More Gun Laws Won’t Help

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article about the person who killed seven people in Odessa, Texas. The shooter had previously failed a background check to purchase a gun and had not gone through a background check for the gun he used. The article does not specifically say that he purchased the gun illegally–just that it was illegal for him to have the gun. So more gun laws would not have helped–he was a person with a criminal record who managed to get hold of a gun even though he could not pass a background check.

So what can we learn from this? Criminals don’t follow laws. The best defense against a mass shooter who does not have a legal right to own a gun is to arm the civilian population so that the shooter can be dealt with quickly. Unfortunately we will always have people among us with little or no respect for the law and little or no respect for the lives of their fellow citizens. The only way to deal with this is for more people to take personal responsibility for their own safety.

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.

Moving The Goalposts When They Aren’t Winning The Game

The Democrat loved the Supreme Court before President Trump appointed two Justices. They are concerned now because their allies on the Court are not young, and President Trump is still President despite their best efforts. So, since they can’t seem to get what they want honestly, they are trying to change the rules.

CNS News posted an article today with the headline, “Five Democrats Warn Supreme Court It Could be ‘Restructured;’ Urge It to Drop 2nd Amendment Case.” Wow. Talk about arrogance.

The article reports:

Five Democrat senators have filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court, urging it to stay out of a pending Second Amendment case and warning it that a majority of Americans now believe the “Supreme Court should be restructured in order to reduce the influence of politics.”

The case, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. City of New York, is the first major challenge to gun laws since 2010, the senators said.

According to SCOTUS blog, the New York State Pistol and Rifle Association, representing gun owners who live in the city, are challenging the city’s ban on transferring licensed, unloaded guns anywhere outside city limits — including to a weekend home or to a shooting range.

The lower courts upheld those restrictions, so the gun owners took their case to the Supreme Court.

The article continues:

The senators argue that the National Rifle Association and The Federalist Society have “engineered the case” so the Republican-appointed majority will rule in their favor.

“[C]ourts do not undertake political ‘projects.’ Or at least they should not,” Whitehouse, Hirono, Blumenthal, Durbin, and Gillibrand wrote. “Americans are murdered each day with firearms in classrooms or movie theaters or churches or city streets, and a generation of preschoolers is being trained in active-shooter survival drills.

“In the cloistered confines of this Court, notwithstanding the public imperatives of these massacres, the NRA and its allies brashly presume, in word and deed, that they have a friendly audience [on the Court] for their ‘project.’”

Further, the Democrats argue that the gun-transporting restrictions have now been rescinded, making the case moot, yet the plaintiffs “soldier on” with their case.

“The judiciary was not intended to settle hypothetical disagreements,” the brief says. “Rather, the Framers designed Article III courts to adjudicate actual cases and controversies brought by plaintiffs who suffer a real-world harm.”

The Democrats also argue that the Supreme Court is increasingly “political” (now that it has an “engineered” Republican-appointed majority).

“Today, fifty-five percent of Americans believe the Supreme Court is ‘mainly motivated by politics'(up five percent from last year); fifty-nine percent believe the Court is ‘too influenced by politics’; and a majority now believes the ‘Supreme Court should be restructured in order to reduce the influence of politics,'” the brief says.

The senators conclude their brief with a warning about “restructuring” the court, an idea advocated by some of the Democrats running for president:

“The Supreme Court is not well,” they wrote. “And the people know it. Perhaps the Court can heal itself before the public demands it be ‘restructured in order to reduce the influence of politics.’ Particularly on the urgent issue of gun control, a nation desperately needs it to heal.”

Presumably, the court will not be “healed” until a majority of the justices are appointed by Democrats.

When they are out of power, Democrats tend to act like spoiled brats.

“We Don’t Want To Take Your Guns,” She Said

There are millions of legal gun owners in America who have committed no crimes. They have guns because they hunt or because they feel the need to be personally responsible for their own safety. The vast majority of them have broken no laws and have no intention of breaking any laws. Unfortunately there is also a black market in America for guns where people who cannot pass background checks can obtain guns. If gun laws are made more strict, the legal gun owners will feel the impact–the illegal gun owners will feel no impact. In essence, restricting gun ownership only increases the number of unarmed potential victims. Somehow some members of Congress have forgotten the Second Amendment and ignored the consequences of taking guns away from law-abiding citizens.

Yesterday Breitbart posted an article about one Congresswomen who has forgotten her oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution.

The article reports:

Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) used an April 2 Fox News Live appearance to announce that she is preparing to introduce legislation to create a federal law allowing firearm confiscation orders.

Such laws, generally referred to as Extreme Risk Protection Orders, are already in place in California, Indiana, Oregon, and other states, and Dingell believes the ability to seize firearms is crucial for pubic safety.

