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This is a reprint of Research "Gun Control Facts." By James D. Agresti and Reid K. Smith. Just Facts, September 13, 2010. Revised 12/10/12. http://justfacts.com/guncontrol.asp (First of several entries to follow)

 

Introductory Notes

 

 

This research is based upon the most recent available data in 2010. Facts from earlier years are cited based upon availability and relevance, not to slant results by singling out specific years that are different from others. Likewise, data associated with the effects of gun control laws in various geographical areas represent random, demographically diverse places in which such data is available.

 

Many aspects of the gun control issue are best measured and sometimes can only be measured through surveys,[1] but the accuracy of such surveys depends upon respondents providing truthful answers to questions that are sometimes controversial and potentially incriminating.[2] Thus, Just Facts uses such data critically, citing the best-designed surveys we find, detailing their inner workings in our footnotes, and using the most cautious plausible interpretations of the results.

 

Particularly, when statistics are involved, the determination of what constitutes a credible fact (and what does not) can contain elements of personal subjectivity. It is our mission to minimize subjective information and to provide highly factual content. Therefore, we are taking the additional step of providing readers with four examples to illustrate the type of material that was excluded because it did not meet Just Facts' Standards of Credibility.

 

 

General Facts

 

 

* Firearms are generally classified into three broad types: (1) handguns, (2) rifles, and (3) shotguns.[3] Rifles and shotguns are both considered "long guns."

 

* A semi-automatic firearm fires one bullet each time the trigger is pulled and automatically loads another bullet for the next pull of the trigger. A fully automatic firearm (sometimes called a "machine gun") fires multiple bullets with the single pull of the trigger.[4]

 

 

Ownership

 

* As of 2009, the United States has a population of 307 million people.[5]

 

* Based on production data from firearm manufacturers,[6] there are roughly 300 million firearms owned by civilians in the United States as of 2010. Of these, about 100 million are handguns.[7]

 

* Based upon surveys, the following are estimates of private firearm ownership in the U.S. as of 2010:

 

 Households With a Gun  Adults Owning a Gun  Adults Owning a Handgun
Percentage  40-45%  30-34%  17-19%
Number  47-53 million  70-80 million  40-45 million

[8]

 

* A 2005 nationwide Gallup poll of 1,012 adults found the following levels of firearm ownership:

 

Category

 Percentage Owning

a Firearm

Households  42%
Individuals  30%
Male  47%
Female  13%
White  33%
Nonwhite  18%
Republican  41%
Independent  27%
Democrat  23%

[9]

 

* In the same poll, gun owners stated they own firearms for the following reasons:

 

Protection Against Crime  67%
Target Shooting  66%
Hunting  41%

[10]

 

 

Crime and Self-Defense

 

* Roughly 16,272 murders were committed in the United States during 2008. Of these, about 10,886 or 67% were committed with firearms.[11]

 

* A 1993 nationwide survey of 4,977 households found that over the previous five years, at least 0.5% of households had members who had used a gun for defense during a situation in which they thought someone "almost certainly would have been killed" if they "had not used a gun for protection." Applied to the U.S. population, this amounts to 162,000 such incidents per year. This figure excludes all "military service, police work, or work as a security guard."[12]

 

* Based on survey data from the U.S. Department of Justice, roughly 5,340,000 violent crimes were committed in the United States during 2008. These include simple/aggravated assaults, robberies, sexual assaults, rapes, and murders.[13] [14] [15] Of these, about 436,000 or 8% were committed by offenders visibly armed with a gun.[16]

 

* Based on survey data from a 2000 study published in the Journal of Quantitative Criminology,[17] U.S. civilians use guns to defend themselves and others from crime at least 989,883 times per year.[18]

 

* A 1993 nationwide survey of 4,977 households found that over the previous five years, at least 3.5% of households had members who had used a gun "for self-protection or for the protection of property at home, work, or elsewhere." Applied to the U.S. population, this amounts to 1,029,615 such incidents per year. This figure excludes all "military service, police work, or work as a security guard."[19]

