Student asks for class to be held off campus to be safer


82 year old woman stops intruder with her gun: "She had to balance on her walker as she pulled out a snub-nosed .38-caliber handgun."

WAYNESBURG, Ky. — Miss America 1944 has a talent that likely has never appeared on a beauty pageant stage: She fired a handgun to shoot out a vehicle's tires and stop an intruder.

Venus Ramey, 82, confronted a man on her farm in south-central Kentucky last week after she saw her dog run into a storage building where thieves had previously made off with old farm equipment.

Ramey said the man told her he would leave. "I said, 'Oh, no you won't,' and I shot their tires so they couldn't leave," Ramey said.

She had to balance on her walker as she pulled out a snub-nosed .38-caliber handgun.

"I didn't even think twice. I just went and did it," she said. "If they'd even dared come close to me, they'd be 6 feet under by now."

Ramey then flagged down a passing motorist, who called 911.

Curtis Parrish of Ohio was charged with misdemeanor trespassing, Deputy Dan Gilliam said. The man's hometown wasn't immediately available. Three other people were questioned but were not arrested. . . .


"Sheriff Asks State To Place Guns In Schools"

Fred Thompson on Guns

Research paper on Multiple Victim Public Shooting

I have been getting a lot of requests for a copy of my research on multiple victim public shootings. You can download the paper here.

UPDATE; A debate on that work can be found here. Thanks to John Fund and Cal Blalik for sending me this link.

Two comments and responses:

1) "Prof. Lott wrote in an email that he counted less-severe incidents to get enough data for statistically significant results. He justifies his exclusion of gang murders because gun usage by chronic criminals "would not be directly affected by the passage of right-to-carry laws."

That seems to be precisely the reason to include them for a full picture of the effect of these laws. Of course, the complete picture frequently goes missing in this debate."

-- The point is that we tried and reported it many different ways (including the measure used by the New York Times, two or more murders, three or more murders, four or more murders, various combinations of that with injuries as well as injuries separately, and the number of attacks). If someone had a reasonable suggestion for a measure, we would have used it. Out of all those ways, one way was not statistically significant and for what I think is a very obvious reason: the basic model had almost as many control variables as events. My question is: why is it better to try only one measure and find that is statistically insignificant as the other paper you cite does? Besides saying it is too much work, what is there reason for only trying one measure? They also include crimes that we provide a theoretical reason for why they will move the coefficient towards.

2) "Grant Duwe, a researcher on the later study, said the news-archive approach was likely incomplete, because the media don't always give publicity to multiple shootings."

-- Duwe and co-authors had a choice between doing the costly and time consuming media approach that we did or they could use the government data that includes cases that would include cases that shouldn't have been included. An important question to answer in evaluating Duwe's answer above is: Does one really believe that there are really many multiple victim public shootings involving non-gang members and where four or more people are killed that don't get any news coverage? These authors were sent our data before they did their paper and did not provide any evidence that our method missed the types of cases that we were concerned about. From having checked our data against the FBI reports (which we had done years before their work), I would argue that the only cases they picked up were gang shootings of other gangs. Something that can be interesting, but would not be particularly relevant for our estimates of the impact of right-to-carry laws.

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On stopping multiple victim public shootings

A couple days ago, I put up a long list of articles, op-eds and editorials on gun free zones. Here are some more pieces that are relevant.

Investor's Business Daily on stopping multiple victim public shootings

Gun Control: Five years ago, armed college students subdued a gunman embarking on a college killing spree. Last year, Virginia Tech applauded the fact that its students couldn't do the same.

On Jan. 16, 2002 , a killer stalked the campus of the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Va., not far from the site of Monday's massacre at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. A disgruntled former student killed Law Dean L. Anthony Sutin, associate professor Thomas Blackwell and a student.

Two of the three law students who overpowered Peter Odighizuwa before he could kill more innocent victims were armed. Mikael Gross and Tracy Bridges, seeing the killing spree begin, went to their cars, retrieved their guns and used them to disarm the shooter.

As John Lott Jr. tells it in his book, "The Bias Against Guns" (Regnery, 2003), while most were fleeing the gunman, "Mikael and Tracy were prepared to do something quite different: Both immediately ran to their cars and got their guns. Mikael had to run about one hundred yards to get to his car."

Lott continues: "Along with Ted Besen (who was unarmed), they approached Peter from different sides. As Tracy explains it, "I stopped at my vehicle and got a handgun, a revolver. Ted went toward Peter, and I aimed the gun at (Peter), and Peter tossed his gun down." Then the three jumped on the gunman and the killing stopped.

Bernard Goldberg, in his book "Arrogance" (Warner, 2003), reports how the media reported the tragic events of that day. He notes that Lott did a LexisNexis search and found that only four of 208 news reports mentioned the rescuers had guns. James Eaves-Johnson did his own LexisNexis search for the Daily Iowan (University of Iowa) and found that only two of 88 stories mentioned that armed students subdued the killer and prevented more deaths. . . .

Here is a piece by Jack Kelly

What can we do to keep what happened at Virginia Tech from ever happening again?

Nothing. Understanding that is the key to reducing the frequency of such massacres, and the bloodshed when they, alas, inevitably occur.

Little more frightens or angers Americans than when a nutbar kills a lot of people at random, because the act is as senseless as it is evil.

"The effort to shoehorn an event as devastating as this one into a predetermined set of ideas...is an effort to make the unthinkable thinkable," said New York Post columnist John Podhoretz. "Does this massacre seem to be utterly without cause? Well, then, we'll find a cause in order to be able to wrap our minds around it, because when we have a cause we can determine a remedy."

Both supporters and opponents of gun control are shoe-horning the incident into their pre-established templates. Both have ammunition.

On the one hand, Mr. Cho was able to purchase the firearms he used in the murder spree -- Glock 19 and Walther P-22 handguns -- lawfully at a local gun shop.

On the other, the Virginia Tech campus is a "gun free zone," where students, faculty and staff are forbidden to have firearms, even if they have concealed carry permits. Mr. Cho lived in a dorm on campus, where he stored his weapons and ammunition. The school's policy banning guns wasn't very effective in Mr. Cho's case. . . .

Here is a piece by Ben J. Wattenberg

America is no longer a six-gun-toting, slap-leather society. Nor are we particularly violent. Since the civil war we have not afflicted great violence on other Americans. Nor is our crime rate particularly high as ranked among the countries of the world.

Most of our states now have "Right to Carry" laws that lower violent crime rather than raising it. As John Lott has pointed out in More Guns, Less Crime, criminals are afraid of their own injury by a not-so-helpless victim.

And so, perhaps counter-intuitively, after these horrific events, there is not much we can or should do. We are doing fine. . . .


New op-ed on multiple victim public shootings

I have a new op-ed in The Australian here.

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Virus allows hackers access to State Department Computers worldwide

Coverage of Virginia Tech

"If anybody cares about the victims in Blacksburg and if anybody cares about their children, stop showing this video now. Take it off the Internet. Let it be relegated to YouTube. Showing the video is a social catastrophe... I promise you the disaffected will watch him the way they watched 'Natural Born Killers.' I know. I examine these people. I've examined mass shooters who have told me they've watched it 20 times. You cannot saturate the American public with this kind of message" -- forensic psychiatrist and ABC News consultant Michael Welner, discussing the consequences of the media airing the Seung-hui Cho video.

From Opinion Journal's Political Diary


The Dam Begins to Break: "TN moves to allow guns in public buildings"


Appearance on Sean Hannity's Show Today

I should be on Sean Hannity's show during the third hour today (between 5 and 6 PM). It is supposed to be short -- 10 minutes.

A copy of the interview is available here. Thanks to Jason Pye for sending this to me.



At least Eisner is the former chairman of Disney, though one worries that his views may be representative. However, that said, you already see a lot of bias on TV.

"I think that the solution to ending gun violence is to get the public emotionally upset through film and television drama to the point that it demands that the possession of handguns be outlawed. I couldn't suggest that, let alone do it, when I was the chairman of Disney. It's a public company and everybody is scared of taking on the NRA. But now that I'm a private person, nobody can tell me I can't do what I want."

Michael Eisner
Former Disney chairman
On "Power Lunch"
April 18, 2007

Thanks to Dan Gifford for sending me this. Dan adds: "This is my paraphrase of Eisner from the CNBC interview about fifteen minutes ago."

UPDATE: here is a video of Eisner's statement.


Comments on Gun Free Zones

Some useful editorials on the horrible Virginia attack can be found here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. In 1998, only one or two people would have been making this argument.

Holman W. Jenkins Jr. at the WSJ makes the point pretty clear: "After all, some people are prepared, at their own expense, to obtain a gun, training and a concealed-carry permit. This is likely to include people who wouldn't have thought of arming themselves except when daily activity throws them unavoidably into proximity to somebody who makes them rationally afraid. If society can't process and react to warning signs given off by such people collectively, an alternative is to expand the opportunity for individuals to process and react to them personally."

UPI notes: "The Virginia Tech massacre is already igniting a new debate on whether the United States has too little gun control, or too much. Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, a national movement dedicated to maintaining gun ownership rights, said Monday, "All the school shootings that have ended abruptly in the last 10 years were stopped because a law-abiding citizen -- a potential victim -- had a gun."

Ann Coulter's piece here is quite amusing:

From the attacks of 9/11 to Monday's school shooting, after every mass murder there is an overwhelming urge to "do something" to prevent a similar attack.

But since Adam ate the apple and let evil into the world, deranged individuals have existed.

Most of the time they can't be locked up until it's too late. It's not against the law to be crazy -- in some jurisdictions it actually makes you more viable as a candidate for public office.

It's certainly not against the law to be an unsociable loner. If it were, Ralph Nader would be behind bars right now, where he belongs. Mass murder is often the first serious crime unbalanced individuals are caught committing -- as appears to be in the case of the Virginia Tech shooter. . . .

Another interesting news article can be found here. See also this here.

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Global Warming Claims


Thoughts related to the VIrginia Tech Shooting

For those interested in commentary by me on the Virginia Tech shooting, please see a very related piece that I wrote just last week.



Another gun free zone: "1 Person Dead; Gunman on the Loose at Virginia Tech University"

All the public universities in Virginia have rules banning guns on campus.

BLACKSBURG, Va. — A gunman was loose on the Virginia Tech University campus in Blacksburg, Va., Monday, and officials were warning everyone to stay away from all building windows.

A state government official told The Associated Press said that at least one person was killed and another was injured in a shooting incident at the West Ambler Johnston residence hall early Monday morning. FOX News has not yet confirmed that report. . . .

UPDATE: Paul Huebl sent around a link confirming what I had already put up about Virginia Tech being a gun free zone.

Last spring a Virginia Tech student was disciplined for bringing a handgun to class, despite having a concealed handgun permit. Some gun owners questioned the university's authority, while the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police came out against the presence of guns on campus.

In June, Tech's governing board approved a violence prevention policy reiterating its ban on students or employees carrying guns and prohibiting visitors from bringing them into campus facilities. . . .

UPDATE: Obviously, this has turned into a much more horrible situation than was originally reported. I will wait to post more until more is understood about what happened.

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"Cell Phones May Be To Blame For Disappearing Bees"

I just watched the news this morning and found it comical that cell phones were being blamed for the sudden drop off in bees over the last year. How long have cell phones been around for? Why the sudden drop off? Montana and some other fairly low population states are also experiencing the drop off. I can only assume that they have less of their land area affected by cell phone radiation. Both the time period and the areas affected make me strongly suspect that there is another cause going on here.

Researchers in Germany may have found the cause of disappearing honey bees -- a worldwide problem that has also hit Colorado beekeepers hard. . . .

A German study shows that radiation from cell phones can disrupt bees' navigation systems. That keeps the bees from returning to their hives.

In some cases, 70 per cent of bees exposed to radiation failed to find their way back to the hive after searching for pollen and nectar, according to the research by Landau University.

Colony Collapse Disorder has affected beehives in 24 states, including Colorado. Losses of 50 to 90 per cent of colonies have been recorded. The loss rate is 40 percent in some Colorado's 30,0000 colonies. Beekeepers said that many of their bees never return to the hives and the hives dwindle and die. . . .