Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens unintentionally shows that the 2nd Amendment wasn't meant to just guarantee weapons for the militia

The Second Amendment reads: "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

Stevens would like to add five words and also a comma:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the militia shall not be infringed.”

Stevens unintentionally shows what those who drafted the amendment would have to have written to make it clear that they wanted it only to apply to those in the militia.  There is a huge difference between "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed" and "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the militia shall not be infringed."  Both statements are quite clear, but while Stevens would like everyone to believe that the 2nd Amendment was written as only a militia right. 


Woman with gun stops two men from breaking into her home at 2:50 AM

From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
. . . Jefferson County Capt. Ron Arnhart said the woman woke up about 2:50 a.m. to the sound of her front door opening. She and her husband live in the 700 block of Buckboard Lane near Fenton. Authorities did not identify them. 
From the top of her stairs, the woman saw two men standing just inside her door and fired three shots at them, Arnhart said. The burglars ran out of the house without being hit by gunfire. . . . .
Thanks to Tony Troglio for the link.


So why are people so concerned about the Obama administration's evaluation of whether the news media is properly picking the right stories to cover?

One would think that the Obama administration's study of whether the news media is covering the right news stories and doing so properly would pose obvious problems.  Of course, the FCC says that "Any suggestion the Commission intends to regulate the speech of news media is false," but what else is the point of the study?  In any case, there was another event this week that should make clear the dangers of getting the government involved with this type of monitoring of news content.

Take this threat just this week by a US Congressman against a television station.  From the Daily Caller:
Last week, The Washington Post began grumbling about an Americans for Prosperity (AFP) ad featuring Julie Boonstra, a woman with leukemia who was thrown into expensive uncertainty by Obamacare, with Greg Sargent lamenting the tragedy of its effectiveness and Glenn Kessler asking for more proof(BEDFORD: The Post is pretty worried about the people Obamacare hurts)  
Then Rep. Gary Peters, who is the running for the U.S. Senate in Michigan, went all-in Friday, having his lawyers send a letter to a Michigan television station citing the Post in demanding that AFP provide more evidence that Obamacare is as terrible as it really is. Mr. Peters’ lawyers wrote that “Unlike federal candidates, independent political organizations” — and by extension, Ms. Boonstra — don’t have a “right to command use of broadcast facilities.” They clinched with a threat that airing the ad could “be cause for the loss of a station’s license.”  
Big guns, Mr. Peters. Big guns. . . .


Who said that taxes don't affect behavior?: "ABBA wore outrageous outfits to avoid taxes"

The video from Fox News is available here.



San Diego Sheriff's office decides not to go for an "en banc" appeal of the recent Appeals Court decision striking down part of California's Concealed Carry law

The press release from the Sheriff's office reads this way (2/21/2014 2:46:13 PM):

Today, San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore notified the County Board of Supervisors ofhis intention not to seek en banc review in the matter Peruta, et.al v. County of San Diego. Acopy of Sheriff Gore's letter to the Board of Supervisors is below. 
Members of the public wishing to obtain a CCW under the standards articulated by the Ninth Circuit should be aware that the decision has not yet become final. Federal court rules prescribe a period of time which must elapse before the case is remanded to the District Court for further proceedings. Should the decision of the Ninth Circuit become final, the Sheriff's Department will begin to issue CCWs in situations where the applicant has met all other lawful qualifications and has requested a CCW for purposes of self-defense. 
Additionally, those seeking a CCW are advised that the process for obtaining a CCW involves several steps. The application process includes a scheduled interview, payment of fees, as well as state and local background checks. Successful completion of a firearms course of training is also required. This process can take several months. . . . 
So what does this mean?  I discussed last week, the Appeals Court decision struck down the so-called “good cause” requirement for getting a permit, saying that concern for one’s personal safety should be sufficient justification.  I thought that there was a chance that the decision wouldn't be challenged because a win by gun control advocates at the Ninth Circuit would surely lead to an appeal to the Supreme Court.  If I had a choice of cases, the California case is the one that I would appeal simply because some counties in California are so incredibly restrictive on issuing permits.  It seems that gun control advocates may have won out on influencing the legal strategy here.

Meanwhile, Orange County, California has responded by loosening up its permitting requirements.  The Los Angeles Times reports:
But Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens announced on the department's website that the county has decided to comply anyway.
"Regardless of what her personal positions are, she feels she needs to abide by what the law is," Lt. Jeff Hallock, a sheriff spokesman, said Thursday.
He said the department has received "a huge influx" of requests for permits to carry concealed guns since the 9th Circuit ruling. He cautioned, though, that the new relaxed rules might be "revisited" if the court decision is appealed or overturned.
The Orange County Sheriff's Department, which handles gun carry permits for the county's cities, will now give residents permits if they simply cite a need for personal safety or self-defense, as long as other conditions are met, the department said. Those conditions include an interview, background check, completion of a firearms training course and a fee.
"I am thrilled that the sheriff has seen the writing on the wall and recognized that Orange County citizens should have the right to choose to carry a firearm to protect themselves," said Chuck Michel, a National Rifle Assn. lawyer who represented gun owners in the 9th Circuit case. . . .

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Total gasoline taxes by state

ExxonMobile earned about 5.5 cents for every gallon of gasoline the company sold in the US in 2013.  The federal gasoline tax is 18.4 cents a gallon.  



Want people on Facebook to see your posts?: Apparently, the biggest determining factor is whether you are willing to buy Facebook ads

From the Federalist:
If you manage your company’s Facebook page and have ever wondered how the Facebook news feed algorithm decides how many of your fans will see your content, then wonder no more. We’ve cracked the code (or we’ve at least cracked the code as it pertains to The Federalist’s Facebook page). And yes, for those of you who don’t feel like reading through the entire post or grappling with the math and statistics below, the Facebook news feed algorithm absolutely rewards the purchase of Facebook ads. 
According to our analysis, five simple variables explain the vast majority (nearly 75 percent) of how the Facebook news feed algorithm works: total likesdaily paid reachsite page views from Facebookweekend vs. weekday, and posts per day. The full magnitude of each factor’s effect is discussed in detail below. . . . 
By all appearances, Facebook is rapidly implementing what economists call a two-part tariff: you pay once to get in the door, and then you pay again to talk to people who are already inside. Costco, credit cards that charge annual fees and interest on purchases, bars that charge both a cover and a per drink fee, and carnivals or amusement parks that charge an entrance fee and a per ride/game fee are examples of various businesses and products that utilize a two-part tariff pricing mechanism. . . .


Criminals mess with the wrong mom: "Mom [with an "assault" rifle] opens fire on home invaders in Detroit to defend children"

This mother of two young children did what she could to protect her family.  Apparently, it wasn't the first time that the family has been robbed.  From WXYZ TV:
A Detroit mother opened fire Monday night when three suspects broke into her home. Surveillance cameras caught it all.
The mother tells 7 Action News she "didn't have time to get scared." When she heard the door to her home on Woodrow Wilson being kicked in, she immediately warned the three teenage intruders and then opened fire.
One of the teens dropped a handgun on his way out the door. He then tried to get back inside the house a second time, but was again met with gunfire. Once again, he took off and all three were arrested shortly after the incident by Detroit Police.
Recalling the panic she felt, the mom says "I let them know I had a gun once they were in the house. They said no you don't so I shot off the first round. I wasn't feeling anything at the moment, I got scared afterwards." . . .
I am really beginning to like Detroit's police chief.

Now Detroit's Chief of Police is responding to the dramatic footage and the mother's actions.
"She did the right thing" says Chief James Craig acknowledging the mother gave a verbal warning prior to firing the weapon.
As we first reported, the mother was protecting two small children inside the home. . . . 

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Privacy and Apple Computer: The cost that Apple bears to protect consumers' privacy

Google sells all sorts of detailed information about their users.  People may remember how Google has gotten in trouble for forcibly planting cookies on people's computers.  Here is an article about what Apple is giving up by safeguarding their customers' privacy.  From Ad Age:
. . . The lack of data both companies deliver is frustrating for marketers because these notoriously opaque giants sit atop incredible troves of information about what consumers actually buy and like, as well as who they are and where they live. One person familiar with the situation exec said Apple's refusal to share data makes it the best-looking girl at the party, forced to wear a bag over her head. . . .

Apple knows names and addresses, geographic locations and app and music-purchase histories, and can show ad buyers that a group with specific characteristics also likes certain types of apps or music. However, its user tracking and ad targeting are not cookie-based, meaning agencies can't do automated buys via their cookie-centric trading desks, which allow them to mesh lots of data from different sources. Instead, they have to go to Apple, ask to reach a given audience and, well, trust Apple that it will deliver it. 
Apple might come out ahead of its competitors on data, if it would share. "It's one of the best in terms of data quality and accuracy … but I think Google is a little more open," said Dan Grigorovici, co-founder of mobile-ad firm AdMobius, who was a software manager at Apple until 2012 and a principal developer of iAd's measurement and analytics capabilities. . . . .

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11-year-old suspended from school for voluntarily turning in a toy gun that he had accidentally left in his jacket pocket

Here is yet another nutty zero tolerance story.  A kid accidentally had left a toy gun in his jacket pocket and he tried to do the right thing and turn it in to the school.  The notion that an obviously plastic toy gun should be turned into school authorities is pretty nutty, but, as if that wasn't bad enough, they suspended the kid and are forcing him to undergo counseling.  From the Independent Sentinel in Chicago:
. . . An 11-year old in 6th grade boy at the Fredrick Funston Elementary School, Caden Cook, was suspended from school for voluntarily turning in a non-firing plastic toy gun he had mistakenly left in his jacket pocket from the night before. He was waiting to be patted down, which is the normal state of affairs in this school, when he remembered the toy gun, but turning it in wasn’t sufficient.

