Thursday, February 28, 2008

More Freedom, More Guns; More Guns, More Freedom

Another H/T to Bill Hobbs for bringing this to our attention.

A comparative study of 59 countries finds that "the nations with the highest rates of gun ownerhsip tend to have greater political and civil freedom, greater economic freedom and prosperity, and much less corruption than other nations."

Now do you understand why liberals hate guns?

I would change "liberals" to "statists" to be more correct - otherwise, spot-on!

Guns Save Lives

It's all too predictable. A day after a gunman killed six people and wounded 18 others at Northern Illinois University, The New York Times criticized the U.S. Interior Department for preparing to rethink its ban on guns in national parks.
The editorial board wants "the 51 senators who like the thought of guns in the parks -- and everywhere else, it seems -- to realize that the innocence of Americans is better protected by carefully controlling guns than it is by arming everyone to the teeth."
As usual, the Times editors seem unaware of how silly their argument is. To them, the choice is between "carefully controlling guns" and "arming everyone to the teeth." But no one favors "arming everyone to the teeth" (whatever that means). Instead, gun advocates favor freedom, choice and self-responsibility. If someone wishes to be prepared to defend himself, he should be free to do so. No one has the right to deprive others of the means of effective self-defense, like a handgun.
As for the first option, "carefully controlling guns," how many shootings at schools or malls will it take before we understand that people who intend to kill are not deterred by gun laws? Last I checked, murder is against the law everywhere. No one intent on murder will be stopped by the prospect of committing a lesser crime like illegal possession of a firearm. The intellectuals and politicians who make pious declarations about controlling guns should explain how their gunless utopia is to be realized.
While they search for -- excuse me -- their magic bullet, innocent people are dying defenseless.
That's because laws that make it difficult or impossible to carry a concealed handgun do deter one group of people: law-abiding citizens who might have used a gun to stop crime. Gun laws are laws against self-defense.
Criminals have the initiative. They choose the time, place and manner of their crimes, and they tend to make choices that maximize their own, not their victims', success. So criminals don't attack people they know are armed, and anyone thinking of committing mass murder is likely to be attracted to a gun-free zone, such as schools and malls.
Government may promise to protect us from criminals, but it cannot deliver on that promise. This was neatly summed up in book title a few years ago: "Dial 911 and Die." If you are the target of a crime, only one other person besides the criminal is sure to be on the scene: you. There is no good substitute for self-responsibility.
How, then, does it make sense to create mandatory gun-free zones, which in reality are free-crime zones?
The usual suspects keep calling for more gun control laws. But this idea that gun control is crime control is just a myth. The National Academy of Sciences reviewed dozens of studies and could not find a single gun regulation that clearly led to reduced violent crime or murder. When Washington, D.C., passed its tough handgun ban years ago, gun violence rose.
The press ignores the fact that often guns save lives.
It's what happened in 2002 at the Appalachian School of Law. Hearing shots, two students went to their cars, got their guns and restrained the shooter until police arrested him.
Likewise, law professor Glenn Reynolds writes, "Pearl, Miss., school shooter Luke Woodham was stopped when the school's vice principal took a .45 from his truck and ran to the scene. In (last) February's Utah mall shooting, it was an off-duty police officer who happened to be on the scene and carrying a gun".
It's impossible to know exactly how often guns stop criminals. Would-be victims don't usually report crimes that don't happen. But people use guns in self-defense every day. The Cato Institute's Tom Palmer says just showing his gun to muggers once saved his life.
"It equalizes unequals," Palmer told "20/20". "If someone gets into your house, which would you rather have, a handgun or a telephone? You can call the police if you want, and they'll get there, and they'll take a picture of your dead body. But they can't get there in time to save your life. The first line of defense is you."

Not much to add, he's right.

Emma Beck's Post Abortion Suicide

Crossposted at the Tennessean's Political Forum.

An artist killed herself after aborting her twins when she was eight weeks pregnant, leaving a note saying: "I should never have had an abortion. I see now I would have been a good mum."Emma Beck was found hanging at her home in Helston, Cornwall, on Feb 1 2007. She was declared dead early the following day - her 31st birthday.

Her suicide note read: "I told everyone I didn't want to do it, even at the hospital. I was frightened, now it is too late. I died when my babies died. I want to be with my babies: they need me, no-one else does."

The inquest at Truro City Hall heard that Miss Beck had split up with her boyfriend, referred to as "Ben" after he "reacted badly" to the pregnancy...

Much more at the link. This is not a post about making abortion illegal or making it more difficult to get an abortion. This is about the reality of what an abortion does & the effect that the realization of the reality of abortion can have on a woman.

What is wrong with making sure a woman or couple has all the information regarding alternatives to abortion? What is wrong with couseling a woman or couple before an abortion to the possible negative mental effects?

