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Supported Research

RESEARCH AND WRITING PROJECTS.

Mass Murder.

The applicant is writing a new book tentatively called Mass Murderers: Who? How? Why? The gun prohibitionists are inaccurately blaming guns for the mass murders.  The book addresses the question of whether gun ownership-and specifically ownership of "assault weapons"-causes acts of mass murder.  The applicant will also address mass murders across the world, including mass murders in countries that have restrictive firearms laws.  The book will also address the use of explosives and other non-firearm weapons.  The applicant will discuss the causal factors related to mass murders and to show that there is no correlation between access to firearms and mass murders.

The applicant's research has revealed "how much mass murder is common in American history.  … [W]e have identified 503 mass murders with 6561 dead.  There are several hundred more that my technical team extracted from USA Today's really comprehensive data base which is careful to include non-gun mass murders."

One chapter seemed especially suited to a law review article countering the gun prohibitionists' argument that certain classes of firearms make the U.S. exceptional in mass murder problems.  The title: "Mass Murder: American Unexceptionalism."  It is currently available at https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3055877.  The applicant is submitting it to law reviews.  It is also available at  https://thecrimereport.org/2017/11/16/is-mass-murder-exceptionally-american/.

In April, 2018, the applicant participated in a 10th anniversary Heller symposium at Southern Illinois University School of Law.  He presented a paper titled, "Mass Murder: American Unexceptionalism, D.C. v. Heller, and 'Reasonableness'" which will appear in a subsequent Southern Illinois University Law Journal.  In September 2018, the applicant gave a presentation at the Texas Bar legal seminar.  The applicant gave a presentation at a Second Amendment symposium at Lincoln Memorial University Law School in Knoxville, Tennessee, in January 2019.  Currently, the applicant is writing a paper entitled "Would the authors of the Second have been so expansive in its protections had they known about our mass murder problem?"

The applicant has also been answering media queries concerning the relationship between mass murder and mental illness.  The applicant gave an interview with the Wall Street Journal reporter in late February 2019 and was a guest at a talk show on WURD in Philadelphia.  The applicant will be a speaker local NPR station town hall meeting about gun control in which he will address the issue of mass murder.

The research and writing for the book is well under way: the 17th and 18th Centuries portions have been finished and he is researching and writing about the 19th, 20th and 21st Centuries now.

[T]he non-firearm mass murders are usually much larger death tolls (many dozens dead from arson mass murders, thousands dead from airplane mass murders, dozens to hundreds dead from explosives mass murders).

[M]ass murder is hardly a modern problem:  mass murder in America was a problem throughout the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, yet it did not prevent ratification of the broad guarantee recognized in DC v. Heller, incorporated to limit the states in McDonald v. Chicago, and the numerous state constitutional guarantees.

The applicant is currently verifying the 1880's and 1890's data and is compiling more recent data, including a list of all mass murders (not just gun mass murders) for the period of 2006-10.  The applicant expects to complete this project during the summer of 2019.  To date, he has identified 391 mass murders, with 6089 dead.  "Where a single weapon type was used: firearms of all types are a small part of all deaths."

Legal Scholarly Writing Project.

The applicant is an attorney who has worked on previous pro-Second Amendment writing projects.  The applicant wrote an article with David Kopel about post-Heller cases that have addressed laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places.  Following a symposium in February 2019, the article was published in the Charleston Law Review.  An additional article explores the historical basis for such laws and cover regulations regarding sensitive places from the fourteenth century to the present-day (with some background history dating as far back as 52 B.C.); the relevant cases that have been decided since the Supreme Court's Heller decision; and synthesizes the historical practice into a coherent doctrine for present-day "sensitive places."  This article represents the first in-depth historical analysis of sensitive places.

This matter may now be considered closed.

 

Mass Killings:  Myth, Reality, and Solutions.

The applicant has written a book about the nature of mass killings, their perpetrators and potential solutions.  The author has addressed the perpetrators' mental state.  "The biggest contributor to that appears to be narcissistic personal disorder, which is actually worsened by the way schools handle them."

The book uses historical examples to demonstrate how gun control laws do not affect mass slayings.  The book addresses arming teachers and others, and will conclude that arming civilians can prevent mass slayings.

The book outlines reforms for the mental health system, including revisiting decades old Supreme Court cases that restrict commitments.  The applicant worked with a renowned author who is an expert on the mental health system and a psychiatrist.

The book concludes that there is no need to panic as there is no epidemic of such mass shootings as portrayed by the mass media.  There are solutions to the problem, but gun control is the most useless approach because the perpetrators of mass killings plan for months or even years, can pass all background checks, only a few of them use so called "assault rifles," and they carry multiple weapons so magazine sizes are irrelevant.

1.         Mass and school killings are not a uniquely American experience. Our mass killing rate is actually lower than several European countries, even if terrorism is excluded from their rates. The record mass killing came in China, using bombs. The runner-up came in Norway, and third place was in South Korea. Our own record mass killing involved arson (107 dead), and our record school killing (44 deaths) involved dynamite, 90 years ago.

2.         Mass killers and school killers are for the most part driven by extreme narcissism. They long for the Godlike power of life and death over others, and more importantly, they long for celebrity status, they want their names and faces to be exposed to millions. …

3.         They and the mass media have established a symbiotic relationship. They give the media what they want - viewers riveted to TV screen and print media, thereby also watching advertising - and the media gives them what they want, their names and pictures shown worldwide. The Columbine killers debated which big-name director would direct the movie about them. They got their faces on the cover of Time magazine - twice.  …

4.         There are solutions, starting with media self-control. One social scientist believes that mass killings would drop by over a third if the media stopped treating killers as celebrities.  Tell the story, but stop using their names and photographs.  …  If there is one form of crime where gun control can have no effect, it's mass killings. Waiting periods?  The killers plan for months or years. Background checks?  They can pass them.  The Navy Yard killer even had a security clearance. Ban large magazines? Almost all killers carry 2-3 guns.

5.         One approach that has an impressive record: a good guy with a gun can stop a bad guy with a gun.  I compile a list of cases where intended mass killers were stopped by civilians or out-of-uniform law enforcement.  These haven't received much publicity because the killer was stopped before he became a mass killer, and without a large body count the media treats it as local news.  When we talk of "hardening" school targets, arming some teachers, even just a few, must be part of it.  Mass killers are terrified by the thought of failure; instead of becoming a celebrity, they are dead and forgotten. Armed teachers add to the risk of failure.

The applicant is using the Amazon electronic publishing service, which offers quick releases for books of 10,000 to 30,000 words for $2.00 instant delivery.   The book was released in August 2018 as a Kindle e-book.  The book is now also being distributed in paperback format by Amazon.

The applicant is exploring a Google advertising program that can be used so that google searches for certain terms provide a link to the book, so as to reach persons outside the pro-gun audience.

Research and Writing Projects.

The applicant participated in a Second Amendment symposium relating to District of Columbia v. Heller, at Southern Illinois University on April 19, 2018.  The applicant addressed two main themes:  (1) the legal chaos which has resulted from numerous circuit splits and the Supreme Court's repeated denials of certiorari; and (2) the need to apply heightened standards of review.

The applicant's submitted materials have now been published in the Southern Illinois University Law Review shortly.  The applicant's article, entitled Standards Of Review, The Second Amendment, and Doctrinal Chaos, addresses the Supreme Court cases, and

… the serious circuit splits that have occurred in two areas:  (1) Standard of review, where courts range from imposing a high level of scrutiny and demanding actual proof that a law works, to applying rational basis under another name, and upholding laws based on speculation.  (2) When Heller referred to 'long standing' [laws] surviving legal challenges, was it predicting that these laws would probably pass scrutiny, or created categorical exclusions where the Second Amendment has no application at all?  The article will close with a call for a high level of scrutiny, based on the proclivity of some legislatures to pass gun laws on a whim, or to punish firearm owners.

The article has two thrusts: (1) the Court really has to grant cert. Lower courts have split on every aspect of Heller, and the result is legal chaos. (2) In particular they have fractured badly on standard of review, all the way from strict scrutiny to rational basis (that Circuit holds that Heller's preclusion of rational basis only applies to its narrow holding: a complete prohibition gets elevated review, anything less gets rational basis).

The applicant revised the article after Brett Kavanaugh was nominated for the Supreme Court, as Judge Kavanaugh takes a different approach to standards of review. "Judge Kavanaugh holds that there is no standard of review applicable: review should be based on "text, history, and tradition."

The article concludes that the "law of the Second Amendment is in chaos."  Among the unsettled issues are

1.         Whether there is a one-stage test or a two-stage test, i.e. whether the Heller reassurance regarding "long standing" laws marks a threshold screening or not;

2.         whether the means-end assessment has one or two components, one for core rights and the other for lesser aspects of the right;

3.         If so, whether the "core right" is limited to defense in the home;

4.         whether the standard of review is strict scrutiny, almost-strict scrutiny, intermediate review, or rational basis,

5.         if intermediate review, whether it is "almost strict scrutiny," or rational basis by another name; and

6.         whether as-applied challenges are allowed or forbidden.

The article argues that the Supreme Court must take cases to settle circuit splits on standards of review and determine whether as-applied challenges are allowable.  The article argues for application of strict scrutiny or something very close to it, and against the two-level standard of review applied by the Second Circuit in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, et al. v. City of New York, et al.

The applicant has completed research for his next law review article, has completed writing most of it, and anticipates finishing it in August 2019.  "The article has two thrusts: (1) the [Second Amendment]'s militia clause and its right to arms clause have different histories and constituencies, so that one cannot be a limitation on the other, and (2) in any event, the National Guard is not the militia of the Constitution. In its present form, it was actually organized in the 1920s under the Army and not the Militia Clause, specifically to get around restrictions on the use of the militia.

Lastly, the applicant was invited to write for and present at a January 18, 2019 Second Amendment Symposium at Lincoln Memorial Law School in Knoxville, Tennessee.