The Impact of Liberalized Concealed Carry Laws on Homicide: An Assessment

This paper uses panel data from 1980 to 2018 in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia to examine the relationship between liberalized concealed carry laws, homicide, and firearm homicide…. The relationship between shall-issue and constitutional carry laws and homicide were statistically insignificant at the 1%, 5%, and even 10% level. The results were robust to multiple alternative model specifications. We find no evidence that looser concealed carry laws pose a significant public health or criminological risk.


The Strongest Evidence Yet That Covid Masks Are Worthless.

We now have the most authoritative estimate of the value provided by wearing masks during the pandemic: approximately zero. The most rigorous and extensive review of the scientific literature concludes that neither surgical masks nor N95 masks have been shown to make a difference in reducing the spread of Covid-19 and other respiratory illnesses.

This verdict ought to be the death knell for mask mandates, but that would require the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the rest of the public-health establishment to forsake “the science”—and unfortunately, these leaders and their acolytes in the media seem as determined as ever to ignore actual science. Before the pandemic, clinical trials repeatedly showed little or no benefit from wearing masks in preventing the spread of respiratory illnesses like flu and colds. That was why, in their pre-2020 plans for dealing with a viral pandemic, the World Health Organization, the CDC, and other national public-health agencies did not recommend masking the public. But once Covid-19 arrived, magical thinking prevailed. Officials ignored the previous findings and plans, instead touting crude and easily debunked studies purporting to show that masks worked.

The gold standard for medical evidence is the randomized clinical trial, and the gold standard for analyzing this evidence is Cochrane (formerly the Cochrane Collaboration), the world’s largest and most respected organization for evaluating health interventions. Funded by the National Institutes of Health and other nations’ health agencies, it’s an international network of reviewers, based in London, that has partnerships with the WHO and Wikipedia. Medical journals have hailed it for being “the best single resource for methodologic research” and for being “recognized worldwide as the highest standard in evidence-based healthcare.”

It has published a new Cochrane review of the literature on masks, including trials during the Covid-19 pandemic in hospitals and in community settings. The 15 trials compared outcomes of wearing of surgical masks versus wearing no masks, and also versus N95 masks. The review, conducted by a dozen researchers from six countries, concludes that wearing any kind of face covering “probably makes little or no difference” in reducing the spread of respiratory illness.

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Live long and prosper. If they will let you.
Longer lives, society, and freedom.

Longer, healthier lives: A disaster for humanity? To hear some people talk, yes.

Harvard aging researcher David Sinclair has managed to regulate the aging process in mice, making young mice old and old mice young. And numerous researchers elsewhere are working on finding ways to turn back the clock.

This has created a good deal of excitement. We’ve seen these waves of antiaging enthusiasm before: There was a flurry of interest in the first decade of this century, with news stories, conferences, and so on. That enthusiasm mostly involved activating the SIRT-1 gene, which is also activated by caloric restriction.

You can buy supplements, like resveratrol or quercetin, that show some evidence of slowing the aging process by activating that gene, or by killing senescent cells. Drugs like rapamycin and metformin have shown promise as well. And diet and exercise do enough good that if they were available in pill form, everyone would be gobbling them.

But while pumping the brakes on the process of getting older and frailer is a good thing, being able to actually stop – or better yet reverse – the process is better still. If I had the chance, I’d be happy to knock a few decades off of my biological age. (Ideally, I think I’d be physically 25 and cosmetically about 40.)

But does this mean we’re looking at something like immortality? Well, not really.

Even a complete conquest of aging wouldn’t mean eternal life. Accidents, disease, even death by violence will still ensure that your time on Earth – or wherever you’re living in a century or two – eventually comes to an end. Still an end to, or even a dramatic delaying of, the process of decay and decline would be nice. As Robert Heinlein observed in the 1950s, you spend the first 25 years of your life getting established, then the next couple of decades striving to get ahead, and then by age 50 your reward for all that is that your middle is thickening, your breath is shortening, and your aches and pains are accumulating as the Grim Reaper waits around the corner.

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generalized estimating equation estimates
Translation (even with the statistical word salad definition) it still comes to: There’s actually no way to figure this out, so I’ll make my SWAG look good on paper

John Lott (more guns/less crime) was right, but they couldn’t let that be confirmed, so they kept torturing the statistics hoping for something different, but the best they could come up with was that gun sales don’t have any effect on crime rates.

Legal Firearm Sales at State Level and Rates of Violent Crime, Property Crime, and Homicides

Journal of Surgical Research, Volume 281, January 2023, Pages 143-154



The effects of firearm sales and legislation on crime and violence are intensely debated, with multiple studies yielding differing results. We hypothesized that increased lawful firearm sales would not be associated with the rates of crime and homicide when studied using a robust statistical method.


National and state rates of crime and homicide during 1999-2015 were obtained from the United States Department of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Instant Criminal Background Check System background checks were used as a surrogate for lawful firearm sales. A general multiple linear regression model using log event rates was used to assess the effect of firearm sales on crime and homicide rates. Additional modeling was then performed on a state basis using an autoregressive correlation structure with generalized estimating equation estimates for standard errors to adjust for the interdependence of variables year to year within a particular state.


