Confirmation process


Bill to overturn DC's gun laws introduced

Even Gov Rendell's own hand picked commission turns down his recommendations (PA)

Republican Congress Defeats string of gun control initiatives

Gary Mauser on The Failed Experiment

The Failed Experiment: Gun Control and Public Safety in Canada, Australia, England & Wales, by Gary Mauser, professor at Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, Canada


This study examines crime trends in Commonwealth countries that have recently introduced firearm regulations: i.e., England, Australia, and Canada. The widely ignored key to evaluating firearm regulations is to examine trends in total violent crime, not just firearms crime. The U.S. provides a valuable point of comparison for assessing crime rates because its criminal justice system differs so drastically from those in Europe and the Commonwealth. Perhaps the most striking difference is that qualified citizens in the U.S. can carry concealed handguns for self-defense. The upshot is that violent crime rates, and homicide rates in particular, have been falling in the U.S. The drop in the American crime rate is even more impressive when compared with the rest of the world.


Minnesota Legislature finishes passing new right-to-carry law

Edgar Sutter on Guns


Star Wars, Lucas, & Anti-war Commentary on Bush and Iraq?

John Fund at OpinionJournal.com corrects the record on claims that the latest Star Wars movie is commenting on Bush and Iraq

Nonsense, says Mr. Lucas. He told reporters that any analogies found in his latest effort are strictly historical. He noted he had read histories of how democracy had been subverted by the Romans under Caesar, the French under Napoleon, and the Germans under Hitler. He pointed out that the original 1977 Star Wars movie "was written during the Vietnam War and Nixon era, when the issue was how a democracy turns itself over to a dictator -- not how a dictator takes over a democracy." He said that parallels between the war depicted in the film and the Iraq conflict were also overblown: "When I wrote (the Star Wars treatment), Iraq didn't exist. We were just funding Saddam Hussein and giving him weapons of mass destruction."

Mr. Lucas' wish to distance himself from those who would exploit his latest Star Wars epic for political purposes is shared by Ian McDiarmid, the actor who plays the manipulative Supreme Chancellor Palpatine in the film. When asked if his character's preaching of peace while pursuing conflict involved any references to President Bush, he demurred. He says he modeled his character more along the lines of Serbian dictator Slobodan Milosevic, whom he described as "quite Sithian, actually" referring to the evil rivals of the virtuous Jedi Knights.

A Pulitzer Prize for this?

Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist Connie Schultz was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for commentary that, among other things, bashed Ohio CHL-holders in 2004 as "Dirty Harry wannabe's".

Yesterday, the Associated Press Society of Ohio announced that The Plain Dealer won the First Amendment Award “for outstanding accomplishment in pursuing freedom of information on behalf of the public for its reporting on Ohio's concealed gun permits law.”

The Plain Dealer got more specific when bragging about the award, saying the AP specifically gave this award to the newspaper because it had abused the Media Access Loophole by publishing the private information of concealed handgun license-holders.

Of course, the Plain Dealer's actions endanger people's safety. Possibly this means that they will give Newsweek a Pulitzer for their inaccurate coverage of the Koran being flushed down the toilet.

On shipping wine

While it is a little outside my normal topics, Xrlq has an interesting discussion of the Supreme Court decision on shipping wine. The case is apparently much more narrowly decided that most people seem to realize. It is one of the more amusing discussions that I have come across recently and the debate at the end is also fun to read.

Gun Lock Rhetoric

"They are free, and they are safe, and they are making homes safe," said Terri Goodwin, a victim advocate with the Brevard County State Attorney's Office. "If the public doesn't take advantage of this, then they risk having something happen that will alter their lives forever."

The locks come courtesy of Project ChildSafe, a program funded by the U.S. Department of Justice and sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

It would be nice if that were the way that things worked out, but the evidence shown here indicates that more lives are lost from gun locks. Accidental deaths don't change, but unfortunately when guns are not available defensively criminals become emboldened and are more successful in their attacks.

Assault weapons ban going no place in Minnesota

Speaking of doing what feels right, it also looks like Minnesota's effort to pass its own assault-weapon ban — to replace the equally misguided federal law that thankfully expired in September — is going nowhere. Section 1 of SF1946 lists the usual litany of mean-looking weapons: the AK-47, MAC-10, Uzi and AR-15.

The AR-15 is my favorite because it perfectly illustrates the illogic of this legislation. The AR-15 fires the same bullet at the same muzzle velocity at the same rate of fire as the Ruger Mini-14. More important, a Ruger Mini-14 was used in the shooting of Edina police officer Michael Blood during a November 2000 bank robbery.

So why is the AR-15 on the list and the Ruger isn't? Because it looks scarier.

This lunacy is made clearer when you consider that assault weapons are used in a minuscule number of crimes. This is apparently news to Sen. Satveer Chaudhary, sponsor of the assault-weapon ban.

"Law enforcement often encounters these weapons," he told me. "Assault weapons in general are the gun of choice for criminals."

Sorry, Senator, but guns aren't the weapon of choice in assaults. According to 2003 Minnesota BCA statistics, guns were used in 1,140 urban aggravated assaults. Knives were used in 1,592, "other weapons" in 1,553, and hands and feet in 1,883. So if the Senate and the numerically challenged Million Moms — who wrote the Minnesota assault-weapon legislation — really want to make a difference, they'll start a movement to cut off the hands and feet of repeat violent offenders. Banning assault weapons will have little effect.

Which brings us to the other bit of foolishness proposed in the bill. It also takes on .50-caliber sniper rifles and the Fabrique Nationale Five-Seven pistol. The .50-cal, used by military snipers to disable armored personnel carriers and aircraft, is indeed a powerful weapon. But there's no record of one ever being used to commit a crime.

More on the cost of deer

More Georgia Judges are Carrying Guns after Atlanta Killings


The high risk strategy of gun control advocates

By making such extreme predictions, gun control advocates keep on losing credibility. Once they start losing some debates the losses help feed on each other because they affect their credibility later on. You would think that they would learn their lesson and not keep making such extreme claims.

Professional doomsayers are having something of a field day, fomenting hysteria over recent passage in Florida of a law that lets citizens defend themselves against criminal attack without first making an attempt to flee.

Lessons from Base Closings


"Swiss shooters target Schengen accord"