Leatherneck Blogger

Students for Life Launch ‘Sock It to Planned Parenthood’ Campaign

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By Lauretta Brown
Townhall
September 19, 2017

Washington, D.C. – Students for Life of America launched its “Sock it to Planned Parenthood” campaign at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Tuesday. The organization announced its plan to show the nation’s capitol and states across the country the 328,348 baby socks they’ve collected – one for every unborn baby that died last year in abortions at Planned Parenthood.

Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, emphasized that the pro-life movement is tired of waiting to defund the nation’s largest abortion provider and that it’s time for a visual reminder.

She cited the Center for Medical Progress undercover videos showingthe abortion giant “illegally selling the body parts of children they were aborting, not only that, they were also altering, dangerously altering the procedures to obtain more viable tissue to sell for profit.”

In the public outcry that followed, she said, “the House of Representatives voted to defund Planned Parenthood but that was it. We were told we had to wait, that we had to wait until after the election until we could elect a pro-life Senate and a pro-life president.”

“We worked in the election, we prayed, we voted, we have a pro-life congress, we have a pro-life president but thanks to the constant gridlock that we currently face in Washington, the debate over the repeal and replace of Obamacare, nothing has been done,” she said. “It’s been almost a year since the election.”

She said the group decided to ask pro-life activists from across the country to send in baby socks.

“In April we took half of those socks to Capitol Hill, we displayed them and we demanded that Congress uphold their promises to defund Planned Parenthood but nothing happened,” she said.

“Today we are launching our national Sock it to PP tour,” she concluded. “We’re going to start today in Washington and we’re going to be heading out to states across the country. States where there’s very important senators who have constituents, who have voters who voted to defund Planned Parenthood.”

Hawkins said they would be visiting Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and others.

The group will then return to D.C. and send the socks to 90 college campuses to “show this generation that not only is abortion violent, not only does it kill a pre-born baby girl or baby boy, it harms a woman, it harms families.”

Hawkins mentioned the current Graham-Cassidy healthcare bill being discussed in the Senate, saying it “will defund Planned Parenthood but the pressure’s on, there’s only days remaining for the Senate to take action before we lose this chance, before Congress loses their chance to uphold their promises to defund Planned Parenthood.”

She emphasized the need to “show America the enormity of Planned Parenthood’s abortion business.”

Hawkins later told Townhall that all Congress has to do “is defund Planned Parenthood and if this was any other issue, if this was about high oil prices and there was an issue with the oil industry, they would’ve found a procedural way to fix it and they wouldn’t have said ‘oh well wait till 2018 or till we have 60 votes,’ if they really cared about this issue.”

She explained that when Students for Life brought half the socks they had gathered to the Capitol in April many passersby asked about the display.

She said that when she told people, regardless of their beliefs, what the socks represent, “they stopped, like it’s a sobering thought when you think of it.”

Hawkins said at that point they realized they needed “to take this visual on the road.”

Samuel Matthews, a freshman at Catholic University of America who helped to transport the socks along with other college students, explained his reasons for working with Students for Life to defund Planned Parenthood.

“The reason isn’t that I want to take away women’s healthcare,” he said. “It isn’t that I want to impose my religious beliefs on people. I oppose Planned Parenthood because it is the largest provider of abortions in the United States and abortion isn’t healthcare, it is the intentional taking of an innocent human life in the womb where it is most vulnerable.”

Students for Life exceeded a weight limit for the socks in the truck so on Tuesday they donated a basket of the socks to the Northwest Pregnancy Center in D.C. which provides comprehensive care for pregnant women and their babies.

Former FiveThirtyEight Writer: After I Got The Data, Support For The Gun Control Policies I Liked ‘Crumbled’

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By Matt Vespa
Townhall
October 4, 2017

I’m sure FiveThirtyEight isn’t held in the highest regard among conservative circles. They said Obama would be re-elected in 2012. That happened. The site’s creator, Nate Silver, also took some flak from the Left when he said the Republicans would have a good 2014 midterm year, specifically the GOP takeover of the Senate. So, in a way, the data-crunching site can entertain and annoy those on either side of the aisle. For the die-hard Trump supporters, yes, FiveThirtyEight was totally wrong in their 2016 projections; Trump won. Yet, on gun violence, the site and its writers have been nuanced. They haven’t taken the ban all guns, more background checks, and prohibit so-called assault weapons route that other celebrities, pundits, politicians, and nutjobs have taken recently after the tragic Las Vegas shooting.

Fifty-nine people were killed, with another 527 wounded when Stephen Paddock decided to open fire on the 22,000 attendees, who were enjoying the last night of Route 91 Harvest country music festival. It’s the worst mass shooting in American history. Yet, the site noted that mass shootings are rare, they don’t constitute the majority of gun crimes or deaths, and viewing policies to reduce gun crimes solely through mass shootings is a way to conjure up some really bad policy on the subject. Specifically, more background checks as a policy initiative probably won’t stop future mass shootings. Over at The Washington Post, a former FiveThirtyEight writer, Leah Libresco, said she supported pretty much what the anti-gun Left wants on gun policy. But when she analyzed the data, support for those positions “crumbled.”

