Text of main amendment adopted by the Texas House to the Campus Carry Bill
The state House gave preliminary approval to drastically watered down campus carry legislation late Tuesday, just minutes before opponents of the controversial bill would have been able to kill it by running out the clock.
"Passing legislation on the House floor is a high stakes game," said Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio, who tried to kill Senate Bill 11 through a series of legislative maneauvers. "This is a super-priority of the leadership. You never know when the stakes are this high whether you can kill a bill."
The bill would allow concealed carry licensees to tote their handguns in most college buildings and dorms. Currently, they are only allowed in public spaces, like quads.
With a midnight deadline to pass Senate bill looming, the House approved the legislation by a vote of 101-47. House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, triggered the vote after it became clear passage would not otherwise be possible due to time constraints.
But the legislation the House approved late Tuesday was a far cry from the original sponsored by Sen. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury. . . .
Two amendments adopted by the House are signficant: one would require private universities in Texas to also implement the legislation - the Senate version required only public institutions to do so - and the second would allow each campus to decide where concealed handguns would be allowed. . . .
Senator Rosen, Representative Fowle, and members of the Joint Standing Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety, my name is Major Chris Grotton, and I am here to represent the Maine State Police and the Department of Public Safety to testify in Support of LD 652. . . .
The current permit process regulates people who are generally ‘doing it right’ . In the past four years, less than one tenth of a percent of the 36,000 applicants (to State Police) are denied. Over the past 30 years, fewer than 20 people per year have been charged with carrying a concealed Weapon of any type. Even when we deny their application most of the time they are not otherwise prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm and could still lawfully carry openly in all other places except where canying a firearm is prohibited by law.
It is our opinion that law enforcement resources could be utilized in a more efficient mamier, such as identifying those persons who are —' and would continue to be - prohibited from owning or possession a firearm, and effectively communicating that information among law enforcement agencies instead of regulating those that are complying with the law. . . .
Heroic citizens stopping someone from killing a large number of people don’t seem to be considered news worthy. Don’t people want to read about a brave soul risking his life by running towards the sound of gunfire while others run away? Yet, such stories never get national news coverage by the national mainstream media.
While accidental gunshots get national coverage, few people have any idea how often concealed handgun permit holders stopping mass killings.
The lack of news coverage allows left wing media outlets, such as Mother Joneswhich should know better, to falsely claim: "In not a single case was [a mass public shooting] stopped by a civilian using a gun."
The truth is that the more successful these heroes are in preventing people from getting killed, the less media coverage they receive, but the lack of fatalities doesn’t explain the lack of news coverage. And if the heroes hadn’t been there, the attacks would have been successful and the national mainstream media would have been talking about the attack for days.
Let’s look at some of the recent cases that should have gotten some national attention. . . .
. . . “A resolution in support of student carry” easily passed the school’s student government, the Student Association General Assembly, with a 16 to 11 vote.
That surprised one of the bill’s sponsors, Matt Hanrahan, a junior majoring in politics. “The gun debate in this country is very polarizing,” he said, “and it’s even more polarizing to talk about firearms on campus.” . . .
Hanrahan said he’s from Danbury, Conn., about 10 minutes away from Sandy Hook Elementary School, where 20 children and six adults were shot by a 20-year-old with a gun in December 2012.
“Since that day I’ve taken school safety very seriously,” he said.
“We don’t live in the safest place,” he added. “There have been armed robberies in the area around the school. Who knows who can come onto our campus. Metro police could be on campus within minutes, and lock the campus down, but police are only going to be able to react to a situation that has occurred.” But campus police might notice someone who seemed suspicious and be able to prevent problems, he said.
“My end goal would be to get campus police armed,” Hanrahan said. “For me, you just never know what can happen in today’s society.” . . .
A man armed with a shotgun opened fire in the southern Italian city of Naples, killing four people and wounding at least five more.
The 48-year-old nurse, Roberto Murolo, killed first his brother and sister-in-law at home, according to Italian police, before killing two more members of the public after he began shooting from the balcony.
Early reports indicate that he may also have killed his wife in the attack, in the Secondigliano suburb, although these reports have not yet been confirmed.
A Boulder man will not be charged with a crime after shooting and killing a University of Colorado student who broke into his house and attacked him last week, according to the district attorney.
Police say Roberto Zamora, 19, forced his way into 98 Pima Court at about 8:40 p.m. May 4 and attacked resident Jim McCain, whom he had never met.
