Posts Tagged ‘Gun control’

On Friday, I was asked at a Colorado briefing if I had any good policy news from around the world.

I was stumped. Because mostly we’ve seen policy move in the wrong direction.

In recent years, we’ve seen a couple of nations repeal their flat tax systems. A few governments also have sabotaged their nations’ private Social Security systems. There have been all sorts of bailouts, and the human right of financial privacy has been eroded by tax-greedy politicians.

So I gave a pessimistic answer. But I should have thought beyond economic policy because there is a bit of potential good news from Brazil. Time reports that citizens may soon get the right to keep and bear arms.

Congressmen in Brazil, one of the most violent countries in the world, are proposing to dramatically loosen restrictions on personal gun ownership, bringing the country much closer to the American right to bear arms. The politicians say the measures are necessary to allow embattled citizens the right to defend themselves from criminals armed with illegal weapons. …The draft law…introduces a right for citizens to own firearms for self-defense or the protection of property.

Not surprisingly, the statists think people should have to rely on government.

…opponents say the move will only increase the country’s toll of nearly 60,000 murders in 2014. …“Without doubt we will see an increase in the murder rate,” says Ivan Marques, executive director of the Sou de Paz institute, which campaigns for disarmament. …Marques said Brazil should not try to emulate the United States. “Our constitution emphasizes collective security not individual security,” he added. …José Mariano Beltrame, the state security secretary in Rio de Janeiro… “We need to disarm the bandits not arm the people,” he says in an emailed statement.

But the reality is that the government is incapable of protecting people. The bad guys can get guns (as we’ve repeatedly seen in Europe). Prohibition simply means the good guys are disarmed.

“…the state has failed to resolve this problem,” the law’s author Laudivio Carvalho of the powerful Brazilian Democratic Movement Party, says in a telephone interview. “The population needs the right to defend themselves, their family and their property as they are the ones being attacked. Ninety percent of assaults are being carried out with illegal weapons.”

So let’s keep our fingers crossed that human rights will be expanded in Latin America.

And since we’re on the topic of gun control, here are some clever posters.

This second one reminds me of my IQ test for criminals and leftists.

And this one reminds me of this libertarian joke.

Last but not least.

P.S. You can  see some amusing pro-Second Amendment posters herehereherehere, and here. And some amusing images of t-shirts and bumper stickers on gun control herehere, and here.

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Like most Americans, I’m impressed by Dr. Ben Carson’s personal story and achievements.

But since I’m a policy wonk, I have to admit that I’m equally impressed by his instinctive understanding that a flat tax is both fair and good for growth.

Moreover, it’s also worth noting that one of my buddies from grad school is now his chief economic adviser.

So I’ve been observing his presidential campaign with interest and I view his steady climb in the polls as an indication that voters like the idea of a principled outsider.

But his political success means that he’s also a target. Anything he says is fair game for his opponents, particularly the folks in the establishment media who are reflexively hostile to what Dr. Carson represents.

And since he’s not a practiced politician with years of training in how to artfully discuss certain topics, he has given his opponents some material. His comments about whether he would vote for a Muslim created a kerfuffle about whether he favored a religious requirement for high office. And his comments on homosexuality being a lifestyle choice definitely rubbed people the wrong way.

That being said, the latest flareup regarding Dr. Carson’s comments about self defense strikes me at entirely contrived (at least I hope it’s contrived since other possible explanations are even more unseemly).

Here’s how a Washington Post report described Carson’s supposedly controversial remarks.

Ben Carson said Thursday that Adolf Hitler’s mass murder of Jews “would have been greatly diminished” if German citizens had not been disarmed by the Nazi regime. The comment, which came during an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, was similar to arguments Carson made following last week’s mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore., in which he defended the Second Amendment and suggested that the victims should have fought the gunman.

Carson’s campaign says some people are trying to make a mountain out of a molehill.

…some…have called his remarks insensitive… Armstrong Williams, an adviser to Carson, said…that the average voter does not scrutinize candidates for verbal missteps. “They care about intent. I think people understand what Dr. Carson is trying to say.”

A column in The Hill was much more aggressive in portraying Dr. Carson’s remarks as being flawed and self-destructive.

A series of controversial remarks by Ben Carson is raising new questions about whether he’s ready to take the Oval Office. Carson this week suggested the Holocaust would have been less likely if Jewish people had been armed, and appeared to criticize the victims of an Oregon shooting for not fighting back. …The retired neurosurgeon drew the ire of Democrats, liberal advocacy and Jewish groups…strategists believe the comments will dog Carson down the stretch and could dissuade those from backing him.

Maybe I’m just strange, but this supposed controversy is baffling. Why is self defense against evil suddenly a bad thing?

Didn’t the heroic actions of the three Americans in Europe demonstrate that charging a crazed gunman can be successful? And even if they hadn’t been successful, isn’t it better to die fighting than die cowering? I hope I’m never in that situation, and I don’t know how I would react, but I hope it would be in a similar fashion.

Regarding resistance to the Nazis, I accept that Dr. Carson shouldn’t have said such efforts would have “greatly diminished” Hitler’s monstrous actions, but surely he’s right about the principle.

Let’s look at some of the reality from World War II. Writing for the Washington Post, David Kopel explains that armed resistance against the Nazis was quite effective.

During World War II, 30,000 Jewish partisans fought in Eastern Europe, in their own combat units. In Western Europe, …in France, Jews amounted to less than one percent of French population, but comprised about 15 to 20 percent of the French Resistance. One of the most successful battles of the Jewish resistance was the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Nearly every Jew who participated was eventually killed — but they were going to be killed anyway. By choosing to stand and fight, the Warsaw Jews diverted a significant amount of Nazis resources from battlefields elsewhere, thus hastening the Nazi defeat.

He provides extensive analysis of the Warsaw uprising that began in early 1943.

…an uprising began. In the beginning, the Jewish Fighting Organization had about 600 volunteers; the Jewish Military Association had about 400, and there were thousands more in spontaneous small groups. The Jews had only 10 handguns… After four days of fighting, the Germans on January 21 pulled back from the ghetto… Not only the Germans were shocked by the unexpected resistance, but also the Jews were astonished. They could not imagine until then that the beaten, exhausted victims could rise against a mighty enemy who had conquered Europe. …In February 1943, the Polish Home Army transferred 50 revolvers (many of them defective), 50 hand grenades, and four pounds of explosives to the Jews in the Warsaw ghetto. The Warsaw Jews also manufactured their own explosives, including Molotov cocktails.

The Nazis paid a heavy price.

The Germans suffered over a thousand casualties in the first week of fighting alone. The Germans had to spend more time subduing the Warsaw Ghetto than they did conquering the entire nations of Poland or France.

But since the Jews were hampered by having very few weapons, that made it easier for Hitler’s thugs to eventually prevail.

 The Warsaw Jews knew they had almost no chance of survival. They decided that it was better to die fighting than to die in a gas chamber. …the key impediment to resistance was shortage of arms. According to Holocaust historian Abram L. Sachar: “The indispensable need, of course, was arms. As soon as some Jews, even in the camps themselves, obtained possession of a weapon, however pathetically inadequate—a rifle, an ax, a sewer cover, a homemade bomb—they used it and often took Nazis with them to death.” Thus, “the difference between resistance and submission depended very largely upon who was in possession of the arms that back up the will to do or die.”

And what’s the bottom line?

…“If someone comes to kill you, rise up and kill him first,” says the Talmud. [Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin, folio 72a.] That is the best response to mass murderers — in 1943, today and always.

If the manufactured outrage about Dr. Carson’s remarks are any indication, though, it appears that some people don’t believe in fighting back.

I’m not sure why, but I can’t help but suspect that statists want people to depend on government. Even if that means they are more vulnerable. And even though governments historically are the biggest threats to human existence!

Here’s another column worth sharing. It’s by Clayton Cramer for PJ Media and it’s a review of Stephen Halbrook’s new book about the Nazis and gun control.

The basic message is that gun control started out for ostensibly benign reasons under the Weimar Republic, but then was used for evil purposes by Hitler’s gang.

Stephen P. Halbrook’s…latest book, Gun Control in the Third Reich: Disarming the Jews and “Enemies of the State,” is an astonishing piece of scholarship: complete, careful, and thoughtful. …Halbrook traces the development of German gun control law… The problem…, as some pointed out when mandatory registration was under discussion in 1931, “in chaotic times, the lists of firearms owners would fall into the wrong hands, allowing unauthorized persons to seize arms and use them to commit unlawful acts” (p. 29). The lists did fall into the wrong hands — the Nazi government, after the 1933 elections. And they did use them to seize arms, especially from Jews and other “enemies of the state.” …when the time came that German Jews started to be loaded up on railroad cars and shipped to concentration camps, the writing was on the wall, and more than a few knew that they had little chance of getting out of this alive. But by that point, the Nazi government had used the registration lists dating from the Weimar Republic to disarm most German Jews.

Cramer adds his two cents to the analysis, pointing out that more guns at least would have made life more difficult for the Nazis without making life more difficult for the Jews.

Perhaps rifles and pistols in the hands of Germany’s Jews would not have seriously delayed the Holocaust, but the example of the Warsaw Ghetto, where Polish Jews with ten rifles and a few dozen pistols delayed the German Army for six weeks, suggests otherwise. How could Germany’s Jews being armed for resistance have made anything worse?

And that’s basically the moral of the story for the modern fight over gun control.

Bad people will always have access to guns, regardless of their legality.

And in some cases, those bad people will be in control of the government. And the track record of dictators and tyrants is clear. They want a disarmed citizenry.

But if guns are legal for law-abiding people (or if the people can keep their weapons in spite of bad laws), then at least the good people have a way of protecting themselves if circumstances require strong action.

Some clever folks on the left may assert that it’s not an either-or situation because they’re simply talking about provisions to promote “common-sense gun safety.” But as discussed the other day, their real agenda is the banning and confiscation of privately owned weapons.

So it’s easy to understand why most supporters of the 2nd Amendment prefer Dr. Carson’s plain-spoken wisdom over President Obama’s smooth-talking statism.

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I don’t necessarily blame President Obama for seeking to politicize tragic mass shootings. His actions may be a bit unseemly, but also understandable if he truly believes that disarming law-abiding people is the best way to reduce carnage.

That being said, this charitable interpretation only applies if the President sincerely pushes his preferred policies.

Yet Charles Krauthammer, writing for National Review, points out that there’s a remarkable disconnect. The President constantly talks about the need to enact “common-sense gun-safety laws,” but he never tells us what those laws would be.

Within hours, President Obama takes to the microphones to furiously denounce the NRA and its ilk for resisting “commonsense gun-safety laws.” His harangue is totally sincere, totally knee-jerk, and totally pointless. …Nor does Obama propose any legislation. He knows none would pass. But the deeper truth is that it would have made no difference. …notice, by the way, how “gun control” has been cleverly rechristened “commonsense gun-safety laws,” as if we’re talking about accident proofing.

I’m not someone can be simultaneously sincere and evasive, but let’s set that aside.

Dr. Krauthammer explains that Obama engages in empty rhetoric because his real goal is truly radical and impractical.

the only measure that might actually prevent mass killings has absolutely no chance of ever being enacted. …As for the only remotely plausible solution, Obama dare not speak its name. He made an oblique reference to Australia, never mentioning that its gun-control innovation was confiscation… Obama can very well say what he wants. If he believes in Australian-style confiscation — i.e., abolishing the Second Amendment — why not spell it out? Until he does, he should stop demonizing people for not doing what he won’t even propose.

So why doesn’t the President say what he believes?

Is it because he respects the Constitution? (it was hard to write that sentence without laughing)

Is it because he knows it is political poison? (a rather plausible answer)

Is it because he knows it will lead to massive civil disobedience? (if Obamacare is any indication, he doesn’t care whether laws actually work)

I’m not sure what motivates the President, but this very clever video from Reason TV shows what would be needed to confiscate guns.

As we’ve come to expect from the folks at Reason, an excellent job of combining humor and reality. Sort of a mix of this satirical video and this fact-based video.

By the way, since many statists think Australia is a role model for gun confiscation. let’s take a closer look at that issue.

Here are two charts from the guys at Powerline Blog. The first chart shows the big drop in murder rates in the United States during a period when gun ownership was increasing and citizens enjoyed greater freedoms such as concealed carry.

Now look at the data on the murder rate in Australia, with special attention to the change (actually lack of change) following the 1996 gun ban.

John Hinderaker helpfully explains what is shown in these charts.

Whatever Australia did, it was not as successful in reducing homicides as what we have done here in the U.S. This chart comes from the Australian government. Note that there was no apparent reduction in homicides after the gun confiscation/ban/buyback of 1996. Years later, the homicide rate declined slightly, as it did throughout the developed world… But nowhere near as sharply as the homicide rate has declined here in the United States since the mid-1990s. Whatever we have done in the U.S., whether or not you credit more liberal carry laws and more widespread ownership of handguns, it has worked far better than the approach to homicide that has been taken in Australia

There are lots of factors that determine gun violence, of course, so I’m not hopeful many statists will be convinced by John’s comparison.

But I do hope that this evidence, when combined with all the other research on gun ownership and crime, may lead more middle-of-the-road people to the right conclusions.

In the meantime, our leftist friends can rely on their version of social science research.

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Earlier this year, I argued that it was unfair and immoral to deny European Jews from being able to protect themselves with firearms.

They get targeted by terrorists and other thugs who can strike at any time, often with suicidal intent, and even the most effective law enforcement can’t be in all places at all times.

Leftists argue that gun control is nonetheless the right policy because everyone gets disarmed.

But if that’s true, J.D. Tuccille of Reason asks how terrorists in Europe manage to get so many weapons when there are strict gun control laws.

…how did the misfired terrorist acquire his intended implements of destruction in supposedly gun-phobic Europe? Could it be that firearms aren’t quite so unavailable as right-thinking policy-peddlers assure us on their way to insisting that Americans should be disarmed in (supposed) likewise fashion? It’s a question that was also raised in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attack by terrorists wielding AK-style rifles, pistols, and submachine guns. Observers were puzzled because France’s gun laws are relatively restrictive, and the terrorists clearly hadn’t bothered to navigate the byzantine red tape to acquire their weapons. So, where did they come from? In both cases, the answer is the same. Black markets thrive where legal availability is restricted or forbidden. …Europe has, by and large, more restrictive firearms laws than most American states. But those laws haven’t had much effect on the actual availability of guns, since they’ve been met by defiance and helped breed a brisk underground trade. And they’re certainly no barrier to small numbers of terrorists who have dedicated themselves to harming others and see the law as no hurdle to achieving that goal. The main impact then of restrictive gun laws may be to strip law-abiding people of means with which they might defend themselves while leaving criminals and terrorists well-armed.

Amen. Bad guys obviously aren’t concerned about obeying laws, so gun control simply makes it difficult for honest people to possess firearms.

But terrorists get the weapons they want. That’s true in France. It was true in the United Kingdom when the IRA was active. And it was true when the Black September terrorists attacked during the Munich Olympics in 1972.

But what about the argument that more guns mean more violence?

Also writing for Reason, Steve Chapman looks at gun ownership and murder rates. Many of America’s safest states have lots of guns and few restrictions.

Vermont has some of the loosest gun laws in America. The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence gives it an “F.” The state requires no background checks for private gun sales, permits the sale and possession of “assault weapons,” and allows concealed guns to be carried in public—without a license. … In 2013, it had the third-lowest homicide rate in the country—less than one-sixth that of Louisiana. Utah, which also got an “F” on its laws from the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, had the fourth-lowest homicide rate. These places refute the belief that loose gun rules and high ownership are bound to produce frenzies of carnage.

And even when there is a lot of crime, there’s little reason to believe that it’s because of guns.

It’s true that many states have a lot of guns and a lot of killings. But that doesn’t mean the former causes the latter. It’s just as plausible that high murder rates lead more residents to buy guns, in self-defense.

Chapman looks at some of the overseas evidence.

Britain is often cited for having few guns and—therefore—few gun murders. As Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck noted in his 1997 book, Targeting Guns, Britain also has a lower rate of murders with hands and feet. But “no one is foolish enough to infer from these facts that the lower violence rates were due to the British having fewer hands and feet.” Homicide is rare in Israel and Switzerland despite widespread public access to lethal weaponry.

For even more data, check out this video.

But here’s the clincher. Take a look at this data from the National Rifle Association.

Wow, tens of millions of additional weapons and a big drop in crime.

Gee, maybe John Lott has been right all along?

While many nations keep trying to impose more and more restrictions on legal gun ownership, at least one country is moving in the right direction.

Here are some excerpts from an encouraging story about developments from Panama.

…the government is set to lift the ban on firearm imports, in an effort to promote personal safety. Public Safety Minister Rodolfo Aguilera said the country will follow in the footsteps of the United States and Switzerland, where the right to bear arms is believed to lead to fewer homicides. …Aguilera…explained that relaxed gun laws have allowed the United States to reduce the homicide rate over the last 20 years. “…for criminals, anything that is prohibited becomes more attractive,” said Hefer Morataya, director of SICA’s Central American Programme of Small Arms Control.

I’m not sure I agree with the final excerpt. Criminals are attracted to the notion of using force and fraud to do bad things and that means they’ll probably have guns whether they’re legal or illegal. Making guns illegal simply makes it easier for them to engage in criminal behavior since they know that law-abiding people are disarmed.

Which is the point I made when putting together my IQ test for criminals and liberals.

P.S. You can  see some amusing pro-Second Amendment posters herehereherehere, and here. And some amusing images of t-shirts and bumper stickers on gun control herehere, and here.

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I proposed an “IQ Test for Criminals and Liberals” back in 2012 which asked readers to imagine that they were thieves.

And I then asked them, as they were planning their crimes, how they would react if they knew that a particular homeowner was armed. Would they:

a. break into the house because you once heard a politician or journalist assert that gun ownership doesn’t deter crime?

b. decide after a bit of reflection about potential costs and benefits that it might be more prudent to find another house to rob?

My goal was to help well-meaning leftists understand that criminals respond to incentives. And even the really stupid ones will seek to maximize how much they can steal while minimizing the risk of bad outcomes.

And if you’re a criminal, one potential bad outcome is getting shot by an armed homeowner.

The same cost-benefit analysis applies to mass shooters. Regardless of whether these shooters are motivated by feelings of inadequacy or Islamofascist ideology, their goal is to kill as many people as possible before being stopped.

So it makes sense, from their warped perspective, to seek out “gun-free zones.”

And when these nutjobs start shooting in places where there’s very little likelihood that they’ll encounter immediate armed resistance, that means a higher body count.

Which is what happened at Fort Hood. And in Santa Barbara. And in Newtown, Connecticut. And at the Aurora movie theater. And at Virginia Tech.

And now in Chattanooga.

Here’s a photo from the recent shooting spree by Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez. Notice the sign, right by all the bullet holes, stating that “Firearms Are Prohibited In This Facility.”

Needless to say, this sign didn’t stop the attack. It may have even encouraged the attack.

In any event, the rule did affect one group of people, as Sean Davis explained for The Federalist.

The gun-free zone sign didn’t prevent the shooter from firing a gun at completely innocent individuals within the zone. It did, however, prevent them from defending themselves.

And here’s the really depressing part of this tragedy. The military personnel targeted by the terrorist weren’t unarmed because Chattanooga had bad policy.

They were unarmed because of federal government policy. Writing for Fox News, John Lott explains this bizarre policy.

Army regulations are very clear stating that personnel cannot have firearms during their official duties.  Last year the Obama administration instituted interim rules that clearly prohibit privately owned weapons from all federally leased office and land, including recruiters’ offices. …With the exceptions of military police, military personnel are banned from having weapons on base, in federally leased buildings, or while they are carrying out official duties. For would-be terrorists among us there is an abundance of possible targets. …Allowing military personnel to at least defend themselves reduces the number of easy targets that terrorists/killers can attack.

Amen. Let members of the military have the ability to defend themselves.

And expand concealed-carry laws so that citizens also have greater ability to thwart crime and mass shootings.

P.S. I shared above a great cartoon from Chuck Asay. You can click here to see another. And these two posters make the same point quite effectively.

P.P.S. While folks on the left are one of the targets of my IQ test, not all liberals are misguided on the gun issue. As you can read here and here, there are a couple of them who put reason ahead of ideology.

P.P.P.S. It’s also encouraging to note that some lawmakers realize it’s a good idea to have more protection for schoolchildren.

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If you’re a libertarian or a small-government conservative, it’s quite likely you believe both these statements.

  1. Instead of picking winners and losers with special preferences and penalties, the tax code should be simple and fair, treating all economic activity similarly.
  2. Anything that reduces revenue to government is a good thing, and it’s especially good if the net result is to improve public safety by expanding gun ownership.

But what happens if these two statements are in conflict?

This isn’t a hypothetical question. As reported by Politico, there’s legislation in Louisiana to have a special three-day “tax holiday” on purchases of selected products, including guns and ammo.

Louisiana’s state legislature decided Tuesday to eliminate a tax holiday for hurricane equipment and school supplies, but keep one for guns and other hunting tools. In a 7-2 vote, the Louisiana Senate’s Committee on Revenue and Fiscal Affairs decided that for a three-day weekend at the beginning of September the state would eliminate its sales tax on firearms, ammunition, knives and ATVs. …Ultimately, three Democrats voted with four of their Republican colleagues to keep the tax holiday for hunting while eliminating the other two.

Is this a good idea?

I’m conflicted. As a fan of the flat tax, I obviously don’t want government to micro-manage the economy with back-door industrial policy in the tax code. And I’ve also written that tax holidays are a less-than-ideal way of reducing taxes. So this suggests that I’m against the Louisiana proposal.

But on the other hand, I’m an advocate of “starve the beast,” which means I support policies that will shrink the amount of revenue controlled by politicians. And I also strongly support the Second Amendment and want safer communities, so I like the idea of expanded gun ownership.

So how would I have vote if (Heaven forbid!) I was a Louisiana legislator?

I guess I would vote yes. Based on the limited information in the article, the proposal is a pure tax cut. So while I don’t like loopholes, I’ve also stated that I only want to eliminate such preferences if all the revenue was used to lower tax rates.

So the bottom line is that I would oppose the policy if the holiday was financed by an increase in the overall sales tax rate (similarly, I would support getting rid of the holiday as part of a proposal to lower the overall sales tax rate). But since such tradeoffs don’t apply, I would grudgingly offer my support (especially since I know the plan would offend anti-gun statists such as Michael Bloomberg).

P.S. We’ll add this post to my collection of libertarian quandaries.

P.P.S. Since we have a gun-related topic, I can’t resist sharing this example of pro-Second Amendment propaganda.

By the way, if you disagree with the message in this image, please take this IQ test for criminals and liberals and reconsider your views.

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Two years ago, I shared a map looking at how heavily wine was taxed in different states.

What is showed was that you shouldn’t sip your Chardonnay or guzzle your Merlot in Kentucky. Unless, of course, you wanted to give politicians a lot more money to spend (or you slip across the border like Michael J. Rodrigues when buying booze).

Now the good people at the Tax Foundation have a related map. It shows which states have the highest and lowest taxes on beer.

Kentucky is still a high-tax state, but the “winner” of the beer tax contest is Tennessee.

At the risk of drawing too many conclusions, it does appear that southeastern states generally have high taxes on booze. Along with Alaska.

Maybe that’s a “Bible Belt” phenomenon. Though I’m somewhat forgiving of Tennessee for high excise taxes since the Volunteer State at least avoids the huge mistake of imposing an income tax on the wages and salaries of residents. No wonder it’s been growing faster than neighboring states.

Returning to the main topic, the Tax Foundation explains, taxes amount to a big share of the final price.

The Beer Institute points out that “taxes are the single most expensive ingredient in beer, costing more than labor and raw materials combined.” They cite an economic analysis that found “if all the taxes levied on the production, distribution, and retailing of beer are added up, they amount to more than 40% of the retail price.”

P.S. Since we’re looking at states, I can’t resist sharing bad news from one state and good news from another state.

We’ll start with some grim news from Minnesota. I’ve already commented on the insanity of using the State Department’s refugee program to subsidize terrorists.

Well, the Daily Caller reports that terrorists also have learned to bilk other programs to finance that hate of the modern world.

Two Somali-American men living in Minnesota are facing fraud charges — in addition to terrorism charges — after they allegedly used federal student loan money to purchase airline tickets to get them to Syria in order to join ISIS. …

This doesn’t quite entitle them to join the Moocher Hall of Fame, but it should outrage taxpayers anyhow.

Our good news come  from California.

J.D. Tuccille of Reason speculates that gun control has basically become impossible in the Golden State because there are simply too many guns.

California is a state where officials pride themselves on tightening the screws on gun owners. …But it’s a losing battle. Even in a political environment where villainizing guns and gun owners is a winning tactic, the ranks of the same are beyond officials’ grasp, and growing. Last year, almost one million firearms were sold in the state…it’s a good bet that California’s gun owners, and their guns, are here to stay.

Here’s a chart he including showing gun sales.

And J.D. reminds us that these are just the legal sales. As illustrated by the amusing t-shirt at the bottom of this post, there are doubtlessly lots of undocumented weapons in the state.

The bottom line is that future gun control efforts in California will probably run into the same problems that have thwarted the schemes of despicable politicians in Connecticut. Three cheers for the Americans who disobey bad law!

And since it’s Memorial Day weekend, it’s a good time to be thankful the all the folks in the military who fought to preserve our freedoms. Including the freedom to engage in civil disobedience when politicians try to trample our rights.

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