Gun-Shy Writer Has Second Thoughts About Defenselessness

Since the start of the pandemic and the corresponding Great Gun Run of 2020/2021, we’ve seen millions of Americans embrace their Second Amendment rights for the very first time, and not all of them are conservatives worried about their individual freedoms being taken away. There’s been a rise in the number of self-described liberals with a growing interest in gun ownership over the past 20 months or so as well, including Samuel Ligon, a novelist and teacher at Eastern Washington University.

Ligon recently wrote about what drove him to take class on basic firearms handling as he debated buying a gun, and as it turns out, it was conservative 2A activists that had the biggest impact on him.

This was a few months after the BLM demonstrations in Spokane, Washington, when the militia was out at night with their guns and camouflage costumes. Kate and I saw them on TV and Twitter, in Spokane and all over the West, men with assault weapons ready for war.

I’d seen them in Olympia, too, armed citizens asserting their rights. The third-grade teachers would usher their students back to the buses, their Capitol tour abruptly over. This was before the Capitol grounds were fenced, before people started shooting each other during weekend protests. In August, Kate and I saw a guy at the Country Store shopping with his wife and toddler with a gun on his hip, a posture I found idiotic, intimidating, infuriating. He was why I wanted to go to gun school. I hated him for walking around like that.

I didn’t tell Kate I was going for weeks, and when I did tell her, she didn’t say much. In fact, she didn’t say anything. I considered canceling, but it had been so hard to get a spot. Everyone wanted to go to gun school. The pandemic — or something worse, whatever it was that had been tearing us apart for years — was working our fear, making some of us conclude that we might have to shoot somebody soon, which is what we mean when we talk about self-defense.

For Ligon, it was the armed response to the “demonstrations” that made him want a firearm for protection, but for many others, it was the riots, looting, and violence in cities from coast-to-coast that made them think about their Second Amendment rights for the first time in their lives. And even after the riots and demonstrations subsided, the violence has remained. Ligon doesn’t say anything about the crime rate in Spokane influencing his desire to own a gun, but homicides in the city doubled in 2020 compared to 2019, and I don’t think the “militia” was responsible for any of them.

But it wasn’t just Ligon who was interested in picking up a firearm. His brother told him he’d bought a gun. His brother-in-law admitted he’d bought a shotgun, though he hadn’t yet purchased any shells.

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The public is not rendered “safer” when citizens are disarmed, but rendered only more vulnerable to (and powerless against) those who would do them harm.

11 More Reasons Biden Administration Is Wrong About Onerous Gun Restrictions

The Biden administration last month filed a brief encouraging the Supreme Court to uphold New York City’s de facto ban preventing ordinary citizens from carrying firearms in public.

The administration argued that an onerous “good cause” requirement—giving the city’s police department unmitigated discretion over citizens’ exercise of a fundamental right—is a perfectly reasonable regulation.

This court brief is just one of several high-profile actions taken this year by the Biden administration that underscore its lack of commitment to taking the Second Amendment seriously.

New York City’s law, one of a myriad of serious burdens placed on New Yorkers’ right to keep and bear arms, prevents the vast majority of residents from being able to meaningfully protect themselves in public when the government fails to do so. And the government often fails to do so.

In fact, almost every major study on the issue has found that Americans use their firearms in self-defense between 500,000 and 3 million times annually, according to a 2013 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For this reason, The Daily Signal publishes an article monthly underscoring some of the previous month’s many news stories on defensive gun use that you may have missed—or that might not have made it to the national spotlight in the first place.

The examples below represent only a small portion of the news stories on defensive gun use that we found in August. You may explore more by using The Heritage Foundation’s interactive Defensive Gun Use Database. (The Daily Signal is the multimedia news organization of The Heritage Foundation.)

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Well, that ‘we’ isn’t as inclusive as might be thought.

We Still Haven’t Learned The Lessons Of Luby’s 30 Years Later

Luby’s Cafeteria is one of the earlier mass shootings of our modern era. Predating Columbine, it was a nightmare scenario that the city of Killean, TX is still reeling from 30 years later. That’s certainly understandable.

After all, it was something so unexpected that it would be difficult not to reel.

The tragic Luby’s Cafeteria massacre in Killeen left survivors, residents, and city leaders hoping and praying such a senseless, murderous incident would never happen again in the United States.

