Saturday, April 19, 2008

Are Gun Owners Really Trigger Happy?

An article in the WSJ states that gun owners are happier and less outraged in general than non gunowners (Hat tip: Instapundit):

Who are all these gun owners? Are they the uneducated poor, left behind? It turns out they have the same level of formal education as nongun owners, on average. Furthermore, they earn 32% more per year than nonowners. Americans with guns are neither a small nor downtrodden group.

Nor are they "bitter." In 2006, 36% of gun owners said they were "very happy," while 9% were "not too happy." Meanwhile, only 30% of people without guns were very happy, and 16% were not too happy.

In 1996, gun owners spent about 15% less of their time than nonowners feeling "outraged at something somebody had done." It's easy enough in certain precincts to caricature armed Americans as an angry and miserable fringe group. But it just isn't true. The data say that the people in the approximately 40 million American households with guns are generally happier than those people in households that don't have guns.

I think the point about gun owners being less outraged than non gun owners is an important one. If you listen to many people who are adamant gun control supporters, they often (mistakenly) believe that people simply shoot others because they are impulsive and angry, and a gun is nearby. My guess is that this is projection. This is what they feel they would do because they do not know how to modulate their own anger. They do not trust their own instincts (maybe with good reason!) and project their anger and inability to control themselves onto others. Most legal gun owners seem to have better anger management and control than the rest of the population. In fact, studies with kids who own legal firearms show them to have fewer behavioral problems, not more. The psychology of gun owners vs. non gun owners is important to understand in the ongoing debate about guns.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Visual Sexual Aggression -- Not So Much

A while back I linked to a scary news story about a Maine bill that would punish people for staring at kids or teens. But it turns out that the story isn't true.

At least, that's what Travis Kennedy, Communications Director for Maine Rep. Dawn Hill just told me on the phone. Despite what the news story reported, Kennedy says that the bill never punished mere staring or leering -- the defendant has to be touching or exposing himself, or doing something like looking over a bathroom stall wall. And he said that the burden of proof remains on the state for all elements -- there's no crime just because someone is staring or looking at you.

He says that the bill in question just made a minor change in the pre-existing law to make clear that this could be in a private or a public place. He also said that Rep. Hill has been getting a lot of complaints over this, and is upset that the story is false. So there you are -- things aren't quite as insane out there as we'd feared.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

A guilty verdict is reached in the first of the trials for the Channon Christian/Christopher Newsom murders (Hat tip: Michelle Malkin).


Feminist blogs unfairly labeled "Feminist blogs"

Rachel Lucas has a post on delusional feminists in which she is puzzled by an article in Glamor magazine stating that female political bloggers don't get enough attention (yeah, right--I say some get too much, given some of the hatred and nuttiness some of these misandrists spew, but that's another story):

Here’s my favorite part, though. The Glamor article quotes a guy named Ezra Klein and his opinion that “while male political bloggers are known as ‘political’ bloggers, women are more often known as ‘feminist’ bloggers.” Klein then mentions two female bloggers by name (Jill Filipovic and Ann Friedman) as examples of women who are unfairly labeled “feminist” bloggers.

I clicked on the hyperlinks of both those names to decide for myself if they were “political” and not “feminist” bloggers, and in so doing, I discovered the names of their actual blogs. And I shit you not, these two blogs, which it is apparently so very wrong to label “feminist,” are called:


My guess is that some "feminist" blogs such as the above get the attention they do because they are feminist blogs, not in spite of it. As Rachel points out, they don't even mention real political blogs such as Michelle Malkin (nor do they mention Ann Althouse) both political bloggers who happen to be women. I wonder why.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

New Website for Dads

Blogger Tony Chen has started a new website,, for dads out there who are looking for some good information and articles on parenting. The site has a "survival guide" and "conversations" on such topics as how to talk with your daughter about her period, how to decide on the whole spanking thing, and how old is too old to let your kids see you naked.

Chen says he started the website after gathering some research on what men wanted in a dad's site. Dads basically said that they wanted some practical advice that was not dumbed down, they wanted to develop strong character in their kids, and they cared about their children's attitude and perspective but they are worried that the culture works against all that.

