Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

Sunday, August 31, 2003

Here it is, Two in the Morning...

And I can't sleep. So what do I find? This excellent post on Isn'taPundit's site having to do with the Chigago murders. It begins:
Jimmy Hoffa used to say, "always run from a knife and jump a gun". It apparently didn't work for him, but that just means whoever took him was a pro. It's actually damn good advice.
Go read.

Saturday, August 30, 2003

20,000!

The visitor from IP address 216.106.67.# was my 20,000th, logging in at 11:05PM.

Thanks!

Not bad for a blog started on May 14th.

Carnival of the Vanities Visitors! The link was broken. Go here. Thanks!
In an Associated Piece...

The morons concerned citizens of Ceasefire Maryland (where gun control has proven so effective) give us this little gem via JoinTogether:
CeaseFire Maryland Calls for Asking the Right Question in Gun Deaths

CeaseFire Maryland, the state's leading gun violence prevention group, is saddened by yet another massacre of innocent people at work - this time by gunman, Salvadore Tapia, in Chicago yesterday.

The frequency and regularity of workplace killings in America has become numbingly familiar. Commenting on yesterday's murders, Chicago Police Superintendent Cline said, `The problem here is easy access to a firearm. I mean here's someone who never should have had a gun, that had a gun, and its tragic results from it.'
Yeah? Well said gun transitioned - illegally - through the hands of two of your cops. Does that make the Department liable?

Didn't think so.
Leah Barrett, Executive Director of CeaseFire Maryland, commented: "This leads to a simple question that should be asked after every such tragedy: How did someone with a past criminal record such as Mr. Tapia's get his gun? Mr. Tapia had been arrested many times in the past 14 years on various charges that included illegal possession of a weapon and domestic battery and assault."
Um, Leah, he probably bought it on the street. You know, the black market? The same way British criminals get theirs even though HANDGUNS ARE COMPLETELY BANNED THERE.
This autumn, attention will be focused on the trial of the Washington area snipers who, lest we forget, killed 10 people and wounded 3 last October. Because the three-week shooting binge riveted the nation's attention, questions were asked about how the two snipers obtained their weapon, a Bushmaster assault rifle. And the trail led straight to Bull's Eye Shooter Supply, the Tacoma, Washington gun store from which the rifle used in the shootings `mysteriously disappeared', along with 238 other guns.
Although Malvo has admittted that he stole it, it's somehow still a mystery. And I think you need to be pointing an accusing finger at the BATFE for not shutting Bull's Eye down. It's their job to regulate - that's what they're paid to do - not stomp kittens.

But here's my FAVORITE part:
It's not a pretty story, but one that must be told if we are to address the root cause of much of the gun violence in America - cutting off the supply of illegal guns to criminals.
That's so wrong it can't be a simple error. The root cause of gun violence in America is violent criminals. If they didn't have guns, they'd still be violent criminals. Trying to address the problem through gun elimination is the most hopeless thing imaginable, and we've got England's sterling example to prove it.

Repeating the same behavior while expecting a different result is the definition of insanity.

And I don't think the people behind the disarmament effort really are insane.
Barrett continued: "There are countless other instances where this question should be asked and answered in full. Yet the US Senate doesn't seem to think this question is important. Last spring, Senator Larry Craig (R-ID) introduced S. 659, an ill-conceived and reckless attempt to provide special legal protection for the gun industry at the expense of innocent Americans who have been harmed by the dangerous and irresponsible actions of firearms makers and sellers." S. 659 has so far collected 54 co-sponsors and could be brought for a vote at any moment. Its companion bill, H.R. 1036, easily passed the House of Representatives on April 9th.
And I'm glad they did. Let's see, now they're going to sue Walther, who made the gun in 1966, the distributor that sold it to the gun shop, the gun shop that sold it to Beuck, Beuck, the family of the first officer who bought it from Beuck, the family of the second officer who bought it from the first officer, the ammunition manufacturer, and anybody else with suspected deep pockets.

It was Tapia who acquired (bought or stole) the gun, Tapia who loaded the gun, and Tapia who killed with the gun. But it's somehow the gun industry's fault, and those bastards should be made to PAY!.
Robert Ricker, who served as Executive Director of a major gun industry trade association and was also a former Assistant General Counsel for the National Rifle Association, maintains that leaders in the gun industry have long known that greater industry action to prevent illegal transactions is possible but have resisted taking constructive voluntary action and have `sought to silence others within the industry.' S. 659 would appear to be just what the gun industry ordered.

A UN survey on small arms released in July reveals that the US has by far the largest number of publicly owned guns in the world, approaching the point where there will be one gun for every American. Given this volume of lethal weapons, one would think that strenuous efforts would be made to keep guns out of the hands of people like Mr. Tapia. Yet we are seeing just the opposite with S. 659, a bill that would undermine the legal rights of individuals harmed by gun violence and provide unwarranted special immunity for the gun industry.
Given "this volume of lethal weapons" you'd believe that people capable of rubbing two brain cells together would recognize the impossibility of keeping guns out of the hands of the criminally inclined.
Cops Don't Follow the Law and They Expect Mere CITIZENS To?

From the Chigago Tribune comes this story (registration required) about the handgun used in the Chigago auto parts warehouse mass murder.
Gun in massacre linked to 2 cops

Both had owned weapon illegally before killer got it

A day after the family of three men slain this week by a former co-worker decried the lax control of handguns, Chicago police acknowledged that the two last known owners of the gun Salvador Tapia used in his rampage were Chicago police officers, neither of whom had legally registered the weapon.

One of the officers was Richard Schott, who died of a heart attack in 1997 after struggling with a prisoner in the Deering District lockup, sources said. Schott sold the gun to another officer, with whom he had worked closely between 1994 and his death, the sources added.

The Police Department declined to identify the second officer, who died in 2002. Interviews with their families and the gun's previous owner, who has been jailed in the case, have created a trail of possession that ends somewhere between 1994 and 2002, police spokesman David Bayless said.

Police do not yet know how or when Tapia, 36, acquired the gun. Under a court order of protection since August 2001, Tapia could not legally possess a firearm. But he walked into the Windy City Core Supply warehouse at 3912 S. Wallace St. Wednesday morning armed with the Walther PP .380-caliber semiautomatic handgun and an extra clip of ammunition.
Really? A Walther PP? That would be this gun:

A pocket pistol with an eight round capacity. Not a "pocket rocket," (small pistol chambered in 9x19 Parabellum or higher caliber) not an "assault pistol," not a "high-capacity" gun.
Over the next several minutes he shot to death six men, including three members of the Weiner family from the North Shore. In a statement Thursday, family members said Alan Weiner, his brother Howard Weiner and Howard's son Daniel Weiner were killed because of "lax control over handguns in our community."
No, they were killed because the state can't protect them and it refuses to allow them protect themselves. They had reason to believe they were in danger, but Chicago doesn't allow mere citizens to have firearms for self-protection. And it is patently obvious to anyone willing to look that "gun control" up to and including bans does not keep firearms out of the hands of people willing to use them criminally.
The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives traced the weapon to the Blue Island Gun Shop, which received the gun from the manufacturer in 1966 and sold it to Milton R. Beuck. The last official record of the gun was 1983, when Beuck registered it legally in Chicago.

Beuck told police he had sold it to a Chicago police officer, identified by sources as Schott, at a bar in 1994, Bayless said. The police officer sold the gun to a second officer sometime between 1994 and 1997, according to a friend of the first officer. The second officer died in 2002 and it is unclear what became of the gun, Bayless said.

"It was not registered and it should have been," he said.

On Thursday, police charged Beuck, who is 58 and homeless, with a misdemeanor for failing to keep records of the gun, authorities said. In Bond Court Friday, Cook County Judge Marvin Luckman ordered him held on $100,000 bond and assigned him to the Cermak Hospital division of Cook County Jail.
Two thoughts: "Holy sweet freaking jebus, if they implement registration there is no WAY I'm EVER going to comply," and "At least the guy's going to get a bed and some hot meals." A third: charging him is asinine.
The high bond was ordered because of the seriousness of the eventual crime in which the gun was used
Which he is NOT responsible for
and because there was an outstanding drunken driving warrant for Beuck, said Jerry Lawrence, a spokesman for the Cook County state's attorney's office.

