Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Saturday, February 24, 2018 9:12 am

The kids are alright; or, finally getting some common-sense gun legislation

As I write, it’s been 10 days since the killing of 17 students at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. And to judge from social media, we’re still talking about that massacre in particular and gun legislation in general. That’s remarkable.

It’s remarkable because, after nothing happened in the wake of the Newtown slaughter of innocents, a lot of people resigned themselves to the inevitability that nothing would EVER happen to put a stop to mass killings in the United States. Now? Companies including several rental-car firms, Symantec, and the bank that issued NRA credit cards have dropped their affiliation with the NRA. And in a midterm election year that already was shaping up to be potentially a wave year for Democrats, gun violence has emerged as an issue that might finally drive a lot of blue voters to the polls.

There are a lot of reasons, but the single most important has been the determination of the Stoneman Douglas students themselves. They believe, correctly, that the older generation has been derelict in its duty to protect the younger. And, either already able to vote or on the cusp of being able to do so, they’ve decided to take matters into their own hands. From die-ins outside the Capitol to humiliating Fla. Sen. Marco Rubio on CNN, these young men and women have made it clear that they have decided to be the change they want to see. And it isn’t just Stoneman Douglas students; it’s high-school students nationwide (students at my own son’s high school walked out this week to protest gun violence). Former president Barack Obama acknowledged their leadership role in a tweet, adding that the rest of us should get behind them.

One beneficial consequence has been that we’re finally starting to talk about solutions. At least, the sane among us are. Obviously, that excludes the National Rifle Association.

In a generation, the NRA has mutated from sportsmen’s organization to industry lobbyist to batshit insane fascist propaganda outlet. Executive vice president and CEO Wayne LaPierre gave an unhinged speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) this week, insisting, despite the fact that exactly zero people in responsible positions are actually saying this, that there is a movement afoot to strip all guns from law-abiding citizens and warning of a “socialist agenda” intent on “eradicat[ing] all individual freedoms.”

The NRA’s solution to this is more guns: specifically, arming teachers. (If the NRA ever publicly agreed that global warming is a problem, its solution would be more guns. Its solution to global COOLING would be more guns.) But given the fact that well-trained, periodically retrained New York City police officers return fire accurately only 18% of the time (and open fire accurate only 30% of the time), it’s hard to picture teachers doing any better, to say nothing of the safety and liability issue of having a loaded gun in a classroom full of young kids.

(Also at CPAC, speaking of unhinged, NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch insisted:

Many in legacy media love mass shootings. You guys love it. I’m not saying that you love the tragedy, but I am saying that you love the ratings. Crying white mothers are ratings gold to you and many of the legacy media in the back [of the room].

(Here are the facts. Reporters cover mass shootings and other murders, as well as such other trauma as fires, wrecks, and industrial accidents, because people want to know about them and because, in many cases, it’s the only way the voiceless get a voice. Nobody loves it. In fact, quite a few public-safety reporters develop PTSD. But because the culture of most newsrooms is that it’s all part of the job and reporters just have to suck it up, most don’t get treatment for it and resort instead to self-treatment, often in unhealthy ways. For example, I dealt with mine for a long time just by drinking heavily. That Dana Loesch thinks reporters revel in this, or knows otherwise but is willing to lie about it, betrays a stunning depth of ignorance or depravity.)

Gun laws vs. gun deathsThe NRA’s protests to the contrary, the U.S. is alone among industrialized nations in its incidence of mass shootings. There are far more gun deaths in states without strong gun laws than in states with them (see chart at left). And getting military-grade weaponry out of the hands of civilians might be the single most important thing we can do to reduce the number of mass shootings.

Because here’s the thing: Well within the Second Amendment, we can absolutely have a rational conversation about what combination of objectively quantifiable qualities — caliber, muzzle velocity, magazine or clip capacity, reload rate, etc. — can provide sufficient stopping power for widespread gun ownership for self-defense or sport without putting military-grade hardware in the hands of crazy 19-year-olds like Nikolas Cruz, the Stoneman Douglas shooter. And if Democrats make big gains in this year’s elections, that conversation is going to start happening with or without the NRA at the table.

And it must. A lot of gun nuts (as opposed to sane gun-rights supporters) like to insist that AR-15s and similar assault rifles are a lot like other weapons. This account from a radiologist who helped treat some of the Stoneman Douglas victims gives the lie to that argument:

In a typical handgun injury that I diagnose almost daily, a bullet leaves a laceration through an organ like the liver. To a radiologist, it appears as a linear, thin, grey bullet track through the organ. There may be bleeding and some bullet fragments. …

The injury along the path of the bullet from an AR-15 is vastly different from a low-velocity handgun injury. The bullet from an AR-15 passes through the body like a cigarette boat travelling at maximum speed through a tiny canal. The tissue next to the bullet is elastic—moving away from the bullet like waves of water displaced by the boat—and then returns and settles back. This process is called cavitation; it leaves the displaced tissue damaged or killed. The high-velocity bullet causes a swath of tissue damage that extends several inches from its path. It does not have to actually hit an artery to damage it and cause catastrophic bleeding. Exit wounds can be the size of an orange. …

Handgun injuries to the liver are generally survivable unless the bullet hits the main blood supply to the liver. An AR-15 bullet wound to the middle of the liver would cause so much bleeding that the patient would likely never make it to a trauma center to receive our care.

After a mass killing in Australia in 1996, that country greatly restricted gun ownership. It has not had another mass killing since.

The Second Amendment would forbid measures as strict as Australia’s. But notwithstanding the lame protestations of NRA whores such as my own congresscritter, Ted Budd*, not only would a ban on military-style assault weapons be upheld as constitutional, we’ve already tried it and know that it works.

Congress enacted such a ban in 1994, with a 10-year sunset provision. It also banned magazines with a capacity of more than 10 rounds. What happened?

Compared with the 10-year period before the ban, the number of gun massacres during the ban period fell by 37 percent, and the number of people dying from gun massacres fell by 43 percent. But after the ban lapsed in 2004, the numbers shot up again — an astonishing 183 percent increase in massacres and a 239 percent increase in massacre deaths.

A ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines enjoys public support of 68 percent and 65 percent, respectively. Even among gun owners, almost half favor an assault-weapons ban.

We also could consider universal background checks for gun ownership (favored even by 87% of NRA members), excluding from ownership those with histories of domestic violence or mental illness as well as criminal records. We can raise the minimum age at which a civilian can buy certain kinds of weapons. We can require gun registration, gun training, and the purchase of liability insurance.

Those measures address gun violence more generally than they do mass shootings in particular. But with about 32,000 gun deaths (homicide, suicide and accident) per year, they’re worth pursuing anyway. It is true that most gun-owning Americans are law-abiding, but 32,000 deaths a year, many of them preventable, is unacceptable. And as any cops reporter can tell you, the American public is not, in any way, shape or form, a well-regulated militia.

We can’t continue to accept the status quo. And God willing, the kids are going to make sure we don’t.

*Ted Budd argues that the biggest problems with respect to gun violence are mental illness and radical Islamic terror, never mind the fact that mental illness exists in lots of countries without many mass shootings and never mind the fact that radical Islamism is implicated in passing few U.S. mass shootings. Budd must harbor an amazing contempt for his constituents’ intelligence to think these arguments persuasive.






  1. How Did the Parkland Shooter Slip Through the Cracks?

    Broward County’s effort to fight the “school-to-prison-pipeline” may have helped Nikolas Cruz stay under law enforcement’s radar.

