Congressman’s Impassioned Testimony Reveals the True Victims of Gun Control

Data show that every year, at least 200,000 women employ a firearm to defend themselves against sexual abuse.


Gun control advocates often claim the moral high ground. They accuse opponents of selfishly clinging to their guns and having cold hearts toward the victims of gun violence. That is exactly what happened on May 20 at a Congressional hearing on the issue.

But Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) wasn’t having it.

“We care about victims,” he said in his testimony. “I care about the victims of gun control.”

Massie then related how gun control victimized Nikki Goeser, one of his former staffers, who “watched her husband killed in front of her, because she followed the gun control laws, and her assailant—her stalker—did not. She left her concealed carry weapon in her car, because it was a gun-free zone.”

More than a decade ago, she and her husband Benjamin Goeser were operating their karaoke business at a restaurant in Tennessee when her longtime stalker confronted them.

“…I would usually carry my permitted concealed handgun with me,” she told Fox News, “But, at the time, Tennessee did not allow carrying in restaurants that served alcohol. While I obeyed the law, Ben’s murderer did not. He had no permit to carry, and he brought a gun into a gun-free zone.”

“In April 2009, the murderer shot my husband seven times in front of 50 witnesses. The whole attack was recorded by the restaurant’s security cameras.”

Ben Goeser was a victim of gun violence. But, he was also a victim of gun control. A gun control law prevented his law-abiding wife from saving his life from a law-flouting criminal.

In a tragic irony, his death contributed to gun violence statistics that are regularly used to argue for more gun control laws like the very one that sealed his fate.

Women are particularly vulnerable to being victimized by gun control. An estimated 1.9 million women are targeted and physically assaulted in the United States every year: a number of them by stalkers like the one who menaced Nikki Goeser and slew her husband.

Data show that every year, at least 200,000 women employ a firearm to defend themselves against sexual abuse. And studies have shown that armed women are highly effective in preventing rape and sexual assault with guns

With generally smaller frames and thus less capacity to fend off large attackers with their bodies alone, firearms provide women essential protection. As comedian Chris Rock has pointed out, guns are the great equalizer. “You got pecs? l got Tecs,” he quipped, referring to the Tec-9 automatic pistol.

This reality is too often lost on many who otherwise voice support for female empowerment and equality. By depriving them of essential protection, gun control disempowers, oppresses, and victimizes women on a vast scale.

The specific gun control measures discussed in the May 20 hearing would only victimize women even more.

Gun control advocates want to eliminate a provision in the 1994 Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act that allows gun dealers to proceed with a sale if the buyer’s mandated background check has not been completed within three business days. They blame it for enabling Dylann Roof to obtain the gun he used in the 2015 Charleston church shooting. Thus, they call it “the Charleston loophole.”

But in his testimony, Massie explained that Roof would have passed the background check anyway, so eliminating the provision wouldn’t have hindered him.

Who would it hinder? Women in desperate need of a gun to defend themselves and their loved ones from abusers or stalkers and whose safety can’t afford a lengthy waiting period. For potential victims in such situations, time is of the essence.

Also discussed at the hearing were “safe storage laws,” which advocates claim would prevent accidental gun deaths and suicides. But as Massie pointed out in his testimony, there is no evidence backing this assumption. Instead, safe storage laws only impair and inhibit people’s ability to use their guns defensively… as in the case of a home invader.

A survey conducted by the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that on average, Americans use guns to frighten away home intruders about 498,000 times per year, and in general, felons have reported that they avoid entering houses when people are at home because they fear being shot. If criminals know that guns are safely out of reach in locked storage, they will have less of a deterrent.

“One of the great mistakes,” the economist Milton Friedman once said, “is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results.”

Another great mistake, explored by Henry Hazlitt in his classic book Economics in One Lesson, is to only consider a policy’s impacts on one group of people and ignore its impacts on other groups.

Gun control advocates are too often guilty of both errors. They dwell on their intentions and disregard the unintended consequences of gun control. And while accusing others of not caring about victims of guns, they themselves turn a blind eye to victims of gun control.

COLUMN BY

Brett Cooper

Brett Cooper is a professional actress and a Libertarian-Conservative writer. She’s an ambassador for PragerU and TurningPoint USA and content manager at Unwoke Narrative.

Dan Sanchez

Dan Sanchez is the Director of Content at the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) and the editor-in chief of FEE.org.

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

SCOTUS: Police Cannot Seize Guns Without A Warrant

The Supreme Court rejected the notion that police could take someone’s guns without due process.

Bing. Bang, Boom.

SCOTUS: Police Cannot Seize Guns Without A Warrant

By John Crumb, may 17, 2021;

WASHINGTON, D.C. –-(Ammoland.com)- In a case argued in front of the Supreme Court, that could affect Red Flag laws across the country, SCOTUS ruled unanimously that the “community caretaking” exception does not apply inside the home.

Caniglia v. Strom centers around the police seizing the firearms of a man that his wife reported as suicidal. The incident that led to the issue started when Edward and Kim Caniglia began to have marital problems in their 27-year long marriage. Mr. Caniglia grabbed his unloaded handgun and sat it on the table, and told his wife, “shoot me now and get it over with.”

Mr. Caniglia then left the house to go on a drive. While he was gone, Mrs. Caniglia hid the gun. When he returned, the couple started to fight again. This time, Mrs. Caniglia left the house and decided to stay at a motel to let things calm down and blow over.

Mrs. Caniglia tried to call her husband the following day, but he was not answering the phone. She then contacted two police officers to do a welfare check on her husband with her. She told the police about what her husband did the night before but stressed that her husband didn’t threaten her. He was just expressing how hurt he was because of the fighting. Mr. Caniglia has never been abusive and does not have a criminal record.

Police told Mrs. Caniglia to stay in the car. They found Mr. Caniglia sitting on the back porch. They talked to him, and he assured them that he wasn’t suicidal. One of the officers said Mr. Caniglia appeared completely normal but was upset because the police became involved in the dispute. The officers wanted him to go to the hospital for a mental evaluation.

Mr. Caniglia was hesitant because he believed the officers would seize his guns if he did, but the officers agreed not to take his firearms. The officers had him transported to the hospital via ambulance. Once gone, the police did what they promised Mr. Caniglia that they would not do. They entered his home and searched for guns. The officers seized two handguns, magazines, and ammunition without a warrant. They claimed to have used the “community caretaking” exception.

When Mr. Caniglia returned home, he found out police seized his guns without a warrant and did not leave him with any way to retrieve his firearms. When he tried to get the guns back, the police refused to turn over the man’s property. He would have to sue to get them back.

He claimed that police violated his Fourth Amendment rights and his right to due process. The case made its way through the courts. President Joe Biden strongly supported the actions of the police. President Biden has been pushing Congress to pass a national “red flag” law.
SCOTUS rejected the notion that police could take someone’s guns without due process.

Anti-gun groups condemned the decision of the Court and claimed it makes people less safe. Gun rights groups hailed the decision as a victory for freedom. One gun group, Gun Owners of America, filed an amicus brief in the case on behalf of Mr. Caniglia. The organization celebrated the decision as a victory for inalienable rights.

Anti-gun groups condemned the decision of the Court and claimed it makes people less safe. Gun rights groups hailed the decision as a victory for freedom. One gun group, Gun Owners of America, filed an amicus brief in the case on behalf of Mr. Caniglia. The organization celebrated the decision as a victory for inalienable rights.

The case will have a rippling effect across the legal landscape. The courts will have to decide if this decision affects “red flag” laws.

RELATED ARTICLE: Israel Showed U.S. ‘Smoking Gun’ on Hamas in AP Office Terror Tower, Officials Say

EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

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Why Indiana’s ‘Red Flag’ Law Failed to Stop the FedEx Shooting

The failure of Indiana’s gun law to prevent the FedEx shooting reveals the inherent problems with red flag laws.


Last week 19-year-old Brandon Hole did the unthinkable. He stormed into an Indianapolis FedEx facility with a Ruger AR-556 semi-automatic rifle and killed eight people.

