Trump’s Wall His Vanity? RPT Does WaPo

First, I want to start with a video from a Prager University flashback to the giant named Charles Krauthammer:

A compatriot on Facebook who is a #NeverTrumper posted a link to this article at the biased* WASHINGTON POST, entitled, “Trump’s wall is a monument to vanity and bigotry,” and then asked for the following:

  • Read this and THEN tell me why a wall (as described by Trump) makes sense. Feel free to comment if you have read the piece here by Michael J. Gerson.

I read the article and commented on it… here are some of my thoughts (I will add to the original comments for my site).


SAME POSITION


There are many issues with the article. A few being as follows, that Trump long ago said the Border Patrol wanted something different in parts and he would listen to them. He has also said a while back (during the campaign) that the BARRIER would be about a 1,000 miles long, again – some wall, and reinforcing fencing etc. Here, NPR (January 26, 2017) interviews the Border Patrol’s union leader Brandon Judd >>>

JUDD: I don’t think it’s going to be – well, OK, it’s going to be a lot more secure. But what we’re talking about is we’re talking about a wall in strategic locations. We’re not talking about a great wall of the United States. We’re not talking about a continuous wall from California down to Texas. We’re talking about a wall in strategic locations which then helps the Border Patrol agents do their job better.

INSKEEP: Because there are some places that are so sparsely populated and the ground is so fierce or so harsh you really don’t need…

JUDD: Correct, correct.

INSKEEP: So you’ve told us when you were on the program last time that about 10 to 15 percent of the border has serious fences in your view and maybe you’d double that under this proposal.

JUDD: That’s what I’m thinking. Again, I don’t have the exact specifics of what they’re going to do, but I do know that they’re looking in specific places like Laredo, Texas, where we have very, very little walls. Yet, the state that Laredo, Texas, borders is extremely violent. And so we’re looking in locations like that. They’re looking in locations like that, but I think it’s going to be very effective.

I post this clarification of the political hyperbole (on both sides) because the WaPo article refers to AN MIT ARTICLE discussing the cost of a 1,000 mile 50-foot wall. For all of Trump’s bluster, which the Left and #NeverTrumper’s take literally, like skeptics insist literalness in all places of the Bible instead of understanding hyperbole, and texts that do and do not incorporate it, such as: law text, history texts, wisdom literature, Hebrew poetry, prophecy, apocalyptic writing, and war texts. It would be like me reading EXODUS 15:8 and positing that God has a BIG nose, or reading PSALM 91:4 and saying God is a giant chicken. Many Christians would reject a skeptics misunderstanding in these areas (at least Christians true to a healthy hermeneutical approach to the Word).

Here is Brandon Judd in a more recent interview. Notice his position is the same, and in alignment with Trump:

A better article is this one by Byron York, entitled, “Why not build a border barrier? It’s the law.” Here is a sample from that article”

First, understand the problem. In California, the migrants are targeting a part of the border where there is a barrier. But much of the border’s 1,954 miles remains uncovered. According to the Border Patrol, 354 of those 1,954 miles are protected by what is called a pedestrian primary fence, which is a single-layer fence. Another 37 miles are a pedestrian secondary fence, that is, double-layer fencing. And 14 miles are pedestrian tertiary, or a triple-layer fence. In addition, 300 miles are covered by vehicle fencing, which will stop a truck but allow anyone to walk through with no problem.

That is a total of 705 miles — 405 miles of some kind of pedestrian fencing and 300 miles of vehicle fencing.

No one, or almost no one, says a fence should cover all 1,954 miles of the border. A significant part of the border is terrain so dangerous and imposing that it would be very difficult for migrants to cross. During the campaign, and during his presidency, Trump called for a wall along about 1,000 miles.

“We have 2,000 miles [of border], of which we really need 1,000 miles, because you have a lot of natural barriers,” Trump said in August 2016.

But Democrats oppose even that. And since Republicans could not pass wall funding when they controlled all of Congress and the White House, how could they possibly do it now, with Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., in charge of the House?

Still, there is one possible course for Republicans. It is Public Law 109-367, better known as the Secure Fence Act.

The Act was passed by big, bipartisan majorities in 2006, receiving 283 votes in the House and 80 in the Senate. It required the federal government to build reinforced fencing, at least two layers deep, along about 700 miles of the border. It specified the areas in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas where fencing would be installed.

If the law had been followed, many vulnerable parts of the border would now be secured. But the very next year, 2007, after Democrats won control of the House and Senate, Congress amended the Secure Fence Act. The amendment said that “nothing in [the original legislation] shall require” the installation of fencing if the government determines that a fence is not the “most appropriate” way to secure the border……

Do I wish Donald Trump would communicate his ideas more thoughtfully and cogently? Of course. I am also an adult who realizes he must excoriate language to get to the real meaning of the points made by this administration — not use hyperbole to make an embroidered political statement back at Trump (a hyperbolic position). Something our border residents do not need.


REAGAN’S CITY


In another section of the WaPo article,

  • The era of limited government is emphatically over in the only political party where it once had some appeal. …. This is the strange case of a political metaphor slipping off the page and trying to break into reality. The images and symbols of political rhetoric can assume an importance beyond language. Ronald Reagan’s evocation of a “shining city on a hill” rooted his appeal in the American exceptionalism of our Pilgrim parents. …. But no one actually proposed getting the building permits for Reagan’s city

The facile mantra I often hear is that “Reagan wanted to tear down walls; Trump wants to build.” WHAT NONSENSE!

  • For the record, liberals often falsely and inaccurately quote Reagan’s farewell address, in which he explained what he meant about the “shining city.” Yes, America was a nation of immigrants, but liberals fail to note his city had “walls” and “a door.” …. Reagan believed in borders, in earned American citizenship. He did not believe in breaking the law to get ahead.

It is a rejection of our broader concepts involved in our political history and battles thereof. In this regard, I have no idea why Michael Gerson would invoke Reagan? He wanted to spend money to reinforce the border along his Shining City. This is the most unlearned portion of the article. History is not the forte of the Left. Here is a reminder of Reagan regretting trying to make a deal with the Democrats from another post of mine. Reagan didn’t regret “amnesty,” he regretted TRUSTING THE DEMOCRATS who did not live up to securing the border ….. sound familiar? Larry speaks with John Heubusch of the Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute:

THE STREAM has this excellent article,

  • What Trump Could Learn From The Reagan Immigration Amnesty: The Reagan Amnesty Of 2.7 Million Illegal Immigrants Was Paired With The Promise Of Controlling The Border

Of which I excerpt a portion of:

In his book, Reagan: The Life, H.W. Brands writes about the president’s interpretation of a 1986 immigration bill at the time.

“Al Simpson came by to see if he had my support,” Reagan recorded in October 1986, shortly after the measure cleared the House. “They have one or two amendments we could do without, but even if the Senate conference can’t get them out, I’ll sign it. It’s high time we regained control of our borders, and this bill will do it.”

The legislation at the time was widely viewed as an enforcement-first measure, said then-Attorney General Edwin Meese III, who advised Reagan on the matter along with other Cabinet officials.

“It is very definitely a teachable moment,” Meese, the Ronald Reagan distinguished fellow emeritus at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal, when asked how the 1986 legislation might inform President Donald Trump in his negotiations with congressional Democrats on codifying the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), implemented by his predecessor.

The Reagan amnesty of 2.7 million illegal immigrants was paired with the promise of controlling the border and penalizing employers who hire illegal immigrants. The legislation was better known as the Simpson-Mazzoli Act, named for its sponsors, Simpson and then-Rep. Romano Mazzoli, D-Ky.

The problem with the 1986 law was that the promised enforcement didn’t occur, but the amnesty did, Meese said….

President Reagan’s Remarks at Signing Ceremony for Immigration Reform and Control Act in Roosevelt Room. November 6, 1986

Steven Hayward, a historian and Reagan biographer, continues the idea in a DAILY SIGNAL, .

  • “I think President Trump has to insist that employment E-Verify, funding for serious border security, not necessarily a wall, and an end to chain migration have to be non-negotiable conditions of any deal,” Hayward said. “Reagan should have applied to immigration what he said about arms control with the Soviet Union, ‘Trust, but verify,’ or in this case, ‘Trust, but E-Verify.’ That’s the lesson Trump should take.”

The article mentioned that a better law for seasonal workers would work. Trump is not saying he doesn’t want this? Dumb. However, that would work better with the barrier.

The old days of Union leaders like Cesar Chavez going down to the border and beating migrants up (or the current rape and abuse of migrants by criminals — on and/or living in parts of the journey up here) will decrease dramatically with better border control. Both Hillary and many of the candidates running for the Dems have said they prefer a borderless America. Something any sovereign nation should fear.


CRIME STATS


Another glaring misstatement by the WaPo article is based off of this claim:

  • “Never mind that violent crime rates among migrants are significantly lower than among the native-born.” 

This just is not true. The WASHINGTON TIMES notes a more thorough study when they say conclusively that the “crime rate among illegal immigrants in Arizona is twice that of other residents, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Friday, citing a new report based on conviction data.” NATIONAL REVIEW rightly notes that John Lott used “more recent and comprehensive state data, found that illegal immigrants are far more likely to commit crimes than lawful residents.”

SSRN STUDY by John R. Lott published in February 2018 found that from 1985-2017 illegal aliens had a 163% greater chance of being convicted of 1st degree murder than Arizona citizens. Illegals had a 168% greater chance of being convicted of 2nd degree murder than an Arizona citizen.

Continuing in another article, NATIONAL REVIEW says the following:

John Lott recently published a study that examines the incarceration of illegal immigrants in Arizona. Lott found that over the past 33 years, illegal immigrants have constituted an average of 4.8 percent of Arizona’s population. Yet during that same 33-year period, illegal immigrants constituted 11.2 percent of those convicted of crimes in Arizona — more than twice their share of the population. Lott found that illegal immigrants were dramatically more likely to be convicted of a homicide-related offense than either native-born Americans or legal immigrants during that 33-year period — 163 percent more likely to be convicted of first-degree murder and 168 percent more likely to be convicted of second-degree murder. “Undocumented immigrants were also consistently more likely to be convicted of manslaughter, armed robbery, sexual assault of a minor, sexual assault, DUI or DWI, and kidnapping.” Lott also found that illegal immigrants who met the age requirements for DACA were overrepresented in the prison population.

The Washington Post and the Left and #NeverTrumpers like to quote CATO Institutes study and Snope’s study refuting John Lott’s work. However, he has thoroughly responded to these works. Here are two examples — followed by others:

Between 4,000 and 6,000 people are murdered a year by illegal aliens (THE HILL & TIGER DROPPINGS). Remember, Obama declared a State of Emergency and stopped immigration over 4,000 deaths from H1N1.


WALLS WORK


When Gerson says the following,

  • Proposing a wall is really an argument that America can protect itself from the dangers of the world at its national boundaries. But this theory failed to contain the disorders of Europe and East Asia in the 1930s and 1940s.

He goes on to note the Cold War and terrorism. Even going so far as saying to end his article, “putting our faith in a wall requires us to unlearn the bloodiest lessons of the last century. And to repeat them.” WTH?

This is just silly.

First, walls throughout history have worked. Even during the Cold War. For instance, the wall built by Communists in Germany… worked. The wall and the “rampart” slashed defections to just 185 people per year. (All of the following comes from AMERICAN RENAISSANCE):

The reinforcing of the border barrier (16-foot-tall barrier [barbed wire fence] ran 152-miles) between Egypt and Israel worked as well. The 2013 upgrade reduced illegal incursions at the border by an average of 99.4 percent. The improvements completed in January 2017 cut illegal immigration to zero. As of June 2017, not a single person had breached the fence. Here is a graph noting the drop:

The wall separating the West Bank and Israel worked as well. By 2012, 63 percent (277 miles) of the border was walled (25 feet high) or fenced. They have not built past the 63% mark:

In July 2015, Hungary began building a 13-foot-tall fence along its borders with Serbia and Croatia. This barbed wire enforced fence accomplished it’s goal:

LIKEWISE, as the length of the southwest barrier increased—evidence that even a limited barrier can deter illegal immigration:

Simply put, Walls Work:

Michael Gerson basically said wall don’t work. But they do. That is, if you look to the real world and not “experts.” The Border Patrol say they work. Again [sigh],

When charges of “racism” and “xenophobia” fail, Democrats’ fallback argument against President Trump’s proposed border wall is that it simply “won’t work,” so why waste billions building it? Tell that to the residents of El Paso, Texas.

Federal data show a far-less imposing wall than the one Trump envisions — a two-story corrugated metal fence first erected under the Bush administration — already has dramatically curtailed both illegal border crossings and crime in Texas’ sixth-largest city, which borders the high-crime Mexican city of Juarez.

In fact, the number of deportable illegal immigrants located by the US Border Patrol plummeted by more than 89 percent over the five-year period during which the controversial new fence was built, ……..

(NEW YORK POST)

The Border Patrol wants the same thing Trump does. An NBPC’s survey of more than 600 agents in two of the Border Patrol’s busiest sectors confirmed this: A stunning 89 percent of line agents say a “wall system in strategic locations is necessary to securing the border.” Just 7 percent disagreed.

To conclude my comments, I would have to say that only someone who has a bad taste for reality would say this is a good article. From using Reagan, to saying barriers don’t work, to not understanding what Democrats really want, etc., This is the low bar the Washington Post sets.

Sad. Sad that thinking Reaganite’s fall for it.


* Financial and readership decisions + dislike of Trump: “trump” civility and truth.


…former executive editor of the New York Times says the paper’s news pages, the home of its straight-news coverage, have become “unmistakably anti-Trump.”

Jill Abramson, the veteran journalist who led the newspaper from 2011 to 2014, says the Times has a financial incentive to bash the president and that the imbalance is helping to erode its credibility.

[….]

“Though Baquet said publicly he didn’t want the Times to be the opposition party, his news pages were unmistakably anti-Trump,” Abramson writes, adding that she believes the same is true of the Washington Post. “Some headlines contained raw opinion, as did some of the stories that were labeled as news analysis.”

What’s more, she says, citing legendary 20th century publisher Adolph Ochs, “the more anti-Trump the Times was perceived to be, the more it was mistrusted for being biased. Ochs’s vow to cover the news without fear or favor sounded like an impossible promise in such a polarized environment.”

Abramson describes a generational split at the Times, with younger staffers, many of them in digital jobs, favoring an unrestrained assault on the presidency. “The more ‘woke’ staff thought that urgent times called for urgent measures; the dangers of Trump’s presidency obviated the old standards,” she writes.

Trump claims he is keeping the “failing” Times in business—an obvious exaggeration—but the former editor acknowledges a “Trump bump” that saw digital subscriptions during his first six months in office jump by 600,000, to more than 2 million….

(FOX NEWS)

Mollie Tibbetts

This was a sad story… one that happens too often. John and Ken discuss Mollie Tibbetts and her murderer, Christian Bahena-Rivera. The media bias in this reporting is touched upon as well.

EXAMPLES:

ALSO, some crime stats here are key to the discussion (PDF),  as well as the response to CATO by John Lott.

Here is the very short excerpt and it’s description:

This is just a very short clip of a longer audio (here: ) of John and Ken discussing Mollie Tibbetts and her murderer, Christian Bahena-Rivera. According to the DAILY CALLER, he was employed by a Republican small business owner

  • “He worked on Yarrabee Farms, which is owned by the family of GOP official Craig Lang, who was a former 2018 Republican candidate for state secretary of agriculture, according to reports by the Des Moines Register.”

who may have illegally had him in their employ? However, he was an example of the DACA young… so did he have his temporary papers? I have no idea. This was clipped from the larger audio for use on my post HERE.

John Lott vs Snopes

Larry Elder has John Lott on his show to discuss where Snopes dropped the ball in their attempt to “fact check” him. An excellent study in statistics. John Lott’s article is entitled, “Fact Checker Snopes .com’s big mistakes in comparing mass public shootings in the US and Europe.” John’s work still stands the test of time and political meanderings.

Here is John’s conclusion from the article:

Snopes.com ignores our comparison of either the EU or Europe to the US and their second table ignores our concern about adjusting for different country populations.  If they are going to emphasize that countries in Europe with just a fraction of the US population rarely have mass public shooting (either not adjusting for population differences and/or looking at the “median” yearly rate), the only fair comparison is to look at individual states in the US.  Looking at Snopes.com’s desired measure of yearly median deaths, comparing Europe to the US or individual European countries to individual US states produces virtually identical results.  The same is true for average annual death rates, even if one adjusts for the population.  One thing completely ignored in Snopes.com’s discussion is the very high rate of casualties in Europe compared to the US.

The only thing that is ridiculous is Snopes.com’s comparison of small individual countries to the United States.  There is no reason to expect a tiny country like Norway to have the same absolute frequency of attacks as the United States.  The types of yearly median comparisons that they want to make only make sense if you compare similarly sized populations (Europe to the US or individual European countries to individual US states).

 

“Ahhh ‘Heller’ No!” Hillary Shot Down by John Lott

THE FEDERALIST notes how the Supreme Court described the facts of the case:

District of Columbia law bans handgun possession by making it a crime to carry an unregistered firearm and prohibiting the registration of handguns; provides separately that no person may carry an unlicensed handgun, but authorizes the police chief to issue 1-year licenses; and requires residents to keep lawfully owned firearms unloaded and dissembled or bound by a trigger lock or similar device. Respondent Heller, a D. C. special policeman, applied to register a handgun he wished to keep at home, but the District refused. He filed this suit seeking, on Second Amendment grounds, to enjoin the city from enforcing the bar on handgun registration, the licensing requirement insofar as it prohibits carrying an unlicensed firearm in the home, and the trigger-lock requirement insofar as it prohibits the use of functional firearms in the home. The District Court dismissed the suit, but the D. C. Circuit reversed, holding that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to possess firearms and that the city’s total ban on handguns, as well as its requirement that firearms in the home be kept nonfunctional even when necessary for self-defense, violated that right.

No mention of toddlers.

JOHN LOTT’S article responding to Hillary Clinton’s claims in the 3rd Presidential debate in regards to the 2nd Amendment and the Heller Case:

…The 2008 Heller decision struck down Washington, D.C.’s complete ban on handguns.  Before the decision, people in the District could own a rifle or a shotgun, it was a felony to load the gun. This amounted to a complete ban on guns, and the Supreme Court said that Washington went too far.

But then, on Wednesday night, Clinton suggested that Wallace had misunderstood her statement.

She explained: “I support the Second Amendment… I disagreed with the way the court applied the Second Amendment in that case because what the District of Columbia was trying to do was to protect toddlers from guns. And so they wanted people with guns to safely store them.”

But the Supreme Court did nothing at all to stop safe-storage laws. And the Justices that Clinton promises to appoint to the High Court will, in all likelihood, again make it possible for the government to ban guns.

As to the storage laws, the Heller decision couldn’t have been clearer: “Nor, correspondingly, does our analysis suggest the invalidity of laws regulating the storage of firearms to prevent accidents.”  If the ruling contributed to the problem that Clinton describes, one would think that there would have been a lot of accidental gun deaths involving toddlers.  But there doesn’t appear to have been a single accidental gun death of any kind in the District, let alone for toddlers, during the eight years since the Heller decision was announced.

The only gun laws that the Supreme Court has struck down have been complete bans on guns. Let me repeat this: If Clinton’s judicial appointments vote to overturn Heller, governments will again be able to ban guns.

And this is a real possibility. Heller can be overturned with just one more appointment to the court.

The Supreme Court is currently tied 4-4 on the meaning of the Second Amendment.

Right now, all four liberal justices have made it clear that they believe in the government’s right to completely ban guns.

In 2010, Justice Stephen Breyer wrote: “I can find nothing in the Second Amendment’s text, history, or underlying rationale that could warrant characterizing it as ‘fundamental’ insofar as it seeks to protect the keeping and bearing of arms for private self-defense purposes.”

This decision will ensure that many Americans will face gun bans. With the change in the Supreme Court, the District of Columbia and some cities will quickly move to ban guns.

California has already banned over 12,000 models of handguns since 2001, with only a dozen that can still be sold in the state and even those likely banned within a few years.

If Clinton becomes president, all handguns in California will likely soon be banned.

[….]

That Hillary Clinton won’t honestly tell American’s what she intends to do if she becomes president, shows that she is concerned that many Americans do support gun ownership.  But regardless of whether or not she openly acknowledges her plans, the threat that she poses is still very real.

 

 

Murder Rate Drops With Increased Conceal Carry Permits

(Above) Dr. John Lott is the author of More Guns, Less Crime, and president of the Crime Prevention Research Center. At National Review Online, he has written, “Bogus Gun Control Numbers,” in which he takes issue with the statistics concerning concealed-carry cited by the Violence Policy Center. Dr. Lott notes that their report, “Concealed Carry Killers,” is riddled with false data – and conclusions. Originally aired on the Sportsman Channel 4/29/14.

Fox News carries this commentary on a recent study, “Murder rate drops as concealed carry permits rise, study claims” ~ with a h/t to Wintery Knight:

A dramatic spike in the number of Americans with permits to carry concealed weapons coincides with an equally stark drop in violent crime, according to a new study, which Second Amendment advocates say makes the case that more guns can mean safer streets.

The study by the Crime Prevention Research Center found that 11.1 million Americans now have permits to carry concealed weapons, up from 4.5 million in 2007. The 146 percent increase has come even as both murder and violent crime rates have dropped by 22 percent.

“When you allow people to carry concealed handguns, you see changes in the behavior of criminals,” said the center’s president, John R. Lott, a Fox News contributor. “Some criminals stop committing crimes, others move on to crimes in which they don’t come into contact with victims and others actually move to areas where they have less fear of being confronted by armed victims.”

[….]

Six states don’t require a permit for legal gun owners to conceal their weapons, and Lott notes those states have some of the lowest violent crime rates in the nation.

The real measure of the deterrent effect of concealed carry permits, according to Lott, is not laws on the books, but the percentage of a given state’s population that holds the permits. In 10 states, more than 8 percent of adults hold concealed carry permits, and all are among the states with the lowest crime rates. Lott claims his group’s analysis shows that each one percentage point increase in the adult population holding permits brings a 1.4 percent drop in the murder rate.

“We found that the size of the drop [in crime] is directly related to the percentage of the population with permits,” Lott said.

Between 2007 and the preliminary estimates for 2013, murder rates have fallen from 5.6 to 4.4 per 100,000….

Mass Shootings Have Decreased ~ Obama vs. Australia

The American Spectator has this great information that sets the record clear by giving guidelines to the debate:

Type “mass shootings” and “common” into a search engine and you’ll get all sorts of breathless commentary that might lead one to believe there Americans face a genuine epidemic of shooting rampages. A few headlines:

  • Vox: “Mass shootings on campus are getting more common and more deadly.”
  • ThinkProgress: “Mass Shootings Are Becoming More Frequent.”
  • NPR: “Study: Mass Shootings Are On The Rise Across U.S.”
  • Washington Post: “Why are mass shootings becoming more common?”

[….]

Homicide in America is far more common than it ought to be. But mass shootings — defined as four or more murders in the same incident — constitute a minuscule share of the total, as I discuss in “The Shooting Cycle” in the most recent edition of the Connecticut Law Review…

I want to break here and post something Mother Jones said in trying to define what a Mass Shooting is… “she” says this:

Broadly speaking, the term refers to an incident involving multiple victims of gun violence. But there is no official set of criteria or definition for a mass shooting, according to criminology experts and FBI officials who have spoken with Mother Jones.

Mother Jones then goes on to quote the definition — after being ambiguous about it — as four or more [excluding the shooter]. Wikipedia says this:

The FBI defines mass murder as murdering four or more persons during an event with no “cooling-off period” between the murders. A mass murder typically occurs in a single location where one or more people kill several others.

  • Aggrawal A. (2005) Mass Murder. In: Payne-James JJ, Byard RW, Corey TS, Henderson C (Eds.) Encyclopedia of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Vol. 3, Pp. 216-223. Elsevier Academic Press, London
  • “Serial Murder – Federal Bureau of Investigation”. Fbi.gov. Retrieved 2012-03-07.

It is odd to me why Mother Jones would be ambiguous about it while at the same time use the accepted FBI terminology/definition. At any rate, I HIGHLY suggest reading this Debunking of Mother Jones’ “10 Pro-Gun Myths,” worth the read.

Obama recently praised Australian gun-control.

ANN COULTER tackles this “Australian Stat” often mentioned. She quotes the New York Times’ Elisabeth Rosenthal as saying this:

Rosenthal also produces a demonstrably false statistic about Australia’s gun laws, as if it’s a fact that has been carefully vetted by the Newspaper of Record, throwing in the true source only at the tail-end of the paragraph:

“After a gruesome mass murder in 1996 provoked public outrage, Australia enacted stricter gun laws, including a 28-day waiting period before purchase and a ban on semiautomatic weapons. … Since, rates of both homicide and suicide have dropped 50 percent … said Ms. Peters, who lobbied for the legislation.”

John Lott Responds:

Here is the actual data from Australia. First note that gun ownership exhibits a very interesting pattern that isn’t often acknowledged. There was a large gun buyback in 1996 and 1997 that reduced gun ownership from 3.2 to 2.2 million guns. But immediately after that gun ownership increased dramatically and is essentially back to where it was before the buyback. Why is that important? Well, if it is the number of guns that is important, you should initially see a large drop in suicides or crimes and then see it increasing. Yet, in none of these data series do you observe that pattern.

For example, homicides didn’t fall until eight years after the laws. It is not clear what theory they have for why the long delay would occur. Nor can I even find an acknowledgment of that long lag in the cited literature. A more natural explanation for the drop at the eight year point would be the substantial increases in police forces that occurred at that time

ELSEWHERE he states:

This is actually pretty amazing given the threat that the government could actually again try to confiscate guns in the country. That imposes a real potential tax on gun ownership.

Australians own as many guns now as they did at the time of the Port Arthur massacre, despite more than 1 million firearms being handed in and destroyed, new research reveals.

A University of Sydney study has shown there has been a steady increase in guns imported into the country over the past decade, with the number of privately owned guns now at the same level as 1996. . . .

Weirdly, gun control advocates are claiming that the buy back is lowering suicides at the same time that they are upset that gun ownership is back to it pre-buy back levels. One doesn’t need a semi-auto to commit suicide. While Australia’s population grew by 20 percent between 1997 and 2011, apparently its gun ownership rate grew by 45 percent. If they are right, the pattern should have been clear: suicides with guns should have plunged in 1997 and then quickly grown after that. Obviously that pattern wasn’t what was observed….

Crime is dropping recently in Australia, but this can be attributed to gun ownership rising back up to the previous rates before the ban. GAY PATRIOT comments on the before mentioned Obama quote about Australia:

I reiterate the two hidden rules of “Common Sense Gun Laws:”

1. “We only want to keep guns away from dangerous persons.”

2. “Anyone who owns a gun is a dangerous person.”

NATIONAL REVIEW also makes the point that in order to praise Australian “success,” one is praising anti-Constitutional actions:

Let me be clear, as Obama likes to say: You simply cannot praise Australia’s gun-laws without praising the country’s mass confiscation program. That is Australia’s law. When the Left says that we should respond to shootings as Australia did, they don’t mean that we should institute background checks on private sales; they mean that they we should ban and confiscate guns. No amount of wooly words can change this. Again, one doesn’t bring up countries that have confiscated firearms as a shining example unless one wishes to push the conversation toward confiscation.

[….]

Obama gave the impression that gun-violence is on the increase. This is false. As both Pew and the Department of Justice recorded last year, the majority of Americans believe that gun violence is proliferating when it is in fact dropping. This year marked a 20-year low. More than anything, America has a copycat problem in its schools.

Just a long side-note, continuing with the AMERICAN SPECTATOR article:

 

The Bureau of Justice Statistics reported that from 2002-2011, 95 percent of total homicide incidents involved a single fatality, 4 percent involved two victims, 0.6 percent involved 3 victims, and only .02 percent involved four or more victims. Another study performed between 1976 and 2005 yields similar results — that less than one-fifth of 1 percent all murders in the United States involved four or more victims. In other words, the bottom line is that out of every 10,000 incidents of homicide, roughly two are mass killings.

Further, contrary to what the zeitgeist may suggest, mass shootings are not on the rise. Prominent criminologist James Alan Fox has found “no upward trend in mass killings” since the ’70s. Take campus statistics as an example: “Overall in this country, there is an average of 10 to 20 murders across campuses in any given year,” Fox told CNN  (and roughly 99 percent of these reported homicides were not mass shootings).  “Compare that to over 1,000 suicides and about 1,500 deaths from binge drinking and drug overdoses.” Mass shootings on college campuses lag far, far behind many much more prevalent social and mental health problems.

The rare nature of these incidents also holds true for safety in K-12 schools, which garnered a significant amount of attention in the wake of the tragedies in Columbine and Newtown. According to two reports by the Centers for Disease Control, the probability of a child “dying in school in any given year from homicide or suicide was less than one in 1 million between 1992 and 1994 and slightly greater than one in 2 million between 1994 and 1999.”

…READ IT ALL…

Of course any story like the above needs a positive one added to it. The Blaze has this:

Two armed criminals reportedly put a gun to a 17-year-old girl’s head on Monday night as she was outside retrieving something from a car. The man, whose intentions still aren’t entirely clear, then ordered the teenager to take them into her house — a decision that would prove to have deadly consequences.

Peering out the window of the St. Louis home were the girl’s mother and father, each prepared to protect their daughter with deadly force. There was also a 5-year-old boy in the house, though his relationship to the family wasn’t known on Tuesday.

The girl’s father, a 34-year-old man, reportedly observed the men walking towards his home while holding a gun to his daughter’s head, a sight that no father ever wants to see. He quickly retrieved his firearm and his wife did the same.

The brave dad then confronted the two criminals and opened fire, hitting both suspects with accurate shots

European Happiness and Crime Rates Compared To America’s

“It’s become common knowledge that Denmark, Sweden and Norway routinely rank highest on lists of the world’s happiest nations…” (The World’s Happiest Countries Take The Most Antidepressants)

(As usual, all graphics/pics are linked to other resources.) Often I hear about how much lower the crime rate is in Europe, at times having the “Peace Index” thrown into the conversation without any meditation on what exactly this “index” says. Happiness is another moniker often thrown around without any comparisons of “what constitutes ‘happiness’.” So lets deal first with happiness, and then get into the peace index and gun-control/stats.

HAPPINESS

What constitutes happiness between the States and Europe? Let’s delve — quickly — into this topic via Forbes (2006):

The average American works 25 hours a week; the average Frenchman 18; the average Italian a bit more than 16 and a half. Even the hardest-working Europeans–the British, who put in an average of 21 and half hours–are far more laid-back than their American cousins.

Compared with Europeans, Americans are more likely to be employed and more likely to work longer hours–employed Americans put in about three hours more per week than employed Frenchmen. Most important, Americans take fewer (and shorter) vacations. The average American takes off less than six weeks a year; the average Frenchman almost 12. The world champion vacationers are the Swedes, at 16 and a half weeks per year.

Of course, Europeans pay a price for their extravagant leisure. The average Frenchman produces only three-quarters as much as the average American, even though productivity per hour is slightly higher in France.

This raises more than one interesting question. First, why do Americans choose to work so much? (Or, if you prefer, why do Europeans choose to work so little?) Second, who’s happier?…..

Why indeed.

I think this is answered a bit later in a newer poll/study, found at Live Science (see also FoxNews):

Americans really do love to work, it seems, while Europeans are much happier if they skip burning the midnight oil in favor of leisure. That’s according to a new study finding longer work hours make Europeans unhappy while Americans get a very slight (albeit not statistically significant) bliss boost from the extra grind.

“Those who work longer hours in Europe are less happy than those who work shorter hours, but in the U.S. it’s the other way around,” said study author Adam Okulicz-Kozaryn, a clinical assistant professor of public policy at The University of Texas at Dallas. “The working hours’ category does not have a very big impact on the probability of happiness of Americans.” [Happiest States’ List]

The study, based on survey data, can’t tease out whether work causes happiness or unhappiness, though the researchers speculate the effect has to do with expectations and how a person measures success.

Okulicz-Kozaryn used surveys of European and American attitudes for the study. The surveys included questions about the number of hours worked and asked respondents to identify if they were “very happy,” “pretty happy” or “not too happy.”

They found that the likelihood of Europeans’ describing themselves as “very happy” dropped from around 28 percent to 23 percent as work hours climbed from under 17 hours a week to more than 60 hours per week. Americans, on the other hand, held steady, with about a 43 percent chance of describing themselves as happy regardless of working hours.

The results held even after the researchers accounted for possible confounding factors, such as age, marital status and household income….

[….]

“Happiness depends upon satisfaction with your income, satisfaction with you family life, satisfaction with your work, satisfaction with your health,” he said.

“People trade off work and leisure,” Easterlin explained, and so any attempt to explain the results of this study would have to take that into account. “[Happiness] has to do with what you think the goals are of people in the two countries.”

American happiness is a pursuit important enough to include in one of our Founding documents, right next to life and liberty. This “pursuit” we are use to (and is being harmed/deformed by the welfare state growing larger) creates innovation. For instance David Mamet notes the following:

In my family, as in yours, someone regularly says, “Hey, you know what would be a good idea … ?” And then proceeds to outline some scheme for making money by providing a product or service the need for which has just occurred to him. He and the family fantasize about and discuss and elaborate this scheme. Inherent in this fantasy is the unstated but ever-present truth that, given sufficient capital and expertise or the access to the same, the scheme might actually be put into operation (as, indeed, constantly, throughout our history, such schemes have), bettering the lives of the masses and bringing wealth to their creators. Do you believe such conversations take place in Syria? In France?

David Mamet, The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture (New York, NY: Sentinel Publishing, 2011), [FN] 120.

Some can be happy with less pay and trusting the state will care for them enough to go on 12-week vacations. While doctors, for instance, may enjoy a month-long vacation in France [mandatory vacation], this “happiness” rather than hard-work often has deadly consequences, one being — for instance — nearly 15,000 people dying in a heat wave in France in 2003 (a record for Europe… previously Italy held it with 3,000).

  • …Health Minister Jean-Francois Mattei has ordered a separate special study this month to look into a possible link with vacation schedules after doctors strongly denied allegations their absence put the elderly in danger. The heat wave hit during the August vacation period, when doctors, hospital staff and many others take leave…

So Europe being “happier” than the United States is something of a misnomer.

“Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” We pursue it, not expecting government to provide it for us. If government doeas, a simple economic law states — basically — that creativity is squelched:

  • “A fundamental principle of information theory is that you can’t guarantee outcomes… in order for an experiment to yield knowledge, it has to be able to fail. If you have guaranteed experiments, you have zero knowledge”

George GilderInterview by Dennis Prager {Editors note: this is how the USSR ended up with warehouses FULL of “widgets” (things made that it could not use or people did not want) no one needed in the real world.}

When people do, austerity more-often-than-not leads to riots and collapse. And why in many European countries the EU is being rejected, and conservative parties are getting landslides (like UKIP in the UK). People are fed up with horrible health care, no incentive to succeed, taxes, crime, and immigration issues. 

Okay, I feel my point has been made. Innovation comes by a drive to work hard, as much as you wish in fact… whereas Europe forces people to work less, and thus is stagnant in relation to this said innovation. What about crime rates and violence, yes, even gun violence? Lets see. Firstly, I deal with some of the more pressing issues with the Peace Index here. But in this conversation, I wanted to deal with violent crimes… which include more than gun violence. As Europe gives birth to a generation divorced of their cultural heritage, you will see a rise in violence, and then a rise in reaction to it. Maybe an over-reaction?

VIOLENCE

Firstly, if you are an in-depth kind of reader, at this link you will find multiple debates and appearances of John Lott on CNN and other programs discussing gun crime. But let’s deal with a place that has for years made gun ownership illegal, the United Kingdom. Here is the headline from The Telegraph on the topic:

UK is violent crime capital of Europe: The United Kingdom is the violent crime capital of Europe and has one of the highest rates of violence in the world, worse even than America, according to new research.

Analysis of figures from the European Commission showed a 77 per cent increase in murders, robberies, assaults and sexual offences in the UK since Labour came to power.

The total number of violent offences recorded compared to population is higher than any other country in Europe, as well as America, Canada, Australia and South Africa.

Opposition leaders said the disclosures were a “damning indictment” of the Government’s failure to tackle deep-rooted social problems.

The figures combined crime statistics for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The UK had a greater number of murders in 2007 than any other EU country – 927 – and at a relative rate higher than most western European neighbours, including France, Germany, Italy and Spain. 

 It also recorded the fifth highest robbery rate in the EU, and the highest absolute number of burglaries, with double the number of offences recorded in Germany and France.

Overall, 5.4 million crimes were recorded in the UK in 2007 – more than 10 a minute – second only to Sweden.

Chris Grayling, shadow home secretary, said: “This is a real damning indictment of this government’s comprehensive failure over more than a decade to tackle the deep rooted social problems in our society, and the knock-on effect on crime and anti-social behaviour.

“We’re now on our fourth Home Secretary in this parliament, and all we are getting is a rehash of old initiatives that didn’t work the first time round. More than ever Britain needs a change of direction.”

The figures were sourced from Eurostat, the European Commission’s database of statistics. They are gathered using official sources in the countries concerned such as the national statistics office, the national prison administration, ministries of the interior or justice, and police.

A breakdown of the statistics, which were compiled into league tables by the Conservatives, revealed that violent crime in the UK had increased from 652,974 offences in 1998 to more than 1.15 million crimes in 2007.

It means there are over 2,000 crimes recorded per 100,000 population in the UK, making it the most violent place in Europe.

Austria is second, with a rate of 1,677 per 100,000 people, followed by Sweden, Belgium, Finland and Holland.

By comparison, America has an estimated rate of 466 violent crimes per 100,000 population.

France recorded 324,765 violent crimes in 2007 – a 67 per cent increase in the past decade – at a rate of 504 per 100,000 population. 

…read more…

Which segways into a recent comparison in crime and gun-control in a Wall Street Journal article by Joyce Lee Malcolm, entitled: “Two Cautionary Tales of Gun Control: After a school massacre, the U.K. banned handguns in 1998. A decade later, handgun crime had doubled.” Here is an interview of her in regards to the article, followed by excerpts from said article:

Larry Elder Interview & Wall Street Journal Article

Here are portions of the article:

…Great Britain and Australia, for example, suffered mass shootings in the 1980s and 1990s. Both countries had very stringent gun laws when they occurred. Nevertheless, both decided that even stricter control of guns was the answer. Their experiences can be instructive.

In 1987, Michael Ryan went on a shooting spree in his small town of Hungerford, England, killing 16 people (including his mother) and wounding another 14 before shooting himself. Since the public was unarmed—as were the police—Ryan wandered the streets for eight hours with two semiautomatic rifles and a handgun before anyone with a firearm was able to come to the rescue.

Nine years later, in March 1996, Thomas Hamilton, a man known to be mentally unstable, walked into a primary school in the Scottish town of Dunblane and shot 16 young children and their teacher. He wounded 10 other children and three other teachers before taking his own life.

Since 1920, anyone in Britain wanting a handgun had to obtain a certificate from his local police stating he was fit to own a weapon and had good reason to have one. Over the years, the definition of “good reason” gradually narrowed. By 1969, self-defense was never a good reason for a permit.

After Hungerford, the British government banned semiautomatic rifles and brought shotguns—the last type of firearm that could be purchased with a simple show of fitness—under controls similar to those in place for pistols and rifles. Magazines were limited to two shells with a third in the chamber.

Dunblane had a more dramatic impact. Hamilton had a firearm certificate, although according to the rules he should not have been granted one. A media frenzy coupled with an emotional campaign by parents of Dunblane resulted in the Firearms Act of 1998, which instituted a nearly complete ban on handguns. Owners of pistols were required to turn them in. The penalty for illegal possession of a pistol is up to 10 years in prison.

The results have not been what proponents of the act wanted. Within a decade of the handgun ban and the confiscation of handguns from registered owners, crime with handguns had doubled according to British government crime reports. Gun crime, not a serious problem in the past, now is. Armed street gangs have some British police carrying guns for the first time. Moreover, another massacre occurred in June 2010. Derrick Bird, a taxi driver in Cumbria, shot his brother and a colleague then drove off through rural villages killing 12 people and injuring 11 more before killing himself.

[….]

Six weeks after the Dunblane massacre in 1996, Martin Bryant, an Australian with a lifelong history of violence, attacked tourists at a Port Arthur prison site in Tasmania with two semiautomatic rifles. He killed 35 people and wounded 21 others.

