Thursday, March 20, 2008

Obama's Failure of Leadership

Two days after Mr. Obama's major racial speech, what are we to think of it? Is Mr.Obama an appropriate candidate for the leader of the free world?

Mr Obama said,
But the remarks that have caused this recent firestorm weren’t simply controversial. They weren’t simply a religious leader’s effort to speak out against perceived injustice. Instead, they expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country – a view that sees white racism as endemic, and that elevates what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America....
He is right, of course, but the statements were not mere snippets, cherry-picked to make Rev. Wright look bad. The "remarks" were entirely consistent with the church's overall philosophy and liberation theology. He sat in the pew for 20 years listening to this philosophy/theology. He did not speak up until the news media publicly revealed the hate-filled rhetoric.

If Mr. Obama were a leader, why did he merely follow Reverend Wright for 20 years? Why did he not speak up? Why did he not lead anyone to do what is right and reject the hate-filled philosophy?

He waited until he got caught.

I'm sorry. there can be only one conclusion. Mr. Obama is not a leader. I do not want him leading my country. And the truth is the Trinity United Church of Christ and its overarching Liberation Theology represents Mr. Obama's worldview, or he would not have stayed for 20 years.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Half Price Books: Victim Rich Zones

I received a letter to the effect that making their stores "gun free zones" (or sitting duck zones or victim rich zones) has been company policy for 14 years. Here is the letter. My response follows:

March 11,2008

Re: Half Price Books — No Guns Policy

Dear Mr. Carroll:

Thank you for your letter dated May 4, 2008 [sic.] and the earlier letter to the manager of one of our Columbus stores.

In February 22, 1996, our Board of Directors passed a resolution making all of our stores and facilities gun free. I am pleased to report that since the “gun free” policy was implemented, not a single person, customer or employee, has been the victim of gun violence in any of our stores or other facilities.

We have also researched whether or not states which have concealed weapons laws have seen a reduction in crime. So far, I have not found any correlation between the reduction in crime in right to carry states and all of the other states.

I regret that you believe you should boycott our stores because we do not want people carrying guns in our stores.

If you change your mind, you are welcome in any of our stores if you will follow our no guns policy.

John Albach
General Counsel


I sent my response today:

March 19, 2008

Mr. John Albach Esq.
General Counsel
Half Price Books
5803 East Northwest Highway
DallasTX 75231

Re: Concealed Carry in Half Price Stores

Dear Mr. Albach,

Thank you for your letter of March 11, 2008.

I am a lawyer in private practice. As part of my practice, I became chairman of the board of a nonprofit organization involved in counterterrorism activities. Last summer our security people strongly recommended that I obtain the necessary training and obtain a permit for concealed carry of a firearm.

Not being a fool, I did it.

Before that advice, I did not own a gun. I had never shot a handgun before, but I learned. Being a curious, inquisitive type, I also who decided to learn all that I could about concealed carry -- which was really a stretch out of my box. I have read pretty much everything I could on the subject of guns, concealed carry, gun rights, and crime.

According to your letter, the board voted on February 22, 1996, to make all of the Half-Price Bookstores gun free zones. Wow. So much has happened in 14 years.

Among other things, it has become plain that "gun free zones" are dangerous places if you do not want to be the victim of a gun crime. Gun free zones attract armed robbers and homicidal maniacs, because of the easy victims they present: In just the last 13 months there have been at least the following massacres of defenseless victims in gun free zones:

· February 14, 2008, Northern Illinois University, 5 dead, 40 wounded;

· February 2, 2008, Lane Bryant, Tinly Park, Illinois. 5 dead, 1 wounded;

· December 6, 2007, Westwood Mall in Omaha, Nebraska, 8 dead, 5 wounded;

· April 29, 2007, Ward Parkway Center, Kansas City MO, 1 dead;

· April 16, 2007, Virginia Tech University, 32 dead, 17 wounded;

· February 12, 2007, Trolley Square mall, Salt lake City UT, 5 dead, 4 wounded.

I doubt that any rational person actually thinks that a homicidal maniac or an armed robber will obey a gun free zone sign.

