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Firearm rights are under unprecedented attack. Say what you want about “universal background checks” and “high capacity magazines” and “assault rifles,” even a quick read of New York’s SAFE Act reveals the simple truth: gun control advocates are shooting for confiscation. Even if you set the Constitution to one side, if the “debate” over armed self-defense were based on fact and logic, our gun rights would never be questioned. But it isn’t. Never has been. The case against firearms is completely emotional. Politicians are feeling the heat from constituents because gun rights advocates are losing the PR war . . .

With every discussion on liberal media, print, electronic, radio and TV alike, we hear emotional outbursts regarding the recent tragedies and that “no one needs an AR-15 with 30-round ‘clips’ for hunting.”  In reality, those reactions are to be expected from people who haven’t done the slightest bit of research into the issue. My biggest disappointment, however, is reserved for the pro-gun advocates in the media. They’re not doing their job.

I have watched and listened to dozens of recent debates on gun control and not a single gun rights advocate mentioned the benefits that guns in the hands of private citizens offer our society. Not one person has mentioned that 2 million crimes are stopped every year by law-abiding citizens with guns. Not one person has stated that citizens kill twice the number of criminals than police do, and they do it with a five times lower error rate. Not one person proclaimed that citizens face the same criminals that police face, but do so without the benefit of body armor or back-up.

All the audience hears is the fear-mongering, deception and outright lies of the anti-gun campaigners. And so, for that reason, we are loosing the PR war.

The public and our lawmakers need to learn the benefits of gun ownership. They need to hear it from us, the gun owners, since our anointed spokespeople are not doing the job.

One of the most important places that facts need to be displayed is at the local and state General Assembly hearings on gun control. Given the sad fact that our elected officials, like the media, don’t do proper research (or any at all), we need to make this information known.

I’ve written an outline for testimony that I plan to give at my State Assembly hearings on the proposed gun control bills. In addition to my oral testimony, I will provide copies of the outline to all committee members. If the bill progresses and moves out of committee, I will send copies to all members of the General Assembly.

I offer the outline to the TTAG community in the hopes that the information can be used to help craft your own testimony and send the message loud and clear. Appropriately titled Guns Save Lives, it follows this introduction. You can also download it in Word format here. Feel free to use its content, modify it or use it in its entirety.

In return, I do ask one favor. For the purpose of increasing the value of the testimony, I request that you help me improve the content. Keep in mind that talking points need to be direct, concise and backed up with references (if applicable).

Please offer suggestions of items to add or make any constructive comments by emailing them to me at [email protected]. As the outline is amended, I will repost it so we can all take advantage of the improvements.

Additionally, it’s imperative that as many people as possible attend local gun control hearings to proclaim their opposition. There is nothing better than having several hundred gun rights supporters at the hearings to demonstrate to the committee members that we are serious about protecting our rights.

Just being there isn’t enough. Committee members need to know why you are there. To that end, I purchased some bright, yellow buttons that proclaim, “Prosecute Criminals, Not Guns.” When politicians look out and see a hearing room full of yellow buttons, they will understand the depth of our passion.

At a hearing a few years ago for a wide-ranging gun control bill in Rhode Island, there were 250 people in the audience with those same yellow buttons. That was a huge turnout for such a small state. I’m confident that the show of strength and unity proudly proclaimed by the buttons helped defeat the bill.

These pro-gun rights buttons make great fundraisers as well. Before the previous hearings, I visited local gun clubs and sold each club 100 buttons for $5.00 each.  I asked them to resell the buttons to their members to wear at the hearings.  The buttons not only prominently displayed our opposition for the General Assembly to see, but it also brought in several thousand dollars for our organization to use to continue our fight against gun control.

The buttons are available at  $1.50 each, or 25 for $30 and 50 for $42.50.

We Must Make Our Voices Heard!

David Kenik


Guns Save Lives!

Firearms in the hands of law-abiding citizens stop 2.5 million crimes every year.*

That’s 6,800 crimes stopped every day by law-abiding citizens with guns!

* Armed: New Perspectives on Gun Control, Gary Kleck and Don Kates

Citizens Need Firearms MORE than Police

 Private citizens face violent criminals, and do so without the benefits of back-up, nor bullet-resistant vests.

Victims and bystanders are the real first responders to crime, not police.

Private citizens kill twice as many criminals as police, and do so with a 5 times lower error rate than police.* 

If there is a need for police to have firearms, there is twice the need for private citizens to have firearms.

