Fast and Furious
Obama administration leaking sensitive national security imformation for political purposes
IRS targeting conservative groups
DOJ secretly obtaining phone records of the Associated Press
EPA: Conservative groups seeking information from the Environmental Protection Agency have been routinely hindered by fees normally waived for media and watchdog groups, while fees for more than 90 percent of requests from green groups were waived, according to requests reviewed by the Competitive Enterprise Institute.
These seven scandals, four of which are active, and, two of which resulted in the deaths of five Americans, should be more than enough to topple the ” thuggery ” Whitehouse. Think about it, Richard Nixon, as a result of the June 17, 1972 break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C., and the Nixon administration’s attempted cover-up of its involvement, was forced to resign in disgrace.
Bill Clinton, 42nd President of the United States, was impeached by the House of Representatives on two charges, one of perjury and one of obstruction of justice, on December 19, 1998. Two other impeachment articles, a second perjury charge and a charge of abuse of power, failed in the House. The charges arose from the Lewinsky scandal and the Paula Jones lawsuit.
He was acquitted by the Senate on February 12, 1999. Requiring a two-thirds majority for a conviction, only 50 senators (out of 100) voted guilty on the obstruction charge and 45 on the perjury charge. The Senate was 17 votes short of removing Clinton from office.
The voting in the House and Senate was largely partisan. In the House, only five Democratic Representatives voted to impeach. In the Senate, which had 55 Republican Senators, none of the Democratic Senators voted for conviction. It was only the second impeachment of a President in American history, the other being that of Andrew Johnson, who was also acquitted by the Senate, but by the margin of one vote.
These two scandals, as serious as they were, fail in comparative severity to the seven incidents listed above.
In the Fast and Furious scandal, which was a gun-walking operation orchestrated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was designed to allow licensed firearms dealers to sell weapons to illegal straw buyers, hoping to track the guns to Mexican drug cartel leaders.” These operations were done under the umbrella of Project Gunrunner, a project intended to stem the flow of firearms into Mexico by interdicting straw purchasers and gun traffickers within the United States. One of these weapons was found at the scene of a murdered U.S. Border patrol Agent.
In February 2012, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius openly electioneered on government time in her official capacity during a visit to North Carolina. The Hatch Act, a federal law, expressly forbids such activity.
Obama administration leaking sensitive national security imformation for political purposes: In a series of stories that were published in the New York Times, and in a movie production that was set to make a two-hour pre-election infomercial for President Obama, a person or persons within the administration leaked all kinds of sensitive national security information to the media. These persons leaked the names of active Navy SEAL special operators to Hollywood producers, they leaked details of ongoing cyber operations against Iran, and they leaked details about how the president decides when and where to kill terrorists. None of this information should have leaked. All of it hurt our nation’s security in one way or another. All of it, if leaked by someone not in the president’s inner circle, would get the leaker jailed and charged with serious crimes. No one has been fired, no one has been jailed. Presumably the leaker or leakers still have access to sensitive information and can still leak it whenever they choose. Or are ordered to.
Benghazi: The American diplomatic mission at Benghazi, Libya, was attacked on September 11, 2012 by a heavily armed group. The attack began during the night at a compound that is meant to protect the consulate building. A second assault in the early morning the next day targeted a nearby CIA annex in a different diplomatic compound. Four people were killed, including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens. Ten others were injured.
The Obama administration, at first, attempted to blame the attack on an anti Islamic video some idiot made that no one saw.
Since the attack, there have been allegations of the administration being lax in its efforts to protect our diplomatic personnel overseas, also, in its response to requests for extra security and, in its response to the attack itself. The investigation is ongoing.
The latest three involving the IRS, the DOJ and EPA have all appeared on the radar within the last week or two. We are talking about 3 government agencies harassing and spying on groups that are in direct opposition to a sitting president while showing favoritism to groups with like interests. Scary stuff.
One has to wonder why this President and his administration has gotten away with this garbage, considering the cost. The answer is a simple one, the media, for whatever reason, refuses to hold Obama accountable for his actions. The media does not seem to care about the laws being violated, they don’t care about violations of the constitution, all they care about is the history that was made when Obama was elected. We all know what that history is. The problem with all this is, making history does not create jobs, strengthen our economy, rebuild our infrastructure, and protect our borders. Those are the things America needs right now, we’re not getting them by ” making history. ” All we’re getting from that is an out of control government that has decided its okay to violate the constitution, harass people who don’t agree with it and, violate people’s privacy! Where and when do we draw the line in the sand?
The Department of Justice spying on the media is huge. That is exactly why we have the first amendment to the constitution! The media must have the unfettered ability and sovereignty to truthfully and accurately report stories and events that affect the people of this country. PERIOD! The DOJ violating that sovereignty is in direct violation of the constitution. Erik Holder must be held accountable for this and, so must Barack Obama.
The bottom line here is this, three government agencies are in involved in serious violations of the public trust and our constitution. A member of the President’s cabinet violated federal law. This administration leaked sensitive material for political gain, another violation of federal law. This President has time and time again apologized to our enemies after they attack us. He has blamed other countries problems on America. Where do the American people draw the line?
