Best Buy Stores Remove Signs Prohibiting Guns on Store Premises


New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and "Prosecution by press release" and leaks

From the WSJ:
Mr. Sihpol is the exception to the usual Spitzer rule of using strong-arm tactics to coerce settlements out of business. The Attorney General has become famous for assailing a business practice that is either controversial or legally ambiguous, and then using leaks via the media and the threat of indictment or the destruction of an entire company to force his targets to surrender. . . .

Corporations are all too willing to settle with prosecutors, because their reputational risk from going to trial is greater than paying a fine and giving Mr. Spitzer his "victory." We've seen this with the big Wall Street investment banks and more recently Marsh & McLennan. In this case, Edward Stern, the former head of Canary Capital and a member of one of America's wealthiest families, paid a $40 million settlement to make Mr. Spitzer go away. . . .

However, Mr. Sihpol had his freedom to lose. In addition to fighting Mr. Spitzer, he had to sue his former employer, Bank of America, to pay his legal fees. (According to his lawsuit, the bank sought to check with Mr. Spitzer before it originally decided not to pay.) One lesson here is that juries, forced to make a decision about a defendant's fate, want to make sure that the alleged behavior is in fact criminal. Prosecution by press release won't do in court.

The WSJ gets this exactly right. Eliot Spitzer is one of the most abusive prosecutors around. Prosecutors have absolutely enormous power and Spitzer has a dangerous combination of seemingly willing to do anything to accomplish his goal as well as having almost no limit on the goals that he feels are desirable.


Does Howard Dean Hate White Christians?

The press chorus then devolved into a cacophony of competing screams. . . . After several seconds, a booming voice cut through the noise. It belonged to Brian Wilson, a Fox News correspondent who was standing in the middle of the crowd. He asked Dean "if people are focused on the other things that you've said about hating Republicans, about Republicans being dishonest and then this latest comment about the Republican Party is full of white Christians. You say you hate Republicans -- does that mean you also'' hate white Christians?

Dean didn't respond and Reid talked about having a "positive agenda." Wilson was so insistent that at one point, Durbin asked, "Does he run the press conference?" After Reid took the one question of the morning that was not about Dean (it was about Iraq) there were a host of disjointed and semi-decipherable follow-ups (none of which was about Iraq).

Someone asked whether Dean would "change his ways," or if he planned to be "less confrontational in the future" or whether he "regrets" anything he has said. An aide to Reid announced that the photo op was over.

"We'll decide when we're ready," Wilson said. Later, Durbin would recount the scene with some exasperation. He chided the media for avoiding important issues in favor of trivial matters. "Please, for a minute, get to the substance," he said to a group of reporters. "You guys should be ashamed of yourselves."

I suppose that Wilson could have also asked Dean if he thought that white Christians were evil.


"Crushing Defeat" for New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer

Homicides and other violent crimes fall in 2004 despite elimination of so-called Assault Weapon Ban

Business owner stops robber

Newspapers no longer taking classified gun ads

Three Iowa newspapers recently restricted classified ads for guns: The Hawkeye in Burlington, the Daily Iowegian in Centerville and the Daily Sentinel in Le Mars, bringing the number of Iowa papers that have adopted the policy to eight, according to U.S. Newswire.

The Nebraska City News Press has now closed the "newspaper loophole,” along with four Ohio papers: The Cincinnati Enquirer, The Cincinnati Post, The Delphos Herald and The Ironton Tribune.

Since the campaign was launched in November 2001, at least 26 papers across the country, with a combined circulation of nearly 6 million, have changed their firearms advertising policies.

"We are pleased that the publishers of these newspapers recognize that the classifieds provide opportunities for prohibited purchasers to buy guns without a background check,” said John Johnson, coordinator of the National Campaign to Close the Newspaper Loophole.


Age limit to buying knives will be raised to 18 in Britain

More Defensive Gun Uses

Spokane County, Washington
She toldl deputies the man exhibited a violent temper, and she decided two or three days ago to end the relationship. She told the man they were breaking up and that he had to move out of her home. Afterward, the man made several trips to the home to collect his property and items he had given the woman as gifts. He arrived at the house on Saturday afternoon, but she told him she didn't want him in the house that day. Despite her protests, she said, the man entered the nome. She retrieved the pistol for protection and the shooting occurred in the home's kitchen. Only one shot was fired, she said.

Wichita, Kansas
The Rev. Steven Moler helps capture an intruder who had made himself quite at home. . . . But Sunday he came home to find his wife hysterical, someone shouting, "He's got a gun!" and a burglar wearing Moler's own sweatpants, moving in and out of the house stealing rifles. Moler kicked into protection mode: He grabbed a pistol from his safe and confronted the wild-eyed 26-year-old in the front yard. "He was jumping around, acting like he was kickboxing," Moler said. "I walked out and went straight to him. I said: 'Get on the ground. Now. Get on your face. Now.' "


The end of States?

Jonathan Adler on yesterday's Supreme Court decision in Raich:

Under Raich, it is easier for Congress completely to displace state power with a comprehensive and intrusive regulatory regime than with narrow legislation focused on a discrete and limited issue of particular federal concern. As Justice O’Connor noted in her dissent, the Court “suggests that the federal regulation of local activity is immune to commerce clause challenge because Congress chose to act with an ambitious, all-encompassing statute, rather than piecemeal.” So long as Congress could rationally conclude that the control of a noncommercial, intrastate activity is “essential” to a broader regulatory scheme, a majority of the Court appears ready to go along. This not only gives Congress the incentive to adopt more ambitious legislation, it also severely constrains any meaningful judicial check on federal power under the commerce clause.

As Sonya pointed out to me, it is troubling that people keep on referring to this case as the medical marijuana case when the central issue is really the limits of federal regulation. People seem to care more about the result than how it was obtained.

Major new gun control bills look likely to pass in California

Those two bills include SB 357, which would require that all handgun ammunition bought and sold in California have serial numbers engraved on it.

According to the California Million Mom March, "When someone buys a box of bullets, the bar code and the buyers' identification will be entered into a state Justice Department database. Serialized bullets recovered at crime scenes will help police track the ammunition."

SB 357, sponsored by Attorney General Bill Lockyer, passed the California Senate last week on a 21-14 vote and now moves to the Assembly.

A second bill, AB 352, would require all new semiautomatic handguns sold in California after 2007 to be equipped with a "micro-stamping" system.

When the gun is fired, the bullet casing would be automatically inscribed with the firearm's serial number. The data on the gun also would be stored in an existing state Justice Department database

AB 352 passed the Assembly on a 41-38 vote and now goes to the Senate.


Florida's no obligation to retreat law generating hysterical fears

"We created a monster," said Mark Lipinski. "It's a horrible law. It's simply going to embolden people to carry guns. You are giving people license to use their guns in situations that are going to get them in trouble."

My prediction is just as the fears over right-to-carry laws generally have never been born out, these fears will also prove to be unfounded. This type of law is already in effect in other places and has not caused any problems there. I noted this to the reporter who did this story. He did not discuss that point, but it seems the fastest way to shut down these hypothetical fears.

Concealed-carry license statistics

• Number of Florida permits in issuance as of April 30: 342,743. . . .

• Since Oct.1, 1987, 1,028,541 licenses have been issued.

• Since Oct. 1, 1987, 2,782 licenses have been revoked from holders who committed a crime. The licensed firearm was used in 155 of those cases.

• Roughly one-third of permit holders are males between the ages of 36 and 50.

• 86 percent of all permit holders are males.

My only note is that it would be nice to mention that the 155 firearms violation cases do not mean that the gun was "used." For example, most of those apparently involved accidentally carry a gun into a restricted area.