“No community is, or could ever be, prepared for the tragedy which struck Killeen on October 16, 1991,” said a 1991 Herald thank-you-to-first-responders display ad from then-Mayor Major Blair and Killeen City Council. “Our hope and prayers are that a similar event will never again occur in any community.”

At the time, the Luby’s tragedy was the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, however, that’s no longer the case.

In the three decades since George “JoJo” Hennard, 35, of Belton, drove his blue Ford Ranger pickup through a plate glass window of Luby’s Cafeteria in Killeen and murdered 23 Luby’s Cafeteria lunchtime diners on National Bosses Day, America has mourned 111 mass shootings, eight of those in Texas, in which 846 people were killed, according to a mass shooting database by nonprofit Mother Jones.

Two of those mass shootings occurred at Fort Hood, in 2009 and 2014, in which 16 people were killed in all.

In the decade prior to the Luby’s massacre, according to the mass shooting database, America had nine mass shootings, classified as an attack where three or more victims are killed in a public place.

It’s awful.

One thing everyone can probably agree on is that we haven’t learned our lessons since then. The problem is that we don’t agree on what those lessons actually are.

For the anti-Second Amendment jihadists, though, the lessons are “guns r teh badz.” Never you mind that five people were just murdered with a bow and arrow last week, the problem truly is guns.

Yet there was an actual lesson here:

Former state representative and Luby’s survivor Suzanna Hupp, lost both of her parents in the Luby’s shooting. Hupp, who lobbies for looser gun control laws, said she would’ve been able to stop the shooter if Texas had allowed concealed carry in 1991. She had a handgun at the time, but left it in her vehicle because of the law at the time.

DING DING DING! We have a winner!

Luby’s was a target in part because people couldn’t carry a firearm there. There was little to no chance of meeting armed resistance. Hupp would have been in a position to end the attack before it really got going, but she complied with the law. We saw the same thing happen in Virginia Beach, too.

What’s that phrase? “If it saves just one life,” or something like that? Yeah, I think that’s it.

Look, I’m not saying ending gun-free zones will put an end to mass shootings. I think it’ll stop a lot of them, but someone will still try to shoot up places for whatever demented reason.

What I will say is that we can specifically point to two cases–and who knows how many others we’re unaware of–where someone was barred from carrying a gun, so they were unarmed when a mass shooting happened. If it wouldn’t have made a difference in any of the others, it would have at least saved lives in Luby’s Cafeteria and in Virginia Beach.

But I don’t believe they were the only two cases, either. They’re just the two I know of definitively.

That’s the lesson we can’t seem to learn. We can’t seem to grasp that bad things are going to happen. You’re never going to stop that. But you can minimize the damage by trusting law-abiding citizens with the very rights protected in the Constitution, including the right to keep and bear arms.


And again, we were reminded that the bad guys don’t pay attention to signs banning firearms or illegal weapons.  If they were the kind to abide by rules, they wouldn’t be bad guys.

A Pennsylvania mall that bans guns has mass shooting

Although the daily news always provides plenty of examples of people doing genuinely bad things (assault, robbery, rape, murder, etc.), the fact is that most people in America are law-abiding.  And while some will sit passively while a violent rape occurs directly in front of them, many of these good citizens will act when called upon to do so.  Nevertheless, America’s retail stores and entertainment venues insist on disarming the good guys under the delusional belief that it will stop the bad guys.

The latest example of this urge to disarm comes from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where a shooting occurred at the Park City Center shopping mall on Sunday afternoon:

Gunshots rang out at the Park City Center in Lancaster around 2:30 p.m., according to Lancaster Online.

Two people suffered gunshot wounds and two suspects were in custody, according to police and the website, which said the injuries were not life-threatening.

An argument broke out between four people outside an international food store, the owner of the store told the outlet. One man brandished a gun during a scuffle, and it was knocked away by a man who then opened fire, according to the report.

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BELLEVUE, WA – Authorities in Washington’s King County—epicenter of the Northwest’s gun prohibition movement—are alarmed at the continued rise in gun-related homicides and shooting incidents, but nowhere has anyone acknowledged that gun control laws they have supported are an utter failure, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today.

