Privatizing Law Enforcement in Southern Oregon

Replacing local law enforcement with private gun owners. It is completely unreasonable to completely eliminate police protection. That said, it has long been true in a large number of rural counties that there is not 24 hour police protection, and even when there is protection it can take very long periods of time before police are able to arrive at the crime scene. Still, citizens shouldn't be expected to have to provide their entire police services themselves.

Brian O'Connor wrote me that:

Interesting things happening here in Josephine County in lovely southern Oregon. It looks like the county budget's going to take a huge hit because federal funds are drying up. In particular, the Sheriff is saying he's going to have to eliminate all patrols for the county -- which is pretty big -- unless voters vote in favor of a levy to support law enforcement. It's highly unlikely that the levy will pass, and everyone knows it.

The upshot is that handguns are flying off the shelves of the local gun shops (I confirmed this with the people at Bradbury's Gun-N-Tackle Thursday) and the Sheriff has scheduled 4 seminars to teach people how to fend for themselves. (We have a fairly large Meth problem in the county.)

I've included a clipping from today's Grants Pass Courier, 4/28/07. (The paper is not available online.)

UPDATE: A lot of counties are apparently facing the same problems.

Other counties in Southern Oregon would fare even worse than Jackson County, which closed all of its 15 library branches April 6 and laid off the equivalent of 80 full-time workers. Curry County officials have spoken of declaring bankruptcy, and Josephine County, which also intends to close its libraries, plans to cut back on law enforcement, making arrests only for major crimes.

If a one-year extension is ultimately approved, Walker said it makes no sense to talk about reopening libraries, only to shut them down again.

“One year would not change anything,” he said.

Besides the library layoffs, Jackson County’s budget for next year calls for eliminating an additional 92 positions in public safety, roads, law enforcement and community justice. . . .

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Nice Article on Utah Letting People Protect themselves on University Property

KUTV article on letting people protect themselves.

SALT LAKE CITY Brent Tenney says he feels pretty safe when he goes to class at the University of Utah, but he takes no chances. He brings a loaded 9 mm semiautomatic with him every day.

“It’s not that I run around scared all day long, but if something happens to me, I do want to be prepared,” said the 24-year-old business major, who has a concealed-weapons permit and takes the handgun everywhere but church.

After the massacre at Virginia Tech that left 33 dead, some have suggested that the carnage might have been lower if a student or professor with a gun had stepped in.

As states and colleges across the country review their gun policies in light of the tragedy, many in Utah are proud to have the nation’s only state law that expressly allows the carrying of concealed weapons at public colleges.

“If government can’t protect you, you should have the right to protect yourself,” said Republican state Sen. Michael Waddoups.
. . .

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Stossel: Gun control isn't crime control

Please also watch the video in the upper righthand corner.

But be careful about how far the calls for gun control go, because the idea that gun control laws lower gun crime is a myth.

After the 1997 shooting of 16 kids in Dunblane, England, the United Kingdom passed one of the strictest gun-control laws in the world, banning its citizens from owning almost all types of handguns. Britain seemed to get safer by the minute, as 162,000 newly-illegal firearms were forked over to British officials by law-abiding citizens.

But this didn't decrease the amount of gun-related crime in the U.K. In fact, gun-related crime has nearly doubled in the U.K. since the ban was enacted.

Might stricter gun laws result in more gun crime? It seems counterintuitive but makes sense if we consider one simple fact: Criminals don't obey the law. Strict gun laws, like the ban in Britain, probably only affect the actions of people who wouldn't commit crimes in the first place. . . .

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Virginia Tech Students Felt that the Could have Stopped the Attack if the School Wasn't a Gun Free Zone


April 18, 2007 Wednesday

LENGTH: 526 words




BODY: . . .

(Voiceover) Students who are members of the Virginia Tech gun club say they could have stopped the shooter if they were allowed to have their guns.


It would have been comforting if I did have a concealed carry permit and I did have a, a kind of weapon on me that I, I would not have felt that I was justtotally just a helpless victim at the mercy of this lunatic.

. . .