State House Police have AR15s to safeguard you, our state’s elected officials, because they are reliable and accurate.  My family deserves the same.

*Newsweek Magazine, “Are we a Nation of Cowards?,” November 15, 1993.

AR15s are the Best Choice for Personal Defense

The majority of Police departments around the country rely on the AR15 because it is:

   – Highly adaptable to different body sizes
– Reliable
– Easy to shoot accurately which reduces the possibility of misses
– Ammunition is less likely to cause collateral damage compared to a handgun
– Minimal recoil allows safer operation
– Easily able to attach an auxiliary sight which increases safety
– Easily able to attach a light which increases safety

The Department of Homeland Security has stated that firearms with the AR15’s 5.56 ammunition are “suitable for personal defense in close quarters.”*

My family’s safety should rely on nothing less than the best.

*Department of Homeland Security, Personal Defense Weapons Solicitation, Solicitation Number: HSCEMS-12-R-00011, June 7, 2012

There is No Such Thing as an Assault Weapon

 Anti-gunners have created a fake class of firearms, based solely on their appearance, and deceptively named them “assault weapons.”

Their hope was that their scary looks, combined with an evil sounding name, will influence the unknowing public in supporting a ban on them.

Specifically, they seek to ban firearms with:

– Pistol grips
– Folding stocks
– Collapsible stocks
– Flash hiders
– Bayonet lugs
– Forward vertical grips

The features have absolutely no effect on the lethality of rifles.  Many non-banned firearms are far more powerful.


 Assault Weapon Bans have been Proven Useless in Reducing Crime

Those who  do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

 The assault weapons ban in Connecticut did NOTHING to stop the Sandy Hook massacre.

The 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban had no measurable effect on crime, according to the CDC.*

A 2004, Dept. of Justice study** concurred and stated:

“Should it be renewed, the ban’s effects on gun violence are likely to be small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement. [Assault weapons] were rarely used in gun crimes even before the ban.”

*U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “First Reports Evaluating the Effectiveness of Strategies for Preventing Violence: Firearms Laws,” Summary, October 3, 2003.

**An Updated Assessment of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban: Impact on Gun Markets and Gun Violence, 1994-2003. Report to the National Institute of Justice, US Department of Justice, Christopher Koper, June 2004

Rifles are the Least Used Weapons in Murders according to the FBI*

Weapon           # of Murders
Rifles                      323
Knives                  1,694
Hands & feet          726
Blunt objects         496
(clubs, hammers)

There has never been a single crime committed, with a so-called assault weapon, in the state of Rhode Island—never.

*FBI Uniform Crime Reports, Crime in the United States 2011

Firearms are One of the LOWEST Causes of Accidental Death of Children

causes of death


Gun Control Increases Crime

 Locations in the Country that have the strictest gun control have the highest violent crime rates – Washington DC, New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Etc.

There are twice the number gun-related deaths in
“gun-free” Chicago than U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq.*

 Illinois disarmed its citizens by prohibiting concealed carry, yet Chicago has the one of the highest rate of gun-related violence in the County.

Locations in the Country that have the least gun control have the lowest violent crime rate.  ME, NH, VT, SD, VA, MN, Etc.

Criminals don’t fear laws, they only fear armed victims.

Citizens, who submit to a police check and give their fingerprints to the FBI to get a firearms license are the safest demographic in the Country.

*125 Shot Dead In Chicago Over Summer. Total Is About Double The U.S. Troop Death Toll In Iraq. Sept 2008


223 Million Firearms in the US are Used Safely

There are 223 million firearms currently in the hands of law-abiding citizens in the US.*  Tens of millions of them are rifles.

The AR-15 is the most popular rifle sold in the US today. They have been available to citizens since 1963.

We use them everyday for fun, sport, hunting, competition, and personal defense. is a great source of additional information.

*BATFE estimates

We Don’t Ban Cars

 If the Sandy Hook murderer had stolen a car and killed the same number of children by driving it into a classroom, would there be a call to ban cars?  Of course not!

The logical reasoning is that, although twice as many people are killed every year in auto-related incidents than in firearm-related ones, cars have a great benefit to society.

The same holds true for Firearms:

    – Citizens Stop 1.5 – 2 million crimes every year

    – Citizens kill twice as many violent criminals as police with  a 5x lower error rate.


What Laws Can Be Enacted to
Stop Mass Shooting?

NONE.  There is not a law in the country that will stop an evil, psychopath from committing crimes.  Criminals, by definition, do not follow laws.

If guns are not available, murderers will use knives, bombs, cars, poisons, etc.  There are hundreds of ways to kill.


How to Stop Mass Shootings

 Deterrence.  All mass shootings happen at gun-free zones because they know their victims are defenseless. Elimination of gun free zones, nationwide, will deter violent crime.

Fight Back.  The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is good guy with a gun.

– Place multiple police officers at each school and train and arm administrators and teachers.

– Train all school personnel defensive procedures and tactics again armed gunmen.

Israel solved their problem with school shootings by arming teachers.  They also stopped plane hijackings by putting armed officers on every plane.

Can’t Wait for Police.  It takes second for a murderer to kill.  Police response is measured in minutes.

Make Rhode Island Safer

States with the highest numbers of carry permits have the lowest crime rates in the country.  Criminals do not fear police, they only fear armed victims.

Numerous lawsuits have forced some RI police chiefs to issue, but most still do not.  It is dispicable that a RI citizen has to use the courts to force the police chief to follow the law.

Strengthen Sentencing Laws
According the the June 2011, RI Dept. of Corrections 2009 Recidivism Report, RI released almost 1300 violent criminals back onto the streets of our community.  With a roughly 28% recidivism rate, that means Rhode Islanders are victimized approximately 360 times every year by violent criminals who were let out of jail.  Compare that to fact that no crimes have ever been committed by RI citizens with so-called assault weapons.

Strengthen Drunk Driver Laws
Time and time again, Rhode Islanders are injured and killed by drunk drivers that the courts let back out on the street.  Even with 5, 10 and 15 drunk driving convictions and these people are still on the road killing Rhode Island residents.  Compare that to fact that no crimes have ever been committed by RI citizens with so-called assault weapons.

Strengthen our Mental Health System
The one thing all mass killers have in common is extreme mental health issues.  Increase education and assistance to people with mental health problems and to their families.

Sandy Hook and all of the other tragedies were not gun problems, they were mental health problems.


Self-Defense is a Human Right

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  1. We aren’t moving hard enough to secure the schools with people who will used armed intervention.

    There are five alternatives:

    1. Armed police.

    2. Armed civilian security.

    3. Armed teachers and staff, trained, vetted, and voluntary.

    4. Armed, trained, screened and vetted volunteers.

    5. Another school massacre which at some point, will surely come, no matter what sort of gun control passes or fails. Because evil exists, and evil will have it’s day unless good intervenes.

    #5 is completely unacceptable. So pick any one of 1-4, or pick them all. We have to start coming to a consensus and pushing this to the top of our agenda, along with preserving our gun rights. The NRA school shield program is only a start. It was concieved to be as palatable as possible under the circumstances, but I believe in all the alternatives. And I could care less about the cost.

    Along with the rallying cry of “NO COMPROMISE” should come in the same breath as ‘SAFEGUARD OUR CHILDREN’.

    Because if it happens again, nobody will acknowledge that we warned the gun grabbers. It will only be remembered that is was a minor part of our agenda.

    If gun rights advocates are viewed as having no solutions, the opinion turns against us. It doesn’t matter if such crimes are rare. We have done well in the courts, but it’s never a sure thing. If our stand is that guns save lives, then we should be advocating to implement the obvious.

    Armed security is schools should be just one point of a multi-pronged pro-gun counter offensive.

  2. I see that I have a homework assignment for tonight.

    My initial reaction is that this looks like it’s intended to be building blocks for putting together written editorials and press releases to be published online. Is that what you’re optimizing for, or is the intent to work up concise statements that would work well when delivered as verbal testimony?

      • I should clarify my request for clarification.

        It seems to me that you’re crowdsourcing this to improve both content and style. My question is this: how are YOU planning to use it?

        I’m glad to spend some time this evening going through it and offering suggestions, but I’ve found that it’s pretty important to understand how this stuff is going to be deployed in order to optimize for the right considerations.

        • I will be using it in my testimony in my state General Assembly hearings on gun control as well as any other conversation/letter/email etc.

      • One piece of feedback directly on the content above:

        We MUST make clear that MSRs, aka “assault rifles” are NOT automatic weapons. This is one place where the disarmament crowd are absolutely winning the disinformation war, and skewing polls as a result.

        If the unwashed masses believe that MSRs are full-auto capable, then we have to start with that. Yes, it’s defensive in that we’re reacting to their misleading statements that cause people to believe “assault rifle” == “machine gun” but it’s utterly necessary.

  3. Good stuff!

    “…and do so with a 5 times lower error rate…”

    times means more. Saying ‘X times lower’ is awkward, as ‘times’ really means higher. If you want to phrase it as being lower, you should say “…and do so with 1/5 the error rate”

    The number of 223 million guns seems low. Most of what I’ve been hearing recently is above 300 million and up to 350+ million. The last couple years have been all-time record years for gun sales. Make sure the stat is current to reflect this.

    • Went to look up the source article for the 5x comment so I can quote it exactly but it seems Newsweek archives have disappeared.

      I need the leave the verbiage as it is because I think it is a quote.

      • Rabbi,

        Your need to leave the verbiage unaltered is valid. However, I would recommend using that quote and specifically the less than optimal verbiage as an opportunity to really drive home the point said quote is making.

        Something like this would make a great follow up statement:

        “Let me be clear, that’s an 80% lower rate of error, 1/5th the overall mistakes made by civilian responders compared to mistakes made by “trained LEO’s” in similar situations.”

        Another good sound bite would go something like this:

        “Ladies and gentlemen what that number means is that statistically if five police officers shoot at five different “criminals” at least one of the people that they kill will have been innocent. Compare that to civilians, if five civilians fire at “five criminals” no innocent members of society will be harmed. “Statistically one in 20 incidents of armed self defense will be “unjustified” when committed by civilians. Compared to one in five incidents among our LEO’s.”

        You could go as far as you like with that line of rhetoric, for instance you could follow the previous statement something like this:

        “These aren’t WAGs folks, they’re facts. Vetted. Proven. Hard. Numerical. Facts. “President Obama and VP Biden are asking us to save lives by supporting their legislation. “I put it that we could see exponentially greater results by reducing the LEO community at the federal level. “After all following the numbers that we are discussing here then the elimination of just five employees of the BATFE would putatively save the President’s “One single life.” Imagine then if we too this to it’s logical conclusion, eliminating the BATFE entirely, how many lives would be saved then?”

        A previous commentor pointed out the importance of how you’re intending to use this source material in your testimony.

        Everything I just provided is of course directed toward the art of Rhetoric. None of it is untrue, but it sounds a lot sexier and is certainly designed to be more inflammatory than mere facts.
        I advocate speaking the truth as you are preparing to do, but I also advance the idea that we should do so as bombastically as we can while maintaining civility and intelligence as key features of our presentation.

        One of the reasons that many anti’s are so successful is that they speak like I just recommended. They’re doing little more than shouting in a way that provokes an emotional reaction. It’s a clever tactic and it works, but these individuals do not have the preponderance of evidence on their side, nor even the simple truth. We have that, so all that remains is for the Pro-gun lobby to speak up across the board in a cogent and attention-grabbing voice.

        That’s my two cents. I’ll take some time this evening to send you an email with more directed thoughts and comments.

        – One final thought that I believe to be germane. It would be a good idea not simply to vet your sources as you have done but also to be able to have copies on hand. If you can’t find the source article in Newsweek’s archives then that’s one quote that needs to come out. The more thoroughly you understand the source of the talking points that you’re using in your testimony the better you will be able to respond to questions and or attempts to throw you off. On top of that if you’ve seen Senator Cruz’s questioning of Senator Hagle in regards to becoming SECDEF then you’ll see a very poignant demonstration of the importance of being able to reference word for word and material you might wish to during your testimony, particularly quotes and other things.

      • I haven’t seen it in Newsweek either. I only saw it mentioned in Forbes, and they did not link to the source either. BTW, they do state it as 1/5 though!

        “On the other hand, Newsweek has reported that law-abiding American citizens using guns in self-defense during 2003 shot and killed two and one-half times as many criminals as police did, and with fewer than one-fifth as many incidents as police where an innocent person mistakenly identified as a criminal (2% versus 11%).”

  4. I couldn’t agree more. I’m irritated that no one with the voices that are listened to, pols and heads of orgs like the NRA, do not bring up the benefit of guns as the author pointed out.

