As I mentioned a couple of days ago, in playing over at Quora.com I managed to draw a Wall-‘o-Text comment from one Alex Nuginski, to which I gave an (uncharacteristically) brief reply. He responded. So I fisked. (His quotes have the colored background and are in italics.)
Dude, you have NO IDEA what you’re asking for. I freaking LIVE for this. You want Wall-‘o-Text, I’ll GIVE you Wall-‘o-Text:
1) “The bipartisan Manchin-Toomey billto gun shows and Internet sales has died in the Senate. It got 54 votes, but that wasn’t enough to overcome what was essentially a Republican filibuster. – April 2013 – Washington Post”
2) Personal insults? “Tea Baggers” is the initial name choice that those who now call themselves the “Tea Party” chose for themselves before they figured out the urban meaning of that phrase, so I am merely respecting their original name for themselves.
You? Respect? I’ve read some of your other comments. Don’t make me laugh.
3) How does the NRA get a cut from every gun sale? Here ya go!…
“How The Gun Industry Funnels Tens Of Millions Of Dollars To The NRA”
“Since 2005, the gun industry and its corporate allies have given between $20 million and $52.6 million to it through thesponsor program. Donors include firearm companies like Midway USA, Springfield Armory Inc, Pierce Bullet Seal Systems, and Beretta USA Corporation. Other supporters from the gun industry include Cabala’s, Sturm Rugar & Co, and Smith & Wesson.
The NRA also madeto industry companies marketing products in its many publications in 2010, according to the IRS Form 990.
Additionally, some companies donate portions of sales directly to the NRA. Crimson Trace, which makes laser sights,of each sale to the NRA.
Taurusfor everyone who buys one of their guns. Sturm Rugar[sic] for each gun sold, which amounts to millions. The NRA’s revenues are intrinsically linked to the success of the gun business.
The NRA Foundation also collects hundreds of thousands of dollars from the industry, which it then gives to local-level organizations for training and equipment purchases.”
So Sturm Ruger and Taurus, Springfield, Smith & Wesson and Beretta donate to the NRA. And many BUY advertising! In GUN MAGAZINES! (And I would like to point out that Taurus OFFERS an NRA membership with every gun sold, but that hardly means that they get taken up on the offer every time. Lots of buyers are already members.) But your assertion was – and I QUOTE: “the NRA, who gets a cut from every legally sold gun…”
Not “Crimson Trace.” Not “Midway USA,” not “Pierce Bullet Seal Target System,” EVERY GUN MANUFACTURER. Now, are you insinuating that Armalite, Astra, Browning/FN, Colt, Glock, Heckler & Koch, IMI, Izmash, Remington, Shiloh Sharps, Sig Sauer, Tanfoglio, Walther, Weatherby, Norinco, Zastava, CZ, MKE, Miroku, Pietta, Pedersoli, and literally HUNDREDS of smaller manufacturers have a checkbox on their invoices marked “cut for NRA” or not? Sure looked that way to me.
“Since 2005, the gun industry and its corporate allies have given between $20 million and $52.6 million to it through thesponsor program.”
OK, let’s assume it’s on the high end, $52.6 million since 2005. And, let’s assume that the cutoff is 2010 for the most recent data when that piece was published, so six years. $52,600,000 / 6 = is $8,766,667 PER YEAR. If the NRA is getting “a cut from every legally sold gun” it’s a damned small cut.
The number of NEW guns manufactured in the U.S. PER YEAR according to the ATF:
That’s (carry the one…) 26,270,057 firearms manufactured over the period where the NRA got (at most) $52.6 million from the ENTIRE “firearms industry,” including many, many companies that don’t MAKE guns or even SELL them. Being insanely generous, you’re looking at a whopping $2 per gun!
Now, look at 2010. Here’s the NRA’s IRS Form 990 for that year:
Their income was listed:
$12,573,541 from “related organizations.” That would be, for example, the rifle range I’m a member of.
$58,572,260 from “all other contributions, grants, gifts, and similar amounts not included above.” I’m going to assume the monies from Crimson Trace, Midway USA and Pierce Target Systems and the like are included here, but are hardly exclusive. That’s money retailers get from people like ME, when I buy stuff and when I use their “NRA Roundup” option to support the NRA.
$6,552,336 from “Program fees.”
$100,531,465 from “Member dues.” I’m a Life member. I don’t pay dues anymore, but I do occasionally write them a check that goes into that pile two line-items above.
$852,154 from “Investment income.”
