Lorne Gunter on Toronto's proposed handgun ban

Lorne's article can be seen here.

If you've recently divorced or left your common-law spouse, your chances of being approved would be reduced. Your ex-partner might even be contacted for a character reference and authorities would place a get deal of stock in her answers.

Then, if you are eventually approved, you would be able to go to a gun shop and buy a handgun. But before you could take the gun home, you would have to take the bill of sale to police and apply for a transportation permit, a step that could take several additional weeks. Then, if police grant you a permit, you could go back to the gun shop, pick up your pistol, lock it in your trunk in a locked gun case and take it directly home.

Thereafter, you could only take it from your home to the shooting range you designated on your transportation permit, again locked in a case in your locked trunk. And you would have to take the most direct route and make no stops along the way, there or back.

That's how "easily accessible" legal handguns are.

Illegal handguns are available in alleys and scores of bars in Toronto on less than 24-hours notice. No applications or ID required.

And yet Miller has convinced himself he can make his city safer by cracking down on legal handguns.

A recent study by the Institute of Economic Analysis in Britain on the U.K.'s total handgun ban beginning in 1997 concluded the prohibition had been counterproductive.

"The ban's ineffectiveness was such that by the year 2000 violent crime had increased so much that England had the developed world's highest rate of violent crime, far surpassing even the U.S.A."

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Skittish about letting retired police carrying guns in Wisconsin

State Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen issues his first permit. I guess that I am amazed that there is this fear about letting even police officers with 10 years experience carry concealed handguns. Sure it is possible that things can go wrong, but the odds seem so low (after all, they do let these guys carry guns when they are on duty, right?). Here you get people with law enforcement training being willing to help protect others for FREE.

Madison - Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen for the first time issued a state permit Wednesday allowing a retired investigator to carry a concealed firearm.

Van Hollen's decision lays bare the differing opinions among law enforcement agencies about whether they should - or even can - issue permits to retired officers in one of only two states that ban the general population from carrying concealed weapons.

Some local police departments have been issuing permits to carry concealed weapons for the past four years under a federal law allowing them to do so. But a host of other state and local agencies have been skittish about doing so because the Legislature has not guaranteed they would be immune from liability in a shooting or spelled out how to implement the federal law.

Among those declining to issue the permits are the Capitol Police, State Patrol, Department of Natural Resources' Law Enforcement Bureau and University of Wisconsin-Madison Police Department. . . . .

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Growing movement to carry guns openly?

I guess that I am dubious about how large of a movement this is. I also think that there are probably greater social benefits to people carrying guns concealed since it protects people who don't carry. In addition, if a criminal is going to attack a group of people in public, he can wait for the people who are openly carrying to leave the area or take those people out first. The LA Times story is here:

PROVO, UTAH -- For years, Kevin Jensen carried a pistol everywhere he went, tucked in a shoulder holster beneath his clothes.

In hot weather the holster was almost unbearable. Pressed against Jensen's skin, the firearm was heavy and uncomfortable. Hiding the weapon made him feel like a criminal.

Then one evening he stumbled across a site that urged gun owners to do something revolutionary: Carry your gun openly for the world to see as you go about your business.

In most states there's no law against that.

Jensen thought about it and decided to give it a try. A couple of days later, his gun was visible, hanging from a black holster strapped around his hip as he walked into a Costco. His heart raced as he ordered a Polish dog at the counter. No one called the police. No one stopped him.

Now Jensen carries his Glock 23 openly into his bank, restaurants and shopping centers. He wore the gun to a Ron Paul rally. He and his wife, Clachelle, drop off their 5-year-old daughter at elementary school with pistols hanging from their hip holsters, and have never received a complaint or a wary look.

Jensen said he tries not to flaunt his gun. "We don't want to show up and say, 'Hey, we're here, we're armed, get used to it,' " he said.

But he and others who publicly display their guns have a common purpose. . . . .

For those interested, here is a website on open carrying of guns.

UPDATE: I believe that concealed carry permit holders have an advantage in that they also help protect those who would never carry a gun. With concealed handguns criminals don't know who will be able to defend themselves until they attack. Here is something from a piece that I wrote earlier this year for IBD:

Just the week before the NIU attack, five people were killed in the city council chambers in Kirkwood, Mo. There was even a police officer already there when the attack occurred.

But, as happens time after time in these attacks when uniformed police are there, the killers either wait for the police to leave the area or they are the first people killed. In Kirkwood, the police officer was killed immediately when the attack started.

Israel learned this the hard way with terrorists in the 1950s, 1960s and very early 1970s. No matter what they did they simply couldn't cover everyplace effectively with uniformed military or police and they had to move to letting citizens carry guns concealed.

I understand the desire for some to carry open to show that people do it and to get others comfortable with law-abiding citizens with guns. That is something valuable. On the other hand, I think that it is more useful with regard to crime for you to have concealed carry.

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Clint Eastwood on politics

The UK's Guardian quotes Eastwood as saying:

"I don't pay attention to either side," he claims. "I mean, I've always been a libertarian. Leave everybody alone. Let everybody else do what they want. Just stay out of everybody else's hair. So I believe in that value of smaller government. Give politicians power and all of a sudden they'll misuse it on ya."


Robert Samuelson gets it right "Cap-and-Tax"

This piece by Samuelson is well worth reading (all his pieces are worth reading):

We'll have to discard the old adage "Everyone talks about the weather, but no one does anything about it." It is inoperative in this era of global warming, because the whole point of controlling greenhouse gas emissions is to do something about the weather. This promises to be hard and perhaps futile, but there are good and bad ways of attempting it. One of the bad ways is cap-and-trade. Unfortunately, it's the darling of environmental groups and their political allies.

The chief political virtue of cap-and-trade -- a complex scheme to reduce greenhouse gases -- is its complexity. This allows its environmental supporters to shape public perceptions in essentially deceptive ways. Cap-and-trade would act as a tax, but it's not described as a tax. It would regulate economic activity, but it's promoted as a "free market" mechanism. Finally, it would trigger a tidal wave of influence-peddling, as lobbyists scrambled to exploit the system for different industries and localities. This would undermine whatever abstract advantages the system has. . . .

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Chicago Alderman Pushes for Handgun Amnesty

The most interesting thing to me is that there are apparently claimed to be thousands of Chicagoans who have lapsed paying their fees for their handguns. The note from the Chicago Tribune is here:

Ald. Richard Mell got a City Council committee to approve a change to a Chicago law on his behalf Wednesday, but argued it would benefit thousands of other city residents who, like him, simply failed to renew their gun licenses.

"It was probably good I didn’t [renew], because there are an awful lot of other citizens" who had the same problem, Mell (33rd) said after the Police and Fire Committee approved an amendment to the gun registration ordinance. The change would allow those whose registration lapsed to renew at a slightly higher fee. . . .

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Some hope that Global Warming legislation will fail

The WSJ's Political Diary reports:

Even John McCain, a cap-and-trade original co-sponsor, now says that this scheme won't fly until China and India sign on -- which could be never.

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Vote fraud

If you want some evidence of vote fraud, Fox News has the story here.

Thanks to Sonya for this link.


"Union failed not just the teachers, but the students"

Sonya Jones, now with the Evergreen Freedom Foundation in Olympia, is taking the Washington State teachers' union to task for keeping public schools there from getting money to teach more math and science. Ironically, the money was largely from Bill Gates, but it was only in Washington State that the teachers' union so strongly fought merit pay. Those interested can watch the segment from Fox News yesterday here. I thought that Sonya did a great job. Apparently some of the teachers who would have been eligible for the merit pay are less than thrilled.

Since unions decide things by majority vote they equalize work pay, and merit pay goes against that. Unions drive out the most productive workers who also usually happen to have the best opportunities in other professions. It is too bad. Incentives matter just has much in education as they do in other areas of life.


Coverage of Concealed Handguns on College Campuses in Louisiana

This has been compiled by W. Scott Lewis. He is concerned that the editorial coverage has not been very balanced. To really answer this question, we would have to know the rate that op-ed pieces were submitted to these papers.

These are the editorials and op-ed pieces that opposed this legislation that ran in Louisiana newspapers prior to today (June 4).

Our view: Guns on campus a last resort not first steps

Our Views: Shoot down bill on campus guns

EDITORIAL: Pack books, not heat

EDITORIAL: Don't allow weapons on campus

EDITORIAL: Let's holster the handguns
At ULM: Keep campus clear of guns

EDITORIAL: Tote books, not guns
Column: Weapons of class destruction
EDITORIAL: Campus no place for guns

Editorial: Concealed-carry guns have no place on college campuses
Joseph Savoie: Guns will make campuses dangerous (also ran in Lake Charles)

Throughout the state of Louisiana, these two letters were the only pro-HB 199 opinion pieces published.

David Burnett: Disarming citizens emboldens criminals

Letter: Support passage of campus gun bill

During the past three weeks, the Students for Concealed Carry on Campus media team, SCCC's campus leaders at Louisiana colleges, SCCC's former media coordinator (me), and other Louisiana residents bombarded Louisiana newspapers with op-ed pieces and letters supporting HB 199 (two of those op-ed pieces and two of those letters are included in the attached PDF document). None were published. I held out hope that perhaps the publications were saving the letters to print today, the day of the House vote on HB 199. Sadly, the only letters about HB 199 that ran today were two letters--both written by high school students--opposing it, one published in The Baton Rouge Advocate and one published in in The Lafayette Daily Advertiser.

Letter: Don't pass campus gun legislation

Students oppose guns on campus

Of course, this is only a look at the opinion pieces. It doesn't even touch on the slanted news articles, such as this one that ran today:

Guns, taxes on tap in House today

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NRA gets Philly Gun Laws struck down

The Philly Inquirer has the discussion here:

A Philadelphia judge today sided with the National Rifle Association and struck down city ordinances banning assault weapons and limiting handgun purchases to one a month.
In a blow to the city's attempt to write its own gun laws, Common Pleas Court Judge Jane Cutler-Greenspan ruled that Philadelphia should be permanently prevented from enforcing the laws that the City Council passed unanimously in April.

But Greenspan gave city officials a consolation prize by declining to strike down three other laws on procedural grounds, indicating that the NRA and other plaintiffs did not have legal standing to challenge those laws.

Lawyers on both sides of the emotional issue hailed the split decision in a positive light.

"It's a partial victory," said Douglas I. Oliver, Mayor Nutter's spokesman. He said that the judge's decision to let three laws stand "shows that this city's actions were legal and not actions of a renegade government."

NRA lawyer C. Scott Shields called Cutler-Greenspan's ruling a "huge victory" for gun-rights advocates. . . .


Philadelphia's Mayor Nutter gets put on the spot regarding gun control laws

Sebastian at Snowflakes in Hell gets his question asked to Mayor Nutter. Nutter apparently did not do a good job responding to that question or other ones that followed.

I was happy that the reporter asked a follow up question, from a questioner asking how he expected gun control to be effective in Philadelphia when it hasn’t been effective in Washington DC at reducing crime. The Mayor doged that question by suggesting that things in DC were “complicated” and that it wasn’t a simple problem. He then went to provide the example of New York City, which has what he called “more reasonable” gun laws (New York law amounts to near total prohibition, BTW, except for the rich and famous) and has managed to lower its crime rate. The reporter fired back at him, again using part of this reader’s question which stated that New York City’s gun laws were decades old, and crime only recently began to drop there. Mayor Nutter dodged again, suggesting the questioner come live in Philadelphia for a bit, and then see if he feels the same way about gun control. Well, I can be pretty sure if I had to live there, I would cling to my guns like the most bitter and religious person Barack Obama could possibly imagine!


Someone who I hope McCain chooses as his VP

Sarah Palin is one very smart and attractive woman. One can hope.

