Tag Archives: Self-Defense

Joe Biden promises to confiscate all multi-round magazines, disarm church-goers

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

In the wake of mass shootings by people who don’t obey the law, Democrat presidential candidates are vowing to confiscate ALL semi-automatic pistols and rifles, as well as ban magazines with more than one bullet. They believe that by taking weapons from law-abiding Americans, they will be able to stop violence committed by those who don’t care about laws. Will that work?

First, let’s get the news from the Daily Wire:

Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden went far to the left on the issue of guns on Monday, telling reporters that he wants to ban magazines that hold “multiple bullets” — which means all magazines.

Biden, who made the remarks while talking to the press during a campaign stop in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, said there should be “no compromise” on guns as he also voiced his anger at the state of Texas for allowing people to carry firearms in places of worship to defend themselves from those who seek to harm others.

“And we’re talking about loosening access, to have guns, to be able to take them into places of worship, I mean, it is absolutely irrational. It’s totally irrational,” Biden said. “The idea that we don’t have elimination of assault-type weapons, magazines that can hold multiple bullets in them, it’s absolutely mindless.”

“It’s no violation of the Second Amendment,” Biden falsely claimed.

Biden’s extreme gun control push, if ever enacted, would effectively ban the overwhelming majority of handguns, all semi-automatic shotguns and rifles, and many hunting rifles which use magazines.

We’ve actually had a number of mass shootings where left-wing atheists attacked Christians during worship. I guess Joe Biden has an alternative plan for protecting Christians from far-left atheist Democrats. Maybe he plans to show up at the mass shootings in churches, and have a talk with the shooters about following gun laws.

Not to be outdone, here’s another candidate promising to ban all semi-automatic weapons, pistols AND rifles.

The Daily Wire reports:

Far-left Democratic presidential candidate Robert Francis O’Rourke announced over the weekend that if he is elected president, he intends to confiscate tens of millions of semi-automatic firearms from law-abiding Americans.

O’Rourke made the remarks while campaigning in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday when he was asked by a reporter how he plans to address peoples’ fears that the government is going to come and take many of their semi-automatic firearms.

O’Rourke responded: “I want to be really clear, that’s exactly what we are going to do. Americans who own [the technically undefinable sub-class of semi-automatic firearms referred to as “assault weapons”] will have to sell them to the government.”

It’s amazing to me that there is so much evidence that gun violence is caused by fatherlessness, but Democrats don’t want to do anything about it. If we stopped giving women welfare money for having babies before they are married, gun violence would dry up in a second. We’ve always had access to guns in this country, but it was wasn’t a problem when every child had a mother and father.

If strict laws were effective, then why do we see such high rates of gun violence precisely in Democrat-run areas where law-abiding people are prohibited from owning weapons to defend themselves from criminals? Mass shootings get a lot of press, but the truth is that more people died in Chicago last week in ordinary crimes than died in the most recent mass shooting in Odessa, TX.

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).

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.

Recent examples of law-abiding gun owners defending themselves from criminals

American woman defending herself from an armed home invader
A woman defending herself from an armed home invader with her handgun

I’ve noticed that people outside America sometimes don’t understand why Americans are so committed to owning firearms. Well, first of all, it’s specified in our Constitution that we are allowed to keep and bear arms. And second of all, it’s not always feasible to call the police and wait for them to arrive when a criminal shows up and menaces us or our loved ones.

And I have an example from just last week from ABC local news.

Excerpt:

A robbery suspect was killed and a second ran away after a liquor store clerk opened fire in southeast Houston, police say.

The clerk opened fire during a robbery Wednesday night at Mike’s Liquor Store in the 8700 block of MLK Boulevard near Reed.

Houston police said that at least two armed suspects went into the store, where two employees were working at the time.

One of the employees had a concealed handgun license and got into a shootout with the suspects.

The robbery suspect who was shot managed to escape, but died a short time later just south of the store.

The suspect’s body was found by police, who put two and two together after receiving a call for a robbery at the store.

The employees were not injured.

Now, you might think that this self-defense stuff only happens once or twice a year, and the rest of the times guns are coming alive by themselves, and just flying around shooting children randomly. But actually, the number of defensive gun uses far outweighs the number of accidental deaths.

The Daily Signal had an article on this, with a bunch more examples from last month.