Your letter states that you have researched whether or not states which have concealed carry have seen a reduction in crime, but you have not found a correlation. The most comprehensive independent study, looking at all of the 3084 counties in the United States was done by John R. Lott, Jr. and David B. Mustard. Journal of Legal Studies (v.26, no.1, pages 1-68, January 1997. The study was not funded by the NRA or any pro gun organization. Mr. Lott says he did not own a gun until his study showed him how important gun ownership was to his safety. Professor David L. Mustard writes in "Culture Affects Our Beliefs About Firearms, But Data Are Also Important," 151 U. Penn. L. Rev. 1387 (2003):

When I started my research on guns in 1995, I passionately disliked firearms. .... My views on this subject were formed primarily by media accounts of firearms, which unknowingly to me systematically emphasized the costs of firearms while virtually ignoring their benefits. I thought it obvious that passing laws that permitted law abiding citizens to carry concealed firearms would create many problems. [But research has convinced me that]... laws that require [right-to-carry] permits to be granted unless the applicant has a criminal history or history of significant mental illness reduced violent crime and have no impact on accidental deaths.

Mr. Lott has elaborated on the study in his book, More Guns, Less Crime (1998 and 2000), University of Chicago Press, with additional follow ups in: The Bias Against Guns (2002), Regnery Publishing, Straight Shooting: Firearms, Economics and Public Policy (2006), Regnery Publishing. The methodology of the studies has never been successfully assailed, but some of the reading is a bit thick, unless you have a background in economics (which I do). According to Mr. Lott, two-thirds of the studies he has seen indicated that right-to-carry laws reduce crime.

I was reading about Michigan yesterday. In the six years since Michigan enacted its concealed carry law., violent crime has dropped significantly. One in sixty-five Michigan citizens has a concealed carry permit.

There are now 40 right-to-carry states. That is a large number of potential customers that Half Price is turning off and turning away.

From a liability standpoint, consider that you are now on notice that gun free zones are dangerous to the employees and the public. If there is an unfortunate incident in one of your Ohio stores, You may now be liable to employees on a Blankenship claim (so called because of Blankenship v. Cincinnati Milacron Chemicals, Inc., 69 Ohio St.2d 608, 433 N.E.2d 572 (Ohio 1982) whose harsh anti-employer ruling was almost modified by a tort reform bill ruled unconstitutional). The employee could beat the employer's immunity by asserting in essence that the employer knowingly exposed the employee to a risk of substantially certain injury from a "high risk" of harm (whatever that means). Fyffe v. Jeno's Inc. (1991), 59 Ohio St.3d 115.

Similarly, there is a significant risk of liability to customers, not only for negligence but possibly punitive damages for knowingly exposing the customers to the dangers of "gun free zones" which have a "high risk" of harm. A stretch? I don't know. Ohioans (including presumably jurors) favor concealed carry by a large margin.

On the other hand, Ohio by statute protects private employers from injuries caused by acts of concealed carry permit holders. This statutory immunity is in RC 2923.126(C)(2)(a):

(2)(a) A private employer shall be immune from liability in a civil action for any injury, death, or loss to person or property that allegedly was caused by or related to a licensee bringing a handgun onto the premises or property of the private employer, including motor vehicles owned by the private employer, unless the private employer acted with malicious purpose. A private employer is immune from liability in a civil action for any injury, death, or loss to person or property that allegedly was caused by or related to the private employer's decision to permit a licensee to bring, or prohibit a licensee from bringing, a handgun onto the premises or property of the private employer. As used in this division, "private employer" includes a private college, university, or other institution of higher education.

In Ohio, at least, a private employer appears to have greater legal protection by allowing concealed carry in its stores than by prohibiting it.

Of course, any business has the right to display "gun free zone" size. Every business has a right to act unwisely.

Contrary to your suggestion, I am not boycotting your stores. I and other law-abiding citizens have been disinvited by your policy.

I am an impulse stopper. However, I no longer have an impulse to stop if I have to go to the effort of disarming, safely storing my gun as required by Ohio law, and then entering your store which I know to be unsafe. I will submit your letter to the Ohioans for Concealed Carry Association's Do Not Patronize While Carrying list, so everyone can follow your rules (or avoid your stores, of course). If you change your mind, though, let me know and I will get you off the list.

In view of the legal situation in Ohio favorable to those who permit concealed carry, I respectfully request that the Board of Directors of Half-Price Books consider removing the "gun free zones" from its Ohio stores, because as an Ohio employer, it is the responsible thing to do.

Sincerely,

David Carroll

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Obama's Jeremiah Wright Problem

I was shocked to see Barack Obama say that he had no idea about his 20 year pastor's bigoted and foolish remarks from the pulpit. Mr. Obama is a Harvard Law graduate, isn't he? And he attended Trinity for 20 years listening to Pastor Wright.

