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Like many parents, Oscar-winner Julianne Moore was deeply affected by the horrific shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in December 2012. "I remember my daughter [Liv, 12] came to work with me that day.
Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 707 on Saturday that bans concealed weapons, including guns, on college campuses and public schools all over the state. SB 707 is a controversial law because supports said more guns on schools mean more shootings, while opponents said restricting people with concealed carry permits isn't the solution.
The phones have been ringing nonstop at the Gun Hill shooting range, following a week of daily knife attacks by Palestinians and a clarion call by Israeli politicians requesting that permit holders should carry their pistols on their hips to help protect the citizenry against terrorists. "It's a madhouse," said Yair Yifrach, general manger of the training center and gun shop here at a Jewish settlement north of Jerusalem.
Sen. Mike Green, R-Mayville, introduced legislation that would prevent open carry in schools, but allow concealed pistol license holders to get an endorsement that allows them to carry concealed weapons. Legislators will review the bill Tuesday, Oct. 13, in the Senate Judiciary Committee, and from there it could move onto the Senate floor.
Welcome to post-metaphor America, everybody. In the aftermath of three deadly campus shootings in just the span of a little more than a week - in Oregon , in Arizona , and in Texas - it's clear yet again that America loves its guns more than it loves just about anything, including the freedom to walk around a school setting without fear of getting shot to death by a sociopathic " beta male ."
The nearly century-old institution recently lifted its longtime firearms ban amid a broader push by gun-rights advocates who are pressuring zoos in Texas and elsewhere to do the same. Gun-rights supporters say publicly owned zoos have misinterpreted laws and are illegally posting signs that ban firearms.
When '60s protesters were opposing the Vietnam War, they emblazoned the demand for sexual freedom over violence on buttons they wore on their chests. Come next fall, students at the University of Texas Austin will protest concealed handguns on campus by strapping "gigantic swinging dildos" to their backpacks.
Casus belli: a Latin expression meaning "An act or event that provokes or justifies going to war."
"Son, you don't poke a wolverine with a sharp stick unless you want your balls ripped off." -- Grandpa Vanderboegh.
A Brady Buncher writes: "The late senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said that in the United States there was a 200-year supply of guns but a four-year supply of ammunition. So what if we stopped worrying about the guns and instead focused on the bullets?"
This is a socialist siren song warbeled by the elites, including FOX News contributor Greta Van Susteren, who proposed on the George Stephanopolous talking head show the other day: "The guns are there. If you really want to regulate you’ve got to be a little bit smarter, maybe regulate ammunition so that people can’t use their guns. That’s the smart thing."
"Smart thing"?!?!? First of all, as my Grandpa Vanderboegh used to say, "With 'friends' like these, who needs enemas?" Secondly, any effort to restrict ammunition as proposed is a faster way than firearms bans to arrive at the hellgate of civil war. As I have observed before, "Guns are easy. Logistics is hard." This is well understood by every shooter and liberty activist who has taken the time to think things through.
Most long-time readers recall when I told another collectivist puke:
I was once asked by an advocate of citizen disarmament what I thought of "gun control," and then, as I framed my answer, he added, "Give me the short answer.""Okay," I answered, "if you try to take our firearms we will kill you."I used to argue history, facts and common sense with such as you, but gave it up as a bad job.It boils down to that: "If you try to take our firearms (liberty, property, insert any other God-given, inalienable right), we will kill you."
The same goes for ammunition, Greta. I shouldn't have to explain that, but unprincipled prohibitionists such as you are nothing if not terminally stupid.
In this Oct. 9, 2015 photo, Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson speaks at a luncheon at the National Press Club in Washington. In the past week, Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson has suggested the Holocaust wouldn't have happened if Jews in Europe were better armed, said gun control is a bigger tragedy than a bullet-riddled body and that the best way to confront a mass shooter is to rush the gunman.
"Gun control’s core is the belief that laws that have never reduced violence will do so if enacted by a government that has exacerbated every problem it has attempted to ban away. It’s already illegal to murder and to be a prohibited person with a gun. What would an additional law do? The debate mistakenly — or deceptively — focuses on a tool, when the issue is about a person choosing to commit violence. But that issue cannot be solved with a wave of a legislature’s wand (or an executive’s pen), and issues illustrating government impotence are rarely tolerated."
In an interview with CBS' Face The Nation on Sunday, host John Dickerson asked Trump if he ever carried a concealed weapon. When asked about if more people should carry concealed guns in the wake of violent mass shootings, the current Republican presidential front-runner said that while it was up to people to make their own decisions, he takes comfort in carrying his weapon.
Go ahead, Hillary, dance barefoot on that rail. What could possibly go wrong?
"Beyond short-term tactics, Clinton's militancy also illustrates that gun control is no longer a political third rail for Democrats."
A column that makes a bit more sense, but won't make a dent in the collectivists' appetites for citizen disarmament is: "Guns, Congress, and the will of the people."
It is easy to grandstand and pretend that there is an obvious legislative response to mass shootings; that there exists a legislative blueprint to prevent them, if only the forces of evil in Congress would get out of the way (picture them now, lighting cigars provided by the NRA with flames from burning $100 bills provided by the Koch brothers). But over time, and in particular on issues subject to much public discussion, Congress generally does reflect the will of the people. And with respect gun control, notwithstanding our desire to “do something” in the face of tragedy, the people appear to have gotten it basically right.
Which is not to say that the latest US failure to overthrow a mid-east government was a total failure. As Joshua Landis, a Syria expert at the University of Oklahoma says "probably 60 to 80 percent of the arms that America shoveled in have gone to al-Qaida and its affiliates." Which is at least great news for the military-industrial complex. It means more "terrorist attacks" on U.S. "friends and allies", and perhaps even on U.S. soil - all courtesy of the US government supplying the weapons - are imminent.
A two-year-old and a 13-year-old are among the latest to die as Israel cracks down on Palestinian unrest Gun sales in Israel have soared as officials urge members of the public to defend themselves against a "wave of terror" sweeping the country. Israeli-Palestinian violence showed no signs of abating on Sunday, as three Palestinians, including a two-year-old and a 13-year-old, were killed by Israeli forces, and four Israelis were wounded in an evening stabbing attack.
