Gun Owners of the San Fernando Valley Posts

As it turns out, the same three things that matter in real estate also matter in homicide: Location, location, location.

According to the accepted legacy media narrative, since America is awash in guns, it’s thus a violent, Mad Max hellscape of mass murder and carnage. It’s a wonder that any of us are still alive! 321,400,000 enter, 1 leaves! But like most of the ripping yarns the MSM tells, this one isn’t true either.

Murder in the US is not a national phenomenon; i.e a map of murder scenes across the US wouldn’t be an even distribution of black dots all across the fruited plain. It’s not even regional. It’s highly localized, in fact. As John Lott points out, “The vast majority of murders in the United States occur in just a tiny percentage of counties. In fact, the country can be divided up into three types of places: those where there are no murders; those where there are a few murders; and those where murders are very common.” Those little black dots on the map are mostly confined to a few, small areas. Remove crimes from these areas and the US murder rate starts to look a lot different. It starts to look more like the rates in the European countries that the Left holds up as examples of gun control that we should emulate.

Let’s look at the largest State in the Union. There were 1697 homicides in the California in 2014. During that year, there were counties with no homicides. Then there’s Los Angeles County. There were 526 murders that year making it the worst county in the nation. But, as John Lott points out, murders in L.A. County are not evenly distributed across the county. There are clearly defined hot spots.

L.A. County Homicides 2014

There are huge parts of the county there were zero murders. The vast majority are concentrated in a few neighborhoods; East L.A. and South Central.

Now I’m sure that there are a few pinheads out there who will look at this map and try to make this about race. It’s arguably about culture, but not race. This is a map of L.A.’s poorest neighborhoods. This map also shows us where there’s the most gang activity and the most illegal narcotics. It’s only about race to the extent that certain politicians try to make it about race; those who preach bitterness, class envy, and hatred to the residents of these neighborhoods to get themselves re-elected year after year after year. (One in particular has represented South Central since 1977. Nothing much has changed there in those 40 years. Perhaps that’s why she lives 10 miles away in Hancock Park!)

Now getting back to murder rates nationally, there are also those pinheads who will try to make this about legal gun ownership. But the facts get in the way of that simplistic analysis. The urban areas where US murders are concentrated are also the areas with the lowest rates of legal gun ownership. The boring, rural counties with no homicides are the areas with the highest rates of legal gun ownership! In other words, the US counties which produce the most YouTube videos of heavily armed rednecks blowing stuff up with Tannerite are also the counties with the fewest homicides.

News

I promise, I didn’t go looking for this article just to make a point about this post.

SFWeekly writer Nuala Sawyer starts out her article on gun violence rates in San Francisco on a good note. She laments the fact that most people in Babylon on the Bay only know about the city’s crime rates from what they read in social media; i.e. anecdotal evidence. She then goes on to cite the FBI’s data from the Universal Crime Reporting program. In this program, the FBI (Now under new management!) collects and reports crime data from across the US. San Francisco, which actually is part of the United States, is included in this database. Violent crime there, like the rest of the country, is down. Crimes involving firearms, however, have seen a recent uptick…

But one area where crime did not decline was rates of gun violence. In 2016, homicides by firearm increased by 15 percent, people shot non-fatally increased by 27 percent, and 12 percent more firearms were seized from people than in the year prior. In 2016, 451 people were arrested for having a firearm. And in a depressing turn, the city’s gun buyback program — where SFPD offers cash for the public’s guns — dove a dismal 36 percent, with only 212 guns being taken off the streets last year.

But here’s where she goes off the rails. The very next paragraph reads…

While San Francisco’s gun trends appear to be on the rise, it isn’t just us. In 2016, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives released data from U.S. gun-makers that firearm production doubled between 2010 and 2013. In 2013, the year after the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre, 11 million guns were produced. Gun ownership nationwide has doubled since 1968, with more than 300 million guns estimated to exist in the U.S. alone. But this doesn’t mean everyone has a gun — only one in three households.

She then concludes that “it’s only natural that firearm-related crimes will also grow” with all of these firearms out there remaining unconfiscated. But the UCR data say the exact opposite of this! Violent crime, of which gun related violent crime is but a subset, is down nationally. Looking at homicides, of which gun related homicides are a subset, the rate in 2014 is less than half of what it was in 1980; 10.2 per 100,000 versus 4.5 per 100,000. (2014 is the last complete data set.) The overall violent crime rate in 1980 was 596.6 per 100,000. In 2014 it was 375.7 per 100,000. All of this is despite, some would argue because of, vastly increased rates of gun ownership in the US.

