Ohio State sophomore guard C.J. Jackson (3) and junior forward Jae’Sean Tate walk down the floor in the second half against Northwestern on Jan. 22 at the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Jacob Myers | Assistant Sports EditorWhen Ohio State (13-8, 3-5 Big Ten) began conference play 0-4, it appeared the Buckeyes would be left in the dust as the rest of the conference would separate themselves from the pack. However, for some, it’s more difficult to leave the nest than it is for others.The current state of the Big Ten has nine teams separated by just one game from fifth place to 13th. OSU is one of six teams at 3-5 and a game behind three teams at 4-4. Coach Thad Matta said he hasn’t been paying close attention.“I’m more just like, ‘let’s just keep winning basketball games,’” he said. “In the end, I am aware of this, that (Saturday’s) game turns the halfway point. I think that there’s still so much that has to be done, but I guess that there is a log jam or whatever. But we’ll see how it plays out.”Whether he realizes the traffic in the heart of the Big Ten standings or not, Matta is well aware the Buckeyes can’t afford a stumble on the road against the Iowa Hawkeyes (11-10, 3-5 Big Ten) who are also fighting for relevance in the arduous Big Ten. The Buckeyes have done themselves a favor by beating Michigan State and, most recently, Minnesota at home — two teams currently projected in the NCAA tournament according to ESPN’s Joe Lunardi. Three weeks ago, OSU looked totally overmatched against conference competition, giving reason to believe that the season could be the worst finish in the Big Ten in Matta’s tenure. Since then, OSU has gone 3-1 against three teams who are in strong consideration for at-large bids come March.But what was absent in all of that talk was the fact that two of OSU’s five conference losses have come by a combined total of three points and the team has played through the third-toughest Big Ten schedule to date. That’s just a couple reasons why Matta has been telling the players that the season isn’t over and there’s still plenty to play for after what was a bleak beginning.“You know, we’re not out of this yet,” junior forward Jae’Sean Tate said. “It’s a tight race. Anything can happen. We just got to go out there every game we play and try to win and the rest will take care of itself.”Iowa is eerily similar to OSU thus far. The Hawkeyes have the second toughest conference strength of schedule, behind Illinois, and have performed well at home, but poorly on the road. All three conference wins for coach Fran McCaffery have come at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, including a victory over then-No. 17 Purdue. Like Iowa, the Buckeyes haven’t performed well away from home. OSU is shooting roughly 44 percent from the field on the road compared to better than 47 percent on its home floor. Likewise, Iowa is six percent worse shooting away from home. The Buckeyes and Hawkeyes also have both been blown out on the road to two teams at the top of the conference — Wisconsin and Northwestern, respectively.The Buckeyes have struggled with performing well from the tip on the road. Against Minnesota, OSU led by as much as 17 in the first half, which is the opposite of what usually happens away from Columbus. OSU has seen first-half deficits of 18 at Minnesota, 18 at Wisconsin and 12 at Nebraska.“I don’t know why that is,” freshman forward Andre Wesson said. “We definitely got to fix that because that definitely can’t happen again. We got to continue to do what we did, just build on what we did against Minnesota.”Regardless of the trend so far this season, OSU has to break its spell and find a way to capture a win at Iowa to avoid falling behind the ball in the Big Ten.“Where we’re at right now, our room for error is very tight,” Tate said. “Going in there and we’re going to give it the best we got and build on this last game.”
Ohio State then-junior forward Mason Jobst (26) attempts to evade a Badger defender in the first period of the game against Wisconsin on Feb. 23 in the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Managing Editor for DesignNo. 1 Ohio State men’s hockey scored in the final minutes of the game against UMass to win their first home game of the season by a score of 3-1.Coming off a 6-3 Friday night loss to the Minutemen in their home opener, head coach Steve Rohlik said the Buckeyes were looking to respond to the loss and play like the No. 1 team in the nation to earn their first home win of the season.“I like our group and our room. We’ve got a great culture,” Rohlik said. “It was a good response. You don’t like losing, and certainly don’t want to lose two in a row, so it was a good response for our guys tonight.”The teams traded goals early, with a goal by UMass sophomore forward Mitchell Chaffee being followed up only 13 seconds later by Ohio State junior forward Tanner Laczynski’s first goal of the season. Laczynski’s goal was assisted by junior forward Ronnie Hein and sophomore defenseman Grant Gabriele, his first point of the season.After these goals, however, a scoring drought developed, as neither team scored for the next 51 minutes of game time. Both teams had two power play opportunities during the game that were killed, and had multiple open shots that went off the post or wide of the net.Ohio State sophomore goalie Tommy Nappier allowed one goal and had 35 saves, tied for a career-high, and has only allowed one goal through two games this season.UMass freshman goaltender Filip Lindberg contributed to the Buckeyes woes on offense for most of the game, only allowing two goals and saving 36 shots for the Minutemen.The tie was finally broken with Lacyznski’s second goal of the game, assisted by redshirt junior defenseman Wyatt Ege with less than two minutes remaining in the game. “Last night we came out, we played hard first couple shifts, but then, you know, we were just flat the rest of the game it felt like,” junior forward Tanner Laczynski said. “It was good today, I thought we came out hard, put the pressure on them, and I thought we were consistent the whole night.”Ohio State outshot the Minutemen 39-36 on the night. Senior forward Mason Jobst added an additional goal in the empty UMass net with less than a minute left to make the final score 3-1.The Buckeyes will remain home for their series-opening game against Bowling Green next Friday at 7:00 p.m. and will travel to Bowling Green for their game Saturday at 7:07 p.m.
