The Editorial Board of the New York Times is hyperventilating. Their op-ed today is entitled, "Missouri: The Shoot Me State." I kid you not. Shades of Florida being tagged "The Gunshine State" when they passed shall-issue concealed carry in 1987. What happened there? Well between passage of that law and 2014 the homicide rate declined from 11.4/100k to 5.8, violent crime declined from about 7,500/100k to less than 3,500, rape declined from 50.2/100k to 30.4, and aggravated assault declined from 606.3 to 366.4.
"Gunshine State"? Missouri ought to embrace their new moniker.
As is typical for the Media when it comes to gun control, all they've got is lies and hyperbole, and this piece starts off with a bang (no pun intended):
The law will let citizens carry concealed weapons in public without a state gun permit, criminal background check or firearms training. It strips local law enforcement of its current authority to deny firearms to those guilty of domestic violence and to other high-risk individuals.An earlier version of the piece used the phrase "necessary authority," but that was changed with no notification of the edit.
The measure has drawn no great national attention,Perhaps because ten other states have such laws on the books with no negative outcomes?
but it certainly provides further evidence that gun safety cannot be left to state lawmakers beholden to the gun lobby.Otherwise known as "their constituents."
Democrats opposed to the Missouri bill called it a “perfect storm” of lowered standards for the use of deadly force and an invitation for people to be armed without responsible controls. The measure was enacted by the Republicans, despite strong public opposition and warnings about the threat to public safety from the state Police Chiefs Association. Everytown for Gun Safety, one of the groups fighting the gun lobby, noted that stand your ground laws result in disproportionate harm to communities of color.By that measure, "gun control" results in "disproportionate harm to communities of color," since places like Chicago with strict gun control laws have astronomically high levels of death and injury by gunshot. Ask the writer of this recent Pro Publica piece, How the Gun Control Debate Ignores Black Lives. But continuing:
Mr. Nixon, a Democrat, vetoed the measure in June, saying it would allow individuals with a criminal record to legally carry a concealed firearm even though they had been, or would have been, denied a permit under the old law’s background check.Which means he lied, since anyone with a felony record, or a conviction that could have resulted in a sentence exceeding one year (regardless of what sentence was actually handed down), or anyone under a domestic violence restraining order or found guilty of a domestic violence charge is - by Federal law - prohibited from possessing a firearm. Period. Doesn't matter how they carry it. So if their criminal record would have prevented them having a permit, it should prevent them from having a FIREARM.
But the New York Times' Editorial Board doesn't tell you that.
Mayors Sly James of Kansas City and Francis Slay of St. Louis warned against restricting the power of the local police to deny guns to those who commit domestic violence.And they lied too. It's FEDERAL law, and local police are quite empowered to enforce it.
But the New York Times' Editorial Board doesn't tell you that, either.
Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal, a lawmaker from Ferguson, which erupted in protests after the 2014 fatal police shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed African-American teenager, warned that enacting the stand-your-ground standard would mean another “bad Samaritan like Zimmerman.” She was referring to the shooting death in Florida four years ago of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager, by George Zimmerman; in that case the judge’s instructions to the jury contained some of the language of the stand your ground law.Oooh! A twofer! Michael Brown might have been "unarmed," but he was physically charging the officer he'd just tried to disarm. The "Hands Up! Don't Shoot" meme has been thoroughly discredited.
Except in the eyes of the New York Times' Editorial Board.
An earlier version of the piece claimed Zimmerman's defense rested on Stand Your Ground, but at least they noted that revision of the article to retract that. Doesn't matter anyway, since if you're on your back getting your head bashed into the sidewalk by your assailant, you - by definition - cannot retreat. Again, Martin might not have been armed. That doesn't mean he wasn't lethally dangerous.
Except in the eyes of the New York Times' Editorial Board.
Missouri is joining 10 other states that loosened gun laws to allow concealed firearms in public without the need for a permit. Federal gun controls still require background checks on buyers, but only at federally licensed dealers. Unfortunately, there is a separate and busy uncontrolled market where buyers at gun shows and on the internet do not have to undergo background checks.Ah yes, the infamous "gun show loophole." AKA private sales. Just one more push for backdoor registration. Except, of course, by people with criminal records who won't bother to fill out a Form 4473 no matter what the law says.
