Sorry Joe, There Is No Consensus

In a statement released yesterday on the eight anniversary of the Newtown murders, presumed President-Elect Joe Biden said, in part:

But in this collective pain, you’ve helped usher in a collective and growing purpose. You’ve helped us forge a consensus that gun violence is a national health crisis and we need to address its total cost to fully heal families, communities, and our nation.

Eight years later, there have been plenty of thoughts and prayers, but we know that is not enough. Together with you and millions of our fellow Americans of every background all across our nation, we will fight to end this scourge on our society and enact common sense reforms that are supported by a majority of Americans and that will save countless lives.

Having gone to a Quaker college where the concept of consensus is a real thing, there is no such consensus that “gun violence” (sic) is a “national health crisis”. The only consensus that I see is that those that who wish to restrict our freedoms have decided that declaring it a “national health crisis” will allow them free rein.

Biden’s statement notes that “more than 30,000 people die from gun violence across America.” This is a misleading number as it conflates death by suicide with that of homicide. Suicide is a mental health issue and one that I see groups like the NSSF and Second Amendment Foundation have taken seriously. Other groups like Walk The Talk America were founded by gun people – not the Brady Campaign, CSGV, or Everytown.

So-called “gun violence” (sic) is actually the criminal misuse of a firearm. Even in the Newtown murders, it started with the killer’s murder of his own mother who had legally purchased her firearms and had gone through background checks. Matricide or the murder of one’s own mother is already against the law everywhere.

What Biden’s statement actually says is that his administration is seriously intent on imposing more and more gun control. Whether it is done by Executive Order, the recharacterization of existing regulations, or by the passage of new laws, they are going to try and we need to be ready to oppose it.

This Is Why Newbies Are Buying Firearms

If the NICS figures are any indication, a lot of people are buying firearms. While the gun prohibitionists are portraying it as gun owners buying more, we know that is incorrect. There are a lot of first time gun buyers out there even when the state throws up roadblocks.

As to why there are a lot of newbies buying guns, it is because they correctly foresaw a rise in crime. They knew that a firearm, correctly used, will allow them to protect themselves and their families.

New York City has seen an increase in property crimes in the last 28 days according to the NYPD’s statistics. This includes a 6.9% rise in robberies, a 21.8% increase in burglaries, and a whopping 64.2 increase in grand theft auto. This is taking place in a city that is the nation’s epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic.

You are having criminals being released from prison to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Moreover, you are seeing criminals who are caught be released on virtually no bail even for violent crimes. Bond amounts are equivalent to pocket change. And this is in Texas!

Breitbart Texas reports that even Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo is concerned about the release of prisoners and the expected rise in crime.

Houston Police Department Chief Art Acevedo said burglaries in the city are up 20 percent since the issuance of “Stay-Home, Work-Safe” orders put in place by Harris County.

“Right now, burglaries have spiked 20 percent,” Chief Acevedo told Breitbart Texas in a phone interview. “Some people are seeing the shutdown of businesses as a target-rich opportunity. Habitual burglars should not be released.”

The chief said that there needs to be a plan for what to do with habitual criminals that are being released from the Harris County jail under orders from County Judge Lina Hidalgo. “What happens to these folks after they are released,” the chief asked. “What is the plan?”

Acevedo said Judge Hidalgo did not consult with him about the issue of releasing criminals from the county jail, a large percentage of which were arrested by his officers.

You have to wonder if he is rethinking his position on gun control.

The rise in crime seems to be more place specific as there are locations like the Bay Area reporting a decrease in crime while Minneapolis is reporting an increase especially in business burglaries.

UPDATE: Colion Noir who lives in Houston reports that the mayor is asking criminals to just stay home “and chill”. I agree with Colion Noir’s skepticism.

The Empty Chair Makes An Empty Gesture With The Empty Chair

Sometimes the headline just writes itself.

So it is with the announcement that President Barack “Empty Chair” Obama will leave an empty chair in the First Lady’s box at the State of the Union Address. The empty chair is help vacant for the victims of gun violence (sic).

A Vacant Seat for the Victims of Gun Violence

Last week, the President took a series of commonsense steps to help reduce gun violence in America and make our communities safer.

We leave one seat empty in the First Lady’s State of the Union Guest Box for the victims of gun violence who no longer have a voice – because they need the rest of us to speak for them. To tell their stories. To honor their memory. To support the Americans whose lives have been forever changed by the terrible ripple effect of gun violence – survivors who’ve had to learn to live with a disability, or without the love of their life. To remind every single one of our representatives that it’s their responsibility to do something about this.

To see what an empty gesture that this is, let’s drill down through the numbers. The gun prohibitionists at Everytown Moms for Illegal Mayors tell us that 88 people die daily due to “gun violence” (sic). Using their own numbers, this includes a daily average of 55 people who commit suicide using a firearm. This is disingenuous as it blames the instrument for their deaths. We don’t talk about intentional overdose violence or Golden Gate Bridge violence or subway violence but all are a means by which people have killed themselves. Realistically we should be more concerned with the why of suicide than the how but then that wouldn’t fit the narrative.

After you take out the 55 people a day who commit suicide using a gun, you are left with 33 deaths per day. Of these, still using Everytown’s averages, about 2 daily are due to unintentional injuries and undetermined circumstances. That leaves 31 homicides per day and here is where it gets interesting.

During 2013, according to the CDC, there were 11,208 homicides that involved a firearm. Breaking it down by race and ethnicity, you find that non-Hispanic blacks accounted for 56.8% of homicide victims, non-Hispanic whites for 25% of homicide victims, and those of Hispanic ethnicity for 15.6% of homicide victims. Asians, American Indians, Pacific Islanders, and “other” only were victims in 2.6% of homicides.

Current census statistics show that non-Hispanic blacks are only 12.4% of the total US population with those of Hispanic ethnicity making up another 17.1%. Non-Hispanic whites account for 62.6% of the population. So while Hispanics and non-Hispanic blacks make up only 29.5% of the US population, they account for 72.4% of homicide victims.

Given that non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics make up the great majority of homicide victims, I had to speculate about the age distribution. The CDC 2013 aggregate statistics didn’t give this info but their WONDER database did allow for searches by race and age groups.

Whites showed a fairly even distribution with tails for the young and elderly. The 25-29 age group was the peak age group for homicides among whites at 12% of white homicides. Murder victims between the ages of 15 and 34 account for 38.8% of all white murder victims. Keep that number in mind.

Hispanics and non-Hispanic black murder numbers were skewed younger and less evenly distributed by age. Hispanic murder victims between the ages of 15 and 34 accounted for 68.6% of all Hispanics murdered. The peak age group was between 20 and 24 with 24.1% of all Hispanic murder victims. Non-Hispanic blacks showed similar results. 71.9% of black murder victims were between the ages of 15 and 34 with the peak age group being the same 20 to 24 years of age as Hispanics. That age group accounted for 25.9% of black murder victims.

I am not a criminologist but even common sense (a word beloved by President Obama) would indicate that gang and drug-related crime is behind the significant concentration of deaths among younger blacks and Hispanics. Efforts concentrated on suppressing gangs combined with a more realistic policy on drugs would have a greater impact on reducing so-called gun violence (sic) than any of the gun control efforts that President Obama is seeking. However, given the unholy alliance in cities like Chicago between gangs and the Democrat machine, I doubt anything will be done to suppress the gangs. It is far easier to demonize guns and legal gun owners than it is to attack the root causes of either suicide or homicides.

There Will Always Be An Exception

Holders of concealed carry permits have been shown to be more law-abiding than law enforcement officers over the years. That hasn’t stopped groups like the Violence Policy Center from doing everything in their power to portray permit holders as killers and wild cowboys with itchy trigger fingers.

Just as a bad cop is an exception to the norm, so too is a concealed carry holder that commits murder. Unfortunately, we in North Carolina now have one of those exceptions. A 62-year old man who held a NC Concealed Handgun Permit killed one person, wounded another, and killed the wounded woman’s unborn child. He then killed himself. The murder-suicide reportedly stemmed from a business dispute according to local papers.

Sean Sorrentino has much more detail and commentary on the incident. I’d suggest going there to learn more about this story.

All I can say is that it is a sad thing all around but that it is an exceptional one. And being exceptional, it is not reflective on concealed carry holders nor concealed carry in general. Even the Chicago Tribune concedes this point noting that it has been a quiet first year after Illinois finally got shall-issue concealed carry.

It’s Deja Vu All Over Again

I have lost count of the number of Mayor Bloomberg’s Illegal Mayors that have been indicted for some violation of the public trust. So when it comes to adding another one to the list, it just seems like deja vu all over again (with apologies to Yogi Berra).

On Friday, Monticello (NY) Village Mayor Gordon Jenkins was arrested and placed in the Sullivan County Jail along with the village’s building inspector.

His crimes?

Both men were charged with bribe receiving, criminal mischief, two counts of conspiracy, both felonies, as well as misdemeanors of three counts of official misconduct, criminal nuisance, and under the Department of Environmental Conservation law, endangering public health or safety.

Jenkins was also charged with intimidating a witness as a felony in connection with an incident in Fallsburg.

Bribery, conspiracy, witness intimidation.

What is with this group of mayors? Do they think that they can get away with a slew of felonies just so long as they didn’t use a firearm in the commission of their crimes?

Shades Of Oliver Twist

If you were exposed to Dickens novels in school or are of an age to remember the movie Oliver, then you know the story of how an older corrupt man used young boys to do his nefarious deeds. In a case of life imitating art, Brad Shipley of Trenton, Florida was arrested for using neighborhood kids to break-in to homes and steal outdoor gear such as guns, knives, and fishing tackle.

Photo from the Levy County Sheriff’s Dept

Shipley’s scheme fell apart when one of the kids told his mom what he was being forced to do.

Shipley’s plan unraveled when one of the kids told his mother what he had been made to do. The mother contacted LCSO and investigators seized the moment. Investigators were able recover property from six residential burglaries in Levy County, one burglary in Gilchrist County and a storage shed burglary in Alachua County.

According to the Levy County Clerk of Court’s office, Shipley is facing 17 counts ranging from dealing in stolen property to burglary to being a felon in possession of a firearm. He is being held under a $810,000 bond.

I’m a little surprised at the size of the bond but then again if you are stealing a man’s (or woman’s) fishing rod and/or his mounted deer head, you deserve to rot in jail.

“Somebody Lower Than A Snake’s Belly”

Early this morning, a group of masked armed men robbed an assisted living facility in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. They restrained the staff and then stole TVs and other valuables from the elderly residents.

About 1:30 a.m., three to four men entered the Clare Bridge Retirement Home at 275 S. Peace Haven Road, pulled out their guns and restrained employees, police said. The men, who had their faces covered, are alleged to have then gone into the rooms of the residents and stolen televisions, jewelry and other items, police said.

One resident had to be treated for a minor injury, according to police.

Police have not said how the men entered the facility. There were no visible signs of a break-in. Visitors must ring a bell in the foyer, and are allowed in by an employee. Employees must enter a security code to get in.

I think I’ve heard about damn near everything now. I just cannot conceive of an armed robbery of an assisted living facility. All I can say is that I hope most of the residents slept through it. The elderly need to be respected and not terrorized.

I agree 100% with C. D. Williams whose wife was a resident at the retirement home and lived across from one of the rooms that was entered.

Williams said his wife is fine but that he is upset that anyone would break into a retirement home.


“It’s somebody lower than a snake’s belly, and that’s pretty low,” he said. “You don’t know where to go to be safe.”

I don’t think it would be cruel and unusual punishment for the robbers, if and when they are caught, to be flogged or caned in the public square. In a spirit of moderation, I’ll save boiling in oil for the robber who injured the resident and not the whole gang of them.

UPDATE: Clare Bridge is owned by Brookdale Senior Living Solutions. According to their corporate website, this facility in Winston-Salem is strictly for the care of Alzheimer’s and dementia patients.

Now I’m really pissed off. My mother suffered from dementia during the last few years of her life. I saw a proud, smart, and fiercely independent woman reduced to a shell of her former self. Mistreating the elderly who suffer from dementia is on par with abusing a retarded child. Only the scum of the earth would do it.

Oh, The Mental Images

Checking my university email this morning, I found a security alert due to an off-campus stabbing in the vicinity of the campus. Read the alert below and see if it doesn’t conjure up an “interesting” mental image.

Jackson County Sheriff Department is reporting a stabbing at River Park Trailer Park. This is located off of Old Cullowhee Rd. approximately 1/2/ mile from the rear entrance. Suspect is described as a White Female, Blonde Hair, slender build, approximately 5’5″ tall, poor dental hygiene. No clothing description available. May be armed with a knife. Suspect was last seen on foot in the area of the trailer park. Due to the proximity to campus, the community should be aware of this event. There have been no sightings of the suspect on campus and officers are checking the area.

Stabbing. Trailer park. Poor dental hygiene.

Sometimes the stereotypes about the Southern Appalachians exist for a reason. This may be one of them.

Don’t Bring A Knife To A Gun Fight

A young robber in Burke County, North Carolina learned quickly that you don’t bring a knife to a gun fight.That is because the 63-year old clerk that he had pulled the knife on had a gun and wasn’t afraid to use it.

According to the story and video from WSOC-TV, the clerk not only fought back while he had a knife to his throat but he got three shots off at the robber. There is no report on whether or not the robber was shot.

Burke County Sheriff Steve Whisenant said the clerk had every right to protect himself and the business. He did add that someone could have been hurt.

Often in these situations, the clerk who defended him or herself is fired by their employer for being armed and fighting back. Fortunately, that does not seem to be the case here.

Assistant Manager Teresa Huffman is more nervous than ever working behind the counter at the Fast Track in Hildebran but supports what her co-worker did on Sunday night.

“As long as he can protect himself, I’m all for that,” she said. “I think he did the right thing in protecting himself, being as he was alone anyway.”

UPDATE: The Burke County Sheriff’s Department has arrested the suspect in this robbery. They say that the clarity of the video allowed them to identify the man and his knife.

Xiong Ta Kong Moua, 25, of Amherst Road was charged with attempted armed robbery with a dangerous weapon Monday. Police suspect Moua to have been the primary subject involved in a holdup at a Hildebran Fast Track convenience store Sunday night….

Whisenant said Tuesday that he believes video surveillance provided by the Fast Track store was tremendously helpful in the investigation, allowing authorities to match not only the blade wielded by the suspect, but the suspect’s identity as well.

“We used technology to pull through databases searching for the suspect’s physical description and found evidence that matched the suspect in video surveillance from the store,” the sheriff explained Tuesday afternoon. “We actually spoke with his family and found that his father actually crafts the kind of knife that you see in the video.”

And in what will be no surprise to regular readers of An NC Gun Blog, Xiong Ta Kong Moua is a convicted felon. He has five felony convictions for forgery.

Don’t Bring A Van To A Gun Fight

Three men in a van rammed the front wall of Guns & Ammo Gunsmith in North Augusta, SC in an attempted burglary. What they didn’t count on was that the owner lived right behind the store and, as befits the owner of a gun store, that he was armed.

When owner Stephen Bayazes came into the store, he found the three men loading guns from his store into their van.

Bayazes grabbed an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle and found three men loading guns into a van that had crashed through the side wall of the store.

After hearing the men yell to kill him, Bayazes shot one 30-round magazine of .223-caliber bullets before retreating to his bedroom to reload, he later told officers.

As he left the room, Bayazes saw two men drive away in the van.

Imagine that – the owner defended his life and his business with an AR-15. Moreover, one of the burglars is dead and the other two are in the hospital. Mr. Bayazes fortunately was unharmed. The only mistake that I can see that Mr. Bayazes is that he didn’t bring extra ammo.

The moral of the story is you don’t bring a van to a gun fight.