UPDATE PEW Survey data on protecting right to own guns/supporting more gun control.
The PEW Research Center survey results are available here.
UPDATE PEW Survey data on protecting right to own guns/supporting more gun control.
The PEW Research Center survey results are available here.
Michigan Talk Network: Discussing Sheriff David Clarke and Stand Your Ground Laws — 8:30 to 8:40 AM EDT, Wednesday, August 13, 2014.
KFI, John and Ken Show: Discussing the Taylor Woolrich Stalking Case — 8:35 to 8:45 PM EDT, Wednesday, August 13, 2014.
Coast to Coast AM: Discussing Missouri Riots, 1:07 to 1:09 AM EDT, Thursday, August 14, 2014.
Sportsman Channel: Discussing the Taylor Woolrich Stalking Case — 5:15 to 5.25 PM EDT, Thursday, August 14, 2014.
Other media to discuss Taylor Woolrich Stalking Case
8:40 AM EDT on WNTK FM 99.7 – News Talk – New London, NH
10 AM EDT via Skype from Polite Society Podcast
CPRC’s John Lott has a new piece up at the Daily Caller that starts this way:
It’s every family’s worst nightmare to lose a child. The Naumkin family, of Saratoga Springs, New York, suffered such a tragedy in 2010, when twelve-year-old Nicholas died from an accidental gunshot. A friend had fired his father’s unlocked gun.
To gun control advocates, the solution is clear: a proposed New York state bill that would make parents such as this father guilty of a felony. Any gun owner who fails to keep their gun under their immediate possession or who leaves it unlocked would face criminal charges. The proposed law is named “Nicholas’s Bill.”
Fortunately, these tragic deaths are extremely rare. According to the Centers for Disease Control, during the last 10 years that data is available from 2002 to 2011, in New York state a total of 12 children under 15 died from accidental gun shots.
Sure, the threat of a felony will help ensure that people keep their guns locked. But if that makes sense, why not apply it to the much more deadly threats facing New York’s children?
Again, for New York State, over those same ten years: 329 children under 15 died from suffocations, 207 from drownings, 200 from residential fires, 175 from pedestrians stuck by motor vehicles, 55 from falling, 54 from bicycling, and 40 from poisonings.
We could propose similar bills after children drowning in a neighbor’s pool: 34-month-old David Bender in Lyons, New York in July 2013; five and seven year old Ralph and Sharon Knowles in Central Islip in April 2013; and three and five year old Kendal and Kenely Francois in Union Township in June 2012.
Wouldn’t charging these pool owners with felonies make sure that they keep a watch on their pools or keep them locked up? . . .
The piece continues here.
The CPRC’s John Lott has a piece up at Fox News to try to correct the record after Geraldo Rivera’s interview on Fox News last week:
It is often very hard for women who have been victims of sexual type crimes to publicly discuss what has happened to them. Last week in Washington, five women came forward to discuss how gun free zones at colleges have prevented them from defending themselves. From rape and sexual assault, to stalkers, to one woman whose stalker killed her husband, to death threats,these women bravely came forward and talked of the traumas — all but one telling their story publicly for the first time.
One woman’s story made national headlines. Taylor Woolrich, a junior at Dartmouth College, has been stalked for four years. Her stalker, Richard Bennett, is now in jail for the third time because he has broken restraining orders.
She has detailed how the stalking has forced her family to move, caused her to be a prisoner in her dorm room, avoid social media sites, and caused numerous other problems.
But as happens so often when crime victims speak out, others second guess their behavior. Unfortunately, last Thursday, Geraldo Rivera did just that on Fox News. Let’s look at a few of his statements:
Geraldo said that the threat against Taylor doesn’t justify her getting a gun for protection: “…he is unable to make his bail, so he is in custody, and he is facing an almost certain four year sentence upon conviction.”
Geraldo also seems to have confused the fact that her stalker has not yet posted bail with his inability to do so. Her stalker has hired one of the very best defense lawyers in San Diego county, and apparently, has been able to post a large retainer of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
His bail is currently set at $300,000, which means that all he has to do is put up $30,000. It appears pretty clear that he has the resources to do that.
