Florida Legislator Wants Punishment for Murder Reduced!

Sometimes you can’t make this stuff up! Talk about truth being stranger than fiction.

On October 17th, 2019 Florida Senator Bracy (D – Orange County) filed a bill that just defies logic or common sense. While most bills are designed to try and solve some issue or address a error in past laws, this one is unique!

Florida Senate Bill 564 – Murder

General Bill by Bracy. Murder“Revising the elements of murder in the first degree and murder in the second degree; revising the elements of what constitutes felony murder, for murder in the second degree; deleting provisions relating to felony murder, for murder in the third degree; authorizing persons convicted under certain murder provisions to file a petition with the sentencing court to have his or her murder conviction vacated or to be resentenced, as applicable, on or after a specified date, etc.”

You see, Sen. Bracy thinks that if we lower the punishment for certain “types” of murders it will help to reduce the “prison overcrowding” and more “fairly” address a person’s role in a murder. What? What part of a murder is not a serious crime?

This is what he wrote to justify the bill: “WHEREAS, there is a need for statutory changes to more equitably sentence offenders in accordance with their level of involvement in homicides, and WHEREAS, it is a bedrock principle of the law and of equity that a person should be punished for his or her actions according to his or her level of individual culpability, and WHEREAS, it is necessary to amend Florida’s felony murder rule to limit convictions and subsequent sentencing so that the laws of this state fairly address the culpability of the individual and assist in the reduction of prison overcrowding, which partially results from lengthy sentences that are not commensurate with the culpability of the individual…”

Sen. Bracy wants to reduce the level of punishment for some levels of murder, if you are involved in a violent felony like robbery or sexual battery and someone is killed. In what world does that make any type of sense? It does not seem to matter to Sen. Brady that the murder rate nationally has been going down over the last 20+ years or so. Facts and reality do not seem to matter to this Senator.

Murder rate down over many years.

You have to ask yourself why in the world would anyone want to do this? What motivation would one have for wanting to reduce prison time and the seriousness of murder charges? One can only guess.

We have had a decline in the Murder rate nationwide over the last couple of decades, and it’s not by making the punishment less for murder. Maybe the good Senator should look at making other laws have more serious punishments and making enforcement a priority? Like maybe raise the level of crime for using a firearm to commit a serious crime? How about mandatory time for using a firearm in a violent felony? Instead of trying to pass meaningless firearms control laws that will do nothing to reduce murders or crimes, make the use of a firearm in a crime even more punitive!

I am sorry but this legislation is one of the stupidest things I have seen in years. Want to read it for yourself go here: http://bit.ly/2W44OXH

Newsweek Outright Lies to the American People about Firearms Deaths!

Why am I not surprised that another supposed “news” source would publish a article “STUDY: U.S. GUN DEATHS SURGE, EXCEPT FOR TWO STATES WITH RESTRICTIVE GUN LAWS – BY ASHER STOCKLER ON 10/8/19” that is not only full of falsehoods, but the headline itself is an outright lie.

Is it any surprise that the American people no longer trust “news” sources like Newsweek? When supposed news sources publish such blatant lies about a topic rather than take 5 minutes to actually research reliable sources, you get results like this:

Screen grab from Newsweek.com

Now if you read that headline you would think they at least were telling you the truth. But would it surprise you if I told you that according to the FBI “2018 Crime in the United States” firearms murders went down the last two years? Firearms murders have decreased since 2016. 2018 was lower again from 2017. So why would Newsweek want to mislead or lie to the American public? Well of course we know why, they want to influence the public into thinking there is a “surge” or “epidemic” or “crisis”. When in reality the only one of those is in the minds of those who manufacture these claims.

From: FBI “2018 Crime in the United States” report.

According to the FBI homicide data, murder over all is down again also in the US. That’s great news so why not share that good news? Isn’t murder being down a good thing? Oh that’s right if they admitted that it would make things like “gun control” the “assault weapons ban” and other things pointless. Well they are pointless.

Here is the homicide rate per 100,000 people in the US over the last 48 years. Notice anything? You can easily see that the Murder rate was much higher from about 1998 and prior. After the rate started dropping in the nineties it has stayed pretty stable until about 2008 when it dropped a little more. With the mass murder in 2016 it climbed but still not to previous levels. And now it has dropped again to 5 murders per 100K like it was back in 2009. Again it is still far lower than in the past prior to 1999.

