Two talks in Arizona

Two talks in Arizona this coming week.

Sunday, July 22, 2007
from 5:00-7:00 p.m., at Pima County Republican Headquarters
5447 East 5th Street, in Tucson.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Registration and Continental Breakfast ~ 7:30 AM
Presentation ~ 8:00 AM

University Club
39 East Monte Vista Road
Phoenix, Arizona 85004


The article "Gun Laws and Sudden Death: Did the Australian Firearms Legislation of 1996 Make a Difference?" is available on the web

Jeanine Baker and Samara McPhedran
Gun Laws and Sudden Death: Did the Australian Firearms Legislation of 1996 Make a Difference?
British Journal of Criminology Advance Access published on October 18, 2006
Br J Criminol 2007 47: 455-469; doi:10.1093/bjc/azl084 [Abstract] [Full Text] [PDF] [Request Permissions]

Gun Laws and Sudden Death
Did the Australian Firearms Legislation of 1996 Make a Difference?
Jeanine Baker and Samara McPhedran*
Samara McPhedran, School of Psychology, University of Sydney, Camperdown, New South Wales 2006, Australia and International Coalition for Women in Shooting and Hunting (WiSH), PO Box 184, Ballarat, Victoria 3353, Australia
* Correspondence to J. Baker, Research and Policy Unit, Sporting Shooters Association of Australia, PO Box 166, Gumeracha, South Australia 5233, Australia; jb@ssaa.org.au.


Mass murders in Dunblane, United Kingdom, and Port Arthur, Australia, provoked rapid responses from the governments of both countries. Major changes to Australian laws resulted in a controversial buy-back of longarms and tighter legislation. The Australian situation enables evaluation of the effect of a national buy-back, accompanied by tightened legislation in a country with relatively secure borders. AutoRegressive Integrated Moving Average (ARIMA) was used to predict future values of the time series for homicide, suicide and accidental death before and after the 1996 National Firearms Agreement (NFA). When compared with observed values, firearm suicide was the only parameter the NFA may have influenced, although societal factors could also have influenced observed changes. The findings have profound implications for future firearm legislation policy direction.

Thanks to Rich for sending this to me.


More on Freedomnomics

There are new mentions of my book, Freedomnomics here, here,here, and here.

Robin Hansen at GMU and Max Sawicky from the Economic Policy Institute will be providing comments for my talk at Heritage Foundation on August 1st at noon.


Houston homeowner wounds would-be burglar

Defensive gun use stop burglary in Kentucky 7/20

Is the fairness doctrine headed back?

Reagan couldn't get the congress to get rid of the "fairness doctrine" during the 1980s so he used his ability to appoint the majority of FCC commissioners to get rid of it. This week the Democrats in congress killed an effort to stop the next presidential administration from reinstituting the doctrine through the FCC.

Senate Democrats last night beat back a Republican attempt to attach an anti-Fairness Doctrine bill as an amendment to education legislation.

The doctrine, a former requirement that broadcasters present opposing points of view on political issues, was scrapped in 1987 by the Federal Communications Commission, which said the policy restricted journalistic freedom. The bill by Sen. Norm Coleman, Minnesota Republican, would prevent the FCC from reinstating the doctrine.



I hope that this doesn't give American Politicians ideas


Concealed Carry Increasing in one of my Favorite Towns

Recent violence in Lubbock appears to have sparked a larger interest in concealed handgun licenses, so NewsChannel 11 taking a closer look into what it takes to receive one of those permits.

"The object of carrying a weapon is to prevent things from happening," Beverly Ellis, owner of Gun Shak in southwest Lubbock County said.

Ellis is also a concealed handgun license instructor. Before you can get a conceal-carry license from the Department of Public Safety, you'll have to spend hours of class time with her, or at least another instructor like Ellis, and it appears more people in Lubbock are up to the challenge.

"In the last two or three months there's been a much greater interest. With all the things that have been going on, they just feel like they want to be prepared, in the event that something happens," Ellis said.

"I am safer," Paul Bean said. . . .

You can tell it is Texas (at least outside of Houston and Austin) when not only is the article quite positive about right-to-carry, but also the news article provides a link on how people can get permits.

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Another Review of Freedomnomics

Polls evenly divided on government regulation of media for balance?

