Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Smile when you say that

Wisconsin became the 49th state to permit concealed carry today and Eugene Kane is one frightened fellow. He's going to have to tread lightly because who knows when a casual encounter might lead to gun play? He's worried it's going to be like the OK Corral out there. Given the ways in which people get worked up over what they read in the paper, he is thankful that Journal Sentinel won't allow guns on its premises. I do suppose that anyone who is hell bent on busting a cap in a newspaper columnist will be deterred by the fact that guns aren't allowed on the premises. That's all to be expected. I could have read that column without him having to write it. But the interesting thing is that he refutes himself without appearing to have recognized. Mr. Kane allows how he has traveled to other states that permit concealed carry (that would be everyone other than Illinois) and "most times" (I suspect it's more like all times) doesn't "think about it." This is, he says, because the fact that other people may be carrying does not give him an added sense of security. But, if he doesn't think about it, there is something else that the laws in those states aren't giving him either - a heightened sense of apprehension. And they shouldn't. Kane writes that "[p]ro-gun advocates insist concealed carry laws lead to a decrease in crime, but statistics don't bear that out in any discernible way." That sentence proves more than he wants it to. Some scholars claim that concealed carry reduces crime. Others attack studies that purport to show that criticizing their methodology. So he could be right. We don't know if concealed carry reduces gun crime. But there is precious little evidence that even suggests an. A few years ago, at Marquette, I moderated a debate between John Lott, author of a book called More Guns, Less Crime and an Richard Withers, who used to run a handgun violence center at the Medical College of Wisconsin and is anadvocate of handgun control. They agreed about little. But the one they thing that they agreed upon is that concealed carry cannot be shown to lead to increases in gun crime. I am aware of a few people who argue that there may be a modest negative impact, but it is pretty hard to say that concealed carry has, as Kane would put it, a discernible effect on crime. The spontaneous shootouts that Kane fears don't happen. So he can relax.


Anonymous said...

It's a lot like gay marriage don't you think? A lot of fear-mongering, teeth-gnashing, sky-is-falling b.s. beforehand, and then once it's implemented...nothing.

Miraculously, life goes on, the sun continues rising in the east, and dogs and cats still hate each other.

Anonymous said...

Unlike SSM, concealed carry has both broad public support (e.g., only one state lacks it) and a clear basis in the federal and Wisconsin constitutions.

gnarlytrombone said...

criticizing their methodology


George Mitchell said...

On separate occasions, two senior officials at the Journal Sentinel have acknowledged to me (years ago) that Eugene Kane's column often falls short of quality journalism. They also explained with a shrug why the issue of race precludes them from addressing this matter.

John Foust said...

Look on the bright side, George. Eventually they helped Paddy Mac find the door.

Anonymous said...

George--And four senior members of the JS Staff informed me that Kane purposely goes off the deep end to elicit traffic to the newspaper, which means more advertising dollars.


John--I believe P-Mac took a job in government. Ironic, aina?

Anonymous said...

And Plastic Ron has yet to add Paddy and his salary to his website. Too busy buying upscale Georgetown condos, I suppose.

George Mitchell said...

Kane's latest column accuses Peggy Krusick of declaring "war" on blacks. Based on today's paper, maybe he'll do a follow up to discuss the year-old "war" on blacks by state college loan officials.

When I long ago wrote to one of the paper's editors that Kane was allowed to ignore journalistic standards because of his race, I was surprised when the editor came up to me at the Alterra coffee shop on Prospect one day and said, "You're right about Kane."

A couple years later I wrote to another of the paper's editors after a typically egregious Kane column. He responded by asking for replacement suggestions, clearly suggesting that any change could only occur if another black writer replaced Kane.

Bottom line: they know he's a joke.

Anonymous said...

George--Eugene is NOT going anywhere. And I am highly skeptical of your story. The editors at JS are "afraid" of getting rid of Kane? And, if they do, they have to hire a person of color to replace him?

Pants on fire!

Anonymous said...

George is willing to put his name behind his story, Anon 9:39. What's the basis for your assertion?

George Mitchell said...

Anon 9:39.

So, you are "skeptical" of my stories. Because...it doesn't ring true that some top MJS editors might think/thought Kane is lousy? Because...you think Kane's column is first-rate?

George Mitchell said...

Anon 9:39

BTW, agree completely that Kane's status as a columnist at the MJS is 100% safe. He won't quit and those in charge will just continue to look the other way.

Thomas Gamble said...

Interesting post, I am so glad that I have visited your site. Such a wonderful time reading this.

Anonymous said...

George--Because...you think Kane's column is first-rate?

No, I did not make that statement. All I am saying is that he draws a ton of traffic for JS. He is a cash cow for the things that he says.

And I am skeptical because it is easy for someone to say they known editors at JS who specifically stated that they are afraid of giving EKane the boot.

George Mitchell said...

Anon 10:50

You don't read carefully.

One senior person at the paper — above the rank of editor — said I was correct that Kane operated under a different set of rules than other staff and that race explained the difference.

The second person — an editor — asked for ideas on who might replace Kane. The clear implication was that any replacement would have to be black.

It is "easy" to relate both stories because they are true.

And, Kane a "cash cow"? Heh.

John Foust said...

George, what do you think of this story?: "They spent nine hours Tuesday night into Wednesday morning railing about a proposal to eliminate race as a criterion in awarding college grants. It turned out the debate was completely unnecessary; the state Higher Education Board said Wednesday it hasn't considered race in grant awards for more than year, but no one in the Assembly realized it."

And where do you stand on universities that give favored admission to the children of alumni?

George Mitchell said...

John Foust

I oppose racial preferences.

Anonymous said...

The Civil War was fought, and the Constitution amended, based on the principle that the law shouldn't treat people differently because of the color of their skin. I don't remember any similar national upheaval arising out of where someone's parents went to college.

John Foust said...

You answered a question I didn't ask, George.

George Mitchell said...


Peggy Krusick's (unnecessary) amendment exposed the knee-jerk thinking of her Dem colleagues.

Where do I stand on universities that favor certain kids of alumni? If they are public universities I oppose such preferences.

Not that any of this pertains to Eugene Kane's baseless fear of concealed carry.

Anonymous said...

George, I read perfectly fine! I just think you are b.s'n us! Make the record show that I am NOT a Kane fan...all I am doing is calling out something that does not pass the smell test, IMO.

"It is "easy" to relate both stories because they are true."

According to you and your supposed conversation with two JS bigwigs from a number of years ago!

To me, they perpetuated the problem if they truly believed EK's stuff was not up to the high standards of JS and they did not help pull the trigger in ousting him because of "repercussions". That is a COP OUT! It would appear that the head honchos in charge of reviewing the work of their employees did not do their job if Kane's writing graded out as substandard on a repeated basis, and that they kept him around to avoid potential charges of racism if he was sh*tcanned.

I think more importantly, however, is what specific instances of incompetence (i.e. often falls short of quality journalism) could these two men provide as sound evidence to justify firing Kane.

Or, it could just very well be that these two men wanted Kane gone because they oppose his views, rather than have any direct proof of his alleged lack of "quality journalism".

JustingxgN said...

Unlike SSM, concealed carry has both broad public support (e.g., only one state lacks it) and a clear basis in the federal and Wisconsin constitutions.