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Reasons to Not Get Your Concealed Carry Permit

September 19, 2018

It took you a while, but you’ve finally convinced me. You shouldn’t get your concealed carry permit.

You don’t need to carry concealed because the police exist just to protect you.
You don’t need a defensive tool because your significant other will always be there.
Don’t get your carry permit. Instead, you should wait for the politicians to pass constitutional carry in your state..and don’t travel to other states where you’d need a permit.
You know other people who break the law and carry without a permit, so you should go ahead and do that too.  They say that being a felon isn’t as bad as it used to be.
You don’t want to get on a government list. In fact, you should probably stop giving money to the church, turn all your guns into the police, stop your membership in the NRA and change your political affiliation to Independent. While you’re at it, cancel your magazine subscriptions and close your social media accounts. Hmm. You’re still listed as a property owner so you should probably sell your house and live out of your car.
You’re way too busy to get your your permit.
You don’t need a gun because you’d never want to hurt anyone. I mean, your family and friends aren’t really that important to you, are they?
You don’t need a carry permit because you never open your doors or step outside your home.
You should go ahead and be the victim of violent crime rather than pay that nasty old fee for a concealed carry permit.
Besides, you’ve studied the tradeoffs, and a carry permit is way more expensive than health insurance.
You should refuse to defend yourself just so you won’t have to give the government another copy of your fingerprints.  There. That showed them who’s the boss.
Don’t get your concealed carry permit just so you can avoid all that paperwork.
Now that you mention it, that gun does make you look fat.
Don’t get your concealed carry permit until you buy at least a dozen more guns.
Don’t get your carry permit until your spouse has taken training too.
Maybe you shouldn’t get your permit at all since your spouse doesn’t like guns.
Don’t carry concealed. That way your family doesn’t have to worry if they throw you a surprise party.
You don’t need your carry permit because you live in a safe neighborhood that criminals can’t find.
You don’t want a permit because that way the police will leave you alone.

..And if you believe that, then you probably shouldn’t have your permit.

I gave you 400 words, and fortunately none of them were mine. I hope you laughed as much as I did.

What noteworthy excuses have you heard?


More Data that Good People With Guns Save Lives

September 19, 2018

You might never need to defend yourself. That depends on both luck and skill. According to FBI statistics, someone in your family will be the victim of violent crime over your lifetime. Fortunately, you can defend yourself with more than good luck, but only if you are prepared. Self-defense happens. About 6 thousand honest gun owners defend themselves every day. Vice magazine said they couldn’t find those examples of armed self-defense, so we’ll do it for them. The truth is easy to find once you look.

Criminology Professor Gary Kleck performed one of the first large scale general surveys asking if we used a gun for self-defense. Kleck interviewed approximately 4500 US citizens about their experience during 1993. The professor concluded there were approximately 2.5 million cases of civilian defensive gun use. That averages to about 6800 incidents each day. That data is out there, but Vice magazine couldn’t find it.

During the Obama Administration, the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention performed a literature search and found estimates from half a million (0.5) to over 3 million defensive gun uses each year depending on the study. Lots of data is available unless you refuse to see it.

It turns out that the CDC was sitting on more data. Some 5000 survey contacts were made starting in 1994 during the Clinton administration. The CDC data from the 1990s was never published. Fortunately, the data was recovered in 2018. When extrapolated across the US, the new CDC data implied 3 million instances of defensive gun use. When you are making up your own facts, then you’ll ignore the government’s own data on self-defense.

That old data would extrapolate to over 10 thousand defensive events a day when corrected for the larger US population in 2018. Fortunately, the rates of robbery and aggravated assault have gone down since the 1990s. That is great news.

Criminologists focus on the numbers. I focus on the experience of individual victims as they defended themselves. I produce Self-Defense Gun Stories where we’ve discussed hundreds of honest citizens using a firearm. As you would expect, criminals look for victims everywhere, and criminals will attack anyone. Good guys and gals with guns make a difference.

A web search gives me new examples every week. I’m sure Vice has an internet connection, so why didn’t they use it?


Stephen Willeford, right, hugs Johnnie Langendorff during a vigil for the victims of the First Baptist Church shooting (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Sometimes good guys with guns make the headlines as they save lives. Steven Willeford shot the murderer at the church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Two armed citizens converged on an attacker at Louie’s Grill and Bar in Oklahoma City. Last week, an armed citizen used his gun to help stop a criminal who was shooting at several police officers in Cicero, Illinois. It doesn’t take much research to find those examples.

