All posts by Carl Bussjaeger

Author: Net Assets, Bargaining Position, The Anarchy Belt, and more

Estimating Firearms Ownership: A possible direct measurement, and a possible problem

Someone recently stumbled upon a way to estimate firearms ownership in America; a method which I don’t recall seeing used in any published research.

Real estate listings.

It seems a great many online real estate listings with interior photographs show numerous firearms, racks, hunting trophies, reloading equipment, and other direct and indirect indicators of firearms possession, presumably lawful since listers are comfortable with posting the images publicly.

This was a narrow sample of America: single-family dwellings in rural portions of a specific state. But examining a wider selection might be fruitful.

Some advantages of using real estate listings for such an estimate include:

  • Listings can show geographic distribution down to the neighborhood (but it might too cumbersome to go below the county level).
  • Other studies have associated geographic location with political leanings; this could cross-referenced to suggest a firearms ownership/politics correlation which is usually assumed.
  • Likewise could a demographic (race, ethnicity, etc.) be more accurately established.
  • Asking/sale prices may be a proxy for the owner’s economic status.

Sadly, I lack the resources to fund such a study. Nor do I have the knowledge of statistics to conduct it personally. But this is data — if it can be reliably inferred — would be very valuable to many people.

That said, I have to ask: WTF?

A common criticism of telephonic surveys on firearms ownership is, “I’m not going to tell a total stranger on the phone what guns — or other valuables — I have. Maybe it’s really a burglar screening for lucrative targets.”

So why would you post photos, or let your real estate agent do so, of your firearms (or other equipment indicating their presence) complete with your address?


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Ed. note: This commentary appeared first in TZP’s weekly email alert. If you would like to be among the first to see new commentary (as well as to get notice of new polls and recaps of recent posts), please sign up for our alert list. (See sidebar or, if you’re on a mobile device, scroll down). Be sure to respond when you receive your activation email!

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What gang’s colors does the governor wear?

About that Trenton, NJ art festival shooting…

Right off the bat, I assumed it was gang related. And that’s just what the cops are saying.

I figured the shooter(s) would be prohibited persons already. And, at least, the dead one was; felony manslaughter, shot a guy to death.

And I assumed guns would blamed. Yep.

So Gov. Murphy thinks criminals sentences are too long. The dead asshole had been sentenceed to 18 years on the manslaughter charge. He picked up an additional 6 years for helping run a gang inside the prison. 2004 (year sentenced) + 18 + 6 = 2028.

Under ol’ Murph’s new policies, the scumbag got an early release in February of this year. Whereupon he apparently went right out and got another gun, somehow bypassing as those New Jersey laws that apply to the honest, non-criminal folks.

Seems Murph also defunded a post-release employment assistance program that supposedly helped reduce the recidivsm rate. Murph apparently thinks a life of crime is dandy.

Now, Jersey already had some of the toughest victim disarmament laws in the country, and the gov signed 6 more gun control bills into law shortly before this shooting. It makes it even tougher to be a law-abiding gun owner, yet somehow doesn’t stop early-released thugs.

Did Murphy suddenly see the error of his ways? Of course not. He’s calling for more victim disarmament laws.

So he lets violent criminals out, limits their non-criminal employment options…

And disarms their prey. How helpful.

Is it bribery, or is he a member of one of those gangs?


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For the ignorance and stupidity of the enemy

… let us give thanks.

Warren J. Blumenfeld, Ed.D has a plan.

“Gun violence could be stopped with some simple measures
While no single or a combination of measures will completely eliminate firearms deaths and injuries, I have constructed a list of proposals to buck the current deregulation trend, intended to substantially diminish the plague of violence:

I read that column with amused fascination; his list of proposals shows that his knowledge of the subject is rather limited. Just for example, those with domestic violence convictions, or those subject to restraining orders are already prohibited from buying firearms. And there is no federal “ban on the purchase of firearms and ammunition on the internet” to strengthen. Nor is there a federal waiting period to lengthen. It is already a felony to sell armor-piercing ammunition to civilians. A person with “a history of serious mental illness” is not not necessariy a prohibited person; one who been adjudicated to be mentally deficient already is.

