Gun Control Advocates Ignore the Data On Reciprocity

So much of the gun control debate is about things that might go wrong. Democrats, who just took control of the Virginia state legislature, are about to pass a law that will dramatically limit the ability of people with concealed handgun permits from other states to carry in Virginia. There haven’t been any problems with these permit holders, but that doesn’t matter for gun control advocates.

Currently, Virginia recognizes concealed handgun permits issued by all other states. Out-of-state permit holders can carry in Virginia as long as they follow local laws and carry photo identification.

The current rules came about in 2016 because Virginia’s Attorney General Mark Herring, a staunch gun control advocate, announced that he was going only to recognize the permits issued from five other states. Republicans who then controlled the state legislature fought back and took away Herring’s authority. The new proposed law will again give Herring control over whether permit holders from other states can carry.

It’s not easy for a truck driver to avoid troublesome state and city gun laws as he drives across the country with valuable merchandise. He can quickly run into trouble in “may issue” states such as New York, New Jersey, Illinois, or California, which give out few permits and require applicants to demonstrate sufficient “need.” Or imagine a single woman driving across state lines at night, hoping that her car won’t break down along the highway.

If state Democrats and Henning get their way, criminals will only need to look for an out of state license plates to know who to attack.

For most of the country, reciprocity is already a fact of life. The average state allows people with concealed handgun permits from 32 other states to travel freely. But the seven “may issue” states and D.C. pull down that average; only one of those seven states, Delaware, recognizes permits from any other state. These “may issue” states only give out permits to people who provide local public officials with a good reason for being able to defend themselves.

There’s no good reason not to issue permits much more generously. Permit holders are extremely law-abiding, losing their licenses for firearm-related violations at rates of thousandths or tens of thousandths of one percentage point.

Police rarely commit crimes, and they are convicted of misdemeanors or felonies at about one-twentieth as frequently as the general population. But permit holders are even more law-abiding, facing a conviction rate that is just one-tenth as often.

Some say that we should just rely on the police to protect us. But, unlike Michael Bloomberg, whose huge campaign donations made a big difference in Democrats taking control of Virginia, very few of us have trained security details. What happens when no one is there to help?

Biden: I’ve beaten the NRA. Time to get rid of their ammo.

I’m sitting here watching Joe Biden’s most recent propaganda video against the NRA. I keep asking myself why Democrats insist on blaming the firearms-related tragedies on the existence of guns themselves and why they refuse to acknowledge that behind every shooting, every bullet fired at an innocent civilian, there’s either a person with severe mental and/or substance abuse issues or a straight up criminal who would commit an act of evil no matter what weapon they employed.

How can they not understand that no matter how illegal you make a gun, no matter how many restrictions you put on a person’s background check, if they want a gun, they’re going to find a way to get a gun? And when they’re the only ones that have a gun, in gun-free zones where there are no good guys around to take them on, that’s when good people get hurt.

Why can’t they see that? I ask myself.

And then, sitting at my desk watching Joe Biden speak, it hit me:

Joe Biden and other civil rights abolitionists don’t want to admit out loud that the problem is a diminished mental health system in our country because then they have to actually do something to fix it.

They don’t want to admit out loud that criminals will not lay down their arms simply because the law says so, because then they can’t control people with fear.

The same thing can be said for “bail reforms.”

The more criminals they let out of jail, the more innocent people get victimized. And the more innocent people get victimized, the more they look to their leaders for protection. And the more protection leaders can give us, the more people rely on them. And more reliance on leaders means more power for them as well.

If the mental health crisis in America is fixed, if they admit that they’re not in control of criminals with guns, then not only will there be less people with mental issues (which means less votes for them), but then the entire population will know for certain that it needs its own protection.

Liberals don’t want to submit unarmed to the anarchy of the criminals, but they want to allow for the tyranny of the innocent.

Much like Adolph Hitler’s Nazi Germany.  As much as the left shames anyone for talking about it, when Hitler disarmed the “unreliable” population (i.e. Jewish people) and loosened the restrictions for “normal” citizens (i.e. other German people), he took away the Jewish ability to fight against the rise of the Third Reich.  He rendered them defenseless.  And he exposed them to the tyranny of the regime.

Biden and other Democrats are pushing hard for a repeat of that disarmament. ……….

Gun applications in New York Jewish community spike to nearly 1,000% after Hanukkah attack

Applications for gun permits are surging in New York’s Rockland County after five Orthodox Jews were stabbed at a Hanukkah celebration at a local rabbi’s home.

The Rockland County Clerk’s office reported a nearly 1,000% increase in gun permit applications in the week following the Dec. 28 attack. The county clerk received 65 new gun permit applications, according to the New York Post. Before the attack, the office received an average of about six applications a week.

All but five of the new applications originated from the town of Ramapo, where the attack took place. Ramapo contains several heavily Jewish communities.

