vote didn’t happen overnight. The liberation of African Americans didn’t happen overnight. LGBT rights — that was decades’ worth of work. So just because it’s hard, that’s no excuse not to try.

Gun control is not in any way comparable to women voting, or civil rights, or LGBT rights. Each of those empowered people who were previously denied constitutional protections.  What the President wants, instead, is to make sure that people are victims at the whim of the state.

That’s terrible.  It didn’t save Carol Browne, nor will it protect anyone else.

The so called “terrorist loophole” or how the Left admitted they hate due process

In the wake of the Paris attacks, Harry Reid and his buddies have decided that they just can’t let this opportunity slide by – they want to eliminate the so called “terrorist loophole” on firearms:

“Republicans care more about kowtowing to the NRA than preventing terrorists from legally buying assault rifles and explosives like the ones used in the Paris attacks here in America,” Reid said in a statement. “Shockingly, Republicans continue to preserve a loophole that allows FBI terror suspects to buy guns and explosives legally, without background checks.”

Wut.  Chuck Schumer got in the act as well:

“Right now there is a major loophole that would make your jaw drop. Under current law, suspected or known terrorists who are on a no fly list can legally purchase firearms and explosives,” Schumer said.

“We have to change this law. No-fly should mean no-buy for terrorists. Right now, amazingly, it does not.”

Motherfucker, that’s not a loophole.  That’s how the law was designed.  I’ve called out Schumer before when he tried to use this tactic – The problem with this “terrorist loophole” idea is twofold: one, it’s yet another attack on the private selling of firearms without universal background checks, but even worse it would appear that Reid, Schumer and their ilk are saying that they no longer are even pretending to care about due process.

The people on the terrorism watchlist haven’t been convicted of a crime. Techdirt had an article illustrating that 40% of them aren’t even associated with any known terrorist group, that’s 280,000 people.   There’s no oversight on how someone is added, and even the ACLU is showing concern over it.

Yet despite this, Schumer & Reid think that it’s ok to strip away civil liberties without even the barest hint of a trial let alone a conviction Naturally their allies have absolutely no problem with this which shows just how fucked up the press is.

Nancy Pelosi was unintentionally ironic when she made this statement that it was:

 “outrageous that we would slam the door on women and children but allow terrorists to buy guns.”

Because, you know, it’s wrong to be worried about refugees after fake Syrian passports were used in the Paris attacks and there is a booming black market for them.   I agree, it’s wrong to assume that all refugees are terrorists – but when it comes to gun control Reid, Schumer, Pelosi and the rest have absolutely no problem acting like all firearms purchasers are hardened criminals.

What’s almost as bad is that the New York Daily News is using this to bash the NRA.  You might remember them from trying to have the NRA declared a terrorist organization back in October.

The hypocrisy is blatant and the fact that nobody of prominence is calling them out for it is sad.

Update: Salon.com has leapt into the fray to seize upon how the NRA is a bunch of mean meanies for wanting people to be convicted before losing their rights:

The GOP will do just about anything to cloak itself in patriotic bellicosity. They’ll send your brothers and sisters into harrowing war zones, poorly equipped and without exit strategies, with enemies blended into the population. They’ll call for the invasion and occupation of nation’s with zero connection to 9/11. They’ll tell us we can’t have a First Amendment if we’re dead. But all of that ends at Wayne LaPierre’s line in the sand. It’s been nine months since the most recent proposal to close the gun gap has been proposed and there’s no real passage in sight, knowing the NRA’s history of strong-arming legislators against the overwhelming will of the people and of common sense. The next time you have to practically strip naked in an airport security line, bear in mind that any would-be terrorist in line with you was easily able to buy a gun. You know, because liberty.

Free speech, voting rights, equal protection and privacy rights for women, and the ability for Muslim-Americans to freely practice their religion is totally up for grabs, but the ability of suspected terrorists to buy a gun shall not be infringed under any circumstances, according to the GOP. It’s difficult to accept how egregiously disgraceful this is, and in a perfect world the GOP would be scolded into submission and the NRA would be exposed for its deadly absolutism. But don’t hold your breath.

It’s a horrible thing that free speech, voting rights, equal protection & privacy rights for women and all the rest are being attacked, so Salon thinks it’s only fair that the 2nd amendment be destroyed as well.

The sheer lack of self awareness.

A step in the right direction: Kentucky now allows you to apply for a CCDW online

Color me shocked to find a piece of relatively even handed reporting about changes to Kentucky’s CCDW process:

The process requires state police to either issue or deny a license within 15 days of receiving an electronic application — down from the 60-day processing period allowed for paper applications.

Supporters, including the National Rifle Association, say the change improves access to concealed-carry permits at a time when demand is high. Kentucky issued more than 59,500 permits in 2013, compared to 10,900 in 2004.

http://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/politics/ky-legislature/2015/01/30/kentucky-speeds-process-concealed-carry-gun-permits/22585105/

In my opinion, this is a great thing.  Honestly, two weeks is too long if your life is in danger, but given that Kentucky has a process for temporary 45 day CCDW permits for domestic violence victims & people with EPOs against stalkers, I really can’t find too much fault with this.

