Sunday, 05 July


Don’t Equate Same-Sex Marriage Decision with National Concealed Carry Reciprocity [NRA-ILA News]

On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an opinion in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, which concerned whether same-sex marriage is a right protected by the U.S. Constitution.   Although the case did not address the right to bear arms, some pro-gun advocates began debating whether the Court’s reasoning and analysis had application to national concealed carry licensing reciprocity.


Back from Doc-in-the-Box. [Sipsey Street Irregulars]

It seems I have bronchitis left over from the WA trip.


On 9th day, Kerry says Iran nuke talks could go either way [Gun News]

An escaped murderer who was shot after three weeks on the run has been moved from a New York hospital to another maximum-security prison. The surviving escapee from a prison break and three-week manhunt will spend 23 hours a day in a maximum-security cell, much more confined than he and a fellow murder convict were in the prison from which they managed a... A Texas man used social media to promote his gun store, posting politically charged messages that criticized the president and promoted Second Amendment rights.


Standoff Over Social Media Passwords Breaks New Legal Ground [Gun News]

A Texas man used social media to promote his gun store, posting politically charged messages that criticized the president and promoted Second Amendment rights. But after losing ownership of his suburban Houston store in bankruptcy, Jeremy Alcede spent nearly seven weeks in jail for refusing a federal judge's order to share with the new owner the passwords of the business' Facebook and Twitter accounts, which the judge had declared property.


Inmate shot after escape moved from NY hospital to prison [Gun News]

A Texas man used social media to promote his gun store, posting politically charged messages that criticized the president and promoted Second Amendment rights. A young man who was drinking and celebrating the Fourth of July tried to launch a firework off the top of his head, fatally injuring himself, authorities said Sunday.


Wyoming doesn't report mental-health data to FBI database [Gun News]

Every once in a while Frank Gerstenkorn gets a weird feeling when someone walks into his Guns & Gear store downtown. But Gerstenkorn, a former law enforcement official who owns the store, says he will refuse to sell customers weapons if he has a good reason to believe they are dangerous or are mentally ill.



In this segment of his Virtual State of the Union, the Virtual President talks about why politicians want to talk about gun control rather than crime control, and delivers the factual evidence and historical truths that make the case for the Second Amendment self-evident. "...if you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival.

Saturday, 04 July


Church Psychopaths As Law Givers [Gun News]

My anti-gun-rights friends -- you don't seem to understand that crimes and atrocities committed by madmen are not valid grounds for infringing on the general public's right to bear arms -- a fundamental freedom. This is why you meet the constant resistance that befuddles and frustrates you.


Good for Marco Rubio and Rick Perry blasting Donald Trump's stupid comments [John Lott's Website]

Marco Rubio didn't hold anything back when he recently went after Donald Trump's comments:
Trump’s comments are not just offensive and inaccurate, but also divisive. Our next president needs to be someone who brings Americans together – not someone who continues to divide. Our broken immigration system is something that needs to be solved, and comments like this move us further from – not closer to – a solution. We need leaders who offer serious solutions to secure our border and fix our broken immigration system. . . .
Previously Rick Perry had similarly taken Trump to task (from the video here):
I don’t think he’s reflecting the Republican party with his statements about Mexicans. I think that was a huge error on his part.  And number 1 it is wrong. . . . He painted with a very broad brush and that is the problem. . . . Where he tried to say that Mexicans are bad people, they are rapists and murderers. . . .
Trump is irresponsible is more than just irresponsible on illegal immigration. Take what he says about trade is completely nuts. 
While I'm a Republican, right now, some in the Republican Party are working overtime to hand more power to President Obama.  These same people are turning their backs on the American workers and businesses. It's unbelievable.  
"I learned a long time ago, a bad deal is far worse than no deal at all.  And the Obama Trans-Pacific Partnership and fast-track are a bad, bad deal for American businesses, for workers, for taxpayers. It's a huge set of handouts for a few insiders that don't even care about our great, great America.  
Congress has to stand up and defeat this raw power grab. With the dismal Obama track record, why should a Republican Congress give him more power and gut the Constitution to do it? It's just crazy. Tell your congressmen and senators, vote no on fast-track.
Trade is a "bad deal for American businesses"?  Not allowing trade is a handout to specially favored companies that one allows to charge higher prices.  Can trade deals be set up to still protect certain companies from competition?  Sure, but when you have even more firms protected you have even more firms that are given special favors.

Other nutty Trump claims include his promise that he will be able to get the Mexicans to pay for the fence (see starting at 1:14 into video) or to get them to pay for the cost of illegals in the US.  On the nutty getting them to pay for the fence by taxing their products being put into the US, does Trump understand that would abrogate our treaties and also start a trade war?  It is just an irresponsible statement.

Trump also claims that Mexicans in the US actually commit crimes at a higher rate than others. As far as I can tell, he doesn't back up anything that he says.  

It isn't clear how conservatives will react to Trump's views on other issues.  He has said some reasonable things on guns, but he has also made statements that would concern many.
"It’s often argued that the American murder rate is high because guns are more available here than in other countries. Democrats want to confiscate all guns, which is a dumb idea because only the law-abiding citizens would turn in their guns and the bad guys would be the only ones left armed. The Republicans walk the NRA line and refuse even limited restrictions. . . . I support the ban on assault weapons and I support a slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun. With today’s Internet technology we should be able to tell within 72-hours if a potential gun owner has a record." -- Donald Trump in his book The America We Deserve (2000).
While Trump owns a number of guns and describes himself as "a gun person," he either doesn't know much about guns or he is willing to make things up.  On so-called assault weapons, Trump noted "who needs them except criminals and police?"

From 2011 to this year, Trump also kept on forcefully pushing the crazy birther claim that Obama was actually born in Kenya (see here, hereherehere, and here).

The problem is that with so many Republican candidates in the race, someone can be doing very well with 14% of the vote.

UPDATE: Note every group in the population contains rapists.  The question with Donald Trumps comments is whether illegal immigrants from Mexico commit rape at a higher rate than other groups in the population.  Here is Donald Trump's defense of his claim:
LEMON: I read [the stats], that’s about women being raped. It’s not about criminals coming across the border entering the country. 
TRUMP: Somebody’s doing the raping, Don. I mean, you know, somebody’s doing it. You say it’s women being raped. Well, who’s doing the raping? Well, how can you say such a thing?
Even if the evidence eventually supported Trump's claim, this is a very lame defense of it. 


Hillary News & Views: Independence Day Edition [Gun News]

It's been nearly a month since the Inaugural Edition of Hillary News & Views, so I won't waste any more time with a lengthy introduction! Hillary's only a few days away from rolling out her economic policies, but for now, she's focusing heavily on the two biggest challenges that our nation must confront in the aftermath of the Charleston terrorist attack: race and guns. Clinton spoke with an honesty I have not heard from a white politician since her husband President Clinton tried to lead a national "conversation about race" in the late 1990s.


Brady Campaign puffs smoke regarding fundraising [Of Arms and the Law]

Came across this by coincidence. The Sandy Hook massacre came on December 14, 2012. On January 14, 2013, Brady boasted that the incident had raised $5 million for it..

"The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence has raised about $5 million since late December, a spokeswoman for the group told POLITICO.... The cash influx came from previous supporters upping their contributions, new donors and old supporters coming back, said Deborah DeShong Reed.
The $5 million haul is close to double what the group pulled in 2010, according to the most recent tax documents available. That year, their total revenue was $2.8 million."

But if you look at Brady's IRS Form 990 report, its total fundraising for 2012 was $4.8 million, and for 2013 was $4.2 million. (That's gross: net would be those figures minus fundraising expenses of $1 million and $800,000 respectively). So the surge in funding Brady claimed was in fact more than it brought in total for either year in question. And the 2013 claim was that the cash had come in "since late December (2012)," but in fact 2013 saw a fundraising decline of 13%.


After the Massacre: Resurgence of Race Issues in America [Gun News]

On Tuesday, a fire destroyed Mt. Zion Church AME Church in Greeleyville, S.C., the seventh church since the Charleston massacre.


San Francisco pier slaying: Another gun control failure? [Gun News]

While yesterday's big news about the slaying of a woman on a San Francisco pier Wednesday involved the illegal immigration history of suspect Francisco Sanchez, at some point the conversation should focus on how a man with seven felony convictions allegedly got his hands on a firearm in a state with mandatory background checks on all transfers. The short answer: It's yet another failure of gun control laws that were pushed with the intimation - gun prohibitionists have wised up enough to never outright promise that their restriction schemes will actually accomplish something - that such crimes would be prevented.


Is That Common Sense Gun Control.. or More Spin? [Gun News]

Media spokesmen from anti-gun lobby groups say they want to regulate guns in the name of safety. They say they are for "common sense gun safety regulations".


Dragon indigestion. [Sipsey Street Irregulars]

China hunts for 'manipulators' as stocks tumble
Chinese stocks tumbled again on Friday, taking the week's losses to more than 10 percent, as the securities regulator said it was investigating suspected market manipulation and announced a slew of measures aimed at heading off a full-blown crash.


Florida Alert! New Gun Ownership Study is "bunkum -- pure fiction [NRA-ILA News]

Once again we owe thanks to reporter Lee Williams, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, for his willingness to expose the agenda of those who are the enemies of Freedom and the Second Amendment.  On the day before Independence Day -- July 4th, he released an article exposing the agenda of those who conspire against the Second Amendment.


The one thing the president can do now to reduce gun violence [Gun News]

The president has been on quite a roll recently, with favorable rulings from the Supreme Court on gay marriage and ObamaCare, congressional passage of his Asian trade pact, and a memorable, racially healing speech after the Charleston tragedy. But the one area where he has been totally frustrated has been in his efforts to make a dent in the nation's terrible toll from gun violence.


