My good deeds this week

Usually I just end up jousting with windmills (and here).  But this time maybe I may have made some progress.  At least I got reasonable responses.  First this story:

Nine out of 10 Richmond-area residents support a proposed law that would close the so-called “gun-show loophole,” a newly released crime-and-safety survey shows. 

The loophole allows unlicensed gun dealers to sell firearms at Virginia gun shows without making background checks of purchasers.

The survey also shows that residents in the region overwhelmingly rank crime as the biggest threat to their quality of life and that most believe the crime rate is tied to the availability of guns.

Voters are also willing to support stricter gun-control legislation and hold elected officials accountable on the issue.

You know how the story goes, almost for certain the survey wording was biased, the “gun-show loophole” is just a phrase invented by the freedom haters to further restrict sales of firearms, etc., etc.  Rather than explain all this to the reporter I sent a much simplier email and got a decent reply:

From: Joe Huffman
Sent: Sunday, January 23, 2005 12:44 AM
To: ‘’
Subject: Re: Closing gun-show loophole backed

Before implementing yet another gun control law people should look at the results of gun control laws world wide.  For example check out the recent report from the National Academy of Sciences (

Then ask yourself just one question:

Can you demonstrate just one time, one place, throughout all of human history, where restricting the access of handheld weapons to the average person made them safer?

See this for background:


Sent: Monday, January 24, 2005 8:52 AM
To: Joe Huffman
Subject: RE: Closing gun-show loophole backed

Thanks, Joe. I’ll check it out.

Then there was the editorial from someone already on our side:

Each year, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence publishes a “report card” rating each state in the country according to their “gun violence prevention laws.” They must not be very pleased with the direction of this country, as the national average was halfway between a “C” and a “D.” (“A” being the highest grade.) In order to understand the Brady Campaign’s perspective, one must examine the relationships between state legislative environments and the Brady grading system.

It’s okay to make baseless claims as long as they support Brady Campaign beliefs. The Brady Campaign revises the truth and capitalizes upon people’s pain and suffering to promote a political goal: banning civilian firearms. They roll out the “for the children” refrain in an attempt to grab moral high ground and portray those who disagree as too self-absorbed with guns to care about the death of innocents, even though statistical fact indicates that it is the Brady Campaign that prefers demagoguery to reality.

I sent him the following email and got a reply:

From: Joe Huffman
Sent: Monday, January 24, 2005 8:29 AM
To: ‘’
Subject: Brady grades.

Thanks for writing the nice article.

See also “Brady 2004 Report Card versus crime rates”:


From: Howard Nemerov
Sent: Monday, January 24, 2005 9:25 AM
To: ‘Joe Huffman’
Subject: RE: Brady grades.

That’s pretty much what I found for rates per 100,000 population; not much difference between CCW and non-CCW states. Your spreadsheet is very good. Maybe send a copy to John Lott? The 2004 Brady report card was only slightly different from 2003, so it’s still valid to do what you did. I discussed the slight variations to try to regress the report card to 2003 for a straight comparison. Thanks for reading my paper.

Howard Nemerov

I sent Mr. Lott a link to my blog on the correlation between Brady grades and violent crime.  No response yet, but it was just a few minutes ago so it’s way to early to know if he will have an interest or not.