He then took his own life.

CNN recently pointed out that Indiana is one of several US states that have so-called “red flag” laws—also known as Extreme Risk Protection Orders—that allow courts to seize firearms from individuals suspected of being a danger to themselves or others. Furthermore, it was revealed that Hole, who was interviewed by the FBI last year, was allowed to purchase a firearm months after being served with an Extreme Risk Protection Order.

“[Hole’s] mother told law enforcement in March 2020 that her son told her he would attempt ‘suicide by cop,’” CNN reported. “At the time, officials took a shotgun found at his home into custody, Marion County prosecutor Ryan Mears said Monday. And yet, later that year, Hole was able to legally purchase assault rifles.”

The revelation cast a shadow over Indiana’s red flag law, a policy that lawmakers have argued is essential to stopping mass shootings.

The failure of Indiana’s gun law to prevent the FedEx shooting “shows the limits” of the state’s red flag, Marion County prosecutor Ryan Mears told CNN.

In the Hoosier State, people who have their firearms seized are not automatically designated as violent or mentally unstable. Instead, the state has two weeks to file a petition requesting the court to designate the offender mentally unsound or violent. In Hole’s case, the firearm had been secured and the family made no effort to reclaim the weapon, so prosecutors determined they had “achieved” the law’s objective.

The seizure of the weapon did not stop the crime, however. And the failure highlights two reasons I’ve argued Americans should be wary of red flag laws. For starters, there is little evidence to support the claim that red flag laws reduce gun violence.

“The evidence,” The New York Times reported in 2019, “for whether extreme risk protection orders work to prevent gun violence is inconclusive, according to a study by the RAND Corporation on the effectiveness of gun safety measures.”

There’s a reason for this. As Indiana’s law shows, red flags are complicated. In many cases, the laws appear to be more about providing political window dressing than reducing gun crime.

For example, California’s red flag went effectively unused for years after its passage in 2016, The Washington Post reported. Washington, D.C.’s law went entirely unused, the Post said. Meanwhile, states such as Maryland and Florida have seized hundreds of firearms—yet it’s unclear if these confiscations actually stopped a shooting.

This leads to my second point. Red flag laws are essentially a form of “pre-crime,” a theme explored in Philip K. Dick’s sci-fi novella The Minority Report (which Steven Spielberg adapted into a pretty great movie in 2002).

In the book, police exploit precognitive powers to stop crimes before they happen. In the real world, of course, authorities do not have the power of precogs to help them fight crime, yet that has not stopped them from trying—even though Dick’s story explores the serious ethical problems of using the law against people who have not committed any crime (but might!).

Some argue that Indiana’s red flag failure isn’t evidence that red flag laws don’t work, it’s simply evidence that this particular law didn’t have enough teeth.

“In Indiana, they have the red flag law … but they don’t have the mechanism to make it difficult to get out and get more guns,” Michael Lawlor, a professor at the University of New Haven, told CNN.

Lawlor, who in 1999 helped write Connecticut’s red flag law—the first in the United States—as a member of the state legislature, said it should have been a “no-brainer” in Connecticut to prevent a person like Hole from purchasing a firearm.

In other words, we simply need a more effective bureaucracy. This is, of course, a perennial rejoinder from those who believe the state would run smoothly if only the proper managers were executing the plan. But as the economist Ludwig von Mises has observed, this is a fantasy.

“It is a widespread illusion that the effi­ciency of government bureaus could be improved by management engineers and their methods of scientific management,” Mises noted in Bureaucracy. “What they call deficiencies and faults of the management of administrative agencies are necessary properties.”

In other words, per Mises, these types of inefficiencies and dysfunction are inherent in bureaucracies, which lack the incentive structure that makes markets so efficient.

“A bureau is not a profit-seeking enterprise; it cannot make use of any economic calculation, Mises wrote. “It is out of the question to improve its management by reshaping it ac­cording to the pattern of private business.”

Mises’s point is actually driven home by CNN. The network points out there have been numerous instances of red flag laws failing in precisely the manner seen in Indiana, including in November 2018, when a gunman killed 12 people and injured more than a dozen more at a bar in California not long after he was visited by law enforcement authorities for erratic behavior. Authorities could have easily executed a red flag law, but they did not.

Still, for the sake of argument, let’s say the system does work and a would-be shooter is denied a firearm purchase. What is to prevent that person from simply obtaining a firearm on the black market?

The reality is that black markets do exist. And an abundance of research shows that the vast majority of the people committing gun crimes are not lawful gun owners. One University of Pittsburgh study, for example, found that lawful gun owners accounted for just 18 percent of gun violence.

“The top-line finding of the study — that the overwhelming majority of gun crimes aren’t committed by lawful gun owners — reinforces a common refrain among gun rights advocacy groups,” The Washington Post said of the study. “They argue that since criminals don’t follow laws, new regulations on gun ownership would only serve to burden lawful owners while doing little to combat crime.”

It’s difficult to fathom that a person determined enough to kill strangers in cold blood will be deterred after being denied a firearm purchase at the local gun store.

The bottom line is that Brandon Hole was a deeply disturbed person whose bizarre interests and behavior reportedly included an obsession with “Bronies,’ a subculture of the internet for male fans of My Little Pony.

His life ended tragically and claimed the lives of others in an even more tragic fashion. But to think that his crime could have been prevented if only the bureaucratic system had worked more efficiently defies reason and empirical evidence.

Moreover, if we convince ourselves that bureaucracy can truly prevent crimes before they happen if we only push a little harder against civil liberties, we don’t just delude ourselves.

We may end up creating a world that’s even more terrifying than Philip Dick’s dystopian vision.

COLUMN BY

Jon Miltimore

Jonathan Miltimore is the Managing Editor of FEE.org. His writing/reporting has been the subject of articles in TIME magazine, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, Forbes, Fox News, and the Star Tribune. Bylines: Newsweek, The Washington Times, MSN.com, The Washington Examiner, The Daily Caller, The Federalist, the Epoch Times.

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Are Biden’s Guns ‘Smart’ or Under Control?

Whether you’re familiar with the administration’s plans or not, Joe Biden is one of the politicians pushing for smart guns. If you’re wondering what that means, why it rings a bell, or why we don’t have them already, you’ve come to the right place.

What Are Smart Guns?

While they sound futuristic and the technology has made an appearance in many science-fiction films, the concept of smart guns is current and possible. Basically, smart guns have a safety on at all times that will only unlock with the palm of the owner. This is due to sensors in the grip that would change the firearms industry, literally making you the safety. Before you panic that your pistol would be taken away, hear the argument out.

This Isn’t the First Time

The idea of smart guns was introduced as early as 2000 under the Clinton administration. They were able to convince Smith & Wesson and Colt to work on manufacturing these firearms, but the response by the NRA and gun communities was overwhelmingly negative. After a boycott of the 2 companies, production ceased and no gun manufacturer has gone near the idea since. In 2002, New Jersey passed a law that would have made the sale of any non-smart gun illegal once they hit the market, but again smart guns didn’t come to fruition. One of the biggest arguments against smart guns is the preservation of the 2nd amendment, so let’s get into why we don’t have smart guns and will likely see the same reaction under this administration.

Why is There Such a Push-Back?

The leading argument against smart guns isn’t necessarily over the idea of safer guns, which is probably something a lot of people can agree on, but that the government would be in charge. That isn’t to say that the gun registry would be affected or firearms would lose their lethal capabilities, but the New Jersey law proved that the government would dictate gun sales. This was seen as a forerunner to gun control, if not an act of gun control in itself. To clarify, smart guns and the laws associated wouldn’t prevent anyone from stockpiling weapons and ammo. However, by making the sale of any other firearm illegal it was expected that only certain firearms would be made smart so that the guns that have been on the chopping block of legislation for years would no longer be legal. Obviously, the NRA led the charge against smart guns in 2000 and has continued to put up a fight for 2 decades.

