What Kavanaugh needs to know about gun violence

“Following precedent and following gun lobby propaganda are two entirely different paths.”

Credit Mike Reynolds EPA NBCNews.com

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 incidents of gun violence throughout the United States. GVA found 2,107 verified defensive gun uses in 2017, by any type of firearm. This number pales in comparison to the more than 38,000 total gun deaths in 2016, and the tens of thousands of gun injuries and assaults.

Kavanaugh’s legal philosophy on the Second Amendment and “common use” meshes perfectly with the gun lobby playbook: weaken or dismantle gun laws to flood the market with ever more dangerous firearms to make the firearms “common.” When the firearms do, in fact, become “common,” claim it can no longer be regulated. Indeed, in his dissent in Heller II, Kavanaugh explicitly rejected weighing public safety in determining the constitutionality of gun violence prevention laws.

Judge Kavanaugh further testified that “… I fully understand the gang violence, gun violence, drug violence that has plagued various cities …” By focusing only on the fraction of America’s gun violence epidemic that is consistently highlighted by the NRA, Kavanaugh reveals how committed he is to turning his back on the reality of gun violence, rendering cities, states, and the federal government incapable of successfully addressing the totality of gun violence. Kavanaugh ignores domestic violence, unintentional child shootings, escalating arguments, and suicides that comprise the bulk of this American carnage. Survivors deserve better.

Following precedent and following gun lobby propaganda are two entirely different paths. Clearly, Judge Kavanaugh is only interested in the latter.

Devin Hughes, Founder



September 6, 2018

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