Clip of ABC's 20/20 Myth of Guns are Bad

For those who missed John Stossel's program on "Myth No. 5: Guns are Bad" last night, this is a rerun of a program shown in early 2004. The only unfortunate change is that before (and in this clip) "Guns are Bad" was the number 3 myth, now it is number 5. In any case, you can see the clip here. This is a very well done piece. Among other things, Stossel's people called up law enforcement in every right-to-carry state to find out whether they thought that crime had gone up after the right-to-carry laws were passed. Interestingly, not one of the law enforcement agencies in these states that had been contacted believed that crime had significantly increased.

Mayor Martin O'Malley and Murder and Gangs in Baltimore

Statement on who is murdered in Baltimore (WJZ Dec 30, 2005 6:59 pm):

"Baltimore police point out that most murder victims had criminal records or were involved in the city's dangerous drug trade."

Minor point: The article also points out how Mayor Martin O'Malley promised to cut the number of murders in the city from 299 during 1999 to 175 by 2004, but instead there were 268 murders, a number 53% higher than he promised. The rate was declining prior to O'Malley taking office and continued down to 261 in 2000. Since then however, the number of murders has remained higher than when he first took office.

Great Ronald Reagan Quote about Economists


Clerk Fired From Previous Job After Pulling Gun On Thief will Continue Carrying Gun

I wonder which store the robbers will go to next time? Cumberland Farms or Exit 3 Travel Stop?

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. -- A store clerk fired for bringing a gun to work has a new job at another store.

Bruce Soiett said that he always brings his .45-caliber handgun to work. He used to work at a Cumberland Farms in Greenland, and on Dec. 7, the store was robbed at gunpoint. When the thief ran, Soiett followed him.

"I yelled at him to stop, and he turned with the gun," Soiett said. "I fired two quick shots because I thought he was going to shoot at me."

No one was hit, and the robber was never caught. Soiett lost his job because Cumberland Farms has a no-weapon policy. The owner of the Exit 3 Travel Stop in Portsmouth was happy to hire him.

"We feel more comfortable having people who can stand up for themselves," store owner Bharat Batel said. . . .


Teenager uses BB gun he received for Christmas to Save Grandfather's life

December 29, 2005 WICHITA, Kan 8:51 am EST
A woman who died after a car crash had been shot in the heart minutes earlier with a pellet gun that her 14-year-old son received as a Christmas gift, police said.

Police said the teen was protecting his grandfather from his mother, Elizabeth White. She was threatening the grandfather with a pair of scissors, according to authorities.

The death was ruled a justifiable homicide, said Capt. Randy Landen of the Wichita Police Department. White, 40, of Salina, had spent the weekend in Wichita after she was invited to spend Christmas at the house where her 73-year-old father and her 68-year-old mother were raising her children.

Police said the altercation happened after White returned to the home Tuesday. Armed with scissors, White threatened to kill her father, who had only a cane to defend himself, police said.

When the argument moved into the front yard, Landen said the teen's grandfather tripped over a planter.
As his mother moved toward her fallen dad with the scissors, police said, the teenager stepped onto the front porch and aimed, striking his mother in the heart.

After throwing the scissors at her son, White took off in a car, police said. Authorities think the wound caused her to lose control of her car. She died at a hospital after undergoing emergency surgery after the crash.

White, who has been in and out of prison during the past 16 years, has convictions for drug offenses, prostitution, writing bad checks and making threats, according to state records.

Recent Self-Defense Gun Cases

December 28, 2005 Lexington, KY
According to police, two citizens helped catch a bank robber Wednesday in Harlan. When police arrived at the Home Federal Bank, two citizens were holding the suspect at gunpoint.

December 28, 2005 Denver, CO.
. . . The homeowner -- whose name hasn't been released -- said a noise woke him up and when he went to check it out, he saw someone downstairs. He grabbed his rifle and ran after the man. "The suspect ran from the house. The homeowner pursued him outside the residence. The homeowner fired a shot into the ground in an attempt to keep the person here," said Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson. While trying to run away, the suspect fell twice. Gibson struck his head on the floor while running down the stairs in the house and fell again on an icy driveway outside the house. He left a bloody trail and was found lying down in a field a short distance away. Gibson was treated and released from the hospital and jailed for investigation of burglary and theft charges. . . .

December 27, 2005 Memphis, TN
Police in Collierville say a homeowner shot and killed one of several people who broke into his house over the weekend.
Police Lieutenant Greg Flint says homeowner Brian Harper was awakened by his burglar alarm early Saturday and fired at the intruders with a .45-caliber handgun, striking one of them. Flint says the others scattered and Harper doesn't know if the several other shots he fired hit anyone else. Police say none of the home invaders fired a weapon, but investigators don't know if any of them had one. Police identified the dead intruder from fingerprints and say he was 28-year-old Lakim Duffy. His police record shows arrests since 1998 for violations including criminal trespass, especially aggravated robbery and cocaine possession.

December 20, 2005 CARRBORO, NC
Two men were hospitalized -- one with critical injuries, the other with a serious wound -- after a home invasion led to a double shooting late Monday night. A woman, her two young children, her boyfriend and her boyfriend's brother were in the apartment when two men entered the residence, according to Carrboro Police Capt. Joel Booker. . . . He added that if self-defense was the motive, as it appears, then the man who shot the intruder would not face charges.

December 19, 2005 Far-Eastside, Indiana
An off-duty Indiana State Police trooper shot and killed a suspected burglar at his Far-Eastside home this morning. According to state police investigators, the suspect first knocked at the home's front door and then attempted to kick it in. Trooper Joel Wilson, a 6-year veteran, fired two shots through the door, striking the suspect, according to state police spokesman First Sgt. Dave Bursten. The shooting occurred at 11:40 a.m. and the suspect was taken to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead at 12:11 p.m. Bursten said Wilson's home near 21st Street and German Church Road had been burglarized about a month earlier. His service revolver was stolen then and Wilson used his replacement gun in today's shooting, Bursten said.

December 17, 2005 Conway, AR
A Conway man who shot two Faulkner County deputies was shot to death by a resident of the home he broke into early Friday morning.

December 5, 2005 Milwaukee, WI
Police treating shooting at club as self-defense . . . The bar owner was trying to clear the bar when Hester pulled out a gun, fired into the ceiling and pointed the gun at the bartender and other people in the bar, Schwartz said. The bartender, 36, who was not identified, drew a gun from his holster and shot Hester in the back of the head, she said.

I would like to thank Nicki for sending me these links.


Now it is illegal to burn wood in home fireplaces in some places

Foxnews has a story on how they are now banning the burning of wood in home fireplaces. Well, so much for the romantic roaring fires of the past. I guess another story for people to tell their children. The link is here.


Environmentalists want people to stop using Christmas Trees

Some environmentalists are expressing angst during the Christmas season instead of joy, worried about what they view as the negative environmental impact of both real and artificial Christmas trees.

The Sierra Club, in its publication Sierra Magazine, recommends that people look for "a storm-felled branch, or a piece of driftwood" to decorate in their homes, instead of the traditional Christmas tree.

Eric Antebi, the Sierra Club's national secretary, also suggested that people consider celebrating Hanukah instead of Christmas because Hanukah is a more earth-friendly celebration.

Environmental activists also appear to be struggling over which type of Christmas tree to condemn the most.. . . .

Here is a question: do you think that more or fewer trees will be planted if people stop buying Christmas trees? It seems pretty obvious that there will be fewer planted and less total trees in the ground. If you think that you can make a lot of money selling the trees, you will set aside more ground to grow them. Land that might have been used at the margin for a whole range of other activities. Also as I have tried to point out before, for those who believe that man-made global warming is important, young trees absorb much more CO2 than older ones. This is because younger trees tend to grow at a much faster rate. If the trees are buried in a land fill, the CO2 will be taken out of the atmosphere for some time.

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