Though He Hit the Jackpot, Sergeant Plans to Return to Iraq for a 3rd Tour

Crossposted at the Tennessean's Political Forum.

After completing two tours in Iraq, Sgt. Wayne Leyde won $1 million from a scratch-and-win lotto ticket on Tuesday.

Now that he's won, Leyde, a 26-year-old member of the Washington National Guard, says he's still going to volunteer to go back to Iraq for a third tour and won't spend any of the money in the meantime.

Leyde was driving near his home in Mead, Washington when he stopped at a store on the side of the road and bought a ticket.

"I decided to walk into a local Zip Trip. I got a Coke and beef jerky and walked up to the counter and thought I'd pick up a few scratch tickets and try my luck. I was on my way out when the lady said, 'Do you have a lucky scratch coin?'

"I said 'no, you gave me a dime and nickel back.'"

"She said 'no, try this,'" handing Leyde a penny. "On my way home I started scratching tickets. They were losers. I'm thinking, boy, that lady didn't know what she was talking about."

Leyde couldn't believe it when he scratched a winning ticket, but he still plans to return to Iraq.

"It was a commitment I made about three months ago. I'm going to stick to it," Leyde said about his decision...

Very cool, definitely representative of the high quality of our military members.

William F. Buckley, Jr., R.I.P.

Crossposted at the Tennessean's Political forum.

Our revered founder, William F. Buckley Jr., died in his study this morning.

If ever an institution were the lengthened shadow of one man, this publication is his. So we hope it will not be thought immodest for us to say that Buckley has had more of an impact on the political life of this country — and a better one — than some of our presidents. He created modern conservatism as an intellectual and then a political movement. He kept it from drifting into the fever swamps. And he gave it a wit, style, and intelligence that earned the respect and friendship even of his adversaries. (To know Buckley was to be reminded that certain people have a talent for friendship.)

He inspired and incited three generations of conservatives, and counting. He retained his intellectual and literary vitality to the end; even in his final years he was capable of the arresting formulation, the unpredictable insight. He presided over NR even in his “retirement,” which was more active than most people’s careers. It has been said that great men are rarely good men. Even more rarely are they sweet and merry, as Buckley was.

When Buckley started National Review — in 1955, at the age of 29 — it was not at all obvious that anti-Communists, traditionalists, constitutionalists, and enthusiasts for free markets would all be able to take shelter under the same tent. Nor was it obvious that all of these groups, even gathered together, would be able to prevail over what seemed at the time to be an inexorable collectivist tide. When Buckley wrote that the magazine would “stand athwart history yelling, ‘Stop!’” his point was to challenge the idea that history pointed left. Mounting that challenge was the first step toward changing history’s direction. Which would come in due course.

Before he was a conservative, Buckley was devoted to his family and his Church. He is survived by his son Christopher and brothers Reid and James and sisters Priscilla, Carol, and Patricia. Our sadness for them, and for us, at his passing is leavened by the hope that he is now with his beloved wife, Patricia, who died last year.

Whether one considers one's self a conservative, liberal or whatever - if one is politically astute one will know of Buckley. Incredible intellect who championed conservative libertarianism, individual liberty & economic freedom, & the expansion of nanny-state socialism/statism. Famous for his debates with Gore Vidal & Noam Chomsky, during which he systematically fileted their arguments with charm & wit.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Interview with Arthur Laffer

We've been "treated" to condemnations & vitriol regarding supply side or "trickle down" economics for almost 30 years. The Tennessean has an interview with recent Nashville transplant Arthur Laffer, a giant in conservative supply side economics. A very interesting interview, especially from a political perspective - if one looks at the presidential candidates he's voted for over the years. I'll pull out a few quotes, but take the time to read the entire interview.

But I love bashing Republicans more than anyone, cause they can be just as dumb as stumps. I voted for Clinton twice. I voted for Jimmy Carter, not when he ran against Reagan, but when he ran against Ford I voted for him. I did Jerry Brown's flat tax. I've worked with Democrats as much as … with Republicans. I mean Reagan was my favorite, as you might imagine. But it's not a partisan issue.

If you look at the top 1 percent of income earners in 1981 (Reagan's first year in office) … those people paid 17.5 percent of all the income taxes in the United States. As the years, have gone on that number has climbed up. Today, that group pays 39.6 percent of all income taxes. The percentage has more than doubled.

The highest taxpayers paid a lot more when Kennedy cut those tax rates, dramatically; and the lowest groups paid a lot less. In the lowest groups, if you cut tax rates, you will collect less money.

Laffer has some "interesting" choices in the presidential arena, especially given his economic bent. He is, however, 100% correct on how economics work and the effect of tax rates on those of varying income levels.

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