A Unique, But Logical, Approach To Gun Violence

Yesterday PJ Media posted an article with the following headline, “To Reduce Gun Violence, Arm All Americans.” That is probably the only real solution.

The article reports:

So there was another shooting in Texas. At last count, including the perpetrator, there are seven dead and around 20 injured. We don’t really know anything much about the perpetrator except that he’s been identified as white. Apparently, what prompted the shooting was the perpetrator was stopped by the police, shot his way out, and then raced off, shooting other people until he was finally cornered and shot dead. (Prediction: we’ll find out he had a long criminal record and active arrest warrants for major crimes.)

Now because I’m sure some rental commenter is just waiting to start typing, yes I think it’s awful that people got shot and killed. On the other hand, five people have been killed and 42 injured in Chicago already this weekend. Just this weekend. And I can’t help but wonder why the extremely high murder rates in places like Chicago and Baltimore don’t seem to be news stories.

I’ll leave that for another rant, however, and point out that when you consider murder rates there is a very very high correlation between really stringent gun laws and really high gun violence.

Or put that another way: research shows that very high gun ownership rates correlate with low gun violence. This is true on a local level, and it’s true nationwide where gun ownership has grown dramatically while nationwide gun violence has dropped about 25 percent.

It’s also true that beyond a simple statistical observation, most of the specific recommendations or approaches that people have suggested have no effect. The famous assault weapons ban from the Clinton administration showed no particular effect, and when it expired there is no particular effect. When, after the Heller decision, gun ownership in D.C. went up, gun crime went down.

The only thing that we know is effective to reduce gun violence is to increase gun ownership.

That makes sense–criminals (who generally obtain their guns illegally) are less likely to attack a population that may be armed. A soft target, such as a school, restaurant, or movie theater is much more likely to be attacked. If the criminal knows that a restaurant or theater allows concealed carry, he is likely to pick another target.

We need to accept the fact that there are people who live among us that do bad things. Disarming law-abiding citizens does not stop people who want to do bad things from doing bad things. Law-abiding citizens with guns cause people who do bad things to think twice about doing them.

How To Limit The Second Amendment Without Appearing To Do So

Breitbart posted a story today about a Missouri law that limits the gun rights of foster parents in Missouri. The law prohibits all foster parents from carrying concealed firearms or storing ammunition with firearms in the same locked safe. It seems to me that if a foster parent has a concealed carry permit, he knows to store his firearms in a locked safe and to accept the responsibilities of a legal gun owner. Being a foster parent has nothing to do with gun rights.

The article notes:

James and Julie Attaway are asking for an injunction from the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri’s Western Division against the Missouri gun regulation.

…The couple is joined in the suit by the Second Amendment Foundation. They said the regulations “amount to deprivation of civil rights under color of law” and are similar to other laws they’ve challenged in Michigan and elsewhere.

“This is familiar ground for us,” Alan M. Gottlieb, founder of the group, said in a statement. “We have successfully challenged similar regulations in other states when we find them, because there is a significant question about the constitutionality of such prohibitions. We believe this is an unconstitutional provision in Missouri’s Code of State Regulations. It is important for the court to take action to protect the rights of Missouri residents who open their homes and hearts to foster children for whom they wish to provide a stable environment.”

The Attaways said they’re concerned the gun regulation, which they described as “unconstitutional,” may be scaring off other potential foster parents.

“The foster system in Missouri is in need of qualified, loving families to take children into their home,” James Attaway said. “Many families who value their Second Amendment rights to self-defense are deterred from applying to be foster parents. We were not allowed to continue with the licensing process until we agreed to abide by the department’s firearm policy while foster children were placed in our care. We ultimately agreed and finished our licensing process, and while having a foster child in our home, we have had to abide by these unconstitutional policies for fear of losing our foster care license.”

The couple said their goal is to change the regulations so they and other foster parents don’t have to choose between being legally armed and caring for foster children.

“We are pursuing this legal action so that we, and other families who feel called to care for foster children in their home, don’t have to decide between retaining their Second Amendment rights and caring for children in need,” James Attaway said.

I don’t mean to be cynical, but this seems like another back door approach to limiting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens. This law does nothing to make anyone safer–criminals don’t follow gun laws, and it simply attacks legal gun owners who are trying to do something positive in their community.

