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NRA, other gun proponents, play down increase in violent crimes by ‘law abiding’ citizens

By JOHN DAWKINS - Capitol Hill Blue
February 22, 2013

The increasing availability of guns: Violent and illegal use by "law abiding" citizens is increasing.

The increasing availability of guns: Violent and illegal use by “law abiding” citizens is increasing.

While gun ownership proponents like the National Rifle Association claim increased availability of firearms does not affect the threats of violence by ‘law-abiding’ gun owners, a study of crime records show an increasing number of such crimes involve those who purchased guns legally and had no previous run-ins with the law.

Relaxed gun laws that allow holders of concealed carry permits to carry guns in bars have resulted in upturns of violent acts by gun owners in such establishments.

And the NRA is taking steps to ignore or conceal such statistics from the public and press by slanting their own releases away from such facts.

In addition, highly-publicized public massacres by gun owners are increasingly committed by “law-abiding” citizens with no previous police records.  Such massacres include the killing of students at Virginia Tech and the murders of theater attendees in Colorado.

James Holmes, the man charged with the mass killings at a movie theater in Colorado in 2012, was an honor studnet and Ph.D. program candidate in neuroscience at the University of Colorado with no police record and was able to legally purchase the multiple firearms and loads of ammunition used in the murders.

“It does make one wonder if the easy availability of firearms led to such violent acts,” says retired police officer Gary Jenkins, a former NRA member who now speaks out in favor of increased gun control.  “We have become a nation awash in firearms.”

An examination of records of criminal activity by Capitol Hill Blue shows an alarming number of gun-related violent acts are committed by so-called “law-abiding” citizens with no previous police records.

In Virginia, where the General Assembly legalized the carrying of concealed weapons by valid permit holders in bars and other food establishments that serve alcohol,   police have seen an upturn in acts involving such gun owners.

Although the law prohibits those carrying concealed firearms from drinking, the number of cases involving both consumption of alcohol and use of a firearm have increased by more than 15 percent since the law was enacted.

The NRA is painfully aware of the potential for gun use by those with no previous criminal records.   In 2002, the son of American Conservative Union President David Keene used a handgun legally owned to fire shots at the driver of another car in a road rage incident on the George Washington Parkway in Virginia.

The son, David Michael Keene, who did not have a previous police record, was later convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison.  Nine years later, his father was elected President of the NRA.

As NRA President, Keene has ordered others to “play down” statistics that show use of firearms by first time offenders or those without previous criminal records.

“We’re warned that such information is not useful to the NRA image,” says one lobbyist who asked not to be identified.

Capitol Hill Blue has also learned that NRA leaders have issued standing orders to play down crimes involving assault-style weapons at the same time that statistics show a sharp increase in violent acts involving such weapons.

Copyright 2013 Capitol Hill Blue

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7 Responses to NRA, other gun proponents, play down increase in violent crimes by ‘law abiding’ citizens

  1. Bill Cravener

    February 22, 2013 at 7:20 am

    The son, David Michael Keene, who did not have a previous police record, was later convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison. Nine years later, his father was elected President of the NRA.

    That’s so disturbing!

    The NRA has carried on unchallenged for way too long leaving it looking clueless and callous when the moment screams out for new gun control laws. This I believe is a product of the mindset that takes hold anytime a sub-culture drifts from the mainstream as is clearly happening with US gun lovers.

    The numbers are very clear for those willing to see. The fact is as the years go by an ever smaller proportions of Americans own guns but Americans who do own guns are buying more and more of them. It’s simply madness!

  2. griff6r

    February 22, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    The statistics you don’t get to see are the number of crimes averted (especially by would-be victims that happen to be women) each and every year. And most would-be crimes (assault, rape) are stopped by merely brandishing a firearm without ever discharging it.

    But that doesn’t fit the agenda…

    Any one can find numerous examples on either side of the argument. Funny how the only ones you find in the media are ones that bolster the agenda.

    People use firearms each and every day to defend themselves, their families and their property.

    Every day…

    And while crime increases, the ability to protect yourself from it becomes more important to those that know the reality, not the contrived drivel that spews forth every day from the so-called unbiased media.

  3. woody188

    February 23, 2013 at 12:41 am

    I’m sitting here wondering how the NRA is able to conceal public crime statistics from the media. I guess they are more powerful than I previously imagined.

    Everyone that receives their CCW goes through the classes and knows drinking is not permitted in states that allow them to carry in bars. Therefore, they are already criminals when they ignore the law and drink while carrying concealed. They have simply not yet been caught. So why is it a surprise when these people brandish or even discharge their firearms in an argument?

    Bar owners can also post the no firearms allowed signs at their doors making anyone that carries concealed that walks through the door a criminal. I have returned my firearm to my vehicle or taken my business elsewhere when seeing these signs. I respect the wishes of the owner. This is what I was taught in CCW class. This is “law-abiding” in my book.

    Just how “law-abiding” are these people if they are routinely violating the law?

    Do you violate the speed limit and still call yourself “law-abiding?”

    Perhaps crime involving alcohol and firearms have increased, but most firearm related crimes are at all time lows. Firearm homicide rates peaked in 1993. By 2009 the firearm homicide rate was down by 60%. Is this from CCW or some other reason?

    No one knows.

    CCW holders go through a very thorough background check and even a psychological examination. CCW instructors are told to look out for the whack-o’s and withhold their certificate of course completion. Our vehicle license tags indicate we carry concealed and we have to tell law enforcement if we are stopped that we either are or are not carrying at the time.

    I’ve friends in law enforcement that say they are always more comfortable approaching a vehicle of a CCW holder because we have been through these checks. These are probably the least threatening people they encounter day in and day out. Will some of them break the law?

    Inevitably. Will most of them?

    Certainly not.

    I’ll leave with this thought:

    “Work that knowingly reports findings that do not meet a causal test knowing they will be used as if they do can only produce confusion especially in such contentious issues,” Charles F. Wellford, Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Maryland

    • Capitol Hill Blue

      February 23, 2013 at 7:08 am

      What the story said is that the NRA is concealing such facts from the public and media in reports that they issue. Perhaps if you weren’t so determined to promote the use of firearms without regard to public safety you might see that but such determination is all-too-typical among gun proponents.

      • woody188

        February 23, 2013 at 4:41 pm

        You guys have been very one-sided in the gun debate. The balance is that the Brady Campaign does the same, no?

        Will you write a piece about the way the Brady Campaign has inflated their violence in schools statistics?

        I don’t disregard public safety. The public must understand that law enforcement agencies aren’t providing safety. Showing up after a crime is committed doesn’t help the victim. The only thing I’ve ever seen stop a crime in progress is an armed victim or armed bystander. In my view, you are the ones disregarding public safety by attacking our right to defend ourselves in a manner we see fit. Who can chose better than myself how I can best keep myself safe and provide my own defense should I be required to do so?

        • Capitol Hill Blue

          February 24, 2013 at 8:30 am

          That’s a typical crap loaded argument from hard core partisans from on many issues. In your biased point of view, “fairness” only occurs when we print something that lists only your side of an issue. If you want that in the gun debate, try the Daily Caller. They slant things more your way. We don’t play those games here. We don’t play favorites. As our publisher says, it is out job to “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.” Get used to it.

          • Jon

            February 25, 2013 at 2:03 am

            At this point, I’m strongly tempted to tell both of you to cool off. CHB can write what it wants, when it wants, and if it is biased, it’s reasonable to point it out.

            Woody’s also wrong, because he’s missing such elements like deterrence and punishment, but I think you should be specific about the crap in his argument rather than dismissing it all as crap.

            J.