    “In an effort to combat the “school to prison pipeline,” schools across the country have come under pressure from the federal government and civil rights activists to reduce suspensions, expulsions, and in-school arrests. The unintended consequences of pressuring schools to produce ever-lower discipline statistics deserve much more examination.
    Florida’s Broward County, home to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, was among the leaders in this nationwide policy shift. According to Washington Post reporting, Broward County schools once recorded more in-school arrests than any other Florida district. But in 2013, the school board and the sheriff’s office agreed on a new policy to discontinue police referrals for a dozen infractions ranging from drug use to assault. The number of school-based arrests plummeted by 63 percent from 2012 to 2016. The Obama administration lauded Broward’s reforms, and in 2015 invited the district’s superintendent to the White House for an event, “Rethink Discipline,” that would highlight the success of Broward and other localities’ success in “transforming policies and school climate.”
    Confessed killer Nikolas Cruz, a notorious and emotionally disturbed student, was suspended from Stoneman Douglas High. He was even expelled for bringing weapons to school. Yet he was never arrested before the shooting. In a county less devoted to undoing school disciplinary policies, perhaps Cruz would have been arrested for one of his many violent or threatening incidents. When Cruz got into a fight in September of 2016, he was referred to social workers rather than to the police. When he allegedly assaulted a student in January 2017, it triggered a school-based threat assessment—but no police involvement. The Washington Post notes that Cruz “was well-known to school and mental health authorities and was entrenched in the process for getting students help rather than referring them to law enforcement.”
    Would an arrest record have changed the judgment of the FBI agents who ignored the tip that Cruz wanted to kill his classmates? Certainly Cruz could not have legally purchased a gun if the 2016 social-services investigation determined that he was a threat to himself and others. That year, according to the Washington Post, the sheriff’s office was informed that Cruz “planned to shoot up the school.” The office determined that Cruz had knives and a BB gun and sent this information to the school resource officer (presumably the now-infamous Scot Peterson). It’s unclear whether Peterson investigated; if he did, neither he nor anyone else evidently filed a report. When social services approached Peterson in its investigation of Cruz, the officer “refused to share any information . . . regarding [an] incident that took place.” Peterson and his colleagues appear to have been under pressure to post lower statistics on school-safety problems. This climate of disengagement could have allowed Cruz to slip through the cracks in the system.
    CNN’s Jake Tapper pressed Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel about what role the new policies might have played in the county’s failure to respond to the many red flags that Cruz’s behavior had raised. “Were there not incidents committed by the shooter as a student,” Tapper asked, “had this new policy not been in place that otherwise he would have been arrested for and not able to legally buy a gun?” The sheriff praised the program. “It’s an excellent program,” he said. “It’s helping many, many people. What this program does is not put a person at 14, 15, 16 years old into the criminal justice system.” The police, he said, can’t be faulted here because “there’s no malfeasance or misfeasance if you don’t know about something.”
    Perhaps not. But the explicit aim of Broward’s new approach to school safety was to keep students like Cruz off the police’s radar. If the Sheriff’s department didn’t know about his deeply troubling behavior, perhaps it was because they were no longer supposed to know about it.
    Reporters should dig deeper into the implementation of a policy that prevented school officials from contacting the police, even when common sense would call for it, as it surely did in Cruz’s case. There remain more questions than answers at this point, but we owe the families of Cruz’s 17 victims better than another scripted culture war, with each side voicing the usual talking points. Hundreds of school districts, serving millions of students across the country, have followed Broward County’s dubious lead on school safety. Parents across the country need more answers about how this could happen, so let’s start asking the questions now.”

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Tuesday, February 27, 2018 7:46 pm @ 7:46 pm

    • You and others have raised legitimate questions about law enforcement’s handling of Nikolas Cruz. Now I’d like you to engage with policy proposals to reduce mass shootings generally. Recall what I said: “Well within the Second Amendment, we can absolutely have a rational conversation about what combination of objectively quantifiable qualities — caliber, muzzle velocity, magazine or clip capacity, reload rate, etc. — can provide sufficient stopping power for widespread gun ownership for self-defense or sport without putting military-grade hardware in the hands of crazy 19-year-olds like Nikolas Cruz.” Now engage with that.

      Comment by Lex — Tuesday, February 27, 2018 9:37 pm @ 9:37 pm

  2. I’ll try to engage.

    Announcing a policy that will epicically fail

    “Ensuring that our educational system is a doorway to opportunity – and not a point of entry to our criminal justice system – is a critical, and achievable, goal,” said Attorney General Holder. “By bringing together government, law enforcement, academic, and community leaders, I’m confident that we can make certain that school discipline policies are enforced fairly and do not become obstacles to future growth, progress, and achievement.”

    “Maintaining safe and supportive school climates is absolutely critical, and we are concerned about the rising rates and disparities in discipline in our nation’s schools,” said Secretary Duncan. “By teaming up with stakeholders on this issue and through the work of our offices throughout the department, we hope to promote strategies that will engage students in learning and keep them safe.”

    The goals of the Supportive School Discipline Initiative are to: build consensus for action among federal, state and local education and justice stakeholders; collaborate on research and data collection that may be needed to inform this work, such as evaluations of alternative disciplinary policies and interventions; develop guidance to ensure that school discipline policies and practices comply with the nation’s civil rights laws and to promote positive disciplinary options to both keep kids in school and improve the climate for learning; and promote awareness and knowledge about evidence-based and promising policies and practices among state judicial and education leadership.

    In order to implement the initiative, the two departments will coordinate with other organizations in the non-profit and philanthropic communities who are also working to help ensure students succeed by addressing inappropriate school discipline. These groups include the Council of State Governments and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. The Supportive School Discipline Initiative will build upon the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights’ work to increase and enhance the school discipline data available through the Civil Rights Data Collection and the Departments’ proactive efforts to ensure disciplinary policies support students and are administered in a non-discriminatory manner.

    Attorney General Holder and Secretary Duncan announced this initiative during the quarterly meeting of the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, whose membership includes representatives from 12 federal agencies and nine practitioners. The council coordinates federal juvenile justice and prevention programs to help better serve at-risk youth. A priority issue for the council is education and at-risk youth. More information on the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice is available at:”

    And the results:

    The School to Prison Pipeline and the Parkland Shooting

    Posted on February 26, 2018 by A.P. Dillon
    Coral Springs PD – Nikolas Cruz
    Image via REUTERS

    There are a lot of questions being asked in the wake of the school shooting in Florida. One question being asked about school district discipline policies is starting to gain traction.

    The so-called “school to prison pipeline” as it relates to changes in school discipline and how school resource officers (SROs) has garnered the attention of many.

    We’ve all heard by now. Not just the one Broward County Sheriff School Resource Officer sat outside and did nothing, but three others joined him.

    We also know that Nikolas Cruz, the shooter, had been on the radar of the Sheriff’s department and the FBI. There were at least 45 interactions with the Sheriff’s department and two tips to the FBI.

    Broward County sheriff’s officials said in a statement late Saturday that they responded only to 23 calls involving suspected Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz or his family over the years, but records obtained by BuzzFeed News show at least 45 responses since 2008.

    This has prompted outrage and a flood of questions.

    One could be an act of cowardice, but four? Were they told to stand down? Were they trained to wait for local police?

    Why didn’t any of them act? Maybe they were told not to.

    It’s also been learned that the SRO Marjory Stoneman High who did not engage Cruz, Scot Peterson, refused to share what he knew about Cruz in the year prior when the Department of Child and Family Services showed up to assess him. WHY?

    Cruz was expelled but it likely took a hell of a lot of incidents for that to take place given what we now know about an agreement between the Broward school district and the local sheriff department.

    On Twitter, the account ‘The Last Refuge’ highlighted the Broward district’s policies and an MOU (memorandum of understanding) signed between the Broward Sheriff department and the district.

    22 Feb

    Replying to @TheLastRefuge2
    4. What I stumbled upon was a Broward County law enforcement system in a state of conflict. The Broward County School Board and District Superintendent, entered into a political agreement with Broward County Law enforcement officials to stop arresting students for crimes.

    5. The motive was simple. The school system administrators wanted to “improve their statistics” and gain state and federal grant money for improvements therein.
    9:04 PM – Feb 22, 2018
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    The long and short of that thread is that there was an agreement put into place which had the effect of neutering actions that could be taken against problem students – all in the name of lowering suspension and arrest rates of students.

    This is not unique to Broward. Parents should be actively looking for this type of intervention in their own local districts – everywhere.

    The MOU references the “Eliminating the Schoolhouse to Jailhouse Committee” and states that the Florida Legislature should seek alternative methods to dealing with violent or otherwise problem-related students.

    The Florida Legislature “encourage[s] schools to use alternatives to expulsion or referral to law enforcement agencies by addressing disruptive behavior through restitution, civil citation, teen court, neighborhood restorative justice, or similar programs” and has instructed school districts “that zero -tolerance policies are not intended to be rigorously applied to petty acts of misconduct and misdemeanors, including, but not limited to, minor fights or disturbances.”

    In short, kids were supposed to be let off the hook with a slap on the wrist.

    Also in the MOU, in section 2.05, actions by law enforcement are addressed. The MOU says that “Nothing in this agreement is intended to limit the discretion of law enforcement.”

    That section goes on to say “Officers responding to an incident or consulting with school officials are encouraged to use their discretion in determining the best course of action, especially when using alternatives to arrest.”

    The section concludes in a manner indicating that officer use discretion really isn’t theirs to use, stating that “While the option to use the criminal justice system is available for many incidents, the totality of the circumstances should be taken into consideration any less punitive alternatives that ensure the safety of the school community should be considered.”

    This agreement and the Broward school district’s policy changes began to change back in 2013.

    Activists in the state, like in many other states, began protesting at school board meetings and at their respective legislatures about the “school to prison pipeline.” The complaint was that black students were making up the majority of suspensions, arrests, and expulsions.

    At no time have I witnessed any board confronted with this information ask the question are these actions warranted? This observation includes districts in North Carolina like Wake County and Charlotte Mecklenburg.

    Nearly all of the groups I have looked at in over 12 states were either affiliated with or were tied to local chapters of the NAACP. Such was the case in Broward County and it was done so with the aid of “a local sheriff.”

