Quote of the day — James Wright

Indeed, I am now of the opinion that a compelling case for “stricter gun control” cannot be made, at least not on empirical grounds. I have nothing but respect for the various pro-gun control advocates with whom I have come in contact over the past years. They are, for the most part, sensitive, humane and intelligent people, and their ultimate aim, to reduce death and violence in our society, is one that every civilized person must share. I have, however, come to be convinced that they are barking up the wrong tree.

James Wright
Academic researcher who collaborated with Peter Rossi on the book Armed and Considered Dangerous: A Survey of Felons and their Firearms

How many Islamic extremists are there?

With all the funerals and stuff going on here I was behind on things.  I think I’m caught up now. 

Technically this is somewhat old news but it doesn’t appear to be widely distributed.  I got the first pointer to this info from Jihad WatchABC News in Australia reports the following:

…researcher Saiful Mujani of Jakarta’s Freedom Institute now believes Indonesia’s Muslims are less moderate than governments and academics suggest.

“The rhetoric claiming that there is no problem in the society…to me that’s too simplistic, that’s wishful thinking,” he said.

The Freedom Institute’s survey of 1400 people across Indonesia, found that less than 60 per cent of Muslims disagreed with Imam Samudra and Dr Azahari’s bombing campaigns.

Sixteen per cent, representing tens of millions of Indonesians, agreed with the bombers and another 25 per cent refused to disagree.

“There is a significant number of Indonesians, at least half, [who] do not have a negative reaction to that and they agree with silence at least, or protect this kind of activity,” Mr Mujani said.

“The bombers” refers to the bombing of night clubs and hotels that have been killing Australians.  So at least 16% agree with the bombings and the actual number is probably closer to 40%.  If there are a billion Muslims in the world and the fraction remains constant worldwide (yes, I know, BIG assumption here) then that means worldwide we have close to 400 million people willing to kill us because of we don’t adhere to their religious beliefs.  This is very, very scary stuff.  That has exceedingly powerful implications for our future and how we must respond to it.  So why isn’t this a big topic for MSM in the US?  I thought maybe I just had missed it.  So I did a search on Google News.  My search terms were “Freedom Institute Indonesia”.  The only articles that referenced the study were these:

Nothing from anywhere outside of Australia.  Why is this?  Could this be the key (from the first article)?

 Details of the negative attitudes to America and Australia revealed in the survey have been held back by the US Embassy in Jakarta, which funded the poll.

The US Embassy in Jakarta held back the numbers?  The US doesn’t want this information known?  Am I missing something here?  Was the study obviously poorly done?  Was this viewed as too encouraging news for the extremists?

We are in the middle of World War III and I think it’s important to know the size of our enemy’s supportors.

Update @ 21:45: I did a search on google.com, instead of news.google.com, for  [“Freedom Institute” Indonesia] and found these:

Still no U.S. MSM reports.

King County is my entertainment for the day

Things just keep getting more fun to watch in King county.  Especially when you have things like “ballot 81“:

…a ballot written in for “Christine Rossi”, hereafter known as “Ballot 81,” was sent to the canvassing board earlier this week. This is astonishing in itself, since there is no such candidate and this is obviously a joke. But what is more shocking is that the canvassing board didn’t throw it out, they cast this ballot for Christine Gregoire.

I’d like to think the democrat party is just digging it’s grave deeper with this kind of behavior.  I still expect Gregoire to win.  The Republicans just don’t lack enough ethics to stand a chance in a fight like this.

Thanks to Mindless Bit Spew for pointing this out to me.

Google gets a letter on ethics

I just sent Google essentially the same letter I sent to the ACLU:

—–Original Message—–
From: Joe Huffman
Sent: Sunday, December 19, 2004 11:06 AM
To: ‘Google AdSense’
Subject: RE: Google AdSense Account Status

Because of the U.S. Justice Departments recently released memo clarifying that 2nd Amendment, despite some misunderstanding by certain parties, is in fact an individual right other than a “collective right” I would like to suggest Google reevaluate it’s policy on firearms related ads.  Please see http://www.justice.gov/olc/secondamendment2.pdf for more details.

See also the position of Alan Dershowitz:

Foolish liberals who are trying to read the Second Amendment out of the Constitution by claiming it’s not an individual right or that it’s too much of safety hazard don’t see the danger of the big picture.  They’re courting disaster by encouraging others to use the same means to eliminate portions of the Constitution they don’t like.

 Alan Dershowitz
 Quoted in Dan Gifford
 The Conceptual Foundations of Anglo-American Jurisprudence in
 Religion and Reason
 62 TENN. L. REV. 759 (1995)

And that of Lawrence Tribe in “American Constitutional Law”, Vol. 1, pp. 901-902

If you persist in maintaining a policy of no ads for firearms or related products then you are subject to the same claims of bigotry that you would if you had a policy against ads for Christian, Islamic, or Jewish books.  The right to keep and bear arms is an individual right guaranteed by the Bill of Rights no different than the right to religious expression.


Joe Huffman

ACLU responds

It is just a form letter.  Nothing that wasn’t on their website.  I responded, see below.

—–Original Message—–
From: ACLU Correspond 
Sent: Sunday, December 19, 2004 7:13 AM
To: Joe Huffman
Subject: Your Feedback (Message #120150)

Dear Mr. Huffman,

Thank you for the question about the ACLU’s position on the Second Amendment. The national ACLU is neutral on the issue of gun control.

We believe that the Constitution contains no barriers to reasonable regulations of gun ownership. If we can license and register cars, we can license and register guns. The question therefore is not whether to restrict arms ownership, but how much to restrict it. If that is a question left open by the Constitution, then it is a question for Congress to decide.

You can find more about the ACLU’s positions at http://www.aclu.org

If you are not already an ACLU member, we encourage you to help support our aggressive work on the issues you care about. To join please visit http://www.aclu.org/contribute/contribute.cfm or call 1-888-567-ACLU.


D. Barber
Correspondence Manager, American Civil Liberties Union

—–Original Message—–
From: Joe Huffman
Sent: Sunday, December 19, 2004 9:13 AM
To: ACLU Correspond 
Subject: RE: Your Feedback (Message #120150)

I had already read your web page on the topic.  My suggestion was that due to new information from constitutional scholars, which I provided references to in my email, it was time for you to reevaluate your position.

Cars are not constitutionally protected as are ‘arms’.

I will not be supporting the ACLU on any issue until the ACLU also defends the right to keep and bear arms issue–by far the most important issue in the Bill of Rights because it is only through the 2nd Amendment that the other rights can ultimately be guaranteed.