In the presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton has called for extensive gun safety measures, including a ban on the assault weapons favored by mass shooters, closing background-check loopholes, ending the gun industry’s outrageous protection from civil damage suits and denying guns to risky suspects on the government’s no-fly lists.And once again the Orwellian Word Police have substituted "gun safety" for "gun control." Is gun. Is not safe. That's kinda the point. And the "gun industries outrageous protection from civil damage suits"? You mean the kind of suits that resulted in dismissals like Cincinnati's lawsuit against Beretta where the decision reads in part:
A manufacturer has no duty to warn of an obvious danger. Knives are sharp, bowling balls are heavy, bullets cause puncture wounds in flesh. The law has long recognized that obvious dangers are an excluded class.Those lawsuits weren't seeking civil damages for defective firearms (suits which can still be brought and have been won.) The suits that manufacturers are protected against are the ones brought as "lawfare," intending to bankrupt gun manufacturers competing against government entities with essentially bottomless pockets. Lawsuits that threaten to have far broader implications, as was noted in the dismissal of New York v. Sturm Ruger et. al:
Although this public nuisance lawsuit is brought by the Attorney General on behalf of the State of New York-while the Hamilton action was one initiated by private parties for negligent marketing-both were brought against handgun manufacturers and sellers. Plaintiff's attempt here to widen the range of common-law public nuisance claims in order to reach the legal handgun industry will not itself, if successful, engender a limitless number of public nuisance lawsuits by individuals against these particular defendants, as was a stated concern in Hamilton, 96 N.Y.2d at 233, 727 N.Y.S.2d 7, 750 N.E.2d 1055. However, giving a green light to a common-law public nuisance cause of action today will, in our judgment, likely open the courthouse doors to a flood of limitless, similar theories of public nuisance, not only against these defendants, but also against a wide and varied array of other commercial and manufacturing enterprises and activities.
All a creative mind would need to do is construct a scenario describing a known or perceived harm of a sort that can somehow be said to relate back to the way a company or an industry makes, markets and/or sells its non-defective, lawful product or service, and a public nuisance claim would be conceived and a lawsuit born. A variety of such lawsuits would leave the starting gate to be welcomed into the legal arena to run their cumbersome course, their vast cost and tenuous reasoning notwithstanding. Indeed, such lawsuits employed to address a host of societal problems would be invited into the courthouse whether the problems they target are real or perceived; whether the problems are in some way caused by, or perhaps merely preceded by, the defendants' completely lawful business practices; regardless of the remoteness of their actual cause or of their foreseeability; and regardless of the existence, remoteness, nature and extent of any intervening causes between defendants' lawful commercial conduct and the alleged harm.
But the New York Times' Editoral Board doesn't want you to know that, either.
Assault weapons? Someone once described the idea of banning "assault weapons" as a method of preventing mass shootings as the equivalent of banning palm trees to prevent people being crushed by falling elephants. The New York Times itself published a piece two years ago entitled The Assault Weapon Myth which noted:
This politically defined category of guns — a selection of rifles, shotguns and handguns with “military-style” features — only figured in about 2 percent of gun crimes nationwide before the ban.I guess the Editorial Board of the New York Times doesn't actually read their own paper.
Most Americans do not know that gun homicides have decreased by 49 percent since 1993 as violent crime also fell, though rates of gun homicide in the United States are still much higher than those in other developed nations. A Pew survey conducted after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., found that 56 percent of Americans believed wrongly that the rate of gun crime was higher than it was 20 years ago.
“We spent a whole bunch of time and a whole bunch of political capital yelling and screaming about assault weapons,” Mayor Mitchell J. Landrieu of New Orleans said. He called it a “zero sum political fight about a symbolic weapon.”
More than 20 years of research funded by the Justice Department has found that programs to target high-risk people or places, rather than targeting certain kinds of guns, can reduce gun violence.
This is my shocked face.
The current op-ed concludes:
Donald Trump, endorsed by the National Rifle Association, favors more armed civilians ready to engage in what he calls a defensive “shootout.” This is one of the most pathetic measures yet of his pandering, when he should be leading, on an issue of vital importance to the public.Except the public seems to feel otherwise, at least according to polls by Gallup, CNN, Pew and Rasmussen.
But the New York Times' Editorial Board knows better.
At least they want you to think they do.