Talk show host uses gun to wound attackers.

Washington Post claims first time that ballistic fingerprinting was used to solve case.

Although the weapon, a .40-caliber handgun, never was found, county police and prosecutors connected the firearm to Garner through 10 shell casings found at the scene. A handgun leaves unique markings on shell casings each time it is fired, according to firearms experts.

The casings recovered at the murder scene matched a casing that was on file with Maryland State Police, showing that the weapon was purchased by Garner's then-girlfriend (now his wife) in a Forestville store about three weeks before the killing, according to trial testimony.

"That evidence was the cornerstone of our case," said Glenn F. Ivey, the Prince George's state's attorney. "It was powerful evidence. I hope this verdict helps our efforts to have the [ballistics identification database] continued and expanded."

Strangely, while the crime took place on 4/23/04, the testimony before the state legislature on the usefulness of the ballistic fingerprinting system occurred on 3/1/05 and the trial was just completed. Yet, during the legislative testimony it was clear that the Maryland state police did not believe that the ballistic fingerprinting had been useful. During the testimony, Tobin stated that something to the effect that "I don't consider 165th record to be a hit" and that might have been referring to this case. Even in this case there were apparently multiple eye witnesses so there is the issue of what additional role the ballistic fingerprinting played, indeed if the Maryland State Police are wrong and it indeed played any significant role. I have not read the transcript of the trial.

Another op-ed discusses gun free zones

It is nice to see these piece appearing, but it is interesting to see so many use what appear to be almost the exact same words that I have used in my pieces. Here is a piece from the Union Leader (NH):

"What the gun banners, and their media cheerleaders, have rather carefully ignored is that all of these brutal acts occurred in so-called 'gun-free' zones."

The first paragraph of this piece and several other paragraphs are very similar to my earlier piece at Foxnews.com.

You are what you drive?

Porsche owners identified themselves as Republican more often than owners of any other cars, with 59 percent calling themselves Republicans, 27 percent Democrats and the rest either calling themselves independents or declining to answer. Jaguars and Land Rovers also registered as very "Republican" vehicles.

Scarborough also determined that Volvos were the most "Democratic" cars, by 44 to 32 percent, followed by Subarus and Hyundais. But although a lot of old Volvos on the road are driven by Democrats, the customers in Volvo showrooms no longer fit the old stereotype, according to a survey of 163,000 new-car buyers last year that was conducted by CNW Marketing Research of Bandon, Ore.

As Volvo's advertising has stressed performance in addition to safety, more and more Republicans are buying Volvos. The CNW survey last year showed that Democratic buyers of Volvo cars outnumbered Republicans by only 32 percent to 27 percent. . . .

Jeep Grand Cherokee S.U.V. was more than half again as likely to be bought by a Republican than by a Democrat, at 46 percent to 28. Among Hummer buyers, the Republican-to-Democrat ratio was a whopping 52 to 23.


"Deadly force bill passes House" in Florida

Brief history of Armed Pilot Program after 911

James Bovard's Gun Nuts at 30,000 Feet? has a useful history of the armed pilot program that started after 911. I have written about this many times, but James has a useful take on this.


An associate editor of the Pioneer Press editorial page discusses gun free zones

The desire to get rid of gun free zones is getting more and more acceptance:

"We need to have a candid assessment about what more we can do to try to prevent these things from happening," Clinton said in the wake of the Columbine shootings. I agree, but more gun control legislation or more funding for early childhood education is not the answer. Volumes of legislation and far-reaching social programs have done nothing to stop the other deadly rampages, including the one in Red Lake. What makes us think one more law, one more program, or one more dollar will make any difference?

Indeed, it's an exercise in futility to try to make sense out of the senseless. Things happen and often times we don't know why. Instead of crafting a bevy of new legislation — on top of the laws that already exist — our time would be better spent preparing for the next time a school security guard or teacher is confronted by an insane student.

As distasteful as the idea may be to some, we need to be honest and admit that only one thing would have stopped Weise: a security guard, administrator or teacher, properly trained, and armed with a gun.


"Mum jailed for firing air gun in row of vandals"

Alphecca's Weekly Check on the Bias


"Steroids Prescribed To NFL Players"

So what about Philadelphia's Mayor Street blaming the Right-to-carry laws for Philadelphia's murder rate?

From my latest op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer:

No reporters seem to have asked Street or Rendell the obvious question: If permit-holders are the problem, how many of those 85 murders were caused by a person with a permitted concealed handgun? When I asked, the city police and mayor's office were unable or unwilling to answer that question, but my guess is zero.

In the extraordinarily rare cases when permit-holders get in trouble, there is news coverage. Yet there's not one single news story on such a case this year.

Indeed, with 28,000 concealed handgun permit-holders in Philadelphia and more than 600,000 statewide, there was no such murder last year, or the year before, or the year before in the entire state.

The other side of the debate is presented here.

The Philadelphia Daily News has its own call for more gun control.

My piece was also picked up in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

New Op-ed: Affirmative Action Has Mixed Results for Cops


Internet hunting in Texas may soon be banned

Don’t let anyone convince you that the Blue States have a monopoly on technologcal innovation. Case in point: a rancher in Texas says he’s going to start offering an Internet hunting service where visitors to his website can bag a deer, antelope, and wild pigs using a remote controlled .22 caliber rifle with a webcam mounted on it (the gun is already available for target practice right now, he’s just waiting for a faster Internet connection that’ll make the gun easier to aim). But don’t worry. Smokey, aka Texas Parks and Wildlife Department wildlife director Mike Berger, is already trying to figure out how to shut this down, and has proposed a new rule that’ll require anyone hunting animals to actually be physically present at the site where they’re shooting.

Thanks to Kevin Hassett to sending this link to me.

More on gun free zones

An op-ed on the Red Lake High School in Minnesota notes:

This is yet another shooting in another place ignorantly perceived as safe because of signs and policies that prohibit weapons. Yet these places take little, if any, affirmative action to ensure safety, let alone allowing for lawful self-defense. They pay lip service to security procedures and personnel and place "feel good" signs restricting weapons.
    These "victim disarmament zones" are actually worse than doing nothing as they take the attention off the real problems. They further a sense of complacency with respect to security. Ignorantly we assume a sign stating "No Guns Allowed" will protect us. . . .
    Utah, as one of few states that allow concealed carry in schools, is watched carefully as a "laboratory" of sorts for concealed carry in these environments. Concealed weapons have been allowed in schools since 1995 that has been recently re-enforced with legislation. We have also resisted efforts that would have mitigated lawful self-defense in schools and churches.

What has the Brady Campaign and the Violence Policy Center learned from the Minnesota Shooting?

Deterrence in the Movies


Happy Easter