People not protecting themselves is viewed as good news by gun control advocates


New op-ed on Alito's nomination


Few people having RTC permits revoked in Ohio

From April 2004 to September 2005, 63,597 standard licenses, and 119 temporary emergency licenses were issued to Ohio residents. On average, Ohio sheriffs are issuing approximately 118 concealed handgun licenses to law-abiding citizens per day.

Ohio CHL-holders have proven to be far more law-abiding than skeptics had predicted they would be. Only 94 CHLs (0.14%), have been revoked in the first eighteen months for any reason, including the passing away of some licenseholders. Just 272 CHLs (0.42%), were suspended for any reason, and many of those are often reinstated later. . . .

Note that since 94 includes those who have died and given that 70,098 have permits, it is quite possible that virtually all the revocations were for people who died.

There are some links to the newest data from Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro.

Talk Tomorrow

I will be giving a talk tomorrow at SUNY Binghamton. The talk is in the late afternoon in the economics department, and I will be talking about the abortion and crime paper that I have.

ABC-Washington Post Poll on Alito

Alito begins the confirmation process with the support of 49 percent of the public, while 30 percent currently say he should not be confirmed, the poll found. One in four Americans -- 24 percent -- did not yet know enough about him to make a judgment. . . .

The survey also suggests that the Alito nomination may quickly emerge as one of the most divisive partisan and ideological battles of the Bush presidency. Currently, 73 percent of all Republicans say he should be confirmed, compared to 33 percent of all Democrats. Six in 10 political conservatives support Alito, compared to slightly more than a third of all liberals and about half of all moderates. Still, many on both sides of the partisan and ideological divide say they have yet to make up their minds about Alito.

Early attempts by Alito's opponents to cast him as too conservative have yet to convince most Americans, the poll found. More than four in 10 -- 44 percent -- said his views appear "about right." Three in 10 said Alito was more conservative than they would have liked, while 8 percent said they would have preferred someone further to the right. . . .

Concealed handgun permit holder stops robbery

Talk Tomorrow

I will be giving a talk tomorrow at SUNY Binghamton. The talk is in the late afternoon in the economics department, and I will be talking about the abortion and crime paper that I have.


Very depressing story: Blacks doing outrageous racial attacks against Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele

This is outrageous. You should read the entire story. The Democrat party of Maryland should have stopped this immediately.

Black Democratic leaders in Maryland say that racially tinged attacks against Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele in his bid for the U.S. Senate are fair because he is a conservative Republican.
Such attacks against the first black man to win a statewide election in Maryland include pelting him with Oreo cookies during a campaign appearance, calling him an "Uncle Tom" and depicting him as a black-faced minstrel on a liberal Web log.
Operatives for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) also obtained a copy of his credit report -- the only Republican candidate so targeted.
But black Democrats say there is nothing wrong with "pointing out the obvious."
"There is a difference between pointing out the obvious and calling someone names," said a campaign spokesman for Kweisi Mfume, a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate and former president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
State Sen. Lisa A. Gladden, a black Baltimore Democrat, said she does not expect her party to pull any punches, including racial jabs at Mr. Steele, in the race to replace retiring Democratic U.S. Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes.
"Party trumps race, especially on the national level," she said. "If you are bold enough to run, you have to take whatever the voters are going to give you. It's democracy, perhaps at its worse, but it is democracy."
Delegate Salima Siler Marriott, a black Baltimore Democrat, said Mr. Steele invites comparisons to a slave who loves his cruel master or a cookie that is black on the outside and white inside because his conservative political philosophy is, in her view, anti-black.
"Because he is a conservative, he is different than most public blacks, and he is different than most people in our community," she said. "His politics are not in the best interest of the masses of black people."
During the 2002 campaign, Democratic supporters pelted Mr. Steele with Oreo cookies during a gubernatorial debate at Morgan State University in Baltimore.
In 2001, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. called Mr. Steele an "Uncle Tom," when Mr. Steele headed the state Republican Party. Mr. Miller, Prince George's County Democrat, later apologized for the remark.
"That's not racial. If they call him the "N' word, that's racial," Mrs. Marriott said. "Just because he's black, everything bad you say about him isn't racial." . . .

"Mandatory Waiting Periods for Abortions and Female Mental Health"

My friend Jonathan Klick has a new research paper finding the following:

Proponents of laws requiring a waiting period before a woman can receive an abortion argue that these cooling off periods protect against rash decisions on the part of women in the event of unplanned pregnancies. Opponents claim, at best, waiting periods have no effect on decision-making and, at worst, they subject women to additional mental anguish and stress. In this article, I examine these competing claims using adult female suicide rates at the state level as a proxy for mental health. Panel data analyses suggest that the adoption of mandatory waiting periods reduce suicide rates by about 10 percent, and this effect is statistically significant. The result is robust to various attempts to control for unobservable heterogeneity and simultaneity.

Clayton Cramer also has a discussion of this.


Possible reasons for Alito's nomination over Luttig

I think that there are a couple possible reasons that Alito got the nod over Luttig.

1) It may seem trivial (especially given how conservative Luttig is), but the fact that Alito has the nickname "Scalito" just makes it appear that much clearer to everyone that Bush was honoring his pledge to appoint someone like Scalia.
2) Arlen Specter has known Alito "for two decades, ever since Mr. Alito was appointed to become U.S. Attorney in neighboring New Jersey. Mr. Specter privately told the White House that he thought he could be confirmed. Yesterday, he went out of his way to paint Judge Alito as a reasonable nominee who could win support from moderates in a news conference with reporters." (John Fund, OpinionJournals Political Diary)

The Hill: "Dems hint at filibuster"

Senate Democrats appeared to lay the groundwork yesterday for a possible filibuster of Samuel Alito’s nomination to the Supreme Court, setting the stage for an intense partisan showdown that could culminate with the so-called “nuclear option.”

“Nothing is on the table, and nothing is off the table,” Senate Judiciary Committee member Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said within hours of President Bush’s announcement that he had picked Alito to replace Harriet Miers. Miers’s nomination to the high court was withdrawn last week amid heavy criticism from conservative Republicans who feared she would not be sufficiently loyal to their orthodoxy.

Though Democrats carefully avoided using the term “filibuster” yesterday, many of them criticized Bush for picking Alito, a conservative stalwart.

“I am concerned that the nomination may be a needlessly provocative nomination,” said Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). “Instead of uniting the country, the president chose to reward one faction of his party.” . . .


What Judge Samuel Alito Can Expect

Jeff Rosen did a short survey last November of the potential Bush Supreme Court picks. He listed Scalito in the activist camp, and he wrote the following::

Samuel Alito Jr., 54. U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Known as "Scalito," or little Scalia, he is considered less blustering than the big guy, but liberals will undoubtedly balk at his abortion record. In 1991, he dissented from a decision to strike down Pennsylvania's spousal notification provision--a decision the Supreme Court later upheld in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the decision that reaffirmed Roe v. Wade. What should be far more troubling to Senate Democrats, however, is Alito's 1996 dissent from a decision upholding the constitutionality of a federal law prohibiting the possession of machine guns. Applying the logic of the Constitution in Exile for all it's worth, Alito insisted that the private possession of machine guns was not an economic activity, and there was no empirical evidence that private gun possession increased violent crime in a way that substantially affected commerce--therefore, Congress has no right to regulate it. Alito's colleagues criticized him for requiring "Congress or the Executive to play Show and Tell with the federal courts at the peril of invalidation of a Congressional statute." His lack of deference to Congress is unsettling.

Update: Given my reference to Rosen's discussion about machine guns, I knew that these types of press releases from gun control groups would follow. Before one looks at it though, let me point out the obvious. Alito's 1996 decision occurred shortly after the Lopez decision in 1995 and all Alito seems to be asking is that legislation provide a mechanism to show that interstate trade is involved. Note that the Safe School Zone Act was re-enacted in virtually its original form once a boiler plate paragraph was inserted requiring that the courts find that the gun or its parts were in some way involved in interstate trade. This is a trivial requirement, and personally I think that this makes a mockery of the original intent of the constitution. The Lopez decision was a trivial decision, but to attack Alito as being extremist for upholding such a tiny requirement that a finding be made that interstate trade is involve seems bizarre to me.

'Machine Gun Sammy,' a Perfect Halloween Pick, Says Brady Campaign
10/31/2005 11:15:00 AM

To: National Desk, Supreme Court Reporter
Contact: Peter Hamm of Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, 202-898-0792
WASHINGTON, Oct. 31 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The following was released today by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence on the nomination of Judge Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court:

How could it have gone in any other direction, from a White House that just gave blanket immunity to the gun industry, which refuses to bar terrorists from buying guns, that broke a campaign promise and put Uzis and AK-47s back on America's city streets, and insisted that records of gun purchases be destroyed before the sun sets on them twice?

It had to be a Supreme Court pick that favors legal machine guns.
In 1996, Judge Samuel Alito was the sole judge who dissented from his Third Circuit Court of Appeals colleagues when they upheld the authority of Congress to ban fully automatic machine guns.

"Earth to Sammy -- who needs legal machine guns?" asked Jim Brady, chair of the Brady Campaign. "The Chicago mobsters of the 1930s would be giddy. But the man I worked for, who gave us Sandra Day O'Connor and signed the 1986 machine gun ban, would be shaking his head."

"Judge Alito's ludicrous machine gun decision is bad enough. But it also indicates that a Justice Alito would attempt to prevent Congress from passing other laws to protect Americans from gun violence," said Michael D. Barnes, president of the Brady Campaign. "If Judge Alito had his way, the federal machine gun ban would have been struck down as unconstitutional, and the private possession of these weapons would have become legal."

Congressional Quarterly: "For Gun Control Advocates, a Losing  Streak in Congress"

Advocates, a Losing Streak in Congress

     By Daphne Retter, Congressional Quarterly Staff
     CQ Today
     October 19, 2005

     Congress may decide in conference to ease District of
Columbia gun restrictions (H.R. 3058).  The House will
vote Wednesday on shielding gunmakers from liability suits
(S. 397).  And last year, Congress let the assault weapons
ban (P.L. 103-322) expire.

     It's enough to make a gun-control advocate quit.

     "It's not an easy job to get up every day and duke it out
with the gun lobby," Michael Barnes, president and CEO of
the Brady Campaign and Brady Center to Prevent Gun
Violence, said Tuesday, "but it's very important."

     Barnes resigned this week.

     He conceded that his side of the gun debate is faring
poorly on Capitol Hill, but said that's not the whole lobbying
picture.  "In many states throughout the country, things are
moving in our direction," he said.

I would like to thank Jack Anderson very much for sending
this to me.

North Carolina's 10 Year Anniversary of RTC

In a little more than a month - Dec. 1, to be exact - North Carolina's concealed handgun law will be 10 years old. Both gun control advocates and gun rights supporters say that the law, which allows law-abiding citizens to obtain a permit to carry concealed handguns under certain circumstances, has been a success.

However, they give different reasons for saying the law has worked well.

Lisa Price, executive director of North Carolinians Against Gun Violence, said that is because her organization and other gun control advocates fought to make sure that certain restrictions and training requirements were included in the law.

Paul Valone, president of Grass Roots North Carolina, a gun-rights organization, said that many of the restrictions placed in the state's concealed handgun law actually hinder its effectiveness.

"We think it's worked exactly as it was intended," he said. "We now have tens of thousands of permit holders and very few cases of demonstrated abuse." . . .

Of course, the evidence doesn't support that training lowers the crime rate even more, in fact, the opposite is true.


Judge Samuel Alito predicted to be Supreme Court Nominee

Bill Kristol on Fox News Sunday said that Judge Samuel Alito will be nominated by Bush to be on the Supreme Court. Alito has sometimes been viewed as a clone of Scalia, and is viewed as being quite conservative. It should be an interesting battle.

ABC News writes:

Judge Samuel Alito Jr., a former federal prosecutor, has strong enough credentials to satisfy and reunite Bush's conservative base, which fractured over the Miers nomination. Alito has earned the nickname "Scalito" for his philosophical similarities to conservative Associate Justice Antonin Scalia.

Alito also has the type of lengthy record that should please many conservatives — including being the sole dissenter in a case that was attempting to strike down a law requiring married women to consult their husbands before getting an abortion.

From scotusblog.com:

Judge Alito currently serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Prior to his nomination to the Third Circuit by President George H.W. Bush, he served as U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey (1987-1990), Deputy Assistant Attorney General (1985-1987), and Assistant to the Solicitor General (1981-1985).

Judge Alito was born in 1950 in Trenton NJ. He attended Princeton University and Yale Law School. He clerked for Judge Leonard I. Garth on the Third Circuit.

Dumb Criminals: Robbing a gun store without a gun

Clayton Cramer has a link to October 20, 2005 Odessa [Texas] American story that is pretty amusing.

Alito and Luttig for Supreme Court, two great possibilities