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Now on WBAL in Baltimore

I will be appearing on WBAL in Baltimore at 7:25 AM.


New Op-ed up at Fox News: Looking at Fluorescent Bulbs in Different Light

I think that this was one of my more fun pieces:

No matter how well-meaning, politicians frequently fail to understand all the consequences of their laws. Real world costs, the costs and benefits faced by those who will actually have to live with the regulations, often elude those who pass these rules. Yet, even by those depressing standards, problems with the mandated that people will soon be forced to use stand out. . . .

The EPA has come up with detailed advice on how to deal with how to put bulbs into sockets, cleanup spills, dispose of bulbs, and even safely transport them. For example, drop cloths should be placed on the floor under sockets in case bulbs are dropped, to cushion the fall. But if that fails, the cleanup process becomes incredibly involved.

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Ohio: Local shooting classes for ladies only

Getting women over their fears about guns. To me the most interesting claim was how some women didn't want to get a permit because they were concerned their names would be made public.

FREMONT --As more and more women are becoming aware of the importance of being trained in self defense, many of them are considering becoming licensed to carry a concealed weapon.

Often, the biggest challenge these women face is the fear of attending the mandatory basic pistol class with a room full of men. Certified concealed carry training courses are required by the Sandusky County Sheriff's Department before permits are issued. Faith Ferkel will soon be solving that problem by offering all-ladies pistol training courses.

Ferkel, a nationally certified instructor from Fremont, has heard the same story over and over from women. They're concerned about personal safety and would like to learn to handle a gun, but are intimidated by the thought of learning in front of men. Ferkel's women-only classes will not only create a comfortable environment for the women, but will also give her the freedom to speak about gun issues that are specific to women, such as holster designs that fit the female body.

"Some women are afraid of guns. They're open to them, but they're afraid of them," she said. "We can go as slow as we need to. I want to provide a safe, non-threatening environment where they're going to learn."

Ferkel has also heard concerns from women who are hesitant to obtain a concealed carry permit because they are afraid of having their names and addresses made public. . . . .

Thanks to Faith for sending me this link/

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British Anti-gun campaigner stabbed to death

This murder case is somewhat bizarre. First, an anti-gun campaigner is stabbed to death. Second, that the person who stabbed to death had been arrested earlier the same day for stabbing someone else. The BBC has the story here:

The grandson of prominent anti-gun campaigner Pat Regan has been arrested on suspicion of stabbing her to death.
Mrs Regan, 53, was discovered at the property on Marlborough Grange in the Hyde Park area of Leeds on Sunday.
The mother-of-six started campaigning against gun crime when her son Danny was shot dead in 2002.
The 20-year-old man was being held on suspicion of murder, police said. It is thought he had been arrested earlier in the day over another stabbing.
A 45-year-old railway worker was treated in hospital for a stab wound to his arm after challenging a man for trespassing at Leeds station on Sunday morning, British Transport Police said.

Thanks to JJ for sending me this link.

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Brave or foolish?

A nice note on my work can be found here:

John R. Lott, economist and senior research scientist at the University of Maryland is a brave man. In 2001 he published a study that concluded that legalized abortion increased murder rates from 1/2 to 7%. This refuted the study by the authors of Freakonomics.
According to this article in Cybercast News Service, the Economist magazine tells of two Federal Reserve Bank of Boston economists who said the Freakonomics study was error-filled and went on to say, "To be politically incorrect is one thing; to be simply incorrect, quite another." . . .


Pediatrics attack: This passes for academic discussions in medicine?

Simply saying that "We respectfully disagree with Dr. Lott's comments and stand by our editorial" is irksome. As one friend wrote me: "Their response is puzzling--they just ignore everything you say and say they stand by their original conclusions--bizarre."

UPDATE: SayUncle puts this in perspective here.
Robert VerBruggen mentions the exchange here at NRO's phi beta cons.

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London: "one in three of trauma patients has been knifed"

This is London has this story:

Knife violence in London is now running as high as gun warfare in some US cities, it is claimed today.

