Author Topic: We the Well-armed People (gun and knife rights stuff )  (Read 888531 times)


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There's only one way to protect ourselves
« Reply #50 on: January 24, 2005, 03:38:10 PM »
Having scanned countless stories out of the UK where firearms have been demonized to one degree or another, this is a refreshing read.

There's only one way to protect ourselves ? and here's the proof
By Richard Munday
(Filed: 23/01/2005)

Today, 96 years ago, London was rocked by a terrorist outrage. Two Latvian anarchists, who had crossed the Channel after trying to blow up the president of France, attempted an armed wages robbery in Tottenham. Foiled at the outset when the intended victims fought back, the anarchists attempted to shoot their way out.

A dramatic pursuit ensued involving horses and carts, bicycles, cars and a hijacked tram. The fleeing anarchists fired some 400 shots, leaving a policeman and a child dead, and some two dozen other casualties, before they were ultimately brought to bay. They had been chased by an extraordinary posse of policemen and local people, armed and unarmed. Along the way, the police (whose gun cupboard had been locked, and the key mislaid) had borrowed at least four pistols from passers-by in the street, while other armed citizens joined the chase in person.

Today, when we are inured to the idea of armed robbery and drive-by shootings, the aspect of the "Tottenham Outrage" that is most likely to shock is the fact that so many ordinary members of the public at that time should have been carrying guns in the street. Bombarded with headlines about an emergent "gun culture" in Britain now, we are apt to forget that the real novelty is the notion that the general populace in this country should be disarmed.

In a material sense, Britain today has much less of a "gun culture" than at any time in its recent history. A century ago, the possession and carrying of firearms was perfectly normal here. Firearms were sold without licence in gunshops and ironmongers in virtually every town in the country, and grand department stores such as Selfridge's even offered customers an in-house range. The market was not just for sporting guns: there was a thriving domestic industry producing pocket pistols and revolvers, and an extensive import trade in the cheap handguns that today would be called "Saturday Night Specials". Conan Doyle's Dr Watson, dropping a revolver in his pocket before going out about town, illustrates a real commonplace of that time. Beatrix Potter's journal records a discussion at a small country hotel in Yorkshire, where it turned out that only one of the eight or nine guests was not carrying a revolver.

We should not fool ourselves, however, that such things were possible then because society was more peaceful. Those years were ones of much more social and political turbulence than our own: with violent and incendiary suffrage protests, massive industrial strikes where the Army was called in and people were killed, where there was the menace of a revolutionary General Strike, and where the country was riven by the imminent prospect of a civil war in Ireland. It was in such a society that, as late as 1914, the right even of an Irishman to carry a loaded revolver in the streets was upheld in the courts (Rex v. Smith, KB 1914) as a manifestation simply of the guarantees provided by our Bill of Rights.

In such troubled times, why did the commonplace carrying of firearms not result in mayhem? How could it be that in the years before the First World War, armed crime in London amounted to less than 2 per cent of what we see today? One answer that might have been taken as self-evident then, but which has become political anathema now, is that the prevalence of firearms had a stabilising influence and a deterrent effect upon crime. Such deterrent potential was indeed acknowledged in part in Britain's first Firearms Act, which was introduced as an emergency measure in response to fears of a Bolshevik upheaval in 1920. Home Office guidance on the implementation of the Act recognised "good reason for having a revolver if a person lives in a solitary house, where protection from thieves and burglars is essential". The Home Office issued more restrictive guidance in 1937, but it was only in 1946 that the new Labour Home Secretary announced that self-defence would no longer generally be accepted as a good reason for acquiring a pistol (and as late as 1951 this reason was still being proffered in three-quarters of all applications for pistol licences, and upheld in the courts). Between 1946 and 1951, we might note, armed robbery, the most significant index of serious armed crime, averaged under two dozen incidents a year in London; today, that number is exceeded every week.

The Sunday Telegraph's Right to Fight Back campaign is both welcome and a necessity. However, an abstract right that leaves the weaker members of society ? particularly the elderly ? without the means to defend themselves, has only a token value. As the 19th-century jurist James Paterson remarked in his Commentaries on the Liberty of the Subject and the Laws of England Relating to the Security of the Person: "In all countries where personal freedom is valued, however much each individual may rely on legal redress, the right of each to carry arms ? and these the best and the sharpest ? for his own protection in case of extremity, is a right of nature indelible and irrepressible, and the more it is sought to be repressed the more it will recur."

Restrictive "gun control" in Britain is a recent experiment, in which the progressive "toughening" of the regulation of legal gun ownership has been followed by an increasingly dramatic rise in violent armed crime. Eighty-four years after the legal availability of pistols was restricted to Firearm Certificate holders, and seven years after their private possession was generally prohibited, they still figure in 58 per cent of armed crimes. Home Office evidence to the Dunblane Inquiry prior to the handgun ban indicated that there was an annual average of just two incidents in which licensed pistols appeared in crime. If, as the Home Office still asserts, "there are links between firearms licensing and armed crime", the past century of Britain's experience has shown the link to be a sharply negative one.

If Britain was a safer country without our present system of denying firearms to the law-abiding, is deregulation an option? That is precisely the course that has been pursued, with conspicuous success in combating violent crime, in the United States.

For a long time it has been possible to draw a map of the United States showing the inverse relationship between liberal gun laws and violent crime. At one end of the scale are the "murder capitals" of Washington, Chicago and New York, with their gun bans (New York City has had a theoretical general prohibition of handguns since 1911); at the other extreme, the state of Vermont, without gun laws, and with the lowest rate of violent crime in the Union (a 13th that of Britain). From the late Eighties, however, the relative proportions on the map have changed radically. Prior to that time it was illegal in much of the United States to bear arms away from the home or workplace, but Florida set a new legislative trend in 1987, with the introduction of "right-to-carry" permits for concealed firearms.

Issue of the new permits to law-abiding citizens was non-discretionary, and of course aroused a furore among gun control advocates, who predicted that blood would flow in the streets. The prediction proved false; Florida's homicide rate dropped, and firearms abuse by permit holders was virtually non-existent. State after state followed Florida's suit, and mandatory right-to-carry policies are now in place in 35 of the United States.

In a nationwide survey of the impact of the legislation, John Lott and David Mustard of the University of Chicago found that by 1992, right-to-carry states had already seen an 8 per cent reduction in murders, 7 per cent reduction in aggravated assaults, and 5 per cent reduction in rapes. Extrapolating from the 10 states that had then implemented the policy, Lott and Mustard calculated that had right-to-carry legislation been nationwide, an annual average of some 1,400 murders, 4,200 rapes and more than 60,000 aggravated assaults might have been averted. The survey has lent further support to the research of Professor Kleck, of Florida State University, who found that firearms in America serve to deter crime at least three times as often as they appear in its commission.

Over the last 25 years the number of firearms in private hands in the United States has more than doubled. At the same time the violent crime rate has dropped dramatically, with the significant downswing following the spread of right-to-carry legislation. The US Bureau of Justice observes that "firearms-related crime has plummeted since 1993", and it has declined also as a proportion of overall violent offences. Violent crime in total has declined so much since 1994 that it has now reached, the bureau states, "the lowest level ever recorded". While American "gun culture" is still regularly the sensational subject of media demonisation in Britain, the grim fact is that in this country we now suffer three times the level of violent crime committed in the United States.

Today, on this anniversary of the "Tottenham Outrage", it is appropriate that we reflect upon how the objects of outrage in Britain have changed within a lifetime. If we now find the notion of an armed citizenry anathema, what might the Londoners of 1909 have made of our own violent, disarmed society?

?Richard Munday is the author of Most Armed & Most Free? and co-author of Guns & Violence: The Debate Before Lord Cullen


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We the Well-armed People
« Reply #51 on: January 26, 2005, 01:05:08 PM »
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 01/26/05
The cash register at Shoat's Grocery and Package Store in Oglethorpe County held just $300 Monday when the two teenagers walked in.

If they had been patient, the would-be robbers could have had it.

But, deciding the shopkeepers were too slow in complying with their demands, one of the young men pulled out a gun, igniting a gunbattle with the 62-year-old owner and his wife.

Both teens wound up dead.

"I'd have given it to them. Our insurance would have covered it," said Gloria Turner, who has owned the store for eight years with her husband.

Turner, 56, was rearranging the store, in the tiny community of Hutchins, when the teenagers walked in Monday evening.

One was wearing a wig that partly covered his eyes, prompting Turner to quip, "Can you see to walk with that thing on?"

The teen mumbled something, she recalled. He ran past Turner and shoved her husband, Bobby "Shoats" Doster, against the bakery counter.

The second teen pulled a white skullcap over his face, pushed Turner to the cash register and demanded money.

"I was about to give it to them . . . when the first guy says, 'You're not moving fast enough,' and pulls out a gun," Turner said Tuesday.

The teen aimed the gun at her husband and fired. The bullet missed. His gun jammed.

That was enough for Doster, who pulled out a .380 from his pocket. At the same time, his wife grabbed the 9 mm she kept under under the counter.

Both began firing at the teenagers, who ran to the back of the store for cover. A full-fledged gunbattle erupted.

The teens crouched behind a meat counter. The one with the gun popped up every few seconds to fire another round.

The unarmed teen kept shouting, "Shoot them! Shoot them!" while tossing at the couple whatever items he could get his hands on, Turner said.

The exchange of gunfire lasted less than five minutes "but it felt like hours," Turner said.

She remembered firing with one hand and dialing 911 with the other.

Deputies arrived four minutes later to find the store littered with shell casings. Both teenagers lay sprawled on the floor ? one shot several times, the other with a bullet in his chest, said Sheriff Mike Smith.

The teens were identified Wednesday as Michael Dewand Hill, 19, and 17-year-old Calvin Dantrell Ballard. Both were from Athens, according to the sheriff.

Turner and her husband will not be charged, Smith said.

