Scouts Chant "We Love Trump!" at National Jamboree!

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New CPRC study on concealed handgun permits: over 16.3 million Americans now have them

The CPRC has just issued our newest annual report on the number of concealed handgun permits in the US.  A copy of the report is available for download here.  Some updated numbers are shown at the bottom of this post.  Past reports can be viewed here.


On Fox Business' Varney & Co to discuss the changes in concealed handgun permits

I talked to Fox Business' Stuart Varney about the CPRC's newest study on concealed handgun permits. (Friday, July 21, 2017, from 9:16 to 9:19 AM)


Trump judicial nominee used pseudonym in posting on political issues

Democrats upset that Trump judicial nominee made political posts under a pseudonym.
John Bush, President Donald Trump’s nominee for a vacancy on the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, was confirmed Thursday, after a contentious battle over blog posts he wrote under a pen name. 
Bush’s nomination was confirmed on a 51-47 vote that followed party lines.
“It is good to see Bush confirmed, but dozens of judicial nominees continue to languish in the Senate, where Senate Democrats continue to obstruct and delay,” said Carrie Severino, chief counsel for the Judicial Crisis Network. Several of the president’s nominees, including Justice Joan Larsen and Justice David Stras, have not yet appeared for hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee due to Democratic obstruction. 
Larsen and Stras were nominated for vacancies arising in Michigan and Minnesota. By Senate tradition, hearings for judicial nominees are not held until the senators representing states where the vacancy occurs submit their approval to the chair of the judiciary committee. Both senators from Michigan and Minnesota are Democrats. . . . 
In a 2008 post, Bush wrote that slavery and abortion are “the two greatest tragedies in our country.” In the same post, he argued that Roe v. Wade and Dred Scott v. Sanford — an 1857 Supreme Court decision which found that slaves were not citizens — “relied on similar reasoning.” 
“John Bush’s anonymously published blog posts show that the Trump administration handpicked him to appease fringe elements of his base, individuals who share his agenda to roll back the rights of women, the LGBTQ community, and working people,” said Ilyse Hogue of NARAL Pro-Choice America. . . .



At the Wall Street Journal: Women & Minorities Bear Arms: They are fueling growth in concealed carry permits

I have a new op-ed at the Wall Street Journal:
Each year brings a new record increase in the number of concealed handgun permits. The rate of growth in permits among women and minorities has far outpaced growth among white men. The data paint a picture of incredibly law-abiding permit holders, the vast majority living outside America’s insular media capitals. 
A new report from the Crime Prevention Research Center shows that there are now more than 16.3 million concealed handgun permits in the U.S., up 1.83 million since last July. Far more people carry guns today than in 2007, when there were only 4.6 million permits. Thirteen states now no longer require a permit to carry in all or most of the state. Eight of those 13 states made the change in the last two years. 
Did the antigun agendas of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton drive demand? Maybe not. The growth in permits has hardly slowed since the election. 
Women are largely fueling the increase. Among the eight states that had data from 2012-16, permits for men grew by 22% and permits for women soared by 93%. In the 14 states with 2016 data on sex, women now make up 36% of permit holders. 
Over those same years, the number of blacks with permits increased 30% faster than the number of whites with permits. Blacks now make up 11% of permit holders. A few states provide a breakdown for Asian-Americans, and in those states they accounted for the largest percentage increase in permits. 
The numbers show how out of sync the media capitals—California, New York and the District of Columbia—are with the rest of the country. In those places, where public officials decide who get permits, only a few adults out of every thousand have permits, mostly in rural counties. In the rest of the U.S., 8% of adults have permits. People in most states don’t think twice about being surrounded by concealed carry in restaurants, theaters and stores. New Yorkers must be terrified to visit Pennsylvania, where 13% of adults have permits. In Potter County, Pa., on the New York state line, more than half of adults have a permit. 
In Los Angeles County, by contrast, as of January there were 226 permits for almost eight million adults. Only the political elite get them: judges, reserve deputy sheriffs and a small group of very wealthy, well-connected individuals. As of 2012, Hispanics made up almost half the county, but they only got about 6.5% of the permits. Women got about 7%, and blacks 5%. 
Where officials decide who gets permits, explicit death threats often aren’t enough for a law-abiding person to get one. Living in high-crime neighborhoods is considered irrelevant. 
My research has demonstrated that the two groups that benefit the most from carrying guns are the likeliest victims of crime (poor blacks in high-crime urban areas) and people who are physically weaker (women and the elderly). Dozens of published peer-reviewed studies find similar results. 
If the media elites spent more time outside their protective bubbles, they might realize how misplaced their fears of permit holders are. According to a study in Police Quarterly, criminal convictions of police are rare compared with the general public. But permit holders are convicted at less than one-sixth the rate of police officers. . . .
The rest of the article is available here.



Evaluating recent claims about permitted concealed handguns

There has been some recent research on permitted concealed handguns that has gotten a lot of attention.  For those interested, a copy of our original evaluation is available here and a response to their response is available here.



Vote fraud case in St. Louis

From the Daily Caller:
. . . Kevin Kunlay Williams, known as Kunlay Sodipo when originally entering the U.S., illegally returned to the country in 1999 after being expelled roughly four years prior.  . . .
He also successfully registered to vote in all elections — local, state, and federal — by fraudulently claiming that he was a U.S. citizen. He ultimately voted in both the 2012 and 2016 presidential elections.

Williams, 56, pled guilty to the specific charges of mail fraud, voter fraud, aggravated identity theft and illegally re-entering the county after having been removed. Mail fraud carries a maximum sentence of 20 years, while aggravated identity theft has a required minimum sentence of two years. He also could face five years in prison for each voter fraud count, and 10 years in prison for illegal reentry. If the judge orders him to serve at least some of the sentences consecutively, Williams could easily be in jail for the rest of his life, although concurrent judgements are more likely. . . .



At The Hill: The false claims behind the Women’s March on the NRA

I have a new op-ed at The Hill newspaper about false statements being made by the organizers of the Women's March on the NRA today and the mainstream media.  The piece starts this way:
The Women’s March protest today at NRA headquarters was partially sparked by false allegations that the organization hasn’t defended Philando Castile — an African American and concealed handgun permit holder shot by Minnesota police officer Jeronimo Yanez
While the March’s co-president, Tamika Mallory, demands that the NRA defend Castile's Second Amendment rights, she ignores statements that do just that by the gun group's female and black spokespersons. 
Perhaps the Women’s March organizers don't really want the NRA to be seen defending gun rights for blacks or any other minority groups. Rather, they want people to think of the NRA as a white supremacist organization that ignores women. 
The accusations of racism started a month ago on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show. After Officer Yanez was acquitted, host Trevor Noah complained that the NRA had been “completely silent” about the shooting. He described Castile as a “legal gun owner” who had done nothing wrong. Liberal, mainstream media publications such as the New York Daily News and Vanity Fair have carried similar attacks. 
But whether one believes that Castile disobeyed the officer’s multiple orders not to reach for his gun, the NRA has been anything but silent. Right after the shooting last summer, the NRA posted that the incident was “troubling and must be thoroughly investigated.”
Following last month's jury verdict, NRA national spokesperson Dana Loesch quickly declared that the acquittal was a miscarriage of justice. 
More recently, Loesch told CNN on July 10, “I am speaking for the NRA. Loesch went on to say: “I have spoken out on this quite a bit. I think it’s absolutely awful. I think it’s completely unfortunate. I don’t agree with every single decision that comes out from courtrooms in America. Do I believe that Philando Castile deserved to lose his life over a stop? I absolutely do not.” 
Colion Noir, who has a popular show on NRA TV, immediately posted to Facebook after the ruling: “I keep asking myself, would he have done the same thing if Philando were white? As I put on my Monday morning quarterback jersey, it is my opinion that Philando Castile should be alive today. I believe there was a better way to handle the initial stop.” 
In a video a few days later on the NRA website, Noir said: “As I watched Philando Castile dying in that car, I watched myself die, and it evoked every emotion in my body . . . [that the officer] walking away from this case a free and clear man is just wrong.” 
If Castile was in fact reaching for his gun, that would be incredibly rare behavior for a permit holder. As a whole, permit holders are extremely law-abiding, and it is a wonderful thing that more and more blacks are choosing to protect themselves. 
But it is actually Democrats, the self-proclaimed champions of the poor, who make it so difficult for lower-income blacks to defend themselves. When it comes to voting, Democrats see free ID cards as oppressive and racially discriminatory. But when it comes to guns, there’s no hesitation to impose fees, expensive training requirements, ID laws, and onerous background checks. 
The cops can't be everywhere at once. Indeed, they’re well aware of the fact that they almost never respond to live crime scenes. Officers know that the only solution is to let people protect themselves. . . .
The rest of the piece is available here.


At Fox News: "A Women's March on the NRA - but do they represent a woman's view on guns?"

I have a new piece at Fox News about the claim that there is a "women's view" on guns.
But Donald Trump received a respectable 42 percent of the women’s vote, so it’s hard to say that there is “a women’s view” on guns. 
According to an Investor’s Business Daily/TIPP poll from early last year, 49 percent of married women say that they or someone in their home owns a gun.  A new PEW survey shows that 40 percent of women generally live in a home with a gun, and that almost a quarter of women personally own a gun.  But even for those women who don’t own a gun, 45 percent say that they could see themselves as owning one at some point. 
Among female gun owners, 71 percent told PEW that they own a gun for protection, 40 percent say that all or most of their friends own guns, and 29 percent say they keep a loaded gun that is always easily accessible. 
A 2014 PEW poll found that women view gun ownership positively.  By a 51 to 43 percent margin they said that gun ownership is more likely to protect people from being crime victims than it is to put people’s safety at risk.  Women were more supportive of gun control than men were (54 percent for women and 37 percent for men), but women are also much more likely than men to cite violence in television and movies as contributing at least a fair amount to gun violence (64 percent vs 46 percent).  They were also far more likely to cite violence in video games as a contributing factor (70 percent vs 49 percent). 
So why aren’t these women marching today against violence in media and video games?  There is much more of a “women’s view” on that issue than on gun control. 
Polls likely understate women’s gun ownership rates. . . .
The rest of the piece is available here.



Massive government subsidies to Amazon.com and other internet retailers

This piece in the WSJ explains how the government has gotten around regulations put in place to stop them from unfairly competing against private companies.
A Citigroup analysis finds each box [Amazon ships] gets a $1.46 subsidy. It’s like a gift card from Uncle Sam. . . . 
Other companies, such as UPS and FedEx , compete with the Postal Service to deliver packages. Lawmakers, to their credit, wanted a level playing field between the post office and its private competitors. The 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act made it illegal for the Postal Service to price parcel delivery below its cost.  
But with a networked business using shared buildings and employees, calculating cost can be devilishly subjective. When our postal worker delivers 10 letters and one box to our home, how should we allocate the cost of her time, her truck, and the sorting network and systems that support her? What if the letter-to-box ratio changes? 
In 2007 the Postal Service and its regulator determined that, at a minimum, 5.5% of the agency’s fixed costs must be allocated to packages and similar products. A decade later, around 25% of its revenue comes from packages, but their share of fixed costs has not kept pace. First-class mail effectively subsidizes the national network, and the packages get a free ride. An April analysis from Citigroup estimates that if costs were fairly allocated, on average parcels would cost $1.46 more to deliver. It is as if every Amazon box comes with a dollar or two stapled to the packing slip—a gift card from Uncle Sam.
For years Amazon and other companies that sold over the internet didn't pay sales taxes.  Here is a National Conference of State Legislatures report in 2014.
Main Streets all across America are looking to Washington to close a loophole that gives online-only retailers an unfair advantage over their Main Street competitors. 
This unfair advantage costs local communities jobs and tax revenue and creates significant unfairness in the marketplace for businesses and consumers alike. 
NCSL advocates for passage of e-fairness legislation because it levels the playing field for local businesses, which are the economic backbones of our communities that provide employment and tax revenue to fund vital services. As sales taxes account for over a third of revenues for most states, including over half of tax collections for six states, the inability to collect taxes that are legally owed constrains states’ options to reform their tax code elsewhere. This includes lowering tax rates or requiring states to raise certain tax rates to fund necessary government services. 
How Did We Get Here?Two Supreme Court rulings (Bellas Hess and Quill) cite concern that collecting sales tax for multiple states would be too difficult. As it is now, the Supreme Court ruled that states can only require retailers to collect state taxes in territories where they have offices or stores. 
How Is it Affecting States?States lost an estimated $23.3 billion in 2012 from being prohibited from collecting sales tax from online and catalog purchases. With nearly every state still facing budget shortfalls, this revenue could help fund police, school teachers and other much-needed programs. . . .

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Fox News: Stanford law prof gets it wrong on guns: right-to-carry reduces crime, not the other way around

I have a new op-ed at Fox News on a study that has been getting a fair amount of attention over the last couple of weeks.
Would you rely almost exclusively on trends in Hawaii to predict violent crime rates in Idaho, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, and Utah?  Would you look at Illinois to predict changes in Louisiana and South Carolina?   Illinois has a drastically difference crime landscape, with half of its violent crime occurring in Chicago. 
Though it wouldn’t pass the laugh test for most people, an unpublished report making just these sorts of comparisons has been all the rage in the media.  Lead author John Donohue, a professor at Stanford Law School, makes a claim which goes against existing national research: that right-to-carry laws increase violent crime. 
The report has been covered in NewsweekThe Atlantic, Bloomberg, other national outlets and many newspapers from Newsday to the Salt Lake City Tribune.  Despite outlets such as Newsweek claiming that the report “debunks” my own research, not a single reporter has contacted me for my thoughts.  The only quotes were from gun control advocates. By contrast, those same outlets have consistently sought out critics when discussing my own research.  Apparently, politically correct results get a free pass on proper journalistic scrutiny. 
No other study by an economist, criminologist, or law professor has claimed that US violent crime rose after right-to-carry laws were adopted. 
So the game is to find states where murder rates fell relative to the states adopting right-to-carry laws, then use that as evidence of right-to-carry laws causing an increase in violent crime.  Before this researchers made an across-the-board comparison between states that changed their laws and states that haven’t changed them. 
This new study picks out just two to four states, and in many cases effectively just use Hawaii to compare with right-to-carry states.  In the cases of Idaho and Minnesota, over 96 percent of the comparison is just with Hawaii.  For Mississippi, Nebraska, and Utah, Hawaii counts for between 72 percent and 83 percent of the comparison. 
The study claims that police simply “underestimate criminality by permit holders.”  But Donohue's only evidence is two news stories from 2000 and 2007 where permit holders committed crimes.  Neither story shows any failure by police to record the incidents.  The study never mentions how large the police error rate would have to be in order to for their results to hold. . . .
The rest of the piece is available here.



Bogus concealed handgun research by Donohue, Aneja, and Weber

For those interested, the Crime Prevention Research Center has put out a summary of some of the problems with a new study from the Stanford Law School.  The discussion is available here.  A brief summary is here:
The bottom line is pretty clear: Since permit holders commit virtually no crimes, right-to-carry laws can’t increase violent crime rates.  You can’t get the 1.5 to 20 percent increases in violent crime rates that a few of their estimates claim with only thousandths of one percent of permit holders committing violent crimes.  To put it differently, states would have to be miss reporting 99%+ of crimes committed by permit holders for their results to be possible. 
The synthetic control tests where they use anything from two to four states to predict the changes in another state’s violent crime rates are extremely arbitrary.  For example, would you look almost exclusively to Hawaii to predict violent crime rate changes in Idaho, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, and Utah?  Would you look almost exclusively at Illinois to predict changing violent crime rates in South Carolina?  Remember that half of Illinois’ violent crime occurs in Chicago and an even larger majority of the changes in Illinois’ changing violent crime rate is due to Chicago. Would you look at California and New York to predict changing violent crime rates in Georgia? 
There is a reason that the vast majority of published peer-reviewed studies that use US data as this new study does find that right-to-carry laws reduce violent crime rates.



DNC Deputy Chair Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN) advocates Censoring President Trump's posts on Twitter

Doesn't advocating censorship of one's political opponents draw media outrage?

There are a lot of questions that this raises.  But will the media ask?  If Democrats were in power would they use their authority to censor those that they disagree with?  Does this give a different picture of these same congressmen supporting campaign finance regulations? 

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It was only by luck that this case was discovered: "Student headed to prison for registering dead voters for Democrats"

So much for there not being vote fraud.  Combine these false voter registrations with past discussion by Democrats (the Patrick Moran case) of how to use them to create votes.  From CBS Channel 6 in Richmond, Virginia:
A man paid to register Virginia voters prior to the 2016 Presidential Election will spend at least 100 days in prison for submitting the names of deceased individuals to the Registrar’s Office. 
James Madison University student Andrew J. Spieles, 21, of Harrisonburg, pled guilty Monday in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia. As part of the plea agreement, Spieles agreed to a prison sentence of 100 to 120 days. 
Spieles worked for Harrisonburg Votes . . . .  
Harrisonburg Votes is a political organization affiliated with the Democratic Party.
“In July 2016 Spieles’ job was to register as many voters as possible and reported to Democratic Campaign headquarters in Harrisonburg,” a U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesperson said. “In August 2016, Spieles was directed to combine his registration numbers with those of another individual because their respective territories overlapped. After filling out a registration form for a voter, Spieles entered the information into a computer system used by the Virginia Democratic Party to track information such as name, age, address and political affiliation. Every Thursday an employee/volunteer hand-delivered the paper copies of the registration forms to the Registrar’s Office in Harrisonburg.” . . .