Sunday, December 30, 2012

Guns in School? Its a No Brainer

When airliners were being hijacked we placed ARMED Federal marshals on each aircraft. When banks were being robbed we placed ARMED guards in virtually every bank in the country. When aircraft were used as weapons on 9-11 we hired thousands of TSA agents to scrutinize every passenger and we hardened the cockpits and ARMED the pilots. When politicians were threatened or attacked we placed ARMED guards around virtually every one of them, even those whose public stance is anti gun! When celebrities were being threatened they hired ARMED men to protect them. Many retail business and malls have ARMED guards present, especially jewelry stores and other businesses that sell high value items. There are ARMED guards at amusement parks! Our CHILDREN see this every day!

As a nation, we have never hesitated to place ARMED guards around any item or person of "high value." Yet, when it comes to our MOST VALUABLE asset, our children, there is a bias against protecting them with ARMS. Many would rather keep our kids in "gun free zones" so shooters and deranged people KNOW it is safe to attack them. We must harden the softest targets in America, our CHILDREN. The left worries about the "trauma" of kids seeing armed guards at their school. What about the trauma of being killed? Kids see guns at the bank, at the mall, around the politicians, and even at the grocery store. Kids naturally see the armed guard, police officer, or soldier as a "protector" and not a threat, and definitely not a source of emotional trauma.

We should not miss the message that freedom loving Americans, the NRA and millions of like minded Americans who see the value of utilizing Veterans, retired police and firefighters, and other available volunteers, to DONATE time to stand guard at a local school for FREE. Each state can set up standards to keep the slate of volunteers the best it can be. Each school district can opt in or out. This is a very inexpensive way to IMMEDIATELY solve the problem. We do not need to further dilute the 2nd Amendment, and we do not need any more laws that criminals and disturbed people ignore anyways.

I will give one day a week at a local school and I ask anyone reading this to also volunteer to guard our MOST PRECIOUS national resource. Please SHARE and pass this on if you agree. Let your congressman or senator know how YOU feel!

It is WRONG to restrict 300 million law abiding gun owners over the actions of one insane individual.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Hypocrite Hollywood Scum



A person who indulges in hypocrisy.
A person who puts on a false appearance of virtue
A person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings

Pharisee, actor, attitudinizer, backslider, bigot, bluffer, casuist, charlatan, cheat, con artist, crook, deceiver, decoy, dissembler, dissimulator, fake, faker, four-flusher, fraud, hook, humbug, impostor, informer, lip server, malingerer, masquerader, mountebank, phony, playactor, poser, pretender, quack, smoothie, sophist, swindler, trickster, two-face, two-timer, wolf in sheep's clothing

Monday, December 24, 2012

Senator Feinstein: Protect Us From The Mentally Ill

Dear Senator Feinstein,

I am writing to you as a Californian, a father, a physician and a law-abiding responsible firearms owner. In light of recent tragic events and your response of proposing new federal firearms legislation, I felt strongly compelled to tell you two things . . .

While I do not support your efforts to ban certain firearms, as a member of a mental health team, I wish to bring your attention to some painfully glaring shortcomings in our country’s legislation pertaining to the liberties afforded to persons suffering from mental illness. The liberties I refer to, of course, are access to firearms and not any other . . .

Small changes to our laws relevant to the reporting of specific high-risk psychiatric symptoms would have avoided at least some of the tragic mass shootings which we have seen in the last few years (Cho, Loughner, Holmes, Roberts and Lanza). I propose we develop a system which would require reporting of patients with certain very specific high-risk psychiatric symptoms to NiICS, effectively barring them from acquiring firearms.

We cannot overlook the fact that close review of the assailants’ histories will reveal clear clinical findings and symptoms which would help identify high-risk individuals in the future.

As you may know, California has implemented the Mental Health Firearm’s Prohibition Reporting System (WIC section 8103, subs: (f)(2)(B)and (f)(2)(G) as well as section 8105 sub (b) as amended by AB 203 (Beall)) whereby “mental health facilities are to immediately report specified information to the CA DOJ regarding persons admitted to a mental health facility when they’re determined to be a danger to themselves or others, or who are certified for intensive treatment” to the DOJ.

This is a good and well-focused law. The intent of this law, no doubt, is to then include that reported data in the National Instant Criminal Background Check (NICS) System.

Nevertheless, as you may also be aware, many individuals suffering from disturbing symptoms aren’t admitted to in-patient treatment if they haven’t demonstrated that they are a threat to themselves or others. And there’s a high threshold for declaring someone a threat. This was most likely the case with Cho, Loughner, Holmes, Roberts and Lanza.

This is due, in part, to the fact that even people suffering so terribly can still refuse hospitalization and/or medication. Some who may be taking their medications may find them only partially effective. They may become angry over their side effects, may feel that the medications, while alleviating the disturbing symptoms, also strip them of what they perceive to be their real self. Others may become despondent, having the insight that theirs is a lifelong, debilitating disorder.

Their families, health professionals and sometimes law enforcement personnel who encounter these people are powerless to do anything to help them, protecting both them and the general public.

That’s a dilemma we need to resolve. Because hindsight will show that all of the five recent mass killers were troubled, but not didn’t quite meet the threshold I mentioned above. While many want to vilify these individuals calling them monsters, they are still people and their suffering, in one way or another, lead them to commit their monstrous crimes.

In addition, while finding more and better ways to help these people is a necessary long-term goal, we have a responsibility to protect the innocents in our society from the violent acts they commit.

To wit: people with high-risk psychiatric symptoms may not be obligated to undergo treatment but they should not be allowed to possess firearms.

I propose we develop a system which would not just require reporting of patients in institutions but create a system whereby patients with very specific high-risk psychiatric symptoms (i.e. hallucinations, ideations of reference, persecution or other paranoid delusions as well as those with profound thought disturbances) are flagged to NiICS. Certainly, a system of checks such as an appeals process and a formal process of adjudication would be appropriate, too.

I specify symptoms rather than diagnoses because general diagnoses aren’t focused enough. Neither is being prescribed a specific medication, as many psych meds are used off-label with much success: case in point: SSRIs for anxiety or OCD.

Until funds are allocated and an infrastructure created to help people suffering from serious mental illnesses (and this must be done) we need to enact legislation that targets high-risk individuals.

Punishing millions of responsible citizens for the shortcomings of our mental health care system or the laws regulating it is neither a measured, equitable or effective response to tragedies like Newtown. We can’t abridge the liberties of millions when the problem lies with a relative few.

Found at: The Truth About Guns

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Samuel L. Jackson Unchained: Guns? ‘Hell Yeah!’

Samuel L. Jackson Unchained: Guns? ‘Hell Yeah!’

( — Samuel L. Jackson stars in Django Unchained, the movie whose premiere was delayed out of respect for the victims of Sandy Hook. And Jackson is speaking out against those who would restrict access to firearms in reaction to the massacre in Sandy Hook, an item on Breitbart’s Big Hollywood website relates.

Said Jackson: "I don't think it's about more gun control. I grew up in the South with guns everywhere and we never shot anyone. This [shooting] is about people who aren't taught the value of life … I don’t think movies or video games have anything to do with it.”

Jackson added, “We need to stop deranged people from getting access to guns.”

According to Breitbart’s report, Jackson has long been an advocate of gun ownership. He said in April 2012, in the aftermath of the shooting of Trayvon Martin, “I don’t mind people having guns. I grew up with guns in Tennessee … I’m not going to be the one without the gun when the people who have guns show up.”

When asked if he is a gun owner, Jackson responded, “Hell yeah!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

“Debating” Anti-Gunners. It’s Getting Ugly Out There

I’m an NRA-certified firearms instructor, a concealed carry instructor, an avid shooter, and just an all-around gun guy. My friends, coworkers and acquaintances all know this. Generally, this is a non-issue. In fact, I’ve gained many good friends through my love of firearms, and I’ve converted several individuals from non-owners to owners. But with the recent spate of negative gun publicity in the mainstream media, I’ve learned some things about the few gun control advocates within my network…some things I’m very concerned about, and frankly, a little scared of . . .

In the past few days, I’ve been called names like chickenshit (seriously?), coward, ill-informed, stupid, and pathetic. I’ve been told that I live in a pathetic existence, and that I have a “home protection fantasy” where I just can’t wait to be the hero. I was even told that I “own pistols because I want to kill men,” and that if it weren’t for “chickenshits like Zack Pike, the tragedies we’ve seen this year would never have happened.”

