L. Neil Smith's
Number 114, March 26, 2001
March Militia Madness


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American doctors about to prescribe gun control
By Mark Riley, Herald Correspondent in New York

Doctors in the United States are preparing to add an unexpected new element to their traditional bedside manner by delivering discreet lectures to their patients on the risk of gun ownership. ...

Doctors are being advised to ask regular patients whether they are gun owners and, if they are, to highlight the dangers and responsibilities of having weapons in their homes.

The group [Doctors Against Handgun Injury], representing 600,000 doctors, is headed by Dr Jeremiah Barondess, the president of the New York Academy of Medicine. He says there is no particular political motivation behind the move ...

"We are neutral politically, academically and intellectually," he told the New York Observer. "Getting shot and being dead is certainly a clinical issue." ...

Doctors Against Handgun Injury also plans to engage more traditional methods of lobbying, using its voice to push for mandatory background checks of buyers at gun shows, limits on the numbers of guns a person can own and a cooling off period on gun purchases to allow exhaustive checks to be run before a buyer gets possession of a gun.

[The hallmark of political 'neutrality' in America today. -- ed.]

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald http://www.smh.com.au/news/0103/20/world/world7.html

Wednesday March 21 8:30 AM ET
Drug Enforcement Poll Box
By The Associated Press

Some results from a poll about drug enforcement by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. The poll of 1,513 adults was taken Feb. 14-19 and has an error margin of plus or minus 3 percentage points. When results don't total 100 percent, the remainder either didn't know or refused to answer.

Please tell me whether you agree or disagree with the following statement: We are losing the drug war.
-Agree, 74 percent
-Disagree, 20 percent

We will never be able to stop drugs from coming into this country because the demand for drugs is so high in the U.S.
-Agree, 74 percent
-Disagree, 24 percent

The television and motion picture industries fail to accurately portray the dangers of drug abuse.
-Agree, 68 percent
-Disagree, 28 percent

Latin American governments will never be able to control the problem of drug trafficking.
-Agree, 68 percent
-Disagree, 27 percent

Parents who used drugs in their youth don't do enough to help their kids stay away from drugs.
-Agree, 59 percent
-Disagree, 30 percent

Too many people are in jail for possessing drugs.
-Agree, 47 percent
-Disagree, 47 percent

All in all, should drug use be treated more like a crime or more like a disease?
-Crime, 35 percent
-A disease, 52 percent

Britain's gun control laws, introduced after the Dunblane massacre in 1996, have proven to be a disaster. There are now an estimated three million illegal firearms in the UK, perhaps double the number of four years ago, and the only effect the knee-jerk political reaction that led to the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1997 has had is to shut down legitimate gun clubs. ...

The government declared an amnesty on guns after Thomas Hamilton shot dead 16 children and a teacher in Dunblane, resulting in 162,000 weapons being handed in, but this has failed to make even a dent in the underworld's supply of pistols and revolvers. A steady flow continues to come in from former Eastern bloc countries, but criminals have now found an even cheaper and safer source of weaponry.

"Factories" up and down the country are churning out decommissioned guns, often stolen from private collectors and sold at trade fairs and through the classified ads of specialist magazines, that have been reactivated by re-boring the barrels and replacing the firing pin.

Another growing source of illegal guns are "cloning" or "off-ticket sale" dealers, who operate in a similar way to car ringers. Stolen firearms disappear by being given the identity of an older decommissioned weapon, details of which don't have to be recorded under present laws. Last year, ex-Special Constable Tony Mitchell was jailed for eight years for supplying criminals with hundreds of guns - he specialised in Mac 10s at 1,100 apiece. He used his engineering skills to convert the guns from deactivated products bought via mail order catalogues. One was traced to a 1997 street murder in Brixton and another shooting of a police officer by a youth in Manchester's Moss Side. In all, police linked guns supplied by Mitchell to 130 crime scenes. ...

Source: The Vanguard http://www.thevanguard.org/thevanguard/other_writers/woolrich.shtml

Thursday March 22 4:34 AM ET
Complaints Over Census Figures
by Genaro C. Armas, Associated Press Writer

... From Huntsville, Ala., to Toledo, Ohio, city and county officials around the country are starting to gripe about their 2000 Census head counts. Most complain their population totals are just too low. ...

... How ... disputes are remedied could prove crucial in determining the amount of federal and state money communities receive for things such as community block development grants and transit projects. ...

  • In Huntsville, Mayor Loretta Spencer was disappointed the 2000 Census placed the city's population at 158,216, down slightly from 159,789 in 1990. The 2000 figure was 18,000 less than city planners had projected.

  • Officials in Peru, Neb., met Monday night after the bureau figures showed their population dropped from 1,110 in 1990 to 569 last year. That 48.7 percent drop was the highest in the state. "We've got a lot of discrepancies to work out," Mayor Josh Whisler told City Council members.

  • Toledo Mayor Carlton Finkbeiner called operations of the 2000 Census there "deplorable." The bureau found the city's population decreased from 332,943 in 1990 to 313,619 last year.

Lawmakers ... will use the numbers to remap congressional, state and local political district lines.

More importantly, Spencer said, the figures will be used to parcel out critical dollars that municipalities receive from Washington and statehouses. Over $185 billion in federal money is distributed among the states each year. ...

Lee Catlin, community relations manager for Albemarle County, Va., hopes her problem gets settled before June. She claims an incorrect boundary drawing may have misallocated 4,000 people to the city of Charlottesville rather than the county.

The city population is not officially included in a county's total population in Virginia, Catlin said.

The county must soon draw up new districts before state legislative elections this year, "and we could take a hit on money for some programs like transportation, social services and elderly assistance," Catlin said. ...

... Toledo joined a federal lawsuit spearheaded by Los Angeles asking the Bush administration officially to release a second set of figures from the 2000 Census they contend more accurately reflects their population totals.

Those figures are adjusted using statistical sampling, which supporters insist would protect against an estimated net undercount of 3.2 million, or 1.2 percent of the country's 281 million people. Census figures show more minorities than whites are overlooked.

The administration has called the 2000 Census "the most accurate in history." The 2000 undercount was smaller than the 1.6 percent net undercount of a decade ago, or 4 million people.

Republicans also said adjusting could lead to more errors in the count.

Source: Associated Press http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20010322/pl/census_complaints_1.html
On the Net: Census Bureau: http://www.census.gov
National League of Cities: http://www.nlc.org/

Number of televised political ads aired by presidential and congressional candidates during the 2000 election: 839,243

Source: "McCaslin's Scrapbook", at http://www.townhall.com/columnists/johnmccaslin/jm20010323.shtml

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