Wisconsin Judge Lets Delivery Man Carry Concealed Handgun for Job

A permit process would obviously be a lot less costly way of letting those who are able to carry a concealed handgun be able to do so.

A Milwaukee County judge found the concealed-weapon prosecution of a pizza driver who shot two would-be robbers in seven months unconstitutional Monday.

The ruling by Circuit Judge Daniel A. Noonan means Andres Vegas won't face criminal charges in the non-fatal shootings. Prosecutors had filed a misdemeanor count of carrying a concealed weapon after the second shooting, in January, and said Vegas had been warned after a July 2006 shooting not to carry a concealed gun while driving for his job.

However, Noonan agreed with defense attorneys' contention that Vegas needed the gun to protect himself in his chosen work, citing state Supreme Court decisions that found justified exceptions to the state's concealed-carry ban.

"Given Vegas's experience, he has a need for a gun at a moment's notice," Noonan writes in his decision. "Enclosing and unloading the weapon is not a reasonable alternative to secure and protect his safety. Plus, Vegas while delivering pizzas enters and exits his car constantly; it would be unreasonable for him every time that he enters his car to require him to unload it and place it in a case and then reverse the process every time he exits. This defeats the purpose of having the gun for security and protection. . . . .

Thanks to L A Stich for sending me this link.

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The more costly the story, the less likely it is to be published: Campaigns in Action

Early this summer, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign for president learned that the men’s magazine GQ was working on a story the campaign was sure to hate: an account of infighting in Hillaryland.

So Clinton’s aides pulled a page from the book of Hollywood publicists and offered GQ a stark choice: Kill the piece, or lose access to planned celebrity coverboy Bill Clinton.

Despite internal protests, GQ editor Jim Nelson met the Clinton campaign’s demands, which had been delivered by Bill Clinton’s spokesman, Jay Carson, several sources familiar with the conversations said.

GQ writer George Saunders traveled with Clinton to Africa in July, and Clinton is slated to appear on the cover of GQ’s December issue, in which it traditionally names a “Man of the Year,” according magazine industry sources.

And the offending article by Atlantic Monthly staff writer Josh Green got the spike. . . . .

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Newt Gingrich's Theory of Early Polls

Given that, Newt Gingrich has a great theory about how people vote and why people respond to polls different than they do when they actually go and vote. People vote the way men buy cars. If you think or I think I need a new car, I might drive a Jaguar or a Hummer or a Maserati if I can find one, whatever.

And if you ask me after I drove it, did you like that car? "Oh yeah, that was a great car." (A pollster's conclusion:) "Galen likes Hummers." ...

And that's what happens when people are asked by a pollster if the election were held today, (who would you support)? If I was going to buy a car today — yeah. But I'm not buying a car today, so I can say whatever I want.

But when the day comes that I do buy the car and I have to actually write the check, I drive out with a Windstar because that's the right car for the family. . . . .



G. Gordon Liddy radio show on Monday Morning

I will be on the G. Gordon Liddy radio show at 10 AM on Monday, September 24th.


Did Giuliani Convince the NRA Last Week?

Funny unintended consequences: a renewable energy source increases greenhouse gases

Economics and American Government Classes at Riverdale High School

The teacher is holding a copy of Freedomnomics.

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"Overzealous in Knoxville"

There is a bigger advantage to society from people carrying concealed handguns, but this citizen was still in the right:

Trevor Putnam knew the gun laws. The officer who stopped him didn’t.

“When I told him that I hadn’t done anything, he said he’d find a reason to put me in jail,” said Putnam, 24, who works with guns every day as vice president of Coal Creek Armory in West Knoxville.

“It’s not that I have a problem with police officers. I deal with police officers nationwide from Arizona to Maine every day. But I lost my confidence in a legal right that I knew I had.”

Knoxville police officers will get a refresher course on the state’s gun permit laws after an officer who didn’t know the law stopped, frisked and threatened to arrest Putnam for legally carrying a gun inside a Wal-Mart this summer.

Officer Glenn Todd Greene’s actions June 21 at the store on Walbrook Drive in West Knoxville earned him a written reprimand and remedial training for rudeness and not knowing the law, Internal Affairs records show. He’s worked for the Knoxville Police Department for about seven years.

Putnam got a written apology from Police Chief Sterling P. Owen IV.

“The officer was wrong I want to personally apologize to you for any embarrassment or inconvenience you may have suffered as a result of this incident,” the chief wrote.. . .

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More On Iowa Campus Police Not Yet Being Allowed to Carry Guns.

David Yepsen usually strikes me as a fairly mild mannered guy, but he just can't seem to restrain himself in discussing the opposition and delays in letting campus police carrying guns at Iowa's public universities. Yepsen surely understands the issues of deterrence and incapacitation:

Just when I was worried about finding new entertainment once the caucuses clear out of here in January, along comes the Board of Regents and the Des Moines School Board.

The regents act like the guys in charge of traffic control at a Tom Harkin steak fry.

