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[VIDEO] Jan Morgan: Trump Will Have a Great Impact On Gun Sales 

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Gun Owners Welcome Donald J. Trump as President of the United States

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Gun owners across the nation breathed a sigh of relief as Donald J. Trump was sworn in Friday morning as the 45th president of the United States.

Trump’s election was the result of a sweeping grassroots movement to upend the Washington status quo and restore the concept of popular sovereignty in America. As Trump said in his speech:

Today’s ceremony … has very special meaning. Because today we are not merely transferring power from one Administration to another, or from one party to another – but we are transferring power from Washington DC and giving it back to you, the people.

* * *

The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country.

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And that, after all, is the essence of the Second Amendment, the principle that in a government of laws, and not of men, ultimate power and authority reside with the people.  And that includes the power of self-defense, so that no person is left to depend solely on the state’s good graces for his or her very life.

Your NRA was among Trump’s earliest and most faithful backers during a campaign in which conventional wisdom gave him no chance of winning. As a concealed carry permit holder, Second Amendment advocate, and father to two enthusiastic hunters and shooters, Trump may well be the most pro-gun president to date.

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Trump’s swearing in also ends the imperious reign of Barack Obama, who has repeatedly said on the record that failure to see federal gun control legislation enacted was the biggest frustration of a tenure also marked by slow economic growth, terrorism, and unrest and division in the homeland.

The NRA, its members, and the pro-gun Congress you elected, thwarted Obama’s designs for new federal gun laws, but Obama aggressively used executive authority to curb Second Amendment rights wherever possible. As we note elsewhere in this Alert, Obama continued these tactics through his last hours in office, as the Fish and Wildlife Service late on Thursday announced plans to seek a ban on lead ammunition and fishing tackle in areas under its control. 

"Legitimate self defense has absolutely nothing to do with the criminal misuse of guns." —Gerald Vernon, veteran firearms instructor

Yet as President Trump said while addressing the nation and the world, “[T]hat is the past. And now we are looking to the future.” Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Manchin Rebukes Lewis

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Kiss Kiss Bang Bang: Handgun Ownership Rising Most Quickly Among Women

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The almost amusing part of the report, however, was the seeming shock registered by the people at Harvard involved in the study.

Jazz Shaw writes: We hear repeated stories of how gun ownership is on the rise, but who are the people buying the guns? (We’re talking about legal purchases here obviously. The motives and opportunities for criminals are another issue.) It’s a complicated question because there is no “generic” lawful gun owner in the United States.

[Read the full story here, at Hot Air]

But Time Magazine is looking at one particular segment of American gun owners this week and it’s women who purchase a single firearm… specifically handguns. And the most common reason given is self-defense.

According to a new survey by public health officials at Harvard and Northeastern universities, women are more likely than men to report owning a gun for protection. The research, conducted in 2015 but previously unpublished, was recently obtained by The Guardian and The Trace.

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The data shows that, compared to men, American women are more likely to own a single handgun (as opposed to multiple guns). And as fewer men purchase guns, the proportional presence of female gun-owners is on the rise. Forty-three percent of individuals who own just a handgun are women, with almost a quarter of those women living in urban areas. The Guardian noted that female gun-owners were more likely to live in urban areas than their male counterparts, and called the data “the most definitive survey of US gun ownership in two decades.”

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A couple of decades ago this might have been seen as a shocking trend, but in 2016 it seems rather obvious. Men have been buying guns in larger numbers for a long time, but shifts in the social paradigm have made it far more common for women to catch up in this area. Read the rest of this entry »


OH YES THEY DID: Katie Couric Sued For Defamation In Anti-Gun Documentary

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Charge: sequence in film was ‘work of fiction’ that damaged reputation of commentators.

Gun rights advocates don’t enjoy being falsely depicted as dimwits who can’t answer the most basic of questions about their No. 1 public policy issue.

Erik Wemple reports: That’s the takeaway from a defamation lawsuit filed today against Katie Couric and the producers of “Under the Gun,” a documentary about gun violence in the United States. Having debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in January, the documentary itself came under the gun in May, when members of the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL) claimed that it slighted them by mal-editing an interview in which they’d participated. In response to a question from Couric, the film’s narrator, the gun rights advocates were depicted as sitting in baffled silence for nearly 10 seconds.

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[ALSO SEE – Katie Couric Sued for $12 Million For Defamation In Anti-Gun Documentary – bearingarms.com]

In fact, they had supplied an extensive response to Couric’s question.

Many onlookers, including the Erik Wemple Blog, blasted the film for this portrayal. Couric, the global anchor of Yahoo News, initially stood by the product but ultimately apologized for the “misleading” edit. The film’s director, Stephanie Soechtig, wasn’t so contrite. “I think it’s sad to say that these eight seconds didn’t give the VCDL a platform to speak. Their views are expressed repeatedly throughout the film; we know how they feel about background checks. They said it earlier in the film,” said Soechtig in an interview after the furor.

"The lies we told were thiiiiiiiiiiiis big"

“The lies we told were thiiiiiiiiiiiis big”

Intransigence of that sort may bedevil Soechtig in a legal action filed by the VCDL and two gun rights defenders in the film — Daniel Hawes and Patricia Webb — against Couric, Soechtig, Atlas Films and Epix, the documentary’s distributor. Filed in a Virginia federal court by Elizabeth Locke of Clare Locke LLP, the complaint states, “The Defendants manipulated the footage in service of an agenda: they wanted to establish that there is no basis for opposing background checks, by fooling viewers into believing that even a panel of pro-Second Amendment advocates could not provide one.” It seeks compensatory damages of $12 million, and punitive damages of $350,000 per plaintiff.

[Read the full story here, at The Washington Post]

The filmmakers gave this particular lawsuit a galloping start, with a dreadful sequence that comes less than a half-hour into the one-hour-and-45-minute documentary. Seated in a circle are members of the VCDL against a dark backdrop. Couric asks this question: “If there are no background checks for gun purchasers, how do you prevent felons or terrorists from purchasing a gun?” In response, the VCDL members say precisely nothing. They stare into space, or at the floor. Brain-freeze appears to have enveloped them.

