Anyone who traveled behind the Iron Curtain back in those days probably didn’t have to look very hard to find groups of “workers” sitting around doing pretty much nothing, except collecting a taxpayer-funded government paycheck.
The American way is better. Anti-gun group employees can still sit around doing pretty much nothing and collect a paycheck, but the money—lots of it—comes from donations, from foundations and individuals who share their ideals. While the rest of us have to contend with anything tangible they might produce, at least we don’t have to pay for it, most of the time.
Take the latest from the so-called Legal Community Against Violence (LCAV), a handful of gun-hater lawyers operating out of an office in San Francisco, California. Mimicking the Brady Campaign—probably not a good business plan, given that Brady Campaign is not exactly a thriving enterprise these days—LCAV is now ranking the states according to how “strong” their gun laws are.
If by any chance you are unfamiliar with the word “ludicrous,” now would be a good time to look it up in your dictionary. On the other hand, never mind, because once you go over LCAV’s pseudo-scientific poppycock, you’ll be able to write a good definition yourself.
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Some examples serve to make the point. LCAV ranks California best in the nation, though its firearm-related death rate is higher than those of 16 other states, including Vermont, the gun owner-friendly laws of which LCAV ranks third worst in the nation. LCAV ranks Maryland 7th-best, just ahead of New York and Rhode Island, the firearm-related deaths rates of which are only 42 percent and 29 percent that of Maryland. Joining the declaration of ideological war by some in California against neighboring Arizona, LCAV ranks the Grand Canyon State worst in the nation.
And it goes on from there, with no correlation between LCAV’s ranking and the states’ widely divergent firearm-related death rates, no recognition of the fact that most firearm-related deaths are suicides, the frequency of which cannot be restrained by any gun control law, and no recognition of the fact that the world is still waiting for any evidence that any gun control law on the planet has ever prevented individuals or regimes from committing crime.
LCAV’s point structure for the various gun laws doesn’t even make sense. LCAV gives states four points (the maximum for any gun law) for requiring registration of all guns. We get that, since we know that gun control supporters consider registration indispensable, for purposes of enforcing a subsequent gun confiscation law. But LCAV gives almost as many points (three) for banning .50 caliber rifles (which are probably the type of gun least frequently involved in firearm deaths, or darned close), three points for requiring a dealer to be licensed (even though federal law requires that in every state anyway), and . . . well, you get the idea.
Similar to Violence to Policy Center, LCAV is especially apoplectic about “assault weapons” (three points for a ban), standard self-defense magazines that hold more than 10 rounds (three points for a ban), and anything at all to do with carrying a firearm for protection. Relative to the latter, a state gets a minus-1 point for a “shall issue” carry permit law, minus-1 for open carry without a permit, and minus-two points for concealed carry without a permit. All this malarky, with the number of carry states at an all-time high and the nation’s violent crime rate at a 35-year low.
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We’re not sure how often LCAV will have the opportunity to repeat its state ranking exercise, though. One bad gun law at a time, NRA, its members, and their friends elected to state office have been eliminating gun control laws left and right for the last two decades in most states. And, Americans have responded by exercising their right to acquire arms in record numbers.
Some evidence to that effect was put forward by the BATFE recently, in the form of its report on U.S. firearm manufacturing in the first half of 2009. In the first half of 2009, U.S. manufacturers produced more rifles, more pistols, more revolvers and more shotguns, than in all of 2008. Coupled with increases in NICS checks of 11 percent between 2006 and 2007, another 14 percent between 2007 and 2008, and another 10 percent between 2008 and 2009, the evidence is pretty clear that the gun control laws LCAV wants have been on the wane, while the ones it most despises have become the norm.