This Is Pretty Weak — Even For The Violence Policy Center

Josh  “I invented the term Assault Weapon” Sugarmann’s Violence Policy Center is taking note that the NRA Annual Meeting starts on Friday. They have come up with a graphic asserting the Annual Meeting is showcasing “manufacturers of mass shooter’s weapon of choice”.

Normally, I appreciate a good infographic. This is just weak stuff.

More interesting is what they fail to show. I believe the terrorists who killed 130 concert goers at the Bataclan Theater in Paris used AK-47s. Likewise, I believe the Islamic terrorists that attacked the Taj Hotel in Mumbai and killed 165 and wounded over 300 used AKs. This does not even begin to approach the total number of people who have been killed in mass murders with bombs and arson.

More importantly, this graphic fails to take in account the number of defensive gun uses using the firearms produced by these manufacturers. I’ll be gracious and even include Hi-Point in that list.

The graphic also fails to specify which of these locations was an officially gun-free zone. Just glancing over the list I see that most of them qualify.

They put this graphic under their “Investigating the Gun Lobby” banner which is devoted to the National Rifle Association. The actual official gun lobby is the National Shooting Sports Foundation which represents manufacturers. Moreover, if you want to get more expansive, every one of us who supports gun rights is the gun lobby. It isn’t only an organization in Fairfax, VA.

Good Little Statists

I saw this tweet from the Violence Policy Center applauding the moves yesterday by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey (D-MA) to rule by edict regarding AWB state-compliant firearms.

When you consider that their founder and executive director Josh Sugarmann was the person who popularized the term “assault weapons”, it all begins to make sense. He meant for the term to be used to confuse the general public into supporting bans under the guise of “anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun”.

Healey and Sugarmann are the people that George Orwell warned us about in 1984. They are the good little statists from the Ministry of Love intent on making us submit to their will. The term “assault weapon” is nothing but Newspeak – the controlled language meant to limit freedom of thought. Those earnest men who assembled on Lexington Green in April 1775 must be rolling in their graves to see what has become of their state.

Putting The Cart Before The Horse

The gun prohibitionists were figuratively jumping for joy after the shooting in NYC outside the Empire State Building. I won’t even go into Mayor Bloomberg’s stupid comments.

The Violence Policy Center put the cart before the horse yesterday. They made many assumptions about the handgun used by the killer of his former boss without knowing the facts.

Washington, DC–Following the fourth high-profile shooting in little over a month, this time outside the Empire State Building in New York City and reportedly involving a 45 caliber handgun, the Violence Policy Center, a national non-profit educational organization working to stop gun death and injury, issued the following statement:

“How long are we going to ignore America’s gun crisis? Today’s shooting outside the Empire State building is the fourth high-profile shooting in little over a month, following the Aurora, Colorado theater shooting, the Oak Creek, Wisconsin, Sikh Temple shooting, and a shooting outside Texas A&M in College Station, Texas. One can only guess where the next shooting will occur–but we do know that it will occur. Today’s shooter reportedly used a 45 caliber handgun to end the life of a former co-worker, offering yet another example of how the ready availability of semiautomatic handguns that can be equipped with high-capacity ammunition magazines destroy lives and make everyone less safe. All Americans deserve the right to feel safe in public spaces–in theaters, their places of worship, and walking city streets. The deadly mindset propounded by the gun industry and the gun lobby that guns are the ultimate problem solver is stripping away the feeling of safety that communities across the country not only expect, but deserve. It is long past time to regulate the out-of-control gun industry that makes these horrendous public shootings possible.”

From all reports, the Spanish-made Star .45 ACP were purchased legally in Florida 20 years ago. Moreover, even assuming it was larger than the Star PD which only held 6 rounds, this pistol does not have a “high-capacity ammunition magazine.” At most, the pistol used by the killer held 8 round and more likely 7.

Normally I’d suggest that VPC think before they issue such press releases. However, in this case, I’m glad that they show their stupidity.


Brian Haas had a story on domestic violence yesterday in The Tennessean which is the daily newspaper for Nashville. In an overall good story about the challenges faced in combating domestic violence by both police and prosecutors, there was this paragraph.

