Drivers With DUIs Shouldn’t Be Armed – Bloomberg

Image via History.com

Alcohol abuse and gun violence have a well-documented connection. The opening of this genius diatribe states… DUI recipients are all EVIL and can’t be trusted with a gun, it alleges.

This wonderful piece is over at Bloomberg.com. I shouldn’t have held any expectations for their piece. I didn’t have any expectations for their piece, and yet I was still disappointed in the vague quasi-factoid laden work they published this morning. So let’s look at why ‘Drivers With DUIs Shouldn’t Be Armed’.

The combination of guns and alcohol is especially dangerous, and far too little has been done to address it. Federal law doesn’t restrict access to guns by people with a history of alcohol abuse, and fewer than half of U.S. states impose prohibitions of this kind. The risks to public safety are increasingly clear, and the issue demands more careful attention than lawmakers have allowed up to now.

Okay… like what? What is the glaring “loophole” in current law that allows persons with a history of violence or a felony conviction for intoxicated operation to own a firearm. Because the last I checked, literally just a moment ago since it’s also a federal requirement for me, any felony conviction still disqualifies someone from owning a firearm legally. This includes every alcohol or substance related felony. Also, any misdemeanor conviction for domestic violence disqualifies you per federal law.

There’s a close parallel. Over a span of years, evidence accumulated to show that domestic abusers are significantly more likely to kill somebody using a gun. The data showed that millions of American women have been threatened with a gun or shot by a domestic partner. Gradually a consensus formed to support denying firearms to convicted abusers. Federal and state laws were adopted to that end. [emphasis added]

Oh look! I just said that. Now where does alcohol fall into this? Does a domestic abuser who has an alcohol related conviction magically get their rights back? No? Okay, then.

To be sure, they’re less effective than one would wish…

Hold up. That could be said of the influence of every law ever passed.

The U.S. Senate’s failure to enact comprehensive background checks makes it much too easy for prohibited people to get a gun. On average, from 2006 to 2014, at least 760 Americans were shot dead each year by a spouse, former spouse or dating partner. Even so, federal and state laws designed to keep guns away from abusers make a difference.

So what are you saying here? The laws don’t work or they do? And what part of ‘Universal Background Check’ laws, as written, do you believe will have a significant impact on domestic abusers getting firearms they shouldn’t have? Background checks work from licensed dealers. There is no enforcement mechanism on the planet that will work for the general population.

Today, the links between alcohol abuse and firearm violence are also well established. “The research consistently shows that alcohol abuse is associated with violence toward self and others,” stated a comprehensive 2013 report by a consortium of leading researchers.

I notice firearm violence isn’t the quote, just general violence.

Millions of firearm owners are binge drinkers

Harsh. Millions in general are binge drinkers. Millions speed. Millions use the Marijuana. Only a history of violence is actually… a history of violence.

— and among American men, deaths from alcohol-related firearm violence are on par with those from alcohol-related motor-vehicle accidents, according to a 2015 study.

Since they roll suicides and accidents into firearm violence that isn’t surprising. Especially suicide, the number one source of firearms deaths in the nation. It’s so convenient they roll that number into ‘gun violence’ isn’t it? Obfuscation to support the narrative.

Now, none of my criticism here is to belittle the fact that alcohol is abused by far too many. That it leads to accidents, bad decisions, chemically removes inhibitions, etc. My criticism is this that this loose and round about methodology is being used as a justification to curtail the natural born rights of someone, regardless of a history of violence. The history of violence is already a disqualifying factor and alcohol’s involvement is irrelevant beyond the data point as a contributing factor to chemically altered judgement.

Last month, a new study confirmed a link between firearm violence and convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol. It tracked 78,878 handgun purchasers over 13 years. Purchasers with DUI convictions were more than four times as likely to be arrested for murder, rape, robbery or aggravated assault than those without.

So… it tracked them over 13 years. And 9% of those with a DUI conviction who purchased were later arrested for a violent crime. Compared to 91% who were not. Those 91% of people with a DUI who would also lose their self defense rights but not be convicted of violence.

“Of the 78,878 handgun purchasers in California whose criminal records we tracked during 13 years, 9% of purchasers with pre-existing DUI convictions were later arrested for murder, rape, robbery or aggravated assault. This is compared to 2% of purchasers with no prior criminal history at the time of purchase,”

So, we can conclude that a conviction for alcohol correlates to a higher likelihood of making other poor decisions, like committing an act of violence. We can conclude that the rate (all from data from California) is 9:2 over the non-DUI population who could also purchase a handgun.

But what is completely ignored is that the ratio of persons who commit further violence is only 1:10 but the disqualifier would be applied to everyone. Only 9% of persons convicted of a DUI and who owned a handgun would become a problem, but let’s strip the right from 100% of them. That is the argument.

The argument is shit.