“Our final analysis finds that race, gender, political ideas, ideology does not matter” in determining gun ownership, Khubchandani said. “What matters is, have you been threatened? Have you been exposed to violence? Do you know someone who was threatened, and therefore, by default, does that make you a little more protective about your own self and your family?”

Health Care Workers Help Drive Gun Surge, New Study Says

When the coronavirus hit American shores, nurses and doctors stocked up on guns, a new study reports.

Researchers at New Mexico State University and the University of Toledo found that being a health care provider was one of the strongest predictors of buying a firearm during the first few weeks of the coronavirus pandemic. Sixty-seven percent of people who reported buying a gun during the pandemic also reported being health care professionals.

“One of the things we should see, in my limited view, is these are people who are civilians who are not criminals and they have seen a lot of unrest in the past six months,” New Mexico State University professor Jagdish Khubchandani told the Washington Free Beacon. “And they want to be on the front foot with their own safety.”

Khubchandani said this surprising finding becomes more understandable when considered alongside the study’s other main finding: Gun-ownership demographics as a whole have shifted during the pandemic.

Gun buyers were more likely to be younger, more urban, more female, and less white. As the gun-owning demographic diversifies, then, it starts to look more like the demographics of health care, one of the country’s largest industries.

“America now has more job opportunities in health care,” Khubchandani said. “Almost 15 percent of Americans today have a job in health care. And as that demographic has changed, so has the gun-owning demographic, and they’ve intersected.”

Khubchandani pointed to two recent surveys finding that between a quarter and half of physicians own guns. He also noted recent real-world examples of health care professionals lining up at gun shops to purchase guns. Continue reading “”

U.S. voters agree on one thing: They’d feel better owning a gun

CHANTILLY, Va. — Like many Americans, two women a thousand miles apart are each anxious about the uncertain state of the nation. Their reasons are altogether different. But they have found common ground, and a sense of certainty, in a recent purchase: a gun.

Ann-Marie Saccurato traced her purchase to the night she was eating dinner at a sidewalk restaurant not long ago in Delray Beach, Florida, when a Black Lives Matter march passed, and her mind began to wander

It takes only one person to incite a riot when emotions are high, she remembers thinking. What if police are overpowered and can’t control the crowd?

Ashley Johnson, in Austin, Texas, worries about the images she’s seen in past weeks of armed militias showing up to rallies and making plans to kidnap governors. The outcome of the election, she thinks, will be devastating for some people regardless of the winner.

“Maybe I’m just looking at the news too much, but there are hints of civil war depending on who wins,” Johnson said. “It’s a lot to process.”

In the U.S., spikes in gun purchases are often driven by fear. But in past years that anxiety has centered on concerns that politicians will pass stricter gun controls. Mass shootings often prompt more gun sales for that reason, as do elections of liberal Democrats. Continue reading “”

Study Reports Record Number of Carry Permits in U.S.

A study issued by Crime Prevention Research Center on Sept. 21 reported that the number of concealed carry permits nationwide is now up to 19.48 million, a 34-percent increase compared to 2016’s figure. The continued upswing is particularly noteworthy when the number of states that no longer require law-abiding citizens to secure the license is now up to 17.

Roughly 7.6 percent of Americans have a carry permit, according to its findings. Slightly more than 26 percent of them are female and the number of new women outpaced men by 101.2 percent. There are now five states with more than 1 million people with carry permits. They are Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Texas. Per capita, by qualified adult resident, 28.5 percent of the Alabamans have a license—the top figure in the nation. Indiana claims second-place honors with 18.7 percent and Iowa trails in third.

The cost is even going down. John R Lott and Rujun Wang, the report’s authors wrote, “A lot of changes in fees are occurring this year. Arkansas just reduced its fee from $142.11 to $91.9 and Washington from $48 to $36. Indiana’s 5-year license to carry has become fee exempt since July 1, 2020, while Tennessee’s 8-year license fee has dropped from $100 to $65, effective from January 1, 2020. West Virginia also reduced $75 fee for a LCDW to $25, starting on June 1, 2020.”