Reigning queen of 2015 Amy Schumer made her Saturday Night Live hosting debut this weekend, and she did it with a bang. Just one day after two mass shootings occurred on two different college campuses, the sketch series aimed their sights on gun control in what would become a recurring theme of the night.
On Saturday morning, I received a package from a faithful reader which included 34 30-round and 6 20-round M16 magazines as donations for the smuggling campaign (probable destination, New York state, if Cuomo's state police taxpayer-feeding minions are paying attention). Looking through the haul was like a trip down U.S. Army procurement history. It also struck me that it might be a good time to pass along a description of how we check magazines for functionality and what steps we take to make them ready for shipment as "freedom-fighter" grade units.
As you might imagine, these come in used (some of them abused) and often covered in grime, sand particles and with the archaeological remnants of 100-mile-an-hour tape. The first step is to disassemble them, clean them internally, paying particular attention to the springs, making sure that there are no dings in the mag body to interfere with the follower, etc. We use acetone to remove any markings (some of them, occasionally, quite obscene) and the remnants of the OD duct tape. If found serviceable, all followers are replaced by MagPul anti-tilt followers which, although adding to the expense per unit ($2.00 each), takes care of most of the problems of feeding.
(Readers who have never disassembled an AR-15/M16 aluminum magazine may find these instructions at CTD helpful.)
It is, oddly enough, quite rare that we find a spring problem. Almost always the problems, if any, are traceable to two causes: the old black plastic GI followers and spreading or denting of the feed lips. Modern springs, especially USGI, are remarkably robust no matter how long the mag has been loaded. We recently unearthed a cache of magazines and ammunition that had been in a cave since the late 90s and two magazines were found to be loaded. We swapped the followers for MagPul anti-tilts, reassembled them and fired off the ammunition with which they had been loaded lo these many years without a stutter.
Our primary, initial check after cleaning and reassembly is detailed in this useful video: Quick inspection AR15/M16 magazines.
Unlike the maker of this video, however, we do not eschew using these tools available from Brownells: the feed lip tool and the feed lip gauge.
If the magazine fails the initial test described above, we then gauge it, checking the lips and if necessary and possible, use the tool to bend it back into place. If the mag body is swelled out of spec, we take it back down, use the body and other unserviceable parts such as the black plastic followers (which are meticulously scavenged -- nothing goes to waste -- in order to assemble "politician grade" magazines for the taunting of anti-firearm pukes in public office. The repaired mag is then set aside for our next trip to the range to test for functionality. If it performs flawlessly, then it gets shipped as a "freedom fighter." If not, it is cannibalized as described above.
Now we only do this for the standard thirty round magazines. We find the demand for the 20 rounders, especially Colt-marked twenties, to be such that we can wait for the next gun show and trade one 20 rounder for between two to five thirty rounders, which are then put into the production stream as described above.
We also have some collectors who look for specifically marked thirties for their collections. You can find information on the markings and makers of USGI magazines at these two sites: "M16 Magazine Manufacturer Information" and John Wesley, Rawles' "AR15/M16 Magazine FAQ."
This latest box was like a trip down US Army procurement history lane. Here's the breakdown of makers and markings:
Twenty Rounders --Colt, Hartford CT Qty 4Adventureline, Parsons, KS Qty 1Universal Industries, Simmons Precision Products, West Haven CT Qty 1
Thirty Rounders --
Sanchez Enterprises, Mansfield OH Qty 2
Center Industries, Wichita KS Qty 6
LaBelle Industries, Oconomowoc WI Qty 1
Adventureline, Parsons, KS Qty 5
Parsons Precision Products, Parsons, KS Qty 6
Cooper Industries, Upland, CA Qty 1
Okay Industries, New Britain, CT Qty 12
Colt's Firearms Division, Colt Industries, Hartford, CT Qty 1
All in all, quite a collection, dating from Vietnam to the Iraq War.
At the same time, we received from another reader two MagPul Gen 2 P-Mags. Some lucky resister behind enemy lines will get those with a bit of luck of the draw.
Of course what with weddings, wedding exhaustion and other factors, I haven't had time to process the new batch yet, but I'll try to let you know what the acceptance/rejection/rebuild rate is in a later post.
Amid the bloodbaths of 21st-century America, you might think that there would be a lot of research into the causes of gun violence, and which policies work best against it. Gun interests, wary of any possible limits on weaponry, have successfully lobbied for limitations on government research and funding, and private sources have not filled the breach.
Ben Carson really needs to stop talking about what people should and shouldn't do when confronted by an armed criminal. First, he criticized the victims and bystanders at Oregon's Umpqua Community College-and by implication, those at other mass shootings-for not doing what he'd have done in that situation: "Not only would I probably not cooperate with him, I would not just stand there and let him shoot me."
A week after a gunman killed nine people at an Oregon college, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Saturday that will ban the carrying of concealed guns on school and university campuses in this state. Sen. Lois Wolk said her bill is needed to close a loophole that allows people with concealed-weapons permits to carry firearms onto school grounds.
As the media covered the shooting at Oregon's Umpqua Community College last week, reporters and news anchors continually and almost helplessly asked if anything could be done to curb gun violence in America-the most gun-laden nation in the world. Many sadly concluded, no, the gun lobby is too powerful, and if the tragic slaughter of elementary school kids in Newtown several years ago couldn't do it, then what could? What that question fails to understand is that change doesn't come because of a moment, it comes because of a movement.
"I’d like to live another 20 years — 30 would be better — but I’ve lived a full life and to die now, whether at the hand of a freelance criminal or a tyrant, wouldn’t be any great tragedy. So come and take them. Really. See how it goes with one weak, skinny, peaceable woman who wishes no harm to anyone. Come and take them. I invite you. See how that goes. Then times that by 100,000,000."
"Rep. Peter King, a liberal Republican from New York, suggested America is now 'A banana republic.' That is a petulant, childish reaction intended to dismiss the serious nature of the party’s internal divisions."
