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Guns and Crime

Charges laid on Douglas Haig

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Just days after Judge Cadish unsealed the second person of interest, that person has been charged. Douglas Haig, an Arizona native, has been charged with conspiracy to manufacture and sell armor-piercing ammunition without a license. The charge carries up to five years in prison. This would be the first criminal charge place in relation to the Las Vegas Shooting.

Review Journal: Prosecutors charge Arizona man who sold ammo to Las Vegas shooter

According to a criminal complaint, the FBI determined that “two unfired cartridges bearing Haig’s fingerprints” were found in Paddock’s suite at Mandalay Bay, and the cartridges are classified as armor-piercing ammunition.

Court records show that a warrant for Haig’s arrest was issued Friday morning by a U.S. magistrate judge in Las Vegas.

Haig appeared in a Phoenix courtroom Friday afternoon, hours after holding a news conference with his lawyer, who told reporters he did not expect his client to face charges.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Michelle Burns released Haig on his own recognizance. He must remove all weapons, ammunition and related equipment from his home by 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Haig told agents he reloads ammunition but does not offer reloaded cartridges for sale to his customers. He also said none of the ammunition recovered at Las Vegas crime scenes would have tool marks on them consistent with his reloading equipment.

“Reloaded ammunition refers to ammunition that is manufactured from component parts, including previously fired cartridge cases,” according to the complaint.

The FBI executed a search warrant at Haig’s home on Oct. 19 and seized over 100 items, according to the complaint.

“Laboratory analysis confirmed that some of the ammunition recovered during the search at Haig’s residence was in fact reloaded armor-piercing ammunition,” according to the document, which also alleges that the two .308-caliber cartridges found in Paddock’s suite with Haig’s fingerprints “had toolmarks consistent with the reloading equipment recovered in Haig’s backyard workshop.”

My Take

Charges finally came and perhaps we are only seeing these charges because of the documents that were unsealed revealing his name as a person of interest. Perhaps the public will find a scapegoat in Douglas Haig. But that would imply that the public is following the story as much as they should. With Trump, who has time to wonder about one of the most horrific crimes of our time? Whether Douglas Haig is guilty or not, it’s dangerous for the public to make him a scapegoat.

He is charged with a very limited crime, meaning he had no part in Stephen Paddock’s rampage. Again, Haig’s crimes are only alleged. Perhaps he can show reasonable doubt in court. Or it will get dropped in a plea deal. We don’t know and we shouldn’t jump to conclusions especially if we have limited knowledge of firearms like most of the media does. As always, innocent until proven guilty.

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Guns and Crime

Gun reform that will actually work

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In the wake of the horrific high school shooting in Parkland, Florida on Thursday, Leftists took to their usual diatribes — they called the NRA a terrorist group, Jimmy Kimmel cried on live television (again), and mainstream news organizations touted misleading if not outright false statistics. All of the above pleaded for yet-unspecified “comprehensive” or “common sense” gun reform.

Through it all, I repeatedly asked vocally adamant gun control supporters, “What is your plan? What law would have prevented this from happening?” Many conservative leaders did the same. Still, no one on the Left seemed capable of providing a coherent answer, short of a full-on gun confiscation and/or ignorance of laws that are already in place, such as a ban on machine guns (which weren’t even used in this shooting).

Pointing this out won’t stop Lefties, obviously, but my intent with this article is not to continue debating what hasn’t, can’t, or won’t work when it comes to gun control, nor to debunk recurring arguments and statistics. That’s an important task, but for right now, I’ll leave it to the likes of Steven CrowderBen Shapiro, and Matt Christiansen.

My goal here is to defy perhaps the most frequent accusation pointed at conservatives during any gun debate, which is that we aren’t willing to discuss how to stop this kind of thing from happening again. And I’m not talking about preaching the gospel or inspiring a deeper respect for life — I mean genuine legislation.

Here are four measures that will actually make an impact in preventing mass shootings:

1) Repeal the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990

According to the Crime Prevention Research Center, over 98% of mass shootings in America from 1950 to 2016 occurred in gun-free zones. It should be common sense to understand that criminals target the weak, vulnerable, and unprotected — such as groups that are guaranteed to be unarmed.

This 1990 legislation was introduced by none other than former-Vice President Joe Biden and signed into law by Bush Sr., prohibiting the presence of firearms within 1000 feet of public, private, and parochial elementary and high schools.

Some locations might be gun free de facto rather than de jure, such as churches, where it is not prohibited by law but not necessarily common practice to carry a gun, but the unknown always goes in favor of the potential victims. In a room where a shooter has one firearm and the crowd has zero, you do the math.

The way to prevent shootings is to put more guns in the hands of good guys than in the hands of bad guys. In order to discourage mass shootings, killers need to fear the possibility of getting caught on the other end of a barrel.

