In defense of Right-to-Carry laws

From Investor's Business Daily:
Democrats are noticeably silent as freshman Sen. James Webb packs heat and leaves an aide literally holding the bag. So why should their constituents not have the same right to self-defense? . . .

Webb has a firearm, he says, for protection. Gun-control advocates argue that letting people carry guns encourages their reckless use. They ignore incidents such as last month's Trolley Square mall shooting in Utah, where an off-duty police officer carrying a concealed weapon saved untold numbers of lives by killing a disturbed young man from war-torn Bosnia who had entered the mall and started shooting, killing five. Utah is one of 40 RTC states.

One of the great untold stories is how armed private citizens, exercising their constitutional right to self-defense, have repeatedly saved their lives and others' and have helped reduce violent crime.

Since 1991, according to NRAILA.org, 23 states have adopted RTC laws. In the same period, the number of privately owned firearms has risen by nearly 70 million and violent crime is down 38%. In 2005, RTC states had, on average, a 22% lower violent crime rate, a 30% lower murder rate, a 46% lower robbery rate and a 12% lower aggravated-assault rate. . . .

The problem is not with Sen. Webb feeling the need to protect himself. It is with those who feel that citizens in the District of Columbia, or anywhere else, should not have the right or the ability to defend themselves. That is truly criminal.



This is really hard to believe: "Gore mulling third party run in '08"

My initial reaction is that this is impossible, but it would split the Democrats and possibly lead to massive Republican wins on many levels. On the other hand, including essentially two Democrats in the race could tilt the debates and the campaign even much further to the left. In any case, it is clear that the Democrats would never forgive Gore.

Sources close to Gore said Ralph Nader has sought to recruit the former vice president to run as the candidate for the Green Party. They said Gore has not rejected the offer and was consulting with family and friends to determine the feasibility of such a candidacy.

At this point, Gore stands behind Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama in any race for the Democratic presidential nomination. But the polls report that many Democrats who support Clinton could switch their support to Gore.

Still, Gore, largely estranged from former President Bill Clinton since 2000, is said to have concluded that he stands no chance of beating Hillary for the Democratic presidential nomination. But sources close to Gore said the former vice president believes that he could present himself as a genuine liberal in any general election that would include Clinton. . . .

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Safer swing sets, more injuries


San Francisco Bans Plastic Bags at Grocery Stores: Does anyone remember why we have plastic bags to begin with?

Another Unintended Consequence of "Clean" Cars such as the Prius

Thompson to make decision on running in three weeks

It sure looks like former Senator Fred Thompson is running for President. Fox News has a discussion here.

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Oregon Appeal Court rules that the Front Porch of Your House is a Public Place

At trial, at the close of the city's case, defendant moved for a judgment of acquittal. He argued that, although the shotgun was loaded when he greeted the police on the front porch, the city had failed to prove that the front porch was a "public place" within the meaning of the law. The trial court denied the motion and found defendant guilty of the offense.

On appeal, defendant argues that the trial court erred in denying his motion for a judgment of acquittal because, among other things, the city failed to prove that he had possessed the loaded shotgun in a "public place." The city contends that the trial court did not err, because the evidence was sufficient to establish that, when defendant stood on his front porch with the loaded shotgun, he was in a "public place" within the meaning of the city ordinance. . . .



Senator Webb on Carrying a Gun For Personal Protection

NJ Appeals Court says Disabled Person Should Get Gun Permit

A state appeals court got it right on Thursday when it prohibited East Brunswick from denying a gun-purchase permit to a handicapped township resident. As a result of its decision, the appellate court delivered a victory for disabled outdoorsmen in particular and handicapped citizens in general.

The East Brunswick Police Department denied the permit on the false and prejudiced notion that Charles Breitweiser, partially blind and partially paralyzed, was automatically a danger with a gun. Not so.

In Breitweiser's case, he wanted the permit to buy a rifle for hunting. By doing so, he would join the thousands of other physically disabled citizens across the United States — many with disabilities more serious than Breitweiser's — who participate without mishap in the sport of hunting every year, so long as certain precautions are followed. . . .

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Tony Snow's Cancer has returned

This is very sad. Tony is a wonderful person. He has always been extremely nice to every person whom I have seen him with. I can only assume that the cancer will be very difficult to deal with the second time around.



