Another take on the National Academy's panel on Firearms and Violence

NRA leader considers letting teachers carry guns

Apparently it is pretty easy to surprise some US Senators


New piece on CBS's program this past weekend on 50-caliber guns

Will St. Louis soon start issuing permits?


Scarborough Country Transcript: Arming teachers?

Here is the transcript of the SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY debate that I did the other night on whether permitted concealed handguns should be allowed on school property.

There is one additional piece of information that I recently discovered about the Red Lake High School attack. Apparently the guard who was killed saw the killer getting out of the car and immediately realized that there was a problem. Unfortunately, because of concerns over guns not even the guard was allowed to be armed. If even the guard had been armed in this case, the trajedy could have likely been avoided.

Alphecca has a more extensive roundup of different stories on the Red Lake High School attack.

May be there is some hope

An $80 million federal grant program to distribute gun locks free for the protection of children appears to have pivoted off course since they're being used by farmers to keep their gates locked.

"If you look from the road at farmers' gates, you can see them," Bedford County Sheriff's Detective Sgt. Chris Brown said today when asked about comments from Wartrace Town Hall Wednesday.

Wartrace Town Clerk Kim Curbow said Project ChildSafe's cable-style gun locks "look like a lock you would use on a bicycle." She and Wartrace Police Chief Ben Burris agreed the locks would also work as a farm gate lock.

"That's true," Brown said when asked about the observation in Wartrace. "They do use them for that."

Lawmen in Bedford County endorsed Project ChildSafe's goal -- protecting curious children from injury and/or death if they mishandle their parents' guns. However, two of the three law enforcement offices said they had locks left over from last year's distribution. Meanwhile, Wartrace has no trouble distributing the locks in its more rural area.

My research on how gun locks increase the total number of deaths is available here. My book, The Bias Against Guns, has a greatly expanded and updated discussion.

Another student killer on Prozac

Woman defends herself against violent husband

SILVER SPRINGS SHORES, Florida Mar. 20, 2005
A 38-year-old man was shot and killed late
Friday after his wife reportedly shot him to protect herself.

Timothy Shane Roberts, 38, was shot once in the chest by his wife Paula Kathryn Roberts, 35, during a physical altercation, said Marion County Sheriff's Office officials. Paramedics were dispatched to the home, 22 Hemlock Terrace Drive, at 10:09 p.m.

When deputies arrived, they found the man's wife kneeling next to him.

"The argument pretty much started with the daughter," said Sue Livoti, sheriff's office public information officer. When the man's wife got involved, the physical fight turned deadly.

The physical altercation began early Friday, according to Paula Roberts' account to police.

The couple spent Friday evening with their three children at the Ocala Shrine Club Carnival just a couple of miles away from their home. After they left, Timothy Roberts began to argue with his 16-year-old daughter, Kathryn.

Once at the home, he is said to have begun hitting his daughter. After his wife got involved, he began to attack her.

"The mother went into the bedroom and told him if he hit her again she would shoot him," Livoti said. "And he supposedly told her, 'You don't have the nerve.'

"He moved as if to strike her again and she fired one time, hitting him in the chest. The children ran to a neighbor's house and called 911," Livoti said in an earlier written press release.

Thanks to Robert Waters for sending this to me.


New piece on shootings in gun free zones

My newest op-ed on the recent multiple victim shootings is up on National Review Online. From the piece:

These restrictions on guns in schools weren't always in place. Prior to the end of 1995 when the Safe School Zone Act was enacted, virtually all the states that allowed citizens, whether they be teacher or principles or parents, to carry concealed handguns let them carry them on school grounds. Even Minnesota used to allow this.

Some have expressed fears over letting concealed permit holders carry guns on school campuses, but over all the years that permitted guns were allowed on school property there is no evidence that these guns were used improperly or caused any accidents.

UPDATE: A Canadian reader writes: "I think the most effective sign to put on your yard to prevent problems is 'A Proud and Active Member of The National Rifle Association', that is for you folks down there. If I put it on my yard I'd get arrested for inciting hatred or threatening or something."

UPDATE: Another reader puts it very straightforwardly: "Since two of the three shootings were done with a police officer's weapon, I don't see how that makes a case for more gun control."

Iraqi citizens use their guns to attack terrorists

Private Iraqis citizens risk their lives to stop terrorists:

Ordinary Iraqis rarely strike back at the insurgents who terrorize their country. But just before noon on Tuesday, a carpenter named Dhia saw a troop of masked gunmen with grenades coming toward his shop here and decided he had had enough.

As the gunmen emerged from their cars, Dhia and his young relatives shouldered their Kalashnikov rifles and opened fire, the police and witnesses said. In the fierce gun battle that followed, three of the insurgents were killed, and the rest fled just after the police arrived. Two of Dhia's nephews and a bystander were wounded, the police said.

"We attacked them before they attacked us," said Dhia, 35, his face still contorted with rage and excitement, as he stood barefoot outside his home a few hours after the battle, a 9-millimeter pistol in his hand. He would not give his last name.

"We killed three of those who call themselves the mujahedeen," he said. "I am waiting for the rest of them to come, and we will show them."


Should teachers be able to carry guns at school?

Joe Scarborough's show on MSNBC will discuss the issue of whether teachers should be able to carry guns at school tonight at 10PM ET. I will be discussing the issue with a criminal psychologist and an official of one of the teachers' unions for about 8 minutes.

Detailed information available here, here, here, here, and here.

UPDATE: Ted Nugent (yes, that Ted Nugent) writes: "GO JOHNNY GO JOHNNY GO JOHNNY GO! swing that crowbar of truth wontchya! remind em only a souless coward would admit to the facts yet still decide on helplessness & cowardice. God help us all."

Floridians could soon have more leeway to shoot those who break into their homes

Floridians could shoot anyone who invades their homes or cars with the intention of harming them, under a bill that got preliminary approval today in the Senate.

The bill by Sen. Durrell Peaden, R-Crestview, basically says that you don't have to back away from a confrontation. Under existing law, people can be prosecuted if they don't first try to find a way to escape from a confrontation.

Sen. Steve Geller, D-Hallendale, unsuccessfully tried to amend the bill so that it would only apply to homes, cars and other private locations - not confrontations on the street. Geller said he supported the old concept that "a man's home is his castle," and thought people should be able to defend themselves against carjackers, but he didn't want shootouts on the street if they could be avoided.

The Senate shouted down his amendment in a voice vote, and scheduled Peaden's bill for final action on Wednesday.

Another debate today

I will be on NPR's "To the Point" from 2:10 to 2:30 EDT today discussing the recent shootings and what should be done in response. "To the Point" is a nationally syndicated show on NPR and is carried on over 40 stations.

UPDATE: The show is available here.

Terrorists and Guns

My lastest article today with Sonya Jones in Investors' Business Daily, "If Gun Background Checks Don't Work, Will 'Watch Lists' Be Any More Effective?" can be found here.

I will also be appearing on MSNBC today from noon to at least 12:20 to debate Michael Barnes from the Brady Campaign on the recent multiple victim public shootings.

UPDATE: Something very unusual happened after the show on MSNBC, I got calls from two reporters saying what a good job that they thought that I had done. One from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch said that while he agreed with Barnes on the issues, "if the only thing that I had to go on was today's program, I would have to agree with you." Both reporters said that they were disappointed by Barnes obnoxious and aggressive behavior. These calls could have been from friends of mine in terms of content, but they were from two reporters I didn't know and who were not naturally inclined to agree with me. They were simply upset enough by the personal attacks that they wanted to call me up.

UPDATE: The op-ed with Sonya has generated an unusual number of positive emails. Thanks.

Multiple Victim Public Shootings

It is just worth pointing out that each of the three recent major shootings in the Atlanta courtroom, in the Wisconsin church, and in the Minnesota school took place in civilian gun free zones.

Canada's Pierre Trudeau considered carrying a gun for protection

Pierre Trudeau was the head of the Liberal Party for many years and set Canada on the left wing course it continues on today. It is interesting though that the gun control regulations that he believed should be applied to everyone else he thought possibly shouldn't apply to him. From the newspaper "The Daily News" (Halifax, Canada)

The Daily News (Halifax)
DATE: 2005.03.20
SECTION: Your Books
PAGE: 13


Trudeau considered carrying a gun: book

Pierre Trudeau was so worried about his safety following his retirement from politics that he contemplated carrying a pistol. This anecdote from Robert Simmonds, who was head of the RCMP from 1977-1987, is one of scores found in Pierre. In a first-person account, Simmonds said he met Trudeau on a Montreal street sometime after the flamboyant former Liberal leader left the political scene in 1984.

"At the time, he had some concerns regarding his personal security and the security of his Montreal home and we talked about that," Simmonds writes. "He thought that, perhaps, it would be wise for him to carry a pistol.

"I (naturally) advised against such an approach and suggested that he leave all that to the (RCMP) force, which retains responsibility for the security of a retired prime minister as long as there is an actual or perceived threat."

"I believe that he accepted my assessment of the situation ... However, his suggested approach served as one more example of his long streak of independence and desire to take care of himself, no matter the circumstances."


Campaign Finance Scam?

The New York Post has an amazing story on a recent speech by one of the leading lights of the campaign finance movement. Here is the beginning of the article:

CAMPAIGN-FINANCE reform has been an immense scam perpetrated on the American people by a cadre of left-wing foundations and disguised as a "mass movement."

But don't take my word for it. One of the chief scammers, Sean Treglia, a former program officer of the Pew Charitable Trusts, confesses it all in an astonishing videotape I obtained earlier this week.

The tape — of a conference held at USC's Annenberg School for Communication in March of 2004 — shows Treglia expounding to a gathering of academics, experts and journalists (none of whom, apparently, ever wrote about Treglia's remarks) on just how Pew and other left-wing foundations plotted to create a fake grassroots movement to hoodwink Congress.

"I'm going to tell you a story that I've never told any reporter," Treglia says on the tape. "Now that I'm several months away from Pew and we have campaign-finance reform, I can tell this story."

John Fund has his take today on this story.


Please tell me that I am not misreading this

The New York Times seems to be endorsing hunting. OK, it is at least a little unclear, first stating that all sorts of tactics have been used to limit the number of deer and failed and then going on and claiming that the herds are being maximized for hunters. In any case, they still want someone (though as expected it is experts (not the common folks)) to kill deer.

Now, even bird lovers want the deer subdued. The New Jersey Audubon Society, in a report last week, urged the consideration of lethal means to solve the problem, arguing that fencing, contraception and other gentle tactics have proved largely ineffective. The group wants the government to rethink conservation policies it says are intended to maximize herds for hunters, and to consider - especially in the suburbs, where hunting is too dangerous - bringing in sharpshooters.

It may sound harsh, even strange coming from an organization whose mission is to foster "environmental awareness and a conservation ethic." But the group - which does not speak for the National Audubon Society - has it exactly right.