Pressure on Marines to change standards so that women can qualify for infantry?

The same thing happened with police.  First women were allowed to be patrol officers, but because so few made it through the training, the training standards for women were set differently than those for men.  The results were fairly troubling.  From the New York Times:
. . . Last fall, the first two female volunteers failed to complete the course. One, a distance runner, was dropped on the first day, known as the Combat Endurance Test. The second, a soccer player, endured for over a week before instructors pulled her out because of a stress fracture in her foot. Both are now training for non-infantry jobs. 
In Quantico, concerns run deep among some staff members that pressure to accommodate women will lead to a softening of the Marine Corps’ tough standards. Col. Todd S. Desgrosseilliers, commander of the Basic School, which includes the Infantry Officer School and the Basic Officer Course, said that would not happen. 
“They are gender-neutral now,” he said of the standards. “They aren’t hard to be hard. These are the things they need to be able to do to be infantry officers.” 
The 86-day Infantry Officer Course, which was started in 1977 by Vietnam combat veterans, is viewed with special reverence within the corps, the most infantry-centric of the armed services. Though its students tend to be top performers in basic officer training, more than one in five are dropped during the infantry course. Some are allowed to try again, but most find other jobs in the corps. . . .
UPDATE: A reader points out to me that the strength requirements for men and women in the Marines are already quite different.  The information for men is available here and for women here.
On the flexed-arm hang for women, the criteria is met as long as there is some bend in their elbows.  "Marines are authorized to drop down below the bar, however, some degree of elbow flexion must be maintained with both arms. Once a Marine's arms are fully extended or the Marine drops off the bar, the clock will stop."
Compare the requirement for men: "The intent is to execute a vertical 'dead hang' pull-up. A certain amount of inherent body movement will occur as the pull-up is executed. However, the intent is to avoid a pendulum-like motion that enhances the ability to execute the pull-up. Whipping, kicking, kipping of the body or legs, or any leg movement used to assist in the vertical progression of the pull-up is not authorized. If observed, the repetition will not count for score."
There was a time when I was in my teens and twenties that I was able to do 20 pull-ups.  Now I can do five (I suppose that I could do more if I actually worked at it regularly).  So right now at age 54, I can score a 25 for men, but I just tried it and I was able to hang for 90 seconds with bent elbows so I had no trouble scoring a 100 on the test for women.
Women can also take about 17 percent longer to run 3 miles.  Only sit ups have the same requirements for both men and women.

Labels: , ,

Please Watch: John Lott talks abt his book,At the Brink:Will Obama Push Us Over the Edge, CSPAN BookTV 8 PM EDT TONIGHT

The video is also available here.


How environmentalism is threatening Cottontail rabbits

A First Amendment challenge to gun control laws?

After the Sikh Temple attack at a gun free zone last year, it is understandable that Sikh's might feel that their traditional daggers are not enough to meet their religious obligation for self protection.  From the Washington Times:
A Sikh man is suing the state of California over its gun laws, arguing they violate his First Amendment rights to practice his religion by barring him from carrying the kind of weapons he says he needs for self-defense. 
Gursant Singh Khalsa, a practicing Sikh for 35 years, charges in the lawsuit filed this month that California’s laws banning military-style, semiautomatic weapons and high-capacity magazines violate mainstream Sikh doctinre requiring Sikhs “be at all time fully prepared to defend themselves and others against injustice.” 
“We’re required to wear what’s called a kirpan” or dagger, he said Thursday. “I feel, as far as my religion goes, it dictates that we should have all weapons of all kinds to defend ourselves. By not being able to carry an assault rifle or weapon that has a high-capacity magazine, I don’t feel that I can defend myself or my family.” . . .

Labels: , ,


Next time that gun control advocates say that there is no benefit from hollow point bullets remember that the government thinks that there is

With the massive purchases of hollow point bullets by the government, it serves as a useful reminder about the benefits from such bullets.  From Fox News:

Howard notes that use of hollow-point ammo by law enforcement officers is more efficient and even safer for the public.
“It (hollow points) cuts down on ricochets which means few bystanders will be hit. Hollow points rarely go through one target,” He said. . . . .


