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Leave it to the mega-minds at the Violence Policy Center to look at an incident in which nine defenseless people were slaughtered and come away with another spurious argument for more gun control. In this case, it’s the NRA’s fault. Oh, and don’t forget to save some blame for GLOCK, too. Remember, since Dylann Roof chose one of Smyrna’s finest to commit his heinous act, Americans’ right to armed self defense needs to be curtailed. Or something like that. Anyway, make the jump for their latest email blast . . .

Dear Violence Policy Center Supporter,

The horrific, racially motivated shooting in Charleston that killed nine innocent people was only the latest tragedy in our national gun violence epidemic. South Carolina’s decision to take down the Confederate flag was long overdue, but it also isn’t nearly enough. Nationwide, weak gun laws and easy access to increasingly lethal firearms have made it inevitable that similar events will keep happening, over and over again. The only way to prevent such tragedies is to take action.

In the wake of this tragedy, the Violence Policy Center is educating the public about gun violence and advocating for stronger gun laws. If you are able to do so, I hope you will support our work by making a donation to the VPC now.

Here’s one more reason to be outraged. Right after the shooting, an NRA board member, Charles Cotton, made the shocking claim that one of the victims was to blame for his own death. He claimed that because the Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney had worked as a state legislator to limit the carrying of concealed handguns, the victims “might be alive if he had expressly allowed members to carry handguns in church.”

The NRA board member’s claim is outrageous and unconscionable — and as VPC research shows, it is also very wrong.

The morning before the shooting, the VPC released a new study destroying the NRA myth that private citizens often use guns in self-defense. In the study, Firearm Justifiable Homicides and Non-Fatal Self-Defense Gun Use, we found that this gun lobby propaganda simply has no basis in reality.

The study found that for private citizens, the use of guns in lethal self-defense is extremely rare. In 2012, there were only 259 justifiable homicides by a private citizen using a firearm, compared to 8,342 criminal homicides. That means for every civilian justifiable homicide in the United States there were 32 criminal homicides.

We also detailed how uncommon it is for private citizens to brandish a gun in self-defense. Over a five-year period, less than one percent of the victims of attempted or completed violent crime used a gun in self-defense. Only one-tenth of one percent of the victims of attempted or completed property crime used a gun in self-defense.

The NRA would like us to believe that by arming ourselves in our churches, schools, and other public places, we will successfully defend ourselves from mass shootings. The facts tell us otherwise: The way to reduce gun violence is to reduce access to firearms, not buy more of them.

Following the shooting, our study on guns and self-defense was cited in prominent news outlets across the country including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Washington Post, Yahoo! News, and many more. I hope you’ll share our fact sheet on the study with your friends and colleagues so that together, we can continue to fight NRA myths with reality.

The VPC also released a separate study to educate the public on the Glock semiautomatic pistol reportedly used in the Charleston attack. Glock pistols have been used in some of the most notorious mass shootings of recent years, including Virginia Tech and Aurora. The Charleston attack is just the latest horrific example of the price we pay for the gun industry’s relentless push to sell increasingly lethal semiautomatic weapons equipped with high-capacity ammunition magazines: the common thread that runs through virtually all mass shootings. In addition, we released a backgrounderon black homicide victimization in South Carolina.

Each year, tens of thousands of American lives are cut short by gun violence. If you have the means to do so, please consider a donation to the VPC and help us continue our important work to end this public health crisis.

And thank you, as always, for your continued support.


Josh Sugarmann
Executive Director

[h/t ripcord]

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  1. Have you ever listened to Josh Sugarmann speak? I could only take approximately 30 seconds of his whiny nasal voice before I had to change the channel.

    • I too have suffered hearing Josh Sugarman’s whinny voice. But the real problem with Josh is that he has been a gun control lobbyist for decades, panhandling for money by preying on suffering and death. If he was genuine and honest I could forgive him but hearing him for literally decades, I have reason to doubt his claims that VPC’s goal of “is anything other than a scam.

      I guess it must be pretty lucrative since he has been at it so long. Wikipedia has him as the founder of VPC in 1988.

      I don’t condone his chosen occupation of fleecing naive people that he tricks into donating to VPC by what basically amounts to extortion. “Give VPC money or you don’t care about people dying” is extortion IMO.

      If you can stomach reading it, wikipedia gives a good overview of the twisted road to gun prohibition that VPC has taken, from supposedly coining “assault weapon” to their “concealed carry killers” database. Seemingly no propaganda message is to outlandish (outlandish if you believe if facts, logic and reason that is)

      Reference video of Josh Sugarman’s irritating voice and exploitative message:

    • Doesn’t matter. If there are more criminal uses of a gun than legal, it just means we need more people carrying.

  2. 5 million citizens disagree with that turd.

    Oh and here’s a plug for Dr. John Lotts fantastic book “More guns less crime”.

    I bet no one questions this guy about the CNN reporter an husband defending themselves in a Motel 6….

  3. I don’t care if it was a Jennings brand GLOCK, no ban, no law suit, no ambulance chasers needing jobs. No response.

  4. “The morning before the shooting, the VPC released a new study destroying the NRA myth that private citizens often use guns in self-defense. In the study, Firearm Justifiable Homicides and Non-Fatal Self-Defense Gun Use, we found that this gun lobby propaganda simply has no basis in reality.”

    The only way they could have massaged the data to get these results is if they didn’t count any defensive gun use that was reported in the news or showed up in a police report…

    Here’s a hint to the VPC – if you have to lie through your teeth to produce a “fact” that supports your position, your position is wrong.

    • No, the way they get the numbers to fall out that way is that they only count FATAL self-defense incidents. If the defender draws but does not shoot, or shoots but does not kill, it does not count for VPC. Thus conveniently ignoring the tens of thousands of non-fatal defensive gun usages.

      • I guess we need to handing out the coup-de-gras to make sure our statistics are correctly represented 😀

        They don’t understand what they put out in print.

    • Isn’t “lying through your teeth” pretty much standard practice for all conservatives, the NRA, and ammosexuals in general?

      • Oh, hey God! You’re back! More good times. Anything else you want to add, or are you done?

      • Go troll somewhere else. Or is Papa Bloomie and his butt-buddy Sugarmann paying you by the post?

      • That’s funny, because being an atheist ammosexual myself, I don’t believe in you “God”. I must say that you yourself must be a lie.

      • You mean like “You’ll get to keep your insurance”, “Mitt Romney hasn’t payed taxes”, and “No one hunts with an assault weapon”?

        Like those lies?

      • I call BS. If this was really God it would be a statement, not a question. Omnipotent, Omnipresent, all-knowing, all-seeing, remember?

      • Projecting yourself is bad PR, “God” (LOL, quite pathetic of you to hide under such alias, but just shows the aspirations of you progtards), just because you are too useless to handle a gun doesn’t mean everyone is as mentally handicapped as you are.

  5. People in general don’t possess the attention span necessary to read that letter let alone the cognitive retention to understand it.

    • Doesn’t matter; it was probably for the benefit of Bloomberg.

      Hey dude, got some spare change.

  6. I don’t think GLOCK brand GLOCKS are going away…I would think the unwanted publicity made sales go UP. +1 Ralph…

  7. When black people were hung from trees no one blamed the rope around their neck. They blamed the person handling the rope. Now we blame the object and let the person off the hook for responsible. The shooter will be held accountable, but progressives will not hold him responsible.

    The deacons for defense and justice and their lessons have largely been forgotten
    It is sad how times have changed.

  8. The size of the lies must be compensating for a deficiency somewhere else.

    Shoogie baby, why do you *need* to lie so much? Can we get a reasonable limit on your mis truths? I mean if you can’t use a single truth to make your point, bless your heart, there must be a common sense cap, maybe 5, on the number of *Lies* that you can spew to try to make your invalid point?

    • I’d love to see a no-lies shock collar on this piece of human refuse. It would need a gigantic battery, or maybe about 500 D cells.

      I think within the first hour his head would be reduced to a cauterized stump.

  9. I just performed a search on YouTube for “self defense shootings”, the result was “about 115,000” videos.

    Little Josh sure has his work cut out for him, debunking all of those fake videos.