Not wanting to depend on the court system to quickly inform her if the stalker posts bail, Taylor calls up every day to make sure that he is still in jail.
There is no way that the stalker is going to spend four years in prison. Indeed, the prosecutor has told Taylor that because of prison overcrowding in California and the possibility that his sentence could be reduced due to good behavior, the stalker won’t be spending more than eight months in jail. The two months he has already been in jail will count towards that total. That means that he will likely be released in the middle of the upcoming school year. . . .
Four of the other quotes by Geraldo is discussed in the piece available here.
On August 1, 2013, Alabama moved from a discretionary concealed handgun permit rule to one where sheriffs had no discretion (copy of law is here). The number of permits in these six counties have increased by only 4 percent, much less than the increase that we are seeing in most of the US. It seems to imply that Alabama sheriffs rarely exercised this discretion.
These six counties account for 42.1 percent of the adult population in Alabama and have given out 192,380 permits. If the rest of the state gave out permits at the same rate, the total number of permits would be 459,980, up from 440,043 in 2013. This is clearly an underestimate since urban counties almost always have a lower permit rate than more rural areas and these six counties are the most urban parts of the state. These numbers for Alabama raises the total for just nine states currently to at least 5,644,153 (Florida, Indiana, Michigan Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and now Alabama).
An article at Alabama Today summarized the experience over the last year.
Opponents who warned that looser restrictions on who can get a permit to carry a concealed pistol have been hard-pressed to point to examples of a “wild West,” but they contend the public would be safer if sheriffs had retained discretion.
Escambia County Sheriff Grover Smith, a former president of the Sheriffs’ Association who served as its point man during the debate over the pistol permit law, said sheriffs exercised their discretion judiciously – such as when an applicant had demonstrated violent tendencies or mental instability.
“There really never was an issue with denying pistol permits,” he said. “Most sheriff’s want you to be armed.” . . .
The new law that went into effect in 2013 made these changes:
1) Eliminate discretion in issuing permits.
2) Allowed permitted concealed handguns to be stored in people’s cars at work.
3) Allowed guns to be transported in a vehicle without a permit being required.
4) Clarifies open carry provisions and makes it clear that doing so is not disorderly conduct, allows private property owners, including businesses, to prohibit open carry.
5) Expands Alabama Castle Doctrine to include the use of deadly force to defend themselves from harm when an intruder enters his or her business.
Given problems with reliability and that the gun is now just available as a 22 caliber, police will likely have to be forced to use this gun. One reason for the low caliber is that the shock from the recoil in the higher caliber guns could damage the electronics. But the decision for police to use this gun may be a political decision, not one based on what is best for the safety of the officers. From Fox News:
Safety advocates want to sell the Smart System iP1 made by the German gun-maker Armatix GmbH to cops, according to an article by Michael Rosenwald in The Washington Post. As he writes:
The James Bond-style, .22-caliber pistol is designed to improve safety by only working when it’s in close proximity to a wristwatch.
When the RFID-equipped watch is activated by a PIN number and placed near the gun — like when a shooter grips the handle — it sends a signal to unlock the pistol, activating a green light on the back of the grip. Otherwise, the firearm stays locked and the light on the back remains red.
While the iP1 could revolutionize safety, gun-rights groups such as the National Rifle Association oppose it out of concern that the government will mandate for all firearms to be similarly equipped with the technology.
The outcry from gun owners was so fierce that the first store to sell the weapon, The Oak Tree Gun Club near Los Angeles, ended up pulling it from its shelves. Another outlet, Engage Armament near Washington, D.C., did the same after the owner received death threats.
The Washington Post article gives an interesting look at the man behind the high-tech weapon, 58-year-old German gun designer Ernst Mauch. . . .
The Florida Times-Union points to how guns deter in an attack on a man on Neptune Beach.
The victim told police that he believed the boys were playing the “knockout game.” He said he was approached on the beach by one of the boys who asked him if he had a “Glock.” The man was punched after admitting that he was unarmed.
Fearing that the boy would continue to hit him until he was unconscious, the man grabbed at a folding knife that he had tucked into his waistband and pretended to have a gun. The boys fled, and the man enlisted the help of his neighbor to search for the boys.