One of Britain's leading trauma surgeons has told how one in three of his trauma patients is now a stabbing victim.

Karim Brohi, a consultant surgeon at the Royal London Hospital, said the proportion of injuries from knives and guns was now on a level with - if not greater than - cities such as Los Angeles or Chicago.

He described how, on occasions, the wards in his hospital resembled "a war zone" with some patients being treated for their second or third knife wound. . . .

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Evidence of coordination between Obama and "independent" group?

David Brock's plans put on hold by the Obama campaign:

With barely a whimper a few weeks after its big launch, David Brock’s much-hyped Progressive Media USA has collapsed, thrown under the bus by Team Obama. (See previous blog entry here.) Two weeks ago [sorry–I’ve gotten behind in my blogging] the ambitious 501(c)(4) group, which vowed to spend $400 million trashing John McCain, quietly announced it would “dramatically scale back its efforts in deference to the wishes of the [Democratic] party’s presumptive nominee,” the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza reports.

So much for Brock’s claim that the George Soros-sponsored group would be independent and nonpartisan.

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300,000 Georgians with Concealed Carry Permits

In a story about the new concealed carry law in Georgia was this fact:

Gun permit holders praise new Georgia law
Posted: May 15, 2008 04:49 PM
Updated: May 19, 2008 07:29 AM
May 15, 2008
WALB News 10 NBC
The new law only applies to the 300,000 Georgians with concealed weapons permits and visitors with weapon permits from 16 other states that Georgia recognizes. There are approximately 35,000 permit holders in Dougherty County.

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Novak on McClellan

Novak rips into McClellan here:

In Scott McClellan's purported tell-all memoir of his trials as President George W. Bush's press secretary, he virtually ignores Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage's role leaking to me Valerie Plame's identity as a CIA employee. That fits the partisan Democratic version of the Plame affair, in keeping with the overall tenor of "What Happened." . . .

On page 173, McClellan first mentions my Plame leak, but he does not identify Armitage as the leaker until page 306 of the 323-page book -- then only in passing. Armitage, anti-war and anti-Cheney, cannot fit the conspiracy theory that McClellan now buys into. When Armitage after two years publicly admitted he was my source, the life went out of Wilson's campaign. In "What Happened," McClellan dwells on Rove's alleged deceptions as if the real leaker were still unknown. . . .

The book so mimics the Democratic line that Ari Fleischer, McClellan's predecessor as press secretary, asked him last week whether he had a ghostwriter. "No," Fleischer told me that McClellan replied, "but my editor tweaked it."


Racist Priest received $100,000 Grant from Obama

OK, so this last week we have another racist sermon from Obama's church in Chicago. Obama responds by saying that he disapproves of the message, and late in the week he announces that he is finally leaving the church. Now it comes out that the Catholic League of all places disowns Father Pfleger as racist, and complains that Obama must have known this for some time. Now it comes out that Obama worked to give this guy $100,000. So will the press ask why Obama worked to give money to this guy? How can Obama claim again that he was ignorant of what these ministers were saying.

The Catholic League sharply criticized Barack Obama Friday for his ties to controversial Catholic minister Michael Pfleger, saying in a statement the Illinois senator should have severed ties with him long ago. . . . .

Pfleger is a priest at St. Sabina's Catholic Church on the south side of Chicago. He had served on the Catholics for Obama committee until recently and the two have known each other for 20 years. As a state senator, Obama once directed a $100,000 grant to a community center affiliated with Pfleger's church.

Would any other political candidate still be in any type of political race with all this coming out?

UPDATE: Apparently also got grants of $225,000. I don't know if these are in addition to the $100,000 or not.

One of those long-time supporters was Rev. Michael Pfleger, the politically active leader of St. Sabina Church. He gave Obama's campaign $1,500 between 1995 and 2001, including $200 in April 2001, about three months after Obama announced $225,000 in grants to St. Sabina programs.

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So do you think that criminals are now more or less interested in breaking into Angelina Jolie's home?