They're a joke. This time, it's over the important security issue of whether to arm campus cops. The officers have asked for years to carry firearms. Most other college security officers do. The security chiefs at the universities want their officers to carry firearms, too.

But not in Iowa. We don't have mass shootings like they did at Virginia Tech. (Well, not very often anyway.)

It took that tragedy in Virginia to wake up everyone else. Now, the three state university presidents in Iowa are recommending campus peace officers at their schools be armed. That ought to be the end of it. The CEOs of the institutions have spoken. . . .

Another viewpoint is seen here:

Steinke said the regents feel they need more information before such a plan could be approved. According to Steinke, regents feel they need additional information on the type of ammunition the officers would use, the certification that they would be required to complete prior to carrying weapons and whether there would be background checks and psychological profiles of the officers carrying weapons. . . . .

Clearly, those are legitimate concerns. Equally clearly, they are concerns that can be addressed in a matter of days - certainly not weeks or months - by reviewing the existing policies of Iowa's existing law enforcement agencies and the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy.

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Another Review of Freedomnomics

Talk on Friday at 2:50 PM in St. Louis

EAGLE COUNCIL XXXVI, Hilton St. Louis Frontenac Hotel, 1335 South Lindbergh Bl., St. Louis, MO 63131, (314) 993-1100. I will be speaking from 2:50 to 3:30 PM at the Hotel. Sorry, for traveling and giving talks so much this week.

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Columbus, Georgia sees big increase in gun ownership with rise in crime


More Talks today

At noon I will be speaking at Lewis & Clark Law School.
At 4 PM I will be speaking at Willamette Law School.

Both talks will be about information in Freedomnomics.


The Soviet Union lost more soilders fighting for other people's liberty than the US?

From the Washington Post:

the claim

"You know, you look back over our history, and it doesn't take you long to realize that our people have shed more blood for other people's liberty than any other combination of nations in the history of the world.''

-- Fred D. Thompson, stump speech in Des Moines, Sept. 7


A grandiose claim that is hard to justify no matter how you define "other people's liberty." Let's begin by looking at U.S. casualties in foreign wars. (Domestic conflicts such as the Revolutionary War and the Civil War are excluded.)

Conflict Casualties

Spanish American War 2,446
World War I 116,516
World War II 405,399
Korean War 36,574
Vietnam War 58,209
Persian Gulf War 382
Wars in Afghanistan,
Iraq (as of yesterday) 4,217

Total 623,288
SOURCES: Congressional Research Service, Defense Department

The number of overall U.S. military casualties, while high, is still relatively low in comparison to those of its World War I and World War II allies. In World War II alone, the Soviet Union suffered at least 8 million casualties, or more than 10 times the number of U.S. casualties for all wars combined. According to Winston Churchill, the Red Army "tore the guts out of the Nazi war machine." It can be argued that Soviet troops were primarily fighting to free their homeland from Nazi occupation. After fighting its way to Berlin, the Soviet Union imposed its own dictatorship over Eastern Europe. Even so, Soviet sacrifices contributed greatly to the liberation of Western Europe from Nazi domination. Soviet forces died for their own country and their own tyrannical government, but they also spilled blood on behalf of their Western allies. . . .

Is this really serious? Suppose that the Americans have encountered more difficulty from the Germans on D-day and the Soviets had been able to go further West. Does the Post believe that people living in that additional area would have been free?

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University of Iowa Regents slowly making progress towards arming campus police

The progress is slow, but hopefully it will be done next month.

Council Bluffs, Ia. - The Iowa Board of Regents has delayed a decision on arming campus police until at least October.

The board seemed poised Tuesday to vote on whether to change its 40-year policy prohibiting campus police from regularly carrying firearms. Several regents, including David Miles, Bob Downer and Jack Evans, said they were ready to vote in favor of arming campus police.

Regent Ruth Harkin then proposed development of a comprehensive security policy that would include the arming issue. Regent Craig Lang seconded her motion, which was approved, and the board then voted 7-1 to create a provision in that policy allowing campus police officers to carry firearms in the regular course of duties.

The new policy would need to be approved at a future meeting. That could occur as soon as October. . . .

Thanks to Chris Jens for sending me this link.

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NRA's political donations small compared to MoveOn.Org

WASHINGTON — Here's a pop quiz on money in politics: Who gives more money to federal candidates, the National Rifle Association or MoveOn.org?

Answer: MoveOn.

And it isn't even close.

In the last two election cycles, MoveOn.org Political Action Committee spent more than $58 million in pro-Democrat political advocacy, according to Federal Election Commission records.

In just the 2006 election cycle, MoveOn.org spent $27 million in advocacy to elect a Democratic majority in Congress and used its formidable fund-raising clout to propel numerous Democratic challengers to House and Senate victories. By comparison, the NRA PAC donated $11 million in 2006.

"They give away and raise about three times as much as the National Rifle Association," said Massie Ritsch, communications director for the Center for Responsive Politics. "A tremendous amount of money, especially when you consider how quickly they came on the scene."

