The Obama administration's Mexican Border Policy: No fences, more gun control

Obama administration eliminates funding for virtual fence along Mexican border after freeze everything a year ago.

The project, known as SBInet, has cost about $1 billion thus far, but has only accounted for 53 miles of virtual fence along the Arizona-Mexico border. DHS had been considering major changes to the project since at least last January, when Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano ordered a major assessment of SBInet and viable alternatives.
Also last year, Napolitano froze money for the expansion of SBInet beyond its deployment along the highly trafficked Arizona-Mexico border, and denied SBInet $50 million in funding that had been included in the stimulus package. . . .

Meanwhile there is the push for more gun control.

The Obama administration's plan to force new reporting requirements on thousands of gun dealers near the Mexico border is under fire from members of his own party.
At least three Democrats in the Senate and several more in the House are voicing opposition to a proposed regulation from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that would require about 8,500 gun dealers in four states – California, New Mexico, Arizona and Texas – to report gun sales of two or more high-powered rifles sold within five consecutive business days. . . .
"While I understand the importance of cracking down on violence and gun trafficking along the U.S.-Mexico border, this wide-reaching regulation would punish law-abiding American gun owners and impede their Second Amendment rights," Begich wrote in a letter last week to ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson. "Instead, we must secure our border and target Mexican drug cartels, as well as participating offenders in the United States." . . .
In a letter to President Obama last month, House members, including Reps. Dan Boren, D-Okla, Nick Rahall, D-W. Va., Mike Ross, D-Ark., Denny Rehberg, R-Mont., and Ron Paul, R-Texas,said the regulation should be reviewed by Congress first.
"While Congress has authorized multiple sales reporting for handguns, we have never extended this authority to other types of firearms," they wrote. "Expanding this power by executive decree would be an end run around Congress." . . .

Labels: ,


Newest Fox News piece: The Arizona Shootings, Gun Violence Research and the Facts vs. The New York Times

My newest Fox News piece starts this way:

You know you’re doing something right when two New York Times columnists, Gail Collins and Nicholas Kristof, attack your research on the same day. Kristof followed up on criticism leveled earlier in the week by others writing for The Times. I must have said something substantial enough to warrant this attention. Let us check the facts.

Gail Collins worries that law-abiding citizens carrying concealed handguns can't be trusted:

"One can only hope that Saturday's horrible attack in Tucson encourages more citizens to carry concealed handguns," wrote John Lott, Jr. . . . on Wednesday. As a model, he pointed to Joseph Zamudio, . . . Lott's theory was that Zamudio was able to lend a hand "because his legally carried 9 mm semiautomatice offered him protection." He neglected to mention that while Zamudio never fired at the gunman, he almost drew on an innocent man by mistake.

No, it was not my mere speculation. Zamudio himself told Fox News' “Fox & Friends” that he though that carrying a gun made him willing to run towards the shots while almost everyone else was running for cover. . . .

Labels: , ,

My piece at The New York Times: The Case for Arming Yourself

My piece starts this way:

One can only hope that Saturday’s horrible attack in Tucson encourages more citizens to carry concealed handguns. Fortunately, one shopper in the Walgreen’s near Representative Giffords’ event was Joseph Zamudio. When he heard the shots he ran toward them because his legally carried 9 mm semiautomatic offered him protection. Joe helped tackle the killer before more harm occurred. Too bad someone like him wasn’t even closer to the crime.

But Joe showed that law-abiding citizens with concealed handguns can exercise excellent judgment in when is the right time to use their guns. When it made more sense for him to tackle the attacker, he did that rather than use his gun. Everything from public school shootings to church shootings has been stopped by citizens with concealed handguns. . . .

Labels: , , ,

Pat Caddell: Paul Krugman Is "A flat-out asshole"

Pat Caddell has always struck me as a reasonable person.

"I have to say, when I look at [Paul] Krugman and Jonathan Alter, with his advice and the president. Don't let this go to waste --let's make it like Oklahoma City, and Krugman who is just a flat-out asshole, I'm sorry, these people what they did," Democratic pollster Pat Caddell said on FOX News' "Red Eye."


Interview on Bloomberg TV about US Gun Laws


Appearance on CSPAN Washington Journal for Thursday, Jan. 13

Video of my discussion with Paul Helmke today on CSPAN's Washington Journal.

Labels: , ,

Long interview with National Review Online

For those interested, I have done a long interview that has come out at National Review Online (click here).

