Saturday, December 26, 2015
Merry Christmas, with its attendant wish for peace and goodwill to everyone.
The problem is that there are a lot of people who don't believe in any of that, and we don't know exactly who and where they are. Yes, I mean those tens of thousands of "Syrian" refugees, as well as other refugees moving into Europe and America with not-so-benign intent. Here in Arizona we've had close to 100,000 illegal refugees per year running across our border from Mexico, and we've seen the trouble they cause once they get here. Now it's clearly bigoted and unconstitutional to ban some people from coming to America because of their religion, race, or ethnicity, so how do we keep out the Bad Guys?
Well, there's a simple and perfectly lawful way to do it; stop all immigration to the US, from everywhere, completely.
Yes, that includes people who claim that they're in danger if they don't get out of where they are. We can politely route them to somewhere else, some place that's willing to take them in: other Muslim countries for the "Syrian" refugees, other Latino countries for the Mexican ones, Taiwan (or any other Asian country with a large Chinese population) for the ones from China, and so on. We can even afford to quietly bribe those countries to take them, which should make them a bit more willing.
Yes, we have good reason -- beyond the terrorist problem -- for stopping all immigration; the US now has the third largest population in the world, we're close to the limit of the carrying-capacity of our land and water, not to mention social services, and we just plain can't take in all the distressed people in the world.
What's more, we should get serious about rounding up all the illegal immigrants (there may be as many as 12 million of them) already here, and send them off to whatever country will have them. As I've said before, by all means let them take with them all the goodies they've gotten and all the money they've made here in Goody-Land. In fact, we should give each of them -- man, woman, and child -- a parting-gift: one sturdy revolver, .38 caliber at least, along with five boxes of ammunition, a cleaning kit, and an instruction book (profusely illustrated) printed in the refugees' own language. After all, they'll need some way to protect what cash and goodies they have when they get to where they're going.
In the case of the Muslim immigrants, specifically, instead of armament for a parting-gift, we should give each of them a suit of clean white clothes (suitable for a pilgrim), $100 for the necessary bribes, and send them off to that one place in the world where all Muslims supposedly want to go at least once in a lifetime: Mecca. Even the notorious World Opinion will have a hard time complaining about sending Muslims to Mecca.
In any case, we should take thorough biometric readings -- photos, fingerprints, retinal prints, DNA -- of each departing emigrant -- send the same to a central database that every border-patrol agent and cop in the country can tap into, send off the departees with exit visas but no passports, and make certain that they never come back. As to how their new host countries treat them, well, that's their business; we will have done our best for them.
Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Since last week, several more sheriffs have appealed to the citizens to carry weapons in public and be prepared to use them against terrorist attacks. Likewise, more media pundits have published calls to abolish the 2nd Amendment, using some amazingly questionable claims and statistics. If the supposed intelligentsia are willing to manipulate figures and lie outright in support of their cherished cause, it's becoming obvious that the only statistics we can trust are those from the FBI, the Department of Justice, the Center for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization -- whose archives are public records. These are necessary for countering the attempted Big Lie blizzard of false claims, such as the following.
1) Claim: "The US has the highest number of gun-deaths in the world."
Fact: No, this is a lie. Syria does -- closely followed by Iraq. The anti-gun crowd will no doubt claim That's Different, because Syria is in the middle of a civil war, and Iraq in the middle of an invasion and conquest. But in that case they'll have to make exception for Mexico, which has had a smoldering 3-way war -- between the government, the Indians, and the drug cartels -- going on for the last 6 years. (WHO figures.)
2) Claim: "There were over 300 mass-shootings in the US this year alone."
Fact: This is a half-lie. The FBI defines "mass shooting" as an incident in which at least 4 people are shot -- but not necessarily killed. The CDC notes that better than 90% of all gunshot victims survive, over 85% of them with no permanent debilitating damage. In 42% of the 353 mass shootings recorded in 2015 so far, there were no reported fatalities. An additional 47% of those mass shootings resulted in between one and three people killed. (FBI figures.)
3) Claim: "The US is the most violent country in the world."
Fact: This is a lie. There are 106 nations in the world which have higher homicide rates than the US. (WHO figures.) All of them have stricter gun-control laws, if not outright bans, than the US.
