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Charlie T Waite

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Everything posted by Charlie T Waite

  1. October 11, 2019 Just last month, Dr. John R. Lott of the Crime Prevention Research Center released a statistical analysis of Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States: 2019. And some of his findings directly contradict the Fake News media. America is getting safer – and more Americans are arming themselves. In fact, the total number of concealed handgun permits in 2019 has grown by 8%, with 1.4 million permits being issued in just the last year. According to his research, concealed handgun permit numbers have increased by 304% since 2007, totaling a whopping 18.66 million permits issued nationwide. 16 states have Constitutional Carry as the law of the land, including Vermont, where residents have been able to carry without a permit since the 1700s. Constitutional Carry is the simple idea that you do not have to beg the government for permission to lawfully carry a gun for self-defense, openly or concealed. Constitutional Carry laws do NOT get rid of current permitting systems. And while some have questioned whether or not the passage of Constitutional Carry would reduce the number of concealed handgun permits in the U.S., research shows the rate of individuals applying for permits have gone up, so individuals can have them for reciprocity purposes. Even though the anti-gun elitists want you to think that more guns equals more crime, it’s simply not the case. In a ranking by U.S. News, the top three safest states in the country are Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire – all have Constitutional Carry.1 As a matter of fact, Lott’s research claims that citizens who carry concealed tend to be the most law-abiding citizens in the country.2 And a recent crime report published by the FBI shows that violent crime of all types is falling across the nation – all while gun ownership and the ability to carry a firearm in self-defense becomes more readily available to law-abiding Americans. Read more about Lott’s study here: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3463357 References: 1 = Leins, Casey. The 10 Safest States in America. U.S. News. June 7, 2019. 2 = Lott, John R. Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States: 2016. Crime Prevention Research Center. July 26, 2016.
  2. BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation has petitioned the Supreme Court of the United States to review a case challenging the State of Illinois’ ban on concealed carry by non-residents, asserting that without high court review, “virtually all Americans will be deprived of their full Second Amendment rights while in the State of Illinois, based on nothing more than their state of residence.” Joining SAF in this legal action are the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA), Illinois Carry and nine private citizens. They are represented by attorney David Sigale of Glen Ellyn, Ill., a veteran of Second Amendment cases in Illinois and elsewhere. “This is a case that literally begs for Supreme Court attention,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “When the Court ruled in the 2008 Heller case that the Second Amendment protected a fundamental right, it was clear that this right belongs to everyone, not just the residents of an individual state. The Seventh Circuit held in Moore v. Madigan that the carrying of firearms in public for self-defense is a fundamental right, but under existing Illinois restrictions, that right has been limited to Illinois residents and citizens from only four other states. “All the plaintiffs in this case are asking for is to be treated equally to Illinois residents,” he added. “They’re not asking for special treatment. They will take the training required by state law and abide by all the other rules.” ISRA Executive Director Richard Pearson added, “It is unfair that people from out of state cannot get an Illinois concealed carry license. We intend to remedy that.” This is not the first legal action SAF has taken against Illinois. Its case in Moore v. Madigan paved the way for creation of a licensing system that allows concealed carry. Before that, SAF and ISRA sued Chicago to nullify its decades-old handgun ban. SAF and its partners in this case have been busy fighting to expand Second Amendment rights in the state since the landmark 2010 ruling in McDonald v. City of Chicago. “We’re determined to make sure that all law-abiding citizens are not forced to leave their Second Amendment rights at the state border when they travel into or through Illinois,” Gottlieb stated. “This is yet another example of trying to win back firearms freedom, one lawsuit at a time.”
