Monday, October 5, 2015


Earlier today, a 26-year-old man named Chris Mercer murdered 10 people at a community college in Oregon. At this moment, little is known about Mercer or his motives. (No doubt he had grievances.) Three handguns and a rifle reportedly were recovered at the site, but we don’t know whether he obtained those firearms legally or illegally. At this point, it is hard to say anything intelligent about the shootings except that they were a horribly evil deed.
That, of course, doesn’t stop our president from trying to make political hay. He immediately took the podium to demand that Congress pass more gun control legislation–any gun control legislation, apparently, whether it has any relationship to this crime or not.
Earlier this year, I answered a question in an interview by saying, “The United States of America is the one advanced nation on Earth in which we do not have sufficient common-sense gun-safety laws — even in the face of repeated mass killings.”
So if those laws are so common-sense, what are they? Obama offered no clue.
And what’s become routine, of course, is the response of those who oppose any kind of common-sense gun legislation.
What “common-sense gun legislation”? Tell me what it is, and I’ll tell you whether I oppose it.
Right now, I can imagine the press releases being cranked out:  We need more guns, they’ll argue. Fewer gun safety laws. Does anybody really believe that?
As handgun ownership has become more widespread in the U.S., the homicide and violent crime rates have declined dramatically. Is it a cause and effect relationship? That is hotly debated, but it is obviously not foolish to suggest that more guns mean fewer murders. That has, in fact, been our experience. And, by the way, Umpqua Community College reportedly is a gun-free zone. Reportedly–although all facts are uncertain at this point–the only security guard was unarmed. Maybe Umpqua should re-think that strategy.
[H]ow can you, with a straight face, make the argument that more guns will make us safer?  We know that states with the most gun laws tend to have the fewest gun deaths.
This is a ridiculous claim. First of all, “most gun laws” is a silly standard–what is he doing, counting the words? The content of laws obviously matters more than their number. In any event, it is precisely the places that have the most restrictive gun laws, like Chicago and Washington, D.C., which have had to be dragged kicking and screaming by the federal courts to obey the Constitution, that have the highest homicide and violent crime rates.
We know that other countries, in response to one mass shooting, have been able to craft laws that almost eliminate mass shootings.  Friends of ours, allies of ours — Great Britain, Australia, countries like ours.  So we know there are ways to prevent it.
As we wrote here, the United States has a better record of reducing homicide than either the U.K. or Australia, and the rate of violent crime in the U.K. is significantly higher than ours. It is a fact that we have more mass shootings, which represent a tiny percentage of homicides. This is true, I think, for two reasons.
One, we are a much bigger country. We have more of lots of things. Two, mass shooting has become, in the U.S., a ticket to immortality. Mass shooters are endlessly analyzed in the press, their pictures and social media musings are published, and their names are remembered. Is this the sort of immortality that you or I would want? No, but you and I are not unbalanced people who are potential mass shooters. I think it is obvious that the most effective measure we could take to reduce mass shootings (as opposed to homicides in general) is to make it illegal for any news outlet to report the name or biographical details of any mass shooter. I am confident that this would reduce the rate of such incidents.
I would ask news organizations — because I won’t put these facts forward — have news organizations…
Stop reporting the names of mass murderers? No.
…tally up the number of Americans who’ve been killed through terrorist attacks over the last decade and the number of Americans who’ve been killed by gun violence, and post those side-by-side on your news reports.
People aren’t killed by “gun violence,” they are killed by murderers, some of whom are terrorists. And the U.S. has succeeded in cutting the homicide rate in half since the Clinton administration. The government should avoid doing anything that might reverse that salutary trend–like, for example, making it more difficult for law-abiding people to defend themselves, or aiding and abetting anti-police campaigns.
This is a political choice that we make to allow this to happen every few months in America.  We collectively are answerable to those families who lose their loved ones because of our inaction.
This is deeply offensive. The idea that we could somehow make murder impossible, if only we had the political will, is ridiculous. Murder has been prohibited at least since Moses brought the tablets down from Mount Sinai. Contrary to his own protestations, Barack Obama is not guilty of the crimes that were committed today by Chris Mercer. Only Mercer is responsible.
So the notion that gun violence is somehow different, that our freedom and our Constitution prohibits any modest regulation of how we use a deadly weapon, when there are law-abiding gun owners all across the country who could hunt and protect their families and do everything they do under such regulations doesn’t make sense.
This is classic Obama. No one–and I mean no one–argues that the Constitution “prohibits any modest regulation of how we use a deadly weapon.” In fact, I am pretty sure that the law of Oregon makes it a crime punishable by life imprisonment to use a deadly weapon to murder ten people. Does Obama even think about what he says, or does he just blurt out random BS?
Tonight’s speech was typical Obama, with a single exception: it included one honest sentence.
And, of course, what’s also routine is that somebody, somewhere will comment and say, Obama politicized this issue.  Well, this is something we should politicize.
There you have it. Obama knows nothing about the facts of the case, and he has nothing specific to propose. All he cares about is that mass murder represents an opportunity for political gain. We cannot be rid of this terrible president too soon.