    Broward announced broad changes designed to mitigate the use of harsh punishments for minor misbehavior at the beginning of this school year. While other districts have amended their discipline codes, prohibited arrests in some circumstances, and developed alternatives to suspension, Broward was able to do all these things at once with the cooperation of a group that included a member of the local NAACP, a school board member, a public defender, a local sheriff, a state prosecutor, and several others. (Source:

    One must also note that the NAACP was not alone. These campaigns worked in tandem with the Advancement Project, the Southern Poverty Law Center and later, the Department of Justice under Eric Holder.

    As a point of fact, Eric Holder and the DOJ often co-hosted “school to prison pipeline” events with the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

    The SPLC used its education propaganda machine, Teaching Tolerance, to legitimize the issue and made the focus “the deep south” despite accounts that minority arrests and suspensions were worse in northern states.

    Teaching Tolerance also created materials for teachers to replace usual disciplinary actions using a fictitious student named Michael. Ironically, these materials call for the teacher to “Argue with Michael, call the school resource officer, bar him from class or press assault charges” if Michael gets physical.

    Yet, at the same time, activist groups, the SPLC, the Advancement Project, and the NAACP had been pushing or SROs to be removed from schools and encouraging school boards and sheriff departments not to arrest or charge students who act out violently.

    Black Lives Matter Chapters also got in on the act, pushing the “SRO’s have got to go” campaign and local state activist groups began campaigns in 2014 and 2015 to remove SRO’s from schools. This type of campaign happened in North Carolina’s largest district, Wake County Public Schools.

    The primary groups that were involved in the push in Wake County: The Education Justice Alliance, the NC NAACP, the Coalition of Concerned Citizens for African-American Children (CCCAAC), Dignity in Schools, NC Heat, and the Youth Organizing Institute.

    Education Justice Alliance, NC Heat, and Youth Organizing Institute are overlapping groups affiliated with one another. NC Heat and Youth Organizing Institute are projects of the Southern Vision Alliance which in turn is an offshoot of Action for Community in Raleigh (ACRe). Members of these NC Heat and Youth Organizing Institute have been involved with Black Lives Matter in Durham and the destruction of a Confederate statue in Durham in 2017.

    Education Justice Alliance (EJA) also has ties to the NC Justice Center; EJA’s leader is Rukiya Dillahunt, spouse of self-described Socialist, Ajamu Dillahunt who is a former employee of the NC Justice Center – a far-left advocacy group and parent to the radical attack dog group Blueprint NC.

    Timeline of School To Prison Pipeline Nationally & In NC

    January 2014
    Multiple groups, including NC Heat, file a complaint with the Department of Justice complaining that Wake County Sheriff departments are being used to address “minor school discipline problems.” The complaint seems to want 16 and 17 year-olds to be treated as juveniles for criminal or violent offenses.

    Around that same time in January 2014, Attorney General Eric Holder had gotten in on the act and was openly making remarks about “zero tolerance policies” being the root cause of criminal charges made on students.

    The U.S. Department of Education, led by Arne Duncan, entered into a partnership with Holder’s DOJ to introduce a “School Discipline Guidance Package” based on joint issued Dear Colleague Letter issued by Catherine Lhamon ( head of USED Civil Rights) and Jocelyn Samuels (head of DOJ Civil Rights). This started the ball rolling in Education departments in the states.

    May 2014
    The Coalition of Concerned Citizens for African-American Children (CCCAAC) kicks things off by complaining to the Wake County School Board that giving students (specifically minority students) a zero for missed assignments was “too punitive.” The proposal to drop that practice is dismissed by the board.

    August 2014
    The Guilford County School district spends $357,448.60 on an “African-American Males Symposium” which deals mainly with African American male students are receiving a disproportionate number of out-of-school suspensions.

    October 2014
    NC Heat shows back up on the scene and begins protesting the “school to prison pipeline.”

    April 2015
    Wake County School Board enters the mix. School Board Member Jim Martin defends the high suspension rate in Wake County Schools on Facebook. “I encourage everyone who cares about this issue to recognize there is not a school-to-prison pipeline,” Martin wrote. “There is a POVERTY-TO-PRISON pipeline.

    August 2015
    The US DOJ begins disseminating the Smith/Harper report which conveniently aligns its conclusions with those of Arne Duncan and Eric Holder from the year prior by blaming Zero Tolerance policies for the “School to Prison Pipeline.” The report includes involvement by the US Dept. of Education, the NAACP and Teach for America.

    November 2015
    The Youth Organizing Institute (YOI) puts on a protest march, beginning at a Raleigh Elementary school and ending at Central Prison. The protesters specifically call for the removal of SRO’s from schools. The prior year, the group also protested at the Wake County School Board meeting wearing the orange prisoner jumpers below.

    The previous month, the owner of the YOI’s website, Angeline Echeverria, was one of six arrested for chaining themselves together using PVC pipe in the middle of a Raleigh intersection adjacent to the Governor’s mansion. The group was protesting for the ‘rights of illegal aliens’. Echeveria is also a staffer at El Pueblo.

    Also in November, there was a rash of fights in Wake County schools caught on video and spread on social media. These incidences were followed, ironically, by more calls to remove SRO’s from schools by the aforementioned activist groups. These reports of fights continued in a steady stream through February 2016.

    December 2015
    The Every Student Succeed Act (ESSA) is passed. President Obama would later sign it.
    ESSA codified the earlier discipline guidance by the Department of Education and the DOJ.

    24 Feb

    Laura Ingraham

    Yes, @realDonaldTrump shd tell DOJ to investigate the Parkland shooting.

    Please rescind #ESSA which replaced No Child Left Behind & created mandates allowing disruptive minors not to be arrested or disciplined. #prisontopipeline explained. Educators & law enforcement let us down.
    9:17 PM – Feb 24, 2018
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    March 2016
    A violent assault committed by a black female student on another in Wake County Schools makes national headlines. 18-year-old Amber Monay Romero bit off part of a large portion the earlobe of 16-year-old Emiyah Lane Brown.

    April 2016
    Wake County Public Schools ‘Director of Equity Affairs’ holds a joint “Discipline Forum” with federal officials from the Department of Education’s Civil Rights Division.

    May 2016
    Wake County Public Schools alters its discipline and suspension policy. The policy is changed on how suspensions are to be handled for minor rule breaking and additional wording was put in encouraging the use of ‘alternatives’ to out-of-school suspensions. The changes are very similar to the Broward MOU.

    The stated goal is to “reduce the number of suspensions” and Wake Board member Jim Martin told media that “We want to minimize infractions and maximize education.”

    Brenda Elliott, the Wake assistant superintendent for student support, chimed in.

    “Research says that increasing lengths of suspension aren’t related to school safety at all,” said Elliott. “There are other things that schools do to help feel students feel safe. The key thing is to provide a nurturing classroom.”

    Changes were also made to the due process policy. Students would now be assigned to an ‘alternative placement’ instead of a long-term suspension. These students would be eligible to participate in SCORE, an online program.

    The biggest takeaway from the change to due process policy is that these kids would not be recorded by the district as having had a long-term suspension at all. In other words, kids that maybe should be suspended now are not and the district’s crime and suspension numbers look rosy.

    That same month, the Obama administration orders colleges and universities to stop checking criminal histories of applicants – because it’s allegedly discriminatory.”

    Judicial Watch 🔎

    Feds Order Colleges to Stop Checking Criminal/School Discipline History Because it Discriminates Against Minorities
    4:00 PM – May 21, 2016

    Feds Order Colleges to Stop Checking Criminal/School Discipline History Because it Discriminates…
    The Obama administration has ordered the nation’s colleges and universities to stop asking applicants about criminal and school disciplinary history because it discriminates against minorities….
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    The impact of various school districts altering discipline programs shows mixed results in the NC Department of Public Instruction’s annual School Crime Report.

    The districts with the highest reportable crime numbers were also the districts with the largest student populations. Charlotte-Mecklenburg had 624 crimes with a student population of 40,675Wake had 562 with a student population of 45,134.

    That report included two rather alarming statistics – 78 bomb threats and 86 reports of a firearm or “powerful explosive.” The majority of these reports were at the high school level.

    November 2016
    Activists continue to hammer Wake County School Board, this time with renewed focus: the removal of School Resource Officers. If you guessed Youth Organizing Institute, you would be correct.

    “Police are much more likely to be sexual and physical predators of youth in schools than are any young people that you might find in schools,” said YOI’s Qasima Wideman to the Wake County school board.

    “There are countless young people, young women, of color who can attest to the fact that, um, that police ” police attack us,” Wideman alleged.

    One of the other YOI members even claimed (falsely) that ‘military weapons‘ were in our schools.

    Watch Wideman’s whole set of remarks below. Transcript here.

    Juxtapose this video from this one taken just months earlier at a Black Lives Matter event in Durham.

    Flash Forward to 2018

    The lip service has begun: Wake school board talks school-safety changes after Parkland.

    After looking through proposed building plans for future schools in Wake County, as well as schematics of schools built in the last 5 years, it appeared that secured entries were missing from all of them.

    The Wake school board has spent tens of millions on new construction while ignoring schools already built. One would be hard-pressed to fund an elementary school in the county that does not have a significant number of students taking their classes in unsecured trailers.