And banning semiautomatic firearms, then banning bump-fire stocks? Perhaps he thinks they can turn bolt-action rifles into machineguns.

To go forward effectively, you need to understand where you are starting from. I would have thought they’d cover that in the Education department, but I studied engineering, so what do I know?

Fortunately for the doctor, The Zelman Partisans have prepared a “Gun Culture Primer” to assist those newly come to the field. It summarizes various federal laws and applicable court decisions, and history. You will also find helpful definitions and explanations of firearms terminology, and other useful bits of knowledge complete with links to more detailed source material. It’s written in language simple enough for even an Ed.D to comprehend.

Additionally, I would like to present Blumenfeld with a little three step thought experiment, which might be useful as a test of a proposal’s effectiveness.

Convicted felons are prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms. Yet 64% of those who commit murder using a firearm have prior felony convictions. Nearly 91% of firearms used in crime are stolen. Multiple federal studies have shown that no more than 7% of criminals obtained their firearms through lawful channels.

The first experiment/test is to ask how a proposal would impact felons who already evade laws like licensing or background checks.

The second experiment/test is to ask how such a law could be effectively imposed on those same criminals in compliance with the Supreme Court’s HAYNES decision.

The third step is to consider your first results, applied to a comparatively small group (11,004 murders in 2016 implies no more than 11,004 murderers) of known, registered felons, and figure out how to apply them to honest gun owners of unknown numbers (estimates range from 55 million to 120+ million) when you don’t who or where they are. Nor do you know how many firearms there are (estimates range from 265 million to 750 million).

If you cannot successfully gain compliance from a small known group, then exacting compliance from an unknown group several thousands of time larger may be problematical.

But so long as the victim disarmers concentrate on dreaming up new redundant laws, they probably won’t ever get around to coming up with real ways and means of enforcing their little 18 U.S. Code § 241 & 242 violations.


Carl is an unpaid TZP volunteer. If you found this post useful, please consider dropping something in his tip jar. He could use the money, what with truck repairs and recurring bills.

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Ed. note: This commentary appeared first in TZP’s weekly email alert. If you would like to be among the first to see new commentary (as well as to get notice of new polls and recaps of recent posts), please sign up for our alert list. (See sidebar or, if you’re on a mobile device, scroll down). Be sure to respond when you receive your activation email!

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Some Floridians don’t buy Hogg’s garbage

And some stories are too good to wait for the weekly newsletter to share.

JSO: Robber trying to escape thwarted by customers with guns
Police said Christopher Hill ran out to the parking lot after ripping an entire Walmart cash register off the counter, but then he ran into trouble in the form of Army veteran Michael Reardon.

“Trouble.” Yep. (And how the heck do you get an entire cash register, one cabled for power and the computer network?)

Police said Hill approached Reardon, who was sitting in a pickup truck in front of Supercuts hair salon, and pulled a knife on him, cutting Reardon on the hands and legs.
[…]
“I reached in between my glove box and my console, between my seats, reached down and got my weapon and brandished it for him. He was like, ‘Don’t shoot me.’ I was like, ‘Then get out of here.’”

He did. But he didn’t get too far.

At the Starbucks, Hill approached a woman in her car at the drive-thru, got into the passenger seat and said that someone was chasing him.

The woman got out of her car, reached into the trunk for a gun and pointed it at Hill until he ran off, police said.

Oopsie. So obviously our little freelance socialist redistributionist needs a safe space.

Hill eventually ran into the Supercuts and locked himself in a bathroom, according to police. Workers at the salon told NewsJax that Hill was only in the bathroom a few minutes before police arrived.

Police said Hill came out of the bathroom with the knife in his pocket.