Newest piece at Fox News: "Lynne Russell, ex-CNN anchor, and her husband are alive thanks to a gun" [John Lott's Website]

Lynne Russell Screen Shot
John Lott has a new piece at Fox News on Lynne Russell and her husband defending themselves with a gun.
Lynne Russell and her husband, Chuck de Caro, believe they would be dead if she hadn’t been carrying a gun. Late Wednesday night, Russell was forced at gunpoint from a motel parking lot into her room. The robber, not satisfied with merely taking her husband’s briefcase, started shooting at him. Fortunately, Russell had handed de Caro her purse, with her handgun inside it. De Caro shot the attacker, who later died at the hospital. 
This story made national news. ABC NewsNBC NewsFox NewsPeople Magazine and even such foreign publications as the UK Guardian newspaper mentioned that Russell, a CNN anchor from 1983 to 2001, and de Caro both had concealed handgun permits. 
We see these stories every day, some of the heroic actions caught on video and others where the criminal is killed, but you would never know it, because the national media continually ignore them. The case with Russell is an exception because she is a public figure. 
To illustrate how common such defense is, consider a few other cases that occurred over the last week where permitted concealed handguns stopped crimes: . . .
The rest of the piece is available here.

Friday, 03 July


The responsibilities of liberty [Gun News]

The founding fathers, noting the need for a well-regulated militia, ended the Second Amendment with "the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." Of the staggering variety of weapons manufactured within U.S. borders only the tiniest fraction can legally be owned by private citizens.


Clinton: 'I take a backseat to no one' on liberal record [Gun News]

Hanover, N.H. - Hillary Clinton arrived in this liberal New England enclave with a message for anyone thinking about voting for Sen. Bernie Sanders of next-door Vermont: "I take a backseat to no one when you look at my record in standing up and fighting for progressive values." Sanders, according to the latest New Hampshire polls, is trailing Clinton by just eight points.



The gun control debate has a history of going nowhere and that probably won't change [Gun News]

The deaths of nine church members in Charleston, South Carolina have churned long-brewing anger, resentment and debates about racism, the fallacy of a post-racial America and a failure of lawmakers to address what critics say is the epidemic of gun violence in an allegedly "advanced" country. It is the gun control debate - a debate that has a long history of going nowhere - that has risen to the forefront.


Subtle anti-gun media bias is tyranny of a different sort [Gun News]

In yesterday's Huffington Post , there was a first-person piece about Sandy Hook and Charleston that wondered, "As yet more victims of gun violence are laid to rest in the U.S., what will this mean for gun control legislation? Changes that may inhibit some citizens' right to possess, but ultimately lead to reduced gun violence and unnecessary death? Or further denial that lax gun laws and gun violence are linked, and another ramping up of state and civilian "security"? Did anybody catch any of this? As the nation prepares to celebrate Independence Day , perhaps now is a good time to consider throwing off the bonds of subtle media bias against the Second Amendment.


Gun Owners Should Take Heart Because Freedom Is Advancing [Gun News]

More state legislatures are passing GOA-backed laws, enabling citizens to carry firearms concealed WITHOUT permits - laws that are known as Constitutional Carry . More states are enacting GOA-backed laws to veto federal restrictions within their borders.


New Book Includes Frank Discussions Why Individuals Carry Concealed [Gun News]

While many may argue differently, perhaps the most important freedoms are contained in the first two amendments. Freedom to express your opinions and thoughts without persecution.


Running late. [Sipsey Street Irregulars]

Playing catch up after three days out. I'll have more later.

Thursday, 02 July


Gov Christie points to benefit of gun ownership by women, insight into Carol Bowne's views on guns for protection [John Lott's Website]

An article in the Courier-Post lays out not only Gov. Chris Christie's views on obtaining guns but also more insight into Carol Bowne's views.  She was the 39-year-old hairdresser who was fatally stabbed outside her Berlin Township home while awaiting the state's permission to buy a gun for protection from an ex-boyfriend.  From the Courier-Post:

The governor's actions drew a mixed response from Bowne's father, Sonny Ehly of Voorhees.
"It's too late now for my daughter. It's after the fact," said Ehly, who described himself as "angry, very very angry."
"But I hope for other people, they'll get justice," the father said. "If it helps another woman, or a man, that would be good."
"I'm behind the right to carry guns." . . .
Carol Browne's father surely believes that his daughter would have been much safer if she had been able to get a gun for protection.  It also sounds as if her father had strongly supported her effort to get a gun.  

These proposed rules still seem much too restrictive to me.

Under Christie's proposed changes, a request to buy or carry a gun would have to be resolved within 14 days if the applicant:
Is the victim of violence or threatened with violence or a deadly weapon, "and there is a substantial likelihood of another such incident in the foreseeable future."
Lives under a demonstrable threat, as evidenced by a restraining order against someone who poses the "substantial likelihood" of violence or a threat with a deadly weapon.

Wednesday, 01 July


Antigun CA State Senator takes dive on gunrunning charges [Of Arms and the Law]

Story here. Sen. Leland Yee plead guilty to racketeering after being accused of conspiring to run guns to Islamic terrorists, not to mention taking $40,000 in bribes from undercover agents and money laundering.

For his previous service, Brady Campaign had named Yee to its Gun Violence Prevention Honor Roll.

One of his codefendants is Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow, a onetime gangster whom Sen. Nancy Pelosi praised for his "tenacity and willingness to give back to the community and working 'in the trenches' as a change agent."

Tuesday, 30 June


Response to Evan DeFilippis and Devin Hughes' claims at "ArmedwithReaon" about my research [John Lott's Website]

Recently Evan DeFilippis and Devin Hughes claimed that defensive gun use was a myth.  Gary Kleck wrote a response where he noted that these authors were merely repeating earlier criticisms and ignored the responses that he and others have made to those critiques.

Well, DeFilippis and Hughes use the same approach in discussing my research (a screen shot of their original post is saved here).  Let's try to go through these points in order that they are presented:

-- Tim Lambert as a source.  Professor Jim Purtilo at the University of Maryland put up a post in 2004 that he has updated over the years that shows that Lambert has been caught falsifying evidence on multiple occasions and has otherwise been dishonest.  See:

-- Cherry picking surveys on gun ownership.
In an audacious display of cherry-picking, Lott argues that there were “more guns” between 1977 to 1992 by choosing to examine two seemingly arbitrary surveys on gun ownership, and then sloppily applying a formula he devised to correct for survey limitations. Since 1959, however, there have been at least 86 surveys examining gun ownership, and none of them show any clear trend establishing a rise in gun ownership. Differences between surveys appear to be dependent almost entirely on sampling errors, question wordings, and people’s willingness to answer questions honestly.
My paper with Mustard as well as my book looked at all the crime data available when those pieces were written and I updated that data with each successive updated edition of my book.  

-- Paper with David Mustard: crime data for all the counties and states in the US from 1977 to 1992.  
-- First edition of MGLC: crime data for all the counties and states in the US from 1977 to 1992 as well as up to 1994 for a comparison.  Literally hundreds of different factors that could impact crime rates were accounted for.
-- Second edition of MGLC: crime data for all the counties, cities, and states in the US from 1977 to 1996.  
-- Third edition of MGLC: crime data for all the counties and states in the US from 1977 to 2005.  

The regressions in those publications account for all the data available (all counties, all cities, all states for all the years the data is available), no cherry picking, and, following earlier work by William Alan Bartley and Mark Cohen, report all possible combination of these hundreds of control variables to show that the results are not sensitive to a particular specification.

The only survey discussion that I made in my first two editions of MGLC was for the 1988 and 1996 voter exit poll surveys.  Those two exit polls included a question on gun ownership.  The third edition of MGLC updates the data to include the 2004 exit poll survey.  The reason for using those large exit polls is that they can contain up to 32,000 people surveyed (though in other years it might only be about 3,600) and that allows one to breakdown the data on a state by state basis to see how gun ownership is changing across different states.  The GSS survey only has data for 600 to 800 observations at a time every two years.  Some other surveys may occasionally have up to 1,200 people, but those samples are just too small to make cross state comparisons.  So I wasn’t looking at these exit poll surveys to check general gun ownership rates for the whole US, but to look at the data for specific states.
However, we know this assertion is factually untenable, based on surveys showing that 5-11% of US adults already carried guns for self-protection before the implementation of concealed carry laws.
The surveys that DeFilippis and Hughes are referring to involve people carrying guns for any reason, including going hunting or simply moving guns between places (See the 
discussion in MGLC).  
It’s extremely unlikely, therefore, for the 1% of the population identified by Lott who obtained concealed carry permits after the passage of “shall-issue” laws to be responsible for all the crime decrease.
Again, I refer to the same discussion from MGLC as it shows that this 1% number is misleading and it also shows a simple numerical example regarding what would be required to get the expected reduction in crime.  This is part of a consistent pattern where DeFilippis and Hughes make no attempt to discuss the responses that I have already made on these issues.
On Hood and Neeley -- "zip codes with the highest violent crime before Texas passed its concealed carry law had the smallest number of new permits issued per capita."
I have a long discussion about why purely cross-sectional analysis is unreliable.  Regarding: "zip codes with the highest violent crime before Texas passed its concealed carry law had the smallest number of new permits issued per capita.”  Well, given that it cost $140 and 10 hours of training to get a permit, it isn’t very surprising to me that poor areas have both high crime rates and low permit rates.  As to cherry-picking, even if cross-sectional analysis was useful, somehow the authors have to explain why they picked one city in the entire US to look at.  In any case, I note this paper and respond to it in MGLC.

Note on the Dade county data.  