"To be clear, the solution to overcoming that divide is not some moderate caretaker or an absurd coalition-style government with Nancy Pelosi. Instead, House Republicans need to unite around a speaker who will pursue a positive conservative agenda that promotes opportunity for all and favoritism to none. That means moving away from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s preferred agenda. It means embracing serious policy reforms and challenging the left on the merits of those policies. It means fighting Obama in a real, substantive manner."
LATER: See also -- Rumors of extramarital affair drove speaker’s race drama
My oldest daughter Hannah gets married later on today so I will be a little busy, what with one thing and another. I MAY have more later, but don't count on it. I was persuaded under threat of family ostracism of the necessity of renting a tux for the occasion (which cost me darn near $200 I couldn't afford) but Rosey says I clean up well. I'll have someone take a picture. The last time I wore a tux was, what, 35-40 years ago, for my brother's wedding and the color HE chose was bright yellow. I looked like a 500 pound canary. In my black tux with all the weight the various cancers have stripped off me, I now look like a cadaverous undertaker. Which, I suppose, is an improvement over a 500 pound canary. I don't recommend my diet plan, however. Pray for me -- not for my health mind you, but for the self-control to hold my tongue and my temper until the ceremonies are over. The boy's okay. He meets my oft-stated minimum requirements:
1. He must love her (and I am persuaded that he does).2. She must love him (ditto).3. He must be a hard worker and be able to provide for my daughter. He is.4. He must be a shooter and be able to field strip a Colt M1911. He is and does.5. He must be willing and able to take a bullet for Hannah if required. I am persuaded that he is.
So, you may ask, what is it that I must hold my tongue and my temper for? Can you keep a secret? Well, so can I. Just keep me in your prayers.
Schlichter is right: Zombies are the perfect metaphor for collectivists.
"In a time when Americans are figuratively at each other’s throats, our monsters are our fellow citizens."
Regardless of their various forms—running or stumbling, virally-induced or cause unknown—the zombie is an intensely personal, intimate nemesis. It is your friend, your spouse, even your kid, and it’s not going to kill you by radiation from a dozen miles away or via a huge claw that can’t even feel you squish as it stomps on you. A zombie is going to eat you alive, and linger while doing it. And it will all happen not in some ruined wasteland but in your own neighborhood, looking the same as it has always has except that some of its inhabitants are running from other inhabitants who want to have them for dinner. . .The zombie genre is essentially conservative. Survival is always based upon the actions of individuals and small groups, and the government is either useless or an active threat (Max Brooks’ fascinating book “World War Z” is something of an exception, while the movie adheres to tradition). The survivors are not unlike the pioneers, trying to carve a life out of a wilderness while dodging Indians who take scalps not as trophies but as snacks. City slickers need not apply.As conservatives do, the zombie genre likewise recognizes the necessity, even the obligation, to keep and bear arms. The people who refuse to use guns die; those who hesitate to pull the trigger allow their friends to die. Those who fight prevail. Interestingly, we have a generation of kids who attend schools where they are taught the lie that violence never solves anything and where they will be suspended for fighting back when a bully punches them. Yet on Sunday night they cheer a show that celebrates heroes who ruthlessly make gory headshot after gory headshot. Sure, the heroes wring their hands like liberals, but the ones who survive are the one who choose firepower over feelings.
It may not be a zombie apocalypse, but much of America expects some kind of apocalypse. In a beautiful city a mile or so from the Pacific one recent sunny Saturday morning, a line developed outside a gun store well before it opened. In the Age of the Zombie, the end of the world will take place not far away but at close range, and many Americans seem to have resolved to go down fighting.
"What neither Taleb nor Hoffman foresaw, however, is that Black Swans can morph into Pink Flamingoes, at least in the arena of national security. We have an example of this phenomenon. Vladimir Putin has undertaken a series of political-military actions in various parts of the world, none of which were anticipated by Western observers and intelligence officials and each of which have had significant consequences."
It's just a ploy to pick up the pro-gun vote, with a promise that she'd support repeal of GCA 68 and enactment of 50-State constitutional carry, plus a $10,000 gift to each gun owner, so long as we self-verify that we have no plans to commit a crime.
UPDATE: the debate between natural rights and legal positivism can never be settled!
Natural rights: rights are natural, established by God or nature. [The "nature" part involves reasoning along the lines of: "man has a strong will to keep on living, and a need to converse with other men. Ergo, his nature is proof that he has a right to self-defense and to freedom of expression."] The Framers were of this school -- why else the Ninth Amendment, recognizing that there are rights not set out in the Bill of Rights? Under this approach, a bill of rights "guarantees" a right, but does not "create" it.
Legal positivism: rights are human constructs, created by human agreements. The right to free expression exists because the First Congress proposed it, and 3/4 of the States ratified it, and we are bound by their decision. This approach really originates in the early 20th century, and is now so near-universal that most attorneys and judges don't even think of the alternative.
Of course, both sides do fudge things a little when they have to. Positivists see no problem espousing Roe v. Wade and other non-enumerated rights, on which the one certainty is that 2/3 of Congress and 3/4 of the States never agreed to matters. And those who take the natural rights approach can cite legislative history, which is of limited relevance. (I say limited because I can see an argument that "the right exists independent of the guarantee, but the guarantee establishes an indisputable minimum definition of a right.")
At the Vokolh Conspiracy, Eugene Volokh demonstrates that States' Brady Campaign grades have no association with their homicide rates, or with rates for homicide plus accidental gun deaths.
Denton Bramwell recently updated his 2006 study of the same issue, and got the same results as nine years ago: no correlation. Brady "As," "Fs," etc. can have high or low rates, with no pattern discernible.
Now, it's (quite) possible that Brady ratings do not correlate with strictness of gun control. The items evaluated are chosen on a political basis ("do we want this now"?). But at the least these results suggest that policymakers would be foolish to base enactments on Brady proposals.
In approval ratings, positive vs. negative views of a person or entity, if we subtract the negative ratings from the positive ones, NRA comes off nine percent ahead, and Hillary comes off ten percent behind. Probably not a good time for her to declare war.
Over at National Review Online, Charles Cooke takes apart Saul Cornell's article claiming that early State gun rights cases were a product of slave State courts.