“Nothing more clearly illustrates gun control lack of success than the situation in King County,” noted CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “It is reflective of the national trend revealed in the FBI Uniform Crime Report for 2020, showing murders up by 30 percent nationwide. If restricting the gun rights of law-abiding citizens worked, this should not be the case.”

Gottlieb recited the recent failed history of the Seattle-based, and billionaire-backed gun control crusade beginning in 2014 with statewide Initiative 594, requiring so-called “universal background checks” for all gun transfers. This was followed in 2015 by Seattle’s adoption of a special gun control tax on the sale of firearms and ammunition, which has never achieved the revenue forecast of $300,000 to $500,000 annually, and has only driven business out of the city. In 2018, Seattle’s wealthy anti-gun elitists pushed through another statewide gun control initiative, again contending it would reduce gun-related violent crime, but the exact opposite has happened.

“Let’s look at the embarrassing data,” Gottlieb suggested. “According to the report, this year’s 73 gun-related homicides in King County so far have already surpassed last year’s total of 69, and there are still more than two months to go in 2021. Last year Seattle saw 52 murders, and the year before that there were 35. Seattle’s gun tax took effect in 2016, and that year the city reported just 19 murders.

“Statewide,” he continued, “gun control has likewise failed. In 2015, the first full year after I-594 was passed, the state reported 209 slayings, of which 141 involved firearms, according to FBI data. Last year, according to the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs, the state saw 302 murders, and their data shows 178 involving firearms. FBI data for 2019 shows 135 homicides involving firearms, so that’s quite a jump.

“Instead of using this data to push for even harsher laws,” Gottlieb said, “it is time for the gun prohibition lobby, not just in Washington but across the country, to admit their agenda has failed. It’s time to scrap extremist gun control laws and try something else like supporting our police and locking up violent criminals.”

Gun Culture 2.0 and the Changing Face of Gun Owners in America

I was fortunate to be asked to present on “Guns in America” at the annual conference of the Outdoor Writers Association of America yesterday (6 October 2021). I discussed “Gun Culture 2.0 and the Changing Face of Gun Owners in America.”

I was fairly certain that the presentation would not be recorded, so before I left for Jay, Vermont I recorded an abbreviated (15 minute) version of my talk from my basement studio and uploaded it to YouTube.

Women Want One Thing…And It’s Not Going to Make Liberals Happy

Women want one thing— It’s guns. They want lots of guns. This isn’t anything new. For the Left, this might be a massive revelation, but the truth is this trend has been ongoing for years. Women lining up for concealed carry permits is booming. Women-only firearm courses are booming. Gun sales among women are booming. And if there’s one thing we should know about politics and elections, it’s that it’s probably not the best idea to be against something that a lot of women support, especially white middle-class women.

In Clark County, a lot of women have joined the Annie Oakley courses and the reasoning behind the surge is quite simple. It’s for their protection. It’s the great equalizer when confronted by a violent attacker. The summer of riots that occurred last year. The anxiety over the lockdowns during the COVID pandemic—it all played a part. A mother and daughter who were interviewed for Fox5 Las Vegas’ segment on the female participation in the shooting said they bought a handgun after a home invasion. Being smart, the mother wanted her daughter to know how to shoot and handle a handgun safely.

Women are reshaping the gun industry. It’s one of the underreported narratives over the past couple of years, partially because major outlets don’t want to acknowledge it. It shreds all the anti-gun talking points like shooting is a white male activity. That gun ownership, in general, has racist ties. It’s all historically illiterate garbage. Good on these ladies for exercising their constitutional rights.


BELLEVUE, WA – The FBI Uniform Crime Report for 2020 indicates that armed private citizens killed more criminals during the commission of a felony than were killed by police, and the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms says this data clearly underscores the continuing need for American gun ownership.

“We looked at Tables 14 and 15 in the FBI’s new report that apply to justifiable homicides by law enforcement and private citizens, respectively,” noted CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “Last year, according to the data, armed citizens killed 343 criminals during the commission of a felony while police fatally shot 298 felons.

“If the FBI data published in their crime report for 2020 is accurate,” he continued, “it is ample evidence that the individual right to keep and bear arms for personal defense is as important today as it was when the Second Amendment was adopted as a cornerstone of the Bill of Rights.

