Skip to content

Science, Fantasy, and Superstition- Gun-Control Fails the Evidence Test

January 29, 2019

I’ve watched gun-control advocates slide down the slippery slope. At first, their spokesmen said gun-control was simply common sense. Fortunately for us, each gun-control law is a claim that can be tested. Instead of changing their beliefs as we learned more, gun-control advocates simply chanted their old arguments louder. They claimed that gun-control must have saved one life somewhere. Eventually, the gun control-talking-heads had to turn their eyes away from the facts and ignore the damage they caused. For our part, we passed gun control laws because they felt good rather than did good. Like many public policy issues, we think we’re talking about evidence when we’re really discussing how we feel.

Superstition is holding an unjustified belief because of the way it makes us feel. It is easy to think we’re too sophisticated to have superstitious beliefs. Fortunately for us, evidence is one of the best tests to separate truth from superstition. The bad news is that there is an intellectual progression beyond superstition. The truth doesn’t matter once you’re clinging to dogma and rationalization. At that point, you’re hanging on to any idea that justifies your beliefs. We told ourselves some real lies about gun-control.

We passed gun-prohibition in the 1870s to protect white women from black men. At least that is what we told ourselves. We try to make the same argument look good today by saying poor minorities are plagued with drugs and we’re saving innocent lives by disarming the black community. Today we say that a single woman can’t manage a gun for self-defense and we’re making her family safer by leaving her defenseless.

We said a lot of things that sounded reasonable at one time. They sound racists and sexist today. Rather than change our actions or our beliefs, we simply dressed up old prohibitions with new rationalizations. We covered the same old bigotry with new excuses.

-It sounded like a good idea to require a background check before someone could buy a gun. In fact, background checks don’t stop criminals from getting guns because criminals get their guns illegally. Also, the people who want to commit suicide killed themselves even if they didn’t have a gun. We looked at decades of data, and mandatory background checks didn’t reduce the rates of homicide or suicide, but there is more sad news. These laws might have done more harm than good. Disarming law-abiding victims left them more vulnerable to crime and lead to increased rates of violence. On the upside, gun-control laws let us feel good about ourselves for a while.

-It sounds sensible that barring someone from ever owning a gun after a non-violent misdemeanor might make us safer. We thought that someone might be violent if they once shouted at their domestic partner. We learned that people who will commit murder are not stopped by taking away their legal guns. Unfortunately, we also let an abusive domestic partner make false claims and use the law to disarm the honest victim of abuse. At least we got to feel good about ourselves by supporting “domestic violence gun prohibition”.

-Today we are told we can stop pre-crime with red-flag gun confiscation. In fact, we’ve had mental health restraining order for about two decades. These laws didn’t work.. but we can feel good about it anyway. It turns out that people who are going to commit murder or suicide aren’t stopped when we take away their guns. Red-flag laws didn’t significantly reduce deaths in mass murder, aggravated assault, robbery or burglary either. We never expected that making false accusations would stop crime. We pretended those false accusations never happened so we could continue feeling good even when violence got worse.

Age restrictions on buying a firearm make sense because we all remember the crazy things we did as kids. We forgot that young adults under 21 years of age often live in cheap apartments when they start out. We forgot that young adults are frequent victims of crime. We ignored the fact that young women are often victims of sexual assault. Why did we think that disarming a married 20-year-old mom would make us safer? I guess it felt good at the time.

-Guns are lethal tools. In theory, a gun that doesn’t contain as much ammunition isn’t as dangerous. Limiting the magazine capacity of a firearm makes sense.. if you don’t think about it too closely. In the real world, criminals don’t fight fair. They don’t obey our gun laws so the criminals have more ammunition than their law abiding victims. How many cartridges should my wife be allowed to have when three armed robbers break into our home? Why should a police officer have more cartridges in his gun than my wife has when she is defending our family? These feel-good laws get us killed.

