Americans Vote With Their Guns – My Decision About Owning Firearms

In times and places where crime surges, gun sales skyrocket.


Americans Vote With Their Guns

My Decision About Owning Firearms

By: George Noga – September 27, 2020

In my post of May 17, 2020 (on our website), I wrote that I do not presently own a firearm but am reevaluating that position. I now have made my decision, revealed later in this post. First, let’s look at some astounding data about recent gun sales.

Gun sales in the USA are skyrocketing. March gun sales were up 85% year-over-year while April was up 71% and May was up over 80%. During June the FBI reported 3.9 million background checks, the highest monthly total since records have been kept. Gun purchases increased 136% over June 2019 and 40% were first-time gun buyers. Each week in June was in the top ten of all time gun sales. The trend continued in July with 3.6 million FBI checks and 1.8 million new gun sales, a 122% increase over July 2019. Of first-time gun buyers, 40% are women and sales to African Americans are up 58%. Thru July 2020 gun sales were 12,141,032 – nearly equal to all of 2019.

Crime Causes Guns – Not Vice Versa

The stale canard that guns cause crime needs to be put to rest for all time. Over the past few decades, the US homicide rate has fallen by 50%, despite an increase of 150 million guns and amidst a surge in open carry. Until recently, the US murder rate was the same as in 1950 and the ratio of homicides to guns fell by 70%. Guns prevent or stop crimes 3 million times each year. In Britain 45% of burglaries occur in occupied homes versus only 13% here. In the US, criminals know they may encounter an armed homeowner, whom they fear much more than the police.

Progressives blame crime on the presence of guns despite the overwhelming evidence contained in the preceding paragraph. They cite selective studies that show correlation (but not causation) between guns and crime. However, the causation just as plausibly works in the opposite direction, i.e. crime causes guns. When crime increases and people feel endangered, they are much more likely to buy firearms. That is precisely the phenomenon we are now experiencing with the 2020 gusher of gun sales.

A tidal wave of potential gun buyers, who were sitting on the fence, has decided en mass to buy firearms. They reached their decisions based on events of recent months including: (1) sustained riots, looting and mayhem in many cities; (2) violence spreading for the first time into the suburbs; (3) huge spikes in violent crime in scores of cities; (4) movements to defund police; (5) politicians who condone the violence; and (6) failure and uncertainty of police to provide protection. It is dead obvious to everyone but progressives that crime causes guns – not the other way around.

My Decision Whether Or Not To Buy Firearms

Although I always have been a strong supporter of gun rights, I have not owned a firearm since my .22 caliber rifle when I was a teenager. I never have felt the need to own guns, especially since I live in a walled, 24-hour security guarded area. Moreover, I do not relish the hassle of shopping for firearms, learning how to use and to maintain them, regular target practice and properly storing and safeguarding them. As a septuagenarian, I believed I never would need to reevaluate owning firearms.

Then everything changed. I no longer feel as secure in the suburbs. I am not sure I can count on law enforcement for protection. The mayhem America is experiencing seems to have no defined ending point. And, not inconsequentially, I may not be able to buy firearms after January 2021 if progressives take control of America.

My present calculus is that the hassles of owning firearms are far outweighed by the risks of not owning them. The worst possible predicament is to be in a situation where you desperately need a firearm but do not have one. It is akin to buying an insurance policy. Therefore, I will be buying firearms in the near future. Perhaps I will write a blog post about my experience buying and learning to use firearms.

Our next post October 4th addresses systemic racism in America.
More Liberty Less Government – –

Sacrificing Children on the Altar of Gun Control

Guns in schools, as part of a proper plan, create a speed bump for killers; this is like having a fire extinguisher or wearing a seat belt.
Sacrificing Children on the Altar of Gun Control
By: George Noga – June 10, 2018

       In the aftermath of recent school shootings, progressives opt for political posturing and moral preening instead of immediate practical measures that will help prevent, and also minimize the toll from, school shootings. They disregard children’s safety to push for pie-in-the-sky gun control, which likely is unconstitutional and the effect, if any, is in the distant future. They have forfeited any claim to the moral high ground.

       Liberals refuse to acknowledge any cause, other than guns, of school shootings even though government failure at all levels was a major cause of Parkland. The FBI failed; the sheriff failed and local government failed. School administrators failed by imposing a loopy Obama policy of not suspending students or calling police regardless of the number or seriousness of offenses. Where is liberal angst about these things?

