Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Advantages of Criminals Using Imitation Guns

In Iowa, criminals who use imitation guns are not treated as harshly under the law as are criminals who use real guns. It seems an obvious policy decision. When criminals use imitation guns, the vast majority of the risk is on the criminal. They are more likely to be shot. They are not able to shoot back. They are relying on the power of bluff and image to coerce people who they are attempting to victimize. It seems like a win-win for law and order.

In a recent AP article, a county attorney and a police chief want to change that. From usnews.com:
But police say they would support stronger deterrents in the law against using them like real weapons. The worry is twofold: First, that people are using them to commit crimes, and second, that a situation could arise where, in self-defense, a civilian or a police officer would use shoot someone displaying one.

While it's illegal to carry a real firearm in city limits without a concealed carry permit, Sioux City code does allow for the carry of lookalike "toy" weapons, such as a hand BB guns, provided they are not discharged. Police can only confiscate such weapons if they are used in a crime.

"You're not going to come across a lot of cops who have not patted someone down for weapons and found simulated weapons at one point in time," Sioux City Police Chief Rex Mueller told the Sioux City Journal . "(But) there's kind of a gap in the law there that allows police officers to act."
Woodbury County Attorney P.J. Jennings says the trauma experienced by the victim of a criminal using an imitation gun is the same as if the criminal had a real gun.  That would apply if criminals with real guns never shoot people. If the criminal has a real gun, the victim has a real chance of being shot. If the gun is fake, the chance of being shot with it is non-existent.

Iowa law has additional penalties in place for the use of "Dangerous" weapons. Dangerous weapons are defined in Iowa law. From justia.com:
Section 702.7 - Dangerous weapon.

A “dangerous weapon” is any instrument or device designed primarily for use in inflicting death or injury upon a human being or animal, and which is capable of inflicting death upon a human being when used in the manner for which it was designed, except a bow and arrow when possessed and used for hunting or any other lawful purpose. Additionally, any instrument or device of any sort whatsoever which is actually used in such a manner as to indicate that the defendant intends to inflict death or serious injury upon the other, and which, when so used, is capable of inflicting death upon a human being, is a dangerous weapon. Dangerous weapons include but are not limited to any offensive weapon, pistol, revolver, or other firearm, dagger, razor, stiletto, switchblade knife, knife having a blade exceeding five inches in length, or any portable device or weapon directing an electric current, impulse, wave, or beam that produces a high-voltage pulse designed to immobilize a person.
An imitation firearm is a relatively inexpensive tool to use in violent crimes. It competes directly with other low priced alternatives such as knives and clubs. Criminals armed with knives and clubs are more likely to cause injury to their victims than are criminals armed with guns. The result would be amplified with imitation guns, as the risk of gunshot injuries would be eliminated.

An imitation firearm that is not designed for inflicting death or injury is not a "dangerous weapon".

Committing a robbery with an imitation firearms has a maximum sentence of 10 years, while using a real weapon results in a maximum  sentence of 25 years, all else being equal.

California differentiates between imitation guns and real guns in their laws on brandishing.  From shouselaw.com:

    1. Brandishing  a  pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person... in a rude, angry, or threatening manner... in a public place:
      • a minimum three (3) month, to a maximum one (1) year, jail sentence, and/or
      • a maximum $1,000 fine.92
  1. Brandishing any other firearm... or brandishing a firearm in other than a public place... in the same manner:  not less than three (3) months in county jail.93
  2. Brandishing an imitation firearm: not less than 30 days in county jail.94
Should the use of imitation firearms in crime be subject to the same penalties as real firearms?

Is it good policy for the penalties of using imitation firearms in crime to be less?

The criminal is putting the victim(s) at lower risk, and is putting themselves at higher risk. This is behavior that should be encouraged. Society wins.

Encouraging criminals to take on more of the risk for anti-social behavior is a positive thing.

Criminal law generally has lower penalties for crimes with lower risk for the victim. Non-confrontational crimes such as burglary have lower penalties than home invasions.

Would you prefer to confront a robber armed with an imitation gun instead of a real one?  Would you prefer to confront a robber armed with an imitation gun instead of a knife or club?

Many criminals are ignorant of the law. Incentives do not always have a significant effect.  Many criminals intuitively believe using an imitation gun is safer than using a real gun. In this case, the law would reinforce an existing belief, so the chance of success is greater.

Are criminals using more imitation guns?  Are there any negatives to this trend?

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

GA: Gunfight, Attempted Robbery, no Injuries

COVINGTON, Ga. – A Covington homeowner pulled his own gun and fired a couple of shots after an armed assailant attempted to rob him outside his home early Wednesday morning, authorities said.
More Here

CA: Neighbor Shoots Aggressive Rottweiler

5:11 p.m. — A caller from Lake Vera-Purdon Road and Astral Trail reported a large Rottweiler attacking people. An emergency alert was sent to neighbors in the area. A neighbor shot the dog and it was taken to a vet. No one was injured.
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NV: Legally Armed Man Shoots at Car Thief who Pointed Gun at Him

Upon returning to his car, he found another man sitting in the driver’s seat, Gordon said, and the man behind the wheel pulled out a gun. The car owner, whom Gordon said was a licensed concealed carrier, then pulled out his own gun and shot at the man behind the wheel.

The car owner ran away, fell and got a cut to his head, Gordon said. The man behind the wheel took off in the car south on Nellis Boulevard.
More Here

Monday, April 23, 2018

Citizens Push for Right to Self Defense in Ukraine

Ukraine is considering rights of self defense and the legal rights to own weapons.

Since the break up of the United Soviet Socialist Republics, or USSR, the former client states of the USSR have been struggling with numerous issues of law, including private property rights and self defense.

Ukraine has little traditional law concerning the ownership of firearms. The law, as such, consists of instructions issued in 1998 by the Interior Ministry. In practice, the Interior Minister can give firearms to whom he wishes. Exactly who is eligible, and who is not, tends to be a matter of personal opinion.  From kyivpost.com
That confrontation would be unremarkable were it not for the story of how Pashinsky received the pistol: as an official gift from Interior Minister Arsen Avakov — part of a tradition in which the minister and president award firearms to politicians, military officers, and even influential business people.

Georgy Uchaikin bristles at the mere existence of this practice. As director of the Ukrainian Association of Gun Owners or UAGO, he advocates for Ukrainians’ legal right to bear arms. To him, “awarded guns” demonstrate the discriminatory nature of his country’s gun policies.

By law, these awards are intended only for military men and women. But interpretation is loose. As a result, Uchaikin estimates Ukrainian authorities have handed out 50,000 weapons to members of the elite since independence in 1991 in a state that is otherwise hostile to gun ownership.
The system reminds me of "dollar a year" sheriff deputies in many states before federal money and federally mandated standards ended the practice. If the sheriff liked you, or was properly persuaded... you were deputized and could legally carry a gun concealed.   Another similarity is with "may issue" states in the United States. Those states grant the power to issue permits to a person in authority, such as in California. In California the issuing authority decides who gets a permit to carry a firearm, and who does not.  Many people in California have ties to the issuing authority.

In Ukraine, in a fuzzy way, this applies to the entire nation. I know two poeple who have traveled in Ukraine, one of them extensively. One married a Ukrainian girl, the other's son married a Ukrainian girl. Neither knows the other.

Both said that the presence of organized crime is pervasive and obvious.

Black market guns are easily available. If you need to use a black market gun, the legal consequences can be severe.

The war in Ukraine has increased the desire for personal weapons. Many veterans coming back from the front bring their personal weapons with them. They would rather have a gun and not need it, than need it and not have it, regardless of the legal consequences.

In Ukraine, the Ukrainian Association of Gun Owners (UAGO) is pushing for more gun laws. They want clear laws for the right to own guns and to have them for self defense.  The president of UAGO says that in Ukraine, there exists a class of people who are above the law.

In most countries, elites can obtain guns or armed guards if they want them.

It is the common people who are commonly disarmed by the law.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

MO: Armed Man shoots at Aggressive Pit Bulls

Corcoran, 47, said he fired a few shots from his handgun and believes he hit the red dog.

The two dogs took off running in opposite directions in the 300 block of East McGee Street, Corcoran said.

The red dog started coming back to Corcoran, he said, so he fired another round at the dog, which then fled the area.

This was the second time that day the dogs had threatened Corcoran, he said.
More Here

CO: Mother Shoots Estranged Son who Attacked Her

Elbert County deputies took a 23-year-old man into custody Thursday after he allegedly broke into his mother’s home and assaulted her, prompting the woman to shoot her son.

More Here

TX: Domestic Defense, Mother Shoots Son who is Choking Sister

The sister ran upstairs and locked herself in her bedroom to get away from Brown because he has physically assaulted her before, the report states. Brown followed her upstairs, kicked open the door and started punching her. Brown’s mother grabbed her handgun and ran upstairs to find him choking his sister, the report states.

Police said the mother then shot him in the chest.
More Here

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Legally Armed People Have a Murder Rate similar to Japan

Michigan Concealed Pistol License holders have an extremely low Murder rate.

Japan has a very low murder rate. Japan is also a very law abiding culture.

The United States, as  a whole, has a much higher murder rate than Japan. Within the United States there is a law abiding culture that has a murder rate  as low as Japan's. That culture consists of gun owners who carry guns legally.

In Michigan, the State Police are tasked with compiling crimes committed by people who have the Michigan Concealed Pistol License (CPL). The State Police Reports are available from 2003 to early 2017. The state police reports list convictions of people for murder, manslaughter and negligent homicide, as well as a multitude of other offenses. From 2003 to 2017, there are 14 years of reports listing criminal convictions.

Criminal homicides are the most reliable crime statistics to track, and the most important for comparisons with other societies. While there are significant differences in definitions, reporting, and recording of crimes from nation to nation, criminal homicides are more reliable than other crime statistics.

In the 14 years of Michigan annual police reports, there are 17 criminal homicide convictions recorded by the Michigan State Police (MSP), for people who had CPLs.

The number of active CPLs in Michigan for each year of the 14 annual reports was a little more difficult to find.  The annual reports run from October 1 to September 30 of the following year. I found numbers in each annual report period, except for the period of October 1, 2014 to September 30 of 2015. For that period I interpolated from the March, 2014 number of 430,000 to the November, 2015 number of 488,000, to obtain 459,000.  The numbers for the other years used were within the period for each report. Over the fourteen year span, a variation of a few months does not make much difference.

When looking at criminal homicide rates, the standard is to look at the number of homicides per 100,000 of the population per year. The total number of CPL - years came to 3,953,944.  Over the 14 year period, individual CPLs had been active for a total of 3,953,944 years. There were 17 criminal homicide convictions of CPL holders in that period, averaging .43 criminal homicides per 100,000 CPL holders per year.

The entire Michigan population, over the same period, had an average of 6.2 criminal homicides per 100,000 people, or more than 14 times as many. Over the same period 2003-2016, the Japanese criminal homicide rate was .42 per 100,000 population.

Michigan Concealed Pistol Licenses are fairly easy to obtain. The same background check is used for the CPL as is used for ordinary people to buy from federally licensed dealers in the United States. The people with Concealed Pistol Licenses are not only able to own firearms, but to legally carry them concealed and loaded with them nearly everywhere. Yet, their criminal homicide rate is as low as the highly regulated Japanese.

International comparisons are always tricky. Many countries do not keep good statistics. Some countries actively ignore some murders to make their statistics look better. Others do not have the infrastructure to report and record crimes.  Countries have different definitions of what a criminal homicide is.

In cases such as Michigan, the numbers of homicides among Concealed Pistol License holders is so tiny that it can vary enormously with just a few crimes. Fourteen years gives us a better picture, but it is still a small sample. There are five years with no convictions, five years with one conviction, two years with two convictions and two years with four convictions.  The convictions do not mean the CPL holder used the CPL in the crime. They mean there was a criminal homicide conviction for someone with a CPL.

While not as well documented as the Michigan CPL, the Wisconsin CCW permit holders have a similar low rate of criminal homicides.  When I calculated the number in 2016, the criminal homicide rate for CCW permit holders in Wisconsin was .19 per 100,000.  Wisconsin CCW permits are easier and cheaper to obtain than Michigan CPLs.

If, as those who wish a disarmed population claim, the mere presence of firearms makes criminal homicide more likely, how is it that those who not only own handguns, but can carry them loaded most places, most of the time, have a homicide rate as low as the Japanese?

The law abiding American gun culture is as responsible and law abiding as Japanese culture.

Japanese culture is much more homogeneous than American culture. American culture has a wide diversity. Some subgroups, like American legal gun carriers, are very law abiding and responsible. Other American sub-groups are not. American culture is closer to an amalgam of world culture.

The world average intentional homicide rate was about 6.2 per 100,000 in 2012, very close to the average Michigan homicide rate over 2003 to 2016. The U.S. criminal homicide rate for the same year was 4.7. There are differences between "intentional homicide rate" and "criminal homicide rate", but the numbers show the U.S. to be on the low side of the average world rate.

If someone tells you that legal American gun owners are not murderers until they are, tell them that Japanese, without guns, are as likely to murder as legal American gun owners.

Where crimes of people with carry permits are documented, that population has extremely low crime rates. Crime rates as low as the populations of those countries with the lowest crime rates in the world.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

OK: Gunshot Stops Attack by Dog Pack

Michelle Slaughter had just left from visiting with her sister and brother-in-law around 4 p.m Thursday, when she was attacked by a group of dogs on her way home.

"Its heartbreaking emotions," Moss said. "I mean, I can't believe it happened to her."

Otis Arnold was on his way home from work, and stopped to help right after one of the dogs, a Belgian Milnois, was shot and killed by a neighbor who had stepped in.

"She was screaming that she thought the dogs were trying to tear her arm off," Arnold said.

It was only after the gunshot that the other four dogs, all German Shepherds, ran off.

"One of them had a 4x4, and they were trying to fight the dogs, and it still wasn't keeping them off." Arnold said.
More Here

Followup LA: Grand Jury rules Tacorey Banks Shooting Justified

The Caddo Parish grand jury said no criminal charges should be filed against a Shreveport businessman who fatally shot one of three teenagers he caught breaking into his car last fall. One of the three had a gun, police said.

Louisiana law allows residents to use force to protect themselves or their property. The amount of force must be "reasonable and necessary."
More Here

LA: Waffle House Customer Shoots at Armed Robbers

Just before 10:15 p.m., the scene repeated itself at the Waffle House in the 2900 block of Elysian Fields, when two men entered with handguns, the second report states. One of them jumped over the restaurant counter and demanded money and cell phones, but as they left with the money, a customer in the restaurant shot at them, the report states.

Shortly afterward, a man identified as 19-year-old Ernest Scott showed up at a hospital for treatment in a private vehicle, and police initially called him as a “person of interest” in the robbery. Later Friday afternoon, however, NOPD spokesman Gary Scheets issued a correction stating, “There is no person named Ernest Scott under investigation in relation to this incident.”
More Here

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Cheap Gun Opportunity in Crawfordsville Indiana, 28 April, 2018

A gun turn in event in Crawfordsville, Indiana, delivers an opportunity for brave Second Amendment activists to obtain some nice guns for little money. Their actions would also create a media event to protect Second Amendment Rights.

The event will be held at the Crawfordsville Police Department from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Crawfordsville is about 40 miles northwest of Indianapolis.  From journalreview.com:
Residents can turn in semi-automatic rifles, bump stocks or large-capacity clips in an upcoming program sponsored by a local church.