Nationally, all crime rates except the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention–designated firearm homicides decreased as firearm sales increased over the study period. Using a naive national model, increases in firearm sales were associated with significant decreases in multiple crime categories. However, a more robust analysis using generalized estimating equation estimates on state-level data demonstrated increases in firearms sales were not associated with changes in any crime variables examined.


Robust analysis does not identify an association between increased lawful firearm sales and rates of crime or homicide.

Based on this, it is unclear if efforts to limit lawful firearm sales would have any effect on rates of crime, homicide, or injuries from violence committed with firearms.

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To End Climate Lunacy, Stop Treating Warming & C02 Hysterically

Those who oppose economically destructive “climate” policies – like those promoted by the Biden administration and at the recent United Nations COP27 conference – will continue to fail to stop the advance of these policies so long as they continue to accept the false claim that warming of the planet and carbon dioxide emissions are harmful.

They are not. On balance, global warming and CO2 emission are beneficial.

Before getting to why that is, however, it is crucial to understand why accepting the false climate claim is so harmful.

When the destructiveness of climate policies is shown, the response is that the policies nevertheless are necessary to address what President Biden refers to as the “existential threat” of global warming and increased CO2 emissions.

When it is noted that these climate policies will at most microscopically and insignificantly reduce temperatures and CO2 emissions, climate policy mandarins push for even more draconian policies.

The result has been that since the 1990s, climate policies have become increasingly destructive and wasteful. Even worse, their continued intensification appears unlikely to be stopped until the public and policymakers are persuaded that global warming and CO2 emissions are not harmful. As Margaret Thatcher famously said: “First you win the argument, then you win the vote.”

To win this argument, it is necessary to focus on the scientific facts.

A warming planet saves lives. Analyses of millions of deaths in recent decades in numerous countries, published in the British medical journal The Lancet, show that cooler temperatures killed nine times (July 2021 study) to seventeen times (In May 2015 study) more people than warmer temperatures. The planet’s recent modest warming (by 1.00 degree Celsius on average since 1880, as calculated by NASA) thus has been saving millions of lives.

CO2 emissions do not pollute and instead are environmentally beneficial. In 2017, over 300 scientists, including Richard Lindzen of MIT and William Happer of Princeton, signed a statement that made this point: “carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. To the contrary, there is clear evidence that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide is environmentally helpful to food crops and other plants that nourish all life. It is plant food, not poison.” Every one of us, indeed, also exhales carbon dioxide with every breath.

Since 1920, deaths each year from natural disasters have decreased by over 90 percent. And this happened, data from EM-DAT – The International Disaster Database presented by The University of Oxford show, not only as the planet has warmed, but as world population has quadrupled.

Global warming has not increased hurricanes. A NOAA report, updated on November 28, 2022, states that “there is essentially no long-term trend in hurricane counts. The evidence for an upward trend is even weaker if we look at U.S. landfalling hurricanes, which even show a slight negative trend beginning from 1900 or from the late 1800s.”

The same report sums it up in bold: “We conclude that the historical Atlantic hurricane data at this stage do not provide compelling evidence for a substantial greenhouse warming-induced century-scale increase in: frequency of tropical storms, hurricanes, or major hurricanes, or in the proportion of hurricanes that become major hurricanes.”

Global warming also does not increase land burned by fires. As environmental statistician Bjorn Lomberg has shown using data from the Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, Remote Sensing of Environment, and Earth’s Future, the percentage of global land burned per year in 1905-2021 has been declining.

Sea levels are rising – but only by a small fraction of an inch each year. An EPA report updated on August 1, 2022, states: “When averaged over all of the world’s oceans, absolute sea level has risen at an average rate of 0.06 inches per year from 1880 to 2013,” including a slightly increased rate since 1993 of “0.12 to 0.14 inches per year.”

The UN climate models that President Biden, John Kerry, and other climate doomsters use to predict future global temperatures are so speculative and unreliable that they have been unable even to reproduce the 20th century’s temperature changes. This is a key point in the must-read book by Obama Department of Energy Under Secretary for Science Steven Koonin, Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn’t, and Why It Matters.

These kinds of facts should persuade the public and policymakers to stop accepting the false claim that global warming and CO2 emissions are harmful.

When this false claim is no longer widely accepted, policymakers will stop imposing climate policies that particularly impoverish the world’s poor.

They will stop holding international boondoggles like COP27 and that demand vast climate-related foreign aid programs.

They will stop spending hundreds of billions of dollars on domestic climate sinkholes.

And they will stop using purported “social cost of carbon” factors (even though the true social cost of carbon is zero) to regulatorily restrict domestic fossil fuel production, transportation, and use.

It’s not from dinosaurs

Don’t worry, we’ll never run out of oil
When will we run out of oil? 50 years? 100? As it turns out, we may never actually run out of this incredibly useful substance.

