Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Gun Control: It Simply Does not Reduce Crime (Part III)

This is the third submission by Jim V on Gun Control. Thanks Jim!
Importantly, Dr. Lott is not alone in his opinions on gun control. As David Kupelian writes at http://www.wnd.com/2013/01/how-obamas-gun-order-will-backfire/ , during Jimmy Carter’s leftist tenure, he also tried to push through draconian gun control laws. And what better way to do so than by funding a massive four year study at Univ. of Massachusetts, conducted by Drs. James Wright, Peter Rossi and Kathleen Daly, under the auspices of the National Inst. of Justice – supposed to be the most comprehensive study on the subject ever done. The study came out in in 1981, in three volumes, entitled “Under the Gun.” This work is available to the gun grabbers, but unfortunately they aren’t going to read it any time soon, as the Cliff Notes version of the study is as summarized by co-author Wright, Gun control laws do no reduce crime,” and the authors, who started out as gun control advocates like Dr. Lott, ended up like Dr. Lott, changing their minds .(Dr. Lott himself has also stated “Gun control just does not work. Indeed, it makes things worse.”)  A slightly longer Cliff Notes version of the study was rendered by David Kopel, co-author of the law school textbook “Firearms Law and the Second Amendment.” Says Kopel “Carefully reviewing all existing research to date, the three scholars found no persuasive scholarly evidence that America’s 20,000 gun-control laws had reduced criminal violence.”  Some of the findings of the study included:
-       The landmark federal Gun Control Act of 1968, banning most interstate gun sales, had no discernible impact on the criminal acquisition of guns from other states.
-        Detroit’s law providing mandatory sentences for felonies committed with a gun was found to have no effect on gun-crime patterns.
-       Washington, D.C.’s 1977 ban on the ownership of handguns (except those already registered in the District) was not linked to any reduction in gun crime in the nation’s capital.
-       Polls claiming to show that a large majority of the population favored “more gun control” were debunked as being the product of biased questions, and of the fact that most people have no idea how strict gun laws already are.
Some other findings from the National Institute of Justice studies include statements such as “The report finds no significant link between ‘assault weapons’ and murders” and “Since assault weapons are not a major contributor to U.S. gun homicides and the existing stock of guns is large, an assault weapon ban is unlikely to have an impact on gun violence.”
Similar to the Jimmy Carter era gun laws, the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of the Clinton era, signed into law in 1994, and was in place for a decade, did zilch, too, as the number of mass shootings actually increased slightly during that time., and a study by Northeastern University, the Census Bureau and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel showed that in the 10 years prior to the Clinton gun bank there were 173 mass shootings (as they defined them) with 766 victims, but during the decade of the Clinton ban, there were 182 mass shootings with 820 victims.
Yet another 2003 study by The Centers for Disease Control, which is known as supporting gun control, published a major study in 2003 that acknowledged, “The Task Force found insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of any of the firearms laws or combinations of laws reviewed on violent outcomes.” (Don’t worry – as soon as you cough up yet some more tax dollars, the left will be back at it. Perhaps this time tying guns to global warming/cooling/change. Ooops. Wait a second… in fact, in January of 2013, Christy Hefner of Playboy Enterprises did exactly that – see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gf5bRoReLa8  or http://dailycaller.com/2013/01/30/center-for-american-progress-christie-hefner-climate-change-a-factor-in-chicagos-murder-rate/ ).
Would it help to hear an eyewitness account of someone who was in a shooting, and saw her parents killed because she was restricted from carrying a gun to protect herself? Watch Dr. Susan Gratia explain her personal experience, before the U.S. Congress, of being defenseless in the face of an attacker http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMloa_eU5gA&feature=player_embedded   And speaking of women, why is there a war by the left on women when it comes to guns? In 2012 CBS news reported “female participation in target shooting in the U.S. has nearly doubled in the last decade, growing to nearly five million women since 2001.” Only leftists treat women as stupid. . Women know what the left is doing to this country, and by extension, their safety. And women are voting with their feet – by running to the nearest gun store and learning how to shoot. But gun grabbers don’t seem to care one whit about the women they want to disarm. But I guess that is… you know…. the leftists’ war on women.  They talked about it a lot during the fall, 2012 campaign. Only now it appears they must have been referring to their own war against women. And speaking of wars, you will notice zero lamestream media coverage of anti-gun people threatening to kill the NRA leaders children, not less. http://dailycaller.com/2013/01/31/anti-gun-advocates-threaten-to-kill-nra-chairmans-son-video/ .
