Bill Maher doesn't have a clue why conservatives are less likely to victims of mass public shootings than liberals

Bill Maher has a joke that is not only disgusting, but also reveals that he doesn't have a clue about what stops mass public shootings.  From Politico:
Taking a swipe at conservatives on gun control, liberal comic Bill Maher joked that a mass shooting should take place at the Country Music Awards. 
“Now that liberals have forwarded their agenda by inserting a mass gay wedding into the Grammys, conservatives must match them tit-for-tat by having a mass shooting at the Country Music Awards,” Maher said Friday during his HBO program, “Real Time with Bill Maher.” . . . 
Maher, a vocal proponent of gun control, has frequently lambasted conservatives and the Republican Party on the issue of firearms, having previously called them“gun nuts.” . . .
Yet, here is the problem in a way that Mr. Maher might understand.  Where does one think that the odds of a mass public shooting are higher?: a rally for Sarah Palin or Ted Cruz (or a meeting with the type of people who go to the Country Music Awards) or instead of rally of diehard Obama supporters who want to ban guns.  If you have a question, here is a discussion about a statement by the head of Interpol that might help explain things.  While we wouldn't want an attack to occur in either place, the odds of a law-abiding citizen having a concealed handgun permit is much higher at the rally for Palin or Cruz, and the possibility that someone will be able to stop the attack is also much higher.  Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the group of liberals.

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So far 33,395 concealed handgun permits have been approved in Illinois, first permits provided in March

From the Peoria Star Journal:
CHICAGO — Police across Illinois have objected to just 236 applications from people seeking to carry concealed weapons out of 33,631 submitted to the state police.The Chicago Sun-Times reported Friday that a state licensing board will consider objections within 30 days of a police department filing one. The board has a former judge, two former prosecutors, three former FBI agents and a psychiatry professor.The first licenses to carry concealed weapons could be issued by spring, the (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald reported Friday. . . .
There were about 9.5 million adults over 21 years of age in Illinois in 2012.  For 33,395 permit holders, that represents only 0.35 percent of the adult population.  This change is so far extremely small.  In addition, with it costing $650 to $700 to get the license and training, few of the people who would benefit the most from owning guns for protection, poor blacks who live in high crime urban areas, will go get a permit.  It isn't just that few people are getting permits, but also that it is the people who are most likely to use them aren't getting them.

Thanks to Tony Troglio for the link. 



Student with handgun stored in his car defends himself from an attack by two men at Eastern Florida State College

Only recently have students with concealed handgun permits been able to store their guns in their cars on college campuses in Florida.  Well, it looks like we have a case where a student has been able to use a gun to defend himself from an attack.  From a news release by Eastern Florida State College:
One person was shot today and a second injured on the Palm Bay campus of Eastern Florida State College following a fight between a student and two men. 
The incident occurred shortly before 2 p.m. in the campus parking lot when a student who was in his car was approached by two men who pulled up in another vehicle. 
One of the men got out of the car and began beating the student with a pool cue. The student pulled a handgun from his car, shooting and wounding the man in the chest.
Campus Security officers were on the scene within seconds and Palm Bay Police arrived about one minute later, securing the area. 
The shooting victim and injured student were taken to local hospitals for treatment. The student was later released and the shooting victim was listed in stable condition.  
The student has been identified as Landrick Hamilton, 24, of Palm Bay. Hamilton has been a full time student at the college since 2013 studying chemical technology. . . .
As expected, the university overreacted to the presence of a gun on the campus, placing the school on lockdown and canceling classes for the rest of the week.  Nor does it appear that the college understands the full import of the recent state court decisions regarding guns on campuses. 

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So much for the claim that Americans want stricter gun control, 56% of Americans are against making gun laws stricter

The headline for Gallup was that "Americans' Dissatisfaction With Gun Laws Highest Since 2001."  While dissatisfaction is up, what is interesting to note is that most of the increase is from people who want the laws less strict.  Since 2012 the percent who want less strict laws has increased from 8 to 16 percent.  The percent who wanted looser gun laws actually tripled over the last year.

It is also interesting how consistent the opposition to new gun laws has been over the last decade.  Those who were happy with the current law or wanted it looser totaled 56 percent in 2002, 2003, and 2007.  In 2004, 2005, and 2008, the total was 57 percent.

So much for the claim that Americans what stricter gun control.  See here for related discussions.



Scientist who lied about polar bears drowning to push global warming forced to take early retirement

For those who have seen Al Gore's movie "an inconvenient truth," one of the more powerful claims was that with ice disappearing, polar bears were drowning.  Well, the guy who was the source for that claim has now been forced to retire early. There have been numerous pieces of evidence that in fact the polar bear populations is not collapsing.  For example, from the Globe and Mail:
The debate about climate change and its impact on polar bears has intensified with the release of a survey that shows the bear population in a key part of northern Canada is far larger than many scientists thought, and might be growing. 
The number of bears along the western shore of Hudson Bay, believed to be among the most threatened bear subpopulations, stands at 1,013 and could be even higher, according to the results of an aerial survey released Wednesday by the Government of Nunavut. That’s 66 per cent higher than estimates by other researchers who forecasted the numbers would fall to as low as 610 because of warming temperatures that melt ice faster and ruin bears’ ability to hunt. The Hudson Bay region, which straddles Nunavut and Manitoba, is critical because it’s considered a bellwether for how polar bears are doing elsewhere in the Arctic. . . .
In my opinion, the Obama administration and their investigation has let him off easy by only making him retire early.  Note that he had been removed from doing further research in the same area.  I am also skeptical that the Obama administration was willing to properly investigate without political bias the charges here.
An Alaska scientist whose observations of drowned polar bears helped galvanize the global warming movement has retired as part of a settlement with a federal agency. 
Charles Monnett was briefly suspended in 2011 from his work with the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement — now known as the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management —during an inspector general's investigation into a polar bear research contract he managed. Investigators in their report released last year said the probe was prompted by a complaint from an Interior Department employee who alleged that Monnett had wrongfully released government records and he and another scientist intentionally omitted or used false data in an article on polar bears. 
The agency, BOEM, ultimately found no evidence of scientific misconduct but reprimanded Monnett for improper release of emails that an Interior Department official said were cited by a federal appeals court in decisions to vacate agency approval of an oil and gas company's Arctic exploration plan. 
While Monnett returned to work, his prior research portfolio, which was focused on Arctic issues, had been reassigned, said Jeff Ruch, executive director of the watchdog group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, which helped Monnett with his case. Monnett filed a complaint, seeking to have the reprimand rescinded, to have his name restored to an award for a bowhead whale tracking project and the ability to transfer jobs, a request that the complaint said had not been granted. 
Under the settlement, signed in October but released by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility on Wednesday, Monnett will receive $100,000 but cannot seek Interior Department work for five years. His retirement was effective November 15, at which point the agency agreed to withdraw the letter of reprimand and issue Monnett a certificate for his work on the tracking project. . . .


Some great defensive gun use stories by women from 2013

Here is a case from 2011

Here is a case from 2009


Even unions are getting angrier and angrier about Obamacare

Without huge support from unions Obamacare would never have gotten passed.  From The Hill newspaper:
Leaders of major labor unions say they are “bitterly disappointed” with the regulatory changes made to ObamaCare, arguing they do little to help workers who are suffering under the law. 
In a letter dated Monday, leaders of major unions told Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that proposed regulations for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would do nothing to help union health plans. 
“If the administration honestly thinks that these proposed rules are responsive to our concerns, they were not listening or they simply did not care,” read the letter from Terry O’Sullivan, president of the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA), and D. Taylor, president of Unite Here. 
They said the administration has failed to address their concerns about worker health plans, and the healthcare law threatens to lower living standards for the working class.
“It would be a sad irony if the signature legislative accomplishment of an administration committed to reducing income inequality cut living standards for middle income and low wage workers,” the labor leaders wrote. . . .



Cancer-stricken Sen. Tom Coburn finds that Obamacare won't cover his oncologist

From Politico:
Cancer-stricken Sen. Tom Coburn revealed Tuesday that his health insurance under Obamacare doesn’t cover his oncologist, but said he still is receiving excellent care. 
“I’m doing well from a health standpoint, got great docs,” Coburn said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Tuesday when asked about his health. “Fortunately — even though my new coverage won’t cover my specialist — I’m going to have great care, and I have a great prognosis.” 
The Oklahoma Republican’s spokesman confirmed to POLITICO that since the senator enrolled in his health insurance plan under Obamacare, his coverage has been reduced and he lost coverage for his cancer specialist. Coburn will continue to pay out of pocket and see his oncologist, his office said. . . .


Is one of the last few Democrats in the House who support gun ownership about to retire?

From The Hill newspaper:
Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), fresh from a farm bill victory, told reporters Wednesday that he would decide on his political future next month.  
"I haven't decided. I am going to take some time," Peterson said. "I have been in limbo here, in farm bill hell for three years and it affects you." 
If he doesn't run, Peterson's departure would hand Republicans another top pickup opportunity in his Republican-leaning northwestern Minnesota that's been heavily targeted by the GOP. . . . . 
Peterson is one of the vanishing breed of moderate Blue Dog Democrats in Congress who are generally in favor of cutting the deficit while being pro-gun. . . .

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Notes on Maryland Mall Shooting: mental health, background checks, gun-free zone

The Crime Prevention Research Center had this information on the attack occurring in a gun-free zone early yesterday afternoon.

I had one other thought on the attack.  If Darion Aguilar was trying to simply kill a former girl friend and her boyfriend, I don't think that explosives would be used in addition to the shotgun.  Yet, Aguilar brought explosives.  This strikes me as more of an attempt to settle a personal score.

Nor is a simple attack against a girlfriend consistent with 16 shots being fired.  From ABC News the day after the event:

Police said Aguilar used a 12-gague shot gun during the incident and 16 shots were fired. In addition to the gun and ammunition, crude explosive devices made from flash powder and household items were found in Aguilar's backpack. . . . .  
Aside from the three dead, five other people were injured. One person, who was below the Zumiez store during the shooting, suffered a gunshot wound to the foot and others had minor injuries as they ran to escape the shooting, according to police. . . .
No amount of effort on mental health seems like to have stopped this attack: "Maryland Mall Shooter Darion Marcus Aguilar Was 'Gentle Person,' Mom Says"
Nor would background checks have made any difference: "Md. mall shooter Darion Aguilar a ‘good kid’ with no criminal record, no known mental issues"

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