In Print and Online: My Column on the UT Shooting

My column on the University of Texas incident is online now.6a00d83451b26169e201156f401601970c-300wi

You can read it here.

A good friend posted this to me, and she’s absolutely right.

Funny that most of the national coverage hearkened back to Va. Tech. Those of us whose blood runs burnt orange immediately flashed back to the history we were taught (or lived) about Whitman. It’s a big freshman lore experience to search fo r Whitman’s bullet holes, which are still pretty easy to find if you are told where to look.

When I was in school, the Tower observation deck was still closed. And at the time of Whitman’s rampage, there were no campus police, and no arms on campus. Civilians helped take Whitman out. They shot up at him (along with police), making him take cover and hampering his aim, which probably saved lives. An armed civilian was also part of the four-man team that eventually took him out at the top of the Tower.

I wanted to include these facts about the original campus killer, Charles Whitman, but I couldn’t fit it all in with a 600 word limit. Thanks Lesley.

And thank you to Sharon Grigsby and Mike Hashimoto for helping me bring this across the finish line yesterday.

In Print: Column in Thursday’s Dallas Morning News

I will have a column on the University of Texas shooting in tomorrow’s issue of the Dallas Morning News.

Guess what position I take? I wrote the thing in like 30 minutes.

Thanks to Sharon Grigsby for the heads up.

UT Shooter Shows Effectivness of Gun-Free Zone

Yesterday’s incident with a gunman on the University of Texas campus proves unequivocally that rules declaring certain places “gun-free zones” do not work.

GUN+FREE+ZONEAll those restrictions do is disarm law-abiding people. Gun-free zones are shooting galleries for homicidal maniacs who are assured that their victims won’t be shooting back.

Exactly how is it that the Bill of Rights is prohibited on college campuses?

Here’s the best part of the story:

John Woods, a UT graduate student who organized an anti-gun rally last year, disagreed. He said that having more guns on campus wouldn’t improve security.

“If there were multiple students running around with guns, it would’ve made the police’s job a lot harder this morning,” Woods said Tuesday. He was a student at Virginia Tech University in 2007 when a gunman killed 32 people, including Woods’ girlfriend.

So Woods has been on two campuses where guns are prohibited and yet a nut with a gun showed up armed for bear. And he’s not seeing a pattern.

Crime Continues Fall as Gun Sales Soar and Gun Control Withers

swissarmyOver the past 20 years, violent crime is down 43 percent (a 35 year low) and murder is down 49 percent (a 45 year low), according to the FBI stats.

During this same period, government has been doing away with gun control laws and making it easier for people to carry guns.

Less Gun Control: Over the last quarter-century, many federal, state and local gun control laws have been eliminated or made less restrictive. The federal “assault weapon” ban, upon which gun control supporters claimed public safety hinged, expired in 2004 and the murder rate has since dropped 10 percent. The federal handgun waiting period, for years the centerpiece of gun control supporters’ agenda, expired in 1998, in favor of the NRA-supported national Instant Check, and the murder rate has since dropped 21 percent. Accordingly, some states have eliminated obsolete waiting periods and purchase permit requirements. There are now 40 Right-to-Carry states, an all-time high, up from 10 in 1987.

And all the while the number of privately owned guns in America has grown by 90 million.

There are well over 250 million privately-owned firearms in the U.S., including nearly 100 million handguns and tens of millions of “assault weapons”…and the number of firearms typically rises about 4 million per year.6 Annual numbers of new AR-15s, the most popular semi-automatic rifle that gun control supporters call an “assault weapon,” are soaring. In 2008, there were more than 337,000 new AR-15s configured for home defense, competition, training, recreational target practice and hunting.7 NRA-supported Instant Check firearm transactions have increased over 10 percent annually since 2006.8

So, where’s the pained hand-wringing about how “It will be like the Wild West if people carry guns” and “There will be shootouts in parking lots” now?

Any local members of the media who made such claims back when concealed carry was passed in Texas — ahem, you know who I’m looking at — care to ‘fess up?

(hat tip: and

Good News and Bad News

The good news is there’s one less thug in Dallas. (And you know it wasn’t his bike, either.)

