Leftist Infomercials for Gun Control

Much like the shooting of Trayvon Martin, the recent tragedy in Newtown brought out the worst in liberals. CNN, ostensibly a news network, became a 24-hour infomercial for gun control. Democrats demanded we pass new gun control as soon as possible, our president insisted that we have to do something and we can’t sit on our hands just because the problem is complicated. Of course the president and Democrats have one thing in mind: gun control, specifically a new and improved assault weapons ban. Before we rush to change the law in order to please the drama queens in the media, we ought to look at the facts.

The first question we should ask ourselves is: do assault rifles and high capacity magazines represent a public safety problem? Do they increase the number of people killed each year? In 2004, the assault weapons ban expired, since then the number of people killed each year in homicides decreased by 1,536 (from 2004 to 2011). In that same time period the population increased by roughly twenty million, and the AR-15 became America’s best-selling firearm. The increased availability of high capacity magazines and firearms has not increased the rate of murder, according to the data. Furthermore, assault rifles are not commonly used in the commission of crimes. In 2005 only three percent of all homicides were committed with rifles, including assault rifles. Prior to the 1994 assault weapons ban studies repeatedly demonstrated that assault weapons, a much broader category including many handguns, were comparatively uncommon in crime.

When considering what to do about mass shootings, we first need to consider the scope of the problem. Mass shootings, while tragic, make up a tiny portion of our overall homicide rate. According to Mother Jones, there have been 62 mass shootings since 1981. By my rough calculations in that same time period about 600,000 people were murdered. To make a direct comparison: in the last year for which we have complete data, 14,612 people died of homicide, of those 21 died in mass shootings. More relevant than how a new assault weapons ban will impact mass shootings is how it will impact everyday crime and the overall murder rate, and the statistics clearly demonstrate that it will not lower it.

Finally, some commentators have embarrassed themselves by engaging in fact free speculation about mental illness, while presenting no evidence that tighter civil commitment laws would have stopped these tragedies. Just as it makes no sense to make mass shootings the driving concern behind gun laws, it makes no sense to make them the major consideration behind civil commitment laws. Mentally ill mass shooters represent a tiny portion of people with mental illness. It would be insane to change the way we treat millions of people based on the actions of probably less than a hundred.

Rational debate about civil commitment and gun laws is one thing; media-driven hysteria is another. The politicians, and the media, pushing for a new assault weapons ban prefer hysteria to reason. That’s why they talk about passing something now, while the tragedy is fresh in the public’s mind. Even if you agree with gun control in principal (as some conservatives do), you should want a discussion driven by reason and laws shaped by facts.

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  • http://www.adinakutnicki.com AdinaK

    The real issue is that the leftist media is in the Dem machine's hip pocket, therefore, there is no daylight between the two. They are lock step and in the tank for their socialist/Marxist, communist world view.

    Most importantly, a compliant media is anti-democratic and deadly too, but it did not happen under the Radical-in-Chief's watch, it just got ratcheted up on steroids during his term! – http://adinakutnicki.com/2012/08/01/what-happens-

    And those who think that the US media is not mirroring Pravda, and other totalitarian regimes, are not seeing what is before their 'lying' eyes.

    Adina Kutnicki, Israel – http://www.adinakutnicki.com/about/

  • http://www.adinakutnicki.com AdinaK
    • JacksonPearson

      LMAO. There are over 80,000 signatures on the white house web site demanding Brit Piers Morgan be deported back to his native England. Then on the flip side, English news casters are saying that it took them a long time get rid of him, so please don't send him back….please keep him!

  • AM

    The left is not at all interested in Facts… they are only interested in destroying the one and only thing left that is holding this country together… The Constitution… Having a legitimate fact based conversation with the majority of these people is bacically a complete waste of time… and that is tragic.

    • R.C.


  • geeliddell

    Good article.

    This law review,"Of Holocausts and Gun Control,75 Wash.U.L.Q. 1237(online)" raises some interesting points such as this:
    "but it is nevertheless an arresting reality that not one of the principal genocides of the twentieth century, and there have been dozens, has been inflicted on a population that was armed." http://lawreview.wustl.edu/inprint/75-3/753-4.htm

    What most gun control advocates want is a government controlled monopoly on lethal violence. Then the dangerous assumption they are positing is that the government, although it changes hands every four or two or six years will always be benign. Remember, the pendulum swings and the government you like today can be the tyrant who hates you, and your kind, tomorrow. Ask the Jewish people of WW2 Europe or the Armenians in Turkey or how about the Cambodians of the seventies if they thought their governing apparatus was going to turn on them lethally?
    Do you want that tyrant to have a monopoly on lethal violence?
    That is the very point of military style weapons in the hands of many many civilians, there will be no Holocaust of a disarmed minority if there is no monopoly. You want at least a duopoly on the use of lethal violence and yes, it is messy but there is no Utopia, and never will be. I think Samuel Butler called it Erewhon or Nowhere.