This is my kind of woman. It is nice to see a woman such as this speak out on her willingness to defend her children and herself:

Angelina Jolie has a gun - and she's not afraid to use it.

The pregnant mother of four told the U.K.'s Daily Mail that she owns guns similar to the ones she used in "Tomb Raider." Jolie and partner Brad Pitt are not against having weapons in their house for security reasons, she says.

"If anybody comes into my home and tries to hurt my kids, I've no problem shooting them," she said.

Jolie, 32, has starred as a heat-packing vixen in several action movies - two "Tomb Raider" films, "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" and the upcoming futuristic thriller, "Wanted."

"I can handle myself," she said. "There's a side to me that people know is humanitarian, and there's a side to me that's a mommy. But there's also the side that likes to get down and dirty and run and jump around and fire guns."

Take notes, wannabe intruders.

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Pennsylvania Congressman Joe Sestak (D-7th) Proves that he "supports" the Second Amendment by pointing to gun control that he supported

Extremely Liberal Democratic Congressman Joe Sestak from Pennsylvania recently became a co-sponsor of re-enacting the assault weapons ban (Sestak has a perfect liberal voting record so far in congress). Is this congressman just completely clueless on what the law actually involves? Sestak claims:

However, the fact of the matter is, we shouldn’t be asking our police to go into the community facing the same weapons that are being used by insurgents in Iraq. We don’t ask them to go into our streets against armored Bradley vehicles or Abrams Tanks out there. This should not be any different.

The fact that the assault weapons ban banned civilian versions of these guns doesn't seem to be known by a congressman who is co-sponsor of the legislation. Responding to a question about whether Sestak supports the Second Amendment offers this evidence that he does support it ("I am a proponent of Second Amendment Rights"):

I firmly believe in the rights of responsible Americans to own guns for sports, recreation and leisure activities. For example, when Congress worked on the National Instant Criminal Background Check System Improvement Amendments Act in the wake of the terrible tragedy at Virginia Tech, . . . . That common-sense legislation, which restricts those who are mentally ill from purchasing or owning a gun, passed with large bipartisan consent and was subsequently signed by the President into law.

Translation: I support the Second Amendment as evidence I support gun control. He claims that supporting this regulation, which by the way wouldn't have stopped the attack at VT because it had nothing to do with banning the guy who committed the attack, was pro-gun because the NRA, which was responding to the political wave after the attack, also supported it.

Sestek's extreme liberal voting record can also be seen from other congressional voting indexes. The liberal League of Conservation Voters says that he has a perfect liberal voting record on environmental issues. The liberal Americans for Democratic Action indicates that he has a virtually perfect liberal voting record (one vote less than perfect). Perfect liberal voting records are also indicated by the AFL-CIO and the Chamber of Commerce.

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Offensive Media Website Calculates How Long People Should Live Based on Their Carbon Footprint

The first page of this website has the statement: "find out when you should die!" Apparently, I should have only lived until I was 1.2 years old. Possibly my biggest offense was not just that I flew over 40,000 Kilometers last year, but the real problem was that they were all for business related reasons! It didn't help that I think that recycling makes the world poorer and that poverty reduces life expectancy, but the flying was a real disaster. To explain the picture, my rating was so bad, my pig exploded.

Here is some commentary on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation website.

Thanks very much to Jean-François Avon for sending me this link.

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More thoughts on the Texas FLDS polygamy case

David Friedman has yet more interesting commentary on the Texas FLDS polygamy case here.


Can Obama win with National Defense views like these?

Is this really a winning position for the presidency? The youtube video has some extremely left wing views on national defense.

"I will cut tens of billions of dollars in wasteful spending. I will cut investments in unproven missile defense systems. I will not weaponize space. I will slow our development of future combat system. ...

"I will set a goal of a world without nuclear weapons,. To seek that goal, I will not develop new nuclear weapons. I will seek a global ban on the production of fissile material, and I will negotiate with Russia to take our ICBMs off hair-trigger alert and to achieve deep cuts in our nuclear arsenals."