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As the suit notes, this depiction is a “work of fiction.” The VCDL members actually filled Couric’s ear; Hawes, for example, said this:

The fact is we do have statutes, both at the federal and state level that prohibit classes of people from being in possession of firearms. If you’re under 18, in Virginia, you can’t walk around with a gun. If you’re an illegal immigrant, if you’re a convicted felon, if you’ve been adjudicated insane, these things are already illegal. So, what we’re really asking about is a question of prior restraint. How can we prevent future crime by identifying bad guys before they do anything bad? And, the simple answer is you can’t. And, particularly, under the legal system we have in the United States, there are a lot of Supreme Court opinions that say, “No, prior restraint is something that the government does not have the authority to do.” Until there is an overt act that allows us to say, “That’s a bad guy,” then you can’t punish him.

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That argument, notes the complaint, is part of the six minutes that the gun rights advocates spent answering Couric’s question. Showing the VCDL as dumbfounded required some work on the part of the filmmakers. In coordinating the interview with the VCDL advocates, Couric and a cameraman from Atlas Films told them that they needed to sit in silence for 10 seconds so that the crew could calibrate the “recording equipment.” It was this passage that “Under the Gun” placed in the film instead of the actual answers supplied to the question about background checks. The suit alleges that this moment carried particular implications for each of the named plaintiffs in the case. Webb is a licensed firearms dealer (Gadsden Guns Inc.), and the edits indicate that “she lacks knowledge regarding background checks — a requirement for every gun sale she does,” argues the complaint. Hawes is an attorney who handles cases involving firearms, and the film suggests that “he lacks the legal expertise and oral advocacy skills required to perform his duties.” Read the rest of this entry »


Pink Pistols: Displaying Good Judgement and Common Sense After Orlando Shooting, LGBT Group Embraces Armed Self-Defense

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Without self-defense, there are no gay rights

Hailey Branson reports: Jonathan Fischer is never sure who’s going to be more surprised when he, as he likes to put it, comes out of the gun closet — the gun aficionados who find out he’s gay or the gay friends who find out he likes shooting guns.

“If someone was to try and break into my home, and especially if someone were armed, I don’t want to fight back with a kitchen knife, and I don’t think that’s extremist or crazy.”

— Jonathan Fischer

When the 38-year-old television editor showed up last month to a defensive handgun class near Piru with a Glock 27 pistol on his hip, he wore a T-shirt sporting a rainbow-colored AK-47. His “gay-K-47,” he said.

In the days after 49 people were fatally shot at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., this summer, Fischer wanted to do something to make his community safer. So he started the West Hollywood chapter of the Pink Pistols — a loosely organized, national LGBT gun group.

“If someone was to try and break into my home, and especially if someone were armed, I don’t want to fight back with a kitchen knife,” Fischer said.  “And I don’t think that’s extremist or crazy.

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“We wish to dispel the misleading and insulting caricature that supporters of Second Amendment rights are either tobacco-chewing, gap-toothed, camouflage-wearing rednecks or militia posers who are morbidly fascinated with firepower.”

It’s a stark contrast to how the overwhelming majority of LGBT activists andemily-gun organizations responded to the Orlando massacre, which has sparked calls within the community for gun control.

[Check out Emily Miller’s book Emily Gets Her Gun” from Amazon]

In the wake of the shooting, some gay bars like the Abbey in West Hollywood beefed up security. The same day as the Orlando mass shooting, L.A.’s annual gay pride parade was rattled after a heavily armed man en route to the event was arrested.

For all the anxiety Orlando has caused, many gay activists say becoming armed is not the answer.

“Some people say you need a gun to protect yourself from the bad guys. We just fundamentally disagree with that,” said Rick Zbur, executive director of Equality California. “We don’t want to live in a world where you have to be packing heat to live your daily life.”

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But for a small subset of the community, Orlando has become a call to arms.

[Read the full article here, at the LA Times]

When the firearms instructor at the range near Piru asked each person in the class why he or she was there, Fischer ticked off several reasons and mentioned the Pink Pistols.

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“What is the Pink Pistols group?” a man asked.

There was a pause.

[Read the full text here, at the LA Times]

“We’re — a gay gun group,” Fischer said hesitantly. He tried quickly to explain.

Gun owner Elizabeth Southern, left, trains with a handgun at a gun range near Piru.

“No, that’s awesome,” the man said, nodding reassuringly.

Interest in the Pink Pistols has increased since the Orlando attack, with new chapters springing up across the country, including the West Hollywood chapter and another one in North Hollywood. There was such an outpouring of support from firearms trainers, many of them straight, that the Pink Pistols’ website now has a map listing LGBT-friendly firearms instructors in every state.

[Read the full story here, at the LA Times]

The week of the attack, signs depicting a rainbow-colored Gadsden flag and the hashtag #ShootBack appeared in West Hollywood, where an estimated 46% of the population identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. City officials were outraged.

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“Not all that many gay people would need to carry guns, as long as gay-bashers couldn’t tell which ones did.”

“Even during our heightened days of civil disobedience and protest, we have only advocated peaceful means, never arming ourselves and retaliating with violence,” said City Councilman John Duran, who is gay.

Gwendolyn Patton, the national spokeswoman for the Pink Pistols, has spent the summer trying to keep up with the more-guns-less-crimeall inquiries about the group and how to start new chapters.

[See John R. Lott’s More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws, Third Edition (Studies in Law and Economics) at Amazon]

“People don’t like to feel helpless,” said Patton, a lesbian who lives outside Philadelphia.

The Pink Pistols has received a mostly negative response from the broader LGBT community, she said. Some LGBT centers, she said, have even specifically banned the Pink Pistols from using their facilities.

The group dates to 2000 when gay author and journalist Jonathan Rauch wrote an article for Salon.com calling for gay people to “set up Pink Pistols task forces,” get licensed to carry guns and arm themselves to protect their community.”

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“Not all that many gay people would need to carry guns, as long as gay-bashers couldn’t tell which ones did,” Rauch wrote.

