Tag Archives: Second Amendment

65-year-old woman uses legally-owned gun to deter 23-year-old man who tried to rob her

Guns are for self-defense against criminals
Guns are for self-defense against criminals

First, let’s see this news story from the CBS local news.

Excerpt:

Police say a 65-year-old woman shot a man who tried to rob her Monday night, leading to that man’s arrest.

Michael Bontaites, 23 of Manchester, was charged with attempted robbery and held on $5,000 bail. He was charged and arraigned Tuesday at Elliot Hospital, where he had gone for treatment after he was shot.

The incident began after the woman noticed an unknown dark-colored sedan following her as she was driving home from her job around 11:30 p.m. Monday night, which she said gave her “heightened concern.”

“Your instincts will tell you. Your gut will tell you when something isn’t right,” the woman, who did not wish to be identified, told WBZ-TV.

The Manchester grandmother said the sedan followed her into the parking lot of her apartment complex on South Porter Street and parked near her. When she left the car to walk into her building, she said a man in a dark hooded sweatshirt got out of the sedan, ran to block her path, and reached out to grab her.

The woman, who holds a valid concealed carry gun permit, pulled a handgun from her pocket and shot the man once in the chest at close range.

[…]The woman tells WBZ she has had her permit to carry for 10 years.

“No one has the right to do that to anybody,” she said of the would-be robber. “And if you can defend yourself, all the power to you.”

Now, over at the Manchester Union Leader, we find out that this guy was actually able to avoid serious jail time for a previous crime:

The alleged mugger shot on Monday by a Manchester grandmother once threatened a woman with a knife after an automobile accident, according to records.

Michael Bontaites, 23, who is now in Valley Street Jail with a bullet wound in his chest, pleaded guilty to felony criminal threatening after a June 2012 traffic accident on Route 28 bypass in Derry, according to a Rockingham County prosecutor. Derry police say he got out of the car with a knife in hand, had words with the driver and passenger and then drove off.

Bontaites was facing felony charges that could have landed him in prison for 3 1/2 to seven years. But as part of a plea bargain, he agreed to six months of incarceration at Rockingham County jail. The sentence also called for an anger management evaluation and a year of probation.

Liberals are always trying to release criminals early – in fact, Obama recently released a whole bunch of criminals. That’s what Democrats do. The Obama administration has released convicted drug offenders. The Obama administration has released radical Islamic terrorists. The Obama administration ran guns to Mexican drug cartels. Criminals released early have murdered cops. Illegal immigrants with prior convictions murdered an innocent woman. Radical Islamic terrorists slipped through security screening to murder more innocent Americans. And so on.

Democrats are not serious about protecting the public – they even opposed sanctions against sanctuary cities. But now all that pro-criminal behavior is being taken a step further, and it has something to do with the self-defense story above.

Obama’s gun ban

What if the old woman in the story was not allowed to own a firearm? Well, it turns out that this is exactly what Obama would like to do.

The leftist Washington Post explains:

The most legally problematic part of the White House statement involves persons who are, in the terms of Gun Control Act, “adjudicated as a mental defective.” 18 U.S. Code sect. 922(g)(4). Under the Social Security Act, a beneficiary can designate a personal representative  to manage payments and interactions with the Social Security bureaucracy; for example, a widow who has no experience in financial affairs might designate a family member as her representative.

Should any Social Security beneficiary who has designated a personal representative be considered “adjudicated as a mental defective”? This question was raised by an Obama administration proposal in 2015. It was resisted by a bill introduced in the U.S. Congress. Imposing a gun ban on Social Security beneficiaries who have designated a financial representative would contradict almost half a century of established interpretation of the Gun Control Act of 1968. Nobody who advocated for the 1968 gun law suggested that it would have any impact on Social Security beneficiaries.

The Tuesday White House “executive action” regarding Social Security was simply an announcement of a plan to promulgate a regulation according to the ordinary process. Because a new regulation has not yet been published in the Federal Register, it is impossible to say whether the White House plan is constitutional. The devil will be in the details.

So, if you are collecting Social Security, and you have designated someone to be your personal representative, then the Obama administration thinks that maybe you shouldn’t own a gun, and be able to defend yourself from criminals. So I guess if the older lady in the news story happened to be in that situation, then maybe she should just let herself be robbed, raped and murdered, instead of fighting back.