This information is nothing new. John Lott and David Mustard first published in 1997. Their study focused on concealed carry laws, but also looked at overall gun ownership. The very least that can be said, given the publically available data they used, is that increased gun ownership neither increases nor decreases rates of gun violence. So why didn’t Ms. Sawyer seem to know this?

Because it didn’t fit the narrative.

To her, it was simply obvious that increased gun ownership translates to more gun crime. The thought of verifying this with actual data never occurred to her. To those with this type of bias, looking up the real data on gun crime versus gun ownership would be like checking a compass in the morning to see if the sun is really rising in the east. So rather than seeking out uncomfortable truths, she wrapped herself in the warm blanket of anecdote.

(H/T: Chuck Michel)

News

So who woulda thought that the Washington Post would find itself repeating ISIS propaganda? I’m guessing that no one at the WP would have thought it, but that’s precisely what happened last week. The legacy news outlet repeated, unquestioningly, ISIS claims about how “easy” it is to purchase a firearm in the US. A ripping yarn to be sure, but not at all true.

Did the Post set out to become a mouthpiece for ISIS? Of course not. So how did it happen? Quite simply, the claims by the Islamofascist terror organization fit in with beliefs the writers and editors at the Post already held. To their minds, it was ISIS that was parroting the Post. The Post, and most of the dead tree media, reflexively accept as fact what ISIS claimed about American gun laws, even though they reject ISIS itself. Conversely, they reflexively reject what doesn’t fit their existing narrative. Tell them, for example, that the CDC found that gun laws are ineffective for reducing violence and you’ll be on the receiving end of blank stares.

Pro-RKBA activists need to be aware that the MSM will go beyond simply ignoring facts that they disagree with. If need be, they’ll just make s**t up. Which means that they’ll misquote you, mischaracterize your statements, or flat out lie about you to make a point. Never think that these people are in the business of telling the objective truth. That’s not what drove them to attend journalism school! They’re out to change the world, even if the facts get in the way.

Keep that in mind the next time some reporter asks you for a comment.

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No, this isn’t the same sort of paradox as the bootstrap paradox. I’m talking about the weird, nearly simultaneous arguments that anti-gun types make claiming that we pro-gun types are either stuck in the past or not stuck in the past.

We’re told, on the one hand, that the 2nd Amendment is an outmoded document. We’re told that it’s a relic of a bygone era when most of the country was lawless frontier. We’re told that we need to get with the times, be like Europe, and all but ban firearms from civilian ownership. If there’s trouble, the argument goes, just call 911.

And in the next breath, we’re told that our view of the 2nd Amendment is far too modern. “The Founders could never imagined fearsome weapons of war like the AR-15!” And then, after stating that the 2nd Amendment only protects Brown Bess muskets, these same anti-gun leftists will hop back into their TARDIS and proclaim that the Constitution is a “living document” that evolves with the times.

…but not when we’re talking about guns.

Both arguments are ridiculous. The 2nd Amendment did not create a new right out of thin air. It recognized a preexisting freedom that flows from a right that all Humans have: The right to self defense. If one has the right to self defense, then one has a right to the means of self defense. It doesn’t matter whether that means is a sharp stick or a semiautomatic rifle. Not one of the Founders would have argued that a version of the 2nd Amendment written in the Bronze age wouldn’t have applied to steel weapons. And not one of these anti-gun leftists would argue that the 4th Amendment applies only to documents written on parchment. (Unless, of course, if that level of doublethink were necessary to argue against private gun ownership!) Just as the 4th Amendment applies to electronic files on your computer, so too the 2nd Amendment applies to the modern firearms in your gun safe.

As to their first claim that firearms are now “unneeded” in a modern, civil society, I suggest that they skim a few headlines from media outlets in Chicago. The Wild West was far more peaceful than is “civilized” Chicago.

News Privacy Self-defense

So there was this former University of Missouri journalism prof who opined that the NRA is as bad as ISIS. I thought to myself, this could be fun. But alas, there isn’t enough in the article for even a bit of silly mockery, let alone a good Fisking. The old duffer’s argument seems to be that both organizations are known by acronyms. One wonders what he thinks of the National Restaurant Association.

Politics

My guess is that most non-shooters just don’t get why we enjoy the activity. They don’t understand that it really is like meditation to us.

Albeit, meditation that requires eye and ear protection.

Shooting isn’t about making lots of noise at the range. You may be there with a group of people and it’s loud, but eventually your world shrinks down to just a few things: You, the firearm, the target, this next bullet, and the air between you and the target.

