The Truth Is Scary To The Gun Prohibitionists!

The cult of personality known as Giffords sent out a fundraising email this afternoon. They called attention to the NRA Annual Meeting in Dallas and, in particular, to a seminar put on by Dr. John Lott regarding the false and misleading claims made by the gun control industry.

This weekend, the NRA gathers for its annual convention in Dallas, Texas.

And on Sunday morning, at 11 am, one of the most important events happens in two combined meeting rooms, D163 and D165, on the ground floor of the Kay Bailey Hutchison Conference Center. It’s titled:

“The War on Guns: Arming Yourself Against the False Claims That Will be Made Against Guns During the Election”

Here’s the truth: the American people are wise to the game. They know that if more guns made America safer, we would be the safest nation on the planet.

But change will never happen until candidates and elected officials understand there is more to fear from all of us than what’s happening in Dallas this weekend.

They are correct about two things: the NRA gathers this weekend in Dallas and John Lott’s message is important. If Dr. Lott’s message, facts, and figures were not valid and not important, they would not have brought attention to it. If they didn’t consider it a threat, then they wouldn’t have attacked it.

Notice their sleight of hand in saying “if more guns made America safer, we would be the safest nation”. The former is comparative while the latter is superlative. Thus, in their false comparison used to attack gun ownership, one more firearm would make the US the safest country in the world. No one in the gun rights community has makes that argument.

Jonathan Sullivan aka Linoge at the blog Graphical Represention and its predecessor Walls of the City looked the gun control argument of more guns equal more deaths.  He found a negative correlation between the two. Moreover, he has replicated this study for a number of years as new data has become available. Using both firearms/death per capita and total firearms/deaths, he found a negative correlation. While it can’t prove that more guns equal less deaths, it can be used to show that more guns does not more deaths.

Read Sullivan’s work and read Dr. Lott’s work. Both have delved into the numbers and found the arguments of the gun prohibitionists and their gun control industry lacking.

Why Appeasement Never Works

Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) probably thought rushing to get a gun control bill passed after the Parkland atrocity would appease those calling for more gun control and help him in his run for the US Senate against Bill Nelson.

As Winston Churchill probably told Neville Chamberlain many times, appeasement never works.

I got the following email from the cult of personality known as Giffords. They are asking for money so that they can defeat Scott in his run against Bill Nelson.

In just a moment, I am going to ask you to rush an urgent donation to Giffords PAC. I hope you’ll give me a chance to explain why this request — today of all days — is so important.


Yesterday morning, Florida’s Republican Governor Rick Scott announced he was going to run for U.S. Senate. And what we need to do right now is send him a message from every American who has had enough of the inaction from Congress on this issue. And that message is:


“Rick Scott, we are going to do everything we can to defeat you this November. The gun lobby doesn’t need any more allies in the U.S. Senate.”


Shortly after the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, we ran ads highlighting Rick Scott’s history of indulging the gun lobby’s every wish. Today, we need you to help us keep up the pressure:


Make a $3 donation to Giffords PAC today to help us ensure that Rick Scott gets nowhere near the U.S. Senate where he will cast votes on gun violence legislation that impact every American.


If we can send a message to politicians across the country that their path to further elected office is imperiled by their support for the gun lobby’s priorities, we will do more than we could possibly imagine to change the trajectory of this debate.


And that starts with keeping Rick Scott out of office.


All my best,


Peter Ambler
Executive Director
Giffords PAC

I hate to break it to Peter Ambler – and to Rick Scott – but we in the gun culture really don’t consider Scott an ally. If Rick Scott was an ally, 18 through 20 year olds wouldn’t have lost their ability to purchase a rifle or shotgun.

Much Ado About Nothing

The Brady Campaign, CNN, and the cult of personality known as Giffords are all in a tizzy that an BATFE official actually reached out to a lobbyist for comments. You may remember the white paper written by BATFE Associate Deputy Director Ron Turk that suggested items for discussion with regard to firearms regulations. The white paper was released after the inauguration of President Trump. It is to be noted that Ron Turk has always maintained that the items discussed in the paper were not official policy but rather items for discussion that he proposed.