Labels: ,

Alan Korwin's appearances on CNN

Alan Korwin does any excellent job on CNN the other night. The video is available here.

UPDATE: Alan emails me that far from Arizona not have any gun control laws as the Brady Campaign has been claiming this week, they actually have "39,000 words of gun law, on top of 93,000 words of federal."

UPDATE2: Here is Alan Korwin last night (video available here). I have written many times about the relationship between guns and death, and I wish that he had answered this simple question differently. I also wish that when he was dealing with the hypothetical question about what might have gone wrong that he would talk about what actually happens in these cases.

Labels: ,


Appearing on CSPAN's Washington Journal tomorrow, Thursday, January 13, from 7:45am to 8:30am EST

I will be on CSPAN's Washington Journal tomorrow, Thursday, January 13, from 7:45am to 8:30am to debate Paul Helmke, the president of the Brady Campaign, on gun control. That is CSPAN 1. Paul and I just appeared together on Fox News on Sunday (transcript here).

Labels: ,

Interviews with Human Events on Gun Control

St. Louis Homeowner Defenders Herself Against Multiple intruders

From KSDK in St. Louis, Missouri:

Would-be burglars got a big and loud surprise when they tried to break into a North St. Louis home Wednesday afternoon.

The suspects thought a home in the 4800 block of Carter Avenue was empty shortly after 2 p.m.

What they found was the 56-year-old homeowner, armed and ready to defend her house. She fired several shots at the four suspects, who immediately fled the scene.

Two people were taken into custody a short time later. They were not wounded. . . .

Thanks to Countenance for the link.


Gun control advocates don't compare apples to apples on the assault weapons ban

The lack of logic in the gun control debate. Philip Cook and Jens Ludwig have this claim in a piece at CNN. I am not going to go through their whole piece, but here is one part that they claim to use my research to support their position.

Author John Lott, an economist who supports gun carrying, says that in the vast majority of cases in which a private citizen uses a gun in self-defense, the gun is only brandished and not actually fired at the assailant. Banning high-capacity magazines will have a negligible effect on the ability of citizens to use guns to protect home and hearth. For hunters, a ban on high-capacity magazines would be largely irrelevant. . . .

These two guys just can't seem to compare apples to apples.

1) Victims rarely have to actually fire their guns. Criminals rarely have to fire their guns.

2) In some extremely rare cases criminals fire more than a few shots. In some extremely rare cases victims might want to fire more than a few shots.

Whatever the benefits for having a larger magazine, there are also similar benefits for victims



Hate speech on the left?

From the WSJ:

On October 23, the Scranton Times reported that Rep. Paul Kanjorski, D-Pa., said this about Florida's new Republican Governor Rick Scott: "That Scott down there that's running for governor of Florida," Mr. Kanjorski said. "Instead of running for governor of Florida, they ought to have him and shoot him. Put him against the wall and shoot him. He stole billions of dollars from the United States government and he's running for governor of Florida. He's a millionaire and a billionaire. He's no hero. He's a damn crook. It's just we don't prosecute big crooks." . . .

Some comments by President Obama: "If they bring a knife, we bring a gun."

"We’re going to punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us.

Here are a few other statements by Democrats comparing Republicans to Nazis here, here, and here.

While if a Republican were to do this all heck would break lose, this ad doesn't bother me at all.


New piece at AOL News: "Gun Control Debate: Political Opportunists Swarm In"

My new piece starts off this way:

The horrible attack that has left U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords seriously wounded and six others dead has not brought out the best in many people. Ugly political opportunism looks to have led many into making statements they will soon regret. Within hours without knowing anything about the attacker's background or motives, many started blaming Sarah Palin and the tea party.

For instance, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman wrote that Giffords was a target because "she's a Democrat who survived what was otherwise a GOP sweep in Arizona, precisely because the Republicans nominated a tea party activist." And on CNN, correspondent Jessica Yellin singled out Sarah Palin, saying her "political rhetoric [created] the environment that allowed this instance to happen."

Well, it looks like those who blamed Palin and the tea party for political gain are going to wish they had waited just a couple of days. . . .

Labels: , ,

Some articles mentioning Joe Zamudio

Gretchen Carlson: "Most people when they would hear shots they would hit the deck. You did the opposite."
Zamudio: ". . . I carry a firearm and I think maybe that."

From NBC News:

Joe Zamudio was down the concourse from the suspect, and when shots rang out, he sprang to action. "I didn't know until later he also had a knife on him. I just came running up to him - I carry a firearm, so I wasn't really afraid." . . .

From the NY Daily News:

One of the heroes who helped take down the Arizona assassin said Monday he was prepared to shoot the murderous maniac himself.

"I was ready to end his life," Joe Zamudio said. "I had my hand on the butt of my gun. If they hadn't grabbed him and he was still moving, I would have shot him."

Without hesitation?

"Damn right," said Zamudio. "This is my country, this is my town."

Zamudio, 24, spoke out three days after Jared Lee Loughner shot and wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and massacred six other people outside a Tucson supermarket.

"I was at the store buying cigarettes," Zamudio said. "I was at the counter when I heard the gun shots. I put my hand on my gun and ran out."

Zamudio said another man - identified as 74-year-old Bill Badger - had already knocked Loughner to the ground.

Zamudio said Loughner had already emptied his clip, so he "jumped on top of him."

As he held Loughner down, Zamudio said, he beheld a horror show.

"It was gruesome," he said. "It was organized mayhem. So many people hurt. So much blood. So many people looking for loved ones and not finding them. It's hard to comprehend."

And for that, Zamudio said, he wants Loughner "to pay for what he did." . . .

From CBS News:

CBS News correspondent John Blackstone reports we may never know why the shooting started, but it ended because Bill Badger, Joe Zamudio and Patricia Maisch saw a chance and took it.

With the gun aimed at his head, Badger, a 74-year-old retired army colonel, made a lucky move.

Badger indicates the back of his head, saying, "I turned my head[…]and the bullet went right though, right above my ears right above here." He points across the back of his head.

The gunman turned to Patricia Maisch. "I was really expecting to be shot," she says. "And just then the gunfire stopped and two men jumped on him."

One of those men was Badger, wounded and bleeding. "I got him by the throat," he says. "The other guy has him on his knee right on the back of his neck."

The gunman was down but trying to reload his 9mm handgun. "So I grabbed the magazine before he could and held onto it," says Maisch.

Joe Zamudio was buying a pack of cigarettes nearby when the first shots were fired. "I ran out the doors and there is a man running and he says, 'Shooter. Shooter. Get down,'" says Zamudio.

John Blackstone: "You heard the shots and you went running toward the shots?"

Zamudio: "I know. That's pretty crazy, huh?" . . . .

From a little more biased piece at the WSJ:

In some ways, Joseph Zamudio's experience speaks to why many gun-rights supporters think carrying a legal weapon can save lives.

After all, when he realized there was an incident occurring at the Tucson Safeway supermarket Saturday where Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was holding a constituent event, Mr. Zamudio thought he could help, since he was legally carrying a 9 mm semiautomatic.

"If I'd gone down there sooner, maybe I could have shot him myself," Mr. Zamudio, age 24, said in a phone interview Sunday night.

Mr. Zamudio, who works at a Tucson art gallery, was at a nearby Walgreen's buying cigarettes when he heard the shots and immediately turned and ran toward the commotion. "In that moment, I didn't think about it. I just reacted." . . .

The Economist magazine has this discussion.

Got that? Ms Giffords failed to tender a satisfactory reply to "What is government if words have no meaning?", was judged a fake, and...and Mr Loughner shot her in the head.

At this point, there is simply no sound reason to believe this deranged young man was fired up by "toxic" or "eliminationist" conservative rhetoric from Michele Bachmann or whomever. Why are we even having this conversation? It's nuts. It's offensive. Is there any, you know, evidence that political rhetoric is now more vitriolic or incendiary than usual? Maybe there is, but I know of none. A feeling in Mr Krugman's gut doesn't cut it. Doesn't it seem at least as likely that a 22-year-old would be inspired to an act of high-profile atrocity by violent video games or films? As far as I know there's no evidence of that, either.

Mr Loughner's obsession with language as a form of control seems rather less like Glenn Beck or Sarah Palin than Max Stirner, Michel Foucault, or even left-leaning linguists such as George Lakoff and Geoffrey Nunberg. Our own Johnson discusses speculation about the possible influence of one David Wynn Miller. But nobody's going to try to smear Max Stirner, George Lakoff, or David Wynn Miller in the pages of the New York Times by recklessly associating their teachings with the tragedy in Tucson because, well, that would be completely bonkers and, more importantly, Max Stirner, George Lakoff, and David Wynn Miller didn't just recapture the House. . . .