Wabash Avenue Presbyterian invites owners to take the weapons and accessories to the Crawfordsville Police Department from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 28. All items turned in will be melted down at Nucor Steel.

Owners will receive a $100 gift card from Kroger or County Market for guns and a $25 gift card for accessories.
 No permit is required to purchase guns in Indiana.

Gift cards of $100 will be given for each "assault style" gun turned in. $25 will be given for accessories such as bump stocks and "high capacity magazines". This is a generous offer for magazines. I suspect the gift cards to run out very quickly. If you have some old magazines, you might want to turn them in and order excellent new standard capacity magazines for going rates of $9-$15 each.  I do not expect many "assault style" firearms to be turned in, but alert Second Amendment supporters might intercept an SKS or a someone turning in an AR15 type rifle they inherited from their brother or husband. At one "buyback" event, one woman was going to turn in her boyfriend's AR15, but took cash for it instead.

Across the country, communities, police departments and churches are sponsoring gun turn-ins to get "guns off the street". At many of these events, private buyers are showing up, offering cash for the more valuable guns. These private additions to the public turn-in are effective, no doubt, in getting more guns off the street, because they add to the resources that are available to those who want to get rid of guns for something of value, be it a grocery store card or a number of twenty dollar bills.  Resources will be limited.

You can help make the turn-in in Indiana more effective by standing on the curb with your "Cash for Guns" sign, or at a folding table, willing to offer more than the gift card for firearms that are more valuable. It would be best if numerous private parties were available, as more good guns could then be transferred into responsible hands.

This action serves many useful purposes. It stretches the turn-in budget so that more guns can be taken off the street. It helps keep fearful widows from being defrauded of most of the market value of the gun they are turning in. It prevents valuable assets from being destroyed by bureaucratic inflexibility.  It is a win-win-win situation.

At least one commenter sees the event as an opportunity. From foxnews.com comments:

I'm waiting for something like this in my area. I still have an old .22 revolver that broke in the late 60's (Saturday night special). In 1967, I paid about $17 for it. It's kind of pretty but the frame was made of "pot metal". I'm guessing that some of these do-gooders would pay the same price for it as an operable weapon. It would give me money to go out and buy a new gun. This would be a win-win. The anti-gun people would feel good and so would I.

 While the articles about the event say the offer is for "guns", in the video, the couple make clear it is only for "assault weapons".  Do not take an old revolver and expect to get $100 for it.  Many people bringing revolvers, hunting rifles, shotguns worth far more than $100 may be surprised to learn that their guns do not qualify. It could be an opportunity for private purchasers.

Academics have long written about the ineffectiveness of these events. Only a few places are still having them. In Washington state, public disarmament activists asked politicians to stop them because they were making the disarmists look bad.  From the Freakonomics" web site:
When it comes to gun buybacks, both the theory and the data could not be clearer in showing that they don’t work. The only guns that get turned in are ones that people put little value on anyway. There is no impact on crime. On the positive side, the “cash for clunkers” program is more attractive than the gun buyback program because, as long as they are being driven, old cars pollute, whereas old guns just sit there.
Having private purchasers show up at these events is cheap activism for Second Amendment supporters. It shows that guns are valued assets for many people in the community.

Link to article with numerous examples of private sales at gun turn in events

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

AK: Armed 80-Year-Old Shoots Attacking Pit Bull

"Now there’s three of them lying on the ground. I ran out my back porch to my car and I grabbed my pistol and ran out my garage. The girls’ father is there by now and he’s beating on the dog’s head when he could, but this dog was so fast," Woods said. "I started shouting, ‘Let him go, get away from him. Back up, I’m going to kill him.’"

Woods waited until everyone was away from the pit bull and then fired downward so that the bullet would go into the ground. He shot the pit bull in the head. It dropped the rat terrier but remained standing, so Woods shot it a second time.
More Here

SC: Armed Woman Confronts Aggressive Man at her Car, Shoots Him

Officers said the female confronted the male suspect at her car and she says he advanced towards her. At that time, the woman produced a handgun and fired one round, striking the suspect in the leg, police say.

The suspect was transported to Trident Hospital for treatment.
More Here

IN: Armed Customer Shoots, Kills Robbery Suspect at Ocampo Auto Sales

GARY — One man is dead and another is on the run after a customer at an auto dealership shot and killed a robbery suspect in self-defense, police said.
The customer and an employee were outside of Ocampo Auto Sales, a used car lot at 401 W. Ridge Road, when two men approached them, according to Gary police.

More Here

Friday, April 20, 2018

Woman Calls Police Over Man Wearing Pro-Gun T-Shirt At Park

A woman called the police to complain about a man's pro-gun t-shirt.

Benbrook, TX – A Texas father’s afternoon visit to a local park prompted a police response, after a woman alleged that the man’s pro-gun Warrior 12 shirt was making other parents uncomfortable, police said.

Troy Johnston and his two daughters, ages four and six, stopped at Castle Park on March 30, so the children could enjoy the park’s swings and maze, he told Blue Lives Matter.

Johnston said he was openly carrying his handgun in a holster on his hip, and was also sporting a Warrior 12 shirt emblazoned with the words, “I’LL CONTROL MY GUNS, YOU CONTROL YOUR KIDS” across the back.

The shirt also featured an image of an AR-15 rifle.

“I figured I might get some comments or looks,” Johnston said. “[But] I was legally exercising my First and Second Amendment rights.”

Approximately 30 minutes after the kids began playing, a man approached him with his wife and daughter in tow, Johnston said.

He said the man told him that a woman was “fuming” over the message on Johnston’s shirt, as well as the fact that he was armed.

“I thanked him for letting me know, and continued playing with my kids,” Johnson said.

More Here

AP: Gun Clubs Teach Patience. Discipline. Responsibility.

School shooting teams were common before 1970. They suffered enormous decline with the war on guns from 1970 to 2000. Now they are making a comeback. The numbers are growing, and even the Associated Press is noticing. From detroitnews.com:
Dahlonega, Ga. – Their classmates took to the streets to protest gun violence and to implore adults to restrict guns, seeming to forecast a generational shift in attitudes toward the Second Amendment. But at high school and college gun ranges around the country, these teens and young adults gather to practice shooting and talk about the positive influence firearms have had on their lives.

What do they say they learn? Patience. Discipline. Responsibility.

“I’ve never gone out onto a range and not learned something new,” said Lydia Odlin, a 21-year-old member of the Georgia Southern University rifle team.

There are an estimated 5,000 teams at high schools and universities around the country, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, and their popularity hasn’t waned despite criticism after it emerged that the gunman who killed 14 students and three staff members at a Florida high school had been a member of the JROTC rifle team. The youths who are involved, coaches and parents say there’s an enormous difference between someone bent on violence and school gun clubs that focus on safety and teach skills that make navigating life’s hardships easier.
Shooting is a lifetime sport the practitioners find accessible into old age. The interesting thing about the AP article is that it mentions the many positive aspects of the shooting sports.

The Associated Press has been actively hostile to the Second Amendment for decades.  As the Internet and talk radio highlightec that hostility, the organization has been become a little more even handed. I applaud the decision at AP to allow a positive view of the shooting sports into their content.

Rifle teams used to be something governments all over the world supported. The reason was obvious. Armies with troops that could shoot accurately had an advantage on the battlefield. In England, a personal friend told me of bicycling all over his area, .22 target rifle on the handlebars. Nobody blinked.

