New Ad by "Mayors Against Illegal Guns"

“The grief was staggering, and now more than 100 days after the massacre at Newtown, the US Senate starts to act.”
“Some Democrats and Republicans are coming together to support comprehensive background checks on gun sales that will protect the Second Amendment and help keep guns out of the hands of dangerous criminals.”
“Ninety percent of America supports comprehensive background checks. Call your senators and urge them to support the bipartisan effort for comprehensive background checks. Demand action now.”
This isn't obnoxious like a radio ad that I recently heard from Bloomberg's group and unfortunately it is right that this move is bipartisan, but these guys aren't working "to protect the Second Amendment."  The background check bill is an attempt to make it more costly for law-abiding people to obtain guns for protection, establish a national gun registry, and apparently include voluntary mental help that people may have gotten as a permanent prohibition on getting a gun.  As to the accuracy of the poll see my discussion here.

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If the Police understand that giving media attention to Celeb "Swatting" encourages more of it, why can't we do the same for multiple victim public shootings?

If publicity is encouraging these Celeb "Swattings" and if the police are going to stop releasing information to discourage those attacks, why can't this police be employed elsewhere?  The most obvious case involves multiple victim public shootings where it is now becoming clear that even the latest Newtown attack was just another case where the killer planned his attack for over two years to get media attention.  From CBS News in LA:
The Los Angeles Police Department said Thursday that they will no longer offer immediate information to the media on bogus 911 calls that target celebrity homes.
“We think that whoever is doing this is motivated by watching the police on TV and watching the helicopters come in, and we don’t want to allow that opportunity,” said Cmdr. Andrew Smith.
Smith said the department will also stop broadcasting the “swatting” calls so news organizations can’t hear the location of the star’s home. The media will now have to file a public records request, which can take 10 days.
When asked if residents have the right to know about a potential safety concern, Smith said, “Our officers will always talk to the families and the people who live in the neighborhoods about what’s going on and reassure them that it’s not an actual emergency there. What we won’t do is broadcast the street to the media, we won’t broadcast whose house it was.” . . .

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Fox News: "Experiment measures crime after free gun giveaway"

Fox News has an interest discussion available here on experiments across the country that are trying to help arm poor people in high crime areas.

The most interesting takeaway from this segment is how liberals claim that they support the right of people to defend themselves, but even when poor people in high crime areas pass background checks and get training, gun control advocates still seem to find all sorts of reasons to object to these people owning guns.

It is hard for me not to notice how gun control advocates are pushing for taxes on gun ownership that is primarily being used to disarm the law-abiding poor.


Rasmussen: "Only 41% believe more background checks will reduce gun violence."

While Scott Rasmussen indicates that background checks has "overwhelming support," he notes that relatively few think that it will actually lower crime rates.  What would happen to the percent of support if:
1) the question noted the creation of a gun registry, 
2) the fees that would be required on the transfer of guns, or 
3) that it was almost always law-abiding citizens who have been stopped from buying guns.
Even in liberal New Jersey with heavy gun control law, people are no better than split on whether gun control laws work.
New Jerseyans are split on whether stricter gun laws would reduce violence with 47 percent agreeing and 47 percent disagreeing. But among gun-owning households, 69 percent say stricter gun laws would not reduce violence compared to 53 who feel differently. Similarly, 74 percent of NRA supporters believe violence would not be reduced, compared to only 28 percent of opponents. A solid majority of Democrats (61 percent) say stricter laws would reduce violence, but only 39 percent of independents and 35 percent of Republicans agree. . . .
Here is an additional discussion from the National Journal: 
A new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows that 65 percent of women favor stronger gun laws, compared to 44 percent of men. That’s consistent with previous polling; a recent Quinnipiac University poll showed 61 percent of women and 45 percent of men in favor stricter gun laws. . . . 
Although gun ownership among women has increased over the previous decades, men are still three times more likely to own guns than women, according to a March Pew Center survey. And opinions on the effectiveness of gun laws vary greatly depending on whether you own a gun or if there is one in your house. According to the Pew survey, 66 percent of people who live in gun-free homes say stricter gun laws would reduce mass-shooting casualties; only 35 percent of people in gun-owning households agreed. . . . .