    Also R.J. Rummel wrote a book, online called" Death by government" where he enumerates the 170 million deaths by government(he calls it Democide) in the 20th Century. http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/NOTE1.HTM

  • tagalog

    I have noticed, over the past week, how muted the talk has become, about taking steps to subject mentally disturbed persons to professional observation so as to keep the nut cases among us from acting out on homicidal ideations, delusions, and fantasies. I always thought the libbies were concerned about ROOT CAUSES (as in poverty being the cause of criminality); surely mental illness plays a significant role in homicidal shootings. But instead it's the guns that must be done away with instead of identifying the homicidal maniacs in our midst. Heaven forbid that their constitutional rights be infringed; far better that we take away the constitutional rights of millions of people who have no ideas involving harming even a fly.

  • Rich

    Liberals have shown in the past days since Sandy Hook that they are brain dead and know nothing about guns and the good they do every day. Ask your liberal neighbor anti-gun bigot to place a sign in their front yard reading "this is a gun free house". Have them show how anti-gun they are. Then place a sign in your front yard pointing at their house saying " I will not help my neighbor with my weapon. Most anti-gunners could not logically think their way out of a round circle on the sidewalk let alone deal with a crisis without calling the governmemt. They obviously were born on the Planet of Stupidor which is right next to Planet Thereanus.

    • tagalog

      The problem is that the gun owner would not hesitate to help his liberal neighbor with a firearm if the neighbor was in danger from thugs because the gun owner believes that we should love our neighbor as ourselves. After the flap with the thugs was over, the gun owner would be blamed for escalating the situation.

  • electedface

    Mass shootings = proof that gun regulation is necessary.

    • Crossbow87

      How very compelling. I'm trying to recall though and help me out if you know the answer, how many people in America have been killed with Barrett .50 cals?

    • Drakken

      Silly libidiot, you go ahead and try to take 350 million guns out of the hands of American citizens and see what happens.

    • Rifleman

      Lol, that doesn't even qualify as evidence, and we already have gun regulation. Nice try, electedfarce.

  • Alex Kovnat

    What the news media doesn't tell us is that sure, a so-called "assault rifle" is deadly. But remember, the most important word in the buzz-phrase in quotes above, isn't "assault" Its RIFLE. All rifles are deadly; that's what they were always designed to be! To ban AR-15 lookalikes just because their very appearance offends the sensibilities of intellectuals, isn't fair.

  • clarespark

    Psychiatrist E. Fuller Torrey appeared on the Wall Street Journal editorial report last Saturday, claiming that 7 million people are mentally ill, while 74,000 are dangerous. I can't vouch for his figures, but the treatment of the mentally ill is scandalous and it does conservatives no good to be in denial. I wrote about both left and right wing responses to the massacre here: http://clarespark.com/2012/12/15/sandy-hook-massa…. "Sandy Hook massacre and the problem of evil." The excerpt from Candide that starts the blog should give us pause about the suffering we ignore at our peril.

  • Chase Hamil

    The man who shot Ronald Reagan – and nearly succeeded in killing him – is now granted free weekends to visit his family in Virginia. It's not uncommon for criminals sentenced to 20 or 30 years to be paroled after serving three to five years in prison. We aren't getting the criminals off the streets, and when we do, they often serve a small portion of their sentence. Let's start here rather than confiscating the property of the law-abiding.

  • Moishe Pupick

    W., 12/26/12 common era

    The leftwing tells us that having an armed guard in any U.S. public school is "crazy." It would prefer more "gun-free zone" signs and perhaps a peace symbol here and there on the walls. The politicians
    try to reassure pro-2nd Amendment U.S. citizens that they only seek to legislate "common sense, reasonable" gun restrictions. Of course, many of them have concealed-carry permits. It's like Piglet says in George Orwell's ANIMAL FARM: "All creatures are created equal but some more equal than others." This, then, is Obamaland. . . .