        Why is federal gun legislation the only remedy ever proffered by liberals? If there were mass shootings at Starbucks, would there be calls for federal action, or would people simply say that Starbucks needed to beef up its security? The latte left opposes guns in schools for one reason only: they fear to acknowledge guns ever can be a positive force as it would destroy their anti-gun mantra. At a minimum, guns in schools (as part of a proper plan) would create a rather large speed bump for killers.

          Not only would guns deter rampage killers, they also would minimize casualties. If armed school personnel start shooting back at wannabe killers, it messes up their plans. The best way to stop killers is an immediate, violent response; school personnel can respond instantly whereas police require 10-15 minutes. When armed civilians stop an attack, the average number of people shot is 2.5; when police stop an attack, the average number shot is 14; this is solely attributable to the faster response times. Many low-casualty incidents never even make the national news because rapid responses by armed civilians stop the killers before casualties have time to mount.

         Guns won’t prevent all school shootings just as fire extinguishers won’t prevent fires and seat belts won’t prevent accidents – but they all save lives. It’s all about an immediate response which can save an average of 11.5 lives compared to waiting for police. An immediate response can come only from within the school. Although arming school personnel does not deal with the root cause, neither does banning guns. The root cause is people deranged enough to want to commit such horrific acts.

      Nevertheless, progressives reflexively reject immediate, practical measures, like guns in school, to reduce the butcher’s bill from rampage attacks. Instead, they smugly and disingenuously hold out for a feel-good solution they know will take many years and likely will have little or no effect. In the meantime, they leave our school children vulnerable because of dogmatic obeisance to their anti-gun religion.

        Ending school gun-free zones saves children’s lives. Even the possible presence of guns deters would-be killers, whose fantasies would be ruined by an immediate violent resistance. Once an attack began, guns instantly change the killer’s calculus from mass killing to self defense. Guns significantly reduce casualties from an attack and can be introduced immediately with little cost. Liberals would not remove fire extinguishers from schools, yet they want to ban analogous instruments from schools.

       By doctrinaire opposition to guns in schools, progressives make their long-term, unconstitutional and unattainable gun control fantasy the enemy of the present good. They are sacrificing our school children on the altar of their gun control religion.

Next, we respond to numerous reader comments about American Birthright Accounts

Montana Moments – No Crying in Montana

The local PTA raised money by raffling an AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifle
and, but of course, the local community college offers courses in gunsmithing.
Montana Moments – No Crying in Montana
By: George Noga – August 27, 2017
     The first thing that hits you about Montana, other than the ubiquitous Rand Paul signs, is its size. When we first began summering in Whitefish, I mentioned to a friend, who had a ranch 100 miles east of Billings, that perhaps we could visit some weekend. He said, “George, that’s a 600 mile drive.” I made the same mistake visiting Europeans make, i.e. misunderstanding the scale. When looking at a map, Europeans believe they can drive from Whitefish to Chicago in one day; it really is 1,600 miles distant.
     A few years ago Montana’s population surpassed one million for the first time. Instead of  happiness and gratification, the news was greeted throughout the state with unalloyed dismay, bewilderment and consternation. Until recently, it was tough to find a national newspaper in Whitefish. We once stopped at a large general store to inquire if they carried USA Today. The perky 16 year old young lady who waited on us instantly replied, “We do not consider ourselves to be part of the USA.”
     Once I was beginning a round of golf along with three native Montana friends when the starter permitted a group of women to go ahead of us even though it was our turn. When questioned about his louche behavior by one of our group, the starter replied that one of the women had cried and he felt sorry for her. One of my Montana friends said, “There is no crying in golf“. The words were scarcely out of his mouth when the other two Montanans exclaimed in unison, “There is no crying in Montana“!
      In nearby Kalispell there are big box stores with alarms that go off when customers fail to remove anti-shoplifting tags. The alarms go off constantly and the explanation always is the same. The customers are packing heat and they forgot to leave their guns in the car. Despite the ubiquity of guns, the gun homicide rate in the Flathead Valley is less than one every four years. When police make a traffic stop, they expect to see a gun inside the car; it is no big deal. The local PTA recently raised money by raffling an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle. You read that right; the school raised money auctioning an assault rifle. Of course, the local community college offers a course in gunsmithing.
    A local man whose daughter was murdered (by a former boyfriend) with a gun blames the killer, not the gun. He remarked, “Having a gun is pretty much just a normal thing.” He went on to say that his daughter had her own .270 hunting rifle and that she recently got two bucks and mounted them herself. This leads to something my son (who moved to Whitefish four years ago) often says, “The girls here all know how to skin a deer, but they don’t know which fork to use.” That may not be all bad.
    Eastern Montana is part of the great plains where large farms proliferate. People there vote Democrat due to a populist tradition and huge agricultural subsidies. The mountainous western part of the state is conservative except for a liberal enclave in Missoula – home to the University of Montana. Locals are fond of saying that the best part of living in Missoula is that it is only ten minutes away from Montana.