Yes. He locked in himself in a bathroom and waited for the cops to rescue him from his intended victims.

But my personal favorite part is this:

“These guys can talk about banning assault rifles and banning guns, but when it comes and happens to them, they’re going to wish they had one,” said Reardon, who was wearing an AR-15 T-shirt when he spoke with News4Jax on Monday. “I’m glad I had mine on me.”

In your face, Hogg. Armed defense works.


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“[T]here is no constitutional right to be protected by the state against being murdered by criminals or madmen.”

Seems folks from the Pulse nightclub shooting still haven’t gotten the memo:

31 Orlando police officers sued over their response to Pulse nightclub massacre that left 49 dead
A city police officer acting as a security guard didn’t do his job and more than two dozen of his colleagues failed in their duties or violated the civil rights of surviving victims after the 2016 Orlando, Florida, nightclub massacre, according to a new federal lawsuit.

The police do not exist to protect you. It isn’t their job. That “protect and serve”? That’s the state, society as a whole, the system.

Not individuals caught up in the system.

  • Warren v. District of Columbia (444 A.2d. 1, D.C. Ct. of Ap. 1981): In a 4-3 decision, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals affirmed the trial courts’ dismissal of the complaints against the District of Columbia and individual members of the Metropolitan Police Department based on the public duty doctrine ruling that “[t]he duty to provide public services is owed to the public at large, and, absent a special relationship between the police and an individual, no specific legal duty exists”.
  • Bowers vs. DeVito, U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit, 686F.2d 616 (1982) ruled that “there is no constitutional right to be protected by the state against being murdered by criminals or madmen.”
  • (Turner v. Thomas, Jr., et al (CASE NO. 3:17-CV-00064, 2018): “Plaintiff’s claims share a common question: whether there is constitutional duty under the Fourteenth Amendment for the police to intervene to protect a citizen from criminal conduct by third parties. Because I find this duty is not ‘clearly established,’ his claims are barred by qualified immunity.”

And that is why we remain adamant on the right to keep and bear arms.

The police do not protect you; they protect the state. An officer might choose to help, but are you willing to bet your life on that? Even assuming an officer happened to be there in your time of need.

There’s only one person always present where you are, who happens to have a vested interest in your life.

You.


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ERPOs: Everyone is STASI now

Sane people already know that so-called “extreme risk protective rights violating orders” are… insane.

  • Not a single bill I’ve read actually requires taking into the custody the allegedly “dangerous” person. Just one type of weapon. Just make him angry, and leaves him free to act on it, with something else.
  • None include — by deliberate design — anything approaching due process meeting federal legal standards. The accused is specifically excluded from any chance of defending or explaining himself before his property is stolen. Which, of course, is why he’ll be angry.
  • Few, if any bills, include penalties for someone filing a false report. At least one state specifically legislature voted down an amendment to add penalties for false reporting. A no-cost way to screw with one’s enemies.
  • By design, these bills allow petitions from people with minimal contact with the accused.
  • ERPOs require a standard of “evidence” for depriving someone of rights far below that of even a misdemeanor conviction. The standards are well below that of ordinary civil lawsuits. No evidence; just an unsubstantiated claim good enough for a judge who hates guns.

So how can they possibly get any worse?

What? You never heard of New York, or Gov. Cuomo?

Cuomo: Allow teachers to petition judges to seize guns
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to allow teachers to ask a judge to remove guns from the homes of troubled students.

The Democrat said on Tuesday that he will introduce the idea as legislation. He acknowledged it will face criticism from Republicans.

Under the measure, teachers and school administrators would have legal standing to petition a court to remove any firearms from the homes of students considered a threat to themselves or others.

This would allow teachers to obtain rights-violating orders against not the student, but anyone and everyone in the student’s home. Whom the teacher may have never met. Whom — supposedly — isn’t even the alleged “dangerous” person.