The anti-gun crowd will then quibble that these aren't "modern industrial democracies" -- though they include Russia, Mexico, South Africa, Greenland and Argentina -- or have only "negligible populations". Since the US has the 3rd highest population in the world (317 million, behind China and India, but ahead of everyone else -- WHO figures), "negligible" is a very subjective term.
4) Claim: "Gun control works. Australia got rid of all its civilian-owned guns."
Fact: This is a half-lie. If the purpose of gun control or gun confiscation is to reduce crime, then it hasn't really worked in Australia -- where (WHO figures) the violent-crime rate has not dropped since the gun confiscation. It certainly hasn't worked in Canada or Britain, where the violent-crime rate has steadily climbed since the gun confiscations there.
5) Claim: "Gun control works. Japan has no civilian-owned guns.)
Fact: This is a half-lie. If the purpose of gun-control is to reduce civilian violent deaths, then it hasn't really worked in Japan -- where (WHO figures) the preferred weapon is a blade, and the suicide-rate is higher than the American murder-rate (FBI figures).
6) Claim: "Civilians with guns can't possible prevent violent crime."
Fact: This is a lie. On average, every year (FBI figures) at least 900,000 Americans use firearms to prevent crime. According to the CDC the figure is closer to 3 million, since most such cases end with the would-be crook running away without a shot fired and the case is not reported.
7) Claim: "Violent crime in America is increasing."
Fact: This is a lie. According to the FBI, violent crime in America has been decreasing steadily since 1993. In particular, the number of gun-homicides has dropped by half. In 2014, 2/3rds of all gun fatalities in the US were suicides (approx. 20,000).
For anyone who wants to research the details on these claims, I'd recommend starting here:
“In every mass killing—every one of them—when someone with a gun arrives determined to stop the killing, it stops; the killer flees or is disabled or is killed or dies by suicide.”
Andrew Napolitano | December 10, 2015
- In 2014, an estimated 1,165,383 violent crimes occurred nationwide, a decrease of 0.2 percent from the 2013 estimate. (See Table 1)
- When considering 5- and 10-year trends, the 2014 estimated violent crime total was 6.9 percent below the 2010 level and 16.2 percent below the 2005 level. (See Table 1)
- There were an estimated 365.5 violent crimes per 100,000 inhabitants in 2014, a rate that declined 1.0 percent when compared with the 2013 estimated violent crime rate. (See Table 1)
- Aggravated assaults accounted for 63.6 percent of violent crimes reported to law enforcement in 2014. Robbery offenses accounted for 28.0 percent of violent crime offenses; rape (legacy definition) accounted for 7.2 percent; and murder accounted for 1.2 percent. (Based on Table 1)
- Information collected regarding types of weapons used in violent crime showed that firearms were used in 67.9 percent of the nation’s murders, 40.3 percent of robberies, and 22.5 percent of aggravated assaults. (Weapons data are not collected for rape.) (See Expanded Homicide Data Table 7, Robbery Table 3, and the Aggravated Assault Table
Murder -- https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2014/crime-in-the-u.s.-2014/offenses-known-to-law-enforcement/murderDownload Printable Document
The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program defines murder and nonnegligent manslaughter as the willful (nonnegligent) killing of one human being by another. The classification of this offense is based solely on police investigation as opposed to the determination of a court, medical examiner, coroner, jury, or other judicial body. The UCR Program does not include the following situations in this offense classification: deaths caused by negligence, suicide, or accident; justifiable homicides; and attempts to murder or assaults to murder, which are classified as aggravated assaults.
Data collectionSupplementary Homicide Data—The UCR Program’s supplementary homicide data provide information regarding the age, sex, and race of the murder victim and the offender; the type of weapon used; the relationship of the victim to the offender; and the circumstance surrounding the incident. Law enforcement agencies are asked—but not required—to provide complete supplementary homicide data for each murder they report to the UCR Program. Information gleaned from these supplementary homicide data can be viewed in the Expanded Homicide Data section.
Justifiable homicide—Certain willful killings must be reported as justifiable or excusable. In the UCR Program, justifiable homicide is defined as and limited to:
- The killing of a felon by a peace officer in the line of duty.
- The killing of a felon, during the commission of a felony, by a private citizen.