Dade county police records, which cataloged arrest and non-arrests incidents for permit holders in a five-year period, also disproves Lott’s point. This data showed unequivocally that defensive gun use by permit holders is extremely rare. In Dade county, for example, there were only 12 incidents of a concealed carry permit owner encountering a criminal, compared with 100,000 violent crimes occurring in that period. . . .
Anyone who has been following the debate on justifiable police homicides knows that the data is not very reliable.  The justifiable homicide data for civilians is even worse.
As Albert Alschuler explains in “Two Guns, Four Guns, Six Guns, More Guns: Does Arming the Public Reduce Crime,” Lott’s work is filled with bizarre results that are inconsistent with established facts in criminology. . . .
My responses to these claims can be found in MGLC (here and here), though DeFilippis and Hughes ignore my responses.
Dennis Hennigan writes, “the absence of an effect on robbery does much to destroy the theory that more law-abiding citizens carrying concealed guns in public deter crime.”
My response to this type of point is available here in MGLC.

Frank Zimring and Gordon Hawkins as well as Dan Black and Daniel Nagin are intertwined here.
Black and Nagin noticed that there were large variations in state-specific estimates for the effect of “shall-issue” laws on crime. For example, Lott’s findings indicated that right-to-carry laws caused “murders to decline in Florida, but increase in West Virginia. Assaults fall in Maine but increase in Pennsylvania.” In addition, “the magnitudes of the estimates are often implausibly large. The parameter estimates that RTC laws increased murders by 105 percent in West Virginia but reduced aggravated assaults by 67 percent in Maine. . . .
Again, DeFilippis and Hughes ignore that I have extensive discussions on this in both MGLC and a 1998 paper published in the Journal of Legal Studies.   

1) Note that even throwing out all counties with populations below 100,000 and Florida, still produced statistically significant drops in some violent crime categories.  They thus removed about 89 percent of the data in the study.  There are so many combinations of county sizes and states that could have been dropped from the sample -- for example, why not Georgia or Pennsylvania or Virginia or West Virginia or any of the other six states?  Why not drop counties with populations under 50,000?  Black and Nagin never really explain the combination that they pick.
2) More importantly, even when they drop out counties with fewer than 100,000 people as well as Florida, Black and Nagin still find statistically significant drops in aggravated assaults (significant at the 5% level) and robberies (significant at the 8% level) and no evidence that any type of violent crime increases.  Note that they also didn't report over all violent crime, and the reason that they don't report that is because even with their choices the drop in over all violent crime would have been statistically significant.
3) As to the increase in West Virginia, there was only one county in WV (Kanawha County) with more than 100,000 people in it.  What they showed is not that crime increased in WV (it fell over all), but that there was an increase in one type of violent crime in one county in WV.
4) DeFilippis and Hughes continually write about "Florida" being removed from the sample, but it is Florida as well as counties with fewer than 100,000 people.
5) If one is interested in my other responses, I suggest that people read both MGLC and the paper published in the Journal of Legal Studies.

Regarding  Ted Goertzel's comments, DeFilippis and Hughes plagiarize/copied his comments in their discussion of Dan Black and Nagin.  In general their approach is to copy, slightly rewrite other critiques, and then ignore what I have written in response.

DeFilippis and Hughes write: 

Within a year, two econometricians, Dan Black and Daniel Nagin validated this concern. By altering Lott’s statistical models with a couple of superficial modeling changes, or by re-running Lott’s own methods on a different grouping of the data, they were able to produce entirely different results.
Goertzel wrote:
Within a year, two determined econometricians, Dan Black and Daniel Nagin (1998) published a study showing that if they changed the statistical model a little bit, or applied it to different segments of the data, Lott and Mustard's findings disappeared. Black and Nagin found that when Florida was removed from the sample there was "no detectable impact of the right-to-carry laws on the rate of murder and rape." They concluded that "inference based on the Lott and Mustard model is inappropriate, and their results cannot be used responsibly to formulate public policy."
This is one time where DeFilippis and Hughes pretend that they are actually linking to what I wrote in response to Goertzel, but instead they misstate what I wrote and link back again to Goertzel.  My responses to Goertzel were similar to what I just note above in response to Black and Nagin.  

DeFilippis and Hughes claim "Lott’s response to Goetzl was to shrug him off, insisting that he had enough controls to account for the problem."  But that is not accurate.  I point out that I was also concerned that the sensitivity of specifications.  That is why I pointed to papers such as the one by Bartley and Cohen that provided tests of whether the results were indeed sensitive.

As to Ayres and Donohue's 2003 law review paper, DeFilippis and Hughes are just simply wrong about the facts.  They write:

"Fortunately, Lott’s data set ended in 1992, permitting researchers to test Lott’s own model with new data. Researchers Ian Ayres, from Yale Law School, and John Donohue, from Stanford Law School, did just this, and examined 14 additional jurisdictions between 1992 and 1996 that adopted concealed carry laws."
The 2nd edition of MGLC came out in 2000 and, as noted above, it had data through 1996.  I provided Ayres and Donohue with my data set and they added one year to the study, 1997.  That single year did not change the results.  While Ayres and Donohue also claimed that the my research had ended with 1992, anyone who checks the 2nd edition of the book or reads chapter 9 in the third edition will see that I had looked at data from 1977 to 1996.

The reply to Ayres and Donohue in the law review was by Florenz Plassmann and John Whitley.  I had helped them out and Whitley notes "We thank John Lott for his support, comments and discussion."  There were minor data errors in the additional years that they added from 1997 to 2000, but those errors didn't alter their main results that dealt with count data.  They had accidentally left 180 cell blank out of some 7 million cells.  Donohue has himself made much more serious data errors in his own work on this issue.  For example, he repeats the data for one county in Alaska 73 times, says that Kansas' right to carry law was passed in 1996 and not 2006, and made other errors.  I did co-author a corrected version of the Plassmann and Whitley paper that fixed the data errors and is available here.  But DeFilippis and Hughes can't even get it straight what paper I co-authored.

In any case, for those who want my response, you can read what I wrote in MGLC (the link only provides part of my discussion).

Again, talk about DeFilippis and Hughes cherry-picking, there are several ways of responding to the quotes by Kleck and Hemenway.

1) Note that Kleck has also said many positive things about my research. For example, see this quote: “John Lott has done the most extensive, thorough, and sophisticated study we have on the effects of loosening gun control laws. Regardless of whether one agrees with his conclusions, his work is mandatory reading for anyone who is open-minded and serious about the gun control issue. Especially fascinating is his account of the often unscrupulous reactions to his research by gun control advocates, academic critics, and the news media.” 

2) I have discussed Kleck's quote in MGLC (see attached file). 
3) The vast majority of peer reviewed research that looks at national data on crime rates supports my research (see table 2 here and also here).  
4)  There are a lot of prominent academics and people involved in law enforcement who have said positive things about my research.  I can list a few here, but I don't really see the point.

“John Lott documents how far ‘politically correct’ vested interests are willing to go to denigrate anyone who dares disagree with them.  Lott has done us all a service by his thorough thoughtful, scholarly approach to a highly controversial issue.”
— Milton Friedman, Nobel prize winning economist
“John Lott is a scholar’s scholar and a writer’s writer — and this book shows why.  That gun ownership might bring social benefits as well as costs is a story we do not often see in the press, and Lott here explains why.  With a blend of new data, evidence, and examples, he unpacks the bias against such stories in the media.”
— Mark Ramseyer, Harvard University
“For anyone with an open mind on either side of this subject this book will provide a thorough grounding. It is also likely to be the standard reference on the subject for years to come.”
—Stan Liebowitz, University of Texas at Dallas
“John Lott’s work to uncover the truth about the costs and benefits of guns in America is as valuable as it is provocative. Too much of today’s public debate over gun ownership and laws ignores the empirical evidence. Based on carefully proven facts, Professor Lott shatters the orthodox thinking about guns and debunks the most prominent myths about gun use that dominate the policy debate. For those who are convinced that the truth matters in formulating public policy and for anyone interested in the role of guns in our society, More Guns, Less Crime is must reading.” —Edwin Meese III, U.S. Attorney General, 1985–88
“More Guns, Less Crime is one of the most important books of our time. It provides thoroughly researched facts on a life-and-death subject that is too often discussed on the basis of unsubstantiated beliefs and hysterical emotions.”
—Thomas Sowell, Stanford University
“Armed with reams of statistics, John Lott has documented many surprising linkages between guns and crime. More Guns, Less Crime demonstrates
that what is at stake is not just the right to carry arms but rather our performance in controlling a diverse array of criminal behaviors. Perhaps most disturbing is Lott’s documentation of the role of the media and academic commentators in distorting research findings that they regard as politically incorrect.”
—W. Kip Viscusi, Cogan Professor of Law and Director of the Program on Empirical Legal Studies, Harvard Law School
“Until John Lott came along, the standard research paper on firearms and violence consisted of a longitudinal or cross-sectional study on a small and artfully selected data set with few meaningful statistical controls. Lott’s work, embracing all of the data that are relevant to his analysis, has created a new standard, which future scholarship in this area, in order to be credible, will have to live up to.”
—Dan Polsby, Kirkland & Ellis Professor of Law, Northwestern University
“His empirical analysis sets a standard that will be difficult to match. . . . This has got to be the most extensive empirical study of crime deterrence that has been done to date.”
—Public Choice

Up to this point in their list, I have tried to go through each of DeFilippis and Hughes' claims.  What should be clear is that I haven't skipped points and I have already answered these claims elsewhere and the same is true for their other assertions.  I would suggest that people get a copy of MGLC for issues up to 2010 and look at my later academic papers at the Social Science Research Network or the Crime Prevention Research Center website.  Regarding their attack on "The Vanishing Survey," they again completely ignore what I have already written on the issue.  Without any attempt to address any of the responses that I have already made to these points, DeFilippis and Hughes' is just a big waste of people's time.

For example, regarding Donohue's latest piece that DeFilippis and Hughes you can see discussions here, here, and here.

