Banning guns increases violence, a coalition of dozens of gun organizations have said in an open letter to Congress opposing the myriad plans to restrict firearms, their ownership and access.
“Between the first significant school shooting, in 1966, and enactment of the 1996 (Gun Free School Zones Act], media summaries reveal eight shootings with 134 victims killed or wounded – a rate of 4.3 victims per year,” said the letter to members of Congress and other leaders.
“Between 1996 and 2012, the review finds 62 shootings and 367 victims – a fivefold increase to 23 victims per year. Yet, during the same period, FBI Uniform Crime Reports indicate homicide nationwide dropped by 14 percent,” the letter explains.
“Members of the National Coalition to Stop the Gun Ban demand that Congress refuse to use lawful gun owners as political scapegoats and instead reduce school violence by …. Defeating any attempt to pass gun control including, but not limited to, banning semi-automatic firearms or magazines, or requiring private gun transfers to be registered through the National Instant Check System; and repealing the Gun Free School Zones Act of 1996.”
The letter is signed by leaders of the Firearms Coalition, Gun Owners of America, Rights Watch International, Second Amendment Sisters and USRKBA.org and dozens of state groups.
“Researchers John Lott and William Landes, then at Yale and the University of Chicago, respectively, studied multiple victim public shootings. Said Lott, ‘Gun prohibitionists concede that banning guns around schools has not quite worked as intended – but their response has been to call for more regulation of guns. Yet what might appear to be the most obvious policy may actually cost lives. When gun-control laws are passed, it is law-abiding citizens, not would-be criminals, who adhere to them,” the letter explains.
“Examining data from 1976 to 1995, they discovered that mass homicides in states adopting concealed handgun laws declined by 84 percent, deaths plummeted by 90 percent and injuries by 82.5 percent. Crediting the reductions to deterrence (even suicidal maniacs avoid armed victims), Lott and Landes called their findings ‘dramatic,’ concluding: ‘[T]he only policy factor to have a consistently significant influence on multiple victim public shootings is the passage of concealed handgun laws,’” the report said.
Meanwhile, one Marine is warning Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., that he won’t allow her gun control proposal to disarm him.
The gun groups’ letter is just one response Americans are delivering to plans in Congress to tax, register and ban weapons in reaction to the massacre at the Newtown, Conn., school that left 20 children and six adults dead.
Investigators have not determined why a suspected gunman shot and killed his mother, then went to a nearby school and killed children and administrators.
Feinstein’s proposal would ban 120 specific weapons and would impose background checks on owners that would include registration of a firearm serial number and positive identification of the owner, including a photograph and fingerprints.
The American public already has made a statement on guns. The FBI says the number of background checks for Americans buying guns set a record in December.
The FBI recorded 2.8 million background checks during the month, beating November’s record of 2 million. December 2011 saw 1.9 million checks. In Colorado, there was a backlog of tens of thousands of gun owners waiting to pick up weapons they had purchased. State agency officials asked for an extra $500,000 to make sure the work, which was behind by about 10 days, got done.
In the Illinois state legislature, meanwhile, Democrats advanced plans to restrict semiautomatic weapons with “no exemptions and no grandfathering.”
Feinstein has admitted that she, herself, once held a concealed carry permit.
In a U.S. Senate hearing on terrorism after the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, she told “a little anecdote” of how she carried concealed to protect herself after two assassination attempts by the New World Liberation Front, the NWLF.
She explained: “I know the sense of helplessness that people feel. I know the urge to arm yourself because that’s what I did. I was trained in firearms. I walked to the hospital when my husband was sick. I carried a concealed weapon and I made the determination if somebody was going to try and take me out, I was going to take them with me.”
Feinstein championed her private firearm ownership the same year that she called for banning “all” firearm ownership.
In an interview with “60 Minutes” in 1995 she said, “If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States, for an outright ban, picking up every one of them. Mr. and Mrs. America, turn ‘em all in, I would have done it.”
See her comments in the “60 Minutes” interview:
The open letter from gun advocates notes that the rifles Feinstein, “by her own admission, waited decades to ban” differ from others mostly in cosmetics, such as barrel shrouds.
“The notion being promulgated by gun control advocates that such features increase lethality by allowing guns to be ‘fired from the hip’ is absurd: Any firearms expert will attest that rifles can only be effectively utilized from the shoulder,” the letter said.
“And when you hear how ‘high capacity’ magazines increase mortality in mass shootings, understand that Seung-Hui Cho carried no fewer than 19 magazines for the Virginia Tech rampage, and that nearly all mass murderers who use guns carry multiple firearms, rendering magazine capacity moot,” the letter said. “Like the misnomer ‘assault weapon,’ the ‘high capacity’ designation of more than 10 rounds for magazines represents nothing more than an arbitrary limit set on devices which have been in common possession since the early Twentieth Century.”
The letter said Feinstein’s proposal to regulate “grandfathered” weapons would be the fastest way to expand the population of felons in America logarithmically.
“Because a large percentage will refuse to comply, the scheme, if implemented, will make felons of otherwise law-abiding citizens,” the letter warns.
And the gun advocates noted that when there was a ban on semiautomatic firearms, shootings increased, but since it expired, the shootings have decreased.
According to the FBI Uniform Crime Reports, the letter notes, between expiration of the ban in 2004 and 2011, the most recent date for which data is available, violent crime dropped by 17 percent and homicide by 15 percent.
Also signing were state-level organizations such as the Arizona Citizens Defense League, Arkansas Carry, Florida Carry Inc., Grass Roots North Carolina, Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance Minnesota, Gun Owners of California, Gun Owners of Maine, Gun Owners of Utah, and Gun Owners of Vermont, Michigan Gun Owners, Montana Shooting Sports Association, Nebraska Firearms Owners Association, New Hampshire Firearms Coalition, New Jersey 2nd Amendment Society, Oregon Firearms Federation, Peaceable Texans for Firearms Rights, Shootings Committee on Political Education New York, Utah Shooting Sports Council, Virginia Citizens Defense League, West Virginia Citizens Defense League, Western Missouri Shooters Alliance and Wisconsin Carry.