 

* A 1994 survey conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that Americans use guns to frighten away intruders who are breaking into their homes about 498,000 times per year.[20]

 

* A 1982 survey of male felons in 11 state prisons dispersed across the U.S. found:[21]

• 34% had been "scared off, shot at, wounded, or captured by an armed victim"

• 40% had decided not to commit a crime because they "knew or believed that the victim was carrying a gun"

• 69% personally knew other criminals who had been "scared off, shot at, wounded, or captured by an armed victim"[22]

 

* Click here to see why the following commonly cited statistic does not meet Just Facts' Standards of Credibility: "In homes with guns, the homicide of a household member is almost 3 times more likely to occur than in homes without guns."

 


└ Vulnerability to Violent Crime

 

 

* At the current homicide rate, roughly one in every 240 Americans will be murdered.[23]

 

* A U.S. Justice Department study based on crime data from 1974-1985 found:

 

• 42% of Americans will be the victim of a completed violent crime (assault, robbery, rape) in the course of their lives

• 83% of Americans will be the victim of an attempted or completed violent crime

• 52% of Americans will be the victim of an attempted or completed violent crime more than once[24]

 

* A 1997 survey of more than 18,000 prison inmates found that among those serving time for a violent crime, "30% of State offenders and 35% of Federal offenders carried a firearm when committing the crime."[25]

 


└ Criminal Justice System

 

 

* Nationwide in 2008, law enforcement agencies reported that 55% of aggravated assaults, 27% of robberies, 40% of rapes, and 64% of murders that were reported to police resulted in an alleged offender being arrested and turned over for prosecution.[26] [27]

 

* Currently, for every 12 aggravated assaults, robberies, sexual assaults, rapes, and murders committed in the United States, approximately one person is sentenced to prison for committing such a crime.[28] [29] [30]

 

* A 2002 U.S. Justice Department study of 272,111 felons released from state prisons in 1994 found that within three years of their release:

• at least 67.5% had been arrested for committing a new offense

• at least 21.6% had been arrested for committing a new violent offense

• these former inmates had been charged with committing at least 2,871 new homicides, 2,444 new rapes, 3,151 other new sexual assaults, 2,362 new kidnappings, 21,245 new robberies, 54,604 new assaults, and 13,854 other new violent crimes[31]

 

* Of 1,662 murders committed in New York City during 2003-2005, more than 90% were committed by people with criminal records.[32]

 


└ Washington, DC

 

 

* In 1976, the Washington, D.C. City Council passed a law generally prohibiting residents from possessing handguns and requiring that all firearms in private homes be (1) kept unloaded and (2) rendered temporally inoperable via disassembly or installation of a trigger lock. The law became operative on Sept. 24, 1976.[33] [34]

 

* On June 26, 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 ruling, struck down this law as unconstitutional.[35]

 

 

[36]

 

* During the years in which the D.C. handgun ban and trigger lock law was in effect, the Washington, D.C. murder rate averaged 73% higher than it was at the outset of the law, while the U.S. murder rate averaged 11% lower.[37]

 


└ Britain

 

 

* In 1920, Britain passed a law requiring civilians to obtain a certificate from their district police chief in order to purchase or possess any firearm except a shotgun. To obtain this certificate, the applicant had to pay a fee, and the chief of police had to be "satisfied" that the applicant had "good reason for requiring such a certificate" and did not pose a "danger to the public safety or to the peace." The certificate had to specify the types and quantities of firearms and ammunition that the applicant could purchase and keep.[38]

 

* In 1968, Britain made the 1920 law stricter by requiring civilians to obtain a certificate from their district police chief in order to purchase or possess a shotgun. This law also required that firearm certificates specify the identification numbers ("if known") of all firearms and shotguns owned by the applicant.[39]

 

* In 1997, Britain passed a law requiring civilians to surrender almost all privately owned handguns to the police. More than 162,000 handguns and 1.5 million pounds of ammunition were "compulsorily surrendered" by February 1998. Using "records of firearms held on firearms certificates," police accounted for all but fewer than eight of all legally owned handguns in England, Scotland, and Wales.[40]

 

† Homicide data is published according to the years in which the police initially reported the offenses as homicides, which are not always the same years in which the incidents took place.