Will We See Smart Guns Anytime Soon?

The Biden administration is returning to the proposal of smart guns, so the answer is entirely possible that they’ll be on the market sooner than later. As society becomes more aware of statistics that could be lowered or prevented by guns that would only fire in the hands of the owner, it’s not exactly farfetched. Crime rates with stolen handguns would go down and the rate of accidental suicides and murders, especially by children, would significantly decrease. That last one is especially proving to be a good source of debates. Of course, the idea that smart guns will infringe on the 2nd amendment or set a precedent that the government could leverage into larger gun control is a great concern for gun activists and organizations. The NRA will push hard against any form of firearm that the government would be able to dictate, so there’s definitely room for argument on both sides. Finding a middle ground is going to be difficult and will be the reason we may or may not see smart guns for a long time.

It’s worth noting that the smart guns that were manufactured for testing only worked 90 percent of the time, but the implications are vast. A disarmed officer or invaded home-owner couldn’t be shot with their own weapon, but it also means that weapons couldn’t be shared in times of crisis. Basically, smart guns are a hot topic on the floor right now and the lava is only going to rise while political debates heat up.

This article by Richard Douglas originally appeared here.

©Richard Douglas. All rights reserved.

It Takes a Village

Maybe you own a few firearms or maybe you’re content with one, but no matter how good you are with that red dot sight on your 5.56 rifle you’re only human. There’s a reason Wyatt Earp wasn’t alone at the OK Corral, so why not consider arming your neighbors?

The Best Defense…

If you’ve seen the news in the last decade, you’re aware that crime rates and neighborhood violence have escalated. The more tensions rise, the more irrational people become and you’ll want someone to have your back when it hits the fan. Rather than sit around and wait to be victimized, though, why not create an environment that will deter criminals? It’s not hard to purchase a few cheap firearms to put in the hands of trusted neighbors, whether you’re in a bad situation or want to live in a safer area. The reason to buy some “throw-away” guns is because, no matter how much you like your neighbor, you wouldn’t want to give away a firearm you’ve trained with. Having a few extra weapons to arm your neighbors with will increase your numbers and give a better chance of survival.

Early Warning System

The saying “It takes a village” doesn’t just apply to raising children, but protecting them. If your home gets broken into or comes under attack, you’ll want to know your neighbors will show up to help. People rely on police for protection but their job is to catch the criminal, not prevent the crime. That means it’s up to neighbors and friends to watch out for each other. By having several armed adults, you can know if something bad is coming your way. If the first home on your block is attacked, a gunshot from your neighbor will alert everyone and provide an early warning system that could save lives and prevent something terrible. Of course, it pays to be able to trust your neighbors’ abilities.

Quality Over Quantity

Would you rather have 10 guns with no skill or 5 guns in the hands of experienced shooters? If you have no other option, arming your neighbors in a time of crisis is important but it doesn’t mean you have to wait until then to build skill and familiarity. Taking your neighbors to the range or putting some time into teaching them on gun safety and basic shooting can mean the difference between help and friendly fire. Inexperienced hands can be just as dangerous when trying to protect you. A lot of crimes take place because criminals see a weak element among the flock of society, but safety is in numbers. Surrounding yourself with a few experienced neighbors that you trust behind you will prevent a lot of the potential crime that would come to your neighborhood.

It’s Your Right

The last reason to purchase additional firearms and arm your neighbors is patriotism. Not because having a gun is a nationalistic requirement, but because of the intent by a group of men in 1776. The revolution that was fought for your rights put the 2nd amendment there so that we could protect each other in the face of adversity and crime. While we do have first-responders to keep law and order, their numbers are limited and they can’t be everywhere. Arming your neighbors and yourself, even with something as simple as a revolver, can make for a safer environment. With widespread riots and crimes taking place, from kidnappings to assaults, it’s good to have the peace of mind that comes with a secure village.

This article by Richard Douglas originally appeared here.

©Richard Douglas. All rights reserved.

4 Reasons Gun Control Can’t Solve America’s Violence Problem

These 4 underlying sociological problems, not guns, are the key drivers of American violence.


The gun-control paradigm—the idea that the solution to American violence is more laws restricting guns—is unhelpful.

Gun control doesn’t work. Indeed, any statistical connection between gun policy and violence is tenuous. But even if gun control was effective, it would still be flawed.

Gun control burdens the free exercise of the constitutionally-protected Second Amendment right to bear arms, so it’s subject to compelling legal challenges and is flatly rejected by many Americans. In addition, the enforcement of stringent gun control invariably inflicts heavy burdens upon other civil liberties—especially in poorer communities and among marginalized populations.

Gun control’s coexistence with the values of a free society is, at best, an uneasy one. But it’s even less viable in the particular context of the United States. Consider the 400 million guns already in private circulation, plus the totally irreversible and ever-increasing ease of the self-manufacturing of firearms. No matter what laws are passed, widespread distribution and access to firearms are (and will remain) immutable facts of American life—especially for people who are willing to break laws.

In this context, it’s evident that gun control cannot solve the problem of violence in this country. The following four observations about American violence suggest some promising alternative paradigms.

If you visit the statistics page of the website for the anti-gun group Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, you’re immediately confronted with an enormous banner: “38,000 AMERICANS DIE FROM GUN VIOLENCE EVERY YEAR—AN AVERAGE OF 100 PER DAY.” However, that banner omits the fact that most of those deaths are suicides. A report in the Harvard Political Review noted that suicides accounted for nearly two-thirds of 2019’s gun deaths.

If we meet gun control groups like Giffords on their own terms and accept the inclusive statistic of “gun deaths” as our metric, it’s clear that gun violence ought to be addressed primarily through a mental health and suicide-prevention paradigm.

Can gun control be part of a suicide prevention strategy?

It’s hard to see how. Virtually any sort of firearm would suffice to take one’s own life, as well as other means. So, there’s no hypothetical in which popular gun control proposals like an “assault weapons ban” or magazine capacity restriction would make a difference concerning suicide.

Moreover, gun control measures such as red flag laws that seek to deprive people of their guns on an ostensible mental-health basis can actually deter struggling people from seeking the help they need. In this sense, a gun-control approach to suicide prevention is not merely useless—it’s actually counterproductive.

There is an enormous literature on suicide prevention and the best ways to help people who are struggling with mental health issues. Discussions of different medications, cognitive therapies, wellness practices, and other measures are far beyond the scope of this article. But this is where our resources and efforts should be focused.

Attempting to stop suicide by imposing gun control is like trying to stop drunk driving by banning cars: it’s a completely implausible “solution” that elides the actual problem at hand.

The boogeyman of the gun control lobby is the proverbial “mass shooter,” some deranged, antisocial individual who carries a “military-style” rifle into an ostensibly safe place, like a school or grocery store, and indiscriminately slaughters innocent people. He often has hateful or bigoted motivations for this act.

While such shootings do happen, they are incredibly rare and account for a vanishingly small proportion of the homicides that the U.S. experiences in a given year. Per 2019 FBI data, just 2.6% of homicides are carried out using a rifle. In fact, clubs and bare fists are used to kill more people annually than rifles. And of the mass shootings that we do see, many are gang-related; concerning, but not wholly aligned with the gun control narrative.

Now, consider these facts: almost two-thirds of child murder victims are killed by their own parents. Nearly half of all female murder victims are killed by their partners or ex-partners.

And while it’s common knowledge that most victims of homicide are killed by someone they know, a surprisingly large proportion—perhaps as low as 1 in 8, but possibly as high as 1 in 5—are killed by an actual family member. Conservatively, a given homicide victim is about five times more likely to have been killed by a family member than killed with any sort of rifle.

The gun-control movement’s resources and efforts are overwhelmingly guided and driven by the “mass shooter” scenario, hence their fixation on policies like assault weapons bans and magazine capacity restrictions. But, even if such policies could be meaningfully enforced and implemented (they can’t), it’s hard to imagine those sorts of policies having much bearing on partner and familial violence.

