Movement in Arizona to cut back on gun free zones

Now Arizona joins other states in discussing ending these gun free zones:

The proposal, Senate Bill 1214, would exempt concealed-carry permit holders from a state law that bars individuals from knowingly carrying deadly weapons onto school property. If it becomes law, the measure would allow teachers and anyone else with a valid permit to carry their weapon onto the grounds of any public or private K-12 school, college or university in the state.

Supporters say the measure would provide an additional ring of security on campuses hit with a string of shootings in recent years. The most recent of which was last year's at Virginia Tech, which left 33 dead. The shootings have come in spite of heightened campus security and policies that are increasingly aimed at scrubbing any and all weapons from school grounds.

"Apparently, it hasn't really protected us . . . " noted Senate Majority Leader Thayer Verschoor, a Gilbert Republican and co-sponsor of the proposal. The primary sponsor is Sen. Karen Johnson, R-Mesa.

Verschoor noted that concealed-carry permit holders must pass a criminal background check and take a gun-safety course, among other requirements.

But Rep. David Lujan, a Phoenix Democrat and president of the Phoenix Union High School District board, said he is "uncomfortable with having weapons on school campuses." . . .

WIth all the decades of experience in right-to-carry states before these gun free zones were imposed in 1995 it would be nice if those who are uncomfortable could point to some bad examples where permit holders have caused problems.

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Learning from Virginia Tech in Indiana?

A bill has been introduced in Indiana to help stop a similar attack from occurring there:

INDIANA - A new bill could allow you to bring a gun into a state building.

For those of you who wish you could carry your hand gun into state buildings. Your wish may soon become a reality. An Indiana senator is trying to pass a bill that would allow that to happen.

Incidents like this one at Virginia Tech is what prompted Indiana Senator John Waterman to introduce a bill that would allow folks to carry guns inside state buildings. Buildings like Indiana State University.

"If something would happen like Virginia Tech at least you'd have some people on campus that would be armed and be able to stop it before too many people get hurt," said Waterman. . . .

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10 things that Men and Women Don't Want to Hear

The Cost of Owning Hybrids

I was reading about the Toyota Highlander Hybrids. The identical hybrid version of the Highlander apparently costs $5,100 more. On the highway, the hybrid gets 27 mpg versus 24 mpg for the regular version -- a 12.5 percent improvement. For city driving, it looks as if the improvement is much larger 18 to 25 mpg -- a 38 percent improvement. Assume an average improvement of 25 percent. A couple of simple calculations indicate that this is unlikely to be a wise investment for most people. First some assumptions:

1) Own the car for 10 years
2) Put 150,000 miles on the car
3) 22 mpg average
4) $3.00 per gallon in current dollars
5) 3 percent real interest

Over the lifetime of the car you would buy 6,818 gallons. The present value of those purchases in today's dollars over those 10 years are as follows:

Year 1 $496.46
Year 2 $482.01
Year 3 $467.97
Year 4 $454.34
Year 5 $441.11
Year 6 $428.26
Year 7 $415.79
Year 8 $403.68
Year 9 $391.92
Year 10 $380.50

$4,362.04 versus a payment today of $5,100. You are about $738 poorer for buying the hybrid. The day that you buy the hybrid you might as well throw out $738.

There is one caveat regarding resale value for the car and how much being a hybrid would increase its value. I looked up the 1997 Toyota Tacoma Xtra Cab's trade-in value (the Highlander only started in 2001). If the truck is in good condition, the value would be $2,300 (again assuming a 3 percent real interest rate that is the equivalent of $1,711). Assuming that the hybrid equipment depreciates at the same rate as the rest of the car, that would leave you with $296 from the sale.

A final net loss of $442. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want to throw away $442.

UPDATE: An important point has been raised in the comment section. The replacement costs of the batteries in hybrids are very high. That link quotes Car and Driver saying that: ""battery replacement will cost $5,300 for the Toyota and Lexus hybrids, and the Ford Escape replacements run a whopping $7,200." These costs swamp the estimate that I have produced.



