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The Reason for Self-Defense

August 21, 2017

Someone asked me if I carried a gun and if they should carry one too.  I can show you the numbers, but you have to translate facts and figures into the lives of people you love.

The good news is that you are unlikely to be the victim of a violent crime in the US today.  That said, crime is likely to affect your family.  The odds are about one-in-three that you’ll ever be a victim of violence.  That is the average for the US as a whole, but your odds may be different depending on where you live and what you do.  Some cities are safer than others.  The odds are less than 0ne-in-twenty if you live in low-crime cities like Chandler, Arizona or Plano, Texas.  The odds are about one-in-two if you live in Baltimore, Maryland.  You have even odds if you live in Saint Louis, Missouri.  You can see how the city near you stacks up.  Do those numbers matter?

Those odds don’t determine your future.  You are much less likely to be a victim of violence if you don’t do drugs and can stay away from people who do.  Sometimes that is impossible and trouble finds you even when you go out of your way to avoid it.  

Ultimately, deciding to be armed and trained isn’t about statistics.  It is about feelings rather than facts.  I don’t want to see my friends or family hurt.  You don’t either.  If you want to know if you should go armed, then read about the victims of crime rather than studying  statistics.  Going armed won’t change the probability of an attack, but it can change the outcome.  You can refuse to be a victim.

Now that I’ve told you that numbers don’t matter, let me leave you with another data point.  If I read the statistics correctly, researchers couldn’t find a single sexual assault victim who defended themselves with a gun and was then raped.

That isn’t a coincidence.

Which Gun Should I Get?

August 19, 2017

Which gun should I buy?  I get asked that question and there is no right answer.  To the gun junkie, the answer is “The next gun you want!”  It is harder to answer the first time gun owner.  What would you say if your boyfriend did this-

“Here, honey.  I brought home some shoes that I won in a raffle.  They are too small for me, and they are pink, so they must be for you.”

You can flip the stereotypes and make the shoes big and brown, but the correct answer is the same in both cases.  You smile, say thank you, and you make very sure to pocket the sales receipt.  You’re going to take the shoes, or gun, back to the store and get something that fits.  Your guns have to fit your body and your needs..just like your shoes.

George Hill

You mean there are different kinds of guns?  Of course there are different kinds of guns.  You knew that there are different types of gloves to fit different purposes and different size and shape hands.  Different people also want to do different things with a gun.  I’m going to talk about handguns, but the same can be said of long guns and shotguns.


The introductory gun for the first time shooter-  This gun is big and heavy enough to be comfortable to shoot while being small and light enough for small hands.  Yes, it has to be a compromise.  It shoots 22 Long Rifle cartridges.  Look at the Buck Mark, Ruger 22-45, the M&P22 compact, and the Ruger Single Six.

The home defense or sport shooting gun- This gun shoots a centerfire cartridge.   It is heavy enough to be comfortable to shoot and large enough to be accurate.  It has more recoil than the introductory gun.  It is heavier and the slide is harder to operate.  It is also much noisier.  Shooters need a little practice to manage all that.  Shoot the XDM Tactical, and M&P 9mm, and the Glock 17 and 34.

The concealed carry gun- This gun is smaller than the home defense gun, but also shoots a centerfire cartridge.  It has more felt recoil and carries less ammunition.  Look at a Glock 19, the Honor Defense Honor Guard, and the M&P Shield.

The pocket gun- This gun is carried in a small holster in your pocket or purse.  It gives up comfort and accuracy to achieve small size and light weight.  This isn’t a beginners gun.  Look at the Ruger LCR, Glock 42, the Walther PPS M2, and a J-frame Revolver.

You can’t have everything in one firearm, but you can have a great compromise that fits your needs.  The gun also has to fit your hands.

The only way to know if a gun fits your hands is to hold it.  Go to gun stores and pick up a lot of guns.  At first they will all feel the same, but you’ll soon notice differences.  The good salesman can help you find a gun that correctly fits your trigger finger.

You need to shoot before you buy.  Standing at the counter, your eyes tell you to get the little pocket gun, but your hand tells you to get the introductory gun when you’re shooting on the range.  There are always some guns that are too large or too small.  Some will rub you the wrong way.  Find the one that fits and feels like an extension of your arm when you point it down range at the target.

I think finding a new gun it is way more fun than shopping for shoes, but that’s just me.

What firearms would you add?


A tip of the hat to George Hill,  David Cole and Ben Branam.




Taxing Our Rights Away- Government Fees Discourage Concealed Carry- part one

August 18, 2017

Part one of four-

Can governments change our behavior with taxes and regulations?  Politicians infringe on the right to keep and bear arms, and they do so in significant ways.  They impose regulations from coast to coast.  These government-imposed costs significantly change the behavior of ordinary citizens.  Most importantly, government regulations disarm the poorest among us.  They disarm the very people who are the most likely to be the victims of violent crime, and so, those who most need the tools of self-defense.  That isn’t opinion.  Those are facts that are available to any of us.

What do we see if we examine concealed carry across the US?  We have concealed carry information from every state in the union.  In this case, the laboratory of freedom is working as designed.  The states vary widely in the degree to which they infringe on our right to bear arms.  Some states effectively outlaw concealed carry.  Their concealed carry policy is called “may issue”, and only the politically connected get to exercise the right of self-defense.  Other states took a radically different approach.  They reasoned that their gun laws only regulate law abiding people while doing little to disarm criminals.  These states adopted unrestricted carry; anyone who may own a gun may carry a gun.

May-issue states and unrestricted-carry states are polar opposites, but they are alike in one respect.  Both make it difficult to know how strongly people want to be armed.

How can we find out if ordinary people want to bear arms?  The states with strict and burdensome gun laws prevent honest people from being armed.  Citizens in those states who want to be armed simply don’t bother to apply for a permit.  In contrast, some states have unrestricted carry laws.  Citizens in those states don’t need to apply for permits so the state doesn’t collect carry data.  Thirty states both allow concealed carry and collect some information on those who receive their permits.  I looked in the 30 states where concealed carry permits are issued.  That covers approximately 66% of the US population.

Why don’t more people get their concealed carry permit?  We can examine the fees and training hours required for a first time applicant to obtain their license.  Some fees are mandated by the state.  Others may be imposed by each sheriff or local judge.   Like the cost of mandated training, these fees may vary from state to state and between different locations within a state.  I rejected the highest and the lowest prices I found as I tried to recorded the costs that the average applicant would face in each state.  I concentrated on the costs paid by a first time applicant since those costs have the strongest effect on the decision to get a permit.  Some states impose other costs as well, but we’ll discuss those as special cases

How much do the requirements vary from state to state?  Figure 1 shows the monetary cost of the application process.  It also shows the tax of time imposed by state mandated instruction and training.  The fees vary from a low of 20 dollars to a maximum of about 465 dollars, a range of over twenty-to-one.  The number of required training hours varies from zero up to sixteen hours.  That doesn’t include the time required to get fingerprints, get photographs, and to fill out application forms.  Those hours don’t include the time to travel to the required classes for lectures or to the shooting range for instruction.  States also vary in how long the permit remains in force between renewals.

What are the obvious trends? The states that imposed higher fees also imposed higher training hours.  Conversely, the states that imposed lower licensing costs also imposed fewer training hours, if any.  Illinois is the extreme case with the highest fees (about $465) and the greatest amount of training (16 hours).

Is that a fee or is it really a tax?  It is amazing that a patrolman can stop your car on the street, and in a few seconds, determine if you’re a wanted criminal.  Some states charge 20 dollars to run a similar background check and then hand you a plastic card called a concealed carry permit.  Other states perform essentially the same process but charge many hundreds of dollars and take months to process the paperwork.  As we’ll see, each cost in time and money denies more and more of us the right to armed for self-defense.


“It is only a tax.”

United States Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts  during oral arguments for Obamacare.

Do we treat other rights this way? Judges determined that it was unconstitutional to impose a fee in order to vote.  That was called a poll tax.  Judges also ruled that it was unconstitutional to require identification before you are allowed to vote.  Judges ignored the imposition of thousands of dollars in costs that some states heap on those who want to exercise their right to bear arms.  Some rights are clearly more equal than others.

We’ll look at how high fees discourage concealed carry in part two of this series.