- In 2014, the estimated number of murders in the nation was 14,249. This was a 0.5 percent decrease from the 2013 estimate, a 3.2 percent decrease from the 2010 figure, and a 14.9 percent drop from the number in 2005.
- There were 4.5 murders per 100,000 people. The murder rate fell 1.2 percent in 2014 compared with the 2013 rate. The murder rate was down from the rates in 2010 (6.1 percent) and 2005 (20.8 percent). (See Table 1)
- Of the estimated number of murders in the United States, 46.0 percent were reported in the South, 20.5 percent were reported in the Midwest, 20.5 percent were reported in the West, and 13.1 percent were reported in the Northeast. (See Table 3)
Expanded dataUCR expanded offense data are details of the various offenses that the UCR Program collects beyond the count of how many crimes law enforcement agencies report. These details may include the type of weapon used in a crime, type or value of items stolen, and so forth. In addition, expanded data include trends (for example, 2-year comparisons) and rates per 100,000 inhabitants.
Expanded information regarding murder is available in the following tables:
- Victim/offender relationship data: Expanded Homicide Data Table 10
Expanded Homicide Data -- https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2014/crime-in-the-u.s.-2014/offenses-known-to-law-enforcement/expanded-homicide
Expanded Homicide DataDownload Printable Document
Data collectionThe FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program collects supplementary homicide data that provide the age, sex, and race of the murder victim and offender; the type of weapon used; the relationship of the victim to the offender; and the circumstance surrounding the incident. Statistics gleaned from these supplemental data are provided in this section.
This section also includes information about justifiable homicide—certain willful killings that must be reported as justifiable or excusable. In the UCR Program, justifiable homicide is defined as and limited to:
- The killing of a felon by a peace officer in the line of duty.
- The killing of a felon, during the commission of a felony, by a private citizen.
- In 2014, most (77.3 percent) of the 11,961 murder victims for whom supplemental data were received were male. (Based on Expanded Homicide Data Table 1)
- Of the murder victims for whom race was known, 51.6 percent were black, 45.7 percent were white, and 2.6 percent were of other races. Race was unknown for 160 victims. (Based on Expanded Homicide Data Table 2)
- Nearly 48 percent (47.7) of all murders for which the UCR Program received supplemental data were single victim/single offender situations. (See Expanded Homicide Data Table 4)
- Of the offenders for whom gender was known, 88.2 percent were male. (Based on Expanded Homicide Data Table 3)
- When the race of the offender was known, 53.0 percent were black, 44.7 percent were white, and 2.3 percent were of other races. The race was unknown for 4,132 offenders. (Based on Expanded Homicide Data Table 3)
- Nearly 68 percent (67.9) of the homicides for which the FBI received weapons data in 2014 involved the use of firearms. Handguns comprised 68.5 percent of the firearms used in murder and nonnegligent manslaughter incidents in 2014. (Based on Expanded Homicide Data Table 8)
- In 2014, nearly 29 percent (28.7) of homicide victims were killed by someone they knew other than family members (acquaintance, neighbor, friend, boyfriend, etc.), 14.3 percent were slain by family members, and 11.5 percent were killed by strangers. The relationship between murder victims and offenders was unknown in 45.5 percent of murder and nonnegligent manslaughter incidents. (Based on Expanded Homicide Data Table 10)
- Of the female murder victims for whom the relationships to their offenders were known, 35.5 percent were murdered by their husbands or boyfriends. (Based on Expanded Homicide Data Tables 2 and 10)
- Of the murders for which the circumstances surrounding the crimes were known, 40.4 percent of victims were murdered during arguments (including romantic triangles) in 2014. Felony circumstances (rape, robbery, burglary, etc.) accounted for 24.0 percent of murders. Circumstances were unknown for 37.7 percent of reported homicides. (Based on Expanded Homicide Data Table 11)
- Law enforcement reported 721 justifiable homicides in 2014. Of those, law enforcement officers justifiably killed 444 felons, and private citizens justifiably killed 277 people during the commission of crimes. (See Expanded Homicide Data Tables 14 and 15
Thursday, December 10, 2015
Within three days of the San Bernardino shooting, the facts were out in public; the shooters were definitely Jihadi terrorists, who had personally pledged allegiance to ISIL/Daeth. The third member of their team was still at large, and the police were hunting him closely.
