2/28/2015

Greg Gutfeld gives a shoutout on The Five to my research

The text of Gutfeld's monologue is available here. Greg's discussion about our work is at 4:35 into the video.

At about 3:00 into the video, Juan William claims that “half of killings are done by families,” it is completely wrong. In the latest year the data is available, 2013, if you add up murders involving Husband, Wife, Mother, Father, Son, Daughter, Brother, or Sister, you get a total of 1,419. That same year there were 12,253 murders. So rather than 50%, we are talking about 11.5%. If you include "other relatives," including up to cousins twice removed, you can get the percent up to 13.6%.

Juan’s claim has been something that gun control advocates have pushed to make people afraid of those that they know having guns. What people should really be worried about is relatives who have violent criminal records. 90% of adult murderers have an adult violent criminal record.

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Newest piece in the Pittsburg Tribune Review: Comments on FBI Director James Comey's recent speech on police and race

My newest piece in the starts this way:
FBI Director James Comey's recent speech on police and race was about as politically incorrect a speech as you will get these days from a high-ranking government official. Comey acknowledges “the existence of unconscious (racial) bias,” but he doesn't think that racism is responsible for so many blacks being in jail.
Unlike President Obama, he doesn't see a need to change the way police are trained. Comey recognizes that there are real problems, but he believes they arise from drugs, underperforming schools and unemployment.
Comey's comments are at odds with what blacks are telling pollsters. Compared with other Americans, blacks were 29 percent more likely to primarily attribute the disproportionate imprisonment of blacks to racial discrimination. Blacks are much more likely to say that police treat blacks less fairly than whites. And blacks are also more likely to believe that the police are dishonest. . . .
There is actually strong evidence that blacks trust police at least as much as whites do. What people say and what they do are often very different. . . .
The rest of the piece is available here.

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2/24/2015

Newest Fox News piece: Police are extremely Law-abiding, but concealed handgun permit holders are even more so

My newest piece at Fox News starts this way:
. . . Gun control advocates just can’t accept the fact that concealed handgun permit holders are incredibly law-abiding.  The New York Times’ recent attack on permit holders is typical.  It is filled with triple-counting of legitimate self-defense cases. Murders or suicides by permit holders are blamed on guns, even when no gun was involved.  In point of fact, permit holders are incredibly law-abiding.  Some new evidence puts things in perspective. 
Police are the single most important factor for reducing crime, but even police commit crimes on very rare occasions.  Even more law-abiding than police, however, are permit holders. 
According to a study in Police Quarterly, the period from January 1, 2005 to December 31, 2007 saw an average of 703 crimes by police per year. 113 of these involved firearms violations.  This is likely to be an underestimate since not all police crimes receive media coverage. The authors of the study may also have missed some media reports. 
So how law-abiding are police?  With about 570,000 full-time police officers in the US at that time, that translates into about 124 crimes by police per hundred thousand officers.  For the US population as a whole over those years, the crime rate was 31 times higher -- 3,813 per hundred thousand people. 
Perhaps police crimes are underreported due to leniency from fellow officers, but the gap between police and the general citizenry is so vast that this couldn’t account for more than a small fraction of the difference. 
Concealed carry permit holders are even more law-abiding.  Between October 1, 1987 and January 31, 2015, Florida revoked 9,366 concealed handgun permits for misdemeanors or felonies. This is an annual rate of 12.5 per 100,000 permit holders -- a mere tenth of the rate at which officers commit misdemeanors and felonies. In Texas in 2012, the last year the data is available, 120 permit holders were convicted of misdemeanors or felonies – a rate of 20.5 per 100,000, still just a sixth of the rate for police. . . .
The rest of the piece is available here.