These comments came from one person whom I went to school with and haven’t seen in 10 years, and I’ve seen similar threads in other debates with other gun advocates in my network. This saddens me.

I consider myself a rational person. I don’t believe in insulting anyone because it can’t lead to anything good. I enjoy having actual discussions with gun control advocates that have a) done at least a small amount of research to come to their conclusions, and b) are willing to hear me out if I hear them out.

When these criteria are met, it’s generally a good exchange, and more often than not it’s resulted in the gun control advocate changing their position, at least slightly. It’s the irrational, emotional, reactions that lead to no outcome. And, through this emotional week, the craziest thing is that they just won’t stop. Even when I attempt to end the debate, the personal attacks continue.

In a recent exchange in which I received a torrent of personal insults, I knew it was going to be bad almost from the start. I realized it quickly and encouraged the person to do some more research before we went further (in a vain attempt to help make it a better discussion). This led to a firestorm of personal attacks on everything from the integrity of my research to how I make a living.

What concerns me most is the speed at which the insults began and the ever-increasing rage that was apparent. Surprising (or not), coming from someone who was arguing about ways to prevent violence.

The worst part: this is becoming a consistent theme that’s becoming more and more prevalent. We all just witnessed it when Piers Morgan called Larry Pratt stupid, an idiot, dangerous and a shame to his country. Still, despite all the sound and fury, we’ve yet to hear from any gun control advocate the details of how an AWB would actually prevent a mass shooting.

When I explain that an AWB would do nothing to take these firearms out of the equation, generally that leads to either the person realizing there’s no reason for it, or it leads to personal insults and continually interrupting me to prevent the rest of my points from being made.

There can be a healthy debate around gun control and I’m willing to enter into it with anyone who meets my two criteria, above, because I know my side of the argument is founded in real world data and objective results.

Instead, what I see is ignorance driving the aversion to firearms. Education is one solution, but until the mainstream media and politicians start basing their reports and rhetoric on real world facts and telling the whole story, I don’t see the insults stopping. Unfortunately, those are the sources from which most gun control advocates get their talking points.

Has your experience been the same? How do you handle it? I’ve never seen it this bad and I don’t mind saying it: I’m scared for our rights and our safety.

Posted by Zack Pike @ the Truth About Guns

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

State Dept Heads Roll after Benghazi Report

All of this happened while Secretary of State Clinton was playing hooky.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Three State Department officials resigned under pressure Wednesday, less than a day after a damning report blamed management failures for a lack of security at the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, where militants killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans on Sept. 11.

The resignations came as lawmakers expressed anger and frustration over the findings of an independent review panel, and the State Department struggled to find a balance between protecting its diplomats while allowing them to do their jobs connecting with people in high-risk posts.

An Obama administration official said Eric Boswell, the assistant secretary of state for diplomatic security, Charlene Lamb, the deputy assistant secretary responsible for embassy security, and an unnamed official with the Bureau of Near East Affairs, had stepped down. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to discuss personnel matters publicly.

The department declined immediate comment on the resignation of the officials whose decisions had been criticized in the unclassified version of the Accountability Review Board's report that was released late Tuesday.

The board's co-chairman, retired Adm. Mike Mullen, told reporters that the board had not determined that any officials had "engaged in willful misconduct or knowingly ignored his or her responsibilities,"

But Mullen, a former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, added, "We did conclude that certain State Department bureau level senior officials in critical levels of authority and responsibility in Washington demonstrated a lack of leadership and management ability appropriate for senior ranks in their responses to security concerns posed by the special mission."

Mullen said the mission's security fell through bureaucratic cracks caused in part because buildings were categorized as temporary. The report said that budget constraints had caused some officials to be more concerned with saving scarce money than in security.

Co-chairman Thomas Pickering, a retired ambassador, said the personnel on the ground in Benghazi had reacted to the attack with bravery and professionalism. But, he said, the security precautions were "grossly inadequate" and the contingent was overwhelmed by the heavily armed militants.

"They did the best they possibly could with what they had but what they had wasn't enough," Pickering said.

Pickering and Mullen spoke shortly after briefing members of Congress in private. Lawmakers from both parties emerged from the sessions with harsh words for the State Department.

"My impression is the State Department clearly failed the Boy Scout motto of be prepared," said Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo.

"They failed to anticipate what was coming because of how bad the security risk already was there. ... They failed to connect the dots," he said. "They didn't have adequate security leading up to the attack and once the attack occurred, the security was woefully inadequate."

Rep. Adam Schiff, a member of the House intelligence committee, said security was "plainly inadequate, intelligence collection needs to be improved, and our reliance on local militias was sorely misplaced.

"These are not mistakes we can afford to make again," he said.

The House intelligence committee chairman, Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., said the report laid bare "the massive failure of the State Department at all levels, including senior leadership, to take action to protect our government employees abroad," and complained that no one was being held accountable.

Rogers also said he was dissatisfied with the lack of progress in finding the attackers.

Lamb, the deputy assistant secretary of state for diplomatic security who was in charge of embassy protection, testified in October before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and defended the security measures.

"I made the best decisions I could with the information I had," Lamb said at the time. "We had the correct number of assets in Benghazi at the time of 9/11."

She also told Rep. Dan Burton, R-Ind., that she rejected requests for more security in Benghazi, instead training "local Libyans and army men" to provide security, a policy in force at U.S. diplomatic facilities around the world.

Pickering and Mullen set the stage for public hearings set for Thursday on Capitol Hill., Scheduled to testify were Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, who is in charge of policy, and Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides, who is in charge of management.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was to have appeared at Thursday's hearings, but canceled after fainting and sustaining a concussion last week while recovering from a stomach virus. Clinton is under doctors' orders to rest.

Senate Republicans and Democrats said they hoped Clinton would testify on the Hill even though she is planning to step down from her Cabinet post.

In a letter that accompanied the transmission of the report to Capitol Hill, Clinton thanked the board for its "clear-eyed, serious look at serious systemic challenges" and said she accepted its 29 recommendations to improve security at high-threat embassies and consulates.

She said the department had begun to put in place some of the recommendations. They include increasing by several hundred the number of Marine guards stationed at diplomatic missions throughout the world; relying less on local security forces for protection at embassies, consulates and other offices; and increasing hiring and deployment of highly trained Diplomatic Security agents at at-risk posts.

Clinton agreed with the panel's finding that Congress must fully fund the State Department's security initiatives. The panel found that budget constraints in the past had led some management officials to emphasize savings over security, including rejecting numerous requests from the Benghazi mission and the embassy in Tripoli for enhanced protection.

House and Senate negotiators working on a defense bill agreed on Tuesday to fund 1,000 more Marines at embassy security worldwide.

The report singled out the Bureau of Diplomatic Security and the Bureau of Near East Affairs for criticism. It said there was a lack of cooperation and confusion over protection at the mission in Benghazi, a city in eastern Libya that was relatively lawless after the revolution that toppled Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

But it broke little new ground about the timeline of the Benghazi attack. Killed were U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, information specialist Sean Smith, and former Navy SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods — who were contractors working for the CIA. Stevens was the first U.S. ambassador killed since 1988.

The board determined that there had been no immediate, specific tactical warning of a potential attack on the 11th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001. But the report said there had been several worrisome incidents before to the attack that should have set off warning bells.

It did confirm, though, that contrary to initial accounts, there was no protest outside the facility.

In the immediate aftermath of the attack, administration officials linked the attack to the spreading protests that had begun in Cairo earlier that day over an American-made, anti-Islamic film. Those comments came after evidence already pointed to a distinct militant attack in Benghazi.

U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice appeared on numerous TV talk shows the Sunday after the attack and used the administration talking points linking it to the film. An ensuing brouhaha in the heat of the presidential campaign eventually led her to withdraw her name from consideration to replace Clinton as secretary of state in President Barack Obama's second term.

Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., emerging from the Senate briefing on the report, kept up the congressional criticism of Rice.

"Now we all know she had knowledge. She knew what the truth was. It was a cover-up," he said.

While criticizing State Department management in Washington along with the local militia force and contract guards that the mission depended on for protection, the report said U.S. personnel on the ground in Benghazi "performed with courage and readiness to risk their lives to protect their colleagues in a near-impossible situation."

It said the response by Diplomatic Security agents on the scene and CIA operatives at a nearby compound that later came under attack itself had been "timely and appropriate" and absolved the military from any blame. "There was simply not enough time for armed U.S. military assets to have made a difference," it said.