Until the couple of days Pastor Wright was a campaign endorser and was featured prominently on the Obama campaign web site. The truth is that Mr. Obama knew about Pastor Wright's controversial preaching. Because of the controversial church positions, the Obama campaign disinvited Pastor Wright from giving the invocation at Mr. Obama's announcement of his intention to run as reported in the New York Times on March 5, 2007.

I have long been concerned about the message of Mr. Obama's home church, the Trinity United Church of Christ.
We are a congregation which is Unashamedly Black and Unapologetically Christian... Our roots in the Black religious experience and tradition are deep, lasting and permanent. We are an African people, and remain "true to our native land," the mother continent, the cradle of civilization.
I understand that to be saying that whites are not welcome. If Mr. Obama gets the nomination and wins the election, Mr. Obama needs to be the president of all Americans. This does not seem to me to be a good sign that he would be.

Mr. Obama's claims of ignorance about Pastor Wright's hateful sermons do not bode well for either Mr. Obama's intelligence or his honesty: one or the other is deficient.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Hamas Uses Good People Like Mahmoud

I have met Mahmoud El-Yousseph and personally like him. And, as we have seen, he is not always on the wrong side. But he sent me the following which deserves discussion and refutation:

Way to go to Israel! by Mahmoud El-Yousseph

Finally the Israeli army killed the person who is responsible for missile and rocket attacks from Gaza. The suspect was killed by a single bullet to the head by an Israeli army death-squad, and was among 120 killed and 200 injured (many women and children included) in a series of Israeli air raids and ground invasions that lasted for 5 days. .

Surprisingly, this earth-moving news was not aired on Fox News, CNN, or reported by other major main stream media. Here is an update about this latest high value target that was executed. The victim was a two week old baby. Israel seems to actually think that this baby is capable of firing missiles and rockets.

Name: Amira [princes in Arabic] Abu 'Assr
Address: Deir El-Balah, Gaza, Palestine
Date of Death: March,5, 2008

To better understand why Israel targets Palestinian children, Jennifer Loewenstein a Jewish professor at the University of Wisconsin put it eloquently in a recently published article. She wrote, " Who really cares about these children? Every Palestinian is a militant because everyone (sooner or later) wants Israel off their land, out of their life, and forgotten like a horrible dream. It is for that reason they are all equal targets."

Just an added reminder, Amira's precious life was taken away while she was in her mother's arms. Her father was kidnapped by soldiers and her mother was seriously injured. As far as Amira is concern; rest in peace little princess!
Of course, it is absurd to say that Israel target Palestinian children. It is clear to all who will see that Israel targets terrorists.

But, as Hamas MP Fahti Hammad said,
Fathi Hammad: [The enemies of Allah] do not know that the Palestinian people has developed its [methods] of death and death-seeking. For the Palestinian people, death has become an industry, at which women excel, and so do all the people living on this land. The elderly excel at this, and so do the mujahideen and the children. This is why they have formed human shields of the women, the children, the elderly, and the mujahideen, in order to challenge the Zionist bombing machine. It is as if they were saying to the Zionist enemy: "We desire death like you desire life."
Well, guess what? If Hamas uses women and children as human shields, their blood is on the hands of Hamas, not Israel.

As to Mahmoud's eulogy for the unfortunate child, a similar eulagy could and should be written for each poor, defenseless seminary student heartlessly massacred by Hamas on March 6, 2008.

I understand that Muslims sympathize with the plight of thir fellow Muslims in Palestine, but, Mahmoud, will I have to spend my entire life getting you to see both sides of this conflict and to acknowledge the evil that is Hamas?

Mahmoud, don't be a dupe in Hamas's game. You are a warm hearted guy who bleeds in sympathy with the death of the child. What normal human would not ? (Hint: Hamas if the child were Jewish.) You are the target for the Hamas public relations campaign. Do not be fooled. Hamas caused the death. Hamas considers the death acceptable martyrdom. Hamas is using you because you are a warm and empathetic individual, something Hamas is not. See them for what they are. Please.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Rocky Mountain News reports soaring applications for concealed carry permits. I don't suppose that the recent mass murders in a Colorado Springs church stopped by a CCP holder have anything to do with the increased applications.

Maketa said he's not concerned about the county's growing number of legally armed people. In fact, he said he believes law-abiding citizens make the region safer by getting the permits.

