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 average gun ownership rate across 10.2 guns per 100 people.  Honduras' was 6.2 per 100 people.

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Obama's state of the union heavy on Keynesianism

Media Bias on Multiple Victim Public Shootings

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.

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The change in licensed firearm dealers from 1969 to 2010

The data on number of licensed firearms dealers is available here.  Understanding this pattern goes a long ways towards explaining the changes over time in the rate of sales through FFLs at gun shows (see also here).  Part of the reason for the drop is explained here.
The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993, known as the “Brady Bill,” increased the fees for federal firearms licenses from $10 per year to $200 for the first 3 years, and $90 for each 3-year renewal period. . . . .  
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. 

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Texas: Two more school districts will allow armed teachers in schools

From the Dallas Morning News:
As two small Texas school districts announced during a Senate hearing Monday that they are moving ahead with plans to have armed teachers on campus, the police chief for the Dallas school district cautioned against the practice and said most law enforcement officials agree with him.
The superintendents for the Van school district east of Dallas and the Union Grove district in East Texas told senators they will soon become the second and third districts in the state to authorize teachers with concealed handgun licenses to carry firearms on campus to protect students. . . .
[Don Dunn, superintendent of the Van school district] said his school board approved a policy to use armed teachers for security on the district’s five campuses during a meeting last week. Teachers who are assigned such duties must have a concealed handgun license and will undergo special training to deal with potential threats to children.
“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. 
In remote Harrold, the nearest sheriff’s office is 30 minutes away, and people tend to know — and trust — one another. So the school board voted to let teachers bring guns to school.
“We don’t have money for a security guard, but this is a better solution,” Superintendent David Thweatt said. “A shooter could take out a guard or officer with a visible, holstered weapon, but our teachers have master’s degrees, are older and have had extensive training. And their guns are hidden. We can protect our children.” . . .

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IRS needs more employees because tax code becoming "more complex and far reaching"

It is alway reassuring to see the IRS complaining that the tax codes are getting more difficult for them to deal with.  From Federal News Radio:
"In addition to facing budget cuts and the potential retirement of many experienced employees, the work performed by IRS employees continually requires greater expertise as tax laws become more complex and far reaching," [Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration] said.

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Multiple Voters voted at least twice in Ohio

Could this help explain the big "turnout increase" among black voters in Ohio for Obama?  From John Fund at NRO:
Critics of photo ID and other laws cracking down on voter fraud claim they’re unnecessary because fraud is nonexistent. Brennan Center attorneys Michael Waldman and Justin Levitt claimed last year: “A person casting two votes risks jail time and a fine for minimal gain. Proven voter fraud, statistically, happens about as often as death by lightning strike.” 
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:

"If people don't think that we did everything we can to make sure that we save the lives of folks who I sent there, and who are carrying out missions on behalf of the United States, then you don't know how our Defense Department thinks or our State Department things or our CIA thinks. Their number one priority is obviously to protect American lives. That's what our job is.  I can tell you that immediately upon finding out that our folks were in danger, that my orders to my national security team were, do whatever we need to do to make sure they're safe. And that's the same order I would give any time that I see Americans are in danger, whether they are civilian or military."
UPDATE:  Most presidents would at least give the appearance that they were in the loop during these events.
He said Thursday on Fox News that "thus far the White House has delayed, denied, deceived and stonewalled and this has to come to an end. He has to account for his leadership."
During the hearing, Graham questioned why there weren't subsequent follow-up conversations with the president.
"It lasted almost eight hours ... did the president show any curiosity?" Graham asked.
Panetta said there was "no question" Obama "was concerned about American lives."
"With all due respect," Graham responded, "I don't believe that's a credible statement if he never called and asked you, 'are we helping these people?'"  . . . 

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Vice President Joe Biden makes impassioned plea for more gun control

Surely a lot of states are going to pass very stringent gun control laws.  I don't know about federal regulations, but we will have to see if Biden is right there.  From The Hill newspaper:
. . . “I’m not asking you to vote for something you don’t believe, but I don’t want to hear about, ‘well we can’t take it on because it’s too politically dangerous.’ The world has changed,” Biden said in a 25-minute address to Democrats at their annual retreat in Leesburg, Va. 
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. . . .

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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:
Supermarket owners argue a pending federal food-labeling rule that stems from the new health care law would overburden thousands of grocers and convenience store owners -- to the tune of $1 billion in the first year alone. . . .   
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. . . .


