Can Someone PLEASE Explain This to Me?

The mentality of women who go back to their abusers is absolutely beyond me. I have referenced the case of Riss v. New York before, in Part II of Is the Government Responsible for Your Protection? I’ll repeat the pertinent portion of the story:

Linda Riss, an attractive young woman, was for more than six months terrorized by a rejected suitor well known to the courts of this State, one Burton Pugach. This miscreant, masquerading as a respectable attorney, repeatedly threatened to have Linda killed or maimed if she did not yield to him: “If I can’t have you, no one else will have you, and when I get through with you, no one else will want you”. In fear for her life, she went to those charged by law with the duty of preserving and safeguarding the lives of the citizens and residents of this State. Linda’s repeated and almost pathetic pleas for aid were received with little more than indifference. Whatever help she was given was not commensurate with the identifiable danger. On June 14, 1959 Linda became engaged to another man. At a party held to celebrate the event, she received a phone call warning her that it was her “last chance”. Completely distraught, she called the police, begging for help, but was refused. The next day Pugach carried out his dire threats in the very manner he had foretold by having a hired thug throw lye in Linda’s face. Linda was blinded in one eye, lost a good portion of her vision in the other, and her face was permanently scarred. After the assault the authorities concluded that there was some basis for Linda’s fears, and for the next three and one-half years, she was given around-the-clock protection.

Riss met Pugach in 1957, not knowing that he was already married. When she discovered he was married and broke off the relationship in 1959, Pugach promised reprisal. He carried out his threat. A thug threw lye in her face blinding her and disfiguring her face. Linda Riss sued the NYPD and the City of New York for failing to protect her, and lost. Burton Pugach was sentenced to 15 to 30 years in prison for the crime in 1962.

Guess what? When he got out of prison in 1974 they met, and eight months later she married him. (New York Times story, registration required. Use ‘newslinks’ for both user ID and password.)

But that’s not all! Sometime prior to 1997 Pugach got a mistress, and apparently repeated his earlier behavior. He went to trial for threatening her the same way he threatened Linda Riss.

Pugach Calls Ex-Wife As Witness

A Queens man on trial for allegedly terrorizing his mistress is defending himself today by calling the wife he blinded in a similar feud 38 years ago as a witness, reports WCBS’ Irene Cornell.

Burton Pugach , a 70-year-old ex-lawyer accused of terrorizing a former lover has rejected a deal to serve 60 days in jail and three years probation, choosing instead to become his own lawyer.

Pugach would face a one-year sentence if convicted on charges of aggravated harassment and sexual abuse.

According to the Associated Press, in 1959, Pugach, who was married to someone else, was convicted of hiring three thugs to throw lye in the face of girlfriend Linda Riss because she threatened to leave him. He served 14 years in prison. Then, after divorcing his first wife, he married Riss.

A disbarred Pugach then allegedly began a campaign of harassment when his 42-year-old girlfriend tried to end their five-year affair and started dating a younger man.

The woman has testified that Pugach threatened to hire someone to kill her.

Pugach Affair Still Getting Straightened Out

A jury in Queens today begins sorting out the case of Burton Pugach, charged with threatening a former girlfriend with death after she broke off their affair, reports WCBS’ Irene Cornell.

The 70-year-old disbarred lawyer defended himself. His chief character witness was his wife Linda. In 1959, when he was a young attorney, Linda was the girlfriend who dumped him after discovering he was already married.

Pugach hired thugs to throw lye in her face, scarring and blinding her, but she married him after he got out of prison in 1974.

Now she says she’s forgiven him for his affair. And she says the only reason he’s been charged in this case is because of his past.

Gee, YA THINK???