Should you learn to use a gun to defend yourself and your family? If your luck runs out, then you can even the odds. You can defend the people you care about.

That is what good guys and gals do every day. We know because we did the research.

The original article was published at the SlowFacts blog.

I gave you 500 words for free. Please share this article and leave a comment in return. RM

More Truth Leaks Out About Gun Control

September 16, 2018

People with impressive titles tell us all sorts of things. These experts are often wrong. They are either talking outside their area of competence, or they are lying to us. I keep seeing examples like this about gun control. The more I learn, the more I have to trust my own research to be sure I have the truth. Have you noticed this too?

No One Owns Guns Anymore? There is a claim that gun ownership is declining and most of the guns in the US are owned by only a few gun owners. I tried to take that story seriously since the report was from the Washington Post rather than the National Enquirer.

It is true that we don’t have solid nationwide data to evaluate that assertion that gun ownership is declining. We do have solid data from some states, and we have inferential data from across the country, both of which strongly contradict that claim.

The federal government doesn’t keep a registry of gun owners. However, gun shops use the FBI national instant background check system to see if a potential gun buyer is free to buy a gun. The number of background checks has grown year after year. Gun manufacturers also reported growing cumulative sales to the US market.

In contrast to national data, some states register each gun and each gun owner. Anti-rights states like California, Illinois, New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts require mandatory permits before you can buy a gun. Some require a gun owner’s identification card as well.

These states have steadily increased the regulatory burden on gun owners, and that should have made gun ownership decline. If the existing gun owners in these states were the only people who buy guns, then the number of registered gun owners would have stayed the same or fallen. Instead, we saw the number of registered gun owners increase in these states.

We have other data as well. We saw the number of concealed carry license holders increase by about 6 percent to 17.25 million people. Keep in mind that 13 states allow citizens to carry without a permit.

Gun control advocates could argue the point. The growing number of registered gun owners in anti-gun states does not exactly follow the growth of gun ownership nationwide. It is true that each NICS background check does not conclusively document a gun sale. The extraordinary and undocumented claim by the Washington Post is that the number of gun owners declined even though all these other indicators went up.

Only white men living out in the country own guns? We’ve been sold the story that gun owners are old white men. As I said before, we don’t know exactly who owns a gun. We have even less information about the sex and racial makeup of gun owners. As we dig deeper, we find out that even the NRA doesn’t know the racial mix of its members. However, the fundraising group Friends of the NRA does know the race of its members and guests. If there are a group of old, racist gun owners somewhere, then we should have found them here at Friends of the NRA..but we didn’t.

Instead, we found that 40 percent are women. 40 percent are minority members. The average age is between 40 to 45. That looks an awful lot like the rest of the USA.

The industry trade group for gun manufacturers gets reports from firearms retailers about their customers. 66 percent of new shooters are between 18 and 34 years old. 37 percent of new shooters are female. 47 percent of new shooters live in urban/suburban settings. That doesn’t fit the stereotype we were sold.

When you stop to think about it, it makes sense that older people own more guns than younger people. Older people have had a lifetime to accumulate wealth and possessions. They own more houses and more cars as well. It makes sense that they would also own the most guns.. almost.

It turns out that the rate of gun ownership is almost the same between people under 35 years of age, and those 35 and above. What is surprising is that young people are almost twice as likely to carry concealed.

Some states collect information on the sex and race of those who apply for concealed carry permits. More of us are carrying concealed each year, but the rate of women and minorities are applying for their permits is growing at twice the average rate.

We’re killing our school children with assault rifles? California Senator Dianne Feinstein asked questions of Judge Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearings. Senator Feinstein said there were hundreds of school shootings with assault weapons in recent history. I went back over 60 years and counted three mass murders in US schools where semi-automatic rifles were used. None of the attacks used an automatic weapon. Not one.

If they were not mass murders, then maybe Senator Feinstein was confused by less deadly attacks on our schools? The US Department of Education said that there were 235 incidents where a gun was used at a school last year. That number doesn’t match the data bases I’ve seen. In fact, it looks so strange that even National Public Radio questioned the claim. NPR used an independent research service to contact all of the schools who listed a gunshot on or near campus. NPR was able to confirm 11 incidents. Keep in mind that is about a dozen incidents among 130 thousand schools. The rate of 1 in ten thousand schools is certainly not an epidemic..and that is a good thing.

The US leads the world in mass murder? A professor from the University of Alabama released an unpublished report to the New York Times. The professor claimed that the US had 31 percent of the mass murders in the world from 1966 to 2012 even though the US only has 5 percent of the world’s population. No one was allowed to see the data.