President Theodore Roosevelt thought children should be encouraged to learn to shoot. From goodreads.com:
"We should encourage rifle practice among schoolboys, and indeed among all classes, as well as in the military services by every means in our power. Thus, and not otherwise, may we be able to assist in preserving peace in the world..."
It may not be a coincidence that support for school shooting teams declined in the nuclear age. The control of nuclear weapons seemed to diminish the necessity for a nation of  riflemen. We have learned differently. Experience in wars from Korea to Afghanistan have validated the need for the rifleman on the field of combat.

Times change. Technology changes. Perhaps, in the future, riflemen may become obsolete. It has not happened yet.

The virtues promoted by the shooting sports, self discipline, responsibility, control of mind over body, have always been, and always will be, valuable and worth while.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

AR: Homeowner Investigates Intruder, Shoots, Falls, Shoots Leg

Then, Adams said the unknown person raised their arm and pointed something at him.

Adams said he drew his gun and told the person "he could not help them if they did not respond." The person continued to point something at Adams.

Adams told Chadwick he then fired at the person. However, after the first shot, Adams "fell backward and landed on his back and then fired his firearm two more times and accidentally shot himself in his right leg," the report states.

After the shots were fired, Adams said he heard a vehicle coming from the north on CR 745 and almost came to a stop at the end of his driveway. He said loud music was coming from the vehicle.
More Here

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Sacrificing Public Safety to Please Special Interests- Their Death has Already Been Paid For by Rob Morse

Now let’s look why bad ideas get so much political traction from elected officials. Politician say they want to do the right thing. Unfortunately, what is right for them isn’t necessarily right for us. Politicians frequently say one thing in front of a camera and then do another. Politicians vote for their best interest rather than for ours. Look at the issue of murders in school. Experts told us what to do to protect our children, yet progress is painfully slow. We want our children protected while the politician needs to get credit and kickbacks for the solution. That leaves ours children at risk. We see that time after time.

Mental Health vs state employee unions- Many mass murderers have a history of mental illness. Now that we’ve closed our mental hospitals, your local sheriff is often the largest provider of mental health services in your county. That is one of the larger expenses on the sheriff’s budget. Mental health evaluation and treatment consume lots of time from law enforcement officers, corrections officers, nurses, doctors and lawyers. Notice the varied backgrounds of the providers. Some of them might be contract providers rather than state employees. In general, they are not as well connected, as politically organized, as unionized teachers and prison guards. In fact, every dollar a politician spends keeping the mentally ill out of jail is a dollar that could go towards the bloated pensions of state employees. That is why politicos would rather give money to state employees and statewide unions rather than to local providers. Is it more politically profitable to put someone in prison than to treat the mentally ill before they commit a crime? It often is. Could that explain why we see, what we see in our deteriorating mental health system?

Incarceration vs state employee unions- It seems that law enforcement is reluctant to take repeat offenders off the street. For example, California recently went so far as to release large numbers of prisoners. The legislature and the parole board redefined the term “violent criminal” so that repeat offenders are sent to county jails or released rather than housed in state prisons.

Is it more politically profitable to release someone from prison than to keep them there? Could it be? Could that explain why we see, what we see in our prisons and jails?

Iowa Legislature moves Toward Right to Arms Constitutional Amendment

Only six states do not have some sort of right to keep and bear arms amendment or clause in their state Constitution. They are California, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, and  New York.

California, Maryland, New Jersey and New York show the lack of a state constitutional protection with their highly restrictive firearms laws.

The two outliers on that list are Iowa and Minnesota. State constitutional protections of the right to bear arms provide protection when the federal Constitution fails to do so. The U.S. Supreme Court has been reluctant to protect Second Amendment rights for a decade. The road to the U.S. Supreme Court is long, difficult, and far from certain. State Supreme courts are more easily accesable, showing the utility of state constitutional protections.

Iowa is in the process of adding constitutional amendment to protect the right to keep and bear arms at the state level.  The proposed amendment is as follows: From iowa.gov:
Right to acquire, keep, possess, transport, carry, transfer, and use arms. 

SEC. 1A. The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. The sovereign state of Iowa affirms and recognizes the fundamental right of the people to acquire, keep, possess, transport, carry, transfer, and use arms for all legitimate purposes. Any and all restrictions of this right shall be subject to strict scrutiny.

When voters are presented with a choice of having a state constitutional right to keep and bear arms, amendments pass with large majorities.  A mere referendum would be required in California. But Iowa, as with some other states, such as Wisconsin, have more difficult paths to amending their constitution. In Iowa, a constitutional amendment must pass both houses of the legislature. Then an election must take place. Then the measure must pass both houses of the legislature again; then a referundum is sent to the people for approval. The Iowa amendment has now passed the first hurdle. From wcfcourier.com:
The resolution has been approved by the House and Senate. If it is approved by the next General Assembly, it will be on the ballot for ratification by voters in 2020.

Smith called the resolution “extreme,” especially because it includes language requiring courts to apply “strict scrutiny” to any restriction on gun rights.

That could open the door for challenges to existing gun laws as well as make it difficult to enact what Smith called “common sense” legislation.
If the amendment passes the legislature next year, it will pass a referendum. No right to bear arms Constitutional Amendment referendum has been defeated at the polls.  Voters have passed similar constitutional amendments in other states with wide margins. Alabama passed a similar amendment in 2014 with 72% of the vote; Missouri had strengthened its Constitution just months before with 61%; Louisiana in 2012 with 74% of the vote; and  Kansas in 2010 with 88%.
Wisconsin's amendment passed with 74% of the vote in 1998.

The Iowa State Seal says "OUR LIBERTIES WE PRIZE AND OUR RIGHTS WE WILL MAINTAIN".  This motto will be put to the test in 2019 and 2020.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

Link to Gun Watch

Oklahoma Legislature Votes to Extend Home, Business Defense Options to Churches

The Oklahoma legislature has overwhelmingly voted to extend the protections homes and businesses have in the laws of defense of self and others to Oklahoma churches. From publicradiotulsa.org:
The Senate voted 42–1 on Thursday for House Bill 2632, which makes places used either part- or full-time for religious services covered by the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act.

The shooting still must be done because of reasonable fear of harm or death or to prevent a violent felony.

"That makes it clear that there has to be some reason that you felt that you were threatened and needed to use that defensive force, or that someone else is threatened and that you needed to use that force," said Sen. Micheal Bergstrom.
On March 6, 2018, the Oklahoma House voted 62 Yes, 21 No, with 16 excused.

On April 12, 2018 the Oklahoma Senate voted 42 Yes, 1 No, with 4 excused.

The bill with now go to Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, who is likely to sign the popular measure. The bill extends what has commonly been known as the "Castle Doctrine" to churches. Here are some paragraphs from the bill. From oklegislature.gov:

A. The Legislature hereby recognizes that the citizens of the State of Oklahoma have a right to expect absolute safety within their own homes or, places of business or places of worship.
An important consideration in the bill is the awarding of fees to the defender in a failed civil lawsuit.
H. The court shall award reasonable attorney fees, court costs, compensation for loss of income, and all expenses incurred by the defendant in defense of any civil action brought by a plaintiff if the court finds that the defendant is immune from prosecution as provided in subsection F of this section.
The legislature made sure to prevent the requirement for a government fee or license.
I. The provisions of this section and the provisions of the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act shall not be construed to require any person using a weapon pursuant to the provisions of this section to be licensed in any manner.
 Merely pointing a weapon at someone under the circumstances described in the bill, is defined as not being a criminal act.

J. A person pointing a weapon at a perpetrator in self-defense or in order to thwart, stop or deter a forcible felony or attempted forcible felony shall not be deemed guilty of committing a criminal act.
The rights of property owners were protected in the bill.
K.Nothing contained in the provisions of this section shall prohibit the current property right of a place of worship or any other business or property owner to set its own policy regarding weapons.
 Extending the rights of people in their homes and business owners to their churches is simply following the First and Second amendment.

