Free Markets, Free People

Guns and Gun Rights

This is what the 2nd Amendment preserves

So you don’t think people should have guns. You think they’re dangerous. You think they should be banned. Well, here is what they are for. This happened about 10 miles from my home.

A Georgia mother hid her two 9-year-old twins and shot an intruder, Paul Ali Slater, several times during a home invasion on Friday, according to multiple media reports.

The Loganville mother said she didn’t initially answer when someone knocked on her door around 1 p.m. Friday. When the visitor began repeatedly ringing the doorbell, she called her husband at work.

When the suspect went into the closet where the family was hiding ,the woman fired six bullets at the suspect, five of which hit alleged suspect Paul Ali Slater in the face and neck area.

“He opens the closet door and finds himself staring down the barrel of a .38 revolver,” Walton County Sheriff Joe Chapman.

She was in obvious fear of her life and her safety and that of her children. She had a means of self-defense. She had an “equalizer”. And, apparently, she used it well, well enough that she was able to escape unharmed with her children to a neighbor’s house.

And remember this was all before police were able to respond. She had called her husband as the home invasion was taking place and he called 911.

Her husband has it right:

The victim’s husband said he’s proud of his wife.

“My wife is a hero. She protected her kids. She did what she was supposed to do as responsible, prepared gun owner.”

By the way, she is not a “victim”. However she would have been had she not been armed.

This is the way it is supposed to work.


Should we ban “assault” hammers?

Because they kill more than all rifles each year, including “assault rifles”.

In 2005, the number of murders committed with a rifle was 445, while the number of murders committed with hammers and clubs was 605. In 2006, the number of murders committed with a rifle was 438, while the number of murders committed with hammers and clubs was 618.

And so the list goes, with the actual numbers changing somewhat from year to year, yet the fact that more people are killed with blunt objects each year remains constant.

For example, in 2011, there was 323 murders committed with a rifle but 496 murders committed with hammers and clubs.

Where is DiFi when you need her.   License hardware stores. Register hammers. And get those nasty looking “assault hammers” off the market.

And by the way, there is no right to a hammer, is there?  No Second Amendment for hammers or clubs. Where are the Democrats on this?

By the way, I assume you can do the math concerning the minute number of deaths in the US by rifle and figure out that for the most part it would be considered statistical noise if we were talking about anything else.


Feinstein’s attempt to grab your guns

Sen. Dianne Feinstein is laid out the guts of her bill to ban certain weapons. In it she plans to “grandfather” in those weapons that would be in violation of her new requirements. Among those requirements are certain characteristics that would make a gun an “assault” weapon.  She has narrowed it down to a one characteristic test, and would ban magazines that hold over 10 rounds. But where she makes the greatest attempt at tightening gun control is found in the “grandfathering” of weapons which would violate the new law.

Here’s the summary of that portion:

Protects legitimate hunters and the rights of existing gun owners by:

 Grandfathering weapons legally possessed on the date of enactment
 Exempting over 900 specifically-named weapons used for hunting or
sporting purposes and
 Exempting antique, manually-operated, and permanently disabled weapons

However, it also:

Requires that grandfathered weapons be registered under the National Firearms
Act, to include:

o Background check of owner and any transferee;
o Type and serial number of the firearm;
o Positive identification, including photograph and fingerprint;
o Certification from local law enforcement of identity and that
possession would not violate State or local law; and
o Dedicated funding for ATF to implement registration

That’s right, it will require any owner of such a weapon to undergo a background check, register the weapon with authorities, and then undergo a certification requirement.  Same would apply if you sell it to anyone.

Note too the attempt to ignore the self-defense function of owning a weapon by contending the law protects “legitimate hunters” and “sporting activities”. As we all know, the Second Amendment says nothing about either of those pursuits.

Liberals, as Rahm Emmanuel once said, never like to let a crisis go to waste. They view the Newtown massacre as an opportunity to further limit the freedoms of Americans. My guess is that any attempt to require federal registration and certification will be met by massive civil disobedience. And deservedly so.


