4 Questions to Ask in Your Next Gun Control Debate

By Tom McHale  Ammoland.com

Read more: https://www.ammoland.com/2017/11/four-questions-to-ask-in-your-next-gun-control-debate/#ixzz51LZPhwx7 
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution 
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  • Calling the other side stupid doesn’t work, nor does spouting off facts at high volume.
  • Listening is key, no matter how much you disagree with the other side. That’s because when you listen, you’re purchasing time that they will listen to you too. Oh, and people don't care what you know until they know that you care.
  • People don’t change their minds to your point of view in the middle of an argument. Like coffee, new ideas need time to percolate to be at their maximum effectiveness.
  • We egotistical humans usually have to reach new conclusions on our own.



The bottom line is this. When arguing the topic, ask questions. Let the other side answer their own arguments. If they respond that they don’t know, you have a perfect opportunity to provide an answer that was asked for, not one shouted at them. Then let them go off and stew on that at their leisure. Who knows? Maybe they will change their mind.

Obviously, it’s important to know the answers to any questions you might ask, so here are a few to start the process.

Has murder really gone down in Australia Since Their Gun Ban?

In 1996 Australia implemented their buyback program. Well, “buyback” is a misnomer. What people don’t like to mention is that it was a mandatory program. “You will turn in your guns, but we’ll be nice and pay you something for them.” Estimates indicate that this program collected somewhere between 650,000 and one million guns. Sounds great, right? Well, considering that there were somewhere between 2.5 and five million guns to start with, the buyback only netted somewhere between a third and a fifth of the guns on the street. So, just to be clear, the “gun ban” left somewhere between 65 and 80 percent of all guns in circulation.

So what did the buyback accomplish? Proponents point to “gun homicide” and “gun suicide” reductions. Hmm. It’s almost as if it’s worse to be killed with a gun rather than some other method. In fact, over the six years after the buyback, overall homicide didn’t change. Additionally, in two of those years, homicide went up. The other fact often left out of the debate is that “gun homicide” was already declining before the ban.

After those six years, overall homicide continued in a gradual decline, just like that here in the United States. Hold this thought for a second.

While homicide was settling down, gun ownership again increased in Australia. Now it’s actually higher than it was before the ban. Yet homicide didn’t go back up. If there was a causal relationship, wouldn't one expect to see that?

The net-net: When 20-30 percent of guns were taken off the street, there was no observable reduction in murder rates. When guns came back into the population, there was no observable increase in murder rates.

What does that mean? There is no correlation much less causation.

Are a lot of people killed with “assault rifles?”

According to the FBI, in 2016, 374 people were murdered with rifles of any kind. That represents about a 19:1 ratio of handgun to rifle involvement. The FBI reports that 3,263 murders were committed using firearms of unknown type. Just to be really conservative, let’s categorize the right amount of unidentified guns too. Using the 19:1 ratio, we can add another 171 murders to the rifle category. That brings the total to 545. Even if we assume that every single one of those cases involved an “AR” type rifle, then it’s still less than the number of murders committed by punching and kicking. That number was 656 in 2016. Knives were involved in 1,604 murders, and blunt objects were used in 472 cases.

So let’s summarize. Those “assault weapons” (quotes intended and you know why) were involved in fewer murders than bare hands and feet, less than two-thirds as much as knives, and about the same as bats, clubs, and hammers.

What do you think is involved with more deaths, guns, alcohol, or drugs?

In 2016, 15,070 people were murdered in the United States by any method. Of those, 11,004 involved the use of a firearm of any type. Also in 2016, 10,497 innocent people were murdered by drunk drivers. Let’s look at one more data point. Just during the single year of 2016, approximately 64,000 people were killed by drug overdose. If you want to equate the two arguably self-inflicted death categories, drug overdoses and suicides, there were 44,173 suicides in the US. Of that, the victim used a firearm in 22,018 cases. So, 22,018 people killed themselves with guns, 22,000 more killed themselves by other means, and 64,000 people killed themselves with drugs.

Does England Have Fewer Murders Than the United States Because of Gun Laws?

The short answer is that England and Australia have always had lower murder rates than the United States. For 100 years or more that’s been the case. Guns or the fact that we call oil-boiled potatoes french fries while Brits call them chips has nothing to do with it.

