tv Call-in with Igor Volsky Guns Down CSPAN April 13, 2019 10:34pm-11:02pm EDT
[inaudible conversations] >> we are pleased to be joined by igor boesky and here is his book called "guns down". mr. polsky, who is mike? >> oh yes, mike. i had the opportunity to go out west and visit a really big gun range and i took a really eaintense today handgun course i was going toht write a book about guns i better know something about guns and about gun culture and so after today's of hands-on classes and lectures i had an opportunity to sit down with the proprietor of this great range because i had a bad experience. these are people who took firearms very seriously and whoo
took safety seriously and valued the guns but i also experienced some of the darker sides of gun culture. for instance, somebody made a joke during a lecture about killing hillary clinton in the whole room laughed. another lecturer talked about the threats people face every day of their life and put on screen pictures of those threats and it was a picture of the six men and they were black or brown and so when i had dinner with mike at the end of that second day and i asked them why do you use this kind of fear when you know the truth is so much more likely to use that gun against herself particularly rural white men commit suicide at such astronomical amount a then you e ever going to have it when he home intruder comes in or any threat and he said you are right and we should not do that. that surprised me.
toward the end of the conversation i asked them why wouldn't you report raising the standard of gun ownership in america and that is if someone chooses to buy a gun they should be able to prove to thebo neighbors and community they can use it responsibly and peter, to my surprise he agreed with me. that is how i open the book with an optimistic note because of the travel thea country writing and researching i found common ground. >> did you go into this gun training exercise with them knowing who you were? >> i was accompanied by a friend of mine who was a gun enthusiast and arrange thisne entire opportunity. mike knew who i was and mike knew the organization i ran the new my point of view and in fact, in the beginning of our dinner he put on a great charm
offensive and a done research on me and knew exactly who i was. they certainly knew. it was fairly open about it. >> why is this issue important to you?? >> you know, i really fell into this issue quite by accident. it was december 2, 2013 the san bernardino shooting occurred in california and i was working on a whole host of issues for the center of american progress and came back to my computer at the end of the day and saw lawmakers tweeting their thoughts and prayers over and over again which they do all the time but what struck me that day, peter, as many of those lawmakers who are doing all of that tweeting voted against expanding background checks in the aftermath of newtown. here's they were trying to convince their constituents to care about the course when they had an opportunity to do something about it they voted against it and demonize the
measure i think someone who grew up in the soviet union briefly and who had to flee the country because rabid anti-semitism and very sensitive to politicians who say one thing and then do another because they were told in the soviet union you were all equal and have equal opportunity and everything was great and the reality for me and my family was different. on this issue and all the issues i talk about and work on i try to close that gap and when it comes to guns the sooner we close the gap between what politicians say and what politicians do more lives it will save. >> igor volsky is our guest in "guns down" is the name of the book. phone lines are on the screen. the subtitle of your book
includes the nra and how many people belong to the nra and noticed their influence among gun owners today? snack nra claims it has about 6 million members and its influence is quite fast. going back to our w friend mikei asked him why don't you talk about this because as i said gun licensing which is something nra supported back in 1934 by the w way as i write in the book but certainly does not today. he said because the nra is the loudest voice in the room and that despite the fact that if you look at polls and talk to gun owners they agree that if you are going to own a gun you should do so responsibly and agree with federal standard of some kind of licensing law but there aren't gun rights
organizations that advance that because the nra them up and the reasonon for that, peter, is evn though they claim to represent gun owners what they actually represent is the gun industry and they are much more interested in keeping markets open for that industry than they are as they claim to protect the rights of gun owners. >> you advocate liability for gun manufacturers. >> well, i argue if you have a gun you should have insurance on the gun. this is just another mechanism to make people more responsible and to create a pot of money wfrom which you cover the astronomical financial cost that gun deaths both on suicide but also gun violence in homicides have in our country. >> what about the argument thate if guns are restricted only the
criminals will have guns. >> yeah, well that is an argument against any kind of law. there will certainly bela a smal number of individuals or small number of criminalsum who are determined criminals and who will do whatever it takes to obtain a firearm or whatever it takes to drink and drive and despite us having our second that people areav still launderg money even though that's illegal so it is absolutely true that there will be criminals who will do whatever it takes. what we know from what other countries have done and other needs have done that have tougher gun laws is if you change the environment in which guns are bought and produced you make that environment safer for everybody and the overwhelming majority of americans that is
how we should make us. >> let's look at chicago which has strict gun laws as a city but there are so many shootings where teams there are so many shootings in that city. >> part of the problem is the guns coming from indiana were guns are so much easier to get which is why i call for raising the standard and having a muchde tougher federal standard in all 50 states. we also know about chicago andol philadelphia and baltimore in the cities that struggle with gun violence is that violence is contained to individual blocks, individual streets and a small group of individuals perpetuatet the violence and there are programs out there that work with violence interrupters from within those communities and those interrupters know who perpetrates most of the violence and they work with them to change community behavior and to change community norms so that
if you and i have spat or disagreement i no longer use my gun to make good that we are able to channel the energy and resolve conflict without firearms. those have been credibly successful in the book i argue we need to fund them significantly. >> let's hear from marie calling in from alabama. paris, you're on the tv with author, igor volskyk. >> we have a question concerning this state of alabama there is issue of trying to have people have guns without having a permit and i'm afraid this is becoming a thing that is going around the nation ands it is wht is your suggestion on keeping or
