More on Romney and guns

This is from someone who I am confident knows the facts here:

This isn't the first time we've attempted to deal with Mr. Romney on Second-Amendment issues. In 2001, the Utah Legislature passed a special bill designating the 2002 Winter Olympic venues as temporary secure areas, making it illegal to bring firearms into those venues during the Olympics. As with all secure areas designated by state law here, two requirements were attached. The first was a security perimeter around the entire venue, with metal detectors at all entrances. This, of course, was put in place at all Olympic venues. The second requirement was that gun-storage lockers be provided outside the security perimeter, where legally-carried self-defense weapons could be safely deposited.

When Mr. Romney took charge of the 2002 Salt Lake Olympic Organizing Committee, we politely asked him whether lockers would be put in place as required by law. He curtly informed us that no lockers would be provided. The absolute disdain with which he treated us left a bad taste that still lingers in the gun-rights community in Utah.

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Talks this coming week

Monday talk at the University of Toledo from noon to 1:30
Talk at Hillsdale College at 7 PM to 8:30 PM
Tuesday, Talk at Cooley Law School in Grand Rapids at noon to 1:30 PM
Wednesday Talk at Cooley Law School in Lansing Michigan from noon to 1:30 PM
Thursday talk at Cooley Law School Oakland campus at noon to 1:30 PM, Mercy Law School in Detroit from 4 to 5:30.

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Jonah Goldberg gets it completely wrong on Giuliani

I generally like Jonah's writings, even if they are not as heavily number intensive as I normally like them, but on this piece I have to say I wonder if he actually read

So Giuliani went the way of many of his rivals by ditching his principles to appease the crowd. First, though, he tried a little comedy — very little. He answered a call on his cellphone from his wife in the middle of his speech, a stunt about as well received as Flounder’s query of the poker players in Animal House: “You guys playing cards?” . . . .

But if you read what Giuliani actually said I think that you have to come to a different conclusion:

Take his answer to a question about gun control:

"My position is the law should be left the way it is now. Given the level of crime in this country, I think the emphasis and the energy should be spent on enforcing the laws that presently exist, and if changes in the law are necessary later, that'll respond to other social conditions.

"I think the single most important thing that the next president has to do is to organize an effort in the Department of Justice and with state and local law enforcement to work in a cooperative way to enforce the laws that presently exist. After we do that, and we see the impact of that, then we can take a look at whether new laws are necessary; they may or may not be. "

"Given the level of crime in this country?" Would his position change if crime increased? It would certainly seem so. Surely Giuliani has frequently claimed that gun control reduces crime. Indeed, he has claimed that most of the reduction in New York City’s crime rate during the 1990s was due to gun control: "the single biggest connection between violent crime and an increase in violent crime is the presence of guns in your society...the more guns you take out of society, the more you are going to reduce murder. The less guns you take out of society, the more it is going to go up." . . .

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Romney Campaign in Trouble?

Romney's campaign may be fourth nationally, but it has pinned its hopes on wins in Iowa and New Hampshire and a bounce from the coverage. John Fund at OpinionJournal's Political Diary points out that this strategy might be having some problems:

A Rasmussen Reports survey released last Tuesday showed Mr. Romney's lead over Rudy Giuliani dwindling over the course of the last month from 12 points to just three points. A survey by CNN and WMUR TV released yesterday indicated a similar downward trend: the 15-point lead Mr. Romney held over Mr. Giuliani in July is now down to a single point. Overall, Mr. Romney's lead in the RealClearPolitics Average for New Hampshire has slipped to 4%, its lowest level since the end of May.

Should Mr. Romney be worried? Yes. Is it time to hit the panic button? Not quite. The linchpin of his strategy is a win in Iowa, and right now the big lead he's built up in the Hawkeye State over the summer appears to be holding. Since winning the Ames straw poll at the beginning of August, Mr. Romney has extended his lead in the RealClearPolitics Average in Iowa by more than five points, now holding a 15.4% lead over his nearest competitor, Rudy Giuliani. . . .

