Donald Trump's Big League Gun Hypocrisy
February 26, 2017
The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
The election of Donald Trump has emboldened the corporate gun lobby, a multibillion-dollar gun industry, and lapdog politicians who do their bidding. A politician's 10-second "thoughts and prayers" tweet . . . is not an adequate response to a mass shooting. In a recent legal victory, a federal appeals court struck down an NRA-backed Florida law that attempted to restrict doctors from talking to their patients about the dangers of guns.
UPDATE on America's Gun Violence Epidemic
According to the latest data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
were killed by gunfire in 2015 – an 8 PERCENT INCREASE over the previous year.
Every day in the US, on average
93 MEN, WOMEN and CHILDREN
are killed with guns.
America's Gun Homicide Rate is
25 TIMES HIGHER
than those in other comparable nations.
A recent investigation found that
died as a result of unintentional or accidental shootings in 2015
NEARLY TWICE the number previously recorded by the CDC
Holding Donald Trump Accountable for His
Inaugural Promise: "The Carnage Stops Now"
Dan Gross / The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
(February 2017) – The election of Donald Trump has emboldened the corporate gun lobby, a multibillion-dollar gun industry, and lapdog politicians who do their bidding.
On January 3, National Rifle Association (NRA) chief Wayne LaPierre shared the following acll-to-action with members:
"Donald Trump will need every ounce of energy we can muster and he has not ore powerful ally that the NRA. Out time is now. This is our historic moment to go on offense and restore American greatness."
Three days after that message, there was another mass shooting – this time at Fort Launderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida. Five people were killed, six were injured by bullets, and 36 others sustained injuries in the ensuing panic.
The President-elect and others backed by NRA campaign contributions did nothing except take to Twitter with hollow tweets of "thoughts and prayers" for the victims.
A 10-second "thoughts and prayers" tweet . . . is NOT an adequate response to a mass shooting . . . .
The Brady campaign's three-pronged strategy is focused on Changing Laws, Chaning the Gun Industry, and Changing Culture. Our comprehensive approach has the potential to dramatically reduce gun deaths regardless of who is President or who's in charge of Congress.
Sensible Americans must keep gun violence prevention at the top of the national agenda and hold President Trump and Congress accountable.
At his inauguration, Donald Trump said the voice of the American people will not longer be ignored. That promise should apply to the 93 percent of Americans who support stronger gun laws and to the 36,000 people killed by gun violence in America each year
Trump's Big League Gun Hypocrisy
Kelly Sampson / The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
(February 23, 2017) -- As a growing number of courts and experts challenge the constitutionality of President Trump's "yuge" executive order that bars citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the country, the White House continues to defend the measure as necessary to protect American lives.
Trump claims Obama-era vetting is insufficient to gather relevant information about refugees from Syria and other targeted nations, even though they were investigated by several government agencies for up to 2 years.
When pressed for examples, Trump spokespeople Kellyanne Conway and Sean Spicer both claimed the executive order would prevent attacks like the 2015 San Bernardino shooting that took 14 lives.
Folks, believe me, that's fake news. According to the Cato Institute, terrorists born in the seven banned countries haven't killed a single person on American soil in the last four decades. Meanwhile, guns have killed hundreds of thousands people in that same time. There's plenty we could be doing to save American lives -- but this unconstitutional ban isn't among them.
For one, one San Bernardino attacker was born in the United States, and the other was a Pakistani immigrant. But the executive order doesn't cover Pakistanis, and it certainly doesn't cover US citizens. The order wouldn't have prevented San Bernardino, or the Orlando mass shooting, which is often cited to support the ban.
Like most acts of violence in America, the San Bernardino attack was about easy access to guns. The attackers were able to secure two assault rifles through a straw purchase made by a US citizen.
In claiming that the immigration restrictions would have prevented the San Bernardino shooting, the Trump administration falsely conflated the nation's gun violence problem with terrorism. Sad! The real solution for the real problem of attacks like San Bernardino is expanding background checks, cracking down on bad apple gun dealers, and enforcing existing gun laws.
Folks, believe me, expanded background checks would be amazing. Convicted felons and other people too dangerous to own guns would no longer be able to evade background checks at gun shows and online if we expanded background checks.
One would think that if Trump actually believed that a multi-intelligence agency review didn't provide enough information to determine if someone is dangerous, Trump would at least want a one-minute background check to see if those same people were convicted felons or domestic abusers before they could buy a gun.
But President Trump opposes expanded background checks, even though they could prevent not only future terrorist attacks, but also the steady violence that kills 93 Americans every day. We have the best researchers and the most tremendous data, so we know that expanded background checks would actually save, unlike Trump's executive order.
Since taking effect in 1994, Brady Background checks have blocked more than 3 million gun sales to prohibited purchasers including felons, domestic abusers, and other dangerous people.
And, unlike his divisive immigration order, background checks enjoy broad support; 93% of Americans support expanding Brady background checks. It's time to expand Brady background checks to cover all gun sales and save lives -- big league.
Congress Votes to
#MakeAmericaDangerousAgain – Permanently
Avery Gardiner / The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence
(February 21, 2017) -- Very soon, I expect President Trump to sign a bill that makes America a more dangerous place to live. With the stroke of a pen, he will wipe out a rule the Social Security Administration enacted last year. That rule would have improved and strengthened the Brady background check system for gun purchases.
In 2007 Congress passed, and President Bush then signed into law, updates to the National Instant Criminal Background Check system. Those updates were passed in the wake of the Virginia Tech shooting by a dangerous and severely mentally ill man. One of the updates in the law required federal and state agencies to do a better job providing comprehensive information to the background check system.
