More comments on Freedomnomics

I'm just getting started on this book. So far, it is--thankfully!--a much more interesting read than Dr. Lott's More Guns, Less Crime, which is a marvelous repository of information and should be on the shelf of everyone interested in the second amendment, self-defense, crime, and liberty, but is nevertheless, for the most part, a drearily boring exposition of reams of statistical data that only the most determined reader will slog through to confirm a thesis which is intuitively obvious to most of us: a ubiquitously armed citizenry suffers less crime.

Well, I didn't mean to slam More Guns, Less Crime. Like I said, it should be on shelves everywhere. I'm just sayin' Freedomnomics looks to be a considerably more entertaining read, though no less informative.

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Open Carry at the University of Utah?

The U and gun rights activists appear to be headed for another legal clash.

The debate: whether or not concealed weapons permit holders can openly display their firearms on campus.

Students and staff with permits have been allowed to carry guns on campus since last fall when the Utah State Supreme Court struck down the U's gun ban. After battling the state for nearly five years, administrators said they were happy to put the issue behind them when they dropped a federal lawsuit against the state last spring. . . .

While I understand the push for this from a desire to get people to accept gun ownership, the benefits regarding stopping multiple victim public shootings are much bigger for concealed carry because the criminals won't know until they attack which potential victims will be able to fight back.

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Talks this coming week

Monday, Economics Department at Simon Fraser University on media bias
Tuesday, Business School at University of British Columbia on media bias
Wednesday, Seattle Economic Council, Lunch


Follow up coverage on the Gun Free Zone Multiple Victim Public Shootings

Jason Lewis on KTLK has some very useful discussions here and here. Jason has designated me the "resident scholar at radio free Minnesota." I am honored to have this new line on my CV.

Instapundit has a discussion here.

If you can listen to Dennis Prager's and Lars Larson's shows from Thursday, I strongly advise people to do it. They both had great shows. Dennis Prager suggested this sign during our discussion:

One thing that was stated on Dennis' show was: could you imagine how different the debate on guns today if the media kept on reporting the fact that there was another shooting in a gun free zone?

See also Clayton Cramer, Michael Bane, Wayne's Dirty Lab, Keep and Bear Arms,Freespeech, Liberty Zone, Plains Feeder, From the Heartland, Armed Canadian, Three Dogs and a Camera, Buckhorn Road, Free Libertarian, IFCONFIG, Northern Muckraker, News by Us, James Taranto, Dustin's Gun Blog, A Deo et Rege, and Pat Dollard. Some discussion on this can be found here, here, and here.

Some malls have learned their lesson and taken down these "no gun" signs.

Thanks also to Andrew Breitbart for helping to publicize the gun free zone point.


Characteristics of the readers of my blog

First let me say that I have absolutely no idea how this information is obtained nor do I vouch for its accuracy. I was actually kind of stunned that it was supposedly possible to get this type of data on the type of people who go to different websites. One problem that I immediately see with this data is that they claim that there are fewer than 2,000 unique visitors to my website when my sitemeter claims that there are over 20,000 per month. Another problem is that I switched to blogspot a couple of months ago, but quantcast doesn't have enough data to give me information on that site address and is giving me data on an old address.

Given those caveats, apparently the readers of my blog are more educated than those who go to the average blog, tend to be 25 to 34 or 55 to 64, and more likely to have kids at home. Because I recent changed blog servers I am missing a lot of hits here (this is the breakdown for the old address and the new one has been used long enough for a breakdown), but it is still interesting.



USA Today Online Poll on Second Amendment

A USA Today poll asking whether the Second Amendment gives individuals the right to bear arms can be found here.

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New op-ed: Media Coverage of Mall Shooting Fails to Reveal Mall's Gun-Free Zone Status

The oped can be read here.

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Evidence that the Omaha Westroads Mall was yet another gun free zone

Nebraska allows people to carry permitted concealed handguns, but it allows property owners, such as the Westroads Mall, to post signs banning permit holders from legally carrying guns on their property.


A fast look at the media coverage on the Omaha Westroad Mall Shooting

There were 2,674 news stories according to Google News search by about 4 AM EST today. Of course, these are news stories worldwide.

But I can find any of these stories that mention that the attack occurred in a gun free zone. Why?

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Another Gun Free Zone Killing

For Hanukkia light one fewer candle to save the planet

This is too bizarre. Aren't Orthodox Jews the very people who already don't use electricity one day a week?

In a campaign that has spread like wildfire across the Internet, a group of Israeli environmentalists is encouraging Jews around the world to light at least one less candle this Hanukka to help the environment.

The founders of the Green Hanukkia campaign found that every candle that burns completely produces 15 grams of carbon dioxide. If an estimated one million Israeli households light for eight days, they said, it would do significant damage to the atmosphere.

"The campaign calls for Jews around the world to save the last candle and save the planet, so we won't need another miracle," said Liad Ortar, the campaign's cofounder, who runs the Arkada environmental consulting firm and the Ynet Web site's environmental forum. "Global warming is a milestone in human evolution that requires us to rethink how we live our lives, and one of the main paradigms of that is religion and how it fits into the current situation."

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Logical inconsistency in using the death penalty?

OK, the Supreme Court claims that whether the death penalty should only apply to those whose brains were sufficiently developed. But does this logic mean that men and women should face the death penalty at different ages?

Men and women display patterns of behavioral and cognitive differences that reflect varying hormonal influences on brain development

Personally to me just because brains are changing doesn't mean anything about the ability to understand right and wrong.

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More Women Packing Concealed Handguns in Michigan

Friday, November 30, 2007
More women pack heat
Safety fears spark jump in concealed weapons permits
Darren A. Nichols and Iveory Perkins / The Detroit News

. . . . They fell for years among women as well, but are rising again. Women may set a record for statewide applications this year, and they're flooding ranges and prompting Wayne County and other training facilities to host "women-only" permit classes.

Bunch and other women remain the vast majority of the state's 150,000 who legally carry concealed weapons, but their ranks have jumped from 10 percent of permit-holders in 2001 to 17 percent this year. Women are on pace to receive nearly 4,100 permits this year, close to double that in 2003. . . . .

Michigan's rate for women seems low compared to other states, but it is rising quickly. It would be interesting to try to explain why there is the difference across states in the rate that women carry concealed handguns.


Very lively debate on Supreme Court Gun Ban Case

Last week I had a debate with Richard French on the Regional News Network, which is in New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey. I believe that you can watch the debate here, though I can't seem to get it to work because it apparently doesn't work with Macs. If that doesn't wok, you could try this and search under "John Lott."

P.S. I have both Windows Media 7 for the Mac and I have tried with both Firefox and Safari, but failed to get this work. If any readers could help me out with the exact link (assuming that I got it wrong), please let me know.

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Michelle Obama (Barack's wife) sees need for guns in rural America

“My wife, she was traveling up, I think, in eastern Iowa, she was driving through this nice, beautiful area, going through all this farmland and hills and rivers and she said ‘Boy, it’s really pretty up here,’ but she said, ‘But you know, I can see why if I was living out here, I’d want a gun. Because, you know, 911 is going to take some time before somebody responds. You know what I mean? You know, it’s like five miles between every house.”

Well, I know Barack from when we were both at the University of Chicago Law School, and I have the strong belief that he does not think that any private citizens should be able to own guns and that he never came across a gun control law that he didn't like. This appears to be a bit of election time conversion or that his wife has different views than he does.

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Podcast from Appearance on Air America last Thursday

Thom Hartmann had me on his show again last week. This was not the liveliest show that I was on last week to discuss my piece on women's suffrage. You can listen to the podcast here.

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Philly Scouts face eviction

The Cradle of Liberty Council—Philadelphia's Boy Scout chapter—has been housed in an historic building in downtown Philly for almost 80 years, paying almost nothing for the prime piece of proprety under the terms of a 100-year sweetheart lease it inked with the city in 1928. But that lease is set to expire, and city officials say the taxpayer's shouldn't be footing the Scouts rent bill because of it's national policy banning openly gay members and leaders. The Scouts must either pony up the fair market rent for the space—about $200,000 a year—or find a new home. . . . .

According to a letter the Boy Scouts received from City Solicitor Rome Diaz, the Boy Scouts have until Dec. 3 to sign a new lease and start paying for the use of the property, or the city will find a new tennant and the scouts will be evicted. Diaz, who is openly gay, refused FOX News' request for an interview. . . . .

I just hope that there is a follow up story that looks at what is the rent that the city gets for the space. I am willing to bet that it is quite a bit less than $200,000.



A Question of Causality: Political Beliefs and Mental Health

Boy, what I would give to get data that follows individuals over time. Here is the question: Does being dependent upon someone else make you more depressed or does being depressed make you want to depend on the government more? Surely both of these two claims could be true.

PRINCETON, NJ -- Republicans are significantly more likely than Democrats or independents to rate their mental health as excellent, according to data from the last four November Gallup Health and Healthcare polls. Fifty-eight percent of Republicans report having excellent mental health, compared to 43% of independents and 38% of Democrats. This relationship between party identification and reports of excellent mental health persists even within categories of income, age, gender, church attendance, and education. . . . .

But an analysis of the relationship between party identification and self-reported excellent mental health within various categories of age, gender, church attendance, income, education, and other variables shows that the basic pattern persists regardless of these characteristics. In other words, party identification appears to have an independent effect on mental health even when each of these is controlled for. . . . .(emphasis added)