Archive for the ‘US Constitution’ Category

Gun policy expert: Islamist beheadings are proof of gun control foolishness

by Jim Kouri on Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

This is article 561 of 562 in the topic Gun Rights

A top Inside the Beltway firearms expert and policy wonk on Monday told Examiner that the videotaped Islamist beheadings of Americans are a serious wake-up call for all clear-thinking people throughout the world, especially for the people of America, a nation the radical Muslims dubbed the “Great Satan.”

“The murderous, barbaric, and savage actions of the Islamic State (IS) and other Islamist entities reveal the true nature of these groups and their members,” said gun rights expert John M. Snyder, who serves on the boards of advisers for two national police organizations representing more than 100,000 police commanders and officers. “Their activities reflect the wretchedness of their thinking,” he said.

Snyder — an advisory board member for the National Association of Chiefs of Police and the American Federation of Police and Concerned Citizens — believes that the global activities of terrorist organizations and so-called “lone-wolves” or “homegrown” jihadists are prima facie evidence of the futility of depending on others to protect Americans and their loved-ones and the increased need for serious self-defense training for each American.

“Snyder knows what every cop understands: police officers are not in a position to be ‘first-responders’ for many Americans. The real first-responders are the American people who are being personally targeted by terrorists, gang members and common criminals,” said former police training officer Lloyd Lorensen.

“Americans must emulate police SWAT team officers, who train, train, train for that one incident in which their abilities will make the difference between life and death.” Lorensen recommended. “That includes regularly spending quality time at the firing range.”

According to Snyder, officials from both political parties say the Islamic terrorists are already here. “Congressional leaders have warn us about the Islamist threat [including] Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Michigan, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, [chairpersons] of the House and the Senate Select Committees on Intelligence.”

“We need personal firearms for self-defense against potential terrorist attacks,” he stressed. “Proposals for different kinds of gun control pale in comparison with this need.”

“Whether they realize it or not, [gun-control proponents] in politics, business, media, entertainment and academe work against the safety of Americans who need firearms for self-defense,” said Snyder, a former editor for NRA publications. “This includes unfortunately some of the most monetarily successful members of our society. Their billionaire bucks undermine self-defense civil rights.”

The gun rights activist points to people such as former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg, as well as multi-billionaires Warren Buffett and Bill Gates who fork over huge financial contributions to “gun-grabbing” organizations. “They spend money to destroy freedom,” Snyder sadly notes.

Snyder believes a recent academic study strongly suggests the utter futility of gun control initiatives as crime control or anti-terrorism measures. Professor Mark Gius of Quinnipiac University’s Department of Economics found that between 1980 and 2009, U.S. “states with more restrictive concealed carry weapon (CCW) laws had gun-related murder rates that were 10% higher’ than those of other states.”

Gius’ analysis also found that state “murder rates were 19.3% higher when the Federal (assault weapon and large magazine) ban was in effect.” As NRA-ILA noted, “[T]he bans went into effect in September 1994 and expired in September 2004. During the 10 years 1995-2004, the average annual murder rare was 6.2 per 100,000 population.

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Bakersfield, California Vice Principal shows that concealed carry permit holders can legally carry guns on school property

by John Lott on Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

This is article 562 of 562 in the topic Gun Rights
This story won’t be a surprise for those who have followed the CPRC (or here).  In California, concealed carry permit holders are allowed to carry on school property if they have approval of the school superintendent, which it would be too surprising for Vice Principal to obtain.  From KBAK/KBFX in Bakersfield, California:

A Tevis Junior High School administrator who was arrested and subsequently released last month after bringing a gun to school has filed a claim against the city of Bakersfield and its police department, according to his attorney Daniel Rodriguez.

Kent Williams, 51, vice principal at the school since 2010, said he was falsely arrested by BPD officers for bringing the handgun to school, because he has a valid concealed-weapons permit and showed it to them before the arrest was made.

“Me, being a law abiding citizen, that was the first time I had ever been exposed to handcuffs,” Williams said. “I was frightened and scared out of my mind.”