I will make one final point.  DeFilippis and Hughes incorrectly describe the National Research Council report.  Their report examined seemingly ever possible gun law that has been studied by academics, but the panel could not identify one single law that made a statistically significant difference.  They made the same response regarding right-to-carry, but unlike all the other laws studied the discussion on right-to-carry laws was the only one that drew a dissent by James Q. Wilson, who pointed out that all of the panel's own regressions found that right-to-carry regressions reduced murder rates.  In 15 years prior to that there had only been one other dissent.  Academics who don't sign on to a NRC report are not invited back to be on future panels.  That creates pressure for people not to dissent, but it also means that virtually all the reports indicate that they can't say anything matters.

Friday, 26 June


Liberty oriented citizens blast Supreme Court [The Liberty Sphere]

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.


Armed Career Criminal Act's "residual clause" struck down [Of Arms and the Law]

An 8-1 in Jonnson v. U.S.. The ACCA provides for increased prison terms for an offender with three priors for certain offenses. The offenses are listed, with a residual clause, a crime that "otherwise involves conduct that presents a serious potential risk of physical injury to another." In construing that, the Court had held that you look at the legal definition of the offense, not at the facts of a particular offense, and so it covers flight from an officer and attempted burglary, but not DUI.

At issue here was a past conviction for possession of a short barreled shotgun. The majority rules, per Justice Scalia, that the whole thing is simply too vague to pass muster. The case law required courts to think of the "typical" offense of a given type, and guess how much danger that posed. That requirement was simply too vague to be constitutional.

Thursday, 25 June


Reaction to Obamacare ruling indicates deep discontent [The Liberty Sphere]

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 brief thought on Pope Francis' and the arms industry [Of Arms and the Law]

His Swiss Guard has halberds and swords for show; for serious work they pack:

"SIG P220 pistols

Steyr Tactical Machine Pistol

SIG P220 (P75)

Glock 19

Steyr TMP

Heckler & Koch MP5A3

Heckler & Koch MP7A1

SIG SG 550

SIG SG 552"

Not a bad assortment: handguns, subguns, assault rifles. They've retired their Mauser 98s and Suomi KP-31s in favor of modern firearms.

Wednesday, 24 June


John Lott goes to town on mass killing claim [Of Arms and the Law]

at New York Daily News, he goes into the claim that the US has such a high rate of mass slayings.

"Norway had the highest annual death rate, with two mass public shooting fatalities per million people. Macedonia had a rate of 0.38, Serbia 0.28, Slovakia 0.20, Finland 0.14, Belgium 0.14, and the Czech Republic 0.13. The U.S. comes in eighth with 0.095 mass public shooting fatalities per million people, with Austria close behind.

"To see this isn't just a problem for the U.S. or a few small countries, Obama doesn't need to look any further than reports released by his own State Department. Between 2007 and 2011, there were an average of 6,282 terrorist attacks per year outside of Iraq, Afghanistan and the U.S. The number of people killed, injured or kidnapped averaged more than 27,000 per year.

On Friday, Obama claimed once again that, "You don't see murder on this kind of scale, with this kind of frequency, in any other advanced nation on Earth."

Among developed countries, however, the U.S. isn't anywhere close to having the highest homicide rate. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the arbiter of which countries are considered industrialized, ranks Russia and Brazil far ahead of the U.S., with homicide rates that are respectively 21/2 to five times higher than ours. Our rate was tied with Chile's, and just slightly above the average for developed countries."

Here is the take of Politifact, not exactly a pro-gun site. They rate the claim as "mostly false."

Hat tip to Alice Beard.


Thoughts on the Confederate flag controversy [Of Arms and the Law]

It's a good time to call upon Maryland to ditch its State song. In fact, that was my reaction when I first heard of the song, decades ago.

"The despot's heel is on thy shore,

[The despot being Abraham Lincoln, not George III]

His torch is at thy temple door,
Avenge the patriotic gore
That flecked the streets of Baltimore,

[Said gore being that of Baltimore street mobs that attacked Union troops moving through the city]

And be the battle queen of yore,
Maryland! My Maryland!
. . . . . . .

Dear Mother! burst the tyrant's chain,

[A reference to one A. Lincoln again]

Virginia should not call in vain,
She meets her sisters on the plain-
"Sic semper!" 'tis the proud refrain

[Not a quote from John Wilkes Booth when the song was written, but certainly one when it became the State song in 1939]

That baffles minions back amain,
Maryland! My Maryland!"

The tune is rather weak, the cadence too slow, and, given its present attitude toward freedom (esp. of the 2A variety), the State government has little standing to expect its citizens to sing about their freedom.

Inspired by Instapundit's note about a reactionary president's questionable playlist -- that is, Lincoln's 1865 request that a band play "Dixie" from him. But what can you expect from a fellow who was given his first oath of office by Jefferson Davis?


Key senator says new gun control unlikely after Charleston shooting [The Liberty Sphere]

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.


Newest piece in the New York Daily News: "The myth of American gun violence" [John Lott's Website]

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John Lott's piece at the New York Daily News starts this way:
In the wake of the murders in Charleston, President Obama has made more exaggerations and false claims about gun violence in America. He made two public addresses this past week — one to the nation on Thursday and one to the U.S. Conference of Mayors on Friday. On both occasions, he gave distorted impressions of how rates of violence in America compare with those in the rest of the world. 
In his address to the nation, Obama claimed that, “We as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. It doesn’t happen in other places with this kind of frequency.” 
But Obama overlooks Norway, where Anders Behring Breivik used a gun to kill 67 people and wound 110 others. Still others were killed by bombs that Breivik detonated. Three of the six worst K-12 school shootings ever have occurred in Europe. Germany saw two of these — one in 2002 at Erfurt and another in 2009 at Winnenden. The combined death toll was 34. France and Belgium have both faced multiple terrorist attacks over the past year. 
After adjusting for America’s much larger population, we see that many European countries actually have higher rates of death in mass public shootings. 
Let’s look at such mass public shootings (four or more people killed, and not in the course of committing another crime) from 2009 to the present. To make a fair comparison with American shootings, I have excluded terrorist attacks that might be better classified as struggles over sovereignty, such as the 22 people killed in the Macedonian town of Kumanovo last month. 
Norway had the highest annual death rate, with two mass public shooting fatalities per million people. Macedonia had a rate of 0.38, Serbia 0.28, Slovakia 0.20, Finland 0.14, Belgium 0.14, and the Czech Republic 0.13. The U.S. comes in eighth with 0.095 mass public shooting fatalities per million people, with Austria close behind. . . .
The rest of the piece is available here.
NYDN Most Shared


More hits on the CT "study" [Of Arms and the Law]

Over at Reason Online, Brian Doherty joins in the fun. I have an article, accepted and in edit, on how the grant-induced wave of medical studies (published in medical rather than criminology journals, so the editors and peer reviewers have no idea what they are dealing with) plays with the books. It's been a problem with medical articles in general, where the author sometimes has a vested interest in promoting some therapy or drug, and there the editors at least know what they are dealing with. One editor notes many different ways to cook the books, for example: run your study and use survival data from one, three, and five years out. If one and five years show no result, report only the results from three years, and never admit that you ran the other periods. Or ignore confounding variables (was this therapy only given to the less sick patients?). This "study" seems a clear example of those problems. It ends in 2005, for no convincing reason, and when extensions to 2010 or even 2014 would have found gun homicides rising. It compares CT, not to easily chosen controls (the region in which it is situated, or the entire nation) but to an artificial CT composed of parts of several States. With that sort of liberty, I'm sure you could have created an artificial CT that showed homicides went up, or down, or stayed the same.

Tuesday, 23 June


Hillary's vulnerability increasingly clear [The Liberty Sphere]

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.


Newest piece at Fox News: "Why Tom Brady may have a strong case for a lawsuit against the NFL" [John Lott's Website]

My newest piece at Fox News starts this way:
If a new study from the American Enterprise Institute is correct, the Patriots and their quarterback Tom Brady are going to sue the NFL for defamation in the so-called “Deflate gate” scandal.  The accusation that the Patriots had broken the rules during their playoff game earlier this year with the Indianapolis Colts permanently tarnished Tom Brady’s stellar football career, but it looks as the NFL hid importance evidence and misinterpreted what they did report. 
Brady not only looks set to win his appeal of the NFL’s four game suspension, but he has a good chance to win a defamation suit against the league. 
The NFL’s evidence against the Patriots seemed straightforward: when referees measured the air pressure at halftime, the eleven Patriot footballs had experienced a significantly larger air pressure drop than the four Colts balls that were measured.  Before the game, the referee had measured the air pressure in the footballs at 12.5 PSI (pounds per square inch) for the Patriots and 13.1 PSI for the Colts.  At half time, the Patriots had fallen to 11.3 PSI but only down to 12.53 for the Colts. 
The difference was statistically significant.  The pressure in the Patriot balls had fallen by more than those for the Colts.  Case closed, right?  Not so fast. . . .
The piece continues here

Monday, 22 June


IRS, State Dept. the most transparent in history? [The Liberty Sphere]

In 2008 prior to being elected President, Barack Obama pledged that his administration would be the most transparent in history. It turns out that the question is not whether or not it has lived up to Obama's pledge. Everyone knows it has not. The real question is how much closer to transparency the administration has become, if at all. If a new assessment provided by the Las Vegas Review-Journal today is any indication, the answer to that question is the only thing that is transparent.

Continue reading here.

Sunday, 21 June


Ronald Reagan carried a concealed handgun with him for 14 years [John Lott's Website]

From the Daily Caller:
One of President Ronald Reagan’s leading biographers says that Reagan carried a concealed handgun for about 14 years following his attempted assassination at the hands of John Hinckley Jr., confirming a recent claim made by author Brad Meltzer. 
Meltzer, a best-selling thriller writer, wrote in the New York Daily News over the weekend that he was told about Reagan’s heat-packing ways while researching an upcoming novel. While touring the headquarters of the Secret Service, Meltzer says one of the agents there mentioned that Reagan carried a revolver in his briefcase during his years as president. 
“Whatever you think of Reagan, you have to admit, he had a black belt in badassery,” Meltzer wrote. 
The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to Craig Shirley, a notable Reagan biographer, who said that Meltzer’s claim is completely true and independently confirmed by his own research. . . .
What do you think?

What do you think?

What do you think?


Enemies of liberty tip their hand [The Liberty Sphere]

Conservatives, libertarians, and gun rights activists have long suspected that many elected representatives, political consultants, and even some religious leaders secretly push a nefarious agenda that directly attacks the liberties and rights of ordinary citizens. Today at least two of these persons tipped their hand, making comments that raised the eyebrows of even the most seasoned journalists.

Continue reading here.


Two centuries ago yesterday [Of Arms and the Law]

The high point of the Battle of Waterloo. Commemorated yesterday with a major re-enactment.

I've read a few sources that argue that Wellington spent the rest of his rewriting history, to play up the role of his army, and especially its British components, and play down the role of the Prussians, who were coming down on the French right flank, forcing Napoleon to divert part of his reserve against them, and to launch an attack on the Allied center with the remainder in an attempt to win before his time ran out.


Challenging the traditional view of Ex Parte Merryman [Of Arms and the Law]

1864 case, Chief Justice Taney sitting as circuit judge (in those days Justices did double-duty as circuit judges). In the opening days of the Civil War, the movement of Union troops down to defend Washington led to fatal rioting in Baltimore, where troops had to shift trains and move between train stations to do so. Lincoln reacted by authorizing Union commanders to suspend the writ of habeas corpus (and thus to take and prisoners without being subject to judicial action). The governor ordered militia units to destroy railroad bridges, and Union troops arrested a militia lieutenant Merryman for his role in that, and took him to Fort McHenry, in Baltimore harbor.

A district judge issued a writ of habeas corpus, which the fort commander refused to honor. An appeal was taken to the Circuit, and CJ Taney issued a writ of attachment (!) for Lieutenant Merryman, but the US Marshal bearing it was denied entry into the fort. Taney then issued an opinion finding that the suspension of the writ was unconstitutional, and in particular that only Congress had the power to suspend.

The traditional view has been that Merryman marked Lincoln's defiance of the Court (although it never came to the Supreme Court) and inter arms enim silent leges -- in time of war, the law falls silent. But Seth Barrett Tillman, of the National University of Ireland, recently raised an alternate interpretation. Essentially, Lincoln cannot be said to have defied a court unless he disobeyed an order from it: an opinion is not an order, it is an explanation of or a predicate for an order. In Merryman Taney issued one order -- the writ of attachment -- and since his marshal never got into the fort, he had no chance to serve it on the fort commander. Taney was thus engaging in an exercise in futility, and knew it. He could have upped the ante -- e.g., ordered the marshal to arrest anyone who impeded his entry into the fort -- but wisely decided to fold his hand. In this interpretation, the case is not about Lincoln defying judicial authority, it is more about Taney backing down from a trial of strength.

UPDATE: I wonder if the major D.C. and Baltimore newspapers had anything to say about the confrontation, at the time when it was occurring. Absent that, Lincoln's knowledge of the affair might have been sparse. The fort commander would not have reported directly to him, and the commander's superiors would have been a bit busy there, as Lincoln himself was. A person could consult Lincoln's papers, but I suspect there wouldn't be much there.

I recall reading a history of the 2nd Michigan Infantry, which had to pass through Baltimore in this period. The head of the city police offered to give them a guard, and the commander replied that if they wished to be guides, it would be appreciated, but as far as guarding them, he'd already given the order to load with ball and buck.

Saturday, 20 June


Hillary/State Dept. under gun of federal court scrutiny [The Liberty Sphere]

Late last evening, Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch (JW), announced yet another victory in federal court for the government watchdog group. Judge Emmet Sullivan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia announced that he is reopening the case concerning top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin.

Continue reading here.


Yet more evidence that these killers are deterred by people with guns: Charleston, South Carolina Church Shooter [John Lott's Website]

Dylann Roof
As I have previously pointed out how mass public shooting after mass public shooting keep occurring where guns are banned. Here is yet another case of these killers avoiding places where people with guns might be able to stop their killing spree. From the Associated Press:
Last week, while they were drinking in the back of Scriven's house, Roof blurted out his plan about carrying out a mass shooting at the College of Charleston.
"I don't think the church was his primary target because he told us he was going for the school," Scriven said Friday. "But I think he couldn't get into the school because of the security ... so I think he just settled for the church." . . .
Here is what the College of Charleston puts up regarding their armed officers.
Police officers responding to an active shooter are trained to proceed immediately to the area in which shots were last heard in order to stop the shooting as quickly as possible. The first responding officers may be in teams; they may be dressed in normal patrol uniforms, or they may be wearing external ballistic vests and Kevlar helmets or other tactical gear. The officers may be armed with rifles, shotguns or handguns. Do exactly as the officers instruct. The first responding officers will be focused on stopping the active shooter and creating a safe environment for medical assistance to be brought in to aid the injured. . . .
I have spoken recently about mass public shootings at the law school at the College of Charleston, and given that it was my topic, I checked out the security measures at the school.  There were no metal detectors present, just a reliance on armed campus security.
The media generally ignores that these attacks keep occurring where guns are banned, instead concentrating on how the killer obtained the gun or the weapon used. Yet, it is very hard to stop people who are planning these attacks over 6 months in advance from getting a weapon. Background checks and other "solutions" wouldn't stop these attacks that are being used to motivate the laws.
"His mom had taken the gun from him and somehow he went back and took it from her."
(We have previously noted that Greta's show on Fox News interviewed one of the killer's friends who had said that the killer had stolen the gun he used from his mom without her knowing it.)


Uber and Lyft prohibiting firearms for drivers, riders [John Lott's Website]

After an Uber driver in Chicago used his gun to stop a mass public shooting and save lives, the company is moving to ban guns in its cars?  Uber has posted the above policy note on its website.
We have adopted a no-firearms policy to ensure that both riders and drivers feel safe and comfortable on the platform. We made this policy change after assessing existing policies and carefully reviewing recent feedback from both riders and driver-partners.
Uber has learned nothing from all these attacks that keep occurring where guns are banned.
With 11.1 million concealed carry permit holders last year, that is a lot of potential customers that Uber and Lyft are turning down.

Friday, 19 June


Federal judge orders IRS to court [The Liberty Sphere]

In a late breaking development cited by Judicial Watch (JW), a federal judge has ordered the IRS to court. Judge Emmet Sullivan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ordered the IRS to appear before the court to answer for its delaying tactics and stonewalling. At issue is the ongoing Congressional investigation into the scandal during which the agency admitted it had delayed and at times harassed conservative and Tea Party groups that had sought tax exempt status prior to the 2012 election.

Continue reading here.


Something that you probably won't hear about regarding George Zimmerman [John Lott's Website]

Remember all the news coverage about George Zimmerman's supposed road rage behavior earlier this year?  Well, here is something that you aren't going to hear about very much (from Fox News):
A prosecutor on Thursday upgraded to attempted murder the most serious charge against a man accused of shooting into George Zimmerman's vehicle while they were driving down a busy road last month. 
State Attorney Phil Archer charged 36-year-old Matthew Apperson with attempted second-degree murder. Apperson had been charged earlier with aggravated assault and battery for firing a gun into Zimmerman's car during a traffic run-in last month on a busy road in an Orlando suburb. Zimmerman had minor injuries. 
Apperson also faces an aggravated assault charge and a charge of shooting into an occupied vehicle. 
"Our law enforcement community and the State Attorney's Office works vigorously to ensure people may travel our busy streets, going about their business, without fear," Archer said in a statement announcing the new charge. "Every resident and visitor to Seminole County deserves this freedom." . . .


Judge who awarded atty fees to Lucky Gunner explains his ruling [Of Arms and the Law]

Right here. And the order itself is online here.

"It is apparent that this case was filed to pursue the political purposes of the Brady Center and, give the failure to present any cognizable legal claim, bringing these defendants into the Colorado court where the prosecution of James Holmes was proceeding appears to be more of an opportunity to propagandize the public and stigmatize the defendants than to obtain a court order which counsel should have known would be outside the authority of this court."

UPDATE: Lucky Gunner has announced that it will donate the entire of its fee award to a group that defends the Second Amendment. Which group it is will be settled by an online vote -- you can cast yours here.

Thursday, 18 June


Dems join Repubs in voting to repeal Obamacare [The Liberty Sphere]

The latest effort by House Republicans to repeal Obamacare garnered the support of 50 House Democrats. Even under the threat of a presidential veto, the Democrats opposed to the Affordable Care Act remained strong, with 46 adding their names to the bill that would dismantle key parts of the Obamacare law.

Continue reading here.