Tennessee has a deplorable reputation for domestic violence. Since 2001, Tennessee has ranked among the Top 10 states with the highest rates of women murdered by men. The state has been included on that list every year but 2009, according to the Violence Policy Center, a nonprofit Washington-based public safety research and advocacy organization. It has ranked in the Top 5 five times, including the past two years.

The Violence Policy Center is no more a public safety research organization than Sarah Brady is for concealed carry. Josh Sugarmann and Kristen Rand are gun prohibitionists pure and simple. Not only did Sugarmann coin the term “assault weapon” but has consistently advocated for the ban on all handguns. Haas did get it right when he also referred to them as an advocacy organization.

Oh, Those Evil Gun Companies And The Evil NRA

The Violence Policy Center has their panties in a wad over a donation that Glock, Inc. is making to organizations within the National Rifle Association. Frankly, I think they are jealous that the Joyce Foundation doesn’t give them this much money with which to put out more spurious reports.

I agree with Miguel that the VPC will have even more PsH’s when Ruger presents the final installment of their $1 million  $1.2 million dollar challenge check to Wayne LaPierre at the NRA Annual Meeting.

From Glock’s press release in part:

Smyrna, GA – GLOCK, Inc. will donate a total of $115,000 to four separate organizations within the National Rifle Association (NRA) during the 2012 NRA Annual Meeting & Exhibits held in St. Louis, MO, Apr. 12 – 15. GLOCK, Inc. Vice Presidents Gary Fletcher, Chad Mathis and Josh Dorsey, alongside spokesman R. Lee Ermey, will make presentations to each group inside the GLOCK, Inc. exhibition booth (#2031) on Friday, April 13, 2012 at 10:00AM.

“There are millions of NRA members and thousands of certified NRA firearms instructors who continue to protect our Second Amendment rights and help to promote firearms safety,” said GLOCK Vice President, Gary Fletcher. “It’s important for us at GLOCK, Inc. to recognize that commitment by supporting the NRA and its affiliate organizations.”

The full release can be read here.

I Can’t Believe It Took Them This Long

The Violence Policy Center has finally released a Tweet castigating Glock and the Second Amendment Foundation over Glock’s significant donation to SAF. The donation was announced on Thursday, August 11th. As I said at the time, I wonder what snide comment the VPC will make about it. Now we know.

Gunmaker Glock helps fund SAF’s efforts to overturn gun laws to, of course, sell more guns.

Frankly, I’m surprised that that it took them this long to respond. I expected it the same day. I guess they are not only ineffectual but inept as well. Good!

H/T Kurt

I Wonder What The VPC Will Tweet About This

The Violence Policy Center has this thing about donations from firearms manufacturers to pro-rights organizations such as the NRA and the Second Amendment Foundation. They call it “blood money” as if donating to protect an enumerated civil right is somehow on par with child molestation.

In the release below, the Second Amendment Foundation announces a “significant donation” from Glock. I’m sure it will set off the narrow minds that run VPC and we can expect a snide or nasty Tweet about it sometime later today.

BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation today announced that Glock, Inc. has donated and pledged significant financial support to SAF’s on-going litigation efforts in defense of firearms civil rights.

SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb made the announcement, noting that Glock has now become the largest corporate contributor to the foundation, in recognition of the important legal efforts SAF has mounted and will continue to pursue.

“I want to publicly and personally thank the management and ownership at Glock,” Gottlieb said, “and all Glock employees who have made this possible. Specifically, I want to thank Glock Vice President Josh Dorsey and General Counsel Carlos Guevara for their involvement and for making this happen.

“SAF’s victory in McDonald v. Chicago has made all of this litigation against onerous state laws and municipal ordinances possible,” he continued, “and it is imperative that we continue and expand our legal challenges with the greatest possible speed.

“Glock’s generous support comes at a critical time,” Gottlieb added. “Most of our members and supporters make contributions in the $10 to $25 range, and Glock will be providing significant additional support in our efforts to win back firearms freedoms one lawsuit at a time.”

Gottlieb urged SAF supporters and all Americans who are concerned about their firearms freedoms to support Glock and other companies that support their Second Amendment rights.

