Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Scientific American is not scientific when it comes to guns

From John Lott's website. John R. Lott, Jr., PhD, president of the Crime Prevention Research Center

Scientific American recently ran a 6,000 word article claiming that more guns means more crime. Dr. John Lott wrote a letter responding to some of the many errors and the author wrote a response to his letter. Here is Lott’s letter as well as some very quick and incomplete notes that respond to the author’s responses.

Melinda Wenner Moyer’s article “Journey to Gunland” (October 2017) is very biased and ignores virtually all of the literature on right-to-carry laws and gun ownership since 1998. About two thirds of the peer-reviewed, published literature shows concealed carry laws help reduce crime. I even provided Moyer with those published papers, but she doesn’t provide a single reference to or quote from them. Moyer appears completely unaware any of my research after 1998, making no mention of the 2nd and 3rd editions of More Guns, Less Crime (University of Chicago Press, 2000, 2010).

Moyer cites the National Research Council (NRC), but fails to accurately describe its findings. The council was more supportive of right-to-carry laws than it was of any other gun law. As is typical of NRC reports, the 2005 “Firearms and Violence” by the council refrained from endorsing any of the over 100 different gun regulations it studied.

However, there was one unexpected dissent by preeminent criminologist James Q. Wilson. Dissents in NRC reports are extremely rare. In the 10 years prior to the NRC report there were only two dissents out of 236 reports. Wilson, who had always supported gun control, had been on four previous panels but never had written a dissent. Finally, however, he pointed out the NRC’s own regressions consistently show right-to-carry laws reduce murder rates.

Moyer quotes physician Garen Wintemute: “Few studies…suggest that liberalizing access to concealed firearms has, on balance, beneficial effects.” But Moyer ignores 24 peer-reviewed publications just showing that crime in the U.S. drops after people are allowed to carry concealed handguns.

She references a recent unpublished paper by John Donohue, Abhay Aneja and Kyle Weber, but, unlike other studies, they don’t measure the number of permits issued, account for any other gun-control laws or deal with well-known statistical errors (such as truncation problems from a lot of zero values in the crime rates). The study also relies almost exclusively on trends in Hawaii to predict violent crime rates in Idaho, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska and Utah.

Take one example of Moyer’s sloppiness or bias in her article. Moyer has a long discussion of Arthur Kellermann’s work on the risks of guns in the home, and notes that Kellermann studied “444 people who had been killed between 1987 and 1992 at home.” But Moyer fails to note that, in fact, in only eight of these 444 homicide cases was the murder weapon a gun that had been kept in the home (The New England Journal of Medicine, February 3, 1994, p. 368). If Moyer had even read the 1998 edition of More Guns, Less Crime, she would have learned this.

Melinda Wenner Moyer responds (Lott's rejoinders not in italics):
John R. Lott, Jr., is wrong in his claims. He asserts “two thirds of the peer-reviewed, published literature shows that concealed carry laws help reduce crime.” This figure comes from a 2012 paper Lott himself wrote for the Maryland Law Review. In it he asserts that 18 peer-reviewed studies show right-to-carry laws reduce violent crime but only 11 suggest a different result.
But his two-thirds claim is false. Many of these 18 supposed pro-carry studies are off-topic. One is a paper by Lott on gun storage laws that has nothing to do with concealed carry. A second paper investigates how abortion relates to crime, a third concerns laws that prevent minors from owning guns—again, irrelevant to concealed carry. Lott also includes the second edition of his own book as one of these 18 peer-reviewed studies.
Moyer uses an older list from Dr. Lott’s 2012 paper in the University of Maryland Law Review, not the more complete list on our website that we provided to her.

Just because a paper is generally on safe storage laws or abortion doesn’t mean that it doesn’t also account for other factors. Those papers also include a variable for right-to-carry laws. Even though I provided her with links to actual copies of the papers, it appears that Moyer did nothing more than read the titles of the papers.