Part one- state imposed costs to obtain a permit
Part two- the effect of monetary fees on the rate of concealed carry
Part three- the effect of mandated training on the rate of concealed carry
Part four- deregulating concealed carry and the true cost of infringement

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Why the Political-Left Hates Women and Blacks

August 12, 2017

You can name the stereotypical liberal voting blocks with your eyes closed.  For socialists in the US, losing women and minorities as a reliable voting block would be like California leaving the union.  The political support for Democrats is hanging by a thread while socialists ideology drives away more and more voters. Look at all the taboos in the Socialists’ culture.  You are not allowed to be a conservative academic or a conservative actor. How dare you step out of line and leave your assigned beliefs. You can’t be a small government conservative or libertarian if you’re one of the wholly owned left wing voting groups.

Or can you? Here are individuals who’ve broken the mold, and there are more of them every day. The Socialists are acting like jilted lovers.

That explains the hate poured out on Antonia Okafor. She is a vocal black conservative. She was an Obama voter, but not any more. She discovered that she wasn’t welcome in the Democrat/Socialist party if she was against abortion. She’s been called a Coon, a House Nigger, a sell out, and an Aunt Tom.  That sounds like a war on women to me.  According to the Socialists, being pro-choice only means choosing the Socialist Party line.



Colion Noir is an urban black gun owner. He has been called a token black man and an Uncle Tom because he proudly advocates for self-defense. Liberals can’t tolerate a diversity of views once black men leave the plantation. This is particularly true for urban black men. Who knew but that black men are responsible..just like everyone else.




Shayna Lopez Rivas was raped on campus while attending college at Florida State University in Tallahassee. Pepper spray didn’t stop her attacker.  Shayna has graduated, but she continues to advocate for concealed carry on campus.

I think it is great that women can protect themselves, but some people disagree. This rape victim was called “a scapegoat for the gun lobby” as if she deliberately put herself at risk in order to advance the political views of gun manufacturers.  Shayna was told she can’t be a woman and also want to be armed. One commenter said that Shayna and her family should be murdered by a government drone strike.  Despite the media talking points, the left seems remarkably intolerant of empowered women.


Dana Loesch and her family were threatened a few years ago.  She was targeted after reporting on union violence at a politician’s town hall meeting.  Think about that for a minute. If you want to silence a reporter then the last thing you would do is threaten her children.  Those threats made self-defense a very personal issue. Socialists politicians now call Loesch a “Domestic Terrorist Threat” after she repeatedly revealed the left-wing bias in major news outlets. Socialists only support free speech when the speech supports socialism.

The left hates conservative women and blacks the same way slave owners hated seeing newly freed slaves near their plantations.  Socialists see these free thinking individuals as a dangerous contagion that must be marginalized and eliminated from the public square.  That puts the Socialists in a tough spot. Today there are real alternatives to the liberal mainstream media. These conservatives have a voice and millions of us hear them. That threatens the Socialists.

Suddenly, the socialists can’t bet on a sure thing. They feel their grip loosening on their favorite voting blocks.  It feels like the Democrats are losing a rigged election again.  Worse than that, they are loosing their grip on our culture.

There is a lot at risk for Socialist politicians.  It means a return to hard fought politics where the Democrats have to listen to voters rather than to their special interests. It means that the history of socialists political corruption might draw to a close. More frightening than that, this cultural shift might put some of the more corrupt political players in jail.  That is why the socialists throw so much hate on some vocal conservatives.

Who knew that “love trumps hate” would involve so many threats and so much vitriol.

I gave you 500 words. Please leave a comment.

California Politics- Of, By, and For the Elite

August 6, 2017

I wrote about the blatant bigotry of California gun laws, particularly the way concealed carry permits were issued in Los Angeles.  In LA County,  mostly rich white guys with political connections got their carry permits.  A reader noticed something I’d missed.  We’re ruled by elites.  Politicians make gun laws that the politicians don’t have to follow.  Law enforcement applies the laws..laws that don’t apply to the police.  Judges rule on gun laws..again, laws that don’t apply to judges.  We established government of, by, and for the elites.  Disarming honest citizens might cost politicians votes, but it costs us lives.  I’ll spell it out for you step by step.

California legislators have been exempt from state gun laws for years.  Those laws recently changed again, but that explains why the California Democrats are so quick to pass more restrictive gun laws.  These new laws apply to us, but there are another set of rules for our rulers.  Politicians get their permits to carry concealed weapons in public, but you don’t.  Depending on who is in power in Sacramento, the legislators can even get permission to carry in the capital..where you may not.

State legislators are not alone. Sheriffs routinely give concealed carry permits to local politicians while denying these permits to law abiding citizens.  And speaking of law enforcement..

Law enforcement officers may carry firearms that are denied to ordinary California citizens.  Some thirty categories of officers are exempt from the state roster of approved handguns. California approves fewer and fewer guns every year so the difference between law enforcement and civilians keeps growing.  The issue is bigger than what firearms the police carry on the job.

Law enforcement can carry concealed when they are off the job and out of uniform. They are allowed to carry ammunition magazines that are illegal for ordinary California civilians to own in their home, let alone for us carry in public.  Retired law enforcement officers are usually granted concealed carry permits if they stay in California.  That isn’t fair and equitable treatment between the ordinary citizen and the elites.

California Sheriffs routinely grant concealed carry permits to judges and attorneys.  Is it any wonder that judges then see nothing wrong with the present system that denies the right to carry to honest citizens.  The legal restrictions that disarm you are not applied to judges. They want a permit to defend themselves and they get one.  You want a permit and you don’t.  Of course that is an infringement of the human right to self-defense..and now we know why.

Yes, I know that politicians, law enforcement officers, judges and lawyers are special.  They are special just like everyone else..except when we look at the record in Los Angeles County.  We have a name for people who are above the law.

Europe has its royalty.  The US has its elites.  Unfortunately, this elitist system is the rule rather than the exception.  We see it in blue states from coast to coast.  The elitism is simply more evident in California, and particularly in LA. We see politicians with permits.  City hall has armed guards while the the most important security in LA is disarmed.


I gave you 500 words.  Please leave a comment and share.

Picture by Oleg Volk, and used with permission.

Before and After California

August 4, 2017

It is fascinating to consider what would happen if California left the United States.  The first questions that come to mind are who decides and who would stay?


Who will secede?

Which majority rules in the secession vote?  In all likelihood, San Francisco and Los Angeles would vote to secede.  Can they take the rest of the state with them?  There are 10 California counties with democrat minorities.  These counties border other states or border counties who do.  Can these counties reject secession and become part of greater Oregon, Nevada, Arizona or a new state unto themselves?  In a surprise political move, the drug lords in some southern California counties want to make their counties part of Mexico.

Speaking of drugs and votes, California politicians guaranteed the success of its secession referendum by including on the ballot a drug decriminalization referendum.

It will be a messy divorce.  The rest of the US will maintain their naval base in San Diego, their Air Force base at Vandenberg, and the Army training center in Fort Irwin.

The US government would stop paying for all environmental cleanup operations in California.  California also owns its nuclear waste.  I’m betting that China will buy it..for a price.


Who will stay?

The big cultural sort accelerates across the US once California separates.  Conservatives, particularly conservative business owners, leave California.  Many have to leave at night to avoid new California taxes imposed on refugees fleeing California.  Democrats in the US are shocked by the results.  Nevada and Arizona experience a political shift to the right.  Mayors in several liberal US cities complain after socialists move to California from Seattle, Boulder, and Austin.  That migration  further cements the move of the US to the right and California to the left.

 The west-coast media are now foreign correspondents, but they have been for a while.


Who will pay?

Californians has a welfare rate that is almost three times higher than the US average.  Post partum, the feds won’t pay for welfare, unemployment, or medical assistance for US nationals living in the PRCa.

California citizens face some hard decisions.  Say you’re 50 years old and you’ll apply for social security in 5 years.  You’re now a foreign citizen living in a foreign country and paying California taxes.  California start its own retirement program.  You get to pay the new California taxes that replace the old federal taxes.  If you think California will pay your retirement.. Well, you have noticed how California is deep in debt?

Students still owe their student loans.  Will California respect the claims of “foreign” financial institutions” or the claim of the US government on California citizens?


Corporations come and go.

Some companies briefly move their headquarters to California to escape high federal taxes in the US.  California  then raises its taxes on businesses and exceeds the US tax rate.  Competitive companies move their incorporation from California.  Now, all Californians are driving foreign cars.

Would California pay its government debts and will California bondholders call due their state and municipal bonds?  California politicians will issue their own currency to pay state debts.  (Some northern California counties propose denominating their money in terms of drugs.  One “California Smokey” is worth one joint.)

Bond holders will flee the California market. Expect China and George Soros to buy California debt..and California politicians.  Some things never change.


Who will vote and how will that vote change?

California was the most populous state in the US.  Now, it is Texas.  California had 55 electoral votes that went reliably to democrats.  Democrat presidential candidates in the US still have a chance since some Democrats won the electoral college vote by more than 55 votes.  (Never overestimate the stupid party.)  The new political alignment will make a difference in several ways.

The Hollywood celebrities who made hundred thousand dollar political donations are now foreign citizens donating in US elections.

Can non-resident non-citizens vote in CA elections?  Did I lose my new “CA citizenship” when I moved out of the state?  Some California Socialist will claim dual citizenship and request to vote in US elections.


Who will succeed?

California defense contractors become a contradiction in terms.  California politicians claim they didn’t want those jobs anyway.  California will impose import and export taxes in an effort to boost its falling tax revenue.  Ports in Oregon, Washington, and along the gulf coast will love this.

These new taxes will raise the cost of living in the PRCa.  Import taxes also make California companies less competitive.

California gets to pay international rates for electricity, water and oil.  All are based on scarce US dollars.  The old water treaties that sent Colorado water to California would have to be re-negotiated or abandoned entirely.

Political fallout

New York City is the first to recognize the country of California.  Venezuela and Cuba were close behind.  Hawaii and Austin start referendums to form a California Confederation.

Former government employees refuse to take California currency and demand to be paid in US dollars.  California retaliates by stopping the retirement benefits to “foreign” nationals, basically retired California law enforcement officers now living in Idaho.  Gavin Newsom withdraws the proposal after the Hispanic Caucus accuse Newsom of cultural appropriation for using the term “foreign”.

President Gavin Newsom announces a corporate licensing agreement with  the entire nation of California becoming the Magic Kingdom.  Negotiations break down after Wiccans and Native Californians accuse Newsom of cultural appropriation of the term “magic”.


The rise of the left

California began enforcing border checkpoints after businesses kept disappearing in the night.  At first the conservatives fled east, but soon they had to flee through Mexico as the eastern border checkpoints sprang up.  California issued a request for bid to build permanent checkpoints.  Venezuela and Cuba were the first to answer.

Bigoted Government Officials Deny Civil Right of Self-Defense

August 2, 2017

History teaches us that human nature is a constant.  Virtue and vice haven’t changed.  That makes comparisons extremely interesting and insightful.  6.5% of American adults took the class and paid the fees to get their license to carry a concealed firearm in public.  Outside the restrictive states of California and New York, about 8% of the adult population have their permit.   Women and minorities are the fastest growing segments of concealed carry holders.

Compare that to Los Angeles County, California.  The issuance rate for permits in LA county is about 2200 times lower than the national average.  Are the adults in LA significantly different than the rest of us?  Is there some odd reason why Angelenos don’t want to protect their family, or is there another reason?  Doctor John Lott collected the detailed data that makes the reason clear.

Not only were the LA permits few and far between, they also went to powerful white men.  On top of the original factor of 2200 mentioned above, combine that with another factor of being 6.6 times less likely to get a permit if you are female rather than male.  You’re 7.4 times less likely to be granted your concealed carry permit if you are Hispanic rather than White.  Why are women and minorities so under represented?  That doesn’t make sense given that violent crime is increasing in LA county.  

The answer is politics and bigotry.  The Los Angeles County Sheriff claims this political bigotry is done in the name of public safety.  By law, the Sheriff can deny concealed carry permits to anyone he wants.  He gives permits to retired and reserve law enforcement and to judges. In 2013, some permits also went to the sheriff’s political donors.  Other Sheriffs in California give permits to current and retired politicians and news media.  Ordinary citizens need not apply.

That shouldn’t surprise us.  We often see the same biased behavior across the country in deep blue cities and in deep blue states like New York, New Jersey and Maryland.  What is amazing is that California judges not only tolerate this gross disparity, but they endorse it.

Imagine if female minorities in California were ten thousand times less likely to get consumer credit, housing, jobs, or to be accepted into schools.  We’d know what to call that.  We’d call it bigotry.

Judges look the other way when we excuse blatant bigotry by labeling it as public safety.  That was the same rationalization we used a century ago to deny Blacks, Asians and Hispanics the right of self-defense.  It is the excuse that blue state politicians and judges use today. 

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