Newest piece at Fox News: "Gun-free zones an easy target for killers" [John Lott's Website]

Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at  Thursday, June 18, 12.21 PM
John Lott has a new op-ed at Fox News on the 
The horrible tragedy last night that left nine people dead at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., probably could have been avoided. Like so many other attacks, the massacre took place in a gun-free zone, a place where the general public was banned from having guns. The gun-free zone obviously didn’t stop the killer from bringing a gun into the church. 
Indeed, the circumstantial evidence is strong that these killers don’t attack randomly; they keep picking the few gun-free zones to do virtually all their attacks. 
For some reason, people who would never put up a “gun-free zone” sign in front of their own homes, put up such signs for other sensitive areas that we would like to protect. 
Time after time, we see that these killers tell us they pick soft targets. With just two exceptions, from at least 1950, all the mass public shootings have occurred in these gun-free zones. From last summer’s mass public killers in Santa Barbara and Canada, to the Aurora movie theater shooter, these killers made it abundantly clear in their diaries or on Facebook how they avoided targets where people with guns could stop them. 
And even when concealed handgun permit holders don’t deter the killers, the permit holders stop them. Just a couple of weeks ago, a mass public shooting at a liquor store in Conyers, Ga., was stopped by a concealed handgun permit holder. A couple of people had already been killed by the time the permit holder arrived, but according to Rockdale County Sheriff Eric Levett: 
"I believe that if Mr. Scott did not return fire at the suspect, then more of those customers would have [been] hit by a gun. It didn’t appear that he cared who he shot or where he was shooting until someone was shooting back at him. So, in my opinion, he saved other lives in that store." 
Yet, even though there was a video of this heroic action, the story got no national news coverage. Case after case occurs where concealed handgun permit holders stop what would have been mass shootings. While many don’t get news coverage because the permit holder prevents people from being killed, some, such as the recent Georgia case, still don’t get coverage even when there are dead bodies. 
These heroes just don’t stop attacks in small towns in Georgia. . . . .
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Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at  Thursday, June 18, 12.13 PM 1

Wednesday, 17 June


Judicial Watch makes next move in response to IRS stonewallling [The Liberty Sphere]

In compliance with a direct federal court order to explain why the IRS has not provided key emails in the IRS/Lois Lerner scandal, the agency stated on June 12, 2015 that it possesses the emails but that it has withheld them to make sure there are no duplicates. As the IRS knows full well, the intent of the Judicial Watch (JW) lawsuit which led to the court order is not merely to acknowledge that is has the emails but that it intends to release them.

Continue reading here.


Jake Tapper: When Bill Clinton complained about guns in Baltimore, ask him why the law-abiding poor can't carry [John Lott's Website]

Bill Clinton on CNN's State of the Union:
. . . The Baltimore thing came on the heels of what happened in Ferguson, what happened in New York City and all these other places. And their is a big national movement about whether the lives of young African-American men count. 
You can’t have people walking around with guns. I used to tell people when we did Bosnia, Kosovo anything like that, you get enough people with weapons around and there will be unintended consequences. People make mistakes People do wrong. Things happen. To hold a community together you got to have a high level of community trust. . . .
Note that in Baltimore, it costs over $300 to license and register a handgun to own in the home.  It is virtually impossible to get a concealed handgun permit (just 0.3% of adults in Maryland have a permit), and about half of those are retired police officers.  The permits that are issued are definitely not going to people who live in this poor area of Baltimore.  The formal legal costs of getting a permit are not just the license and registration fees to own a handgun, but also the $75 ($70 application and $5 fingerprinting fee) and training costs.  Even then they are just a small part of the cost of getting a concealed handgun permit.  The poor aren't going to hiring lawyers to go through the legal process to get approval to have a permit, and even if they did, it is unlikely that a judge would grant them a permit.


Peruta after action appraisal [Of Arms and the Law]

It's hard to predict an outcome from an argument, and impossible with an en banc. Eleven judges, half of whom did not ask a question, and several who did grilled both sides equally.

The good guys faced a very big problem: the Ninth is 2/3 Demo appointees (party of the appointing president is the only way to judge their political feelings, and is rough enough). Odds of winning 6 out of 11 are not high.

The good guys thus posed the question narrowly. We aren't attacking the licensing system as such. We are attacking the fact that the two sheriffs here employ its broad "good cause" term to exclude anyone who doesn't have an exceptional need for self-defense, one not shared by the average person. Heller suggests, at the very least, you cannot demand that. (I think a licensing system of that type is unconstitutional, and they certainly do as well. But an advocate's job is to win THIS case, not to debate broad principles and lose on them).

This put the State in a very interesting position, which at least one judge probed. It's moving to intervene -- but why, this late in the game? It could have joined the suit years ago. It didn't even join before the panel decision came down. California didn't want to say "Heck, we thought the sheriffs would appeal it farther." Instead it tried to argue that the suit started out as a challenge to the sheriffs' exercise of discretion, in which the State had no particular interest, and developed into one where the State statute itself was under attack. But if the good guys say that isn't the case... And if the State isn't granted intervention, the appeal dies, since the sheriffs didn't ask for further appeal, and that leaves the panel decision standing.

I did like it when in rebuttal Clement zinged the better of the two California advocates. The guy had said -- this is a rural county. The ban on open carry doesn't apply to 95% of it except in restricted areas, so a person can carry open and unloaded in the great bulk of it. The rebuttal response: "except in restricted areas." Under the statutory definition, those include virtually anywhere you cannot discharge a gun, which in this context means almost anywhere, a road, anywhere near a house, etc., etc.

Tuesday, 16 June


Latest Fox News piece: "Connecticut's strict gun licensing law linked to steep drop in homicides? Not really" [John Lott's Website]

My newest piece at Fox News starts this way:
A new study in the American Journal of Public Health claims that the state of Connecticut’s 1995 gun licensing law has reduced firearm homicide rates by 40 percent.  But this just released study gives academics a bad name.  Not surprisingly, anti-gun activist and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and the left-wing Joyce Foundation funded the research. 
The study cherry picks which states with gun licensing laws are examined, which years are looked at, and the type of crime to study. Any normal researcher would look at all the states in the country that have passed a similar law and compares the changes in crime trends between those states that passed the laws to those that didn’t. 
Sure, from 1995 to 2005 the firearm homicide rate in Connecticut did indeed fall from 3.13 to 1.88 per 100,000 people, a 40% drop over a ten-year period.  Not mentioned is that the firearms homicide rate was falling even faster immediately before the licensing law went into effect, falling from 4.5 to 3.13 per 100,000 residents -- more than a 30 percent drop in just two years. 
When researchers throw out data, there had better be a good reason.  They didn’t have one. They cite a paper that looked at the impact of smoking for 12 years after cigarette taxes were increased. What cigarettes have to do with explaining crime rates and what 12 years has to do with only looking at 10 years of data is never explained, though possibly they thought no one would actually read the paper they cited. 
In any case, their results change appreciably if just one more year is added to their data.  Between 1995 and 2006, Connecticut’s firearm homicide rate fell by just 16 percent.  By comparison, the rates for the U.S. and the rest of the Northeast fell respectively by 27 percent and 22 percent.  If Connecticut’s firearm homicide rate didn’t fall as much as the rest of the country, why should we think that the licensing law was so beneficial? 
Why the authors of the study chose to ignore other violent crimes also becomes clear pretty quickly. Relative to the rest of the United States, Connecticut’s overall violent crime rate as well as its robbery and aggravated assault rates were clearly falling prior to the prior to the 1995 law and rising afterwards.  Rape was unchanged. . . .
The rest of the piece is available here.


Judicial Watch issues statement on IRS emails [The Liberty Sphere]

In two late breaking developments today, Judicial Watch (JW) announced that the IRS has informed JW that it has the subpoenaed emails it requested on the Lois Lerner/IRS scandal and that the IRS has found over 400 new Lerner emails that the agency says it didn't know existed. Congressional investigators believe the emails are key in discovering the whole truth about the IRS scandal, but it took a direct court order with a deadline of June 12, 2015 to get the IRS to comply.
Continue reading here.


Peruta v. San Diego argument today [Of Arms and the Law]

Streaming video should be here. It's set to start at 3:30 Pacific, 6:30 Eastern.

California had a system where handgun carry licenses are "may issue," and that extends to all carrying, not just concealed. A three judge panel struck that down, finding that a government cannot entirely prohibit unauthorized carry and also make the permit system "shall issue." There was a motion for review en banc, which was granted, hence this argument. (In theory, en banc means by all the judges of the Circuit; the Ninth is so large -- 28 active judges, last I counted -- that it sets them before a panel of the chief judge and ten randomly selected judges).

I worded that in the passive voice, because of another quirk. The defendants did not move for review en banc, but announced they would start issuing permits on a "shall issue" basis. The State of California had, early in the case, been notified, but refused to intervene. Now, with the original defendants dropping out, it filed a motion to intervene so as to file a motion for rehearing en banc. I don't think the court has ever acted on that. I assume the California AG's office will argue for the other side -- which means the court will hear argument from an attorney without it ever having been determined whether their client is a party to the appeal!

Monday, 15 June


IRS misses court-ordered deadline to turn over Lerner emails [The Liberty Sphere]

The IRS missed a court ordered June 12, 2015 deadline for turning over emails pertaining to the scandal in which the agency illegally harassed conservative, Tea Party, pro-Israeli, and Christian groups. The tactics were designed to thwart the groups' attempts to attain tax exempt status prior to the 2012 election. But liberal or so-called progressive groups were placed on the fast track. Read the rest here/


Colt files Chapter 11 bankruptcy [Of Arms and the Law]

Story here. Chapter 11 isn't "we're going under" bankruptcy, but more "if you'll hold our creditors at bay, we can make changes and survive (maybe)" bankruptcy.

Given the booming gun economy (last I heard Ruger was running three shifts of workers, factories going 24 hours a day) and the government contract for M4s, I have no idea how they could get into this bind.

Sunday, 14 June


Media Matters misdirects on FBI report on mass shootings [John Lott's Website]

Media Matters has put out its typical misinformation.  This time on Jason Riley's piece on the now acknowledged errors in the FBI report on public shootings.  As I wrote last October in a post at the Crime Prevention Research Center:
While the FBI report provides graphs illustrating “active shooting incidents,” not mass shootings, given the way that the report was written, the media has understandably interpreted the report as implying that mass public shootings have massively increased over time. . . .
The bottom line here is that neither Media Matters nor some of the authors from a FBI report on public shootings were able to defend the data used in the FBI report so they focus on a red herring, whether the media got confused about the report being on mass public shootings.  Media Matters doesn't even try to defend the 20 missing mass shooting cases that should clearly have been included in the Blair and Martaindale data set.  Nor does Media Matters try to defend the way that the FBI report measured active shooter cases.