Virginia House of Delegates Overwhelmingly Reject making Their Chamber a Gun Free Zone

Virginia's House of Delegates reject making their chamber a "gun free zone."

Delegates reject bill to bar guns in state House

An effort to keep guns out of the House of Delegates chamber, its meeting rooms and similar areas was shot down in the House yesterday 77-18.

The resolution introduced by Del. Lionell Spruill Sr., D-Chesapeake, would have allowed only state law-enforcement officers on official duty to be in House-assigned areas with a firearm. Spruill questioned yesterday the need for a gun in the House chamber or the General Assembly building.


Justice Swedish Style

The famed Karolinska Institute in Sweden faced a dilemma this last week. What to do about one of their students at the medical school had committed a vicious murder, fatally shooting someone seven times in a crime the police classified as a hate crime because of the killer's Nazi sympathies. The school expelled the murderer on the grounds that he had changed his name on his High School transcripts in order not to have his past discovered. To me though, there were two interesting parts of the story.

"After serving 6 1/2 years of an 11-year sentence, Mr. Svensson was released on parole in February 2007. According to Swedish prison standards, inmates are usually released after serving two-thirds of their sentence."


"others said he had served his time and should be permitted to stay and become a doctor."

It is interesting to me that someone can commit such a heinous crime and only receive 6 1/2 years of prison. Perhaps it is less surprising that people would feel that one's debt to society had been repaid after so short of a prison term and that this person could then be trusted to be a doctor (in the United States it is extremely unlikely that the person would ever be given a medical license). Apparently, Svensson, the murderer, had used "six years" of his 6 1/2 years in prison to take course online so it is not even clear how much of a penalty he really faced from prison. It also appears as if it might be relatively easy for one to hide their criminal record in Sweden, obviously Svensson was not released on parole, as he would have been in the US.

I have done a lot of research on the impact of criminal conviction on legitimate earnings in the US and I attempted to disentangle it from the length of the prison sentence, but it would be interesting to see if there was a similar impact in Sweden. One big difference could be if Swedes are better able to hide these criminal records. American criminals find it difficult because when they are released on parole, their employer must fill out reports to the criminal's probation officer. If you are unemployed or have a low level job for a number of years, it may be very difficult for a criminal to hide that past employment history.


Ben Wittes on the DOJ Brief on the DC Gun Ban Case

Ben Wittes at the New Republic quickly and accurately dissects the Bush Administration's DOJ brief on the DC gun ban case:

It's easy to see why conservatives are in a tizzy. While the brief endorses the D.C. Circuit's view that "the Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess firearms unrelated to militia operations," it also emphasizes that adopting this view "does not render all laws limiting gun ownership automatically invalid" and insists that the lower court "did not apply the correct standard for evaluating [a] Second Amendment claim." What is the correct standard? Laws limiting gun ownership, the government argues, should be subject to "heightened scrutiny" under which "the practical impact of the challenged restriction" gets balanced against "the strength of the government's interest in enforcement of the relevant restriction." According to the Bush administration, "important regulatory interests are typically sufficient to justify reasonable restrictions." Because the lower court did not consider the D.C. law using this standard, the solicitor general argues, the case should be sent back for further consideration.

This is a pretty weak conception of a constitutional right. You can't imagine subjecting, say, the First Amendment to such a test. It would be laughable for the court to permit--or the executive branch to advocate--the abridgment of press or religious freedoms whenever the government's interest in restricting them served an "important regulatory interest" and therefore constituted a "reasonable restriction." . . .