In all, she found out that there’s no such thing as an assault weapon, and that most gun deaths are the result of suicides. Still, she says she doesn’t want to own a gun and is probably viewed as anti-gun for those of us who support the Second Amendment.  Yet, she also said that reducing gun violence is going to be a long, tedious work of personalized and highly targeted interventions that involves, for example, disarming at-risk youths in gangs individually, not some blanket ban—which is what Democrats want to do with some long guns. Disarming gang members, saving lives, and keeping kids away from a life of criminality through an algorithm that can determine and find these kids—who isn’t for that. The Left probably won’t like that. It’s too small-scale. It doesn’t attack the concept and principle of gun ownership, or look for inroads to chip away at this constitutional right at the legal or legislative level. In short, it’s a policy that could work, which would shield any future attempt at banning guns in America and give conservatives a victory. On principle, the Left can’t support this method. Libresco said New Orleans is trying it out in combating gang violence.

Last, she also found that Australian and United Kingdom gun laws, which the anti-gun Left salivates over, were ineffectual. Mass shootings over there were still rare, and gun violence did not decrease as a result of the gun ban and buyback legislation that was passed.

…[M]y colleagues and I at FiveThirtyEight spent three months analyzing all 33,000 lives ended by guns each year in the United States, and I wound up frustrated in a whole new way. We looked at what interventions might have saved those people, and the case for the policies I’d lobbied for crumbled when I examined the evidence. The best ideas left standing were narrowly tailored interventions to protect subtypes of potential victims, not broad attempts to limit the lethality of guns.

I researched the strictly tightened gun laws in Britain and Australia and concluded that they didn’t prove much about what America’s policy should be. Neither nation experienced drops in mass shootings or other gun related-crime that could be attributed to their buybacks and bans. Mass shootings were too rare in Australia for their absence after the buyback program to be clear evidence of progress. And in both Australia and Britain, the gun restrictions had an ambiguous effect on other gun-related crimes or deaths.

When I looked at the other oft-praised policies, I found out that no gun owner walks into the store to buy an “assault weapon.” It’s an invented classification that includes any semi-automatic that has two or more features, such as a bayonet mount, a rocket-propelled grenade-launcher mount, a folding stock or a pistol grip. But guns are modular, and any hobbyist can easily add these features at home, just as if they were snapping together Legos.

As for silencers — they deserve that name only in movies, where they reduce gunfire to a soft puick puick. In real life, silencers limit hearing damage for shooters but don’t make gunfire dangerously quiet. An AR-15 with a silencer is about as loud as a jackhammer. Magazine limits were a little more promising, but a practiced shooter could still change magazines so fast as to make the limit meaningless.

[…]

I found the most hope in more narrowly tailored interventions. Potential suicide victims, women menaced by their abusive partners and kids swept up in street vendettas are all in danger from guns, but they each require different protections.

Older men, who make up the largest share of gun suicides, need better access to people who could care for them and get them help. Women endangered by specific men need to be prioritized by police, who can enforce restraining orders prohibiting these men from buying and owning guns. Younger men at risk of violence need to be identified before they take a life or lose theirs and to be connected to mentors who can help them de-escalate conflicts.

When you get the data, you see the liberal gun agenda for what it is: a massive soup of bad social policy that only chips away at our rights. I would have more respect for them if they just came out in unison and said that they want to ban guns, but they won’t. they’re too cowardly and deep down they know this battle has been won by us.

This Republican is Opposing the Senate Bill to Defund Planned Parenthood

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By Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com
September 19, 2017

A few Republicans may once again sabotage the Senate bill to defund the Planned Parenthood abortion business.

As LifeNews reported, members of the US Senate introduced new legislation that would repeal Obamacare and it also defunds the Planned Parenthood abortion business.  The new Graham-Cassidy Healthcare bill has been introduced by pro-life Senators Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy along with other pro-life members of the Senate. Pro-life former presidential candidate Rick Santorum also participated in the process of crafting the legislation.

The legislation defunds the Planned Parenthood abortion business and also rolls back taxpayer funding of abortion under Obamacare and contains other pro-life revisions that pro-life voters will find especially helpful.

But Senator Rand Paul is a no vote and Senator John McCain, who voted against the last bill to defund Planned Parenthood, is uncommitted. Two pro-abortion Republicans may hold out as well. McCain voted against the previous version of the reconciliation bill to defund Planned Parenthood and he may do so again — saying he has yet to formulate a position on the bill.