    If the Wake school board is looking for a place to start – they should look at these trailers, which provide the ultimate example of a soft target.

    Other ideas:

    Armed local law enforcement officer assigned to each of the county’s K-12 schools
    Allow for teachers interested to complete a conceal carry course and allow for campus carry
    Reinforced front entry areas. The ability for someone in a vehicle to ram the front of our schools or enter a playground area of most elementary schools is largely unfettered.
    Campus security systems, including cameras and panic buttons in all classrooms and central hallways and gathering locations. If Wake can put cameras on all buses, they can put them in all schools.”

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Wednesday, February 28, 2018 12:25 am @ 12:25 am

    • That’s not engaging, Fred. That’s trying, at “epicically” length, to change the subject.

      Comment by Lex — Wednesday, February 28, 2018 7:22 am @ 7:22 am

  3. Long , ? Yes. Engaging ? Yes. Perhaps you are too closed minded to read it in its entirety .

    Let me make it easy for you. The Obama/Holder program prevented Cruze from being stopped before he acted out his fantasy,

    Here is the short version:

    “The explicit aim of Broward’s new approach ( Obama/Holder ) to school safety was to keep students like Cruz off the police’s radar. If the Sheriff’s department didn’t know about his deeply troubling behavior, perhaps it was because they were no longer supposed to know about it.”

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Wednesday, February 28, 2018 11:34 pm @ 11:34 pm

    • And again, you’re focusing on this particular killing, whereas I’m talking about reducing mass shootings in general. If you think my proposal would work, say so. If you don’t, say so and say why.

      Comment by Lex — Thursday, March 1, 2018 7:28 am @ 7:28 am

  4. I would support a universal background check and raising the age to buy particular types of firearms ( although we give 18 year old boys fully automatic rifles and send then into harms way in the Middle East ).

    Teachers with guns .. bad idea.

    Your assertion that the 10 year ban on assault weapons worked is flat wrong.

    “It turns out that various independent studies came to the same conclusion: the ban had no measurable impact on the number of shootings or the number of shooting deaths while it was in effect.

    A 2005 report from the National Research Council, for example, noted that “A recent evaluation of the short-term effects of the 1994 federal assault weapons ban did not reveal any clear impacts on gun violence outcomes.”

    A 2004 study sponsored by the National Institute of Justice found that while the ban appeared to have reduced the number of crimes committed with “assault weapons,” any benefits were “likely to have been outweighed by steady or rising use of non-banned semiautomatics.”

    As a result, the Justice study found “there has been no discernible reduction in the lethality and injuriousness of gun violence, based on indicators like the percentage of gun crimes resulting in death or the share of gunfire incidents resulting in injury.”

    The main reason the failure of the ban to make a difference: “assault weapons” account for a tiny share of gun crimes — less than 6%. Even among mass shootings, most didn’t involve an “assault weapon” in the decade before the ban went into effect.

    Mass shootings didn’t stop during the ban, either — there were 16 while the ban was in effect, which resulted in 237 deaths or injuries. In fact, it was while the ban was in effect that the Columbine High School massacre happened, in which 13 students were killed and 24 injured ”

    No to gun registration:

    “Theoretically, a gun registry makes perfect sense. In practice, it does not.

    There are an estimated 300 million firearms in private hands in the United States. Very few jurisdictions require firearm or even gun owner registration, so no one except the current owners know where the overwhelming majority of these guns are or who they belong to. Guns are durable items. The oldest one I personally own was made in 1918. It still works fine. I doubt the record of its manufacture still exists – that is, I don’t think anyone knows to even look for it.

    So, for one thing, the sheer size of the task is overwhelming.

    O Canada!

    Canada recently attempted a “long gun registry” – a registry of all rifles and shotguns in the country. (They already had a handgun registry.) They estimated that there were about 8 million long guns in private hands. Legislators were told that the registry would cost something like $119 million to implement, with $117 million of the cost covered by registration fees – so for $2 million, they’d be able to register all 8 million guns, and it would go quickly.

    The law passed in 1995, with licensing starting in 1998 and all long guns were to be registered by January 1, 2003. By 2000, it was obviously not going according to theory. Registrations were backlogged and riddled with errors, and costs were WAY over estimates. An audit in December of 2002 showed that costs were going to exceed $1 billion by 2005, with an income from registration fees of only $145 million.

    And then there was the lack of compliance. By January 1, 2003, only about 65% of the estimated 8 million firearms were registered, and there was no reason to believe that the other 35% were going to be.

    Finally in 2012 Canada scrapped its long-gun registry, after dumping an estimated $2 billion into it. It solved no crimes, it apparently prevented no crimes, and it took vast quantities of money and manpower away from law enforcement with its implementation.

    This is not an isolated incident. Something very similar occurred in New Zealand. They abandoned their long-gun registry in 1983.

    Extrapolate that to the U.S, where the overwhelming majority of gun owners believe the Second Amendment’s “shall not be infringed” clause actually means something. Our firearm pool is 37 times larger than Canada’s. Our population is far more likely to disobey such a law, or creatively mess with it.

    There’s a thing they teach in Officer Candidate School in the military – “Never give an order you know will not be obeyed.” Trying to implement a national registry in the U.S. is a non-starter. There are no “pros” for this idea. ”


    Comment by Fred Gregory — Thursday, March 1, 2018 7:06 pm @ 7:06 pm

    • Your “study” of the assault-weapons ban talks about all gun deaths, which I addressed. With respect to mass shootings, it merely says they “didn’t stop.” No, but a 37% reduction in them, and a 43% reduction in deaths from them, is nothing to sneeze at, either. Moreover, you don’t address the 187% increase in mass shootings, and the 243% increase in deaths from mass shootings, that occurred in the decade after the assault-weapons ban ended. No one has ever claimed such a ban would end gun deaths, or even mass shootings. What we’ve said is that it’d make mass shootings, particularly in schools, a lot less likely, and that is exactly what it did. What it also would do is render any other mass shootings easier to stop, a factor that law enforcement and civilians alike should appreciate.

      Comment by Lex — Saturday, March 3, 2018 9:45 am @ 9:45 am

  5. The assault weapons ban didn’t work. A new version won’t, either

    But we can’t find common ground with gun safety advocates as long as they use shoddy arguments and manipulated statistics to cloud the debate. A case in point is the widely cited work of Louis Klarevas, a professor at the University of Massachusetts at Boston whose 2016 book, “Rampage Nation: Security America From Mass Shootings,” has lately bolstered calls for a renewal of the 1994 assault weapons ban, which lapsed in 2004. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) gave President Trump a bar chart attributed to Klarevas at Wednesday’s guns roundtable.

    Until Klarevas came along, virtually all researchers had concluded that it was impossible to discern what, if any, positive effect the ban’s prohibition of rifles with “military-style features” had on crime or mass shooting incidents. This is why many gun-control advocacy groups, including Sandy Hook Promise, do not include a ban on their list of legislative priorities. The last ban was politically costly for Democrats and, as a ProPublica investigation reported in 2014, gun control experts said there was no evidence it saved lives.

    “Rampage Nation” has energized proponents of a new ban by making the spectacular claim that, contrary to the consensus, the original was responsible for a remarkable 37% decline in mass shooting fatalities.

    But there’s a serious flaw in Klarevas’ result: There are few actual “assault weapons” of any type in his dataset, either pre- or post-ban. Klarevas and his allies are taking an apparent drop in fatalities from what are mostly handgun shootings (again, pre-ban as well as post) and attributing this lowered body count to the 1994 legislation.
    If a new ban passes and it’s anything like the old one, millions of Americans will be able to legally obtain substantially the same guns we can buy today.

    I say “apparent” drop in fatalities because, as Klarevas admits in a footnote, if you use the most widely accepted threshold for categorizing a shooting as a “mass shooting” — four fatalities, as opposed to Klarevas’ higher threshold of six — the 1994 to 2004 drop in fatalities disappears entirely. Had Klarevas chosen a “mass shooting” threshold of five fatalities instead of six, then the dramatic pause he notes in mass shootings between 1994 to 1999 would disappear too.
    Klarevas doesn’t disaggregate his list of mass shootings by weapon type, so I had to do that myself by cross-referencing his dataset with Mother Jones’ list of U.S. mass shootings and with news reports.

    What I found was that for the decade prior to the ban, only two of the 19 mass shootings in Klarevas’ dataset involved civilian versions of military rifles. Another three involved pistols banned by name under the 1994 legislation (two Uzis and one Tec-9), but these small guns use a popular handgun round, 9mm, and not the much larger 5.56 NATO rifle round that features so prominently in current arguments for why the government should ban the AR-15.
    As for the decade during which the ban was in place, Klarevas concedes in a footnote that of the 12 shootings in his dataset, only three actually involved assault weapons.

    All told, that’s five mass shootings that took place with “assault weapons” in the decade before the ban, and three that took place during its tenure. These numbers are far too small for any sort of statistical inference, especially if you’re trying to build a case for banning tens of millions of legally owned rifles.

