By William A. Levinson
Human beings are almost universally receptive to impartial facts, and people will therefore support any course of action that is inherently right and effective. If the truth were on the side of the enemies of the Second Amendment, they would not need to lie to the public along with fellow members of Congress.
The Brady Campaign Speaks with Forked Tongue
The Brady Campaign has a long track record of using distorted statistics to deceive the American people, including well-meaning donors of 501(c)(3) tax-exempt money. Consider, for example, the Brady Campaign's statement that a firearm in the home is 43 times as likely to kill a family member as a violent criminal. The Brady Campaign, therefore, wants us to believe that gun owners shoot family members in fits of rage, when the truth is very different.
Of the gun deaths in the home, the vast majority are suicides. In the 43-to-1 figure, suicides account for nearly all the 43 unjustifiable deaths.
... Putting aside the suicides, the Kellermann/Reay figures show 2.39 accidental or criminal deaths by firearm (in the home) for every justifiable fatal shooting.
Some of the "accidents" may, in fact, be suicides, because police and newspapers sometimes preserve the decedent's reputation by saying that he shot himself while cleaning his gun. This is a physical impossibility, because you have to disassemble a gun to clean it. Even if we accept the 2.39-to-1 ratio, however, note the phrase "every justifiable fatal shooting." From police instructor Massad Ayoob's The Truth About Self Protection:
For every one shooting thirteen to fifteen criminals are deterred or driven off just by the sight of the gun, and this fully accomplishes what the homeowner bought the gun for in the first place. When you also consider the fact that only about one out of four people who are shot actually dies, you realize that for every home intruder shot dead by the resident, there are ninety-nine others who don't get killed, but who give up their assaults.
The Brady Campaign must therefore admit that, for every 43 misuses of a firearm in the home (including suicide), 100 violent felonies are prevented. For every genuinely accidental or criminal firearm-related death in the home, more than 40 violent felonies are prevented. Property theft, by the way, is not a violent felony; we are talking about rapes, aggravated assaults, and murders.
The Brady Campaign adds:
What's more, a more sobering study conducted by the Violence Prevention Research Program at the University of California-Davis found that suicide is the leading cause of death among gun buyers, especially women, in the first year after the weapon was purchased. In fact, the study -- which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine -- found that a person who purchases a handgun is 57 times more likely to commit suicide within a week of buying the weapon than the general population as a whole.
This statement confuses cause and effect and is an insult to the intelligence of anybody who has studied basic statistics. If somebody kills himself with a handgun within a week of buying it, he almost certainly bought it for the express purpose of suicide. Similar "facts" could doubtless be quoted for first-time purchases of sleeping pills (especially with alcoholic beverages) and ropes.
The Brady Campaign has also played fast and loose with campaign finance laws, as shown by the fine that the Federal Election Commission levied against it for misconduct.
In 2003, the Brady Campaign's PAC was fined $26,000 by the Federal Election Commission for failing to properly disclose $200,000 it spent on mailings in 2000 opposing two Republican House candidates, Reps. Ernest Fletcher (R-Ky.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.)
This brings us to the Million Mom March, a true poster child for the ethics, character, and integrity of the entire anti-Second Amendment movement.
The Million Mom March
The Million Mom March, with which Senators Feinstein (CA), Levin (MI), and Mikulski (MD); Hillary Clinton; Tipper Gore; and numerous members of Congress were closely associated, underscored the anti-gun movement's total lack of character and integrity as follows.
(1) Misuse of 501(c)(3) tax-exempt money to influence an election
(2) Solicitation of money, volunteer time, and corporate contributions under the fraudulent premise that firearm misuse kills 12 or 13 children a day. Dianne Feinstein, Jerrold Nadler, and many of their associates signed their names to this falsehood.
(3) A Form 990 tax return that told the IRS that the group had not tried to influence legislation even though its express purpose was to demand so-called commonsense gun laws
A group that tells its own donors and volunteers that its mission is to promote public safety, turns around and uses the donations for lobbying and electioneering, and then tells the IRS that it spent no money on the latter activities is simply not credible. The Violence Policy Center also is on record as planning openly to lie to the public.
Assault weapons, just like armor-piercing bullets, machine guns, and plastic firearms, are a new topic. The weapons' menacing looks, coupled with the public's confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons -- anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun -- can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons.
The VPC therefore seems to admit that that it is using money that is 501(c)(3) tax-exempt for educational purposes to confuse the public over the relationship between a semiautomatic rifle and a machine gun. "Plastic firearms" is yet another deliberately deceptive phrase. Many firearms have polymer frames, but their steel barrels cannot possibly get past an airport metal detector.
Dishonest Lawsuits Against the Gun Industry
The dishonesty of NY Governor Andrew Cuomo and his predecessor, Eliot Spitzer, is well-known. As argued by Spitzer before he was caught with expensive prostitutes:
It is now clear that most manufacturers and wholesalers are unwilling to give up the profits they reap from selling guns into the criminal market.
...[HUD] Secretary Cuomo said, "The gun industry should follow the lead of Smith & Wesson and accept common sense-safety [sic] standards to keep guns out of the hands of children and criminals.
Gun manufacturers already followed these standards meticulously by selling firearms to the public only through federally licensed gun dealers, who, of course, do not sell to criminals or minors. The ethics of Cuomo and Spitzer, therefore, differ little from those of common criminals -- a line that their fellow travelers Governor Rod Blagojevich (IL), Rep. Mario Biaggi (NY), and Rep. Bobby Rush (IL) crossed to become convicted felons. Rush was a member of the Black Panthers, who, at the time, called for the murder of police officers: "The Revolution has come, it's time to pick up the gun. Off the pigs!" Cop-killers and their supporters have nothing to say about gun control in which anybody should take the slightest interest.
This leaves the anti-Second Amendment camp with serious questions that are simply not going to go away. If they are right, why do they need to lie?
William A. Levinson, P.E. is the author of several books on business management including content on organizational psychology as well as manufacturing productivity and quality.