  3. As we recently told you, the House Judiciary Committee has passed three gun control bills that can now be brought up at any time for an official floor vote:
  4. Governor Newsom has until Sunday, October 13 to take action on anti-gun bills awaiting his consideration. Continue to contact Governor Newsom and respectfully urge him to VETO AB 12, AB 61, AB 879, AB 893, AB 1254, AB 1297, AB 1669, SB 61 and SB 172. Call Governor Newsom - (916) 445-2841 Email Governor Newsom Assembly Bill 12, sponsored by Assembly Member Jacqui Irwin (D-44), would extend the duration of California’s “gun violence restraining order” law from one year to a period of up to five years. Meaning a person could be prohibited from owning and possessing firearms for five years at a time without ever being adjudicated as dangerously mentally ill or convicted of a crime. Assembly Bill 61, sponsored by Assembly Member Philip Ting (D-19), would expand the list of those eligible to file “gun violence restraining orders” beyond the currently authorized petitioners, which include immediate family and law enforcement. The new list is expanded to employers, coworkers and employees of a secondary or postsecondary school that the person has attended in the last 6 months. GVRO’s can remove a person’s Second Amendment rights, not based on criminal convictions or mental health adjudications, but based on third party allegations, often without due process until weeks after a person’s rights have been suspended. Assembly Bill 879, sponsored by Assembly Member Mike Gipson (D-64), would require precursor firearms parts to be sold/transferred through a licensed precursor parts dealer in a similar process to the new laws regarding ammunition purchases. It would further create a registry of these parts and a new crime for transfer of precursor parts without the involvement of a licensed precursor parts dealer to anyone under 21 years of age or prohibited from owning firearms. Precursor parts include items such as unfinished frames and receivers. Assembly Bill 893, sponsored by Assembly Member Todd Gloria (D-78), would prohibit the sale of firearms and ammunition at the Del Mar fairgrounds located in the 22nd District Agricultural Association on and after January 1, 2021. Assembly Bill 1254, sponsored by Sydney Kamlager-Dove (D-54) would prohibit the ability to hunt, trap or otherwise take a bobcat except in specified circumstances including depredation permits. Assembly Bill 1297, sponsored by Assembly Member Kevin McCarty (D-7), would remove the maximum fee a local authority can charge on the concealed carry permit application. Assembly Bill 1669, sponsored by Assembly Member Rob Bonta (D-18), would raise the fees paid by consumers when purchasing firearms. The DROS account has generated a massive surplus at times, so much so that tens of millions of dollars that have been utilized to fund other DOJ programs, including a $24 million dollar loan to the Armed Prohibited Persons System (APPS) just a few years ago. This legislation appears nothing more than an effort to put more cost constraints on gun owners to foot the bill for the massive cost pressures the legislature has put on DOJ in recent years including ammunition background checks and long gun registration. Senate Bill 61, sponsored by Senator Anthony Portantino (D-25), as amended would expand California’s existing one handgun a month law to also apply to handguns or centerfire semi-automatic rifles, with limited exceptions. Further the bill expands the prohibition on acquisition of firearms by a person under 21 years of age by eliminating the existing exception for 18-20 year-olds with a valid hunting license. Senate Bill 172, sponsored by Senator Anthony Portantino (D-25), would expand California's existing storage laws and includes harsh penalties, such as a 10 year ban on firearm ownership. Continue to check your inbox and the California Stand and Fight webpage for updates on issues impacting your Second Amendment rights and hunting heritage.