The mass shooter fixation, and the gun fixation more broadly, is utterly unable to curb violence of this kind. Instead, resources and efforts would be much better spent addressing partner and familial violence. Organizations that help women to escape dangerous relationships or address other aspects of domestic violence are poised to do much more good than organizations with broad and quixotic disarmament missions.

The failure of the United States’ 20th century experiment with alcohol prohibition has been well-documented. But one unintended consequence of Prohibition was a dramatic increase in violence. Without access to legal means of resolving conflicts, people involved in the illicit alcohol business—for which there was a massive consumer demand—handled their disputes and protected their interests with gunfire.

While romanticized depictions of bootleggers and mobsters have made for entertaining fictional fare, the true story hardly evokes nostalgia. The nation’s homicide rate increased over 40% during Prohibition. The violence was especially pronounced in large cities, which experienced a homicide rate increase of nearly 80%. Even as more resources were directed to law enforcement, the rate of serious crimes soared and prisons overflowed. Had Prohibition been allowed to continue, the already-disastrous situation would likely have deteriorated even further.

Fortunately, Americans realized that the costs of Prohibition were too high. Repealing Prohibition was the clear solution. With the ratification of the 21st Amendment, the nation’s homicide rate dropped precipitously, falling to well below pre-Prohibition levels within just a few years.

Unfortunately, we seem to have forgotten the lessons of Prohibition. The War on Drugs, ostensibly fought to make our communities safer, has in fact made them more violent.

Noah Smith (who’s certainly no champion of gun rights), writing for The Atlanticobserved:

Legal bans on drug sales lead to a vacuum in legal regulation; instead of going to court, drug suppliers settle their disputes by shooting each other. Meanwhile, interdiction efforts raise the price of drugs by curbing supply, making local drug supply monopolies (i.e., gang turf) a rich prize to be fought over. And stuffing our overcrowded prisons full of harmless, hapless drug addicts forces us to give accelerated parole to hardened killers.

In short: it’s Prohibition all over again. But the effects of Prohibition’s modern-day incarnation are even more insidious. After waging the Drug War for decades, we must also consider its secondary and tertiary consequences. As Thomas Eckert points out, the Drug War contributes to family disintegration, poverty, and gang recruitment.

These underlying sociological problems, not guns, are the key drivers of American violence.

Poverty and lack of opportunity are strongly associated with violence.

That’s fairly obvious if you simply look at the geographic and demographic distributions of violence in America, which I have previously explained. Academic research on the subject has come to the same conclusion. (See here and here). Despite being gun control advocates, these researchers understand that there are underlying sociological drivers of violence that transcend “guns” and warrant our attention.

To be sure, most people will readily accept that poverty and despair are associated with violence—that’s unsurprising. However, they may see the problem of poverty as impossibly vexing and intractable. Implementing stricter gun laws might seem more feasible by comparison, even if it doesn’t get to the root of the problem. Part of the appeal of gun control is the simplicity of its narrative.

But that’s a mistake. You may refer back to this breakdown to see why the “get rid of the guns, get rid of the gun violence” narrative is simplistic, not simple.

Moreover, there’s actually a lot that we can do to reduce poverty and create greater opportunity, and many of these measures have—or could plausibly attain—broad-based, bipartisan support. There are sound steps to be taken that are both feasible and meaningful. Michael Tanner of the libertarian Cato Institute presents a compelling array of such policy reforms in his book, The Inclusive Economy: How to Bring Wealth to America’s Poor.

But regardless of whether you favor Tanner’s approach or some other, the essential point to recognize is that violence is largely a symptom of underlying social conditions. Gun control not only fails to fix but actually aggravates those conditions. Any critic of the “War on Drugs” should be able to see how a “War on Guns” has similar effects on individuals, families, and communities.

When speaking of reducing violence by building prosperity, it’s encouraging to know that we’ve already done it, to a very large degree. That’s an inescapable conclusion of Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels of our Nature. Now it’s up to us to make sure that that progress continues, especially on the margins of society where it’s most needed.

Gun control can’t solve our problems. Especially with the widespread adoption of 3D printing and other means of self-manufacture, gun control will increasingly be relegated to irrelevance. Gun control policies will burden only the upstanding citizens who, in good faith, try to abide by them, and are nonetheless ensnared. If we want to get serious about addressing violence in America, there are many more promising areas to focus on.

COLUMN BY

Mark Houser

Mark Houser is an independent researcher who writes about the right to bear arms and firearm policy.

RELATED ARTICLE: Facebook Bans Your Gun Ads But Spends Millions On Zuckerberg Security

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Everytown For Gun Safety Claims to Speak For America, But We Can Fight Back

In the wake of two mass shootings within a week, leftist nonprofit Everytown For Gun Safety aims to spend at least $1 million in ads to “[pressure] Republican senators to support measures that would strengthen and expand background checks for gun buyers”. Their funds come mainly from Mike Bloomberg, longtime proponent of gun control and one of Everytown’s founders.

Everytown For Gun Control claims to be concerned with defeating gun violence, yet they consistently ignore evidence that shows when more citizens are armed, it’s less likely for gun violence to occur. Instead of recognizing that America needs to be informed, armed citizens who can protect themselves and their communities from mass shootings, Everytown chooses the leftist narrative: that restricting gun ownership and increasing gun-free zones is the way to remain safe. But a whopping 98% of mass shootings take place in gun-free zones like schools, where perpetrators know no one can shoot back.

Everytown isn’t the only company jumping on the gun control bandwagon. Major players such as Airbnb (1.33), Dick’s Sporting Goods (2.67), and Levi Strauss and Co. (1.00) have all signed a letter entitled “CEOs For Gun Safety” to pressure the Senate into action. The letter claims that these companies “stand with the American public on gun safety” — except that aside from leftist radicals, common-sense Americans are fighting for their 2nd Amendment rights.

Corporations that support causes like Everytown For Gun Safety and other gun control groups need to be reminded where the American public actually stands. Read the full list of signatories for “CEOs For Gun Safety” and let them know you won’t support them until they stop pandering to the leftist agenda. Then, withdraw your 2ndVote dollars from these companies and spend with their competitors. Stand up for what America’s founders envisioned and against those who would restrict our 2nd Amendment rights.

EDITORS NOTE: This 2ndVote column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Biden Administration Argues for Warrantless Home Entry and Gun Seizures Before the Supreme Court a Year After Breonna Taylor’s Death

A cursory overlook of the justice system’s operations reveals that the expansion of police powers almost always impacts marginalized communities more harshly – communities the Democrats claim to stand for.


In a case argued before the US Supreme Court on Wednesday, the Biden Administration, along with attorneys general from nine states, submitted arguments asking the justices to uphold warrantless home entry and gun confiscation by police.

The case stems from a domestic dispute between an elderly married couple, Edward and Kim Caniglia. After an intense argument between the two that led to Edward dramatically telling his wife to shoot him with one of his handguns, Kim left the home to spend the night in a hotel. The next day she was unable to reach her husband and became concerned.

She reached out to police for a wellness check and an escort back to the home. But upon their arrival, police manipulated Edward into a psychiatric evaluation even though officers admitted in their incident report that he “seemed normal” and “was calm for the most part.” The police officers then lied to Mrs. Caniglia and told her Mr. Caniglia agreed to confiscation of his weapons. Even though Edwards was promptly released from the hospital, he was only able to regain his property after filing a civil rights lawsuit.

Police in the case relied upon a narrow exception to the Fourth Amendment called “community caretaking.” This exception is a half-century old Supreme Court-created doctrine designed for cases involving impounded cars and highway safety. Essentially it was meant to give law enforcement a legal way to remove cars from the side of the interstate or clear wrecks.

While the First Circuit US Court of Appeals acknowledged the doctrine’s reach outside the context of motor vehicles is “ill-defined,” it upheld the arguments in this case and allowed the exception to extend to private homes. In its finding the Court states that this exception is “designed to give police elbow room to take appropriate action.”