    I would also like to see more point out the difference in violent crime when gun control advocates try to bring up England’s gun crime rate. Idc that they have less gun crime, their violent crime is 3.5 times higher so they aren’t exactly an example we should be looking towards.

    • Personally I’d like to see the meme that compares the US crime rates to that of England or really any other country challenged.

      The bottom line is that comparing the violent crime or any crime rates in the United States to those of the UK or any other country is comparing apples to oranges. If England’s demographics and or socio-political climate in any way applied to the people of the United States we never would have fought the Revolutionary war. There wouldn’t be a United States.

      I’m strongly in favor of challenging the reductive comparison of other countries’ crime stats to our own.

      If you are confronted with that a good counter argument is that “the U.S. is home to 1/3(1) of the world’s firearms and only about 1/21(2) of the world’s people. The rate of crimes committed with firearms takes on a whole different light when looked at from this perspective.”

      (1) Figures vary between 223 million and 350 million. Both are acknowledged to be “best guesses” by the BATFE. Firearms worldwide estimated between 800 million and 1 billion.

      (2) US Census Beaureau WorldPOPClock Projection, current.

  5. I’m highly skeptical of the 2 million number. It’s been fisked as far as I’m concerned. The lowest estimate, based on the National Crime Victimization Survey, was that in a given year 108,000 people (that we know of) defend themselves with firearms. If just ten percent of those people prevented a murder then that’s 10,800 lives saved, which is pretty significant IMO.

    Now take the 2 million number. Suppose that 10% of the alleged 2 million prevented a murder. That’s 200,000 murders prevented. Even if it was just 1% that would be 20,000 murders prevented. That’s way too high. We are not experiencing some crazy crime wave.

    Also, just a suggestion, but remove the stuff about drunk driving. Stay on topic.

    • I concur on the 2M number.

      In fact, I think it is a negative (rhetorically) because it evokes images of an excessive number of people brandishing or firing guns to deter crime. To persuade, you must be careful about making statements that are too far removed from the expectations of your audience.

      • If I only cared about numbers (and I don’t, I care about our rights and think they should be non-negotiable nor am I willing to be punished for the actions of criminals) the number that would matter most to me is the astonishingly few murders committed with “assault weapons.”

        Look at the number of murders committed with rifles in 2011. 323 nationwide. That is astonishingly low. When you consider that a good portion of those rifles are probably bolt or lever guns then the real number is even lower than that. The media is trying to paint the exception as the rule.

    • A DGU only is effective in preventing crime in general if and only if it results in death or apprehension of the criminal actor. Most DGUs don’t yield that result so all you are doing is deterring the threat against you and then transferring the risk to someone else. Think of it this way. A mugger confronts you and you brandish your weapon. He takes off but doesn’t go home. He looks for an easier target. He is certain to commit a crime that night but you just won’t be the victim. If you look at predation in the wild it takes multiple attempts to get a kill. It’s the same way with human predators. They keep going until they find a victim and the smart ones call it quits for the night. Do it too much at one time and in one place and you get caught. So if you use this conceptual model then 1-2 million DGUs is not a particularly high number.

      • That’s a good point, but I still think those numbers are way too high for the reason I stated above and those in the study I linked. I also agree with AlphaGeek.

      • Follow-up to myself:

        Two million DGUs represents about 160 DGUs per 100,000 people. That is approximately 2 successful violent crimes for every DGU. However, DGUs prevent some property crimes as well. There are approximately 700 burglaries per 100,000 people so that’s about 6 times as many total crimes as DGUs. That means that DGUs prevent about 15% of crimes from happening. That is a believable number.

      • A DGU only is effective in preventing crime in general if and only if it results in death or apprehension of the criminal actor.

        Wait, what? So if someone tries to carjack me, I draw on them and they flee without a shot fired, and they’re never apprehended, no crime has been prevented?

        There’s a huge difference between preventing ALL crime from a given source (i.e. a specific perp, or the known members of a specific gang) versus preventing A crime.

        It’s not my job to prevent ALL crimes by the perp confronting me, just the one they’re trying to commit against me.

        I do agree that there may be significant societal value to causing a specific bad actor to cease operations, whether that’s through incarceration, incapacitation or death. I just don’t agree that it’s my responsibility to bring about that result.

        In fact, it occurs to me that this is the difference between a legit DGU and going vigilante by exceeding my legally authorized use-of-force options.

