Tag Archives: gun

King Obama: Ruling by Executive Action

When the national village idiot, Joe Biden, suggested that President Obama may take executive action rather than work through Congress to pass new gun legislation, I thought – eh, Biden’s lips are moving again. But here we are today, with the President saying just that.

My understanding is the vice president’s going to provide a range of steps that we can take to reduce gun violence,” said Obama. “Some of them will require legislation, some of them I can accomplish through executive action. And so I will be reviewing those today, and as I said, I will speak in more detail to what we’re going to go ahead and propose later in the week. But I’m confident that there are some steps that we can take that don’t require legislation and that are within my authority as president, and where you get a step that, has the opportunity to reduce the possibility of gun violence, then I want to go ahead and take it.

Amazing that President Obama, our esteemed law professor, who taught at the University of Chicago for 12 years without publishing one academic article, finds that “executive action” is the way to go rather than let Congress do their job. While he has not said that he is solely relying on such action to limit ‘gun violence’, it is not unlike him to rely on such power. President Obama did the same with immigration laws, not that long ago. Why bother executing the laws, when you can write them yourself?

President Obama probably feels that Congress will be unable to agree on new gun control measures – therefore, he should go ahead to take “some steps… that don’t require legislation…”. We will see what steps he’s referring to sometime in the near future. In this second term, with nothing to stop him, I think we can all be seriously concerned.

Ben Shapiro Takes Foreign Gun Control Bully Piers Morgan Down a Notch

Breitbart editor-at-large and author of “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences Americans” Ben Shapiro took Piers Morgan down a notch on the issue of what should be done after the tragedy at Newtown, Connecticut. Shapiro accused Piers Morgan of being a “bully” who was “standing on the graves” of Sandy Hook shooting victims while characterizing gun control opponents as ‘unfeeling.’

Shapiro makes the important point about how the left mistakes passion for reason when it comes to policy. Those on the left mistakenly believe that because they feel more, and that means they are inherently on the side of right, meanwhile those who disagree with them are wrong. Rationality and evidence don’t enter into the equation.

And as Shapiro drove home, neither does history — the left dismisses the entire notion that citizens should have guns to defend themselves from tyranny. As Judge Napolitano echoed in his Washington Times article, the Second Amendment acknowledges that citizens’ have “the right to shoot tyrants, not deer.”

At one point, Shapiro pulls out a Constitution, which Piers once refers to as “your little book,” and makes the salient argument that the Founders put the Second Amendment in the Constitution not for purposes of protecting hunting and game shooting, but so citizens are legally allowed to defend themselves from government tyranny. He then made the haunting remark that “the fact that my grandparents in Europe didn’t fear (tyranny) is why they’re ashes.”

Cross-posted at Independent Journal Review

Gun Control Statistics That Reasonable People Should Know

firearmsfacts

What would a reasonable person do if he actually wanted to know the truth about gun control? Put aside emotions for a second, and really think about setting out to save as many precious individual human lives as possible . Wouldn’t you want to look at national, international, time-series and historical stats to find out if your opinion is, you know, true?

Anyone can have an opinion based on wishes; it just behooves us to know what’s going on in that place called “reality” before we set off on some self-defeating, quixotic crusade. And “crusades” often get people killed. Lots and lots of people killed. (See DDT and malaria; or consider that the ‘long peace’ since the end of World War II is almost entirely due to nuclear arms proliferation to great powers).

With an open mind and a heavy heart, let’s take a look at 11 contextual and specific facts about mass murder, gun violence, and violence trends in the United States, and compare the U.S. to countries abroad:

  1. Mass shootings rose between the 1960s and the 1990s, and dropped in the 2000s. Mass killings actually reached their peak in 1929. (According to Grant Duwe, criminologist with the Minnesota Department of Corrections.)
  2. “States that allow law-abiding citizens to carry concealed handguns enjoy a 60 percent decrease in multiple-victim public shootings and a 78 percent decrease in victims per attack.” John Lott, Jr. and Bill Landes, “More Guns, Less Crime.”
  3. “With just one single exception, the attack on congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson in 2011, every public shooting since at least 1950 in the U.S. in which more than three people have been killed has taken place where citizens are not allowed to carry guns.”– John Lott, Jr. Co-author with Bill Landes of “More Guns, Less Crime.”
  4. “Until the Newtown horror, the three worst K–12 school shootings ever had taken place in either Britain or Germany.” [John Fund, NRO. “The Facts About Mass Shootings.”]
  5. Total violent crime from 1973 to 2009 decreased 65%, or is about one-third as high. (Bureau of Justice Statistics)
  6. The U.S. murder rate decreased 8.1% between 2008 and 2009, and has fallen every year since 2006. (Bureau of Justice Statistics, based on FBI data).
  7. The United States ranks 24th in the world in terms of its murder rate. It also has the most highly armed civilian population.
  8. “International evidence and comparisons have long been offered as proof of the mantra that more guns mean more deaths and that fewer guns, therefore, mean fewer deaths. There is a compound assertion that (a) guns are uniquely available in the United States compared with other modern developed nations, which is why (b) the United States has by far the highest murder rate. Though these assertions have been endlessly repeated, statement (b) is, in fact, false and statement (a) is substantially so.” (Kates & Mauser, Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, Vol. 30, No. 2)
  9. “The political causation is that nations which have violence problems tend to adopt severe gun controls, but these do not reduce violence, which is determined by basic sociocultural and economic factors.” [Then why does Luxemburg have nine times the murder rate of Germany?] (Kates & Mauser, Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, Vol. 30, No. 2)
  10. “The Middle Ages were a time of notoriously brutal and endemic warfare. They also experienced rates of ordinary murder almost double the highest recorded U.S. murder rate. But Middle Age homicide “cannot be explained in terms of the availability of firearms, which had not yet been invented.” (Kates & Mauser, Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, Vol. 30, No. 2)
  11. The odds of being in a victim of a mass shooting are far less than that of being struck by lightning.

Only when one gets the big picture view, then can we see the intra-national view: heavily urbanized gun control states tend to have gun murders that are just as high or higher on average than states that are rural or urbanized with concealed carry laws or relaxed gun permit laws. Beyond the timid phrase ‘gun control doesn’t work,’ which would imply we might as well implement them anyway just to make us feel good, they actually put Americans in more danger. This is not to say we shouldn’t do anything policywise to prevent as many rampage killings as feasible. We should do something — both personally and policywise.

Ultimately, why do spree killers go on their inhuman rampages? There are many different reasons, and a common causal factor is hard to say for certain. There are millions of people who are picked on, are lonely, or have bad families who don’t snap and kill others.  But simply looking at commonalities among spree killers is not sufficient; it’s an error in political science called “sampling on the dependent variable.” One has to look at the entire universe of individuals in a society more broadly and find the causal factors or cluster of factors that are significant and unique to the qualified cases at hand. What we can do is exclude the reasons spree killers don’t go on their murderous rampages.

The largest scientific study ever conducted at the time was published in 2000 at the NY Times, of all places. What was published is definitive and follows logically and empirically: rampage killers “are not drunk or high on drugs. They are not racists or Satanists,or addicted to violent video games, movies or music.”

The study examined 100 cases, including the Columbine massacre.  Among the findings: “While the killings have caused many people to point to the violent aspects of the culture, a closer look shows little evidence that video games, movies or television encouraged many of the attacks. In only 6 of the 100 cases did the killers have a known interest in violent video games. Seven other killers showed an interest in violent movies.”

It is irresponsible and self-defeating to rush to adopt public policies just because they make us feel better or well-intentioned or because we think we should do something. The history of humankind shows: understand first, then act.

Editor’s note: This article was edited to streamline the argument.

Justice Scalia: Guns Can Be “Regulated”

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia sent a chill through the spines of conservatives with a foreboding warning about the government’s power to “regulate” what he referred to as “menacing” hand-held weapons.

Scalia’s comments elicited a furor at the website National Journal, where many weighed in to register their disgust at the possibility of another “conservative” justice betrayal. Supreme Court Justice John Roberts  appeared poised to strike down the individual mandate of the Obamacare legislation in late June 2012, but apparently sided with the liberal wing at the last moment.

Appearing in an interview given by Mike Wallace that is to be aired on Fox News Sunday, the originalist stalwart had the following comments:

[Whether or not government can ban high volume magazines and “assault” weapons] will have to be decided in future cases… But there were legal precedents from the days of the Founding Fathers that banned frightening weapons which a constitutional originalist like himself must recognize. There were also “locational limitations” on where weapons could be carried.

Several commenters at National Journal rightly rebutted Scalia’s opinion by pointing out the subjective nature of basing law on what liberals perceive as “frightening” or “menacing,” including hand-held weapons. There were other causes for concern with Justice Scalia’s comments.

Instead of basing his reasoning on inalienable individual rights, such as the rights to private property and self-defense, Scalia expounded on particular 18th century gun practices that preceded the ratification of The Constitution. From this exercise in historical exegesis, he leapt to the conclusion that the several states had the authority to “regulate” the citizens’ right to keep and bear arms.

Scalia thus hedges the recent case record that the Second Amendment is incorporated and binding on the states, which was established in the 2010 Supreme Court case McDonald vs. Chicago that struck down local gun control laws. That followed upon the related gun control case District of Columbia vs. Heller, which also struck down gun regulations.

The record of the Roberts’ course had seemed to be strong on both gun control and free speech issues before the Obamacare case debacle. Roberts’ capricious minimalism (the tendency to yield to the legislature on Constitutional interpretation)  and Scalia’s inconsistency in defending individual rights have many attentive citizens alarmed that gun “regulation” could go the deleterious way of Commerce “regulation.”

Whether or not one agrees with the Constitutional amendment stating that citizens have the right to bear arms, it is empirically rock-solid that citizens’ ability to lawfully carry concealed firearms leads to a 60 percent decrease in multiple-victim public shootings and a 78 percent decrease in victims per attack among the several states.

Nonetheless, the massacre at an Aurora, Colorado theater, a gun-free zone, has given rise to increasingly vocal calls for gun regulations by the Democrat Party. The party even had the audacity to try to slip assault weapons-related gun regulations into an upcoming “cybersecurity” bill, probably after recognizing that the U.S. would not become a party to the UN’s small arms treaty.

Please share this article if you want to alert your fellow citizens about the assaults being made on the Second Amendment!