Newest piece at Investors Business Daily: The same people who want disarm police also want to disarm poor blacks

My newest piece at Investors Business Daily is as follows:
Police aren't always there to protect people — not in Baltimore, not in Ferguson and not when the average person has to confront a criminal. 
This is particularly true in the poorest sections of town. Even police with the best response times seldom arrive until after the crime has been committed and the assailant has run off. 
But even where crime is high, many Democratic politicians are unwilling to let the police do their job. To make matters much worse, they also prevent citizens from defending themselves. 
Granted, police can't be every place all the time. Even a very fast eight-minute police response time can take too long, making the difference between life and death. 
Yet in Baltimore, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake "gave those who wished to destroy space to do that." Apparently last Monday, she ordered police to "stand down" when riots broke out. And she refused to return the governor's calls when he repeatedly tried to get permission from the mayor to send in the National Guard. 
It is hardly comforting when she apologized on Wednesday for using the word "thugs" to describe those who destroy businesses and beat up people. 
Similarly, when the grand jury decided not to charge officer Darren Wilson for shooting Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., Democrat Gov. Jay Nixon ignored calls from Ferguson's mayor and kept the National Guard away from the initial violence. 
As Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder complained: "(The National Guard) were kept away at the crucial time while Ferguson burned." 
Liberal filmmaker Michael Moore went further on Thursday and called for police to be disarmed, but even he acknowledged that private gun ownership could help protect people. 
Citizens in Baltimore and Ferguson were on their own. Not surprisingly, during the weeks in early November before the St. Louis County grand jury released its verdict, gun sales in the Ferguson area went up about sixfold. 
But poor blacks in Maryland simply can't rush out to get guns. Politicians in Maryland have made it virtually impossible for law-abiding civilians, particularly poor individuals, to get a concealed handgun permit. 
Even owning a gun in the home is difficult. It costs at least $300 to go through the licensing and registration process to get a handgun. On top of that, people face a seven-day waiting period, and it's illegal for them to borrow a gun from their friends. 
The law-abiding people living in places most heavily hit by riots are the ones most clearly prevented from defending themselves if an emergency were to arise. Democrats' actions sure don't back up their claims of being the defenders of the poor. 
In 2013, when the Colorado legislature voted for a bill that would charge people a fee when they purchase a gun, Republicans put up an amendment to exempt people below the poverty level. But Democrats virtually unanimously voted against the exemption. 
As Democrats controlled over two-thirds of both houses of the Maryland state legislature, a similar amendment that year was never even allowed a vote. 
In most other states, like Missouri, it's much easier for poor minorities to obtain guns for protection. Most importantly, one doesn't have to justify why they should get a permitted, concealed handgun, something that is rarely approved for poor minorities when government permission is required. 
Some politicians believe that all these regulations prevent criminals from getting guns. But they are simply wrong. Criminals are not stupid enough to pay all the licensing and registration fees and face background checks to get guns. 
It isn't just during riots that guns for defensive use are important. Guns are effective for defense in more ordinary situations. And it is particularly important for poor people who live in high crime urban areas. 
With surveys showing that blacks believe that they can't trust police, the obvious option is to let them defend themselves. And minorities generally like that option. A Gallup survey at the end of last year showed that by a 56%-37% margin, nonwhites felt that having a gun in the home made them safer. 
Democrats want the votes of poor, law-abiding minorities. They just don't want them to be able to be safe. Apparently, Democrats believe that the right to self-defense belongs only to the wealthy. 
• Lott is president of the Crime Prevention Research Center and a former chief economist at the United States Sentencing Commission.



My newest Fox News piece: 'Assault weapons' debate: The folly of Rep. Rosa DeLauro's buyback bill

Rep. Rosa DeLauro
My newest piece for Fox News starts this way:
Gun control advocates introduced a bill in April that only gun control supporters could love. Connecticut Democrat Rep. Rosa DeLauro is so serious about getting so-called assault weapons off the street that she is offering $2,000 tax credits for each gun that people turning in  limit one per year. 
According to her, assault weapons are not about hunting, or even self-defense. There is no reason on earth, other than to kill as many people as possible in as short a time as possible, that anyone needs a gun designed for a battlefield. 
She believes that offering $2,000 a gun will ensure guns will be turned in.  She is correct that people would turn in guns, that is old, non-working guns or guns bought cheaply and then make a profit turning them in.  After all, many brand new assault weapons sell for less than $700. 
Gaming the gun buyback system has pretty much become standard fare these days. There are also plenty of stories featuring people buying BB guns from a nearby Walmart and turning them in.
A better name for the "Support Assault Firearm Elimination and Education of our (SAFER) Streets Act would be the "Full Employment Act for Gun Makers." . . .



Burglar accidentally leaves his iPhone in home, phone gets him caught

Police in the UK use a burglar's iPhone to find out who had committed the crime.  The iPhone even survived the fire that the burglar started.  Talk about incriminating information on the phone.  It also contained info on what the burglar wanted to steal.  From The Argus in Sussex:
A bungling burglar who set fire to a home after losing his mobile left behind key evidence of his name, address and what he planned to steal. 
Tony Bytheway, 40, was high on drugs when he stole thousands of pounds worth of jewellery, watches and laptops as residents were on holiday. 
After realising he had lost his phone during the raid, he set three fires in the hope of destroying evidence before making off in the owner’s Subaru Impreza. 
The McCormack family returned to find their Findon home destroyed and two family pets dead. 
They also discovered an iPhone with the culprit’s name and address, along with details of what he planned to loot, where it was being kept and his accomplices. 
He stole around 200 watches, including a handful of Rolexes, jewellery including a £5,000 diamond eternity ring, Mr McCormack’s grandfather’s war medals, and his daughter’s laptop with all her coursework on February 16, 2014. . . .


What are the top ten criminology papers at the Social Science Research Network?

Those interested in downloading the papers can click here.  Getting more downloads to my work forces other academics to deal with these issues.


Newest Fox News piece: "Baltimore riots and the price of protest"

My newest piece at Fox News starts this way:
People have the right to protest, but too many politicians are afraid or unwilling to stop looting and rioting. The dividing line between liberals and conservatives could hardly be starker. 
When the St. Louis Grand Jury reached its decision in Officer Wilson’s shooting of Michael Brown, Democrat Missouri Governor Jay Nixon ignored calls from Ferguson’s mayor and kept the National Guard away from the initial violence.  As Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder complained: "[The National Guard]were kept away at the crucial time while Ferguson burned.”  The rioting and destruction was hardly a surprise. 
Likewise, in Baltimore, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has evoked controversy over her own slow response to the violence.  She claims that she was misunderstood when she announced on Saturday: "I worked with the police and I instructed them to do everything that they could to ensure that the protestors could exercise their right to free speech.  It is a very delicate balancing act because while we tried to make sure that they were protected from the cars and the other things that were going on, we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well.  And we worked very hard to keep that balance and to put ourselves in the best position to de-escalate.” 
Rawlings-Blake may not have meant what she said about giving "those who wished to destroy space to do that," but her statement was clear enough.  In addition, her pattern of slow responses continued through Monday.  Despite all the damage, the mayor didn’t even put in the required request for the National Guard until 7 PM Monday evening. 
Reportedly the mayor and police commissioner thought that they had the situation under control and worried that the National Guard would provoke the rioters. 
“When the mayor called me, which quite frankly we were glad that she finally did, instantly we signed the executive order. We already had our entire team prepared,” Governor Hogan said. “We were trying to get in touch with the mayor for quite some time, she finally made that call and we immediately took action.”
. . .
The rest of the piece is available here.



A lot of people who bought Obamacare who are probably upset that they bought the plan: 2/3rds of buyers have subsidy taken back

From Fox Nation:
Most filers who received government subsidies to buy Obamacare plans had to pay money back to the IRS this year, according to an H&R Block analysis released Monday that looks at the health law’s first full tax season. 
The tax-prep giant studied its own massive customer base and concluded that two-thirds of its filers who got subsidies from Obamacare were overpaid during the course of the year, and owed money back to the IRS on the April 15 deadline. 
They repaid $729 on average, cutting the average refund by about a third. . . .



Baltimore mayor: "we also gave space to destroy to those who wanted to do that as well"

What does she think is the long term impact on jobs and prices for people in Baltimore from this policy?  What does she think will be the impact on insurance premiums for businesses and people in Baltimore?

UPDATE: For those who aren't going to take the time to listen to the video, here is the quote:
“I worked with the police and I instructed them to do everything that they could to ensure that the protestors could exercise their right to free speech.  It is a very delicate balancing act because while we tried to make sure that they were protected from the cars and the other things that were going on, we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well.  And we worked very hard to keep that balance and to put ourselves in the best position to de-escalate.”



Newest appearance on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal on people’s changing views on guns, Bloomberg’s research director explains why he won’t debate

Screen Shot 2015-04-25 at  Saturday, April 25, 9.22 PM 1 From C-SPAN: "John Lott talked about the new study put out by Pew Research Center which finds that support for gun rights have increased and, for the first time, protecting gun rights is more important than controlling ownership." Lott was originally supposed to be on for an hour to discuss these issues with Ted Alcorn, the research director for Michael Bloomberg's Everytown. But Alcorn would not appear at the same time and insisted that he be allowed to appear after Lott. This clip is from the end of Lott's appearance on C-SPAN. The first caller to Mr. Alcorn segment asked him why he wouldn't appear on air with John Lott and Mr. Alcorn had this response. The rest of Mr. Alcorn's segment is available here. Screen Shot 2015-04-25 at  Saturday, April 25, 9.21 PM   C-SPAN's Washington Journal program listing is available here.

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