“A lot of people are worried, especially the large Hasidic and Jewish community in Rockland County,” said Erik Melanson, who owns Precision Gunsmiths in Rockland County. “I have had rabbis come in. Some of the rabbis already have concealed carry [permits].”

U.S. sending home 21 Saudi cadets, NAS Pensacola shooting an ‘act of terrorism.’

We don’t have to treat the Saudis with kid gloves anymore now that our technology is able to better process our own massive petroleum reserves

WASHINGTON – Attorney General William Barr said Monday that the Saudi Arabian shooter at Naval Air Station Pensacola was “motivated by Jihadist ideology.”

Barr says 21 Saudi military students are being removed from the US training program and returning home.

Barr and FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich announced the findings of the criminal investigation in a press conference at the Department of Justice.

Many of the 21 cadets being sent home had contact with child pornography and possessed jihadist or anti-American material, Barr said. None is accused of having advanced knowledge of the shooting, which Barr said was motivated by “jihadist ideology” and has been classified as an act of terrorism.

Hero Jack Wilson Will be Awarded “Governor’s Medal of Courage”
While Democrats are memorizing Iranian terrorists Republicans are rewarding American heroes.

While Democrats are memorizing Iranian terrorists Republicans are rewarding American heroes.

Governor Greg Abbott will present the “Governor’s Medal of Courage” to the brave man who stopped a gunman during a deadly shooting at a church in North Texas last month.

On Monday, January 13th Gov. Abbott will host Mr. Wlson at the Governor’s Mansion to present him with the Governor’s Medal of Courage. The medal is given to civilians who display “great acts of heroism by risking their own safety to save another’s life.”

It is the highest award given to civilians by the Governor and nobody deserves it more than Jack Wilson.

 

Why Journalists and Politicians are Frightened by Armed Defense

Armed citizens stopped a mass murderer at the West Freeway Church of Christ. When we plain folk in fly-over country heard that the attacker was stopped quickly, most of us thought, “Praise God.” In contrast, Joe Biden said it was irrational to allow anyone to be armed at any religious institution. Some journalists said they were terrified that ordinary citizens could be armed at church.

Why is the emotional response from politicians and journalists so different from ours? We know something that they don’t know. Those of us who live in fly-over country know Armed America, and the elites don’t.

We know real gun owners-  We know real people people who own guns, rather than the two-dimensional cardboard-cutout characters portrayed by Hollywood and the media. With over a hundred million gun owners in the US, they are easy to find. Legally licensed gun owners are our friends, our co-workers, our associates, and our neighbors.

I have a news flash for Vice President Joe and the journalists. Ordinary people are armed. Millions of us carry a legally concealed personal firearm in public. Unless you live in one of the elite bubbles in the US, then you are standing shoulder to shoulder with Armed America.

We’ve seen their good judgement. We’ve met Armed America and we’ve seen their restraint. We’re not surprised to learn that individuals who are licensed to carry a firearm in public are among the most law abiding groups that sociologists can find. That makes us different from Joe Biden and Co. Most elites don’t have a friend who drives a pickup truck, much less a friend who is a licensed concealed carrier.

We know and trust our neighbors- We have a positive opinion of our neighbors, our community and our town. We formed this judgement through experience. We’ve seen our fellow citizens solve challenging problems. We’ve seen their character under challenging circumstances, like fires, earthquakes, hurricanes and floods. We’ve seen a broad segment of society rise to the occasion and do their best for themselves and for those around them.

We’re comfortable with our neighbors. The media elites are only comfortable with other elites. Select law enforcement officers can be armed, according to the elites. Select bodyguards can be armed, according to the elites. You and I, average voters, not so much.

We actually believe in “diversity:” Our circle of friends includes people of all ages, backgrounds, and races. If you want to see elitism, look at the makeup of the MSM and at our elite colleges. If you doubt me, try to find a conservative-Christian-Republican male in the Sociology Department at your local college.

Also, consider the “diversity” of the editors at the Huffington post.

Only young college-educated women need apply

We’ve seen bad people do bad things- We’ve seen what criminals do. We’ve seen their effect on our family, our neighbors, and our communities. In our world, violence doesn’t happen in slow motion at 35 frames a second on a 60 inch screen; it happens in the parking lot at the corner store after dark. Our connection to reality is stronger than a TV crime-drama where the bad guy is brought to justice in 42 minutes.

Ordinary citizens like us defend ourselves thousands of times a day. We are not the easy victims the criminals expected. The bad guy meets Armed America and runs the other way. In that way, Armed America is making me and my family safer every day,  just like the defenders did at the Church of Christ in Texas.

Armed America frightens the elites. Maybe the elites like Joe Biden had better stay home and have their food delivered by Amazon so they feel safe. Don’t tell them the Amazon driver might be carrying. That might upset Joe and the mainstream journalists.

We’ll keep that truth to ourselves.