To illustrate the point, let’s look at pictures. Here’s one from Steve Pinker's book, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined. It’s a clear view of the past 100 or so years or murder rate data per 100,000 people. As you can see, the United Kingdom has always had a murder rate of about one per 100,000 people. The United States rate has varied from a high of about ten down to the current level of about four per 100,000.



What’s not so clear on this graph is that the massive United Kingdom gun ban of 1997 didn’t cause the century-old murder trend to fall. In fact, it increased.

Murder rates have always been different between the UK and US. Maybe it's more than just guns? Chart from The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined

What does it mean? Perhaps we ought to look at other factors, like, oh, I don’t know, maybe the fact that our society is made up of a mishmash of immigrants (all of us) from all over the world. Just maybe, the fact that we deliberately threw dozens of different cultures into a giant melting pot melee resulted in more internal strife than a country like England which has been largely homogenous since the invention of porridge.

Correlation and Causation

About a million years ago, when dinosaurs and my Toyota Sequoia roamed the earth, I went to college and studied Economics. Not Home Economics, but the number kind where you use big words like regression analysis. I won’t claim to be any kind of Economics theory expert, but I do have basic understanding of things like causation and correlation. The irresponsible use of causation and correlation are what contribute the most angst to the gun issue debates.

People on the other side say things like “England has a gun ban and fewer gun murders. We have guns and more gun murders, so we need to be like England to solve the problem.” They claim causation meaning that the gun variable between our two countries must be the only contributing factor to the difference in murder rates. They conveniently ignore the 17 trillion other variables that describe the differences between our two societies. They also conveniently ignore the historical data for each of our countries. Furthermore, they ignore fluctuations in historical data when a major variable, like a gun ban or increase in gun supply, is introduced. As we just discussed, England has always had a lower murder rate than the United States so pointing to the current set of gun issues as the causing factor is disingenuous at best.


Let’s net it all out. If all this claimed causation really existed, then we would see results like the following.

  • When England banned virtually all handguns and other types in 1997, murder rates would have fallen. They didn’t.
  • When Australia “bought back” all those guns in 1996, murder rates should have fallen. They didn’t.
  • When Australians gradually “re-added” all those guns to the streets, murder rates should have gone up. They didn’t.
  • When the United States guns on the streets supply doubled over the past couple of decades, murder rates should have gone up. They didn’t. In fact, they fell by half.

When we humans so desperately want to believe a point of view, we tend to latch on to artificial causation arguments all too quickly. The world just ain’t that simple.


Tom McHale is the author of the Practical Guides book series that guides new and experienced shooters alike in a fun, approachable, and practical way. His books are available in print and eBook format on Amazon. You can also find him on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest.


We need to go to New York and get some learnen!

So I was watching TV on our boat “Airtime II” and should emphasize that our boat has a broadcast TV antenna, so the only stations I could get are off the air, no cable.


The reason I mention this is because my boat is in San Diego, and there are not a lot of good TV News Operations there, so I was forced to watch, I’m so sorry to say, PBS!


The PBS News hour was on, with Judy Woodruff, and towards the end of the broadcast there was an interview with the authors of “One Nation After Trump.”


The authors E.J. Dionne and Norm Ornstein were being interviewed and making the case that President Trump is unfit for the office of the president.


So Mr. Ornstein opens up with the following to justify that premise:  The intellectual and educated people, over time, ended up in the large urban areas of the northeast, and Southern California, and the rest of nation, in the middle, who elected Donald Trump are, well, uneducated! Dumb!  Not his exact words, but that’s what he meant.

Did the PBS reporter challenge that statement?  Oh no, he just let it go because that's probably what, he along with the entire PBS news organization, believes.


So I quickly turned the TV off.  Did you know you were dumb?  We who live in the crappy little cow towns of Phoenix, Houston, Dallas, and other western cities, need to move to New York and get some learnen!

Why Left Wing Dems hate Donald Trump!

A wise old man once told me a long time ago the difference between successful people and losers. 


He said, losers care and complain about petty things.  For example, they don’t like the paint on the wall of the office, or the computer or copy machine doesn’t live up to their standards. They need more time for lunch, they don’t like the boss’s clothes, etc.