“The use of deadly force is not something anybody wants,” Gottlieb observed, “but neither is being injured or killed by some thug during a violent criminal attack. Self-defense may be the oldest natural right, and every time we hear some politician, public official or gun control extremist call for citizen disarmament, we have to wonder which side they’re on. It certainly can’t be on the side of public safety.

“Gun prohibitionists who enjoy their own private security while promoting restrictive laws that take guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens are world-class hypocrites,” he said. “The same people who want to disarm honest citizens are typically those who support policies that are soft on criminals. They haven’t simply lost perspective; they’ve abandoned common sense.”

CCRKBA has long defended the individual right to keep and bear arms, and encourages gun owners to seek competent instruction on firearms safety and the use of firearms in self-defense. Gottlieb noted how studies show that over 99 percent of cases when a gun is used in self-defense, no shots are fired. The burglar, robber or rapist flees or is held at gunpoint until police arrive, he said.

“This data should send a message to criminals that their chances of recidivism are gradually shrinking,” said Gottlieb, who co-authored America Fights Back – Armed Self-Defense in a Violent Age, and more recently, Good Guys with Guns. “The tide has clearly turned.”

Firearms in Common Use

Think of the foremost applications of a firearm. Self-defense and protection have become the primary motivation for Americans’ acquisition of firearms, but the prevalence of defensive gun use remains disputed. New research, conducted in support of a brief for the Supreme Court, offers more evidence that a large number of Americans have used a firearm to defend themselves, their loved ones, or their property.

Professor William English offered this summary of his research in his brief:

“Based on a comprehensive online survey of 16,708 adult firearms owners – an unprecedented sample size in the area of scholarly firearms policy research – amicus English recently and reliably concluded that lawful carriage of firearms for self-defense and defensive gun use are statistically common phenomena. In fact, a majority of the over 80 million adult firearms owners in the United States carry a handgun for self-defense under at least some circumstances. More than a quarter of those owners carry handguns for self-defense under right-to-carry laws. And there are, conservatively, an average of 1.67 million defensive gun use incidents per year—an average of over 4,500 every single day— most of which do not occur inside the home.”

English’s technical paper offers more detail about both his methodology and his findings, including a key finding left out of the above summary: 31.1% of American gun owners have used a firearm to defend themselves or their property.

Think about that. Gun owners represent at least a third of American adults, and about a third of gun owners have used their firearm in self-defense. A majority of gun owners who engaged in defensive use – outside of military service, police work, or work as a security guard – have had to do so on two or more occasions.

It’s important to note that firearms, the great equalizer, do not need to be fired or displayed to be effective. According to English’s research, shots were fired in only about 18% of defensive gun usage. In nearly a third of cases, simply saying one was armed was enough to deter an attacker. In a majority of defensive use cases, the gun owner was confronted by two or more assailants. Nearly one in twenty gun owners involved in a defensive use were faced with five or more assailants.

Remember that when President Biden and other radicals talk about restrictions on magazine capacity.

Anti-gun researchers and propagandists like those running the Gun Violence Archive refuse to acknowledge the prevalence of defensive gun use. RealClearInvestigations examined defensive gun use cases on the Gun Violence Archive for January 1st through August 10th of this year and found 774 cases. Less than 4% of these cases involved no shots fired.

That is in direct contrast to the findings of surveys about defensive gun usage, including English’s. Reality tends to contradict gun control radicals’ claims and alleged “common sense.” Even the CDC has acknowledged 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.” The lowest estimates for the annual number of defensive gun use is around 116,000 per year.

That’s a large number of Americans defending themselves and their loved ones, but it’s still considerably below the 2.5 million cases per year estimated by Kleck – and validated with data the CDC hid for decades –  and the 1.67 million annual average calculated by English.

Survey after survey has produced a significant number of defensive gun uses. Gun sales have been steadily increasing for the last several years and skyrocketed last year. Nearly half of new gun owners since January 2019 were women, and the population of new gun owners is even more diverse than the general population.

When will President Biden and other anti-gun zealots realize that millions of responsible Americans have made – and are making – a conscious choice to become firearm owners and millions of these Americans have fortunately been able to defend themselves and their loved ones in times of crisis.

FBI: Over 3.5x More Killed with Knives than Rifles of Any Kind

FBI data released Monday in the Uniform Crime Report (UCR) show over three and a half times as many people were stabbed to death in 2020 than were killed with all kinds of rifles combined.

