Gun Control Inauthenticity Runs Even Deeper
assistance by Nadja Adolf, too many others to list.
Editing and web formatting by Angel Shamaya
- The First SF Area Professional Gun Control Lobbyist:
2 - Andrew McGuire Hires A Lobbyist
3 - McGuire's Lobbyist In Action, Continued…
4 - Trauma Foundation Helps Create A Blueprint For Local
5 - More Lobbying By Soto, And Some Amazing Stupidity
6 - Wait…WHO Does Soto Work For, And WHERE!?
7 - Soto Supports McGuire's Latest: The Bell Campaign
8 - "Oh What Tangled Webs We Weave" - More
9 - SOTO! The Ultimate In Bone-Deep STUPID!
10 - Soto's Successor Is More Of The Same…
11 - Gorovitz Gives An Electoral Workshop At A Church, Under
The MMM Label!
12 - McGuire Lies To The Examiner, And Probably The
& Results of Last Report
the reader should be at least moderately familiar with the first
KeepAndBearArms.com MMM report at:
then, the San Francisco Examiner did a report on 4/12/01 that covers the
MMM's being ousted from their taxpayer-funded gun control war room. (Their story
can be found here: http://www.sfexaminer.com/news/default.jsp?story=n.mom.0412w.)
This article was "triggered" by my handing them the first
KeepAndBearArms.com article on the subject, plus a copy of Dave Workman's
article in Gun Week.
Examiner article in turn made the Wall Street Journal's "Best
Of The Web" under the wonderful title "Million Mom Eviction": http://www.opinionjournal.com/best/?id=90000428
the Examiner's Report
go over the important bits from the Examiner report.
First thing, they misreported Andrew McGuire's name as "James
McGuire", no big deal. Other
than that and the fairly weak title ("Million Mom March leaving its office
space", about as tame as it could be, all things considered), the report is
quite good and contains some important new research.
It didn't dig deep enough, but at least it was an honest try at real
start with the legal implications of the first KeepAndBearArms.com report.
Quoting the Examiner:
Wednesday, some supervisors said they were concerned the groups may have become
too cozy with city property.
property that the city and county owns, that we then lease to someone, should
not be subleased," said Supervisor Leland Yee, who has questioned the
hospital's financial practices in the past.
Aaron Peskin, a member of the city's finance committee, raised questions about
the lack of lease for either group. He noted that the city administrative code
requires all leases worth more than $500,000 in a five-year period be
$3/sq ft, the 7,450 sq ft of space
was worth $1,341,000 over five years! Urban
medical office space on a hospital grounds is worth at least that, especially in
the city of San Francisco where quality office space is at a premium.
So we have a legal violation on the hospital administration's part.
from the Examiner:
said the group is an offshoot of the Trauma Foundation, a nonprofit injury
prevention group that has rights to the space. That group, which McGuire also
founded, was given the space for free in 1981 through an arrangement with Donald
Trunkey, then the director of the hospital's burn center. McGuire said all
political activities of the Million Mom March are carried out at another office,
meaning that taxpayers aren't unwittingly supporting a political
Per the reporter, McGuire actually told him that the MMM political office was on
Van Ness Ave. in San Francisco, the same street city hall is on.
While the final Examiner article doesn't contain this tidbit, it's
likely McGuire gave the same story to SF officials, something I intend to
reporter quotes me in reply:
activist James March dismissed that explanation, saying McGuire is involved in
several gun-control groups, some of which are used as a cover for others.
can't keep their story straight," March said. "All roads lead back to
I actually said was, "All roads lead back to Trauma Foundation and Andrew
McGuire" - the reporter shortened it up a bit, but no harm done or meaning
let's prove McGuire a flat-out liar, shall we?
Brief History of McGuire's Gun Control Orgs
1: The First SF
Area Professional Gun Control Lobbyist: Andres Soto
first real player in San Francisco Bay Area gun control lobbying was Andres Soto.