You start to block out the world around you. You concentrate on the fundamentals; your stance, your grip, the sight picture. You inhale deliberately, and exhale. In that pause between breaths, you smoothly pull the trigger. The gun discharges, but you keep pulling the trigger. You pull it all the way back applying proper follow-through. You slowing release the trigger until hear it reset. You note where the bullet hit, but you’re already on to the next round. That last shot is over and done with; it’s no longer part of your world. The next shot is what matters. And then you do it all over again.

No, some people just don’t get the quiet that we find in all of that noise.

Shooting Shooting sports

Some of you may be familiar with The Trace. This is Michael Bloomberg’s purpose-built, anti-gun “news” outlet. It provides all of the anti-gun news that’s fit to print. It does deserve some props, however. Unlike Bloomy’s other anti-gun propaganda operations, this one is up front with being an anti-gun propaganda operation. It’s also a very nicely composed and designed website. Unless I miss my guess, it’s built around WordPress. (The same software this site uses.) As anti-gun site go, theirs is a pretty good site. But (Yes, that big but was on its way!), they may have to get a better handle on what makes its way onto the site.

Take this story from last July, for example, about how ineffective gun buyback programs are.

How did I miss this?

The author, Kate Masters, presents data that most of us already knew: That guns collected in these programs by the police are often non-functional pieces of dren and that they are the guns least likely to be used in crimes. Furthermore, the police are often duped into paying top dollar for junk guns and the funds they pay are then used to buy better guns.

There’s no evidence that gun buybacks actually curb gun violence. Though the events have become ubiquitous in the U.S. since the ’90s, they’re coupled with a number of academic studies that pointedly demonstrate the ways that buybacks fail to reduce crime. “[Studies show that] the guns you get back are nonfunctioning, that we’re paying money and we’re not getting real benefits,” Ralph Fascitelli, the president of Washington CeaseFire, a Seattle-based gun safety organization, tells The Trace. “They’re just feel-good things that don’t do much real good.”

The feel-good nature of gun buybacks often spurs police departments to organize them in the wake of major killing sprees, such as a 2014 buyback organized by L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti after a gunman killed six people near the University of California’s Santa Barbara campus. This June alone, local officials from Florida, Connecticut, California, Arkansas, and Massachusetts launched city- or county-wide buybacks in response to violent shootings or rising crime rates. But experts claim it’s unlikely that these officials truly believe the events help reduce crime.

The “no questions asked” policy shared by most buybacks can also make them vulnerable to what [Alex Tabarrok, professor of economics at George Mason University] calls “gun entrepreneurs,” generally private sellers who use the events to profit off their local government. He cited a particularly notorious 2008 buyback in Oakland, California, where police bought handguns and assault rifles for $250 each. The event attracted local gun dealers, who bought cheap guns out-of-state and sold them back to the government for a profit

One suspects that Ms. Masters is no longer in the employ of Michael Bloomberg after posting something like this!

But this does lead us to a larger truth about the anti-gun movement: It’s entirely based on “feel-good” politics and not hard data. People like Michael Bloomberg are driven by emotion. Guns are icky. Gun owners are icky. Guns should be banned because they’re icky. Gun owners should be locked up because they’re icky. They ignore the reality of firearms: That they’re far more likely to be used to prevent violent crimes than to perpetrate them. Most guns are never fired in anger and most gun owners never hear a shot that’s been fired in anger. Those guns and their owners lead boring, uneventful existences.

Do bad things happen with guns? Of course they do. Bad things happen with hammers too, but you don’t see millions being spent to shut down the home improvement industry and “big hardware”. There isn’t a consumer product anywhere that’s completely risk free. But with every one of them, we apply risk/benefit analysis. People like Bloomberg pointedly refuse to do so with firearms. But then again, Bloomy’s not known to be a particularly rational individual.

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The firearm is the most versatile self-defense tool that Man has ever developed. It allows the physically weak to equal and potentially best the strong. A 98 pound grandmother can drop a 250 pound thug with one squeeze of the trigger. There’s a make and model that will suit any user or application. But, there are times when you are unable, or not allowed, to have access to a firearm when you really, REALLY need one.

As I write this, the L.A. County Sheriff’s office is conducting an active shooter drill at El Monte High School. A school is an example of a “non-permissive” environment. While it’s physically possible to carry and use a firearm there, it’s not legal to do so. (And the State is trying to make it impossible for even local school officials to allow guns on a campus!) So if the exercise at El Monte High wasn’t a drill, and you were there, what options would you have?

What got me thinking about this was a trip to Disneyland. Disney has really stepped up their game when it comes to security. They used to concentrate on purses and backpacks that guests were carrying into the park. This meant searching mostly women (Who generally aren’t a threat) and ignoring men (…and most violent perps are men!). I don’t know how many times I walked into the park with my knife and they didn’t notice because they were too busy looking in my wife’s purse. That’s no longer the case. Everyone gets looked at now! So now that the knife stays in the car, I started thinking about “what if” scenarios. (Yes, that’s the sort of thing I do while waiting in line at The Happiest Place On Earth. Doesn’t everyone?) I began to notice that there are potential weapons everywhere. These aren’t stand-off weapons like a gun, but neither is a knife.

A school or an office is no different. There are potential weapons all around you. You just have to start seeing things for what they can be made into rather than what they are now. A chair is a place to plant your butt; until you throw it at someone’s head.

Students (or office workers) are taught to lock doors and keep quiet during an active shooter attack. This is a good start. In a classroom, there are lots of heavy objects like tables and file cabinets. Use these to barricade the door. The chairs in the room make nice projectile weapons or clubs, should someone force the door open. (It’s not easy to aim a gun when there’s a chair flying at your face!) Pens and pencils make adequate stabbing instruments; especially when directed at an attacker’s eyes. Look around and think about how this or that can be used to inflict life threatening injuries. Work in teams. While one group of students is throwing things, others should be moving flank the attacker.

Sounds dangerous? It is. But at this point, what have you got to lose?! At the very least, you turn yourself into a moving target. Passivity won’t save your life. You may become someone else’s “meat shield”, but that’s about all sitting and cowering will do.

AB 424 Anti-gun Legislation News Self-defense State

If you take an NRA certified firearm class, or any course certified by a reputable organization, you will hear safety rules repeated over and over again. There’s a reason for this. Even those familiar with firearms can have mishaps when they ignore these rules. Like this NRA employee.

An employee at one of the NRA’s museums “accidentally” shot himself while holstering a pistol. I put accidentally in quotes because “accident” implies an unforeseeable and thus unpreventable event. This was neither. Guns don’t “accidentally go off”. A gun will fire when you load it and depress the trigger. That’s kinda the point. If I press down on the “A” key on this keyboard, an “A” appears on the screen. That’s kinda the point. If the keyboard didn’t do that, or if the gun in question didn’t fire, we’d correctly report that said device is defective.

So what are those rules we should be following?

  1. Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.
  2. Always keep the gun unloaded until you are ready to use it.
  3. Always keep your finger off of the trigger until you are ready to fire the gun.

If you apply all three of these rules, a gun simply cannot “go off” and hurt someone; it’s a physical impossibility. This guy got his finger onto the trigger of a loaded gun while it was pointed at his own body. The gun functioned as advertised, as did the ammo, and now he has an extra hole in his body. The rules are there for a reason.

And if you are an NRA member, or a member of any other group that emphasizes gun safety, you are especially responsible for following these rules. A negligent discharge in any other location would have been ignored by USAToday. One at an NRA facility makes headlines. Why do you suppose that is? If you think that USAToday has a sudden interest in firearm safety, then you need to step away from the meth pipe. The media report events like this one because they want to paint gun owners, and NRA members in particular, as violent and dangerous. Follow those rules not only because you should to stay safe, but also to keep from becoming an argument against your own rights. Don’t arm the other side!

News Safety

It’s official!

Special thanks need to go out to former Senators Harry Reid and Joe Biden. Thanks to the Biden Rule and the Reid Rule, we’re saying “Justice Gorsuch” instead of “Justice Garland”. After the Senate applied the rules he once supported, anti-gun fruitloop Chucky Schumer wasn’t able to stop Justice Gorsuch’s nomination.

Does this guarantee solid, conservative/libertarian rulings from the Court? Of course not. The (usually) 5-4 majority has been restored, but that doesn’t tell us how people like Anthony Kennedy or John Roberts will vote. We’ll be able to breath easier once Justices Ginsburg and Breyer have decided to ride off into the sunset. Additionally, Gorsuch isn’t a results oriented jurist. If lawyers appearing before the Court expect him to rule in their favor, they’d better have convincing, Constitutionally grounded arguments. He’s a reals over feels kinda guy.

All judges should be like this, but sadly they aren’t. Far too many, including many appointed by Republicans, rule based upon what public policies might flow from said ruling. A proper judge should rule based upon what the law and the Constitution require. If we don’t like the subsequent results, then it’s up to the People and their representatives to change the law and/or the Constitution; not a bunch of unelected clowns in black robes.

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