Thank you for signing the petition on religious freedom for service members. You and nearly 150,000 other Americans have signed. The Department of Defense heard your voice . . . and has begun the process of trying to limit the damage done to the U.S. military image through a series of confusing public statements. Yet the issue is not resolved.
Please forward or share this petition with family and friends to help Family Research Council (FRC) exceed 150,000 signatures. We must increase pressure on the Obama administration. Joined together, we have a stronger voice!
The very service members who defend our religious freedom are having their own chipped away.
On April 23rd, anti-Christian activists met with senior Air Force officials to discuss pressing issues in the U.S. Air Force. What issues would be of such importance to gain such a high-level hearing?
According to these anti-Christian activists, religion is one of the chief problems plaguing our troops. As the Washington Post reported, some are saying that “religious proselytizing” is at the top of the list of problems in the armed forces — even on par with sexual assault.
Over several years, these anti-Christian activists have complained and the Air Force has repeatedly responded by blocking expressions of faith. In a step in that process, the Air Force published a document last summer with the directive that leaders of all levels (including chaplains) may not “promote their personal religious beliefs to their subordinates or to extend preferential treatment for any religion.”
Coercion has always been forbidden by military policy, and troops are free to have a faith or no faith. However, this policy is being used to suppress religious expression. For example, an Air Force officer was reportedly ordered to remove a Bible from his desk.
In a speech last week, Coast Guard Rear Admiral William Lee validated that the hostile environment for Christians extends beyond the Air Force. He recounted a story of his decision to violate the rules preventing him from giving a Bible to a service member who had attempted suicide.
Still, secularists are not satisfied, and are now demanding a court martial for those who don’t comply with their view of religious speech. Full acceptance of their definition will lead to silencing all people of faith. Join with others now and sign the petition to stand with our troops.
In response to the petition and outcry, the Department of Defense (DOD) has released several confusing statements over the last week in an attempt to downplay the increasing hostility toward Christians in the military.
The DOD claims that it will allow “evangelism” but not “proselytization” and only as long as it doesn’t make anyone feel “uncomfortable.” That vague standard will confuse and silence. And the reality is that this policy is being used to violate First Amendment rights.
Nearly 150,000 Americans have signed our petition which was an important factor in the Pentagon’s back-pedaling last week. However, they still have not clarified what assurances, if any, have been offered to these anti-Christian activists or what is contained in the new Air Force “instruction booklet” that will soon be sent out explaining its policies on religious expression.
On Friday, I sent a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel requesting a meeting to discuss these concerns. We hope that a meeting will pave the way for a Department of Defense policy that fully protects the right of service members to share their faith. The Pentagon should cease consulting with Mikey Weinstein and publicly declare that they reject advice from someone who refers to Christians as “hideous monsters.”
Our brave troops deserve better. If chaplains and other servicemen and women are censored from offering the full solace of the Gospel, there is no religious freedom in the military.
Even if you have already signed the petition, please spread the word to your friends and family about the petition to Secretary Hagel urging him to protect the religious freedom of our troops. We have over 146,000 signers but I would like to present the Defense Secretary at least 150,000.
On behalf of the service members who have thanked Family Research Council this week, thank you for signing the petition. They tell us the situation is very serious. Please pray that growing religious hostility within the ranks of the uniformed services is put to an end.
As we celebrate FRC’s 30 years advancing faith, family and freedom, please consider giving a gift of any amount today on our secure website. Your gift will help us protect your values and the freedoms of the brave men and women who sacrifice on our behalf.
Sincerely, Lt. Gen. (US Army-Ret.) William “Jerry” Boykin Executive Vice President
This is a savvy man. He has nailed it down pretty well. Too bad it won’t do any good. There won’t be 1 in 10 that receive this who will forward it.
This retired US A Sgt. Major makes excellent points!
Jimmy Carter, you are the father of the Islamic Nazi movement. You threw the Shah under the bus, welcomed the Ayatollah home, and then lacked the spine to confront the terrorists when they took our embassy and our people hostage. You’re the “runner-in-chief.”
Bill Clinton, you played ring around the Lewinsky while the terrorists were at war with us. You got us into a fight with them in Somalia and then you ran from it. Your weak-willed responses to the USS Cole and the First Trade Center Bombing and Our Embassy Bombings emboldened the killers. Each time you failed to respond adequately, they grew bolder, until 9/11/2001.
John Kerry, dishonesty is your most prominent attribute. You lied about American Soldiers in Vietnam … Your military service, like your life, is more fiction than fact. You’ve accused our military of terrorizing women and children in Iraq .. You called Iraq the wrong war, wrong place, wrong time, and the same words you used to describe Vietnam . You’re a fake! You want to run from Iraq and abandon the Iraqis to murderers just as you did to the Vietnamese. Iraq , like Vietnam, is another war that you were for, before you were against it.
The late John Murtha, said our military was broken. He said we can’t win militarily in Iraq .He accused United States Marines of cold-blooded murder without proof and said we should redeploy to Okinawa . Okinawa ??? And the Democrats called him their military expert! Maybe he suffered a traumatic brain injury while he was off building his war hero resume? He was a sad, pitiable, corrupt, and washed up old fool, not a true Marine. He wouldn’t amount to a good pimple on a real Marine’s ass, a phony and a disgrace.
