Author Topic: We the Well-armed People (gun and knife rights stuff ) Second Amendment  (Read 948679 times)


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Tuhon Bill McGrath found this interesting piece.

7/25:  I've renamed this thread so that it may serve as the vehicle for related posts

Crafty Dog

Raging Against Self Defense
Permission is granted to distribute this article in its entirety, so long as full copyright information and full contact information is given for JPFO.
Copyright ? 2000 Sarah Thompson, MD
Published by
Jews For The Preservation of Firearms Ownership, Inc.
P.O. Box 270143
Hartford, WI 53027
Phone (262) 673-9745


Raging Against Self Defense:
A Psychiatrist Examines The Anti-Gun Mentality
By Sarah Thompson, M.D.

"You don't need to have a gun; the police will protect you."

"If people carry guns, there will be murders over parking spaces and neighborhood basketball games."

"I'm a pacifist. Enlightened, spiritually aware people shouldn't own guns."

"I'd rather be raped than have some redneck militia type try to rescue me."
How often have you heard these statements from misguided advocates of victim disarmament, or even woefully uninformed relatives and neighbors? Why do people cling so tightly to these beliefs, in the face of incontrovertible evidence that they are wrong? Why do they get so furiously angry when gun owners point out that their arguments are factually and logically incorrect?

How can you communicate with these people who seem to be out of touch with reality and rational thought?

One approach to help you deal with anti-gun people is to understand their psychological processes. Once you understand why these people behave so irrationally, you can communicate more effectively with them.

Defense Mechanisms

About a year ago I received an e-mail from a member of a local Jewish organization. The author, who chose to remain anonymous, insisted that people have no right to carry firearms because he didn't want to be murdered if one of his neighbors had a "bad day". (I don't know that this person is a "he", but I'm assuming so for the sake of simplicity.) I responded by asking him why he thought his neighbors wanted to murder him, and, of course, got no response. The truth is that he's statistically more likely to be murdered by a neighbor who doesn't legally carry a firearm1 and more likely to be shot accidentally by a law enforcement officer.1

How does my correspondent "know" that his neighbors would murder him if they had guns? He doesn't. What he was really saying was that if he had a gun, he might murder his neighbors if he had a bad day, or if they took his parking space, or played their stereos too loud. This is an example of what mental health professionals call projection ? unconsciously projecting one's own unacceptable feelings onto other people, so that one doesn't have to own them.3 In some cases, the intolerable feelings are projected not onto a person, but onto an inanimate object, such as a gun,4 so that the projector believes the gun itself will murder him.

Projection is a defense mechanism. Defense mechanisms are unconscious psychological mechanisms that protect us from feelings that we cannot consciously accept.5 They operate without our awareness, so that we don't have to deal consciously with "forbidden" feelings and impulses. Thus, if you asked my e-mail correspondent if he really wanted to murder his neighbors, he would vehemently deny it, and insist that other people want to kill him.

Projection is a particularly insidious defense mechanism, because it not only prevents a person from dealing with his own feelings, it also creates a world where he perceives everyone else as directing his own hostile feelings back at him.6

All people have violent, and even homicidal, impulses. For example, it's common to hear people say "I'd like to kill my boss", or "If you do that one more time I'm going to kill you." They don't actually mean that they're going to, or even would, kill anyone; they're simply acknowledging anger and frustration. All of us suffer from fear and feelings of helplessness and vulnerability. Most people can acknowledge feelings of rage, fear, frustration, jealousy, etc. without having to act on them in inappropriate and destructive ways.

Some people, however, are unable consciously to admit that they have such "unacceptable" emotions. They may have higher than average levels of rage, frustration, or fear. Perhaps they fear that if they acknowledge the hostile feelings, they will lose control and really will hurt someone. They may believe that "good people" never have such feelings, when in fact all people have them.

This is especially true now that education "experts" commonly prohibit children from expressing negative emotions or aggression. Instead of learning that such emotions are normal, but that destructive behavior needs to be controlled, children now learn that feelings of anger are evil, dangerous and subject to severe punishment.7To protect themselves from "being bad", they are forced to use defense mechanisms to avoid owning their own normal emotions. Unfortunately, using such defense mechanisms inappropriately can endanger their mental health; children need to learn how to deal appropriately with reality, not how to avoid it.8

(This discussion of psychological mechanisms applies to the average person who is uninformed, or misinformed, about firearms and self-defense. It does not apply to the anti- gun ideologue. Fanatics like Charles Schumer know the facts about firearms, and advocate victim disarmament consciously and willfully in order to gain political power. This psychological analysis does not apply to them.)


Another defense mechanism commonly utilized by supporters of gun control is denial. Denial is simply refusing to accept the reality of a given situation.9 For example, consider a woman whose husband starts coming home late, has strange perfume on his clothes, and starts charging flowers and jewelry on his credit card. She may get extremely angry at a well-meaning friend who suggests that her husband is having an affair. The reality is obvious, but the wronged wife is so threatened by her husband's infidelity that she is unable to accept it, and so denies its existence.

Anti-gun people do the same thing. It's obvious that we live in a dangerous society, where criminals attack innocent people. Just about everyone has been, or knows someone who has been, victimized. It's equally obvious that law enforcement can't protect everyone everywhere 24 hours a day. Extensive scholarly research demonstrates that the police have no legal duty to protect you10 and that firearm ownership is the most effective way to protect yourself and your family.11 There is irrefutable evidence that victim disarmament nearly always precedes genocide.12 Nonetheless, the anti-gun folks insist, despite all evidence to the contrary, that "the police will protect you", "this is a safe neighborhood" and "it can't happen here", where "it" is everything from mugging to mass murder.

Anti-gun people who refuse to accept the reality of the proven and very serious dangers of civilian disarmament are using denial to protect themselves from the anxiety of feeling helpless and vulnerable. Likewise, gun owners who insist that "the government will never confiscate my guns" are also using denial to protect themselves from the anxiety of contemplating being forcibly disarmed and rendered helpless and vulnerable.

Reaction Formation

Reaction formation is yet another defense mechanism common among the anti-gun folks. Reaction formation occurs when a person's mind turns an unacceptable feeling or desire into its complete opposite.13 For example, a child who is jealous of a sibling may exhibit excessive love and devotion for the hated brother or sister.

Likewise, a person who harbors murderous rage toward his fellow humans may claim to be a devoted pacifist and refuse to eat meat or even kill a cockroach.14 Often such people take refuge in various spiritual disciplines and believe that they are "superior" to "less civilized" folks who engage in "violent behavior" such as hunting, or even target shooting. They may devote themselves to "animal welfare" organizations that proclaim that the rights of animals take precedence over the rights of people.15 This not only allows the angry person to avoid dealing with his rage, it allows him actually to harm the people he hates without having to know he hates them.

This is not meant to disparage the many wonderful people who are pacifists, spiritually inclined, vegetarian, or who support animal welfare. The key issue is not the belief itself, but rather the way in which the person experiences and lives his beliefs. Sincere practitioners seek to improve themselves, or to be helpful in a gentle, respectful fashion. They work to persuade others peacefully by setting an example of what they believe to be correct behavior. Sincere pacifists generally exhibit good will towards others, even towards persons with whom they might disagree on various issues.

Contrast the sincere pacifist or animal lover with the strident, angry person who wants to ban meat and who believes murdering hunters is justified in order to "save the animals" ? or the person who wants to outlaw self- defense and believes innocent people have the obligation to be raped and murdered for the good of society. For example, noted feminist Betty Friedan said "that lethal violence even in self defense only engenders more violence."16 The truly spiritual, pacifist person refrains from forcing others to do what he believes, and is generally driven by positive emotions, while the angry person finds "socially acceptable" ways to harm, abuse, or even kill, his fellow man.

In the case of anti-gun people, reaction formation keeps any knowledge of their hatred for their fellow humans out of consciousness, while allowing them to feel superior to "violent gun owners". At the same time, it also allows them to cause serious harm, and even loss of life, to others by denying them the tools necessary to defend themselves. This makes reaction formation very attractive from a psychological point of view, and therefore very difficult to counteract.

Defense Mechanisms Are Not Mental Illnesses
Defense mechanisms are normal. All of us use them to some extent, and their use does not imply mental illness. Advocates of victim disarmament may be misguided or uninformed, they may be stupid, or they may be consciously intent on evil, but that doesn't necessarily mean they are "mentally ill".

Some defense mechanisms, however, are healthier than others. A safe general rule is that a defense is healthy if it helps you to function better in your personal and professional life, and unhealthy if it interferes with your life, your relationships, or the well-being of others. Young children utilize projection and denial much more commonly than do healthy adults. On the other hand, "if projection is used as a defense mechanism to a very great extent in adult life, the user's perception of external reality will be seriously distorted."17

Defense mechanisms are also frequently combined, so that an anti-gun person may use several defense mechanisms simultaneously. For example, my unfortunate correspondent uses projection to create a world in which all his neighbors want to murder him. As a result, he becomes more angry and fearful, and needs to employ even more defense mechanisms to cope. So he uses projection to attribute his own rage to others, he uses denial that there is any danger to protect himself from a world where he believes he is helpless and everyone wants to murder him, and he uses reaction formation to try to control everyone else's life because his own is so horribly out of control.

Also, it's important to remember that not all anti-gun beliefs are the result of defense mechanisms. Some people suffer from gun phobia18, an excessive and completely irrational fear of firearms, usually caused by the anti-gun conditioning they've been subjected to by the media, politicians, so-called "educators," and others. In some cases, gun phobia is caused by an authentic bad experience associated with a firearm. But with all due respect to Col. Jeff Cooper, who coined the term "hoplophobia" to describe anti-gun people, most anti-gun people do not have true phobias. Interestingly, a person with a true phobia of guns realizes his fear is excessive or unreasonable,19 something most anti-gun folks will never admit.

Defense mechanisms distort reality

Because defense mechanisms distort reality in order to avoid unpleasant emotions, the person who uses them has an impaired ability to recognize and accept reality. This explains why my e-mail correspondent and many other anti-gun people persist in believing that their neighbors and co- workers will become mass murderers if allowed to own firearms.

People who legally carry concealed firearms are actually less violent and less prone to criminal activity of all kinds than is the general population.20 A person who has a clean record, has passed an FBI background check, undergone firearms training, and spent several hundred dollars to get a permit and a firearm, is highly unlikely to choose to murder a neighbor. Doing so would result in his facing a police manhunt, a trial, prison, possibly capital punishment, and the destruction of his family, job, and reputation. Obviously it would make no sense for such a person to shoot a neighbor - except in self-defense. Equally obviously, the anti-gun person who believes that malicious shootings by ordinary gun owners are likely to occur is not in touch with reality.21

The Common Thread: Rage
In my experience, the common thread in anti-gun people is rage. Either anti-gun people harbor more rage than others, or they're less able to cope with it appropriately. Because they can't handle their own feelings of rage, they are forced to use defense mechanisms in an unhealthy manner. Because they wrongly perceive others as seeking to harm them, they advocate the disarmament of ordinary people who have no desire to harm anyone. So why do anti-gun people have so much rage and why are they unable to deal with it in appropriate ways? Consider for a moment that the largest and most hysterical anti-gun groups include disproportionately large numbers of women, African- Americans and Jews. And virtually all of the organizations that claim to speak for these "oppressed people" are stridently anti-gun. Not coincidentally, among Jews, Blacks and women there are many "professional victims" who have little sense of identity outside of their victimhood.

Identity as Victim

If I were to summarize this article in three sentences, they would be:

(1) People who identify themselves as "victims" harbor excessive amounts of rage at other people, whom they perceive as "not victims."
(2) In order psychologically to deal with this rage, these "victims" utilize defense mechanisms that enable them to harm others in socially acceptable ways, without accepting responsibility or suffering guilt, and without having to give up their status as "victims."

(3) Gun owners are frequently the targets of professional victims because gun owners are willing and able to prevent their own victimization.

Thus the concept of "identity as victim" is essential. How and why do members of some groups choose to identify themselves as victims and teach their children to do the same? While it's true that women, Jews, and African- Americans have historically been victimized, they now participate in American society on an equal basis. And other groups, most notably Asian-Americans, have been equally victimized, and yet have transcended the "eternal victim" mentality.

Why, for example, would a 6'10" NBA player who makes $10 million a year see himself as a "victim"? Why would a successful, respected, wealthy, Jewish physician regard himself as a "victim"? Conversely, why might a wheelchair bound woman who lives on government disability NOT regard herself as a victim?

I would argue it's because the basketball player and the physician believe that their identities are dependent on being victims ? not because they have actually been victimized, but because they're members of groups that claim victim status. Conversely, the disabled woman was probably raised to believe that she is responsible for her own success or failure.

In fact, many people who have been victims of actual violent crime, or who have survived war or civil strife, support the right of self-defense. The old saying is often correct: "a conservative is a liberal who has been mugged."

Special Treatment and Misleading Leaders

Two reasons for these groups to insist on "victim" status seem likely. First, by claiming victim status, members of these groups can demand (and get) special treatment through quotas, affirmative action, reparations, and other preferential treatment programs.

Second, these people have been indoctrinated to believe that there is no alternative to remaining a victim forever. Their leaders remind them constantly that they are mistreated in every imaginable way (most of them imaginary!), attribute every one of life's misfortunes to "racism" or "sexism" or "hate crimes", and dream up ever more complex schemes for special treatment and favors.22 These leaders are the ones who preach that the entire Black experience is slavery and racism, or that Jewish history before and after the Holocaust is irrelevant,23 or that happily married women are really victims of sexual slavery.24

Likewise, the NAACP is suing firearms manufacturers to put them out of business,25 and is especially opposed to the inexpensive pistols that enable the poor to defend themselves in gang-ridden inner cities. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) proposed evicting anyone who dares to keep a tool of self-defense in any of its crime-infested housing projects. Jewish leaders, especially those in the politically correct "Reform" branch, preach that gun control is "a solemn religious obligation",26 contrary to the teachings of their sacred scriptures and their own history.27 Law enforcement agencies falsely teach women that they are safest if they don't resist rapists and robbers,28 while women's organizations advocate gun control, thus rendering women and their children defenseless.

Victimhood is good business for organizations that foster victim status. As victims, the members depend upon the organization to protect them, and the organization in turn relies on members for funding and political power. In the interest of self-preservation, these organizations work hard at preserving hatred and bigotry and at keeping their members defenseless ? and therefore dependent.

Anti-gun groups love victims!

From my observations, pro-victimhood is a feature of all of the anti-gun special interest groups, not just the ones mentioned here. Every organization that supports gun control apparently wants its members to be helpless, terrified and totally dependent on someone else to control every aspect of their lives. It doesn't matter whether it's a religious, racial, ethnic, political, social, or charitable group. From Handgun Control, Inc. to the Anti- Defamation League to the Million Mom March, they all want you to live in fear. In this scheme, soccer moms are "victims" just as much as are inner-city minorities.

If these organizations truly cared about the people for whom they claim to speak, they would encourage safe and responsible firearms ownership. They would help people to learn how to defend themselves and their families so that they wouldn't have to live in fear. They would tell everyone that one of the wonderful things about being an American is that you have the right to keep and bear arms, the right to defend yourself, and how these rights preserve the right to be free.

The psychological price of being a victim

In our current society, victimhood has many perceived benefits, but there are some serious drawbacks. Victims tend to see the world as a scary and threatening place. They believe that others treat them differently, unfairly, and even maliciously ? and that they are helpless to do anything about it. This belief, that they are being mistreated and are helpless to resist, generates tremendous rage, and often, serious depression.

But for victims to show rage openly can be dangerous, if not outright suicidal. For example, a battered woman who screams at or hits her attacker may provoke worse beatings or even her own murder. And a person who successfully defends himself loses his status as "victim." For someone whose entire identity is dependent on being a victim, the loss of victim status is just as threatening as loss of life.

So, unable psychologically to cope with such rage, people who view themselves as victims: (1) use defense mechanisms to displace it into irrational beliefs about neighbors killing each other, and the infallibility of police protection, and (2) attempt to regain control by controlling gun owners, whom they wrongly perceive as "the enemy".

Say NO to being a victim!

But no one needs to be a victim! Quite simply, it's not very easy to victimize a person who owns and knows how to use a firearm. If most women owned and carried firearms, rapes and beating would decrease.29 Thugs who target the elderly and disabled would find honest work once they realized they were likely to be looking down the barrel of a pistol or shotgun. It's nearly impossible to enslave, or herd into concentration camps, large numbers of armed people.

Communicating with anti-gun people
How can you communicate more effectively with an anti-gun person who is using unhealthy defense mechanisms? There are no quick and easy answers. But there are a few things you should keep in mind.

Anger and attacks do not work

Most gun owners, when confronted by an anti-gun person, become angry and hostile. This is understandable, because gun owners increasingly face ridicule, persecution and discrimination. (If you don't believe this, ask yourself if anyone would seriously introduce legislation to ban African- Americans, women, or Jews from post offices, schools, and churches. Even convicted felons aren't banned from such places ? but peaceful armed citizens are!) But an angry response is counterproductive.

It's not helpful to attack the person you're trying to persuade. Anything that makes him feel more fearful or angry will only intensify his defenses. Your goal is to help the person feel safe, and then to provide experiences and information that will help him to make informed decisions.

Be Gentle

You should never try to break down a defense mechanism by force. Remember that defense mechanisms protect people from feelings they cannot handle, and if you take that protection away, you can cause serious psychological harm. And because defense mechanisms operate unconsciously, it won't do any good to show an anti-gun person this article or to point out that he's using defense mechanisms. Your goal is gently and gradually to help the person to have a more realistic and rational view of the world. This cannot be done in one hour or one day.

As you reach out to people in this way, you need to deal with both the illogical thought processes involved and the emotional reactions that anti-gun people have to firearms. When dealing with illogical thought processes, you are attempting to use reason and logic to convince the anti-gun person that his perception of other people and his perception of firearms are seriously inaccurate. The goal is to help him to understand that armed citizens and firearms are not threats, and may even save his life.

Reversing Irrational thoughts
The Mirror Technique

One approach that can be helpful is simply to feed back what the anti-gun person is telling you, in a neutral, inquisitive way. So, when replying to my anonymous e-mail correspondent (above), I might respond, "So you fear if your neighbors had guns, they would use them to murder you. What makes you think that?" When you simply repeat what the person has said, and ask questions, you are not directly challenging his defenses. You are holding up a mirror to let him see his own views. If he has very strong defenses, he can continue to insist that his neighbors want to murder him. However, if his defenses are less rigid, he may start to question his position.

Another example might be, "Why do you think that your children's schoolteachers would shoot them?" You might follow this up with something like, "Why do you entrust your precious children to someone you believe would murder them?" Again, you are merely asking questions, and not directly attacking the person or his defenses.

Of course the anti-gun person might continue to insist that the teachers really would harm children, but prohibiting them from owning guns would prevent it. So you might ask how using a gun to murder innocent children is different from stabbing children with scissors, assaulting them with baseball bats, or poisoning the milk and cookies.

It's important to ask "open-ended" questions that require a response other than "yes" or "no". Such questions require the anti-gun person actually to think about what he is saying. This will help him to re-examine his beliefs. It may also encourage him to ask you questions about firearms use and ownership.

The "What Would You Do?" Technique

Once you have a dialogue going with an anti-gun person, you might want to insert him into a hypothetical scenario, although doing so is a greater threat to his defenses, and is therefore more risky. You might ask how he would deal with a difficult or annoying co-worker. He will likely respond that he would never resort to violence, but "other people" would, especially if they had guns. (Projection again.) You can then ask him who these "other people" are, why they would shoot a co-worker, and what the shooter would gain by doing so.

Don't try to "win" the argument. Don't try to embarrass the person you're trying to educate. Remember that no one likes to admit that his deeply held beliefs are wrong. No one likes to hear "I told you so!" Be patient and gentle. If you are arrogant, condescending, hurtful or rude to the anti-gun person, you will only convince him that gun owners are arrogant, hurtful people ? who should not be trusted with guns!

Defusing Emotional reactions
The "You Are There" Technique

Rational arguments alone are not likely to be successful, especially since many people "feel" rather than "think". You also need to deal with the emotional responses of the anti-gun person. Remember that most people have been conditioned to associate firearms with dead toddlers. So you need to change the person's emotional responses along with his thoughts.

One way to do this is to put the anti-gun person (or his family) at a hypothetical crime scene and ask what he would like to have happen. For example, "Imagine your wife is in the parking lot at the supermarket and two men grab her. One holds a knife to her throat while the other tears her clothes off. If I see this happening and have a gun, what should I do? What would happen next? What if after five minutes, the police still haven't arrived?"

Just let him answer the questions and mentally walk through the scenario. Don't argue with his answers. You are planting seeds in his mind than can help change his emotional responses.

The Power of Empathy

Another emotion-based approach that is often more successful is to respond sympathetically to the plight of the anti-gun person.

Imagine for a moment how you would feel if you believed your neighbors and co-workers wanted to kill you and your family, and you could do nothing at all about it except to wait for the inevitable to occur.

Not very pleasant, is it?

This is the world in which opponents of armed self-defense live. All of us have had times in our lives when we felt "different" and had to contend with hostile schoolmates, co- workers, etc. So we need to invoke our own compassion for these terrified people. Say something like, "It must be awful to live in fear of being assaulted by your own neighbors. I remember what it was like when I was the only (Jew, Mormon, African-American, Republican) in my (class, football team, workplace) ? and even then I didn't think anyone was going to kill me." It's essential that you sincerely feel some compassion and empathy; if you're glib or sarcastic, this won't work.

Using empathy works in several ways. First, it defuses a potentially hostile interaction. Anti-gun people are used to being attacked, not understood, by advocates of gun rights. Instead of an "evil, gun-toting, extremist", you are now a sympathetic, fellow human being. This may also open the door for a friendly conversation, in which you can each discover that your "opponent" is a person with whom you have some things in common. You may even create an opportunity to dispel some of the misinformation about firearms and self-defense that is so prevalent.