Since when do you need the permission of the cops to exercise your First Amendment rights?

I’m certainly no fan of David Gregory. I think he is typical of the new breed of “journalist”, more interested in making news than reporting it. But I also think this nonsense about him showing a high capacity magazine on his Sunday show to be just that, nonsense.

Apparently, now we have to go to the police to get permission to show items on television when they are deemed illegal by our authorities, even if the intent is totally benign.

What has this country come to if it is necessary now to clear our speech with the authorities?

NBC was told by the Washington police that it was “not permissible” to show a high-capacity gun magazine on air before Sunday’s “Meet the Press,” according to a statement Wednesday from the cops.

“NBC contacted [the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department] inquiring if they could utilize a high capacity magazine for their segment,” Gwendolyn Crump, a police spokeswoman, said in an email. “NBC was informed that possession of a high capacity magazine is not permissible and their request was denied. This matter is currently being investigated.”

Since when do we need permission from the authorities to exercise our First Amendment rights?   Here we have a perfect example of the law making criminals of otherwise law-abiding citizens. This is the state of our nation. We no longer enjoy the freedoms we once had, and our rights are fast becoming permission granted by government.

As I’m sure you know, that’s not the way it was supposed to work.


England: gun ban totally ineffective

It would be nice for once to learn from the experience of others. However our hubris won’t allow it apparently. Here are a couple of  charts which will make the point graphically. We can do all the feel-good legislation we want to, but it’s not going to change a thing.

Note the fact that despite the ban, homicides committed with firearms in England have shown an increase. We’ve talked about why that may be. Part of it is the fact that criminals don’t obey laws or bans. The other part of it has to do with the fact that the ban has created a de facto gun free zone. Therefore, criminals feel “safe” when attacking just about anyone. Thus as noted before, the increase in “hot burglaries”.

Also note that the number of homicides in England has also risen during that time. As we’ve noted before that is likely to change in culture. But there’s no question that the firearms ban has been a total and utter failure.

Will we learn from this?

Of course not. You can see it forming up now. The demand to repeat the failure of England. Apparently, we believe criminals will obey the law. And we also apparently believe that they won’t look for soft targets.

Because, you know, we’re different.


Considering armed school guards

Is it really so horrible to talk about armed law enforcement officers at our schools?   Or do we prefer continue to listen to stories and watch video of anguished parents standing outside a school under siege and wondering whether their child made it?

If we really want this “discussion” that the left appears to be craving, this is a viable and practical way to combat such acts of violence in schools.  And yes, it means more guns and near a school too.  Unless you’re comfortable with a 20 minute wait time for the local cops to arrive.  Yeah, not much shooting can happen in 20 minutes, can it?

Of course, we all know what that really means when the left claims to want to have a discusion, don’t we?  It means the left getting their way and  banning guns. They are really not interested in considering alternatives or actually hearing contrary opinion. And God forbid you should use facts. When the left talks about having a discussion, they’re essentially saying ‘you sit and listen to me talk and then we’ll do it my way’.  And if you refuse, they call you every vile name they can think of, and when you answer, they claim you’re being uncivil.  Wash, rinse and repeat.

Anyway …

It seems interesting to me that no one had a real problem with air marshals when they were put on aircraft. Remember them? They were a reaction to the fact that government had disarmed everyone that flies on an airplane, and consequently terrorists with box cutters were able to take advantage of that and finally kill 3,000 on 9/11 without anyone on two of the flights being able to put up a defense (except flight 93, of course).  The flying public was downright pleased, in fact, to know the marshalls were aboard.

LaPierre discussed in detail an inconvenient fact many in the media and on Capitol Hill have failed to acknowledge: gun free school zones leave children vulnerable to violent attacks carried out by madmen. LaPierre said making schools gun free over the years has simply told “every insane killer in America that schools are the safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with little risk.”

