Police say that "Good Guys Won"

Stories about how this break-in in Las Vegas, NV was stopped can be found here (February 2nd:

A man was shot after he broke into an east Las Vegas home and attempted to rob the people inside Thursday night, Las Vegas police said.

The man, whose name was not released, was taken to a hospital and remained there Friday, police said.

He and another suspect entered a home on the 2100 block of Casa Ladera Street, near Lake Mead and Nellis boulevards, about 9 p.m. Thursday. During the attempted robbery, a struggle broke out among the victims and the two suspects, police said, and one of the suspects was shot.

The victims "were at a barbecue, and people broke in and it went to hell, but it looks like the good guys won," said Las Vegas police Lt. Mitch Bradshaw, who oversees the department's sexual assault unit. . . .

Thanks very much to L. J. O'Neale for sending me this link.


Another Review of Freedomnomics

Brian Shelly has a review of Freedomnomics here:

However, I read Freedomnomics by Economist Dr. John Lott. This book was a pretty easy read and I found some of the information jaw dropping. His specialty is crime and punishment and Chapter 4, which focuses on that, just blew me away. It really showed how conventional wisdom is flat out wrong when you look at the data on crime. . . .


Fox's 24 falling to political correctness

The Wall Street Journal reports that political correctness hits "24":

Producers would later experience trouble casting roles, once some of the most desirable in television, because the actors disapproved of the show's depiction of torture. "The fear and wish-fulfillment the show represented after 9/11 ended up boomeranging against us," says the show's head writer, Howard Gordon. "We were suddenly facing a blowback from current events."

Last spring, Fox executives asked producers to come up with a plan for what to do with their onetime crown jewel. The producers decided to take the radical -- and rarely attempted -- step of reinventing the show. While some fans complained "24" had grown too formulaic, the producers also grudgingly saw the importance of wrestling the show from its ties to an unpopular conflict. . . .

If you look at the viewing data provided in the article, it seems very hard for me to discern a fall off in viewership because of opposition to torture. If you look at the last season, there was a drop that was already occurring before the New Yorker piece repersented by the orange dot in the 2006/2007 season (the vertical lines represent viewership). If you click on this link, you can use the interactive features in the WSJ picture.

Labels: ,

What is an all too common reaction to gun ownership

I was pointed to this blog posting by Amanda Nalley, someone who I don't know, but her discussion was interesting because of the reactions that she faced from getting a concealed handgun permit are so similar to what I am sure that many face. It is also clear that there continue to be so many misconceptions about the risks of having guns.

I know owning a gun is dangerous, but so is getting in a car, or sharpening kitchen knives.

What bothers me the most about my choice is talking to non-gun owners.

I keep hearing the same things over and over and over again. They don't want to sound prudish by saying guns are bad but they want to know why you are doing it and have dozens of reasons as to why you shouldn't.

"Why? I mean, I don't mind guns and I don't mind people owning them. My grandfather even owned one. I just don't get it though. What are you trying to accomplish? What about kids? Will they be safe? Why would you ever want to carry one on you? Wouldn't it just incite a situation?"

Most gun owners know there are safety issues in owning a gun. A responsible owner, like a responsible driver, will obey rules and store their guns safely. But there are those who don't obey the rules just like there are drivers who run red lights.

Guns, like cars, are everywhere. They are like the dirty little secret we pretend isn't all around us. And they are one of the few things that EVERYONE has formed an opinion on (other topics would include tipping and abortion).

The four gun classes that were held this weekend were some of the largest in the state. And the variety of people there was awe inspiring. . . .

The problem of course is that these safety rules come at a real cost for people's safety. Locking up guns make it much harder for people to use guns defensively.

In 2004, there were 649 accidental gun deaths, 76 of those deaths involved women. I just did a really quick search on this.

Unintentional poisoning 20,950, women 7,016
Unintentional Falls 18,807, women 8,951
Suffocation 5,891, women 2,671
Fires 3,322, women 1,368
Unintentional bicycle deaths 843, women 111
Unintentional Motor Vehicles 44,933, women 14,096
Drowning 3,308, women 714



Talks in California this next Week

The beginning of this next week will be busy with several talks in California. The two big talks are the Commonwealth Club at the Menlo Park City Council Chambers – 701 Laurel Street – Menlo Park on Wednesday, February 6th and the Conservative Forum on Tuesday, February 5th. You can find more on the Conservative Forum here.

As part of all this, I will also be doing an interview on KSFO at 6 PM (PDT) on Monday.

Labels: ,

Democrats in Washington Proposing More Gun Control: Gun Show Regulations

The Virginia Tech Shooting is being used to push for a gun control law that no one is arguing would have had to do anything with the shooting. I guess this passes for rigorous reasoning:

This week, two Senate Democrats introduced legislation to close that loophole in federal law, despite a recent failure in Virginia -- where a gunman killed 32 students and teachers at Virginia Tech in April -- to change a similar state law.