There is an 18-month statute of limitations on the misdemeanor charge, Lawrence said, but because the law requires a gun owner to maintain records for 10 years, Beuck was currently violating the law by not maintaining a record of the 1994 sale through next year.
Um, there's something wrong with this picture. Let me see if I can identify what it is...

THE GUY IS HOMELESS!

YOU ARE CHARGING HIM FOR NOT HAVING A PIECE OF PAPER!

YOU ARE ALL INSANE FUCKING ASSHATS!


Ahem. Back to the story:
Beuck allegedly sold the gun to the first police officer, identified by sources as Schott, in a South Side bar where they met, Bayless said. An employee of the bar, who was friends with the officer, told police the officer later sold the gun to the second officer, Bayless said. Efforts to reach employees of the bar were unsuccessful.

Though civilians have been barred from registering newly acquired handguns in Chicago since 1983, peace officers, military personnel and other exempt people still are required to register their guns with the Police Department, said Jennifer Hoyle, spokeswoman for the city's Law Department.

Bayless acknowledged it was distressing that two police officers had violated the city's gun law and contributed to the weapon's illegitimacy. But, he said, Tapia's past behavior made it clear that he would have found a gun somewhere if the Walther was not available.

"Salvador Tapia would have gotten a gun somewhere," he said.
DING, DING, DING! We Have A WINNER!
The disclosure of the officers' role "also demonstrates we're going to do a thorough investigation documenting the path of this gun every step of the way before it got into his hands."

Alan Weiner's daughter Jamie, 20, said Friday she was troubled to hear that the gun used to kill her father, uncle and cousin was owned illegally by two police officers.

"I want to put an end to the guns ...," she said Friday. "The wrong people have guns."
No, my dear. It's impossible to keep them out of the wrong hands. The problem is the right people don't have them.
Bizarre is Right

Via Fox News comes this... disturbing story of a pizza delivery man who goes out on a delivery, robs a bank with a bomb strapped to his chest, is arrested after the robbery, and the bomb explodes while he's sitting in the squad car asking for help to get it off. He claimed to the police that he was forced to rob the bank.

Very, very weird.
This Has Been Interesting

I'm currently engaged in a - I hesitate to call it a "debate", in the comment section of a post over at Media Whores Online Watch^^4. I went there as a result of the Democratic Underground controversy that started at Misha's (detailed below).

I've spent more time responding over there recently than in posting over here.

Fun, though.

Friday, August 29, 2003

Truer Words Were Never Spoken

The British Telegraph reports on the betrayal of Uday and Qusay (or "Dead and Deader") with the best quote I've seen anywhere:
(O)n April 6, Uday sent for Ala'a Makki, the former director of his television station. He asked Makki what the Iraqi people were thinking. "He was depressed," says Makki. "Since he was disabled in the gun attack on him in 1996 he had become increasingly erratic and inhumane.

"His final words to me were: 'This time I think the Americans are serious. Bush is not like Clinton. I think this is the end'."
Gee, Ya THINK?

OUTSTANDING!
Woman wins national rifle championship

Shooting her M-16A2, Spc. Liana Bombardier, a U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit service rifle shooter, won the Service Rifle National Long Range Rifle Championship at Camp Perry, Ohio. Bombardier garnered the Billy C. Atkins Trophy as the highest scoring service rifle shooter in the National Highpower Rifle Long Range Championships Aug. 15 - 18.

The 21-year-old soldier is the first woman in the 100-year history of the matches to win the trophy awarded to the service rifle (now a M-1, M-14 or M-16) shooter with the highest aggregate score over the entire championships.

"The Atkins Trophy is a hard trophy to win and I was thrilled to find out I had won it," Bombardier said. "I was behind by 5 points going into the last day of competition. I shot well that last day and came up ahead. I never thought I was going to win it."

Bombardier also fired her M-16A2 in matches at 600, 800, 900 and 1,000 yards, and won the Service Rifle Category in the Palma Individual Trophy Match and the High Master Category in the Porter Trophy Match. She also won the Annie Oakley Trophy for being the best female shooter in this year's Interservice Championships at Quantico, Va.
That is one tough competition. Hat's off to her. Read the whole story.
I Sometimes Wish I Stayed Up Later

Ravenwood has a collection of one-liners about the upcoming recall election in California that have been the meat of late-nite monologs. My favorite:
There was also talk of bringing Al Gore to California to help out, but there was concern that Gray Davis and Al Gore in the same state would cause some kind of rolling personality blackout. -- Jay Leno

Thursday, August 28, 2003

Oh Yeah, THESE Guys Have a Grip On Reality

This Austrailian report on the Bali bombers contains this wonderful quotation:
Ironically, from a terrorist accused not only of the Bali bombing but of church bombings and the bombing of an ambassador's residence in Jakarta, Sawad claimed he had a message of peace for the world.

"For all human beings to stop now in this world, destroy all of the destructive weapons . . . if there were no weapons then peace can be created," he said.
Right. Let's just roll everything back to when human beings were all peaceful agrarians who never had any conflicts.

Except that "reality" never was.

Then people were ruled by large men with swords. And the guy who has the most sword-wielders wins. Before that, it was large men with clubs. Check your history. It has never been peaceful. And the further back you go the less power the individual had. They were the fodder and the victims of nearly endless conflict through being directly overrun by battle, starved and diseased by the effects of war, or taxed into oblivion to support war.

Thank you very much, but I'll take the present - with "all of the destructive weapons" and everything that goes with them. As weapons technology has advanced, the power of the lowly individual has too. As the French learned to their discomfort at Agincourt, British peons with bows were superior to armored noblemen on horseback. It doesn't take a lifetime of training to be useful with a rifle, and as the Samurai discovered during the Meiji Restoration, peasants with rifles are superior to noblemen with swords and bows. And as the Battle of Athens proved, arms in the hands of citizens can defeat corrupt government even in modern times.

When only government holds the sword, the people can either submit, or perish - and government will never put down its sword.
Chris Muir Hits the Nail on the Head - Again

Day by Day
"Ugly Americans" Superceded by Brits and Germans

According to this BBC report Germans are the most obnoxious tourists, followed by the British. Americans and the French are tied for third place, just squeeking out the Italians.

Dammit, we're falling behind again.

D'you think the Beeb "sexed up" the report?
The Al Qaeda Employee Handbook - a Short Film

This is hilarious.
Dept. of Our Collapsing Schools

Larry Wright of the Detroit News weighs in:

Of course, this doesn't help either:

by Jeff Stahler of the Cincinnati Post.

Apparently Bruce Plante of the Chattanooga Times Free Press has met my sister:

Dick Wright of the Columbus Dispatch seems to have his finger on the pulse of the problem:


Though there are worse alternatives:

Brian Gable, Toronto Globe & Mail.

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Oooooh! A CHALLENGE!

Over on Emperor Misha's blog an apparent über-moonbat is defending the righteousness (lefteousness?) of the Democratic Underground in a comment thread. "Barney Grumble" of the redundantly named "Media Whores Online Watch Watch Watch Watch" (I think I have the right number of "watch"es there) wrote:
DU is not a shouting board.
While I'm not certain exactly what he meant, I responded:
Barney:

I was kicked off DU (Sep-03-02) after a little over 1800 posts and several months - for something I wrote on another site. Not only that, I was booted by Skinner himself - and this is what he said:

"This is a message board for liberals. We don't expect people to vote straight-ticket Democratic, but we do expect our members to be generally supportive of liberal priorities. If that guy is a liberal, I will eat my firstborn."

This was less than a week (Aug-27-02) after a moderator wrote to me in a post:

"Don't shut up. I wildly disagree with most of your positions on this subject, but you are a damn fine advocate. And you make me think. And that is important."

It would appear that making people think is an ejectable offense on Democratic Underground.

I cannot help but wonder why that is.
To which he responded:
Kevin: I don't believe you.
When I offered to e-mail him the archived threads in question, he responded:
Kevin: It will be adequate to post it to your blog, liar.
He seems defensive, doesn't he? Well, I tried posting the HTML code from the archived files here on Blogspot but it makes the system puke. Instead, I've got screenshots, but they won't post here in full size, and reduced they're illegible. You can view them here:

The image entitled "dear pita" is the one where moderator "Cappurr" encourages me to keep posting. Note the date. The image entitled "skinner 1" is where I am "outed" by the SysAdmin, and the image entitled "skinner 2" is where he explains his reasoning - and is the one I quoted. You have to register to see them. Sorry about that.

