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Charlie T Waite

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Everything posted by Charlie T Waite

  1. Right now, guns are being demonized. It seems everyone outside of the die-hard pro-gun factions is entertaining the idea of gun control. After all, we’re told, we’re in the midst of an epidemic of violence. Guns are killing people wholesale. Presidential candidates are claiming that guns kill more people than anything else. Worse, though, people buy it. We’ve already seen how violent crime is actually down for 2018. Yet people think it’s worse. However, I can see how that happens. Crimes that were common simply couldn’t be reported on because it’s impossible to cover all of them. When they become less common, it’s possible to report on them and the perception becomes that the problem is worse rather than better. I’ve argued that’s part of what happens, but I’m not going to let the media off the hook. Why? Because they’ve gone out of their way to fail to inform the public on the reality of not just crime but also gun-related fatalities. In other words, the media has spent so much time and effort prattling on about mass shootings and pushing those as the major problem, people have a skewed perspective on whether or not they’re a real problem. A third of the population apparently believes that most people shot and killed are murdered in mass shootings. Meanwhile, only a small handful are, as the report goes on to note: What bothers me most about this is that suicide is far more preventable. It’s a mental health issue that needs to be addressed from that angle. Trying to interfere with gun rights because someone might commit suicide is stupid, in part because it’s not the only way to commit suicide but also in part because it completely ignores the suffering a suicidal person is going through. It focuses on the tool and not the human being that is dealing with internal torment. Yet the media has remained focused on things like mass shootings and murders and has willfully ignored the reality of most so-called “gun deaths” being people taking their own lives. They love to cite the total number of “gun deaths” without bothering to break them down into their component parts such as homicides and suicides. While it would be easy to chalk this up to laziness, the truth is that they’ve had this pointed out to them enough times to know better. No, I have to conclude this is willful. Because of that, the American public is woefully misinformed about just how most people shot and killed end up that way. While I tend to believe that you should never chalk up to maliciousness that which can easily be explained by incompetence, I just don’t think that’s the case this time around. Mainstream media? Do your jobs correctly for a change.
  2. When all the mainstream-media outlets are telling the same story about research backing gun control, it’s time to dig. In this case researchers published a study in the journal Pediatrics titled, “State Gun Laws and Pediatric Firearm-Related Mortality.” The study’s researchers say they found that: “States with stricter gun laws had lower rates of firearm-related pediatric mortality.” Mainstream-media outlets treated the findings as anti-gun gospel. “Fewer American Kids Die in States With Tougher Gun Laws, According to This New Study” –Time “Child gun-death rates linked to state gun laws, national study finds” –The Philadelphia Inquirer “Children in states with strict gun laws are less likely to die, according to a new study” –CNN The articles go on to treat the study without any real analysis—not a hint of journalistic cynicism. These researchers say they found that “universal” background-check laws (in quotes because how can such a law be universal when criminals by definition won’t follow it) and other gun-control laws reduce child-mortality rates. The trouble is, the study is very flawed. It’s a “cross-sectional” study. It compares firearm-related death rates across various states that have different gun-control scores, as calculated by the anti-gun Brady Campaign. As state demographics, cultures and more are hardly uniform—Alabama is different from New York in a myriad of ways—such comparisons are problematic from the start. A better way to see what effects a law has is to measure what changed before and after a law went into effect in a particular state, county and so on. Did the deaths of those who are 21 years old and younger—which is what this study covers—change after a “universal” background-check law went into effect? If there was an appreciable change, how can we be sure the background check law was a major factor? Such studies, obviously, aren’t controlled experiments that can be replicated in a laboratory. These questions must be seriously asked and rigorously answered. This study doesn’t do anything like that, but instead compares apples to oranges. “Few academics look at such purely cross-sectional data, simply because it is impossible in that case to accurately account for differences across different places,” says John Lott, founder and president of the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC). Good examples of flawed cross-sectional analyses include attempts to compare homicide rates in the U.S. to those in the United Kingdom (U.K.). Both nations record crime data in very different ways. The U.K. basically won’t officially count a homicide until after a case has been adjudicated. This could be years later. They also may leave out homicide data purposely; for example, when a U.K. doctor allegedly murdered more than 200 of his patients, and a jury found him guilty of 15 of the murders in 2000, the British homicide statistics were not adjusted to include this data. The U.K. also doesn’t accumulate the data the way the FBI does for its “Uniform Crime Reporting Program.” The homicide data from the U.K. and the U.S. simply aren’t comparable; actually, when doing research for my book The Future of the Gun, I found that Scotland Yard officially says the U.K’s national data is not comparable. Back to this study in Pediatrics, Lott also says, “Lumping all the different gun-control numbers into one number is pretty arbitrary. Not only is there the issue of what gun-control laws to include, there is also the issue of how to weight them. Is a three-day waiting period on buying guns the same as background checks on private transfers or a ban on open carrying of guns? Just adding up the number of laws in a state assumes that all the laws have the same importance.” Rather than lumping all the laws together, Lott’s book, More Guns, Less Crime, for example, examines 13 different types of gun-control laws and accounts for differences in things such as the length of waiting periods, the yearly cost of concealed-carry permits and more. In sum, this is a complex topic that these researchers have obviously treated in a certain way to get a desired political outcome. And they’re being rewarded for it by tons of favorable coverage from the mainstream media outlets that brainlessly advocate for more gun control. The study’s conclusions even states as much: “Legislation to decrease injury from other obvious public health hazards, such as motor vehicle collisions and secondhand smoke exposure, has shown that the adoption of restrictive laws (e.g., seat belts, use of car seats, limits on where an individual can smoke, etc.) result in lower injury rates.” Clearly, these researchers and those funding this research (a feature in the September issue of America’s 1st Freedom digs deep into this) want guns treated as a public-health risk, as this allows them to prescribe their preferred remedy: more gun bans and restrictions. Most-Revealing Anti-Freedom Quote of the Week “As a pediatric emergency medicine physician, I have personally cared for too many children who have been unfortunate victims of gun violence. Although there has been a recent uptick in firearm-injury prevention research, our country has not embraced this issue as it has other public health crises. An evidence-based and data-driven approach is the only way to combat this public health epidemic.” –The lead author of a study in the journal Pediatrics, titled “State Gun Laws and Pediatric Firearm-Related Mortality,” told this to Bloomberg. Does this sound like something a scientist or an activist would say? Pro-Freedom Quote of the Week “Swapping one failed mandate for another dooms smart guns to failure.” –Scott Bach, the head of the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs, criticized a new law in New Jersey that would force gun dealers to make smart guns available for commercial sale that get a special commission’s approval. (Frank Miniter is the author of Spies in Congress—Inside the Democrats’ Covered-Up Cyber Scandal. His latest book, The Ultimate Man’s Survival Guide to the Workplace, will be out this summer.)
  3. Pop-psychology of gun owners has gone mainstream. Researchers are often attempting to psychoanalyze gun owners without speaking to gun owners. They’re mining statistics to find evidence for their political biases and then stepping back to explain their “findings” about gun owners with what amounts to anti-gun pop-psychology. For example, PsyPost, a psychology and neuroscience news website, ran a story in July under the headline, “Study finds guns automatically prime aggressive thoughts—even when wielded by a ‘good guy’.” The article cites a study done in 2017 that ran in Sage Journals. The study is farcical. Participants were shown photos of criminals, soldiers, police in military gear or police in regular gear with guns. Researchers then measured aggressive thoughts with a test. Participants could fill in two blank spaces after the letters “Ki” as “Kill” or “Kiss.” (Whatever a person’s views, “kiss” is a weird and uncomfortable word to have to fill in when looking at someone with a gun.) So surprise, surprise, the photos of individuals with guns—tools often bought for self-defense—elicited aggressive thoughts, according to this test. In another recent example, researchers published a study in the journal Pediatrics titled, “State Gun Laws and Pediatric Firearm-Related Mortality.” The study’s researchers say they found that “tates with stricter gun laws had lower rates of firearm-related pediatric mortality.” Mainstream-media outlets treated the findings as anti-gun gospel. “Fewer American Kids Die in States With Tougher Gun Laws, According to This New Study,” noted a headline in Time magazine. “Children in states with strict gun laws are less likely to die, according to a new study,” said CNN’s headline. These and many other news outlets went on to treat the study without a hint of journalistic cynicism. The trouble is the study is deeply flawed. It’s is a “cross-sectional” study that compares firearm-related death rates across various states that have different gun-control scores, as calculated by the anti-gun Brady Campaign. As state demographics, cultures and more are hardly uniform—Alabama is different from New York in a myriad of ways—a better way to measure the effects of a law is to measure what changed after a law is enacted in a particular state, county and so on. Did the deaths of those who are 21 years old and younger (which is what this study covers) change after a “universal” background-check law went into effect? If there was a measurable change, how can we be sure the background-check law was a major factor? Such studies, obviously, aren’t controlled experiments that can be replicated in a laboratory, so these questions and more must be seriously asked and rigorously answered. This study doesn’t do anything like that. It just compares apples to oranges. “Few academics look at such purely cross-sectional data, simply because it is impossible in that case to accurately account for differences across different places,” says John Lott, founder and president of the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC). “Lumping all the different gun-control numbers into one number is pretty arbitrary. Not only is there the issue of what gun-control laws to include, there is also the issue of how to weigh them.” These researchers obviously have treated a complex topic in this way to get a desired political outcome. They were rewarded for it with a lot of favorable coverage from the mainstream media. The lead researcher for this study even said as much. “As a pediatric emergency medicine physician, I have personally cared for too many children who have been unfortunate victims of gun violence,” Monika Goyal, director of research in emergency medicine at Children’s National in Washington, D.C., told Time. “Although there has been a recent uptick in firearm-injury prevention research, our country has not embraced this issue as it has other public health crises.” Does this sound like something a scientist or an activist would say? Clearly, these researchers want guns treated as a public-health risk, as this allows them to prescribe their preferred remedy: more gun bans and restrictions.
  4. Here ya go Old Nuremberg Trials and New Mandatory Gun Confiscation I’ve met lots of police officers who said they would never go door-to-door and confiscate guns. I’ve also met officers who would. Seizing someone’s property is a slippery slope, and the edge is closer than we might think. Several Democrat presidential candidates already called for gun-confiscation. Unfortunately, none of the other Democrat candidates denounced it. Consider how gun confiscation plays out from the police officer’s perspective. Some states have gun-confiscation laws in place already. He is a “danger to himself or others,” or so the officers were told. Of course, that wasn’t exactly what the complaint said, and that isn’t really what the judge ruled. There are lots of little lies that grow as the story was passed from the estranged wife, to the divorce lawyer, to the prosecutor, to the judge. Now the confiscation order is passed down to the lieutenant and finally to the policeman. That is how SWAT teams ends up at someone’s door in the middle of the night. That is the reality of an “Extreme Risk Protection Order” (ERPO). We should expect more unjustified SWAT raids as the result of the recently passed Red Flag Gun Laws and