Go Bruins!!!

UCLA takes an early commanding lead over LSU (20-10)!

UPDATE: Well, at least one of my teams won tonight! 59-45 and it wasn't ever remotely close. LSU never had a chance.

UPDATE2: I can't bring myself to put up a separate post following UCLA's loss to Florida. It was a very sorry performance, and I have to confess that I couldn't even get myself to watch the entire game.

Hawaii Repeals Gasoline Price Controls Conceding that they Actually Cost Customers Money

Fox News has a nice report on how gasoline price controls actually cost customers money. I had always thought that the fear of price controls would prevent firms from lowering prices. This case provides one example where that occurred.

George Mason v. Florida is turning out to be a great game

Watching this game right now. 18-17, Florida over GMU, but this is proving to be a tough fought contest. Given I went to school at UCLA and live right near to GMU, I have two obvious teams to route for.

UPDATE: Bummer, GMU just couldn't control those three point shots by Florida. Well, at least I still have UCLA to route for.

Canadians are not so happy about socialized medicine and crime

One-fifth of all living Mexican-born people live in US

This statement from David Frum is an amazing statement. It is incredible how a government can so mess up its economy.

Today, almost one-fifth of all living Mexican-born people now make their homes in the United States. You have to go back to the Irish potato famine to find a parallel. But Mexico is not suffering famine: It is suffering from a comprehensive failure of political and economic leadership.

If this is correct, it implies that something around 25 million mexican-born people live in the US.


Nebraska Passes Right to Carry Law, now only two states completely ban carrying handguns

By a 33-12 vote Nebraska senators today passed a concealed handgun law today. The governor has promised to sign the legislation. Only Wisconsin and Illinois completely ban carrying concealed handguns, and twice in the last few years the Wisconsin legislature has passed the law with veto proof margins in both legislative houses only to see one or a couple Democratic legislators switch their votes at the last minute. If Wisconsin Governor Doyle loses re-election or if there are only a couple of vote changes in the state assembly, the next time passage is tried the bill will become law.

One of the problems with the asymmetry in news coverage on guns

One of the problems with essentially only bad news with guns being reported (e.g., like the tragedy in Seattle over the weekend) is that it produces a call for more gun control laws. If the defensive gun uses got coverage or even better cases where people could no longer defend themselves since their guns had been taken away (see a few reported cases from New Orleans), it is possible that these debates would be quite different. In the Seattle case, (e.g., like the tragedy in the attack has created a call for more gun control.

Talk Today at Hillsdale College

I will be giving a talk at Hillsdale College in Southern Michigan later today (1 PM to be exact). Spent most of yesterday visiting with people at the school. It is an interesting place.


Interesting conference on the abortion and crime link

Today we just had an interesting conference on the abortion and crime link. There is a video of the event. We invited all the Americans who had finished work on this topic by the middle of February, so while it might appear that almost everyone who had finished a paper thought that the link between abortion and crime was nonexistent or possibly even positive. There was one paper that claimed to find evidence in favor of Donohue and Levitt, but that when the issues raised by Chris Foote were dealt with the significance of the effect went away. Video is available of the two sessions at the top right of the page.

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Defensive Gun Use: Stopping a scary home invasion

Here is a dramatic story from Channel 7 (ABC) in Denver. CRAIG, Colo., March 27th:

A 60-year-old Moffat County man was killed during a home invasion shootout in Craig -- except he was the one who was doing the breaking in with a gun.

Police were dispatched to a home in the 800 block of Washington Street at about 5:40 p.m. on Sunday on a report of a home invasion. The 911 dispatcher told officers that shots could be heard from inside the home.

Officers found Mario Vigil lying on a floor outside a bedroom. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The officers then found the homeowner, 33-year-old Josh Jackson, and his 9-year-old son hiding in a bedroom.

An investigation revealed that Jackson saw Vigil trying to break into the front door with the butt end of a rifle. Jackson grabbed a .410 shotgun and shot the intruder in the chest as he entered the home, but the shot did not stop him, police said.

Jackson and his son ran into a back bedroom and locked the door. Jackson told his son to hide under a bed and then grabbed a 30-06 rifle and started loading it. Police said the intruder then fired two rounds from a 30.30 rifle through the closed bedroom door.

Jackson yelled at him to leave and fired one round from his weapon through the bedroom door into the hallway. The intruder fired two more rounds and then began busting open the bedroom door, police said.

At that point Jackson fired another round, which apparently struck the intruder in the right hip area. The door remained closed and Jackson and his son stayed in the bedroom until officers arrived.

Police determined that earlier in the evening, Vigil was involved in a domestic violence case with Jackson's mother. Vigil had fired one round at the girlfriend and made threats to hurt her family, including killing her son and her 9-year-old grandson.
An initial investigation revealed the shooting was justifiable and was in self defense, police said.

Thanks very much to Gary Miller for sending me this link.


Wealthy People Carrying Concealed Handguns in New York CIty

From yesterday's New York Post:

March 26, 2006 -- . . . Ronald Lauder has joined trigger-happy tycoons Donald Trump and Seagrams scion Edgar Bronfman Sr. as the richest men in the city packing heat, according to the NYPD's gun-permit list.

Lauder, the cosmetics heir, and multimillionaire Marvel Comics CEO Isaac Perlmutter are the newest gun-club members licensed to carry a weapon - topping a list that already included "Mean Streets" actors Harvey Keitel and Robert De Niro, "Scarface" producer Martin Bregman and shock jocks Don Imus and Howard Stern. . . .

Other gun-toting notables - who have a license to carry as opposed to a permit to keep their weapon only at a home or business - include anti-gun activist Fernando Mateo and Giuliani Partners execs Richard Sheirer and Anthony Carbonetti - an in-law of the notorious booze-peddling Dorrian clan.

Republican Senate majority leader Joe Bruno and music czar Tommy Mottola remain licensed carriers, according to NYPD records through March 17. . . .

Former Manhattan Judge Leslie Crocker Snyder is also licensed to carry a firearm.

"You will see a lot of judges with [gun] permits, and I've also noticed over the years more women applying," said NYPD License Division Capt. Mike Endall.

Queens DA Richard Brown is the only elected prosecutor in the city with a gun license, but "he has his own security, so he doesn't walk around carrying a gun," said spokeswoman Nicole Navas.

Celebrity divorce lawyer Raoul Felder said he has carried a gun since 1961 during his days as a prosecutor.

"A man threatened to kill me, and since he was a murderer I thought it was time to get a gun," he said. "We live in a very disturbed age. There's all kinds of sickness."

Subway vigilante Bernie Goetz's lawyer, Barry Slotnick, is also strapped.

Last year 3,187 people applied for gun licenses, and 2,575, or 81 percent, were approved. In the same period, 141 licenses were revoked and 4,103 licenses were canceled.. . . .

Thanks to Gus Corey for sending this.

Gun News from Canada

From guns to Kyoto, Canadian Liberals are rethinking some of their past policies, or at least how they plan on accomplishing their goals.

PUBLICATION: Belleville Intelligencer
DATE: 2006.03.27
PAGE: A1 / Front
BYLINE: James Wallace
SOURCE: The Canadian Press


Majority favours scrapping gun registry, poll shows


There is broad public support for Prime Minister Stephen Harper to dismantle the former Liberal government's controversial national gun registry, shows a poll by SES Research/ Osprey Media. More than half of Ontario voters -- 55 per cent -- either strongly or somewhat support Harper's campaign promise to end the program intended in part to curb gun-related crime.

"It's pretty clear the public preference is to scrap the gun registry and for Stephen Harper to deliver on that promise," said Nik Nanos, president of SES Research. . . .


PUBLICATION: National Post
DATE: 2006.03.27
EDITION: All but Toronto
PAGE: A1 / Front
BYLINE: Juliet O'Neill
SOURCE: CanWest News Service


Key Liberal slams Martin government strategies: Some 'bizarre': Axworthy


OTTAWA - The man the Liberals have assigned to assemble their blueprint for party renewal says the defeated government's national daycare program was "a deathbed repentance," the gun registry was "an administrative disaster" and the response to the sponsorship scandal was "bizarre."

The blunt-talking Tom Axworthy, a former aide to Pierre Trudeau who teaches at Queen's University in Kingston, Ont., also says the former government's Kyoto policy was not only difficult to understand, "it wasn't real anyway."


Concise history of gun control in Britain

See the beginning of this post from gunbancon.com/lostarms.html:

Significant restrictions began in 1920 with the 1920 Firearms Act, which was introduced because the government feared a communist revolution along the lines of the Bolshevik Revolution that was occuring in Russia at the time, not to mention the Easter Rising of 1916. They also feared the fact that unions all over the country were calling for a general strike and becoming increasingly militant. Clearly, the 1920 Firearms Act had nothing to do with crime; in fact, it is yet another textbook example of why gun control is only ever about power and control. By allowing the government to get its foot in the door in an area it had no right to interfere with, the British people had dropped a serious clanger: the door was now wide open for progressively more severe assaults on the right to keep and bear arms, culminating in the 1997 Firearms Amendment Acts, which were very much the final nail in the coffin.

And boy did those draconian gun laws come, one after the other: 1937 (ban on short-barreled shotguns and fully automatic rifles), 1946 (the year the government adopted the position that self-defence would no longer be deemed an adequate reason for being granted a firearms certificate), 1953 (Prevention of Crime Act outlawed the carrying of an "offensive weapon" and put the burden of proof on anyone found with an "offensive weapon" such as a knife, to prove that he had a reasonable excuse), 1967 (the Criminal Justice Act's shotgun controls), 1982 (replica guns that could be converted to fire live ammunition), 1988 (ban on semi-automatic centre-fire rifles and pump-action rifles and even stricter shotgun controls), 1997 (ban on all handguns except for antique and muzzle-loading black powder guns, firearms of historic interest whose ammunition is no longer available and firearms of historic interest with current calibres). . . .

Useful article on the slippery slope.