Saturday, March 08, 2014

National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS)

Going to make some comments about The Brady Campaign, limiting the scope to just background checks. There is a recent published report that the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) has “stopped more than 2.1 million would-be gun purchases” sure sounds impressive, but that is mis-leading. 

The vast majority of the 2.1 million people flagged by NICS were legitimate purchasers who were snagged by mistake along with criminals who were basically turned loose to obtain firearms elsewhere without prosecution.

As an example, in 2010 only 62 out of 72,659 NICS denials led to prosecutions by the federal government – and only 13 of those prosecutions resulted in a conviction. That’s only .0001 percent...

According to Vice-President Joe Biden, the reason for the Administration’s lack of enforcement is that “we simply don’t have the time or the manpower to prosecute everybody who lies on a form, that checks a wrong box, that answers a question inaccurately.” OK, then what’s the noise about background checks and what's the point if only 62 out of 72,659 are getting prosecuted?

A recent Department of Justice survey of 1,402 convicted criminals found that nearly 90 percent of them got their guns from sources that would have not been blocked by NICS.

You would think that if the Brady Campaign's goal was to keep guns out of the wrong hands, it would challenge Biden and the Obama administration on their admitted refusal to prosecute those they know may be attempting to purchase a firearm illegally, right?

So could it be that what the Brady Campaign really wants is to register all guns and it really has little to do with anything other than control?

Just my thoughts...

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Priorities for Research to Reduce the Threat of Firearm Related Violence

As part of President Obama orders directing federal agencies to improve the knowledge of the causes of firearm violence, the Administration lifted the CDC ban on investigating gun violence;  what does that first major gun research in 17 years spending about 10 million dollars of your tax payer dollars reveal? 

The finding within this report is probably was is not what was expected by many...

Here are some key findings that refute some of the anti-gun movement’s deepest conviction within this CDC report:

1. Armed citizens are less likely to be injured by an attacker: 
“Studies that directly assessed the effect of actual defensive uses of guns (i.e., incidents in which a gun was ‘used’ by the crime victim in the sense of attacking or threatening an offender) have found consistently lower injury rates among gun-using crime victims compared with victims who used other self-protective strategies.” (Page 16)

2. Defensive uses of guns are common:
“Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million per year…in the context of about 300,000 violent crimes involving firearms in 2008.” (Page 26)

3. Mass shootings and accidental firearm deaths account for a small fraction of gun-related deaths, and both are declining:
“The number of public mass shootings of the type that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School accounted for a very small fraction of all firearm-related deaths. Since 1983 there have been 78 events in which 4 or more individuals were killed by a single perpetrator in 1 day in the United States, resulting in 547 victims and 476 injured persons.” The report also notes, “Unintentional firearm-related deaths have steadily declined during the past century. The number of unintentional deaths due to firearm-related incidents accounted for less than 1 percent of all unintentional fatalities in 2010.” (Page 24)

4. “Interventions” (i.e, gun control) such as background checks, so-called assault rifle bans and gun-free zones produce “mixed” results:
“Whether gun restrictions reduce firearm-related violence is an unresolved issue.” The report could not conclude whether “passage of right-to-carry laws decrease or increase violence crime.” (Page 44)

5. Gun buyback/turn-in programs are “ineffective” in reducing crime:
“There is empirical evidence that gun turn in programs are ineffective, as noted in the 2005 NRC study Firearms and Violence: A Critical Review. For example, in 2009, an estimated 310 million guns were available to civilians in the United States (Krouse, 2012), but gun buy-back programs typically recover less than 1,000 guns (NRC, 2005). On the local level, buy-backs may increase awareness of firearm violence. However, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for example, guns recovered in the buy-back were not the same guns as those most often used in homicides and suicides (Kuhn et al., 2002).” (Page 55)

6. Stolen guns and retail/gun show purchases account for very little crime:
“More recent prisoner surveys suggest that stolen guns account for only a small percentage of guns used by convicted criminals. … According to a 1997 survey of inmates, approximately 70 percent of the guns used or possess by criminals at the time of their arrest came from family or friends, drug dealers, street purchases, or the underground market.” (Page 43)

7. The vast majority of gun-related deaths are not homicides, but suicides:

“Between the years 2000-2010 firearm-related suicides significantly outnumbered homicides for all age groups, annually accounting for 61 percent of the more than 335,600 people who died from firearms related violence in the United States.” (Page 13)

For transparency promised but rarely practiced, why all the silence, we need to pay attention...Read for yourself: