June 2020 Adjusted NICS Checks

The National Shooting Sports Foundation adjusted NICS figures have been released. June 2020, while having the most raw NICS checks on records, actually is behind March 2020 when adjusted for permit checks and rechecks.

Nonetheless, June was an impressive month and the first half of 2020 was likewise impressive.

From NSSF:

The June 2020 NSSF-adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) figure of 2,177,586 is an increase of 135.7 percent compared to the June 2019 NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 924,054. For comparison, the unadjusted June 2020 FBI NICS figure 3,909,502 reflects a 70.6 percent increase from the unadjusted FBI NICS figure of 2,291,066 in June 2019.

The second quarter 2020 NSSF-adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) figure of 5,451,599 reflects an increase of 92.8 percent over the 2,827,606 figure for first quarter 2019.

The NSSF-adjusted NICS figure for March 2020 was 2,375,525.

It should be pointed out the states of Alabama and Michigan have had their qualified alternatives under the Brady Law removed in 2019 and 202 respectively. This means in those states, you can no longer use a carry permit as a substitute for a NICS check. That raised the percentage of NICS checks in those states by over 400% compared to last June.

To see how June 2020 compared to the month of June in past years, look at this graphic. You can see that it just skyrockets!

As I remind everyone when I post these numbers, neither the raw nor the adjusted-NICS checks are a one to one correlation with gun sales. They do not capture private sales where legal, they don’t capture sales where an alternative is accepted, and they don’t figure in multiple firearms sold with one NICS check. The Form 4473 has room on it for up to four firearms per transaction. Thus, it is safe to assume the actual number of firearms sold in the month of June is well past 2.1 million.

Now if all those new gun owners will vote the Second Amendment, we should be in good shape. Time will tell.

A Curfew Comes To The Mountains

The City of Asheville (NC) declared a city-wide state of emergency and an 8pm to 6am curfew beginning tonight.

Requires individual to remain at home with the exception of medical emergencies and acquiring goods or services that are necessary to sustain the well-being of themselves or their families;

Does not apply to medical professionals, public safety workers, medical or healthcare workers, military personnel, public transportation personnel, public utilities personnel, and media;

Restricts travel within the city limits of Asheville;

Violators will be charged with a Class 2 misdemeanor.

This comes after two evenings of protests that went from peaceful to not-peaceful.

From the Citizen-Times:

The first night of demonstrations in Asheville May 31 caused the shutdown of interstate traffic, but were less violent and destructive than many other protests happening around the nation that have included the shooting of officers and at least one death.

On Monday night, Asheville protesters did not march but the intensity ramped up with guns brandished and fired and more property damage near the city center….

But after hours of peaceful protest, the night ended in a series of tear gas canisters and eventually gunfire. 

You can see things start to deteriorate in this video from local TV station WLOS. We were watching parts of it live last night and I thought reporter Caitlyn Penter was going to suffer whiplash the way her head was swiveling back and forth.

You can see some of the damage to downtown Asheville in the next video taken a couple of hours ago. As the reporter notes, much of the damage was sustained by home-grown businesses just starting to get back on their feet after the stay-at-home orders were eased.

All I can say is that I’m glad I live miles away from downtown Asheville and live outside the city limits. And as always, we keep our doors locked as a matter of course.

Radical Thought Of The Day

Lawrence Person at his BattleSwarm Blog had some thoughts on the current spate of rioting in cities across the United States. The one that stood out to me was this:

Here’s a radical thought: What if the backers and antifa and #BlackLivesMatter want Trump to win? The insane wing couldn’t get Bernie Sanders the nomination, and they can’t control the Democratic Party if Biden wins and leaves the Clinton hacks in charge of the gravy train for the next 4-8 years. As in the 1960s, looting and rioting boost the chances of law and order candidates, which is clearly Donald Trump this year. They need Trump to win again to completely take over the Party for the radical left.

That is a radical thought that just could be correct. I have yet to come across anyone – right, left, or center – who thought kneeling on George Floyd’s neck was anything other than unconscionable.

What if the radical elements seeking control of the Democrat Party from the Clintonistas are creating their own “Reichstag fire” moment to destroy the Clinton wing of the party. I’m sure that they would be willing to endure another four years of Donald Trump if it meant control of the party.

Weirder things have happened in history.

Something To Mull Over For A Monday

I read an interesting article by Malcom Gladwell this weekend. It was published in the New Yorker and dealt with how school shootings spread. The central premise is that school shootings are like a riot in that people who may never have considered violence are sucked into it as the violence escalates.

But (Stanford sociologist Mark)Granovetter thought it was a mistake to focus on the decision-making processes of each rioter in isolation. In his view, a riot was not a collection of individuals, each of whom arrived independently at the decision to break windows. A riot was a social process, in which people did things in reaction to and in combination with those around them. Social processes are driven by our thresholds—which he defined as the number of people who need to be doing some activity before we agree to join them. In the elegant theoretical model Granovetter proposed, riots were started by people with a threshold of zero—instigators willing to throw a rock through a window at the slightest provocation. Then comes the person who will throw a rock if someone else goes first. He has a threshold of one. Next in is the person with the threshold of two. His qualms are overcome when he sees the instigator and the instigator’s accomplice. Next to him is someone with a threshold of three, who would never break windows and loot stores unless there were three people right in front of him who were already doing that—and so on up to the hundredth person, a righteous upstanding citizen who nonetheless could set his beliefs aside and grab a camera from the broken window of the electronics store if everyone around him was grabbing cameras from the electronics store.

Granovetter was most taken by the situations in which people did things for social reasons that went against everything they believed as individuals. “Most did not think it ‘right’ to commit illegal acts or even particularly want to do so,” he wrote, about the findings of a study of delinquent boys. “But group interaction was such that none could admit this without loss of status; in our terms, their threshold for stealing cars is low because daring masculine acts bring status, and reluctance to join, once others have, carries the high cost of being labeled a sissy.” You can’t just look at an individual’s norms and motives. You need to look at the group.

His argument has a second implication. We misleadingly use the word “copycat” to describe contagious behavior—implying that new participants in an epidemic act in a manner identical to the source of their infection. But rioters are not homogeneous. If a riot evolves as it spreads, starting with the hotheaded rock thrower and ending with the upstanding citizen, then rioters are a profoundly heterogeneous group.

Finally, Granovetter’s model suggests that riots are sometimes more than spontaneous outbursts. If they evolve, it means they have depth and length and a history. Granovetter thought that the threshold hypothesis could be used to describe everything from elections to strikes, and even matters as prosaic as how people decide it’s time to leave a party. He was writing in 1978, long before teen-age boys made a habit of wandering through their high schools with assault rifles. But what if the way to explain the school-shooting epidemic is to go back and use the Granovetterian model—to think of it as a slow-motion, ever-evolving riot, in which each new participant’s action makes sense in reaction to and in combination with those who came before?

I suggest reading the whole article. I know this is “heavy” reading for a Monday morning but it is an important topic and it does have an implication for our gun rights.

Flash Mobs – Not Just For Philly And Milwaukee

When I think of flash mobs of urban teens who have gathered to rob and cause mayhem, I think of large cities like Philadelphia, Chicago, or Milwaukee. I need to readjust my thinking.

Thanks to Doc Wesson’s Gun Nation Podcast, I found out about a flash mob in my hometown of Greensboro, NC in late July. While I have not lived in Greensboro for thirty years, I still have my late mother’s house there and visit on a regular basis. To say I was shocked by the news is an understatement. Greensboro’s population is in the mid-200 thousand range which puts it in the mid-size city category with cities like Buffalo, Ft. Wayne, Birmingham, or St. Pete, Florida. While I am biased, I think most would say it is a very liveable city and a number of corporations have moved operations there in recent years.

According to the report above, one man was injured in an attack and the Carolina Theater was vandalized – all within view of the Greensboro PD headquarters.

There are conflicting reports on whether this was actually a “flash mob” or not. The Greensboro News-Record contends it was not and they reported that GPD spokeswoman Susan Danielson denies that they had any reports of attacks or a flash mob. Obviously, Greensboro station WFMY-TV above believes a flash mob attack happened and so does former Mayor Keith Holliday who now runs the Carolina Theater.

Regardless of the conflicting reports, the potential for violence when large groups of youth suddenly converge on a location due to a call posted on Facebook or Twitter is there. Combine bored youth with a bad economy and the potential rises. The best advice given by people I respect is not to be in a location where the mobs would gather in the first place and, if you are, to get out as fast as you can. If it can happen in a Greensboro, it can happen in Knoxville or Richmond or other small-to-moderate sized cities.

NOTE: The title on the video above was put there by the person who posted it on YouTube. I had to use this version instead of embedding directly from WFMY-TV. I do not condone the equating of flash mobs with black youths. Violent youths come in all colors and all races.

CCRKBA On The British Riots And Need To Keep And Bear Arms

Brit Riots Show Need for Right to Keep and Bear Arms

BELLEVUE, WA – Widespread rioting, arson and looting across London clearly demonstrates the need in any civilized society for the right to personal protection and the tools to make it possible, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today.

Rioting that reportedly began over the police shooting of a man over the weekend has now exploded into anarchy, leaving British citizens stunned and fearful. People have been forced to flee from their homes. CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb noted that in Great Britain, where firearms are so strictly regulated that relatively few people own them legally, and self-defense is treated like a criminal offense, citizens are literally at the mercy of the mob.

“One wonders if the thugs now terrorizing British citizens would behave better if they thought their next intended victim might be armed and willing to fight back,” Gottlieb observed. “How would these rioters fare if citizens were able to defend their homes and businesses?”

Gottlieb, co-author of America Fights Back: Armed Self-Defense in a Violent Age, noted that the riots suggest far more is at work than anger over a shooting.

“The Second Amendment has provided American citizens with the means, and the tools, to protect themselves, their families and their property,” he observed. “Rather than flee from their homes as is now happening in some London neighborhoods, people should be able to defend what is theirs rather than surrender the streets to a mob.

“Evidently,” Gottlieb added, “Americans understand that. According to data from the National Shooting Sports Foundation, people in this country – despite the economy – are buying increasing numbers of firearms. There was an 8.3 percent rise in the number of background checks with the National Instant Check System in July over the same month last year. This has been going on now for 14 straight months, according to the data.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the innocent citizens of London,” he concluded. “Anarchy is always easier when people lack the means to protect their homes and neighborhoods.”

An Unarmed Populace Will Find A Way To Defend Themselves

British laws virtually outlaw armed self defense with a firearm. Not only are their firearm restrictions draconian but armed self defense is quite often prosecuted as was the case of British farmer Tony Martin. Mr. Martin served almost four years for defending himself in his own home from intruders with his shotgun.

Riots which began on Saturday night and continue today have left one man dead, many homeless, and innumerable shops, pubs, and other business establishments looted and destroyed. As Glenn Reynolds, the Instapundit, has commented, ” Unlike L.A., there are no Korean shopkeepers with AR-15s to help contain the looting.”

With the police response under great criticism and politicians being heckled over their inability to stop the thugs, looters, and other miscreants, people are starting to take matters into their own hands with what is available.

In the sports and leisure section of Amazon’s UK site
, the biggest percentage movers for the past 24 hours have been “aluminium” baseball bats. The Rucanor Aluminium Baseball Bat, Silver – 60 cm, has shown an 52,211% rise in sales. Previously, it was 8,893 on the list and now is at number 17. The number two bat is now sold out and it is unknown when it be back in stock. I wouldn’t be surprised if old cricket bats and field hockey sticks stuffed in the backs of closets or buried behind years of Christmas decorations in the basement are not suddenly being remembered and located.

Some shopkeepers are saying enough is enough especially those of Turkish and Kurdish extraction. In the Kingsland Road and Stoke Newington sections of London, the knives used to cut the meat for doner kebabs have been put to use.

Across the road, I ask another shopkeeper if what I’d heard is true, that the Turkish men in Kingsland Road and Stoke Newington were arming themselves to protect their shops, to protect their own. “Is true. Police no use, government too soft.” He frowns: “So they had knives.”

Turkish and Asian shopkeepers in the Dalston area were determined to protect their shops.

Some were seen carrying tools to protect themselves and their businesses, as police officers were scarce in the area late on Monday night.

When suspected looters were seen in the area, the shopkeepers and their families ran shouting after them up the main road, Kingsland High Street.

Jerry Keshin, who runs Jerry’s Food and Wine on Stoke Newington Road, said: “I shut early because I heard they were coming. I went down to Hoxton to get my boys and we drove back up and saw a group of about 10 rioters who were on their way into our area. We chased them into one of the estates and had it out.

“Then we came back to the corner of Shacklewell Lane to keep the area safe. A load more of them came through at about 11.40 but the whole community was out to chase them away.

His friend Aykut Boyraz said: “The community is close and we all know each other. We’re not going to have any riots around here. It doesn’t matter if you’re Turkish, if you live round here we’ll defend you.”

It is interesting that those most likely to protect their shops and livelihood are from the immigrant population. I guess they haven’t gotten used to living on the dole yet.

From The Country Formerly Known As Great Britain

In the north London neighborhood of Tottenham, rioters and looters ranged freely for over 12 hours while police vainly tried to regain control. According to reports, the riot started after a protest outside the police station on Tottenham High Road got out of control.

The initial gathering on Saturday was to protest the shooting of  Mark Duggan, a 29-year old gang member. Duggan was shot and killed on Thursday by a police constable after Duggan shot the constable in the chest. The constable’s radio deflected the bullet and saved his life. Of course, given the British laws on firearms, Mr. Duggan’s possession of a handgun should have been unpossible.

According to the Telegraph, the Metropolitan Police focused their efforts in Tottenham where rioters burned police cars, stores, and apartment buildings. Looters took advantage of this to hit other areas less than a mile away.

But its tactics meant gangs of youths were free to break into stores at nearby Tottenham Hale retail park and in Wood Green, with looters forming an orderly queue in broad daylight to steal from a sports shop.

Riot police did not intervene to stop the looting in some areas until 7.30am the following morning, almost 12 hours after the riots began, and last night there were fresh disturbances in Enfield.

An orderly queue? Only in the U.K.!

The looting continued into the daylight hours. Lest it be said this looting was racially motivated, check out the looters in the video below. Some are black and some are white. They are all thieves.

There are many who believe Mr. Duggan got what he deserved as this video makes clear. It does contain quite a bit of swearing so you may not want to play it if young kids are in the room or they will be dropping the F Word with a weird accent at the worst possible time.

I spent the fall of 1978 in London on a Semester Abroad program. There was a considerable amount of labor unrest in the UK at the time and the IRA was still active in their bombing campaign against the British. That said, I don’t remember any riots happening while I was there nor do I remember seeing the police regularly carrying firearms. The gun laws at that time were much less restrictive than they are now and the only police who regularly carried firearms was the Special Branch of Scotland Yard.