Dr. Lott’s paper on safe storage laws (see Table 3 on page 679) also discusses right-to-carry laws, waiting periods, and one-gun-a-month rules (and their adoption by neighboring states). The paper is filled with results concerning right-to-carry laws.

The next paper on preventing minors from owning gun also examines overall crime rates. It finds, “A rough summary is that the shall-issue laws have little discernable impact except for reducing rape.”

The abortion paper does also deal with right-to-carry laws, see the bottom of Table 2 on page 14.

The link to the list of research on right-to-carry laws was to the 3rd edition of More Guns, Less Crime from 2010.
In total, one third of his pro–concealed-carry citations refer to his own work. Not only does Lott inflate the number of studies that support his thesis, but he also completely omits many peer-reviewed studies that belong on the other side.
Yes, a number of the pro-carry papers are by Dr. Lott, but he was counting only peer-reviewed papers. And the three papers we’ve mentioned are all peer-reviewed. Many of Lott’s papers were co-authored with others.
Lott is also wrong in his contention that I ignore 24 peer-reviewed publications “showing that crime in the U.S. drops after people are allowed to carry concealed handguns.” Included among these 24, which are listed on his Web site, are the irrelevant papers mentioned above, as well as other studies that do not show links between concealed carry policies and low crime. One of them, for example, is a paper on the relationship between crime and subscriptions to Handguns magazine.
None of the papers linked to on the CPRC are irrelevant. All the papers linked to deal with right-to-carry laws.

As an example, there was indeed a link to a paper with Plassmann that discusses Handguns magazine, and that paper also deals with permitted concealed handgun laws. Whether she didn’t read the paper or is pretending the paper did something different than it did, the paper does account for concealed handgun laws.
Lott’s inaccuracies certainly do not reflect the true weight of the evidence. My investigation involved far more than the impact of concealed-carry laws and ultimately concluded that more guns—period—are associated with more crime and violence.
Moyer doesn’t accurately describe the literature, and in any case she ignores all of the pro-carry papers by authors other than myself. Nor does Moyer defend the Donohue, Aneja and Weber paper that she emphasized in her article, and that I critiqued.
Lott mistakenly states that I did not mention that one National Research Council committee member dissented from the committee’s conclusion that “it is not possible to determine that there is a causal link between the passage of right-to-carry laws and crime rates.” I did, in fact, state in my piece that the vote was not unanimous. And 14 of the 15 members did agree with the committee conclusion, a fact Lott ignores. Clearly an overwhelming consensus had been reached among the researchers.
Dr. Lott’s letter to the magazine read: “As is typical of NRC reports, the 2005 ‘Firearms and Violence’ report by the council concluded that there was no conclusive evidence for any of the over 100 different gun regulations that it studied.” Scientific American changed the wording to “refrained from endorsing.” But the key point is that the NRC reports come to the same non-conclusion about virtually everything that they study, including all gun control laws. The only real endorsement was the extremely rare dissent made by one council member in support of Dr. Lott’s work.
Finally, Lott criticizes me for omitting a detail about the Kellerman study that he considers important—but it is not. The study found the odds of being murdered nearly tripled among those who kept guns at home. Lott says it is important that most of these homicides did not involve the resident’s gun. That is a straw man. The study was designed to assess the relationship between keeping a gun in the home and the risk of being murdered by any weapon. Murder victims are murder victims, regardless of weapon or means.
One would think that if increased gun ownership in the home was responsible for increased homicides of that home’s residents, you would want to mention that in only eight of the 444 homicide cases that were studied was the murder weapon a gun that had been kept in the home. You are left with two options: either the homicides in the home are being committed by people from outside the home or by people in the home are using a non-gun weapon.

Does Moyer really want to argue that having a gun in the home increases the odds of a non-gun homicide? What is the exact mechanism that she thinks exists here? Kellermann’s paper concluded that “guns kept in the home are associated with an increase in the risk of homicide by a family member or intimate acquaintance.” So why does a gun mean that a family member or intimate acquaintance is more likely to kill someone in the home with a non-gun weapon?