At the time, Australia’s guns laws were stricter than the United Kingdom’s. In lieu of the requirement in Britain that an applicant for permission to purchase a gun have a “good reason,” Australia required a “genuine reason.” Hunting and protecting crops from feral animals were genuine reasons—personal protection wasn’t.

With new Prime Minister John Howard in the lead, Australia passed the National Firearms Agreement, banning all semiautomatic rifles and semiautomatic and pump-action shotguns and imposing a more restrictive licensing system on other firearms. The government also launched a forced buyback scheme to remove thousands of firearms from private hands. Between Oct. 1, 1996, and Sept. 30, 1997, the government purchased and destroyed more than 631,000 of the banned guns at a cost of $500 million.

To what end? While there has been much controversy over the result of the law and buyback, Peter Reuter and Jenny Mouzos, in a 2003 study published by the Brookings Institution, found homicides “continued a modest decline” since 1997. They concluded that the impact of the National Firearms Agreement was “relatively small,” with the daily rate of firearms homicides declining 3.2%.

According to their study, the use of handguns rather than long guns (rifles and shotguns) went up sharply, but only one out of 117 gun homicides in the two years following the 1996 National Firearms Agreement used a registered gun. Suicides with firearms went down but suicides by other means went up. They reported “a modest reduction in the severity” of massacres (four or more indiscriminate homicides) in the five years since the government weapons buyback. These involved knives, gas and arson rather than firearms.

In 2008, the Australian Institute of Criminology reported a decrease of 9% in homicides and a one-third decrease in armed robbery since the 1990s, but an increase of over 40% in assaults and 20% in sexual assaults.

What to conclude? Strict gun laws in Great Britain and Australia haven’t made their people noticeably safer, nor have they prevented massacres. The two major countries held up as models for the U.S. don’t provide much evidence that strict gun laws will solve our problems.

Ms. Malcolm, a professor of law at George Mason University Law School, is the author of several books including “Guns and Violence: The English Experience,” (Harvard, 2002).

Of course America’s worst massacre involving a school is the Bath Bombing (below), Michigan (1927). And a bomb killed 168 people in the Oklahoma City Bombing. So if someone wants to kill another… no amount of government regulation will decrease this fact:

  • “…we have no government, armed with power, capable of contending with human passions, unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge and licentiousness would break the strongest cords of our Constitution, as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

John Adams, first (1789–1797) Vice President of the United States, and the second (1797–1801) President of the United States. Letter to the Officers of the First Brigade of the Third Division of the Militia of Massachusetts, 11 October 1798, in Revolutionary Services and Civil Life of General William Hull (New York, 1848), pp 265-6.

Detroit Police Chief, `Arm Yourselves`

A great admission via HotAir:

James Craig just took over the office of police chief last summer, but he’s already making waves in Detroit. A reorganization of the police force in the bankrupt metropolis has resulted in a higher clearance rate in murder cases, and the murder rate dropped almost 14% in 2013 from its two-decade high in 2012. However, Craig has some advice for his fellow citizens in Motor City if they really want a drop in crime — arm yourselves:

If more citizens were armed, criminals would think twice about attacking them, Detroit Police Chief James Craig said Thursday.

Urban police chiefs are typically in favor of gun control or reluctant to discuss the issue, but Craig on Thursday was candid about how he’s changed his mind.

“When we look at the good community members who have concealed weapons permits, the likelihood they’ll shoot is based on a lack of confidence in this Police Department,” Craig said at a press conference at police headquarters, adding that he thinks more Detroit citizens feel safer, thanks in part to a 7 percent drop in violent crime in 2013.

Craig wasn’t always in favor of carry permits. While serving in Los Angeles, where permits are issued on a notoriously miserly (and some would add arbitrary) manner, Craig thought that disarmament was the answer. It wasn’t until he went to a carry-friendly jurisdiction that he understood the difference:

Craig said he started believing that legal gun owners can deter crime when he became police chief in Portland, Maine, in 2009.

“Coming from California (Craig was on the Los Angeles police force for 28 years), where it takes an act of Congress to get a concealed weapon permit, I got to Maine, where they give out lots of CCWs (carrying concealed weapon permits), and I had a stack of CCW permits I was denying; that was my orientation.

“I changed my orientation real quick. Maine is one of the safest places in America. Clearly, suspects knew that good Americans were armed.”

It’s not the first time that Craig has endorsed carry permits. Two weeks ago, the Detroit News notes, he told a local radio show that responsibly armed citizens act as a deterrent, in a city that can clearly use one. Even though the murder rate has dropped, Detroit had as many homicides in 2013 as New York City, which has more than ten times its population.

[….]

At least one recent study suggests that Craig hits the nail on the head. A long-range study by a Quinnipiac University economist shows that states with more restrictions on firearm ownership and carry permits had higher murder rates by guns than gun-friendly states, and suggests that increasing restrictions on concealed-carry permits pushes the murder rate up, not down. It also showed that assault-weapons bans had no effect on murder rates.

Perhaps more police chiefs will change their orientation with this information at hand. State legislatures should get ahead of that curve.

…read more…

John Lott Interviews/Exchanges ~ Listen, Learn, Memorize

John Lott, the gun advocate who recently had a heated encounter with Piers Morgan, spoke to Soledad O’Brien on Monday morning — continuing to make his pro-gun argument. O’Brien had a hard time stomaching Lott’s perspective, telling him she simply does not understand it.

Heated debate with Piers Morgan, John Lott:

John Lott on CNN’s State of the Union w/ Wolf Blitzer discussing gun control and the Sandy Hook elementary school mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

Dr John Lott on High Octane.

In the sad and tragic aftermath of the Newtown, Connecticut elementary school shooting, it’s only natural for the more ignorant among us to immediately begin calling for an attack on our Second Amendment right to bear arms even before the bodies of the innocent little angels are removed from the classroom where they were slaughtered by an insane killer. But these people completely ignore the rights of millions of law-abiding, normal American citizens to defend themselves against such insanity, as well as all the cases where lawfully armed citizens have done so. Mark Levin discusses gun control with John Lott, author of More Guns, Less Crime.