In the early colonies, people were commanded to bring guns to church. In "Origins and Development of the Second Amendment", there is a reference to colonial requirements to carry guns in church from the Virginia laws.

All men that are fitting to bear arms, shall bring their pieces to the church...
The law dated to 1631.  David Hardy found it in the 1823 work by William Henning, "The Statutes at large, being a collection of all the laws of Virginia, Vol. 1 at 127, 173-174."

Churches, which are particularly protected by the "free exercise of religion" clause of the Constitution in the First Amendment, should have at least the same protections that private homes and businesses do.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

Homeowner Shoots two Invaders, 1 Killed, 1 Wounded, Son Wounded

Early Saturday morning, at 4:51 a.m., in Raleigh, NC, a suspected home invasion was met with gunfire by the homeowner. In the gun fight, one home invader was killed, another seriously wounded, and the homeowner's son, 11, was seriously wounded.  From abc11.com:
According to Raleigh police, the homeowner fired at two intruders during an armed robbery.

The shooting happened in the 4200 block of Brintons Cottage Street around 4:51 a.m.

Deandre Carney, 19, died from his injuries.

Willie Richardson, 22, was also injured in the shooting.

He is still in the hospital with gunshot wounds but is charged with armed robbery, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, first-degree burglary, and possession of a firearm by a felon.

The homeowner's 11-year-old son was also injured and is in the hospital with serious injuries.
Gunfights are dangerous affairs. You may control your shots, but you do not control the shots of your opponent(s). In this case, the responding defender prevailed. He killed one opponent and seriously wounding the other. He was not wounded. The cost was high. His eleven year old son was wounded.

Defensive firearms instructors recommend that gunfights be avoided if at all possible.  Avoidance is the best strategy. Sun Tsu's remark about war applies to personal combat. "It is best to win without fighting". Most defensive uses of firearms are against assailants armed with other weapons. Even when the aggressor has a gun, most criminals back off rather than risk a gunfight.

Sometimes, a defender has no real choice. Sometimes the fight comes to you. Sometimes the cost of avoidance is too high.

We do not know what the cost would have been if the father of the eleven year old boy had not fought. It might have been higher. He or a member of his family might have been killed. Once human predators have been successful, they tend to return.

Deandre Carney paid the ultimate price for his association with Willie Richardson.  It appears Richardson was a convicted felon, as he was charged with possession of a firearm by a felon. Two months previously he was arrested for robbery with a dangerous weapon. There are other charges in his history. Photos of Deandre show him flashing a hand signal. Others can interpret what that might mean.

Many countries in the world have more violent crime that the United States. The list includes Mexico, Brazil, Russia, Jamaica, Venezuela, Honduras, South Africa, and many others.

Others, such as Switzerland, England, and Japan, have less.

In Restricting Handguns: The Liberal Skeptics Speak Out, the point was made that in England, there are many burglaries, and the percentage of home invasions is higher than in the United States. A case was made that burglars avoid robbing an occupied house, because of the risk of getting shot. In Panama, I recall asking how a business owner, who had a considerable scrap yard, stayed in business in an area known for its thieves. I was told: "The thieves learn which houses have guns, very quickly.

Deandre Carney and Willie Richardson are examples of the risks of home invasion. Perhaps others will learn from their example.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

Michigan Supreme Court to Hear Open Carry in Schools Case


Michigan law protects the right of people with carry permits to openly carry guns in schools. The law also preempts local government entities from creating local laws and regulations that violate the state laws.

People with carry permits are more law abiding than police officers. They make schools more safe, not less safe. Some school officials are perfectly willing to have law enforcement officers openly carry in schools, but not parents with carry permits. From foxonline.com:
“Obviously, we don’t believe that individuals should open carry in our school unless they are uniformed officers of law enforcement,” says Fletcher Spears III, Superintendent of Clio Public Schools. “But the bigger issue behind this is the ability of school districts to create their own rules within the law.”

Gun advocates say that goes against their rights and state laws.

“State law allows people to lawfully possess fire arms at schools, says Tom Lambert, President of Michigan Open Carry.

Michigan Open Carry is the group suing Clio Schools for their right to openly carry on school property. It’s an issue that’s been making its way through the court system for years.

“The truth is we’ve had open carry in our schools for a long time. In our case the trial court originally ruled in our favor. Until the court of appeals ruled against us, there were many schools in the state that allowed open carry.”
 Notice how Fletcher Spears III, starts his argument: "Obviously, we don't believe..." But it is far from obvious. This is called begging the question. A great many people do not believe it is "obvious" that people who are legally armed should be forbidden from carrying in schools, or that only "uniformed officers of law enforcement" should. Anyone can obtain a uniform. A uniform does not make the wearer more responsible or law abiding.

The question is, if schools officials are willing to have law enforcement officers openly carry in the schools, why are they against people with carry permits, who are at least as safe, openly carrying in schools?

It appears the purpose is not safety. The purpose appears to be indoctrination. If students see an example where ordinary citizens have the same rights as agents of the state, to protect themselves, they might get the idea the Second Amendment means something. "Gun free schools" have been one of the few successes of those who want a disarmed public. They have created the meme that guns do not belong in schools, when guns were fairly common in schools, until about 20 years ago.

Not surprisingly, mass shooting in schools started becoming more common after the federal laws banning guns in schools.

The law in Michigan is pretty clear. The legislature forbids local government entities from making their own gun laws. Public schools are local government entities. Unfortunately, we have seen courts make their own law, over and over.

We will know if the Michigan State Supreme Court will follow the law in a few days or weeks. State Supreme Courts generally act more rapidly than the U.S. Supreme Court.

 ©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

The Anti-Gun Plotline In ‘Lost In Space’ Is Forced And Ludicrous

The “Lost in Space” reboot just released on Netflix is actually very entertaining. There are some big changes from the original series, but the heart and intrigue of the stranded Robinson family is mostly intact — aside from Mom, Maureen Robinson (Molly Parker), consistently belittling her husband, John (Toby Stephens) for little apparent reason.

The rebooted Robinsons are a highly educated and trained family of five sent off to a space colony ahead of the impending destruction of Earth. Things go pear-shaped on the hull en route to colony planet, Alpha Centauri, and the family is forced to evacuate on their Jupiter 2 spacecraft. They crash land on an unknown but habitable planet, where they quickly realize they are not alone. Fellow survivors of the exploded hull, and other intelligent life are also on the planet.

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MA: Ban on Stun Guns Unconstituitonal

If a ban on stun guns is unconstitutional, then a ban on semi-automatic rifles and standard magazines is much more so, as they are much more common than stun guns. D.W.

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts’ highest court ruled Tuesday that the state’s ban on civilian possession of stun guns violates the U.S. Constitution’s right to bear arms.

The decision is a reversal for the court, which reached an opposite conclusion in a different case in 2015. The U.S. Supreme Court, however, set aside that earlier ruling, saying the Massachusetts court failed to properly explain its decision.

The Supreme Judicial Court said it would leave the 2004 ban in place for 60 days to give the Legislature time to rewrite the law to regulate the ownership of stun guns, without banning them entirely.

“We conclude that the absolute prohibition against civilian possession of stun guns … is in violation of the Second Amendment, and we order that the count of the complaint charging the defendant with such possession be dismissed with prejudice,” the justices wrote.

More Here

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Swiss to Debate Restrictive Gun Laws in 2018

Switzerland has long been one of the safest and well governed countries in the world. Switzerland had historical few firearms restrictions and high rates of gun ownership. Until 1996, the firearms laws in Switzerland were entirely an affair of the local cantons. Gun laws in Switzerland were generally less restrictive than in the United States. Most firearms were not registered. It was easy to purchase handguns and automatic rifles. Cannon required an approximate $5 registration which could be obtained at the local police office. Cannon breech blocks were required to be stored separately from the cannon. Before 1998, pistols could be carried most places. Some cantons required an easily obtainable permit.