Graphic by Down Range with Chris Wagoner. (chriswagoner.us)

So one has to also consider this. We are a nation of 350+ MILLION people. And a nation with hundreds of millions of firearms, some estimates are even more firearms than people. If firearms were the issue would we not have far more firearms murders than 10,265 out of 350+ MILLION people with all those firearms in the US? Of course we would. This is a very simple way of showing it is not the inanimate object that is a problem, but the person behind it. Just like it is the driver behind the wheel of a car driving DUI and not the car. It is obvious when you see that “hands and feet”, “Blunt objects” like clubs and hammers, and even “knives and cutting instruments” are used to murder far more people than those “assault rifles” that many say are the biggest threat to people these days.

So to Newsweek I make this challenge, if you want to put anyone up for a debate live online, I will gladly take you up on ti. Subject? The real numbers behind firearms, murder and fake crisis you are trying to manufacture.

I know they won’t take me up on it, but it’s fun to hope! Stay safe out there.

The Ban Assault Rifle Movement is Misled, Lied to and Down Right Manipulated.

Actually the whole anti-firearms movement is.

After finishing reading the new 2018 FBI report “2018 Crime in the United States” I am not surprised to find that crime is still down, murders are still down and those who are fighting tooth and nail to ban “assault rifles” are just plain uninformed. They are allowing themselves to be manipulated by a few powerful people with agendas.

When one of these folks claims that the deaths by these “weapons of war” is a crisis and needs to be dealt with now, one simple question should be all that is needed to show how poorly informed they are. Ask any of them, “How many people died from being shot with a rifle in 2018, and how many died by being beaten to death by hands and feet? If they can’t answer that simple question they are just repeating things they have heard the leaders of the anti-rights groups say.

When dealing with those poor misinformed and misled folks, be kind and point out to them that they are in need of education. Give them the link, hand them the report, or point out to them the reality of the numbers. Numbers that do not bear up the hysteria of the assault weapons ban folks.

First rifles (that’s all rifle kinds together not just “assault rifles”) are one of the lessor used firearms to murder people. What the above chart does not show is that the FBI reports 297 cases where criminals were shot lawfully while citizens defended themselves. That’s right more people are documented in the report having killed criminals than people were killed with rifles.

Also important to note is that knives or sharp objects, hands and feet and blunt objects all killed more people than rifles of all kinds did. Why are these people not trying to ban those things? Because they have been lied to and told that rifles kill thousands of people each year.

Murder is down from 2016 and 2017 in 2018. If you look at the rate of murder in the US per 100K people you get the idea we are actually pretty low and on a even trend over the last 10 years and far below the rate back in the 90’s and before. But we have a crisis?

When you are discussing the firearms rights issue or murder problem in the US, just ask them for numbers. They can’t or won’t say them because if they do, they lose all of the reasoning for the entire movement.

Sorry anti-firearms rifle folks, and especially sorry to all those that have fallen for the lies and misleading statements form those who want to restrict your rights even more. They do not have anything to stand on other than emotions.

I welcome any of them to a debate on these topics. But be warned I deal in reality and facts, not lies and emotions.

Murder, Violent Crime and Rifle Use as a Weapon Down in 2018!!

OK I know that the headline of this article will make some immediately say “no way!” or “it’s an epidemic!” but the numbers do not support those points of view.

While the media and presidential candidates tell you that “we have to do something!” to address the “gun control problem” we have in the USA, I am here to tell you they are full of it! What if I told you that the use of ALL rifles (AR 15’s, AK 47’s and all others) is down over the last 5 years. And that rifles of all kinds killed fewer people than Knives (and cutting instruments) blunt objects, and hands and feet accounted for more murders than firearms?

In 2018 those dreaded “assault rifles” and every other kind of rifle accounted for just 297 murders. Now please do not think I am belittling any murder. Not one single murder is OK, but we are talking overall numbers and weapons used. While rifles accounted for 297 murders, knives or cutting instruments accounted for 1515 murders! Are you ready for this? Knives and other cutting instruments accounted for 5.1 times the number of murders as rifles. Let that sink in. As much as the “assault rifles” are demonized by the mainstream media they are 5.1 times LESS LIKELY to be used in a murder than a knife or other cutting device.

