Libertarian-Hating Day

I think we understand here that I am not personally anything like a Libertarian. However, we also know that at least two of my co-bloggers are. Half of that sample is female, which apparently makes it hugely unrepresentative. Today there's a mini-festival of hate aimed at the ideology around that fact.

Jeet Heer:
This type of yearning for the America of the Robber Barons has little to offer most women (who might not want to return to a world where they couldn’t vote and had severely restricted social lives) or for that matter most non-whites (who might recall Jim Crow segregation). As Brian Doherty notes, “American blacks or women … might find libertarian complaints about government growth silly. Most of them certainly feel freer in many important ways than they would have in the nineteenth century.”
Ann Althouse:
To put it very plainly and simply, to me, the libertarians lacked humanity and they were using their pride in their commitment to abstract ideas to resist examining the reasons why they liked the ideas they were wedded to. I think people like that would be very dangerous if they had political power. Intellectually, as people to converse with, I found them cold and rigid, not interested in talking about anything on the level that I am seeking, and creepily eager to insult me for being on the wrong level.
Kevin Drum:
Jeet Heer investigates a burning question today: why are most libertarians men? He offers several plausible explanations, but I think he misses the real one, perhaps because it's pretty unflattering to libertarians.

So here's the quick answer: hard core libertarianism is a fantasy. It's a fantasy where the strongest and most self-reliant folks end up at the top of the heap, and a fair number of men share the fantasy that they are these folks. They believe they've been held back by rules and regulations designed to help the weak, and in a libertarian culture their talents would be obvious and they'd naturally rise to positions of power and influence.... Few women share this fantasy. I don't know why, and I don't really want to play amateur sociologist and guess. Perhaps it's something as simple as the plain observation that in the more libertarian past, women were subjugated to men almost completely.
It's not a great argument, I will suggest. The argument can be pointed equally at any political philosophy that draws inspiration from any past era. But the past is the only place from which we can draw concrete examples to criticize the present approach. We can imagine the future, but we have no way to know if our imaginations of what the future might be like are just moonshine. The past really happened. The cases aren't exactly like our present cases, but they offer concrete analogies that can help us see where we are going wrong, or where we might do better.

Althouse aside -- she's arguing ad hominem against men she really didn't like -- these arguments are rooted in a frame whose purpose is to prevent concrete criticism of the current governing approach. That's no surprise: these are all supporters of the party in power, of the governing President, and of the philosophy he embraces. The sneering at a philosophy because it draws its examples from an imperfect past is really an attempt to disable a whole line of criticism of the present.

On vacation for the next week

Driving to Meridian to spend time with the in-laws and other family.  Y'all be good to each other.

Just Out Of Curiousity... do you do that?
Hillary Clinton proposed Thursday that Americans be automatically registered to vote when they turn 18, unless they opt out, one of a series of voting-law changes she said would expand access to the ballot box.
So, if you're a man -- and not a male-leaning female-born whatever -- you have to register for the Selective Service at 18. They'd love to automate this process, since the concept is zero-noncompliance. But you actually have to go down to the Post Office and send them a card, or at least I did at 18. I assume there are other options now, but they all require you to do something. Because they assume you won't do it for free, there are significant legal penalties for failing to do it.

Most Americans like to drive. So states everywhere have passed "Motor-Voter" laws, requiring the DMV or MVA or whatever they have in their state to ask you if you want to register to vote while you're obtaining a license. Clearly, this doesn't get everyone because we're still talking about it.

Public libraries serve lots of the folks we are hoping to reach, at least we hope they do. It'd be great if they were taking advantage of free opportunities to educate themselves. So when you apply for a library card in many states, they automatically ask you if you'd like to register to vote. But there's no guarantee you go to the library, and if you do, you only need a card to check out books -- not to use the free computers.

We've chased this concept a long way already, and as far as I know we don't have a good idea of how to do what she's talking about. Maybe someone will ask her how she intends to accomplish what Selective Service, Motor-Voter and the Public Library plans haven't managed to do. Assuming, that is, that anyone is allowed to ask her a question.

The rabbit hole

Better than the Avengers.