The report also discounted speculation that officials in Washington had refused appeals for additional help after the attack had begun.

The report said the evacuation of the dead and wounded 12 hours after the initial attack was due to "exceptional U.S. government coordination and military response" that helped save the lives of two seriously wounded Americans.

Guns, Mental Illness and Newtown

The U.S. homicide rate has fallen by over half since 1980, and the gun homicide rate has fallen along with it. Today, Americans are safer from violent crime, including gun homicide, than they have been at any time since the mid-1960s.

Mass shootings, defined as four or more fatalities, fluctuate from year to year, but over the past 30 years there has been no long-term increase or decrease. But "random" mass shootings, such as the horrific crimes last Friday in Newtown, Conn., have increased.

Alan Lankford of the University of Alabama analyzed data from a recent New York Police Department study of "active shooters"—criminals who attempted to murder people in a confined area, where there are lots of people, and who chose at least some victims randomly. Counting only the incidents with at least two casualties, there were 179 such crimes between 1966 and 2010. In the 1980s, there were 18. In the 1990s, there were 54. In the 2000s, there were 87.

If you count only such crimes in which five or more victims were killed, there were six in the 1980s and 19 in the 2000s.

Why the increase? It cannot be because gun-control laws have become more lax. Before the 1968 Gun Control Act, there were almost no federal gun-control laws. The exception was the National Firearms Act of 1934, which set up an extremely severe registration and tax system for automatic weapons and has remained in force for 78 years.

Nor are magazines holding more than 10 rounds something new. They were invented decades ago and have long been standard for many handguns. Police officers carry them for the same reason that civilians do: Especially if a person is attacked by multiple assailants, there is no guarantee that a 10-round magazine will end the assault.

The 1980s were much worse than today in terms of overall violent crime, including gun homicide, but they were much better than today in terms of mass random shootings. The difference wasn't that the 1980s had tougher controls on so-called "assault weapons." No assault weapons law existed in the U.S. until California passed a ban in 1989.

Connecticut followed in 1993. None of the guns that the Newtown murderer used was an assault weapon under Connecticut law. This illustrates the uselessness of bans on so-called assault weapons, since those bans concentrate on guns' cosmetics, such as whether the gun has a bayonet lug, rather than their function.

What some people call "assault weapons" function like every other normal firearm—they fire only one bullet each time the trigger is pressed. Unlike automatics (machine guns), they do not fire continuously as long as the trigger is held. They are "semi-automatic" because they eject the empty shell case and load the next round into the firing chamber.

Today in America, most handguns are semi-automatics, as are many long guns, including the best-selling rifle today, the AR-15, the model used in the Newtown shooting. Some of these guns look like machine guns, but they do not function like machine guns.

Back in the mid-1960s, in most states, an adult could walk into a store and buy an AR-15 rifle, no questions asked. Today, firearms are the most heavily regulated consumer product in the United States. If someone wants to purchase an AR-15 or any other firearm, the store must first get permission for the sale from the FBI or its state counterpart. Permission is denied if the buyer is in one of nine categories of "prohibited persons," including felons, domestic-violence misdemeanants, and persons who have been adjudicated mentally ill or alcoholic.

Since gun controls today are far stricter than at the time when "active shooters" were rare, what can account for the increase in these shootings? One plausible answer is the media. Cable TV in the 1990s, and the Internet today, greatly magnify the instant celebrity that a mass killer can achieve. We know that many would-be mass killers obsessively study their predecessors.

Loren Coleman's 2004 book "The Copycat Effect: How the Media and Popular Culture Trigger the Mayhem in Tomorrow's Headlines" shows that the copycat effect is as old as the media itself. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's 1774 classic "The Sorrows of Young Werther" triggered a spate of copycat suicides all over Europe. But today the velocity and pervasiveness of the media make the problem much worse.

A second explanation is the deinstitutionalization of the violently mentally ill. A 2000 New York Times study of 100 rampage murderers found that 47 were mentally ill. In the Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry Law (2008), Jason C. Matejkowski and his co-authors reported that 16% of state prisoners who had perpetrated murders were mentally ill.

In the mid-1960s, many of the killings would have been prevented because the severely mentally ill would have been confined and cared for in a state institution. But today, while government at most every level has bloated over the past half-century, mental-health treatment has been decimated. According to a study released in July by the Treatment Advocacy Center, the number of state hospital beds in America per capita has plummeted to 1850 levels, or 14.1 beds per 100,000 people.

Moreover, a 2011 paper by Steven P. Segal at the University of California, Berkeley, "Civil Commitment Law, Mental Health Services, and U.S. Homicide Rates," found that a third of the state-to-state variation in homicide rates was attributable to the strength or weakness of involuntary civil-commitment laws.

Finally, it must be acknowledged that many of these attacks today unfortunately take place in pretend "gun-free zones," such as schools, movie theaters and shopping malls. According to Ron Borsch's study for the Force Science Research Center at Minnesota State University-Mankato, active shooters are different from the gangsters and other street toughs whom a police officer might engage in a gunfight. They are predominantly weaklings and cowards who crumble easily as soon as an armed person shows up.

The problem is that by the time the police arrive, lots of people are already dead. So when armed citizens are on the scene, many lives are saved. The media rarely mention the mass murders that were thwarted by armed citizens at the Shoney's Restaurant in Anniston, Ala. (1991), the high school in Pearl, Miss. (1997), the middle-school dance in Edinboro, Penn. (1998), and the New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colo. (2007), among others.

At the Clackamas Mall in Oregon last week, an active shooter murdered two people and then saw that a shopper, who had a handgun carry permit, had drawn a gun and was aiming at him. The murderer's next shot was to kill himself.

Real gun-free zones are a wonderful idea, but they are only real if they are created by metal detectors backed up by armed guards. Pretend gun-free zones, where law-abiding adults (who pass a fingerprint-based background check and a safety training class) are still disarmed, are magnets for evildoers who know they will be able to murder at will with little threat of being fired upon.

People who are serious about preventing the next Newtown should embrace much greater funding for mental health, strong laws for civil commitment of the violently mentally ill—and stop kidding themselves that pretend gun-free zones will stop killers.

Mr. Kopel is research director of the Independence Institute and co-author of the law school textbook, "Firearms Law and the Second Amendment" (Aspen, 2012).

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Israel: No School Shootings

Why I’m Against Gun Control

By Peter Tucci On 9:40 AM 12/17/2012

I’m from California. I’m not an NRA member. I don’t own a gun, nor do any of my family members. I’ve never been hunting. I’ve only gone shooting once in my life (at a Daily Caller office retreat, incidentally). I’m not against gun-control laws on principle. And, frankly, I kind of like New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

All of these factors make me an unlikely opponent of gun control. But I’ve grown into a pretty staunch one.

The main problem with gun-control laws is that they don’t work. Florida State University criminology professor Gary Kleck, a political liberal and one-time supporter of gun-control laws, has been studying guns and their effect on violence and crime since 1976. What he’s found is that gun-control laws have no net effect on violence or crime rates, because the benefits of widespread gun ownership cancel out the costs.

And there are benefits of widespread gun ownership. For one, guns deter criminals. Burglars are less likely to target occupied homes or businesses in countries with high rates of gun ownership than they are in countries with low rates of gun ownership, probably because they don’t want to get shot. Guns also level the playing field between victims and their attackers, who tend to be young men. According to Kleck, “There are perhaps 600,000-1 million defensive uses of guns each year, about the same as the number of crimes committed with guns.” And contrary to popular belief, gun-wielding victims of assault or robbery are less likely than unarmed victims of assault or robbery to be injured.

Kleck’s theory that gun-control laws don’t reduce crime — which has been corroborated by other scholars — is consistent with the fact that America’s violent crime rate has been steadily falling since 1990 even as gun-control laws like the Assault Weapons Ban and Chicago’s handgun ban have either expired or been repealed. Today, crime is more widespread in Western Europe than it is in the U.S.

Gun-control laws might be worth pursuing if they stood a chance of taking guns out of criminals’ hands, or at least forcing them to use less lethal types of guns. But they don’t, for two reasons.

First, criminals rarely obey laws. Studies show that most criminals acquire guns through friends or through theft, which means they’re able to bypass background checks and other well-meaning restrictions. Adam Lanza, the Sandy Hook shooter, stole the guns he used from his mother.