  5. The Supreme Court Monday declined to dismiss a Second Amendment challenge to a firearm regulation in New York City after Democrats threatened the justices with court packing, fearing a divided ruling. The case involves a New York City system that set up two types of licenses for handgun possession: one that allowed carry outside the home, and the other that only authorized possession at a home or business. The city had an ordinance that prevented those with the home-only license from transporting their weapons to second homes or shooting ranges outside the city. Gun rights groups challenged the ordinance, but lower courts sided with the city. The gun rights groups have asked the Supreme Court to hear the case, and it is scheduled to be argued Dec. 2. New York, though, fearing a loss that could turn into a major pro-gun precedent, scrambled to undo its ordinance. The city, along with Democratic lawmakers, has petitioned the court to refuse to hear the case, arguing the change in law has made the conflict moot. “The respondents’ suggestion of mootness is denied. The question of mootness will be subject to further consideration at oral argument, and the parties should be prepared to discuss it,” the court noted in its orders. Democrats fear a 5-4 ruling would expand on the last 12 years of pro-gun rulings. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse argued in a brief, joined by other Senate Democrats, that a series of similar rulings with “bare partisan majorities” has damaged the public trust in the federal judiciary. The Rhode Island Democrat said in his filing that the GOP-majority on the court is too tainted to deliver a valid ruling, reminding the court it could be restructured in the future. He pointed to a Quinnipiac poll from May, which found 55% of Americans said the court was “mainly motivated by politics.” Mr. Whitehouse did not elaborate on what the public pressure for a “restructured” court might look like. But several 2020 Democratic presidential candidates have suggested they would propose expanding the high court to as many as 15 justices if they win the White House, then fill those seats with liberal members to counter the GOP’s current 5-4 majority in appointments. The idea of packing the court was rejected by its most senior Democratic appointee, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, last month. “Nine seems to be a good number, and it’s been that way for a long time,” Justice Ginsburg said in an interview with NPR. Mr. Whitehouse, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee that vets federal judges, pointed out in his brief that Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh, confirmed to the court last year, was backed by the National Rifle Association during his confirmation process. Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, rejected Mr. Whitehouse’s arguments on Twitter, saying the high court is just fine. “The Supreme Court is well. The American political system is the sick patient (Kavanaugh hearings). The Court is moving center-right and getting out of the left ditch. That’s exactly where the country is headed!” Mr. Graham posted on Twitter.
  6. Fairfax, Va. - The National Rifle Association on Monday applauded the United States Supreme Court's decision to reject New York City’s 11th-hour attempt to derail NYSRPA, et al v. the City of New York, et al. This NRA-supported case challenges a New York City ordinance that violates the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding city residents by restricting lawful travel with firearms. "The Supreme Court saw through New York City's blatant attempt to evade judicial review in this important case,” said NRA-ILA Executive Director Jason Ouimet. “This case presents a national opportunity to confirm a simple truth that New York City politicians refuse to accept: Our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms is fundamental, and it doesn’t vanish when we exit our homes.” The city’s most recent attempt to moot the case follows a long line of maneuvers to derail the litigation. Tom King, president of the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, added, "The city clearly understands that their ordinance is indefensible and is attempting to avoid a positive Second Amendment decision by the Court. The members of the NYSRPA are thankful for the NRA's continued support in this critical case.” The case is scheduled to be heard before the Supreme Court on Dec. 2.
  7. Concealed-carry handgun permits have increased more than 300% since 2007, according to a recent report by Dr. John Lott of the Crime Prevention Research Center. The report, “Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States: 2019,” stated: Over 18 million concealed-carry permits have been issued nationwide, up 8% compared to 2018. (The report, dated Sept. 27, lists some statistics for 2019 even though the year is not yet complete.) About 7% of all American adults have concealed-carry handgun permits. The top ten states by percentage of adults with concealed-carry permits are Ala. (26%), Ind. (17%), S.D. (16%), Iowa (15%), Pa. (13%), Ga. (13%), Tenn. (12%), Ky. (11%), Utah (11%), and S.C. (11%). For the months studied in 2019, women represent about 26% of concealed-carry permit holders in the states that provide data by gender. Lott also compared the steep rise of permits to declines in both murder rates and violent crimes: “Murder rates fell from 5.7 to 5.3 per 100,000, a 7% drop [since 1999]. Overall violent crime fell by 24 percent. Meanwhile, the percentage of adults with permits soared by five-fold. Such simple evidence by itself isn’t meant to show that concealed handgun permits reduce violent crime rates … only that there doesn’t seem to be any obvious positive relationship between permits and crime.” The FBI confirmed the continuing downward trend of violent crime in a Sept. 30 news release. The Crime Prevention Research Center report noted that while concealed-carry permits offer one of the few sources of “hard data” on gun ownership in the United States, they are not a perfect source. For example, 16 states do not require a permit to carry concealed, so the number of carriers in those states cannot be determined. Additionally, as gun laws change—such as a state moving from requiring a permit to not requiring one—the changes can affect the data.
  8. It seems that not all the powers-that-be in San Francisco are sure how to move forward with the Board of Supervisors’ widely-publicized “declaration” that the NRA is a “domestic terrorist organization.” On Sept. 23, the office of Mayor London N. Breed, in conjunction with City Attorney Dennis J. Herrera, issued a memo to all San Francisco city department heads basically declaring the resolution a bunch of hot air with no legally binding effect whatsoever. “The Resolution,” according to the memo, “does not impose any obligations on City Departments or members of the public.” In particular, “no department will take steps to assess the relationship between City contractors and the NRA, and no 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.” The resolution itself had expressed an intent to “assess the financial and contractual relationships [San Francisco] vendors and contractors have with” the NRA and to “take every reasonable step to limit those entities who do business with [San Francisco] from doing business with” the NRA. In other words, the resolution sought to use San Francisco’s official authority to intimidate and punish businesses that serve what it considers to be a political enemy. The goal, of course, was to reduce the NRA’s ability to engage in its constitutionally protected political and advocacy efforts. Needless to say, that goal is itself unconstitutional, and the NRA filed suit on Sept. 9 to block implementation of the resolution. The city’s legal counsel obviously understood the untenable legal position of trying to enforce or give affect to the resolution, and the mayor not only declined to sign it but officially disavowed it with the Sept. 23 memo. The actual resolution, however, has not been repealed by the Board of Supervisors, and the Mayor’s Office released an additional statement where she seemed to offer continued support for the resolution. The episode in this way illustrates a common tactic of extreme anti-gun activists who hope they can send a sufficiently strong message to affect the behavior of others, even if they can’t legally compel the outcome they want. We have seen a similar pattern with the Obama Administration’s Operation Choke Point, New York State’s attempt to intimidate banks and insurance companies into refusing business with pro-gun organizations, New York City’s travel ban for premises licensees, and various local preemption violations. In each case, the anti-gun entity takes an unconstitutional or illegal action to “send a message” and to create a pall over firearm-related advocacy groups, businesses, and/or activities. The message is spread far and wide by the accommodating anti-gun media. The entity then gets called out for it by another branch of government, the public, or via litigation. Realizing it has overplayed its hand, the entity purports to “clarify” its “true intent” by rescinding the action or issuing some further interpretive guidance. But the original message is still communicated to the public: the entity doesn’t like guns, gun owners, or gun-related businesses, and it doesn’t look favorably on anyone who takes a different view. For some, the chilling effect will remain, even when the threat of overt legal compulsion is lifted. Fortunately, the NRA and its members don’t scare so easily, and we will continue to oppose these oppressive efforts wherever we encounter them. As NRA CEO and Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said in response to San Francisco’s reversal: “[W]e hope the message is now clear. The NRA will always fight to protect our members and the constitutional freedoms in which they believe.”