Virginia Bill Aims to Shut Down NRA Headquarters Range

Virginia House Bill no. 567, prefiled on 6 January, 2020, and offered on 8 January, 2020, seems aimed particularly at the NRA headquarters range at 11250 Waples Mill Rd. in Fairfax, Virginia. HB 567 contains a number of provisions that single out the NRA HQ range from nearly all others. Here are the provisions of the bill:

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That the Code of Virginia is amended by adding in Article 3 of Chapter 12 of Title 18.2 a section numbered 18.2-511.2 as follows:

§ 18.2-511.2. Indoor shooting ranges; prohibited in private buildings; exceptions; penalty.

A. As used in this section, “indoor shooting range” means any fully enclosed or indoor area or facility designed for the use of rifles, shotguns, pistols, silhouettes, skeet, trap, or black powder or any other similar sport shooting.

B. It is unlawful to operate an indoor shooting range in any building not owned or leased by the Commonwealth or the federal government unless (i) fewer than 50 employees work in the building or (ii) (a) at least 90 percent of the users of the indoor shooting range are law-enforcement officers, as defined in § 9.1-101, or federal law-enforcement officers, (b) the indoor shooting range maintains a log of each user’s name, phone number, address, and the law-enforcement agency where such user is employed, and (c) the indoor shooting range verifies each user’s identity and address by requiring all users to present a government-issued photo-identification card.

C. Any person that violates the provisions of this section is subject to a civil penalty of not less than $1,000 nor more than $100,000 for the initial violation and $5,000 per day for each day of violation thereafter.

The NRA HQ range is located in the NRA HQ building in Fairfax, Virginia.

  • It is indoors.
  • It is privately owned.
  • More than 50 employees work in the building.
  • It is open to the public.

Only one of the other indoor ranges found, in a quick survey of Virginia indoor ranges, were in buildings over two stories tall. The Colonial Shooting Acadamy, in Richmond, Virginia, is a three-story facility. It has a few more than 50 employees working in its building. It is the biggest indoor range in Virginia. The owners would like to expand and hire more employees. This bill would make expansion impossible. Large indoor urban ranges have been expanding across the country. The trend was arguably started with the Scottsdale Gun Club in Arizona.

Full disclosure, Terry Schmidt is my second cousin. He and his wife Nadine conceived of the Scottsdale gun club and now own majority interests and manage the concern. Terry credits me with planting the seed of his lifelong fascination and career with firearms.

Many small businesses have less than 50 employees to avoid burdensome federal regulations that apply to businesses that have over 50 employees. It is a large range, indeed, which would employ over 50 people in one building.

The bill would likely face challenges under both the Virginia State Constitution and the federal Constitution under the Second Amendment.

The Seventh Circuit has ruled the availability of gun ranges, to serve the public, is protected to some extent, by the Second Amendment.

It seems unlikely the proposed Virginia law would meet the requirements to pass muster under the Second Amendment. What rationale would require the limitation of gun ranges to buildings that employ less than 50 people?

Governments have deep pockets to defend against lawsuits. They are spending other people’s money.

The lawsuits required to defend against the host of laws infringing on the Second Amendment in Virginia will be costly. They will not be funded by tax dollars, but by private individuals.

The individuals may band together into groups or organizations to fund the lawsuits, but the money will not be taken from other people by force, as is tax money.

NJ gave Texas church gunman plea deal that wiped out gun felony’

After seeing so many of these plea bargains letting criminals free to commit more crime, that wouldn’t have happened because they still would have been behind bars, it makes the conspiracy theory that it’s a plan not seem all that off the wall anymore.

ELIZABETH — The gunman who killed two congregants at a Texas church last month had been charged years earlier with a felony gun offense in New Jersey, where prosecutors later downgraded the crime to a low-level misdemeanor that had nothing to do with firearms.

Since the Dec. 29 shootout at the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Texas, much has come out about Keith Thomas Kinnunen’s criminal record, which seems to follow a pattern: He would get charged with serious, sometimes violent crimes, which later were pleaded down to less-consequential offenses.

Despite Kinnunen’s history of mental illness — including a 2012 judge’s order declaring him unfit to stand trial — it does not appear his plea deals were enough to trigger legal provisions limiting gun ownership, which would apply in cases involving domestic violence and felonies.

Linden police arrested Kinnunen in Sept. 12, 2016, after finding him with a 12-gauge shotgun, the same kind he used last month in the Texas church. Linden police said Kinnunen, who had been riding a bicycle near the Phillips 66 refinery, told them he was homeless and was taking photos of “interesting sites.”

He was charged with unlawful possession of a rifle/shotgun, a third-degree indictable crime that in other states would be called a felony.

In January 2017, he accepted a plea deal finding him guilty of criminal trespass, a low-level misdemeanor that state law classifies as a petty disorderly persons offense.

As part of the deal, a Superior Court judge in July 2017 sentenced him to 303 days of time served at Union County Jail and ordered him to forfeit his weapon.

A spokesman for the Union County Prosecutor’s Office last week defended the deal as “fully reasonable and legally appropriate.”

