7/22/2017

Trump judicial nominee used pseudonym in posting on political issues

Democrats upset that Trump judicial nominee made political posts under a pseudonym.
John Bush, President Donald Trump’s nominee for a vacancy on the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, was confirmed Thursday, after a contentious battle over blog posts he wrote under a pen name. 
Bush’s nomination was confirmed on a 51-47 vote that followed party lines.
“It is good to see Bush confirmed, but dozens of judicial nominees continue to languish in the Senate, where Senate Democrats continue to obstruct and delay,” said Carrie Severino, chief counsel for the Judicial Crisis Network. Several of the president’s nominees, including Justice Joan Larsen and Justice David Stras, have not yet appeared for hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee due to Democratic obstruction. 
Larsen and Stras were nominated for vacancies arising in Michigan and Minnesota. By Senate tradition, hearings for judicial nominees are not held until the senators representing states where the vacancy occurs submit their approval to the chair of the judiciary committee. Both senators from Michigan and Minnesota are Democrats. . . . 
In a 2008 post, Bush wrote that slavery and abortion are “the two greatest tragedies in our country.” In the same post, he argued that Roe v. Wade and Dred Scott v. Sanford — an 1857 Supreme Court decision which found that slaves were not citizens — “relied on similar reasoning.” 
“John Bush’s anonymously published blog posts show that the Trump administration handpicked him to appease fringe elements of his base, individuals who share his agenda to roll back the rights of women, the LGBTQ community, and working people,” said Ilyse Hogue of NARAL Pro-Choice America. . . .

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7/21/2017

At the Wall Street Journal: Women & Minorities Bear Arms: They are fueling growth in concealed carry permits

I have a new op-ed at the Wall Street Journal:
Each year brings a new record increase in the number of concealed handgun permits. The rate of growth in permits among women and minorities has far outpaced growth among white men. The data paint a picture of incredibly law-abiding permit holders, the vast majority living outside America’s insular media capitals. 
A new report from the Crime Prevention Research Center shows that there are now more than 16.3 million concealed handgun permits in the U.S., up 1.83 million since last July. Far more people carry guns today than in 2007, when there were only 4.6 million permits. Thirteen states now no longer require a permit to carry in all or most of the state. Eight of those 13 states made the change in the last two years. 
Did the antigun agendas of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton drive demand? Maybe not. The growth in permits has hardly slowed since the election. 
Women are largely fueling the increase. Among the eight states that had data from 2012-16, permits for men grew by 22% and permits for women soared by 93%. In the 14 states with 2016 data on sex, women now make up 36% of permit holders. 
Over those same years, the number of blacks with permits increased 30% faster than the number of whites with permits. Blacks now make up 11% of permit holders. A few states provide a breakdown for Asian-Americans, and in those states they accounted for the largest percentage increase in permits. 
The numbers show how out of sync the media capitals—California, New York and the District of Columbia—are with the rest of the country. In those places, where public officials decide who get permits, only a few adults out of every thousand have permits, mostly in rural counties. In the rest of the U.S., 8% of adults have permits. People in most states don’t think twice about being surrounded by concealed carry in restaurants, theaters and stores. New Yorkers must be terrified to visit Pennsylvania, where 13% of adults have permits. In Potter County, Pa., on the New York state line, more than half of adults have a permit. 
In Los Angeles County, by contrast, as of January there were 226 permits for almost eight million adults. Only the political elite get them: judges, reserve deputy sheriffs and a small group of very wealthy, well-connected individuals. As of 2012, Hispanics made up almost half the county, but they only got about 6.5% of the permits. Women got about 7%, and blacks 5%. 
Where officials decide who gets permits, explicit death threats often aren’t enough for a law-abiding person to get one. Living in high-crime neighborhoods is considered irrelevant. 
My research has demonstrated that the two groups that benefit the most from carrying guns are the likeliest victims of crime (poor blacks in high-crime urban areas) and people who are physically weaker (women and the elderly). Dozens of published peer-reviewed studies find similar results. 
If the media elites spent more time outside their protective bubbles, they might realize how misplaced their fears of permit holders are. According to a study in Police Quarterly, criminal convictions of police are rare compared with the general public. But permit holders are convicted at less than one-sixth the rate of police officers. . . .
The rest of the article is available here.

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7/19/2017

Evaluating recent claims about permitted concealed handguns

There has been some recent research on permitted concealed handguns that has gotten a lot of attention.  For those interested, a copy of our original evaluation is available here and a response to their response is available here.

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7/18/2017

Vote fraud case in St. Louis

From the Daily Caller:
. . . Kevin Kunlay Williams, known as Kunlay Sodipo when originally entering the U.S., illegally returned to the country in 1999 after being expelled roughly four years prior.  . . .
He also successfully registered to vote in all elections — local, state, and federal — by fraudulently claiming that he was a U.S. citizen. He ultimately voted in both the 2012 and 2016 presidential elections.

Williams, 56, pled guilty to the specific charges of mail fraud, voter fraud, aggravated identity theft and illegally re-entering the county after having been removed. Mail fraud carries a maximum sentence of 20 years, while aggravated identity theft has a required minimum sentence of two years. He also could face five years in prison for each voter fraud count, and 10 years in prison for illegal reentry. If the judge orders him to serve at least some of the sentences consecutively, Williams could easily be in jail for the rest of his life, although concurrent judgements are more likely. . . .

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7/16/2017

At The Hill: The false claims behind the Women’s March on the NRA

I have a new op-ed at The Hill newspaper about false statements being made by the organizers of the Women's March on the NRA today and the mainstream media.  The piece starts this way:
The Women’s March protest today at NRA headquarters was partially sparked by false allegations that the organization hasn’t defended Philando Castile — an African American and concealed handgun permit holder shot by Minnesota police officer Jeronimo Yanez
While the March’s co-president, Tamika Mallory, demands that the NRA defend Castile's Second Amendment rights, she ignores statements that do just that by the gun group's female and black spokespersons. 
Perhaps the Women’s March organizers don't really want the NRA to be seen defending gun rights for blacks or any other minority groups. Rather, they want people to think of the NRA as a white supremacist organization that ignores women. 
The accusations of racism started a month ago on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show. After Officer Yanez was acquitted, host Trevor Noah complained that the NRA had been “completely silent” about the shooting. He described Castile as a “legal gun owner” who had done nothing wrong. Liberal, mainstream media publications such as the New York Daily News and Vanity Fair have carried similar attacks. 
But whether one believes that Castile disobeyed the officer’s multiple orders not to reach for his gun, the NRA has been anything but silent. Right after the shooting last summer, the NRA posted that the incident was “troubling and must be thoroughly investigated.”
Following last month's jury verdict, NRA national spokesperson Dana Loesch quickly declared that the acquittal was a miscarriage of justice. 
More recently, Loesch told CNN on July 10, “I am speaking for the NRA. Loesch went on to say: “I have spoken out on this quite a bit. I think it’s absolutely awful. I think it’s completely unfortunate. I don’t agree with every single decision that comes out from courtrooms in America. Do I believe that Philando Castile deserved to lose his life over a stop? I absolutely do not.” 
Colion Noir, who has a popular show on NRA TV, immediately posted to Facebook after the ruling: “I keep asking myself, would he have done the same thing if Philando were white? As I put on my Monday morning quarterback jersey, it is my opinion that Philando Castile should be alive today. I believe there was a better way to handle the initial stop.” 
In a video a few days later on the NRA website, Noir said: “As I watched Philando Castile dying in that car, I watched myself die, and it evoked every emotion in my body . . . [that the officer] walking away from this case a free and clear man is just wrong.” 
If Castile was in fact reaching for his gun, that would be incredibly rare behavior for a permit holder. As a whole, permit holders are extremely law-abiding, and it is a wonderful thing that more and more blacks are choosing to protect themselves. 
But it is actually Democrats, the self-proclaimed champions of the poor, who make it so difficult for lower-income blacks to defend themselves. When it comes to voting, Democrats see free ID cards as oppressive and racially discriminatory. But when it comes to guns, there’s no hesitation to impose fees, expensive training requirements, ID laws, and onerous background checks. 
The cops can't be everywhere at once. Indeed, they’re well aware of the fact that they almost never respond to live crime scenes. Officers know that the only solution is to let people protect themselves. . . .
The rest of the piece is available here.

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At Fox News: "A Women's March on the NRA - but do they represent a woman's view on guns?"

I have a new piece at Fox News about the claim that there is a "women's view" on guns.
But Donald Trump received a respectable 42 percent of the women’s vote, so it’s hard to say that there is “a women’s view” on guns. 
According to an Investor’s Business Daily/TIPP poll from early last year, 49 percent of married women say that they or someone in their home owns a gun.  A new PEW survey shows that 40 percent of women generally live in a home with a gun, and that almost a quarter of women personally own a gun.  But even for those women who don’t own a gun, 45 percent say that they could see themselves as owning one at some point. 
Among female gun owners, 71 percent told PEW that they own a gun for protection, 40 percent say that all or most of their friends own guns, and 29 percent say they keep a loaded gun that is always easily accessible. 
A 2014 PEW poll found that women view gun ownership positively.  By a 51 to 43 percent margin they said that gun ownership is more likely to protect people from being crime victims than it is to put people’s safety at risk.  Women were more supportive of gun control than men were (54 percent for women and 37 percent for men), but women are also much more likely than men to cite violence in television and movies as contributing at least a fair amount to gun violence (64 percent vs 46 percent).  They were also far more likely to cite violence in video games as a contributing factor (70 percent vs 49 percent). 
So why aren’t these women marching today against violence in media and video games?  There is much more of a “women’s view” on that issue than on gun control. 
Polls likely understate women’s gun ownership rates. . . .
The rest of the piece is available here.

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