-It is comforting to imagine that guns cause violence. That lets us avoid knowing that criminals cause violence. We can imagine that taking the guns away from honest people will make us safer. That isn’t what we found. We looked across the USA at states that issued concealed carry permits. We also looked at states that don’t require carry permits at all. Over three decades, the rate of homicide and violent crime didn’t increase when we let honest people carry a personal firearm outside the home. In cases like the city of Chicago, the murder rate fell when honest citizens were allowed to defend themselves. We’ll have to look beyond gun control for an excuse to feel good about ourselves.

-We want to keep guns away from our children and unauthorized adults. Mandatory gun-locks seem like common sense. The good news is that the number of children injured in gun accidents continues to fall. But there is more to the story. We ignored the fact that honest people use a personal firearm to save lives every day. Will mandatory storage requirements make self-defense easier or harder? Unfortunately, criminals don’t call ahead and give us the time we need to open a gun safe and load our magazines. Will we give free gun safes to young couples who are just starting out and struggling to pay their bills.. or will we leave them defenseless if they obey the law? That is a hard problem, so let’s ignore the harm we cause with gun-prohibition.

-There must be something we can do to feel good about stopping violence. Maybe we could restrict the length of a gun barrel so guns can’t be too short.. or too long. Maybe we can make it so guns can’t be too loud or too quiet. Maybe we can make it so guns can’t be too big or too small, too cheap or too expensive, too inaccurate or too precise? Any of those ideas might work if criminals obeyed our laws. I’m sorry, but we have the criminals we have rather than the criminals that gun-control promised us. That doesn’t feel good at all.

Things don’t turn out the way we imagined or the way we wanted. We make good-sounding excuses for bad ideas. Unfortunately, some of these ideas were bad from the start. We were sold a lie because it benefitted some politicians and their special interests. Life is more complex than a politician’s promise.

There is one thing, however, that we do know for sure. When the government and the criminals are the only ones with have guns, then the elites have all the power. That frightens me.

Do we want to feel good or do good? Maybe I’m overly trusting, but I trust my neighbors to do the right thing in an emergency. My neighbors may not be perfect, but I’d rather trust my neighbors to own a gun responsibly than trust a lawmaker who exempts himself from our laws. Liberty is dangerous, but it is the safest solution we have.

Sources-
B.J.S.- Source and Use of Firearms Involved in Crimes: Survey of Prison Inmates, 2016-
https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/suficspi16.pdf
Do red flag gun laws save lives or reduce crime-
https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3316573
California’s comprehensive background check and misdemeanor violence prohibition policies and firearm mortality-
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1047279718306161
State Level Firearm Concealed-Carry Legislation and Rates of Homicide and Other Violent Crime- https://www.journalacs.org/article/S1072-7515(18)32074-X/abstract
~_~_

I gave you a lot of thought and 1300 words. Please leave a comment and share. RM

Advertisements

Disarming the Defenders- Socialist Politicians Sacrifice our Children in “Gun-Free” Zones

January 24, 2019

Professor Thomas Sowell said it is dangerous to let people make decisions when they are immune from the consequences. That describes the school board in Baltimore, Maryland as well as other Maryland politicians. Their self-serving political decisions will get out kids hurt and killed. When that happens, these politicians will blame us and demand more political control over our lives. They will probably be re-elected after their policies fail.

I say this because the Baltimore School Board voted unanimously to disarm law enforcement officers on school grounds. That makes the officers easier victims for gang attacks. It leaves all the students at greater risk. It also lets Maryland politicians signal their virtue as they throw hate on cops.

I suspect the school board in Baltimore has already acted like the notorious school board in Parkland, Florida. I suspect they refused to prosecute and remove violent students. I know the Parkland school board ignored sexaul assault and phsical battery as a matter of school policy.

These decisions made the school board look good as statistics showed more thugs graduated from high school. What the stats hid from us was that more students were victimized by unchecked violence in school. We didn’t know that more of the good students left because school wasn’t safe anymore.

We found all this out after a murderer killed 17 students and staff at the high school in Parkland. Now Baltimore is walking it those bloody footprints.

I’m going to unpack the political decisions of the Maryland politicians step by bloody step. What I don’t know is who made the first phone call and set this in motion.