According to CNN, after writing his initial draft of the white paper, Turk sent it to firearms lobbyist Mark Barnes for comments.

“If I am missing the mark on a major issue or disregarding a major discussion point any feedback you have would be appreciated,” Turk wrote to the lobbyist, Mark Barnes, on January 9, 2017. “My hope is that the agency can demonstrate flexibility where appropriate and identify areas for further discussion, recognizing that solving everyone’s concerns on each side would be difficult.”

Some of the suggestions from Barnes were included in the final draft of the white paper. Things like allowing dealers to use the NICS system to run background check on their own employees and a re-examination of a 20-year old sporting use study in light of the sporting uses of AKs and ARs. However, things that Barnes also suggested like loosening restrictions on the imports of SKS carbines and Makarov pistols from Russia were not included.

I think what has the gun control lobby and their enablers in the media so upset is that they weren’t approached for suggestions.

From Avery Gardiner of the Brady Campaign:

“I was surprised to see that the draft document had been emailed out to a gun industry lawyer and the final product took his suggestions as edits — without any disclosure of that until we went to court to get these documents,” said Avery W. Gardiner, co-president of the Brady Center. …


“There was a secret white paper that was partially written by the gun lobby. That’s exactly the kind of thing the Freedom of Information Act is supposed to address — transparency of government,” Gardiner said.

And from David Chipman, the former BATFE Special Agent who now works for Giffords, who is dismayed by the revelation:

“An independent ATF is critical to this nation’s security. The white paper suggests that the gun industry’s quest for power and influence has trumped public safety,” Chipman said.

An interesting side note on Chipman, he is a 1984 graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy – the ultra-expensive, ultra-upper class, prep school. I’m having a little bit of cognitive dissonance over a preppy actually getting his hands dirty working for a lackluster agency like BATFE. Isn’t that a little beneath a graduate of Phillips Exeter?

Back to the story in question, think back to the Obama Administration and all the photo ops and meeting held with the gun control industry. They were quite numerous. I think the problem here is that they are miffed to be on the outside looking in as opposed to the good old days when they had a seat at the table.

The CNN story does have link to all the drafts of the white papers if you are interested. They have also included a video on the page that seems like an outright editorial call for universal background checks. As Glenn Reynolds has often said they are Democratic operatives with a byline. I’d modify it to include gun control advocates with a byline.

Too Slick By Half

The (anti-gun) cult of personality known as Giffords has produced a Concealed Carry Reciprocity Toolkit for all their uninformed followers. It provides talking points, phone scripts, email templates, pre-written tweets, ready-to-use graphics, and loaded (pun intended) town hall questions.

Here are some of their talking points:

TALKING POINTS

  • This bill would make it legal for dangerous and untrained people to carry loaded, hidden guns in more public places. If this bill passes, people who are prohibited from getting a concealed carry permit in a state with strong gun laws will be allowed to apply for a permit in a state with weaker laws. This includes convicted stalkers, domestic abusers, people convicted of violent crimes, and people with no training or experience firing a gun.

  • This bill fails to create a national standard for who should be allowed to carry a concealed weapon and undermines states rights by forcing states with strong concealed carry laws to honor permits from states with weak or non-existent concealed carry laws. Right now, states have the right to choose which states’ concealed carry permits they recognize, which is important because the requirement to carry hidden, loaded guns in public vary drastically from state to state. If this bill passes, that will no longer be the case.
  • Concealed carry reciprocity will make it nearly impossible for law enforcement officers to quickly and easily verify that people carrying a hidden, loaded weapon are doing so legally. Nearly every major law enforcement association OPPOSES this bill because of its disastrous consequences for public safety.
  • Concealed carry reciprocity will threaten the safety of victims of domestic violence, dating violence and stalking by enabling domestic violence offenders to follow their victims across state lines with loaded, concealed firearms. Preliminary data from the National Domestic Violence Hotline shows that 23% of victims reported that their abuser crossed state lines in an attempt to further assault their victims.
  • Weakening gun laws will increase violent crime in our communities. Recent research found that violent crime increased in states that loosened concealed carry laws, with 10% more murders and up to 14% more violent crime.