Don’t like guns? Start reporting students and get entire families of innocent people disarmed, without any pesky need for evidence. This being New York, I’ll guarantee they’ll find oath-breaking judges who’ll sign victim disarmament orders. I can see NYS school districts sending out memos to teachers to start collating lists of students/families to target, based on known/suspect gun wnership by a family member. Probably starting with those whose parents demand parent-teacher conferences; the damned uppity troublemakers who dare question the faculty’s authority.

I don’t live in New York (and you would have enjoyed the discussion the time a boss tried to talk me into relocating to New York City), so this wouldn’t affect me.

Yet.

The problem is that, like “standard” extreme rights violating order legislation, the gun people controllers will take any legislation Cuomo comes up with and use it as a model in other states. I can make some good guesses as to which legislators in Atlanta would leap at the chance to sponsor it here.

I have a disturbed niece who has publicly stated that she hates guns, and wants everyone over the age of 55 eliminated. What happens when she realizes she can start filing no-evidence ERPOs to fulfill her genocidal dream?

What happens when anyone having a lawncare dispute with a neighbor can send the confiscation cops out to screw him over?

What happens when ERPO legislation makes everyone a STASI informer?


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False Negatives

Folks tend to focus on the false positive rate in NICS denials: some 96% of denials turn out to be in error; millions of innocent persons’ rights were violated. Yeah, that’s pretty bad.

But it gets worse.

False negatives.

When Background Checks Fail
A convicted felon, who was found “not guilty by reason of insanity” when he stabbed his sister in 2009 and then a manager at a Walmart in 2014, filled out a Form 4473 at a gun shop, lying multiple times while doing so.

Then, somehow, his background check was approved by the FBI in mere minutes, and he purchased two brand new handguns.
[…]
“Indiana State Police Capt. Dave Bursten told local media Abraman’s record appears in the system — under both of his assumed names. He said its the FBI’s job to figure out why the background check still cleared.”

Yes, we know about the DC Navy yard shooter, the Sutherland Springs shooter, and others who shouldn’t have passed background checks, but did because they hadn’t been entered into the system. This is different.

This convicted felon, and one adjudicated mentally incompetent, was in NICS. After the fact, the police verified that he was listed there as a prohibited person. Under both names he uses. Yet somehow this guy, who bloody well knew he shouldn’t pass a NICS check, felt confident enough to go in, fill out a 4473 with his own name, and successfully pass a check and buy guns.

In recent months, I’ve seen some other stories about felons successfully buying guns from dealers. It’s only within the past week that I really noted the apparent trend.

Why are felons suddenly confident of their ability to purchase firearms through dealers, correctly assuming they’ll get a pass from NICS? How often is this happening?

We know about the false positives because honest folks challenge denials; they have a vested interest in the truth coming out.

Criminals, on the other hand, are hardly going to challenge their “proceed,” and admit to yet another felony. So we don’t know how many other have obtain a false negative…

Or how they arranged for that. What might be the going rate…?

I think NICS should be investigated. Just tell the FBI it’s a Russian plot.

Just another reason not to impose “universal-except-for-criminals background checks.”


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Incentive

Governments have a habit of throwing money at problems…

…unless it might go to honest folks. Like honest, noncriminal gun owners.

So they’ll pay criminals to “behave,” but punish gun owners for not “behaving.” I’ve got a better idea.

Just those three Danegeld cities would account for some $6 million a year in extortion payments. That would buy more than 105,000 of these little gun safes, and handguns are the preferred firearm of choice — small, concealable, easily disposed of — for criminals.

Instead of criminalizing theft victims, and paying off the predators, how about incentivizing guns owners to secure unattended weapons?

Michael Bloomberg spent $20 million just on Nevada’s 2016 background check initiative, only to see it fail when it turned out his toadies wrote an unenforceable proposition. He could have spent the same money on 350,000 gun safes — for more than 10% of the state’s population –, and actually accomplished something.

For that matter, $20 million would provide excellent bounty payments for would-be victims who take out the criminal who attempted to prey upon them. A two-fer: incentivizing defense and elimination of criminal predators.


