Delegate Tony McConkey's Official Blog

A Closer Look At The Argument For Maryland Gun Control

The final “GRIMY DETAILS” Of SB 281 O’Malley Gun Control Bill

maryland-gun-control-tony-mcconkeyData Does Not Support O’Malley’s Claims For More Maryland Gun Control.

Mar 25, 2015 – Maryland Gun Control Law Before Federal Court Of Appeals – AP
May 26, 2014 – In Court Testimony Admission New Gun Law Strictly Politics – Red
Dec 18, 2013 – Mental Health Laws Are Trouble For Democrats – HumEv
Nov 21, 2013 – Attorney General Candidate Jon Cardin Wants Tighter Gun Laws – Rec
Oct 16, 2013 – Trial Date Set For Case Challenging Maryland Gun Laws – Times
Oct 02, 2013 – Record Gun Sales Soar Even Higher In Maryland – Sun
Sep 16, 2013 – State Police Adds Even More Burdens To Gun Purchasers – Blog
Sep 9, 2013 – Delegate Questions Loss Of Privacy Processing Gun Permits – Times
Jun 21, 2013 – With Maryland Now Hostile, Will Gun Manufacturers Leave? – Balt Sun
Jun 2, 2013 – Gun Petition Fails, NRA Lawsuit Looms – Balt Sun – Balt Sun
May 16, 2013 – Groups Disagree On How To Fight Maryland’s New Gun Law – ABC2News
May 16, 2013 – O’Malley Signs New Gun Law (Most Restrictive In The Nation) – Balt Sun
May 16, 2013 – Signing Of MD Gun Control To Launch New Legal Battles – Wash Post
May 15, 2013 – O’Malley Plans To Sign Maryland Gun Control Bill May 16th – Wash Post
May 8, 2013 – Grassroots Effort Challenges Maryland Gun Bill – Wash Exam
Apr 26, 2013 – Maryland Gun Law Could Still Be Petitioned – Balt Sun
Apr 22, 2013 – Many Not Happy With Decision Not To Put Gun Law To A Vote – Times
Apr 22, 2013 – NRA To Pursue Lawsuit In Maryland To Overturn Gun Control – Balt Sun
Apr 17, 2013 – MDPetitons That Led Previous Drives Won’t Take On Guns – Wash Post
Apr 17, 2013 – Maryland Gun Control Opponents Won’t Seek Referendum – Balt Sun
Apr 16, 2013 – State Board Of Elections Confirms Gun Petition Review – Wash Times
Apr 14, 2013 – Getting Guns In Maryland While They Can – Wash Times
Apr 9, 2013 – NRA Plans To Challenge Maryland Gun Law – Balt Sun
Apr 9, 2013 – Gun Rights Supporters Bracing For Referendum Showdown – Wash Times
Apr 3, 2-13 – Senate Gives Final Approval To Gun Bill – Balt Sun
Apr 3, 2013 – Gun Control Debate Shows Divide Between Two Cultures – MD Rptr
Apr 3, 2013 – O’Malley’s Gun Control Passes The House – VOTING LIST – Blog
Apr 2, 2013 – Gun Bill Advances, Final House Vote Possible Today – Balt Sun
Mar 31, 2013 – Gun Bill Advances In the House – Balt Sun
Mar 29, 2013 – After Amends Assault Weapons Ban Survives – Wash Post
Mar 29, 2013 – VOTING LIST from JUD & HGO Committees Passing Gun Control, Now Moves To Full House – Blog


EXAMPLE OF LEADERSHIP BREAKING THEIR OWN RULES TO WIN A VOTE:  During Committee Voting Session, Committee Cheats (On Tape) To Defeat Amendment.

NOTE: In the video Del. Smigiel explains that the recorded vote shows that Del. Tarrant changed his vote from yes to no, and in the video Del. Tarrant is seen immediately jumping up and running to the staff after the vote. Del. Tarrant provides an explanation to the Capital Newspaper about what happened. What is not said in the article is that one of Chairman Vallario’s favorite quotes is “a card laid is a card played” meaning that you can not change your vote after it is made. A motion to reconsidered is not entertained in committee and delegates are not allowed to change their vote after the fact, particularly if the vote change would alter the outcome. What happended in the vote on the amendment (what is witnessed in the video) is a violation of procedure and an injustice to the other members that supported the amendment.