‡ Large anomalies unrelated to guns:

2000: 58 Chinese people suffocated to death in a shipping container en route to the UK

2002: 172 homicides reported when Dr. Harold Shipman was exposed for killing his patients

2003: 20 cockle pickers drowned resulting in manslaughter charges

2005: 52 people were killed in the July 7th London subway/bus bombings

[41]

 

* Not counting the above-listed anomalies, the homicide rate in England and Wales has averaged 52% higher since the outset of the 1968 gun control law and 15% higher since the outset of the 1997 handgun ban.[42]

 

 


└ Chicago

 

* In 1982, the city of Chicago instituted a ban on handguns. This ban barred civilians from possessing handguns except for those registered with the city government prior to enactment of the law. The law also specified that such handguns had to be re-registered every two years or owners would forfeit their right to possess them. In 1994, the law was amended to require annual re-registration.[43] [44] [45]

 

* In the wake of Chicago's handgun ban, at least five suburbs surrounding Chicago instituted similar handgun bans. When the Supreme Court overturned the District of Columbia's handgun ban in June 2008, at least four of these suburbs repealed their bans.[46] [47] [48] [49] [50]

 

* In June 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled (5-4) that Chicago's ban is unconstitutional.[51]

 

 

[52]

 

* Since the outset of the Chicago handgun ban, the Chicago murder rate has averaged 17% lower than it was before the law took effect, while the U.S. murder rate has averaged 25% lower.[53]

 

 

[54]

 

* Since the outset of the Chicago handgun ban, the percentage of Chicago murders committed with handguns has averaged about 40% higher than it was before the law took effect.[55]

 

* In 2005, 96% of the firearm murder victims in Chicago were killed with handguns.[56]

 

Background Checks and Criminals' Sources of Guns

 

 

 

* Under federal law:

 

• It is illegal and punishable by up to 10 years in prison for the following people to receive, possess, or transport any firearm or ammunition:

 

someone convicted of or under indictment for a felony punishable by more than one year in prison, someone convicted of a misdemeanor punishable by more than two years in prison, a fugitive from justice, an unlawful user of any controlled substance, someone who has been ruled as mentally defective or has been committed to any mental institution, an illegal alien, someone dishonorably discharged from the military, someone who has renounced his or her U.S. citizenship, someone subject to certain restraining orders, or someone convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor.[57] [58] [59] [60]

 

• It is illegal and punishable by up to 10 years in prison to sell or transfer any firearm or ammunition to someone while "knowing" or having "reasonable cause to believe" this person falls into any of the prohibited categories listed above.[61] [62]

• It is illegal to "engage in the business of importing, manufacturing, or dealing in firearms" without a federal license to do so.[63] [64] [65]

• It is illegal for any federally licensed firearms business to sell or transfer any firearm without first conducting a background check to see if the buyer/recipient falls into any of the prohibited categories listed above.[66] [67]

• It is illegal for anyone except a federally licensed firearms business to sell, buy, trade, or transfer a firearm across state lines.[68]

 

* Under federal law, private individuals are not required to a conduct a background check before selling or transferring a firearm to someone who lives in the same state, but it is illegal and punishable by up to 10 years in prison for a private individual to sell or transfer a firearm while "knowing" or having "reasonable cause to believe" that the recipient falls into one of the prohibited categories above.[69] [70]

 

* Some states such as California require background checks for all firearms transactions, including those conducted between private individuals.[71] [72] [73]

 


└ Denials

 

 