  • The discovery and exploitation of crude oil have literally transformed the world beyond all recognition.
  • This was such a great discovery, that our modern world is literally fuelled by it.
  • If the crude oil supply was to suddenly dry up, could we survive?

Crude oil is one of the most important resources we have ever discovered. Oil and the many products made from it have literally and figuratively transformed the world beyond all recognition. However, as we are constantly reminded, crude oil is not in infinite supply. After all, it took millions of years to “brew”.Estimates vary, but if our current consumption continues apace, we may well see a time in the near future when it is completely exhausted. But, are such claims true? Have we reached what is commonly referred to as “peak oil?”.

Or, perhaps, just perhaps, we are looking at the problem from the wrong angle?

But, before we get into the weeds about the future of oil, let’s spend a little time discussing the nature of a “finite” resource. 

Are natural resources actually finite?

Humans like to build stuff. We’ve been doing it for as long as our species has existed, and will continue to do so into the distant future. 

Making stuff needs materials, and depending on what we are making, and how much of it, this can consume large amounts of that raw resource(s). For any product you can think of, somewhere in its supply chain raw materials have been extracted at some point and “used up” in the final product.

As more and more stuff is made over time, it would seem logical that there must be a point when the supply of any material is used up? But is this actually true?

How you think about this might, ultimately, all come down to whether you are a pessimist or an optimist at heart. The former will adamantly believe that because there is only a limited amount of stuff humans could ever get our hands-on (like the entire mass of the Earth, say), then resources must, by definition, be limited. This is especially true if our consumption of a material exceeds the rate of its replenishment. It is this fact that basically determines if a resource is considered “renewable” or not

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Gallup: Support for Gun Control Drops as Gun Ownership Rises

Americans say they are less likely to support tightening gun laws than they were over the summer.

A Gallup poll released on Monday shows a nine-point drop in support for making gun laws “more strict” since the same survey was taken in June. It also shows a three-point uptick in the number of Americans reporting they have a gun in the home. While a majority of respondents report supporting stricter gun laws and having no gun in their home, the gap for both shrunk significantly.

The results reflect a pair of trends in American gun politics.

Support for stricter gun laws tends to peak after high-profile mass shootings and recede a few months later. At the end of May, the murder of 19 children and two adults at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, drove two-thirds of Americans to support new restrictions. But nearly six months and one federal gun law later, support for more restrictions dropped to 57 percent.

The wake of the pandemic and civil unrest has also produced record gun sales in the United States over the past two years. While sales have begun to cool over the past few months, the results of that buying spree are now being reflected in Gallup’s polling on who owns guns. 45 percent now report having a gun in the home, and 46 percent report having one on their property. 33 percent report they personally own the firearm in their house as opposed to a different member of the household. Those measures are at their highest level since 2011, and the polling company hasn’t consistently found gun-ownership rates that high since the early 1990s.

The rising trend of gun ownership combined with weakened support for more gun control could make passing new restrictions more difficult at the national and state levels. Republicans gaining control of the House of Representatives was already going to make new federal gun laws a tall order, but the new polling could complicate things even further. However, the poll, conducted between October 3rd and the 20th, may not reflect the effect recent high-profile shootings at the University of Virginia and an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado, will have on public opinion.

Additionally, the poll shows Americans still support stricter gun laws at a higher rate than when the poll was done in October 2021. It suggests that, despite the recent drop in support, Americans remain more supportive of tightening gun restrictions than before Uvalde.

Gallup conducted the poll among a random sample of 1,009 adults. It has a margin of error of +/- four percentage points.

Legal Firearm Sales at State Level and Rates of Violent Crime, Property Crime, and Homicides

The effects of firearm sales and legislation on crime and violence are intensely debated, with multiple studies yielding differing results. We hypothesized that increased lawful firearm sales would not be associated with the rates of crime and homicide when studied using a robust statistical method.

National and state rates of crime and homicide during 1999-2015 were obtained from the United States Department of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Instant Criminal Background Check System background checks were used as a surrogate for lawful firearm sales. A general multiple linear regression model using log event rates was used to assess the effect of firearm sales on crime and homicide rates. Additional modeling was then performed on a state basis using an autoregressive correlation structure with generalized estimating equation estimates for standard errors to adjust for the interdependence of variables year to year within a particular state.

Nationally, all crime rates except the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention–designated firearm homicides decreased as firearm sales increased over the study period. Using a naive national model, increases in firearm sales were associated with significant decreases in multiple crime categories. However, a more robust analysis using generalized estimating equation estimates on state-level data demonstrated increases in firearms sales were not associated with changes in any crime variables examined.

Robust analysis does not identify an association between increased lawful firearm sales and rates of crime or homicide. Based on this, it is unclear if efforts to limit lawful firearm sales would have any effect on rates of crime, homicide, or injuries from violence committed with firearms.