Sen. John McCain, a Republican who may hold a pivotal vote in the last-ditch GOP effort to repeal Obamacare, is withholding his support as leaders stare down a final deadline to act by the end of the month.

“I am not supportive of the bill yet,” the Arizona senator told reporters Monday, adding that he wants a more thorough legislative process.

On the conservative side, Sen. Rand Paul insisted Monday he is opposing the bill because it keeps too much of Obamacare.

“It’s another incarnation of replace. I won’t support it,” Paul of Kentucky told reporters, adding that it isn’t a “kidney stone” you pass to “just get rid of it.”

Because the Graham-Cassidy plan has no Democratic support, Republicans have only until Sept. 30 to push it through the Senate before rules expire that allow it to be passed with 50 senators plus Vice President Mike Pence’s tiebreaking vote. Republicans control the Senate 52-48.

Graham said last week that McConnell said he was “all in” to help the two bill sponsors round up the 50 votes to pass the bill. Graham said they could have as many as 48 votes if the vote were held now. But a number of Republican senators have yet to get on board, including the three who defeated McConnell’s plan — Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and McCain.

Leading pro-life groups back the bill. Family Research Council (FRC) and Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) have announced their shared support.

“The Graham-Cassidy legislation would reapply to federal health care law the principle contained in the Hyde Amendment that abortion is not health care and should not be subsidized. It redirects taxpayer funding away from abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood and provides better state-based health insurance solutions for families than Obamacare,” they told LifeNews.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins and SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser released the following joint statement in support of the Graham-Cassidy legislation:

“We applaud Senators Graham and Cassidy for their leadership and strongly endorse the bill they have crafted. This legislation offers Republicans the best chance to fulfill their promises to repeal and replace Obamacare, stop taxpayer funding of abortion, and redirect tax dollars away from the nation’s largest abortion business, Planned Parenthood, to comprehensive health care alternatives.

“It is now well past time for Republicans in Congress to deliver on those promises. The Graham-Cassidy bill offers them the best chance to do that, with only 51 votes needed in the Senate to pass it before the September 30 deadline. The prior Congress passed legislation to repeal Obamacare and fund alternatives instead of Planned Parenthood that would have become law had it not been vetoed by President Obama, and now they have a commitment from President Trump to sign it. The pro-life majority controls both chambers of Congress and the White House. The GOP is without excuse. We urge them to keep their promise and repeal Obamacare and end the forced partnership between taxpayers and Planned Parenthood. Failure to keep their promise to voters will bring into question whether this Congress can truly be called the ‘pro-life Congress.’ Rhetoric must be translated into verifiable action.

“Should robust efforts to enact the Graham-Cassidy legislation though the FY2017 Reconciliation bill run out of time, then the fight to redirect funds from Planned Parenthood must move immediately to the FY2018 Tax Reconciliation bill. Planned Parenthood proudly self-reports taking the innocent lives of 328,348 unborn children last year and nearly one million over the past three years. That is 900 lives snuffed out before their first breath every single day by a single taxpayer-funded abortion chain. This tragedy is compounded every day that passes with inaction. The time for results is now. Lives depend on Congress’ leadership and action to enact the Graham-Cassidy bill.”

Unlike the continuing resolution in the debate over the budget, which require an unobtainable 60 votes to defund Planned Parenthood, the new health care legislation is a Reconciliation bill that requires only 50 votes to pass through the Senate and to get the President Donald Trump’s desk.

However the last attempt to pass a Reconciliation Bill did not obtain enough votes as three pro-abortion Republicans opposed the measure. They included former presidential candidate John McCain who typically votes pro life, as well as pro-abortion Republicans Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine. If pro-life Advocates want the nation’s biggest abortion business to be defunded, they will need to begin calling those three Senators office offices in droves.

Earlier this year, the abortion chain Planned Parenthood finally released its annual report.

The report shows increases in abortion numbers and taxpayer funding in 2015, alongside decreases in contraception, breast exams and overall patient numbers.

Planned Parenthood continued to maintain its status as the largest abortion provider in the United States. The abortion group performed 328,348 abortions on unborn babies, 4,349 more than the previous year, according to the report.

At the same time, it saw 2.4 million patients, about 100,000 fewer than the previous year and about 500,000 fewer than five years ago. Contraception services, which the abortion chain touts as its primary service, also dropped from 2.94 million to 2.8 million during the past two years.

Meanwhile, the abortion chain received more taxpayer funding. The report shows Planned Parenthood receiving $554.6 million, up from $553.7 million the previous year. This increase occurred while pro-abortion President Barack Obama was in power.

This pattern is consistent with its annual reports from the past several years. Abortions and taxpayer funding keep going up, while patient numbers and other services go down.

A recent congressional investigation into the abortion business involving its sales of aborted baby parts concluded with lawmakers recommended that Congress defund it. Planned Parenthood also has been caught in numerous scandals involving Medicaid fraud and failures to report suspected sex trafficking and sexual abuse of minors.