* In the 10-year period from November 30, 1998 to December 31, 2008, about 96 million background checks for gun purchases were processed through the federal background check system. Of these, approximately 681,000 or about 1% were denied.[74] [75]

 

* During 2002 and 2003, out of 17 million background checks resulting in 120,000 denials, the federal government prosecuted 154 people (about one-tenth of 1% of the denials).[76] [77]

 

* According to federal agents interviewed in a 2004 U.S. Justice Department investigation, the "vast majority" of denials under the federal background check system are issued to people who are not "a danger to the public because the prohibiting factors are often minor or based on incidents that occurred many years in the past." As examples of such, agents stated that denials have been issued due to a 1941 felony conviction for stealing a pig and a 1969 felony conviction for stealing hubcaps.[78] [79]

 

* The same investigation audited 200 background check denials and found that 8% of denied applicants were not prohibited from lawfully possessing a firearm.[80]

 

* During 2008, applicants appealed about 19% of the 70,725 background check denials issued that year. Of these, about 23% were later overturned and the applications approved.[81]

 


└ Allowances

 

 

* As of 2010, federal law does not prohibit members of terrorist organizations from purchasing or possessing firearms or explosives.[82]

 

* Between February 2004 and February 2010, 1,225 firearm and three explosives background checks for people on terrorist watch lists were processed through the federal background check system. Of these, 91% of the firearm transactions and 100% of the explosives transactions were allowed.[83]

 

* Under federal law, individuals who have been convicted of a felony offense that would typically prohibit them from possessing firearms can lawfully possess firearms if their civil rights are restored by the requisite government entities.[84]

 

* As of 2002, 15 states automatically restore the firearm rights of convicts upon their release from prison or completion of parole, and 6 other states automatically restore the firearm rights of juvenile convicts upon their release from prison or completion of parole. In 2004, the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Justice wrote that this system

 

may result in a paradoxical situation in which someone convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence is permanently barred from owning a firearm, while someone who kills his spouse has his firearm rights restored after serving his sentence.[85]

 


└ Enforcement

 

 

* To undergo a background check, prospective gun buyers are required by federal regulations to present "photo-identification issued by a government entity."[86]

 

* Using fake driver's licenses bearing fictitious names, investigators with the Government Accountability Office had a 100% success rate buying firearms in five states that met the minimum requirements of the federal background check system.[87] [88] A 2001 report of this investigation states that the federal background check system "does not positively identify purchasers of firearms," and thus, people using fake IDs are not flagged by the system.[89]

 


└ Gun Shows

 

 

* "A gun show is an exhibition or gathering where guns, gun parts, ammunition, gun accessories, and literature are displayed, bought, sold, traded, and discussed."[90]

 

* Roughly 2,000-5,200 gun shows take place in the United States each year.[91]

 

* Gun shows "provide a venue for the sale and exchange of firearms by federal firearms licensees (FFLs).... Such shows also are a venue for private sellers who buy and sell firearms for their personal collections or as a hobby. In these situations, the sellers are not required to have a federal firearms license. Although federal firearms laws apply to both FFLs and private sellers at gun shows, private sellers, unlike FFLs, are under no legal obligation to ask purchasers whether they are legally eligible to buy guns or to verify purchasers' legal status through background checks...."[92]

 

* In the three-year period from October 2003 through September 2006, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) conducted 202 operations at 195 gun shows, leading to 121 arrests and 83 convictions (with some cases still pending as of June 2007).[93]

 

* A 1997 U.S. Justice Department survey of 14,285 state prison inmates found that among those inmates who carried a firearm during the offense for which they were sent to jail, 0.7% obtained the firearm at a gun show, 1% at a flea market, 3.8% from a pawn shop, 8.3% from a retail store, 39.2% through an illegal/street source, and 39.6% through family or friends.[94]

 

Right-to-Carry Laws

 

 

 

* Right-to-carry laws permit individuals who meet certain "minimally restrictive" criteria (such as completion of a background check and gun safety course) to carry concealed firearms in most public places.[95] Concealed carry holders must also meet the minimum federal requirements for gun ownership as detailed above.

