What You Need to Know Before Your Concealed Carry Class


Shooter practices tactical shooting in an Idaho Falls, ID gun range, Nov. 18, 2014. (B Brown / Shutterstock.com)

If you’re one of the thousands of people who have decided to take your self-protection seriously and apply for a concealed carry permit, congratulations, you’re in good company. The ranks of people who have decided to stop being a victim and become their own first responder are growing every day, and carrying a concealed weapon is an empowering act that signifies you are adult enough to take charge of your personal safety and the safety of your loved ones.

For many people, though, a concealed carry class is their first step into the world of firearms training, and as such, they arrive at the class with no understanding of what lies ahead and how they should prepare for a concealed carry class.

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Power LineEp. 26: Let The Felons Go!

Today, John, Paul and Scott got together for Episode 27 of the Power Line Show. They were joined by former federal prosecutor Bill Otis, and discussed the criminal justice “reform” bill that is being rushed through the Senate.

If you have wondered whether it is really a good idea to let a lot of convicted felons out of federal prisons on the ground that their drug dealing was “non-violent,” this conversation will answer that question. The rest of the hour was taken up with the big news story of the day, the GOP House’s effort to come up with a speaker. Once again, I plaintively posed the question: where in the Constitution does it say that the Senate minority gets to dictate federal spending?

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The Milt Rosenberg ShowEp. 144: Fundraiser A with Rob Blagojevich with Dick Simpson

Most people know the name Rod Blagojevich. But his brother RobertFundraiser A from the title of his new book–was also square in the crosshairs of the U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald. He has plenty to say about his ordeal, his brother, corruption, and the justice system.

Also joining is a longtime friend of the program Dick Simpson. A former Alderman, he’s now a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago and much published. His latest, Corrupt Illinois, is pertinent to this discussion and a good study of the seamy underbelly of Chicago and Illinois politics.

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Q & A, hosted by Jay NordlingerEp. 29: A Wyoming Whip, and Wit

Alan Simpson was a senator from Wyoming from 1979 to 1997. For ten of those years, he was the Republican whip. 2006-Simpson-mugSince leaving the Senate, he has done many things, including the co-chairmanship of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.

He and Jay talk about some big issues, including immigration: Simpson was the co-author of the immigration act of 1986, signed by President Reagan. What has changed since then, and not?

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The Milt Rosenberg ShowEp. 143: The Slaughter of non-Muslims in the Middle East

Christians and Yazidis and other minority groups are being butchered in the Middle East. This is not up for debate. It is a fact. Who are the Assyrians? Why are they being targeted? Who are the Yazidis? Why are their women and children being tortured, forced to marry ISIS fighters, and driven from their homelands?

We bring to you guests who have been there and done it. Juliana Taimoorazy was forced from her native Iran and found asylum in Europe before coming to America and founding the Iraqi Christian Relief Council. Yousip Canon was a mathematics teacher in Iraq who ran afoul of the Hussein regime and imprisoned for participating in an Assyrian political party. Robert Nicholson heads the Philos Project in New York who are working to aid Assyrians and others. And Murad Ismael is Operations Manager for Yazda, a Yazidi relief agency.

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Tracking America’s Suicide

shutterstock_140840029Amid a plethora of sensational news reports elbowing each other to seize first place in America’s national consciousness, there is a story that has lurked beneath media radar that teaches us much more about the status of our country than school shootings, Russian bombings in Syria, Iranian perfidy, Hillary Clinton’s makeover attempts, and Republican candidates’ daily presidential gymnastics. It concerns an event that took place in Afghanistan in 2011, when a group of Green Berets, which included Capt. Danny Quinn and Sgt. 1st Class Charles Martland, were faced with reprehensible acts that pitted them against some local officials in a classic episode involving a clash of civilizations.

It seems that Quinn and Martland were apprised of a situation involving an Afghan mother who was severely thrashed by an Afghan soldier who had kidnapped her son, chained him to a bed, and was repeatedly raping the helpless child whenever he felt the inclination. Quinn and Martland confronted the Afghan commander, who then laughed in their face, said that “it was only a boy,” and that Americans should find better ways to use their time.

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Need to Know with Mona Charen and Jay NordlingerEp. 134: Stop the Madness

Mona and Jay begin their latest hour by talking about the House leadership race: curiouser and curiouser. Then they olsenheadshot-150x150are joined by Henry Olsen, a scholar of politics, and in particular elections. He gives his analysis of the presidential campaign (on both the R and the D sides).