The fact is that the early gun laws were the products of the then-frontier southeast, and so were the early gun law challenges. What conclusion can be drawn from either isn't terribly clear.
No explanations are needed as to where I've been of late, and thus, none will be offered,
Glad that a few of you visit these pages regularly, And I hope I can begin to settle into my normal routine,
Yes, I still write for the Examiner, and I will get back to it as soon as I can do some catching up,
Story here. The one thing lacking is just how any of these will affect mass shootings. But then I suppose a person can overlook that detail -- in this context, they are playing to a "base" that regards gun restrictions as a matter of religious dogma, existing beyond proof of truth or falsity.
From 1997, tho I just saw it. Using a 5,200 person telephone surgery, authors conclude that annually about 1.9 million people draw a gun during a home intrusion, but don't actually see the intruder, another 503,000 draw a gun and do see the intruder and (not surprisingly) 497,000 report the intruder fled in response to the gun. These don't include defensive uses other than in response to home invasion, and on the other hand surely include some where no intruder was sighted because there was no intruder, but certain support Kleck's conclusions that defensive gun uses number in the millions per year.
For the first time in six years, NFL goes a month without a player getting arrested.
Some leaked audio from a private fundraiser. Held, appropriately, at the house of a wealthy "prohibited person," a fellow convicted of selling cocaine.
"I'm going to speak out, I'm going to do everything I can to rally people against this pernicious, corrupting influence of the NRA and we're going to do whatever we can."
"And here again, the Supreme Court is wrong on the Second Amendment. And I am going to make that case every chance I get."
"Smith said according to multiple witnesses, the two men began arguing when Delpit punched the victim to the ground, and then continued to assault him. When bystanders tried to intervene, witnesses said the ATF agent pulled out a pistol and waved it at the crowd."
I attended, and spoke at, Second Amendment Foundation's GRPC, held in Phoenix this last weekend. The audio isn't up yet (the one online is the 2014 conference), but will eventually be accessible here or here.
Among the many good presentations were: John Lott of Crime Prevention Research Center, on the other side's statistical abuses, a panel from Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership, and a panel of attorneys on "winning firearms freedom one case at a time."
Back in the 1930s, the Army experimented with semi auto versions of the Browning M-2, meant as portable tank-killers. Back then, armor was thin enough to be punctured by guns of this class (the Pazer I's armor ran from a quarter inch to a half inch), and the great weight even of a relatively light M2 could be handled by a cavalry horse. Soon, of course, tank armor got thick enough to make .50 attack useless (except, as one British source writes, to alert the tank's crew to the fact that someone was annoying them and motivate them to go looking for their tormentor).
Christopher Sanna had parked at the Old Cathedral parking lot and was waking to his car. According to police, two men in a dark-colored sedan drove up to them. The driver got out with a gun and demanded their property. The woman gave the gunman her purse, and the couple turned to run away. The gunman fired several shots in their direction, hitting Sanna in the back.Thanks to Tony Troglio for the link.
"They turned to run away, but they didn't make it very far," Candis Sanna said. "As soon as they gave them the stuff, they were going to try to run away but he shot them. They were within arm's reach." . . .
Audio here. I found both sides a little hard to follow, but the judges who asked questions seemed inclined in a friendly direction.
Hillsdale involves as "as applied" challenge to the bar on firearms possession by those who have been involuntarily committed to an institution. The challenger was so committed, I gather 20-30 years ago, and is ready to present medical opinion that his mental problem is long gone. The 6th Circuit panel ruled in his favor, in an opinion that seemed unclear as to whether it was ruling "as applied" or on a "facial challenge," and the entire circuit took the case en banc.
"Standing to sue" is often a complex issue, and some courts use it as a "dump button" when faced with a case they don't like. The challenge is to the NY ban on "gravity knives," defined as any folding knife that opens by force of gravity or centrifugal force. The statute doesn't define how much centrifugal force, and in practice NYPD will cite or arrest for any folding knife that any officer can flip open in this way, or even for a knife that he cannot, if he speculates that someone stronger or faster might be able to do so.
We conducted replications of 100 experimental and correlational studies published in three psychology journals using high-powered designs and original materials when available. There is no single standard for evaluating replication success. Here, we evaluated reproducibility using significance and P values, effect sizes, subjective assessments of replication teams, and meta-analysis of effect sizes. The mean effect size (r) of the replication effects (Mr = 0.197, SD = 0.257) was half the magnitude of the mean effect size of the original effects (Mr = 0.403, SD = 0.188), representing a substantial decline. Ninety-seven percent of original studies had significant results (P < .05). Thirty-six percent of replications had significant results; 47% of original effect sizes were in the 95% confidence interval of the replication effect size; 39% of effects were subjectively rated to have replicated the original result . . . .It isn't clear what "subjectively rated" means, but it raises the question of whether people are making their results look more significant that they actually were. However, this should just be the start of doing replications.
An 11-year-old boy shoots an almost 17-year-old who had broken into his home, saving his 4-year-old sister and scaring away another burglar. The burglars repeatedly tried to break into the home, finally succeeding on their third attempt.
The mother apparently purchased the handgun because of several previous attempted break-ins of her home.
One can only imagine the relief that the mother had that her children were safe.
Yet, the reaction from police and authorities was to question why the gun was so easily accessible. Police Sargent Brian Schellman told KTVI in St. Louis: “Just seems at this point that any one can pull the trigger on a weapon. Its very scary.”
Missouri is a state with a so-called “safe storage law,” one that imposes criminal liability when a minor under 18 gains access to a negligently stored firearm.
But no one seems to ask what would have happened if the children hadn’t been able to protect themselves.
The risk of accidental gun deaths is surely a concern, but it is much rarer than most people realize. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 69 children under the age of 15 died from accidental gunshots. Over 61 million children are that age in the population and about half live in homes that own guns. . . .
An 11-year-old Missouri boy shot and killed a 16-year-old boy during an attempted home invasion Thursday afternoon, St. Louis County police said.
Police said two suspects tried to break into the home north of downtown St. Louis twice before the shooting on Thursday. On the third try, authorities said the unidentified teen went through the home's unlocked front door while the 11-year-old and a 4-year-old girl were home alone. Police said the younger boy shot the teen in the head. The would-be burglar's body was found in the home's front foyer. . . .