Indeed, it does. Take a look at the site if you are interested in such topics.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Michael Yon: Moment of Truth in Iraq

yoncov.jpgBlogger Michael Yon has spent the past few years in the Middle East providing independent journalism on the war. I have to admire Yon's fortitude--how many journalists are willing to spend months and more of their lives living in Iraq and Afghanistan to report the news? He has now written a new book, Moment of Truth in Iraq: How a New 'Greatest Generation' of American Soldiers is Turning Defeat and Disaster into Victory and Hope, in which he shares his insights from his time in Iraq. Yon talks with us today about his new book, the war, and what he thinks the presidential candidates need to know.

You can listen directly -- no downloads needed by going right here and clicking on the gray Flash player. You can download the file and listen at your leisure by clicking right here. And you can get a lo-fi version suitable for dialup, etc., by going here and selecting "lo fi." As always, you can get a free subscription via iTunes, and never miss another episode.

Show archives are at, and music is by Mobius Dick.


Should "visual sexual aggression" be against the law?

Apparently, there are some politicians and police officers in Maine who think the answer is "yes" (thanks to Peregrine John for pointing this potential law out):

Those who peer at children in public could find themselves on the wrong side of the law in Maine soon.

A bill that passed the House last month aims to strengthen the crime of visual sexual aggression against children, according to state Rep. Dawn Hill, D-York.

Her involvement started when Ogunquit Police Lt. David Alexander was called to a local beach to deal with a man who appeared to be observing children entering the community bathrooms. Because the state statute prevents arrests for visual sexual aggression of a child in a public place, Alexander said he and his fellow officer could only ask the man to move along.

"There was no violation of law that we could enforce. There was nothing we could charge him with," Alexander said.

He attended a talk with Hill a week later and brought the case to her attention. Hill pledged to do what she could, Alexander said, and the result was a change through the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee in the House, which made the law applicable in both private and public places....

Under the bill, if someone is arrested for viewing children in a public place, it would be a Class D felony if the child is between 12 to 14 years old and a Class C felony if the child is under 12, according to Alexander.

Hill said she believes the move was necessary to correct what she called a "loophole" in the state's criminal law statutes.

I have a lot of questions about such a law. What does peering actually mean? Does staring at a teen who looks 25 when one is at the beach count? Does staring at some kids like I did a few years ago because they looked like they were trying to get into some trouble count or am I excluded from the law because I am a woman? A Class C Felony is a serious charge, will people (mainly men, I assume) be put in jail for the simple act of staring? How do you know the person had the intent of "visual sexual aggression"? How does one determine if staring or peering is aggressive or not? One person's aggression is another's peaceful gaze. This law seems very vague and unfair. Does anyone in Maine care?

Update: I have contacted and left messages and email for Representative Dawn Hill, who is sponsoring this bill, asking for clarification. As soon as (and if) she responds, I will post an update. I have also emailed the reporter of the article that I linked to above to see why there is a discrepancy between what this bill says and the story presented.

Update II: There appears to be an amendment to the bill here (thanks to commenters, and to readers for emailing it) and Dave Choate, the reporter of the article quoted above emails the following to me:


As indicated to me, the person could be arrested if they were found to be peering at a child in a public place; i.e., beach bathrooms. In my interviews for this story, no one indicated to me that you would need to expose yourself. I believe the aim of the change was to make it a crime to peer in public.

Thank you,


Finally: Looks like the news story isn't true, based on my conversation with Travis Kennedy of the Maine Legislature.

"'Man as idiot' isn't going over very well these days."

Glenn Sacks and Richard Smaglick on male bashing in advertising:

The way the advertising industry portrays men has drawn increasing scrutiny in both the trade press and the mainstream media. Defenders of the status quo -- in which men are depicted as irresponsible fathers and lazy, foolish husbands -- are starting to feel outnumbered. It's an understandable feeling....

The evidence is clear: "Man as idiot" isn't going over very well these days.

At least there is some push back on this type of negative advertising.


Tax Hell

Rachel Lucas on paying taxes (Hat tip: Instapundit): "I re-worked my return again and got it down to an ass-breaking $10,900. Still want to drink whiskey and blow shit up."

Rachel, like me, is self-employed:

In case anyone wonders and doesn’t already know it, I’m self employed and thus have to pay that Extra Special Just For Those Who Don’t Work For Someone Else Tax.

I think there are a number of us who are self-employed out there who feel the same way at this time in April--especially when we write the whopping checks for self-employment taxes--similar to FICA taxes which fund both Social Security and Medicare. I often wish that I could take a deal from the government--they keep the money I have put in thus far into FICA and give me nothing when I retire--and I no longer fund their "Ponzi scheme." But that would mean that I would have control over my money and my life, something the government doesn't take kindly to, it seems.