But the federal government doesn't always move as fast as we'd like. Nearly ten years later, in the summer of 2016, the Social Security Administration proposed adding some of its records to the Brady background check system.
Specifically, the agency proposed that if a person applied for disability benefits, was between 18 and retirement age, was totally unable to work because of mental illness, and was unable to manage his or her own finances, that person's name would be added to the background check list of people who are unable to buy guns. The proposal provided an appeals process for affected beneficiaries.
The Social Security Administration received thousands of comments in response, including one from Brady in support of the rule. In December of 2016, the Social Security Administration finalized the rule. It was set to go into effect this year.
But some politicians in Congress didn't like it, nor did the gun lobby. So Congress to a little-known procedural tool called the Congressional Review Act (CRA) – a law that until this year had only ever been successfully used once before since its enactment twenty years ago.
That little-known law allows Congress to undo federal agency rules issued within the last 60 legislative days. When Congress nullifies a rule via the CRA, it does so permanently, because every use of the CRA automatically bars the federal agency from reissuing the same or a substantially similar rule ever again.
If the Social Security Administration had finalized its rule to help keep guns out of the hands of severely mentally ill people who can't manage their own finances just a few months earlier, it would have been beyond the reach of the Congressional Review Act. We wish the agency had acted sooner.
Congress has already used the CRA to gut other Obama-era rules in the opening weeks of the Trump administration. Representatives in the House have introduced resolutions to repeal upwards of twenty more rules, too.
As for this Social Security Administration rule: they say time heals all wounds, but it seems it also changed Senators' minds. In the decade since the 2007 law on background check updates, twenty-two Senators flip-flopped.
They had voted for the 2007 law requiring data like this to be included in the Brady background check system, but they then voted to overturn the Social Security rule doing exactly that.
Ninety-three percent of the American public favors expanding Brady background checks. Why doesn't Congress?
Landmark Victory: Court Strikes Down NRA-backed Gag Rule on Doctors Discussing Guns
The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence
(February 16, 2017) -- Today, in a landmark decision with national repercussions, a federal appeals court struck down an NRA-backed Florida law that restricted doctors from talking to their patients about the risks of guns.
The decision by the full panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta is a victory for the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence and Ropes & Gray, who brought the lawsuit on behalf of doctors who believed the law violated their First Amendment rights.
Wollschlaeger v. Scott was filed on June 6, 2011, challenging the Florida law, under which doctors can be censored, fined, and have their licenses to practice medicine revoked if the Florida Board of Medicine found they violated the law.
Dan Gross, President of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, said, "The gun lobby and its lap dogs don't want Americans to know the truth about the danger of guns in the home because it will hurt their bottom line.
The fact is, guns are far more likely to kill a child or family member than protect them. We are pleased the Court recognized Americans have a constitutional right to hear the truth about guns, and the gun lobby has no right to silence doctors or keep patients in the dark. We will continue to work with the medical community to get the truth out, to protect American children and families from the scourge of gun violence."
Jonathan Lowy, co-counsel in the case and Director of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence's Legal Action Project, said: "Today's ruling is an important victory for public safety and free speech rights, and a crushing defeat for the corporate gun lobby and the politicians who do its bidding.
Politicians and special interest lobbies have no business standing between doctors and their patients, or keeping doctors from telling people the truth about the risks of guns or other products.
Doctors have the right to decide how best to advice patients about risks that may endanger their families, and parents have a right to full information so they can make smart, informed decisions about how to keep their families safe."
Ropes & Gray partner Doug Hallward-Driemeier said, "This decision is critical to the health and safety of Florida families. It makes clear that the First Amendment does not allow the government, on the basis of politics, to interfere with a doctor providing her best medical advice to her patient."
Nancy Evans, Brady Campaign Sarasota Chapter president, said, "This is an incredible victory not only for Florida doctors but for our entire nation. I joined the fight a year ago because I believe our doctors should be able to have any conversations necessary to keep their patients healthy and safe. I am so thankful the court struck down this terrible law."
The lawsuit was brought by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, the firms law Ropes & Gray LLP and Astigarraga Davis, on behalf of individual Florida doctors, as well as organizations representing 11,000 Florida health care providers, including the Florida Pediatric Society/Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, Florida Chapter, and the American College of Physicians, Florida Chapter. Douglas Hallward-Driemeier of Ropes and Gray argued the case as lead counsel for the Plaintiffs.
In 2012, a trial judge in the Southern District of Florida held that the law was unconstitutional and granted a preliminary injunction. In 2014 a divided three judge panel of the 11th Circuit reversed. The full 11th Circuit heard the case en banc in 2016.
Numerous studies have proven that a gun in the home actually makes its residents less safe -- 89% of unintentional shooting deaths of children occur in the home. The reality is that a gun in the home is more likely to be used in a homicide, suicide, or accidental shooting, than in self-defense.
Recent research has shown that one third of all households with children under the age of 18 have a firearm, and more than 40% of these households store their guns unlocked.
The mission of the Brady organization and its Million Mom March is to create a safer America by cutting gun deaths in half by 2025. For more insight on gun violence prevention, follow us on Facebook and Twitter @BradyBuzz.
About Us: The Brady Campaign and Center, united with the Million Mom March, is a national network of over 90 grassroots chapter affiliates mobilized to prevent gun violence at the community level. The network has played a vital role in expanding Brady background checks in the six states that have passed legislation since the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut and produced the largest national protest of gun violence in US history - The Million Mom March, Mother's Day 2000.