Interesting. After 1819 posts (none of which were objectionable enough to get me banned) he had to find something off-site to justify booting me - because I was making his poor little liberals think. And I was booted by the SysAdmin himself! I think I should be honored. Or I should have taken a shower immediately afterward.

Offer's still open "Barney." I'd be more than happy to send you the entire threads, and all the others I archived. They might make you think.
Our Collapsing Schools Dept. - Humor Bureau

From The Braden Files comes this list that I e-mailed to my schoolteacher sister:
You might be a teacher if...

You believe "shallow gene pool" should have its own box on the report card.

You want to slap the next person who says, "Must be nice to work 8 to 3:20 and have summers free."

You can tell if it's a full moon without ever looking outside.

You believe the playground should be equipped with a Ritalin salt lick.

You believe that unspeakable evils will befall you if anyone says, "Boy, the kids sure are mellow today."

When out in public you feel the urge to snap your fingers at children you do not know and correct their behavior.

You have no social life between September and June.

Marking all A's on report cards would make your life SO much easier.

You think people should be required to get a government permit before being allowed to reproduce.

You wonder how some parents ever MANAGED to reproduce.

You laugh uncontrollably when people refer to the staff room as the "lounge".

You encourage an obnoxious parent to check into charter schools or home schooling.

You can't have children because there's no name you could give a child that wouldn't bring on high blood pressure the moment you heard it uttered.

You think caffeine should be available in intravenous form.

You know you are in for a major project when a parent says, "I have a great idea I'd like to discuss. I think it would be such fun."

Meeting a child's parent instantly answers the question, "Why is this kid like this?"
Can I get an "AMEN!"?
"This is so wrong that it cannot be an honest mistake."

Via Ravenwood comes this NY Times article (registration required) on the New York City Coucil's at least six new gun control measures formulated in response to the death of Coucilperson James E. Davis who was shot in the council chambers last month. Here's what they're considering:
The proposals include holding gun makers, dealers and importers liable for damages if their weapons are used to kill or injure people in the city, as well as prohibiting gun dealers from selling more than one firearm to the same person within 90 days. Another proposal would require gun owners in the city to obtain liability insurance.
So the first thing they want to do is place the blame on everybody but the guy behind the trigger (in direct opposition to the bills in Congress that would prohibit such liability.) The second is, unsurprisingly an extension of the "one gun a month" idea to "one gun every THREE months." Shortly to be followed by "one gun every TWELVE months," to "Gun? You don't NEED a gun."

More quotes:
There was no urgency prior to the shooting," said Peter Vallone Jr., chairman of the Public Safety Committee, which is holding next month's hearing.

"But now there is a sense that we all want to move as quickly as possible on these bills in his memory."
Why? Not one of the ideas presented would have prevented his death. Again, they're just useless, knee-jerk reactions.
The city's renewed focus on gun control is also expected to open the door for broader state legislation, in much the same way that the city's ban on smoking in restaurants and other public places did.
Right, after New Yorkers were told that the increasing legislation against smoking would never result in a ban on it. Just like we're told that the increasing legislation against gun ownership will never result in a ban on it. Go ahead, pull my other leg.
"I think it would be a good thing if the city did it, and showed the state the way," said the Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver, who represents the Lower East Side.
That's because you're a useful idiot, Mr. Silver.

This reminds me of a favorite quote:
"The ruling class doesn't care about public safety. Having made it very difficult for States and localities to police themselves, having left ordinary citizens with no choice but to protect themselves as best they can, they now try to take our guns away. In fact they blame us and our guns for crime. This is so wrong that it cannot be an honest mistake." - former U.S. Sen. Malcolm Wallop (R-Wy.)


It also reminds me of Riss v. New York which I covered in "Is the Government Responsible for Your Protection?"

How about the City Council consider a law that would make the City of New York liable for not protecting its citizens? I'd like to see the liability insurance bill for that.


Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Is it worth $985 to live free of Hoplophobia?

Ran across this over at AR15.com. Very cute. The Phobia Clinic Go look. Here's a sample:
HOPLOPHOBIA: (Hoplophobia, Fear of Firearms, and Fear of Guns)
1: hoplophobia: a persistent, abnormal, and irrational fear of firearms that compels avoidance, despite the understanding by the phobic individual and reassurance by others that there is no danger. 2: hoplophobia: a strong fear of, dislike of, or aversion to firearms.


Our board certified team specializes in helping individuals overcome fears, phobias & anxiety of all kinds, and is particularly focused on problems such as hoplophobia. With a success rate close to 100% we can offer to refund our fee to clients if they are not successful in overcoming the fear.
Hell, I can probably cure you for a lot less. Say $650?


A Followup to Steven's Post on Crime and Race

Now that I've had time to read and digest Steven Den Beste's essay I have just a couple of comments. Overall, I agree with his points, but I have a some issues with his argument. First, I'd like to point out that the object of my post was directly in conjunction with the abuse of firearms in crime, and the overwhelming (6:1) ratio of young black men to all other young men who are both the victims and the perpetrators of violent crime. Steven writes:
[I]t leaves open the question of why it is that inner city blacks are so much more at risk, and whether anything can be done to help them. There have been many attempts to do so, and they're something of a cause célèbre in certain circles. Their apparent failure is used by many as evidence that there are still lingering effects of slavery and discrimination, even after all this time.

Is it true? Certainly there are still such effects; things are vastly better now than they were when I was a kid, but we haven't yet reached the point of having a race-blind culture. But there's also the fact that a lot of blacks live in the suburbs, hold professional positions (some with great responsibility), make a good living, and don't seem to be any more prone to crime than anyone else. And recent immigrants from Africa and the Caribbean who are also Negroes don't seem to have the same troubles. Whatever is going on is more complicated than skin color.
I did not intend to imply that "whatever is going on" is due to "skin color." It just so happens that skin color is one of the recognizable traits. You also have to add youth and sex, urbanization and culture. Steven also wrote:
But I'm not sure we can conclude that the correlation of high crime to race is actually significant.
I would certainly say that you can't conclude causation, but correlation? Even Jesse Jackson has concluded differently.

Steven asks:
Are we rather seeing the result of a residue of natural filtration, whose tendencies to crime are then reinforced through local concentration?
If you remove the words "to crime," isn't that another description of culture? Steven concludes with this question:
Before we can solve a problem, we have to understand what the problem is. And we have to begin by asking whether there even is a problem. Are we just seeing a physical concentration of the low end of the curve?
Um, Steven, there is a problem. That problem is defined by the fact that young, black, urban males perpetrate and are the victims of violent crime at six times the rate of the rest of their age and sex demographic. The reason is cultural, and it is the same reason that young black urban males do poorly in school. It is not socially acceptable in their peer groups to be academically proficient, and it is socially acceptable to be violent. Recent immigrants from Africa and the Carribean, while sharing the same skin color, age group, sex and urbanization, do not share the culture. This is illustrated well by a May 19 Washington Times Weekly Edition article (no longer available online without subscription) entitled "African immigrants balk at views of U.S. black leaders." Money quotes:
Many immigrants from Africa and the Caribbean do not wish to be classified as black, because black leaders here have failed to reach out to the immigrants and identify their concerns, said members of the panel, which was composed primarily of representatives from the liberal black establishment.”

--

Studies have also found that African-born residents in the U.S. are better-educated and have among the highest per-capita incomes of any immigrant group....

--

The Economist reported in 1996 that ¾ of African immigrants have some college experience and that one if four has an advanced degree....

--

Many immigrants are not even aware of the “color line” that prevents minorities here from excelling, other panelists said in amazement.
Perhaps because the "color line" is completely overblown, but a fixture in the culture that African and Carribean immigrants reject?

The whole point of my (unfortunately butchered) piece is that violent crime in America is excessively concentrated in a very small, identifiable group. The volume of violent crime in that very small group is large enough to significantly elevate the national statistics. The general response to this has not been to attempt to address this specific problem, it has been (in large part) an effort to implement wholesale "gun control." That effort affects overwhelmingly the people who are NOT perpetrators of violent crime, but affects not at all those who are. It's the definition of insanity - repeating the same behavior over and over while expecting a different result.

