Thursday, August 05, 2004

Hmmm.. I think I need to come to the aid of one of my fellow Australian conservative bloggers. A Leftist blogger by the name of "Darp" (?) attacked Mike Jericho over his enjoyment of guns and such things -- a rather common theme among conservative bloggers (the esteemed Kim Du Toit does rather spring to mind as another example). And Mike was hornswoggled enough to replace some of his martial graphics with a picture of some nice mountain scenery. Leftist attacks on gun usage are of course ho-hum stuff on the political scene (even I get hate-mail for my occasional pro-gun postings) but they also figure in psychology -- with the claim being that people who like guns are "death merchants" etc and are also of course thoroughly deranged. I review and attack one such claim in the psychological literature here. What our trembling Leftists overlook of course is that man evolved as a hunting animal and a liking for hunting and weapons (lacking aggressive teeth and claws, mankind unfortunately needs weapons for hunting) is therefore throroughly NORMAL. Mike is the normal one and he needed to make no apologies for it. And we won't mention the Molotov cocktails, clenched fists etc that feature so often in Far-Leftist iconography. They are pretty death-oriented but have no redeeming connection to hunting. And all the megadeaths of the 20th century were the work of socialists so if "death-merchants" are deranged, it is pretty clear who the deranged ones are.

Gun control at work: The full scale of law and order breakdown in Britain was revealed last night. Gun crime has soared by 35 per cent, .... In the 12 months to March last year there were 9,974 offences involving firearms. Handgun use rose by 45 per cent, said official Government statistics. The figure has doubled since the post-Dunblane ban on such weapons from 2,636 in 1998 to 5,871... But the Government shrugged off the shock figures... The number of males murdered in shootings was up 41 per cent this year.... Paul Hampson of the Association of Chief Police Officers added: "The rise in gun offences concerns us all."... The number of gun crimes recorded in London was 4,192 versus 2,817 in the previous year.

Ban kitchen knives! "A Japanese man confessed to stabbing seven of his relatives to death early Monday with a kitchen knife and setting fire to a family house, a grisly spree rare in a country that takes prides in a low crime rate."

And ban all security guards too: "A knife-wielding security guard at a Beijing kindergarten went on the rampage yesterday, slashing 15 young children and killing one of them -- a four-year-old boy, Chinese state media and medical sources said. Three teachers were also injured when the security guard attacked children and staff at the Beijing University Number One Hospital's kindergarten with a kitchen knife, they said".

21 July, 2004


"WE do rash things when a gun's easily at hand"? So this Australian Greenie says .... Have others got to pay for her lack of self-control?

"New South Wales Premier Bob Carr is being called on to show leadership on gun control and convene a summit to further tighten firearm laws.

A recent triple murder-suicide has prompted the Greens' Lee Rhiannon to say there are too many guns in circulation. She says while most licensed gun holders abide by the strict controls for gun storage, others do not.

"We all know we all lose our temper in the heat of the moment," she said. "We do rash things when a gun's easily at hand on top of the cupboard, in the boot of the car, people grab it and regret using it afterwards."

But the Sporting Shooters Association says it is the state of mental services which are the problem, not guns."

More here

20 July, 2004

An excellent essay in the WSJ about Americans being called "cowboys": "When foreigners see us as cowboys, they are not mistaken. As a people, we still exhibit a high degree of courage, independence, aggressiveness, competence, and spirit. Diplomatic Europeans have responded to tyranny over the latest century mostly with accommodation... Cowboy Americans, on the other hand, have hungered to confront and defeat tyrants, in real life as in legend". The whole essay is an excellent evocation of the American spirit.

18 July, 2004


Or does this dear little soul think that banning guns will prevent suicide? Wouldn't it make more sense to restrict the availablity of knives? -- a knife being the only murder weapon used in this case

Greens MP Lee Rhiannon has called for an overhaul of New South Wales firearms licensing system after yesterday's triple murder-suicide in the Hunter Valley town of Gresford. Michael Richardson, 32, is believed to have stabbed his wife and suffocated his two children, before turning a gun on himself.