While winners are concerned about the big picture, becoming financially secure, or becoming  wealthy to secure their families, etc.


I once had the occasion to talk to a very successful radio newscaster who worked for probably the biggest and most successful news radio station in Phoenix, Arizona.  The station was about to move into new offices at a new location.  I said, “Hey congratulations on moving into that new office complex.”  And he replied, “Yea, well have you looked at the parking lot?  It sucks!”

Yes I was dumbfounded, why would he care about that? 


You probably have worked with many people who concern themselves with petty things in the work place rather than the big picture, why they are there in the first place?  If you read my book, “It Just  Wasn’t Perfect For Me,” you know my first job paid me 78 bucks a week. My first thought on receiving my first pay check was, ‘How can I make more money?’  So I asked successful people and I was told, “Find a better higher paying job!”  And if you don’t have the skills to do so, get them and move up, so I did.  (Notice no one told me to organize a protest and stand outside the radio station and demand they pay me more money!)


The reason I’m writing this is because I got a little ticked off this morning about a Facebook person who criticized me for praising President Donald Trump’s achievements.  She said, as most extreme liberal people either think or say, that the president hasn’t accomplished anything at all, and she hates him for what he says.


I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately.  The only criticism of the president from the left is for what he says, not for what he’s accomplished!


Here’s what President Donald Trump has accomplished to today’s date:


From “The National Review”: 


 • The Dow Jones Industrial Average, NASDAQ, and S&P 500 all hit record highs on This week. The Wilshire 5000 Index calculates that some $3.4 trillion in new wealth has been created since President Trump’s inauguration and $5.4 trillion since his election. Fueled by the reality of deregulation, expectations of lower taxes, and a new tone in Washington that applauds free enterprise rather than excoriate it, the economy is on fire.


• Atop the second quarter’s 3.1 percent increase in real GDP, and 3.0 in 3Q, the New York Federal Reserve Bank predicts that 4Q output will expand by 3.8 percent. This far outpaces the feeble average-annual GDP growth rate of 1.5 percent on President Obama’s watch. Meanwhile, the IMF expects global GDP to rise by 3.5 percent this year. So much for a Trump-inspired “global recession.”


Unemployment is at 4.1 percent, a 17-year low. New unemployment claims in September were at their most modest since 1974. Goldman Sachs on November 20 “lowered our unemployment rate forecast to 3.7 percent by end-2018 and 3.5 percent by end-2019.”


According to the Wall Street powerhouse’s chief economist Jan Hatzius, “Such a scenario would take the U.S. labor market into territory almost never seen outside of a major wartime mobilization.”


• American companies have been expanding operations here rather than shipping jobs overseas. Corning, for instance, announced a $500 million investment in new U.S. production, launching 1,000 positions.


• Foreign firms have been unveiling facilities and creating jobs in America. Insourcing is now a thing. Taiwan’s Foxconn will spend $10 billion on a new Wisconsin electronics plant with 3,000 new employees. During Trump’s recent visit to China, Beijing agreed to invest $84 billion in new energy projects in West Virginia.


• If the Senate cooperates, Santa Claus will deliver $1.5 trillion in tax cuts, including a dream-come-true 43 percent reduction in corporate taxes, from a 35 percent rate to 20 percent, well below the global average of 22.5 percent. This major blow for international competitiveness should turbocharge the economy even further.

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/454028/donald-trump-accomplishments-thanksgiving


And the list of his accomplishments in this article goes on for miles.  BUT The left-wing democrats hate him for what he says and say he should be removed from office! 


How could these people be so sadly informed? 

If you read my earlier blogs about Donald Trump, I don't particularly like him, I wish he would just keep his mouth shut and do his job, but he is what he is, and his supporters accept him for what he is.  To my left wing friends, do you think this is outrageous?  Well let me end with a little true story.

One morning I was sitting in on the morning radio show on KFYI in Phoenix with radio host at the time, Ed Walsh. President Clinton was in office at the time during the Monica Lewinsky scandal.  We were talking to left-wing commentator Eleanor Clift now on MSNBC and The Daily Beast.  I asked her, "Arn't you just outraged that President Clinton had sex with a young girl in the oval office?"  And she replied, and these are her exact words, "So the president is a philanderer so what?!!"





