Uploaded: Fri, Oct 18, 2013, 1:27 pm Protest highlights mayor's stance on gun control
Don Veith, the main proponent of Sunnyvale's Measure C, speaks to the crowd before the march. Photo by Daniel DeBolt.
Nearly 40 people gathered at the downtown Caltrain Station on Thursday evening to protest Mayor John Inks' refusal to join a large coalition of mayors calling for "common sense" gun control measures.
As restaurant-goers dined along Castro Street's sidewalks, the group delivered its message with the chant, "Mayor Inks, your position stinks!" all the way down Castro Street and then in front of City Hall.
"No Mayor should be able to get away without joining Mayors Against Illegal Guns," said organizer Josh Wolf, a high school teacher. "The Palo Alto and Sunnyvale mayors both joined the coalition. I want Mayor Inks to represent his constituents and sign on as well."
refused to join Mayors Against Illegal Guns -- a coalition of over 1,000 mayors across the country -- in September, calling the group "fundamentally anti-gun" and refusing to have a discussion with advocates for the coalition.
"Inks has declined to have this discussion with us, so we're taking the discussion to him," Wolf said before the march.
Wolf says the group's demands are not anti-gun, often citing the fact that even 74 percent of the National Rifle Association's members support increased background checks for gun buyers. It was said at Thursday's rally that millions of guns are purchased every year without background checks, at gun shows or in states with that do not require them.
"Ninety-two percent of Americans support background checks, and we can't even get a vote in Congress," Wolf said. "That 8 percent has an outsized influence."
MAIG has asked mayors to sign onto seven principles, including being tougher on law-breaking gun dealers, increased efforts to trace guns, expanded background checks and new laws that would "keep lethal, military-style weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines off our streets."
Former City Council candidate Jim Neal and his wife staged a two-person counter protest when the march reached City Hall, with Neal holding a sign that said, "What part of the second amendment don't you understand?"
"The Second Amendment specifically states that Congress shall pass no law prohibiting the right of people to keep and bear arms," Neal said, adding that "I believe the purpose of this group is to make all guns illegal."
He added that it was founded by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, "more of the same" from a mayor who pushed to make large soft drinks illegal in New York City.
"I'm not for having guns in criminals' hands either," Neal said, adding that passing new laws wouldn't help because "Criminals don't obey the law, that's why they're criminals."
Several of those in attendance were behind a campaign to pass a gun control measure in Sunnyvale called Measure C. If passed next month, the measure would require all ammunition sold in Sunnyvale to be tracked, would ban the sale of magazines holding more than 10 rounds, would require safe storage of guns and require that lost or stolen guns be reported within 48 hours.
The Sunnyvale resident spearheading Measure C, Don Veith, said he hoped the measure would inspire other cities to take such action, noting that San Francisco, Sacramento and Los Angeles have already passed similar laws.
"There are cities all over California that have versions of what we're asking to do," he said.
Veith noted that Sunnyvale's mayor has been instrumental in placing Measure C on November's ballot.
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 18, 2013 at 4:21 pm
The comment above: "Just to clarify an often cited but erroneous point: the NRA is not a "gun lobby". The NRA is an organization of PEOPLE."
Here are the top donors to the NRA in their own 2012 report. Notice all of these companies either manufacture or sell guns and ammo.
Harlon Carter Giving Level:
($5 Million to $9.9 Million)
Joe Foss Giving Level:
($1 Million to $4.9 Million)
Beretta USA Corporation
Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc.
Springfield Armory, Inc.
George Washington Giving Level:
($500,000 to $999,000)
Benelli USA Corporation
Winchester Division Olin Corporation
American Legacy Firearms
Samuel Adams Giving Level:
($250,000 to $499,000)
Natchez Shooters Supply
Blaser USA, Inc.
Doug Turnbull Restoration, Inc.
Alexander Hamilton Giving Level:
($100,000 to $249,000)
Smith & Wesson Corporation
Numrich Gun Parts Corporation
Collectors Firearms, Inc.
Cheaper Than Dirt
CDNN Investments, Inc.
George Mason Giving Level:
($50,000 to $99,000)
Krieghoff International, Inc.
Colt's Manufacturing Company, Inc.
Widener's Reloading & Shooting Supply, Inc.
Graf & Sons, Inc.
Turner's Operations, Inc.
Barrett Firearms Manufacturing
Remington Arms Co., Inc.
James Madison Giving Level:
($25,000 to $49,000)
Hornady Manufacturing Co.
Marlin Firearms Co.
Ellett Brothers, Inc.
John Rigby & Co.
Sinclair International, Inc.
H & R 1871, LLC
Freedom Group, Inc.
Henry Repeating Arms Co.
Montana Gold Bullet, Inc.
McMillan Group International
J & G Sales, Ltd.
RSR Group, Inc.