  9. Frustrated by the lack of political progress on the gun control agenda, the legal wing of the anti-gun movement continues to pursue ever-more radical and confused legal strategies. In the 1990s, trial lawyers and their allies in government sought to bankrupt the gun industry by holding them accountable for the criminal actions of third parties – a theory that would have overturned hundreds of years of established tort law. After failing to stop campus carry legislation in Texas in 2015, a group of professors filed a suit claiming that the state’s recognition of the Right-to-Carry in the classroom unlawfully infringed on their “First Amendment rights to academic freedom.” In October 2018, a group of individuals representing minors in Chicago filed a federal lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division against the state of Illinois and the Department of State Police (ISP). The plaintiffs contended that Chicago’s pervasive violence is causing children, including the plaintiffs, to become psychologically disabled and unable to perform adequately in school. Therefore - the plaintiffs contended - under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Illinois officials are required to enact an itemized list of severe new gun control regulations in order to accommodate these individuals so that they may do better in school and partake in “federally assisted law enforcement programs designed to protect the people of the State.” On September 30, Bill Clinton-appointed Judge Joan B. Gottschall denied part of the state of Illinois’ motion to dismiss, allowing the case to go forward. It is difficult to overstate the bizarre nature of the case. As Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul explained in a memorandum of law in support of the state’s motion to dismiss, the plaintiffs did not even have standing to bring the case. Raoul noted, “Standing is the ‘irreducible constitutional minimum’ required to bring a case in federal court.” Summarizing standing doctrine, the AG went on to explain, To have standing, a plaintiff must have sustained (1) an injury in fact that is (2) fairly traceable to the challenged action of the defendant and not the result of the independent action of some third party not before the court; and (3) it must be likely, rather than speculative, that the injury will be redressed by a favorable decision. Walking the court through how the standing doctrine should be applied to the facts of the case, Raoul explained that alleged harms did not meet the traceability requirement, The allegations of this complaint fall well outside the proper boundaries of legitimate standing… the complaint falls far short of alleging injuries fairly traceable to the State, the Governor, and ISP and its Director. The real harm to children is caused by third parties not before the Court, whom no injunction could reach to truly remedy the problem. Addressing the question of whether the court had the ability to grant the relief sought, the AG pointed out, The final part of the standing inquiry--that a favorable ruling from the court will likely redress the alleged wrong--is just as impossible to achieve… no injunction from this Court directed at the State, the Governor, or ISP could reasonably be expected to redress an entire state's crime problem in order to accommodate disabilities resulting from that crime problem. Beyond the obvious lack of standing, the plaintiffs’ theory is a wild abuse of the ADA. As Raoul noted, the ADA is there to ensure that reasonable accommodations are made so that persons with disabilities are not excluded from the use of public programs or services. An example of such accommodations might be a wheelchair ramp at a polling place, or a handicap stall in a bathroom at a public school. The plaintiffs in this case have not been excluded from school or the general law enforcement functions of the state. Making this point clear to the court, Raoul explained, The decisions by a law enforcement agency, like ISP, regarding how to allocate its resources to protect public safety--e.g., to what extent it should address drug interdiction, domestic violence, Internet fraud, or gun violence--are not “programs, activities, or services” which a “qualified individual with a disability” would be “excluded from” or “denied the benefits of.”… There is no claim the public schools are denying the plaintiffs any services or discriminating against them in any way, and certainly not at the behest of the state defendants…. The problem of gun violence in Chicago is pervasive and cannot be attributed to any action or inaction of the state defendants taken “by reason of” someone's disability. The abandonment of long-established standing doctrine and failure to reign in a wildly expansive interpretation of a federal statute never intended to encompass firearms policy will prompt some gun owners to question whether the politically charged nature of the firearms issue played a role in the decision not to dismiss the case outright. Toleration for this sort of legal creativity will only embolden gun control activists to test increasingly inventive theories that weaponize disparate statutes and questionable plaintiffs against law-abiding gun owners.
