's blog

Study: Gun Restrictions Associated With Higher Murder Rates

In a new study, Mark Gius, of Quinnipiac University’s Department of Economics, has found that between 1980 and 2009, “states with more restrictive CCW laws had gun-related murder rates that were 10% higher” than those of other states. Gius also concluded that state “murder rates were 19.3% higher when the Federal [‘assault weapon’ and ‘large’ magazine] ban was in effect.” Gius says that more research is needed to determine whether these gun control laws contributed to, or merely coincided with, higher rates of crime.

Nationally, murder rates have certainly been lower since the federal gun and magazine bans were in effect. The bans went into effect in September 1994 and expired in September 2004. During the 10 years 1995-2004, the average annual murder rate was 6.2 per 100,000 population. From 2005 to 2012, however, the average rate has been 16 percent lower, at 5.2 per 100,000.

Murder rates have also decreased as the number of Right-to-Carry (RTC) states have increased. From 1987, when Florida adopted its trend-setting Right-to-Carry law, through 2012, the share of the American population living in RTC states rose from 16 percent to 70 percent, and the nation’s murder rate decreased 43 percent.

News Brief for 5 September 2014

UH-1N 'Huey"

The US Marine Corps' final UH-1N 'Huey' helicopter (front) is escorted by its UH-1Y Venom (rear) successor during its sundown flypast on 28 August. Source: US Marine Corps News Brief

UH-1N 'Huey' retired from USMC service >> IHS Jane's 360
The US Marine Corps (USMC) has officially retired the last of its Bell UH-1N 'Huey' helicopters after more than 40 years of service, it was announced on 3 September.

Veterans plan to open FOB-themed pub near Pendleton >> Marine Corps Times
Two former soldiers plan to make Marines feel at home in their new restaurant by decking it out in camouflage netting with sandbags lining the walls - and the menu will feature items chicken "M-WRAPS," napalm nachos and homemade MREs.

Long road still ahead for Vietnam veterans seeking PTSD-related discharge upgrades >> Washington Post
Veterans today can be given a medical discharge while coping with PTSD, clearing a path for them to receive medical benefits from the VA. But the condition wasn't recognized until 1980, potentially leaving thousands of Vietnam War veterans out in the process.

For war-zone medical training, Navy sends doctors, nurses and medics to Chicago hospital >> Associated Press
The patient had been shot on the streets of Chicago, but when Dr. Jared Bernard stood over his open body in the operating room, he could see that the single bullet had unleashed the same kind of massive infection inflicted by roadside bombs in Afghanistan.

'Old Ironsides' Gets Last Sail Before 3-Year Rehab

USS Constitution - “Old Ironsides”

USS Constitution, “Old Ironsides”, the world's oldest commissioned warship, gets underway for a turn-around cruise in Boston Harbor. - U.S. Navy photo by Journalist 1st Class Dave Kaylor from 10 June 2006

The USS Constitution, the oldest commissioned ship of war in the U.S. Navy, went for a final sail Friday before a three-year rehab.

The vessel, nicknamed Old Ironsides, will make one more trip across the Boston Harbor in October, said Peter Melkus, a spokesman. But it will be pushed by a tug instead of moving by sail power in an exhibition to mark the 217th anniversary of its launch.

Early next year, the Constitution goes into drydock. In addition to replacing copper plates on its bottom and doing other necessary repairs, the Navy plans to remove some additions made in the last couple of centuries.

"She kind of ballooned away from how she was originally constructed," Melkus said. "So one of our goals is to make her as authentic as possible to what we consider the era of her greatest popularity, the War of 1812."

The Constitution, named by President George Washington, was launched in 1797 as one of the Navy's first six frigates. The vessel fought in the First Barbary War and the War of 1812.


New Veterans Health Identification Card (VHIC)

News Brief for 4 September 2014

Long Khanh - 1966

SP4 Ruediger Richter (Columbus, Georgia), 4th Bn., 503 Inf., 173 Abn Bde (Separate), lifts his battle weary eyes to the heavens, as if to ask why? SGT. Daniel E. Spencer (Bend, Oregon) stares down at their fallen comrade. The day's battle ended, they silently await the helicopter which will evacuate their comrade from the jungle covered hills in Long Khanh Province." By Pfc. L. Paul Epley, 14 August 1966 via Wikipedia Commons News Brief

DoD willing to reconsider discharges of Vietnam vets with PTSD >> Military Times
The Defense Department has agreed to reconsider the bad-paper discharges for thousands of Vietnam-era veterans who may have suffered from combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder but were kicked out of the military in the era before that became a diagnosable condition.

Forced-out vets get chance to argue PTSD claims >> USA Today
Vietnam veterans forced out of service for misconduct they now claim was related to post-traumatic stress disorder will have the chance to possibly receive an upgrade in their decades-old military discharge, according to an announcement Wednesday by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

Marines introduced to boating >> The Daily Pilot
They arrived from places like Bakersfield, Puerto Rico and St. Joseph, Mo. Thirty young men bonded as infantry members of the 1st Battalion, 1st Marines Division, stationed at Camp Pendleton, landed Thursday in Newport Beach for a special off-duty evening of fun, friendship and sailing at the Balboa Yacht Club.

Marine overcomes amputation, becomes Brevard deputy >> Florida Today
Robert Smith was on foot patrol as a U.S. Marine in Fallujah in May 2008 - suddenly, a roadside bomb exploded. It was a hasty ambush, followed by small arms fire.

Group of amputee female U.S. veterans now becoming mothers >> NY Daily News
Four female Iraq veterans who bonded over the loss of their limbs are now sharing a much happier experience together. The women told the "Today" show about first getting wounded while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan but then finding each other at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. And now the women have all opened a new chapter of their lives by becoming mothers or pregnant.

Sep 2, 1945: Allies celebrate V-J Day


Planes fly over 1945, to Tokyo Bay Surrender of Japan, 2 September 1945 ; carrier planes fly in formation over the U.S. and British fleets in Tokyo Bay during surrender ceremonies. USS Missouri , where the ceremonies took place, is at left. USS Detroit is in the right distance. Aircraft include TBM, F6F, SB2C and F4U types. - US Navy via Wikipedia Commons

On September 2, 1945, the USS Missouri hosts the formal surrender of the Japanese government to the Allies, in Tokyo Bay, Japan.

Victory over Japan Day (also known as Victory in the Pacific Day, V-J Day, or V-P Day) is a name chosen for the day on which Japan surrendered, in effect ending World War II, and subsequent anniversaries of that event. The term has been applied to both of the days on which the initial announcement of Japan’s surrender was made – to the afternoon of August 15, 1945, in Japan, and, because of time zone differences, to August 14, 1945 (when it was announced in the United States and the rest of the Americas and Eastern Pacific Islands) – as well as to September 2, 1945, when the signing of the surrender document occurred, officially ending World War II.

The official U.S. commemoration is September 2, while August 15 is the official V-J Day for the UK. The name, V-J Day, had been selected by the Allies after they named V-E Day for the victory in Europe.


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