DRGO Study Says NO Link Between Legal Gun Sales & Violent Crime

BELLEVUE, WA – -( Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership (DRGO)—a project of the Second Amendment Foundation—has released a new study showing there is “no association between increased lawful firearm sales and rates of crime or homicide.”

The study, by DRGO member Mark Hamill, MD, FACS, FCCM, is titled “Legal Firearm Sales at State Level and Rates of Violent Crime, Property Crime, and Homicides” and is published in the Journal of Surgical Research. Dr. Hamill worked with a team of nine other doctors to reach their conclusions.

Dr. Robert Young, Executive Editor of DRGO, says “This confirms what those of us already know who follow all the research by medical, criminology and economic experts,” said DRGO Executive Director Dr. Robert Young. “Lawful gun possession is in no way related to homicide or other crime rates, and the constant drumbeat of anti-gun researchers and activists is a house built on sand.”

“DRGO is an important project of the Second Amendment Foundation,” noted SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, “because anti-gun billionaires such as Michael Bloomberg are funding research that tries to portray guns and gun ownership as a disease.”

The new report is based on a detailed, objective 50-state analysis of data from the National Instant Background Check System, the Department of Justice Uniform Crime Reporting program, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System covering the years 1999-2015.

Dr. Hamill is an assistant professor of surgery at the University of Nebraska, a longtime gun owner, and a law enforcement officer in his previous career. His experience, expertise and thoroughness makes his team’s findings unimpeachable. In 2019, he published earlier research, “State Level Firearm Concealed-Carry Legislation and Rates of Homicide and Other Violent Crime” in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons. In this, he and his co-authors do the same careful work analyzing 30 years of data state-by-state.

“The take-home from these two studies is that neither lawful gun ownership nor concealed carry regimes can be correlated with rates of homicide or other crime,” Dr. Young said.

Read more at DRGO: “Dr. Hamill vs. the Empire (Again)” and in Hamill et al’s two papers.

Racism Against the AAPI Community and Gun Ownership

As a gunologist, not to mention an Asian-American gun owner, a recent episode of the Red, Blue & Brady podcast on racism against the AAPI community and gun ownership caught my attention.

The episode focused on a recently published study by a group of public health scholars who fielded a national survey of 916 Asian Americans asking about their experiences of racial discrimination and their firearm-related behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic.

There is a lot of anecdata floating around about how anti-Asian discrimination increased during the pandemic (think of people taking the “China virus” and “kung flu” language to the next outgroup level), and that this led to unprecedented gun buying among Asian Americans.

Of course, without historical data, we can’t really speak to “precedent,” but these scholars find that 6.0% of respondents said they purchased a gun during COVID and another 11.2% said they intended to purchase a gun. Of the 6% of COVID gun buyers, 54.6% were first-time gun buyers.

If the survey is accurate and representative, then 3.3% of Asian American adults in the United States became new gun owners during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some quick calculations (roughly 20 million Asian Americans, about 75% being over 18) suggests that about half a million Asian Americans became new gun owners.

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The [NO] association between gun shows and firearm injuries: An analysis of 259 gun shows across 23 US cities

Guns shows are estimated to account for 4–9% of firearm sales in the US. Increased regulation of firearm sales at gun shows has been proposed as one approach to reducing firearm injury rates. This study evaluated the association between gun shows and local firearm injury rates. Data regarding the date and location of gun shows from 2017 to 2019 were abstracted from the Big Show Journal. Firearm injury rates were estimated using discharges from trauma centers serving counties within a 25-mile radius of each gun show. Clinical data were derived from the National Trauma Databank (NTDB). We used Poisson regression modeling to adjust for potential confounders including seasonality. We evaluated injury rates before and after 259 gun shows in 23 US locations using firearm injury data from 36 trauma centers. There were 1513 hospitalizations for firearm injuries pre-gun show and 1526 post-gun show. The adjusted mean 2-week rate of all-cause firearm injury per 1,000,000 person-years was 1.79 (1.16–2.76) before and 1.82 (1.18–2.83) after a gun show, with an incident rate ratio of 1.02 (0.94, 1.08). The adjusted mean 2-week rate did not vary significantly by intent after a gun show, (p = 0.24).

Within two weeks after a gun show, rates of hospitalization for all-cause firearm injury do not increase significantly within the surrounding communities. The relatively small increase in available firearms after a show and the short time horizon evaluated may account for the absence of an association between gun show firearm sales and local firearm injury rates.

Anti-gun advocates were formerly able to foist this off on the people because accessing a lot of the original writings had to be done by reading the actual hard copy. “But, thanks to the digitization of old texts on Google Books and Google Scholar, access to second-generation American viewpoints is easier now than ever before.” The internet and its search engines have finally been able to put the lie to this ‘collective right’ BS.

The common assertion that the individual-right interpretation of the Second Amendment is a gun-lobby myth invented in the latter half of the 20th century is, to repurpose Justice Brennan’s famous quote, “one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word fraud, on the American People by special interest groups that I have seen in my lifetime.” The historical record shows that 19th-century Americans, whatever other disputes they had about the provision, widely viewed the Second Amendment as protecting an individual right.