The UCR shows that 454 people were shot and killed with rifles in 2020 while 1,732 were stabbed or hacked to death with “knives or cutting instruments.”

Breitbart News reported that the previous UCR release showed over four times as many people were stabbed to death in 2019 than were killed with rifles of all kinds.

The exact figures for 2019 were 375 killed with rifles while 1,525 were stabbed to death with “knives or cutting instruments.”

On September 30, 2019, Breitbart News reported that the FBI’s UCR for 2018 showed a similar finding, with over five times as many people stabbed to death with “knives or cutting instruments” as were killed with rifles of any kind.

The broad categorization of “rifles” includes a broad swath of firearms, from bolt action rifles to lever action, pump action, breech action, and beyond. It also includes semiautomatic rifles that take a detachable magazine, which the left often classifies as “assault weapons.” Yet three and a half times more people were stabbed to death in 2020 than were killed with all of these various rifle types combined.

Collierville police: 13 people shot, 2 dead in Kroger shooting. Shooter dead after self-inflicted gunshot wound

We all know what happened. I don’t think there’s a need to go into detail.

Here’s the point:

“You don’t expect these kinds of things to happen in Collierville…”

Consider, that today, there are still people who can entertain that notion, then remember that George Carlin once said:  “Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.”

And there is your Quote O’ The Day.

Yes, while ‘getting out of Dodge’ is a pretty good idea, personally, I also think shooting the ‘active shooter’ stands a good chance of solving the problem too. To do that, you need a gun.

FBI agent: How to survive an active shooter situation

The fatal shooting at a Kroger in Memphis, Tennessee on Thursday left at least a dozen people injured, one dead and a nation worried as the threat of active shootings in America lingers.

Former FBI deputy assistant director Daniel Coulson joined “Your World” following the tragedy to share advice on how best to protect oneself if found in an active shooter situation. Step one: recognize when you’re in danger.

“The police are minutes away when seconds matter,” he said. “It’s up to you and your family and your friends to take action, to protect yourself in a situation like this. If you’re in the grocery store and you hear firecrackers going off, that’s not firecrackers. That’s somebody killing people.”

Coulson suggested for shoppers to prepare themselves for a shooting incident without being paranoid by locating the exits and planning to take all belongings and run.

“Do I put my child in a basket and run out the door? Yeah, you do,” he said. “And get space between you and whatever’s going on.”

While customers should identify their exits in all departments of the store, Coulson explained that employees should already be aware of an active shooter plan and have designated areas to lock down and buy time. The former FBI official stressed that shooters who are normally in a hurry will not spend time fiddling with a locked door.

“They want to get this thing over with as quickly as possible,” he said. “If they get delayed by a locked door, they move on… Time is on your side here. Buy time, get yourself out of there but more importantly, try to get out the door. Just leave.”

“It’s up to us to protect ourselves,” he repeated. “Get out. Find a place to defend yourself. If you happen to be armed with a pistol, like I am, then maybe you can do some good there. But your best bet is to leave. Get the heck out.”

Coulson said the investigation into the Memphis shooting will attempt to dig up the now-deceased shooter’s motive and run an analysis on Kroger’s response in adherence to the shooter policy.

Observation O’ The Day
Another reason may just be the concentration of ownership of major media in the hands of a few, very wealthy, people. Wealthy people have feared armed commoners for most of recorded history, and especially since the invention of reliable, concealable firearms, so publication of news likely to encourage gun ownership is discouraged.

There Are Far More Defensive Gun Uses Than Murders in America. Here’s Why You Rarely Hear of Them.

While Americans know that guns take many innocent lives every year, many don’t know that firearms also save them.

On May 15, an attacker at an apartment complex in Fort Smith, Ark., fatally shot a woman and then fired 93 rounds at other people before a man killed him with a bolt-action rifle. Police said he “likely saved a number of lives in the process.”

On June 30, a 12-year-old Louisiana boy used a hunting rifle to stop an armed burglar who was threatening his mother’s life during a home invasion.

On July 4, a Chicago gunman shot into a crowd of people, killing one and wounding two others before a concealed handgun permit holder shot and wounded the attacker. Police praised him for stepping in.