This is not to say that teachers should necessarily be required to carry weapons, but those who are trained and feel inclined to take that precaution should be welcome to do so in order to protect their students and colleagues — a proposal which 81% of police officers favor, as provided by USA Today.

2) Place armed security at all public schools

Most federal buildings feature an armed guard of some kind, and many have additional security measures such as metal detectors. So why are our children left unprotected on public (meaning federally operated) school grounds? As Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh contends, there is no sensible argument for abandoning our children to such a clear threat.

Some have argued that the presence of police officers or guns might traumatize young children, but do you know what’s even more traumatizing? Watching your friends get slaughtered by a homicidal maniac with a psychotic vendetta.

The Parkland shooter was previously expelled from the school and prohibited from carrying a backpack on campus, yet somehow that ban didn’t work, as the shooter mosied onto an unsecured campus with a backpack toting a rifle and ammunition — after all, who was going to stop him?

3) Reform the mental health system

Not all people who suffer from mental illness are violent — not by a long shot. Nor are all murders committed by the mentally ill. But the fact is that mass shootings account for a miniscule percentage of total gun homicides in the U.S., and many if not most mass shootings are executed by mentally unstable individuals.

Our country needs to reform its mental health system and consider increasing the amount of people who are institutionalized in mental health facilities.

Ironically, the same groups calling for common sense gun reform immediately backstep when mental illness is brought into the conversation, obfuscating relevant data on two fronts: firstly by falsely claiming that this will lead to a witch hunt of anyone with depression or anxiety, which is simply not true — we’re talking about those who present a danger to themselves or others — and secondly by conflating all gun killings with just mass murder, which is defined by wholly different parameters.

The Atlantic ran the latter kind of piece in October 2017 following the Las Vegas shooting, which cited a statistic that fewer than 5% of gun homicides are committed by a person with a previously diagnosed mental illness. That could very well be true, but it’s beside the point, first marginally because this doesn’t account for undiagnosed illness, but primarily due to the fact that mass shootings only account for 2 or 3% of gun murders anyway, so we’re talking about a completely different set of facts. In the same article, The Atlantic tries to play off a statistic from 2001 and another from 2016 that peg the rate of mass shooters with mental illness closer to one in four, or 25%. By their own admission, if we reform involuntary commitment laws to allow for easier institutionalization of the severely ill, then we can immediately cut down on mass shootings by a quarter.

One might call that statistically significant.

On The Rubin Report, Ben Shapiro links the rise in mass shootings to the large-scale emptying of mental facilities in the 1960s and 70s, leading to an upsurgence in homelessness, violent crime, and, yes, mass shootings, because even if only 25% of mass shooters are previously known to have been mentally ill (this coming from the same folks who claim we’ve had eighteen school shootings this year when the answer is closer to four), every single one of the viral shootings in recent memory, if it wasn’t committed by a terrorist, was brought about by someone who is mentally ill, from Parkland, to Sutherland Springs, to Las Vegas, and so on.

And for those squawking about Trump weakening prohibitions on the mentally ill buying guns, this is a lie. He repealed an unconstitutional gun ban on senior citizens who needed help documenting their Social Security finances, which is a far cry from violent schizophrenia. The ACLU, not known for its conservatism, supported Trump on this action.

4) Audit the Fed(eral Bureau of Investigation)

This issue is far more pressing than anything related to the Federal Reserve.

As reported by CNN, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has ordered a review into the FBI’s process for handling tips following its admitted failure to properly address notification given in early January of a potential threat from the Parkland shooter.

According to the FBI’s statement, the tipster informed them about “[the shooter’s] gun ownership, desire to kill people, erratic behavior, and disturbing social media posts, as well as the potential of him conducting a school shooting,” yet “no further investigation was conducted at that time.”

This kind of negligence certainly ought to raise eyebrows, and Florida Governor Rick Scott has called for Christopher Wray, the FBI director, to step down.

Now, in fairness, how many credible tips does the FBI receive on a regular basis? Probably a lot. How many of those threats does it successfully neutralize? Probably a lot.

But as Stephen Gutowski of The Washington Free Beacon tweeted on Friday, this is the fourth mass shooting in recent years where “the FBI was informed of significant warning signs beforehand.” Gutowski doesn’t mention, by the way, the federal oversight on the Sutherland Springs shooter, whose dishonorable history of military service should have disqualified him from gun ownership during his background check.

In addition to the tip itself, the shooter also gave off red flags by way of social media comments that he wanted to become a professional school shooter and take vengeance against police, as well as 39 home responses from police in only seven years.

Tack on growing suspicion of the FBI’s integrity in the handling of recent investigations, and at the very least, we ought to support Sessions’s decision to figure out what’s going on in the Justice Department.