 

* Each state has its own laws regarding right-to-carry and generally falls into one of three main categories:

 

1) "shall-issue" states, where concealed carry permits are issued to all qualified applicants

2) "may-issue" states, where applicants must often present a reason for carrying a firearm to an issuing authority, who then decides based on his or her discretion whether the applicant will receive a permit

3) "no-issue" states, where concealed carry is generally forbidden

 

* As of January 2012:

 

• 40 states are shall-issue:

 

 Alaska  Arizona  Arkansas  Colorado
 Florida  Georgia  Idaho  Indiana
 Iowa  Kansas  Kentucky  Louisiana
 Maine  Michigan  Minnesota  Mississippi
 Missouri  Montana  Nebraska  Nevada
 New Hampshire  New Mexico  North Carolina  North Dakota
 Ohio  Oklahoma  Oregon  Pennsylvania
 Rhode Island  South Carolina  South Dakota  Tennessee
 Texas  Utah  Vermont  Virginia
 Washington  West Virginia  Wisconsin  Wyoming

[96]

NOTE: Alaska, Arizona, Vermont, and Wyoming allow lawful firearm owners to carry concealed firearms without a permit. All other shall-issue states require firearm owners to obtain a permit to carry concealed firearms.[97]

 

• 9 states are may-issue:

 

 Alabama  California  Connecticut  Delaware
 Hawaii  Maryland  Massachusetts  New Jersey
 New York

[99]

NOTE: May-issue states vary significantly in the implementation of their laws. Some, such as Connecticut,[100] act effectively as shall-issue states, while others, such as New Jersey, act effectively as no-issue states.[101]

 

• 1 state is no-issue: Illinois [102]

 

* Click here to see why the following commonly cited statistic does not meet Just Facts' Standards of Credibility: In right-to-carry states, the violent crime rate is 24% lower than the rest of the U.S., the murder rate is 28% lower, and the robbery rate is 50% lower.

 


└ Florida

 

 

* On October 1, 1987, Florida's right-to-carry law became effective.[103]

 

* This law requires that concealed carry licensees be 21 years of age or older, have clean criminal/mental health records, and complete a firearms safety/training course.[104]

 

* As of July 31, 2010, Florida has issued 1,825,143 permits and has 746,430 active licensees,[105] constituting roughly 5.4% of the state's population that is 21 years of age or older.[106]

 

 

[107]

 

* Since the outset of the Florida right-to-carry law, the Florida murder rate has averaged 36% lower than it was before the law took effect, while the U.S. murder rate has averaged 15% lower.[108]

 

* From the outset of the Florida right-to-carry law through July 31, 2010, Florida has revoked 5,674 or 0.3% of all issued permits. Of these:

 

• 522 permits were revoked for crimes committed prior to licensure

• 4,955 permits were revoked for crimes committed after licensure, of which 168 involved the usage of a firearm.[109]

 


└ Texas

 

 

* In January 1996, Texas's right-to-carry law became effective.[110]

 

* This law requires that concealed carry licensees be at least 21 years of age (or 18 years of age if a member or veteran of the U.S. armed forces), have clean criminal/mental health records, and complete a handgun proficiency course.[111]

 

* In 2009, Texas had 402,914 active licensees,[112] constituting roughly 2.4% of the state's population that is 21 years of age or older.[113]

 

 

[114]

 

* Since the outset of the Texas right-to-carry law, the Texas murder rate has averaged 30% lower than it was before the law took effect, while the U.S. murder rate has averaged 28% lower.[115]

 


└ Michigan

 

 

* On July 1, 2001, Michigan's right-to-carry law became effective.[116]

 

* This law requires that concealed carry licensees be at least 18 years of age (or 21 years of age if purchasing a handgun from a licensed dealer), have clean criminal/mental health records, and pass a written firearms safety test.[117]

 

 

[118]

 

