While Barack Obama was delivering a stump speech on the State of the Union last night, the head of the National Shooting Sports Foundation was telling an audience in Las Vegas that gun control proponents are flying a “false flag” of gun safety in an effort to push their agenda.
But NSSF President Steve Sanetti suggested in a speech to a receptive audience that data from the FBI, combined with firearms sales data, is a strong indication that the gun control bandwagon has a broken wheel. Since 1994, he said, firearms sales are up 104 percent.
“Yet the violent crime rate has fallen every year and is now half the 1994 rate,” Sanetti said. “Violent crimes are at their lowest numbers since 1978. Murders are their lowest since 1968. And even with greatly increased firearms sales during the last ten years, homicides involving firearms are down 46 percent, and fatal firearms accidents are down 22 percent, now less than one percent of all fatal accidents nationwide. The anti-gun lobby can’t or won’t believe these extraordinarily positive facts.
“Unlike ‘false flag’ gun control efforts masquerading as ‘gun safety’ programs,” he continued, “we have credibility with gun owners, and we have been providing both effective safety messages, and the means, to help deny access to guns by unsupervised minors, disturbed individuals, and thieves. Over 36 million free gun locks distributed to over 15,000 communities during the last 15 years, have been added to the over 70 million locks and safety literature distributed by firearms manufacturers.”
This is the kind of information that may come in handy as additional gun control measures are considered by the Washington Legislature over the next few weeks. According to Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat, State Rep. Ruth Kagi (D-Seattle) “plans to reintroduce a common-sense bill to hold adults culpable if they leave guns lying around the house and a child shoots someone.”
Calling any gun control measure “common-sense” is like a warning flare to Second Amendment advocates. For gun owners who have seen their rights eroded over the years by so-called “common-sense” legislation — including Initiative 594 — the term translates to nonsense, and for some in the firearms community, it is tantamount to tyranny.
That’s a term now being kicked around on some Internet forums and blogs regarding the decision by leaders in the state House and Senate to ban open carry of firearms inside the public gallery areas of both chambers in the Capitol building recently. This was in response to a display of rifles by a small group of protesters at last week’s gun rights rally on the Capitol steps.
The Seattle Times yesterday quoted Majority Leader Sen. Mark Schoesler (R-Ritzville), who called the decision by Lt. Gov. Brad Owen to close the Senate gallery to open carry the right thing to do. The House decision came Monday morning.
“Clearly they were demonstrating against an initiative, and the lieutenant governor does enforce the decorum and protocol of the Senate,” Schoesler said.
His observation may present a dilemma for anyone who defends the open carry display last week because the Eastern Washington lawmaker is hardly a gun control proponent. Until last Thursday, there really hadn’t been a problem with firearms at the Capitol, a situation that the Times’ Westneat evidently doesn’t like at all.
There’s a continuing debate in the firearms community about the wisdom, or lack of it, surrounding the guns in the gallery display. Some insist it was and should remain an untouchable act protected by the state and federal constitutions. Others consider it something of a stunt that has had a nasty consequence.
On one forum, there’s a discussion over why the lawmakers had to ban everyone, when the individuals involved could theoretically been arrested or cited and prosecuted, if there was ample evidence of a crime having been committed. If no crime was committed, the argument goes, then the ban should not have been instituted.
Something that Sanetti said during last night’s presentation seems to nail the problem with gun prohibitionists. The firearms industry, he intimated, has gotten a bad rap from anti-gunners.
“The anti-gun lobby says that we, and you, don’t care and do nothing about firearms safety,” he observed. “They are willfully blinded by their own rhetoric, and they are just plain wrong.”
Blinded by their own rhetoric, huh? There just might be a lot of that going around.
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