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

Gun Control In 2016

Gallup_Terrorism1If you had told me eight years ago that I would be carrying a concealed gun in 2016 I would have thought you were crazy. However unfathomable it may have been for me in 2008, this week I found myself trying out concealed carry guns at a local gun range and browsing Amazon for holsters.  This change in attitude toward concealed carry and more broadly toward gun control has been brewing for some time. It probably started in 2009 when the government attributed the fatal shooting of shot 13 people at Fort Hood to “workplace violence”. This year it peaked with the intelligence failures that resulted in the terrorist killings in Paris and San Bernardino. I began to question whether the government would protect me from terrorists. Not surprisingly a Gallup poll on the confidence of the U. S. Government to protect citizens echoed this sentiment and showed a big drop in 2015. I was particularly irked when President Obama tried to change the subject and blame terrorism on climate change.

And, you know, if you look at world history, whenever people are desperate, when people start lacking food, when people — are not able to make a living or take care of their families — that’s when ideologies arise that are dangerous.

How can the President be so out of touch with the American people and clueless about terrorism? We want to see some empathy by our President that you know our fears and instead we get a lecture that terrorists are trying to kill us because they are hungry. I cringe every time he uses climate change and terrorism in the same sentence.

For a long time I did not want to carry a gun because I thought it would be dangerous and inconvenient. I was more than willing to not delve into that subject until the President fumbled the empathy question. Then I remembered that the biggest crime problem in our county is theft by heroin addicts. Maybe this is the right time to investigate the self defense question more thoroughly. I may not need a concealed carry weapon to stop a home invasion but concealed carry may help me to sharpen my situational awareness. The more I thought about it the more it made sense. Then I remembered that I have been carrying a pocket knife for most of my working life. Currently I carry a folding box cutter from Home Depot. It fits quite nicely in the coin pocket of my jeans and it does a nice job opening today’s adult-proof packaging. In all my years of carrying a knife I never hurt myself or anyone else with it. How big a stretch would it be for me to adjust my lifestyle to accommodate concealed carry and  practice every month?

What I find particularly fascinating is that instead of fixing the problems of intelligence failures in combating terrorism, access to guns by mentally unstable people, and crime both the Administration and state governments have tried to implement more gun control laws on law abiding citizens. As an example Virginia will no longer honor the out-of-state concealed handgun carry permits of gun owners from more than two dozen of the states with which the commonwealth currently has reciprocal privileges. Does this mean they have fixed the problem with access to guns by mentally unstable people? As a Virginia Tech alumni that is the gun control problem I hoped they fixed. When I see two instances of people killed by crazy people you have to wonder whether they care? Is the third time a charm? As long as the government fails to do their job fighting crime and terrorism, we should not be surprised to find that Black Friday Was the Biggest Day Ever for Gun Sales.

Senator Sherrod Brown And Concealed Carry Laws

No Firearms SginSenator Sherrod Brown caught my attention with a recent comment about Rep. Ron Maag’s concealed carry bill that would allow individuals with concealed handgun licenses to carry guns in day care facilities, private planes, police departments and airport terminals before the metal detectors. It passed the Ohio House and is pending in the state Senate legislation. Here is what he said according to the Cincinnati.com:

“The Ohio Legislature’s passed a law to allow concealed weapons in day care centers, but interesting, this same Legislature, in its wisdom, doesn’t allow concealed weapons in the statehouse,” Brown said.

“When I say they’re lunatics, that’s what I’m talking about,” Brown continued. “People that think you should allow guns in day care centers but they’re protecting themselves by not allowing guns in their workplace, that would be in that category of lunatics.”

So is he upset that the law allows concealed carry in day care centers or that it continues to prohibit concealed carry in the legislature?

Last Sunday I was in a concealed carry class with three women. One of the women is both a veteran and a new mom. Although she was experienced with a rifle, a pistol is a better choice if you plan to carry a weapon while traveling around town. Unlike Israel we have panic attacks when people walk around with assault rifles. Since she is both comfortable and experienced with guns, I think it would be pretty normal for her to want to carry a concealed handgun into a day care center. If she is comfortable carrying a concealed handgun into a grocery store then carrying a concealed handgun into a day care center should not be any different. The only time anyone would know she was “carrying” is if a crazy person showed up and opened fire. The rules for engagement with lethal force are pretty similar to those used by soldiers and the police. Then every mom and dad would know and be grateful.

That leads me to the conclusion that Senator Brown was upset that legislators did not allow concealed carry in the legislature. Since most government buildings prohibit concealed weapons including handguns, continuing to prohibit concealed weapons in the legislature sounds pretty normal and makes the Senator sound like the lunatic. As a person who will try to “carry” most of the time when I get my license and gun, Rep. Maag’s bill is a common sense step forward at eliminating some of the gotcha’s of concealed carry. Like most concealed carry people I will try and follow the laws. Common sense makes the laws more effective. Just imagine that young mom dropping her kid off at day care.  Do you really want her to take her gun out of her holster and lock it up every time she goes into the day care? She is not a terrorist or a crazy person. She is a veteran. She is one of the good gals. Remember, Senator Brown, as my Senator I expect you to know the difference between a veteran and a terrorist. If you had done your job with terrorists and crazy people we would not buying guns.