Montana Moments – Guns and Rodeos

In blue-state America, 8 year olds ride bicycles and toy guns are banned.
In Montana, at the same age, kids ride bulls in rodeos and own real guns.
Montana Moments – Guns and Rodeos
By: George Noga – August 20, 2017
     I once observed a boy riding a tricycle in his front yard with both parents hovering nearby. Even though his head was near the ground and it is hard to fall off a trike, he wore a huge helmet. I instantly knew I was not in Montana where a young boy wearing a helmet means he may be riding a bull; yes, a real wild bull – and that’s no bull.
      Every Thursday during summer there is a rodeo in a small town (population 5,000) near Whitefish. Admission is $10 and often 2,000 people (40% of the town) attend. Rodeo participants are mostly locals. The opening ceremony promptly at 7:00 PM is moving. Riders full gallop into the arena with American, Canadian and Montana flags. They make a few loops and then come to rest for the playing of our national anthem. Instantly, the arena becomes eerily quiet as everyone stands, removes hats, holds them over their hearts and sings along. The simple ceremony imparts a warm feeling.
     There are many events during the 2-hour rodeo, one is youth bull riding. Kids can compete beginning on their eighth birthday. We once were seated next to a woman who averred she was a bit nervous because her son just turned 8 and was riding a bull for the first time. There are precautions: the bulls are young; their horns are trimmed back; and the boys wear helmets. Nevertheless, the 500 pound bulls are undomesticated.
      Many preteens and teens attend rodeo. It is not uncommon to see these kids with six-inch hunting knives strapped to their waists and freely mingling with the crowd. If kids turned up at a blue-state junior high football game wearing similar knives, panic would set in; SWAT teams would fast rope in; and the stadium would be evacuated. It would lead the local news and there would be a movement to ban knives in public.
      In blue-state America toy guns are banned. In Montana, toy guns are unnecessary because kids get real guns and not BB or pellet guns. Often by age eight they are on their second rifle. An 11-year-old can get a Montana hunting license and the first one is free. Montana has hunting seasons set aside strictly for youths ages 11-15. Youth deer hunting season always is the Thursday and Friday in October immediately prior to regular deer hunting season. So many kids go hunting that Montana has been forced to close all schools statewide during the two days of youth deer hunting season.
     Infantilization of children is child abuse. It hobbles their emotional development; they experience academic problems; and they have poor social skills. They are averse to responsibility and often fail as adults. The goal of progressives is to infantilize not just children but all Americans. They want a nanny state with government as the nanny and all of us as children. It is comforting to know there still are places like Montana where decisions about children are made by parents and not by the state!

Next: watch for our special MLLG mid-week posting about sanctuary cities.

Guns in America – Summary and Conclusions


Facts about guns are far different than most believe. Gun violence is down 50%; we
compare favorably with other countries; solutions are possible if we abandon dogma.
By: George Noga – February 14, 2016

     There is one overarching reality about guns in America. The Constitution grants Americans the right “to keep and bear arms” (underlining added). Thus we have a right not just to own guns but to bear them, i.e. to hold and to carry them. The Second Amendment is broadly misunderstood as being about target shooting, hunting, militias or self defense. It has nothing to do with any of these. According to well documented and copious references, the framers understood the second amendment as a political right for citizens to protect their liberty against tyrannical government.