Second, there are close to 300 million privately owned firearms in the U.S. Even if Congress passed a law banning the sale of firearms tomorrow — which would violate the Second Amendment — it would be decades before the supply of guns decreased significantly, especially considering that many guns are operational 100 years or more after they’re manufactured. The government wouldn’t be able to eliminate this enormous stock of guns — buy-back programs would only go so far and straight-up confiscation would violate the Fourth Amendment. Meanwhile, illegal guns would flood into the U.S. from other countries.

Gun-control advocates in this country like to cite Australia’s 1996 gun-control law as proof that gun control works. Actually, it’s unclear whether gun control has worked for Australia. Studies show mixed results, and while Australia’s homicide rate has fallen since the late 1990s, so has America’s. In any case, it’s an apples-and-oranges comparison: the personal gun ownership rate in Australia in 1996 was 7%; the personal gun ownership rate in America today is 34%.

I don’t oppose all gun-control legislation. I think there are some gun-control measures that make sense. Drum-style magazines probably do more harm than good. But in general, gun control doesn’t make people safer. What it does do is needlessly send people to jail and rob law-abiding citizens of the dignity and peace of mind that gun ownership provides.

Peter Tucci is an editor at The Daily Caller.

The Truth About the AR-15 Rifle

In the wake of the post-Sandy Hook media frenzy, it’s unfortunate that the vast majority of pundits have no idea what they’re talking about when it comes to guns. Especially with a firearm like the AR-15 (a.k.a., “Assault Rifle”). Scanning the press coverage, there’s no end of misinformation about the ArmaLite Rifle (AR) design and why it is such a popular firearm in the United States. Hopefully I can put some of that right . . .

Before the AR-15 rifle made its way onto the market gun owners needed to buy a different gun for each caliber and application.

Whether they wanted inexpensive target shooting (with cheap ammo like .22lr) or deer hunting (with a more substantial caliber like .308 Winchester), owners had to buy a different firearm for each use. Changing calibers was expensive, time consuming, and generally a one-way process.

Shooters were also stuck with their rifle’s ergonomics. If the stock was too long or too short there wasn’t much they could do—except pay a gunsmith to modify the gun. The same was true if you didn’t like the rifle’s trigger or the sights. Changing anything was a major pain in the butt.

With an AR-15, gun owners don’t need a qualified gunsmith to modify or customize their gun. The average shooter can order the parts online and perform the work themselves with little more than a screwdriver, a wrench and a hammer.

In fact, there’s only one part of the gun that an owner has to buy through a gun shop: the “receiver” (pictured above). It’s the serialized part. Technically, as far as the ATF is concerned, it is the gun. I’ve assembled all of my own AR-15 rifles from scratch, having purchased only the receiver through a gun shop.

Everything about the AR-15 platform can be changed to fit the specific end user and their intended use. Long range shooters might add a longer barrel and big scope to the gun for increased accuracy. Those interested in home defense might choose a shorter barrel and add a flashlight to the gun. You can even change the grip to fit your hand exactly and make shooting more comfortable.

2. Hunting
The gun control advocates, the media and a certain President are fixated on the idea that AR-15s are “military weapons” that “have no place on the street.” Again and again we hear that they’re not suitable for hunting.

Not true.

Hundreds of thousands of hunters use the AR-15 platform (which is often sold in complete configurations specifically designed for hunting). The gun is rugged, reliable, portable and accurate. What’s more, the ability to quickly and easily change the rifle’s caliber offers American hunters a huge advantage.

I use an AR-15 that fires the relatively new 300 AAC Blackout round for hunting in Texas. When deer aren’t in season I swap my AR’s upper receiver for one that shoots the much cheaper .22lr cartridge. This kind of caliber swap cuts down on costs and makes hunters more accurate (since they’ve been practicing with their hunting rifle all year long).

3. Self-defense
The AR-15 is the civilian version of the M-16 rifle, as adopted by the U.S. armed forces. The M-16 was developed in the wake of World War II. Generals wanted a rifle that would allow U.S. servicemen to put rounds on target accurately at extreme distances (as they did with the M1 Garand in WWII).

That’s the reason the rifle came with a bulky stock and precision “aperture” sights. The Powers That Be wanted their troops to take precise aimed shots from the shoulder. So despite what the media would have you believe, the AR-15 was not “designed” to “spray” bullets. It was created as a precision rifle.

A great offensive weapon makes a great defensive weapon. The AR-15 is an easy-to-use and effective rifle for self-defense, both at close and distant ranges. If someone was defending say, a school, and they were positioned at the end of a corridor, an AR-15 would give them the speed, repeatability (i.e. ammunition capacity) and/or accuracy they’d need to eliminate a lethal threat. Or threats.

Which is why so many Americans depend on the AR-15 for the self-defense. It’s also the reason the police rely on AR-15s to counter active shooters.

Article from:  The Truth About Guns

Gun lobbyist ready to give up

The following story originally appeared at and is re-printed here with permission.

Gun lobbyist ready to give up

Dear Editor,

A gun lobbyist, traumatized by the evil in Newtown, Conn., under pressure by reporters for an interview, asked me desperately for help. What is he supposed to say? How can he respond to such slaughter, how can he defend guns in the light of this massacre? He is at his wit's end, ready to give up, throw in the towel. Help me please, he implores. What can he say in the face of such an abomination? There are no words. And there aren't any.

Why does the media only cover guns in the face of such tragedy? Why don't they discuss it when we can examine the subject coolly and rationally, and maybe get somewhere?

Because then we might learn something. Because then the public could become educated, and the media does not really want this to happen. Because then you might learn that guns have social utility, and are indispensable -- that guns serve good purposes -- instead of being pounded with the hopelessly false idea that arms are bad.

If the media covered guns without tragedy as a background, you would learn that guns save lives, which is why we want our police heavily armed, with high-capacity magazines, and high-powered rifles, and all the ammunition they can carry. You would learn that you need guns and ammo and full-capacity magazines -- for the exact same reason.

You would learn that your need is even greater, because YOU are the first responders, and police are always second. You face the criminals first, in every event. Police, with all their deadly bullets only show up later. Police are the second responders. Media stories are always wrong about that. That's what you say.

People would learn that guns are for stopping crime. Guns protect you. Guns are good. Guns keep you safe, and help you sleep quietly at night. Guns are why America is still free. And the media doesn't want that message to get out. That's why they only haul out the subject with horror as a backdrop. That's what you say.

Thirteen scholarly studies show that guns are used to prevent crimes and save lives between 700,000 and 2.5 million times each year (depending on study size, time frame and other factors). You could get the book entitled "Armed," by Kleck and Kates, and read the studies yourself. Why doesn't the media ferret out those stories and put them on the front page? That's what you say.

Even the FBI says justifiable homicide happens every day, and they're only counting the cases that go all the way through court. Most armed self defense is so clean it never even makes it to court -- or the gun isn't even fired. Why isn't that in the national news every day?

Because you, Mr. and Ms. Reporter, don't want the public educated about guns. Because you want the public ignorant, misinformed and terrified of guns, just like you are. Because you are pushing an agenda to vilify and ban fundamental rights we hold dear, that have helped make America great. Because you want people to have a lopsided unbalanced distorted view, and you're doing a great job of that.

That's what you say. And let them try to deny it.

Because so-called "news" media gun stories are not news, they are propaganda. Showing the image of a mass murderer 100 times a day isn't news, it is propaganda. Because staying on the same single event for a week or more isn't news -- even reporters would call it old news, or yesterday's news, or yellow journalism, if they were being honest -- a trait many have long since lost the ability to exercise. It is propaganda by every definition of that term.

It is designed to disgust, and cause revulsion, and motivate mob mentality. It serves no news purpose other than to induce fear and cause terror. In five minutes you have told the story, nothing new is added, yet it rolls on with images on endless loop. It promotes evil, encourages copycats, with zero redeeming news value. It violates every rule of ethical news behavior there is. That's what you say.

Showing the grief and tears day after day as you are doing, dear reporter, is not news, it is manipulation of we the people. It is an effort to turn people against something you as a reporter personally detest, because you are as poorly educated on the subject as many of your viewers and readers. You are so poorly informed on this subject you need counseling.

That's what you say. Tell reporters they are acting like hoplophobes. Let them look it up.

When eighty people died that day, with their bloodied bodies strewn all over the place, they didn't care. When children were torn from their parents, and parents never came home, they didn't care. When people left home and said, "See you later honey," and were never heard from again, they didn't care, and I didn't care, and they never even mentioned it, because those people died in their cars.

