"Controversial"?: University of Rhode Island finally becomes the last public university in the country to allow campus police to carry guns

This past April when the University of Rhode Island System trustees voted 8-to-1 to let campus police carry guns, you would see stories such as this:
University of Rhode Island campus police will soon carry guns under a policy announced Monday, ending the school’s status as the only public university in the country where campus police do not carry firearms. . . .
This is where we stand now:
The University of Rhode Island has begun training campus police officers to carry guns after a controversial decision in April to arm the campus police force. 
Public Safety Stephen Baker says the goal is to have all 27 campus officers carrying guns by the start of the Spring semester.  
"State police have completed 17 of the background checks and they’ve been delivered to us. The next step in that process is to have those officers go through psychological examinations," Baker said. "Then we’ll begin the actual firearms training, and that’s planned for the month of October." 
The officers participated in preliminary firearms training in August. URI has ordered and started receiving the semi-automatic handguns they will carry, which are similar to those carried by State Police. 
In addition to the gun training, URI police and some other staff have received special training to recognize and handle mental health issues. The university is also finalizing plans for an addition to its public safety facility, which will house the firearms. . . .
 If this is so controversial, why is it that every other public university system in the country has armed campus police and that none of them are reconsidering that decision?  The police here are very important, but they still have limitations.  Since the police are in uniform, they will actually be the first ones to be attacked if terrorists were ever to strike.  That is one of the benefits of permitted concealed handguns.



Since Apple's "Activation Lock" debuted, thefts of iPhones has gone done even while thefts of Android phones has increased

More evidence that deterrence works.
Click on figures to make them larger.

It is possible that some of the thieves have switched from iPhones to Samsung devices.  Of course, it is possible that cell phone thefts were increasing generally and that the ability to lock the iPhones caused their thefts to decline.  From a report by the San Francisco District Attorney:
. . . In New York City, thefts of iPhones fell significantly after release of Apple’s Activation Lock.  In the first five months of 2014, just after Apple introduced Activation Lock, robberies and grandlarcenies from a person involving Apple products dropped, respectively, by 19 percent and 29 percent, compared to the same time period in the previous year. This is shown in the chart below. The decrease in Apple thefts far surpassed the overall decrease in robberies (-10%) and grand larcenies from a person (-18%). Perhaps most tellingly, both robberies and grand larcenies from a person involving a Samsung smartphone, another popular device, increased by over 40 percent compared to the first five months of 2013. 
Crime data from San Francisco and London show that the introduction of Activation Lock likewise corresponded with a decline in iPhone thefts and an increase in thefts of other devices in those cities as well. As reflected in the Chart below, iPhone robberies in San Francisco declined 38 percent, while robberies of Samsung devices increased 12 percent in the six months after Activation Lock compared to the six months prior to Activation Lock. In London, Apple thefts declined by 24 percent, while Samsung thefts increased by three percent in the same time period. . . . 


Kroger's stands up to Bloomberg's Moms Demand Action, Kroger's Michigan representatives say Bloomberg's group won't get them to change policy

In Lansing, Michigan, Kroger's stood up to Bloomberg's Moms Demand Action and asked them to leave the store.  From the Lansing State Journal:
A group protesting Michigan's open-carry gun rules hope a Lansing Kroger store's grand re-opening today will spur a new policy barring guns in the Holmes Street store. 
Michigan Kroger representatives said that's not likely. The Cincinnati-based grocery chain is sticking by Michigan law, which doesn't prohibit openly carrying guns in public. Michigan gun owners have to have a concealed-pistol license, however, to carry guns concealed in public. 
Kroger's stance won't stop Moms Demand Action's ongoing protests at Kroger stores, however, said Linda Brundage, who heads the group's mid-Michigan chapter. Brundage led a group of about 12 women at this morning's protest. 
The group was initially asked to leave the parking lot . . ., but was then invited inside to speak with store management. 
"You don't need a gun to buy a box of cereal," Brundage said outside the store. "Kroger would not be breaking any laws by saying to their customers, 'Leave your guns locked in the car.'" 
Chris Albi, Kroger's vice president of merchandising for Michigan, said the company's Cincinnati headquarters was aware of today's protest, but isn't expected to change its policy. . . .
For more on Bloomberg's push to ban guns in stores and the inaccurate way that the discussions are portrayed in the media follow this link available here.

Thanks to Tony for the link.

Labels: ,

"Gunmen kill 15 at college in north Nigeria's Kano"

This attack is deadlier than the Columbine school shooting.  It is deadlier than the Washington Navy Yard or Aurora Movie Theater shootings.  In each of those three attacks, 12 people were killed.  From Reuters:
Gunmen stormed a higher education college in northern Nigeria on Wednesday, firing on fleeing students and setting off an explosion in an attack that killed at least 15 people and wounded 35, police said. . . . "The attackers were wearing suits and were running and shooting everywhere." . . .  At least 82 people were killed in July in a double suicide bombing in the north Nigerian city of Kaduna in July. . . .


"Candidates from both parties packing heat in campaign ads"

From the Washington Times:
Republicans, and even some Democrats, in a dozen states are showing off their shooting skills in videos and television ads or posing with firearms in mailers, underscoring the backlash against federal and state proposals to restrict access to guns and ammunition. 
This year’s tone was set by Republican Joni Ernst, who won the Iowa Senate primary in June after running a television ad that shows her firing at a bull’s-eye at a shooting range while promising to “unload” on Obamacare. She now faces Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley. 
“Give me a shot,” quips Ms. Ernst in the ad. 
The Iowan is by no mean the only one locked, loaded and ready for her close-up. . . .



Is there anything that the government won't regulate?: Senate unanimously passed bill to improve sunscreen protection

From The Hill newspaper:
Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) introduced S. 2141, the Sunscreen Innovation Act, which would require the Department of Health and Human Services to establish a process for the review and approve over-the-counter (OTC) sunscreens. 
The Senate passed the measure through a unanimous consent agreement and it now heads to the House for further action. 
The Senate passed H.R. 4751, which renames the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Memorial as the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial. The House passed the bill earlier this month, meaning it now heads to President Obama’s desk for his signature before becoming law. . . .


Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner’s (R-Wis.) ATF Elimination Act

From The Hill newspaper:
. . . “The ATF is a largely duplicative, scandal-ridden agency that lacks a clear mission,” he said. “It is plagued by backlogs, funding gaps, hiring challenges and a lack of leadership. For decades it has been branded by high profile failures.”  
The ATF has become a GOP punching bag in recent years after it was revealed the agency lost track of hundreds of guns, some of which ended up in the hands of Mexican drug cartels, part of the infamously botched Operation Fast and Furious.  
The Sensenbrenner bill would transfer the agency’s enforcement of firearms, explosives and arson laws to the FBI. ATF would cede jurisdiction over cases involving the illegal diversion of alcohol and tobacco products to the Drug Enforcement Administration. . . .


New York Times/CBS Poll Shows Republicans doing extremely well this election

Click on figure to enlarge.  The NY Times article on their September 12-15 survey is available here.

-- Right before the 2010 midterm elections Obama's approval rate was at 45 percent.  Before the 2012 election it was at 50 percent.  Today it is at 40 percent.

-- Right before the 2010 midterm elections 34 percent thought that the country was heading in the wrong direction.  Before the 2012 election it was at 39 percent.  Today it is at 27 percent.

-- At the 2010 midterm elections 46 percent approved of Obama's foreign policy.  Before the 2012 election it was at 47 percent.  Today it is at 34 percent.

-- Right before the 2010 midterm elections 42 percent approved of Obama's economic policy.  Before the 2012 election it was at 46 percent.  Today it is at 40 percent.

-- Before the 2010 midterm elections 51 percent approved of Obama's terrorism policy.  Today it is at 41 percent.

-- Today 30 percent approve of how Obama is handling immigration.

If this election is viewed as a referendum on Obama's policies, Democrats have reasons to be concerned.

Labels: ,


Actor Liam Neeson lashes out against gun ownership

From the Independent (UK) newspaper:
. . . “I am totally for gun control in the US,” he says. “The population of America is roughly 300 million and there are 300 million guns in this country, which is terrifying. Every day we’re seeing some kid running rampant in a school. And do you know what the gun lobby’s response to Newtown was?” he asks, referring to the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, which left 20 children dead in December 2012. 
“The National Rifle Association’s official response was ‘If that teacher had been armed…’ It’s crazy. I’ll give Britain its dues, when they had the Dunblane massacre in Scotland, within 24 hours the gun laws were changed so you could not have a handgun.”  
Born in Ballymena, County Antrim, but a resident of New York, Neeson became a US citizen five years ago in the wake of the death of his wife, Natasha Richardson, in a freak skiing accident in 2009.  The actor cites the outpouring of goodwill from Americans as one of the main reasons for his decision. Part of the naturalisation process involves a test on US civics; Neeson, therefore, understands the Constitution as well as anyone. “It is the right to bear arms which is the problem. I think if the Founding Fathers knew what was happening they would be turning in their graves with embarrassment at how that law has been interpreted,” he says, in reference to the Second Amendment to the Constitution. . . .
Mr. Neeson is of course wrong about what the NRA proposed.  I have proposed allowing staff at school to be armed, but the NRA has wanted to have armed guards.


Percent of the adult population with concealed handgun permits by county in Alabama

Data on the number of permits currently issued in Alabama counties is shown below.  The state has a total of approximately 470,005 permits, about 12.6% of the population over 18 years of age.  A couple of the counties have more than 18 percent of their adult population with permits.

The article in al.com notes that Alabama is number 1 in terms of the number of concealed handgun permits, but it is very likely that the six states that allow carrying without a permit have higher rates that people are carrying (Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Montana (99.4% of the state), Wyoming, and Vermont).  It would have been nice if the article had provided some balance and noted what most of the literature had found on crime rates.  Donohue's claims about my work hadn't accounted for the impact of crack cocaine is simply disingenuous (for discussions in the 3rd edition of More Guns, Less Crime see here and here, but it was dealt with in my original research with David Mustard and the first edition of More Guns, Less Crime).



Many (but apparently not all) St. Louis-area school superintendents say won't let designated teachers to carry guns in school

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch article lists school superintendents who are against guns in school, but notice that it doesn't say that all the St. Louis-area school superintendents are against let people protect the children.  From the article:
Many St. Louis-area school superintendents say they don’t want guns in their schools regardless of a new state law that allows designated teachers to carry them. 
The law lets school districts appoint teachers or administrators as “school safety officers” who would be allowed to carry concealed weapons after training. 
Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed this bill in July. But on Wednesday, the Legislature overrode his veto of gun rights expansion legislation that also allows residents with concealed weapons permits to openly carry guns in public. 
Parents contacted the Clayton School District late last week concerned that teachers could soon be carrying weapons through the hallways. 
“There’s the perception that school districts are required to do this, rather than allowed to do this,” district spokesman Chris Tennill said. 
The district’s position was posted on its website Friday afternoon. “There are few, if any, situations that would require the District to consider appointing ‘school protection officers’ given the level of and proximity to law enforcement resources already in place,” it stated. . . . .


“Shaneen’s Law”: Both Democrats and Republicans in New Jersey moving to allow discretion in sentencing out-of-state residences carrying concealed handguns

The discussion on this new law is available here.


Bloomberg's groups continue to push to ban guns in businesses, but nothing is really changing

Bloomberg's groups have been pushing for sometime to get businesses to ban guns in their facilities.  On Monday, Panera Bread announced that it was asking customers not to bring guns to its restaurants" ((314) 984-1000).  But much of the media coverage has been misleading and simply asking people not to bring their guns with them won't have any legal effect.  The question is if Panera Bread will be posting signs and it doesn't appear to be the case.  Still, that gives Bloomberg's groups another PR boast.  From CNBC:
"We are thrilled that after months of discussions between Panera and Moms Demand Action, Panera is taking a proactive position in favor of our families' safety by putting a new gun policy in place. Moms are the consumers-in-chief of our households and we will reward companies that take a stand for our families' safety. We urge other national companies follow suit," said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, in an email.  . . .
Yet, note that as in all the other announcements that Bloomberg's groups have been trumpeting for sometime, this new announcement changes absolutely nothing.  From CNNMoney:
The news is another victory for gun safety group Moms Demand Action . . . The company first announced the decision during a CNBC interview with Panera CEO Ron Shaich. He said during the interview that the company would not post anti-gun signs in its stores or require employees to confront gun owners. . . .
Given this, what exactly is the point of the news stories on this announcement?  The company is asking people not to bring guns with them, but it also is going to continue allowing people to bring their guns with them.  So how is this a victory for Bloomberg's groups? Bloomberg's groups are now spending "six figures" in ads to force Kroger to also announce that they are not welcoming people who carry guns.  You can see their ads here.

Labels: ,

The Explosion in Insider Trading cases and Penalties under the Obama Administration

Screen Shot 2014-09-14 at  Sunday, September 14, 4.09 AM
Original data available here.  The number of insider trading cases increased from 6 a year under President George W. Bush to 15 a year under President Obama.  The big increase in cases under Obama didn't come until 2011, which isn't surprising as it takes some time after a case is brought before a sentence is determined.  This bodes ill for the increase over cases during the rest of the Obama administration.  Some economists have questioned whether there should even be insider trading laws.  The arbitrariness of what is considered insider trading makes it so that government can often invent crimes after the fact.