On “Gun Violence,” Real Solutions Require Dealing in Facts

giffords sandy hook gun industry lies

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By Steve Sanetti

Gun control groups praising Connecticut’s Supreme Court decision to allow the Soto v. Bushmaster case to move forward are, ironically, using the court decision as an opportunity to perpetuate false narratives, the same misdeeds of which they accuse the firearms industry. Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence struck out at the firearms industry to push an agenda of half-truths, omissions of fact and obfuscation.

It’s an outright lie to malign the firearms industry with inflammatory rhetoric. To reach real solutions to the most challenging questions, we must deal in facts. In trying to invoke the tragedy of Sandy Hook, Giffords Law Center is painting with a broad brush the actions of a criminal to the entire firearms industry. It must not be overlooked that the criminal who committed the horrific acts at Sandy Hook became a criminal the moment he stole a firearm — well before he committed his unspeakable crimes.

No one — not a single person, nor company, nor the industry at large — has ever advocated that any crimes involving firearms are acceptable, tolerated or condoned. The implication otherwise is detestable at best, and unprincipled and amoral at worst.

The author of this column for the Giffords Law Center (“Truth and the gun lobby’s marketing lies,” April 6) accuses the firearms industry of playing fast and loose with facts in advertising. Here are the facts the author conveniently ignored when impugning an entire industry.

It is the firearms industry doing the yeoman’s work to stop the criminal misuse of guns. No one wants to stop the criminal misuse of guns more than we do. We share the concerns of all Americans and we’re advocating for real solutions to create safer communities.

The firearms industry supports, and actively works to pass laws that prevent the sales of guns to people who can’t legally own them. We’ve changed the laws in 16 states to make background checks work as intended, requiring the input of disqualifying records, and increasing the number of those records to the FBI from 1.7 million in 2013 to more than 5 million today, a 220 percent increase.

The firearms industry, just last year, worked with senators and members of Congress on both sides of the aisle and opposing views on gun rights to give states the resources to submit all disqualifying records to the background check system, and to require federal agencies to do the same.

The firearms industry is committed to the safe storage of firearms when not in use. Gun companies have included more than 70 million gun locks in each gun sold since 1998. In addition, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, through our Project ChildSafe program, has partnered with 15,000 law enforcement agencies in all 50 states and five U.S. territories to distribute 38 million gun safety kits, which include gun locks, free of charge. The program was recognized as one of three finalists for the National Safety Council’s 2018 “Green Cross for Safety” Awards.

The firearms industry partners with the ATF to prevent straw purchases of firearms, or cases when someone attempts to purchase a gun for someone who legally can’t buy one for themselves. For nearly 20 years, the firearms industry has been working with U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, or ATF, to educate retailers on the warning signs of such a crime and warning the public that buying a gun for someone who can’t risks 10 years in jail and a $250,000 fine.

The industry also partners with the ATF to improve security and help prevent burglaries and robberies at licensed gun dealers, and matches ATF reward offers that double the money for the arrest and conviction of those who would steal guns.

We do this because we know criminals who steal guns only do so to bring more crime to our communities. We are taking action to stop it.

The firearms industry also partnered with the largest suicide prevention organization in America to build and provide a suicide prevention toolkit to help firearms retailers, shooting range operators and customers understand the risk factors and warning signs associated with suicide and encourage those at risk to seek help and choose secure firearms storage options.

It’s through these actions that violent crimes committed with firearms have sharply fallen in the past quarter-century. According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting statistics, homicides with firearms decreased 24 percent between 1991 and 2017. Department of Justice data show other crimes with firearms decreased 70 percent between 1993 and 2017. These precipitous drops occurred even as gun sales quintupled during the same time period.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation, as the firearms industry’s trade association, remains committed to these efforts because we know they work. Malicious accusations to score cheap rhetorical points serve no one’s interest. Rolling up our sleeves and working together toward real solutions is what matters.

