December 6, 2008

Urban Gun Crime Partially the Fault of ‘The South’: AP

Attention, y’all in the South: Urban crime is partly your fault.

You see, if you didn’t own so many guns, you wouldn’t have so many of them stolen or sold at gun shows. Right now, those evil guns cross state lines and get used to commit crimes in urban areas.

Got that?

I know all of this because the Associated Press’s Seanna Adcox, acting as a mouthpiece for the Mayors Against Illegal Guns, has told me so (link is dynamic; 2 AM version saved here for future reference):

Report: South a big exporter of guns used in crime

Ten states are responsible for the bulk of illegal guns that are shipped across state lines for use in crimes, according to a report released Friday by a national coalition of mayors.

About 30 percent of guns traced by federal agents in 2006 and 2007 during crime investigations were bought in a state other than where the crime occurred, said the report by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which largely blamed the transport of illegal guns on states with lax gun laws.

For 2007, the top sources for guns used in crimes elsewhere were Georgia, Florida, Texas, Virginia, California, Ohio, North Carolina, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Alabama.

However, the report’s authors placed greater emphasis on per-capita exports of guns, saying that data is a better indicator of lax gun laws. The gun-friendly South accounted for a disproportionate amount of the problem when population size was factored in, according to the report.

West Virginia is the top exporter, per capita, of illegal guns, with 41 traced guns per 100,000 state residents, followed by Mississippi, at 39 guns per 100,000, and South Carolina, at 31. The average national rate is 11 exported guns. Kentucky, Alabama, Virginia, Georgia, Indiana, Nevada, and North Carolina round out the top 10 exporting states, per capita, reads the report, titled “The Movement of Illegal Guns In America: The Link between Gun Laws and Interstate Trafficking.”

….. A spokesman for South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, who signed a bill removing the one-a-month limit on how many handguns a person can buy, said state laws are not the problem.

“We think we have adequate controls in place,” said Joel Sawyer. “Unfortunately, criminals are always going to find a way to circumvent the process.”

The mayors’ group, co-founded by (New York Mayor Michael) Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, is made up of more than 340 mayors from across the country, concentrated in the Northeast, Florida and California.

The statistical flaw of the mayors’ report as described is obvious, in that there appears to no attempt to correlate per-capita gun ownership with guns crossing state lines per capita. I would think this comparison could easily be made, if there was interest in making it. If, for example, gun ownership per capita in West Virginia is five times the national average, the rate of Mountain State guns used in crimes elsewhere of 41 vs. the national average of 11 would be lower per gun owned. Even if that’s not the case, the situation could easily be described as criminals trying to steal guns in southern states. Just as Willie Sutton robbed banks because “that’s where the money is,” criminals steal guns in southern states because that’s where more of them happen to be.

Ms. Adcox’s word games are also pretty “clever,” even by AP’s non-standards. Here are a few but by no means all:

  • On what planet is a stolen gun illegally carried across state lines an “export”?
  • States with high rates of ownership are “gun-friendly,” and (not excerpted) someone quoted was described as “ardent.”
  • States with high rates of ownership presumptively have “lax gun laws.”

I’m also detecting a whiff of regional and/or urban v. rural arrogance on the part of Ms. Adcox and the mayors’ group, especially her characterization of “the gun-friendly South.” Why isn’t the mayors’ group described as “gun-hostile”?

Perhaps these mayors — especially those other than Bloomberg, whose city remains relatively safe thanks to the crime-fighting legacy of Rudy Giuliani (not because of Gotham’s strict gun laws) — should look at the urban cultures, law enforcement and prosecutorial efforts, and sentencing policies in their cities, and see what is going wrong. Last time I checked, folks in the South don’t have a lot of influence over any of these.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Things I’d Like to Post About Today ….. (120608, Morning)

Filed under: TILTpatBIDHAT — Tom @ 7:06 am

….. But I Don’t Have Any Time For:

  • Great quote, from Z. Dwight Billingsley at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (HT Hot Air), who is African-American — “white people (have been) contacting me to say that I should be proud to see a black man become president. Could there be a comment that is more condescending, more insulting, than that? If I believed that in America a black man could not be president, then I would be proud to see any black man elected president. But because I always have believed that nothing in America prevents a black man from becoming president or anything else he wants to be, I can be embarrassed, not proud, to see someone as unqualified and inexperienced as Obama become president.”
  • A number relating to the auto bailout you probably won’t see printed anywhere but this Wall Street Journal editorial — “Two economists testified that the ultimate cost of this bailout would certainly be much, much higher than $34 billion. Mark Zandi of economy.com put the number at up to $125 billion — and he supports the bailout.”
  • Another quote, from the same WSJ editorial — “outside of bankruptcy there is no way to make these taxpayer loans senior to existing secured debt — meaning the government might never get paid back if the companies go bankrupt later.” Thus, they must go bankrupt to reset priorities before any bailout occurs (Which I would still oppose). I should note that lefties who have made a career of decrying “corporate welfare” are really quiet these days.
  • Speaking of pretty quiet, has anyone heard Joe Biden’s name in about, say, the past three weeks?
  • God love Fred Goldman (scroll down at the link). It would be really entertaining to hear from anyone who cheered the day OJ was acquitted more than a decade a ago who and isn’t ashamed that they did so.
  • Wanna save $100 billion? John Arquilla at Forbes says we should stop building aircraft carriers. It looks like he wants to totally stop using them. The case seems pretty good, but I’d like to see other seasoned defense experts weigh in.
  • Here’s Example Number We-Stopped-Counting of the Associated Press’s Jeannine Aversa just breezily typing things she “knows” are true without bothering to check them out — She wrote the following in the 6:17 p.m. update to her employment story I commented on at NewsBusters yesterday: “Workers with jobs did see modest wage gains in November. Average hourly earnings rose to $18.30, a 0.4 percent increase from the previous month. Over the year, wages have grown 3.7 percent, but paychecks haven’t stretched that far because of high prices for energy, food and other items.” Assuming that “over the year” means the past 12 months, we only have data for 11 months (Dec. 2007 through Oct. 2008). That data tells us that inflation during those 11 months has been 3.05% (216.593 divided by 210.177 at this link) — and the smart money is on the Consumer Price Index barely budging or going negative when the November numbers come out in about 10 days.

Positivity: A Reason to Give Thanks — 13 Year-Old Saves Mother’s Life

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:53 am

From Delaware:

November 30, 2008

Even at 13, Jake Jagusiak was smart enough to know that the flat line on the paramedics’ heart monitor meant his mother was in serious trouble.

“They took out the defibrillator thing with the pads and they were charging it up,” said Jagusiak. “They hooked her up to the equipment first, and I saw there was just a blank line going across. I was thinking, what’s going to happen to me if she’s gone?”

“He’s never told me that before,” said Linda Jagusiak, “about watching no heartbeat on the monitor, I’ve never heard that part.”

There is a lot Linda doesn’t know about the day her heart suddenly stopped beating. She remembers picking Jake up from school, remembers making the turn on to Route 13 from College Avenue, remembers feeling dizzy. After that, nothing. What is crystal clear, however, is that her son saved her life.

“I tell him that a lot of people would have been standing out in the street screaming. He made the call, he knew what to do, he made it in time. I’m just really lucky to be here.”

Jake was sitting in the passenger’s seat on the way to the library where Linda works. He was about to pull a book from his backpack when Linda fell forward on to the steering wheel. “My first thought was that she just passed out at the wheel from low blood sugar or something. She’ll skip lunch sometimes because she likes working,” said Jake. “Then I called her name a few times because I thought maybe she was just tired.”

Jake soon realized Linda wasn’t breathing. Now stopped in the middle of traffic, Jake let his Boy Scout skills kick in.

“I was really scared, but I just tried to think of things in steps — not really take on the weight of everything that was happening at once — and just progress through it.”

He tried to open Linda’s airway, but discovered he couldn’t. He found his mother’s cell phone and called 9-1-1.

“Even if things don’t turn out OK, I think you tell yourself everything is going to be OK, no matter what,” said Jake. “Even when they called me in later and told me things were OK and she’s going to pull through it. I think that’s what got me through all of it.”

Paramedics managed to get Linda to the hospital, but recovery was unlikely.

“They called my sister in Wyoming and told her she would have to make the decision to pull the plug because they didn’t think I was going to come out of it,” said Linda. “Even now the heart doctors don’t know why it happened or if it will ever happen again.”

It was a week before Linda regained consciousness, and she only knows the story through Jake and emergency room workers.

“They tell me I’m a walking miracle,” said Linda. “No one thought I was going to make it.”

She turned 50 this month and said it’s a birthday she’ll cherish, along with the time she has to raise Jake. …..

Go here for the rest of the story.