All Postings from July 2004

Dems Won’t Permit Facts to Get In Way of ’00 Election Myth

My latest op-ed was published in Investors Business Daily.

Exploding the myth of electronic voting machines

John Fund has as excellent editorial on the subject.

Even the New York Times finally admits its bias on many social issues, including guns

The New York Times admits bias on gun control and other issues: I'll get to the politics-and-policy issues this fall (I want to watch the campaign coverage before I conclude anything), but for now my concern is the flammable stuff that ignites the right. These are the social issues: gay rights, gun control, abortion and environmental regulation, among others. And if you think The Times plays it down the middle on any of them, you've been reading the paper with your eyes closed.

Scary claims about punch cards ballots put to test

The ACLU's case against punch card voting machines in Ohio (a project of the Management Center) goes to court today. It is the first such trial in the nation and should be fun to watch. My research on punch card machines shows that "The rush to eliminate punch card ballots actually risks increasing the number of non-votes for other offices by much more than non-votes for presidential elections are reduced."

Useful summary of the Canadian Gun Registry Program

Baseline (a project of the Management Center) has a useful article on the history of the Canadian gun registry program. There are problems with it in that it assumes that polls of gun owners after the registration program started provide a useful benchmark for the number of guns in the country. Of course, those who don't want to register might not want to say that they have guns, but a few points like that aside, it is still useful.

Responses to my WSJ op-ed

Four critical letters and George Melloan's favorable op-ed in the WSJ discuss my piece on Martha Stewart's penalties. The letters just seem to assert that we should not take into account the monetary and reputational penalties imposed on criminals.

What to do when restraining orders don't work

Alphecca has an article about a woman using a gun to stop her ex from breaking into her home.

Gun rights advocates defend open-carry law

The Washington Times has an article today on the debate over open carry in Virginia. I think that open carry benefits those carrying the guns, but it is not clear what the impact is on others. Does it convince criminals that even more people might be carrying concealed? Does it cause those who currently carry to carry the guns openly? Does it make it acceptable for more people to carry concealed?

"Criminals don't want to come up against somebody who is willing to protect themselves," said Philip Van Cleave, president of the gun rights group Virginia Citizens Defense League

Concealed Handgun Permits increase in California since 9/11

The Los Angeles Times has an article today on the increase in concealed handgun permits issued in the state and a lawsuit that seeks to further increase the number of permits.

" The number of California residents who can legally carry a gun has surged 28% since 2000, reaching the highest level in decades following a spike in applications after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, new state figures show. . . .

"That is why Sheriff Lee Baca has approved only 377 permits, in addition to nearly 500 for the county's reserve deputies, Stonich said. Of those 377, about three-fourths are held by judges, prosecutors, public defenders and retired federal agents."

The numbers are still quite small compared to right-to-carry states. A rough calculation indicates that permit rates are a twentith of those in right-to-carry states.

How safe are Tasers?

The frequent inability of Tasers to incapacity their targets is well known because of , but now there is the issue of whether they can accidentally kill people.

" The company's primary safety studies on the M26, which is far more powerful than other stun guns, consist of tests on a single pig in 1996 and on five dogs in 1999. Company-paid researchers, not independent scientists, conducted the studies, which were never published in a peer-reviewed journal. Taser has no full-time medical director and has never created computer models to simulate the effect of its shocks, which are difficult to test in human clinical trials for ethical reasons."

Gun Group Takes Up Kerry Offer to Meet With 'All the People'

After John Kerry criticized George Bush for not attending the NAACP conference, has an article about how Gun Owners of America have invited Kerry to speak to them.

CNNfn On Stewart's Sentencing & Appeal

CNNfn has the discussion that we had on the penalties Martha Stewart faces.

Virginians carrying guns more openly II

The Washington Post has another balanced article on open carry in Virginia.

Ann Coulter's interesting take on Joseph Wilson

With all the questions being raised about Joseph Wilson's attacks on the Bush administration, Ann Coulter has a pretty amusing column.

Elections Canada to charge Moore for interfering in election?

The claims that: "Moore’s tactics encompass what legal beagles believe is a direct violation of Canada electoral law. Under the 'Non-Interference by Foreigners' clause (Part 11, Division 9, section 331) of the Canadian Elections Act." I am hardly a fan of Moore, but if true, this tells us more about the crazy election restrictions and lack of free speech in Canada than anything else.

Virginians carrying guns more openly

The Washington Post has an interesting story about how people in Northern Virginia are carrying guns more openly.

Howard Nemerov has new piece on guns

Howard Nemerov's discusses some of the claims of the Brady Campaign.

A reasonable Democrat on Michael Moore's movie:

Mort Kondracke on Michael Moore's movie:

Much of the conspiratorial content of "Fahrenheit" has been exposed as fraudulent. Republicans did not steal the 2000 election in Florida. A newspaper-financed recount of ballots showed that Bush won narrowly. And thousands of voters went home in the conservative Florida panhandle when the television networks called the state for Gore before the polls had closed.

Moore charges that Bush allowed members of the bin Laden family to flee the United States even as other air traffic was grounded after Sept. 11, 2001. And he charges that Bush and his family have been bought and sold - for the exact figure of $1.4 billion - by rich Saudis, including relatives of Osama bin Laden.

But while there does seem to be an excessive affinity between the Bushes and certain Saudis, Newsweek reporters Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball have debunked the theory of massive financial ties. And the national commission investigating 9/11 has certified that no Saudis of interest to the FBI were allowed to leave, that departures took place only when air traffic was resumed - and that the person who authorized the departures was White House aide Richard Clarke, who is now a leading Bush critic.

How one of Kerry's most prominent academic advisers sees the world

George A. Akerlof, a Nobel prize-winning economist and Kerry adviser, recently became so agitated about what he considered Kerry's muddled campaign message that he crafted an entire speech for him, straying far from his economic expertise to pit what he calls the Democratic Party's moral view of human nature against the sinister forces that Republicans see driving humanity.

Martha Stewart's Penalties

My latest piece in the Wall Street Journal takes on the debate of the penalties that Martha Stewart faces. Perjury needs to be punished if the legal system is going to work, but her penalties are out of all proportion to the crime.
Update: CNN will be doing a short segment on this during the 2 PM hour on Friday. I will also be doing the Lars Larson syndicated radio show this evening at 8:50 PM EST on Michael Moore. The George Russell Show from 6:15 to 6:30 PM today on the sunsetting of the Assault Weapons ban.


My latest piece in the New York Post is up and it discusses a few errors on just one topic in Michael Moore's new movie.
Update: Rush Limbaugh read the op-ed and discussed it on his show today. His discussion can be found here .

One Young Intern's Experience in D.C.

Charles Mitchell discusses what it is like to get lost in the wrong part of DC.

Air marshals' secrecy ruined by dress code

I have been amazed by how the Bush Administration has continually fought against arming pilots. Well, at least we had armed sky marshals on a percent or two of the flights. Now it comes out that the air marshal's program has done what it can to make sure everyone on the plane knows who the air marshal is. For some reason this doesn't come as a surprise to me.

'National Concealed Carry for Cops' Sails Through Congress

It is about time. Senator Ted Kennedy and gun control groups are among those who fought so hard against letting police carry guns when travel. I have written on this frequently, but it has seemed an obvious safety measure.

Andrei Shleifer a very successful and talented economics professor at Harvard convicted of a massive civil fraud

Given how well Shleifer is known, I was surprised when the first place that I saw this mentioned was on William Sjostrom's website.

Reality Channel TV

Each week-night from 8-9 p.m. the show reenacts several incidents in which Americans have saved lives by using guns to defend themselves and others. For example, their website gives an example: "A ten year old girl locks herself in a bathroom and shops two burglars while they ransack her parents' house." The program called "Crime Strike" also has segments on other issues relating to crime and victims who have made a difference. Thanks to Robert Waters for pointing this out.

Dems on Gun Control

I have a new piece out discussing what the Democrats are doing on gun control: The Democrats' Spin On Gun Control. Here is the conclusion:

"If Kerry wins the election, it will be the Clinton administration all over again. Whether it is the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms or the inaccurate research put out by the Department of Justice, a Kerry presidency will make gun owners and those concerned about self-defense long for the good old days of the Bush administration."

A list of inaccuracies in Michael Moore's new movie

Home (description of book, downloadable data sets, and discussions of previous controversies)

Academic papers:

Social Science Research Network

Book Reviews:

For a list of book reviews on The Bias Against Guns, click here.

List of my Op-eds

Posts by topic

Appalachian law school attack

Baghdad murder rate

Arming Pilots

Fraudulent website pretending to be run by me

The Merced Pitchfork Killings and Vin Suprynowicz's quote

Ayres and Donohue

Stanford Law Review

Mother Jones article


Craig Newmark

Eric Rasmusen

William Sjostrom

Dr. T's

Interview with National Review Online

Lyonette Louis-Jacques's page on Firearms Regulation Worldwide

The End of Myth: An Interview with Dr. John Lott

Cold Comfort, Economist John Lott discusses the benefits of guns--and the hazards of pointing them out.

An interview with John R. Lott, Jr. author of More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws

Some data not found at

Updated Media Analysis of Appalachian Law School Attack

Since the first news search was done additional news stories have been added to Nexis:

There are thus now 218 unique stories, and a total of 294 stories counting duplicates (the stories in yellow were duplicates): Excel file for general overview and specific stories. Explicit mentions of defensive gun use increase from 2 to 3 now.

Journal of Legal Studies paper on spoiled ballots during the 2000 Presidential Election

Data set from USA Today, STATA 7.0 data set

"Do" File for some of the basic regressions from the paper