 

Steve Sanetti is the chief executive officer for the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

 

comments

  1. avatar Jay in Florida says:

    This case is going to be a historic waste of time and money.
    I hope and truly believe that the defendants will win it and the parents don’t have a legal leg to stand on.
    When all is said and done.
    The gun manufactures had better get every cent spent back from the accusers.
    And the Connecticut State Court to be shown the joke it is.
    To me this all is still blame the car companies for the drunken deaths autos cause. Pools shouldn’t be built because some child will eventually drown in it.

    1. avatar pwrserge says:

      Disbar everyone involved in pushing this case. Plaintiffs’ lawyers, judges, everyone should be in jail on federal charges.

    2. avatar GS650G says:

      Lawyers are hoping this succeeds so the manufacturer of anything used to commit a crime can be held liable for the acts of criminals.
      Think how far this could go. We used to think nothing was possible now anything truly is.

    3. avatar Rusty Chains says:

      Sadly the plaintiff group will escape having to pay for their misdeeds because they won’t have the money to do so.

      We need legislation that forces any party contributing money to a suit against any arms related company requiring an equal amount go into an escrow account payable to the defendant, helping compensate them when the plaintiff loses. Not going to happen until the Dims are mostly banished from the House and have significantly less than 40 members in the Senate.

    4. avatar Phil in TX says:

      Nobody seems to remember the fact that the perpetrator of this horrific crime did NOT PURCHASE the weapon that he used. He STOLE it from his own mother after he murdered her. I want to know how the advertising affected his decision to use the firearm in question for his murderous rampage. How can the fact that he DID NOT purchase the firearm translate into charging the company’s advertising with causing him to “purchase” the firearm in order to go on a murdering spree? I also note that this coward attacked an elementary school and not a police station, where the officers inside would undoubtedly fight back.

      Phil in TX

    1. avatar OBOB says:

      what are you whining about?

  2. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    “They” will destroy the industrial base of the United States if necessary to get our civil rights away from us. It won’t be long before corporations with thousands of employees are being sued, using this decision if it’s allowed to stand.

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      all this flap because of some questionable advertising?…I think not…their true agenda is pretty clear…

    2. avatar rt66paul says:

      Similar actions have been going on for over 30 years. Restrictive laws have sent manufacturing overseas and hurt the middle class of our country. That and laws that force the federal, state and local governments to take bid from suppliers outside the country also hurt the middle class. Add to that the border that can be jumped and the sanctuary cities, it is a wonder we have a middle class at all.

      1. avatar Rusty Chains says:

        I love the Trump plan to settle illegals claiming asylum in sanctuary cities. Oakland, San Francisco, Seattle should do to start and then start going down the list. I figure first round should be five to ten thousand illegals each. They shouldn’t complain since they are saying the illegals are more law abiding than native born people and they welcome them.

    3. avatar Dave in Fairfax says:

      Of course “They” will destroy the industrial base of the United States. That’s one of the core beliefs in their system. All means of production are to be in government hands. Private control of production is to be nationalized. Think long game rather than individual fronts in their political/economic struggle.

  3. avatar GS650G says:

    The end game of all this would be the wet dream we see in NZ. Only a complete ban and turn in with no compensation. After all we have so much other shit to spend other people’s money on.

  4. avatar Darkman says:

    Once again a conversation based on a non existent problem. There is NO such thing as gun violence. As long as We allow the conversation to be about the TOOL rather than the Act. There will never be an agreement on a possible solution. I also believe many of the people in power regardless of political party. Don’t want a solution. They aren’t interested is solving problems. Their power is reliant upon OUR need for their so-called protection. Lawyers see this issue as a cash cow. Judges see this as an opportunity to expand their control based on their ideological beliefs. Solutions don’t fit their agenda and would be adverse to their plan of keeping people divided. Keep Your Powder Dry.

  5. avatar GunnyGene says:

    “I once saw John Wick kill 3 men in a bar with a pencil.”