The second suspect fled the scene after the shooting, but was later taken into custody. . . .
Fox2Now reported that police want to know why the children were home alone and why the 11-year-old had access to a gun. . . .
. . . Police say a 50-year-old resident of the neighborhood was going to the ATM at a Citizens' Bank branch when he was approached by two young men that police describe as being around 18 years old.
Those young men were armed with a sawed off rifle and a handgun.
Police are still trying to determine exactly what happened, but officers say the robbery victim has a Concealed Carry Permit and defended himself.
All three men were injured and taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. . . .
No sooner had local news outlets in upstate South Carolina and the mountains of North Carolina claimed this week that applications for concealed carry gun permits were way down, indicating a slowing of gun sales, than the national media reported that gun sales in August broke all sales records for firearms.Read it all.
Evening my friends. Yes, I am back. Thanks for hanging in there with me even though I haven't been around.
I have felt your prayers and concern, and I deeply appreciate it. I long for the day when I can write more regularly. That day may be soon.
Thanks once again. A new Examiner will be forthcoming this evening. Stay tuned.
Lott is technically correct that the D.C. murder rate in 1976 -- the year a ban on private ownership or possession of handguns in nearly all circumstances went into effect -- was 26.8 people per 100,000 residents, and was 31.4 in 2008, the last year the ban was in place. But those two data points don't tell the whole story. For example, the murder rate in the last full year in which D.C. did not have a gun ban, 1975, was 32.8 -- higher than the murder rate when the ban ended.
Data from Australia also casts doubt on Lott's premise that more restrictions on firearms equal more murders. Following a series of mass shootings that culminated with the 1996 Fort Arthur massacre of 35 people, Australia enacted extremely restrictive gun laws that placed strong limits on firearm ownership -- especially for handguns and semi-automatic rifles -- and confiscated 650,000 privately owned guns.
. . . “In addition to emails to or from an email account denominated ‘Lois G. Lerner‘ or ‘Lois Home,’ some emails responsive to Judicial Watch’s request may have been sent to or received from a personal email account denominated ‘Toby Miles,’” Mr. Klimas told Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, who is hearing the case.
It is unclear who Toby Miles is, but Mr. Klimas said the IRS has concluded that was “a personal email account used by Lerner.” . . .
. . . EPA released the documents following weeks of prodding from The Associated Press and other media organizations. EPA and contract workers accidentally unleashed 3 million gallons of contaminated wastewater on Aug. 5 as they inspected the idled Gold King Mine near Silverton, Colorado.
Among the documents is a June 2014 work order for a planned cleanup that noted that the old mine had not been accessible since 1995, when the entrance partially collapsed. The plan appears to have been produced by Environmental Restoration, a private contractor working for EPA.
"This condition has likely caused impounding of water behind the collapse," the report says. "ln addition, other collapses within the workings may have occurred creating additional water impounding conditions. Conditions may exist that could result in a blowout of the blockages and cause a release of large volumes of contaminated mine waters and sediment from inside the mine, which contain concentrated heavy metals." . . .
you ought to stop — now! — with the unconvincing claim that you did nothing different from your predecessors as secretary of state. . . .-- A few days earlier, Eugene Robinson also at the Washington Post had a change of heart about Hillary's email problems. He had until that point been defending Hillary.
And wiping the server — you did work on Watergate for the House Judiciary Committee, didn’t you? . . .
Why, when she took office as secretary of state, did she decide to route official e-mails through a server in her suburban New York mansion? There is just one plausible explanation: She wanted control.
Clinton was no stranger to the rules of the federal government. . . .
Even if your name is Clinton, you have no right to unilaterally decide what is included and what is not.
So I wish Hillary Clinton would be respectful enough to say, “I’m sorry. I was wrong.” I wish she wouldn’t insult our intelligence by claiming she only did what other secretaries of state had done. None of her predecessors, after all, went to the trouble and expense of a private e-mail server. . . .
When the city council in Austin, Texas, passed a single-use plastic shopping bag ban in 2013, it assumed environmental benefits would follow. The calculation was reasonable enough: Fewer single-use bags in circulation would mean less waste at city landfills.
Two years later, an assessment commissioned by the city finds that the ban is having an unintended effect –- people are now throwing away heavy-duty reusable plastic bags at an unprecedented rate. The city's good intentions have proven all too vulnerable to the laws of supply and demand.
What's true for Austin is likely true elsewhere. Plastic bag bans are one of America's most popular environmental measures of recent years . . . .
plastic bags simply aren't that big of a problem. . . . . A more finely tuned litter survey in Fort Worth, Texas (reported in the Austin assessment) found that just 0.12 percent of the weight of litter in the city (which does not have a ban) comes from single-use bags.
Nonetheless, . . . weight isn't the only measure of environmental impact. Single-use plastic bags pose outsized problems in the form of visual pollution on the landscape . . . .
reducing the use of a product that's harmful to the environment is no guarantee of a positive environmental outcome. . . . To that end, the city encouraged residents to instead use reusable bags. Those bags have larger carbon footprints, due to the greater energy required to produce their stronger plastics, but the city figured the overall impact would be lower, as consumers got acquainted with the new, more durable product. What the city didn't foresee is that residents would start treating reusable bags like single-use bags. . . .
only 45 percent of this year's hybrid and EV trade-ins have gone toward the purchase of another alternative fuel vehicle, down from just over 60 percent in 2012. Never before have loyalty rates for alt-fuel vehicles fallen below 50 percent.
"For better or worse, it looks like many hybrid and EV owners are driven more by financial motives rather than a responsibility to the environment," says Edmunds.com Director of Industry Analysis Jessica Caldwell. "Three years ago, when gas was at near-record highs, it was a lot easier to rationalize the price premiums on alternative fuel vehicles. But with today's gas prices as low as they are, the math just doesn't make a very compelling case."