Accompanied by family members of some of the Virginia Tech victims, along with gun-control advocate Paul Helmke of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Democratic Sens. Frank R. Lautenberg of New Jersey and Jack Reed of Rhode Island unveiled their proposal at a news conference Wednesday. . . .

This time Lautenberg and Reed are using the Virginia Tech shootings to build their case, though gunman Seung-hui Cho bought his guns from a licensed dealer and underwent a background check.

My book, The Bias Against Guns, spends a lot of time in chapter 8. The one impact that I found from these laws is that they reduce gun shows by about 25 percent.


Places where concealed handguns can be carried in Georgia expanded

See this:

Debate continues in the Georgia General Assembly over weapons. But on Thursday the House voted 111-58 to allow Georgians with concealed gun permits to carry their weapon at bus stops, other transportation facilities, houses of worship and restaurants. According to the Telegraph, the House vote expands a move by the Senate allowing people holding permits to carry guns at public parks & restaurants without alcohol licenses.

More on what is happening in Georgia regarding gun free zones can be found here.

Labels: ,

Hillary versus Obama on Delegates

I was looking at the delegate totals for the Democrats and while Hillary is ahead in total delegates, her lead is entirely driven by Super Delegates. Among delegates won in the primaries and caucuses, Hillary won 48 and Obama 63. The thing with these super delegates is that they can change their minds. If we had the less compressed schedule for primaries that we had in 2004 or 2000, Obama would easily win. I don't know whether he will have enough steam by Tuesday.

Labels: , ,


Bill Clinton gets it partially right on global warming

Here is what Bill Clinton said in a campaign speech in Denver:

"We just have to slow down our economy and cut back our greenhouse gas emissions 'cause we have to save the planet for our grandchildren."
[Emphasis added]

At least he understands how these regulations will make us poorer.

Labels: ,

Moves in Virginia and South Dakota to allow permitted concealed handguns on college campuses

Here are articles on what is happening in Virginia and South Dakota on this issue. In Virginia, one bill is quite broad:

One bill, proposed by Delegate Todd Gilbert, would prevent a Board of Visitors from prohibiting people with concealed handgun permits from carrying a gun on state property, which would include the campuses of state universities. . . .

From South Dakota:

The only opponent to the bill was Jim Shekleton, legal counsel for the state Board of Regents, who said allowing students and faculty to carry guns could make campuses more dangerous.

If other people exchange gunfire with a madman in a classroom or sports arena, more people could be hurt or injured in the crossfire, Shekleton said. When law officers arrive, they might mistakenly shoot the wrong person if several people in the room are holding guns, he said.

"A free-fire zone is more likely to do more harm than good," Shekleton said. . . .


Mitt Romney Giving Up?

John Fund at the WSJ's Political Diary writes:

Mr. Romney has only a few days left to change the dynamic of the race before 21 states vote next Tuesday. As of yesterday afternoon, his campaign had purchased no television ad time in any of the Super Tuesday states. "If Thursday goes by without an ad buy, it will be a sign the Romney campaign is only going through the motions," says one TV advertising expert with ties to no candidate. "After all, we know he can write a check if he has to."

UPDATE: Hugh Hewitt writes me that: "John: He's already up in CA with a 7 figure buy. HH" So it looks as if John Fund might be wrong this time.

Labels: ,

Teaching hunting as a class in school?

Given all the benefits from hunting, this seems like an idea whose time has come:

CHARLESTON, W.VA. --A significant drop in the number of hunters in West Virginia has left a hole in the state's budget, and one lawmaker thinks he has a solution: allow children to receive hunter training in school.
Seventh- through ninth-graders could opt for instruction in topics ranging from survival skills to gun safety, but the weapons would have dummy ammunition or be disabled. Sen. Billy Wayne Bailey, who introduced the bill this month, doesn't envision students firing real guns during class time. . . .

Labels: ,

Armed Teachers stop Terrorist Attack in Israel

A dramatic story can be found here:

Two Palestinian terrorists disguised in Israel Defense Forces (IDF) uniforms entered the study hall at Makor Haim High School in Kibbutz Kfar Etzion southeast of Jerusalem.

Al-Aksa Brigades: Assassinate Fayyad Armed with guns and knives, the terrorists managed to stab several students before armed school counselors arrived and shot them dead.

"The terrorists came inside and began stabbing the students," a defense official said.

"This could have ended much worse," said another in Central Command. . . .

Another version of the story is here:

In Gush Etzion, southeast of Jerusalem, two Palestinian gunmen wearing IDF uniforms burst into the Makor Haim yeshiva high school. Wielding guns and knives, they lightly injured two Israeli counselors before being shot dead.

The terrorists infiltrated Makor Haim, a kibbutz, sneaking into the main building of its high school seminary, run by world-renowned Talmudist, Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz. The terrorists entered a library room where seven of the boarding school's counselors were meeting. Dressed as security guards, and armed with a knife and what appeared to be a gun -- it later turned out to be a toy -- ordered the seven to line up on one side of the room. A counselor, realizing they were terrorists, drew his personal firearm and opened fire. Another grabbed the fake gun from the other terrorist, wrestled him to the floor, while the first counselor shot him. The terrorists managed to stab two of the counselors before falling dead.