“The assistant prosecutor assigned to this case consulted with a member of the Union County Police Department Ballistics Unit, who determined that because the recovered weapon was missing a fundamental component, it was inoperable under the definition outlined in the applicable statute,” the spokesman for the office said in a written statement.

In Oklahoma in 2011, Kinnunen was charged with felony assault and battery with a dangerous weapon after attacking the owner of a doughnut shop. He was also charged with arson in a separate offense in which he was accused of starting a fire at a cotton field with flaming tampons. Police also said that he forced his underage to throw around a flaming football.

An Oklahoma judge in 2012 ruled him mentally incompetent to stand trial and committed him to a psychiatric facility. A year later, he pleaded guilty after the charges were downgraded to misdemeanors.

In 2012, an ex-wife in Oklahoma filed for a protective order that described him as “a violent, paranoid person with a long line of assault and battery w/ and without firearms.”

Another ex-wife told The Associated Press that they divorced in 2011 after he got “more and more” into drugs that “messed with his head.”

In 2008, he was charged with aggravated assault in Texas. The charged was later downgraded to misdemeanor deadly conduct.

On Dec. 29, Kinnunen walked into the packed White Settlement church wearing a fake beard and wig and opened fire, killing 67-year-old Richard White and 64-year-old Anton “Tony” Wallace. Kinnunen was then killed by a single shot by security volunteer Jack Wilson.

The motive for the attack was unclear. The church had previously helped feed the shooter. The pastor told The Associated Press that Kinnunen was angry when the congregation declined to give him money.

 

Good Guys with Guns

Good Guys with Guns highlights self-defense stories where people used a firearm to defend themselves and others from violent criminals and the impact it had on their lives. The book also discusses the debate over the right to keep and bear arm

excerpt:
Here’s a challenge. Using your favorite Internet search engine, type in the words “No charges were filed” and see what happens. When the authors did this as part of our research, using Google we were advised that there were 925 million results.

Or try “No charges were filed in shooting” and one will find a more modest 30 million references. Even considering that there will be a multitude of repeat reports dealing with the same incidents, you are still talking about millions of self-defense uses of firearms. Some of these cases are intriguing and involve armed private citizens, while many involve police officers shooting suspects.

Young People Of Color Are The Most Frequent Victims Of Gun Homicides

Researchers at Boston University:
Gun control laws will not solve the problem, but we suggest more gun control laws anyway.
Ever hear of ‘Cognitive Dissonance‘? This is an example.

Overall crime in the United States has been declining since the early 1990s. But the same cannot be said for gun violence, which has seen a slight uptick in recent years. A new report from Boston University found that uptick has been led by an increase in homicides of young people — particularly of young black and Hispanic men.

Gun Violence Is A ‘Complicated Problem’

Researchers at Boston University, led by Dr. Bindu Kalesan, looked at national gun violence data from 1999 to 2016. From 1999 to 2014, gun violence rates stayed steady. But after 2014, there were increases in rates of both fatal and non-fatal firearm related injuries.

The research showed many differences in how gun violence affected communities. For example, the rates of suicide were high for white men, while black men were more likely to be victims of homicide.

Kalesan believes the problem of gun violence is a complicated one and can’t be solved with sweeping legislation.

She says it’s key we “understand the communities and provide interventions, which are specific for that community,” Kalesan said, “rather than passing some strange law like a bump stock ban.”

A Patchwork Of Laws

Kalesan found that even in states that had passed gun control legislation, mortality rates kept rising. She believes this is partially due to a lack of community resources but also because states across the country have different gun control laws.

“We need something at the national level — the federal level — which is very restrictive to be able to make anything effective in any state,” Kalesan said. “And we haven’t done that yet!”

Kalesan argues that a law like a universal background checks would address some of the problems that affect homicide rates and the trafficking of illegal guns. But without it, background checks in states don’t make much of a difference to homicide rates because guns can be trafficked from states with less restrictive gun laws into states with more restrictive laws.

In one Ohio county, teachers now carry guns in 5 school districts

This year, school boards at Garaway Local Schools and Claymont City Schools approved the safety measure. They join Newcomerstown Exempted Village Schools, which started arming staff members in 2013, Indian Valley Local Schools (2017) and Tuscarawas Valley Local Schools (2018).

As 2019 draws to a close, the number of school districts in one northeastern Ohio county that have authorized staff members to carry guns on school property has grown to five.

This year, school boards at Garaway Local Schools and Claymont City Schools approved the safety measure. They join Newcomerstown Exempted Village Schools, which started arming staff members in 2013, Indian Valley Local Schools (2017) and Tuscarawas Valley Local Schools (2018). All are in Tuscarawas County.

Newcomerstown Superintendent Jeff Staggs continues to believe it’s a good idea.

“When seconds count in responding to a dangerous event, the faster the event is stopped more students and staff stay alive,” he said. “I’m still in favor of a highly trained armed staff along with multiple other layers in the school safety plan.

