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?