Now, it’s probably not a shock to hear a Second Amendment advocate declare that there are much better ways to fight violent crime than by infringing on the rights of citizens, but what if one of the biggest gun control groups in the country said the same thing?
On today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co, we’re delving into the surprising admission from the anti-gun group Giffords, which was highlighted in a new story by the Wall Street Journal that calls community violence intervention programs some of the best answers to addressing rising crime rates around the country.
These programs, which are typically local in nature and revolve around strategies to prevent violence before it begins, do indeed offer an effective and constitutional means of targeting violent crime, because they focus on violent offenders themselves.
The premise of CVI is that the majority of gun violence is perpetrated by small groups of people, many usually already known to local leaders. CVI programs impanel community activists and leaders to work on the streets, identifying disputes and individuals with the potential to produce violence, intervene to defuse those problems, and deliver stern warnings of harsh consequences if violence results.
“The most effective programs share a common premise, borne out by years of data: a very small and readily identifiable segment of a city’s population is responsible for the vast majority of that city’s gun violence,” says a report by the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. “By strategically intervening with this small population—usually only a few hundred people—these programs have been able to cut gun homicide rates by as much as 50% in as little as two years.”
Note that Giffords doesn’t say that community violence intervention strategies are merely helpful, or useful in conjunction with bans on commonly-owned firearms or other restrictions on legal gun owners. No, the gun control group admits that the most effective crime-fighting strategies start with the recognition that a very small number of individuals are responsible for a very large amount of violent crime. As Giffords acknowledges, when the focus of both law enforcement and community groups are on that small group of prolific offenders we can see dramatic reductions in both shootings and homicides.
That begs the question; if the most effective way to reduce violent crime is by focusing on violent offenders, then why are groups like Giffords, Moms Demand Action, and Brady pushing so hard to do the exact opposite; creating new non-violent criminal offenses out of the right to keep and bear arms and turning millions of legal gun owners into criminals if they don’t comply with the new laws on the books?
The obvious answer is that crime isn’t the primary concern of these gun control organizations. Their real mission is to reduce the number of legally-owned firearms and lawful gun owners as much as possible through a web of gun control laws, regulations, litigation, and government edicts; not to reduce shootings, armed robberies, carjackings, and home invasions.
These aren’t “crime prevention groups,” after all. They’re gun control groups, or “gun safety organizations” if you want to use their preferred nomenclature. Of course, since their idea of gun safety is “don’t own a gun,” I believe that gun control is a much more apt description for their agenda.
It’s also why these organizations are ultimately fighting a losing battle; not only against the 100-million legal gun owners in this country but against the Constitution itself. The fact is that these groups know that their gun bans and other infringements on the right to keep and bear arms aren’t the best way to fix failing cities when it comes to crime, but they’re hellbent on putting these new restrictions in place regardless. At their core, groups like Giffords, Everytown for Gun Safety, and the like are simply more anti-civil rights than pro-public safety. I’d love to be proven wrong, but so long as their primary targets are legal gun owners and not the small number of violent criminals, I see no reason to believe otherwise.