Rapper Wale is “overjoyed” with the birth of his first child, a baby girl named Zyla Moon Oluwakemi.“What’s better than holding your fresh baby on ur chest and watching TV? Fatherhood is wavy,” the D.C.-area rapper wrote on Twitter. “I’m ridiculously proud of this creation.”According to TMZ, the arrival of baby Zyla caused the 31-year-old to cancel a scheduled performance at the One Africa Music Fest in Brooklyn on July 22. Wale welcomed the baby with longtime girlfriend Chloe Alexis, but said he kept the secret of her pregnancy close because of “the downward spiral that ensued” when a past pregnancy ended after complications.“I kept this very private as I prayed every day to receive this blessing,” Wale said in lengthy Instagram post, which included baby Zyla’s hand grasping his own. “Imma keep workin on me and pray to God I can design a young princess who flourishes to an absolute queen.”Wale said that he decided on the title of his new album “Shine” when he found out he had a baby girl on the way.“I want to be a better man than I ever been.” he wrote. “I’m so flawed I’m so imperfect and the world knows it…I just want to honestly be the best version of myself I can be,” he said. “My focus is renewed I’m infinitely in love with my princess.”In the days since her birth, Wale has sung his daughter’s praises all over social media calling her “beautiful” and “perfect,” adding that the day she was born was the first time he ever “cried and smiled at the same time.”The Nigerian-born artist’s was thrust into the international spotlight with hits like “Pretty Girls,” “Diary,” and “90210” off his debut album “Attention Deficit,” released in 2009. Wale has since been signed to the Maybach Music Group, where he has released three albums, including “Ambition,” “The Gifted” and “The Album About Nothing.” His next album, “Shine,” is expected this year.
“The difference with YouTube is there is still revenue-sharing going on,” he says, noting his collective’s organically-built following based on streaming cover songs. “Universal Music is issuing mass takedowns of anything they own. The goal is to force Twitter and other social media sites to come to the bargaining table and work out a system of content ID. … Of course, it’s become clear that Twitter DOES exercise control of what gets circulated on on their platform — to the point of reinterpreting their terms of service on a case by case basis — which should require them to be held to the same standards of other media companies when it comes to copyright and liability. But that’s a deeper conversation. The bottom line that I [saw from] my Twitter jail cell, is that when the music industry fights big tech, artists become pawns to be used in negotiation.”A publishing executive familiar with Bradlee’s situation doesn’t disagree, noting, “Twitter does not have licenses to stream music. If Twitter wants to provide its users with the ability to stream music, they should obtain music licenses like other social platforms have done. Further, one would think that a company with a $30 billion market cap would be willing to do the right thing and pay songwriters for their work.” (Twitter did not respond to multiple requests for comment. The company typically does not comment on DMCA takedowns or account suspensions.) Popular on Variety ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 The bone of contention remains that Twitter, and tech goliaths like YouTube and Facebook, don’t want to be held responsible for user content, insisting they’re not media sites but user platforms. That disagreement was addressed in the recently passed EU Copyright Directive’s Article 13, which decrees the sites must begin to police themselves, and will be held liable for any copyright infringements. The U.S. Music Modernization Act doesn’t go quite so far, but copyright lawyer Lisa Alter, a managing partner in the New York firm of Alter Kendrick & Baron, insists it’s a step in the right direction with the establishment of a Music Licensing Collective.“There will be a more streamlined approach to licensing,” she says. “Unfortunately, it doesn’t have provisions for these media sites to vet material.” In other words, the political clout wielded by the Googles, Facebooks and Twitters in the U.S. will make that kind of enforcement difficult until the technology to do so is developed, which should happen in Europe now that Article 13 is being enforced. “Along with the NRA and terrestrial radio, big tech is the most powerful lobby in America,” adds Alter. “It’s a real push-pull to come up with systems that work for creators as well as ISPs [Internet Service Providers]. I don’t think it’s going to happen any time soon.”Bradlee isn’t the only musician currently receiving Twitter takedown notices. His friend and frequent Postmodern Jukebox collaborator Casey Abrams, an alum of “American Idol” season 10 (2011), also had his share of Twitter beefs, ironically for playing Elton John’s “Rocketman” on sitar, which prompted a similar UMPG takedown. Could the company’s legal eagles be sharpening their talons to protect intellectual property anticipating the imminent release of the high-visibility biopic of the same name?In response to Abrams’ violation, Twitter essentially wiped out his account, removing all his followers, and forced him into a new approach to posting his own daily videos on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. “It’s one less site I have to worry about,” says Abrams, who has a jazz album coming out on May 31st. “It eliminates a lot of stress,” he downplays, noting that, “there’s not a whole lot of love on Twitter.” Musician Scott Bradlee is the leader of Postmodern Jukebox, a collective he formed in 2011 that’s amassed an impressive following by posting YouTube videos featuring vintage jazz, swing and blues covers of pop hits from Lady Gaga and Katy Perry to the Strokes and the White Stripes. With nearly 4 million subscribers, Postmodern Jukebox’s take on songs like Radiohead’s “Creep” (62 million views) and Panic at the Disco’s “High Hopes” have been watched more than a billion times.So when Bradlee received a notice of a copyright violation from Twitter on April 20 for a two-year-old, 20-second-long clip of him improvising the chorus to Elton John’s “Crocodile Rock” on piano (without vocals), it hit him where his own music lived – on the Internet. “I received a Twitter suspension for playing the chorus of Elton John’s ‘Crocodile Rock’ on the piano,” Bradlee told Variety on April 24. “It wasn’t a commercial use and I wasn’t selling it. It was me making a fun recording on my iPhone.” Still, Abrams is perplexed at the ban. “People are posting mean and hurtful things, there’s violence, and we get punished for posting a song with love in our heart? That’s just crazy.”Copyright expert Alter says the music business’ ‘whack-a-mole” method of controlling its intellectual property is a leftover from the 1998 DMCA act. “There’s a whole new industry consisting of companies that get hired by publishers to troll the Internet, particularly YouTube, and find unlicensed music. Then the decision becomes whether to try to monetize through a synchronization license or simply take it down.“The tech industry claims that accessibility should trump copyright protection. Accessible does not translate to free. The beauty of the U.S. Constitution is that it protects original works of authorship, implemented by laws, even as it moves forward to alternate means of production and distribution.”Says Bradlee: “I don’t blame the music publishers; my beef is with Twitter. I just don’t think it’s good for society. You’re going to suspend a kid who makes a cover video for a song just as you would someone issuing violent threats? I’ve come to recognize all the ways our society and brains are being programmed by social media. And this is from someone whose band broke on YouTube.”Additional reporting by Michele Amabile Angermiller Citing the now-antiquated 1990s-era Digital Millennial Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown provision, Twitter sent the musician a letter it received from David Benjamin, Head of Content Protection for Universal Music Group Publishing “asking for your immediate assistance in stopping this unauthorized activity.” Shortly after the warning, Scott learned from Twitter his account had been suspended “as the result of multiple copyright infringement notifications.” He then took to Facebook to express his outrage. And while he contacted both UMPG, which has since withdrawn the complaint, and Twitter about his account (which has since been reinstated), Bradlee was none too pleased at the hassle.
