Gun Control Groups Exploiting Tragedies

Posted on June 18, 2014

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Gun control activists have repeatedly used national tragedies to try to push their agenda. They use grieving victims to invoke an emotional response and spread misinformation falsely claiming that enacting their agenda would have prevented these tragedies and will prevent future tragedies.

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Just yesterday, the former executive director of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun group admitted that mass shootings would not have been stopped by stricter gun control. Media coverage of mass shootings  repeatedly notes these tragedies take place in areas with some of the most restrictive gun laws in the nation. 

Groups sponsored by Bloomberg have tried to inflate statistics and circumstances to play on the public’s emotions, and have been called out by independent fact-checkers as being false and misleading.

In predictable fashion, one day after the former executive director of Bloomberg's group publicly stated that their gun control agenda will not prevent future tragedies, Bloomberg's Everytown for Gun Safety held an emotionally charged press conference urging Congress to enact their anti-freedom agenda.  

Just as the tactics of anti-gun groups don’t change, neither do the facts. The anti-Second Amendment agenda being pushed by Bloomberg will not prevent these tragedies from occurring. It's clear that their agenda is not to make children safer or prevent tragedies, but to enact an extreme anti-gun agenda. If they were truly concerned with saving lives, they would work to address our broken mental health system and ensure that violent criminals are prosecuted to the full extent of the law.  

Michael Bloomberg and his operatives are not telling the truth to Congress or the American people.  Your U.S. Representative and Senators need to hear from your today.  Tell them you won’t stand for more ineffective bans on firearms; so-called “universal” background check systems; or any other gun control scheme.  Let them know you want serious legislation passed to fix the broken mental health system in this country – that is the real issue.  Bloomberg thinks he can buy the American people and the U.S. Congress.  He may have billions of dollars, but he doesn’t have you.  Please contact your Senators and Representative today to stop Bloomberg’s lies!  

You can contact your U.S. Senators and your U.S. Representative by using the "Write Your Lawmakers" tool at www.NRAILA.org.  You may also contact your Senators by phone at (202) 224-3121, and your Representative by phone at (202) 225-3121.


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Mark Glaze, Former Everytown ED, Admits Regulations Wouldn’t Stop Shootings

Former Everytown Executive Director, And “Face Of The Gun Control Movement,” Mark Glaze Says “Nothing We Have To Offer” Would Stop Mass Shootings

Mark Glaze Said “Many Mass Shootings Wouldn’t Have Been Stopped By Tighter Regulations Proposed By Gun-Control Advocates” “And Mr. Glaze said the movement hasn’t solved one of its signature problems: Many mass shootings wouldn’t have been stopped by tighter regulations proposed by gun-control advocates” (Reid J. Epstein, “Gun-Control Advocate: Snowden, Obamacare Hurt Our Cause,” The Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire, 6/16/14)

Glaze Said It Is A “Challenge In This Issue” … “When A Mass Shooting Happens And Nothing That We Have To Offer Would Have Stopped That Mass Shooting.” GLAZE: “Because people perceive a mismatch in the policy solutions that we have to offer and the way some of these mass shootings happened, you know, it is a messaging problem for us, I think. … Is it a messaging problem when a mass shooting happens and nothing that we have to offer would have stopped that mass shooting? Sure it’s a challenge in this issue.”(Reid J. Epstein, “Gun-Control Advocate: Snowden, Obamacare Hurt Our Cause,” The Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire, 6/16/14)

Mark Glaze Had “Been The Face Of The Gun-Control Movement” Before Leaving Everytown

When He Left In June 2014, Glaze Had Served As The Executive Director Of Bloomberg’s Gun-Control Groups For Three And A Half Years. “Now Mr. Glaze, 43 years old, has stepped away from the fight. Friday marked his last day working for Mr. Bloomberg’s organization, now called Everytown for Gun Safety, after three and a half years as executive director.”(Reid J. Epstein, “Gun-Control Advocate: Snowden, Obamacare Hurt Our Cause,” The Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire, 6/16/14)

“Since The Newtown Massacre, Mark Glaze Has Been The Face Of The Gun-Control Movement.” (Reid J. Epstein, “Gun-Control Advocate: Snowden, Obamacare Hurt Our Cause,” The Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire, 6/16/14)

  • As Executive Director Of Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Glaze “Led The Futile 2013 Fight For Expanded Background Checks” And Often Appears On Cable News. “The executive director of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Mr. Glaze led the futile 2013 fight for expanded background checks and has been regular on cable news after each successive mass shooting.” (Reid J. Epstein, “Gun-Control Advocate: Snowden, Obamacare Hurt Our Cause,” The Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire, 6/16/14)


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Other Gun Control Proponents on the Efficacy of Increased Gun Control

  • Colo. Gov. John Hickenlooper said that the 2013 gun control laws passed in Colorado would not make any difference in preventing a shooting at a Colorado High School.   “But in this specific case, it’s not going to make any difference at all, right?” (commenting on the failure of Colorado’s 2013 gun control laws expanding background checks and limiting magazine capacity to stop a shooting at a Colorado high school) 
  • Then Colorado State Senate President John Morse (D) lamented that limiting magazine capacity would not reduce violence. Morse was defeated in a recall election for his role in the passage of draconian anti-Second Amendment legislation. “How does a limit on high-capacity magazines reduce violence?” 
  • Paul M. Barrett, writer for Bloomberg Businessweek wrote that conventional gun-control proposals will not deter those committed to perpetrating acts of senseless violence.Forget conventional gun-control proposals” in the case of “the suicidal young man determined to express his pain and rage by taking innocent people with him.” California has “some of the toughest gun-control laws in the country” but “[t]hose laws didn’t stop, or even significantly slow” the Isla Vista perpetrator. 


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U.C. Santa Barbara 

The U.C. Santa Barbara Tragedy Happened In A State With “The Toughest Gun-Control Regulations In The Country”

California Had “The Toughest Gun-Control Regulations In The Country” Including A Centralized Database Of Gun Purchases. “With the toughest gun-control regulations in the country, California has a unique, centralized database of gun purchases that law enforcement can easily search. It offers precious intelligence about a suspect or other people officers may encounter when responding to a call.” (Kimberly Kindy And Alice Crites, “California Police Didn’t Check Database Before Rampage,”The Washington Post, 5/31/14)

The facts about California's restrictive gun laws and their ineffectiveness in preventing gun violence specifically the UC Santa Barbara tragedy:

  • California already requires background checks for all firearm transfers.
  • California already has firearm registration.
  • California already imposes a 10-round limit on magazine capacity.
  • California already restricts a person from obtaining more than one handgun in a 30-day period.
  • California already imposes waiting periods on the purchase of firearms.
  • California already expansively bans and regulates semi-automatic firearms under the rubric of “assault weapons.”
  • California already has “mental health” related restrictions on firearms, based merely on evaluations and reports by clinicians.
  • The perpetrator of the Isla Vista attack obtained his firearms legally.
  • The perpetrator of the Isla Vista attack was under ongoing psychiatric care at the time he planned and committed his crimes.
  • The perpetrator of the Isla Vista attack was visited by police for a well-being check a few weeks before his crime spree.


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Bloomberg’s Misleading Attack Ads

In 2013, Bloomberg’s PAC Released An Ad That Falsely Implied That The So-Called “Gun Show Loophole” Was Responsible For A Number Of Tragedies

In 2013, Bloomberg’s Independence USA Ad In Virginia Focused On The So-Called “Gun Show Loophole”. “‘The gun show loophole — it means anyone can buy a gun without a background check: the dangerously mentally ill, criminals — endangering our families,’ the ad says. Pictures flash of mass killers, including Adam Lanza, who killed 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., last December and Virginia-Tech shooter Seung Hui Cho. The ad says Cuccinelli is ‘too extreme for Virginia.’” (Fredrick Kunkle, “Dueling Ads On Gun Rights From NRA, Bloomberg Enter Virginia Campaign,” The Washington Post, 10/23/13)

The Washington Post’s Fact Checker Gave Bloomberg’s Ad 3 Pinocchios. (Glenn Kessler, “Misleading Images In Bloomberg’s Ad Attacking Cuccinelli On Guns,” The Washington Post’sThe Fact Checker, 10/25/13)

  • The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler: “Emotional Attack Ads Need To Be Scrupulous With The Facts.” (Glenn Kessler, “Misleading Images In Bloomberg’s Ad Attacking Cuccinelli On Guns,” The Washington Post’sThe Fact Checker, 10/25/13)

“The Ad Quickly Shows Images Of Four Mass Murderers In This Order: Seung-Hui Cho, Aaron Alexis, Adam Lanza And James Holmes.” (Glenn Kessler, “Misleading Images In Bloomberg’s Ad Attacking Cuccinelli On Guns,” The Washington Post’sThe Fact Checker, 10/25/13)

  • None Of These Tragedies Would Have Been Prevented By Closing The So-Called “Gun-Show Loophole.” “In other words, none of these tragedies would have been prevented by closing the gun-show loophole, but a small case might be made that maintaining better records on mentally ill people might have made a difference.”(Glenn Kessler, “Misleading Images In Bloomberg’s Ad Attacking Cuccinelli On Guns,” The Washington Post’sThe Fact Checker, 10/25/13)


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More Misleading Statistics

Following The Oregon School Shooting, Bloomberg’s Everytown Pushed A “Striking Statistic” On School Shootings

Following A School Shooting In Oregon, Bloomberg’s Everytown Group Released A “Statistic” That Said “At Least 74 School Shootings Had Occurred Since December 2012.” “After an Oregon high school freshman armed with an assault rifle injured a teacher, killed a student and killed himself Tuesday, a striking statistic began circulating on the internet. It said that at least 74 school shootings had occurred since December 2012, when an assault on Sandy Hook Elementary School by Adam Lanza left 28 dead, including Lanza and his mother. The statistic came from Everytown for Gun Safety, an advocacy group founded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and gun-control advocate Shannon Watts.”(Lauren Carroll And Molly O’Connor, “Have There Been 74 School Shootings Since Sandy Hook? A Closer Look At A Tricky Statistic,” Politifact, 6/11/14)

Politifact Called Everytown’s School Shooting “Statistic” “A Significant Stretch” And Rated It “Mostly False”

“A Statistic Calculated By Everytown For Gun Safety, And Shared Widely On Social Media, Said That There Have Been 74 ‘School Shootings In America Since Sandy Hook.’” (Lauren Carroll And Molly O’Connor, “Have There Been 74 School Shootings Since Sandy Hook? A Closer Look At A Tricky Statistic,” Politifact, 6/11/14)

“The Group’s Figure Is Accurate Only If You Use A Broad Definition Of ‘School Shooting’ That Includes Such Incidents As Suicides, Accidents And Spillover From Adjacent Criminal Activity.” (Lauren Carroll And Molly O’Connor, “Have There Been 74 School Shootings Since Sandy Hook? A Closer Look At A Tricky Statistic,” Politifact, 6/11/14)

“The Group Makes A Significant Stretch By Tying The Statistic So Closely To The Mass Shooting At Sandy Hook.” “The figure has some value in quantifying the proximity of guns to school campuses, but the group makes a significant stretch by tying the statistic so closely to the mass shooting at Sandy Hook.”(Lauren Carroll And Molly O’Connor, “Have There Been 74 School Shootings Since Sandy Hook? A Closer Look At A Tricky Statistic,” Politifact, 6/11/14)

 “We Rate It Mostly False.” (Lauren Carroll And Molly O’Connor, “Have There Been 74 School Shootings Since Sandy Hook? A Closer Look At A Tricky Statistic,” Politifact, 6/11/14)

Bloomberg’s Group Had Previously Counted Several Murder Suspects As Victims Of Gun Violence

Mayors Against Illegal Guns Read The Boston Bomber's Name During A Reading Of Victims Of Gun Violence. “As part of the event, participants read the names of more than 6,000 Americans killed with guns since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in December. One of the names was Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who died in an exchange of gunfire with police days after the April 15 bombings in Boston.” (“ Mayors Against Illegal Guns Apologizes For Calling Boston Bombing Suspect Victim Of Gun Violence,” CBS New York, 6/20/13)

MAIG’s List Of Gun Violence Victims Also Included “At Least 10 Wanted Murder Suspects.” “Victims-rights advocates blasted Mayors Against Illegal Guns for promoting a list of gun-violence victims that included the name of accused Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev and at least 10 wanted murder suspects. The group later apologized.” (S.A. Miller, “Weakened Arsenal: More Than 50 Original Mayors Have Quit Bloomberg’s Anti-Gun Group,” The New York Post, 7/23/13)


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Additional Facts that Undermine a Key Component of Bloomberg's Gun-Control Agenda 

Background Checks

  • They are already required for dealer sales of firearms, whether at brick and mortar shops or gun shows.
  • They are already required when firearms are sold across state lines, including firearms advertised online.
  • They do not, nor can they, identify or stop persons whose behavior has not already resulted in some intervention by the criminal justice or mental health systems. They are necessarily backward-looking, not forward-looking.
  • According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, most criminals who use guns get them from theft, on the black market, or from acquaintances. Background checks are irrelevant in these circumstances.
  • According to the BATFE, nearly half of illegally trafficked firearms originate with straw purchasers. Background checks cannot stop straw purchasers; indeed, straw purchasers exploit the current background check system.
  • It is already illegal for a person to transfer a firearm to another individual who the person knows or reasonably should know is prohibited by law from having it. This applies whether the transaction is conducted by a dealer or private person.
  • It is already illegal for a person to provide a firearm to another individual who the person knows intends to use it in a violent or drug trafficking crime. This applies whether the transaction is conducted by a dealer or private person.


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