Freedom Updates: December 11, 2000

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The Colorado Freedom Report--www.FreeColorado.com

Freedom Updates: December 11, 2000

All Freedom Updates by Ari Armstrong unless otherwise noted.


Country Bush, City Gore

The state-by-state map of the presidential election results shows a marked division in the country. But nothing shows the division so starkly as the county-by-county map. Even in the states he won, Gore pulled only a few urban counties. The Federalist makes this point with statistics (http://www.federalist.com/e2000.html):

Counties won by Bush: 2,434
Counties won by Gore: 677

Population of counties won by Bush: 143 million
Population of counties won by Gore: 127 million

Square miles of country won by Bush: 2,427,000
Square miles of country won by Gore: 580,000

States won by Bush: 29
States won by Gore: 19

Average Murder per 100,000 residents in counties won by Bush: 0.1
Average Murder per 100,000 residents in counties won by Gore: 13.2

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?

Colorado's Governor, Bill Owens, advocated a slew of victim disarmament laws earlier this year. His answer to government education is to expand it. His solution for growth is to further politicize it. Owens consistently promotes a larger and more intrusive state.

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

The Clinton Administration continues its assault on religious freedom. You've probably heard that the IRS -- America's tax gestapo -- is trying to steal the church building of the Indianapolis Baptist Temple.

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

I don't have cable, so I went to my sister-in-law's house for three evenings last week to watch the SciFi channel's version of Dune. The story revolves around a planet that produces a hallucinogenic drug -- "spice" -- that expands life and consciousness and makes possible long-distance space travel.

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

The Republican Liberty Caucus recently selected Chuck Muth as its National Chair (http://www.sierratimes.com/arcm121100.htm). Muth said, "[W]e don't care what your race is. We don't care about your color, or national origin, or income, or age or gender, or sexual orientation. We only care if you champion limited government as authorized by the Constitution, personal freedom and individual responsibility." Amen. I congratulate Muth and wish him and his organization well.


Background Checks On-Line?

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation plans to put criminal records on the internet. Sarah Huntley reported the story in the December 10 Rocky Mountain News, "Background checks soon just a click away," page 12A.

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

I was beginning to think Vicente Fox, Mexico's new president, might move our southern neighbor in the direction of freedom. He has promised to root out corruption, he's said to have sympathy with the free market, and he wants open borders. However, he seems to have no concept of the right of self-defense. Susan Ferriss put out an article with Cox News Service December 10 reporting police raided the town of Los Chorros "acting on orders to seize suspected 'paramilitary' gunmen and confiscate weapons buried beneath coffee plants and crude wooden huts. The Indians reacted with rage... Police aborted the ill-planned operation, arresting only one man found with a pistol."

Is this the future of the United States?

The Colorado Freedom Report--www.FreeColorado.com