Caitlin Clarkson Pereira & Devin Hughes
email@example.com & firstname.lastname@example.org
Misinformation is deadly. In the span of a week, 18 people have lost their lives in two high profile mass shootings because Americans have been deceived into believing that guns make us safer.
While the motives, locations, and targets of the Atlanta and Boulder shootings differ and are still being investigated, both share a hauntingly familiar thread: easy access to lethal weaponry. The Atlanta shooter bought his handgun mere hours before he fatally shot eight people. The Boulder shooter bought an AR-556, an assault style weapon, days before taking 10 lives…
As the Covid-19 pandemic surges throughout the US, state and federal governments are taking historic measures to ensure public safety. From social distancing to locking down public areas to shutting down hundreds of businesses, American life and culture have been fundamentally altered with one exception: access to guns.
The March 28 guidance issued by the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) that declared gun stores and manufacturers “essential infrastructure” has allowed for a second pandemic of gun violence to fester. As cities see a decrease in most crime while people stay home, tragically, violent gun crimes and…
I am writing to you today in response to yesterday’s Joint Economic Committee hearing, “Gun Violence in America: Understanding and Reducing the Costs of Firearm Injuries and Deaths.” I am the President and Founder of GVPedia, a non-profit providing access to gun violence prevention research.
I reviewed the written testimony of those who posted it online as well as the oral statements presented to the Committee, and would like to provide information I think you may find useful to correct the record on some of the statements made:
In the aftermath of the Virginia Beach Municipal Center shooting that killed twelve and injured four on May 31st, conservative politicians and pundits pinned the blame for America’s mass shooting epidemic on an old canard: gun-free zones. Republican Representative Thomas Massie of Kentucky recently reintroduced legislation to end gun free zones for schools. While touting his bill, Rep. Massie proclaimed that “98 percent of all mass public shootings in the U.S. since 1950 have occurred in places where the average citizen was banned from possessing guns.”
On February 27th, the Oklahoma State Senate overwhelmingly passed HB 2597, a bill that would allow individuals to carry a concealed, loaded firearm in public without having to undergo training or even a background check. The bill was promptly signed by Governor Stitt, making my home state the 15th in the nation to enact some form of permitless carry, representing the culmination of a four-decades long, nationwide tectonic shift in gun policy.
Rewind to 1981: nineteen states prohibited carrying firearms, and most of the country had “May Issue” laws which granted local law enforcement discretion over who was allowed to…
“Following precedent and following gun lobby propaganda are two entirely different paths.”
During his September 5 Senate hearing, Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh displayed his loyalty to the gun lobby’s “alternate” statistics but fell alarmingly short in his comprehension of legitimate research into gun violence reality and prevention.
Judge Kavanaugh is correct that assault-style weapons are commonly used in shootings such as those at Aurora, Sandy Hook, Orlando, Las Vegas, Parkland, and many more. He is mistaken, however, about the successful use of assault-style firearms, or any firearms, for civilian self-defense. The Gun Violence Archive (GVA) tracks and compiles…
Devin Hughes and Jen Pauliukonis
In a February 12, 2018 NYTimes op-ed article, “Background Checks Are Not the Answer to Gun Violence,” John Lott, a pro-gun commentator, condemned the firearm purchase background check system with the specious claim that the system prevents “millions of law-abiding citizens from buying guns for protection” due to false denials. Lott has been peddling this falsehood for years. In a 2017 article, he asserted: “More than 2.4 million people have been denied gun purchases because of checks, but about 99 percent of those people are actually law-abiding citizens who happen to have…
Devin Hughes and Jen Pauliukonis
Alternative facts. Fake news. Post-truth. America seems to be awash in misinformation.
Perhaps in no other space is this deception felt more keenly than in America’s gun debate. For decades, the gun lobby and its allies have dominated the narrative on gun violence, ramming through legislation detrimental to public health at the state and national level while actively repressing research on gun violence at the CDC. This campaign has been bolstered by a tired and dangerous barrage of falsehoods, myths, and sales slogans: “more guns, less crime;” “there are millions of defensive…