Rauch told The Times he wrote the article at a time when the brutal murder of gay college student Matthew Shepard negores-guns-bookwas still fresh in the public consciousness. It woke people up, he said, to what gay people had known all along: “that we were targets of day-to-day terrorism.”

[Order Nicholas Johnson’s book “Negroes and the Gun: The Black Tradition of Arms” at Amazon]

“There is a huge amount of anti-gay stereotype in America that has to do with weakness — people calling us limp-wristed and fairies,” Rauch said. “Over the years, many gay people came to internalize this stereotype and assume that we are weak and defenseless, and of course we are not.”

The first Pink Pistols chapter, taking its name directly from Rauch’s article, was started in Boston just after its publication, Patton said. Today, there are 50 chapters in the U.S. and Canada. Read the rest of this entry »


Gun Ownership Rises Among Women, Minorities        

‘Real feminism is about empowerment and taking our safety into our own hands,’ Dallas gun owner Antonia Okafor says.

Fred Lucas  reports: Antonia Okafor, a Dallas resident, says she believes a gun can be the great equalizer for women to defend themselves—one reason she is now the southwest regional director for a group called Students for Concealed Carry.

“A lot of minority homes didn’t have father figures growing up. The right to bear arms is a way to protect our community. Every weekend people are dying in cities riddled with gun control.”

State laws allowing residents to carry concealed weapons have been enacted in all 50 states, with varying emily-gundegrees of regulation—most recently on college campuses.

[Check out Emily Miller’s book Emily Gets Her Gun” from Amazon]

“We see ourselves as doing this as a means of empowerment,” Okafor, 26, told The Daily Signal in a phone interview. “Real feminism is about empowerment and taking our safety into our own hands.”

[Read the full story here, at dailysignal.com]

Okafor, who is black, said more female role models, such as Olympic gold medalist Kim Rhode, have inspired more gun ownership among women.

But Okafor—a graduate of the University of Texas at Dallas, where she became involved in the movement—said her mother is opposed to guns.

In an April poll by ABC News of issues millennial women are most concerned about, gun rights scored even with equal pay and abortion, each getting 11 percent.

A group of local public school teachers from nearby schools use rubber training guns as they practice proper firearms handling during a teachers-only firearms training class offered for free at the Veritas Training Academy in Sarasota, Florida January 11, 2013. The December 14 tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 first-graders and six adults were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School, has sparked a national debate about whether to arm teachers, prompting passionate arguments on both sides. REUTERS/Brian Blanco (UNITED STATES - Tags: SOCIETY POLITICS EDUCATION)

A study by the Crime Prevention Research Center earlier this month found concealed-carry permits have boomed nationally, but particularly among women and minorities. “In eight states where we have data by more-guns-less-crimegender, since 2012 the number of permits has increased by 161 percent for women and by 85 percent for men,” the report says.

[See John R. Lott’s More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws, Third Edition (Studies in Law and Economics) at Amazon]

From 2007 through 2015, concealed-carry permits issued by state and local governments increased about 75 percent faster among nonwhites than whites, according to the report.

Okafor noted that those living in the inner city “are the most likely to benefit” from self-defense. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Hilarious: ‘Common Sense Gun Control’ People Know Nothing About Guns

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Political commentator and actor Steven Crowder decided to set up an experiment to see just how well people that want “common sense” gun control knew about firearms.

He set up a tent for “Citizens Coalition for Common Sense Gun Reform” to ask people that do not own or are interested in guns to see how much they knew about firearms and which ones should be banned based on “common sense.”

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Crowder quickly finds out that the people who are in favor or “common sense” gun control know very little about guns in the first place and what they are capable of. The people justdecided which guns should be banned based on how it makes them feel.

[See John R. Lott’s More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws, Third Edition (Studies in Law and Economics) at Amazon]

For example, many people wanted more “tactical looking” firearms banned, but yet other kinds of rifles displayed on the table were fine, such as hunting rifles. Crowder does point out on the side that the AR-15 is actually a popular small game hunting rifle but because it looks tactical, it should be banned.

People were also not well informed on what types of guns were used in crimes and thought that the AR-15 is used in many cases, but as Crowder points out, from 2007 to 2015, 70% of shooting murders are from handguns.

Source: American Military News

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“For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong”.

— H. L. Mencken

Democracy? In Moderation, Please.

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Buried somewhere in the above Daily Beast article is probably a perfectly decent, arguable case for a certain kind of small-ball, incremental legislation. Unfortunately, but predictably, its case is comically undermined by hateful, shallow, silly, dishonest writing.

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Ohh! Those evil Republicans! They should be taken out and horsewhipped! Here, hold my drink. I’ll do it. Get outta my way. I’ve got some GOP ass to beat. Oh, never mind.

Never mind that this advocacy item masquerading as journalism doesn’t even attempt to demonstrate how the measures will have any impact whatsoever, to “avert mass shootings”. Which is understandable. One; averting mass shootings is not, and never was, the goal of activist gun-control legislation. And two; There’s no evidence that “averting mass shootings” can be accomplished by legislation in the first place.

Think the gun debate isn’t polluted with toxic stupidity from the Left? Read on:

“…But with the substantial distortion of our democracy around guns, they are the issue with which this particular method most adheres to the original intentions of the progressives who created it a century ago, at a time when large interests such as timber and railroads blocked popular reforms in legislative bodies around the country.”

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The progressives who created it a century ago. Right.  Wait, you mean the puritan, racist, anti-constitutional Wilsonian reformers of that era, the progressive activists who gave us segregation, prohibition, and Jim Crow laws, those guys?

The early 20th-century progressives’ “original intentions” are in stark contrast to the intentions of our founders. Cautious, deliberative men, keenly aware of the historically destructive effects of “direct democracy“.

Ever notice how our most sacred and treasured rights are intentionally safeguarded, hardwired in the Bill of Rights? Completely out of reach of voters? 

Everett Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), portrait by David Martin, 1767

The founders were no fans of democracy.

“When two wolves and a sheep decide what to have for dinner.”

Benjamin Franklin definition of democracy is as clear now as it was over two centuries ago. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Politicians, Media Guilty Of Most Despicable Form Of Racism

We don’t need more gun control; we need real solutions.

