The study was conducted by assistant professor of epidemiology Bindu Kalesan and included an examination of “gun ownership information gathered from study subjects aged 18 years old and above from all 50 US states, including the District of Columbia in October 2013.”
According to Tech Times, the study found that 1 in 3 Americans own guns and that the “percentage of gun owners are highly varied depending on the state.”
For example, the study found that the lowest gun ownership rate in any state was in Delaware at “5.2 percent.” The highest was in Alaska at “61.7 percent.” Divided by regions, Rhode Island had lowest gun ownership in the Northeast at “5.8 percent,” Ohio had the Midwest’s lowest rate at “19.6 percent” and California had the West’s lowest at “20 percent.”
The West’s highest was Alaska at “61.7 percent,” the Midwest’s highest was North Dakota at “47.9 percent,” and the Northeast’s highest was Vermont at “28.8 percent.” The South’s leader was Arkansas at “57.9 percent.”
The study found that most gun owners were white males age 55 and above. “The majority of these gun owners were married.”
The Columbia study presents a conundrum for gun controllers who have, for years, been claiming that rising gun sales, soaring concealed carry applications, and record breaking background check figures all indicated gun ownership was shrinking. For example, a 2014 General Social Survey study claimed that approximately 1 in 5 Americans owned a gun and that the number was diminishing.
None of the pollsters inclined toward gun control seem to take into account that Americans often refuse to admit owning a gun for fear of being included on a government, or government-agency, list.
SOURCE :: Breitbart
Most Americans look at the rerun of the Greek euro crisis with something between smug amusement and condescending disapproval. When will those profligate Greeks get their economic house in order and stop looking to others to bail them out?
But, should people living in glass economic houses really throw stones?
After all, just like Greece, the United States government has been living beyond its means, running up an enormous debt that will eventually need to be repaid.
True, our budget deficit this year will be lower than it has been, just $486 billion compared to $1.4 trillion as recently as 2009. But this is just a temporary respite. Within the next couple of years the deficit will start to rise again. By 2025, we will again face trillion-dollar shortfalls.
And even a $486 billion deficit adds to our ever growing debt. Our national debt currently approaches $18.2 trillion, roughly 101% of GDP. That’s right. We owe more than the value of all the goods and services produced in this country every year. It is as if your credit-card bills exceeded your entire pay check.
That’s not quite as bad as Greece, of course, whose debt exceeds 177% of their GDP. But it is worse than countries like France or Spain.
And give us time! Like Greece, the driving force behind our debt is the growing cost of entitlement programs for health care and retirement. If one includes future unfunded liabilities for Social Security and Medicare, our real debt exceeds $90 trillion. That’s more than five times our GDP. Greece is still in worse shape — their unfunded liabilities top 875% of GDP — but we’re gaining.
At the heart of Greece’s problems lies a government grown too big, too intrusive, and too expensive. The Greek government spent nearly half of the country’s GDP last year (49.3%), and that actually represents a decline from the 51.8% it averaged since 2006. The Greek’s may complain about austerity, but they’ve hardly practiced it.
Our government is far smaller than Greece’s today. Federal spending is just 20.5% of GDP. But, according to the Congressional Budget Office’s alternative fiscal scenario, that could rise to almost 34% by mid-century. Factoring in state and local government spending, which already accounts for roughly 14.4% of GDP, total government expenditure in the US could reach 48% to 50% in 2050, roughly Greek levels.
As government grows, the private sector contracts. Greece has one of the most inhospitable business climates in Europe, ranking 84th in the world in the most recent Economic Freedom of the World Index. Meanwhile, as the United States continues to increase taxes and regulations, we have fallen from the second highest economic freedom ranking just 15 years ago to 12th place.
Of course, the United States has some advantages that the Greeks lack. Greece owes a significant share of its debt to foreign governments, while the majority of American debt is domestically held. The United States also faces low borrowing rates, while Greece has been effectively shut out of capital markets. The US debt may be bad, but in many ways we are the fastest horse in the glue factory. As long as the euro remains in crisis, we will continue to be able to borrow money at absurdly low interest rates.
The United States also controls its own currency and monetary policy, while Greece is hostage to the European Central Bank, which must balance its interest against those of other countries in the monetary union, many of which are in far different economic positions.
The danger for the United States is that spending on entitlements will surge in the coming decades, which means that, absent reform, they take over the economy. Investors would respond to the weaker economic outlook by demanding higher returns in order to continue investing in US bonds, which would further drive up interest costs, making our problems even worse. And, of course, unlike Greece, there aren’t other countries or organizations available to bail us out.
Margaret Thatcher reputedly said that the problem with the modern welfare state is “eventually they run out of other people’s money.” “Eventually” has become “now” for Greece.
The United States, on the other hand, still has time. If we act now to reduce federal spending and reform entitlements, we can avoid the crisis to come. If not…Greece beckons.
SOURCE :: NY Post
As this wild year and even wilder week begins to come to a close, I finally felt compelled to write a bit about what has transpired. First off, I am proud to the core of my bones to be an American. I have served and defended this country in one capacity or another for the last 20 years, and will continue to do so as long as I am able. But let’s be honest…
America has an asshole problem.
Blame has swirled for the past week over Connecticut, mass shootings and probably the cause of pinkeye. But few if any choose to assign it where it lays most. In the hands and mind of the now deceased assailant. This is not to oversimplify, but if we held people responsible for their actions, prison sentences, incompetency hearings and intervention would have a greater level of import. But of course nothing is anybody’s fault anymore. Especially when you rob liquor stores since your daddy wouldn’t let you play soccer.
America, you see, has an asshole problem.
During the Watergate investigation of the early 70’s, Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee forced his reporters to independently corroborate every nugget of information they had (at times thrice) before he would run it. These days are gone. In the rush to be first in the news cycle, any network will run anything heard from anyone to sell airtime or an online banner. In the pre-OJ days, news was 90% info and 10% editorial. Now we are subjected to agenda-driven vitriol masquerading as news by the Matthews, the Hannitty’s, the Maddow’s, the O’Reilly’s et alia. Accuracy is not issue (even if you’re moderating a presidential debate). Somewhere it became OK for a reporter to shove a microphone in the face of a six-year-old minutes after a shooting. Of course there’s no shortage of sycophantic honey-boo-boo parents who allow (or even encourage) this to happen.
America, you see, has an asshole problem.
When you obsess over irrelevant details nobody gives a shit and you will never get your point across. If you argue the existence of the bible with an atheist by quoting scripture, trust me he will laugh in your face. So, for you “gun rights” folks, stop saying that an AR15 isn’t an “assault rifle.” It’s semantics and you sound stupid. To a non-gun owner, it’s black and looks the same. It was made by the same company, in the same factory, takes the same accessories, runs on the same ammo, and performs the same ballistically as it’s M4 brother. For you “anti-firearm” folks, if an assault is committed with a baseball bat, that makes it an “assault weapon.” Assault or military style weapons are efficient, effective killing tools. Good for taking lives. And if those lives happen to be criminals in the act of perpetrating violence against the law-abiding citizens of the US defending themselves or loved ones, I can’t imagine anyone being against it. To ask the question “why would anyone want or need a gun?” we can draw several conclusions: 1. You have never been a victim of crime, 2. Like an ostrich with it’s head in the sand you believe in the innate good nature of all people and an oversimplification of the hunter/victim relationship, 3. Like those who rely on the state for most, all or a growing number of necessities in life, you believe that someone else will intervene to save you… (Katrina anyone?)
And what of law enforcement? Ask a cop if he carries off duty. He’ll look at you and laugh… of course he does. Ask him if he keeps a weapon in the home. Of course he does. Why? Does he have no faith in his on-duty brothers to keep the peace and protect he and his family? The reality is that nobody has a greater grasp of the response time, capabilities and limitations of law enforcement, than cops themselves. So they carry.
During the Los Angeles riots post Rodney King verdict, Korean store owners kept looters and criminals bearing Molotov cocktails at bay from the roofs of their businesses while overwhelmed law enforcement were powerless to respond. Americans taking responsibility for their own safety and livelihood.
Stop talking about hunting, this is not a discussion regarding deer.
America, you see, has an asshole problem.
There exist numerous methods for concealed carry of handguns and with each method come a number of manufacturers, materials and types of of holsters. I am a fan of very few methods of carry for personal protection and admittedly NOT a fan of ankle carry for a primary handgun. Unfortunately, things don’t always go the way we want and the time comes when we have to explore options outside our comfort zone or personal preferences i.e. ankle carry/CCW.
In 2009 I had the opportunity to meet and train with a couple guys from Alessi Holsters located in Cheektowaga, NY. Anyone who carries a handgun on the job or off has probably at one time or another heard of Alessi and their reputation in the industry is well earned. Founded in 1974, Alessi holsters was primarily know for producing custom hand crafted holsters for the US Government and several foreign military agencies. In recent years Alessi has opened up production to citizens, undercover LE and security professionals who carry a gun every day.
One of the guys from Alessi approached me and showed me his Alessi ankle rig commenting on how I was pocket carrying my Smith & Wesson 642 backup. As stated above, I was not a fan of ankle carry due to the difficulties associated with accessing the handgun from that location and comfort issues I had experienced with previous ankle holsters I had evaluated for my personal use. Upon seeing the Alessi rig I immediately saw the difference in design quality, durability and comfort. Jeff allowed me to use his Alessi ankle holster for the remainder of that day during the class consisting of approximately 7 hrs on my feet shooting and moving. I will admit that I forgot I had that ankle rig on. The holster was so comfortable that I didn’t want to give it back and, if I recall correctly, I offered to buy his from him right there on the spot. Upon returning home that night I got online and purchased an Alessi ankle holster via the Alessiholsters.com web store for my SW642. Over the last year and a half I have found myself presented with several occasions where carrying my full size guns was a no go such as weddings, formal meetings and other such events. The Alessi ankle rig has been with me each time.
I received my holster in just less than 3 weeks and immediately started utilizing it for my backup gun. Made of russet leather and felt this holster is extremely durable and most importantly to me, comfortable. If a holster is not comfortable for 8+ hrs of extended wear I won’t wear it. It measures 5.25 inches in height and under 2 inches at its thickest point (cylinder). The 2 inch wide wrap around secures via Velcro and is extremely robust and secure. When I first received it I did a little jog test on the treadmill for about half a mile with no shifting or retention problems. Since that time I have had occasion to sprint short distances and grapple in combatives classes while wearing this holster with similar results; retention is excellent.
Ankle Carry Considerations:
The Alessi ankle holster has changed my opinion of ankle carry as an option when circumstances dictate non-traditional primary carry. I now appreciate the positive reviews and recommendations for this holster I’ve received from LE undercover officer friends and Federal Agents I have had the pleasure of interacting and training with. To top things off Alessi offers a (3) day return policy and free lifetime holster repair for common wear damage. I will continue to utilize my Alessi ankle holster and if you are in the market I encourage you to check them out, you won’t be disappointed.
Alessi Ankle Rig: $165 + Shipping
Contact Alessi Holsters: http://www.alessigunholsters.com/