Did Beto O’Rourke Just Shut Down The Gun Control Debate?

In one rash moment, Beto accomplished what the NRA could never do, convince America that the true goal of gun control reform is disarming law-abiding citizens. I wanted to believe all of the people who said we are not coming for your guns. Thanks for clearing things up, Beto. America thanks you for your honesty.

Before Universal Background Checks, It Was Normal For A Female Friend Of My Wife To Lend Her A Handgun Before A Long Road Trip

In the 1990s when we were living in Texas, my wife was avid dressage rider. She decided she needed to train and compete in Florida for a couple of months if she was going to take her riding to the next level. A female friend upon learning of the plan became concerned that my wife was driving to Florida alone. In those times, it was perfectly normal for her friend to offer to lend a handgun and for my wife to accept. Friends did not ask friends for background checks. They know each much better than any government background check. I had more problems with her being in Florida for three months than her having a handgun for self-defense. I did not expect any problems on the trip but I was confident that my wife could handle a handgun appropriately if the need arose. My wife felt safer because she had a gun available. As expected, the handgun was not needed during the trip.

What surprises me about this discussion of universal background checks is the lack of common sense. Mr. Crenshaw argues for common-sense laws and Ms. Ocasio-Cortez argues for something that sounds weird to gun owners. Gun owners are not obligated to lend their guns. Most gun owners do not want anyone but especially the government to know how many guns they own. The scariest thought for a gun owner is that their gun will be used in a crime. So most gun owners are especially careful who they discuss guns with and who they lend guns to. You have to wonder what was she thinking when she said this.

The people you’re giving a gun to have likely abused their spouse or have a violent criminal record, & you may not know it.

In my wife’s case, I can say that she did not abuse her spouse or have a violent criminal record. I know it because I am her husband. Her friend knew it because she is her friend. The problem with common-sense gun control measures is that gun control advocates cannot utter two sentences without exposing their lack of common sense. Maybe we should wait for our gun control advocates to grow up before we write any new gun control laws.

Two Wrongs Still Does Not Make A Right #KateSteinle

Two Wrongs Do Not Make A RightI have three things that bother me about the KateSteinle decision.

Attorneys Gloating Over The Decision Made The Attorneys And San Francisco Look Bad

This was a sad day for the relatives of #KateSteinle family and San Francisco as both attorneys gloated over the decision. They seemed to be making the case that the decision was primarily about President Trump. There was a high road to discussing the jury’s decision and the attorneys did not take it. Ironically the attorneys took a divisive issue made the San Francisco justice system look cheap and arbitrary.

A SIG Sauer P239 Is A Modern, Reliable Gun. So How Does It Go Off Accidentally?

The gun used in the Kate Steinle murder was a SIG Sauer P239. This is a modern, reliable gun that is popular with law enforcement agencies. The handguns produced by SIG Sauer have a well-deserved reputation for reliability. As an example, the P226 is the official sidearm of the U.S. Navy SEALs. On 19 January 2017, SIG Sauer was awarded the contract to supply handguns to the US military. SIG Sauer does not make guns that go off “accidentally”. The only way a modern gun goes off “accidentally” is if someone accidentally puts their finger on the trigger and pulls. If your finger is on the trigger and you have not confirmed that the gun is empty, it is not an accident. Mr. Zarate had his finger on the trigger of a loaded gun and it went off. This is negligence. The lack of a conviction for involuntary manslaughter brings into question whether a sanctuary city is capable of justice for all. We signed up for blind justice not blind and stupid justice.

Does California Care About Gun Safety?

The only #KateSteinle conviction was for a felon possessing a firearm. Considering that the case for involuntary manslaughter was stronger, why did they convict him for accidentally picking up a firearm? The conviction reeks of tokenism and undermines the justice system. If something good is to come from Kate Steinle’s death, the conviction has to be more than a good scolding. An involuntary manslaughter conviction would have sent a strong message about gun safety. This was the message I got in my concealed carry class. My instructor was pretty adamant that if my gun was involved in an accidental discharge and someone died, I was going to jail. That is a good lesson I remember every time I handle a gun. If California cared about gun safety they should have taken the opportunity to emphasize what a person should do if they find a gun. A child or a person not familiar with guns should contact the police and let them handle it. A person more experienced with guns may want to safely secure the weapon before contacting the police. The gun may be lost or involved in a crime. An illegal immigrant high on sleeping pills he found in a trash can should walk away. Illegal immigrants with guns is a situation even sanctuary cities have to realize is a bad idea.

2016 Concealed Carry Growth In Ohio

Late last year I noticed that Buckeye Firearms Association was publishing concealed carry statistics for Ohio. As an example here is a recent post about the 2016 statistics, Annual Attorney General Summary on Concealed Carry: 2016 marks busiest year on record. Although my calculations of the total number of valid licenses did not match up as closely as I would like, I will gladly defer to their report. There are a lot of people with concealed carry licenses. My favorite quote from their report is:

For the person without a CHL, what this means is that anytime they look around and see 14 other people, odds are that one of them has a CHL. Concealed carry is mainstream, common sense and is close to most people on a daily basis. It works so well that most people are blissfully unaware that anyone else is carrying a gun.

Strong Concealed Carry Growth In Ohio In The Second Quarter

Ohio continued to show strong concealed carry growth in 2016 with 32,259 new licenses in the second quarter. Even though the number of new licenses dropped from the first quarter of 2016, it is still 58% higher than the fourth quarter of 2015. By my calculations, the renewal rate increased to 73% while the year over year growth of total licenses increased to 19%. Here is my updated table and graph. To see my last report and the explanation of how I calculate the total number of licenses, click here.

Date Licenses Issued Licenses Renewed Total Licenses Renewal Rate License YoY Growth Rate
1/1/2014 16,205 15,832 429,393 75% 17%
4/1/2014 16,004 15,058 437,709 66% 12%
7/1/2014 11,945 11,159 445,453 73% 9%
10/1/2014 13,912 10,097 455,663 73% 9%
1/1/2015 15,593 12,071 467,167 75% 9%
4/1/2015 19,608 12,042 480,297 65% 10%
7/1/2015 16,000 10,129 493,924 81% 11%
10/1/2015 20,388 10,309 510,850 75% 12%
1/1/2016 36,118 11,242 542,082 70% 16%
3/1/2016 32,259 11,276 570,274 73% 19%

Concealed Carry Statistics For Ohio

Selling Guns At Hardware Stores

On Sunday my wife and I were shopping for a new lawn mower and decided to check the lawn mower prices at our local hardware store. I thought this store was out of business since it has had such a difficult time competing with the nearby Home Depot and Lowes stores. We did not find a lawn mower but I was intrigued that out of the three store employees, two were working at the gun counter. Of the the seven customers in the store five customers were at the gun counter. A couple of years ago this store did not sell guns and now they have more guns and ammo customers than hardware customers.

Concealed Carry Statistics For Ohio

Although the Ohio Attorney General publishes quarterly concealed carry statistics on the licenses issued and renewed, I wanted to know the total number of concealed carry licenses in Ohio and whether existing license holders are renewing. Since concealed carry licenses are valid for five years I realized that I had almost all of the data I needed to calculate those numbers. My only problem was the missing reports for the 1st quarter of 2010 and the 4th quarter of 2012 so I had to estimate them. The formula for the total number of active licenses is the sum of the licenses issued and renewed over the last five years. The formula for the renewal rate is licenses renewed divided by the sum of the licenses issued and renewed from the same quarter five years ago. Since the attorney general data starts in 2008 I was only able to calculate the total concealed carry licenses for the last three years. Here is my best guess at the renewal rate and year over year growth rate for the last two of years.

Date Licenses Issued Licenses Renewed Total Licenses Renewal Rate License YoY Growth Rate
1/1/2014 16,205 15,832 429,393 75% 17%
4/1/2014 16,004 15,058 437,709 66% 12%
7/1/2014 11,945 11,159 445,453 73% 9%
10/1/2014 13,912 10,097 455,663 73% 9%
1/1/2015 15,593 12,071 467,167 75% 9%
4/1/2015 19,608 12,042 480,297 65% 10%
7/1/2015 16,000 10,129 493,924 81% 11%
10/1/2015 20,388 10,309 510,850 75% 12%

Concealed Carry Statistics For Ohio

Are You Capable Of Using A Weapon To Shoot Or Kill An Attacker?

In the comments for the post, 5 Questions Women Should Ask Before They Get a Gun, JayWye asked the question, “are you capable of using a weapon to shoot or kill an attacker?”  Most of the comments focused on guns but the interesting question is how comfortable are women with using self-defense weapons other than guns? Europe provides us with a few alternatives with mixed results. Recently a Danish teenager who said she was sexually assaulted now faces a fine for using pepper spray against her attacker. Over in Sweden Stieg Larsson in the book, The Girl Who Played with Fire, has Lisbeth Salander saying,

There were not so many physical threats that could not be countered with a decent hammer.

I carried pepper spray in the past and when I decided to test it, it would not spray. Oops! Tasers have a similar problem. What happens if you forget to check the battery? Hammers are reliable but down right brutal. In my humble opinion when it comes to a choice between pepper spray, tasers, hammers, or guns, I think most woman would be more comfortable carrying a gun. It is simple, reliable, and effective with a minimum of maintenance. Since art frequently imitates life I will leave it to Leigh Anne Touhy to have the final word.  Here is one of the best quotes from the movie, The Blind Side.

Alton: You hear me, bitch?

Leigh Anne Touhy: No, you hear me, BITCH!. You threaten my son, you threaten me. You so much as cross into downtown, you will be sorry. I’m in a prayer group with the D.A., I’m a member of the N.R.A. and I’m always packing.

Alton: Whatchu packin? .22? A little Saturday night special?

Leigh Anne Touhy: Yep. And it shoots just fine every other day of the week too.

Guns In America

Smith & Wesson ShieldLast night I picked up my Smith & Wesson Shield. My wife gave it to me as a Christmas present. When I came home I was literally getting familiar with my new handgun while watching clips of the “Guns in America” Town Hall Meeting. Regardless of what the President had to say about guns my wife and I had moved on. He had his chance to make my wife and I feel safe and failed. When you combine a heroin epidemic with the botched terrorism prevention efforts in Paris and San Bernardino, carrying a handgun is not sounding as crazy as it did eight years ago. I am reluctant about carrying a handgun but if the government is unable or unwilling to protect us, somebody has to do it. It might as well be me.

The Irony of New Gun Controls While Smith & Wesson Stock Executives Raise Sales And Earnings Outlook

You got to love the sweet irony of the almost simultaneous announcements of the President’s new gun control regulations and Smith & Wesson executives raising their sales and earnings outlook for the current quarter and its fiscal year. Not surprisingly Smith & Wesson stock is setting 52 week highs. Over the last couple of years when the President speaks about gun control, the demand for guns and the stock price of Smith & Wesson has risen dramatically. Obviously the American people do not trust the President on gun control. Here is the stock chart of Smith & Wesson and the S&P 500 over the last couple of years. The San Bernardino killings is a sad reminder that the Administration is a loser when it comes to protecting the American people from terrorism. If our country is not willing or able to protect its citizens, it is time to man up and carry a gun.

SWHC Chart From Yahoo Finance 2016-01-05