Gov. Kate Brown using deceptive gun death numbers

Dan Lucas_July 2012_BW

by Dan Lucas

Gov. Kate Brown announced today “‘Oregonians United to End Gun Violence,’ a plan to reduce gun violence in Oregon and across the country.” She is joining other anti-gun officials “to release new policies and legislation that protects Oregonians from gun-related acts of violence.”

According to OPB, “Brown is calling on the legislature to pass three new laws to improve gun safety in the 2017 session.” Her proposed legislation would 1) allow the Oregon State Police to further delay background checks for gun sales, 2) expand the types of relationships that qualify as domestic violence and 3) prohibit the purchase of expanded capacity magazines. KTVZ has additional detail on Gov. Brown’s three anti-gun legislative priorities.

In her announcement, Gov. Brown states “In Oregon, 2,280 Oregonians – an average of 456 people each year – died from firearms-related injuries between 2010 and 2014.”

Those are extremely deceptive and misleading numbers.

Gun deaths in Oregon - 2010-2014

(click to enlarge)

Of the average of 455 people who died each year between 2010-2014 from firearms-related injuries, 378 were suicides, 56 were homicides, 11 were the result of legal intervention (law enforcement), 6 were accidents and 4 were undetermined.

It is wrong and deceptive to be including the number of suicides where firearms were used. The Washington Post reported last October “studies have shown little connection between suicides and access to guns.”

The article goes on to note “A 2004 report published by the National Academy of Sciences concluded that ‘some gun control policies may reduce the number of gun suicides, but they have not yet been shown to reduce the overall risk of suicide in any population.’ Japan, for instance, has among the world’s most-restrictive gun-control regimes — and yet also has among the world’s highest suicide rates, almost double the U.S. suicide rate.”

Gov. Brown should make her case with honest and non-deceptive statistics – she should not be misleading the public to advance an agenda.

No Bloomberg campaign contributions to Gov. Brown yet

Gov. Brown is running for re-election against Republican Bud Pierce, a Salem physician. A recent poll by icitizen found that Brown leads Pierce by only 7 points – 4 points less than the state Democratic voter registration advantage. Brown’s campaign has raised about $1.7 million this year and shows a current balance of around $1.5 million. Pierce’s campaign has raised around $1.4 million this year and has $300,000 on hand. Unlike Brown, Pierce had a competitive primary race.

Brown’s fellow Democrat Val Hoyle got a huge $250,000 donation from New York billionaire Michael Bloomberg in her Secretary of State Primary race this year, which according to the Eugene Register-Guard was for “her leadership in passing Oregon’s [2015] background check bill.”

Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety also gave $250,000 to John Kitzhaber in his 2014 governor race.

It does not appear that Gov. Kate Brown has received any campaign donations from Bloomberg yet.

UPDATE 9/12/2016 Statesman Journal: Gov. Brown nets $250k donation from Michael Bloomberg
“Bloomberg’s donation, which is Brown’s largest single contribution ever, comes on the heels of the governor’s announcement in July that she plans to pursue a package of legislation combating gun violence in Oregon.”

NOTE: For a PDF version of the above chart, with functioning hyperlinks, please click here.

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