"Canadians will be shocked by the true cost"

About 40 percent of American Adults live in households with guns

"Lobbyists have given more to Democrats"

And the winner of the drawing gets

I might have run things differently (and surely explained things differently), but I am sure that they will get people's attention:

A conservative college journal at Clemson is sponsoring a drawing for an AK-47 rifle early next month as a fundraiser and as a way to celebrate the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

The Tiger Town Observer is sponsoring a drawing for the assault-style weapon March 2. The group will take names and donations for the drawing beginning Feb. 27.

Andrew Davis, editor of the Observer, said the group got the idea from a conservative publication at the University of Illinois in Urbana. Davis said the first drawing in Illinois was so successful that the Urbana paper was now holding monthly drawings for a variety of weapons.

Davis said the Observer staff chose the AK-47 because it is a renowned weapon that was once illegal. "Given that the AK-47 is such a high-profile gun, we're expecting to expand to all demographics - not just the hunters and gun fanatics that we have right now," Davis said. . . .

The winner of the drawing will receive a gift certificate for the AK-47, a box of standard ammunition, safety instruction, a trip to the gun range and a book, "The Bias Against Guns," by John Lott.

Banning toy guns?

Mayors in the greater Toronto, Canada area are asked to consider banning toy guns.

Thanks to Bruce Korol for this link.


The Felon Vote

I have a piece today in the Baltimore Sun on the push to let felons vote in Maryland: The criminal constituency. I thought that they had a great title for the piece, though I am disappointed that the term "convict" was changed to "ex-convict" throughout the piece. I changed it back for this posting. Once you have been convicted of a crime, you are convicted of it unless your record has been cleared. These guys may be ex-prisoners, but they are not ex-convicts. Here is the very beginning of the piece:

If you can't win elections, change the rules.

Despite warnings from people such as the chairman of Maryland's State Board of Elections that the new rules are inviting voter fraud, the General Assembly has pushed through regulations weakening safeguards on provisional ballots, absentee ballots and a long early voting period.

Not satisfied, the legislature now wants to make it easier for convicted murderers, rapists, armed robbers and other violent criminals to vote. Overall, 150,000 felons would be eligible.

When asked if the felon voting bill was motivated to defeat Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s re-election bid this year, Del. Jill P. Carter, a Baltimore Democrat, replied, "Of course that's the reason." . . .

I will be on WBAL's Ron Smith radio show this afternoon to discuss this.

Defending Hunters

Lawrence O'Donnell on whether Vice President was drunk on Saturday.

Does any one realize that Secret Service agents are law enforcement officers? Would these law enforcement officers (all of them) cover up the fact that Cheney was drunk? What about the 10 other people in the shooting party? What about the people at the ranch? Or the support staff with Cheney? This sounds like a lot of people to make sure that they kept quite? What would happen to the careers of these law enforcement agents if it came out later that they had lied to protect the vice president? Is any of this even remotely serious.

"How do we know there was no alcohol? Cheney refused to talk to local authorities until the next day. No point in giving him a breathalyzer then. Every lawyer I've talked to assumes Cheney was too drunk to talk to the cops after the shooting. The next question for the White House should be, was Cheney drunk? I have never gone hunting with ultra-rich Republicans on a Saturday afternoon, but I have seen them tailgating at Ivy League football games, so it's hard for me to believe that any of their Saturday lunches are alcohol free." . . .


Scalia goes after arguments for "living Constitution"

In 2005, Scalia made a similar statement:

People who believe the Constitution would break if it didn't change with society are "idiots," U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia says.

In a speech Monday sponsored by the conservative Federalist Society, Scalia defended his long-held belief in sticking to the plain text of the Constitution "as it was originally written and intended." . . .

There is some shock and outrage over Scalia's language, and AOL has even taken to running a poll that was sent to me and can be found here. His points seem reasonable to me and the large majority of people voting on this online poll.

In 2005, Scalia made a similar statement:

"If you think aficionados of a living Constitution want to bring you flexibility, think again," Scalia told an audience at the Woodrow Wilson Center, a Washington think tank. "You think the death penalty is a good idea? Persuade your fellow citizens to adopt it. You want a right to abortion? Persuade your fellow citizens and enact it. That's flexibility." . . .

Ontario Crime Rates Highest Where Legal Gun Ownership Lowest

From a nice piece by Lorne Gunter:

Two weeks ago, the very anti-gun, pro-gun-registry Toronto Star probably did more than any other media outlet to undermine the recent call by the Ontario provincial government for a ban on all handguns in the province.

On Jan. 28, the Star ran a map of southern Ontario and cottage country showing the number of legal firearms per district.

Using statistics obtained from the federal firearms registry, the paper showed its readers that in the areas around the town of Orillia, there have been up to 47 firearms licences issued for every 100 households -- the highest rate in the province. Large numbers of licences also have been granted around Durham and Orangeville, Cambridge and Peterborough.

Indeed, that swath of Ontario from Lake Huron in the west to Georgian Bay in the north, around Lake Simcoe through Hastings to Prince Edward County, is veritably bristling with guns.

Niagara County, too, and Simcoe, Oxford and Wellington -- guns everywhere.

Most districts nearer Toronto have between four and 12 registered gun owners per 100 homes. Much of the 905 area has between two and six.

But right down in the centre of Toronto, standing out like a strobe light, were several neighbourhoods with two or fewer firearms licences per 100 households. From Pearson International Airport to the Don Valley Parkway, and between the 407 and the Lake, Ontario is nearly gun-free, according to the Star.

But of course, that is exactly where most gun crimes take place. The conclusion to be drawn from the Star's graphic is obvious: The most sensational shootings and highest number of gun murders in Ontario occur within the area that already has by far the lowest levels of legal firearm ownership.

With this one map, the Star unwittingly proved correct those who argue that a ban on all legal handguns will do nothing to reduce gun crime in Toronto. It also debunked all those, such as the Ontario government, the Liberal Party of Canada and the Star itself, who have made a ban the lynchpin of their crime-reduction strategies.

The simple, inescapable truth is that most firearms crimes being committed in Ontario are not being committed with legal guns, so no ban on legal guns -- whether handguns or shotguns and rifles -- is going to have any impact on crime rates.

Most gun crimes are not being committed by gun owners licensed under Ottawa's registry scheme. So no campaign to make licensed owners surrender their firearms in a mass confiscation is going to have any impact either. . . .


What Canadian Police do to Canadian with Guns

This is pretty scary stuff:

When the Nottawasaga OPP did its public takedown of groundhog hunter Jonathan Login almost three years ago, Insp. Mark Allen claimed his detachment's gung-ho arrest was not over the top -- despite guns being trained at Login's head as he lay face down on his own property in front of his frightened family and despite the gloved-hand anal cavity search which was conducted in full view of passersby.

"The police response was done by the book," Insp. Allen said at the time. "It was a call about a man with a gun."

After a judge's ruling last week, however, it would appear that this particular book can now be tossed in the trash.

Except the cops are not about to give up.

There is, apparently, an appeal in the works.

As reported here on Saturday, provincial court Judge Jon-Jo Douglas minced no words last Friday in delivering his decision to quash charges against Login, ruling in a point-by-point judgment that took almost three hours to finish that the Nottawasaga OPP, with the backup of military cops who also responded to the scene, had gone way too far.

"The police had not a whit of evidence to suggest (Login) was operating a firearm dangerously," said Douglas.

"The arrest was (therefore) illegal and unconstitutional."

The judge also ordered the police to quickly return Login's seized weapons -- even imposing a deadline of this Friday.

Thanks very much to Harvey Pederson for sending this.

Life in Law School

The 14 hour cover-up?

I thought that if you really wanted to hide something you put it out late on Saturday night. That way it can't get into the Sunday paper, but you have essentially a full newscycle by Monday morning. Wasn't that the whole point of the timing of the infamous Saturday Night Massacre? So Cheney puts it out on Sunday morning instead of Saturday night? There are lots of witnesses to what happened, presumably including Harry Whittington, the person who was wounded.

Cheney waited more than 14 hours after the shooting to disclose it publicly.

This is just too bizarre: "GMA Floats Cheney Cover-Up, Doubts Witness Account"


Getting around the one child rule in China

Sarah Brady on Dick Cheney's accidental shooting

Gun stops three robbers

Dick Cheney's accidental shooting incident

Some perspective might be useful. The 2003 number of accidental gun deaths is 730 (CDC). 20 children under 10 died and 56 children under 15 died. Bird shot is going to hurt, but it is unlikely to kill people.