Rodriguez said his client brought the gun to school for safety reasons.

He said several laws were violated by the arrest on behalf of the department, which later released Williams from custody.

Police said it was initially believed that Williams may have violated the California Gun Free Zone Act but said the vice principal likely did not break any laws because of his valid concealed-carry firearms permit, which was issued by Kern County. . . .

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Concealed carry permit holder defends himself against six gang members who tried to rob him, gang members part of dozens of robberies over past 3 days

by John Lott on Sunday, September 7th, 2014

This is article 336 of 336 in the topic Criminal Activity

From “Police bust a dangerous teenage crime ring after a 15-year-old suspect is shot to death by one of his intended victims.” These “thugs” were believed to have previously beaten and robbed a young woman. The 15-year-old who was shot and killed had been shot in a similar robbery last month.

More on the story from TV:

Police in Milwaukee say the person shot during a robbery attempt Monday was a teen with a long arrest record.

Police said a group of people attempted to rob another group of people near South Second Street and National Avenue early Monday morning. Investigators said one of the would-be victims produced a gun and shot one of the would-be robbers.

VIDEO: Police: Teen shot, killed early Monday part of crime spree

Lt. Mark Stanmeyer said the shooting victim was a 15-year-old boy that he called “a known gang member” who had a lengthy arrest record including armed robbery and auto theft.

Stanmeyer said the shooting victim had also been shot in an incident on Aug. 1
Police said the 30-year-old West Allis man who shot the teen was taken into police custody and released. He has been ordered to report to the District Attorney’s Office at a future date.

Stanmeyer said five people were arrested and are believed to have been part of dozens of Milwaukee-area robberies over the past three days. Stanmeyer said the ages of those arrested range from 14-18 years. . . .

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Another case where registration type records are used for confiscating guns? Government retroactively changing its mind on what is a legal gun

by John Lott on Saturday, September 6th, 2014

This is article 560 of 562 in the topic Gun Rights
From Fox News Insider:

Joseph Palumbo, owner of the Albion Gun Shop in Albion, New York, was forced by state police to hand over 165 customer records or risk having his store raided.

Palumbo spoke to Tucker Carlson this morning on Fox and Friends Weekend and explained that the police said they were looking for anyone who had purchased a modified AR-15 rifle.

Although the police did not have a written order to seize the customer records, Palumbo said they made it clear there was the imminent threat of a SWAT team raid of his store, so he complied and handed over the records. . . .

“We had been told by the state police that this modification was legal over a year ago,” said Palumbo, who has hired an attorney specializing in the Second Amendment. . . .

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My review of Winkler’s book

by John Lott on Friday, September 5th, 2014

This is article 71 of 71 in the topic Book & Movie Reviews
“Gunfight” has been out for a few years, but despite its inaccuracies, it continues to get credence.  Here is my review of it.  The later letter that I reprinted from Clayton Cramer was reprinted at his invitation.  It would be nice if the review got enough “likes” that it was actually one of the reviews that people would be likely to see.

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Review of Frank Miniter’s new book "The Future of the Gun"

by John Lott on Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Concealed handgun permits in Orange County, California "surge," but are still very low

by John Lott on Thursday, September 4th, 2014

This is article 559 of 562 in the topic Gun Rights

This year there are about 2.4 million adults living in Orange County, California.  Despite the “surge,” there are few permit holders, representing just 0.07 percent of the adult population.  Even if all those applying for permits had their requests granted, that would still mean just about one-tenth of one percent have a permit.  The LA Times notes:

According to the analysis, permits are spread throughout the county, but certain cities — including Huntington Beach, Newport Beach and Yorba Linda — have a higher concentration of licensees. Others, including Santa Ana and Garden Grove, have had much fewer approved permits. . . .

Not to surprisingly, giving the training costs to get a permit, it is the well-to-do areas of the county that are getting the permits.

