Stanford Law Professor And “Gun Expert” Proves He Doesn’t Know Anything About Firearms

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Image via YouTube screencap

While trying to figure out what firearm was used in the recent Youtube shooting attack, I came across an article on The San Francisco Gate stating that shooter Nasim Aghdam purchased a Smith & Wesson 9mm handgun legally, and practiced with it that morning at a nearby shooting range.  Added in was some of the typical anti-gun commentary, but this time from a “highly esteemed” source:

“Power of weaponry, the number of bullets and the ability to shoot more rapidly are the things that make mass shootings more deadly,” said John Donohue, a professor at Stanford Law School who studies gun violence. “The fact that she only had a handgun and it was apparently restrained to the legal limit in California is all to the good.”

California law prohibits new purchases of high-capacity magazines, which suggests Aghdam was limited because of that restriction to 10 rounds before she would have to reload.

High-capacity magazines, which hold well over 10 bullets and have been seriously restricted in California in recent years, are critical features in many of the country’s mass shootings with high body counts, Donohue said.

After doing a double-take and wondering what sort of “gun expert” could cite such patently false facts, it was time to do some investigating into who exactly John Donohue really is, and what makes his background so appropriate to firearms discussion.  His Wikipedia page documents a long and distinguished academic career, interrupted only by a failed run for the Connecticut State Senate.  No military or law enforcement background – and there was not even a cursory mention of any hands-on firearms experience at all listed.

That, of course, didn’t stop Stanford Law School from including “Policing & Gun Policy” under his areas of expertise:

Donohue made it incredibly easy to dismantle his argument for “high-capacity” magazine restrictions – even with his gun policy “expertise”, he failed to closely examine the most recent historical example which led to the virtue-signaling “March for our Lives” – the shooting in Parkland, Florida:

The gunman used only 10-round magazines.

The Parkland shooter did not use magazines larger than 10 rounds, but gun-reform lobbyists are calling on lawmakers to ban higher-capacity magazines after the Valentine’s Day tragedy.

It seems “one of the leading empirical researchers” from Stanford Law School made a glaringly major oversight in his analysis, completely ignoring the fact that using 10 round magazines did absolutely nothing to diminish the Parkland shooter‘s deadliness. 

This fits a pattern of omission from Donohue – over ten years ago, the Virginia Tech shooter demonstrated that using handguns (some with 10 round magazines no less) instead of long guns makes little difference against defenseless targets, and to far deadlier effect than the Parkland shooter:

The Virginian Tech Review Panel’s assessment of the April 16, 2007 shooting in which 32 were killed and 17 and wounded, contains a pertinent piece of information for the gun grabbers who are currently tripping over themselves to blame high capacity magazines for the evil in the world. The panel’s assessment found that a high capacity magazine ban would not have stopped Seung-Hui Cho from carrying out his criminal act.

They said forcing him to use 10 round magazines instead of those that hold 15 rounds “would have not made that much difference in the incident.” 

Why would it have not made any difference? Because he was shooting at unarmed people, thus he had all the time in the world to reload when necessary. 

In his infinite wisdom, Donohue failed to mention one thing that stops many mass shooters (including the Parkland shooter) – a glaring lack of basic firearms skills – which is likely a trait possessed by Donohue himself:

Nikolas Cruz’s semiautomatic rifle may have jammed during the massacre at a high school in Parkland earlier this month, according to Miami Herald news partner CBS4.

Cruz then dropped the AR-15 and fled with other students, CBS4 reporter Jim DeFede tweeted Tuesday afternoon, citing three sources familiar with the investigation. Cruz still had 150 rounds of ammunition — meaning many more people could have died had he been able to keep firing.

This is part of a pattern that Donohue apparently misses in his “research”, as the Aurora shooter also demonstrated in 2012…

“The gunman’s semiautomatic assault rifle jammed … forcing him to switch to another gun with less firepower, a federal law enforcement official told The Associated Press. That malfunction and weapons switch might have saved some lives.”

…which was again demonstrated by the Pulse nightclub shooter in 2016, except in a much more damning fashion for those who advocate “high-capacity” magazine bans:

FBI special agents showed the rifle used in the killings to those in the courtroom, saying investigators found that it jammed while they were collecting evidence from inside the club.

Internet search results show that Mateen stopped for a brief time during the shooting and looked up how to fix the jammed weapon.

So Donohue wants the public to believe that the two (or less) seconds it takes to change a magazine makes a mass shooter more deadly, but one of these shooters was able to pause his assault for several minutes to look up how to clear his jammed weapon?

Sad, but true – an Ivy League education on “Policing and Gun Policy” has brought him to us, using his platform as a holier-than-thou “gun expert” to have his poorly researched mea culpa for gun control repeated ad nauseam by academia and mainstream media alike.

And if you think Donohue is just “another name” in the morass of anti-gun propaganda, you’d be sorely mistaken – according to the Stanford Law School website, Donohue has been cited by 24 major publications in just the last eight years in regards to gun crime, including, but not limited to:

  • Conference on Empirical Legal Studies
  • The New York Times
  • The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  • American Law and Economics Review
  • CNN
  • The National Bureau of Economic Research (a government agency)
  • The San Francisco Cronicle
  • Econ Journal Watch
  • Stanford Lawyer
  • The Daily Journal
  • The Conversation
  • The Sacramento Bee
  • The Columbia Law Review
  • Scientific American
  • The San Francisco Gate

Donohue is one of the leading academics cited to promote gun control all across America, even by our own government.  Don’t hesitate to let that be known next time a liberal suggests that the NRA is somehow “killing gun violence research” in the US.  And he is hardly alone – there are many other “academics” just like him using their platform for the exact same aim.

Keep John Donohue’s name in the back of your mind, as you will likely see it again in the not-too-distant future.  But when you do…

…remember that he is just a California academic masquerading as a “gun expert” – all with little (if any) background whatsoever in firearms.