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Archive for the ‘Gun Control’ Category

Gun Control Fails in Chicago

Posted by Steve Markowitz on October 5, 2015

Within hours after the shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon, the Left including President Obama started calling for stricter gun control.  The inference was clear.  Stricter gun controls would lessen gun violence.  However, history and facts tell a different story.

Chicago, Illinois has some of the Country’s strictest gun control laws.  It also has one of the nation’s highest incidence of gun violence annually.  Here are some facts and figures published by the Chicago Tribune:

  • During a 15 hour period last week 14 people were shot in the Windy City resulting in six deaths.
  • Last weekend 52 people were shot in Chicago with four dying. This is the second consecutive weekend in which more than 50 people were shot in the city.
  • Gun violence has increased by 20% in Chicago over the same period in 2014.
  • So in 2015, 2,300 people have been shot in Chicago.

Okay, so gun control does not work where it has been implemented.  Why then does President Obama and his Leftist allies push so hard for doubling down on this failed policy?  Unfortunately liberals are using a canard to cover up for the failings of Progressive policies they have promoted for decades.  These policies have ruined America’s inner cities to the detriment of the minorities forced to live in them.  By putting focus on an inanimate instrument of violence, the Left hopes cover-up the dismal failing of the progressive policies.

Chicago’s Progressive Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a former Barack Obama associate, over the weekend did the gun control two step stating: “I’m going to try to control my anger.  We have way too many guns in the city of Chicago.  There are many in Chicago with the right to be angry, but the Mayor is not one of them.  He and his fellow Progressives helped create the environment that led to the disintegration of cities across America.  Emanuel is personally insulated from the carnage protected by armed guards.  He is also able to send his children to private schools.

Yes, there needs to be a discussion about violence in the United States.  The instruments of that violence need to be part of the discussion.  But so too do other key issues including the breakdown of the family, growth of the welfare state, mental illness and the violence of pop-culture in the entertainment industry.  The fact that President Obama rarely speaks of these issues brings into question the sincerity of his comments.


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Gun Carrying Good Samaritan Saves Lives in Chicago

Posted by Steve Markowitz on April 21, 2015

The news media cannot wait to publicize gun stories that fit their anti-Second Amendment narrative.  At the same time the media rarely publishes stories that might promote the benefits to society of gun rights.  Such was the case this week with an incident in Chicago, Illinois that had a happy ending.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Everardo Custodio began firing into a crowd of people in Logan Square.  Upon seeing this this, an Uber driver with a license and permit to carry a concealed weapon jumped into action, shooting and wounding Custodio.  The Good Samaritan will not be prosecuted, according to local authorities.  It is evident had the Good Samaritan not been armed, innocent people would have been wounded or killed.

Those who would impose strict gun controls on Americans will not discuss the benefits of honest citizens being armed.  In addition, they ignore the discussion of the significant drop in crime with increasing gun-carry permits.  The facts, however, are not arguable

Illinois started granting concealed carry permits in 2015 with over 68,000 issued.  Since then, robberies in Chicago have declined 20%, burglary and motor vehicle thefts are down over 20%, and homicide rates have declined to a 56 year low, according to The Washington Times.  Nationally, carry permits have increased from 4.5 million to 11.1 million in the past seven years.  During this same period, homicide and other violent crimes have decreased by 22%.

Those who are against gun ownership rights would argue that the cause and effect of the decreasing crime rates have not scientifically been correlated to the increased gun permits.  While technically correct, it is a thin argument.  Certainly the significant increase of gun carrying honest citizens has not resulted in increased gun violence, a cornerstone of the anti-gun ownership argument.

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Detroit’s Police Chief Backs Gun Ownership

Posted by Steve Markowitz on February 7, 2014

Chief CraigDetroit Police Chief is James Craig.  Earlier this year he discussed at a press conference why his position on private gun ownership has taken a 180 degree turn to pro gun ownership by private citizens.  Craig sad:

“Coming from California (28 years with the LAPD), where it takes an act of Congress to get a concealed weapon permit, I got to Maine, where they give out lots of CCWs (carrying concealed weapon permits), and I had a stack of CCW permits I was denying; that was my orientation,”  and

“I changed my orientation real quick.  Maine (Portland police department in 2009) is one of the safest places in America. Clearly, suspects knew that good Americans were armed,” and

“There’s a number of CPL (concealed pistol license) holders running around the city of Detroit.  I think it acts as a deterrent.  Good Americans with CPLs translates into crime reduction.  I learned that real quick in the state of Maine.”

In July, Craig was appointed chief of police for the city of Detroit, Michigan.  After his first year as chief, violent crime dropped 7% in Detroit compared to the previous year.  While it is not possible to conclude that Craig’s position on private gun ownership played a role in this crime drop, this skilled profession’s opinion on the issue is worthy of debate.

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Hypocritical Hollywood Producer Weinstein Rant Concerning Guns

Posted by Steve Markowitz on January 20, 2014

Pulp FictionBig-time Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein once again demonstrates the hypocrisy of the radical Left.  Weinstein’s films include ultra-violent hits such as: Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill (Vol. 1 and 2), Rambo and more recently the Django Unchained, all that glorify violence and killings in most also guns

While Weinstein has made millions promoting guns and violence in his films that has not stopped him from attacking gun ownership for Americans.  During a radio interview last week on Howard Stern’s show Weinstein went on an anti-gun rant saying “I don’t think we need guns in this country. And I hate it. I think the NRA is a disaster area,” and “I’m going to make a movie with Meryl Streep, and we’re going to take this issue head on.  And they’re going to wish they weren’t alive after I’m done with them”. Left unsaid by Weinstein is how he plans to bring the NRA and its members to their demise.

During the interview Howard Stern took Weinstein to task concerning some inconsistencies relating to his previous comments concerning when gun ownership would be appropriate, for example, for Jews to defend themselves during the Holocaust; “when you’re marching a half of a million people into Auschwitz.”  Unfortunately, Weinstein seems to have forgotten or two be ignorant of the fact that Germany used its laws to confiscate guns from Jews prior to marching them off to the death camps.  Weinstein is either a fool or has lost any sense of reality from his long association with Hollywood.  Or maybe it is just politics given Weinstein’s significant backing of Barack Obama.  Whatever his excuse, Weinstein is clearly a hypocrite.

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Report Released on Newtown, Connecticut Shooting

Posted by Steve Markowitz on November 27, 2013

It is been nearly a year since 20 children and six school employees were gunned down by Adam Lanza at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.  The Wall Street Journal reported on the official investigative report issued this week.

Given the information included in the Journal’s article it is evident that the report was not very revealing.  It concluded that the killer, 20-year-old Adam Lanza acted alone, had Asperger’s syndrome and other mental issues.  This included a distaste for being touched and becoming increasingly disconnected from society as he grew into adulthood.  He was also obsessed with mass murders including the 1999 Columbine High School killings in Colorado.

Given Lanza’s obvious mental illness, it is rather strange that the report also focused on its inability to determine the killer’s motive with Connecticut State Attorney Stephen Sedensky III saying: “‘Why did the shooter murder twenty-seven people, including twenty children?  Unfortunately, that question may never be answered conclusively, despite the collection of extensive background information on the shooter through a multitude of interviews and other sources.”  It is difficult to comprehend the importance of Lanza’s motive given his significant mentally illness.

Since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School last December much has been written about the type of guns Lanza used.  What is missing is not why he went on the rampage but how a seriously mentally ill individual was able to obtain weapons of any kind.  What role did his family and/or society play in mainstreaming Lanza and teaching him to shoot?  What type of drugs was Lanza on and did they play a role in his violent behavior?  Unfortunately, these real questions are held hostage to political correctness.

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Starbucks’ Gun Request and Civility

Posted by Steve Markowitz on October 6, 2013

Two weeks ago Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz took a risky step for any business announcing a quasi-political position for the company on a hot-button topic.  Specifically, Schultz requested that patrons not bring guns into Starbucks’ coffee shops.

Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe published an editorial on the unexpectedly muted response by advocates of gun rights to Schultz’s request.  Jacoby points to a Quinnipiac University poll that found 66% of respondents called Schultz’s decision a good one with even more including gun rights advocates indicated that the request will not affect their Starbucks’ patronage habits.

Since gun free zones tend to be the areas gun carriers with bad tend to inflict their heinous acts, I am not sure that this public request by Schultz is appropriate.  At the same time I believe that private businesses should have wide latitude in expressing political positions just as consumers should be able to boycott any organization whose position they oppose.

The Left and anti-gun lobbyists who applaud Starbucks’ CEO’s request should also be willing to accept businesses that proffer opposing views on hot-button issues.  As Jacoby correctly concludes:

“If a traditionally Christian florist wishes to politely decline the offer to arrange the flowers for a same-sex wedding, why shouldn’t she be free to do so?  If a passionately liberal shopkeeper courteously asks a customer not to come in with a T-shirt proclaiming “Impeach Obama,” or a conservative landlord says he’d prefer not to rent to an unmarried cohabiting couple, would it be so terrible to shrug and let it go?  If a restaurant owner has no objection to letting customers smoke, couldn’t diners accept the house rule gracefully and go elsewhere if they want a smoke-free meal?

Under current law, scenarios like these are often grounds for a lawsuit or prosecution. Must that be the case?  Most merchants are not in the habit of turning customers away, and in general commerce operates to break down bigotry and irrational discrimination.  But life isn’t always so tidy.  Sometimes there are rifts between a private company’s idea of what’s good for business and other people’s idea of what all right-thinking people should believe.  The world won’t end if everyone doesn’t march in lockstep.

The Starbucks non-uproar is a reminder that we could do with a little more live-and-let-live in this country.  The hardliners on divisive issues may always be spoiling for a fight.  They needn’t be encouraged to wage their battles with other people’s livelihood.”

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Drug Cartels and Guns-II

Posted by Steve Markowitz on September 24, 2013

Yesterday’s posting, Drug Cartels and Guns, generated an off posting interchange with this blogger included below that gets to the heart of the discussion (argument) on gun control.  A large minority in the United States believe that guns are responsible for the violent behavior of individuals that pull the trigger.  This position is proffered by politicians on the Left, including President Obama.  This argument is not backed by factual data, but instead is comfortable to some as it gives an easy explanation for the problem, offers a supposed easy cure, and allows society to avoid the more complex discussions concerning real causes behind the violent behavior of perpetrators.

The Independent Journal Review recently posted graphs with statistics of guns and violence.  A few of those graphs are included below.  Those statistics should be to part of any discussion concerning the potential efficacy of gun control to lower violent behavior.

From Brian:

How can the writer say with a straight face that the second amendment shares no blame for what is going on in Chicago?  Not that I believe that guns should necessarily be banned, but in the unrealistic scenario that they were you simply would not see that kind of death toll in places like Chicago.  With that said, since the NRA has positioned itself deep into both parties.  I fully expect nothing to change.

Enduringsense Response:

The second amendment is a right given to Americans.  Guns are a physical object. Because guns can be used as a tool of violence is not justification for eliminating rights.  If inverse logic is allowed, the government may take away any physical object that can harm others.  That is a dangerous and slippery slope.

Further, your argument has two flaws.  The number of guns in United States has grown significantly over recent decades.  However, gun violence has dropped significantly.  This indicates other issues are behind the problem of violence in our society.  Those issues are being masked by a myopic focus on a physical object, guns.  In addition, none of the gun control legislation proposed will stop the gangs and drug cartels from obtaining guns.  The only people who will comply with such laws are law-abiding citizens.

Let’s see, drugs have been illegal for a long time.  How’s that working?  It didn’t even stop the current president from admitting to doing some blow in his formative years.  In addition, the War on Drugs has increased the violence and led to the main source of funding for gangs and the cartels.

Shooting Stats1

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Drug Cartels and Gun Control

Posted by Steve Markowitz on September 23, 2013

Last week the carnage in Chicago continued with 13 people including a three-year-old boy being wounded in a late night shooting in a park.  According to eyewitnesses, dreadlocked men in a car started spraying a Back of the Yards neighborhood park with bullets.  Initial reports attributed the attack to be related to gang violence.

Chicago has become the murder capital of the United States with homicides exceeding 500 during 2012.  This latest Chicago shooting followed Labor Day weekend shootings that resulted in the death of eight with more than 20 wounded.

The City of Chicago has responded to the violence by increasing police presence in various neighborhoods, including Back of the Yards.  This required $57 million of overtime pay for police officers during the first half of 2013.  However, while these actions have met with some success, last week shooting is evidence that more is required.

The causes and reasons behind the violence occurring in the United States are more complicated than any one issue.  A realistic discussion on these issues is held hostage to special interests and political correctness.  Progressives on the Left tend to focus on simple answers, such as poverty and gun control.  This approach is a convenient excuse to avoid important issues that include violence glorified in the media and modern music, the breakup of the family, and drugs.  In addition, there are special interests including the social services and legal industries that gain financially from the current status.

President Obama and his allies on the Left often use violent tragedies to forward their political agenda of gun control.  While guns are a legitimate issue for discussion concerning violence, the fact that the Left focuses so heavily on this one issue with near silence on others is an indication that they have another agenda that goes beyond the subject of violence.

The NRA is often looked at as the spokesman for those concerned with Second Amendment rights.  While this Blog does not agree with some of the positions they take, their position on protecting our rights under the Second Amendment should be important to all Americans.  History has shown that when governments encroach on individual rights, that slippery slope leads to bad places.

On the issue of Chicago violence, James W. Porter II wrote an op-ed in the American Rifleman, posted below.  Given the relationship of a powerful Mexican drug cartel in Chicago’s gang violence, is remarkable that President. Obama proffers the view that some form of gun control will limit these vicious gangs from obtaining firearms.  Either the President is naïve or his gun control focus as another agenda.

Obama’s Meanest Streets

James W. Porter II, American Rifleman

The Chicago Crime Commission has named the head of the Sinaloa Drug Cartel, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, as the city’s “Public Enemy Number 1.”

At the same time, President Barack Obama brought his gun-ban road show to Chicago citing the daily bloodletting on the meanest streets in America with 502 murders last year as a reason for pushing his agenda on the rest of America.

Centered around “universal background checks,” his scheme creates national gun owner registration—the key to future confiscation.

Obama’s gun-ban nightmare for Americans is also the top item on the agenda of his political campaign turned presidential grassroots-lobby, Organizing for Action (OFA), with its highly sophisticated 15 million member political contributor list, cranking out emails demanding his “commonsense” gun-ban restrictions.

Americans are being told we must pay the price—with our loss of Second Amendment rights and liberty—for Chicago’s obscene daily grind of violence fed by a Mexican world-class bandit.

So who is Chicago’s new Public Enemy Number 1?  Guzman is a billionaire Mexican crime boss operating one of the world’s biggest criminal profit centers from his base in Sinaloa, Mexico.

According to a Forbes.com profile: “It is estimated that El Chapo controls at least 60,000 square km (23,000 square miles) of rugged mountains in Sinaloa and Durango.  You’d need 100,000 soldiers surrounding the area and even then I’m not sure you’d succeed [in capturing him].”

That’s the number of street-gang “soldiers” Guzman has in Chicago alone.  If Guzman’s nickname translates to “Shorty,” his army of armed gang criminals are called “shorties.”

A June 20, 2013, Guardian Express article says: “The cartel is primarily involved in the smuggling and distribution of Colombian cocaine, Mexican marijuana, methamphetamine and Mexican and Southeast Asian heroin into the United States.

“From their location in [Chicago’s] ‘Little Village,’ the Cartel wholesales their drugs to local street gangs.  The city of Chicago has documented over 120,000 gang members.  One gang, ‘The Gangster Disciples,’ works with the Cartel. From this location alone, they distribute two metric tons a month.”

Forbes.com February 18, 2013 coverage of this public enemy said Guzman “is responsible for up to 90 percent of all the drugs on the street, bringing in over $1.8 billion in ill-gotten cash.”

NBC News touted the president’s “push for stricter gun laws” reporting “Obama pointed to recent incidences of violence, including the murder of Hadiya Pendleton, the Chicago teenager who was gunned down shortly after performing with classmates in Obama’s second inaugural parade.”

But thedailybeast.com described the senseless truth about that 15-year-old girl’s tragic death: “The real public enemy No. 1 in Chicago has 100,000 young faces. … It is these shorties who are committing most of the mayhem in the city. …

 “In the Pendleton case, two young men from the SUWU gang were allegedly seeking retribution for attacks by members of the 46-Terror gang.  The two SUWU shorties opened fire on what they mistook for rival shorties in a park, huddled under a canopy during a rainstorm.  The targets were in fact a group of eminently blameless teens who had just taken final exams.  There was no shelter from the bullets, and Pendleton fell fatally wounded.”

There isn’t one single thing in the Obama-Bloomberg “commonsense” agenda that would have prevented this senseless crime.

Yet there are three powers possessed by the president that might have prevented her death: enforcement of felony provisions of federal fi rearm laws that can be used to surgically remove armed criminals, gang members and drug dealers from society.  Prison terms under those laws are harsh and certain.  But Chicago ranks 90th—at the very bottom of U.S. federal judicial districts for prosecution.  And then there are racketeering statutes that could root out gang power.  And there is closing the southern border to cartel drug smugglers, something the administration refuses to do.

As the president and his minions refuse to enforce ample laws against Guzman’s army in Chicago, the daily toll in death and mayhem, and in fear and terror for ordinary Chicagoans, simply drones on.

The Second Amendment and law-abiding Americans are not the blame for this carnage.  The blame lies with those who are not aggressively attacking criminals and getting them off the street for good.

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Carnage at Washington Naval Yard Involved Mental Illness

Posted by Steve Markowitz on September 17, 2013

AlexisThe Country has once again must deal with a mass murder, this time occurring yesterday at the Naval Yard in Washington DC.  According to reports, the shooter was Aaron Alexis, a contractor hired by a Hewlett-Packard Enterprises called The Experts to work for the government.  After entering the Naval Yard, Alexis killed 12 innocents before being shot by Washington police.

Even before the shock of the killing had sunk in, some attempted to use the tragedy for political advantage.  President Barack Obama took off after Congress for not moving forward on gun control stating:  “The fact that we do not have a firm enough background-check system is something that makes us more vulnerable to these kinds of mass shootings,” and “ultimately this is something that Congress is going to have to act on.”  This presumptuous statement was made irrespective of the fact that as a contractor working for the Navy, Alexis was subject to two background checks including one this past June that only turned up a traffic violation issue.

Initial reports indicated that an AR-15 assault style rifle was used in Alexis’s attack.  This was false.  The tool of the carnage was a 12 gauge Remington pump shotgun, the type typically used for hunting birds and small game.  During the heat of the gun debate after the Sandy Hook massacre, VP Joe Biden infamously suggested that women should protect themselves with shotguns that he inferred did not require the type of restrictions been suggested for assault style rifles.

Yesterday’s tragedy a Washington shows that Biden and others who attack one particular style of gun ignore the reality that it is the shooter who is dangerous to society irrespective of their weapon of choice.  This reality is purposely skirted as related discussions would lead to the causes behind the growing numbers of mass murders in the United States.  Such discussions would likely lead to negative connotations relating to some of Progressive social engineering programs.

According to NBC, there were warning signs concerning Aaron Alexis, his mental state and violent tendencies.  The NBC report concluded:

  • Alexis reported to have heard voices in recent weeks.  Newport, R.I. police said that Alexis called them at a local hotel in early August complaining he was being followed and people were after him.  His complaints included that his adversaries were using a microwave machine to keep him awake.
  • One of Alexis’s friends in Texas reported that Alexis was threatening to leave the Country because of his dissatisfaction with life in general and more specifically the way he was treated as a veteran.
  • Alexis was reportedly seen by the Veterans Administration a mobile occasion for issues relating to his mental well-being.
  • Alexis has twice been accused of issues involving firearms including accidentally firing a bullet into an apartment and shooting the tires of another person’s vehicle.
  • While Alexis received an honorable discharge from the Navy, it is reported he had eight violations on his record including insubordination and disorderly conduct.  How such an individual received an honorable discharge and later a security clearance is unconscionable.

The Country faces a severe problem relating to mass murders.  It is also a fact that guns are often the weapons of choice for perpetrators.  However, making laws that offer tactical restrictions on certain types of firearms and/or or implementing stronger background checks will do little to address this problem.  In the case of a Washington Naval Yard massacre, the gun used is not included in anybody’s list for restricted firearms.  The perpetrator, Alexis, was subject to significant background checks that failed.  Finally, we have spent five decades fighting the “War on Drugs” with little to show for it.  In fact, it is likely that this war has increased the violence, given the power and money available through the illicit drug trade.

The discussion of guns and the role they play in violence is legitimate.  However, it should to be only one part of the much broader discussion that includes among other issues: 1) the violence glorified in the entertainment and gaming industry and their effects on society, 2) the effects of psychotropic drugs on individuals, 3) the breakdown of the family and effects on children, 4) the mental health industry and its success / failure rates, and 5) HIPPA and involuntary commitment laws and how they have affected societal violence.  Those that focus on only one or two of the issues seek a political agenda, not real solutions.

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Liberal Colorado Legislator Whines About Election Loss

Posted by Steve Markowitz on September 13, 2013

Two liberal Colorado state legislators were kicked out of office in recall elections this week.  While the people have spoken, one of the legislators, Angela Giron, refused to accept their message after being defeated by Republican George Rivera.  The video below shows a whining politician that looks like a deer in the headlights when questioned about the People’s decision.

The recall against Ms. Giron was initiated and run by a grassroots organization that was against her stance on gun control and its implication for Second Amendment rights.  While being interviewed on CNN after the recall, Giron refused to acknowledge this reality or take any responsibility for the defeat.  Instead, she blamed “voter suppression”, “voter confusion” and that voters didn’t know “the rules of the game” or where or how they were to vote.  Given these ludicrous claims, the CNN anchor rightfully cut off Giron at various points in interview.

Interestingly, the victor Rivera was backed by a grassroots organization in Colorado.  Giron, on the other hand, had the backing of national liberal organizations including New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg who donated $350,000 to her campaign.  While Giron seems to have not gotten the message, hopefully Bloomberg did.

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