Freedom Updates: December 11, 2000
All Freedom Updates by Ari Armstrong unless otherwise noted.
Country Bush, City Gore
Counties won by Bush: 2,434
The Federalist also points out that rates of gun ownership are much higher in those counties that voted for Bush. Yale Professor John Lott has found that, accounting for other factors, a one percent increase in a state's gun ownership rate relates to a 4.1 percent decrease in violent crime (More Guns Less Crime, 2nd Ed., page 114).
Can We Swap Governors?
Gary Johnson, Governor of New Mexico, on the other hand, has called for the end of drug prohibition and for liberalized concealed carry laws. (His recent comments can be linked at http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v00.n1855.a01.html.) Johnson is a true champion of freedom.
So, New Mexico, want to make a trade?
IRS Continues to Harass Church
According to information released at SeirraTimes.com, the church paid ministers as independent contractors. The ministers paid their taxes, but the IRS claimed the church had to file withholdings. Members of the church continue to hold vigil in the hope that the government will relent.
Recent updates are available at http://www.nandotimes.com/nation/story/body/0,1037,500288644-500456832-503009613-0,00.html.
On a positive note, none of the church members has yet been shot, gassed, bombed, or burned alive.
Front Lines of the Drug War
Our favorite agitator, Vin Suprynowicz, recently published an article entitled "The failed drug war and the real significance of 'Dune'" (http://www.sierratimes.com/edvs121000.htm). Suprynowicz writes: "I believe we'll see the War on Drugs collapse, some time in the next 15 years, with the same kind of startling suddenness and wave of public common sense that finally took alcohol Prohibition to its well-deserved grave in 1933."
BILL ROMANOWSKI, it seems, was harassed by drug agents. (Big surprise there.) The Denver Post published an article on the matter at http://www.denverpost.com/news/news1211c.htm: "Agents threatened the Romanowski's nanny with deportation, used threats and promises to induce Julie Romanowski's doctor to secretly record phone conversations with her and Bill Romanowski and harassed the couple during an autographsigning appearance at the Park Meadows Mall, according to court papers."
GEORGE MAGAZINE published an article about drug prohibition in its December/January issue. Author Carl Cannon begins, "Before he departs, President Clinton should look into the cruel sentences for small-time drug offenders and show a little mercy."
Cannon gives nice coverage to Families Against Mandatory Minimums, a sentencing reform group in Washington, D.C. (where I interned for a summer). Julie Stewart worked at Cato before starting FAMM (http://www.famm.org). The Colorado FAMM group is looking for a volunteer to maintain its web site -- if you're interested please let me know and I'll pass along the word.
Republican Liberty Caucus
Background Checks On-Line?
This will be good. It will encourage officials to clean up the system -- the majority of records are incomplete. It will also provide an alternative to Brady registration checks. Instead of allowing the FBI and ATF to access records of gun buyers, why not simply repeal Brady and allow the civil courts to take over? If criminal records are available on-line, then someone selling a gun to a stranger would be able to access those records easily. I have no problem with law suits aimed at those who sell guns (or cars or whatever) in a flagrantly irresponsible manner. But the purpose of the Brady law is not to stop criminals -- it's to register honest gun owners with the federal government.
Fox Has Trouble Taking Guns
Is this the future of the United States?