Police have confirmed Mr Richardson lost his gun licence last year after a failed suicide attempt but had it reinstated by the firearms authority several months ago.

Ms Rhiannon says it is unacceptable that the licence was renewed. "The New South Wales licensing system needs a big overhaul," she said. "It is extraordinary that a year after he attempted suicide that the police renewed his cancelled licences.

"We're not blaming any individual officer but clearly the current system is inadequate, there is also the issue of the availability of guns that needs to be considered as well."

From Australian ABC

16 July, 2004

Gun realism in India: "Bangalore City's spiralling crime rate has had one major spin-off. Instead of looking up to the guardians of law for security, why not arm oneself? This seems to be the one of the motives behind the gradual but steady rise in the number of gun licences among Bangaloreans. Going by statistics with the police department, there has been a two-fold increase in demand for gun licences during 2003 as compared to previous years. While in 2001, there were 145 applicants for gun licences, the figures have shot up to 399 in 2003. In 2004, as on June 24, there are 141 applicants. This includes the sixty licences that are yet to be issued. According to Deputy Commissioner of Police (Administration) N Shivkumar, people arming themselves is a healthy trend. 'Guns give people confidence. It is not always possible for the police to be there at the spot every time a person is attacked. Self defence is the next best alternative,' he says."

5 July, 2004

One of my readers writes: "Historian William Marina, an anti-Iraq war paleocon has an article that should be of interest even to conservatives who are strong supporters of the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. There are two points of interest. Firstly he points out that the US war of independence was a broadly popular revolt. The Left, for reasons of their own, like to make great play of the myth that the American revolution was supported "by only 1/3rd of the population". This myth is a salve to their elitist agenda. They are forever advocating radical social change without popular grassroots support, hence their modern reliance on bureaucratic and judicial activism, not the ballot box, to engineer their reforms. The American 'revolution' was a broadly popular reassertion by the American colonists of "the rights of Englishmen". The very kind of rights the modern left is most opposed to. Secondly he points out that militia forces are by no means ineffective or obsolete. Indeed the US military is running into considerable difficulty with Iraqi militias of different persuasions. So the argument used by the gun controllers that the need for an armed populace for defence purposes has been made obsolete by modern technology is void. Of course an armed populace alone is insufficient for national defence but it still packs a sting, even against well armed opponents."

3 July, 2004

"The gun-control movement's stock has tanked. Violent crime overall has continued to drop, leaving partisans to fret over the much smaller problem of accidental gun injuries. Most of the holdout states have now passed laws allowing citizens to carry personal-protection firearms -- and civilization as we know it has not ended. The 1994 Clinton ban on semi-automatic rifles is set to expire in September, and even some of its biggest supporters now agree that the law failed to cut crime. Still, gun-control foot soldiers in organized medicine churn out articles for relatively obscure scientific journals. Their message is increasingly devoid of any useful findings; it is mostly an attempt to paint gun owners as sociopaths or Neanderthals."

Crime and gun-control in Australia: "As with Britain, Australia invoked massive gun control following a mass murder, where a mentally ill man used firearms to commit the crime.... As with the UK study, it is important to establish a pre-ban baseline and then compare it to similar research after the ban to determine crime trends.... Here are some key findings about Australian crime trends for the period of 1995 (pre-ban) to 2001 (post-ban): The rate of assault has increased steadily from 563 victims per 100,000 people in 1995 to 779 per 100,000 people in 2001. In 2001 the rate for robbery peaked at 136 per 100,000 people- the highest recorded since 1995. The rate of sexual assault was 86 per 100,000 people, which is higher than any previous year. Here is the comparison in violent crime trends between Australia and the United States for the period of 1995 to 2001... Homicide: AUS down 11%; US down 32%.

