Suspect arrested for murder of Black History Museum founder
Jack Hammer, Crime & Justice Reporter – The irresistible fantasy of the SJWs is the Hate Crime Wave of whites targeting blacks. This rarely happens in America. In fact, the reverse is more common with blacks targeting whites in armed robbery, home invasions and carjacking. Black on black murders are a dismal fact of life in urban America. Take, for instance, the homicide of Sadie Roberts.
July 16, 2019 via NYPost
Baton Rouge, LA - Sadie Roberts-Joseph, the founder of Baton Rouge’s Black History museum, was found dead in the trunk of her car on July 13, 2019, and instantly rumors of a “hate crime” were suggested. Al Sharpton and the BLM gang began sharpening their switchblades and preparing plans for protests, but days later a black male suspect, Ronn Bell, was arrested and charged with first degree murder. The police said that Sadie was choked to death, and the evidence led to Bell, an ex-con with an extensive criminal record.
Jack Hammer, Crime & Justice Reporter – This is the “feel good” story of the year, so far, encompassing an underdog and pure bravery, with a good-guys-win ending. Come on, Jataveon, you really thought hiding out at your Mother’s house was going to work out? IQ70.
June 16, 2019 / Updated June 17, 2019
via abc11 Staff
An 11-year-old North Carolina boy fought off a home invader with a machete, sending the thief to the hospital, where he was supposed to be monitored until police could take him into custody, but he walked out, sparking a two-day manhunt.
Jataveon Dashawn Hall, 19, [mugshot at left] is accused of breaking into a Mebane house Friday afternoon and stuffing an 11-year-old boy into a closet in an effort to steal electronics, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Office. But the boy was able to escape from the closet and hit the thief over the head with a machete.
Sheriff's deputies responded to the home, got a description of Hall from the boy, and started sharing it with area hospitals so they could be on the lookout. They got a call at about 1 p.m. that Hall had walked into a local hospital with a head wound.
The sheriff's office obtained warrants for breaking and entering, second-degree kidnapping, interfering with emergency communications and assault on a child under 12, and instructed hospital staff to call deputies before discharging Hall…
On Saturday morning, a deputy called UNC-Chapel Hill to check on Hall. He was later told that the suspect had left the hospital "against medical advice," according to the sheriff's office. He had told a nurse that "he needed to leave because the police were going to be looking for him." The hospital [UNC Chapel Hill] did not respond to a request for comment [on the case].
The sheriff's office asked the public to look for a man with a bandaged head, wearing a hospital gown and blue socks. Police received a tip Sunday afternoon that Hall was at his mother's house in Burlington, and that's where he was found and arrested…
11-year-old Braydon Smith told CNN affiliate WTVD, … "It went by really fast and I knew that I didn't have any time to think about what I was going to do. So as soon as I had the chance, I grabbed the machete and struck him.”
Sheriff Charles Blackwood said. “Not only did this youngster thwart the larceny attempt, he created blood evidence that very well may lead to a conviction in this case. This is a very tough kid who kept his wits about him “…
Hall is being held at the Orange County Detention Center on $100,000 bond. He is due in court Monday afternoon.
Rap Party Erupts into Violence – 2 Suspects on the Run
Two killed, one injured.
Jack Hammer, Crime & Justice Reporter – Sometimes I cannot help but think that the Rapper (or Hip Hop, if you prefer) music scene is a death cult. Take, for instance, this true crime story Straight Outta West Memphis.
April 6, 2019 - West Memphis, Ark. – by WREG Staff. According to W Memphis police, the shooting happened around 1:30 a.m. inside the 2nd Chance Automotive Repair and Body Work on East Broadway, West Memphis. The auto repair shop is also used for hosting private club events. A flyer posted to Facebook Friday night showed that the shop was the venue for a concert by Memphis rapper Kevo Money. Witnesses say they were attending a rapper party at the time of the shooting “Just vibin’ (sic), playing music and stuff and just took a wrong turn. Just stuff went south," said witness Dquinton Patterson. "And all of a sudden you just hear, boom boom boom boom boom (sic), like repetitive fire. So, my instinct was automatically to get on the ground so I wouldn’t get hit by a stray bullet. And they’re just continuing shooting... It was like a movie scene or something.” Police say three men were shot at the club. One was pronounced dead on the scene and another died at a local hospital.
Two suspects are on the run, Raheem Stackhouse and Reginald Smith. Below are the full list of charges both men faced in the past, according to court records.
Driver dies after he's accidentally shot by own passenger during botched Chicago drive-by
Jack Hammer, Crime & Justice Reporter – Perhaps these two were rookies at drive-by. I bestow a Darwin Award on the driver. I wish this happened more often. The poorly written news article does not clearly state that the shooter is in jail, so it is fair to say there is manhunt on for Jake Lee.
July 26, 2019 – via abc7news staff
Chicago - Matt Gibson [photo below] died after he was accidentally shot [in the head] by his own passenger in a drive-by [shooting] on the South Side… Jake Lee [a convicted felon] has been charged with aggravated battery with a firearm, and is expected to face a murder count, according to Cook County prosecutors… Police say Gibson was driving when he pulled alongside a white SUV waiting to make a left turn. Lee, seated in the front passenger seat, began firing at the SUV with a .40-caliber [felon in possession] handgun and accidentally shot Gibson in the head, prosecutors said… Surveillance video of the shooting did not appear to show shots being fired from the white SUV, prosecutors said.
Jake Lee was paroled April 21 after serving eight years for a 2011 [felony] conviction for aggravated battery with a handgun, according to Illinois Department of Corrections records. [Does anyone see a pattern here?].
Homicides in America on decline in 2019
You can thank the boys in blue; not the gun grabbers
By Jack Hammer, Crime & Justice Reporter – July 20, 2019
With the summer shooting season in full swing throughout many large US cities, I was astonished and pleased to read this July 01 ABC news headline: “Chicago shootings at 4-year low in 2019”. You can read the full article here. In addition to the good news from Chicago, the FBI preliminary 2018 homicide report confirms a 6.7% decline from previous year – 2017 (see table below).