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Newest Chicago Tribune piece: "Take a gun to the mall"

My newest piece at the Chicago Tribune starts this way:
Over the weekend Somali terrorists threatened to attack the Mall of America in Minnesota. They called for a massacre similar to the 2013 Westgate shopping mall attack in Nairobi, Kenya, that killed and injured scores of people. With the large Somali population in the Twin Cities area, the threat is hard to ignore. 
On Sunday, when asked a couple of times if Americans should still go to the mall, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson would only say: "I'm not telling people to not go to the mall."
Unfortunately, Americans have learned little from terrorist attacks like this. Mall of America officials think that by posting signs banning permitted concealed handguns that they are making the mall safer. They seem to believe that terrorists will obey these signs. 
Right after the Kenya attack, Ronald Noble, the secretary-general of Interpol, which is a world version of the FBI and headquartered in Lyon, France, noted two means of protecting people from mass shootings. "One is to say we want an armed citizenry; you can see the reason for that. Another is to say the enclaves (should be) so secure that in order to get into the soft target, you're going to have to pass through extraordinary security."
But Noble warned that his experience taught him that it was virtually impossible to stop killers from getting weapons and that "you can't have armed police forces everywhere." 
"It makes citizens question their views on gun control," he noted. "You have to ask yourself, 'Is an armed citizenry more necessary now than it was in the past, with an evolving threat of terrorism?'" . . .
The rest of the piece is available here (sign-in required, but no fee is required).

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2/20/2015

Appearance on the Steve Malzberg Show: How guns help stop terrorism and the New York Times makes embarrassing mistakes

I was on the Steve Malzberg TV show on NewsMaxTV today.  The video of the show is available here.
Founder and president of the Crime Prevention Research Center and author of "More Guns, Less Crime" joins Steve to discuss how guns are helping to stop terrorists and how The New York Times is making up anti-gun information as well as whether or not the ATF is trying to neuter certain ammunitions in the U.S.

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Pharmacist uses permitted concealed handgun to defend a store full of workers and customers

From WCHS ABC TV in Kanawha County, West Virginia on Thursday, February 19th:
. . . Eight people were inside the pharmacy in Pinch when the suspect came through the door about 9:45 a.m.
Kanawha deputies said the man, identified by Kanawha deputies as Terry Gillenwater, 25, of Quick, was wearing a mask over his face. He stood in line for a few moments before producing a handgun and pointing it directly at the counter workers.
Radcliff said he was standing just a few feet away. He drew his own weapon, firing three times, hitting the suspect twice and one shot actually hit the man's gun as he was aiming to fire back.
On Thursday, he is back on the job, shaken, but trying to move forward. . . .
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2/19/2015

Newest piece at Fox News: "Let’s not be so quick to believe gun-control rhetoric"

My newest piece at Fox News on the New York Times reporting the latest Violence Policy Center claims starts this way:
People walking the streets with guns pose a danger to others, right? With 12 million Americans across all 50 states now having concealed handgun permits, one would think that this question would have been settled one way or another.
In fact, contrary to the rhetoric by gun-control organizations, permit holders almost never use their guns to commit violent crimes.
Last Wednesday, The New York Times claimed “there should be no disputing” a new report, which claims there were 722 gun deaths nationwide from May 2007 to February 2015 that were not self-defense. The Times asserts: “The full death toll attributable to concealed carry is undoubtedly larger.”
The Times was too quick to trust the Violence Policy Center report.  A cursory Google search would have shown the Violence Policy Center has a history of making up numbers.
The VPC keeps a record of permit holder abuses in each state. Take the claimed worst state, Michigan. The VPC cites state police and media reports indicating that permit holders committed 277 suicides or murders during the period from 2007 through 2015 (217 suicides and 60 murders). If accurate, a 38 percent share of all 722 deaths nationwide that the VPC attributed to permitted concealed handguns occurred in Michigan.
But suicides are not in any meaningful way linked to the act of carrying a permitted concealed handgun . . . .
The rest of the piece is available here.
UPDATE: AWR Hawkins extensively discusses of our analysis at Breitbart.com.  His discussion starts this way:
The Crime Prevention Research Center’s John Lott explains that the VPC study is written in a way that heightens crime numbers among concealed carry permit holders by lumping suicides and murders together in the states studied. . . .

