Who will win the Nobel Prize in Economics?

A Lively Debate Over Voting Machines

The ACLU and myself tangled Thursday and Friday in Ohio in court over what voting machines should be used. My research was the central focus of the discussion, but even their own expert witness had to admit that she confirmed my results when she re-examined the data. The only response that the ACLU and their experts were able to mount was that it was only relevant to examine the statewide races, particularly just the presidential race. Of course, the problem for the other side is that all the races showed that punch card machines actually did very well relative to the other machines. Given that this is the first court decision of its type, it would be nice if we can win this before the November election because it will be at least a little harder for Democrats to claim that punch card machines are faulty.

Useful article on the Assault Weapons Ban

Larry Elder has a nice piece on the assault weapons ban expiring. It does a useful job of going through how badly the media covered the issue.


Legislation to overturn the DC Gun Ban passed the U.S. House on Wednesday

My article on the impact of the DC gun ban appeared in National Review Online this week. DC crime data is available here for those who are interested in tracing the changes in murder rates and other crime rates overtime.


All Posts From September 2004

Vote today in House to overturn the DC gun ban

When there is the debate today, one might keep in mind how the crime rates have changed immediately before and after the gun ban in 1976.

Click here for a chart of the DC crime Rate

DC crime data is available here for those who are interested in tracing the changes in murder rates and other crime rates over time.

Vote tomorrow in House on overturning the DC gun ban

John Fund as a useful piece on overturning the DC gun ban: "Preventing law-abiding people from owning guns in their homes (there is no talk of allowing residents the right to carry concealed handguns) has done nothing to reduce crime, which has skyrocketed in part due to police mismanagement and corruption. In the five years after the ban took effect in 1976, the murder rate rose to 35 per 100,000 people from 27. In fact, in the three decades since the ban took effect, the annual murder rate has only once fallen below what it was in 1976. In 2002 the murder rate hit 46 per 100,000 people. Robbery rates have also risen dramatically."

School administrators have rejected a photo submission from Douglass for the school yearbook that shows the smiling senior on one knee with a trapshooting shotgun over his shoulder.

Student: "I don't see anything wrong with the picture. I enjoy shooting trap and skeet, and I believe you should stand up for what you believe in."

Londonderry School Superintendent: "Considering all that has occurred with guns in schools, this is not the most appropriate message we want to send. Skeet shooting is a fine hobby, but there is a time and place."

Thanks to Dan Gifford for point this out to me.

John Kerry owns an assault weapon

The New York Times has a piece where they try to provide Kerry with as much protection as possible on this. They quote "Bob Ricker, a former N.R.A. lawyer who is now a consultant for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence" as saying "he knows a lot about firearms and he's also one of the most credible individuals when it comes to talking about gun-violence prevention and what it takes to keep weapons of war off the street." Ricker has been going after the NRA, gun makers and gun owners for years. There are many unanswered questions for Kerry, such as what is the exact gun that he has and whether he has followed all the laws. (I would like to thank Andrew Nielson for telling me about this story.)

Update: Well it was interesting while it lasted: "Kerry corrects answer about an assault rifle".

Now Tom Daschle claims his support for the right to bear arms

Like all the Democratic Presidential candidates this year, Tom Daschle is now making his support for the right to bear arms an issue in his Senate campaign. Yet, as this analysis points out, out of "47 key votes designated by the National Rifle Association stretching back to 1990, Daschle has voted with the NRA’s position seven times." The Brady Campaign gives Daschle a fairly high 78 percent rating.

Man rams house with truck, threatens woman with hammer, is shot

Under the unusual crime category, this is surely a somewhat extreme way of breaking into a house.

Australia's robbery rates over past decade

I have gotten a couple of e-mails asking whether armed robbery rates in Australia actually rose after the 1996 gun control laws. The sudden acceleration in both armed robbery as well as overall robbery rates after the 1996 law is quite noticeable. While the rates have finally started to come down some, they are still quite a bit higher than before the 1996 law.

Click here for a chart on the Australian robbery rate
Armed robbery chart

The data for these graphs can be downloaded here.

Another excerpt from John Fund's New book, "Stealing Elections"

Real Clear Politics excerpts some more of John Fund's new book. This time it discusses the research on the impact that the premature announcement that polls had closed in Florida's heavily Republican western panhandle.

Rollye James will have me on her national radio show to discuss the media bias research at 10:05 PM EDT on Monday.

