Indictment of NRA's President Cotton
No reform, so bury the NRA in court
- On this Page:
- (1) Incitement: Gun Control is NOT Unconstitutional
- (2) More Guns, NO LESS Crime
- (3) Obstruction
- (4) Yet More False Statements and Obstruction
- (5) Fraud
- (Click the images for a lightbox slideshow)
A printable download of this document is available here:
(1) Incitement: Gun Control is NOT Unconstitutional
The NRA cannot claim
While I had hoped for reform, that no longer seems possible. Now, NRA's President Cotton should be indicted for incitement, false statements, obstruction, and fraud, as described below, before some new entity takes over from it after its expected May insolvency with exactly the same charter.
Whatever the People feel the law should be, the Supreme Court is in charge of interpreting Constitutional Law. The law is the law. Sometimes the Supreme Court needs to reinterpret the Constitution, for various reasons. Gun control has been constitutional, both federally and in all U.S. State Constitutions, since the 2008 Heller and 2010 McDonald Decisions. Yet in contempt of the Supreme Court. the NRA continuously lies to its members, telling them gun control is unconstitutional.
By way of analogy, suppose the speed limit is lowered on your street. If you're then caught speeding, you could try saying you ignored the sign because your automobile association told you the limit never changed. If you do, either you or your automobile association would be in a lot more trouble. The NRA has been telling its members they can break the law for 15 years now, and it's had devastating consequences on society.
When the speed limit changes, they put big flashing signs up about it for months, to make sure everyone knows. But the NRA not only tells its members that the Supreme Court is wrong ALL THE TIME, but also, does nothing whatsoever to tell them what the law actually is. So they don't know they're being told they can break the law.
When the Heller Decision declared guns could be used for self-defense, the NRA blasted that at people for years. I don't know one case, not even from long discussions with its legal counsels, of the NRA ever saying the Heller Decision ALSO stated the right was limited, let alone, how. I cite a few examples from the last month alone. There are hundreds, if not THOUSANDS, of cases.
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Self-defense is a necessary evil, not glorious liberty
James Madison, who wrote the Bill of Rights wherein the 2nd Amendment originated, was renowned as a classics scholar; but his English grammar could be obscure. Hence the 2nd Amendment happens to be extremely ambiguous.
- The Heller Decision distinctly confirmed limited rights to own a gun for lethal self-defense (click on the picture to see the Decision summary). That is the law. Idealists may believe guns should be banned entirely. But that is the law DUE TO EMPIRICAL REASON, not just because the Bill of Rights says it.
- While the Heller Decision's first paragraph focuses on semantic parsing of the 2nd Amendment, the Supreme Court's nine justices are, unlike most, ALSO aware of the justification for self-defense in John Locke's "2nd Treatise of Government" (3:16~21), which is required reading for all students of Constitutional Law. Locke stated that self-defense is a NECESSARY EVIL for preserving a "peaceful, civilized state" against a "state of war" in a free society.
- The Heller Decision, paragraph 2, further states how gun rights are limited by conflicts with other rights. Constitutional rights are unlike natural rights in that they are not inalienable, and can be voided by acts that disturb the peace or violate the primary right to life. In particular, the right to bear arms can be voided by: prior legal infractions; institutional rights to ban guns on premises; risk of suicide; and possession of weapons more dangerous than required for self-defense.
- COMPLETELY ignored is that Locke concluded his rationale for self-defense by comparing the right's exercise in law to King Jepthah's sacrifice of his own daughter for victory in battle. That is how lawyers feel about it. It is a necessary evil, not a glorious liberty.
- LETHAL self-defense should be a last resort, for those too physically incapable to defend themselves with non-lethal means. But the NRA never even suggests using rubber bullets. If the NRA wanted to be a responsible civic organization representing gun owners, the FIRST thing it would do is sponsor research on reducing lethality with the least risk to victims, who should not even want to kill. Instead, the NRA does nothing to stop Its members wallowing in the joy of the right to kill and maim. The NRA instead promotes its efforts to legalize evermore lethal devices specifically designed to murder not just one, but many, as efficiently as possible, never observing they could be vast overkill for self-defense, shamelessly legitimizing glorified cowardice while causing more fatalities.