"Actually, I wish it was a higher number, because I know from experience that offenders in the jail system tell me they avoid crimes against people because they know there is a very high concealed-carry rate," Maketa said.

Thanks to John Lott, author of More Guns, Less Crime and Freedomnomics for this lead.



Islamism is Fascism, But Moderate Muslims Predominate

From the Middle East Quarterly, an interview with Mohamed Sifaoui, a highly educated Algerian Muslim who infiltrated an Al Qaeda cell:

MEQ: Would you use the term Islamo-fascism to describe this threat?

Sifaoui: I certainly am one of the first Muslims to consider Islamism to be fascism. This is not a subjective decision but rather a serious, academic argument. Fascism and Islamism are comparable in many aspects: Fascism, without evoking all its particularities, bears similarities to trends also present in Islamism. I am, of course, making a reference to their will to exterminate the Jews. On this point, the Islamists may go even further in their doctrine than the Nazis did, considering that the end of the world could only occur when there are no Jews left on earth. In the three monotheist religions, apocalypse, end of the world, and doomsday exist and are liturgical events invested with a high degree of spirituality. Hence, the Islamists interpret the end of the world in a very special way. Whereas it is written nowhere in the Qur'an, exegetes describe the end of the world as the day when even the trees and rocks will be able to talk and tell the Muslims: "Come here, there is a Jew hiding behind me. Come and kill him." And this would go on, until there would not be any Jew left on earth. This ideology is pure fascism.

MEQ: Are there other similarities?

Sifaoui: The will to exterminate or do harm to homosexuals is another similarity between Nazism and Islamism. The Islamists, also, say that they are the best community in the world, a superior race thanks to their beliefs. They use political means to arrive at this erroneous exegesis. I do not fear to call it fascism. And there are many more similarities between fascism and Islamism.

MEQ: Do you believe it is possible to criticize Islamism without being called a racist?

Sifaoui: Absolutely, I would say that one must criticize Islamism. When I am criticizing Nazism, I am not being anti-German.

MEQ: When did you feel for the first time that you had to criticize Islamism?

Sifaoui: I have always felt that it was a moral duty.

MEQ: Do you believe that moderate Islam exists?

Sifaoui: Of course, it does. If the majority of Muslims were not moderate, Islamists would have destroyed the Western world a long time ago. Despite its technological lead, its nuclear power, and all its armies, the Western world would never be able to face an Islamist world entirely convinced by the terrorist cause. One billion people supporting Al-Qaeda would reduce the rest of the world to ashes. Islam contains violent texts that need not be applicable today. Islam is a religion of moderation. I know because I studied theology for four years.

Perhaps 20 percent of Muslims on the planet must be totally reeducated. We have to fight them politically, ideologically, and also militarily. Western societies do not fight them well; whenever they try to do so, they end up strengthening them.

One proof that moderate Islam exists is the huge number of sympathy messages that I received from Muslim people when my investigative story on Al-Qaeda Salafist networks, J'ai infiltré une cellule islamiste, was broadcast on French television M6.

Read it all.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Gun Free Zones Chase Away Customers

From CNNMoney.com on February 12, 2008:

One more merchant worry: Mall violence

For the first time, industry groups will meet with mall operators and retailers to discuss recent shooting sprees.

By Parija B. Kavilanz, CNNMoney.com senior writer

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Typically shoplifters, fraudsters and scammers pose the biggest threat to merchants' bottom line.

But a much more dangerous type of crime - mall shootings - has the retail industry on edge.

Earlier this month, five people were fatally wounded in a strip mall shooting in Illinois.

In December, a shooting at an Omaha mall - which was at least the fourth at a mall or a shopping center last year - resulted in the deaths of eight shoppers .

"There's been an increase of these incidents in the past months, and it's raised concern in the industry," said Joe LaRocca, vice president with the National Retail Federation (NRF), the industry's largest trade group.

The answer seems obvious to me: Stop inviting homicidal maniacs by posting the malls as "gun free zones." Recent history is clear. Gun free zones are really sitting duck zones. Malls would be safer if gun free zones were eliminated.

On March 3, 2008, I wore the following letter to Mr. La Rocca:

Joe La Rocca, President
National Retail Federation
325 7th St. NW
1100
Washington DC 20004

Re: Decline in Mall Customer due to Gun Violence

Dear Mr. La Rocca,

I read that your federation is concerned about declining mall customers due to gun violence. From the recent history, it seems clear that homicidal maniacs are attracted by so-called gun-free zones. Consider the facts:

On December 6, 2007, a homicidal maniac entered the Westwood Mall in Omaha, Nebraska, and murdered eight people until an off duty police officer who just happened to be there fired at him and the shooter killed himself. The mall was a posted gun free zone. The shooting was at least the fourth at a mall or shopping center in 2007, following incidents in Salt Lake City, Utah; Kansas City, Missouri; and Douglasville, Georgia.

On April 17, 2007, a homicidal maniac opened fire on the Virginia Tech campus, hunting down his victims, ultimately murdering 32 students and teachers before killing himself. Virginia Tech is supposed to be a gun free zone, so no teachers could be armed to defend their students.

On February 14, 2008, another homicidal maniac murdered 7 defenseless victims and injured 21 more at Northern Illinois University in, you guessed it, a "gun free zone." Oh yes, and he had time to reload.

The lesson is clear: gun free zones attract homicidal maniacs. I see them as sitting duck zones and will not go there regardless of whether I am armed. They are too dangerous. I feel same only where guns are permitted, because the nuts will go elsewhere.

I enclose an excellent article by Ohio's liberal Columbus Dispatch newspaper which notes that since concealed carry was enacted in Ohio, there have been NO PROBLEMS from permit holders. The article is incorrect about concealed guns saving lives. Apparently the article's author did not research the Dispatch's own files. I attach a copy of an April 24, 2007 article where a concealed carry permit holder killed an armed robber who pulled a gun in the course of the attempted robbery. I also enclose an excellent summary of the issue by Ohioans for concealed carry.

I respectfully request that the National Retail Federation adopt a policy that will promote greater safety in member malls, specifically removing all "no guns" signs, thus opening the malls to the significant population of customers who have concealed carry permits.

Please respond with a clear statement of your position on removing the unsafe and abhorrent "no guns" signs from member malls.

I look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

David Carroll

No response, yet. But, the voices of reason need to act together to contact these people who apparently think that homicidal maniacs will obey "No Guns" signs. Join me in contacting Mr. La Rocca.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Celebrating Barbarism

Islam, at least the way Palestinian Arabs practice it, is a religion of Jew-hatred. After the horrible mass murder of Jewish seminary students, did the Palestinian Arabs mourn? No, they celebrated.

To his credit, Palestinian President Abbas condemned all attacks on civilians. But the Palestinian people celebrated.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Gaza Conflict Explained

What is the difference between the Israeli attacks on Gaza which killed innocent civilians and the HAMAS massacre of seminary students?

Simple.

Israel's intended targets were the terrorists themselves. After all, terrorists had been sending shrapnel-filled rockets onto civilian populations. If your neighborhood were the target of rockets, what would you expect your government to do?

HAMAS's intended targets were innocent seminary students.

The bad folks at the ironically named "Cross Cultural Understanding" web site calls HAMAS's mass murder of innocent students a "counter-attack." Evil.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Gaza Conflict

In the course of researching the horrible mass murders approved by HAMAS within a Jewish seminary, I ran across references to the killing of 120 including many civilians by the Israelis in a raid in North Gaza that I had not previously heard about. I will continue looking for credible reports on what that is about, but so far it sounds pretty terrible and has been underreported by the Western press. Updates to come when I have reliable information on this.

Update from from the AP reported March 2:
Early today, Israeli aircraft destroyed the office building in Gaza City used by Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, witnesses said. Five people were lightly wounded in the raid.

At least two dozen Palestinian civilians, including a baby, were among those killed Saturday, and militants said 25 fighters died. Health officials said about 200 people were wounded, 14 of them critically.

The overall death toll was the highest in a single day since the current round of violence erupted in September 2000. The highest previous death toll was 38 on March 8, 2002.

The intense fighting pushed the Palestinian death toll to more than 80 since fighting flared Wednesday. About half of those were civilians.

While expressing regret for civilian casualties, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak blamed "Hamas and those firing rockets at Israel," his office said in a statement, pledging to continue the offensive to protect Israeli towns and cities.

On Friday, Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai renewed a threat to invade Gaza to crush militant rocket squads that attack southern Israel daily.

Palestinian fighters kept up a steady stream of rocket and mortar attacks on Israeli targets, firing around 50 on Saturday alone in defiance of the Israeli assault. Six Israelis were injured by rockets that reached as far as Ashkelon, a coastal city 11 miles north of Gaza.

