10 of 14 counties in Illinois voted for concealed carry

The Illinois State Rifle Associate has this story. For some strange reason, the Peoria Journal Star's story somehow managed to have a story that mentioned the results for only three counties.

14 counties in Illinois had a non-binding CCW referendum on the ballot yesterday. The question on the ballots was generally worded like: Shall the General Assembly enact legislation to permit the carrying of concealed firearms?

Here are the results from those 14 counties:

Woodford - yes 55%

Ogle - yes 53%

Crawford - Yes 59%

Jasper - Yes 61%

Jefferson - Yes 63%

Franklin - Yes 71%

Saline - Yes 71%

Greene - Yes 63%

Union - Yes 67%

Effingham - Yes 58%

McDonough - No 55%

LaSalle - No 53%

Kendall - No 56%

Winnebago - No 51%

Here is one of the few news articles from the Benton Evening News on the votes:

Supporters of the concealed carry referendum “sent a message to Springfield,” according to Valinda Rowe, spokeswoman for IllinoisCarry.com.

“The referendum passed in 10 of 14 counties in Illinois,” Rowe said. “Even in the four northern counties, the concealed carry referendum only failed by an average of 5 percent. The vote was very, very close even in the counties in which it did not pass.

“Part of the reason the vote failed in the four northern counties is because there was not enough time to hold town hall meetings,” Rowe said. “When the Winnebago County board passed the resolution, they immediately sent copies of it to every other county in the state. It was so late in the year that not every county had an opportunity to organize a town meeting. Town hall meetings were held in Franklin, Jefferson, Saline and Union counties and it passed in every county.”

Rowe said the concealed carry referendum failed to pass in Winnebago County by 2 percent.
“It also failed in McDonough, La Salle and Kendall counties, but only by a small margin,” she said. “The votes will send a message to legislators. We will be introducing a concealed carry bill in January when the new legislation is called into session. IllinoisCarry.com, the Illinois Rifle Association and others will be pushing the issue to encourage legislators to pass a concealed carry law. We will keep posting information on the Web site.”

The concealed carry referendum passed by a vote of 12,455 to 5,279 against.

Rowe said more education is needed.

“Education is the key to having a big impact on the issue,” she said. “It is not a matter of if the concealed carry law passes; it is a matter of when.”

Ronnie Baumgarte, Benton public property commissioner, said he thought the results were “great.”

“I appreciate everyone who voted in favor of the concealed carry referendum,” he said. “If 48 states can trust people to carry a concealed weapon after they have been trained and have had a background check, why can’t Illinois? In other states that have passed concealed carry laws, some businesses have signs posted outside their doors that tell people to leave their guns outside their doors. The law works in every other state it has been passed.

“People who are going to hurt you already have guns,” Baumgarte said. “For the most part, the majority of people in Franklin County already have guns. Just because they already have a gun, that does not mean they will use it in an irresponsible manner.” . . .

One other news story:

Voters in several Illinois communities voted overwhelmingly last night in support of concealed carry legislation. The advisory referendum won't change any laws, but it will send a message to lawmakers. The measure passed in 10 of 14 counties where it was considered. In our region Jefferson, Franklin, Union and Saline counties said "yes." Illinois is one of only two states in the country without concealed carry legislation. Every state legislator from our area is an outspoken supporter of concealed carry, but they admit there's a problem. And that's the biggest city in the state.

Don Gunnell is what you'd call a gun expert. As a retired police officer of 40 years he's allowed to carry a concealed weapon. He says it helps him feel safe and he'd like the same for everyone.

"I am for concealed carry, again with the stipulation that they do have the training before hand," said Gunnell. . . .


"Ashville N.C. School teacher browbeats student over being a McCain supporter"

My son, Maxim, has this piece up for Fox News:

The election may be over, but more allegations of political bias in public schools are surfacing.

A North Carolina superintendent said Friday that he was "shocked" after viewing video footage of an elementary school teacher harshly questioning a student in class for supporting John McCain.

William Harrison, superintendent of Cumberland County Schools in Fayetteville, has launched an investigation of the teacher, Diatha Harris, and has promised to bring disciplinary action.

In a video produced by a Swedish production company and posted on YouTube, Harris is seen asking her elementary school students whom they support for president. She tells them that they can support whomever they want, but when one student says John McCain, Harris responds derisively, "Oh my, John McCain." When another student said she supports McCain, Harris replies, "Oh Jesus, John McCain." . . .

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Gun Control in Panama

I will be going to Panama next week to talk about gun control. These were some of the interesting facts that I have found out about the country.

Concealed carry is quite common

"If you have permission to buy the firearm you can carry it concealed on your person, in your pocket or purse, in your vehicle etc. Certain buildings have a firearms prohibited sign on the entrance and of course you should obey these signs. Banks, airports, government offices have such signs. So there are no concealed carry permits in Panama, if you can buy the gun lawfully you can carry it concealed. Exposed carry of the firearm is not allowed and will cause police attention fast."

Types of guns

"You can buy handguns (semi-auto handguns, revolvers), rifles and shotguns. You can have hi-capacity magazines in any type gun, no restrictions. You can not have full-auto firearms. You can have semi-auto rifles and handguns. You can not have a silencer."

"Sawed off Shotguns and Short Barreled Rifles – These are legal in Panama. They are not sold that way but can be modified by a gunsmith to suit. Pistol grip shotguns with no shoulder stock are generally available in the stores with an 18” barrel and a large magazine underneath."

"No armor piercing ammo allowed. Hollow points, high speed light weight defensive rounds etc. are fine."

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Election spurs gun sales

The Houston Chronicle has this piece:

FORT WORTH — While watching Republican presidential candidate John McCain's concession speech, gun owner AJ Sullivan had a sinking feeling.
"Liberals like to ban guns. That's what it comes down to," said Sullivan, 25, a Texas Christian University student.
Sullivan was among hundreds scrambling to buy a weapon Thursday at the gun store Cheaper Than Dirt! — which sold $101,000 in merchandise the day after the election, shattering its single-day sales record, said store owner DeWayne Irwin.
Stories were similar across Texas, where residents are fiercely protective of their Second Amendment rights and now fear stricter gun-control laws under Democratic President-elect Barack Obama.
"There's a mindset here of freedom, and you've bitten off more than you can chew if you think you can come after Texans' guns," said Charlissa Stokes, co-owner of Panhandle Gunslingers, an Amarillo shooting range and gun store where sales have doubled the last few days.
At Houston's Memorial Shooting Center, gun sales are up 70 percent and "the whole wall of assault rifles is gone," said manager Richard Poulis. . . .

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Ranking news websites

The list is obtained from here.

1.Yahoo News
2. CNN
4. Google News
5. FOXNews
6. Drudge Report
7. The New York Times
8. FOXNews.com Elections
9. USA Today
10. ABCnews.com
11. The Huffington Post
12. AOL News
13. Real Clear Politics
14. The Washington Post
15. CNN Political Ticker
16. CBSNews.com
17. Time
18. Electoral Vote Predictor
19. The Politico
20. MSN Election 09
21. Townhall.com
22. Free Republic
23. Daily Kos
24. Current TV
25. Slate


On McCain aides trashing Palin

The Weekly Standard discusses the not very credible attacks on Palin here and here.


Obama campaign underpays workers

WTHR in Indianapolis has this story:

Lines were long and tempers flared Wednesday not to vote but to get paid for canvassing for Barack Obama. Several hundred people are still waiting to get their pay for last-minute campaigning. Police were called to the Obama campaign office on North Meridian Street downtown to control the crowd.

The line was long and the crowd was angry at times.

"I want my money today! It's my money. I want it right now!" yelled one former campaign worker.

A former spokesman for the Obama campaign said 375 people were hired as part of the Vote Corps program and said people signed up to work three-hour shifts at a time. Three hours of canvassing got workers a $30 pre-paid Visa card.

The workers showed up to get their cards Wednesday morning at 10:00 am.

"There was a note on the door saying 1:00 pm and then at 1:20 pm everybody was like why is nobody here. They just got here and they're trying to get it organized," said Heather Richards, a former campaign worker.

The large gathering of around 375 people prompted police to call in extra officers and set up temporary barricades. The barricades helped keep the crowd from spilling out onto Meridian Street. Police say the several hundred people in line were for the most part orderly. . . .


John Fund's list of mistakes made by the McCain Campaign

John Fund wrote up this list at the WSJ's Political Diary:

Most everyone will cite the candidate's sudden decision during September's financial crisis to suspend his campaign and rush to Washington, D.C., where he proved an ineffective stage manager for Congressional Republicans leery of the first bailout package.

A survey of Republican strategists and officials yielded the following runner-up contenders for worst campaign failure:

1) Sarah Palin's handling by the McCain staff was abysmal, even if all the stories about her alleged flightiness were true. She was carefully held back from media interviews, then made her debut in a shaky interview with ABC's Charlie Gibson. Then it was decided to have her sit down next with CBS's Katie Couric, whose network was given freedom to edit and promote the interview in such a way as to cause her maximum embarrassment.

2) The McCain campaign never had an effective get-out-the-vote effort. When Republican National Committee officials met with McCain staffmembers in May, they were shocked that McCain aides had little interest in the RNC's vaunted voter contact list. McCain representatives assured RNC officials that the election wouldn't be won with Republicans, but with independents and moderates.

In the end, the McCain campaign stripped away funding for its get-out-the-vote efforts in the key battleground state of Pennsylvania and replaced them with high-cost TV ads. The results were not good. Mr. Obama romped to a solid 55% victory in the Keystone State.

3) John McCain himself took off the table the option of airing TV ads critical of Mr. Obama's association with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Former Democratic consultants Dick Morris and Bob Beckel both agree that Mr. McCain unwisely and artificially circumscribed his campaign. "The Wright issue could have been framed as a judgment issue rather than as a racial issue," Mr. Beckel told me. "But they boxed themselves in only to discover that by comparison with 2004, there were few if any outside groups running independent ad campaigns critical of Mr. Obama's history and record." . . .


Three Illinois Counties vote on Concealed Carry Laws

As the article says, there were mixed results:

Votes vary on concealed weapons referendums
Journal Star
Posted Nov 04, 2008 @ 11:07 PM
Voters in three central Illinois counties expressed mixed opinions on the potential for a law that would allow citizens to carry concealed firearms.

Those voters were asked in an advisory referendum whether lawmakers in Springfield should pass legislation that would allow people who complete required training and pass background checks to carry guns, as 48 other states have done.

With all precincts reporting, 54.8 percent of McDonough County voters rejected the referendum — 6,468 opposed the measure, while 5,334, or 45.2 percent, were in favor.

In Woodford County, the referendum passed with 54.4 percent of the vote — 9,655 in favor and 8,088, or 45.6 percent, opposed.

Voters in LaSalle County, meanwhile, also rejected the referendum, with 24,755 or 52.6 percent opposed and 22,299 or 47.4 percent in favor.

The referendum was advisory only, and was intended to send a message to legislators in Springfield.

The measure made it on to regional ballots at the behest of members of the Winnebago County Board, the first in the state to add the referendum to its ballot and sent letters to all other county boards asking they do the same. Only 13 of Illinois' 101 other counties obliged.

Thanks to Al Troglio for the link.



I am glad that I wasn't the only person who noticed the changing numbers in the MN Senate race

The Minnesota Secretary of State is not engendering a lot of confidence. Of course, with his support of ACORN, he already had some trust issues.

St. Paul, Minn. — We've been hearing several different today for the margin of Norm Coleman's victory over Al Franken in Minnesota's U.S. Senate race last night; 725, 344, 694.

Whatever the number is, it's very small, and we'll be carefully watching the recount this razor-thin margin will trigger.

But we want to know why, with 100 percent of the precincts reporting, that number keeps changing. The man who knows is the man who will be the center of attention of a recount, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie. Ritchie talked to Tom Crann about this margin and the impending recount.

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New Op-ed in NY Post: WORKERS, BE WARY

Here is what an Obama administration promises for unions:

WOULD you like elections without secret ballots? To most Americans, the notion is absurd. But, if Barack Obama becomes president, secret ballots seem destined to end for at least one type of election: union certifications.