“We continue to train and tweak our school safety plan to meet the new issues that schools face every year. The sheriff’s office has been a huge help in our training program with our journey to get better at school safety.”

Garaway Superintendent James Millet agreed.

“I still think this is a valuable decision to protect Garaway students and staff,” he said. “At Garaway Schools, the safety of each and every child within this community is our district’s highest priority. We are continually examining safety measures for our school district and looking for ways to improve.

“We believe that armed staff is one way to provide a quick response and opportunity to protect people in an attack.”

He said the decision has been well-received at Garaway.

“There is not one perfect solution, but we will try to address all aspects of safety with vigor,” Millet said. “We will be adding a safety dog in January. This will provide another way to respond to an attack as well as prevent an attack by identifying weapons before they enter our school.”

A recent report by the Associated Press raised questions about the safety of arming teachers.

Experts say anyone carrying guns, including teachers, needs ongoing, intensive training to be able to handle their firearms proficiently and respond appropriately in stressful settings — and many law enforcement officers don’t even get that.

“The idea that anybody can go to Joe Smith’s School of Shooting for a day or a week and become proficient at shooting a handgun in a life-and-death situation is a little bit absurd,” Doug Tangen, firearms program manager at the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission, the state police academy, told the AP.

Shooting a gun requires psychomotor skills that must be practiced over and over, he said.

Tuscarawas County Sheriff Orvis Campbell said he believes that area educators who have been armed have the training and skills necessary to keep everyone safe.

Teachers there have gone through FASTER training, provided by the Buckeye Firearms Association. FASTER stands for Faculty/Administrator Safety Training & Emergency Response.
<
Police officers who go to a police academy receive 60 hours of training on firearms, and two days of that is in the classroom, Campbell said. By comparison, area teachers have been given three separate weeks of training.

“I put guys through one of them, and it’s very good,” he said.

“All of them are qualifying at at least the same level as every peace officer (in Ohio), and all of them have kept up so far,” Campbell said.

The staff members are required to keep their gun on their person at all times. They are not allowed to talk about it, and they’re not allow to show their weapon, even to other teachers.

He noted that all of the districts have given his office the ability to say two things — that a staff member cannot carry now because that person is not ready, and that a staff member cannot carry at all because the sheriff’s office doesn’t think the person is skilled enough.

The sheriff said arming staff is a good idea because it’s rare to hear about a teacher running away when there is a shooting.

If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no recourse left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government, and which against the usurpations of the national rulers may be exerted with infinitely better prospect of success than against those of the rulers of an individual State. In a single State, if the persons entrusted with supreme power become usurpers, the different parcels, subdivisions, or districts of which it consists, having no distinct government in each, can take no regular measures for defense. The citizens must rush tumultuously to arms, without concert, without system, without resource; except in their courage and despair.

Alexander Hamilton
Federalist No. 28

Violent Crime Dropped In 2018 As States Embraced Pro-Gun Policies

The FBI’s 2018 “Crime in the United States” report collected crime data from law enforcement agencies across America. From the looks of it, the news is good.

The FBI highlights that “[In 2018] violent crime offenses decreased when compared with estimates from 2017. Robbery offenses fell 12.0 percent, murder, and non-negligent manslaughter offenses fell 6.2 percent, and the estimated volume of aggravated assault offenses decreased 0.4 percent.”

The report noted that violent crime rates bottomed out in 2014 to their lowest point since 1970. Furthermore, the 2018’s violent crime rate was the third-lowest since 1970.

During the last three decades, America has experienced significant changes in its gun laws throughout the country. Curiously, the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban expired in 2004, which many predicted would lead to bedlam in the streets. The data proved this wrong when the FBI noted that murder rates went down by 3.6 percent from 2003 to 2004, contrary to people’s fears.

However, most of the change regarding gun policies took place in state legislatures. While some states tightened up their gun control, others relaxed gun restrictions and even implemented policies such as Constitutional Carry — which allow law-abiding Americans to carry firearms without having to obtain a government permit. Increased carry has continued into the present.

A study on the number of concealed-carry permit holders released by gun expert John Lott indicated that “In 2019, the number of concealed handgun permits soared to now over 18.66 million—a 304 percent increase since 2007. About an 8 percent growth over the number of permits since 2018.” Additionally, per capita, gun ownership increased by 56 percent from 1993 to 2013. If we had taken the media at their word, we would have expected gun crime to skyrocket. Nevertheless, gun crime continued to plummet according to the FBI, which highlighted a 49 percent decrease.

Conventional rifles like the AR-15 have been largely demonized in recent years, being portrayed as a frequently used tool for carrying out attacks. As usual, the data contradicts media assumptions. For starters, AR-15s only accounted for 173 deaths in mass shootings from 2007 to 2017. Whereas, rifles of all categories were involved in 439 deaths on an annual basis. Putting this in perspective, rifles constituted 2 percent of homicides in 2018. On the other hand, knives (11 percent), hands, fists, and feet (5 percent) and blunt instruments (3 percent) were used in more homicides than rifles.

