Agitators

Twitter suspends account that helped ignite controversy over viral encounter

witter suspended an account on Monday afternoon that helped spread a controversial encounter between a Native American elder and a group of high school students wearing Make America Great Again hats.

The account claimed to belong to a California schoolteacher. Its profile photo was not of a schoolteacher, but of a blogger based in Brazil, CNN Business found. Twitter suspended the account soon after CNN Business asked about it.

The account, with the username @2020fight, was set up in December 2016 and appeared to be the tweets of a woman named Talia living in California. “Teacher & Advocate. Fighting for 2020,” its Twitter bio read. Since the beginning of this year, the account had tweeted on average 130 times a day and had more than 40,000 followers.

Late on Friday, the account posted a minute-long video showing the now-iconic confrontation between a Native American elder and the high school students, with the caption, “This MAGA loser gleefully bothering a Native American protester at the Indigenous Peoples March.”

Molly McKew, an information warfare researcher who saw the tweet and shared it herself on Saturday, later realized that a network of anonymous accounts were working to amplify the video.

Speaking about the nature of fake accounts on social media, McKew told CNN Business, “This is the new landscape: where bad actors monitor us and appropriate content that fits their needs. They know how to get it where they need to go so it amplifies naturally. And at this point, we are all conditioned to react and engage or deny in specific ways. And we all did.”

Basically, someone who probably is not a U.S. citizen, deliberated created a narrative and publicized a fake story to inflame millions of people against each other in this country.

We live in interesting times.

Whidbey Island plane crash

Today started out fairly typically for me as I went to Whidbey Island for a pistol match at Holmes Harbor Rod & Gun Club. The weather was beautiful and I took a few pictures on the ferry and, as usual, tweeted one of them:

We started shooting on time and things were going fairly well for me considering nearly everyone else was shooting Open class guns and I was shooting Limited.

Then about 11:15 a plane engine could be heard louder than usual and changed tone. Perhaps it went from moderate power to full power?

I wasn’t paying much attention. I was under a shelter and couldn’t see the sky. Others, at the end of the shelter could see in the direction of the sound and looked at the sky. They announced that it went down and very shortly after that we heard the thump as the plane hit the trees in the woods.

The event director, Steve, stopped the match and someone ran off the 200 feet or so to the restaurant to use the land line. The cell service is poor to non-existent depending where you are on the range so that was probably the most reliable means of calling it in. There was another plane in the air and circled the area where the plane went down. We talked about it for a bit. What should we do? What could we do? The woods were very thick. I wasn’t even sure we could make it through the woods from our direction to the plane crash area. Surely the airport, on the other side of the woods, would be the better approach. I told the event director, “I don’t think there is much we can do.” He agreed. And we finished shooting the match.

We just finished, and hadn’t even figured out who won the match when someone in firefighter clothing showed up. He asked us to shut down the range. They couldn’t find the plane from the other direction and wanted to try from our direction. “And can some of you guys help us search?”

We immediately agreed. As we started toward the woods where the plane went down we could smell the fuel. The firefighter told us that if we found the plane we should stay away because of the fuel. We didn’t want to risk starting a fire or getting caught in a fire.

We walked at a brisk pace down the road from the falling plate range past the open pistol bays to the trail that led into the woods. There was an archery target set up about 50 yards from the end of the road at the bottom of a draw with a trail to it. The walking was easy enough to there but the trail then disappeared.

Continuing straight was light brush and easy enough. But my impression from where the other match participants had indicated the plane went down it was off to our right. No use in us all staying in a group and since we didn’t really know where it was at, spreading out was probably the best plan even if the going was rather tough. I was wearing thermal underwear, blue jeans, a t-shirt, a sweat-shirt, my Boomershoot M-65 field jacket, gloves, eye and ear protection. I was basically “armored” against the brush. It was just below my chin. I could see over it for moderate distances. Most of the other people in the group were significantly shorter than I and would not have been able to see more than a few feet had they tried to navigate through this brush. I had to push it away and step over small fallen trees and watch for holes and ditches. It was slow going.

It was probably only about 225 yards into the woods when I came out of the thick brush into relatively thin brush within about 100 feet of the plane ahead and to the right of me:

image

The picture below shows more context:

AerialViewAnnotated

I yelled several times to announce that I had found it and kept my distance for a while.

There was no smell of fuel so I approached a little closer. The plane was badly mangled, upside down, and backward from the direction of flight. It had flipped after hitting the trees.

From the time the plane went down to the time I arrived at the site it was just under 30 minutes.

There were no sounds and no movement. I figured the pilot was dead or unconscious. I couldn’t tell if there was more than one person in the plane.

I took a picture and waited for the search and rescue people to arrive and take control of the scene:

20190112_114550

The firefighter was the first to arrive after about two minutes and he radioed to others and informed them there was one person alive and one dead. I then saw the person moving their left arm occasionally. He asked me to use my cell phone to call 911 so they could get GPS coordinates to guide other rescue crew to the site. He radioed that there was no way for a helicopter to get in and to send in someone with a chain saw to cut a trail out.

A woman showed up from the west and began helping. I used my knife to cut a few cables holding the left wing to the body of the plane and then she and I moved the wing to get better access to the people in the plane.

More people showed up. Some were from the pistol match and some were wearing emergency clothing and radios:

20190112_115158

We continued moving small trees and debris from the body of the plane and made plans to move the plane to get access to the female passenger.

When the plane was clear of debris we lifted the tail of the plane straight up. The engine of the plane was mostly broken off and the body hinged on the remaining metal that attached to the engine area. We held it directly on it’s nose while the rescue workers cut the seatbelt on both sides and pulled the woman from her seat. She moaned and cried out about her leg. They worked her free of the debris as gently as they could and moved her away from the plane to examine her as we tipped the body of the plane on over and gently set it down. Someone examined the male pilot for 30 seconds or a minute and announced, “There’s nothing.”

A man with a chainsaw arrived from the west and the original firefighter asked us to help the chainsaw guy clear a path. In part, I think he wanted us to leave so he and the other rescue people could examine the female passenger with a little more privacy. There were about 10 or 15 people onsite now and that was more than enough to help clear the path to the road to the west.

I headed back to the range to collect my gear and report to others that I was going to be later than expected for my appointments that afternoon.

As I drove away I came across two people from the match just outside the main entrance. They had walked out to the west and then down the road to the gun club. I drove another couple hundred yards and found a group of three walking down the side of the road. I offered them a ride, which they accepted and I took them back to the range and their cars.

News stories about the crash:

When will they figure out they are stupid and give up?

It happened again:

Police in Vermont say they can’t conduct mandated background checks required by a new law on private gun sales. The Department of Public Safety last month told lawmakers they are not allowed to access the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System used to vet gun transfers by licensed firearm dealers.

Signed by Vermont Gov. Phil Scott last year among a spate of gun control laws, Act 94 requires virtually all gun transfers, including those between private parties, to first clear a background check. The problem is that Vermont is one of 36 states and territories that do not have a “point of contact” access to NICS, forcing them to rely on the FBI for all firearm background checks performed in the state. While federal firearms license holders can run their checks through the system, the state cannot.

This also happened in Nevada too.

Some of these people pride themselves on their ignorance of guns and gun laws but you would think after one major blunder they would cure their ignorance. One has to conclude they are stupid. I suspect the problem is that as people capable of remedying their ignorance do so they have a high probability of changing sides.

This doesn’t mean they aren’t dangerous. But it does mean it is a weakness that may be vulnerable to attack.

Quote of the day—RussianBot (@JamesWSchuler)

When you consider that most people figure out how to ask a question before leaving grade school, yet journalism is almost entirely populated by people who needed an additional four years of secondary education to crack that nut, it all makes sense.