The reasons for secret ballots are obvious. Not everyone feels comfortable making his or her political positions public; many would rather vote without fear of offending or angering someone else. Secret balloting essentially ended an old abuse, vote buying, in US elections.

Yet Obama promises to sign into law the so-called Employee Free Choice Act - which would end secret-ballot elections when it comes to unionization of workplaces. . . .

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Do Guns Reduce Crime? Audio of Debate Broadcast on NPR

You can find the audio of the Intelligence Squared debate here.



More Democrats advocate "Fairness Doctrine"

With the comments by Pelosi, Reid, and the fact that no Democrat in the House is speaking out against reinstituting the "Fairness Doctrine." The Hill newspaper has this today:

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday defended the so-called Fairness Doctrine in an interview on Fox News, saying, “I think we should all be fair and balanced, don’t you?”

Schumer’s comments echo other Democrats’ views on reviving the Fairness Doctrine, which would require radio stations to balance conservative hosts with liberal ones.

Asked if he is a supporter of telling radio stations what content they should have, Schumer used the fair and balanced line, claiming that critics of the Fairness Doctrine are being inconsistent.

“The very same people who don’t want the Fairness Doctrine want the FCC [Federal Communications Commission] to limit pornography on the air. I am for that… But you can’t say government hands off in one area to a commercial enterprise but you are allowed to intervene in another. That’s not consistent.”

In 2007, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), a close ally of Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) told The Hill, “It’s time to reinstitute the Fairness Doctrine. I have this old-fashioned attitude that when Americans hear both sides of the story, they’re in a better position to make a decision.”

Senate Rules Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) last year said, “I believe very strongly that the airwaves are public and people use these airwaves for profit. But there is a responsibility to see that both sides and not just one side of the big public questions of debate of the day are aired and are aired with some modicum of fairness.” . . .


minor puzzle: Obama predicts a million plus at his "celebation" tonight but there are a lot of empty hotel rooms

Unless the vaunted Chicago political machine is expected to turn out a million local residents, the couple hotel people that I have talked to here Tell me that business is no different than normal.

UPDATE: Well, it turns out that the crowd was a little short of one million people. Some estimates in the press put it at 150,000, but my own belief is that was probably high from what I was able to see.



Talks this week.

Northwestern University Law School -- 4 PM, Nov. 4th, Freedomnomics, Law & Economics, Financial regulations
Loyola Law School, Chicago -- noon, Nov. 5th, the economic policies of the new president
Notre Dame Law School -- noon, Nov. 6th, Gun Control


New research on Right-to-carry laws

You can find the new paper here.

The Debate on Shall-Issue Laws
Carlisle E. Moody and Thomas B. Marvell


“Shall issue” right-to-carry concealed weapons laws require authorities to issue concealed-weapons permits, allowing the permit holder to carry a concealed handgun, to anyone who applies, unless the applicant has a criminal record or a history of mental illness. The shall-issue laws are state laws, applicable to all counties within the state.3 In contrast, states with “may issue” laws allow considerable discretion to the authorities. In may-issue states, authorities typically require that the applicant demonstrate a particular need for a concealed weapons permit, and self-defense usually is not deemed sufficient. Consequently, shall-issue states are much more permissive of individual freedom to carry concealed handguns.

In 1997 John Lott and David Mustard published, “Crime, Deterrence and Right-to-Carry Concealed Handguns” in the Journal of Legal Studies. They found that shall-issue states had lower violent crime rates, presumably because the laws result in more people carrying concealed weapons. Criminals might be deterred by the greater likelihood of others being armed, and of arms being concealed. Lott and Mustard’s article created a furor and the debate continues. Much of this debate takes place in op-ed columns, letters to editors, internet chat rooms, and web logs. In this article we concentrate on the academic debate. We review the main threads of the discussion in the literature and extend the debate with our own statistical analyses. In particular, we extend the investigation of influential work in Stanford Law Review by Ian Ayres and John J. Donohue III (2003a, 2003b), who, contrary to Lott and Mustard, claim to find that shall-issue laws actually lead to an overall increase in crime. The new statistical analysis contained in the present article finds that shall issue laws are generally beneficial. Purists in statistical analysis object with some cause to some of methods employed both by Ayres and Donohue, by us, and by the literature in general. But the new investigation presented here upgrades Ayres and Donohue in a few significant ways, so, at least until the next study comes along, our paper should neutralize Ayres and Donohue’s “more guns, more crime” conclusion.