The number of people with carry permits in 1999 totaled 2.7 million. The figure rose to 11.1 million by 2014, but pales by comparison to this year’s record-setting 19.48 million.

“At the same time that there has been an exponential growth in permits, there has been a general linear decline in murder and violent crime rates,” the co-authors wrote. “Murder rates fell from 5.7 to 5.0 per 100,000, a 12-percent drop. Overall violent crime fell by 29 percent. Meanwhile, the percentage of adults with permits soared by five-fold.”

In short, the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms is not only not anachronistic — it’s crucial. If the police are defunded or forced to stand down, the only way to protect oneself and one’s property will be to exercise one’s right to armed self-defense.

The Second Amendment is as necessary today as it has ever been

In the summer of 2020, riots and looting broke out across the United States. In cities from Seattle to New York, police were ordered to stand down and let the riots and looting take their course. The lesson from these events is that you cannot rely on the police to protect your life and property from criminal aggression. And that makes the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms more important than ever.

The right to defend oneself with firearms against criminal aggression dates back to the days before the U.S. became independent of Great Britain. While that right was often successfully defended in the political process, it took until 2008, in the landmark case of District of Columbia v. Heller, for the Supreme Court to hold that the Second Amendment guarantees against the federal government an individual right to possess firearms and to use them for self-defense within the home. Still, that right has been hanging by a thread because four justices dissented.

The Heller dissenters argued that whatever the original intent of the Second Amendment, the right is obsolete in modern society. They claimed that, while armed self-defense may have been needed when the U.S. lacked the infrastructure needed to provide security for the citizenry, the existence of modern professionalized law enforcement eliminates the need for armed self-protection.

Two years later, multiple large American cities unsuccessfully urged the Supreme Court to allow local and state governments to disarm citizens in McDonald v. City of ChicagoThey argued that “in more urban areas that have the benefit of a concentrated and highly trained police force … the need for individuals to arm themselves for self-defense is less compelling.”

Seeking justice outside the courtroom

The riots of this summer undermine this claim. The country hadn’t seen such destructive violence in decades. For example, in Minneapolis, the killing of George Floyd sparked mayhem and lawlessness that resulted in two more deaths and at least $500 million in damage, the most destructive riots since 1992 in Los Angeles.

The chaos that followed Floyd’s killing touched off an unprecedented surge in Minneapolis crime the following month, including more than 1,500 shots-fired 911 calls — twice as many as the same period the year before. Homicides in Minneapolis went up 114%.

Second Amendment critics tell people to rely on the police for self-protection. Where were the police during this crisis? The mayor ordered them to stand down, leaving Minneapolis residents and business owners to their own devices. The same thing occurred during riots and looting in Chicago, Columbus, Louisville, and Portland. Continue reading “”

First I’d change ‘rather than ‘ to ‘as well as those suitable for‘ individual self-defense’.

Second, a point that can be made from that last sentence is that Tench Coxe’s  “...every terrible implement of the soldier are the birthright of an American” means exactly that.
The NFA’34 & GCA ’68 restrictions, regulations and bans on automatic and destructive device firearms, among others, are unconstitutional

The State’s Monopoly of Force and the Right to Bear Arms

In debates over the Second Amendment, the conventional view is that the government ought to possess a monopoly of legitimate force, subject to the right of individuals to act in emergency self-defense. Many treat the non-defensive circumstances in which our system decentralizes force as holdovers from days of nonprofessional police and soldiers. When it comes to the Second Amendment, many believe that the only legitimate reason individuals may bear arms today is for individual self-defense against isolated criminal violence (e.g., an occupied home invasion).