I assume that people like the thought of "balance," but this poll is pretty worrisome. You would think that people would understand not only the difficulty in determining what balance is, but also that the effect will be to stop those programs where it is used from talking about politics. Of course, the rules won't be used to stop biased "news" coverage.

Should the federal government require radio and television stations to offer equal amounts of conservative and liberal commentary?

Yes 41%

No 41%

Not sure 18%

Source: Rasmussen Reports
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 1,000 American adults, conducted on Jul. 11 and Jul. 12, 2007. Margin of error is 3 per cent.



"Fiction" does have its purposes

One piece of advice given to first time authors is to write about something that you know well from real life. Well, it appears that Gore's daughter really took that advice to heart. From John Fund in yesterday's Political Diary:

Finally, a Gore Writes a Book Worth Reading

Kristin Gore, daughter of former Vice President Al Gore, is busy peddling 125,000 copies of her new political satire "Sammy's House." It's the story of a clumsy but smart White House policy wonk named Samantha Jones. George Stephanopoulos, the former Clinton White House aide who provided some of the inspiration for the character, calls the book a cross between "Bridget Jones" and "Primary Colors."

The book apparently is a good read, but official Washington has been poring over it mainly for clues to the dysfunctional relationship between the Gores and the Clintons. In the book, Sammy Jones is working for President Max Wye, a former Southern governor who is undeniably brilliant but also has an addictive personality and a problem telling the truth. Among his other characteristics: "He always stared at himself for too long in mirrors," "he wanted to please too many people to be able to consistently take tough stands," and "he lacked a strong inner compass." His problems are compounded by a nasty First Lady whose "paranoia was legendary" and who resembles a modern-day Lady Macbeth.

It won't surprise anyone that there is also a loyal vice presidential hero in the novel, a brainy former Senator named Robert Gary. He is an upright family man of high principle and integrity. He is appalled when his boss, President Wye, becomes enmeshed in a horrific scandal. There is also the opposition party to worry about. Its leader in the Senate is in league with pharmaceutical companies and is always plotting to undermine virtuous health care proposals. The leader's name, Frand, might make some readers think of Bill Frist, the GOP Senate leader until this past January. . . .


Sign up here for your own gun free zone

There is a very funny YouTube segment here. This is really very funny. In rewatching this the fourth time, it finally dawned on me that this is from Fox News' "1/2 hour news hour."

Thanks to David Hardy for posting this link.

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Ohio Newspaper printing names of Concealed Handugn Permit Holders

You can see a piece on this issue here. The point is that the benefit from right-to-carry laws is that the criminals don't know who might be carrying a gun. By publishing the names of permit holders, the safety of non-permit holders is put at risk.

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New Op-ed in Philadelphia Inquirer: Guns don't kill people, Phila. does

My son Maxim and I have an op-ed in today's Philadelphia Inquirer:

When Mayor Street spent 15 hours waiting in line for an iPhone recently, the city was not impressed by his love of new technology. Rather, Street had to answer to a passerby asking, "How can you sit here with 200 murders in the city already?"

Local politicians say they know the source of the problem: the lack of gun control. Gov. Rendell recently complained the state legislature "has been in the control of the NRA." Street blames the increasing murder rate on "the dangerous proliferation of guns on our city streets." Last Tuesday, two City Council members announced the novel legal tactic of suing the state government to let Philadelphia pass its own gun laws. . . . .

A comment tread can be found here.

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New Op-ed in Washington Times: Property-rights dispute

D.C. to Appeal Circuit Court Decision Striking Down Gun Ban

This is a big role of the dice for both sides. One more retirement could make a big difference here.

Mayor Adrian Fenty announced today that he will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit striking down on Second Amendment grounds Washington, D.C.'s firearms ban. The Supreme Court has never definitively ruled on the Second Amendment, making the constitutionality of gun ownership among the most important unresolved questions in all of constitutional law.
The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." Courts and legal scholars are sharply divided over the meaning of that language and whether it protects an individual right to keep and bear arms or merely a "collective" right of the states to arm their own citizen militias. If the Supreme Court agrees to review this case, Parker v. District of Columbia, it will be the first time the Court has considered the meaning of the Second Amendment in nearly 70 years. In the only prior case, U.S. v. Miller (1939), the Court did not provide a definitive interpretation of the Second Amendment.
"This case is enormously important, not only to the Parker plaintiffs and other D.C. residents, but to persons nationwide who care about the Constitution and the right to bear arms," said plaintiff's co-counsel and Cato Institute senior fellow Robert Levy. . . .



