Google Analytics

Friday, January 25, 2013

Feinstein’s justification is also a sham

I know it is but I have a hard time believing this is the whole of her justification for instituting a new weapons ban (or actually that anyone buys it). From her summary

A Justice Department study of the assault weapons ban found that it was responsible for a 6.7% decrease in total gun murders, holding all other factors equal.

This looks like a very good “hard fact” but the very next line in the exact same study says

However, with only one year of post-ban data, we cannot rule out the possibility that this decrease reflects chance year-to-year variation rather than a true effect of the ban.

Get that? It says, there was a decrease in gun murders (note: not in overall murders) but its possible it just normal variation because its so small. She cites a study that is wishy-washy on its face because they are showing a trend with a single data point (1 year). You can’t show a trend with a single data point. Especially one small enough to be natural variation.

Don’t you think if there was a better study to cite, she would?

I’m not going to bother to quote the rest of her reasons that she claims “Assault weapon bans have been proven to be effective” I’ll summarize:

When we banned these guns, these guns were seen to be used less in the crimes we were concerned about. The police also noticed a drop in the rate that these guns were confiscated from criminals. We do not have any data that the crimes we were concerned with happened any less frequently or lessened their impact on civil society. The crimes still happened, they just didn’t happen with these specific guns anymore.

All of the data they show is that they took away the guns. Hey look! We banned them! Then we found people used them less! Huzzah!

They don’t have any data (because there isn't any) that shows that banning guns is effective for anything except banning guns.

Monday, January 21, 2013

If you think this way, how could you possibly give anyone a weapon?

  • Man tells city council not to ban his gun.
  • Man tells city council he has a carry permit
  • Councilman asks if man is carrying
  • Man says yes
  • Councilman makes a motion to (illegally) remove the man from the meeting
  • Motion fails
  • Councilman immediately excuses himself out of fear of being in a room with a gun.
  • Mayor apologizes to man for councilman’s attempt to restrict his 2nd amendment rights

Kudos to the mayor, but the most interesting thing here is that the councilman appears to be making a hasty retreat in the politest fashion out of fear that a firearm exists in his vicinity.
The fact that the council man immediately gets up and leaves the meeting before it is over betrays the thinking behind most gun control legislators. They believe that the average man is an animal. That he is subservient to his basest instincts and has no self control or morality. That he is eventually going to get hopping mad and use it in a fit of rage.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The 40% background check stat a sham

Words are important.

You may see a number of people (including the White House) stating that 40% of gun sales are done without a background check. That is not quite true. The number seems to come from a 20 year old study which was a phone survey to determine what and how people acquired their weapons. What it actually said was

About 60 percent of gun acquisitions involved federally licensed dealers [my emphasis]

“Acquisitions” not “Sales.” Why is this important? Because 29% of the acquisitions were gifts, inheritance, etc. Not sales.

Only 7% of total acquisitions were done mail order or at a gun show. Of those 7%, many were dealers (who do background checks) and some were not.

There is no giant sales loophole.

And all of this is inferred from the type of acquisition. They didn’t ask “when you got your gun, did you pass a background check?”

(for completeness there is some 4% “other store” category that for some reason doesn’t fit into the 60% they assume does background checks. I’m not sure how any store can legally sell a gun without being a licensed dealer who does background checks)

Gun control metaphor fail

“Shouting fire in a crowded theater” is not the same as “Possessing a gun in a crowded theater”

“Possessing a mouth in a crowded theater” is the same as “Possessing a gun in a crowded theater”

“Shouting fire in a crowded theater” is the same as “Waving a gun around in a crowded theater”

But then again, we already have laws against that so what’s a pent-up-frustrated-politician-who-hasn’t-increased-the-police-state-recently to do?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Fully licensed strippers?

State Rep. Bill Zedler, R-Arlington, has filed a bill to require employees at sexually oriented businesses - including dancers - to get a license and display it while working.

Most licensing done by the state is ostensibly to protect the public from quackery. I’m not really sure there is a problem here. Is there an epidemic of subpar pole dancing and lap dances being delivered to unsatisfied customers?

No, this is much more insidious and Rep. Zedler is even quite upfront about it. He wants to institute a licensing scheme as a public shaming record.

"They won't want to get a license as a stripper from the state of Texas," Zedler said of his legislation. "I think it would keep a lot of girls from getting involved in that lifestyle and basically wrecking their lives.

Or as I interpreted it “If you want to engage in behavior I don’t approve of, I’m going to tell your mother.”

Oh, and they would have to wear their license while they work.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

It doesn't matter what I need.

The conversation keeps coming back around to "who needs a gun that can do X?" The gun control crowd wants the conversation to be framed in a mode that you have to defend your choice to exercise your rights. That is the wrong conversation. The real conversation (and backed by case law) is "what justification do you have for taking away my rights?"

I don't NEED to be able to blog.
I don't NEED to have lunch with my friends every single day.
I don't NEED to own a rifle.

...right now.

All of the things above are freedoms (speech, assembly, arms) I am assumed to have just by the mere fact that I am a human being. I don't need to justify them. To anyone.

US case law history demonstrates this and states that if you want to curb one of these rights, restrict it in some way, the burden is on you to provide a really good reason. A really good reason. And that restriction has to be narrowly tailored, very specific, and address some imminent threat to the general public.

Shouting fire in a theater, directly calling for and inciting a riot, or waving a gun in a crowd do create an imminent threat. Merely owning a firearm does not.

You can talk all you want about whether I may or may not need something right now, but if you plan to tell me I actually can not have that something, you had better have a solid fact based reasoning behind your supposed "sensible and common sense" proposal. Otherwise just walk away and have a nice day.