No legislative action will ever fully solve this problem, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t find reasonable improvements while still respecting natural and constitutional rights. But we’ll never move forward if all we can resort to is virtue signalling and name-calling on Twitter.

If you want gun reform and you don’t like my ideas, then tell me your plan — just know I’m giving up hope that anyone on the Left really wants to have that conversation.

Richie Angel is a Co-Editor in Chief of The New Guards. Follow him and The New Guards on Twitter, and check out The New Guards on Facebook.

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Culture and Religion

Media: Please stop bringing Fame to mass murderers with the Gratuitous use of their Names and Imagery.

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It is time that we stop glamorising killers with unnecessary media fanfare    #NoFame4Killers

Saying that the Socialist-Left wants a certain level of violence to push gun control will always result in a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth. Still, it’s hard to shake that conclusion when it comes to the idea of refusing to bring fame to mass murderers. Studies have shown that these killers inspire others to copy their horrid acts, so it’s only logical that cutting down their media exposure would help alleviate the problem.

Proving the point is the report in the Miami Herald that: There have been threats of violence at 12 U.S. schools, at least, since Fla. Shooting, Including an arrest of a high school student who threatened ‘Round 2’ of Florida Shooting as reported at Tme.com

Consider a 2015 study from researchers at Arizona State University and Northeastern Illinois University reported in the PLOS journal, concluding that:

We find significant evidence that mass killings involving firearms are incented by similar events in the immediate past. On average, this temporary increase in probability lasts 13 days, and each incident incites at least 0.30 new incidents (p = 0.0015). We also find significant evidence of contagion in school shootings, for which an incident is contagious for an average of 13 days, and incites an average of at least 0.22 new incidents (p = 0.0001).

To make it perfectly clear, we are not talking about keeping this information secret or censoring the media. The data should be available in certain places in the media – a dispassionate recitation of the facts of the crime, to keep conspiracy theories and other such nonsense at bay. But there is no logical reason to make a mass murderer famous for the sake of clicks or ratings.

Nor is this a call for government intervention, this is more like a “gentlemen’s agreement” (or gentlewoman’s as the case may be) to stop gratuitously promoting these killers. It’s about denying fame to cowardly murderers who are the worst of the worst, nothing more, nothing less.

Consider that the experts in the field have detailed the extensive planning and preparation these mass murderers that proceeding through five distinct phases. This article published in PoliceOne.com detailed these stages: 5 phases of the active shooter: A tactical reload

1. Fantasy Phase
2. Planning Phase
3. Preparation Phase
4. Approach Phase
5. Implementation Phase

Are we to believe that the “Columbine effect” doesn’t factor in these stages?
In addition, are we to believe that in the Left’s magical “Gun-Free” Utopian fantasy land, that criminals of this type wouldn’t find alternative methods of mass murder?

Both sides of the political aisle have championed this have idea. It was extensively discussed on the Glenn Beck Radio program: Logic and Reason Needed, As well as the publication ‘Mother Jones’.  While we loathe to link to them, they did offer some useful tips to alleviate this deadly problem:

Report on the perpetrator forensically and with dispassionate language. Avoid terms like “lone wolf” and “school shooter,” which may carry cachet with young men aspiring to attack. Instead use “perpetrator,” “act of lone terrorism,” and “act of mass murder.”

Minimise use of the perpetrator’s name. When it isn’t necessary to repeat it, don’t. And don’t include middle names gratuitously, a common practice for distinguishing criminal suspects from others of the same name, but which can otherwise lend a false sense of their importance.

Keep the perpetrator’s name out of headlines. Rarely, if ever, will a generic reference to him in a headline be any less practical.

Minimize use of images of the perpetrator. This is especially important both in terms of aspiring copycats’ desire for fame, and the psychology of vulnerable individuals who identify with mass shooters.

When both ends of the political spectrum agree on something that is so basic and eminently obvious, everyone should take notice. But then again, maybe there are those who really want a certain level of violence, who would prefer to tilt at the windmill of gun control and never really solve anything.

 

 

 

 

 

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Guns and Crime

The Top 5 Reasons Gun Control is Dead.

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Time to bury the non-functional authoritarian idea of people control that has been negated by circumstances and technology.

It’s the same pattern every time, within minutes of a mass murder attack, calls for Intergalactic Background Checks or Gun confiscation are heard throughout the media. To be clear, these repeated assaults against our common sense civil rights by those who are supposedly ‘Liberal’ are contrary to the very precepts of individual Liberty, but that has become all too commonplace these days.

One should be extremely suspicious of ‘solutions’ that have to be passed in the heat of the moment, on the basis of a ‘serious crisis’. Were these ‘solutions’ of good quality and worthy of rational support, they could be discussed in the context of an open debate without the inclusion of useless emotional appeals.