I just grabbed a few of my favorites from the article:

  • Feb. 5: A Nashville, Tennessee, woman was attacked from behind by a would-be purse thief, who proceeded to repeatedly slam the woman’s head into a wall when she resisted him. The woman’s husband heard her cries for help and came to her defense, firing his gun at the thief and causing him to flee.

  • Feb. 9: When three armed men attempted to rob a Little Caesars restaurant in North Fort Myers, Florida, a patron inside pulled his own firearm to defend other customers. One suspect was shot and the other two fled.

  • Feb. 12: A homeowner in Jackson County, Georgia, heard someone trying to break into her house through a window. She found a man standing outside and warned him not to come into the house. Nevertheless, the man broke the glass window, so the armed homeowner shot him.

  • Feb. 13: Sullivan County, Tennessee, Sheriff Jeff Cassidy praised the actions of a concealed carry permit holder who ended a deadly domestic violence incident at a dentist’s office. The armed citizen shot and detained an active shooter who killed his wife and may have planned to harm others in the office.

  • Feb. 20: A 79-year-old Commerce, Georgia, homeowner called 911 to report a burglary in progress after she heard someone breaking into her home. The burglar ignored her threats and came in through an upstairs window before police could arrive. The homeowner shot at the burglar, who was so scared that he hid in a closet until the police arrived.

  • Feb. 26: The Mobile County, Alabama, Sheriff’s Office posted a Facebook video showing an armed local homeowner’s recent encounter with two would-be burglars. The burglars attempted to enter the occupied home in broad daylight, and were only deterred when the homeowner fired her handgun at them.

  • Feb. 28: Two men helped rescue a woman from a would-be kidnapper in Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, after seeing her struggle to escape on the side of the road. After the two men stopped their car, one of them pulled out his handgun, prompting the suspect to flee. He was later apprehended and confessed to kidnapping the woman.

Daily Signal did the same thing for January, and I grabbed a few of my favorites for January, too:

  • Jan. 2: The security officer of a grocery store in Loomis, California, confronted a couple suspected of shoplifting. When one of them pulled a knife and tried to stab the security guard, a good Samaritan with a concealed weapons permit drew his firearm, stopped the confrontation, and held the couple at the scene until law enforcement arrived.

  • Jan. 9: An Arizona man awoke to the sound of four intruders breaking into his home. He flicked his lights on and off several times to warn the intruders that someone was home, hoping this would cause them to flee. But the intruders proceeded to smash windows and enter through the back door. The homeowner opened fire, hitting all four intruders and killing one.

  • Jan. 10: A Florida resident held an intruder at gunpoint until law enforcement could arrive. The man had broken into the garage and was in the process of filling his bag with the homeowner’s firearms and ammunition.

  • Jan. 23: Police responded to a 9-1-1 call from St. Louis, Missouri, resident who used his firearm to protect the other people in his home from three armed men attempting to force their way inside. One intruder was shot and killed on the scene while the other two fled.

  • Jan. 28: A woman arrived at her Campobello, South Carolina, home to find it being burglarized for the second time in just a few weeks. She shot one of the three intruders, while the other two fled the scene and were later arrested by law enforcement

It’s very important that law-abiding  people be allowed to defend themselves and their loved ones from criminals. And that’s why law-abiding Americans are so committed to being able to own firearms and obtain concealed carry permits.

Facts vs feelings in the debate on gun control vs self-defense

I found a splendid at the Daily Signal article that ought to be read by everyone who has an opinion about the conflict between gun confiscation vs self-defense.

Here are the 8 points made in the article, then I’ll comment on my favorite one:

  1. Violent crime is down and has been on the decline for decades.

  2. The principal public safety concerns with respect to guns are suicides and illegally owned handguns, not mass shootings.

  3. A small number of factors significantly increase the likelihood that a person will be a victim of a gun-related homicide.

  4. Gun-related murders are carried out by a predictable pool of people.

  5. Higher rates of gun ownership are not associated with higher rates of violent crime.

  6. There is no clear relationship between strict gun control legislation and homicide or violent crime rates.

  7. Legally owned firearms are used for lawful purposes much more often than they are used to commit crimes or suicide.

  8. Concealed carry permit holders are not the problem, but they may be part of the solution.

Whenever we discuss gun violence, it’s very important to exclude suicides using a gun from the overall rate of gun deaths. Once you do that, you will find that the rate of violent crime has been declining as more and more law-abiding Americans have gone through the process to purchase a firearm for self-defense.

