2019 Was a Bad Year for ‘Only Cops Should Have Guns’

Ryan McMaken | January 2, 2020 – This article has been republished from the Mises Institute.

On December 29, an armed gunman entered the West Freeway Church of Christ in Texas and shot two members of the congregation. Within six seconds, a third member of the congregation drew a weapon and shot the gunman dead.

The events were captured on live-streamed video, with the dramatic events – in the minds of many observers – highlighting the benefits of privately owned firearms as a defense against armed criminals. Moreover, the gunman, who had a criminal history, obtained his gun illegally, and demonstrated one of the central pitfalls of the gun-control narrative: namely, that those with criminal intent are not easily restrained by laws controlling access to firearms.

Nonetheless, many media outlets were unable to bring themselves to admit that privately owned firearms in this case were the key to preventing a wider massacre. After all, had the congregation waited around for the police to arrive, it is unknown how effective a police response could have been. Nor is it clear that had the police arrived quickly, they would have immediately engaged the shooter or even engaged the right person.

These considerations were not sufficient to divert many media observers from their insistence that private gun ownership is helpful in situations like these. Both government agents and their media boosters continue to insist that even well-meaning ordinary citizens ought not be trusted with firearms and that what is really needed are “experts” with government-approved police training.

Elvia Diaz at the Arizona Republic demonstrated this premise well when she wrote:

The reality of Wilson’s heroism is a lot more complex. He wasn’t just an ordinary parishioner, as gun advocates may want you to believe. The church’s volunteer security team member is a firearms instructor, gun range owner and former reserve deputy with a local sheriff’s department, according to a New York Times detailed account.

In other words, he’s exactly the kind of man you want around with a firearm. But we know nothing about the at least six other parishioners who also appeared to draw their handguns at West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Texas. 

And that’s terrifying.

To many people who aren’t left-leaning journalists, it is hardly “terrifying” that some other private citizens of unknown expertise were armed in the congregation. After all, these people never fired a shot once they saw the shooter had been incapacitated. None of them provided any reason to suspect they pose any risk to anyone else.

On the other hand, 2019 has provided plenty of reminders of what sort of “expertise” and heroism government-provided security forces offer.

In the spring of 2019, the parents of victims of the Parkland school shooting sued the Broward County school board and the sheriff’s office for failing to take timely action against the school shooter who killed seventeen people at the school in February 2018. According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, police officers repeatedly sought to protect themselves rather than the victims in the school. An analysis of communications among law enforcement officers at the site of the massacre confirmed there were “at least two times a Broward deputy urges another officer to protect themselves, not confront the killer.”

Meanwhile, 2019 provided reminders that police officers will shoot citizens dead in their own homes for no justifiable reason, as was the case with Atatiana Jefferson on October 12. According to multiple accounts the shooter – a now former cop named Aaron Dean – entered Jefferson’s private property unannounced in the middle of the night. He peered into Jefferson’s windows, and within seconds, the officer had shot Jefferson dead. Jefferson had been playing video games with her nephew.

Also, in October, former police officer Amber Guyger was sentenced to ten years in prison for unlawfully shooting Botham Jean in his own apartment. At the time, Guyger was a police officer returning home from work. She illegally entered the wrong apartment and promptly shot Jean – the unit’s lawful resident – dead.

If there is anything that ought to be “terrifying” to ordinary Americans, it is not the idea that some law-abiding citizens might be carrying firearms. The far more terrifying thought is the knowledge that some police officers are so eager to murder residents in their own living rooms.

More Guns, More Crime?

These facts will no doubt fail to derail the usual media narrative that there are too many guns and that the police – the same people who shoot residents in their homes or cower behind cars when faced with real danger – will ensure public safety through weapons prohibitions and by generally “keeping us safe.”

Fortunately, the facts certainly offer little to support the idea that more legal gun ownership is a problem in terms of homicides.

According to 2019’s gun manufacturing data from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATF), total gun production and importation in the U.S. has increased significantly over the past twenty years. If we look at total guns produced in the U.S. (not counting those exported), added to total guns imported, we find that new gun production increased from around 4.5 million in 1998 to more than twelve million in 2017.1 Over that same period, homicide rates decreased from 6.3 per 100,000 to 5.3. In fact, after years of rising gun production, the U.S. homicide rate fell to a fifty-year low in 2014. This correlation doesn’t prove more guns reduce crime, of course. But this relationship strongly suggests that the benefits of increased gun ownership – namely greater self-defense capability on the part of private citizens – are greater than the potential costs.

batf

Moreover, new data on homicides released in September 2019 shows the homicide rate in the U.S. has fallen two years in a row since 2016, and is nearly down to half of the national homicide rates reported during the early 1990s.

Many states with weak gun-control laws are also among the states with the lowest homicide rates. For instance, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine – all of which have few gun restrictions – report remarkably low homicide rates. Other gun-permissive states like Utah, Iowa, and South Dakota all have homicide rates comparable to Canadian provinces, although we’re told Canada only has low homicide rates because of gun restrictions. Clearly there’s more behind the reality of violent crime than is suggested by the usual “more gun control means less crime” claims.

Many anti-private gun ownership activists continue to insist that only police officers and other government personnel ought to be carrying firearms, and that the police will protect the people from violence criminals. Yet, it’s unclear why the public ought to accept this rather strained claim. In 2019, police were repeatedly shown to endanger the public while pursuing their own safety. Meanwhile, the end of the year brought another case of private gun owners stopping a murderous gunman far more effectively than police ever could have. Nor was the Texas church case the only notable example we can recall this year. It is entirely possible, of course, that cases like these are not typical or representative examples of police behavior or what happens when armed criminals attack innocents. But there’s no denying the optics this year were bad for the pro-gun-control side. Faced with the choice of owning a gun for protection or trusting in police for protection, many apparently continue to choose the former.

Ryan McMaken is a senior editor at the Mises Institute and was the economist for the Colorado Division of Housing from 2009 to 2014

.

Polk County on road to becoming 2nd Amendment sanctuary

Polk County Commission will consider becoming a sanctuary county for gun rights under the Second Amendment

Polk County, Florida – 2nd Amendment Sanctuary County

https://www.theledger.com/news/20191217/make-polk-gun-sanctuary-commission-will-look-into-it

Polk County Commissioner John Hall wants to make the county a Second Amendment sanctuary, part of a nationwide movement against proposed restrictive gun laws.

BARTOW – The Polk County Commission will consider becoming a sanctuary county for gun rights under the Second Amendment.

The commission on Tuesday instructed County Attorney Michael Craig to research the relevant law and to present his findings at a future meeting. Craig told The Ledger after the meeting he expects to complete his research and present his findings to the commission at its Jan. 3 or Jan. 17 agenda review meeting.

Commissioner John Hall requested Craig look into a sanctuary measure because he feels Second Amendment rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution are threatened by recent efforts for tighter restrictions on gun possession and ownership. Those efforts appear to be gaining momentum recently after well publicized mass shootings in recent years.

“Every time a deranged person picks up a gun and kills people, those of us who are legal gun owners come under attack,” Hall told The Ledger after the meeting. “We should defend the rights of our citizens on all constitutional rights.”

Other commissioners agreed to have Craig research this issue with varying degrees of enthusiasm.

Chairman Bill Braswell said he didn’t know whether such a sanctuary measure is necessary but agreed to have the commission look at Craig’s findings. Commissioners Martha Santiago and Rick Wilson agreed.

“I think of this as political theater,” Commissioner George Lindsey said. “This seems to be a solution looking for a problem.”

The Second Amendment sanctuary movement appears to have gained momentum as a backlash against the movement for more restrictive gun laws.

In Virginia, for example, more than 40 local governments passed such measures after control of its legislature passed from Republicans to Democrats last month, according to a Dec. 11 story in USA Today. Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam has said he would support measures such as universal background checks for gun purchases, limits on the sale of certain types of firearms and a so-called “red flag” law allowing authorities to take guns from persons posing a danger to themselves or others, as determined by a court.

The various sanctuary measures adopted so far vary widely in scope and impact, according to internet research by The Ledger.

Some measures, such as a resolution passed by the Lake County Commission on Nov. 5, go no further than declaring the county a Second Amendment sanctuary and its support for those rights. The Ledger obtained a copy of that resolution.

Other measures go a step further and declare county officials will not cooperate with federal or state law enforcement authorities carrying out gun restrictions they consider unconstitutional.

That’s similar to the stance taken by some local governments over cooperating with federal officials enforcing immigration laws considered too harsh or illegal. That gave rise to the term “sanctuary city” or county.

Most Second Amendment sanctuary measures fall along these lines.

But a few, including some Virginia localities, declare their right to nullify any state or federal gun laws they consider unconstitutional, according to a Dec. 11 article on the news site Slate.com.

Hall told The Ledger he favored a nullification measure if the Legislature or Congress passed a gun law he considered unconstitutional.

He would not advocate nullifying a law found constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court, Hall said.

“The Supreme Court will be the ultimate decider of the Constitution,” he said.

Polk Sheriff Grady Judd said he was a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and advocates that citizens carry concealed weapons through the state’s licensing process.”

But he said he could not support a local law that instructed him to ignore state and federal gun laws.

“State and federal laws always supersede a county ordinance,” Judd told The Ledger. “What I would do as a law enforcement officer is enforce the laws of the state of Florida and the United States of America.”

Judd said he has reviewed dozens of Second Amendment sanctuary laws across the country and agreed they fall along the three categories outlined above.

Hall distinguished between Second Amendment and immigration sanctuary measures because the latter involved people breaking the law to enter and reside in the U.S., he said.

Concealed Carry Classes – Winter Haven / Lakeland

When you are serious about defending your life and the lives of your loved ones.

When you are serious about defending your life and the lives of your loved ones.
If you think all there is to carrying a deadly weapon in public is knowing how to pull a trigger, take any gun show or gun shop concealed carry class.
We teach you how to use your firearm to defend your life and the lives of your loved ones. There is no substitute for NRA firearms training.

You took a class. But, are you qualified?

What qualifies you to carry a deadly weapon in public?

With having a concealed carry weapons license also comes responsibility. Being qualified to carry a deadly weapon in public involves more than just having a card in your wallet.

Concealed Carry License Training – Polk County

All manner of firearms training:

  • Concealed carry weapons license training
  • Basic and advanced pistol training
  • Basic shotgun
  • Basic Defensive shotgun
  • Basic Rifle – AR rifle
We offer a 100% money back, student satisfaction guarantee.
We guarantee you will not find more comprehensive, comparable, firearms training anywhere in Central Florida offered privately or through a law enforcement agency. We are so sure of it, we will refund your money, if you are not satisfied with the training you receive. If that happens, you will be the first.
  • Active Shooter Defense Training Tactical firearms training for the general public
  • Church Guardian Training Tactical firearms training for members of faith based organization
  • Personal Protection Outside The Home
  • Personal Protection In The Home

Non-Firearm Training

  • Refuse To Be A Victim – A non-firearm crime prevention seminar
  • Stop The Bleed – Emergency blood loss control and tourniquet training – A free 1 1/2 hands-on training clinic

You took a class. But, are you qualified?

Active Shooter Defense Training

Our ‘Active Shooter Defense Training‘ is an advanced level tactical training class.

Our ‘Active Shooter Defense Training‘ course is 10 hours in duration (5 hours classroom instruction and 5 hours live-fire range training).

This course exceeds the State of Florida’s training requirements for concealed carry license application. 

This is an advanced level class that requires the completion of our 5-hour basic concealed carry training class or any official NRA pistol training course for participation. The possession of a concealed carry license is NOT a recognized prerequisite.

This course addresses and teaches:

  – Situational awareness

  – Mental preparedness

  – Threat assessment

  – Threat mitigation

  – Legal considerations in the use of lethal force

  – Concealed carry techniques

  – Selection of the proper firearm self-defense

  – Types of concealed carry holsters and selection

  – Ammunition for defensive purposes

  – Drawing from a holster and re-holstering

  – Utilization of cover and concealment

  – Engaging single and multiple assailants

  – Dealing with and correcting firearm malfunctions

This is not a beginner level course.  The participant must have a basic and working knowledge of handguns.

Although the tactical, live-fire range training is aggressive, it is conducted at the participant’s level of ability.

Each participant will be provided with an official NRA student packet and training manual.

An official, nationally recognized NRA certificate of completion is issued upon successful completion that can be used for applying for a Florida concealed carry license.

There is no other training of this caliber taught anywhere locally.

We do not mind if you shop around. Please do. But, keep in mind if you want incomparable handgun training, come back to us. There is no substitute for official NRA firearms training.

The NRA set the standard that others attempt to imitate.

The registration deadline for this course is Friday, Sept. 20th.  The basic prerequisite class can be taken any time prior to the Sept. 20th registration closing date.

To obtain the prerequisite, eligibility training required, by enrolling in any of our basic concealed carry classes, call us or visit our website and register online at: www.ingaugeofpolkcounty.com

Then click on “Register For A Class”.

Further information and reservations can be obtained by sending an email to: info.ingauge@gmail.com or by calling: 206-1996.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

concealed carry, ccw, ccw permit, ccw class, concealed carry training, ALICE, A.L.I.C.E., active shooter, guardian training, Polk County, Florida, self-defense, NRA, National Rifle Association, firearm training, church security training

Active Shooter Defense Training

Our Active Shooter Training is a 15-hour intense, tactical firearms training course. No prior firearms training is required to participate in this training. We take the individual participant from basic handgun training to advanced tactical.

A nationally recognized official NRA firearms certificate of training will be issued upon successful completion of the course. This training fulfills and exceeds the State of Florida’s training requirement for applying for a Florida concealed carry weapons license. Upon successful completion, no further training will be required to apply for a Florida concealed carry weapons licence. Florida concealed carry licenses are recognized in 36 other states.

We are currently accepting registrations for our fall classes.

Phase Two of our Active Shooter Defense Training will begin Saturday, Sept. 28th. The closing date for registration is Sept. 20th.

Call for additional information or visit our website at: www.ingaugeofpolkcounty.com

STOP THE BLEED emergency blood loss control and tourniquet training included with all our advanced level firearms training classes.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

active shooter, self-defense, concealed carry, concealed weapons training, gun training, shooting instruction, shooting classes, tactical gun training, Florida, Polk County, Polk County Sheriff’s Office, NRA, National Rifle Association, A.L.I.C.E, ALICE