CNN interviews me on "Why blacks should have more guns"

CNN's John Blake has a new article on how race and guns.  Bob Cottrol is also interviewed for the piece.  Here is part of the discussion where he discusses my work:
Some gun rights advocates say contemporary black communities could learn from that tradition of self-defense.
Restrictive gun control laws often victimize black people more than any other group because they suffer disproportionately from violent crime, says John R. Lott Jr., author of "More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws." 
A black person is 6.5 times more likely to become a murder victim than someone who is white; and 92% of black murder victims are killed by members of their own race, Lott says. 
"Given the anger about police in many black communities, it might make more sense to let the law-abiding citizens in those communities have a greater chance to defend themselves," says Lott, founder and president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, a group that examines the links between gun control and crime. 
There are some who say that gun laws actually discriminate against poor blacks by making it more difficult for them to buy guns for protection, he says. He says states do this by raising the costs of concealed gun permits, training and other fees that price out poor minorities. 
And gun restrictions don't help black people living in violent neighborhoods, he says. Every time guns have been banned, Lott says, murder rates have increased. When the state of Massachusetts increased the costs of gun ownership, the number of registered gun owners in the state plummeted -- and the state's murder rate rose. Other academics say Lott's research is faulty. 
"The big problem," Lott says, "is that law-abiding good citizens, not criminals, obey the gun control laws." 
But are gun proponents like Lott really promoting safety or, as one scholar says, are they selling fear? 
Gallagher, the sociologist, says gun producers and the NRA create a perpetual state of fear so that people can buy their products. An NRA spokesman, Andrew Arulanandam, was repeatedly contacted but declined to answer questions submitted for this article. . . .

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One problem that drone package delivery faces that other delivery methods don't face: Hawks and other birds of prey

From Fox News:
. . . a large hawk took offense to the quadcopter drone loudly buzzing in the same airspace. The GoPro camera captured the hawk swooping in from above and slamming into the drone. At this point, Schmidt throttled down the props to avoid doing any serious damage to the hawk and the drone is filmed falling to the ground where it lands upside down on a grassy area of the park. 
According to Schmidt, the hawk zipped away and was apparently unharmed from the encounter. Detailed in the description of the YouTube video, Schmidt states “As far as I could tell, the hawk came out unscathed,…The quadcopter came out unscathed as well.” . . . 
Of course, this isn’t the first time that birds have taken out a drone that was invading nearby airspace. During December 2013, YouTube user Buddhanz1filmed a similar scenario where an entire flock of birds started dive bombing his DJI phantom drone. Also filmed with a GoPro Hero 3+ Black, repeated attacks from the birds ripped the battery connector and control of the drone was slowly lost as it plummeted to the ground below. . . .



The EPA scandal takes a new turn with crucial EPA losing text messages missing

Remember the scandal where the EPA was accused of trying to charge conservative groups fees while largely exempting liberal groups. The fees applied to Freedom of Information Act requests -- allegedly, the EPA waived them for liberal groups far more often than it did for conservative ones.  The Obama administration has done what it always does.  Delay, delay, delay, and then say that the information has been destroyed and that all this is old news.  Of course, this isn't the first time that the EPA has tried to hide information.  EPA administrator Lisa Jackson resigned over emails that she tried to hide under a pseudonym.  From Fox News:
The EPA is being accused of pulling “an IRS” for reportedly planning to inform the National Archives it has lost text messages being sought in an open-records request. 
The Washington Times reported Wednesday that lawyers from the Department of Justice informed a federal court of the EPA’s plans to tell the National Archives it cannot produce the text messages because they have been deleted. 
The open-records request in question came from the Competitive Enterprise Institute, which is seeking text messages from the devices of EPA administrator Gina McCarthy.
Christopher Horner, a senior fellow for the institute, told FoxNews.com in a statement it is clear the EPA has not learned from the IRS’ mistakes. . . .
“Here we see EPA agreeing to the court to 'do an IRS', which is to say: notify the National Archivist of the loss of every one of Gina McCarthy's thousands of text messages we have discovered she destroyed, just as the IRS finally agreed to notify (the National Archives) about the emails lost from (former IRS official) Lois Lerner's destroyed hard drive,” he said. “The IRS's insincere efforts at following through on Federal Records Act obligations drew the court's ire – the same court now hearing the EPA case.  Taxpayers should rightly expect EPA to have learned the proper lesson from the IRS's experience and hope for better.” . . .
the [EPA] argued that text messages are personal and therefore do not have to be stored as part of the agency's official record as required by law. . . .

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Actor Dean Cain speaks out on how a personal experience shaped his views on guns

From Fox News:
The actor is particularly vocal about gun rights. He said a frightening experience at his home in Los Angeles helped shape his opinion on the topic. 
“I was terrified. I’m a big, strong guy and my knees were buckling like ‘Oh my gosh,’” Cain said of a night when he awoke to a stranger pounding on his door. “I’m armed to-the-teeth now. At 4 o’clock in the morning come bang at my door, my knees won’t buckle.” . . .
This provides a contrast with recent news that Liam Neeson opposing guns.  On the other hand, you have people such as Jerry Lewis and Robert De Niro who are gun owners.


Newest piece at Fox News: “Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun propaganda”

My newest piece at Fox News starts this way:
When former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s gun control groups release a report, they consistently garner massive, uncritical news coverage.  Alas. With the huge number of factual mistakes in these reports, you would think that reporters would have grown wary of pushing their propaganda. 
For example, Bloomberg’s Everytown, Mothers Demand Action, and Mayors Against Illegal guns have been caught padding the number of school shootings.  While Everytown claimed 74 school shootings occurred between the Newtown, Connecticut shooting in December 2012 and June 2014, Politifact, which rated Everytown’s claim as “mostly false,” put the number of “incidents such as Sandy Hook or Columbine in which the shooter intended to commit mass murder” at 10. 
Every single report released by Bloomberg’s groups has contained major errors.  A new report by the Crime Prevention Research Center has corrected Everytown’s July study on “mass shootings”: again, it is no different – lots of errors, but worldwide publicity touting the erroneous claims. . . .
The piece continues here.



If you want the best fuel economy, don't buy the smallest cars. Yes, that is right.

So much for all the people who have bought more dangerous cars because they thought they were getting better fuel economy or saving money on gas.  From the UK Telegraph:
Drivers looking for savings at the petrol pump could be making a mistake if they swap their estate or 4x4 for a smaller car, according to research which suggests that fuel economy estimates are biased against larger vehicles. . . . 
The discrepancy between manufacturers’ claims and the road data was especially stark for vehicles with smaller engines, which generally have to work harder to accelerate. 
Tests showed that vehicles with an engine size up to one litre had an average advertised 60.3mpg, but consumption was measured at 38.6mpg in tests, a drop of 36 per cent. 
Average consumption for cars with one to two-litre engines was measured at 46.7mpg, 21 per cent lower than the advertised 59.1mpg. This meant they travelled further on the same amount of fuel than the average smaller car. . . .
It is also interesting that there is almost no difference in fuel economy between midsize and larger cars.

There are at least a couple US cars with 1 Liter engines.

2014 Ford Fiesta 1.0L EcoBoost
2014 Smart fortwo

UPDATE: Here is something that I found at Green Car Reports:
The worst offenders were vehicles with engines displacing 1.0 liter or less (no sub-1.0-liter engines are available in the U.S.), which missed the mark by 36 percent. Engines between 1.0 liter and 2.0 liters were second worst, at 21 percent. . . .


Pennsylvania state government moving to protect gun owners from local government regulations

From WTAE.com:
The House voted 143-54 for a bill that would discourage local governments from imposing illegal gun restrictions by giving anyone whose rights are violated by such laws the ability to sue and recover legal fees, as well as reimbursement for any lost income. 
That bill also would require the state police to submit mental health data within 90 days to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, run by the federal government. . . .



So what do these Democrats know?: Democrats are already putting blame on why they are going to lose the Senate

Apparently, a number of Democrats are not very optimistic about their election prospects.  From The Hill newspaper:
Democrats are starting to play the blame game as they face the possibility of losing the Senate in November. 
Tempers are running high a month out from Election Day, with polls showing Democratic candidates trailing in the crucial battleground states that will decide whether control of Congress flips to Republicans. . . . 
“Yes, you’ve seen pre-emptive finger pointing in the last couple of weeks,” said Gerald Warburg, a former Senate Democratic leadership aide and assistant dean at the University of Virginia’s Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. . . . 
With control of the Senate in jeopardy, some Democrats are eyeing potential scapegoats: Obama’s low approval rating; low turnout from Hispanic voters; overly centrist messaging; and the media, to name just a few. . . .
From the New York Times:
. . . As November nears, Mr. Obama and his loyalists are being forced to reconcile that it is not only Democrats in conservative-leaning states, like Senator Mark Pryor of Arkansas, who are avoiding him. . . . 
Democratic senators in Colorado, North Carolina and Virginia — states that were pivotal to his success and whose demographics reflect his winning coalition of young, minority and female voters — do not want him. Nor does his party’s Senate nominee in Iowa, where Mr. Obama won twice and whose youth-filled 2008 Democratic caucuses vaulted him toward the nomination. 
Some leading Democrats say it would be better for him to make the case for the party’s economic policies safely away from the most crucial races — as he did last week in Illinois. 
“It’s not so important where he says it — it’s what he says,” said Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York. 
Yet even the slightest injection of the Obama brand into this election seems perilous for Democrats.
Last week, speaking at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., Mr. Obama declared that while he was not up for re-election, his “policies are on the ballot.” Immediately, Republicans pounced, putting the clip in videos to link their rivals to the president. Democrats winced, and David Axelrod, the longtime Obama adviser, acknowledged Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the remark was “a mistake.” . . .


Obamacare causes Wal-Mart to cut health benefits for some part-time, following cuts by Target

Obamacare has a funny way of reducing the number of people without health insurance.  From the Associate Press:
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. plans to eliminate health insurance coverage for some of its part-time U.S. employees in a move aimed at controlling rising health care costs of the nation's largest private employer. 
Wal-Mart told The Associated Press that starting Jan. 1, it will no longer offer health insurance to employees who work less than an average of 30 hours a week. The move affects 30,000 employees, or about 5 percent of Wal-Mart's total part-time workforce, but comes after the company already had scaled back the number of part-time workers who were eligible for health insurance coverage since 2011. 
The announcement follows similar decisions by Target, Home Depot and others to completely eliminate health insurance benefits for part-time employees. . . .



Man halts robbery by four armed men at bar, kills two, but business had posted sign banning concealed permit holders from carrying

This is an interesting case where a frequent and well-known customer stopped a robbery, but apparently the people who work at the bar and the other customers can't identify him to police.  Presumably this concealed carry permit holder knew that he wasn't allowed to carry in the business and wants to avoid an possible criminal penalties.  I know one person who undoubtedly wishes that she had violated the prohibition against carrying a concealed handgun in a bar when Tennessee used to ban it.  From KHOU in Houston:

Instead, a customer inside the bar, which is located on the 16500 block of Kuykendahl Road, pulled out his gun and started exchanging fire with the robbers. He shot and killed two of them while the other two ran. Once the heated exchange ended, the patron left, too.
"We're still trying to determine who he is, and why he left the scene," said Harris County Sheriff's Sgt. Robert Spurgeon.
Harris County Sheriff's deputies are looking into whether the same robbers held up a gas station on Cypresswood earlier in the night.
Most folks driving by EJ's Place Saturday afternoon thought the patron there was in the right.
"He has his right to protect himself and his family and his friends," said Charles Webb. "It's just unfortunate something like that happened." . . . 
Another longtime customer said that the patron who killed the robbers always stays until closing to walk the female bartenders to their cars. The friend said the man would never start anything, but would always protect his friends. . . .



Information on errors in Bloomberg's various claims on guns

Fox News is broadcasting a discussion that I had on Bloomberg's misinformation on guns three times this weekend.  They did it yesterday at 5:15 PM EDT, and today at 10:15 PM EDT and tomorrow morning at 1:15 AM EDT.  Fox Business will also show the discussion at 9:15 PM EDT.

However, you can watch the two segments from the show on youtube here and here.

Bloomberg's people were invited yet again to participate, but they continue to refuse to appear with anyone to debate.  If you would like to embarrass them for refusing to debate anyone, please consider following this link available here and retweeting it.


