Guns Archives

In discussing the gun issue on Facebook from my personal account with some friends, a couple of studies were referred to me that show, generally, more guns, more murder. Now, it kinda’ does make sense that the more guns you have in an area, chances are the more gun violence you’ll see. But my issue with these kinds of studies is that they just count guns, as if it’s the guns acting on their own.

But consider this. If you compare the number of guns in gangland Chicago vs the number in a quiet suburb of gun-loving Texas, you’d see pretty quickly that just counting numbers of guns is misleading. It depends on who has them. And what has been clear from what we see is that highly restrictive gun control law shift the balance from the good guys to the bad. The UCC shooter had more guns on him than those who were physically carrying one among the campus population. And in fact, the UCC shooting is something of a microcosm of my point.

When the shooter arrived, the number of guns on campus increased dramatically, and he started killing with them. More guns, more murder. But then, twenty minutes later, the armed police arrived. When faced with good guys with guns, the bad guy with a gun killed himself. More guns…less murder.

So who had the guns made all the difference. And when UCC needed help, who did unarmed security guy call? Guys with guns.

So the mantra of the pro-gun crowd is that a good guy with guns will stop a bad guy with a gun. ThinkProgress, the liberal blog, noted an MSNBC report of a guy who did have a weapon on campus, and suggested there were others. So see? A good guy with a gun didn’t help the situation! Well, if you actually listen to the guy talk, he said he was quite a distance from the building where the shooter was, so that going that distance with an active shooter around would make them targets, and having to go that far they might be mistaken by the police for the bad guys. If the shooter had been close at hand, though, he was ready.

So here’s a guy being a responsible citizen, keeping himself and others out of the line of fire, not acting like a vigilante and not trying to hunt down the shooter. If he’d tried and gotten hurt, he’d likely be castigated by ThinkProgress as proof that good guys with guns are no protection. Instead, he used as an example that good guys with guns are no protection. They get to grind their ax either way. Only if he’d acted irresponsibly and it happened to work could he be in any way shown as an example of a good guy with a gun. But then ThinkProgress, I imagine, would rightly suggest that this was a bad idea in general. No matter how it worked out, they get to use this story in pursuit of their agenda.

Look, nobody ever said that a good guy with a gun is a guarantee of a particular outcome. But if you criminalize self-defense, if you outlaw the carrying of a weapon by otherwise law-abiding citizens, you can be guaranteed that there will be no one available to help out. As Glenn Reynolds often says, when seconds count, the police are only minutes away.

People often try to get to what they call the “root cause” of crime. Some say that poverty creates crime. If that were so, we should have had an explosion of it during The Great Depression. If that were so, the wealthy Osama bin Laden shouldn’t have been a problem, or Bernie Madoff, or any of a number of white collar criminals. If poverty is a contributing factor, seems it would be hard to spot a trend.

Let’s stick with mass shootings for a moment. There’s a link in the show notes to an article showing that mass shootings have been getting more frequent, even before Sandy Hook. It’s to an article in Mother Jones, which is a magazine and website with a decidedly liberal political bent, so folks who often dismiss information because it was reported by Fox or Breitbart can’t just handwave it away. President Obama was right that it seems he’s coming out to do press conferences quite a lot after these incidents.

But what has changed? Our gun laws are pretty much the same as they were under George W. Bush. And if the guns in these shootings were obtained illegally, it should be no surprise that criminals don’t obey the law. We had a recession, but, if you listen to the administration, the economy has been looking better all the time. And if you look at the motivations of these shooters, few if any had an economic motivation. What about mental health? Many of these shooters had issues in that area, but then again, we’ve had guns and mental health issues in this society for over a century, but haven’t seen anything like this in the past. So is it more complicated than that? Perhaps. But perhaps not.

I want to turn to some time-tested wisdom, in updated language, that explains this pretty well.

Wise discipline imparts wisdom; spoiled adolescents embarrass their parents. When degenerates take charge, crime runs wild, but the righteous will eventually observe their collapse. Discipline your children; you’ll be glad you did—they’ll turn out delightful to live with. If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; But when they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed.