having guns without a permit connect. >> guest: what we know is in areas where guns are easier to get areas of the country that have looser permitting laws you have more gun deaths and more gun violence. i share your concern and i share your concern about the liberalization of those laws and by that i mean loosening those laws and making guns harder to get any easier for people to carry guns in public spaces that is both intimidating and causes confusion for police and in terms of what you can do i think it starts with educating your neighbors and community about the realities of having too many guns the fact it leads to gun deaths but i also recognize in a
place like alabama that might be easier said than done. >> 393 guns in the us, 340 million people in the us and what percentage of the us population owns a firearm? >> guest: what we know is about 30% of households have firearms and that is a shrinking number. that creates a lot of problems for the gun industry because we are a country as you point out that has more guns than people. the industry has to constantly produce the products to sell to that very overlyhis wife, by the late '80s and early '90s industry made a business decision to start producing militarized firearms, firearms designed for the military for the civilian market and is part of the reason we have seen assault weapons proliferate but
also these militarized my automatic pistols and the issue there, peter, as we are now seeing in inner-city places like chicago and people dying from gunshot wounds that they were surviving from past generations of firearms. firearms themselves have become deadlier because the industry is constantly try to come up with new products and new marketing schemes to sell more guns. >> host: barney is calling from wisconsin. >> caller: hello. my comment is first of all, i come from what used to be a rather rural area in wisconsin that's become more developed now and the people in my family are basically all farmers. none of themm had a gun except for maybe shooting a downspout. they were not hunters and did not enjoy hunting or enjoy tramping through the woods.
but their life was burrell and agrarian and the problem is as far as i see it, this has become a big thing for people say we enjoy hunting. i don't know many people that enjoy hunting. maybe up north but the idea of hunting walls and all of this stuff animals once state put that on another state as a big deal and it is a big deal around here. but the idea i would like to say is all these congressmen and people, women and men, who are for gun rights i'd like to ask them have you ever seen someone who has been shot by a gun or murdered by a gun? the damage to the human body and have you ever been confronted by someone with a gun and how would you to walk around the people with guns strapped to their hips? i do not see that it was
constant but these issues really disturb me because fine, if you really want with it or really eat the meat you want and we're friends that want to go up and get deer and go up and get a dear and they do it and they take care -- b1 marnie, thank you for calling it. igor what is your comment? >> guest: hunting is a sport itself in many places yet to get a license and is regulated in a hunting season and all restrictions about how many you could animals you can kill but i am simply arguing that we also need to regulate access to firearms in the same way. i don't have a problem with people who hunt and i believe hunters and gun owners are responsible but i am saying here
is we need to take a look at that response ability to create a new national federal standard and frankly, redefine what patriotic gun ownership is. it is not about guns everywhere for everyone but being able to meet a certain standard in order to prove to your community you can use those firearms responsible he. >> host: the referenced indiana earlier and debbie is calling from elkhart, indiana about 1.5 hours from chicago. go ahead. >> caller: hello.o i was wondering your opinion on what i can do as a single person, one person, to help educate people about our indiana laws and how they are so loose about gun control. >> host: debbie before we get an answer have you ever considered
buying a gun for protection? >> caller: i have considered it but i think it was out of fear that wasn't real. it was fear. >> host: thank you, ma'am. igor volsky. >> guest: that is really the reality of it is that this f notion that you need a firearm for personal protection is a fairly new notion that just came about 20, 35 years ago as a result of nra began to and look at polling on this it's quite fascinating in the 1950s and 60s most americans believe having a firearm actually makes things more dangerous and it wasn't after the nra had an internal revolution in 1947 and since then those opinions began to change and that is part of the marketing of the nra but i
get this question about what can i do and what can i do? the conversations is readily important in my organization, gun down america, is dedicated to finding ways for people to plug into the moment and we just ngunched a campaign that will push the 15 largest banks to stop doing business with the gun industry until that industry is fundamentally reformed. >> host: gone down america .org .s the name of the website >> guest: that is right. >> host: jason, duluth, georgia, hello, you are on the tv. >> caller: i have to disagree. i don't like guns but had to get guns have lived a dichotomy of the whole gun thing and i was in the medical profession and lived in georgia, 90% of the gun crimes are in atlanta. when i went to get a gun i was there for about one hour and
they had ids and called the fbi database and the government someone shoots are gone when you get it and i had a bullet with a court number on it in case it was involved in a crime in the counties up in northern georgia were people wearing the guns on hip have not had murders in 25 years but atlanta is a had to and casein atms and all sorts of crimes down in atlanta., i worked in high-end medical retail and had to deliver money to atms and twice between 2008, 2012 i had my gun on my hip and i'm sure prevented carjacking or atm robbery and one person got out of the car to ask for directions but had a car full of people with hoodies over their heads so they are the -- >> host: thank you for sharing the story and we will get an answer from igor volsky but what
would you like to see done if anything when it comes to gun laws in the us? >> caller: i'm rational. i don't think anybody needsn' 30 round magazines and things like that and i think people if they go to a course or legally get a gun which the other ladies were misinformed that if you are legally able to carry a gun you gone through an extensive background check. i do think there needs to be one extra step of gun training. it's the range but because i'm fearful of guns i technically learned how to take apart my gun and do everything before i shot it. i've owned my last gun for three years and have not shot it. i've not even shot my new gun i got in 2015. >> host: thank you for calling in. appreciate it. >> guest: i think we found common ground and i agree if you
choose to own a gun you should meet a high requirement for knowing how to use if it was a great model massachusetts that says if you want to gun you have to go to a police station and get fingerprinted, written test, field test, a much more comfy in the back and check then what we know is incomplete and then there's winnie. and then: get a gun and then you have to register. that system has significantly reduced not just on homicides but also gun suicide because what we know isat those suicides happen during the short period of personal crisis and if you can extend the amount of time between when you want to gunan d when you can obtain a gun you can save a lot of life. >> host: i'm sure there are people out there listening who heard you say go to the police station and fingerprinted and registered and it's almost in ourt dna not to want to do that.
