Tom Diaz is an American writer, lawyer, and public speaker on the gun industry and gun control issues. He was formerly senior policy analyst at the Violence Policy Centerand is one of the more prominent advocates for a strict system of federal gun control in the United States.
His father was born in Mexico but emigrated to the United States in his teens, becoming a career soldier but spending most of his time in the military as a bandleader.Tom Diaz is a graduate of the University of Florida and the Georgetown University Law Center, where he was an editor of the Law Journal. He has been in private and government practice since 1972. He was a gun enthusiast and NRA member until while working as a Congressional staffer he did research on gun legislation and interviewed victims of gun violence.
Mr. Diaz was counsel to the Congressional House Subcommittee on Crime and Criminal Justice from August 1993 to January 1997. During that time, he was the lead Democratic counsel in the House on firearms and terrorism, but worked on a range of other issues.
Diaz was assistant managing editor of The Washington Times from 1985 to 1991. From 1991 to 1993 he worked at a think tank specializing in international organized crime and counter-terrorism. From 1993 to 1997 he was the lead Democratic counsel on counterterrorism and firearms issues for the Crime Subcommittee of the U.S. House of representatives, helping to conduct fact-finding hearings and write key antiterrorism and gun control legislation. He was also the lead Democratic counsel during 10 days of intensive House hearings in 1995 on the events at the Branch Davidian church in Waco, Texas in 1993.
Diaz has written numerous monographs on the proliferation of firearms in the United States and on the impact of the easy availability of specific classes of firearms on gun crime, death and injury in the United States. He has appeared on numerous television and radio media outlets, has been written about and quoted in print media, and his op-eds have been widely published.
He has charged that the gun industry uses claims of increased lethality to increase sales. David Corn wrote:
He has also pointed to the way the NRA and gun industry use violent movies and images of death to promote firearms, claiming that the NRA's National Firearms Museum exhibits weapons used in notorious on-screen murders.He claims the NRA promoted concealed carry laws to help sell additional smaller firearms to people.
He has been the backing behind the campaign to ban rifles chambered in .50 BMG.
Diaz is known for his public policy stances that eschew the incremental political approach taken by others in the gun control community, such as Americans for Gun Safety and the American Hunters and Shooters Association. For example, Diaz openly stated that the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban would not have any impact on violent crime statistics and that it only affected cosmetic features on semi-automatic firearms.[ citation needed ]
The National Rifle Association of America (NRA) is a gun rights advocacy group based in the United States. Founded in 1871 to advance rifle marksmanship, the modern NRA has become a prominent gun rights lobbying organization while continuing to teach firearm safety and competency. The organization also publishes several magazines and sponsors competitive marksmanship events. According to the NRA, it had nearly 5 million members as of December 2018, though that figure has not been independently confirmed.
The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, often referred to as the Brady Act or the Brady Bill, is an Act of the United States Congress that mandated federal background checks on firearm purchasers in the United States, and imposed a five-day waiting period on purchases, until the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) was implemented in 1998. The act was appended to the end of Section 922 of title 18, United States Code. The intention of the act was to prevent persons with previous serious convictions from purchasing firearms.
Narcoterrorism, in its original context, is understood to refer to the attempts of narcotics traffickers to influence the policies of a government or a society through violence and intimidation, and to hinder the enforcement of anti-drug laws by the systematic threat or use of such violence. As with most definitions of terrorism, it typically only refers to non-state actors.
The Gun Control Act of 1968 is a U.S. federal law that regulates the firearms industry and firearms ownership. Due to constitutional limitations, the Act is primarily based on regulating interstate commerce in firearms by generally prohibiting interstate firearms transfers except by manufacturers, dealers and importers licensed under a scheme set up under the Act.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE), commonly referred to as the ATF, is a domestic law enforcement agency within the United States Department of Justice. Its responsibilities include the investigation and prevention of federal offenses involving the unlawful use, manufacture, and possession of firearms and explosives; acts of arson and bombings; and illegal trafficking and tax evasion of alcohol and tobacco products. The ATF also regulates via licensing the sale, possession, and transportation of firearms, ammunition, and explosives in interstate commerce. Many of the ATF's activities are carried out in conjunction with task forces made up of state and local law enforcement officers, such as Project Safe Neighborhoods. The ATF operates a unique fire research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, where full-scale mock-ups of criminal arson can be reconstructed. The ATF had 5,285 employees and an annual budget of almost $1.5 billion in 2021. The ATF has received criticism over the Ruby Ridge controversy, the Waco siege controversy and others.
Gun politics is defined in the United States by two primary opposing ideologies concerning the private ownership of firearms. Those who advocate for gun control support increasingly restrictive regulation of gun ownership; those who advocate for gun rights oppose increased restriction, or support the liberalization of gun ownership. These groups typically disagree on the interpretation of the text, history and tradition of the laws and judicial opinions concerning gun ownership in the United States and the meaning of The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. American gun politics involves these groups' further disagreement concerning the role of firearms in public safety, the studied effects of ownership of firearms on public health and safety, and the role of guns in national and state crime.