Rah for the Pink Pistols! "Initially three, then later, four members of the Central Ohio Pink Pistols, a group promoting the safe handling of firearms in the GLBT community, were threatened by the Executive Director of Stonewall Columbus, who wielded a 2-foot club, and up to 30 volunteer security personnel at the Stonewall Columbus Pride Event on Saturday, June 26. The Pink Pistols were repeatedly ordered to surrender their legally-owned and carried firearms by a steadily-growing army of guards. Knowing the law was on their side, the Pink Pistols refused to surrender their property or knuckle under to illegal threats of violence, search, and seizure by Stonewall Columbus personnel. Police were summoned at Pink Pistols request. No firearms were surrendered or confiscated, and no arrests were made, as no laws were broken."

Indian enterprise: "With a view to provide a cheap and country-made weapon to the common people of the country for their self-defence, he had manufactured the weapon. This fact was revealed after interrogating Mahesh Sav, the person who had sent a pistol and a cartridge to President APJ Abdul Kalam last week in a parcel. Sav was brought to the Capital by a police team. He is likely to be produced before a court. The police said that during the interrogation, it was revealed that Sav has no criminal background. He is a small-time shopkeeper in Mojahidpur village near Patna and the idea to make a pistol struck him all of a sudden. He said he has been working on it for many years. He wanted to make an indigenous, cheap weapon for self-defence of the common people. A senior police official said that he got this idea a few years ago when he saw an advertisement of a country-made pistol in a newspaper."

10th anniversary of concealed weapons in Arizona: "Major civil-rights legislation reaches its tenth anniversary one month from today, and prospects for a vigorous future seem strong, according to industry experts. 'None of the hoplophobic (weapon-fearing) horror stories released ten years ago turned out to be true,' said Alan Korwin, author of The Arizona Gun Owner's Guide. 'Widespread reports about impending shootouts in traffic or in restaurants can now be seen, in 20/20 hindsight, as virtually delusional ...'"

24 June, 2004


Simple logic too much for Leftists: "The framers of the constitution understood the necessity of American citizens to keep and bear arms. Unfortunately, our society has been infected by so many of those on the left, that many of us now believe that we should give up that right ... Thus leaving ourselves, our homes, and even our loved-ones at the mercy of the criminals. You see, gun laws only affect the law-abiding. We constantly hear about the importance of background checks being implemented by gun store owners. Criminals do not now, nor have they ever purchased their weapons in legitimate gun shops. It is cost prohibitive (Why would they pay several hundreds of dollars for a gun, when they can buy one on the street for a fraction of the price?), and it leaves a paper trail. However, those on the left choose to ignore this fact. Background checks and waiting periods do nothing, except put barriers between American citizens and their ability to defend themselves."

The "crazies" excuse for gun control: "In the words of an old billboard I once saw, 10 out of 10 criminals prefer their victims disarmed. Disarming crazy people does not make them less crazy or less criminal. It just leaves law-abiding people defenseless. Evil abhors a vacuum. When you disarm innocent people, bad things happen."

What gun controllers don't want you to know: "I used to support gun control, meaning civilian disarmament. There was no reason, the rationale went, for a private citizen to own a gun. The only ones who wanted guns had small genitalia, were paranoid crazies, and criminals. All this was assumed, without any empirical or statistical research to base it upon. Due to the influence of one of my clients who is a person of great honor, I began to research the issue of gun control on my own. Having been a college boy who loved library research, I knew how to ferret out fact from fiction. It was interesting to find that the claims of the NRA, John Lott, et al., were easy to verify from neutral or even slightly pro-gun control sources. More ominously, I found that the gun control groups consistently lied or twisted minor factoids taken out of context in their articles. This begged the question: if they are lying to advance their agenda, can we really trust the utopian outcome they promote as true?"

An ex-cop on preventing rape: "While the prevalence of rape is greatly exaggerated by radical feminists, it happens. What can a woman do to avoid it? ... A fair number of women of my acquaintance in Virginia have quietly come to the same conclusion: The most workable approach is to get a concealed-carry permit and a small revolver. The idea is shocking to the highly liberal. It is, however, remarkably effective. Being shot a half-dozen times usually causes the assailant to reconsider his priorities. Except through a miracle, a woman isn't going to fight off a determined attacker, but a woman can pull a trigger as well as a man can.... When I took the carry course, some of the instructors were women."