  10. When the VPC “study” was released, Brian Doherty wrote this article for

    I found something amiss about this VPC “study” and, sometime after Brian posted the article to his Facebook page, I wrote this comment there:


    There’s something else that I noticed. I haven’t seen anyone else make this observation (so, there’s a chance that I’m wrong, I’ll let you decide). This same study was touted by Mother Jones [1] and, in both cases, the only time that they mention other DGUs was to criticize Kleck’s numbers and also in comparison to total violent crimes and property crimes, even though most violent crimes aren’t committed with firearms. For example, in 2011 there were 467,321 victims of firearm violence (among 414,652 incidents). [2] That same year, there was a total of 1,206,005 violent crimes. [3] (It may be important to note that I’m seeing a bit of a discrepancy between sources for the total number of violent crimes, as the FBI says 1,206,005; but a BJS source in Table 1 says 5,812,520 total, with 1,854,840 of those being “serious” [4]). Regardless of whether you go with the FBI’s stats or the BJS’s stats for total violent crimes, it’s pretty clear that firearms are used less than half the time. The most liberal calculation that I could come up with was still less than 40%. But, somehow, apparently even crimes that don’t involve firearms can still function as proof that firearms are bad. Even if the stats on violent crime were limited to violent crimes committed with a firearm, it would still outnumber their estimate of annual DGUs (which I think is a grave underestimate). So why not use that number? Why use the total violent crime number? Unless you’re deliberately trying to dilute the number of DGUs. Am I missing something here? Or are they really that dishonest? You know what? It honestly wouldn’t surprise me. I’ve dealt with people like that over at the CSGV’s Facebook page quite a bit.

    One last thing, even if I took them at face value, their statistics don’t prove their argument. Even if firearms are barely used for self-defense, that doesn’t prove that they’re ineffective for that purpose. There could be many reasons why they’re so low. Maybe not enough people own firearms. Maybe a lot of the victims did have weapons but couldn’t access their firearms. Maybe they’re underreported/underestimated (a strong possibility that VPC apparently refuses to acknowledge, let alone consider). I’m not making an argument from silence. I’m simply saying that their numbers are insufficient. Then again, the dishonesty I laid out above seems to damage their credibility. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, as I am genuinely curious as to why I haven’t seen anyone else point any of this out already.





    Here’s one last BJS reports that says that if you count the fatal and nonfatal crimes involving firearms, the total is 478,400:

  11. It’s true though; the tiny frame rails, weird grip angle and relatively high price (that is for polymer/striker) makes them extra powerful in crime scenarios. The gap between the slide and frame being wide enough to read a newspaper through allows criminals enhanced field-of-view.

  12. VPC proves once again why they’re a joke. Lets blame NRA and Glock but not the coward killer for the 9 nine people who died so we can get people to go with are useless emotional argument.

  13. So,there were nine unarmed people in the church and what should we do?Make sure we unarm everyone else,smh..That really makes a lot of sense.I really wonder if these anti gun people really believes the bs that comes out of their mouth..

    • No they don’t believe it, well some of the worker bee mad mom types might, it has nothing to do with reducing “violence” it’s all about eliminating our ability to resist the tyranny of the state.

  14. Somehow, some way, this will be the NRA’s fault and the fault of American gun owners. Oh, I forgot that this will be Kalashnikov’s, er, Bushmaster’s fault as well.
    See I told you from the last blog subject that we would get the blame. The only thing that changed is now it is Glock’s fault.

  15. Yes, it WAS the fault of the pastor that those people died. By making it illegal to carry in churches, he got his wish that day; no one was able to defend themselves. The phrase “you reap what you sow” comes to mind.
    Maybe we should start suing alcohol makers the next time a drunk driver kills people in a crash.

    Why is it they blame “high capacity” magazines, too? And what, exactly, constitutes “high capacity”? Cuomo thinks 7 is the magic number, Feinstein thinks 10, and Hickenloper thinks it’s 15 rounds that’s the cutoff for “high capacity”. It is an arbitrary number made up in someone’s mind. Who’s to say that 10 won’t become the new “hi-cap” number down the road?
    Columbine happened during the ’94 AWB, and the Santa Barbra killer had california legal mags on him when he went on his killing spree.

    We cannot legislate violence away, just look at the newest response the UK has now: “Don’t hurt your attacker, get a rape alarm to protect yourself”.

    The only real solution is not something any of these politicians want to truly address; the horrible mental health care AND judicial systems we have in this country. They may say we need to address mental health, but they never specify which mental problems someone may have that should keep them from owning a gun. Which, again, would be arbitrary at best.
    If a marine can get his firearms confiscated because he sought financial advice, who’s to say that something ridiculous, like wanting to buy a gun, is reason enough to deny you purchasing one.

    The judicial system is a joke. If committing a crime with a gun tacks on 10 years to the normal prison sentence, why aren’t they enforcing that? Instead they allow the criminal to plea bargain down to a lesser crime and maybe get 5~7 years prison time, when the actual charges would have given them 15. The criminal serves 2~3 years, gets let out with the rest in probation, and is back in prison within a few months…rinse and repeat.
    This is something you’ll never hear on the news…..ever. I dunno if Alex Jones or Rush Limbaugh have covered the issue or not, but you know full well that CNN and the like won’t touch it with a 10 foot pole

    • Why is it they blame “high capacity” magazines, too? And what, exactly, constitutes “high capacity”? Cuomo thinks 7 is the magic number, Feinstein thinks 10, and Hickenloper thinks it’s 15 rounds that’s the cutoff for “high capacity”. It is an arbitrary number made up in someone’s mind.

      I seem to be one of the few here who doesn’t see a problem with the term “high capacity” even though the other side uses it. I think it’s a neutral term they’re trying to demonize, rather than a bad term they’re trying to impose (An example of that is “assault weapon.”) As such, if we abandon it to them, they can go ahead and demonize it. (Letting them pick the terms that we won’t use is not a good idea.)

      If they had said “excessive capacity” then there would be a bad connotation, as in “too big.” Anyhow, to my mind even that term would have a legitimate use: an excessive capacity magazine is one that’s so freaking huge you can’t carry it when it’s loaded. More so if you can’t even carry it when it’s unloaded. It’s too big, at that point, to be of any use whatsoever.

  16. I’m not a violent person, but I do have some skills.

    A sword (if outlawed it’s simple if lengthy to make one with saw, file and stone from an automotive leaf spring) would’ve killed as many.

    Were I such a psychopath and similarly inclined, I daresay I could do as badly with a scythe.

    This guy just doesn’t get it.

    • great quote:

      “Theron Wiggins, a pastor in Flint, Michigan, and a former police detective, is one of the preachers trying to change the mindset. ‘They believe the angels will protect us,” Wiggins said about his congregation. “Well, I’m one of the angels.’ “

  17. Good God, this Josh guy really went on a whacked out rant! Nothing made sense. This is a typical emotionally driven anti-firearm response seen over and over. It was discussed about the Pastor/ex-Senator not being armed as you might expect an ex-Senator to be. But Vilify the NRA? I did not see them take a stand to push pro-gun agenda from the death. Don’t bother us with accusing Glock, (face-palm deluxe).

    “The only way to prevent such tragedies is to take action.” This was the only statement I agreed with. And I think most TTAG reader’s can fill in the blanks.

  18. I wonder if VPC’s study “to educate the public on the Glock semiautomatic pistol reportedly used in the Charleston attack” mentions:

    The .45 Glock used to stop 2 extremists in Garland TX:

    Interesting thing though is that very rarely do articles that report self defense use of guns mention the type of gun used. The primary reason that the Glock was mentioned in the above article was because the officer was “outgunned” by the 2 attackers.

  19. I don’t understand. Senator Murphy (Communist-CT) just the other day said that had a different set of laws been in place, these people might be alive today. The NY Times even gave him valuable op ed space to make that claim.

    Mr. Cotton only said that had a different set of laws been in place, these people might be alive today. And he made his comments on his own comment board which, albeit popular with Texans, doesn’t have nearly the reach of the NY Times and its various reverberation venues.

    Where’s VPC’s outrage over Sen. Murphy’s musings?

  20. And GM is responsible for the kids killed last week when carjackers fleeing from police hit them last week in Detroit.

  21. Nothing I can add that hasn’t been said already. But I do believe in God, I believe in the Bible, and I believe in the Right to Bear Arms. These are the 3 most important things that founded our great country. And the liberals have forgotten this.

  22. Highly recommend “How to Lie With Statistics”. Certainly seems that Mr. Sugarmann uses it for guidance. It would be tedious to list the fallacious reasoning. I welcome research, but object to propaganda. Just hope the NRA or other gun advocacy groups keep track and counters his bogus claims.

    Increasingly I’m coming around to the position that the best strategy to is provide a welcoming environment for anyone that want to learn to shoot. The encouragement and support of people at the public range I use is the primary reason I keep coming back. Friendly with a nice blend of ages, races, genders – and yes even a LGBT shooting group plus great chefs at the monthly cookouts.

    My only complaint is poor publicity. Local groups don’t seem to get the word out compared to notices about free music, farmer’s markets, etc. Seems like there’s ample opportunity to promote marksmanship and sportsmanship.

  23. I grew up with firearms around me, my father joined the military and subsequently hold a job where holding a gun on his waist was part of every day routine. He was very careful how he handled firearms at home, that I never felt threatened by them. Needless to say that I am very fond of owning firearms and I respect others in their right to own them or their choice of not to.
    I don’t believe we have look for a company, or others to blame for our actions . Every choice we make has it’s own consequences and using a firearm to harm others is a personal choice.
    The problem is that we are focusing on the wrong issue. What’s the interes behind of this right “ownership of a gun” our second amendment .
    I am not going to contradict that owning a gun gives the warranty that you will use it for personal protection , but definitely give the owner to feel safe. How many people had actually used to defend themselves? Probably is a very small percent than what is being used to commit a crime. Also, we are ignoring the fact of how every single human being react under stress, fear, or even love. Emotions ( or the lack of them) play a big role on our actions and reactions over life situations out of our control.
    Don’t we ever wonder what goes through the mind of these people that at some point snap and go into killing innocent people just because? Who’s at fault? The family because they might had recognize the abnormal behavior? Or the Goverment for the poor health care system? Or the firearm’s manufacturer because they built the firearms? Or the store who sell them? I believe that each person should take personal responsibility of their actions, and stop looking for someone else to blame.
    Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.

  24. The VPC is wrong. There are so many high capacity handguns out there, you can’t point to one.

    And since it’s not guns, but people, that kill people, the gun used is only noteworthy for collectors, not for anyone who is doing anything about violence, and doesn’t prove we need to ban high capacity magazines.

    Especially because even the 1911 carries enough to have done the job for the shooting in question.

    Gun control isn’t the answer. The problem is what kids are growing up to believe, and how they’re being treated, because they become adults some day.

  25. “increasingly lethal firearms”

    So, today’s firearms kill you more dead than yesterday’s?

  26. Didn’t our own government get caught secretly supplying tons of ammunition and giving thousands of illegal firearms to known criminals & terrorists in the Mexican drug cartel? I believe that it was called the “Fast & Furious” scandal.

    So is this their idea of imposing and enforcing new stricter gun laws? Maybe they think that they can stop and prevent any future gun crimes here in this country by making firearms illegal, and donating them to the Mexican drug cartel.

    Maybe, if we’re lucky, they’ll take the guns home and lock them away in their gun safes. I don’t see why they wouldn’t….. afterall, it’s not like they’d ever use them against anyone here in the United States. Especially since the Obama administration was so kind and gave them everything for free. Even if they did decide to try and use the firearms against the US, it’s not like they could get through our borders and into the country.

    ……and for anyone who wants to disagree with me and say that they can get into our country, it still wouldn’t matter because by then we’ll have the new stricter gun laws so they won’t be able to even shoot them because the guns won’t work anymore.

  27. I can’t wait for them to pass all of their stricter gun laws and put an end to all of this madness, just like they did when they stopped all of the drug activity and got rid of all of the drugs. A thousand times more people have died because of drugs until they made stricter laws. Now nobody ever dies because of drugs anymore…. only from stupid guns. They should have banned the guns back when they got rid of all the drugs and we wouldn’t even be here talking about this today, because the entire world would be happy and safe just like the “it’s a small world” ride at Disney.

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