He’s right. You think an “insane killer” would attempt the same thing at a gun show? They are not that insane. Instead they look  the place of least resistance. And that would be a “gun free zone”. Schools, unfortunately, are easy targets because they are usually  gun free zones.

Right now we have no problem arming guards and  stationing them  at critical facilities. You read about very few “insane killers” trying to get inside a federal building, at least not anymore. That’s because they know they will meet armed resistance. So why not go to a school instead?

If the left really wants to have a “discussion” about the school shootings in Connecticut, then this must be on the table. The whole point of course is to make those “insane killers” reject schools as an easy target. What better way to do that than to make it clear that they will face  well trained armed guards if they try?

It all goes back to the discussion of  human nature.  Few  “insane killers” are going to go somewhere where they may not be able to  accomplish their murderous deed in the manner they wish. Instead, they’re going to look for the easiest target.  Certainly having armed guards at schools isn’t what we would prefer (and no, it won’t forever traumatize little Johnny and Jane to have them). But reality rarely cares what we prefer.

It is time we deal with reality.  Bulletin: we live in a dangerous society that has any number of deranged people in it.  I’m not sure how many more school shootings we have to suffer before we get the message. Certainly not an ideal solution, but definitely a very practical solution.  It won’t guarantee the safety of our children necessarily, but it certainly will give them a fighting chance. And, probably more importantly,  once it becomes known that schools routinely employ armed guards, my guess is the “insane killers” will attempt to find newer and less threatening targets with which to claim their 15 minutes of fame.


Gun ownership doesn’t correlate with murder rates

In a recent study two Harvard professors determined that banning guns will not solve the violence or murder problem. That in fact, guns really have nothing to do with it. Instead it is instead a matter of culture.

The reason that gun ownership doesn’t correlate with murder rates, the authors show, is that violent crime rates are determined instead by underlying cultural factors.  “Ordinary people,” they note, “simply do not murder.”  Rather, “the murderers are a small minority of extreme antisocial aberrants who manage to obtain guns whatever the level of gun ownership” in their society.

Therefore, “banning guns cannot alleviate the socio-cultural and economic factors that are the real determinants of violence and crime rates.”  According to Dr. Kates and Dr. Mauser, “there is no reason for laws prohibiting gun possession by ordinary, law-abiding, responsible adults because such people virtually never commit murder.  If one accepts that such adults are far more likely to be victims of violent crime than to commit it, disarming them becomes not just unproductive but counter-productive.”

The sort of reasoning Kates and Mauser use for  seems to be foreign to those who want to ban guns. It is not a problem of law abiding citizens because, as the authors state, law-abiding citizens don’t commit murder. Consequently, taking their guns away will have no fact other than to make them easier victims. The counter gun culture tries very hard to correlate guns with violence and murder. But looking at the number of guns owned in America as well as the number of Americans who own guns (45 – 52 million), we see that in reality gun crime and gun violence are statistically small.   As the authors state disarming law-abiding citizens is “not just unproductive but counterproductive.”

Additionally, they use these things called “facts” to gut  the myths that have grown up around gun ownership and violence. For instance, the myth surrounding the Soviet Union and its strict gun control.

In their piece entitled Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder and Suicide? A Review of International and some Domestic Evidence, Don B. Kates and Gary Mauser eviscerate “the mantra that more guns mean more deaths and that fewer guns, therefore, mean fewer deaths.”  In so doing, the authors provide fascinating historical insight into astronomical murder rates in the Soviet Union during the Cold War, and they dispel the myths that widespread gun ownership is somehow unique to the United States or that America suffers from the developed world’s highest murder rate.

To the contrary, they establish that Soviet murder rates far exceeded American murder rates, and continue to do so today, despite Russia’s extremely stringent gun prohibitions.  By 2004, they show, the Russian murder rate was nearly four times higher than the American rate.

The authors also look at the gun control policies in Europe and find evidence that counters the correlation between gun ownership and violence.