RussianBot (@JamesWSchuler)
Tweeted on November 30, 2018
[It’s not entirely true, but it has a strong leaning in the direction of truth.—Joe]

If you subsidize something you will get more of it

Seattle homelessness spending tops $90 million:

In 2015, the year former Mayor Ed Murray declared a state of emergency over homelessness, Seattle budgeted about $50 million to address the crisis. Four years later, Mayor Jenny Durkan’s recently released budget proposal calls for about $90 million in homelessness spending next year, and Seattle’s City Council is looking to add more.

homelessness-Three-years-WEB

It’s a extremely basic lesson of economics. If you subsidize something you will get more of it. By making it easier for people to live with little or no income more people are tempted to go that route and to move here from other places.

Good precedent

Via email from Rolf.

Federal court declares New York ban on nunchucks unconstitutional

A federal court says New York’s ban on nunchucks, the martial arts weapon made famous by Bruce Lee but prohibited in the state for decades, is unconstitutional under the Second Amendment.

The more things which declared protected the easier it is to make the case than things just a little bit “up the ladder” are protected also.

It’s sad we have to start so low in some jurisdictions but it’s good we are getting decisions in our favor.

Quote of the day—Alan Gottlieb

If a citizen is law-abiding in his home state, he or she is going to be law-abiding in a different state where they might find a firearm they want to buy, but the interstate sales ban prevents that. Citizens can purchase all sorts of other goods across state lines, but why not the one tool that is specifically mentioned and protected by the Constitution’s Second Amendment? That simply defies logic and common sense.

Alan Gottlieb
CCRKBA Chairman
November 26, 2018
CCRKBA SEEKS SCOTUS REVIEW OF MANCE INTERSTATE HANDGUN SALES CASE
[While it’s true that many anti-gun people steadfastly oppose logic and common sense (see examples in this post), it is probable that in this case, at some level, there is a logic to this situation. Such a law makes perfect sense and is entirely logical to anyone that who is of the mindset to deny people their specific enumerated right to keep and bear arms. Such people are the enemy of our country and the U.S. Constitution.—Joe]

SAF, NRA FILE FEDERAL LAWSUIT CHALLENGING INITIATIVE 1639

It’s nice to see the NRA and SAF working together.

From the Second Amendment Foundation web site:

SAF, NRA FILE FEDERAL LAWSUIT CHALLENGING INITIATIVE 1639

BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation and National Rifle Association have filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging gun control Initiative 1639 in Washington State, on several grounds.

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. In addition to SAF and NRA, plaintiffs include gun dealers and young adults in the affected age group.

The lawsuit challenges the measure on the grounds that it violates the commerce clause by banning sales of rifles to non-residents, and that it unconstitutionally impairs the rights guaranteed by the First, Second and Fourteenth Amendments, and Article I Section 24 of the Washington State constitution by preventing the sale to otherwise qualified adults under age 21 of certain rifles.

“We are also considering additional legal challenges,” SAF Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb confirmed. “We are disappointed that too many Evergreen State voters were fooled into supporting this 30-page gun control scheme, despite overwhelming law enforcement opposition. This initiative is an affront to the constitutional rights enshrined in the Second Amendment and the Washington state constitution, especially for young adults.

“We’re determined to fight this egregious measure because constitutionally-protected rights should never be subject to a popularity vote,” he stated. “The wealthy elitists behind I-1639 want to turn a right into a regulated privilege. This measure was only designed to have a chilling effect on the exercise of a constitutional right by honest citizens while having no impact at all on criminals, and we cannot let it go unchallenged.”

“The NRA is committed to restoring the Second Amendment rights of every law-abiding Washingtonian,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. “I-1639 violates the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens and puts people at risk. This lawsuit is the first step in the fight to ensure that Washingtonians are free to exercise their fundamental right to self-defense.

“The NRA will fight to overturn this unconstitutional initiative. We will not sit idly by while elitist anti-gun activists attempt to deny everyday Americans their fundamental right to self-defense,” concluded Cox.

“While a handful of billionaires spending millions of dollars were able to buy votes, it is our hope they can’t buy the judges,” Gottlieb said.

I find this very interesting. I don’t think anyone has challenged it on the grounds of the initiative violating Washington state law such things as being limited to only one subject, the font was too small to read, the strikeout and other formatting of deleted versus new text was incorrect. It’s possible this was deliberate and we won’t be seeing such a lawsuit for many years and only if this lawsuit fails.

If they can defeat it in Federal court on constitutional grounds it is gone for good so we won’t have to fight it at the ballot or legislature again and it protects other states. But if it is defeated on the basis of ballot procedures and formatting then we won’t be able to fight it on a constitutional until it is passed again. The biggest downside to this is that we will have to live with it until the Federal Courts rule on it. If the district court doesn’t rule in our favor it probably will have to go all the way to SCOTUS because it is unlikely the Ninth Circuit court of appeals is going to rule our in our favor on all the aspects of this law.

Quote of the day—Thomas J. McAvoy

When Defendants’ statements and alleged conduct is examined in its totality, there are sufficient allegations to state plausible freedom-of-speech claims.

Thomas J. McAvoy
Senior United States District Judge
United States District Court Northern District of New York
November 6, 2018
NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA

Plaintiff

-against- 1:18-CV-0566

ANDREW CUOMO, both individually and in his official capacity;  MARIA T. VULLO, both individually and in her official capacity;  and THE NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF FINANCIAL SERVICES, Defendants.
[The case is about the defendants putting pressure on the insurance and banking industry to not do business with the NRA. Reading the entire ruling it’s interesting to see how it boiled down to, so far, mostly, a freedom of speech issue. It is also an example of Ayn Rand’s observation about laws being needed to create criminals. It turns out that the insurance companies violated a law which was only enforced in the case where the NRA was their customer.

See also Jacob Sullum blog post:

Federal Judge Says It’s Plausible That Andrew Cuomo Violated the First Amendment by Pressuring Banks and Insurers to Shun the NRA

The organization’s lawsuit against New York’s governor survives a motion to dismiss.

As I explained in my column today, and as McAvoy describes in his decision, there is strong evidence that Cuomo and Maria Vullo, superintendent of the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS), are in fact threatening banks and insurers that dare to do business with organizations that oppose the governor’s gun control agenda.

The bottom line is that case survived a motion to dismiss and will proceed. I wish the NRA the best of luck and I have pleasant fantasies of Governor Cuomo having to pay the damages out of his own pocket.—Joe]

Quote of the day—John Schussler

No, the difference is that the Republicans controlled the Senate in both cases and thus could both prevent Garland from getting a hearing and force a hearing and vote for Kavanaugh, forcing the Democrats to get as dirty as possible to have any chance at influence.

And the assertion that these are empty accusations is just wishful thinking on the part of Republicans. There’s no conspiracy here, the guy’s pretty clearly an infantile little douchebag — and hanging on to him was a big mistake. Women in both parties are now incandescent with rage and will make what was a likely moderate turnover of Congress into a landslide. After which point they’ll impeach Kavanaugh for perjury (his lies are now well documented…that testimony the other day will be the rope they hang him with) and the Republicans will have both lost Congress and the SOTUS seat they want so badly.

John Schussler
September 29, 2018
Comment to Quote of the day—Matt Walsh‏ @MattWalshBlog
[My response in the comments:

It’s interesting to read your viewpoint on the situation. It is quite different from some others. I talked to a big Trump supporter (best president EVER!!) last week who saw the fallout from the Kavanaugh confirmation process to be a huge win for Republicans in the elections next month.

As Scott Adams puts it (paraphrasing), “People are watching the same screen and seeing different movies.” My QOTD post for tomorrow has a lot more related information but I think you probably get the idea.

To determine who is “watching” the movie which most closely matches reality we only have to wait a month until the elections and see which is the better match. I’m going to make your comment my QOTD post for the day after the elections to remind us to review the predictions. This will also allow us to explore the predictions made by the book “When Prophecy Fails“. Either my Trump supporter will have their “prophecy” fail or you will have your prophecy fail. It will be a great test! I’m really looking forward to it.

Today is the day we evaluate the test results.

So…. which person has the better grasp on reality?—Joe]

I almost support the Brady Campaign

From ABC news:

…the families sought to hold the FBI accountable for its failed background check on Dylann Roof, which allowed Roof to legally buy the handgun used in the Emanuel shooting.

In Tuesday’s filing, the Brady Campaign says U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel incorrectly interpreted federal gun law when he dismissed the Emanuel families’ lawsuit in June 2018.

I’m firmly opposed to mandatory background checks so I am not in agreement with the basic premise of their position but I am fully in support of the Brady Campaign suing the FBI. This diverts both Brady and FBI resources from attacking gun owners.

If Brady wins it means the FBI will increase expenditures on NICS to decrease the likelihood of being successfully sued in the future. Increasing the costs of NICS checks means the value of these checks will be more likely to be examined. Does our society “get it’s money’s worth” from this expenditure or would those resources be better spent elsewhere. For example, should that money be spent on keeping violent criminals in prison rather than in a futile attempt to prevent them from acquiring guns in a free society? Or, should that money be spent in police efforts to put into finding and convicting criminals quickly before they can commit multiple crimes?

Thank you Brady Campaign.

Conservatives are winning the media war

Via email from Chet:

Interesting. He presents data indicating conservative media sources are totally dominating the viewership and engagement numbers.

He, at least partially, attributes this to the hostility of the political left to even minor disagreement while the political right recruits people who engage with them. The political left is driving people out to increase their purity and the right is accepting them. I can see that being a supportable hypothesis.

My fear is a recollection is of another famous leftist organization which raised to power then started to fade. They went violent in a big way. They destroyed shops, buildings, murdered people in riots. They even burned the assembly location of their legislature.

Our political left is currently repeatedly demonstrating their willingness to go violent when they don’t get their way and the election next month could be the spark that ignites them.

Quote of the day—Luke O’Neil

On Sunday morning Ariel Dumas, a writer for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, apologized for a good joke. Writing on Twitter, she explained that the experience of the Kavanaugh nomination had been hard for the country and for her personally.

It is uncertain if Dumas was forced to make a statement by her employers at CBS, or if she volunteered the apology on her own, but one thing that is 100 percent crystal clear is that she never should have found herself in the position in the first place. The joke she posted on Saturday—”Whatever happens, I’m just glad we ruined Brett Kavanaugh’s life.”—was the latest target of the bad faith destruction machine of the right.

It’s another cruel irony that would no doubt also be lost on the humorless scolds on the right that it’s Dumas whose life they are now attempting to ruin. Soon after the joke was published, the wheels of the vexation and spite apparatus on the right who maintain constant vigilance for such alleged missteps from the “liberal media” went to work, broadcasting it far and wide as evidence of the sickness of the left.

Luke O’Neil
October 8, 2018
‘Late Show’ Writer Ariel Dumas Under Fire for Obvious ‘Joke’ About Brett Kavanaugh
[This is from someone of the same political party which just a month ago went ballistic when a political opponent used the phrase “monkey up”.

To think that it was “a good joke” that someone with a previously excellent personal reputation was publicly and repeatedly accused heinous crimes, which could not be supported, is evil.

Of course he also thinks Kathy Griffin holding up a realistic severed head of President Trump was good joke.

Hence it should come at no surprise he says this about people who exercise their right to keep and bear arms:

Almost anyone of any stature in media who dabbles in political humor has found themselves in this scenario by now. I’ve had a number of phony campaigns attempted against me at outlets I’ve written for over the years after comments I’ve made about gamers and gun fetishists were amplified in bad faith.

In addition to being evil, as Mike Cernovich tweeted, he is also lacking in self awareness.—Joe[

Justice Kavanaugh

While there are civil rights rulings Judge Brett Kavanaugh made which are concerning, from the Second Amendment standpoint it would have been difficult to find someone better.

Two years ago I was not hopeful for a future which included the free exercise of our right to keep and bear arms. The 2016 presidential election gave me a glimmer of hope. The Trump administration has not been nearly as good on this issue as some people hoped. One could even make the case from a legislative and regulatory view point it has been rather dismal. President Hillary Clinton would have been a catastrophe so by comparison so there is that. Our rights under Trump were being sous-vide. Under Clinton they would have been put in the crematorium.

Now Justice Kavanaugh is in a position to help say the final words on this vital issue. I hope those words will make a violent response to the infringement of our rights avoidable.

Via Davidwhitewolf:

“Kavanaugh” (a parody of Van Halen’s “Panama”) from r/The_Donald

Quote of the day—Randy Barnett

Because I think the meaning of the text of the Constitution should remain the same until it is properly changed by amendment, and that judges have a constitutional duty to invalidate laws that conflict with that meaning, I believe the President’s choice of Brett Kavanaugh—who is otherwise highly qualified—should be confirmed. If Democrats disagree they should specify the approach they think is better.

If their “judicial philosophy” is that a judge should simply reach all the outcomes that a progressive Democrat would like the Supreme Court to reach, they should candidly say so. If they believe that the precedents they like—like Roe v. Wade—are sacrosanct, but those they detest—like Citizens United—are to be discarded, they should identify how we know which precedents are binding and which are not.

Failing that, they too should vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh.

Randy Barnett
The Case for Kavanaugh
October 1, 2018
[I agree.

H/T to David Hardy.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Matt Walsh‏ @MattWalshBlog

Republicans didn’t want Merrick Garland confirmed, so they just didn’t vote. Democrats don’t want Brett Kavanaugh confirmed, so they accuse him of serial gang rape. And that is the difference between Republicans and Democrats.

Matt Walsh‏  @MattWalshBlog
Tweeted on September 28, 2018
[I have nothing to add.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Jennifer Granholm

Right. And that actually corroborates Ford’s story.

Jennifer Granholm
September 23, 2018
CNN’s Jennifer Granholm Claims No Corroboration Actually Proves Claims Against Kavanaugh — Tucker Isn’t Buying It
[Context is important:

“Kavanaugh, Judge, Smith and her friend, Leland Keyser, have all said they don’t remember anything like this ever happening. And Leland Keyser, who says she believes Ford, said she doesn’t even remember being at a party where Kavanaugh was present,”  CNN’s Jake Tapper said in the video.

“Right, and that actually corroborates Ford’s story which is that she was so horrified by this that she kind of snuck out or slunk out of this apartment in a way that no one would know what happened because she was so utterly mortified,” Granholm followed up.

Tucker Carlson commented, “Are you following this at home? See if you can track the reasoning here. When you are corroborating witnesses can’t corroborate your story, the one you say they can corroborate, your story has still been corroborated — maybe even more so so.”

So… In response to finding out that all of those who are claimed to be witness to an event report no recollection of the event this mental giant, Granholm, insists this supports the claim the event actually happened. The question I would have asked her is, “So, if all four people reported the event did happen would this mean the event did not happen?”

Of course, we know the answer. Logical thought processes are not something they care about. It may even be they are incapable of them. It may be they have a mental disorder. It may be that they are so used to a supportive media they know it doesn’t matter what they say as long as it supports the narrative. It may be that because it was someone from her “tribe” making the, almost certainly, false claim that there was no way she could comfortably side against the false claim.

Monday evening daughter Jaime and I were discussing the Kavanaugh situation and I arrived at the conclusion that the political left has realized their political future is over if Kavanaugh’s appointment to SCOTUS is confirmed. With that a near certainty, the risk of losing support via crazy, and even illegal, behavior is the better option. From the chaos generated they may be able to avoid near certain political extinction.