Ben supports this increased flexibility with the Second Amendment because as he puts it: "Whatever conception the founders may have had of the amendment, they didn't have to think about situations like Virginia Tech, and they did not have inner-city gun crime." I suppose that my research has convinced me that no matter how well meaning gun free zones such as Virginia Tech might be, they have had unintended consequences -- that they encourage attacks and make them more successful. That said, and I appreciate his well meaning concerns, it is hard for me to see how the trade-offs that government faces with the Second Amendment could be different from say the First or the Fourth that also refers to "the right of the people." I thought that Ben had it right last year when he wrote that rather than eviscerating the constitution by selectively picking the parts that we agree or disagree with he wrote that it should simply be repealed or rewritten if we disagreed with it. See also this by Ben from last year. I particularly respect this position and admire people who take it because it must be very difficult for someone who supports gun control to take. The reason is simple: given how hard it is to alter the Constitution, accepting this argument means accepting strict limits on gun control.

Here is one question: if the costs of guns are so large, why do you have to have a lower level of scrutiny? If the costs are so high, won't you be able to meet the higher level of scrutiny?

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Excellent WSJ Editorial on the DOJ brief in the DC Gun Ban Case

The WSJ weighs in on the DOJ gun ban brief and tries to explain what happened:

So why would his own Solicitor General do this? The speculation in legal circles is that Mr. Clement is trying to offer an argument that might attract the support of Anthony Kennedy, the protean Justice who is often the Court's swing vote. But this is what we mean by "too clever by half." Justice Kennedy would be hard-pressed to deny that the Second Amendment is an individual right, given his support in so many other cases for the right to privacy and other rights that aren't even expressly mentioned in the Constitution. No less a left-wing scholar than Laurence Tribe has come around to the view that the Second Amendment protects an individual right for this very reason. Mr. Clement is offering a needless fudge.

The D.C. Circuit's opinion in Heller is forceful, clearly reasoned and Constitutionally sound. By supporting that decision and urging the Supreme Court to validate it, the Bush Administration had the opportunity to help the Court see its way to a historic judgment. Instead, it has pulled a legal Katrina, ineptly declining even to take a clear view of whether Mr. Heller's rights had been violated. It dodges that call by recommending that the case be remanded back to the lower courts for reconsideration.

The SG's blundering brief only increases the odds of another inscrutable High Court split decision, with Justice Kennedy standing alone in the middle with his balancing scales, and the lower courts left free to disregard or reinterpret what could have been a landmark case. Is anybody still awake at the White House?

Thanks to Gus Cotey for sending me this link.

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Man uses gun to protect himself against wife who is trying to run him over with her car

The story can be found here:

LIMA, Ohio — After 2.5 hours of deliberations, a jury acquitted a man Wednesday of criminal charges in the shooting of his estranged wife in a motel parking lot.

Adrian D. Banks, 44, of Lima, was on trial on the charge of felonious assault with a gun. The acquittal came after a two-day trial. He was accused of shooting his now-ex-wife, Tamara S. Banks, then 39, in the parking lot of Knights Inn on Elida Road. The shooting took place at 1:45 a.m. May 13.

He faced up to 11 years in prison on the charge.

Banks said he acted in self-defense by firing a handgun at his wife as she tried to run him down with her car. She was shot in the leg.

Assistant Allen County Prosecutor Dan Berry argued during the trial that Banks was out to get his wife and showed up at the Knights Inn on Elida Road to get her. Berry said it was no coincidence that Banks ran into his wife several times that day including at a motel on the opposite side of town from his home. . . . .


Sorry, never mind, the case of children's vaccines

The hysteria about mercury in childhood vaccines went on despite "reams of scientific studies," but the pressure of lawsuits forced pharmaceutical companies to change how they make vaccines. Now a new TV drama is continuing the crusade, but I found this interesting:

For the last decade some parents and advocates for autistic children have championed the theory that a mercury-based vaccine preservative called thimerosal, developed in the late 1920s and used in many childhood vaccines until about seven years ago, is a primary cause of autism in young children.

Autism often is diagnosed in children between their first and fourth years, during the time that many children begin receiving regular rounds of vaccinations.

But reams of scientific studies by the leading American health authorities have failed to establish a causal link between the preservative and autism. Since the preservative was largely removed from childhood vaccines in 2001, autism rates have not declined. . . .

And people wonder why the pharmaceutical is under siege.