LOAD-DATE: April 18, 2007


Kansas Veto Override Improves Right-to-Carry Law

I suppose that some thought that the Virginia Tech attack would make this expansion of Kansas' right-to-carry law much more difficult. If anything, the margins appear to have increased slightly. Possibly recognition of the gun free zone problems is having an impact.

TOPEKA, Kan. — Kansas lawmakers on Friday overrode the governor's veto of a bill preventing city governments from imposing additional restrictions on people carrying concealed guns.

It's the second veto by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, a Democrat, to be overridden by the Republican-controlled Legislature since she took office in 2003. Last year, lawmakers overrode her veto of a bill creating the concealed gun law.

The Senate voted 30-10 to override the veto, three more than the necessary two-thirds majority. On Thursday, the House voted 98-26.

The bill was a reaction to efforts by some cities to impose their own requirements.

Supporters said the state should set the requirements for concealed guns, avoiding the possibility of someone unknowingly violating a local ordinance that goes beyond state law. . . .



Five of Eight Democratic Presidential Candidates Admit to Having Owned Guns

Five of the eight - Gravel, Biden, Dodd, Kucinich and Richardson - raised their hands when moderator Brian Williams of NBC News asked whether they had ever had a gun in their home.

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Trolley Square Mall in Utah occurred is no longer a "gun free zone"

I have been told that the Trolley Square Mall in Utah has taken down its no guns allowed signs. For my earlier discussion on the Utah attack and a picture of the no gun signs see this post.

UPDATE: This is wrong. The person who emailed me this information was incorrect. The signs that say that guns are banned at the mall are still up. Thanks to N.W. Clayton.


Some multiple victim public shootings around the world

This is list not complete. It misses out on the attacks in France as well a s Switzerland. For example, September 27, 2001 — a lone gunman shot and killed 14 people in the Swiss cantonal parliament in Zug, near Zurich. Note that all of these are in gun free zones. I also wish that the listing had made it clear that the Tasmania attack had 35 deaths. The 20 deaths and then reference to 15 might be missed by casual readers as having a greater total.

Deadly Mass Shootings Around the World

Apr 26 02:23 PM US/Eastern
By The Associated Press
Some of world's worst mass shootings:

_ April 16, 2007: Seung-Hui Cho, 23, kills 32 people and himself on Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Va.

—Nov. 20, 2006: Sebastian Bosse, 18, opens fire at former school in Emsdetten, Germany, before killing self. Five people are wounded and dozens hospitalized for smoke inhalation after he sets off smoke bombs.

—Sept. 13, 2006: Kimveer Gill, 25, opens fire in cafeteria at Dawson College in Montreal, slaying one student and wounding 19 before killing self.

—April 26, 2002: Robert Steinhaeuser, 19, who had been expelled from school in Erfurt, Germany, kills 13 teachers, two former classmates and policeman, before committing suicide.

—April 28, 1996: Martin Bryant, 29, bursts into cafeteria in seaside resort of Port Arthur in Tasmania, Australia, shooting 20 people to death. Driving away, he kills 15 others. He was captured and imprisoned.

—March 13, 1996: Thomas Hamilton, 43, kills 16 kindergarten children and their teacher in elementary school in Dunblane, Scotland, and then kills himself.

—Dec. 6, 1989: Marc Lepine, 25, bursts into Montreal's Ecole Polytechnique college, shooting at women he encounters, killing nine and then himself.

—Aug. 19, 1987: Michael Ryan, 27, kills 16 people in small market town of Hungerford, England, and then shoots himself dead after being cornered by police.

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Washington State "Supreme Court says radio talk not a political donation"

This is a relief, but it also indicates how hopeless campaign reform is. You can't advertise a position, but you can own a radio station to take those positions.

The state Supreme Court said in an opinion released this morning that KVI talk show hosts did not need to report their advocacy for an anti-gas tax campaign as an in-kind political contribution. And the court has reinstated a countersuit filed by the No New Gas Tax (NNGT) campaign against local governments that initially sued. . . .

