In "Gun Control's Twisted Outcome" (page 20), historian Joyce Lee Malcolm looks at the United Kingdom's disastrous efforts to disarm its population. A history professor at Bentley College, Malcolm is the author of two books on guns: To Keep and Bear Arms: The Origins of an Anglo-American Right (1994) and this year's Guns and Violence: The English Experience, both from Harvard University Press. In Reason's January 2001 issue, Malcolm became one of the first critics to expose the myriad errors in Michael A. Bellesiles' infamous book on the origins of America's gun culture, Arming America. Has Malcolm ever pulled a trigger herself? "I went clay pigeon shooting once," she admits, "but most of my targets fell to the earth undamaged."
Senior Editor Jacob Sullum's two contributions to this issue share a common figure: William Bennett, the former drug czar turned professional moralist. Bennett plays a cameo role in "Urine--or You're Out" (page 36), a deconstruction of drug testing, and costars with Noam Chomsky in "Pride and Prejudice" (page 53), a gimlet-eyed review of the two men's 9/11-themed books. Bennett also figures prominently in Sullum's forthcoming book on the morality of drug use. But Sullum insists he's not obsessed with the finger-wagging pundit. "If he would just shut up," he says, "I'd be happy to stop writing about him."
In "Murder Most Foul" (page 59), the Cato Institute's Charles V. Peña takes a break from his routine as an expert on Iraq and terrorism to consider an even more harrowing topic: genocide. Given such grim professional interests, how does Peña keep himself sane? "I go zipping around in brightly colored leather," says the avid track motorcyclist, who estimates his top speeds reach around 140 miles per hour. When Peña's not burning rubber, his wife and 3-year-old daughter keep his heart racing.