This empathy technique is also useful for redirecting, or ending, a heated argument that has become hostile and unproductive. It allows you to escape from the dead end of "guns save lives" vs. "the only reason to have a gun is to murder children." With empathy you can reframe the argument entirely. Instead of arguing about whether more lives are saved or lost as a result of gun ownership, you can comment on how terrifying it must be to live in a country where 80 million people own guns "solely for the purpose of murdering children".

You should not expect any of these approaches to work immediately; they won't. With rare exceptions, the anti-gun person is simply not going to "see the light," thank you profusely, and beg you to take him shooting. What you are doing is putting tiny chinks into the armor of the person's defenses, or planting seeds that may someday develop into a more open mind or a more rational analysis. This process can take months or years. But it does work!

Corrective Experiences
Perhaps the most effective way to dissolve defense mechanisms, however, is by providing corrective experiences30. Corrective experiences are experiences that allow a person to learn that his ideas about gun owners and guns are incorrect in a safe and non-threatening way. To provide a corrective experience, you first allow the person to attempt to project his incorrect ideas onto you. Then, you demonstrate that he is wrong by your behavior, not by arguing.

For example, the anti-gun person will unconsciously attempt to provoke you by claiming that gun owners are uneducated "rednecks," or by treating you as if you are an uneducated "redneck." If you get angry and respond by calling him a "stupid, liberal, socialist", you will prove his point. However, if you casually talk about your M.B.A., your trip to the Shakespeare festival, your vegetable garden, or your daughter's ballet recital, you will provide him with the opportunity to correct his misconceptions.

If you have used the above techniques, then you have already provided one corrective experience. You have demonstrated to the frightened, anti-gun person that gun owners are not abusive, scary, dangerous and sub-human monsters, but normal, everyday people who care about their families, friends and even strangers.

As many gun owners have already discovered, the most important corrective experiences involve actually exposing the fearful person to a firearm. It is almost never advisable to tell someone that you carry a concealed firearm, but there are ways to use your own experience favorably.

For example, if you're dealing with an anti-gun person with whom you interact regularly and have a generally good relationship ? a coworker, neighbor, church member, etc. ? you might indirectly refer to concealed carry. You should never say anything like "I'm carrying a gun right now and you can't even tell," especially because in some states that would be considered illegal, "threatening" behavior. But you might consider saying something like, "I sometimes carry a firearm, and you've never seemed to be uncomfortable around me." Whether to disclose this information is an individual decision, and you should consider carefully other consequences before using this approach.

First-hand experience

Ultimately, your goal is to take the anti-gun person shooting. Some people will accept an invitation to accompany you to the range, but others are too frightened to do so, and will need some preliminary experience.

First, you want to encourage the anti-gun person to have some contact with a firearm in whatever way feels most comfortable to him. Many people seem to believe that firearms have minds of their own and shoot people of their own volition. So you might want to start by inviting him simply to look at and then handle an unloaded firearm. This also provides you the opportunity to show the inexperienced person how to tell whether a firearm is loaded and to teach him the basic rules of firearms safety.

Encourage the newcomer to ask questions and remember that your role is to present accurate information in a friendly, responsible and non-threatening way. This is a good time to offer some reading material on the benefits of firearms ownership. But be careful not to provide so much information that it's overwhelming. And remember this is not the time to launch into anti-government rants, the New World Order, conspiracy theories, or any kind of political talk!

Next, you can invite your friend to accompany you to the shooting range. (And if you're going to trust each other with loaded guns, you should consider yourselves friends!) Assure him that no one will force him to shoot a gun and he's free just to watch. Let him know in advance what he will experience and what will be expected of him. This includes such things as the need for eye and ear protection, a cap, appropriate clothing, etc. Make sure you have a firearm appropriate for your guest should s/he decide to try shooting. This means a lower caliber firearm that doesn't have too much recoil. If your guest is a woman, make sure the firearm will fit her appropriately. Many rifles have stocks that are too long for small women, and double-stack semi-autos are usually too large for a woman's hand.

Remember that just visiting the range can be a corrective experience. Your guest will learn that gun owners are disciplined, responsible, safety-conscious, courteous, considerate, and follow the rules. He will see people of all ages, from children to the elderly, male and female, enjoying an activity together. He will not see a single "beer-swilling redneck" waving a firearm in people's faces.

In my experience, most people who visit a range will decide they do want to try shooting. Remember to make sure your guest understands all the safety rules and range rules before allowing him to handle a firearm. If you don't feel competent to teach a newcomer to shoot, ask an instructor or range master to assist. Remember to provide lots of positive feedback and encouragement. If you're lucky, you'll recruit a new firearms enthusiast.

But even if your guest decides that shooting is "not for him", he will have learned many valuable lessons. He will know basic rules of firearms safety, and how to clear a firearm should he need to do so. This may well save his life someday. He will know that guns do not fire unless a person pulls the trigger. He will know that gun owners are friendly, responsible people, not very different from him. Even if he chooses not to fire a gun ever again, he will be less likely to fear and persecute gun owners. And who knows ? a few months or years later he may decide to become a gun owner.

Why these techniques do not always work

You should remember that you will not be successful with all anti-gun people. Some people are so terrified and have such strong defenses, that it's not possible for someone without professional training to get through. Some people have their minds made up and refuse to consider opening them. Others may concede that what you say "makes sense," but are unwilling to challenge the forces of political correctness. A few may have had traumatic experiences with firearms from which they have not recovered.

You will also not be successful with the anti-gun ideologues, people like Charles Schumer and Dianne Feinstein. These people have made a conscious choice to oppose firearms ownership and self-defense. They almost always gain power, prestige, and money from their anti-gun politics. They are not interested in the facts or in saving lives. They know the facts and understand the consequences of their actions, and will happily sacrifice innocent people if it furthers their selfish agenda. Do not use these techniques on such people. They only respond to fears of losing the power, prestige and money that they covet.31


By better understanding advocates of civilian disarmament, and by learning and practicing some simple techniques to deal with their psychological defenses, you will be much more effective in your efforts to communicate with anti-gun people. This will enable you to be more successful at educating them about the realities of firearms and self- defense, and their importance to our liberty and safety.

Educating others about firearms is hard work. It's not glamorous, and it generally needs to be done one person at a time. But it's a very necessary and important task. The average American supports freedom of speech and freedom of religion, whether or not he chooses to exercise them. He supports fair trials, whether or not he's ever been in a courtroom. He likewise needs to understand that self- defense is an essential right, whether or not he chooses to own or carry a gun.

? 2000, Sarah Thompson.

Dr. Thompson is Executive Director of Utah Gun Owners Alliance, and also writes The Righter,, a monthly column on individual rights.


1 Lott, John R., Jr. 1998. More Guns, Less Crime. University of Chicago Press. Pp. 11-12; Proposition B: More Security Or Greater Danger?, St. Louis Post-Dispatch. March 21, 1999.

2 Lott 1998, Pp. 1-2.

3 Kaplan, Harold M. and Sadock, Benjamin J. 1990. Pocket Handbook of Clinical Psychiatry. Williams & Wilkins. P. 20.

4Brenner, Charles. 1973. An Elementary Textbook of Psychoanalysis (rev. ed.). Anchor Books. Pp. 91-93; Lefton, Lester A. 1994. Psychology (5th edition). Allyn & Bacon. Pp. 432-433.

5 Brenner 1973. P. 91.

6 Kaplan and Sadock 1990, p. 20; Lefton 1994, p. 432.

7 Talbott, John A., Robert E. Hales and Stuart C. Yudofsky, eds. 1988. Textbook of Psychiatry. American Psychiatric Press. P.137.

8 "Kids Suspended for Playground Game." Associated Press. April 6, 2000.

9 Lightfoot, Liz. "Gun Return to the Nursery School Toy Chest." The London Telegraph. May 22, 2000. Kaplan and Sadock 1990, p. 20; Lefton 1994, p. 433.

10 Stevens, Richard W. 1999. Dial 911 and Die. Mazel Freedom Press. [Analyzes the law in 54 U.S. jurisdictions]; see, e.g., Bowers v. DeVito, 686 F.2d 616, 618 (7th Cir. 1982) [no federal constitutional right to police protection.]

11 Kleck, Gary and Gertz, Marc. 1995. Armed Resistance to Crime: The Prevalence and Nature of Self- Defense with a Gun. Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology. Vol. 86 (Fall), pp. 150-187.

12 Simkin, Jay, Zelman, Aaron, and Rice, Alan M. 1994. Lethal Laws. Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership.

13 Kaplan and Sadock 1990, p. 20; Lefton 1994, p. 433.

14 Brenner 1973, p. 85.

15 Veith, Gene Edward, Jr. 1993. Modern Fascism: Liquidating the Judeo-Christian Worldview. Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing. Pp. 39-40 [fascism exalts nature, animals and environment].

16 Japenga, A. 1994. Would I Be Safer with a Gun? Health. March/April, p. 54.

17 Brenner 1973, p. 92.

18 Kaplan and Sadock 1990, p. 219.

19 American Psychiatric Association. 1994. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition. P. 410.

20 Lott 1998, pp. 11-12.

21 Most American gun owners are not violent criminals and will not be potential killers. "The vast majority of persons involved in life-threatening violence have a long criminal record and many prior contacts with the justice system." Elliott, Delbert S. 1998. Life Threatening Violence is Primarily a Crime Problem: A Focus on Prevention. University of Colorado Law Review. Vol. 69 (Fall), pp. 1081-1098, at 1093.

22 Sowell, Thomas. 2000. Blacks and bootstraps. Jewish World Review (Aug.14).

23x Wein, Rabbi Berel. 2000. The return of a Torah scroll and confronting painful memories. Jewish World Review (July 12).

24 Dworkin, Andrea. "Terror, Torture and Resistance".

25 Mfume, Kweisi, speech at the 90th annual NAACP meeting, July 12, 1999.

26 Yoffie, Rabbi Eric H. Speech supporting the Million Mom March, May 14, 2000.

27 "If someone comes to kill you, arise quickly and kill him." The Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin. 1994. The Schottenstein Edition. New York: Mesorah Publications. Vol. 2, 72a.

28 Rape and Sexual Assault, Dean of Students Office for Women's Resources and Services McKinley Health Education Dept., University Police, University of Illinois; Hazelwood, R. R. & Harpold, J. 1986. Rape: The Dangers of Providing Confrontational Advice, FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin. Vol. 55, pp. 1-5.

29 Lott 1998, pp. 78, 134-37.

30 Frank, Jerome D. 1961. Persuasion and Healing. The Johns Hopkins Press. Pp. 216-217.

31 Richardson, H. L. 1998. Confrontational Politics. Gun Owners Foundation. 1
« Last Edit: March 28, 2024, 06:33:31 AM by Crafty_Dog »


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« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2003, 06:37:43 PM »
we all are victims! and hate guns and self defense.  

no we all are cowboys! who had the right
too protect ourselves and our families -and love guns.

i dont know, i cant write good english and are not american.....
maybe to far away too have a picture from the hole situation......
but: i think the article is pretty black and white (and pretty long .-))
i`m sure its easy possible too write a similar psychological
article about "gun-mans"......

much anti-gun people had simple fear from they irresponsible
neighbours ?and thats right and normal !!!!!    o.k. .... i`m on the victim-side.     :?

greetings logan
you tink i aint worth a dollar -
but i feel like a millionaire.

(queens of the stone age)


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« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2003, 09:09:53 PM »
Woof Logan:

  I think I understand your meaning.  

  What can you tell us about the Swiss approach to all of this?

Crafty Dog


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« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2003, 10:38:09 AM »
Walking a Thin Blue Line
*The 11-member Oregon Rangers say they help keep order in the forests. Officials don't want the armed group's assist but can't stop it.
*By Tomas Alex Tizon, Times Staff Writer

JUNCTION CITY, Ore. ? He looks just like a cop, standing there in his blue uniform, the silver badge on his chest glinting in the sunlight. There's the gun too, a .45-caliber semiautomatic pistol that he keeps holstered on a thick black belt.

Paul Ehrhardt, pausing in his driveway, identifies all the doodads on his belt: the extra bullet magazines, the pepper spray, the handcuffs ? almost everything a cop needs in the field. Only Ehrhardt isn't a cop. And neither are the 10 other members of his group, which organized a year ago and has since roused alarm among the locals.

The group ? a motley collection of gun hobbyists, volunteer firefighters, outdoorsmen and ex-military men and their wives ? calls itself the Oregon Rangers Assn. Their self-appointed mission is to help keep law and order in the forests.

Eventually they plan to recruit more members and to encourage other citizen groups around the state to start patrolling their own regions.

Never mind that no government agency officially recognizes them, that neighbors call them vigilantes. Twice a week, the rangers conduct armed patrols, usually in pairs, driving and hiking on back-country roads in the lush mountains on either side of town.

"You're either part of the solution," Ehrhardt says, as he loads his truck in preparation for a patrol, "or part of the problem."

The problem, in the words of fellow ranger Bryon Barnes, is there's "a whole lot of woods and not a whole lot of people patrolling them." The rangers say Oregon's forests are being desecrated by vandals and garbage dumpers, pot growers and poachers, and there aren't enough police to stop them.

The rangers' goal is to deter the bad guys by simply being present in the forests and, when appropriate, to report crimes and criminals to authorities. Nothing remarkable has happened in this first year, but if things should get ugly, they're prepared. The group's arsenal includes two AR-15 rifles (the civilian version of the military M-16), six pump-action shotguns and numerous hunting rifles and handguns.

"They have no authorization to be doing what they're doing," says Doug Huntington, a spokesman for the federal Bureau of Land Management, which manages most of the public land patrolled by Ehrhardt's group. "They give the impression they're law enforcement and they're not. When people arm themselves and go into the woods to enforce the law without any real authority, we can't condone it. We don't condone it."

But they can't stop it, either.

This Side of the Law

Oregon law allows people to carry firearms on public lands, and every member of the group has a concealed weapons permit and is certified to be an armed security officer. Oregon State Police investigated the rangers on suspicion of impersonating police officers but found their uniforms and badges just different enough to escape prosecution. The state police badge, for example, is a five-point star; the rangers' star has seven points.

Some wonder whether the group represents a new kind of post-9/11 militia. Unlike the militias of the late 1980s and 1990s, which were anti-government and often white-separatist in ideology, the rangers and a number of other isolated groups seem intent on making up for what they perceive as government's failure to enforce the law. These groups see themselves as aiding government.

"We have a rather comprehensive invitation to be preoccupied with patriotism and domestic security right now," says Richard Mitchell, a sociologist at Oregon State University who published a book last year on militia and survivalist groups. "It shouldn't surprise us if some people take matters into their own hands. They'll see it as a form of community service."

Typically, these groups figure out what skills and tools they have to offer and then come up with a "trouble scenario" in which they would be useful, Mitchell says.

There's also the element of trying to transcend everyday life, says James William Gibson, a militia expert at Cal State Long Beach. Being part of such a group "helps some people get out of the routines of their ordinary lives and have a modest adventure," Gibson says.

In New York last summer, a rabbi called for citizen patrols to protect Jewish neighborhoods in Brooklyn from terrorists. A group of 50, armed with handguns, shotguns and baseball bats, conducted a few patrols before protests forced its disbandment.

In Baytown, Texas, armed citizen volunteers last year took part in twice-a-week police ride-alongs to help local law enforcement. The volunteers had concealed weapons permits and took part in arrests. City officials recently banned volunteers from carrying weapons in the police cars, but the ride-alongs continue.

In Arizona, a number of citizen militias have formed near the Mexican border to help stop the flow of illegal immigrants from Latin America. The groups, under the wary eye of the U.S. Border Patrol, claim to have hundreds of members.

As with the Oregon Rangers, the stated goal for each group is not to oppose or replace law enforcement, but to be an unofficial adjunct; to be, in a phrase that Paul Ehrhardt repeats like a mantra, "part of the solution."

"They're walking a thin line," says Lane County Sheriff Jan Clements, who along with the Oregon State Police has kept a close watch on the rangers. Clements says the group so far has not crossed the line.

The Volunteers

Ehrhardt is 55, compact and raven-haired, amiable with a deferential way of talking, as if every sentence comes with an implied "sir" or "ma'am." He exudes earnestness.

"I'd rather be doing this than win the lottery!" he says.

The formal leader of the rangers, Ehrhardt twice tried to become a police officer, once with the Lane County Sheriff's Office and again with the Junction City Police Department. He changed his mind on the first and failed the agility test on the second. Now he says he's glad about not making it, because he can do his own kind of civic service "without all the paperwork."

Ehrhardt says he doesn't mind the grousing from local police. Having been a volunteer firefighter for the last 10 years, he says he's seen a lot of it. Police and fire agencies tend to be very territorial and complain about each other all the time, he says. The scrutiny on his group, he believes, is just part of that.

On this day, he's patrolling with his wife, Robin, 44, a nurse and co-founder of the group. The other members ? six men and three women ? are busy with other things. All have day jobs: There is a rancher, a hairdresser, a freelance photographer and a truck driver. Two work at a local tire shop. One works for a cellphone company. Another is in the Navy in Guam, and her husband, also a ranger, works at a scuba-diving shop. The couple in Guam manage the group's Web site and help with patrols when they're home.

The Ehrhardts make their living by running two adult foster-care homes on their seven-acre property, which is also headquarters for the Oregon Rangers Assn.

In the back of what appears to be a quaint country homestead is a gun range, which up until April was used by the rangers to hone their shooting skills. Neighbors complained to police about bullets flying through their property, and officials shut down the range as a training ground, citing zoning laws. The law, however, allows the Ehrhardts to shoot on their property, so bullets have kept flying and the neighbors have kept complaining.

"We're under siege here," says Michelle Palodichuk, who has lived on the adjacent lot for 26 years. Palodichuk calls the Ehrhardts vigilantes. Other neighbors call them worse names, and one is talking of having a neighborhood meeting to figure out what to do.

Wallace Keeler, 92, born and raised in the area, echoes the concern felt by many locals: "They're out there patrolling without any authority but acting like they have authority. Most of us here like the outdoors. What's going to happen when we run into them out there?"

The Ehrhardts, though annoyed by the complaints, say that as long as they're not breaking the law, they don't have to change.

The whole idea of the rangers started quietly enough, with just Paul and Robin Ehrhardt taking treks into the woods. Paul, an army veteran, had a zeal for guns and weaponry; Robin, with nursing and helping the sick. The couple's first date 10 years ago was at an emergency medical technician class at a local fire department.

They both caught the volunteer bug in a big way. They signed up at local fire departments. They married and became regular volunteers for the BLM and the U.S. Forest Service, clearing trails, cleaning dumps, repairing signs and equipment. In some ways, Robin Ehrhardt says, they've been patrolling the woods for the last decade.

It was during these stints that the couple saw the extent of lawlessness and lack of law enforcement in the woods. The BLM, for example, employs only two law-enforcement officers in the Lane County region.

For years, the couple talked about creating a citizens group to fill the void, and they finally did it after recruiting some like-minded friends. Like the Ehrhardts, most of the other rangers are ruralites native to the region.

Barnes, one of the original members, says he's a ranger purely "for the personal satisfaction thing." It has nothing to do with money or "getting my name in the paper," but with "making an iota of difference" in keeping the woods and mountains safe and pristine. "That's all that really matters to us," Barnes says.

'We Don't Go to Movies'

Lane County is mostly farmland and forest. It stretches from Oregon's central coast to the Cascade mountains, a space twice the size of Delaware, and 90% of it forestland. The rangers generally limit their patrols to places they can drive to in a couple of hours.

Within 15 minutes of leaving their home outside Junction City, the couple, in their silver Jeep Cherokee with its own dashboard-attached shotgun at the ready, are already deep in the woods, on an old logging road that winds like a gray ribbon between the lush, green foothills of the Coast Range.

"Paul and I, we don't go to movies," says Robin Ehrhardt. "We do this."

Along the way, Paul Ehrhardt, with a slight movement of his arm, gestures toward every passing road sign. Nearly every one has been shot up. Most mangled are the signs that read "No Discharging of Firearms."

At one point, he stops the truck and the couple listen.

"There's someone up there shooting," he says. The sound of gunfire cracks in the distant air, and for a moment, Ehrhardt considers his options, then drives away. The gunfire was coming from land owned by a timber company. He points to a small sign that says so. "If it was on public land, we would have gone up that road."

And who knows what they would have encountered. The couple brim with stories of close calls and tense encounters. There was one time, on a volunteer stint, when Robin Ehrhardt and a Forest Service worker drove into a grove where a drunken party was taking place. Most of the revelers appeared to be underage, and a large man approached their vehicle wielding a baseball bat.

"That bat was intended to hurt," Robin Ehrhardt says. She and her companion sped off before trouble started. It all happened very quickly, but she clearly remembers her fear. She says such parties, often involving teenagers, take place in the woods every weekend, and often result in some misbehavior, from littering to shooting up signs, trees and even animals.

Every few miles, the Ehrhardts point to garbage dumps, spots where somebody unloaded a truckload of refuse, everything from discarded pictures and books to refrigerators and car parts. Sometimes entire cars. The Ehrhardts groan at each sighting.

"What I'd like to do is reunite that garbage with its rightful owner," Paul Ehrhardt says while surveying one site.

Instead, the couple use their global positioning system to determine the coordinates of every new dumpsite, and then turn the information in to the BLM. This kind of pedestrian work makes up a large part of what the rangers do, they say, along with locating marijuana patches. Sometimes the patches are small plantations, with dozens of plants 10 feet high.

Looking for Trouble

At three different spots, Paul Ehrhardt climbs out of the truck and tromps deep into the forest, a forager seeking treasure, to look into several marijuana patches he found last year. As far as he knows, the growers harvested the marijuana, and he wants to see whether they have replanted. None has, but he says he'll keep checking.

The Ehrhardts say they have found eight plots of marijuana in the region, but police so far credit them with not a single case-solving lead. What worries law-enforcement officials the most is what might happen if the rangers ever run into the growers.

