Top Of My Head

Thoughts on everything from Politics to Video Games

Tag: concealed carry

Elizabeth Hasslebeck – Stupidity in Motion

According to new stories, Elizabeth Hasselbeck, late of The View and new to Fox & Friends, believes that there should be a video game registry, not a gun registry. Somebody get this woman a brain. Video games don’t kill people, people with guns kill people. We had mass shootings and serial killers long before there was even such a thing as a Video game.

What we do need is 100% background check on every sale – even when father is selling to his son.

We do need is parents being responsible and not buying video games that are not designed for children.

That’s what we need.

What we don’t need is Hasselbeck to muddy the waters of discussion with crap. We don’t need someone who’s claim to fame was being on Survivor. It’s not like she worked hard to get on The View, nor Fox & Friends.

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Left, Wrong and the Internet: Early Morning Ramblings

I love the Internet.  I love technology.  That said, I think the Internet – for all the good – has a dark side.

We’re not anymore divided in this country than we were back when brother raised arms against brother, but thanks to the Internet; it sure feels that way.  To paraphrase Mark Twain, a lie can travel the email boxes of the world before the truth can boot the computer. (And, actually, to say that’s Mark Twain’s quote might not even be true – it might be Baptist preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon.)

And, speaking of lies, it is amazing to me how someone will believe the lie of an email rather than believe the actually fact.  And, it seems as if people want to believe the lie.  Further, at least in my life and my experience, these people are on the right.

For example, I don’t care who sent you the email, George Soros doesn’t own nor is he affiliated with Snopes.com.  But, since this information from about Snopes is from Snopes, I’m guessing those on the right won’t believe it.

Oh and another thing:  The media, with some exceptions, is a tool of the left.  Fox News and the right may want you to believe that, but it simply isn’t true.  The media, again with some exceptions, is a business.  Businesses like to make money and whatever ups the ratings or sells newspapers is what’s going to be printed.  Don’t believe me, check out the ads for your local news.  Go ahead – it’s all:  Water – is it going to kill you or The danger lurking in your kitchen.  It’s designed to get you to watch.  Sometimes, you might get the full story, but most of the time you don’t.  And, radio news is just as bad (if not worse) than TV news.  I happen to have a long commute and no matter which station I listen to in the morning, that station will have the news on 3 or 4 times.  And, it’s always the same stories.

And, who owns the media?

Well, The Disney Company owns ABC, so they might lean a little to the left. Comcast owns NBC. Clear Channel owns 850 radio stations.

Our media, which translates into our news and information, is slowly being owned by less and less companies. In other words, more stations are being owned by the same company.

And, don’t even get me started on the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which was supposed to deregulate Cable and lower our rates (seen your rates drop? Anybody?) and it allowed companies to own more and more stations. There was a limit before.

Anyway, even for a rambling post, I’m getting off track.

I’d like to bring up Trayvon Martin – I know, I know, you’re all sick about the subject and your tired from all of the coverage, but I fought with my father about this yesterday and it’s on my mind.

  1. I’ve made this statement before and I’m making it again:  Once George Zimmerman left the safety of his vehicle (after being told by police not to do so), it wasn’t self-defense.  Once he approached Martin, he was taking the law into his own hands and whatever transpired after that made him a murderer.  And, that’s why stand your ground laws are dangerous, because the victim is no longer here.
  2. The picture of Trayvon Martin with tons of tattoos?  It’s not him.  And, the blatant lie of him flipping off the camera?  That’s a Trayvon Martin, but not THE Trayvon Martin.  Check out Snopes.
  3. I don’t care what Martin was doing that night.  I don’t care what he did in his young life before that night.  I don’t care if the kid was flunking out of high score and planning on scoring some drugs that night.  I don’t know if any of that is true and I don’t care.  He had a right to be on that sidewalk and he had the right to not have someone without any legal authority stop and question him.  It doesn’t matter that Zimmerman thought he had some right or was justified – he wasn’t.  Follow me in your vehicle at night and then approach me?  You might be the one down on the sidewalk looking up at the stars.  Pull a gun on me in some sort of “self-defense” and be prepared to die.
  4. Personally, I think Zimmerman deserves vigilante justice.  He stalked and hunted Trayvon Martin; he should only get the same.  And, it’s amazing how right wing people are offended by that.  They think that’s horrible.  How could I possibly feel that way? I feel that way because I believe in an eye for an eye.  Zimmerman totally disregarded Martin’s rights by approaching him.  Zimmerman knew he had a gun.  He knew the police were on their way.  He knew he was safe and then he got out of the car.  I think the real justice will be the fact that Zimmerman for the rest of his life will have to look over his shoulder to make sure he’s not being attacked.

As much as I would like to continue my ramblings (and, I never did reach my original point), I have to get going and head to work. I know, a liberal who works for a living! Imagine that! No government aid! It must be some leftist, Marxist, fascist, Communist conspiracy!

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Recall Governor Scott Walker

Today kicks off the effort to remove Scott Walker from the Governor’s office.  We could’ve saved ourselves a lot of trouble and never voted him to be Governor in the first place, but that’s another story.

So, why remove Governor Walker?

He’s done almost exactly what he said he would do.  We are now all able to carry concealed weapons in this state.  He’s limited the power of those nasty unions.  Wisconsin is now open for business.  He’s created more jobs.

Um, wait, no he hasn’t.

Now, pay attention:  Governors and Presidents do not create jobs.  Small businesses and corporations create jobs.  People purchase items, which creates demand, which creates the need for more employees, which creates jobs.  Companies are not going to hire merely because they’re sitting on millions of dollars.  Most of the large corporations and companies (I am not discussing small businesses, because I don’t have the facts about them) that had trouble are now back in the black.  A lot of corporations are showing record profits on the books.  Thanks to tax cuts, subsidies and other benefits, they aren’t paying all that much in taxes.

They’re not hiring.  Why?  Because there’s no demand there.

Now, that said, I would like to point out that unemployment rate in the state of Wisconsin was 7.4% in January, 2011 – when Scott Walker took office.  With the exception of a brief moment (April, 2011 7.3%), the unemployment rate has steadily grown to a high of 7.9% to 7.8% (September, 2011).

Walker’s campaign was about how we were going to balance the budget and create jobs.  He pounded his Wisconsin’s open for Business slogan until you wanted to choke him with it.  He hasn’t created jobs.  Unemployment has gone up and not down.

Is it fair to judge him on something I really don’t think he could do anyway?  Yes.  Yes, because job creation was his own standard.  He was opening Wisconsin for business.  He was going to create jobs.  Then, he turned away the millions for the high speed rail system and cost the state 4,000 jobs.

And, the lack of jobs isn’t my only beef with him.  He’s made our state unsafe with the concealed carry law.  Sorry, no – I don’t believe that every single person who legally obtains a weapon is sane, rational and knows how to use it.  No, I don’t think being able to carry a weapon into bars and office buildings make us all safe.  Just one example:  Charles Julius Guiteau legally obtained his weapon and he used it to shoot a president.  (That’s one example, from 130 years ago, but this discussion isn’t about concealed carry.)

Anyway, there’s only been 2 successful recalls of governors in US history – let’s make it 3.

RECALL WALKER!!!

And, while I am not affiliated with this group in any manner, here is a link to United Wisconsin’s website.  You’ll learn even more information on the recall effort and why you should support the recall.

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Concealed Carry – Part One

Real Facts

Look at any pro-Concealed Carry website and you will find a statement about how it makes us safer or reduces crime.  Since Wisconsin decided to join the other 48 states and become a Concealed Carry state, I thought I would go back to the crime statistics and see what’s what.  If the pro-Concealed Carry crowd is correct, than next year, Wisconsin should see a huge drop in crime, right?

According to Concealed Campus, that would be true.  According to a PDF on their site, Florida’s homicide rate fell from 36% above the national average to 4% below (as of 2005).  I decided to do some checking on my own.

In 1982 – five years BEFORE Florida passes Concealed Carry – Florida had 1409 Murders and Non-Negligent Manslaughters.  The entire Country had 20818 (includes Florida’s numbers).  The average is 416 (rounding down, you can’t have .36 crimes).  In 1982, Florida is 993 crimes higher than the national average.

