"Supreme Court in Illinois frees gun makers of liability"

In a unanimous decision the Illinois Supreme Court struck down the Chicago lawsuit against gun makers. While the decision was not surprising, the unanimity as well as the stinging rebuke offered by the court were:

"Writing for the court, Justice Rita Garman said the city's claims are "the result of numerous unforeseeable intervening criminal acts by third parties not under defendant's control."
"The mere fact that defendants' conduct in their plants, offices, and stores puts guns into the stream of commerce does not state a claim for public nuisance," Justice Garman said. "It is the presence and use of the guns within the City of Chicago that constitutes the alleged nuisance, not the activities at the defendants' various places of business."
In refusing to define public nuisance as it relates to weapons, the court expressed a philosophy of judicial restraint. "Any change of this magnitude in the law affecting a highly regulated industry must be the work of the legislature, brought about by the political process, not the work of the courts," the decision said.
Gun rights advocates hailed the decision as the final defeat of "abusive lawsuits" they say are intended to drive U.S. firearms manufacturers out of business."

Condoleezza Rice on Guns


Alphecca has his weekly check on media coverage of guns

Alphecca's weekly survey on guns in the news is always interesting and worth a look.

Major change in Illinois gun laws passes

More on the delay in confirming judges

"Republicans Outnumbered in Academia, Studies Find"

John Tierney in the NY Times has an interesting article on new studies on the lack of political diversity in academia.

"a national survey of more than 1,000
academics, shows that Democratic professors outnumber
Republicans by at least seven to one in the humanities and
social sciences. That ratio is more than twice as lopsided
as it was three decades ago, and it seems quite likely to
keep increasing, because the younger faculty members are
more consistently Democratic than the ones nearing
retirement, said Daniel Klein, an associate professor of
economics at Santa Clara University and a co-author of the
study. . . . At both [the University of California
system and Harvard], employees gave about $19 to the Kerry
campaign for every dollar for the Bush campaign. . . . The ratio of Democratic to Republican professors ranged
from 3 to 1 among economists to 30 to 1 among
anthropologists. The researchers found a much higher share
of Republicans among the nonacademic members of the
scholars' associations, which Professor Klein said belied
the notion that nonleftists were uninterested in scholarly

Tierney is quite unusual in his writings in the NY Times.

Update: The two papers discussed by Tierney can be found here.


So how difficult has it gotten to confirm judges?

My latest op-ed in the Los Angeles Times on "Breaking the Siege in the Judge War" is up. Some pretty interesting numbers on how much more difficult it has gotten to confirm judges.So how difficult has it gotten to confirm judges?

My latest op-ed in the Los Angeles Times on "Breaking the Siege in the Judge War" is up. Some pretty interesting numbers on how much more difficult it has gotten to confirm judges.


What is the future for the DC gun ban

The odds of getting something through the Senate have improved marginally, but Democrats will probably still try to filibuster. I would not go this far after a law to judge its impact since the farther you go in time the more likely that other factors will begin to dominate, but the article notes that: "According to FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics, the district had 192 murders in 1977, when the population was 690,000 people. In 2000, the population had declined to 572,000, but experienced 239 murders. According to the most recent figures, murders rose to 264 in 2002 and dropped a bit to 248 in 2003.".

Some Employers in Oklahoma are trying to change law that allows people to take guns onto company property

Whirlpool Corp. has sued to block a new law that allows employees to keep guns in their locked vehicles on workplace parking lots. The law was scheduled to take effect Nov. 1, according to the Associated Press, but a federal judge blocked it. Only Kentucky has a similar law.

Why does this seem to be such a difficult point to understand? Banning guns from certain areas mean that only those intent on doing the harm will be armed and that the law protects the criminals and not the victims.

Australians are now banning those ever extremely dangerous cowboy hats.

It is about time someone saw the danger in cowboy hats for those who work on ranches.

It all stems from the death of a cowboy, who suffered massive head injuries after being trampled in a fall from a horse while mustering bulls in July 2001. His sole protection was the tattered hat provided him for shading from the sun.

The New South Wales state government brought charges against the ranch owner, who employed 23-year-old Daniel Croker, convicting and fining the company $72,000 last month for breaches of safety, including failure to provide the horseman with an equestrian helmet.

Ranch manager Nicholas Ennis told investigators he knew of no ranch in Australia that made cowboys wear helmets except while mustering on motorbikes.

Since the tragedy at the ranch in Merriwagga, about 300 miles west of Sydney, helmets have become compulsory for working in the saddle there, but ranchers are calling for industrial laws to be changed to reflect the differences between working in the Outback and in a city factory.

News South Wales Farmers' Association president Mal Peters warned that substituting helmets for broad-brimmed hats would increase the hazards of skin cancer and heat stroke. He said there is no helmet a farmer can use when the temperature reaches 113 degrees. "For a farmer who's mustering a mob of sheep, moving very slowly behind them without any air circulation, he or his employee may be subject to heat stroke," Peters said

It actually is nice that the article points out the trade-offs that exist with different types of protection. One would think that the cowboys themselves might be best able to make that judgement.