"Anytime you go into an area where there's drug-growing or drug labs, there's the potential for violent confrontations," says Sheriff Clements. "Those people will go to great lengths to protect their enterprise. The rangers might find themselves over their heads."

The Ehrhardts and the other rangers say they would much rather report criminals than confront them. Firearms, they say, would be used only as a last resort. But if things get ugly, they say they are capable of taking charge.

"If I'm going through a park and a guy is just beating his wife, I mean really beating her, I can't just leave," Paul Ehrhardt says. "I'm going to have to do something. I'm going to have to protect the public We don't want to use them, but if we need to, if we get into something spooky, we have the weapons at our disposal."


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« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2003, 10:05:32 PM »
Concealed guns now legal in Missouri
Lawmakers override governor who sought to 'protect children'

Posted: September 12, 2003
3:20 p.m. Eastern

By Jon Dougherty
? 2003

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. ? Missouri became the 45th state in the nation to allow most of its citizens the right to carry a concealed handgun after state lawmakers overrode Gov. Bob Holden's veto of an earlier bill.

The House voted Wednesday 115-45 to override, with the Senate narrowly following suit Thursday. The upper chamber's 23-10 vote barely cleared the two-thirds majority necessary to override gubernatorial vetoes.

The deciding Senate vote was cast by Sen. John Dolan, an Army public affairs officer, after he received special leave from his post at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He was granted the last-minute request so he could attend the veto session here.

Holden, a Democrat, voiced disappointment in the vote, calling it an "unfortunate day" for Missourians who had worked hard to protect their children from gun violence.

"I stood for the things I believe in, and I'll stand for them every day," he said.

Republicans countered that the vetoes show Holden is out of touch with ordinary Missourians.

"It's been a historic day. It's a reassertion of the vast middle mainstream of Missouri against this governor who has adopted a series of extremist positions," said Senate President Pro Tem Peter Kinder, R-Cape Girardeau.

Under the new law, persons 23 years of age and older can apply to their local sheriff's department for a concealed carry permit. Before being licensed, applicants must complete firearms marksmanship and safety training, among other requirements. Holders will not be permitted to carry guns into churches, schools, day care centers or police stations.

In 1999 voters narrowly rejected a ballot initiative to allow concealed carry of handguns. Most of those voting against the measure lived in urban centers, but the overwhelming majority of the state's rural enclaves voted for the measure.

In another gun-related issue, the Senate voted 23-10 Thursday to override Holden's veto of a bill that forbids Missouri governments from suing gun manufacturers. That bill went yesterday to the House, which is also expected to vote to override.

Alex (UK)

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« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2003, 11:44:46 AM »
I can't tell Americans how to live, but speaking in reference to my other thread about the guy who menaced me with a hammer (sorry I don't know how to link it), there's no way I would have intervened in that situation if I had had the slightest suspicion that the guy might have a gun.

There seems to be a lot of internet discussion about rising crime in the UK being due to tighter gun controls, but I for one feel a lot safer knowing that firearms are not generally available here, and in any kind of encounter, you're very unlikely to ever see one.

I don't personally know of anyone who's been in any kind of gun related incident, not any of my friends, nor friends of friends, and if anything that kind of thing would definately get talked about.

There was recently (about a year ago) a shooting in Nando's Chicken, Sheperd's Bush W/London, (some kind of gang thing), and a shooting in Chiswick, where a wife killed her husbands lover with a shotgun. The press for those 2 events was massive because in general its pretty unheard of.


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« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2003, 05:58:36 AM »
Quote from: Crafty_Dog
 What can you tell us about the Swiss approach to all of this?


it's a older thread but you did'nt get an answer.

what i know about the us-american and the swiss law is that it is possible to possess a firearm as a "normal" citizen.

i'm sad i only know exactly about the swiss laws, afaik all states in the usa have their own gun-laws. (like in switzerland before 1999)

it is allowed for swiss citzens to sell non-automatic firearms (handweapons, rifles) of any caliber to every swiss citizen if you set up a contract (with data like buyer, date of birth, serial number of the weapons etc.) without any registration. though both parties have to keep the contract for at lest 10 years and the seller is authorized to demand a up-to-date summary of the buyers police record and to cancel the deal if he can not agree with the buyers r?sum?.

for buying a firearm at a professional dealer you need a "weapon buying licence" that you will only get if you have no bad reputation and not certain police records.
you do not have to prove any reason to buy a weapon as in most (possibly all) countries of the european union. (this is a very important point for me because it shows a citizen is not precondemned as criminal but is intelligent and able to understand that he's personally responsible for everything that happens in relation to that gun.)

important: the swiss have the right to own a gun but not everyone get's the licence to carry a gun. you need very good reasons to get a weapon carry licence.
got raped or got robbed is none because of the factor of random.

additionally i'd like to mention that the swiss have a very long tradition of, in earlier times, engaging in foreign armies as mercenary soldiers (in a nowadays more cultural but also serious way at the vatikan as the popes personal bodyguards and guards of the vatican, the so called "schweizer garde") as well as a defensive force to protect the swiss democracy and the federation of the (now) 26 cantons (states).
it is possible for the swiss youngsters to join the "jungsch?tzen" at the age of 14. it's an association that is originated to provide the traditional precision shooting, to prepare the young men for the common military service and to teach them how to handle their personal firearm (that is their future personal, military firearm, the SIG 550, cal 5.6mm, full-auto)

the swiss have a militia army with a total sum of about 450'000 soldiers (reserve incl., soon the amount will be reduced to about 250'000)
most of them are equipped with the SIG550 and they keep it at home all the time with ammo included. they (we ;)) have to do a mandatory shooting exercise every year as long as we are part of the army. (it's done in a half  hour and nothing really difficult)

sadly i cannot present a national statistic about the accidents and or criminal acts done with the legally owned private/military firearms but i can assure you  that there are very few news in the media about any incidents of this kind. otherwise, i'm sure you all know, the newspapers/newsshows would be full of reports.

personally i think there is so few incidents with firearms in switzerland mostly because of the army duty for every male citizen. eventually there are more psychological, demographical or other *-ical reasons i do not see.   :wink:

if there are parts or sentences you don't understand, please don't blame me for being a gun-fetishist or mad-man, maybe it's just because of the lack of english skills.  :oops:

i'd like to know about restricitons pertaining to guns in the u.s.a.


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« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2003, 06:00:09 AM »
sorry, i was not logged in.



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« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2003, 01:12:11 PM »
Woof Burnsson:

Thank you very much for that informative reply.

Staying with the European theme, the cover story on this month's NRA magazine "America's First Freedom"  is on the notorious Tony Martin case in England.  I tried finding it online at the NRA site without luck, but emailed them to see if I could get in electronically.  Until then, this from the NRA site.  The excerpts are from the Brit newspaper online "Daily Telegraph".  I couldn't get the complete articles without signing up.

Crafty Dog
Martin is refused parole as 'danger to burglars'
By David Sapsted
(Filed: 17/01/2003) (That's January 17 written the Euro way folks-Crafty)

Tony Martin, the farmer jailed for shooting dead a teenage burglar, had his application for parole rejected yesterday.

The three members of the Parole Board, who met in London to review his case, gave no reason for turning him down.

A friend of Martin's claimed that it was because a probation report branded the 58-year-old "a danger to burglars".

Others suggested that a primary reason was Martin's refusal to express remorse for shooting 16-year-old Fred Barras when he and another burglar raided his remote Norfolk house at night in August, 1999.

Martin, who will automatically qualify for release on licence in July after serving two-thirds of his five-year sentence for manslaughter, was said to have been resigned to the decision.

Malcom Starr, a friend and leading supporter who visited Martin in Highpoint Prison, Suffolk, called the decision "an absolute disgrace".

He said: "These people on the Parole Board are completely out of touch with public opinion. "All right-thinking people agree that Mr Martin should be released immediately."

Mr Starr, a Cambridgeshire businessman, said Martin told him a Probation Service report to the board criticised the farmer for "not being up to speed with the 21st century and of thinking things were better 40 years ago".

Mr Starr added: "A lot of prisoners lie and say they are sorry about something when they are not. He was not prepared to lie. It is not a question of 'does he feel sorry'. He feels he should never have been intruded on and he acted in self defence."

Richard Portham, another friend, said: "He told me that the Norfolk probation service was recommending that he should not get parole because they considered him a danger to burglars.

"I suppose the attitude came across in this report that he would do it again."

The shotgun Martin used on Barras, from Newark, Nottinghamshire, was illegally held. He had lost his licence after an incident when he fired on a car trespassing on his farm.
Feb 2003

A thief shot by the farmer Tony Martin during an attempted burglary was jailed for 18 months on drugs charges yesterday. Brendon Fearon, 32, tried to burgle Martin's Norfolk farmhouse in 1999, was convicted at Nottingham Crown Court of supplying heroin.

May 6, 2003

British Government Says Burglars Need Protection

Government lawyers trying to keep the Norfolk farmer Tony Martin behind bars will tell a High Court judge that burglars are members of the public who must be protected from violent householders. The case could help hundreds of criminals bring claims for damages for injury suffered while committing offences. In legal papers seen by The Independent, Home Office lawyers dispute Martin's contention that he poses no risk to the public, because he only represents a threat to burglars and other criminals who trespass on his property.
May 8

Home Office Suppressed Tony Martin Report

The British Home Office suppressed a report that showed the jailed farmer Tony Martin was suitable for early release, a High Court judge was told May 6.

June 16, 2003

Tony Martin To Be Sued By Burglar He Shot

The burglar Brendon Fearon, who was shot and injured by Tony Martin, won the right yesterday to sue the jailed farmer for damages. A judge at Nottingham County Court overturned an earlier decision that had thrown out his claim.




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« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2003, 10:49:22 AM »
And for a slightly... "different" approach:
Article published Oct 3, 2003
Victim tries to befriend home invader
The woman offers beer and her purse to a robber who threatened to kill her.

SARASOTA COUNTY -- Verne Williams says his mother knew from watching crime shows on television that she should try to befriend the robber who broke into her home Thursday morning.

After the man blindfolded her, she told him they should "stick together" because they're both poor. She then led the robber to her purse in the kitchen, and offered him beer from the refrigerator.

"The guy apparently took the cans with him," Williams said.

He said his mother told him the man reeked of liquor. It was still dark outside when the robber entered the house, but he spent quite some time inside with her and even evaluated her jewelry, calling one of her rings "too cheap" and throwing it back at her, according to her son. The sun was up when he left, deputies said.
Williams' mother, who lives in the 2800 block of Hawthorne Street, was unharmed except for light bruises from a headlock, her son said. The robber made off with jewelry and cash.

Her eventful morning started after 6 a.m., when she heard a loud noise coming from her grandson's bedroom.

Not knowing that her grandson had spent the night away from home, she went to the room to check on him.

Instead, she discovered the robber, who had entered the room through an unlocked window.
"She wasn't even thinking about somebody breaking in," Verne Williams said. "She had no suspicion."

According to Williams, the robber told his mother he'd kill her unless she looked away, but she did get a glimpse of him. She told the robber her grandson would be returning soon, but the man told her "well, I'll kill both of you" and took her to her bedroom, where he threw her on the bed and asked for her valuables.

The robber is described as a thin, white male in his 20s, about 5 foot, 7 inches tall and weighing 140 pounds, with blond hair and brown eyes. He was wearing brown pants and had a white T-shirt tied on his head. Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Toby Davis of the Sheriff's Office at 861-4922, or Crime Stoppers at 366-TIPS.
Sgt. Chuck Lesaltato, a spokesman, said Williams' mother apparently did the right thing by talking to the robber, but that depends on each individual case. "It's one of those things where the victim has to identify whether it's working or not," Lesaltato said. "If (the perpetrator) becomes more violent, obviously it's not working and you need to rethink what you're doing."

Lesaltato said this was the first such incident reported recently in the county.
"As far as we're concerned, at this point it's isolated," he said.

Verne Williams said there had been no break-in at the house in the 50 years his family owned it.

Cars in the driveway were vandalized twice, he said, but that was decades ago.

"There's no violent crime, no nothing" here, he said.

The Salvation Army owns a church a few houses down, and has recently purchased nearby houses for future growth. Betsy Newell of the Salvation Army said she checks those properties regularly and hasn't noticed any signs of break-ins.
Neighbors Tasha and Allen Tanner, who have lived in the block for about a year, agreed that neighborhood is quiet, except for occasional incidents at the trailer park at the end of the street.

Verne Williams sees a silver lining in Thursday's robbery.

He said the Salvation Army purchased his mother's house and gave her two years to move out, but she's been dragging out the move for two months, arguing that her cat is used to the old place. Family members whisked the cat out shortly after the incident.

Alex (UK)

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« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2003, 03:26:52 AM »
A quick question re: the Tony Martin case. Would what he did have been legal in America?

My understanding of the reason for his conviction was that he wasn't directly defending himself: the "victim" (hmmmm) was shot in the back as he was fleeing the property.


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« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2003, 12:49:41 PM »
Woof Alex:

 Fair questions both, but at the moment I may be leaving unexpectedly a day early for Rome and all is chaos here.

So, changing subject completely:


October 22, 2003, 9:11 a.m.
A Light Goes on at the CDC
No escaping gun-control reality.

By Timothy Wheeler

In a marvelous moment of candor, a federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) committee has reported that it cannot find any evidence that gun-control laws reduce violent crime. American gun owners spent most of the 1990s telling the CDC that gun control is ineffective at best and harmful at worst. So it's gratifying that the lesson is finally sinking in.

A task force convened by the CDC issued its report after two years of poring over 51 scientific studies of gun laws. The group considered only research papers that met strict criteria for scientific soundness. The CDC distances itself with a disclaimer, but it's pretty clear that it supports the task force's conclusions. The report contains no dissenting position or minority view from CDC managers.

Covered in the review were gun-ban laws, restrictions on acquiring a gun, waiting periods for buying a gun, firearm-registration laws, firearm-owner licensing laws, concealed-carry permit laws, zero-tolerance laws, and various combinations of firearm laws. Most Americans who haven't tried to buy a gun lately are blissfully unaware of just how many laws there are. In Washington, D.C., for example, it's impossible for a regular citizen to legally own a firearm (although criminals seem to have no problem getting one). In other cities the legal hoops a gun buyer must jump through are almost as much a barrier to ownership as an outright ban.

One would think that at least some good would come from all these laws. Researchers should be able to prove that the laws prevent at least a few murders, rapes, and robberies. Amazingly, they can't. And even more amazingly, they have admitted that they can't.

But what about the violent crimes that gun-control laws have allowed by preventing victims from defending themselves? This well-known downside to gun-control laws keeps showing itself over and over again. For example, during the 1992 Los Angeles riots, frantic Angelenos rushed to gun stores to arm themselves against marauding thugs. Many were outraged to discover California's 15-day waiting period for buying a gun.

A woman stalked by a homicidal ex-husband is left completely vulnerable by waiting-period laws. These supposedly provide a "cooling off" period for impulsive people who would buy a gun and in the heat of passion, commit a crime with it. Such a patronizing law cruelly imperils a stalked woman, who desperately needs the protection that only a firearm can give her.

And looking at Washington, D.C.'s reputation as the violent-crime capital, how could we think that its gun ban law was ever worth anything? Does anyone really believe that justice is served by disarming good citizens when violent criminals so obviously ignore the ban? Barring gun ownership by good people is worse than useless. It perverts justice by enabling violent felons while turning into outlaws people who dare to own a gun for legitimate self-protection.

America has laws that ban handguns. We have laws that ban big, expensive guns and other laws that ban small, cheap guns. We have laws that condemn some guns as illegal simply on the basis of their appearance. Other laws force average people to be fingerprinted to carry a firearm for self-protection, even though years of experience show such demeaning measures to be unnecessary.

The laws are so numerous and so dauntingly complex that in some cases even law enforcement authorities can't figure out what they mean. Such a confusing web of legal traps can easily ensnare an honest citizen.

In all, America has 20,000 laws that endanger, humiliate, criminalize, or otherwise burden good citizens who exercise their constitutional right to own a gun. Now the CDC, a government agency not known for its friendliness to gun owners, reports that it cannot find any evidence that the laws are effective.

We should take warning from the closing comments of the CDC task force's report. They are reminiscent of the agency's glory days of gun-control advocacy. America is described as an "outlier" in gun-crime rates among industrialized nations. The report insists "research should continue on the effectiveness of firearms laws as one approach to the prevention or reduction of firearms violence and firearms injury." In other words, keep researching until we find the conclusion we prefer ? guns are bad and they should be banned.

Liberal reformers who would curb the freedom of others are obliged to prove the efficacy of gun-control laws. They have failed to do so. Gun owners have always known that gun-control laws aimed at them instead of criminals are futile and unjust. Now that everybody else is finally getting it, perhaps it's time for a moratorium on new gun laws.

? Timothy Wheeler, M.D. is director of Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership, a project of the Claremont Institute.


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« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2003, 09:52:24 AM »
Someone quoted this me.  This was a question they had for somebody who was a Liberal and a pacifist.  When they asked him if he believed in gun control this is what he had to say.  He said, "No".  When asked why he said, "Why should the cops and military have all the guns?"  Something definitely to think about.


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« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2003, 01:56:28 PM »
Woof Guest:

  In a simlar vein, gun control may be defined as hitting one's intended target.

Crafty Dog


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« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2003, 08:27:04 AM »
Quote from: Anonymous
Woof Guest:

  In a simlar vein, gun control may be defined as hitting one's intended target.

Crafty Dog

Touche'!  *applause*


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« Reply #15 on: October 26, 2003, 11:14:03 AM »
Quote from: Guest
Someone quoted this me.  This was a question they had for somebody who was a Liberal and a pacifist.  When they asked him if he believed in gun control this is what he had to say.  He said, "No".  When asked why he said, "Why should the cops and military have all the guns?"  Something definitely to think about.

So this guy owns guns just in case he has to take on the cops or military?




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« Reply #16 on: October 27, 2003, 04:08:47 AM »
Well, in addition to the valid point about a population not being unarmed in front of its government, there is also the matter of being able to defend oneself without having to rely upon the government to be there in a timely and capable manner, , , ,



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Gun control
« Reply #17 on: October 31, 2003, 04:05:37 PM »
Quote from: Crafty_Dog

Raging Against Self Defense:
A Psychiatrist Examines The Anti-Gun Mentality
By Sarah Thompson, M.D.

"You don't need to have a gun; the police will protect you."

"If people carry guns, there will be murders over parking spaces and neighborhood basketball games."

"I'm a pacifist. Enlightened, spiritually aware people shouldn't own guns."

"I'd rather be raped than have some redneck militia type try to rescue me."
How often have you heard these statements from misguided advocates of victim disarmament, or even woefully uninformed relatives and neighbors? Why do people cling so tightly to these beliefs, in the face of incontrovertible evidence that they are wrong? Why do they get so furiously angry when gun owners point out that their arguments are factually and logically incorrect?

How can you communicate with these people who seem to be out of touch with reality and rational thought?

One approach to help you deal with anti-gun people is to understand their psychological processes. Once you understand why these people behave so irrationally, you can communicate more effectively with them.

Something about this "analysis" has been bugging me for a while.  Can Ms.Thompson not argue the merits of gun ownership or whatever based on the facts?  The dismissal of opposing viewpoints by attempting to characterize "anti-gun" people as irrational or suffering for some sort of mental disorder is insulting and amounts to nothing more than an ad hominem attack.

It wouldn't be too difficult for someone to write an equivalent piece about how "gun-nuts" are mostly a bunch of weak, out of shape pussies who are unable to defend themselves without firearms.  They've seen too many "Death Wish" movies and suffer from paranoia and fear that they could be attacked by criminals and/or government black helicopters at any time.  To communicate with these people you must be careful not to bruise their fragile egos due to their small dicks which they compensate for by purchasing ever more and larger guns...

I don't neccessarily believe any of this, but you see my point.  That said, what sort of weapons restrictions are reasonable?  None?

Should anyone be able to buy rocket launchers, tanks, nukes, etc.?  Just where do you draw the line?



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« Reply #18 on: November 03, 2003, 04:30:06 AM »
Buz Grover, a fellow contributor to the Eskrima Digest, got this letter published in Letters to the Editor of the meta-liberal Washington Post:
The Democrats and Gun Control

Monday, November 3, 2003; Page A18

Democratic presidential candidates are distancing themselves from gun control issues for political reasons, an Oct. 26 article suggests ["Democratic Hopefuls Play Down Gun Control," front page]. Citing the party's past embrace of gun control as a factor in numerous electoral losses, the story notes there are large numbers of gun owners in many 2004 swing states. The fear seems to be that sticking to one's political guns, so to speak, would lead to further losses at the polls.

Perhaps the more moderate position most Democratic candidates have adopted is indeed inspired by political calculus and little more. It would be nice to think, however, that facts and principle had something to do with it. Maybe the candidates became aware of the estimated annual 2.5 million instances of defensive firearms use in the United States, or perhaps they read the Centers for Disease Control report that found gun control laws had little effect on crime, or maybe they researched the growing body of constitutional scholarship that demonstrates the country's founders sought to preserve an individual right to keep and bear arms. Possibly the candidates came to see that abrogating the second tenth of the Bill of Rights by extraconstitutional means threatens every right enshrined in the document, or perhaps they realized the way gun control adherents and many media outlets frame the debate is fundamentally unfair.

Regardless of whether raw politics or facts and ideals motivate this more moderate tone, the prospect of a presidential election season without shrill calls for further gun control is certainly something to savor.




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Homemade machine guns legal
« Reply #19 on: November 13, 2003, 11:56:59 PM »

Big News on the Commerce Clause: United States v. Stewart

(Decision written by Kozinski-- Crafty)

The new Commerce Clause jurisprudence (Lopez and Morrison) comes home to roost in the Ninth Circuit's pathbreaking decision today that holds that the federal government may not ban a homemade machine gun. Here is a link to the PDF file. (Via Volokh.) Here are the two key paragraphs of the opinion:

We start by considering the first and fourth prongs of the Morrison test, as we have deemed them the most important. See McCoy, 323 F.3d at 1119. The first prong is not satisfied here. Possession of a machinegun is not, without more, economic in nature. Just like the statute struck down in Lopez, section 922(o) ?is a criminal statute that by its terms has nothing to do with ?commerce? or any sort of economic enterprise, however broadly one might define those terms.? Lopez, 514 U.S at 561. Unlike in Wickard v. Filburn, 317 U.S. 111 (1942), where growing wheat in one?s backyard could be seen as a means of saving money that would otherwise have been spent in the open market, a homemade machinegun may be part of a gun collection or may be crafted as a hobby. Or it may be used for illegal purposes. Whatever its intended use, without some evidence that it will be sold or transferred?and there is none here?its relationship to interstate commerce is highly attenuated.

Moreover, the regulation itself does not have an economic purpose: whereas the statute in Wickard was enacted primarily to control the market price of wheat, id. at 115, there is no evidence that section 922(o) was enacted to regulate commercial aspects of the machinegun business. More likely, section 922(o) was intended to keep machineguns out of the hands of criminals?an admirable goal, but not a commercial one.

And one more important paragraph from later in the opinion:

This case fails Morrison?s other requirements as well.

As we stated earlier, section 922(o) contains no jurisdictional element anchoring the prohibited activity to interstate commerce. Congress also failed to make any legislative findings when it enacted the statute. While neither Lopez nor Morrison requires Congress to make findings every time it passes a law under its Commerce Clause power, the Supreme Court did note the importance of findings where?as here?such findings would ?enable [a court] to evaluate the legislative judgment that the activity in question substantially affected interstate commerce, even though no such substantial effect was visible to the naked eye.? Lopez, 514 U.S. at 563.

The implications are staggering. Here is one: Homegrown marijuana would seem directly analagous to hommade machineguns. And in fact, the Ninth Circuit has a homegrown medical marijuana case pending now.


posted by Lawrence at 11/13/2003 02:05:20 PM


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« Reply #20 on: January 16, 2004, 11:32:47 AM »

Skeptic Gives Guns a Shot
The firearms issue looks a little different from behind the trigger.
By Diana Wagman

Guns are bad. All my life, it's been that simple. At my son's preschool, if a child pointed a banana and said "bang," he was admonished to "use the banana in a happier way." As far as I was concerned, the 2nd Amendment gave us the right to protect ourselves against invading armies, not the right to buy a gun and keep it under our beds.

So what would make someone like me change my mind? I met this gun enthusiast. As research for my new novel, I asked him many questions, all the while voicing my disgust. My character might use a gun, but I never would. "Come to the range," the gun guy said. "I'll teach you to shoot."

I expected a dungeon full of men missing teeth and wearing T-shirts decorated with Confederate flags. Instead, I found a sunny, wood-paneled lobby and guys who looked like lawyers on their lunch break.

The man behind the counter was as pleasant as a grandfather from Central Casting. "What would it take for me to buy a gun?" I asked him. He explained the California laws, some of the most stringent in the country. I would have to wait 10 days ? the "cooling off" period. There would be federal and local background checks. I'd have to take a safety class. I'd have to buy a childproof lock. I couldn't purchase an assault weapon. I couldn't buy more than one handgun per month. Of course, he said, if I didn't want to wait, I could drive 10 minutes and buy an Uzi illegally out of someone's car.

When my guide arrived, he gave me a choice of handguns. I went with the .357 magnum ? I recognized the name ? and a traditional target with a red bull's-eye. I couldn't imagine shooting at one shaped like a man.

First lesson, respect your firearm. I got a little talk about how powerful it was. I learned how to hold it. To load it. And finally to fire it. It was terrifying. The gun was so heavy, I couldn't keep it steady. It took both index fingers to pull the trigger, and then there was a flash of flame, a loud crack, a substantial kick. It was much harder than it looked in the movies. I occasionally hit the target, but I also managed to obliterate the metal hanger that held it.

I have to admit: I loved it. I had a fantastic time. The power of that gun for me, a 5-foot, 3-inch woman, was immediately, shockingly seductive. The thrill when I hit the bull's-eye (once) was as great as making a perfect tennis shot. I felt like I was playing a careful game of darts in a small, alcohol-free bar.

Later, I was surprised to discover that some of my closest friends owned guns. People I never would have suspected confessed that their guns made them feel protected. Still, most of my friends thought handguns should be outlawed, completely, in every circumstance.

I no longer was so sure. I did some research ? there are countless testimonials about guns saving someone's life. I looked into shooting as a sport. I spoke to a woman who had found a wounded deer and shot it, ending its agony. I changed my mind: Guns aren't bad.

Which leaves gun violence. At least in California, we don't need more laws ? we just need to enforce the ones we have. What else?

The answer has to be education: teaching people to deal with anger, to solve problems, offering them brighter futures, but also Gun 101. Maybe if teenagers were given computer-generated pictures of their own bodies, post-gunshot wounds, it would help them understand the enormity of firing a weapon. Maybe if everyone spent an afternoon at the shooting range, forced to follow the rules, they would respect the power of a gun.

I confess, I don't know exactly how to solve the problem, but at least now I know I don't know. Firing guns as a sport is great fun. Having a gun because it makes you feel safer seems understandable. Changing the way people behave? If you thought gun control was a distant dream ? it could take centuries.

Meanwhile, my 15-year-old has asked me to take him shooting. And I've agreed.

Novelist and screenwriter Diana Wagman is the author of "Bump" (Carroll & Graf, 2003) and "Skin Deep" (University of Mississippi Press reprint, 2001).


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« Reply #21 on: February 26, 2004, 10:53:14 AM »
Gun-Shy Democrats Are Giving the NRA Room to Maneuver
Some of the politicians who helped toughen weapons laws are now helping to soften regulations. Fear is called the motivator.
By Richard Simon and Mary Curtius, Times Staff Writers

WASHINGTON ? These are tough times for the gun control crowd.

After 13 people were shot to death in 1999 at Columbine High School in Colorado, Democrats led a stampede in Congress to pass tougher gun laws. Now some of those same politicians are lining up with the National Rifle Assn. to soften gun regulations.
Congress has voted this year to require speedier destruction of gun purchase records; the renewal of a 1994 law banning assault weapons faces an uphill battle; and on Wednesday, the Senate debated a measure shielding gun makers and sellers from lawsuits by gunshot victims.

Why the shift?

"Fear," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), lead author of the assault weapons ban. "When I came to Washington, everybody said: 'You've got to watch out for Big Business and Big Oil. They're the big lobbies.' Wrong. It's Big Guns."

Sens. John F. Kerry of Massachusetts and John Edwards of North Carolina, the leading contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination, have supported gun control in the past. But they are not raising the issue on the campaign trail this year.

Many Democrats think Al Gore, the Democratic nominee in 2000, lost support in some pivotal rural states because he supported tough gun control. After the 2000 election, "common wisdom in the Democratic Party was that you had better not talk about guns," said Deborah Barron, spokeswoman for Americans for Gun Safety.

So Kerry, to connect with the gun lobby, frequently talks about his experience as a hunter. Edwards, when asked about gun issues, always begins his answer by saying that he supports the 2nd Amendment and that he believes in the right to bear arms.

Meanwhile, the NRA has moved from defense to offense.

It is supporting the gun liability bill ? which already has passed the House and is backed not only by President Bush and most Senate Republicans, but also by at least 10 Democrats, including Democratic Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota.

"You can't deny that there has been a shift" by Democrats, said Kristen Rand, legislative director for the Violence Policy Center, a nonprofit organization that advocates gun control. "We can't deny the fact that a lot of [lawmakers] don't think being out front on gun issues is helpful to them. The NRA is very effective at their grass-roots organizing."

Wayne LaPierre, the NRA's executive vice president, said Daschle's support of the gun liability measure reflected his party's new stance. The Democratic leadership, LaPierre said, "decided the gun control issue was a dead end."

Daschle is also facing a potentially tough reelection race in his home state, where gun control could become an issue.

Sarah Brady ? whose husband, James, was disabled in the 1981 assassination attempt on President Reagan ? said she thought that Democrats were "misguided" in taking a more moderate approach on guns. The issue, in her opinion, did not hurt the party in 2000.

But a shift by Democrats may not be a bad thing for gun control advocates, said Robert Ricker, a former NRA official who now consults with gun control groups.

"Some of the tactics that have been used in the past by the gun control groups have come back to hurt them in areas like the South," Ricker said. "The idea of really seizing that middle ground, of not going to the extremes on the issue," is being followed by the party now.

Opponents of the gun liability measure hope to attach amendments that would strengthen gun laws. One would extend the nearly decade-old federal ban on assault weapons, due to expire in September; another would require background checks for purchases at gun shows.

The bill, dubbed the "Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act," has drawn opposition from the families of gunshot victims, as well as police chiefs and the mayors of Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and other big cities. Feinstein said the bill would "essentially give the gun industry blanket immunity from civil liability cases ? an immunity that no other industry has."

"We find ourselves today on the cusp of yet another NRA victory," Feinstein added. "And let me be clear ? not a victory for NRA members, most of whom are law-abiding gun owners who might someday benefit from the ability to sue a manufacturer that sold them a defective or dangerous gun. No, this will be a victory only for the cynical leaders of the NRA that have steadfastly turned their organization into a political powerhouse, unconcerned with the true needs of its members."


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« Reply #22 on: October 09, 2004, 07:36:25 AM »
Just bringing this thread to the top--



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Re: Gun control
« Reply #23 on: October 13, 2004, 10:43:09 AM »
Quote from: milt
Quote from: Crafty_Dog

Raging Against Self Defense:
A Psychiatrist Examines The Anti-Gun Mentality
By Sarah Thompson, M.D.

"You don't need to have a gun; the police will protect you."

"If people carry guns, there will be murders over parking spaces and neighborhood basketball games."

"I'm a pacifist. Enlightened, spiritually aware people shouldn't own guns."

"I'd rather be raped than have some redneck militia type try to rescue me."
How often have you heard these statements from misguided advocates of victim disarmament, or even woefully uninformed relatives and neighbors? Why do people cling so tightly to these beliefs, in the face of incontrovertible evidence that they are wrong? Why do they get so furiously angry when gun owners point out that their arguments are factually and logically incorrect?

How can you communicate with these people who seem to be out of touch with reality and rational thought?

One approach to help you deal with anti-gun people is to understand their psychological processes. Once you understand why these people behave so irrationally, you can communicate more effectively with them.

Something about this "analysis" has been bugging me for a while.  Can Ms.Thompson not argue the merits of gun ownership or whatever based on the facts?  The dismissal of opposing viewpoints by attempting to characterize "anti-gun" people as irrational or suffering for some sort of mental disorder is insulting and amounts to nothing more than an ad hominem attack.

It wouldn't be too difficult for someone to write an equivalent piece about how "gun-nuts" are mostly a bunch of weak, out of shape pussies who are unable to defend themselves without firearms.  They've seen too many "Death Wish" movies and suffer from paranoia and fear that they could be attacked by criminals and/or government black helicopters at any time.  To communicate with these people you must be careful not to bruise their fragile egos due to their small dicks which they compensate for by purchasing ever more and larger guns...

I don't neccessarily believe any of this, but you see my point.  That said, what sort of weapons restrictions are reasonable?  None?

Should anyone be able to buy rocket launchers, tanks, nukes, etc.?  Just where do you draw the line?


I agree with Milt. When I read this article a while ago on another forum it seemed very unlikely that this was a genuine attempt to psychoanalyse a group, rather that it was intended to support the author's position on gun control.

So, having read some of the author's other articles several things became apparent.

1. She is a staunch campaigner against gun control, not an unbiased psychiatrist offering an expert opinion.

2. She never practised psychiatry at all, in fact retired soon after qualifying for unspecified reasons to do with differences with the Psychiatric establishment.

3. Her stance and motivations on several gun control issues are, to me, highly questionable:

 She believes gun deregulation is a prime concern because of a genuine risk of the next Anti-Semitic Holocaust occuring in America.

She believes firmly that the 2nd Amendment should protect ALL weapons including fully automatic machine guns, artillery and WMDs.

She boycotted Glock for 'giving in' to gun control by providing free trigger locks with their handguns.

4. Bear this in mind: If you don't agree with any of the positions above it is YOU she is applying her 'analysis' to: Whatever reasons you might give for not thinking what she believes is rational, YOU are the one using those defense mechanisms she is talking about, not just anti gun lobbyists. When someone believes a gun manufacturer isn't doing enough to oppose gun control I really have to question their "professional opinion" on a group that opposes them.


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Of TANSTAASFTL and Circumlocution
« Reply #24 on: October 13, 2004, 04:34:10 PM »
Several aspects of Alex?s post resist analysis. Let me see if I get this straight:

?1. She is a staunch campaigner against gun control, not an unbiased psychiatrist offering an expert opinion.?

Uhm, okay, she has an opinion and a professional degree. Supporting one with the tools of the other is wrong for what reason? If you have a professional degree the only statements you?re allowed to make are ones deemed unbiased? Who makes that call?

?2. She never practised (sic) psychiatry at all, in fact retired soon after qualifying for unspecified reasons to do with differences with the Psychiatric establishment.?

No foolin?? I hear there was once this Washington lawyer who, for unspecified reasons, abandoned his vocation and started teaching people how to whomp each other better with sticks as an avenue towards higher consciousness. The gall of some people, eh?

?3. Her stance and motivations on several gun control issues are, to me, highly questionable:?

I don?t have access to the source material that inspire the next several charges, and don?t wish to rebut them in a blanket manner, though I do have my quibbles.

?She believes gun deregulation is a prime concern because of a genuine risk of the next Anti-Semitic Holocaust occuring (sic) in America.?

Don?t know about the next holocaust, but there have been an awful lot of unarmed or under-armed people in America and elsewhere who have had to deal with all sorts of awful stuff because of their inability to defend themselves. There have also been many instances of armed communities resisting sundry forms of tyranny. Given the choice I?d just as soon have the ability to cause the bad guys to think twice, and can?t think of any reason to surrender that ability willingly, regardless of faith or circumstance.

?She believes firmly that the 2nd Amendment should protect ALL weapons including fully automatic machine guns, artillery and WMDs.?

WMDs and artillery, eh? Is this reductio ad absurdum or is she really willing to issue battlefield nukes to all Americans? As that may be, ?fully automatic machine guns? is a redundancy, albeit one that may be necessitated by all the ?assault weapon? twaddle currently circulating. BTW, isn?t the position that the Second Amendment protects all weapons about as absurd as the argument that it protects none?

?She boycotted Glock for 'giving in' to gun control by providing free trigger locks with their handguns.?

Well TANSTAAFL, or perhaps TANSTAASFTL: There Ain?t No Such Thing As A Free Trigger Lock. Someone paid for it. There?s not a lick of evidence trigger locks do any good, regardless of how the costs are shifted, see the Center for Disease Control report. Trigger locks are a feel good measure, one with no demonstrated utility. Perhaps her protest is similarly silly, but I don?t see how you can point out the folly of one without acknowledging the folly of the other.

?4. Bear this in mind: If you don't agree with any of the positions above it is YOU she is applying her 'analysis' to: Whatever reasons you might give for not thinking what she believes is rational, YOU are the one using those defense mechanisms she is talking about, not just anti gun lobbyists. When someone believes a gun manufacturer isn't doing enough to oppose gun control I really have to question their "professional opinion" on a group that opposes them.?

I?m not much inclined to untangle this circumlocution. Suffice to say I think Dr. Thompson?s thesis is fairly straightforward. As both a gun owner and a martial arts practitioner I?ve encountered plenty of people who feel developing martial competencies is an awful thing, preferring to instead surrender their ability to defend themselves and their families. Dr. Thompson seeks to examine the fears these folks profess and provide gun owners the tools to address them. Think her perspective is straight forward, her agenda anything but concealed, and her prose pretty clear.


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« Reply #25 on: October 14, 2004, 05:37:20 AM »
Good reply Buz. Allow me to clarify a few things.

?3. Her stance and motivations on several gun control issues are, to me, highly questionable:?

I don?t have access to the source material that inspire the next several charges, and don?t wish to rebut them in a blanket manner, though I do have my quibbles.

Unfortunately her website doesn't seem to exist anymore. It means firstly I'll have to try to remember her statements, and secondly you'll have to take my word for it that I'm accurately quoting what she said in her other articles. Thirdly it makes coherent rebuttal an almost impossible task for you as you can't refer to the articles.

Hmmmm. I know that's spectacularly unhelpful on an Internet Forum but there you go.

[my speling corrected :)]
?She believes gun deregulation is a prime concern because of a genuine risk of the next Anti-Semitic Holocaust occurring in America.?

Don?t know about the next holocaust, but there have been an awful lot of unarmed or under-armed people in America and elsewhere who have had to deal with all sorts of awful stuff because of their inability to defend themselves. There have also been many instances of armed communities resisting sundry forms of tyranny. Given the choice I?d just as soon have the ability to cause the bad guys to think twice, and can?t think of any reason to surrender that ability willingly, regardless of faith or circumstance.

I'm familiar with the arguments about self defence in general, especially with regard to making criminals think twice and so on, but that wasn't the purpose of her article in this case: The whole thing was a very specific warning to American Jews that the next Holocaust was coming, and they had better be prepared to meet it with force.

?She believes firmly that the 2nd Amendment should protect ALL weapons including fully automatic machine guns, artillery and WMDs.?

WMDs and artillery, eh? Is this reductio ad absurdum or is she really willing to issue battlefield nukes to all Americans?

Again you'll have to take my word for it (*sigh*) but her statement was very explicit. It ran something like "For the 2nd Ammendment to have any meaning whatsoever, it must be applied to all arms, including fully automatic weapons and Weapons of Mass Destruction."

My problem with her "Psychological" article posted earlier is that she really does believe that anyone who doesn't support total deregulation is in denial about the facts.

I've seen several "middle of the road" gun supporters (i.e. anyone who thinks any weapon regulation at all is in order) use this article to attack those who are more "anti gun" than they are. The key point is that as far as the author is concerned, she is talking about anyone who opposes TOTAL deregulation.

I really wish I still had her articles, because she really does think there should be no I.D. or background checks for purchasing ANY weapon. In her world, you've got the cash, it's yours, and basically anyone who doesn't believe like she does is a tool of the fascist oppressor.

I'll keep searching because I'm sure someone else will have her articles archived.


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« Reply #26 on: October 14, 2004, 05:43:01 AM »
Ok there is still some of her stuff out there

Here's her letter to the NRA, rather interestingly attacking them from the far-right rather than the left:

Nearly three years ago, I wrote the following Letter to the
 NRA :

When you decide to stop selling our birthright,
When you decide to stop supporting permits,
When you proclaim that each and every one of us is innocent until proven
guilty; that we need not subject ourselves to "background checks",
registration or bureaucracy,
When you refuse to tolerate evil,
When you are willing to call evil by its rightful name,
When you are willing to call genocide by its rightful name,
When you stop distracting yourselves and others with peripheral issues,
When you learn that a compromise with the devil is no compromise at all,
Then, and only then, will you have my support.

From the same article:

The NRA's business is gun control. Without gun control, the NRA would be
reduced to teaching firearms safety and use, hunter education, and
sponsoring sporting events. These are important and necessary functions, and
the NRA does a good job with these non-political tasks. But the big money,
the media attention and the glamor are in gun control. No gun control means
no million dollar contracts, no dinners with celebrities, no lavish expense
accounts, and no TV appearances.

The NRA needs gun control. So the NRA perpetuates gun control. They support
anti-gun politicians, and when those anti-gun politicians propose more gun
control, the NRA sends out more letters screaming for help, and another few
million dollars roll in. What a scam!

So the NRA is conspiring to covertly support gun control in order to perpetuate their own existence.


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The High Horse
« Reply #27 on: October 14, 2004, 09:02:29 AM »

Thanks for the response, and sorry for coming on so strong. I'm fairly libertarian and have engaged a lot of folks in sundry Second Amendment debates over the years. No doubt my frustrations over the tenor of general "gun control" discussions bled over into my response.

I'm certainly willing to take your word re Dr. Thompson's other opinion pieces and have no desire to defend the more outlandish. I've met a lot of zealots over the years; can't think of one who did their cause any favors with their extreme warblings. Didn't catch that zeal in her original post, but am willing to accept that it reared its head elsewhere.

Again, sorry for mounting my high horse.


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« Reply #28 on: October 14, 2004, 04:44:54 PM »
No problem mate, by internet standards you weren't at all over the top


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BBC Reports Gun Crime Rising in UK
« Reply #29 on: October 21, 2004, 04:43:06 PM »
Several years ago all firearms were effectively banned in the UK. Since that time crime in general, and violent crime in particular has risen dramatically. The following BBC article states rates are still rising. My take is that banning law-abiding citizens from owning firearms does nothing but create criminal enterprise zones.

Article follows:

Gun crime figures show fresh rise

The number of firearms offences in England and Wales has risen in the last year, according to Home Office figures released on Thursday.

There has been a 3% climb in gun crime, following a 2% rise the previous year, the figures show.

The statistics also show a 35% rise in crimes involving imitation weapons.

But the figures, which cover the 12 months to June this year, also show a 15% drop in the number of shooting-related deaths.

Home Secretary David Blunkett said police and the government would target particular areas affected by violent crime linked to drugs.

They would tackle the problem in London, the West Midlands, Greater Manchester and Nottinghamshire, Mr Blunkett told a news conference in London.

"We have a situation where crack and guns go together and because crack is a dangerous drug, that stimulates violence," he said.

Training needs

Shadow Home Secretary David Davis said the government had let gun crime get out of hand.

"No amount of government spin will hide the fact that violent crime is out of control," he said. "We now have record levels of gun crime, rocketing sex offences, a further 14% increase in violent crime and overall crime is nearly 750,000 higher than 1998."

