Why is the Anti-Gun Lobby Always Misrepresenting the Facts?

Subtitle: And being mean and nasty when called out?

UPDATE 3/6/2016: Ms Mohri has now tripled down on her anti-gun stance by CALLING MY HOME and yelling at me about my numbers.
She even had the gall to call me “stupid” just before she hung up.
She is going to be writing all the newspapers, so be on the lookout for her latest tirade.
I haven’t even written anything for over a month (last update here was 2/11/16 about her emails to me)!
UPDATE 3/7/2016: Even after the Vermont State Police told Ms. Mohri not to call me again, she did exactly that and argued with my wife.
DO NOT CALL MY HOME AGAIN.
UPDATE 3/8/2016: A portion of our one-sided conversation can be found here:

UPDATE 2/11/16: Ms Mohri has doubled down on her anti-gun stance with even more letters. I can’t keep up.
She is following the Bloomberg / GunNonSense / Brady playbook. Unfortunately, I do not have the time to dicker back and forth.
Marion’s nasty email responses are throughout this post.

Original Post: In the 12/24/15 response by Ms. Mohri to the Caledonian Record Editor who took the anti-gun NY Times to task for preaching the anti-gun gospel, she makes some very bold statements about the facts & figures of violence in America.

These facts are straight out of the Bloomberg playbook.

She states that 297 Americans are shot every day; that means she thinks 108,405 Americans are killed or wounded by bullets each year.

The latest CDC data on WICARS is from 2013; it shows a total number of 67,394.

Her claim is 1.6 TIMES higher.

The total number of accidental deaths by firearm according to CDC data was 548, a value of 1.5/day, NOT 46/day as Ms. Mohri claims (16,790 per year).

A striking 3,000% exaggeration, you just can’t make this stuff up! Oh, wait… Yes, you can.

The US Bureau of Justice reports (2013) that nonfatal firearm crime has DECREASED 70% since 1993, but that isn’t good for the anti-gunners either.

http://bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/fv9311.pdf

Ms. Mohri claims that 7 firearms deaths per day for “children and teens” under 20.

This claim is a rehash of a 2014 Brady Campaign slogan, which was debunked in June, 2014.

http://www.politifact.com/oregon/statements/2014/jun/27/brady-campaign-prevent-gun-violence/do-average-nine-children-day-die-united-states-gun/

However, the CDC shows that the reality is all assaults, NOT just deaths, by ALL CAUSES, NOT just firearms.

Misrepresentation again.

WHY is the anti-gun crowd including 18 & 19 year olds in these “statistics”?
Because they constitute FIFTY PERCENT of the total numbers of deaths and injuries!

An 18 or 19 year old is NOT a “child”, they are legally adults. But, without their inclusion in the data, gun control advocates have to work with a 50% LOWER death number, which does not adequately promote their gun control agenda.

You know all those “youth” murders? Most are GANG VIOLENCE related. http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-crime/gangs-represent-shootings-new-york-city-article-1.2464740

As a matter of fact, GANG crime is the leading cause of ALL violent crime in the USA.

Remove those big cities like Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, etc. and America is one of the safest places on the planet, but that isn’t good for an anti-gun billionaire and his minions to tout.

FEAR and MONEY are the anti-gunner’s ONLY weapon, and they wield it well.

I am a citizen who defends the Rights of fellow citizens from those who do their damnedest to violate that Right.

There is no Constitutional Right to “feel safe”, but there IS a Constitutional Right to “Bear Arms”.

In Vermont Article 16th protects everyone’s right to self-defense. It doesn’t have the “militia” clause.

If you don’t want to defend your family from criminals or wild animals, that is YOUR business. I know that I WILL.

The ONLY laws proposed in Montpelier and in Washington ONLY affect the LAW-ABIDING citizens of our state and nation. Criminals don’t obey laws. We already have laws against murder, drug use, driving drunk, child abuse, and on and on, yet these things still happen.

Stop the “if we only had one more [common sense] law rhetoric…” it is disingenuous.

Over 222 MILLION firearms have been lawfully purchased since 1998 (over 400,000 in Vermont alone), yet murder and other crimes by firearm is at an all-time low.

Yet, the cry heard from the anti-gunners like Ms. Mohri is “As a nation we can do better…”

Could it be that CRIMINALS commit crimes with ILLEGALLY possessed firearms?