Other researchers produced their own report and came up with very different answers. One report said the US had about 1.4 percent of the mass murders, again with a population of 5 percent. The US went from being the most dangerous, to one of the safer countries..and this data is available for review. What should we conclude when the headlines from the New York Times miss the target by a factor of 30 or more?

The more I learn, the more I have to trust my own research to be sure I have the truth. Please let us know as you see more mistakes published by the press.

The original article is published here at Slowfacts blog.

I gave you about 1000 words. Please leave a comment and share this article with a friend. RM

Three People Murdered After Gun Control Fails in Cincinnati..Again

September 13, 2018

A madman walked into the Fifth Third Bank in Cincinnati and started killing people. The murderer shot 5 people. Three of them died of their injuries. When seconds counted, armed police officers responded in minutes. The attack was over in minutes, but it started years ago. Follow along with me and see if you can pick out the subtle clues.

The murderer had a long history of mental health problems. He was diagnosed, but resisted treatment and medications. The murderer’s parents begged a Florida judge to mandate treatment because the murderer was a threat to himself and others. Mental health laws failed despite the parent’s pleas for mandatory treatment.

The Florida judge mandated a psychiatric evaluation. Several psychologists I contacted said it is extremely difficult for them to determine if a patient will become violent. To quote them, “Your guess is as good as mine.” Psychiatric evaluations failed despite the patients long medical history. The judge failed to flag the murderer as a prohibited person under federal firearms law.

The murderer bought firearms from a gun shop in Ohio. Ohio requires a background checks before a firearm is transferred to the customer. The gun shop ran the required check. The background check did not stop the transfer because the murderer was not listed as a prohibited person in the FBI instant background check database. Background checks failed to keep us safe.

Ohio firearm regulations make it illegal to carry a firearm concealed on your person without first taking a training course and obtaining a state license. Those gun laws failed to stop the murder from carrying his gun in public.

Ohio also makes it illegal to transport a loaded firearm in your car without that permit. Ohio’s transport laws failed to stop the murderer from driving to the bank with his gun.

The Fifth Third Bank told its employees that they could be dismissed if they brought a legally owned firearm into their place of employment. That regulation disarmed the murderer’s victims. Bank regulations failed to stop the murderer.

Gun free zone signs failed to stop the murderer from entering the bank. You and I obey those signs, but murderers don’t.

Verbal warnings failed to stop the murder.

Bank security guards in light blue shirts and dark blue pants didn’t stop the murderer from crossing the foyer. Unarmed security failed to stop the armed murderer.

A turnstile failed to stop the murderer from entering the office.

Once the police arrived, they shot the murderer. Bullets stopped the murderer’s killing spree.

National and state gun laws failed before and during the murders at the Fifth Third Bank in Cincinnati, Ohio. Many corporate security regulations failed as well, but that isn’t the important point. The important lesson is that these laws and regulations will fail in the future. Crazy people will slip through our mental health laws. Criminals and the mentally ill will get firearms and other weapons, either legally, or illegally. Plastic signs and polyester uniforms won’t keep us safe. I wish they could. Politicians will claim that their next gun law will work..while the 23 thousand firearms regulations that came before it failed time after time.

Here is the important lesson:
Politicians lie and ink on paper won’t keep us safe.

I am asking you to protect the people you love. Carry concealed where you may. Do it now and in the future. We know that works. You and those you love are worth it.

map updated for 2018


The original article is here. I gave you 600 words for free. Please leave a comment and share.

Lessons we Refuse to Learn- My Predictions About Terrorism and the Next Mass Murder

September 11, 2018

Muslim terrorists took over a school and killed 300 people. That attack in Beslan, Russia occurred 14 years ago. Many of us would like to make sure it won’t happen here. In contrast, some American politicians are eager for the next mass murder. This is what we’ve learned and what we’ve refused to learn in the last 14 years.

  • Muslims conduct terrorist attacks all over the world. There have been more than 33 thousand attacks since the attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11/2001.
  • We have muslim terrorists here in the US. We imported some of them. Some grew up here.
  • Political correctness now prevents us from calling a terrorists a terrorist. Being a terrorist isn’t illegal..until after they kill.
  • We pretend that opening our borders to terrorists and drug gangs shows our compassion. We pretend that being weak and non-confrontational means we won’t be chosen as a target. Unfortunately, that is the emotional maturity of a young teenager.
  • Our body politic and the press would rather feel good than do good. That attitude might have worked in grade school, but it doesn’t work well for adults trying to protect their children from terrorists.
  • Protecting our children admits that the world is a dangerous place. That contradicts the rainbows and unicorns view of the world so popular with some voters and politicians. They would rather spend money on their favorite special interest group than protect our children. Denial is more than a river in Egypt.
  • After a mass murder, big-government politicians use our predictable reaction in order to advance the cause of more government controls. For the record, those controls failed to stop terrorism, but that doesn’t stop the security theater that the media wraps around big government. When the public asks government to “do something, do anything”, the politicians and bureaucrats do what is best for their careers rather than what is best for us.
  • Big government can’t protect us. The FBI failed to stop many mass murders. That is because the management of the FBI hopes the agency will grow after the next terrorist attack. Their personal motivation is obvious. A larger government offers government executives more opportunities to move up the bureaucratic hierarchy. Too bad for us that our dead kids are the stepping stones along their career.
  • The terrorist event that best advances big-government is neither too big nor too small. A mass murder that is too large would illuminate the basic incompetence and corruption of our government; a poor reputation they richly deserve. A terrorist attack that is too small won’t advance the legislation necessary to form new government regulations and departments. Fortunately for all of us, large scale terrorists operations are easier to detect, infiltrate, and intercept that small isolated cells.
  • School, church and hospital administrators will blame someone else after the next attack uncovers their poor or non-existent security.

Government won’t make us secure. That is up to us. No one said that a republican democracy was easy: they only said that it is better than the alternatives. The only solution I see is to pointedly ask our politicians what they are doing to protect us and to let us protect ourselves.

Having asked that question before, here are a few words of warning.

Politicians will tell you want they want to do, but are rather shy to say what they have actually accomplished.

The basic questions are obvious. Are we currently monitoring radical imams? Why haven’t we closed muslim terror cells? Why haven’t we adopted national guidelines for armed school staff, armed church staff, and armed hospital staff?

Please get their answer in black and white. That way we can hang their do-nothing answer for all to see in the public square after the next attack.

I gave you 600 words. You gave me your attention. Please leave a comment and share this article.


The Power to Prosecute the Church is the Dangerous Power to Control It

September 9, 2018

I want criminal investigations into sexual abuse within the Catholic church. At the same time, I fear a criminal investigation, but not for the reasons you might think. I want the truth to come out, but I don’t trust the state to deal fairly with the church any more than I trust politicians to treat me fairly. For right or wrong, religion is a large cultural force in society. The church competes with government for moral authority. I can easily imagine catholic bishops and corrupt politicians sacrificing the church as we know it for their own advantage.

Corruption runs deep for a reason. Advancing within the church on your merits is hard, but being loyal to a corrupt group in the church is easy. Corruption allows men of average ability and low morals to excel because of their extraordinary ambition.  Honest men are dangerous while corrupt men are easily controlled from within. For example, a corrupt church official feels secure in his job when he has blackmail evidence on his subordinates and his superiors. These corrupt clergymen are willing to sacrifice a few altar boys and seminarians to guarantee their careers.

A criminal investigation can uncover and remove those corrupt theory. In fact, state law enforcement organizations face similar problems with corruption just like the church. There are too many powerful political interests at stake and too many powerful incentives that reward corruption. State law enforcement officers are tools of their political masters. Illinois, New Jersey and New York legislatures clearly have their bias towards state control..of everything.

The one thing we know about big-government is that it hates competition. The church was, and to some extent still is, a powerful force in our culture. I fully expect politicians and their special interests to serve themselves during a church investigation as well. Look at the states that are investigating the church today.

Florida, Illinois, Missouri, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania

Politicians and law enforcement in those states are not a bunch of Boy Scouts and choir boys. All this leaves me ambivalent. Should we trust the attorney general of New York more than the archbishop? Unfortunately, it is a tough call as to which is more corrupt.

Compromised church officials could change their moral positions to favor the political party that has criminal evidence against them. There are lots of reasons that a big-government politician would like to control church teachings. Note: to some extent, the Catholic church has already changed de facto on some of these issues. Getting the Church to change its official teaching, as well as its unofficial practice, would be a great coup.