Radio interview with Mark Levin on Senate Gun Control Bill from April 10th

The audio of my radio interview with Mark Levin is available here.

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"Terry McAuliffe's Solyndra"

Is this how Democratic politicians such as Terry McAuliffe want to fund businesses?  This looks like an amazingly bad decision for someone who wants to run for a high profile position such as governor.  Presumably this type of stepping over the line behavior should really damage McAuliffe in his race to be Virginia's governor this year.  From the WSJ:
. . . Virginia was particularly alarmed by GreenTech's use of an opaque visa program, called EB-5, to fund itself. Part of a 1990 immigration law, EB-5 lets foreigners who invest at least $500,000 in a U.S. company receive green cards. A federal immigration agency approves "regional centers" that administer the program. 
While these centers can be run by local government, GreenTech proposed running a Virginia center itself. One official at the Virginia development agency wrote to colleagues that she couldn't view Greentech's EB-5 program as "anything other than a visa-for-sale scheme with potential national security implications." . . .



How quickly would House of Representatives vote on gun control if a bill passes the Senate?

With the narrow Republican majority in the House, it won't take many Republican switches to pass a gun control bill.

Republican leadership aides have cautioned against the expectation of quick House action, noting that the Senate has already been working on gun legislation for nearly four months. The House, an aide said, would expect to take at least as much time.
For gun-control advocates, the political atmosphere in the GOP-controlled House underscores the heavy lift even to expand background checks and crack down on gun trafficking and straw purchases,  . . .


What the New York Times regards as "killer" amendments on guns

To the New York Times, if you have ever had a mental illness, you should be banned for life from owning a gun.  How is that reasonable?  What incentives does that create for people to seek help?  As to concealed handgun permits, again, is their opposition to letting people carry concealed handguns across state lines reasonable?  Why are these considered killer amendments?
. . . That lobby has lined up several senators to do its bidding by offering amendments that will pose a real threat to the background-check bill. The worst — a huge priority of the N.R.A. — would require every state to honor the concealed-handgun permits of other states, overriding their own restrictions. That would allow a resident of Florida, where deliberately lax laws have given out such permits to hundreds of felons, to carry a concealed gun in New York or Connecticut, where the laws are much more strict and sane. 
If this amendment were to be attached to the background-check bill — and there may be enough votes to make that happen — the underlying bill would no longer be worth passing. 
Another potential killer amendment, sponsored by Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, would reverse current law and allow people who have been involuntarily committed to mental institutions to own guns, a ludicrous undermining of the background-check system. Only those who are found to be an “imminent danger” would be prevented from owning guns, even though that standard isn’t required in many states to commit people to institutions. . . .

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Fox News Live: "John Lott asks if the legislators understand all the issues involved in reforming gun control"

The video is available here.

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My newest op-ed at Fox News: Fact vs. fiction on background checks and the gun control debate

My newest Fox News piece starts this way:

Will Senate Democrats be able to end debate on their new gun control bill Tuesday night? President Obama says that it is “not right” to continue the debate. But he might be more afraid that Senators will point out all of his false claims and reveal the gun control bill’s dangers. 
Mr. Obama got it all backwards in his April 3rd speech in Colorado: "tougher background checks . . . won’t infringe on the rights of responsible gun owners, but will help keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people."  
The president kept claiming this week and last week that: “as many as 40 percent of all gun purchases take place without a background check”  and that "background checks have kept more than 2 million dangerous people from buying a gun.”  But both statistics are false. . . .