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Minorities don’t have rights?

David Frum, writing in The Atlantic, has an interesting take on rights.

Only 30 percent of Americans own guns. Thus far, that minority has sufficed to block substantial federal action on guns. But a one-third minority—and especially a nonurban one-third minority—may no longer suffice to shape American culture.

Does he really want to go there? Does he really want to argue that rights are subject to a majority vote; that some minority should lose some right because they’re outnumbered?

What other minorities would he like to disenfranchise?

(https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=DEC_10_DP_DPDP1&src=pt)

America has done that before. It was a bad idea — morally, legally, and constitutionally — then. It’s a bad idea now.

Especially when said minority is heavily armed.


Carl is an unpaid TZP volunteer. If you found this post useful, please consider dropping something in his tip jar. He could use the money, what with truck repairs and recurring bills.

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Ed. note: This commentary appeared first in TZP’s weekly email alert. If you would like to be among the first to see new commentary (as well as to get notice of new polls and recaps of recent posts), please sign up for our alert list. (See sidebar or, if you’re on a mobile device, scroll down). Be sure to respond when you receive your activation email!

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Consider if you will

-annoying rap ringtone-

“Yeah? Mikie here. Oh, Lemonjello.* Yeah, I know, but I ain’t got the money. I know, I know; I said I’d pay it back last month, but, sh*t bro, you know how it goes… No, don’t tell Sharisse; she’d kill me. F*** it, man, I gots some cash coming next month. Leave me ‘lone till then.”

-puts multi-hundred dollar phone away-

“F*****g a**hole. I’ll pay his a** back.”

-pulls phone out again-

“Crimestoppers Hotline.”

“Yeah, I know this who’s gonna rob a bank. His name’s…”

“Sir, is this a crime that has already occurred?”

“Well, naw. But he’s gonna rob it.”

“Sir, I’ll forward you to the Detectives division.”

-click- -obnoxious elevator music-

“Investigations. Sgt. Holloway.”

“Yo, man. I know a dude what’s gonna rob a bank.”

“Really? And you know this how?”

“Like, he’s talking ’bout needin’ cash, and he got this gun… His name’s Lemonjello Sm…”

“What bank do you believe he’s targeting?”

“Umm… Well, he gots an account at the Second First National on Highland.”

“He’s going to rob his own bank?”

“Sure; he know where that one is.”

“He told you about his plans?”

“Naw, but you just know…”

“Right. Tell me about this gun he has. What type, where he got it.”

“I ain’t seen it. But he said he bought something for protection at Falcon Tactical Guns a while back.”

“He bought this at a gun store?”

“Sure.”

“So we have a guy with a lawfully owned firearm, who hasn’t said anything about robbing anything, but you just know. Has he robbed anything else? Muggings, assault, anything else?”

“No, but…”

“Let me guess. You owe him money, and you’re trying to get out of paying. We see that all the time.”

“Wait! Maybe he’s gonna…”

-click-

“Well, shit.”

-punches numbers again-

“Red Flag Hotline. Who is in danger from whom?”

“Yo, Lemonjello Smith done got a gun, and he’s gonna hurt somebody. And… and… Yeah! He’s real depressed-like and gonna kill hisself when he done.”

“Thank you for the warning, sir. We’ll get right on it. Please spell the poor man’s name.”

“L-e-m-o-n-j-e-l-l-o S-m-i-t-h.”

“Lemon Jello?”

“Yeah, his momma love the stuff. And you should see his sister Deserta.”

“Lemon Jello and Deserta?”

“Yeah, ain’t none of them right in the haid, if ya know what I mean. And he gots a gun.”

“Yes, this sounds very serious, sir. Let me get the rest of the information, and we’ll get a protection order to take his gun right away.”

“Cool! Thanks be to Jesus for red flag orders, huh?”

“Yes, sir.”


* Pronounced leh MAHN jeh LOW.


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