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The Under-Water Myth

Posted on November 14, 2017 by Robert Ringer — Comments (5)



What do the Dirty Dems’ victories last Tuesday mean for the upcoming 2018 elections?  Answer:  NOTHING!

First of all, New Jersey is a hopelessly blue state and Virginia has been moving rapidly in that direction for some time, which is why I have repeatedly warned readers that I was skeptical the race in Virginia was as close as some pollsters claimed.  The plain fact is that Northeast Virginia is a liberal-elite extension of D.C., not just geographically but ideologically.

Second, Ed Gillespie is a classic establishment gentleman, having served as White House Counselor to George W. Bush and head of the Republican National Committee.  Not that long ago, such credentials would have been impressive, but in today’s populist environment they are actually liabilities.

Even so, Gillespie might have had a better chance if he had not insulted the intelligence of Republican voters by playing the wishy-washy, finger-in-the-wind game.  By trying to distance himself from President Trump while at the same time laboring to convince voters that he agreed with Trump’s policies, he became devoid of credibility.  So much so that he lost the Virginia governor’s race by a greater margin than Trump lost to Hillary.

In other words, last Tuesday’s elections went pretty much as expected, which is why I was surprised (but should not have been) that the Dirty Dems and their media allies immediately started insisting that the GOP losses in Virginia and New Jersey constituted a backlash against President Trump and signified the beginning of the end of the populist movement.

Many of the media comments were embarrassingly over the top, with FNM cretins declaring the Democratic victories as no less than a triumph of good over evil.  Even Fox News establishment talking-pointer Steve Hayes couldn’t stop reminding everyone how seriously “under water” Donald Trump was.  The guy is so shielded from reality inside the Beltway bubble that he doesn’t understand that the drumbeating about Trump’s disapproval ratings is nothing more than wishful thinking on the part of Democrats and their media allies.

I guess it’s possible Trump could lose in 2020, but if he does, it won’t be because of his approval/disapproval ratings.  When pundits gloat about Trump’s ratings, they are looking at them in a vacuum; i.e., they don’t take into account Trump’s ratings in each individual state.  It’s a delusional view which implies that the electoral college is irrelevant and that all that counts is the popular vote.

Calling all Dirty Dems:  The fact is that Trump can afford to lose California, New York, and Illinois by 20 million votes and it still wouldn’t matter.  This is precisely what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they ingeniously came up with the idea of basing election results on the electoral college.

What all this means is that the Radical Left folks are still in a state of denial.  They don’t want to face the reality that people in the thirty states Trump won still emphatically reject the idea of being ruled by gun-grabbing, single-payer loving, politically correct, violence-prone leftists who populate the Obama-Hillary states.

That said, I continue to believe that Republicans will pick up a number of seats in the House in 2018 and perhaps six or seven seats in the Senate.  There’s also a good chance that in 2020 Trump will lose the popular vote by an even greater margin than in 2016, yet still win the election.

If I’m right about this, it’s likely to put the entire Democratic Party on suicide watch.  These people are not only immoral, they’re also dumb as rocks.  As hard as it is for normal folks to understand, they are physiologically and psychologically incapable of acknowledging reality.

Which brings me to Bush 41 and Bush 43, both of whom were just fine with a Marxist president carrying out his promise to fundamentally transform the United States of America.  That’s right, nary a word of dissent during eight years of Barack Obama’s anti-American policies.

They had no problem with Barack Obama running up more debt than all other U.S. presidents combined.

They had no problem with Barack Obama making purposely divisive statements like “We’re gonna punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends” and “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.”

They had no problem with Barack Obama chiming in on local homicides like Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and Freddie Gray and being proven wrong every time.

They had no problem with Barack Obama politicizing the Justice Department day in and day out.

They had no problem with the Benghazi scandal, the spread of ISIS, or Obama’s apology tours.

They had no problem with Barack Obama being caught on a hot mic telling Russian president Dmitry Medvedev, “After my election I have more flexibility.”  To which Medvedev responded, “I understand.  I will transmit this information to Vladimir.”