The hosts do some talking about presidential politics themselves. And about Russia and Putin. Speaking of the Soviets, the City Council of New York has honored Ethel Rosenberg. Why in the world did they snub Julius? Sexism?

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The Milt Rosenberg ShowEp. 142: Mass Shootings: An American Epidemic

With the news of yet more shootings at American schools, we thought it time to move beyond the debate on guns. What is wrong in American culture that has led us to this disturbing phenomenon? The patient is clearly sick. What are the causes that have manifested themselves in this, seemingly, uniquely American symptom of violence?

To explore such a higher aim we turn to culture critic Michael A. Walsh, who traveled this road a bit in his book The Devil’s Pleasure Palace. Also joining are Mark Hemingway of the Weekly Standard, and Dr. Jeffrey A. Lieberman, who has studied mental illness in-depth as well as publishing a recent and influential critique of psychiatry. All have salient and sometimes poignant thoughts on the situation.

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Media Narrative Chart

I created a chart to ensure that budding journalists understand how to properly frame a story involving any type of shooting, terror attack, or other violent crime. Remember that the job of the Objective Journalist™ is not to tell the audience what happened, but to expand the event into an indictment of Western culture.


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Notes from the “Justice Reform” Bandwagon

shutterstock_245621518Yesterday, Mona Charen posted some skeptical thoughts on justice reform. I’ve been working on this subject for a few months now, so I thought I might offer some responses to her queries. The short of it is: she’s right that there are reasons to be cautious about reform, but there really are problems that need addressing. Furthermore, some reasonable answers have already been offered to many of her questions.

First of all, I should commend Mona for correctly debunking the oft-cited but highly misleading “two thirds of inmates are non-violent drug offenders” claim. As she reports, that is only true of Federal prisons, which represent a very small minority of America’s inmate population. The make-up of state prisons is quite different, and a majority of inmates have been convicted for violent crimes. So no, it isn’t the case that most of our nation’s inmates are basically harmless people who maybe used (or sold) a few drugs. The majority are there because they’ve hurt people, and it would be quite foolish just to release them en masse.

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Technology and Moral Hazard

shutterstock_125082089Thinking on the confluence of technology tends to run either very hot or very cold: either we stand at the precipice of a new golden age in which sin, suffering, and ugliness are to be banished to the past, or we are about to flush away millennia of hard-won gains to secure some fickle gain or fad.

History shows that both of these visions are flawed, in that our choices are rarely (if ever) as stark as that; it’s always a bit of a mixed bag and more complicated than we expect. However, there are real, and significant trends out there that are worth our notice and attention. One of them is that technology can make the world a better place, not so much by improving ourselves — as the utopians think it will — but by simply changing incentives in such a way that better decisions are clearer and easier to take.

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What We Know So Far about the GOP Presidential Tax Plans

Bobby JindalThe Tax Foundation analysis of Bobby Jindal’s tax plan:

  • Governor Jindal’s tax plan would substantially lower individual income taxes, eliminate the corporate income tax, and repeal a number of complex features in the current tax code.
  • Governor Jindal’s plan would cut taxes by $11.3 trillion over the next decade on a static basis. However, the plan would end up reducing tax revenues by $9 trillion over the next decade when accounting for economic growth from increases in the supply of labor and capital.

So let’s summarize the four plans examined by the Tax Foundation model:

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Paul Ryan for Speaker?

593px-Paul_Ryan_at_Utah_fundraiser_2012With Kevin McCarthy out, Rep. Paul Ryan is — inevitably — under immense pressure to run for speaker of the house and to give Boehner a way out of it. Ryan, however, has made it abundantly clear for years that he does not want the job.

Every politician under the sun talks about their family when choosing not to run for some higher office, so it’s no surprise that Ryan says he wants to be based in Janesville, Wisconsin and see his three kids as much as possible. But every remotely fair-minded reporter I’ve read ends up convinced that Paul Ryan actually means it and isn’t merely being coy.

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ISIS and Religious Genocide in the Mideast

ShowImageNina Shea, the director of the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom, gives a devastating account of this reality at National Review Online:

The Islamist genocide — and there can be no doubt that it is genocide, despite world silence – of the Christians, Yazidis, Mandeans, and other defenseless ethno-religious minorities of Syria and Iraq continues. The killing of these peoples is deliberate and brutal and is rooted in religious hatred of the “infidel.” It is meted out in sudden violent executions, mass deportations, and the gradual, methodical destruction of their civilizations.