    Ultimately, the same technological innovations that have made the AR-15 so popular with hobbyists and so lethally effective have also rendered functionally unenforceable the original ban’s feature-based approach. In fact, I can say with confidence, based on the modularity of the AR-15’s design, that if a new ban passes and it’s anything like the old one, millions of Americans will be able to legally obtain substantially the same guns we can buy today, but we’ll just have to buy them in pieces.

    The ban’s backers will have once again succeeded in frustrating gun owners with pointless, feel-good regulations, while saving no lives.

    Jon Stokes is the co-founder of Ars Technica, a contributing editor to and founding editor of

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Saturday, March 3, 2018 7:56 pm @ 7:56 pm

    • So explain why bans that work in other countries wouldn’t work here.

      Comment by Lex — Sunday, March 4, 2018 12:41 pm @ 12:41 pm

      • Leaving the most vulnerable defenseless

        By David A. Clarke Jr. and John R. Lott Jr. – – Monday, March 26, 2018


        Democrats don’t seem to trust poor blacks with guns. It is something that we have seen since at least the end of the Civil War. Yet, it is poor blacks, who are the most likely victims of violent crime who would benefit the most from being able to defend themselves. Unfortunately, this month, the NAACP president Derrick Johnson came out for gun control laws that would leave the most vulnerable defenseless.

        The NAACP has become one of the most irrelevant civil rights organizations ever since they abandoned their original mission of civil rights and became a wholly owned subsidiary of the Democratic Party. They now embrace a liberal ideology, including gun control, that is not in the best interest of black civil rights. Name the last piece of relevant civil rights improvements advanced by this organization since Brown v. Board of Education school desegregation case.
        As a former sheriff for Milwaukee and a researcher, we know that police are extremely important in stopping crime, but the police themselves understand that they almost always arrive at the crime scene after the crime has occurred. Black communities know all too well the epidemic of gang violence and murder, with blacks accounting for 13 percent of the population but 52 percent of the murder victims.

        The people who are the most likely victims of crime are the very ones who benefit the most from being able to defend themselves. While gun control may stop some criminals from getting guns, it is the most law-abiding who obey the law and are disarmed. Taking guns away from drug gangs is about as difficult as stopping them from getting illegal drugs to sell.
        Mr. Johnson claims that Australia’s 1996-1997 gun buyback produced supposedly amazing benefits: “gun-related homicides and suicides dropped by 59 percent and 65 percent, respectively.”

        If only reducing crime and suicides were so easy.

        Australia’s buyback resulted in more than 1 million firearms being handed in and destroyed, reducing gun ownership from 3.2 to 2.2 million guns. But since then there has been a steady increase in the number of privately owned guns. Since 1997, guns ownership grew over 3 times faster than the population (from 2.5 to 5.8 million guns).
        Looking at simple before and after averages is extremely misleading. Firearm homicides and suicides were falling from the mid-1980s on, so you could pick any year from the mid-1980s on, not just 199697, and the average firearm homicide and suicide rates after the year you picked would always be lower than the average before it. The question is whether the rate of decline changed after the law went into effect.

        Unfortunately, the rate of decline in both firearm homicides and suicides actually fell more slowly after the buyback than it was beforehand.

        What gun control advocates should have predicted was a sudden drop in firearm homicides and suicides after the buyback and then an increase as the gun ownership rate increased again. But that clearly didn’t happen.
        For other crimes, such as armed robbery, the exact opposite of what was predicted happened. The armed robbery rate soared right after the buyback and then gradually declined.

        The problem is that all the fees and licensing requirements as well as the expensive gun safes that are mandated to store the guns means that only the wealthy can afford to own guns in Australia.

        When it comes to voting rights, any obstacles outrage liberals; even free government-issued IDs are viewed as disenfranchising poor and disproportionately black people. But when it comes to the right to own a gun for self-defense, liberals already don’t hesitate to pile on fees, ID requirements, expensive training and onerous background checks.
        In addition to prohibitive fees, some blue states — California, Illinois — require four times as many training hours as the national average, adding hundreds of dollars to the cost of obtaining a concealed-carry license. In California counties, the mandated cost of training can run from $250 to more than $1,000. Compare heavily Democratic Illinois, where the cost of permit and training runs over $450, with neighboring Republican Indiana where the total cost for everything is $50.
        In places such as Washington, D.C. and New York City, background checks on the private transfer of guns cost at least $125. These hurdles amount to a poll tax on gun ownership, the kind of scheme used to prohibit black voters in the Jim Crow south from exercising their constitutional rights. Then they couldn’t afford to vote. Now they can’t afford to own guns.
        Police are not omnipresent in America. Indeed, they rarely respond to live crime scenes at all. But sadly for poor people living in the country’s most violent neighborhoods, even the NAACP doesn’t trust them to defend themselves.

        Comment by Fred Gregory — Monday, April 2, 2018 7:57 pm @ 7:57 pm

        • Fred. John Lott has been exposed repeatedly as a serial fabulist. Stop posting that crap on my blog.

          Comment by Lex — Monday, April 2, 2018 8:10 pm @ 8:10 pm

          • Lex, one of your favorite sources when commenting on Lott uses the word ” discredited ” at least 100 or more times. That is not self validating. Sure Lott has critics but he has respected scholars who support some of his work. You scold and tell me to stop posting this crap on your blog. I think you should instead like the NY Times encourage his opinion on their pages .

            Furthermore a scholarly study found .. well here read it for your self:


            Carlisle E. Moody and Thomas B. Marvell


            “Shall issue” right-to-carry concealed weapons laws require authorities to issue concealed-weapons permits, allowing the permit holder to carry a concealed handgun, to anyone who applies, unless the applicant has a criminal record or a history of mental illness. The shall-issue laws are state laws, applicable to all counties within the state.3 In contrast, states with “may issue” laws allow considerable discretion to the authorities. In may-issue states, authorities typically require that the applicant demonstrate a particular need for a concealed weapons permit, and self-defense usually is not deemed sufficient. Consequently, shall-issue states are much more permissive of individual freedom to carry concealed handguns. In 1997 John Lott and David Mustard published, “Crime, Deterrence and Right-to-Carry Concealed Handguns” in the Journal of Legal Studies. They found that shall-issue states had lower violent crime rates, presumably because the laws result in more people carrying concealed weapons. Criminals might be deterred by the greater likelihood of others being armed, and of arms being concealed. Lott and Mustard’s article created a furor and the debate continues. Much of this debate takes place in op-ed columns, letters to editors, internet chat rooms, and web logs. In this article we concentrate on the academic debate. We review the main threads of the discussion in the literature and extend the debate with our own statistical analyses. In particular, we extend the investigation of influential work in Stanford Law Review by Ian Ayres and John J. Donohue III (2003a, 2003b), who, contrary to Lott and Mustard, claim to find that shall-issue laws actually lead to an overall increase in crime. The new statistical analysis contained in the present article finds that shall issue laws are generally beneficial. Purists in statistical analysis object with some cause to some of methods employed both by Ayres and Donohue, by us, and by the literature in general. But the new investigation presented here upgrades Ayres and Donohue in a few significant ways, so, at least until the next study comes along, our paper should neutralize Ayres and Donohue’s “more guns, more crime” conclusion

            Comment by Fred Gregory — Tuesday, April 3, 2018 8:22 pm @ 8:22 pm

            • Only in the musty reaches of the gun-nut right would this kind of record be ignored:

              But Lott’s recent successes belie a far more shadowy past. A little over a decade ago, he was disgraced and his career was in tatters. Not only was Lott’s assertion that more guns leads to more safety formally repudiated by a National Research Council panel, but he had also been caught pushing studies with severe statistical errors on numerous occasions. An investigation uncovered that he had almost certainly fabricated an entire survey on defensive gun use. And a blogger revealed that Mary Rosh, an online commentator claiming to be a former student of Lott’s who would frequently post about how amazing he was, was in fact John Lott himself. He was all but excommunicated from academia.

              Fred, the guy is a serial fabulist, no more worthy of credence than Stephen Glass or Jayson Blair. That you continue to cling to him says a lot about your credibility, none of it flattering.

              Comment by Lex — Tuesday, April 3, 2018 8:42 pm @ 8:42 pm

              • Stinging insects kill more Americans each year than mass shooters do

                “Americans are now more likely to be shot to death than to die in a car accident,” Margaret Renkl declares in a New York Times op-ed piece calling for more gun control. Since Renkl is talking about mass shootings, which she says “are no longer so unthinkable,” the implication is that the risk of being murdered with a gun is on the rise. But that risk is in fact much lower than it was in the 1970s, ’80s, or ’90s.

                To back up her claim, Renkl links to a CDC fact sheet that shows guns killed slightly more Americans in 2015 than car crashes did. Yet 61 percent of those gun deaths were suicides, while 36 percent were homicides. Contrary to Renkl’s implication, Americans are nearly three times as likely to die in a car accident as they are to be murdered with a gun.

                Renkl deploys this misleading comparison of gun deaths and traffic fatalities to justify her own disproportionate fear of mass shootings, which account for a tiny share of firearm homicides, and of school shootings in particular, which are even rarer and have not become any more common in recent years. That is not the impression left by the recent March for Our Lives rallies, which showed that many teenagers have a grossly exaggerated sense of the dangers they face when they go to school.

                Renkl says her husband, a high school English teacher, attended one of those rallies and afterward “texted me a photo he’d taken of himself standing in front of another marcher’s sign. It read, ‘Am I next?’ For just a second, I couldn’t breathe.” Renkl had a similar reaction “when our oldest son, a new middle school math teacher, took me to see his first classroom. ‘Just look at all these beautiful windows!’ I said. ‘Not exactly great for an active-shooter situation,’ he pointed out. His words turned my heart to ice.”

                Renkl is afraid because other people are afraid, and she is not interested in considering whether those fears are reasonable. “Not only am I married to a schoolteacher, and the mother of one, I also have two younger sons in college,” she writes. “Not a single day goes by when I don’t worry about whether they will all be safe in their classrooms.”

                In reality, Renkl’s sons are nearly 1,000 times as likely to die in a traffic accident as they are to die in a mass shooting, which is roughly as likely as being killed by a dog and only slightly more likely than dying from a lightning strike. Stinging insects kill more Americans each year than mass shooters do. Yet Renkl thinks the government should make policy decisions based on the shortness of her breath and the coldness of her heart.

                “Everyone is worried about the threat of gun violence,” Renkl says, “and almost everyone has a clear idea of what to do about it.” Among other solutions, she mentions an “outright ban” on “semiautomatic weapons,” a very broad category that includes the most popular guns for self-defense. Renkl seems unaware that the Supreme Court has already said such a ban would be unconstitutional.

                “We don’t need to repeal the Second Amendment,” Renkl insists. According to the headline over her essay, criminalizing possession of all firearms except single-shot weapons and revolvers represents “a middle ground on guns.” While that may be true at a March for Our Lives rally, the world outside looks different. It is more complicated but also less scary “

                Comment by Fred Gregory — Thursday, April 5, 2018 12:49 am @ 12:49 am

                • Of course, we can do something about gun violence, whereas there’s not much we can do about insect stings other than trying to make sure those allergic are identified and carry Epipens.

                  Comment by Lex — Tuesday, May 29, 2018 1:14 pm @ 1:14 pm

  6. They tried gun registration in Canada and that didn’t even work. ( explained in previous comment )

    So you want to ban guns in the US. Good luck with that,

    My Marlin .22 LR Model 60. Tubular magazine , 18 cartridge capacity, muzzle velocity 1200 ft per second, rate of fire less than 2 seconds per shot. ( and it can be fitted with an AR looking plastic stock which changes nothing as to how it works ) With hollow points ammo can be very lethal to varmints and humans. So you want to ban it ?

    Now I will try, repeat try, to answer your question.

    Australia’s 1996 Gun Confiscation Didn’t Work – And it Wouldn’t Work in America

    “Would an American version of the “Australian model” perform any better?

    #related#In all likelihood it would fare worse. The Federalist’s Varad Mehta set down the facts in June:

    Gun confiscation is not happening in the United States any time soon. But let’s suppose it did. How would it work? Australia’s program netted, at the low end, 650,000 guns, and at the high end, a million. That was approximately a fifth to a third of Australian firearms. There are about as many guns in America as there are people: 310 million of both in 2009. A fifth to a third would be between 60 and 105 million guns. To achieve in America what was done in Australia, in other words, the government would have to confiscate as many as 105 million firearms.

    And an American mandatory gun-confiscation program — in addition to being unconstitutional — would be extraordinarily coercive, and perhaps even violent.

    There is no other way around it: The mandatory confiscation of the American citizenry’s guns would involve tens of thousands of heavily armed federal agents going door-to-door to demand of millions of Americans that they surrender their guns.

    That. Is. Not. Going. To. Happen.

    If the president and gun-control activists want to keep saying “Australia” in response to every shooting in America, they should at least be honest about what exactly they are proposing.”

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Sunday, March 4, 2018 6:20 pm @ 6:20 pm

    • Show me where I said, in the post or the comments, that I want to ban all guns. Go on; I’ll wait. Straw men are the stock-in-trade of gun nuts, Fred. You’re better than that.

      Comment by Lex — Sunday, March 4, 2018 6:46 pm @ 6:46 pm

  7. “So explain why bans that work in other countries wouldn’t work here”.

    Comment by Lex — Sunday, March 4, 2018 12:41 pm @ 12:41 pm | Reply

    “We can require gun registration, gun ” by Lex ( why stop there or that’s the first step )

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Monday, March 5, 2018 1:04 am @ 1:04 am

    • I was referring only to military-grade hardware. And even most gun owners think we need better registration and background checks.

      Comment by Lex — Monday, March 5, 2018 4:27 pm @ 4:27 pm

  8. I said early on in this discussion that I favored an improved universal background check and raising the age to buy a gun.
    Also I expressed the opinion that pistol packing teachers was a bad idea

    You have ignored and failed to respond to the sound arguments against gun registration and against gun confiscation.

    Please answer, if you can, why strong gun laws don’t work:

    The Nation’s Toughest Gun Control Law Made Massachusetts Less Safe.

    ” In 1998, Massachusetts passed what was hailed as the toughest gun-control legislation in the country. Among other stringencies, it banned semiautomatic “assault” weapons, imposed strict new licensing rules, prohibited anyone convicted of a violent crime or drug trafficking from ever carrying or owning a gun, and enacted severe penalties for storing guns unlocked.

    “Today, Massachusetts leads the way in cracking down on gun violence,” said Republican Governor Paul Cellucci as he signed the bill into law. “It will save lives and help fight crime in our communities.” Scott Harshbarger, the state’s Democratic attorney general, agreed: “This vote is a victory for common sense and for the protection of our children and our neighborhoods.” One of the state’s leading anti-gun activists, John Rosenthal of Stop Handgun Violence, joined the applause. “The new gun law,” he predicted, “will certainly prevent future gun violence and countless grief.”

    It didn’t !

    But the law that was so tough on law-abiding gun owners had quite a different impact on criminals.

    Don’t hold your breath waiting for gun-control activists to admit they were wrong. The treatment they prescribed may have yielded the opposite of the results they promised, but they’re quite sure the prescription wasn’t to blame. Crime didn’t rise in Massachusetts because the state made it harder for honest citizens to lawfully carry a gun; it rose because other states didn’t do the same thing.Since 1998, gun crime in Massachusetts has gotten worse, not better. In 2011, Massachusetts recorded 122 murders committed with firearms, the Globe reported this month — “a striking increase from the 65 in 1998.” Other crimes rose too. Between 1998 and 2011, robbery with firearms climbed 20.7 percent. Aggravated assaults jumped 26.7 percent.

    “Massachusetts probably has the toughest laws on the books, but what happens is people go across borders and buy guns and bring them into our state,” rationalizes Boston Mayor Tom Menino. “Guns have no borders.”

    This has become a popular argument in gun-control circles. It may even be convincing to someone emotionally committed to the belief that ever-stricter gun control is a plausible path to safety. But it doesn’t hold water.

    For starters, why didn’t the gun-control lobby warn legislators in 1998 that adopting the toughest gun law in America would do Massachusetts no good unless every surrounding state did the same thing? Far from explaining why the new law would do nothing to curb violent crime, they were positive it would make Massachusetts even safer. It was gun-rights advocates, such as state Senator Richard Moore, who correctly predicted the future. “Much of what has been said in support of this bill will not come to pass,” said Moore during the 1998 debate. “The amount of crime we have now will at least continue.”

    But crime in Massachusetts didn’t just continue, it began climbing. As in the rest of the country, violent crime had been declining in Massachusetts since the early 1990s. Beginning in 1998, that decline reversed — unlike in the rest of the country. For example, the state’s murder rate (murders per 100,000 inhabitants) bottomed out at 1.9 in 1997 and had risen to 2.8 by 2011. The national murder rate, on the other hand, kept falling; it reached a new low of 4.7 in 2011. Guns-across-borders might have explained homicide levels in Massachusetts continuing unchanged. But how can other states’ policies be responsible for an increase in Massachusetts homicides?

    Relative to the rest of the country, or to just the states on its borders, Massachusetts since 1998 has become a more dangerous state. Economist John Lott, using FBI crime data since 1980, shows how dramatic the contrast has been. In 1998, Massachusetts’s murder rate equaled about 70 percent of the rate for Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New York. Now it equals 125 percent of that rate.

    Clearly something bad happened to Massachusetts 15 years ago. Blaming the neighbors may be ideologically comforting. But those aren’t the states whose crime rates are up.”

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Tuesday, March 6, 2018 1:16 am @ 1:16 am

  9. Just for good measure :

    In Defense of ‘Gunsplaining’

    “Pointing out inaccuracies in your opponent’s arguments is a cynical ploy to stop discussion. Or so I gather from Adam Weinstein, who just published a Washington Post op-ed taking gun control critics to task for “gunsplaining”—Weinstein’s name for when one is “harangued with the pedantry of the more-credible-than-thou firearms owner” after one makes some incidental factual error about guns, such as calling AR-15s “high-powered” or confusing clips with magazines.

    “Gunsplaining,” Weinstein declares, “is always done in bad faith. Like mansplaining, it’s less about adding to the discourse than smothering it.” Were it not for those condescending gun snobs picking apart every rhetorical misstep, we would spend less time arguing over little details and more time having reasoned discussions over just which firearms restrictions we should implement next.

    Weinstein does mention that gun control advocates sometimes get their facts wrong, and that they’ll even exploit their supporters’ lack of knowledge to build support for gun control legislation. Yet this phenomenon seems almost incidental to him; he saves his real fire for Second Amendment fans on Facebook and for inflammatory quotes from Joe the Plumber (remember him?).

    But sloppy language doesn’t just turn up in Facebook debates. It exercises a heavy influence on actual gun control proposals. In that context, pushing back on sloppy terminology isn’t just legitimate; it’s essential to the wider debate about gun ownership.

    Take the 1994 assault weapons ban—the last major federal gun control measure, which banned all manner of weaponry because of their style, not their lethality. Modern-day opponents of gun control probably wouldn’t spend so much time railing against invocations of “assault weapons” if such a hazy term were not currently being used as the basis for state and federal legislation.

    More recently, there’s the bump stock ban introduced by Reps. Carlos Curbelo (R–Fla.) and Seth Moulton (D– Mass.) after the Las Vegas massacre of October 2017. Their bill was written so hastily, and so vaguely, that it not only retroactively criminalized the possession of bump stocks; it banned “any part or combination of parts that is designed and functions to increase the rate of fire of a semi-automatic rifle”—which could include anything from binary triggers to heavier recoil springs.

    Something similar happened after the Sandy Hook shooting of 2012, when the New York state legislature passed a bill banning non-existent “muzzle breaks” (as opposed to muzzle brakes), semiautomatic pistols that are “semiautomatic version[s] of an automatic rifle, shotgun or firearm” (it was unclear what this was supposed to mean), and loading more than seven rounds in a ten-round capacity magazine. These provisions were later struck down by a U.S. District Court Judge for their incoherence. The difference between “brakes” and “breaks” may be a mere typo on Facebook; in legislation, it’s enough to undo a segment of a law.

    Weinstein acknowledges that actual laws need to be “written with precision.” He doesn’t acknowledge that too many politicians are willing to sacrifice accuracy for speed. That seems a rather bigger problem than the presence of pedants on social media.”

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Thursday, March 8, 2018 2:28 am @ 2:28 am

    • I’ll take gunsplainers seriously when they start taking physicians and gun-violence researchers seriously.

      Comment by Lex — Sunday, March 25, 2018 5:53 pm @ 5:53 pm

  10. Perhaps you may think this is pilling on but it needs to be said.

    Stop Making Children Into Moral Authorities

    “On March 14, high school students from Parkland, Florida, led a school walkout in favor of gun control. The media have already appointed student witnesses of the horror at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School untouchable moral authorities; their opinions are not to be questioned.

    But now, the left has found even more sympathetic faces for its agenda: kindergarteners. According to The Wall Street Journal, “Schools are grappling with how to address the event with children as young as 5 years old and with finding ways for children who are too little to be told about school shootings to take part.” Children in pre-K at Manhattan Country School will sing, “If I Had a Hammer” and “Paz y Libertad.” Public schools like PS 321 in Brooklyn allowed children to do activities linked with the protests.

    There is something deeply perverse about using children to promote a political agenda.”


    Comment by Fred Gregory — Friday, March 23, 2018 2:09 am @ 2:09 am

    • No one is MAKING these kids into moral authorities. They’re speaking out on their own, and their message is resonating. The gun nuts find that terrifying, so they try to tell us, and themselves, that it isn’t real. But it is. My own son is one of them. He took part in the march in DC Saturday. I went to the march in Greensboro and talked with a number of other kids involved with the movement. And, of course, we’ve all heard from a number of the kids from Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School. That’s the bottom line: They have a real message that’s resonating, and since the gun nuts can’t shut them up, they’re trying to discredit them. And it’s not working.

      Also worth re-sharing this analysis of how the education the kids at Stoneman Douglas got prepared them for this moment. It’s the kind of education kids who want it can get at Grimsley and maybe two or three other places, at best, in this county. And it’s the kind that the Republican Party is doing its dead-level best to destroy at all levels.

      Comment by Lex — Sunday, March 25, 2018 5:16 pm @ 5:16 pm

  11. And just for fun, the gun nuts are losing the argument.

    Comment by Lex — Sunday, March 25, 2018 5:53 pm @ 5:53 pm

  12. At the March for Our Lives, will the media start asking Parkland survivors real questions?

    ” If the national news media are going to exploit a bunch of grieving children, shouldn’t they be required to at least make it interesting?

    For more than a month we’ve been watching a handful of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting survivors paraded across cable news and photographed for the front pages of magazines — but the most we’ve learned about them is that they want “change” and for Congress to “do something” about gun violence. (Sounds specific.)

    This week’s issue of Time featured five of them with the word “ENOUGH.” written across the front.

    That’s daring, and the kids are cute, but is there a point?

    The article’s author, Time correspondent Charlotte Alter, summed up the way the survivors communicate: “They call their enemies names and hurl sick burns at politicians and lobbyists as if they’re shouting across the locker room.”

    So does President Trump, but at least his White House has to answer for it every day from a ferocious press. Trump says he wants to cut immigration in half and an indignant Jim Acosta of CNN makes up a million reasons why foreigners have every reason to be here, including because the Statue of Liberty says so.

    But reporters turn soft when it comes to covering the precious moments of Parkland.

    Thursday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Alter further explained the student activists’ formula for so-called success on pushing for gun control: “They’re funny, they’re entertaining. They call … B.S. on a lot of what the [National Rifle Association] and conservative politicians have been saying on this issue.”

    OK. And now for the policy proposals?

    We don’t know what they are because the media won’t ask them any questions — aside from the very professional, “Do you hate the NRA?”

    On Feb. 19, five days after the mass shooting that killed 17 people, mostly students, CNN’s Alisyn Camerota asked survivors Emma Gonzalez and David Hogg, “What do you say to the NRA?”

    “Disband. Dismantle,” said Gonzalez.

    “And don’t make another organization,” added Hogg.

    Camerota followed up, “How do you expect politicians … to say no to the NRA?”

    Gonzalez and Hogg responded by calling NRA members “killers” and “child murderers.”

    Wow, that makes for a good opportunity to ask for their solutions or if they understand a 230-year-old roadblock called the Bill of Rights has done more to thwart gun regulation than the NRA ever will.

    Instead, Camerota asked, “Hey guys, are you going to be able to go back to school this week or next week?”

    On MSNBC the day before, anchor Alex Witt asked Gonzalez and another survivor, Sophie Whitney, “Where did you find the resolve after four days to set out to make this kind of a difference?”

    Gonzalez called on people to support the gun control movement because, “they need to show that they are actively supporting us, because in reality, they’re actively supporting each other.”

    Witt, rather than asking what that means, responded with an approving “Mmm.”

    Seemingly out of nowhere, Gonzalez then said, “We need to protect everybody from the greed of the corporations in our society right now.”

    What does corporate greed have to do with gun violence, Witt might have asked.

    But, no, she simply concluded the segment with, “Best of luck girls, we’re all behind ya.”

    Nobody learned anything from these interviews or the group therapy session disguised as a policy town hall that CNN hosted a week after the shooting.

    The media aren’t doing these kids a favor by convincing them that they’re the heroes we’ve been waiting for. But if the press is going to keep promoting them, asking real questions would help the rest of us who have to watch.”

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Sunday, March 25, 2018 6:59 pm @ 6:59 pm

    • Spoken like someone who didn’t watch the kids speak in their own words during Saturday’s rally. Look, you can attack them all your want, but two things remain true: 1) The kids are speaking, and 2) their message is resonating.

      Comment by Lex — Sunday, March 25, 2018 7:38 pm @ 7:38 pm

  13. Au contraire, I did see some of the speeches at this weekends rally and like this person I take exception as follows:

    1. It was a left-wing event.

    2. It was well-organized and well-funded.

    3. Prayer was ridiculed.

    4. Those who disagree with the protesters were condemned as complicit in murder.

    5. The Second Amendment is viewed as outdated and problematic.

    6. Many protesters were fuzzy on the facts and couldn’t define assault rifle

    7. The march was definitely not a gun-free zone.

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Tuesday, March 27, 2018 1:44 am @ 1:44 am

    • 1) It was not a left-wing event, it was an anti-killing event. Problem is, only left-wing people seem to care much about that.

      2) So what? Just a sign that the kids’ message has resonated far and wide.

