Tag Archives: Census

Census data: more firearm ownership is not associated with higher rate of suicide

I have a key that will unlock a puzzling mystery
I have a key that will unlock a puzzling mystery

As famous evangelical theologian Wayne Grudem has discussed, the Bible provides strong support for self-defense.

Grudem looked at the following questions, before turning to the secular data to confirm the Bible:

  • what about turning the other cheek? doesn’t that undermine self-defense?
  • what does Jesus say about the right to self-defense in the New Testament?
  • did Jesus’ disciples carry swords for protection during his ministry?
  • why did Jesus tell his disciples to sell their cloaks and buy swords?
  • what about Jesus stopping Peter from using force during Jesus’ arrest?

Dr. Grudem concludes that the Bible does teach that self-defense is moral.

Unfortunately, that view is not often not popular in the culture as a whole. There is a large portion of the society that does not want law-abiding citizens to be able to defend themselves from criminals. Not only that, but there seems to be a lot of suspicion about law enforcement, now. We even seem to be losing the ability to see criminals as responsible for what they do, and wanting to protect innocent people from criminals. There are two cultural trends behind this – 1) the push for compassion and non-judgment, and 2) the tendency to turn evildoers into victims.

So, sometimes when the teachings of the Bible, e.g. – self-defense,  fall out of respect in a society, it makes sense to defend what the Bible teaches using ordinary evidence from respected secular sources. And that’s what I’ve done on this blog on so many issues where the secular culture disagrees with the Bible.

Regarding self-defense, I previously wrote about how the gun ban in Australia did not reduce suicide rates, because people who wanted to commit suicide simply found another way to commit suicide. On the broader issue of self-defense, I blogged about a recent study from Harvard University, and in that same post, I also linked books from Harvard University Press and Chicago University Press showing that banning guns raises rates of violent crime, and enacting concealed carry lowers rates of violent crime.

Today, though, I have another point about guns and suicide rates from the Daily Caller.

Excerpt:

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data, which cover years 1981 through 2013—incidentally, a period in which Americans acquired an additional 195 million firearms—the firearm suicide rate (the number of suicides per 100,000 population) decreased five percent, while the non-firearm suicide rate increased 27 percent.

Although more law-abiding people got guns, the crime rates have been declining.  We are now down to 1970s levels of violent crime. Part of that is due to tougher sentencing and more imprisonment of criminals, but part of that is due to more law-abiding citizens defending themselves from criminals. And if we want fewer prisons, a good way to achieve that cost-effectively would be to encourage more law-abiding people to own firearms, not less.

So, if the gun control crowd tries to make the case that more guns are causing more people to commit suicide, then we should be ready to answer with some data. Hope this data helps you to make your case.

Are the poor in America really poor?

Let's take a look at the data
Let’s take a look at the data

This article is from the Daily Signal.

Excerpt:

Today, the Census Bureau will release its annual poverty report. It will almost certainly report that over 40 million Americans “live in poverty.”

But what does it mean to be poor in America? To the average American, the word “poverty” suggests significant material deprivation. But the actual living conditions of those the government defines as poor differ greatly from this perception.

According to the government’s own reports, the typical American defined as poor by the Census Bureau has a car, air conditioning, and cable or satellite TV. Half of the poor have computers, 43 percent have Internet, and 40 percent have a wide-screen plasma or LCD TV.

Far from being overcrowded, poor Americans have more living space in their home than the average non-poor person in Western Europe. Some 42 percent of all poor households actually own their own homes; on average, this is a well-maintained three-bedroom house with one and a half baths, a garage, and a porch or patio.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, only 4 percent of poor children were hungry for even a single day in the prior year because the family could not afford food. By its own report, the average poor person had sufficient funds to meet all essential needs and was able to obtain medical care for his family throughout the year whenever needed.

The left likes to claim that the U.S. has far more poverty than other advanced nations. But those claims are based on comparisons that set a higher standard for escaping poverty in the U.S. than elsewhere.

When a single uniform standard is used, the U.S. is shown to have poverty rates that are very similar to other advanced nations, slightly higher or lower depending on the exact measure used.

I think we definitely want to be careful about the outcry on the secular left about “poverty”. Their solution always seems to be that we need to move in the direction of socialism. And socialism means that the government gets bigger by taking money and liberty away from families, churches and businesses.

As a Christian, my goals are all gospel-centric. My interest in politics is because I want to live in a society that respects my right to work, earn and save, so that I can spend and give in a way that advances the gospel. My job is not to transfer my money to lazy people in their dependence on government. I go to work so that I can have the fuel I need to respect God in my decision-making. The secular government is interested in other goals – like getting elected. I don’t want them using my money for their goals. I have my own goals.

Redistricting and the census will create more Republican House seats

First, consider this AP article which explains the redistricting advantage that Republicans have from the mid-term elections.

Excerpt:

Republicans don’t just control much of the electoral map. In some cases, they now have the power to redraw it.

Overwhelming victories in statehouses and governors’ races across the country this week have placed the GOP in command of redrawing both congressional and legislative districts to conform with Census results. It’s a grueling and politically charged process that typically gives the party in power an inherent advantage for a decade, allowing them to preserve current strongholds or to put others in play.

Along with gains in governorships this week, Republicans picked up about 680 legislative seats _ twice the number Democrats gained in their wave two years ago. For the GOP, it’s a surge that comes at the most opportune time.

“Regardless of what happens in Washington, the Democrats will not soon recover from what happened to them on a state level on Tuesday,” said Chris Jankowski, executive director of the Republican State Leadership Committee’s REDMAP project. “It was significant. It was devastating in some areas. It will take years to recover.”

Tim Storey, a redistricting expert at the National Conference of State Legislatures, estimates that Republicans will have unilateral control over the redrawing of 195 congressional districts. Democrats have just 45. The remainder are in states where either both parties have a chance to influence redistricting or where decisions will be made by independent commissions.

That doesn’t mean there will be another surge of Republicans two years from now. After all, parties still must adhere to a substantial series of legal limitations governing the composition of the districts, such as making sure districts have a similar number of voters and are compact and contiguous.

That’s good news, but there’s more good news. And this one is even better.

ECM sent this article from the leftist Washington Post, which another problem facing the Democrats in 2012: population shifting from blue states to red states.

Excerpt:

There’s really no gentle way to say this, so I’m just going to be blunt: In some ways, the political situation post-Nov. 2 is even worse for the Democrats than it may appear. And I am not just referring to the colossal losses they experienced in state legislatures — a 650+ seat swing in favor of the GOP that has left the Dems in control of the fewest state legislatures since 1928. The resulting pro-GOP gerrymandering may lastingly blunt the demographic advantage Democrats could otherwise expect to reap from population trends such as the growth of Hispanic America.

No, what’s really bad for President Obama and his party is the likely impact of the 2010 Census and ensuing House of Representatives reapportionment on the distribution of votes in the 2012 Electoral College. We can talk all day about whether a majority of voters would support Obama for re-election or not, but what really counts in presidential elections is the Electoral College. Each state’s electoral vote equals its number of representatives in the House plus two, for its Senate delegation. And since the U.S. population continues to flow South and West, reapportionment will probably add House seats in red states and subtract them in blue states. Thus, the Census looks like a setback for Democratic chances to win the 270 electoral votes necessary to become president.

Texas, which has voted Republican in 9 of the last 10 elections will gain 4 electoral votes, according to projections from preliminary Census data by Polidata.com. The other gainers — one vote each — include Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina and Utah. All of these states have voted for the GOP candidate in at least 7 of the last 10 elections.

To be sure, Florida and Nevada have been more up for grabs of late: Obama carried both in 2008. But the only reliably blue state that looks like gaining an electoral vote is Washington, which backed the Democrat in 6 of the last 10 elections. Only one reliably red state — Louisiana — is losing an electoral vote.

Ohio, the perennial swing state — it backed the GOP in six of the last 10 elections — is losing two.

Meanwhile, eight states that usually go blue in presidential elections — Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Minnesota — are projected to lose one electoral vote each.

Good news! See everyone says that I am always gloomy. There are feedback mechanisms so that people can realize what is happening and fix the problem. I am not sure how we are going to fix the people-not-marrying problem, but I’m sure there must be a way.

ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis endorses socialism in leaked video

Video here. (H/T Verum Serum)

Morgen at Verum Serum writes:

While labeling liberal Democrats and other progressives as “socialists” now invites an instant loss of credibility (even amongst many conservatives), it is a designation easily understood to mean someone who clearly does not believe in the primacy of individual responsibility and limited government. And so when a notable progressive publicly aligns themselves with the socialist cause, it presents a rare opportunity to demonstrate to the broader American public the core philosophy and the long-term agenda which underly so much of the “progressive” political platform.

ACORN, you remember, is Barack Obama’s former employer. He trained them in community activism. Community activism may mean suing banks to force them to make loans to people who cannot afford homes, wrecking the economy. And later, they can be bailed out by Obama, with your money. Bertha Wilson endorsed Barack Obama for president.

Related posts

MUST-SEE: Megyn Kelly of Fox News exposes the truth about ACORN

Megyn “Tyrannosaurus Rex” Kelly interviews ACORN founder Wade Rathke! (H/T Nice Deb)

(This was original in 6 clips, but they were removed. Now the first video lets you click on to the second part at any time!)

Part one explores how ACORN’s goals are centered on increasing the number of welfare recipients, and making them politically active in order to pass more welfare programs. ACORN’s motto is discusses, which explicitly mentions redistributing wealth (socialism).

Part Two talks about the Community Reinvestment Act, which forces banks to make loans to people who can’t afford them. Also discusses ACORN’s support for higher minimum wage rates, which causes unemployment among the poor, and increases welfare rolls. ACORN also supports unions and also intimidates businesses to pay them money or be “protested”. ACORN’s close, long-term relationship with Obama is discussed.

Part Three explores the funding of ACORN, and the way that organizations linked to ACORN advocate for political causes. ACORN’s links to SEIU are also discussed in this episode. ACORN’s financial scandals, including embezzlement of funds by the founder’s brother, are also discussed. (No, he was NOT fired!)

Part Four talks about ACORN’s efforts to register voters in areas where voters vote mostly Democrat. The problem is that ACORN is now charged with voter fraud for turning in fraudulent voter registrations. Details about some of the trials going on right now are discussed.

Part Five explains how Democrat politicians block investigations of ACORN. ACORN is accused of being a criminal enterprise from the ground up. The new sting videos are from O’Keefe and Giles showing ACORN encouraging criminal activity are discussed.

Part Six shows the founder of ACORN and the current CEO spinning the findings from the previous episodes, taking no responsibility. The founder calls the videos “scurrilous”. ACORN is the victim, don’t you see? The series concludes by noting that ACORN has opened offices in several countries, including India.

I also note for our Canadian readers that ACORN International has opened offices in Toronto and Vancouver. It’s global communism.