More fundamentally, Dr. Kates and Dr. Mauser demonstrate that other developed nations such as Norway, Finland, Germany, France and Denmark maintain high rates of gun ownership, yet possess murder rates lower than other developed nations in which gun ownership is much more restricted.

For example, handguns are outlawed in Luxembourg, and gun ownership extremely rare, yet its murder rate is nine times greater than in Germany, which has one of the highest gun ownership rates in Europe.  As another example, Hungary’s murder rate is nearly three times higher than nearby Austria’s, but Austria’s gun ownership rate is over eight times higher than Hungary’s.  “Norway,” they note, “has far and away Western Europe’s highest household gun ownership rate (32%), but also its lowest murder rate.  The Netherlands,” in contrast, “has the lowest gun ownership rate in Western Europe (1.9%) … yet the Dutch gun murder rate is higher than the Norwegian.”

Dr. Kates and Dr. Mauser proceed to dispel the mainstream misconception that lower rates of violence in Europe are somehow attributable to gun control laws.  Instead, they reveal, “murder in Europe was at an all-time low before the gun controls were introduced.”  As the authors note, “strict controls did not stem the general trend of ever-growing violent crime throughout the post-WWII industrialized world.”

Citing England, for instance, they reveal that “when it had no firearms restrictions [in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries], England had little violent crime.”  By the late 1990s, however, “England moved from stringent controls to a complete ban on all handguns and many types of long guns.”  As a result, “by the year 2000, violent crime had so increased that England and Wales had Europe’s highest violent crime rate, far surpassing even the United States.”  In America, on the other hand, “despite constant and substantially increasing gun ownership, the United States saw progressive and dramatic reductions in criminal violence in the 1990s.”

So, if one is honest and reads the evidence clearly, they are left with the understanding that the attempted correlation between gun ownership and violence doesn’t really exist. In fact, it appears that it is indeed the culture that is the cause of violence. One could even argue that disarming the public makes them the culture of victims. For example, one of the things we hear about England is that there has been a vast increase in “hot burglaries” since firearms have been banned. That ban has emboldened the criminals. They no longer fear the homeowner. They know the homeowner does not have a gun. Why? Because they’re law-abiding citizens.

Finally, Kates and Mauser talk about the seeming change in American culture and its impact on violent crime.

Critically, Dr. Kates and Dr. Mauser note that “the fall in the American crime rate is even more impressive when compared with the rest of the world,” where 18 of the 25 countries surveyed by the British Home Office suffered violent crime increases during that same period.

Furthermore, the authors highlight the important point that while the American gun murder rate often exceeds that in other nations, the overall per capita murder rate in other nations (including other means such as strangling, stabbing, beating, etc.) is oftentimes much higher than in America.

As should be obvious to anyone, those that are murdered really don’t care about the means that murder. Dead is dead.   The key to reducing murder is cultural. It has nothing to do with the weapon involved. As Kates and Mauser pointed out the per capita murder rate in other nations is often higher than ours. And many if not most of those include countries with strict gun bans.

It should seem clear, given the experience of many European countries with strict gun control, that banning guns does not solve the murder and violence problem. It would be nice for a change if we would learn from the experience of others. As horrific as the Newtown massacre was, it wasn’t perpetrated by a person anyone would consider a law-abiding citizen.  In fact, he had no concept of the principle of law or his responsibility to abide by it.

If we want to learn from that incident, the lesson isn’t about guns.  It’s about how inadequate our means of handling those who pose a danger to society really are.  Megan McArdle does a good job of discussing that very important point.

This study seems to point to what many would argue is obvious. However there is a strong, emotional lobby that continues to want to ignore the primary problem in favor of banning the instrument of murder in this particular case. It is foolish and shortsighted.  It would be feel-good legislation, made in haste as usual and in the end accomplishing nothing. We have a history of knee jerk legislation made in haste in which the consequences are unforeseen and usually unintended.

What should be clear is we don’t want to end up like England.