     Guns are a political and cultural flash point exacerbated by media anti-gun bias. The facts are far different than widely believed. Gun violence is down 50% in 20 years. Most (60%) gun deaths are suicide; other causes include police, self defense, mental illness, crime and accidents. Homicides are a distinct minority. Guns stop crime 2.5 million times a year and have stopped a terrorist attack (Texas) and numerous rampage shooters. The ratio of murders to guns has plummeted 70% providing prima facie  evidence that more guns do not result in more crime.

     Liberals like to talk about gun control because their vapid dogma has no solutions to Islamic terrorism, horrific public schools, economic stagnation or mass shootings. They live in plastic bubbles and go through life without ever knowing a gun owner. They only hear about guns in connection with crime. They can’t imagine the many places where guns are a normal part of life. Paradoxically, gun violence is greatest where there is long-term liberal governance and uber-strict gun laws.

     Most Americans (and foreigners) believe gun violence in America is much worse than in other developed countries. Yet, most of America compares favorably with Canada, England, Europe and Asia. Many places in America are safer than all of the aforementioned places and some are safer than Australia, which forcibly confiscated guns in 1996. Gun crime is a regional issue; national gun laws are largely irrelevant. There is no correlation whatsoever between gun violence and gun laws.

     There are actions we can take immediately to reduce mass shootings. The biggest impact would come from treating or institutionalizing possibly violent schizophrenics. The copycat effect is real and fueled by over-the-top media coverage of mass shootings which contributes to future shootings. The media could report the news without sensationalizing it to attract other psychopaths. We can implement the successful run/hide/fight strategy that businesses have used to reduce workplace shootings by 70%. Gun free zones are an open invitation for mayhem and must be eliminated. Finally, we can change the culture and restore the guardrails for society.

     The sine qua non for progress against gun violence is to make guns non-political and non-ideological as we have with tobacco. As a corollary, there must be a laser-like focus on truth, logic and real world solutions. Myths and shibboleths about guns must be abandoned no matter how comfortable they are to intellectuals, the media and political, religious and cultural elites. The alternative is Groundhog Day where after each inevitable tragedy we perform the same kabuki and nothing ever will change.

The next MLLG post describes the origin of government – don’t miss this one!

Guns in America – Minimizing Mass Shootings


Some mass violence is inevitable; however, it can be greatly reduced if we take off
our political and ideological blinders. This post shows the way to achieve that goal.
By: George Noga – February 7, 2016

     Following are five actions we can take to reduce mass gun violence; they are listed in the order of importance, i.e. the most effective are listed first.

1. Treat or institutionalize the violently mentally ill. Imagine living in a country where those with advanced dementia wander the streets without medical care, food or shelter. Imagine such a policy was based strictly on political dogma? That is precisely America’s policy for untreated violent schizophrenics. The 70,000 untreated and potentially violent mentally ill are condemned to tortured lives – and all in obeisance to liberal dogma. When there is a shooting by one of these miserable souls, liberals blame it on guns – also in obeisance to their dogma. Progressives refuse to institutionalize or force treatment due to their twisted beliefs. Since 1960, beds in US public psychiatric hospitals are down 90% despite an increase in population of 150 million.

2. Reform media coverage. Media should begin its reform with honest reporting about guns, including the 2.5 million times each year legal guns prevent or stop crime and all the mass shootings that were stopped by guns (listed in Part I). The key media reform is reducing the copycat effect caused by their over-the-top 24/7 reporting. When there is a copycat shooting, the media blame it on guns, ignoring their own culpability. The copycat effect is real and well documented since 1774 when Goethe’s classic, The Sorrows of Young Werther, resulted in a spate of copycat suicides.

3. Eliminate gun free zones. Signs proclaiming gun free zones are welcome mats for rampage killers. Gun free zones increase the danger to those within. The Gun Free School Zones Act of 1990 needs to be repealed. We need to make school choice universal so parents can choose to send their kids to a school where they are safe. How many liberals would then choose to send their children to a gun free school or to erect a sign in their front yard proclaiming: This home proudly is a gun free zone?

4. Learn from business. Mass killings in the workplace are down 70% in the past 20 years and without any changes to gun laws. Only 5% of recent shootings have involved businesses, which have become adept at understanding personality and risk. Most businesses use the run-hide-fight paradigm; they don’t ignore threats; they have violence prevention programs and they practice deterrence. They change the calculus in a killer’s mind that he will be able to control events until the SWAT team arrives. And yes, that involves guns. Corporate shootings are way down because businesses are non-political, non-ideological and are interested only in real solutions.