Tribal loyalties, even when they didn’t always match reality, were evolutionarily advantageous. That doesn’t meant they were useful in determining truth from falsity. Determination of truth, and even reality, is an extremely tough problem. Our brains only have approximations of knowing reality. It has only been since the dark ages that we have succeeded in formalizing processes, with extreme difficulty, and proteolyzing these processes which usually work. Most people do not follow these processes and in many cases actively reject them. It is relatively easy to support the claim that reason is just a thin veneer over the human brain.

I suspect her mind worked back from the conclusion she had reached and this was the best way of rationalizing the conclusion from the available evidence. I have found there is no guarantee smart people will think logically. Smart people are frequently just more creative in their rationalizations.

When in positions of power these people are extremely dangerous. These are the type of people who can and will find a rationalization to commit genocide.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Hannah Shearer

Kavanaugh’s illogical claim was that public safety should play no role in determining the constitutionality of public safety laws.

Hannah Shearer
September 4, 2018
Brett Kavanaugh’s extreme beliefs on gun control ignore the concerns of most Americans
[Wow.

“Illogical”? I don’t think that word means what Shearer thinks it means. But then it’s clear, that to Shearer, words mean whatever she wants them to mean. Apparently she expects people to forget that if there needs to be some exception carved out of the Bill of Rights there is an amendment process for that. The constitution doesn’t give Federal judges the power to rewrite the constitution.

But, again, she doesn’t want to acknowledge the judges don’t have the power. She appears to thinks the constitution means whatever she wants it to mean.

Ms. Shearer, please get yourself a copy of the constitution, the Bill of Rights, and a dictionary. Words mean something and you, and especially judges, don’t get to redefine them to suit your whims.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Adam Lankford

I am not interested in giving any serious thought to John Lott or his claims.

Adam Lankford
Professor at the University of Alabama
August 2018
Shock study: U.S. had far fewer mass shootings than previously reported
[Of course not. Liars have no desire for the truth.

Lankford claimed the U.S. has more mass shooters per capita, by far, than any country. And has, what appears to be, a socialist explanation:

Mr. Lankford, who claimed to be the first to attempt a global survey, said his results suggested there was something to the American psyche that left people disaffected when they failed to achieve the American dream. He said they turn to violent outbursts with firearms.

“It may thus be the lofty aspirations and broken dreams of a tiny percentage of America’s students and workers — combined with their mental health problems, distorted perceptions of victimization, delusions of grandeur, and access to firearms — that makes them more likely to commit public mass shootings than people from other cultures,” he postulated in his 2015 paper.

He refuses to share his data and his exact methodology and John Lott, and others, easily find many more mass shootings in the rest of the world that what Lankford claims. This results in:

Mr. Lankford studied the period from 1966 to 2012 using data from the New York City Police Department’s active shooter report, a 2014 FBI active shooter report and some foreign accounts.

He identified 292 incidents worldwide in which at least four people were killed — the FBI’s definition of a mass murder. Of those, 90 were in the U.S. — 31 percent of the total among –Jooe171 countries.

Mr. Lott, meanwhile, turned to data from the University of Maryland’s Global Terrorism Database and followed up with Nexis and web searches to try to catch cases that the database missed.

He said good data exist only for recent years, so he looked from 1998 to 2012 and found 1,491 mass public shootings worldwide. Of those, only 43 — or 2.88 percent — were in the U.S. Divide that by per capita rates, and the U.S. comes in 58th, behind Finland, Peru, Russia, Norway and Thailand — though still worse than France, Mexico, Germany and the United Kingdom.

Looked at from the number of victims in those shootings, the U.S. again ranks low, with just 2.1 percent of mass shooting deaths, Mr. Lott said.

Lott released his data and even sent it to Lankford. Who, of course, has an agenda to support and is “not interested in giving any serious thought” to it.

They have to lie to even attempt to win, and they know it.—Joe]