The bad news is too many people at the Dallas Morning News still don’t understand the basics of guns and gun laws in Texas.

Hall then pulled out his licensed pistol and shot Lewis multiple times, according to police.

One more time: Guns are not licensed in Texas, nor are they registered. People can get a license to carry a concealed handgun.

The Best Deconstruction of Gun Myths Not Involving Mythbusters


It’s here at Cracked.

It’s beautiful man, beautiful.

But here’s Jamie and Adam at it if you want the pros.

Gun Sales Up, Crime Down. Naturally

Via PeterK, we have this from John Lott:

President Obama surely didn’t intend it, but he deserves some credit for last year’s 7.4 percent drop in murder rates. His election caused gun sales to soar, and crime rates to plummet.

At the same time gun sales were soaring, there was an unusually large drop in murder rates. The 7.4 percent drop in the murder rate was the largest drop in murder rates since the 1999. For those who don’t remember, 1999, when President Bill Clinton and Columbine occurred, was another time when gun sales soared. With people such as Elena Kagan serving as Mr. Clinton’s deputy domestic policy adviser were pushing hard for more gun control, Americans were worried that more gun bans were coming. And in response gun sales soared.

Arm Yourself with FactsWhile gun sales started notably rising in October 2008, sales really soared immediately after Mr. Obama won the presidential race. 450,000 more people bought guns in November 2008 than bought them in November 2007, that’s over a 40 percent increase in sales. By comparison, the change from November 2006 to November 2007 was only about 35,000. Over the last decade, the average year-to-year increase in monthly sales was only 21,000.

The increase in sales continued well beyond November 2008. From November 2008 to October 2009, almost 2.5 million more people bought guns in the 12 months after the election than in the preceding 12 months. The National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS, doesn’t tell us how many guns each person bought just the number of people who bought them. Most likely though, gun sales rose by more than the number of people who purchased them.

More Guns = Less Crime

21095You know how when people like me advocate that more people carry guns in public, up pop the Chicken Littles who claim the streets will turn into something like out of the Old West?

The truth is, you could only hope that would be the case.

How many murders do you suppose these old western towns saw a year? Let’s say the bloodiest, gun-slingingest of the famous cattle towns with the cowboys doing quick-draws at high noon every other day. A hundred? More?

How about five? That was the most murders any old-west town saw in any one year. Ever. You were way more likely to be murdered in Baltimore in 2008 than you were in Tombstone in 1881, the year of the famous gunfight at the OK Corral (body count: three) and the town’s most violent year ever.

How One Civil Right Protected Civil Rights Heroes

51l689ISD+L._SL500_AA240_There was a time when the fight for civil rights involved courageous men standing up to government-imposed segregation. (This was before it became the shake-down racket it is today.)

Over at Volokh Conspiracy, there’s a wonderful account by one such civil rights bad-ass, John Salter, about how when the media cameras weren’t around, the only thing that kept him and his fellow rebels safe was the fact they exercised their most important civil right — their right to self-defense with whatever arms they so chose.

Here’s a taste:

Later, I worked for years in the Deep South as a full-time civil rights organizer. Like a martyred friend of mine, NAACP staffer Medgar W. Evers, I, too, was on many Klan death lists and I, too, traveled armed: a .38 special Smith and Wesson revolver and a 44/40 Winchester carbine.

The knowledge that I had these weapons and was willing to use them kept enemies at bay. Years later, in a changed Mississippi, this was confirmed by a former prominent leader of the White Knights of the KKK when we had an interesting dinner together at Jackson.

Again, I was glad I had many firearms and, again, we guarded our home and let this be known. We responded to hate calls on the telephone by telling the callers we were quite prepared for them.

(Notably, the gun control movement in America traces its roots to the effort to keep free blacks disarmed. See this book, the Spirit and the Shotgun. Great read.)

They Destroy What They Don’t Understand

I will never understand what goes on in the mind of a gun control freak.001-0801121510-gun_control

Example: A criminal fires a gun outside the Texas capitol, so therefore the first thing we should do is ban law-abiding people with concealed handgun licenses from carrying inside the capitol building and put up metal detectors.