What if there is another assault on the capitol, and people are shot this time? The NRA MUST DESIST FROM INCITING TREASON AND ILLEGAL GUN MARKETS, or further unrest could follow far worse than the Jan 6 insurrection.
In "David Hogg Believes He Knows More About 2A Than the Supreme Court" the NRA's legal division, the NRA-ILA, invokes Supreme Court decisions in 1876, 1886, and 1939. Bizarrely, it also stated that gun control was already decided in 1791, as shown in this Facebook post, shwoing that it can't even be consistent with itslf. But that's just a comment on how awful it is in informing its members of the law at all. The Supreme Court's 2008 Heller Decision supersedes all the prior gun rights it mentions, and is the current constitutional law.
The 2008 decision states "Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose." The 2008 decision does NOT state that limits apply only to arms for self-defense. The 2008 decision states limits apply to ALL rights under the 2nd Amendment, and it supersedes all prior decisions.
Yet not even the NRA-ILA's page on the 2nd Amendment (click picture to read) mentions that. Legal professionals at the NRA cannot possibly quote superseded decisions, and even the Heller Decision itself, without knowing they are deliberately leading the public into contempt for Constitutional limits on gun ownership.
The extent of permissible gun control was challenged in the federal Supreme Court by McDonald v. City of Chicago (2010). The justices clarified that Constitutional restrictions, including those which "prohibit...the possession of firearms by felons or mentally ill" and "laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms" also restrict 2nd-Amendment rights under all State Constitutions.
The NRA actively encourages CONTEMPT OF THE SUPREME COURT. NRA President Cotton recently posted on Facebook, "all gun control is unconstitutional." On the same grounds, the NRA's President could claim civilians have rights to tanks, military jetfighters, and nuclear bombs.
But NRA's members believe the NRA is representing them and thnk it must be telling them the truth.
Facebook's 2nd-Amendment forums, members flaunt the NRA's claim that gun control is unconstitutional while openly sharing where they can buy guns without background checks. It's as if the Supreme Court never reached the Heller Decision at all.
THE NRA BEHAVES LIKE A BARMAN TELLING A BAR FULL OF SOZZLED DRUNKS THEY CAN DRIVE HOME.
"Buy some illegal guns on the way," Cotton adds. "All gun control is unconstitutional."
(2) More Guns, NO LESS Crime
"More guns, less crime"
is the NRA's most popular
but false justification
for obstructing all gun-control law
How much difference can even more guns make? In the USA there are, as of this month, 466 million guns in private hands, as projected from the 2018 Small Arms Survey with the NICS data on gun sales since, (see this statement). Statisca reported 45% of U.S. households own guns in 2022, which is within 1% of other estimates. U.S. Census data reports a population of 331.4 million with an average household size of 2.6. That means almost half of all U.S. households currently own an average of 7.7 guns each. According to the Washington Post survey in 2015, shown in the picture, that could be a low estimate. The notion that yet more guns could make any difference at all is totally absurd.
The slogan "more guns, less crime" is from a 2002 book of the same name that the NRA sponsored by an economist named John Lott. Since 2002 people don't read books much more, but the sentiment remains as pervasive as ever.
Lott's specialty in economic statistics may have been helpful to him in swamping the simple fact that he's wrong with an enormous amount of irrelevant and biased data. First, robbery is far less significant than homicide by orders of magnitude, but crime deterrence by gun homicide is Lott's main thesis. Which it doesn't. Department of Justice data shows guns deter 0.1% of property crime, and 0.3% even when including all violent crime. Any increase in deterrence that 'more guns' could even cause at all, separate from other factors, is well down into the noise level.
- To substantiate his claim, Lott cherrypicked areas in inner cities over specifically bad time periods. Further, Lott claimed a total of 2.5 million crimes were deterred, which is 730% higher than the DoJ number. 2A advocates claim the higher number is for unreported crimes, but that makes no difference to the ratio of actual deterred crimes that the DoJ data provides.
- Lott claimed he was including unreported crimes. If someone used a gun during a crime and it isn't reported, what is the likelihood the gun use was legal? Rather low...besides which, the DoJ ratio described above is a ratio, not a total, and based on actual cases, not a statistical projection from a surveyed subset.
- Lott claims his data proves that the right to self-defense is necessary. That is a psychotic delusion of grandeur. Although other nations, including Japan and Australia, have successfully banned guns, it is just not going to happen in the USA. Moreover, as Section 1 explained, the right to self-defense is necessary for a free society, and the Supreme Court has made it law. It's not something that personal opinions or politics can change. The NRA's promotion of Lott's claim only benefits gun sellers, while misleading gun owners into thinking they are safer to keep guns in the home when they aren't, as Section 4 explains.
Delays from failed NRA lawsuits have enabled uncounted casualties
The NRA CONGRATULATES ITSELF FOR ATTACKING VIRTUALLY ALL ATTEMPTS TO STOP AVOIDABLE DEATHS, usually in court. It never suggests its own solutions, even though gun fatalities since the year 2000 are about to total more than all US soldiers killed since the 19th century. When gun injuries are included, fatalities are only a third of total civilian casualties.
As of March 17, the NRA has 28 ongoing lawsuits against gun control in 12 states. If the NRA loses, then the NRA is responsible for any casualties or losses that the law would have stopped had it not obstructed its passage. If the NRA also tried to pass gun-control legislation, then there would be some argument for fairness. But it doesn't. It only causes more death and injury to innocents, because it ONLY wants comparatively paltry increases in freedom and as much money as possible for profiteers.
- There has been NO RATE CHANGE in fatalities since the Supreme Court's 2008 Heller Decision, which was meant to enable more gun control, and it is entirely due to the NRA. This is ludicrous. An injunction should prohibit all NRA's nuisance lawsuits.
- The NRA was once a decent organization. Now quibbles on its numerous complaints distract from THE NRA'S CONTINUAL OBSTRUCTION. If the NRA persists, yet more will suffer while it delays the laws that could have saved them. Uncountable lives have already been lost due to CDC gun research that the NRA has kept banned since 1996.
- IF THE NRA PERSISTS IN OBSTRUCTION, IT MUST BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR ALL THE DEATHS ITS ACTIONS PERMIT. Its prior actions have already enabled numerous wrongful deaths. It's time to start counting them.
(4) Yet More False Statements and Obstruction
"WASHINGTON (AP) — Speakers at the National Rifle Association annual meeting assailed a Chicago gun ban that doesn’t
exist, ignored security upgrades at the Texas school where children were slaughtered and roundly distorted national
gun and crime statistics as they pushed back against any tightening of gun laws."
The NRA let its 'Demons at the Door'
inside the home
a very long time ago
Before diving into the problems with NRA Chairman LaPierre's fearmongering of 'demons at the door' (see video), I should explain that statistics have become increasingly painful to consider, after years of waiting to find out if the severely wounded had died. In front of the numbers, I see suffering people. Victims frequently linger on for months to years. When they last more than 12 months, the FBI dismisses them into the far larger and completely ignored mass of those 'only injured,' whence occasional cases with severe internal injuries get added back. Meanwhile, politicos glibly argue about numbers as if people just drop dead, as if we are living in a 1950s Wild-West movie. In the end, I had to retire, but now, I can share what I learned in hope of reducing future deaths.
- Firearm casualties are almost totally due to mental illness and domestic violence. The number of mistakes when trying to exercise legitimate self-defense is astounding. The charts here are from my extensive "9/16 Report for the US House and Senate" on this site's Firearm Casualties page.
- ANONYMOUS CRIME, GANGS, AND MASS SHOOTINGS altogether add up to <6% of all gun fatalities. Half of gang shootings are them shooting each other, and two-thirds of crime-related homicide is by people inside the home. Even with the huge rise in mass shootings, anonymous homicides remain insignificant compared to other causes. While the deaths remain tragic, focusing on topics of media sensationalism does little to reduce total firearm casualties.
- DOMESTIC VIOLENCE is the next main cause. The police know that, and say so all the time, but no one wants to hear it, let alone listen to them. The exact extent beyond police statements cannot be known statistically, because the CDC is not allowed to distinguish gun injuries from 'violent crime' as being justified or not, for reasons described next. The CDC WISQARS database reports 362,641 injuries due to firearms between 2007 and 2011. As stated in Section 2, the DoJ reported 338,700 defensive uses of guns during property and violent crime over the same timespan, but the government is not permitted to research how many of those instances resulted in injury. All we can know is that police state the majority of them, whether defensive or not, were due to domestic violence. The government doesn't know anymore because of the NRA, as I will now describe.
