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Guns and Crime

Is gun violence actually rising?

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Is gun violence actually rising

The Los Angeles Times’ Kurtis Lee declares that it can’t really understand while accidental gunshot deaths are falling while gun violence is increasing. On its face, this seems like a reasonable question, but given the LA Times’ history of reporting on guns is about as accurate as a penalty kick with a torn ACL, we have to delve a bit deeper.

The opening sentence waves a red flag, calling for the bulls to run at the specter of well-publicized shootings in Las Vegas, Baltimore, and Sutherland Springs. These are “clearly” part of a trend to higher gun crime. As for accidental deaths, Lee claims, following the Washington Post, that one reason accidents are decreasing is that fewer homes have guns. But the Pew Research Center says that gun ownership is rising! And if we look further, ABC/Washington Post polling shows a very stable 43+% rate of homes with guns over the last 18 years.

To those who know and handle guns regularly, the large public shootings are events that speak to the evil of the perpetrators, not the instrument of destruction. But this talisman is supposed to keep us from understanding that over decades there are two trends that cannot be mistaken.

First, the overall gun homicide rate in the US is in a steady decline. Second, gun ownership in the US is steadily rising. The National Instant Check system run by the Federal Government shows a doubling of gun purchases from 2008 to 2015. Concealed carry permits have increased from 2.7 million in 1999 to over 14.5 million in 2016.

We can admit that for two years gun homicides have had an upturn. But when the Left presents a single answer for a complicated problem, we can be pretty certain that they are wrong. (Ditto for the Right!) There are multiple factors that can lead to a rise in gun deaths. Yes, Las Vegas is one. But it pales in comparison to Chicago and Baltimore. And we should consider common features there.

Those two metro areas have been under unified Democrat rule for decades. As a result, their poverty rates are notably higher than many other cities. This is known to breed crime. Next, these areas share features with a couple of other places: San Bernardino and the Pulse Night Club. They are legally “gun-free zones.” The list could be much longer, but virtually every public mass firearm murder is in a “gun-free zone.”

Just ask why grandmothers in Chicago want guns. Are they target shooters in withdrawal? No! They want to be able to protect their grandkids from the gangs that rule the streets. Yes, when seconds matter, the police are only minutes away. If they come at all. Since Ferguson, community policing has largely disappeared, so now Chicago plants a resident every eighteen hours.

We must dive just a bit deeper into this cesspool.

The Cesspool

69% of US counties have no more than one murder per year, and account for 20% of the population but only 4% of the murders. The worst 1% of counties have 19% of the population and 37% of the murders. These (red) counties are generally metropolitan, with long-term Democrat governance and highly restrictive gun laws. That is, criminals get guns, but law-abiding citizens have a very hard time defending themselves.

Finally, when we look at another site Lee uses, everytownresearch.org, we find that Lee neglects a key point we’ve already noted. Crime accounts for most of the rise in gunshot deaths. This is not something that is likely to be changed by trying to adjust the behavior of the law-abiding. And that is what the Left consistently fails to understand.

Concealed carry permit holders are six times less likely than police to misuse their weapons. But gang-bangers in un-policed cities will use their illegal guns frequently, as Chicago and Baltimore prove.

Yes, accidental deaths due to firearms are falling. That’s a good thing. But it has nothing to do with reduced gun ownership. Lawful gun owners are just as concerned with keeping their kids alive as anyone else. They may be more focused on it. That’s why they take their kids shooting and train them in the safe use of guns. We should be doing far more of this.

There has yet to be a gun law that reduced crime. By definition, criminals break the law. But private gun ownership has been proven again and again to be a force for good, with many thousands of lives saved each year. We should be shouting that from the rooftops.

Guns and Crime

Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards charged for leaking financial data on Robert Mueller’s targets

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Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards charged for leaking financial data on Robert Muellers targets

Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards faces up to 10 years in prison if found guilty of leaking financial documents to BuzzFeed. These documents contained information about some of Robert Mueller’s targets in his probe of Russian election meddling, including Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, Maria Butina, and the Russian Embassy.

Natalie Edwards: Treasury FinCEN official charged with leaking financial records in Russia probe

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/natalie-edwards-treasury-fincen-employee-charged-with-leaking-financial-records-in-russia-probe/U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said in a statement that Edwards “betrayed her position of trust by repeatedly disclosing highly sensitive information.”

“SARs, which are filed confidentially by banks and other financial institutions to alert law enforcement to potentially illegal transactions, are not public documents, and it is an independent federal crime to disclose them outside of one’s official duties,” Berman said.

My Take

There has never been a presidency that had so many government employees attempting to derail it. For a senior Treasury Department employee to be willing to go to jail to help a leftist media outlet post some stories exemplifies how unhinged President Trump’s opponents can be.

Trust of public employees is extremely important and, anecdotally, at an all-time low. It isn’t just people in the White House. There are clearly an large number of unhinged activists working for the federal government.

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Conspiracy Theory

If Keith Ellison wins his election, #MeToo has officially jumped the shark

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If Keith Ellison wins his election MeToo has officially jumped the shark

Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN) should be a prime target for the #MeToo movement. He’s a powerful man who allegedly abused his ex-girlfriend. She has corroboration and evidence to back her claims. She’s a fellow Democrat, so she’s not a political plant by his opposition. She’s a woman with a story of abuse that, by #MeToo movement standards, should be believed.

The problem is Ellison is a powerful Democrat, a Muslim, a minority, and is in the middle of a tight election. Therefore, he’s protected from the people who would have sunk Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation despite no evidence or corroboration.

The hypocrisy of it all is stunning. The message being sent by the #MeToo movement based on their unwillingness to confront Ellison and call for his removal from offices, current and future, is that women are to be believed if they’re accusing the right people. Keith Ellison isn’t the right person. He’s an ally to the #MeToo movement because he’s a Democrat, a Muslim, a minority, and someone who’s in the middle of an important election in Minnesota.

Despite the #MeToo movement looking away, it seems that voters in Minnesota are starting to look closer.

Domestic abuse charges diminishing Ellison’s lead

https://onenewsnow.com/politics-govt/2018/10/16/domestic-abuse-charges-diminishing-ellisons-leadRep. Keith Ellison’s (D-Minn.) lead in the polls – to become Minnesota’s newest attorney general in the midterm elections – has continued to vanish after his ex-girlfriend’s domestic abuse allegations.

Before the Karen Monahan’s charges were made public, the Democratic Muslim candidate was believed to be a shoe-in in the contest to become the deep-blue state’s top cop, but since then, polls show that his once long-shot Republican competitor, Doug Wardlow, has closed in on him – big time.

Misogyny and abuse of power are real problems in America. This is why the initial iteration of the #MeToo movement was so powerful. It worked. That cannot be denied. But what it has become is a shadow of its original self.

The highest ranking law enforcement official n the state of Minnesota may be a many accused by his ex-girlfriend of physical and mental abuse. Unfortunately, #MeToo doesn’t believe her.

#MeToo will only go after people like Keith Ellison if there’s incontrovertible evidence against them. They’ll go after Brett Kavanaugh no matter what. #MeToo is not the women’s empowerment movement they claim to be. It’s a political activist front.

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Guns and Crime

Why isn’t Katie Brennan’s #MeToo accusation getting national attention?

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It’s the type of story that should have received national attention immediately. It was sourced by a respected major news outlet, the Wall Street Journal. Both the accuser and the accused are high-ranking public official in New Jersey’s government. The accused stepped down two weeks ago when approached by WSJ for comment. Katie Brennan’s story is a major newsworthy scandal.

As of Monday morning, a day after the story officially broke and four days after it was leaked to other major news outlets, both mainstream media and the #MeToo movement are essentially silent.

That will change soon, possibly today. Brennan, a prominent volunteer for Phil Murphy’s gubernatorial campaign and current Chief of Staff at the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, released this statement:

On April 8th, 2017, Al Alvarez raped me. On April 9th, 2017 I learned that the system is broken.