Jason Riley explicitly mentions that Blair and Martaindale complain that the media misunderstood their point on the issue of Mass shootings/active shooters (Riley writes: "[Blair and Martaindale] said that the news media “got it wrong” last year when they 'mistakenly reported mass shootings were on the rise'”, Riley provides a directly link to their piece in the ACJS, and John Lott's report explicitly spends a great deal of time discussing the problems with their measure of "active shooters."  Whether one wants to lump together mass public shootings with cases where a shot is fired in public and no one is hit, Lott's point was that Blair and Martaindale's measure of these active shooter cases is biased towards picking up just recent cases and thus tends to make it look as if there were an increase in public shootings over time.  


Friday, 12 June


Court ordered deadline for Lerner/IRS emails today [The Liberty Sphere]

The Examiner has learned that today represents a major deadline in an important Congressional investigation of the IRS scandal. On June 2, 2015 an order was issued by a federal court to provide a full account of the infamous Los Lerner emails which are at the center of a major scandal within the Obama administration.  Sworn testimony and other evidence show that the agency involved itself directly in a federal election by slapping groups opposed to Obama with audits and other tactics designed to derail such opposition prior to the 2012 presidential election. Read the rest here...


Wednesday, 10 June


Did Clinton's State Department work to protect a pedophile from an investigation? [John Lott's Website]

According to the Washington Examiner, the State Department is said to have protected a pedophile from criminal charges.
The officials excised details of a cover up of misconduct by Clinton's security team.
The edits raise concerns that investigators were subjected to "undue influence" from agency officials.
The Washington Examiner obtained earlier drafts of the report which differ markedly from the final version. References to specific cases in which high-level State officials intervened and descriptions of the extent and frequency of those interventions appear in several early drafts but were later eliminated.
The unexplained gaps in the final version, and the removal of passages that would have damaged the State Department, call into question the independence of Harold Geisel, who was State's temporary inspector general throughout Clinton's four years at the head of the department.
The drafts were provided to the Examiner by Richard Higbie, a senior criminal investigator at the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, after he said he disclosed the documents to several members of Congress and multiple congressional committees under federal whistleblower protections. . . . 
For those who don't remember, here is another article on Hillary's first criminal defense case where she defended a pedophile in court.  From The Daily Beast:
Hillary Clinton is known as a champion of women and girls, but one woman who says she was raped as a 12-year-old in Arkansas doesn’t think Hillary deserves that honor. This woman says Hillary smeared her and used dishonest tactics to successfully get her attacker off with a light sentence—even though, she claims, Clinton knew he was guilty.
The victim in the 1975 sexual abuse case that became Clinton’s first criminal defense case as a 27-year-old lawyer has only spoken to the media once since her attack, a contested, short interaction with a reporter in 2008, during Clinton’s last presidential campaign run. Now 52, she wants to speak out after hearing Clinton talk about her case on newly discovered audio recordings from the 1980s, unearthed by the Washington Free Beacon and made public this week.
In a long, emotional interview with The Daily Beast, she accused Clinton of intentionally lying about her in court documents, going to extraordinary lengths to discredit evidence of the rape, and later callously acknowledging and laughing about her attackers’ guilt on the recordings.
“Hillary Clinton took me through Hell,” the victim said. 

Tuesday, 09 June


Female homeowner wounds armed intruder who broke into her home [John Lott's Website]

From Jacksonville, Florida:
It started with a man knocking on the door about 12:30 p.m., asking if a particular person was there. The resident said he didn’t know anyone by that name and tried to close the door. But the intruder pushed his way in, put a gun to his head and said, “This is a robbery, give it up.” 
A woman in a nearby bedroom heard the commotion and came out with a handgun. She dove on the floor firing at the intruder, who shot back. The woman went back into the bedroom to get another handgun and continued shooting. The intruder was hit several times and fell to the floor yelling, “I’m shot; I’m paralyzed.” . . .


Newest piece at Fox News: "There is no nationwide crime wave (and police killings are not up)" [John Lott's Website]

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at  Tuesday, June 9, 11.50 PM
My newest piece at Fox News starts this way:
Since 1991, murder and violent crime have plummeted in the U. S. But in a widely discussed op-ed in the Wall Street Journal titled "The New Nationwide Crime Wave,” Heather Mac Donald recently made a startling claim: “Gun violence in particular is spiraling upward in cities across America.” She demonstrated this by citing murder rate increases in six cities. 
Murders of police were also surging out of control, she said; they had “jumped 89% in 2014."
Last week, Mac Donald, the Thomas W. Smith Fellow at New York’s Manhattan Institute appeared on numerous TV channels, including Fox News and CNN. As is so common, the claims have become exaggerated, giving the impression that crime is on the rise all across the U.S. 
Fortunately, that’s all hype. Mac Donald simply cherry-picked those places that had experienced rising crime rates. Overall, the 15 largest cities have actually experienced a slight decrease in murders. There has been a 2 percent drop from the first five months of 2014 to the first five months of this year. Murder rates rose in eight cities and fell in seven. There is no nationwide murder wave. . . . 
Police do a dangerous job, and any dramatic increase in police killings would be horrible. But the nationwide spike in police killings is not all that Mac Donald claims it is. After averaging 55 police deaths per year for a decade, the number of deaths fell to 27 in 2013. The number went back up to 51 in 2014. Though that was a large increase, the unusual year was 2013, not 2014. 
But the biggest problem with these last numbers is that, unlike the crime numbers that compare periods clearly before and after the “Ferguson effect” and the Baltimore riots, the spike in police killings occurred too early. According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, murders of police through May nationwide are down 38 percent this year compared to last year (16 versus 26). . . .


Wall Street Journal: Authors of FBI Report on Public Shootings admit “our data is imperfect" [John Lott's Website]

Jason Riley picture
For months I had tried getting a response from the Department of Justice and the authors of a FBI report on "active shooters" regarding errors that the CPRC had found. I then published a research in the March 2015 issue of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. That finally got a response from two of the FBI study's authors, Pete Blair and M. Hunter Martaindale, last week. Jason Riley's article in the Wall Street Journal describes their response:
. . . But late last week, J. Pete Blair and M. Hunter Martaindale, two academics at Texas State University who co-authored the FBI report, acknowledged that “our data is imperfect.” They said that the news media “got it wrong” last year when they “mistakenly reported mass shootings were on the rise.” 
Mind you, the authors did not issue this mea culpa in the major news outlets that supposedly misreported the original findings. Instead, the authors published it in ACJS Today, an academic journal published by the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. . . . 
John Lott of the Crime Prevention Research Center—who has studied FBI crime data for three decades—told me in an interview that the FBI report is better understood as a political document than as a work of serious social science. For example, the authors chose the year 2000 as their starting point “even though anyone who has studied these trends knows that 2000 and 2001 were unusually quiet and had few mass shootings.” Data going back to the mid-1970s is readily available but was ignored. How come? Over the past 40 years, there has been no statistically significant increase in mass shootings in the U.S. 
Another problem with the study: The data used seemed selectively chosen to achieve certain results. The researchers somehow “missed 20 mass-shooting cases,” Mr. Lott said. “There’s one case where nine people were murdered. You just don’t miss that.” Also, the omissions helped create an “upward trend, because they were primarily missed at the beginning of the period.” This, he said, “is disturbing.” 
Mr. Lott told me that he had reached out repeatedly to the FBI and to the authors for an explanation after the original report came out, but none was forthcoming until last week. The Journal recently described Mr. Obama’s tenure as the “least transparent administration in history,” and the White House seems to have no interest in proving its critics wrong. . . .

Monday, 01 June


Vince Vaughn explains the obvious: how mass killers pick out venues where their victims are sitting ducks [John Lott's Website]

Vince Vaughn
From Vaughn's interview in the UK edition of GQ:
"It's well known that the greatest defence against an intruder is the sound of a gun hammer being pulled back. All these gun shootings that have gone down in America since 1950, only one or maybe two have happened in non-gun-free zones. Take mass shootings. They've only happened in places that don't allow guns. These people are sick in the head and are going to kill innocent people. They are looking to slaughter defenceless human beings. They do not want confrontation. In all of our schools it is illegal to have guns on campus, so again and again these guys go and shoot up these f***ing schools because they know there are no guns there. They are monsters killing six-year-olds."
Media Matters attacks Vaughn by pointing to flawed a report by Bloomberg's Everytown, but of course, Media Matters does respond or even acknowledge all the errors that have been previously pointed out with Bloomberg's report.  See also here.


Obama launches stealth attack on gun rights [The Liberty Sphere]

The Obama administration has made no secret about its intent to attack the gun rights of the American citizens. The tactic used by the Feds has become all too familiar. Congress is bypassed due to the fact that Obama doesn't have the votes to approve his assault on citizens' rights. Thus, the Administration has resorted to stealth methods using the executive order and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).
Click on this sentence to read the rest.

Saturday, 30 May


Obamacare insurance costs set to soar in 2016 [John Lott's Website]

It took a couple of years for insurances to get an idea of how much Obamacare is costing them.  Also the Obama administration promises to cover insurance company losses won't last for much longer.  From Politico:
The cost of Obamacare could rise for millions of Americans next year, with one insurer proposing a 50 percent hike in premiums, fueling the controversy about just how “affordable” the Affordable Care Act really is. 
The eye-popping 50 percent hike by New Mexico insurer Blue Cross Blue Shield is an outlier, and state officials may not allow it to go through. But health insurance experts are predicting that premiums will rise more significantly in 2016 than in the first two years of Obamacare exchange coverage. In 2015, for example, premiums increased by an average of 5.4 percent, according to PwC’s Health Research Institute. . . .