It’s safe to say that the current gun violence debate is mostly based on hysterics and not a careful analysis of the facts. Stripping the rights of millions of law-abiding gun owners is both unethical and an invitation for criminals to prey on victims whom they know will be defenseless.

Indeed, there’s gun violence in many of America’s urban centers. Solving the problem does not require implementing gun control of any type. More local forms of policing – that target areas where criminals tend to cluster and renewed civic engagement – will do much more to stop crime than passing new gun control laws. If the political circumstances permit it, many of these areas should entertain the idea of making it easier for law-abiding citizens to carry firearms.

No matter how we slice it, increased legislation is not the quick fix to gun violence problems in America.

2019 Was a Bad Year for the “Only Cops Should Have Guns” Narrative

On December 29, an armed gunman entered the West Freeway Church of Christ in Texas and shot two members of the congregation. Within six seconds, a third member of the congregation drew a weapon and shot the gunman dead.

The events were captured on live-streamed video, with the dramatic events — in the minds of many observers — highlighting the benefits of privately owned firearms as a defense against armed criminals. Moreover, the gunman, who had a criminal history, obtained his gun illegally, and demonstrated one of the central pitfalls of the gun-control narrative: namely, that those with criminal intent are not easily restrained by laws controlling access to firearms.

Nonetheless, many media outlets were unable to bring themselves to admit that privately owned firearms in this case were the key to preventing a wider massacre. After all, had the congregation waited around for the police to arrive, it is unknown how effective a police response could have been. Nor is it clear that had the police arrived quickly, they would have immediately engaged the shooter or even engaged the right person.

These considerations were not sufficient to divert many media observers from their insistence that private gun ownership is unhelpful in situations like these. Both government agents and their media boosters continue to insist that even well-meaning ordinary citizens ought not be trusted with firearms and that what is really needed are “experts” with government-approved police training.

Elvia Diaz at the Arizona Republic demonstrated this premise well when she wrote:

The reality of Wilson’s heroism is a lot more complex. He wasn’t just an ordinary parishioner, as gun advocates may want you to believe. The church’s volunteer security team member is a firearms instructor, gun range owner and former reserve deputy with a local sheriff’s department, according to a New York Times detailed account.

In other words, he’s exactly the kind of man you want around with a firearm. But we know nothing about the at least six other parishioners who also appeared to draw their handguns at West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Texas.

And that’s terrifying.

To many people who aren’t left-leaning journalists, it is hardly “terrifying” that some other private citizens of unknown expertise were armed in the congregation. After all, these people never fired a shot once they saw the shooter had been incapacitated. None of them provided any reason to suspect they pose any risk to anyone else.

On the other hand, 2019 has provided plenty of reminders of what sort of “expertise” and heroism government-provided security forces offer.

In the spring of 2019, the parents of victims of the Parkland school shooting sued the Broward County school board and the sheriff’s office for failing to take timely action against the school shooter who killed seventeen people at the school in February 2018. According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, police officers repeatedly sought to protect themselves rather than the victims in the school. An analysis of communications among law enforcement officers at the site of the massacre confirmed there were “at least two times a Broward deputy urges another officer to protect themselves, not confront the killer.”

Meanwhile, 2019 provided reminders that police officers will shoot citizens dead in their own homes for no justifiable reason, as was the case with Atatiana Jefferson on October 12. According to multiple accounts the shooter — a now former cop named Aaron Dean — entered Jefferson’s private property unannounced in the middle of the night. He peered into Jefferson’s windows, and within seconds, the officer had shot Jefferson dead. Jefferson had been playing video games with her nephew.

Also, in October, former police officer Amber Guyger was sentenced to ten years in prison for unlawfully shooting Botham Jean in his own apartment. At the time, Guyger was a police officer returning home from work. She illegally entered the wrong apartment and promptly shot Jean — the unit’s lawful resident — dead.

If there is anything that ought to be “terrifying” to ordinary Americans, it is not the idea that some law-abiding citizens might be carrying firearms. The far more terrifying thought is the knowledge that some police officers are so eager to murder residents in their own living rooms.

More Guns, More Crime?

These facts will no doubt fail to derail the usual media narrative that there are too many guns and that the police — the same people who shoot residents in their homes or cower behind cars when faced with real danger — will ensure public safety through weapons prohibitions and by generally “keeping us safe.”

Fortunately, the facts certainly offer little to support the idea that more legal gun ownership is a problem in terms of homicides.

