Saturday, June 25, 2011

Primer for Gun Control Groups in the US

Updated page here.

This is mostly for those who are new to the issue or who aren't quite as involved, similar to the 'Gun Blog Lexicon'.

When you hear about gun control in the US, often you'll hear polls cited that X% of the country wants this or that measure passed or opposes some new bill. You'll have dozens of gun control groups come out of the woodwork touting their 'Grassroots' and 'research' proving owning a gun is more dangerous than sticking your hand in a meat grinder but when it comes to elections, legislation and litigation over the last 15+ years, support for 'gun control' has been the exception and not the rule.

So where are all these people who support these controls when push comes to shove? Why aren't gun control measures easily passed and pro-gun legislators laughed off the floor?

Well, when it comes down to it, the majority of 'gun control' in the US boils down to a few actual groups, The Brady Campaign (BC), The Joyce Foundation & Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) along w/ their Astroturf/Sockpuppets and even then there's considerable crossover. One of the best places to see this has been the Georgia Packing site but it hasn't been updated in awhile and there have been some changes and it is currently being updated.

Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence/Million Mom March (BC/MMM): Formerly known as Handgun Control Inc (HCI) this is pretty much the original 'Gun Control' group and the only one w/ any real 'grassroots'. They claim to have approx. 50K contributing members. The BC absorbed the MMM after they came under investigation for potential tax fraud. They are currently shedding major staff , have lost 90% of their membership according to their own numbers in the last 6 yrs and are having some serious financial issues.

Even w/ the 'Grassroots', they are not free of astroturfing efforts. For awhile, they were running multiple twitter feeds under different names. The book written by their legal director and soon to be acting president Dennis Henigan has a large portion of the positive reviews for it done by other professional gun control advocates w/o acknowledging their connections. Most of their "We Hate The NRA sites" that they've run in the past seem to be down.

Link(Un)Important/(Ir)relevant personalities:
Dennis "What 'People' Henigan: Legal Director/Acting President (as of 7/10/11)
Colin Goddard: VT survivor given staff position so they can exploit his tragedy.
Andrew Goddard: Colin's Father, head of Virginia branch MMM, Religious Bigot
Joan Peterson: BC Nat'l Board member, blogger, punching bag, also a board member of a Joyce Foundation SUPGV group.
Tom Vanden Berk: BC Nat'l Board member, Acting Ex Dir of Illinois Council against Handgun Violence.
Max Nacheman: State Coordinator(?) in coordination w/ MAIG.

Joyce Foundation: This is a huge, multi-million dollar 'charitable' organization that funds the majority of gun control activism in the US including organizations, websites and research. It's grant page is a literally a who's who list and most are interconnected in some way. President Obama was a board member from 1994-2002.

Coalition to Stop Gun Violence: Claims to be an umbrella group of 48 organizations but is really just another group of 4 or 5 people in a DC office. Receives a large portion of their money from the Joyce's. Current activity is primarily attempting to smear firearm advocates through the use of loaded terms like 'Traitor' and 'Insurrectionist'.

Besides money problems, they've also recently had their Twitter account suspended for a week for posting work/personal information of pro-gun advocates and were caught using a sock puppet by the name of GritsJr to support their articles.

(Un)Important/(Ir)relevant personalities:
Josh Horwitz: Executive Director.
Ladd Everitt: Comm. Dir. aka GritsJr.

International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP): Joyces provided money to hold a summit and generate a report (written by other Joyce advocates) calling for more firearm restrictions as well as general operations. Some staff in common.

Legal Community Against Violence (LCAV): Legal group used to push litigation and legislation. Sends lawyers to advise anti-gun groups and legislators and to support lawsuits in favor of 'gun control. Depending on year, most or much funding comes from Joyce. Claims 'over 700' professional members.

States United to Prevent Gun Violence(SUPGV): This is an umbrella Joyce group that covers most of the national organizations and websites that couldn't survive w/o outside funding as they have little to no actual 'grassroots' support and/or membership. They absorbed the Freedom States Alliance (FSA) due to lack of funds and many of the FSA websites (ex 50caliberterror) are now defunct. Some examples are:

'Citizens for a Safer Minnesota' aka Protect Minnesota. Same group. Different names and websites but same mailing address/E-mail. This is the group Joan Peterson is a board member of.
New England Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence
: Runs the 'OhhShoot' blog w/o attributing it to themselves.
Ceasefire Oregon: Runs 'NewTrajectory' Blog. Originator of blog didn't even know his group was affiliated w/ Joyce Foundation or SUPGV.
Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence (ICHV): One of the better funded groups being in the Joyce's backyard. Still has recently reduced operations and staffing issues. Acting Ex Dir Tom Vanden Berk is also a Brady Campaign Board member.

Most 'Ceasefire' groups are also 'affiliates'.

Violence Policy Center: One of the more extreme groups out there. No membership. Funded now exclusively by Joyce Foundation. Less than half a dozen staff/interns in a DC office. Primary activity is attempting to demonize Concealed Carry by presenting anecdotes of illegal/criminal actions and creating contentious 'reports'. Famous for rebranding semi-auto firearms as 'Assault Weapons' and playing on that name confusion:
The weapons' menacing looks, coupled with the public's confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons�anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun�can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons.
Past attempts have been to ban all handguns and put bolt action rifles under the same category as machine guns by labeling them as 'Sniper Rifles'.