Brady: United Against Gun Violence is an American nonprofit organization that advocates for gun control and against gun violence. It is named after former White House Press Secretary James "Jim" Brady, who was permanently disabled and later died in 2014 as a result of the Ronald Reagan assassination attempt of 1981, and his wife Sarah Brady, who was a chairwoman of the organization from 1989 until her death in 2015.
David Allen Grossman is an American author and trainer who conducts seminars on the psychology of lethal force. He is a retired lieutenant colonel in the United States Army.
Wayne Robert LaPierre Jr. is an American gun rights lobbyist who is CEO and executive vice president of the National Rifle Association (NRA), a position he has held since 1991.
The Violence Policy Center (VPC) is an American nonprofit organization that advocates for gun control.
Michael J. Sullivan is an American lawyer and politician who served as U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts (2001–2009) and Acting Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (2006–2009). His work as U.S. Attorney largely focused on national security and health-care fraud. A native of the Holbrook–Abington region, Sullivan served earlier in his career as the Plymouth County District Attorney, and as a Republican member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives.
Gun show loophole is a political term in the United States referring to the sale of firearms by private sellers, including those done at gun shows, that do not require the seller to conduct a federal background check of the buyer. This is also called the private sale exemption. Under federal law, any person may sell a firearm to a federally unlicensed resident of the state where they reside, as long as they do not know or have reasonable cause to believe that the person is prohibited from receiving or possessing firearms.
The American Hunters and Shooters Association (AHSA) was a United States-based non-profit 501(c)(4) organization which operated from 2005 to 2010. The group described itself as a national grassroots organization for responsible gun ownership and advocated for increased gun control. The organization's president, Ray Schoenke, said the AHSA was intended to bridge the gap between urban liberals and rural gun owners, but closed down due to a lack of support from the Obama administration.
Gun violence is a term of political, economic and sociological interest referring to the tens of thousands of annual firearms-related deaths and injuries occurring in the United States. In 2022, up to 100 daily fatalities and hundreds of daily injuries were attributable to American gun violence. In 2018, the most recent year for which data are available, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics reported 38,390 deaths by firearm, of which 24,432 were suicides. The national rate of firearm deaths rose from 10.3 people for every 100,000 in 1999 to 11.9 people per 100,000 in 2018, equating to over 109 daily deaths. In 2010, there were 19,392 firearm-related suicides, and 11,078 firearm-related homicides in the U.S. In 2010, 358 murders were reported involving a rifle while 6,009 were reported involving a handgun; another 1,939 were reported with an unspecified type of firearm. In 2011, a total of 478,400 fatal and nonfatal violent crimes were committed with a firearm. Gun crimes are covered by 18 USC 922 and 18 USC 924, which are the principal federal firearm statutes.
Gun-related violence is violence committed with the use of a firearm. Gun-related violence may or may not be considered criminal. Criminal violence includes homicide, assault with a deadly weapon, and suicide, or attempted suicide, depending on jurisdiction. Non-criminal violence includes accidental or unintentional injury and death. Also generally included in gun violence statistics are military or para-military activities.
The gun control policy of the Bill Clinton administration was the White House's domestic policy on guns during Bill Clinton's term in office as President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Gun control was a major political issue in the first half of Clinton's first term and during that time he lobbied for, and signed, two major pieces of gun control legislation, the Brady Bill and the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban.
The Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, previously known as the Legal Community Against Violence and the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, is a national public interest law center and nonprofit organization that promotes gun control legislation in the United States and conducted litigation against the gun industry. The Giffords Law Center publishes information about gun laws and gun control. The organization offers legal assistance to public officials, and publishes research on gun laws and gun violence. The organization is currently led by former US Congresswoman Gabby Giffords.
The Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act, popularly known as the Federal Assault Weapons Ban (AWB), was a subsection of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, a United States federal law which included a prohibition on the manufacture for civilian use of certain semi-automatic firearms that were defined as assault weapons as well as certain ammunition magazines that were defined as large capacity.
The Trace is an American non-profit journalism outlet devoted to gun-related news in the United States. It was established in 2015 with seed money from the largest gun control advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety, which was founded by former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, and went live on 19 June of that year. The site's editor in chief is Tali Woodward.
The Dickey Amendment is a provision first inserted as a rider into the 1997 omnibus spending bill of the United States federal government that mandated that "none of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) may be used to advocate or promote gun control." In the same spending bill, Congress earmarked $2.6 million from the CDC's budget, the exact amount that had previously been allocated to the agency for firearms research the previous year, for traumatic brain injury-related research.