CeaseFire PA, Inc. of Philadelphia, PA mailed an attack piece to Pennsylvanians in December 2013 concerning a so-called loophole in the Pennsylvania Crimes Code. The front of the mailer depicts a woman cowering from a man with a closed fist (see left). Adjacent to the fist are the words: “What if he had a gun?” On the overleaf CeaseFire Pa states: “domestic abusers can exploit a loophole in the system and get a gun without a background check.” Do they cite data to backup their statement? NO! They go on to state: “The loophole that exempts private sales of long guns (including rifles and shotguns) from background checks is dangerous for our families but your State Representative (fill in a name) has failed to sign on to a bill that would fix this broken system.”
They are referring to House Bill 1010 introduced by Representative Santarsiero and co-sponsored by 33 other extreme leftist, anti-constitution, Philadelphia region state representatives. These intellectually vapid state representatives, unable to initiate effective public policy to address criminal behavior merely want to apply their deficiencies to the rest of the state so they won’t look so inadequate.
Ceasefire Pa, in support of these insipid elected officials, is arguing that transfers of rifles in private sales and between family members represents a major element in domestic violence related homicides involving a rifle. This mail piece is, at best, extravagant exaggeration, at worst they mislead those they purport to protect. Why?
The private sale of a rifle is permitted by the Gun Control Act of 1968, a Federal law, in this case Pennsylvania law follows Federal law. Ceasefire PA wants Pennsylvania to extend the background check requirement beyond federal law to private sales; something only 17 states have done. The same states that have both the most restrictive guns laws and the highest violent crime rates! It is apparent that since the passage of the 1968 Gun Control Act, a period of 45 years, Congress has not seen private transfers of rifles as a critical problem.
FBI data indicates that rifles are used in less than 4% of all homicides. Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence (PCADV) advise that a firearm is used in about 4% of domestic violence related homicides. While tragic, the larger question is: How were other 96% killed? What are CeaseFire PA and PCADV doing to address this much larger problem?
Let’s go back to the image of a fist and the adjacent text, “What if he had a gun?” printed on the mailer. This is the WRONG question! The FBI indicates that (in 2011) twice as many homicides were committed using “hands, fists feet, etc.” than with rifles. If given these facts the woman pictured would be more terrified of being murdered by the man’s closed fist!
The CORRECT question is: “What if SHE had a gun?” The real solution is to encourage firearms training for women to defend themselves against abusers. Organizations like Ceasefire PA and PCADV ACTIVELY endanger women through frenetic diatribes such as is found in the subject mailer and on their web-sites.
So, when Ceasefire PA asks you to question why a state representative has not co-sponsored anti-gun legislation, ask yourself: what are their real objectives and are they addressing the real issue. Keep in mind that according to their 2012, IRS 990 report, approximately 75% of their revenue comes from ultra-liberal out-of-state foundations; they are NOT a Pennsylvania grass roots organization, they do it for the money!