Dick Durbin, you accused our Soldiers at Guantanamo of being Nazis, tenders of Soviet style gulags and as bad as the regime of Pol Pot, who murdered two million of his own people after your party abandoned Southeast Asia to the Communists. Then you wanted to abandon the Iraqis to the same fate. History was not a good teacher for you, was it? Lord help us! See Dick run!
Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Carl Levine, Barbara Boxer, Diane Feinstein, Russ Feingold, Pat Leahy, Barack Obama, Chuck Schumer, the Hollywood Leftist morons, et al, too name a few ad nauseam: Every time you stand in front of television cameras and broadcast to the Islamic Nazis that we went to war because our former President lied, that the war is wrong and our Soldiers are torturers, that we should leave Iraq, you give the Islamic butchers – the same ones that tortured and mutilated American Soldiers – cause to think that we’ll run away again, and all they have to do is hang on a little longer. It is inevitable that we, the infidels, will have to defeat the Islamic jihadists. Better to do it on their turf, than later on ours after they may gain both strength and momentum.
American news media, the New York Times particularly: Each time you publish stories about national defense secrets and our intelligence gathering methods, you become one united with the sub-human pieces of camel dung that torture and mutilate the bodies of American Soldiers. You can’t strike up the courage to publish cartoons, but you can help Al Qaeda destroy my country. Actually, you are more dangerous to us than Al Qaeda is. Think about that each time you face Mecca to admire your Pulitzer.
You are America ‘s ‘AXIS OF IDIOTS.’ Your Collective Stupidity will destroy us.. Self-serving politics and terrorist-abetting news scoops are more important to you than our national security or the lives of innocent civilians and Soldiers It bothers you that defending ourselves gets in the way of your elitist sport of politics and your ignorant editorializing. There is as much blood on your hands as is on the hands of murdering terrorists. Don’t ever doubt that. Your frolics will only serve to extend this war as they extended Vietnam . If you want our Soldiers home as you claim, knock off the crap and try supporting your country ahead of supporting your silly political aims and aiding our enemies.
Yes, I’m questioning your patriotism. Your loyalty ends with self. I’m also questioning why you’re stealing air that decent Americans could be breathing. You don’t deserve the protection of our men and women in uniform. You need to run away from this war, this country. Leave the war to the people who have the will to see it through and the country to people who are willing to defend it.
Our country has two enemies: Those who want to destroy us from the outside and those who attempt it from within.
J. D. Pendry – Sergeant Major, USA, Retired
This is a savvy man. He has nailed it down pretty well. Too bad it won’t do any good. There won’t be 1 in 10 that receive this who will forward it.
“Not a racist, not a radical, not violent, just informed and no longer silent”
“Most of us wonder if our lives made any difference, but Marines don’t have that problem.” Ronald Reagan
“One of the penalties of not participating in politics is that you will be governed by your inferiors.” Plato
House Panel Rips Obama Over Drilling Permits
The House Natural Resources Committee has issued a statement lambasting the Obama administration for dragging its feet in issuing permits for oil and gas drilling on federal lands.
According to the committee’s statement, it takes the Bureau of Land Management an average of 307 days to process a permit to drill, nearly twice as long as the 154 days it took in 2005.
In Colorado, it takes just 27 days to approve a permit on state and private lands, and in North Dakota, just 10 days.
To put the federal delay into perspective, the committee claimed that in 307 days, a person can drive from Washington, D.C., to Los Angeles 154 times, watch the movie “Die Hard” 3,349 times, or hike the entire Appalachian Trail — twice.
“President Obama has touted that U.S. oil and natural gas production is at its highest levels in years, but he’s only telling half the story,” according to the committee’s statement.
“The recent increase in U.S. oil and gas production can all be attributed to state and private lands — not federal.”
Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings, R-Wash., said: “The Obama administration’s federal energy policies are costing American jobs, impeding economic growth and recovery, and robbing the U.S. Treasury of much needed revenue to help us balance our budget.
“We’ve seen how energy production on state lands can create new jobs … [and] ease the pain of high gasoline prices. So why is the Obama administration refusing to take the same steps as the states to develop these resources?”
The statement was issued following an April 17 oversight hearing. One witness at the hearing, Utah Lt. Gov. Gregory S. Bell, noted that “state and federal permits require similar regulatory and engineering reviews, so it is hard to understand why a federal permit should take four times as long to be issued.”
Bell concluded: “The status quo of federal overreach is simply unacceptable.”
Texas Land Commissioner Jerry E. Patterson also appeared as a witness and said: “The states lead the way in leasing, permitting, drilling and most important, the production of oil and gas. This administration should look to the states and follow their lead if we are to become energy independent. Sadly, federal policies hamper the development of vitally needed energy.”
Back in February, President Obama said in his State of the Union address that his administration has been actively working to speed up the permitting process: “That’s why my administration will keep cutting red tape and speeding up new oil and gas permits.”
The committee responded at the time: “Facts are stubborn things, and that statement simply is not true.”
Mathew Staver, Chairman Liberty Counsel Action
For once, elected officials appear to be listening to their constituents! They are getting the message that Americans are demanding answers to the 9/11/12 Benghazi terrorist attacks.
Fox News is reporting that Speaker of the House John Boehner convened a special meeting “bringing in the chairmen of the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, and Government Oversight committees, as well as Republican Senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, John McCain of Arizona, and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire” to move the Benghazi investigation forward.
++Senator Lindsey Graham spearheaded this breakthrough. A day before this unusual bi-chamber meeting, Senator Graham announced a significant part of what the Obama administration is trying to cover up in Benghazi-gate: The magnitude of gunrunning and fighter recruitment – even involving jihadist organizations – to oppose Syrian government forces through the U.S. facility in Benghazi, Libya.
Graham’s assertions opened up another window into the Benghazi attacks and subsequent cover-up. He categorically blames President Obama – the Commander in Chief – for the death of Ambassador Stevens.
++We CAN handle the truth!
Senator Graham has led the charge in the Senate calling for a full investigation, but he contends…
These breakthroughs have been made possible by tremendous grassroots campaigns from groups like Liberty Counsel Action, relentless pursuit by Senators Graham and McCain, and a resolution introduced by Representative Frank Wolfe, which is co-sponsored by more than 60 congressmen.
Willard, because of a tremendous outpouring of support the past few days on our united effort calling on Congress for a complete investigation, for strategic reasons I have asked my staff to wait a little longer to deliver the petitions to Capitol Hill.
Right now, we have over 87,000 petition signers – and I absolutely believe we can deliver 100,000 signers by later this week!
Liberty Counsel Action is hand delivering our petition demanding a full investigation into the Benghazi attacks and cover-up to the offices of Senators Graham, Reid, and McConnell – as well as to Representatives Wolfe, Boehner, and Cantor. Having 100,000 signers will make a powerful statement, indeed!
I want to maximize the impact of our grassroots team. That’s why I’m asking our friends who have signed the petition to also schedule their personal faxes for immediate delivery to Congress.
Willard, your petition demanding a full congressional investigation into Behghazi is on file and will be delivered in a matter of days. Now, I’m asking you to go the “extra mile” with Liberty Counsel Action and help me flood key congressional offices with faxes demanding justice!
Only this type of united grassroots initiatives will result in a full investigation and the truth on the Benghazi cover-up. Your faxes can help add to the rising grassroots voice demanding truth!
With a simple click of a button, we will send as many as 87 faxes to all the key leaders in both the House and Senate as well as your two Pennsylvania Senators and Representative – each fax demanding a full investigation into the Benghazi debacle. Go here:
Thank you for signing the Benghazi petition and for your faithful partnership with me and with Liberty Counsel Action.
May God continue to richly bless you!
Mathew D. Staver, Chairman Liberty Counsel Action
P.S. Once again, please consider going the “extra mile” by joining with other Liberty Counsel friends who are scheduling their faxes to Congress.Go here:
(Note: Please do not “reply” directly to this e-mail message. This
e-mail address is not designed to receive your personal messages.
To contact Liberty Counsel with comments, questions or to change your status, see the link at the end of this e-mail.) + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
+ + Comments? Questions?
Liberty Counsel Action is a 501(c)4 organization. Gifts are not tax deductible. For full notice including notices for individual states, go here.
The democrats can’t find cuts because they don’t want to find them!
They can’t find anything to cut….Ryan can!
List of Republican cuts. Clearly, Paul Ryan knows how to make the cuts necessary to get this country back on track
Please notice that Social Security and the military are NOT on this list.
These are all the programs that the new Republican House has proposed cutting. Read to the end and pass it on to as many as you can.
* Corporation for Public Broadcasting Subsidy — $445 million annual savings.
* Save America’s Treasures Program — $25 million annual savings.
* International Fund for Ireland — $17 million annual savings.
* Legal Services Corporation — $420 million annual savings.
* National Endowment for the Arts — $167.5 million annual savings.
* National Endowment for the Humanities — $167.5 million annual savings.
* Hope VI Program — $250 million annual savings.
* Amtrak Subsidies — $1.565 billion annual savings.
* Eliminate duplicating education programs — H.R. 2274 (in last Congress), authored by Rep. McKeon, eliminates 68 at a savings of $1.3 billion annually.
* U.S. Trade Development Agency — $55 million annual savings.
* Woodrow Wilson Center Subsidy — $20 million annual savings..
* Cut in half funding for congressional printing and binding — $47 million annual savings.
* John C. Stennis Center Subsidy — $430,000 annual savings.
* Community Development Fund — $4.5 billion annual savings.
* Heritage Area Grants and Statutory Aid — $24 million annual savings.
* Cut Federal Travel Budget in Half — $7.5 billion annual savings
* Trim Federal Vehicle Budget by 20% — $600 million annual savings.
* Essential Air Service — $150 million annual savings.
* Technology Innovation Program — $70 million annual savings.
* Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Program — $125 million annual savings.
* Department of Energy Grants to States for Weatherization — $530 million annual savings.
* Beach Replenishment — $95 million annual savings.
* New Starts Transit — $2 billion annual savings.
* Exchange Programs for Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Their Historical Trading Partners in Massachusetts — $9 million annual savings
* Intercity and High Speed Rail Grants — $2.5 billion annual savings.
* Title X Family Planning — $318 million annual savings.
* Appalachian Regional Commission — $76 million annual savings.
* Economic Development Administration — $293 million annual savings.
* Programs under the National and Community Services Act — $1.15 billion annual savings.
* Applied Research at Department of Energy — $1.27 billion annual savings.
* Freedom CAR and Fuel Partnership — $200 million annual savings.
* Energy Star Program — $52 million annual savings.
* Economic Assistance to Egypt — $250 million annually.
* U.S. Agency for International Development — $1.39 billion annual savings.
* General Assistance to District of Columbia — $210 million annual savings…
* Subsidy for Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority — $150 million annual savings.
* Presidential Campaign Fund — $775 million savings over ten years.
* No funding for federal office space acquisition — $864 million annual savings.
* End prohibitions on competitive sourcing of government services.
* Repeal the Davis-Bacon Act — More than $1 billion annually.
* IRS Direct Deposit: Require the IRS to deposit fees for some services it offers (such as processing payment plans for taxpayers) to the Treasury, instead of allowing it to remain as part of its budget — $1.8 billion savings over ten years.
* Require collection of unpaid taxes by federal employees — $1 billion total savings. WHAT IS THIS ABOUT?
* Prohibit taxpayer funded union activities by federal employees — $1.2 billion savings over ten years.
* Sell excess federal properties the government does not make use of — $15 billion total savings.
* Eliminate death gratuity for Members of Congress.WHAT???
* Eliminate Mohair Subsidies — $1 million annual savings.
* Eliminate taxpayer subsidies to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — $12.5 million annual savings WELL ISN’T THAT SPECIAL
* Eliminate Market Access Program — $200 million annual savings.
* USDA Sugar Program — $14 million annual savings.
* Subsidy to Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) — $93 million annual savings.
* Eliminate the National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program — $56.2 million annual savings.
* Eliminate fund for Obamacare administrative costs — $900 million savings.
* Ready to Learn TV Program — $27 million savings..WHY?????
* HUD Ph.D. Program.
* Deficit Reduction Check-Off Act.
* TOTAL SAVINGS: $2.5 Trillion over Ten Years
My question is, what is all this doing in the budget in the first place?
Please send to everyone you know.
WORLD MURDER STATISTICS
From the World Health Organization:
The latest Murder Statistics for the world:
Murders per 100,000 citizens
El Salvador 69.2
Cote d’lvoire 56.9
US Virgin Islands 39.2
Saint Kits and Nevis 38.2
Trinidad and Tobago 35.2
South Africa 31.8
Central African Republic 29.3
Puerto Rico 26.2
Saint Lucia 25.2
Dominican Republic 25.0
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 22.9
Democratic Republic of the Congo 21.7
Equatorial Guinea 20.7
Burkina Faso 18.0
North Korea 15.2
Sierra Leone 14.9
French Guiana 13.3
Papua New Guinea 13.0
Cape Verde 11.6
Costa Rica 10.0
Turks and Caicos Islands 8.7
British Virgin Islands 8.6
Cayman Islands 8.4
Antigua and Barbuda 6.8
The United States 4.2
ALL the countries above America have 100% gun bans
It might be of interest to note that Switzerland also has NO MURDER
OCCURRENCE. However their law requires that EVERYONE own a gun, maintain
qualifications and “carry”. You never hear about this.
Summary of Select Firearm Violence
Greg Ridgeway, Ph.D.
National Institute of Justice
January 4, 2013
On average there are about 11,000 firearm homicides every year. While there are deaths resulting from accidental discharges and suicides, this document will focus on intentional firearm homicides. Fatalities from mass shootings (those with 4 or more victims in a particular place and time) account on average for 35 fatalities per year. Policies that address the larger firearm homicide issue will have a far greater impact even if they do not address the particular issues of mass shootings.
This document provides a cursory summary of select initiatives to reduce firearm violence and an assessment of the evidence for the initiative.
Twitter summary: Buybacks are ineffective unless massive and coupled with a ban
Goal: Reduce access to firearms by incentivizing owners to dispose of their unwanted guns rather than transfer them to a more risky possessor
Evidence: Gun buybacks are ineffective as generally implemented. 1. The buybacks are too small to have an impact. 2. The guns turned in are at low risk of ever being used in a crime. 3. Replacement guns are easily acquired. Unless these three points are overcome, a gun buyback cannot be effective.
The 1997 Australia gun buyback and its associated regulations is an exception to this. 1. It was large, buying back 20% of the firearm stock. 2. It targetedsemi-automaticweapons. 3. It coupled the buyback with a ban on certain weapons and a nationwide registration and licensing program. There is strong evidence that it reduced mass killings (before the initiative massacres occurred on average once per year and none have occurred in the 15 years since).
The Australia buyback appears to have had no effect on crime otherwise. One study (Leigh & Neill 2010) has proven confusing in that its abstract suggests that Australia’s gun buyback reduced firearm homicide rates by 80%, but the body of the report finds no effect. Others (Reuter & Mouzas 2003) have used the same data and also found no effect on crime although they also noted that mass shootings appear to have disappeared in Australia. A third study (Chapman et al 2006) using Australian data from 1979 to 2003 shows that the firearm homicide rate was already declining prior to the firearm reforms and that
there is no evidence that the new legislation accelerated the declines. This remains true when data through 2007 are added to the analysis (conducted by G. Ridgeway on 1/3/2013 at NIJ).
Large capacity magazines restrictions
Twitter summary: Great potential to reduce lethality; requires a massive reduction in supply
Goal: Reduce the lethality of guns by reducing the number of rounds that can be quickly fired.
Program: Restrictions on the manufacture, sale, transfer, and possession of large capacity magazines (usually defined as holding more than 10 rounds).
Evidence: Mass shootings predominantly involve the use of large capacity magazines. The most lethal ones all involve large capacity magazines. In addition large capacity magazines were used in nearly 25% of all crimes in 1993 just prior to the ban. There is reason to believe that reducing the availability of large capacity magazines could have an effect on the total number of homicides.
In five cities studied closely found no change in the criminal use of large capacity magazines during the ten year ban. However, a Washington Post analysis for Virginia continued the analysis where the research team left off. The data indicate that the percentage of crime guns using large capacity magazines declined from 18% in 1999 (when magazine imports were highest) to its lowest level in 2004 (10% of crime guns had large capacity magazines). The percentage doubled between 2004, when the ban expired, and 2010.
The 1994 ban on large capacity magazines had limited effectiveness because 1) Large capacity clips are a durable good 2) There were an estimated 25 million guns with large capacity magazines in 1995 3) The 1994 law exempted magazines manufactured before 1994 so that the importation of large capacity magazines manufactured overseas before 1994 continued through the ban 4) while the price of the clips increased dramatically (80% during the ban) they were not unaffordable. A 2004 study of the 1994 law found: “because the ban has not yet reduced the use of [large capacity magazines] in crime, we cannot clearly credit the ban with any of the nation’s recent drop in gun violence.” The 1994 ban essentially did little to affect the supply of large capacity magazines.
In order to have an impact, large capacity magazine regulation needs to sharply curtail their availability to include restrictions on importation, manufacture, sale, and possession. An exemption for previously owned magazines would nearly eliminate any impact. The program would need to be coupled with an extensive buyback of existing large capacity magazines. With an exemption the impact of the restrictions would only be felt when the magazines degrade or when they no longer are compatible with guns in circulation. This would take decades to realize.
Twitter summary: Increases opportunities to detect illegal firearm possessors
Goal: 1) Reduce flow of ammunition to the illicit market and 2) develop leads for illegal weapons.
Program: Laws that prohibit certain individuals from owning firearms also pertain to ammunition (18 USC 922g&n). Whereas direct retail sales of firearms to criminals are regularly disrupted by instant background checks, sales of ammunition are essentially unchecked. Ammunition purchase logs are a means of checking for illegal purchases and for developing intelligence on illegal firearms.
Alternatively, several states do not record purchases, but rather require the purchaser to show a permit to purchase ammunition and only of the same caliber or gauge as their firearm. While purchasing a firearm is aone-timeaction, repeated purchases of ammunition create more complications for prohibited firearm possessors.
Evidence: A study used criminal background checks conducted on individuals purchasing ammunition in Los Angeles in April and May 2004. 2.6% of transactions involved prohibited purchasers. They purchased 5,000 rounds of ammunition per month during this period. Rather than institute instant checks on ammunition purchases, local police began regularly checking the logs for illegal purchases, using it as an intelligence tool to find not only ammunition but also the illegally possessed weapons. Sacramento instituted a similar program and identified 13 illegal purchasers per month in the first year, recovering an average of 7 illegal firearms per month.
There is evidence that the program can be used to identify prohibited purchasers and can aid in the recovery of illegal firearms. The volume of recoveries is not of a scale likely to impact the illegal firearm trade, but could disrupt some criminal activity.
In 2009 California passed AB 962 that would make the ammunition logs statewide. It has since been held up in court due primarily to the use of the phrase “handgun ammunition,” which is not a well-defined phrase.
Universal background checks
Twitter summary: Effectiveness depends on the ability to reduce straw purchasing, requiring gun registration and an easy gun transfer process
To understand the value of background checks it is essential to understand the source of crime guns. Several sporadic attempts have been made to learn how criminals acquire guns. For example, a 2000 study by the ATF found the following distribution of sources
|Unregulated private seller||20%|
|Gun shows/flea markets||13%|
Note: Percentages do not add up to 100% since some sources fall into multiple categories (e.g. unregulated seller at a flea market)
These figures indicate informal transfers dominate the crime gun market. A perfect universal background check system can address the gun shows and might deter many unregulated private sellers. However, this does not address the largest sources (straw purchasers and theft), which would most likely become larger if background checks at gun shows and private sellers were addressed. The secondary market is the primary source of crime guns. Ludwig and Cook (2000) compared states that introduced Brady checks to those states that already had background checks and found no effect of the new background checks. They hypothesized that the background checks simply shifted to the secondary market those offenders who normally purchased in the primary market.