  • We were told that honest citizens should depend on the government for protection just as they depend on the government for food, for shelter, and for education.
  • We’re told we can reduce violence in our schools with more tolerance, more counseling, and more money spent on education. Armed police in school “send the wrong message.”
  • That which gets rewarded gets repeated, so violent crime grows in school and in the larger community.
  • Now we’re told that we should take guns away from law abiding people since crime is rising in Baltimore (and it is).
  • Only politicians and government employees may be armed. Police are now the only ones who can protect you and your family.

Those are big steps towards government control, but nothing moves a political agenda like a good crisis..even if the politicians have to build it themselves. How long until the gangs take over the schools in Baltimore? They already have. It won’t take many more dead students until the Maryland legislature uses dangerous schools as an excuse to impose stricter gun control.

Unfortunately, we are the ones who brought these dangerous politicians to this point. The Maryland legislature imposed strict gun control in 2013. They’ve also increased the restrictions on honest citizens in each succeeding year. I have to add that important modifier, honest citizens, because criminals don’t obey gun laws. No one should be surprised that gun prohibition laws don’t disarm the criminals and the crazies. As you’d expect, violent crime surged in Baltimore as more and more of the victims were disarmed.

What do you call an idea that fails 99 percent of the time? It is called gun control. I pray we don’t have a mass murder in Baltimore schools, but mass murderers want defenseless victims and these politicians served them up on a platter.

I also have to underscore the hypocrisy of the Baltimore School Board and Maryland politicians. The students are left defenseless while the school board has armed guards at their district offices and at school board meetings. The state capital has armed guards protecting the legislators. These government officials demand that men with guns protect them, but not our kids.

An honest police chief would resign or withdraw his officers in protest of disarmed school security officers. That won’t happen since the Baltimore police chief is appointed by the mayor of Baltimore. Elections have consequences and Baltimore brought this on themselves.

When faced with this level of corruption, this disregard for our children’s safety, I’d take my children out of Baltimore public schools. If charged, then demand a jury trial and tell the judge to appoint armed officers to your child’s school before you’ll let your children back in class. Alternatively, you could ask the judge and the court bailiff to go unarmed and show our children that Maryland politicians don’t need guns for protection.

Snort.
~_~_

I gave you 600 words and my best ideas. Please share in return. RM

 

 

Learning Armed Defense is All of These

January 21, 2019

We tend to break complex tasks into simpler pieces. The self-defense community is particularly prone to this. We teach safety, marksmanship and concealed carry. Later, you might learn self-defense. We talk about education, instruction, practice, training and testing as if everyone used these terms correctly. I’ve even heard a politician say that humans are not trained at all. We talk about one piece of armed-defense at a time and make it sound simple. That doesn’t mean it is easy. When it comes to self-defense, the entire body of knowledge is much more powerful than the sum of its parts. Self-defense uses every faculty we have. It is both cerebral and it is physical. It is both academic and automatic. It is the larger whole that matters rather than the easy-to describe pieces. So what is our path to self-defense? Where will we go as we become competent defenders?

Firearms education covers the facts and principles that govern our response to a threat. We learn about the legal use of lethal force. We learn how guns operate. We learn best practice to defend ourselves as we travel and in the places where we congregate. We learn the psychological effects of interpersonal violence. This is the academic side of self-defense. The intellectual side, the part we do with words, is only a small part of a larger practice. It talks about, but can not replace, the actions of self-defense.

Academics forget that armed defense is a practice. We use tools that are designed for a single purpose. Using them effectively requires both speed and precision. We have techniques that work for most of us most of the time. It is easiest to learn these techniques by having an instructor demonstrate them right in front of you. Instruction shows us precisely what to do. It is the expressive side of communicating a skill, but seeing a demonstration isn’t enough.

Learning takes time and feedback. We concentrate on the details and imitate what we saw our instructor do. We demonstrate the new task slowly so an instructor can correct us. We discover that we misapprehended the desired actions. This is the feedback portion of communication where we have our motions refined until they match the desired form. The feedback portion of instruction completes the cycle of communication. Now we know what the correct motion feels like even though it is unfamiliar.