“There are times in the history of any movement, and in the lives of every person, when it is important to stand up and be counted,” Gottlieb said. “Glock has stepped up to the plate when it really does count, and we will be eternally grateful for their generosity and their unwavering dedication to the Second Amendment.”

VPC Dances Over Tragedy

VPCinfo Violence Policy Cent
PA: Family annihilator shoots and kills wife, two daughters, self with .357 handgun.

The Violence Policy Center posted the above Tweet about 15 minutes ago. It would appear that Josh Sugarman, Kristen Rand, and their crew are trying to make up for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence’s suspension from Twitter by dancing in the blood of a family tragedy.

It involves a murder-suicide that happened sometime on Sunday in the Pittsburgh area. A man killed his wife and two young daughters and then himself. The family had recently moved to the rented house in Shaler Township 3-4 weeks ago.

Shaler Township Police Chief Jeff Gally said, “We have no indication as to what caused this tragedy.”

As Chief Gally says further in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the only people who know for sure are gone.

This is most certainly a tragedy. Why it happened we probably will never know for sure. The tool was a .357 revolver but it just as easily could have been a baseball bat, a kitchen knife, or even the bathtub in the master bedroom. However, if it had been any one of the later items, VPC would not have seen fit to Tweet about it. They are selective on the violence they wish to publicize. They certainly are not reticent in using inflammatory language when they refer to the murderer as the “family annihilator”.

H/T J. D. Berger

I Am Shocked!!!!

The Violence Policy Center just released a new report today condemning the National Rifle Association for accepting donations from those in the gun industry. They also condemned the “round-up” or “add-a-buck” programs. They are calling both types of these programs “Blood Money”. The so-called research report is called Blood Money: How the Gun Industry Bankrolls the NRA.

By the estimates of the Violence Policy Center, the NRA has received between $19 million and $52 million since 2005 from the gun industry. The largest single contributor is MidwayUSA. While I know Larry and Brenda Potterfield are quite generous with their own money, I imagine the biggest part of the donations from MidwayUSA comes from customers like you and me. It comes in the form of many, many small donations when we tell Midway to round up our order and send the difference to the NRA.

The other major thing that the Violence Policy Center neglected to mention is the number of dues-paying members the National Rifle Association has. It is in the neighborhood of 4 million life and annual members. If the average dues per member was only $25, this would generate $100 million in revenues annually. Since annual dues are actually $35 per year, the $100 million is probably a low-ball figure.

I guess when you don’t have dues paying members and subsist on handouts from the Joyce Foundation ($4.635 million since 2003), you tend to ignore the financial impact of dues paying members. According to VPC’s 2009 IRS Form 990, they had no members and a reported $924,927 in revenue. $585,000 of their 2009 revenue came from the Joyce Foundation. If I were the Joyce Foundation, I’d start to question if I was getting my money’s worth.

VPC Blames The Tool

The Violence Policy Center just released a study on homicide rates in the African-American community. The report, Black Homicide Victimization in the United States: An Analysis of 2008 Homicide Data, examined homicides across the nation where the victim was an African-American using 2008 data from FBI reports.

The study reports that Missouri leads the nation with the highest black homicide victimization rate. This is the number of homicides of African-Americans per 100,000 residents. Missouri is followed by Pennsylvania, Indiana, Michigan, and Tennessee. At the bottom were states like North Dakota, Vermont, Wyoming, and Utah.

The rates can be deceiving. For example, North Dakota is ranked last as it had no African-American homicide victims. Neighboring South Dakota which had only two homicides with black victims ranked 22nd. The low overall population of the state of South Dakota exaggerates the homicide rate.

What is also interesting in this report is that states with high African-American populations such as Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Georgia rank in the middle of the pack. These states also have much less restrictive gun laws than states like California which ranks 7th overall.

The report’s conclusion:

For blacks, like all victims of homicide, guns—usually handguns—are far and away the number one murder tool. Successful efforts to reduce America’s black homicide toll must put a focus on reducing access and exposure to firearms.

For the Violence Policy Center it is much easier to just blame an inanimate object than to look at the underlying causes. Nowhere in the report are actual underlying causes of crime like level of gang membership or poverty rate even considered. The Violence Policy Center had a chance to do some serious research on a serious issue. They didn’t because all they were looking for was another reason to blame the tool and not the criminal.