Jobs and justice for the non-binary

Roger Kimball reports that Bryn Mawr has taken steps to address the increasingly vexing question of which of its applicants are female.  Some, of course, were "assigned female at birth," so that's smooth sailing.  The university will open its arms as well to "transwomen and . . . intersex individuals who live and identify as women at the time of application." In fact, you can get in if you're a member of that shadowy group known as "intersex individuals who do not identify as male." The gates are resolutely shut, however, against "those assigned female at birth who have taken medical or legal steps to identify as male."
What new opportunities for padding the administration the new policy offers! You may have a dozen deans of diversity, but how many administrators looking into the “legal or medical steps taken to affirm gender” do most campuses have? It is an opportunity for growth at a time when many colleges are facing cutbacks.
The one thing we can be sure of is that Bryn Mawr will continue to celebrate its vital role as a women-only institution.

Science and Humility

Rick Santorum, who is a Knight of the Order of St. John of Malta, expressed an opinion to the Pope to the effect that the Church should leave science to scientists.
“The church has gotten it wrong a few times on science, and I think that we probably are better off leaving science to the scientists,” he told the pope. “I think when we get involved with controversial political and scientific theories, then I think the church is probably not as forceful and credible. And I’ve said this to the bishops many times when they get involved in agriculture policy or things like that, that are really outside the scope of what the church’s main message is.”
Despite what the linked article says, this isn't a stupid point. It's also not limited to global-warming/climate-change arguments. It's a generalized approach to the relationship between the Church and science that isn't foolish. If God is the author of the world, then finding out about the world is a way to know something about God by knowing something about his works. It would be irreligious to bias that process, as if trying to tell God how he had to have set things up.

It turns out the Pope probably agrees with that sentiment: he has a Master's degree in chemistry, and was a working chemist in his youth.
Being a scientist means that you have to embrace the fact that you don’t know everything. That you need to be constantly searching for the truth. It’s hard to stay humble as Pope in the extravagant confines of the Vatican. But from all accounts, the new Pope has humility in spades. He lived in an apartment rather than the Archbishop’s palace. He traveled by bus rather than chauffeured limousine. Humility makes one open to change – and change is something that the Church desperately needs now.
That seems to be the considered opinion of every generation. They forget, or perhaps simply reject, that part of the function of the Church is to restrain passion in favor of proven virtue. If your change is right, it will eventually win the day. But it will have to test itself and prove its rightness against a bulwark of wisdom that has done the same, in its time. Many passionately-believed ideas arise, flourish an hour, and then perish. Many such are flourishing right now. Some of them may prove out, but many such ideas will fade in popularity once their consequences become better known.

Chimp Cookery

Researchers built an oven for some chimpanzees, and the chimps worked out how to cook with it for themselves.

Well, no, but that's what they're claiming they found. What they actually found was that chimps can learn to play games involving trading things they like less for things they like more.
The device was actually just a bowl with a false bottom that held cooked food. The researchers didn't use fire because it could have injured the chimps, and because some chimps might have already seen how humans used it to cook food.
So what we haven't learned is how early man came to control fire, or how he learned to cook -- let alone how he learned to build an oven! Fire's too dangerous for the chimps, and no oven construction is being observed.

Boston Mosque Update

So the FBI's victim, that guard at the local mosque who didn't "regularly" pray there, turns out to be the brother of one of the imams. Jimbo is on the case, along with some video of gun-and-sword preaching from another imam there.

Even for HRC, this is bad PR

Her Inevitableness will take no questions.  The speech will be her interview.

The campaign disavows the expression, but it's too apt not to stick.

Local experiments

My husband argues that, no matter how beastly things look in the federal elections, there's an encouraging red wave at the state level.  I'm skeptical whether that's enough, but he's clearly right about the breakout of some kinds of conservative principles in state houses, many of the sort that probably won't even be overturned by federal courts or Congress.  In Nevada, for instance, the governor has just signed several bills calculated to give Harry Reid hives.  A new school choice program will put 90% of the average cost of public schooling into parents' hands for any educational purpose they choose, including tutoring or private school tuition (the percentage goes to 100% for certain disadvantaged students).  A few other states have programs that venture a bit in this direction, but are strictly limited to students with disabilities or students in schools formally identified as "failing."  Nevada's experiment in school choice is wide open.  My own governor is about to sign an open-carry and campus-carry law.