Well, George 41 and George 43, let me clue you on the worst-kept secret in the world:  Barack Obama was the most corrupt president in U.S. history!  Got it?

Does all this mean I believe the Bushes are bad people?  In the general sense of the word, no, I don’t believe the word bad applies to them.  They are decent human beings who are simply committed to doing everything they can to keep the status quo, so committed that they are blinded to the reality that the aim of the Dirty Dems is to destroy any Republican who stands in the way of their achieving their Marxist agenda.

Worst of all, because of their flawed vision, they sincerely believe it is right and proper to make nice to the Dirty Dems.  This is more a perversity than a sin.  It’s also stupidity.  But regardless of what it is, the bottom line is that, in their own way, Republicans like the Bushes do more damage to America than those in the Radical Left by offering no resistance to the latter’s tyranny.

Having said all this, I would argue that it’s not Trump who is under water.  It’s the failed and cowardly policies of establishment Republicans, cheered on by hopeless globalists like the Bushes, that are under water.

Bush Republicans long ago lost the battle for the soul of working Americans, but, incredible as it may seem, they don’t even know it.  Which is why the 2018 midterms and 2020 presidential election will be even more traumatic for them than the 2016 seismic jolt from which they have not yet recovered.

And might I add that it couldn’t happen to a more deserving group of people.

What Blows me Away About McCain and Flake!

What blows me away about John McCain and Jeff Flake and other Washington Swamp Dwellers, is how out of touch they are with America and their constituents.

            I remember when President Trump was elected, Senator Jeff Flake scolded Trump for not being consistent with the tenets of the Republican Party.  And my immediate reaction was, “You dumb Ass!  That’s why he was elected!”

            For 8 years we watched while the Obama Administration and the Democratic Party attack Republicans, with scathing, salacious, outraging accusations, and the Republicans never fought back.  We heard comments from republicans like McCain say things like, “Well that’s not characteristic of what it is.”  Rather than say, “Barrack Obama is lying!” 


            We watched the economy slide, wages fall, unemployment up, people on welfare and disability skyrocket, and the whole time Obama and the Dirty Dems lied and said the opposite. 


            We watched the Obama Administration use the IRS as a political tool to attack conservatives.  We watched Obama denigrate our police officers, endorse violent racial groups, and help exsascerbate the racial divide in America. 


            We watched while the Clintons amassed enormous wealth in using high government positions in what was truly a conflict of interest.


            We saw the FBI Director indict Hillary Clinton with high crimes and misdemeanors and then say he would not prosecute her.


            We watched as the liberal, immoral and unethical mainstream news media totally ignore the Obama transgressions against the constitution, including the 2nd Amendment,  to destroy American Business with a tremendous increase in regulations and red tape, and along with Hillary Clinton lie to the American people and to the parents of those who died in Benghazi yet the corrupt media rips into President Trump unprecedented in the history of our country.  How many times did you see John McCain, Jeff Flake, Bob Corker, Mitch McConnell and other R.I.N.O.’s vociferously defend President Trump?  Never!


            And there’s so much more, and the point is:  The Republicans never fought back! 


            So now we have a blue-collar fighter in the White House, who is looking out for the average blue-collar family in our country who is tired of being kicked around and the Washington Ruling Class, living in their lavish Washington and Arizona homes and their two floors in the Biltmore High Rise Condo and their sprawling Ranches, don’t get it. 


            We Watched a Senator who campaigned to repeal Obamacare Vote against repealing Obamacare - which would have lead to a more successful approach to Tax Reform, but he and his Washington ruling elites just didn’t know or care what it’s like for the average family to pay exorbitant amounts for Health Insurance and a huge income tax bill among other day to day expenses in raising a family.


            They just run over to “The View” and praise the Democratic Party and go home to their elite lavish life style.   That’s not the Republican Party, that’s just being a fat Washington Ruling Class, liberal who will say anything to get re-elected.




Today at 1:41 PM

Thank God You Are Not A Celebrity. Harvey Weinstein’s Hollywood a Grim Place.

by Chris Benguhe


The Harvey Weinstein scandal rocking Hollywood proves yet again you shouldn’t envy the lives of stars.



Do you ever hate your job or your life because it’s too much of a grind or not exciting enough? Does your family ever get on your nerves with all their daily demands and constraints? Do you ever wish you were king of the world and could do, say or be whatever you wanted?


If only you could live like those famous stars who seem to live the life. They are all living large and are dreadfully happy. Right?


Time to think again. There’s something “dreadful” indeed about the “happiness” enjoyed in Harvey Weinstein’s Hollywood.


What if I told you Hollywood was riddled with sick, sociopathic, antisocial, borderline crazy people, where Harvey Weinstein fit right in?


Some of you might believe me. Most probably wouldn’t. And Hollywood certainly doesn’t want you to. But the truth is that in Hollywood there is a dark underbelly of unrestrained selfishness and hubris. It pushes people over the edge of decency and acceptability to do, say or commit unacceptable acts that would not be tolerated in the “real” world.


That’s why after a decade of living in and reporting on Hollywood, I left that world to tell everyday stories of everyday people. Folks who for all their flaws are primarily sensible and thoughtful, but most importantly are accountable to others.


And therein lays a deeper and more important discussion of culture, values and national identity.

The Culture of “ME”

For more than a century America has been in a fight with fame. On one hand we are obsessed with it. Americans love their celebrities, and falling over the lifestyles of the rich and famous is a national pastime.


However, the majority of us prefer and live simpler lives in which we realize what’s important – family, hard work and caring about our neighbors, our fellow citizens and being a good human being.


Still, we constantly see dangled before our eyes a world where everything seems attainable. It is beamed into our heads and our living rooms, and it is increasingly represented as more attractive and better than the lives we lead.


The result can be a case of social dissonance where we all want that life, where we all want that freedom, yet without a real understanding of the madness that a life of egoism creates.


When a scandal like Harvey Weinstein lumbers into sight, he exposes that life of hubris for what it really is – a nightmare. I’m glad that people get to see that. And it’s worth talking about for at least long enough to get through the commercial break of Access Hollywood.

Is Hollywood Bad?

Of course this doesn’t mean everyone in entertainment is a Harvey Weinstein, or one of his enablers. But his attitude of privilege is definitely entrenched in Hollywood. And just as there was a culture of indifference within the Catholic Church to child sex abuse cases, which had to be corrected, there is a culture of acceptance of narcissism, egoism and abusiveness within Hollywood.


This culture goes way back to the early days of Hollywood – with one of the most famous alleged cases being that of Alfred Hitchcock ruining actress Tippy Hedrin’s career and life, according to Hedrin, because she wouldn’t sleep with him.


Actress Lara Dunham confirmed in a recent New York Times op-ed that the abuse goes well beyond the allegations against Weisnstein asserting that he is not the only such “predator” in Hollywood.


“His behavior, silently co-signed for decades by employees and collaborators, is a microcosm of what has been happening in Hollywood since always,” writes Dunham, “and of what workplace harassment looks like for women everywhere.”


Dunham is right – and wrong.


The problem goes well beyond gender. Consider gay sex abuse and child abuse in Hollywood and you will open up a whole other can of worms.  The problem stretches well beyond Hollywood to an underlying egoism that feeds off and promotes modern fame and power in America and the world. It’s the idea that you are number one and everyone else is less than you. Therefore you can do whatever you want to whomever you want.


Hollywood feeds off that idea more than most other industries and cultures in America or the world. But it pretends to send out the exact opposite message.


Now to give people in the entertainment industry credit, maybe they’re not self-aware. Perhaps they are just so caught up in the fame, the money and the power that it fuels aberrant behavior.


And there are those in Hollywood – performers, directors and producers, and agents who are trying earnestly to change things. I have met and interviewed them. I wish them the best.


But the best thing that we can do to help them is to remember our common humanity, and the truths of the human condition. Whether we are in Hollywood or Ottumwa, New York or Nashua, we all have the same nature and the same human need and responsibility to love and respect others and to be respected by others regardless of who we are and what we have, or don’t have.


I hope that ordinary, hard-working, honest and self-sacrificing people realize that they are the real stars because of that and revel in their simple, accountable lives so to make them an example to others to behold.


Maybe Hollywood can learn from the firefighters, soldiers, honest cops, teachers, and small business owners out there how to shine.






Buy Chris Benguhe's books at Amazon.com at the link below.