Soto started out working on social programs for the city of Richmond, in
Contra Costa County California, where I live and am suing my Sheriff over CCW
abuse. (See: http://www.ninehundred.com/~equalccw.)
Sometime around 1994, Contra Costa County received a FEDERAL
"violence prevention grant" from the U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services, which they used to hire Andres Soto to lobby local governments
for gun control.
I'm not kidding. See also this
Federal website: http://testwww.omhrc.gov/ctg/ctg-viol.htm
which contains this section:
Project Shapes Policy
better way to convince cities to adopt gun dealer regulation ordinances than to
show them why such a move is crucial to saving lives.
the line of reasoning that led the PACT Violence Prevention Project to collect
data that identified a high number of minority kids as the victims of
firearm-related violence. The project also conducted a study that revealed
widespread noncompliance with state gun dealer laws, stating:
then generated a map showing how close these gun dealers are to schools, and the
reaction was usually shock," said Andrés Soto, manager of the project. As
a result, five cities so far in California--Antioch, Lafayette, Pinole,
Richmond, and San Pablo--have adopted the ordinances, and the project has
garnered national recognition.
"...such a move is crucial to saving lives."
PACT Violence Prevention Project, which targets African Americans, Asian
Americans/Pacific Islanders, and Latinos, is funded by the Office of Minority
Health and administered by the Contra Costa County Health Services Department in
Pleasant Hill, California. The project is a member of the PACT Coalition, a
group of nine agencies that use a multi-ethnic approach to combat violence.
Other members of PACT, which stands for Policy, Action, Collaboration, and
Training, include Familias Unidas and the Lao Family Community Development.
more information about the PACT Violence Prevention Project, call (510) 646-6511
ordinances in question outlawed home FFLs. "Familias Unidas" was the
Richmond city-run social program that hired Soto before he got involved with the
Federally-funded PACT program.
2: Andrew McGuire Hires A Lobbyist
the PACT gig ended, Soto went to work for Trauma Foundation and Andrew McGuire.
proceeded to conduct extensive political lobbying in California, especially in
his home turf of Contra Costa County. Minutes
of a Walnut Creek city council meeting dated November 18th 1997 lists
the people speaking in favor of a "Saturday Night Special" ban - one
entry consists of "Andres Soto, 2420 Lowell Ave., Richmond, Ceasefire
Contra Costa and Trauma Foundation". "Ceasefire
Contra Costa" was another short-lived Andrew McGuire gun control org.
3: McGuire's Lobbyist In Action, Continued…
February 5th, 1999, at the 5th HELP Network National Conference
titled "Reducing Firearm Injuries: Health Providers and Survivors Working
Together", Andres Soto conducted a lecture titled "Using Community
Mapping to Guide Advocacy: the California Experience" - he was listed as a
representative of "The Trauma Foundation". (See also: http://www.helpnetwork.org/frames/conferences_sf.html
stands for "Handgun Epidemic Lowering Plan".
4: Trauma Foundation Helps Create A Blueprint For Local Gun Control
1998, the "Legal Community Against Violence" wrote a legal guide to
gun control ordinances; in their acknowledgements page (http://www.lcav.org/ack98.html)
they say the following:
LCAV would like to acknowledge the outstanding work and leadership of Andres
Soto, Policy Director of the Trauma Foundation, and Charlie and Mary Leigh Blek,
founders of Orange County Citizens for the Prevention of Gun Violence. The
dedication and tireless efforts of these individuals have been critical to the
success of the violence-prevention movement in California.
5: More Lobbying By Soto, And Some Amazing Stupidity
1997, the city council of Livermore, California put a "junk gun ban"
up for a city vote; Soto was a major part of the campaign:
in Arms Over Gun Debate - Livermore to vote on cheap-pistol ban
Suzanne Espinosa Solis, Chronicle East Bay Bureau
Tuesday, May 27, 1997
"When Livermore Mayor Cathie Brown moved to ban the cheap handguns known as
'Saturday night specials,' it fast became clear that the fight would be fiercer
than in other Bay Area cities that have outlawed the weapons' sale."
gonna snip most of this. We
eventually get to:
is the first time anywhere in California that voters will be able to express
themselves since 1982,' when voters rejected a statewide gun ban measure, said
Andres Soto, policy director of the Pacific Center for Violence Prevention,
which is following the Livermore vote closely.