As the push for European Union gun control intensified, the high Swiss level of freedom to own guns was criticized.  The European Union pushed hard for more restrictions, to bring the Swiss laws in line with the highly restrictive laws in the European Union.

In 1999 the Swiss passed a referendum that imposed severe firearm restrictions by Swiss historical standards. Additional tightening of controls were imposed in 2007. Full auto firearms and cannon are now difficult to obtain. Semi-auto rifles of military caliber and semi-automatic pistols are required to be registered. 

It does not matter how low the crime rate is to those who wish to disarm populations. Even though the Swiss have world class low crime rates, those pushing for ever more restrictive rules use suicides and the rare gun crime to demand more restrictions. From thelocal.ch:
A new platform composed of left-wing politicians, police officers and psychiatrists is pushing for Switzerland to follow the European Union in tightening controls on guns.

Representatives of the Social Democratic Party (SP), the Swiss police officers association VSPB/FSFP and the Swiss federation of psychiatrists and psychotherapists FMPP joined forces on Thursday ahead of a debate on the issue in parliament, the Tribune de Genève reported.

The EU parliament approved a revised gun law last year designed to close security loopholes and introduce tighter controls on blank-firing and inadequately deactivated weapons like those used in the Paris terror attacks.

On March 2nd the Federal Council issued a message on a “pragmatic implementation” of the EU legislation in Switzerland in response to the terror attacks in Europe.
The use of fraudulent "studies" by the disarmament groups is not limited to the United States. In pushing for more restrictions on the Swiss, the use of militia weapons in a few suicides per year, is often cited as a reason to restrict all the Swiss.  In 2009, there were 241 deaths in Switzerland associated with a firearm.

About 85% of those were suicides. Of suicides committed with guns in Switzerland, about 9% are committed with a military weapon. That puts the number committed with a military weapon in 2009 at about 19.  Assisted suicide in Switzerland is legal. No reason need be given.  There were 300 assisted suicides in Switzerland in 2009.

Apparently, the problem with suicide, for those who wish to disarm the Swiss, is the use of a firearm.

In 2009 there were only 24 homicides with firearms in Switzerland, for a firearms homicide rate of an astonishing low .31 per 100,000. But firearms homicides is a misleading number. The number that should be compared is the overall homicide rate. In 2009 in Switzerland, it was .7 per 100,000.  In England and Wales the homicide rate for 2009 was 1.08.  In France, the homicide rate for 2009 was 1.3.

An obvious reasons for imposing restrictive gun laws on the Swiss is that Switzerland serves as a counterexample of a prosperous country with considerable freedom to have arms, and a very low crime rate. People in England and France might think their gun laws are too restrictive.

Statistics and death rates do not matter to those who want disarmed populations. The fact that people legally have arms *is* considered the problem, not crimes or suicides.

In Switzerland, if the federal government enacts a law, the Swiss people can call for a referendum to prevent it from going into effect. If a restrictive firearms law is passed, it will face a referendum.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch 

WV: Homeowner Shoots Suspect Home Invader

PUTNAM COUNTY, WV (WOWK) - According to the Putnam County Sheriff's Department, a homeowner shot a suspected home invader this afternoon.

According to Chief Deputy Eric Hayzlett, the shooting occurred around 12:45 PM on Monday, April 16th, 2018, on Thompson Road in the Culloden area.
More Here

TX: Armed Homeowner/officer Shoots, Wounds, Intruder

Houston police Chief Art Acevedo said the man attempted to break into the home of a Houston police officer around 12:20 a.m. Monday. After he broke a glass door and attempted to unlock it, the officer opened fire, wounding him.

  More Here

PA: "Warning Shots" Work to Stop Dog Attack

The other man was taken to a local emergency room. Police said Charlie was rushed to a veterinarian with severe injuries.

Another neighbor shot at the ground, which scared the dogs off. Although it is illegal to discharge a firearm in Sharon, police said the man, who was not identified, will not be charged due to the situation, in which he fired directly into the ground to stop the pit bulls’ attack on the smaller dog and two people.

Miller said the dogs are considered aggressive and need to be quarantined. He ordered the owner to keep the dogs inside.
More Here

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Guyana: Alleged bicycle thief shot by unlicenced businessman in Alberttown

Based on information received, the 49-year-old businessman was awake in his home, around 03:10hrs, browsing the internet when he heard a noise and, upon peering through a window he, observed Singh in his yard walking towards the front gate and pushing a bicycle.

As such, the businessman reportedly told police that he collected his unlicenced 9mm pistol and discharged a round at Singh, hitting him once to the right leg.

Law enforcement ranks were then summoned.

More Here

USnews.com: Police, Prosecutors Concerned with BB Gun look-alikes

Completely one sided article. It ignores the benefit of criminals using look-alike guns instead of real guns. It talks about the danger to criminals as if that is a bad thing.

Simons was charged with second-degree robbery and sentenced to 10 years in prison in mid-March, the maximum charge and sentence for someone using a weapon not classified as "dangerous" to commit a robbery.

Police say they frequently encounter the use of "toy" weapons like BB guns and pellet guns by criminals, especially as the resemblance between them and real firearms grows.

But police say they would support stronger deterrents in the law against using them like real weapons. The worry is twofold: First, that people are using them to commit crimes, and second, that a situation could arise where, in self-defense, a civilian or a police officer would use shoot someone displaying one.

More Here

CA: Resident Fataly Shoots Intruder who Threatened Family


A man who broke into a home in Stockton Saturday morning is dead after a resident shot him, the Stockton Police Department said.

Officers arrived at the home on South Monroe Street at 8:15 a.m., police said. The resident of the home shot a man who broke into his home and made threats to his family, police said. He was transported to a hospital but did not survive.
More Here

Monday, April 16, 2018

Video/Audio of Silencerco Maxim 9 on new Video platform GunStreamer.com

Below is a link to a video/audio of the Silencerco Maxim 9 from the industry day at the range at the Shot Show in 2017.

Link to video

The video is on a new platform GunStreamer.com, to compete with Youtube. Youtube is actively demonitzing and marginalizing gun videos and gun writers.

This amounts to private censorship. It has become particularly bad since Youtube was acquired by Google. Google motto "Don't be Evil" seems particularly ironic.

The insurrection is going to have to find ways to get the message out against the forces of the empire/establishment. Google is clearly one of the prime movers in the Establishment/empire.

 ©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

Council of Great City Schools Pushes Anti-Second Amendment Resolution

The Council of Great City Schools has published a resolution calling for severe infringements on the Second Amendment.

The Council of Great City Schools (CGCS) is an organization of 70 urban public school systems, first formed in 1956.  It started with 10 large, urban schools and has grown with federal funding. As such, it is not surprising it pushes causes dear to those pushing for more and bigger government, more taxes, more spending, more federal funding. It's members are all funded by tax dollars.  Most of its teachers would be members of the far left National Education Association. When the CGCS says they wish to improve education, they are essentially saying: Give us more money. From cgcs.org:
The Council of the Great City Schools brings together 70 of nation’s largest urban public school systems in a coalition dedicated to the improvement of education for children in the inner cities. The Council and its member school districts work to help our schoolchildren meet the highest standards and become successful and productive members of society.