This symposium article attacks the monopoly of force account, justifying the continued relevance of American law’s decentralization of legitimate force. This article argues that decentralization of force remains important for three reasons. First, despite the rise of professional police, American law enforcement still enforces law below desirable levels. Underenforcement of core crimes is particularly a problem in disadvantaged and rural communities and during times of civil unrest. Decentralization of force helps mitigate the underenforcement problem. And decentralization may be a better solution than simply providing more police because many areas where law is underenforced also (paradoxically) suffer from the effects of overcriminalization. Increased police presence could make the overcriminalization problem worse without solving the underenforcement problem. Second, American law has a mismatch between public duties and private rights. While providing effective law enforcement is a public duty, it is not a private right. Individuals, thus, have no effective claim that the government adequately enforce the law or protect them against unlawful violence. And any attempt to create such a private right would create profound separation of powers concerns. Consequently, self-help and private law enforcement are the best remedies when governments undersupply needed levels of police protection. Third, even if the “government” has a monopoly of force, it does not follow that government officers are the only ones in whom the government’s monopoly may be vested. The “government” is an incorporeal entity whose power must be exercised by human agents. Agents do not perfectly carry out the tasks of their principals; some government officers commit malfeasance and nonfeasance. The decentralization of force provides a remedy for such abuses of office.

Ultimately, the article concludes that the individual right to bear arms still has relevance for public defense and security. This fact should warrant consideration when determining the scope of the right, including that the arms protected by the Second Amendment should continue to include those arms whose primary value is public security rather than individual self-defense.

The Second Amendment as a Guard Against Government-Sanctioned Tyrannous Factions

The rioting and looting that occurred in American cities during the summer of 2020 highlights an heretofore ignored aspect of the Second Amendment—the Framers’ concerns about the danger of factions.
The Framers of the Fourteenth Amendment, through which the Second Amendment applies to the states, witnessed first-hand freedmen and white Republicans being subjected to terrorist campaigns supported or accommodated by local law enforcement which the “Redeemers” controlled politically. Similarly, the riots and looting of 2020 illustrate that even today, local government officials can be complicit in law-enforcement using political, unequal criteria in determining whether and to what extent to preserve and enforce law and order.
Reviewing the events of Summer 2020 suggest that the individual right to self-defense is not only still important, but remains a necessary check on violent factions allied with corrupt local government.

This paper argues that the Second Amendment carries a particular force and has special application when individuals must defend themselves and their property against tyrannous factions that operate with the direct or indirect support of government.
The Second Amendment counters faction in two ways: it protects the individual right of self-defense against violent factions; and it checks the power of government to oppress its citizens through violent factions. Although the Constitution as a whole embodies a concern about faction, the Second Amendment provides unique protections against the abuses of faction by giving citizens the right to defend themselves from criminal aggression when the government will not.

Learn to Practice Situational Awareness.

Those of us who teach don’t have too much difficulty helping a student learn to shoot well enough to defend themselves. It is also relatively easy to teach a student to do speed loads and clear malfunctions. The real challenge is trying to teach that student to spot a criminal attack early enough that there is time to prepare and respond.

Too many people just don’t pay enough attention to what is going on around them. And then, in many cases, they may see it but not understand what is happening. This is the reason that so many criminal attacks seem to occur at such close range.  In most cases, if the citizen were more observant and understood what was being seen, the criminal would never get that close.

Citizens will often look at a police video and wonder why the officers were using the level of force that they were when it seems to unnecessary. The citizen is seeing it, but not from the same level of experience and training that the officers are. People who have survived a robbery, rape or assault, are seldom difficult to convince that they need to take a greater interest in their personal safety. But, that is a high price to pay for education and it assumes that the citizen will survive — which, as we know, is sadly not always the case.

The first step is to force yourself to be more observant of things that are going on around you. When walking out of the restaurant, into the dark parking lot, you are scanning the area instead of listening to your friend’s funny joke.  You are looking for things and people that appear to be out of place: that group of what appears to be street punks standing next to the cars in this high-end eatery; the person who is looking at you but turns away when he sees that you’ve noticed; the guy coming out of the darkness, asking for directions.