Naturally there are naysayers:

Rep. Jim Wayne, a Louisville Democrat opposed to the new rules, says state police are already hurting for personnel and that having officials process applications within 15 days could result in mistakes, such as approving permits for people with criminal histories.

“They are so overloaded and they should have the leeway to not be pressed to get this job done,” he said. 

Oh, wow, well we don’t want any criminals to exploit this.  I sure am glad that Jim Wayne has the facts of the matter and knows how burdened the state police are.  Let’s hear it from their point of view:

The state police department, which began accepting applications electronically in mid-November, answered questions about the process in an email to The Courier-Journal last week.

Officials said the transition has been smooth and that several hundred people have used it to apply for new permits or renew old permits. They reported no problems meeting the 15-day deadline or performing criminal background checks, which are required for licenses.

“We are able to adapt to any changes and have not experienced any unexpected issues,” KSP Sgt. Norman Preston said in the email. “We are expecting to see a gradual increase (in use) after the general public has been made aware.”

LOL!

Barry Laws, CEO of Openrange, an indoor gun range and store in Crestwood, said he hasn’t heard customers talking about the new application process yet. […]

Laws said the program as a whole has given gun owners a greater understanding of the rules and liabilities.

“Many come into our program thinking they will be John Wayne with their new CCDW and leave feeling a bit like Pee-wee Herman, not wanting to ever have to use deadly force,” he said.

In my opinion, good.  Using lethal force for self defense is not something to be taken lightly.  You need to understand the consequences legally, monetarily & spiritually before you think about carrying a firearm.

Finally the C-J give the last word to the antigun representative:

But Wayne said the public should have concern.

“This is a legislature that is pretty much shackled to the NRA, and whatever the NRA wants to promote, their unreasonable, immoral agenda is what the legislative leaders and the rank and file will probably follow,” he said.

Yeah this guy sounds like he’s a rational, level headed fellow.  How dare people want to defend themselves! Why can’t everyone live in a gated community with armed bodyguards watching over them?

If you want to give Rep Jim Wayne a piece of your mind, here’s his KY Legislator home page – I find it ironic that he considers himself a champion of minors and the vulnerable per his Wikipedia page, but hates the idea of you defending yourself.

Skipping straight past Media Bias to full Indoctrination, Everytown offers “Workshop”

So it would appear that Everytown For Gun Safety is not satisfied with the current state of public opinion on gun control and has decided to flex their financial muscles by recruiting (indoctrinating) new allies to the fold by having a “workshop” where they can train willing participants in the best ways to manipulate public opinion.  In order to do this, they’ve teamed up with Columbia’s Journalism School:

Apply Now: Covering Gun Violence

Reporting on gun violence – on individual incidents, policy shifts and polarized political debate – is a major challenge for journalists and news organizations. Every day, 86 Americans die of firearm related injuries, including nearly 12,000 murdered with guns each year – a rate 20 times higher than that of other developed countries. Nearly 100 school shootings have occurred since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary only two years ago.

Yes, why should statistically infrequent and insignificant events be viewed as random & rare?  And why should we examine the underlying causes of these incidents, such as mental health issues, when there is a handy scapegoat available in the form of firearms?  Notice the use of the debunked “100 school shootings” figure to set the tone.

When it comes to reporting on guns, local and regional reporters bear the primary burden. They are often trapped into narrow deadline-driven beats with little time to develop expert sources, investigative angles or broader perspectives. And newsrooms and news managers are unprepared for the overwhelming, spasmodic tragedy of mass shootings. As a consequence, incidents of gun violence are too often viewed in isolation as random, inevitable tragedy rather than part of a wider phenomenon with complex causes but amenable to prevention efforts. (emphasis mine)

Translation: we need to do better to convince the masses that guns are bad.  Our best bet is to brainwash recruit willing participants into seeing the “truth” about the issues (or some facsimile thereof).

To help journalists and news organizations in the Southwest improve their reporting on guns and gun violence, the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma at Columbia Journalism School is organizing a two-day regional workshop April 17 and 18, 2015 for reporters, editors, news directors, photographers, producers, and bloggers. The workshop, funded by Everytown for Gun Safety, will offer independent expert briefings and specialized reporting skills training to enhance the practical ability of journalists to report on guns and gun violence knowledgeably, ethically and effectively. The workshop will cover such topics as state and federal gun laws; patterns of gun sales and gun trafficking; national trends and polling; education and prevention initiatives; social, economic and public health impacts; and special populations (e.g. children and youth, women and returning veterans.)

Uh-huh.  Sure.  I’m sure it will be “ethically” sound all right.  I’m sure that these “independent expert[s]” will be open to dissenting opinions & give both sides equal play.

The workshop will:

Serve as a forum for improving journalists’ knowledge of guns and gun violence, and the implications of public policies like background check requirements
Explore new research, reporting ideas and best practices with leading public health and policy experts
Confront challenges — and identify opportunities — that exist for local journalists pursuing these stories with limited resources
Provide practical tools to enable journalists to successfully produce meaningful stories on guns and gun violence.