        • As I said, you only prevented a crime against you. Bad guy runs off and reappears at another place a couple of miles from you and this time the intended victim is unarmed. I don’t think a car jacker plans to do more than one a night. There will be a crime victim but it won’t be you. He just tries until he is successful or gets caught.

        • TDI, I think I understand what you’re getting at here.

          Even if I don’t cross the DGU-vs-vigilante line, I strongly believe that every attempted crime which ends in a DGU adds to the cumulative deterrent effect on crime overall. I don’t need to cite stats, or point to the correlation between states adopting shall-issue CCW laws and drops in crime — you know all of that.

          In other words, I may not have caused a particular bad actor to cease operating as a result of a DGU — but even a single-digit percentage of armed citizens results in a high enough DGU rate that the would-be criminals get the message and think twice.

        • AG:

          I think we are in agreement. The higher the density of good guys with guns the more likely that a bad actors encounters one. That means that fewer bad guys take the risk and more are neutralized.

          My original post was meant to explain why you just can’t multiply the number of DGUs by a constant and arrive at crimes that would have been committed in the absence of firearms.

    • David: A quick glance indicates that this is a very good start. However, I agree with and would expand on Michael B’s comment about the “2 million” number. One of the most disturbing things about the anti-gunners in this current “national conversation” is the flagrant–and in many cases, probably deliberate–disregard for facts and numbers. There are deceits, half-truths, and lies everywhere you turn.

      Ultimately, we cannot fight this battle solely on facts and numbers, but when we use them, they MUST be….. bulletproof. I’ve seen that 2 million number in other readings, but don’t know where it came from. (possibly one of John Lott’s books?) Anyway, the more robust we can make the stats, the more the logic stands up, and the more persuasive we can be even in the face of “do it for the children” emotional rants.

      • The reference for that number is listed on the outline as Armed: New Perspectives on Gun Control, Gary Kleck and Don Kates

  6. But… but cars don’t kill people! DRIVERS do.

    Now guns, THEY kill people!

    Anti-gun propaganda has created a basic disconnect in the minds of Americans. The ones that had minds in the first place.

    • I blame the government & industry, if we didn’t have roads, drunken horseback riding accidents would result in far fewer fatalities

  7. I don’t see us as losing the PR war. I think all the polling data shows that support for our Second Amendment rights remains strong. What are seeing in the MSM is a concerted propaganda campaign on behalf of the White House. We are never going to win that battle since the MSM has become little more than the propaganda arm of the Democratic Party.

    The White House has backed away from the issue precisely because it is a loser in the short run and they must change the topic in preparation for the 2014 elections. That is where the real battle is going to won or lost and it will be fought on other grounds than the Second Amendment.

    The “defeats” we are witnessing today are happening in deep blue states. These are places where we cannot win anyway. Sometimes you have to right off your losses. Remember he would defends everywhere defends nothing.

  8. Another school shooting in Atlanta. Student on student. No real details yet but it was with a pistol or rifle. This is gonna get really bad now.

  9. “223 Million Firearms in the US are Used Safely”
    And I bet there were 5.56 mmillion more purchased this month.
    Just sayn’

  10. One thing I’ve never seen a talking head discuss is that gun ownership isn’t a civil right, it’s a natural right, and is thus inalienable. And while some portions of rights have been forfiet via social contract, a government that works to restrict natural rights is, by definition, tyrannical, and would have no ideological issues with restricting other natural rights (life, liberty, property). I know philosphy may fall on dull ears, but I’d still like to hear the argument being made.

  11. The enemy is winning the PR war because it controls the media. The enemy also knows that many Americans are so stupid that if they were placed on the rack and stretched until their tendons popped, they’d think that they were getting taller.

    What we have going for us is that most Americans don’t trust their government as far as they can spit into a whirlwind. Liberals, conservatives, libertarians — whatever political stripe, most people don’t trust their government. And they shouldn’t.

  12. David: A quick glance indicates that this is a very good start. However, I agree with and would expand on Michael B’s comment about the “2 million” number. One of the most disturbing things about the anti-gunners in this current “national conversation” is the flagrant–and in many cases, probably deliberate–disregard for facts and numbers. There are deceits, half-truths, and lies everywhere you turn.

    Ultimately, we cannot fight this battle solely on facts and numbers, but when we use them, they MUST be….. bulletproof. I’ve seen that 2 million number in other readings, but don’t know where it came from. (possibly one of John Lott’s books?) Anyway, the more robust we can make the stats, the more the logic stands up, and the more persuasive we can be even in the face of “do it for the children” emotional rants.