Remove the jobs, break the schools, pull back the police, let the streets flood with drugs. Let violent gangs recruit child soldiers and terrorize neighborhoods. Don’t prosecute gun crimes.

And when the media looks you in the eye after another bloody weekend in a major American city, call for more gun control.

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If our politicians are truly using the carnage they refuse to stop to attack the rights of honest, hard-working Americans caught in living hell, then they are guilty of the most despicable form of racism imaginable.

What has been allowed to happen in our inner cities is an absolute disgrace. If the same epidemic of poverty, gang violence and broken schools poisoned the neighborhoods of the nation’s political class, you’d better believe they’d be talking about real solutions—not gun control.

Read the rest of this entry »


America Celebrates Obama Presidency for Historic Era of Racial Harmony

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Racial discontent is at its highest point in the Obama presidency and at the same level as America after the 1992 Rodney King riots.

Sixty-nine percent of Americans say race relations are generally bad, one of the highest levels of discord since the 1992 riots in Los Angeles during the Rodney King case, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

The poll, conducted from Friday, the day after the killing of five Dallas police officers, until Tuesday, found that six in 10 war-on-copsAmericans say race relations were growing worse, up from 38 percent a year ago.

[Order Heather Mac Donald’s new bookThe War on Cops: How the New Attack on Law and Order Makes Everyone Less Safe” from Amazon.com]

Racial discontent is at its highest point in the Obama presidency and at the same level as after the riots touched off by the 1992 acquittal of Los Angeles police officers charged in Mr. King’s beating.

Relations between black Americans and the police have become so brittle that more than half of black people say they were not surprised by the attack that killed five police officers and wounded nine others in Dallas last week. Nearly half of white Americans say that they, too, were unsurprised by the episode, the survey found.

Despite President Obama’s insistence at a memorial service for the fallen officers that the races in the United States are “not as divided as we seem,” the poll found that black and white Americans hold starkly different views on race, particularly regarding the treatment of African-Americans by the police.

Riot police clear demonstrators from a street in Ferguson

Asked whether the police in most communities are more likely to use deadly force against a black person than a white person, three-quarters of African-Americans answered yes, and only about half as many white people agree. Fifty-six percent of whites said that the race of the suspect made no difference in the use of force; only 18 percent of black Americans said so.

When asked to rate the job their local police department was doing, four in five whites said excellent or good; a majority of blacks answered fair or poor. More than two-fifths of black people say the police in their communities make them feel more anxious than safe. By wide margins, whites and Hispanics say the police make them feel safer.

[Read the full story here, at The New York Times]

“I have been in situations where the police have made situations worse rather than better,” Ayesha Numan, 22, a black woman living in Kansas City, Mo., said in a follow-up interview. “That’s not to say that I write them off as all bad. I just have to be cautious of how they’re acting around me.”

Mr. Obama on Tuesday spoke at a memorial service in Dallas honoring the officers killed when Micah Johnson, a 25-year-old black Army veteran, opened fire at a protest last Thursday. Last week was among the most wrenching since the Black Lives Matter movement began three years ago: On back-to-back days, videos were released showing the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile at the hands of the police, and the Dallas attack followed a day later. Read the rest of this entry »


#SHOOTBACK: Gay Community Can’t Protect Families if Elected Officials Disarm Them

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On Thursday morning, residents of West Hollywood, California, awoke to find their neighborhood had been plastered with rainbow-colored Gadsden flag posters that were emblazoned with #ShootBack.

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The posters, 30 of them in all, were spotted near West Hollywood City Hall, the Pacific Design Center, and The Abbey, a well-known gay lounge. One also appeared in front of the home of artist Chad Michael Morrisette, who had covered the roof of his house with 50 mannequins after the terrorist attack in Orlando on Sunday.

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[Read the exclusive story here, at PJ Media]

The #ShootBack hashtag on the gay rainbow flag with the pro-gun Gadsden symbol was clearly a provocative response to Sunday’s attack on the gay nightclub in Orlando where 49 people were killed. There has been much speculation about who was responsible for the street art, but no one has come forward to claim responsibility … until now. Read the rest of this entry »


T-Mobile Store Employee with Conceal Carry License Shoots 2 Armed Robbery Suspects

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Two robbery suspects were shot by an employee at a cell phone store in the Jeffrey Manor neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side.

“I think concealed carry is a great opportunity for managers, workers, employees to protect themselves in these cases. And our employee did a great job to protect themselves and the other employee.”

— Neil Tadros, store manager

The T-Mobile store in the 2000-block of East 95th St. was left riddled with bullet holes. If not for the employee carrying a weapon with a concealed carry license, the manager of the store says he might be telling a different story.

“I think concealed carry is a great opportunity for managers, workers, employees to protect themselves in these cases. And our employee did a great job to protect themselves and the other employee,” said Neil Tadros, store manager.

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“One employee ran to the back to call for help while the other pulled out his own gun and fired at the two suspects. He hit one of them in the groin and the arm, and the other in the abdomen and the arm.”

He says two men entered the store and acted like they were shopping for phones for a few minutes, then pulled out guns.

One employee ran to the back to call for help while the other pulled out his own gun and fired at the two suspects. He hit one of them in the groin and the arm, and the other in the abdomen and the arm. Read the rest of this entry »


The Misleading Uses, Flagrant Abuses, and Shoddy Statistics of Social Science About Gun Violence

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You Know Less Than You Think About Guns

Brian Doherty writes: “There is a gun for roughly every man, woman, and child in America,” President Barack Obama proclaimed after the October mass shooting that killed 10 at Umpqua Community College in Oregon. “So how can you, with a straight face, make the argument that more guns will make us safer? We know that states with the most gun laws tend to have the fewest gun deaths. So the notion that gun laws don’t work—or just will make it harder for law-abiding citizens and criminals will still get their guns—is not borne out by the evidence.”

In this single brief statement, Obama tidily listed the major questions bedeviling social science research about guns—while also embodying the biggest problem with the way we process and apply that research. The president’s ironclad confidence in the conclusiveness of the science, and therefore the desirability of “common-sense gun safety laws,” is echoed widely with every new mass shooting, from academia to the popular press to that guy you knew from high school on Facebook.