In fact, most crimes are committed by repeat offenders, not law-abiding citizens. The Vermont recidivism rate is 50%. Maybe keeping criminals off the street is a better idea than gun control, but that doesn’t fit the agenda.

I will refute every claim of the anti-gun element. The general public should be told the TRUTH, not these bogus numbers from the Bloomberg Anti-Gun Playbook.

I have spent the last 3 years dealing DAILY with the anti-gun forces in Vermont. The ONLY consistent thing I have encountered is that the anti-gun forces twist the truth, misrepresent the numbers, cherry-pick their data, and outright lie to suit their needs. That is a fact.

Vermont has a VERY high gun ownership rate, yet, Vermont is the SAFEST state in the nation according to FBI data (2013 AND 2014).

I’m sorry you don’t like the fact that our gun laws work, but, there are 49 other states to choose from.

Bob DePino
Vice President, Gun Owners of Vermont

————–

EMAIL RESPONSE FROM MARION MOHRI #2:
(shown first for ease of reading)

============ Forwarded message ============
From : Gun Owners of Vermont<mohri@kingcon.com>
To : <info@gunownersofvermont.org>
Date : Tue, 05 Jan 2016 04:58:39 -0800
Subject : Bob DePino call me an “anti-gunner”
============ Forwarded message ============
Name Marion Mohri
Email mohri@kingcon.com

Subject Bob DePino call me an “anti-gunner”

Message Bob Depino does not know me. He does not know how many guns I own. It proves he is loose with his “facts.”
(Bob: Oh, no!!!  She owns GUNS!!  PLURAL!  LOL)

MARION MOHRI Email #1:

== == == == == == Forwarded message == == == == == ==
From : Gun Owners of Vermont<mohri@kingcon.com>
To : <info@gunownersofvermont.org>
Date : Tue, 05 Jan 2016 04:03:55 -0800
Subject : Please have the integrity to post accurate data
== == == == == == Forwarded message == == == == == ==
Name Marion Mohri
Email mohri@kingcon.com

Subject
Please have the integrity to post accurate data

Message
Fact check for Bob DePino For having the temerity to suggest that if we try harder, we can reduce gun-related deaths and injuries even further, Bob DePino labeled me an “anti-gunner.” He accused me of exaggerating and misrepresenting statistics.

I quoted statistics from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence which, in many cases, are lower than the CDC’s. It is worth noting that no where in my letter did I even HINT at taking away guns, banning any type of weapon or reducing the size of ammunition clips.
(Bob: And no where in my responses did I indicate that she did!
HOWEVER, in a January 13, 2013 Letter to the Editor, Ms. Mohri DOES INDEED call for a ban on semi-automatic firearms and high capacity magazines, and I QUOTE:
Another option is to get rid of semi-automatic assault weapons with high-capacity clips. These weapons are designed to kill a lot of people and to do it quickly.  They were designed for military, not civilian use. They are offensive, not defensive weapons. An important question is: “Exactly which ‘arms’ does the Second Amendment give us the right to bear?” When the Second Amendment was ratified in 1791, most “arms” were muskets. Does the Second Amendment cover other “arms?” Handguns? Shotguns? Semi-automatic assault rifles?  Automatic assault rifles? Shoulder-held rocket launchers?  Grenades? Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Weapons? It makes sense to draw a line somewhere on this list to indicate which weapons, we as a society, are willing to let our citizens bear…
(Bob: The rant continues for quite a long time, but you get the point, she definitely IS anti-gun…)

I simply suggested that perhaps we could reduce gun deaths and gun injuries.
(Bob: By creating new laws to punish restrict the ownership and use of firearms)

One has to wonder why that statement would send any sane person into such a tizzy
.
(Bob: Another insult, and WHO exactly is getting bent-out-of-shape?)

Bob referenced a CDC program called “WICARS.” The only “WICARS” I could find on Google is a pub in Poland. The CDC database is called “WISQARS and it supports my statistics except for those where the Brady Campaign’s numbers underestimate gun injuries and deaths. Go to cdc.gov/wisqars. My numbers are on the money. Bob is way off base. Perhaps he is getting his numbers from a pub in Poland. (Bob: Another insult, and I DID reply to that in another LTE, my cellphone Autocorrected my word.)