Five years later, in 1987 when Florida passes Concealed Carry, Florida had 1371 Murders and Non-Negligent Manslaughters.  The National Average that year was 397.  Florida was still higher.

Five years after Florida passed their Concealed Carry law, they had 1208 Murders and Non-Negligent Manslaughters.  The National Average was 466.

That doesn’t seem to be much in the way of improvement.  Certainly it doesn’t appear that Concealed Carry had much of an affect at all.  However; perhaps, I’m not being fair.  What percent of all murders are committed in Florida?

What about the murder rate?

The murder rate is the number of offenses per 100,000 people.  Florida’s murder rate in 1982 was 13.5; the Nation’s murder rate was 9.1. To put it in perspective, California’s was 11.2 and Texas was 16.1.  Sadly, the District of Columbia had a murder rate of 30.7 – the highest in the nation.  In fact the District of Columbia always has the highest murder rate.  This is a sad state of affairs when we can’t look after our nation’s capital.

Since 1982, the Nation’s murder rate has dropped from 9.1 to 5.  Florida’s has dropped from 13.5 to 5.5.  Still higher than the National murder rate, but still pretty impressive.  In the same time span, the National murder rate dropped from 9.1 to 5.

Is the website correct?  Nope.  Florida in 1982 was 32.59% higher than the National murder rate.  In 1987, Florida was 27.19% higher than the National murder rate.  In 2005, Florida was 10.71% lower than the National murder rate, which is very impressive.  As of 2009, Florida is roughly 10% higher than the National murder rate.

{Part Two coming soon}

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Updates

Next week, I’ll be posting my article – in Parts – regarding crime statistics and concealed carry. I’m pretty excited to be delving into all of this data!

Also, some thoughts on the economy.

Stay tuned, Top Of My Head is working on a new theme. I don’t know how long it will take, but watch for it.

If you look below the post, you’ll see a Facebook Like button. I just added it. If you have any issues with it, please let me know.

As always, I’ll be keeping up with the news!

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Texas Crime Statistics

Here I am in the middle of researching an article I hope to finish to post next week, when I see an article from 2010 regarding Crime statistics in Texas.  The headline read:

Less Murders, Violent Crime 15 Years after Concealed Carry

Since I was researching how concealed carry laws affect crime statistics – if at all – I stopped to read the article. Greg Googan, the author, mentions that then governor George W. Bush, signed concealed carry into law in 1995. Interesting, I would’ve thought Texas had concealed carry much longer than that.

But, here’s what really caught my eye, these two sentences:

“In 1994, there were 129,838 violent crimes reported in the state with 2,022 murders.
In 2008, the total amount of violent crimes had fallen to 123,564 with 1,374 homicides.”

To read that, you would assume that concealed carry had indeed lowered the crime rate. I decided to double-check the figures and according to the Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics, the number of violent crimes in Texas did drop from 129,838 in 1994 to 123,564 in 2008. That’s a drop of 6,274 violent crimes or 4.8%.

However; don’t be impressed just yet. According to the Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics, the number of violent crimes in Texas in 1993 was 137,419. Between 1993 and 1994, violent crimes dropped by 7,581 or 5.5%. In fact, if you go all the way back to 1960 (which is as far back as the Uniform Crime Reporting Statistic site goes), you can see that on average, violent crimes in Texas rise nearly every year until reaching a high of 145,743 in 1991. After that, violent crimes begin a slow and steady drop until 1998 when violent crimes reach a nine year low of 111,566 and then they begin a slow and study rise.

I feel pretty certain that the concealed carry law didn’t have that much affect on the lowering of violent crimes in Texas.  Violent crimes were already dropping before the law was signed or went into effect.  I did think it was interesting that the violent crimes spiked in 1991.  I’m curious if any other states had the same kinds of spikes for the same time period.

If I can really pass on anything from this outing into Texas’ crime statistics it is this:  Don’t believe everything you read.  Go look it up and check the facts for yourself.  Everyone has an agenda to push.  With so much misinformation on the web, it is smart to find the facts for yourself.

Ironically, when I saw this article, I wasn’t even looking up Texas’ crimes stats.  I was looking for Maryland, Minnesota and Wisconsin’s.

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Crap – Concealed Carry in Wisconsin

With everything that has been going on in my life, I managed to miss the fact that Concealed Carry was up for discussion.  Well, it passed – according to Cheryl, I haven’t even seen a news report.  Since I have not read the law, nor seen any of the debate, I won’t say if I was pro or con.  If the one passed was like the one Governor Doyle vetoed, then I’m against.

Now, only the lone state of Illinois is concealed carry free.

I wonder, if they surveyed the state’s residents, how many would support this?  I, also, wonder how many jobs this is going to create?  Because while Walker and friends have been eliminating some rights and passing concealed carry, I haven’t seen the unemployment rate get any better.

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Concealed Carry Revisited

I’ve been thinking about Concealed Carry. If you remember, Owen from Boots & Sabers wrote a rebuttal to the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence press release. Then, I wrote a rebuttal to his rebuttal. Well, since then, I’ve been doing some more thinking about the subject.

First, I should mention that I am NOT against Concealed Carry. I believe that some citizens have legitimate needs to carry a concealed weapon. That is to say, I don’t believe that every Tom, Dick and Harry should be allowed to pack heat. I believe their needs to be very stringent restrictions. The Second Amendment states: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” Well, we have a well regulated militia and, further, it doesn’t state that we can’t regulate just who those people are. Plus, I don’t believe bear arms translates into concealed carry. In the great state of Wisconsin, you are allowed to strap a gun to your hip and walk in public. Some municipalities will arrest you for disorderly conduct, just so you are forewarned.

Second, I do not like the bill as it is written. I have quite a few beefs, but I’ll only list my top four here:

  • There is a $25.00 fine for failure to give a peace officer your permit when requested and the same fine amount for failing to carry said permit.
  • I believe if you don’t hand over your permit to a police officer, you should have your permit revoked. Period. No appeal, no getting it back. If you are responsible enough to carry a loaded weapon in the public streets of this state, then you should be responsible enough to identify yourself to a police officer when asked. Period. End of story.
  • No permit while carrying needs to be a much higher fine than just $25.00. You won’t even notice the fine at that small amount. The fine should be at least $100.00. We’re talking about someone who is carrying a loaded weapon, for Pete’s sake! We have a much higher fine for someone who sells cigarettes to minors!
  • The permit cost of $75.00 is not high enough to cover the added cost of the new duties the Department of Justice will have to perform to ensure the proper compliancy with the new law. Plus, has anyone done a study to determine how much money will be spent at the DOJ to cover the coverage of permit carriers? Permit carriers should have to pay at least $150.00 in order to be allowed to carry a loaded handgun in public. The renewal could be less money.
  • Police Officers need to be given access to who has a Concealed Carry Permit. This is not an invasion of privacy. Officers can research and discover any license you might have, why should a Concealed Carry Permit holder be given any special treatment?
  • Concealed Carry Permit holders from other states are allowed to have the permit, with no background check, in our great state. Are they kidding? I’ve all ready pointed out how two states don’t even have permits – Alaska and Vermont. I barely trust our DOJ to run a proper background check, I’m going to trust a background check run in another state? No, we must perform checks on those who want the permit in our state. The only exceptions would be out of state police officers and military personnel.

Finally, I’d like to mention a fallacy that is found on many pro-conceal carry sites and blogs. The idea is that if a criminal doesn’t know just who is carrying a weapon, they won’t commit the crime. Well, I did some research and discovered that that statement is just not true. There are more, not less, murders committed in Concealed Carry states than in the five non-Concealed Carry states per 100,000 people. Further, there are more, not less, of the major crimes, such as Rape, Aggravated Assault and Robbery; in Concealed Carry States than in non-Concealed Carry states.

I’m not saying that I believe that Concealed Carry is responsible for the higher crime rates, I’m merely pointing out that being a Concealed Carry State does not mean less crime. It means that Concealed Carry is not preventing crime, despite what the pundits will try to lead you to believe.

I urge all my Wisconsin readers to take the time to actually read either the Senate’s version or the Assembly’s version of the Concealed Carry bill. Then, use your own thought process to decide if you are for it or against it. I urge you, once you’ve made your decision, to write your representative or your state senator or both and let them know exactly how you feel.

God Bless.

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