As Steven has illustrated in great detail, the U.S. government is currently investing billions of dollars and hundreds of lives in an attempt to change a culture - on the other side of the world. That culture is directly responsible for taking the lives of several thousand Americans over the past few decades. Here in this country we have a culture responsible for taking thousands of American lives every year, and we are not attempting to change that culture at all. We must be supporting it, because otherwise the loss of one in every thousand young black men between the ages of 15 and 30 every year to violence ought to be enough of an incentive all by itself to produce a paradigm shift in that culture.

Instead, we argue about "gun control."
When It's This Good, All I Can Do is Link To It.

The Spoons Experience disassembles, folds, spindles, mutilates, and tears the manufacturers tag off of a recent BBC piece on American women and guns. A teaser:
I want to talk about the bint who wrote the BBC piece, Limey Reporterette Vanessa Collingridge (Nota Bene -- with that sentence, I've just broken 17 laws of the European Union, and have technically committed a war crime in Belgium).
HATE SPEECH! HATE SPEECH!

Go read. Don't imbibe whilst doing so.

(Did that sound Limey enough?)
Endorsed by Kim du Toit

In an earlier post I related the story of Don Strickland who recently used a North American Arms .22 Magnum mini-revolver in an attempt to foil a robbery. (Next Time, Stick it in His EAR)

Now Kim du Toit has added one to his arsenal as a "Truck Gun" in much the same way Mr. Strickland did.

Hmm.. my truck gun is my Kimber Custom Classic Stainless.

But I will admit that for concealed-carry, the mini-revolver is a LOT more concealable. And it beats having nothing at all. A cylinder full of .22 magnums is nothing to sneeze at.
I'm Honored!

Steven Den Beste weighs in on the specific questions of crime, race, poverty and the bell curve at least in part because of my post RACIST! below. He does his standard thorough job. After I have a chance to consider it in detail, I'll have a response.

Monday, August 25, 2003

Dept. of Our Collapsing Schools

Via Common Sense and Wonder comes the link to this Fred Reed piece entitled The Two Cultures. A taste:
I sometimes think the country is dividing itself into two cultures. The first, and much the smaller, will be of those who read widely and know much, who are cultured and live in a wider world than the merely present. The second will be of those who received high grades without understanding that they were being cheated by their elders. An abyss will separate the two.

The chain of cultivation, once broken, is not easily rejoined. We are doing everything we can to break it. It is a shame. People deserve more. We are doing this, as nearly as I can tell, so that the dull and uninterested will feel good about themselves. We are doing it to conceal that some of us are better than others.

Yes, better. That word.

In the past it was recognized that certain qualities were superior to others, and that people who cultivated those superior qualities were superior to those who didn't. The honest were thought superior to the thieving, the kind to the cruel, the provident to the shiftless, the wise to the foolish, the learned to the ignorant. Today one must not hold these views. They constitute the crime of elitism, which is the recognition that the better is preferable to the worse.

One must never, ever notice that some people are better than others.

Not to notice the inescapable requires either stupidity or moral blindness. Since few people are very stupid, we have chosen the road of blindness. We feign stupidity for reasons of politics.
Much more in the same key. Excellent essay, and a good companion piece to Bill Whittle's Responsibility.

Go read.
OMFG, That's Funny!

Via Rand Simberg's Transterrestial Musings comes the link to The Lemon's "Lifecycle of a News Story!" (With pictures!) My favorite part:
Bill Whittle will land just long enough to post a 104 page essay on why America will come out on top.

And it will rock.
Go read. That one gets archived to the hard drive.
Now THERE'S an Economic Advisor I Can Get Behind!

Artist is Chip Bok, of the Akron (Ohio) Beacon-Journal.

Highly recommended reading (no pun intended) is Jimmy's A Pirate Looks at Fifty. Very enjoyable look into a man who once told school counselors when asked what kind of life he expected to have if he continued in his ways, "An interesting one." And he was right.
...The Blind Shall Be Made to See...

This is too cool. Via Samizdata, I found this article:
Cell transplant restores vision

A blind man can see again after being given a stem cell transplant.

Mike May, of California, had been blind for 40 years since an accident at the age of three where he lost one eye and was blinded in the other.

During that time he had some ability to perceive light, but could not make out form or contrast.

He said he had no visual memories from his early childhood.

The operation transplanted corneal and limbal stem cells into his right eye.
It's not perfect, but it's better than nothing, and a huge improvement over complete blindness IMHO. Go read the whole article.

Stem cell research appears to hold great promise in a great many areas.

Sunday, August 24, 2003

Top Ten Signs You Had a Bad Day at the Range

10: The 12 year-old girl with the Mini 14 beats you in the High Power Match

9: The wind knocked down more targets than you did

8: You measure your groups using a yardstick

7: You remember to bring all 10 new magazines for a function check but forget to bring the rifle they fit in.

6: The guy in the stall next to yells "Hey, watch this!!" right before everything goes dark.

5: You realize you forgot to put on your ear muffs right after you pull the trigger on your Barrett .50BMG rifle.

4: The only target you hit all day long was the urinal cake in the restroom.

3: After you step out of the restroom the cute counter girl tells you 'Nice 2" stubby'

....but you don't own any revolvers.

2: While shooting skeet you bring down Air Force One.

and the #1 sign you have had a bad day at the range....

1: Your new buddy keeps refering to the prone position as the missionary position.

(Thanks to AR15 contributor SgtAR - content slightly edited.)

That's it for tonight, folks. It's getting late and a storm is rolling in.
That Would Be a Threat Level III Vest, Wouldn't It?

Day by Day
Bias? What Bias?

Dale Amon, a contributor to Samizdata, points to this Fox News editorial by Eric Burns in response to a peice by Walter Cronkite. The money quote from Eric's piece is this:
The majority of young men and women who enter journalism do so not because they want to report the news but because they want to make a difference in society. In other words, they want to report certain kinds of news. They do not want to convey facts or explain processes; they want to shine spotlights on abuse. In some cases they are motivated by idealism; in others, by the hope that some of the light will reflect back on them.
I read Bernie Goldberg's book Bias shortly after it came out, and when it isn't being a Dan Rather hate-fest, Bernie says much the same thing. And he also makes this point: Journalists don't see the bias because the overwhelming majority of them think the same way. To them, they are "fair and balanced" because their position (as far as they are concerned) is "middle of the road." In fact, in one of the "Dan Rather" bits, Bernie quotes Dan as saying that he considered the New York Times "Middle-of-the-road." In another he provided the story of the New York socialite who couldn't believe Nixon won the presidential election because: "I don't know ANYBODY who voted for him!" Same idea. Reality doesn't match perspective.

Wall Street Journal editor emeritus Robert Bartley made essentially the same observation recently:
The opinion of the press corps tends toward consensus because of an astonishing uniformity of viewpoint. Certain types of people want to become journalists, and they carry certain political and cultural opinions. This self-selection is hardened by peer group pressure. No conspiracy is necessary; journalists quite spontaneously think alike. The problem comes because this group-think is by now divorced from the thoughts and attitudes of readers.
The interesting thing from my take is that with the rise of Fox News (which is far from "fair and balanced" itself) the other news organizations are having to respond because of market pressure - liberally biased news reporting is losing its following and its revenue. What a shock. The liberal elite claims that there is no liberal bias in media and point to the fact that Big Media is owned by giant (and therefore obviously conservative) corporations. Like most liberal ideas, that's missing some important facts. For one thing, if the news media (reporters, editors, producers) are of a common mindset, then that's the mindset you're going to find in the news produced, regardless of who runs the company. Second, the giant corporations haven't been interested in directing the tone of the news, but in making a profit - a point well illustrated by Fox News' cometary rise in popularity. Now we're seeing MSNBC and CNN trying out "conservative" talking-heads in an effort to emulate Fox's ratings (and income.) Rupert Murdoch changed the paradigm. He was the conservative force driving Fox News in its conservative direction, but I think it more market-driven than ideology-driven. He just found a way to make more money than his competition.

Which brings us to most destructive thing I've seen when it comes to the industry: News as a profit center.

It has been argued that until the (commercial) success of the TV news magazine 60 Minutes the network news programs were run as a "loss-leader" - a "prestige" thing. (Walter Cronkite as "the most trusted man in America.") The national and local news programs were provided to meet the FCC requirement for community service, and reporters did stories on things that needed to be reported on (and were, often, pretty boring.) Once the business people found out that the news department might provide a revenue stream rather than be a sucking vortex to the bottom line, then the news (both local and national) became ever more sensational in order to draw viewership and advertising dollars. This (oh, please, jeebus) hit its high-water mark with the coverage of the O.J. Simpson circus, but we still see it in cases like Jonbenet Ramsey, Kobe Bryant, Laci Peterson et al.