At the same time, blue cities are revolting against red legislatures, thus setting up an entertaining argument over whether too much local control leads to patchwork regulatory systems, with some conservatives taking the pro-uniformity position.

Don't Be That Guy

So I can understand carrying a rifle to a protest outside a mosque linked to an attack by men with rifles on a gathering you support. That sends a message that anyone thinking they can intimidate the American people into surrendering our basic rights through violence is going to meet some significant resistance.

What I don't understand is carrying a rifle loaded with a 100-round drum magazine to the airport just to make a point. What point? Well, it's not really clear, but he did feel harassed by all the police attention.

Is the Koran Grammatically Correct?

I have no way of evaluating this argument, since I do not know any Classical Arabic, but it seems like it would be pretty explosive if it's true. Supposedly the Koran is the direct recitation of words transmitted to Muhammad by the angel Gabriel. Perhaps Gabriel speaks in a regional patois?

Obama and American Exceptionalism

A provocative defense.


John McAfee, the same one who invented the McAfee anti-virus software, points out that there is a huge national security problem associated with the Adult Friend-Finder site (and, of course, similar sites).
Of the 535 members of Congress, only 16 congressmen and two senators were members of this adult website. Most were interested in BDSM. Only three were interested in gay hookups. Of the Fortune 500 corporations, fewer than 1,420 executives (directors, vice-presidents and above) were members. Another 230,000 or so rank-and-file employees of Fortune 500 companies were also members – following in the footsteps of their admired superiors no doubt.

Their interests ranged widely. Of the 2,400,000 odd employees of the US Federal Government, we find a measly 120,000 or so who were members.... This tragically fascinating information comes from a well-publicised hack of Adult FriendFinder...

I need to make something perfectly clear. The hacks that reach public awareness are extremely rare. For a hack to reach public awareness, someone has to make a serious mistake, or they are demanding money or some other asset or, in the case of ROR(RG), they have an axe to grind. This is something you need to carefully consider if you are in the world of information security.
So what's the problem for national security, you ask? He is glad to tell you.
Nearly all of these officials are married with children. Imagine what would happen if Russia, or China, got hold of this information. They would certainly not demand money to keep quiet. No –each of these people would be visited by a warm-hearted, well-dressed, kind and empathetic person whose conversation would go like this:

"We are so sorry that you got caught up in this nonsense, and we realise that it in no way taints your character or value as a productive citizen. Frankly, I myself have done far worse. We, in Russia, take a more practical view to such issues. They are not important.

"We have done what we can to keep your name out of this sad affair and can guarantee it will never come to light. That would help no one and we wish to hurt no one. So you have a friend in me and a friend in the country of Russia.

"I believe I could even help you gain power and prestige in your own country. I am privy to much that is happening behind the scenes in Russia and would be willing to advise you on affairs that impact both or our countries. You may call me at any time. In fact, the vote coming up in July is one such issue that I can give you good advice on. Please call me."
Russian operations of this sort were extremely common in the Cold War. I would think way it would go down is slightly different. Important 'Friendfinders' would get visited, on the site, by someone who somehow perfectly matched what they were secretly dreaming about. The conversation would come later, after there were recordings and videos, and would be much less gently phrased.

The Scandi miracle

The Sweden Report, a blog maintained by a Swedish-born American who returned to Sweden, is ending.  Its author is giving up and moving back to the U.S.  One of his readers has decided to stay:
Thanks for your writings. Being born and still living here, well educated, having young children, and seeing the same things I’m still staying. However we have moved out to the countryside. Quite far away. It’s a pain commuting but not worse than living in Stockholm and we love the nature and the people here. Community. People helping each other. Talking to each other. Caring for one another. No loans anymore. Sure, it’s not an idyll, we have our share of misery around here, but when the sh*t is going to hit the fan (because boy, it will) we believe that we’re better off here. Sure, we might have bet on the wrong horse but people out here already have to depend on each other. We already know the establishment hates us. 
It’s not going to be easy. Who knows what kind of looting gangs can come raiding… But. We’ve got tools. We’ve got skilled people who can manage themselves. We’ve got food. We’ve got community. We’ve got morals. Plus. We’re armed. 
Those who are dependent on the system have a hard time ahead of them… If we’re going to go out, let’s go out with our banners held high. I say… let the collapse begin! We cannot avoid it anyway.

