Bill Clinton, Gun Nut.

Dave Kopel has a great article on the anniversary of Bill Clinton's signing of the Brady Bill. Almost as an aside, he demonstrates what a lying sack of poop Clinton was.

To make sure Dave had the quote right, I looked up the transcript of the signing ceremony. Here's what Clinton said:

Don't let anybody tell you that this won't work. I got a friend back home who sold a gun years ago to a guy who had escaped from a mental hospital that he hadn't seen in 10 years. And he pulled out that old form from the 1968 act, and said, have you ever been convicted of a crime? Have you ever been in a mental hospital? The guy said, no, no -- and put the form back in the drawer. And 12 hours later six people were dead and my friend is not over it to this day. Don't tell me this bill will not make a difference. That is not true. (Applause.) It is not true.
And here's what Dave points out about the above yarn:
  • "I got a friend back home who sold a gun …" Actually, two guns: a .45 and a shotgun.
  • "… to a guy …" Actually, the perpetrator got a woman friend to buy the guns for him. Which the bill Clinton was signing would not have prevented.
  • "… who had escaped from a mental hospital …" Actually, the perpetrator was probably only treated at a mental institution; which, again, would not have been a stopper for his acquisition of the guns.
  • "… 12 hours later six people were dead …" Actually four people were killed.
  • "… and my friend is not over it to this day." Actually, the dealer in question had died several years before.
Five lies in less than 120 words. Impressive.

URLs du Jour -- 11/30/2005

  • Is it just me, or does it look like the hapless bastard pictured in this article is about to begin the worst six months of his life (my estimate)? … well, maybe many years in the future, if he survives, he'll be able to pick out some brief sweet memories of his all-expense-paid tour of Hell.
  • At NRO's Bench Memos, Matthew Franck catches the scriptwriters at ABC's Commander in Chief in fundamental ignorance of the scope of presidential power: Geena Davis's character stops a Texas state execution with a simple phone call to the governor!

    Next week, Geena's phone call to the General Motors CEO will stop global warming.

  • Thomas Sowell has a "Random Thoughts" column today; Sowell's random thoughts are often more valuable than most pundits' non-random ones. One sample:
    Nightmare for the 2008 Presidential election: Hillary Clinton versus John McCain. I wouldn't know whether to vote Libertarian or move to Australia.
  • When Tyler Cowen and Will Wilkinson point to an article as important, it probably is. The paper ("Paternalism and Psychology" by Edward L. Glaeser) is available here. The idea is that so-called "bounded rationality" (or, somewhat less euphemized: large-scale "cognitive difficulties" in the general populace) has been viewed as a possible justification for illibertarian state meddling in peoples' lives; Glaeser shows it's not much of a justification. Tyler's and Will's summaries are excellent; the paper itself is probably too econ-math-heavy to be accessible to most lay readers (like me).
  • In the oh-you're-just-trying-to-cheer-me-up department: an article at the Washington Post headlined "Economy of Scale Might Inspire Companies to Ditch IT Departments". There are no arguments I can see in the article that wouldn't equally apply to universities. Eek!
  • But that's OK, because the University itself won't be far behind. In an article titled The Modern University Has Become Obsolete," Froma Harrop argues that the … um, well, that the modern university has become obsolete. (Via Constrained Katie.)

Last Modified 2005-11-30 5:25 PM EDT