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Concealed carry permit holder stops robber at Burger King

From the Washington Times:
A father who was trying to eat with his family at Burger King was able to defeat an armed robber by pulling his own weapon and shooting at him, Miami police said.
It was at the height of lunch time, about 1 p.m., when a would-be robber walked into a Burger King, flashed his gun at one of the family diners, and demanded the diner fork over money and valuables, police said in a CBS report. The robber was exiting when the father, who feared for his and his family’s life, CBS said, took out his own gun and shot the suspect in the leg. . . .

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Concealed carry permit holder defends himself against five men

From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
A concealed-carry permit holder exchanged gunfire on a St. Louis street Monday night with men who tried to rob him.
No one was hit by any of the shots, police say.
It happened at about 9 p.m. Monday in the 5200 block of Goodfellow Boulevard.
Police say a man was approached by five men who tried to rob him. When he refused to turn over any of his property, one of the would-be robbers fired a shot at the victim but missed.
The victim pulled his own handgun and fired several shots at the suspects. None of his shots hit anyone either, police said.
The suspects ran off. . . .
Thanks to Tony Troglio for the link.

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Politico: "Using sales taxes as a gun control tool"

I recently made the same argument in an op-ed for Fox News.  These taxes are just a way to reduce gun ownership.

State and local officials are pushing a new way to expand gun control: taxes. 
Gun owners in and around Chicago last week started paying a new $25 tax on every firearm they purchase. In California, a statehouse panel on April 15 will hear testimony on a nickel-per-bullet tax measure, and in New Jersey, lawmakers want to slap an additional 5 percent sales tax on guns and ammo. 
The effort to impose new taxes on guns and bullets faces serious opposition from pro-gun groups, but it shows how far some states and localities are willing to go in this new frontier on gun control — especially as Washington struggles to find consensus even on the most scaled-back gun proposals being debated in Congress. . . .  
Gun Owners of America legislative counsel Michael Hammond called gun taxes “an effort to say the poor can’t own firearms because we’re going to impose a tax which they can’t afford to pay.” . . .

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Multiple victim public shooting in Serbia

Another attack in Europe.  From the New York Times:
A 60-year-old man went on a shooting rampage in a village near Belgrade early on Tuesday, killing 13 people, including his son, his wife and a 2-year-old child before attempting suicide, police officials and Serbian media reports said. 
The police and the Serbian media said that the man, identified as Ljubisa Bogdanovic, used a handgun to kill six men, six women and the child, whose parents were among the dead. The Serbian Police director, Milorad Veljovic, said the gunman’s motive was not immediately known. Mr. Bogdanovic had lost his job last year, the Serbian media reported, and was a veteran of the Balkan wars of the 1990s, having fought in Croatia in 1992. 
The killings happened between 5 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. in the sleepy village of Velika Ivanca, 30 miles, southeast of Belgrade. Police officials said Mr. Bogdanovic first shot his son in the head, before leaving his home and going from house to house, where he killed several of his neighbors and relatives, some of whom were sleeping. Mr. Veljovic said that the neighbors in the village had left their doors unlocked and all were shot in the head. . . .  
They said he was not known to have a history of mental illness or a criminal record. The Serb media reported that he had a license for the gun used in the shootings. . . . .

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Obama's absurd last ditch push on gun control

Normally I would say that you can tell when a politician is getting desperate because he starts making absurd unjustifiable claims.  The problem with Obama is that he is always making such ridiculous claims.  Take this one by him on Monday:
“What’s more important to you: our children or an A Grade from the gun lobby?” Obama, wearing a green bracelet to honor the Sandy Hook victims, said in his speech. . . .
But does anyone believe that these background checks would have stopped the Sandy Hook attack?  How could the background checks in Harry Reid's bill possibly have stopped the attack when the guns were stolen?  


Survivor of Communism explains the importance of gun ownership by US citizens


Cook and Ludwig keep falsely claiming that their 1997 NIJ uses data from 1993 and 1994

A 1997 NIJ survey claims that they studied purchases of guns in 1993 and 1994.