An armed society is the best protection against evil people

What was the time necessary for “first responders” to arrive at the Newtown CT school?  20 minutes?

Unacceptable if, as many want you to believe, you should leave your defense in the hands of others.

Sorry, I simply refuse to be a victim.

What happens when armed people going about their everyday lives are confronted by evil?

Well, things like this:

With one shot, an off-duty sheriff’s deputy took down a gunman who attempted to opened fire at a crowded movie theater lobby during a late night showing of “The Hobbit” in San Antonio, WOAI reports.

Police say a gunman, identified as Jesus Manuel Garcia, chased patrons from the nearby China Garden Restaurant into the lobby of the Santikos Mayan 14 movie theater at around 9 p.m. on Sunday. Garcia, an employee of the restaurant, reportedly walked in the establishment looking for a woman.

Or this:

A gunman retreated from a Casper nail salon last week after realizing one of its customers was packing heat.

Police say about 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 3, a man walked into Modern Nails at 2645 E. Second St. and asked a female employee if she wanted to buy some diamonds. The man walked toward the front desk area and the woman replied that she had no money to buy diamonds.

A witness said the man then reached into his coat pocket and began to take out a silver-colored pistol.

At that moment, a woman who was getting her nails donereached into her purse and got her own firearm. Police say the man never fully raised the gun and left the building after seeing the customer had her weapon out.

And yes, you might get hurt if you confront someone who is armed.  As a matter of fact, you might get killed.  Kind of goes with the territory.  But what you won’t be is an unarmed victim begging for his life.

I’m sorry, I’m not in the mood to argue about surrendering my right to self-defense by firearm to anyone.  It’s not about “hunting”.  It’s not about “assault rifles”.  It is about an inalienable right to defend myself from predators and, though no one seems to want to mention this any more, my government.  That’s right.  That’s one of the fundamental reasons for the 2nd Amendment.  Like it or not, a group of men we call our Founders knew first hand that sometimes tyrants have to be overthrown and they too felt it was their fundamental right to own the means to both protect themselves and do what might be necessary to win or keep their freedom.

I frankly don’t care one way or the other if you like guns or want guns around you.  You get to live with the consequences of your choice. That’s your right.

I own guns and I’m not giving them up for anyone. That’s my right.  If it takes law enforcement 20 minutes to get to you, that’s on you.   Me?  I’m not waiting.  Yes, they may carry me out in a body bag, but that’s my choice, isn’t it?  I fully and happily accept that risk.  I’d rather go out fighting than wait to be executed.

And, of course, since the left continues to tell us they’re all for choice, this should be a no-brainer, right?


Burglar calls 911 after gun wielding owners hold him at gunpoint

Well, here’s a use of 911 I didn’t foresee:

A suspected burglar called 911 after the owner of the home he broke into caught and held him at gunpoint.

The suspect, Christopher Moore, placed the emergency call in Springtown, Texas, during the botched burglary attempt early Tuesday after James Gerow, the homeowner, and Gerow’s son pointed guns at him as he sat in his pickup truck parked in the driveway.

“I’m out in the country somewhere,” Moore told the 911 operator during the 10-minute call. “Some guy’s got a gun on me.”

Gerow’s wife, Lindy, placed a concurrent call to 911 that confirmed Moore’s account.

“You better come quick,” she said, “or my husband’s going to shoot him.”

“If he gets out of the truck, shoot him in the legs,” James Gerow told his son, according to the Dallas Morning News Crime Blog. “You ain’t gotta kill him—just shoot him in the legs.”

When police arrived, both Moore and Lindy Gerow were still talking to 911 dispatchers.

According to CBS’ Dallas-Fort Worth affiliate, Moore was arrested and charged with burglary. He’s currently being held on a $35,000 bond.

So, uh, Bob Costas, what’s your take on this?  These “bitter clingers” just protected themselves and their property and brought a law breaker to justice.  All with guns.  And not a person was killed … or even shot.