Today's tidbit comes to us once again from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in the form of an opinion piece from Maureen Downey, for the editorial board. Let's see if we can guess which side of the debate the AJC favors from the title:
OUR OPINIONS: Shoot down gun bill
High violent crime rates kill lobby's argument that carrying a weapon will boost public safety
Okay, got that out of the way right off, huh? Maureen is a pretty skilled writer and carries the Brady line like a pro. However, after watching these folks for a while, it's still the same old rhetoric and lack of reasoned argumentation as always. She begins:
The gun lobby contends that Georgia will be a safer place if Gov. Sonny Perdue signs House Bill 89, which allows those with permits to carry concealed weapons on MARTA trains, in state parks and in restaurants that serve alcohol.
But, of course, those lobbyists offer no facts to support their position, only the bumper-sticker argument that when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.
Notice that when the anti speaks of those who are pro-rights, it is "the lobby." Actually, nothing coalesces grassroots organizations as quickly and firmly as a threat to firearm rights. By definition, many of those groups do form "lobbies." Somehow, unfortunately, the term "lobby" became a dirty word in mainstream politics but by definition it means: a group of people who try actively to influence legislation. Nothing dirty about it. It's how a democratic republic works. The largest lobby in D.C. is the AARP! Are the retired folks being sneaky and wicked or just looking out for their own interest?
Also notice the slick ommission of any details about how Georgia HB 89 passed the House and Senate by an almost 2-1 margin in favor. Then , of course, there's always the mixing of guns and alcohol that sends the Suzy Soccermoms screaming from the room with no mention that consumption is prohibited while carrying by the bill.
So after an introduction laying down a foundation of false hysteria she throws out an absolute fallacy: the pro-rights crowd has nothing but bumper stickers. Actually I kind of like my VCDL bumber stickers. Got one on every car: GUNS SAVE LIVES - 2.5 million defensive uses each year. That, Maureen, is a FACT, not just a bumper sticker. It comes from a study by Gary Kleck, Ph.D., a professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida State University in Tallahassee.
Fortunately, that statement has been put to a real-life test. New York has enacted some of the strictest guncontrol laws in the country. The state requires people to obtain a license for handgun purchases. Unlike Georgia, New York is a "may issue" state, which means an applicant must show good cause or justifiable need for a concealed weapons permit and that law enforcement can refuse to issue such a permit. Here in Georgia, the probate court must issue the permit if the applicant meets statutory requirements.
New York City goes even further than state law by limiting individual gun purchases to one every 90 days, maintaining a gun offender registry and requiring firearms dealers to review inventories and file reports with police twice a year
You have a problem with Georgia taking a position that a citizen is protected from prejudice and bias by public officials if found to be competent and law abiding? Why, that's just downright unAmerican of you, Maureen!
Interestingly, the Center for Disease Control, which has never been an ally to the pro-rights crowd, stated in a Task Force study: "In conclusion, the application of imperfect methods to imperfect data has commonly resulted in inconsistent and otherwise insufficient evidence with which to determine the effectiveness of firearms laws in modifying violent outcomes."
Therefore, I must ask, if the CDC could find no evidence of any of the literally thousands of firearms laws having any measurable effects on crime, how do you, Maureen, come to this grand conclusion? Can you cite a peer reviewed study backing your assertion? Or is it just an inspiration for a bumper sticker?
According to the Georgia gun lobby, law-abiding New Yorkers should now be at the mercy of well-armed criminals and violent crime should be rampant. Broadway and Park Avenue should be overrun with thugs and miscreants packing heat. After all, New York City has dramatically impeded the ability of law-abiding citizens to own firearms, which, according to the gun lobby calculus, should add up to more criminals with guns and more bodies of innocent people strewn in the streets.
Dudes! Did you guys really say that? I have GOT to see that quote in print before I'll buy into that one! Methinks Maureen is starting to get a little dishonest in her asertions.
But in fact, New York now has the lowest crime rate among the 10 largest U.S. cities. Since 1991, violent crime has fallen 75 percent. Last year, gun homicides fell 22 percent; shootings dropped 16 percent. The city has 5,000 fewer police officers than in 2000.
In other words, less access to guns has not translated to more gun crime. Fewer guns has meant less gun violence, not more.
And every time I wash my car it rains...
Violent crime has dropped nationwide in the past decade and a half. If Maureens assertion were true, then the same experiment should yield the same results in D.C., Baltimore, Chicago, etc.
And really, Maureen, do you think these stats all add up to the person who IS at the mercy of a violent criminal because their government would not allow them the best technology to defend themself? The laws of this nation pertaining to civil liberties should always be geared towards the individual. Until all those numbers you cite show 100% drops, you really don't have a case. And even if they DO drop to 100%, I'm still keeping my gun. Ask the folks down in New Orleans how fast things can change for the worst.
New York's progress is even more impressive when you consider the impact of guns brought in from beyond its borders. City police have found that 87 percent of guns recovered in crimes there —- including weapons used in 60 percent of the murders —- came to the Big Apple from other states with lax gun laws, including Georgia.
New York is not the only reproof to the gun lobby fantasy that common-sense gun laws lead to more blood in the streets. The United States has more guns in private hands than any other developed nation, so if more guns make us safer, the United States should have a very low rate of violent crime.
How were they obtained to be brought into the Big Apple? Were they in the possession of the original owner? Were the purchases legal? You have already stated that New York's draconian firearm laws severely impede the law abiding consumer from obtaing a legally purchased firearm. Now you would group those who wish to purchase a gun legally with those who don't care about the law in the first place?
Really, if the whole point of your editorial is to prove that HB 89 is going to be a boon for criminals, you should have left that last statement out. Criminals already pack when they ride the public transportation systems, drink in bars, and cruise the town. And they SURE aren't applying for GFL's! They don't qualify! They're criminals, Maureen, you ninny!
The opposite is true. In 2004, 11,344 Americans were murdered with a firearm. Compare that to Australia, where guns were used to murder 56 people, and to England and Wales, where guns were used in the murders of 73 people.
The gun lobby explains those numbers by claiming that people in Australia and England are inherently more peaceable than Americans. But is the gun lobby now going to tell us that New Yorkers are more gentle and law-abiding than Georgians?
Hmm, 11,344 murders compared to 2.5 million defensive uses. Hang on, let me do the math...
In considering whether to veto HB 89, Perdue ought to rely on the facts, as have the governors of Arizona and Virginia, both of whom vetoed similar legislation in recent years. In April, the Tennessee Legislature killed its version of HB 89, with even gun advocates in the Legislature warning that guns and booze are a lethal mix.
Perdue should look to his colleagues for inspiration and support, not to a gun lobby that offers fear-mongering rather than facts.
Yes, Governor Perdue should look at the facts. I think I speak for freedom loving people everywhere when I say that I agree. As for the Governor of Virginia, he has purchased a plot in the political graveyard like every other politician that pandered to the LOBBYIST on the anti-rights side.
It's not our backyard but we, too, would urge Governor Perdue to side with his colleagues - the 146 men and women of the Georgian Legislature whom the fine folks of Georgia elected to represent them and who passed this piece of legislation that now sits in the Governor's in-box. Otherwise, he may want to start house hunting with Napolitano and Kaine while the market is soft. The gubrenatorial mansions will have some new folks in them next election cycle.
Hey, Maureen, you want some MORE facts? Try this link.
Bumper stickers indeed!