To underscore the point, Edmunds calculates that at the peak average national gas price of $4.67/gallon in October 2012, it would take five years to break even on the $3,770 price difference between a Toyota Camry LE Hybrid ($28,230) and a Toyota Camry LE ($24,460). At today's national average gas price of $2.27/gallon, it would take twice as much time (10.5 years) to close the same gap. . . .
Still reeling from a disaster it created at a Colorado gold mine, the EPA has so far avoided criticism for a similar toxic waste spill in Georgia. . . . that accident took place five months ago, the hazard continues as heavy storms -- one hit the area Tuesday -- wash more soil into the creek.
The sediment flows carry dangerous mercury, lead, arsenic and chromium downstream to the tourist destination of Lake Oconee, which then feeds into Oconee River -- home to many federally and state protected species.
Lead in the soil is 20,000 times higher than federal levels established for drinking water, said microbiologist Dave Lewis, who was a top-level scientist during 31 years at the Environmental Protection Agency.
He became a whistleblower critical of EPA practices . . . .
"Clearly, the site is a major hazardous chemical waste dump, which contains many of the most dangerous chemical pollutants regulated by the EPA," Lewis wrote in a 2014 affidavit for a court case filed by local residents that failed to prevent the EPA project: creating a low-income housing development. . . .
One can tell easily enough that Hillary Clinton is in deep trouble with regard to her bid to become the Democratic nominee for president. The telltale sign is that the mainstream media, which has consistently treated Clinton as the darling of political correctness, is now engaging in serious journalism when it comes to reporting news both good and bad on the one who has long been considered the queen of America who is merely waiting her turn to occupy the Oval Office.Read it!
The Hillary Clinton bid for the Democratic Party nomination for president took another drubbing today as the State Dept. announced that at least 60 emails on her personal, private server can be designated as classified data. This news is bad enough, given that just yesterday at the Iowa State Fair, Clinton stated that she never had any classified data on her personal server or in any email she sent or received.Read it all.
Late on Monday Hillary Clinton and her two top aides responded to a deadline issued by the U.S. District Court of Appeals to turn over all documents related to official government business. All three failed to meet the deadline last Friday. Today, however, Clinton responded to the court order but still failed to comply.Read it all.
As Panama deals with increases in crime rates, forged gun permits, and rising gang activity, the government is set to lift the ban on firearm imports, in an effort to promote personal safety.Public Safety Minister Rodolfo Aguilera said the country will follow in the footsteps of the United States and Switzerland, where the right to bear arms is believed to lead to fewer homicides.+“Everything seems to indicate that there is no direct correlation in the aphorism that says more guns mean more crime,” said Aguilera, who explained that relaxed gun laws have allowed the United States to reduce the homicide rate over the last 20 years. . . .Under the current law, in effect since 2012, only state security forces can import firearms. Meanwhile, the Central American Integration System (SICA) has called for a comprehensive review of Panama’s firearm-import ban before any action is taken by the National Assembly. . . .
While Donald Trump claims he believes "strongly in just about all conservative principles." he has been a Democrat, Independent, Republican and flirted with Ross Perot's Reform Party [John Lott's Website]
. . . In a recent interview, Trump declared that he believes "strongly in just about all conservative principles," is "pro-life" and against gay marriage. He has attacked President Obama's health care law and said that the United States has become the "laughingstock" of the world.
This is the same Donald Trump who has changed party affiliation from Republican to Independent to Democrat and back to Republican, according to a report.
Trump has said in interviews with CNN that he identifies more with Democrats than Republicans; that the party handles the economy better than Republicans; that President George W. Bush was "probably the worst president in the history of the United States"; and suggested that Bush should have been impeached for what Trump called "lies" over a "horrendous mistake": the Iraq war.
In 1999, while flirting with running for president under Ross Perot's Reform Party, Trump told the New York Daily News that he supported abortion rights and universal health care.Trump and his representatives at the Trump Organization did not immediately respond to CNN's request for comment. . . .
In a Monday interview, Trump defended his conservative bona fides."I'm a very conservative person. I'm very big into the military. I'm a great guy for defense," Trump told Greta Van Susteren of Fox News. "I am probably as conservative as anybody on your show, and that's going a pretty strong step."
He added: "I'm a very conservative Republican. I believe strongly in just about all conservative principles." . . .Does anyone believe that whatever Trump says that he believes today he will believe two years from now?
Democratic Party presidency hopeful and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ignored a court order to provide information by today concerning official government documents she kept on her private email server. Her top aides at the State Dept., Human Abedin and Cheryl Mills, were also so ordered. They, too, ignored the court set deadline. Under the penalty of perjury as threatened by federal judge Emmett Sullivan, the information requested from Clinton and her two aides was due today. But the day came and went with no substantive response.Click here to read the whole thing.
The 2016 presidential race is shaping up to be a barn burner with deep differences among both Democratic and Republican candidates. Traditionally the campaign season begins with the first primary. But this year so many Republicans are running for their Party's nomination that it is safe to say the campaign season begins Aug. 6, 2015 -- the night of the first Republican debate. Fox News will air the debate, featuring some of its most recognizable anchors and reporters, such as Bret Baier, Megyn Kelly, and Chris Wallace.
The Republican debate on Aug. 6 will allow all of the GOP candidates to demonstrate to the nation how they handle themselves in a joint news conference, fielding questions from three journalists who are known to hold a candidate's feet to the fire on the hard issues. It is actually a big mistake to call these events a debate since none of the rules of a traditional debate apply. They never have in these televised events. Rather, these are joint news conferences during which each candidate is asked questions from reporters.
More will be written about which candidates have the best ideas, at least in the eyes of conservatives, in the weeks and months to come. But who as of now at least appears to be the best suited to carry the conservative and libertarian message to a new crop of American voters?
The answer to that question is a matter of opinion. Thus, the answer provided here will be opinion, but an opinion that is informed and armed with the facts.
At this point in time it is a bit too early to have one's mind made up. There is plenty of time to do that, and thus the only thing one can do is to cite those candidates who have garnered a generally favorable rating from likely Republican voters in the primaries. It goes without saying that the process at this point is quite fluid among GOP voters. Anything could happen and it is way too early to count anyone out.
