Professor David Kopel’s Testimony to the Gun Control Senate Hearing

While his opening statement (gun control isn’t unconstitutional if it actually proves effective in reducing crime) might be a little light on the jurisprudence, in classic professorial style, he uses facts and logic to dismantle the pro-gun control arguments presented. In fact, his testimony might actually have been more compelling than Wayne LaPierre’s. Also, any man that uses the phrase “standard capacity” instead of falling for the ‘high capacity’ rhetorical trap gets an attaboy in my book.

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About Nick Leghorn

Nick Leghorn is a gun nerd living and working in San Antonio, Texas. In his free time, he's a competition shooter (USPSA, 3-gun and NRA High Power), aspiring pilot, and enjoys mixing statistics and science with firearms. Now on sale: Getting Started with Firearms by yours truly!

40 Responses to Professor David Kopel’s Testimony to the Gun Control Senate Hearing

  1. avatarKen says:

    He wrote an excellent book back in the 90′s comparing/contrasting guns in Japan, Canada, and the US and the historical and cultural differences. The Samurai, the Mountie, and the Cowboy. I don’t know if he’s updated it any, especially in light of court rulings since he wrote it, but it’s still a good read.

  2. avatarMatt in FL says:

    “In fact, his testimony might actually have been more compelling than Wayne LaPierre’s.”

    Might have been?

  3. avatarPascal says:

    I have seen Professor David Kopel speak at other other venues. More than anyone else he sticks to the facts and will not play to emotions. He has come to the defense of the police and gun owners and I remember a speach he gave several years ago that talked about how the defunding of the mental health system would lead to a crisis. He has been on the case for some time, if only legislature bodies would have listened.

    Lastly, I fully agree that our mental health system needs a rethinking. The ACLU is trying to protect against previous abuses but there needs to be a rethinking between the rights of the mentally ill and the umderstanding that some of them when having an episode are out of touch with reality.

  4. avatarGreg Camp says:

    Senator Durbin, why do you need to speak more than seven words?

  5. avatarChuckN says:

    Great testimony. I especially liked him slapping down Durbin.

  6. avatarFoster says:

    Standing ovation. Pointing out Durbin’s fringe argument against 100 round mags and importance of factory issued standard round capacity mags is key. In another video Durbin clearly believes that citizens have no rights to protect themselves and should be subjugated to the government. Too bad no one brought up the disarming after Katrina or the Koreans self defense in the LA riots.

    • avatarNickS says:

      Senator Lindsay Graham brought up the Koreatown example, and made some other good points.

    • avatarDrVino says:

      100 round drums?
      Hell yeah!

      Go to a range, put your rifle on a rig, attach a 100-round drum and squeeze off a carefully aimed round every 5 seconds: you’ll be able to target shoot continuously for 8.3 minutes.

  7. avatarNick says:

    Durbin is a child in a man suit throwing a tantrum.

  8. avatarSixpack70 says:

    I watched this last night. He did a great job against Dustbin. He made his argument with facts and controlled the narrative when Dustbin tried to go to lala land. Dustbin just doesn’t want to accept that the SCOTUS smacked down his ideas that because one person used a 100rd drum that everyone should have a limit on magazine capacity.

  9. avatarRopingdown says:

    What refreshingly sensible testimony. Remarkable to hear a knowledgeable expert speak only to the law of the matter, rather than listen to yet another ax-grinding charlatan peddling blatant appeals to emotion.

  10. avatarWilliam says:

    “(G)un control isn’t unconstitutional if it actually proves effective in reducing crime”
    See, that’s not just “a little light on the jurisprudence”; that’s what I call a GODDAMNED LIE.

    And it’s a LIE no matter WHO it comes from. And it’s put me in a foul mood, too.

    • avatarRon says:

      Hi William,
      I never heard Mr.Kopel make the statement you are quoating.
      So after reading your comment, I listened to his entire testimony a second time.
      At no time did I hear Mr. Kopel make that statement. At no time did I hear Mr. Kopel say that gun control isn’t unconstitutional or make any such insinuation.
      It appears what you are quoating is not Mr. Kopel’s statement but Mr. Leghorn’s paraphrasing of Mr. Kopel’s statement.

      If you will actually listen to the video, at 1:22 of the video Mr. Kopel states,” Gun controls don’t violate the 2nd ammendment IF they are CONSTRUCTED SO THEY DON’T VIOLATE the RIGHTS OF LAW ABIDING CITIZENS.” (gun control doesn’t violate the 2nd if it doesn’t violate the rights of the people as guaranteed by the 2nd. if the gun control measure proposed violates the rights of law abiding people under the 2nd, it violates the 2nd and is unconstitutional.)
      “AND they ACTUALLY do something constructive, significant, and EFFECTIVE to PROTECT LAW ABIDING CITIZENS.”

      Gun controls don’t violate the 2nd if they don’t violate the rights of the people AND they are beneficial to the people. BOTH.