In any case, others accurately summarize Kellermann’s findings this way: “Keeping a gun in the home carries a murder risk 2.7 times greater than not keeping one, according to a study by Arthur Kellermann. . . . The study found that people are 21 times more likely to be killed by someone they know than a stranger breaking into the house.

The notion that Kellermann’s paper was seriously designed to “assess the relationship between keeping a gun in the home and the risk of being murdered by any weapon” is wrong. My book, “More Guns, Less Crime (University of Chicago Press, all three editions), explains what the problems are.




Monday, November 13, 2017

Some professors and universities do not deserve respect

From Jonathan Turley's blog.

The trend in this day and age of too many people is toward intolerance, restriction of speech, and a host of other limitations on freedom.  Some of the worst are found in university faculties.

We are in a dangerous downtrend.
-------------------------------------------------------
We previously discussed the case of Fresno State University Public Health Professor Dr. Gregory Thatcher recruited students to destroy pro-life messages written on the sidewalks and wrongly told the pro-life students that they had no free speech rights in the matter. As I stated earlier, I find it extraordinary that the university did not seriously discipline or terminate Thatcher, but he still remains on the faculty. A district court has now ordered Thatcher to pay $17,000 and undergo First Amendment training. However, Thatcher remains defiant and the university appears complicit in his actions by the lack of disciplinary action.

The pro-life students had written messages on the sidewalk like “You CAN be pregnant & successful” and “Unborn lives matter” to “Women need love, NOT abortion.” The lawsuit alleges that Thatcher got students from his 8 a.m. class to help remove the anti-abortion messages and that their chalk was taken away to write pro-choice slogans on the sidewalk.

The video below shows two students rubbing out the chalk statements despite the pro-life students saying that they have permission to write such messages. The students seem entirely unconcerned that they are censoring speech and engaging in a grossly intolerant act. Instead, they refer to their teacher as telling them that they should do so. Thatcher then walks up. If the encounter with students was chilling, the encounter with Thatcher is positively glacial. Thatcher invokes the controversial restriction of free speech to “zones” and says that there is no free speech rights for this type of writing outside of that zone. When the students explain that they have permission, he then proceed to rub out their messages and declared “you have permission to put it down — I have permission to get rid of it.” It is a shocking and disgraceful demonstration by Thatcher and should be worthy of serious discipline. However, we have seen repeatedly that faculty members have remained silent in the face of anti-free speech conduct directed toward conservatives or pro-life advocates.
In the video of the incident, Thatcher comes across as an intolerant bully who who used his position on campus to try to censor opposing views.

Video

The money will largely go to attorneys’ fees for the victims, but Thatcher will pay $1,000 to Tasy and $1,000 to another student, Jesus Herrera. Thatcher appeared unrepented in comments after the settlement. He noted that he would not have to pay a cent from his own pocket and that any money would be paid by his insurance company. He then added this disturbing comment:

“I did not, in any way, admit to any wrongdoing. I did agree to sit through a training seminar because I love to learn others’ thoughts and opinions.”

Of course, the “others’ thoughts and opinions” happen to be a basic respect for free speech — an area in which Thatcher appears to be both ignorant and intolerant. Moreover, Thatcher did not appear to “love . . . . learn[ing] other’s thoughts and opinions” when he was taunting and censoring these pro-life activists.

It is equally clear that he remains contemptful of the free speech claims of the victims and equally undeterred in such matters. His comments reveal a deeper problem at Fresno State University where faculty can lead students in seeking to censor opposing views and not face serious punishment.