Prices and power

From Kevin D. Williamson:
Prices in markets are not arbitrary — they are reflections of how real people actually value certain goods and services in the real world. Arbitrarily changing the dollar numbers attached to those preferences does not change the underlying reality any more than trimming Cleveland off a map of the United States actually makes Cleveland disappear… Free markets are a reflection of what people actually value at a particular time relative to the other things that they might also value. Real people simply want things that are different from what the planners want them to want, a predicament that can be solved only through violence and the threat of violence…
Markets adapt to political changes, and the hierarchy of values that distinguishes between an hour’s worth of warehouse management, an hour’s worth of composing poetry, an hour’s worth of brain surgery, and an hour’s worth of singing pop songs is not going to change because a politician says so, or because a group of politicians says so, or because 50 percent + 1 of the voters say so, or for any other reason. To think otherwise is the equivalent of flat-earth cosmology. In the long term, people’s needs and desires are what they are; in the short term, you can cause a great deal of chaos in the economy and you can give employers additional reasons to automate rote work. But you cannot make a fry-guy’s labour as valuable as a patent lawyer’s by simply passing a law.
It's that tricky word "valuable."  Does it mean what people actually value, or what their betters believe they should value?  Free markets mean letting people decide for themselves.  Planned markets mean trying to decide for them.  I could never have predicted that the messy business of letting a lot of largely ignorant and irrational members of the public decide for themselves would actually promote more prosperity, but oddly enough that's exactly what happens.  I'd love to understand why, but the fact remains indisputably itself, whether I can explain it adequately or not.

Are they doing it on purpose?

The perennial question in highly politicized disputes, in this case Climatism.  From Watts Up With That:
All these issues were inevitable when a political agenda coopted climate science. Two words, “skeptic” and consensus”, illustrate the difference between politics and science in climate research. All scientists are and must be skeptics, but they are troublemakers for the general public. Science is not about consensus, but it is very important in politics. As a result of these and other differences, the climate debate occurs in two different universes.
A major challenge for those fighting the manipulations of the IPCC and politicians using climate change for political platforms is that the public cannot believe that scientists would be anything less than completely open and truthful. They cannot believe that scientists would even remain silent even when science is misused. The politicians exploit this trust in science and scientists, which places science in jeopardy. It also allowed the scientific malfeasance of climate science to be carried out in the open.

Good cartoon, too.

Not good for the Jews

From Maggie's Farm, an American Jew's attempt to understand why the tide is turning against Jews in America:
The unimaginable evil of the Holocaust seemed to kill anti-Semitism, even the polite country-club variety that shows up in the work of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway. After the war, Hemingway disavowed Jewish jokes, which, he seemed to realize, were connected, in some way, to what happened. It created a bubble, a zone of safety not only for Jews but for other minorities. It’s no coincidence that the civil right movements came in the wake of WWII. Anti-Semitism still existed of course, but, in America, it became socially unacceptable. It retreated to the bedrooms and parlors, where it was expressed in the way of certain mystery religions, in secret, behind closed doors, so quietly you might think it had vanished.
This is my childhood, the world where I grew up. The horror of the Holocaust purchased us a 70-year vacation from history, though we didn’t know it. We believed the world had changed, as had human nature. Jews remained distinct in the new dispensation, but in a good way—a near-at-hand exotic, a symbol of exile, which we were told was the natural state of modern man. For perhaps the only time in history, you might actually want to be a Jew. Because of the close families and good husbands and yada yada. Saul Bellow, Phillip Roth, Mel Brooks. To those of us who came of age in these years, the future seemed like it would be more of the same, the present carried on forever.
We were wrong.

Against Sex Changes

A dissident view by the former psychiatrist-in-chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Dr. Paul R. McHugh. He is today University Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry at John Hopkins University.


