GOA Responds to the President on the Oregon Shooting
-- Top Ten misstatements made by Obama
On October 1, 2015, the nation witnessed another tragic shooting -- this one at the Umpqua Community College in Oregon.
The President shortly took to a national platform to address the killings.
This should have been an opportunity for the President to unite a grieving nation. But instead, he chose to foment division. He even bragged that it was right for him to politicize this tragedy.
Over and over again, on nationwide television, the President misled the American people in an effort to further restrict the rights of law-abiding Americans who have done no wrong.
But to the President, we say: Shame on you, for leveling so many false accusations about guns and crime in America.
Here are the Top Ten misstatements he made during that nationwide address.
1. “Earlier this year, I answered a question in an interview by saying, ‘The United States of America is the one advanced nation on Earth in which we do not have sufficient common-sense gun-safety laws — even in the face of repeated mass killings.’ And later that day, there was a mass shooting at a movie theater in Lafayette, Louisiana. That day!”
Not enough gun control? Mr. President, it is insane to expect criminals to obey “common sense” gun control laws. They don’t obey gun restrictions any more than you heed the “shall not be infringed” limitation in the Second Amendment.
But not enough gun control? Look at the recent University of Chicago Crime Lab study which found that very few criminals get their firearms from “gun shows or through the Internet” or from “a licensed store” -- but rather, they get their guns “on the street.”
Criminals don’t obey the laws. The gun restrictions you are pushing only end up infringing on the rights of the law-abiding.
As for the “repeated mass killings” you referenced, all but two public mass shootings since 1950 have occurred in a gun free zone. Perhaps you didn’t realize that your reference to the Lafayette, Louisiana, theater shooting was another case in point.
And by the way, you should note that the Louisiana shooter passed a background check before purchasing his firearm -- as did the Umpqua shooter, who ALSO passed background checks in purchasing his firearms.
So how are more background checks going to make a difference, when they are doing nothing to stop killers like the ones in Louisiana and Oregon? The one thing background checks do accomplish is register law-abiding gun owners, as seen here and here.
2. “We talked about this after Columbine and Blacksburg, after Tucson, after Newtown, after Aurora, after Charleston.”
Mr. President, you just listed another set of gun free zones where law-abiding citizens were PROHIBITED from carrying firearms.
The only exception was the Tucson shooting -- which, as referenced above, was one of only two public mass shootings (dating back to 1950) that did not occur in a gun free zone.
Hence, the overwhelming majority of public mass shootings occur in places where guns are outlawed, and yet criminals disregard those bans.
But in regard to the shootings you just mentioned, please explain what gun control law would have prevented the above shooters from getting their firearms, given the following scenarios: Columbine (guns were illegally acquired); Blacksburg, Aurora and Charleston (shooters passed background checks); and Newtown (gunman stole his weapons).
3. “It cannot be this easy for somebody who wants to inflict harm on other people to get his or her hands on a gun.”
Somebody who wants to get a gun will get one. Look at our nation’s capital, which has some of the toughest restrictions in the country on legally purchasing and carrying guns. And yet, according to the FBI’s list of 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, they had the highest murder rate in the nation.
Guns are EXTREMELY difficult to obtain legally in DC, and EXTREMELY difficult to carry legally. (Most recent reports indicate that fewer than 50 people in THE ENTIRE CITY are permitted to carry concealed.)
Of course, you’ll say that criminals in DC just get their guns from places where guns are more easily available -- like Northern Virginia.
But if that’s the case, then please explain why Fairfax County -- which has twice the population of DC, and where civilians can easily carry guns legally -- has a murder rate that is 20 times lower than that in the District. And Arlington, which is just across the river and where guns are also easily obtainable, the murder rate is 40 times lower than DC’s.
4. “And what’s become routine, of course, is the response of those who oppose any kind of common-sense gun legislation. Right now, I can imagine the press releases being cranked out: We need more guns, they’ll argue. Fewer gun safety laws.”