It is also interesting to see how they donate millions to Republican politicians:
Independent Expenditures: $18,607,356
For Democrats: $41,506
Against Democrats: $13,286,513
For Republicans: $6,218,455
Against Republicans: $220,569
Not a "gun lobby"??? Pleeeaaaassseeee!!! :)
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 19, 2013 at 5:26 pm
"The NRA has done everything in its power to hide or silence facts"
You're links are to articles that: The NRA lobbies against funding studies that will cost taxpayers millions of dollars when the statistics are already available through the FBI; an article of the NRA told its members not to take polls that can be taken out of context to support an agenda; and finally the last article which is very long and that starts off with a negativity towards the NRA.
Let's look at some of the points the last article has to say about gun control...
"Among criminologists, Gary Kleck's encyclopedic Point Blank: Guns and Violence in America (1991) is universally recognized as the starting point for further research. Kleck, a professor of criminology at Florida State University, was initially a strong believer that gun ownership increased the incidence of homicide, but his research made him a skeptic. His book assembles strong evidence against the notion that reducing gun ownership is a good way to reduce violence. That may be why Point Blank is never cited in the CDC's own firearm publications or in articles reporting the results of CDC-funded gun studies"
So after researching gun violence, he is very skeptical about gun control as an effective means to reduce violence.
"Three Kleck studies, the first published in 1987, have found that guns are used in self- defense up to three times as often as they are used to commit crimes. These studies are so convincing that the doyen of American criminologists, Marvin Wolfgang, conceded in the Fall 1995 issue of The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology that they pose a serious challenge to his own anti-gun views. "I am as strong a gun-control advocate as can be found among the criminologists in this country. What troubles me is the article by Gary Kleck and Mark Gertz. The reason I am troubled is that they have provided an almost clear-cut case of methodologically sound research in support of something I have theoretically opposed for years, namely, the use of a gun against a criminal perpetrator.""
And after a strong gun-control advocate reads the study that he himself claims to be "clear-cut case of methodologically sound research" This is the advocate: Web Link
"Yet Rosenberg and his CDC colleague James Mercy, writing in Health Affairs in 1993, present the question "How frequently are guns used to successfully ward off potentially violent attacks?" as not just open but completely unresearched. They cite neither Kleck nor the various works on which he drew.
When CDC sources do cite adverse studies, they often get them wrong. In 1987 the National Institute of Justice hired two sociologists, James D. Wright and Peter H. Rossi, to assess the scholarly literature and produce an agenda for gun control. Wright and Rossi found the literature so biased and shoddy that it provided no basis for concluding anything positive about gun laws. Like Kleck, they were forced to give up their own prior faith in gun control as they researched the issue."
Wow, it seems the more you do actual research, the more likely you are to stop advocating for more gun control. Maybe the bias from the CDC mentioned by the sociologists is a good basis for the NRA to be against the CDC doing "research".
"As the English gun control analyst Colin Greenwood has noted, in any society there are always enough guns available, legally or illegally, to arm the violent. The true determinant of violence is the number of violent people, not the availability of a particular weapon. Guns contribute to murder in the trivial sense that they help violent people kill. But owning guns does not turn responsible, law-abiding people into killers. If the general availability of guns were as important a factor in violence as the CDC implies, the vast increase in firearm ownership during the past two decades should have led to a vast increase in homicide. The CDC suggested just that in a 1989 report to Congress, where it asserted that "[s]ince the early 1970s the year-to-year fluctuations in firearm availability has [sic] paralleled the numbers of homicides."
But this correlation was a fabrication: While the number of handguns rose 69 percent from 1974 to 1988, handgun murders actually dropped by 27 percent. Moreover, as U.S. handgun ownership more than doubled from the early 1970s through the 1990s, homicides held constant or declined for every major population group except young urban black men. The CDC can blame the homicide surge in this group on guns only by ignoring a crucial point: Gun ownership is far less common among urban blacks than among whites or rural blacks.
The CDC's reports and studies never give long-term trend data linking gun sales to murder rates, citing only carefully selected partial or short-term correlations. If murder went down in the first and second years, then back up in the third and fourth years, only the rise is mentioned. CDC publications focus on fluctuations and other unrepresentative phenomena to exaggerate the incidence of gun deaths and to conceal declines. Thus, in its Advance Data from Vital and Health Statistics (1994), the CDC melodramatically announces that gun deaths now "rival" driving fatalities, as if gun murders were increasing. But this trend simply reflects the fact that driving fatalities are declining more rapidly than murders."
I've never given money to the NRA. But after reading the article you linked I found that the CDC does biased studies to further a gun control agenda, and the NRA lobbied against those biased studies even if such lobbying could be taken out of context and used against them. After finding out the efforts the NRA makes to secure my rights today, I am going to make make more efforts to support the NRA and make my first donation very soon.
"While the CDC shows a selective interest in homicide trends, it tends to ignore trends in accidental gun deaths -- with good reason. In the 25 years from 1968 to 1992, American gun ownership increased almost 135 percent (from 97 million to 222 million), with handgun ownership rising more than 300 percent. These huge increases coincided with a two-thirds decline in accidental gun fatalities. The CDC and the researchers it funds do not like to talk about this dramatic development, since it flies in the face of the assumption that more guns mean more deaths. They are especially reluctant to acknowledge the drop in accidental gun deaths because of the two most plausible explanations for it: the replacement of rifles and shotguns with the much safer handgun as the main weapon kept loaded for self-defense, and the NRA's impressive efforts in gun safety training."