…Dingell stressed that seizure of firearms must occur in a way that protects due process, but she did not explain how such protection is possible. In California an order to take guns can be issued without the gun owner even knowing. And in Indiana, the state on which Dingell is basing her federal legislation, individuals who have their guns seized have approximately 14 days to go to court to “make a case” to get them back.

The Salt Lake Tribune summed up the Indiana law, “In Indiana, law enforcement can confiscate weapons without a judge’s order. The gun owner must ask the court to get the weapons returned.”

Extreme Risk Protection Orders have proved a popular gun control response to the February 14 Parkland school shooting. However, it is difficult to believe such orders would have prevented that attack. On February 23, 2018, Breitbart News reported, “The family with which [Cruz] was staying repeatedly called the police on him in November 2017 but refused to file charges when sheriff’s deputies arrived. A member of the family with which Cruz was staying explained away Cruz’s erratic behavior by saying he ‘had been suffering significantly from the loss of his mother’ earlier in the month.”

In other words, Nikolas Cruz received sympathy from the family with which he lived and at least one member of that family, in turn, inclined police toward non-action as well.

Nikolas Cruz had a troubled history at school. Had this history been property reported, he would have failed a background check and been unable to buy a gun. We don’t need more gun laws–we need to better enforce the ones we have. Also–there is nothing to say that Nikolas Cruz would not have been able to obtain a gun illegally if he had been prevented from buying one legally. It should also be noted that the law that made schools gun-free zones was passed in 1990, making schools a soft target for a shooter. That is the law that needs to be re-examined–not the gun laws that were not correctly followed.

Politicizing And Misleading The Public On A Tragedy

Yesterday there was an horrific shooting at a church in Texas. The Guardian posted a story yesterday about how the gunman was stopped. An armed citizen engaged the gunman and another citizen pursued the gunman in a vehicle with the armed citizen. The police arrived after the two citizens chased the gunman and held him at bay with a rifle. It took the police between five and seven minutes to arrive. How many more people would have been killed but for the actions of the armed citizen?

There is another aspect to this story. Breitbart is reporting today that the man who shot up the church had been denied a Texas concealed carry permit.

USA Today failed to mention that in their rather biased reporting

Breitbart reports:

USA Today chided Texas for “lax” concealed carry laws after the Sutherland Springs church shooting but the attacker, Devin Kelley, was denied such a permit.

Mr. Kelley had been denied a concealed carry permit–stricter gun laws would not have mattered in this case because he was not interested in following the gun laws (or the laws against murder). Other sources indicate that he should not have been able to pass any kind of background check to purchase a weapon as he had previously been convicted of domestic violence. There is no way under current gun laws he should have been able to purchase a gun. His rampage was stopped short by a citizen with a gun permit.

Unfortunately we will never find a way to stop criminals (or those with criminal intent) from obtaining guns illegally. Therefore it makes no sense to deny law-abiding Americans the ability to defend themselves. Thank God there was a legally armed citizen to stop the rampage.

There’s Gun Legislation That Makes Sense And Then There Are People Who Want Political Points

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article yesterday about the four items related to guns that were voted down in the Senate yesterday. The four items were an overreaction to what happened in Orlando, but the votes and the suggested laws bear looking into.

The article reports:

Senator Chuck Grassley proposed legislation that would have increased funding for the NICS background check system, and would have pressed states to send more records to the FBI on felons and others barred from buying guns. It also revamped language that prohibits some people with mental health problems from buying guns. Grassley’s bill had majority support, 53-47, but wasn’t passed because the Democrats filibustered it.

Senator John Cornyn offered legislation to keep firearms out of the hands of suspected terrorists. His bill would let the government block a sale to a known or suspected terrorist, and prosecutors would then have three days to convince a judge that the would-be buyer was likely a terrorist. This seems like a sensible compromise, and it too had majority support, 53-47, but again the Democrats filibustered and blocked the bill from taking effect.

The Democrats likewise offered two proposals, both of which enjoyed less support. Dianne Feinstein proposed legislation that would bar gun sales to people on any federal terrorism watch list–a list that has included Ted Kennedy, Nelson Mandela, and many random, innocent citizens–without providing any way for people to get themselves taken off the list. I think it is safe to say that this proposal was sheer political grandstanding. It went down to a 47-53 defeat. It is shameful that so many Democrats voted for it.

Chris Murphy’s bill would have required the current, inadequate list of people who can’t buy guns to be applied to even more sales, including sales between friends or relatives. That, too, was defeated 47-53.

Frankly, I am glad to see all of these laws defeated, although the defeat of all of them shows the depth of the political divide currently in America. The first bill listed actually makes sense, but I object to the other three. The problem with Senator John Cornyn’s legislation is that it would set up a nightmare system of paperwork that would quickly be abused. The right political connections and a good lawyer can fairly easily get you removed from the terrorist watch list.