20 June, 2004

"Gun control has not worked in Canada. Since the new gun registration program started in 1998, the U.S. homicide rate has fallen, but the Canadian rate has increased. The net cost of Canada's gun registry has surged beyond $1-billion -- more than 500 times the amount originally estimated. Despite this, the Canadian government recently admitted it could not identify a single violent crime that had been solved through registration. Public confidence in the government's ability to fight crime has also eroded, with one recent survey showing only 17% of voters support the registration program."

14 June, 2004

Good to see that one of the parents of students killed in the Columbine massacre did not turn into an anti-gun nut: Read his comments here. He blames the anti-Christian elite for the tragedy instead. I myself think that nobody can conclude anything from what two mental-cases did.


Students for Academic Freedom has a win at University of Nevada: "A conservative student at the University of Nevada in Reno has successfully contested a discriminatory grade he received for supporting the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

In her advanced Organizational Behavior class, Professor Linda Barrenchea had asked students to argue the gun control issue using the utilitarian approach to moral reasoning. Jeremy Rosenstengel and several classmates took a pro-Second Amendment approach to the assignment and argued against gun control, and because of that, received lower grades than classmates who argued for gun control. The former University of Nevada student, who now has his bachelor's degree, contends that the professor allowed her personal opinions on the gun control issue to enter into her evaluation of students' tests. 'After going through my education,' he says, 'I really found that, in a lot of classes, if you don't kowtow to what the teacher believes -- not even what they're teaching, but what they believe -- your grades will suffer, not just on paper but through in-class intimidation.

After Rosenstengel confronted Barrenchea with further evidence to support his position, she reluctantly raised his test grade from a score of 70 percent to a 100 percent. However, the instructor would not apologize and still questions the validity of the pro-Second Amendment argument'"

8 June, 2004

Reality creates another conservative: "The afternoon of the day I was attacked, I drove into the nearest town and bought a gun. In the report I had already filed with the police, I described the stranger who broke into the house while I was taking a shower. 'Go away,' I screamed. He told me to shut up. After a kicking, howling struggle, which took us from the bedroom to the living room, he ran off. He was gone, but I felt panicky and powerless. I had seen into the heart of reality and been permanently changed. What kind of fool would be nonviolent in a violent world? I laughed at my old liberalism, my empty prating about the evils of violence and the value of human life. The man who attacked me didn't have those scruples, and I had lost mine in a heartbeat. If I hadn't fought back violently, I believe I would have been raped, and I might have been killed."

27 May, 2004


A reader who takes more of an interest in guns than I do has emailed me as follows:

"The Australian compulsory gun "buyback": See the red line in slide 17 of this Australian Institute of Criminology report (PDF). (Background to the report here). Note that the "gun buyback" happened in 1997 but the national homicide rate showed not a twitch in response.

A more international flavoured report is here (PDF) which describes Australia's gun-buyback scheme and associated bans as a "failed experiment". The article concludes: "In all cases, disarming the public has been ineffective, expensive and often counterproductive". Also of note is this summary of the Australian statistics -- showing that "The number of (firearm) offences has increased even when 642,000 guns were destroyed".

It is not necessary to agree with Lott's contrarian "more guns equals less crime" hypothesis to support the long established right to own firearms -- as this summary of British history shows. This Austrian paper (PDF), for example, accepts as a starting position the idea that reduced gun availability would reduce crime, but then argues that the cost of enforcement and the extent of evasion undermines the practicality of the whole scheme. The real value of Lott is that his work dramatically shows that the much more widely believed "less guns equals less crime" hypothesis is based on not much more than wishful thinking. Sometimes science requires stirrers to shift the dead weight of unthinking complacency. The relationship between guns and crime is probably complex, changeable, highly dependent on other factors, highly variable between societies and even generations within the same society, and not easily subject to any simplistic "one size fits all" rules.