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Book Review: SJWs Always Lie

“SJWs Always Lie” by Vox DayVox Day is the nom de plume – and now, nom de guerre – of Theodore Beale, a musician with three Billboard Top 40 credits, video game designer, author of science fiction and fantasy, three-time Hugo Award nominee, and non-fiction author and editor.

If you’re not involved in the subcultures of computer gaming or science fiction and fantasy, you may not be acquainted with terms such as SJW (Social Justice Warrior), GamerGate, or Sad Puppies. You may conclude that such matters are arcana relating to subcultures of not-particularly-socially-adept people which have little bearing on the larger culture. In this, you would be wrong. For almost fifty years, collectivists and authoritarians have been infiltrating cultural institutions, and now occupy the high ground in institutions such as education, the administrative state, media, and large corporations. This is the “long march through the institutions” foreseen by Antonio Gramsci, and it has, so far, been an extraordinary success, not only advancing its own agenda with a slow, inexorable ratchet, but intimidating opponents into silence for fear of having their careers or reputations destroyed. Nobody is immune: two Nobel Prize winners, James Watson and Tim Hunt, have been declared anathema because of remarks deemed offensive by SJWs. Nominally conservative publications such as National Review, headquartered in hives of collectivist corruption such as New York and Washington, were intimidated into a reflexive cringe at the slightest sign of outrage by SJWs, jettisoning superb writers such as Ann Coulter and John Derbyshire in an attempt to appease the unappeasable.

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How Would You React to a Coalition Majority in the House?

Now that Kevin McCarthy has dropped out of the running to be Speaker John Boehner’s replacement, and given the lack of any clear alternative (who actually wants the job?), some are floating the the idea of a coalition:

One crossover vote — from one member, in one election — does not a precedent make. But Representative Charlie Dent (R-PA) nonetheless told CNN minutes after McCarthy withdrew, to elect the next Speaker “we [may] have to assemble a bipartisan coalition, that’s the reality of this place.”

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Moments of Silence, Near and Far

151003-F-QU482-010On Saturday past I attended the second-to-last game of the season for the Minnesota Twins. They lost the game and their chance at a wild-card post season berth.

Before the game began, there was an announcement for a moment of silence for the victims of the Umpqua Community College shootings. It was a traditional public gesture, and as is right and proper the attendees stood and were dutifully silent as the moment passed. I stood with the crowd, but I admit my mind was not with that tragedy.

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What Kevin McCarthy Promised

Herewith the last 90 seconds or so of my Uncommon Knowledge interview with Kevin McCarthy, which we taped just before the 2014 midterms. If the Republicans returned a majority in the House and captured control of the Senate, Cong. McCarthy promised, they would address Obamacare, enact tax reform, and restructure federal bureaucracies because they’re “too powerful.”

Robinson: You will pass a reform agenda, putting bill after bill on President Obama’s desk?

McCarthy: Yeah. That’s our job.

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Kudlow and Pawlenty's Money and Politics PodcastEp. 33: Speaking of Speakers

It’s a proven fact that Larry Kudlow and Tim Pawlenty have the best banter in the business. This week, they of course discuss Kevin McCarthy’s decision not to run for Speaker, also Hillary’s plan to rein in Wall Street, the Trans Pacific Trade deal — Hillary flip flops on trade, just where is the GOP corporate tax plan?, and with Russia taking over Syria, and allied with Iran — is this a coincidence coming right after the Iran deal?

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Advice to Single Women: Marry Your Plumber

shutterstock_292260317There are, according to all demographic surveys, not enough single men. From Vice:

There simply aren’t enough college-educated men to go around. For every four college-educated women in my generation, there are three college-educated men. The result? What Birger calls a “musical chairs” of the heart: As the men pair off with partners, unpartnered straight women are left with fewer and fewer options—and millions of them are eventually left with no options at all.

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Who Is in Disarray, Exactly?

Below, a screenshot of part of the front page of the New York Times online at this very hour. Question: Which indicates greater disarray? The inability to elect a new speaker of a large, complicated, and divisive body, or the inability to match a headline with a story?

Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 2.17.33 PM

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