The problem with this entire discussion is that the terrorists are not bound by any laws. Terrorism tends to morph–it can change according to circumstances and can easily do things outside the law–Paris has very strict gun laws–that didn’t stop the terrorists–it just made their attack easier. Criminals don’t pay attention to gun laws–Chicago has some of the strictest gun laws and America and also one of the highest gun murder rates–so does Washington, D.C.

The bottom line here is that we are so politically polarized right now that we cannot even cross party lines to commit common sense. Unless this changes, our country is in serious trouble.

Time To End My Naivety

I am relatively  new to the south. I lived here for a few years as a child, but have been away a long time. Thirty-five years in New England left me immersed in a culture I was not really aware of until I left. Southern culture includes guns, gun safety, hunting, and other forms of recreation and personal protection that are totally alien to me. Recent events have convinced me that it is time to embrace that aspect of the culture of my new home.

I love steak. As far as I am concerned, steak comes from a styrofoam and plastic package in the supermarket meat section. By faith I accept that and refuse to look past the obvious. Until recently, I believed that my safety was the responsibility of the local and state law enforcement people and that they would adequately do their job. I still believe that they do their job to the best of their ability, but it has occurred to me that I need to look past the obvious and begin to take some responsibility for my own safety.

The shootings in Paris and in California both took place in locations with strict gun laws. In both cases, the shootings occurred in gun-free zones. I believe that the end result would have been different in both cases if one of the intended victims had been armed. Despite the fact that the news is reporting today that the weapons used in California were legally purchased between 2007 and 2012, gun controls in California have supposedly taken those weapons off the streets. Obviously, not everyone in areas where certain (or all) guns are banned is interested in following the law.

I am not enthusiastic about learning to shoot and learning to defend myself, but on the other hand, I definitely have a vested interest in my own safety. At least temporarily, I believe that we have reached a place in America where good people have to take responsibility for their own safety. Unfortunately, the police cannot be everywhere at once, and there are obviously some people in this country who want to do us harm. Historically speaking, police will tell you that most murder victims are murdered by family members or people they know. This means that as long as you are careful in choosing your friends (and hopefully have upstanding family members) you are unlikely to be a victim of a killer. Since Paris, San Bernardino, and other incidents involving members of the military on American soil, that has changed. It is time to put away our naivety and learn to protect ourselves. Hopefully at some time in the future, the threat of terrorism will be gone, but it will still be to our advantage to know how to defend ourselves.

Borrowed From A Friend On Facebook

Australian Gun Law Update

Here’s a thought to warm some of your hearts….
From: Ed Chenel, A police officer in Australia
Hi Yanks, I thought you all would like to see the real
figures from Down Under.

It has now been 12 months since gun owners in Australia were forced by a new law to
surrender 640,381 personal firearms to be destroyed by our own
government, a program costing Australia taxpayers
more than $500 million dollars.

The first year results are now in:
Australia-wide, homicides are up 6.2 percent,
Australia-wide, assaults are up 9.6 percent;
Australia-wide, armed robberies are up 44 percent (yes, 44 percent)!
In the state of Victoria…..
lone, homicides with firearms are now up 300 percent.(Note that
while the law-abiding citizens turned them in, the criminals did not
and criminals still possess their guns!)

While figures over the previous 25 years showed a steady
decrease in armed robbery with firearms, this has changed drastically upward in the past 12 months, since the criminals now are guaranteed that their prey is unarmed. There has also been a dramatic increase in break-ins and assaults of the elderly, while the resident is at home.

Australian politicians are at a loss to explain how public
safety has decreased, after such monumental effort and expense was expended in successfully ridding Australian society of guns….’ You won’t see this on the American evening news or hear your governor or members of the State Assembly disseminating this information.

The Australian experience speaks for itself. Guns in the
hands of honest citizens save lives and property and, yes, gun-control laws affect only the law-abiding citizens.
Take note Americans, before it’s too late!
Will you be one of the sheep to turn yours in?
WHY? You will need it.

This Sort Of Logic Almost Earned Me An F In Geometry

The Daily Caller posted an article on some of the recent testimony of  U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Mr. Holder was testifying on the subject of Operation Fast and Furious, but his testimony included the following statement:

This administration has consistently favored the reinstitution of the assault weapons ban. It is something that we think was useful in the past with regard to the reduction that we’ve seen in crime, and certainly would have a positive impact on our relationship and the crime situation in Mexico.

This is an amazing statement. It is becoming very obvious that the Obama Administration (including Eric Holder) purposely allowed large numbers of guns to flow into Mexico illegally. Now the Attorney General is saying that stricter gun laws would help our relationship with Mexico and reduce crime in Mexico. Wait a minute! The guns that went into Mexico went in illegally–more laws won’t do any good if no one is willing to follow them (particularly the government). The problem with gun laws is that only law-abiding citizens follow them–criminals don’t. Adding more gun laws simply disarms the general population making them more vulnerable to assault by those with illegal guns. Maybe the answer is better enforcement of the laws we currently have.
 
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