So now what we generally get is a mix of sensational (but overall unimportant) stories (many of which used to be handled by the "entertainment" columnists but are now covered by front-rank "journalists"), and actually newsworthy stuff that is (whenever possible, it seems) reported with a "liberal" slant, and is far too often (as I illustrated when I started this blog) incomplete, inaccurate, misleading and sometimes even deliberately mendacious.

Nobody would consider Tom Brokaw, Peter Jennings, or any of the other blow-dried newsreaders "the most trusted person in America" any longer.

And it's carried over into print journalism, too. (It can be argued that it actually orginated there and it's simply returned to its roots, but that's an essay unto itself.) What I decry, though, is what I consider to be an overall decline in the quality of the reporting being done. There used to be a mnemonic taught in journalism school, FACT: Fast, Accurate, Complete, True. Now they concentrate on Fast and Sensational. To hell with accurate, complete or even true. As Matt Drudge put it:
"I suppose I could have blown up a few trucks, put bad food back on the deli counter or accused the military of nerve-gassing deserters and kept my journalistic integrity throughout. But I realized early on, it is easier to sleep at night if you can say at every step that you reported the truth as you knew it."
No wonder the "mainstream" media dislikes Drudge so much.
Nationalized Health Care Dept.: Equally Bad Care for All

Sorry I missed the article when it was still free, but Kiwi Pundit points to this NYT story blurb on the state of National Dental Care in Wales:
Carmarthen Journal; A Nagging Pain in Britain: How to Find a Dentist

Wales is so lacking in British government-subsidized dental treatment that 600 people recently lined up outside dental office in Carmarthen seeking one of 300 advertised appointments to see National Health Service dentist; some pitched tents overnight and others came from 90 miles away; ever fewer British dentists are willing to endure grueling, assembly-line work required to take part in National Health Service.
Here's another story (complete, this time) on the problem:
NHS dentist shortage is exposed

The full extent of the shortage of NHS dentists is exposed today.

New statistics show that fewer than half of Londoners are registered with a state dentist - the worst record in the country.

The figure has fallen to as low as 21 per cent in some areas - raising concerns about the state of dental health in the capital. Critics blame health chiefs for failing to prioritise dentistry and say urgent action is needed to widen access to NHS care.

Thousands of patients across Britain are being forced into private-dental care because of the shortage of places on NHS registers.

Earlier this month, 600 people queued outside an NHS dental practice in Wales because it was taking on new patients.

The latest figures show that on average, only 40 per cent of Londoners are registered with a state dentist, compared to 74 per cent in Great Yarmouth, 71 per cent in Ipswich and 82 per cent in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire.

The worst affected areas in the capital are Kensington and Chelsea, where only 21 per cent of residents are on the register; City and Hackney, where 29.4 per cent have a state dentist; and Tower

Hamlets, where only 28 per cent have a place. By contrast, 48 per cent in Haringey are registered, with 46 per cent in Westminster.

Many of those who cannot register with a state dentist and are unable to afford private care are forced to visit NHS drop-in clinics, where staff do not have access to their records and only provide emergency care.

Dr Evan Harris, health spokesman for the Liberal Democrats, said: "This is bad news for Londoners' teeth. As dentists leave the NHS in droves, the Government is putting money into providing dental access centres for emergencies, instead of people getting care throughout the year. Also, patients have to travel further."

In 1999, the Prime Minister promised that within two years, everybody who wanted access to an NHS dentist would have it.

However, the number of dentists working for the NHS has declined - many claiming that poor pay forces them to go private. State dentists, who are selfemployed and work as "independent contractors" for the Government, receive about £18 for filling a tooth. The private patient fee is about £50.

A spokeswoman for the British Dental Associat ion said : "Because dentists are contractors, it is up to them where they work and how many NHS patients they treat. We worry that increasingly only emergency care will be available on the NHS."

John Renshaw, chairman of the BDA's executive board, said: "The NHS pays dentists a standard fee. This discourages dentists from working in some areas. The Health and Social Care Bill will give primary care trusts the power to set payments, which should improve the situation."
Here's ANOTHER story about just how hard it is to get dental care in Wales:
I broke law to help others

A NORTH Wales pensioner last night told how he helped scores of people desperate for dental care - even though it was illegal.

For years Russell Hall has fitted people with dentures. He even advertised his services in the Yellow Pages.

The 70-year-old told the Daily Post: "I know what I have done is illegal, but when there are people coming up to you desperate for help, then I was not going to turn them away."

Mr Hall, of Hafod Road West, Penrhyn Bay, is a retired dental technician but not a qualified dentist.

Yesterday, he was fined £1,250 by Llandudno magistrates after client Marjorie Porter, of Penrhyn Bay, complained to the General Dental Council.

He was also ordered to repay her £360 and prosecution costs of £1,616.

In court he claimed less than half the population had access to an NHS dentist, leaving people no option but to seek illegal aid.

A dental technician makes false teeth but is not allowed to work in a person's mouth. That has to be done by a qualified dentist.
I just shelled out about $1,100 to an periodontist to have my wife's teeth worked on (after she suffered for six months because she hates going to the dentist.) But at least we were able to make the appointment(s) and get her seen.

Please, jeebus - no nationalized health care here.
Dept. of Our Collapsing Schools

AlphaPatriot weighs in on this story about the Tennessee State Board of Education setting the graduation requirement to 60% in order for a school to stay off the "low-performing" list.
Tennessee high schools will need to graduate only 60% of students to stay off the state's low-performing list.
I can't do it any better. Go read.

And home-school your kids if it is at all possible.

Friday, August 22, 2003

That's Not a Walther!

Feces Flinging Monkey once again links to something odd and interesting, the Internet Watergun Museum. But I must quibble. On this page:

the middle gun on the bottom row is labled "pistool Walther." That's no Walther, that's a broomhandle Mauser!

The one immediately to its right, simply labled "pistool" could be a 1902 Browning Automatic.

(Sometimes being the repository for all this arcane knowledge seems lame pays off.)
UPDATE:

And as an example, of the RACIST!™ paintbrush we have this report that Ted Nugent is suing over being accused of making RACIST!™ comments. He's suing because one of his concerts was cancelled over the accusation, and he's suing "the City of Muskegon; Mayor Stephen Warmington; City Manager Bryon Mazade; Meridian Entertainment, the concert's promoter, and others as defendants." Money quote:
"In a world of political correctness, there is no more reputation-destroying term than racist," Nugent said in the statement. "And the alleged statements falsely attributed to me could not have been more inaccurate or misleading, completely counter to what I stand for."
Nugent's full statement is available here. This story is the only one I found that had any clarification on just what Nugent said:
A May 5 interview on Denver radio station KRFX-FM's morning show was cut short because DJs Rick Lewis and Michael Floorwax said Nugent went too far when he used several racial slurs.

The interview focused on guitars until Nugent used the word Jap, to which Lewis and Floorwax immediately protested, The Rocky Mountain News reported. Nugent then used another Asian slur and the DJs called him on that.

Nugent next used the n word when talking about comedian Richard Pryor's humor and said that, years ago, one of the Funk Brothers used the term to compliment Nugent's guitar playing.
On this topic, let me refer you to Bill Whittle's most recent essay, Responsibility:
To be Politically Correct these days, you must accept the collectivist belief that words are like weapons, endowed with their own internal, innate power, and this power, like that of a chambered bullet, cannot be trusted to be used responsibly and so must be outlawed and banished from the community.

PC advocates have strict rules for what they call Hate Speech, and using such speech essentially makes you a criminal.

So much for the First Amendment. But the Bill of Rights never meant much to these people; indeed, they see it as an impediment to human progress.

Implicit in this belief is that I have the power to harm you by my use of language. Notice that all the responsibility falls on the speaker; the listener, the subject, is completely powerless, and has achieved the highest status with the group: victim. Note also that this worshipping of the victim, is in essence, the elevation of the most powerless and the least responsible to divine status. It is a very basic sleight of hand, that allows the controlling elites to maintain that they are only trying to help the poor and downtrodden, when in reality their actions are clearly nothing more than a naked grab for power that would shame the most ruthless corporate CEO.