Rollye's show can be listened to here.

Steve Malzberg will have me on to discuss the media bias research on WABC at 11:05 to 11:30 AM EDT on Sunday.

WABC radio can be listened to here.

After reading articles such as this you have to wonder if the Clinton people are trying to sink the Kerry Campaign and also hurt Edwards

When strong democrats write articles such as this, it really makes you wonder. Could it be that the Clinton people are simply trying to clear the way for Hillary to run in 2008? If both Kerry and Edwards are out of the way, it will surely make her job a lot easier.

Fox News Watch to discuss media bias research on Saturday and Sunday

Is there a liberal bias in the reporting of business news?

What gun laws did Kerry violate

Alan Korwin has a detailed analysis of what gun laws Kerry might have violated when he recently accepted a gun as a gift.

Lars Larson discusses Media Bias tonight with me

Lars Larson's national radio show will have me on at 7:20 PM EDT today to discuss my new research on media bias.

Democrats dominate academia, but it is surprising how little overall is contributed

90 to 95 percent of donations from top Ivy university went to Democrats and Kerry. At Princeton, $40,950 was contributed to Kerry and a grand total of $250 was contributed to George Bush by ONE SINGLE PERSON.

Linda Chavez discusses Media Bias and the now expired Semi-automatic Assault Weapons Ban

Linda Chavez's national radio show will have me on at 10:15 AM EDT today to discuss my new research on media bias.

John Fund on the 2000 Florida Election Myths

Here is an exerpt from John Fund's new book "Stealing Elections". It provides a useful overview on something that I have written on many times, the 2000 Florida election.

Kudlow and Cramer on CNBC discusses Media Bias

Kudlow & Cramer will have me on at 5:45 today to discuss my new research on media bias.

A short history of campaign finance

My newest piece on campaign finance regulation is out in The American Enterprise (published by AEI) and you can download a copy here.

Presentations on Media Bias and Semi-automatic Assault Weapons Ban Debate Available for viewing

This past Monday was a busy one for presentations at AEI. For those interested in viewing the discussions, simply click on the link and go to the top right part of the page under "event materials."

Media Bias

The End of the "Assault" Weapons Ban

Aaron Director passes away

Aaron Director, one of the nicest guys that I have ever had the good fortune to meet, passed away on Saturday. For those who don't know, Director founded the field of law and economics. He was the first economist to teach in a law school, first co-teaching a class in anti-trust. I originally got to meet him during the year that I spent at Hoover during 1986 to 1987. He had the office across the hall from me. At that time, he was in his mid-80s and had very thick eye glasses, but he would stop by my office and ask for copies of articles that I was writing. He would take them into his office and with a huge magnifying glass slowly read through them. I had just gotten a computer and started printing out copies in 18 point font for him, but I am still sure that reading was still very difficult. He was just an amazingly enjoyable person to talk to. He would bring me fruit from his garden, and was constantly asking how I was doing. Director may not have published many papers, but I am sure that he holds the record for giving other people the ideas for the papers that they wrote.

Update: William Sjostrom writes noting that the first economists to teach at a law school were "he institutionalist economist Walton Hamilton taught at Yale from 1928 to 1948 (http://web.uvic.ca/~rutherfo/publiccontrol.pdf), and
Henry Simon taught at Chicago from 1939 to 1946." However, he references Stigler's 1974 JLE paper to note that "that real collaboration began with Director."

Some of the response to my work on Media Bias

George Melloan in the Wall Street Journal

Bloomberg News Wire Service

Scripps Howard News Service

Washington Times

Baltimore Sun


Update: Some reaction here and here and here and here and here to the New York Times story on media bias.

Kerry's views on guns

My latest piece in Investors' Business Daily goes further into the debate over the ending of the semi-automatic gun ban.

Kerry's views on guns

My latest piece on National Review Online tries to figure out what Kerry's real views on guns are. Hint: It is not what he wants you to believe.

A Useful Note from the Department of Justice Clarifying Exactly What Happens with Respect to the Semi-automatic Assault Weapons Ban at Midnight Tonight

If you want to have your questions answered about what happens when the Semi-automatic Assault Weapons Ban ends tonight go here.

Fighting Crime Australian Style

With a "34 per cent spike [in armed robberies] in inner Sydney in the past 12 months," some have been driven to try and stop the attacks. (I don't have the numbers handy at the moment, but armed robberies have been going up dramatically for the last six or so years in Australia.) The point though is that anyone who has looked at the US's National Crime Victimization Survey data knows that responding to an attacker without using a weapon (particularly a gun) is not the smartest thing to do, but Australians are taking on either multiple male attackers or armed attackers without any weapon of their own. The newspaper discusses the responses people make to violent crime, but doesn't realize the danger that the government regulations puts these citizens in.

Surprise, the New York Times has a bit of a tough piece on new research that I did on media bias, but they do ADMIT that it is "the first serious statistical" study

The Sunday New York Times has a piece on new research that Kevin Hassett and I have done entitled "Is Newspaper Coverage of Economic Events Politically Biased?" (if you scroll down to the bottom of the link, you can download a copy of the paper). While the New York Times didn't seem able to find anyone who liked the paper and while the article has a few things that I would have written differently (e.g., the paper has some data that goes back through Reagan's second term), the people who have thus far given me comments have been extremely positive about it. Given Allan Blinder's statement, I have checked the impact of September 11th on economic coverage and it does not substantially affect the results.

Bushmaster settlement with Brady Campaign

On Friday I debated Dennis Hennigan from the Brady Campaign about the so-called "Assault" Weapons Ban expiring and before the debate he was bragging about the "historic" settlement that they had reached with Bushmaster. It was not the best news for me to start off the debate with, but I have learned to take his claims with at least a few grains of salt. Anyway, Bushmaster has a much more positive take on all this and you should follow the link to their website. While I view their statement as positive, my only real comment on their take is that I don't really think that the Brady Campaign is hurting for money to cover their lawyer fees. George Soros seems to be giving them several millions of dollars per year and that is enough to cause all sorts of mischief.

Will there be carnage?

Today the Los Angeles Times carries a debate between Senator Feinstein and myself on the sunsetting of the Assault Weapons Ban. My guess is that she is not too happy with the Violence Policy Center.

Appearance on National Public Radio's The Connection regarding the end of the Assault Weapons Ban

Today I debated a few people on NPR's The Connection. The debate started off slowly, but got going towards the end.

Could the Democrats really do this?

The American Spectator has an amazing story on the Kerry campaign leaking those supposedly forged documents on Bush's National Guard service. The Spectator writes: "there is growing concern inside the building on 57th Street that they may have been suckered by the Kerry campaign." I have a hard time believing that the Kerry campaign would be that stupid, but if it just happens to true, it is not clear how the campaign is going to be able to respond.

Moore is pretty easy to surprise

Being the expert on guns that he is, Michael Moore only discovered some facts about guns too late for his movie:
"After I made Bowling for Columbine, I discovered that Israel has one of the lowest levels of violence -- I mean, besides the conflict with the Palestinians -- even though there are so many guns around."

"Brinkley: Navy Probe Could Doom Kerry Campaign"

Historian Douglas Brinkley, who wrote a very favorable biography of John Kerry, had a discussion with radio host Steve Malsberg:
Asked if inconsistencies uncovered by the Navy probe could be the "death knell" for Kerry's campaign, Brinkley told Malzberg, "It could." In the next breath he hastened to add, however: "Right now it's unclear. So we have to just wait to see what all this adds up to."

Don Kates sent me an e-mail where he also claims that "After this very favorable biography came out, and anti-Kerry forces began demanding that Kerry release his Vietnam journals which he had given Brinkley, the Kerry campaign asserted that Kerry wanted to do that but could not because Kerry had an agreement w/ Brinkley whereby the journals are not to be released. Upon questioning by the press Brinkley flatlly denied this, saying that the only even remotely similar agreement is that Kerry cannot quote any journal entry that is set out in the Brinkley book w/o mentioning the book. Brinkley told the reporters to call Kerry if they wanted access to the journals and stop bothering him. So far the Kerry campaign has simply ignored or evaded requests for the journals."

John Fund's new book "Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy" is out

I have only had a chance to read a couple of chapters in John's new book , but what I have read is very good. He discusses issues ranging from the Florida vote in 2000 to electronic voting machines to the lack of ID required to vote.

Armed teachers could have prevented attack on Russian children, as they do in Thailand and Israel

David Kopel has an article at National Review Online making an argument that I have been making since 1998.

Britain banning ad because it shows a picture of a starting pistol

I have a new op-ed in the Wall Street Journal Europe that talks about some recent gun control rules in Britain.