Thanks to Robert Aldridge for sending me this.

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More on Teacher Trying to Take a Gun on School Property for Protection

Ashland, Ore. - In court documents, she's known as "Jane Doe." Innocuous enough, but the woman behind that pseudonym pushes one of the nation's hottest political buttons: guns and school safety.

What Ms. Doe wants to do is take her Glock 9-mm pistol to the high school in Medford, Ore., where she teaches.

She's licensed to carry a concealed weapon and she has what many supporters say is a legitimate reason for being armed: a restraining order against her ex-husband based on threats he's allegedly made against her and her children.

But district policy prohibits anyone except a law-enforcement officer from bringing a weapon onto campus. When word got out that she had a concealed-carry permit, administrators reminded her of that policy. There's the political rub: According to state law, "any element relating to firearms and components thereof, including ammunition, is vested solely in the Legislative Assembly."

Backed by gun-rights groups, Doe intends to challenge the school district in state court this week. Meanwhile throughout the country, lawmakers are filing bills that would make it legal for adult school employees to carry firearms, in some cases providing special weapons safety training for those who want to be part of their school's security force in addition to their classroom teaching duties. . . . .

Thanks for Will Brink and Scott A. Davis for sending me similar links on this story

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NRA might endorse Giuliani?

Appearance on Lars Larson Radio Show

I will be on the Lars Larson radio show at 6:20 PM today.


Talk on Thursday night to the New York Young Republican Club

Older Men-Younger Women Romances Good for Longevity of Human Race

Younger women being attracted to older men is biologically based:

Older men who shack up with much younger women keep the Grim Reaper at bay for the human population and extend our species' lifespan, new research claims. . . .

As relationships seem to be less motivated to produce children over time, there might be a correlation with a reduction in the average age between men and women. I wonder whether there is empirical evidence that men search for other mates when the women that they are with are no longer able to have children.

What is not noted if that the same would hold for females. Older females should reproduce and marry (whatever) male age group. This might actually have a larger effect on longevity because, say, by 40, a lot of women cannot have babies because of either bad eggs and/or because of health problems. So the women capable of having babies post-40 are the ones with healthier genes (and genes for longeivity).

Does it occur that the reason that women marry older men is because EVEN THOUGH the women are more attracted to younger men, the older men might have more wealth/higher income and are more likely to be stable emotionally? So the 24-year old woman in the U.S. who marries a 28-year-old man rather than a 20-year-old is likely to be able to start have babies earlier. It is not particularly impressive that he made it all the way to age 28 even though it makes some slight difference in weeding out the ones who committed suicide or died in a car crash at 21.

Also, demographics force many women to marry older men. There is just a tremendous surplus of women to men in the very highest age-groups, and those men like to pick the relatively younger (old) women, who also will take care of them when they age and die.

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New Op-ed on Why the Press Likes Campaign Finance Regulations


The Unintended Consequences of the Organ Donation Regulations

If people could buy organs from donors, there would be more organs available and the value of each organ would go down. With more organs available, there would be a lot less pressure to harvest any possible organs that were available, and I assume fewer cases such as this:

After a long fight with a degenerative disease, Ruben Navarro appeared close to death. So the hospital caring for him alerted the local transplant network, which rushed a team to the medical center to try to salvage the 25-year-old's organs.

But as Navarro hung on, tension mounted in the operating room of Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo, Calif. With time slipping away, one of the transplant surgeons ordered repeated doses of the narcotic morphine and the sedative Ativan, jokingly calling the drugs "candy," according to police reports. Navarro eventually died, but too late for his organs to be useful.

Horrified nurses complained, prompting multiple investigations. In July, prosecutors charged Hootan Roozrokh with trying to hasten Navarro's death, marking the first time a surgeon has faced criminal charges in a transplant case.

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Art DeVany's nice mention of Freedomnomics

Another Review of Freedomnomics

Reminder that Atlas Shrugged was published on Oct. 12, 1957, 50th Anniversary coming up

The New York TImes as a reminder of the influence that Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged has had. In particular, it mentions how the book has shaped the feelings of many corporate executives.



Ann Coulter is promoting Freedomnomics at Xavier University

Ann Coulter is shown here promoting Freedomnomics in a talk at Xavier University.

Thanks very much to Zeke for sending me this link.

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New Op-ed on DC Handgun Ban

D.C.’s brief makes a number of other claims:

The ban comes "nowhere close to disarmament of residents. The District's overwhelming interest in reducing death and injury caused by handguns outweighs respondent's asserted need . . . ." The obvious key here is that DC says people can use rifles and shotguns for self-defense. D.C. also adds that they don't believe that the regulations that lock up and require the disassembling of guns does not "prevent the use of a lawful firearm in self-defense."

But locked guns are simply not as readily accessible for defensive gun uses. In the U.S., states that require guns be locked up and unloaded face a 5 percent increase in murder and a 12 percent increase in rapes. Criminals are more likely to attack people in their homes and those attacks are more likely to be successful.