Every day in America law-abiding citizens use legally-owned guns to stop crimes

Gun ownership up, gun violence down
Gun ownership up, gun violence down (Source: Congressional Research Service)

I have some European friends on Facebook, and they cannot understand why Americans like to own guns as much as we do. Many of them are influenced by Hollywood movies that glamorize gun use. They perceive guns in a way that is different than the people who actually own them. So why do law-abiding Americans own firearms? It’s a very simple and obvious reason, really. We own guns because we don’t like criminals robbing us, raping us, murdering us, and damaging the property we bought with our own earned incomes.

Here are a couple of examples from earlier this week that illustrate this concept.

First one from Virginia, reported by local news:

Neighbors are praising a Henrico man who took matters into his own hands when he noticed something wrong in his neighborhood. When the man saw another man looking into vehicles parked along Viking Lane, near Woodman Road, at about 8:30 Tuesday night — he confronted the individual, police said.

“When the resident approached the suspect, the suspect drove a pickup truck right in the path of the resident until the resident drew a handgun, forcing the suspect to stop,” Henrico Police spokesman Sgt. Colin Rooney said.

Neighbor Theresa Strickland witnessed the tense situation.

“I saw him demand that he get out of the truck and was standing in the path of the truck and I thought how in the world is he going to make this guy stop his vehicle,” she said. “Apparently he did and I’m thankful he did.”

In Europe, Canada, or other pro-criminal countries where the law-abiding populations are disarmed, this would never happen. Liberals run those countries, and they just don’t see the point of allowing taxpayers to prevent “redistribution of wealth” by criminals. After all, if criminals are poor, they should be allowed to take the property of their law-abiding neighbors. It’s always the poorer law-abiding people who are the ones most threatened by crime… but liberals don’t care about them – they care about the criminals.

Here’s another from Ohio, reported by local news:

Trotwood Police were called to a home at the dead end of Atlas Road around 6:00 Monday morning.

Police tell FOX 45 three masked men armed with firearms forcibly entered and attempted to rob the homeowner.

[…]”I got my gun and I started shooting and they ran,” the female caller told dispatchers. “They all three had guns, I’m confused … they must not have had bullets because after I pulled the trigger they just took off, instead of firing back. I don’t know if I hit one or not, I don’t see blood anywhere.”

The three suspects were caught on home surveillance outside the residence, before they kicked their way inside.

Police say two kids were asleep inside the home in the room where the invaders kicked their way in.

[…]Trotwood Police said two of the suspects tried to steal a safe, while the third held the victim and two kids at gunpoint. They say the homeowner was able to get away and grab a gun she had hidden in the room, then started firing shots at the suspects.

Now, the response of most liberals, criminals and terrorists, and other predators to this story will be to say “she should just let the criminals assault her and the kids, steal her property, rape them all, and murder them all.” That’s the liberal view, after all – let the criminals do as they please while you wait for the police to arrive. In fact, in the UK, people who defend themselves with any weapon are usually arrested by the police, for example in this case or in this case. This makes sense to liberals – they want to arrest people who scare criminals off by defending themselves.

Learn about the issue

To find the about guns and self-defense, look in the academic literature. Here are two books I really like for that.

Both of those books make the case that permitting law-abiding citizens to own firearms for self-defense reduces the rate of violent crime.

Between 1993 and 2013, gun ownership soared, but gun violence declined

This story is from CNS News. I think it’s important because this is one of those things that everyone thinks they know, yet the facts are completely different from what they think.

It says:

According to data retrieved from the Centers for Disease Control, there were 7 firearm-related homicides for every 100,000 Americans in 1993 (see light blue line in chart). By 2013 (most recent year available), the gun homicide rate had fallen by nearly 50 percent to only 3.6 homicides per 100,000 population.

Here’s the chart:

Gun ownership up, gun violence down
Gun ownership up, gun violence down

More: (links removed)

Based on data from a 2012 Congressional Research Service (CRS) report… the number of privately owned firearms in U.S. increased from about 185 million in 1993 to 357 million in 2013. Adjusted for the U.S. population, the number of guns per American increased from 0.93 per person in 1993 to 1.45 in 2013, which is a 56 percent increase in the number of guns per person that occurred during the same period when gun violence decreased by 49 percent (see new chart below). Of course, that significant correlation doesn’t necessarily imply causation, but it’s logical to believe that those two trends are related. After all, armed citizens frequently prevent crimes from happening, including gun-related homicides, see hundreds of examples here of law-abiding gun owners defending themselves and their families and homes.

It turns out that criminals are rational – if they think that their victims are armed, then they won’t try anything. The only places left where they can go on a shooting spree are gun-free-zones.