The unfortunate thing about the Colorado shooting is that, while Colorado has concealed carry laws, the theatre where the shooting occurred was a gun free zone - despite what Roger Ebert fallaciously stated in the New York Times (as a matter of fact, Warner Houston at Breitbart.com wrote in 2009 that an Alaskan member of a gun owner’s message board had wanted to enter a Cinemark theatre, but was refused entry because it was gun free zone). So, what about other locales in Colorado where concealed carry is allowed, and a shooter began a rampage?  We have exact, historical records: In Dec., 2007, five people were shot (two killed) when gunman Matthew Murray, packing a semi-automatic rifle and two pistols, attacked the New Life Church in Colorado Springs (he had gone to another site previously, killing two, while wounding others). This might have been a tragedy similar in scope to the recent Batman movie shooting – except that the gunman was shot by church security office Jeanne Assam with her personally owned concealed weapon.  Similarly, on April 22nd – scant months before this tragedy, and also in Aurora, CO. – a convicted felon shot and killed the mother of the pastor, Delano Stephan of New Destiny Christian Center as the service was ending. We don’t know how far this could have escalated – as the shooter was shot and killed by someone with a concealed gun. (See http://denver.cbslocal.com/2012/04/22/2-shot-outside-aurora-church/.
A church shooting at a multi-cultural South African church occurred a few years back, with similar results to the Colorado Springs shooting. Known as the St. James Massacre, in 1993, a packed Sunday evening church service of approximately 1,000 worshippers was attacked by Islamic terrorists, who used automatic weapons as well as grenades. They assumed they would meet no armed resistance, but were mistaken. Charl Van Wyk was carrying a .38 revolver that evening, unknown to the attackers. With 11 worshippers dead, and 53 others wounded, Van Wyk – outgunned and alone – chased the attackers from the scene, preventing a much higher, Columbine-like death toll (and what, exactly, would have happened, if, say, the principal at Columbine had been equipped and trained with a firearm during that attack? Would have ended up similar to this?) Said Van Wyk afterwards, “When last did you hear of a multiple-victim shooting taking place on a firearm range, in a police station or at a gun show, or wherever many firearms are found anywhere in the world?” asks Van Wyk. “You haven’t. That’s because criminals prefer unarmed victims, or soft targets. No wonder they love gun control – it makes their work so much easier and their working environment much safer.” Van Wyk’s story is retold in his book Shooting Back.
Incidentally, Aurora, CO., where the tragic Holmes shooting occurred, has some of the most strict gun laws in the state, including:
·                     “Dangerous weapons” including firearms prohibited.
·                     Revocation of license for furnishing a firearm to a minor or someone under the influence.
·                     Window displays cannot include firearms with barrels less than 12 inches long.
·                     Unlawful to carry concealed “dangerous weapon.”
·                     Unlawful to discharge firearms, unless by law enforcement on duty or on shooting range.
·                     Unlawful to possess firearm while under the influence of intoxicant.
·                     Unlawful to have loaded firearm in motor vehicle.
·                     Unlawful for a juvenile to possess a firearm.
Of course, all the explosives in Holmes’ apartment were “illegal,” too. And in Sandy Hook, Adam Lanza had already broken 41 laws when his shooting stopped. Apparently adding a 42nd law will make all the difference?
Dr. John Lott also discussed the Aurora theatre killing, stating “There, you have seven movie theaters that were showing the Batman movie when it opened at the end of July. Out of those seven movie theaters, only one movie theater was posted as banning permit-concealed handguns. The killer didn’t go to the movie theater that was closest to his home. He didn’t go to the movie theater that was the largest movie theater in Colorado, which was essentially the same distance from his apartment as the one he ended up going to. Instead, the one he picked was the only one of those movie theaters that banned people taking permit-concealed handguns into that theater.” What is it about facts like this that leftists don’t get?