Breaking News: Senator Jim Webb Staffer Arrested for Carrying Webb's Gun, Webb Carries Gun With Him All The Time

Virginia Senator Webb carries the gun on his waist all the time. A senate staffer informs me that police arrested a Webb staffer for gun possession. He was carrying a bag with the loaded gun for the Senator. Quote: "The [Webb's] staffer had the gun by himself...Webb was in car!!"

I have written op-eds on this before regarding the special rules governing Senators and Congressmen. Regular people or even staffers aren't allowed to carry a gun, but politicians are. Reminds me of Mayor Daily in Chicago, who has armed body guards but won't let other in the city legally own handguns.

But possibly this case will get people to think. Here is a Senate aide, a former Marine, who is arrested and jailed. Does anyone really believe that he is a threat to anyone? Does anyone really believe that it makes sense to lock this guy in jail and charge him with a felony and destroy his life?

UPDATE: The senator staffer was arrested by Capitol Hill police while he tried to take the gun through security at a Senate Office Building.

UPDATE 2: I am a little skeptical that this is completely correct, but I wanted to post this while I checked. In any case, the staffer was apparently arrested for carrying a loaded gun in a bag.

Roll Call

May 23, 2005 Monday
Correction Appended

LENGTH: 779 words

HEADLINE: Law Lets Members Keep Firearms in Hill Offices


. . .

Although the D.C. prohibition against firearms was put into place in 1975, under a provision in federal law, Members of Congress and their staffs are in essence given the right to bear arms on Capitol grounds.

According to Capitol Police Board regulations established in 1967, Members and their aides are allowed to transport firearms on the Capitol grounds in the course of carrying out their official duties provided the weapons are "unloaded and securely wrapped." (Directives published in recent years also state that staff must be verified by Capitol Police.)

Although the regulations expressly prohibit weapons on the floor of either chamber, as well as in the adjacent lobbies, cloakrooms and galleries, individual Members are allowed to "maintain firearms within the confines of [their] office." . . .

Similar story in the September 25, 2000 issue of Roll Call.

UPDATE 3: Fox News has a nice discussion of the case here. Fox News also quotes an interview that Webb had with the Richmond Times Dispatch saying that Webb claims he does not carry a gun to work.

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Trying to set the Police Executive Research Forum Straight


Tape of Guiliani saying that 86 to 88 percent of guns sold in the United States should not be sold

Here is a video tape of Rudy Guiliani while he was mayor saying that gun makers "are producing 6 to 7 times more guns than the legal market would demand and therefore they would have to know that they are supplying an illegal market." He initially says that this number is 3 to 4 times more guns than the legal market would demand, but changes it to the higher number. In any case, it is not a big difference. 3 to 4 times means 75 to 80 percent of guns shouldn't be sold. 6 to 7 times means that 85.7 to 87.5 percent of guns shouldn't be sold.

Thanks to Jason Megill for sending me this link.

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Move by left to strengthen gun control laws in Switzerland

First realize that Switzerland has one of the lowest murder rates in Europe. Yet, why is it that there is a move to increase gun control in Switzerland but not a move to eliminate gun control in neighboring countries with higher murder rates? Overall, this article shows how much people are motivated by annecdotal examples and don't take other indirect effects into account. In the article below, a murder with a military weapon, an extremely rare event in Switzerland, is used to motivate a massive change in gun laws, but what about something on the otherside? What about the fact that possibly Switzerland has a low crime rate because people have guns to defend themselves? Probably people see the crimes and don't see the defensive uses and certainly can't anticipate the crimes that might take place in the future if people can't defend themselves.

The Swiss can keep their army guns at home - for the time being.

Pacifists and centre-left parties want voters to have the final say on breaking with a long-standing Swiss tradition of storing personal army rifles and pistols at home.

They said they would launch a people's initiative to ban such weapons in households. The announcement came a day after parliament refused to take action over the issue.

Supporters of the ban are expected to launch a bid to collect the necessary signatures for the vote within the next few months.

The House of Representatives on Thursday threw out a proposal by the Social Democrats and the Greens to tighten the gun law, including having a central arms register.

"Firearms are the biggest security risk in the country," said Green parliamentarian Jo Lang, while the Social Democrat, Boris Banga, argued that current regulations on standard issue firearms were outdated.

His party colleague Chantal Galladé added a personal aspect to the debate. "I was 11 when my father committed suicide with an army gun."

Other speakers pointed out the latest case of murder committed with such weapons – a man shot his girlfriend in southeastern Switzerland earlier this week. . . . .