If you look at the data you will see that the survey was from November 1991 to November/December 1994, not 1993 and 1994 as Cook and Ludwig keep claiming.  If you go through the data, you will see you only get their sample size and numbers that match theirs if you go back for three years.  Note also that people are asked about purchases over the preceding year so questions asked in November 1994 cover November of each preceding year.

You might think that this is pedantic, but more than 40 percent of their data is obtained during the November 1991 to November/December 1992 period.  It has disappointed me that 
Cook and Ludwig keep repeating this false claim.

The longer the time period not only places more of the purchases before the February 28, 1994 Brady Act but it also creates the type of biases that I discussed regarding the Washington Post survey for Maryland. One can't even just assume that purchases are uniformly made over this period.  The problem is that sales were massive before the Brady Act went into effect and then plummeted right after the law went into effect. As to the biases, the buying of a gun is probably a much more memorable event than whether there was a background check.  If so, people will remember the purchases, but not remember whether there was a background check that went along with it.  You will see a discrete jump in how important this bias is once you ask people about more than just events over the previous year.

Cook and Ludwig redo should get a top figure of 16%, not 22% that Cook and Ludwig claim.


Progress on what people should do during mass shootings

Well, at least they are now encouraging active resistance by victims and faster responses by police.  It would be even better if they left people defend themselves with guns, but this is a small start.  From The New York Times:
The speed and deadliness of recent high-profile shootings have prompted police departments to recommend fleeing, hiding or fighting in the event of a mass attack, instead of remaining passive and waiting for help. 
The shift represents a "sea change," said Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, which recently held a meeting in Washington to discuss shootings like those in Newtown, Conn., and Aurora, Colo. 
The traditional advice to the public has been: "Don't get involved, call 911," Wexler said, adding that "there's a recognition in these 'active shooter' situations that there may be a need for citizens to act in a way that perhaps they haven't been trained for or equipped to deal with." 
Wexler and others noted that the change echoes a transformation in police procedures that began after the shootings at Columbine High School in 1999, when some departments began telling officers who arrived first on a scene to act immediately rather than waiting for backup. . . . . 
"We used to sit outside and set up a perimeter and wait for the SWAT team to get there," said Michael Dirden, an executive assistant chief of the Houston Police Department. "Now it's a recognition that time is of the essence, and those initial responders have to go in," he said, adding that since the Virginia Tech shootings in 2007, the department has been training first responders to move in on their own when they encounter active gunfire. 
Research on mass shootings over the past decade has bolstered the idea that people at the scene of an attack have a better chance of survival if they take an active stance rather than waiting to be rescued by the police, who in many cases cannot get there fast enough to prevent the loss of life. . . . .

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Government, not parents, should be responsible for raising children?

Do people really believe that the government cares more about their kids than they do?

New PoliceOne's Gun Policy & Law Enforcement Survey: Police and their views on gun control

The new PoliceOne.com survey of police and their views on gun control is available here (article is here).  PoliceOne has about 450,000 members when the survey was done.  Here is information on previous surveys as well as a piece that I wrote for the WSJ.com.
A full 86 percent feel that casualties would have been reduced or avoided in recent tragedies like Newtown and Aurora if a legally-armed citizen was present (casualties reduced: 80 percent; avoided altogether: 60 percent). . . .
In addition, the survey asked, “On a scale of one to five — one being low and five being high — how important do you think legally-armed citizens are to reducing crime rates overall?”
Three quarters of you (75 percent) answered either four or five, with more than 50 percent answering five. . . .
I find myself in virtually complete agreement with the police in answering this survey.  I am not a big fan of open carry, but I am of concealed handguns.  I agree with them on the efficacy of gun buybacks, bans on ammunition magazines that hold more 10 rounds, national databases on gun ownership, and background checks.  

The answers to question #20 are extremely important: 77 percent of officers think that private gun ownership is either extremely or very important in reducing crime.  