The person who has some street experience has a leg up on understanding the criminal mind because he has already seen crooks in action. But, the average citizen can also increase his knowledge on the subject without having to learn by being a victim. I highly recommend getting some books, videos or training classes on body language because the crook will nearly always give himself away if you know what you are looking at.

In addition, take the time to study reports of actual criminal attacks. What was the first clue that a victim should have seen? What mistakes did the victim make that set him up for the attack? It will often become clear that the victim simply wasn’t paying attention.

I live in an area that has a lot of rattlesnakes, yet I’ve never been bitten. Early on, I learned what rattlesnakes looked like and what they are capable of. Then, having a healthy respect for those rascals, I determined to be extremely observant and careful. I can teach you to shoot and run your gun, but I can’t make you pay attention to what is going on around you. Hopefully, you will teach yourself to watch and understand those snakes that walk among us.

Gun-owning St. Louis couple plead not guilty to gun and tampering charges

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis couple celebrated in some circles and vilified in others for waving guns at protesters marching on their private street pleaded not guilty to two felony charges at a brief hearing Wednesday.

Mark and Patricia McCloskey, who are both attorneys in their early 60s, were indicted by a St. Louis grand jury last week on charges of unlawful use of a weapon and tampering with evidence. They will appear in court again Oct. 28.

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner originally filed the weapons charge in July. The grand jury added the evidence tampering charge. The indictment states that a semiautomatic pistol was altered in a way that “obstructed the prosecution of Patricia McCloskey” on the weapons charge.

The McCloskeys have blamed the “leftist” Democrats in St. Louis for their plight and have become folk heroes among some conservatives. They have received support from President Donald Trump and they spoke on video during the opening night of the Republican National Convention. Continue reading “”

Comparing the Global Rate of Mass Public Shootings to the U.S.’s Rate and Comparing Their Changes Over Time

The U.S. is well below the world average in terms of the number of mass public shootings, and the global increase over time has been much bigger than for the United States.

Over the 20 years from 1998 to 2017, our list contains 2,772 attacks and at least 5,764 shooters outside the United States and 62 attacks and 66 shooters within our country. By our count, the US makes up less than 1.13% of the mass public shooters, 1.77% of their murders, and 2.19% of their attacks. All these are much less than the US’s 4.6% share of the world population. Attacks in the US are not only less frequent than other countries, they are also much less deadly on average. Out of the 101 countries where we have identified mass public shootings occurring, the United States ranks 66th in the per capita frequency of these attacks and 56th in the murder rate.

Not only have these attacks been much more common outside the US, the US’s share of these attacks has declined over time. There has been a much bigger increase over time in the number of mass shootings in the rest of the world compared to the US.

Defending Against Riots and Mobs. A short history lesson Massad Ayoob

What with the way most smart people won’t even talk with pollsters,  I’d say the numbers are higher.

22% of Gun-Owning Households Have Added A Gun Since Anti-Police Protests Began

Over one-fifth of Americans who have a gun in their household have added one since the Black Lives Matter anti-police protests began in late May and feel safer because they’ve done so.

Forty-three percent (43%) of American adults say they or someone in their household owns a gun, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey.(To see survey question wording, click here.)

Of these Americans, 22% say they or someone in their household has purchased a gun since the violent anti-police protests began.

Fifty-four percent (54%) of adults who live in gun-owning households say they feel more safe with a gun in the house, although that’s down from 61% in February 2018. Only seven percent (7%) feel less safe. Thirty-eight percent (38%) think the presence of the gun has no impact on their personal safety. Continue reading “”

Riots of 2020 have given the Second Amendment a boost.

This year’s riots, sparked by the death of George Floyd and continued in the names of several others, have destroyed billions of dollars in property, cost numerous people their lives and businesses and jobs, and promoted what will probably be a decade or more of de-urbanization. But whatever else happens, they will have accomplished an important social change. Thanks to these riots, the case for the Second Amendment and the personal right to own weapons is growing steadily stronger, as is the legal case for private gun ownership.