Eighty people. Entire families. Moms and dads, infants, teenagers, all across this great land, not just in one town. That grief was every bit as tragic. And eighty more the next day. And today. And reporters didn't even mention it. Because reporters don't care about human tragedy. They just want to use their favorite tragedy, a maniac's evil, now [five] days old, to promote a terrible agenda they and their bosses and their political puppet masters want them to promote. And that's the abomination. They should be ashamed of themselves. They are a disgrace. That's what you say.

Even though cars are involved in virtually the same number of deaths as firearms, and typically used by all the murderers, we don't call for their elimination, because cars serve a purpose greater than the harm they cause. Doctors kill between ten- and one-hundred-thousand people every year through "medical misadventures," a sugarcoated term for mistakes (the actual number is hotly disputed). We don't call for doctors' elimination, because doctors serve a greater purpose than the harm they cause too.

Guns are precisely the same, but you wouldn't know it watching the so-called "news." Think of all the lives guns save and crimes they prevent. We should call for education and training -- and the pro-rights side does, constantly, to the media's deaf ears. Right now, schools and the media are a black hole of ignorance on the subject. Half of all American homes have guns -- how is it possible to get a high-school diploma without one-credit in gun safety and marksmanship? How can you honestly argue for ignorance instead of education and live with yourself? That's what you say.

The greater part of this great nation is on to you. We hold our rights dear. We hold the Bill of Rights in highest regard, while you spit on it with your unethical and vile effort to destroy it from your high and mighty seat. You believe you are protected by the very thing you would use to demolish it. Your use of propaganda, every time a tragedy occurs, to deny us our rights is the highest form of treason, a fifth-column effort, an enemy both foreign and domestic of which we are keenly aware. You will reap what you sow. That's what you say.

The media says it wants more laws but we already know that everything about every one of these tragedies is already a gross violation of every law on the books, many times over. You media types would outlaw all guns, as many of you are calling for. We all know it would be as effective as the cocaine ban -- a product many of you enjoy in the privacy of... Hollywood and Wall Street and Occupy rallies and your upscale parties and across America. And if you like the war on some drugs, you're going to love the war on guns. That's what you say.

And if you think the rule of law is the solution -- like for people on Prozac and Ritalin suddenly going berserk -- remember that, at least for tomorrow, if the man next to you is going to suddenly crack, you really do need a gun.

Ask yourself why people in greater numbers are suddenly cracking up and taking up the devil's cause, to speak metaphorically. So many reporters have obviously given up on religion and the morality it used to exert, the binding social effect it had on people. Are you a religious person? Ask them. People typically never ask the reporters questions. Reporters don't know how to handle that. Try it. That's what you say.

Do films like American Psycho, where scriptwriters invent characters who enjoy killing and go around gleefully murdering people, and financiers who put millions behind such projects, and which the entertainment industry put in our faces on a constant basis -- does that have any effect? Would you argue it has no effect? Hundreds of films like that, filling our TV's daily -- doesn't that do something to people? Dexter, a mass murderer disguised as a cop who is the hero of the series, does that shift people's thinking, their sense of balance? How do you justify supporting such things instead of shunning and casting such perverts and miscreants from the industry? That's what you say.

But here's the bottom line as far as I'm concerned. Here's the Pulitzer Prize, waiting for you if you want one. Should people who put scores of guns into the hands of drug lords get one-month sentences -- like we saw the very day before this massacre -- is that right? If you get the laws you're shouting for, would it matter if that's what the Justice Dept. does with them?

Why isn't THAT discussed? How did you let that skate by? Don't tell me you covered that story, if you simply reported the government handout, that Fast and Furious smugglers Avila and Carillo were sentenced. That's not reporting, that's reading.

That's the ugly underbelly of this "gun problem" we have. There are the laws for real crimes, and the feckless government role, letting slaughter continue unabated, even abetted. There's the solution you say you seek, squandered.

Were the hundreds murdered that way less important? Is it a racist thing -- because they were brown-skinned Mexicans and not little White children, is that it? How could Eric Holder's Justice Dept. -- and you -- let those perps off so easy? Why isn't that the headline? It was the biggest gun scandal in U.S. history -- your own words. One-month sentences? Not even a trial? And you bought into this? That's what you say.

The ring leaders in the biggest gun-running death-dealing high-powered so-called "assault-weapon" scandal in U.S. history were caught red-handed giving guns to murderers, but they got a plea deal from the administration, not even a trial, and the media had nothing to say.

The media that has so much to say about guns -- or so they would have us falsely believe -- are shills for the Justice Dept. that perpetrated this travesty, and now would use their bully pulpit to attack our rights, in the name of little children, day after day. Journalists have become a travesty, that's what you say.

More than 90 of these fearsome guns were delivered by our very government to the worst murderers on the planet. And now, thanks to double-jeopardy protection, we won't have a trial so we can't even find out who in our government gave the orders. And now we have nothing to say.

The event in a small Connecticut town has opened the gun issue again.

And that's what you say.

Alan Korwin, Publisher, Bloomfield Press
The Uninvited Ombudsman

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Executive Order Banning Sale of Semi-Automatic Firearms

“As a country, we have been through this too many times,” President Obama said (warned?) in yesterday’s address on the Sandy Hook massacre. “Whether it is an elementary school in Newtown, or a shopping mall in Oregon, or a temple in Wisconsin, or a movie theater in Aurora, or a street corner in Chicago, these neighborhoods are our neighborhoods and these children are our children. And we’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics.” The statement is difficult to parse, but gun rights advocates are worried that the President of the United States is about to sign an Executive Order banning the sale of semi-automatic rifles (a.k.a, assault rifles). Here’s another “clue” [via] . . .

The White House said President Barack Obama supports reinstatement of a federal ban on assault weapons — a position he took in the 2008 campaign but failed to press during his first term.

“It does remain a commitment of his,” presidential spokesman Jay Carney told reporters as the nation reeled from a mass shooting in Connecticut that mainly killed school children.


The gunblogosphere is abuzz with the prospect that a forthcoming Executive Order will also restrict the sale of “high-capacity” magazines (more than ten rounds) and require a federal background check for all private firearms sales. In other words, everything on the gun control industry’s wish list.

Let’s parse the possibilities. First, consider the phrase “regardless of politics,” an expression that the President also used in this morning’s radio address.

No question: it’s a deeply worrying word choice. Married to the intro—”we’re going to have to come together”—the President’s admonition is both finger-wagging and a middle finger to those who would oppose any new federal gun control measures.

The phrase “regardless of politics” paints any [now promised] move to prevent future Sandy Hook massacres though new federal legislation as a struggle along party lines. Which it is. The Republican and Democratic presidential platforms on gun control made that clear enough, as did the candidates during the debate.

The President’s record on bipartisanship is pretty much non-existent. So it’s entirely likely that “coming together” for gun control means “everyone’s going to have to live with what I decide to do,” rather than “let’s work together to hash this out.”

With that as an ominous background, the question becomes will he do it? Will Obama use an Executive Order to ban assault rifles, limit magazine capacity and mandate background checks on private firearms sales?

Well, we know that Mr. Obama isn’t averse to gun control-related Executive Orders. Specifically, he signed an Executive Order (EO) creating a long gun registry in America’s border states. Not to quote myself, but here’s a quick history:

Originally mooted as an “emergency measure” to deal with U.S. to Mexico gun smuggling, the ATF registry morphed into a “pilot program.” Which will now automatically renew. The registry was created by Executive Order, bypassing Congress and violating federal rules against the creation of ANY federal gun registry. After a trip to court, the long gun registry was unleashed.

An EO restricting the sale of “assault weapons” in reaction to the Sandy Hook massacre is not beyond imagination. And hey, the President sure as hell hinted at something to come. I reckon it all boils down to politics. Optics. Timing.

In the run-up to the drive off the fiscal cliff, an EO establishing a new assault weapons ban (AWB) would divert attention away from financial negotiations. It would also ignite a debate over gun control and, more to the point, Executive Orders. An EO running roughshod over pro-gun pols would make Obama seem like an Imperial president.

Which I believe he is. Yes, but does he want to be seen that way? As a second term president, does he even care if he’s seen that way? And while an EO creating an AWB and/or limitations on magazines and private sales would give the Dems grief during the next election cycle, again, Obama may see that as a case of What Me Worry?

Bottom line: in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre there’s a real possibility of an Executive Order creating an AWB. Its probability depends on a huge range of political factors which are impossible to divine in their entirety. In other words, I don’t have a clue.

I suppose the odds of an AWB EO depend on public opinion in the next few days and weeks. Either that or the White House has already pulled the trigger on an EO and they’re just waiting for the right time to announce it. If so, I’m thinking the Prez will drop the bomb on gun rights during the memorial service for the victims.

As always, watch this space.

From:  The Truth About Guns

Accomplice Identified in Newtown School Shooting

The following editorial appears at

This shooting is yet another tragic example of the failed, grotesque insistence on helpless victim zones where any crazed gunman can be assured of a large number of disarmed, undefended, helpless victims, all crammed into one place, where he can kill many children before an armed defender arrives from elsewhere. It is disturbing and sick that the federal government so hates the right of the American people to bear arms, and so hates their natural right to self defense, that the government insists on making them helpless, disarmed victims for anyone who cares to kill them. And in this case, all of the teachers and staff were willfully disarmed by the Federal Government, by force of law and threat of prison, to ensure that they would be disarmed and incapable of saving the lives of the children entrusted to their care . . .

That makes the Federal Government complicit in the deaths of these children, and in fact an accessory to their mass murder, by forcibly disarming (with the very real threat of prison) all the teachers, all the staff, and any parent who may have been on school property. That stupid law [ED: the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990] guaranteed the shooters would meet no immediate armed resistance, which is exactly what is needed to stop such an attack.

In such a shooting (as in every criminal attack), seconds count, and the people best positioned to stop the attack are the people on the scene – the intended victims and/or their care-takers. In this case, that would mean the teachers and staff of the school who were responsible for the well-being of those children, and also the parents, who should have the ability to save the lives of their own children as they take them to and from school.

The police cannot, and do not arrive in time to stop such shooters from killing large numbers of people. They are a slow reactive force compared to an armed citizen on the scene. This should be common sense, as it is obvious that in the immediacy of a criminal attack, it is the intended victims (or their immediate care-takers) who are there, in position to put a stop to the attack, if they are capable. And being capable means being armed, trained, willing, and able to use deadly force, right then, right there. Anything less leads to what we saw here.

But no doubt the rabid anti-gun government supremacists will use this to further their agenda to disarm the American people, totally ignoring that obvious, plain-as-day truth. Anti-gun nuts trust the government with guns, but not the people, and insist that the lowly citizen must be disarmed and helpless in the face of murderous assault, and must wait on slow responding armed government employees, who will not be there when the attack starts, and most often can only really clean up the horrendous crime scene afterwards and maybe, just maybe apprehend a shooter who has chosen not to kill himself (as they usually do).

The bottom line is that these teachers and staff at the Sandy Hook Elementary School were incapable of keeping these children safe, and incapable of defending them. And one of the biggest reasons they were so incapable and unprepared to save the lives of the children entrusted to their care is because the anti-gun nuts and their fellow travelers in government insisted on disarming every adult in the vicinity, by threatening them with prison time – EXCEPT the gunmen, who don’t care about the law and thus were not disarmed. Laws against carrying weapons in schools don’t stop evil men with murderous intent. Such laws only disarm the law abiding and virtuous, who are now rendered incompetent to defend the precious children in their care.

This is disgusting. And yet another reason to home-school. Why would you want to leave your children helpless, in the hands of adults who are themselves helpless, and incapable of defending them, by government decree? For all we know, one of the teachers may have been a veteran, with the training and skill to use a firearm if one had been available. But all the teachers and staff, whatever their ability with firearms, were stripped of the choice and chance to save the lives of these kids.

There are more good guys than bad guys in the world. But the good guys need to be able to stop the bad guys, and that means they need to be armed so they can stop the bad guys on the spot, without having to wait for “official” government approved good guys to respond. Trust the teachers with arms so they can save the lives of their students.

Until the adults are allowed to actually act like adults, and defend themselves and their students, this kind of willful killing will continue to happen, and the federal government will in each case be a guilty party to the conspiracy by ensuring that the targets are disarmed.

Until this changes, you should refuse to give your children over to government schools lorded over by a Federal Government so callous and indifferent to their safety and lives.

Stewart Rhodes,
Founder of Oath Keepers

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men be able to do nothing.

My father used to wake up in the middle of the night screaming. Lying in my bed, I couldn’t imagine the terrors that made the center of my universe spin off into fear and madness. Actually, I could. My father told me what the Nazis had done to him, his family and his friends. The exhaustion. Starvation. Disease. Loneliness. Desperation. Hopelessness. Murder. Torture. Death. Out of all that horror, I knew what made my father scream: the beatings. Twice, he’d tried to escape the labor camp holding him as a slave. Twice, he was caught and beaten unconscious. When my father dreamed of the beatings he saw the faces of the men trying to kill him. He heard their laughter. And he screamed . . .

My father tried to tell me what it was like to stare into the face of evil. He tried to express a simple idea: it could be anyone. You don’t think it could, but it could. It could be anyone at all.

Equally, evil people are everywhere. America is only relatively safe. Maybe only temporarily. Growing up in a sheltered suburban enclave, I had a hard time appreciating the idea. I finally “go it” in Germany.

We were driving through the Federal Republic, tourists. It was a beautiful day; the sun shone on the Bavarian countryside. Everything around us looked neat, clean and prosperous. “It happened here,” he said, simply.

I’m sure the people of Newtown Connecticut are experiencing the same cognitive dissonance. It happened here? It happened here.

Here in a quaint New England town of 30,000 souls, with ten buildings on the National Historic Register, an evil man forced his way into an Elementary School and assassinated 20 children and six adults.

At some point in my childhood, my father bought a shotgun. He thought if he armed himself in the real world he’d be able to arm himself in his nightmares. If his tormentors returned, he’d shoot them.

That’s what you do when you’re faced with evil. Either you suffer at its hands or you destroy it. There is no “understanding” it. There is no accommodation. You get rid of it or you die trying.

“Never again” sounds great, in theory. In reality, as my father knew, it can happen again. If a Jew or the Jews or anyone is defenseless, if they fail to fight evil, and maybe even if they do, “it” can happen.

“It” happened in Newtown Connecticut, 132.6 miles from where I’m sitting. My central thought: I wish someone had shot the evil bastard in the head the moment he came in the door. Just walked up to him and blown his brains out.

I would have done it. I would have been proud to do it. My father would have been proud of me, too.

Don’t get me wrong: I don’t want to shoot another human being. I don’t dream of doing it, thank God. But I’d rather have an evil man’s exploding brains be my nightmare, perhaps my last vision on earth, than experience the nightmare of powerlessness that made my father scream.

Edmund Burke said ”All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” That’s not exactly right. All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men be able to do nothing.

A good man will do the right thing. It is his nature. But if you disarm him (or her) you make it more difficult for the good man to confront and defeat evil. You allow evil to fester, spread and destroy all that is good in our world, if not the world itself.

In just three minutes, Adam Lanza destroyed the safe little world of Newtown Connecticut. In truth, it was never safe. In truth, none of us are safe. All of us, especially those caring for our children, should be prepared.

Would I put a two-shell shotgun like my father’s into a locked closet in every classroom in America? I would. Why wouldn’t I? In fact, why not equip classrooms with a far more wieldy and accurate AR-15 rifle like the one Lanza used to slaughter Newtown’s innocents?

Why not indeed.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Didn't that Whacko Read the Sign?

By Paul Markel

Nobody likes a Monday morning quarterback. I know I don’t. However, sometimes we must examine a tragedy to determine what when wrong. The FAA investigator at the scene of an airplane crash is not a Monday morning QB; he is there to try and prevent whatever happened from happening again and looking at school shootings should be done with the same goal in mind . . .

1. An Armed Bad Guy Enters a School

But, didn’t he realize that schools are “Gun-Free Zones”? Didn’t he understand the increased penalties for having a gun within 100ft, 500ft, or 1000ft of a school? Didn’t he read the school’s policy forbidding the carrying of “any weapon” on property?

Society’s well meaning, but totally deluded sheep are obsessed with their little white signs and placards declaring this building or that area to be a “No Gun Zone” or “No Weapons Permitted.” Unless of course you are a homicidal maniac and don’t give a damn about the sign, then feel free. Ask any cop how effective a civil protection order or restraining order is. It’s a piece of paper, nothing more.

Shiny placards, clever little signs, and policy papers don’t stop crime. They might give the prosecutor one more charge to hang on the guy if he’s ever brought to trial, but they don’t stop crime. You can’t sterilize the world.