    • tagalog

      The term "Gun Free Zone" translates readily into "Homicidal Shooting Fantasies Realized Here."

  • FPF

    Again, law is only meaningful to law abiding citizens. And lunatics are pushing laws against law abiding citizens while letting lunatics roaming free.

  • EarlyBird

    If conservatives don't seriously address gun violence in the face of such massacres as Newtown, we become irrelevant on the issue and hand it off to the left to "solve."

    The reflexive denial by the right to hunker down and blame the "liberal media!" and talk about how any reasonable changes to gun laws are a threat to the Republic, is what will ultimately end in a call for a total ban on guns.

    I am a gun owner and strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment. I also don't see why we can't institute limits on the magazine capacity, require mandatory firearms training, better background checks, and end obvious loopholes. There are plenty of little things that could go a long way to preventing future outrages. But if we don't do anything we risk giving it all away.

    • Drakken

      We on the right are not about to give one godd*mn inch to the lunatic left on anything concerning the 2nd Amendment Period! We have been down that road before and we are not about to do it again. The left wants nothing less than total firearm bans and confisication, if they try, they will let a genie out of the bottle that they will never be able to put back again.

      • EarlyBird

        Uh huh. Because even a "godd*mn inch!" is to totally undo the Constitution, the United States, all that is right and good, an affront to God himself, right?

        What "road" pray tell, have we been down before? Name a single firearm you wish you could own which you can not, besides fully automatic weapons? I live in Godless California, and I'm very well armed even with the limits on magazine capacity. You can even own a .50 cal sniper rifle here, for God's sake.

        If we refuse to "give an inch" we will be pushed out of the conversation entirely, shunned by the electorate, and the full ban on guns is what will ultimately take place. LaPierre's response to Newtown was a disaster because he didn't give an inch.

        • Rifleman

          The dp/msm showed their true colors with the original 'assault weapon' ban, and even the brady law. The clinton administration violated the brady law the entire time he was in office. We banned 'assault weapons' and high capacity magazines, and lots of Northern cities and states, like Connecticut, have very strict gun laws. Criminals ignore them. That's the road Drakken's talking about, and it's a dead end.

          What's to give, but our rights? The dp/msm "pushed" firearm users "out of the conversation entirely," decades ago. If they hadn't, they wouldn't be able to display such an astounding ignorance regarding firearms, and firearm laws.

          LaPierre did give a little, by going along with adding taxpayer expense with Police Officers in schools, when arming teachers and/or administrators would be more effective. Because he didn't give more than that, I sent the NRA more money. I'm a lifetime member, there's nothing to renew ;-)

          • EarlyBird

            The guy who killed 26 people in Newtown had 100 round capacity magazines in his AR-15 and they weren't illegal in Connecticut. Not every state has the same gun laws.

          • Rifleman

            So what? It doesn't change the point. Criminals in every state get high capacity magazines anyway, whatever the laws.

          • JoJoJams

            And by the way, I'd rather have a 15 or 30 round magazine as opposed to those "100 round" drums – which tend to jam a lot, not to mention all that extra weight when trying to aim the weapon. This is where logic over-rides emotionally driven hysteria….. There are already reasonable laws and regulations in place. Why add a bunch more? the ONLY ones affected by them are the law-abiding citizens. Criminlas and the insane already break the law when they go on a rampage. If not using an "assault weapon", then with an easily made "assautl bomb".

    • Rifleman

      Apply your recommendations to your other constitutional rights and you might start to see the biggest problem with your post. Apparently you either don't understand the 2nd or you don't really a support it. "…Institute limits on magazine capacity," for instance, contradicts the sentence immediately before it.

      In fact, your post reads like smooth left wing boilerplate. I haven't seen any "reasonable changes to gun laws," proposed by the dp/msm. They're dead set against reciprocity in CC permits, or arming administrators. They ended the voluntary civilian marksmanship program, with the msm's blessing, so by "mandatory firearms training," yall aren't talking about anything but another barricade and poll tax to exercising an explicit constitutional right. And what's an "obvious" loophole to current firearm law?

      None of what you listed would prevent any of the past outrages, or stop any in the future. Even if we were willing to secure our southern border, the person intent on mass murder will find a way. In any case, if you're going to limit constitutional rights, you'll have to start with the violent criminals and psychos. Good luck with that.

      • EarlyBird

        We don't allow fully automatic weapons and RPGs. Is that an affront to the 2nd Amendment? It certain places a limit on our right to bear arms, no? We have all sorts of restrictions on our constitutional rights. Not everyone can vote, not all speech is protected, as just two examples.