Jan Berry, chairman of the Police Federation, called for more and better trained armed police to counter gun crime.

She said: "We urgently need more trained armed police officers throughout England and Wales to tackle the growing menace of gun crime, otherwise lives will increasingly be put at risk."

BBC home affairs correspondent Andy Tighe said the government was interpreting the 3% rise in gun crime as "acceptable and predictable".

But he said the rise came on top of a "quite substantial increase" in firearms offences in recent years.

"Main cities such as Manchester, London, Birmingham and Nottingham do have special units targeting gun crime and the drugs trade, and they are having a significant amount of success."


Separate quarterly crime figures compiled for the Home Office in the British Crime Survey on Thursday showed that general crime was down by 7%, according to householders interviewed for the study. Crime figures recorded by police also showed a 5% fall.

The government was keen to stress that the risk of being a victim of violent crime is at its lowest for nearly 25 years.

The recent murder in Nottingham of 14-year-old Danielle Beccan has stirred fresh concerns about levels of gun crime.

She was killed in a drive-by shooting on her way home from a funfair almost a fortnight ago.

A 20-year-old Nottingham man, Mark Kelly, has been charged with her murder, while a second man aged 23 has also been charged with murder. He was due to appear in court on Thursday.

A gun amnesty is being planned for the city and a campaign to reassure the public is being brought forward.

Earlier in the month, six people were shot in the space of an hour during incidents in London and Bristol. Two people were killed in the London incident.

Smaller rises

But the Home Office figures show firearms-related deaths are comparatively rare.

Last year the number fell to 81 from 97 in the previous 12 months.

The small rises in gun crime for the last two years compare with a 34% increase recorded in 2002.

In 2003, the Home Office introduced a mandatory five-year minimum prison sentence for anyone caught in possession of an illegal firearm.

Government officials claimed there was anecdotal evidence from the police that the move is having a deterrent effect, but that it was too early for this to be reflected in Thursday's figures.

The statistics on imitation weapons come a day after figures emerged from a survey by police in Manchester which showed that more than 70% of callouts from the city's armed response units dealt with fake guns.

The government has previously ruled out a wholesale ban on imitation firearms, saying it was too difficult to find a legal definition for replicas.


Fatalities: 70 (-15%)

Serious injuries: 430 (no change)

Total firearms offences: 10,590 (+3%)

With replica/ imitation gun: 1,350 (+35%)

With handgun: 4,910 (-10%)
Source: Home Office recorded crime figures. Comparisons are with year to June 03

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2004/10/21 15:10:05 GMT



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« Reply #30 on: October 22, 2004, 05:22:26 AM »
I believe there are other reasons for increasing crime in the UK. It should first be noted that crime rates were rising long before the firearms ban.

Secondly, and in my experience this is an strange concept for Americans given the gun culture that exists in the USA: People just don't carry guns for self defence over here. The gun ban had zero effect on the self defence capabilities of the average law abiding citizen, because even before the ban it would be unheard of for someone to carry a firearm in public.

It should also be noted that the firearms ban was clearly a knee-jerk reaction to a specific incident - name the Dunblane Massacre, in which around 20 schoolchildren were shot by a gun nut with a selection of legally owned weapons.

Personally I don't believe such exceptional events should be the basis for any legislation, rather than the general crime trends, but I do understand the thought process which led to that happening - If the perpetrator of the Dunblane Massacre hadn't been allowed to buy guns, those 20 kids would still be alive.

Just food for thought.


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More Quibbling
« Reply #31 on: October 22, 2004, 08:52:08 AM »
I've some quibbles over the way some of these facts are framed.

"I believe there are other reasons for increasing crime in the UK. It should first be noted that crime rates were rising long before the firearms ban."

The right to own firearms has been under serious attack in the UK for decades now, and there has been a parallel effort to criminalize self-defense, witness Tony Martin?s ordeal. Though there are doubtless other factors, it's not like someone threw a switch ending legal access to firearms for most Brits. Rather, it's been an evolutionary process. I don't know of any study that has correlated that evolution with rising crime, but I'd be surprised is there wasn't some sort of high positive relationship.

"Secondly, and in my experience this is an strange concept for Americans given the gun culture that exists in the USA: People just don't carry guns for self defence over here. The gun ban had zero effect on the self defence capabilities of the average law abiding citizen, because even before the ban it would be unheard of for someone to carry a firearm in public."

I think the relevant bit of data here is the rise in so called "hot burglaries" in the UK. "Hot burglaries" are ones where a dwelling is robbed with the occupants at home. As the likelihood of encountering an armed victim decreased, and the penalties for defending one's home with lethal force increased, the incidence of "hot burglaries," unsurprisingly, rose. Self-defense does not only occur outside the home, hence I'd argue there has been something more than a "zero effect."

I think the availability of firearms for defensive purposes should be viewed as a continuum, rather than an all or nothing proposition. The UK indeed has little history of concealed handgun carry, though there was a time when many households owned shotguns and rifles. At one time criminals had no way of knowing if a shotgun would poke out the door of a house they were committing a crime in front of. These days they know full well that is no longer a concern, and the crime rate reflects it.

"It should also be noted that the firearms ban was clearly a knee-jerk reaction to a specific incident - name the Dunblane Massacre, in which around 20 schoolchildren were shot by a gun nut with a selection of legally owned weapons."

No debate here, this was certainly a tragedy of the first order. I can't help but note, though, that the costs of private firearm ownership are invariably trumpeted, while the benefits are rarely noted. In the US, for instance, concealed carry states see a significant drop in crime that corresponds directly with the number of permits issued; far fewer mass shootings occur in "shall issue" states, and so on.

"Personally I don't believe such exceptional events should be the basis for any legislation, rather than the general crime trends, but I do understand the thought process which led to that happening - If the perpetrator of the Dunblane Massacre hadn't been allowed to buy guns, those 20 kids would still be alive."

True enough. Any idea how many have been murdered because the bad guys have the guns the law-abiding are denied?


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« Reply #32 on: October 23, 2004, 04:49:04 AM »
I've been examining the crime stats on (which is a great website by the way).

Firstly I noted the burglary rate for the UK is twice that of the US.

It's easy to find an explanation for that (in the context of this discussion): Burglaries are being prevented in the US by the criminals fear of (or actual contact with) a well armed population. (I have some other explanations with regard to the UK rate, but they aren't really relevant for now so let's keep it to guns vs. crime)

However the murder rate in the US is 4 times that in the UK.

My question is, what is it about the murders that the arming of the population doesn't prevent them in the same way that the burglaries are prevented?

This ISN'T supposed to be a "HAHA! I proved joo rong!!!" or anything like that. I ask the question because we all know the stats don't tell the whole story and since you guys all live there you have a much better understanding of the full picture behind the stats.


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« Reply #33 on: October 24, 2004, 06:39:56 PM »
Alex asks:

"My question is, what is it about the murders that the arming of the population doesn't prevent them in the same way that the burglaries are prevented?"

The short answer is that there are a lot of variables, far more than I could coherently address. Let me note first, however, that the highest murder rates in the US are in areas with the strictest gun control. Chicago, District of Columbia, New York, Los Angeles, and so on all have higher murder rates than better armed sections of the US.

There are so many variables that it's hard to compare countries--some nations like Switzerland and Israel have a greater percentage of their population armed, but lower murder rate while other countries have draconian gun laws and very high murder rates.

Be that as it may, I think there are some variables that can be isolated, such as:

Geographical. The UK is comprised of islands, while the US shares thousands of miles of borders. Immigration, legal. There is a lot less homogeneity in the US. Immigration, illegal. There are a lot more shady characters entering the US. Economic. There is a lot more economic foment, hence economic conflict, in the US. Police. As I understand it, police have a much greater day-to-day presence in citizen?s lives in the UK than in the US. Drugs. US drug policy creates more drug crime than the corresponding UK policies.

Doubtless I'm missing many things, and I could certainly elaborate on the ones I've listed. Bottom line is it's pretty hard to compare apples and oranges. I think it's more productive to compare regions of the US to others. For instance, the US counties contiguous to the District of Columbia suffer very different murder and crime rates. DC is a murder and crime capitol. Neighboring Virginia counties have a far lower crime rate, while neighboring Maryland counties have crime rates higher than Virginia's, but lower than DC's. Virginia has fairly unrestrictive firearm laws; Maryland's are fairly restrictive; while DC's are the most restrictive in the country.

Sorry I couldn't get more specific, but I think doing so would quickly turn into a doctoral dissertation.


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« Reply #34 on: November 10, 2004, 04:18:43 PM »
The following article is from the a Scottish paper, the Evening Times ( I think the term "assault knives" is noteworthy.

Article follows:

New laws aim to ban shops from selling knives

NEW laws banning high street shops from selling assault knives, machetes and other weapons could be introduced by the end of next year.

Sales of replica guns will also be banned because they can be converted into useable firearms.

First Minister Jack McConnell has been in talks with chief constables on how to combat the rising level of knife crime, which is at its highest level for 10 years.

There will also be tougher sentencing powers for knife assaults, and a proposal to give police random stop and search powers is being considered.

The age at which young people can buy household knives and axes may also rise from 16 to 18.

A commitment to review the law and enforcement on knife crimes was part of the Executive's Partnership Agreement.

An Executive spokesperson said: "We are looking at existing legislation to determine whether it is sufficiently robust and flexible to respond to the illegal use and carriage of knives.

"Related to that work, we also plan to consult on proposals to increase the powers of our record number of police officers to deal with knife and violent crime."

Details of the new proposals are expected to be revealed in a parliamentary Bill early next year.

Over the past four years the number of incidents involving knives has risen by 350%, and in Glasgow alone 7500 people were victims of knife crime last year.

Under current legislation, councils can ban market traders from selling non-household knives but have no power to prevent their sale in high street shops.

The Evening Times was praised in the Scottish Parliament for campaigning for a crackdown on knife attacks and violence on the streets.

Glasgow's growing problem was highlighted in the Scottish Parliament by Shettleston MSP Frank McAveety after four men were killed in his constituency in a weekend of violence last month.

During First Minister's Questions he produced photographs of makeshift weapons, including scissor blades taped to a broom handle, to demonstrate the extent of the problem.

Mr McConnell said then that ministers were looking at strengthening laws on the sale and carrying of knives, increasing police powers and strengthening sentences as soon as possible.

Among the shops affected by the new law would be Victor Morris whose owner Martin Morris describes his stock as "sporting and collectable" items.

He said the new measures would be pointless and that most knife crime involved kitchen knives.

Mr McAveety said today: "The quicker we strengthen the law the better.

"Many attacks are carried out using domestic knives but a belt and braces approach with rigorous controls over shops which sell dangerous weapons is needed."


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« Reply #35 on: November 27, 2004, 10:12:57 AM »
In Oklahoma, a Ban
On Guns Pits State
Against Big Firms

Weyerhaeuser Fired Workers
Who Had Weapons in Cars,
And Legal Dispute Unfolds
November 26, 2004; Page A1

VALLIANT, Okla. -- In late summer of 2002, Steve Bastible put three bullets into a dying cow at his ranch, threw the emptied rifle behind the seat of his pickup and forgot about it.

A few weeks later, the rifle cost him his job of 23 years.

That Oct. 1, in a surprise search, Weyerhaeuser Co. sent gun-sniffing dogs into the parking lot of its paper mill here. Mr. Bastible and 11 other workers were fired after guns were found in their vehicles. The timber company said the weapons violated a new company policy that extended a longtime workplace gun ban to the parking area. The fired workers said they knew nothing of the new rule.

The firings outraged many in this wooded community in the foothills of the Ouachita Mountains. In rural Oklahoma, carrying a firearm in one's car is commonplace. "In Oklahoma, gun control is when you hit what you shoot at," says Jerry Ellis, a member of the state legislature.

Now, the dispute is reverberating beyond the borders of tiny Valliant, located in the southeast corner of the state. In response, the state legislature overwhelmingly passed a law giving Oklahomans the right to keep guns locked in their cars in parking lots. But just days before the law was to go into effect this month, several prominent companies with Oklahoma operations, including Whirlpool Corp. and ConocoPhillips sued to stop it. A federal judge put the law on hold pending a hearing.

Meanwhile, several of the paper-mill workers have filed wrongful-discharge lawsuits against Weyerhaeuser and its subcontractors, which employed the workers. "This is a heck of an injustice that needs to be fixed," says their Tulsa lawyer, Larry Johnson, 72 years old, who has spent a lifetime studying the second amendment.

On one side, companies are trying to keep guns away from the workplace, driven by real-life horror stories of disgruntled employees on the rampage, stalking the hallways and shooting down bosses and co-workers. On the other side are employees who argue that guns help keep law-abiding workers safer.

The debate transcends partisan politics. Nearly 90% of voters in the county are registered Democrats, and yet 66% of county voters cast ballots for George Bush for president, in part because they viewed him as more pro-gun.

The new law was sponsored by Mr. Ellis, a Democrat from McCurtain County. It passed unanimously in the Oklahoma Senate, and on a 92-4 vote in the House. "I just didn't think the state should be dictating weapons policy to property owners," says J. Mike Wilt, a Republican from Bartlesville who was among the four voting against the law.

Mr. Ellis, a former mill worker himself, counters: "These are good, hardworking, tax-paying, law-abiding citizens. I just wish these big companies could understand that these people are not a threat to anybody."

Guns are part of everyday life in McCurtain County, where many residents hunt and ranch, and houses are miles apart. In the local gun and pawn shop in the county seat of Idabel, worker David Brakebill spreads out a map on the counter and points to the green blotches representing vast expanses of tree-covered wilderness. "When you call the police," says Vicki Luna, an owner of the gun store, "they don't get there for 30 minutes -- if they can find your house."

The Weyerhaeuser paper mill has been the largest employer in town for more than 30 years, providing about 2,500 jobs in the area and contributing more than $55 million annually to the local economy in taxes, payroll and community donations, according to the company. The whole gun flap actually started with an apparent drug overdose at the plant. Plant manager Randy Nebel hired a security company to bring in four dogs to search for drugs and guns in the parking lot. The dogs didn't find any drugs but zeroed in on several vehicles containing firearms.

The company then ordered the workers to open the suspect cars so that they could be hand-searched. A dozen workers, four Weyerhaeuser employees and eight who worked for subcontractors, were suspended for having rifles, shotguns or handguns. A couple of days later, they were fired as part of Weyerhaeuser and its subcontractors' zero-tolerance policy for major safety violations, the companies say.

Jimmy "Red" Wyatt, a 45-year-old father of five who worked his way up from the factory floor to supervisor in his 22 years at the mill, says he often carried his rifle to scare off coyotes threatening the cattle he raises in his spare time. A shotgun also found was left over from bird hunting with his sons the day before.

Mr. Nebel says that firing Mr. Wyatt, a model worker, was difficult. But after clearing the parking lot of guns, "I believe the plant is safer," he said.

The plant manager said the new gun rule had been in place since January 2002 after reversing a previous policy that had allowed workers to leave their guns locked in their cars. The company says it told workers in writing and during "team meetings" of the new policy. "It was well known this would be dealt with severely," said Mr. Nebel. Mr. Wyatt and the other fired workers say they never were told of the changed rule.

Hearing of the case, the National Rifle Association referred the workers to Mr. Johnson, a longtime gun-rights advocate. Mr. Johnson contacted Mr. Ellis, and together they crafted what was to become the new law. In a recent brief supporting the law, Mr. Johnson sprinkled his legal arguments with historic quotes from poets and philosophers. "I even quoted Christ," he says, reciting a snippet from the Book of Luke in which Jesus admonishes his followers, "Let him who has no sword sell his mantle and buy one."

In fighting the law, Oklahoma companies are walking through a community-relations minefield in what is known as an NRA stronghold. The Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce normally supports the NRA. But it says it joined the lawsuit opposing the law because it believes companies should be able to exclude weapons from their premises.

"Things happen at work that make people mad: They don't get a raise," explains attorney David Strecker, who is representing the chamber. "If a gun is handy, someone might use it, and that's just something employers don't want to risk."

In a surprise move at a hearing on the law in U.S. Chief District Judge Sven Erik Holmes's Tulsa court Tuesday, Whirlpool withdrew from the case, leaving ConocoPhillips and Williams Cos. to lead the lawsuit. Mr. Johnson, who has joined Rep. Ellis in calling for a boycott of Whirlpool and the other companies involved in the lawsuit, said he believes Whirlpool succumbed to worries it might be punished by pro-gun rights consumers. "People are taking it very, very seriously," he said. "Look at how politicians have suffered when they get on the wrong side of this issue."

Whirlpool responds that it had only been seeking clarification on the law, and that it believes a recent brief by the Oklahoma attorney general gives them the green light to maintain their no-gun policy, resolving their concern. A spokesman for Attorney General Drew Edmonson, however, said he didn't agree with that interpretation. Neither did Steven Broussard, the Tulsa attorney for Conoco and Williams. "We feel that nothing has changed and it's very important for us to get a resolution of this," Mr. Broussard said.

The law remains on hold as the legal dispute unfolds in court.

Write to Susan Warren at


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Roll Over, Play Dead
« Reply #36 on: December 02, 2004, 08:47:14 PM »
This article from a Scottish publication asks the question "what do you do when your home is burgled?" Roll over and play dead or face legal consequences appears to be the answer. The blithe way this advice is stated strikes me as particularly spooky.

The Scotsman

Wed 1 Dec 2004

So what do you do when your home is burgled?


THE murder of John Monckton and the attack on his wife, Homeyra, during an apparent burglary in their London home has once again highlighted the true dangers and indeed the legal and moral dilemma members of the public face when they are confronted with intruders on their own property.

From a police perspective, the advice to potential victims of burglaries is unequivocal and clear-cut and you should never "have a go", so to speak, but for the victims of crime this is a very difficult thing to put into practice, especially when your natural instincts are to defend yourself, your family and your own property - the very pillars of your life that are being violated and potentially destroyed by criminals.

As a law-abiding individual confronted by an intruder in your home you face a catch-22. If you attack the burglar, or react in an "over the top" manner, as was recently illustrated in the case of Tony Martin who shot intruders in his Norfolk farmhouse, you will inevitably end up on the receiving end of a prison sentence that will far outstrip that imposed on the intruder in your own home. This situation has resulted in a lack of belief in the law among the public or rather a belief that the law isn?t exactly on your side when your home is broken into.

To this end it is perhaps important not to dwell on the situation involving Mr Martin because, regardless of the appeal procedure he successfully went through to secure his freedom, in many ways the law still points to his particular attack on the intruders who entered his home as a pre-meditated assault. He had previously been the victim of a number of burglaries within his home and as a result of this he was effectively prepared for further intrusion and reacted as such when his farmhouse was broken into again.

But what the Martin case does reflect is the general fear felt by the public over rising crime rates and the extent to which they will go to protect themselves. As the case involving Mr and Mrs Monckton shows those most at risk from aggravated burglary are the wealthy, individuals identified by criminals as prosperous professionals. However, at the other end of the scale, people living in inner cities and on council estates face a similar level of risk.

When individuals are confronted by intruders there are some actions they should follow. Direct contact should be avoided whenever possible. If unavoidable, the victim should adopt a state of active passivity. In most cases the best form of defence is always avoidance. If this isn?t possible, act passively, be careful what you say or do and give up valuables without a struggle. This allows the victim to take charge of the situation, without the intruder?s awareness, through subtle and non-confrontational means. People can cooperate but initiate nothing. By doing nothing there is no chance of inadvertently initiating violence by saying something such as "Please don?t hurt me".

In a situation involving housebreaking it is also important to remember that many common burglars are adolescents, most likely starting out on the first rung of the criminal ladder, and they are therefore prone to lashing out if confronted and in the worst case scenarios killing out of panic and fear.

Sometimes the perpetrator of a burglary is even more terrified than the victim and in many cases when things go wrong it is the perpetrator of the crime who panics. Although they sometimes go equipped with weapons, in most cases they probably don?t intend to use them but in the heat of the moment, and the fear of either getting caught or attacked themselves, they use them. They don?t expect the person they are trying to hold up to retaliate or react. Mostly the knife is there simply for intimidation rather than intent to use it and they finish up killing somebody by accident rather than design.

This, of course, does not excuse their actions, but it is certainly worth taking on-board when you consider confronting an intruder. While saying this, in my own experience counselling victims of crime in recent years, there has also recently been a marked increase in the use or the threatened use of dangerous weapons in burglaries and common assaults. This, in itself, is a deeply worrying trend and, although not entirely excusing over-retaliation from homeowners, creates an understandable degree of sympathy for members of the public who lash out at intruders in their home. In truth it is an incredibly difficult situation to assess.

What is perhaps most important is dealing with the victims of the crime and helping them through the aftermath. As someone with wide experience of counselling the victims of violent robberies in their homes it is essential to remember the post-traumatic stress associated with such incidents.

The truth is aggravated burglary causes enormous stress as the victim?s home has been violated. This situation is magnified when the victims and their family have been threatened or assaulted and can lead to a whole range of post-traumatic stress disorders. Like the victims of rape and violent assault, members of the public who experience criminal intrusion in their home experience episodes and often show all the classic symptoms of post-traumatic stress like panic attacks, sleep disorders, flashbacks and social withdrawal.

Like other serious crimes the aftermath of a burglary can be the start of a process that continues to destroy the victim?s self-esteem and even relationships with their loved ones and more often than not reinforces their feelings of guilt and self-blame over the situation. The damage to the victim from the original crime can also be magnified by the court experience and, more likely in today?s society, the lack of support from local authorities and the police.

The trauma can be dealt with in a number of ways with professional help, counselling to develop effective coping strategies and taking time off from stressful professional activities. People who fail to seek help often develop further psychological problems. Men especially are not good at accepting support, but some simple counselling immediately after an attack can substantially reduce the risk of long-term psychological problems.

? Dr Ian Stephen is an Honorary Lecturer (Forensic Psychology) at Glasgow Caledonian University and has worked in a number of prisons with long-term prisoners and young offenders. He was a consultant to forensic psychology television series Cracker.