    • Tman,
      Conservative estimates range from 600,000 up to John Lott’s estimation of 2.5 million.
      Having said that the sample sizes and methods of tabulation vary greatly. John’s was I believe the largest sample. It also did not rely on police documents alone, since I would consider a larger context on what a defensive gun use is. By this I mean that you might not have to fire your weapon and in many cases it may not even be reported to police. Even at the lowest most conservative number it is many times more than those who are killed by guns.

    • Chris,

      I have not heard the final interview myself. The reporter wanted my comments of the Sheriffs proclamation to residents that they should arm themselves. I think she was shocked to find that I, as Executive Director, of the Disabled Police and Sheriffs Foundation, agreed!

      I hope she didn’t dilute my points with editing.

      Thank for letting me know.


        • The last-gasp anti-gun closing line was lame. Did not like.

          The comments were, shockingly enough, not a wretched, seething hive of ignorance and vitriol. Here’s my favorite:

          You call 911 but you also have a fire extinguisher and you know how to use it.
          You call 911 but you also have a first aid kit and you know how to do CPR.
          You call 911 but you also have a gun and you got training on how to use it.

          It is a very simple, common sense thing. WTF is the problem? Be a responsible adult and realize that the government won’t always be right there to change your diaper for you.

  13. I like it — it would be nice to see something like this expanded into a comprehensive booklet. The facts are entirely on our side, so it would be convenient to have one place to send people to.

    Much of what you say about the AR is found in the Introduction and Ballistics sections of this Massachusetts Police training manual:

    It would be nice to have gun violence statistics for the UK, to show that it has gone up since their draconian gun control laws have been enacted. Honest supporters of gun control will acknowledge that it does little or nothing to stop violence, but is only a stepping-stone to UK-style bans, which they think will work. We’d do well to demonstrate that this is a myth.

    It would also be helpful to point out that the gun control being proposed (and in the case of NY, enacted) applies to common handguns, of the sort that rides on the hip of every police officer. I think your talking points about assault weapons are important, but if that’s all you talk about, people will just assume “well, gun owners will still have your standard self-defense handguns.” I think most people would be shocked to learn that these are exactly the firearms that are being targeted.

    It might also be helpful to point out that these measures apply to military service personnel, correctional officers, the families of law enforcement, and public servants of all sorts. There are lots of people who sacrifice for our country, some of whom place themselves at greater personal risk, who would be disarmed by the law.

    • Actually, gun violence has gone down in the UK since they banned firearms.

      I noticed you specifically said gun violence, but didn’t mention all violence or all homicides. This is the insidious problem with quoting statistics, and it is a trick I always notice Piers Morgan using – he mentions the number of gun deaths in the UK vs the US.

      In a land where guns are harder to get, of course gun violence will go down, but that doesn’t mean that non-gun violence and non-gun deaths and non-gun homicides go down. I believe that while UK gun deaths are down, violent crime has increased over there since they instituted their gun ban.

    • BeninMA,

      “Gun violence” in the UK has gone up since we went psycho on legislation, but that’s because so many more “guns” became seriously criminal. Replicas, deactivated weapons, “realistic imitation firearms” and a banana held in the pocket to look ‘gun-like’ now all count as firearms offences, therefore the stats are up because we’ve made more gun-like things illegal, therefore firearms crime is inevitably up.

      Actual “gun violence” where real, fireable weapons are a problem are flat or seriously down depending who you believe, and the criminal weapons recovered have a high proportion of “reactivated deacts” and modified airguns (in other words, pieces of faeces a sane man wouldn’t pick up let alone fire) with critical shortages of ammunition. There’s a superficial case to be made that the 1998 crackdown and disarmament cut serious crime in the UK, and that’s what US pro-gunners need to beware of.

      I don’t believe that you can read our results across to the US (and will elaborate if necessary) any more than a “shall-issue” CCW policy would have any positive effect in the UK before the end of the decade.

      If there’s a lesson from the UK, it’s to engage the population. Handgun shooters in the UK were literally one in a thousand and that made us easy to demonise and disarm (I know, I had to turn in my Glock 21) Hardly anyone knew a decent upright citizen who happened to enjoy turning live rounds into noise, smoke and nicely-grouped holes in cardboard on Tuesday nights, so it was easy to pitch shooters as slavering psychopaths who were desperate to fire at live targets rather than paper.