There’s a lot more, but total revenue for 2010 was listed as $227,811,279. Total guns manufactured in 2010 were 4,900,313. At $2 per gun, that’s $9,800,626, or LESS THAN 5% of total income, and I’m being INSANELY generous here. So, the “gun industry funnels millions of dollars to the NRA.” Granted.
What’s your point?
“The NRA’s revenues are intrinsically linked to the success of the gun business.”
Yeah, so? The overwhelming majority of their funding comes from sources other than the firearm industry. The American Automobile Association’s revenues are “intrinsically linked to the success” of the automobile industry. What I don’t get is why this important to you.
4) Again, you failed to tell me how you can tell the difference between a law abiding citizen and a citizen who wants a gun for nefarious reasons, whether they be convicted felons with a criminal record or just felon wannabes who have no record.
How do internet gun sales people distinguish the difference between a criminal or an illegal gun dealer and a law abiding citizen? It seems you fail to address that issue because you can’t respond in a logical way.
Sure I can. We can’t. We’re prohibited by law from using the NICS system without transferring through a licensed dealer. But generally, I’m not worried that the guy I sold a Marlin lever-action .30-30 rifle to was going to use it to hold up a liquor store, or the guy I sold a Mossberg 500 shotgun to was going to use it to whack his neighbor. I figure if Joe Felon wants a gun, he’ll get it from the same guy he gets his weed or his meth from, or his cousin Sumdood.
I do have an idea how to make this work without having to go through the background check, but I doubt you’d be interested in hearing about it, given your obvious political proclivities.
5) Requiring full background checks for internet gun sales and gun show sales IS NOT making sales of guns in those places illegal… that is something that you apparently cannot differentiate.
Did I say it was? Please, point out where, specifically.
6) As far as giving a gun to someone as a gift, YES, I think that ANYONE who will the[sic] take ownership of that gun should go through a background check and gun licensing procedures.
I’m glad we’ve got that out of the way.
You guys love the comparison of guns to cars so much, then there it is… if you get a car as a gift, you STILL have to get a driver’s license, requiring weeks of education and training, and then getting the car registered is a seperate procedure… it SHOULD BE same for guns, with maybe at least a 3 day gun safety and training course instead of 6 or more weeks for a car. There, I’d say I’m being pretty generous there.
I love this comparison? Actually I’m tired of it, but here we go: If I don’t drive it on public roads, I need neither a driver’s license nor vehicle registration. There’s no limit on the horsepower it has, how much fuel it can carry, or whether it has a manual or fully-automatic transmission. I can buy a muffler for it at any parts store without paying a $200 tax and requiring an extensive background check and sign-off by a local chief law enforcement officer. Neither licensing nor registration prevents me from using the vehicle illegally or prevents accidents. I’d say your argument is empty.
7) Guns stats for England and Australia compared to the U.S. that were in my original post above…
AUSTRALIA: 13,000 gun homicides
UNITED KINGDOM: 4,000 gun homicides
UNITED STATES: 360,000 gun homicides
Adjusted for population size:
AUSTRALIA: 22.68 million people
UNITED KINGDOM: 63.23 million people
UNITED STATES: 313.9 million people
The U.S. population is 13.84 times the size of the Australian population, but it has a gun murder rate 27.69 times as high.
The U.S. population is 4.96 times the size of the U.K. population, but it has a gun murder rate 90 times as high.
What happened to your meticulous sourcing? 360,000 “gun homicides” in the U.S. in 2013? 4,000 in the UK? What color is the sky on YOUR planet? The most recent data I’ve seen comes from the FBIand it’s for only the first six months of 2013:
“In the violent crime category, forcible rape was down 10.6 percent, murder was down 6.9 percent, aggravated assault decreased 6.6 percent, and robbery was down 1.8 percent.”
The stats for 2012 showed TOTAL homicide in the U.S. in 2012 at 16,259 with firearms being the cause of death in 11,078 of them:
Get better stats. Then we can talk. Or, you know, not.
8) So skipping a lot of what I wrote buys you a lot of credibility, I guess then, right? Well, I guess that’s worked for Republicans in the past, so you fit right in.
I skipped a lot of what you copied-and-pasted. This is the comment section of a Quora answer. If you want to write Wall-‘o-Text comments, you really should start a blog.
9) Tell me what hand gun (besides an Uzi) or rifle (besides a semi-automatic or fully automatic rifle) can kill 27 people in THREE DIFFERENT CLASSROOMS consecutively in less than 3 minutes, please. One would need to have the children lined up and standing still to kill as many with a handgun, reloading, then continuing to fire.