Who decides what is hate speech? The group decides. If one person in the group seriously finds something offensive, then that term or phrase or entire concept is added to the list or proscribed terms, and this is how we get to office memo’s being critical of the term “brainstorming” as being offensive to epileptic co-workers.

If we buy into this idea of Political Correctness, we do several things, all ruinous: we give other people the power to demean us, we remove any chance at reasoned debate on any issue, and most importantly, in a group of 290 million professionally offended people, we come to a vocabulary of perhaps twenty or thirty words that have been so bleached of potential offensiveness and meaning that language itself becomes worthless.

If you have not read 1984 by George Orwell, you have deprived yourself of an entire education right there. There lies the eternal dictatorship, the ultimate all-pervasive Superstate. And how did such a monstrosity come into being? By controlling language. Not only controlling what could be said, but by so simplifying and infantilizing language that entire concepts become literally unthinkable because there were no words for them. Here we sit talking about Freedom, Liberty, Responsibility and all the rest. What if the act of speaking one's mind was described only as “ungood.” What if the only adjectives applied to a life of subjection and servility were “double plus good,” the very words subjection, slavery, servility, submission banished generations ago?

You look out into the street and see someone tearing down a poster of Big Brother; the offender is hauled away, never to be seen again. How do you describe such an action without courage, audacity, rebellion, resistance and freedom? You can’t. You can’t describe them to others, and you can’t think about them yourself. Ungood behavior. You’re a prisoner of your limited, puerile language, and that is precisely where the Politically Correct movement wants to take us, to a world where language and thought is rigidly controlled – by them.

To those who want to limit speech they see as hateful, I can only utter these simple words of protest: Go straight to fucking hell you miserable authoritarian cocksuckers!

Forgive me, I know that offended some of you. But remember this: words are words. They are encapsulated ideas, and the only harm they can do us is the harm we ourselves allow them to do us.

How much better, how much stronger and healthier are we, when we dare anyone to use whatever terms they chose, and rather than sitting as powerless victims, rise in angry and righteous indignation to fight the human filth that use words like nigger, spick, gook, mick, kike, dago, and all the rest? How much more secure, how much more inoculated, are we when we can hear these words knowing that those who use them are discredited and terrified infants so out of ideas and argument that they must resort to such childish tactics to reassure themselves? What words can hurt us when we refuse to be hurt by words? What simple and powerful wisdom is bound up in Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names can never hurt me?

I have been called a few choice names in the course of these writings, and I have quickly learned that I do not want to be admired and respected by totalitarians, willfully uneducated idiots, smug and jaded suburban revolutionaries, and apologists for dictators. If people like that agreed with me I would be ashamed of myself. I’m proud to anger those people, and whatever names they choose to call me I consider a badge of pride, considering their source. We can indeed judge ourselves by the loathsomeness of our enemies.

The defense against hate speech is not to put our hands over our ears, our eyes, and someone else’s mouth. The way to fight this human virus is to do what we have been doing: hold those who use such language up to ridicule and scorn, to use our own words as a people blessed with freedom of speech, and to let such archaic and diseased notions and epithets die a quick death in the marketplace of better ideas.

It is a far more dignified, self-respecting and adult way to deal with life’s travails than crying and stamping your feet when someone calls you a bad name. Those people will always exist, even within the competing factions of a PC universe. If we have free will, we can control our own hearts. And if we let mere words hurt us, we have abdicated this responsibility, and given it to someone else.

It is tantamount to surrendering an impregnable fortress without a shot being fired.
"Jap" is a slur? I'm married to one! As I mentioned below, my wife and I went to see Bad Boys 2 last Sunday. The scene I commented on where Will Smith and Martin Lawrence haze a young man, Will Smith uses the "N-word" repeatedly. It's not a slur when blacks use it, but anyone outside that group will be immediately painted RACIST!™ for doing so, regardless of context or intent.

Ah, the power of words.

Is Ted Nugent RACIST!™? I don't know. I doubt it. He seems to strike me as the kind of guy who takes the measure of the individual, not the group. Is he "insensitive" - Politically INcorrect?

Damned straight.

He's also a staunch defender of the right to arms.

So of course he's a RACIST!™, right?

UPDATE to the UPDATE: Dateline 8/25/03 2:20 PM

I found another article concerning precisely what Nugent said here (though how long the link will be valid I don't know.) Here's the pertinent part:
The Nuge, never one for his subtlety when it comes to politically incorrect views, recently made some disparaging remarks about Asians while on Denver morning show program Lewis and Floorwax.

Reportedly he began to talk about guitars, complaining that they used to be made by "Japs". It gets worse.

Kathy Lee, Lewis and Floorwax's producer, is Korean-American. Instead of an apology to Lee, Nugent said "Maybe she'd prefer the term gook?" and asked her to "Go get me some sweet and sour," according to host Rick Lewis.

Nugent has said that his words were not harmful as his intentions were only in jest. He then went on to compare his statements to those of other minority artist such as N.W.A. and Richard Pryor - then bandied about a derogatory word about African-Americans.
Ahem. Let me repeat Bill Whittle's words:
How much better, how much stronger and healthier are we, when we dare anyone to use whatever terms they chose, and rather than sitting as powerless victims, rise in angry and righteous indignation to fight the human filth that use words like nigger, spick, gook, mick, kike, dago, and all the rest?
Nuge? You're an idiot.

Thursday, August 21, 2003

RACIST!

A recent post on Samizdata brought up a point that gets little attention by gun rights proponents because we get tired of being painted with the "RACIST!" brush. (It's almost another Godwin's Law that once someone screams "RACIST!" that all intelligent discourse has ended.) That post linked to this one on the Useful Fools website that discussed the difference in crime levels between the U.S. and Europe, and then it goes into some specific homicide data by ethnicity. The conclusion of the piece is that, while the U.S. is considered by Europeans to be a horribly crime-infested nation, the fact is that we have quite a bit less crime than Europeans do, with the single exception of the crime of homicide. And if you look carefully at homicide, you will find that the overwhelming majority of perpetrators and victims of homicide are - wait for it - black. Specifically, young black males. If we could somehow magically reduce the number of black-on-black homicides in our statistics to the general level, our homicide rates would be the equivalent of the average major European nation. This argues then, that guns are not our problem.


But mentioning this fact tends to get gun rights proponents labelled "RACIST!" for some reason, as this comment to the Samizdata piece illustrates:
"[The US] murder rate is high largely due to the multicultural nature of our society."

WTF????

I'm disappointed, I never thought such a blatantly racist view would be given support here. What's gotten into your heads?

"well the crime rate would be lower if it weren't for the n*ggers"...nah, f__k that.

Posted by: b-psycho on August 15, 2003 11:10 PM
I've already discussed the roller-coaster homicide rates the U.S. exhibited through the 20th Century that were unaffected by "gun control" efforts. I touched on the race point (very) briefly here:
But here's something really interesting that will undoubtedly get me labled as a racist: Who makes up the overwhelming majority of the homicide victims? In 1999 a total of 4,998 young people between the ages of 15 and 24 (inclusive) died from homicide. Of those, 2,453 were black males - 49%. But black males between the ages of 15 and 24 (inclusive) represent only 7.6% of the population of the US of that age. Read that again - 7.6% of all Americans between the ages of 15 and 24 provide 49% of the victims of homicide by all methods for that age group.

Now, is it a "gun storage" problem, or is it something else?
So, let's look at homicide, shall we?

This site lists a large amount of crime data gleaned from the FBI's Uniform Crime reports. For example, in 2000 the U.S. suffered 1,424,289 violent crimes: 15,517 murders, 90,186 rapes, 407,842 robberies, and 910,744 aggravated assaults. Just for fact checking, I compared the homicide data with this FBI site, and it agrees. According to this FBI page, of those 15,517 homicides, 51.5% (7991) of them were committed by blacks (I do not use the hyphenated-American terminology, sorry if I offend anyone,) and 46.7% (7,246) of the victims were black. (This assumes one homicide per offender, of course.) According to the table, blacks made up 12.1% of the population in 2000 (and if that rate of homicide keeps up, they'll be a significantly smaller minority in a few years.) The rate per 100,000 population for white victims was 5.0 homicides per 100k. The rate for black victims was 31.9.