But attorneys for Caniglia argue that extending the community caretaking exception to private homes would be an assault on the Fourth Amendment and would grant police a blank check to intrude upon the home.

An amicus brief filed by the ACLU, the Cato Institute, and the American Conservative Union agreed with the attorneys and pointed to jurisdictions that have extended such provisions leading to warrantless invasions of homes for things like loud music or leaky pipes.

One does not need to have a long memory to understand exactly how such permissions could go awry. For anyone who has paid attention to the news cycle over the past year, it is jarring to see a Democratic administration argue for warrantless home entry and gun seizures merely one year after Breonna Taylor’s death.

Taylor was killed in her home by police after a no-knock entry (tied to a falsified warrant) led to cops spraying her apartment (and surrounding ones) with bullets. Taylor’s boyfriend, believing the home was being broken into by criminals during the middle of the night, fired in defense and was originally charged in the case (all charges were later dropped and he is suing the department).

The case created a national firestorm that elevated conversations around Second Amendment rights and self-defense, no-knock warrants, Fourth Amendment protections, and the need for policing reform and accountability. If such atrocities occurred under our current laws, it is pretty scary to imagine what law enforcement might get away with should the Biden administration get its way in this case.

Such arguments before the Supreme Court show that for many progressives their admirable instinct to restrict police power quickly goes out the window when they see an opportunity to chip away at gun rights.

This is severely misguided. A cursory overlook of the justice system’s operations reveals that the expansion of police powers almost always impacts marginalized communities more harshly— communities the Democrats claim to stand for.

In a 2016 speech on the senate floor, Senator Tim Scott (R, SC) spoke about his own experience with racial bias in policing as a black man in this country. “In the course of one year, I’ve been stopped seven times by law enforcement,” Scott said. “Not four, not five, not six, but seven times in one year as an elected official.”

There is no reason to think that an extension of the community care exception would not have the same effect on communities of color.

To cite just one study out of hundreds, the US Sentencing Commission found that when it comes to federal gun crimes, black people are more likely to be arrested, more likely to get longer sentences for similar crimes, and more likely to get sentencing enhancements. If the Supreme Court upholds the administration’s argument, it is not difficult to predict which communities will be impacted the most by this new expansion.

Progressives are not the only ones experiencing a disconnect in principles at the moment either. Many Republicans were surprised in recent months to see police departments readily enforce unconstitutional lockdowns—carting business owners off to jail and fining law-abiding people who simply wanted to go to work. Likely, the majority on the right will be aghast at the arguments presented in this case and their clear violation of both our Second and Fourth Amendment rights. But it should not escape them who is arguing for these violations, nor who would ultimately enforce them.

In another amicus brief filed by the public interest litigation giant, the Institute for Justice, attorneys argued “The Fourth Amendment protects our right to be secure in our property, which means the right to be free from fear that the police will enter your house without warning or authorization. A rule that allows police to burst into your home without a warrant whenever they feel they are acting as ‘community caretakers’ is a threat to everyone’s security.”

The Breonna Taylor case should have been a turning point in our nation’s history and spurred legislation that would strengthen and uphold our essential individual rights and restrict police power. Many hoped it would be the final straw that brought an end to egregious practices like no-knock warrants. Instead, despite much public outcry and demand, we continue to see politicians on both sides of the aisle push for increased police power and an erosion of our right to be secure in our homes and our property.

Former Congressman Justin Amash (L-MI) said protection from warrantless searches is central to the Bill of Rights.

“The warrant requirement isn’t optional; it’s at the heart of the Fourth Amendment,” Amash told FEE. “Treating the Fourth Amendment as though it flatly permits searches and seizures that seem ‘reasonable’ in the eyes of government officials, regardless of whether a warrant has been obtained, drains it of its purpose: protecting the right of the people to be secure in their persons and property.”

Make no mistake, this is among the most appalling attacks on our fundamental rights and way of life currently occurring. It is an attack on property rights, on our right to self-defense, and on our right to privacy, and if it is allowed there will be gross violations of individuals as a repercussion.

It is vitally important to remember that police brutality is a direct consequence of a government that has grown too big and powerful. The more power we give to the government and its agents, the more prone it is to abuse. It’s time we address the root cause of the problem and put the government back in its place.

COLUMN BY

Hannah Cox

Hannah Cox is a libertarian-conservative writer, commentator, and activist. She’s a Newsmax Insider and a Contributor to The Washington Examiner.

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Netflix Declares War on Jesus [and Gun Owners]

Not content with glorifying pedophilia in Cuties, Netflix in season three of the animated Paradise P.D. features an episode that, according to NewsBusters, is not only devoted to “attacking gun rights,” but was also “blasphemous against Christianity, featuring a video of a gun-wielding Jesus that turns into a porno.” Great, Netflix! Edgy! Courageous! Cutting edge! Stunning and brave! Now, when is your cartoon show featuring, say, a machete-wielding Muhammad who takes up with a nine-year-old Aisha? If we had any actual journalists, they would be asking Netflix officials that question, and there is no doubt about what the answer would be: Netflix has far too much respect for Muslims and Islam to produce a show like that.

Ah yes, respect. As Bob Dylan’s character Jack Fate puts it in Dylan’s underappreciated movie Masked and Anonymous, “I got a lot of respect for a gun.” As everyone knows, the real reason why Netflix doesn’t hesitate to make fun of Jesus and Christians but wouldn’t dream of subjecting Muhammad and Muslims to the same treatment is because they know that Christians won’t kill them for doing so, not even those crazed “right-wing extremists” that we keep hearing about who are supposedly the greatest terror threat we face today. But with Muslims, it’s a different story: Netflix, if it ever dared to produce an animated show about Muhammad, knows that it’s entirely within the realm of possibility that a jihadi could emerge who would be intent upon separating the heads of Netflix executives from their bodies. That’s how “respect” is born these days.

But Netflix didn’t care to demonstrate any respect for Christians the fiendishly obscene episode of Paradise P.D. entitled “Trigger Warning.” In it, according to NewsBusters, a foe of disarming the populace offers to take proponents of that disarming on a tour of the National Rifle Association. “The tour includes a gun pit with a dead kid buried in it and the corpse of Charlton Heston used as a statue, complete with a quote – ‘Pry this gun from my cold, dead hands and win a Republican Senate seat.’ The head of the NRA, Mr. Chip F**k-Yeah, shows them a video using Jesus as a prop to show how “guns make a better world.” The video is horrifically offensive, with Jesus coming down from the Cross to kill his persecutors with machine guns then have sex with two women.”

Believe it or not, it just gets worse from there. But aside from this article and a few others, no one will take any particular note. The establishment media certainly won’t: today’s “journalists” generally hate Christianity as much as Netflix does. But a particularly piquant comparison comes from France. Shortly after a Muslim beheaded schoolteacher Samuel Paty on October 16, 2020 for showing a cartoon of Muhammad in his class, it came to light that French police called in Paty and interrogated him over allegations of “Islamophobia.” Paty told them, and he was right, that “I did not commit any offense.”

In today’s world, however, he did. It is a massive de facto offense against contemporary woke sensibilities to offend Islam and violate Sharia blasphemy laws. That is true in the United States no less than it is in France. When Pamela Geller and I held our Muhammad Art Exhibit and Cartoon Contest in 2015 in defense of the freedom of speech, and Islamic State jihadis attempted to kill us all, Geller was roundly condemned not just by leftists by even by prominent people who are often considered conservatives (including Bill O’Reilly, Laura Ingraham and Greta van Susteren) for daring to commit what they considered to be a gratuitous offense to Muslims. The idea that it is important to defend the freedom of speech against violent intimidation, and not validate that intimidation by giving in to it, did not impress them at all.

The freedom of speech is the foundation of any free society, and so Netflix is entirely free to depict Jesus in a lewd and ridiculous manner, and to mock gun owners as paranoid lunatics. The double standard, however, grows ever more glaring. If Netflix had been operating in France and made fun of Muhammad, police would have called in its executives for questioning. In the United States, if it had made fun of Muhammad, they might not have had to talk to the cops, but they would have been inundated with charges of “racism” and “Islamophobia.”