These are the words of a government official, King Solomon, as written in Proverbs 29, and from The Message translation. It really brings out much of the meaning of the Bible if the King James Version seems a little opaque.

There is much in here about discipline; internally to ourselves and externally to those in our charge. But it comes down to that last part. “If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves…” King Jimmy phrased it, “Where there is no vision, the people perish…” What has been happening in our society? The influence of the Christian church has been waning. You don’t have to be a theologian or historian to notice that. There are a number of reasons for that, not the least of which is part of the church is watering down or outright rejecting of some of its own teachings. But our society has also decided that moral restraints are not needed, and everyone should do what they want.

And, indeed, some have done exactly that. Some Facebook friends have told me that they believe human nature is essentially good. But Solomon, thousands of years ago, saw human nature for what it was, and realized that only God can change it, in the individual and in society at large. Are we just harvesting what we planted? Solomon figured that out. I think we’ve forgotten it.

I’d say, “pardon the sermonizing”, if I thought this wasn’t useful, but I think it most definitely is. It wasn’t some feel-good words over a graphic of a sunrise or a flower. It was, I believe, the truth, and a truth that has been the truth for a very, very long time.

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    The Guns of Oregon

    On October 1st, 2015, Chris Harper-Mercer went onto the campus of Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, went into a classroom, and started shooting. As I write this, the death toll sits at 9, with 7 wounded. It shocked the nation, again. As it should. The President of the United States held a press conference to express condolences to the families of the victims, as he should. The problem was, he didn’t stop there. He followed up his comforting words immediately with fightin’ words.

    Just 6 hours after the shooting, and when details about it were still very sketchy, President Obama came out with guns blazing, so to speak, pushing for more gun control. We didn’t know the name of the shooter, we didn’t know how he got the guns, and we weren’t even sure of the casualty count. But none of that mattered to him. I understand and share his anger and frustration at the various mass shootings in this country, but even before we knew any relevant details, he was out there calling again for “common-sense gun-safety laws”.

    This is a classic mistake that politicians of both parties make; jumping the gun, so to speak, in order to make political points while the emotions are high. They propose new laws in order to be seen as doing something, even if that something would have done nothing to solve the problem at hand. They try to get their agenda passed because something must be done, and this is something, so it must be done.

    Those who despise the Patriot Act should realize that part of the reason it passed was because it was “something”. I think the Patriot Act has actually kept us safer, but it did indeed go too far in certain areas and needed to be scaled back. Passing gun control while emotions are high, and before we even know where our current laws failed, would make the same exact mistake. Keep that in mind. The President said that he thought this issue should be politicized. Sorry, but that’s the worst idea ever. Read the rest of this entry

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      CCW permits on the rise in Orange County, California

      Concealed Carry permits are up in O.C. after the sheriff quickly followed the court’s recent ruling on the matter and began issuing permits. Interesting to note, however, 

      “According to the analysis, permits are spread throughout the county, but certain cities — including Huntington Beach, Newport Beach and Yorba Linda — have a higher concentration of licensees. Others, including Santa Ana and Garden Grove, have had much fewer approved permits.”

      For those not in the know, the cities comparison above is an excellent “affluence” variance demographic. Therefore, one reason for the disparity could be the added costs of classes and permit fees required by the county before issuance of a CCW. If the courts have ruled that 2nd Amendment rights extend beyond self-defense in the home, and if the gov’t is forbidden from “infringing” on said rights, then isn’t the requirement of classes and fees essentially an infringement / tax on what the courts have ruled is a right?

      #2ndAmendment #SecondAmendment #CCW

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        What Works and What Doesn’t: Gun Control

        (This is part of the script for the latest episode of my podcast, “Consider This!”. You can listen to it on the website, or subscribe to it in iTunes, Stitcher Radio, Blubrry,, or the podcast app of your choice.)