* Since the outset of the Michigan right-to-carry law, the Michigan murder rate has averaged 4% lower than it was before the law took effect, while the U.S. murder rate has averaged 2% lower.[119]

 

Accidents

 


└ Fatal

 

 

* In 2007, there were 613 fatal firearm accidents in the United States, constituting 0.5% of 123,706 fatal accidents that year.[120]

 

[121]

 

* Fatal firearm accidents in 2007 by age groups:

 

Age Group Fatal Firearm Accidents
Raw number Portion of fatal accidents

from all causes

<1 yrs  1  0.1%
1-4 yrs  18  1.1%
5-9 yrs  20  2.1%
10-14 yrs  26  2.1%
15-24 yrs  155  1.0%
25-34 yrs  94  0.6%
35-44 yrs  91  0.5%
45-54 yrs  82  0.4%
55-64 yrs  57  0.5%
65+ yrs  69  0.2%

[122]

 


└ Non-Fatal

 

 

* In 2007, there were roughly 15,698 emergency room visits for non-fatal firearm accidents,[123] constituting 0.05% of 27.7 million emergency room visits for non-fatal accidents that year.[124]

 

* These emergency room visits for non-fatal firearm accidents resulted in 5,045 hospitalizations,[125] constituting 0.4% of 1.4 million non-fatal accident hospitalizations that year.[126]

 

 

[127]

 


└ Harm vs. Benefit

 

 

* In D.C. v Heller, the 2008 Supreme Court ruling striking down Washington's D.C.'s handgun ban, Justice Stephen Breyer authored a dissenting opinion that was joined by Justices John Paul Stevens, David Souter, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The opinion states:

 

First, consider the facts as the legislature saw them when it adopted the District statute. As stated by the local council committee that recommended its adoption, the major substantive goal of the District's handgun restriction is "to reduce the potentiality for gun-related crimes and gun-related deaths from occurring within the District of Columbia." ...

 

... [A]ccording to the committee, "[f]or every intruder stopped by a homeowner with a firearm, there are 4 gun-related accidents within the home."[128]

 

* This committee report cites no source or evidence for this statistic.[129]

 

* A 1994 survey conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that Americans use guns to frighten away intruders who are breaking into their homes about 498,000 times per year.[130]

 

* According to the CDC, there were about 18,498 gun-related accidents that resulted in death or an emergency room visit during 2001[131] (the earliest year such data is available from the CDC[132]). This is roughly 27 times lower than the CDC's 1994 estimate for the number of times Americans use guns to frighten away intruders who are breaking into their homes.[133]

 


└ Safety

 

 

* Five critical rules of gun safety from the NRA and other sources:

 

 

1) Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction (whether loaded or unloaded).

2) Always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.

3) Always keep the gun unloaded until ready to shoot.

4) Be aware of what is behind your target.

5) When handling firearms, never use alcohol or any drug that might impair your awareness or judgment (including prescription drugs).[134]

 

 

Politics

 


└ Interest Groups

 

 

* From the 1990 election cycle through August 22, 2010, the following political contributions were made by gun rights and gun control interest groups to federal candidates:

 

 Total

Contributions

 Donations to

Democrats

 Donations to

Republicans

 Percent

to Dems

 Percent to

Repubs

Gun Rights  $22,467,579  $3,231,405  $19,195,400  14%  85%
Gun Control  $1,888,886  $1,776,310  $112,326  94%  6%

[135] [136]

 

* In the 2008, 2006, 2004, 2002, and 2000 election cycles, neither gun rights nor gun control interest groups were among the top 50 interest groups donating to incumbent members of Congress.[137]

 

* In the 2008 election cycle, gun rights groups donated $2,397,743 to federal candidates,[138] equating to about 1% of the money donated by lawyers/law firms.[139]

 

* In the 2008, election cycle, gun control groups donated $57,919 to federal candidates, equating to about 2% of the money donated by gun rights groups.[140]

 


└ Party Platforms

 