What is all this going to look like five or ten or twenty years down the road, as Americans, and Westerners in general, grow ever more accustomed to the idea that one must adhere to Sharia blasphemy restrictions on mockery, or even criticism, of Islam, but the West’s own culture and traditions, rife as they are with “white supremacism” and “hate,” are fair game. It seems to be a recipe for cultural and societal surrender.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

COLORADO MASSACRE: Syrian Immigrant Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa didn’t do it. The Ruger did it!

It looks like in less than his first one hundred days, Biden has an Islamic terrorist attack on his hands, but you will likely never hear those words uttered.

Just a nut with a gun, move along, nothing to see.

Of course, a week ago the nut with a gun was a white guy perpetrating a hate crime against Asians.

This week it’s a ‘new American,’ a Syrian Muslim, whose innocent victims are all white and you likely won’t see the phrase “hate crime” anywhere outside of conservative media.

Oh, don’t get me wrong, the Left will rage, but their fury will be directed at the weapon and not the man. (Biden will have his excuse.)

The Syrian immigrant is just a nut who had gone over the edge, driven there by Islamophobic America. And, they may go one step further and blame it on (understandable to them) pent-up Trump hatred.

Here is just one of many stories you will see today (this one at CBS) about the slaughter quoting Biden’s reaction:

At the White House, President Biden said another city has been “scarred by gun violence” and called on Congress to pass gun control measures. “I just can’t imagine what the families are feeling, the victims whose futures were stolen from them, from their families, their loved ones, who know have to struggle to go on and try to make sense of what’s happened.”

There was a delay by authorities in announcing the name of the suspect, so a bunch of Lefties went crazy on social media blaming whitey for the shooting.

See the Washington Examiner op-ed:

Ahmad al Aliwi Alissa isn’t a ‘white man,’ so can we make assumptions about what motivated him?

We know now that the man who shot up a grocery store Monday in Boulder, Colorado, is an immigrant from Syria named Ahmad al Aliwi Alissa. In the context of recent history, this means there’s reason to think he might be a Muslim terrorist. But saying that aloud will get you called a racist by the media.

For now, we’ll just have to pretend that this is another “lone wolf” who in no way fits into the totally not-real pattern (according to the media) of mass violence perpetrated by Muslim extremists in places as far-flung as Mumbai, Rouen, and Chattanooga and as close as Miami, San Bernardino and New York.

If Aliwi Alissa were white, we could at least assume, without any evidence, like the media are doing with the recent killing spree in Atlanta, that this was an act of white supremacism. Instead, it looks like we’re back to square one.

Gasp! Maybe he was a pro-Trump anti-masker! Opinion writer Eddie Scarry continues….

Of course, before the shooter was identified by police, liberals had been very eager to draw early conclusions about him. They were 100% certain he was white and perhaps even an anti-masker — i.e., a Trump supporter.

I’m serious. Liberal journalist Kurt Eichenwald *** mused on Twitter that the details might reveal that the shooting, which left 10 people dead, was an episode of “anti-masker violence.”

Meena Harris, the niece of Vice President Kamala Harris, tweeted immediately after the shooting that “violent white men are the greatest terrorist threat to our country.” She anticipated that Aliwi Alissa might be a real terrorist, but not the kind that Democrats would rather not acknowledge.

There is more.

But, speaking of nut jobs….

***Get a load of where this Leftie “journalist’s” head is!

At Breitbart:

Kurt Eichenwald’s COVID Freakout: ‘I Want to Find an Antimasker and Beat Them to Death’

(Islamic terrorists, not so much…..)

Eichenwald thinks the country is insane!

Is there a chance in hell that we will hear the truth if this later tweet speculation, that Biden provoked an Islamic terror attack, turns out to be on the mark?

There is so much news and commentary about this horrible event and I have a doctor appointment today with little time to look further.  So please send some links with updates via the comment section here at ‘Frauds and Crooks.’ 

I would love to know if anyone sees anything about how his Syrian family came to be living here.

And, of course, pray for the innocent victims’ families.

Endnote:  Do you think libertarian Alex Nowrasteh is still pimping for more Syrian refugees? See my post yesterday.

Trump was Right! Jihadists Attempting to Get Across our Southern Border

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EDITORS NOTE: This Frauds, Crooks and Criminals column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Guns Prevent Thousands of Crimes Every Day, Research Shows

How many lives are actually saved by gun ownership?


It never fails. A split-second after a mass shooting occurs, grandstanders and ideologues issue statements demanding new gun controls—even if the laws already on the books failed or the laws they want would have made no difference. Case in point: the tragic incidents in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, in early August 2019.

The message is clear: Guns cause violence. Tax them, take them, ban them, regulate them. Do something, maybe anything! Such knee-jerk, emotional responses are dangerous, writes Charles W. Cooke in National Review, “for when a nation sets up a direct pipeline between its emotions and its laws, it does not keep its liberty for long.”

Liberty isn’t the only thing likely to be lost when gun laws are passed to appease emotions over reason, evidence, logic, and rights. Lives will most assuredly be lost, too. Lots of them.

This raises a point amplified in another context almost two centuries ago by Frederic Bastiat in his famous essay with a title that sums it up, “That Which is Seen and That Which is Not Seen.”

How many lives are actually saved by gun ownership? This is a supremely important question that the grandstanders and ideologues usually—and conveniently—ignore. It’s a matter that came immediately to my mind when I learned of an incident here in my own town of Newnan, Georgia, a few days ago. The headline in the Newnan Times-Herald read, “Man Hospitalized After Being Shot Outside Bar.”

A little after 1:00 a.m. on Saturday morning, August 17, police arrived at Fat Boys Bar & Grill to respond to a shooting. A customer had threatened other patrons, prompting the establishment’s security to forcibly remove him. Enraged at being kicked out, he declared he was going to get a gun “and shoot the place up.”

This very angry (and possibly intoxicated) man then busted the window out of a friend’s car in the parking lot, grabbed a .40 caliber handgun from inside the car, and began firing in the air. In the meantime, Ben McCoy, a man who witnessed all of this from inside his own vehicle, happened to have his rifle with him. Before he could use it, he was shot four times by the man wielding the .40 caliber handgun, who then fled into the woods.

Fortunately, despite being hit in the chest, stomach, left arm and right thigh, McCoy is recuperating, and the assailant was quickly apprehended. No one was killed, but the situation would likely have been tragically different if Ben McCoy and his rifle hadn’t distracted the gunman.

Of course, in this particular incident it’s most unfortunate that an innocent man was shot. Don’t lose sight of the fact that his very presence, with a rifle, still prevented what could have been a bloodbath that might have even killed him too. What’s far more common is innocent gun owners using or brandishing a weapon and saving lives without any injuries at all except sometimes for the assailant. I chose this example because it was local and I wanted to express appreciation to Mr. McCoy.

I checked online and found some fascinating numbers. A good website with footnotes and references to authoritative sources is GunFacts.info. There I learned the following:

  • Guns prevent an estimated 2.5 million crimes a year, or 6,849 every day. Most often, the gun is never fired, and no blood (including the criminal’s) is shed.
  • Every year, 400,000 life-threatening violent crimes are prevented using firearms.
  • 60 percent of convicted felons admitted that they avoided committing crimes when they knew the victim was armed. Forty percent of convicted felons admitted that they avoided committing crimes when they thought the victim might be armed.
  • Felons report that they avoid entering houses where people are at home because they fear being shot.
  • Fewer than 1 percent of firearms are used in the commission of a crime.

If you doubt the objectivity of the site above, it’s worth pointing out that the Center for Disease Control, in a report ordered by President Obama in 2012 following the Sandy Hook Massacre, estimated that the number of crimes prevented by guns could be even higher—as many as 3 million annually, or some 8,200 every day.