We’re taking baby steps at this point. Now we know what to do but that doesn’t mean we can express our new skill on demand. In order to deliver these precise motions on demand, we must make them our own. We have to think about them in a different way. We have to move these new activities from our descriptive memory to our procedural memory. We stop talking our way through the motion and just do it.

That takes time and practice. Practice is where we refine the quality of a motion or technique. A single exposure isn’t enough. We need to repeat a motion to learn it and make it automatic. We also have to stop doing the motion so we can consolidate it in our short-term memory and transfer it into our long-term memory. That transfer happens as we sleep. That is the reason we don’t really learn a new skill in a single day.

Training is what most students have in mind when they want to shoot a gun. This is where we go faster during our draw stroke. This is where we back away from a target and add precision to our trigger control. This is where we speed up and refine a skill.

This is also where we combine tasks into real world scenarios. You respond to a visual and aural que. You give verbal commands as you move. You present a firearm as you back up. You reload as you move to cover.

How do you know if you’ve learned a skill? You submit yourself to testing and evaluation. Fortunately, there are standard tests so we can see how we compare to others. The IDPA qualifier is one. The FBI qualifier is another. Some instructors can record you on high-speed video and take your performance apart frame by frame.

There are countless rungs on the ladder of self-defense and we climb them time after time. Shooting is the easiest part even though it seems the most intimidating feature at first. If you reach a plateau in your shooting performance, then study the legal aspects and situational avoidance as you take a break. Self-defense is a thinking man’s game so there is always more to learn once you know the path.
~_~_~_

I gave you the best 700 words I could craft. If they were worth your time, then other people might like them too. Please share and comment. RM

Where do These Gun-Lies Come From?

January 19, 2019

Study cures ignorance, but it is the comforting lies we cling to that cause us so much trouble. Where did we learn the foolish falsehoods we hear about civilian gun ownership? What makes these lies so attractive and so dangerous? Let’s look at the popular myths of disarmament.

You don’t need to defend yourself. You should just call the police and let them protect you. Yes, I’ve had people say this to my face. I’ve learned not to argue with facts about court decisions and response times. The people who say this know it is a lie, but they are clinging to the lie for a reason. I learned to ask them this question-

“You’re at the park with a child you care for. An adult comes up and grabs your child off the swing and starts to drag her toward his car. Are you’re telling me that we should run to the phone rather than use a defensive tool to protect our child?”

It is a shocking question, but so are some of the answers. The ideologue looks me in the eye and says we should sacrifice the child for the cause of gun-control. In contrast, if the questioner is honest, then they look down and say we should protect the child. I find it inspiring that people will still rush to the aid of an innocent child even if they are too lazy to defend themselves. Now, we can talk about the tools they need to be effective defenders.

 

You shouldn’t own a gun because a criminal is more likely to take it from you than you are to use the gun in self-defense. You’re more likely to be violently attacked if there is a gun in your home. I love these particular myths because they contain a twisted speck of truth. Too many gun owners think that the gun will stop a criminal. Some of these gun owners don’t load their guns because they think the gun will work like a magic charm to stop an attack.

A brilliant doctor explained that situation this way. Criminals survive as predators because they become experts at reading their prey. Your determination to stop the attack is what stops the predator. Your gun is merely the tool you use to express your resolve.

The doctor is right. Before you own a gun, you have to ask yourself if you could shoot someone if your family faced a lethal threat.

The other thing I like about this question is that it hides so much. Yes, you’re more likely to be hurt during an attack if there is a gun in your home..particularly when you include the attacker’s gun. There is that hidden grain of truth: armed criminals are more violent than unarmed burglars.

Which came first, crime or honest citizens wanting a gun for self-defense? People who live in high-crime areas are more likely to want tools to protect themselves from the violence around them. The fact that honest people own guns didn’t cause crime, but was a reaction to it. Also, as I study self-defense each week, I’ve found that it is more common for the criminal to be disarmed than the intended victim.

