Should a nine-year-old girl shoot an Uzi?

A nine-year-old girl shot the instructor in Arizona at a shooting range
A nine-year-old girl shot the instructor in Arizona at a shooting range

I’ve had a number of phone calls and emails about this tragic incident asking questions about what happened, should it have been prevented and the like.  First off I have no access to any information that has not been reported by the media. I have nothing but a lifetime of experience teaching firearms skills, on which to base the following opinions.

This week at a shooting range in Arizona, a nine-year-old girl shot the instructor she was working with in the head with an Uzi sub machine gun. This has sparked debate on gun culture, how old is old enough to shoot, at what point is a submachine gun to be introduced, range procedures and a litany of other issues. From what we know so far, there is some room for improvement. Here are the general questions people seem to be interested it.

Should a nine-year-old shoot an Uzi?

First off the Mac 10/11(AKA Uzi) has very limited application in the tactical realm. Other than for entertainment or very close range ambushes, they are generally useless. The blow back system creates substantially more muzzle climb then other sub-guns making them very difficult to control. There are far more controllable sub-guns out there (like the MP5) which would be a more suitable starting point as an introduction to sub-guns. For someone with limited or no experience, that is one of the last guns I would choose. Continue reading

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Gun Control Advocacy – Toxic in 2014?

Gun Control Debate Aegis Academy Gun Free ZonesWith the re-election of Sherriff David Clarke, we can see the beginning of public backlash against the push for senseless anti-gun laws. Gun Control Advocacy has been toxic in a number of races, and most recently we can see it playing out the Colorado Governors race. Incumbent Democrat John Hickenloper is virtually tied with newcomer Republican Bob Beauprez. This doesn’t happen in Colorado where incumbents tend to retire from the office rather then be voted out and democrats traditionally hold the governor’s office considerably more then republicans. The number one issue that swing voters cited in a recent poll – Passage of Colorado’s gun restrictions.

In fact, reaction to the gun control advocacy of two Colorado state senators (
John Morse and Angela Giron ) resulted in their recall and both were cast out. Here was Bloomberg’s response just last month to a question about the recall:

Mayor Michael Bloomberg Visits A School With David Cameron“The NRA went after two or three state Senators in a part of Colorado where I don’t think there’s roads. It’s as far rural as you can get. And, yes, they lost recall elections. I’m sorry for that. We tried to help ‘em. But the bottom line is, the law is on the books, and being enforced. You can get depressed about the progress, but on the other hand, you’re saving a lot of lives”.

We’ll ignore his delusions life saving grandeur in this article and just focus on the tactical errors he made. In reality the recalled state senators were from Colorado Springs, the second largest city in the state which hosts the Air Force Academy and the U. S. Olympic Training Center, and Pueblo, the 7th Largest city in the state. I’ve dove through Pueblo in 1995 and shockingly was able to stay on concrete and asphalt the entire time. I also spent few days in Colorado Springs a few years back. They not only have roads, theaters & restaurants, they have clean running water and them fancy new flush toilets all over the place! My guess is regardless of which side of the political fence residents are one, they probably don’t appreciate his comments. Continue reading

Domestic Violence and Guns

Domestic Voilence and GunsIn his latest attempt to drum up support for his largely rejected theories about community safety, Micheal Bloomberg has started Every Town for Gun Safety. Domestic Violence and guns is the latest rallying cry and just like his other anti-gun organizations; Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Moms Demand Action, the Bloomberg funded Every Town for Gun Safety is already fabricating statistics in an attempt to perpetuate their emotional appeal that guns are bad. This time they have enlisted the help of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords who co-authored an article published by CNN titled Guns Killing Women : Time for Congress to Act.

Congresswoman Gifford, regardless of what you think of her politics, was nearly killed because she chose to serve the nation. Jared Loughner (a paranoid Schizophrenic) attacked congresswoman Giffords, shooting her and 17 other people, six of whom died in 2011. She was shot in the head at close range and was both strong, and lucky enough to survive. Congresswoman Giffords has lost significant vision in both eyes, and has trouble speaking. She officially resigned from congress in January 2012 vowing to return. She and her husband subsequently jointly published Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope. Continue reading

California Gun Legislation 2014

California Gun LegislationAs we approach the end of the session, some will be scrapped, but a few of these will make it to vote and will probably pass. You can influence those decisions by engaging with your legislators. Here is what you need to know at a minimum, but as always, don’t just take my word for it, the links to the text are included in the title.

Feel free to post any ideas, concerns about individual bills and thoughts others can use when writing their legislators. Remember, when writing politicians, use plain, simple English written at an 8th grade level. Remove the emotion and keep it very short or you will lose their attention. Five hundred one paragraph emails are far more powerful than 50 long winded diatribes that no one will read! Continue reading

The Impact of Concealed Weapons on Crime

Concealed CarryThe impact of concealed weapons on crime is a largely ignored element of the gun control debate. In More Guns, Less Crime, John Lott laid out the statistical effect of restrictive vs. non-restrictive concealed weapons carry policies on crime. Specifically he focused on violent crime. Despite numerous attempts to discredit it, not one study has found a statistically significant different result. That result is in non-restrictive cities, counties and states we see about a 4% reduction in the rate of violent crime.

The Pro-Gun Control Lobby has put a number of arguments forward in search of data to subvert the findings of the study. They were unable to find any statistical problems with study that would have resulted in a different outcome. Since the original release, John Lott has reworked his data multiple times, and more pointedly any time that a valid critique of statistical methods was presented over the last 18 years. The results have not significantly changed.

The real question is, how much more of a decrease in crime can we expect by an increase in concealed weapons carry in the population? Certainly the percentage of the population that carries guns has an impact on the violent crime rate, but it also has an impact on the accident or non-violent crime rates as well. At some point we will start to see diminishing returns. Most likely with some percentage of the population armed; the accidents (which are likely to increase with more gun handling) will start to diminish the effectiveness of arming more people. Regardless, of what the limits are, what we know is that less restrictive concealed weapons carry laws are associated with less violent crime. The question is, how does that occur?

The answer is a textbook case of the economic theory of substitution. A good example of this is bread. Let’s assume there are only two choices on the market for bread. White bread and wheat bread, which are evenly priced, and the demand in the market is 50/50. If we raise the price of wheat bread by some amount we can expect the demand for wheat bread to decrease, and the demand for its only comparable substitute to increase. Applied to criminal behavior it looks like this.

People choose to be criminals because the likely hood of being shot is very low. As the likely hood of being shot increases, people will choose to substitute criminal behavior for behavior less likely to get them shot. Adding more concealed weapons carry holders to the mix of unarmed citizen’s forces people to make that choice. Reducing them makes that choice more favorable. In the extreme, if there were a 100% chance of being shot, we would have no crime. The percentage of increase or decrease is based on the elasticity of demand, which is not really germane to the concept we are trying to relate.

Clearly human behavior is more complicated. The opportunity for substitute behavior is the gun control lobbies against this simple argument. Billy didn’t have a choice except to be a thug due to the fact that Billy grew up in a neighborhood with a bad school. The answer by default is we should improve all the schools so Billy’s little brother will not have to be a thug and eventually we will reduce crime. That works to some extent as increasing complimentary options certainly affects the substitution theory and the choices people make.

My problem with that line of reasoning exclusively is that it leaves us stuck with Billy’s thuggery. It’s too late for Billy, so we just have to deal with him is the logical extension of that argument. That argument effectively means that some of you will pay the price of societies burden of responsibility for failing to provide Billy with better options by being a victim of Billy’s thuggery. Personally, I would rather see Billy shot than force any other member of society to suffer his inability to civilly compete in modern society.

Economic theory is an amazing predictor of human behavior. The more you study it, the more you see its tentacles reach deeper and wider across many fields of study. To me the theoretical question is not, should people carry guns, but how many people should carry guns to achieve the ideal balance of crime reduction while maintaining an acceptable accident rate? From a practical perspective, acting on that theory, even if we know the ideal number would once again saddle a portion of the population with victimhood.

In response to a lack analytical support for restrictions, the Pro-Gun Control lobby has resorted to shock value in an attempt to push what is largely an emotion-based argument. Before you write this off as a one sided argument, take a look at the wholesale fabrication of conclusions produced by the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health 18 months ago.

In a White paper from October 2012, titled “Concealed Carry Permit Holders do Not Make Us Safer, and Likely Increase Aggravated Assaults”. They make the following statement to support their claim:

“So-called right to carry (RTC) laws allow individuals who are not legally proscribed from possessing firearms to carry concealed weapons in public, either by making it easy to get a permit to do so, or by not requiring such permits at all. Arguments for RTC laws are premised on the idea that everyone who is eligible to legally own a firearm is law-abiding, and is at low risk for committing a violent crime. Research cited above concerning weak standards for legal firearm ownership calls this into question. A recent review of concealed carry permit holders in North Carolina examined criminal offending in the group over a five-year period. During that period, more than 2,400 permit holders were convicted of crimes (excluding traffic violations), including more than 200 felonies and 10 murders or manslaughters. An additional 900 had been convicted of a drunk driving offense, an offense commonly associated with substance abuse.”

The volume of crimes seems significant on the surface, but as we all know volume is meaningless with out its corresponding rates in the population. When we convert these crime incidents to rates of Concealed Carry Holder Crime we see a different result. North Carolina reported 228,072 concealed weapons carry permit holders in 2005. What we find is the Crime Conviction rate is 0.213%, murder rate is .001% and the rate of drunk driving convictions is 0.096%. Converting these to rates per 100,000 to compare to the corresponding conviction rates in the general public, we find the following rates of crime per 100,000 residents:

North Carolina Crime Rate per 100,000 residents in 2005

                           Concealed Carry Holders             General Public

Crime:                                    213                                         4622

Murder:                                      1                                            6.8

Drunk Driving:                       96                                           330

Regardless of what you think of the arguments for and against gun control, this level of incompetence, or out right deception on the part of John Hopkins University is a stain on the reputation of the institution. This type of slipshod approach and outright fabrications are common in a number of published studies supporting reducing or eliminating concealed weapons. These are the types of reports that stop any productive conversation on the topic of reducing violence. When the base of your argument is founded on a study that a fourth grader with calculator and Internet connection can debunk, you have relegated yourself to a very low level of trustworthiness.

The bottom line on increasing concealed weapons carry is that it reduces violent crime. That is not a guess or a theory like the methodology behind why it occurs. The fact is we don’t really know why it occurs, but we do, thanks to John Lott, know exactly what occurs when concealed carry laws are made less restrictive. Crime is reduced. Arguing that they make us somehow less safe is simply a preposterous conclusion based on an emotional argument that guns CAUSE violence.

If you are going to argue for or against something, know the facts. I hope that helps!

About Author

– Patrick Henry

President

Patrick Henry - Aegis Academy Firearms InstructorPatrick Henry received his operational training and experience from the U.S. Government, 22 years of which were spent in the Marine Corps where he served in the Reconnaissance, Infantry and Intelligence fields. During his active service, he spent more then seven years deployed overseas in combat, operational and training assignments. After the military, Pat worked as a contractor and as the Director of Operations at a private paramilitary company, specializing in training special operations forces and providing protective services to select private clients. His education consists of an MBA from the University of Southern California (USC), and a BS from San Diego State University with an emphasis in Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology and a minor in Psychology. He holds an extensive list of security and training related certifications from a variety of government and nationally recognized entities. He currently sits on the advisory committee at USC’s Master of Veterans Business Program, and is an active member of Infraguard and the American Society of Industrial Security (ASIS). He has been a guest speaker at ASIS, the San Diego Industrial Security Awareness Council and other private organizations on physical security, travel security, and competitive intelligence collection counter-measures.

First Published at Aegis Academy

Common Sense Gun Control

Gun ControlAs we look back at the locations mass murderers, or would be mass murderers, choose to attack, the number of times a “gun free zone” is chosen over an alternative location is staggering. This should not be a surprise to anyone with a basic understanding of human behavior. Do mass murders consciously choose to attack unarmed citizens? Of course they do! Why would anyone with any common sense and even a basic grasp of risk choose to attack armed citizens if they had an unarmed group that could meet their goals?

We like to write off mass murders as insane. Most likely they are, but that does not mean they are incapable of calculation and lack common sense. When we look at serial killers, we expect detailed and extensive planning to avoid detection, which is unfortunately too often successful for years. Mass murders are no less capable of rational thought and evaluation of risk. While the motivations of theses two different killers may be grossly different, insanity does not limit their ability to assess risk.

We see evidence of planning, collection of supplies and even evidence of surveillance and practice. To assume that the only random act in these people’s repertoire is the choice of location is asinine. The chances of this many gun free zones being chosen over other available attack sites randomly – is as close to zero as probability will allow. Mass murders are attracted to gun free zones – period.

In John Lott’s study and subsequently published book More Guns Less Crime, we see the statistical impact on criminal behavior of concealed carry. As concealed carry increases, violent crime is reduced. This study has been picked apart, reproduced and lambasted by a variety of economists on the other side of the argument, and not one has found a different result. Criminal behavior is impacted by the potential of armed citizens. The higher the probability a criminal has of encountering an armed victim, the less often they choose to commit crime.

The basic laws of supply and demand drive human behavior – even criminal behavior. While there has not been a quality study of the impact of open carry that I am aware of, you will not see the same result. If open carry were to increase, this merely gives criminals the ability to more accurately assess risk. This is highly unlikely to decrease total crime. It is the inability to accurately assess risk that reduces the incentive to commit crime.

The elimination of gun free zones, and increase in the volume of armed citizens carrying a concealed firearm will force potential criminals to accept more risk than they do now. That increased risk will reduce the incentive, which will reduce the incident rate. The time to argue against science is past. Despite Mr. Bloomberg’s penchant for funding the fabrication of numbers to support his earth is flat gun agenda, the fact is that gun free zones attract mass murderers and unarmed citizens attract criminals.

This has only looked at the deterrent effect. We’ve seen that what stops active shooters is an armed person willing and able to confront them. Time and time again, they are shot, surrender or take their own lives in the face of armed resistance. Common sense? How about simply looking at the facts. How many more of our countrymen will be sacrificed on the altar of “common sense gun control”?

About Author

– Patrick Henry

Patrick HenryPatrick Henry received his operational training and experience from the U. S. Government, 22 years of which were spent in the Marine Corps where he served in the Reconnaissance, Infantry and Intelligence fields. During his active service, he spent more then seven years deployed overseas in combat, operational and training assignments. After the military, Pat worked as a contractor and as the Director of Operations at a private paramilitary company, specializing in training special operations forces and providing protective services to select private clients. His education consists of an MBA from the University of Southern California (USC), and a BS from San Diego State University with an emphasis in Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology and a minor in Psychology. He holds an extensive list of security and training related certifications from a variety of government and nationally recognized entities. He currently sits on the advisory committee at USC’s Master of Veterans Business Program, and is an active member of Infraguard and the American Society of Industrial Security (ASIS). He has been a guest speaker at ASIS, the San Diego Industrial Security Awareness Council and other private organizations on physical security, travel security, and competitive intelligence collection counter-measures.

Source: http://aegisacademy.com/community/common-sense-gun-control/