One state to the west, Utah, saw a similar situation where on Feb. 12, 2007, Muslim Sulejman Talovic, who told his girlfriend the day before his rampage that his martyrdom would be “the happiest day of his life,” opened fire in the crowded Trolley Square mall, killing five.  Unfortunately for Sulejman, there was was an armed bystander, off-duty Ogden policeman Ken Hammond. Officer Hammond pinned down Talovic – preventing futher deaths – until a SWAT team arrived and provided the martyrdom Talovic wanted. Hammond was credited with saving “countless lives” – something, unfortunately, the gun free zone in Aurora, CO. did not experience.
And regarding the limited bullet magazine issue, a few points need to be made. First, it is common knowledge that ‘stopping power” with certain calibers is questionable. William Levinson, in Why Does Anybody Need a 30-Round Magazine, in American Thinker, Jan. 3, 2013, notes this was learned by the US Army in the war in the Philippines during the early 1900s, when more than one dead US soldier was found with an empty gun by his side, a head split open by a machete, and a dead adversary not too far away who had later bled to death. The issue caused the Army to change calibers to a .45 caliber. Of course, not everyone carries, or is able to carry or use, something so big and powerful, and what is carried may not be able to “convince” a determined attacker who is, say, hopped up on PCP. (See http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2013/01/gov_cuomo_heres_why_your_seven_shot_gun_magazine_limit_is_already_outdated.html for a full rendering of the drugged up attacker issue – perhaps multiple attackers!)This also assumes accurate shooting – something people struggle with in the best of times under perfect training conditions with a stationary target!
I personally have a neighbor, a former Marine and retired senior Illinois state trooper, who related the story to me of one fellow Illinois policeman who was shot through the heart – and of course died – but before dying was able to continue his return attack by running approximately 50 yards and killing his attacker. This same state trooper related to me another situation where an armed attacker took some nurses hostage at the Illinois Inst. for Mental Health at 1601 W. Taylor St. in Chicago in the early 1990s, and engaged in a gunfire exchange with multiple police, led by one Lt. Ottomo of the CMS. Despite being hit by – as estimated by my state trooper neighbor - between fourteen and eighteen 9 mm rounds and three shotgun blasts, he continued to resist by shooting until he was finally jumped by the police and physically subdued. This criminal actually survived the encounter with a minimum seventeen shots to his body. And all this with highly trained police shooters!
A similar case to the above occurred in Miami in 1986, in a shootout between two bank robbers, William R. Matix and Michael Lee Platt, and police. While both robbers were killed, so were two officers, with three more seriously wounded. Sadly, one of the bad guys, William Matix was hit through his arm and lung, but still went on after that to kill two of the Miami Division special agents who had stopped him before dying himself.
A similar example is the case multiple bullets not stopping an individual is the sad case of Dustin Theoharris, who was an innocent party in a mistaken Seattle area police shooting, who was hit 16 times at very close range by the  police (with 20 total bullets shot), and lived. See http://personalliberty.com/2013/04/17/sleeping-man-shot-16-times-may-sue-police-for-abuse/ Incidentally, in arguing for large magazines, it is of note that 20% of the bullets the trained police shot, at close range, actually missed. In Katie Pavlich’s article, Why Do We Need High Capacity Magazines? To Stop the Bad Guys, found at http://townhall.com/columnists/katiepavlich/2013/04/17/why-do-we-need-high-capacity-magazines-to-stop-the-bad-guys-n1570035?utm_source=thdaily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=nl she outlines the same concern, noting “…knock-down” power does not exist with small arms. As one instructor put it, ‘Real life isn’t like in the movies when somebody gets shot with a handgun and they go flying across the room… and “handguns of all types don’t reliably stop a dedicated adversary from stopping their actions.’”  Rather, many times multiple rounds are simply needed.  In fact, according to Pavlich, “Overseas, the average number of rounds per enemy casualty is 50,000. The truth is, it’s not always easy to hit your target when you’re under stress.”