President Obama's move to push gun control through executive orders

Obama is pushing gun control quietly through executive orders.  Some of the orders clearly break federal law, such as ignoring federal law that forbids the CDC doing research on gun control.  It will be interesting to see if the NRA challenges this in court (through Obama's nominees have accounted for over half the Appeals court judges).  From The Hill newspaper:
. . . The president has used his executive powers to bolster the national background check system, jumpstart government research on the causes of gun violence and create a million-dollar ad campaign aimed at safe gun ownership.
The executive steps will give federal law enforcement officials access to more data about guns and their owners, help keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill, and lay the groundwork for future legislative efforts. . . .
. . . he issued a memorandum requiring all nine federal law enforcement agencies to submit guns they confiscate to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) for tracing.
According to a notice sent by Attorney General Eric Holder last month, the agencies will have to submit a report to the Justice Department (DOJ) within the next month showing they are compliant.
The move, and several more like it, is aimed at strengthening the quality and quantity of records contained within the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), according to a DOJ spokeswoman. . . .
A key factor in strengthening the NICS database, they say, is getting states to report more information on mental health and criminal history records.
Earlier this month, the DOJ announced a $20 million grant program aimed at incentivizing states to submit more mental health and criminal history information into the NICS database.  . . . .


Dems claim unprecedented obstruction of Obama's nominees by Republicans in Senate

Seriously?  I have a book coming out at the beginning of June that explains that this isn't true.  In the meantime I will simply mark the claim here.  From the NY Times:
There is no historical precedent for the number of cabinet-level nominees that Republicans have blocked or delayed in the Obama administration. Chuck Hagel became the first defense secretary nominee ever filibustered. John Brennan, the C.I.A. director, was the subject of an epic filibuster by Senator Rand Paul. Kathleen Sebelius and John Bryson, the secretaries of health and human services and commerce, were subjected to 60-vote confirmation margins instead of simple majorities. Susan Rice surely would have been filibustered and thus was not nominated to be secretary of state. . . .

Labels: ,

Handing out free shotguns in poor areas of Tucson, Az

Why are Democrats so upset about people donating guns to poor people in high crime neighborhoods so that they are better able to protect themselves and their families?  Why is it that Democrats bother claiming that they support the Second Amendment and people's right to defend themselves when they have these types of reactions?  A similar program to the one in Tucson was set up recently in Houston.  From Fox News:
A former mayoral candidate in Tucson, Ariz., is drawing heated criticism from Democrats after he launched a program this week to hand out free shotguns in high-crime neighborhoods.  
Shaun McClusky, who kicked off the program Monday, financed it with initial donor commitments of $12,000. He told FoxNews.com that with those private donations alone, he can arm and train 36 people -- and hopes to begin that process in 60 days.  
McClusky said he's already received more than a dozen responses from residents, "none of them negative, all of them positive." . . . 

Labels: , ,

Obama and Bloomberg try to put pressure on Senate Dems?

From Fox News:
. . . The group’s ads are unlikely to do much to sway the opinion of the gun owners it purports to address since it features an unnamed spokesman wielding a shotgun in a way that would make any responsible gun owner cringe: chamber closed, finger on the trigger and pointed sideways as children play nearby. 
For folks who think “bolt, pump or lever” when it comes to action on firearms, the ad is not a winner. It has shades of the infamous 2010 Republican Senate ad in West Virginia that sought “hicky” actors in a casting call. 
But the real objective here is not so much to sway public opinion but to let these lawmakers know that Bloomberg is watching them and will make life difficult next year for those who do not join his and Obama’s effort for a gun ban. 
Senate Democrats are not thrilled, especially the five facing re-election next year in states carried by Mitt Romney in 2012. Bloomberg’s group has already held up a Democratic primary for a vacant House seat in Illinois as his model for next year. Bloomberg pushed cash into the Democratic primary to defeat a gun-rights Democrat last month. . . .
No one forgetting Newtown.  The problem is that Obama's policies will make things worse.

