Top Of My Head

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Tag: facts

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}

Bachmann and the Debt Ceiling…

Michele Bachmann wants you to believe that she’s fiscally responsible.  She wants you to believe that she and the Republican Party had nothing to do with the economy.  She wants you to believe that the stimulus package was a waste of money and didn’t save jobs.  She wants you to believe that raising the debt ceiling right now would be bad and she’s never voted for a raise.

She’s lying on all points.

Back in April, she voted for Ryan’s budget – the one that changes Medicare and lowers the rich tax rate to 25% (10% down from the 35% they pay now).  The Budget wasn’t balanced – the tax cuts would add more to the deficit than they would “save”.  (You can’t cut income and revenue and pay off debt, it just doesn’t happen.)  If Ryan’s budget had passed the Senate, it would’ve necessitated the raising of the debt ceiling.

That’s not fiscally responsible.

Here’s something else (I’m going through her voting record):

Bachmann voted against the Pay As You Go resolution.  The one that states: ”Vote to pass Title IV of the resolution that amends Rule XXI to require that any tax cuts must be offset by either a different tax increase or spending cut, and to require certain listings of congressional earmarks and limited tax and tariff benefits.

See, apparently, she doesn’t understand how fiscal responsibility works.  You can’t cut revenue without cutting spending.

I’m going to stop here.  I’m going to go through her votes.  I know this woman shouldn’t be President, but I think the rest of the country needs to know it.

A Nation of Lemmings…

I saw this video (see below) on CNN regarding Sarah Palin’s mistake on rising grocery prices. Anderson Cooper says in the video that this is a minor issue, but I’m going out on a limb here and say that this is a huge issue. Often times, when Palin gets a fact wrong, she blames the “lamestream media”. Her followers believe that mainstream media is consistently wrong and unfairly picks on her. She encourages this belief.

To me, that makes her attacks on a reporter (Sudeep Reddy) who points out Palin’s mistake threatening to the ability of the American people to separate fact from fiction. We’re becoming a nation of lemmings. We pass on emails filled with errors and outright lies without checking their facts and figures. We pass on “information” without researching it ourselves.

By not doing our own fact-checking, we are fast becoming a nation of non-thinkers. Worst, I read about a series of studies conducted by the University of Michigan that “when misinformed people, particularly political partisans, were exposed to corrected facts in news stories, they rarely changed their minds. In fact, they often became even more strongly set in their beliefs.”

That scares the Hell out of me — does it do the same to you?  People who can be told a fact do not change their beliefs to match that fact.

Which brings me back to Sarah Palin…

She stated the following:  “everyone whoever goes out shopping for groceries knows that prices have risen significantly over the past year or so.”

Sudeep Reddy pointed out that “Grocery prices haven’t risen all that significantly, in fact. The consumer price index’s measure of food and beverages for the first nine months of this year showed average annual inflation of less than 0.6%, the slowest pace on record (since the Labor Department started keeping this measure in 1968).” Instead of admiting her mistake, as Anderson Cooper points out in the below video, she went on the attack.

This means, to me at least, that Sarah Palin is one of those “misinformed people” who, when confronted by the facts, cannot change their beliefs to meet them.

This woman wants to be President of the United States.  She ran for Vice President, for pete’s sake.  And, yet, when confronted with a fact that goes against her beliefs, she attacks the messenger.  She cannot wrap her head around the idea that she might be wrong.

Isn’t the sign of a good leader someone who can admit that they were incorrect and adjust accordingly?

Isn’t that the sign of a good employee?  And, doesn’t the President of the United States work for us?

Have you ever worked with someone that attacks back when a mistake of theirs is pointed out?  I have.  I wouldn’t want that person being President of Dog catching, much less President of the United States.

In the next two years, I believe Palin has a long way to go to prove to the American public that she could, indeed, run this country.

That is, if someone can convince her she’s wrong.

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