The fact is the world has passed by the gun grabbers without their notice. Americans today own an estimated 600 million guns, they also are wise to the incremental attacks on their fundamental liberties. Advancing technology and the fact that gun control has never worked have also contributed to the death of this old tyrannical idea. Finally, this common-sense civil right is an integral part of the truly Liberal philosophy of individual Liberty.

1). Millions of gun owners and millions of guns in circulation make the ultimate gun grabber goal of Confiscation impossible.

A few months ago The Washington Free Beacon ran an analysis using data from a recent poll and census data and determined that ‘Nearly 120 million Americans have a firearm in the home’

The Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey of 1,200 adults found 48 percent of Americans said they or somebody else in their household owned a gun.

The United States Census Bureau estimates there are 249,454,440 adults currently living in America. If the Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey is accurate, that equates to 119,738,131 Americans with a gun in their home.

In addition, the website ‘WeaponsMan’ ran an analysis of ATF and came up with an estimated 412-660 Million firearms.

2). Gun grabber mendacity over the issue of People Control.

Nothing epitomized the sheer lack of honesty on the part of the gun grabbers on the nation’s Socialist-Left than statistic supposedly showing 18 school shootings this year or that the New York Times reported 430 People Have Been Shot in 239 School Shootings.

If they truly had a righteous cause that made sense, they would have no need to lie about it.

The plain fact is that most, if not all people control proposals are predicated on trust. For example, there really is no justifiable reason for Intergalactic Background Checks other than to force citizens to get permission to exercise their Civil rights and as a precursor to gun confiscation. But the gun grabbers will solemnly attest that this further infringement will not lead to that obvious end result. We are supposed to trust them not to use purchase data to create a registration and confiscation database. Well, they are perfectly willing to Lie about school shootings as well as other issues, so what is to stop them from doing so in this case?

3). Gun Control has Never Worked as advertised.

Gun control has never worked – as is most, if not all of the Left’s Socialist national agenda. There are plenty of examples that range from Chicago to Caracas. Basic logic will inform those who thoughtfully consider the issue. People control laws only impact those who obey it anyway. These are people who don’t really pose a threat, so these impositions on personal liberty only serve to help criminals and the government.

Of course, a further analysis of these measures would show that they were never meant to work in the first place. They merely set up the next infringement without ever solving the problem, as intended.

In recent years the gun grabber set has openly and freely admitted their goal of Gun confiscation – whether they dress it up in euphemisms of ‘Gun buy backs’, Gun bans or merely getting rid of the 2nd amendment. They all mean the same thing.
It should be clear that any proposals to ‘Just do something about guns’ are but precursors to gun confiscation, whether it’s Intergalactic Background Checks or Registration. It’s ‘All or nothing’ with the anti-civil rights crowd, so they get nothing.

4). The Rapidly advancing technologies CNC machine tools and 3D printing will make gun control impossible.

The authoritarian ideas of gun control are almost as old as the guns themselves. As soon as the common man was able to get a means of self-defense, potential tyrants tried to keep this from taking place. Back then, not many had access to the technologies to manufacture their own weapons. In recent years, this has drastically changed to the point that almost anyone can manufacture a firearm completely free from governmental control. Reason recently profiled the pioneers in this field and how it has rendered a death knell to any hope of controlling guns.

For those who may be logically challenged, please try to follow along: It is becoming easier and easier to make weapons. Thus any restrictions on our common sense civil will only have an impact on the innocent. So any future attempts at people control will be negated by everyone and anyone manufacturing their own without government interference. But of course, we have outlined this issue on these pages as well.

5). The Common Sense Civil Right of Armed Self-defence is an integral part of the cause of Individual liberty.

There is a reason the Liberal founding fathers set out the Civil Right of Armed Self-defence at the top of the Bill of rights. They had just fought and won a war where the possession of the common ‘weapons of war’ was crucial to victory. In fact, the possession of these arms by the colonials was the spark that set off the American revolution. The founders knew that the possession of firearms was the only way the new nation would be able to maintain it’s security. These were the ‘weapons of war’ commonly held by the infantrymen: The ubiquitous AR-15 of today as was the musket of the colonial time period.

The Right to keep and bear arms was also an integral part of the philosophy of individual rights. The right to ‘Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness’ is meaningless without a self-defense capability.

There also a reason that the Liberal founding fathers used the word ‘unalienable’ – meaning they cannot be taken or given away by the possessor of these rights. In other words, even if people were persuaded by slick marketing or Leftists, they could not give up the right to life and by extension, the common sense civil right of self-defense.

The Takeaway

Therefore, it should be quite clear that millions of gun owners, possessing millions of guns will not fall for Leftist lies or their fantasy world of safety by disarmament. Furthermore, it should be clear that advancing technologies and civil rights that cannot be given away signifies that gun control has metaphorically drawn its last tyrannical breaths.

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