Supply sources can vary in different parts of the country. An NIJ funded study of the Los Angeles illicit gun market noted: “Results showed that many crime guns were first purchased atlocal—that is, incounty—licensed dealers, rather than from out of state. That is, contrary to the conventional wisdom that crime guns were being trafficked across state borders from places with less stringent regulations, such as Arizona and Nevada, we found that a majority of the guns used in crimes were purchased in Los Angeles County.” Thus, gun markets can be highly local.
Understanding gun sources requires a sustained and localized surveillance program. For example, the program could interview new arrestees at intake about how they acquired their gun, cost, and general gun availability. This could be conducted in conjunction with BJA’s plans to target local violence prevention programs in 20 cities. This is similar to the ADAM program for monitoring drug markets and could, in fact, complement any restart of ADAM. In the coming years such data could become available through BJS efforts; BJS will include a series of questions in its 2013/2014 national inmate survey.
Target straw purchasers
Straw purchasers are the primary source of crime guns. Importantly, straw purchasers have no record of a prohibiting offense. As a result, they are quite different from those who actually commit crimes. Consistent with criminological theory, because the person conducting the straw purchase does not have a criminal history forbidding him or her from making legal purchases, this population could potentially be deterred from initiating this illegal activity.
Because straw purchasers are the largest source for the illicit market and these purchasers likely can be deterred, effort should be focused here. There is little evidence on what works. The ATF and NSSF sponsored the “Don’t Lie for the Other Guy” public awareness campaign starting in 2000 but there are no evaluation reports of its effectiveness.
A Los Angeles program to target straw purchasers sent new gun buyers a letter, signed by prominent law enforcement officials, indicating that law enforcement had a record of their gun purchase and that the gun buyer should properly record future transfers of the gun. The letters arrived during buyers’ 10- day waiting periods, before they could legally return to the store to collect their new gun. An NIJ-fundedstudy found that the letter could modify gun owner behaviors. The study found that the rate at which guns are reported stolen for those who received the letter is more than twice the rate for those who did not receive the letter. While this does not show an effect on crime, it does show that a simple letter to those at risk of diverting guns to the illicit market can modify their behavior.
Require all gun transfers to occur at an FFL
Some states, such as California, require all transfers of guns to be properly documented (since 1923). This usually requires the involvement of a federally licensed dealer in the transaction. Despite this, straw purchasing continues largely unabated. Wachtel (1998) describes some straw purchasing of crime guns for Los Angeles between 1988 and 1995. There are disincentives to following the law in California ($35 and a waiting period). Such a process can discourage a normallylaw-abiding citizen to spend the time and money to properly transfer his or her firearm to another. To be effective, requiring all transfers to occur at an FFL needs to be coupled with all the necessary incentives (or at least no disincentives) for unlicensed sellers to follow the law. Sanctions and threats of penalties are insufficient.
Gun shows do provide firearms to the illicit market, but the problem is not uniquely about gun shows but rather secondary transfers of unregulated private sellers. Gun shows simply convene numerous private sellers along with FFLs. Gun shows in states requiring all transfers to be documented have fewer illegal gun sales according to Wintemute et al 2007.
Gun registration and continuous checks for possession eligibility
Universal checks are insufficient for ensuring that firearm owners remain eligible. Convictions, mental health issues, and restraining orders can develop after the background checks.
Recovering guns from those that become ineligible is likely effective. There is evidence from three studies that policies that check domestic violence perpetrators for firearm possession are effective at
reducing intimate partner violence. Vigdor and Mercy (2006) found a 7% reduction in intimate partner homicide in states that allowed guns to be confiscated on site of domestic violence incidents. Zeoli and Webster (2010) found that state statutes restricting those under restraining orders from accessing firearms are associated with reductions of 20%-25% in total and firearm intimate partner homicide. Bridges et al (2008) found that most domestic violence laws do not effect intimate partner homicide except those relating to firearms. All three studies use methods that make alternative explanations unlikely.
The challenge to implementing this more broadly is that most states do not have a registry of firearm ownership. Currently NICS background checks are destroyed within 24 hours. Some states maintain registration of all firearms. Gun registration aims to 1) increase owner responsibility by directly connecting an owner with a gun, 2) improve law enforcement’s ability to retrieve guns from owners prohibited from possessing firearms.
Gun registration also allows for the monitoring of multiple gun purchases in a short period of time.
Assault weapon ban
Twitter summary: Assault weapons are not a major contributor to gun crime. The existing stock of assault weapons is large, undercutting the effectiveness of bans with exemptions
Goal: Limit access to assault weapons.
Program: Ban the manufacture, sale, transfer, or possession of assault weapons.
Evidence: Guns are durable goods. The 1994 law exempted weapons manufactured before 1994. The exemption ofpre-1994models ensures that a large stock, estimated at 1.5 million, of existing weapons would persist. Prior to the 1994 ban, assault weapons were used in2-8%of crimes. Therefore a complete elimination of assault weapons would not have a large impact on gun homicides.