        We will never eliminate guns or mass murder with guns, unfortunately. But we can do some small things to help reduce these awful massacres in ways which will not obliterate gun owners' abilities to defend themselves, or undo the Constitution.

        I've noticed not a peep has been made on this board about the actual problem of violence, just "damn libruls!" Mainstream Media! "It's a conspiracy!" Sounds like Sarah Palin.

        • Rifleman

          You’re starting to get the idea, in a backhanded way, but RPGs aren’t firearms. And what part of “shall not be infringed” don’t you understand? The intent of the Second Amendment was to guarantee the people at large the right to state of the art firearms. Selective fire weapons are still legal, (my next door neighbor growing up had a Thompson, among other selective fire weapons) but they require a class 3 license, which does violate the Second.

          We’ll never eliminate guns or mass murder with guns period. The most effective tool to stop or prevent a massacre is a person armed with a firearm, so clearly we need fewer defenseless people, not more. Again, the dp/msm isn’t proposing any laws that would “help reduce these awful massacres.”

          The dp/msm isn’t showing any infomercials or proposing any laws to deal with violence (ever hear of unions or the ‘occupy movement?), and this board is based on what they are harping. You’ll never hear me call a leftist a liberal, and I missed when Sarah Palin came into this discussion, she’s obviously living rent free in your head.

  • Thomas Wells

    The "mess" psychosis of the lunatic left ,in it's frenzy for the dictatorial elimination of Constitutional government from America, is the prime mover of the: Disarm-Honest- Americans movement.

  • Ghostwriter

    I agree about doing something about the mentally ill and their treatment. I think that could go a LONG way to putting a stop to such things.

  • A Guest

    This just in from the WaPo: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/freedomwor
    They have gun control in DC, that's why their receptionist was not armed.

  • John_Kelly

    Piers Morgan gives a whole new meaning to the word HYPOCRITE.

    This two faced, mealy mouth, boot licking excuse for a man loves to paint gun owning conservatives such as Ted Nugent as bigoted of homophobic if they don't approve of Gay Marriage.

    The Gay agenda is a regular card played by Piers Morgan yet the hypocritical British weasel does not have the courage to "come out of the closet."

    While Morgan loves to ridicule anyone with Conservative values this puffed up, limp wrist Brit thinks he has some God given right to shove his twisted views down the throat of humanity.

    His latest attempt at portraying himself as an intrepid journalist is to demand that the Bible is changed to accommodate Gay Marriage.

    Guess what Piers, history is full of wanna bee big-shots just like you who tried to tread the Bible under foot and while they are all dead and gone, the Bible is still the greatest selling book in history.

    Like all the Left Wing hypocrites, Morgan really does not give a damn about the victims of the recent massacre at Newton but is simply using this tragedy to advance his own pathetic agenda.

    Do America a favor Morgan & go back to Britain.

  • jmz

    if stopping crime was what lib dems really wanted then they but all accounts should be in favor of MORE guns not less. However this has nothing to do with that. This is about statists using a tragedy to further a staist goal, namely the disarmerment of the citizenry and eliminate any real chance at loss of political power. once the 2nd is gone then the 1st will be a prime targert( it already is). then the conversion from soft tyranny to a hard one can finally begin because there will be no threat. if guns are made illegal then only criminals and free patriots will have guns!

  • Ken

    Good article! I don't think any govt. (Federal, State or other) is going to take away the guns of American
    citizens. Far more likely is the outlawing of automatic weapons and the clips that support them . Liberals
    will trumpet those sucesses, of course, while a few of us will remember the old, old saying: When guns
    are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.

    Incidentally, the word "princlpall" in the 5th line of the last paragraph, should be "principle."

  • aspacia

    Every response missed the whole point of the 2nd Amendment–It is there to protect citizens from and tyrannical government–PERIOD! It does not matter if the gun is a 22 or M16–the law is there simply to ensure our freeedom.

    • EarlyBird

      The vote also exists to ensure our freedom. But we don't let children vote, or dogs, or convicts. We regulate most all freedoms we enjoy.

      • aspacia

        My point is why we have the 2nd Amendment, and you go off on the Yellow Brick Road.

        Really, Oh, Really; we do not allow children legal right until they come of age? So TFW? Dogs, Cats, Fish, convicts do not vote for very sound reasons.

        What part of OZ do you hail from???