Unfortunately legislators and antigun zealots think we belong to a deterministic world where humans behave as predictably as Skinner-box pigeons. As humans are not pigeons, their ham-fisted legislation almost always fails, usually producing unintended consequences that the hapless social engineers never imagined. In general the great cost of establishing and enforcing these systems is money that would be better spent on more direct crime prevention and law enforcement measures. Something many police forces have actually pointed out: "The New Zealand government discontinued firearms registration in 1984 after the New Zealand police recommended it's termination. The Canadian Police Association was at the brink ofwithdrawing it's support of the firearms registration because of it's serious shortcomings. At the height of the Austrian gun debate some two years ago leading police officials stated that a then called-for prohibition of handguns would not only be senseless and a waste of time and money, but that itwould be outright dangerous because of it's impact on the black arms market." (Source again here [PDF])

This Canadian site calls gun control advocates. Hoplophobics. It's great to see the old leftist debating device of psychologising every competitive opinion (eg xenophobia, homophobia etc) used against them!"


26 May, 2004


Tim Lambert is a computer maven at the University of N.S.W. -- where I spent most of my teaching career many long years ago. He seems to have an obsession with catching out John Lott Jr. on gun-usage statistics and he has an occasional blog which seems to be mostly devoted to that. He does also however takes some interest in other scientific issues such as climate change. He has sent me copies of several of his past posts that I have not linked to because I thought that they were too intemperate. Not much light is generated by arguing with an angry man, in my view, and I think all conservative bloggers have to get used to ignoring rage-filled emails from Leftists. Leftists are very good at rage. It seems to be their principal emotion. I did nonetheless address on this blog what substance I could see in Lambert's various posts. Being a terrible tease from way back, however, I deliberately posted here recently another quotation from Lott. I wanted to see what heights of wrath Lambert might rise to this time. Sure enough, another email from Lambert popped into my inbox shortly thereafter. He seems to be learning, however, as his comment this time is principally factual. So, although I am no expert at all on the matter, I thought I might make a few comments on some of the points Lambert raises -- in case John Lott Jr. does not see fit to do so (I could say more about Lambert's whole post but I think that would be too tedious).

Lambert accuses Lott of selective use of statistics but almost any use of statistics has to be selective so the only interesting question is whether alternative selections of statistics show substantially different results. Lambert presents statistics to show that Australia's 1996 gun-control laws have been beneficial. He disputes Lott's claim that serious crime has risen since then. What Lambert's alternative statistics show to me, however, is more a pattern of no change than anything else. Deaths by firearm are surely the biggest issue but Lambert's table shows that the average rate of murder with a firearm before the bans was 0.37 compared with .30 after the bans -- with the figures in most individual years being .20 plus or .30 plus. Given statistical error and the range of influences which could have affected the averages concerned, the bans would seem to have achieved nothing significant -- a very poor result considering the vast expense in money and the significant loss of liberties associated with the bans. I note too that even the slight difference in averages observed seems to have been largely the result of a single very anomalous year in 1997 -- making the averages used a poor guide to any underlying trend. I think that for trend calculating purposes it would in fact be most appropriate to exclude both 1996 and 1997 -- and when one does that the "before and after" difference becomes very small indeed: .31 versus .28. The differences for other gun crimes also seem to be too small to assert a real underlying difference. And even Lambert admits a lack of a clear pattern when he notes that the "assault-with-firearm rate has increased". So Lott's statistical selection shows ill effects from the firearm ban and Lambert's selection shows no clear effect. It seems to me therefore that NEITHER set of statistics support the ban.

24 May, 2004

John Lott Jr.: "Crime did not fall in England after handguns were banned in January 1997. Quite the contrary, crime rose sharply.... Before the law, armed robberies had fallen by 50 percent from 1993 to 1997, but as soon as handguns were banned, the robbery rate shot back up, almost back to their 1993 levels. Australia has also seen its violent crime rates soar after its Port Arthur gun control measures in late 1996. Violent crime rates averaged 32 per cent higher in the six years after the law was passed (from 1997 to 2002) than they did the year before the law in 1996. The same comparisons for armed robbery rates showed increases of 45 percent."

13 May, 2004

A million ... er, 2,000 march against guns: "About 2,000 people celebrated Mother's Day yesterday by attending a Million Mom March rally at the Capitol to demonstrate support for extending the nation's ban on assault weapons." Interested Participant uses the occasion to comment on the way the media usually accept Leftist overestimates of numbers.

3 May, 2004

On Saturday I linked without comment to an article about gun control that referred to work by John Lott. John Lott has of course been much criticized by Leftists because he could not produce the original data behind one of the surveys he quoted --- a fact originally brought to light by a libertarian blogger. Lott says he lost the data in a computer disk crash. As I have myself lost stuff that way despite being generally very careful about backups, I sympathize with such problems. Conservatives are divided over Lott's claim but I note that The person who knew Lott's work best at that time has testified in Lott's favour and that even the Leftist Mother Jones says that the particular survey concerned "isn't central to the argument".

There is a recent scholarly paper by G.A. Mauser here (PDF) surveying the results of gun control in Britain, Canada and Australia which describes Australia's gun-buyback scheme and associated bans as a "failed experiment". The article concludes: "In all cases, disarming the public has been ineffective, expensive and often counterproductive".

2 May, 2004


Hurting kids is no problem for Left-leaning teachers. Such "compassion"!

Amanda Conroy, an 18-year-old senior at Barron Collier High School in Naples, Fla., drove her mother's car to school Tuesday, and it ruined the rest of her high school career:

Police conducted a random search of students' cars and, after a trained drug dog alerted investigators, Amanda was asked to open up her mother's Durango.
The teen had forgotten about her mom's stun gun.
Amanda described the day as progressing in a kind of surreal fashion, as school administrators explained the zero-tolerance policy for any weapons found on campus.
Bob Conroy said his daughter's punishment increased throughout the day as he talked to an assistant principal, the principal and then an assistant superintendent: from a five-day suspension with no prom, to a 10-day suspension with no graduation ceremony, to expelled from school and no diploma.

1 May, 2004


Guns save lives: "How strange it must be to be a liberal. Driven by slogans, blinded by superstitions, dazzled by fantasies, the liberal stumbles through life oblivious to facts. There is almost nothing the liberal thinks he knows about race, social policy, sex roles, individual differences, and even history that is not some combination of slogan, superstition, and fantasy. John Lott's soberly brilliant More Guns, Less Crime could not possibly be a more convincing demonstration that what liberals think they know about guns is fantasy, too. The liberal view, of course, is that private citizens should not have guns and that gun control will stop violence. Prof. Lott, who teaches law and economics at the University of Chicago, makes an air-tight case for the opposite view"

Shoot attacking cougars or wave at them?: "California game wardens now visit elementary schools, advising children to stand still, wave their arms and shout when they encounter one of these deadly predators. It's good advice as far as it goes -- the animal is far more likely to take a small human for prey if it tries to run away. But shouldn't the kids yell something else, first? Something like, 'Daddy, shoot the cat?' For most absurdly of all, the pathetic bedwetters who have taken over the state of California have made it almost entirely illegal to carry a firearm for self-defense in precisely the places citizens are most likely to have this kind of unpleasant encounter -- the state's parks and recreation areas."

And in Alaska, the do-gooders fight bears with pepper spray. How dangerous can the antigun mania get?

Peter Hitchens has a good article on the gun-control lunacy in Britain.


1 April, 2004

"Convicted felons say that they are more deterred by armed victims than by the police. In the United States, where roughly 50 percent of households are armed, only 13 percent of burglaries occur with residents at home. In contrast, in Britain, where homeowners are disarmed, 50 percent of home burglaries take place with the residents present"

27 March, 2004


"Study after study shows that increasing gun control laws leads to an increase in crime rather than a decline. ... a successful defense against a criminal has a ripple effect amongst society. Criminals get to understand that crime isn't as easy and profitable as it might have once been, more criminals are on hiatus -- in the jail or morgue, and finally, people feel safer. People feel safer, people feel more empowered to take responsibility for their own lives, become more independent. Society loses criminals and gains productive workers without having to afford the enormous costs of huge prison complexes. The government has no excuse to increase control over its subjects."