Another excellent source of information on this topic (and many more current issues) is the Gun Control page at JustFacts.org. (Full disclosure: I serve on the board of directors of JustFacts because I believe in the organization’s objectiveness, accuracy, and integrity.)

In “Defensive Gun Use is More Than Shooting Bad Guys,” James Agresti, founder and president of JustFacts, provided overwhelming evidence from multiple sources showing that defensive gun use is more common and effective than anti-gun fanatics like The New York Times suggest or will admit. Agresti says that “people who use a gun for defense rarely harm (much less kill) criminals. This is because criminals often back off when they discover their targets are armed.”

John Lott, author of the book, “More Guns, Less Crime,” is president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, another outstanding source for info on this subject. He writes:

By 66 percent to 32 percent, economists and criminologists answer that gun-free zones are “more likely to attract criminals than they are to deter them.” A 60 percent to 40 percent margin thinks that guns in the home do not increase suicides. And a 62 percent to 35 percent spread says that guns are used in self-defense to stop crime more often than in the commission of crime.

This may explain why even The New York Times hasn’t yet put a billboard up by its offices that screams, “This is a Gun-Free Zone. There are No Guns Here.”

If we can just confiscate the estimated 350 million guns in the country, you might ask, then won’t we eliminate the offensive use of firearms, so we won’t need any of those many defensive uses? Good luck with that. Is there any reason to believe that such a war on guns would be any more successful than the government’s war on drugs? Even a fifth-grader could tell you that it would be largely the innocent who would be disarmed. Criminals would have no problem keeping their guns or getting replacements on a thriving black market.

So that leaves me with gratitude for the Ben McCoys of the world, the law-abiding gun owners who are every bit as important as the cops—and likely even more so—in the effort to keep the innocent safe and sound.

COLUMN BY

Lawrence W. Reed

Lawrence W. Reed is FEE’s President Emeritus, Humphreys Family Senior Fellow, and Ron Manners Global Ambassador for Liberty, having served for nearly 11 years as FEE’s president (2008-2019). He is author of the 2020 book, Was Jesus a Socialist? as well as Real Heroes: Incredible True Stories of Courage, Character, and Conviction and Excuse Me, Professor: Challenging the Myths of Progressivism. Follow on LinkedIn and Parler and Like his public figure page on Facebook. His website is www.lawrencewreed.com.

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

House Passes Democrat Bill Criminalizing Private Gun Sales

Like the Nazis, the Democrats wish to disarm the citizenry. Gun control has never been about guns. It’s about control.

“Every episode of genocide in the past century has been preceded by assiduous efforts to disarm the victims first. Turkish Armenia, The Holocaust, The USSR, Soviet Occupied Poland…”

“….totalitarian governments are the most likely to perpetrate mass murder. Part IV argues against the complacent belief that any nation, including the United States, is immune from the dangers of being taken over by a murderous government. The historical record shows that risks are very broad.

THE RECORD ALSO SHOWS THAT GOVERNMENTS INTENT ON MASS MURDER PRIORITIZE VICTIM DISARMAMENT. SUCH GOVERNMENTS CONSIDER VICTIM ARMAMENT TO BE A SERIOUS IMPEDIMENT TO MASS MURDER AND TO THE GOVERNMENT ITSELF, AS DESCRIBED IN PARTS V AND VI.

Finally, Part VII consider the efficacy of citizen arms against mass murdering governments. Citizen arms are most effective as deterrents. If a regime does initiate mass murder, rebellions seeking regime change usually fail. However, even without changing the regime, the historical record shows that armed resistance can accomplish a great deal, including the saving of many lives.” David B. Kopel, “Fewer Guns, More Genocide: Europe In The Twentieth Century”

House Passes Democrat Bill Criminalizing Private Gun Sales

The U.S. House of Representatives passed universal background check gun control Thursday, criminalizing private gun sales conducted apart from an FBI background check.

By: AWR Hawkins. Breitbart News, 11 Mar 2021:

The legislation, H.R. 8, sponsored by Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA), passed by a vote of 227 to 203.

H.R. 8 would expand retail point-of-sale background checks so as to cover private points-of-sale. This will criminalize an individual who sells a 5-shot revolver to a lifelong neighbor, unless that neighbor first undergoes a National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) check, conducted by the FBI.

On Wednesday, bill sponsor Thompson claimed, without evidence, his bill is supported by “90 percent of the American [people].”

H.R. 8 was passed by the House in early 2019 as well, but never taken up by the Republican-controlled Senate. Democrat gains in the current Senate suggest the legislation will be discussed this time around.

EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved. Quick note: Tech giants are snuffing us out. You know this. Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Adsense permenently banned us. Facebook, Twitter, Google search et al have shadowbanned, suspended and deleted us from your news feeds. They are disappearing us. But we are here. Help us fight. Subscribe to Geller Report newsletter here — it’s free and it’s critical NOW more than ever. Share our posts on social and with your email contacts.

‘From My Cold Dead Hands’

“This is happening while Biden and his henchmen are smearing their legitimate political opponents – supporters of President Trump – as ‘extremists’ and ‘terrorists,’” she emphasizes. “He is trying to use the fantasy of violent opposition to his regime in order to justify the trashing of the Second Amendment.”

‘From My Cold Dead Hands’: US Conservatives Raise Alarm Over Biden’s Call for Stricter Gun Laws

Gun control remains “a priority on a personal level” for President Joe Biden, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters earlier this week. The NRA and American conservatives are concerned about Biden’s push as Democrats are now in control of the White House and both chambers of the US Congress.

By Ekaterina Blinovag, Sputnik News, February 19, 2021:

On 14 February, Joe Biden called for strengthening gun laws on the third anniversary of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

“I am calling on Congress to enact common sense gun law reforms, including requiring background checks on all gun sales, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and eliminating immunity for gun manufacturers who knowingly put weapons of war on our streets”, he said in an official statement last Sunday.

The National Rifle Association (NRA), an influential US gun rights advocacy groupcriticised Joe Biden’s call for stricter gun laws on Twitter pledging to “never stop fighting for the Second Amendment”. Speaking to The Wall Street Journal an NRA representative expressed concern that Biden “may become the most anti-gun president in American history”.

Dems’ Gun Restrictions & Capitol Breach

A year ago, Biden vowed that on day one of his presidency he would send a bill envisaging toughened gun laws to Congress. However, the legislation has yet to find its way to the House floor making gun control activists nervous, Politico’s Playbook PM remarked on Tuesday.

​In the wake of the Capitol Hill siege carried out by “Trump supporters”, the Democratic Party has put forward the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act (DTPA) which specifically focuses on “white extremism”. On Monday, Eric Swalwell called for the creation of “a white nationalism task force” at the Department of Justice. For its part, the left-leaning press has stepped up attacks against Trump supporters calling them “insurrectionists” and “terrorists” following the DC incident.

“The establishment media will do all it can to whitewash and sell these measures, but after months of Antifa and Black Lives Matter rioting, the administration will be doing this against the will of the American people”, says Geller.

Trump impeachment lawyer Michael van der Veen blasted the MSM and Democrats’ stance in his closing statement as “hypocritical” recalling that they remained mute when Black Lives Matter and Antifa set towns on fire and vandalised federal property.

​The coronavirus pandemic and Black Lives Matter riots have affected the public’s perception of the gun ownership issue. A Gallup poll from November 2020 found that support for stricter gun laws had reached its lowest level since 2016. Fifty-seven percent of Americans called for stricter laws covering the sale of firearms in 2020, while following the 2018 school massacre in Parkland, Florida, 67 percent of American respondents advocated tougher gun controls.

Furthermore, as the pandemic started engulfing the US in March 2020, gun and ammo stores reported an unprecedented increase in sales. Among those hoarding arms were many first time buyers, according to weapons shop owners.