(Un)Important/(Ir)relevant personalities:
Josh Sugarmann: Head money leech
Tom Diaz: Talking head

Research/Media: Aside from organizations and websites, the Joyce Foundation also provides considerable amounts of funding to create 'scientific' articles pushing gun control. Schools that regularly/have receive(d) money are
Harvard School of Public Health
John-Hopkins/Bloomberg School of Public Health
American College of Preventive Medicine
UC Davis among others.

(Un)Important/(Ir)relevant personalities:
Philip J. Cook: Often works w/ Ludwig. Regular grant recipient in early 2000's.
David Hemenway: The most active regurgitator of anti-gun reports.
Jens Ludwig: Often works w/ Cook. Regular grant recipient in early 2000's.
Matthew Miller: Usually works w/ Hemenway.
Garen Wintemute: current focus is documenting activity at gun shows and deciding whether it's legal or not using personal opinion and conjecture.

They've also provided funding for loaded questions on the NORC GSS report and provided money to 'MediaMatters' and 'Center for Public Integrity' to promote gun control articles.

Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG)
: Group started by NY Mayor Bloomberg and former Chicago Mayor Daley. Currently consists of over 500 mayors nationwide. Most known for its support of 'stings' into other states to entrap gun shops and show dealers into questionable sales. Primary funding is from Bloomberg but also received funding from the Joyce Foundation under title "United Against Illegal Guns Support Fund".

Created the poll claiming the majority of NRA members support gun control using the censured polling group 'The Word Doctors" and was caught creating a sockpuppet group "Americans United for Safe Streets". Runs the site 'ClosetheLoophole' but acknowledges connection.

(Un)Important/(Ir)relevant personalities:
Max Nacheman: State Coordinator in coordination w/ Brady Campaign.

Others: Groups and individuals not affiliated w/ the above three are few and far between.

(although he has also taken Joyce money for some 'reports')

Heeding God's Call: A pet project of Bryan Miller, former ED of now defunct Ceasefire NJ. Attempts to attach religious terminology to gun control. Some attachment to Ceasefire PA which Miller is strongly associated w/ and a Joyce grant recipient.

International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA): Not a US group per se but numerous US groups are part of it. UN lobbying organization. Former director Rebecca Peters stated that US residents should only be allowed single shot rifles w/ a range of less than 100yds.

Protest Easy Guns (PEG): Primarily focuses on 'Lie-in's' and harassing gun shops and repeating tweets by other groups smearing firearm owners. Started by Abby Spangler.

Stop Handgun Violence: A near defunct group run by John Rosenthal. Only activity is maintaining a few anti-gun billboards primarily in Boston, MA.

Students For Gun Free Schools (SGFS): Focuses almost exclusively on opposing self-defense on campus.

I'll add more and update as I think of them and come across. If you have information, please email me or leave a comment w/ supporting evidence.

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USCitizen said...

You might want to add the United Nations and Agenda 21, Eric Holder, and Brack Obame to the list, too.

Kurt "45superman" Hofmann said...

THE new essential reference. Thanks, Thirdpower.

Cemetery's Gun Blob said...

Don't Forget *Heeding God's Call*, they're an off shoot of CeasefireNJ/PA, and Bryan Miller's personal pet project.

Braden Lynch said...

Their abject failures to do much with policies or legislation is a good reason for their loss in funding and membership.

FatWhiteMan said...

Excellent work. Thank you.

Weer'd Beard said...

Also note that MAIG has strong ties to the Brady camp as well.

Great post.

Isn't Abby Spangler and Wintermute both Joyce shills as well?

alcade said...

Goodness, now that you've listed all these interconnected groups and people, I hope they don't try to "out" you and tell everyone your real name!

Gene Hoffman said...

You're missing LCAV (Legal Community Against Violence.)

They're the "brains" - if you can call it that - behind the anti's legal theories.


Thirdpower said...

Gene: The LCAV is a Joyce puppet group so is labelled under that main header.

Greg in Allston said...

Great and valuable post. Please don't forget to add to your list John Rosenthal and his group "Stop Handgun Violence", in Boston. He's the guys that owns the massive anti-gun billboard along the Mass Pike by Fenway Park.

West, By God said...

"Florida Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, Inc" is a mostly defunct group who, as recently as a few years ago, was getting quotes in local papers. The sole member and president is (was?) Arthur C. Hayhoe, who hasn't stuck his head up lately. They used to have a website, but it never had any content.

They also seem to have a facebook page here, with 25 "members":

West, By God said...

Oh, and Arthur Hayhoe is also the director of "Floridians for Gun Safety", which is another non-profit. They are close-in with the Brady Campaign, although I am not aware of anything that Mr. Hayhoe has actually accomplished in Florida.

His FB profile is here:!/ahayhoe

Mike Gallo said...

WAVE, or the Wisconsin Anti-Violence Education fund, or some nonsense, is also a Joyce-funded shill organization. They were just buying ad space on gun forums (target marketing FAIL!) to oppose CCW here.

WV: "antiout:" for when you just can't get that dirty hippy hoplophobe's smell out of your clothing or hair.

Gunstar1 said...

I didn't think any people looked at that GeorgiaPacking page so I had not been updating it.

I am in the process of updating it now. The dead links have been removed and the new sites are being added.

Also, though not a gun control group, I find it interesting that the Center for Public Integrity got a $75,000 grant from Joyce in April, 2010 and a search of their website shows that they did not cover any US based gun stories until November, 2010. They actually say on their website that funding has no control over the stories they cover... except I guess when a funding grant specifies what they should cover.