Mar 29, 2013 – List Of Senate Gas Tax Vote – Blog
Mar 27, 2013 – Gun Control Still “Ruminating” In The House – Balt Sun
Mar 26, 2013 – Gun Control Returns To Center Stage In House – Wash Post
Mar 22, 2013 – Maryland’s Shrinking Assault Weapon Band – Wash Post
Mar 17, 2013 – House Vote Likely This Week On O’Malley’s Gun Control Bill – Fox
Mar 5, 2013 – Legislators Push Back Against O’Malley Gun Control – Wash Times
Mar 5, 2013 – Legislature Examines The Other 78 Gun Bills – Wash Post
Mar 5, 2013 – 2nd Amend Suppporters RallyAgainst Gun Control – Balt Sun
Mar 3, 2013 – 2nd Amend Suffering Death By 1000 Cuts – Balt Sun
Mar 1, 2013 – Gun Control Draws 2000+ To Annapolis – Balt Sun
Feb 28, 2013 – O’Malley’s Gun Control Legislation SB281 Passes Senate 28-19
Feb 28, 2013 – Hoping For Filibuster; Senate Keeps Licensing – Balt Sun
Feb 27, 2013 – State Police Adds Staff To Process Gun Purchases – Balt Sun
Feb 7, 2013 – Spirited Senate Gun Debate Expected All Week – Balt Sun
Feb 22, 2013 – Maryland Gun Control Legislation Advances – WTOP
Feb 22, 2013 – Senate Committee Votes FOR Gun Control – Wash Post
Feb 20, 2013 – Gov Agrees To Gun Restrictions For Mentally Ill – Wash Post
Feb 13, 2013 – Closed Door Meetings On Gun Control Criticized – Wash Post
Feb 7, 2013 – Maryland Gun Control Opponents Shut Out Of Hearing – Fox
Feb 7, 2013 – Legislators Take Aim At Gun Legislation – Towson Patch
Feb 6, 2013 – Gun Rights Advocates Voices Heard In Senate – Wash Post
Feb 7, 2013 – O’Malley Pushes Maryland Gun Control In Senate – Wash Exam
Feb 6, 2013 – Balt Sun Plays The Race Card In Maryland Gun Control Debate

A Closer Look At Maryland Gun Control

By Mark Uncapher – Montgomery County Republican Chairman

When Governor O’Malley announced his new Maryland gun control proposals, he said “We must choose the things that work, that save lives.” He claimed that his were “data-driven, results-oriented strategies [with which] violent crime could be driven down”

A century of state gun laws provides a useful yardstick for comparison on their effectiveness in preventing violence. The number of gun households varies dramatically in the country from under 7% in Hawaii to about 60% in Wyoming, in part because
of differences in law.

So, what does the gun ownership data tell us about homicide rates?

Despite the significant differences among states in the number of guns and the difficulty in obtaining them, there is no statistical correlation that supports the pro-control premise that fewer guns or making guns harder to obtain makes a state safer. For example, gun related homicides are nearly half as common in pro-gun Virginia, as in Maryland. Although gun homicides are less prevalent in Hawaii than elsewhere, not surprisingly knife-related homicides are also significantly more common.

State gun control laws began in New York in 1911, largely in response to a highly publicized murder. New York passed the “Sullivan Act” which requires licenses for New Yorkers to possess firearms small enough to be concealed. Possession of these firearms without a license was made a misdemeanor, and carrying them a felony. Although subsequently amended, the Sullivan Act remains on the books.

The “Sullivan” of the law is named for a remarkably unsavory figure, a notoriously corrupt Tammany Hall State Senator, Timothy “Big Tim” Sullivan. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries he controlled much of the city’s prostitution, illegal gambling and other criminal activity in the lower party of Manhattan. The year after “his” law passed, Sullivan was judged mentally incompetent as a result of his tertiary syphilis and committed to a sanitarium.

Richard F. Welch author of a biography, ‘King of the Bowery: Big Tim Sullivan, Tammany Hall, and New York City from the Gilded Age to the Progressive Era,comments: “Cynics suggested that Big Tim pushed through his law so Tammany could keep their gangster allies under control. Hoodlums who forgot who really ran things in the city could be easily arrested if found with a gun – or if one was slipped into their pocket.”

After a century of New York gun control laws, that state has one of the lowest percentages of gun owning households. However seven out of ten states with a majority of households with guns have lower homicides rate and homicide rates with a gun than New York. This is even after the state’s once high homicide rates high began dropping dramatically starting in the 1990s during the Giuliani Administration. Today that state is much safer than Maryland because of more effective policing rather than gun law changes.

Even though Maryland has the eighth lowest percentage of gun households (21%), every single one of the ten states with a majority of households owning guns has a lower homicide or gun homicide per 100,000 people. Many other gun control jurisdictions with low proportions of gun ownership show similar higher homicide rates. Compare Texas (35% gun households) with California (21% gun households). California, like Maryland, has both a higher homicide rate and a higher gun homicide rate than the Lone Star State.

So despite the Governor’s claim that his are “data-driven, results-oriented strategies,” the actual numbers suggest simply a reflective knee-jerk reaction that “guns are bad,” therefore they should be legislated against.

One of the regrettable consequences of this ideological response is a failure to more carefully examine the mental health issues associated with the mass killings that have generated the recent upsurge in interest in gun legislation.

For example, both James Holmes in Colorado and Adam Lanza in Connecticut were apparently receiving psychiatric care prior the tragedies they are accused of. However little is known of their circumstances because of patient confidentiality. Yet the FDA already requires that for over 30 commonly prescribed anti-depressants contain a so-called “black box warning” on their products’ labeling to include warnings about increased risks of suicidal thinking and behavior, known as suicidality, in young adults ages 18 to 24 during initial treatment.

Numerous studies suggest substantial benefits for the large population of adolescent and young adults for whom antidepressants are prescribed, including an overall reduced risk of suicide. In part because the sample sizes used for most controlled drug trials are so small, though, it is hard to detect for rare events such as suicide. More is needed to be studied about this, especially if some patients have a higher risk of such extreme reactions.

In a memorable turn of a phrase, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis coined the expression “Laboratories of democracy” to describe how a “state may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.”

After a century of experimentation, the lab results are in. Stricter gun laws do not make states safer.

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