      Gun control measures that don’t violate my rights and actually benefit me.
      I’ll take those measures all day everyday, no matter WHO proposes them.

      If you actually listen to the video, I think your mood will improve considerably.

      • avatarelnonio says:

        Indeed. If there is a compelling government interest, Supreme Court won’t strike down that are narrowly tailored to promote the governmental interest, and are the least restrictive to the right being legislated. It’s called “strict scrutiny”. That level is applied to constitutional rights.
        So no, the professor’s statements weren’t off the mark. If anything, they overstated the difficulty to overcome strict scrutiny.

  11. avatarTR says:

    Kopel for NRA veep?

  12. avatarTaurus609 says:

    After watching Kelly drink so much water during Kopel’s testimony, I had to go pee!

    Excellent, fact based testimony by Professor David Kopel!

    • avatarDrVino says:

      Were they taking a test? Kelly was craning his neck to see Kopel’s notes as if he wanted to ask: “Psst…. what did you put for #7?”

      • avatarMatt in FL says:

        They were all doing that. Kopel was reading off Gayle Trotter’s notes while she talked, Gayle was reading off Wayne LaPierre’s. Just something to do while you’re sitting at a table.

  13. Kopel is much more believable than La Pierre and many of the other gun-rights defenders, but he’s no less adept at the twisting and spinning. Over and over again we hear about the federal judgment on the first AWB, but no one is admitting that it is quite possible that one or more tragedies were obviated and simply DID NOT HAPPEN. There is no study that can see that.

    But the whopper, also repeated endlessly, is that the UK is more violent than the US. This has been definitively put to rest.
    http://mikeb302000.blogspot.it/2013/02/the-definitive-comparison-between-uk.html

    • avatarelnonio says:

      Kind of like there is no study that can show the number of tragedies averted by lawful carry and thus went unreported to police. Alas, that argument cuts both ways.

      • Yes, it cuts both ways except you guys claim the 95% of DGUs that were the brandishing kind with no record whatsoever except the word of the gun owner.

        If my side were to do that, which we wouldn’t do because we’re more honest than you, we could claim hundreds or thousands of mass shootings prevented.

        • avatarelnonio says:

          I’ll agree that keeping firearms out of the hands of violent criminals and lunatics may prevent tragedies. Does that mean that you would agree that keeping firearms in the hands of law abiding citizens (law abiding also in terms of their use) may prevent tragedies?

        • Yes, of course, but you and your friends don’t want to limit it to ONLY the responsible. To do that might infringe on someone’s rights.

        • avatarelnonio says:

          I think I’m guilty by association only in this case. I don’t subscribe to the automatic restoration of firearms rights for all felons. In any case, this “comeback” does not address the original point you were making.

          By the way, going back to you original point, having lived in England (1 year), France (10 years), Spain (on and off) and the Netherlands (8 year) before coming to the US, I can attest from personal experience that England was by far the most violent country I have ever lived in. Bar none. Was happy as hell to get out, and moved to Lubbock, TX, which I had not ever even heard of. Thinking was, nothing can be worse than Bristol!

          Try not to put words in my mouth next time.

        • Thanks for talking from your own personal experience. That’s refreshing around here. But, your subjective experience about the UK is based on your feelings while living there. That’s hardly proof of anything. The link I provided above is.

        • avatarelnonio says:

          Mike: suppose you are correct and personal experiences are highly anecdotal. My perceptions of what I saw around me, what I read in the papers, saw in the new, perhaps less so. So I was the victim of crime three times in England (a mugging and two thefts) but none anywhere else (well, an attempted mugging in Spain come to think of it). Nothing to write statistics treatises about.

          So what does that make of the weight given by gun control advocates to the witness testimony of parents of children from Sandy Hook, or Ms. Gifford? They too are victims just as I was, and while the degree of crime was different, their feelings, as you say, are hardly proof of anything.

  14. avatarDrVino says:

    So…… how many AKs are there in the country and does that make them common?

    …and there IS a rise in mass shootings? Kopel does not really counter this…

    • avatarIng says:

      I’m pretty sure there hasn’t been a rise in mass shootings. In fact, over the last 30 years or so, random shootings with 4 or more victims have become less common. (I looked this up a while ago because I was curious about the actual numbers; can’t remember the source now, but it’s out there on the interwebs somewhere.)

      Mass shootings have been steadily declining for decades, but mass media coverage makes them seem more common because now we all hear about every…single…one for days and weeks on end.

  15. avatarniceguns says:

    They all are missing the point that there is a tyrant in the White House. The fact that the alleged Aurora Colorado shooters father was a big wig scheduled to testify in the Libor Scandal and Adam Lanza’s father was a big wig for GE financial scheduled to testify in the Libor scandal. THIS IS NOT A COINCIDENCE!!!! Both shootings were staged by the Obama tyranny administration to attack our rights…

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