For instance:

  • The compromised church would say there is nothing wrong with same-sex attraction. The gay and lesbian lobby would then reward the political party that won that victory for them.
  • There are pro-pedophilia activists who would like to lower or even remove the “age of consent” laws. Wouldn’t it be a coup for that group to get the Church to shut up? Pedophelia becomes simply another choice of lifestyle.
  • The church could come out against therapeutic counseling for same sex attraction, even after sexual abuse.
  • The church could comes out for 72 pronouns and gets rid of God as “he”.  Of course, the church would have to change the curriculum in catholic schools to match their newly found sexual perspective.
  • The church could come out for lesbian-gay-bisexual-transsexual-pedophile quotas in catholic hospitals, charities, seminaries, convents, schools and churches. As these scandals have shown us, the church is part of the way there already.
  • The church could abandon its pro-life principles and start actively encouraging the use of birth control. When birth control fails, the church supports abortion and single parenting.
  • Since we’re killing children, we might as well come out for assisted suicide. That seems inevitable after the church comes out for mandatory health care.
  • As a full throated supporter of big-government, churches become gun free zones and the church now takes an active part in condemning self-defense and gun ownership.
  • The church supports carbon taxes and every other socialist scheme to control human activity.
  • Since the state will install political officers in catholic hospitals to verify compliance, why not install political officers in the rectory to make sure these “guidelines” are implemented quickly and fully. Unions do this already, so why not the catholic church as well?
  • Why not go all the way and have the church declare it a sin to not vote for socialists?

After the church adopts these oh-so-modest proposals, cooperative bishops get to avoid prison sentences. The cooperative bishop also gets to keep his position in the church.. and maybe keep his favorite seminarian or altar boy.

All that sounds repugnant to me, and I hope to you as well. I hope you see why the leaders of the church MUST release absolutely all documents even remotely relevant as we try to get to the bottom of clergy sex abuse. Some Church leaders must resign. It is far better if the the Catholic Church corrects itself before the State comes in to do it for them.

The only thing that scares me more than the continued church cover-up is this: corrupt bishops cut deals with corrupt Socialist Attorneys General, to save themselves.

I gave you 800 words. In return, I ask you to leave a comment and share this article.

Ask the Right Questions to Make Schools Safe

September 5, 2018

I watched a news report that was talking about school safety. Was this story to inform, or were there other purposes? Violence frightens us, so the news audience was less likely to turn to another station. Judge motives for yourself as you read on.

The news report began with carefully crafted misinformation. The reporter quoted someone else’s inflated claims about the number of violent attacks on our schools. Using someone else’s claim relieves the reporter from having to actually know the facts. They simply reported the claims of other people when those claims fit the story the reporter wants to tell. The answers are political rather than factual..and the misinformation stands as truth.

The reporter talked to a state senator who wants to allow school boards and school superintendents to protect students the way they think best. That might be with counselors, or door locks, with School Resource Officers in police uniforms, or with armed school staff.

The reporter talked to a union representative who saids teachers shouldn’t be armed, and it isn’t a teachers job to protect their students. The reporter interviewed a superintendent of schools from an urban school district. ‘We will have School Resource Officers, but we won’t arm teachers.’

The reporter doesn’t ask the relevant follow up questions. Did she even know which questions to ask?

  • Will School Resource Officers be armed? Many are not.
  • Have unarmed School Resource Officers stopped attacks in schools? Some have. Some tried. Some failed.
  • Will School Resource Officers be on campus every day when students or staff are on campus? Usually not.
  • Will School Resource Officers be in every building? What about the sports fields, the library and the cafeteria? I’m sorry, but no.
  • Will there be enough School Resource Officers to treat the injured after an attack and before EMTs arrive?
  • Do the schools have a regular safety audit to see if they actually perform as it says in their safety plan?
  • Will School Resource Officers be on campus when the choir practices before school? Will they be there when the drama class rehearses and the sports teams compete after school and on the weekends? No, but we do the best we can with the funds we have.

That isn’t true, but we never heard the rest of the story.

Yes, we should have SROs on campus, but that isn’t enough. We can have dozens of trained school staff for the cost of a single School Resource Officer. The report didn’t tell us that.

The union representatives said that teachers shouldn’t be armed. The reporter didn’t tell us that about 18 percent of teachers would be willing to carry a gun to protect their students if their district approved it. That makes teachers about twice as willing to carry a gun as the average rate of concealed carry.  I’m guessing that the reporter never researched the subject to put those facts into context, though the teachers’ protective attitude towards their students wouldn’t surprise you if you’ve talked with many teachers. You didn’t hear the relevant facts because the reporter didn’t ask the relevant questions.

A good reporter does more than collect compelling and competing quotes. They should learn the subject well enough to know the questions to ask. In this case they didn’t. Too often, they don’t.

Until they do, you will have to be the one who asks the right questions to protect your kids in school.

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