Boy, it's all the rage lately, isn't it?  Schools have got to figure out a way to root out white privilege, like using "white talk": "‘white talk’ is ‘verbal,’ ‘intellectual’ and ‘task-oriented,’ while ‘color commentary’ is ‘emotional’ and ‘personal.’"  Hey, that reminds me of man-talk.  Let's root that out, too.  I've noticed that people who are ‘verbal,’ ‘intellectual’ and ‘task-oriented’ tend to be more successful, which also seems unfair.  What about people who are inarticulate, muddle-headed, and prone to distraction from whatever they're being paid for?  Don't they deserve a living wage, too?  Who are we to judge?

Now, that's what I call architecture

Chand Baori in Abhaneri, India:

The walls are staircases down to a well.  Not suitable to my local geology, unfortunately.

I find it hard to resist clickbait like "20 places you didn't believe could exist."  Here's another, a fairy-home in Romania.  Lately there's been a rash of links to eye-popping waterfalls in that part of the world.  You have to wonder how this one didn't show up in the Lord of the Rings:

China is unimaginably big and various.  If this site were in the West, we'd have been seeing images of it more often than we see the Grand Canyon, but it's a first for me:

Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center

So, a few days ago you probably saw that police and the FBI had shot dead a guy who was carrying a knife. Details were sparse, but it was an intriguing story. Turns out possession of the knife played in to what they were looking for: a conspiracy to behead police officers.

What caught my eye was that the dead man worked for the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center as a guard. (They say he didn't "regularly" pray there.) Now that's a mosque whose name I happened to know, thanks to my old friend "Uncle Jimbo" Hanson of BLACKFIVE fame. These days he's gotten a bit more respectable and is the Executive Vice President for the Center for Security Policy. They put out a video about this mosque just recently.

You can see some of the old "Uncle J" touch at work in the video. I love that he actually had them use the word "subversives," which is the kind of thing that causes McCarthy-era liberals to pop blood vessels. It's hard to argue the point, though, given the immediate follow-up visual.

The Poetry of the Enemy

Wake us to the song of swords,
and when the cavalcade sets off, say
The horses’ neighing fills the desert,
arousing our souls and spurring them
The knights’ pride stirs at the sound,
while humiliation lashes our foes.
We should listen to it. To know your enemy, as Sun Tzu says; but also to know yourself, as he also says. It is in the poetry that you can see most clearly what they find lacking in the world our nations offered them.


Another comic book view of production and sharing.  The contrast raises the question:  even if you assume productive people are just lucky, does someone else's good luck entitle us to his stuff?

Freedom On, HuffPo!

Hear that eagle scream.

Let's Not Go To Portland

You know why not.

You Should Know More about Beowulf

And thanks to Medievalists, you can easily learn.

"Lottery Winners"

A question asked by a writer at Forbes:
Winning a lottery doesn’t make a person worthy of respect. A lottery winner wins despite engaging in an impulsive act. A lottery winner wins only because others lose. A lottery winner who won’t give back, therefore, is a lucky bastard....

Was it an unintentional slip to call successful Americans “lottery winners,” or was it a window into the President’s worldview on wealth, poverty and injustice? If it’s the latter, we’re in new territory. I don’t recall another American President who had such a sarcastic view of success. President Franklin Roosevelt thought and said that big business and bankers opposing his New Deal were “malefactors of great wealth,” but he stopped short of making snarky comments about successful people being lucky.
The answer to that question, I believe, is that the President said what he meant. This is a widely-shared worldview on the subject of "wealth, poverty, and injustice."

It's not wholly ridiculous, either.

There ought to be a way to synthesize those views that is useful. Both of them have a part of the truth.

Kipnis Cleared

Those of you who have been following the absurd application of Title IX to free debate at Northwestern University will be pleased.

If you aren't familiar with the backstory, Dr. Kipnis told her side of it here. It's a remarkably byzantine and opaque process, even where (as here) it leads to correct final results. The opacity of the process is reason enough to object to it.

Military Life

There's so many letdowns.

A Rhetorical Question

Since 1970, the number of “Hispanics of Mexican origin” in the U.S. has jumped from fewer than 1 million to more than 33 million. If all these Mexicans were a state, it would be the second largest in population in the country, trailing only California.