The Israeli military said one of its airstrikes on northern Gaza targeted a parked truck loaded with 160 rockets.

On Thursday, militants raised the stakes by firing Iranian-made rockets into Ashkelon, striking closer to Israel's heartland than ever before and putting more Israelis at risk. Palestinian rocket fire earlier in the week also killed an Israeli man.
Here is a follow up from AFP on March 4:

GAZA CITY (AFP) — Israeli warplanes early Tuesday carried out raids on the north of the Gaza Strip, killing two Palestinians and wounding two others, a Palestinian medical source said.

Israel had vowed on Monday to keep hitting Gaza even as troops pulled out of the Hamas-run territory after clashes that killed more than 120 Palestinians and dealt a major blow to Middle East peace talks.

A first raid against Gaza City killed one person while the second further north killed one and wounded two. The victims were not immediately identified.

A military spokesman in Tel Aviv told AFP that the Israeli air force had "attacked a group of terrorists who were preparing to fire rockets at Israel."

An Israeli military source said a rocket fired from the Beit Hanoun district north of Gaza City on Tuesday had smashed into a house in the southern Israeli town of Sderot, but nobody was hurt.

"We are not prepared to show any tolerance, period. And we will respond. Our reaction is not limited to a specific operation or day," Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told a meeting of his Kadima party in Jerusalem on Monday.

"The operation will not end before we achieve our goals and our first goal is a significant reduction of Qassam and Grad rocket fire against Israeli civilians," he said, referring to rockets used by Gaza militants.

It is tragic when civilians get killed in fighting between militants. It is hard to assess this situation though, knowing that Palestinian Islamic militants have been known to use innocent Muslim women and children as shields.

It is terrible when innocents lose their lives as "collateral damage." It does not appear that Israel is targeting innocents, but is instead targeting terrorists, killing innocents in the process. The level of civilians killed must be condemned.

It is evil, even Satanic, to deliberately target innocents as HAMAS did in the Jewish seminar, and then laud the action.

Further Update: As bad as the Israeli actions appear to be in terms of the loss of innocent life, it is as if HAMAS want to prove that HAMAS is worse.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Mass Murders in Jewish Seminary Praised by Hamas

The Columbus Dispatch carries the story of a mass murder (7 dead, 10 wounded) in a Jewish seminary. HAMAS responds:
“We bless the (Jerusalem) operation. It will not be the last,” Hamas said in a text message sent to reporters.
There is no excuse for this sort of behavior, either the behavior of the mass murders or their blood-thirsty organization.

Not surprisingly, the web site of the unindicted co-conspirator, HAMAS-front, Council on American Islamic Relations lacks any denunciation as of 4:21 pm EST.

Update: 8 dead, 35 injured.

Update Friday March 7: Still no expression of sympathy for the victims by CAIR. What a surprise.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Other Points of View

On this blog, I have linked to "Other Points of View." let me make one thing abundantly clear. I link to them so the reader can see what others, some of whom are incredibly bigoted, are thinking. I do NOT endorse any other viewpoint than my own -- and that goes for all links from this blog.

I intend to expand the list of other points of view, not because I agree with any other them, but because they are there.

Primary Election Thoughts

I have so far not weighed much on the constant election activity going on in American and Ohio, except perhaps to lament on how early the presidential campaigns started. I now share some miscellaneous thoughts resulting from the Ohio, ,Texas, Vermont and Rhode Island primaries that resulted in an uncontested Republican nominee at its convention (John McCain) and a lively and continuing contest between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination.
  • I understand that Rush Limbaugh suggested that Republican voters cross-over in Ohio and Texas to vote for Hillary Clinton to keep the democratic side fighting internally and using up their campaign funds against each other. I find that tactic distasteful.
  • The Barack Obama campaign has demonstrated 3 important things about racism in America:
  1. His support among white voters and the media shows that there is much less racism in white America than previously believed.
  2. On the premise that is a white votes for a white because they are white, that is racism. It is also true that if a black votes for a black because he is black, that too is racism. Obama getting 90% of the black vote in some primaries shows a serious racism problem in black America.
  3. Based upon pools in which 74% of white Americans believe that America is ready for a black president, but only 62% of black Americans believe it, black "leaders" have oversold racism victimology to black America.
  • Obama and Clinton may spend themselves down to nothing to get their party's nomination, but with the free liberal mainstream media support, it will be a close race anyway.
  • None of the candidates has an adequate position on an individual's right to keep and bear arms , at least to satisfy me. Mr. McCain's position is probably the lease harmful for those who own guns for self defense.
  • Negative ads work. Hillary Clinton's "red phone ad" apparently took quite a toll in the primaries in Ohio, Texas and Rhode Island criticizing Mr. Obama's lack of experience (where he is deservedly vulnerable). My favorite satirical response ends with: "Hillary. It is 3 am. Do you know where Bill is?"
  • Low income Democrats currently without health care insurance are scared by both the Clinton and Obama universal health care plans, because both plans would force them to pay for coverage they cannot afford and do not want.
  • Mr. Obama's "I am my Brother's Keeper" speech was downright frightening. Go away, Big Brother. I don't want you to try to keep me.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Sitting Duck Zones

I understand that Half Price Books, as a matter of corporate policy, post "No guns" signs. Today, I sent the following letter to corporate counsel for Half Price Books:

March 4, 2008

Corporate Counsel,

Half Price Books, Records, Magazines Incorporated
5803 East Northwest Highway
Dallas, TX 75231

Dear Sir or Madam:

I am writing to ask you to correct a dangerous condition which I am given to understand exists in all your Ohio stores. I am sure we agree that safety of the public and of your employees is a top priority.

Your stores have no guns allowed signs. In 2004 when the Ohio General Assembly enacted concealed carry legislation, those signs seemed like a good idea. Guns are dangerous ordinances and need to be handled properly, carefully and safely. Unfortunately, experience has proven that gun free zones are a bad idea.

On December 6, 2007, a homicidal maniac entered the Westwood Mall in Omaha, Nebraska, and murdered eight people until an off duty police officer who just happened to be there fired at him and the shooter killed himself. The mall was a posted gun free zone. The shooting was at least the fourth at a mall or shopping center in 2007, following incidents in Salt Lake City, Utah; Kansas City, Missouri; and Douglasville, Georgia.

On April 17, 2007, a homicidal maniac opened fire on the Virginia Tech campus, hunting down his victims, ultimately murdering 32 students and teachers before killing himself. Virginia Tech is supposed to be a gun free zone, so no teachers could be armed to defend their students.

On February 14, 2008, another homicidal maniac murdered 7 defenseless victims and injured 21 more at Northern Illinois University in, you guessed it, a "gun free zone." And by the way, he had time to reload.

The lesson is clear: Homicidal maniacs do not obey gun free zone signs. However, they may well see these zones as safe harbors where they can kill without fear of being killed themselves.

On December 9, 2007, a homicidal maniac murdered four people, entered a church in Colorado Springs obviously intent on killing more. He had over a 100 rounds of ammunition on him and he was wearing a bullet proof vest. A parishioner who was a volunteer security guard and had a concealed carry permit fired at the maniac. The murderer took his own life without killing further innocent people.

Ohio's concealed carry law requires permit holders to pass a background check and take 10 hours of training before being issued a permit. The history of the law in Ohio and in other states has been excellent. Permit holders do not commit gun crimes. They are the law abiding citizens. I attach a recent article from the Columbus Dispatch attesting to that fact. I also enclose a sheet from the Ohio concealed carry association.

What about your stores? Do you believe that homicidal maniacs or gun-toting robbers will obey your sign? Isn't it more likely that the sign tells them that your store is a better victim and that they will be safer as they commit their crimes on you, your employees, and the public?

In Ohio, one person in eighty has a concealed carry permit. Concealed carry permit holders will likely not shop at your store. You lose their business and the protection. Protection? Yes. If criminals know they may face guns in committing their crimes. They are more likely to think twice. As for the other customers, concealed carry means the weapon is concealed. There is nothing to make other customers uncomfortable, because they will not see any fellow law-abiding citizen's weapon.

I have read comments from criminals. They fear being killed by their victims for more than being killed by the police. In the UK where all guns are banned, 53% of all burglaries are committed with the residents at home ("hot"). In the US, burglars fear that the homes will be defended, so they do a better job of casing the targets. Only 16% of burglaries are "hot." The potential presence of legal guns deters violent crime.

Your signs, placed there with the best of intentions, protect the criminal and leave your customers and your employees at risk. The signs make your stores dangerous for customers and employees alike, because, perversely, it invites gun crimes.

I urge you to remove the sign, which creates the hazard to your customers and your employees. I would like to resume shopping at your stores.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

David Carroll





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