More evidence of CDC bias, the article is huge and I suggest you read it all like I did.
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 24, 2013 at 10:32 pm
RealistThank you for providing those informative links. If you click into the first one from Wikipedia, you will learn that by grinding off the serial #, there is no trace to be had. Also, apparently there are categories of firearms that have duplicate serial #'s! Again, this is where organizations like MAGI can help drive legislation that would require better to track these back to the source.
Also, Greg David's posting was most educational. In his answer to the question:
"Greg David--how many handguns has your store sold that ended up being used in a crime?", he responded with a resounding: "ZERO, NADA, ZILCH…"
He goes on to say: "Nearly 3000 firearms sold in just over two years and the only BATFE trace request I have received was for a handgun that was taken from my girlfriend's apartment…."
He then goes on with a description of his family business where he said he only received a handful of trace requests.
His big conclusion is: "As you can see, only a tiny tiny fraction of firearms sold by myself and my family have ever been used for nefarious purposes."
Sorry Greg. What the conclusion is that you have only received a small # of trace requests. To assume that every other gun you and your family sold was never used in a crime is a big stretch!
He also goes on to say: "Point is, criminals steal guns, they don't buy them from dealers."
That is clearly not true. According to the experts, "…stolen guns account for only about 10-15% of guns used in crimes." The leading source is private sales and straw man purchases.
This is really startling:
"According to a recent ATF report, there is a significant diversion to the illegal gun market from FFLs. The report states that "of the 120,370 crime guns that were traced to purchases from the FFLs then in business, 27.7 % of these firearms were seized by law enforcement in connection with a crime within two years of the original sale. This rapid `time to crime' of a gun purchased from an FFL is a strong indicator that the initial seller or purchaser may have been engaged in unlawful activity."
What else have I been "informed" about by Realist's links:
The ATF says: "For about a third of the traces, it turns out the gun dealer, the wholesaler or manufacturer has gone out of business. By law, when they close up shop, they have to ship all their gun purchase documents here to the ATF tracing center in West Virginia. "
But guess what?
"The idea that we have a computer database and you just type in a serial number and it pops out some purchaser's name is a myth,". - ATF Special Agent Charles Houser
"They don't have that searchable, central database because the National Rifle Association and the gun lobby have successfully blocked that through Congress. They argue that a database of gun transactions would be a dangerous step toward a national gun registry."
Don't you gun "enthusiasts" understand the problem? Even if the serial # is intact and even if the serial # is correct and unique, then there's a 1 in 3 chance that the agents will have to *hand search* for the information! All because of the paranoia spread by the NRA on behalf of the gun manufacturers to protect their profits. And then, even if you can trace it, there's a high probability that you will only trace it to the straw man purchaser, who may not even know the true identify of the person he sold it to!
The example I provided on a previous posting spoke of a reporter who bought a sniper rifle from a stranger and did not have to show any ID. How will a trace help there?
And it doesn't help, when you have gun merchants like Greg who confidently says that he can spot a straw purchaser a mile away. How would he know???? Obviously he can't with any certainty, but he certainly won't let it affect his profits.
In one of the articles I posted, you can read a story about how an investigative reporter was able to purchase a .50 cal sniper rifle very quickly and easily--within a few hours of searching on craigslist and making some calls. The purchaser could have set-up somewhere, shot a bunch of folks and just walked away from the weapon. How would they trace it to them? They would put in a trace request on the serial # (if it is there, which would be unlikely) and then they would get the manufacturer, distributor and first retailer. From there, let's say that the first buyer was our craigslist seller and let's say that he did not forge his NCIS background check info. (BTW, all you need to hand over is a person's name, address and birthdate. it doesn't even need to be your own.) So, the police drag in the seller and he says he sold it to Joe Smith in a Taco Bell parking lot, but doesn't know or recall anything about them.
So, see how useful this trace is????
Did the seller commit a crime? Nope! So, what is to stop him from doing this again and again?
Did you know that the original retailer is protected by legislation? He can't be prosecuted or sued! Even if he didn't ask for ID for the NCIS info….
Thanks Realist for the useful links. Every time I dig, I am amazed at how our Mayor has turned his back on the electorate. That explains why MAIG has accelerating growth while NRA #'s have pretty much flatlined.
There are about 8,000 mayors in the US and about 900 of them have signed onto MAIG so far, which gives us 11.25%.
NRA's exaggerated marketing statistic for # of "members" is 5,000,000. That is only about 9.6% of the estimated 50,000,000 firearm owners in the US. Given that the NRA was founded in 1871 and MAIG hasn't even been around for 8 years, I hope you can all see that this is just the beginning. Get another billionaire to help fund the organization, and maybe it can even start to offset the Koch Brothers & Gun Lobby $ that is poisoning our country.