Since potentially armed victims deter criminals, storing a gun locked and unloaded actually encourages increased crime.

— "All too often, handguns in the heat of anger turn domestic violence into murder."

To put it bluntly, criminals are not your typical citizens.

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Democrats can't distance themselves from MoveOn.org

Democrats refuse to criticize MoveOn.org's attack ad on General Petraeus.

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Voter Fraud Texas Style

Vote Fraud Canadian Style


Two funny comics

This comic strip was too sensitive politically for the Washington Post. Apparently the previous week's strip making fun of the deceased Jerry Falwell was not a problem for the newspapers, but this one dealt with Islam.


So does this count as a political donation by the NY Times?

If Tapper's numbers are correct, MoveOn.org paid just 38.89% of a full-cost, nationwide ad, or a 61.11% discount off of a full-rate ad. While I'm fairly certain that nobody pays "sticker" prices, 61% off seems a rather sweet deal.

If this was to a political campaign, would this count towards donation limits? I assume that campaigns take out ads, but does the NY Times charge everyone the same amount for ads.

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School Tries to Hide Crime by Banning 911 Calls, Student suffers brain damage from stroke because no one could call 911 for help

Sometimes trying to cover up crime numbers has some serious unintended consequences:

The typed words on the school memo are as direct as they are stunning: "No Deans are permitted to call 911 for any reason."
An assistant principal at Jamaica High School wrote the order just two weeks before ninth-grader Mariya Fatima suffered a stroke at the Queens school in April.
Employees waited more than an hour before calling 911, according to court records, costing Mariya crucial minutes of medical treatment, a delay that may have made her paralysis worse.
A month after Mariya collapsed, the same assistant principal sent out another memo, flip-flopping and telling the deans it was okay to call 911, but instructing them to downplay assaults.
The author of the memo and the school's principal have both since left Jamaica High School, but that's little comfort to Mariya's family.
"You take it for granted that your child is going to be safe, but if they don't want to call 911, no matter what the circumstances, your child is not protected," family lawyer Gary Carlton said.
Mariya, who lost use of her right hand and leg, has had to relearn how to speak and walk since the stroke.
She's receiving home instruction, but her reading skills have dropped to a fifth-grade level.
"I want to go back [to school]," she recently told the Daily News. "I feel lonely."
The memos, obtained by The News, shed light on the lengths some educators will go in order to improve crime statistics and avoid harsh penalties.

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Talks next week

Monday, noon, Seattle University Law School
Tuesday, Noon, University of Oregon Law School
Wednesday, noon, Lewis & Clark University Law School
Wednesday, 4 PM, Willamette University Law School
Thursday, 7 PM, New York CIty Young Republican Club, http://www.nyyrc.com/calendar/month.php

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Reputations for safety matter

Mattel Inc. CEO Robert Eckert pledged Wednesday to work to improve toy safety, and insisted that the company acted responsibly in recalling millions of Chinese-made toys because they contained lead paint or small magnets.

Seeking to tamp down public outrage over a rash of recalls, Eckert acknowledged his El Segundo, Calif.-based company made mistakes by not closely overseeing subcontractors in China whose toys didn't meet U.S. safety standards. But he steadfastly disputed reports that Mattel was feuding with federal regulators over warning requirements and as a result didn't disclose quickly enough dangers of excessive lead paint and small magnets in toys that prompted an Aug. 14 recall of 19 million products worldwide.

"We are by no means perfect," Eckert said in prepared testimony to a Senate Appropriations subcommittee. "But we have tackled difficult issues before and demonstrated an ability to make change for the better, not only within our own company but for the broader industry." . . . .

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Update on Campus Police carrying guns in Iowa

An update on the decision by public universities in Iowa on whether campus police should be allowed to carry guns is available here.

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Minnesota Legislative Reference Library Provides Some Balance on Economic Debate


"Man In Wheelchair Shoots Intruder"

Why a free-market wage is a "fair wage"

Senate security regarding General David Petraeus testimony

Yesterday, two members of Code Pink stood up and yelled during General David Petraeus testified. These two women were dressed all in pink. The same thing happened on Tuesday. It looked like the same two women. I thought that Ike Skelton had promised on Monday that these two women would be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Whatever penalty these two women faced, how is it that these two women got into the hearing. It is my understanding that the audience had to get passes to attend the hearing. Why were these two women allowed in? Why did the Democrats want them to attend? Why does the press ask the Democrats why they keep letting these women in the hearing rooms?


Fred Thompson takes lead among Republicans for President

Debate continues at Iowa Public Universities over Arming Police

At the Iowa State forum, Stewart said that having campus police trained and certified to carry guns would help officers protect students. He said ISU police deserve the same level of protection as officers in other communities.

Warren Madden, ISU vice president of business and finance, said an armed police force could react more quickly to serious threats than other law enforcement agencies.

"Sometimes time is a critical element in responding to events," Madden said.