The opinion was unanimous. The majority opinion was written by Justice Barbara Madsen and signed by Chief Gerry Alexander and justices Tom Chambers, Charles Johnson, Susan Owens, Mary Fairhurst and Bobbe Bridge. Justices Jim Johnson wrote a concurrence, which Justice Richard Sanders also signed, saying: . . .


Defensive gun use in Ohio and a note on media biases

Some in Canada recognize problems with gun free zones


Get Your Gun Free Zone signs here

Get your gun and drug free school zone signs here! Admittedly they would be even better if they didn't have the word "school" in them, but possibly you could paint out the word "school."


Law enforcement official on Fox News Radio

I didn't catch the Law enforcement official's name, but he said something interesting if not surprising: "Law enforcement always receives these copycat cases after these events [Virginia Tech] get attention in the news."


Yet more editorials on "Gun Free Zones"

It may really be sinking in that any attack of any reasonable size is occurring in a gun free zone. For recent pieces see here, here, here, and here.


Online poll on whether students/faculty should be armed if they have permits & training

The poll can be found here.

Thanks to Jack Anderson for sending me this link. Jack apparently lives where this poll is being taken.


Finally a survey that asks people if they want less gun control

For those interested, I have a chapter in my book, The Bias Against Guns, on the bias in polling. One type of bias consistently took the form of the option given respondants. While I would still like to see a question that asks what would decrease crime that included all these options, this is surely a start.

As to the results, while 47% want more regulations, at least 49% either want things to stay the same or reduce the regulations. Hardly the typical claim that most Americans what more regulations.

Should gun laws be made more strict, less strict, or remain as they are?

More strict 47%

Less strict 11%

Remain as they are 38%

Not sure 4%

Source: Ipsos-Public Affairs / Associated Press
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 996 American adults, conducted from Apr. 17 to Apr. 19, 2007. Margin of error is 3.1 per cent.


Can the government ban campaign ads 60 days before an election?

There is a big campaign finance case to be heard by the US Supreme Court today.

The disputed regulation barring corporate and labor TV and radio ads as much as 60 days before an election is part of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, widely known for its Senate sponsors, Mr. McCain and Russ Feingold (D., Wis.).

The provision aims to keep corporations and unions from using their wealth to unfairly influence elections, says Scott Nelson, an attorney with advocacy group Public Citizen. If the FEC loses, Mr. Nelson says, corporations and, to a lesser degree, unions, could spend "hundreds of millions of dollars" in the run-up to the next election for negative ads. . . .

My own research has shown that these various regulations protect incumbents from competition. But I have a hard time believing that interest groups taking out ads within 60 days before an election is not protected political speech. If individuals can't speak out on issues before an election what else is left to free speech?



Students for Concealed Carry on Campus

Clayton Cramer has a link to a group calling itself Students for Concealed Carry on Campus. This sounds like a good group to help out.


The View on the Virginia Tech Attack from Australia

Professor Alex Robson teaches economics at the Australian National University:

FOLLOWING last week's tragic Virginia Tech shootings, how many times were we told that guns, and not people, kill people?

When the media allocates blame, everyone except the actual perpetrator makes a good candidate.

Pictures of actor Charlton Heston flashed across our screens, as if the former president of the National Rifle Association was responsible.

The pundits never explain why massacres don't occur at sporting shooters' clubs. Or why, just four days before the Virginia Tech shootings, thousands of gun nuts descended on St Louis, Missouri, and not a single gunshot was fired in anger.

Instead, we heard the same, monotonous message: A similar massacre could never happen in Australia because our culture and constitutional arrangements are different.

Never mind that Martin Bryant murdered a greater number of innocent people in the 1996 massacre in Port Arthur. And never mind that Huan Yun Xiang carried five guns in to Monash University in 2002, killing two fellow students.

Since we don't enjoy a constitutional right to bear arms and have no gun culture, who is to blame? Charlton Heston? The Australian gun lobby?

Laws for the concealed carrying of guns are present in some form or another in 48 US states, and serious research (most notably by Professor John Lott of the State University of New York) consistently demonstrates their deterrent effect. . . .

Thanks to Jack Anderson for sending this link to me.

Ashley Herzog also has a nice piece on the topic of gun free zones.

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Online discussion at the Washington Post Today

I just finished a long online discussion at the Washington Post. It was pretty draining to type up the answers to those 22 questions, but I hope that people find the discussion useful. Overall, I thought that the questions were very good. With almost 5,500 words of discussion (the equivalent of about 6 or so op-eds), there is a lot of material there. A link is also provided to an online discussion done by the Brady Campaign on the same issue.

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"Texas gun permit records could become private"

The Texas House is set to debate a bill that would make private the permit records of Texans with concealed handguns.

One of the benefits of concealed handguns is that criminals don't know who is going to be able to defend themselves, so even those who have no plans of carrying a concealed handgun benefit from the fact that others do so. With public records, if a criminal wants to attack someone all a criminal has to do is look up the name of a potential victim and see if they are able to defend themselves.


Ted Nugent on Gun Control at Virginia Tech


On CNN Tonight

I will be on Paula Zahn's show on CNN tonght sometime between 8 and 9 PM. The discussion will be on the school shootings.

UPDATE: The segment on CNN was canceled because none of the gun control groups that CNN contacted were willing to put someone on the show to debate me. CNN was only willing to put me on if they had someone from a gun control group to counter me. It was disappointing, but this is not something new. Gun control groups have done this before, and I assume it is just their attempt to keep me off the TV.

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Passive resistance doesn't work so well

"Getting under desks and praying for rescue from professionals is not a recipe for success" -- British self-defense expert Maj. Robin Browne, commenting on his company's work in a Texas school district teaching students how to rush and subdue an armed attacker, quoted in an Oct. 13, 2006 Associated Press story.

From Opinion Journal's Political Diary.


New Op-ed on Gun Free Zones in USA Today

Newt on Gun Free Zones

Newt Gingrich comes out swinging on gun free zones in the ABC News "This Week" interview here. I could have given most of this interview. One point: Australia doesn't have an absolute ban, but his point was still correct.

You can then vote on the gun control issue here, but the answers are typically biased. No chance to say that gun control causes problems.



YouTube Video of Giuliani talking about Federal Gun Licensing

A youtube video of Giuliani arguing for national gun licensing is here.

1) Giuliani many not understand it but if you had regulations for guns similar to those of the licensing necessary to drive a car it would represent deregulation. If you are just going to have your car at home, you don't need a license. It is only when you drive it around off your property that you need the license. You can tow you car around off your property even if it isn't licensed. You just can't use it. However, if you do have the car registered and licensed you can drive it anywhere in the US. If they would make right-to-carry national, so that my license in Virginia would be recognized anywhere in the US that would be a big improvement over the current situation.

2) I have no idea what Giuliani is talking about regarding mental testing to be able to drive or own a car. Possibly, New Yorkers are very dangerous on the road, but I doubt it requires mental testing even there. Besides eyesight, I don't know what he is referring to reguarding physical testing either.

I could live with the equivalent of car registration and car licensing for guns if they really did it the exact same way for both.

Thanks to Jason Megill for sending me this link and for putting this up on YouTube.

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Professor fired for advocating that concealed handguns be allowed on campus

This is pretty depressing.

An Emmanuel College professor has been fired after re-enacting the Virginia Tech massacre in his classroom in order to air a pro-gun viewpoint that offended students at the Catholic liberal arts school, the professor charged yesterday.
Nicholas Winset said he was terminated and permanently barred from campus following a Wednesday lecture in which he dramatized the massacre to show that deranged gunman Cho Seung-Hui could have been stopped if another student had been carrying a gun.
“If there were more guns in society, the response time to the (rampage) might have been much faster,” said Winset, an adjunct professor of financial accounting. “Someone might have been able to do something to stop it.” . . .

UPDATE: Paul Huebl send me an update on the story here. He includes the note that "Be sure to watch the clip parts in the right order."

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MP3 of my interview with Mark Levin last Tuesday

The audio of my interview this last week Mark Levine's can be found here. The interview is at the beginning of the second hour, in the middle of the program.