Seeing that yes, Jihadi terrorism is alive and well in the US, citizens and low-level police officials -- no higher than the rank of sheriff -- responded reasonably; the citizens went out an bought guns and ammo and took training courses, and the sheriffs actively requested that citizens with CCW permits (who, by definition, had been through the training and qualifying courses) make a habit of carrying in public and be ready to defend the public against terrorist attacks until the police can arrive.
'Twas the politicians and the professional political flacks who responded with hysteria and illogic. By now everybody's heard about Trump's proposed "Muslim registry" and ban on all Muslim immigrants, which has even turned most of the GOP against him. However, you don't see any parallel disgust at Obama's attempt to stampede the public into howling for gun control instead. Note that the governor of California blamed the shooting, if you please, on the state of Arizona -- for having lighter gun-laws than California, which (he claimed without evidence) allowed the terrorists to buy guns easily (though he said nothing about all the homemade bombs which the terrorist couple had with them). The best day's work that our current Arizona governor has done yet was to promptly lash back at that ridiculous bit of slander. But that hasn't stopped other dutiful anti-gun pundits from making even more amazing claims. Indeed, the New York Daily News published a front-page editorial actually calling for repeal of the 2nd Amendment. Other dutiful media-flacks have gotten even more visibly hysterical, as with Alternet's latest:
"10 Things You Can Buy in America That Prove Just How Sick Our Gun Laws Are
December 8, 2015
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com
When a lack of gun control and a culture of gun violence collide with capitalism, the result is a market for the kinds of goods that speak volumes about a society, nearly all of them tragic and troubling. So let’s have a look-see at what our weapons worship hath wrought. Here are 10 things you can buy in America that prove how f*cked up our gun laws are.
1. Bulletproof blankets.
There may be other manufacturers of bulletproof blankets for use during school shootings, but the industry leader is Protecht, which developed the Bodyguard blanket after the Sandy Hook massacre. I’m not sure anything does a better job of encapsulating why the viability of this product should be a source of national shame than the text on the website itself."
Other things the article howls about include:
Bulletproof classroom whiteboards.
and School shooting smartphone apps.
The SchoolGuard app, which describes itself as “a panic button in the hands of every teacher and staff,” aims to cut down on police response times when school shootings happen, as they so often do in America. After the first shots are fired, the app calls 911, lets all the faculty and staff know what’s happening, alerts participating schools within a five-mile radius and “instantly alerts all participating law enforcement officers, on and off duty, who are in close proximity.” The app sounds like a helpful aid to school personnel, though not quite as helpful as a Congress that wasn't in the pocket of the NRA."
Now given that abolition of "Zero Tolerance" and "Gun-Free Zone" (a.k.a. "fish-in-a-barrel") rules is going slowly, leaving schools as lamentably "soft" targets, these items actually do sound reasonable. But note the attitude of pious horror, of almost desperate outrage, at the very idea that people might take action to defend themselves against terrorists, thugs and lunatics -- rather than demanding that the government Do Something, a something that is clearly aimed at gnawing away further at the Bill of Rights. Doesn't this sound the least bit frantic to you?
Could it possibly be that Obama and his backers are dismayed at seeing the popular tide turn against them? After all, several recent public-opinion polls have shown that more than 51% of the citizens now believe that average citizens should have guns to defend themselves (and never mind those troublesome sheriffs), and that was before the terrorist attack in San Bernardino. Particularly embarrassing must have been the discovery that the terrorist couple did get past the "extensive background checks" required by California laws to get their rifles, pistols, et al.
Abe Lincoln was right about not being able to fool all the people all the time, even when you have tremendous control over the news media, and the citizens have seen enough evidence to choose sensible solutions to the violence problem. I've actually seen some letters to editors proposing that we bring back gun-safety training in the schools and require everyone to get concealed-carry permits. People are coming to realize that there is no way to keep weapons out of the "wrong hands", and it's best if the citizens are armed and trained to defend themselves.
The nearly-century-long government campaign toward gutting the Bill of Rights has shot its bolt, the pendulum is swinging back, and the campaigners must be nearly frantic at seeing power sliding out of their grasp. Let's hope they don't do something irrevocably stupid in trying to hang onto it.