Analysis: Historical Texts Show Individual Right to Keep and Bear Arms Isn’t an NRA Invention

For anyone who frequently discusses the Second Amendment, there is no avoiding the debate over whether it protects an individual or collective right. The prevailing view accepted by the Supreme Court in 2008 is that the amendment protects every individual’s right to keep and bear arms. But many detractors, especially gun-control advocates, still argue it only covers a collective or militia right.

When the individual right view started to gain ground (or, rather, regain ground) in the late 20th century, a common line of attack was that the pro-gun side was essentially making it all up. And it’s one that’s been repeated even at the highest levels of the legal profession.

“The gun lobby’s interpretation of the Second Amendment is one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word fraud, on the American People by special interest groups that I have seen in my lifetime,” Former Chief Justice Warren Burger said in a 1991 PBS interview.

Gun-control advocates still use this argument, with The Intercept asserting in a June 2022 article that “no law review article from 1888 (when they were first indexed) through 1959 ever concluded the Second Amendment guaranteed an individual right to a gun.”

There are three ways to test the claim that the NRA and other gun-rights advocates created the individual-right view in the last several decades: What did the founders say? What did older case law say? And what did prominent second-generation American legal scholars and elected officials say?

The courts and the public writ large have already deeply examined the first two options.

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What Do Girls Do?

There is an eight-year-old girl who likes to play in streams and look under rocks for squirmy critters. She not only knows how to throw a ball but enjoys doing it. She loves math and logic, and has no interest in dolls or dresses. She will grow up to be a woman. Because that’s what girls do.

There is another eight-year-old girl who likes to give tea parties for her stuffed animals. She likes to dance all the dances, often with other girls who like to do the same thing. She loves to read, and has no interest in trucks or trails. She will also grow up to be a woman. Because, again, that’s what girls do.

One of these girls may want to be an astronaut. The other, a chef. Or a mother. Or a lawyer. An actress. A racecar driver. Are all of these desires equally likely among girls? They are not. Girls are likely to want some things more than others. But guess what: the girls who aren’t girly are still girls. You can tell, in part, by the fact that they grow up to be women. Because that’s what girls do.

Sex isn’t assigned at birth. Sex is observed at birth.

Sometimes, in fact, sex is observed before birth. Most commonly, this happens via ultrasound imaging of the fetus. Less commonly, it is possible to look at the karyotype—a visual representation of fetal chromosomes, organized roughly by size—which has been obtained through the usefully diagnostic but somewhat risky mid-pregnancy procedure known as amniocentesis.

All mammals have “Genetic Sex Determination,” which means that we have chromosomes dedicated to starting us down the path of maleness or femaleness.

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New study contradicts “More Guns = More Crime” theory

Do increased gun sales lead to increased crime rates? According to gun control activists, the answer is “yes,” but a new study published in the Journal of Surgical Research finds no connection between firearm purchases and the number of crimes. I’m very pleased that Dr. Mark Hamill, a trauma surgeon and associate professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center who was a primary author and researcher for the new study, could join me on today’s Cam & Co to discuss his findings and the current state of “gun violence” research in the medical community.

For this particular study, Hamill and his associates used both national and state-level data on crime rates between 1999 and 2015 as well as NICS reporting data over the same time period as a reasonable proxy for gun sales. Hamill hypothesized beforehand that there would be no correlation between gun sales and crime rates, and as it turns out, that’s exactly what researchers found.

Nationally, all crime rates except the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention–designated firearm homicides decreased as firearm sales increased over the study period.

Using a naïve national model, increases in firearm sales were associated with significant decreases in multiple crime categories. However, a more robust analysis using generalized estimating equation estimates on state-level data demonstrated increases in firearms sales were not associated with changes in any crime variables examined.

Robust analysis does not identify an association between increased lawful firearm sales and rates of crime or homicide. Based on this, it is unclear if efforts to limit lawful firearm sales would have any effect on rates of crime, homicide, or injuries from violence committed with firearms.

This study follows on previous research released by Hamill and others back in 2019 that examined concealed carry laws and crime rates; looking to see if changes to a state’s concealed carry laws resulted in more crime overall. Just as in this most recent study, the data found no significant association between “shifts from restrictive to nonrestrictive carry legislation on violent crime and public health indicators.”

As Hamill says, the results make sense. Most people who legally purchase and lawfully carry firearms are never going to commit a violent crime, so increasing the number of those who are legally exercising their Second Amendment rights shouldn’t result in more violent crime. As for gun sales and crime rates, while the number of firearms sold might vary from year to year, the number of privately-owned firearms in the United States continues to increase. If more guns equated to more crime, then we’d expect to see a steady rise in criminal offenses year after year. Instead, a graph of violent crime rates going back to 1900 shows that crime tends to ebb and flow in waves that can last for decades.

Note, by the way, what happened to the homicide rate in the years after the passage of the Gun Control Act of 1968. While homicide rates had been fairly flat throughout most of the 1960s, there was a sharp increase starting around the time the GCA became law, and a steady decline didn’t begin until more than two decades later in the early 1990s.

