Saturday, 2005 September 3, 16:21 — security theater, weapons

WorldNetDaily: How often do Americans use guns for defensive purposes?

An interesting item from Larry Elder:

The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence’s website displays this oft-quoted “fact”: “The risk of homicide in the home is three times greater in households with guns.” Their website fails to mention that Dr. Arthur Kellermann, the “expert” who came up with that figure, later backpedaled after others discredited his studies for failing to follow standard scientific procedures. According to the Wall Street Journal, Dr. Kellermann now concedes, “A gun can be used to scare away an intruder without a shot being fired,” admitting that he failed to include such events in his original study. “Simply keeping a gun in the home,” Kellermann says, “may deter some criminals who fear confronting an armed homeowner.” He adds, “It is possible that reverse causation accounted for some of the association we observed between gun ownership and homicide – i.e., in a limited number of cases, people may have acquired a gun in response to a specific threat.”

I wasn’t aware that Kellermann had retracted.

Monday, 2005 July 4, 11:07 — security theater

nothing to hide

“Lady Liberty” says it well:

So rest peacefully in your assumption that none of the invasive new laws or procedures applies to you because you don’t have anything to hide. You’ll be just fine as long as the police never make a mistake. You won’t be a target of an investigation as long as you don’t want to do anything to generate suspicion, like drive, work, open a bank account, or rent an apartment. . . .

From the Boston Globe last week:

The top US military commander in the Middle East warned yesterday that troops are questioning whether the American public supports the Iraq war and implored political leaders to engage in a frank discussion about how to keep the country behind a mission that the armed forces believe is ”a war worth fighting.”

Does this strike anyone else as putting the cart before the horse?

Tuesday, 2005 June 7, 23:31 — economics, security theater

distributed knowledge wins

I’ve heard that Friedrich von Hayek (1899-1992) started thinking about spontaneous order because of an incident in the Great War. Austrian forces were routed in a battle in Italy, and fled leaderless through the mountains; and far more of them got home safely than were expected to.

This says thousands of people at the WTC survived because they ignored advice from on high.

Monday, 2005 May 9, 21:42 — blogdom, cartoons, humanities, race, security theater

items from elsewhere

Ron Paul’s remarks on the war, to the House

useful spam-handling plugin for WordPress 1.5

a gag about clashing jargons

Sheldon Richman on the “Minuteman Project”:

. . . this “citizens’ neighborhood watch along our border” looks for foreigners who, by and large, are seeking better, more-productive lives for themselves and their children. The self-appointed American border guards inform the authorities when they find any. This strikes me as most out of keeping with the heritage of a country born in revolution, devoted to individual freedom, and skeptical of political power. The irony is that these Americans claim to be acting in the tradition of the original Minutemen, those brave early Americans who were always ready to engage the British forces during the struggle for independence.

Sunday, 2005 April 10, 10:38 — security theater

selective violence

After cataloguing the Brady Campaign’s calls for measures that (even if ideally implemented) would have done nothing to reduce the body count in Red Lake, “Lady Liberty” observes:

You see, there’s another fact we’re hearing very little about. Security guards, it seems, are politically correct, but armed security guards are not. And so an unarmed man bravely — and futilely — tried to stop someone who quite literally outgunned him. There are those who consider him heroic, but that’s likely scant comfort to his family. Even less comforting is the notion that if he had had a weapon of his own, he would very probably have been able to end the incident right there at the school door. It wouldn’t have been a happy day. The accused shooter, his grandfather, and his grandfather’s girlfriend would probably still be dead. But a teacher and five students would be alive and breathing today to thank that heroic security guard, who would in turn still be alive to brush off their thanks and say that shucks, he was only doing his job.

Sunday, 2005 March 27, 23:11 — security theater

rule of law, you may have heard of it?

What I’ve read about the case of José Padilla tends to come filtered by dangerous subversives like Hornberger; so I’m wondering who, other than employees of the Executive Branch, takes the opposite view. Anyone?

Saturday, 2005 March 19, 21:44 — history, security theater

immunizing against immune response

Carol Moore passes along a column by Harvey Wasserman which contains this:

Anti-Defamation League Director Abraham Foxman has played the holocaust card for the Republicans, saying “It is hideous, outrageous and offensive for Senator Byrd to suggest that the Republican Party’s tactics could in any way resemble those of Adolph Hitler and the Nazi Party.”

Because no republic could ever be corrupted, or because the scapegoats this time around are not Jews or Communists?

The yellow star lobby’s moral standing is based on having suffered an uniquely gross crime; it is thus motivated to oppose any dilution of that uniqueness, including any observation of warning signs that anything remotely similar could happen again.

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