We Know How to Stop School Shootings

Commentary by Ann Coulter - In the wake of a monstrous crime like a madman's mass murder of defenseless women and children at the Newtown, Conn., elementary school, the nation's attention is riveted on what could have been done to prevent such a massacre. Luckily, some years ago, two famed economists, William Landes at the University of Chicago and John Lott at Yale, conducted a massive study of multiple victim public shootings in the United States between 1977 and 1995 to see how various legal changes affected their frequency and death toll.
Landes and Lott examined many of the very policies being proposed right now in response to the Connecticut massacre: waiting periods and background checks for guns, the death penalty and increased penalties for committing a crime with a gun. None of these policies had any effect on the frequency of, or carnage from, multiple-victim shootings. (I note that they did not look at reforming our lax mental health laws, presumably because the ACLU is working to keep dangerous nuts on the street in all 50 states.)
Only one public policy has ever been shown to reduce the death rate from such crimes: concealed-carry laws. Their study controlled for age, sex, race, unemployment, retirement, poverty rates, state population, murder arrest rates, violent crime rates, and on and on. The effect of concealed-carry laws in deterring mass public shootings was even greater than the impact of such laws on the murder rate generally.
Someone planning to commit a single murder in a concealed-carry state only has to weigh the odds of one person being armed. But a criminal planning to commit murder in a public place has to worry that anyone in the entire area might have a gun. You will notice that most multiple-victim shootings occur in "gun-free zones" -- even within states that have concealed-carry laws: public schools, churches, Sikh temples, post offices, the movie theater where James Holmes committed mass murder, and the Portland, Ore., mall where a nut starting gunning down shoppers a few weeks ago. Guns were banned in all these places. Mass killers may be crazy, but they're not stupid. Read full column

Newsbreak New Mexico 5pm Webcast 12/19/12

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Mine program in Silver City
NM ranks among top for animal abuse
PRC makes utility rules
Ruidoso school shooting plot 

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NM ranks top among best places for animal abuse

New Mexico has earned another embarrassing ranking.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund says the state joins Kentucky, North Dakota, South Dakota and Iowa as one of the five best states to be an animal abuser.
 The group says it ranks states based on a comprehensive analysis of animal protection laws. 
Among the problems it cites in New Mexico: no felony provisions for neglect or abandonment, no provisions on sexual assault, no restrictions on future ownership for people previously convicted of animal abuse, no increased penalties when animal abuse is committed in front of children and no provisions for veterinarians to report suspected animal abuse. 
Illinois tops the group's list for the strongest animal protection laws.


NMSU launches obesity study

New Mexico State University researchers have launched a study to examine obesity among NMSU students and employees.

 Researchers recently developed an online survey aimed at finding out more on obesity and lifestyle factors of students and employees, especially in southern New Mexico.
So far, the survey has found that 47 percent of NMSU and employee respondents self-reported as overweight or obese. 
Susan Wilson, an associate professor in NMSU's Department of Health Science and the study's lead researcher, says she would like to see future studies that look more closely at stressors in the environment and "culturally acceptable versus ideal notions of weight and obesity."


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PRC makes utility rules
NMSU obesity study
ABQ to spend money on marketing

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ABQ to spend money on marketing

Albuquerque is setting aside $5.5 million to market itself. 

The Albuquerque Journal reports that City Council approved a proposal Monday to set up a new account that will provide money for marketing the city, keeping the businesses already here, supporting workforce training and chipping in to close a deal. 
The money to establish the account comes from penalties paid by companies that received city incentives but didn't live up to their end of the contract. 
The proposal sets up an economic development council that will recommend ways to spend the money.


Sec. of Education wants $140 million for schools

New Mexico Secretary of Education-designate Hanna Skandera is urging lawmakers to support a funding increase of about $140 million for public schools in fiscal year 2014. 

The Public Education Department's request includes $20 million to purchase about 250 new school buses. Skandera proposes investing $13.5 million in new money in early-childhood reading initiatives, such as hiring regional reading coaches. 
Another $11 million would be directed to pre-kindergarten programs.


Judge upholds $22 million award to jailed man

Stephen Slevin: Before and After
A federal judge in Santa Fe has upheld a $22 million jury award to a man who was kept in solitary confinement for two years and forced to pull his own tooth after being arrested for drunken driving in Dona Ana County

U.S. District Martha Vazquez on Friday denied the county's request for a new trial on the damages awarded to Stephen Slevin, of Virginia Beach, Va., earlier this year, saying it was justified by the evidence.
 According to the suit, Slevin was in the Dona Ana County jail for 22 months but was never convicted. 


Speaker Ben Lujan dies

Ben Lujan
Speaker Ben Lujan lost his battle with lung cancer Tuesday. 

According to his office, he died peacefully at 10:45 p.m. on Tuesday evening after a short stay at Christus St. Vincent hospital. Lujan's wife Carmen and children, including Congressman Ben Ray Lujan, and their grandchildren were all at his bedside. 
Lujan was a member of the House since 1975 and served as Majority Whip, Majority Floor Leader and House Speaker. 
On opening day of the 2012 legislative session, he announced that he was not going to seek re-election and disclosed that he had stage 4 lung cancer. Funeral arrangements are pending. 


Newsbreak New Mexico 8am Webcast 12/19/12

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Ben Lujan dies
Judge uphold $22 million jail award
Sec. of Education wants $140 million

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