As of today the candidates who appear to have gained general favorability are Scott Walker, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal, Donald Trump, and Dr. Ben Carson. The next grouping of candidates cites those who have not been able to catch fire as of yet, for various reasons, yet they are within reach of the nomination nonetheless. They are Rick Perry, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, and John Kasich. The last group out of the 16 candidates is made up of those that many if not most conservative/libertarian voters within the GOP consider unacceptable due to their stated stance on vital issues. Most believe that these candidates could not get elected anyway, and they are Jeb Bush, Chris Christy, Lindsey Graham, and George Pataki.
Over on the other side the Democratic hopefuls are a train wreck. Hillary's negatives are through the roof, and most view her as basically a dishonest person. The slow drip of news about the various scandals in which she has been involved are not going away. But her rivals for the Democratic nomination have their own baggage. Most are way too far out of the mainstream to be considered by the general public.
The campaign for the Democratic nomination for president took an ominous turn Monday when a veteran news reporter raised questions concerning Hillary Clinton's private email server. The private server has been one of the issues conservatives have raised in their probe into charges of corruption at the State Dept. while Hillary was Secretary of State.
So far the investigation into Hillary's role in various scandals -- Benghazi, Fast and Furious, and the use of a secretive investigator who was forbidden by the White House but was on the Clinton payroll -- has been largely a Republican endeavor. Democrats never spoke about it nor showed any interest in delving into it. The mainstream news media helped Democrats by simply not reporting the Republican led probe. This has now changed.
Andrea Mitchel, the veteran NBC news reporter who is known to conservatives as one who will slant her stories and comments to favor Democrats, took a surprising turn toward objectivity. Mitchel stated that she attended a security conference during which she spoke to officials on both sides of the spectrum. She further stated that while there are charges and counter charges, no one can give an adequate explanation for why a cabinet secretary would need a private email server at home, unless she wished to thwart inquiries into her actions.
The special congressional committee that is investigating Hillary discovered 4 emails from her private server that were designated as classified. Hillary had already declared in the strongest terms that she had no classified material on the private server and neither did she send classified material from that server.
These statements have now been proved false. When the congressional committee received the latest batch of material, 40 emails were sent from Hillary's private server that contained the 4 classified emails. But there are hundreds if not thousands more to be turned over to Congress from the State Dept. If 4 classified emails out of 40 have been discovered, that number could grow to hundreds if not thousands.
The IRS scandal during which the taxing agency targeted conservative organizations for delays, harassment, and outright persecution has confirmed the charge that the IRS is a rogue, lawless, and corrupt organization. This fact was further confirmed by a report released last Friday by Judicial Watch (JW) that shows that the IRS used the donor lists of tax exempt, conservative organizations to decide which citizens it wished to target for audits. In other words, if you donated money to one of these organizations you probably would be audited.
JW indicated that it knew such records existed, but the IRS refused to release them. However, through the Freedom of Information Act JW forced the IRS to release the documents in question. The documents show that the IRS would focus its auditing power toward those who made donations to the tax exempt organizations in question.
In 2010, the Senate Finance Committee Chairman at the time, Max Baucus, D-Mont., wrote to the IRS Commissioner at the time, Douglas Shulman, stating that as a matter of IRS policy the tax exempt groups should be "surveyed." Shulman responded in a letter to Baucus in February of 2011 that within the year the IRS would begin a new program that would focus its efforts on the tax exempt organizations.
JW, however, states that the documents it received last Friday indicate that the new program was already being implemented in 2010, as soon as Shulman received the letter from Baucus. But by 2011 the new process was made the official policy of the IRS.
Although at first glance the information contained above seems to be no big deal, this turn of events represents blockbuster legal ramifications. The IRS began to levy a 35 percent gift tax on citizens who gave large donations to tax exempt organizations. However, the U.S. Supreme Court long ago had already declared that a gift tax of this nature is unconstitutional.
But the IRS began to levy such a tax and targeted for audits those persons who gave large donations to tax exempt groups. Going forward after the implementation of the policy, a key figure who shows up again is none other than Lois Lerner, who lied to Congress concerning her role in the IRS scandal which was designed to hamstring opponents of Barack Obama.
Interestingly, in spite of the fact that much of the information that is crucial to the scandal has been destroyed or withheld, the Acting IRS Commissioner at the time, Steven Miller, ordered that no more resources be spent investigating the audit issue and that the case be officially closed.
But as the nation now knows, this case is far from being closed. This, plus Hillary Clinton's Benghazi scandal at the State Dept., represent the scandal of all scandals that will haunt the candidate and countless personnel within the Obama administration in the foreseeable future and may serve to permanently taint the legacy of Barack Obama.
New York state has some of the toughest gun laws in the country. Compliance with those laws is another matter.New York passed a broad package of gun regulations after the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., despite the objections of hunters and gun rights advocates. Now it appears that many gun owners are refusing to comply with a key provision that requires the registration of so-called assault weapons.
Texans are firing back at a federal plan to prevent some Social Security beneficiaries from buying guns if they don’t or can’t manage their own financial affairs.Some say the proposal — which would have the Social Security Administration comply with procedures already in place to prevent gun sales to drug addicts, felons and more — is the latest move by President Barack Obama’s administration to restrict firearm use.
Senators Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Charles Grassley (R-IA), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry requesting details about the State Department’s proposed changes to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). The proposed regulations, as written, may require law-abiding citizens to procure “proper authorization” from the government before publicly speaking about firearms and other materials.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s dramatic intervention will stop 7000 Adler lever-action shotguns entering Australia. The imports will be suspended for at least six months, until the National Firearms Agreement review process is completed.
As previously reported, House Bill 562, the NRA-supported omnibus, pro-gun reform bill, was reported out of the Senate Judiciary II Committee last week on a voice vote with no changes. The bill is now on the Senate Calendar, and could be voted on by the full Senate as early as today.
Since I could not get the following article published, I am posting it right here on The Liberty Sphere. Thanks for reading, my friends.