        For the month of May, 2013, the number of shooting victims in New York City went up 43% vs. May of last year. New mayor Bill deBlasio is proud of this. Well, OK, not the statistic per se, but of the fact that he’s made the New York police force reactive instead of proactive. Sure, 129 people were shot last month, but hey, at least gang-bangers are free from having to be stopped and frisked. I mean really, you have to have your priorities, people!

        OK, here’s the thing. If liberals like deBlasio think that guns are the problem, why are they against getting them off the street? I understand the personal liberty issues, and I think they are worth serious consideration, but was any judgment ever passed on them in this case? If not, the mayor is reaping what he’s sown. Well, actually the citizens of the Big Apple are the ones getting reaped.

        Look into those questions, but meanwhile, if you see what works and what doesn’t, and still ignore it, you might be a Democrat. And sure enough, that’s what he is.

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          UN Data Shows More Guns, Less Violence

          “More guns, more violence”, so goes the mantra that, apparently, many liberal politicians and their voters keep chanting. In one way, it sort of makes sense, if you think about it without considering anything else other than the number of guns.

          However, there were some maps made by the United Nations office on Drugs and Crime that tend to set this mantra on its ear. Remember, now; this is data from the UN, not some conservative think tank.

          The map shows that where gun ownership is higher, the number of homicides is, generally speaking, lower. In most cases, where the country is orange or red on the gun ownership map – the high end of the scale – they’re green on the homicides map, meaning the low end. Places like the US, which no one would deny is awash in guns, to those places in Europe where you can still get them, more guns mean fewer homicides. And all these values are population based; per capita.

          And to just reinforce the point, when the country is green on the gun map – where it’s difficult to get guns – you’re extremely likely to see red on the homicide map; one might say figuratively and literally. Fewer guns in Central and South America, Africa and Russia don’t translate into rainbows and unicorns, unfortunately.

          It’s time to stop chanting and take an honest look at the facts. The unicorns might just be grazing in another field entirely.

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            Guns vs the Murder Rate

            A recent study out of Harvard concludes that gun bans do not reduce the murder rate. In fact, if anything, they increase it. Researchers looked at crime data from several European countries and found that countries with higher gun ownership often had lower murder rates. Russia, with very strict gun laws, has a murder rate 4 times higher than our own United States, which is, according to some, awash in guns. Meanwhile, European countries with significant gun ownership, like Norway, Finland, Germany and France, had remarkably low murder rates.

            Basically, the study found no evidence, anywhere in the world, to suggest that more guns meant more murder.

            Additionally, the study found, “the determinants of murder and suicide are basic social, economic, and cultural factors, not the prevalence of some form of deadly mechanism.” That is to say, if you want to know why someone kills others or themself, there are loads of other things to look at than the gun.

            I doubt you heard about this on network news. Consider this a public service. In short, Harvard found that guns don’t kill, people do. Not that we needed a study to know that. Well, I guess some people needed a study. The rest of us know that inanimate objects rarely, if ever, have a mind of their own.

            Where you should look at the gun is in the many incidents where a gun was used to save lives. Check out this list of mass shootings that didn’t happen because of law abiding citizens carrying guns that stopped them.

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              When the Shooter is a Liberal, the Media Gets Quiet

              When a nut shot Gabby Giffords, the Left blamed it on the Tea Party and thought Sarah Palin should apologize or reach out. LA shooter Chris Dorner idolizes the Left, and suddenly the media is a model of restraint.

              Alleged Los Angeles shooter Christopher Jordan Dorner, influenced by left-leaning media coverage of gun crime in the wake of the Newtown shootings, has virtually paralyzed the City of Angels. Floyd Lee Corkins, a gunman incensed by anti-gay marriage bias after reading articles by the liberal advocacy group Southern Poverty Law Center, took a firearm into the Family Research Council’s headquarters with the intention of killing “as many as possible.” He hoped to smash Chick-fil-A sandwiches in the faces of as many corpses as he could. These shooters were clearly moved by left-wing media, and we should thank every benevolent force in the universe that they were. Had either shooter possessed even a tenuous link to a conservative group, a media-driven hysteria about the malevolent influence of right-wing broadcasters and commentators would be gripping the nation today. Fortunately, when a crazed shooter’s ideology is explicitly and demonstrably left-wing, the media displays admirable restraint about linking a gunman’s politics to their acts of violence.