Americans Getting Shorter and Lack of Health Care?: Be serious

New research shows that Americans are coming up short, but not in terms of money or lifestyle. Our growing problem is with our height.

The study, conducted by the University of Munich and Princeton University, found that the United States had the shortest population in the industrialized world, and the reason may have to do with the way people live. . . . .

Komlos said height revealed a lot about a country's well-being, including how long its citizens lived and how healthy they were. Researchers said that one reason for Denmark's high ranking could be that the Danish health-care system provides better care to children when they are young, the time of life when most growing takes place. . . .

This is a recycled claim about heights. For a long time Americans were relatively better feed than people in outher countries. Nothern Europeans (people who lived in colder climates) tend to be taller. As the standard of living improved in Europe, they caught up to the US. So why is height falling in the US? Simple, the percentage of the population from northern European stock is getting smaller. We have more people from Mexico and from China and other warmer places where people tend to be shorter.


The NRA backing gun tracing as a crime fighting tool?

I am not sure how this squares with other positions that the NRA has taken on tracing (positions that I have agreed with them on). I have an op-ed that is coming out in the Phiadelphia Inquirer on Tuesday, though unfortunately I am at least a day late with my piece.

The state legislature last night passed a gun-control bill advocated by Philadelphia lawmakers, a notable feat in a state so strong on the right to bear arms and so hostile to the city's efforts to regulate them.
The Senate passed the legislation, 50-0, following overwhelming passage in the House last week.

The two measures in the bill, called minor by gun-control supporters, were nonetheless hailed as an important step in a new working relationship between the National Rifle Association and urban lawmakers.

One part of the bill would compel police departments to trace all illegal firearms confiscated from those under the age of 21 and report the guns to a state-police-run registry. The other would expand the definition of firearm under state law to include long-guns such as rifles and shotguns, providing more uniform application of state law.

The NRA backed the bills, saying the tracing requirement would help to fight crime.. . . .

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Review of Freedomnomics by Michael New at National Review Online

On Laura Ingraham Today

For those interested, I will be on the Laura Ingraham's Show at 11:15 EDT to discuss Freedomnomics today.

I will be on Larry Elder's show tomorrow at 7PM EDT.

Both should be a lot of fun.



Media distortions: Ron Paul attacked

While I may not support Ron Paul for president, the Politico did an amazing hit piece on him: "Ron Paul warns of staged terror attack". I confess that I briefly bought into this claim until I read this piece: "Robbing Paul of the Truth". You really need to read both pieces to see how really bad this is.


Even TV shows may run afoul of campaign finance laws

Well, I am only surprised that this problem hasn't happened previously.

The show, called “Independent,” aims to launch next year in time for the real presidential election, though it’s still network shopping.

The concept -- as presented in a hyperbolic press release predicting the show “will help reshape the face of American politics, including the next presidential election” -- is clever. Contestants will deal with issues proposed by MySpace users and the show’s viewers that will require interactions with supporters, protesters and activists.

“Over the course of the series, through a combination of Internet-powered direct democracy and the broad reach of TV, viewers will be empowered to put a genuine stamp on which issues they care about most and identify the one who truly represents them,” says the release, which predicts the winner will become “the nation’s next great politician.”

That person will get a $1 million prize, but not to keep. Instead, the release says, the winner must choose how to spend it from “a list of options, all political in nature.” . . . .

Here’s where the reality “candidate” might run into real problems with the really complex real laws governing how much real candidates, committees and parties can raise and spend for real elections.

Federal candidates can give as much of their own money as they want to their campaigns. (That’s why political parties recruit millionaires to run for Congress and why the possibility of a Michael Bloomberg independent presidential run is so intriguing.) But the issue here is whether the $1 million would truly belong to the winner, with no strings attached.

If “the winnings becomes the personal property of the winner,” said Brett Kappel, a campaign finance lawyer for the firm Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease, “he or she can do with it as they wish, including running for federal office.” . . . . . . . .