A Couple Republicans in House Make Move on Gun Control

Big surprise: Despite years of subsidies, solar energy industry collapses when subsidies cut

So much for the claim that all the solar energy industry needed as a jump start.  From Fox News:
The solar industry got a huge boost during President Obama's first term when the stimulus package threw billions of dollars in subsidies at solar power companies in hopes of dramatically increasing production. Generation has increased in that time -- but now federal, state and local incentives are being slashed, leading some to conclude the future of solar power in the U.S. is dimming.  
"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."

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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?"

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Philly Deli Owner Shoots, Kills Would-Be Robber

From NBC News:
Philadelphia Police say a corner deli owner killed a teenager during a robbery attempt in the Tacony section of Northeast Philadelphia tonight. 
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. . . . .


Massachusetts' murder rate has risen much faster than that of its neighbors or the US rate since the 1998 firearms licensing bill

From the Boston Globe:
Massachusetts has a national reputation as a bastion of gun control, but crimes and injuries related to firearms have risen — sometimes dramatically — since the state passed a comprehensive package of gun laws in 1998. 
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.  

The results for robbery are even more dramatic.

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. . . .
More than 80 percent of Maryland voters support requiring residents to obtain a license before purchasing a handgun, according to a poll released Wednesday by a gun-control group. 
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. . . . 

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7 Million expected to lose health insurance because of Obamacare

I still don't think that the CBO numbers are even close, but at least they are moving in the right direction.
President Obama's health care law will push 7 million people out of their job-based insurance coverage — nearly twice the previous estimate, according to the latest estimates from the Congressional Budget Office released Tuesday. 
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. . . .


MRC: "ABC, CBS, NBC Slant 8 to 1 for Obama's Gun Control Crusade"

The Media Research Center shows an overwhelming bias in the reporting on recent gun issues by ABC, CBS, and NBC.  Here is the main summary:
■ Stories advocating more gun control outnumbered stories opposing gun control by 99 to 12, or a ratio of 8 to 1.         
■ 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. . . .

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Paul Krugman on owning guns for self-defense

From Krugman's appearance on ABC's This Week:
“What strikes me is we've actually gotten a glimpse into the mindset, though, of the pro-gun people and we've seen certainly Wayne LaPierre and some of these others. It's bizarre,” he said. “They have this vision that we're living in a ‘Mad Max’ movie and that nothing can be done about it, that America cannot manage unless everybody's prepared to shoot intruders, that the idea that we have police forces that provide public safety is somehow totally impractical, despite the fact that, you know, that is, in fact, the way we live.” 
 “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.” . . .

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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.
“What sustains the American economy is consumption, and the people at the top spend on consumption a smaller fraction than those at the bottom. In fact, those at the bottom have to — to get by — spend about basically 100 percent. So when you move money from the bottom and the middle to the top, overall spending gets constrained, and that weakens the economy,” economist Joseph Stiglitz said on MSNBC's "Up with Chris Hayes" . . .

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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.

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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.”



72-year-old man stops three burglars who chased him into his bedroom

From Las Vegas News Channel 3:
A man suspected in a home burglary attempt is dead and another is in custody after an incident this morning near West Sahara Avenue and South Jones Boulevard. 
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.


Arkansas legislature overwhelmingly passes law for concealed carry in churches

From Reuters:
The Arkansas House of Representatives approved a bill on Monday to allow concealed-carry permit holders to take their weapons into churches, and it is expected to be signed into law by the state's governor.
The Church Protection Act would allow individual places of worship to decide whether to allow concealed handguns and who could carry them. The Republican-controlled House passed the bill 85-8 with bipartisan support. The measure previously passed the Republican-controlled Senate 28-4.
Arkansas joins a handful of other states, including South Carolina, Wyoming and Louisiana, that allow guns in churches, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. . . .

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Senate doesn't seem interested in Assault Weapon Ban, will push for expanded background checks

From CNN:
President Barack Obama on Monday reiterated his call for a comprehensive package of steps against gun violence as the focus on possible Senate legislation appeared to narrow to expanded background checks and limited ammunition magazines, rather than a ban on semi-automatic rifles that mimic assault weapons. . . . 
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. . . .

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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.

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Attempt to get restraining order doesn't protect woman even within the court room

The link to the video is available here.

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Very Grudgingly Defense Secretary Panetta Admits Information from Waterboarding Led US to Bin Laden


Judge Jeanine gives an impassioned plea for why banning weapons to prevent crime doesn't work

In case the video isn't shown above, her video is also available here.

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