Gun prohibition lobbying groups around the country are preparing to observe “National Gun Violence Awareness Day” on Friday and stage marches around the country Saturday, but is this annual observance perpetuating something of a myth, and what does it actually accomplish?
The event is promoted by Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, which claims to be “a grassroots, nonpartisan organization that supports the Second Amendment, but believes in common-sense solutions to decrease the epidemic of gun violence that kills more than 90 people each day and injures hundreds of others.” How many of these fatalities are suicides, and should that desperate act qualify as “gun violence?”
About two-thirds of all firearms fatalities nationally are suicides. These people are not crime victims, and firearms community leaders argue that these deaths should never be combined with homicide victims merely to “pad the numbers.”
A check at the Moms Demand Action website reveals that they are lobbying hard against national concealed carry reciprocity. How can a group that “supports the Second Amendment” oppose legislation that would expand the constitutionally-protected right to keep and bear arms?
There are two events slated Saturday in the Seattle area, one at Alki Beach Park and the other at Richmond Beach Saltwater Park at Shoreline.
Call it an interesting coincidence, but the Washington State Department of Licensing reports that the number of active concealed pistol licenses has jumped to 584,305 as of May 31. That’s 3,444 more CPLs than were active at the end of April, when 580,861 Evergreen State gun owners were licensed to carry. They might take exception to efforts aimed at preventing them from legally carrying their defensive sidearms across state lines for their own protection.
Last July, award-winning investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson listed the Moms group in first place on a “Top Ten” list of “Astroturf organizations.’ That is, a “fake grassroots” group. It shares first place honors with anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety, an organization that annually spends millions of dollars equating the term “safety” with “control” and lobbying for gun legislation that would restrict, rather than broaden, the gun rights of honest Americans.
Everytown supported Initiative 594 in Washington State three years ago to require “universal background checks” as a means of reducing gun-related crime. There is no evidence that a single crime has been prevented, but there is ample evidence that passage of the measure hasn’t stopped guns from falling into the wrong hands. Indeed, the number of injurious shootings just in Seattle has climbed this year.
Passage of the initiative didn’t prevent last fall’s fatal shooting at the Cascade Mall in Burlington, either.
Chicago has stricter gun laws than most other states, but those laws have done nothing to stop the bloodbath. There were 55 homicides during May in the Windy City. According to the Chicago Tribune, there have been 247 killings so far this year. If the current trend continues, this year may produce more murders than the 786 logged in 2016.
Then there is the term “gun violence.” Several days ago, two men were murdered on a Portland, Oregon commuter train. Both were fatally stabbed. Does that count as “knife violence,” and if so, why isn’t it reported that way? Why are only guns demonized when they are involved in a crime?
Working to reduce gun-related deaths is possibly a noble effort, but the process should be clean and not misrepresent facts.