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The Media at War With the Obama Administration?

by Roger Aronoff on Friday, August 29th, 2014

This is article 568 of 570 in the topic Media

While the media are usually doing the bidding of President Obama and the Democrats, and are deep in the President’s pocket, there are cases in which they are very unhappy with his actions. New York Times reporter James Risen has become famous not only for his ongoing Espionage Act case, but also for his willingness to call President Obama the “greatest enemy to press freedom in a generation.”

In the case of Fox News reporter James Rosen, the government “monitored Rosen’s movements in and out of the State Department,” according to CBS News. They also “searched his personal emails and combed through his cell phone records.” Risen received similar treatment: his computer was subjected to forensic analysis and his phone calls were investigated.

Yet President Barack Obama’s press secretary recently had the temerity to joke to another Fox News White House correspondent that “We are always watching.” Rosen was labeled a “criminal co-conspirator” alongside Stephen Jin-Woo Kim, who recently went to jail for his crime. Clearly, the Obama administration has either not learned from its mistakes—or doesn’t care.

As I mentioned in an earlier article about Obama’s ongoing war on journalists, Risen appealed to the Supreme Court to carve out special immunity for reporters in the courts. But his bid to be heard by the Supreme Court failed, leaving him no more legal options.

Now, he has “exhausted all his legal options against the Justice Department’s pursuit of him under the controversial Espionage Act,” reports The Guardian this month. If pursued, Risen could end up in jail for his act of “journalistic defiance” as early as this fall, reports the Guardian.

Journalists are rallying to Risen’s side as he becomes a media darling for his defiance in the face of Obama administration pressure. Fourteen Pulitzer Prize winners have issued statements in support of him, 100,000 petitioners have voiced their concerns about his case to the Department of Justice, and The Washington Post editorial board has come to his defense.

But one of the disturbing developments of the Risen case is the push for a media shield law to create special protections for journalists. “The Risen case, [Gregg] Leslie [of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press] said, provides a clear picture for why a federal shield law is needed to complement similar laws in 49 states,” reported Business Insider on August 27. “The Supreme Court’s dismissal of his petition, Leslie said, is more evidence of what he called a ‘disturbing’ trend—federal courts have been less and less willing to side with reporters’ arguments.”

This is not the first time the media have called for a shield law. Back in 2008 Accuracy in Media’s Cliff Kincaid called the proposed law what it really is: not the Free Flow of Information Act, but the “Special Rights for Journalists Act.” “The bill puts in the hands of federal politicians and judges the ability to define a ‘legitimate’ journalist or blogger who is deserving of federal protection,” wrote Kincaid in 2008. “As such, it restricts First Amendment rights to a certain group of people currently in favor with federal authorities.”

The legislation could create an unhealthy relationship between the media and the federal government.

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The Natural Rights Of Life, Liberty And The Pursuit Of Gay Marriage

by Bob Livingston on Friday, August 29th, 2014

This is article 62 of 63 in the topic Gay Rights
The Natural Rights Of Life, Liberty And The Pursuit Of Gay Marriage


Whenever a group or class of people is given special “rights” (which aren’t really rights, but privileges), the real natural rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are turned on their ears and shoved down the memory hole. In other words, the rights of the one are secondary to the “rights” of the other simply because one subgroup of individuals has been granted special privileges that never before existed.

Take the case in New York of a Catholic couple who had $13,000 extorted from them by the state of New York (not to mention thousands of dollars in legal fees over two years), were forced to undergo and subject their staff to a state-sponsored re-education camp and were ordered to prominently display on their property a propaganda message contrary to their belief system, all for the “crime” of declining to host a wedding on their farm. The wedding, if it can be called such, was for a lesbian couple.

But this was not just any lesbian couple looking for a wedding locale. This was a lesbian couple fishing for a free wedding and seeking to be offended — or, in their minds, deprived of their rights. The couple secretly recorded the conversation in which their request to have the wedding conducted on the farm — which serves the dual purpose of being a place for events and Robert and Cynthia Gifford’s home — was declined and then quickly ran off to the New York State Division of Human Rights to proclaim they had been aggrieved.