According to 2019’s gun manufacturing data from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATF), total gun production and importation in the US has increased significantly over the past twenty years. If we look at total guns produced in the US (not counting those exported), added to total guns imported, we find that new gun production increased from around 4.5 million in 1998 to more than twelve million in 2017.1 Over that same period, homicide rates decreased from 6.3 per 100,000 to 5.3. In fact, after years of rising gun production, the US homicide rate fell to a fifty-year low in 2014. This correlation doesn’t prove more guns reduce crime, of course. But this relationship strongly suggests that the benefits of increased gun ownership — namely greater self-defense capability on the part of private citizens — are greater than the potential costs.

batf

Moreover, new data on homicides released in September 2019 shows the homicide rate in the US has fallen two years in a row since 2016, and is nearly down to half of the national homicide rates reported during the early 1990s.

Many states with weak gun-control laws are also among the states with the lowest homicide rates. For instance, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine — all of which have few gun restrictions — report remarkably low homicide rates. Other gun-permissive states like Utah, Iowa, and South Dakota all have homicide rates comparable to Canadian provinces, although we’re told Canada only has low homicide rates because of gun restrictions. Clearly there’s more behind the reality of violent crime than is suggested by the usual “more gun control means less crime” claims.

Many anti–private gun ownership activists continue to insist that only police officers and other government personnel ought to be carrying firearms, and that the police will protect the people from violent criminals. Yet, it’s unclear why the public ought to accept this rather strained claim. In 2019, police were repeatedly shown to endanger the public while pursuing their own safety. Meanwhile, the end of the year brought another case of private gun owners stopping a murderous gunman far more effectively than police ever could have. Nor was the Texas church case the only notable example we can recall this year. It is entirely possible, of course, that cases like these are not typical or representative examples of police behavior or what happens when armed criminals attack innocents. But there’s no denying the optics this year were bad for the pro-gun-control side. Faced with the choice of owning a gun for protection or trusting in police for protection, many apparently continue to choose the former.

  • 1.The BATF statistics exclude guns produced for military use but include guns used by civilian police forces. However, total police force weapons are estimated to total only one million. According to American Military News (quoting the Small Arms Survey) “the U.S. military holds about 4.5 million guns, and state and local police have just over 1 million.” See https://americanmilitarynews.com/2018/06/us-civilians-own-400-million-guns-compared-to-militarys-4-5-million-survey-shows/.

The Stats on Self-Defensive Gun Use Liberals Don’t Want You To See

Last Sunday Millions of Americans watched the video of an armed parishioner named Jack Wilson taking down a shooter just seconds after he opened fire. Two were killed, but an untold more would’ve been massacred had the attendees been unarmed as sitting ducks. At least seven people had firearms on them, enabled by a law that took effect in September allowing Texans to carry their firearms in church.

It’s not uncommon to hear liberals argue that guns never prevent mass shootings – and that is partially accurate, but not for the reason they think. A mass shooting is defined as one where four or more people are killed. Thanks to Wilson, this shooting didn’t progress to meet the definition of a mass public shooting in the first place.

It’s thanks to what has become a viral video that we can see  armed resistance preventing a tragedy from worsening, and the frequency in which guns are used in self defense is more than implied by what the media reports.

The estimates very across studies between as few at 100,000 self defensive gun uses (SDGUs) per year to millions due to methodological differences. However, simply taking an average number from the array of studies available would give us SDGU tally exceeding the use of firearms in crime.

To summarize a number of studies on the issue:

  • The National Crime Victimization Survey is administered twice a year by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, and provides the most conservative estimate of SDGU at about 100,000 cases per year. Of note, the survey requires individuals to self-report to the federal government that they used a firearm in self-defense while providing their name and contact information. Most will be hesitant to do so for obvious reasons, so this estimate should be taken as the absolute minimum.
  • 1994 survey conducted by Bill Clinton’s Center for Disease Control (CDC) found that Americans use guns to frighten away intruders who are breaking into their homes about 500,000 times per year.
  • Obama’s CDC conducted a gun control study in 2013, finding that “Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million…”
  • Criminologists Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz published a study back in 1995 in which they found that gun use accounted more for defensive gun use than it did for criminal activity.” A literature review of thirteen studies in their paper provides a range of between 800,000-2.5 million SDGUs. A follow-on study in 1997 argues that that SDGU accounted for more than 80% of all gun use in America.
  • CDC survey data from the 1990s that was unpublished but accessed and analyzed in 2018 by Kleck implies roughly 1 million SDGUs per year.
  • According to the National Survey of Private Firearms Ownership, there are 1.5 million self-defensive gun uses every year.
  • According to a paper by David Kopel, Paul Gallant, and Joanne Eisen, “[F]irearms are used over half a million times a year against home invasion burglars; usually the burglar flees as soon as he finds out that the victim is armed, and no shot is ever fired,” and “Annually, three to six times as many victims successfully defend themselves with handguns as criminals misuse handguns (thus handguns do up to six times more good than harm).”

There are at least hundreds of thousands of SDGU per year – but don’t expect to hear about 99.99% of them in the mainstream media.

Alabama lawmaker prepares bill to allow deadly force in church for self-defense

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBMA) – A proposed new law aims to help protect places of worship in Alabama.