5. Change the culture. We have lowered standards for personal and civil conduct; long established rules, limits and barriers have been ignored and destroyed. We have removed all the guardrails for our society. When standards are lowered, those at society’s margins go off the tracks. Intellectual, political, media, cultural and religious elites need to rediscover good manners. Progressives need to bestir themselves and consider the effects of the vitriol they have injected into the public discourse.

We must recognize some mass killings are inevitable and not consternate over every one in a never-ending, in-your-face, 24/7 news cycle. There is much we can do now to reduce rampages. Taking the five actions outlined herein is a great place to begin. First, however, we must shed liberal shibboleths about guns and move forward in a non political, non dogmatic manner. We need a laser-like focus on truth, logic and real solutions, even if that means abandoning cherished myths about guns in America.

 Next up is Part IV – the final in our series: Guns in America.

Guns in America – Comparison to Other Countries


Comparisons to other countries prove beyond reasonable doubt that
gun violence is not related to gun laws or to the number of guns.
By: George Noga – January 31, 2016

    Gun ownership is a political right enshrined in our Bill of Rights for citizens to defend their liberty against tyrannical government. However, the second amendment states Americans have a right “to keep and bear arms” (emphasis added). It is thus a Constitutional right not only to own guns but to bear them, i.e. to hold or carry.
Source Note: The following data are from Pew Research, World Bank, UN and FBI.

     Pew reports the US homicide rate has halved over the past 20 years as population increased 60 million, guns 100 million and concealed/open carry rose. The murder rate in America is the same as in 1950. The ratio of murders to guns has fallen 70%. Due to anti-gun media bias, however, most Americans believe murder rates are soaring.        

    We begin by comparing New Hampshire (“NH”) to its neighbor, Quebec. NH enjoys the US second amendment but also has permissive gun laws, as should be expected of a state with the motto: Live Free or Die. Canadian gun laws are uber-strict with prohibitions against certain type guns and a national gun registry which includes handguns. Moreover, Quebec has the toughest gun laws in Canada. Surprise! Homicide rates in New Hampshire and Quebec are identical. New Hampshire and many other states are among the safest places on Earth for homicides. The NH homicide rate is even lower than Australia’s, which forcibly confiscated guns in 1996.

     It is not just Quebec and NH. British Columbia has one of the lowest homicide rates in Canada but 9 US states are equal or lower while 23 states have a rate equal or lower than Manitoba, which is average for Canada. In the US and Canada, the 5 highest murder rates are in 2 US states and 3 Canadian territories. Of states/provinces with the lowest homicide rates, some have permissive gun laws and some are restrictive; it is the same for states/provinces with high homicide rates. There is no correlation between homicide rates and gun laws; differences in murder rates are not the result of gun laws.

    Let’s take a peek at our other neighbor, Mexico. There is virtually no legal access to guns in Mexico; there is only one gun store in the entire country. Mexico’s weapons laws are so Draconian, the US embassy advises visiting Americans not to carry even a pocket knife. Nevertheless, the homicide rate in Mexico is 300% that of the US.

    Much of the US compares favorably to the rest of the developed world. The homicide rates in Europe, Asia and Australia range between 1 and 2 per 100,000; this is higher than NH with 1 murder per 100,000 people. Many other states also compare favorably. Even countries that confiscate guns experience little or no change in the overall homicide rate. Gun homicides may decrease slightly relative to total homicides, but the overall rate is unaffected. Changing the instrument by which you are murdered is not worth forfeiting your gun rights. Some conclusions jump out.

  • The homicide rate in much of the US is roughly the same as in Canada, England, Europe, Asia and Australia despite the vast differences in gun laws.
  • Parts of the US (and Canada) have higher (some much higher) homicide rates due to regional differences and irrespective of gun laws and gun availability.
  • Homicides rates are regional in nature; thus, national gun laws are irrelevant. In North America 3 of the 5 worst places for homicides are in Canada.
  • National and local gun laws and even confiscations are irrelevant to homicides.
  • Draconian gun restrictions (Mexico) do not prevent rampant homicide.
  • Easy access to guns does not lead to an increase in the murder rate and, in fact, coexists with a rapidly falling murder rate. More guns, less crime?
Part III of Guns in America is next; it offers solutions to mass shootings.