Never mind that the Giffords, while declining to host the wedding, offered to the couple the option of visiting the farm to discuss handling the reception. And never mind that the Giffords had recently hosted a birthday party for the adopted child of a lesbian couple, indicating they held no special animus toward homosexuals. The Giffords’ decision to decline to host the wedding — which was contrary to their faith because they believe God ordained marriage to be a union of one man and one woman — led New York’s DHR to determine they were insensitive and discriminatory and must be punished (discriminated against) and re-educated (brainwashed).

This sort of discrimination (depriving one of his natural rights) against the one on behalf of the other — especially if the other happens to be homosexual — is becoming more common by the day. In St. Paul, Minnesota, the misnamed Minnesota Department of Human Rights recently went after the owners of a lodge after they turned down a request to host a gay wedding — again because it violated their religious beliefs. In order to settle the complaint, the owners of Rice Creek Hunting and Recreation, Inc. had to pay for the couple’s wedding and reception at another location. So apparently in America now, if you are gay and persistent, you can eventually force someone you don’t know and don’t like and who is offended by what you do to pay for your wedding, all in the name of equality and fairness and anti-discrimination.

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Update on state waiting periods. Judicial decision in California provides a useful summary of waiting period laws.

by John Lott on Monday, August 25th, 2014

This is article 558 of 562 in the topic Gun Rights
The court’s decision in SILVESTER v. Harris has

ten states and the District of Columbia impose a waiting period between the time of purchase and the time of delivery of a firearm.  Three states and the District of Columbia have waiting period laws for the purchase of all firearms: California (10 days), District of Columbia (10 days), Illinois (3 days for pistols, 1 day for long guns), and Rhode Island (7 days).  Four states have waiting periods for hand guns:  Florida (3 days), Hawaii (14 days), Washington (up to 5 days from the time of purchase for the sheriff to complete a background check), and Wisconsin (2 days). Connecticut has a waiting period for long guns that is tied to an authorization to purchase from the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection. Minnesota and Maryland have a waiting period for the purchase of handguns and assault rifles (7 days). There is no federal waiting period law.  See18 U.S.C. § 922(s) (Brady Act‟s 5-day waiting period expired in 1998).

For California, the history of waiting periods is given as such:

In 1923, the California Legislature created awaiting period for handguns,whereby no handgun, pistol, or other concealable firearm could be delivered to its purchaser on the day of purchase. . . .

In 1953, the 1923 handgun waiting-period law was codified into the California Penal Code with no substantive changes. . . .   One California court has cited legislative hearing testimony from 1964 in which witnesses testified that this 1953 law was “originally enacted to cool people off,” but that this law was “not enforced with regard to individual transfers through magazine sales nor at swap meets.”  . . . .

In 1955, the California Legislature extended the handgun waiting period from 1 day to 3 days. . . . No legislative history has been cited that addresses why the waiting period was extended from 1 to 3 days.

In 1965, the California Legislature extended the handgun waiting period from 3 days to 5 days.  . . . The legislative history indicates that the Legislature extended the waiting period from 3 days to 5 days in 1965 because the 3-day waiting period did not provide Cal. DOJ sufficient time to conduct proper background checks on prospective concealable firearms purchasers, before delivery of the firearms to the purchasers.   . . .

Additionally, a report from the 1975-1976 session of the Senate Judiciary Committee indicates that the “purpose of the 5-day provision is to permit the law enforcement authorities to investigate the purchaser’s record, before he actually acquires the firearm, to determine whether he falls within the class of persons prohibited from possessing concealed firearms.”  . . .  No legislative history relating to the 1965 law has been cited that relates to a “cooling off” period.

In 1975, the California Legislature extended the handgun waiting period from 5 days to 15 days. . . .  The legislative history indicates that the California Legislature extended the waiting period from 5 days to 15 days in order to “[g]ive law enforcement authorities sufficient time to investigate the records of purchasers of handguns prior to delivery of the handguns.”

In 1991, the California Legislature expanded the waiting period to cover all firearms. . .

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