The Council keeps the nation’s lawmakers, the media, and the public informed about the progress and problems in big-city schools. The organization does this through legislation, communications, research, and technical assistance.
As with much propaganda, the resolution from the CGCS contains a mixture of truisms, falsehoods, and logical fallacies. My hope was that an educational organization would check facts. It is not hard to do with easy access to the Internet. But the CGCS resolution is not about truth, facts, or logic. It is about pushing a Progressive policy agenda. Here are a few of the gems from the Resolution, and a critique. Quotes from the resolution are indented.From cgcs.org:
WHEREAS, too many of our young people are shot and killed on the streets of our major cities almost every day;
Many would consider this a truism, but it is not. It has underlying assumptions that are far from universally accepted. How many is too many? Is one too many? If one of the young people is shot to prevent them from murdering a younger child, a senior citizen, or from raping a child, is that one too many?  The assumption does nothing to differentiate useful and justified shootings from those that are illegitimate.
WHEREAS, Americans are 25 times more likely to be killed with a gun than people in other developed countries;
This assumption is crafted with a careful caveat. It only includes a few countries in the world, undefined as "developed countries".  No reason is given for that differentiation. You could as easily consider "New World Countries" or "English speaking Countries".  A VOX  definition includes Qatar, Barbados, and Cyprus as "developed countries", while excluding Brazil, Jamaica, and Panama. The deception is completed by using the logical fallacy of irrelevancy. Only people killed with guns are counted. But guns can protect as well as kill; someone killed because they do not have a gun is just as dead as someone killed with a gun. Any statistic that relies on "gun deaths" or "gun violence" is relying on the logical fallacy of irrelevancy. It is the total unjustified homicides that matter, not just "gun homicides".
WHEREAS, Americans make up about 4.4 percent of the world’s population but own some 42 percent of the world’s guns;
Another example of the irrelevancy argument. Americans are some of the richest people on the planet. Rich people have guns, unless prevented from having them by their rulers. The richest people in nearly every country have guns and/or armed security.
WHEREAS, assault weapons have no place in society and other types of guns are too easily obtained;
Simply an assumption, an opinion that some people have and others do not. Guns were more easily obtained 50 years ago, and "assault weapons" (an ill-defined term of legalese, varying from state to state) have been available for a hundred years and more. During that period, the crime rate fell and rose. The primary reason for more mass murder today seems to be the desire of national media to create celebrities out of mass murderers that use guns.
WHEREAS, teachers are not trained law enforcement officers, and should not be asked or incentivized to keep weapons accessible in their classrooms;
More irrelevancy. About 20% of teachers are willing and able to safely carry defensive firearms and protect the children in their care. They should be allowed to do so.
WHEREAS, there is no reason based on any viable research to suggest that adding guns into a school setting or arming teachers would prevent these acts of violence;
There are only hundreds of years of practical experience, several real world examples, and the failure of the Federal Gun Free School Zone laws to contradict this assumption. Mass shootings deaths in schools increased by about 440 percent since the federal laws were passed.

There are several more questionable WHEARAS statements, and then a large number of resolution statements that are just as irrational, based on false assumptions, irrelevancy, and simple error.  I will include one of the resolution statement to show how ignorant these urban educators are about guns, and crimes either committed with or prevented by the ownership of guns. From the CGCS.org resolution:
NOW, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Council of the Great City Schools calls on the Congress of the United States to ban the sale, purchase, possession, and use of assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition cartridges, except those needed by the military and law
What are a large-capacity ammunition cartridges? Might I assume they are cartridges of calibers greater than 20 mm? The authors clearly do not understand the minimal facts about guns.  Such things are easily available with only a little effort. How can we trust such ignorant people to craft legislation that has any relevancy to any issue dealing with firearms? The answer is, of course, that we cannot. It would be like asking a person who knows nothing of mathematics or engineering to design a jet airplane.  Not only would it be silly, it would be irresponsible.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

Gun Control Logical Fallacy: Ignoring Lives Saved

A person who dies because they did not have a gun is just as dead as a person who is murdered with a gun. In practice, overall unjustified homicides tend to rise a bit when gun are banned or restricted.

Those who push for disarmed populations use a logical fallacy when arguing for gun restrictions and gun bans. They only count people who are killed with guns, and ignore people who are killed because they were unarmed or disarmed.

This logical fallacy is called an irrelevancy argument. Whenever you see a chart or graph or statistic that uses the terms "gun homicide", "gun deaths", "gun suicides" or "gun violence". The people using it are promoting a logical fallacy.

Used in research, these terms are a blatant case of confirmation bias in data selection. When people only look at negatives involving guns, they eliminate cases where guns are used to save lives.

What counts are not "gun homicides", but all unjustified homicides.  If the unjustified homicide level rises when gun restrictions are put in place, the stated purpose of the gun restrictions has not been achieved. The gun restriction cost lives instead of saving them. If the homicide level remains the same, all the expense, disruption of individual lives, industry, personal hardship, and loss of freedom has been inflicted for no gain. The restrictions have resulted in a net loss.

In practice, gun bans and gun restrictions have only small effects on homicide rates. In the United States, John Lott and others have shown small, but measurable reductions in murder and violent crimes when more people carry guns legally. Historically, strict gun control made little difference to murder rates in Europe. Joyce Lee Malcomb has shown that murder rates in England and Wales were lower before strict gun control was put in place. In much of the rest of Europe, the homicide rates are pretty flat over the period when gun restrictions were instituted.

In Jamaica, the murder rate soared when a firearms ban was instituted in the 1960s.

Brazil has one of the highest murder rates in the world while having some of the strictest gun restrictions, and a very low number of guns per capita. Most of the murders in Brazil are committed with illegally possessed and often, illegally manufactured guns. The American Virgin Islands have some of the highest murder rates in the world, and some of the heaviest restrictions on gun ownership.  Only a small number of illegal guns are needed for murderers to create a high murder rate with firearms. This is one of the principal weaknesses of attempting to ban firearms. The demand for firearms to be used in crimes is easily met with firearms made at home, in small shops, diverted from the police and military, or smuggled in.

In the United States, where there are about 420 million guns for 330 million people, guns are commonly used to save lives, defend people from attack, and to stop crimes. In a study commissioned by President Obama, done through the Center for Disease Control, it was recognized that guns are used for defensive purposes more often than criminally.

Defensive Use of Guns

Defensive use of guns by crime victims is a common occurrence, although the exact number remains disputed (Cook and Ludwig, 1996; Kleck, 2001a). Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million (Kleck, 2001a), in the context of about 300,000 violent crimes involving firearms in 2008 (BJS, 2010). On the other hand, some scholars point to a radically lower estimate of only 108,000 annual defensive uses based on the National Crime Victimization Survey (Cook et al., 1997). The variation in these numbers remains a controversy in the field. The estimate of 3 million defensive uses per year is based on an extrapolation from a small number of responses taken from more than 19 national surveys. The former estimate of 108,000 is difficult to interpret because respondents were not asked specifically about defensive gun use.

Unsurprisingly, justifiable homicides were found to increase in states with "stand your ground" laws, while overall homicide rates dropped. From John Lott:

My research looked at all states that have enacted Stand Your Ground between 1977 and 2012, either through legislation or through court decisions. I consistently found subsequent drops in murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault rates. On average, murder rates fell by about 1.5 percent annually during the first 10 years that the law was in effect.
This is precisely what is predicted when more people use guns to save lives.

Guns are tools. They can be used to save lives as well as be used to take them. Most people who defend themselves with a gun never have to fire a shot. The mere presence of the gun is enough to stop their attacker. Those incidents are seldom recorded by police, reported in the media, or counted in official statistics.  This shows a basic asymmetry about guns. Guns are more easily used to defend against  attack than to murder. Most murderers do not wish to endanger their own lives. Defenders lives are already in danger. Firearms level the playing field.

Those who use the logical fallacy of an irrelevancy argument do not want you to consider the lives lost because people do not have guns. That is why they push the propaganda memes of "gun violence", "gun homicide", "gun crime", and never mention the lives lost because people did not have guns, or because they were disarmed.

But the single mother who faces attackers that are stronger and larger, the 82-year-old who who faces a home invader, the homeowner who faces a criminal gang, could all have been killed if they were not armed.  The examples above were the lucky and prudent ones who were armed. The unarmed victims who would be alive if they had a gun are not mentioned in news reports. Mass murders stopped by armed citizens are downplayed by the media.