A Guest Post From H.C. “Sparky” Bollinger, USMC (Ret)

I spent 22 ½ years in the Marine Corps. I have operated in around 30 countries, sat off shore of many more. Waiting for an order that often never came. When waiting off shore for an operation, or moving to a new Area of Operations, or even over time and different tours in Iraq, we would be given a Rules of Engagement brief (ROE) by a Lawyer from the Judge Advocate General’s office (JAG). This would spell out legally when we could and could not engage hostiles, or perceived hostiles. However, ever Marine Corps ROE brief ended the same way and on the same note. On the typed copy is was in bold, usually underlined print, often all capital letters, but always said the same thing, “THE RIGHT TO SELF DEFENSE IS NEVER DENIED!”

A week ago a landmark court decision in Florida decided on December 12th, vindicates all arguments for the right to self defense and your right to bear arms. This court decision by a Federal Judge sets or affirms legal precedence that the Police have no constitutional duty to protect individuals from harm, even when they know harm will occur and that harm will most likely result in death. This legal precedence is not just for the state of Florida where the case was tried. This is a Federal court and has establish or affirmed legal precedence in all 50 states and US territories.

What does this mean for Joe Citizen? If this case is not overturned on appeal. It firmly establishes that the individual and only the individual is responsible for his or her safety. With this one court decision, that is likely if not surely to be upheld by higher courts up through the Supreme Court, the individual is firmly within his or her Constitutional right to defend themselves, and as stated in the 2nd Amendment of the United States Constitution, the right to bear arms shall not be infringed. This ruling gives substantial legal weight to the argument for Constitutional carry and the individuals inalienable right to save and preserve one’s own life.

What does this mean to gun control lobbyist, groups, and politicians? This ruling in Federal court obliterates all barriers imposed by “May Issue” concealed carry states and cities. States and cities will still have wiggle room to impose some sort of firearms safety course in the same legal spirit as a driver’s license, however legal bars outside criminal records, drug abuse, or mental health will loose all just standing under the law unless it is shot down on appeal. Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, Senator Feinstein, Michael Bloomberg’s arguments that individuals do not need firearms for self defense and that the police are responsible for public safety just had the rug yanked completely out from under them. Their argument was always on tentative ground at best, since when seconds count, the police are minutes away. The Department of Justice determined that the average police response time to a 911 call is over 4 minutes, the average interaction time between a criminal and his victim is 90 seconds. This is a not a dig at police officers, as a retired Marine who is currently employed as a tactical firearms and martial arts instructor, I am a staunch supporter of law enforcement, and many of my friends and coworkers are law enforcement or retired law enforcement. This is simply a matter of time, space, and logistics. Now, it is firmly established that even if the police respond to, or are in observance of a crime, they are not required to intervene, they can even refuse to intervene, and not be held accountable to the department, city, county, state, federal government, or even the Constitution of the United States.

Just as Smokey the Bear says, “only you can prevent forest fire,” you, and only you, are 100% responsible for your safety, only you are responsible to save your life. The 2nd Amendment was just reaffirmed as your legal means to do so.

Just my two cents,

H.C. “Sparky” Bollinger, USMC (Ret)

Thank you, Sparky. Below are my comments.

 

There are actually two decisions reported in The New York Times on December 18th:

The school district and sheriff’s office in the Florida county that is home to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School had no constitutional duty to protect the students there during the deadly February massacre, a federal judge has said in a ruling.

The decision was made in a lawsuit filed by 15 students who said they suffered trauma during the Feb. 14 attack in Parkland, Fla. A total of 17 students and staff members lost their lives; 17 others were injured.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Nikolas Cruz, 20, the former Stoneman Douglas student who is accused of opening fire at the school on Valentine’s Day. He has pleaded not guilty, but his lawyers have said he would plead guilty in exchange for a life sentence.

The Dec. 12 ruling, by Judge Beth Bloom, came on the same day that a county judge, Patti Englander Henning, came to the opposite conclusion. Judge Henning found that Scot Peterson, the armed sheriff’s deputy who heard the gunfire but did not run in and try to stop the attack, did have an obligation to confront Mr. Cruz.

The article further states:

“Neither the Constitution, nor state law, impose a general duty upon police officers or other governmental officials to protect individual persons from harm — even when they know the harm will occur,” said Darren L. Hutchinson, a professor and associate dean at the University of Florida School of Law. “Police can watch someone attack you, refuse to intervene and not violate the Constitution.”

The message is clear–every American has to take responsibility for their own safety. If you are not comfortable with guns and want to feel safe at home, keep a can of wasp spray on your night stand. It won’t kill an intruder, but it might slow him down and give you a chance to escape. There are also other personal safety devices available. The right to bear arms should not be infringed. Our Founding Fathers placed it there so that we could defend ourselves in all situations–from criminals and from government tyranny. Giving up the right to bear arms would result in the end of America as we know it.

