Tag Archives: Deterrence

Pregnant mom holds intruder at gunpoint until police arrive

Story from Local 15 TV News. (H/T John Lott)


The lesson here is never threaten an expecting mother, especially if she’s armed with a shotgun.

“I was angry,” Randi Fairley says. “I was really mad that he was in my house.”

At around 4 A.M. Sunday, Fairley was wide awake, because her unborn daughter was kicking. That is when she heard a noise; it sounded like someone touching a potato-chip bag downstairs.

“I came and looked over the stairs,” Fairley says. “I saw this kid, down at the bottom of the stairs. He was about to grab my computer.”

Fairley is six and a half months pregnant. So, she says she yelled down at Justin Delhomme, he walked out of the house and she grabbed a shotgun. In the street, Fairley confronted the 18 year old. “He pulled a gun on me, and I told him, ‘You know, you need to put that away before I shoot you because mine’s bigger,’ and he put it back in his pocket.” . . . .

Video interview from Fox News is here.

The proper use of firearms is not to fire them, but to brandish them to prevent crimes. It’s even better when a women uses firearms to defend her children.

Does the death penalty discourage crime?

ECM sent this essay which explores whether capital punishment deters crime.


“Science does really draw a conclusion. It did. There is no question about it,” said Naci Mocan, an economics professor at the University of Colorado at Denver. “The conclusion is there is a deterrent effect.”

A 2003 study he co-authored, and a 2006 study that re-examined the data, found that each execution results in five fewer homicides, and commuting a death sentence means five more homicides. “The results are robust, they don’t really go away,” he said. “I oppose the death penalty. But my results show that the death penalty (deters) — what am I going to do, hide them?”

Statistical studies like his are among a dozen papers since 2001 that capital punishment has deterrent effects. They all explore the same basic theory — if the cost of something (be it the purchase of an apple or the act of killing someone) becomes too high, people will change their behavior (forego apples or shy from murder).

The studies all concluded that between 3 and 18 innocent lives were saved by each execution of a convicted killer.

Public transportation can be a nightmare for women in countries like India

Check out this story from last month from the Times of India.


27 years old, Ida Loch Hansen from Denmark, who had been in the city working, ironically enough, on the issue of women welfare, faced a harrowing experience when she was molested blatantly in a crowded bus on her way back from Hazratganj to Indiranagar. Choosing to sit in the cabin near the driver because she considered it safe, Ida was molested by a young boy of about her age. Though she had faced eve-teasing before, this blatant physical assault was made at her for the first time.

What was more shocking for her was the fact that though the bus was full, nobody tried to take a stand in response to her screams and in fact, it was only when she raised an alarm that the conductor asked the molester to take a backseat. To add to her misery, instead of reporting the matter to the nearest police station or dropping the man out of the bus, the driver and the conductor forced Ida to get off before her destination.

I think we could end this little problem pretty quickly by allowing women to purchase and carry legal firearms. Imposing stiff penalties for these kinds of sexual assaults would also be a good deterrent. I would not want my daughters to have this kind of thing happen to them. And I find the lack of moral courage of bystanders to be very unsettling.

I’ve noticed that this happens a lot with European bystanders who are confronted by Muslim thugs. Do secularism and Hinduism have the worldview scaffoliding to ground self-sacrifical acts, such as protecting the dignity of others? Maybe some of our Indian commenters can comment about why no one in the bus stood up to protect the screaming victim?

UPDATE: Andrew e-mails this story about a Sudanese woman who is facing 40 lashes… for wearing pants. This is ridiculous.

Understanding how concealed carry laws save lives

The Richmond Times-Dispatch has this story. (H/T John Lott)


A gunman who had wounded a shopkeeper and opened fire on several customers was stopped yesterday when another man shot him at the store in South Richmond, authorities said.

…The man who shot the robber is a friend of the store owner, and he was wearing a holster with a Western-style revolver, said Managing Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Tracy Thorne-Begland.

After the suspect shot the store owner and opened fire on patrons, the owner’s friend shot the suspect once in the torso, took his gun and called police, Thorne-Begland said.

How many times are legally-owned firearms used to prevent crimes, as occurred in this story?

Consider this interview with Florida State University criminology professor Gary Kleck.


“In 2006, about 11,600 homicides were committed by criminals armed with guns, claiming 68 percent of all homicides,” he says. Based on data from the National Criminal Victimization Survey (NCVS), as many as 500,000 violent crimes were committed in the United States in 2006 by offenders armed with guns, and around 26 percent of robberies and 7 percent of assaults were committed by gun-armed offenders.

These facts have led many people to conclude that America’s high rate of gun ownership must be at least partially responsible for the nation’s high rates of violence, or at least its high homicide rate, says Kleck, adding that this belief in a causal effect of gun levels on violent crime rates has, in turn, led many to conclude that limiting the availability of guns would substantially reduce violent crime, especially the murder rate.

“What’s not so widely known, though, is that large numbers of crime victims in America also use guns in the course of crimes (but) in self-defense,” says Kleck.

Based on 16 national surveys of samples of the U.S. population, he continues, the evidence indicates that guns are used by victims in self-protection more often than crimes are committed by offenders using guns. Victims used guns defensively two to two-and-a-half million times in 1993, for example, compared to about 850,000 crimes in which offenders possessed guns.

Maybe guns are not as scary as we had been led to believe!

What is the doctrine of peace through strength?

Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan

Image stolen from Douglas Groothuis.

“Si vis pacem, para bellum”
– Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus

It means, “Let him who desires peace prepare for war.”

The idea of peace through strength was paraphrased in George Washington’s first state of the union address, as well as by Presidents Lincoln and Reagan. Margaret Thatcher (United Kingdom) and Stephen Harper (Canada) also believe in peace through strength.

Most wars start when a dictator or monarch (e.g. – Hitler) believes he can win a conflict against a weak neighbor quickly and easily. Perhaps to test out his plan, he takes some small aggressive steps to make sure that no one is going to stop his aggression (e.g. – rebuilding the Luftwaffe, occupying the Rhineland, annexing the Sudetenland, annexing Austria, invading Poland). Once he is able to confirm over and over that no democracies are going to stop his conquests by force, he attacks.

The way to stop most wars is to make dictators believe that you have the means and the will to stop their aggression. Clinton allowed about a half dozen attacks in the 90s without any reprisal, (e.g. – World Trade Center, USS Cole, etc.) We did not respond to these terrorist attacks on our national interests. As a result, Bin Laden would joke about how the USA was a “paper tiger” that did not have the stomach for war. He thought that a few American losses would make us pack up and go home.

Contrast Clinton’s view with Ronald Reagan. Reagan’s biography at the White House web site says this:

“In foreign policy, Reagan sought to achieve “peace through strength“. During his two terms he increased defense spending 35 percent, but sought to improve relations with the Soviet Union. In dramatic meetings with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, he negotiated a treaty that would eliminate intermediate-range nuclear missiles. Reagan declared war against international terrorism, sending American bombers against Libya after evidence came out that Libya was involved in an attack on American soldiers in a West Berlin nightclub.”

When the USA was attacked by terrorists, Bush, following Reagan’s example, made sure that the aggressors would understand that the first steps of aggression would draw a violent, decisive response. As a result of the Bush doctrine, Libya has discontinued its WMD program and invited inspectors to come in and cart away all of its research equipment. Libya did this only because it believed that the USA was willing to back up diplomacy with force. We can have peace if we cause aggressors to believe that war will cost too much.

Now, violence is not the only way to make war cost too much. We could probably avoid war with Iran or Venezuela or Russia by drilling for our own oil and building our own nuclear plants. No one prefers a war. It’s better to de-fund potential aggressors by supplying our economy with oil that we produce ourselves. This is one good reason to increase domestic energy production. (Another good reason is to lower the price of oil, etc – because of supply and demand: increased supply leads to lower prices)

Reagan won the cold war without firing a shot. But sometimes, especially after 8 years of Clinton’s weak foreign policy, some violence is needed to communicate to our enemies that we mean business. Our  willingness to engage in a military response to the 9/11 attacks was enough to provide us with 7 years free of attacks on American soil. The terrorists knew that next time they attacked us, then maybe Syria would become a democracy. So there were no more attacks on American soil while Bush governed.

Deterrence works. The goal is to AVOID war by making tyrants understand that the cost of their aggression will be too much for them to bear. This is the doctrine of peace through strength.

“An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile – hoping it will eat him last.”
— Winston Churchill