[Order Emily Miller’s book “Emily Gets Her Gun” from Amazon]

In April 2015, the Harvard gun-violence researcher David Hemenway took to the pages of the Los Angeles Times to declare in a headline: “There’s scientific consensus on guns—and the NRA won’t like it.” Hemenway insisted that researchers have definitively established “that a gun in the home makes it a more dangerous place to be…that guns are not used in self-defense far more often than they are used in crime…and that the change to more permissive gun carrying laws has not reduced crime rates.” He concludes: “There is consensus that strong gun laws reduce homicide.”

But the science is a lot less certain than that. What we really know about the costs and benefits of private gun ownership and the efficacy of gun laws is far more fragile than what Hemenway and the president would have us believe.

More guns do not necessarily mean more homicides. More gun laws do not necessarily mean less gun crime. Finding good science is hard enough; finding good social science on a topic so fraught with politics is nigh impossible. The facts then become even more muddled as the conclusions of those less-than-ironclad academic studies cycle through the press and social media in a massive game of telephone. Despite the confident assertions of the gun controllers and decades of research, we still know astonishingly little about how guns actually function in society and almost nothing at all about whether gun control policies actually work as promised.

Do More Guns Mean More Homicides?

“More Americans have died from guns in the United States since 1968 than on battlefields of all the wars in American history,” New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote on August 26, 2015, just after the grisly on-air murder of two television journalists in Virginia. It’s a startling fact, and true.

[See John R. Lott’s More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws, Third Edition (Studies in Law and Economics) at Amazon]

But do the number of guns in circulation correlate with the number of gun deaths? Start by looking at the category of gun death that propels all gun policy discussion: homicides. (Gun suicides, discussed further below, are a separate matter whose frequent conflation with gun crime introduces much confusion into the debate.)

In 1994 Americans owned around 192 million guns, according to the U.S. Justice Department’s National Institute of Justice. Today, that figure is somewhere between 245 and 328 million, though as Philip J. Cook and Kristin A. Goss in their thorough 2014 book The Gun Debate: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford University Press) wisely concluded, liberal-huh“the bottom line is that no one knows how many firearms are in private hands in the United States.” Still, we have reason to believe gun prevalence likely surpassed the one-gun-per-adult mark early in President Barack Obama’s first term, according to a 2012 Congressional Research Service report that relied on sales and import data.

Yet during that same period, per-capita gun murders have been cut almost in half.

One could argue that the relevant number is not the number of guns, but the number of people with access to guns. That figure is also ambiguous. A Gallup poll in 2014 found 42 percent of households claiming to own a gun, which Gallup reports is “similar to the average reported to Gallup over the past decade.” But those looking for a smaller number, to downplay the significance of guns in American life, can rely on the door-to-door General Social Survey, which reported in 2014 that only 31 percent of households have guns, down 11 percentage points from 1993’s 42 percent. There is no singular theory to explain that discrepancy or to be sure which one is closer to correct—though some doubt, especially as gun ownership continues to be so politically contentious, that people always reliably report the weapons they own to a stranger literally at their door.

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The gun murder rate in 1993 was 7.0 per 100,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention‘s (CDC) National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. (Those reports rely on death certificate reporting, and they tend to show higher numbers than the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting program, though both trend the same.) In 2000 the gun murder rate per 100,000 was 3.8. By 2013, the rate was even lower, at 3.5, though there was a slight upswing in the mid-00s.

This simple point—that America is awash with more guns than ever before, yet we are killing each other with guns at a far lower rate than when we had far fewer guns—undermines the narrative that there is a straightforward, causal relationship between increased gun prevalence and gun homicide. Even if you fall back on the conclusion that it’s just a small number of owners stockpiling more and more guns, it’s hard to escape noticing that even these hoarders seem to be harming fewer and fewer people with their weapons, casting doubt on the proposition that gun ownership is a political crisis demanding action.

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In the face of these trend lines—way more guns, way fewer gun murders—how can politicians such as Obama and Hillary Clinton so successfully capitalize on the panic that follows each high profile shooting? Partly because Americans haven’t caught on to the crime drop. A 2013 Pew Research Poll found 56 percent of respondents thought that gun crime had gone up over the past 20 years, and only 12 percent were aware it had declined.

Do Gun Laws Stop Gun Crimes?

The same week Kristof’s column came out, National Journal attracted major media attention with a showy piece of research and analysis headlined “The States With The Most Gun Laws See The Fewest Gun-Related Deaths.” The subhead lamented: “But there’s still little appetite to talk about more restrictions.”

Critics quickly noted that the Journal‘s Libby Isenstein had included suicides among “gun-related deaths” and suicide-irrelevant policies such as stand-your-ground laws among its tally of “gun laws.” That meant that high-suicide, low-homicide states such as Wyoming, Alaska, and Idaho were taken to task for their liberal carry-permit policies. Worse, several of the states with what the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence considers terribly lax gun laws were dropped from Isenstein’s data set because their murder rates were too low!

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Another of National Journal‘s mistakes is a common one in gun science: The paper didn’t look at gun statistics in the context of overall violent crime, a much more relevant measure to the policy debate. After all, if less gun crime doesn’t mean less crime overall—if criminals simply substitute other weapons or means when guns are less available—the benefit of the relevant gun laws is thrown into doubt. When Thomas Firey of the Cato Institute ran regressions of Isenstein’s study with slightly different specifications and considering all violent crime, each of her effects either disappeared or reversed.

Read the rest of this entry »


Zappa on Civics

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A Historical Perspective On Homicide

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John Hinderer reports: The Young Conservatives Instagramed this graphic a couple of days ago. I haven’t verified all the numbers, but I checked most of them against FBI data and they appear to be correct. The chart puts current hysteria over homicide and firearms into perspective. The left axis is homicides per 100,000 Americans…(read more)

Source: Power Line


[CHART] Why Gun Control is Failing

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Reality Check: Support For An ‘Assault Weapons’ Ban Hits An All-Time Low

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: A new ABC News/Washington Post poll found that support for an assault weapons ban is dropping. Fifty-three percent of Americans who were surveyed say they oppose such a ban, the highest amount of opposition to the ban ever recorded. Only 45 percent thought banning assault weapons was a good idea—a significant drop from the 56 percent who supported it in 2013 and 80 percent who supported it in 1994.

“Only 45 percent thought banning assault weapons was a good idea—a significant drop from the 56 percent who supported it in 2013 and 80 percent who supported it in 1994.”

The poll also found that most Americans—77 percent of those surveyed—don’t think the government can successfully thwart lone-wolf terrorist attacks. In fact, only 22 percent said they were confident that the government could stop a lone-wolf attack, while 43 percent thought the government could stop a larger-scale attack.

“The poll also found that most Americans—77 percent of those surveyed—don’t think the government can successfully thwart lone-wolf terrorist attacks.”

Of those surveyed, 42 percent thought stricter gun control was the best response to terrorism, while 47 percent disagreed. As Joe Perticone of IJReview pointed out, it seems that as confidence in the government’s ability to stop terrorism wanes…(read more)

Source: Federalist.com


CATO: Happy Bill of Rights Day!

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Today: 224th Anniversary of the Bill of Rights

WASHINGTON - DECEMBER 15: Ethan Kasnett, an 8th grade student at the Lab School in Washington, DC, views the original constitution. (Brendan Smialowski/GETTY IMAGES)


CHANGE: Majority Of Americans Oppose ‘Assault Weapons’ Ban For First Time In 20 years Of New York Times Polling

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AWR Hawkins reports: According to NYU political scientist Patrick Egan, the opposition to such a ban is up 16 percentage points from the numbers seen in 2011. Moreover, support for an “assault weapons” ban is down 19 percent. On January 15-19, 2011 Americans polled at 63 percent in favor of a ban and 34 against. On December 4-8, 2015, American polled only 44 percent in favor of such a ban, with 50 percent polling in opposition.

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The real swing in numbers can be seen by contrasting the latest figures with the first poll NYT took on the topic during January 2-3, 1995. At that time support for a ban was at 67 percent, while opposition to a ban was at 27 percent.

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These numbers square with a post-San Bernardino Breitbart News report showing that AR-15 sales have been skyrocketing since the December 2 San Bernardino attack….(read more)

Source: Breitbart


‘Be Ready When the Wolf Comes to the Door’: Law Enforcement Officials in Texas, Arizona, Florida, & New York Urge Citizens to Arm Themselves 

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Wayne Ivey, the sheriff in Brevard County, Florida, said in a video post on the department’s Facebook page over the weekend that political leaders appear more interested in being politically correct than protecting people. He urged residents to arm themselves as a first line of defense against an active shooter.

DALLAS (AP) — A Texas police chief who warns President Barack Obama in a social media video that trying to disarm Americans would “cause a revolution in this country” is the latest law enforcement official to urge citizens to arm themselves in the wake of mass shootings.

“Trying to disarm Americans would ’cause a revolution in this country'”

Randy Kennedy, longtime chief in the small East Texas town of Hughes Springs, about 120 miles east of Dallas, says in the video posted this week on his personal Facebook page that the Second Amendment was established to protect people from criminals and “terrorists and radical ideology.”

“It’s also there to protect us against a government that has overreached its power. You are not our potentate, sir. You are our servant.”

He warned people in his town to prepare themselves: “Be ready when the wolf comes to the door, because it’s on its way.”

Law enforcement officials in Arizona, Florida and New York also have recently prompted citizens to arm themselves – some using similar comments aimed at terrorism.

Gun rights activist Holly Cusumano, 18, waves a flag during a rally for the 2nd Amendment at the Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City on Saturday, March 2, 2013. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”

Kennedy said his call to arms was the result of his disappointment with Obama’s Oval Office speech Sunday in which the president vowed the U.S. will overcome a new phase of the terror threat that seeks to “poison the minds” of people here and around the world. The police chief told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he’s not asking residents to turn into vigilantes or “become super action heroes.”

“Be ready when the wolf comes to the door, because it’s on its way.”

He said feedback on his video has been supportive for the most part.

“There have been a few extremely nasty comments, calling me basically a backwoods redneck hick creating monsters that don’t exist,” he said.

[Read the full story here, at The Associated Press]

Wayne Ivey, the sheriff in Brevard County, Florida, said in a video post on the department’s Facebook page over the weekend that political leaders appear more interested in being politically correct than protecting people. He urged residents to arm themselves as a first line of defense against an active shooter. Read the rest of this entry »


Trending: #NotJustAGun


Americans Are Ignoring Radical Gun Laws… As They Should

A group of local public school teachers from nearby schools use rubber training guns as they practice proper firearms handling during a teachers-only firearms training class offered for free at the Veritas Training Academy in Sarasota, Florida January 11, 2013. The December 14 tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 first-graders and six adults were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School, has sparked a national debate about whether to arm teachers, prompting passionate arguments on both sides. REUTERS/Brian Blanco (UNITED STATES - Tags: SOCIETY POLITICS EDUCATION)

An increasingly radicalized Democrat Party is attempting to strip citizens of their natural rights, inspiring citizens to unheard of levels of disobedience.

The editorial board of the New York Times has once again decided to focus their energies on making the world a safer place for tyrannical government.

After an op-ed last week calling on the federal government to gut the right of citizens to bear those arms best suited for defeating tyrants, they’ve taken one of many gutless decisions by the Robert’s court to call for states to do what the federal government will not:

On Monday, the court declined to hear a challenge to a Chicago suburb’s law banning semiautomatic assault weapons and magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.

The town of Highland Park, Ill., passed the 2013 ordinance, which bans categories of weapons as well as specific guns by name, including the AR-15 and the AK-47, in the wake of the massacre of 26 children and educators at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn. The shooter in that attack, like those in many mass shooting, used a semiautomatic assault rifle with a high-capacity magazine.

It was the 70th time since 2008 that the Supreme Court has declined to consider a lawsuit challenging a federal, state or local gun regulation. This creates a big opportunity for Americans to put pressure on their state and local leaders, especially since Congress refuses to approve even uncontroversial measures like universal background checks for gun sales, which are supported by nearly nine in 10 Americans. Until that changes, states and cities have the constitutional authority and moral obligation to protect the public from the scourge of gun violence.