Gallup: Opposition to President similar to 2010 and 2006, greater than other second term midterm elections

Registered Voters' Use of Midterm Election Vote to Send Message to President, by Political Party
Click on table to enlarge it.

Compared to the 2010 election, Republicans are virtually exactly the same, but Democrat support is down 7 percentage points.  Democratic strategist Mark Mellman in The Hill newspaper claims that Republican picks ups over 2010 will be small and that means the Republicans won't be able to claim a mandate, but that is equivalent to saying the tide isn't very high because it can't greatly exceed the record levels reached during the last hurricane.


Biden upsets allies in Middle East by incorrectly claiming that they are funding al-Qaida fighters in Syria

From the Associated Press:
Vice President Joe Biden on Sunday called the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates to clarify that he did not mean to imply in his remarks last week that the Gulf ally was supporting al-Qaida fighters in Syria.
Biden spoke with Prince Mohamed bin Zayed, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi and a key Emirati leader, the White House said.
It was the second time in two days that Biden had to call a key partner in President Barack Obama's coalition to walk back comments he made on Thursday, when he said that U.S. allies - including Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the UAE - had funded and armed extremist groups linked to al-Qaida. . . .

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Corruption in Virginia, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe should be in a lot of trouble for bribing state senator, bribe caught on tape

Democrats don't seem to understand that there is a huge difference between the two cases:

1) Republicans offer a Democratic State Senator a job.  Now it is true that the Democrat has to resign his seat to take the job and that his resigning will give the Republicans control of the state Senate, but there is no explicit quid pro quo.

2) Democrats promise the that same Democratic State Senator a job for his daughter if he remains in office.  That is a definite quid pro quo and  against the law -- it is a crime.  To put it simply it is a bribe.  More specifically, the bribe was being offered to get a particular piece of legislation through.

Now prosecutors have been looking diligently into the first case, even though the now former Democratic State Senator claims that there was no quid pro quo.  Now the state Attorney General is a Democrat and prosecutors have not yet launched an investigation in to Terry McAuliffe, but the evidence here seems overwhelming simply because there is a recording of the McAuliffe's chief of staff offering the bribe.  The Washington Post has this transcript (the part in bold is the key):
“Hey Senator. This is Paul Reagan again. I just wanted to bounce one idea off you. I know there was a lot of frustration with your daughter, not, you know, getting a judgeship or something. if there’s something that we can do for her, I mean, you know, we have a couple of big agencies here that we still need agency heads. We could potentially, potentially, subject to approval of the governor and so forth, you know, the department of mines, minerals and energy could be available. So we would be very eager to accommodate her, if, if that would be helpful in keeping you in the senate. We, we would basically do anything. We just need you really, we need you for the rest of your term and beyond, but in the immediate future, we need you to help us get this Medicaid deal through and I think we’ve got a way to do it. So anyway, please let’s keep all this confidential. Call me 703-850-----. Thank you sir. Bye.”
Now the obvious point is this: Who could have turned the audio over to the Washington Post?  It seems that the only person who was likely to do that is the former DEMOCRAT state senator.

Here is the problem for McAuliffe.  His press spokesman noted: "Coy indicated that McAuliffe had no objections to it and suggested that the prospective job offer Reagan floated was not on par with what Republicans are accused of promising Puckett.  'The governor has full confidence in Paul Reagan,' Coy said."  Paul Reagan is McAuliffe's chief of staff so it is also hard to put much distance between the two of them.

It is pretty hilarious to listen to some Democrats suggest a defense for the Democrats (from the Washington Post): “Certainly based on prior cases, an offer of a job would be a thing of value. But would it be a thing of value to Puckett if the job is being offered to his daughter? That’s not clear cut.”  Does anyone who reads the above transcript not believe this is a bribe?  Read it again:  "So we would be very eager to accommodate her, if, if that would be helpful in keeping you in the senate. We, we would basically do anything. We just need you really, we need you for the rest of your term and beyond, but in the immediate future, we need you to help us get this Medicaid deal through and I think we’ve got a way to do it." Does anyone think that it wasn't clear that something of value to the state senator was being offered?

Will national media cover this?  When McDonald got in trouble it instantly got major national attention.  McDonald was convicted on less evidence than this.  Jason Riley has a write up about this in the WSJ, but there are relatively few stories on all this.