The Democrats have been seeking to tighten the screws on gun ownership at the federal level for quite a while. During the 2019 election cycle Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders urged the nation to follow New Zealand’s lead“take on the NRA and ban the sale and distribution of assault weapons in the United States”. His competitor, California Representative Eric Swalwell, suggested imprisoning those who would not agree to sell back their military-style weapons.

The irony of the situation is that California, which boasts the strictest gun control in the country, accounts for almost 17 percent of mass public shootings since 2000, while Texas saw only 6.6 percent of the total mass shootings in the same period of time, according to the Heritage Foundation.

A wall of Colt M4 Carbines in various configurations are displayed at the National Rifle Association (NRA) Annual Meetings and Exhibits on April 14, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri

Will the GOP Upset Biden’s Plan?

Given that the Democrats have a majority in both chambers of the US Congress their push for stricter gun laws will bring about tangible results unless the GOP withstands the initiative. Geller, however, doubts that Republican lawmakers are ready to fight tooth and nail for the Second Amendment.

“The GOP can and will do nothing”, she remarks. “It is spineless, weak, cowardly, and compromised. We need a new opposition party in this country”.

Meanwhile, some US states are considering measures to shield themselves from new federal laws cracking down on firearms. In early February, the lower chamber of the Missouri General Assembly passed House Bill 85 or the “Second Amendment Preservation Act” would allow state gun laws to supersede federal regulations.

​South Dakota’s House Bill 1194 would nullify presidential executive orders (EOs) determined unconstitutional by the state’s attorney general. According to US financial blog Zero Hedge, Wyoming, Arizona, Tennessee, Kansas, and Alaska already have “some version of federal gun law nullification on the books”.

For his part, Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte has recently signed into law HB 102 which allows people to carry concealed firearms without a permit in most locations. A permit will be mandatory for carrying arms in state and local government buildings such as the State Capitol Building.

“Every law-abiding Montanan should be able to defend themselves and their loved ones. That’s why today, I signed HB 102 into law”, tweeted Gianforte.

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Dick’s Sporting Goods’ New CEO Needs To Protect 2nd Amendment Rights

Dick’s Sporting Goods CEO Edward Stack is stepping down from his 37-year stint as CEO of the family-run company this February. He’s being replaced by Lauren Hobart, formerly President of the company, but now promoted to President and CEO.

Some have noted that Hobart is the first person outside of the Stack family to hold the position of CEO. This may place her in a unique position to undo some of the anti-American policies which Stack implemented. With a rating of 2.67 in our 2ndVote scoring system, Dick’s Sporting Goods doesn’t quite measure up to 2ndVote neutrality standards, mainly due to the company’s restrictive gun control policies. After a Florida high school shooting, Stack decided to curb gun sales throughout his chain. He banned assault weapons, removed hunting merchandise, and raised the minimum gun purchase age to 21, ignoring the evidence that gun control doesn’t stop criminals. As a result, Dick’s Sporting Goods faced backlash and a substantial drop in sales.

Stack may not be the CEO of Dick’s Sporting Goods anymore, but he will remain with the company as Executive Chairman and Chief Merchant. He hopes to be a trusted advisor to Hobart and presumably to influence her policy-making decisions. But 2ndVote Americans need to remind Hobart of her duty to consumers. Dick’s Sporting Goods exists to serve the needs of their customers, and a large portion of their customer base consists of 2nd Amendment supporting citizens.

Let your voice be heard. Tell Lauren Hobart that she has the chance to make things right by correcting these restrictive policies. Let her know that you will fully support Dick’s if they decide to go in a new direction and allow citizens to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights instead of caving in to Stack’s pressure for gun control. Make your 2ndVote count by reminding Dick’s Sporting Goods of their duty to American citizens.

EDITORS NOTE: This 2ndVote column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

VIDEO: The Myth That the U.S. Leads the World in Mass Shootings

To understand the misleading narrative, we must look to the era of narrative-driven journalism and the politicization of society, both of which subjugate truth to ideology and politics.


If you asked me this morning which nation has the most mass shootings in the world, I would have said, with perhaps a flicker of hesitation, the United States.

This is a tad embarrassing to admit because I’m pretty familiar with shooting statistics, having written several articles on gun violence and the Second Amendment. Below is a basic overview of gun violence in America. While gun homicides have been steadily declining for decades in the US, mass shootings have indeed been trending upward.

This fact alone probably would not have led me to believe that the US leads the world in mass shootings, however. An assist goes to the US media and politicians.

“Let’s be clear,” President Obama said in 2015 after a shooting in North Carolina. “At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries.”

Sen. Harry Reid echoed this sentiment. “The United States is the only advanced country where this kind of mass violence occurs.”

Media headlines have left little doubt that the US leads the world in mass shootings. In fact, according to CNN, it isn’t even close.

The comments and data seem to conclusively say that the US leads the world in mass shootings and the violence is unique, a product of “America’s gun culture.”

It’s a slam dunk case except for one thing: it’s not true.

The Root of the Myth

Statistics on global mass shooting incidents from 2009 to 2015 compiled by economist John Lott of the Crime Prevention Research Center show that the US trails many other advanced nations in mass shooting frequency and death rate.

As Investor’s Business Daily noted on these findings, “Yes, the U.S. rate is still high, and nothing to be proud of. But it’s not the highest in the developed world. Not by a long shot.”

If this is true, how did the narrative that the US leads the world in mass shootings become the conventional wisdom? The myth, it turns out, stems from University of Alabama associate professor Adam Lankford.

Lankford’s name pops up in a montage of media reports which cite his research as evidence that America leads the world in mass shootings. The violence, Lankford said, stems from the high rate of gun ownership in America.

“The difference between us and other countries, [which] explains why we have more of these attackers, was the firearm ownership rate,” Lankford said. “In other words: firearms per capita. We have almost double the firearm ownership rate of any other country.”

Lankford’s findings show that there were 90 mass public shooters in America since 1966, the most in the world, which had a total of 202. But Lott, using Lankford’s definition of a mass shooting—“four or more people killed”—found more than 3,000 such shootings, John Stossel recently reported.

When findings do not mesh, scholars, in pursuit of truth, generally compare notes, data, and methodology to find out how they reached their conclusions. After all, who is to say Lankford doesn’t have it right and Lott is wrong? There’s just one problem: Lankford isn’t talking.

Lankford refuses to explain his data to anyone—to Stossel, to Lott, to the Washington Post, and apparently anyone else who comes asking, including this writer. (I emailed Lankford inquiring about his research. He declined to discuss his methodology, but said he would be publishing more information about mass shooting data in the future.)

“That’s academic malpractice,” Lott tells Stossel.

[Editor’s Note: Lankford has since published his research. It can be found here.]

Indeed it is. Yet, it doesn’t explain how one professor’s research was so rapidly disseminated that its erroneous claim quickly became the conventional wisdom in a country with 330 million people.

Truth versus Narrative

For that, we must look to the era of narrative-driven journalism and the politicization of society, both of which subjugate truth to ideology and politics. Media and politicians latched onto Lankford’s findings in droves because his findings were convenient, not because they were true.

This is an unsettling and ill omen for liberty. As Lawrence Reed has observed, the road to authoritarianism is paved with a “careless, cavalier, and subjective attitude toward truth.” Yet that is precisely what we see with increasing frequency in mass media. (Need I reference the Covington debacle and the Smollet hoax?)

More than a hundred years ago Mark Twain noted, “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”

Twain’s quote remains true even in the age of the internet. Lankford’s erroneous research had free rein for two years and was disseminated to tens of millions of viewers and readers before the truth finally got its shoes on.

If you ask most Americans today which country leads the world in mass shootings, I suspect a vast majority would say the US. And there’s always a price for the erosion of truth.

COLUMN BY

Jon Miltimore

Jonathan Miltimore is the Managing Editor of FEE.org. His writing/reporting has been the subject of articles in TIME magazine, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, Forbes, Fox News, and the Star Tribune. Bylines: Newsweek, The Washington Times, MSN.com, The Washington Examiner, The Daily Caller, The Federalist, the Epoch Times.

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.