      I’m actually quite optimistic that the US should keep some sanity about these events, if only because there are literally millions of semi-automatic rifles (ARs and AKs, both usable but not ideal to me… personally I’d want a FN FAL, but that’s my upbringing) in the hands of ordinary decent civilians who secure them adequately and fail to go Crazy Eddie on their fellow man. Some states, districts and jurisdictions will do silly sh!t based on local politics, other politicians will misjudge the mood and get booted by the voters (the people have spoken… the bastards!).

      Part of me – looking for a perfect solution – likes the idea of mandating secure storage, basic training and compulsory insurance. Those make many of the problems retreat – but the risk is that “the agreed, complete solution” today is “utterly inadequate” tomorrow .

      I would look hard at insurance, though: third-party cover paying compensation for “damage and injury criminally done with my firearm” is a great way to show responsibility, and given the odds it would cost *pennies* for an honest policy for most shooters – and the free market would home in very quickly on high-risk groups and how they could amend that status. This is something an organisation the size of the NRA could do well – Big Finance cares much less about transient politics than about profit and loss, capitalism works.

      Fundamentally, if you and people like you are a low risk you’re very cheap to insure, and insurers will cherry-pick the safe customers with low rates and seriously research risk factors because *their* money is at stake; they want to take money from decent safe citizens and avoid insuring criminals. “What’s dangerous” becomes expensive (but you can still do it, you just have to pay the premium that reflects the risk) and “what’s safe’ becomes cheap or bundled with NRA membership.

      It’s a nice idea but it remains vulnerable to “give a hand and they’ll take the whole arm” which is why it’s likely to remain a thought exercise.

      • Thank you for the great response and for setting me straight about UK gun crime.

        The problem with mandatory firearm insurance is that anti-gun legislators are selling it as something that will deprive second amendment rights to people who the insurance companies believe will commit crime (even if they have otherwise clean records). The idea is to circumvent the Constitution by privatizing gun control.

        There may be other kinds of gun insurance that would be less onerous, but this is what we’re currently being told by the bill’s supporters here in Massachusetts.

  14. I am concerned that the statistics for 2011 (323 murders by rifle) don’t show the number of murders by handgun. I assume that is because it is a higher number.

    We may be doing ourselves a disservice by not openly acknowledging that fact (assuming it is a fact).

    • Yes, it is a higher number, but still far, far lower than the other causes of death. The main reason it is not shown is that this fight is about so-called assault weapons

  15. I swear I’m not nit-picking, but you spelled despicable wrong in the section Making Rhode Island Safer.

    Your piece is well written and compelling, hopefully it will get through the fog that seems to cloud so many when it comes to gun issues.

    Well done sir!

  16. Rabbi,

    I would drive home the ridiculous point that the .233 / 5.56 is “too powerful” a bit more. Virtually every caliber used for deer hunting has more energy, penetration, and momentum than the 5.56. Examples: .30-30 (approx 50% more power), .308 / .30-06 (more than twice the power), etc. Joe Biden’s .270 Winchester has more than twice the power of the 5.56, as does his 12 gauge shotgun suggestion. Many hunting handguns have more power than the 5.56 including the .44 Magnum, .454 Casull, .460 Smith, and .500 Smith.

    • I thought of that, but then we will hear cries that .233 was powerful enough to kill 26 kids. Correct logically, but a losing argument emotionally.

      • Then how about the fact that the AR-15 is much less powerful than the older .30-06, .308 / M14 platform which it replaced.

        Very good points, which I’ll be talking with liberals on.

        • Just be careful with that one. That line of argument is easily turned back on you with “It’s too easy for a weaker, inexperienced shooter to manage an AR15 compared to those other guns, so it’s MORE dangerous.”

  17. Don’t forget social media. I don’t see anywhere near the number of shill posts on Facebook as during the presidential election, but they are out there. What I’ve been doing is wading in (here and there, now and then, which is more effective than being the guy who has to have a comment on everything) to spoil the intellectual circle-jerk and make sure that anyone else reading back through the posts will see both sides and just maybe start to question the value of what they’re being told.

  18. Thank you Rabbi… IMHO, this is a very comprehensive document. I’m not sure I can add to it but I sure can use it…. Good luck Sir….My prayers are with you…


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