1/29/2015

My newest piece at Fox News starts this way:
Terrorists can strike anywhere and at any time, giving them a huge strategic advantage.Unfortunately, too many politicians around the world are refusing to admit this.
After the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris earlier this month, France placed 10,000 uniformed soldiers in front of Jewish sites across the country.  Unfortunately, this is unlikely to be very effective. 
Israel learned this lesson the hard way. For several decades after its founding, Israel responded by putting more soldiers and armed police on the streets. Unfortunately, a mass killer can wait for officers to leave the scene or to kill the uniformed officers first. No matter how much money Israel spent, terrorists could wait patiently until they see an opening to attack. 
Today, in Israel, over 12 percent of adult Jewish civilians are licensed to carry firearms.  This complicates things for terrorists, as they don’t know who might be able to stop them. 
Possibly this lesson is why this past week a leading European rabbi, Menachem Margolin, called for European Jews to be able to carry handguns.  Of course, in countries that won’t even let off-duty police carry guns, that isn’t going to happen. . . . .
The rest of the piece is available here.

Labels:

Iowa's concealed handgun permits soar 450 percent since 2010

From an article at Fox News:
In 2010, Iowa's numbers were just shy of 40,000, but according to data from the Iowa Department of Public Safety, last year the number crested 220,000. In 2011 alone, the number of permits issued in the state more than doubled. 
Nationally, a report by the Crime Prevention Research Center found that between 2007 and 2014 found there was a 127-percent increase in gun permit holders in America. However, in the same time period, Iowa saw over 400 percent growth in permit holders. Ross Loder, the bureau chief of the weapons permits division of the Iowa Department of Public Safety, says is likely due to a change in state gun permit laws. . . .

Labels:

1/27/2015

Yet another example of why it can pay to be able to fire many bullets in self defense

Here is a homeowner who faced to armed men breaking into his home at 12:30 AM.  A total of 30 shots were fired.  Limiting this homeowner to 7 or 10 shots might have been the difference between life and death.  As I have pointed out before, this type of case is not that uncommon.  From KHOU in Houston, Texas:
. . . The homeowner told authorities he was sleeping when two men kicked in his front door. 
According to investigators, the homeowner grabbed his pistol and began firing shots at the criminals from the top of the stairs. 
"It's our understanding he was quite scared and terrified, in fear of his life. He discharged his weapon, and as they retreated, they shot back," said Assistant Chief Mark Herman with Harris County Precinct 4. 
The men reportedly fired repeatedly at the homeowner before they fled in a 2015 Dodge pickup. 
Deputies said no one was hurt, despite more than two dozen shots being unloaded. 
"I don't know what to expect next," said neighbor Dale Bahn. "There's a lot of people that have guns in their homes. In this area, there are several gun owners and a gun club." . . .

Labels:

Masked gunman fatally shot as he tried breaking into home at midnight

The masked, armed, home invader here apparently was suspected in another murder.  Fortunately, the home owner was able to protect himself after he was shot.  From Chester, Pennsylvania (the Delaware County Daily Times):
Police are investigating the fatal shooting of a 26-year-old man late Sunday during a confrontation in which he is believed to have tried to force his way into a city home.Terrance Reason was identified as the man who was fatally shot at about 11:46 p.m. in the 1100 block of Walnut Street.
According to police, a masked gunman, later identified as Reason, tried to force his way into a house in that block. The occupants held the door closed, preventing him from entering, according to Captain Anita Amaro.
Reason raised his arm and began firing, striking a 30-year-old male occupant in the leg, police said. The wounded man returned fire, striking Reason in the shoulder, according to police.
Reason fled from the scene, but later showed up at Crozer-Chester Medical Center. He was taken into surgery, where he died, police said.
The 30-year-old victim was transported to CCMC, where he was listed in stable condition.
Investigators had long eyed Reason as a suspect in the October 12, 2010, shooting death of Whylisha Foreman, but he was never charged, according to police sources. . . .
Thanks to Rick Valent for the link.

Labels:

1/24/2015

Michigan's Right-to-work law slowly reducing unionization

Between 2013 and 2014, the number of workers represented by unions fell by 25,000, the number of union members fell by 48,000 (an 11% drop).  To put it differently, 96.4% of those covered by unions were previously members and now it is down to 92.7%.  Since the right-to-work law only applies when union contracts have to be renegotiated and most contracts last three years, the drop will continue for at least a while over time.  In addition, as more people leave the union, it will probably reduce the social pressure on others to remain in it.  After four or five years, we will probably have a much better measure of how much additional freedom workers in Michigan have gotten.

Labels:

1/18/2015

Obama administration won't let Hobby Lobby decision apply to Religious groups, says just closely held corporations can exercise religious freedom

It seem pretty clear that the Obama administration is just being punitive and make religious organizations bear the legal costs of going to court.  From Fox News:
The Obama administration says faith-based nonprofits should comply with ObamaCare’s birth-control mandate because they have more leeway than the corporations that won a Supreme Court ruling on the issue last year. 
Government attorneys made the argument on Thursday to the Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, after pro-life ministry Priests for Life asked the court to reconsider a ruling it made last fall that requires religious nonprofits to object in writing to regulations that require employer health care plans to insure contraceptives . . .

Labels: ,

1/16/2015

Terrorist attacks that almost occurred -- the lesson is that there are a lot of possible targets

If there is one lesson from these news stories is that there are a lot of targets for terrorists to hit.  Before going through the newest stories here is a bit of a review.

We are living in a new era.  In May, four people were shot dead at the Jewish Museum in Brussels.  In September, there were beheadings in Oklahoma and London.  October was even worse: a car attack in Quebec, a shooting in Ottawa, a hatchet assault in New York City, and a knife attack that left five dead at an Israeli synagogue.  This is but a sample.  

Now this week we have these stories:

From Fox News:
An alleged sympathizer of the Islamic State terror group was arrested in Ohio on Wednesday after authorities learned that he was plotting a shooting and bombing attack on the U.S. Capitol. 
Christopher Lee Cornell, 20, of Green Township, considered members of Congress as "enemies," and planned to travel to Washington to kill employees and officers working in and around the U.S. Capitol, according to a criminal complaint. Authorities said he had two semi-automatic rifles and about 600 rounds of ammunition, and planned to build and detonate pipe bombs at and near the U.S. Capitol. . . .
Meanwhile in Oklahoma a police chief was killed by another ISIS sympathizer.
An Oklahoma police chief survived being shot several times because he was handed a bulletproof vest just moments before entering the home of the suspect who posted statements about ISIS on social media. 
NewsOK.com reported that the Sentinel Police Chief Louis Ross was responding to the home linked to an earlier bomb threat. While police cleared out the house, they were confronted in one of the bedrooms and shots were fired. 
Ross was hit several times in the chest and arm. A man and his wife were arrested.
Authorities described the shooting suspect as a man in his 30s who posted statements on social media about ISIS. . . .
Also in Belgium:
Belgian authorities were searching for clues early Friday after police killed two in raids aimed at jihadists returning from Syria who were planning to launch a "Belgian Charlie Hebdo" attack, officials said. 
Police were searching in Verviers, where the raid took place, and the greater Brussels area as part of a weeklong investigation that started well before the terrorism spree last week that led to 17 deaths in the Paris area. The Belgian operations had no apparent link to the terrorist acts committed in France. 
And, unlike the Paris terrorists, who attacked the office of a satirical newspaper and a kosher grocery store, the suspects in Belgium were reportedly aiming at hard targets: police installations. . . . 

Labels:

1/15/2015

Papa John's lets pizza delivery woman who shot armed robber keep her job, Police: "She had no other choice"

As the police say, the pizza delivery woman "had no other choice" and she would have been in real danger if she hadn't had her concealed handgun permit.  From Fox News:
The employee was making a delivery in Decatur, Ga., Sunday night when a man approached her vehicle, forcing her onto the ground at gunpoint, according to the DeKalb County Police Department. The woman, who had a gun in her pocket, was able to fire at the man while on the ground -- striking the alleged assailant, identified as 24-year-old Donquaz Stevenson, in the face. 
Stevenson was later found in a neighbor's yard and arrested, according to police, who said the pizza delivery might have been a setup. Local media outlets reported that a second suspect carjacked the delivery woman's silver 2000 Honda Accord and remains on the run. 
Stevenson was charged with armed robbery and was being treated for a gunshot wound at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta. 
The delivery woman's mother had told WSB-TV her daughter is worried she may lose her job because she was carrying a firearm at work for protection. . . . 
"She had no other choice. She must have been in fear for her life and she reacted," Capt. Stephen Fore with the DeKalb County Police Department told WSB-TV.  . . .

Labels:

Leading European Rabbi calls for Jews to be able to carry handguns

Putting 10,000 French soldiers in front of Jewish facilities will offer little protection as terrorists have control over where and when they attack.  Terrorists have important strategic advantages in picking the time and place for attacks.  Putting uniformed guards at places mean that terrorists will either kill these guards first or wait for them to leave an area before an attack occurs. From Israel National News:
A prominent European rabbi has called on governments to relax gun-licensing legislation to allow Jews to carry firearms for self-defense, following last week's deadly Paris attacks and amid rising anti-Semitism on the continent. 
Rabbi Menachem Margolin wrote to the governments of all EU-member states urging a change in the law to allow special gun permits for Jews at risk. 
In the letter Rabbi Margolin, who is director general of the Rabbinical Centre of Europe (RCE) and the European Jewish Association (EJA), wrote:  
"We hereby ask that gun licensing laws are reviewed with immediate effect to allow designated people in the Jewish communities and institutions to own weapons for the essential protection of their communities, as well as receiving the necessary training to protect their members from potential terror attacks." 
In a statement to Newsweek, which obtained a copy of the letter, Rabbi Margolin added that he believes that "as many people within the Jewish community as possible" should carry weapons. . . .

Labels: , ,

1/13/2015

Gun control advocates attack American Hero Chris Kyle

What could possibly justify these vicious comments?  Will gun control advocates keep this movie from "the Oscar spotlight"?  From Fox Nation:
. . . The Washington-based Coalition to Stop Gun Violence has given critics of the upcoming movie a Facebook outlet to rant about the subject of the movie, sniper Chris Kyle, killed after the leaving the military and while he was at a gun range with a vet suffering from PTSD. 
“Good Riddance,” wrote one. “What goes around comes around,” sneered another. 
Kyle is an American hero, a sniper so effective in Iraq that terrorists put a bounty on his head. But the movie is a liberal’s nightmare and the anti-gun coalition’s supporters have been eager to condemn it and keep it out of the Oscar spotlight. . . .
Chris Kyle's widow has her reaction to the new movie here

Labels:

1/09/2015

Note that the places Al Queda has discussed attacking in the US are places where few permitted concealed handguns are allowed

From Yahoo News:
Al Qaeda militants in Syria are plotting attacks to inflict mass casualties in the West, possibly against transport systems or "iconic targets", the head of Britain's MI5 Security Service said on Thursday.Speaking after gunmen killed 12 people in an assault on a French satirical newspaper, MI5 boss Andrew Parker warned a strike on the United Kingdom was highly likely. . . .
From the Daily Beast:
In the Spring 2014 issue, for example, Inspire proposed attacking cities and military facilities in northern Virginia, the site of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, and targets in Los Angeles and Chicago. . . .
 In Los Angeles, there are only about 240 concealed handgun permits in an adult population of about 8 million people.  In Chicago, it costs about $500 to go through the process of getting a concealed handgun permit.

Labels:

1/06/2015

Newest piece in Investors' Business Daily: "Do Blacks Really Feel Especially Distrustful Of Cops?"

My newest piece in Investors' Business Daily starts this way:
With chants of "NYPD, KKK" and signs saying "Stop Racist Police Terror" up until days before Christmas, protesters in New York made it clear that they don't trust the police.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's second inaugural address was blunt: 
"The truth is the justice system does need review. The truth is there are troubling questions that have been raised which must be answered." 
But despite the overwhelming political and media rhetoric and the polls, there is strong evidence that blacks trust police at least as much as whites do. 
If you looked only at recent polls by Gallup and Pew, there is no question: blacks clearly don't trust police. 
Blacks were asked to explain why black males go to prison so much. Compared to other Americans, blacks were 29% more likely to say it was more a matter of racial discrimination than it was about the disproportionate number of crimes committed by black males. Blacks are much more likely to say that police treat blacks less fairly than whites. Blacks are also more likely to believe that the police are dishonest. 
The media have also bombarded people with "evidence" that blacks are discriminated against. Take the widely reported false claim that black men between the ages of 15 and 19 are 21 times as likely as whites to be killed by a police officer. Few note that these numbers are based on just 1.2% of police departments and that the ones that do report represent very heavily black urban areas. 
Politicians have supported these fears. After the Ferguson grand jury verdict, President Obama emphasized that the anger about the verdict was "an understandable reaction" and blacks' distrust of police is "rooted in realities." 
But what people say and what they do are often very different. 
A great many blacks say that Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown were innocent and unarmed. But that doesn't mean that they act like that they all believe it. . . .

The rest of the piece is available here.

Labels: , ,

Bloomberg's gun control groups explain their strategy: focus on the states

Gun control advocates are going for a state by state approach, following along what homosexual rights groups have done.  The left wing Salon had this interview with Bloomberg's Shannon Watts:
. . . If you look at what we’ve done in the states alone — in 2013, we helped close the background check loophole in several states (Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New York) … and then we built on that this year. We got six different states, red and blue, to pass laws that would keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers. And those were signed by [governors] from both parties … And then we went to Washington State where our moms were a huge part of the success of getting I-594 passed with 60 percent of the vote … And this is something we can take to two-dozen other states … to get [similar] initiatives passed there … We passed a critical gun-violence restraining bill in California, which is a prototype that we can take to other states … 
We have had huge success with our corporate campaigns. We decided that this was very much a cultural issue, so we took this issue to companies and said, You need to have policies around guns just like you do [for] attire, outside food, smoking, etc. And just in the last year we’ve gotten Target, Chipotle, Starbucks, Sonic, Jack in the Box, Chili’s — we’ve gotten all these major retailers and restaurants to say, We don’t want open-carry in our stores (in fact, some of them have said they don’t want any guns in their stores). 
If you look at how the acceptance of gay marriage came to be in this country, it was just like this; this is pretty much the playbook. You bypass Congress, you go straight to companies, you go straight to the state legislatures, you build a huge amount of momentum, you educate voters about this issue, and when they go out to the polls in 2016, hopefully you get a Congress in place that’s going to do the right thing. Maybe they’ll do the right thing before that, but we’re not going to rest on our laurels. . . .
The errors in this are quite numerous.  None of the states that they point to are "red" states.  An analysis of the 594 initiative is available here.  An analysis of the California restraining order is available here.

The claims in the second paragraph about the success in their corporate campaign are simply false (see herehere, and here.

Labels: ,

The subsidy for students going to state colleges keeps going up and up

Click on figure to enlarge it.

A lot is being made about the fact that students at public universities are covering a greater percentage of the costs of their education.  But students still only cover 25% of costs. The Washington Post makes a big deal about the fact that the share of state funded university expenditures that the students cover is more than that covered by states? 

The problem is that people are only covering a tiny fraction of the cost of their education. Going from 17% to 25% of costs is an improvement, but the absolute size of the subsidy has increased. Why should we be increasing the absolute size of the subsidy for the future wealthy (those who graduate from college will earn above average incomes)? All state college expenditures would have to go up by only 11 percent from 2003 to 2012 for the absolute subsidy to have gone up. In fact, inflation went up by 25% over that time. If that was how much state college costs went up (we can dream that they only went up that much), the total subsidy increased 13% faster than what students paid.

I haven't taken the time to look it up, but clearly university expenditures have gone up by much more than inflation over that period of time.

Labels: ,

1/04/2015

New York State claims that insomnia is sufficient mental illness for retired cop to have his guns taken away

A decorated retired New York cop is suing the state for taking away his guns.  From Fox News:
. . . Donald Montgomery’s lawsuit contends that Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other state officials violated his Second Amendment rights when his guns were seized after a brief hospital stay for insomnia. Montgomery, a cop for 30 years and a U.S. Navy veteran, brought the lawsuit in Rochester Federal Court on Dec. 17, according to the Daily Caller
The SAFE Act became law with little public debate after Cuomo convinced lawmakers that New York needed to do something after the mass shooting at the Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Conn. 
Montgomery was the owner of four guns -- a Colt .38 handgun, a Derringer .38, a Glock 26 9-mm. and a Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 380. 
His troubles started when he visited a Long Island hospital in May complaining of insomnia. He was discharged with a diagnosis of “depression, insomnia” and then returned a short time later for a 48-hour stay. The lawsuit says that during that visit, staff erroneously listed him as an “involuntary admission,” triggering the SAFE Act reporting provision. Those deemed at-risk for owning guns by mental health professionals have to be reported and their names entered into a database. 
The lawsuit claims Montgomery should not have been reported because he was not a threat to himself or others. The suit says a hospital psychiatrist told him “You don’t belong here” and “I don’t know why you were referred here.” . . .

Labels: ,

Homeowner shots to death home invader, defends pregnant fiancé

This might not have gone as smoothly as one would want, but against two robbers it isn't clear what other option this many had.  From TheIndyChannel ABC Channel 6:
. . . IMPD [Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department] officers were called to a residence on the 3100 block of East 10th Street at 10:23 p.m. Sunday on a report of shots fired. 
The caller reportedly told police they had shot someone who attempted to rob them.
Officers arrived on scene to find an unidentified male with apparent gunshot wounds.
Homicide detectives said the suspect forced his way into the victim's apartment, pulled his gun and disarmed the would-be victim. But the victim and his pregnant fiancé wrestled the gun back and shot the suspect. 
The suspect, identified as Dequan Cummings, of Indianapolis, was pronounced dead at the scene. . . . 
Meanwhile, police are looking for second robbery suspect. Because of the death of the other suspect, the second suspect will face felony murder charges when captured, RTV6's Jack Rinehart reported. . . .

Labels:

1/03/2015

Armed smash and grab cell phone thieves stopped by armed employee

St. Louis has been plagued for years by armed robbers who break into cell phone stores and steal all the cell phones that they can grab. An example from June 2013 is available here.  Here is the police account from a robbery today:
. . . An employee arrived to start work and saw two men in a Mitsubishi Diamante drive into the front glass door of the store. The men then entered the store carrying bags, followed by a third man who had exited a Jeep Cherokee. Once inside the store, the men began to smash out the glass on the counters where cell phones were stored. The employee retrieved a firearm and began shooting at the burglars, hitting one. The trio dropped the bags and ran from the store. The cell phones were all recovered. . . . .
These robberies with the thieves smashing their cars through store windows must be pretty scary.

Thanks to Tony Troglio for the link. 

Labels:

1/02/2015

Democrat Gubernatorial Candidate in Texas, Wendy Davis, just said that she supported open carry as a way to win political support, she didn't really believe it

This past June, Wendy Davis painted herself as being pro-gun on many issues (from open carry to allowing permitted concealed handguns to be stored in people's cars on college campuses to reducing training for permits).  Democrats, of course, denied the claim that Davis was really anti-gun and just pretending to be pro-self defense.  As the argument went this past summer, from Politico:
Rising Democratic star and gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis has joined her top Republican rival in supporting a proposed "open carry" law. It would allow people with concealed handgun licenses to wear a pistol on their hip, in full view, while in public. 
Davis has said she supports expanding gun rights in Texas. In a statement to the Associated Press, she said that includes open-carry — a position that puts her at odds with her own party but could keep her from alienating gun rights advocates in a deeply conservative state where the Second Amendment is sacrosanct. . . . 
Davis, who said she keeps a gun at her home for protection, supported legislation last year to allow college students with concealed handgun licenses to keep their weapons in their cars. She also voted for reduced training requirements to get such a license. 
Still, gun rights advocates were skeptical. Texas State Rifle Association spokeswoman Alice Tripp noted Davis' previous calls for more restrictions on gun show sales and past votes against allowing concealed license holders to carry their guns in classrooms and buildings on college campuses. 
"Wendy Davis has a very bad record as far as gun owners go," Tripp said, calling Davis an "opportunist." 
Abbott spokesman Adviel Huerta expressed a similar sentiment. . . . 
But veteran Democratic consultant Harold Cook said Abbott supporters have already tried to portray Davis as anti-gun. 
"If the issue isn't important to you, then it would be smart to take it off the table by saying, 'Me, too; now let's go back to talking about education and how we fund road building and the stuff the mainstream of Texas is really concerned with,'" he said. . . .
Well, now Davis says that she really didn't believe her promise and just said it to get elected.  She told the San Antonio newspaper:
"There is one thing that I would do differently in that campaign, and it relates to the position that I took on open carry. I made a quick decision on that with a very short conversation with my team and it wasn't really in keeping with what I think is the correct position on that issue." . . . 
Note: I am not a big fan of open carry, so it isn't upsetting to me that she didn't support it, but saying she did when she really didn't is the problem. 

Labels: