Bad news on stopping suits against gun makers.


Houston transit riders can carry guns


Disarming Israeli Settlers?

David Mustard forwarded this and the link below:
[the Defense Ministry] notified Yoni that his weapon's license, permitting him to carry an M-16 rifle, had been voided and that he was now classified as "weapons-negated". The reason: unknown. . . . The result: yesterday, Yoni was forced to 'return' his rifle to the authorities that be. In other words, Hebron's security chief is forbidden to carry the primary tool of his trade, that tool which is used to offer protection and defense, should the need arise, to any of the Hebron community's hundreds of residents or thousands of visitors.

. . . Yoni has not been recently arrested, indicted, tried or convicted of any serious crimes. Not only isn't Yoni suspected of "Jewish terrorism", to the contrary, he has proven his heroism. Two years ago, when terrorists struck, killing twelve men, including nine officers and soldiers and three Kiryat Arba civilians, Yoni was one of the first people on the scene, and put his life on the line to save others. . . .

He wasn't the only one ordered to hand in his rifle. So, too, were the security officers of Yeshivat Shavei Hevron, Kiryat Arba and southern Hebron Hills community Ma'ale Hever.

Self Defense in Athens, Georgia

Switzerland continues to have more guns and less crime

Gingrich warns Republicans that they could lose control of hte House in 2006

With redistricting behind us, I hadn't seen anyone make this type of prediction:

“The odds are not trivial that the Republicans could lose the House in 2006” by giving up as many as 16 seats, he said.


Gingrich warns Republicans that they could lose control of hte House in 2006


For those obsessed with Global Warming

Many have been pushing hydrogen as the solution to all our environmental problems, especially the supposed problem with global warming. An interesting report notes:

The problem, critics say, is that the technology that makes the fuel of the future generates just as much pollution as the gasoline-powered vehicles we drive right now. . . . Another possible problem: Scientists call hydrogen a "leaky gas" that easily escapes from any container you put it in, potentially harming the environment.

I suppose one solution is nuclear power, but environmentalists oppose that.

More on Moore using body guards with guns

A reporter learning about guns

Possibly the law would have been easier to pass if more reporters visited states that already had right-to-carry laws:

Even as a person whose job is to follow the news, there was much I didn't know about Ohio's concealed carry law. It requires a person with a gun to use any means to ward off an attack before resorting to deadly force. . . . Then there are the rules about where you can't carry a concealed weapon. . . . The Ohio law says the gun must be hidden when you're in public, except if you plan to carry it on your body in the car - where it must be in plain sight. Other states have widely varying quirks in their concealed carry laws. The class made it clearer than ever: Owning a gun is a huge responsibility. . . . After thinking it over, I paid $45 and got the concealed carry license.


"SF Gay Group Fights Handgun Ban"


It was probably too good to be true

Stories have been circulating that Michael Moore's bodyguard was arrested for bringing a gun into JFK airport. A denial was put out today by the firm that employed the bodyguard:

Our full-time employee, Patrick Burk, is not "Michael Moore's bodyguard." Accordingly, the headline in the Fox News Web site story is false and misleading. If you believe Patrick Burk was ever assigned to protect Michael Moore, or any number of other public figures, you might accurately report that "A bodyguard who was once assigned to protect Michael Moore..." You could as accurately say "A bodyguard that was once assigned to protect President Clinton," because Patrick Burk has also been assigned to protect President Clinton in the past - but you wouldn't be accurate if you said "President Clinton's Bodyguard."

I think that it is still interesting if Michael Moore has in the past used bodyguards who carry guns.


Fradulent website and e-mail sender Owns up to Deceiving people

During 2003 a website that pretended to be by me was set up by Eyebeam Inc. and by Jonah Perretti. Among other things the website sent out e-mails claiming that I opposed legislation to restrict suits against gun makers. I will probably be writing more on this later, but I wanted to post this now that a final settlement has been reached:

“The AskJohnLott.org site was created by The Eyebeam Atelier, Inc. This site was never associated, endorsed or otherwise affiliated with John R. Lott, Jr. E-mail sent from the AskJohnLott.org domain that was identified as coming from Lott was also never associated, endorsed or otherwise affiliated with John R. Lott, Jr. Eyebeam deeply regrets any confusion and offers a formal apology to John R. Lott, Jr. The terms of the settlement are confidential.

Jonah Peretti for Eyebeam
Director of Research and Development”

For those interested, a history of the website can be found here. There were some internet bloggers who tried to defend the website on various grounds, but obviously Eyebeam Inc. and Jonah Perretti found it necessary to apologize for the confusion that their website had created.


Bullet Ballistics System a Dud in Maryland

Neal Knox passes away

While I can't say that I got to know him very well, he was always extremely nice to me whenever I had the chance to talk with him. It is very sad to know that he will no longer be with us, and I am sure that those who want to be able to use a gun for self-protection will find it more difficult to continue doing so without his help.


The cost of the Tort System


72 Year Old Janitor Charged In Evanston School Gun Case


Terrorism as an Excuse: Another CBS campaign

I have a new op-ed up here on the 50 caliber gun ban campaign.


I was thinking about writing this

Russell has been a co-author of mine:
The truth is, there’s no such thing as a safe drug. Every drug has side effects. It’s only a matter of degree. And there’s usually a tradeoff between safety and effectiveness. Powerful drugs are more likely to have side effects. Everyone who undergoes chemotherapy understands that life is about tradeoffs—about the likely costs and likely benefits.

Cautiousness is always in order when you introduce a powerful drug into your body. You don’t want to die from a dangerous drug. But you also don’t want to suffer or die because the right drug is not available.

In this world of imperfect safety, why do we give the FDA the authority to make these choices for us? The FDA is the ultimate one size fits all solution. If arthritis makes my life a living hell, why can’t I decide to take on a greater risk of a heart attack? The choice between pain and risk should belong to me and my doctor

"Scientists say deer hunting must increase"


Put this under the Bizarre Law Category: Man Charged For Wife's Seat Belt Death

This man not only loses his wife but is charged for negligent homicide because his wife exercised here own choice:
She died at the scene of the crash, but her husband walked away. State police say the difference is he was wearing a seat belt. Troopers tell 9 News shortly after 12:30 p.m., the couple was headed west on I-10 near the Prairieville exit, when their truck's rear tire blew out. The vehicle began to spin out of control, eventually flipping in a group of trees. . . .

State Trooper Johnnie Brown says, "It's a very simple portrait of what happens when you don't wear your seat belt. The possibility of being ejected, the death that can result from that. Conversely, you have the husband that was wearing his seat belt and survived the crash with relatively minimal injury." Trooper Brown says the driver, 49-year-old James Stanton is being charged with careless operation and negligent homicide because troopers say he was responsible for making his wife wear her seat belt.


General Notes on National Academy Report

While I have made some general comments about the NAS report, I thought that I would give more detailed comments here.

Government funded propoganda?

I'm not excusing Armstrong Williams, but is it really unusual for the government to try to influence voters' opinions with information paid with tax dollars? My book, The Bias Against Guns, was written to make this point more broadly. Just look at all the money spend my the Clinton administration on propoganda. Rush Limbaugh makes the right point:

Now, here's a little bit of irony here. How can journalists question his ethics for taking marching orders from the Department of Education when those very same journalistas take their marching orders from the Democrat fax machines? . . . The idea here that Armstrong Williams is the only person that has taken money to work on something he agrees with. What do you think sustains the environmentalist wacko movement but government grants? How many professors get government grants to do research projects on things they passionately believe in and they go out there and they write position papers and they're inculcating young skulls full of mush with the pap that they end up believing. There really isn't any difference. He broadcasts on radio and television. All these other people write papers that the mainstream media then public sizes to who knows where, it gets broadcast all over college campi and classrooms.


The Stolen Election in Washington State?


Drug Re-importation: A Doomed Disaster


More of a push for guns that only fire for a specific individual

Will we soon have only three states that ban carrying concealed handguns?


"Bush Lawyers Target Gun Control's Legal Rationale"

The Second Amendment states that "a well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." The memo's authors, Justice Department lawyers Steven Bradbury, Howard Nielson Jr. and C. Kevin Marshall, dissect the amendment's language, arguing that under 18th century legal conventions, the clause concerning "a well-regulated militia" was "prefatory language" without binding force. "Thus, the amendment's declaratory preface could not overcome the unambiguously individual 'right of the people to keep and bear arms' conferred by the operative text," they write. They write that the drafters of the amendment envisioned a militia consisting of "all able-bodied white men" in a state, and suggest that they would be expected to keep arms not only if called up by the government but also on their own initiative, perhaps to fight rulers who threatened their liberties. Robert Post, a constitutional-law professor at Yale Law School, said the new memorandum disregarded legal scholarship that conflicted with the administration's gun-rights views. "This is a Justice Department with a blatantly political agenda which sees its task as translating right-wing ideology into proposed constitutional law," he said.

"AP Poll: 3 in 10 in U.S. Give Tsunami Aid"

Twenty-nine percent say they have given for tsunami aid; an additional 37 percent say they plan to. . . . About three-quarters of those who said they had donated gave less than $100. About 5 percent said they had given $500 or more, according to the poll conducted for the AP by Ipsos-Public Affairs. . . . Indiana University's Center on Philanthropy, which tracks donations, estimated $322 million in cash and goods had been contributed by U.S. corporations, foundations and individuals as of Friday. The government has pledged $350 million. The total in private donations is about 40 percent of what had been given to victims of the Sept. 11 attacks almost two weeks after the hijackings, said Gene Tempel, executive director of the Center of Philanthropy.

Note: At least the numbers from the poll might be questionable since people will tend to exaggerate how much they give to charity, but that is also true of previous surveys and we can use the amount given in them as a benchmark when compared to past surveys on donations. In addition, the $322 million donation estimate from U.S. corporations, foundations and individuals does not seem to be based on such a survey.

Did the Dead vote in governor's race?

Latest Estimated Percent of Adults with Concealed Handgun Permits for Some States

7.45% South Dakota
6.79% Indiana
6.76% Pennsylvania
5.23% Connecticut
5.12% Washington
4.34% Idaho
4.10% Utah
3.86% Oregon
3.45% Tennessee
3.15% Alabama
2.71% Kentucky
2.67% Wyoming
2.41% Maine
2.18% Arkansas
2.11% Virginia

I would like to thank Ken Grubb for sending me these numbers, though many of these numbers are lower than what I have seen cited in newspaper articles from these states. One obvious factor for the statest with the highest permit rates is the low prices for permits and low training requirements (South Dakota, Indiana, and Pennsylvania).

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New Poll on Gun Ownership Rates

A Gallup Poll released this morning reveals that the average American owns 1.7 guns, with the average gun owner possessing 4.4 of them. The press is quick to promote stereotypes of the average gun owner as a white male, most likely Republican, living in a rural area or the South. But how well does reality match the image? The new Gallup Poll shows that the stereotype is not that far off, but with several twists. For one thing, one out of three American women say they own a gun. That's not much below the overall mark of 40% for all American adults. As for other elements of the stereotype: More than half (53%) of Republicans own guns, compared with 36% of political independents and 31% of Democrats. Whites are more likely than nonwhites to own (44% and 24%, respectively), according to Gallup.

I am always a little dubious of Gallup polls on the gun issue, but these results are still useful.

Another op-ed on the National Academy of Sciences report on firearms

Techcentralstation has another take on the report by Kopel, Gallant, and Eisen on the topic.

A copy of the National Academy Report with James Q. Wilson's Dissent can be found here.

"DNA connects slain robber to three Camden rapes"

A knife-wielding man shot to death by a Camden store owner last week was identified through DNA tests yesterday as the culprit in three downtown rapes that plagued one of the city's safest areas. All three rapes occurred during daylight in the central business district. The rapist targeted a high school student, a Rutgers University-Camden student, and an employee of photography store. On New Year's Eve, a man walked into Camden City Wireless & Fishing Supply at 27th Street and Westfield Avenue in a robbery attempt and held a knife to the throat of the owner's wife. The owner, Ngoc Le, 28, pulled a gun and shot the man once in the head, authorities said. The assailant, Antonio Diaz Reyes, a 32-year-old who had lived in Philadelphia and Puerto Rico, fit the description of the rapist. DNA tests then linked Reyes to all three downtown rapes.

Thanks to Calvin Sun who brought this case to my attention.


John Fund apparently claims that there is evidence that 400 Kings County ballots in Washington have the same handwriting.

Ballistic Fingerprinting continues to fail in Maryland State


Will Rossi pull it out in the Washington Governor's Race?


Elderly Hostage shoots captor in home