Will Roseburg Prompt a ‘National Conversation’ on Anti-Christian Bigotry?

Will Roseburg Prompt a ‘National Conversation’ on Anti-Christian Bigotry?
By David French

The Five Ways Iran Has Disarmed the West

The Five Ways Iran Has Disarmed the West

Iran's chief negotiator Saeed Jalili (center). (Photo © Reuters)
Iran's chief negotiator Saeed Jalili (center). (Photo © Reuters)
The deal with Iran does not disarm the regime of its nuclear weapons capacity, but it does go a long way towards disarming the West. There are five ways that the deal handcuffs the U.S. and its allies by undermining their options against Iran in the future.

Disarming the Sanctions Option
The deal's supporters claim that the international sanctions that collapsed the Iranian economy will immediately "snap back" if the regime violates the deal, so why not give it a try?
To believe that claim, you have to believe that our international partners are willing to hurt themselves in order to hurt Iran a little at our request. These governments and influential companies will be making a fortune off of business with Iran. The regime is alreadymaking companies salivate with enticements to invest in its energy sector. Iran is hoping to sign $100 billion in oil and gas deals with Western companies.
Europe is more concerned about its energy dependence upon an increasingly aggressive Russia than Iran. Turkey wants to act as acorridor for Iranian natural gas shipments to Europe, in addition to importing more natural gas for itself.  If Iran must be punished, are we really to believe that Europe would give up that business with the regime, accept higher oil prices and revert to being held hostage by Russia?
And even if the international community were to go along with the "snapback" sanctions, they would likely be fruitless. The Iranian regime believes—and with good reason—that all it needs is to be able to withstand the economic pain until a nuclear weapons arsenal is finished. According to the deal's supporter, that's a period of about one year maximum.
In 2005, Iranian President Rouhani (then the regime's chief nuclear negotiator) gave a speech where he boasted of advancing the nuclear program through deception and by dividing the West's ranks. He denied seeking nuclear weapons, but pointed to the example of how Pakistan got nuclear weapons. The world shouted as Pakistan built nuclear weapons but once it did, the world accepted it and moved on.
"If one day we are able to complete the [nuclear] fuel cycle, and the world sees that it has no choice … then the situation will be different," he said.

Disarming the Military Option
Once the interim nuclear deal was signed, Russia announced that the changed situation meant that Iran could finally receive its advanced S-300 air defense system. Four modernized versions of the system are due to arrive in Iran by the end of this year. Military experts warn that once they become operational, they will be "game-changers," especially for the Israelis. In addition, Russia is expected to provide advanced combat jets.
Within five years or less, the U.N. arms embargo will be lifted. Iran will be allowed to modernize its military by buying combat aircraft, large artillery systems, attack helicopters, warships and missiles.  Iran says it will also continue developing ballistic missile technology.
Iran understands that the question isn't whether the U.S., Israel and other enemies can bomb its nuclear program. The question is whether the political leadership would consider it a viable option. By increasing the cost of potential military action, Iran decreases the chances of that military action taking place.
Military action may only push the Iranian nuclear program back by a few years. Is that worth the casualties, monetary expense, the possibility of pilots being held captive, Iran's retaliation or the political risk for the elected Western leaders? Iran wants a negative answer to those questions.

Disarming the Sabotage Option
There is a long list of apparent covert operations against Iran's nuclear program, with the Stuxnet cyber attack on Iran’s centrifuges being the most famous. The steady pace of apparent sabotaging stopped with the interim deal and now, under this deal, the West must actually help Iran stop future sabotage.
The deal refers to, "Cooperation through training and workshops to strengthen Iran's ability to protect against, and respond to nuclear security threats, including sabotage, as well as to enable effective and sustainable nuclear security and physical protection systems."