That crime decline generally continued until 2020, when shootings and homicides soared in the midst of the COVID-19 shutdowns, disruptions to the criminal justice system, riots, and a pullback from proactive policing strategies. Gun sales also exploded in 2020, but despite the assertions of some gun control activists that the increase in gun purchases must have played a role in the increased violence, there isn’t much evidence that was the case, as even some anti-gun researchers have acknowledged.

Dr. Garen Wintemute of the Violence Prevention Research Program at UC Davis investigated a possible relationship between 2020’s gun sales and the increase in crime and found none.

“Instead, [researchers] concluded that unemployment, economic disparity and physical distancing exacerbated by the pandemic were far more potent predictors of increased violence,” the FiveThirtyEight article notes.

Hamill’s study comes at a time of heightened interest in the gun control debate within the medical community, including a special issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association dedicated to examining “gun violence” and advocating for a host of new gun control laws. Hamill says that unfortunately there does seem to be a bias towards gun control among many researchers, and described how this most recent study was actually rejected by another journal; not because of any issues with the researcher’s methodology, but because the journal’s editor didn’t like the results.

Thankfully this new paper found a home at the Journal of Surgical Research, and I would encourage you to not only read the paper but share its findings far and wide. More guns does not equal more crime, and we’ve got the data to prove it.

Georgetown professor: AR-15 ‘commonly owned’ and ‘incredibly popular’

In the national debate over banning AR-15-style rifles, there has been a noted lack of information other than anecdotal and heavily biased reports.

On the gun ban side, led by President Joe Biden, the rifle is an “assault weapon” used to kill people. On the gun fan side, led by the National Rifle Association, it’s a tool for hunting and plinking just like every other rifle.

But the truth is, there has been little scholarly study of it and other firearms since 1994, the year the so-called “assault weapon” ban was put into place by President Bill Clinton, which lapsed 10 years later.

Enter political economist and assistant professor William English of Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. Long interested in issues surrounding guns, he just headed a massive survey of nearly 17,000 firearms users to come up with the most detailed portrait of today’s owners, users, and their firearms.

The bottom line from his “National Firearms Survey” is that gun-owning is common, the AR-15 really is the most popular firearm in America, and its club of owners is incredibly diverse.

When he initially proposed a book on guns in America, English found that there was little factual information out there.

“It kind of dawned on me that, yeah, there’s a real opportunity here just as a scholar to contribute to this literature, where I think there’s some gaps and some important questions. It’s certainly not my main focus, but I kind of got sucked into it,” English said.

The survey he headed reached out to over 54,000 and was narrowed down to 16,708 gun owners who coughed up a wealth of information about what they own and what they do with their guns.

For example, English confirmed that 81.4 million own guns, a third of them have used a weapon to defend themselves or their property in 1.6 million incidents per year, and 52% of those who own a gun carry one for self-defense at times.

He found that some 24 million have owned a total of 44 million AR-style rifles and 39 million own extended magazines that hold 10 rounds or more, potentially influential in the political debate over Biden’s call for an AR ban. His survey estimated that there are 542 million extended magazines in the United States, ending any debate that the AR and other semi-automatic firearms are rare and just used by mass killers.

What’s more, English said that ownership of AR-15s is spread out fairly evenly, with a third of white people having one, as well as about a third of black people, Hispanic people, and Asian people.

“These are just incredibly popular firearms,” he said, adding that “they are commonly owned, commonly used.”

Once a pricey weapon, English said there is an interesting sociological, manufacturing, and economic story to be told about the AR-15 and how it started to become popular around 2010, especially with troops returning from the Gulf wars.

“At the end of the day, it is a rifle that I think is very easy to shoot, it’s very easy to control, not a lot of recoil. I could see it also kind of being like an updated .22 for, in terms of plinking, a firearm you can kind of do a little bit of everything with: lightweight, intuitive, but high-performance, accurate, and easy for defense. It certainly has advantages there. So it’s a good gun, and to see it become widely owned, I suppose, makes sense in that context,” said English.

Political Cartoons by Pat Cross

Not even archaeology is safe from woke leftism

One of the things archaeologists typically do shortly after excavating human skeletons — or parts thereof — is to determine the sex of the person whose bones they have just uncovered.  It is easily possible to ascertain whether a skeleton is from a male or female using objective observations based on criteria such as the size and shape of the bones.  (Criminal forensic detectives also do this as a matter of course.)

However, a new school of thought within archaeology is urging scientists to abandon the practice of assigning sex to ancient human remains.  This school of thought is itself being pushed by gender activists who are arguing that scientists cannot know how an ancient individual self-identified.  Really.

For example, Canadian Master’s degree candidate Emma Palladino recently tweeted: “You might know the argument that the archaeologists who find your bones one day will assign you the same gender as you had at birth, so regardless of whether you transition, you can’t escape your assigned sex.”  (At least the last part of that statement is true: you can’t escape your assigned sex.  No matter what you do or how hard you try.)

Proving her scientific bona fides, Palladino characterized assigning sex to an ancient human as “b——-.”

I am sure a large percentage of cave persons and ancient peoples “identified” as other than the sex they were “assigned” at birth.  I’m guessing many Viking couples, for example, probably switched genders after a few years of marriage or cohabitation.  I bet many a “Hagar the Horrible” became “Helga the Horribles.”  And vice-versa.  Just kidding.  And I fervently wish Emma Palladino were kidding, too.

The relatively small but effective woke mob is now poised to usurp archaeology.  Archaeology!  It has already partially annexed mathematics and is simultaneously working to take over engineering.  Far too late do sane people realize and react to these facts.

The left must have everything, everywhere, all the time, forevermore…with no exceptions.  And leftists will stop at nothing to achieve their goal of absolute domination.  The Democrat party and its public relations arm, the mainstream media, are the far left’s main vehicle for making this happen.  JFK be damned — today’s Democrats will go anywhere and pay any price in defense of tyranny.

Make no bones about it.

Real-World Study Shows The Risk of Getting ‘Hangry’ Is Very Real.

The term ‘hangry’, a combination of hunger and anger, has been a part of the common lexicon for a while. Now there is some scientific basis behind the term, according to a new study involving 64 adult participants from Europe.

Over the course of 21 days, the volunteers were asked to record their emotions and hunger pangs five times a day via a smartphone app. What the researchers found was that hunger is associated with a higher level of anger and irritability, and fewer pleasurable feelings.

These links were significant even after differences in age, sex, body mass index, dietary behavior and personality traits were all factored in. In other words, how well fed we are seems to have a notable influence on our feelings of anger.

“Many of us are aware that being hungry can influence our emotions, but surprisingly little scientific research has focused on being ‘hangry’,” says social psychologist Viren Swami, from Anglia Ruskin University in the UK.

“Ours is the first study to examine being ‘hangry’ outside of a lab. By following people in their day-to-day lives, we found that hunger was related to levels of anger, irritability, and pleasure.”

Across a total of 9,142 data points submitted by those taking part in the study, hunger was associated with 48 percent of the variance in anger, 56 percent of the variance in irritability, and 44 percent of the variance in pleasure.

The researchers also found that the negative emotions could be linked to eating patterns averaged out over several days, as well as individual day-to-day variations. ‘Hanger’ is something that can persist over time.

While the study relied on subjective reports given by the participants in regards to how hungry they felt at specific times, it’s still what the team calls a “robust” link between hunger and anger.

“The results provide a high degree of generalizability compared to laboratory studies, giving us a much more complete picture of how people experience the emotional outcomes of hunger in their everyday lives,” says psychologist Stefan Stieger, from the Karl Landsteiner University of Health Sciences in Austria.

The same sort of ‘hangry’ behavior has been seen elsewhere in the animal kingdom too, and scientists are hard at work trying to understand the cues from biology, personality and our environment that might be behind the association.

Previous studies have suggested a lower blood glucose level might be something to do with our tendency to get ‘hangry’, but as yet there have been no definitive conclusions about why hunger leads to anger and irritability in this way.

Knowing more about how these feelings and emotions develop in relation to the contents of our stomach can ultimately help us manage them better, the team suggests – even if it’s just a case of recognizing what’s happening within our own bodies.

“Although our study doesn’t present ways to mitigate negative hunger-induced emotions, research suggests that being able to label an emotion can help people to regulate it, such as by recognising that we feel angry simply because we are hungry,” says Swami.

“Therefore, greater awareness of being ‘hangry’ could reduce the likelihood that hunger results in negative emotions and behaviors in individuals.”

The research has been published in PLOS One.

Researchers find that aspirin alters colorectal cancer evolution.

In a new study published in the journal eLife, researchers at the University of California, Irvine reveal for the first time that  changes the way colorectal  cell populations evolve over time, making them less able to survive and proliferate.

“We asked what aspirin does to the Darwinian evolution of cells,” said co-author Dominik Wodarz, professor of population health and disease prevention at the UCI Program in Public Health. “Cancer arises because cells evolve from a healthy state toward a pathogenic state where the cells divide without stopping. This happens when cells acquire a number of mutations, and these mutations are selected for. We found that aspirin affects these  and slows them down.”

The team found that aspirin alters the birth and death rates of  cells. Specifically, aspirin reduces the rate of tumor cell division and increases the rate of cell death.

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Gun-control advocates predict increases in murders with constitutional carry, but the data says otherwise. Self-defense is a natural right. That right can be restricted when there is a strong reason to do so; for example, people confined in prisons are not allowed to possess firearms. But, the opponents of constitutional carry across society have not met their burden of proof.

The Statistical Truth About the Impact of Constitutional Carry

When it becomes clear that a popular change in state law does something fundamentally good for citizens’ freedom without doing harm, it becomes much easier to get legislators to do the right thing. This is part of the reason for the quick spread of constitutional-carry laws, which now cover half of the states, as of press time. (A state is “constitutional carry” if a law-abiding adult who can legally possess a handgun does not need a permit to carry that handgun concealed for lawful protection.)

Another part of the reason for the fast spread of constitutional-carry legislation is the NRA Institute for Legislative Action’s (ILA) team, which has worked across America to bring the facts to state legislators. They have been so effective that a majority of state legislators in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana and Ohio most-recently opted to get their state’s bureaucracies out of the way of their law-abiding citizens’ Second Amendment rights.

An underlying reason this has been an effective push is the basic fact that law-abiding American citizens are not problems that needs to be solved. Despite what the Biden administration argues, armed citizens help to keep individuals safer. Nevertheless, each time a constitutional-carry law comes up for debate, gun-control groups argue that getting the government out of the concealed-carry-license business will result in “Wild West-style shootouts” on the streets. But each time these laws pass, the data clearly shows that doesn’t happen.

This has been a big change from a few decades ago when Vermont was the sole state with constitutional carry. The term “constitutional carry” comes from legal history; when the Second Amendment was adopted in 1791, constitutional carry—either open or concealed—was lawful in every state.

Still, as more and more states return to the original understanding of the right to bear arms, opponents warn that constitutional carry (or “permitless carry”) will cause murder rates to increase; for example, Eugenio Weigend, director of the Gun Violence Prevention program at the Center for American Progress, says that constitutional carry will “raise some confrontations in some places, further escalating violence to reach lethal levels.” Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun group Everytown for Gun Safety says states that have moved toward constitutional carry are “abandoning core public safety standards.”

While Vermont has long had constitutional carry, thanks to the 1903 state supreme court decision State v. Rosenthal, the move toward constitutional carry in the 21st century started with Alaska in 2003.

In this article, we present the data about what actually happened when states adopted constitutional carry. The data comes from a report co-written by Alexander Adams and Colorado State University Professor Youngsung Kim. (The data and code are available at:

Except for Vermont, all the states that currently have constitutional carry already had “shall-issue” licensing systems for concealed carry. That is, applications for concealed-carry permits could not be denied simply because the licensing official did not like citizens carrying firearms.

So, why did the NRA work for constitutional carry in those states? Because even a fairly administered shall-issue system can take weeks or months for a license to be issued. The delays can leave the innocent defenseless for too long; this is especially true for victims of stalkers and for people fleeing domestic violence. The same is true when civil order breaks down, such as during riots or natural disasters—times when law enforcement is often overwhelmed. Some licensing offices, for example, shut down or slowed down during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Even when a state statute sets up a fair process for licensing, local governments can find ways to manipulate the system to delay applications. This has been a long-standing problem in Denver, and is one reason why civil-rights activists are fighting for constitutional carry in Colorado.

A second reason for constitutional carry is cost. To some people, spending a few hundred dollars for fees, fingerprints and so on is no big deal. But for lower-income people, the financial barrier of a licensing system can be severe to prohibitive. Constitutional carry also eliminates the possibility of bias against any racial, gender or socio-economic groups in the permitting process.

Even in constitutional-carry states, many people still choose to obtain permits. Permits make it easier to carry in other states when traveling, because many states have laws that recognize the permits issued by some or all other states. Depending on state law, a permit may allow carrying in some places where constitutional carry is not allowed. 

carry states graphic

How Does Constitutional Carry Impact Crime?
How can we determine the effects of constitutional carry? One approach would be to just compare current crime rates in states with and without constitutional carry; for example, Vermont, with constitutional carry, has much less crime than neighboring New York, which does not. The same is true for Utah versus Colorado. But skeptics would accurately point out that other differences between the states could account for the differences in crime rates. Portions of New York, for example, are more urbanized than Vermont. 

Further, because crime rates change over time, looking at several years is more revealing than just a single year.

To get answers, Adams and Kim studied all 50 states and the District of Columbia from 1980 to 2018. Their study also accounted for 30 control variables—that is, factors other than constitutional carry that might raise or lower a state’s crime rate. The control variables included population density, alcohol consumption, poverty rates, unemployment rates, the Fryer crack-cocaine index, incarceration rates, age cohorts in five-year blocks from age 15 to over 65 years of age, police per capita, other gun control (such as “assault-weapons” bans), racial variables and more.

To show how important it is to consider control variables, we will first show you the results without them, and then the results with the control variables included. 

Here is a short explanation on how to read the tables. Suppose you flipped a coin 100 times, and 65 of those times, it came up heads. Does that prove the coin was biased (unevenly weighted), or could the results just be random chance? In social science, the probability that the result was not due to chance is called “statistical significance.” In the tables, if there is less than a 1% chance the result is due to chance, the result has three asterisks. If the probability that a result is random is less than 5%, there are two asterisks. If less than 10%, there is one asterisk. Traditionally, statisticians use the 5% cut-off to call something “statistically significant,” but they also report results for 1% and 10%. We do the same.

Homicide and suicide rates

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