The media does not keep a list of instances that "Should have been a defensive gun use".  Lives lost because the victim did not have a gun are just as important as murders committed with a gun.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

South Africa: 70-Year-Old Woman Wounded, 1 Intruder Killed, 1 Wounded

“She was in a critical condition and required urgent attention from advanced life support paramedics before she was transported to an area hospital,” said Jamieson.

“One man, an alleged intruder, had been shot and killed and was declared dead at the scene. Another had been wounded, and was also treated by medics at the residence. He was taken to hospital under police guard.”

It is alleged that the men had entered the elderly woman’s home and there was an exchange of gunfire.
More Here

AZ: Woman with Gun Beats Man with Hatchet

TUCSON, Ariz. - A woman shot a hatchet-wielding would-be robber when he confronted her in a parking lot Friday night, police said.

More Here

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Everybody’s Lying About the Link Between Gun Ownership and Homicide

Pretty clear portrayal, but needs to acknowledge irrelevancy of "gun homicide" vs. total homicide.

There is no clear correlation whatsoever between gun ownership rate and gun homicide rate. Not within the USA. Not regionally. Not internationally. Not among peaceful societies. Not among violent ones. Gun ownership doesn’t make us safer. It doesn’t make us less safe. The correlation simply isn’t there. It is blatantly not-there. It is so tremendously not-there that the “not-there-ness” of it alone should be a huge news story.

And anyone with access to the internet and a basic knowledge of Microsoft Excel can check for themselves. Here’s how you do it.

First, go to the Wikipedia page on firearm death rates in the United States. If you don’t like referencing Wikipedia, then instead go to this study from the journal Injury Prevention, which was widely sourced by media on both the left and right after it came out, based on a survey of 4000 respondents. Then go to this table published by the FBI, detailing overall homicide rates, as well as gun homicide rates, by state. Copy and paste the data into Excel, and plot one versus the other on a scatter diagram. Alternately, do the whole thing on the back of a napkin. It’s not hard. Here’s what you get:

More Here

Lord Zuckerberg? Lord Farquaad?

Are You Exempt from Pistol Registration in Michigan?

Michigan is one of the few states that require people who buy handguns to register them. The law is ineffective in solving crimes. There is only one case known, in over 90 years of the law's existence, that may have been solved because of pistol registration in Michigan.


 Link to video

The primary purpose of the legislation, enacted in 1927, is believed t have been to keep black people form legally owning pistols. The law is an artifact of racial discrimination that serves no useful purpose.  The law that requires the pistol license and registration is MCL 28.422, Section 2. (1). Section 2. (1) of MCL 28.422 states:
(1) Except as otherwise provided in this act, a person shall not purchase, carry, possess, or transport a pistol in this state without first having obtained a license for the pistol as prescribed in this section.
There are several exemptions from the requirement for a pistol license.
From  MCL 28.432:

28.432 Inapplicability of MCL 28.422; amendatory act as “Janet Kukuk act”.

Sec. 12.

(1) Section 2 does not apply to any of the following:

(a) A police or correctional agency of the United States or of this state or any subdivision of this state.

(b) The United States army, air force, navy, or marine corps.

(c) An organization authorized by law to purchase or receive weapons from the United States or from this state.

(d) The national guard, armed forces reserves, or other duly authorized military organization.

(e) A member of an entity or organization described in subdivisions (a) through (d) for a pistol while engaged in the course of his or her duties with that entity or while going to or returning from those duties.

(f) A United States citizen holding a license to carry a pistol concealed upon his or her person issued by another state.

(g) The regular and ordinary possession and transportation of a pistol as merchandise by an authorized agent of a person licensed to manufacture firearms or a licensed dealer.
Tom Lambert, President of Michigan Open Carry ably demonstrates that under (f), you do not need a Michigan Pistol License. The Michigan Pistol License is separate and different from the Michigan Concealed Pistol License.

People are seldom prosecuted for not having their pistol registered in Michigan. I cannot remember the last case.

If you do not wish to have your pistol registered in Michigan, and you have a concealed carry permit from another state, simply do not turn in the forms for registration in Michigan.

 (f) A United States citizen holding a license to carry a pistol concealed upon his or her person issued by another state.
According to the above, you are exempted from the law.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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Followup TX: Gabriel Chavez Shooting of Carlos Marquez found Jusified by Jury in Three Hours

Gabriel Chavez was found not guilty Wednesday by a jury in the shooting death of Carlos Marquez, 46, at about 1:40 a.m. Nov. 21, 2014, during an argument outside of Chavez's home in the 400 block of Duran Place in the Lower Valley.

The jury deliberated for more than three hours before reaching a verdict.

“All our testimony in the trial was that my client was a very peaceful man,” said Chavez’s lawyer, Justin Underwood. “He was a pastor at a church. In the past, the deceased (Marquez) had extorted money by violence and threats to at least two other elderly individuals on the same street.”

He added, “Our ability to develop what happened that night and the history of the violence on part of the deceased showed pretty clearly that it was self-defense.”
More Here

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Trump Era NICS Backround Check hit new All time Record for March

The March number of National Instant background Criminal Checks hit an all time record.  The 2018 numbers in the chart are from the second year of the Trump Presidency.

The number of checks in March, 2018 was 2,767,699. That is 245,000 more than in 2016, the previous all time record for of 2,523,265.  The number of checks for the first quarter of 2018 is 7,131,422. That is 6% higher than the first quarter of 2017.

It is obvious that the all out push for bans on rifles, accessories such as detachable magazines and trick stocks, has re-ignited the concerns of those who refuse to be disarmed.

It is not an unreasonable concern, considering Justice Stevens called for a repeal of the Second Amendment. President Trump has only been able to appoint one Supreme Court Justice. One or two more originalist and textualists justices are necessary to secure the Second Amendment.

Legislators and most of the Media and Democrats are calling for banning the sale of the most popular rifle in the United States, the AR-15.  President Trump seemed to falter, then regained his support for the Second Amendment.

NICS checks are related to the number of guns added to the private stock in the United States, but are not the same for a number of reasons. Many NICS checks are done for previously owned guns. Those numbers do not add to the private stock. More NICS checks are done for carry permits. Kentucky does a NICS check on every carry permit holder in the state, every month. More than one gun can be purchased on one NICS check. Many carry permit holders are not required to undergo a NICS check to purchase a firearm.

Because of all these factors, the number of firearms added to the private stock in the U.S. for each NICS check varies. The average, over 20 years, is about .6 firearms added for each NICS check.

A good approximation of the number of guns added to the private stock in the United States in March, 2018, would be 1.7 million.

The number of privately owned guns in the United States is about 420 million. The number will probably reach 430 million by the end of 2018.  Most estimates of private gun ownership in the United States stop at about 2006, before the Obama administration. Over 100 million guns have been sold or imported into the United States since that time.

The estimate of 420 million privately owned guns in the United States was made using the techniques pioneered by  Newton and Zimring, which includes the calculation of the 1945 number of modern guns added to the stock from 1899 to 1945.  Firearms manufactured before 1899 were not included.

From 1945 to 1987, the data was taken from "Point Blank: Guns and Violence in America" by Gary Kleck, Table 2.1.   The methodology used by Kleck was applied to  the figures obtained from the ATF for later years.  The number shown is the cumulative addition of domestic manufacture plus imports minus exports.

This does not count guns shipped to the U.S. military.  While attrition of guns from wear and destruction is not accounted for, it is assumed that illegal importation, the sale of millions of surplus firearms from the U.S. military, and guns made non-comercially in small shops and at home, make up for those loses.

The numbers added to the private stock for 2017 and 2018 were estimated from the NICS numbers.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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