Herman Quirmbach, ISU associate professor of economics and a Democratic state senator from Ames, said arming campus police is not the answer to violence on campus. Rather, Quirmbach said, the university should identify students who may have violent tendencies and get them help.

Faculty at University of Northern Iowa and Iowa State University opposed letting police carry guns. The faculty at the University of Iowa voted "12-3 to support arming police." Well, the debate is heating up and the University Presidents have made their decisions even if they haven't been made public yet. One would hope that an economist such as Quirmbach would understand the notion of deterrence. In any case, why does he think that they will be successful in identifying those who will commit the attack (assuming that it is only students who will do it)? What do you do if you fail to identify those who want to do the attack?

Thanks to Richard Featherstone for sending this to me.

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Gun Control Doesn't Appear to Be Big Issue in Switzerland

With the Swiss People’s Party in the lead in Switzerland, some of the earlier concerns about Switzerland adopting much stronger gun control laws appears to have receded somewhat.

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Mexico's strict gun control hasn't stopped its worst problem: crime

Mexico has very strict gun control laws:

Mexico's gun control laws are much stricter than in the United States. Individuals may purchase pistols or lighter caliber rifles, but only after obtaining a license following an exhaustive background check and then registering the firearm with the federal government. . . .

But voters think that the country's most pressing problem is crime:

People in Mexico have a clear idea of what their country’s most pressing concern is, according to a poll by Ipsos-Bimsa published by El Universal. 21 per cent of respondents think crime is the biggest problem facing the Latin American country. . . .

Gun control advocates claim that the problem is guns from the US. Here is my question: Why is it that if the Mexican's can't control the drug trade, they are going to be able to stop the drug gangs from getting the guns that are necessary to protect their drug businesses?

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Oregon School District banning concealed handguns on School Property despite state law

One teacher is at least trying to stop the school district from making its schools gun free zones

A high school teacher wanting to carry a gun on campus is fueling a challenge against a Medford School District policy that prohibits possession of a weapon on school grounds.

Portland-based lawyer Jim Leuenberger, with backing from the Oregon Firearms Federation, said in an e-mail sent Friday to the Mail Tribune that he intends to ask a Jackson County Circuit Court judge to declare the policy "illegal and void" for holders of concealed handgun licences.

"There is a state statute that prohibits local governments — including school boards — from restricting possession of firearms by concealed firearm permit holders," Leuenberger said. "The state statute says any such local restrictions are void." . . .

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Smith & Wesson making money


Does DC know what "Does not deprive" means?

On page 21 of its request for cert from the Supreme Court, DC makes the following claim:

A law that bans handguns, but permits private ownership of rifles and shotguns does not deprive anyone of the right to keep and bear Arms, however that right is construed."

"Does not deprive" is a pretty strong term. But owning rifles and shotguns is not the same thing as being able to use them. The word "bear" must mean something. The implications for DC's gun locks can be seen in the paper found here. Some of the diagrams in the paper are particularly useful.

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One Briton's View of Guns in the US

Despite the recent spate of shootings on our streets, we pride ourselves on our strict gun laws. Every time an American gunman goes on a killing spree, we shake our heads in righteous disbelief at our poor benighted colonial cousins. Why is it, even after the Virginia Tech massacre, that Americans still resist calls for more gun controls?

The short answer is that “gun controls” do not work: they are indeed generally perverse in their effects. Virginia Tech, where 32 students were shot in April, had a strict gun ban policy and only last year successfully resisted a legal challenge that would have allowed the carrying of licensed defensive weapons on campus. It is with a measure of bitter irony that we recall Thomas Jefferson, founder of the University of Virginia, recording the words of Cesare Beccaria: “Laws that forbid the carrying of arms . . . disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes . . . Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”

One might contrast the Virginia Tech massacre with the assault on Virginia’s Appalachian Law School in 2002, where three lives were lost before a student fetched a pistol from his car and apprehended the gunman. . . .

It is nice to see that these arguments are even being taken seriously in the UK.

Thanks to Dan Gifford for sending this to me.

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New Op-ed in NY Post: Falling Bridges?

New Op-ed: DC asking for Cert on Gun Ban

Photo IDs will be allowed for Voting in Georgia

Judge Harold L. Murphy of Federal District Court here ruled that a group of plaintiffs who challenged the law, a coalition that included the American Civil Liberties Union, the N.A.A.C.P. and the League of Women Voters, had not proved that the law placed “an undue or significant burden” on the right to vote.

Passage of the law was one of the first major actions of the newly Republican-led legislature in 2005, and it has been tied up in the courts since then.

Critics say the law will discourage voting, especially among the poor and the elderly. Supporters say it is necessary to prevent voter fraud.

The two sides have had difficulty proving their cases. In hearings, the individual plaintiffs acknowledged that they had the means to obtain photo identification, especially because the legislature had changed the law to make the cards free and easier to acquire. . . .

The argument against IDs has always seemed pretty weak to me. The claim is that the plaintiffs would just need to show that not everyone has a driver's license. There are two problems with this. That doesn't mean that people without driver's licenses voter very much. More importantly, possibly those who vote and who don't currently have some type of Photo ID will now get one. Before they didn't have a reason to get an ID and now they do.


Evaluating the Virginia Tech Report on Guns

An example of how restrictions on campaigning help better known candidates

HILLARY Rodham Clin ton's presidential cam paign hints that agree ing to refrain from campaigning in outlaw Florida and Michigan primaries is a noble sacrifice bowing to party rules. Some of the news media bought into that, with The New York Times reporting: "The decision seemed to dash any hopes of Mrs. Clinton relying on a strong showing in Florida as a springboard to the nomination." Rather, her forbearance looks like a windfall for the Democratic front-runner.

Democratic consultant Bob Shrum, who does not have a candidate this time around, correctly interpreted the decision by Clinton and her two principal competitors, Barack Obama and John Edwards, to follow the Democratic National Committee (DNC) rules. On NBC's "Meet the Press" last Sunday, Shrum said: "That actually, in a perverse way" could "help Sen. Clinton. If no one campaigns and she wins . . . the primary in Florida, wins the primary in Michigan, that could have a knockout effect." . . .

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Even with gun ownership, you make something more costly people do less of it


Sometimes Government Insurance Doesn't Really Mean Coverage

Two patients in Canada who couldn't wait for the government insurance program to provide them health care coverage.

Patients suing province over wait times
Man, woman who couldn't get quick treatment travelled to U.S. to get brain tumours removed
Sep 06, 2007 04:30 AM
Tanya Talaga
Health Reporter

. . . Holmes began losing her vision in March 2005, she told a press conference at Queen's Park yesterday. An MRI in May 2005 revealed a tumour in her brain. Her family doctor couldn't expedite appointments booked with specialists for July 19 and Sept. 19, 2005. As the tumour pressed on her optic nerves, her vision deteriorated. Afraid to wait any longer, she went to the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Within a week she met three specialists and was told she had a fluid-filled sac growing near her pituitary gland at the base of her brain. They urged her to have it taken out immediately. She went home with the hopes of quickly removing what is known as a Rathke's cleft cyst.

Unable to get surgery fast, she returned to Arizona and had the mass removed on Aug. 1, 2005. Her vision was restored in 10 days. The Holmes family is now in debt $95,000 because of medical costs.

"My husband has taken a second full-time job. We've re-mortgaged our home. It has to be known. People can't go through this," said Holmes, a family mediator. "I was very fortunate to save my eyesight but the cost and the battle has been devastating . . . .


Alan Colmes forces Giuliani to say Whether He thinks that the Brady Act Reduced Violent Crime

If there is an academic study by Economists or Criminologiist that finds tht the Brady Act reduced violent crime, I hope that someone will please point to it for me. Alan Colmes deserves some respect for forcing Giuliani to answer this question.

COLMES: But the Brady Bill did lead to a decline in crime. You have to acknowledge that.
GIULIANI: The Brady Bill was part of the crime bill. The crime bill overall helped. I am not saying it did not help. But the reality is that what we did in New York was nothing short of totally unexpected. Nobody thought it was possible.

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New Book Reviews of Freedomnomics

1) The Heartland Institute has a nice review of my book here (click on review).

2) A review of the book in National Review by Jim Manzi concludes that: "Yet this limitation is only one of arggument, not one of ultimate purpose. Lott's overall point -- that freedom unleashes, for the most part, beneficial human ingenuity, and not the corrupt carnival of Levitt's imagination -- is both true and important. Freedomnomics is well worth reading as an engaging apologetic for the market economy." If I have time, I will write some notes on this review.

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Fred Thompson's Video Announcing His Campaign for the Presidency

The video announcement of Fred Thompson's announced run for the presidency can be seen here.

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For DC the ban on handguns is a safety issue

Leonardo DiCaprio's Environmental Movie Bombs

Why isn't the press covering Norman Hsu as the Democrat's Jack Abramoff?

Of course, Jack Abramoff gave money to both Republicans and Democrats, but the press played it as a purely Republican scandal. Hsu is on the run again and I couldn't find a story about this on CNN. If it was Abramoff, I believe that this story would get round the clock coverage.

California businessman Norman Hsu, a former New York apparel executive and major contributor to Democratic candidates and causes, failed to appear for a bail reduction hearing Wednesday, leading to speculation that he again is a fugitive from the law, FOX News has learned. . . . .

--Hillary Clinton is keeping virtually all the money raised by Hsu for her campaign. Hsu "is listed as one of the top 20 Democratic fundraisers in the country and is one of Clinton's "HillRaisers" -- people who rustle up at least $100,000 for Clinton's campaign, The Wall Street Journal reports." The money she is keeping is the money that Hsu raised for her campaign, but the problems with this money is pretty obvious:

On top of that, among those who have "bundled" their contributions along with Hsu's is one San Francisco family of seven adults whose home is small and under the airport flight path, jobs are average and $213,000 in donations are closely coordinated with Hsu's.

Hsu's relationship to the Paw family apparently goes back a decade, and Winkle Paw, 35, is an employee of Hsu's New York companies, The Wall Street Journal was first to report. Barcella told The Los Angeles Times the Paws have their own cash, and "Norman never reimbursed anyone for their contribution."

Another New York family of three that runs a plastics packaging plant in Pennsylvania and is tied to Hsu donated more than $200,000 in the last three years, the Times states.

Clinton adviser Howard Wolfsen told The Times that Hsu has been a longtime donor to the party: "During Mr. Hsu's many years of active participation in the political process, there has been no question about his integrity or his commitment to playing by the rules, and we have absolutely no reason to call his contributions into question or to return them."

-- Democratic Representative Patrick Kennedy is keeping his donations from Hsu.

So apparently on are many others. My own belief is the very fact that so many democrats are keeping this money shows that there hasn't been the same pressure on them as there was on the Republicans. Is Hsu merely serving as a conduit for money from China? He is a Hong Kong businessman.

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Realtors Discuss Freakonomics and Freedomnomics

Many of you no doubt read the book Freakonomics by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner. I read it the other year. It was a bestseller and caused quite a buzz and a stir when it was first published. The book is an interesting and entertaining read that discusses some controversial idea, among them that legalized abortion helped reduce violent crime in the 1990s . . .

This weekend I read the book Freedomnomics, subtitled "A Rebuttal to Freakonomics and More"

Author and Economist John Lott, Jr. provides some convincing arguments against the evidence and conclusions of the book Freakonomics.

Regarding the topic of real estate agents, Lott surmises that Levitt & Dubner habitually fail to realize "that market forces exist that punish dishonest behavior."

Lott doubts that real estate agents are really ripping off their own clients and states that a listing agent has very little to gain from encouraging buyers to deliberately depress bids on homes. . . . .

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UK Gun Crime Soaring, Labor Government Accused of Cooking the Books

THE government was accused yesterday of covering up the full extent of the gun crime epidemic sweeping Britain, after official figures showed that gun-related killings and injuries had risen more than fourfold since 1998.

The Home Office figures - which exclude crimes involving air weapons - show the number of deaths and injuries caused by gun attacks in England and Wales soared from 864 in 1998-99 to 3,821 in 2005-06. That means that more than 10 people are injured or killed in a gun attack every day.

This weekend the Tories said the figures challenged claims by Jacqui Smith, the home secretary, that gun crime was falling. David Davis, the shadow home secretary, tells her in a letter today that the “staggering findings” show her claims that gun crime has fallen are “inaccurate and misleading”. . . .

Thanks very much to Will Brink for bringing this to my attention.

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Jodie Foster's New Movie "The Brave One" Looks to be Very Disappointing

"The Brave One" looked like a revival of the old "Death Wish" movies, or at least that was what I thought at first. Warner Brothers describes the movie as follows:

The first time she shoots someone, it is kill or be killed. The second time is also in self-defense . . . or did she make a choice not to take herself out of harm's way? The fear that once paralyzed her has been replaced by something else . . .

I have posted positive notes on this movie earlier, but this summary and Jodie Foster's discussion here are very disappointing:

''Here's my commentary: I don't believe that any gun should be in the hand of a thinking, feeling, breathing human being. Americans are by nature filled with rage-slash-fear. And guns are a huge part of our culture. I know I'm crazy because I'm only supposed to say that in Europe. But violence corrupts absolutely. By the end of this, her transformation is complete. ''F--- all of you, now I'm just going to kill people with my bare hands.''' . . .

Does this mean that Switzerland isn't part of Europe? In any case, the synopsis of the movie stating she "has been replaced by something else" with Foster's own views is not very promising. It appears to give this movie a decidedly anti-self defense twist.

Well, at least some of the recent reviews have picked up on this heavily anti-self defense sentiment that seems apparent in the movie:

an impeccable dissection of gun control, as well as a wicked mockery of NRA mentality. . . .

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Incentives matter even in a socialist workers paradise


Percentage of Americans who are Hunters Plummets

New figures from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service show that the number of hunters 16 and older declined by 10 percent between 1996 and 2006 - from 14 million to about 12.5 million. The drop was most acute in New England, the Rocky Mountains, and the Pacific states, which lost 400,000 hunters in that span.

The primary reasons, experts say, are the loss of hunting land to urbanization plus a perception by many families that they can't afford the time or costs that hunting entails.

"To recruit new hunters, it takes hunting families," said Gregg Patterson of Ducks Unlimited. "I was introduced to it by my father, he was introduced to it by his father. When you have boys and girls without a hunter in the household, it's tough to give them the experience."

Some animal-welfare activists welcome the trend, noting that it coincides with a 13 percent increase in wildlife watching since 1996. But hunters and state wildlife agencies, as they prepare for the fall hunting season, say the drop is worrisome. . . .

There are a lot of economics reasons for this. Fewer people have grown up in rural areas raising the costs of them learning how to hunt, possibly more alternative activities raising their opportunity costs, increased licensing requirements raising the costs of getting started, and having to travel farther to go hunting.

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Mark Levin on Senator Larry Craig Resigning

So, Larry Craig is gone. He solicited sex without actually soliciting sex or having sex. He pled guilty, but not to lewd behavior — to disorderly conduct (a misdemeanor). He is said to have a secret life involving same sex partners, but where are all these partners? According to one report, a guy in college believes Craig hit on him in 1967. Another says he “believes” he performed oral sex on the senator in a restroom at Union Station. He’s not 100-percent sure. If Craig has been living this secret life since 1967, you’d think others would come forward at some point. Maybe they will. So far, they haven’t. Indeed, where is all the evidence of Craig’s seedy life? Where are the photos, the video, the audio, the solid witnesses, and the rest of the evidence? And if the case against Craig in that airport restroom was so compelling, if it was so sleazy, if authorities wanted to send a message to others, why didn’t prosecutors take Craig to trial? Why let him go with a disorderly conduct misdemeanor? Were they doing him a favor? I don’t think so. They conducted a sting operation without any sting. Let me suggest not only couldn’t they make a gross misdemeanor charge stick, they would have lost the disorderly conduct charge, too. Read the statute. But the law is an ass, as they say. This is an issue of morality. . . .

I think that Mark is right on. As I noted last Thursday, The biggest problem that I have is that sexual relations in a restroom should be punished. I don't think that simple foot tapping or even having one's shoe briefly touch another person's shoe should be a criminal offense.

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Freedomnomics on C-SPAN Again on Monday at 5 PM EDT

From David Friedman's Blog

David often has interesting discussions on his blog. Here are a few recent questions that he has raised.

Why don't we see automated systems in old houses that open windows at night when the outside temperature is lower than inside the house and close windows when the reverse is true?

My presumption is that the reason we don't see this is because it isn't efficient. It is costly to set up a mechanism that would raise and lower enough windows in a house to really effect the temperature. Even if we eventually see something like this in new houses, that wouldn't mean that it was efficient to put the system in older ones.

Is there a moral problem in giving students points for simply participating in class discussions? David worries about this because it may be done simply to reduce the effort that the professor makes in teaching.

I personally give credit for just students who get the answers right. But I do think that students learn from thinking on their feet so it doesn't bother me to call on students in the class who haven't raised their hands.

Finally, David asks about why low cost hotels include internet access in their price for the room, but more expensive hotels have it as an extra fee.

I could be wrong, but I guess that I am dubious that this has much to do with price discrimination. It would be interesting to get some numbers on the share of customers in the two types of hotels that use the internet.


Student prevented from graduating because she referred to Jesus in her commencement talk

This punishment seems a little extreme to me. I don't understand how a school can prohibit such speach by a student to begin with, but this punishment seems out of scale to the "crime."

DENVER — A student who said she was told she wouldn't get her diploma unless she apologized for a commencement speech in which she mentioned Jesus has filed a lawsuit alleging her free speech rights were violated.

The school district contends its actions were "constitutionally appropriate."

Erica Corder was one of 15 valedictorians at Lewis-Palmer High School in 2006. . . .

What is it with "15 valedictorians"? About the only way I can see you getting 15 valedictorians is if they all had straight "A's," and that implies that these classes give just too many A's. After all, many of these 15 valedictorians must have been taking honors and AP classes together. Suppose you have 25 students in an AP class. How many A's would you have to give out so that there will end up being 15 students all together who get straight A's.


Appalachian State 34, No. 5 Michigan 32

An amazing game. Completely unexpected upset. Appalachian State played like a team possessed.


Northern Iowa University Faculty Senate Votes Against Letting Campus Police Carry Guns

At a special meeting on Friday, the University of Northern Iowa Faculty Senate voted overwhelmingly against arming campus police.

The senate debated the issue for nearly an hour late in the afternoon as the campus emptied for the long holiday weekend. Ultimately, it decided the university would be safer if campus police did not carry guns. The final vote was 11 in favor of a motion to oppose arming campus police, with three voting against and one abstention. . . .

Professor Jerry Smith makes a strong point about police not being able to respond to an attack. Yet, I think that there is a further point. Not only will unarmed police be unable to respond, but if one believes in deterrence, unarmed police will actually make the attack more likely. The killers engaged in these multiple victim public killings have the warped objective to try to kill or wound as many people as possible and how successful they are is related to the amount of time that elapses between when the attack starts and when someone else with a gun is able to arrive on the scene. To the extent to which one can reduce these killers return to harming others, you can deter some attacks from occurring. Basically, some simple economics.

I find it amazing that even professors really believe that campus police, with the same training as other officers, carrying guns will make the campus less safe. The discussion about officers shooting African-Americans as a reason not to arm campus police is truly remarkable.

Thanks to Richard Featherstone for sending me this link.

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