Saturday, March 1, 2014

RE: When May I Shoot a Student?

(This piece appeared earlier here on my other website, pauliticalpundit.com)

When May I Shoot a Student?

That is the controversial question posed by Boise State Biology Professor, Greg Hampkin in an Op-ed he recently wrote for The New York Times.
In light of the bill permitting guns on our state’s college and university campuses, which is likely to be approved by the state House of Representatives in the coming days, I have a matter of practical concern that I hope you can help with: When may I shoot a student?
Just as with any other form of free speech, I am glad that the good professor is able to voice his opinions. Furthermore I am not really upset that these opinions were published in The New York Times. It is to be expected from one of the more liberal-leaning publications emanating from one of the more liberal-leaning regions of the nation.
Glock 19: What you should carry if you haven't figured
it out already.

What I find upsetting is how this sort of opinion is what gets blasted across our airwaves and Internets from day to day, while the general public is rarely exposed to a clear, concise explanation of the alternative point of view. In his piece Hampkin sarcastically asks if he can shoot students who cheat on tests, or if he can fire warning shots when they try to correct him using their laser sites. He asks if he should aim and shoot at the legs of students who get into a heated argument. He brings up the prospect of "drunken frat boys" firing guns into sororities because they are armed and the idea of "encouraging firearms within a densely packed concentration of young people who are away from home for the first time, and are coincidentally the age associated with alcohol and drug experimentation, and the commission of felonies."

First of all, to that last part: What? The commission of felonies? Lol?

I don't really expect Hampkin to read my response, but it should be written anyway. Just because a portion of society would rather ignore and deny truth and logic does not mean we should shut up about it. So here goes.

First there is the overall point that cannot be stated enough that making guns legal does not make them magically appear in a place just like making guns illegal does not make them magically disappear from a place. Is the professor not aware of the gun laws in Chicago, Detroit, Washington DC, or dare I say New York, where his article was published? I'm assuming he does not. If he did would would realize that the bulk of gun crimes occurs in these cities and other large cities like these with incredibly restrictive gun laws. These gun laws are shown in study after study to have no positive benefit in relation to gun crime. You would think that stuff like scholarly, peer-reviewed studies would matter to a professor at a university.

Now to address some of the specific issues about which Hampkin writes. One of the reasons it is disappointing that articles like that of Hampkin receive so much attention is that he is so ignorant on all matters relating to guns and self defense. I know he was joking, but within his jokes he still revealed his ignorance.  "But given the velocity of firearms..." The what? Are you throwing them? Are you throwing your firearms? I know it might seem nitpicky, but your firearm really should not have velocity. The bullets exiting the muzzle should have velocity, and that is what he meant to say obviously, but then he really didn't know how to say it because he does not know the first thing about guns.

Correcting him with laser sites? That is a clear, gross safety violation, as virtually any gun owner will tell you.

Shooting students who cheat on tests? I know this is a big joke to the professor, but how is that question productive? Obviously you cannot shoot students who cheat on tests.

Shooting at students who are in a heated argument? Let me be honest. It's not really necessary to hit each of these one by one. I'm not a lawyer, and this should not be taken as legal advice,  but most jurisdictions will not give you the protection of the law for firing upon someone unless you are acting in clear defense of yourself or others against a threat to life and/or grievous bodily harm. Does that mean if you do act in defense of your life that you won't go to jail? Not necessarily. Basically it is a measure of last, last, last, last resort. There you go. I hope that clears things up a bit.

What about giving guns to drunk frat boys and kids who are at an age associated with drugs and alcohol? Well "making it legal to carry them on campus" and "giving them guns" are really two different things aren't they? Let me refer to one of my earlier points. Making them illegal does not make them disappear, and making them legal does not make them appear. If drunken frat boys (who clearly have no regard for the law because they are apparently wielding firearms while drunk) want to carry guns then they will regardless of the law.

And if they do decide to carry legally?

Fun fact: Some studies have shown that concealed handgun permit holders tend to be much more law abiding than the average citizen. Still other data shows that police officers are three times likely to murder someone than those with concealed handgun permits. Wait, what?

Three times.

That's just murders. What about the total number of people killed by those with concealed handgun permits vs. the total number killed by police officers?

The Violence Policy Center, a center with a clear agenda to increase gun control regulations in the United States reports that between May 2007 and March 1, 2014 608 private citizens have been shot by "Concealed Carry Killers." Are those numbers comprehensive and accurate? I don't know, but let's just go with it for now.

So how many people have been killed by police in that same time period? Would you be surprised to find out that there doesn't seem to be a convenient website that tracks those numbers? Wikipedia has some stuff on it, but is it accurate? Who knows. According to one source an estimated 500 to 1,000 people are killed by the police in the US per year. Some of the Wikipedia data would seem to back that up, and there is more data to support that as well. But let's just estimate on the low end: 500 per year.

So in the same time period that 608 private citizens have been shot by "Concealed Carry Killers," about 3500 have been killed by the police.

Question, Mr. Hampkin: Who is it you're worried about carrying guns on campus?

There is, of course, a silver lining to this whole story. Comments. Comments are the junk food of all reading. Like junk food, they have become a bad habit of mine. As soon as I finish an article I jump to the comments to see what people are saying. Disgusting habit. You know what I love about this article though? I like all the professors from random universities around the country pledging to quit the day that guns are allowed on their campuses. Because to me, the ignorant, bigoted, liberty-hating people who hold that position are not the people I think should be teaching and leading the future of this nation.

So please, Mr. Hampkin, step aside with your friends and let responsible professors help raise up a new generation of men and women who will take their own safety and security seriously without cowing to fear and ignorance.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Why Defending the Second Amendment is Necessary

My most recent article in the Washington Times came out yesterday. You can check it out here or read it below. Enjoy!

In discussing Second Amendment issues with other gun rights advocates, I have sometimes encountered an attitude along the lines of, “Why even argue about this? If they don’t like it, they should try and repeal it.”
I am actually sympathetic to this point of view because the Second Amendment speaks for itself. Regardless of what anyone thinks about gun ownership, our right to keep and bear arms is legally guaranteed by this amendment. In theory, repealing it is the only way that anyone can address this right legitimately.Theory and reality are often quite different, though. Many disagree with the constitutionality of gun control, but gun-control advocates have succeeded in getting legislation passed that most certainly infringes on the right of the people to keep and bear arms.

The National Firearms Act of 1934 placed strict limits on the transfer of automatic weapons, short-barreled rifles and shotguns, suppressors, and destructive devices such as grenades or missiles. The Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986, though it established some laws to protect the rights of gun owners, also placed additional regulations on fully automatic firearms, consequently causing their prices to rise far above what the average person can afford. The Federal Assault Weapons Ban of 1994 prohibited the transfer of a wide range of semi-automatic rifles, pistols and shotguns for a 10-year period before expiring in 2004.States and municipalities have imposed even heavier limitations on Second Amendment rights. Maryland, a “may-issue state” for concealed-carry licenses, issues licenses only to those who can demonstrate a specific need to carry a firearm. As a result, licenses are granted to hardly anyone, including many active-duty military members and veterans with honorable discharges. The District of Columbia is one of the most difficult areas in the nation to purchase a firearm legally, and carrying one is out of the question for all but law enforcement personnel.In fact, most states have at least some laws that infringe upon the right to keep and bear arms. Yet the Second Amendment has not been repealed. It has not been modified. In case you disagree with the premise that this right has been infringed, consider some of your other rights. Would you consider the right to free speech to be infringed if you had to obtain a permit to say what you wanted? What if there were entire cities or states where you were not allowed to practice your religion? What if you had the right to trial by jury only when you paid a federal excise tax? Why are these things acceptable when applied to the Second Amendment?

In every case of infringement, the legislative bodies responsible for the decision to pass these laws apparently have sided with the arguments against the right to keep and bear arms. It may stand to reason that these individuals may not want to hear the arguments for them, but it is our responsibility as a freedom-loving people to exercise our First Amendment right in protection of our Second.

That is not the only reason to maintain our side of the public discussion. Though there is not enough serious political support to effectively repeal the Second Amendment right now, there could be some day. If arguments are heard only from gun-control advocates, their views will slowly sway public opinion. If the only rebuttal to “Guns kill people, and they are evil,” is “If you don’t like it, then repeal it,” then the long-term effect will be diminishing support for the Second Amendment.

This fundamental right may not be at stake tomorrow or even a few years from now, but it is up to us to make sure our children and their children are born with the same rights that we enjoy. The discussion will take place — whether or not we participate.

Paul Brown, a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom who served in the Marine Corps for five years, writes about Second Amendment rights at why2a.blogspot.com.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Brown: The semantics of gun control

This is about a week late, but here is my latest gun-control article in the Washington Times. And if you're interested, it's kind of off topic (so not really deserving of its own post), but I also got an article about North Korea published in Doublespeak Magazine here.

A side note, this title in the Washington Times is the one I actually gave them almost word for word, so that's kind of nice. Additionally, this one was edited less than any of the other ones before it. The text from my gun-control article is below. Enjoy!


Since the SenateJudiciary Committee passed Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s “assault weapons” ban March 14, a fitting question might be, what is an “assault weapon”? A term that originated in the 1980s, it was popularized after the original “assault weapons” ban in 1994. “Assault weapon” is now the popularly accepted term for the AR-15 and many other rifles and pistols that would be more accurately described as “defense weapons.”
Mrs. Feinstein’s ban, which suffered a setback Tuesday when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid excluded it from the larger Senate gun bill, defines an “assault weapon” as any semiautomatic rifle that can accept a detachable magazine and has at least one military feature: a pistol grip; a forward grip; a folding, telescoping or detachable stock; a grenade launcher; a rocket launcher; a barrel shroud; or a threaded barrel. The exhaustive list is much longer and also includes restrictions that would ban most pistols.
How are firearms usually named or defined? In the military, weapons are defined by their primary use or simply by their nomenclature, such as M16A4 or M240G. Never once in my time in the Marine Corps did I hear an M-16, the fully automatic military version of the AR-15, referred to as an “assault rifle.” The M-16 and other service rifles such as the M-14, and as far back as the M-1 Grand in World War II, have often been referred to as “main battle rifles,” because that is what the military uses them for — battle.
Local, state and national law enforcement organizations throughout the nation have another word for the AR-15: “patrol rifle.” Standards vary by agency, but the deputy sheriffs in Loudoun County, Va., where crime rates are significantly lower than the national average, carry at least one pistol on their persons while on duty and keep a loaded AR-15 and shotgun in their patrol vehicles at all times. It makes sense that they do not refer to these rifles as “assault rifles” or even “battle rifles.” They take them on patrol, and they very rarely use them. They do not use them to assault people.
In civilian circles, hunting rifles are known as hunting rifles. That is because they are made for, and generally used for, hunting. People have used hunting rifles to assault other people in the past, but this is a minority usage, and the fact remains that hunting rifles are for hunting.
So that means “assault weapons” are generally used to assault people, right?
Wrong. According to a study published by the Jerry Lee Center of Criminology for the National Institute of Justice in 2004, only 2 percent of gun crimes were committed with “assault weapons” of any kind before the first “assault weapons” ban went into effect in 1994.
There is no exact count on the number of “assault weapons” in the United States, or of any specific firearms for that matter, but an estimate in Slate magazine in 2012 pegged the number of AR-15s in the United States at around 3.75 million. According to FBI crime statistics in 2011, of the 12,664 homicides committed in the United States, 323 were committed with rifles of any kind. Though data on the number of AR-15s used in killings are not available, an incredibly liberal estimate would be that, of the 323 rifle killings, 32 were with AR-15s. If this number is accurate, this means that in 2011, .00085 percent of the 3,750,000 AR-15s in the United States were used as “assault weapons.” So what were law-abiding Americans doing with the other 3,749,968 AR-15s in 2011?
They were defending their homes.
According to Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck, private citizens in the United States use firearms defensively to prevent crimes about 2.5 million times per year, a number that has even been defended by self-proclaimed gun-control advocate Marvin Wolfgang.
The AR-15, like all other firearms in the United States, is used to defend private citizens far more often than it is used in crime. But Mrs. Feinstein, California Democrat, and other gun-control advocates still brand it an “assault weapon.” Why? It comes down to control.
The Second Amendment was put in place to give citizens the ability to defend themselves, not just against criminals, but also against invading militaries and even their own government. AR-15s and other defense weapons would be the go-to firearms for private citizens if they had to defend themselves from local, state or even federal forces. Perhaps this bothers some career politicians who would prefer keeping that sort of power for themselves.
The label matters because words matter. He who defines the terms often wins the argument. We may be arguing about the relative dangers of swimming pools, but if swimming pools became branded “watery death traps,” it would certainly cause a negative shift in public opinion over the years.
AR-15s are no more “assault weapons” than hunting rifles, revolvers, knives or hammers. They are the primary defensive weapon of a freedom-loving people, and a favorite of military veterans. Don’t let the left define its way into taking our tools of liberty.
Paul Brown, a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom who served in the Marine Corps for five years, writes about Second Amendment rights at why2a.blogspot.com.

Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/mar/25/the-semantics-of-gun-control/#ixzz2Oxzre1I3 Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Brown: Liberals only protect the constitutional rights they agree with - Washington Times

My latest article in the Washington Times just posted! Check it out here!

I will post a copy on here in a day or two.

I know the blog has been fairly sparse on content for the last few days, but I have a few ideas in the works that hopefully I can get written in the next week or so.

Enjoy!

Monday, March 11, 2013

BROWN: Gun control advocates would leave women defenseless

About a week ago I submitted an article I wrote to The Washington Times. That article was published on their website in the Opinion section on Sunday. I thought I'd post it on here as well. Check out the actual article on the Times for comments and whatnot. Enjoy!

For many, it is of little consequence that the right to bear arms is legally protected by the Second Amendment. They want to see more practical arguments than just what a piece of paper says. While the Second Amendment certainly carries real, stand-alone significance, there is also a real need for practical arguments in its favor. Although there are many practical arguments supporting the right to keep and bear arms, there is one point that is not often discussed.
Gun control that limits the availability of firearms to law-abiding citizens disproportionately disadvantages women. If you don’t believe it, consider some of the facts and arguments surrounding the issue, some of which the left has used itself.
Though there are women who can fight off male attackers, they are not the average. According to a study conducted by Doctor Callie Marie Rennison for the Bureau of Justice Statistics, of the 691,710 nonfatal violent victimizations committed by current or former significant others in 2001, about 85 percent were against women. Her study also showed that while 440 men were killed by their intimate partners in the year 2000, over 1,200 women were killed by their intimate partners in the same year. Moreover, the CDC reports that in 2009 around 1.3 million women were raped in the United States.
These are sobering data, but they present an indisputable fact: Women are in much greater danger from physical attack than men. According to a 1995 study conducted by Florida State University Criminology Professor Gary Kleck, guns are used in self-defense as many as 2.5 million times per year. Self-proclaimed gun-control advocate Marvin Wolfgang said in “A Tribute to a View I Have Opposed,” “I do not like their conclusions that having a gun can be useful, but I cannot fault their methodology. They have tried earnestly to meet all objections in advance and have done exceedingly well.” In other words, these numbers are sound.
Even though women daily use firearms to defend themselves and their families, it is easy for people like Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. with personal protection details to argue that the average citizen doesn’t need a semi-automatic AR-15 rifle with 30-round detachable magazines. In a speech in Minneapolis in January, President Obama said regarding assault rifles, “Weapons of war have no place on our streets.”
Mr. Biden suggests that women buy and use shotguns. He said in an interview, “You don’t need an AR-15. It’s harder to aim. It’s harder to use. And, in fact, you don’t need 30 rounds to protect yourself. Buy a shotgun.” Yet, as demonstrated by a popular Youtube video, shotguns are not wieldy for anybody, and AR-15s are actually much easier to use and aim than many other firearms.
According to the FBI, out of 12,664 murders committed in the United States in 2011, only 323 were committed with rifles of any kind, while 728 people were murdered using hands, fists, feet, etcetera; 1,694 were killed with edged weapons; and 1,659 were murdered using “other weapons” such as baseball bats, hammers or clubs. Focusing on one of the least used items for murder in the United States is not a solution. It’s a political statement.
Right now federal and state legislatures are primarily discussing legislation that would limit the transfer of “assault weapons” to law-abiding citizens. These laws would no more limit the sale of firearms to criminals than current laws do, but they would allow law enforcement officers to enter the houses of law-abiding citizens to inspect their rifles, throwing out the Fourth Amendment with the second. It is already illegal for many classes of criminals to own, buy or sell firearms. It is obviously illegal for anyone to use a firearm in committing a crime. Regardless, lawmakers want to take away citizen’s rights to purchase rifles such as the AR-15, one of the best home-defense weapons on the market due to accuracy, low recoil, ease of use and custom accessories.
It is ironic that the same lawmakers who recently passed the Violence Against Women Act are so willing to take away women’s ability to defend themselves. If you care not only about women’s rights, but the rights of all Americans, then contact your representatives and let them know you are opposed to gun-control legislation that further limits the self-defense options available to law-abiding citizens. Maybe they will remember that passing these laws will not only hurt men who hunt and target shoot, but it will take away women’s ability to defend themselves and their families as well as they possibly can.
Paul Brown, a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom who served in the Marine Corps for five years, writes about Second Amendment rights at why2a.blogspot.com.

Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/mar/10/brown-gun-control-advocates-would-leave-women-defe/#ixzz2NHs6a900Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Published Article in The Washington Times

Readers - Looks like I finally got my big break and got an article published in The Washington Times! It is about the effects of gun control on women. Check it out here

I will post the full article sometime tomorrow, after it has been up on the WT site for at least 24 hours. 

Additionally I have another article that they should be publishing next week. Stay tuned!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Get An NRA Lifetime Membership.... For $300

The National Rifle Association (NRA) was founded in 1871 by Union Civil War veterans Colonel William C. Church and General George Wingate. Over the years the NRA has evolved to become one of the leading training and safety organizations for firearms in the US for civilians and law enforcement and additionally lobbies for preservation and furtherance of second amendment rights. Many serious advocates of second amendment rights are members, and current membership sits just under four million people.

The NRA offers one year, two year, three year, five year, and lifetime memberships at graduating costs, and each level of membership comes with various benefits. Benefits include insurance for accidents or loss or damage to firearms, a magazine subscription for the term of the membership, invitation and admission to NRA events, a membership card which may be used for discounts at stores where discounts are offered, and best of all, the knowledge that your money is being used to defend the second amendment.

For a long time I have wanted to purchase the lifetime membership. Lifetime memberships come with $10,000 of accidental death or dismemberment insurance instead of $5,000, and longterm the lifetime membership makes more sense financially. But good value or not, it is still expensive. An NRA lifetime membership will usually cost you $1,000. I had been waiting patiently to see if I could get access to some discount at some point for a few years now.

Well, patience pays off.

A few days ago I got an email from Cheaper Than Dirt, a gun and firearms accessories store based in Forth Worth, Texas. In this article they were promoting an NRA campaign to increased membership through discounted member rates. Until April 16, 2013 the NRA is offering discounts for one year, three year, five year, and lifetime memberships. The lifetime membership has been discounted by 70% to a low, low $300. If you are interested in this offer, check it out here.

My recommendation is do it. I did it. Even if $300 seems like a lot, it's a long term investment in your second amendment rights, and it's on sale!