President Obama made an emotional plea for Congress to pass gun-control legislation, telling the political world “shame on us” if it has forgotten the 26 people killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School less than 100 days ago.
“Shame on us if we've forgotten,” Obama said Thursday at a White House event where he was flanked by more than a dozen mothers whose children were the victims of gun violence.
The president paused for effect several times in his remarks, stating: “I haven't forgotten those kids. Shame on us if we've forgotten.” . . .
Obama is still dishonest about the facts regarding background checks.
None of these ideas should be controversial.  Why wouldn’t we want to make it more difficult for a dangerous person to get his or her hand on a gun?  Why wouldn’t we want to close the loophole that allows as many as 40 percent of all gun purchases to take place without a background check?  Why wouldn’t we do that? 
And if you ask most Americans outside of Washington -- including many gun owners -- some of these ideas, they don't consider them controversial.  Right now, 90 percent of Americans -- 90 percent -- support background checks that will keep criminals and people who have been found to be a danger to themselves or others from buying a gun.  More than 80 percent of Republicans agree.  More than 80 percent of gun owners agree.  Think about that.  How often do 90 percent of Americans agree on anything?  (Laughter.)  It never happens.  . . . 

Labels: ,

What the UN Arms Trade Agreement means


Florida: Bill moves forward to let school employees carry guns at school

Not exactly what I would call a balanced article, in that it sensationally discusses liability but doesn't mention that there were no problems that anyone can point to when such carrying on school property was allowed in either Florida or other states.

Picture this: teachers packing heat as they teach children their ABC’s and 123’s.The scenario has many parents and teachers envisioning a nightmare, and they have gone out of their way to tell state legislators so.
But on Wednesday, a House education panel approved the idea anyway.
The House K-12 Education Subcommittee voted 10-3 in support of a controversial bill that would give principals the power to choose certain teachers and school employees who would carry concealed weapons on campus. The schools would have a choice of either arming a school employee or hiring a separate safety officer, who would also carry a firearm. . . .

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/03/27/3309728/gun-toting-teachers-house-education.html?story_link=email_msg#storylink=cpy

Labels: ,

Newest Fox News piece: "Buyers, beware: UN Arms Trade Treaty will regulate individual gun ownership"

This is the way my newest piece starts:
The U.N.'s Arms Trade Treaty, which seemed dead last July, is beginning to wrap up negotiations.  The Obama administration is committed to getting it passed . Secretary of State John Kerry confirmed: “The United States is steadfast in its commitment to achieve a strong and effective Arms Trade Treaty." 
The treaty was resurrected on Nov. 8 – the very day after President Obama’s re-election. Very conveniently, that the Obama administration delayed the U.N. vote in favor of renewing negotiations delayed until the president was no longer constrained by public opinion. 
The Arms Trade Treaty will regulate individual gun ownership all across the world. Each country will be obligated to “maintain a national control list that shall include [rifles and handguns]” and "to regulate brokering taking place under its jurisdiction for conventional arms.”  In fact, the new background check rules approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee include just those rules -- a registration system and a record of all transfers of guns. . . .

The Arms Trade Treaty is available here.

Article 2, 2: Each State Party shall "shall establish or update, as appropriate, and maintain a national control list that shall include the items that fall within paragraph 1"  included "Small arms and light weapons"

Article 6, 4: "establish and maintain a national control system to regulate the export of ammunition for conventional arms under the scope of this treaty."

Article 6, 5: "parts and components"

Article 8: "to regulate brokering taking place under its jurisdiction for conventional arms"

Article 10: records of "quantity, value, model/type, authorized international transfers of conventional arms . . . end users, as appropriate.  Records shall be kept for a minimum of ten years, or longer . . . ."

