My new book - At the Brink: Will Obama Push Us Over the Edge? You can click on the above picture to be linked to Amazon.
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Country with highest murder rate has low gun ownership rate (at least if you believe the silly Small Arms Survey)
If you believe the left wing, pro-gun control, error filed Small Arms Survey, Honduras had a well below average gun ownership rate in 2007 but a murder rate of 82 per 100,000. That is about 17 times greater than the US rate that year. From Fox News:
For the second straight year, Honduras' second largest city topped the list of the world's most dangerous cities, according to a Mexican research center.
Drug violence, gang activity and the targeted killing of women all contributed to San Pedro de Sula's top ranking in the list compiled by the organization Seguridad, Justicia y Paz.
"San Pedro de Sula authorities have claimed that the placement of the city in the first place in the rankings hurts his image. They have also argued that our figures are wrong," a statement from the organization noted. "But we rely on official figures regarding the effect on the ranking, which only recognize the reality. This is not damaging the image of the city the violence and the inability of governments to contain it and reduce it is. Hiding it never resolves problems." . . .
The mainstream media has been willing to quickly jump to the conclusion that some killers have been motivated by right wingers just because they incorrectly think that the killers are themselves right wingers. Now they find strong and convincing evidence that a killer is a liberal Democrat who is a strong supporter of Piers Morgan and Obama, there is no mention and certainly no emphasis of that in the media.
Additionally, in 2004, ATF implemented an in-person application inspection program. ATF industry operations investigators now conduct in-person application inspections with all new firearms business applicants. Through the inspection process, investigators verify the identity of the applicant, ensure the qualification of the person(s) intending to conduct business, verify the business premises, and review the record keeping and conduct of business requirements to assist the applicant in complying with the law and regulations.
“Our parents fully support it,” he said of the new policy, which is allowed under Texas law. Similarly, Union Grove Superintendent Brian Gray said his district will assign certain school employees at the district’s two campuses to be armed during the school day. Gray said he is working with local law enforcement agencies to develop regulations and training requirements. . . .
Since 2007, Harrold Independent School District in Texas has had armed teachers and they have had no problems.
Well, lightning is suddenly all over Cincinnati, Ohio. The Hamilton County Board of Elections is investigating 19 possible cases of alleged voter fraud that occurred when Ohio was a focal point of the 2012 presidential election. A total of 19 voters and nine witnesses are part of the probe.
Democrat Melowese Richardson has been an official poll worker for the last quarter century and registered thousands of people to vote last year. She candidly admitted to Cincinnati’s Channel 9 this week that she voted twice in the last election. . . .
Shocking Panetta testimony about Obama's lack of role in Benghazi response
This testimony indicates that Obama was virtually completely disengaged from what was happening in Bengahzi. After a brief initial discussion, the president left operational details, including knowledge of what resources were available to help the Americans under siege, "up to us." So how does this shocking testimony fit in with Obama's assertion here:
Biden argued that the political and media climate had shifted dramatically from 1994, when many Democrats blamed their support for an assault weapons ban and other gun-control measures on the party’s loss of its congressional majorities.
“There’s an overwhelming consensus about the need to act that didn’t exist in ’94 and a general consensus about the kinds of thing we have to do,” Biden said. . . .
“It’s not acceptable for us to do anything other than try to do all of them,” the vice president said of his task force’s recommendations. . . .
Obamacare increasing prices at a grocery store near you
Note that Restaurants could have provided this information on their own without the law if their customers valued the benefits from this labeling more than the costs. It appears as if the restaurants wanted this in law because it hurt their competitors more than it hurt them. From Fox News:
The rule stems from an ObamaCare mandate that restaurants provide nutrition information on menus. Most in the restaurant industry were supportive of the idea, but when the FDA decided to extend the provision to also affect thousands of supermarkets and convenience stores, the backlash was swift.
The proposed regulation would require store owners to label prepared, unpackaged foods found in salad bars and food bars, soups and bakery items. Erik Lieberman, regulatory counsel at the Food Marketing Institute, said testing foods for nutritional data will require either expensive software or even more costly off-site laboratory assessments. . . .
"The fundamental problem is it's not economically sustainable," said Todd Myers of the Washington Policy Center, a think tank in Washington state.
Federal stimulus incentives have run out and are not being renewed. States are also slashing their solar power subsidies. Oregon recently cut its solar business tax credit by 99 percent. And utilities all over the country are complaining about lost revenue. . . .
"Everywhere you go, solar energy requires massive subsidies, which eventually blow a hole in the federal or state budget, and then are dropped," said Myers. "Solar is a bad way to go."
Chicago police will no longer respond to 911 calls for robbery
Robbery is a serious violent crime (Fox News video is available here). For police not to respond to reports of robberies will only lead to one prediction: there will be an increase in robberies. In a city that makes it extremely difficult for people to use guns defensively, not having the police respond is dangerous.
There is also the James Q. Wilson notion of "broken windows." As the city disintegrates, it may encourage other more serious crime to occur.
Note how different the response to crime here is compared to the sheriff in nearby Milwaukee after their budget cuts. That sheriff cut this public service ad:
"I am Sheriff
David Clarke, and I want to talk to you about something personal, your
safety. It is not longer a spectator
sport. I need you in the game. But are you ready? With officers laid off and furloughed, simply
calling 911 and waiting is no longer your best option. You can beg for mercy from a violent
criminal, hide under the bed, or you can fight back. But are you prepared?
Consider taking a certified safety course in handling a firearm so you can
defend yourself until we get there. You
have a duty to protect yourself and your family. We are partners now. Can I count on you now?"
A police spokeswoman says an unidentified 19-year-old tried to rob Anna's Deli at the corner of Princeton Avenue and Jackson Street just after 6 p.m.
Police say the teen walked in, pointed a gun at Anna Jukic and demanded money.
"The clerk screams and the store owner, the husband, comes from the rear of the store with his weapon," said Police Chief Inspector Scott Small. Police say the suspect exchanged fire with the store owner John Jukic, 55, and was shot once in the chest. An emergency services medic pronounced him dead at the scene just after 6:20 p.m. Jukic wasn’t hurt. . . . .
Murders committed with firearms have increased significantly, aggravated assaults and robberies involving guns have risen, and gunshot injuries are up, according to FBI and state data.
To gun-rights groups like the National Rifle Association, these statistics are evidence that gun control does not work. But to gun-control advocates, the numbers show that no state — no matter how tough the laws — is protected from firearms violence when guns are brought in from other states.
“The quality of your gun-licensing laws is only as good as those surrounding you,” said James Alan Fox, a Northeastern University criminologist. . . .
In 2011, Massachusetts recorded 122 murders committed with firearms, a striking increase from the 65 in 1998, said Fox, the Northeastern professor. Nationwide, such murders increased only 3 percent from 1999 to 2010, the CDC says.
There were increases in other crimes involving guns in Massachusetts, too. From 1998 to 2011, aggravated assaults with guns rose 26.7 percent. Robberies with firearms increased 20.7 percent during that period, according to an FBI analysis conducted for the Globe. . . . .
The number of registered guns in Massachusetts dropped by 86% -- from 1,541,201 prior to the 1998 law to just over 215,000. It is hard to see how to see how the presence of these other states could cause Massachusetts' murder rate to rise. Those states were there before the 1998 law and criminals could obtain their guns before the law. It is easy to see how the spillover might keep the crime rates from falling, but if the law helped at all, Massachusetts' murder rate should have fallen relative to the rate in the rest of the US as well as the states that are Massachusetts' neighbors.
Other states are considering licensing laws. See Maryland here and here.
Mr. O'Malley, a Democrat, will testify before the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee in favor of his bill, which would also ban assault weapons, limit magazine capacities to 10 rounds and require prospective gun buyers to complete a safety course and pay a $100 application fee. . . .
A poll commissioned by Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence found that 81 percent of voters — including 64 percent of Republicans — prefer instituting a policy where would-be gun purchasers would have to get a license and go through fingerprinting, safety training and a criminal background check. . . .
CBO said that this year's tax cuts have changed the incentives for businesses and made it less attractive to pay for insurance, meaning fewer will decide to do so. Instead, they'll choose to pay a penalty to the government, totaling $13 billion in higher fees over the next decade. . . .
■ Anti-gun soundbites were aired almost twice as frequently than pro-gun ones (228 to 134).
■ Gun control advocates appeared as guests on 26 occasions, compared to 7 times for gun rights advocates.
CBS was the most stridently anti-gun rights network. By a whopping 22 to 1 ratio, CBS aired more stories that favored gun control (44) to those that supported gun rights (2), with 37 neutral pieces. ABC aired almost six times as many stories that favored gun control (29) to those that favored gun rights, with 25 neutral stories. NBC pushed for more gun control in 26 of their stories to just 5 that tilted in favor of gun rights for a 5 to 1 ratio, with 43 neutral segments. . . .
“So, I think that the terms of the debate have shifted,” he added. “Now the craziness of the extreme pro-gun lobby has been revealed, and that has got to move the debate and got to move the legislation at least to some degree.” . . .
A note for me to remember some dumb economics: Stiglitz on inequality
This claim is based on the crazy argument that people don't spend all of their money. It is almost as if wealthy people are digging a hole in their back yard and burying the money there. But wealthy people's money doesn't just disappear. If they put it in the bank, it is loaned out to others.
A useful analysis of Obama's Speech on Gun Control in Minnesota
Powerlineblog has a useful discussion of Obama's dishonest gun control speech on Monday (click here). It is amazing that he can make so many false statements in a speech and yet the media isn't pointing out all these errors.
Florence, Arizona: Student suspended for having picture of gun on his computer
Can't schools differentiate the picture of a gun from an actual threat? From Florence, Arizona:
A high school student in Florence said he has been suspended because of a picture of a gun.
Daniel McClaine Jr., a freshman at Poston Butte High School, said he saved the picture as his desktop background on his school-issued computer.
A teacher noticed it and turned him in.
The picture shows an AK-47 on top of a flag.
McClaine said the school initially suspended him for three days Friday.
. . . the district policy states students are prohibited from “sending or displaying offensive messages or pictures,” and cannot access, send, create or forward pictures that are considered “harassing, threatening, or illegal.”
McClaine said he read the guidelines but does not consider the picture threatening to anyone.
“This gun wallpaper does not show anything that’s violent. It's not showing anybody getting shot in any way. It's just a picture of a gun. It's nothing -- nobody getting shot, nobody getting it pointed at them, it's nothing,” said McClaine. . . .
“To me it's ridiculous. Three days for a picture? It wasn't like he was standing in front of the school holding the gun,” said Daniel McClaine Sr. [Daniel's father] “He should have got a warning. He shouldn't have ever been suspended. Not for something so frivolous.”
A news release from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department says its Dispatch Center received a call around 7:45 a.m. from the occupant of a home . . . indicating intruders were attempting to forcibly gain entry into his house.
The resident, a 72-year-old male who had been the victim of a recent burglary, retreated into his bedroom and retrieved a handgun. As the suspects entered his bedroom the victim fired at least one round from the handgun, causing suspects to flee.
Arriving officers encountered one suspect attempting to flee the area in a vehicle. This suspects’ vehicle collided with an arriving officers’ patrol car, and the suspect, a Latin male, was taken into custody after a short foot pursuit.
A second suspect, also tentatively identified as a Latin male, was last seen fleeing on foot . . . .
Officers searching the backyard of the victim’s residence found a third individual, tentatively identified as a Latin male, deceased from an apparent gunshot would. A handgun was also recovered from the backyard. . . . .
Thanks to Malia Zimmerman for sending me this link.
Reid told ABC on Sunday that he backed expanding background checks to private gun sales at shows and other steps, but he refused to endorse a ban on what are called assault-style rifles modeled after military weapons. . . .
Critical discussion of Fox News Sunday and their interviews about gun control
When issues like the attacks in other places such as movie theaters are raised, why not talk about all the attacks in gun-free zones? For movie theaters, LaPierre could point to this discussion about the Aurora attack. A more detailed discussion is available here. I also don't understand why LaPierre can't correct the record on some of the claims being made. The claim that "1.7 million prohibited people have been prevented from buying a gun" what they really mean is that "1.7 million people have been initially denied buying a gun." Remember the five times that the late Sen. Ted Kennedy missed flights because his name was on the "no fly" list? This method of counting would be the equivalent of saying that the "no fly" list stopped five flights by terrorists. Sen. Kennedy may have been kept off those flights, but he still flew on later planes.
The problem is that at least 95% of these initial denials are false positives and that is just the tip of the iceberg. After these initial denials are made, there is an initial review process in which 94% of the cases are dropped. No discretion is allowed in this review stage. If the person purchasing a gun was a prohibited individual who attempted to buy a gun, that is a crime and the investigation should be moved on to the next stage. There was a 2004 survey of the cases that were then referred to local BATF field offices and that found that over 22 percent of those cases were still false positives. There could be other cases, but at that point the annual reports become extremely murky. We know for example in 2010 that there were 76,000 initial denials, 62 of those were eventually referred to prosecutors, prosecutors went ahead with 44 cases, and there were 13 convictions. Yet, these numbers are an obvious overestimate as they say they might drop cases where the prohibited offense is "old," but strangely some of the cases that they go forward with have involved cases with prohibitions that are over 4 decades old.
Amazed how lucky I am that I have had jobs where I could just think about whatever I wanted to think about. I have published over 90 articles in academic journals. I received my Ph.D. in economics from UCLA in 1984.