Of course it is too early for the FBI to make a 2019 homicide forecast, but never fear; House Clark is here for a Fearless Forecast. A good starting pointing for my estimate is the Gun Violence Archive (GVA) which is updated daily by searching over 2,500 news sources in the USA. The website can be found here. I did a data capture on July 01, 2019 to begin the semi-annual calculations.
The challenge when working with GVA data is how they keep count on the number of deaths. I am only interested in the homicide totals, so the table below outlines the method used to calculate homicides from GVA data. You need to dig into the GVA spreadsheets (downloadable) to sort the numbers to discover about 20% of the GVA gun deaths are not homicides.
I estimate a 5% error bar on the final estimate mainly due to the jump from gun homicides to all homicides. It is impossible (for me) to tally all the homicides by stabbing, strangling, and other non-firearm murder types; therefore, the estimate depends on FBI historical data on weapons used in homicides. As can be seen by the chart below, there has been a gradual decline in US murders since 2016, and 2019 will hopefully continue the downward trend.
As shown by the above chart, the US 2019 homicides are on pace to be the lowest of the last five years. There still remain pockets of very violent areas in many large US cities. I did a search on the GVA database using the key word: drive by, and got 351 hits for the month of June alone. The 351 drive by incidents in June resulted in 381 casualties, with about 15% being gunshot deaths. Most of the drive-by shooting crimes go unsolved by the police, but that is not to say that the police are ineffective at removing armed and dangerous criminals from the streets. When I searched the GVA database for keyword: felon in possession, I got, on average, 95 hits per week. That is an impressive number of arrests that should result in hundreds, if not thousands, of dangerous criminals doing serious time in the pen.
On another positive note, gun related Home Invasions (HI) are trending downward in 2019. At the current pace of 850 HI in the first 6 months, expect ~1700 HI for the full year. This number of HI is the lowest amount in the last six years, and 18% lower than the 2,075 HI reported in 2018.
Suspect Charged In Murder of Former Republican State Senator
June 18, 2019 via zerohedge.com
Arkansas - An arrest has been made in the case of former Arkansas state Senator Linda Collins-Smith, 57, who was one of two state senators who were shot at their homes in a two-day span. State Police and Randolph County Sheriff's deputies announced Friday that they had detained Rebecca Lynn O'Donnell, 48, of Pocahontas, Arkansas, in connection with Collins-Smith's slaying. O'Donnell has been charged with capital murder in the case. Collins-Smith was found fatally shot in her Randolph County home on June 4. The next day, Jonathan Nichols, a former Oklahoma state senator, was found dead in his Oklahoma home following reports of gunfire. The law does not consider the two murders to be related.
O'Donnell, the accused killer, had worked on the former lawmaker’s campaign and the pair were reportedly "good friends," per CBS.
"They traveled together and did grassroots stuff, even after Linda lost her re-election," Ken Yang, a former communications staffer, told CBS News.
Collins-Smith was elected to the state House as a Democrat in 2010, but she switched parties in 2011. She was elected to the state Senate in 2014, but lost re-election in a GOP primary.
Below is a photo of the victim (left) with her accused killer (right).
The victim's family released a statement saying they were "sickened" that someone so close to Collins-Smith could have been involved in the crime. When her body was found, it was said to be an "advanced state" of decomposition, and it took police two days to identify the body, since they needed to confirm with Collins-Smith's dental records.
Man with ‘body count’ tally marks tattoo charged in Kansas City killing
Jack Hammer, Crime & Justice Reporter – Never trust anyone with face tattoos or even neck tats – it is a clear sign of a sick mind.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. —April 22, 2019 by fox4kc Staff
A 25-year-old Blue Springs man is facing multiple charges in connection to a deadly shooting in Kansas City, Missouri. Jonathan S. Lowrey has been charged with second degree murder, armed criminal action and tampering with a motor vehicle in connection to the shooting death of Joseph Corum, according to Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Baker.
According to court documents, just after 2:30 a.m. on March 28, officers responded to a shooting near 24th and Lister Ave. When officers arrived at the scene they found 30-year-old Joseph Corum dead on the floor. A witness said she was inside the home and heard the victim yelling at someone outside. She then heard two gunshot and then heard a vehicle driving away.
Another witness reported to police she woke up and saw Corum arguing with Lowrey in front of the home. She reported seeing Lowrey go to his vehicle, remove a long gun and shoot Corum three times and then leave. She then reported to 911.
Another witness provided video from her surveillance system showing Lowrey sitting in the van. She stated he had five tally marks on his face which he stated was a “body count.”
Lowrey was arrested last Thursday for questioning. The detective noticed the six tally marks tattooed under his right eye. Also, DNA taken from shell casings recovered at the crime scene was matched to Lowrey. Prosecutors have requested a cash bond of $250,000.
Update - Police said they are hoping home surveillance video will help them find the suspect involved in the deadly shooting. Police said they got a call from a woman around 2:30 a.m. who reported someone shot her boyfriend.
She told police her boyfriend was arguing with someone in the front yard when she heard gunfire. She didn’t know who he was arguing with. A few moments later, her boyfriend stumbled into the house and died. Investigators found a gun in the front yard along with a couple of shell casings.
Oklahoma City murder suspect arrested in Arkansa
April 24, 2019 via katv.com
EL DORADO, ARK. (KATV) — A man wanted for homicide in Oklahoma City was taken into custody during a routine traffic stop in El Dorado, Arkansas on Tuesday. Police say Cheo McCoy is wanted for a homicide that occurred during February of this year. According to the report, officers stopped McCoy's vehicle at 11 p.m due to a fictitious license plate and a fake tab on the plate.
McCoy initially identified himself as Wali Abdul Qadar, stating his American name was Wallace McCoy. Officers say McCoy was arrested for obstructing government operations after they were unable to find data on either of the names he provided. Drug paraphernalia and K2 were found during the arrest. El Dorado Police Lt. Chris Lutmen says fingerprints confirmed McCoy's identity and that he was wanted out of Oklahoma City. The Oklahoma City Police Department has been notified.
Suspect killed and St. Louis officer injured after shootout in Midtown St. Louis
Jack Hammer – We are often told by mush-mouth city officials that “St. Louis has a Gun Problem”. Wrong! St. Louis has a Felon in Possession of a firearm problem. The problem must be accurately described in order to find the correct solution. Remove the violent criminals from the streets and guess what? Crime rate drops.
June 6, 2019 ST. LOUIS (by KMOV4 CBS Staff ) – A fugitive wanted by US Marshals was killed while exchanging gunfire with St. Louis police officers Thursday afternoon. St. Louis Police Chief John Hayden identified the outlaw as, Rodnell Cotton, age 26 (see photo below). Chief Hayden said the US Marshals Service contacted St. Louis police about assisting in taking a suspect (Cotton) into custody. Cotton was considered armed and dangerous; he had a federal weapons charge and homicide warrant out for his arrest.
Officers spotted the suspect driving a car with stolen license tags on Martin Luther King Drive near the Vandeventer area. The police deployed a tire-deflation device to stop the vehicle. Police said the suspect vehicle sped away after hitting the device, but did not get far on a flat tire. He lost control and hit a curb at Theresa St. and Sam Shepard Drive. The car came to a stop; the suspect bolted out of the car with a duffel bag and began to run from the police. The suspect was pursued by two SLP officers.
According to police, the suspect turned and fired his weapon, striking a St. Louis police sergeant in the thigh of his leg. The second police officer exchanged gunfire with the suspect, killing him and ending the gunfight. According to a police spokesman, authorities confiscated two illegal firearms from the scene. The weapons in possession by Cotton were described as a loaded .40 caliber Taurus semi-auto pistol with a live cartridge in the chamber and three in the magazine. Also recovered was a loaded .223 Bushmaster AR-style pistol with a bullet in the chamber and a drum magazine with 60 live rounds inside the suspect’s bag at that scene.
Jeff Roorda with the Police Officer's Association applauds the quick-thinking of the officers on the scene for applying two tourniquets on the injured officer. "I heard it straight from the wounded sergeant; one of the SL officers and US Marshals applied a tourniquet and did it right, which is not always the way it happens," Roorda said. "That saved his life. He was bleeding heavily until the tourniquet.”
The suspect, Rodnell Cotton, was pronounced dead at the scene. The wounded officer was taken to the hospital and currently is in critical yet stable condition.
2 men arrested and charged with murder & armed robber
Jack Hammer – The armed robbers are becoming more and more trigger happy. This crime is another one of the drug deals gone very badly. Per Wiki - The overall crime rate in High Point, N.C is 60% higher than the national average. For every 100,000 people, there are 12 daily crimes that occur in High Point.
May 6, 2019 By Fox8 news Staff
HIGH POINT, N.C. — One man died at the hospital and two men are facing murder charges after a shooting in High Point, according to police. At 12:32 a.m., officers responded to several reports of a shooting at Oaks Silver Ridge Apartments on the 2900 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. At the scene, police found William D. Jones, 23 of Greensboro, lying in a parking lot, suffering from a gunshot wound to the chest.
The victim was taken to the hospital, where he died. Officers found a vehicle in the parking lot connected to the incident. Police found and seized evidence, including marijuana packaged for sale and a firearm.
At about 12:45 a.m., Marquies J. Chandler, 18 of High Point, arrived at High Point Regional Hospital with a gunshot wound to the arm. After Chandler was treated, he was brought to the police station to be interviewed. Police determined that the people involved were at the scene for a possible drug deal. Chandler and William A. Carter, 26, of High Point, reportedly tried to rob Jones. During the robbery, shots were fired.
One of the shots hit Jones in the chest. Another struck Chandler in the arm. Chandler and Carter ran from the scene before police could arrive, officers say. Chandler was arrested and charged with first-degree murder and attempted robbery. Carter was found at his home in Greensboro at about 9:30 a.m. He was arrested and charged with first-degree murder and attempted robbery.
An Unbiased Overview of Guns in America
By Benjamin Clark via houseclarkreviews.com, March 2, 2019
I recently conducted a 60 day internet/literature survey on guns in America. I read a vast array of articles on every gun related subject imaginable. Perhaps due to a built-in Google bias, I was directed to mostly anti-gun rights articles and websites. Obviously the anti-gun activists have found a goldmine in lobbying against gun rights and for increased gun controls. The visuals are slick and professionally made, the internet memes squarely aimed at the tech-savvy millennials, and the donations box always handy for your credit card information. Since I was aiming for a fairer and more balanced approach, I located key source databases such as the FBI uniform crime reports, FBI NICS reports, DOJ & GAO reports, Cato Institute studies, Harvard University and the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime annual reports. From these objective studies and downloadable databases I was able to construct my own, unbiased gun metrics, and separate fact from fiction.
It is not the purpose of this article to offer remedies and solutions for gun violence. There are scores of proposals out there, ranging from good to horrible knee-jerk reactions. It is best for the state legislatures to sort them out based on merit and local needs. As a gun-owner and friend of the Second Amendment, I support good public policy based on objective research, informed by a proper understanding of individual rights — including the right to self-defense. If we’re going to engage in gun violence research, let’s do it right — by recognizing both the positive and negative aspects of civilian firearm ownership.
International homicide comparisons
The more realistic “Neighborhood” comparison that takes into account open borders and mass illegal immigration
Source: UNODC homicide report for 2016
The claim that America is unsafe due to guns is false. It depends on how you analyze it. Mexico has a homicide rate nearly 4 times the American rate. How is this possible when firearms are illegal for Mexican citizens? Answer: Guns laws do not matter to violent criminals. Americans murder each other 3 times the rate in Canada, but the US has a few states with matching demographics that delivered murder rates equal to, or lower than, Canada’s 1.7 murders/100,000 residents (North Dakota, Maine, and New Hampshire).
Untangling Murder and Suicides
The Myth: Everyday there is over 100 gun deaths in America.
The 100+/day statistic is the worst case scenario because it tangles up 23,000 suicides with 17,400 murders; two completely different animals. From a public safety standpoint, the focus should be on homicides, not suicide which is a mental health issue. Let’s untangle suicides and murder then recalculate the daily average. The most recent data I found on suicides is the 2016 US – CDC Wonder database. Note that suicide by firearm exceeds the total murders, by all weapons and methods.
In 2016 the total US homicide tally was 17,413. The FBI also tracks murders by type of weapon, or method, used. Firearms account for a fairly consistent 70% of the murders, with the handgun being the favorite murder weapon by far. You are 19 times more likely to be killed with handgun than a rifle of any kind (see FBI murder weapon data below).
In 2017 I estimate that the violent deaths by firearms in the US to be (17,284 * 70%)/365 = 33 deaths/day. An alarming statistic, but a far cry from the 100+ gun deaths/day often quoted by anti-gun, left wing organizations.
What are the public safety positives of gun ownership?
Myth: America has too many gun and the guns are not worth the risk.
Any study of “Gun Violence” should also include how guns save innocent lives. One tip off that you are at an anti-gun propaganda website is the absolute silence on Defensive Gun Uses (DGU) and violent Home Invasions. Home Invasions and DGU data is important and must be included for a balanced, unbiased study (see bar graph below). The only place I have discovered this verified data is at the website for the organization Gun Violence Archive (GVA). The rest is anecdotal or based on controversial studies (CDC surveys in the 1990s). The fact is, we really do not know how many DGUs there are each year. But first, let’s get things straight – the DGU incidents found at GVA include civilians only. Police incidents are not in the tally. Many social scientists believe the DGUs are vastly under reported, but the 4-6/day as documented by a leftist gun website GVA is good enough for me. You can argue about the numbers all day, but my right to self-defense does not depend on your numbers and statistics. It is also obvious that due to large increases in concealed carry weapon permits (aka CCW), an increase in DGUs is likely to follow. This is a good area for future academic study.
The good news on Home invasion is the 20% decrease recorded in 2018. We can only hope it continues to drop. The GVA data only includes home invasion crimes that involve a firearm. Sometimes the criminal carries a gun, and sometimes the home owner is armed, and on occasion both parties are armed. If the home owner is armed and is successful in warding off the criminal, the incident is also counted as a DGU in the GVA database. Also GVA admits it under reports home invasions because many do not involve a firearm. The home owner can often scare off a criminal by merely turning on the outside lights, or confronting the criminal with a weapon other than a firearm. For more details on DGU in America see the Cato Institute Report, Tough Target.
The GOOD, the BAD and the UGLY
Myth: There is a clear relationship between more gun control legislation and less homicide or violent crime rates.
Does more Gun Control actually curb Violent Crime? To focus on gun sales, the major difference between states with so called “strict” gun control and the other “gun freedom” states is the inclusion of increased background checks on private sales (gun shows, internet, friends & family members). This is the much heralded, by the left, state-mandated Universal Background Check system. Without diving too deep into the weeds of Gun Laws of the various 50 states & Wash DC, I offer a brief summary:
All states use the FBI NICS system for the sale of firearms by a FFL (federal firearm license) dealer. Twenty states and Washington DC have extended the FFL dealer background check requirement to at least some, or all, private sales. Eleven states (California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington) and the District of Columbia require universal background checks at the point of sale for all sales and transfers of all classes of firearms, whether they are purchased from a licensed dealer or an unlicensed seller. Two more states, Maryland and Pennsylvania, require point of sale background checks for handguns but not for long guns, like rifles and shotguns. Instead of a point of sale background check, three states (Hawaii, Illinois, and Massachusetts) require all firearm purchasers to obtain a permit, issued after a background check, in order to buy any firearm. Four more states (Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, and North Carolina) have this permit and background check requirement for the purchase of all handguns, but not long guns. For detailed information on all the various state gun laws, I recommend this book found at gunlawguide.com.
Let’s once again refer to the verified facts in the 2017 FBI uniform crime report and review homicides by state. The states are divided into two groups – 1) The Good – States below the US average (5.3 murders/100,000 residents); 2) The Bad – States above the US average murder rate. The third and last group is called The Ugly. It includes the five most dangerous, violent cities in America. Let’s begin with a graph of the states with the lowest murder rates.
The facts do not support the Myth that strict gun laws translate to low violent crime rates. 4 out of 5 states with the lowest murder rates do not have “strict” gun laws. 3 out of 5 states with the worst murder rates have strict gun laws. When ranked against the states, Washington DC has the worst murder rate by a wide margin – three times the national average. Washington DC rarely sees a gun law it does not love. The high murder rates in some of our large cities resemble some of the most dangerous countries of Central America and the Caribbean; hence, lending additional credence to my “Neighborhood Comparison” method. In the major cities above, gang violence contributes up to 90% of homicides. The gangs distribute drugs as well as black-market firearms. It is silly to expect that passing more laws will cure the gang epidemic in America; it, unfortunately, will mainly impact the law abiding gun owner.
The much ballyhooed “Gun show loophole” appears to be irrelevant to the actual crime data. The reason being criminals rarely obtain firearms at gun shows. A 2016 DOJ prison survey showed that the majority of firearms used by felons were obtained on the Black Market, stolen or a “Straw Purchase”. Less than 1% were purchased at a gun show.
Risk Management of Legal Gun Sales
Myth: More guns equate to more gun deaths.
The FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) is the administrative workhorse for gun control/risk management in America. Also the NICS data is used as a broad brush method for tracking firearm purchases.
The NICS background checks can predict trends in gun sales but is not a 1:1 comparison for two reasons. Firstly, multiple and concurrent firearm purchases can be covered by one background check. Secondly, to qualify for a new CCW permit or renew/ update an existing CCW permit a new background check is required. It is not unusual to have 1 million/ month NICS checks for CCW permits.
National Shooting Sports Foundation’s (NSSF) calculates actual gun sales after factoring in multiple sales and subtracting all other administrative uses. In all, 2,517,286 NICS background checks were conducted in December 2018. To quickly update the above graph, the total 2018 NICS checks = 26,155,837. The NSSF estimates actual gun sales for 2018 at 13.1 million, or about 50% of the 2018 roll up of NICS. Gun sales have gradually declined since 2016 when firearm purchases hit a high water mark of 15.7 million.
From a macro perspective, the trend in gun sales correlates with trends in NICS checks. In comparing 2006 vs 2014, a 100% increase in NICS checks indicates a 100% increase in gun sales. According to the anti-gun theory, homicides should also increase a proportional amount in the same time frame. Is this true? Once again let’s refer to the facts in the FBI 2017 uniform crime report. The total homicides in 2006 were 17,309; in 2014 US homicides dropped to 14,164 (a 20 year low). In summary a 100% increase in legal gun sales (2006-2014) had no ill effect on the US homicide rate which dropped by 18%. The myth is busted.
In the last few years there have been some high profile killings that revealed a few weak links in the NICS system primarily in regard to data management and collection by the various states and the Department of Defense. The fact remains that not all the relevant crime data is making its way to the FBI for entry in to the NICS system resulting in missed gun sale denials. The House has already OK’d a NICS fix, and Sen. John Cornyn is leading the effort in the Senate in a bipartisan bid backed by President Trump and the National Rifle Association to approve funds for the NICS upgrade.
Gun sales myth #2: I find it appalling that virtually anyone can purchase a firearm with little effort, money, or time in the US. (Professor Meloy via Psychology Today, April 2014)
Hold on there, Prof. If Miss Jones goes into a FFL gun dealer, is of lawful age, a legal resident, and passes the NICS background check for purchasing a firearm (non- Class 3); then why should it be a hassle? It is her right under the 2nd Amendment. Maybe the good prof is talking about a black-market gun sale which is a policing- criminal justice issue and does not belong in a normal gun rights conversation. In any case, not everybody walks out the store with a firearm. The graph below is a roll up of the 1.3 million NICS gun sale denials, up to 2015. The denial rate is < 1%.
The 12 denial categories listed above are clear and straightforward, save one: Mental Health. A database system is effective only when accurate, timely data is correctly input into the system. Much mental health data was missing from the NICS system for several years. In 2007 at the Virginia Tech campus, the nation got a bloody, horrifying wake up call. Seung-Hui Cho bought a handgun, despite his disqualifying mental health record, and went on a killing spree: killing 32 and wounding another 23. It was discovered later that Cho’s mental adjudication was not entered into the NICS database. Cho used the Lie and Try loophole in the system, and gambled on his background check not flagging him for mental health denial. His gun purchase was NOT legal because he lied on the ATF form, but it was commonly reported by the press as a “legal” purchase. The penalties for lying on the ATF form are serious but generally not enforced (see GAO September 2018 Report titled - Few Individuals Denied Firearms Purchases Are Prosecuted). Unless you live in Oregon, Penn, or Virginia, you can lie your ass off on the form, get denied on the FBI or state background check, and then walk out the gun store as if nothing happened. Since Cho’s murder spree, numerous mental misfits have obtained guns due to the missing mental health records that would have tripped a NICS denial. On the positive side, the states and DOD are pushing to update the NICS database (see FBI graph below) and many states are also considering “Red Flag” and/or “Extreme Risk” laws to legally disarm those who have been deemed by a judge to be a dangerous public threat.
The Madness of Mass Shootings in America
Myth: It is misguided to causally connect mass shootings with mental illness and, more importantly, it is unlikely that doing so will have any effect in preventing such incidents from happening again.
Social Scientists, Grant Duwe and Mike Rocque, destroyed the above myth in a landmark article titled: “Actually, there is a clear link between mass shootings and mental illness”. This scholarly paper first appeared in LA Times, Feb 23, 2018, and provided a succinct overview of gun violence and the link with America’s mental health crisis. The findings of the research were astounding: at least 59% of public mass shootings were carried out by people either diagnosed with a mental disorder or demonstrated signs of serious mental illness prior to the attack. Mother Jones, a far left magazine, puts the number even higher at 61% in a 32 year study.
So when we talk about mass shootings, what exactly fits the description? Like Mother Jones, I use the DOJ definition of the Active Shooter. “The attack occurs in a gun-free public space, often but not always, against innocent strangers. It usually stops when the shooter is confronted with armed resistance and either surrenders or kills himself. The attack results in multiple homicides in which four or more victims are murdered with firearms, within one event, and in one or more locations in close proximity.” This is a vastly different type of crime than a drive-by gang shooting, or a domestic violence incident where a love-sick misfit murders his ex-wife or girlfriend’s family.
The Gun Violence Archive made up their own definition of mass shooting that is simply based on the number of people shot. I disagree with this method because by lumping every shooting together it minimizes the peculiar motivation of mass shooters. Violent crime involving guns has been happening forever in this country, but mass shootings are unique, the perpetrators motives aren’t always known but they’re never the same as those of an armed robber, feuding gang member, or angry drunk and should be in their own category of crime.
Below is a graphical summary of the 32 years of Mother Jones data on mass shootings. We are now in seven year spike in mass shootings that began in 2012. It is beyond the scope of this article to explain the sudden increase. For those of you interested in digging deeper into the causes of the rising tide of gun rampages, I suggest reading, How the Media Inspires Mass Shooters by Mark Follman via Mother Jones. Although the killings amount to less than 1% of US homicides, the public impact is substantial. A 2016 Harvard study estimates that the per-death impact of mass shootings on new gun bills introduced is about 80 times as large as the impact of individual gun homicides in non-mass shooting incidents.
Mass shooting myth #2: The mass shooter is an angry white male.
They got it half right with Male. It is inaccurate to label mass shooters as “predominately white”. That was the case in the past, but not anymore. In the past nine years, 55% of mass shooters were non-white males. Source: Mother Jones mass shooting database.
The debate between gun rights Patriots vs anti-gun activists is not going away. Beware of the half-truths and untruths being circulated as gospel. Do your own research and dig down to the raw data as much as possible. You might be surprised by the facts you discover. I know I was.
By: Ben Clark
In 1909 the French inventor and aviation pioneer Clément Ader (1841–1925) published in his book L'Aviation Militaire an astonishingly farsighted, high-level design of a large, ocean-going ship to operate multiple airplanes at sea. The Ader design included a flat flight deck, an island superstructure, deck elevators and a hangar bay. That same year the US Naval Attaché in Paris sent a copy of Mr. Ader’s book to the U.S. War Department. There was very little interest in Ader’s ideas, as the Navy concentrated on laying down keels for larger and larger Battleships. It is important to understand that at the time the aircraft carrier was envisioned, the Battleships or Super Dreadnaughts reigned supreme on the high seas. It was the dream of every junior naval officer to command a Battleship, yet before their careers were finished the most coveted assignment shifted away from the huge Battleships to the aircraft carriers. How did this happen in a brief timespan? In the first place, it is impossible to analyze the development of the aircraft carrier (CV) without a parallel discussion on the evolution of the airplane. What follows below is a unified sea/air chronicle of the key events and people that made the transition from Battleship-first to Aircraft Carrier-first modern Navy that sails the oceans today.
The Dawn of Aviation
1903 December – Wright brothers achieve first powered & piloted flight at Kitty Hawk in the experimental Wright Flyer 1. Begin design of Wright Flyer 2.
1905 October – The Wright Flyer 2 is the world’s first practical aircraft flying 24 miles in 39 minutes over Huffman Prairie, Ohio.
1908 December – Wilbur Wright pilots the improved Wright Flyer 2 at Le Mans, France and wins the Michelin Cup by flying 2 hours & 20 minutes and covering a distance of 77 miles.
1910 November – first pilot launched from stationary ship. (US navy)
1911 January – first pilot lands and takes off from a stationary ship (US navy)
1912 May – first pilot takes off from a moving ship (Royal navy)
World War I – Early aircraft carrier highlights
1914 August – War begins in Europe.
Entering the war, the British Royal Navy was, by wide margin, the dominate blue water fleet, with a caste of Battleship Admirals firmly in charge. In fact, all major powers in the conflict were focused on battleships. Despite the fixation on battleships, the constant pressures of war accelerated some important advances in the evolution of the aircraft carrier during the war.
1917 June – Royal Navy launches HMS Furious, the first aircraft carrier. She was actually a heavy battlecruiser converted to CV with the addition of a truncated flight deck.
1917 August – first pilot takes off and lands from a moving ship (HMS Furious). The second landing resulted in the death of the test pilot. The ship’s short flight deck was deemed unsafe for landing.
1918 July – The first carrier-launched combat airstrike (HMS Furious). Seven aircraft, each carrying 2x50lb bombs launched from HMS Furious, attacked the German Zeppelin base at Tondern, Germany. Two German airships and a support hanger were destroyed. Unable to make deck landings, all British aircraft were lost; two pilots ditched their aircraft into the sea alongside the carrier and were rescued. The five other planes flew to neutral Denmark and were impounded.
The Roaring 1920’s: Treaties, War Games, and Lindberg
1918 – British Royal Navy designed and begins construction on the first build-for-purpose aircraft carrier, HMS Hermes, with these key design features: full length flight deck, starboard-side control tower, hanger deck and a hurricane bow.
1921 February– Five Power Treaty signed by WW1 victors. The treaty limited new naval construction and prevented another battleship driven arms race. German navy size severely limited by Versailles Treaty.
1921 May-July – The US Navy and Army Air Service conduct successful air-sea bombing tests and sink a variety of target ships, including four decommissioned battleships. The bombing success was disputed by the battleship admirals because the ships were at anchor and the bombers were not subject to anti-aircraft fire.
1922 December - The Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) commission the Hosho, first operational warship designed from the keel up to be an aircraft carrier.
1923 February - After multiple design changes and shipyard visits, the British Navy finally commissions the HMS Hermes.
War gaming at the U. S. Naval War College
By the mid 1920’s Captains Laning and Reeves, heading the tactics department at the War College began to update and factor into the War Game Models the rapid advances of new technology including: aviation, radio, submarines, and long range torpedoes. They soon determined that the widely accepted war gaming model based on the WW1 sea battle of Jutland was obsolete. The old school slugging match by giant battleships was outmoded by new military technology that taken together with effective use of smokescreens resulted in almost impossible conditions for battleships to deliver long range, accurate fire without areal spotters. The idea emerged that achieving air superiority over the sea battle was critically important, if for nothing else to better direct long range fire from the battleship heavy cannon. Later with improvements in aircraft performance, naval aircraft were capable of increased payloads and long distance range. Gradually the idea of the offensive use of aircraft at sea began to emerge.
1927 May – Charles Lindberg pilots the first solo, non-stop transatlantic flight (New York to Paris, 3610 miles in 33 hours). Lindberg’s monoplane, The Spirit of St. Louis, was driven by the Wright J-5 Whirlwind – a radial, air-cooled 200+HP engine. The era of delicate biplanes with cranky aircraft engines was over; high performance aircraft ruled the skies.
1930’s Prelude to War
1933 – In a genius decision, FDR issues a Presidential Directive for the US Navy to ramp up CV fleet by using three battle cruiser hulls that were already approved by Congress for construction.
1935 April – Hitler repudiates the Versailles Treaty and Germany begins a massive arms build-up. Both Italy and Japan, co-signers of the Five-Power Naval Treaty, renounce the treaty, and increase orders for capital warships.
It is worth noting here that the German and Italian navies concentrated on building battleships and neglected to commission a single CV before hostilities broke out in 1939. Eric Raeder, the German Grand Admiral, dismissed aircraft carriers, which he characterized as “only gasoline tankers”. Raeder was a typical battleship admiral and was comfortable with Hitler’s WWI – type naval strategy, employing huge battleships. Hitler’s military thinking was firmly of the WWI era, and he could not conceive of any decisive naval engagements beyond a slugging match between larger and larger battleships. The greatest historian of World War 2, Gerhard Weinberg, coined the term German Gigantomania to describe the tendency of the Nazis to pursue endless experiments with enormous battleships, monster tanks, and huge caliber artillery. Encouraged by Hitler himself, these Gigantomania projects combined to absorb vast amounts of limited resources, yielded no practical purpose, and overall greatly handicapped the German war effort.
WW2 – England stands alone
1939 September 1 – Germany invades Poland. England and France declare war and World War 2 begins.
At the outbreak of another major war in Europe, the British Royal Navy was, as before in WW1, the most dominate naval power on the planet. The Nazi navy – the Kriegsmarine - was no real match for the Royal Navy, but similar to WW1 the German U-boats were a constant menace to shipping. The British deployed most of their home fleet aircraft carriers on ASW (anti-submarine warfare) duty in the Atlantic and later expanded ASW to the Mediterranean Sea. By mid-1940, aircraft carrier deployments favored the Mediterranean, with two each in Alexandria and Gibraltar, one in home waters, and three in the Far East. The carrier based British Fleet Air Arm was to distinguish itself despite flying the Swordfish, a dated, open-cockpit, biplane. While not having the most modern attack aircraft they were well trained in night flying and use of the secret ASVII radar, the first successful air-to-surface radar. Two of the more significant successes of the British Fleet Air Arm are described below:
1940 November - The Royal Navy used carrier based aircraft for a night attack on Italian naval base at Taranto where the Italian fleet, including six battleships, lay at anchor . Twenty-one Swordfish launched from HMS Illustrious, sunk one Italian battleship and damaged two more battleships. The British lost only two aircraft during the raid.
1941 May 26 – A British airstrike from the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal score a torpedo hit on the Bismarck, jamming the rudder and steering gear . The unmaneuverable German battleship was sunk the next day by a large British task force.
 The Italian navy proved to be a paper tiger during WW2. After the raid at Taranto, the undamaged Italian warships withdrew to Naples, and rarely left port to challenge the Royal Navy in the Mediterranean Sea.
 In one of those developments that no one would believe if included in a work of fiction, the first wave of Swordfish torpedo planes mistakenly attacked the HMS Sheffield, a British light cruiser shadowing the Bismarck. Two torpedoes, armed with magnetic detonators, hit the friendly ship but did not explode. The confusion was sorted out; the aircraft returned to the Illustrious and were re-armed with contact-detonator torpedoes for the successful attack on the Bismarck.
1941 May - Battle of Crete
The British were not the only WW2 combatant to score air-sea victories in 1941. When the Nazi military machine zeroed-in on the island of Crete in May 1941, the war exploded over the Mediterranean Sea. Wave after wave of German airborne forces (the elite Fliegerkorps 10) landed by glider and parachutes on Crete, and after bitter fighting forced the British troops to evacuate the Greek island. While the land battle raged the Germans enjoyed complete air superiority  whereas, the Royal Navy controlled the sea lanes. This confrontation set up one of the largest air-sea battles ever fought in Europe or the Mediterranean Sea. The 11 day Battle of Crete marked the zenith of the Luftwaffe’s Ju87 Stuka dive bombers effectiveness against the British Royal Navy during WW2. Nazi airpower had devastating effect on the Royal Navy forces; sinking nine warships, and seriously damaging two more capital ships including an upgraded WW1 era battleship .
: Shortly before the Crete invasion, the over-strained Royal Air Force, citing logistic problems, had abandoned their base at Crete and relocated to Alexandria. Also the British navy opted to use their four Mediterranean based ACs to protect convoys against the Nazi U-boat threat, leaving Crete without Allied air support.
: Four (4) British cruisers and five (5) destroyers sunk offshore Crete: Gloucester, Calcutta, York, Fiji, Juno, Greyhound, Kelly, Kashmir, and Hereward. Two seriously damaged capital ships: Warspite (battleship) and Orion (battlecruiser). May 1941 was indeed a difficult month for the Royal Navy – on May 24 the HMS Hood was sunk by the Bismarck during a battle in the North Sea.
The British were stunned by the Royal Navy losses at Crete, but continued to operate under the Naval doctrine that modern battleships under steam were unsinkable by aircraft alone. The fact that the battleships HMS Warspite & Valiant survived German dive bombing at Crete, added to the confidence of the Battleship-first admirals . By mid-1941, Hitler’s armies were storming across the Russian steppes, so for the first time in over a year the British Isles were no longer threatened with a Nazi invasion. The British high command, wary of the threat of war with a militaristic, expansionist Japan, decided the timing was right to reinforce their Pacific fleet. Force Z was assembled and dispatched to the port of Singapore. Force Z included a modern battleship, a fast heavy cruiser, a modern aircraft carrier, and several destroyers and support vessels. Unfortunately the aircraft carrier ran aground in the Med and required hull repairs. An alternate British aircraft carrier was deemed too slow. It was decided, in true battleship-first tradition, to sail Force Z without delay. The result of the fateful decision shifts the focus to the Pacific Theater of WW2 which was on the brink of live ammunition as the Force Z flotilla sailed to the East.
 The Warspite suffered a direct hit with a delay-action-fuse 500lb bomb. She survived the raid, but was seriously damaged requiring a year in shipyard for repair. The Valiant’s hull was damaged by a near miss, causing minor flooding that was quickly repaired. She did not lose fighting efficiency.
WW2 – Pacific Theater
While the Axis powers in Europe focused on new construction of super-class battleships, Japan went in a different direction. Japan started the war with ten aircraft carriers, the largest and most modern carrier fleet in the world at that time. There were seven American aircraft carriers at the beginning of the hostilities, although only three of them were operating in the Pacific. The Royal Navy and the US Navy shared intel in the Pacific, and both seriously underestimated the effectiveness of Japanese aircraft and aviators in the run-up to the Pacific War. Despite a rather slow start, the Japanese aviation industry outdid itself designing and building world-class aircraft in the late 1930’s that were well suited for aircraft carrier operations. The IJN combined these aircraft with rigorously trained pilots, resulting in the world’s most effective anti-shipping force at the end of 1941. While the British expected the Japanese to perform below German standards, Japanese aircraft and pilots actually surpassed their German counterparts. The Japanese also had developed an outstanding long-range, hard hitting torpedo - the Long Lance (Type 93). The Long Lance was remarkably advanced in comparison with the torpedoes in service with other major naval powers (US, German and British).
1941 December 7 – Pearl Harbor, the Day of Infamy
The Japanese surprise attack on the American Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor was a clear demonstration of power projection afforded by a large force of modern carriers. Concentrating six carriers in a single striking unit marked a turning point in naval history, as no other nation had fielded anything comparable. The IJN attacked Pearl with 353 aircraft consisting of a mix of fighter planes, bombers, and torpedo planes  in two waves, launched from their six aircraft carriers. All eight U.S. Navy battleships were torpedoed, with four sunken . The Japanese also sank or damaged three cruisers, three destroyers, and two support vessels. A total of 188 U.S. aircraft were destroyed, and over 3,500 American service men were killed or wounded. Japanese losses were light, but the proposal for a third attack wave was rejected. The IJN steamed east. Although the American Navy suffered a major defeat, it could have been worse. All three American aircraft carriers were at sea, and several key base installations were not attacked, most importantly the massive fuel storage tanks and the shipyard dry docks.
1941 December 10 – Coinciding with the Pearl Harbor attack, the Japanese began their advance through Southeast Asia, and once again turned conventional WW1 based naval theories upside down. Japanese land-based aircraft found and attacked the British Force Z which had departed their Singapore Base and sailed for open sea as soon as the news of Pearl Harbor flashed around the world. Japanese light bombers and torpedo planes sank the super-battleship HMS Prince of Wales and heavy battlecruiser HMS Repulse. For the first time in history, aircraft had sunk a modern battleship and heavy cruiser while maneuvering at sea and fighting back.
 The IJN was quick to obtain lessons learned on the 1940 British aerial attack on the Italian fleet at Taranto, and made shallow-water modifications for the aerial Long Lance torpedoes.
 All except the USS Arizona were soon raised for repair. Six battleships returned to service and went on to fight in the war.
WW2 – Pacific Theater (continued)
After a string of successes in Southeast Asia, The Japanese admirals approved plans to make a strong push toward Australia in the Coral Sea then pivot back to Hawaii and finish the destruction of the American Pacific fleet. Unknown to the Japanese, the game had changed. Going forward, American admirals had one priceless advantage: U.S. cryptanalysts had partially broken the Japanese Navy's secret naval code. It was time for some payback and the Americans plotted a few nasty surprises of their own.
1942 May - Battle of the Coral Sea - Ambush #1
In early May an IJN invasion fleet steamed into the Coral Sea to target Port Moresby, New Guinea. To their surprise, the American fleet was positioned in force in the Coral Sea and ready for battle. The Battle of the Coral Sea was the world's first carrier battle in which fleets solely exchanged blows with aircraft. The air-sea battle was a tactical victory for the Japanese, but a strategic victory for the allies. The sea battle marked the first time since the start of the war that a major Japanese advance had been checked by the Allies. More importantly, two of the best Japanese fleet carriers were crippled and their aircraft complement depleted to the point that the ships were unable to participate in another attack on Hawaii, which took place the following month. This ensured a rough parity in aircraft between the two adversaries for the next major sea battle near the little known island of Midway.
1942 June – Battle of Midway - Ambush 2
By some clever intelligence work and code breaking, the US Navy command learned that the Japanese planned to concentrate a carrier task force near Midway Island, and equally important, learned the sailing dates. The IJN steamed under radio silence and expected to launch another surprise attack. The US navy got to Midway first and launched scout planes to find the Japanese fleet. This time, the surprise attack would be on the IJN. The Battle of Midway, a four day naval battle beginning June 3, 1942 was the largest aircraft carrier battle in military history. The Japanese fleet, with four of their largest carriers and the bulk of their front-line pilots and aircraft, were engaged by three American aircraft carriers. After three days of desperate fighting, American dive bombers bulls-eyed the big Japanese aircraft carriers, sinking all four. One American aircraft carrier was sunk in the battle. The sea battle was a staggering defeat for the Imperial Japanese Navy, and is considered by most WW2 historians as a major turning point of the war in the Pacific .
 For a forensic analysis of the famous sea battle from both American and Japanese perspectives, read Miracle at Midway by Gordon Prange. It is available from most major libraries.
Twilight of the Battleship
The early events in the Pacific War sent shock waves throughout the world. As government and military leaders struggled to make sense of the new military reality of 1942, the key lesson learned in Washington and London was that large capital ships could no longer operate in war zones without air support. Also the shipbuilding priorities were drastically shifted in favor of aircraft carriers. The day of the Battleship-first navy was ended. The Imperial Japanese Navy proved beyond any doubt that aircraft, and aircraft carrying warships, would dominate the seas. These bitter lessons of war were the final catalyst to push the Allied navies into the modern era.