What is it that makes some women behave this way? The New York Times piece, published March 21, 2004, says very little about that 1997 prosecution, but it does say this about their relationship:

Over the years, Mrs. Pugach credited a number of factors for her decision to marry the man responsible for blinding her: a Christian sense of forgiveness, the advice of a fortuneteller, her increasing belief that the police were to blame, the fear that another woman would scoop up Mr. Pugach. “One friend told me,” she said, “that Burt could leave his shoes under her bed any night.” But mostly, she cited her need to move forward. “If you’re going to remain bitter and obsessed,” she said, “it will destroy you.”

Moving on, I understand. Forgiveness, I understand, a little. But marrying the man who blinded you? That, I don’t understand, and never will.

Go Ahead, Rely on the Government for Your Protection

(I don’t have time for this, but…)

Mr. Free Market reports on another case where doing that resulted in the unnecessary death of a citizen. Doing a little Googling, I found this report on the case:

This frail ex-soldier was killed minutes after dialling 999 – but the police failed to respond

Sandy Clark was in fear of his life from a criminal with a violent record, yet as Daniel Foggo reports, his call for help was given the lowest possible status

Police failed to respond to pleas for help from a disabled Army veteran who dialed 999 minutes before he was brutally murdered in his own home. The operator at West Mercia police who took the call decided no action was required, even though it was the third time that day that Alexander “Sandy” Clark had told officers of his fears about the man who killed him.

Mr Clark, 63, who lived alone in Worcester, told the operator that he was being pursued by a man who had already stolen from him and who had stated, in an angry telephone call, his intention to come to his home and confront him. Instead of help being sent, Mr Clark was told simply to keep his door shut and dial 999 again if the man materialised. The call was officially logged as having the lowest possible status.

About 20 minutes later, Mr Clark was brutally beaten to death by Martin Rauwley, a career criminal who was the subject of Mr Clark’s frantic calls. Rauwley, 39, got into Mr Clark’s home and savagely beat him with his own walking stick, stabbing him to death with the fragments of the stick when it broke. His body lay undiscovered for more than 24 hours.

Mr. Clark’s assailant didn’t need a (prohibited) firearm or a (prohibited) knife to kill Mr. Clark. But Mr. Clark was denied the only weapon with which a frail 63 year-old man might defend himself from a strong, healthy 39 year-old assailant.

Mr Clark’s son Mark and daughter Andrée believe that the police decision effectively to ignore their father’s call cost him his life.

There’s more to it than just the police dispatcher’s decision. It’s a long, long chain of things. But remember, the State isn’t responsible for protecting any specific individual, just the public at large.

Although Mr Clark died two years ago, full details of his attempts to get help before his death have now been released by his family. They did not emerge at the trial of Rauwley, who had a string of previous convictions for fraud and violence. He was jailed for life for Mr Clark’s murder in October 2002.

On the day of his death, March 4, 2002, Mr Clark spoke to West Mercia police three times about his concerns about Rauwley. The two had met in a pub and become friendly, but two days earlier, Rauwley had stolen some of Mr Clark’s military medals. Mr Clark dialed 999 on March 2 to report the theft and was subsequently visited by officers.

Mr Clark first called 999 on March 4 at 10.53am to relate that Rauwley had pushed a note through his letterbox saying he was looking for him. The police later rang Mr Clark back but since Rauwley had not appeared, no more was done.

That afternoon, however, Rauwley telephoned Mr Clark and they argued about the medals. At 4.29pm, Mr Clark called 999 again and had a conversation lasting several minutes. Finishing the call, the operator assessed it as “grade four”, the lowest of the possible levels of response. It meant that the operator judged that no police presence was required. Mr Clark was on his own.

Within minutes, Rauwley had entered Mr Clark’s home and was beating the former soldier to death in his bedroom. Mr Clark, who had served 22 years in the Signal Corps, was suffering from a severe form of spinal rheumatism, Parkinson’s disease and a heart condition. He was no match for his then 37-year-old attacker.

Rauwley left having pocketed some more of his victim’s possessions. CCTV footage later showed him walking along a nearby street at 5.10pm. Mr Clark’s body lay undiscovered for more than 24 hours.

Boy, those CCTV cameras really prevent crime don’t they?