What effect do these signs really have? They tell the bad guy that he has a nearly unlimited pool of totally defenseless victims. It doesn’t have to be a gun. Do I have to remind you that nineteen fanatics killed three thousand people with box cutters? Why do crazed psychos hit schools? Why not police departments? Because at the PD, everyone has a gun and the psycho would be dead in the first five seconds.

2. Schools are Cherries

If you are a psychopath with a statement to make or an impulse to obey, whether you are an ordinary lunatic or a member of a political/religious fanatic cell, you need a few ingredients to terrorize the nation. First you need a ready supply of helpless victims. It used to be an airplane full of hostages, but that has become too difficult to pull off.

Next you need the tools to threaten and kill. Any firearm will do, but again knives work, too. Homemade bombs are easy enough to make with household chemicals. Of course, you need a willing media to broadcast the horror into every living room in the nation — live if possible.

Over the years I have lived in several states. During the mid-1990′s my family and I settled in Florida. While we were living there the state legislature passed a mandatory helmet law for children riding bicycles. That’s right, mandatory. During the year prior to the new helmet law being passed a total of twelve children were killed during accidents while riding a bike. Even though there was little evidence to establish that any of the kids would have been saved by a Styrofoam and plastic helmet, the law went through.

Don’t paint me as some kind of monster here. The loss of twelve children is sad in and of itself. But we are talking about twelve out of what, tens of thousands? A tiny percentage, particularly when compared to the other causes of childhood death including drowning, fire, poison, and disease.

Fast on the tail of nationwide mandatory seat belt laws were mandatory child safety seats. If you fail to put your three year old son into a government approved safety seat you can and likely will be fined. In the State of Ohio the fine is $100. According to published child seat safety regulations, the fine in South Carolina is $150 and in Texas it’s $200.

Many state legislatures have been pushing through laws to make it a crime if a child is accidentally killed or injured with a firearm that was not equipped with a lock or stored in a safe. Of course this goes hand in hand with the “guns are inherently bad and people who own them are therefore bad” philosophy. Can you imagine someone proposing a law to make it a criminal act if a child was accidentally injured or killed in a car you were driving? It’s not that big a leap.

What’s my point and what does this have to do with school shootings? Each year new laws are proposed and many enacted to try and make the world a safe place for our children. I can only imagine the thousands of trees sacrificed to print the bills, amendments, and legislature designed to “make our children safer.” Not to mention the money spent to enact these regulations.

With all this effort put into “protecting our children” from harm, you would think that any area that is populated predominantly with kids would be safer than Fort Knox, particularly a school. After all don’t our kids spend seven to eight hours a day, perhaps longer, five days a week at school. Given the previously highlighted trend, shouldn’t schools be guarded better than a Brink’s truck?

We care so much about our kids’ safety that we put colored stickers and placards up at school entrances warning visitors that it’s a crime to carry a firearm or any type of weapon onto school property. We install video surveillance cameras to cover every square inch of the grounds. We lock the doors and tell everyone to sign in at the front desk. Some kids are forbidden to carry book bags or backpacks in school. Certainly these measures are more than enough to keep our kids safe in school, right?

Someone explain to me how it is, then, that with all of this political posturing, self-congratulatory back patting and “feel good” legislation that one loan sicko with a gun can get into a school, terrorize the student body, commit unspeakable acts of depravity against children and murder them? Didn’t he read the sign?

How can this be? It’s because psychopaths and deviant wackos aren’t dissuaded by pretty signs or placards. They can’t be stopped by surveillance cameras. Any determined person can get into a public building if they try hard enough.

So, how do you stop an armed sociopath? Perhaps with a gun wielded by a well-trained and competent good guy? Nope. We can’t do that. Guns are inherently evil and any person with a gun, no matter how well-intentioned, cannot be trusted. We can’t turn our schools into armed camps. Just think of the psychological harm the children would endure being in the presence of an armed police officer. Why, they might revert to bedwetting or thumb sucking just from the sight of an evil firearm.

I’m sure you know more than one well-meaning person who, while totally out of touch with reality, would tell you that protecting our children with arms is a terrible idea. It’s funny how these people can’t bring themselves to consider the psychological and physical trauma that is inflicted by a knife- or gun-wielding maniac who takes school children hostage and murders them.

The use of “School Resource Officers” — cops stationed in schools — is not a new idea, but it’s not one that’s employed nationwide. Going back to my Florida days, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office ran the SRO program where I lived. The trouble with selling the SRO program is that it only seems to be put in place in densely populated areas where gangs and drugs are a problem. But school shootings and domestic terrorist incidents don’t typically happen in large metropolitan areas. They occur in places where the common thinking is “it can’t happen here.”

If your community doesn’t have an SRO program the argument against it will likely be that A) we have never had the need for one, B) we don’t have the budget for extra officers or C) we can’t put armed police in the schools — it will scare the children.

If you do have an SRO program, can you honestly say that the officers in the schools are competent enough to stop an armed intruder? Don’t give me that look. Let’s be honest here. I have known jurisdictions that used the SRO program as a place to “stick” officers that couldn’t cut it out on the road. So if they can’t cut it on the road, we expect them to stop an armed maniac who blasts their way into the school?

Maybe you have good people in your SRO program. Are they forgotten about when it comes time for additional training? Do you keep them up to speed on their tactical skills or will you get them some training if you have time or if you can budget it? Do your SRO people feel that they are part of the big team or are they sent there and forgotten? Are they kept fresh or do they become nothing more than burned out donut eaters?

Don’t frown and get indignant. Sometimes the truth hurts. Are we more concerned with protecting our egos or do we really want to stop homicidal maniacs from using our schools as shooting galleries or places to act out some twisted deviant fantasy?

You tell me.Paul Markel is a former police officer, professional bodyguard and small arms and tactics instructor. Paul is the host of  Student of the Gun: This post is excerpted from an article originally published in April ’08 at and

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Ban Louisville Sluggers - Not Guns

That's right folks.  The #1 weapon used in violent crimes is:  . . . a baseball bat. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Bob Costas, Racism and The Wild West

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Bill O’Reilly: Anti-Constitutional hallucinations

 Bill O'Reilly is a very entertaining pundit.  I like his show, and we watch it every evening.  However as is clearly and accurately noted in the article below, Big Bill is not immune from anti-constitutional hallucinations.

His warped view of the Second Ammendment and Federal Gun Control laws makes me wonder how my big-screen TV has avoided ventilation by my .357.

Random Thoughts About Bill O’Reilly, Walmart and the Age of Reason


Bill O’Reilly is a gun rights advocate like Adi Himelbloy [not shown] is a Jenny Craig spokesperson. It kinda makes sense—until you think about it. Adi is way too sexy for Jenny’s target market and O’Reilly hearts gun control. The Foxenator wants background checks on anyone who even thinks about buying a gun, supports an assault weapons ban and considers firearms training a must. In other words, O’Reilly’s happy to erect “common sense” barriers for Americans seeking to exercise their allegedly un-infringable Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. Why? Because the Foxpopulist doesn’t trust the people with guns. He believes in gat gatekeepers. In this the anti-spinmeister is hardly alone . . .

In Alabama—yes, Alabama—the editorial board of the Gadsden Times are uncomfortable with new legislation that would remove local sheriff’s discretion over the firearm permitting process.

Now, a person applies for a permit and undergoes a background check. County sheriffs have the final say-so, however, and can reject a permit even if the applicant checks out.

The new proposal would remove that discretion and force sheriffs to issue permits to any applicant who passes the background check. It also would make pistol permits valid for five years instead of one, adjust the fee structure for permits and allow an issued pistol permit to be used as a background check when a gun is purchased.

An NRA official said giving sheriffs the final call on pistol permits is “subjective.” Sheriffs across the state aren’t happy with the idea and say they’re in the best position to know who in their jurisdictions doesn’t need to be toting a gun.

Well they would say that wouldn’t they? I wonder how many African Americans living in the Yellowhammer state—past and present—would disagree with both the sheriffs’ decisions and, more to the point, their power to make those decisions.

In these enlightened, post-racial (or overly racially sensitive) times, you’d fully expect the Gadsden Times to argue against the O’Reilly-esque gatekeepers. If so, you’d be wrong.

We agree, not because we think sheriffs should have more clout (this issue aside, it can be argued that they already are the most powerful political officials in their respective counties), but because we support local control in such matters. And unless supporters of this plan can document specific cases in which sheriffs have abused their discretion, we see no reason to change the status quo.

Lest we forget, American gun control’s roots lie in Southern racism. After the Civil War, the whites working the political levers of power created gun control laws to disarm African Americans. And thus suppress their freedom. Again. Still.

So far as I’m concerned, the Gadsden Times has it exactly backwards. The system whereby Alabama sheriffs control gun permits is guilty until proven innocent.

Which it can never be because it isn’t. Whenever you have someone deciding for someone else whether or not they should be able to exercise their Constitutionally protected rights, the system, and the person promoting it, is inherently corrupt.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: an American citizen should be able to walk into Walmart, buy a gun, buy some bullets, put those bullets in the gun and walk out of Walmart. Anything less misses the entire point of the Second Amendment.

That said, I understand O’Reilly position on gun control; a position he adopts because he doesn’t want to seem “extreme.” But a word to the man and those who share his [cleverly disguised] elitist views: “reasonable” doesn’t mean what you think it means.

Random Thoughts About Bill O’Reilly, Walmart and the Age of Reason

Friday, December 7, 2012

'Everyone in US under virtual surveillance' - NSA whistleblower

The FBI records the emails of nearly all US citizens, including members of congress, according to NSA whistleblower William Binney. In an interview with RT, he warned that the government can use this information against anyone.

Binney, one of the best mathematicians and code breakers in the history of the National Security Agency, resigned in 2001. He claimed he no longer wanted to be associated with alleged violations of the Constitution, such as how the FBI engages in widespread and pervasive surveillance through powerful devices called 'Naris.'

This year, Binney received the Callaway award, an annual prize that recognizes those who champion constitutional rights and American values at great risk to their personal or professional lives.

RT: In light of the Petraeus/Allen scandal while the public is so focused on the details of their family drama, one may argue that the real scandal in this whole story is the power, the reach of the surveillance state. I mean if we take General Allen – thousands of his personal e-mails have been sifted through private correspondence. It’s not like any of those men was planning an attack on America. Does the scandal prove the notion that there is no such thing as privacy in a surveillance state?

William Binney: Yes, that’s what I’ve been basically saying for quite some time, is that the FBI has access to the data collected, which is basically the emails of virtually everybody in the country. And the FBI has access to it. All the congressional members are on the surveillance too, no one is excluded. They are all included. So, yes, this can happen to anyone. If they become a target for whatever reason – they are targeted by the government, the government can go in, or the FBI, or other agencies of the government, they can go into their database, pull all that data collected on them over the years, and we analyze it all. So, we have to actively analyze everything they’ve done for the last 10 years at least.

RT: And it’s not just about those, who could be planning, who could be a threat to national security, but also those, who could be just…

WB: It’s everybody. The Naris device, if it takes in the entire line, so it takes in all the data. In fact they advertised they can process the lines at session rates, which means 10-gigabit lines. I forgot the name of the device (it’s not the Naris) – the other one does it at 10 gigabits. That’s why they're building Bluffdale [database facility], because they have to have more storage, because they can’t figure out what’s important, so they are just storing everything there. So, emails are going to be stored there in the future, but right now stored in different places around the country. But it is being collected – and the FBI has access to it.

RT: You mean it’s being collected in bulk without even requesting providers?

WB: Yes.

RT: Then what about Google, you know, releasing this biannual transparency report and saying that the government’s demands for personal data is at an all-time high and for all of those requesting the US, Google says they complied with the government’s demands 90 percent of the time. But they are still saying that they are making the request, it’s not like it’s all being funneled into that storage. What do you say to that?

WB: I would assume that it’s just simply another source for the same data they are already collecting. My line is in declarations in a court about the 18-T facility in San Francisco, that documented the NSA room inside that AST&T facility, where they had Naris devices to collect data off the fiber optic lines inside the United States. So, that’s kind of a powerful device, that would collect everything it was being sent. It could collect on the order over of 100 billion 1,000-character emails a day. One device.

RT: You say they sift through billions of e-mails. I wonder how do they prioritize? How do they filter it?

WB: I don’t think they are filtering it. They are just storing it. I think it’s just a matter of selecting when they want it. So, if they want to target you, they would take your attributes, go into that database and pull out all your data.

RT: Were you on the target list?

WB: Oh, sure! I believe I’ve been on it for quite a few years. So I keep telling them everything I think of them in my email. So that when they want to read it they’ll understand what I think of them.

RT: Do you think we all should leave messages for the NSA mail box?

WB: Sure!

RT: You blew the whistle on the agency when George W. Bush was the president. With President Obama in office, in your opinion, has anything changed at the agency, in the surveillance program? In what direction is this administration moving?

WB: The change is it’s getting worse. They are doing more. He is supporting the building of the Bluffdale facility, which is over two billion dollars they are spending on storage room for data. That means that they are collecting a lot more now and need more storage for it. That facility by my calculations that I submitted to the court for the Electronic Frontiers Foundation against NSA would hold on the order of 5 zettabytes of data. Just that current storage capacity is being advertised on the web that you can buy. And that’s not talking about what they have in the near future.

RT: What are they going to do with all of that? Ok, they are storing something. Why should anybody be concerned?

WB: If you ever get on the enemies list, like Petraeus did or… for whatever reason, than you can be drained into that surveillance.

RT: Do you think they would… General Petraeus, who was idolized by the same administration? Or General Allen?

WB: There are certainly some questions, that have to be asked, like why would they target it to begin with? What law were they breaking?

RT: In case of General Petraeus one would argue that there could have been security breaches. Something like that. But with General Allen  – I don’t quite understand, because when they were looking into his private emails to this woman.

WB: That’s the whole point. I am not sure what the internal politics is… That’s part of the program. This government doesn’t want things in the public. It’s not a transparent government. Whatever the reason or the motivation was, I don’t really know, but I certainly think that there was something going on in the background that made them target those fellows. Otherwise why would they be doing it? There is no crime there.

RT: It seems that the public is divided between those, who think that the government surveillance program violates their civil liberties, and those who say, 'I’ve nothing to hide. So, why should I care?' What do you say to those who think that it shouldnt concern them.

WB: The problem is if they think they are not doing anything that’s wrong, they don’t get to define that. The central government does, the central government defines what is right and wrong and whether or not they target you. So, it’s not up to the individuals. Even if they think they aren't doing something wrong, if their position on something is against what the administration has, then they could easily become a target.

RT: Tell me about the most outrageous thing that you came across during your work at the NSA.

WB: The violations of the constitution and any number of laws that existed at the time. That was the part that I could not be associated with. That’s why I left. They were building social networks on who is communicating and with whom inside this country. So that the entire social network of everybody, of every US citizen was being compiled overtime. So, they are taking from one company alone roughly 320 million records a day. That’s probably accumulated probably close to 20 trillion over the years.
The original program that we put together to handle this to be able to identify terrorists anywhere in the world and alert anyone that they were in jeopardy. We would have been able to do that by encrypting everybody’s communications except those who were targets. So, in essence you would protect their identities and the information about them until you could develop probable cause, and once you showed your probable cause, then you could do a decrypt and target them. And we could do that and isolate those people all alone. It wasn’t a problem at all. There was no difficulty in that.

RT: It sounds very difficult and very complicated. Easier to take everything in and…

WB: No. It’s easier to use the graphing techniques, if you will, for the relationships for the world to filter out data, so that you don’t have to handle all that data. And it doesn’t burden you with a lot more information to look at, than you really need to solve the problem.

RT: Do you think that the agency doesn’t have the filters now?

WB: No.

RT: You have received the Callaway award for civic courage. Congratulations! On the website and in the press release it says: “It is awarded to those, who stand out for constitutional rights and American values at great risk to their personal or professional lives.” Under the code of spy ethics I don’t know if there is such a thing your former colleagues, they probably look upon you as a traitor. How do you look back at them?

WB: That’s pretty easy. They are violating the foundation of this entire country. Why this entire government was formed? It’s founded with the Constitution and the rights were given to the people in the country under that Constitution. They are in violation of that. And under executive order 13526, section 1.7 – you can not classify information to just cover up a crime, which this is, and that was signed by President Obama. Also President Bush signed it earlier as an executive order, a very similar one. If any of this comes into Supreme Court and they rule it unconstitutional, then the entire house of cards of the government falls.

RT: What are the chances of that? What are the odds?

WB: The government is doing the best they can to try to keep it out of court. And, of course, we are trying to do the best we can to get into court. So, we decided it deserves a ruling from the Supreme Court. Ultimately the court is supposed to protect the Constitution. All these people in the government take an oath to defend the Constitution. And they are not living up to the oath of office.