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People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Statistics Are What You Make of Them

Fanatical anti-gun crusader and newspaper columnist wannabe Christian Trejbal throws out some rather damning statistics about gun ownership here in the U.S. in this morning's Roanoke Times. More specifically, he goes after concealed carry permit holders here in the commonwealth and throughout the nation with some startling data:
Many more Virginians are packing heat
By Christian Trejbal, Roanoke Times

203,132 Virginians now have concealed carry permits.

That is a 50 percent jump since January 2007, when only 135,789 people had them. The number of permits tends to increase over time, but this sort of growth is astonishing.

In the middle of 2008, Barack Obama secured the Democratic presidential nomination. Fables quickly spread ... [yada yada yada]

A couple of more statistics deserve mention, though.

From 2007 to present, while the number of concealed carry permits jumped 50 percent in Virginia, 36 concealed carry permit holders around the nation killed seven law enforcement officers and 54 private citizens.

Possibly even more. [link]
Before we go any further, it needs to be pointed out who this Trejbal character is. I'll let the headlines and the attached links speak for themselves:

Shedding light on concealed handguns

Paper’s publication of gun permit database sparks furor, prompts AG opinion

Gun Owners Irked By Newspaper Database Ploy

Update on Roanoke Times-Christian Trejbal.

VA: AG Against Roanoke Times’ Anti-Gun Gambit

State police close list of gun permits

How to be a real prick, by Christian Trejbal

“Out of a sense of caution and concern for the public we have decided to take the database off of our website.”

Okay, you get the idea. Trejbal (a) isn't very ... expansive ... in his thought processes, and (b) has a real problem with those little metal objects that go BANG! when you pull the little metal thingie that makes them go BANG!.

But what of his statistics?

First, are they accurate? And, if so, what do they mean?

Trejbal:

"From 2007 to present, while the number of concealed carry permits jumped 50 percent in Virginia, 36 concealed carry permit holders around the nation killed seven law enforcement officers and 54 private citizens."

Hmm.

First, let's try to figure out the accuracy piece. Mr. Trejbal cites as his reference for that charge this report from the Violence Policy Center, released in July:

"Law Enforcement and Private Citizens Killed by Concealed Handgun Permit Holders"

It is worth knowing that the Violence Policy Center is as rabidly anti-gun as is Christian Trejbal. And the leadership thereof makes no bones about it.

But Trejbal acknowledges that fact in a comment to a commenter in the "Comments" section of the on-line Roanoke Times blog, saying "I'll readily concede that the group has an agenda, but that doesn't make the numbers wrong."

And of course, he's right about that.

And, because the NRA (after an exhaustive Google search) hasn't issued a rebuttal or refutation to date (as far as I can ascertain), we must assume the statistics are factual.

So let's look at the stats.

First, I'll skip the fact that 54 private citizens were killed by concealed carry permit holders over a three year period. As the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics has shown, 130,741 private citizens were murdered with a knife between the years 1990 and 2005. And nobody, including Trejbal, gives two squirts about that.

But what about that "cop killer" number? That's nothing to dismiss out of hand, is it?

Though maybe it's worth putting in perspective. ("lies, damn lies, and statistics ...")

"36 concealed carry permit holders around the nation killed seven law enforcement officers and ..."

Consider:

· The VPC report, if you check it, actually lists 5 concealed carry permit holders having slain 7 law enforcement officers. So erase the 36. It's 5.

· Statistics are slippery critters. Sometimes the absence of statistics speaks as loudly as those presented. Why do you suppose the Violence Policy Center listed only those crimes committed by CCW holders between the years 2007 and 2009? Because there were 0 - ZERO - cop murders committed by concealed carry permit-holders prior to 2007. None.

· Concealed carry laws have been around in one form or another for decades, but they gained momentum in 1987 with Florida's passage of a "shall issue" law. In all, 39 states now have laws allowing private citizens to carry a handgun concealed. (source)

· Reworking the numbers, then, there have been five incidents in the U.S. where police officers have been murdered by CCW holders in the past twenty two years.

· ... in the past 8,030 days. Five.

· In the past 22 years there have been an estimated 9,000,000 concealed carry permits issued to private citizens by the various states participating (the actual number is impossible to obtain as some states keep the data sealed).

· Of the 9,000,000 CCW permit-holders walking the streets of America fully armed, in the last 8,030 days (meaning there were billions of potential daily incidents), 5 have been accused of killing police officers.*

· Of those billions ------ 5

· Oh, and Mr. Trejbal might be interested in this (or not). USA Today: "40% fewer officers killed by gunfire in '08." And this: "Number of Police Officers Killed by Gunfire is Lowest in 50 Years." Might that make for a favorable argument as it pertains to CCW? The more permit-holders we have, the fewer cops are being killed?**

What does all this mean? Little, except the fact that there are a few bad people in this world and a whole lot of law-abiding, 2nd Amendment-supporting, God-fearing, America-loving human beings walking this nation's streets.

So Christian Trejbal offers up what seem to be legitimate statistics that support the notion that our police officer corps has every reason to fear those crazed CCW holders roaming America's streets damn near nothing to fear from America's concealed carry permit-holders. Period.

- - -

* Though the NRA hasn't come out with a statement about the VPC report, yet, one is hopefully forthcoming. The use of the word "alleged" and "allegedly"in reference to the crimes outlined raise a red flag of potential mischief being in play. These therefore become "alleged" "facts."

Let's get on it, fellas.

** I know there's no correlation, but this is an exercise in statistical manipulation, as was the VPC's, so give me some latitude.

*** Update: As I suspected, the use by the VPC of the term "alleged" in dealing with incidents of police homicides proves to be untrustworthy. A commenter to Trejbal's column points out that one of the cases cited by the VPC was thrown out of court with the defendant having been judged to have acted in self-defense.

Ya gotta love those VPC snakes.

Like Rats Leaving The Ship

When it comes to global warming theory, the experts are slowly - and reluctantly - coming around to the painful truth.

It's a hoax:
World's climate could cool first, warm later
By Fred Pearce, New Scientist

Forecasts of climate change are about to go seriously out of kilter. One of the world's top climate modellers said Thursday we could be about to enter "one or even two decades during which temperatures cool.

"People will say this is global warming disappearing," he told more than 1500 of the world's top climate scientists gathering in Geneva at the UN's World Climate Conference.

"I am not one of the sceptics," insisted Mojib Latif of the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences at Kiel University, Germany. "However, we have to ask the nasty questions ourselves or other people will do it."

Few climate scientists go as far as Latif, an author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. But more and more agree that the short-term prognosis for climate change is much less certain than once thought. [link]
Two points:

1) All you need to know about the climate experts who are clinging to their theory that the planet is warming can be found in that last line. "The short-term prognosis for climate change is much less certain than once thought." While the long-term prognosis is so much easier to guess correctly? Riggghhht.

2) The data declare earth's temperatures to have leveled off over the last decade, defying all the predictions, and now we're told that the planet is indeed warming; just not right now. And perhaps not for the next twenty years. Can anyone say S-T-O-P with the fantasies?

Look, you poeple got caught up in what amounts to a massive mistake in judgment (and group hysteria). You were told long ago that those computer models that you still cling to were seriously flawed and yet you held to the predictions derived therefrom, long after they were proven to be fallacious.

Why don't you admit your mistake, get on your knees and apologize, and get back to being scientists rather than gypsy crystal ball gazers.

Hat tip to Climate Depot.

Perriello Gets Scolded

Southside Congressman Tom Perriello held a town hall meeting up in Albemarle County on Thursday. And the turnout of patriotic, concerned Americans was as expected. But what wasn't expected - probably - was the level of sophistication of the "mob" that turned out. The following video (impressively done, by the way) is actually less about Perriello than about a man - a citizen - John Q. Public - who came before him with a question about the dangerous path the United States government has embarked down.

Great stuff:


A shadow government? Couple the unknown, unaccountable people in high positions in the Obama administration (a bunch of Van Joneses?) with the fact that the mainstream press will work overtime to not know what those officials are doing behind closed doors and you have the makings of a very serious problem. This democratic republic of ours requires better from both the press and our government.

In fact we demand better from both.

What Are We Fighting For?

For the opportunity to say vile and hateful things about the country that most of us still love and hold sacred.

This slimeball has now resigned from the Obama administration, and good riddance. But is he a lone ranger? And who in the administration thought him to be someone the American people would accept?

Not familiar with the name Van Jones yet?
Powerline:

Not that we're inclined to do so, but it would be a mistake to write off Van Jones as a one-off nutjob in the Obama administration. He signifies. The Obama team sought him out and signed him up for his job as green jobs commissar precisely because he is who he is.

Who do they have in the White House? A self-proclaimed Communist. A vulgar Marxist twice over. A supporter of cold-blooded cop killer Mumia Abu Jamal. A 9/11 Truther. A racist hater, whose hatred extends to the United States. And insofar as his current job is concerned, we have a man who sees the "green jobs" con as a tool for overthrowing capitalism. We have, in short, the complete left-wing nightmare package.
This guy's a real trip. He's so full of hatred toward us that one wonders why he even wants to live here in this vile country he obviously despises. What's holding him here?

So now Obama has thrown this bigot over the side. My question: How in God's name did Van Jones get a lofty position in the government in the first place?

A New Beginning. A Familiar Ending.

Well, it wasn't an East Carolina kind of embarrassment. But it was a disappointment none the less. The Virginia Tech football season has just begun and a chance at a national championship has already gone out the door:
Tide foils Hokies' hopes, 34 to 24
By Randy King, Roanoke Times

Atlanta -- Forget about making a magic-carpet ride to Pasadena for the BCS National Championship game, Hokies.

In a loss that all but eliminates it from the national title chase, No. 7 Virginia Tech watched No. 5 Alabama explode for 18 points in the fourth quarter and lost 34-24 in front of 74,954 fans at the Georgia Dome on Saturday night.

The loss continued Tech's futility against teams ranked in the Associated Press' top 5. The Hokies fell to 1-25 all time -- 0-21 away from Blacksburg -- against top-5 opponents. [link]
One for twenty five. I'd say that's rather pathetic, no? It speaks volumes about the Hokies football program, I think. Not sure what. But certainly something.

So maybe next year ...

* Note: Coach Beamer hasn't even had players thrown in jail yet. What's he to use as an excuse this year?