Clinton’s Gun Control Lies
By Jeff Knox
(October 12, 2016) Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party have declared war on “the NRA,” meaning all gun owners. The truth is a frequent casualty in their war, as they inflate statistics, make false associations, and offer up simplistic “solutions” that seem reasonable, but actually can’t possibly accomplish anything positive, while they do real harm to innocent people who have done nothing wrong and are not part of the problem.
Those of us who have been involved in the fight to protect the Bill of Rights for years, and those who have studied the history of the fight, have seen all of this before. Bitter experience has proven that when gun owners agreed with what seemed like reasonable restrictions on their rights, the problems that were supposed to be solved only got worse and gun owners were vilified and targeted by the laws they’d agreed to.
Right now, the “reasonable” gun control proposals from Hillary Clinton, Mike Bloomberg, and other Democrats – like Arizona Senate candidate Anne Kirkpatrick – revolve around expanding “background checks,” blocking terrorist access to firearms, ending firearm industry liability protections, and reinstatement of the 1994 “assault weapons” ban. All are tailored to sound reasonable, but none of the proposals would accomplish their stated objectives, and would instead place innocent, responsible gun owners at risk, diluting and degrading our rights.
The Lie: There is an epidemic of mass murder and gun-violence in this country.
We are often told that the U.S. is the “only developed nation” with such a horrendous “gun-violence” problem, and that our “gun violence” problem is growing and must be addressed to save innocent lives.
The Truth: Crime – including crime involving firearms – has been steadily and precipitously dropping for the past 20 years and is currently at the lowest rates seen since the early 1960s. The U.S. ranks relatively low in overall violence statistics, though our violence naturally does more frequently involve guns. Still, there are other countries with much more stringent gun laws and much higher murder rates. It’s worth noting that U.S. violent crime statistics are heavily skewed by high numbers from a handful of neighborhoods in a handful of Democratic Party-controlled cities with some of the strictest gun laws in the nation. Excluding just those neighborhoods’ crimes brings our national numbers down to some of the lowest violent crime numbers in the world.
The Lie: Over 30,000 Americans die each year as a result of “gun-violence.”
The Truth: This is not so much a lie as it is a massive distortion. Only about 8,000 of those “firearm deaths” are acts of criminal violence. Most are suicides, but the statistic also includes justified shootings by police and armed citizens. And while 8,000 is too many, it is a very low percentage in a population of over 320 million. Again, these murders predominantly occur in just a few major city neighborhoods, and are most often connected to illegal drugs and street gangs.
The Lie: Terrorists and mass murderers are able to buy guns and “automatic weapons” at gun shows and online, with no background checks.
Every time there is some atrocity committed with firearms, this argument that we need “universal background checks” is trotted out as if passing this legislation would have prevented the latest horror.
The Truth: There has not been a single mass murder or terrorist attack that would have been stopped or mitigated by this proposal. The few perpetrators who did not pass a background check either had a friend buy the guns, or they stole them from a family member. In the case of the Sandy Hook murderer, he killed his own mother to gain access to her guns.
So-called “universal background checks” would have no impact on crime, but would make criminals of innocent gun owners while creating a de facto firearm registration system. Currently, all private transfers must be conducted face-to-face between residents of the same state. It is illegal for a “prohibited person” (one who would fail a background check) to buy a firearm or ammunition from anyone, or for anyone to sell them a gun or ammo if they know or have reason to believe they are prohibited. Those who buy and sell guns illegally on the black market are unaffected by additional background check laws.
As to the so-called “terror gap,” it is a fiction and a constitutional nightmare. The “Terror Watchlist” is secret. No one knows how someone gets on the list or is taken off of it. With some politicians and Homeland Security officials suggesting that NRA membership should be a reason for adding someone to the list, it is small wonder that gun owners are skeptical at the idea of suspending Second, Fourth, and Fifth Amendment rights on the basis of inclusion on this secret list.
The Lie: The firearms industry is virtually unregulated and is exempted from liability lawsuits for the harm caused by their products.
Hillary Clinton has made repeal of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act one of her major campaign issues.
The Truth: The firearms industry is tightly regulated. Every level of the industry requires federal licensing and perpetual maintenance of federal paperwork. Firearms may only be bought or sold in face-to-face transactions. No mail-order or internet sales. Protection from certain types of lawsuits was passed because anti-rights politicians were using taxpayer funds to repeatedly sue gun dealers and manufacturers for the acts of criminals. This is akin to suing Chevy because someone used a Camaro in a hit-and-run. The cases were generally dismissed, but the litigation costs were bankrupting gun dealers and manufacturers. Dealers and manufacturers are still liable for faulty guns or guns sold illegally.
No issue is ever as simple and straightforward as proponents and opponents try and make it seem, but when proponents must resort to lies and distortion to make their case, it’s a pretty safe bet that neither the proposal nor the results will match their rhetoric either.