A National Academy study of firearms and violence concluded that the weaknesses of the ban and the scientific literature suggest that the assault weapon ban did not have an effect on firearm homicides.
There is some evidence that the assault weapons bans can affect the availability of assault weapons. A 2004 study found that “Following implementation of the ban, the share of gun crimes involving [assault weapons] declined by 17% to 72% across the localities examined for this study (Baltimore, Miami, Milwaukee, Boston, St. Louis, and Anchorage)… This is consistent with patterns found in national data on guns recovered by police and reported to ATF.” Weil and Knox (1997) found a sharp reduction in the number of assault weapons recovered by Baltimore police in the six months following Maryland’s ban on assault weapons. The federal ban came into effect a few months after Maryland’s ban, but Maryland’s ban had no provision grandfathering in already owned assault weapons.
Since assault weapons are not a major contributor to US gun homicide and the existing stock of guns is large, an assault weapon ban is unlikely to have an impact on gun violence. If coupled with a gun buyback and no exemptions then it could be effective. The 1997 Australian gun buyback was massive in scale and, while it appears to have had no effect on gun homicide, Australia has had no mass shootings since the ban was put in place.
Twitter summary: Most appropriate for making guns child safe or preventing police officers from being assaulted with their own firearm. Unlikely to affect gun crime
Goal: Prevent gun use by unauthorized users, particular to prevent diversion of legally acquired firearms to the illicit market.
Program: Between 1994 and 2004, the National Institute of Justice conducted a research effort to develop a technology that would preclude anyone but the owner of a gun from using it. If a gun were stolen with this technology installed, it would become inoperable. The focus of this effort was to preclude a law enforcement officer’s gun from being used if it were wrested from them during an assault. This technology was commonly referred to as ‘smart’ gun technology because it enabled the gun to ‘recognize’ its owner.
In its 2005 assessment of this effort “Technological Options for User-Authorized Handguns: A Technology-Readiness Assessment” the National Academy of Engineering estimated that it would cost an additional $30 million and take 5 to 10 additional years to bring a ‘smart’ gun to market. The most likely approach to achieving this capability would be through use of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology.
Evidence: The development of the technology has focused on making the gunschild-proofor providing law enforcement officers with a firearm that could not be used against them. The realization of this technology would not prevent such shootings perpetrated by the owners of the guns involved. In addition this would not eliminate the illicit market, but rather alter it. There would remain an illicit market for guns that did not have this technology installed or for smart guns in which the technology had been neutralized.
Thank you, thank you, thank you! Just moments ago, the House of Representatives approved the Senate-passed Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) reauthorization that protects all victims and includes critical campus safety protections. This has been a long, hard battle, and I cannot thank you enough for contacting your elected officials and standing up with AAUW the whole way through.
AAUW fought for this version of VAWA because it will create meaningful change on college campuses, which is essential in light of high-profile cases of rape and sexual assault. We celebrate that colleges and universities will now be required to create prevention programs for students and have greater transparency in reporting and better services for victims. Additionally, we should all be proud that the House and Senate acted quickly in the 113th Congress to move a bipartisan Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act. The House’s votes to reject a bad VAWA amendment and to approve the Senate-passed bill will send an inclusive VAWA reauthorization to the president’s desk.
Today is a great day to be part of an organization whose volunteer Lobby Corps and members across the country have knocked on Congress’ door for almost two years urging a VAWA that would protect all victims and improve campus safety. Thank you again for your advocacy and your support.
Yours in AAUW, Lisa Maatz AAUW Director of Public Policy and Government Relations
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Dear Mr. Masters,
Thank you for contacting me about the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). As someone who recently voted in support of legislation reauthorizing VAWA, I appreciate hearing from you.
Domestic violence is a serious problem in this country. For example, one in four women in our country is a victim of domestic violence, and 15 million U.S. children are exposed to it as well. VAWA has proven to be a useful resource for law enforcement and victims, helping reduce the rate of violent crimes against women and improving the availability of victim services. It is for this reason that I have repeatedly supported VAWA over the years.
As you may know, VAWA has been reauthorized multiple times since it was enacted in 1994, including once during my tenure in the House of Representatives and once more when I was not serving in Congress. On October 6, 2000, I voted in favor of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (P.L. 106-386) that reauthorized and strengthened VAWA, ensuring continued federal assistance and protection for victims of dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. The second reauthorization occurred on January 5, 2006 (Public Law 109-162).
On January 22, 2013, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduced a VAWA reauthorization bill (S. 47) that would broaden federal resources for tackling domestic violence. Although the bill has some provisions that could be improved, I supported S. 47 after various efforts to amend the bill had failed. As you may know, the Senate passed the bill, with my support, by a vote of 78 to 22 on February 12, 2013. The legislation now awaits action in the House of Representatives.
On a related note, you may be interested to know that I introduced the Veterans Sexual Assault Prevention Act (Public Law 112-154) in the 112th Congress. This measure, which was signed into law on August 6, 2012, helps combat sexual assault at Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities by providing a new standard of care and protection for patients at VA facilities in Pennsylvania and across the country.Thank you again for your correspondence. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of assistance.
Pat Toomey U.S. Senator, Pennsylvania