That’s the thesis of a new paper by George Mason University law professor David E. Bernstein, who also serves as the director of GMU’s Liberty and Law Center. “The Right to Armed Self Defense in the Light of Law Enforcement Abdication,” notes that the experience of this year’s riots undercuts the classic argument against an individual right to arms. While gun-control proponents have for decades argued that individual gun ownership is unnecessary in the modern era, where we have police forces to control crime, that hasn’t worked out very well this year for people in numerous urban centers around America.

Violence spreading in cities in 2020
Bernstein offers an extensive review of happenings in cities ranging from Seattle to Louisville, Portland to Chicago and New York and Raleigh, and many other cities. In case after case, police were told to stand down, in order to avoid provoking violence. And in each case, the result was more violence, more property destruction, and more damage to businesses and jobs, while political leaders stood by. Continue reading “”

Self Defense, an Unalienable Right in a Time of Peril: Protected and Preserved by the Second Amendment

For Americans frightened for their own and their family’s safety, the Covid-19 pandemic; lockdown in March 2020; release of convicted offenders; protests against the police morphing into weeks of violence and calls to defund them; and a presidential candidate promising to seize their guns has led to record-setting applications for firearms.

This essay explores the constitutional background of the right to armed self-defense then tests the arguments against it: 1) it’s unnecessary, the police will protect you and 2) guns in your hands pose a danger to public safety. But can the police protect us and do they have a legal duty to do so? To answer the questions the success of restraining orders for vulnerable individuals and violent crime statistics during an era of increased public carry are examined. The essay concludes with the experience of England, where the very right to self-defense has been effectually removed.

“The Future of the Second Amendment in a Time of Lawless Violence.”

Joseph Blocher and Reva Siegel have focused attention on an underappreciated dimension of the debate about the constitutional right to keep and bear arms. They reject a narrow concept of “public safety” that evaluates regulations “without full consideration of what is encompassed in that concept—freedom from intimidation, for example, not just physical pain.” At this level of generality, I agree. But I do not agree that an appropriately broad conception should widen the discretion of legislatures to impose restrictions on firearms.

The questions that Blocher and Siegel raise are especially important during this time of politically inspired riots and flaccid government responses to mob violence. The most practically important Second Amendment issue that is ripe for Supreme Court resolution concerns the scope of the constitutional right to bear arms in public. The Constitution’s text and history offer little direct guidance, and the Justices will inevitably have to decide how to resolve the conflict of interests that occur when governments seek to promote public safety by depriving individuals of the means to protect themselves.

In performing this obligation, the Court should give no weight to fears of an armed citizenry, which frequently inspire useless or counterproductive infringement on individual liberty. Nor should regulations enjoy a presumption of constitutionality merely because they may promote a net reduction in deaths and physical injuries. The deepest principles on which our legal and constitutional institutions rest, which are reflected in the Second Amendment, are at odds with this kind of narrow cost-benefit calculation.

The right to keep and bear arms, and to use them when appropriate, is a vital element of the liberal order that our Founders handed down to us. They understood that those who hold political power will always be tempted to reduce the freedom of those they rule, and that many of the ruled will be tempted to trade their liberty for promises of security. Those temptations are apt to be especially alluring when widespread criminal violence threatens both liberty and security. They may be even more alluring when such violence takes the form of sustained and repeated mob violence that reflects a serious breakdown of the social fabric.

The causes of these temptations are sown in the nature of man. Our Constitution, including the Second Amendment, is a device designed to frustrate the domineering tendencies of the politically ambitious. The Second Amendment also plays an important role in fostering the kind of civic virtue that resists the cowardly urge to trade liberty for an illusion of safety. Armed citizens take responsibility for their own security, thereby exhibiting and cultivating the self-reliance and vigorous spirit that is ultimately indispensable for genuine self-government.

Our rulers include the judges charged with protecting our Second Amendment rights, and they are subject to the same temptations as other government officials. As they develop the nascent jurisprudence of this recently rediscovered constitutional provision, they have an opportunity to show that they understand how a robust right to keep and bear arms serves both individual freedom and civic virtue. If they fail to do that, they will help the nation take significant step toward the soft despotism to which Tocqueville feared we would succumb.