Question #19 shows 91 percent support right-to-carry concealed carry with a background check.

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What do Democrats mean by "choice"?

I would also add the choice of where one can go to school.  From the United Features Syndicate.

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Obama again claims that the guns used in these attacks are machine guns

Jake Tapper: Last night, at a-no-cameras allowed Democratic fundraiser in San Francisco President Obama misstated the kind of weapon used in the Sandy Hook shooting advocating for stricter gun control the president said, quote, "It is possible for us to create common sense gun safety measures that respect the traditions of gun ownership in this country and hunters and sportsmen, but also make sure we don't have another 20 children in a classroom gunned down by a semiautomatic weapon -- by a fully automatic weapon in that case, sadly." 
That is not correct. It was a semiautomatic weapon not a fully automatic weapon. Most fully automatic weapons, machine guns, are essentially banned to the public. When asked for an explanation, the White House said the president misspoke. This is not the first time a leading advocate for gun control has stumbled on the facts.  Here is New York City's Mayor Michael Bloomberg on ABC's Nightline just after the Sandy Hook tragedy.   
Host: That would ban most pistols. That would ban most . . .
Bloomberg: No, pistols are different.  You have to pull the trigger each time.  An assault weapons you basically hold and it goes [sound indicating rapid fire].
Host: No, those are fully automatic weapons.
Bloomberg: OK. 
Tapper: . . . It might help the advocates of gun control if they in their advocacy for stricter measures they seemed more familiar with what they are trying to ban.
Unfortunately, there are many times when Democrats have claimed that these guns are military weapons, machine guns (e.g., see here).  Tapper also shows a similar misstatement by Bloomber.


Navy SEAL Chris Kyle's legacy: "Hundreds of Texas educators take free concealed handgun class"

Three school boards in Texas allow teachers and other school personnel who have concealed handgun permits to carry in their school.  Hopefully, legislation to expand it to other schools will be passed this session.  From Fox News:
. . . More than 700 teachers and administrators attended the all-day session on gun laws and safety at Kennedale High School in Dallas-Fort Worth area, The Dallas Morning News reported.  
The free class was organized by Dalworthington Gardens Police Chief Bill and Kyle, who was fatally shot at a North Texas shooting range in February. 
"It went from 20 to 30 teachers to the more than 700 we have here today. It just exploded with Chris’ involvement," Dalworthington Gardens Police Chief Bill Waybourn told the paper. 
Teachers from across the state and at least one representative from each school district in North Texas attended the class, which was organized in response to the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., according to the report. 
Participants who complete the required live-ammunition firing training will be eligible for concealed-handgun licenses, the Fort Worth Star Telegram reported. 
Last week, the Texas Senate Education Committee approved a plan to train armed teachers for gunfights in classrooms or at campus sporting events or board meetings. . . .

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Now 13 Senators Promise to Filibuster Senate Gun Control Bill

Politico has this update hereMarco Rubio (R-Fla.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Jerry Moran (R-Kansas), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Richard Burr (R-NC), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Jim Risch and Mike Crapo (R-ID), Dan Coats (R-IN), and Pat Roberts (R-KN).

UPDATE:  Of course, on the other hand, John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) have said that they will oppose the filibuster.

UPDATE: Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has joined those promising to filibuster the bill.