Did you vote to approve that immigration policy? Did anyone?

A Better Balance Is Needed

Two stories from this week suggest to me that, without endorsing gun control, we need to think harder about how to balance firearm rights and responsibilities.

The first is from today's Washington Post, on the massive number of fatal shootings by police we're having right now. Most of them occur when the police encounter someone with a weapon:
The vast majority of victims — more than 80 percent — were armed with potentially lethal objects, primarily guns, but also knives, machetes, revving vehicles and, in one case, a nail gun. [The number is 221 out of 385. -Grim]

Dozens of other people also died while fleeing from police, The Post analysis shows, including a significant proportion — 20 percent — of those who were unarmed. Running is such a provocative act that police experts say there is a name for the injury officers inflict on suspects afterward: a “foot tax.”

Police are authorized to use deadly force only when they fear for their lives or the lives of others. So far, just three of the 385 fatal shootings have resulted in an officer being charged with a crime — less than 1 percent.

The low rate mirrors the findings of a Post investigation in April that found that of thousands of fatal police shootings over the past decade, only 54 had produced criminal ­charges. Typically, those cases involved layers of damning evidence challenging the officer’s account. Of the cases resolved, most officers were cleared or acquitted.
It sounds like more restrictions on shooting people who are running away might be reasonable, but the real issue appears to be how officers are trained to respond to armed citizens. Yet increasingly it is perfectly legal for citizens to be armed.

The second story was the protest outside the mosque that produced the home-grown terrorists who attacked the 'Draw Mohammed Day' in Texas. In spite of the heat this protest generated online, it seems to have gone off very well as an exercise in free speech. There was no trouble, counter-protesters showed up to support the Muslims in roughly equal numbers, but it seems as if many of the counter-protesters and the protesters may have been able to exchange views and even pray together. The police seem to have handled themselves admirably in a tense situation.

What concerns me is a discussion I had with some friends about whether it was reasonable for police to check weapons carry permits for those bringing rifles to the protest. Now, the bringing of the rifles isn't the problem from my perspective. For one thing, there was a clear free speech reason to do it: part of the message being sent to this mosque, which had been the home for the gunmen who attacked the Texas event, was that the American people will defend their free speech rights with force if necessary. That's a useful message to send to potential terrorists: that it is not merely police or soldiers you have to worry about, but a society hardened to resist attempts at imposing tyranny through terror.

The second reason the rifles don't bother me is that the last 'Draw Mohammed' event was actually attacked by body-armored, rifle-wielding terrorists. Under those circumstances, it's a reasonable precaution to have a rifle or two (indeed, sell your coat if you need money to buy one).

However, for exactly the same reason, I'd think it would be very reasonable for police to check carry permits. They also have reason to expect rifle-wielding gunmen who are planning criminal violence. It ought to be perfectly acceptable for them to ask to see the permit of anyone bringing a rifle to the event, just to make sure that individual is on the up-and-up.

Turns out that's a moot point in Arizona, where there are no such things as weapons permits. There's nothing to check. Arizona, by the way, is one of the standout leaders in lethal police shootings per capita: it and Oklahoma have such shootings at twice the rate common to other states.

So we've got a situation in which the police are trained to respond to armed citizens with lethal force, at the same time that armed citizens are being more common as right-to-carry laws spread. The middle ground, a permit that would give officers some sense that your background had recently been investigated and found clean, is not always present. Even in states where it is present, according to the argument from 4th Amendment cases, the police shouldn't be able to ask for the permit anyway:
In those 14 states (soon to be 15) where open carry requires a permit or license, the answer is not as crystal clear but is still a resounding “No!” The United States Supreme Court addressed a similar question in Delaware v. Prouse (440 U.S. 648) (1979). In that case, the issue articulated by the court was:

[W]hether it is an unreasonable seizure under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to stop an automobile, being driven on a public highway, for the purpose of checking the driving license of the operator and the registration of the car, where there is neither probable cause to believe nor reasonable suspicion that the car is being driven contrary to the laws governing the operation of motor vehicles or that either the car or any of its occupants is subject to seizure or detention in connection with the violation of any other applicable law.