Almost as soon as the smoke dispersed from the firearm used by the Louisiana shooter who killed two at a movie theater Thursday night, Barack Obama's team and some of his supporters were once again using a tragedy to push for gun control. Obama crony Rahm Emanuel once famously stated, "Never let a crisis go to waste." The Obama team took Rahm's statement to heart. Each time there is a shooting, the minions of the gun ban movement leap into action, inundating the news airwaves with the false meme that had there only been more gun control, the massacre would have never happened.
CNN's anchor reporters the night and morning following the Louisiana shooting wasted no time to chime in, stating that the nation needs to take a more serious look at the issue of gun control. As for Barack Obama himself, before the shooting had taken place he gave an interview with the BBC during his trip to Kenya during which he stated that the biggest frustration of his presidency is the inability to get anything done about gun violence and pass gun control legislation.
Once again, the footsoldiers of the progressive anti-gun movement would mandate that all citizens be deprived of the most effective means of self-defense in order to prevent a few criminals and emotionally unstable persons from getting them. Other than the fact that the U.S. Constitution specifically forbids such laws, this thinking throws all of the components of logic and common sense out the window.
Each year in America between 32,000 and 40,000 citizens on average are killed in car wrecks. Yet Americans continuously shy away from any suggestion that they give up their autos and opt instead for public transportation. Why? Americans like their freedom. They want to make their own choices and do their own thing apart from the watchful eye of government. And this fact is true although 40,000 will die behind the wheel. Most would say that it is up to the individual to remember, "Let the buyer beware." It is up to the individual to put into practice the commonsense measures that enhance the person's chances of staying out of car accidents, or, increase their chances of surviving if they are in such an accident.
So, why is there no push in Washington to ban cars and trucks? Using the logic of the anti-gun cabal, given that 40,000 citizens will die using these instruments of death, Americans should thus be prevented from owning, possessing, and using autos. The thinking of the progressives is all too clear -- if a tiny percentage get hurt or killed using instruments that tens of millions use, force those who use their guns and autos legally, carefully, and with appropriate caution, to give them up even if they are not guilty of any crime. Do not focus on punishing the perpetrators. Punish everyone even though they have never used their firearms or their autos in a haphazard or dangerous fashion.
The latest incident involving firearm abuse by a deranged psych case is no logical reason to deprive all citizens of the right to keep and bear arms. Most Americans are now smart enough to see through this deception that pushes an ominous agenda.
"One by one they came to Washington, D.C. from across the country Monday to testify before Congress concerning the consequences of the failure of the Obama administration to enforce U,S, immigration law. Gut wrenching accounts of family members who were murdered in cold blood by illegal immigrants were recounted to senators and representatives, including the father of Kathryn (Kate) Steinle..."
Read it all.
"Several news organizations reported today that the U.S. House of Representatives will submit a bill this week that would block funding for so-called sanctuary cities. A similar bill is being formulated in the U.S. Senate."
Read the rest.
"In the days since an emotionally unstable Islamic extremist killed four Marines and one Navy man, and wounded several others, the families of the victims, local citizens, and members of the U.S. military are increasingly expressing their ire at the federal government for policies that have failed to provide reasonable security in a world that is growing more dangerous by the day."
Read the rest
"All of the signs point to the fact that the subject of immigration will be a top issue for the 2016 presidential election. Many erroneously cite Donald Trump as the instigator of voter ire regarding the failure of Barack Obama to enforce the law when it comes to those who enter and stay in the United States illegally. The facts, however, show a growing discontent bordering on rage on the part of most citizens toward immigration policy. That rage has been simmering beneath the surface for at least a decade. Trump merely tapped into the discontent that was already there among the citizenry."
"One of the biggest shockers to emerge from the fallout of the newly signed nuclear agreement between the United States and Iran is the news, reported today, that Israel has formed an anti-nuke alliance with Saudi Arabia against Iran."
Read the rest....
A spokesman for the House Select Committee on Benghazi told reporters today that the State Department withheld at least two crucial emails that are said to be at the center of the Benghazi scandal. U.S. ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, and three members of his security detail were murdered in cold blood by terrorists associated with al Qaeda.Read it all
The IRS has missed once again a court ordered deadline today to turn over newly discovered Lois Lerner emails in the ongoing scandal in which the agency used its vast power to harass, prosecute, and attempt to jail members of conservative groups prior to the 2012 presidential election. Read the rest.....
New information has come to light that the gargantuan scandal revolving around attempts by the IRS to thwart, delay, intimidate, and prosecute conservatives prior to the 2012 presidential election was not confined to the IRS. The bombshell updated information, reported by several news outlets and government watchdog groups this week, indicates that the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the FBI were also involved.
Read the rest.....
Two controversial decisions in two days yielded some harsh words from liberty oriented citizens today for the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS). A good example is that after reserving the harshest rhetoric of his long career for the court's decision on Obamacare yesterday, Justice Antonin Scalia obviously wasn't finished. Scalia continued his acerbic sarcasm today in reaction to the court's decision on gay marriage, stating that the decision reads like a fortune cookie.
Continue reading here.
Reaction to the SCOTUS ruling Thursday on Obamacare was swift and scathing. Kentucky senator and presidential candidate Rand Paul, R-Ky., stated that "we have made a big mistake here." Gov. Scott Walker, R-Wis., who is also expected to become a presidential candidate, said that the court's decision means that Republicans and others who oppose the law must redouble their efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare. Even Supreme Court veteran Justice Antonin Scalia reserved the most vehement reaction of his entire career for his colleagues on the court whom he said ignored the rule of law. He sarcastically referred to the majority decision as SCOTUScare.
Continue reading here.
A key U.S. senator stated yesterday that despite calls for more gun control following the Charleston shooting, new measures that would place more restrictions on firearms are highly unlikely. Various and sundry gun control groups, including civil rights activists and some within Congress, always use shootings such as that which took place in Charleston, S.C. as an opportunity to blame the availability of guns is America as the single most important factor that leads deranged shooters to commit mass murder.
Continue reading here.
From the start the Hillary Clinton campaign for the Democratic nomination for president has seemed to be odd at the very least. The most obvious characteristic for Clinton has been a shocking willingness to limit the access of reporters. Amid the complaints of these reporters, however, have been a few rare voices that notice a vulnerability in the candidate that has never been present in her previous campaigns.
Continue reading here.
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