Gun Control Groups Take Aim at ‘Legally Obtained’ Weapons

Ft. Lauderdale shooting-AP

On January 9 two leaders in the gun control movement took off the mask and made plain that their desire is not just to limit illegal guns or go after illegal gun owners but to target “legally obtained” firearms as well.

The two leaders–Igor Volsky and Mark Glaze–revealed their desires in an op-ed published by USA Today.

The duo recounted Friday’s attack at the Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International airport, then wrote:

The incident constituted the first major American shooting of 2017. But for Florida, a state still reeling from a killer who stormed an LGBT nightclub, murdered 49 people and wounded 53 others in June, this is the second time in less than seven months that an individual who could legally carry a gun used that gun as a tool to perpetrate mass murder.

They go on to estimate the number of guns in America at 265 million, an estimation which is at least 70 million lower than reality (the Congressional Research Service showed that there were already 310 privately owned firearms in America in 2009, so the number now would be closer to 340 or 350 million). Then, after getting the number of privately owned guns wrong, Volsky and Glaze cite a study from the American Journal of Medicine that is focused on gun violence in 2010–but they quote the study as if it were applicable today. Based on the outdated study, they claim Americans “use [their] many guns to kill each other at a rate that’s 25 times higher than people in any other high-income country.”

Again, the study they cite was created via the examination of “2010 mortality data.”

Volsky and Glaze then boldly claim, “Furthermore, [Americans’] guns are rarely used for self-defense” and link to a Violence Policy Center (VPC) study in hopes of bolstering their proclamation.

For those of you keeping count at home, that is one insulting underestimation of the number of privately owned guns — one citation of a study that is focused on 2010 data, and one link to a VPC study that uses quotes from debunked Harvard researcher David Hemenway. And after presenting all these forms of information, Volsky and Glaze conclude that the problem is not illegal guns but guns in general. They write, “Legally obtained or not, by individuals who are qualified to own them or not, guns are the problem.”

Would have been nice if they had at least pointed out that Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International is a gun-free zone, as is the Orlando Pulse nightclub they referenced. Both of these have 100 percent gun control, and it only meant that law-abiding citizens were 100 percent gun-free when criminals and/or terrorists started shooting. It would have also been nice if Volsky and Glaze had quoted some more recent numbers on American gun violence. Perhaps they could have examined the Telegraph’s October 22, 2016, report showing the U.S. leads the world in private firearm ownership but does not even crack the Top 10 when it comes to firearm-related deaths.

And lastly, perhaps Volsky and Glaze could have grappled with Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck’s work on defensive gun uses (DGUs). His work has been in the public dialogue for more than 20 years and shows that there are at least 760,000 DGUs annually in the U.S.

In February 2015 Breitbart News reported that Kleck reaffirmed his findings after Politico Magazine ran a column in which two investment counselors tried to take his academic research apart. The two investment counselors failed to present empirical evidence that disproved Kleck, just as Volsky and Glaze have failed to present a compelling argument for banning gun ownership by law-abiding citizens.

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of “Bullets with AWR Hawkins,” a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at


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