Labels: ,

Newtown Killer himself died within 5 minutes of the attack starting

Note that it took 20 minutes for the police to even arrive outside the school after the first 911 call.  The problem is that someone with a gun needs to be able to arrive on the scene much more quickly than is currently possible.  From Fox News:
An arsenal of weapons including guns, a gun safe with shotgun shells, a bayonet and several swords were found in the home of the gunman who carried out the Newtown school shooting, according to search warrants released Thursday. 
Adam Lanza killed 26 people inside Sandy Hook Elementary School and took his own life within five minutes of shooting his way into the building, State's Attorney Stephen J. Sedensky III said in a statement accompanying the release of the warrants in the Dec. 14 massacre. 
The extensive inventory of the evidence seized from Lanza's home and the car he drove to carry out the massacre provided glimpses into the world of the reclusive gunman. 
Prosecutors until now had made few details available, despite pressure to do so from the governor, who criticized leaks to the press and lawmakers who clamored for more details as they craft legislation on mental health and gun control. . . . 
Sedensky says Lanza killed all 26 victims inside Sandy Hook Elementary School with a Bushmaster .223-caliber rifle before taking his own life with a Glock 10 mm handgun. He says Lanza had another loaded handgun with him inside the school as well as three, 30-round magazines for the Bushmaster. . . .

Labels: ,

The environmental cost of Obama not letting oil pipelines be built

If you don't allow pipelines to be built, the oil gets shipped by railroad.  Unfortunately, because of many government regulations, the railroads have a lot of accidents.  Delaying the Keystone Pipeline for years means a lot more oil gets shipped by the Burlington Northern railroad (his supporter Warren Buffet owns the railroad).  From the WSJ:
From 2010 to 2012, 112 oil spills were reported from U.S. rail tanker cars, up from just 10 in the previous three years, according to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, a part of the Department of Transportation that tracks most releases of hazardous materials. But the amount of crude leaked in spills has declined since 2008, when a big accident in Oklahoma released more than 1,900 barrels. On August 22, 2008, a BNSF Railway Co. train carrying crude derailed northeast of Oklahoma City; five tanker cars leaked oil that caught fire, leading to an evacuation of nearby residents. 
Questions about the safest way to transport crude are bubbling up as President Barack Obama considers whether to approve an expansion of the Keystone pipeline, which would move crude from the oil sands of Alberta, Canada, to the U.S. Gulf Coast. Pipelines carry much more crude than trains and have fewer leaks per mile, though failures can be serious. In 2010, for example, an Exxon Mobil Corp. pipeline spilled 1,500 barrels of oil into Montana's Yellowstone River in an hour. The possibility of oil spills from derailments is only beginning to be on the public's radar. . . .

Labels: , ,

Police and crime in Chicago: The ups and downs in Chicago's crime rates

Remember Rahm Emanuel's campaign promise to put more police on the street?  The Huffington Post reminds us:
Rahm Emanuel campaigned for Chicago mayor on a promise of putting 1,000 more police officers on the city's streets. Now, the man Emanuel picked to be the top cop for the nation's third-largest city says the mayor has told him to slash $190 million from his budget – something people both inside and outside the department say can't be done without layoffs.
It would also likely be the largest cut for any police department in the U.S. during the nation's fiscal crisis.
"I don't see how you're going to (avoid layoffs)," said Robert Weisskopf, the president of the Chicago police lieutenants union. "They've already laid off civilian employees, laid off everybody they can and now we're to the point where watch secretaries (sworn officers) are going out to buy office supplies." . . . .
First Mayor Rahm Emanuel cuts the number of police officers.  Here is data from the FBI's UCR:
2008 13,359 
2009 13,088 
2010 12,515 
2011 12,092 
2012 11,944
The number of police detectives that solve crimes also fell from 1,100 in 2010, the year before Emanuel became mayor, to 924 in 2012 -- that is a 16 percent drop in just two years.

Even worse, under Emanuel police were moved to unfamiliar neighborhoods, losing years of knowledge in dealing with informants and other contacts.  As a great website entitled Second City Cop, which is run by a Chicago cop, explains:

The article explains in detail how Detective Areas were closed, manpower scattered across unfamiliar neighborhoods, and a complete lack of promoting detectives hamstrung the D-unit over the course of years. J-Fled is quoted along with Tommy Byrne (he loves the reorganization by the way) and numerous anonymous detectives. We haven't heard the clearance rate this year, but we're sure anything above 30% will be touted as brilliant planning by McConsolidation and his staff. . . .
Page 3 of the Chicago magazine article shows the meat of the problem, with the map and discussion clearly showing they moved where detectives are stationed further away from crime spots.