Now … let’s change just a few words and we have the issue before us:

[W]hether it is an unreasonable seizure under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to stop a person open carrying in public, for the purpose of checking the carry permit of the open carrier, where there is neither probable cause to believe nor reasonable suspicion that the firearm is being carried contrary to the laws of the state or that either the firearm or the carrier is subject to seizure or detention in connection with the violation of any other applicable law.

So how did the court answer the question in Prouse? They held that it is unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment to seize someone to check the status of a license except where there is at least reasonable suspicion that the person is unlicensed or otherwise subject to seizure for the violation of some other law.
This isn't going to work. Reiterating that the police in Arizona did a fine job at the protest, the statistics indicate that there's a problem arising from the way police are trained to deal with armed citizens combined with no-permit open carry.

Something's got to give here, and perhaps something on both sides. The police are going to have to accept more personal risk by not trying to instantly control, disarm, or take down citizens who are bearing arms. Yet I think we who are on the gun-rights side should reconsider our opposition to permits, as long as those permits are shall-issue on the finding of a background not including violent felony convictions. This seems as if it is a reasonable middle ground, one that ensures that rights are being exercised by those who are still entitled to the rights -- i.e., not felons -- and which would give police the capacity to verify that. That would increase police comfort with the idea of armed citizens, and perhaps cut down on some of these fatal shootings.

A Gun Ban That Makes No Sense

What the heck is this?
The regulations range from new restrictions on high-powered pistols to gun storage requirements. Chief among them is a renewed effort to keep guns out of the hands of people who are mentally unstable or have been convicted of domestic abuse.... Aside from these issues, some gun rights advocates have also raised concerns about upcoming ATF rules that would require gun dealers to report gun thefts, provide gun storage and safety devices, and place restrictions on high-powered pistols, among other things.
'High-powered' pistols? I'm guessing this means pistols powerful enough to overcome Level III ballistic armor, or possibly even IIIA. The same logic would seem to require us to ban all rifles. However, these handguns aren't going to be fielded by professional criminals in any numbers. They just aren't well suited to crime.

Consider the Ruger Vaquero, which is a single-action cowboy gun like the ones Colt used to make back in the 19th century except for the incorporation of modern safety features, such as those designed to prevent accidental discharges. It's perhaps the least likely firearm in the world to cause accidental harm.

It's a firearm almost uniquely unsuited to crime. It only holds six rounds. It's extremely slow to reload as you have to reload each round one by one. Not only does it only fire one round per pull of the trigger, you have to manually cock the hammer before it will fire even that one round. I favor it because, if you're riding a horse and get thrown, or a motorcycle and are involved in a wreck, it's physically impossible for it to fire on impact.

Can it defeat body armor? Well, it depends on the ammunition you put in it. Because it's made out of modern cold-rolled steel, and because it is built strong and sturdy for safety reasons, it can handle very high pressures. Thus, it can fire +P or even +P+ ammunition in the magnum ranges.

If you really wanted to overcome body armor with it, you can buy these cartridges. Almost no one does, even among the relatively small part of the gun-owning community that shoots .45 Long Colt (as opposed to the very common .45 Automatic Colt Pistol, a much smaller and less powerful cartridge made for semiautomatic handguns). This round is hard cast and features +P force. It is designed for penetration.

Should we ban the ammunition, then? Well, no. It's not designed for anti-personnel use, you see. It has far too much penetration to be of much good against a human target. All that force will pass through the body and be wasted on the other side. Body armor or not, it's not very likely to kill a man because it won't dump much energy inside his body and it won't expand in his body.

What this ammunition is designed for is the biggest of North American big game. I own some because I take my family hiking in bear country -- I'm just about to go out to Wyoming, where one encounters grizzly bear and moose (who are even more aggressive than grizzlies).

Usually gun-control advocates go after cheaply made firearms that will blow up in your hand, but whose cheapness means that they can be found in large quantities in America's poorer neighborhoods. Or they go after firearms that fire rapidly, or that have large quantities of ammunition before they must be reloaded. Or they go after firearms that are regularly used by criminals, or at least in theory are particularly suited to criminal activity.

This class of firearms would seem to me to be the least likely class to satisfy any of those requirements. Who came up with this idea?