"Nevada state senator proposes letting teachers carry guns"

Will someone please explain to me why the discussion of what might happen completely ignores the actual historical experience that we have had with teachers and others being able to carry guns on school property? Utah, Oregon? What about all those right-to-carry states that allowed people to carry concealed handguns prior to the end of 1995?

LAS VEGAS (AP) - A Nevada state senator and also-ran in this year's Republican primary for governor says the Legislature should consider letting teachers carry guns in classrooms to stem a rise in school violence.

"I would expect enough teachers would be interested so it would serve as a deterrent," said Sen. Bob Beers, R-Las Vegas. He said he's preparing a bill to introduce when state lawmakers convene in February.

While Beers said teachers would have to undergo firearm safety training, Las Vegas-area school officials said that allowing more weapons on campus would make schools less safe.

"The more people who have guns, the more likely it is that there will be a shootout," said Clark County school Superintendent Walt Rulffes. He told the Las Vegas Review-Journal he was aware of no studies supporting Beers' argument that schools would be safer if teachers carried guns.

School trustee Sheila Moulton said teachers might need more training to identify and deal with potentially violent students. But she rejected the idea of arming teachers.

"That is not the solution," Moulton said. "I'm not for putting guns in the classroom even when teachers are trained on how to use them." . . .

Thanks to Saturdaynightspecial for alerting me to this.

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Zero Tolerance: "there was no reasoning with the principal"

Weird . . .

A 13-year-old Plainfield boy and his parents are stunned and outraged after the teen found a gun in school and turned it in to authorities, who then expelled him.

CBS 2's Dana Kozlov reports Ryan Morgan's parents and supporters attended the school board meeting Wednesday evening to try to fight the expulsion. They believe the punishment, and the subsequent alternative school option, are not the proper responses to a mistake made by a teenage boy.

Ryan Morgan, 13, says he pocketed a pellet gun he and a friend found in their school's bathroom to keep people safe. Morgan's mother says a short time later Morgan gave the gun to the Troy Middle School assistant principal.

"I told him maybe that wasn't the best decision, to remove that gun, but it did lead to you finding the culprit, he was arrested and to put my son in alternative school -- he has no behavior problems," Audrey Morgan, Ryan's mother, said.

The Morgans say there was no reasoning with the principal or with the school superintendent.

"He said, 'The board can give your son full two-year expulsion, I'm asking you not to go before them,'" Audrey Morgan said. . . .


Too much exercise causes cancer!!

So much for criminals registering their guns

Blind hunters haven't apparently been involved in any accidents

Apparently, there are four states that allow blind people to hunt (Texas, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota). The Texas state legislator who is pushing for Texas to allow laser sights to be used by blind hunters claimed on the radio today that in these four states there have been no recorded accidents involving blind hunters. My guess is that if an accident were to occur, it would get a lot of news attention.

Source: Michael Medved's radio show, 12/14/06


A timely reminder: "Keeping lawful citizens unarmed won't reduce number of criminals"

What I would have added to this piece is that disarmament is a relative question. The issue is whether a law disarms more law-abiding individuals or criminals. Who is more likely to obey the law? Who is more likely to find the law imposing costs on their gun ownership? The problem is that the law-abiding citizens are often the ones who care more about obeying laws.

What both sides need to realize is that it's criminals - not guns or politicians - who are responsible for crime. If an individual is truly bent on breaking the law, he isn't going to be deterred by simply more laws.

The only sure way to reduce violent crime is to reduce the number of violent criminals.

Studies show that criminals are less risk-averse than the population at large. In fact, it turns out that people who commit crimes actually seek out risk.

My one complaint with the piece is that it uses numbers that I say in my book are unreliable. The purely cross-sectional comparison is made because that is what most people do, but it is very misleading and exaggerates the benefits from right-to-carry laws.

Our thoughts are with Senator Tim Johnson and his family

I am sure that everyone's thoughts are with South Dakota Senator Tim Johnson and his family. From across the political spectrum, people only have nice things to say about him: "This is a pretty mean town and lets just keep him in our prayers," said former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas. "This town is so eat up with power that everybody, you know, that's all they think about. You go to ask somebody for a cup of coffee, they question why you asked, there must be an ulterior motive to you asking. I just did a news story search as I got up and I was disappointed to see that he still seemed to be in surgery. I assume that he will be OK simply because the initial news reports indicated that he hadn't had a stroke or a heartattack, so if it was a stroke, I assume that it was a minor one.


"Buy a House, Get a Glock": Unfortunately only applies to law enforcement

Why limit this to law enforcement? If police understand the importance of guns for self defense, so do other people. My research shows that police are the single most important factor in reducing crime, but I think that the police understand that despite their importance and best efforts they almost always arrive on the crime scene after the crime has occurred.

A Texas real estate agent looking to add more bang to her business is offering clients in law enforcement a free Glock pistol if they buy a home from her.

Julie Upton, a Houston-area real estate agent, spurned traditional buyer incentives like free gasoline cards or home improvement store gift certificates.

Instead, she placed an advertisement offering a pistol with the purchase of any home worth at least $150,000 in the city police department's monthly publication, "Badge & Gun."

The free guns are only for those in law enforcement, said Upton, who is married to a police officer.


An example of why a gun is so important: two criminals versus one victim

Ohio Legislature Overrides Veto and Eliminates Local Gun Control Laws

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The Ohio Senate voted Tuesday to override outgoing Gov. Bob Taft's veto of a bill that would wipe out local gun laws, marking the first time in 29 years the Legislature have rejected a gubernatorial veto.

The GOP-dominated Senate voted 21-12 to override the Republican governor's veto. Three Republicans voted against overriding, and three Democrats voted in favor of an override, including the attorney general-elect Marc Dann of Youngstown. The House, also controlled by Republicans, voted to overturn Taft's veto last week.

Taft, who leaving office in a few weeks, has said the bill exceeded its goal of cleaning up Ohio's concealed weapons law because it pre-empts about 80 local gun laws. A message seeking comment was left at Taft's office.

That includes current assault-weapons bans in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton and Toledo.

Backers with the support of the National Rifle Association defend the provision as bringing uniformity to a confusing patchwork of local gun laws.

Prediction: Crime rates in those five cities will not go up relative to the rest of the state. A police force or two might have troubles of different kinds, but there will not be a systematic increase in crime.

This story raises a risk of Hillary Clinton as President

During wars, government has to have the power to do things that we normally wouldn't let them do. One thing is the power to spy on others. How many times did the Clinton administration abuse those powers and how many times was Hillary involved in the question. Take the FBI file problem that arose early in the Clinton administration where the Clinton adm was asking for FBI files on Republicans.

But Committee Republicans pressed their point that the two men should never have been put in charge of handling the FBI files of prominent Republicans given their political work on behalf of Democrats.

Fast forward to today. Even if this set of stories turns out to be true, it still raises an issue that was a problem during the Clinton administration.

Some versions of the story say simply that the U.S., without consulting British intelligence, was monitoring Diana’s phone conversations in Paris on the night she died, in August 1997. If American intelligence did that, and if the conversations tapped were between Diana, who was a foreign national, and some other person who was also a foreign national, then the action, although perhaps needlessly antagonistic to the British, would not raise questions of whether the administration sought a warrant under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA.

But the Evening Standard reports that American intelligence agencies “were bugging Princess Diana’s telephone over her relationship with a U.S. billionaire” — identified as American businessman Theodore Forstmann. That report suggests the surveillance took place over a period of some time. If that is accurate, then the story could be quite different.

Forstmann is what is known in the intelligence/legal world as a “U.S. person.” If there were a conversation between him, in the United States, and Diana, outside the United States, it would resemble, at least in structure, the conversations between people in the United States and those in foreign countries that have been at the center of the controversy over what President Bush calls the terrorist-surveillance program and what Democrats call “domestic spying.” (The difference, of course, would be that the Bush administration says it has listened to conversations involving people with known connections to a foreign enemy, al Qaeda; neither Diana nor Forstmann, a public-minded financier who was quite active in Republican politics, appears to fit a comparable description.)

If the Clinton administration did engage in surveillance of Diana/Forstmann, it is not clear if it was done with or without a warrant. “To get a FISA warrant, they would have had to believe that either Forstmann or Diana was an agent of a foreign power,” says one former Justice Department official. That, the official adds, would be an unlikely scenario. “To get a criminal warrant, they would have had to had a proceeding going on in which they got a judge to give them a warrant” — another unlikely scenario. “Or perhaps,” the official concludes, “the NSA did it.” . . . .

Creating Gun Free Zones in El Salvador

I was thinking of writing a comment on this, but I have made a comment on this type of thing too many times already.

San Salvador, Dec 11 (Prensa Latina) Archbishop Fernando Saenz affirmed the Salvadorian Catholic church views favourably the Arms Law reform recently approved by Antonio Saca s government, noted local press Monday.

Saenz considered the law modification appropriate reducing the spaces in which carrying firearms is legal and said he hopes the new measures benefit Salvadorian society.

"I think it is advantageous to reduce carrying weapons as much as possible," noted the catholic hierarch although he did not rule out the possibility for the citizens of carrying them for self-defense.

The new law forbids carrying weapons in squares, gas stations and parks.

According to the Salvadorian authorities 3,409 murders were registered in the country until last November, and 85 percent of them were with firearms.

Over 400 thousand weapons are actually in the hands of civilians.

Those dangerous cows: one thing that the media missed

Both cows and horses release a lot of methane, which is a much more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Isn't it time that the environmentalists thank the car? Can you imagine how much "worse" things would be without the car?

A report by the United Nations' Food and Agricultural Organization says cattle and other livestock cause more greenhouse gases than cars, planes, and all other forms of transportation put together. Britain's Independent News says the report blames cow flatulence and manure for one-third of all methane emissions — which warm the earth 20 times faster than carbon dioxide.

The world's 1.5 billion cows are also blamed for everything from acid rain to desertification and the destruction of coral reefs. And while cows are taking the heat in one U.N. report, another says humans are doing less harm to the environment than previously thought. The Sunday Telegraph says the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has reduced its estimate of human affect on global warming by 25 percent. And it has lowered its prediction of how much sea levels will rise by half. The Panel cites improved data for the revisions. . . .

For more information, see this.

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Contrarians in Canadian Academia

Here are stories of three bold academics in Canada. It would be interesting to see whether they had tenure before they did this research.

Asked how the scientific community, the media and Al Gore could get the story so wrong, Dr. Patterson says it’s mainly because the debate has become so politicized. Environmental activists have taken what should be rational scientific debates and turned them into occasions for “evangelizing and antagonizing,” even though “they don’t really know what they’re talking about.”

Some climate skeptics, fearing the public backlash or damage to their scientific reputations, decide to keep their views to themselves, says Dr. Patterson. Others, notably scientists working for federal agencies, were effectively muzzled under “previous regimes,” he says. . . .

(On guns) However, within his faculty of business administration, the situation is somewhat more complicated. There are those who applaud him for being a bit of an iconoclast, but others have questioned whether the articles he’s published in criminology and political science journals should count for review when he’s a marketing professor. . . .

(feminist critic) but the response from academia has been less than enthusiastic. Reactions to her work have ranged from cries of “shame” to doubts about her sanity “for even bringing this up.” . . .

Thousands of new marine animals discovered during last couple of years