>> guest: machine guns have been registered since 1968 and about 100 machine guns in circulation and when was the last time you heard about a machine gun being used in any kind of shooting. register a machine gun and all kinds of fines that if i just give you my machine gune e so l i'm saying is we know what works. this is not like the climate issue where we don't really know how to change course. we're trying things and think about different policies but nobody has solved it. that is not the case on guns but you have nations around the world that have great licensing and registration systems and buyback programs and they have worked. those things have worked here in america and the states that have them. we know what to do. whamerican people support things in 79% of americans support
licensing and it's up to us to make sure the politicians catch up where we are. >> host: are you allowed to own a gun in russia? >> guest: it is very restricted in russia. >> host: next call is cara in california. >> caller: hello. my question for mr. boesky is what is being done about the regular -- regulatory process on gun manufacturers in the count country? those were those manufactured what is being done as far as restrictions of what they can manufacture or is there? >> host: thank you, ma'am.
>> guest: this is critical. it really has to start with the big fish and start with the manufacturers. currently we are in a situation where there is no federal agency that regulates the products the industry produces so for instance, aspirin and teddy bears and toy cars are all regulated for safety and we hear all the time about them being recalled because there's some kind of problem but that is not the case with firearms. d that is why again you have these assault weapons of all different kinds that are causing so much havoc in our community so in the book i talk about changing this regulatory structure and ensuring the products that the industry produces are regulated and also making sure that a 2006 law that presents people from holding gun manufacturers
accountable for the products they produce that be revealed. >> host: a few minutes left with our guest. igor volsky before we go to the next author panel. coming up next is chris. chris is in oak park, illinois and chris we are listening. >> caller: i've got to say the previous caller stole my thunder as did the others. of the regulation of the manufacturers of these things and he pointed outhe they startd making these military style weapons for public use in the or in the 80s and 90s. yes, regulating that may be an answer and you can't i those guns or by an incandescent light bulb anymore because those manufacturers were allowed to make them and going led. can the owners be on the manufacturers of these guns so they don't get sold to the public at all but because they can't be made andnd enqueue for
your book and i guess i will have to buy it. i look forward to your answer and i'll listen on the tv. thank you. >> host: yeah,. >> guest: you are right. regulating the manufacturers so incredibly important they can producee new militarized weapons but the other question that i struggled with in gun down is what you do with the firearms that are already in circulation? that's why i proposed a much stricter system with licensing and registration and insurance and i add to that voluntary buyback programs all around the country that will have to be state based so that folks, if they choose, can-b-b sell the gs they don't need or they are not using or selloff these militarized weapons that are so dangerous and the point here is that if a company is a solution but it absolutely has to include
the gun industry. >> host: let's hear from neil in seattle before we close out our program be three hello, sir. first let me say i've been to ivseattle, washington and i do t own a gun and have never fired o gun in all my life. i would not even know how to fire a gun i was agreeing with a lot of what you said and that you are an honest broker until you started to talk about chicago. then it started to turn out i felt you had a lot of a political agenda behind it. i was very disappointed. the way you talk about the gun violence in chicago c being locl is hundreds of people being killed and also the fact that guns get from indiana and drugs are easy to get and they are outlawed all over. i don't see how you can ban guns from people who legitimately are
scared but the other thing is part of the problem is the laws have been very relaxed and i know i can tell you just very truthfully in seattle they are trying to decriminalize everything and there's all crazn people running around beating up bus drivers and not being dealt with in the criminal justice system. >> host: you will have to leave it there, neil and seattle. thank you. igor volsky, 30 seconds to answer a pretty profound question. >> guest: i think i was honest about what happened in chicago. a lot of gun violence there qued that violence is being perpetrated by a small number of people and programs in chicago that have been working. is there still a problem? yes. are a lot of the guns coming from indiana? yes. we need a federal solution to this problem? we do. >> host: ivo