Al Hartmann/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP
According to academic estimates, defensive gun uses — including when guns are simply shown to deter a crime — are four to five times more common than gun crimes.

These are just a few of the nearly 1,000 instances reported by the media so far this year in which gun owners have stopped mass shootings and other murderous acts, saving countless lives. And crime experts say such high-profile cases represent only a small fraction of the instances in which guns are used defensively. But the data are unclear, for a number of reasons, and this has political ramifications because it seems to undercut the claims of gun rights advocates that they need to possess firearms for personal protection — an issue now before the Supreme Court.

Americans who look only at the daily headlines would be surprised to learn that, according to academic estimates, defensive gun uses — including instances when guns are simply shown to deter a crime — are four to five times more common than gun crimes, and far more frequent than the fewer than 20,000 murders each year, with or without a gun. But even when they prevent mass public shootings, defensive uses rarely get national news coverage. Those living in major news markets such as New York City, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles are unlikely to hear of such stories.

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Little Rock woman providing gun training for women and minorities
Desstoni Johnson is the founder of Fearless Firearm Instruction LLC: a firearms academy in central Arkansas created with women in mind.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark — After her husband bought seats to a concealed carry class as a gift for her 21st birthday, Desstoni Johnson left the class feeling like she didn’t learn a thing.

Many times during class, she felt the male instructor was speaking to everyone except her and the only other woman in the class. Johnson and her classmate would constantly glance at one another wondering if they were the only ones confused and feeling left out.

Instead of becoming discouraged about it, Johnson became motivated to continue practicing and learning as much as she could on her own. It inspired her to want to help others.

“From then on, I couldn’t put guns down. When carrying, I feel I am in control of my own safety and when teaching, I feel empowered knowing I am gifting that same sense of security to other men and women,” said Johnson.

She created Fearless Firearm Instruction LLC, a firearms academy in central Arkansas founded with women in mind.

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‘Nearly One-Third of Gun Owners Have Used Gun in Self-Defense,’ Says Report

A whopping 31.1 percent of gun owners—estimated to be about 25.3 million American adults—have used a gun in self-defense, according to the 2021 National Firearms Survey, by Prof. William English, PhD., at Georgetown University.

The survey was designed by Deborah Azrael of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Matthew Miller of Northeastern University, according to the Wall Street Journal. English released a draft in June and the WSJ just reported on its contents.

Ammoland obtained a copy of the 23-page report and it contains some eye-popping data. For example:

  • There are approximately 1.67 million defensive gun uses annually.
  • In most cases (81.9%) the gun is not fired.
  • Handguns are the most commonly-used firearm in defensive incidents. Shotguns follow at 21 percent and rifles at 13.1 percent.
  • Slightly more than 9 percent of gun owners carry a handgun openly or concealed “always or almost always.” Another 6.9 percent carry a handgun “often.”
  • The majority (74.8%) of defensive gun uses take place outside the home, and many (51.2%) involve more than one assailant.

That last item is important, as it bolsters the argument that the right to bear arms must apply to carry outside of the home. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case challenging the New York State permitting scheme on Wednesday, Nov. 3.

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Data Shows Crime Dropped After WV Adopted Constitutional Carry

We’ve seen no shortage of politicians and police chiefs complaining that Texas’ new Constitutional Carry law is going to lead to an increase in violent crime, though I have to admit that their arguments don’t make a whole lot of sense to me. The vast majority of crimes in which a gun is used already involve individuals who aren’t legally allowed to own one, so the fact that legal gun owners can now carry in Texas without the need for a government-issued license doesn’t equate to more violence overall.

In fact, a new report out of West Virginia shows that five years after Constitutional Carry took effect in the Mountaineer State, violent crime didn’t increase. Instead, it dropped substantially.

The FBI Crime Data Explorer showed the rate of violent crime offenses by population in West Virginia at 362.7 per 100,000 in 2016, the year the law passed. That number had risen from 347.5 in 2015, 316.4 in 2014, and 305.2 in 2013. After that, the violent crime rate in the Mountain State has been mostly downhill: 361.2 in 2017; 299.9 in 2018; and 316.6 in 2019. One provision: The FBI doesn’t receive reports from all of the state’s approximately 435 law enforcement agencies.

