The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence has been at it again in recent weeks, bombarding the public with bitter rhetoric and tactless assaults on the NRA after losing some important battles across the country. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer recently signed SB1108, extending Open and Concealed Carry to all citizens without the need for a license. The law goes into effect sometime in August. Several States away Tennessee has allowed the Carry of guns into bars by patrons not imbibing alcohol, a measure similar to what Arizona had taken last year. Finally back across the country again, to Colorado, where Concealed Weapons on Campus has been a rigorous battle for Guns Rights Advocates fighting off the misinformation.
“Up In Arms Over Nothing,” the Brady Campaign shouted in the headline of a current article. The truth is that Gun Rights Advocates are not mad enough over the slander coming their way in the wake of all these victories over Gun Control Groups. At first glance it seems as though the Brady Campaign's efforts have succeeded in leaving it bereft of ammo. When you've lost every serious argument you've ever attempted it is time to start slinging dirt and doubling up on the fear you try to instill.
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To be up in arms over nothing one would have to ignore all of the attacks referring to gun owners as “so-called law-abiding citizens” while citing examples of isolated incidents involving disturbed individuals who just so happened to use firearms to cause injury and death. To be up in arms over nothing one would have to ignore the fact that gun rights in California are being disintegrated, prohibiting the last bastion of hope for those wishing to carry a firearm for self-defense without being labeled a criminal in their own State. Attacks on Anti-Gun Groups would be unfounded if the claims that “they are taking our guns” were baseless.
The Brady Campaign is no stranger to the Assembly Bill moving forward in California, seeking to ban open carry whether the gun is loaded or not. They practically started the commotion with their battle against Starbucks who refused to go against the State law allowing for openly-displayed, unloaded weapons to be carried in public. Pro and Anti Gun rallies were initiated soon after the debate began and it ended with the Assembly choosing against a law that has existed for quite some time by prohibiting the carry of firearms altogether (Concealed Carry Permits in California are a long joke I shall not get into here as it deserves its own unique criticism).
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Unfortunately the Second Amendment – to keep and bear arms - may not exist for much longer in California if action is not taken to stop the Assembly Bill from overtaking individual rights completely. Though they have lost on so many fronts, Gun Control groups may be claiming a victory very soon and it shouldn't be construed as a small one either. This devastation of personal freedom and self-defense will be large; yet who is it a victory for?
I'm going to pull away from California for a moment to talk about Utah. In 2008, a total of 96,555 crimes were committed in the State of Utah. The violent crime rate decreased 4.09% from the previous year with decreases in the homicide rate (29.09%), rape (3.79%), and the aggravated assault rate (4.64%). In the event that you could be reading this and wondering how that percentage translates into numbers, the total instances of homicide in the State of Utah reported by local law enforcement agencies in 2008 is 39. The total number of violent crimes for 2008 is 35,109.
As a State that's considered very lenient with firearms you'd expect that, in Utah, instances where a police officer is assaulted with a firearm that it would be higher than 2% (14 instances). Truthfully, the majority of violence against police officers is carried out by punches, kicks, and bites (89%) and seconded by “Other Weapons” (8%). The Violence Policy Center works feverishly to cite the scenario whenever a police officer is fired upon, ignoring the 600+ instances where police are assaulted with fists and saliva as if guns were the only culprit.
As for California there were 185,233 violent crimes alone in 2008, five times as high as Utah. Of this number 2,403 were homicides and 8,906 were rape. In 2008 California's homicide rate meant that in every 100,000 people there were 5.8 victims. In Utah, a State which is more lenient with gun rights, the number is 1.4 per 100K.
As crime continues to soar the Brady Campaign's scorecard for California ranks it at #1 in the Nation, with 79 points out of 100. The State of Utah is a stark comparison, ranked as one of the worst States with 0 out of 100 points on the Brady Campaign's scorecard.
Using the city of Chicago as one final example, I'll call to your attention a city which imposes a Handgun Ban on all of its residents. In 2008 there were 412 homicides caused by firearms – 412 people shot to death in a city which has banned handguns completely.
So who is this victory the Gun Control groups will claim in California really a victory for?
In recent days releases from Gun Control groups would appear to be the ones who are up in arms over nothing. Even as the NRA, GOA, and other Gun Rights organizations have been struggling against what's being pushed through in States like California, firearm restriction enthusiasts make absurd claims that nothing is amiss. In their next breath these same Gun Control groups apply theoretical scenarios based on fear; they would have you believe that no private citizen has any judgment, conscience, or self-control once a firearm is within reach. There are no acknowledgments of lawful self-defense cases, only stories of vicious criminals and the unarmed victims who easily fell prey to madmen.
These brutal attacks on lawful Americans as if they were the same as sociopaths, spree-killers, and other anomalies rarely get refuted in the media. Talking heads and gun control advocates commonly use the sales buzz-word “common sense” to make their restrictions sound more appealing, though the reality is that wherever Gun Control itself has prospered so too have the criminals.