Described by the perennially anti-rights New York Times editorial board as “a promising new force in the fight for gun control,” the newly-formed Firearms Accountability Counsel Task Force will reportedly donate millions of dollars in free legal work to “challenge” state legislators who support liberalized concealed carry laws.
This group was introduced on Facebook by States United to Prevent Gun Violence, an organization that appears to do what other gun prohibition lobbying organizations have done. They lump all firearms-related fatalities into one big number under the term “gun violence,” without mentioning that about two-thirds of gun deaths annually are suicides. There are also accidental deaths and even justifiable homicides.
According to the Times editorial board, “The lawyers will also seek ways to challenge state lawmakers who have invited millions of citizens to pack guns in public buildings and businesses.”
Nowhere does the editorial note that with all of these millions of citizens apparently packing guns, violent crime and homicide numbers are down from where they were 20 years ago, according to the FBI Uniform Crime Report.
In 1996, there were 15,848 homicides in the U.S., of which 10,744 were committed with firearms, including 8,594 involving handguns. In 2015, according to FBI data, the country saw 13,455 slayings, of which 9,616 involved firearms and 6,447 of those were committed with handguns.
Twenty years ago only a few million people were legally licensed to carry. Today by some estimates, there are more than 15 million legally licensed citizens who may or may not be carrying guns at any given moment.
There is something else about the FBI data. Even two decades ago, rifles accounted for a fraction of all homicides. In 1996, there were only 546 slayings in the country that specifically involved rifles of any kind, just over 5 percent. Last year, only 252 of all the murders cited above were known to have been committed with rifles of any kind, roughly 2.5 percent.
Those figures do not square well with arguments from gun prohibitionists that so-called “assault rifles” should be banned. If the semiautomatic modern sporting rifles targeted by such ban attempts were really a public safety problem, the FBI statistics would reflect that.
Likewise, if millions of armed citizens packing guns in public had become a serious threat, the headlines would certainly say so.
The real threat to public safety might be anti-gun attorneys working pro bono to erode the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding American citizens who have taken more responsibility for their personal safety.
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