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Clinton campaign tactics

John Fund writes this at the WSJ's Political Diary:

Mr. Obama is indeed frustrated by the attacks on his character, as he made clear to David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network. What peeves him most are mysterious emails circulating among voters that claim he is actually a Muslim and has sympathy with the ideas of the radical Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam. Mr. Obama says the charges are preposterous.

"We have no way of tracing where these emails come from, but what I know is they come in waves, and they somehow appear magically wherever the next primary or caucus is, although they're also being distributed all across the country," he told Mr. Brody. "But the volume increases as we get closer to particular elections. That indicates to me that this is something that is being used to try to raise doubts or suspicions about my candidacy." . . .

More on the Clinton campaign can be found here, where Ed Schultz accuses Clinton of lying. Obama pretty much says the same thing here, where he says Clinton "was making things up."

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One boy who I predict is going to be a hunter

I had a friend who once claimed that he could only eat rabbit and lion meat, but I take this story a little more seriously:

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A 6-year-old Plainville, Conn., boy is suffering from a rare food allergy and deer meat is the only solid protein the boy can stomach, according to his family.

Timmy Armstrong has eosinophilic esophagitis, a condition in which food allergies trigger an intense inflammation of the esophagus, according to a report from WTNH News Channel 8. . . .



Debate over Handguns in Canada

Canadian newspapers come out against the big pushing going on up there to ban handguns:

1) The Ottawa Citizen - 1/22/2008 - PAGE: A10
Gunning for easy answers
"There's no doubting the sincerity of his grief and anger. Indeed, outrage is an appropriate response when people kill, especially when they kill people they've never met out of indifference to human life. But outrage isn't a solution. It's an emotion that leads people to assign blame, as quickly and loudly as possible. Outraged people need rallying cries, and rallying cries must be short and simple.

But the social factors that create crime are not simple. A ban on all handguns would certainly not end gun crime. It wouldn't root out violence, or alter gang behaviour, or topple the markets in illegal drugs and weapons. . . . ."

2) National Post - 1/22/2008 PAGE: A14
Handgun bans don't work
"If restricting ownership of handguns among ordinary law-abiding citizens had a positive impact on crime, our existing laws would already have produced the benefits. Since 1934, anyone wanting to own a pistol in Canada has had to be registered with the RCMP or the federal gun registry. The application process is long and arduous. The fact that almost no registered handgun owner ever commits murder or other forms of violent crime in Canada (one of the recent Toronto shootings being a noteworthy exception) is a testament to the thoroughness of the background checks.

On top of that, since the early 1990s, Canada's 500,000 or so handgun owners have had to have police approval to move their guns from their homes, and even then may only move them under the strictest of conditions. Typically, owners must lock their guns in a tamper-resistant case, which must further be locked in the trunks of their cars. Then they must drive directly from their homes to an approved shooting range and back, making no stops along the way -- even for gas or a restroom break."

3) The Toronto Sun - 1/22/2008 - PAGE: 6 - By MARK BONOKOSKI
Despite what Mayor Miller says, a ban on handguns would do little to quell gun violence in this city -- just look to the U.K. for proof
. . .
The following year -- in 1997 -- the British Parliament passed a law banning the outright ownership of handguns.

Two years after those weapons were banned, a report by the Centre for Defence Studies at London's prestigious King College indicated the use of handguns in crime rose 40% in Great Britain -- from 2,648 incidents in 1997-98 to 3,685 incidents in 1999-2000 -- and concluded that the ban served to only target legitimate gun owners, and did absolutely nothing to target criminals.

And the problem, according to the latest figures, is worsening.

In what was cited as the "stark truth about the battle against gun crime" in Britain's major cities, gunshot murders in 2006 rose 6%, and gunshot injuries rose 10%, totalling out at 958 victims -- all of which represented a 20% overall increase in handgun shootings since the statistics were first compiled two years into the handgun ban. . . .

At least this is progress when even the Toronto newspapers are opposing the ban. On the other hand, the NDP came out for the ban.

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KTLK with Jason Lewis

I will be on KTLK in Minneapolis with Jason Lewis at 6:05 CST, probably for the entire hour.

UPDATE: You can listen to the interview with Jason here. Or here.

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DC lawsuit against gun companies is dismissed

The Second Amendment Foundation released this press release:

The Second Amendment Foundation today applauded the unanimous ruling by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals that dismissed a lawsuit against 25 gun manufacturers filed by the district and families of nine gun crime victims in the city.

The lawsuit was filed in January 2000, but according to the opinion written by Associate Judge Michael William Farrell, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act of 2005 required the court to dismiss the case.

SAF founder Alan Gottlieb said the ruling was proper, and recalled that it was municipal lawsuits like this which led to passage of the federal legislation in the first place. At one time, several cities filed a string of junk lawsuits against gun makers, and SAF actually filed counter suits against big city mayors who launched the legal attack. SAF was not a participant in this litigation. . . .

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Fred Thompson Drops Out of Race

The BBC is reporting:

Former US Senator Fred Thompson has withdrawn from the Republican presidential race, after a string of poor finishes in early voting rounds.

"I have withdrawn my candidacy... I hope that my country and my party have benefited from our having made this effort," he said in a short statement. . . .

John Fund, writing in WSJ's Political Diary, as usual has very insightful insights on the entire campaign:

Fred Thompson spotted an opening in the field of Republicans candidates last spring: a yearning for an uncomplicated Reaganite who would unite all wings of the party and take the fight to the Democrats with brio. Until late September, Mr. Thompson actually led national polls among GOP voters. But the seeds of his downfall had already been planted.

His first mistake was not fully realizing that in entering the race so late, he would have trouble building the infrastructure necessary for a modern campaign. The best talent had already been snapped up by other candidates. Mr. Thompson ended up hiring a corporate manager to run his campaign. While a good organizer, the man had never run a political effort of any size, and the resulting confusion cost the campaign precious momentum and money. New leadership wasn't installed until just before Mr. Thompson formally entered the race after Labor Day.

The former Tennessee Senator's second mistake was making it too easy for reporters to paint him as a lazy, disinterested candidate. His campaign committed enough unnecessary gaffes to feed that story line (such as speaking for only five minutes before an enthusiastic crowd of Florida Republicans last October) and the perception set in among many supporters that they were backing a walking horse, not a warhorse.

Lastly, the candidate's theme that he was the "Consistent Conservative" in the race was developed too late and could not be sufficiently exploited because of a lack of money. When Mr. Thompson finally did hit his stride in December, he became a good candidate who performed memorably in recent debates. But, by then, his potential audience had already drifted away to other candidates who looked like they had a better chance of winning.

Mr. Thompson intends to remain active in politics and public affairs, although he has flatly ruled out any plans to serve in someone else's administration. Don't be surprised to find him returning to the airwaves he left just a few months ago -- but this time with much higher name-recognition as a political figure.

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Even more gun control laws being pushed in Virginia after Virginia Tech Attack

Another law may be passed after VT that would not have stopped the attack if had been in effect prior to the attack:

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Survivors and families of the victims of the Virginia Tech shootings faced off Monday against gun-rights advocates over a bill that would prevent criminals and the mentally ill from buying firearms at gun shows.

About 100 supporters of the measure lay on the Capitol lawn to honor the victims of gun violence, as about 200 opponents stood nearby, holding signs that read, "Here Lie Disarmed Victims." . . .

Why don't they push to end the gun free zones that made the attack possible? A typical example of how one regulation leads to yet more regulations.

Thanks again to Rich for sending this link to me.


2007 Coldest Year Since 1998?

The final numbers will reportedly be out in March, but the initial information makes it look as if 2007 will be the coldest in a decade. So much for the claim that "There is a 60 percent probability that 2007 will be as warm or warmer than the current warmest year, 1998." [Note: it was found later last year that the warmest year in the US was 1934.] Of course, as noted here earlier, 100 prominent scientists recently released a letter saying that "there has been no net global warming since 1998." See also here for a similar comment by someone else. Of course, for a list of 400 scientists who dispute that any significant temperature changes are due to man please see this.