Kolkata: The centenary of Bengali cinema will be celebrated through a musical event at the ‘Bongo Probashi Milap 2018’ in Dubai on November 30, 2018, Bengali film superstar Prosenjit Chatterjee said. The musical event will be presented by artistes from the Bengali entertainmeent industry and is “aimed at showcasing the contemporay best of Bengal,” he said yesterday. Chatterjee said Punjabi soundtracks have become the rage for rhythm, pace and beats in the country and globally though many did not understand the lyrics. Bengali music should strive to get that kind of popularity among the non-Bengali speaking people. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life “We must ponder how to make Bengali music equally popular among a cross-section of Indians. We have everything – from lyrics to foot-tapping rhythm – we have such a rich reserve of different genres of music with which people can easily connect. We have to take Bengali music to the world,” Chatterjee said adding events like the ‘Bongo Probashi Milap 2018’ can serve the purpose of taking our culture to the diaspora. Besides Chatterjee, popular radio jockey-actor-emcee Mir, actors Biswanath Basu, Kanchan Mullick, actress Pallavi Chatterjee, Poulami Das and director Kaushik Ganguly have suppported the initiative. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed As part of the event, besides hosting the show to commemorate special celebration for ‘100 years of Bengali Cinema’, a film festival showcasing six Bengali feature films and six short films will be held on December 1 and 2. There will also be a trade exhibition on December 1 and 2, 2018 involving exhibitors from Bengal and UAE to showcase designer apparels, specialty foods and savories, travel and tour options, education opportunities and many more. “Bongo Probashi Milap 2018 is a celebration of the rich Bengali Art and Culture on a single platform. It is an attempt to create a warm confluence of cinema, music, business, art and culture, handicrafts, fashion and specialty food from Bengal,” actress Pallavi Chatterjee said on behalf of the organisers.
Savvy travellers can save about 20 per cent on hotels across the world if they book during periods between May and July, according to a new survey.According to the TripAdvisor’s ‘Best Time to Book’ report booking a hotel within three months of the trip is the best time in Asia when travellers can save 24 per cent versus peak pricing.Also, travellers can save 19 per cent on hotel bookings made in Mumbai if they book within 3 months.The travel planning and booking site based its research on hotel booking and meta click data. They found that the best time periods to book can vary depending on the region or city where the traveller is looking to visit for summer and that for most destinations, the hotel rates change gradually over time, without dramatic increases or decreases in price. “For example, the least expensive time to book hotels in Asia is within 3 months, when travellers can save 24 per cent compared to the most expensive booking period. In comparison, for European hotels, the best time to book is 2-5 months ahead, when travellers can save 26 per cent compared to the peak period,” the research says. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The least expensive time to book hotels in the USA is within 2 months of the trip but hotel prices remain fairly consistent throughout the year, with a relatively modest potential savings of 8 per cent when booking during the least expensive time period.“For the cost conscious Indian traveller, the ‘Best time to book’ report answers the most important question – when to book your hotel stay in order to maximise your savings for summer travel this year,” says Nikhil Ganju, Country Manager, TripAdvisor India. An analysis of hotel booking and interest in nine popular regions around the world found this.
