Charleston Church Shooter accepts life in prison plea bargain to avoid death penalty trial

So why would Dylan Roof want to avoid the death penalty?  Could it be that he preferred life in prison to the death penalty?  Could it be that the threat of the death penalty is something that the killers fear more than life in prison?  How much money also did this plea bargain save?  A trial like that would have been costly.  From the Washington Post:
Dylann Storm Roof, the high school drop out and white supremacist who shot and killed nine black parishioners at a historic Charleston church in 2015, pleaded guilty Monday to state charges stemming from the massacre as part of a deal with prosecutors to spend the rest of his life in prison to avoid a second death-penalty trial. . . .



On the big WOAI with Megan Bishop about allowing Permitted Concealed Handguns on College Campuses

Dr. John Lott was on the giant 50,000 Watt WOAI with Megan Bishop in San Antonio about Campus Carry. Audio available here. (Tuesday, March 7, 2017)



In America's 1st Freedom: Q&A: The Truth About Right To Carry

Here is Dr. John Lott's interview in America's 1st Freedom.
John Lott, president of the Crime Prevention Research Center and author of the new book, The War On Guns: Arming Yourself Against Gun Control Lies, knows more than a thing or two about Right to Carry. In fact, he’s probably done more research on the topic than anyone else in the nation. 
This week we asked Lott to answer a few questions about Right to Carry and the current move to pass national reciprocity legislation. 
A1F Daily: With introduction of national Right-to-Carry reciprocity legislation, we’re starting to hear the same old horror stories about citizens carrying concealed firearms posing a danger to themselves and others. What does your research show? 
John Lott: Just as after Right-to-Carry laws have been passed before, a year or so after reciprocity is passed, everyone will wonder what all the fuss was about. The entire debate will disappear as an issue for gun control advocates. 
By any measure, permit holders are extremely law-abiding. Police officers are rarely convicted of any crimes, but permit holders are convicted at even lower rates. According to a study in the December 2010 issue of Police Quarterly, the rate that police officers are convicted of misdemeanors or felonies was 0.102 percent per year. For example, Texas in 2015, the latest available data for that state, with about 1 million concealed handgun permit holders, the rate that permit holders are convicted of these crimes was 0.01 percent. Thus, permit holders were convicted at about one-tenth the rate of police. 
If you look at firearm violations, Texas permit holders were convicted at a rate of one-seventh the rate of police officers. Other states show a similar pattern. More detailed discussions are available in my books, The War on Guns and More Guns, Less Crime. 
The main source of alternative information is the Violence Policy Center, which is frequently cited by publications such as The New York Times. Most recently they have claimed that over nine years and eight months there were 900 non-self-defense gun deaths nationwide by concealed handgun permit holders. These non-self-defense gun deaths, they say, include suicides, murder and accidental deaths. 
Suppose for the sake of argument that the Violence Policy Center has accurately identified the cases they refer to. With more than 14.5 million permit holders at the beginning of last year, the 19 pending homicide charges in 2016 implies an annual rate of 0.14 homicides per 100,000 permit holders. And the vast majority of these will be found to be in self-defense. 
Yet the 900 number is wildly inaccurate. Take Michigan, with supposedly 72 homicides and 286 suicides. For homicides, many non-cases are triple or quadruple counted. “Pending” and “conviction” numbers from the Michigan State Police reports are both counted in the total, though cases can be listed as pending for years before going to court, and most never result in a conviction. News stories of these same events are also counted separately. The correct number of homicides in that case is actually 14 over almost 10 years. 
For suicides, Michigan doesn’t collect information on how suicides were committed—just that permit holders committed suicide. Yet permit holders committed suicide at just 38 percent the rate of the adult Michigan population.
Despite being informed of these errors over the years, The New York Times refuses to publish letters to the editor discussing these problems and doesn’t acknowledge them in their articles.  
A1F: Why do people in anti-gun groups and the so-called mainstream” media continue to warn of going back to the “Wild, Wild West? 
Lott: I suppose that they think that they can scare people enough to prevent passage of laws that allow people to carry guns for protection. The risk for gun control advocates is that they keep making extreme claims that keep on being proven wrong. At least to some extent, it makes it more difficult for people to take seriously what they may say in the future. . . .
The rest of the interview is available here.



Six Defensive Gun Uses by People Legally Carrying Concealed Handguns over Six Day

The stories that we collect don't include home invasions or cases on a person's property where they don't a permit to carry.  We also don't include cases where business owners or employees use their guns unless it is specifically mentioned that they had a concealed handgun permit and it was important to them carrying (such as being outside the business).
Arlington, Texas, February 22, 2017, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
A jogger carrying a concealed weapon shot a suspect who was trying to rob him at gunpoint early Wednesday in southwest Arlington, police said.
A man in his 20s was jogging about 6 a.m. from his home to LA Fitness, a part of his morning routine, when he noticed a pickup following him near the 6000 block of Poly Webb Road, said Lt. Chris Cook, Arlington police spokesman.
The truck circled in front of the jogger, then a juvenile suspect got out of the passenger side, pointed a gun at him and demanded his belongings. The jogger then pulled out his gun and began firing at the suspect, striking him at least once in the leg.
The suspect and a driver fled the scene and officers found the pickup truck abandoned nearby at Cedar Cove Court. The pickup was reported stolen in Arlington three days ago, Cook said. . . .

Miami, Florida, February 22, 2017, CBS Television Channel 4
. . . According to authorities, at approximately 11:30 p.m. on Friday, the victim was walking in the area of NW 2nd Court and NW 79th Street when he was approached by Bolanos, Palacio, and a third man, 18-year-old Alberto Medal.
At gunpoint, they then took the victim’s belongings.
However, a witness, who was also carrying a firearm, saw the crime unfold and shot at the three young men to stop the robbery, striking Medal.
“We do know that a Good Samaritan in the area saw the entire crime unfold, armed himself with a handgun and began to fire at the three robbers. One of them was struck,” said Miami Police Ofc. Kenia Fallat.
The three crooks fled the scene to seek medical attention, Miami Police added. . . .
Houston, Texas, February 28, 2017, Houston Chronicle
Police responding to a shooting about 8 p.m. Tuesday at a west Houston convenience store found a man with several gunshot wounds and another man who said he shot the first in self-defense.
The wounded man was taken to a hospital in serious condition but is expected to survive the shooting, Houston Police Lt. Larry Crowson said. A second man approached officers at the scene in the 9800 block of Beechnut near Club Creek to say he shot the wounded man to defend himself during an armed robbery.
The purported robbery victim did have a license to carry (LTC), Crowson said. There was a shootout between the two men but only the alleged robber was injured. . . .

Salisbury, North Carolina, February 24, 2017, Charlotte Observer
A Salisbury man was stabbed in the neck, head and back before he shot at the teenager trying to break into his car early Friday, police said.
The teen, Tyler Aaimer Spencer Nichols, 17, of Salisbury, turned himself in at the Salisbury Police Department later Friday and was charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, four counts of breaking and entering of a motor vehicle and three counts of larceny. Nichols was jailed on $25,000 bail pending a court appearance on Tuesday. . . .
Police learned Falkner confronted the teen who was breaking into his car. Falkner was then stabbed, before he shot at the suspect. The teen then ran into woods. Several cars were broken into at the apartments, police said. Nichols was uninjured. . . .

Boise, Idaho, February 22, 2017, KBOI Television Channel 2
A woman saved herself from a dangerous situation with her pistol kept in her car Monday.
"I couldn't believe it, it was shock and fear," said the unidentified woman.
It happened at the corner of west Kootenai and south Hilton streets. A woman just dropped off her 9-year-old daughter Monday morning around 7:30 a.m. She was driving alone when a man jumped out in front of her car. She slammed on the brakes and it stalled.
"He came to the driver's side door of my car and opened it and demanded my keys and my purse and when I refused to give it to him he started hitting me in the head multiple times," the woman said. . . .

Spokane, Washington, February 24, 2017, KHQ Television Channel 6
The man says he shot the dog after he went to back up and was bit a second time.
Police told SCRAPS that the man who shot the dog had a license to carry, and have determined that the man acted appropriately in the situation. . . .



Testimony before the Minnesota state House Committee on Public Safety on Stand Your Ground bill

Dr. John Lott testified to the Minnesota state House Committee on Public Safety and Security Policy on Stand Your Ground bill. See also his discussion on the op-ed page in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune available here.


New Op-eds in the Hartford Courant and the Minneapolis Star Tribune, fees to price concealed handgun permits out of the hands of poor people and another on Stand Your Ground laws

I have a new piece in the Hartford Courant on Connecticut Governor Malloy's push to raise the state's concealed handgun permit fee from $140 to $370.  The piece starts this way:
Why do Democrats, self-proclaimed champions of the poor, make it so difficult for poor people to defend themselves? Democrats oppose even free voter IDs as imposing too much of a burden on the poor, but when it comes to guns, they don't hesitate to impose fees, expensive training requirements and onerous background checks. These are precisely the things that can put guns out of reach for poor people. 
Connecticut already charges $140 in initial fees for handgun permits — twice the national average. Now Gov. Dannel P. Malloy wants to raise it to $370, with a $300 renewal fee required every five years. 
The proposed initial fee would be roughly 50 percent higher than California's concealed-carry fee, which is currently the highest among states. . . . 
I also testified before the Minnesota House Committee on Public Safety and Security Policy will hear testimony this past Wednesday on a Stand Your Ground bill.  In connection with my testimony, I had a new op-ed piece in the Star Tribune on Minnesota.  The piece starts this way:
In fact, as the Minnesota House Committee on Public Safety and Security Policy will hear in testimony today, Stand Your Ground laws do not allow the initiation of force. Since the response must be proportionate to the threat, a defendant cannot shoot unless he is in imminent danger of serious bodily harm or death. Or, at least, a reasonable person must have cause to perceive such a grave threat. 
Prior to Stand Your Ground, citizens have had to retreat as far as possible and then warn the criminal of their intention to shoot. The concept of “appropriate retreat” is vague and potentially confusing to a defendant who needs to take immediate, decisive action. Delay can sometimes be fatal. Overzealous prosecutors have sometimes argued that the defendant should have retreated even farther. These trials, even if they end in acquittal, are very costly and destroy defendants’ lives.
It stands to reason that the most likely victims of violent crime will benefit the most from Stand Your Ground laws. And who are the most likely victims? Poor blacks in high-crime, urban areas who definitely cannot count on the police to come to their rescue in time. . . .



Presentation at the St. Mary School's Issue Day in San Antonio

St. Mary's School in San Antonio has an issues day each year.  This year the issue was gun control.  This video below is a copy of Dr. John Lott's presentation at the event.  The presentation took place on March 3rd, 2017. The entire first part of the debate is available here (Dr. Lott's presentation starts at 51 minutes and 56 seconds into the video). Part 2 of the debate is available here. Part 3 of the debate with questions from the students is available here


Update on Constitutional Carry Bills becoming Law this Year, with good chances in at least three more states

After New Hampshire enacted Constitutional Carry, similar bills are still under consideration and a chance in Alabama, Indiana, North Dakota, and South Carolina.  The bill is still under consideration in South Dakota, but the governor in South Dakota has already indicated that he will veto the bill.  As of right now, there is still a chance for 16 to 17 states having Constitutional Carry by the end of the year.

Alabama: Will likely be voted on in the state Senate during the week of March 13th.  Senate Judiciary Committee approved the bill, SB 24, with a 6-3 vote on March 1.

Indiana:  Passed the Indiana state House by a 72 to 26 vote.

KentuckyUnlikely. The bill originally did look promising to pass.  But the bill's sponsor, Sen. Albert Robinson, R-London, said the bill was “on life support.”  And it will have to wait for another session to pass.

MontanaVetoed. The bill, HB262, passed the state House by 60 to 39 and the state Senate by 31 to 18.  The votes were largely along party lines.  However, Democratic Governor Steve Bullock vetoed the bill on February 23, 2017.

New HampshireEnacted. The legislation passed the state House by 200 to 97 after passing the state Senate on a party-line 13 to 10 vote.  Gov. Chris Sununu signed the bill into law.

North Dakota: On February 21 the state House passed the bill by an 83 to 9 vote.  However, in the past two sessions, the state Senate killed the bills.  Governor Dick Burgum has not stated a position on this issue.

South Carolina: Bill approved by a 3 to 0 vote in the state House Judiciary Committee on Thursday, March 9th.  The two Democrats on the committee were both either out of town or out of the country, but both said that they would have voted against the bill.  Republicans outnumber Democrats in the state House by 80 to 44 and the state Senate by 28 to 18.

South Dakota:  The state House passed the bill 37 to 30 and the state Senate by 23 to 11.  Gov. Dennis Daugaard vetoed a similar bill in 2012, and he promises that he will veto it again.  Supporters claim that they believe they may have the votes need to override the veto, but it isn't clear how that is possible.



On The Real Side with Joe Messina talking about The War on Guns

Dr. John Lott appeared on The Real Side with Joe Messina talking about The War on Guns -- what the result will be for all the new gun regulations. (Friday, February 24, 2017, from 11:45 to 11:54 AM) [audio available here]



On the big WWL 870 AM in New Orleans to discuss permitted concealed handguns on College Campuses

Dr. John Lott talked to Don Dubuc about allowing permitted concealed handguns on college campuses. (Friday March 3, 2017, 12:10 – 12:27 PM) [audio avaliable here]


On WMAL with Larry O'Connor: federal 4th Circuit upholding an assault weapon ban and gun control disarming the poor

Dr. Lott talked to WMAL's Larry O'Connor about the federal 4th Circuit's decision upholding Maryland's assault weapon ban, Judge Neil Gorsuch's views on guns, the impact that gun control laws have on poor minorities being able to own guns, and the problems with background checks.  Unfortunately, the audio quality on Dr. Lott's microphone was pretty bad up until 6:45 minutes into the interview, though for some reason the quality of the sound on the radio was much better than what is recorded here. (Friday, February 24, 2017, from 3:15 to 3:30 PM) [audio available here]



On the Sandy Rios American Family Radio Show about Chicago's crime problems, how Dr. Lott came to do research on guns

Dr. John Lott talked to Sandy Rios about Chicago's crime problems, how Dr. Lott came to do his research on guns, how Democrats make it costly for the poor to defend themselves, California's new background checks on ammunition, political correctness in academia, and the federal 4th Circuit upholding Maryland's assault weapon ban. (Friday, March 3, 2017, from 8:05 to 8:20 AM) [audio available here]



On the Dave Elswick Show in Little Rock: Gun-free Universities and Chicago's crime problems

Dr. John Lott talked to Dave Elswick about the dangers of Gun-free universities, the federal 4th Circuit's decision upholding Maryland's assault weapon ban, and Chicago's crime problems. (Friday, February 24, 2017, from 4:21 to 4:30 PM ) [audio available here]



Talking to Cam Edwards and David Keene at the Conservative Political Action of Conference

Dr. John Lott is the research director of the Crime Prevention Research Center, and author of the book, The War on Guns: Arming Yourself Against Gun Control Lies. At CPAC 2017, he talks with Cam Edwards and NRA Past President David Keene about how poorly public health research tests the impact of gun control laws.


In the Daily Caller: "Court Upholds 'Assault Weapon' Ban With Incorrect Facts"

Dr. John Lott has a new op-ed at the Daily Caller on the new 4th Circuit Court opinion on Maryland's assault weapon ban:
Should “military-style rifles” be banned?  On Tuesday, the federal Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia – in a virtual party line vote – upheld Maryland’s assault weapons ban.  In the 10 to 4 En Banc decision,
Writing for the majority, Judge Robert King, a Clinton appointee, argued that the Second Amendment does not protect people owning “weapons of war.”  His opinion starts out by listing recent mass public shootings that have used AR-15-type rifles, guns that he also refers to as “military-style rifles,” in their attacks. 
The opinion argues that attacks using large capacity magazines and those using assault weapons are the most deadly and that they are used most frequently used weapons.  Yet, none of these points are correct.  King’s decision shows are real lack of understanding about guns and crime. 
Democrats have filled the courts with judges who will look for any reason to justify banning guns.  Decisions like this are being made across the country.  It also illustrates the possible impact of President Trump’s nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. 
The AR-15 looks like the M-16, which has been in use by the U.S. military since the Vietnam War. While the M-16 is a machine gun, the AR-15 is semiautomatic, meaning that it fires only one bullet at a time. Yet the AR-15 was covered by the 1994 federal assault-weapons ban (which expired in 2004). 
But people continue to ask: Why do people need a semiautomatic AR-15 to go out and kill deer? The answer is simple: Because it is a hunting rifle. It has just been made to look like a military weapon. 
The AR-15 uses essentially the same bullets as small-game hunting rifles, fires at the same rapidity, and does the same damage. 
The .223-inch rounds used by the AR-15 are actually small compared with what is usually used to hunt deer. Indeed, many states prohibit using bullets of that size for deer hunting. The concern is that the animal will suffer from its wounds rather than experiencing a quick death. 
But hunting isn’t the issue here. Semiautomatic weapons also protect people and save lives. Single-shot rifles that require manual reloading after every round may not do people a lot of good when their first shot misses or when they are faced by multiple attackers.
The Circuit court decision gives the false impression that the “assault weapons” used in Orlando and San Bernardino, Calif., are commonly used in mass public shootings. My book, The War on Guns, shows such weapons were used exclusively in only 12 percent of the mass public shootings from President Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration through the end of 2015. In another 12 percent of shootings, a rifle was used in conjunction with a handgun or a shotgun.  Sixty-eight percent of the attacks just used handguns. 
That research shows that the highest fatality rate was actually in these attacks where multiple guns were used, not the presence of large capacity magazines.  In fact, the average number of people killed in these attacks where there were large capacity magazines and not multiple guns was 6, while attacks with multiple guns and not large capacity magazines was 8.3. . . .
The rest of the piece is available here.



CPRC on the Lars Larson Show: Obama administration's false claims on police that it's damage to minorities

Dr. John Lott talked to Lars Larson about how the Obama administration put out false claims on policing and the damage that it has done to crime in minority areas and how gun control is disarming poor minorities.

 [audio available here]


On The Daily Signal: Talks about the 4th Circuits decision on Maryland's Assault Weapon Ban, background checks, gun-free zones, and other issues

The Daily Signal's Robert Bluey interviewed Dr. John Lott on Maryland Assault Weapon Ban, how gun control advocates want to make costly for poor to buy guns, the problems with the current background checks, gun-free zones, and voter fraud. (Friday, February 24, 2017)