And William Levinson reviewing the cases of home invasion by multiple gang bangers in his above noted article, Why Does Anybody Need a 30-Round Magazine, is not alone. Just one example out of approximately 8,000 home invasions per year was discussed in the April, 2013 edition of the Chicago Tribune at http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/suburbs/schaumburg_hoffman_estates/chi-cops-man-one-of-4-to-storm-hoffman-estates-home-with-assault-rifle-20130427,0,1180374.story, in article entitled:  Cops: Man one of 4 to storm Hoffman Estates home with assault rifle, where a suburban Chicago home was assaulted by five men and robbed. An AR-15 on the side of the defender sure could have come in handy there!
Perhaps in the Hollywood movies, one shot is placed perfectly every time. But if so, I suggest we then require the Learjet leftists of Hollywood, or our politicians in D.C., to have their armed guards allowed pistols with only a couple shots. And we should also ask why the police get to defend themselves with multiple bullet magazines, but the average citizen cannot. As Levinson asks in http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/../2013/01/the_antigun_movements_bridge_too_far.html, if it is true that ordinary citizens have the basic natural right to self-defense (which, importantly, pre-dates the Constitution), then they “have a legitimate need for the same kind of weapons that are available to police officers. If a police officer or a civilian has to use a firearm for any non-sporting reason, he or she must use it for exactly the same application: self-protection against one or more violent individuals.” What is so difficult to understand about this?
A very clear, real-life video demonstration of the futility of limiting magazines is illustrated by Sheriff Ken Campbell of Boone County, IN..at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2Upjn5DR0o&feature=player_embedded#t=6s. In a nutshell, the accompanying story, found at http://www.examiner.com/article/new-video-destroys-myth-about-large-capacity-magazines, notes a shooter, “…using a Glock pistol, fired his first string with two 15-round magazines in 20.64 seconds, then with three ten-round magazines in 18.05 seconds and finally with five six-round magazines in 21.45 seconds.” Another shooter, and inexperienced woman identified as “Christy,” then repeated the exercise, firing “the same sequence, with two 15-round magazines in 22.9 seconds, three ten-rounders in 25.51 seconds and the final five six-round magazines in 26.93 seconds.” Now, I slept through junior high math class, but even I, myself, can do this kind of math.  Magazine limitations will do little to nothing to stop further Sandy Hooks and Aurora, CO. massacres. This story is also found at http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/03/01/sheriff-debunks-fallacies-surrounding-gun-magazines-in-this-viral-vid-plus-his-response-to-bidens-shotgun-advice/ Very importantly, this video shows that the time it takes to change magazine would not allow someone from even 25 feet away to get halfway to the shooter before he can change magazines and start firing again.  And while on the subject of sheriffs speaking out, here is a compilation of sheriffs speaking out against gun control across the country- http://tv.naturalnews.com/v.asp?v=727C44A99F2D84C3A9D00F4BC69D8D39
Now… compare the above information to Dianne Feinstein’s comment here: ‘Limiting magazine capacity is critical, because it is when a criminal, a drug dealer, a deranged individual has to pause to change magazines and reload that, the police or brave bystanders have the opportunity to take that individual down.”
But, the reality is that Feinstein has even less of a clue about the magazine issue than noted above. The fact of the matter is that the average number of rounds used by a criminal in a homicide is less than five. As Magpul Industries noted on their Facebook site at http://www.facebook.com/magpul/posts/575588089120211 “We are told that one of the reasons that [Colorado] Gov Hickenlooper [signed] the magazine ban is the statistic presented by the Golden police chief that an increasing number of Law Enforcement officers have been shot with magazines that hold more than 10 rounds since the expiration of the federal AWB. Since most handguns ship with standard capacity magazines that hold more than 10 or even 15 rounds, that would make sense … but what that statistic doesn’t tell you is that the average number of rounds fired in a criminal homicide is less than 5 rounds. The capacity of the magazine never comes into play. It just happens to be what is in the firearm, regardless of how many rounds were actually fired. This is just another example of how the anti-gun lobby has to twist statistics in order to find support for their position. The real, objective facts support none of their agenda, so half-truths and distorted statistics are used to tell the story they want to tell…. As this fight continues, ask for the whole picture. Ask how polls were conducted, and what questions were asked before believing their ‘stats’. Question bias is another favorite tactic of the anti-gun lobby. Accept no statistic without the whole picture.”

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