What makes these morons think that their laws are going to do the slightest bit of good? "High-powered rifles are the target of a new ordinance that will be introduced by the Contra Costa County [CA] Board of Supervisors at their meeting Tuesday. The proposed law would prohibit the sale of .50-caliber rifles in the unincorporated areas of the county. Supervisors John Gioia of Richmond and Gayle Uilkema of Lafayette, who are recommending the ordinance, say the ban is intended as a public safety measure. Telecommunications towers, industrial plants such as oil refineries, and railroad cars could all be vulnerable to serious damage from the high-powered rifles, said Uilkema."

John Lott on gun control in Australia: "For much of the past century Australia had lower crime rates than the US or the UK. Violent crime rates have gone up dramatically in Australia since the 1996 Port Arthur gun control measures. And violent crime rates averaged 20 per cent higher in the six years after the law was passed (from 1997 to 2002) than they did in 1996, 32 per cent higher than the violent crime rates in 1995. The same comparisons for armed robbery rates showed increases of 67 per cent and 74 per cent, respectively"

Borowitz has a good satire on the claim that guns kill people.


"A man who stabbed to death an armed intruder at his home was jailed for eight years today.

Carl Lindsay, 25, answered a knock at his door in Salford, Greater Manchester, to find four men armed with a gun. When the gang tried to rob him he grabbed a samurai sword and stabbed one of them, 37-year-old Stephen Swindells, four times. Mr Swindells, of Salford, was later found collapsed in an alley and died in hospital.

Lindsay, of Walkden, was found guilty of manslaughter following a three-week trial at Manchester Crown Court."

More here

20 March, 2004

Attempts to regulate gun shows to 'reduce crime' are just baloney: "It comes as no surprise that a "study" praising the alleged benefits of Colorado's Amendment 22 -- the law that requires Brady registrations for private sales at gun shows -- has been released just as some U.S. Senators are contemplating a national law in the same vein. Never mind the Bill of Rights.... The "study" is manifestly pseudo-scientific nonsense.. "The report does not identify how many of the guns that were later used in crimes had been sold at gun shows."

10 March, 2004

David Friedman has a great description on how debates about the deterrent effect of capital punishment or the relation of guns to crime are handled in the media. He says these debates go through three phases: Amateur statisticians comment, Professional statisticians comment and Amateurs abuse the professionals for their inconvenient conclusions.

28 February, 2004


These PC wackos just love punishing kids. Only the pressure of publicity caused them eventually to back down.

A third-grader at Sun Valley Elementary was suspended this week for bringing a G.I. Joe toy handgun to school. Austin Crittenden, 9, and his family say the school in eastern Birmingham went too far by sending him home for bringing a tiny plastic handgun that accompanied a G.I. Joe action figure. "It's about an inch long," said Vicki Stewart, the boy's grandmother and guardian. "(The principal) had to tape it to a piece of paper to keep from losing it."
The length of the suspension has yet to be determined, said Birmingham City Schools spokeswoman Michaelle Chapman. Possible punishments for a Class III violation such as this one include expulsion and alternative school, she said.
There have been questions recently about whether strict adherence to such codes has gone too far, especially after a Clay-Chalkville teen was sent to an alternative school for violating the school's zero-tolerance policy after being caught taking a Motrin. Last April, two boys at Oak Mountain Middle School received one-day suspensions for playing with toy guns one had brought for a project on Treasure Island. A 10-year-old was arrested in October at an Alabaster school, accused of threatening someone with a toy gun.
It's not just Alabama: Last month, an 8-year-old was suspended from a Spokane, Wash., public school for taking two similar G.I. Joe guns to school.
In cases like this, it's up to the community to let schools know how they feel about the policies, said William Modzeleski, associate deputy undersecretary of the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools. But it's the schools' responsibility to use common sense enforcing them, he said. "The punishment has to fit the crime," he said. "On some zero-tolerance policies, the punishment far outweighs the crime."
More here

22 February, 2004

Australia's beloved "Middle-Easteners" again: "Up to seven shots were fired into a car yesterday morning during a dramatic road-rage incident in Sydney's southern suburbs. Several shots were fired, with three bullets lodging in the driver's side of the Honda. Police described the shooter as a male of Middle Eastern appearance". Great that Australia's strict gun-control laws keep guns out of their hands!

