All Postings from June 2004

CSPAN rerunning for fourth time my conference on voting

At 5:50 EDT today CSPAN3 will rerun the conference that took place on 6/21 (see below).

Exploding the Fireworks Safety 'Threat'

My latest piece with Ruth Smith is out in The Los Angeles Times: "This issue is badly distorted by the media. A search of the top 100 newspapers found 140 news stories in the last year warning that fireworks could be deadly if used improperly. But, despite this edge to the coverage, on average just six people a year died in fireworks-related incidents from 1990 to 2002. And many of those deaths occurred at professional fireworks displays."

Add Gun Control To Litany Of Misbegotten Gov't Plans

My latest piece is out in Investor's Business Daily: "Repealing gun control laws might not solve the crime problems in the U.K. and Australia overnight, but the exploding crime rates (including gun crime) in countries that have banned guns shows that we can add gun control to the list of government planning efforts that do not live up to their billing. Its failures have become too overwhelming to ignore."

Female clerk defends herself from robbers

"After the clerk handed over about $200 in cash, the chief said, the robber threatened to kill her anyway. That's when the clerk pulled out her own handgun. The robber ran out of the store . . ."

More Lott, Less Moore

For an amusing op-ed by Mike Adams see here.

Saudi Arabia adopts concealed carry for foreigners

Faced with terrorists threatening foreigners, the Saudi government has adopted concealed carry laws for foreigners.

Three concealed permit holders in Minnesota capture young murderer

The Star Tribune is getting a little better, but still misses out on the fact that the three men who caught this person had concealed handgun permits.

Review of John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge's new book, "The Right Nation."

Tech Central Station has my review of John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge's new book, "The Right Nation."

Canada's Murder Rate Over the Last Six Years

Canadian long gun and shot gun registration was started in December 1998 and the guns were supposed to be registered by January 2001, though there was an extension until July 2001. Crime rates continued falling during the first full year of the program but rose consistent every year thereafter and in the lastest numbers for 2002 ended up higher than the last year prior to the law (1998).

Maxim Lott brought the debate over these numbers to my attention.

On Tuesday CSPAN3 will replay the first panel debating on 2000 Florida vote from my conference yesterday

AEI had an interesting conference that I set up on Monday to discuss: Preventing Another Florida?: Will the Changes Make Things Better? CSPAN3 will be showing this on Tuesday starting at 6:52 PM and it goes until almost 9 PM.

The Public's Response to Michael Moore's Sources?
(This was provided to me by Dan Gifford.)

David Letterman: How do we know what's in your film [Fahrenheit 9/11] is true?
Michael Moore: Because I got most of my information from The New York Times.
Audience: Wild laughter.
Letterman: [Strains to repress laughing]
Moore: What's so funny?

Late Show with David Letterman
June 18, 2004
Correction: It appears that the text of this is somewhat different than I was first told:

Letterman: And, and we can absolutely believe the sources you've used in assembling your documentary?

Moore: Oh yeah, it's New York Times, it's the Wall Street Journal, it's, it's, uh --

Letterman: Well, the Times [starts laughing, audience laughs, Michael Moore laughs] - depending on what day it is....

On Monday CSPAN1 will be showing debate on 2000 Florida vote and its aftermath

AEI is having an interesting conference that I set up on Monday to discuss: Preventing Another Florida?: Will the Changes Make Things Better? CSPAN1 will be showing this live starting at 10:15 AM and it goes until 2:45 PM, though I think that they will replay it at least once. The presentations should contain some interesting debates.

Shooting for sport is one of the fastest growning sports in the US has an interesting story on the increased interest in the shooting sports. In the accompanying video, William La Jeunesse notes that: "Gun sports grew 25 percent last year."

The hysteria over fireworks

Since 1990, there are on average about 6.7 fireworks deaths a year in the US.

from 1999 to 2001, states that banned fireworks had an annual death rate of 0.0018 per 100,000 people. "States with essentially all consumer fireworks allowed had a death rate that was even lower at 0.0014 per 100,000,"

More concern about gun laws in Canada

The National Post prints a letter from Professor Gary Mauser at Simon Fraser University that strongly supports my op-ed from the 15th. While talking about the failure of gun control laws in Australia, Britain and Canada, he notes that:

Anyone living in a big Canadian city has witnessed the horrifying increase in violent crime over the past decade. Canada's violent crime rate is now higher than in the United States.

Two interesting posts on the Sadam Terrorism link

Putin Says Russia Warned U.S. on Saddam planning "terrorist attacks" on US soil
al Qaeda operatives ties to Iran and Iraq

Two-thirds of Police Chiefs think Right-to-carry Laws Reduce Crime

A new survey by the National Association of Chiefs of Police asks its members: "Do you agree that a national concealed handgun permit would reduce rates of violent crime as recent studies in some states have already reflected?" 65.7 percent of members say "Yes". There are other interesting questions in the survey. Two-thirds oppose one-gun-a-month rules. Over half think that the rules allowing pilots to carry concealed handguns are too restrictive.

Comments on Canadian Gun Control Debate

I have a piece in today's National Post (Canada):

"So, if [gun control in Canada] hasn't worked, what's the solution? The NDP, which polls indicate may hold the balance of power in Parliament after June 28, has proposed a radical solution: 'going across the border to the U.S. and actively engaging in lobbying to have gun -control laws in the U.S. strengthened.' This is part of an ironic pattern: When gun control laws fail -- as they consistently do, whether in Canada, the United States or other countries -- politicians seek to pass new laws rather than eliminate the old ones. In the United States, gun -control groups now claim that the 1994 Brady Act implementing background checks and assault-weapon bans failed to reduce crime only because they didn't go far enough; and that city bans on handguns in Chicago and Washington, D.C., failed only because other jurisdictions didn't follow suit."

Are Government Regulations too Complicated for Ralph Nader?

Here is a nice irony. Ralph Nader may be in serious violations of campaign finance laws:

"Since October, Ralph Nader has run his campaign for president out of the same downtown Washington offices that through April housed a public charity he created -- an overlap that campaign finance specialists said could run afoul of federal laws. Tax law explicitly forbids public charities from aiding political campaigns. Violations can result in a charity losing its tax-exempt status. In addition, campaign law requires candidates to account for all contributions -- including shared office space and resources, down to the use of copying machines, receptionists and telephones."

In case you missed it, Reagan's Funeral well worth watching

If you get a chance to watch the funeral when it replays on CSPAN, it was a quite emotional experience. On another point, Jane Wyman, Reagan's first wife from whom he was divorced in 1948, has finally broken her decades long silence on him:

"America has lost a great president and a great, kind and gentle man."

"Signs reading 'no guns allowed' are coming down in some Ohio stores and restaurants."

As has been so typical in other states, "no guns allowed" signs quickly go up after right-to-carry laws are passed only to have them come down a short time later. CNSNews has a good article on the changes:

"Ohioans for Concealed Carry said it is pleased to announce that two national chains -- Southwest Ohio Kroger stores and Perkins Family Restaurants -- have "begun removing discriminatory signs banning concealed handgun license-holders from their stores." So far, at least nine national chains and nearly 50 other businesses have removed their signs and opened their doors to Ohio concealed handgun license-holders, the group said."

Is Rhode Island Actually a Shall Issue State

I have always assumed that Rhode Island was a may issue state, but one of the lawyers involved in a just decided case before the Rhode Island Supreme Court thinks that may be wrong:

"The Court affirmed that ��47-11 is a mandatory, non-discretionary statute (page 23):

"Because the Firearms Act provides for both discretionary and mandatory licensing to qualified applicants, the constitutional guarantee to keep and bear arms is fulfilled. Mosby, a resident of MA who holds several gun licenses from other states, was entitled to a carrying permit from the licensing authority of any city or town. An avid gun collector, plaintiff has a proper reason for carrying a pistol or revolver and there is no suggestion that he is an unsuitable person. In contrast to ��47-18, the statute now before the Court, ��47-11 is mandatory �� an applicant who meets the criteria set forth in ��47-11 is entitled to a gun permit."

It goes on. So keep your powder dry a bit longer. Let us have a bit of time to digest this and think it over. All the lawyers don�t even have copies of the decision yet, and no one yet has an electronic copy. But it looks to me that the RI Supreme Court just said what I have been saying for years, that RI is a shall issue state."

Reagan using a gun, imaging a neighbor doing this today

The New York Times quotes one of the people visiting Reagan's remains on Tuesday:

"He said he met Mr. Reagan in 1976, when he went to the Reagans' house in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles to repair his telephone lines. Mr. Reagan was standing in the driveway with a gun, taking aim at some squirrels on the roof that were making a racket. `He told me, 'Don't worry, it's not for you, it's only buckshot,'.` Mr. McElliott said."

Reagan Used Gun to Save Iowa Woman

One woman who knows Reagan as a hero:

"She was walking home one autumn night when a mugger came up behind her with a gun and demanded her money. At that moment, Ronald Reagan -- who was a Des Moines radio sportscaster at the time -- came to her rescue. Reagan pointed a .45-caliber revolver at the robber from the window of his second-floor rented room."

Canada's New Democrat Party wants to lobby for more US gun laws

Complaining that Canada's gun laws aren't working because of American gun laws, the leader of the New Democrat Party promises:

"We're proposing going across the border to the U.S. and actively engaging in lobbying to have gun-control laws in the U.S. strengthened.""

This excuse doesn't explain the increases in violent crime in two island nations, Australia and Britain. It also doesn't explain why there isn't some reduction in crime from their laws.

Even environmentalists get caught up in zero tolerance

Prosecutors in South Carolina have decided that:

"An Arkansas school teacher who gave her students a fish-shaped water gun is under fire from a parent who says she disapproves of weapons in her house, reports KPOM-TV in Ft. Smith, Ark. The teacher at an elementary school in Rogers, Ark., gave her students the squirter following a lesson about animals in the rain forest. School officials say she feels horrible about the entire situation and didn't mean to offend anyone."

This was a tough call

Prosecutors in South Carolina have decided that:

"they will not charge a man who shot and killed an ax-wielding intruder in his bedroom. Myers told police he pulled a handgun from his nightstand and shot Miles in the neck after spotting an intruder coming at him with an ax on March 7. White said she reviewed the evidence in the case and compared it to what Myers told investigators. "Everything the victim told us ended up panning out," she said. The intruder apparently grabbed the ax from among Myers' tools at the base of the stairs in the house, she said."

Canadian Conservatives would scrap gun registry

In a speech yesterday, Canadian Conservative leader Stephen Harper is reported as promising that:

"A Conservative government would scrap the federal gun registry and divert the savings to hire 200 more Mounties and pay for a sex-offender registry."

PIzza Hut fires worker for defensive gun use

WorldNet Daily writes about a recent defensive gun use case:

"It's a clear case of self-defense," Deputy Prosecutor Barb Crawford said. "He did what the law allows him to do to protect himself." . . . "This was late at night. This was a high-crime area," Crawford is quoted as saying. . . . Some Pizza Hut customers have complained to the company after it fired Honeycutt.

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