You can examine the entire document here.

What I think this illustrates is just how much of a top-down, Astro-turf organization that the group formerly known as Americans for Responsible Solutions really is. This was obviously created for them by public relations and media professionals. It assumes that the Know Nothings who feel that “something has to be done” are too uninformed to write their own letters or say something more than “I’m against this” when calling Congressional offices.

I find it highly ironic that a group so closely associated with the Democrats would go full “states’ rights” in their opposition to carry reciprocity. While it is now the rallying cry of the progressives on this issue, it was the rallying cry for racist Democrats in the 1950s and 60s in their opposition to integration and civil rights.

Making Gun Control A Cult Of Personality

First there was the National Council to Control Handguns which became Handgun Control, Inc. for the next 20 years. Eventually this morphed into the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. In making this name change in 2000, Handgun Control, Inc. did two things. This helped to soften their image from control to merely prevention. Just as importantly, by deciding to rename the organization after Jim and Sarah Brady, HCI was aiming to make sympathetic figures the face of gun control.

Now that the Bradys have passed away, gun control needs to regain its cult of personality. Mike Bloomberg is not sympathetic nor is home-wrecking, socially and politically ambitious Shannon Watts. However, Gabby Giffords does make a sympathetic figure.

Playing up this cult of personality was the announcement today that Americans for Responsible Solutions will now just be called Giffords. The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence (sic) which used to be known as the Legal Center Against Violence will now be the Giffords Law Center. Finally, their PAC will be known as Giffords PAC. Giffords is also now subtitled, “Courage to fight gun violence.”(sic)

From their press release:

“Addressing a problem that almost took my life will be the cause of my life,” said Congresswoman Gabby Giffords upon the announcement of her namesake gun violence prevention organization. “I’ve seen great courage when my life was on the line. But I’ve also seen great courage as we’ve fought to save lives from gun violence. Every day I meet brave Americans who are standing with me in the fight for a safer future—from law enforcement officers and military veterans, to parents, community leaders, and concerned voters. When we stand together, stand up for our children, and use the full power of our voices and votes, I know that we can make change happen.”

When people think of Gabby, they think of courage, determination, and grit—and it’s exactly those characteristics Americans need to channel in order for us to save lives from gun violence and make our communities safer,” said Captain Mark Kelly, co-founder of Giffords. “When Gabby and I began this journey, we knew this wouldn’t be an easy fight. The gun lobby has been selling a message of fear to the American public for years. It’s used its money to scare lawmakers into following its extreme ideology—and it’s made talking about guns culturally divisive, despite the fact that the majority of gun owners support stronger gun laws. A safer America requires changing that dynamic. We need more people to show the courage to stand up for what’s right and we need more elected officials to show the courage to take action.”

It is probably a smart move on the part of these gun prohibitionists to reemphasize Gabby Giffords as the face of their organization. She is a sympathetic (and pathetic) figure who survived an assassination attempt in the prime of her life and seems to have regained some of what she lost from her injuries.

With the renaming of the organization, the image of Gabby Giffords will always be more important than the reality. The image is that of the courageous survivor who fought back and is now leading the fight against “gun violence” (sic). The reality is that we don’t really know what level of mental capacity she retains given her servere brain injuries and that she very well could be more of a puppet than an actual leader. As for her husband Mark Kelly, the image he wants the world to see is that of a devoted husband caring for his grievously wounded spouse and seeking to protect others from what happened to her. However, when I look at the reality of today’s Mark Kelly, words like “puppet master”, “leech”, and the male equivalent of “gold digger” come to mind. Obviously, I don’t think much of him as he seems to have abandoned the oath he took as an officer to support and defend the Constitution in favor of political and monetary gains.

It will be interesting to how well gun control uses the cult of personality to make political gains. Time will tell.