Rauwley, a drug-taking career criminal with convictions for fraud and violence, was quickly caught and convicted.

When Mr Clark’s family were told by the police of their father’s 999 calls, Mark and Andrée asked to see the transcripts. They were allowed to view them at police headquarters on the understanding that they could take no copies. Andrée, 43, said: “Reading them I could tell dad was scared and Mark felt the same.”

Apparently there’s no Freedom of Information Act analog in the UK. Why am I not surprised?

The brother and sister engaged a solicitor, Stephen Lodge, who arranged for them to view the transcripts again. On this second viewing, however, they appeared different. “The second time we got no impression that he was frightened,” said Mark, 39. “It was like there was something missing.”

Penny Fishwick, a solicitor for West Mercia police, explained the discrepancy in a letter to the Clarks’ solicitor. She said that after listening to the tapes with a colleague “I requested a few minor amendments with a view to improving the accuracy of the transcript.

Riiiiiight. I believe that.

Unsatisfied, Mark and Andrée asked for Mr Lodge to get access to the tapes of the 999 calls. This he was eventually allowed to do, but only after signing an undertaking not to let Mr Clark’s family have access to them, to spare them the distress of hearing their father’s voice in his final minutes. More mysterious, however, was an admission from the police that the beginning of the last, and crucial, call had disappeared.

That didn’t work for Nixon, why do they think it’ll work here?

In a letter to Mr Lodge dated August 14, 2003, Miss Fishwick said: “I have just listened to this [final] tape and noted that the first three lines of the conversation are missing. I am sorry about this but I doubt that the first three lines are in any way controversial.”

But we’ll never know, will we?

After hearing the tapes, Mr Lodge said that notwithstanding the missing beginning of the tape, the transcripts appeared accurate. He has since moved to another firm of solicitors and his replacement has stated that he sees no point in pursuing the police.

And there isn’t. They cannot be held responsible, as I’ve previously made clear.

Mark and Andrée, however, are anything but satisfied. “Now I suspect we will never know the full story since a part of the tape had just disappeared, which we find extraordinary,” said Andrée. “I believe this case raises issues over matters such as the police’s response to calls from vulnerable people.

“We feel, however, that West Mercia’s response has been arrogant. When we managed to get a meeting with a senior policeman he told us that all the policing would be done exactly the same given the same circumstances again.”

Yet the UK government requires its subjects to depend on the government for their protection exclusively.

And they cannot seem to understand why the violent crime rate in Britain is higher than in the the U.S. or the rest of Europe.

“We would still like to sue,” she said, “and I will be writing to the Police Complaints Authority to take this matter further. We will not let it drop.”

A spokesman for West Mercia said last week: “Following the death of Mr Clark, the grading of his calls to the police was reviewed. That review showed that the manner in which these calls were graded was appropriate in the light of the circumstances of the time. No formal complaint has been received by the force.”

Thanks for the pointer, Mr. Free Market.

And if the link works, read this article about the frustration of crime victims in England over the inability of the police to do anything effective. Read this one, too.

Now, back to work.

Which Would YOU Rather Have in a President?

(My one post for today, probably)

I’ve been watching the ongoing battle between President Bush and the putative Democrat nominee John Kerry, and I’m saddened but not surprised by the polling data that shows them in a statistical dead heat at this time. Dick Morris was on TV last night and made a pretty cogent point – this race is between two issues, not two people. The issues are the war on terrorism, and jobs. People who believe the war on terrorism is most important will vote for George Bush. Among the Undecided Middle, people who think jobs are more important (regardless of the rebounding economy, low unemployment rate, et. al) will probably vote for John Kerry.