McCain shot and killed him.
Boulder County DA Stan Garnett announced Wednesday he will not charge McCain in the case, citing Colorado's "make my day" law and self-defense law.
"Under those theories, criminal charges would not be appropriate," Garnett said. "This young man broke into the house and attacked the homeowner." . . .
Mr Obama called the bill “the largest new investment in our nation's infrastructure since Eisenhower built an interstate highway system in the 1950s.” But even on the broadest definition of the term, infrastructure got $150 billion, under a fifth of the total. Just $64 billion, or 8% of the total, went to roads, public transport, rail, bridges, aviation and wastewater systems. . . .Why not put more of this $150 billion into roads and rail if they really thought that was so crucial.
. . . But changes in communications are threatening the viability of public election polling in many developed countries where the landline phone was once a reliable medium for representative surveys
Like their counterparts in the United States, Britons are abandoning their landlines. Telephone pollsters have shifted, contacting an increasing percentage of their respondents via mobile phone, but perhaps not enough, according to many pollsters. In the United States, polling mobile phones is far more expensive than relying on landlines, because survey researchers are required by law to enter cellphone numbers manually when dialing. . . .
Alberto Nardelli, data editor at The Guardian newspaper, noted last month that phone polls tended to favor the Tories, while Labour performed better in Internet polls. That phenomenon existed as late as a week ago, according to the New Statesman’s “May 2015” website.
“I would be concerned about what looks like systematic errors in the British polling — under-representation of Conservative voters and overestimation of support for the Labour Party,” said University of Michigan professor Michael Traugott. “I haven’t seen any polls that suggested that the Scottish National Party was going to do extremely well in Scotland at the expense of Labour primarily. So, systematic errors like that, patterned errors like that, suggest methodological problems.”
(Similarly, in Israel, some observers believe Web polling was biased against Netanyahu’s Likud Party and swayed the overall balance of pre-election forecasts.) . . .
Telephone polls are increasingly unreliable and too expensive, while Internet polling isn’t yet able to replace truly random surveys. . . .
Firefighters said they may have stopped a massacre after a gunman surprised them at their station Tuesday.
The Aiken County Sheriff's Office said deputies responded to the New Holland Fire Department's Station 2 around 6:30 p.m. for a report of shots fired.
Firefighters said Chad Barker pulled up to the crowded fire station parking lot full of children and firefighters, got out of his car, and began firing in the air and at his vehicle. They say he also pointed the firearm at individual firefighters for lengthy periods of time.
"I came out of the office, saw the man with the gun, told everybody to leave out the back quickly that there was a man in the parking lot with a gun, and I was not kidding,” said Gary Knoll, a firefighter for New Holland.
Knoll said he and another firefighter who have concealed weapons permits pulled their guns on the gunman.
Knoll said Barker returned to his vehicle and firefighters carefully followed him with their weapons still drawn. After encouraging Barker to put the gun down, Knoll said Barker ultimately complied and Knoll grabbed the gun. . . . .
Labels: mass public shooting
. . . Apparently out of options in the House, state Rep. Allen Fletcher, R-Cypress, turned to the Senate, where he said he worked out a deal to have campus carry legislation grafted onto another gun bill as an amendment. The move would allow the new combination bill to return to the House, where approval by the Republican majority is expected.
“If I can get the Senate to send it back over this way, we’ll wrap it up and call it a session,” Fletcher said Wednesday. “It’ll save a lot of time and effort and debate.”
The first step of the plan took place Wednesday evening when Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick referred House Bill 910, allowing those with a concealed handgun license to openly carry a holstered firearm, to the Senate State Affairs Committee, where it must receive a public hearing and a vote before heading to the full Senate. . . .
Both gun bills seemed to be stuck at an impasse as the two chambers jockeyed to see which bills moved forward — and who would receive credit for writing gun bills that Gov. Greg Abbott has already promised to sign into law.
Fletcher said Wednesday’s action, which broke the logjam, came in an agreement with Republican Sens. Brian Birdwell, author of the campus carry bill, and Craig Estes, author of the open carry measure. . . . .
If House members agree — the open carry bill passed 101-42 last month — the combined bill would be sent to Abbott for his signature.