Let’s talk about the gun homicide rate and how the steady increase in firearm ownership has affected that. When you look at the graph below, keep in mind that two thirds of the homicide are suicides committed with a firearm.

Here is a graph:

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

The question I want to address is this: why would someone want to own a gun in the first place?

Here are the points from the list of eight points that are relevant to that question:

Higher rates of gun ownership are not associated with higher rates of violent crime.

  • Switzerland and Israel have much higher gun ownership rates than the United States but experience far fewer homicides and have much lower violent crime rates than many European nations with strict gun control laws.
  • Higher rates of concealed carry permit holders are even more strongly associated with reduction in violent crime than are “right-to-carry” states. The probable reason for this is that “right-to-carry” studies often include “open carry” states, which have not been shown to correlate with more people actually carrying or even owning firearms. Rates of concealed carry permit holders are better indicators of the number of people who actually possess and carry firearms within a given population.

There is no clear relationship between strict gun control legislation and homicide or violent crime rates.

  • Homicide and firearm homicide rates in Great Britain spiked in the years immediately following the imposition of severe gun control measures, despite the fact that most developed countries continued to experience a downward trend in these rates. This is also pointed out by noted criminologist John Lott in his book “The War on Guns.”
  • Similarly, Ireland’s homicide rates spiked in the years immediately following the country’s 1972 gun confiscation legislation.
  • Australia’s National Firearms Act appears to have had little effect on suicide and homicide rates, which were falling before the law was enacted and continued to decline at a statistically unremarkable rate compared to worldwide trends.
  • According to research compiled by John Lott and highlighted in his book “The War on Guns,” Australia’s armed and unarmed robbery rates both increased markedly in the five years immediately following the National Firearms Act, despite the general downward trend experienced by other developed countries.
  • Great Britain has some of the strictest gun control laws in the developed world, but the violent crime rate for homicide, rape, burglary, and aggravated assault is much higher than that in the U.S. Further, approximately 60 percent of burglaries in Great Britain occur while residents are home, compared to just 13 percent in the U.S., and British burglars admit to targeting occupied residences because they are more likely to find wallets and purses.
  • It is difficult to compare homicide and firearm-related murder rates across international borders because countries use different methods to determine which deaths “count” for purposes of violent crime. For example, since 1967, Great Britain has excluded from its homicide counts any case that does not result in a conviction, that was the result of dangerous driving, or in which the person was determined to have acted in self-defense. All of these factors are counted as “homicides” in the United States.

Legally owned firearms are used for lawful purposes much more often than they are used to commit crimes or suicide.

  • In 2013, President Barack Obama ordered the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to assess existing research on gun violence. The report, compiled by the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council, found (among other things) that firearms are used defensively hundreds of thousands of times every year.
  • According to the CDC, “self-defense can be an important crime deterrent.” Recent CDC reports acknowledge that studies directly assessing the effect of actual defensive uses of guns have found “consistently lower injury rates among gun-using crime victims compared with victims who used other self-protective strategies.”
  • Semi-automatic rifles (such as the AR-15) are commonly used as self-defense weapons in the homes of law-abiding citizens because they are easier to control than handguns, are more versatile than handguns, and offer the advantage of up to 30 rounds of protection. Even Vox has published stories defending the use of the AR-15.
  • AR-15s have been used to save lives on many occasions [list omitted by WK]

Concealed carry permit holders are not the problem, but they may be part of the solution.

  • Noted criminologist John Lott found that, as a group, concealed carry permit holders are some of the most law-abiding people in the United States. The rate at which they commit crimes generally and firearm crimes specifically is between one-sixth and one-tenth of that recorded for police officers, who are themselves committing crimes at a fraction of the rate of the general population.
  • Between 2007 and 2015, murder rates dropped 16 percent and violent crime rates dropped 18 percent, even though the percentage of adults with concealed carry permits rose by 190 percent.
  • Regression estimates show a significant association between increased permit ownership and a drop in murder and violent crime rates. Each percentage point increase in rates of permit-holding is associated with a roughly 2.5 percent drop in the murder rate.
  • Concealed carry permit holders are often “the good guy with a gun,” even though they rarely receive the attention of the national media. Concealed carry permit holders were credited with saving multiple lives [list omitted by WK]

So, I think that those points provide a very necessary balance for the “ban guns” crowd. Gun ownership is a vital part of a free citizen’s right to self-defense. People who want to discuss gun confiscation vs self-defense need to be aware of the way guns are really used by law-abiding people to protect themselves and their families.

