STATEMENT FROM REPRESENTATIVE DAVID LINSKY:
For every day Congress and the 50 state legislatures do not act on the critical issue of gun violence, another 87 people will be killed by guns in the United States. Since 1968, guns have killed more Americans than all wars in our country's history combined. This includes all wars from the Revolutionary to the war in Afghanistan. Yet, there is no memorial on the National Mall honor those who were killed by firearms and there is no end in sight to this national epidemic.
There is no single answer to stop gun violence. But there are numerous changes that can be made at both the federal and state level that can reduce firearm fatalities without infringing on the 2nd Amendment rights of gun owners.
Some argue that more guns are needed for self-defense and that gun laws do not work, but this is simply not true.
Studies consistently show that if you own a gun you are more likely to shoot yourself or a family member than use the gun in self-defense. If you have a gun in your home, it is 12 times more likely to have family members or guests killed or injured by that gun than by an intruder.
Moreover, gun laws do work. Children's Hospital Boston just released a study that showed there is a correlation between gun laws and firearm fatalities. The study found that the states with the most laws had the lowest rates of gun related deaths. The states with the most gun laws had a 40 percent lower homicides rate.
Another 87 people will be killed today by guns. Many of these deaths are preventable. The gun violence epidemic is real and the time to act is now.
STATEMENT FROM DIANE MCNAMARA, COMMUNICATIONS STRATEGIST & PRESIDENT, FIRE IT UP P.R.:
The words "conspiracy theory" are usually followed by some iteration of ‘whack job, crazy, right-wing nut'. Sometimes, that's an accurate description. Other times, the criticism is a strategy to marginalize the opponent and get the masses to agree the theory is on the fringe. What better way to pigeon whole 2nd Amendment advocates who believe in the possibility of our government, or more likely a foreign entity, could have the malicious intent to restrict our ability to protect and defend ourselves.
If you've already decided this possibility is just another radical extremist idea, I challenge you to put away your pre-conceived beliefs, any partisan politics you harbor, your disdain for guns in general, and engage in this debate with an open mind.
I believe most of our elected officials are fairly trustworthy. Sure, there are those bad eggs that ‘borrow' campaign funds, trade favors for cash, use their power for personal gain, sleep with their interns. Yet, I still have faith in their overall desire to do what's right by their constituents.
However, there are leaders on both sides of the political aisle who are stockpiling power at the cost of our freedoms. I am concerned that if we chip away at any of our constitutional rights, all of them are in jeopardy. And what makes it that much more sinister is they've got so many of us fooled into this stupor that our individual rights aren't as important as the collective good. That's exactly what the founding fathers worked so hard to avoid.
Enter: Gun Control. Step one in the remaking of our American republic with leaders who pick and choose which rights best serve their mission.
I find it remarkable that the same people who use the Bill of Rights with battle cries of Free Speech, Free Press, Separation of Church and State, Miranda Rights and so on all the way through the eight Amendments have decided that the authors must have been crazy to think we'd need that pesky 2nd one too. Let me tell you why we do now more than ever.
You don't own a gun so gun control won't affect you? Wrong. Guns play an integral part in a society's freedom. Just ask anyone in Russia, China, Cuba, North Korea, Rwanda, Uganda or a Holocaust survivor. History has shown you turn citizens into servants when you restrict their guns.
There are 320 million firearms in America with 1.5 million of them assault weapons. With so many legally-owned guns you would think there would be mass shootings daily. There aren't. A Newtown tragedy is rare and something that could most likely have been avoided if the shooter received the mental health help he needed – for years. He fell through the system's cracks as so many of our mentally-ill do. This is the true crisis facing America.
Gun control advocates point to the 8 to 9 children who die every day from guns as their primary argument for restriction or confiscation. The fact that children die daily from gun crime is true and it's tragic. But it doesn't mean that taking way guns is the solution. Exponentially more children are saved everyday by guns. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed with research that guns are used defensively 2 million to 2.5 million times a year. The government puts the figure at 1.5 million. Knowing this, the argument that gun control would stem violence doesn't hold up.
They insist that guns – and assault weapons in particular – are turning America into a war zone. What do the government's own facts say? The National Institute of Justice just released their findings summing up: Assault weapons aren't the problem and banning guns won't work.
When Chicago passed the strictest gun laws in the country, handgun crimes alone went up 40%. It makes sense – you take away the guns from law-abiding citizens and the criminals are unrestricted by the fear of someone actually defending themselves. Repeat after me: Criminals will always be able to get a gun. They don't care about laws.
But gun control advocates continue the media spin assault on the 2nd Amendment, using every emotionally-driven, fact-void argument that only Big Brother can protect us.
Many citizens are concerned over the National Defense Authorization Act which would allow American citizens to be detained indefinitely without due process and, as Eric Holder has confirmed, gives the President the right to fire drones at American citizens on domestic soil. But don't worry – the President promised he won't do that. Well, I feel better. I mean, he promised – right?
When the Department of Homeland Security was asked why they ordered 2500 armored trucks, 2 billion rounds of ammunition and 7000 assault weapons - enough weaponry for 20 years of war, they gave conflicting answers ranging from target practice to training Social Security agents against fraud to fighting terrorists here in the U.S. The latter is most likely the truth and I am relieved that our government is preparing for what they believe is an imminent attack. But if the terrorists are coming to America in those numbers, every able-bodied adult should have a weapon to defend themselves.
As you read this, the Obama administration is sending heavy weapons to Syrian rebels to be used against their government. It's okay for dissidents thousands of miles away to use weapons paid for by our tax dollars in self-defense, but American citizens aren't responsible enough to own a gun that holds more than 10 bullets?.
So here's my disclaimer: I don't believe our government is plotting a militant takeover of America. But I do believe every American has the right to defend themselves against criminals on the street or terrorists in our backyard. In case there is any doubt why we have the 2nd Amendment, let its author James Madison's remind you. He explained the implausibility of a force overthrowing America: "these would be opposed by a militia…of citizens with arms in their hands…fighting for their common liberties. The advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation…forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit."
Or in other words – when the citizens are armed, no entity has a prayer of suppressing us.