    So what’s being done about “pencil violence” ? 😉

  6. avatar Leslie says:

    I’m sort of curious as to how an Unarmed Person “Steals A Gun” from an Armed Person. Vigilance (i.e. Situational Awareness) is on the side of the Armed Person, not the Unarmed Person…

    1. avatar rt66paul says:

      Well, in the case mentioned, the son, who had had mental problems, somehow got control of a gun owned by the mother. If he physically took it from her, she did not want to shoot him. Whatever happened first, she was killed with her own gun and then that gun and others were taken and used at the school.

      That is how a gun can be taken from someone with one of their own.

      1. avatar Leslie says:

        A Kid with a Mental Problem in a Home with a Unsecure Firearm (Situational Awareness)…

        1. avatar John in AK says:

          “Unsecure.”

          Like, ‘unsecure’ meaning locked in a safe, and sufficiently ‘unsecure’ to necessitate murdering the rightful owner to get access to it?

          THAT kind of ‘unsecure’?

          What Disarmist Dream World do YOU live in? Does ‘unsecure’ on YOUR planet mean ‘disassembled, the parts scattered to the Four Winds, the ammunition broken down and the powder flushed down a toilet’?

          I’m sorry, but I have to tell you now: This is ‘Earth.’ A firearm locked in a safe is pretty damned ‘secure’–especially if you have to kill the owner to get to it.

        2. avatar Leslie says:

          When did you start Locking Up the Household Cleaners? When you’re Child learned to Walk, or when your Child learned to Read…

        3. avatar John in Ohio says:

          “When did you start Locking Up the Household Cleaners? When you’re Child learned to Walk, or when your Child learned to Read…”

          We never did. The firearms weren’t locked up either. The children were always well supervised and our kids weren’t stupid.

  7. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    To reach real solutions to the most challenging questions, we must deal in facts.

    You have lost before even getting up to the starting gate. Why? You presume that everyone actually wants real (e.g. effective) solutions.

    A lot of people want good feelings and don’t care if something is actually an effective real solution as long as it feels good. THAT is the inherent problem that we face. Solutions focused on facts will always fall short for those types of people, which incidentally number about HALF OF OUR POPULATION.

  8. avatar Old Hawg says:

    I hate the term “gun violence” almost as much as I do “police brutality” should a cop employ more force than necessary to make an arrest or calling an AR-15 an “assault rifle” simply because it looks like an M16, a REAL assault rifle. Violence is violence, no matter how someone hurts someone else. I live in a state where I can no longer purchase a plethora of firearms, many of them long guns not on the “Approved” list. This despite the fact that long guns are seldom used to harm our fellow citizens, fists and feet being much more the “instrument” employed in homicides than long firearms. The “Gun Safety Act of 3013” was a worthless piece of legislative garbage which has had little or no effect on any kind of violence but that I’m sure it made our mostly Democrat liberal General Assembly feel much better that they’d “done something” to curb “gun violence” in the wake of Newtown.

    1. avatar Scooter says:

      “…legislative garbage which has had little or no effect on any kind of violence but that I’m sure it made our mostly Democrat liberal General Assembly feel much better that they’d “done something” to curb “gun violence” in the wake of Newtown.”

      Yeah, it may have made them feel better. For a day or two. Then, like an addict, the urge to do more returned and the cycle continues. They will never be satisfied until we are defenseless, powerless, dependent.

  9. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

    I’ve never witnessed a violent firearm,a violent individual but never a violent gun,the language that Leftard morons use never cease to amaze .

  10. avatar Sam I Am says:

    Re: “gun violence”. There is an article today demonstrating how “violence” alone is not a problem for society. Violence becomes an item of interest only when a gun is presented:
    https://bearingarms.com/tom-k/2019/04/12/chicago-video-proves-urban-issue-guns-not-violence/?utm_source=thdaily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=nl&newsletterad=04/13/2019&bcid=a9ce9eed6401d2490a50dd5442269feb&recip=27443347

  11. avatar Timothy Toroian says:

    If he were on fire I wouldn’t waste my urine. I’d save it for tanning leather.