Are you ready for this little tidbit? CLUBS, HAMMERS and other blunt objects account for 668 murders in 2018. That is 1.49 times as many murders as rifles! Really? Come on gun control advocates, what in the world are you trying to hang your hat on? No one can in their right mind say that AR 15’s and rifles in general are a problem when compared to others types of weapons. Ready for this one? Hands and Feet and other “personal weapons (meaning parts of the body) killed 2.24 as many people as rifles. That’s right, more people were beaten to death by hands and feet than by those deadly assault rifles! Makes you wonder why they are targeting those rifles doesn’t it. Keep thinking about that.

Violent crime overall is down again,

” In 2018, an estimated 1,206,836 violent crimes occurred nationwide, a decrease of 3.3 percent from the 2017 estimate “ that from the FBI. In addition, “When considering 5- and 10-year trends, the 2018 estimated violent crime total was 4.7 percent above the 2014 level but 9.0 percent below the 2009 level.” As for murders there were ” There were 5.0 murders per 100,000 people in 2018. The murder rate in 2018 was down from the rates in 2017 (6.8 percent) and 2009 (1.2 percent).

But if you listen to the main stream media we are in a crisis mode in the US. People are being killed by the millions on our streets! Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Lets take rifles since they seem to be the topic of every talking head out there even if they do not know what they are talking about. Rifle deaths are down from 2016 & 2017! That is right, while rifles only accounted for 300 murders in 2016, in 2017 they accounted for 390, but they went down in 2018 to 297. The lowest in three years.

You see we do not have a assault weapon or rifle murder problem in the US, we have a media fueled hysteria based on emotions and perception problem, not facts. If we based our laws on facts and real issues/ numbers, rifles would not even be in the discussion. It is only because of high profile, media driven attention that you even think rifles are an issue to begin with.

I have an open challenge to any person that thinks rifles need to be banned. I challenge you to a debate about why they need to be banned, and the real issues behind murders these days. But then again I know that not one single talking head that wants to ban rifles or make other stupid laws will take me up on this, since they do not deal in reality, only emotional reactions. I specifically challenge any political figure or Everytown or BAWN member to an open debate on this issue.

You can look up the numbers for yourself here: http://bit.ly/2prjAfb

We do not have a assault weapon, or any other weapon for that matter, problem in the USA, we have a issue with many other things (another article full of topics) but the “crisis” or “epidemic” of murders with assault weapons is not one of them! IT DOES NOT EXIST!

Oh just in case one of the politicians running on banning assault weapons wants to debate me, you can reach me here: chris@chriswagoner.us. But I won’t hold my breath.

MSNBC Caught Manipulating Poll about Firearms?

Sometimes you do a double-take at a photo and have to say “huh”? Back on September 17th, 2019 I wrote about a poll that MSNBC was hosting about firearms. They had asked the questions “Do you think people should be allowed to carry guns in public?” Excellent question. And the results were very telling. At the time I had made a screen grab of the poll, 573,000+ people had voted and an overwhelming majority had voted “Yes” to that question! actually 92% at that time! That was quite eye opening. When you added one of the other choices “Yes for self defense only” (which is why 99.99% of people carry them anyway) the total was up over 97% for law abiding citizens being allowed to carry firearms in public! Note the numbers on the poll.

September 17th, 2019 screen grab.

Well that was great news and a very enlightening poll, best of all the size of the sampling, over 573K was not something to sneeze at. So I checked back on September 21st to see how it was doing. And to my great surprise it was still going strong. As of September 21st, 2019 the results were 93% in favor of allowing citizens to carry in public. Better yet the sampling size had gone up even more to over 847,000!

September 21st, 2019 screen grab.

So with this sampling size and these results you would think things are pretty obvious, right? Americans (if they limited the poll to US voters only) overwhelmingly were for law abiding citizens carrying firearms in public. To the point that it was not even close, what those in media might even call a “landslide”.

But wait! Remember who is conducting this poll, MSNBC, and as part of the anti-firearms establishment they can’t have a poll on their website that shows that kind of outstanding support for lawful firearms carry. So what can they do? Well here is where things got strange. Checking back on September 28th, 2019 the results had “changed” dramatically.

September 28th, 2019 screen grab.

