Quote of the day—Violence Policy Center

The Violence Policy Center (VPC) today released The Endgame, a report detailing three areas that must be reformed within the gun industry in order for a settlement of lawsuits filed by major cities against the industry to have any significant effect in reducing firearms violence. Public statements by some involved in ongoing talks with the gun industry indicate a growing desire to quickly reach a settlement.

A meaningful settlement must include:

  1. Restrictions on Gun Industry Products

    • Stop innovating for lethality, i.e., developing products, especially handguns, for a combination of high caliber and concealability.
    • Close the loopholes by which assault rifles and high-capacity ammunition magazines, supposedly already banned, continue to flow onto the market.
    • Agree to recall products with safety related defects causing death or serious injury to consumers, as well as develop a system to identify and remedy these defects.

  2. Reform How Guns Are Distributed

    • Accept independent standards to weed out those distributors and retailers engaging in illegal or negligent sales. For example, manufacturers should include in their agreements with wholesalers provisions prohibiting sales to “kitchen-table” gun dealers, who operate out of their homes, and dealers who sell at gun shows. Also, a system for spotting dealers who sell a disproportionate number of crime guns is needed.

  3. Changes in Marketing Practices

    • Immediately cease marketing campaigns aimed at children, as well as fear-based marketing strategies, such as using predictions of Y2K social collapse to drive up gun sales. Also, the industry should stop making misleading and unwarranted self-defense claims in their advertising.

Violence Policy Center
December 21, 1999
New VPC Report Lays Out Minimal Terms for Settlement of Litigation Against Gun Industry
[In 1999 they still had fair amount of power. Probably not as much as they thought they had but still they had inflicted a fair amount of damage in the recent past and wanted to get another whack in before Clinton left office. The problem was that they overreached and struck out. We won that fight as a result of their grasping for something beyond their reach.

This was the same problem the Brady Campaign had with initiative 676 in Washington State in 1997. The local Washington Ceasefire anti-gun organization wanted to put a much more limited and realizable initiative on the ballot. But the Brady Campaign said they would provide support only if was made much broader. They bit off more than they could chew and lost 29% to 71%.

I remember the concealed carry fights of 15+ years ago. There were a lot of people that wanted “Vermont Carry” rather than licensing. It was believed there was no path to “Vermont Carry” once we had “Shall Issue” carry. It was believed that we were giving up too much by allowing the government to license a right. That we now appear to be on a roll to “Constitutional Carry” in many states proves that fear was unfounded. We are winning because we were willing to accept what we could get rather than what we believed was due to us.

There is something I learned in chess a long time ago which holds true in the gun games I play and it’s true in politics as well . It’s more important to not lose than it is win. Let the other guy take the chances and you win when they screw up.—Joe]


7 thoughts on “Quote of the day—Violence Policy Center

  1. A great post, Joe. I think in one aspect we do need to take a page out of the Anti-Rights playbook. They have already tried and failed to do what they really want, which is to ban the sale, manufacture, and possession of firearms. So instead they are now pushing laws that are much smaller in scope. The litmus test is if it inconveniences or restricts lawful gun owners they support it.

    A micro-stamping bill won’t ban gun, but it will put a burden on the lawful people who buy and own guns.

    Magazine bans won’t ban guns, but it will put a burden on lawful people who buy and own guns.


    We need to understand that any law that makes life easier for lawful gun owners, owning, buying, carrying, or using firearms (be it for fun or sport, or for the defense of life and limb) We should support it.

  2. I strongly agree. It seems that when power shifts in politics, more often than not it is due to overreach by the party in power. Thus, it seems to me that the best way to maintain a position of power is to make small, incremental changes while maintaining public support for said changes.

  3. Wow, Joe, I thought they just hated the 2nd Amendment. That last one on the list has serious 1st Amendment issues. Dictating what someone can say based on the subject matter because you don’t happen to agree with it? Glad that endgame never came to pass. Then again, perhaps if it had, a Heller-like decision might have arrived ten years earlier.

  4. @Matt,

    As near as I can tell most of these people believe rights are something occasionally granted (they use the word “allow” a lot) by the government. Their thinking process is exactly backward as if the role of government is similar to a a very strict parent. The government only allows us to do certain things and all other things are forbidden. This is taken to such an extreme that Joan Peterson claims that if it is possible for someone to do something, such as a convicted felon buying a gun via private sale, then that is proof that it is legal. That the US legal code says otherwise is irrelevant.

    Hence the concepts articulated in the Bill of Rights don’t really register in their minds. They cannot seem to get their minds around enumerated powers of the government and certain rights being inalienable. It just “does not compute” to them.

    That said, as envisioned by the VPC above it probably wouldn’t have been a First Amendment issue. This is because this was in regards to civil lawsuits. As a condition of settlement of the suit the gun manufactures could have agreed to almost anything without First Amendment issues coming into play because it wasn’t the government enforcing some law it was an agreement with a private party.

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