Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Violence Policy Center's Cars Theory Not Hitting on All Cylinders

Friday, September 5, 2014

The anti-gun Violence Policy Center (VPC) thinks it has finally come up with a way to get handguns, and maybe some other guns, banned. Compare ‘em to cars!

Obviously, some background is in order.

VPC was formed, and is still led, by Josh Sugarmann, a former staffer for the National Coalition to Ban Handguns and the author of the book, Every Handgun is Aimed at You: The Case for Banning Handguns.

In 1988, in its first policy paper, VPC (then known as the New Right Watch), complained that “handgun restriction consistently remains a non-issue with the vast majority of legislators, the press, and public.”  Therefore, it said, a “new topic” was needed to “strengthen the handgun restriction lobby.”

At the time, it said that the “new topic” should be “assault weapons.”  But in 2000, with the federal “assault weapon” ban temporarily in place, VPC changed its tune.  In Unsafe in Any Hands: Why America Needs to Ban Handguns, the group said that “Congress should vest the Department of the Treasury with strong authority to regulate the design, manufacture, and distribution of firearms.”  That authority would include “the ability to remove from the market firearms that pose a serious threat to public health and safety.”

VPC reasoned that “by making a simple comparison between the costs of civilian handgun ownership versus the benefits these weapons are purported to deliver, the case for banning handguns becomes self-evident.”  Last year, however, VPC expanded the list of things that it would like consumer products regulation of firearms to achieve.  It said the regulations could also impose “assault weapon” and magazine bans, and restrictions on carrying guns, and include a propaganda campaign “about the extreme risks” of “exposure to firearms.”

Congress has thus far refused to give either the Consumer Products Safety Commission or the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives the authority to arbitrarily dictate what kinds of firearms may be manufactured.  But VPC now thinks that it has the argument that will change Congress’ mind.

In a recent policy paper, VPC said that giving the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) the authority to set federal motor vehicle safety standards reduced motor-vehicle-related deaths, so the same approach would work where firearms are concerned.

As you might imagine, there are some problems with VPC’s theory, however.

First, motor vehicle accident deaths have declined for a number of reasons, some of which do not originate with a government dictate over the design of automobiles.  The NHTSA says that crash fatalities have been reduced not only by mandatory installation of seat belts, air bags and child restraints, but also by roadway improvements, automobile manufacturers’ voluntary installation of electronic stability control technology, and economic recessions and unemployment, which reduce the number of miles that people drive.  Strict enforcement of DUI/DWI laws has also contributed to the decrease in fatal automobile accidents.

Second, even without banning some guns and mandatorily redesigning those that remain, firearm accident deaths have decreased more than motor vehicle accident deaths over the last several decades.  As the chart below shows, from 1981 (the earliest year both sets of data are available from the National Center for Health Statistics) through 2011 (the most recent year of available data), the firearm accident death rate dropped 77 percent, while the motor vehicle accident death rate dropped only 53 percent.

We doubt that any of this will incline Sugarmann and his handful of anti-gun officemates to bring their sputtering cars theory to a screeching halt.  That will occur only when those who fund the VPC--in this case, the Joyce Foundation, the Herb Block Foundation and the David Bohnett Foundation--realize how little mileage they are getting for their investment.

TRENDING NOW
Maryland: Pro-Carry Legislation Pending Final Vote on House Floor

Monday, March 20, 2017

Maryland: Pro-Carry Legislation Pending Final Vote on House Floor

Today, the Maryland House of Delegates passed House Bill 1036 on second reading.

Ohio: Critical Self-Defense Law Takes Effect Today!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Ohio: Critical Self-Defense Law Takes Effect Today!

Today, March 21, the provisions of the critical self-defense legislation, Sub. Senate Bill 199, go into effect.  Thanks to your active involvement last session, this bill was signed by Governor Kasich last December.  This law ...

Maryland: House Passes Pro-Carry Legislation

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Maryland: House Passes Pro-Carry Legislation

Yesterday, the Maryland House of Delegates passed House Bill 1036 by a 97-41 vote.

Illinois: Gun Seizure Bill Could be Heard by House at Any Time

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Illinois: Gun Seizure Bill Could be Heard by House at Any Time

The Illinois House of Representatives could consider House Bill 2354 at any time.

Are Ear Plugs Better Than a Suppressor?

Hunting  

News  

Friday, March 17, 2017

Are Ear Plugs Better Than a Suppressor?

On March 13, the gun control group, Americans for Responsible Solutions, posted a tweet claiming:  “FACT:  Silencers do not protect your hearing.”  An infographic accompanied the tweet with the additional claim “You know what protects ...

Idaho: Senate Passes Concealed Carry Amendment

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Idaho: Senate Passes Concealed Carry Amendment

Yesterday, March 20, the Idaho Senate passed House Bill 93 by a 35-0 vote.  Introduced by state Representative Don Cheatham (R-3B) and sponsored on the floor by state Senator Marv Hagedorn (R-14), HB 93 would amend current law ...

Nevada: Senate Passes Anti-Gun SB 115

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Nevada: Senate Passes Anti-Gun SB 115

Yesterday, March 21, the Senate passed anti-gun Senate Bill 115 with a 12-9 vote.  SB 115 was sent to the Assembly for further consideration.  Sponsored by state Senator Moises Denis (D-2), SB 115 would expand the list ...

European Parliament Passes Stringent New Gun Controls

News  

Friday, March 17, 2017

European Parliament Passes Stringent New Gun Controls

On March 14, the European Union completed one of the final steps in imposing stringent new gun controls across the political bloc, when the European Parliament approved legislation to alter the EU Firearms Directive by ...

North Dakota: Constitutional/Permitless Carry Bill Passes Committee and Headed to Senate Floor

Monday, March 20, 2017

North Dakota: Constitutional/Permitless Carry Bill Passes Committee and Headed to Senate Floor

Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee recommended do-pass to House Bill 1169 by a 4-2 vote.  HB 1169 could go to the Senate floor as early as tomorrow.  Please contact your state Senator and politely urge them to ...

Pro-gun Bills Introduced to Reform FOPA, Protect Interstate Transport of Firearms for Lawful Use

Gun Laws  

News  

Friday, March 17, 2017

Pro-gun Bills Introduced to Reform FOPA, Protect Interstate Transport of Firearms for Lawful Use

Pro-gun members of Congress have introduced legislation to protect travelers who are transporting firearms interstate for lawful purposes.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.