Now 7 days later they have over 1,840,000 votes!?! And now the percentage of support for public carry is down to 47%. Something does not add up. Where did all of these “NO” votes all of a sudden come from? When all the previous days the overwhelming vote was “yes” now they have to be almost all for no in order to bring the number down to show that the “majority” now does not support public carry of firearms? How did all of a sudden there become this surge of anti-firearms rights votes?

There are only a few possibilities, you can choose for yourself. One, the anti-firearms rights groups got together and had a huge rally to vote in this poll. Since I monitor those groups and their postings, that did not happen. Not a single mention that I saw in any of their groups. So second, hackers. That is a possibility. When I checked with some of the people who had commented on my previous writings on this I found that people had voted multiple times by simply using different browsers. They said you could also use Chrome “incognito” tabs and vote as many times as you wanted. So that might account for a few of the votes (remember we are talking well over 1 million votes being added). Third, MSNBC simply added votes to bring the poll numbers more in line with their anti-firearms and anti-rights agendas? That would be a simple thing to do.

So I have a little challenge for MSNBC. Release the metrics and data on where and who voted for this poll that has over 2 Million votes at the time of this article! Any poll that magically goes for days and days with a 92 & 93% for one answer with over 800,000 votong all of a sudden swings the opposite way?

Come on MSNBC do you really think that people are so stupid they cannot see the manipulation of the numbers right in front of their faces as bold as this one was? And the lame-stream media wonders why people have no faith in the news agencies any longer and why they get accused of fake news, because they create fake news, now its obvious and easy to spot.

The Fallacy of Universal Background Checks.

In the last couple of months it has been a firestorm of proposed legislation at the state and federal levels on many things that pertain to firearms. Everything from the registration of firearms, limitations on the size of the magazine (not a clip), “universal” background checks, to the outright banning of most modern firearms.

The problem that the vast majority of the media have, and those in State and Federal legislative positions also have is that they have no clue about what the current laws are on firearms, and they have zero or very little knowledge of firearms themselves and how they operate and can be used. Shouldn’t a person at least try to learn about the topic they are trying to legislate and restrict others on?

Time and time again I see on the news or read in articles on-line about legislation that proposes something that will make no difference at all in the supposed violence and mass murderers we have recently seen. I have even read about a bill proposing something that is already illegal and part of another law or already prohibited under federal rules or code.

Let’s use the example of the “universal background checks”. I have seen at least 10 legislators on various news outlets say we need to have universal background checks. And when asked about the topic almost every single one of them talks about the “gun show loophole” (which does not exist by the way, kind of like Florida’s “Stand Your Ground Law”). They say that you do not need a background check to buy a firearm at a gun show. Well that’s a half truth.

Most gun shows I have been to, and that’s a few, and most I know of are by far made up of Federal Firearms Licensed (FFLs) dealers. A very small percentage of those selling at gun shows are private parties selling just a few firearms. So if you buy a firearm from a FFL, no matter if it’s at a gun show or at a firearms store, you MUST complete a Federal background check using NICS (National Instant Background Check System). In fact even those private sellers are required BY FEDERAL LAW not to sell a firearm to a prohibited person. You may ask how do they know if the person they are selling to is prohibited of not unless they have access to NICS. They don’t. But many private sellers will not sell to anyone unless they have a state concealed carry permit. In that case they at least know the person they are selling to at the time they got the concealed carry license was not a prohibited person.

All of the information above is actually kind of pointless when you factor in that less than 1% of felons who used firearms and went to prison got a firearm at a gun show! That according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics survey in 2004 of inmates in federal prison.

Then they almost always bring up the sale of firearms over the internet. I hate to break it to the folks on national news shows and our supposed educated legislators but the vast majority of internet sales are done by licensed FFLs and as such the buyer has to have the firearm shipped to a local FFL and guess what? Yep you got it, they have to go through a background check to receive the firearm. In addition if its a firearm bought from a private party out of state and brought into the state, the person has to have it shipped to a FFL and again they have to go through a NICS check. That’s right private sales from out of state have a background check done on them before delivery.

So you may ask what are they talking about then? Great question! They are talking about the very few sales between two parties at the local level. And those are even governed already by the same federal laws. One person selling to another is prohibited from selling to a prohibited person. So if you’re selling a firearm, you better be real sure that the person you’re selling to is not prohibited from having a firearm.