But for me, those two issues are beside the point. I am more in agreement with Dubya than I would ever be with Kerry, but then I don’t really know where Kerry stands. Apparently nobody does. His positions seem more like probabilistic clouds, ruled by the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle – you can’t know where he stands, and the act of trying to determine his position affects his position. I want someone in office I can trust, with positions I understand – even if I may disagree with some of his positions on some issues. Kerry never met an issue he couldn’t waffle on. Bush says what he means, and does what he says – a political tactic that seems to have thrown the political analysts here and in other nations for a loop. Bush has said he doesn’t do nuance.

Which reminded me of this article I found in the Sacramento Bee a while back that is still active. It’s from May 27, 2003, and it has the single most illustrative quote I have ever seen defining the difference between President Bush and other politicians – most especially John Kerry:

“What is a little disconcerting for the French is an American president who seems to be principled,” said Jean Duchesne, an English literature professor at Condorcet College in Paris. “The idea that politics should be based on principles is unimaginable because principles lead to ideology, and ideology is dangerous.”

There’s your choice in black and white. Do you want a President with principles, or do you want John Kerry?

Of course, there’s still time for Kerry’s campaign to implode before the convention. Then the Democrats could pull a Torricelli and nominate Hillary. But the choice would still be the same.

No Time to Post Here, But…

Instead I engaged in a short exchange with a commenter to a thread over at Dean Esmay’s:


If you’re a young, urban, black American male you have a very high chance of being murdered. If you’re a young, urban, hispanic American male, your chances are lower, but still quite high.

If you do not fit either of those demographics, your chances of being murdered are about the same as the average Canadian’s. Perhaps lower, because young, urban black males in America die of homicide at six times the rate of the rest of our population.

In comparing the US and England, the homicide rate ratio between the two countries has always been in excess of 5:1 – even when neither nation had any gun control whatsoever. I believe the ratio is currently just under 4:1, but I cannot be sure of that at the moment.

And finally, “‘The reality is that banning guns does not keep guns out of the hands of criminals;’ The logic of that statement completely eludes me. The primary source of illegal guns is theft from legal gun owners. So eliminate ALL of the guns, and criminals have a much more difficult time accessing them.”

England has tried that. It made possession of all handguns illegal in 1996. All 156,000 legally-owned handguns (Actually, I think it was 163,000) were turned in, along with 750,000 rounds of legally possessed ammunition. Handgun crime has gone UP every year since. England recently had a “firearm amnesty” where people could turn in illegal weapons, no questions asked. The collected almost 200,000 firearms and over a million rounds of ammo – but in the violence-ridden areas of London and Manchester there was almost no response.

Banning guns makes it more difficult for criminals to acquire them, but it does not make it effectively difficult, as England demonstrates.

It is not physically possible to “ELIMINATE ALL OF THE GUNS” – and since violent criminals represent somewhere around 1% of a population, it doesn’t require very many guns to service that population. And they will be served – the first rule of economics is that demand will be met with supply.

Banning guns ignores these simple and obvious facts. And all it does is disarm the people you DON’T need to worry about. The inability to see this logic is what eludes me.

Posted by Kevin Baker on March 25, 2004 at 11:39 AM

Kevin: “If you’re a young, urban, black American male you have a very high chance of being murdered. If you’re a young, urban, hispanic American male, your chances are lower, but still quite high.”

Chopping up demographics in this way is what I meant when I said “tortured statistics”. Unless you’re saying that this group doesn’t count, or something.

Kevin: “In comparing the US and England, the homicide rate ratio between the two countries has always been in excess of 5:1 – even when neither nation had any gun control whatsoever. I believe the ratio is currently just under 4:1, but I cannot be sure of that at the moment.”

Britain has had what would be considered to be tight gun control (in comparison to the US) since 1920. And the overall homicide rate ratio is 10:1

Kevin: “England has tried that. It made possession of all handguns illegal in 1996. All 156,000 legally-owned handguns were turned in, along with 750,000 rounds of legally possessed ammunition. Handgun crime has gone UP every year since.”

And the homicide rate?