Meanwhile Sweden is taking the lead in silliness:

A Swedish university has received $590,000 in research funds to measure the greenhouse gases released when cows belch.

About 20 cows will participate in the project run by the Swedish University for Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala, about 40 miles north of Stockholm, officials said Monday.

Cattle release methane, a greenhouse gas believed to contribute to global warming, when they digest their food. Researchers believe the level of methane released depends on the type of food the eat. . . .

Sonya Jones has a note about the craziness that is gripping state legislatures over this issue.


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Bill to let concealed handguns in places that served alcohol in Tennessee

A debate is being stirred up over cutting back on gun free zones in Tennessee:

The latest example of this pro-gun mindset is a proposal in the legislature to allow people with handgun-carry permits to carry guns into establishments that sell alcohol. The bill would allow a gun to be carried into the place as long as the person with the gun is not consuming alcohol and as long as the owner of the establishment has not banned firearms and has not posted a sign saying no guns are allowed.
The Senate passed the bill 24-6.
When assessing all the places where an ounce of public safety should be considered, barrooms would be one of the last places where any sober soul would allow guns to be carried. But here's a move afoot in the legislature saying it makes perfect sense to allow people to pack heat in saloons.
Proponents of the bill say it's all about self-defense, with a litany of scenarios where it would be a good idea to have a pistol handy. Some recount real-life situations where, by gosh, if only someone had a gun they could have stopped this bad thing from happening, naturally assuming the shooter would always make perfect decisions and have perfect aim, just like in the comic books. Or they think of all the "what-if" situations, like what if a bad guy is going to throw the prom queen on a railroad track and wouldn't it be great if somebody had a gun to shoot the bad guy down before a train came roaring by. So we need a law. . . .

1) Name some examples where a concealed handgun permit holder has harmed others in such a place. (I can think of one minor example.)
2) "Some recount real-life situations" -- well, I can give you lots of examples, and when this happens it is amazing how infrequently permit holders have actually had to fire their weapon to stop the attack. The problem is that these "gun free zones" attract attacks.

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Political balance at Princeton

Generally, Princeton isn't known for being particularly extreme leftwing politically (despite people such as Paul Krugman), many other more extreme schools come readily to mind. Yet, it is not too surprising that:

All Princeton faculty members who have given to 2008 presidential candidates so far have donated to Democrats, according to federal records of donations to presidential campaigns from Princeton University employees. . . .

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How things have changed over people's reactions in the South to the Confederate Flag

John Fund at the WSJ as an interesting contrast between Thompson and Huckabee over the Confederate flag:

Mike Huckabee tried his best to expand beyond his evangelical base in South Carolina and appeal to what his campaign called "Joe Six Pack" voters. Mr. Huckabee was the only candidate to pander to devotees of the Confederate flag, telling crowds that outsiders should leave the banner flag, now displayed in a corner of the grounds of the state capitol, alone: "If somebody came to Arkansas and told us what to do with our flag, we'd tell 'em what to do with the pole, that's what we'd do." Contrast that with the comments of Mr. Huckabee's fellow Southerner Fred Thompson: "For a great many Americans, [the flag] is a symbol of racism. I'm glad people have made a decision not to display it . . . in a state capitol." . . .

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150+ Critically ill Canadian patients rushed to U.S.

Well, at least Canadians will oppose the US adopting an even larger role for government in our health care system:

More than 150 critically ill Canadians – many with life-threatening cerebral hemorrhages – have been rushed to the United States since the spring of 2006 because they could not obtain intensive-care beds here.

Before patients with bleeding in or outside the brain have been whisked through U.S. operating-room doors, some have languished for as long as eight hours in Canadian emergency wards while health-care workers scrambled to locate care.

The waits, in some instances, have had devastating consequences.

“There have been very serious health-care problems that have arisen in neurosurgical patients because of the lack of ability to attain timely transport to expert neurosurgical centres in Ontario,” said R. Loch Macdonald, chief of the division of neurosurgery at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto. Those problems, he said, include “brain injury or brain damage that could have been prevented by earlier treatment.”

Ontario has the worst problem, though it is not alone.


Behind McCain's win in the South Carolina Primary

The backlash to DOJ DC gun ban brief

The Washington Post discusses the reaction to the Bush Administration's brief here:

The Bush administration's position in the case before the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of the District of Columbia's ban on handguns has created an unexpected and serious backlash in conservative circles, disappointing gun enthusiasts and creating implications for the presidential campaign.

The government's brief, filed by U.S. Solicitor General Paul D. Clement just hours before the court's deadline Jan. 11, endorses the view that the Second Amendment conveys an individual right to gun ownership, a finding long sought by gun rights activists.

But it also said an appeals court used the wrong standard when it struck down the District's ban on private handgun ownership, and it urged the Supreme Court to return the case to the lower court for review.

If the justices accept that advice when they hear the case in the spring, it could mean additional years of litigation over the controversial Second Amendment and could undo a ruling that was a seminal victory for gun rights enthusiasts. . . .

The piece notes that Senator Fred Thompson spoke out against the brief, though it doesn't make clear that he was the only one to do so.

In a debate last week in Nevada, all three major Democratic candidates pledged their fealty to the Second Amendment -- "People have a right to bear arms," Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) said -- although none mentioned the District's handgun ban.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, it would seem that it was the moderator's job to put the question squarely to them.

Here was my earlier take on all this.

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Interview on WJR sometime between 8 and 9 PM Sunday

I will be interviewed for about 20 minutes to discuss the DC gun ban case before the Supreme Court.


New Texas Gun Laws Raise Concerns

Two new Texas laws stir up opposition:

The state's new castle law has grabbed the spotlight. But some say a lesser-known gun law, which also took effect in September, could have greater consequences.

The law allows Texans to carry guns in their cars, even without a concealed handgun license. As long you meet the law's other requirements – such as not being a gang member, refraining from criminal acts and keeping the gun out of sight – you can pack heat in your glove box.

"Castle is just kind of yawn," said Alice Tripp, legislative director for the Texas State Rifle Association. Texans have always enjoyed robust rights of self-defense. But the gun carrying law "is dramatic," she said.

Nicknamed the "Carjacking Law" by some, it is designed in part to give law-abiding drivers the right to carry a gun for protection.

But Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins worries that criminals may benefit most. He says the law, which also allows people to carry guns from their homes to their cars, has created a loophole that a defense lawyer could drive an armored tank through. . . .

Each new law seems to generate a lot of fear, but I assume that it gets harder and harder to generate a lot of opposition as the predictions prove to be wrong.

Thanks to Scott Davis for sending this link to me.

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Some environmentalists won't even let some animals get killed to save others

There are a lot of boom and bust cycles for animals. They expand until they get to large for their food supply and then crash. In this case, it appears as if the wolves have expanded to much relative to the moose population. Even so, the Alaskan Wildlife Alliance won't put up with killing any of the wolves.

Wolf numbers seem to be rising in the wilderness around Aniak, McGrath and other villages, and the task once carried out by young Native men should be employed again to help moose populations recover, said Greg Roczicka, natural resources director with Orutsaramuit Native Council in Bethel.

The tribal government and a Fish and Game advisory committee along the central Kuskokwim River have submitted separate proposals asking the Board of Game to overturn regulations outlawing the practice.

The Game Board is scheduled to consider the proposals at upcoming meetings later this month and in February.

At least one group plans to speak against the idea.

"We're fervently opposed to it," said John Toppenberg, director with Alaska Wildlife Alliance. "It's been illegal in Alaska for a long time and deservedly so. It's a Stone Age concept of wildlife management and has no place as a management tool for civilized people. It's just barbaric." . . .

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