And last, I would like to point out that several of the mass murderers who used firearms as the weapon of choice passed background checks. So what is the point of “expanding” background checks? In reality nothing. It will not stop one single mass murderer or criminal from getting a firearm if they want, but will make it more expensive and more time consuming than it already is for law abiding citizens to get firearms they want and need for self defense and home protection.

So a challenge to my news media and legislative friends. If you want to propose new legislation on firearms ownership maybe you should research what it is, how it will affect the criminals and law abiding citizens first? Just a suggestion.

BJS cited above – Report on Firearm Violence 1993 – 2011″

Source and Use of Firearms Involved in Crimes: Survey of Prison Inmates, 2016

Man Arrested for Being Armed at Missouri Walmart. Was he wrong?

On the afternoon on August 8th, 2019 Dmitriy N. Andreychenko walked from the parking lot into a Walmart in Springfield Missouri, while wearing a tactical vest with magazine pouches, and an AR style rifle attached to a sling hanging barrel down in front of him. He recorded himself on his own cellphone walking through the store, while pushing a shopping cart.

News reports from various sources say that people seeing this began to panic and run from the store. The store manager pulled the fire alarm in an attempt to get people to leave the store itself. After the alarm was pulled Dmitriy N. Andreychenko left the store and was confronted by a armed citizen who held him at gun point until police arrived and took him into custody.

from Green County Jail

On August 9th the County Prosecutor charged Dmitriy N. Andreychenko with felony for making a “terrorist threat”:

Greene County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Patterson announces that Dimitriy N. Andreychenko, 20 years old, of Springfield, Missouri, has been charged today with making a terrorist threat in the second degree for events which occurred yesterday, August 8, 2019, at the Walmart Neighborhood Market located at 3150 W. Republic St., Springfield, Missouri.

You can read the entire Press Release and charging document here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/165aTb5POOhehqqrSEjfWiyu_jDwi7iV8/view

Now this of course happened just after the El Paso Texas Walmart mass murder. And Dmitriy N. Andreychenko told police investigators that he was arming himself because he wanted to be safe at the Walmart. Maybe in fear of a copy cat mass murderer, or like he also said, to see if Walmart honored his 2nd Amendment right.

Now this is where things get a bit sticky for many people. What this young man did is legal in Missouri. The following is from USCCA law summary for Missouri: “Open carry and concealed carry are legal in Missouri for anyone 19 years or older who can legally possess a firearm, with or without a concealed carry permit (CCP). However local authorities, such as the city of Blair, can restrict open carry, but a concealed carry permit holder is not restricted from open carry in any location where concealed carry is permitted.”

Now is where I would like the input from the firearms community and especially those who are staunch supporters of the 2nd Amendment. While what this man did was legal and within his rights, was it something that you support or would have done yourself? Was it within his rights, but poor timing? Was he just stupid? Was he well within his rights and should have been left alone? Did the previous mass murder in another state and location warrant the reaction that he got from the Walmart in Missouri?

I have to be honest that I am still trying to figure out how I feel about this one. First what he did was legal in his state. Plus I support the 2nd Amendment. How would I have reacted had I seen this happening? Should he have been charged with a felony like he was? Should the “good citizen” who held him at gun point be charged for doing so since no crime was being committed?

This event also strikes up a really good topic of conversation that I have seen talked about before and needs discussion again. While something may be legal and you may be entitled to do it at the time and place, is it a good idea to do so? Can doing something that is within your rights and legal be a poor idea?

I honestly am torn by this one. On one hand I think that if it is legal and within your rights, you should be allowed to do it without fear of arrest of reprisal from others. On the other hand I do not want to cause others to panic out of ignorance or fear.

So I ask you, the reader what do you think? What do you think should have happened or should happen to this young man?

Personally I do not think the charge they used will stand up in court and think charges will either be dropped before trial or he will be found not guilty. But then again stranger things have happened. Would I have done what he did? No of course not, I do not want to cause people to panic out of ignorance, nor do I want to chance being shot by another armed citizen or police officer out of mistake. But if I was trying to prove a point and raise public awareness I might do something like it in Florida by taking part in a open carry fishing march or such.

SO WHAT DO YOU THINK? Stupid thing to do? Poor Timing? Well within his rights and OK to do so? What are your thoughts?