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Archive for January 15th, 2013

Why guns in the home are a good thing

Here are several cases of law-abiding citizens using the Second Amendment’s right of self-protection to protect their homes and loved ones. Most liberals ridicule the notion that you need a gun in your home, saying you’re more likely to shoot yourself or a family member. But don’t tell these women that.

However, watch the final video. It’s two ultra-leftists, Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian on the syndicated internet show “The Young Turks.” After hearing the audio of a similar incident, even they agree, after some compulsory sneering a bit at Fox News, the woman did the right thing. It’s interesting to see their lefty preconceived notions fall away when they imagine themselves in that situation.

These kinds of reports abound on local news, but the national corrupt media seldom picks them up. They aren’t good for the narrative.

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Three wrong-headed Triangle mayors speak about guns

Picture 3On Jan. 11, Durham Mayor Bill Bell made a lot of sense when he called for higher bails for those committing gun crimes. I was pleased because this showed that the mayor understood that the problem was not the gun but the criminal.

But just four days later all that was out the window. Suddenly, the gun itself was the evil thing that was the problem, not the irresponsible bad guy using it:

The mayors of Chapel Hill, Durham and Morrisville called Monday for Congress to enact “common-sense” gun-law reforms.

They were among more than 800 U.S. mayors who issued a coordinated statement on behalf of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns lobbying organization.

Among the changes that Bell, Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt, and Morrisville Mayor Jackie Holcombe urged Congress to pass laws:

• Requiring criminal background checks for all gun buyers

• Banning military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines

• Making gun trafficking a federal crime

Several points. First off, making sure crazy people and criminals can’t get firearms is something even avid gun owners support. Second, gun owners also support the criminalization of gun-trafficking, especially by Obama’s attorney general, Eric Holder.

But, third, banning “military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines” is a canard. “Military-style” weapons, to gun-grabbers like these three mayors, include any semi-automatic rifle or shotgun that is painted flat black, which has an adjustable stock, and a flash suppressor. All of these are cosmetic features. Nearly every gun manufactured these days is semi-automatic, meaning each time you pull the trigger, one shot is discharged. In function, your average deer rifle is no different. And a flat-black home defense shotgun is no different in function than a Browning skeet gun.

But most disingenuous of all is the idea that banning such “military-style assault weapons” will solve the problems these mayors face in their cities. The story points out, grimly, that Durham had 22 homicides last year, 20 of those involving guns. I’d ask Bell and these three mayors: How many of those 20 homicides involved so-called “military-style assault weapons”? My guess is none.

No, it isn’t AR-15s, the latest “military-style assault weapon” boogeyman of the left, that causes most gun deaths in Durham, or any other city in the country. It’s the handgun. Why no mention of the 9mm, choice of thugs everywhere, at this press conference?

Mayors, it’s not “assault rifles” that are the problem. It’s not pistols that are the problem. The problem is criminals and crazy people who misuse them. Bell seemed to understand this a few days ago. Wonder what happened.

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The Fraud Trifecta: Medicare/Medicaid, Unemployment Insurance, And Tax Returns

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, CPA Jay Starkman lays out growing problems with E-filing-related tax fraud. But before he gets into E-filing, there is this kick-in-the-gut reminder about all the money being stolen from the federal treasury, which of course comes out of the wallets of taxpayers.

Tax fraud, amazingly, is now the third-largest theft of federal funds after Medicare/Medicaid and unemployment-insurance fraud.

 

Now to E-filing.

Fraudulent tax returns can come in the form of tax-identity theft, refund fraud, or return-preparer fraud and are difficult to prosecute. With e-filing, evidence of fraud is difficult to find. There are no signed tax forms, envelopes or fingerprints, and e-filing promises quick refunds.

It’s easy for criminals to e-file using a real name and Social Security number combined with a phony Form W-2 (wages) or fabricated Schedule C (business income). The refund can be posted to an anonymous “Green Dot” prepaid Visa orMasterCard MA -0.98% purchased at a drugstore. Such cards have a routing and account number suitable for direct deposit. The IRS may even correct a fraudulent return to refund the estimated taxes that the real taxpayer already remitted, as happened to one of my victimized clients.

The crooks are everywhere, and you and I keep paying to keep them living in the style to which they’ve become accustomed.

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Construction Industry Looks At 2013 Prospects

The outlook for 2013 in North Carolina’s construction industry:

30 percent of respondents said they plan to add workers in 2013, while only 8 percent said they expect more layoffs.

Of firms with hiring plans, 56 percent said they’d be adding five or fewer workers to their payrolls in the coming year.

 34 percent of North Carolina construction firms reported they didn’t purchase any new equipment in 2012, and 47 percent say they don’t plan to buy any in 2013.

63 percent reported they faced higher employee health care costs in 2012.

Expecting this industry to recover and thrive without changes in state policy is naive. It doesn’t have to be this way. With a new course, we can put North Carolinians back to work.

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