      3) Prayer ALONE AS A RESPONSE TO MASS KILLINGS was ridiculed, and rightly so: It manifestly hasn’t worked.

      4) Because you are. Own it.

      5) No, gun nuts’ INTERPRETATION of the Second Amendment was viewed, correctly, as outdated and problematic.

      6) Defining “assault rifle” is a Shiny Object. As I’ve said before, plenty of rational people are willing to discuss technical specifications of firearms, but your side doesn’t want to have that conversation because of its penis complex.

      7) What the hell does that even mean?

      And I’ll go one further: You didn’t watch the event. You read/watched conservative reaction to the event.

      Comment by Lex — Tuesday, March 27, 2018 7:31 am @ 7:31 am

      • Oh and apologize for calling me a liar. I watched unfiltered speeches of Hogg , Gonzales, Hoth. MLK’s relative & others and some crowd agitator ( I think he was a Congress critter )

        Comment by Fred Gregory — Tuesday, March 27, 2018 6:36 pm @ 6:36 pm

        • You may have watched it, but you clearly didn’t hear a damn word they said.

          Comment by Lex — Wednesday, March 28, 2018 10:06 am @ 10:06 am

          • Oh, and you said I am complicit in murder. Pretty much beyond the pale of civil discourse, my friend !

            Comment by Fred Gregory — Monday, April 2, 2018 6:36 pm @ 6:36 pm

            • Hardly. When you support public policy that predictably leads to murder you’re complicit. That’s a fact, and I care not whether you think it “beyond the pale of civil discourse,” inasmuch as, particularly since 1994, pleas for civility have pretty much been the last refuge of scoundrels. Democrats and progressives are starting to bring guns to gun fights for a change. Me, I think it’s about damn time.

              Comment by Lex — Monday, April 2, 2018 6:54 pm @ 6:54 pm

              • And let’s see.. do you support a policy that led to the death of 45 million between 1970-1914

                Comment by Fred Gregory — Monday, April 2, 2018 7:48 pm @ 7:48 pm

                • You mean 1870 and 1914? And which policy is that?

                  Comment by Lex — Monday, April 2, 2018 8:09 pm @ 8:09 pm

                  • TYPO … 1970 -2014 And that policy is the taking the lives of the innocent , unborn persons by aborting them

                    Comment by Fred Gregory — Tuesday, April 3, 2018 7:00 pm @ 7:00 pm

                    • Oh, please. Like the Right gives a rat’s ass about children’s lives once they’re born. That is a relatively new affectation of the Christianist fascist wing of America and is at odds with both the Constitution and the views of a majority of Americans.

                      Comment by Lex — Tuesday, April 3, 2018 7:15 pm @ 7:15 pm

  14. 6 Reasons Gun Control Will Not Solve Mass Killings

    1. Mass killings are rare, and mass public shootings are even rarer.

    Click to access The-Patterns-and-Prevalence-of-Mass-Public-Shootings.pdf

    2. Many gun control measures are not likely to be helpful.

    Click to access CPRC-Mass-Shooting-Analysis-Bloomberg1.pdf

    3. Public mass shooters typically have histories of mental health issues.

    Click to access The-Patterns-and-Prevalence-of-Mass-Public-Shootings.pdf

    4. The United States does not have an extraordinary problem with mass public shootings compared to other developed countries.

    5. Mass killers often find ways to kill even without firearms.,9171,145653,00.html

    In other countries, bombings, mass stabbings, and car attacks frequently kill more people than even the deadliest mass shootings in the United States. Consider the following:
    Spain (2004) — Bombing: 192 deaths, 2,050 injuries;
    Great Britain (2005) — Bombing: 52 deaths, 784 injuries;
    Japan (2008) — Car ramming and stabbing: seven deaths, 10 injuries;
    China (2010) — Shovel-loader: 11 deaths, 30 injuries;
    China (2014) — Car ramming: six deaths, 13 injuries;
    China (2014) — Mass stabbing: 31 deaths, 143 injuries;
    Germany (2015) — Plane crash: 150 deaths;
    Belgium (2016) — Bombing: 21 deaths, 180 injuries;
    France (2016) — Car ramming: 86 deaths, 434 injuries;
    Germany (2016) — Car ramming: 11 deaths, 56 injuries;
    Japan (2016) — Mass stabbing: 19 deaths, 45 injuries; and
    Great Britain (2017) — Bombing: 22 deaths, 250 injuries.

    6. Australia did not “eliminate mass public shootings” by banning assault weapons.

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Tuesday, March 27, 2018 2:50 pm @ 2:50 pm

  15. Gun control made simple

    Retired Supreme Court Justice Stevens bloviates in the Times about gun control. Like many public speakers he warms up the audience with a joke:

    John Paul Stevens: Repeal the Second Amendment

    No, that is the headline, not the joke, Wait for it…

    Rarely in my lifetime have I seen the type of civic engagement schoolchildren and their supporters demonstrated in Washington and other major cities throughout the country this past Saturday.

    Oh, please. Not since the last big march, or the one before that, or the one before that, or… no wait, that was the deplorable Tea Party rally.

    Look, liberals live in cities. They have no trouble rousting the faithful for a quick bus ride and a bit of sloganeering. Later they watch themselves on the news and convince themselves that the country has spoken. Come election time they are shocked to learn about flyover country and the unreconstructed troglodytes lurking there. How has this escaped the learned Justice Stevens?

    The headline is a spoiler but eventually he reveals his latest fantasy:

    That support is a clear sign to lawmakers to enact legislation prohibiting civilian ownership of semiautomatic weapons, increasing the minimum age to buy a gun from 18 to 21 years old, and establishing more comprehensive background checks on all purchasers of firearms. But the demonstrators should seek more effective and more lasting reform. They should demand a repeal of the Second Amendment.

    Does the Justice realize that “semiautomatic weapons” includes most handguns sold today? It’s times like this that the aggressive ignorance of the gun controllers makes a sensible conversation difficult.

    As to repealing the Second Amendment, please – that would require a runaway Constitutional convention (exciting!) or a 2/3 vote in each chamber of Congress and then ratification by 38 states. Has he looked at an electoral map?

    Evidently not:

    Overturning [District of Columbia v. Heller] via a constitutional amendment to get rid of the Second Amendment would be simple and would do more to weaken the N.R.A.’s ability to stymie legislative debate and block constructive gun control legislation than any other available option.

    That simple but dramatic action would move Saturday’s marchers closer to their objective than any other possible reform.

    “Simple”. Right, a Congress that won’t expand background checks will vote to repeal the Second Amendment.

    Back in Realityville, this is yet another reason for progressives to regret the nomination of the Hillary Clinton. Had she manged to eke out a 2016 win (YES, in the Electoral College – sort of like how the team with more first downs does not beat the team with more points) she could have picked the replacement to Justice Scalia. Five lockstep liberals would then have “interpreted” the reasonable regulation caveats of Heller to cast the Second Amendment into oblivion.

    Well, we dodged a bullet, as it were. As to Justice Stevens’ goal here, this may simply be a cry for help from a deranged mind. More charitably, his hope may be to plant the crazy flag so far to the left that the formerly ludicrous – e.g., a renewed assault weapons ban – seems sane by comparison. He’s trying to crack open the Overton Window a bit.

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Thursday, March 29, 2018 12:28 am @ 12:28 am

  16. OMG. Now the Hoggs have a book out with an insulting title.

    Parkland Survivor Siblings To Release Book On Gun Control. There’s Only One Problem

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Friday, April 20, 2018 7:26 pm @ 7:26 pm

    • Fred, when you find yourself citing the Virgin Ben, you probably need to rethink a lot of your life choices.

      Comment by Lex — Tuesday, May 29, 2018 1:15 pm @ 1:15 pm

  17. CDC, in Surveys It Never Bothered Making Public, Provides More Evidence That Plenty of Americans Innocently Defend Themselves with Guns

    “Many people who support gun control are angry that the federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are not legally allowed to use money from Congress to do research whose purpose is “to advocate or promote gun control.” (This is not the same as doing no research into gun violence, though it seems to discourage many potential recipients of CDC money.)

    But in the 1990s, the CDC itself did look into one of the more controversial questions in gun social science: How often do innocent Americans use guns in self-defense, and how does that compare to the harms guns can cause in the hands of violent criminals?

    Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck conducted the most thorough previously known survey data on the question in the 1990s. His study, which has been harshly disputed in pro-gun-control quarters, indicated that there were more than 2.2 million such defensive uses of guns (DGUs) in America a year.

    Now Kleck has unearthed some lost CDC survey data on the question. The CDC essentially confirmed Kleck’s results. But Kleck didn’t know about that until now, because the CDC never reported what it found.”


    Comment by Fred Gregory — Thursday, April 26, 2018 11:12 pm @ 11:12 pm

    • Why RTWT when it’s merely an effort to change the subject?

      Comment by Lex — Tuesday, May 29, 2018 1:16 pm @ 1:16 pm

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