ACLU understands that the bill before the Senate next week is essentially a gun registration system

Harry Ried's bill that will be before the Senate this next week reads in part:
. . . shall include a provision requiring a record of transaction of any transfer that occurred between an unlicensed transferor and unlicensed transferee accordance with paragraph . . . .
A top lobbyist for the ACLU describes the bill to the Daily Caller this way:
“The first is that it treats the records for private purchases very differently than purchases made through licensed sellers. Under existing law, most information regarding an approved purchase is destroyed within 24 hours when a licensed seller does a [National Instant Criminal Background Check System] check now,” Calabrese said, “and almost all of it is destroyed within 90 days.” 
Calabrese wouldn’t characterize the current legislation’s record-keeping provision as a “national gun registry” — which the White House has denied pursuing — but he did say that such a registry could be “a second step.” . . .
The point is that over time the bill will record a larger and larger percentage of who owns guns in America.  It will be a gradual gun registration bill.  As the ACLU lobbyist warns:
“[U]nfortunately, we have seen in the past that the creation of these types of records leads sometimes to the creation of government databases and collections of personal information on all of us,” Calabrese warned. “That’s not an inevitable result, but we have seen that happen in the past, certainly.”
“As we’ve seen with many large government databases, if you build it, they will come.” . . . 
He comes to the same conclusion that I have come to reading the bill.
“Contrast this with what the existing [Reid] legislation says, which is simply that a record has to be kept of a private transfer,” Calabrese highlighted, “and it doesn’t have any of the protections that we have in current law for existing licensees.” . . . 
Yet, Obama denies that the bill involves registration:
"We're not proposing a gun registration system; we're proposing background checks for criminals," he said Wednesday in Denver. . . .
Though his own Justice Department claims that background checks won't work without registration.
the NRA says the memo proves that the administration “believes that a gun ban will not work without mandatory gun confiscation” and thinks universal background checks “won't work without requiring national gun registration,” according to the AP. . . .
The problem with this information is that it means the polls on background checks are pretty useless.  91 percent may claim that they are in favor of some idealized version of background checks (partly because of the false claims the president has made about 40 percent of gun sales being made without background checks and 2 million prohibited people supposedly being denied from buying guns because of background checks), but how many people support gun registration?  Some news stories note: "Opponents says they fear that universal background checks will eventually lead to gun registration."  But that is wrong.  You don't have to wait for eventually.  The would begin the registration process immediately.

Of course, registration could never lead to confiscation of guns in the US, right?  Well, it has already done so in California.
Anyone who wanted to keep one of the named firearms must have owned it prior to June 1, 1989, and had to register it by March 30, 1992. Registration gave the state a list of owners. . . .  
In August 1998, however, a California appellate court held the Attorney General could not legally allow the gun owners to register their weapons after the March 1992 deadline. That ruling came after many owners had already identified themselves by registering late. The Attorney General had led the law- fearing lambs into a trap: citizens had voluntarily informed the state that they were felons. . . .  
Then California lawmakers passed SB 23. On January 1, 2000, any Californian who possesses a magazine-fed centerfire rifle or carbine may be guilty of a felony. The 1989 law banned weapons only by their names -- the 1999 law bans all such firearms by their features (e.g. pistol grip, thumbhole stock, flash suppressor). . . .
Other examples of registration being used to confiscate guns include:
(1921) New Zealand, registration of revolvers required -- ownership allowed in the name of personal defense. In 1974, this list was used to confiscate all revolvers.
(1921) The United Kingdom instituted handgun registration. About every 10 years or so, they further restrict what can be owned and use the registration rolls to collect what is illegal.
(1967) In New York City, a registration system enacted for long guns was used in the early 1990s to confiscate lawfully owned semiautomatic rifles and shotguns. The New York City Council banned firearms that had been classified by the city as "assault weapons."
(1989) California revoked a grace period for the registration of certain rifles (SKS Sporters) and prohibited certain semiautomatic long-rifles and pistols. Upon the death of the owner, they are either to be surrendered or moved out of state.
(1990) Chicago enacted registration of long guns and used that same registration to confiscate semi-auto long guns.
(1995) Canada prohibited previously legal and registered small-caliber handguns. The guns are to be forfeited upon death of the owner with no compensation to the estate.
(1996) Australia banned most semiautomatic rifles and semiautomatic and pump shotguns, then used its list of registered semi-auto hunting rifles to confiscate all those weapons. . . .
Some polling data is available here.

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