GOAL Study Guide
TALKING POINTS – STATISTICS AND FACTS ABOUT “GUN CONTROL” LAWS
Here are some links with info showing the failure of laws which disarm law abiding citizens.
Click here for a printable “take to your meeting” version of this page.
GOAL Reports On Failure of MA Gun Control Laws
- 2018 Report: Massachusetts gun laws are arguably costing lives. GOAL’s report on failing MA gun laws.
- 2013 Report – National: Gun Homicides down 49% since 1993. Despite the media hype, we are a much safer nation now than we were 20 years ago. During this same time period a majority of the country has lessened restrictions and prohibition regarding law abiding citizens carrying/owning/possessing firearms. Read the report here.
- Federal Gun Control Laws in America: A Historic Guide to Major Federal Gun Control Laws and Acts. Lots of great historical information here from ammo.com
- 2012 Study – “Gun Control Legislation” by the Congressional Research Service.
Read the full report here showing definitively that Gun-Control is bad science and even worse politics.
- How to talk 2A: A great article discussing strategy, talking points, etc.
- School violence – firearms related homicide info. Bureau of Justice stats here – relevant story about it here – and another story about it here.
- CATO Institute – Gun Control: Myths and Realities (this is more than a decade old but still relevant as all violent crime stats have continued to drop since this was written).
- Firearms Related Homicide Stats World Wide: This is an excellent source showing U.S. is first in amount of firearms owned and 28th for firearms related homicides – lots of stats here including:
- The US has the highest gun ownership rate in the world – an average of 88 per 100 people. That puts it first in the world for gun ownership – and even the number two country, Yemen, has significantly fewer – 54.8 per 100 people
- But the US does not have the worst firearm murder rate – that prize belongs to Honduras, El Salvador and Jamaica. In fact, the US is number 28, with a rate of 2.97 per 100,000 people
- Puerto Rico tops the world’s table for firearms murders as a percentage of all homicides – 94.8%. It’s followed by Sierra Leone in Africa and Saint Kitts and Nevis in the Caribbean
- CDC – No Proof Gun Laws Reduce Violence: A sweeping federal review of the nation’s gun control laws, including mandatory waiting periods and bans on certain weapons, found no proof such measures reduce firearm violence. The review was conducted by a task force of scientists appointed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Crime Since the AWB Expired: Since the Federal Assault Weapons Ban expired in September 2004, murder and overall violent-crime rates have fallen. In 2003, the last full year before the law expired, the U.S. murder rate was 5.7 per 100,000 people, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Report. By 2011, the murder rate fell to 4.7 per 100,000 people. One should also bear in mind that just 2.6% of all murders are committed using any type of rifle.
- “Assault Weapon” Info: AR-15 and other MSR style rifles are no more powerful than other hunting rifles of the same caliber and in most cases are chambered in calibers less powerful than common big-game hunting cartridges like the 30-06 Springfield and .300 Winchester Mag. AR-15 and other MSR style rifles are NOT “assault weapons” or “assault rifles”. An assault rifle is fully automatic and more commonly referred to as a machine gun. Machine guns have been severely restricted from civilian ownership since 1934, obtaining a permit to own one is an arduous, time intensive and expensive process.
- The High Cap Magazine Myth: In a 2004 study for the Department of Justice linked on Mrs. Feinstein’s own website, Christopher S. Koper, a professor of criminology, reported that “assailants fire less than four shots on average, a number well within the 10-round magazine limit” of the “assault weapons” ban. “Studies prove that the arbitrary magazine capacity restriction that was in place for a decade did not reduce crime”, Lawrence Keane, the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s senior vice president and general counsel, told The Washington Times. “In searching for effective means to reduce violence, we should not repeat failed policies, especially when they infringe on the constitutional rights of the law-abiding.” Violent crime has decreased 17 percent since the assault weapons ban expired.
- Magazine capacity: Magazine size is more likely to matter for people defending against aggressors, which is why it is dangerously presumptuous for the government to declare that no one needs to fire more than X number of rounds. As self-defense experts such as firearms instructor Massad Ayoob point out, there are various scenarios, including riots, home invasions, and public attacks by multiple aggressors, in which a so-called large-capacity magazine can make a crucial difference, especially when you recognize that people firing weapons under pressure do not always hit their targets and that assailants are not always stopped by a single round.
- The gun-show loophole myth: The “gun-show loophole” is an exaggeration designed to foster the false impression that this is how the bad guys acquire firearms. A 2001 Justice Department survey found 0.7 percent of state and federal prison inmates bought their weapons at a gun show. Also, all federally licensed firearms dealers must follow existing state and federal regulations pertaining to the sale of firearms, including background checks for the sale of firearms regardless of location.
- The “Gun in the home is 22% more likely” Myth: This article takes the bogus 22% claim completely apart.
- The 40% Myth: President Obama has been making a 40 percent claim to make it look like a lot of gun buyers are avoiding background checks. Actually, the number reported was a bit lower, 36 percent, and as we will see the true number of guns “sold” without check is closer to 10 percent.
- The cop-killer bullet myth: Cops simply aren’tt being killed by crooks using exotic, hardened projectiles, but it sounds like a scary possibility. What anti-gun politicians really have on their mind is replacing the existing statute with a performance test to determine whether a bullet can penetrate soft body armor. For example, the District considers a “restricted bullet” to be one that can penetrate 18 layers of Kevlar from a pistol (though in December, the D.C. Council reversed itself and adopted the federal definition of a prohibited bullet). Such a test is a sneaky way to outlaw common rifles. Many ordinary rifle rounds can penetrate a soft armor vest because rifles are significantly more powerful than handguns. Law enforcement and the military use ceramic plates for vests meant to protect against such powerful rounds.
- MA specific info since the Gun Control Acts of 1998 became law: In 1998 Massachusetts lawmakers passed what they said was one of the toughest gun control laws in the country. Yet, in the decade since the laws were passed, firearm-related crime has increased dramatically. Gun-related deaths alone have increased by 68%, and gun-related assault injuries have increased by 72%. Emergency room visits due to gun-related assaults have increased by a whopping 222%.
- Related: GOAL’s 2013 Report – Gun Crime Rates Since the Passage of the 1998 Gun Control Act. Where is the Evidence of Gun Control Success? Ever since the passage of the gun control laws in 1998 the proponents of the Act have gone around the nation extolling the success. The problem is… what success? They tell the media that the laws here work because Massachusetts has some of the lowest gun death rates in the nation. The problem for their success argument is when one compares Massachusetts to Massachusetts. When fair comparison is done it is clear that the gun laws laws have been an abject failure.
- One Gun A Month: For over a decade MA legislators have been trying to pass a version of this law. They base the need for it on claims of “a river of guns flowing across the border from NH and VT”. If this is the case, why the restrictions on law abiding MA gun owners who are already burdened by an inane series of laws and regulation? Proponents of the bill like Senator Chang-Diaz say that in her district “it’s easier to buy a gun than a fresh fruit or vegetable”. With that in mind, we have to ask, where are the arrests and prosecutions? To date, there is no record of a straw purchase prosecution in the state of MA. It is truly a law looking to solve a problem that doesn’t exist. It goes without saying that stopping law abiding citizens from purchasing more than one gun or magazine a month will have no effect on crime stats and criminals could care less about the additional law.
- Gun Registration – Completely Ineffective and Costly. Gun registration has been tried in many countries and has proven to be a costly failure in every single one of them. Criminals simply smuggle guns in, or acquire them illegally without registering them. Canada just repealed their failed long gun registry noting that it cost almost a billion dollars while offering no significant reduction in crime or suicide – In 2002 Canada’s auditor general released a report saying initial cost estimates of $2 million (Canadian) had increased to $1 billion as the government tried to register the estimated 15 million guns owned by Canada’s 34 million residents. For more, see this excellent article from Forbes.
- Supreme Court decision regarding civilian possession of AR type rifles: The Second Amendment has been ruled to specifically extend to firearms “in common use” by the military by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in U.S. v Miller (1939). In Printz v U.S. (1997) Justice Thomas wrote: “In Miller we determined that the Second Amendment did not guarantee a citizen’s right to possess a sawed-off shot gun because that weapon had not been shown to be “ordinary military equipment” that could “could contribute to the common defense”. A citizen’s right to keep and bear arms for personal defense unconnected with service in a militia has been reaffirmed in the U.S. Supreme Court decision (District of Columbia, et al. v Heller, 2008). The Court Justice Scalia wrote in the majority opinion: “The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home”.
- U.S. Concealed Carry – Real Stories of Gun Carrying Citizens Saving Lives -Stopping Crime.
- The Myth of 90 Percent: There’s just one problem with the 90 percent “statistic” and it’s a big one: It’s just not true. In fact, it’s not even close. The fact is, only 17 percent of guns found at Mexican crime scenes have been traced to the U.S.
- FBI Crime Statistics
- CDC Report Finding No Correlation Between “Gun Control” and a Reduction in “Gun Violence” Click here for a printable .pdf of the report.
- State of Massachusetts Crime Statistics
- Gun homicides and gun ownership listed by country
- Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy: Would banning firearms reduce murder and suicide? A review of international and some domestic evidence.
- “Assault Weapons” Info – This is an excellent online presentation that is factual and easy to understand.
- Excellent Video – Reason.com: 5 Facts About Guns, Schools and Violence
Case Law: Visit GOAL’s case law history page for a listing of historic U.S. Supreme Court and MA SJC cases with links to the summary.
One last thing from Merriam Webster, Definition of COMMON SENSE : sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts.
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