Bob disputes my number of 297 Americans killed or wounded by firearms everyday. The CDC WISQARS database says there were 84,258 non-fatal and 33,636 fatal firearm injuries in 2013. My number is too low. It should have been 322.9 per day in 2013! Bob claims the “CDC data on WICARS…shows a total number of 67,394.” The problem is, Bob cited the CDC data for non-accidental, nonfatal gunshot injuries. That’s not what I wrote! I wrote “killed or wounded.” Bob omitted gun-related accidental injuries and all gun-related deaths. Apples and oranges! Intentional misrepresentation or carelessness?
(Bob: Another insult)
I wrote, “Every day, on average…46 people are shot or killed in an accident with a gun.” Bob said, according to CDC data, the figure is 1.5 per day. He accused me of exaggerating by 3000%. His rebuttal was that there were only 548 accidental deaths by firearms. I clearly wrote “shot or killed.” According to the CDC, in 2013, there were 17,362 non-fatal and 548 fatal firearm accidents.
(Bob: CDC stats: Yes, the 46 a day is correct. And further…

UNintentional Deaths:
WISQARS 2013, Unintentional Firearm Deaths = 505 = 1.4/day
WISQARS 2013, Unintentional Firearm Gunshot Nonfatal Injuries = 16,864 = 46/day
Intentional Deaths:
WISQARS 2013, Homicide Firearm Deaths = 11,208 = 30/day
WISQARS 2013, Suicide Firearm Deaths = 21,175 = 58/day
WISQARS 2013, Self-harm Firearm Gunshot Nonfatal Injuries = 3,991 = 11/day

Unintentional = 1.4+46 = 47.6
Intentional = 30+58+11 = 79

Total = 47.6+79 = 126.6 per day, NOT Ms Mohri’s (Or Brady, or Bloomberg, or ??) number of 279/297 per day (a 100% exaggeration)
She states that 297 Americans are shot every day, 297 x 365 = 108,405.
Then, in her email states, “My number is too low. It should have been 322.9 per day in 2013!” which would be 117,858.5 per year.)

That’s 49 people “shot or killed” every day! Intentional misrepresentation or carelessness? After misrepresenting what I wrote, Bob had the audacity to accuse me of making stuff up! Bob said my claim that, on average, SEVEN children and teens (0-19 years) die everyday from firearms was debunked by Politifact. Bob did not read carefully. Politifact (June 2014) examined a claim by the Brady Campaign that “NINE children and teens die from firearms every day.” Citing CDC data from 2007 to 2011, Politifact said the actual figure was 7.81 deaths. The CDC figure for 2014 is 6.98. My figure is correct. It was not debunked! Intentional misrepresentation or carelessness? Bob asks, “Why is the anti-gun crowd including 18 and 19 year olds in these statistics?” It has NOTHING to do with the anti-gun crowd. The CDC collects data in 5-year intervals (0-4, 5-9, etc) whether reporting on obesity, dog bites or drownings. By definition, a teenager is anyone aged 13 through 19, so referring to individuals from 0-19 years of age as children and teenagers is NOT an anti-gun conspiracy. Bob tells us, “Vermont has a very high gun ownership rate, yet Vermont is the safest state in the nation according to FBI data (2013 and 2014).” Bob failed to tell readers that the FBI data are based only on the number of murders, aggravated assaults, robberies and incidents of forcible rapes. Guns are not figured into these statistics.
(Bob: Yes, that’s why the FBI calls them Violent Crimes. Guns are only used in an even SMALLER subset of these total crimes!)

In fact, firearm-related deaths in Vermont in 2013 numbered 9.2 per 100,000 population. The overall US rate was 10.4 per 100,000. When it comes to firearm fatalities, Vermont is just slightly below the national average.
(Bob: This is because 60-70% of all “firearm deaths” in VT are suicides, and NOT A VIOLENT CRIME against another person!)

I am no more anti-gun than Bob Depino is.
(Bob: Bullsh!t. Sorry for the profanity, but Ms. Mohri has been posting anti-gun commentary since at least 2013.)

The difference between us is that I believe when the CDC says that in 2013, 82 toddlers (ages 0-4) died and 282 were injured in gun-related incidents, I believe “As a Nation, we can do better.”

 

Bob mocked my response. Apparently he believes it’s perfectly okay that, in America, every day a toddler dies or is injured with a firearm.
(Bob: Seriously Marion?  You are a twisted woman.

For everyone’s sake, I hope Bob DePino is more careful with his gun than he is with his “facts!”
(Bob: Another closing insult)

LETTER TO THE EDITOR SENT TO CALEDONIAN RECORD.
(I do not know if it was printed)

To Ms. Mohri, I am sorry I did not have a chance to reply sooner.

I called you “anti-gun” because of your previous comments online, and I may be incorrect, but the anger you display is part and parcel for the folks that speak out against law-abiding citizens and think the only way to reduce violence with firearms is to make new laws to keep guns out of citizen’s hands.

Possession of firearms is a Constitutional Right in Vermont. Article 16th of the Vermont Constitution is clear, with no “militia” clause to confuse anyone. Constitutional rights are not up for public debate. Possession of a firearm does not make you a gun owner, just like possession of a race car doesn’t make you a race car driver.

Your noting my WICAR/WISQARS error was most likely an autocorrect error. Your comments that I get my facts from a “pub in Poland” is again indicative of the anti-gun mindset that gun owners are drunks and not to be trusted with firearms. During the S31 testimony in 2015, a Gun Sense VT supporter testified calling gun owners in effect, spouse-beating drunks with drug habits that rob convenience stores. I see you subscribe to that as well. For the record, I do not have drug habit, drink, beat my wife, nor rob stores.

Let’s compare “accidents” with two objects:

Estimated number of people in the USA = 319 million Estimated number of automobiles on the road = 253 million Estimated number of firearms in the USA = 357 million!

WISQARS 2013, Unintentional Transport Deaths = 37,184= 101.9/day! WISQARS 2013, Unintentional Firearm Deaths = 505 = 1.4/day WISQARS 2013, Unintentional All Transport Nonfatal Injuries = 3,875,520 = 10,618/day! WISQARS 2013, Unintentional Firearm Gunshot Nonfatal Injuries = 16,864 = 46/day

Intentional Deaths:

WISQARS 2013, Homicide Firearm Deaths = 11,208 = 30/day WISQARS 2013, Suicide Firearm Deaths = 21,175 = 58/day There are almost double as many suicides as homicides.

When anyone writes an opinion piece and uses “killed or wounded” it is used to IMPLY violent crime. 60-70% of all “gun deaths” in Vermont are suicide. These are personal issues, they are not random violent crimes against the general public, they do not endanger anyone going about their business, and they do not make Vermont a “dangerous” place to live for everyone else.

Vermont’s gun owners have been constantly under attack by a small but vocal group of people since 2013. People from all walks of life and political parties own guns in Vermont. Vermont has one of the highest ownership rates in the nation.

Vermont’s Gun Culture is the standard that the nation refers to, and it doesn’t need to change: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAWD1APFltM

The Gun Owners of Vermont has been working with the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs and the Vermont Department of Mental Health to raise awareness of the issues behind suicide in Vermont. By identifying friends or family who may be going through difficult times and getting them in contact with professionals that can assist them, we hope to effect a positive change for all Vermonters.

The Vermont Gun Shop Project

Unconstitutional legislation has never been the answer to social issues, working within our community will always achieve better results.

Vermont has been the safest or second safest state in the nation for years, with the lowest overall violent crime. In 2012 we were the second safest, then there was a 19% drop in 2013, and another 20% drop in 2014. Why tout an anti-gun group’s statistics, unless you want to push more gun control to solve a problem that doesn’t exist?

Bob DePino Vice President, Gun Owners of Vermont

 

EMAIL RESPONSE FROM MARION MOHRI #3:
(and one wonders why I don’t respond via email?)

============ Forwarded message ============
From : Gun Owners of Vermont<mohri@kingcon.com>
To : <info@gunownersofvermont.org>
Date : Sun, 10 Jan 2016 03:44:32 -0800
Subject : Bob DePino call me an “anti-gunner”
============ Forwarded message ============

Name Marion Mohri
Email mohri@kingcon.com
Subject Bob DePino call me an “anti-gunner”
Message You still have Bob DePino’s LIES on your web page. My CDC WIQARS data are correct. If you had a shred of decency or integrity, you’d post the truth as I reported it in my response to Bob LIES.

(Bob: Amazing how much rage and hatred is coming via email.  Maybe Ms Mohri should stay away from those guns she says she owns! Especially for the children…)

 

Went online to verify more data, but CDC Site Currently giving the error

Error connecting to the SAS server

Can’t connect to any server in the service called “v8prod”. This could happen if the Load Manager and/or spawner is not running; check with the administrator.


Robert (Bob) Thomas, rpt7.cdc.gov
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