16 February, 2004


Pioneer Americans were mostly good guys who worked hard for their living

The "Wild West" was not the violent place Hollywood and gun control advocates imagine: "Excluding the Indian wars of the mid to late 19th century which were lopsided affairs conducted by the United States government, we find that the allegedly inherent violence of the West was not noticeably any greater than that of points east."

1 February, 2004


Results don't matter to anti-gun nuts: "For nearly 30 years, the D.C. government has conducted a public policy experiment based on the theory that if you deprive citizens of their constitutional right to keep and bear arms, you'll reduce crime. Two weeks ago, federal district court judge Reggie Walton, a George W. Bush appointee, ruled that that experiment should continue. In his decision in Seegars v. Ashcroft, et al., Judge Walton rejected a Second Amendment challenge to the District's comprehensive gun ban. Of course, Judge Walton is under no illusions that depriving citizens of their right to keep and bear arms actually results in a safer city. Nor, interestingly enough, is the D.C. government attorney defending the ban in Seegars."

26 January, 2004

A fat lot of good Australia's gun bans do: "Five people are in hospital with gunshot wounds after two shooting incidents in Sydney overnight, including one where shots were fired at people queuing to enter a nightclub."

22 January, 2004

The Davis (Calif.) Enterprise reports that Howard Liston, an 18-year-old student at Davis High School, was arrested last week "for possession of a firearm at school." The 12-gauge shotgun was in the cab of the young man's pickup truck:

Steven Sabbadini, a lawyer representing Liston, said the teenager had bought the shotgun for his 18th birthday. A member of a local shooting range, Liston has taken hunter safety classes and has hunted and engaged in target practice with family and friends for years, Sabbadini said. "On Wednesday, (Liston) completed his classes at noon, went home to change with the intent of taking his new shotgun to the range for target practice before going to work," Sabbadini said today. "He decided to have lunch with friends. After lunch, he dropped his friends off at the Davis High School parking lot. "He was only in the parking lot momentarily on the way to target practice," the attorney added. "His shotgun was in his gun rack, unloaded and being transported lawfully. The shells to the shotgun were locked in a utility box in the bed of his truck."

The next day, he absentmindedly left the gun in the truck. Though the firearm was unloaded and the truck was locked, the school called the cops, and Liston now faces expulsion and possibly a fine or imprisonment for violating the Golden State's kooky antigun laws.

See "Opinion Journal"

15 January, 2004


The billion dollar bungle of the Canadian gun registry is now well-known but it seems that Australia is having similar problems. See how you can rely on bureaucracy to keep you safe?

This article shows that it is only by playing fast and loose with the statistics that gun-control advocates can claim that Australia's recent restrictive laws have reduced the overall death-rate

14 January, 2004


As in Britain, guns are exceedingly incorrect in Australia and there is a comprehensive article on the dishonesty of the Australian gun-control "industry" here

But here is the other side of the story:

Gun reality: "I don't have laser alarms, or window locks, or, indeed, a front-door key. Like most of my neighbours, I leave my home unlocked and, when I park the car, I leave the key in the ignition because then you always know where to find it. I'm able to do this because ... I live in a state with very high rates of gun ownership. In other words, if you're some teen punk and you want to steal my $70 television set, they're likely to be picking bits of your skull out of my wainscoting. But the beauty of this system is that I'm highly unlikely ever to have to blow your head off. The fact that most homeowners are believed to be armed reduces crime, in my neighbourhood, to statistically insignificant levels. Hence, my laconic approach to home security."

"Second Amendment supporters say strict gun control has made Chicago the most murderous city in the nation for the year just ended".

12 January, 2004

Unbelievable. Airline pilots still not armed: "They fly by the Capitol, but the bureaucrats won't trust pilots with guns.... "

No comments: