Canadian Liberal's Handgun Ban Opposd by Most Voters

Interestingly even 44 percent of Liberals oppose the handgun ban proposal from their own party.

A majority of Canadian voters think Prime Minister Paul Martin is shooting blanks with his plan to fight violent crime with a handgun ban, a Leger Marketing/Sun Media poll found.

Almost 60% of 2,013 Canadians surveyed don't buy the PM's vow that an outright ban will have the desired effect.

Martin made the election promise last week in Toronto in response to a spike in shooting deaths and injuries, pledging that a new Liberal government would get tough on crime. But since then questions have been raised about whether provinces will opt out of the Liberal election promise and instead of a country-wide ban it will be applied piecemeal.

Tory MP Jason Kenney called the Liberal handgun ban a "phony" election promise meant to score points with voters living in high-crime neighborhoods.

"We're in favour of tough gun control, but we recognize that this is a phony election promise," Kenney said yesterday, pointing out that a majority of Canadians back his party's position.

Kenney also accused the PM of trying to divert attention away from the fact that he's not offering anything to stop the thousands of illegal guns crossing the border into Canada or to reduce the level of gun violence.


Kenney said a Tory government would get tough on criminals by imposing minimum mandatory sentences on gun-related crimes.

Respondents in Alberta and the Prairies were most critical of Martin's plan, where as many as 77% dismissed it outright as ineffective.

Though 50% of Liberals polled are favourable, 44% are not.

The survey is accurate plus or minus 2.2% 19 times out of 20.

Doug Bandow & Peter Ferrara

I am sorry to see that Doug Bandow had to resign from the Cato Institute. Apparently on about 2 dozen occasions, Doug received payments of $2,000 each to write favorable pieces on a topic that a lobbyiest wanted him to write on. My own guess is that Doug didn't write anything that he didn't already believe, though he may have written on topics that he wouldn't have. Someone else who I know, Peter Ferrara also seems to have gotten into similar trouble. Ferrara claims that he does this "all the time." Ferrara's boss says that "I have a sense that there are a lot of people at think tanks who have similar arrangements." Possibly I am sheltered, but, while I am not surprised, I have never heard of this type of payoff happening. Over the years I have even turned down consulting opportunities so as to not allow others to attack me for getting money from groups involved in gun issues. In Doug's case, $48,000 or so dollars must seem a small gain to what it is costing him.

Two U.S. newspapers said on Monday that they would no longer publish opinion pieces by a conservative commentator who has admitted taking payments from lobbyist Jack Abramoff to write op-ed pieces favorable to Abramoff's clients.

The Manchester Union Leader and the Washington Times, which run influential conservative opinion sections, said they did not know that Peter Ferrara took undisclosed payments for his op-ed pieces and did not think the activity was appropriate.

"Anybody who misrepresents or doesn't voluntarily reveal that they are being paid to write the article by an interest obviously has fallen below the standard that we would hold any published author to," said Washington Times editorial page editor Tony Blankley. . . .

UPDATE II: Media misquoted Peter Ferrara

I follow an unqualified policy of not taking money from lobbyists for op-eds, which I established on my own years ago. I rely solely on financing from my foundation employers for financial support.

I am glad to ask people to contribute to my work if they agree with what I have been writing for years now and want to support it. That is what I was referring to in the quote in this regard in the BusinessWeek Online article.

If I were paid by a newspaper or a syndicator to write a regular column, I could not possibly take money from any outside party for that work, as that would betray the newspaper or syndicator employing me. As a free lance writer who submits individual articles to publications, I must honestly follow the disclosure policies of those publications. These are the rules I follow. . . .

Thanks to Tom Giovanetti for pointing this last link out to me.


False comparison circulating on internet between Iraq and DC

Several people have sent me the following:

Interesting thought for the day:

If you consider that there have been an average of 160,000 troops in the Iraq theater of operations during the last 22 months, and a total of 2112 deaths, that gives a firearm death rate of 60 per 100,000.

The rate in Washington D.C. (among others) is 80.6 per 100,000.

That means that you are about 25% more likely to be shot and killed in our nation's capitol, which has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation, than you are in Iraq.

Conclusion: We should immediately pull out of Washington, D.C.

Just so everyone knows, this discussion has both a major math error and another incorrect fact. If you were to use the numbers presented above, the annual death rate for soldiers would be 720 per 100,000, a rate 12 times higher than the 60 listed. I think that they may have accidentally figured out the monthly rate. In addition, the murder rate in DC is high, but it is 40 per 100,000, not 80. In any case, their conclusion is only made possible by making both errors.

Of course, none of my comments on this take away from what we are doing to help out the Iraqis.

Thanks to Chris DeMuth, Bob Lott and others who have emailed this claim to me.


New Orleans Update

I have learned two interesting things today about New Orleans.

1) A friend who has relatives in New Orleans claims that there is still no mail delivery, phone service is either sparce or nonexistent, and that there is only one public school open in the city.

Statistics released by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals suggest that fewer than half of the victims of Hurricane Katrina were black, and that whites died at the highest rate of all races in New Orleans. . . .

African-Americans make up 67.25 percent of the population and 59.1 percent of the deceased. Other minorities constitute approximately 5 percent of the population and represented 4.3 percent of the storm's fatalities.

Overall for the state, 658 bodies have been identified. Forty-seven percent were African-American and 42 percent were Caucasian. The remaining bodies were either non-black minorities or undetermined.

An additional 247 victims have not been identified, so their demographic information has not been released. . . .


Chicago Doesn't Trust Retired Police Carrying Guns

The claims about liability just isn't a serious concern by the city. These officers are not working for the city. The government does face liability any more than a state does from licensing private citizens to carry concealed handguns. I just don't understand this opposition by gun control advocates to police carrying guns.

Retired Chicago Police officers will be getting letters in the mail soon saying the city won't certify them to carry guns -- a move that angers the head of the local Fraternal Order of Police.

Congress passed the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004 to allow retired and off-duty officers across the country to carry concealed weapons.

But the city is worried about the liability of allowing retired cops to carry guns when they haven't gone through refresher training or undergone mental and physical fitness evaluations. The city also is concerned about the lack of a national database of retired officers authorized to carry guns. . . .

Mecklenburg said she did not know how many of the city's 9,000 retired cops have asked to be certified to carry a gun. . . .

Wisconsin Assembly Passes Concealed Handgun Bill with 2/3rds Vote

The Assembly just barely got the 2/3rd required to override a veto by Democrat Gov. Jim Doyle. If supporters can keep these votes, they will be able to pass right-to-carry this year.

The Wisconsin Assembly passed 64-32 a bill that would let Wisconsin residents carry hidden guns and knives.

WHAT'S NEXT?: The bill returns to the state Senate. That body approved a version of it last week. But Assembly Republicans scaled the plan back in an effort to ensure enough support from Democrats to override Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle's anticipated veto. Both houses must approve an identical version before it goes to the governor.

WHAT'S DIFFERENT?: The Assembly attached an amendment that sets up more training for gun owners, tightens restrictions on carrying concealed weapons while drinking and sets up new school zones where concealed weapons would be illegal.

More detail here:

. . . The amendment to the concealed weapons bill wasn’t introduced until late Tuesday and included provisions that would:

Lower the allowable blood-alcohol concentration for those carrying a concealed weapon to 0.02, from 0.08.
Create a 100-foot safety zone around school property into which guns couldn’t be carried.
Require a refresher training course for permit holders every five years.
Make the filing of a false application a felony, not a misdemeanor as it was written.
Rep. Scott Gunderson (R-Waterford) said he thought the amendment, which passed 71 to 25, was enough to sway some Democrats into sticking with the majority in a veto override.

Gunderson and other supporters say the bill will reduce crime and make Wisconsin safer.

"It’s important for people to be able to protect themselves," Gunderson said.

Supporters could have the two-thirds majority necessary to uphold the veto. Add to the 64 votes those expected from Rep. Mary Williams (R-Medford), who wasn’t present for the vote, and from the person filling the now-vacant 33rd Assembly District seat, and the number would be at the required 66. A replacement for former Republican Rep. Dan Vrakas, now Waukesha County Executive, will be elected Jan. 10. . . .

Off the top of my head I don't know of any states that have this restrictive of a rule regarding alcohol consumption. The hundred foot rule could create some real problems if it covers the roads next to schools.

At least this felon had no problem getting guns


Concealed handgun vote in Wisconsin today

The headline on this piece implies that there will not be enough votes in today's vote in Wisconsin on concealed handguns to overcome the governor's veto. My own reading is more optimistic. I wouldn't be surprised if there were a few more Democrats who voted to sustain a veto just to keep the issue from becoming an election issue next year. If the bill doesn't pass now, my guess is that the NRA will make Wisconsin a major focus of its election efforts next fall and since most Democrats oppose the bill (including the governor), they have the most to lose.

. . . The bill permits a person to carry a concealed weapon, except where prohibited, if the person holds a license to carry a concealed weapon. The state Department of Justice would design application and renewal forms and decide whether an applicant is qualified to receive a permit or whether a permit should be suspended. An applicant must display a valid driver's license or state ID card to a notary before submitting the application, must take a firearm training class and must not have been convicted of a felony or certain misdemeanors within the preceding three years. A person may not carry a concealed weapon if his or her alcohol concentration exceeds 0.08.

The bill was amended to allow police and troopers making traffic stops to have access to the names of those who have gun carry permits before they approach the vehicle, so they would know if someone might have a weapon.

Changes also were made to add to the list of places where concealed weapons could not be taken. The bill originally listed police stations, jails and courthouses. A substitute amendment added licensed child care centers, a building used for religious worship, a health-related facility, a building located on a college campus, a nonprofit organization that serves children or families, and a domestic violence victim services program.

Rep. Scott Gunderson, R-Waterford, the author of the bill in the Assembly, is optimistic.

"The Senate certainly did what we expected, voting 23 to 10 for the bill. We expect it to be the same for the override," Gunderson said. Twenty-two votes would be the required two-thirds for a veto override.

He added that he hopes Sen. Luther Olson, R-Ripon, will also support the override, though he voted against the bill last week. Last year Olsen was one of two Republican Assembly members, along with John Townsend, R-Fond du Lac, who switched votes to support the override after opposing the bill.

"In the Assembly we are working very hard and hoping for 66 votes, the magic number for an override. We came a long way with some of the changes we made. We are very close to having it become law in Wisconsin," Gunderson predicted. . . .


No longer safe for Unarmed Police in Britain?

Should "British police should carry guns in an era of terrorism and increasing violent crime"? This is a very interesting article in today's Washington Post.

READING, England -- During his training to become a British police officer, Ben Johnson recalled, an instructor told him and other recruits, "If you ever see somebody carrying a gun, turn and run away as quickly as possible."

"It was a bizarre situation," said Johnson, 34, a former police officer in Garland, Tex., and U.S. Army soldier who moved here with his British wife three years ago and became this country's first non-British police officer. He said running from trouble was exactly the opposite of what he learned as an American cop.

Now Johnson is publicly challenging one of the great traditions of law enforcement in Britain, what he calls the "old-fashioned idea of the unarmed bobby on the beat." He has written to his chief asking for permission to carry a gun, arguing that Britain is no longer safe for unarmed and under-trained police officers. He says he will resign if the chief refuses.

Johnson's case has caused a media furor here, partly because an American -- a Texan no less -- is claiming he feels less safe as a police officer in Britain than he did on the beat in the United States, which is routinely portrayed here as a gun-drunk Wild West.

But Johnson has also reignited a debate about whether more British police should carry guns in an era of terrorism and increasing violent crime. . . .

I really want to thank John Zumrick for sending me this link.