Posted by Stu on March 25, 2004 at 12:09 PM


That’s not “chopping up demographics” or “tortured statistics” – it’s explaining that homicide is not homogenous throughout a society. Handgun ownership, for instance, is largely concentrated in the white male population, but homicide is heavily concentrated in the young, black, urban male population. You are attempting to make the case that “more guns = more homicide” yet that conclusion cannot be logically drawn given the facts. In the United States approximately 1 million handguns and two million long guns are added to the private market each year, yet we’ve had ten or more years of declining homicide rates.

Homicide in England has trended – slightly – UP since the handgun ban. The proportion of homicides committed with handguns has gone UP since the ban.

This suggests that guns are not the cause of homicide, yet gun bans treat them as though they are.

“Britain has had what would be considered to be tight gun control (in comparison to the US) since 1920. And the overall homicide rate ratio is 10:1” That is incorrect. The U.S. homicide rate in 2000 was 5.64/100,000. England & Wales had a rate of 1.61/100,000, for a ratio of 3.5:1. The firearm homicide ratio is 10:1. What you consider to be “tight” gun control may differ somewhat from mine.

Dean’s comment section is not an appropriate place to hold this discussion IMHO. I have a blog that I set up specifically for discussions of this type. Would you be interested in debating this topic with me there?

Posted by Kevin Baker on March 25, 2004 at 1:39 PM

“Dean’s comment section is not an appropriate place to hold this discussion IMHO.”

I disagree. This is what the comments section is for.

Why did you just post the homicide rate for England and Wales, and not include those of Scotland and NI? Even so, what would attribute the higher homicide rate in America to?

Posted by Stu on March 25, 2004 at 1:57 PM


It’s inappropriate because it’s his bandwidth, and it’s an awkward place to make extended points – which a discussion of this type requires.

I excluded Scotland and Northern Ireland because they are not normally included in the general comparison between the U.S. and what most people here think of when you say “Britain.” If you average England & Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, the rate is about 2.25/100,000. Both Scotland and Northern Ireland have higher homicide rates than England & Wales. That would bring the ratio down to about 2.5:1.

Homicide is a largely cultural thing, but it is exacerbated by the illicit drug trade and consumption of mind-altering substances, both of which are concentrated in specific demographics in both the U.S, the UK, and Canada. The culture of the U.S. is still relatively young compared to Europe, and it is historically violent. Europeans seemed to prefer engaging in killing wholesale (with war after war after war) we tend to do it retail. Canada seems to be more European in nature.

Posted by Kevin Baker on March 25, 2004 at 2:15 PM

I guess that means he won’t debate me over at The Fabulous Baker Boys. Too bad. That would have been fun.

Citizen Smash Interviews One of Stalin’s “Useful Idiots”

I have no idea how he kept from throttling her, but if you haven’t read it already, go now.

These are the people our public school systems are producing.

And Time magazine has the temerity to suggest that homeschooled kids aren’t good citizens?

The Next Time Someone Tells You that Self-Defense isn’t Illegal in the UK,

(for all intents and purposes,) show them this:

Man Who Killed Armed Intruder Jailed Eight Years

A man who stabbed to death an armed intruder at his home was jailed for eight years today.

Carl Lindsay, 25, answered a knock at his door in Salford, Greater Manchester, to find four men armed with a gun.

When the gang tried to rob him he grabbed a samurai sword and stabbed one of them, 37-year-old Stephen Swindells, four times.

Mr Swindells, of Salford, was later found collapsed in an alley and died in hospital.

Lindsay, of Walkden, was found guilty of manslaughter following a three-week trial at Manchester Crown Court.

He was sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment.

After the case, Detective Chief Inspector Sam Haworth said: “Four men, including the victim, had set out purposefully to rob Carl Lindsay and this intent ultimately led to Stephen Swindells’ death.

“I believe the sentences passed today reflect the severity of the circumstances.”

Three other men were charged with robbery and firearms offences in connection with the incident, which took place in February last year.

Manslaughter. For bringing a sword to a gunfight.