Pretty much anything that holds more than one or two rounds. As illustrated in that video you just ignored. Here’s another you can ignore:
A guy I know tried to make the argument that Adam Lanza or James Holmes could have killed just as many children and adults with a knife if the knife had poison on the blade, provided that he got the poisoned knife in their jugular vein. Yes, if all the people lined up and tipped their heads back and stood still, perhaps with one big poison knife blade slash, one could do that.
Your argument, Kevin, is just as ridiculous.
We’re not talking about knives, Alex, we’re talking about firearms. And you’re arguing with ME, not “a guy” you know. YOU’RE the one insisting that the AR-15 type rifles used by Lanza and Holmes were absolutely necessary in the infliction of large scale deaths. I’m merely pointing out that YOUR argument is ridiculous.
10) Obama and the Democrats in Congress proposed extended background checks (see link at the top of this post) but it is the gun snugglers like you who keep interjecting gun ban hysteria, going in to some kind of “nam myoho renge kyo” type chant about the 2nd amendment whenever background checks come up, so THAT’S why I refer to the banning of some semi-automatic weapons, which does make perfect sense to me, however it has nothing to do with the topic of extended background checks, in spite of efforts by people like you trying to tie the two together.
OK, let’s look at this argument. You, personally, support a ban on semi-auto weapons. You seem to believe that extending the background check system to all firearms transfers would somehow help prevent these mass shootings. I don’t get the association, since Lanza’s mother DID undergo a background check for the weapons she purchased, and Lanza killed her to take them from her. Holmes also passed a background check each time he purchased one of the four firearms he used in Aurora. He also bought explosive materials that he used to booby-trap his apartment. Why he didn’t use bombs in the theater, we’ll never know.
But as for bans, how’s that working out in Connecticut? Massive civil disobedience. I thought Lefties were all for civil disobedience?
How do you take something if you don’t know where it is and the possessor of it doesn’t want to give it up? How does a background check system work if you don’t know who owns what?
11) I would fathom that your study can be traced back to some NRA sponsored Repblican[sic] think tank (oxymoron) or “The Herritage Foundation” or “Freedom Something or Other”, or the Koch brothers, like so many gun, health insurance and anti-gay studies can be traced back to.
Is your tinfoil hat a little tight? You want sources? The 2007 United Nations Small Arms Survey estimated that the number of firearms in private hands in the U.S. was between 270,000,000 and 290,000,000.I refer you back to the 2008, 2009, and 2010 ATF production reports and ask you to extrapolate on to 2011, 2012 and 2013. I don’t think you can argue convincingly that the UN Small Arms Survey is “NRA sponsored” or a tool of the eeeeeeeeeeeevil Koch Brothers. The 100 million estimate for the 1980’s comes from a study commissioned by the Carter administration in 1979, published as Under the Gun: Weapons, Crime and Violence in America in 1983. It’s available at . Interesting read.
Here are my stats, again, not sponsored by any politically affiliated group…
Gun crime statistics by US state
“Gun ownership globally: US ranks first, ahead of Yemen”
“Thehas 88 firearms per 100 people. Yemen, the second highest gun ownership country in the world has 54.8.”
Note that your Guardian link shows the number of firearm-related homicide in 2012 at 8,855, not 360,000. DO try to be consistent. And note that the Guardian also puts the number of guns in the U.S. at “roughly 35-50% of the world’s civilian-owned guns.” The statistical error-bars on that number are pretty high. Me? I’m going with the Small Arms Survey.
This Washington Post article has some telling facts on the subject of gun violence, and not all of it favors my argument, but much of it does, so in all fairness, I included it.
Twelve facts about guns and mass shootings in the United States
Yet your argument was – and I quote – “It’s a simple equation – more guns, more guns deaths.” Your own link illustrates your error. I repeat: The number of guns in the U.S. has increased threefold since the 1980’s, yet the rate of “gun deaths” over the last fifteen to twenty years has declined dramatically. Your “simple equation” is simply incorrect.
Gun violence in the United States
“During the 1980s and early 1990s, homicide rates surged in cities across the United States (see graphs at right).Handgun homicides accounted for nearly all of the overall increase in the homicide rate, from 1985 to 1993, while homicide rates involving other weapons declined during that time frame.”
But YOU want to ban semi-automatic RIFLES. I fail to see the logic.
For further damning facts and links, please refer to my original reply, above.
Your turn now, Kevin, but try to keep it accurate and truthful this time.
THIS TIME? I’M not the one claiming 360,000 “gun deaths” in 2013. I’m not the one claiming “more guns, more gun deaths.” I’m not the one claiming that background checks will somehow stop mass shootings in some kind of underpants gnomes logic:
It’s been fun playing with you, Nugi, but really, the comments to Quora questions is NOT the forum for this kind of thing.