Let’s be very, very clear: the Founding Fathers would have been appalled by the 2013 ordinance passed by Highland Park, and if the Founders were alive today, there is a good chance that the Highland Park’s leaders would have been roughly pulled from their homes and tarred and feathered in disgrace before their homes were burned to ash.

Men like Jefferson and Adams were patriots who had just won a long and costly war that was triggered by a gun control raid on April 19, 1775 in the towns of Lexington and Concord, and did not suffer fools.

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Unfortunately, the Robert’s court is feckless and craven. They passed on hearing the case because they know that if they took it up, they must overturn it. Once they overturned it, the precedent would once and for all gut the basis of all assault weapons bans on any level of government, henceforth. We warned in early November that the court would set us on a path towards a very uncivil civil conflict, and they have not disappointed our low expectations of their integrity. Read the rest of this entry »


‘Guns Are What You Talk About to Avoid Having to Talk About Islamist Terrorism’

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‘The Liberal Theology of Gun Control’

William McGurn writes: How does a man who entered the White House vowing to restore science to its proper place tell us that gun control is the answer to terrorism?

“Put simply, today’s liberalism cannot deal with the reality of evil. So liberals inveigh against the instruments the evil use rather than the evil that motivates them.”

After all, California already has strict gun control, as does France, which just had its second terrorist massacre this year. Not to mention that the one time when terrorists with assault rifles and body armor were foiled, it was because an off-duty traffic cop in Garland, Texas, was carrying a gun—and used it to shoot the two heavily armed Islamists before they could kill anyone.

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“Not that there aren’t measures society can embrace to keep the innocent from being shot and killed. The best example may be New York City from 2002-13, during Ray Kelly’s last stint as police commissioner, when the NYPD was bringing the murder rate to record lows through America’s most effective gun-control program: stop-and-frisk.”

Or that “common sense gun control” would have done nothing to stop Richard Reid (the unsuccessful shoe-bomber); the Tsarnaev brothers in Boston (pressure cookers) or the 9/11 hijackers (box-cutters). Maybe the president should be demanding common sense pressure-cooker control.

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“This was gun control for bad guys, under the theory that when you take guns away from bad people—or at least make them afraid to carry guns on the street—you reduce shootings. But it was savaged by liberals. Because they don’t want just the bad guys’ guns. They want yours.”

Yet while the critiques of the president’s antigun pitch are correct, they are also beside the point. Because liberal calls for gun control aren’t about keeping guns from bad guys. It’s what you talk about so you don’t have to talk about the reality of Islamist terror. And focusing on the weaponry is part of a liberal argument that dates to the Cold War, when calls for arms control were likewise used to avoid addressing the ugly reality of communism.

[Read the full text here, at WSJ]

Understand this, and you understand why Senate Democrats reacted to San Bernardino by putting forth antigun legislation. Why the New York Times ran a gun control editorial on its front page, and the Daily News used its own cover to feature the National Rifle Association’s Wayne LaPierre underneath San Bernardino killer Syed Farook—labeling them both terrorists. And why President Obama used Sunday night’s address to whine about those resisting his call for gun measures that would not have stopped any of the shooters.

Getty Images

Getty Images

Put simply, today’s liberalism cannot deal with the reality of evil. So liberals inveigh against the instruments the evil use rather than the evil that motivates them.

Not that there aren’t measures society can embrace to keep the innocent from being shot and killed. The best example may be New York City from 2002-13, during Ray Kelly’s last stint as police commissioner, when the NYPD was bringing the murder rate to record lows through America’s most effective gun-control program: stop-and-frisk. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Cheers! Over 100 Million Guns Sold in US Since Obama Became President 

Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

William La Jeunesse reported today on FOX News that 100 million guns have been sold in the US since Obama became president. Today’s increase in sales is nationwide not just in California. La Jeunesse said:

“Americans are not just putting them in their closet and waiting for a burglary. They’re taking classes on how to protect themselves. Background checks on Black Friday topped 185,000 that’s 8,000 guns sold every hour. 2,000,000 in November and and almost 20 million this year.”

Source: The Gateway Pundit

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Attorney General Loretta Lynch Threatens U.S. Citizens, Vows Aggressive Action Against Those Who Use ‘Anti-Muslim’ Speech

James Barrett reports: The day after a horrific shooting spree by a “radicalized” Muslim man and his partner in San Bernardino, California, Attorney General Loretta Lynch pledged to a group of Muslim activists that she would take aggressive action against anyone who used “anti-Muslim rhetoric” that “edges toward violence.”

“It is painfully clear that, like her predecessor Eric Holder, Lynch is far more concerned with promoting the social justice agenda than protecting the Constitutional rights of American citizens. What exactly is speech that “edges toward violence”? What exactly are “actions predicated on violent talk”? In the end, it is whatever she decides it to mean.”

Speaking to the audience at the Muslim Advocate’s 10th anniversary dinner Thursday, Lynch said her “greatest fear” is the “incredibly disturbing rise of anti-Muslim rhetoric” in America and vowed to prosecute any guilty of what she deemed violence-inspiring speech. She said:

The fear that you have just mentioned is in fact my greatest fear as a prosecutor, as someone who is sworn to the protection of all of the American people, which is that the rhetoric will be accompanied by acts of violence. My message to not just the Muslim community but to the entire American community is: we cannot give in to the fear that these backlashes are really based on.

Assuring the pro-Muslim group that “we stand with you,” Lynch said she would use her Justice Department to protect Muslims from “violence” and discrimination.

Claiming that violence against Muslims is on the rise and citing France’s clamp down on potentially radicalized mosques, Lynch suggested the Constitution does not protect “actions predicated on violent talk” and pledged to prosecute those responsible for such actions….(read more)

At The Corner, David French writes:

Lynch addressed the Muslim Advocate’s 10th anniversary dinner and declared that she is concerned about an “incredibly disturbing rise of anti-Muslim rhetoric . . . that fear is my greatest fear.” Her greatest fear is — not terrorism — but a nonexistent Islamophobic backlash? ISIS has demonstrated that it can bring down passenger jets, strike the heart of a great Western capitol with urban assault teams, and inspire horrible carnage in California. We also know that ISIS has pledged to keep attacking the U.S. and possesses chemical weapons. Yet it’s politically incorrect speech that strikes fear into the heart of our attorney general.

What about blurring the distinction between speech and violence? Lynch is so serious about stopping Islamophobia that she’s sending a clear message to those who engage in “anti-Muslim rhetoric” — the Department of Justice is watching you:

“When we talk about the First amendment we [must] make it clear that actions predicated on violent talk are not American. They are not who we are, they are not what we do, and they will be prosecuted.”

And yet, there is no legally meaningful category of “action[s] predicated on violent talk.” Lynch spoke against rhetoric that “edges towards violence,” but the law obviously prohibits violent actions — she’s speaking in terms alien to the First Amendment. True threats are unlawful, and true “incitement” isn’t protected by the Constitution, but these are extraordinarily narrow legal categories. Is it not enough to declare that the Department of Justice will enforce the law and uphold the Constitution?

The First Amendment protects an enormous range of speech — even speech that’s anathema to the Obama administration. Americans are perfectly within their rights to not just condemn jihad but also to make sweeping and angry statements about Islam. If the administration disagrees with this speech, it’s free to make its own statements, but when it starts making up legal categories of problematic speech, it is getting disturbingly close to discarding the Bill of Rights.  Read the rest of this entry »


The Tradition of Civil Disobedience


[VIDEO] Dana Loesch: ‘What A Gun-Control Utopia Looks Like’

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Defying Obama’s Condiment Crackdown: States that Demand Hot Sauce Meet or Exceed Customary Standards of Acceptable Hotness

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REWIND: ‘This Type of Mass Violence Does Not Happen in Other Advanced Countries’ 

Obama’s Statement on the Shooting in South Carolina

REWIND: June 18, 2015: Good afternoon, everybody. This morning, I spoke with, and Vice President Biden spoke with, Mayor Joe Riley and other leaders of Charleston to express our deep sorrow over the senseless murders that took place last night.

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Mass violence in Paris, November 13, 2015

“At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries.

Michelle and I know several members of Emanuel AME Church.  We knew their pastor, Reverend Clementa Pinckney, who, along with eight others, gathered in prayer and fellowship and was murdered last night. And to say our thoughts and prayers are with them and their families, and their community doesn’t say enough to convey the heartache and the sadness and the anger that we feel.

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Mass violence victims in Paris, November 13, 2015

Any death of this sort is a tragedy. Any shooting involving multiple victims is a tragedy….

I say that recognizing the politics in this town foreclose a lot of those avenues right now. But it would be wrong for us not to acknowledge it. Read the rest of this entry »


‘Barrack Obama and Hillary Clinton are the Best Gun Salespeople on the Planet’

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Gun Sales Set Record for Sixth Month in a Row

 reports: The Federal Bureau of Investigation processed a record number of background checks in the month of October, indicating that gun sales were at an all time high for the sixth month in a row.

“Barrack Obama and Hillary Clinton are the best gun salespeople on the planet. The more they scream for new gun control laws the more guns walk off the shelves at gun stores. To quote the lyrics of Peter, Paul and Mary, ‘When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn.’”

— Alan Gottlieb, the head of the Second Amendment Foundation.

The FBI’s National Instant Background Check System processed 1,976,759 firearms related checks in October. That is a 373,290 increase in checks over last year and a new record for the month. It also makes October the sixth consecutive month to see a record number of checks….(read more)

Source: Washington Free Beacon


Gun Bans: Are They Effective?

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Is this information even true? Not reallyHere is an analysis of the flaws in this assertion.

Some highlights:

…Honduras doesn’t “ban” citizens from owning guns.

The Small Arms Survey says the most popular gun in Honduras is the 9mm handgun, “which can be legally purchased and owned” — undermining the meme’s claim that Hondurans are banned from owning guns. Because this weapon is banned in nearby Mexico, the UN has said the difference in laws fosters the exchange of illegal weapons between the countries.

An analysis of gun laws in six Latin American countries by Insight Crime, a foundation that studies crime and policy in Central America, characterizes Honduras’ regulations as “light” compared to the “restrictive” laws of Brazil and Mexico and “moderate” laws of Venezuela and Chile. Uruguay also has “light” gun control laws but an incredibly smaller homicide rate than Honduras of about 5.9 percent per 100,000 people. (It also has less organized crime.)

The disparity in homicide rates and gun control laws showed “gun legislation, on its own, means little in terms of gun violence,” the Insight Crime analysis found….

…A 2012 Time story about Switzerland’s gun culture notes how citizens hold their right to own guns as a patriotic duty, and Swiss children often join sharpshooting groups to hone their skills.

But, again, Switzerland does not require “citizens to own guns.”

(read more here)

It’s unfortunate to see gun-rights advocates (who already have the winning statistics on their side, by a wide margin, on multiple levels) using misleading, exaggerated, or false information to make their case. The original source of this graphic is unclear, I found it on Tumblr, rarely known for reliable accuracy, but a good place to find entertaining memes of all kinds.

Fact distortion, what’s the point? It’s a common propaganda tactic that’s more often employed by the activist Left, which often doesn’t even pretend to be concerned with facts, instead creating and distributing completely false but effective, persuasive fictional narratives.

Like this one, from the president:

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Hillary Clinton & NRA: Who’s More Popular?

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“Seductive as it might be, there is little within the facts to recommend this approach. As Gallup confirmed just this week, the NRA is not a fringe organization that has managed somehow to impose a greatly undeserved octopus’s grip, but a mainstream plank of American civil society with approval ratings of which the vast majority of national politicians could only dream. ‘Despite a year of blistering criticism,’ the polling firm notes, ‘58% in the U.S. have a favorable opinion” of the NRA — a number that “includes the highest recording of ‘very favorable’ opinions (26%) since Gallup began asking this question in 1989.’ That trend line is moving upwards.”

— Charles C.W. Cooke

Read more…

Source: National Review Online