The Cause of Gun Violence Is…

Will the CDC Find the Cause of Gun Violence?

When President Obama signed his 23 executive orders this week to reduce gun  violence, I had to laugh at several of them.  One in particular was to  issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to  research the causes and prevention of gun violence.

Really?  Is it a bacteria or virus that infects certain people?  Is  it contagious?

Do any of you remember the movie Urban Cowboy starring John  Travolta?  One of the songs used in the movie was sung by country singer  Johnny Lee and it was called, Looking for Love in All the Wrong  Places.  That’s exactly what Obama and the Democrats are doing with gun  violence, looking in all the wrong places.

The CDC is going to spend millions of taxpayer dollars looking for solutions  in all the wrong places.  Continue Reading

Taxing Ammo

Chicago Figures Out Cause of Homicides: Untaxed Bullets

by:

Chicago residents worried about the city’s soaring homicide rate can rest easy. After painstaking consideration during what was no doubt many rounds of double martinis, officials are at last ready with an answer.

Just tax bullets, says Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. She has announced she will submit a budget proposal next week that would slap a nickel tax on each bullet sold and $25 per firearm.

Chicago’s crime families immediately went into conference to examine the results of Preckwinkle’s proposal on their budgets and announced they would have to cut back gun murders by at least 15 percent and shift some more business into the concrete galoshes department to compensate.

Clearly, officials have the bad guys on the run.

I have a theory that most liberal grownups were once those children who somehow always lost when playing cops and robbers:

Future conservative: “Bang! Bang! You’re dead!”

Future liberal: “Am not!”

F.C.: “Are too!”

F.L.: “Darn! One day, I will get even! I’ll ban your guns!”

F.C.: “Bang! Bang! You’re double dead!

So far this year, Chicago has racked up 409 homicides compared with 324 during the same period in 2011.

Officials estimate the tax would bring in about $1 million to the cash-strapped city, but denied that the proposal was just about creating more revenue.

Richard Pearson, the executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association, had to point out the obvious, that the tax wouldn’t do anything to address gang violence.

“If she wants to get to the people causing all the problems she ought to put a tax on street gangs,” he said. “All this is going to do is drive business out of Cook County, into other counties, Indiana and Wisconsin.”

But Pearson and other critics are looking at the situation without the benefit of the liberals’ world view, in which guns kill people and criminals are law abiding citizens.

If Chicago really wants to get tough with criminals, maybe officials should consider resorting to the ultimate crimefightiing tool: a rolled up newspaper and a stern “No!”

I’m sure that would work.

Concealed Banking

Firearms are welcome at the Chappell Hill Bank in Texas.

The Chappell Hill Bank located just north of Houston may be the oldest continuously operated bank in America. It didn’t close on President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s bank holiday in 1933.

It’s been robbed five times in its 100-plus year history, most recently in March 20101. Bank President Ed Smith didn’t want it to happen again. To send this message to would-be robbers, he took down the “No Firearms” sign posted on the bank’s front and posted the new policy2 on the front door:

Lawful concealed carry permitted on these premises. Management recognizes the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as an unaliienable  right of all citizens. We support and encourage the carrying of licensed concealed weapons.

The policy applies to his tellers as well as customers. Seven women tellers are licensed to carry.

“No damn Yankee is going to tell us what to do,” Smith said. He means what he says. He had to stand up to regulators over the new policy. It’s not the first time he’s had to do so. An examiner once tried to get him to remove paintings of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson from the bank’s walls.

“You don’t know that (customer) Mrs. Middlebrooks doesn’t have a .38 in her purse right there,” Smith said. “And, if you try something nefarious in the bank, you might wind up in a horizontal position. Come in here, and you might leave feet first.”

The policy seems to work. The bank hasn’t been robbed since. A number of new customers have come on board in response to the policy.