There are more “copy masters” and fewer trendsetters among those playing the sarod these days, laments maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, saying the focus for performers today is the “shining, glittering” world of television and social media. “Since they have access to content and recordings especially on YouTube, it’s easy for them to imitate any sarod player. So, now we have lots of copy masters in the country. The trendsetters are very, very rare,” the 72-year-old music guru said. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”Globally, there are about 500 sarod players. Unfortunately, instead of learning and understanding the depth of Indian classical music, every sarod player has a very strong opinion,” he further explained being very sad about the present state. “The focus is only to perform because of the glittering, shining world of television and social media where you can post anything and say anything,” the sarod virtuoso maintained. Khan is sixth in the lineage of a family devoted to Indian classical music’s Senia Bangash Gharana. The 2001 Padma Vibushan recipient first performed when he was just six years old. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveKhan, who was trained by his father, Gwalior court musician Hafiz Ali Khan, said he couldn’t think of doing anything other than playing the sarod as its sound had a global appeal. “It was my duty, my pleasure, my passion to carry on the family tradition,” he said, referring to the work of the generations before him and his ambition to take it forward. “I wanted to make the canvas much larger, much bigger, and be more expressive on the Sarod,” the widely-heard musician added. He also pointed to the differences between his learning days and the present day. “I didn’t have access to tape-recorders because there was no money to buy them. There was no television; One could only hear music through All India Radio. “There used to be a very important programme on Saturday night which I heard, called the National Programme of Music,” he recalled. On teaching his own sons, Amaan Ali Bangash and Ayaan Ali Bangash — themselves established names in the field of sarod — the Ustad said that it was a big responsibility.”Teaching my own sons was not my decision. They showed interest and positive signs, and then I shared everything with them,” he said. “I tried to introduce music to Amaan, my elder son, from his very early days. I tried interesting methods to teach so that he doesn’t find it difficult.” Ayaan, his younger son, soon followed in his footsteps, and as per the music maestro, both of them are on the “right track” in life. After rendering the National Anthem on sarod, they recently turned to the bhajan “Vaishnav Jan To”, which Mahatma Gandhi held close to his heart. They rendered it an an HCL concert, part of a monthly series, here last week. His association with Gandhi goes back to his 125th birth anniversary, when he played an improvised ‘Baapu Cause’ ‘raga’ at a Unesco commemoration in Paris.IANS
Stateside reports claim The Walt Disney Company is in talks to buy YouTube channel operator Maker Studios for around US$500 million.PewDiePieMaker, which is a founding partner of the upcoming MIP Digital Fronts, operates ultra-successful YouTube channels such as PewDiePie), currently the web video platform’s most subscribed net.Overall, Maker claims to get 5.5 billion video views a month, mainly from YouTube. Its executive chairman is Ynon Kreiz, the former Endemol CEO.Media blog Re/code first reported yesterday Disney is looking to make the operator its biggest bet on digital video, according to people familiar with the talks.Time Warner is already an investor in Maker through its venture capital division, which lead a US$36 million funding round two years ago.Numerous other traditional TV companies are circling YouTube channel operators, with Time Warner-owned Warner Bros. officially announcing a US$18 million investment in Machinima this week, and DreamWorks Animation paying an initial US$33 million to buy AwesomenessTV last year.
US video ad spend is tipped to grow nearly 30% to US$27.82 billion in 2018, marking a milestone year of digital video advertising, according to eMarketer.Facebook WatchThe research firm said that video ad spend will make up 25% of US digital ad spending this year with Facebook capturing nearly a quarter of this video ad spend.Facebook, including Instagram, is tipped to account for US$6.81 billion of US video ad spend in 2018, with its dominance as the top social video ad platform expected to continue with double-digit growth through 2020.YouTube is expected to generate US$3.36 billion in net US video ad revenues, up 17.1% over last year, with the video site now deriving an estimated 73% of its ad revenues from video the US.Of the other major social platforms, Twitter’s video ad revenues are expected to grow just over 12% to US$633.3 million this year with 55% of the platform’s ad revenue coming from video. This will give Twitter an 8.1% share of US social video ad spending and a 2.3% share of total video spending.Snapchat’s US video revenues, meanwhile, are expected to will reach $397.3 million this year, up nearly 19% compared to 2017. Its share of social video spending is expected to be 5.1% this year, while its share of overall US video spend will be just 1.4%.eMarketer principal analyst Debra Aho Williamson said: “In-feed video has been a successful ad format for both Facebook and Instagram. Marketers rely on in-feed video ads to capture users’ attention and build brand awareness. A newer video ad format, in-stream advertising in Facebook Watch shows, is still relatively new, but we think advertisers will increase their usage of it because it is similar to linear TV advertising.”
“Firearms stand next in importance to the constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence … from the hour the Pilgrims landed to the present day, events, occurances and tendencies prove that to ensure peace security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable … the very atmosphere of firearms anywhere restrains evil interference — they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good.” George Washington I can’t think of any reason I need to own my AR-15 assault rifle. I don’t pretend to need it for self defense. I also own several handguns. Any one of my handguns would be adequate to allow me an opportunity to defend myself, or another person, from virtually any act of aggression by another individual. Indeed, I could have easily halted any of the recent gun based rampages, by any of those deranged lunatics, with just one of my handguns. I wish I had been there. I have needlessly and peacefully owned my AR-15 for many years. I keep my AR-15 securely locked in a gun safe in the very same home where my young children live. My children are aware of my AR-15. Like many other things in life, I have taught my children about guns. Recently, some of my kids attended a private gun safety class given by a highly experienced gun expert. I enjoyed watching my kids learn about my AR-15. I admit being a bit nostalgic about my AR-15. I spent lots of time learning about every aspect of the AR-15 when I was in Marine Corps boot camp at Parris Island, South Carolina. I also carried an AR-15 when I served my country in Operation Desert Storm in Saudi Arabia. I had it with me when I lived in a dirt hole on the border of Kuwait. It is the weapon I know better than any other. I own lots of dangerous things I don’t need. I don’t