In other words, it will be replete with talking points, bad science, soundbites and pretty graphs.  Actual knowledge like the difference between a fully automatic & semi automatic firearm will probably not be taught.  You can bet that there will be plenty of verbiage on why assault weapons, “high capacity” magazines and the like should be banned though… “for the children” naturally.

Make no mistake, since Everytown is headed by Shannon Watts, former PR wizard for Monsanto & GE Healthcare, this will be replete with the usual PR spin.

Naturally, this will cover old & new media:

Participation is open to reporters, editors, news directors, photographers and producers for print, broadcast and online media. Staff, contract and freelance journalists are eligible to apply. Thirty individuals will be selected for the workshop. Travel stipends of up to $350 for airfare or trainfare, and two nights of lodging, will be provided to 15 selected participants.

Because it’s easier to spread your ideas when you bribe people.

In order to ensure that only “right thinking” journalists attend, here’s some of the weeding out criteria:

To apply, please email Kate Black (kate.black@dartcenter.org) with your resume or CV, full contact information (name, address, city, state, zip, phone number and email address) and a one-page letter of interest that:

1. Describes how and why this workshop is relevant to you and your work;
2. Identifies three issues around guns or gun violence of particular interest to you;
3. Explains a challenge you have encountered in pursuing a story on this topic (or a related one); and
4. Briefly outlines a possible story you might pursue on the topic.

Hm, yes, let’s make sure that only properly screened acolytes may approach the altar.

Looks like I’m not the only person who sees a problem with this either: http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/cupp-educating-journalists-guns-article-1.2076455 – of course her opinion and mine diverge because she appears to be mollified by Columbia’s response, whereas I think that their gratuitous bias in the course description is more than enough to cast doubt on their intentions.

Background Check Denials and a lack of prosecutions for these violations.

“We need stronger enforcement of existing laws!” is  a common refrain when people talk about enacting further gun control.  Nowhere is this more pronounced than prosecutions of straw purchasing and background check violations.

President Obama has taken heat over this in a variety of forms, with claims that gun prosecutions are down 40% during his administration:

During the six years data is available for former President George W. Bush’s administration — 2002-2003 and 2005-2008 — a total of 628 federal cases were prosecuted as a result of failed background checks. That averages about 105 annually.

Only two years of statistics are available for Obama’s administration: 77 cases were prosecuted in 2009 and 44 in 2010. That averages to about 61 annually. Another year of data should be released this summer.

Source: http://www.politifact.com/virginia/statements/2013/may/01/bob-goodlatte/goodlatte-says-us-prosecutions-lying-gun-backgroun/

But really, firearms prosecutions aren’t a priority under any administration.

A study was done highlighting this – http://trac.syr.edu/tracreports/crim/307/

Check out the figures.  The feds don’t really care about going after cases that aren’t fast & easy wins.  The top number of prosecutions fall under the following categories:

  • Unlawful shipment, transfer, receipt, or possession by a felon
  • Use/carry of firearm during crime of violence/drug trafficking offense
  • Receive/possess firearm not register in National Firearm Registration
  • Receipt or possession of a stolen firearm and ammunition
  • Unlawful possession by an Alien unlawfully in the United States
  • Unlawful shipment, transfer, receipt, or possession by a drug addict

but the one we are most concerned with for this topic is this:

False/Fictitious statements in order to acquire a firearm/ammunition

According to the study linked above, this accounts for less than 200 prosecutions every year.  Yet, whenever someone talks about the need for background checks (in particular, Universal Background Checks) they talk about the number of criminals stopped by the background check system.  The FBI claims there were 88,479 NICS denials in 2012. The number of prosecutions? 170

It’s just not a priority.

And really, in the eyes of the prosecutors, why should they be? The Feds have limited time, money, and resources when it comes to trying cases.  If there’s a bug under their bonnet, they won’t hesitate to bring the full weight of the government down on someone, but in the meantime they are just like anyone else – they want to do their job and get promoted.  

The best way to do that? Win cases.  Win lots of cases and get lots of convictions and make sure that they are sexy ones.  You know what’s sexy? Terrorism. Drug trafficking.  Organized Crime / RICO.  Corruption.  Getting a conviction on a someone for 500lbs of dope or 100 kilos of coke / heroin will help a career.  Same with human trafficking.  Same with a politician.  You know what doesn’t look good? Putting away some single mother or the girlfriend of a criminal who straw purchased a couple Glocks for her thrice-convicted boyfriend.

Plus, gun cases are hard to convict because they require work.  You have to investigate.  You have to prove intent.  You have to do actual leg work; you don’t get to swoop in and take the credit for some State Trooper finding drugs in the back of a truck.
So the feds don’t like gun cases, and really they shouldn’t be a priority anyhow because let’s face it – it’s a stupid crime to begin with.  Their focus should rightly be on people committing violent crimes, or large traffickers.