The man positively identified one of the boys, a 15-year-old from Atlantic Beach, as the one who had struck him. At headquarters, the boy initially denied involvement, then confessed. Police tried to call the boy’s mother but could not reach her. He was taken to the county jail and booked on battery charges. . . .
With 1.1 million active permits issued to Floridians by Florida today, it is understandable that the criminal would ask if the man was armed. (There are about 1.3 million total permits and 178,523 from out of state.) So with an adult population of 15,176,520, that implies about 7.2 percent of the adult Floridian population with concealed handgun permit from Florida.
The nine states that already allow permitted concealed handguns onto school property to varying degrees. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures seven states allow the guns to be carried on campus (Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Utah, and Wisconsin, though Pennsylvania should also be included) and Florida that allows permitted concealed handguns to be locked in cars.
HB 826: A person who is licensed in accordance with Code Section 16-11-129 or issued a permit pursuant to Code Section 43-38-10 [may possess a concealed firearm] when he or she is within a school safety zone or on a bus or other transportation furnished by a public school or a person who is licensed in accordance with Code Section 16-11-129 or issued a permit pursuant to Code Section 43-38-10 when he or she has any firearm legally kept within a vehicle when such vehicle is parked within a school safety zone or is in transit through a designated school safety zone
HB 60: A person who is licensed in accordance with Code Section 16-11-129 or issued a permit pursuant to Code Section 43-38-10, [may possess a concealed firearm] when such person carries or picks up a student within a school safety zone, at a school function, or on a bus or other transportation furnished by a school or a person who is licensed in accordance with Code Section 16-11-129 or issued a permit pursuant to Code Section 43-38-10 when he or she has any weapon legally kept within a vehicle when such vehicle is parked within a school safety zone or is in transit through a designated school safety zone
The two bills are quite different. HB 60 allows you to keep your gun in your car. HB 826 lets you carry the gun anywhere on school property.
So which law is in effect? There are two considerations.
1) The first rule to look at here is which bill was signed last. In that case, HB 60 would be binding.
2) But that consideration is only relevant where the two bills are in conflict. In this case, there doesn’t appear to be any conflict. HB 60 allows one to possess a concealed firearm in vehicles on school property. In HB 826, permit holders are allowed to carry guns in all areas on school property. The two bills would have been in conflict if HB 60 had said that concealed firearms could only be possessed in vehicles on school property.
Even allowing guns locked in cars on campus can make a difference for people’s safety. Earlier this year, cops determined that a Eastern Florida State College student had fired his gun in self defense after being attacked by two other men.
The National Conference of State Legislatures has useful information here and here.
More information on Georgia is available here.
The national gun debate turned to college campuses after a San Diego woman gave a speech to an activist gathering in Washington D.C. Tuesday criticizing her Ivy League college for not letting her carry a concealed weapon to protect herself from a longtime stalker.
Taylor Woolrich, a 20-year-old junior at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, said she asked university officials to make an exception to their campus gun ban because she feared an attack from 67-year-old Richard Bennett, who she said started stalking her when she was 16. . . .
“I deserve to feel safe and know that if something did happen that I’d have the ability to protect myself and those around me,” Woolrich said in a speech at a tri-annual conference presented by Students for Conceal Carry and the Crime Prevention Research Center. She was a part of a panel that included other stalking victims and a mother whose daughter was killed in the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007. . . .
John R. Lott, president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, said he has spoken with too many women who were made to feel like prisoners by stalkers. Outside of a personal, armed body guard, a firearm gives them the protection they need and deserve, he said.
“I personally believe if you can give them some control of their lives, this trauma will at least be lessened,” he said. “Living in a constant state of fear really does damage to them.”
Lott said having a gun is by far the safest course of action when confronted by a criminal, particularly for women. . . .
Other recent coverage in San Diego
KGTV San Diego: “College student wants right to carry gun on campus”
Pre CPRC research
About the CPRC
Data from various studies
Defensive Gun Uses
Gun Show Regulations
Mass Public Shootings
Media bias on guns
More Guns, Less Crime
News Coverage of CPRC
Public Health Research
Safe Storage Laws
Stand Your Ground
Surveys on gun ownership