Why We Need Concealed Carry

Yesterday The Washington Times posted an article about an incident in an Alabama McDonald’s.

The article reports:

Once again: The Second Amendment saves. 

The father, who hasn’t been publicly named, was leaving the fast food place on Saturday when a masked man walked in and began shooting.

The dad then pulled his own weapon and started firing at the masked shooter — becoming the shooter’s target in the process.

The father sustained life-threatening injuries, according to WBRC. His son is recovering from his own gun-related injuries. The masked gunman, meanwhile, died from wounds suffered during the incident.

Police aren’t sure what the masked gunman was after — whether he was trying to rob McDonald’s or shoot someone within the establishment. But what’s sure is the father is not going to be charged.

The thing that stopped the shooting from being a massacre was a good guy with a gun who shot the bad guy with a gun, Thank God for gun rights in America.

The article concludes:

Simply put: If it hadn’t been for that armed dad, the bloodshed would’ve been a lot worse. If not for his gun-toting self, the media reports on this would be a lot different, a lot more tragic, and the focus would be on how many were murdered, not saved.

“The shooting took place at the McDonald’s across from Princeton Hospital,” WBRC reported. “A masked man entered the restaurant when an employee opened the door for a father and his sons to leave. The masked man then opened fire in the restaurant. At that point, the father began shooting at the masked man.”

Aside from the father and one of his sons, nobody else was reported injured. Nobody else, aside from the masked gunman, was killed.

This unidentified father deserves a hero’s award for quick and life-saving thinking. Once again, it’s a case of the Second Amendment saving untold numbers from disaster.

Yes,

Policy Changes Have Consequences

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an article about a change in gun policy at the University of Kansas.

The following is a statement from the web page of the University of Kansas:

Beginning July 1, 2017, any individual who is 21 years of age or older and who is not prohibited or disqualified by law and who is lawfully eligible to carry a concealed handgun in Kansas shall not be precluded from doing so on University campuses, including all facilities owned or leased by the University, except (1) on the Kansas City, Kansas campus of the KU Medical Center in the Health Care District; (2) in buildings and public areas of buildings for which adequate security measures are provided or, (3) in a specified restricted access area of a building. Within such restricted access areas, concealed carry will be banned. Individuals who are not employees of the University may be authorized access through a restricted access entrance only pursuant to a University screening process that is compliant with the provisions of the PFPA.

So what happened when that policy was put into effect?

The Daily Caller reports:

Interestingly, although there have been 14 weapons violations since 2008, the tally for 2017 was exactly zero.

Yes, you read that right — zero weapons violations at campus carry-friendly Kansas University, despite the fact that actual weapons on campus undoubtedly increased.

The KU Office of Public Safety’s annual crime statistics list is released each spring and includes only actual crimes under the law, not other university policy violations.

Although KU police seemed to attribute the decline to added police and security as well as their use of “security technology” like on-campus cameras, the lack of gun crimes nevertheless does nothing to bolster liberal gun control arguments.

Gun-free zones tell a potential shooter that he will meet no opposition. When concealed carry is in effect, the risk is much higher for a person who wants to go on a shooting spree–it may cost him his life. Good guys with guns are really the only way to stop bad guys with guns.

You can argue for more gun laws all you want, but this is what happens when concealed carry is in effect.

Something You May Not Hear In The News

Today’s Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the number of gun crimes at Virginia bars and restaurants has dropped in the past year.  On July 1, 2010, a new law went into effect in Virginia stating that people who have permits to carry concealed weapons may carry those weapons into bars in restaurants provided that the permit carriers do not drink.

The article reports:

The number of major crimes involving firearms at bars and restaurants statewide declined 5.2 percent from July 1, 2010, to June 30, 2011, compared with the fiscal year before the law went into effect, according to crime data compiled by Virginia State Police at the newspaper’s request.

And overall, the crimes that occurred during the law’s first year were relatively minor, and few of the incidents appeared to involve gun owners with concealed-carry permits, the analysis found.

These statistics are consistent with what has happened in other parts of the country when gun regulations are changed to make it easier for the law-abiding public to obtain guns and carry them.  Criminals will get guns–whether they are legal or not. However, if a criminal knows that a member of the public may have a concealed carry permit and be carrying a gun, he may think twice before committing a crime.

One aspect of the concealed carry law is that those who have a concealed carry permit have gone through background checks and training in order to obtain the permit. Conscientious gun owners are an asset in the effort to maintain law and order in a free society.  The states that have passed gun laws that allow law-abiding citizens to own and carry guns understand that.