The incident raises troubling memories of the controversy surrounding the confrontation of Feminist Studies Associate Professor Mireille Miller-Young with pro-life advocates on campus of the University of California at Santa Barbara. Miller-Young led her students in attacking the pro-life display, stealing their display, and then committing battery on one of the young women. She was convicted and sentenced for the crime. Despite the shocking conduct of Miller-Young and the clear violation of the most fundamental values for all academics in guaranteeing free speech and associational rights, the faculty overwhelmingly supported Miller-Young and the university decided not to impose any meaningful discipline. To make matter worse, Michael D. Young, Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, not only issued a statement that seemed to blame the victims but faculty defended Miller-Young’s conduct. Faculty and student defenders attacked the pro-life advocates and one even referred to them as “terrorists” who did not deserve free speech. Miller-Young should have been fired but was instead lionized by faculty and students.

Like Miller-Young, Thatcher actively encouraged his students to deny others free speech rights. In arguing that there could be no such free speech outside of the free speech zone, Thatcher appears unaware that the “free speech area” was eliminated two years ago.

Thatcher remains listed as faculty in the Department of Public Health.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Protectionism

From Don Boudreaux's blog.  Not the whole story, but good points.

The essence of protectionism is captured nicely in this headline that just appeared at World Trade Online:



Protectionists are masters of frightening economically uninformed people with hypotheticals.  ‘What if all of our farmers go bankrupt and we are then left at the mercy of our military enemies to supply us with food?  Do you want to risk that outcome?!’ – is the sort of absurd ‘argument’ that protectionists mistake for serious argument.   This sort of precautionary-principle argument is prevalent when protectionists are trying to persuade people to allow the government to restrict their – the people’s – access to goods and services.
But the true essence of protectionism is captured nicely by this headline.  No one with any sense can possibly interpret the demands of the U.S. citrus industry as reflecting anything other than an attempt to pick the pockets of consumers by denying to consumers access to imported lemons.
Protectionism in theory is dubious.  Protectionism in practice is cronyist thuggery dressed up as “policy.”

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Does 2+2=1 sound right?

Here is a quote from an article in The Guardian - a British publication.

The three richest people in the US – Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffett – own as much wealth as the bottom half of the US population, or 160 million people. 

Analysis of the wealth of America’s richest people found that Gates, Bezos and Buffett were sitting on a combined $248.5bn (£190bn) fortune. The Institute for Policy Studies said the growing gap between rich and poor had created a “moral crisis”.


What are we to make of this?  Is it credible?

Let's see - Divide $248.5 billion by 160 million - you get $1,550.  Is it credible that the average wealth of the poorest 160 million US citizens is only $1,550?  No.  What does this imply?  That neither the Guardian nor the Institute for Policy Studies is credible.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

An example of the dishonesty of some anti-gun academics

Here is a rejoinder by Carlisle Moody, John Lott, and Thomas Marvell to an American Law and Economics Review article by Abhay Aneja, John Donohue, and Alexandria Zhang criticizing - and even slandering Lott.

This kind of dishonest and/or incompetent research by Lott's academic critics is common.  Donohue, in particular, has written (alone and with co-authors) several academic papers criticizing Lott's work showing that allowing honest citizens to carry concealed firearms reduces the violent crime rate, including murders.  Yet, despite being shown the flaws in his research that invalidate his claims, Donohue and his co-authors have continued their unethical behavior of misrepresenting Lott's work.

Here is the rejoinder.
-----------------------------------------
In an American Law and Economics Review article published during 2011, Abhay Aneja, John Donohue III, and Alexandria Zhang (hereafter ADZ) examined Chapter 6 of Firearms and violence: ACriticalReview, a 2005 report from the National Research Council (hereafter NRC). The chapter examined by ADZ is concerned with the effect that right-to-carry laws have on crime. The laws are also known as shall-issue laws, and we employ that term. Shall-issue laws require authorities to issue concealed carry permits to all persons who meet certain legislated requirements. Aside from Illinois, states that have not passed shall-issue laws leave it up to the issuing authorities, typically local police or sheriff departments, to determine whether or not to grant the applicant a concealed weapons permit.Such states are known as “may-issue” states.It is usually the case that may-issue states, especially in urban cities and counties, issue very few concealed carry permits, and most of these go to celebrities, wealthy individuals, and politicians (Snyder 1997). An interesting policy question is whether shall-issue laws, which increase the number of concealed carry permits, increase or decrease crime. One theory is that criminals, knowing that some ordinary citizens may be carrying firearms and, being unable to tell those who are from those who aren’t, will be more likely to forego a violent crime for fear of being met with armed resistance. Under this theory, violent crime should go down as a result of the passage of shall-issue laws.

The original article in this area is by John Lott and David Mustard (1997), who found that states with shall-issue laws had significantly lower violent crime rates than may-issue states or states that ban concealed carry. The publication of Lott and Mustard’s article generated a controversy that continues to this day. The Lott and Mustard results have been tested many times: by our reckoning, there have been at least 29 peer-reviewed studies by economists and criminologists, with a majority finding some support for the hypothesis that shall-issue laws reduce crime, many (including the NRC report) not finding any significant effect on crime, and only a few finding that shall-issue laws cause an increase in one or more types of violent crime (Lott2010,284).

ADZ (2011) attempted to replicate the results of the 2005 NRC report with a data set that they received from NRC. Their attempts at replication failed. “We cannot replicate the NRC results using the NRC’s own data set…. [O]ur… estimates diverge wildly from the…estimates [that] appeared in the NRC report” (ADZ 2011, 583). In the conclusion of their article they discuss their problem in replicating the NRC results. We find their discussion murky. Here we quote at length the key passages of the discussion; the parenthetical remarksareADZ’s, but we have bolded some words:

Data reliability is one concern in the NRC study. We corrected several coding errors in the data that were provided to us by the NRC (which had originally been obtained from John Lott). Accurate data are essential to making precise causal inferences about the effects of policy and legislation—and this issue becomes particularlyimportant when we are considering topics as controversial as firearms and crime control. We attempted to mitigate any uncertainty over data reliability by re-collecting the data. However, when attempting to replicate the NRC specifications—on both the NRC’s and our own newly constructed data sets—we consistently obtained point estimates that differed substantially from those published by the committee. 

Thus, an important lesson for both producers and consumers of econometric evaluations of law and policy is to understand how easy it is to get things wrong. In this case, it appears that Lott’s data set had errors in it, which then were transmitted to the NRC committee for use in evaluating Lott and Mustard’s hypothesis. The committee then published tables that could not be replicated (on its data set or a new corrected data set), but which made at least Professor James Q. Wilson think (incorrectly it turns out—see our Tables2a–c) that running Lott Mustard regressions on both data periods (through 1992 and through 2000) would generate consistently significant evidence that RTC [or shall-issue] laws reduce murder. (ADZ2011,613-614)

There are two questions to ask about ADZ’s inability to replicate the NRC results. The first question is: What was the source of the inability to replicate? We now know that the source was ADZ’s estimation of a misspecified model, a fact later admitted by ADZ (ADZ 2012; Aneja, Donohue, Pepper, Wellford, and Zhang 2012). But at the time of the 2011 article, ADZ presumably thought they were estimating the same model as did the NRC, in which case they would have replicated the NRC results since the same programs applied to the same data would yield the same results.

The second question is: What was ADZ’s understanding of the source of their inability to replicate? And, correspondingly, what were they suggesting to readers was the import of that inability? It seems that ADZ either concluded that the same program applied to the same data generated different results, or they thought—and perhaps were suggesting—that two different data sets, or tables based on different data sets, both originating with Lott, had been in play. The latter interpretation might fit ADZ’s mention of“on its data set or a new corrected data set. ”Since, for the data sets they themselves constructed, ADZ had used the expression “our own newly constructed data sets,” perhaps “a new corrected data set” is meant to suggest a second Lott-originated data set.

If researchers receive reports that a data set is inconsistent and unreliable, that sows seeds of doubt about all the research that has made use of that data set. Many studies have used the Lott data in question. Since we now know that the source of  ADZ’s failure to replicate was their having estimated the wrong model, we know that the published articles using Lott’s data have not been invalidated because of critical data errors. The picture as sketched by ADZ (2011) is vague, but their speculation that “it appears that Lott’s data set had errors in it” turns out to be unfounded. In two items released in 2012, ADZ themselves admit their error. But they do so in a way that fails to take responsibility for or rectify the doubts they had sown about the data and, therefore, the studies using the data.

Armed Citizens and Multiple Victim Shootings

Here is a link to "Multiple Victim Public Shootings, Bombings, and Right-to-Carry Concealed Handgun Laws: Contrasting Private and Public Law Enforcement".

The authors are John Lott (Crime Prevention Research Center) and William Landes (University of Chicago Law School, National Bureau of Economic Research).

Lott and Landes are preeminent researchers in the field.  In contrast, their critics' work has been shown to be flawed statistically and/or logically.

The abstract reads:

Few events obtain the same instant worldwide news coverage as multiple victim public shootings. These crimes allow us to study the alternative methods used to kill a large number of people (e.g., shootings versus bombings), marginal deterrence and the severity of the crime, substitutability of penalties, private versus public methods of deterrence and incapacitation, and whether attacks produce copycats. Yet, economists have not studied this phenomenon. Our results are surprising and dramatic. While arrest or conviction rates and the death penalty reduce normal murder rates, our results find that the only policy factor to influence multiple victim public shootings is the passage of concealed handgun laws. We explain why public shootings are more sensitive than other violent crimes to concealed handguns, why the laws reduce both the number of shootings as well as their severity, and why other penalties like executions have differential deterrent effects depending upon the type of murder.

The conclusion reads:

The results of this paper support the hypothesis that concealed
handgun or shall issue laws reduce the number of multiple victim
public shootings. Attackers are deterred and the number of people
injured or killed per attack is also reduced, thus for the first time
providing evidence that the harm from crimes that still occur can be
mitigated. The results are robust with respect to different
specifications of the dependent variable, different specifications of
the handgun law variable, and the inclusion of additional law
variables (e.g., mandatory waiting periods and enhanced penalties for
using a gun in the commission of a crime). Not only does the
passage of a shall issue law have a significant impact on multiple
shootings but it is the only law related variable that appears to have a
significant impact. Other law enforcement efforts from the arrest
rate for murder to the death penalty to waiting periods and
background checks are not systematically related to multiple shootings.
We also find that shall issue laws deter both the number
of multiple shootings and the amount of harm per shooting. Finally,
because the presence of citizens with concealed handguns may be
able to stop attacks before the police are able to arrive, our data also
allows us to provide the first evidence on the reduction in severity of
those crimes that still take place.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Texas shooting

John Lott's column about the Texas Church Shooting.  Lott is the President of the Crime Prevention Research Center.
-----------------------------------------------
Before knowing almost anything about Sunday’s mass public shooting, gun control advocates are once again calling for more gun control. The attack at the First Baptist Church in tiny Sutherland Springs, Texas, claimed 26 lives and left people with an understandable desire to “do something.” One thing is certain: the proposals put forward by gun control advocates wouldn’t have stopped this attack.

What they ignored was what stopped the killer was a good guy with a gun. As one witness said, without the good guy with a gun it “would have been much worse.” If more people were carrying guns, the attack might have been stopped even faster and more lives would have been saved.

Democratic Senators such as Dick Durbin (Ill.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Bob Casey (Pa.), Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), and Kamala Harris (Calif.) all immediately made statements that were various versions of, “Congress must act.”

The media spent all day after the attack rhetorically asking whether now was the time for more gun control. CNN’s Jim Acosta repeatedly asked if President Trump is, “Content . . . with these mass shootings exploding every month or so.”

Today, the day after the shooting, we know some more about the killer. We now know that one of the victims who attended the church was his ex-mother-in-law. That his conviction was for cracking the skull of his infant son years ago. That he had a “bad conduct” discharge from the military.

If the media waited even a few hours, they would have learned that their calls for regulations — primarily for “universal” background checks — wouldn’t have stopped this attack. Indeed, their proposals wouldn’t have stopped any of the other mass public shootings in the last couple decades. Kelley bought a gun at a gun store, and he passed the background check that the store conducted on him. Lying on the form doesn’t help you evade the computer background check.

Others on MSNBC immediately called for limiting magazine capacities, but a magazine is just a box with a spring in it. They can be made with very simple tools, and now-a-days 3D printers make it an even easier project. We still don’t know if Kelley planned this attack long in advance, though he bought the gun back in April 2016. It is very common for killers to plan mass public shootings one or two years in advance. It's not serious to think that a ban is going to keep anyone other than law-abiding people from obtaining a magazine.

During his press conference early Monday morning in Japan, President Trump worried that the attack was the result of a "mental health problem at the highest level" and called the gunman a, “very deranged individual.” Kelley may well have been suffering from a mental illness, but mental health evaluations shouldn’t be counted for much help. Psychiatrists and psychologists have an extremely poor track record in identifying those who pose a threat to others. Half of the mass public shooters of the Obama years were seeing mental health professionals prior to their attacks. None of these experts identified the killers as a danger to others.

Elliot Rodger, who killed six and injured 14 others near the University of California at Santa Barbara, fooled not only sheriff’s deputies but also the internationally-known Dr. Charles Sophy. Sophy is medical director for the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services. That ought to give people pause before they assume that there’s an easy solution for identifying dangerous individuals.

We know that the attack at the Texas church could have been even worse if it wasn’t for an armed civilian. According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, “A local resident grabbed his rifle and engaged the suspect, the suspect dropped his rifle and fled from the church.”

Something should be done, but the question is what. Texas lets each church decide whether to allow permitted concealed handguns, and we don’t know whether this particular church allowed it. What we do know is that time is crucial. The longer it takes for someone to arrive at the scene with a gun, the more people who will be harmed.

If the media and politicians want to do something effective, they could take a page out of Israel’s playbook. When there is a surge in terrorist attacks , Israeli police call on permitted civilians to make sure that they have their guns with them at all times.

Police tend to support an increase in permits. “What would help most in preventing large-scale shootings in public?” PoliceOne asked its 450,000 American officer members in 2013. The most common answer: “More permissive concealed carry policies for civilians.”

Eighty percent of the surveyed officers believed that allowing permitted concealed handguns would reduce the number of victims of mass public shootings.

Thank God, there was a good guy with a gun on Sunday in Sutherland Springs.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Freedom? Naah, who wants that?

Most people say that they believe in freedom and free speech.  But surveys show otherwise.  Here is a link to one such survey.

As Pogo said:  We have met the enemy and they are us.

Let's have fair taxes - tax the low income earners

Here is a link to a video by Professor Walter Williams, "Who wins and who loses under the current tax code?"

Facts

  • The top 1% of earners pay a substantial majority of federal taxes.
  • About half of earners (lower income) pay no federal taxes.
  • People who pay no taxes have no incentive to reduce federal spending.
What is fair about that?

Let's face it - the Government forcing you to pay taxes under the threat of imprisonment is armed robbery.




Saturday, November 04, 2017

The case for profiling

From the Crime Prevention Research Center, referring to the recent vehicle terrorism in New York City.
--------------------------------------------
This might be only the first successful mass killing with a vehicle in the US, but it is more common in other countries. Muslims only account for six percent of Europe’s population, but they are responsible for over 80 percent of vehicle attacks in Europe since 2000. Twenty-four percent of the people in the world are Muslims, but they carry out 78 percent of the world’s vehicular terror attacks.