I have pursued every form of justice available. But it has become clear that this system is not built for survivors.

The details of the assault portrayed in reporter Kate King’s Wall Street Journal report published today are accurate. But to date, I have received no justice.

I decided to come forward because I know that Al Alvarez, and all perpetrators, must be held accountable, must never rape again, and the justice system needs a complete change with regard to sexual violence.

New Jersey residents are only given a two-year window to file a civil suit. After spending an entire year pursuing a criminal case before hitting a dead end, I am left with less than one year to pursue civil action.

It is clear that leadership from the Murphy administration is needed to create meaningful policy change on several levels to make sure future victims do not have to endure what I have. I urge Gov. Murphy and the Attorney General’s Office to eliminate the statute of limitations on civil action related to sexual assault, and to direct prosecutors to be more aggressive in taking on these criminal cases. Further, the Murphy administration and the General Assembly should pursue legislation to ensure New Jersey’s police and other first responders are better trained to handle sexual assault victims.

Finally, sexual predators like Al Alvarez are only able to stay in power when those around them do nothing. Several senior level members of the Murphy administration were aware of my assault and failed to take meaningful action. Al Alvarez remained employed at a senior level in the Murphy administration until just a few weeks ago, when he knew the Wall Street Journal article was coming out and opted to resign. The failure of members of Gov. Murphy’s staff to respond in an aggressive, proactive fashion is unacceptable.

To other sexual assault survivors in New Jersey, I urge you to join me in coming forward if you are able. I will stand with you, because when we stand together, we are safer and stronger. Our voice is our power. Together, we can finally receive the justice we all deserve.

Murphy has not commented other than saying Alvarez should not have been hired. He was made aware of a “sensitive matter” that needed to be discussed by Brennan in June and claimed his staff would set up a meeting. That was the last Brennan heard from Murphy.

Gov. Phil Murphy’s handling of aide sex assault allegation questioned

https://www.northjersey.com/story/news/new-jersey/governor/2018/10/14/murphys-handling-sexual-assault-allegation-called-into-question/1642517002/His accuser, Katie Brennan, was a Murphy campaign volunteer who said she spent more than a year seeking action against Alvarez for the alleged sexual assault before directly emailing Phil and Tammy Murphy in June. Phil Murphy responded within the hour, according to the Journal.

“Hang in,” he wrote. “We are on it.”

But Alvarez remained in his $140,000-a-year position until October. The alleged assault happened in April 2017.

Standards set by the #MeToo movement dictate that credible accusations should be believed. Brennan appears to be extremely credible, having reported her rape immediately after it allegedly occurred. Alvarez offered a $15,000 settlement that would have been attached to a non-disclosure agreement, which Brennan refused.

Where is MSNBC? Where is CNN? Where is Alyssa Milano?

Social media is starting to take notice. In particular, they’re going after Murphy and his wife for speaking out in support of Christine Blasey Ford’s accusations against Brett Kavanaugh.

Katie Brennan

My Take

I am a strong proponent for what the #MeToo movement once promoted and how it started. The original intent was to embolden women who had experienced sexual misconduct at the hands of men in power over them. The goal was to give courage to those who were in very tough situations.

Recently, the #MeToo movement has been weaponized. I’m not going to draw comparisons between accusations against Kavanaugh and Alvarez. That would be unfair to Ford since Brennan’s accusations against Alvarez are much more recent and have the benefit of an immediate report to the authorities. Nevertheless, it’s worth noting that as of now, either the story hasn’t reached the right people or the right people have chosen to ignore it.

We can’t let them.

It’s not as if this is a political hit job against Democrats. Brennan’s image was used in Murphy’s campaign handouts and she was outspoken as a “Young Democrat of the Week” in New Jersey as a result.

Katie Brennan NJ Democrat

I don’t like when something as heinous as rape gets politicized, but silence from mainstream media and the #MeToo movement is deafening. Would they be avoiding the story if Brennan had accused a Republican?

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