Texas Lt.Gov Cites Ridiculous Disprovable Facts to Defend New Open Carry Law
January 4, 2016

 
Share

“He was a real asshole.” So remarked my Conservative father about his former neighbor Dan Patrick when he announced his bid for Texas Lieutenant Governor in 2014. Patrick, a former TV Sports anchor turned far-Right radio host, turned Tea Party darling State Representative turned Lieutenant Governor, appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press yesterday to defend the state’s controversial new “Open Carry” gun law, citing a litany of easily disprovable lies and half truths to make his case. I really think someone needs to sit down with every Conservative politician in the country and explain to them that there’s something called “The Internet” (nod to the late Ted Stevens R-AK), which stands ready to fact-check whatever ridiculous claim they make in the blink of an eye. Patrick was brought on yesterday as the “rebuttal guest” to Astronaut Mark Kelly, husband of Gabbie Giffords, whom together started an organization to promote “responsible gun ownership” and sane gun laws (Kelly/Giffords both own guns and support ownership).

Capt. Kelly spoke about the need to close “the Gun Show loophole”, “rising gun violence”, and the fact Background Checks work.

Then comes on Patrick (you can see most of the interview here). Host Chuck Todd barely finishes his introductions before Patrick injects that Kelly is “totally wrong about gun ownership in the inner city” and on the number of legal permits being issued. I had to go back twice and rewatch the Kelly interview to try and figure out what he was talking about because NOT ONCE did Capt. Kelly mention “inner-city” or “urban” gun ownership. I still have no idea what Patrick thinks he heard Kelly say. I suspect he had a speech already worked out about what he thought the Captain would say and didn’t want it to go to waste. But Kelly never said a thing about a “decreased demand” for guns… not in urban areas or anywhere else. In fact, he instead made the case of “rising fear” promoting gun sales.

Patrick continues, citing that Texas is now “the 45th state to permit open carry”. True. Sad & Frighting, and not exactly a strong argument for helping “Quick-draw McGraw” stick a gun in your face two seconds faster than before, but true. Regardless, Patrick is implying that “Open Carry” is already common in almost every state in the union and not a factor in gun crime. Later in the interview, Patrick tells Todd with absolute certainty that “Everywhere we have more citizens carrying guns, CRIME. IS. LESS.” and that in states with “Concealed Carry and particularly Open Carry, crime is down 25% percent.”

Is that true? ARE states that permit Open Carry any safer than those that don’t? PolitiFact (notorious for their squishy ratings) rates the claim as “Half True”, but they note the difficulty of comparing dissimilar states that only permit “rural” areas to open carry, vs states that only allow those with “concealed” permits to open carry, vs states that allow ALL licensed gun owners to OC. And what was crime like BEFORE OC was permitted? Even Patrick notes Michigan has had OC for “175 years” and Vermont “has always had it”, so we really don’t know what effect OC has on crime in those states. Politifact concludes by citing a 2010 report that found that more legal gun owners resulted in no reduction in crime:
 

“The best available evidence suggests that “right to carry a concealed weapon” laws are associated with increases in aggravated assaults with guns, but have no measurable effect on population rates of murder and robbery.

 
(a more recent report conducted by Texas A&M last September came to the same conclusion.)

Todd asks Patrick (poorly) about the difficulty of discerning a legal “Open Carry” citizen from a criminal looking to do harm and the “chaos” that might create. Todd phrased his question terribly, giving Patrick plenty of wiggle room. He didn’t ask Patrick “How are the police… or for that matter other gun owners… are supposed to distinguish between the proverbial ‘Good Guy With a gun’ from ‘a Bad Guy With a gun’?” When the bullets start flying and “Officer Bob” arrives on the scene only to spot Captain America over there with his shiny new Glock firing at someone, not only might this numbnut end up with an air-conditioned colon, but the time Officer Bob wastes stopping our “Good Guy with a gun” is time Mr. Psychopath can spend killing another 20 people before the smoke clears.
 

Can she tell the Good Guy from the Bad Guy ?

 
Instead, Todd asks Patrick if people might erroneously “call 911” to report legal OC owners they spot in the Mall or Super Market as a possible threat, tying up police resources. Actually, this isn’t much of an issue because most people don’t keep 911 on speed dial and report a man with a gun to the police the moment they see them. After only a few seconds, you can typically tell if someone with a holstered weapon (the law states it must be holstered) is looking to use it. By concern-trolling over such an unlikely concern, Todd gave Patrick a gift, giving him something he could dismiss without needing to make any substantive case against.

Instead, Patrick cites a statistic that “people with a Concealed Carry permit are twelve times less likely to even commit a misdemeanor.” I don’t know where Patrick obtained this figure. Even using the broadest possible search phrase (“guns ‘less likely’ misdemeanor) on Google turns up nothing other than Patrick himself making the claim yesterday on the show. I checked the FBI website and they don’t carry such statistics, but I think it is reasonable to assume Patrick did not obtain that figure from any legitimate source. (I did find this unsourced blog comment claiming gun owners were “5 to 10 times less likely to commit a violent crime“, but that’s as close as I got.)

Patrick went on to say that he “respect(s) those who don’t like guns” adding “but don’t stop those of us who love guns…” Not “like” guns or “want” guns but “love” guns? They talk about them like they are crystal unicorn figurines or puppies. It makes the term “Ammosexual” seem all the more legitimate. But Todd does make a good point about different standards for gun ownership. Guns are deadly weapons whether they are on your hip or safely tucked away in a cigarbox on top of the TV. Why not just have one standard for ALL gun licensing? Patrick goes on a non-sequitur about the “Second Amendment”, which has nothing to do with different standards for laws regulating gun ownership. Patrick says gun laws are “an evolving issue”, suggesting that eventually we may reach a point when ALL gun laws are relaxed to the same level, permitting anyone with a gun license to Open Carry.