His crime you ask? He violated the school’s weapons policy against dangerous objects. The school might not feel they have much latitude on this issue. The Chicago Public Schools defines the “dangerous objects” policy. The object Caden Cook had is ludicrously considered a “firearm.”

He has been ordered to undergo counseling and, according to The Rutherford Institute which has taken his case, he has also been subjected to intimidation tactics, interrogation, and dire threats by school officials—all without his mother being present. . . .



Georgia state House overwhelmingly passes bill to allow permitted concealed handguns in bars, college campuses, churches, and airports

Despite Democrats labeling the bill as a "license to kill,"  the bill passed by more than a 2-to-1 margin.  From channel 11 in Atlanta:
A House bill which would expand the places where licensed individuals can carry a gun has passed after an emotional floor debate.   
House Bill 875 passed the Georgia House by a vote of 119 to 56 after a two and a half hour debate. The bill now goes to the Georgia Senate.   
The vote was mostly along party lines with Republicans favoring it.   
"Gun free zones that are created by well meaning laws are gun free to the good guys only," said Rep. Rick Jasperse (R-Jasper), who sponsored the bill. 
"I think we have far, far more restrictions on our right to keep and bear arms than our forefathers ever intended," argued Rep. Matt Ramsey (R-Peachtree City). . . .  
[The bill] also prohibits compiling and releasing a list of weapons license holders as some other states have done.


Bogus research on universal background checks: Missouri and the Journal of Urban Health

For those who have been asked me about the claims that gun control works by looking at data on background checks in Missouri, please see this post here.


Newest Fox News: "Bloomberg's latest stats on school gun violence ignore reality"

My newest piece at Fox News starts this way:
Are schools and colleges dangerous places, with lots of gun violence? 
Some groups paint a picture of these places being particularly unsafe. Supposedly both murders and firearm suicides are very common at educational institutions. Last Wednesday, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s two groups, Moms Demand Gun Sense in America and Mayors Against Illegal Guns, jointly released a report that received massive uncritical news coverage. 
They claimed that 44 shootings occurred in schools and colleges nationwide since the Newtown, Conn. massacre on Dec. 14, 2012 and Feb. 10 of this year. Out of the 44 shootings, a total of 28 died. To dramatize their numbers, Bloomberg’s groups emphasized that one of these attacks occurred every 10 days. 
But their statistics are not what they seem. Included in the numbers are suicides. Also included are late night shootings taking place in school parking lots, on their grounds or even off school property, often involving gangs. As “shootings,” they also include any incident where shots were fired, even when nobody was injured. 
Look at some of the cases included in their misleading statistics: 
• A student at Eastern Florida State College retrieved his gun from his car when two men attacked him. One of the men was striking the student with a pool cue, and the student fired his gun wounding him. The gun was legally stored in the student’s car and the police found that he had acted in self-defense. 
• A 19-year-old was killed at 9pm in a field near the Hillside Elementary School in San Leandro, California. 
• A professor at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology committed suicide in an empty classroom. 
• A 23-year-old man committed suicide late at night on school grounds when no one was around the Algona High/Middle School in Iowa. 
• A 38-year-old man was shot to death at 2am on the grounds of the Clarksville, Tennessee High School. 
• A 19-year-old man committed suicide in the parking lot of a Portland, Maine high school. No one at the school was threatened. . . .
The rest of the piece is available here.

The piece has continued to be the most read opinion piece at Fox News.

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Idaho moving towards letting people carry permitted concealed handguns on college campuses

The support in the Idaho House is strong.  It is the state Senate that has been the problem.  With passage in the Senate committee, the bill has taken a big leap forward.
Gun owners are a step closer to being able to pack concealed weapons on Idaho college campuses, a move Second Amendment advocates say will boost personal safety and allow people to exercise their constitutional rights. 
The Senate State Affairs Committee voted 7-2 in to move it forward Wednesday, over objections from leaders of Idaho's colleges and universities. It now goes to a full Senate vote. 
The party-line vote with Republicans in favor advances a measure that allows retired law enforcement and enhanced concealed-carry permit holders to bring firearms to class. Guns would still be banned from dorms and other campus housing, as well as concert halls and stadiums. 
States that currently allow campus-carry are Colorado, Kansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Wisconsin and Utah. Most, including Idaho, leave it up to schools to decide. . . .
The argument against letting people defend themselves is all too typical.
Sen. Elliot Werk, one of two Democrats against the bill, questioned whether having armed students in class could exacerbate conflicts. 
"If you have instructors teaching controversial subjects, we have students who might take issue with other students during controversial discussions,'' he said. "I really feel strongly that the endgame is to make our campuses completely weaponized.'' . . . 
Six states mandate that students can carry on school property and other states allow it, but is there even one example that these opponents can point to?  No.