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Childish behavior by Obama?

This picture is taken from the Drudge Report website and the links are there. If Obama used this finger expression regularly, it would be possible to explain his behavior, but the claim is that this is an extremely rare gesture that he has only made on a couple of occasions. If so (and I haven't watched the hours and hours of tapes that some media watchers have), why does he do it when he is congratulating his opponents? Does he really hate his opponents so much and has so little self-control? When he did this when he congratulated Hillary Clinton, I assumed that it was by accident. But now that he has done this also when he congratulates John McCain. This is very strange to say the least.


"Obama Maintains Overall Swing State Advertising Lead"

McCain waited until right before the election to use his very limited advertising budget. Yet, even still Obama had more money to spend on advertising.

Nielsen just posted an updated analysis of Presidential advertising in the seven key swing states: Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia:

During the final weekend preceding the presidential election, Sen. Barack Obama ran 77% more TV ads than Sen. John McCain (5,947 vs. 3,358) in seven key swing states: Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
McCain, however, showed a much larger percentage increase in TV advertising from the previous weekend (Friday October 24 thru Sunday, October 26) to this past weekend (Friday, October 31 thru Sunday, November 2). McCain bumped his TV ad units up by 76% overall in the seven battleground states Nielsen tracked, while Obama increased his advertising in those states by just 3% over the previous weekend.
To date, both McCain and Obama have advertised most heavily in Florida. Obama ran 24,834 ads in the state between October 6 and November 2, outpacing McCain’s 8,599 ads by almost 189%.
Between October 6 and November 2, Obama placed 135% more ad units (80,504 vs. 34,179) than McCain in Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
(Note: this data includes national and local ads seen in these states, as well as syndicated advertising. Local cable ads are not included. Nielsen’s ad unit data shows preliminary commercial occurrences and may fluctuate from day to day, as data is updated.)

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Massive Coal tax: Not only is it bad economics, but I am not sure how Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia can consider voting for Obama

I have written previously about global warming, but these new taxes were not made clear during the presidential campaign and part of that is the fault of the media. I wonder if this is too late now:

"So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it's just that it will bankrupt them because they're going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that's being emitted."

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New Op-ed up at Fox News: The tilt towards Democrats

My newest Fox News piece starts this way:

Is Barack Obama a uniter? Since the beginning of the Democratic primaries, unity has been one of his major themes. It proved a strong lure compared to the polarizing Hillary Clinton. That theme has also helped Obama blunt the undeniable bi-partisan record of John McCain.

But being a uniter takes some effort. It isn’t just about words. Republicans have pointed to Obama’s lack of bi-partisan accomplishments in either state or federal government. And even Obama’s presidential campaign indicates that he has a tin ear when it comes to dealing with those he disagrees with. One of the surest ways to anger others is not giving them a chance to air their views.

Obama’s list of heavy-handed actions is growing: . . .

It is very obvious that the Obama campaign is working over time flooding this site with pro-Obama comments. I guess that if you raise $750 million you can afford to hire some people to post comments multiple times. It is strange how many comments are being posted from Washington DC and Chicago with the same IP addresses. Does anyone else have a theory for this? I am not allowing multiple posts on the same point today.

Note also that Maureen Dowd was only temporarily replaced with reporters on the McCain plane. 1) She was replaced by reporters (she is not a reporter). Is Glamour magazine a news publication now? Will it publish anything in the days running up to the election. 2) She was later allowed back on.

In addition, while the editorial page at the WSJ is conservative, the news section is very similar to that at other newspapers.

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If the Investor's Business Daily survey is right, McCain will win

The IBD survey was the most accurate survey in 2004, but I am not sure that tells us much about this election. In any case, the IBD survey shows only a 2.1 percent difference between McCain and Obama and, more importantly, 8.7 percent are not sure who they will pick.

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