Let's run some numbers. The total homicide rate in the U.S. was 5.5/100,000 population, and the total number of homicides was 15,517.

15,517 x 100,000 / 5.5 = 282,127,272.

That agrees well with the 2000 Census count of 281,421,906, which is the number I'll use. To check, 84.2% of the population is white, or:

281,421,906 x 0.842 = 237,000,000

(Per the Census, 211,460,626, but police statistics tend to include hispanics as white, and they are 35,305,818 thus the total is 246,746,444. Split the difference, 240,000,000. Close enough.)

The homicide rate for whites is 5.0/100,000, so:

240,000,000 / 100,000 x 5.0 = 12,000.

Say what? There were only 15,517 homicides in total according to the FBI. Something smells fishy. Let's continue, though. Blacks represent 12.1% of the population, so:

282,000,000 x 0.121 = 34,100,000

The Census says 36,419,434. Split the difference, 35,000,000. The homicide rate is 31.9/100,000, so:

35,000,000 / 100,000 x 31.9 = 11,000.

Oooookay. 12,000 + 11,000 = 23,000. That's an error of 48% Something is obviously awry.

Let's try a different source. I have found the Centers for Disease Control WISQARS Fatal Injury Report tool quite helpful, so I'll use it again. The latest data is for 2000, so let's see what it says.

Total homicides: 16,765.
Total population: 275,264,999.
National homicide rate: 6.09/100,000 (Higher than the FBI's 5.50)
Black homicide victims: 7,867 - Proportion: 46.9%, in agreement with FBI data.
Rate per 100,000: 22.28 - Considerably lower than the FBI says.
Other homicide victims: 8,898 - Proportion: 53.1%
Rate per 100,000: 3.7 - Again, considerably lower than the FBI says, but the ratio of 6:1 does agree with FBI numbers.

Now, if the U.S. had an overall homicide rate of 3.7/100,000 the total number of homicides in 2000 would have been 10,185. The total number of homicides for the black demographic: 1,306. A reduction of 6,561.

Another nice feature of the WISQUARS tool:

Number of firearm related homicides, all ages, all races, both sexes: 10,801
(36% of the total homicides - 5,964 people, were killed without a firearm, for a non-firearm homicide rate of 2.17/100,000.)
Number of black victims of homicide by firearm: 5,699 (53% of all homicide victims by firearm)
Number of black male victims between 15 and 35 years of age: 4,528 (79% of the total black victims of homicide by firearm, 42% of all victims)
Number of all other male victims between 15 and 35 years of age: 3,274 (30% of all homicide victims by firearm)
Number of black male victims between 15 and 35 that died by firearm: 4,343 (84% of the black male victims, 40% of the gunshot homicides.)
Number of all other male victims between 15 and 35 that died by firearm: 2,402 (73% of the white male victims - close enough to parity.)
And note, 62% of all gunshot homicide victims are males between 15 and 35 years of age.

The homicide by firearm rate for males between 15 and 35? Seventeen per hundred-thousand population.

So, does this prove anything? No. But it suggests, and pretty strongly. It suggests that the homicide by firearm problem is concentrated in a small, identifiable group. It suggests that homicide is heavily concentrated in the overall black demographic, and especially in young black men. And it suggests that instead of pursuing wholesale gun control laws that affect everybody, we ought to be pursuing policies that directly address that problem, because "gun control" doesn't. And it isn't a case of whites killing blacks, either. The fact is, it's blacks killing other blacks in disproportionate numbers, and it's largely restricted to urban (read "gang-related") violence. See these Bureau of Justice Statistic charts showing the trends in homicide by race of offender and victim. Read this LA Times article to get some kind of feeling for the problem, or this USA Today piece. Money quote, from the second piece:
"Between 1976 and 1999, 94% of black murder victims were killed by other African-Americans. Nearly two-thirds of black homicides were drug related."
Homicide is an epidemic in the young black male demographic. If it were a communicable disease, we'd be wearing ribbons and spending money on drug research. Instead we're banning "assault weapons" and trying to pass licensing and registration laws that this very demographic is going to ignore. (See: England, gun bans, "Yardies", etc.) And the public health organizations and independent groups are trying to treat firearms as if they were the disease vector.

Now, let's look at some European homicide rates from Interpol. (Interpol puts the U.S. rate at 5.54 in 2000 in agreement with the FBI. All data is year 2000 unless otherwise noted).

France: 3.7
Switzerland: 2.25.
Spain: 2.91.
Portugal: 3.32
Germany: 3.37.
The Netherlands (1998 data): 10.87. (That's not a misprint, nor an anomaly.)
Norway: 2.66.
Sweden: 10.01. (2001 data, but not anomalous.) (Nope. This data is BS. Apparently Sweden's rate is about 1.2 and steady.)
Finland: 0.71.
Denmark: 4.03
England & Wales: 1.5
Scotland (same gun laws as England & Wales): 13.3 (also not anomalous.) ERROR! See the bottom of the article. This data is suspect, because it absolutely does not agree with Scottish government data that indicates a homicide rate of about 2.0.
Northern Ireland (if anything, stricter): 9.90. (This does appear anomalous, but the data available is minimal.)
The Republic of Ireland: 1.54 (and historically steady.)
Italy: 3.75.
Poland: 3.4
Luxembourg: 14.01! (But they've had three seriously bad years in a row. With a tiny population, a small number change results in a large rate change.)

So, what does this suggest? Well, remember, the USA has a non-firearm homicide rate of 2.17 - about equal to a lot of European nation's entire homicide rates. I have seen gun-control proponents state that if we eliminated all handguns, our national homicide rate would drop to a level like this. (And if frogs had wings...) But what it does indicate is that the level of homicide predominantly among our black population, and specifically concentrated among young black men skews our national homicide rate significantly. It also suggests something else: that homicide rates are very "culture-specific." Switzerland, a heavily armed nation, has relatively small homicide rate. Finland, with a large preponderance of personal firearms, has a tiny homicide rate a rate of about 3.0, while right next door Sweden has a rate nearly twice the US's (depending on which rate you want to believe) of about 1.2 as noted above. And on the other side of Sweden, Denmark's homicide rate is less than half Sweden's. (Or not. The Interpol data isn't reliable.) (The Fins kill themselves at a prodigious rate - primarily by asphxiation - but have yet to take up the bad American habit of killing several other people first.) England, with all its gun control problems still maintains its tiny homicide rate, but Scotland has the same gun laws and its rate is higher than the U.S. rate has ever been, and has been higher still. (15.35 in 1998 for instance.)

It also suggests that our near 1:1 parity of firearms per person in this nation (admittedly concentrated among perhaps 35% of the adult population) is not the cause of our homicide rates. So what about other kinds of crime? The U.S. is almost universally viewed as a lawless wild west. How about it? This question is somewhat stickier, because different countries record crime differently. Homicide is pretty straightforward - somebody died at someone else's hands. But is slapping someone equivalent to beating them with a tire-iron? (Legally it is here - it's assault and battery and can be recorded as such.) What about rape? Are the levels recorded affected by how likely a woman in country A is likely to report a rape compared to country B? How about burglary? Well, Interpol records "breaking and entering," so we'll look at that:

United States: 728.80/100,000
England & Wales: 1,728.98
Scotland: 1,831.36
Northern Ireland: 933.27
Republic of Ireland: 595.27
Switzerland: 837.96
Spain: 530.40
France: 633.97
Portugal: 87.12
Germany: 1,272.16
The Netherlands (1998): 3,100.40
Sweden (2001): 1,323.90
Finland: 1,690.52
Denmark: 1,868.06
Poland: 943.73
Luxembourg: 1,045.75
(No data for Italy or Norway.)

With the exceptions of France, Ireland, Spain and Portugal (and I'm suspicious of Portugal's numbers) every other nation listed has a higher to much higher incidence of "breaking and entering." Property crime seems rampant in Europe. How about "robbery and violent theft?"

United States: 144.98
England & Wales: 160.75
Scotland: 82.83
Northern Ireland: 104.08
Republic of Ireland: 38.53
Switzerland: 30.22
Spain: 229.92
France: 187.69
Portugal: 51.94
Germany: 72.31
The Netherlands (1998): 92.28
Sweden (2001): 95.83
Finland: 53.06
Denmark: 59.14
Poland: 138.49
Luxembourg: 82.44
Italy: 65.35
Norway: 47.47

Assuming this data is collected uniformly for all the nations (a big assumption) it appears the U.S. isn't all that lawless after all. England's rate is higher, France's is higher still, and Spain's is way out there. These are all considered "First World" industrialized democratic nations. Again, Sweden - straddled by Finland and Denmark, has a significantly higher crime rate than either of its Scandanavian neighbors.

