This article was published by The McAvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, May 18, 2016:
The Independent Journal Review (IJR) has rocketed from obscurity in 2012 to co-hosting the February 6 Republican Presidential Debate with ABC News. Its “viral news” website is visited by more than 35 million unique visitors every month. With just ten journos, it often puts out excellent work.
An example is its recent effort to “Put America’s Gun Violence into Perspective,” published in January. It shows graphically the paradigm shift over gun rights and the Second Amendment that has taken place over the last 20 years. It provides evidence, if more be needed, that more guns means less crime: that as gun ownership has increased from less than one per person in 1994 to nearly 1.45 in 2014 (a fifty percent increase), gun homicides have fallen precipitously from 7 per 100,000 to 3.6 (a fifty percent decrease).
IJR also illustrates that the cities with the highest per capita murder rates (Detroit, New Orleans, Newark, St. Louis, Baltimore, Birmingham, Cincinnati, and Oakland) also “possess some of the toughest gun control regulations.”
In addition, it proves President Obama to be the “best gun salesman” in recent memory. Prior to his first term Americans were purchasing about 750,000 firearms every month. The month after he was inaugurated that number spiked to 1.1 million. It spiked again in January 2014 after his reelection, to 2 million, and has remained at levels never seen going back to the year 2000.
All of which makes the recent announcement that Missouri lawmakers just passed a bill expanding further those rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment almost not worth mentioning. Specifically the bill, once it becomes law, allows Missourians to carry concealed, if they care to, without having to ask the government for permission. It also enacts a “stand-your-ground” law that allows citizens to defend themselves against aggression in any place where they have a right to be. This makes Missouri the 31st state to enact such a law.
Beginning with a concealed carry law in 2004, Ohio has continued to pass a steady stream of pro-gun laws, with more in the pipeline. Of 25 bills dealing with firearms in the state’s present legislative session, 14 would expand gun rights, while just seven would restrict them. And most of those restricting gun rights end up never getting out of committee.
It’s getting tougher to present anti-gun bills with a straight face, but some lawmakers seem to pull it off without shame. They claim that, in the face of evidence like that collected by IJR, more guns equal more crime. But Dean Rieck, executive director of the Buckeye Firearms Association, said:
Once we had Ohio citizens carrying concealed weapons, everybody discovered that the sky was not going to fall. It made a lot of other legislation significantly easier … nothing disastrous happened. We found out that people who were carrying concealed were doing so responsibly.
Now Ohio lawmakers are considering a bill to remove restrictions on carrying concealed into university buildings, day-care centers, school zones, private aircraft, government buildings, and the public areas of airports and police stations. Opponents are calling the proposal a “guns everywhere” bill while supporters say it will further reduce “gun-free” zones and their attractiveness to monsters seeking unarmed targets.
In Kansas, Governor Sam Brownback just signed into law a bill that allows public employees to carry concealed while going about their daily duties. This followed a law passed last year that eliminated a state requirement that a citizen applying for a permit must take an eight-hour class first. Now Kansans are free to determine if they need to take such a class or not.
Even in Massachusetts, a state traditionally noted for its anti-Second Amendment stance, pushback at a local level ended anti-gunners’ attempts to restrict its citizens’ rights. On Tuesday night, May 10, nearly 1,000 of Longmeadow, Massachusetts’ 15,000 residents showed up at a Town Meeting to protest bills that would have imposed a $300 fine for anyone carrying a gun in public or for possessing an “assault” weapon, and would have required all citizens to register their firearms with the police department.
The debate extended into the wee hours of Wednesday morning before each of these intrusions was overwhelmingly voted down.
As IJR so graphically illustrated, the shift in thinking about firearms, concealed carry, personal responsibility, and the Second Amendment is not only palpable but measurable as well. And, except for those cities run by people who still think they can reduce crime by attacking guns, gun violence in the country is likely to continue to decline. Reports like those from Missouri, Kansas, and Massachusetts will increasingly become common place and relegated to the back page.
Independent Journal Review: 13 Charts Put America’s Gun Violence in Perspective