We should outlaw guns because guns cause crime. The world would be so much nicer if this were true. I wish we could control human behavior by making rules. Unfortunately, criminals don’t obey our laws. Criminals use any tool available to control their victims. Criminals bring friends so they can outnumber us. Criminals use knives so they can overpower us. They buy their guns illegally so gun-control laws don’t disarm criminals.

Unfortunately, we face the criminals we have
rather than the criminals that gun-control advocates imagine.

A woman won’t use a gun to stop an assault. She is better off without it. She should use pepper spray or a rape whistle for protection. I’ve had friends who were sexually assaulted by an armed rapist. They had pepper spray while their attacker had a knife. They won’t let that happen again. Today, they go armed. I looked at the statistics, and a vanishingly small number of sexual attacks are completed if the victim is armed.

Self-defense stops sexual assault.

The rapist is culpable for the assault. The victim is responsible for having the tools they needed to defend themselves. We can learn from both. We can learn that evil exists and that we can defend ourselves.

We have mass murder because it is so easy to get an assault weapon. There was a time in our history when you could buy a machine gun by mail-order.. and we didn’t see attacks on our schools and churches. Society changed in the last 85 years. Our media changed too! Today, mass murderers get hundreds of millions of dollars of publicity when they kill. Do you think that leads to more murders or less? Many mass murderers say they killed so we would know their name.

If you think guns are easy to get, then I suggest you go to a gun store and try to buy one. Better yet, try to buy a machine gun. Write up your experience if you think it was too easy and I’ll publish it here.

Gun-control works in other countries so we should do it too. Don’t confuse the news with the facts. The news media is wildly biased..for a reason. A murder in your town is news. A murder on the other side of the world won’t be covered in your local paper. That does not mean that there are no murders overseas and that the foreign country is safe. In fact, the US is about average when it comes to murder with a firearm. Many countries with draconian gun-control prohibitions are more violent than the US.

It is comforting to pretend that words on paper will keep us safe. We have not seen that work in other countries.. or here in the US.

Adults have the responsibility to protect themselves, but we would rather pretend that society is safe and that ignoring our responsibility is free. We ignore hard facts so we can live soft lives without concern. We want someone to blame when we’re attacked..so we blame guns and society.

The fault is not in society, but in ourselves. It takes a person with strong character to set aside reassuring falsehoods and take comfort in the truth. Please be that person. Protect yourself and those you love.
~_~_

I gave you a thousand words and a lot of thought. Please share this article and leave a comment. RM

Simple Tests to Find Out Who is Doing Your Thinking for You?

January 18, 2019

The average man on the street thinks that socialism takes care of the poor. The average headline surfer thinks that civilian guns ownership causes violence. These opinions are not the result of systematic sociological research. People have “those feelings” because of what they are told in the news. Why is the media telling us things that are so blatantly wrong?

Enthusiastic newscasters and smiling politicians tell us that Cuba and Venezuela have free healthcare. They don’t bother to tell you that Socialist healthcare is among the worst in the world. The media would never tell us the truth that we’d only use socialist healthcare if we had no other choice.

Look at the impressions you have about socialism. Are they based on facts or on spin? How many people do you know who have packed up and moved to China, Cuba, Laos, Vietnam, Nicaragua, Bangladesh or to North Korea? I’ve yet to receive my first postcard from neighbors who made the big switch to the new-and-improved workers paradise. Have you?

I didn’t think so. Why didn’t you compare what you see on the news to the reality you see in your neighborhood?

Where is this free lunch, this socialist utopia, that Socialist politicians and big-government reporters talk about? They point at Sweden where the government takes 70 percent more in taxes than it does here in the US. Unemployment in Sweden is also about 70 percent higher than here in the US. Funny how that works..time after every damn time. How many socialists in the US have moved to Sweden?  You can tell me when you’re done packing. I’ll wait…

crickets

I guess the reality of Socialism is worse than the fluff and marketing reports we get from US politicians and their supporters in the MSM. I wouldn’t trust a socialist politician to sell me a used car let alone trust them to not sell my child’s future to the Clinton Foundation.