Attribution: Bob Livingston

Colorado Massacre: No Causes, No Cures

By Michael Medved

After the grisly massacre in Colorado no one will attend weekend showings of The Dark Knight Rises with expectations of a rollicking, uplifting, feel-good night at the movies. But even before its association with horrifying images of real-life mass murder, this final installment in the current Batman series suffered from serious deficiencies in terms of its fun factor. It’s wrong to suggest that the movie provoked the killings in its midnight Aurora premiere, but those crimes do, in a sense, expose the nihilistic darkness at the heart of the film that’s become dominant in far too much of today’s pop culture.

Whenever Americans find themselves transfixed by stories of senseless slaughter, there’s an irresistible impulse to seek causes and cures. We’re supposed to probe some chain of cruelty and complaint that impelled the alleged lone gunman (and it’s almost always a lone gunman) to undertake his deadly rampage. Custom also calls for earnest pronouncements by every preening pundit on social and governmental changes that might prevent such carnage in the future.

Concerning causes, we usually hear about the devastating impact of adolescent bullying, the influence of violent media imagery, the breakdown of the family, or, more generally, the toxic nature of our “sick society.” When it comes to cures, the most common recommendations involve tighter regulation of guns, or new restrictions on brutal entertainment, or more emphasis on character building in school, or more antibullying protections, or mental-health programs, or enhanced economic mobility, or smaller class size, or more spirituality in public life, or some idealized combination of all of the above.

Of course, none of these causes or cures seems to fit comfortably with what we know of the alleged shooter. Like the alleged killer’s Colorado counterparts who perpetrated the Columbine massacre in 1999, the evidence suggests that the suspect was a bully rather than the bullied: with a reported height of 6 feet 3, he no doubt would have cut a hugely intimidating figure on the night of his alleged crime, dressed in black ninja garb with body armor and gas mask. Moreover, preliminary information hardly suggests the suspect is a troubled loser on the margins of society; instead, James Holmes compiled an impressive record of academic achievement (in the challenging field of neuroscience) with no reported record of prior arrests or serious psychiatric problems.

As for the recommended reforms that might prevent such nightmarish scenarios, the inevitable and simplistic case for gun control remains illogical at best, feeble at worst. For instance, Norway imposes fierce regulation on all private ownership of firearms, requiring detailed rules for use and even storage as well as a rigorous and restrictive licensing process. None of this prevented the monstrous Anders Behring Breivik from butchering 77 of his countrymen in a 2011 killing spree that lasted far longer and took a much heavier toll in human life than the movie massacre in Colorado.

All civilized societies enforce unequivocal laws against murder, let alone wanton slaughter, so it’s difficult to argue that a determined killer planning to break such clear-cut rules will somehow stop short when it comes to violating far more complicated and obscure strictures on firearms ownership. The stories from Aurora also concentrated on the tragic case of one 24 year-old victim, Jessica Ghawi, who previously survived a bloody gun massacre at a shopping center in Toronto only to succumb to this latest outrage in the Rocky Mountains. Advocates for gun control (filmmaker Michael Moore particularly prominent among them) regularly lift up Canada as an enlightened example of tough, common-sense firearms regulation, which may in fact reduce, but hardly eliminates, gun violence.

Meanwhile, the incidence of homicidal violence in the United States has dramatically declined over the last 30 years, even as gun ownership has soared in every segment of society. According the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the overall murder rate peaked in 1980 at 10.7 per 100,000 people and then fell by more than half to 4.8 in 2010—a much more substantial drop in the murder rate than in tightly gun-controlled Canada, by the way.

But America’s ongoing reduction in violent crime also undermines a favorite talking point of many conservatives, who try to blame media violence for brutality on the streets. Anyone who believes that the reduction in the murder rate in the United States since 1980 is either the result or the cause of a corresponding reduction of violent imagery in movies, music, or TV has paid no attention to long-term trends in popular culture. Movies that once qualified as R- or even X-rated now easily slide into the catchall PG-13 parental-guidance designation for any child above the age of 12—as did the deeply disturbing and gratuitously sadistic The Dark Knight Rises.