Labels: ,


New Roger Lott Op-ed in the Dartmouth College Paper

Roger's new piece asking why George Washington's birthday doesn't get any discussion while Martin Luther King is given an entire month of events is available here. I am sure that it will get some attention at his school.


Wasn't Obama supposed to bring Americans together?

Obama's broken promise about bringing civility to politics doesn't surprise me.

Of all the unfulfilled campaign promises President Barack Obama made in 2008, the one that bothers the president most isn’t any squandered policy priority – it’s his failure to re-civilize what he views as an increasingly savage partisan climate. . . .

The notion that Obama is the type of person who wants to bring people together is just wrong. For an interview that I did on Obama click here.


Bank Regulators Are Doing Real Damage

Bank regulators stopped banks from making loans.

Labels: ,


Closed caption text of my discussion with Paul Helmke on Fox News today

There are a few typos and other errors in this, but one gets the gist of what was said.

Megyn: Should tougher restrictions be placed on gun purchases and ownership in the wake of the tragedy, john lott is a Fox News contributor and the author of "more guns, less crime" and Paul Helmke is the president of the brady campaign to prevent gun violence joins us, gentlemen, thanks for being here, appreciate it.
Lott: Thank you.
>> Megyn: John, let me start with you to respond to the congresswoman, who -- the statement gets a lot of feedback from people when you say, guns kill.
Lott: Well, guns do kill and make it easier for people to kill others but they also make it easier for people to defend themselves, from -- and prevent crime from happening and the question that concerns everybody, is, what is the net effect they have on -- net they save more lives than they cost and the evidence is pretty strong that they do.
Megyn: Paul, there had been history with this particular gunman, to -- mental health history and he was kicked out of a local college according to the reports for mental instability and had a couple of petty-ante arrests that were basically massaged to the point where they didn't show up on his criminal record and those might otherwise have prevented him from getting a gun but in this case there were no impediments.
Helmke: Obviously what we are doing in terms of gun laws is not working. At the national level we do not have many gun laws and the ones we do have, loopholes an arizona basically has no laws restricting guns and everyone can get a gun and take it pretty much anywhere and what we need to talk about is how do we prevent these things from happening and somehow the military when the fellow tried to enlist, knew there were problems and turned him down and the college knew there were problems and said he couldn't back without a certificate from a psychiatrist and his classmates knew he was disturbed but none are reason to bar someone from buying as many guns as they want in the country. That is part of the problem.
>> Megyn: What about that, the institution, the school in particular had a longer exposure to him, you know, when you go to apply for a gun you don't sit in a class with the person who is going to sell it to you. Is there anything that can be done to tighten up the system in a way where we could prevent truly evil-doers like this guy, from getting their hands on a weapon?
Lott: Well, the person wasn't involuntarily committed. But you can look at other countries around the world. Western europe which has as many of these large multiple victim shooting that's u.S. Does, though they don't get the same attention, because, they are in all of these different countries, like germany, for example, has the two worst k-12 public shootings in word history, in the last ten years. But, a year to get a gun, you have to under go a psychological screening test, and there is -- there are things that they have to do to get a gun in france or germany or the u.K., Gun control proponents aren't proposing in the u.S. And yet are not stopping those attacks, that are occurring.
>> Megyn: Paul, you know, in part, is this a knee-jerk reaction?
Helmke: You know, we see somebody commit violence with a gun and, we just want to make sense of it and don't want it to happen again and we say, what can we do? We can't find all the would-be assassins in the world and o'so, get rid of the guns. Is it too easy to blame guns. >> Guns are part of it and that is part of what we don't deal with and since columbine we did nothing, and after virginia tech we basically did nothing and after the shootings of police officers last year we did nothing and if john's theory were right, more guns meant less crime we should be the safest country in the world and we aren't. Arizona is one of the states, anyone can carry a gun anywhere and, at the safe way store –
>> Megyn: don't you wish they were, and you look at -- looked at the situation, don't you wish somebody there had a gun other than the crazed gunman.
>> Helmke: The person fired so quickly. And, again that is part of the problem. Until 2004, you could not have a clip that held more than ten rounds and after the assault weapons ban expired you can get the expanded clips and he got the rounds off before anyone reacted and that is part of the problem.
Lott: The murder rate has fallen nationally since 2004 and there is no study that goes in support of what he says, and i wish there were magic bullets and what happens is, many times, unfortunately the gun control laws are unproductive, when you ban a began gun, the criminal, it makes it easier to commit the crimes, if i ban guns at virginia tech, a law abiding teacher who can carry it anyplace else in the state, he --
Helmke: talk about arizona, john, where there are none of these guns –
Lott: there are gun control laws in arizona and the whole country, you have to have a background check anyplace in the country --
Helmke: arizona you can go to a gun show and if you go to the right table, no background check –
Lott: no gun show involved in this at all.
Helmke: You can carry it anywhere.
>> Megyn: Guys, listen, you have teed it up adequately, and it feels like we're at the same place we always were. Helmke: We could do better and i hope incidents makes us at least talk about it and try and figure out a better way to deal with it.
Lott: I hope we don't have a knee-jerk reaction that causes problems.
>> Megyn: Talking about it it always a good thing, thank you so much, all the best to you.

Labels: , , ,

I will be appearing on Fox News at 5:15 PM

I will be on Fox News at 4:45 to discuss the Arizona killings.


Calls for gun control are already being made.

"Gun laws have to be examined," Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., said Sunday on NBC's Meet the Press. He said that "doesn't mean denying guns" but reviewing how they become accessible.

It is not clear how alleged Arizona shooting suspect Jared Loughner obtained a 9mm Glock pistol with "extended magazine" that law enforcement say was used in Saturday's rampage. . . .

Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) has announced that she will put forward new gun control legislation on Monday.

One of the fiercest gun-control advocates in Congress, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.), pounced on the shooting massacre in Tucson Sunday, promising to introduce legislation as soon as Monday. . . .

“My staff is working on looking at the different legislation fixes that we might be able to do and we might be able to introduce as early as tomorrow,” McCarthy told POLITICO in a Sunday afternoon phone interview.

Gun control activists cried it was time to reform weapons laws in the United States, almost immediately after a gunman killed six and injured 14 more, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, in Arizona on Saturday.

Many said that people with a history of mental instability, like the alleged shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, should not be able to buy a gun — and no one should be able to buy stockpiles of ammunition used by the 22-year-old assailant.

McCarthy said she plans to confer with House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to see “if we can work something through” in the coming week.

McCarthy’s bill will look to protect ordinary people, she said, but did not offer further details.

“Again, we need to look at how this is going to work, to protect people, certainly citizens, and we have to look at what I can pass,” she said. “I don’t want to give the NRA – excuse the pun – the ammunition to come at me either.”

Pennsylvania Rep. Robert Brady, a Democrat from Philadelphia, told CNN that he also plans to take legislative action. He will introduce a bill that would make it a crime for anyone to use language or symbols that could be seen as threatening or violent against a federal official, including a member of Congress. . . .

From Fox News today I learned this.

In discussing the attack on Rep. Giffords, Pima County, Ariz., Sheriff Clarence Dupnik claimed: “One party is trying to block the attempts of another party to make this a better country.”

Some information on his ability to purchase a gun.

FoxNews.com has learned that the suspect purchased a firearm legally — and after passing an FBI background check — from Sportsman's Warehouse's Tucson store in November, the company's vice president of hunting operations told FoxNews.com.
Loughner did not present a concealed weapons permit so he was required to pass an FBI background check, which he did "immediately and without incident," said Matt French, speaking from the Sportsman's Warehouse's Utah headquarters.
"To my knowledge, the firearm purchase was without incident," French said. . . . Loughner has multiple arrests but no criminal record. . . .

More on motives. Giffords was hardly an obvious choice for a far right wing group to go after.
According to a leaked memo obtained by Fox News, the Department of Homeland Security is looking into the possibility that suspected shooter Jared Loughner was linked to a white supremacist group called American Renaissance, or AmRen.
AmRen founder Jared Taylor, however, tells Fox he'd never heard of Loughner and that according to his group's records, Loughner never received AmRen publications. His group's events are all held on the East Coast, he said, far from Loughner's hometown of Tucson.
The memo Fox News says was written by someone within DHS says Loughner "is possibly linked to this group. (through videos posted on his myspace and YouTube account.)" The group is "anti government, anti immigration, anti ZOG (Zionist Occupational Government), anti Semitic," the memo said. (Taylor told Fox his group is not anti-Zionist.)
UPDATE: FBI Director Robert Mueller would not confirm any connection between Loughner and any hate group at a press conference. . . .
As a blue-dog Democrat, Giffords walked a fine line between calling for more border security and an end to boycotts over SB1070 while also supporting a path to citizenship for some of the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants living in the United States. . . .


Even liberal Evan Thomas say: "The health care bill is a disaster"