Now for the whopper. Patrick ends his interview claiming “Every one of the mass shootings except two in America since 1950 have been gun free zones.” Complete and total bullshit (it appears he got the feux stat from this Right-Wing website that got it from two moonbats on a local Conservative radio show with no sourcing. Now, of course, if you go all the way back to 1950 before most states even HAD open carry laws, nearly the entire country was a “gun free zone” (outside of your own home), so saying “all mass shootings before 1975 took place in gun free zones” is essentially saying “all mass shootings before 1975 took place outside the home.” It’s a meaningless statistic.

Since numbers going back to “1950” are hard to come by… and clearly unnecessary… we can go WAYYY back to, oh, I don’t know… the Obama Administration… to debunk this bit of nonsense:

  • November of 2009, the Ft. Hood shooting. A military base. NOT a “gun-free zone”. While general soldiers on premises did not carry weapons, ARMED GUARDS on the premises DID. Back when the shooting took place, a Right-Wing falsehood was circulated that “President Clinton” was to blame for making military bases “gun free zones” back in 1993 (not true, but even if it were, 1993 to 2009 would qualify as a pretty good record of safety), but the military merely instituted a policy in March of 1993 set by the G.H.W.Bush White House the year before instructing soldiers to lock up their weapons when not in use. The weapons were still accessible and on the premises. Not a “Gun Free Zone”. A better question might be how it happened again at Fort Hood in 2014 AFTER the restriction was lifted?
  •  

  • Ditto for the “Navy Yard” shooting in 2013. Ban lifted, yet a dozen civilians & personnel were murdered on a military based filled with “good guys with guns.”
  •  

  • January 2011, 6 killed, 11 injured in Tucson, Az. in a Supermarket parking lot where Congresswoman Gabby Giffords was delivering a speech. Super Market parking lot. In Arizona. Not a “gun free zone”.
  •  

  • October 2011, 8 killed, 1 injured at a hair salon in Seal Beach, Ca. – Private business. Not a “gun free zone”. (even if a business owner requested it, it wouldn’t be enforceable.)
  •  

  • August 2012, 6 killed, 3 injured at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wi. – Again, a private organization without a legally enforceable gun restriction. If someone wanted to carry a gun into the temple, they were free to do so. Obviously. The killer did, no?
  •  

  • September 2012, 6 killed, 2 injured at a sign makers offices in Minneapolis, Mn. – Not a GFZ. Minnesota, an Open Carry state.
  •  

  • June 2015, 9 dead at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. by a racist kid that believed black people were taking over America. He didn’t target an all-black church because it was a “gun free zone”.
  •  

  • July 2015, 5 dead, 3 wounded at two Navy-Marine recruiting centers in Chattanooga, Tenn. – The killer, a radicalized young Muslim, opened fire on the centers… located in strip centers along the road… from the parking lot. Not a “gun free zone”. Not selected because it was a GFZ. If the officers inside had been wearing their weapons, it wouldn’t have made a bit of difference because it was a surprise attack from the outside.
  •  

  • October 2015, 9 dead, 9 injured at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Or. – Despite being a school, while the school requested guns not be carried on campus, several students DID have guns on them at the time of the shooting. Not only is Oregon an Open Carry state, but it is actually illegal to prohibit guns anywhere, including schools, and the local sheriff notoriously wrote a letter to VP Biden following Sandy Hook angrily refusing to enforce any new law in his town that would restrict the right to carry guns anywhere people wanted.
  •  

  • November 2015, 3 dead; 9 injured at a Planed Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Co. – Again, not a “gun free zone”, and definitely not selected because he thought it was. “No more baby parts” he droned, referring to a deceptively edited Right-Wing video. (Now if Patrick wants to argue Planned Parenthood staff should be allowed to protect themselves from Pro-Life nuts, I look forward to that conversation.)
  •  

  • December 2015, 14 dead, 21 wounded at a rehabilitation clinic in San Bernardino, Ca. – A Muslim man and his radicalized wife targeted the clinic where he once worked. Again, not selected because he believed it to be a “gun free zone” (which it legally was not.)

Of all five mass shootings that took place in 2015, not ONE took place in a “gun free zone”. Patrick is full of crap. Here is a map of all the mass shootings that have taken place just in 2015. You’ll notice that a lot (most) of them took place in states where it is legal to carry a firearm. Are these all “gun free zones”?
 

Mass Shootings in 2015

 

But even in cases that WERE “gun free zones” like “Sandy Hook Elementary” in Connecticut, the killer’s didn’t select their targets BECAUSE they were “gun free zones”. The Sandy Hook shooter was a nut that had just murdered his mother in her sleep and then attacked the last school he attended before that same mother… a teanut who taught her troubled son how to use an assault weapon to prepare for the day “Obama would bring about Armageddon”… pulled him out of public school to be home schooled. Many other school shootings were also committed by former students targeting the people they knew. They didn’t pick some random school out of the phone book because schools were “gun free zones”. Mass murderers don’t select their targets that way, and it is disgusting to suggested otherwise (“Your kid is dead because your kid’s teacher was not allowed to bring a gun into your child’s classroom.”)
 

Who's buying all the guns?

 


Writers Wanted Got something to say? Mugsy’s Rap Sheet is always looking for article submissions to focus on the stories we may miss each week. To volunteer your own Op/Ed for inclusion here, send us an email with an example of your writing skills & choice of topic, and maybe we’ll put you online!

RSS Please REGISTER to be notified by e-mail every time this Blog is updated! Firefox/IE users can use RSS for a browser link that lists the latest posts! RSS


 

 
Share

January 4, 2016 · Admin Mugsy · No Comments - Add
Posted in: Crime, Guns & Violence, myth busting