 

* The 2008 Republican Party Platform voices support for the Second Amendment and the Supreme Court's 2008 decision in D.C. v Heller, which overturned Washington's D.C.'s handgun ban. The Platform calls for "the next president to appoint judges who will similarly respect the Constitution."[141]

 

 

 

* The 2008 Democratic Party Platform voices support for the Second Amendment, states that the "right to own firearms is subject to reasonable regulation," and calls for "closing the gun show loophole, improving our background check system, and reinstating the assault weapons ban."[142]

 


└ Politicians

 

 

* The President of the United States appoints judges to the Supreme Court. These appointments must be approved by a majority of the Senate.[143] Senate rules allow for a "filibuster," in which a vote to approve a judge can be blocked unless unless three-fifths of the senators (typically 60 out of 100) agree to let it take place.[144] [145]

 

* Once seated, federal judges serve for life unless they voluntarily resign or are removed through impeachment, which requires a majority vote of the House of Representatives and a two-thirds vote in the Senate.[146]

 

* On June 26, 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, ruled that Washington's D.C.'s handgun ban was unconstitutional.[147] Both of the Justices appointed by Democrats voted to uphold the ban, and five of the seven Justices appointed by Republicans voted to strike it down.[148]

 

* Of the five Justices who voted to strike down the D.C. handgun ban, Barack Obama voted against the nomination of two of them and identified two of the others as judges he would not have nominated.[149] [150] [151] Of the four justices who voted to uphold the handgun ban, John McCain identified all of them as judges he would not have nominated.[152]

 

* In May 2009, President Obama announced Sonya Sotomayor as his first nominee to the Supreme Court.[153] She was confirmed in a 68-31 Senate vote, with 100% of Democrats voting for her confirmation and 78% of Republicans voting against it.[154]

 

* Within a year of being confirmed to the Supreme Court,[155] Sotomayor joined in a dissenting opinion declaring that Chicago's handgun ban was constitutional, that "the use of arms for private self-defense does not warrant federal constitutional protection from state regulation," and that the Framers of the Constitution "did not write the Second Amendment in order to protect a private right of armed self-defense."[156]

 

* In May 2010, Obama announced his second nominee to the Supreme Court, Elena Kagan.[157] As a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, Kagan wrote a memo recommending Marshall deny hearing an appeal from a man who was convicted of violating Washington, D.C.'s gun laws. She wrote in the memo:

 

[The man's] sole contention is that the District of Columbia's firearms statutes violate his constitutional right to "keep and bear arms." I'm not sympathetic.[158]

 

* Kagan was confirmed to the Supreme Court by the Senate in a 63-37 vote, with 98% of Democrats voting for her confirmation and 88% of Republicans voting against it.[159]

 

 

While surveys of firearms acquisitions, possession, and use are of varying quality and scope, they all share common methodological and survey sampling-related problems. The most fundamental of these is the potential for response errors to survey questionnaires. Critics argue that asking people whether they own a firearm, what kind it is, and how it is used may lead to invalid responses because ownership is a controversial matter for one or more reasons: some people may own a firearm illegally, some may own it legally but worry that they may use it illegally, and some may react to the intense public controversy about firearm ownership by becoming less (or even more) likely to admit to ownership (Blackman, 2003).7

 

7 While in most surveys respondents are provided confidentiality, the concern is still expressed that violations of confidentiality directly or through data mining could lead to the identification of specific respondents in a way that might allow the identification of firearms owners.

 

[3] Report: "Guns Used in Crime." By Marianne W. Zawitz. U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, July 1995. http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/GUIC.PDF

 

 

 

 

 

 

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GaryNorth.com

November 16, 2013





The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office is acting in a bipartisan way to cover up the biggest single threat to the bipartisan political alliance that is stripping America of its wealth: the United States Congress.



There is no question that the following policy is bipartisan. Democrats and Republicans in Congress are completely agreed that the following information should not get out to the American people,… Continue

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