Excuse me, Chief Inspector Haworth, but the victim here was Carl Lindsay, and the other three men should be in jail for homicide in the death of their accomplice. Mr. Lindsay should have received a hearty pat on the back for ridding society of a violent perpetrator.

UPDATE – 3/24/04: Reader Ben D comments:

Just a quick note-there is a follow up story on Moorewatch stating that this may actually have been a drug buy gone bad. The man wielding the sword was apparently a dealer. Not that he should be punished for defending himself (especially not for defending himself with a sword-way to go!), but there may be more nuances here.

I responded:

However, were you a reader of this story – provided without nuance – would you not draw the conclusion that defending yourself against attack is legally risky?

That’s my point – the general public in the UK is actively discouraged from self-defense, in fear of prosecution.

“You can’t protect yourself! You’re not qualified!”

(Added to the original post because comments tend to eventually disappear.)

Dept. of Our Collapsing Schools – Homeschooling Starts to Hurt

This month’s Time magazine has a three-page cover article on homeschooling entitled Seceding from School. It makes a passing attempt at “fairness,” with comments and quotations from both sides of the issue, but (IMHO) it leans towards public schooling with a near declaration that parents who homeschool are being elitist and shirking their civic duty by not making their children suffer through the same educational morass that less fortunate families cannot escape.

Thomas Jefferson and the other early American crusaders for public education believed the schools would help sustain democracy by bringing everyone together to share values and learn a common history. In the little red brick schoolhouse, we would pursue both “democracy in education and education in democracy,” as Stanford historian David Tyack gracefully puts it. Home schooling forsakes all that by defining education not as the pursuit of an entire community but as the work of one family and its chosen circle. Which can be great. Despite some drawbacks, there are signs that home-schooling parents are doing a better job than public schools at teaching their kids. But as the number of kids learning at home grows, we should pause to wonder: Better at teaching them what? Home schooling may turn out better students, but does it create better citizens?

That’s the fourth paragraph of the article.

That last sentence left my mouth agape.

I think that if Jefferson saw what passed for “education” in many if not most of today’s public schools, he’d be in favor of burning the existing “system” to the ground and starting over.

My stepdaughter graduated from high school in 1997. Her knowledge of American history, civics, and even geography is essentially nil. When the movie Pearl Harbor came out, I asked her if she knew what Pearl Harbor was. No clue.

She is hardly an exception to the rule.

Perhaps we should look to what the author might mean by “better citizens,” then. Founding Father Thomas Paine (whom my daughter has never studied) said “Reason and Ignorance, the opposites of each other, influence the great bulk of mankind. If either of these can be rendered sufficiently extensive in a country, the machinery of Government goes easily on. Reason obeys itself; and Ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.”

Connie du Toit once wrote

The other day our Carpenter’s helper heard me say something along the lines of, “it is difficult to conclude that incompetence is the reason why our public schools have deteriorated. There comes a point where you have to suspect sabotage, or a conspiracy.”

He asked me if I really meant that. I gave him the five minute explanation of John Dewey’s known affiliation with communists, his frequent essays and articles about the wonders of the Soviet education system, and his quote, “You can’t make Socialists out of individualists. Children who know how to think for themselves spoil the harmony of the collective society which is coming where everyone is interdependent.”

I then went on to tell him about how public schools changed at the turn of the last century. That there were others involved in turning Americans from free-thinking individualists to factory drones. I also added that many people probably went along with it because it seemed like a good idea, but there were certainly enough people behind the scenes, who knew that the goal posts had been moved. THAT is a conspiracy.

Yes. There does come that time when you are forced to don the tinfoil hat.

The incompetence excuse only works once. Incompetence this great is impossible to attribute to accident.

Count me in the tinfoil-hat brigade. Especially when I see peices like this Time one suggesting that it’s our civic duty to indoctrinate our children and make them better citizens.

In my opinion, the homeschooled are far more likely to be reasoning, free-thinking individualists, and that means better AMERICAN citizens – the kind willing to make decisions unpopular with the UN.

The Time article continues:

To see how home schooling threatens public schools, look at Maricopa County, Ariz. The county has approximately 7,000 home-schooled students. That’s only 1.4% of school-age kids, but it means $35 million less for the county in per-pupil funding. The state of Florida has 41,128 children (1.7%) learning at home this year, up from 10,039 in the 1991-92 school year; those kids represent a loss of nearly $130 million from school budgets in that state. Of course the schools have fewer children to teach, so it makes sense that they wouldn’t get as much money, but the districts lose much more than cash. “Home schooling is a social threat to public education,” says Chris Lubienski, who teaches at Iowa State University’s college of education. “It is taking some of the most affluent and articulate parents out of the system. These are the parents who know how to get things done with administrators.”

Get things done? Like what? They seem to be completely unable to alter curricula so that the kids get an actual education.

I’ve said before that my sister is a teacher, so I have a little bit of insight into just who has the ability to ‘get things done with administrators.’ It’s the ones who threaten lawsuits for not advancing little Johnny to the next grade, even though he’s illiterate, because not doing so will “hurt his self-esteem.” People are pulling their kids out of public schools because they can’t affect the system – it’s far too ingrained at this point. The Titanic doesn’t take course corrections any longer, even though it’s obvious the iceberg is dead ahead.

Look at this example of supposed balance in the Time story:

Despite its growing acceptance, there are nagging shortcomings to home schooling. If you spend time with home schoolers, you get a sense that some of them have missed out on whole swaths of childhood; the admirable efforts by their parents to ensure their education and safety sometimes seem to have gone too far. In 1992 psychotherapist Larry Shyers did a study while at the University of Florida in which he closely examined the behavior of 35 home schoolers and 35 public schoolers. He found that home schoolers were generally more patient and less competitive. They tended to introduce themselves to one another more; they didn’t fight as much. And the home schoolers were much more prone to exchange addresses and phone numbers. In short, they behaved like miniature adults.

Which is great, unless you believe that kids should be kids before they are adults. John McCallum, 20, of Wheaton, Ill., began learning at home after fourth grade. On the whole, he valued the experience. But if he could change anything about his teen years, he would want more interaction with people his age. “I don’t date, and that’s something I attribute to home schooling,” he says. Or consider Rachel Ahern, 21, of Grand Junction, Colo., who never set foot in a classroom until she went to Harvard at 18. As a child, she socialized with older kids and adults at church and in music classes at a nearby college. “I never once experienced peer pressure,” she says. But is that a good thing? Megan Wallace of Atlanta says if she had gone to high school, “I would have gotten into so much trouble.” One could argue that kids need to get into a certain amount of trouble to learn how to handle temptations and their consequences.”

They’re complaining that homeschooled kids aren’t little hooligans. One “could argue that kids need to get into a certain amount of trouble” but I’m not one of them. I prefer to let them mature and see the errors that they missed. I think that eighteen year-old mature adults are, by definition, good citizens, and something to strive for.

We used to get them out of the public school system, not all that long ago.

(Homework assignment: Read Francis Porretto’s most recent piece, The Assault on Accuracy for more illustration of the collapse of our schools.)

UPDATE, 3/24/04: Chris O’Donnell of O’DonnellWeb points out that this Time piece is actually a couple years old. I don’t know where I first ran across it, but I assumed it was current. All the better, as homeschooling has had a couple more years to irritate the Statists.

Blogging will be Reduced

My apologies. I am absolutely overwhelmed with work, and I will be limited to posting (if at all) in the evenings. Bummer. I have about seven weeks until my one-year blogoversary, and I was really hoping to have 100,000 hits on Sitemeter on or about that date, but lack of posting tends to drop my readership numbers.

Thank you for visiting, and remember the archives off there to the left for your reading enjoyment.

1975 in Washington, D.C. vs. 2004 in Canton, Ohio

This is an odd coincidence.

Quite a while back, shortly after I started this blog, I posted “Is the Government Responsible for Your Protection,” a two-part essay on one reason there is a right to arms. In Part I I used the transcript of the 1981 D.C. Court of Apeals en banc decision of Warren v. District of Columbia in which Carolyn Warren, Miriam Douglas, and Joan Taliaferro sued the District of Columbia for failing to protect them from a pair of rapists, even after they had called the police and the police had come to the home. If you’ve not read it before, I strongly recommend you do.

These women lived in the District in 1975, a short while before D.C. passed its draconian firearms restrictions, but in any case none of them were armed, and they depended on the State for their protection.

Skip forward twenty-nine years, nearly to the day, and shift your coordinates to Canton, Ohio. Clayton Cramer’s Civilian Gun Self-Defense Page posts from the Akron Beacon-Journal the following story that I will copy shamelessly:

Man shot to death in Canton

The first time Carolyn Warren called police, she wanted to be rescued from a man she said was trying to break in her door.

Three minutes later, she called back to say the man was in her apartment, but she didn’t need to be rescued anymore.

The man was shot dead.

Kenneth G. Riggs, 38, died about 12:30 a.m. Thursday (March 11, 2004) of a gunshot wound to the head. He was shot inside Warren’s apartment on Mahoning Road Northeast, less than a block from his home.

Canton Police Lt. Tom Thomas said the two women in the apartment knew Riggs, but he declined to describe their relationship. Police say the shooter is a 31-year-old woman, who Thomas said was identified in the 911 call as Warren’s daughter.

The mother apparently made the calls and the daughter allegedly fired a .22 rifle at Riggs twice after he forced his way into the apartment.

Police did not arrest the woman. Thomas said information from the shooting investigation will be turned over to the Stark County prosecutor.

A telephone number listed for Warren was out of order Thursday.

Riggs, who lived in the 2600 block of Mahoning Road Northeast, had a history of arrests in Stark County that stretched back to the late 1980s. Court records include a one-year prison sentence for illegal possession of a firearm and using a weapon while intoxicated. The records also list multiple arrests on charges of assault, aggravated burglary, menacing, drug abuse and violating a protection order.

Is it the same Carolyn Warren? Her daughter would have been born in 1973, two years before the attack in D.C, so I think it’s highly doubtful. But notice the stark difference between the two cases – one in which there was a .22 rifle and someone who knew how to use it, and one in which the victims were unarmed.

The name coincidence was just too weird not to comment on.

Tilting at Windmills

But I honor them for it.

Dan of Jackalope Pursuivant emailed me a link to a post at The England Project. It seems that America’s Citizens Committe for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) has opened an office in London:

The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) today announced that it is opening an office in London, and joining with embattled British citizens in their fight to restore their firearms rights.

It is the first time an American firearm civil rights organization has opened an office on foreign soil. CCRKBA Chairman Alan M. Gottlieb has appointed veteran Conservative Party activist Greg Smith as the organization’s European representative.

“British citizens and gun owners from other European countries will be funding this effort,” Gottlieb said. “Just as with America’s war against international terrorism, we are taking the fight against international gun control to our enemies. With the attack on gun rights becoming global, it is important to fight these battles on every continent before we find ourselves isolated from an important human civil right.

“Extremist gun control measures have disarmed the British people,” Gottlieb continued, “leaving them vulnerable to criminal assault. Incredibly, if they do defend themselves, they can be prosecuted and imprisoned. Since the United Kingdom banned privately owned handguns in 1997, gun crime has nearly doubled. What more appropriate place for the Citizens Committee to be than in the middle of this battleground, offering whatever help we can to British citizens in their efforts to take back their neighborhoods and make their communities safe once again?”

There’s more to read in the press release.

Other than outraging some members of Parliament and a bunch of panty-wetting gun haters, I don’t see the London CCRKBA office accomplishing much from a legislative standpoint, but hats off to them for at least making the effort.