Makes you wonder why the Obama administration is so interested in taking the guns of law-abiding people, doesn’t it? Well, when crime goes down, the government can’t meddle as much in our lives, with security cameras, searches, etc. They can only justify taking our freedom away when there is lots of crime. That’s one reason why we should be detering crime ourselves, and vote to keep that right of self-defense.

Learn about the issue

To find the about guns and self-defense, look in the academic literature. Here are two books I really like for that.

Both of those books make the case that permitting law-abiding citizens to own firearms for self-defense reduces rates of gun violence.

Shooting at Oregon’s Umpqua Community College occurred in gun-free zone

Guns are for self-defense against criminals
Guns are for self-defense against criminals

Another shooting in a gun-free zone.

The Federalist explains what happened:

Although reports are highly fluid, it appears that at least 15 people are dead as a result of the massacre, with at least 20 individuals injured. The identities and motivations of those responsible for the mass shooting in Oregon are not yet known.

White House demands for increased gun control ring hollow, however, given that Umpqua Community College, the site of the mass shooting, is a gun-free zone. School policy bans the possession of firearms on campus property. A cached web page of the school’s safety and security policy, pictured below, states that “[p]ossession, use, or threatened use of firearms…on college property…is prohibited.”

Directly below the school’s notice of its gun ban is a section entitled, “Don’t Be a Victim,” which includes advice such as “[w]alk in groups when possible” and “don’t look like a victim[.]”

The shooter asked victims what religion they were.

Only law-abiding people obey gun-free zone signs, criminals obviously don’t. If they are about to commit murder, they are not going to be deterred by a little poster telling them not to carry a gun into a gun-free zone. And the hypocrites in the White House use an ARMED Secret Service. Even they don’t believe their own lies.

Shootings in gun-free zones

The most recent one prior to this was at Fort Hood, and I wrote about that in this post.

This article from National Review shows that multiple-victim public shootings are common in gun-free zones.

Excerpt:

Gun-free zones have been the most popular response to previous mass killings. But many law-enforcement officials say they are actually counterproductive. “Guns are already banned in schools. That is why the shootings happen in schools. A school is a ‘helpless-victim zone,’” says Richard Mack, a former Arizona sheriff. “Preventing any adult at a school from having access to a firearm eliminates any chance the killer can be stopped in time to prevent a rampage,” Jim Kouri, the public-information officer of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, told me earlier this year at the time of the Aurora, Colo., Batman-movie shooting. Indeed, there have been many instances — from the high-school shooting by Luke Woodham in Mississippi, to the New Life Church shooting in Colorado Springs, Colo. — where a killer has been stopped after someone got a gun from a parked car or elsewhere and confronted the shooter.

Economists John Lott and William Landes conducted a groundbreaking study in 1999, and found that a common theme of mass shootings is that they occur in places where guns are banned and killers know everyone will be unarmed, such as shopping malls and schools.

I spoke with Lott after the Newtown shooting, and he confirmed that nothing has changed to alter his findings. He noted that the Aurora shooter, who killed twelve people earlier this year, had a choice of seven movie theaters that were showing the Batman movie he was obsessed with. All were within a 20-minute drive of his home. The Cinemark Theater the killer ultimately chose wasn’t the closest, but it was the only one that posted signs saying it banned concealed handguns carried by law-abiding individuals. All of the other theaters allowed the approximately 4 percent of Colorado adults who have a concealed-handgun permit to enter with their weapons.

“Disarming law-abiding citizens leaves them as sitting ducks,” Lott told me. “A couple hundred people were in the Cinemark Theater when the killer arrived. There is an extremely high probability that one or more of them would have had a legal concealed handgun with him if they had not been banned.”

Lott offers a final damning statistic: “With just one single exception, the attack on congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson in 2011, every public shooting since at least 1950 in the U.S. in which more than three people have been killed has taken place where citizens are not allowed to carry guns.”

Here’s Dr. John R. Lott to explain why gun-free zones should really be called “helpless victim zones”.

Excerpt:

Contrary to public perception, Western Europe, most of whose countries have much tougher gun laws than the United States, has experienced many of the worst multiple-victim public shootings. Particularly telling, all the multiple-victim public shootings in Western Europe have occurred in places where civilians are not permitted to carry guns. The same is true in the United States: All the public shootings in which more than three people have been killed have occurred in places where civilians may not legally bring guns.

Look at recent history. Where have the worst K–12 school shootings occurred? Nearly all of them in Europe. The very worst one occurred in a high school in Erfurt, Germany, in 2002, where 18 were killed. The second-worst took place in Dunblane, Scotland, in 1996, where 16 kindergartners and their teacher were killed. The third-worst, with 15 dead, happened in Winnenden, Germany. The fourth-worst was in the U.S. — Columbine High School in 1999, leaving 13 dead. The fifth-worst, with eleven murdered, occurred in Emsdetten, Germany.

It may be a surprise to those who believe in gun control that Germany was home to three of the five worst attacks. Though not quite as tight as the U.K.’s regulations, Germany’s gun-control laws are some of the most restrictive in Europe. German gun licenses are valid for only three years, and to obtain one, the person must demonstrate such hard-to-define characteristics as trustworthiness, and must also convince authorities that he needs a gun. This is on top of prohibitions on gun ownership for those with mental disorders, drug or alcohol addictions, violent or aggressive tendencies, or felony convictions.

Dr. Lott then lists about two dozen incidents – all occurring in gun free zones.

A quick refresher on why people own guns

People own guns so that they deter criminals and reduce the violent crime rate in their communities. The more guns there are in the hands of law-abiding citizens, the lower the violent crime rate goes, because criminals don’t like being shot at by their crime victims.

Whenever I get into discussions about gun control, I always mention two academic books by John R. Lott and Joyce Lee Malcolm.

The first book clearly shows that across all states who have adopted concealed-carry laws, the violent crime rate went down. When you let law-abiding citizens arm themselves, violent crime rates go down, because criminals don’t know whether their victim will defend themselves, and they don’t want to take the risk.

The second shows the flip side. In the UK, they banned hand guns in 1997. In the four years following the 1997 ban, violent crime rates DOUBLED. When you prevent law-abiding citizens from arming themselves, then criminals are emboldened to commit more crimes – they know there is no risk of getting shot by their victim.

Here is a paper by Dr. Malcolm that summarizes one of the key points of her book.

Excerpt:

The result of the ban has been costly. Thousands of weapons were confiscated at great financial cost to the public. Hundreds of thousands of police hours were devoted to the task. But in the six years since the 1997 handgun ban, crimes with the very weapons banned have more than doubled, and firearm crime has increased markedly. In 2002, for the fourth consecutive year, gun crime in England and Wales rose—by 35 percent for all firearms, and by a whopping 46 percent for the banned handguns. Nearly 10,000 firearms offences were committed.

[…]According to Scotland Yard, in the four years from 1991 to 1995 crimes against the person in England‟s inner cities increased by 91 percent. In the four years from 1997 to 2001 the rate of violent crime more than doubled. The UK murder rate for 2002 was the highest for a century.

I think that peer-reviewed studies – from Harvard University, no less – should be useful to those of us who believe in the right of self-defense for law-abiding people.

A more recent study – from 2014

A new study that was in the news just last week confirms these findings. Newsmax reported on it.

Excerpt:

A recent study showing a reverse correlation between concealed weapons and murder rates has renewed the contentious national debate about the effect of gun controls on violent crime.

[…]In research first published in Harvard’s Journal of Public Law and Policy, criminologists Don Kates and Gary Mauser looked at the correlation between gun laws and death rates.

“International evidence and comparisons have long been offered as proof of the mantra that more guns mean more deaths and that fewer guns, therefore, mean fewer deaths,” the pair wrote in their introduction. “Unfortunately, such discussions [have] all too often been afflicted by misconceptions and factual error and focus on comparisons that are unrepresentative.”

The pair found “correlations that nations with stringent gun controls tend to have much higher murder rates than nations that allow guns.”

It’s not a reasonable position to think that disarming law-abiding citizens will reduce crime rates. The evidence is against it. It’s all fine for clowns in the White House to get up and wring their hands for gullible voters who are more moved by feelings than by facts, but the data is clear. Disarming law-abiding citizens and promoting gun-free zones encourages and emboldens violent criminals. Period.

Did Australia’s ban on guns lower violent crime rates and lower suicide rates?

Guns are for self-defense against criminals
Guns are for self-defense against criminals

Someone asked me about what I thought of Australia’s experience banning the use of handguns for self-defense against criminals, and so I thought I would link to an article from The Federalist, then explain what peer-reviewed studies say about the issue.

Let’s start with The Federalist.

It says:

The argument, as Vox’s headline puts it, is “Australia confiscated 650,000 guns. Murders and suicides plummeted.”

The piece, along with many gun control advocates, cites a Harvard University study whose conclusion begins with this line: “It does not appear that the Australian experience with gun buybacks is fully replicable in the United States.” Not a great start for Vox’s angle, but I digress.

The study doesn’t conclude that “murders and suicides plummeted” in Australia after the 1996 gun ban, as Vox claims in its headline. Instead, it focuses solely on firearm-related murders and suicides.

After the gun ban, violent crime rates were up:

Yes, as with the gun-happy United States, the murder rate is down in Australia. It’s dropped 31 percent from a rate of 1.6 per 100,000 people in 1994 to 1.1 per 100,000 in 2012.But it’s the only serious crime that saw a consistent decline post-ban.

In fact, according to the Australian government’s own statistics, a number of serious crimes peaked in the years after the ban. Manslaughter, sexual assault, kidnapping, armed robbery, and unarmed robbery all saw peaks in the years following the ban, and most remain near or above pre-ban rates. The effects of the 1996 ban on violent crime are, frankly, unimpressive at best.

It’s even less impressive when again compared to America’s decrease in violent crime over the same period. According to data from the U.S. Justice Department, violent crime fell nearly 72 percent between 1993 and 2011. Again, this happened as guns were being manufactured and purchased at an ever-increasing rate.

So although you have fewer firearm-related deaths when you disarm law-abiding civilians, violent crime increases, because there is now NO deterrence to criminals. Even a criminal with a knife can rob, rape and murder someone who is unarmed.

What about suicide rates?

Look:

The Australian gun ban’s effect on suicide in the country isn’t any better. While Vox repeats the Harvard study’s claim that firearm-related suicides are down 57 percent in the aftermath of the ban, Lifeline Australia reports that overall suicides are at a ten-year high. The Australian suicide prevention organization claims suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians 15 to 44 years old. So, while Australians kill themselves with firearms less often, it seems they don’t actually take their own lives any less often than before the ban.

So, overall suicides are not down, people simply found other ways to kill themselves. So the gun ban had no effect on the overall suicide rate. But it did raise the violent crime rate. Should we be surprised by this? Actually, this is consistent with peer-reviewed research.

The peer-reviewed research

Whenever I get into discussions about gun control, I always mention two academic books by John R. Lott and Joyce Lee Malcolm.

Here is a paper by Dr. Malcolm that summarizes one of the key points of her book.

Excerpt:

Tracing the history of gun control in the United Kingdom since the late 19th century, this article details how the government has arrogated to itself a monopoly on the right to use force. The consequence has been a tremendous increase in violent crime, and harsh punishment for crime victims who dare to fight back. The article is based on the author’s most recent book, Guns and Violence: The English Experience (Harvard University Press, 2002). Joyce Malcom is professor of history at Bentley College, in Waltham, Massachusetts. She is also author of To Keep and Bear Arms: The Origins of an AngloAmerican Right (Harvard University Press, 1994).

Upon the passage of The Firearms Act (No. 2) in 1997, British Deputy Home Secretary Alun Michael boasted: “Britain now has some of the toughest gun laws in the world.” The Act was second handgun control measure passed that year, imposed a near-complete ban on private ownership of handguns, capping nearly eighty years of increasing firearms restrictions. Driven by an intense public campaign in the wake of the shooting of schoolchildren in Dunblane, Scotland, Parliament had been so zealous to outlaw all privately owned handguns that it rejected proposals to exempt Britain’s Olympic target-shooting team and handicapped target-shooters from the ban.

And the result of the 1997 gun ban:

The result of the ban has been costly. Thousands of weapons were confiscated at great financial cost to the public. Hundreds of thousands of police hours were devoted to the task. But in the six years since the 1997 handgun ban, crimes with the very weapons banned have more than doubled, and firearm crime has increased markedly. In 2002, for the fourth consecutive year, gun crime in England and Wales rose—by 35 percent for all firearms, and by a whopping 46 percent for the banned handguns. Nearly 10,000 firearms offences were committed.

[…]According to Scotland Yard, in the four years from 1991 to 1995 crimes against the person in England‟s inner cities increased by 91 percent. In the four years from 1997 to 2001 the rate of violent crime more than doubled. The UK murder rate for 2002 was the highest for a century.

I think that peer-reviewed studies – from Harvard University, no less – should be useful to those of us who believe in the right of self-defense for law-abiding people. The book by economist John Lott, linked above,compares the crime rates of all U.S. states that have enacted concealed carry laws, and concludes that violent crime rates dropped after law-abiding citizens were allowed to carry legally-owned firearms. That’s the mirror image of Dr. Malcolm’s Harvard study, but both studies affirm the same conclusion – more legal firearm ownership means less crime.