  10. In a shameless effort to exploit the tragedies in El Paso, Midland, and Odessa, gun control advocates have demanded restrictive measures that would eliminate private firearm transfers, ban commonly-owned firearms and magazines and impose so-called "red flag" gun confiscation laws. On Thursday, October 10, the Texas House Select Committee on Mass Violence Prevention & Community Safety will hold a public hearing in your area. The committee will take public testimony on three (3) items that could impact gun laws in Texas: Examine options for strengthening enforcement measures for current laws that prevent the transfer of firearms to felons and other persons prohibited by current law from possessing firearms; Examine barriers to the timely reporting of criminal data and other threat indicators to state and federal databases; and Evaluate extreme risk indicators used to identify potential threats and options for improving coordination between governmental entities and mental health professionals. Gun control advocates will undoubtedly use this opportunity to push for eliminating private transfers, gun and magazine bans, and "red flag" laws that allow for firearms confiscation without due process. As a Texan, it is critical that you attend this hearing to respectfully inform the committee that we don’t need failed, California-style gun control proposals to make us safer. We need better enforcement of current laws, not new legislation that will only restrict the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens instead of stopping violent criminals. The hearing will start at 9:00am and will be held at this address: Brookhaven College Building C Performance Hall 3939 Valley View Lane Farmers Branch, TX 75244 Parking can be found in the P4 Parking Lot. Click here for a convenient link to a campus map: www.brookhavencollege.edu/maps/pages/campus-map.aspx Public testimony will be limited to 3 minutes per person. For accurate information on current gun laws and issues that gun control advocates would prefer to ignore, visit these links: www.nraila.org/articles/20040324/citizen-s-guide-to-federal-firearms-law www.nraila.org/get-the-facts/background-checks-nics/ www.nraila.org/get-the-facts/assault-weapons-large-magazines/ www.nraila.org/get-the-facts/emergency-risk-protection-orders-erpos/
  11. San Francisco’s Mayor London Breed (D) flinched. The very nature of American freedom forced her to formally pull back from parts of a municipal resolution, from the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, that threatened to blacklist contractors associated with the NRA. Once upon a time the left focused much of its attention on expanding rights to disenfranchised peoples. Somewhere along the way they began to only see the individuals they were supposed to be fighting for only as representatives of groups. The expansion of rights they wanted thus began to succumb to identity politics, to grievance politics, to gender politics…as it sank into a worldview that only sees groups in a power struggle with other groups. Such is how their once expansive views of individual liberty became exclusive. This way of thinking led them to the decision that there are groups they want to protect and help, and there are groups they want to shun, harm and even ban. This is the basic line of thought that turned them against individual rights, such as the individual’s right to own and carry a firearm, as protected by the Second Amendment of our U.S. Bill of Rights. It must now be very shocking and upsetting for them to realize what they’ve become. They see themselves as open, inclusive, moral human beings, but then they find themselves gleefully calling an association of Americans that’s fighting to protect an individual right, a “domestic terrorist organization.” They even find themselves opposed to a right that, when left unfettered, empowers every law-abiding citizen. San Francisco’s elected officials, in this case, even threatened to curtail the First Amendment right of freedom of association of those connected in some way with the NRA. The NRA sued. 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.” Before the court could act, San Francisco Mayor Breed put out a formal memorandum to City officials 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.” Meanwhile, and perhaps even more importantly, the U.S. Supreme Court should decide this week whether to proceed with New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. City of New York. As this was being written the case was scheduled to be heard in on Dec. 2. This is the first major Second Amendment case the high court said it would hear since McDonald v. Chicago (2010). This case challenges New York City gun laws that regulate where licensed handgun owners can take even a locked and unloaded handgun. After the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear this challenge to New York City regulations, which prevented licensed gun owners from even taking their handguns to ranges or their private homes located outside New York City, the city tweaked its laws in an attempt to kill the case. The city changed its regulations by allowing licensed handgun owners to transport their guns to other locations “including second homes or shooting ranges outside of city limits.” The thing is, if the U.S. Supreme Court drops this case, the city could just change the laws back. Also, as Paul Clement, an attorney representing the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, wrote: the “revised regulations demand continuous and uninterrupted transport (forbidding a stop at a gas station or a coffee shop enroute), require written permission before a handgun can be taken to a gunsmith, and preclude transport to a summer rental house.” U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco also argued, in a friend-of-the-court brief, that “New York City’s transport ban infringes the right to keep and bear arms guaranteed by the 2nd and 14th Amendments.” This pending case is so scary to politicians who’re opposed to American freedom, that five Democratic U.S. senators, headed by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, (D-R.I.), that insinuated that, if the high court rules in a way they don’t like, they might move to pack the court with justices who will vote against Second Amendment-protected rights. We’ll keep you posted on these and other important cases as the NRA, the association solely focused on defending and augmenting your freedom, fights these and other battles.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.)
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
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