. . . Devin Jeran was happy to get a raise, when Seattle’s minimum wage went up to $11 an hour at the beginning of the month. “I definitely recognize that having more money is important,” he says, “especially in a city as expensive as this one.” Unfortunately, he’ll only enjoy that bigger paycheck for a few more months. In August, his boss is shutting down Z Pizza and putting him and his 11 co-workers out of work. “Fortunately she keeps us in the loop, she didn’t just tell us last minute.” Ritu Shah Burnham doesn’t want to go out of business, but says she can’t afford the city’s mandated wage hikes. . . .More on the jobs being lost in San Francisco is available here.
Although all of us at Borderlands support the concept of a living wage in princip[le] and we believe that it's possible that the new law will be good for San Francisco -- Borderlands Books as it exists is not a financially viable business if subject to that minimum wage. Consequently we will be closing our doors no later than March 31st.
"That unrest [in Baltimore] has nothing to do with terrorism at all, except the terrorism we suffer from the police. Why are so many people dying in police custody? And why are they all black? And why are al the police killing them white?"Even using the faulty FBI justifiable police homicide numbers makes it clear that these claims are no where near to being correct.
Labels: Morgan Freeman
Police aren't always there to protect people — not in Baltimore, not in Ferguson and not when the average person has to confront a criminal.
This is particularly true in the poorest sections of town. Even police with the best response times seldom arrive until after the crime has been committed and the assailant has run off.
But even where crime is high, many Democratic politicians are unwilling to let the police do their job. To make matters much worse, they also prevent citizens from defending themselves.
Granted, police can't be every place all the time. Even a very fast eight-minute police response time can take too long, making the difference between life and death.
Yet in Baltimore, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake "gave those who wished to destroy space to do that." Apparently last Monday, she ordered police to "stand down" when riots broke out. And she refused to return the governor's calls when he repeatedly tried to get permission from the mayor to send in the National Guard.
It is hardly comforting when she apologized on Wednesday for using the word "thugs" to describe those who destroy businesses and beat up people.
Similarly, when the grand jury decided not to charge officer Darren Wilson for shooting Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., Democrat Gov. Jay Nixon ignored calls from Ferguson's mayor and kept the National Guard away from the initial violence.
As Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder complained: "(The National Guard) were kept away at the crucial time while Ferguson burned."
Liberal filmmaker Michael Moore went further on Thursday and called for police to be disarmed, but even he acknowledged that private gun ownership could help protect people.
Citizens in Baltimore and Ferguson were on their own. Not surprisingly, during the weeks in early November before the St. Louis County grand jury released its verdict, gun sales in the Ferguson area went up about sixfold.
But poor blacks in Maryland simply can't rush out to get guns. Politicians in Maryland have made it virtually impossible for law-abiding civilians, particularly poor individuals, to get a concealed handgun permit.
Even owning a gun in the home is difficult. It costs at least $300 to go through the licensing and registration process to get a handgun. On top of that, people face a seven-day waiting period, and it's illegal for them to borrow a gun from their friends.
The law-abiding people living in places most heavily hit by riots are the ones most clearly prevented from defending themselves if an emergency were to arise. Democrats' actions sure don't back up their claims of being the defenders of the poor.
In 2013, when the Colorado legislature voted for a bill that would charge people a fee when they purchase a gun, Republicans put up an amendment to exempt people below the poverty level. But Democrats virtually unanimously voted against the exemption.
As Democrats controlled over two-thirds of both houses of the Maryland state legislature, a similar amendment that year was never even allowed a vote.
In most other states, like Missouri, it's much easier for poor minorities to obtain guns for protection. Most importantly, one doesn't have to justify why they should get a permitted, concealed handgun, something that is rarely approved for poor minorities when government permission is required.
Some politicians believe that all these regulations prevent criminals from getting guns. But they are simply wrong. Criminals are not stupid enough to pay all the licensing and registration fees and face background checks to get guns.
It isn't just during riots that guns for defensive use are important. Guns are effective for defense in more ordinary situations. And it is particularly important for poor people who live in high crime urban areas.
With surveys showing that blacks believe that they can't trust police, the obvious option is to let them defend themselves. And minorities generally like that option. A Gallup survey at the end of last year showed that by a 56%-37% margin, nonwhites felt that having a gun in the home made them safer.
Democrats want the votes of poor, law-abiding minorities. They just don't want them to be able to be safe. Apparently, Democrats believe that the right to self-defense belongs only to the wealthy.
• Lott is president of the Crime Prevention Research Center and a former chief economist at the United States Sentencing Commission.