- ACCIDENTS, while preparing a bedside or car weapon for possible self-defense, are 2.4x more frequent than successful use of guns for self-defense? But the weapons aren't aimed, so accidents usually result in injuries rather than fatalities. That isn't glamorous enough to garner any attention in a meme-driven age. In 1993, the CDC reported guns in the home are 2x~5x more dangerous to people in the home than to criminals. When the Republicans had a sufficient majority in 1996, the NRA responded by sponsoring the 'Dickey amendment,' which STILL prohibits the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control from gathering specific data on gun injuries. That's highly ironic, as the NRA is now trying to make money from selling firearm safety courses, claiming it is the world's 'leading safety organization' and the like. How can it even make such a claim when it stopped federal research on gun violence and tries to block every gun-control law it can?
- INJURY DATA is only now available for emergency-room visits. Up until the Trump Administration, accidental injuries were flat, and assault injuries were increasing at an average of 3.5%/year (after population growth adjustment; or 3.7% without population growth adjustment). In 2016, the Trump Administration stopped the CDC from further reporting on injuries directly caused by firearms without public explanation. At the same time, causes of firearm injuries were also deleted from CDC's WisQars database. I can provide previous data on 'violent injuries,' and 'accidents,' but it's not particularly useful, because the CDC was already not allowed to break out justified self-defense and failed suicide due to the prior NRA obstruction described above.
- Since 1993, 19 independent studies corroborated the CDC finding that guns are more dangerous to owners
than to criminals.
- The NRA only talks about one study it sponsored by Kleck, which claimed the opposite. It was later found the Kleck study was only of prior convicts, called late at night when they were frequently intoxicated or on drugs; it included people putting down old or ill pets as crimes; it only sampled two stares with the highest gun rations per household; and after a series of other problems were raised, Kleck eventually admitted he had also falsified the data. The NRA never retracted its claim.
- The CDC and FBI repeatedly try to point out that the 'demon at the door' has actually been inside since ~1996, but the NRA, which obstructed government research on safety, and lies about gun dangers, claims to be 'the world's leading gun safety organization.' When it comes to guns, statistics are only acceptable when they point the barrel at others. With the uncountable deaths that NRA's banning of CDC gun research and false statements have caused, it’s time for the smoking gun to point at the NRA.
The NRA cannot possibly claim it is representing its members
by fighting all gun law in court,
when it is ALSO persistently lying to them
as to whether more guns mean less crime,
what real dangers guns are to gun owners,
and most of all, what gun law actually is.
- The NRA pretends it represents gun owners, but with all its demonstrable deception and obstruction,
it is masquerading as a responsible company. It does nothing that does not increase gun sales and its own profit.
- The only grounds for stating that gun control is unconstitutional is if it is media entertainment, which is Fox TV's stance on its false claims. But is does far more than comment on society.
- If it is a law firm, then it should not be soliciting memberships from gun owners with false statements.
- If the NRA is representing gun manufacturers and product sales, then it should not be pretending to represent gun owners.
- If it is a political party, then it is incentivizing illegal activity. But unlike Nazi and other such organizations, it is not censored for its illegal actions.
- If it is an association representing gun owners, then like the AAA, then it should be seeking to protect its members from the hazards of domestic violence and accidents too. As abundantly stated above, it clearly is not.
- As the NRA sells membership in an association purporting to represent gun owners, rather than those profiting from the sales, then it should not deceive its members as the law and the safety of the product it represents. with almost half of all households owning 7.7 guns each, the only possible reason for the NRA's infatuation with legalizing more lethal weapons is that it has saturated the market already for everything else.
- Meanwhile, the NRA is doing nothing to stop wrongful deaths. The NRA cannot claim gun control couldn't do better. But it refuses not to fight any gun-control laws unless they don't lose sales. Without legal action against it, it doesn't matter how many attempts at new gun-control laws are made.