"The research center is a physician-supported nonprofit group that seeks
ways to reduce gun-related injuries and deaths."
supported"? I guess that's one
way of putting it, but "physicians defrauded" is more accurate.
says that even though many gun control advocates are watching the outcome of the
Livermore vote, it may not be a true test of popular opinion.
"'It's an election with no elected offices to decide, so the side that can
most effectively mobilize its supporters will probably win the election,' he
he'd know, he was the one doing the mobilizing!
Now, from this same article, one of the other grabbers says something so
abysmally stupid, we're going to have to pay special note just for the humor
also believes that Towner and his opposition group are aligned with militias.
"'If you look at their Web site, you know they're militia,' Shaver said.
'They have an eagle on the top of their Web page, a patriot on one side and an
American flag on the other.'"
Excuse me while I roll around laughing!
6: Wait…WHO Does Soto Work For, And WHERE!?
"McGuire front group" operating out of SF General Hospital was the
"Pacific Center for Violence Prevention" - at various times, Soto is
referenced at working for them.
UC Berkeley student journalist fluff piece about Soto places his offices right
inside the hospital, and has him working for PCVP:
the Front Lines:
A Profile of Andres Soto
By Christina Dyrness
Soto is a warrior and a soldier.
But rather than making his point with guns or his fists, he pitches his battle
He didn't always see things this way.
"There was a time in my life that I thought that an armed insurrection
against the organized government was inevitable," said the 42-year-old from
his cluttered office at San Francisco General Hospital, where he works as
director of policy for the Pacific Center for Violence Prevention. "I
had the same belief in the Second Amendment that the NRA does, but from the
just love that government-office credibility, don't they?
Especially when it's free.
"leftist perspective"? Gee,
why am I not surprised. And there's
something else of interest in that report:
federal grant-funded program for violence prevention in Contra Costa County
hired Soto to coordinate its efforts on the ground level. Working with community
groups, Soto decided that prevention would work best by going to the source. He
went after gun dealers.
"I got a printout from the county and realized there were 35 gun dealers in
Richmond," he said. "There were only two entries in the phone book,
but here was a list with names that I recognized. There was even someone dealing
guns who lived on my street."
In response to the program's campaign, Contra Costa County voters passed laws in
1995 calling for a ban on residential gun dealers and tighter restrictions on
other gun merchants. The violence prevention program attracted local, statewide
and even national attention.
"We were the only game in town as far as gun control," Soto said.
- outright lobbying. This would
have been right about when McGuire hired him, or a bit before…except no
McGuire org of that period had any business doing lobbying, especially not
running such out of SF General.
the Woodlands hills-based Wellness Foundation awarded a $1.3 million grant to
create the Pacific Center for Violence Prevention, a youth violence think tank
in San Francisco. Soto worked closely with the director of the program, Andrew
McGuire, on gun legislation efforts. In May, 1996, he joined their staff as
director of policy. Succinctly, the Pacific Center has a short-term goal to get
Sacramento to adopt a statewide ban on junk guns like the infamous Saturday
Night Special, a long-term goal to transfer the focus of the juvenile justice
system's resources from incarceration to prevention, and an overall goal to
involve as many young people as possible in all of these policy discussions.
we see why the multiple cutout organizations. Wellness Foundation gave
$1.3million to found PCVP -- who then paid Soto's salary, plus gave him a
secretary -- and because it all looks "medical related" and
501(c)(3)ish, Soto was given office space at San Francisco General Hospital.
But when he went out and did blatant political lobbying (and believe me,
there are many more examples than what's in this document) he operated under the
names "Trauma Foundation" or "Ceasefire Contra Costa" and
God knows how many others, with the exception of the Livermore situation. And
even then, while speaking to reporters wearing the PCAV hat, he tried to sound
like he wasn't in the fight up to his neck.
Makes sense because they probably used front-people who lived in
Livermore as the main "public face" of the program.
was formed when a charity hospital converted into a wildly profitable HMO called
"Healthnet". As part of
the deal, they had to divest of a bunch of cash that had to go to public charity
purposes - and NOT politics. So other orgs were needed to do the politics PCVP
couldn't do, despite PCVP being the "money engine" prior to the
$4.3million from Goldman in May of '99 that bootstrapped Bell/MMM.
people are sick.
Federal link where the Feds paid for gun control lobbying prior to McGuire
showing up (remember the PACT section above?) is simply disgusting.
Now you know part of why 74% of the FFLs disappeared in the last 8 years
-- the Clinton administration co-opted Health and Human Services into declaring
war on them.
7: Soto Supports McGuire's Latest: The Bell Campaign
the time of the original MMM rally in Washington there were local rallies in
various towns. I was at the
counter-protest for the Oakland, Calif version, and noted at the time all the
professionally-done Bell Campaign posters and banners.
The press release for that event is still up at:
>From that press announcement, the following is excerpted:
Mom March in Oakland Welcomes Bay Area to Campaign for Common Sense Gun Laws
- May 8 - News Advisory:
The Million Mom March in Oakland welcomes the greater San Francisco Bay
Area to Connect, Celebrate and Commit for Common Sense Gun Laws. The Oakland
march is one of 57 regional marches in solidarity with the national Million Mom
March in Washington, D.C.
Sunday, May 14, 12:30-3 P.M.
The bandstand at Lake Merritt in Oakland's Lakeside Park (next to Children's
Everyone -- mothers and others who want sensible gun laws and safer communities
-- is encouraged to participate. The march is organized by the Oakland/East Bay
Chapter of The Bell Campaign.
Guns kill 12 young people every day in this country. Nearly 30,000 people die
from gun trauma each year. We can do better.
rally with emcee Belva Davis of KQED will feature a bell ringing ceremony with
victims and survivors of gun trauma, the Oakland Jazz Choir, Andres Soto from
the Pacific Center for Violence Prevention…
this guy gets around.
And it was the partisan politics at the MMM rallies nationwide that forced them
to create the overt political MMM 501(c)(4) political org, and here's Soto and
his SF General office right in the thick of that.
readers, do you think I was kidding when I said it all leads back to McGuire and
8: "Oh What Tangled Webs We Weave" - More Mixed Stories
about my comment to the Examiner regarding "can't keep their stories
on the Trauma Foundation website, at http://www.tf.org/tf/tfsuppl5.html
you'll find their "annual report supplement 1998", which reads in
are some of the Trauma Foundation voices from the last two years.
part about beer-
on the brink of a major [gun control] movement."
Gorovitz, Legal Director, commenting on local gun control victories. San
Francisco Examiner, June 4, 1998.
gun industry in the United States, using the NRA as a front, has convinced a
great many people that individuals have a "right to keep and bear
arms," thus, gun control is unconstitutional. The US Supreme Court has
repeatedly told us otherwise. Let's stop listening to the lies and listen to the
children-for the sake of the children."
Soto, Policy Director, in his Letter to the Editor of The West County Times,
December 11, 1997.
who DOES Soto work for? We've got
him named here as part of Trauma Foundation, Ceasefire Contra Costa, Pacific
Center for Violence Prevention and he speaks at a Bell Campaign rally.
And all of this dates to BEFORE Andrew McGuire ever ran an organization
named "Million Mom March" formally created May of 2000, and BEFORE any
of these orgs declared 501(c)(4) lobbying status.
than two weeks ago, Sacramento NRA paid lobbyist Ed Worley spotted Soto
testifying before the state legislature, under the Trauma Foundation name.
TF has always been based at SF
9: SOTO! The Ultimate In Bone-Deep STUPID!
what kind of person IS this guy Soto, anyways?
achieved "legendary moron status" during a failed attempt at banning
gun shows in Contra Costa County in 1997.
tried to highlight what "horrors" can be bought at gun shows by
whipping out a HAND GRENADE.
some reports by people from our side who actually saw this madness firsthand:
Duane Darr and me (David Keegan) went to that meeting. Andres pulled the grenade
from his purse "bag" during his presentation to the fair ground board.
There was a recording of the meeting which Duane tried to get. I don't recall if
he was successful as they had never been asked for a copy of the tape before. I
called the county, I think Contra Costa County, Sheriff and District Attorney
about the incident to complain about being threatened by the grenade. Both said
there was nothing illegal about it. Found out that in the future I need to jump
up and say, "It's a bomb" run to get away and fall down and "hurt
myself". Then I can sue the government and hopefully give the government
incentive to give a free holiday to Andres.
I also called the vice mayor of Antioch who was at the meeting and spoke in
favor of the show. Expressed my concern about the wacko with the grenade at the
meeting and my lack of progress with the sheriff and DA. There was supposed to
be discussion of the incident at the following city council meeting which I was
not able to attend.
Soto, one of our best allies (Hehehehehehe, tongue firmly in cheek), unknowingly
came within a flinch of being tackled by security and police officers when he
angrily clanked a bag containing a heavy, metallic object on the lectern. He
then proceeded to pull a hand-grenade out of the bag and explain that it was a
legal imitation, but that he had bought it and books on how to make it work at
the Antioch gun show. He also whined to the chairman to restore order when
people were laughing at his antics, including his presentation of a Violence
Policy Center report entitled, "Gun Shows: Tupperware Parties For
Criminals." I even lost my composure at that one.
Contra Costa County NRA-ILA Members Council (Brentwood)
other nice gunnies did up their own sarcastic page on Soto years ago.
- note the "opposition report" link from there…it turns out Soto
spent $425,000 on a report in Contra Costa while being paid out of that Fed
grant, on a report blaming violence on home FFLs using truly skewed logic and
more flaws in scholarship than you'd believe.
It's almost half a million dollars in Fed money directly funding a
blatant pack of lies.
is what we're up against, people. These
fools are not the monumental unbeatable threat we've always figured.
10: Soto's Successor Is More Of The Same…
switch gears a sec to Eric Gorovitz. Gorovitz
is the person that SF General named as their "official Trauma Foundation
contact person" in the second PRAR response. (See First and Second PRAR
responses here: http://www.keepandbeararms.com/information/XcIBViewItem.asp?ID=1953#prars.)
we excerpt another little tidbit re: Gorovitz:
Movement Split by Ambition to Ban Handguns
by Eric Lichtblau and Richard Simon
Los Angeles Times - Wednesday,
April 19, 2000
gun-control movement has achieved only sporadic legislative victories in the
last year. Yet the mere mention of a much more ambitious agenda--a handgun
ban--has expanded the national debate and generated both enthusiasm and division
within a gun-control community that is enjoying unprecedented visibility and
financial backing in the year since Columbine.
if you talked about banning handguns, it was political suicide. I don't think
that's true anymore," said Eric Gorovitz, policy coordinator in San
Francisco for the Bell Campaign, a new victims-rights group that has taken no
position on a handgun ban.
a split in the gun-control movement about it," Gorovitz said. "There's
some resistance to even talking about bans because it's been taboo for so long.
But [backers] sense that there's momentum now that wasn't there even a couple of
years ago, and they want to take advantage of that."
the Hospital knows he's right there on their grounds, he works for at least
three different McGuire front groups, and he's advocating the most radical
position in gun control today: a total ban on handguns.
this time, Bell was deep into the ramp-up for the march on DC and the local
rallies such as at Oakland. They
had 501(c)(3) status yet did obvious partisan politics at the DC rally and
elsewhere, and had filed the Federal form 5768 allowing limited politics under
office was in San Francisco General Hospital, doing massive levels of politics.
11: Gorovitz Gives An Electoral Workshop At A Church, Under The MMM Label!
October of 2000, a San Francisco Catholic Church ran a series of "Election
. This tax exempt church directly promoted Gorovitz's MMM activities:
Violence - Wednesday, October 4 7:00-8:30pm
can communities pursue sensible gun laws while protecting individual rights of
citizens? This workshop explores the nature, history and cultural context of the
gun control movement and current gun legislation.
Gorovitz is Director of Policy for Million Mom March, a grass-roots advocacy
organization seeking to prevent gun death and injury. Eric has a law degree from
Georgetown University and a Masters of Public Health from Johns Hopkins
University. Megin Scully-Minuth, MD is a parishioner at St. Ignatius Church, a
mother of two daughters and a practicing physician. Megin has been involved in
the gun control movement since the tragic death of her brother John, killed in
the 1993 shooting at 101 California Street.
oops, on a lot of levels. Gorovitz's
office has ALWAYS been at SF General. By
Oct. 2000, the main MMM was an overt political 501(c)(4) organization that has
no business being anywhere near a tax-exempt church - that's as bad as operating
on government property. SF General
thought he was a Trauma Foundation employee, this church thinks he's a "mommie"
(I don't even want to think about that, this IS San Francisco after all). I
told that Examiner reporter "they couldn't keep their stories
also see how Gorovitz jumped from Bell to MMM, yet SF General still thought he
was Trauma Foundation on 2/22/01. (See also 2nd
all one big organization.
12: McGuire Lies To The Examiner, And Probably The City
what about the "Van Ness Political Office" mentioned by McGuire to the
4/13/01, the MMM did a press release hyping their state capitol rallies coming
up this year. It can be seen here
in it's CURRENT form:
currently lists a contact address of:
Million Mom March
West Regional Office
25255 Cabot Road, Suite 102
Laguna Hills, CA 92653
when the page first went up on early Friday, the contact address read:
Million Mom March
San Francisco General Hospital
San Francisco, CA 94110
what happened? The press release
was overtly political (regarding the 501(c)(4) MMM holding political rallies).
On or shortly before 4/12/01, McGuire told the Examiner that such
politics aren't being run out of SF General.
So when him or his minions read the press release from their NY publicity
agent, they realized their own press release confirmed a lie to the Examiner
and probably others, and altered the site muy pronto!
Laguna Hills address shows up on MMM literature displayed at St. Sebastian's
Catholic Church in nearby Marin county, where McGuire gave a speech, on 4/10/01.
(More on that in the next edition of this saga.)
The Laguna Hills office was described as the new "western
regional office" of the MMM. It's
on the southern end of Orange County, south of Los Angeles, over 450 miles from
MCGUIRE HAD AN OFFICE ON VAN NESS STREET IN SF, WHY THE HECK WOULD HE RELOCATE
THE CORE OF HIS OPERATION TO THE OTHER END OF A BIG STATE!?
theory: so he could be closer to the Mexican border when John Ashcroft's people
come knocking for back taxes, penalties, etc?)
Laguna Hills building seems to house a large number of private businesses and
miscellaneous other entities. At
least it's not a government office of some sort, so it appears to be
legitimate. If anybody nearby wants
to go pay a visit, drop me a line; you're going to need some private advice
first. It's possible the office is
actually being rented by a charitable foundation, church, God only knows…worth
checking, with the track record these lawbreakers have racked up.
Virginia Anagnos's phone contact (in both versions) is (212) 576-2700 - that
leads to a New York PR firm:
386 Park Avenue S
New York, NY 10016-0880
wonder who paid the bills for that?
But There's A Lot More Coming!
I'm gonna give y'all a break, and follow this up with at least one more update.
No, we ain't done yet, not by a longshot.
UP IN THIS SERIES: McGuire is building a grassroots gun control org across
California and other states, using tax-exempt churches for financial and
organizational support. That needs
to end, pronto. We'll also look at
fraud elsewhere in the nation as local MMM chapters defraud other charities,
churches and government offices in patterns that appear to be
"copycats" of what McGuire has been pulling here in California.
firstname.lastname@example.org - Comments and info welcome!