Earlier this year, Planned Parenthood leaders refused an offer to receive an increase in taxpayer funding if they stopped doing abortions. CEO Cecile Richards called the offer “obscene and insulting,” making it very clear that abortions – not women’s health care – are what really are important to Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood claims it is an essential provider of women’s health care, but its own annual reports show it continues to center its practices around aborting unborn babies.

President Donald Trump promised to sign a bill that would defund the Planned Parenthood abortion business.

Recent polls also indicate Americans support the defunding efforts. New polling found 56 percent of Americans in battleground states want Planned Parenthood defunded.

The abortion company has also been exposed for selling the body parts of aborted children. The expose’ videos catching Planned Parenthood officials selling the body parts of aborted babies have shocked the nation. Here is a list of all 14:

  • In the first video: Dr. Deborah Nucatola of Planned Parenthood commented on baby-crushing: “We’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part, I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact.”
  • In the second video: Planned Parenthood’s Dr. Mary Gatter joked, “I want a Lamborghini” as she negotiated the best price for baby parts.
  • In the third video: Holly O’Donnell, a former Stem Express employee who worked inside a Planned Parenthood clinic, detailed first-hand the unspeakable atrocities and how she fainted in horror over handling baby legs.
  • In the fourth video: Planned Parenthood’s Dr. Savita Ginde stated, “We don’t want to do just a flat-fee (per baby) of like, $200. A per-item thing works a little better, just because we can see how much we can get out of it.” She also laughed while looking at a plate of fetal kidneys that were “good to go.”
  • In the fifth video: Melissa Farrell of Planned Parenthood-Gulf Coast in Houston boasted of Planned Parenthood’s skill in obtaining “intact fetal cadavers” and how her “research” department “contributes so much to the bottom line of our organization here, you know we’re one of the largest affiliates, our Research Department is the largest in the United States.”
  • In the sixth videoHolly O’Donnell described technicians taking fetal parts without patient consent: “There were times when they would just take what they wanted. And these mothers don’t know. And there’s no way they would know.”
  • In the seventh and perhaps most disturbing video: Holly O’Donnell described the harvesting, or “procurement,” of organs from a nearly intact late-term fetus aborted at Planned Parenthood Mar Monte’s Alameda clinic in San Jose, CA. “‘You want to see something kind of cool,’” O’Donnell says her supervisor asked her. “And she just taps the heart, and it starts beating. And I’m sitting here and I’m looking at this fetus, and its heart is beating, and I don’t know what to think.”
  • In the eighth video: StemExpress CEO Cate Dyer admits Planned Parenthood sells “a lot of” fully intact aborted babies.
  • The ninth video: catches a Planned Parenthood medical director discussing how the abortion company sells fully intact aborted babies — including one who “just fell out” of the womb.
  • The 10th video: catches the nation’s biggest abortion business selling specific body parts — including the heart, eyes and “gonads” of unborn babies. The video also shows the shocking ways in which Planned Parenthood officials admit that they are breaking federal law by selling aborted baby body parts for profit.
  • Unreleased Videos: Unreleased videos from CMP show Deb Vanderhei of Planned Parenthood caught on tape talking about how Planned Parenthood abortion business affiliates may “want to increase revenue [from selling baby parts] but we can’t stop them…” Another video has a woman talking about the “financial incentives” of selling aborted baby body parts.
  • The 11th video: catches a Texas Planned Parenthood abortionist planning to sell the intact heads of aborted babies for research. Amna Dermish is caught on tape describing an illegal partial-birth abortion procedure to terminate living, late-term unborn babies which she hopes will yield intact fetal heads for brain harvesting.
  • The 12th video in the series shows new footage of Jennefer Russo, medical director at Planned Parenthood in Orange County, California, describing to undercover investigators how her abortion business tries to harvest intact aborted babies’ bodies for a local for-profit biotech company and changes the abortion procedure to do so.
  • The 13th video: exposes a Planned Parenthood medical director admitting that babies born alive after abortion are sometimes killed.
  • The 14th video: catches Planned Parenthood executives discussing gruesome abortion procedures and the sale of body parts from aborted babies for profit.

ACTION: Contact U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Contact Senator Susan Collins as well as Sen. John McCain and Sen. Rand Paul.

House Republicans, Pro-Life Leaders Celebrate Passage of the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act

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By Lauretta Brown
Townhall
October 4, 2017

Washington, D.C. – House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) hosted a reception in his office Tuesday evening with various pro-life leaders and GOP lawmakers to celebrate the passage of the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which passed the House along party lines, in a 237-189 vote.

The bill would ban abortion at 20 weeks, the point at which science increasingly shows that unborn children feel pain.

Leader McCarthy thanked all of those gathered for their support of and advocacy for the legislation. He also thanked his colleagues, noting that it was wonderful to see so many of them lining up to testify about the importance of the legislation on the House floor.