Husband uses legally-owned firearm to rescue wife from two armed criminals

Pew Research: reported defensive gun usage
Pew Research: reported defensive gun usage

The mainstream media, and the culture at large, seems to spend a lot more time talking about multiple victim public shootings. But they ignore the times when legally-armed law-abiding citizens defend themselves from criminals. Here’s an example of what that looks like, reported from KHOU Houston local news.

Excerpt:

Investigators said it all started when the man’s wife pulled into their driveway Tuesday night. Then the two armed suspects jumped out and tried to rob her.

First, they took her purse, and then they tried to force her into the house. However, that is when her husband showed up.

He heard the commotion from inside, grabbed his gun and ended up exchanging gunfire with the intruders.

Fortunately, the couple weren’t hit, but one of the suspects was hit in the head, police said. The other suspect took off running.

Police said the injured suspect was taken into surgery.

As for the couple, one can only imagine what was going through their mind when this was all over. Hopefully, they’re able to find some peace of mind this morning, knowing they’re OK.

Now, imagine you are the husband and you wake up to find two armed men in your home, holding your wife hostage. The police are minutes away, even if you could make the phone call while the criminals waited patiently for you to do so. In this situation, what sort of remedy would be offered to you by people who want to confiscate your legally-owned firearms? What could they offer you that would rescue your wife and yourself, and prevent your house from being burglarized? I actually know progressives who hate gun usage so much that they actually don’t believe in an individual’s right to defend himself, his family and his property. There is this strange desire to try to “make peace” by surrendering to the most angry person in the room. Some progressives are really like this. They just don’t believe that violence (or even the threat of violence) is ever the answer to dealing with evil. Progressives want to disarm you, but they don’t want to do a think to make criminal activities harder for criminals.

The truth is that progressives often live in gated communities and have armed security. They want to be safe, but they don’t care about YOUR safety.

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

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.

I think that peer-reviewed studies should be useful for assessing gun control vs gun rights policy. 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, which shows that the 1997 UK gun ban caused violent crime rates to MORE THAN DOUBLE in the four years following the ban. But both studies affirm the same conclusion – more legal firearm ownership means less crime.

One of the common mistakes I see anti-gun advocates making is to use the metric of all “gun-related deaths”. First of all, this completely ignores the effects of hand gun ownership on violent crime, as we’ve seen. Take away the guns from law-abiding people and violent crime skyrockets. But using the “gun-related deaths” number is especially wrong, because it includes suicides committed with guns. This is the majority (about two thirds) of gun related deaths, even in a country like America that has a massive inner-city gun violence problem caused by the epidemic of single motherhood by choice. If you take out the gun-related SUICIDES, then the actual number of gun homicides has decreased as gun ownership has grown.

For a couple of useful graphs related to this point, check out this post over at the American Enterprise Institute.

(Graphic is from Pew Research 2017, page 43)

Facts vs feelings in the debate on gun control vs self-defense

I found a splendid at the Daily Signal article that ought to be read by everyone who has an opinion about the conflict between gun confiscation vs self-defense.

Here are the 8 points made in the article, then I’ll comment on my favorite one:

  1. Violent crime is down and has been on the decline for decades.

  2. The principal public safety concerns with respect to guns are suicides and illegally owned handguns, not mass shootings.

  3. A small number of factors significantly increase the likelihood that a person will be a victim of a gun-related homicide.

  4. Gun-related murders are carried out by a predictable pool of people.

  5. Higher rates of gun ownership are not associated with higher rates of violent crime.

  6. There is no clear relationship between strict gun control legislation and homicide or violent crime rates.

  7. Legally owned firearms are used for lawful purposes much more often than they are used to commit crimes or suicide.

  8. Concealed carry permit holders are not the problem, but they may be part of the solution.

Whenever we discuss gun violence, it’s very important to exclude suicides using a gun from the overall rate of gun deaths. Once you do that, you will find that the rate of violent crime has been declining as more and more law-abiding Americans have gone through the process to purchase a firearm for self-defense.

Let’s talk about the gun homicide rate and how the steady increase in firearm ownership has affected that.

Here is a graph:

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

The question I want to address is this: why would someone want to own a gun in the first place?

Here are the points from the list of eight points that are relevant to that question:

Higher rates of gun ownership are not associated with higher rates of violent crime.

  • Switzerland and Israel have much higher gun ownership rates than the United States but experience far fewer homicides and have much lower violent crime rates than many European nations with strict gun control laws.
  • Higher rates of concealed carry permit holders are even more strongly associated with reduction in violent crime than are “right-to-carry” states. The probable reason for this is that “right-to-carry” studies often include “open carry” states, which have not been shown to correlate with more people actually carrying or even owning firearms. Rates of concealed carry permit holders are better indicators of the number of people who actually possess and carry firearms within a given population.

There is no clear relationship between strict gun control legislation and homicide or violent crime rates.

  • Homicide and firearm homicide rates in Great Britain spiked in the years immediately following the imposition of severe gun control measures, despite the fact that most developed countries continued to experience a downward trend in these rates. This is also pointed out by noted criminologist John Lott in his book “The War on Guns.”
  • Similarly, Ireland’s homicide rates spiked in the years immediately following the country’s 1972 gun confiscation legislation.
  • Australia’s National Firearms Act appears to have had little effect on suicide and homicide rates, which were falling before the law was enacted and continued to decline at a statistically unremarkable rate compared to worldwide trends.
  • According to research compiled by John Lott and highlighted in his book “The War on Guns,” Australia’s armed and unarmed robbery rates both increased markedly in the five years immediately following the National Firearms Act, despite the general downward trend experienced by other developed countries.
  • Great Britain has some of the strictest gun control laws in the developed world, but the violent crime rate for homicide, rape, burglary, and aggravated assault is much higher than that in the U.S. Further, approximately 60 percent of burglaries in Great Britain occur while residents are home, compared to just 13 percent in the U.S., and British burglars admit to targeting occupied residences because they are more likely to find wallets and purses.
  • It is difficult to compare homicide and firearm-related murder rates across international borders because countries use different methods to determine which deaths “count” for purposes of violent crime. For example, since 1967, Great Britain has excluded from its homicide counts any case that does not result in a conviction, that was the result of dangerous driving, or in which the person was determined to have acted in self-defense. All of these factors are counted as “homicides” in the United States.

Legally owned firearms are used for lawful purposes much more often than they are used to commit crimes or suicide.

  • In 2013, President Barack Obama ordered the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to assess existing research on gun violence. The report, compiled by the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council, found (among other things) that firearms are used defensively hundreds of thousands of times every year.
  • According to the CDC, “self-defense can be an important crime deterrent.” Recent CDC reports acknowledge that studies directly assessing the effect of actual defensive uses of guns have found “consistently lower injury rates among gun-using crime victims compared with victims who used other self-protective strategies.”
  • Semi-automatic rifles (such as the AR-15) are commonly used as self-defense weapons in the homes of law-abiding citizens because they are easier to control than handguns, are more versatile than handguns, and offer the advantage of up to 30 rounds of protection. Even Vox has published stories defending the use of the AR-15.
  • AR-15s have been used to save lives on many occasions [list omitted by WK]

Concealed carry permit holders are not the problem, but they may be part of the solution.

  • Noted criminologist John Lott found that, as a group, concealed carry permit holders are some of the most law-abiding people in the United States. The rate at which they commit crimes generally and firearm crimes specifically is between one-sixth and one-tenth of that recorded for police officers, who are themselves committing crimes at a fraction of the rate of the general population.
  • Between 2007 and 2015, murder rates dropped 16 percent and violent crime rates dropped 18 percent, even though the percentage of adults with concealed carry permits rose by 190 percent.
  • Regression estimates show a significant association between increased permit ownership and a drop in murder and violent crime rates. Each percentage point increase in rates of permit-holding is associated with a roughly 2.5 percent drop in the murder rate.
  • Concealed carry permit holders are often “the good guy with a gun,” even though they rarely receive the attention of the national media. Concealed carry permit holders were credited with saving multiple lives [list omitted by WK]

So, I think that those points provide a very necessary balance for the “ban guns” crowd. Gun ownership is a vital part of a free citizen’s right to self-defense. People who want to discuss gun confiscation vs self-defense need to be aware of the way guns are really used by law-abiding people to protect themselves and their families.