Get Off My Lawn: Great WWII Guns for Home Defense

Despite all the atrocities of the Second World War, this global conflict gave our country’s fighting men and women some of the greatest individual battlefield weapons of the 20th century. While most of them have been retired from government duty by more advanced designs, these veteran World War II arms, like our Armed Forces veterans themselves, have attained a certain immortality, not only as symbols of America’s ongoing fight for freedom, but also as weapons still prized for their reliability and effectiveness.

Indeed, just as they have proven themselves on the battlefield, today these wood-and-steel World War II veterans—collectability aside—can serve in an even more personal mission of protecting our homes and families. To validate this concept, I enlisted the opinions of some of the most skilled and experienced firearms and self-defense experts I know: the instructors of Gunsite Academy.

M1 Garand, .30-’06 Sprg. loads

While the M1 Garand may not be the first choice for close-quarters home defense, it is more than up to the task, particularly where overpenetration is less of a concern. Newer factory .30-’06 Sprg. loads, such as Hornady’s Superformance, make this World War II veteran more effective for defensive purposes than ever before • This vintage M1911A1 is just as viable for home defense today as it was during World War II.

Winchester Model 97 Trench Gun

Both the solid-frame (bottom) and takedown (top) versions of the Winchester Model 97 Trench Gun were used during World War II and make for effective home-defense shotguns today.

M1 Carbine, M1 Garand

The M1 Carbine (top) and the M1 Garand (bottom) were the two most prolific American rifles of World War II, and both can be effective today as home-defense tools.

Colt 1908 Pocket Hammerless, M1917 version of the Smith & Wesson Hand Ejector revolver

The M1917 version of the Smith & Wesson Hand Ejector revolver requires half-moon clips in order to quickly load .45 ACP rounds • This Colt 1908 Pocket Hammerless is one of 40 shipped to the Government Transportation Office in 1944. Although highly collectable, it can do double-duty as a home-defense handgun when loaded with modern ammunition.

Continue reading “”

Modern-Day Militias Rise in Virginia

Militia groups in Virginia will tell you that a militia is not really something you have to join—if you’re between 16 and 55 and able-bodied, you already belong. 

Article 1, Section 13 of the Virginia Constitution says that a well-regulated militia is “composed of the body of the people, trained to arms” and represents the “proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state.”

“I’m a member of the militia, as are you,” said Nelson County resident Paul Cangialosi. “It exists, we’re in it, and my position is that we have an obligation to be well-prepared. We have neglected that for well over 100 years, so now we’re trying to put it back together.” 

Cangialosi volunteers on his own and in conjunction with the Virginia Militia Alliance (VMA) to help stand up local militias across the state, and there’s no shortage of interest. The VMA, whose motto is “Revive, Reestablish, Restore,” counts more than two dozen militia groups in central and southwest Virginia that have formed in just the past year, and hopes to eventually support one in every county in the Commonwealth.

Unsurprisingly, the ascendant movement has generated a lot of questions from neighbors and observers about its methods and aims. Continue reading “”

FBI Uniform Crime Report: Murders Down, Self-Defense Up in 2019

Armed private citizens fatally shot more people in self-defense last year than previous years, continuing an upward trend, according to data released in the FBI 2019 Uniform Crime Report. (Screen snip, FBI UCR)
The FBI has released its 2019 Uniform Crime Report, showing a decline in homicides last year. (Screen snip, FBI Uniform Crime Report)

U.S.A. –-( Armed private citizens fatally shot 334 people last year, continuing a gradual upward trend in the United States while the number of justifiable homicides by police declined, and murders also dropped, including those involving firearms, according to the FBI Uniform Crime Report (UCR) for 2019.

The report was released Monday but was overshadowed by presidential politics, including the release of President Donald Trump’s tax history.

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