He particularly thanked Rep. Karen Handel (R-GA) who had given a personal, moving testimony just before the vote about the birth of her sister.

“It is extraordinarily heartbreaking when an unborn baby is diagnosed with a severe and life threatening abnormality; still, that baby deserves a right to life and right to dignity,” she said. “My sister was born with no esophagus and given little hope to live and by the grace of God and a miracle within just weeks of her birth a new technology, a new treatment came forward and today she is a proud mother of my two nieces.”

Opponents of the bill argue that late-term 20 week abortions should be permitted in case of severe fetal abnormalities which are sometimes caught late in the pregnancy.

McCarthy led a round of applause for the bill’s sponsor Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) who was present with other strong advocates of the bill, including Reps Diane Black (R-TN), Chris Smith (R-N.J.), and Vicky Hartzler (R-MO).

He also mentioned Micah Pickering, a five-year-old boy born prematurely at 20 weeks, who had been at his side when he initially announced the legislation last week. He said Micah had “put a face” to the legislation and displayed a blue bracelet that Micah had given him which read ‘Miracles for Micah.’

In his speech on the floor just prior to the vote, McCarthy emphasized that “we should care for the marginalized—for those who have their very humanity denied even as their noses, eyes, ears, heartbeats, and every movement are visible testaments of their life.

“Micah is a beautiful kid,” he said, “and there are millions of Micahs who will never smile. Micahs who will never walk. Micahs who will never scrape their knees and get into trouble. Micahs who will never learn to read. Micahs who will never fall in love and have children of their own. Micahs who will never have the chance to tell their mother and father, ‘I love you.’”

“We will never know these Micahs,” he said. “Our lives are poorer because their lives were cut short. But there are more. Instead of pain—instead of pain—we should fill them with love.”

At the reception, one attendee emphasized that they can really celebrate when Micah is in the Rose Garden, as Trump signs the bill into law.

President Trump promised to sign the bill on the campaign trail and the White House released a statement Monday formally backing it. However, the bill will first have to be taken up and passed by the Senate. The bill will face some tough odds in the Senate as it needs 60 votes for passage and Republicans hold only 52 seats.

McCarthy said he was hopeful that the bill would pass the Senate, thanking his friend Sen. James Lankford (R-OK), who was also present, for his continued support of the measure.

Those gathered also included Marjorie Dannenfelser, President of the Susan B. Anthony List, Jeanne Mancini, CEO of the March for Life, Penny Nance, President of Concerned Women for America, and Carol Tobias, President of the National Right to Life Committee.

“Today’s vote to pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act was a win for basic human decency,” Marjorie Dannenfelser said in a statement.“Thanks to Leader McCarthy and Rep. Trent Franks, we are one crucial step closer to protecting thousands of unborn children nationwide from painful late-term abortions. It was also especially fitting that strong pro-life women like Rep. Karen Handel and Rep. Liz Cheney were at the forefront to introduce the bill and lead debate. Polls consistently show that large, diverse majorities of Americans support this legislation – women in higher numbers than men.”

“The United States is one of only seven nations in the world that allow children in the womb to be killed for any reason up until the moment of birth, putting us in the company of China and North Korea,” she pointed out. “Our nation does not belong in that disgraceful club. Momentum has long been building for national legislation to protect babies at five months. Twenty states have passed their own Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Acts.”

“The March for Life stands with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and everyone who voted to pass Micah’s Law (the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act),” Jeanne Mancini said. “This common sense policy that would limit abortion to five months reflects the consensus shared by eight out of ten Americans – abortion should have real legal limits. This bill will not only save between 11,000-18,000 lives a year, but will serve to educate the public on the humanity of the unborn person and affirm the science of fetal pain early in development.

“We now ask the Senate to also vote on this legislation so that President Trump can fulfill his promise of signing this bill into law,” she added.

“Abortion is the human rights issue of our time,” Penny Nance said in a statement. “Regardless of where one comes down on the issue of life, it is undeniable that an unborn child can feel pain at 20 weeks’ gestation. Not only does this legislation protect unborn children, but it also protects women who face substantially higher risk of complications from a late-term abortion.”

FiveThirtyEight Just Threw Cold Water On the Anti-Gun Left’s New Gun Control Push

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By Matt Vespa
Townhall
October 3, 2017

Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight site is an equal opportunity offender. The GOP slammed it during 2012 and 2016 for its election projections. Democrats lobbed some swipes at Silver for saying Republicans would have a good 2014 midterm year. He was right in 2012 and 2014, but wrong in 2016. It happens. We’re all human. Yet, there is one piece on the site that analyzed and cut through the bull with gun violence that is definitely worth a read. Unlike anti-gun liberals who think we need more gun control, more background checks, and heck—even the prohibition of gun ownership in America—the data crunching site had a verdict on the matter: to see gun violence through only mass shootings is to close the eye of reason. For starters, FiveThirtyEight, unlike other outlets, notes: a) mass shootings are rare; b) the people who commit them are “different”; c) they don’t make up the majority of gun crimes; and d) there are other factors regarding gun crimes in America that won’t be fixed by the ineffectual proposals that are currently being peddled by the anti-gun Left.

Concerning homicides, the majority of the victims are male; the overwhelming majority of victims are black. Women are the least likely demographic to be murdered by a gun, unless it’s a mass shooting in which they make up 50 percent of the victims. They also noted that 54 percent of mass shootings “involve domestic or family violence.” The homicide rate has dropped precipitously, though suicides have risen, especially among women. Sorry liberals, but what FiveThirtyEight is making explicitly clear is that there is no silver bullet—and the one you’re pushing: more background checks won’t yield the results you’re hoping for and blow an opportunity to cut down on at least some of these societal ills. I’m thinking about the soaring suicide rate [emphasis mine]:

First, they’re [mass shooting] rare, and the people doing the shooting are different. The majority of gun deaths in America aren’t even homicides, let alone caused by mass shootings. Two-thirds of the more than 33,000 gun deaths that take place in the U.S. every year are suicides.

And while people who commit suicide and people who commit mass shootings both tend to be white and male, suicide victims tend to be older. The median age of a mass shooter, according to one report, is 34, with very few over 50. Suicide, however, plagues the elderly as much as it does the middle-aged.

Second, the people killed in mass shootings are different from the majority of homicides. Most gun murder victims are men between the ages of 15 and 34. Sixty-six percent are black. Women — of any race and any age — are far less likely to be murdered by a gun. Unless that gun is part of a mass shooting. There, 50 percent of the people who die are women. And at least 54 percent of mass shootings involve domestic or family violence — with the perpetrator shooting a current or former partner or a relative.

The historical trends for different kinds of gun deaths don’t all follow the same course. While data suggests that the number of mass shootings similar to the Las Vegas event has gone up, particularly since 2000,2 homicide rates have fallen significantly from their 1980 peak and continued on a generally downward trajectory for most of the 21st century.

[…]

Policies that reduce the number of homicides among young black men — such as programs that build trust between community members, police and at-risk youth and offer people a way out of crime — probably won’t have the same effect on suicides among elderly white men. Background checks and laws aimed at preventing a young white man with a history of domestic violence from obtaining a gun and using it in a mass shooting might not prevent a similar shooting by an older white male with no criminal record.

If we focus on mass shootings as a means of understanding how to reduce the number of people killed by guns in this country, we’re likely to implement laws that don’t do what we want them to do — and miss opportunities to make changes that really work.

So, yeah—the incessant peddling of more background checks is just bad policy and a gross display in political fundraising, which some of us have known for a long time.

Here is a chart of state gun ownership rates vs. gun murder rates. Notice near total lack of correlation.

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Dem Congressman: Gun Control Laws Don’t Work

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By Leah Barkoukis
Townhall
October 3, 2017

Democratic Congressman Henry Cuellar agreed with Fox News host Tucker Carlson Monday that gun control laws don’t work.

“I think there are some people who believe in gun control,” the Texas congressman told Carlson. “I don’t believe in gun control. I think you can have responsible people do the right thing with a gun but unfortunately sometimes you get a situation like this that it’s hard to explain but just taking guns away from everybody is not going to solve the issue.”

Carlson then wanted to know why people keep making that argument.

“Can you think of a single place in the United States that has become safe because of gun control?” he asked Cuellar.

“No,” the congressman quickly answered.

“Right,” Carlson said. “I don’t think anyone else can think of when either so why do people keep proposing it?”

Cuellar surmised that “there are some people [who] just feel that guns are the problem but I think it’s a little bit more complicated than that. … I’m a big believer in the Second Amendment but there are some people who feel you gotta take guns away.”

Carlson also discussed how there were hardly any mass shootings when the congressman was growing up.

“There were no mass shootings when you were a kid. There was one, University of Texas, Chuck Whitman, 1962, who had a brain tumor. But they weren’t a feature of American life. What’s changed? What’s going on actually?” he asked.

“I don’t know,” Cuellar answered. “But again you gotta look at every individual case. And let’s see what the investigators find out, I mean there’s gotta be something, let’s see what happened in this particular case.”

“I just hope we in the press aren’t adding to it. We don’t want to be part of the problem,” Carlson replied.

Country Star Loaned His Own Gun to Off-Duty Cop in Las Vegas

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By Christine Rousselle
Townhall
October 3, 2017

Country star John Rich of the group Big & Rich performed at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas before it was attacked by gunman Stephen Paddock. Paddock killed at least 59 people and wounded over 500 more. After the show, Rich went to his bar, Redneck Riveria, when the attack started.

Not knowing what was going on, Rich said that he was approached by an off-duty police officer at the bar, and loaned him his concealed weapon to protect the building. The officer then stood by the door, armed, until the coast was clear.

From Fox:

The country star was hanging out at the Redneck Riveria bar, which he owns, after his performance when the crowd at the festival was barraged with bullets.

The gun owner gave his weapon to an off-duty police officer.

Rich told Fox News on Monday, “I had a Minneapolis police officer off-duty hanging out. He came up to me and he showed me his badge and he says, ‘I’m officer… and I am not armed for the first time ever I can’t believe it. Are you armed? I said, ‘Yes sir, I am armed.’ I have my concealed weapons permit and I said, ‘Yes, I am armed.’ He said, ‘Can I have your firearm so I can hold point on this front door?’

Rich desribed the scene at his bar.

“So, I handed over my firearm to him and everybody got behind him for about two hours without flinching this guy kept a point on that front door just in case somebody came through,” Rich recalled.

Thankfully, the attack was limited to just the Mandalay Bay Resort area, but what an incredible spur-of-the-moment act of bravery by that officer.

Types of Governments

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As people gather to form communities they set up systems to preserve order, protect private property, and provide services. This combining of resources for the common good is known as government.

Government is rule by armed force. There is no such thing as good government and all forms are evil.  It is up to the people who fall under these systems to determine how much evil they want to accept.

Basically, there are two types of government:

UNLIMITED GOVERNMENT  – PURE EVIL
LIMITED GOVERNMENT       – LESSER OF TWO EVILS BUT STILL EVIL

Which do you choose?

Republican Senator: No New Gun Laws Would Have Stopped Las Vegas Shooter

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By Matt Vespa
Townhall
October 3, 2017

Leah wrote about Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) admitting that gun control laws don’t work, which is a tacit admission that nothing would have stopped Stephen Paddock from killing 59 people and wounding another 527 in Las Vegas on October 1. Now, on the Republican side, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) also said on Hugh Hewitt this morning that there is not a single policy that Democrats have offered that would have stopped an event like this. Here’s a partial transcript[emphasis mine]:

Hugh Hewitt: I’d also like to ask you, I’ve heard a lot of debate, as it always the case, it’s an emotional release for some people to talk about gun control. But of all of the proposals you have heard or seen on the Senate floor or discussed in the media, would any of them have stopped this monster from doing this hideous act?

Sen. Tom Cotton: Hugh, again, it’s preliminary, we don’t know all the facts, but from what I have read in the news, it doesn’t seem like any of the proposals floated in the last 24 hours would have stopped this killer. You know, when I hear those videos, it sounds to me like machine gun fire, a belt-fed machine gun, which is exceptionally hard to acquire in the United States, certainly linked ammunition as well. But we don’t know that for sure. I don’t think we have confirmation, yet, of the kinds of weapons that were used, and where he obtained them, and under the circumstances that he obtained them. So I think we have to gather all those facts before we make any conclusions.

HH: You’ve heard that sound in combat in Baghdad, and in training as a Ranger, Tom Cotton. Let me ask you the security around that kind of weaponry in the United States Army. How does it get onto the black market, if it gets onto the black market?

TC: Well, it’s hard to imagine the circumstance in which machine gun like a M-249 Squad Automatic Weapon or M-240 Bravo could ever get off a military base. You know, they’re kept under multiple locks in an arms room. They’re inventoried regularly. It’s not something that you just find at Wal-Mart or a local pawn shop or anything else. Machine guns have been very strictly regulated in this country for 80 years. They’ve been nearly prohibited for 30 years. There is a small market for them, but again, it’s, to obtain one is even more extensive background checks and government reviews than to obtain your typical rifle or pistol. So I think again, we have to, I’m not saying, Hugh, that I know that it was a belt-fed machine gun. I’m saying that it sounded as if it was one. And that’s why we have to gather all the facts patiently before we make any conclusions.

It doesn’t appear that any belt-fed automatics were recovered, though police have recovered at least 23 firearms at the Mandalay Bay hotel suite Paddock paid for to stage his attack. Another 19 were recovered from his home in Mesquite, Nevada (via WSJ):

Investigators found 23 firearms in a room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. The weapons included AR-15-style and AK-47-style rifles as well as a large cache of ammunition, two law-enforcement officials said.

At least one of the guns was outfitted with a “bump stock,” a device that allows the weapon to increase the rate of fire on a semiautomatic rifle, one of the officials said.

The gunman alternated between two windows in the hotel room, firingupon thousands of concertgoers below, one official said. The staccato of automatic gunfire could be heard in videos of the shooting that were posted online.

[…]

Investigators searching Paddock’s home in Mesquite, Nev., retrieved 19 firearms and thousands of rounds of ammunition, Las Vegas police officials said Monday.

Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said they also found Tannerite, an explosive that detonates when shot by bullets and is used in target practice.

In Paddock’s car, authorities found more ammunition and ammonium nitrate, a fertilizer that can be used to make explosives, Mr. Lombardo said.

The question is whether any of these purchases were illegal. Given what we know from past mass shootings, the perpetrator usually bought their firearms legally and had no prior run-ins with law enforcement. That appears to be the case here, but like Sen. Cotton said there are still questions over this tragic incident. Yet, as the Democrats clamor for more gun control policy, mostly through background checks, everyone knows this is not an effective policy. Everyone knows it won’t stop future mass shootings. It’s bad policy. Passing laws to make it look like your doing something is just wasting time. Homicide rates are down. Crime is at record lows. And we have enough gun laws on the books. At this point, Democrats seek to use government to regulate the innermost reaches of human nature. That’s impossible and utterly absurd.

Puerto Rico Reminds Us All Why Gun Rights Are so Important

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By Timothy Meads
Townhall
September 30, 2017

 

Puerto Rico has been absolutely devastated by Hurricane Maria. The relief effort was already made difficult by the logistical nightmare of the island, but the Puerto Rican government’s debt and insolvency issues have only added to the problem.The United States federal government is providing necessary resources, power, food, and other materials needed to stabilize the U.S. territory. But ultimately, in this time of crisis, local police and law enforcement cannot provide the necessary protection to its citizens.Post-Hurricane Maria should serve as a reminder to all Americans why exercising second amendment rights and owning a gun is so important for your safety.

Consider the following quote from Puerto Rican citizen Haniel Pomales, which highlights the dangerous scene in Puerto Rico:

‘We have been completely abandoned by our government and the US. My brother’s friend is a cop, his advice was arm yourselves with whatever you can find and do what you need to do. If you had signal you could try calling the cops but they won’t come. He said that if we shoot someone we should just leave their body in the street and they will come and pick it up in the morning.”

Four days prior to Hurricane Maria, Pomales had just found out his wife was pregnant. It was inconceivable to him that only a week later he would be fighting in the streets for his wife and future first born.

Now the cops, as he says, have completely abandoned him.

It is not that the police officers do not want to protect their citizens, it is that the crisis is so large and resources are so thin, there can be no guarantee of adequate service.

Looters, as happens after every hurricane, fully understand this and take advantage. As bad guys, they have guns and take an educated guess that most good guys with guns are too busy to pay attention to them.

They know that the police cannot stop everybody from stealing televisions, shoes, and other luxury items, so they take a risky gamble to hoard these ostentatious goods either for themselves or to sell on the black-market.

Typically, law abiding individuals with guns are able to guard their belongings from such looters if needed. But those who do not bear arms are left helpless. Their dependency on the government for protection propelled them into this precarious scenario.

Natural disasters cause chaos which leads to a temporarily non-existent government unable to provide the type of protection that only a gun can, but manmade disasters have created this atmosphere as well.

Remember the 1994 Rodney King riots in Los Angeles, California. Four Los Angeles Police Department officers were acquitted after brutally beating Rodney King, an African-American man. After their acquittal, many people in predominantly African-American L.A. neighborhoods rioted in protest. In total, these riots killed 50 people, burnt nearly 4,000 buildings, and caused nearly $1 billion dollars worth in property damage.

It is entirely debatable exactly why police were no where to be found during these riots. But the fact remains, they were not around and did not provide safety. Innocents in these neighborhoods were left hopeless and without guardians until the National Guard arrived.

Koreatown in particular was targeted by looters fairly hard. Roughly 40% of all property damage and five deaths occurred in L.A.’s Koreatown.

But, there was a group of Korean storeowners armed with hand guns and assault weapons. These shop owners were able to band together to form militias in the absence of their government and defend their private property.

One such owner was Richard Rhee. In 1994, Rhee told the Los Angeles Times how determined he was to protect his private property:

“Burn this down after 33 years? They don’t know how hard I’ve worked. This is my market and I’m going to protect it.”

Rhee had the ability to keep his land and family safe because he practiced self-governance by responsibly owning a gun and using it when he needed it most.

Rhee most likely never expected to form mini-armies with his neighbors, but that is whole purpose of owning a gun; you need it for the unexpected.

Usually in the gun debate, when a pro-second amendment individual makes the case that a gun is for when the government cannot or will not provide security, skeptics’ thoughts often drift off to a post-apocalyptic scenario where the government has completely dissolved.

It is hard for these skeptics to imagine a time when that would ever happen.

But, just as Richard Rhee learned in 1994 and Haniel Pomales is learning now, it does not take a complete and total collapse of government for police protection to disappear. And if that happens to you, it would be far better to own a gun than to be left defenseless.

EDITOR’S NOTE: An earlier version of this article incorrectly said that Rodney King was “beaten to death.” He was not. This mistake has been corrected.

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