And again, remember that the preponderance of criminal activity in this country is done by a tiny identifiable minority of the population - young black men. Is it racist to point out the facts? Consider this quote:
There is nothing more painful for me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start to think about robbery and then look around and see it's somebody white and feel relieved. - Jesse Jackson
Yes, that Jesse Jackson, from a U.S. News & World Report story, January 17, 1994. (I'd seen it before, but Clayton Cramer has the cite.) Even Jesse recognizes the cold hard facts.

Crime is epidemic among the population of young black men. Death by gunshot is the leading cause of death for young black men. According to this Bureau of Justice Statistics report, 6.6% of the total U.S. black male population was in prison in 1996, compared to 0.94% of the population of white males. That means that if you're a white male, you probably don't personally know anyone serving time, but if you're a black male you're quite likely to.

But we're told that guns are the cause of our crime problems.

No, they're not. They're a symptom. A symptom of a much bigger problem - a problem that we aren't addressing because to do so in any meaningful way is politically incorrect. It's RACIST!™ to recognize the problem, dont'cha know! It's RACIST!™ to suggest that perhaps 40+ years of making the welfare safety net a hammock has been destructive to the black family. It's RACIST!™ to suggest that perhaps "midnight basketball" programs are a sorry joke when it comes to solving the problem of inner-city violence. It's even RACIST!™ to suggest that the War on (some) Drugs™ has been the fuel for some of the worst violent crime the black community is plagued with. It's RACIST!™ to suggest that the predominant inner-city black culture is killing its sons. And it's spreading.

Sit some weekend and watch Black Entertainment Television and tell me that the overall culture being portrayed there as desireable is a good thing. (You can say much the same about MTV's programming, too, which I do NOT find encouraging.) We've set up a negative feedback loop, and that loop is eating the heart out of a generation, and causing incredible carnage and waste. How can wanting to fix THAT problem be bad?

No, it's much easier to attack guns. They're only defended by RACISTS!™.

(Note: At the time of publishing, the CDC servers appear to be down, so fact-checking my ass using the WISQARS tools will have to wait until they come back up. WISQARS is back up. Check away.)

UPDATE - RETRACTION

As "Della" (perhaps not a real name) pointed out in my comments, the Interpol numbers for homicide in Scotland are apparently WAY wrong. The Scottish government statistics site reports the following homicide data:

1997 90 victims - rate: 1.8/100,000
1998 97 victims - rate: 1.9
1999 119 victims - rate: 2.3
2000 105 victims - rate: 2.1
2001 107 victims - rate: 2.1

I don't know why the Interpol numbers are so different. Mea culpa. I should have back-checked the Interpol numbers but did not. Especially because I found the numbers shocking. However, this is what the Internet is good for.

This data does make suspect the other Interpol numbers. What it doesn't do is negate the point of the article.

I will inform those people who have linked to this piece of the update, and I will do additional research.

Further update: Yup, the Interpol homicide data is apparently crap. Which makes you wonder if it's all crap. Sweden's homicide rate seems to be a pretty stable 1.2/100,000. Finland's is about 3.0.

What good is internation crime data that's unreliable?

However, I intend to leave this post up. The errors will allow those so inclined to throw the baby out with the bathwater, but I still stand by the basic premise which is backed up by FBI / BoJS statistics that I have no reason to doubt.

My apologies for not fact-checking the crap out of this stuff. Mike over at Feces Flinging Monkey advised me while I was working on this:
"Different countries tabulate, and define, crime in different ways. Comparisons are very difficult.

"People lie about this stuff - a lot! Don't trust anybody if you can't see their data and their methods."
Even international police organizations, it appears.

LAST UPDATE: @10:21PM 8/22/03. I've left the original text, but struck out most of the stuff based on known erroneous Interpol stats. I stand behind, however, these points:
The data indicates that culture is the primary defining factor in crime.

The data indicates that the preponderance of criminal behavior in the young black American male demographic seriously skews the overall criminal data in the U.S.

The response to these facts has not been an attempt to address the specific identifiable problem of crime in the black community, it has been "gun control." And it has been - predictably - a failure.

Continuing this path will continue to be a failure.

One significant reason that the specific identifiable problem has not been addressed is "political correctness" - point out that the Emperor has no clothes and you will be branded RACIST!™ Nothing further will result.
I'd like to say this has been fun, but it hasn't. I don't like being in error, but sh!t happens. The question now is, will the gun control forces just keep working to disarm people who are not contributors to the crime problem and continue to avoid addressing the biggest part of the crime problem?

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

WTF?

Ok, I don't post anything, and I get over 300 hits in one day? Technorati says that I haven't been Instalanched. What exactly does this mean?

I got up a 2:30 this morning, and I have to get up at 4:00 AM tomorrow, plus Bill Whittle's finally published his latest essay Responsibility which I intend to read before I go to bed, so this is it for at least another day or so.

My next essay, which will be on the topic of crime, is underway and I'm already learning things. I like it when that happens. Research for these is often fascinating. Hopefully I'll get it done and posted on or before Saturday. My IHMSA match is Sunday, and that ties up most of the day.

Anyway, for all you readers new and old, thanks for dropping by. If you read anything you really liked (or hated), please feel free to drop a comment either on the site or by e-mail to gunrights AT comcast DOT net.

(Perhaps if I don't post anything tomorrow, I might get 600 hits!)

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

I Could Quit Chocolate...But I'm No Quitter!

When I got home tonight I asked my wife how her day went. She said "I think I'm allergic to chocolate."

"Why?" I asked.

"I gave the kids some this morning, and they drove me nuts all day."

True story.
No Blog for You! (Again)

I'm going to be very busy the next couple of days. I'm working on a long, involved, link-riddled post inspired by this Samizdata post about international crime rates, but it will be the end of this week at the earliest before I have it completed. In the mean time, I probably won't be posting at all. Sorry about that. If you're a new visitor, please read the archives. If you're one of the six or so regular readers, well,

Nothing to see here, move along. Move along.

Monday, August 18, 2003

Movie Review: Bad Boys 2

Yesterday my wife asked me if I wanted to go out and see a movie. I asked her what she wanted to see. "Bad Boys 2" she said, "I feel like watching a blowup movie."

Yes, I married the right woman.

We'd actually tried to catch BB2 on the opening weekend, but the theater was so full we couldn't get seats anywhere but the front row, so we exchanged our tickets and saw Tomb Raider 2 instead (woe unto Hollywood should someone have an idea for an original film. All the money seems to be tied up in making sequels.)

Usually Sunday afternoon is pretty slow at the theater, but BB2 was still pretty full. And now I know why.

I like Will Smith. He doesn't act so much as be the same character in every role (and he was excellent in Independence Day) but he and Martin Lawrence are outstanding together. The critics panned the movie (for obvious reasons - it is, after all, a blowup movie) but it was a lot of fun.

I just had one problem with it. There is one scene where a boy comes over to pick up Martin Lawrence's daughter for her first date. He is met at the door by Lawrence, then Will Smith comes to the door. In the subsequent hazing of the date, Will Smith's character threatens the kid with his pistol - finger on the trigger. Repeatedly.

The audience thought the scene was funny (it was, actually) but the gun handling bothered the sh!t out of me. It reminded me of the scene in Pulp Fiction where the kid in the back seat of the car was killed because the moron in the front seat pointed his gun at him and unintentionally pulled the trigger. Look, I know it was Hollyweird, where there is little to no association with reality, but a lot of people (especially when it comes to guns) don't. Just another example of "guns are toys" that kids (and there were a lot of kids watching this R-rated movie) will emulate.

Repeat after me: Guns are not toys. Don't point a gun at anything you aren't willing to destroy. Treat all guns as if they are loaded. After you pull the trigger, all the "Oh sh!t, I didn't mean to's!" in the world won't bring that bullet back and make the world right again.

Other than that, if you want to watch a good, mindless blowup movie, I recommend it. Best line: "You guys look like you've decided to do something stupid. We want to help."