Weekend wound up

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What are you sick of these days? So many options, so little time.

Happy weakend, folks.


Being disappointed

I'm sick of being disappointed in our "leaders." Robert says tough tomatoes. Buck up, take what they give you. I know he's right, but still. I can't pretend like it's not discouraging as hell, especially when you bust your ass for someone.

I'm also sick of the Dome. If you catch me linking to that Puppetshow love pit, shoot me. But it shouldn't be a problem. Once I un-bookmark a site, it's pretty much invisible to me.


The NC Family Policy Council doesn't speak for my family

2 thoughts

If you abandon them before you win, or you worked against them at any point you lose all leverage that you have with them. Politicians are always looking towards the next election, and if you are partially responsible for their win and you threaten to turn on them in their next election then you hold a huge amount of power over them.

Also, elections are about the choices we have not the choices we want. Is Purdue perfect? Of course not, no politician is. But is she better than McCrory? By miles and miles. And ultimately that is our choice here.

When you remove yourself from politics you abandon all potential future influence that you have. Because if they got where they are without you, then they can sure as heck stay where they are without you.

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

You're pretty smart for a young pup

heh heh

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.


There's no question Perdue is a thousand times better than McCoal. But - and I say this after much soul-searching - it's very clear to me that I have no influence or leverage with any elected official or candidate. Unless by "influence" you mean a candidate does something I like that they were going to do already.

I'm pretty sure Perdue will win, and she already knows that progressives were partly (a small part, admittedly) responsible for her nomination. So yeah, we helped her get there ... and she's decided she can do just fine without us.

In other words, I don't think your argument adds up to a compelling case as far as progressives are concerned. Chapel Hill is on the radar as a fundraising source. People want to use my house to hold events. There's nothing reciprocal about it. The progressive agenda is all but non-existent, with the possible exception of Joe Hackney in the House. Beyond him I can't think of anyone in power who has leaned past the right-of-center on many issues in state government.


The NC Family Policy Council doesn't speak for my family


What votes do we bring to the table? Currently the right wing nut jobs are claiming that immigration will decide the votes of thousands of swing voters. So if you believe them its a simple math equation. 100,000 that could go either way or much less than that who go to Bev or no one.

Now if we are able to get power by turning out voters in droves and making our support worth more than the scary people on the right we will move politicians and win elections. In the meantime, they CAN ignore us, because progressives simply do not represent a large enough share of the electorate, and its not a monolithic single issue share at that.

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

Progressives already turn out in droves

that's why they're progressives. Look at Chapel Hill. We vote like crazy.

We're voting for them and they know it. We are not right wingers who hate government and could care less about politics. We care deeply. We vote. And we vote for them. They know it. We can be taken for granted with little risk.

Progressives are number 2. We have to try harder. I'm not sure that means going along - all the time - with whatever shows up.


PS With my "Perdue balance sheet" in mind, I think it's fair to say I've earned the right to outrage on this issue, not that earning it is necessary to have it.


The NC Family Policy Council doesn't speak for my family

I mentioned this before,

Progressives are number 2. We have to try harder. I'm not sure that means going along - all the time - with whatever shows up.

but I think it's worth looking at again.

Progressives are (or seem to be) losing the battle of public perception. The most recent evidence of this is the public's 2/3 approval for offshore drilling. But that's merely one issue in a long string of issues where we've allowed misinformation and hyperbole to shape public perception.

We may think the path of least resistance is by applying pressure to candidates and leaders, via our advocacy and our purse, to address the changes we'd like to see. But it's becoming more and more apparent to me that this approach may be as pointless as fanning yourself in church.

Here's why: our system of government is based on majority rule. Regardless of all the concerns over "tyranny of the majority" or "liberal paradox" conundrums, we basically revere and cherish the idea of majority rule, and we expect our leaders (and those who aspire to be) to be responsive to the desires of a majority of their constituents.

Unless we're talking about a specific issue that we hold a minority opinion of, in which case we expect said leader to do exactly the opposite of what we say we want them to do. That is the ideological brick wall that progressives (and other minority movements) run into. And we will continue to run into that brick wall (more often than not) until we focus our energies on the target that is the core of our dilemma: public perception.

Ever since the recent flip-flops by many Democrats on offshore drilling, I've been wondering if the entity we discussed a few months ago would be better suited as a way to finance dissemination/distribution of information, as opposed to directing support to individuals or projects.

It's taken me a long time to get around to it, but the thing I'm most sick of these days is the manipulation of public opinion by those who don't have the public's best interests at heart. There are a lot of important things not being said, and now that the debate is being pulled closer to the center, it will only get worse.

I think that's what we're trying to do now,

and it ain't working. We can't go head to head with corporations on who can throw the most money at a candidate. They're so far ahead of us because they're using our money against us. Which...is a whole 'nother problem.

And we can't "out-advertise" them, because it's too expensive. But you know, I honestly believe people don't need to have the truth repeated to them at every commercial break. They've been given little pieces of the truth here and there, and some of those pieces are (accidentally) revealed to them within some of the corporate propaganda they're fed. You put those pieces together for them, or at least get them started, and maybe...

Double Post

Double Post

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

Doesn't mean it doesn't tick me off

I'm horribly disappointed in most of our candidates. From those who were left on the cutting room floor to Edwards to our candidates. It's all very disappointing.

---insert witty remark here----coming soon----

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Disappointing, indeed

My short time volunteering for and donating to the last two Presidential elections has left me feeling less than motivated to give my time and money to political candidates.

NCDem Amy on YouTube

I'm sick of being at the beach with Republicans

I'm on my second very strong pina colada. I'm packed. Our rooms are cleaned. I'm letting the moms of the small children feed said small children. I'm laughing my ass off that the two oldest (5 and 7) of the "Christian" Republicans in the group lie through their teeth as a habit to their parents. They lie without batting an eye. They lie without hesitation. Such good little Republicans. I'm tired of being on someone else's schedule. I'm ready to go home and see my puppies. I just want to be home.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Awww, Roxane....thanks

I'm justa beechin'

I'll be home tomorrow in quaint little ol' Union County where lunatics fire assault rifles at will. Home...sweet...home. :D

Robin Hayes lied, Robin Hayes cried and thousands of folks lost th

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Reema Samaha

Students for Gun Free Schools (SGFS) is a new group founded by family members and friends of Reema Samaha, one of the victims of the tragedy at Virginia Tech. SGFS opposes efforts to force universities and colleges to allow students and faculty to carry concealed handguns on their campuses. Please support SGFS as they work to keep our nation's campuses safe by joining their Facebook Group today!



- - - - -

- - - - -

Force to allow?

"Force to allow" seems a bit contradictory, doesn't it? Coerced to offer a choice?

I wonder if the occasional psychopath bent on homicidal destruction will agree to be a member as well?

Here's a classic video on the topic:

We live in an sadly imperfect world, and the right to self-defense is fundamental human right.

William (B.J.) Lawson, M.D.
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

William (B.J.) Lawson, M.D.
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

Yes, BJ, "Force" to "Allow"

The colleges and universities the group aims to protect do not allow students and faculty to carry concealed handguns on campus.

Any legislation passed within the states in which the colleges and universities are located would thus "force" the schools to "allow" students and faculty to carry concealed handguns on campus.

You can continue to dance around the fact that two separate licensed gun dealers willingly and unlawfully sold semi-automatic handguns to an individual with a history of mental illness and court ordered psychiatric assessments, resulting in the gruesome death of THIRTY-TWO innocent students and teachers ... OR you could grow up and realize that this isn't the fucking battles of Lexington and Concord and not everybody needs to be packing heat in order to live free.

And feel free to let the family of Reema Samaha know that their daughter would still be alive if they had just sent her off to Blacksburg with a .22 caliber Walther P22 semi-automatic pistol, a Glock 19 semi-automatic pistol, and a couple of boxes of jacketed hollow point bullets. Oh, the things you forget in gleeful anticipation of your freshman year!

It's times like this where I'm confident that your district will not choose to send you to Washington come November. Dare I say, my safety depends on it.

Defense of innocents

Christopher -- I appreciate the fact that you're concerned about safety. I share that concern.

As a physician, and based upon my upbringing, I was never a "fan" of guns. It wasn't until Virginia Tech that I began to question my nominally anti-gun beliefs.

If you had been in that situation, what would you have done? If anyone could have defused Cho, lives would have been saved.

In the wake of Virginia Tech, and I started looking for data on the topic of gun ownership, and concealed carry in particular. There are compelling data that concealed carry saves lives, and makes communities safer:


The point isn't that "everybody" needs to be armed. The presence of a small minority of who choose to exercise their right makes the entire community safer. Many responsible, informed citizens choose not to be a victim.

Oh, and you're right -- it's not Lexington and Concord any more. If guns are outlawed, only Blackwater will have guns.

William (B.J.) Lawson, M.D.
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

William (B.J.) Lawson, M.D.
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

I think you are sheltered

I played college football and hung out with a lot of riough dudes, several of which carried guns everywhere they went. One pulled a knife on a frat boy at a keg party when he didn't have his gun. Another took target practice...at a tree outside a professors house. Another was killed in an alley on a trip back home, gun still in his wasteband.

I think you must have gone to a nice safe ivy league school if you think its a good idea to arm college age boys. All those fights I saw would have ended in bullets flying.

----insert witty remark here----coming soon----

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Shall we resort to ad hominem?

Robert, you must be able to do better than that. This issue has nothing to do with me, or where I went to college.

Concealed carry permit holders are, by definition, law-abiding people. I've never met a permit holder who conducts herself the way you describe above.

Furthermore, the issue is not "college age boys". There are numerous professors, graduate students, and other responsible adults who already meet the legal requirement for concealed carry in the community, but are prohibited from carrying a concealed weapon on campus.

Disturbed people with homicidal intent don't follow the rules.


William (B.J.) Lawson, M.D.
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

William (B.J.) Lawson, M.D.
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

Hotheads with guns

aren't necessarily occasional psychopaths; everyone has a dark side and you never know where your own internal trigger is until you meet it suddenly. The chances for violence multiplies in general with every new gun out there.

Progressive Democrats of North Carolina

I agree...

hotheads are the problem.

Violence is perpetrated by hotheads wielding guns, knives, and even just wearing boots.

The UK is cracking down on knives, and is even considering "long pointy knife control" -- since of course, you only need a sharp edge when you're cutting your sandwich.

We have a people problem. If you want peace, work for justice.

William (B.J.) Lawson, M.D.
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

William (B.J.) Lawson, M.D.
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

Check the real odds.

BJ, I believe that you're well-intentioned on this point, so make note that this isn't an ad hominem attack.

But let me encourage you to reconsider the real odds on risk in the real world. Disturbed people with homicidal intent and multiple high-powered guns are fortunately pretty damned rare on college campuses, city parks, restaurants, and other places where guns are typically banned.

Nervous upstanding citizens who have (or could easily obtain) concealed carry permits are pretty common. Arguments that escalate without warning, well-intended but ill-advised interventions, or even scary misunderstandings are frequent enough. Add to the mix a gun or three tucked in pockets or purses. Keep in mind that bullets fired by well-intentioned amateurs rarely speed directly and exclusively to folks with "bad guy" signs around their necks.

Does this prospect really make you feel more secure? If you spend any time reviewing gun statistics, and the overwhelming prevalence of accidental and domestic shootings, it shouldn't.

Now, do I personally want to ban the "home defense" handgun? Actually, no. The risks that person or family takes in their own home are a lot closer to exclusively their own business.

When you talk about taking away the public areas where I can reasonably expect guns to be few and far between, however, that's my business. And I object. Upping the number of concealed guns (legal or not) in a public area just increases our risk of being caught in a crossfire.

And that, my friend, is just dumb, no matter what the NRA may say.

Dan Besse

Dan Besse


Dan -- The first four hours of NC's concealed carry class deal with the legal requirements for the use of Deadly Force. It's a class that I'd recommend to everyone, regardless of if you even own a gun, but especially if you do. (Not to mention the obvious parallels with foreign policy - but that's another discussion.)

You ask me to review gun statistics. I have, and continue to do so. Statistics show that someone who is licensed or receives similar licensing in other states makes our communities safer, not less so. How many "accidental" shootings are committed by trained and licensed concealed carry permit holders? Show me the data. My posts include links for a reason -- I'm encouraging others to evaluate the data, as well.

When guns are "few and far between", statistics show that when guns are used, they are used by someone who is not trained and/or is a threat others. That is the precise situation where innocents get hurt.

We must also be realistic. Not only do we have an enumerated Bill of Rights where the right to be David against Goliath is as fundamental as free speech or due process, we are not Singapore. We are not a small island nation with a (benign or not) authoritarian government, caning for littering, and guns only in the hand of the government. The Nazis were big fans of gun control for a reason, and the worst genocides in history have followed citizen disarmament.


William (B.J.) Lawson, M.D.
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

William (B.J.) Lawson, M.D.
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

There you go again,

equating any reasonable limits on where/when/how to carry firearms with "disarmament". I have not proposed any such, which you surely realize.

Ask any police department for community crime statistics, and you'll find accidental and domestic violence shootings are the leading incidents of gun violence. Do you dispute that? If so, bring out the numbers to the contrary.

You state: "When guns are "few and far between", statistics show that when guns are used, they are used by someone who is not trained and/or is a threat others. That is the precise situation where innocents get hurt." Please provide datalinks to substantiate that.

Please provide links to any data that indicate elimination of restrictions on concealed carry in public spaces (parks, campuses, restaurants) reduces the incidents of gun violence.

These are counterintuitive claims. Please back them up with specific data, not references to broad "community safety".

Dan Besse

Dan Besse

Without getting deeper into a

philosophical debates about the right to bear arms as an individual right, and the "reasonableness" of restrictions upon that right, I believe that our ~15 year history of embracing concealed carry permits at the state level is an practical and intelligent compromise between gun control and gun rights advocates.

When I use the term "disarmament" in this discussion, I am specifically referring to governments' tendency to arbitrarily prohibit trained and certified concealed carry permit holders from exercising that right on public property, or particular types of private property.

Should individual property owners have the right to prohibit firearms? In defense of private property rights, I believe they should. For the same reason that I can ask you to leave if you're creating a ruckus and cursing up a storm in front of my kids.

But I object to federal, state, and local governments placing blanket prohibitions on concealed carry. If a university decides to look at the data and allow trained and licensed citizens to carry on campus, why should they be prohibited from doing so?

I am deeply concerned with our eroding civil liberties. Gun control is a slippery slope, and protecting our freedoms demands constant vigilance. You may believe that you're "reasonable" in saying folks can keep a firearm in their house, but why should that same right to self-defense not exist while driving or walking around? Again, criminals do not obey laws, and all the data I have seen supports the assertion that concealed carry makes our communities safer.

While supportive data is helpful, principle is important as well. My commitment is to defend all of the Bill of Rights with equal vigor.


William (B.J.) Lawson, M.D.
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

William (B.J.) Lawson, M.D.
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

Oh, and the data...

I already did provide the links. The entire conclusion of the paper reviewed in the above post is that gun violence results from criminals, not concealed carry permit holders, and that if concealed carry was more universally embraced, we would see significant decreases in violent crimes:

To begin, I will invoke an intensive study published in the University of Chicago's Journal of Legal Studies in 1997 by Dr. John R. Lott Jr. and David B. Mustard. These two investigators sought to determine whether or not allowing American citizens to be issued "concealed carry" permits for handguns would deter violent crime or actually encourage it. A detailed discussion of their methodology is beyond the scope of this post, as well as many readers' patience, but their research used county-level data across all states with laws for obtaining concealed carry permits from 1977 through 1992. Those so motivated can read the entire report here.

The conclusion reached at the end of their research was that once concealed carry laws went into effect, violent crimes decreased in individual counties by an average of 7.65 percent for murders and between 5 and 7 percent for rapes and aggravated assaults. The study estimated that had the rest of the states adopted concealed carry laws similar to the ones then active in 31 states, a yearly average of approximately 1400 murders, 4000 rapes, 11,000 robberies and 60,000 aggravated assaults would have been prevented.

Additional laboratories are simply looking at the effects of strict gun control laws in Illinois (referenced in the above post), Massachusetts, or Washington, D.C.

I'd also encourage you to review the information and references presented by Students for Concealed Carry on Campus. One interesting footnote reveals the law of unintended consequences at work:

The accidental discharge that occurred in the cockpit of a U.S. Airways jet, on March 22, 2008, occurred during the application of a poorly designed trigger lock, which FAA regulations require be in place during landing.

Why would we want a pilot messing with the trigger after takeoff and before landing? Concealed carry dictates that you keep the thing in the holster unless you need it.

God forbid anyone should be placed in a situation to need to use a firearm in self defense. I feel the same way about seatbelts, air bags, and my bike helmet.


William (B.J.) Lawson, M.D.
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

William (B.J.) Lawson, M.D.
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

I'm holding out for hand-grenades.

A whole shitload of hand-grenades. Screw handguns.

You never know when one of Pat McCoal's gangs is going to descend on Chapel Hill, and you can't depend on the cops to use sufficient force to brush them back. Throw in some RPGs too. And maybe a fuckin' tank.

Yeah. That's what I want. A tank. And don't get in my way. It's my god-given right.

The NC Family Policy Council doesn't speak for my family

Red herring?

Really? I thought we had the right to bear arms. Are you saying there's some reason I shouldn't have a basement full of hand-grenades?

This isn't a red herring. It's the natural consequence of reading the Constitution literally.

We all know we draw lines. The only question is where we draw them.


The NC Family Policy Council doesn't speak for my family


That line has been drawn, and there are established legal restrictions on hand grenades, RPGs, tanks, cluster bombs, and nuclear weapons. Although many (like myself) would argue that there's not even an appropriate military use for cluster bombs given their indiscriminate nature. And we need a heck of a lot fewer nuclear weapons than we currently possess.

I don't know of anyone arguing in favor of hand grenades at WalMart so you can build a cache in your basement. I'm not. Just like Dan apparently wasn't arguing for a replay of Kristallnacht. Those are the extremes to which this debate typically goes when folks cease being interested in rational discussion, so I consider them both to be red herrings.


William (B.J.) Lawson, M.D.
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

William (B.J.) Lawson, M.D.
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

And now we're talking about drawing new lines

I didn't intend to be making a slippery slope argument (I hate slippery slope arguments), but perhaps that's what I'm doing.

By the way, given the matrix of "lines" we've drawn, the line is definitely in the wrong place on hand-grenades. Not all of us are expert marksmen. I guess there's always shot guns.

Maybe I should buy one.


The NC Family Policy Council doesn't speak for my family


In case I haven't said this yet:

I'm very happy that you're engaged here from time to time. I wish every elected official had the intellect, the interest, and the voice to do what you do online. Whether you become our Congressman or not, I hope you'll stay with us.


The NC Family Policy Council doesn't speak for my family

and this guy is going to buck his party masters?

There is a reason this guy is a Republican and any Democrat who supports him needs to have their heads examined.

Have you ever heard of a liberal shooting up a church?

What's that reason?

Party masters? What's a party master? Who's paying for our campaign? Not the party. Not corporate PACs. Just individuals, unlike my opponent:

Congressman David Price 2007 - 2008
Total PAC Money for 2008: $306,427

Agribusiness $13,000
Communic/Electronics $17,357
Construction $7,500
Defense $51,000
Energy/Nat Resource $11,750
Finance/Insur/RealEst $25,000
Health $52,000
Lawyers & Lobbyists $14,300
Transportation $18,500
Misc Business $26,500
Labor $59,500
Ideology/Single-Issue $10,020

Anyone who thinks the Republican party has a "master" is greatly overestimating the strength of said party.

Democrats and Republicans who succumb to sweeping partisan generalizations in an age where our nation's survival is at stake need to have their heads examined.

William (B.J.) Lawson, M.D.
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

William (B.J.) Lawson, M.D.
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

Just the facts, please.

BJ, the principal paper you cite as evidentiary support does not even claim to do more than examine selected comparative county general crime rate data. It then attempts to attribute selected lower crime rates to the theoretical deterrent value of would-be criminals knowing that there could be more guns out there. (Do you really believe that a would-be rapist is going to take into account statistics on a marginal increase in number of women carrying handguns? Do you know that little about what goes into the crime of rape?) For reasons that will become clear to anyone reading it, this paper has been criticized for bias, but making that case is not really necessary here.

It does not even purport to address the data challenges I posed to you:
--Data to contradict my point that accidental shootings and domestic violence represent most incidents of gun violence.
--Data to support your claim that when guns are less common, they are more likely to be used to hurt or threaten others.
--Data to support the fundamental suggestion that eliminating restrictions on concealed carry in public spaces reduces the incidents of gun violence.

That's what I have challenged, and this evidentiary challenge has not been met.

Of course, if you want to just fall back and acknowledge that your other post just now is the nutshell of the matter for you--you object philosophically to restrictions on gun carry, and the effects are secondary--please feel free to do so. Just don't seek to base your position regarding mandated expansion of concealed carry law on impact data.

If you want to argue data in support of eliminating public place restrictions on concealed carry, then please show us some actual data on gun violence in those public places, and on the actual use of permitted concealed guns in those places.

Dan Besse

Dan Besse

In the interest of time

I'll fall back to an argument based upon principle. It's always extremely difficult to "prove" causation, and correlation most certainly is not causation.

The data supporting the principled defense of the second amendment in general, and concealed carry in particular, is circumstantial, but I believe supportive. You may choose to disagree.

Ultimately, though, what is at stake is the principled belief that self-defense is a natural right.

Your principle appears to be that the world would be a better place without guns. I believe the world would be a better place without criminals, and that guns are simply tools for self-defense, sport, and a
potential deterrent to tyranny.

As noted above, now the UK is in the process of embarking on "knife control", and thugs are still beating and kicking people to death. People are the problem, and firearms are an effective equalizer when David meets Goliath.

Again, if you have any data to support your assertion that concealed carry increases danger, or stricter gun control reduces crime, please share.

William (B.J.) Lawson, M.D.
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

William (B.J.) Lawson, M.D.
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

I've shown you this before and, evidently, you ignored it.

Which is why I generally no longer engage you in discussion; you put your head in the sand whenever any inconvenient facts have the potential to disturb your view of the world. I do this to support Dan (who doesn't really need any support, but I just want to help out a bit.).

... if you have any data to support your assertion that .... stricter gun control reduces crime, please share.

From this website.

The last number for each column is the number of intentional deaths by gun per 100,000. The USA is double any other coutry. Also the 2nd # is the homocide rate per 100,000. We get the pleasure of being twice as deadly to each other as everyone else again. Remove N. Ireland and we are six times worse. Remove Italy and we are 20 times as bad as the remaining 20 countries.

Table 1 - International Firearms Regulation, Access and Death Country Licensing of gun owners? Registration of firearms? Other Households with firearms (%) Gun Homicide (per 100,000) Gun Suicide (per 100,000) Total Intentional Gun Death Rate per 100,000

Japan Yes Yes Prohibits handguns with few exceptions 0.6 0.03 0.04 0.07
Singapore Yes Yes Most handguns and rifles prohibited 0.01 (795 in the country) 0.07 0.17 0.24
Taiwan N/A N/A N/A 0.15 0.12 0.27
Kuwait N/A N/A N/A 0.34 0.03 0.37
England/ Wales Yes Yes Prohibits handguns 4.0 0.07 0.33 0.4
Scotland Yes Yes Same as England and Wales 4.0 0.19 0.30 0.49
Netherlands Yes Yes 1.9 0.27 0.28 0.55
Spain Yes Yes Some handguns and rifles are prohibited 13.1 0.19 0.55 0.74
Ireland Yes Yes N/A 0.30 0.94 1.24
Germany Yes Yes 8.9 0.21 1.23 1.44
Italy Yes Yes N/A 1.16 1.11 2.27
Sweden Yes Yes Restrictions in some regions 20 0.18 2.09 2.27
Denmark Yes Long guns only 8 0.23 2.25 2.48
Israel Yes Yes N/A 0.72 1.84 2.56
New Zealand Yes Handguns. Proposed for long guns 20 0.22 2.45 2.67
Australia Yes Yes Banned semiautomatics unless good reason 16.0 0.56 2.38 2.94
Belgium Some Yes Some rifles are prohibited 16.6 0.87 2.45 3.32
Canada by 2001 All guns by 2003 Assault weapons and some handguns 26 0.60 3.35 3.95
Norway Yes Unknown 32 0.36 3.87 4.23
Austria Yes Yes Some handguns and rifles are prohibited 16-18% 0.42 4.06 4.48
Northern Ireland Yes Yes UK legislation applies 8.4 3.55 1.18 4.72
France Yes Yes, except sporting rifles 22.6 0.55 4.93 5.48
Switzerland Yes Yes 27.2 0.46 5.74 6.2
Finland Yes Yes No prohibitions 50 0.87 5.78 6.65

USA in some states Handguns in some states Some weapons in some states 41 6.24 7.23 13.47

Source: W. Cukier, Firearms Regulation: Canada in the International Context, Chronic Diseases in Canada, April, 1998 (statistics updated to reflect most recent figures, January 2001)

Person County Democrats

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?

Persondem, ignoring your data

was not intentional. I don't often have the luxury of extended hours to work the blogosphere. Just to set expectations, I expect this will be my last post for a few days.

Those are impressive statistics. There are also significant cultural differences between these other countries and ours. We're never going to be culturally comparable to Japan or Singapore, and I'd suggest that the root causes of our homicide and suicide rates are deeper than simply the presence of firearms. As I mentioned above, correlation is not causation, and causation is difficult to prove.

I'm not interested in repealing the Second Amendment based upon statistics from other nations. I'm not interested in sacrificing what's left of our Constitution to global government. I am interested in looking at our policies and their effects within our cultural framework, and respecting our Constitution.

Specifically, I'm interested in exploring the root causes of our descent into violence and nihilism, given that our size, economic challenges, and cultural diversity places us in a relatively unique position. What other factors are in play?

How about a failed 40-year "War on Drugs"? As mentioned in this comment:


... we've given up a significant segment of our economy to heavily armed criminals and gangsters, and we're prosecuting an unwinnable "war" against the poor and disenfranchised. Did we blame Tommy Guns during alcohol prohibition? Or was Al Capone and his cornering the market for illegal alcohol part of the problem?

Groups like LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) are on the front lines of this battle, and realize the destructive consequences of our War on Drugs:

Ending our current-day prohibition doesn't mean that heroin will be available in the checkout line at Wal-Mart, but it does mean that we can regulate and distribute drugs responsibly, thus eliminating the black market, and treat addiction as a medical problem instead feeding increasingly profit-driven prison systems:



William (B.J.) Lawson, M.D.
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

William (B.J.) Lawson, M.D.
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

You are right to beat the drum on the war on drugs

It is the poster child for failed public policy.

Thanks for your time ... and good luck over the next days/weeks/whatever. I don't envy you campaigning against a Democratic incumbent in this particular election.

Thanks also for letting us know you'll be out. You're a good guy.


The NC Family Policy Council doesn't speak for my family

Focused on specifics.

BJ, I have not suggested that I believe that "the world would be a better place without guns", nor have I said anything which could be fairly interpreted as a call to repeal the Second Amendment. Those are typical overbroad interpretations, always seized by the extremists on one side of the eternal guns debate, and do not serve well your image of a thoughtful debater of substantive issues. (There are other equally overbroad arguments used by those who would in fact seek to ban all guns.) Let's avoid those arguments in this context.

I do believe that there are specific existing restrictions on gun ownership and use which serve our society well. One of those is the set of restrictions on where concealed guns may be legally carried. I believe that none of us ultimately would be better served by increasing the number of concealed weapons carried in public parks, government buildings, public restaurants, and similar places where the law now permits us to prohibit concealed carry. That is the topic on which I have focused throughout this series of posts.

Dan Besse

Dan Besse

Get out more


----insert witty remark here----coming soon----

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Another Concern

Is suicide. I think we all recognize that many college students often face depression and far too often do not seek help.

Guns were the method used in 51% of male teen suicides and 32% of female teen
suicides in 2002.(pulled from CDC)

It seems to me a better strategy would be to work to improve University Counseling Services rather than arm the student population.

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I'm sick of having to kowtow to other people's priorities

and pretend I like it.

And that's why I resigned as 2nd vice chair of my county party this week. That kicked me off the data committee - so no more VAN work for me. And I'm going to spend this weekend fixing up my living room and not knocking on doors or dialing phones.

If we lose in November...

I'm moving into that living room of yours. Shit better be sparklin', ya jerk.


It doesn't mean I won't stop working for victory.

Au contraire.

In fact, I feel I can work for Democratic candidates more directly this way and have my efforts really count.

And I'm cleaning the carpets this week. You and the Crimefighter would be welcome to join the menagerie.

Clean carpets?

I forgot what those looked like. It would take Mr. Optimus Crime approx. 10 minutes to have the entire living room thinly veiled in a layer of white fur. He's efficient, what can I say.

I've got 4 just like him.

Well, actually, they are all unique in their canine goofiness. But suffice it to say that they are the reason I rent the heavy doodie carpet shampooer. (And I do mean doodie.)