need my highly modified 600+ hp Z06 Corvette, or my Harley Davidson motorcycle, or that crazy looking knife I sometimes jokingly say was imported directly from the Klingon Empire. All of these things can be used, intentionally or accidentally, to hurt others. Because I have always been careful, peaceful and responsible, none of the things I own have ever been used to hurt another person. I am an American. As such, none of my rights depend on a showing of need. I am a free man who has the right to define and pursue my happiness in any peaceful way I see fit. The government does not grant me rights. I was born free. The legitimate role of government is to act as my agent to protect my rights, which exist independent of government. Americans do not beg the government for rights nor are they required to demonstrate a “need” for rights. I cherish lots of my rights for which I can’t demonstrate any need. I don’t need the right to say highly offensive things to another person. Although I generally don’t try to offend other people, I cherish my right to do so. I also cherish, and would aggressively defend, your right to say highly offensive things to me. Defending the rights of people to say things most people agree with is entirely unimpressive. Liberty must always be defended at the edge. As a criminal defense attorney, I seek out unpopular clients. When I represented Elizabeth Johnson in what is sometimes referred to as the “Baby Gabriel” case, one of the things that attracted me to the idea of representing her was the fact that she was hugely unpopular. Defending the right to a fair trial starts with the unpopular client. Although I never have anything to hide, I cherish my 4th Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. I would never consent to a warrantless government search. Opportunities to defend the 4th Amendment usually arise in cases where people are engaging in some type of criminal activity. The cost of defending our rights in this area sometimes results in dangerous criminals going free. I frequently advocate for our right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures on behalf of people who think nothing of trespassing on others. Indeed, I always advocate for the right to refuse searches in cases where there is nothing to hide. Protecting liberty in hard cases requires the work of the most committed liberty-minded Americans. Government never has a more tempting opportunity to increase its size, power and scope, and to curtail the liberties of free people, than during or immediately after a crisis. Indeed, crisis is so tempting an opportunity for government that governments invent crisis whenever possible. This is why “emergency acts” and “wars” on anyone and anything are so popular for governments. Nothing entices people to stop thinking, act impulsively, and to relinquish liberties so easily as a “crisis” or a “tragedy” or an “emergency.” We need to be smarter if liberty is to survive. Our world is unfortunately filled with real tragedies. The recent school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut, orchestrated by a deranged lunatic with several guns, was one of the worst tragedies I have seen in my life. However, because of the magnitude of this tragedy, much like the September 11 tragedy, it presents an almost unprecedented opportunity for government to curtail liberty. Don’t be fooled! Banning Guns Is Un-American and Immoral “And that the said Constitution be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the Press, or the rights of Conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms; …” Samuel Adams The right to peacefully own a gun is such an important and fundamental American concept that it was enshrined in the 2nd Amendment to our Constitution. Millions of peaceful Americans own guns for various reasons, none of which need to be justified to the government or anyone else. Peaceful people owning guns is not a problem needing a solution. Countless Americans will peacefully own and even use their AR-15 weapons today without incident. Ignoring the obvious Constitutional problems with simply banning guns, such action would require immorally initiating force against peaceful people. People who abhor guns have no right to impose their will on peaceful gun owners. So long as peaceful gun ownership poses no harm or substantial risk of harm to others, it ought to be a protected activity like all other peaceful activities conducted by competent adults. Attempting to punish everyone for the acts of one or several deranged lunatics is immoral. Like most AR-15 owners, my AR-15 ownership has always been peaceful. Seeking to deprive me of my AR-15 because others have irresponsibly used theirs is akin to revoking my driver’s license because others have irresponsibly driven drunk, resulting in tragedy. People need to be held accountable for their own actions, but not for the actions of others. The Idea of Banning Guns Is Foolishness “They that give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Ben Franklin It is estimated there are approximately 300 million guns in the United States. I suspect that estimate is conservative. The nature of criminals is such that they do not comply with the law. As such, we can predict, with absolute certainty, that the violent criminals who currently possess guns will not comply with any law requiring them to relinquish their guns. Additionally, I suspect many peaceful gun owners would similarly never comply with any law requiring them to relinquish their guns. As such, any law banning guns would be entirely ineffective and would actually make matters worse. All peaceful law-abiding gun owners would be disarmed and more vulnerable to violent criminals. We already have laws absolutely prohibiting convicted felons from possessing guns. As a criminal defense attorney, I regularly represent such people deemed “prohibited possessors” for the crime of simply possessing guns. Nobody working in the criminal justice system could seriously assert that laws banning guns for felons have been successful. A deranged lunatic named William Spengler ambushed and murdered two firemen in upstate New York on December 24, 2012. He was a “prohibited possessor” who previously served 17 years in prison. The law absolutely banned him from having guns. He had several. Thankfully, Mr. Spengler terminated his killing spree by shooting himself after being confronted and engaged by an off duty armed police officer who happened to be present. There is no doubt many more would have been murdered had an armed man not been present. Even if we strained our imaginations to think banning guns could result in abolishing all guns currently in existence, a gun ban would still be futile. If the failed war on drugs has taught us anything, it is that making something illegal, when there still exists a demand for the illegal item, absolutely results in a lucrative black market. There is no doubt a lucrative, vibrant, and violent black market in guns will immediately grow to whatever size is necessary to manufacture and supply violent criminals with guns. Such violent criminals would be enticed to engage in even more criminal endeavors knowing their law-abiding victims are entirely unable to defend themselves against such aggressions. Whether we like the conclusion or not, like marijuana, guns are here to stay. The facts of reality are such that bad guys with guns are an unfortunate fact of life. Our focus should be on how we deal with this fact rather than wishing the fact was otherwise. Gun