What ‘Right to Feel Safe’?

[Editor’s Note: This article was originally published by National Review on April 29th, 2015.]  The current notion that we must avoid hurting anyone’s feelings is becoming oppressive. Particularly in academia, deviation from this standard can lead to educational or career consequences. Speaking up for gun rights, for instance, is virtually verboten; even a seven-year-old boy who chewed a Pop-Tart into the vague shape of a gun was punished by school authorities, who suspended him for brandishi...
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Book Review—Gender, Race, and Right to Carry

One of my favorite college professors was an anthropologist, one of the old-school types who had done field work with the Alaskan Eskimo. A concealed carry permit holder myself, I felt like a subject of this model of scholarship as I critically read University of Toronto sociology professor Jennifer Carlson’s fascinating field study of several dozen gun-carrying residents of southeast Michigan’s industrial cities—Detroit, Flint, Lansing, and their suburbs. Carlson is notable in her professio...
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NPR Gets It Right

After following the politics of the public health gun prohibition movement for over two decades, I have no illusions about which side most media outlets are on. As recently as January 15 it was necessary to dissect in this blog a grossly misreported Washington Post story on Congress’s 1996 defunding of gun control advocacy at the federal agency, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). So it was gratifying to be a guest this week on the Santa Monica, California National Public Radio affiliate s...
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“How Gun Rights Strengthen the Rule of Law”

Firmin Debrabander’s April 1 article in The Atlantic online, How Gun Rights Harm the Rule of Law, oddly contradicts reality. It seems fitting for April Fools Day but is really unself-conscious parody, tying itself in knots to justify nonsensical conclusions. Debrabander is a philosopher with a string of anti-gun writing, but there are more than enough examples just here: “Thanks to Stand Your Ground [laws], citizens must now fear their armed neighbors”. I hadn’t heard of neighborhood fears gr...
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Safe Haven?—Outdoor Channel Investigates Gun Free Zones

Katie Pavlich hosts a 45 minute documentary, “Safe Haven: Gun Free Zones in America”, which explores the failure of gun free zones. The mass murder at the Sandy Hook School in Newtown, CT is analyzed by Edward Monk and J. Eric Dietz, PhD as representing a problem of response time. These events continue until someone acts to stop the killing. They point out that mass murderers seek out gun free zones in preference to places where people might be armed. The shooters are looking for the highest sco...
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The Daily Show—Bloody Shirts on Parade

Much ink has been spilled exploring the psychology of humor and of comedians in particular. One theme recurs—successful comedy springs from a dark repository of fears and prejudice. Just as well recognized is the long-honored role of comedy in political affairs, i.e. satire. I was recently invited to appear as a guest (a victim, really) on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, just before Stewart announced his retirement from the show. The topic of the day was to be Florida’s Docs...
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Kansas—That Makes Six

A little over a week ago we blogged about the history of how right to carry laws were adopted in a stepwise fashion across the nation. Then just last week Kansas became the sixth state to take the next and final step toward affirming the Second Amendment’s true spirit—codifying the right to carry a concealed firearm for self-protection without first having to ask permission from the government. The first wave of right to carry legislation ended just two years ago, when Illinois won the dubio...
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Are Toy Guns Gateway Weapons?

That is, “Should kids play with toy guns?” This topic sometimes arises as a professional question and almost always in raising children (especially boys). It’s a widespread conundrum in the United States, where we not only have readier access to real guns than elsewhere but also spend a lot of energy critiquing our motivations and decisions. A thoughtful article with that title by Rachel Grumman Bender was posted April 4 at Yahoo! Parenting. She poses a number of good questions, about the...
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