I notice the same media distortions when I listen to people talk about gun-control, another big-government favorite program. Where is this nonviolent utopia I keep hearing about?

Most private citizens are not allowed to have guns in Mexico. The entire country has a single officially sanctioned gun store. The Mexican homicide rate is also five times higher than ours here in the US. The gun-control politicians forgot to tell us that.

Why did you think Mexico was peaceful and the US was violent?

I’ve heard complaints that Mexico isn’t like the US because guns can cross Mexico’s borders. Fine, let’s look at the data from a modern island-nation instead. England outlaws handguns and has insanely strict laws against self-defense. They have all the laws that US gun-prohibitionists want.

The violent crime rate in England and Wales is six times higher than the rate in the US. Again, the talking heads forgot to mention that important fact. In fact, the talking heads imply the opposite. They imply that the US is one of the most violent countries in the world. It isn’t, and we aren’t even in the top half.

That isn’t what the news and big-government politicians would have you believe, but you can look up the truth and do some junior-high math to compare the rates of violence for yourself.

If you didn’t know those facts
then you’re letting the media and politicians do your thinking for you.

Don’t tell me that socialism works. Don’t tell me that gun control works. Show me its success. Better yet, show me the flood of people who want to move to this utopia the media invented.
~_~_

I gave you 500 words for free. Please leave a comment and share this article with your friends. RM

Red-Flag Gun Laws- Public Safety or Abuse of the Innocent?

January 16, 2019

They are called Extreme-Risk Protection Orders. Some people call them Red-Flag Gun Confiscation. Whatever you call it, we’re supposed to call the cops and stop a bad man with a gun before he hurts someone. That sounds more like the script from a cop-drama on TV than what happens in real life. In practice, these laws are designed for abuse. We’ve already seen them fail to stop violent crime. We’ve also seen police kill gun owners during early morning Red-Flag raids. At best, innocent individuals have to spend tens of thousands of dollars to get their rights restored after they’ve been served with a red-flag order.

Is that the unavoidable price of freedom, or is that the bigoted abuse of a disfavored minority for political gain? These gun confiscation laws were proposed so that politicians could get facetime on the news and could increase their campaign contributions. When you read beyond the press releases, you’ll see that these laws are a tax on gun owners..particularly on poor gun owners. We know that violence is a very tough problem to solve and red-flag gun confiscation isn’t the solution.

We never know enough to be sure. Do you know if someone will be violent? We think we do, but our memory plays tricks on us. We remember the time a local kid was arrested and we said, “I knew he was headed for trouble.” We forget all the times when we find out that one spouse has fled their home, and all we can say is, “I never knew there was a problem.” We like to think we’re right, so we remember our good guesses and forget the times we were wrong..sometimes sadly wrong.

There are real cases where family members or doctors have legitimate concerns that someone is a threat to themselves or to others. We see the pleas from family members in hindsight after there was an act of violence. We’ve also seen examples where an abusive partner called the cops on an innocent spouse or romantic partner. We’d like a law that made it easy for ordinary people to ask the police to disarm someone who will clearly be violent, while at the same time protecting the rights of the accused. Let’s see how well that works in practice.

Doctors and judges see a lot of people. They are highly educated and trained for that job. They have lots of experience in exercising their professional judgement. They should be in an excellent position to tell if one of their patients or clients was going to be violent. Unfortunately, their track record at predicting violence is horrible.

We looked at mass murderers during the last two decades. There is nothing subtle about their mental condition, and almost two thirds of them had psychiatric counseling. Most had previous contacts with law enforcement as well. Only one of these individuals was clinically diagnosed and adjudicated as a danger to himself or others..in the last twenty years. We have a terrible record of predicting violent behavior even when we’re looking at our most violent citizens. Our track record is worse when we look at ordinary people.