ERPOs. There will be lots of mistakes since we have over a hundred million gun owners in the US. Add in the facts that forty percent of households have a gun, and half of marriages end in divorce. Also remember that there is no penalty for lying in family court. With that, the stage is set for abuse and tragedy. We’ve already seen laws misused and abused in family court, but now something has changed. Now the cops will come with guns drawn in order to disarm an innocent gun owner. That increases the risk of violence, and the concern isn’t theoretical. We’ve already seen things go horribly wrong. Policemen were shot when they broke into the wrong house. Innocent homeowners were killed when cops stormed into their homes. Some of those police officers are on trial after they shot civilians in the middle of the night. More police officers will be charged as we see more gun-confiscation. The police and other government officials should be charged and tried in court. Here is why. After the midnight raid, the officers says they were only following orders. The officers ask for qualified immunity since they are government employees following department procedures. Now we will finally ask the question if qualified immunity can apply to an unjust law. “Red Flag” gun laws are being challenged in the courts since honest and non-violent citizens are being severely punished without due process. That may mean the officer and his superiors can and should be charged if innocent people are injured after enforcing an unjust law. We got rid of the excuse, “I was just following orders.” about 75 years ago at Nuremberg. It wasn’t justified then and it isn’t justified now. The officers I’ve trained with know that gun owners don’t deserve midnight raids. They know that licensed civilians who carry guns in public are extraordinarily law abiding and non-violent. With an ironic twist, the officers own words might be used to convict them in court; “Tell me lieutenant, what would you do if someone broke into your home in the middle of the night? “By the way, I have these sworn statements from the concealed carry students you trained. You said an innocent person should stop the threat and then retreat until they can summon help. “And here, lieutenant, is a similar sworn statement by your ex-wife.” Confiscating guns at gunpoint is playing with fire. Lots of us will get burned. The best way to win is to not play. We already have laws in place to help the mentally ill. Too often, we’ve had government officials ignore the pleas for help from the mentally ill and their family. Now we’ll have government officials putting more innocent people at risk in the name of public safety. That is a problem. Government is a blunt tool at best. We have to use it carefully, and first do no harm. Extreme Risk Protection Orders are a gun-confiscation by another name. If sending SWAT cops to our door is the answer, then we’re asking the wrong questions.
  5. BELLEVUE, WA – The anonymous whistleblower complaint against President Donald Trump now being used by Democrats to launch an impeachment inquiry is tantamount to a “red flag” action against a gun owner, with the accused being presumed guilty until he or she can prove their innocence, the Second Amendment Foundation said today. “The lynch mob mentality now being exhibited by Capitol Hill Democrats is the same kind of rush-to-judgment thinking that courts and prosecutors use to rationalize seizing someone’s firearms, while throwing due process under the nearest bus,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “Far-left House Democrats, who have wanted to remove the duly-elected president from office since the 2016 election are treating this anonymous complaint like gospel, virtually the same way the legal system treats a so-called ‘red flag’ complaint against a gun owner. “Completely absent from this political circus act is anything close to skepticism,” he continued. “There’s a transcript of a telephone call between Trump and the Ukrainian president which Trump’s detractors read one way and his supporters read another way, and that’s about it. At least the president has the advantage of knowing there’s been a complaint filed, but in the case of a ‘red flag’ allegation, the gun owner typically doesn’t know a thing until police come knocking on the door. In either case, neither the president or an affected gun owner has had the opportunity to face their accuser. “Many people are convinced that the president’s case amounts to political theatrics,” Gottlieb said. “However, there are no theatrics involved when a private citizen’s property is seized. As we saw last year in Maryland, a gun owner was served and something went wrong, and that person was shot dead inside his own front door. “We’re not sure how this drama will play out against President Trump,” he noted, “but we do know that anytime an anonymous complaint can be used to launch something as serious as an impeachment inquiry, by the same people who are pushing ‘red flag’ laws against gun owners, it’s time to seriously re-think both processes. “If this can happen to a president,” Gottlieb observed, “how long will it be before a ‘red flag’ case can be launched on the basis of an anonymous complaint? Step-by-step, it appears we’re getting closer to the kind of government the Second Amendment was designed to protect us against, and that’s alarming.”
  6. America saw a significant decrease in the number of homicides involving rifles, a report from the Federal Bureau of Investigation released on Monday shows. All methods of murder dropped by 7 percent in 2018, and gun murders fell by 6.7 percent, according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report. But murders committed specifically with rifles fell by an even greater 23.8 percent. Additionally, the FBI’s breakdown shows rifles were involved in only 2.8 percent of all murders (297 incidents total). Rifles were used less often to commit murder than knives, fists, and blunt objects. Those findings remained consistent with previous Uniform Crime Reports showing rifles were used in relatively few murders each year. The FBI lumps all rifles together into a single category and does not break down how many murders were committed with any particular model of rifle. That means AR-15s and AK-47s are included in the overall number of rifle murders. The report comes at a time when gun control activists and Democrats have ramped up their gun control efforts targeting AR-15s and AK-47s over their use in several high-profile killings. A Washington Free Beacon analysis from earlier this year found every Democrat running in the presidential primary supports banning new sales of so-called assault weapons, which include AR-15s and similar rifles. H.R. 1296, the Assault Weapons Ban of 2019, currently has 210 Democrat cosponsors and 1 Republican cosponsor in the House of Representatives. Some Democrats have also called for a scheme to confiscate those rifles. "Hell yes, we're going to take your AR-15, your AK-47," former congressman Beto O’Rourke said at the most recent Democratic debate. "We're not going to allow it to be used against our fellow Americans anymore." Senators Cory Booker (D., N.J.) and Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) have both expressed support for O’Rourke’s confiscation plan. Gun rights activists have long decried the focus on AR-15s and AK-47s as out of line with their use in crime. "It is important to note that last year, according to the new FBI data, only 297 murders are known to have been committed with rifles of any kind," Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, said in a statement. "Yet Democrats including all of those now running for president want to ban modern semiautomatic sporting rifles, which they repeatedly mischaracterize as ‘weapons of war.’" Gottlieb further pointed to the popularity of AR-15s and AK-47s—the industry estimates more than 16 million are owned by civilians—and their relatively infrequent use in crime as evidence the rifles should not be banned. "Millions of honest citizens own such firearms and they have harmed nobody," he said.
  7. FAIRFAX, Va.– The National Rifle Association of America declared victory in San Francisco today, after Mayor London Breed formally disavowed key provisions of a municipal resolution that signaled the blacklisting of contractors linked to the Second Amendment advocacy group. On September 3, 2019, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, which is the legislative body for the City and County of San Francisco, unanimously approved a resolution that called for the City to investigate ties between its contractors and vendors and the NRA. The city declared the NRA was a “domestic terrorist organization.” Not surprisingly, the NRA sued. On September 9, 2019, less than a week after the resolution was enacted, the NRA challenged it as government action adversely affecting its First Amendment rights. In its filing, the NRA called the resolution a “blacklisting” measure, and urged San Francisco’s federal court to “step in and instruct elected officials that freedom of speech means you cannot silence or punish those with whom you disagree.” Late last week, rather than await “instruction” from a court, San Francisco Mayor London Breed backed down. In a formal memorandum to City officials, she declared that “no [municipal] department will take steps to restrict any contractor from doing business with the NRA or to restrict City contracting opportunities for any business that has any relationship with the NRA.” “Through these actions and our public advocacy, we hope the message is now clear,” says NRA CEO and Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre. “The NRA will always fight to protect our members and the constitutional freedoms in which they believe.” The NRA is represented in its lawsuit by William A. Brewer III and Sarah Rogers of Brewer, Attorneys & Counselors, along with Garman Turner Gordon LLP. “The memo serves as a clear concession and a well-deserved win for the First and Second Amendments of the United States Constitution,” says William A. Brewer III, partner at Brewer, Attorneys & Counselors and counsel for the NRA. “It is unfortunate that in today’s polarized times, some elected officials would rather silence opposing arguments than engage in good-faith debate. The NRA - America’s oldest civil rights organization – won’t stand for that.” The NRA’s challenge to a similar ordinance in Los Angeles remains pending. Last month, the city’s motion to dismiss was denied in its entirety by federal district judge Stephen V. Wilson, who found that the NRA had stated a clear First Amendment claim.