Disarming the State/Local Initiative Option
Another effective option against Iran has been divestment measures implemented in 30 states. There are five forms of legislation that have been passed, as pushed by United Against Nuclear Iran: Contracting legislation; divestment legislation/policies; banking legislation; insurance legislation and state authorization legislation.
The deal requires that the federal government must pressure these state and local governments into ending these measures. It states that the U.S. must "take appropriate steps, taking into account all available authorities" to "actively encourage officials at the state or local level" to lift sanctions.
This language would not be in the deal if these measures didn't hurt Iran. Its inclusion also means that the administration has some kind of game-plan to bend the states' arms into complying with the deal.

Disarming the Regime Change Option
The deal runs the risk of stabilizing the regime and saving the Iranian Islamic Revolution. To date, the ideology has brought nothing but misery to Iranians. If the deal produces an Iran on steroids, the regime will be allow to do something it never could do before: present its Islamic Revolution as a viable ideology, one that produces strength and prosperity.
As Democratic Senator Bob Menendez pointed out, the regime would never sign a deal that undermines itself.  As I've explained previously, the deal will fatten the wallets of the oppressors of the Iranian people far more than the average Iranian. One of the top priorities of the so-called "moderate" President Rouhani has been dramatically increasing the budget of the security services that keep the regime in power.
The Iranian regime's future has turned bright. Whereas in 2009 its survival was in question, the regime now can look forward to years of growth where its strength increases and its adversaries are increasingly disarmed of their most useful options against it.

Ryan Mauro is’s national security analyst, a fellow with Clarion Project and an adjunct professor of homeland security. Mauro is frequently interviewed on top-tier television and radio. Read more, contact or arrange a speaking engagement.

Islamists Score Two Victories Against Free Speech in the UK

Islamists Score Two Victories Against Free Speech in the UK

Islamists have long agitated against free speech in the UK while taking advantage of it themselves. (Photo: © Reuters)
Islamists have long agitated against free speech in the UK while taking advantage of it themselves. (Photo: © Reuters)
Islamists everywhere are waging a war against free speech and free thought and scored two victories in the UK this week. 

Secularist thinker and anti-sharia campaigner Maryam Namazie was banned from speaking at Warwick University over fears of offending Muslim students.
Update: Since this story was first published, Warwick University Student Union have overturned their decision and Maryam Namazie will be permitted to speak. 
Namazie is the spokesperson for the One Law for All campaign against sharia law in the UK and also for the Council of Ex-Muslims. She was born in Tehran, Iran and has campaigned againstIslamism for many years after fleeing Iran and leaving Islam.
She had been scheduled to address the Warwick University Student Union in October after being invited by the Warwick Atheists Secularists and Humanists Society.
Yet the Union decided to cancel her talk on the grounds it “could incite hatred on campus.”
“The initial decision was made for the right of Muslim students not to feel intimidated or discriminated against on their university campus” said Warwick University Student Union President Isaac Leigh, “rather than in the interest of suppressing free speech.”
Namazie has received up upsurge of support from secularists, anti-Islamist campaigners and free speech campaigners.
The President of Warwick Atheists Secularists and Humanists Society started a petition on to demand that Warwick allow Namazie to speak.
They’re basically labelling me a racist and an extremist for speaking out against Islam and Islamism,” Namazie said, slamming those who rescinded her invitation.
“If people like me who fled an Islamist regime can’t speak out about my opposition to the far-right Islamic movement, if I can’t criticise Islam… that leaves very [few] options for me as a dissenter because the only thing I have is my freedom of expression.”
At the same time, a free speech exhibition in London this week also turned away an anti-Islamist exhibition, this time over security fears.
‘Isis Threaten Sylvania’ is a series of seven tableaux showing the terrorist group MICE-IS attacking the fictional world of Sylvania, inhabited by cuddly animals that are sold as toys.
The organizers of the Passion for Freedom Exhibition cancelled the exhibit over security fears. Police demanded £36,000 for security over the six days of the exhibit, which the gallery was unable to pay.
They were also unwilling or unable to go ahead without security, and therefore pulled the exhibit.
Separately, these cases are troubling. Together they indicate a fear leading to a deference to the interests of Islamists in the UK. 
This is particularly galling in the light of the hit list of bloggers and  free thinkers just published by a terrorist group from Bangladesh.
Unless people are willing to stand up for free speech, Islamists will continue to push for more and more concessions, eroding the West’s hard won freedoms.