A national police force? [The Liberty Sphere]

The four high profile police cases that have dominated the news and national attention for at least half of the year brings up a disturbing fact that has received little or no public attention. The press certainly hasn't delved into the issue. No surprise there. 
Read the rest here

Friday, 29 May


Newest piece at Fox News: "'Covering Guns': Columbia University's 'workshop' for journalists far from objective" [John Lott's Website]

Michael Bloomberg at Columbia University
My piece at Fox News starts this way:
Columbia University would never sponsor an event funded by the National Rifle Association. What’s more, the idea would seem especially outlandish if most of the speakers at the event were NRA supporters. 
Yet, gun control advocate and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his gun control group Everytown are now funding a two-day workshop in Phoenix on Friday and Saturday sponsored by Columbia University’s Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma. The event will bring together journalists from around the country to learn about “covering guns and gun violence.”
Bruce Shapiro, executive director of the Dart Center, claims that there is “no party line” and calls the workshop “very balanced.” 
But gun control advocates make up 15 of the panel’s 17 experts.  Aren’t journalism schools supposed to teach journalists to present both sides of a story? Why doesn't Columbia feature other speakers who argue that people should be able to defend themselves with guns? 
Only two law enforcement officers will be making presentations: Sheriff Clarence W. Dupnik of Pima County, Arizona, and Tucson police chief Roberto A. Villaseñor.  Both are proponents of stricter gun control.  Dupnik, a liberal Democrat, has long attacked Arizona’s concealed handgun laws for being too lax and let people carry in too many places. Villaseñor has been a strong outspoken supporter of President Obama’s gun control proposals. 
These law enforcement officers represent a minority view. . . .
The rest of the piece is available here.

Thursday, 28 May


Fiorina overshadows Hillary in unusual S.C. appearances [The Liberty Sphere]

South Carolina was the scene Wednesday as two polar opposite female presidential candidates mysteriously keynoted two political events that were being held in the very same venue. Hillary Clinton spoke for a closed meeting of Democratic women. She took no questions from reporters. Fiorina spoke at a meeting of the South Carolina House Republican Caucus. 
Fiorina, however, took full advantage of the situation and met with reporters on the sidewalk outside the venue.
Click on this sentence to read the rest.

Wednesday, 27 May


Text of main amendment adopted by the Texas House to the Campus Carry Bill [John Lott's Website]

The entire text of the main amendment to the Texas Campus Carry bill is available here.  This provision allows for the establishment of gun-free zones on campus as long as two-thirds of the university's Board of Regents agree (click on text to enlarge).

Since the governors appoint the Regents with the approval of the state Senate, I suspect that all or virtually all the Regents are Republicans, and thus it seems likely that it would be very difficult to get 2/3rds of the Regents to agree to sweeping gun-free zones.  There is language in the amendment that talks about the university not being able to "generally prohibit" carrying, but that term doesn't seem to be well defined.

Overall, I suspect that the amendment won't greatly weaken the bill.

Tuesday, 26 May


Campus Carry in Texas stays alive with dramatic vote in the Texas House [John Lott's Website]

From the Houston Chronicle:
The state House gave preliminary approval to drastically watered down campus carry legislation late Tuesday, just minutes before opponents of the controversial bill would have been able to kill it by running out the clock. 
"Passing legislation on the House floor is a high stakes game," said Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio, who tried to kill Senate Bill 11 through a series of legislative maneauvers. "This is a super-priority of the leadership. You never know when the stakes are this high whether you can kill a bill." 
The bill would allow concealed carry licensees to tote their handguns in most college buildings and dorms. Currently, they are only allowed in public spaces, like quads.
With a midnight deadline to pass Senate bill looming, the House approved the legislation by a vote of 101-47. House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, triggered the vote after it became clear passage would not otherwise be possible due to time constraints. 
But the legislation the House approved late Tuesday was a far cry from the original sponsored by Sen. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury. . . .  
Two amendments adopted by the House are signficant: one would require private universities in Texas to also implement the legislation - the Senate version required only public institutions to do so - and the second would allow each campus to decide where concealed handguns would be allowed. . . . 


Man-made global warming hoax persists despite facts [The Liberty Sphere]

A brand new paper containing recent extensive research into climate change represents the strongest evidence yet that the entire notion of man-made global warming is a hoax. The former lead author for the U.N,'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has done extensive research into climate fluctuations dating back 8,000 years. His conclusions put him on a collision course with the IPCC and other purveyors of the man-made global warming hoax.
Click on this sentence to read the rest.

Monday, 25 May


Memorial Day [The Liberty Sphere]

Today we make it a point to remember all of those who died in service to their country.

This is the thing that separates Memorial Day from Veterans' Day, the latter of which is meant to honor all of those who served their country and fought her wars, including those who survived the experience. Memorial Day, however, is specifically set aside to commemorate those who died in service to their country, making the ultimate sacrifice of laying down their lives so that the rest of us might be free. The preservation of liberty often but not always involves the death of those who are willing to fight for it.

I'm personally thankful for those who were willing to make this ultimate sacrifice. "Lord, make us worthy, willing, and able to step up to the plate like our forefathers. And please, Lord, keep us free. Through Christ our Lord we pray, Amen."

Sunday, 24 May


Gun rights issue overheard in doctor's office [The Liberty Sphere]

Judge Andrew Napolitano, senior legal analyst for Fox News, stated last week that Rand Paul is the only announced candidate for the White House in 2016 who faithfully adheres to the U.S. Constitution. Part of that adherence is the support for unfettered gun rights for the people, as delineated by the Second Amendment to the Constitution. While other candidates may generally support gun rights that support usually comes with some caveats that the Framers of the Constitution never supported.
Click on this sentence to read the rest.

Saturday, 23 May


Anti-gun black list reveals key element in 2016 election [The Liberty Sphere]

The issue of gun rights gives voters a crucial glimpse into the thinking and political philosophy of the presidential candidates. Over the past half century the stance a candidate takes on the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution -- which guards, protects, and defends the gun rights of the citizens -- has been an important bellwether revealing the candidate's overall political ideology, not to mention their views concerning the centrality and importance of Constitutional law.
Show me a politician who hates the Second Amendment or who wishes to severely restrict gun rights, and I'll show you a politician who will also disregard and blatantly violate the Constitution on a variety of issues. 
 Click on this sentence to read the rest....

Friday, 22 May


Hillary Clinton scandal deepens [The Liberty Sphere]

The first batch of Hillary Clinton's official emails, which she curiously kept on a private email server at home, was released today. The Benghazi massacre is the issue at hand, and already the political pundits have concluded that her role in the scandal was much broader than anyone knew previously.
Click on this sentence to read the rest.


A pet peeve [The Liberty Sphere]

A distinct change has occurred in the language used by TV news anchors and reporters. The change has become so widespread, so pervasive, and so persistent that it is weighing on my nerves. In fact you would be correct in assuming it is a pet peeve of mine.

Obviously someone somewhere has decided in their almighty wisdom that this change would benefit the news media, giving them a "softer tone" and making them approachable. That may be well and good. But if it is done using a phrase that is not and never has been connected with the context of news coverage, then somebody obviously has a loose screw.

Who the heck are teaching these news anchors and reporters these days?

My pet peeve is this. A TV news talking head reports, say, that a government agency within a state has such a backlog of cases that lives are placed in danger. This is often followed by the following statement: "We reached out to the head of the agency for comment, but our calls were not returned."

They "reached out?" The phrase is most often associated with personal, emotional issues, such as a psychiatrist who says he/she "reached out" to the patient to attempt to break through the walls they have erected to distance themselves from others. Another common use of the phrase has to do with love relationships, husbands and wives, boyfriends and girlfriends, etc. A person may say something like, "I have tried to reach out to you as best I can, but you turn away all my attempts. You prefer to stay in your shell."

Now tell me, what in the world are news personnel doing using this term that is rich in emotional content and denoting an aspect of our most intimate relationships?

"We reached out to the Department of Social Services for comment." Oh, did you? Did you hope to seat them all in a circle and delve into touchy feely issues, urging the state agency to bear their souls and then sing Kumbaya? Why not use the precise term that accurately describes what you did. You contacted the agency for comment, nothing more. You wanted to ask questions. You wanted information. What you intended to do was in no way "reaching out." You contacted them for information that would make a good news story on your 6 p.m. broadcast.

So get real. I don't care what some school of journalism says about it, or even what some half-brained local news director tells you. Cut the "reaching out" ca ca and be precise. If you CONTACTED someone, then say so, for heaven's sake.

Thursday, 21 May


Yes, I'm still alive [The Liberty Sphere]

Yes, my dear friends, I'm still alive. I deeply appreciate those of you who checked here day by day to see if there were anything new. Thank you for hanging in there with me.

Anyway, I am back, and my latest Examiner article you will find below. Just scroll down.

I am not out of the woods yet, so I could use your continued prayers.

Wednesday, 20 May


The hits keep coming on Hillary [The Liberty Sphere]

Perhaps Hillary Clinton had a premonition. Or perhaps her advisers had not only a premonition but a sobering analysis of the political landscape. She was bound to encounter significant roadblocks to the Democratic nomination for president, more so than in 2008. Thus, from a practical point of view, her only choice was to avoid the press for as long as possible.
Click on this sentence to read the entire article.

Wednesday, 06 May


Pamela Geller now on ISIS hit list [The Liberty Sphere]

Hello friends.

Disturbing news hit the airwaves today as ISIS now says that blogger/speaker Pamela Geller of Atlas Shrugs is on their target list. They plan to kill her.

I've known Pam Geller ever since I started blogging in 2006. I have spoken to her on the phone as well as by email. She is a fierce defender of free speech in the face of Jihadists who consider it a crime to exercise free speech by speaking against Islam or drawing cartoons of Muhammad. She is also determined to keep all speech free in the U.S., especially that which is considered offensive, The First Amendment exists precisely to give protection to that speech that the majority may not want to hear.

Now, the Southern Poverty Law Center, which I have often taken to task for their hypocrisy, stated yesterday that Pam's group is a "hate group." Yet Pam has not threatened to kill anyone, not even the most barbaric members of ISIS. But ISIS will not hesitate to make these threats and carry them out by beheading Christians, Jews, and anyone else who opposes them.

SPLC owes Pamela a public apology, especially now that we know the barbarians have made it inside the gate right here in America.


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