One state lawmaker says he’s preparing a bill to allow the use of deadly force in church for self- defense and the defense of others.

Rep. Lynn Greer (R- Rogersville) tells ABC 33/40 he expects this year’s bill to be similar to the one he filed the past two years. But he says this year he’s been working with the District Attorneys Association and the Attorney General’s Office to improve it.

Greer expects the bill to allow a person to use deadly physical force in self-defense or the defense of another if that force is used against an aggressor committing or attempting to commit a crime involving death, serious physical injury, robbery in the first degree, or kidnapping in the first degree on the premises of a church.

Greer expects his bill to include training from sheriff’s offices for church security members, and that it would provide immunity from criminal prosecution or civil action for a person using such deadly force.

Pastor Darryl Warren believes that bill could help, as he works on security for New Saint James Baptist Church in Birmingham.

“In church, it’s disheartening to know one day we may even need metal detectors in church, but this is where we’ve gotten and it’s disheartening to know someone would come into the church and do harm in God’s house but we live in a fallen world,” said Warren.

He has a eight person security team and nine cameras installed, monitoring inside and outside.

“A third phase might even be hired security if it comes to that and then having the sheriff’s department to come in and do some training as well,” he said. “So, we want to cover all the bases we can and make the members feel as secure as they can while they’re worshiping.”

Defense attorney Ben Preston believes the law already covers the church.

“I feel you have the right to defend yourself in certain situations no matter where you’re at,” he told us.

But says adding specific language could strengthen that.

He does have concerns about what the immunity would include and who would determine who and what qualifies.

“If they’re just going to give blanket immunity, it sounds like they would never be charged period,” he said. “Which would, then they’re not being charged, they’re not bonding out, they’re not having to wait for the stand your ground hearing, waiting for the judge to decide if they’re going to prosecute.”

Preston notes that we are still waiting for the bill to be released to read the exact language and learn what will be included in the immunity section.

Pastor Warren says immunity may offer assurance to his security team.

“That they are not going to be held liable for carrying out the act of defending someone in church,” he said. “So, if you have legislation to take care of that, it kind of removes the sense of- I’m worrying about if I do this, what’s going to happen to me.”

Greer got his bill through the House in 2018, but it died in the Senate.

If his bill does make it through the House in 2020, Senator Arthur Orr (R- Decatur) tells ABC 33/40 he plans to sponsor it in the Senate.

“We should help places of worship protect themselves,” Orr told ABC 33/40.

He says the state doesn’t need to encourage reckless behavior, but that he’s looking at what could be done to still add a layer of protection.

Orr added that he’s looking at what other states have passed, including Texas.

Indiana churches set up security teams after law changes to allow guns in church

Reading this, you’ll see there’s still a lot of “it surely couldn’t happen here” still going around. A man with a ‘background in law enforcement’ and graphic examples of every size of congregation having been attacked, and he still has some kind of philosophical problem with providing armed security? This is the delusional type that needs a ‘cluebat’ upside his head until he finally sees the way of truth & knowledge.

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — It’s a debate that has sparked new legislation across the country—should people be allowed to carry guns in churches? Indiana State Senator Jack Sandlin says absolutely.

“We need to let everybody in Indiana know they have the right to protect themselves,” Sandlin said.

Sandlin authored legislation that was signed into law earlier this year.  It allows people to carry guns into church even if there’s a school or daycare on the property, which before the law, would have been considered a felony.

“I’ve had conversations with several different churches that have started to set up security teams within their churches as a result of the passage of the statute,” Sandlin said.

On Sunday at a church in Texas, a man pulled out a gun, and opened fire. He killed two people before a member of the church’s security team took out his own gun and killed the shooter with a single shot. Over 200 people were inside the church.

“If they hadn’t had an armed security team in the church, that could’ve gone on for a number of minutes, and then casualty count goes up pretty dramatically,” Sandlin said.

Incidents like this are why some local churches now put a priority on security.

Jack Dodd attends a small church near Kokomo. Dodd and his pastor recently went to an active shooter training. They have plans in place, but don’t yet have armed security.

“We have two individuals, myself and another individual, that sit in the back of the church always in the same spot, very near the door so that we can challenge anybody who walks in,” Dodd said.

Dodd has a background in law enforcement and says he has plenty experience handling firearms. However, he says he still has not decided to bring his gun to church.

“We are a small country church, and we have talked about that,” Dodd said. “We’ve been a little bit resistant to it because you just don’t feel like you need a weapon in church… but then you hear about these kind of situations that come up.”

Sandlin hopes this law will remind Hoosiers they can protect themselves in church, but he also warns that a trained security team may be the best way to protect the congregation.

“I wouldn’t recommend just telling people to bring their guns to church,” Sandlin said. “I think that you have to have a security survey, I think you have to have a plan and know how you’re going to respond.”

“Just having somebody with a firearm is not the answer,” Dodd said. “It must be trained individuals.”