At the same time, the Beit Medrash (study hall) -- adjacent to the library -- was packed with students taking part in the weekly Thursday night "mishmar" all-night Torah study session, Israel National News reported.

An army official praised the quick response of the students and their counselors. "This could have ended much worse," a source in the Central Command said.

Labels: , , ,

Identity politics out of control

This video from the New York Times is simply too much. This 23-year-old black woman is discussing with her friends who she should vote for in the Democratic Presidential Primary and the question is she more of a black or a woman. Nothing about issues. It was purely identity politics. Sonya Jones also has a very amusing post about how some women are viewing Ted Kennedy as a traitor because he endorsed Obama over a Hillary.

Labels: ,

Should students be able to have a BB gun club?

A school in State College, Pennsylvania has denied students the right to set up a club for BB guns.

The idea alone has already divided the school board, with some members saying they are worried about sending mixed messages to kids about bringing BB guns to school.

You can vote on what you think about that at this link.

Labels: , ,


Government not to successful in keeping this well-known convicted killer from getting guns

The link to this story is here:

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) -- A federal jury convicted a 23-year-old man on an obscure weapons charge Tuesday, apparently unaware that 10 years ago he and another boy killed four classmates and a teacher in a schoolyard ambush.
Mitchell Johnson faces 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced in the next 45 days on a count of possessing a firearm while being a drug user. Through his attorney, Johnson declined to comment Tuesday.
Johnson was arrested on New Year's Day 2007 after police stopped his van and said they found a bag of marijuana in his pocket and a 9 mm pistol and a 20-gauge shotgun in two bags. Police said they stopped the van after getting an anonymous tip about drugs in the vehicle.
In 1998, Johnson, then 13, and 11-year-old schoolmate Andrew Golden opened fire as students and teachers left Jonesboro Westside Middle School after Golden pulled the fire alarm. The boys killed English teacher Shannon Wright and four students ages 11 and 12. They wounded 10 other people. . . .

Thanks to Rich for sending this link.

Labels: ,

Deer Spreading into in even densely populated areas

Here is what one New Jersey County is trying to do:

MAPLEWOOD, N.J. (AP) -- On a hilltop with breathtaking views of New York's skyline, sharpshooters perched in trees took aim Tuesday at white-tailed deer, a species being crowded out of one of the nation's most densely populated areas.
The problem is common enough in New Jersey's suburbs, as it is in other communities that have brought in marksmen to thin the herd: When their numbers get too great, the gentle animals destroy the forest, spread Lyme disease and pose a hazard for drivers.
But perhaps nowhere else have the trained shooters been so close to so many people as they are on the South Mountain Reservation, a nature preserve bordering hundreds of high-priced homes in the thick of the country's most crowded state.
"I could come out on my deck and get shot," said Sharon McClenton, a 42-year-old teacher whose house in West Orange butts up against the preserve.
Officials and many other residents insist, to the consternation of animal rights activists, that the hunt is necessary. . . .


Exit polls from Florida

McCain is stronger among men, older voters, those who think that abortion should be legal, and people who rarely if ever go to church. There was one particularly strange fact: those who thought that McCain had the best chance of winning in the fall were somewhat less likely to vote for him than those who thought that Giuliani, Romney, or Huckabee would be the strongest candidates would vote for those candidates.

Labels: ,

Best line from Bush's State of the Union Address

From Bush's speech last night:

Others have said that they would personally be happy to pay higher taxes. I welcome their enthusiasm. I'm pleased to report that the IRS accepts both checks and money orders.

He also had some good lines on vouchers and a couple of other topics. But his long list of spending proposals is very bothersome. I wish that once and a while the notion that the government should get involved in funding research and everything else would be questioned.


I will be on Ron Smith's Show on WBAL at 3:35 PM

I has been a busy day with radio interviews, primarily talking about my op-ed on the stimulus package. One of the shows that I did earlier was Greg Garrison's show on WIBC in Indianapolis, which is always a fun show to be on.



New Op-ed: 'Stimulus' Package Won't Jolt Economy

I have a new op-ed up at Fox News:

There is a lot of hysteria about the economy. Politicians worried about a voter backlash want to show voters that they are willing to do something.

Yet, the White House and Congressional proposal last week to send $100 billion in checks to Americans will not stimulate the economy, only waste taxpayers’ money. Instead of growing the economy as claimed, the expanded unemployment benefits being pushed by Senate Democrats will only shrink it. . . .

Labels: ,

Privatizing Education in the UK?

This is pretty amazing. In Britain, these companies don't just have the power to award some credits towards a degree, they have the "power" to award the degree:

McDonald's employees trained in skills needed to run outlets for the fast-food chain can get credit toward high school diplomas, the British government announced Monday.

Along with two other large companies, McDonald's Corp. was given the power to award the equivalent of advanced high-school qualifications as part of a plan to improve young people's skills, said the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, a government education regulator. . . .

Labels: ,