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2/17/2015

Leading anti-gun attorney arrested after airport security found handgun in carry-on bag

His explanation for why he has a gun in his carry-on bag seems very credible.  It is interesting that he appears to have been in the process of getting a concealed handgun permit.  From the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
A prominent Cleveland civil rights attorney was arrested Saturday at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport in connection with carrying a concealed weapon. 
David Malik was arrested about 4:15 p.m. after airport security found an unloaded .22 caliber handgun and a box of ammunition in his carry-on bag, records show. 
"I participated in a target shooting class recently with a certified CCW instructor and I simply forgot to remove it from my bag," Malik said in a statement. "I used the bag to pack for my trip. It was a stupid mistake." 
Malik spent Saturday night in jail and was released on bond Sunday morning, according to Steve Loomis, president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association.  
He is scheduled to appear at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday in Cleveland Municipal Court. 
"What's interesting about David is he is such an anti-gun person," Loomis said.  . . .
UPDATE:  From today.  He seems to be agreeing that he accidentally carried the gun in his carry-on bad, so it isn't clear why he is pleading not guilty.  From the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
A prominent civil rights attorney based in Cleveland pleaded not guilty to a felony gun charge Tuesday after police said he brought a gun and ammunition in a carry-on bag at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport Saturday. . . .  

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2/16/2015

So how cold have the last couple of winters been?: One measure looking at the percent of the Great Lakes that are frozen over

(Click on figure to enlarge.)

The percent of the Great Lakes that have frozen over provides one measure of how consistently cold the winter has been.  The Great Lakes also cover a very large area of North America so colder temperatures in just Chicago won't get you into the 80 or 90 percent range of the lakes that are frozen over.  The NOAA data used in the top graph only go back to 2009 (which is very similar to 2010).

Currently, the percent of the Great Lakes that are frozen over is the second highest this decade.  The new blast of arctic air headed down this week will surely increase the percent of the Great Lakes frozen above 80 percent and is likely to put the percent frozen over the level in 2014.


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Help the person helping run Students for Concealed Carry replace her laptop

I met Crayle Vanest this past summer at the Students for Concealed Carry convention in August.  She was extremely important in getting the convention going and she is still working to get the organization going.  In any case, her laptop broke and she is trying to get people to help her replace it.  You can go here to help.

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2/15/2015

If all the Democrats who previously voted for Concealed Carry Reciprocity vote for it again, it would be one vote short in the Senate

In 2013, Senator Cornyn's Concealed Carry Reciprocity bill received 57 votes, three short of the 60 it needed for passage.  Thirteen Democrats voted for it, though seven of them have been defeated.  With 53 Republican votes (assuming that all the new Republicans vote "yes" and Mark Kirk from Illinois continues to vote "no"), that would give 59 votes for the bill.  Can the bill pick up Kirk or one more Democrat? The only new Democrat is Gary Peters for Michigan, but he seems to be a very unlikely vote.

The votes in 2013 are shown below.


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2/14/2015

Is "Fifty Shades of Grey" a chick flick?: Female movie reviewers much more likely to like this movie then men

Among top critics the breakdown on Rotten Tomatoes

Men -- 4 positive out of 23 reviews -- 17% positive
Females - 9 positive out of 20 reviews -- 45% positive

A 28 percentage point difference is pretty large.

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2/10/2015

Woman with handgun saves the life of her boyfriend after attacker slashes his throat

From Fox News about an attack on January 17th in Racine County, Wisconsin:
. . . Dale Parker and his girlfriend Danell Hintz know first hand that guns can and do save lives. In the dark of the night on January 17, Parker awoke to the sight of a man standing over him with a knife. The former Marine couldn't do much from his position in bed, but began to fight the vicious intruder right away. 
“I automatically sprung up and started fighting the guy right off the bat. It was fight or die,” 57 year old Parker said. Having served in the Marines and working in an auto shop made him both trained in combat fighting and strong to fend off the attack, but he believes Hintz' actions that night ultimately saved his life. 
A year earlier, Danell Hintz applied for a Concealed Carry Permit and with it, received the proper training to handle the firearm per the Wisconsin DOJ Concealed Weapons License requirements. At first, she woke thinking Parker was having a nightmare, but after realizing he was under attack, she immediately reached for the handgun on her nightstand. 
“I didn’t think I just grabbed the gun,” Hintz said. She pointed the firearm at the intruder, but Parker was in her way, still fending off the attack and bleeding profusely from the large gash across his throat. . . .

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Talks that I will giving this week

1) St. Thomas University School of Law (Miami, Florida): Gun Control Laws in America: Do They Work? Speakers: John R. Lott Jr. and TBD Date: Tuesday, February 10, 2015 at Noon Location: Moot Court Room.
2) Kennesaw State University (Kennesaw, Georgia):
a) Wednesday, February 11, from 12:30 to 1:45 PM: “Why Criminals and Terrorists like Gun Bans,” Burruss Building, room 105
b) Wednesday, February 11, from 3:30 to 4:45 PM: “An Introduction to Law and Economics,” Burruss Building, room 151
3) Missouri State University (Springfield, Missouri): Thursday, February 12 from 7:00 to 9:00 PM, John Lott and Paul Helmke will be debating on whether or not America has the proper regulations over firearms. They will discuss how guns come into play with small violations to mass murders.
Lott was just in Albany, New York speaking this past Sunday.

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2/07/2015

Netanyahu notified Obama before he agreed to speak to the House, Obama adm did not object, now they want to claim that Netanyahu bypassed Obama

This is pretty amazing bias by the Obama administration to create a story merely to try to hurt Netanyahu politically.  From the Times of Israel:
Read this correction , from The New York Time’s own website.
Correction: January 30, 2015
An earlier version of this article misstatedwhen Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel accepted Speaker John A. Boehner’s invitation to address Congress. He accepted after the administration had been informed of the invitation, not before. 

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2/06/2015

New piece in the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Patriot News: "As a court takes up Harrisburg's gun ordinance, here are some important things to remember"

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There was a trial court hearing in Harrisburg this morning on whether a preliminary injunction should be granted in a suit to force Harrisburg to follow state firearm laws.  The hearing went well with Justin McShane, a lawyer in Harrisburg one of the plaintiffs arguing the case for his side.  John Lott was an expert for the plaintiffs who brought the suit, though in the end his testimony wasn't necessary.  In connection with the hearing, John Lott wrote a piece in the Harrisburg Patriot News (Pennsylvania's Capitol).  The piece starts this way:
For 40 years, Pennsylvania law was clear: "No county, municipality, or township may in any manner regulate the lawful ownership, possession, transfer or transportation of firearms, ammunition or ammunition components."
Many local governments, however, decided that the rules didn't apply to them.
Today, a trial court hears the first case -- a suit against Harrisburg -- regarding this violation of state law.
The case will likely have implications for gun control laws in Philadelphia and the rest of the state and determine whether local governments must follow state laws.
Last year, the state legislature took a leaf out of the Environmental Protection Agency's enforcement book.  Just as individuals can sue companies that illegally pollute waterways, Pennsylvanians can now sue local governments for disobeying state laws.
Under Act 192, citizens can challenge a local gun law even if they are not personally affected by it.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane, a Democrat, has been extremely selective in choosing which state restrictions to enforce against local governments.
She won't be defending Act 192 in court.
Letting Pennsylvanians sue holds local governments accountable. But isn't challenging local gun regulations different from enforcing EPA regulations?  No, both involve people's lives and safety being at stake.. . .
The rest of the article is available here.

Pennsylvania town posts signs: "This is not a gun free zone"

This is not a gun free zone sign
Conoy Township has only a little over 3,000 people, but they may be getting some unusual attention.  From Lancaster, Pennsylvania's LNP:
Conoy Township has a message for criminals who might be thinking about preying on its residents: This is not a gun-free zone.
And that’s exactly what visitors will see once all the signs are securely in place along every road leading into the township. . . .
Mohr said he came up with the idea and township supervisors unanimously approved the decision to create and post the signs last fall.
“Over the last six months we’ve seen more and more home invasions and petty crime, so we thought these signs would show people we take pride in what we own,” he said. . . .

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2/04/2015

A big hidden cost of owning a Tesla, the cost of repairing a lightweight aluminum body

The Telsa's nearly all-aluminum frame and body panels make repair work on even a minor fender-bender difficult and very expensive.  From The Truth About Cars:
  • $45,000 for “minor front-end damage”
  • $7,000 for repair of a small dent and scratch that required no replacement of parts
  • $30,000 for “minor fender and door damage”
  • $11,000 for a minor scrape on the rear panel, including a $155 charge to “ensure battery remains charged” during the repair

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