Well, if you won’t listen to common sense from the American people, then listen to the police. Almost 90% of our “first responders” say that these types of incidents would be prevented if the potential victims were armed.
And by a two-to-one margin, police favor concealed carry over expanded background checks as the best method of preventing “large scale shootings in public.”
5. “We know because of the polling that says the majority of Americans understand we should be changing these laws — including the majority of responsible, law-abiding gun owners.”
First, our God-given rights don’t depend on polls. The Declaration of Independence says that people are “endowed by their Creator” with unalienable rights. In other words, law-abiding individuals can’t have their rights diminished, limited or restricted in any way by government.
And the Second Amendment makes the same point, stating that our right to keep and bear arms “shall not be infringed.” So our rights don’t hinge on polling, any more than our First or Fourth or Fifth Amendment rights do.
Having said that, the polls contradict each other. A recent CNN poll says that almost 60% of respondents don’t think that expanded gun control laws (including expanded background checks) will prevent criminals or the mentally ill from getting firearms. And a majority of respondents in a recent Pew Poll oppose additional gun control.
Overriding the Constitution, based on cherry-picked polling, would be as valid as forcing a President to step down because a poll shows him to only have 40% or less of the public support.
6. “There is a gun for roughly every man, woman, and child in America. So how can you, with a straight face, make the argument that more guns will make us safer?”
Actually, that’s exactly what the evidence shows. From 1991-2013, this country has manufactured or imported an additional 150 million firearms -- even while the murder and violent crime rates dropped more than 50%. (Source: FBI Uniform Crime Reports, Table 1, 1991 and 2013).
We literally have “More Guns, Less Crime” -- just like the book says.
But since you mock the idea that “more guns will make us safer,” when will you begin firing your Secret Service protectors?
7. “We know that states with the most gun laws tend to have the fewest gun deaths. So the notion that gun laws don’t work, or just will make it harder for law-abiding citizens and criminals will still get their guns is not borne out by the evidence.”
Really, are you forgetting Vermont which for more than 100 years has allowed residents to carry concealed firearms WITHOUT getting permission from government officials?
And yet, the Green Mountain State is frequently ranked as the Safest State in the Union.
Besides, what is the jurisdiction in this country that is the most dangerous? Despite its draconian gun laws, it is Washington, DC, that has the highest GUN MURDER rate in the country, by far.
How strange to hear someone who lives in the nation’s capital -- and who is from Chicago -- saying that places “with the most gun laws tend to have the fewest gun deaths.”
Perhaps you don’t see the crime in the District because you are the most well-guarded individual in the country.
As for your native Chicago, the city is one of the most dangerous places in the country -- even though they have erected some of the highest barriers to gun possession. Regardless, bad guys there still keep getting guns.
8. “We know that other countries, in response to one mass shooting, have been able to craft laws that almost eliminate mass shootings. Friends of ours, allies of ours — Great Britain, Australia, countries like ours. So we know there are ways to prevent it.”
For starters, there are other developed countries that have higher rates of mass shootings, even though they have greater firearms restrictions. Norway, Finland and Switzerland are examples.
Likewise, there are countries with stricter gun laws that have FAR GREATER rates of carnage whenever they do have a mass shooting. Consider how many people died in the following shooting massacres: Kenya college (147 in 2015); Nairobi, Kenya mall (67 in 2013); Mumbai, India hotel (164 in 2008); Tunisia hotel (38 in 2015); Norway summer camp (69 in 2011); etc.
And you reference Australia, which has NOT eliminated mass shootings. For starters, crime rates Down Under were declining before the 1996 ban, and then continued to rise and fall after the ban, leading the researchers of one exhaustive review of Australia’s crime rates to conclude that the “gun buy-back and restrictive legislative changes had no influence on firearm homicide in Australia.”
But in regard to mass shootings, you can’t ignore New Zealand, which allows the same types of firearms that were confiscated in Australia. Even though these guns are legal in New Zealand, they have experienced no mass shootings during the entire time following the completion of Australia’s gun confiscation (in 1997).
9. “This is a political choice that we make to allow this to happen every few months in America. We collectively are answerable to those families who lose their loved ones because of our inaction. When Americans are killed in mine disasters, we work to make mines safer. When Americans are killed in floods and hurricanes, we make communities safer. When roads are unsafe, we fix them to reduce auto fatalities. We have seatbelt laws because we know it saves lives. So the notion that gun violence is somehow different, that our freedom and our Constitution prohibits any modest regulation of how we use a deadly weapon, when there are law-abiding gun owners all across the country who could hunt and protect their families and do everything they do under such regulations doesn’t make sense.”
Mr. President, it’s your policies that are making the American people less safe. There is a policy that will make people safer. It’s the policy that is supported by 90% of police. It’s called concealed carry. But so far, you’ve done everything in your power to oppose that.
10. “And I would particularly ask America’s gun owners — who are using those guns properly, safely, to hunt, for sport, for protecting their families — to think about whether your views are properly being represented by the organization that suggests it’s speaking for you.”
Mr. President, with all due respect, you are not the best person to speak on behalf of gun owners. You don’t know what you are talking about.
Both NRA and GOA did polls of their own members.
* NRA did a scientific survey of about 1,000 members and found that 5% of its members support the universal registry legislation.
* And GOA did a non-scientific poll of its members. After nearly 25,000 gun owners responded, GOA’s survey found that only 4% of its members supported “universal background checks.”
Our combined membership is FAR GREATER than that of the anti-gun lobby. Mr. President, whom do you represent?
The above polls indicate that we are the ones who understand gun owners. We understand that our highest law -- the Constitution -- says the right to keep and bear arms “shall not be infringed.”
So please, spare us your lectures, Mr. President.
Why we need to repeal Gun Free Zones
Mr. President, you uttered NOT ONE WORD about the Oregon killer’s hatred for Christians. He specifically targeted Christians at the Umpqua Community College.
But you ignored this, and instead, directed your vitriol against the rights of law-abiding gun owners.
Apparently, you have forgotten that it has been law-abiding gun owners who have brought public mass shootings to a screeching halt.
Consider just a partial list of the locations where armed good guys have stopped bad guys in their tracks over the past year: in a bar in Ohio, on a street corner in Chicago, at a barber shop in Philadelphia, at a church in Florida, and at a hospital in Darby, Pennsylvania.
And then, of course, there was the attempted mass shooting in 2012 at the Clackamas Mall in Oregon. When a gunman began killing people in the mall, Nick Meli drew his concealed firearm and pointed it at the gunman, thus spooking him into taking his own life.
Nick Meli was breaking the “no guns policy” at the mall, but there are many survivors who are glad he did.
Despite mistaken claims to the contrary from liberal media outlets, Umpqua Community College is a Gun Free Zone. Gun Free Zones are the problem. We should repeal Gun Free Zones.
Erich Pratt is the Director of Communications for Gun Owners of America, a grassroots lobby that represents more than one million gun owners.
In his October 1 address to the nation, the President asked the media to compare the number of Americans killed by terrorist attacks versus the number killed by guns. Well, CNN dutifully accepted his offer and crunched the numbers, but their figures only tell half the story.
CNN revealed that guns have been used to kill 316,545 Americans between 2004-2013. Some might say this number is somewhat overstated since a majority of the gun deaths are suicides. After all, if guns were not available, then people bent on killing themselves would simply resort to other means, such as tall bridges, asphyxiation, etc.
Even so, the figure sounds daunting, until one considers the TOTAL NUMBER of self-defense uses with guns -- a total that completely DWARFS the number CNN is touting.
According to the President’s own Center for Disease Control (in 2013), guns are used in self-defense anywhere from 500,000 to 3,000,000 times a year.
That means that, between 2004-2013, guns have been used in self-defense anywhere from 5-30 million times -- a number that far surpasses the illegitimate uses of firearms.