  8. https://membersurvey.nra.org/2ASurvey/Survey1
  9. On Monday, the plaintiffs in the NRA-supported case of Worman v. Healey filed their petition for writ of certiorari before the Supreme Court of the United States. This case challenges Massachusetts’s unconstitutional ban on commonly-owned, semi-automatic firearms as a violation of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, citing the Supreme Court rulings in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago. The petition for writ of certiorari represents the first, important step toward the Supreme Court’s review of a manifest legal error. After going through the laborious appellate process, the case has finally reached the opportunity for a final ruling by the nation’s highest court. This particular petition asks the nation’s highest Court to review an issue of critical importance: the Massachusetts Attorney General’s persistent infringement of the Second Amendment. In 2016, Attorney General Maura Healey took it upon herself to unilaterally “interpret” Massachusetts’ law as prohibiting a vast array of commonly-owned firearms that are traditionally—and lawfully—owned by Bay State citizens. Healey announced the change in an “enforcement notice,” which informed existing owners that they would not be subject to prosecution at that time, but that the attorney general “reserves the right to alter or amend this guidance.” The petition before the Supreme Court cites what NRA members already know: Massachusetts’ ban violates the Supreme Court’s decision in Heller, which reaffirmed that “the government may not ban, arms that are ‘typically possessed for lawful purposes like self-defense.’” It is undisputed that the AR-15 satisfies this standard. As the petition in this case explains, the “anned firearms based on the AR-15 platform are the most ergonomic, safe, readily available, and effective firearms for civilian defensive shooting.” In support of this petition, NRA-ILA Executive Director Jason Ouimet stated, “The NRA believes this case embodies a critical moment for America’s gun owners. With 2020 presidential candidates and members of Congress encouraging the confiscation of commonly-owned firearms—like the AR-15—it is vital that the Supreme Court remind politicians that they swore an oath to uphold the Constitution, which includes our sacred Second Amendment.” The Gun Owners Action League (GOAL), an NRA Massachusetts state affiliate and plaintiff in the Worman case, echoed Ouimet’s sentiments. As GOAL’s Executive Director, Jim Wallace, put it, “The importance of this case cannot be overstated. A decision at the Supreme Court recognizing the citizens’ right to purchase and possess commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms and their magazines will vindicate the rights of gun owners nationwide.” Wallace went on to add, “Massachusetts gun owners are grateful for the NRA’s support. The NRA has helped us fight this battle every step of the way.”
  10. Anti-gunners talk about how bad firearms are. They contend that guns are the only things that allow criminals to commit horrific acts against their fellow citizens. They say no one in a “civilized” society needs a gun. What they never acknowledge, however, is that among the most vulnerable people in society often need—and use—a firearm to protect themselves. People on opposing sides of the gun-ownership aisle argue about how many defensive gun uses (DGUs) there are every year. And, truth be told, it is nearly impossible to come up with a hard number of such cases, partly because the parameters can fluctuate. Do you count just the cases in which an intruder or attacker is killed? Do you expand your search to include any gunshot injury? Or, do you even consider instances when a person uses a firearm to scare off a perpetrator before a crime is committed? The fluidity of the definition goes a long way to explain why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) can do nothing but generalize, estimating DGUs as occurring anywhere from 500,000 to 3 million times per year. Arguments over the numbers aside, you never hear the anti-gunners talk about real-life situations in which a firearm leveled the playing field and kept a physically disadvantaged citizen from becoming the next homicide victim. And there are plenty of such instances happening every day throughout our country. Here are some recent examples. A physically disabled Florida homeowner used an AR-15-style rifle to save himself in August after four burglars broke into his house. So when political candidates say they want to “take your AR-15s, we can only surmise they don’t care if the crime victim lives or dies in similar situation like the aforementioned case. A hearing-impaired woman shot and killed an intruder this month inside her Oklahoma residence, located in a rural area with ranches and farms. The woman “yelled at the man to get out of the house and shot him once when he moved toward her.” She said she'd never seen him before. Sgt. Terry Winn, an investigator from LeFlore County Sheriff, said the 31-year-old intruder, who had a criminal record, was shot in the chest by a large-caliber rifle. Sgt. Winn told America’s 1st Freedom that the homeowner was deaf and had a concealed-carry permit, which “was unnecessary because she was inside her home” during the shooting. “It is not uncommon for most farmers or ranchers carry to firearms for self-protection. It is a little out of the order for someone to enter onto the properties and into homes in this area because it is well known that people here will use a firearm to protect themselves. So we try to put the word out to the criminal element not do to these things,” he said. A Kansas man recovering from quadruple bypass held a bad guy at gunpoint recently to keep his daughter and himself safe during a home invasion. Those who read the NRA’s Armed Citizen accounts can probably tick off dozens of other cases where the elderly or infirm have used a firearm to fend off someone who would have liked to do them harm. Criminals prey upon the vulnerable. They lack human decency. Their consciences do not prevent or stop them from attempting to harm a person with a physical disadvantage. Rather, illness, age and poor health can make some people look like an easy mark to most criminals—unless, unbeknownst to the hoodlum, that person has a firearm on hand. If we look back at the Florida AR-15 case, a five-round magazine might not have been enough against four intruders. Instead of recognizing the everyday reality that guns can be used—and often are—for protection, news-media outlets and some ambitious liberal politicians love to play up the gun-control political agenda. Anti-gunners seek to limit the opportunity for these vulnerable people (and all Americans) to bear arms and stand up against the unsavory actors in this world. Restrictions take many forms: maybe they want to limit the type of firearm you own; maybe they want to limit how much ammunition you can buy, or perhaps they’ll simply limit magazine capacity. And they make each of those limitations sound so innocuous, saying you’ll still have a chance to protect yourself. DGUs and the fact that a firearm can erase a physical disadvantage that a citizen might have against a criminal are vital aspects to protect our Second Amendment right. As voters, we must let the liberal politicians who attack our Second Amendment know that we understand that when they limit our rights to keep and bear arms, they devalue our basic right to life. And it is unforgivable that they have no qualms about taking away and restricting firearms and ammunition that provide life-saving ways for weaker members of our society to defend themselves from criminals.
  11. Given that so much gun-policy research is explicitly funded by individuals hostile to our rights, gun owners are right to be skeptical of many academics. However, there are times when well-respected academics have proven confident enough to challenge the prevailing anti-gun orthodoxies. Such is the case with recent pieces from James Alan Fox, professor of criminology, law, and public policy at Northeastern University, and Thomas Abt, research fellow at Harvard Kennedy School of Government. In a July 23 item for USA Today, Fox pondered why a recent mass killing in Kyoto, Japan, did not garner significant attention in the U.S. media. On July 18, a man entered the Kyoto Animation studio and doused parts of the building with an accelerant and screamed “drop dead” or “die!” before setting the building ablaze. The resulting fire killed 34 people and injured more than 30. A reasonable person might have expected such a heinous attack perpetrated in a notoriously peaceful country to get the attention of the press, but as Fox explained, the “Kyoto Animation arson killings didn’t get much attention because we couldn’t demonize guns.” Comparing coverage of the Kyoto massacre to the March shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand, Fox noted, “U.S. newspapers and wire services featured the Christchurch massacre five times as much as the Kyoto mass murder.” Fox went on to explain that a significant portion of massacres are carried out with weapons other than firearms, adding, “It is the politics and controversy surrounding gun control that highlight mass shootings above the rest.” In closing, Fox pointed out: “Whatever the reason, the lesser attention given to mass killings that do not invoke guns is disrespectful to the victims whose lives are tragically cut short. Is the crime any less serious if there were no gunshots? Are the victims any less dead? In fact, victims of burns, suffocation or stabbing often suffer a much slower and more painful death than gunshot victims. “It is surely fruitless to assess the relative severity of mass killings on the basis of weaponry. Our sense of outrage and concern for the victims should be the same whether they died from a firearm or fire.” Fox is not pro-gun, but has long served as a voice of reason in the hysterical aftermath of high-profile shootings. Since 2012, Fox has repeatedly made the case that common gun-control proposals—such as so-called “universal” background checks and semi-automatic firearm bans—are unlikely to curtail high-profile shooting incidents. In a 2018 research report titled, “Schools are safer than they were in the 90s, and school shootings are not more common than they used to be,” Fox provided concrete data for his conclusion that, “there is not an epidemic of school shootings.” Pouring cold water on the gun-control policies advocated in the wake of school shootings, Fox noted: “The thing to remember is that these are extremely rare events, and no matter what you can come up with to prevent it, the shooter will have a workaround.” In a July 19 article for The Boston Globe titled, “Democrats are skipping out on the most important gun fight of all,” Abt took issue with the 2020 Democratic presidential field’s approach to violence perpetrated with firearms. Abt noted that, “the candidates are still failing to focus on what is simultaneously the most serious and most solvable form of such violence: shootings and killings on the streets of our cities.” High-profile shootings garner significant media and political attention, but as Abt pointed out, “Urban violence accounts for the overwhelming majority of homicides in the United States.” Moreover, this urban violence is highly concentrated and necessitates targeted strategies. Abt explained that, “because urban violence concentrates among a small number of people and places, strategies that target those concentrations tend to work best. In most medium to large cities, violent crime clusters among a few hundred individuals and a few dozen micro-locations known as 'hot spots.' Less than 1 percent of a city’s population and less than 5 percent of its geography will generate the majority of its lethal or near-lethal encounters.” The researcher went on to promote a handful of targeted law enforcement and social policies that could alleviate the problem without resorting to broad gun controls. Highlighting one problem with the effort to tackle urban violence, Abt wrote: “Mass shootings account for less than 1 percent of all gun deaths annually, yet they dominate the debate on gun violence and distort the search for solutions.” This recognition that a significant portion of firearm homicides take place within a small geographic area and fraction of the population suggests that policies narrowly targeted at problem areas and social networks are more appropriate approaches to curbing violence than sweeping gun controls, which restrict the rights of the population at large. Like Fox, not all of Abt’s positions are laudable. The researcher expressed passing support for so-called “universal” background checks and a semi-automatic firearm ban—both of which have been shown to be ineffective. Moreover, in the Boston Globe article, the academic took an unnecessary and clumsy swipe at President Donald Trump. Despite these shortcomings, Fox and Abt’s more reasoned analyses of the gun issue expose the gulf between the haphazard rhetoric and policies peddled by gun-control advocates and what might emerge from a more thoughtful approach to curbing violent crime.
  12. Three Senate sources told the Washington Free Beacon that the House's impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump has stalled efforts to pass new gun control laws. "Hard to imagine Trump doing a signing ceremony of anything with Speaker Pelosi at his side, and Democrats are the only ones agitating for gun control," one staffer told the Free Beacon on Wednesday. The inquiry, which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.) officially labeled an impeachment investigation, will consume Washington for the weeks and months ahead, according to the sources. They also said it will be difficult to move key legislative priorities like a reworked North American trade deal and lowering the cost of prescription drugs, not to mention a passable gun control package. "I think the impeachment stuff sucks up all the oxygen," a second Senate staffer told the Free Beacon. A third Senate staffer said gun control was something that wouldn’t be on the front burner at least "for a while" and that some staffers had already begun preparing for how to handle impeachment proceedings should they come. "Policy and legal staffers got quick reminders in impeachment procedures yesterday but that doesn't mean anything," the staffer told the Free Beacon. "It's more like, ‘well, if it happens, we better be ready.'" Gun control activists and members of the media have applied immense public pressure to pass new gun control measures in the wake of mass shootings last month in Texas and Ohio. However, while polling has shown support for some of the measures pursued by gun control advocates, that support has declined even in polls taken shortly after the shootings. Additionally, calls by gun control groups and Democratic politicians alike to confiscate tens or even hundreds of millions of firearms from Americans have complicated efforts by the White House to find a workable gun package. The impeachment inquiry may have ended any hope to find a gun bill that could pass in the near term. "I'm hoping that these things can be compartmentalized and that we can continue to pursue policy that I’ve been advocating," Senator Pat Toomey (R., Pa.) told Politico. "But I acknowledge that a lot of clamoring for impeachment is not helpful. It makes it more difficult." Some senators are still holding out hope for something to get done, and White House legislative affairs director Eric Ueland, who floated the idea of a universal background check system on Capitol Hill to a frosty reception last week, told Politico the White House is still working to find a way forward. Despite the dim prospects a new gun control package currently faces in the Senate, sources said the impasse is not necessarily permanent. "Things can always change on a dime as happened this week," the second Senate staffer told the Free Beacon.
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