This article:



 :shock:  :shock:  :shock:  :shock:  :shock:  :shock:

And here's the article about the referenced murder


Financier killed as he confronts burglars


A WEALTHY and highly respected City of London financier was stabbed to death and his wife was left seriously injured after two knife-wielding intruders burst into their multi-million pound townhouse in Chelsea.

John Monckton?s family were "profoundly shocked" by the murder and described him as an "incredibly gentle and thoughtful man".

The couple?s nine-year-old daughter, Isobel, alerted emergency services after finding her parents fighting for their lives after the incident on Monday night. Detectives believe it could have been an attempted burglary, but were keeping an open mind on the motive for the attack.

Yesterday, shocked residents of the exclusive and close-knit area, where actors, rock stars and the aristocracy live next to leading lawyers and businessmen, spoke of a spate of burglaries, robberies and assaults in recent years.

Mr Monckton, 49, died in hospital shortly after the attack. His wife, Homeyra, 45, who was also stabbed, was in a stable condition at St Thomas? Hospital last night after undergoing "significant surgery" for her injuries. She is not expected to be discharged for a week. The couple?s other daughter, Sabrina, 12, was at her boarding school, St Mary?s Ascot, at the time of the murder. She travelled to be with her mother and sister yesterday.

A respected director with financial giant Legal and General and a leading City authority on the corporate bond market, Mr Monckton was also well-known for his deeply held religious beliefs and charitable work. The cousin of Rosa Monckton, a close friend of the late Princess Diana and wife of Dominic Lawson, the Sunday Telegraph editor, Mr Monckton came from a well-established Catholic family and was active in the Knights of Malta charity, which helps the poor.

Police were called to the Moncktons? home, in Upper Cheyne Row, near Albert Bridge, at around 7:35pm on Monday.

Detective Superintendent Mark Jackson said it was too early to establish a motive, but Mr Monckton?s business affairs and the possibility of burglary were "key lines of inquiry".

He added: "The early indications are that two males forced entry into the premises and that is when the offences occurred, and they then decamped from the scene. A murder inquiry has now commenced."

Police are looking at CCTV footage as well as doing forensic tests at the scene and making door-to-door inquiries. Several witnesses have come forward; the suspects were seen fleeing down Glebe Place and on towards the King?s Road.

Yesterday, many residents of Upper Cheyne Row, a tranquil, residential street full of Grade II listed homes, now sealed off by police tape, said they were "saddened and shocked" by the news. The Moncktons? close neighbours include Rolling Stones bass player Bill Wyman, the Marquess of Blandford and several leading financiers.

Canon Michael Brockie, of Our Most Holy Redeemer of Saint Thomas More Church opposite the Moncktons? home, was with Mr Monckton when he died and comforted his wife yesterday. He said she was recovering well.

Canon Brockie described the family as "very close-knit, very dedicated to one another, very private." He said that Mr Monckton, who was on the church?s finance committee, was a "wonderful father and husband" and his death was a "great personal loss, both to me and the parish".

The Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O?Connor, also paid tribute to Mr Monckton, a relative of Lord Monckton, the late owner of Catholic newspaper, the Universe. He said he was horrified by news of the murder of "an exceptional and faithful man".

Canon Brockie, who was in the church at the time of the murder, said he heard a burglar alarm, followed by a banging door, before he went outside to see ambulances. He spoke of a series of recent crimes, including one in the church opposite the Moncktons? house, which left an officer of the church brain-damaged after an attack by an intruder. The priest said he knew of at least three violent burglaries in Chelsea in the past six weeks.

One resident said yesterday that it was the third time in two years that the street had been sealed off with police tape after a major crime. Another spoke of a burglary nearby, where intruders had barged in after a resident opened the door.

A spokesman for Scotland Yard confirmed the attack at the church, in January, and a car hijack, in April, in Cheyne Row, which resulted in two convictions. The Metropolitan Police?s website shows that while Kensington and Chelsea has relatively low crime figures compared for London, it has seen a 66 per cent increase in robberies over the past year, with 87 incidents in 2004. Burglary is also up 16 per cent, from 224 to 240, while violence against the person has seen a 12 per cent increase, from 237 to 266. The borough has also seen the highest percentage rise in knife crime in London in the past two years, with 236 offences in the ten months to March, 35 per cent up on a year earlier.

In 1999, Robert Robinson, former TV presenter for Call My Bluff, and his wife, Josephine, were robbed of ?2,000 of jewellery 100 yards from the Monckton property.


AS WELL as being a respected figure in the City, John Monckton came from a family whose achievements straddled politics, finance and the law. He was a cousin of Rosa Monckton, one of the best friends of Diana, Princess of Wales and the wife of Dominic Lawson, the editor of the Sunday Telegraph.

Among his forebears was Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, confidant to Edward VIII during the abdication, who went on to serve in a Tory government as paymaster-general.

Mr Monckton, 49, was a highly respected and senior City fund manager who had been with Legal and General?s investment management division for eight years.

He specialised in the bond markets and was a leading authority on the subject. He headed the bond investment team at L&G.

Born into a distinguished legal family, he was educated at Lincoln College, Oxford, and was called to the Bar as a member of Lincoln?s Inn in 1979. He went to the City in that year, joining the broker Barclays de Zoete Wedd. He later went on to fund managers Foreign & Colonial.

He was also known for his charity work and was a trustee of the Orders of St John which runs St John Ambulance.

It was the 1st Viscount Monckton who achieved the greatest prominence in recent years. The viscount - born Walter Monckton - was the MP for Bristol West from 1951-57 and served in the ministries of defence and labour before becoming paymaster-general.


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« Reply #37 on: December 03, 2004, 09:14:55 PM »
Though the headline is over the top, this article from the Daily Telegraph reports that a senior British police official acknowledges at least in passing that self defence is a human right. I think it's worth noting Sir Stevens is about to step down from his position; I wonder if the political climate is such that a tacit mea culpa can only be delivered on the way out the door.

Article follows:

Time to let people kill burglars in their homes, says Met chief
By John Steele, Home Affairs Correspondent
(Filed: 04/12/2004)

Householders should be able to use whatever force is necessary to defend their homes against criminals, even if it involves killing the intruder, the country's most senior police officer said yesterday.

Sir John Stevens, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, said those who defended their families and property should only face prosecution over injuries to intruders in "extreme circumstances", where they could be shown to have used gratuitous violence.

Speaking exclusively to the Telegraph, days after John Monckton, a financier, was stabbed to death in an attempted robbery at his home in Chelsea, Sir John said: "My own view is that people should be allowed to use what force is necessary and that they should be allowed to do so without any risk of prosecution.

"There's a definite feeling around when I go out on the beat with officers and talk to members of the public that we need clarity in the law."

He said the current legal test of "reasonable force", which has evolved in common law, seemed to be weighted against householders and left the public confused about their rights.

Sir John suggested replacing it with legislation that put a statutory duty on police, prosecutors and the courts to presume that the force someone used in their home against a violent intruder was within the law, unless the facts clearly disproved this.

Other police chiefs shared his view - the strongest assertion of a home owner's right to self-defence issued by a senior officer in recent times - that there was too much doubt about what people could do, he said. The issue should be resolved by Parliament as "a matter of urgency."

Sir John, who will step down in January after five years as commissioner, said: "There is a real difficulty in people understanding what force they can use to defend themselves, their loved ones, their families and their homes. In years gone by I think there was a broad understanding of what it meant.

"The test at the moment is that you use reasonable force in the circumstances. You do not use excessiveness. I think the test of reasonableness needs to be looked at and clarified within statute.

"The thing is too imprecise at the moment for people when they are in extremis. You should be absolutely clear about what your legal rights are to defend yourself."

He suggested that the case of Tony Martin, the Norfolk farmer jailed for shooting dead a 16-year-old burglar, Fred Barras, in August 1999, was exceptional one which had distorted the issue of self-defence.

Martin, he pointed out, "did shoot the burglar as he was running away. He did use a gun that was illegal. The Martin case skewed everything and it was the wrong case to concentrate on".

Speaking at Scotland Yard, Sir John said: "Now is the time, specifically with these two cases we have had recently - in Chiswick and Chelsea - for the law to be clarified." The Chiswick case involved a teacher stabbed to death in his home in west London. A man has been charged with his murder.

"It's all very well for the lawyers to say the law is clear, but I'm afraid people on the street don't feel that, and on occasions neither do the police," said Sir John.

"Of course you don't want to have gratuitous or excessive violence? but you have to be given the power to use what is necessary.

"I'm not talking about guns but people being allowed to defend themselves and use whatever is necessary to defend themselves against someone who may well be armed with a knife."

There should be a presumption in law "that the person using the force to defend themselves is acting within the law, rather than the other way round".

Even if a struggle led to the death of an intruder, Sir John added, the law would presume that the person in that house had acted lawfully "and let the law change that presumption because of fact in evidence".

He said: "The message it sends to the would-be attacker is, `Do not think you can come into people's homes and people will not defend themselves with the right type of force that's necessary.' At the moment it seems it's the other way round.";sessionid=I14UFWHN5LJ5VQFIQMGSNAGAVCBQWJVC?xml=/news/2004/12/04/nmet04.xml&sSheet=/portal/2004/12/04/ixportal.html


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Re: Return to Reason?
« Reply #38 on: December 11, 2004, 07:45:08 PM »
Quote from: buzwardo
Though the headline is over the top, this article from the Daily Telegraph reports that a senior British police official acknowledges at least in passing that self defence is a human right. I think it's worth noting Sir Stevens is about to step down from his position; I wonder if the political climate is such that a tacit mea culpa can only be delivered on the way out the door.

Tony Blair just backed what Sir Stevens said

08 December 2004 - 14:23

Blair backs burglary law changes

Tony Blair has said that the government will be conducting a review into whether the law needs changing on the level of force an individual can use against an intruder.

Speaking at prime minister's question time, Mr Blair told MPs that in the light of public concern the issue would be re-examined.

The Conservatives have been championing a private members' bill that would seek to amend the existing law so that householders would only be prosecuted if they used "grossly disproportionate" force against an intruder. Currently the law allows a householder to use "reasonable force".

He's basically stolen the Conservatives' stance on the issue which I rather admire him for. It is pretty much what the majority of people want anyway.


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« Reply #39 on: December 12, 2004, 06:23:58 PM »
It appears the British Attorney General is at odds with the Prime Minister and head of Scotland Yards. Out of the Telegraph:

Burglars have rights too, says Attorney General
By Melissa Kite and Andrew Alderson
(Filed: 12/12/2004)

A fresh row broke out last night about the rights of householders to fight back against intruders after the Government's most senior lawyer defended the rights of burglars.

Lord Goldsmith, the attorney-general, flew in the face of the Prime Minister's pledge to look again at the law with a view to giving homeowners more rights when he said that existing legislation was adequate.

He said that criminals must also have the right to protection from violence, prompting David Davis, the shadow home secretary, to accuse the government of being dangerously split on the issue.

Lord Goldsmith's intervention came as Sir John Stevens, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, dismissed fears that giving homeowners greater freedom when tackling burglars would lead to an "arms race" that would put them in greater danger.

He denied that a change in the law, which currently gives homeowners the right to use "reasonable force" when tackling intruders, would encourage burglars to become more aggressive.

In an interview with The Telegraph, Sir John - who last weekend came out in favour of the Right to Fight Back campaign, launched by this newspaper two months ago - said: "I am convinced that enabling householders to use whatever force is necessary will discourage burglars.

"The fact that a would-be intruder knows a householder can respond without the fear of being prosecuted will undoubtedly deter criminal acts." Sir John, who will step down next month after five years as commissioner, said fellow police officers were confident that it would act as a deterrent.

"We are on the ground," he said. "We smell it, we see it, we hear it. We know what we are talking about."

Last week, Tony Blair told the House of Commons that he would look at strengthening the law and a Tory MP has introduced a private member's bill to do so.

Lord Goldsmith, however, appeared to take issue with the Prime Minister's pledge to act. "We must protect victims and law abiding citizens," he said.

"But we have to recognise that others have some rights as well. They don't lose all rights because they're engaged in criminal conduct."

Mr Davis said: "They certainly do lose quite a lot of rights. The Government ought to make up its mind. The Prime Minister says one thing and the Attorney General says another.

"Of course all human beings have rights, but when somebody enters your home to commit a crime they give up a large portion of them."

Some critics of a change in the law have voiced concerns that burglars will feel they have to carry guns, knives and other weapons to protect themselves from householders.

Sir John, however, did not see this as a problem. "I have confidence in the good judgement and common sense of the public in knowing how far they should go."

He said that householders should be able to use whatever force is necessary even if - in exceptional circumstances - it involved killing the intruder.

He spoke of his regret about the repercussions over the verdict on Tony Martin, the farmer who shot dead one burglar and seriously injured another during a break-in at his farm in August 1999.

There was a public outcry when Martin was found guilty at Norwich Crown Court and sentenced to life in prison. The charge and sentence were later reduced to five years for manslaughter.

Sir John did not suggest that the jury had reached the wrong verdict, but added: "The Tony Martin case is unfortunate because it has skewed the debate [on the public's right to protect their home]. But it is a fact that burglars have acted with greater confidence since the Tony Martin verdict and that has to be a matter of regret."

Lord Goldsmith, however, warned of the dangers of using the Martin case to make bad law: "There are very few cases that have given rise to this problem. Besides Tony Martin, there's only one I know about.

"It's always possible to extrapolate from one case and think that something is happening across the country when it isn't."

Mr Blair's announcement of a review of the law came three days after the Conservative Party threw its weight behind a new parliamentary attempt to win more rights for householders to protect them from burglars.

The Telegraph revealed last weekend how Patrick Mercer, the Tory MP, would introduce a Private Member's Bill to change the law in favour of homeowners.

In an article in this newspaper today, Mr Mercer described Mr Blair's promise to consult before taking action as a "classic delaying tactic".

Michael Howard, the Tory leader, yesterday praised this newspaper's campaign. "I pay tribute to the highly effective campaign run over so many months by The Sunday Telegraph. It was the first newspaper to highlight this crucial issue and its persistence has been a key factor in winning this change to the law and in forcing Tony Blair's U-turn," he said. "We now need to ensure that Patrick Mercer's bill gets through parliament. The Sunday Telegraph's continued vigilance will be crucial in ensuring this.";sessionid=0L00PD041E3SFQFIQMFCM5WAVCBQYJVC?xml=/news/2004/12/12/nfight12.xml&sSheet=/news/2004/12/12/ixnewstop.html


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« Reply #40 on: December 14, 2004, 05:41:40 PM »
This thread's title notwithstanding, here's one an armed LEO:


Police Arrest Deputy U.S. Marshal
Marshal Being Held Without Bond
POSTED: 10:51 AM EST November 2, 2004

ROCKVILLE, Md. -- Montgomery County police say a deputy U.S. Marshal has been charged with murder in the shooting death of 20-year-old Ryan Stowers last Thursday in Rockville, Md. Police said 53-year-old Arthur Lloyd was taken into custody about 8:30 a.m., at his Montgomery County home.

They said Stowers and Lloyd argued at the Mid Pike Shopping Plaza on Rockville Pike, shortly after having a traffic altercation on Rockville Pike.
Police said the verbal dispute escalated into a physical altercation and at some point, Lloyd drew his service handgun and fired one round , striking Stowers in his lower right leg.

Detectives said Stowers called 911 using his cell phone, and then got back into his car and began to drive away. Lloyd then fired multiple times, with one round hitting Stowers in the back near his left shoulder, detectives said.

Stowers was taken to Suburban Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Lloyd was taken to a local hospital and treated and released for a broken thumb and other injuries he sustained during the altercation.
Police said Lloyd was off duty at the time and had his family in the car when the incident happened.

Authorities said Lloyd has been charged with first-degree murder, use of a handgun in the commission of a crime of violence, and reckless endangerment and is being held without bond.
According to the U.S. Marshals Service, Lloyd has been suspended without pay.

Copyright 2004 by All rights reserved.


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Re: Police Arrest Deputy U.S. Marshal
« Reply #41 on: December 14, 2004, 06:48:17 PM »
That story has been making fairly big news out this way in the metro DC area. Looks like a case of road rage where the LEO let his anger get out of hand. I was among those fairly scandalized by the fact that it took over a week, if memory serves, for the officer to be arrested. There were a lot of witnesses to the incident and the accounts published are all quite consistent.

I've run into a lot of LEOs over the years at the range and while training martial arts. Though the experience is by no means universal, I've met more than my share who couldn't check their ego at the door. Sundry sorts of folly ensued, of which I suspect this is an extreme example. I'm curious if others have had training experience with ego-driven LEOs.


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« Reply #42 on: December 28, 2004, 07:33:47 AM »
I recently ran across this article.  Scary, but interesting.

The Battle of Athens, Tennessee

As Recently As 1946, American Citizens Were
Forced To Take Up Arms As A Last Resort
Against Corrupt Government Officials.

Published in Guns & Ammo October 1995, pp. 50-51

On August 1-2, 1946, some Americans, brutalized by their county government, used armed force as a last resort to overturn it. These Americans wanted honest open elections. For years they had asked for state or federal election monitors to prevent vote fraud (forged ballots, secret ballot counts and intimidation by armed sheriff's deputies) by the local political boss. They got no help.

These Americans' absolute refusal to knuckle under had been hardened by service in World War II. Having fought to free other countries from murderous regimes, they rejected vicious abuse by their county government.

These Americans had a choice. Their state's Constitution -- Article 1, Section 26 -- recorded their right to keep and bear arms for the common defense. Few "gun control" laws had been enacted.

These Americans were residents of McMinn County, which is located between Chattanooga and Knoxville in Eastern Tennessee. The two main towns were Athens and Etowah. McMinn County residents had long been independent political thinkers. For a long time they also had: accepted bribe-taking by politicians and/or the sheriff to overlook illicit whiskey-making and gambling; financed the sheriff's department from fines-usually for speeding or public drunkenness which promoted false arrests; and put up with voting fraud by both Democrats and Republicans.

The wealthy Cantrell family, of Etowah, backed Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the 1932 election, hoping New Deal programs would revive the local economy and help Democrats to replace Republicans in the county government. So it proved.

Paul Cantrell was elected sheriff in the 1936,1938 and 1940 elections, but by slim margins. The sheriff was the key county official. Cantrell was elected to the state senate in 1942 and 1944; his chief deputy, Pat Mansfield, was elected sheriff. In 1946 Paul Cantrell again sought the sheriff's office.

At the end of 1945, some 3,000 battle-hardened veterans returned to McMinn County; the GIs held Cantrell politically responsible for Mansfield's doings. Early in 1946, some newly returned ex-GIs decided to challenge Cantrell politically by offering an all-ex-GI, non-partisan ticket. They promised a fraud-free election, stating in ads and speeches that there would be an honest ballot count and reform of county government.

At a rally, a GI speaker said, "The principles that we fought for in this past war do not exist in McMinn County. We fought for democracy because we believe in democracy but not the form we live under in this county" (Daily Post-Athenian, 17 June 1946, p.1 ). At the end of July 1946, 159 McMinn County GIs petitioned the FBI to send election monitors. There was no response. The Department of Justice had not responded to McMinn County residents' complaints of election fraud in 1940, 1942 and 1944.


The primary election was held on August 1. To intimidate voters, Mansfield brought in some 200 armed "deputies." GI poll-watchers were beaten almost at once. At about 3 p.m., Tom Gillespie, an African- American voter was told by a sheriff's deputy that he could not vote. Despite being beaten, Gillespie persisted. The enraged deputy shot him. The gunshot drew a crowd. Rumors spread that Gillespie had been shot in the back; he later recovered (C. Stephen Byrum, The Battle of Athens, Paidia Productions, Chattanooga, TN, 1987; pp. 155-57).

Other deputies detained ex-GI poll-watchers in a polling place, as that made the ballot counting "Public" A crowd gathered. Sheriff Mansfield told his deputies to disperse the crowd. When the two ex-GIs smashed a big window and escaped, the crowd surged forward. The deputies, with guns drawn, formed a tight half-circle around the front of the polling place. One deputy, "his gun raised high...shouted: 'If you sons of bitches cross this street I'll kill you!'" (Byrum, p.165).

Mansfield took the ballot boxes to the jail for counting. The deputies seemed to fear immediate attack by the "people who had just liberated Europe and the South Pacific from two of the most powerful war machines in human history" (Byrum, pp. 168-69).

Short of firearms and ammunition, the GIs scoured the county to find them. By borrowing keys to the National Guard and State Guard armories, they got three M-1 rifles, five .45 semi-automatic pistols and 24 British Enfield rifles. The armories were nearly empty after the war's end. By 8 p.m. a group of GIs and "local boys" headed for the jail but left the back door unguarded to give the jail's defenders an easy way out.

Three GIs alerting passersby to danger were fired on from the jail. Two GIs were wounded. Other GIs returned fire.

Firing subsided after 30 minutes; ammunition ran low and night had fallen. Thick brick walls shielded those inside the jail. Absent radios, the GIs' rifle fire was uncoordinated. "From the hillside fire rose and fell in disorganized cascades. More than anything else, people were simply shooting at the jail" (Byrum, p.189).

Several who ventured into the street in front of the jail were wounded. One man inside the jail was badly hurt; he recovered. Most sheriff's deputies wanted to hunker down and await rescue. Governor McCord mobilized the State Guard, perhaps to scare the GIs into withdrawing. The State Guard never went to Athens. McCord may have feared that Guard units filled with ex-GIs might not fire on other ex-GIs.

At about 2 a.m. on August 2, the GIs forced the issue. Men from Meigs County threw dynamite sticks and damaged the jail's porch. The panicked deputies surrendered. GIs quickly secured the building. Paul Cantrell faded into the night, having almost been shot by a GI who knew him, but whose .45 pistol had jammed. Mansfield's deputies were kept overnight in jail for their own safety. Calm soon returned. The GIs posted guards. The rifles borrowed from the armory were cleaned and returned before sunup.


In five precincts free of vote fraud, the GI candidate for sheriff, Knox Henry, won 1,168 votes to Cantrell's 789. Other GI candidates won by similar margins.

The GI's did not hate Cantrell. They only wanted honest government. On August 2, a town meeting set up a three-man governing committee. The regular police having fled, six men were chosen to police Etowah. In addition, "Individual citizens were called upon to form patrols or guard groups, often led by a GI... To their credit, however, there is not a single mention of an abuse of power on their behalf" (Byrum, p. 220).

Once the GI candidates' victory had been certified, they cleaned up county government, the jail was fixed, newly elected officials accepted a $5,000 pay limit and Mansfield supporters who resigned were replaced.

The general election on November 5 passed quietly. McMinn County residents, having restored the rule of law, returned to their daily lives. Pat Mansfield moved back to Georgia. Paul Cantrell set up an auto dealership in Etowah. "Almost everyone who knew Cantrell in the years after the Battle' agree that he was not bitter about what had happened" (Byrum pp. 232-33; see also New York Times, 9 August 1946, p. 8).

The 79th Congress adjourned on August 2, 1946, when the Battle of Athens ended. However, Representative John Jennings Jr. from Tennessee decried McMinn County's sorry situation under Cantrell and Mansfield and the Justice Department's repeated failures to help the McMinn County residents. Jennings was delighted that " long last, decency and honesty, liberty and law have returned to the fine county of McMinn.. " (Congressional Record, House; U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 1946; Appendix, Volume 92, Part 13, p. A4870).


Those who took up arms in Athens, Tennessee, wanted honest elections, a cornerstone of our constitutional order. They had repeatedly tried to get federal or state election monitors and had used armed force so as to minimize harm to the law-breakers, showing little malice to the defeated law-breakers. They restored lawful government.

The Battle of Athens clearly shows how Americans can and should lawfully use armed force and also shows why the rule of law requires unrestricted access to firearms and how civilians with military-type firearms can beat the forces of government gone bad.

Dictators believe that public order is more important than the rule of law. However, Americans reject this idea. Brutal political repression is lethal to many. An individual criminal can harm a handful of people. Governments alone can brutalize thousands, or millions.

Law-abiding McMinn County residents won the Battle of Athens because they were not hamstrung by "gun control " They showed us when citizens can and should use armed force to support the rule of law.

This is a bare-bones summary of a major report in JPFO's Firearms Sentinel (January 1995). To learn how the gutsy people of Athens, Tennessee, did the Framers of the Constitution proud, send $5 to:

JPFO, Dept. GA
PO Box 270143
Hartford, WI 53027 and request the January 1995 Firearms Sentinel


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« Reply #43 on: December 28, 2004, 10:35:37 AM »
The impact of a well-armed population with martial competencies emergec throughout this piece.

From ReasonOnline

The First Free State Project

The brief, tumultuous history of Franklin.

Jackson Kuhl

Never heard of the state of Franklin? Its existence was brief, from 1784 to about 1788, though as with such still-existing post-Revolution states as Maine and Vermont, self-rule had been the norm there for years beforehand. In 1769 Virginians began settling the Watauga River in what is now the northeastern tip of Tennessee. Three years later the Articles of the Watauga Association bound these settlements together for mutual defense and negotiation with the surrounding Cherokee. When a survey revealed Watauga Association lands to be within North Carolina?s claim west of the Appalachian Mountains, the settlers petitioned to join the state, pledging to assist in the Revolutionary effort.

Republicanism was all the rage in the dusty days after the war. Citizens who weren?t gentry demanded the titles Mr. and Mrs., servants refused to address their employers as superiors, and independence, both as a person and as a people, was seen as the highest virtue. The inhabitants of North Carolina?s western Greene, Sullivan, and Washington counties (the last having been created expressly out of Watauga Association lands) craved self-government.

Settlers refused to pay taxes when North Carolina failed to build roads or appoint judges and militia to protect them from hostile Indians. Their land was taxed at the same rate as that east of the Blue Ridge, they complained, even though it was valued only a quarter as much. Yet it was impossible for the bankrupt state to build infrastructure without tax money, which couldn?t be collected in the western counties where shooting tax collectors was seen as simple Christian charity. Meanwhile, the settlers were building on lands promised to the Cherokee and Choctaw in their treaties with North Carolina. These incursions sparked Indian attacks.

North Carolina had other money problems. Article 8 of the pre-constitutional Articles of Confederation specified that each of the 13 states would pick up the war tab by paying a tax proportional to an assessment on its land-?essentially, a real estate tax on the states. The bad news for North Carolinians was that not only were they broke, they also had a lot of land (their claim stretched to the Mississippi River) and hence a higher tax bill. In response, the North Carolina delegates to Philadelphia wanted to cede the state?s western counties to Congress, thereby reducing their assessment.

The North Carolina legislature was wary?it knew and resented the discontent of the state?s western citizens?but passed a bill in May 1784 giving away the truculent western counties, though stipulating that they would remain part of the state if Congress declined to accept them. Not only would this maneuver lower the state?s tax assessment, it would rid it of the troublesome westerners without giving them the victory of independence. But this game of hot potato infuriated the westerners. Delegates from the counties met at a Jonesborough convention in August and said, essentially, ?Screw them. We?re our own state.?

North Carolina responded in October by repealing the cession act. In December the western delegates met again to reaffirm their independence. John Sevier, a chief proponent of separate statehood and an indefatigable Indian fighter, was elected governor. The new state was named Franklin. Its namesake, Benjamin Franklin, was invited to move to the area from Philadelphia. He declined, but his epistolary advice was sought throughout the state?s lifetime.

The mother state?s mood toward Franklin vacillated between wrath and reconciliation. The North Carolina legislature wanted to send in troops, but cooler heads knew a campaign against former Revolutionary guerrillas would be messy. Letters flew back and forth. Meanwhile, Sevier negotiated fresh treaties with the Cherokee, and the Franklin legislature granted new settlers a tax-free grace period of two years to encourage immigration.

In May and June 1785, Franklin petitioned Congress to accept North Carolina?s cession?ignoring the revocation?and to admit Franklin to the Union. Congress agreed that a cession, once offered, couldn?t be taken back, but Franklin failed to achieve the two-thirds majority (nine states) needed under the Articles of Confederation to pass any law. All of the Southern states except Georgia voted against admittance; they had vast land claims themselves and worried that the division between North Carolina and Franklin (and, more amicably, between Virginia and its Kentucky District) would encourage additional breakaway states, to their detriment. Massachusetts and Delaware abstained, believing the issue merited further discussion.

That Franklin won the support it did was a victory in itself, and during the following years its government set about shoring up relations with the other states, though attempts at rapprochement were met coolly by North Carolina. Courts were established in Franklin, new counties added, coins minted. The new state adopted a constitution modeled on that of its parent.

The Franklin government had a difficult time preventing newcomers from squatting on Indian land, and by the fall of 1787 an all-out Indian war was imminent. Davidson County, one of the fastest-growing areas of the frontier, originally refused to join the Franklin cause, since the area?s remoteness precluded bother from North Carolina tax collectors and (more important) its land grants were issued from across the mountains. Then Indian raids intensified. Col. James Robertson, founder of the city of Nashville (in Davidson County), sent out an SOS. North Carolina hesitated, but Franklin didn?t: Sevier led 2,000 men westward through the woods to Nashville, and the show of force was enough to disband the Indians without a fight. Disillusioned with the North Carolina government, Davidson County threw in with Franklin.

A brief insurrection in February 1788 by North Carolina loyalist Col. John Tipton, pitting settler against settler, inspired the Indians to strike. By March, the wilderness was on fire, and the situation was so grim that the North Carolina militia marched forth to battle alongside the Franklinmen.

The Americans prevailed, but the war exhausted Franklin and the other frontier colonies. In June 1789, the new federal Constitution was ratified and North Carolina?whether from the esprit de corps of fighting beside the rebels or from a desire to wash its hands of Indian troubles?stopped blocking the cession of its western lands. Franklin, Nashville, and the surrounding areas became a U.S. territory, and in 1796 what was once North Carolina between the Mississippi and the Appalachians became the state of Tennessee. John Sevier was elected its first governor.?

Jackson Kuhl writes about archaeology, history, and travel.


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Imagine: A World Without Guns
« Reply #44 on: December 31, 2004, 10:13:54 PM »
In this piece the authors examine what could occur if all guns were banned. The resulting picture is pretty grim.

A World Without Guns
Be forewarned: It?s not a pretty picture

By Dave Kopel, Paul Gallant, and Joanne Eisen of the Independence Institute
December 5, 2001 9:40 a.m.

magine the world without guns" was a bumper sticker that began making the rounds after the murder of ex-Beatle John Lennon on December 18, 1980. Last year, Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, followed up on that sentiment by announcing she would become a spokeswoman for Handgun Control, Inc. (which later changed its name to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, and which was previously named the National Council to Control Handguns).

 So let's try hard to imagine what a world without guns would look like. It isn't hard to do. But be forewarned: It's not a pretty picture.

 The way to get to a gun-free world, the gun-prohibition groups tell us, is to pass laws banning them. We can begin by imagining the enactment of laws which ban all non-government possession of firearms.

It's not likely that local bans will do the job. Take, for example, New York's 1911 Sullivan Law, which imposed an exceedingly restrictive handgun-licensing scheme on New York City. In recent decades, administrative abuses have turned the licensing statute into what amounts to prohibition, except for tenacious people who navigate a deliberately obstructive licensing system.

 Laws affect mainly those willing to obey them. And where there's an unfulfilled need ? and money to be made ? there's usually a way around the law. Enter the black market, which flourishes all the more vigorously with ever-increasing restrictions and prohibitions. In TV commercials that aired last August, New York City Republican (sort of) mayoral candidate Mike Bloomberg informed voters that "in 1993, there were as many as 2 million illegal guns on the street." The insinuation was that all those guns were in the hands of criminals, and the implication was that confiscating the guns would make the city a safer place. What Bloomberg never explained was how he planned to shut down the black market.

 So let's imagine, instead, a nationwide gun ban, or maybe even a worldwide ban.

 Then again, heroin and cocaine have been illegal in the United States, and most of the world, for nearly a century. Huge resources have been devoted to suppressing their production, sale, and use, and many innocent people have been sacrificed in the crossfire of the "drug war." Yet heroin and cocaine are readily available on the streets of almost all large American cities, and at prices that today are lower than in previous decades.

 Perhaps a global prohibition law isn't good enough. Maybe imposing the harshest penalty possible for violation of such a law will give it real teeth: mandatory life in prison for possession of a gun, or even for possession of a single bullet. (We won't imagine the death penalty, since the Yoko crowd doesn't like the death penalty.)

 On second thought, Jamaica's Gun Court Act of 1974 contained just such a penalty, and even that wasn't sufficient. On August 18, 2001, Jamaican Melville Cooke observed that today, "the only people who do not have an illegal firearm [in this country], are those who do not want one." Violent crime in Jamaica  is worse than ever, as gangsters and trigger-happy police commit homicides with impunity, and only the law-abiding are disarmed.

 Yet the Jamaican government wants to globalize its failed policy. In July 2001, Burchell Whiteman, Jamaica's Minister of Education, Youth and Culture spoke at the U.N. Disarmament Conference to demand the "implementation of measures that would limit the production of weapons to levels that meet the needs for defence and national security."

And as long as governments are allowed to have guns, there will be gun factories to steal from. Some of these factories might have adequate security measures to prevent theft, including theft by employees. But in a world with about 200 nations, most of them governed by kleptocracies, it's preposterous to imagine that some of those "government-only" factories won't become suppliers for the black market. Alternatively, corrupt military and police could supply firearms to the black market.

 We'd better revise our strategy. Rather than wishing for laws (which cannot, even imaginably, create a gun-free world), let's be more ambitious, and imagine that all guns vanish. Even guns possessed by government agents. And let's close all the gun factories, too. That ought to put the black market out of business.

 Voil?! Instant peace!

Back to the Drawing Board
 Then's not very difficult to make a workable firearm. As J. David Truby points out in his book Zips, Pipes, and Pens: Arsenal of Improvised Weapons, "Today, all of the improvised/modified designs [of firearms] remain well within the accomplishment of the mechanically unskilled citizen who does not have access to firearms through other means."

 In the article "Gun-Making as a Cottage Industry," Charles Chandler observed that Americans "have a reputation as ardent hobbyists and do-it-yourselfers, building everything from ship models to home improvements." The one area they have not been very active in is that of firearm construction. And that, Chandler explained, is only because "well-designed and well-made firearms are generally available as items of commerce."

A complete gun ban, or highly restrictive licensing amounting to near-ban, would create a real incentive for gun making to become a "cottage industry".

 It's already happening in Great Britain, a consequence of the complete ban on civilian possession of handguns imposed by the Firearms Act of 1997. Not only are the Brits swamped today with illegally imported firearms, but local, makeshift gun factories have sprung up to compete.

 British police already know about some of them. Officers from Scotland Yard's Metropolitan Police Serious Crime Group South recently recovered 12 handgun replicas which were converted to working models. An auto repair shop in London served as the front for the novel illegal gun factory. Police even found some enterprising gun-makers turning screwdrivers into workable firearms, and producing firearms disguised as ordinary key rings.

 In short, closing the Winchester Repeating Arms factory ? and all the others ? will not spell the end of the firearm business.

 Just take the case of Bougainville, the largest island in the South Pacific's Solomon Islands chain. Bougainville was the site of a bloody, decade-long secessionist uprising against domination by the government of Papua New Guinea, aided and abetted by the Australian government. The conflict there was the longest-running confrontation in the Pacific since the end of World War II, and caused the deaths of 15,000 to 20,000 islanders.

 During the hostilities, which included a military blockade of the island, one of the goals was to deprive the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA) of its supply of arms. The tactic failed: the BRA simply learned how to make its own guns using materiel and ammunition left over from the War.

 In fact, at the United Nations Asia Pacific Regional Disarmament Conference held in Spring 2001, it was quietly admitted that the BRA, within ten years of its formation, had managed to manufacture a production copy of the M16 automatic rifle and other machine guns. (That makes one question the real intent behind the U.N. Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its Aspects, which followed several months later: the U.N. leadership can't be so daft as to fail to recognize the implications for world disarmament after learning of the success of the Bougainville Revolutionary Army.)

 If this single island of Bougainville can produce its own weapons, the Philippine Islands have long had a thriving cottage industry to manufacture firearms ? despite very restrictive gun laws imposed by the Marcos dictatorship and some other regimes.

 It looks like we'll need to revisit our fantasy, yet again.

 Okay. By proclamation of Kopel, Gallant, and Eisen, not only do all firearms ? every last one of them ? vanish instantly, but there shall be no further remanufacturing.

 That last part's a bit tricky. Auto repair shops, hobbyists, revolutionaries ? everyone with decent machine shop skills ? can make a gun from something. This takes us down the same road as drug prohibition: With primary anti-drug laws having proven themselves unenforceable, secondary laws have been added to prohibit possession of items which could be used to manufacture drugs. Even making suspicious purchases at a gardening store can earn one a "dynamic entry" visit from the local SWAT team.

 But laws proscribing the possession of gun-manufacturing items would have to be even broader than laws against possession of drug-manufacturing items, because there are so many tools which can be used to make guns, or be made into guns. What we'd really have to do is carefully control every possible step in the gun-making process. That means the registration of all machine tools, and the federal licensing of plumbers (similar to current federal licensure of pharmacies), auto mechanics, and all those handymen with their screwdrivers. And we'd need to stamp a serial number on pipes (potential gun barrels) in every bathroom and automobile ? and everywhere else one finds pipes ? and place all the serial numbers in a federal registry.

 Today, the antigun lobbies who claim they don't want to ban all guns still insist that registration of every single gun and licensing of every gun owner is essential to keep guns from falling into the wrong hands. If so, it's hard to argue that licensing and registration of gun manufacturing items would not be essential to prevent illicit production of guns.

 Thus, we would have to control every part of the manufacturing process. That would add up to a very expensive, complicated proposition. Even a 1% noncompliance rate with the "Firearms Precursors Control Act" would leave an immense supply of materials available for black-market gun making.

 In order to ensure total conformity with the act, it's difficult to imagine leaving most existing constitutional protections in place. The mind boggles at the kinds of search and seizure laws required to make certain that people do not possess unregistered metal pipes or screwdrivers!

 For example, just to enforce a ban on actual guns (not gun precursors), the Jamaican government needed to wipe out many common law controls on police searches, and many common law guarantees of fair trials. We'd have to trash the Constitution in order to completely prevent a black market in gun precursors from taking hold. Still, as the gun-prohibition lobby always says, if it saves just one life, it would be worth it.

 But, what if, despite these extreme measures, the black market still functioned ? as it almost always does, when there is sufficient demand?

 It's time to seriously revisit our strategy for a gun-free world. Maybe there's a shortcut around all of this.

 Okay. We're going to make a truly radical, no-holds-barred proposal this time, take a quantum leap in science, and go where no man has gone before. There may be those who scoff at our proposal, but it can succeed where all other strategies have failed.

 We, Kopel, Gallant, and Eisen, hereby imagine that, from this day forth, the laws of chemical combustion are revoked. We hereby imagine that gunpowder ? and all similar compounds ? no longer have the capacity to burn and release the gases necessary to propel a bullet.

 Peace for Our Time
 Finally, for the first time, a gun-free world is truly within our grasp ? and it's time to see what man hath wrought. And for that, all we have to do is take a look back at the kind of world our ancestors lived in.

 To say that life in the pre-gunpowder world was violent would be an understatement. Land travel, especially over long distances, was fraught with danger from murderers, robbers, and other criminals. Most women couldn't protect themselves from rape, except by granting unlimited sexual access to one male in exchange for protection from other males.

 Back then, weapons depended on muscle power. Advances in weaponry primarily magnified the effect of muscle power. The stronger one is, the better one's prospects for fighting up close with an edged weapon like a sword or a knife, or at a distance with a bow or a javelin (both of which require strong arms). The superb ability of such "old-fashioned" edged weapons to inflict carnage on innocents was graphically demonstrated by the stabbing deaths of eight second graders on June 8, 2001, by former school clerk Mamoru Takuma in gun-free Osaka, Japan.

 When it comes to muscle power, young men usually win over women, children, and the elderly. It was warriors who dominated society in gun-free feudal Europe, and a weak man usually had to resign himself to settle on a life of toil and obedience in exchange for a place within the castle walls when evil was afoot.

 And what of the women? According to the custom of jus primae noctis, a lord had the right to sleep with the bride of a newly married serf on the first night ? a necessary price for the serf to pay ? in exchange for the promise of safety and security (does that ring a bell?). Not uncommonly, this arrangement didn't end with the wedding night, since one's lord had the practical power to take any woman, any time. Regardless of whether jus primae noctis was formally observed in a region, rich, strong men had little besides their conscience to stop them from having their way with women who weren't protected by another wealthy strongman.

But there's yet another problem with imagining gunpowder out of existence: We get rid of firearms, but we don't get rid of guns. With the advent of the blow gun some 40,000 years ago, man discovered the efficacy of a tube for concentrating air power and aiming a missile, making the eventual appearance of airguns inevitable. So gunpowder or no gunpowder, all we've been doing, thus far, amounts to quibbling over the means for propelling something out of a tube.

 Airguns date back to somewhere around the beginning of the 17th century. And we don't mean airguns like the puny Daisy Red Ryder BB Gun with a compass in the stock, longed for by Ralphie in Jean Shepard's 1984 classic A Christmas Story ("No, Ralphie, you can't have a BB gun ? you'll shoot your eye out!").

 No, we're talking serious lethality here. The kind of powder-free gun that can hurl a 7.4 oz. projectile with a muzzle energy of 1,082 foot-pounds. Compare that to the 500 foot-pounds of muzzle energy from a typical .357 Magnum round! Even greater projectile energies are achievable using gases like nitrogen or helium, which create higher pressures than air does.

 Before the advent of self-contained powder cartridge guns, airguns were considered serious weapons. In fact, three hundred years ago, air-powered guns were among the most powerful and accurate large-bore rifles around. While their biggest disadvantages were cost and intricacy of manufacture, they were more dependable and could be fired more rapidly than firearms of the same period. A butt-reservoir  .31 airgun was carried by Lewis and Clark on their historic expedition, and used successfully for taking game. [See Robert D. Beeman, "Proceeding On to the Lewis & Clark Airgun," Airgun Revue 6 (2000): 13-33.] Airguns even saw duty in military engagements more than 200 years ago.

 Today, fully automatic M-16-style airguns are a reality. It was only because of greater cost relative to powder guns, and the greater convenience afforded by powder arms, that airgun technology was never pushed to its lethal limits.

 Other non-powder weapon systems have competed for man's attention, as well. The 20th century was the bloodiest century in the history of mankind. And while firearms were used for killing (for example, with machine guns arranged to create interlocking fields of fire in the trench warfare of World War I), they were hardly essential. By far, the greatest number of deliberate killings occurred during the genocides and democides perpetrated by governments against disarmed populations. The instruments of death ranged from Zyklon B gas to machetes to starvation.

Imagine No Claws
 To imagine a world with no guns is to imagine a world in which the strong rule the weak, in which women are dominated by men, and in which minorities are easily abused or mass-murdered by majorities. Practically speaking, a firearm is the only weapon that allows a weaker person to defend himself from a larger, stronger group of attackers, and to do so at a distance. As George Orwell observed, a weapon like a rifle "gives claws to the weak."

 The failure of imagination among people who yearn for a gun-free world is their naive assumption that getting rid of claws will get rid of the desire to dominate and kill. They fail to acknowledge the undeniable fact that when the weak are deprived of claws (or firearms), the strong will have access to other weapons, including sheer muscle power. A gun-free world would be much more dangerous for women, and much safer for brutes and tyrants.

 The one society in history that successfully gave up firearms was Japan in the 17th century, as detailed in Noel Perrin's superb book Giving Up the Gun: Japan's Reversion to the Sword 1543-1879. An isolated island with a totalitarian dictatorship, Japan was able to get rid of the guns. Historian Stephen Turnbull summarizes the result:

 [The dictator] Hid?yoshi's resources were such that the edict was carried out to the letter. The growing social mobility of peasants was thus flung suddenly into reverse. The ikki, the warrior-monks, became figures of the past . . . Hid?yoshi had deprived the peasants of their weapons. I?yasu [the next ruler] now began to deprive them of their self respect. If a peasant offended a samurai he might be cut down on the spot by the samurai's sword. [The Samurai: A Military History (New York: Macmillan, 1977).]

 The inferior status of the peasantry having been affirmed by civil disarmament, the Samurai enjoyed kiri-sute gomen, permission to kill and depart. Any disrespectful member of the lower class could be executed by a Samurai's sword.

 The Japanese disarmament laws helped mold the culture of submission to authority which facilitated Japan's domination by an imperialist military dictatorship in the 1930s, which led the nation into a disastrous world war.

 In short, the one country that created a truly gun-free society created a society of harsh class oppression, in which the strongmen of the upper class could kill the lower classes with impunity. When a racist, militarist, imperialist government took power, there was no effective means of resistance. The gun-free world of Japan turned into just the opposite of the gentle, egalitarian utopia of John Lennon's song "Imagine."

Instead of imagining a world without a particular technology, what about imagining a world in which the human heart grows gentler, and people treat each other decently? This is part of the vision of many of the world's great religions. Although we have a long way to go, there is no denying that hundreds of millions of lives have changed for the better because people came to believe what these religions teach.

 If a truly peaceful world is attainable ? or, even if unattainable, worth striving for ? there is nothing to be gained from the futile attempt to eliminate all guns. A more worthwhile result can flow from the changing of human hearts, one soul at a time.


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« Reply #45 on: January 10, 2005, 09:12:04 AM »
Shopkeeper Who Killed Rapist: 'I Guess We Were Lucky'

POSTED: 8:22 am EST January 6, 2005
UPDATED: 2:37 pm EST January 7, 2005

CAMDEN, N.J. -- The owner of a small city store had not heard about the rapist terrorizing downtown Camden before he used a single bullet to end the man's life.
When Ngoc Le saw a masked man holding his wife at knifepoint, the shopkeeper shot the man in the head, killing him instantly. Five days later, DNA tests showed Antonio Diaz Reyes was responsible for three sexual assaults in November and December.

On Thursday, Ngoc Le and his wife, Kelly, sat in the room where the shooting happened and described their ordeal, which they said lasted only a minute or two. They described themselves as fortunate, not heroic.

"When I shot him, he went right down in maybe two or three seconds, he went down," Ngoc Le said. "I guess we were lucky."

Ngoc Le, 28, and Kelly, 22, opened Camden City Wireless and Fishing Supply about three years ago in the city where she grew up.

He always kept a a legally registered gun there, just in case. But the pistol made her nervous.

"I never saw a gun, I never held a gun," Kelly Le said. "I got used to it. I just kept in my mind, 'We don't know what's going to happen next."'

Nothing bad did happen. Before last week, Ngoc Le had never even brandished the weapon to run off a would-be robber.  And the rough neighborhood became like home. After late nights of working, he would stay in the back of the store rather than drive back to their home in nearby Philadelphia.  Kelly Le said customers and neighbors were so friendly, they figured they'd always keep their store there. Their views changed on the final afternoon of 2004.

Camden, with about 80,000 residents, already had suffered 53 homicides -- close to an annual record for the city. Based on statistics from the year before, the city recently had been named by one crime analyst as the most dangerous in America.

Ngoc Le was in the bathroom and Kelly was alone behind the counter when Reyes, with a ski mask on his face, entered the shop.  Kelly Le said she was on guard because neighbors had been telling her about robberies committed at knifepoint in shops nearby. Police are trying to determine whether Reyes was also responsible for those crimes.

She said the man did not speak much and what he said was so soft she had trouble understanding him. He pointed to his belt to indicate he wanted a clip for his cell phone. She turned her back to get one off the wall. When she heard the man jump over the counter, Le screamed for her husband and Ngoc Le emerged with the pistol.

Reyes pushed Kelly Le into the office and into the entrance to the tidy living room behind it. Ngoc kept backing up with them. The couple's daughter and son, ages 6 and 4, often play in that room, but were elsewhere that day.

"When he saw my husband with the gun, I said this guy probably doesn't want no money," Kelly Le said. "He probably wants something other than money."

"My husband keeps telling him, 'Just take whatever you want and go,"' Kelly Le said. "He (Reyes) keeps saying, 'I'm going to kill you, I'm going to kill you."'

Kelly was shaking.

The man with the knife had moved into the living room as far as the dinette set.

Ngoc Le, a slight man, stayed about five feet away, afraid the man might take his gun if he got any closer.

"I saw an open space and I just had to pull the trigger on him," Ngoc Le said.

The stranger in the mask collapsed. Blood gushed.

Ngoc said he didn't know what part of the Reyes' face he hit. His aim had more to do with luck than training, he said.

"If it didn't turn out this way, it would probably have turned out the opposite way and we're not sitting here talking, I guess," Kelly Le said.

Both called police. While they waited, the dead man's cell phone rang constantly.

Police arrived within a few minutes and took Ngoc Le to the police station, but they did not put him in handcuffs. Because he used deadly force to protect his wife's life, rather than his property, Ngoc Le was not charged with a crime.  (!!!!)

It was only that afternoon the businessman heard about the three rapes that had taken place a few miles away in a safer area of the city. The victims in those daytime, knifepoint attacks were a high school student, a college student and an employee at a shop. All three were close in age to Kelly Le.

Authorities told Ngoc Le they would compare Reyes' DNA to the samples from the three rapes. He bought a newspaper to learn more about what they were talking about. For a few days, the couple stayed away from their store.

"Sometimes when I come back here, it feels like it's still happening a few minutes ago. It's scaring me," said Kelly Le.

The store reopened Thursday with a new plastic wall above the counter.

"Now, I spend a lot of money to put up security," Ngoc Le said.

Besides the barrier, one other thing has changed for the couple: their plans.

"We'll try to make some money and move away to a safer place," Kelly Le said.

? 2005 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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« Reply #46 on: January 11, 2005, 11:46:29 AM »
High Court Clears Way for Gun Suit

Families of victims shot by racist Buford Furrow in 1999 can sue the makers of his weapons.
By Henry Weinstein, Times Staff Writer

The U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way Monday for victims of the 1999 shooting rampage by white supremacist Buford O. Furrow Jr. to sue the companies that made his guns.

Without comment, the justices let stand a decision by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that said the mother of a Los Angeles letter carrier killed by Furrow and the families of several children wounded by him could sue Glock Inc. and China North Industries, the gun manufacturers.

The companies ? and eight dissenting judges of the 9th Circuit ? had argued that the appeals court's decision would open the way for manufacturers, at least in California, to be hauled into court simply because their products had been used improperly.

Gun control groups hailed Monday's development. "We look forward to these victims having their day in court," said Joshua Horwitz, executive director of the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence, which is based in Washington, D.C.

On Aug. 10, 1999, Furrow ? a follower of the racist Aryan Nations ? sprayed a Jewish community center in Granada Hills with gunfire, wounding five people. Later that day, he killed Joseph S. Ileto. After being arrested, Furrow told FBI agents that he had shot the letter carrier because Ileto looked "Asian or Latino" and worked for the government. Ileto was Filipino American.

The families of three children who were wounded by Furrow at the Jewish Community Center joined Ileto's mother, Lillian Ileto, in suing the companies.

In March 2001, U.S. District Judge Nora M. Manella sentenced Furrow to five life terms in prison after he pleaded guilty to avoid the death penalty.

In their civil suit, the victims' families said that the companies had produced and distributed many more guns than possibly could have been purchased by law-abiding customers.

Their suit also alleged that many of the weapons were sold at guns shows and through "kitchen table dealers," who may be licensed but are loosely regulated. The manufacturers often advertised their wares with the illicit market in mind, the suit alleged.

Plaintiffs' lawyers Peter Nordberg and Sayre Weaver cited Glock's marketing of its 9-millimeter "pocket rocket" concealable handgun, which Furrow used that day.

In October 2003, a 9th Circuit panel ruled that allowing the suit to go to trial could encourage gun manufacturers to be more cautious in overseeing how their products are sold.

"The social value of manufacturing and distributing guns without taking basic steps to prevent these guns from reaching illegal purchasers and possessors cannot outweigh the public interest in keeping the guns out of the hands of ? [those] who in turn use them in crimes," Judge Richard Paez wrote.

The gun makers then asked the full 9th Circuit to review the case. The court declined in May, but eight dissenting judges predicted dire consequences if the suit went forward.

"The potential impact of the ? decision is staggering," they said.

Nordberg noted that the avalanche of litigation predicted by the dissenting judges had not occurred. He also said that Monday's development was not surprising "because ? the 9th Circuit decision turned on issues of California law, which the Supreme Court normally would not get involved in."

"We are pleased that there is a rule of liability that holds gun manufacturers to the same standards of reasonable care that everyone else is subject to," Nordberg said.

He said he now would have to prove that the gun makers had acted negligently or created a public nuisance by using an unreasonable pattern in distributing their products.

Colin Murray, a lawyer for China North Industries, said he was disappointed that the Supreme Court had not taken up the case. A lawyer for Glock did not return a call seeking comment.

The case will return to the court of U.S. District Judge Audrey Collins. The two sides said they anticipate that the discovery process will start soon. Ultimately, the Supreme Court could review the case after a trial.


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Lott on the NAS Report
« Reply #47 on: January 17, 2005, 06:27:43 PM »
A National Academy of Science committee appointed during the Clinton administration recently released a report stating that it could find no correlation between myriad "gun control" laws and any reduction in crime. It's worth noting that most of the members on the committee (8 or 9 of them, if memory serves) favored further gun regulation, while 1 was known to have pro-second amendment leanings.

Though many media outlets reported on this lack of correlation--in pretty mild terms, to my way of thinking--quite of few of them paid major attention to a section of the report claiming there is no relationship between concealed carry laws and crime. Implicitly attacking the findings of John Lott, a researcher who has delved deeply into the subject, the report was seen by many as repudiating Lott's research, and was widely reported as having done so.

What follows is Lott's response to the report's finding. Though much of it examines statistical formula way beyond my ken, Lott addresses the NAS committee findings in an adroit manner.

John Lott Responds to some posts that criticize his work in light of the National Academy of Science report on gun control laws:

Last month, the National Academy of Sciences issued a 328-page report on gun control laws. The big news that has been ignored on all the blog sites is that the academy's panel couldn't identify any benefits of the decades-long effort to reduce crime and injury by restricting gun ownership. The only conclusion it could draw was: Let's study the question some more.

The panel has left us with two choices: Either academia and the government have wasted tens of millions of dollars and countless man-hours on useless research (and the panel would like us to spend more in the same worthless pursuit), or the National Academy is so completely unable to separate politics from its analyses that it simply can't accept the results for what they are.

Based on 253 journal articles, 99 books, 43 government publications, and some of its own empirical work, the panel couldn't identify a single gun control regulation that reduced violent crime, suicide or accidents.

From the assault weapons ban to the Brady Act to one-gun-a-month restrictions to gun locks, nothing worked. (Something that I have been the first person to investigate empirically for many of these laws, and I also had been unable to find evidence that they reduced violent crime.)

The study was not the work of gun-control opponents. The panel was set up during the Clinton administration, and of its members whose views on guns were publicly known before their appointments all but one had favored gun control. Something that I wrote up about the panel three years ago is still relevant.

While the panel dealt with a broad range of gun control issues, only one issue has received attention on different blogs: right-to-carry laws. In fact, the panel apparently originated with the desire from some to respond to the debate on that issue and to respond specifically to my research that concludes that allowing law abiding citizens to carry concealed weapons reduces crime. I originally overheard Phil Cook and Dan Nagin discussing the need for a panel to "deal with" me in the same way that an earlier panel had "dealt with Isaac" Ehrlich's work showing that the death penalty deterred murder. They agreed and Nagin said that he would talk to Al Blumstein about setting up such a panel. Needless to say, that is what ended up happening.

1. James Q. Wilson's very unusual dissent is very interesting (only two out of the last 236 reports over the last 10 years have carried a dissent). Wilson states that all the research provided "confirmation of the findings that shall-issue laws drive down the murder rate . . . " Wilson has been on four of these panels and never previously thought that it was necessary to write a dissent, including the previous panel that attacked Isaac Ehrlich's work showing that the death penalty represented a deterrent.

Wilson said that that panel's conclusion raises concerns given that "virtually every reanalysis done by the committee" confirmed right-to-carry laws reduced crime. He found the committee's only results that didn't confirm the drop in crime "quite puzzling." They accounted for "no control variables" - nothing on any of the social, demographic, and public policies that might affect crime. Furthermore, he didn't understand how evidence that was not publishabled in a peer-reviewed journal would be given such weight.

The non-results are basically due to dropping all the control variables (particularly the arrest rate which is not defined when the crime rate is zero). When that happens a lot of observations with zero crime rates are introduced. The problem with using OLS when you have all these zero crime rates is that if a crime rate is already zero, no matter how good the law is, it can't lower the crime rate any further. There is thus a positive bias in these results. Plassmann's two papers (his piece in the Journal of Law and Economics with Nic Tideman and his paper with Whitley in the Stanford Law Review) show how you can address this as a count data problem. Although his research consistently shows statistically significant results that shall issue laws reduce crime, the National Academy report ignores the research.

The panel's discussion of Duggan's results focuses on the regressions without any control variables and that use the OLS estimates when they have a large number of zero values for the crime rates.

2. As an interesting aside, there are a number of factual mistakes in the NAS report and those mistakes work against my findings. For example, Figure 6.1 makes a mistake where it shows the increase in violent crime of 7 percent in year one, when the amount is 5 percent (7-2, where 2 is from the trend). (Of course, the overall problem with the hybrid approach is discussed below.) There are significant drops in crime in Table 6-3 that are statistically significant, but they are not properly marked to indicate that is so. Even something trivial as the number of states currently with right-to-carry laws is wrong, 36 (not 34) (and if Minnesota is included the number is 37).

3. Last year there was a debate over the use of clustering between Ayres and Donohue and me, but the statements of the NAS panel corresponds extremely closely to what was written in my original paper with David Mustard.

4. p. 127: "We focus on the conflicting results . . ." No attempt is made to give readers an idea of the frequency or importance of unusual results. Take the results in Table 6-3. For Plassmann and Whitley, the panel doesn't mention that Plassmann and Whitley say that there are "major problems" with the particular regressions that the panel decides to report and more importantly that the effects in those regressions are biased towards zero (see point 2 above). For Moody's results, they show only two specifications of all the results that he reports and don't mention that the one weird result that he got was from a specification that he flagged as problematic and not controlling for other factors.

Even with the very selective sample of regressions that they pick, there is not one statistically significant bad effect of right-to-carry laws on murder. Only one case for robbery and that is one problematic specification from Ayres and Donohue.

5. Hybrid model. The so-called hybrid model used by Ayres and Donohue finds that the law dummy variable is positive while the trend variable indicates that crime rates decline over time. While Plassmann and Whitley do a good job explaining why the "hybrid" model produces misleading results and the panel never discusses their critique (looking at the crime rates on a year by year basis show no initial increase in crime), it still would have been useful for the panel to at least say whether the "hybrid" results produced a statistically significant temporary bad effect. The problem with determining statistical significance is that when both the dummy and trend variables are on at the same time, we are concerned about the net effect not just the dummy variable by itself as Ayres and Donohue argue. The answer for all those results in the panel's Table 6-4 is "no."

6. Reset tests. Professor Horowitz's discussion of the reset tests seem too strong since I provided the panel with the reset tests done for a wide range of estimates. Even accepting that the Reset test is appropriate (and no one else on the panel also uses this test in their work), there are many estimates where the results pass this test and he should thus conclude that those indicate a drop in violent crime.

7. Using too many control variables. Bartley and Cohen and I report all possible combinations of the control variables and show a great deal of consistency in the results. The only difference between these and those discussed in the NAS report is that these regressions included the arrest rate because of the zero crime rate problem.

8. Process. While the NAS is in name an academic organization, the process was hardly an academic one. Members of the panel were forbidden to talk to me about the issues being examined by the panel. Despite promises to get my input on the panels' review as it went forward, that never occurred. In particular, Charles Wellford promised me that I would be able to look at the tables and figures in the report. If I had been involved, I could have helped catch some of their mistakes. When the report was finally released to the public, I was promised that I would get a copy at the beginning of the presentation and that I would be allowed to ask questions. I was told that they preferred that I not attend the presentation, but there would be no problem with me asking questions. Instead even though the presentation ended a half hour earlier than scheduled because there were supposedly no more questions, my questions were never asked. (I had one main question: Professor Wellford mentions all the research that has been done on right-to-carry laws, but if he is correct that right-to-carry laws are just as likely to increase as decrease crime, can he point to one refereed journal article that claims to find a bad effect from the law?) Despite promises to the contrary, I did not receive a copy of the study until well into the afternoon and then only after a reporter from USA Today sent me a copy.

Minor notes: Despite claims to the contrary, I responded to the Ayres and Donohue study in January of 2004. (Simultaneously, it goes unnoticed that Ayres and Donohue themselves ignored virtually all of Plassmann and Whitley's points.)

In commenting on the report, others have raised additional issues that the NAS study did not find relevant. As to the claims raised again in these posts reguarding Jim Lindgren's investigation of the "phantom survey," many are apparently unaware that David Gross, David Mustard, and I have said that Lindgren has grossly mischaracterized what we said to him. For comments by Gross and Mustard, please see statements 3 and 4 in this link.

For a general response to the charges on the survey and other issues you raise see this link. False claims have been made with regard to these issues and the pseudonym.

Claims have also been made by Jim Lindgren regarding the demographic control variables, but he fails to note that it is only for the state level regressions and not the county level regressions where some of the significant results are affected. Given all the combinations of control variables that have been examined, even in that case, one wants some theory for why you selectively include what appears to be a weird combination of demographic controls. I think that Lindgren is a biased observer. He was upset after a critical piece that I published on his work in 2003 and his attacks started shortly after that. Further his attacks are untrue.

Final comments.

It is hard to look through the NAS panel's tables on right-to-carry laws and not find overwhelming evidence that right-to-carry laws reduce violent crime. The results that don't are based upon the inclusion of zero values noted in point 1 above. Overall, the panel's own evidence from the latest data up through 2000 shows significant benefits and no costs from these laws.

My impression is that Gary Kleck also has a very similar reaction to the panels' findings regarding surveys on self defense.


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We the Well-armed People
« Reply #48 on: January 21, 2005, 06:06:00 AM »
Michael Moore's Bodyguard Arrested on Airport Gun Charge
Thursday, January 20, 2005
NEW YORK ? Filmmaker Michael Moore's (search) bodyguard was arrested for carrying an unlicensed weapon in New York's JFK airport Wednesday night.

Police took Patrick Burke, who says Moore employs him, into custody after he declared he was carrying a firearm at a ticket counter. Burke is licensed to carry a firearm in Florida and California, but not in New York. Burke was taken to Queens central booking and could potentially be charged with a felony for the incident.

Moore's 2003 Oscar-winning film "Bowling for Columbine" criticizes what Moore calls America's "culture of fear" and its obsession with guns.


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UK Candidate Quits after Gun Pictures Published
« Reply #49 on: January 21, 2005, 05:23:59 PM »
Mr. Moore, Ms. O'Donnell, and various other Hollywood luminaries would keep their bodyguards and disarm everyone else. Charlton Heston had some pretty amusing stories about Hollywood types calling him up during the riots occurring in the wake of the Rodney King verdict. These left liberal folks, upon discovering that gun stores couldn't sell them firearms until after the three day waiting period they had all lobbied for, called Heston to see if he'd lend 'em a gun in the interim. Nothing like a little raw reality to test the strength of one's convictions.

Encountered the following article today and confess it inspires a degree of cognitive dissonance. Posing naked with farm animals I could see causing this result. Posing with guns? Perhaps someone can explain the outcome to me.

Gun photo' candidate dismissed

A Conservative parliamentary candidate has been dismissed after he was pictured on the internet with a range of guns, rifles and a hunting knife.

Robert Oulds, the prospective MP for Slough in Berkshire, appeared with the weapons in the camera phone images.

Tory deputy chairman Andrew Mackay said the party had faced no choice but to remove him from its candidates' list.

"This was a serious error of judgement which was unacceptable in a parliamentary candidate," he added.

'All licensed'

A national newspaper reported there were 11 images of Mr Oulds, 28, a councillor in Chiswick, west London, with the weaponry.

The weapons included an AK 47 assault rifle and a shotgun.

Mr Oulds told The Sun: "Those photos were taken at the home of a member of the Conservative association.

"I went round to this friend's house and he is a member of a licensed gun club and he showed me his firearms and that is it.

"They are all licensed and all legal. They are not mine."

'Nothing illegal'

After being removed from the candidates list, Mr Oulds said in a statement: "I have not tendered my resignation as PPC (prospective parliamentary candidate) for Slough.

"I have apologised to the deputy chairman of the Conservative Party for any embarrassment caused.

"However, contrary to various reports I have not done anything illegal and will continue to represent my constituents as a councillor.

"I am taking legal advice on various issues."

Labour campaign spokesman Fraser Kemp tried to capitalise on the news.

"Robert Oulds is just the tip of the iceberg," he said.

Mr Kemp said the councillor was also director of the Bruges Group, whose speakers had included Tory leader Michael Howard and Iain Duncan Smith.

"There is no evidence to suggest that any of these people knew about Robert Oulds' behaviour, but clearly they were happy, as senior Tories, to associate themselves with someone with Mr Oulds' well-known hard right outlook," added the MP.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2005/01/20 08:35:53 GMT