The number of violent crime offenses involving handguns did increase briefly in the wake of the new law: From 529 in 2015 to 706 in 2016 and 644 in 2017. But after that, in 2018 (458) and 2019 (358) the handgun total was more closely aligned to what it had been leading up to the passage of the law.

While the West Virginia News says that violent crime involving handguns rose after Constitutional Carry became the law, that’s not what the data indicates. The 644 offenses reported in 2017 is less than the 706 reported in 2016, when the law took effect, and since then the number of crimes has only declined. In fact, most of the local law enforcement that the West Virginia News spoke with say they haven’t seen any ill effects from Constitutional Carry’s implementation at all.

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The pandemic and the homicide surge will have a lasting effect on our gun control politics

The surge in new gun owners could have a political impact that lasts far longer than the pandemic and the surge in homicides that inspired it.

Between January 2019 and April 2021, approximately 7.5 million people became first-time gun owners. Nearly 50% of them were women. More than 40% are black or Latino. This is bad news for the gun control movement and, perhaps in the long term, for the Democratic Party.

One of the most telling graphics from the 2016 election came from the New York Times. It showed the great bulk of voters in households with no guns voted for Hillary Clinton in every state except West Virginia and Wyoming (the latter had insufficient data). Voters in gun-owning households favored Donald Trump in every state but Vermont. That includes the most Democratic states in the country, including California, New York, and Hawaii.

According to Gallup data , roughly two-thirds of Republicans live in gun-owning households, compared to just one-third of Democrats. Half of Republicans personally own a firearm, compared to 18% of Democrats.

Granted, it isn’t as simple as these first-time gun owners immediately becoming Republicans. But, even among Democrats, gun owners are more likely to oppose gun control measures. According to data from the Pew Research Center, 87% of non-gun-owning Democrats support banning “assault-style weapons.” That number drops to 65% among gun-owning Democrats. Allowing concealed carry in more places has support among 39% of gun-owning Democrats, compared to 16% support among Democrats who don’t own firearms.

Gun control, despite polling well as a collection of general platitudes, is already a losing issue throughout the country. Each time someone becomes a first-time gun owner, the chances of passing the strict gun control measures that the gun control movement and the majority of the Democratic Party want to see implemented go down. The pandemic will go away, and homicides will decline — but this will continue to shape our gun control politics for years to come.

Gun Grabbers Outraged At Suggestion Asian-Americans Should Get Guns

We hear an awful lot about anti-Asian hate crimes. Asian-Americans are being targeted for violent crime, and it often appears to be because they’re Asian. This is a significant problem. Anytime anyone is targeted because of their ethnicity, it’s a problem.

As such, many of us have recommended these folks look at getting firearms. After all, if you’re concerned about being attacked, having a gun is probably a good idea unless you actually like being injured or possibly killed.

Apparently, for some people, that’s a problem.

Gun control advocates from Connecticut and across the country say the firearms industry is exploiting fear of hate crimes to sell more guns to Asian Americans, according to a study led by the Violence Policy Center.

“Historically, Asian-Americans have owned very few guns, which is precisely the reason why we have experienced comparatively low rates of gun violence. That the gun industry is now targeting our community as a lucrative new market is incredibly troubling, because more guns means more gun-related injury and death,” said Gloria Pan with advocacy group Moms Rising, another contributor to the study.

Advocates said groups like the NRA and the Newtown, Connecticut-based National Shooting Sports Foundation have targeted people of color since 2015. But since the pandemic, they have started groups and social media campaigns to reach Asian-Americans.

In other words, the gun industry is looking at a series of high-profile crimes, then are trying to leverage it to make money by telling people this will make things better?

Yeah, that’s absolutely awful…wait, isn’t that literally what gun control groups do?

Why yes it is.

Look, I don’t care if someone with Moms Rising, Moms Falling, Moms Tripping Over My Socks, or any other “moms” group finds it troubling. The truth of the matter is that if law-abiding citizens are armed, they can respond to violent attacks with something besides begging or harsh language. Will it result in more gun-related injuries and death? Yeah. For the bad guys, you simple-minded twit!

That’s kind of the point of carrying a gun, for crying out loud.

Law-abiding Asian-Americans aren’t going to result in more criminal activity. Why would they? Unless Ms. Pan is suggesting that Asian-Americans are somehow incapable of controlling themselves, which sounds like a pretty racist thing to suggest. I’m sure she didn’t mean that, now did she?