Regulations Never Reduce Gun Violence and Usually Increase Violent Crime “The constitutions of most of our States assert that all power is inherent in the people; that … it is their right and duty to be at all times armed; … ” Thomas Jefferson I realize it seems counterintuitive, but it is true. The same unintended results occur in many other contexts as well. Just like minimum wage and rent control laws hurt the poor, banning alcohol results in more alcohol-related problems, raising taxes sometimes results in less revenue for the government, government spending results in fewer jobs, banning guns usually increases gun violence and never reduces it. The examples of gun control resulting in increased gun violence are easy to find. In 1976, after Washington D.C. instituted the toughest gun control laws in our nation, its murder rate increased dramatically during a time when the nation’s overall gun related murder rate decreased by 2%. Washington D.C., the nation’s leader in gun control, became known as the nation’s murder capital. A comparison of states which allow legally concealed guns to states which outlaw concealed carrying of firearms reveals no difference in overall gun-related violence. In 1982, when Kennesaw, Georgia passed a law requiring a firearm in every home, not only did crime not escalate, but violent crime sharply decreased and has remained that way for decades. Indeed, Kennesaw, Georgia claims to have the lowest crime rate of any comparable city its size in the nation. These counterintuitive results are not limited to examples within the United States. Australia boldly banned all semi-automatic firearms, including many rifles and shotguns, in 1997. Indeed, it was a gun grabber’s dream; approximately 640,000 firearms were confiscated and destroyed. This misguided Australian policy resulted in an armed robbery increase of 69%, an assault involving firearms increase of 28%, a gun-related murder increase of 19%, and a home invasion increase of 21%. Violent criminals love gun bans. I realize the proponents of gun control also offer statistics. However, when our most respected, unbiased and professional scientific and research organizations analyze the issue, their conclusions do not support the gun control advocates. In 2004, the National Academy of Sciences reviewed 253 journal articles, 99 books and 43 government publications evaluating 80 gun-control measures. Researchers could not identify a single regulation that reduced violent crime, suicide or accidents. In 2003, the Centers for Disease Control analyzed ammunition bans, restrictions on acquisition of firearms, waiting periods, registration, licensing, child access prevention and zero tolerance laws. After their analysis, the Centers for Disease Control concluded there was no conclusive evidence that any gun control laws reduced gun violence. Foreign researchers have also come to the same conclusion. In Australia in 2008, a peer reviewed study at the University of Sydney reached virtually the same conclusions as both the National Academy of Sciences and the Centers for Disease Control. Gun control measures simply do not reduce gun violence. Although President Obama appears excited about the notion of banning guns, I have not heard him order a ban on the very guns used to protect him. Apparently, when it comes to his protection, President Obama prefers to be protected by people armed with guns. Indeed, I suspect none of these gun ban advocates would hesitate to call 911 and request help from people armed with guns if they were faced with an intruder in their homes in the middle of the night. I fail to understand why we can’t all agree that guns save lives. Our Culture of Violence “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!” Benjamin Franklin Unfortunately, we do have a culture of violence in America. It did not spontaneously arise. It is entirely our fault. There are several contributing factors. The single biggest contributing factor to our culture of violence is that our society no longer adheres to the once basic notion that initiating force against non-aggressors is wrong. We no longer recognize the sovereignty of the individual. Our laws are replete with instances of legal trespass against peaceful people. Rather than living in a democratic republic where most decisions are left to the property owner, we now have an unfettered democracy where anything goes so long as the majority of voters agree. This is not what was intended by the founders of our country, and it has no connection to freedom. Without freedom, there simply is no opportunity for peace. Democracy and freedom are not the same. To some extent, they are incompatible. Freedom requires that the owner retains jurisdiction over his or her own body, time, money and other property. Democracy puts the voting majority in charge of whatever is up for a vote. Said another way, democracy is akin to mob rule. At the infancy of our country, few things were subject to majority vote via democracy. Today, virtually anything and everything can be put to a vote. The jurisdiction of government has far exceeded anything envisioned by our founding fathers. The drug war is a fundamental example of government, or the voting majority, immorally exercising its jurisdiction over the bodies of competent adults. Despite the laws, many competent adults insist on controlling their own bodies. This has dramatically increased the amount of violence and conflict in our society. Indeed, until the drug war ends and we once again start respecting the sovereignty of the individual, there is nothing that can be done to effectively end the culture of violence destroying our society. The good news is that by simply ending the drug war, we can immediately and dramatically reduce the culture of violence. To be sure, few countries have such an intense war on drugs as we have in the United States. Indeed, our drug laws are entirely draconian, and we imprison far more people than any other country in the world. Our spending on the drug war will soon be approaching 100 billion dollars per year. As a result of all this drug war generated violence, we have a very high corresponding rate of gun violence. I have personally represented many clients charged with violent gun related crimes resulting from drug war related issues. Indeed, much of the gun related violence I see, as a criminal defense attorney working in the justice system for the past two decades, stems from the drug war. The United States does not have the highest rate of gun violence in the world. It should not be a surprise that several countries at the forefront of the drug war have an even higher rate of gun related homicide than the United States. The firearm related homicide rate, as a percentage of population, is higher in Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Paraguay. The United States spends millions of dollars ramping up the drug war in these countries. There is no doubt that several other drug war involved countries have even higher firearm related homicide rates than the United States as well. I would be remiss if I failed to point out that these awful homicide rates in other countries persist despite much stricter gun control laws than in the United States. Indeed, Mexico has some of the strictest gun control laws in the world. Its laws effectively prohibit gun ownership. Not only do guns remain widely available in Mexico, but their gun related homicide rate outpaces ours. The same can be said of all these drug war countries. Attempting to blame our