Director Christopher Nolan seemed deeply determined to channel his inner Mel Gibson and to create a comic-book classic that might be subtitled “The Passion of the Batman.” The Caped Crusader suffers broken bones, bloody beatings, and exquisite tortures, all for the sins of citizens who mostly reject and despise him in a two-hour-and-45-minute ordeal. The deafening soundtrack, featuring a relentless and brutalist film score by the redoubtable Hans Zimmer, may count as the most earsplitting and headache-inducing sonic assault in major-motion-picture history. As my fellow film critic Joe Morgenstern sagely observed in The Wall Street Journal, the film “makes you feel thoroughly miserable about life. It’s spectacular, to be sure, but also remarkable for its all-encompassing gloom. No movie has ever administered more punishment, to its hero or its audience, in the name of mainstream entertainment.”

But worried social critics should avoid the instinct to interpret the popular embrace of such a cinematic assault as some powerful evidence of our sick society, just as the senseless killings in Colorado hardly offer proof of national disease or decline. On Aug. 1, 1966, an engineering student and former Marine named Charles Whitman murdered 16 strangers and wounded 32 others in an inexplicable rampage at the University of Texas, but we tend to look back on that era of the Great Society with nostalgia and affection as a time of hopeful innocence.

My first conscious exposure to the “sick society” mantra came two years later, after the Robert Kennedy assassination (which I personally witnessed), which, combined with the prior killings of JFK and MLK, led many prominent observers to suggest a deep disease afflicting the nation’s soul. Even at the time, that made little sense to me: as a buff on presidential assassinations, I knew that President McKinley in 1901 and President Garfield in 1881 had been shot by demented loners who bore a strong family resemblance to Lee Harvey Oswald, James Earl Ray, and Sirhan Sirhan, but few historians view that confident earlier era of economic growth and rising world power as a time of deep social illness.

A proper perspective doesn’t minimize the horror of the Colorado crimes, but should dismiss the obnoxious demands for coming up with causes and cures. There’s no cause for the killer’s unspeakable acts and no conclusive cure for senseless violence in society. Insanity and evil represent eternal and inevitable elements of the human condition. The killing doesn’t carry a politically correct point, or a particularly timely lesson, or some deeper meaning. It is, in the worst possible sense, meaningless and all the more horrible for that. The senselessness of the suffering should help us to avoid our vague, mostly groundless sense of collective guilt, but it won’t make that suffering—either on screen or in the streets—any more endurable.

Attribution: Townhall, Daily Beast

Quick Hits

Trump is a Jerk:
Donald Trump supporters have met an official ballot deadline in Texas, paving the way for the business mogul to become a third-party candidate there, a source close to Trump tells The Blaze. Trump himself acknowledged the filing in a statement.

According to an email sent by the source to The Blaze on Sunday night, Trump supporters filed paperwork on Friday to create the “Make America Great Again Party,” giving Trump the opportunity — should he take advantage of it — to be on the primary ballot.

Attribution: The Blaze

Background checks up Again:
According to the FBI, over 1.5 million background checks on customers were requested by gun dealers to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System in December. Nearly 500,000 of those were in the six days before Christmas.

It was the highest number ever in a single month, surpassing the previous record set in November.

On Dec 23 alone there were
102,222 background checks, making it the second busiest single day for buying guns in history.

The actual number of guns bought may have been even higher if individual customers took home more than one each.
Explanations for America’s surge in gun buying include that it is a response to the stalled economy with people fearing crime waves. Another theory is that buyers are rushing to gun shops because they believe tighter firearms laws will be introduced in the future.

The National Rifle Association said people were concerned about self-defense because police officer numbers were declining.

A spokesman said: “I think there’s an increased realization that when something bad occurs it’s going to be between them and the criminal.”

Attribution: UK Telegraph

Occupy the Classroom:
Does getting pepper-sprayed count as extra credit?

Columbia University is offering a new course on Occupy Wall Street next semester — sending upperclassmen and grad students into the field for full course credit.

[Just a little editorial side note. The cost, per credit at Columbia is between $2000.00 & $3800.00. That does include room, board, transportation, books, etc.]

The class is taught by Dr. Hannah Appel, who boasts about her nights camped out in Zuccotti Park.

As many as 30 students will be expected to get involved in ongoing OWS projects outside the classroom, the syllabus says.

The class will be in the anthropology department and called “Occupy the Field: Global Finance, Inequality, Social Movement.” It will be divided between seminars at the Morningside Heights campus and fieldwork.

On her blog, Appel defends OWS, arguing that “it is important to push back against the rhetoric of ‘disorganization’ or ‘a movement without a message’ coming from left, right and center.”

Attribution: NY Post

Black Friday Boon, for Guns

USA Today reports that “Gun dealers flooded the FBI with background check requests for prospective buyers last Friday, smashing the single-day, all-time high by 32%, according to bureau records. Deputy Assistant FBI Director Jerry Pender said the checks, required by federal law, surged to 129,166 during the day, far surpassing the previous high of 97,848 on Black Friday of 2008.”

NICS Firearm Background Checks — Friday, November 25, 2011:

Total NICS Checks—129,166 (highest day ever) 32.01 percent over Friday, November 28, 2008

Federal Checks—81,609 (highest day ever) 26.69 percent over Friday, November 28, 2008

POC State Checks—47,557 (4th highest day)

Other Records:
NICS Contracted Call Centers—69,497 (highest day ever) 16.30 percent over Friday, November 28, 2008

NICS E-Check—11,953 (highest day ever) 119.76 percent over Friday, February 11, 2011

Some people have “attributed the unusual surge to a convergence of factors, including an increasing number of first-time buyers seeking firearms for protection and women who are being drawn to sport shooting and hunting.”

Yes, that’s it. It’s not due to the world on the brink of a meltdown or ever-increasing violence countrywide.

Wisconsin’s concealed carry law isn’t even a month old, but thousands already have permission to pack heat and they’re buying up the hardware to do it.

Yes, of course. Concealed carry permits for hunting & sport shooting. I know, when I’m out hunting, I want to conceal my firearm. That way, my prey can’t figure out what my intentions are until it’s too late. I walk up to the deer. “Hey how’s it going? I’m just here to talk.” Then, when he least expects it, I draw my concealed 45 & Blamo!

Reports confirm gun sales have increased across Wisconsin and the state Justice Department has been deluged with so many permit requests it’s already scrambling to keep up.

The Justice Department’s handgun hotline, a number gun sellers can call to initiate background checks on would-be gun buyers, had received 7,355 calls in the first weeks of November.

Roger Wendling, owner of Monsoor’s Sport Shop in La Crosse, estimates he’s seen a 25 percent to 30 percent increase in handgun sales this month. About 70 percent of the concealed carry clientele have been women, he said.

The nerve of some women, wanting to protect themselves.

In fact, it is not just the Black Friday phenomena that is the cause for the increase.

According to the FBI’s NICS records, from 2000 through most of 2006 the number of firearms purchases remained remarkably stable, averaging around 8.5 million transactions per year. But toward the close of 2006, gun sales began to rise dramatically, ending the year at over 10 million. The following year, 2007, sales again rose to over 11 million.

Why the increase after 2006? What happened that could effect such change?

The (what’s a second amendment?) Democrats took control of Congress and we all know how gun-friendly they are. Sheer coincidence, I assume.

It was the election of Barack Obama that really ignited the current sales frenzy. With Obama’s election, over 3 million guns were purchased in the last two months of 2008 alone, ending the year at 12.7 million. Then, in 2009, the very first year of the Obama administration, Americans bought a record, 14 million guns, a whopping 40% increase over the first year of George Bush’s presidency. Another coincidence.

If this business boon were happening in any other industry, the media talking heads would be all over it. But alas, they can’t, for it is counterintuitive to their worldview & is anathema to their gun control mantra.

John Caile states, “It is often said that what people actually do, especially with their money, is a far better indicator of what they are thinking than what they say. If that is true, then the growing number of Americans who are buying guns for the first time are showing quite clearly that they are increasingly distrustful of their government’s ability to protect them.” I couldn’t agree more.

Attribution: Godfather Politics, Postcrescent.com, Redstate.com