  12. avatar Cory says:

    We’re past the point of facts. The left will not listen to facts or reason on their suicidal march to socialism/communism. And the conservative, neocon right is too concerned with “compromise” or being labeled “extremist” in fear that they might offend their donors. The only way this country will survive is if a new, identitarian and nationalist movement is formed. One that is concentrated solely on restoring our Constitution.

  13. avatar Ams says:

    I don’t know why the dems are so mad because some people did some things.

  14. “Madison Avenue Made Me Do It”

    “………..Should Ford, for example, be held liable for deaths caused by a terrorist who rented a U-Haul truck that was made by Ford and used to run down civilians or should it fall to the U-Haul people?

    How about the Louisville Slugger Baseball Bat Company? Are they responsible if a drunken husband uses one of their fine baseball bats to batter his wife or would / should that liability fall to the Smirnoff Vodka folks who made the intoxicating libations he imbibed?

    What about makers of fine kitchen cutlery? Victorinox, Wusthof, Chicago Cutlery, Dalstrong, etc. all make kitchen knife sets and no doubt some of these products find themselves plunged into human bodies, their handles grasped by other humans at the time of “the plunging”. ”

    The above is from the Reality Bytes Blog here:
    http://realitybytesblog.com/madison-avenue-made-me-do-it/

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      None of the tools of destruction you outlined are firearms; EOS

      1. avatar Kenneth S Carter says:

        And?

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          @Sam I Am: “None of the tools of destruction you outlined are firearms; EOS”

          And?

          Not being firearms makes comparisons irrelevant. People “need” all those other tools; no one “needs” a firearm. Millions of people live their entire lives not having a gun, but very few can live their lives with cars, trucks, buses, medical care, an’ stuff like that.

          Don’t you watch TV, or read the news? No other tool carries the same power to create mass casualties in places “nice” people go. Guns make normal people crazy, and you can’t tell which normal person will go crazy and start shooting. Besides, you can see cars and trucks starting to run down people, and flee. You can’t see bullets, and don’t know which way to run, or even who is doing the shooting. Once you take guns away from so-called “law abiding citizens”, shootings are restricted to those icky places where criminals live. You can know where the bad places in town are located, and you can stay away…keeping you safe from bad things. We don’t need Vigilance Committees, that function belongs to government, like, you know, the police. Only police and military should have guns because they will need the to remove guns from the public.

          Crikey, why do I have to keep explaining this to people?

        2. avatar Kenneth S Carter says:

          You have to keep explaining it to people because pretty much nothing you said is correct or makes any sense at all.
          First did you even read the blog?
          The post was a comparison of advertisements of fast cars, etc. to the Remington ad for the Bushmaster. The CT Supreme Court ruled that Remington violated the CUTPA act by marketing their firearm for illegal purposes.
          Said the court:
          “We further conclude that PLCAA (Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act ) does not bar the plaintiffs from proceeding on the single, limited theory that the defendants violated CUTPA (Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act ) by marketing the XM15- E2S to civilians for criminal purposes, and that those wrongful marketing tactics caused or contributed to the Sandy Hook massacre.”
          In the blog post I posit that in the Dodge ads for their “Muscle Cars” they in fact show illegal uses thereof and I ask if they should incur liability for accidents caused by the use of their products since they are essentially encouraging dangerous behavior and recklessness.

          Next you mention things I did not. Medical care? When did I mention that?
          And yes, many people DO live their entire lives without cars, trucks and buses.

          Then you say “Guns make normal people crazy, and you can’t tell which normal person will go crazy and start shooting.”
          There is no evidence for this at all however, evidence to the contrary abounds. In fact, CCW holders commit crimes at 1/7th the rate of police officers.
          https://crimeresearch.org/2015/02/comparing-conviction-rates-between-police-and-concealed-carry-permit-holders/

          Much more info to prove you’re wrong here:
          https://crimeresearch.org/tag/how-law-abiding-are-concealed-handgun-permit-holders/

          Then this:
          “Besides, you can see cars and trucks starting to run down people, and flee.”
          Tell that to the people in Nice, France.
          “On the evening of 14 July 2016, a 19-tonne cargo truck was deliberately driven into crowds of people celebrating Bastille Day on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, France, resulting in the deaths of 86 people and the injury of 458 others.”
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016_Nice_truck_attack
          Were the French people simply not fast enough runners?

          Then this shocker:
          “Once you take guns away from so-called “law abiding citizens”, shootings are restricted to those icky places where criminals live. You can know where the bad places in town are located, and you can stay away…keeping you safe from bad things.”
          Aside from the horrifically callous attitude exhibited here, once again you are simply wrong, a bad habit you seem to have.
          Since, as proven above, the sarcastically named “law abiding citizens” do not commit random shootings and violence there is nothing to be had by disarming them except a surprising disregard for the Bill of Rights and an emboldening of the criminal element that prefers unarmed victims. Also, you seem to be content with trapping people in “those icky places where criminals live” but apparently do not realize there are innocent people trapped in your “icky places” as well. How very caring of you; your humanity and munificence are bubbling over.
          And finally, this:
          “Only police and military should have guns because they will need the to remove guns from the public.”(sic)
          Great idea! I saw a movie about just this situation once. It was called Schindler’s List.

        3. avatar Sam I Am says:

          To be completely obnoxious, “Another one rides the bus.”

          On a serious note, comparing any tool to firearms is totally irrelevant in any discussion of domestic arms control, because people (gun-grabbers) do not fear anything but firearms in the hands of individuals. The misuse of those other tools you describe resulting in death and injury is so remote you would be hard pressed to find gun-grabbers who would even think of them as weapons in any real sense.

          To take an educational tone, you completely missed the underlying message of my commentary. The wording should have given it away.

      2. avatar Defiant Deity says:

        @Sam I am: “People “need” all those other tools; no one “needs” a firearm. Millions of people live their entire lives not having a gun, but very few can live their lives with cars, trucks, buses, medical care, an’ stuff like that.”

        Quite funny people like you come to a pro-gun site and post for what? You hope to change our minds? Or maybe making a point and convince a 3rd party to see it your way? Hilariously you actually accomplish the opposite of what you set out to do. You reaffirm our stance on the issue and subsequently sway anyone on the fence to our side, and for that I thank you and your ilk.

        I would argue that people like you do as much if not more to further our cause than the NRA does. How is that for irony? I encourage hacks from left wing rags to keep sending their best to us. Read a few more articles written by someone as ignorant as you are on the subject and then head on over to pro-gun sites to change some minds! Just not in the way you were hoping.

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “You hope to change our minds? Or maybe making a point and convince a 3rd party to see it your way? Hilariously you actually accomplish the opposite of what you set out to do.”

          Take a breath, slow down, and read for meaning. You missed a good deal of the message.

          However, comparing firearms to any other tool is irrelevant; sorta like trying to use facts and logic. Gun-grabbers only fear guns, not other causes of death and injury.

      3. avatar Defiant Deity says:

        @Sam I am

        I thought it was a bit strange you used words like needs and using quotes. Perhaps an anti-gun person familiar with the language, but wasn’t sure if it was sarcasm or real. After all I have read worse from LEO’s, and people in the military who you would assume would be on our side.

        Anyway, good job, so good I couldn’t tell if you were being real or not.

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          ..”so good I couldn’t tell if you were being real or not.”

          The “tell” is always in the phrasing that just doesn’t quite seem to flow, or is so ridiculous that even leftists wouldn’t say it. It’s all just for laughs, and maybe to point out how to deal with the grabbers…ridicule.

          Cheers,

        2. avatar Shallnot BeInfringed says:

          @Sam: “The “tell” is always in the phrasing that just doesn’t quite seem to flow, or is so ridiculous that even leftists wouldn’t say it.”

          Finally! Finally I’ve found something I can point to and state flatly, “Sam, you’re wrong.” You see, there is NOTHING so ridiculous that a leftist wouldn’t say it… Nothing.

        3. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “You see, there is NOTHIG so ridiculous that a leftist wouldn’t say it. Nothing.”

          OK. You might be correct about that

          But I try.

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