Yes, many of us are suggesting these folks get guns. Law-abiding citizens acting responsibly for their own safety has never been an issue and will never be an issue for anyone except for shrieking violets (yes, this is phrased this way intentionally) who think that the entire universe really revolves around their preferences.

I, for one, welcome our Asian-American gun-owning brethren to our ranks. I’d love to invite each and every one of you to the range. I just don’t think my local range would hold everyone.

And if it infuriates the gun control crowd because yet another minority group seems to be leaving the reservation for the land of milk and freedom, so much the better.

This is another example of “rules for thee but not for me.” If “The Squad” truly believed defunding the police was a good idea, they wouldn’t hire off-duty cops for self-protection. ……….It’s time for them to sit down, shut up, and put their money where their mouth is. They should have to live like the rest of us, even if they are in the public eye.

No Surprise: ‘Squad’ Members Pay the Most in Private Security While Working to Abolish the Police

Over the last few years, “The Squad” – comprised of Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), and Cori Bush (D-MO) – have worked to “defund the police.” Although they continually say stupid things, like they want to “reimagining” what policing in the United States looks like, the reality is simple: they want to do away with law enforcement agencies across the country.

Americans across the country rely on two things to keep themselves and their families safe: law enforcement and/or their Second Amendment rights. When an emergency takes place, most people call 911 and know at least one law enforcement officer will be there to help them in their time of need.

What’s amazing – although not surprising – is “The Squad” wants to do away with emergency services for you and me. But that decision wouldn’t impact them. In fact, the five women have spent a large sum of money on local law enforcement officers for private security. That’s right. Our lives aren’t worth protecting but theirs are.

But the real kicker? They spent more than any other House members on private security.

The New York Post broke down their security costs:

In the two months between April 15 and June 28, Bush spent nearly $70,000 of her campaign funds on personal security, the most of any House lawmaker. That’s almost $20,000 above the median household income for residents in her district, which covers St. Louis and adjacent communities. Bush, who often wears a Black Lives Matter or a “Y’All Gone Stop Killing Us!” t-shirt, says she believes defunding the police would prevent the deaths of people like Michael Brown and Breonna Taylor. But it’s unclear who would stop the killing that would then ensue. Of the 130 homicide victims in St. Louis so far this year, half of whose residents are African-American, all but ten victims were African-American (98 men and 22 women). The vast majority of these involved firearms — not one fired by a police officer. 

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David Frum is wrong: Guns save lives and sustain communities
From self defense to funding fire departments, they’re woven into the culture of red America

The debate over guns in the United States could, until recently, be divided into two extreme camps: the liberal elites (invariably protected by armed guards) who call for ever-more restrictive control of firearms, the basic functionality of which they cannot even begin to explain, and the uber-conservative right, for whom guns are a way of life and are ofttimes life-sustaining.

David Frum is evidently of the first faction, writing in The Atlantic this month about how ‘Responsible Gun Ownership Is a Lie.’ Gun sales – especially among first-time gun buyers – surged between 2019 and 2020, and continue to smash records. This trend has Frum worried.

As a card-carrying member of the second camp (I literally have a Sandy Ridge Sportsmen’s Club membership card a’settin’ here on my desk), I’d like to give Frum and other anti-gun radicals the benefit of the doubt, at least until they’ve had the chance to finish reading this article. Let’s pretend that their civilian disarmament schemes stem from innocent ignorance. Perhaps Frum and others like him simply do not understand the life-giving role guns play in society – especially in rural America.

Guns can be scary. I get it. They are loud, and, with even a little power, capable of much destruction. They are not unlike elected officials in these ways.

But in the backwoods of Pennsylvania, where Hunter-Trapper Education Certification was part of my required fifth-grade curriculum, and the opening of deer season always means two consecutive school holidays, guns are more than a political talking point.

Considering this, the debate over guns should really be set against the backdrop of two different, apolitical sets: those who understand gun culture and those who do not.

Those of us who grew up around guns know them to be tools useful in the procurement of food, the dispatching of predators, a unifying pastime, the prize showpiece of a collector’s mantle, and, yes, an invaluable means of self-defense.

Guns are more powerful than Frum thinks, but not in a bad way. In some places, firearms take on a vital role that sustains entire communities.

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