Some Personal History

I got off work at WLAC-FM at midnight and made my way down to the parking garage. My car was one of only two left on Level 3. As I got out of the elevator and walked toward my car, two men began to approach me from different directions. I drew my Star Model B 9 mm pistol and held it pointing at the floor as I continued to walk to my car. Both of the men seemed to quickly lose interest in me.


As I turned the corner into the garden area that wasn’t visible from the street, the fellow in the sleeping bag suddenly jumped up with a butcher knife in his hands. Then he noticed the Smith & Wesson 645 in my holster and realized that he was about to bring his knife to a gun fight.


I heard a door rattled on the other side of the building. And the another. And then another. Someone was going around the outside trying every door. I stood quietly and listened. As I heard footsteps approaching the door near where I was standing, I racked the slide on my Winchester 1200. I heard the sound of running feet, and no more doors were rattled.


The guy in the seat across the aisle from me was drunk, obnoxiously drunk, and he was giving the flight attendant a hard time because she wouldn’t sell him another drink. When he started to become a bit too aggressive, I leaned across the aisle and suggested that he should chill a bit. As we were getting off the plane in Nashville, he started cursing at me as we moved down the jetway. As we entered the terminal, he punched me from behind hard enough to knock me down. He did it in full view of a State Trooper and two Airport Authority cops. I wound up with a couple of bandaids and a headache. He wound up being sent back to Texas where he was wanted for parole violation.


These are some of the potentially violent situations I’ve faced since I got out of the Army. When I’ve been armed, I’ve been able to prevent the threat from escalating. The one time I was in a gun-free zone, I was injured. Not even the immediate presence of police officers prevented the attack.

My personal experience tells me that gun-free zones, even ones with tight security, are not effective in preventing the bad guys from attempting to prey on soft targets. I don’t think I’ll be ready to support gun-free zones until the people who would impose them are willing to disarm their own security details inside those zones as well.

Inconvenient Statistics

Eugene Volokh has run the numbers, and it turns out that there is no significant correlation between the strictness of gun laws and homicide rates. (There is a slight correlation between strict gun laws and higher homicide rates, but that inconvenient result isn’t strong enough to be significant.)

Of course, correlation isn’t causation, but the lack of correlation is a good indicator of a lack of causation.

But since people have been talking about simple two-variable correlations between gun laws and crime, I thought it would be helpful to note this correlation — or, rather, absence of correlation.

Read the whole thing.

There were a couple of details in Prof. Volokh’s article that I found interesting. Tennessee, my home state which has relatively good (i.e., non-restrictive) gun laws, has essentially the same homicide rate as Maryland where I live now and which has some of the heaviest restrictions on firearms.

The Loopholes in Hillary’s Gun Control Proposal

As reported by the New York Times, Mrs. Clinton’s gun control proposal contains these nonsense points.

A central issue in Mrs. Clinton’s proposals are the background checks on prospective gun buyers, which are required for retailers at stores. But under federal law, they are not required at gun shows or over the Internet with private sellers.

Mostly false. Gun sales between private parties do not require a federal background check. This includes face-to-face transactions at a gun show in most circumstances. However, if the gun show transaction (private party or dealer) involves the sale of a hand gun and the buyer is from out-of-state, the transaction must be made using a licensed gun dealer in the buyer’s home state which will result in a background check. Also, if the seller at the gun show is a licensed dealer, he must complete the usual check. The same restrictions apply to Internet sales (or classified ads in a newspaper).

Mrs. Clinton will suggest urging Congress to end another loophole, by which people with felony records who should be barred from obtaining a gun can get one if their background check is not completed within three days. That loophole was how Dylann Roof, the accused killer in Charleston, obtained his weapon despite a felony conviction for a drug arrest.

Mostly Nonsense. It is already a crime for a felon to posses a firearm. No felon is likely to answer truthfully about his background on the ATF transaction form. If he did, any dealer would stop the sale immediately without bothering to call in to the NICS. Rather than catching a significant number of felons, this could delay purchases by qualified buyers. Self-defense is a human right that predates the Second Amendment. Any government action aimed at impinging on that right should be subject to strict scrutiny. Perhaps some bad guys will get guns, but so will lots of women threatened by stalkers.

Why don’t the hoplophobes just cut to the chase and try to repeal the Second Amendment?

Common Sense Crime Control

Which of these is more likely to deter a criminal?WhichOne

Banning Stuff

It’s the sort of thing you hear from the National Rum Association: Booze doesn’t kill people. Drunk drivers kill people. Yet, we allow alcohol-related car crashes to kill around 10,000 people every year in the United States. Clearly, the time has come to do something. It’s time ban alcohol. It time to …



Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

Given the recent news from Oregon, I thought it would be a good idea to recycle this post from 27 June, 2013. The original nrawatch dot org site is now defunct

* * * * *

Part of Brett Kimberlin’s personal puffery is his claim to have circulated lots of petitions that have received lots and lots of signatures.

Uh, huh.

On 6 May, 2013, one of Velvet Revolution US’s subsidiary efforts called NRA Watch (No, I won’t link to it) posted this link to a petition. (Note: The link in the image below isn’t live.)nrawatchPetition1

If the link were live, clicking on it would show you this.nrawatchPetition2

nrawatchPetition3The petition isn’t doing so well. As of 3 pm yesterday, it only had 15 signatures. That’s fewer than one for every three days that the petition has been up at Change dot org. Of course, Brett Kimberlin didn’t post this petition himself. He delegated the work to Cabin Boy Bill Schmalfeldt who has a track record of getting things started only to abandon them. If Kimberlin were serious, he should have picked someone with some stick-to-it-iveness.

Say, here’s another interesting thing to note. The Cabin Boy gives the impression with his petition that he thinks firearms are something to be taken seriously.GE

Yeah. Right.

More Killings in a Gun Free Zone

Reports say that 10 or more people, including the shooter, are dead as a result of a mass killing in the gun free zone know as Umpqua Community College. Apparently, a criminal who was willing kill people was not deterred by the campus rule against firearms.

The usual suspects are already running their mouths and keyboards suggesting that we need more gun free zones and that restricting the ability of most people to defend themselves with a firearm is the best way to prevent future gun free zone killings.

UPDATE—CBS News is reporting that law enforcement says the shooter was a 26-year-old named Chris Harper Mercer. The Roseburg, Oregon, News Review reports that he asked victims their religions before shooting them.