culture of violence on the availability of guns is entirely erroneous. Canada has a gun culture similar to the United States. Indeed, their ratio of gun ownership as compared to the United States is roughly equivalent. However, Canada enjoys a firearm related homicide rate dramatically lower than in the United States. It is noteworthy to point out that people who live in countries like Switzerland and Israel have greater access to even fully automatic weapons and have higher rates of gun ownership than in the United States, but enjoy much lower firearm related homicide rates. The number of guns simply isn’t the problem. Our culture of violence is more directly attributable to anti-freedom government policies which diminish and disrespect the rights of the individual. Guns, like other tools, can be used for both good and bad purposes. Demonizing the tool, while piling on more anti-freedom regulations and laws, without getting to the root cause of the violence, is exactly the wrong approach. We will never achieve a more peaceful society until we recognize that competent adults own themselves and the drug war is reduced to an awful historical mistake. How to Stop a Bad Guy with a Gun “To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.” Richard Henry Lee Dangerous, violent people should not have guns. Additionally, people should not shoplift. We already have laws against both. Notwithstanding our laws, dangerous, violent people continue to, and always will be able to, obtain guns. Likewise, people continue to shoplift. Regarding the shoplifting problem, major retailers have accepted that shoplifting remains a fact of life and they have endeavored to combat the problem with private security guards, cameras, RFID chips, etc. As I often represent such people accused of shoplifting, I know these rational combative measures against shoplifting are reasonably successful. As a society, we need to accept the reality that bad guys will continue to get guns notwithstanding our laws. We need to devise appropriate, rational and effective measures to combat this foreseeable reality. Well-intentioned and famous Hollywood actors simply saying, “Never Again!” or simply passing more gun regulation laws will not combat the problem. As the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut proves, the passing of more laws is entirely the wrong approach. Federal law prohibits the presence of guns in schools. It is clear the deranged Mr. Adam Lanza was entirely undeterred by this federal law. Indeed, this law may have encouraged Mr. Lanza to work his horrific violence at the Sandy Hook Elementary School knowing federal law provides that nobody could have the capacity to stop him. One unintended consequence of this federal law has been to create a guaranteed victim zone, comprised of children who are unprotected sitting ducks for any deranged lunatic such as Mr. Lanza. Additionally, Connecticut’s gun control laws also proved to be entirely ineffective. By stealing his mother’s gun, Mr. Lanza exempted himself from any laws regarding background checks, waiting periods, permits, licenses, etc. Neither unarmed security at the front door nor the presence of heroic yet unarmed adults at the school had any chance of stopping Mr. Lanza’s murderous rampage. Even the courageous school principal, who dashed toward Mr. Lanza in a heroic effort to protect her innocent students, had absolutely no chance and was therefore also tragically murdered. There can be no legitimate criticism of the local police. Their trained and armed police officers arrived as quickly as one could reasonably expect upon learning of the tragedy. However, by the time they arrived, the incident was completely over. They were not able to save even one life. The only thing that stopped the deranged Mr. Lanza was the deranged Mr. Lanza himself. One can only wonder how many more lives would have been needlessly taken had Mr. Lanza decided to continue shooting others rather than shoot himself. I wish I could have been there that day with my AR-15 rifle or even my .40 caliber handgun. This story would have had a different ending. What a shame that not even one peaceful, responsible, trained and armed teacher or parent could have been present, when Mr. Lanza arrived, to do the one thing that actually could have avoided this tragedy: shoot him. I can say, with absolute certainty, that one well-placed round from a gun could have saved the lives of everyone at the Sandy Hook Elementary that day. I don’t know if that well-placed round would have been the first shot fired, but I do know at least there would have been a chance to stop Mr. Lanza before he decided to stop himself. As a parent of five children in school, I prefer that my children are no longer unprotected sitting ducks at a federally mandated gun-free zone in school. The only way to stop these types of gun related tragedies is by force. I recognize that some parents feel differently than I do. For reasons I do not understand, they prefer to have their children at school totally unprotected in federally mandated gun-free zones. I respect their rights to have their children at schools which comply with whatever rules they deem appropriate. However, the current state of federal law prohibits parents from choosing schools which could actually protect their children against the horrendous acts of deranged bad guys like Mr. Lanza. Just like at my home, I would prefer to have my kids in schools where responsible adults, with adequate training, have immediate and safe access to firearms. I, like many parents, don’t want my kids to be unprotected sitting ducks while they are at school. I fail to understand why the anti-gun people find it appropriate to thwart my choice as a responsible parent. As I have stated, I respect the rights of the anti-gun parents to send their kids to schools without guns. I have heard their protestations that my plan to have armed people at school would not work. I don’t know why their judgment should be substituted for mine regarding the safety of my kids. Some of those parents claim that armed people at the school could make no difference if such a shooting was to occur. They are entirely wrong. There are many examples of occasions where armed people successfully terminated some deranged person’s gun rampage. Here is a short list of some notable examples compiled by the Libertarian Party: A 1997 high school shooting in Pearl, Mississippi was halted by the school’s vice principal after he retrieved the Colt .45 he kept in his truck. A 1998 middle school shooting ended when a man living next door heard gunfire and apprehended the shooter with his shotgun. A 2002 terrorist attack at an Israeli school was quickly stopped by an armed teacher and a school guard. A 2002 law school shooting in Grundy, Virginia came to an abrupt conclusion when students carrying firearms confronted the shooter. A 2007 mall shooting in Ogden, Utah ended when an armed off-duty police officer intervened. A 2009 workplace shooting in Houston, Texas was halted by two coworkers who carried concealed handguns. A 2012 church shooting in Aurora, Colorado was stopped by a member of the congregation carrying a gun. At the recent mall shooting in Portland, Oregon the gunman took his own life minutes after being confronted by a shopper carrying a concealed weapon. Moreover, the Internet is full of videos documenting peaceful armed people thwarting a violent criminal’s attempt to victimize others. I fail to understand why the anti-gun crowd refuses to acknowledge