The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence has released another of their “reports.” How Guns Have Affected the Athletic Community & What It Tells Us About America’s Gun Violence Crisis is filled with falsehoods and misleading misinformation. To properly parse the Bradys’ agit-prop polemic, I’ve broken my response into several parts. Click here to read Part One: a close look at the report’s Executive Summary and an analysis of the first victims exploited by the text. Next on the Brady hit parade: Daniel Williams . . .
Daniel Williams, a promising high school basketball player at McKinley High School in Buffalo, New York, was shot and wounded by a gang member while playing basketball outside his house. The gang member mistook Williams for someone else, and shot him in the stomach with a Hi-Point 9mm handgun, a cheap, low-quality “Saturday Night Special.” The shooting ruined Williams’ chances of earning a scholarship to play college basketball.
Williams was a victim of weak gun laws that enabled traffickers to obtain and sell hundreds of guns to criminals. [Emphasis theirs]
The shooter got his gun from a notorious gun trafficker, James Bostic. Between May and October 2000, Bostic and two accomplices purchased at least 250 guns … Bostic was able to obtain the guns he sold because gun dealers were willing to ignore the obvious signs that he was a trafficker, and no laws prohibited his bulk purchases of guns.
The Bradys are correct in stating that no law limits bulk purchases, but ATF regulations require that when a customer buys more than 1 handgun in 5 consecutive business days:
[T]he sale must be reported on ATF Form 3310.4, Report of Multiple Sale or Other Disposition of Pistols and Revolvers, not later than the close of the business day on which you sold or disposed of the second handgun.
So the ATF knew that Bostic was trafficking guns by August of 2000, three years before Daniel Williams was shot. And Bostic got the guns from dealers, so the buyers had to undergo Brady checks, right? But wait, in their Executive Summary they said,
- In virtually every state, a criminal can buy a gun from a “private seller,” without a Brady background check.
So…now the Brady checks aren’t enough? That brings the question, what would be enough (besides no sales at all)? They say that no laws prohibited his bulk purchases of guns, so do we need laws like Virginia’s 20-year-old One-Gun-A-Month (OGAM) regulation—which was recently repealed?
The same OGAM law which had been in effect for more than a decade when the Washington Post wrote In Study Of Gun Traffic, Va. Stands Out, which stated:
Law enforcement authorities traced more than 10,000 guns recovered in Virginia, Maryland and the District last year — and nearly half came from Virginia, according to federal data released yesterday.
Virginia also was among the top sources of guns recovered by authorities in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and South Carolina, the data show. In New York, more recovered guns came from Virginia than from any other outside state — roughly one of 11 traced.
Or another WaPo hit piece done 17 months later Report: Virginia’s Lax Gun Laws Supply Criminals Weapons which told us:
A study obtained by the Washington Post says Virginia’s gun laws are lax, and along with nine other states supply a majority of the weapons used in crimes in other states.
Despite VA’s law ‘prohibiting bulk purchase(s) of guns’, ATF trace data shows that in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 Virginia was the number one out-of-state source for so-called “crime guns.” And according to the Mayors Against All Illegal Guns website TraceTheGuns.org, Virginia had the 7th highest rate of “crime gun exports” in 2009. Another of their tables which provides raw numbers rather than rates shows that Virginia was the top 2nd or 3rd “crime gun supplier” for 2006 through 2009.
So in Daniel’s case, the Bradys are saying:
- The NICS check they want required for all sales in order to stop criminals and traffickers aren’t enough to stop criminals and traffickers
- To stop trafficking we need to block bulk sales (because that worked so well in stopping trafficking from Virginia)
- The evil gun seller who (judging by the lack of sanctions) complied with all applicable laws and regulations should be driven out of business and sued for every penny he has and
- We should ignore any culpability on the part of the ATF who knew about the guns walking from Ohio to New York for three years before Daniel was shot
And they call us nut-jobs.
The Bradys next list a bunch of “Young Athletes Impacted by Guns”:
Robert Adams (Basketball Player – Brentwood High School)
Adams, 19, a college-bound basketball player, was shot and killed in 2008.
Unmentioned are the following facts, all of which are relevant to their narrative:
- The shooting occurred in New York State which scored a 62 on the Brady State Scorecard and was ranked number 4 for strongest gun laws. According to their press release, New York has “strong and effective gun laws.”
- New York State does not have the “private sale loophole”.
- At the time of the shooting, New York State had a “ballistics fingerprinting” database.
- According to a report by the Long Island Press: “Police said a gang feud sparked the shooting.”
Michael Dudley (Tight End – Chester Thomas Dale High School)
Dudley was a first-team all-state player bound for Virginia State University when he was injured in a shooting in June 2010.
From the rivalsHIGH.com report:
According to police reports Dudley was eating a meal with friends at Pietro’s Restaurant when Richard Parker, 56, accused his wife, Cindy, 45, of seeing another man. The confrontation escalated when Parker shoved his wife against a glass partition causing Dudley, 18, to step in.
In the ensuing struggle, Cindy Parker was shot and killed with a .22-caliber handgun; Dudley was shot in the stomach, reports stated. …
“We often do not recommend people to respond in a situation like that, it can become a potentially volatile situation,”[police spokeswoman Ann] Reid said. “(Dudley) was trying to do the right thing.”
I wonder…if Dudley had been a permit holder would the Bradys be calling him a vigilante instead of a victim?
Norman Griffith, Jr. (Linebacker/Tight End – Pahokee High School)
Griffith, a Florida football star with offers from Iowa State and other schools, was shot and killed by two teenagers in September 2008.
Two 17-year-olds were involved. It was illegal for them to possess their pistols. It was illegal for them to attempt to rob Norman. It was illegal for them to shoot at Norman. What more do the Bradys think could be made illegal that would have prevented “one of 2008′s most visible and notorious cases of gang violence”?
Jose Gurley (Wide Receiver/Safety – Bridgewater Middle-Senior High School)
Gurley, who helped lead his high school football team to victory in the state’s Division IV Super Bowl, was shot and killed in July 2007.
Again unmentioned by the Bradys are the following facts:
- The shooting occurred in Massachusetts which scored a 65 on the Brady State Scorecard and was ranked number 3 for strongest gun laws. According to their press release, Massachusetts has “strong and effective gun laws.”
- Massachusetts requires background checks for all handgun sales.
- At the time of the shooting, the (alleged) shooter was 17, too young to legally own a pistol.
- According to a report by the Enterprise News: “[ADA] Healy said members of two city rival gangs were at the party, and an argument broke out as people were leaving.”
“Gurley was outside the house at the time. Authorities said after the shooting that he may have been trying to break up the argument when he was shot.”
Patrick Hernandez (Safety – Far Rockaway High School)
Hernandez, 18, was an honor roll student and athlete who was shot and killed just blocks from his Queens home in July 2008.
Once again the Bradys leave out some crucial information:
A longtime rival was charged Friday with murdering a Queens scholar-athlete who was just weeks from leaving his gritty neighborhood for college.
Patrick Hernandez, 18, was felled by a single shotgun blast Thursday morning …
Cops say his killer was Karon Lenihan, 17, who was fueled by an old grudge.
Raheem Jackson (High School Basketball Player – H.D. Woodson High School)
Jackson, a 16-year-old all-league high school basketball player, was shot and killed near his home in Washington, D.C. in April 2011.
And again with neglecting to mention relevant facts:
Raheem Jackson, 16, was reportedly trying to buy a gun from someone who robbed and killed him instead.
Raheem was too young to legally buy a gun so I won’t go into the fact that I’ve never felt my life was in danger buying a gun at a gun store or gun show. I will, however, point out that 18 out of 29 of the peer-reviewed studies done by economists or criminologists show a drop in crime after right-to-carry is passed in a jurisdiction, and 10 of the remaining 11 show no change. Maybe if gun trafficking were such a dangerous criminal endeavor in the District, Raheem would still be alive.
Billey Joe Johnson (Running Back – George County High School)
Johnson, a top-rated high school football star who was sought after by several colleges, died in December 2008 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound during a traffic stop.
There are apparently some questions about who did the shooting, but either way: If (as seems likely) Billey Joe killed himself, well, study after study has shown that firearm “availability” does not affect overall suicide rates so if it hadn’t been a gun it would almost certainly have been something else. And if, as some imply, Billey Joe was shot by a cop, well, cops are the only ones the Bradys want to have guns, so disarming non-cops again, wouldn’t have changed the outcome.
Terrance Kelly (Linebacker/Tight End – De La Salle High School)
Kelly, 18, was shot to death by a 15-year-old in California in August 2004, two days before he was to leave for the University of Oregon.
According to Sports Illustrated, in California (which was the top scorer in the Brady’s state scorecard) a 15-year-old boy borrowed a bolt-action (not an “assault rifle”) Marlin .22 (not a “high-powered” rifle) from a neighbor (who wiped his prints off it before handing it over) in order to murder a rival.
No background check law, no waiting period law, no magazine limit law, no caliber restriction, no bayonet lug ban, not one single law that the Bradys have ever pushed for would have stopped this murder.
But that doesn’t stop them from dancing in Terrance’s blood and invoking his name as they shout their agenda from the rooftops.
Tayshana Murphy (Basketball Player – Murry Bergtraum High School)
Murphy, 18, was shot to death in September 2011 inside a New York City public housing project.
Apparently the Bradys never tire of lying by omission. The key factor they left out in their sketch of Tashanya Murphy: according to the New York Post, she was a gang member:
When not in classes … Murphy … battled gangster girls from the nearby Manhattanville projects or joined her brother’s crew in their fights with rival Make it Happen Boyz, they say.
She reportedly was not a random victim:
Two revenge-crazed gunmen who blew away high-school hoops standout Tayshana (Chicken) Murphy knew exactly whom they had in their sights, police said Monday.
Detectives believe the killers targeted Murphy and her brothers over an earlier assault, part of a long-running feud between toughs at rival housing projects.
And no, I am not saying that all gang members deserve to be murdered, but the Bradys and their ilk try to portray “teen victims” as innocent schoolchildren mowed down as they sell candy bars to raise money for band uniforms. This is very rarely the case.