If he begins to fade in Iowa, Romney's campaign will quickly implode. Romney is obviously a very smart, very polished candidate who could make a credible play for voters in the middle in a general elections, but I worry that he is out of touch with many middle America voters. I think he has had a tin ear on gun issues (becoming a life member last year or is misleading talk about hunting). The key point is the issues, not whether he is a member of the NRA. His statement that you don't need an assault weapon for hunting in discussing the assault weapons ban is what concerns people who care about these issues because it just indicates how little he actually knows about guns. I have tried to offer advice on some gun issues to people who I know are advising him, but those offers of help (now many months old) fell on deaf ears.

UPDATE: The newest Newsweek Poll should be a warning for Romney. Amony Likely Republican Caucus-Goers Romney's lead is eight percentage points over second place Fred Thompson. I think that this bodes well for Thompson and if he wins Iowa, which seems very doable, I think that he will quickly sweep the field.

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Media Matters gets it wrong again, this time on Limbaugh

This from National Review Online:

In the latest effort to target Rush Limbaugh, the left-leaning group Media Matters has manufactured yet one more false — and by now yet one more tiresome — controversy. This one has to do with Limbaugh’s use of the phrase “phony soldiers.” According to the Media Matters narrative, on his September 26 program Limbaugh accused troops who want to withdraw from Iraq of being “phony soldiers.” Once Media Matters published this charge, key Democrats dutiful echoed it. In a public statement, Senator John Kerry said this: “This disgusting attack from Rush Limbaugh, cheerleader for the Chicken Hawk wing of the far right, is an insult to American troops. In a single moment on his show, Limbaugh managed to question the patriotism of men and women in uniform who have put their lives on the line and many who died for his right to sit safely in his air conditioned studio peddling hate. On August 19th, The New York Times published an op-ed by seven members of the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division critical of George Bush’s Iraq policy. Two of those soldiers were killed earlier this month in Baghdad. Does Mr. Limbaugh dare assert that these heroes were ‘phony soldiers’? Mr. Limbaugh owes an apology to everyone who has ever worn the uniform of our country, and an apology to the families of every soldier buried in Arlington National Cemetery. He is an embarrassment to his Party, and I expect the Republicans who flock to his microphone will now condemn this indefensible statement.” . . .

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A wrong explanation for the drop in the value of the dollar

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- The dollar dropped across the board Friday, marking the seventh straight trading session in which it's sunk to a record low against the euro, after tame core inflation data suggested that the Federal Reserve has room to further cut interest rates. . . .

People make investments based upon the real (after inflation) return that they expect on an investment. If the interest rate simply fell by the drop in inflation, the real return for holding dollars would be unchanged. There is however something known as the "Darby effect" that could explain what is happening. Our government taxes the nominal interest that we get, not the real interest rate. As the inflation rate rises, interest rates have to rise by more than the increase in inflation to compensate lenders for the higher taxes that they will have to face. So a drop in inflation results in an even bigger drop in interest rates. Even so, the real after tax return from holding dollars should be remaining the same. In any case, I am pretty dubious that the small amount of money that the FED loans to banks is really driving interest rates very much. I haven't spent a lot of time figuring what is happening right now with respect to changes in the value of the dollar, but I know that this explanation is wrong.

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Why off-duty police (and their wives) should carry concealed handguns

More People Turn to Stun Guns for Self-Defense

Stun Guns Rise in Popularity

A little warning here. The Taser shown in the video requires that you actually have to come into contact with the attacker (this is not the version apparently used by the police in Mississippi). For people who are weaker physically will take a great risk if they come into close contact. One must also realize that the version that the police are described as having does not work in a large percentage of cases because of the clothing warn by the criminal.


Todd Zywicki posts nice review of Freedomnomics on Volokh.com

Todd Zywicki writes a very nice review of my book at volokh.com.

Glenn Reynolds was nice enough to post a link to Todd's review on Instapundit.

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Big Radio Interview Tomorrow on Freedomnomics: Mark Levin at 7:30 PM

I will be on Mark Levin's great radio show at 7:30 PM EDT on Friday.

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When humanizing someone comes off as rudeness

John Fund at OpinionJournal's Political Diary:

First came last week's bizarre cell-phone incident in which the former New York mayor took a call from his wife, Judith, in the middle of his nationally televised speech to the National Rifle Association. Team Giuliani tried to spin the incident as a light-hearted and "spontaneous" moment that humanized their man, but it quickly developed that Rudy has pulled the same stunt in many other states, demonstrating rudeness to his audiences and raising questions about his campaign's self-discipline.

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Comment on Columbia University inviting Iran's President to talk:

The claim is often made about how important it is to have a discussion with those with whom we disagree. Possibly some useful information was obtained from the exchanged earlier this week, though I doubt it. What is most disappointing to me is that universities who say that they would want to invite Hitler to talk, have a hard time inviting any conservatives to talk. It seems that it is one thing to encourage discussions within the broad range of normal discussants. Is there anything that a person could do that would cause him not to be able to be invited to speak? A representative of the KKK wouldn't get invited, right? A mass murderer wouldn't get invited, right?

Felix Oberholzer-Gee and Koleman Strumpf: It is time that real pressure be put on academics who refuse to share their data

I second Craig Newmark's remarks:

the authors of a massive--42 pages--lead article in one of the economics profession's top two journals--Journal of Political Economy--whose findings have been cited in the "New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, USA Today, Financial Times, Rolling Stone, ABC NIghtline, ABC World News Tonight, CNBC, BBC News, MTV, NPR, and Bloomberg Radio" have an extraordinary amount of responsibility. They should accept the burden of addressing careful, thoughtful criticism. They should, after a reasonable amount of time, freely share their data with other researchers so that their results can be studied, tested, and if need be, questioned.

Unfortunately, Felix Oberholzer-Gee and Koleman Strumpf, authors of "The Effect of File Sharing on Record Sales: An Empirical Analysis", don't seem to agree. Stan Liebowitz has sharply but carefully and thoughtfully attacked parts of the paper. So far he has had almost no response. And he would like to further examine the paper's main empirical results, but he has not been able, so far, to obtain the data. . . . .

Of course, this adds to others such as Steve Levitt, Ian Ayres, and John Donohue who have been reluctant to share their data either in a timely manner (measured in years after their research gets national attention) or never at all.

The irony is that Ian Ayres has written a book about extolling the value of empirical work when he has done well publicized work where he and his co-authors won't share their own data.

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New Op-ed: "Giuliani Bobs and Weaves on Gun Control Record"

Has Giuliani really changed on gun control?

Giuliani provides more details than he did before the NRA on one key point. I wish that he had provided more details earlier, but I still have to think about this reason.

In the interview, Giuliani said, "The case took a lot of twists and turns in the direction of trying to get a lot of information about the tracing of guns that would be used for private lawsuits" instead of solely for law enforcement purposes.

"I didn't anticipate that when I brought the case," he said.. . . . .

As I will explain in a piece that will come out soon, I am dubious that this is a serious change.

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Utah slightly tightens permitting rules

Surge in Florida Concealed Carry Permits


Wisconsin Judge Lets Delivery Man Carry Concealed Handgun for Job

A permit process would obviously be a lot less costly way of letting those who are able to carry a concealed handgun be able to do so.

A Milwaukee County judge found the concealed-weapon prosecution of a pizza driver who shot two would-be robbers in seven months unconstitutional Monday.

The ruling by Circuit Judge Daniel A. Noonan means Andres Vegas won't face criminal charges in the non-fatal shootings. Prosecutors had filed a misdemeanor count of carrying a concealed weapon after the second shooting, in January, and said Vegas had been warned after a July 2006 shooting not to carry a concealed gun while driving for his job.