guns save lives. It is estimated, and there are several scholarly studies to support, that guns are used to prevent crimes between 700,000 and 2.5 million times each year. While I agree there are examples of bad guys doing bad things with guns, we should also agree there are millions of armed good guys who successfully and frequently stop bad guys with guns as well. Three Reasons Americans Have a Right to Own Guns “Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense? Where is the difference between having our arms in possession and under our direction and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?” Patrick Henry There are three main reasons why Americans, or any free people, should have a right to keep and bear firearms. First, free people have a right to self defense. This is the most basic of all rights. Although government can legitimately act as one’s agent to assist in protecting against another’s aggression, the individual need not delegate or rely upon another person or entity for the exercise of that right. To deny a free and competent adult the right of self defense is to deny such a person their sovereignty. No society can be considered a free society, or even a civilized society, without the basic right to individual defense of one’s self. The second reason for a right to keep and bear arms is to deter possible foreign invasions. I acknowledge we live in a world where mass destruction is an option for many foreign governments. However, history has shown that foreign governments generally like to advance on territory they seek to make their own. As such, a radioactive wasteland is not the preferred trophy of most hostile governments. During World War II, Hitler’s Germany advanced against much of Europe. However, Switzerland, despite its vast gold resources making it an extraordinary prize, was not one of those places advanced upon by Hitler. One rational explanation for this lack of aggression by Hitler was the reasonable conclusion that Switzerland, with its exceptionally high proportion of civilian gun ownership, would have been an unusually difficult target. During the same time period, it is speculated that Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto reached a similar conclusion regarding a possible invasion of the United States. Some have attributed the comment, “You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass” to the Japanese Admiral. Given our high proportion of civilian gun ownership, it also seems a reasonable conclusion. Indeed, it gives me a sense of pride, as I know it does many other veterans and other proud Americans, to know that in the unlikely event our country ever was invaded, we would not need to sit idly by, helpless, to assist in defending our country. Rather, much like the other civilian militia that was so instrumental in assisting to win our independence from King George III, we may also be able to assist in some way. The third reason for a right to keep and bear arms is, as Thomas Jefferson stated, “The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” Citizens have a right to keep and bear arms as a defense against their own government. Further, Mr. Jefferson also stated, “When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is liberty.” The founders of our nation believed people must always preserve their right to resistance and revolution against their own government. “And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms….The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” Thomas Jefferson. The founding fathers of our nation were keenly aware of the potential for governments to ban guns, then curtail liberty, enslave, torture or even murder their own naïve and trusting citizens. One can only wonder what the founding fathers would say had they been aware of the human slaughter suffered in the 20th century by unarmed people at the hands of their own gun grabbing governments. In the 20th century alone, the death toll resulting from governments murdering their own disarmed citizens after guns were legally banned is estimated at 56 million. Our founding fathers knew any government, including ours, has the potential to become tyrannical and even deadly towards its own citizens. I suspect many or even most of those 56 million murdered by their own governments believed their government could always be trusted. Let’s learn from history. “If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.” Samuel Adams. As an aside, Marc Victor has agreed to join the faculty for the 2013 Casey Research Summit, being held October 4-6 in Tucson, Arizona. As this will be the only Casey Research summit held this year, we’re going all out to make it spectacular. On that front, next week we’ll have big news on the faculty. Watch your email for more.  Rifles don’t “assault” people. People assault people. Calling the AR-15 an “assault” rifle is inflammatory. I have been known to sometimes choose inflammatory titles for my articles. Like any other weapon, the AR-15 should be used solely for defensive purposes. I suspect the vast majority of people who own them, intend to use them only defensively.  See Star Trek.  I realize there are some things I could own which, by their very nature, cannot be owned by me in a community without posing a substantial risk of harm to others. Reasonable people can disagree about what things truly and honestly fit into this category.  See http://cameroneconomics.com/Books/unintendedconsequences.pdf  See http://www.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/pa157.pdf  See the Laffer curve. Higher taxes inhibit economic growth and encourage people to conduct business in the black market. I am never in favor of higher taxes, and I always favor less revenue for the government.  For a short video on this point, see http://www.cato.org/multimedia/cato-video/government-spending-doesnt-create-jobs  See http://gunowners.org/sk0601.htm for an interesting but informal investigation into the efficacy of Washington D.C.’s gun control efforts.  Kennesaw City officials claim an 89% drop in the overall crime rate.  We have too many absentee parents. A cradle-to-grave government does not replace a set of involved parents. Our society is too desensitized to violence and wars and not interested enough in fostering peace. We have strayed from the old-school values of hard work, individual responsibility, honesty, integrity, discipline, tolerance, patience and respect. The government can’t fix this problem.  I refer to “property” in its most general sense to include one’s body, money, possessions and time.  For one example that occurred on July 13, 2012, see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpBXkvigads I enjoyed watching how fast the two armed bad guys scrambled to leave when the senior citizen with the handgun emerged to protect everyone present. I bet the other people were glad this peaceful and heroic man thought to bring his loaded firearm. We can only wonder what tragedy was avoided that day.  See Armed: New Perspectives on Gun Control, New York: Prometheus Books (2001) Kleck and Kates.  There is some controversy regarding the legitimacy of this quotation. However, the fact remains that a high proportion of civilian gun ownership may have discouraged the Japanese and would certainly act as a deterrent to any potential invading force.  The Soviets murdered 20 million from 1929-1953; the Chinese murdered 20 million from 1948-1952; the Germans murdered 13 million from 1939-1945; the Turkish murdered 1.5 million from 1915-1915.