As you may recall, a few months after taking over in July 2011, he said that Emanuel had asked him to cut $190 million from the department’s $1.3 billion annual budget. So the first two years of McCarthy’s tenure have been all about doing more with less. 
The sweeping consolidation plan that he announced in March 2012 eliminated three of Chicago’s 25 police districts, closed two of its five detective headquarters (Area 4, which spanned the Near West Side and included downtown, and Area 5, which stretched from the Far Northwest Side to the Far Southwest Side), and transferred 300-plus detectives to other bureaus. The changes would save as much as $12 million, McCarthy said. 
Unfortunately, the consolidation heaped still more pressure on homicide detectives, who were already struggling to keep up with bigger caseloads. Except for those detectives working in Area South (the police territory that covers roughly the southern third of the city), the realignment (and subsequent renaming) nearly doubled the area that many of them have to cover (see “Going the Distance,” right). 
There are two big drawbacks here. One is that more detectives are working in neighborhoods they’re not yet familiar with. “All the expertise you once had is useless when you’re working on the other side of town,” says a detective from Area Central. “You might as well put me in a new city.” 
Another big drawback to consolidation is that detectives find themselves farther away from crime scenes, sometimes by a dozen or more miles. Getting to the scene fast is crucial in any homicide investigation: Witnesses may scatter or fall victim to gang intimidation. Evidence may get trampled, tampered with, or blown away. Distance continues to be a problem later, when detectives must conduct follow-up interviews or track new witnesses in other parts of town. Says a former police official: “For every hour the detective spends in the car, that’s all time lost to the investigation.” . . . .
Street officers have also informed me that reassignment of officers has paralleled these changes for detectives.  As with detectives, moving officers to less familiar areas loses valuable experience. 

Now note the incredibly low clearance rate in 2012 for these high crime areas.  The Chicago Magazine story makes it clear that while murder clearance rates fell city wide under Emanuel, the drops were particularly large in the most violent neighborhoods where the police were being moved out of.

Last year’s clearance rate free fall appears to support the detectives’ concerns: As they moved farther away from crime hot spots, the clearance rates there fell substantially. . . .
Then because of the resulting increase in crime he has to give the existing officers expensive over time.
Hundreds of Chicago police officers are hitting the streets on overtime every night in dangerous neighborhoods, the latest tactic by Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration to reduce killings in a city dogged by its homicide rate and heartbreaking stories about honor students and small children caught in the crossfire. . . .  
If it continues, the tactic would cost millions of dollars each month — putting the one initiate on pace to exceed the department's entire overtime budget by fall.
At least it isn't too surprising that more police officers mean less crime.  Emanuel kept promising to hire more police in 2012, but as shown above the opposite continued to occur.  From the Sun Times:
Under fire to reverse a surge in homicides that spiked 66 percent in March, Emanuel has promised to hire 450 officers by Dec. 31 [2012] and 500 officers next year to reach an authorized strength of 12,538 officers. 
But Shields said the city could be hard-pressed to keep pace with the number of officers walking out the door. . . .
To put it another way, with the cut in the number of police and moving them to lower crime areas and losing all that experience, the outcome was hardly surprising: "Only 132 of the 507 murder cases in the city last year were closed last year. That makes for a homicide clearance rate of 26 percent—the lowest in two decades, according to internal police records provided to Chicago."   Note that in 2010 the clearance rate was 39 percent and in 2011 it was 34 percent.

Here is the big money quote: "Last year’s department-wide consolidation and reorganization, initiated by Superintendent Garry McCarthy, has made a bad situation even worse. As one South Side detective put it: 'It’s a perfect storm of shit.'”

Additional Information:  After clearance rates plummeted and crime rates soared in 2012, Rahm Emanuel held a press conference talking about reassigning 200 officers to patrol.  The Chicago Tribune uncritically reports Emanuel's proposal on January 31, 2013:

Following a deadly start to the year that included the murder of 15-year-old band majorette Hadiya Pendleton, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and police Superintendent Garry McCarthy announced today that 200 police officers will be reassigned to patrol work. 
The officers, who had been performing administrative duties will be replaced by civilians, according to an announcement from the mayor’s office. The first officers will be reassigned this weekend and the changes are expected to be completed by the end of March, city officials said. . . .
According to Second City Cop, the Chicago FOP called this: “more smoke and mirrors” and “policing by press conference.”  Rather than actually adding 200 officers this was just going to be part of the 500 new officers that city had already promised to add to offset the 500+ retirees.  Amazingly neither the Chicago Tribune nor the Chicago Sun Times articles on Emanuel's announcement interview the FOP for their reaction. 

Labels: , ,


Gun control votes are "only the beginning" of Obama's push for gun control

As if it isn't enough that Obama is pushing state and federal gun control laws, now we are told that is only the beginning.  Of course, there are also the judges that are strongly against people being able to defend themselves.  But apparently there will be even much more than that.  By the way, Thursday will see a number of rallies around the country for more gun control.  From the Associated Press:

Vice President Joe Biden said Wednesday the expected upcoming Senate votes on gun control are only the beginning of the White House's fight. 
The fate of gun control legislation is unclear. A vote on a Senate bill, including expanded background checks and harsher penalties for gun trafficking, is expected next month.
The White House also has been pushing for limits on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, but those provisions won't be part of the Senate bill. Instead they are to be offered as amendments, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says they don't have enough support to pass.
"That doesn't mean this is the end of the process. This is the beginning of the process," Biden said during a conference call organized by Mayors Against Illegal Guns pushing for the gun control measures. 
"The American people are way ahead of their political leaders," Biden argued. "And we, the president and I and the mayors, intend to stay current with the American people." 
The conference call included thousands of gun control supporters ahead of Thursday's National Day to Demand Action organized by the mayors group and other gun control proponents. Organizers said more than 140 events were scheduled in 29 states, timed to reach lawmakers while they are in their home districts on spring break. . . .


Another murderer wants to avoid the death penalty

James Holmes undoubtedly wanted to die when he attacked the Aurora movie theater.  But even in his case, he now wants to avoid the death penalty.
Colorado theater shooting suspect James Holmes has offered to plead guilty and serve the rest of his life in prison to avoid the death penalty — a deal that would bring a swift end to the sometimes wrenching courtroom battle and circumvent a prolonged debate over his sanity.
Prosecutors haven't said whether they would accept the offer, and victims and survivors of last summer's massacre were divided on what should be done.
Melisa Cowden, whose ex-husband was killed in the theater, said Wednesday she was resolutely opposed to a plea deal.
"He didn't give 12 people the chance to plea bargain and say, 'Let's see if you're going to shoot me or not,'" said Cowden, whose two teenage daughters were with their father when he was killed.
"No. No plea bargain," she said. . . .

Labels: ,

Obama administration finally admits that health insurance premiums are going up under Obamacare

This is not a big surprise (my book "At the Brink" predicted this), but I am sure that they will figure out a way to blame the insurance companies.  From the WSJ:
Some people purchasing new insurance policies for themselves this fall could see premiums rise because of requirements in the health-care law, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told reporters Tuesday. 
Ms. Sebelius’s remarks come weeks before insurers are expected to begin releasing rates for plans that start on Jan. 1, 2014, when key provisions of the health law kick in. Premiums have been a sensitive subject for the Obama administration, which is counting on elements in the health law designed to increase competition among insurers to keep rates in check. The administration has pointed to subsidies that will be available for many lower-income Americans to help them with the cost of coverage. . . .
As The Wall Street Journal reported last week, some insurers have already begun signaling they could dramatically increase prices for people buying policies in the individual market to compensate for restrictions on how they treat consumers, as well as new fees and requirements that they provide bigger benefits packages. 
The Society of Actuaries, a nonpartisan professional association, has issued a new report warning that the cost of medical claims in the new individual-insurance market could rise by an average of 32% per person over the first few years the law is in place, as more people with higher medical needs get coverage, and that the impact will be very different depending on the state. Medical bills are another key factor in determining premiums. . . . 
I am not sure that the following glitch is that important because the grant is less than the cost of insurance and the penalty from not having insurance.  From Reuters:

. . . Millions of Americans will be priced out of health insurance under President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul because of a glitch in the law that adversely affects people with modest incomes who cannot afford family coverage offered by their employers, a leading healthcare advocacy group said on Tuesday. 
Tax credits are a key component of the law and the White House has said the credits, averaging about $4,000 apiece, will help about 18 million individuals and families pay for health insurance once the Affordable Care Act takes full effect, beginning in January 2014. 
The tax credits are geared toward low and middle-income Americans who do not have access to affordable health insurance coverage through an employer. The law specifies that employer-sponsored insurance is affordable so long as a worker’s share of the premium does not exceed 9.5 percent of the worker’s household income. 
In its rule making, or final interpretation of the law, the IRS said affordability should be based strictly on individual coverage costs, however. That means that, even if family coverage through an employer-based plan far exceeds the 9.5 percent cutoff, workers would not be eligible for the tax credits to help buy insurance for children or non-working dependents. . . .


Three Republican Senators promise to filibuster Democrat Gun Control Bill

How just a few new Senators can make such a big difference in how the Senate operates.  These Senators are focusing on how these bills will hurt "citizens' right to self-defense."  A filibuster might give these Senators a real chance to educate people about exactly how these laws will cause harm.  From The Hill newspaper:
White House press secretary Jay Carney on Tuesday criticized three Senate Republicans who have threatened to filibuster Senate gun control legislation. 
Carney said a filibuster would be “unfortunate” and would send the wrong message to the families of gun violence victims. 
“I don't think you need to tell the families of those who have lost their children to gun violence that bills like this may be filibustered. I don't think that would be welcome news,” Carney said. 
GOP Sens. Rand Paul (Ky.), Mike Lee (Utah), and Ted Cruz (Texas) threatened to filibuster the bill in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) that argued it was an infringement of Second Amendment rights. The bill would expand background checks and penalties on straw purchases of firearms. 
The senators pledged to “oppose the motion to proceed to any legislation that will serve as a vehicle for any additional gun restrictions.” 
“The Second Amendment to the Constitution protects citizens' right to self-defense. It speaks to history's lesson that government cannot be in all places at all times, and history's warning about the oppression of a government that tries,” they wrote. . . .

Labels: ,

"Police Officers Refused Service at Buffalo Wild Wings Because of Guns"

You know that fear about guns has gone completely wacky when people are afraid of police officers carrying guns.

Eight police officers were refused service at Buffalo Wild Wings on Wednesday, apparently because they had their weapons displayed. 
The Prince William County Police officers were on duty, but were in plain clothes, said Daryl LaClair, a Prince William County resident who wrote a letter to the restaurant chain’s headquarters and started a public awareness campaign regarding the incident. . . .

Labels: ,


Question: Why does the Obama administration pressure vulnerable state house Democrats in Colorado to vote for a state gun law but not similarly push US Senate Demcrats to vote for federal laws?

Obama just doesn't seem to want to lobby individual Senators and put pressure on them to vote for gun control. 
Reid says that the measure is some 20 votes short of passage, meaning that some 15 Senate Democrats are bucking the president.

Obama seems unlikely to do what is required to win Senate passage of such a measure, namely to pressure vulnerable Democrats to switch their votes and take a politically risky stance ahead of Midterm elections. There’s no credible threat to Republicans with Democrats so deeply divided on the issue.
Liberals were furious when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid spiked the most aggressive gun control bill, and given the muted reaction from the White House, one assumes that Reid at least consulted the president before deep sixing an important presidential priority. . . .
When I was in Colorado a month ago, the big news was how the Obama administration was pushing state House Democrats to vote for gun bills that they had already promised to vote against.  I was told more than is show below in the Fox News piece in that I was told that Vice President Biden promised to help out Democrats who voted for the gun control bills, but that there was an implied threat that Obama would help get primary opponents to run against Democrats who voted against the bills.  Here is what Fox News reported on Biden calling state House members in Colorado:
Republican lawmakers in Colorado say they want the White House to stay out of their state battle over gun control, accusing Vice President Biden of personally leaning on Democratic legislators for their votes in a tight campaign that could change the national conversation on gun rights.
Republican state Rep. Carole Murray told FoxNews.com she doesn’t appreciate “East Coast politics” interfering in her state. 
The concern comes ahead of a tense Senate vote -- which could come late next week -- and after a vote in the House that prompted the White House to take the unusual step of lobbying wavering Democrats. Biden’s office confirmed to FoxNews.com he made four phone calls to Colorado Democrats, two in moderate districts, but did not say what they were about. . . .


11 Liberals who call for gun control while demanding that they be protected by guns

1) David Brock, the founder of Media Matters, had armed body guards protect him in Washington, DC while it was not only illegal to own a handgun, it was also illegal to carry one.  The irony is that Brock's Media Matters constantly attacks anyone else who would want to have a gun for self defense.

2) Justice Stephen Breyer who could find "nothing in the Second Amendment’s text, history, or underlying rationale that couldwarrant characterizing it as “fundamental” insofar as itseeks to protect the keeping and bearing of arms for private self-defense purposes," but who demanded "armed police protection provided at taxpayer expense."    Surely, I understand Justice Breyer's concerns and his desire for protection, but I believe that the risks of something bad happening to him are actually lower than it is for many citizens who live in Washington, DC.

3) Actor Jim Carrey, who viciously attacks others for owning guns, has an armed bodyguard.  

4) The Mayors of Chicago who demand round the clock armed bodyguards even when the retire, but who will fight against citizens in even the worst part of town being able to defend themselves.

Seven other names are listed here in this piece by John Hawkins.


"Greg Gutfeld on Jim Carrey: Most Pathetic Tool on Face of the Earth"

Greg Gutfeld shows no restraint in going after Jim Carrey.  Carrey's video obnoxiously attacks Charlton Heston and country music fans.  Just for fairness, I have included the video here, though realize that viewing this might only encourage the bigotry that Carrey thinks passes for humor.

UPDATE: Here is a response to Carrey's video.


New York's Seven Bullet Magazine limit will shortly become history

William Jacobson has an extremely accurate discussion of the issue available here:
. . . The limit almost certainly was unconstitutional, as it amounted to a de facto ban on most handguns. So it had to go, either by legislation or the courts.
But why via the budget?
Lumping it in with the budget deprives opponents of the opportunity to make the gun law a separate issue and to point out the haste with which the legislature acted.
Most important, this maneuver deprives opponents of the gun law the chance to vote against changing the 7-round limit in isolation? Huh, you say.
The limit is unworkable as the Governor admits, and makes a mockery of the entire gun law. By keeping the limit in place, opponents of the gun law in general would have created a situation where the gun law all but imploded of its own weight. . . .
 I was going to make the same points, but I couldn't do a better job than he has done.

Labels: ,

Chicago makes it even more costly to own a gun

What are the police going to do with this information?  Is it going to help them solve any crimes?  Hardly.  The claim might be that there are individuals who are serving as straw purchasers for guns to criminals, and that this will stop the criminals from getting guns.  Here is a question: if a complete handgun ban in Chicago for almost 30 years didn't stop Chicago criminals from getting guns, why would this Chicago law stop criminals in Chicago from getting guns?  In case you were wondering whether this might then work if the entire nation adopted Chicago's new law see this discussion available here.  From the local ABC TV station in Chicago:
. . . Now, harsher penalties are in place for people who do not report the loss, theft, destruction or transfer of a gun within 48 hours.
The maximum penalty is a $5,000 fine, plus six months in jail. . . .

Labels: , ,


Talks this week

I will be giving a talk on Obama's gun control policies at the University of Tulsa Law School at noon on Monday.  On Tuesday, I will be at the University of Oklahoma Law School in Norman at noon to talk about my new book "At the Brink."