However, Noonan agreed with defense attorneys' contention that Vegas needed the gun to protect himself in his chosen work, citing state Supreme Court decisions that found justified exceptions to the state's concealed-carry ban.

"Given Vegas's experience, he has a need for a gun at a moment's notice," Noonan writes in his decision. "Enclosing and unloading the weapon is not a reasonable alternative to secure and protect his safety. Plus, Vegas while delivering pizzas enters and exits his car constantly; it would be unreasonable for him every time that he enters his car to require him to unload it and place it in a case and then reverse the process every time he exits. This defeats the purpose of having the gun for security and protection. . . . .

Thanks to L A Stich for sending me this link.

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The more costly the story, the less likely it is to be published: Campaigns in Action

Early this summer, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign for president learned that the men’s magazine GQ was working on a story the campaign was sure to hate: an account of infighting in Hillaryland.

So Clinton’s aides pulled a page from the book of Hollywood publicists and offered GQ a stark choice: Kill the piece, or lose access to planned celebrity coverboy Bill Clinton.

Despite internal protests, GQ editor Jim Nelson met the Clinton campaign’s demands, which had been delivered by Bill Clinton’s spokesman, Jay Carson, several sources familiar with the conversations said.

GQ writer George Saunders traveled with Clinton to Africa in July, and Clinton is slated to appear on the cover of GQ’s December issue, in which it traditionally names a “Man of the Year,” according magazine industry sources.

And the offending article by Atlantic Monthly staff writer Josh Green got the spike. . . . .

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Newt Gingrich's Theory of Early Polls

Given that, Newt Gingrich has a great theory about how people vote and why people respond to polls different than they do when they actually go and vote. People vote the way men buy cars. If you think or I think I need a new car, I might drive a Jaguar or a Hummer or a Maserati if I can find one, whatever.

And if you ask me after I drove it, did you like that car? "Oh yeah, that was a great car." (A pollster's conclusion:) "Galen likes Hummers." ...

And that's what happens when people are asked by a pollster if the election were held today, (who would you support)? If I was going to buy a car today — yeah. But I'm not buying a car today, so I can say whatever I want.

But when the day comes that I do buy the car and I have to actually write the check, I drive out with a Windstar because that's the right car for the family. . . . .



G. Gordon Liddy radio show on Monday Morning

I will be on the G. Gordon Liddy radio show at 10 AM on Monday, September 24th.


Did Giuliani Convince the NRA Last Week?

Funny unintended consequences: a renewable energy source increases greenhouse gases

Economics and American Government Classes at Riverdale High School

The teacher is holding a copy of Freedomnomics.

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"Overzealous in Knoxville"

There is a bigger advantage to society from people carrying concealed handguns, but this citizen was still in the right:

Trevor Putnam knew the gun laws. The officer who stopped him didn’t.

“When I told him that I hadn’t done anything, he said he’d find a reason to put me in jail,” said Putnam, 24, who works with guns every day as vice president of Coal Creek Armory in West Knoxville.

“It’s not that I have a problem with police officers. I deal with police officers nationwide from Arizona to Maine every day. But I lost my confidence in a legal right that I knew I had.”

Knoxville police officers will get a refresher course on the state’s gun permit laws after an officer who didn’t know the law stopped, frisked and threatened to arrest Putnam for legally carrying a gun inside a Wal-Mart this summer.

Officer Glenn Todd Greene’s actions June 21 at the store on Walbrook Drive in West Knoxville earned him a written reprimand and remedial training for rudeness and not knowing the law, Internal Affairs records show. He’s worked for the Knoxville Police Department for about seven years.

Putnam got a written apology from Police Chief Sterling P. Owen IV.

“The officer was wrong I want to personally apologize to you for any embarrassment or inconvenience you may have suffered as a result of this incident,” the chief wrote.. . .

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