Psychiatrists who have access to complete medical records often have to assess if a patient will be violent. They make that assessment for the safety of the patient and for the safety of hospital staff. These doctors make the correct prediction 60% of the time when they are predicting behavior for the next 24 hours. That means they are slightly better than flipping a coin while they are looking a day into the future. They have no idea if the patient will be violent in the next week, the next month, or the next year. These highly educated and dedicated specialists can’t predict the future. That record will get worse as red-flag laws let non-professionals disarm near strangers with a phone call.

Today, we want a court judge to do the impossible with Red-Flag laws. Your vindictive relative can make a phone call based on a post in social media. You’ll have your firearms confiscated..at no cost to them, but at the cost of tens-of-thousands of dollars to you.. or worse. We’ve already killed gun owners during midnight police raids instigated by a Red-Flag complaint. The dead gun owner had no record of violent or criminal behavior.

Is murder a fatal fault in the gun confiscation process,
or is it a feature that anti-gun politicians wrote into the law from the beginning?

Red-Flag laws lead to firearms confiscation on the basis of an accusation. Gun owners accused under Red-Flag laws are involved in the legal system before they have any chance to submit facts in front of a judge. That one-sided argument means these laws are designed for abuse.

Domestic abusers use Red-Flag laws to disarm their innocent partners. Does confiscating the tools of self-defense make the abused partner safer or does it leave the innocent partner more vulnerable? Red-flag laws let abusers subjugate their victims in ways the abusers could never accomplish on their own.

A vindictive spouse uses Red-Flag laws as a legal weapon during a divorce and custody fight. Does that really benefit anyone.. other than the lawyers? We might want to save lives, but getting the police involved has real risks.

Are those risks justified? People who have their concealed carry permits are the most law abiding segment of our society. Licensed concealed carry holders are among the most law abiding group of people on the planet. People with their carry permits are more law abiding and less violent than the police. Who are we making safer when we disarm the safest group of people we can find? Concealed carry holders are several times less likely than the police to shoot innocent people. Who is at risk when the police knock in the dark of night to confiscate legally owned firearms?

Who are we making safer when we disarm the safest group of people on the planet?

Of course there is a real concern to disarm people who have made threats. There is also a real concern with a system that is so easily abused. Even the ACLU said that red-flag gun laws need to be revised so they are fair to the accused. How can we make the system respond to both concerns?

The obvious solution is to go before a judge. Unfortunately, that often means that the side with the most money and lawyers carries the day. Few of us can afford tens of thousands of dollars to defend ourselves against a groundless accusation. Can you hire a lawyer in the next 24 hours and come up with tens of thousands of dollars in order to protect your rights? Is the right of self-defense only for rich men with lawyers?

An abused partner shouldn’t have to give up their firearms, their tools of personal protection, simply because they don’t have enough time and money to protect their rights in court on short notice. We want to do the right thing, but disarming the innocent party puts them at greater risk rather than making us all safer.

The less obvious solution is to have the state pay the legal fees when an innocent person has to defend their rights in court. If public safety were the real concern, then politicians should be eager to pay those legal fees and court costs. We could at least ask the accuser to put up a bond to cover the costs of false accusations. Can the accused deduct his court and lawyer fees from her taxes?

That isn’t what the politicians want. It is easy to demonize honest gun owners when the news is full of criminals committing violence. As I said, licensed gun owners are extremely law abiding and non-violent. It is easy for bigoted politicians and the the media to blame gun owners even though the legal gun owner is innocent.

There is a bias in the politicians press release and in the slanted news. The media and the politicians ignore the fact that firearms are used to save lives far more often than they are used to take them. News stories about violence hold an audience. Stories about violence get politicians in front of TV cameras. The good guy with a gun that stopped a crime from happening isn’t even considered news. The scales are tipped; tragedy becomes front page news while the triumph of a life saved is hardly mentioned.

You can easily test this claim of bias for yourself. You probably remember the names of several mass murderers. You might remember where they killed. You’re unusual if you know the names or actions of the armed citizens who stopped mass murderers. The fact that you know one but not the other is the result of bias.

Saving lives doesn’t fit the story that reporters..or politicians..want to sell. Red-flag gun confiscation laws are more about the bigoted story that guns and gun owners are evil than about saving lives.
~_~_

I gave you 1500 words. Please share this article with a friend and leave a comment. RM

Universal Background Checks Don’t Work, so Why Do We Want More of Them?

January 11, 2019

I’ve made mistakes before and I’ll probably make some again. That is why it’s important to be aware and skeptical as we try new ideas. There is a time for persistence and a time to ask if you’re headed in the right direction. All that came to mind as I read about the US House of Representatives proposing universal background checks for firearms owners. These background checks have failed too many times to try them again.

The fundamental failure of a background check is that it looks backward. Mass murder is not a long-term career path. Background checks can’t stop a first-time mass murderer. Here are the most recent examples.

2018

  • The mass murderer who killed 12 people at a country western bar in Thousand Oaks, California passed his background checks..several times.
  • The mass murderer who killed 11 people in a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania synagogue passed his background checks for each weapon he owned.
  • The mass murderer who killed four people in an Annapolis, Maryland newspaper office purchased his firearms legally and passed his background checks.
  • The student who killed 10 people in his El Paso, Texas high school stole his guns. He took the legally owned guns from his father without permission, so background check laws would not have stopped this murder.
  • The schizophrenic who murdered 4 people at a Waffle House restaurant in Nashville, Tennessee was disarmed after he make threats. In a federal lawsuit the murderer’s father said he was never told that his son was a prohibited person and not allowed to have guns.
  • The murderer at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida passed his background checks even though he had many psychological counseling sessions and had been reported to the school, to local police, and to the FBI.

2017

  • The murderer at the church in Sutherland Springs, Texas killed 27 people after passing his background checks. He should have been barred from getting a gun since he was treated for mental illness, convicted of domestic violence, and dishonorably discharged from the US Air Force. The Air Force never submitted his criminal records to the national background check system.
  • The murderer at the Mandalay Bay Casino in Las Vegas killed 59 people after buying his firearms legally and passing a background check for each gun he used.

I could go on for hundreds of examples but I fear you wouldn’t read them. If this is what background checks do for us, then we should run from them rather than embrace more of the same. It is clear that background checks don’t stop mass murders.

Do mandatory background checks reduce other violent crimes? No other state does gun-control as much and as hard as California. California is rated the first in the nation for gun-control. Background check requirements were imposed in California three decades ago and should have worked there if they would work anywhere.

Sociologists and criminologists published a report in the Annals of Epidemiology where they compared California to other states which hadn’t mandated background checks. Neither mandatory background checks nor firearms prohibition for misdemeanor crimes reduced gun homicide or suicide in California. In fact, the California homicide rate rose by 16 percent from 2014 to 2016. California gun-control doesn’t work.

Why do politicians propose failed ideas over and over? For the politician, background checks don’t have to make our streets safer. All they have to do is sound good on TV. Most of us don’t do our homework. We buy our ideas the same way we buy knives on the shopping channel at 2 in the morning. We buy gun-control because it sounds good and is sold with enthusiasm.

Mass murderers and other criminals don’t follow our gun laws. Stop pretending they do because our gullibility is getting us killed. Here is the downside to gun-control and background checks.

Licensed concealed carry holders are among the most law abiding and non-violent groups of people on the planet. Law abiding citizens use legally owned firearms for self-defense thousands of times a day. Disarming even a few honest gun owners will leave more of us as disarmed victims of criminal violence. That costs lives.

There are no exemptions in our gun laws for need. There is no exemption for the young woman who has a stalker and suddenly needs a gun for protection. There is no exemption for the sexual assault victim who now wants a firearm to feel secure when she is home alone. It is illegal to give these innocent and honest people a tool for self-defense until the state approves. The victim’s needs come second after the state has its mandatory background checks..and its fees.

The time to stop and turn around is when you realize you’ve made a mistake. Universal background checks sound good but cost lives.
~_~_

I gave you almost 800 words and a few hours of research for free. Please share this article and comment. RM

 

%d bloggers like this: