Check your privilege Chelsea

My armed guards aren’t killing children and don’t have semi automatic weapons.
— Chelsea Handler (@chelseahandler) March 28, 2018

I’m not sure who she is, but she obviously thinks she has a right to physical protection. I agree with that bit. Unfortunately, I can’t afford armed guards.

My armed guard (me) sometimes carries a semi-automatic handgun and sometimes a revolver. In both cases, one squeeze of the trigger produces one discharge. The main difference is that my usual semi-auto carry holds 7 rounds and my usual revolver carry holds only 5.

If I were hired to defend someone else, I’d be less concerned about comfortable carry. I’d be much less concerned that someone could tell I had a firearm: Maybe it’s a deterrent if you realize someone has a professional armed guard you have to shoot first?

Since I’d be more concerned about multiple assailants, I’d definitely carry something that held 10 or more rounds: I.e., a larger semi-auto. If Ms. Handler’s guards aren’t doing so, then she should fire them.

I’m not shooting any children, either.

So. She thinks she should be allowed to pay someone else to defend her, and that I should not be allowed to defend myself.

No. If I can’t defend myself with a gun, Ms. Handler can’t be allowed to let someone else defend her with one.

And, you know what? If I thought I needed armed guards, I’d still carry my own. Especially then.

So much winning

What if you could simultaneously:

1. Reduce gun deaths,
2. Institute major sentencing reform,
3. Meaningfully make black lives matter,
4. And reduce the rapid increase in deaths from opioids?

The best single policy to advance all these causes would be to end the War on Drugs.

Drug related homicides in Progressive strongholds such as Washington D.C., Chicago and Philadelphia would decline, so a major cause for the deaths of black men involving firearms (nearly 6,000 gun deaths annually, or 31.7 homicides per 100,000 black men) would be eliminated. The need for drug related police intervention, and the friction between blacks and police because of it, would be decreased.

The disproportionate sentencing of blacks for the sale and use of drugs would be reduced. Inner-city neighborhoods would be safer and other crimes would decline.

On black lives and firearms, from the Brookings Institution:

“The vast majority (77 percent) of white gun deaths are suicides; less than one in five (19 percent) is a homicide.

These figures are nearly opposite in the black population, where only 14 percent of gun deaths are suicides but 82 percent are homicides:”

Without the War on Drugs, older white men might still commit suicide at high rates (nearly 16,000 annual gun deaths, or 16.3 suicides per 100,000 white men), but to some of the SJWs out there, this is a benefit.

Annual gun death data from here, a good place to interactively apply demographics to gun death stats.

Another benefit of ending the War on Drugs would be that doctors who prescribe, and patients who truly need the pain relief provided by, opioids would be be better off.

“the overdose death rate from opioids hit a record high of 33,000 in 2015 — but the majority of deaths were from heroin, and deaths from fentanyl doubled over the previous year. Overdoses from prescription opioids, however, are stabilizing or even receding.”

There is also evidence that where marijuana is legally available, Jeff Sessions notwithstanding, the use of more dangerous drugs declines:
State Medical Marijuana Laws Linked to Lower Prescription Overdose Deaths
-Johns Hopkins

“In states where it is legal to use medical marijuana to manage chronic pain and other conditions, the annual number of deaths from prescription drug overdose is 25 percent lower than in states where medical marijuana remains illegal, new research suggests.”

Do Medical Marijuana Laws Reduce Addictions and Deaths Related to Pain Killers?
-RAND Corporation

“We study the impact of medical marijuana laws on problematic opioid use. Based on standard differences-in-differences models, event study analyses, and synthetic control models, we find that states permitting medical marijuana dispensaries experience a relative decrease in opioid addictions and opioid overdose deaths. The mitigating effect of medical marijuana laws is specific to states that permit dispensaries.”

Medical marijuana reduces use of opioid pain meds, decreases risk for some with chronic pain
-University of Michigan

“Patients using medical marijuana to control chronic pain reported a 64 percent reduction in their use of more traditional prescription pain medications known as opioids, a University of Michigan study finds.”

So, the expansion of marijuana dispensaries looks like it might drive down the social and monetary costs for emergency medical intervention. Ending the War on Drugs can start there. And we get the bonus titillation of thwarting Jeff Sessions.

Quality control applied to the most dangerous drugs, such as heroin and Fentanyl, would make self administration safer through accurate dosage of unadulterated drugs.

Finally, over a relatively short time, the number of overdose deaths would decline because most of those prone to overdose would have succumbed.

This last may seem cynical and cruel, but those are the people who will overdose, or die from hepatitis, etc. in any case. At least they will not have been shot.

No one sane

Not the NRA; not people who voted for Donald Trump; not people who own guns, who like country music or pickup trucks: No one* wants it to be possible for a Stephen Paddock to murder even one person with a gun. However, none of the political policies put forward to ban or restrict weapons and ammunition actually address the problem. No one proposing them is able to say what set of laws could have prevented the Las Vegas massacre. They appeal to magical thinking.**

There’s a good reason for that. From the Washington Post:
I used to think gun control was the answer. My research told me otherwise.

Leah Libresco is a person who dislikes guns, but she follows the evidence instead of the cynical talking points.

By the time we published our project, I didn’t believe in many of the interventions I’d heard politicians tout. I was still anti-gun, at least from the point of view of most gun owners, and I don’t want a gun in my home, as I think the risk outweighs the benefits. But I can’t endorse policies whose only selling point is that gun owners hate them. Policies that often seem as if they were drafted by people who have encountered guns only as a figure in a briefing book or an image on the news.

I don’t expect this article will change the calculations of politicians and anti-Second Amendment types who can’t bear wasting any fundraising crisis, but any reasonable person – especially including those who dislike firearms – will gain from reading it.

Thank you, Leah Libresco, for your courage and honesty.

Read the whole thing, and the links there are also worth checking out.

Update, 1:25PM
*Maybe I spoke too soon, but I did say “sane”:

**Democrats Have No Idea How To Prevent Mass Shootings

Clueless or condescending?

So. The New York Times published and then promptly removed this insight into the President’s television viewing habits:

Mr. Obama indicated that he did not see enough cable television to fully appreciate the anxiety after the attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, and made clear that he plans to step up his public arguments.

There are three ways to parse that. One, the President is cluelessly isolated, gets his information from “the shows” like Donald Trump, but doesn’t watch the right shows. Two, he was making a condescending joke about the drumbeat of the news cycle and denigrating the intelligence of Americans. Three, both.

It’s true that the media hyped the shootings in San Bernadino. Of course, so did the President in the service of gun control.

It’s true that the media hyped the shootings in San Bernadino. Just as they did Obama’s candidacy in 2008.

Calmly outraging the outragers

Ben Carson’s Response to PC Outrage Is Smarter than Trump’s

Ben Carson’s Progressive Critics Are Terrified Of Answering This Question

One of the things Carson said that twisted some knickers isn’t mentioned in the above:
Ben Carson Upsets Mainstream Media: Openly Questions Fiat Money

And, if you’ve got 5 minutes, this:
“Francisco’s Money Speech”
…is a worthy followup to the 3rd link above.

“The images were not intended to portray Sen. Cruz in a negative light”

No, they were intended to suggest he should be shot in the head for speaking in favor of the Second Amendment. Or, if he was shot in the head, it would at least be deserved.

For Progressives, this:

Proved Sarah Palin was a deranged would be assassin.

While this:

Photo (by Charlie Neibergall) proves the Associated Press is an unbiased news organization.

Doubt it? Then name me a Progressive who’s complained that the picture of Ted Cruz promotes gun violence.

OK, let’s say you cheated and named yourself. The second requirement is to tell me what you think would have happened if, instead of Cruz, it had been Mrs. Bill or this guy:

Celebrating "Stimulus"

Today is the 5th anniversary of the President’s monetary stimulus, but at TOC we’re celebrating the only Obama stimulus that actually worked.

It created jobs, boosted private sector manufacturing and encouraged people to appreciate the Bill of Rights. Of course, none of that was intentional.

It’s tapering now, but the results are still far above pre-stimulus levels. CNN would have you believe otherwise in their headline, Gun sales are plunging, but the real story is a bit different:

Gun sales are dropping this year, according to FBI stats, but they still exceed sales from before Obama’s reelection and the Newtown massacre…

Though gun sales have dropped from their peak last year, they’re still outperforming monthly sales that preceded Obama’s reelection, said Lawrence Keane, spokesman for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the gun industry group based in Newtown.

For example, the tally of 1.66 million gun sales in January, 2014 is significantly higher than the 1.38 million sold in January, 2012.

“So we have come down from the peak but the valley floor is higher than before Nov 2012,” said Keane, in an email to CNNMoney. “The consumer base has grown. This is because for the past few years, retailers tell us that about 25% of customers at the checkout counter are first-time buyers.”

There are only so many first time buyers, but I’m guessing many of them will eventually want another gun.

Ammo sales have also tapered off:

“Customers shifted away from ammunition more sharply than we expected,” said Cabela’s Chief Executive Officer Tommy Millner…

Maybe the prices will fall back, too.

Ammo shortages & DHS

People have been noticing the large ammunition contract let by DHS. Shortages of ammo for use by private citizens are rampant.

DHS Won’t Answer Congress On Billion Bullet Purchase

Whatever the DHS plans are, this quote from the above is just silly:

…[Former] Marine Richard Mason told reporters with WHPTV News in Pennsylvania recently, hollow-point bullets (which make up the majority of the DHS purchases) are not used for training because they are more expensive than standard firing range rounds.

“We never trained with hollow points, we didn’t even see hollow points my entire 4-1/2 years in the Marine Corps,” Mason said.”

Different ammo has different ballistic characteristics, including where it hits. At only 50 yards, this may be measured in inches in some cases. Therefore, training with the ammo you will use in action is a preferred practice if you can afford it. DHS can. And, unlike the military, can use it “in action.”

The Marines can’t use hollow point ammo in action without violating the Geneva Conventions, so it’s not surprising this Marine didn’t see it while in the Corps. Training Marines with hollow points would be stupid not primarily because it’s more expensive, but because it can’t be used when it really counts anyway.

Then, too, maybe it’s not simply private citizens who are causing shortages for cops.

Cops Disarmed By Ammo-Hoarding Gun Nuts, Complains Salon Writer

Duh

A Washington Post editorial today begins with the sentence, “ONE UNSETTLING result of the debate over gun violence has been a spike in firearm purchases.”

Actually: One predictable result of government threats to force gun owners to buy special liability insurance, place confiscatory taxes on ammunition, ban firearms because of their appearance and limit the sale of normal capacity magazines has been more citizens exercising their 2nd Amendment rights.

There, fixed that for you, WaPo.