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                The "Consider This!" Podcast, Episode 28

                Maybe this is why I’ve not been blogging much. Well, it’s certainly a contributing factor.

                The latest episode covers the fight of North Carolina pro-choicers against a license plate that advocates a choice, and a rundown of how well the Washington, DC gun ban reduced homicides (hint: it didn’t).

                Click here for the show notes, links to articles mentioned, and ways to get your voice heard on the podcast. You can also listen to the show right on the page, or subscribe in iTunes, Stitcher or the Blubrry network.

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                  Legislating with Our Head <i>and</i> Our Hearts

                  After the shooting in Newtown, CT, I noticed on Facebook many people asking that the country have a “conversation” about guns. Now typically, that’s a request for some sort of dialog. However, a few of those asking for that proceeded to immediately disparage anyone who would disagree in the slightest with more restrictive gun laws. That, folks, is a monologue, not a dialog.

                  To have a dialog, we need to consider all possible options. And to do that, we need to find out what works. Not just in theory; we need to know what has worked well over a long period of time. And for that, I’d like to look at the history of school shooting deaths in Israel.

                  “Israel?”, you might say. “What can a nation with a population of 8 million tell the US, a nation of 300 million, about gun laws?” What indeed. Let’s look at their history of school shooting deaths. Israel, you will remember, is a nation under siege from all of its neighbors. The entire country is essentially a war zone, which you’d know if you ever tried to fly there. You think we have onerous airport security here? But Israel is fighting for its life, so it has to take many more extraordinary precautions.

                  In 1974, there was a terrorist attack at an elementary school in Ma’alot. Palestinian terrorists took 115 hostages, of which 25 died. Now, British colonial laws were in effect at the time that were designed to keep Jews from owning guns. After Ma’alot, anyone from the Israeli Defense Force (current or former) was allowed to carry a gun anywhere. This included teachers. Field trips always were with armed guard.

                  So, just the opposite of what’s being called for here happened there. Instead of gun-free zones, guns were around children all the time, especially when they were out and about. The reason was to prevent terrorist attacks, but presumably if it’s expected that this law was to prevent those, then they’d work against any random shooter. And understand that this law didn’t stop Arab hatred. It didn’t cure mental illness of any kind, and certainly not the kind that the Newtown shooter had. It didn’t eliminate evil.

                  It’s just that now, guns were in school, held by people who had been trained in their use. And for over 30 years, there was not a single death in a school shooting in Israel. All this in spite of the fact that some teachers carried guns. Or, you might say, because of the fact that some teachers carried guns.

                  But you write that sentence the way you want. Regardless, draw your own conclusions as to whether it was effective.

                  Because that’s really what we should be considering when it comes to protecting our children; what is effective. Seeing what happened in Newtown, CT made us feel powerless, and we feel like we must do something to try to prevent this from happening again. But let’s do something effective. Let’s pass laws, not just with our hearts, but with our heads as well.

                  A city in the metro Atlanta area, Kennesaw, GA, passed a law in 1982 that all heads of households were to own a firearm, except those with mental or physical disabilities. The law is never really enforced, but the fact that it is on the books is enough. The year after the law was passed, Kennesaw’s burglary rate dropped more than 50%. The following year, it dropped another 50%. Oh, and where guns are banned, like Chicago, IL, they had more deaths in 2008 than we had soldiers killed in Iraq that year. Just this past New Years Day, 15 people were shot, and 3 were killed, in a single incident on the west side of Chicago. Again, draw your own conclusion as to which is more effective.

                  If gun-free zones make people safer, should we make the White House a gun-free zone? Should VP Joe Biden, who is tasked with working out new gun laws in the wake of Newtown, should he lead by example and disarm his Secret Service detail? No, we protect those who are important to us. We should do no less for our kids. President Obama sends his girls to a school that has an armed security detail, so clearly, he has his own opinion on gun-free schools.

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