"People have a right to protect their lives and their property," Smith said.

"We don't encourage them to take the law in their hands, but sometimes they are left with no other choice."

Turner and her husband moved to Hutchins, an unincorporated community in Oglethorpe County about 80 miles east of Atlanta, to get away from the encroaching development in Winder.

The attempted robbery Tuesday was the first holdup at their little store, which sells everything from alcohol to fishing supplies to sandwiches.

It also was the first robbery in Oglethorpe County in 30 years in which someone was killed, Sheriff Smith said.

"Shoats is a little shaken up by it all, but it hasn't hit me yet," Turner said, cleaning up the store Tuesday.

"I know it will, when I sit down to rest for a minute. They were humans' lives, after all."


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The Numbers Speak For Themselves
« Reply #52 on: January 28, 2005, 11:31:48 PM »
from Guns and Ammo

The Numbers Speak For Themselves
Despite anti-gun propaganda, the U.S. murder rate is nowhere near that of many other countries.
By John Hay Rabb

Here's a pop quiz for you: Which country in the world has the highest murder rate? If you said the United States, you would be wrong, but your error would certainly be excusable. The incessant drumbeat from the mainstream media and anti-gun groups serves to perpetuate the canard that the U.S. is the bloodiest free-fire zone on earth. Nothing could be further from the truth.

In his article "America: The Most Violent Nation?" researcher David C. Stolinsky shows conclusively that there are a number of countries with higher murder rates than the U.S. This information comes from the United Nations report "The 1996 Demographic Yearbook." The report lists the murder rates in some 86 countries. There are more than 200 countries in the world, and more than 100 did not provide murder-rate data to the U.N. Even so, the Yearbook opens a fascinating window on the failure of gun-control laws around the world.

The connection between murder rates and gun control is quite clear. The vast majority of murders are committed with firearms. Therefore, it is possible to determine if there is any sort of correlation between gun laws and murder rates in selected countries.

Gun laws, like all laws, should be evaluated to determine if they meet accepted measures of success. Gun-control advocates contend that gun laws reduce murders as well as other gun crimes. An examination of this proposition shows conclusively that gun laws fail to reduce murder rates in many countries. Therefore, they fail to meet the fundamental measure of success and should be amended or repealed.

A 1997 Justice Department report on murders in the U.S. shows that our country has a murder rate of seven victims per 100,000 population per year. There are a number of well-known examples of countries with more liberal gun laws and lower murder rates than the U.S. One is Finland, with a murder rate of 2.9. Israel is another example; although its population is heavily armed, Israel's murder rate is only 1.4. In Switzerland, gun ownership is a way of life. Its murder rate is 2.7.

By contrast, consider Brazil. All firearms in Brazil must be registered with the government. This registration process can take anywhere from 30 days to three months. All civilian handguns are limited in caliber to no more than 9mm. All rifles must fire handgun ammunition only. Brazilians may only buy one gun per year. At any one time, they may only have in their possession a maximum of six guns: two handguns, two rifles and two shotguns. To transport their guns, citizens must obtain a special police permit. CCW permits are available but are rarely issued.

Therefore, it should not be a revelation to anyone that Brazil has a thriving black market in guns. Virtually any type of gun is available, for a price. Incidentally, Brazil's murder rate is 19 victims per 100,000 population per year.

In Cuba, Fidel Castro controls every aspect of life with an iron hand, including gun ownership. Castro remembers well how he and his rag-tag armed Communist rebels overthrew the government of Fulgencio Batista and set up a Communist dictatorship. An armed populace is threatening to a repressive government. Still, somebody in Cuba is obtaining guns and using them to murder fellow citizens. Cuba's murder rate is 7.8.

The former Soviet state of Lithuania is now an independent democratic country. But it still retains some vestiges of Stalinism. Lithuania's citizens must obtain a police permit to buy a gun. All guns are registered with the government. Somehow these restrictions are not deterring the criminal element; Lithuania has an unenviable murder rate of 11.7.

Gun control in Mexico is a fascinating case study. Mexican gun laws are simply draconian. No civilian may own a gun larger than .22 caliber, and a permit is required to buy one. All guns in Mexico are registered with the Ministry Of Defense. Guns may not be carried in public, either openly or concealed.

Mexican authorities seem to take a particular delight in arresting and imprisoning unwitting Americans who are not familiar with Mexican gun laws. Americans may not bring legal guns or ammunition into Mexico. Possession of even one bullet can get you thrown in a medieval Mexican prison. The State Department says that at any one time there are about 80 Americans imprisoned in Mexico for minor gun crimes. The State Department even went so far as to issue a special notice to U.S. gun owners, warning about harsh Mexican gun laws. Americans are allowed to hunt in Mexico, but they must first obtain a permit from the Mexican Embassy or a Mexican Consulate before taking their hunting rifles south of the border.

Mexico's murder rate is an eye-popping 17.5. Mexican authorities are fond of blaming the high murder rate on firearms smuggled across the border from the United States. Nonsense. The U.S. has many more personal guns than Mexico, yet our murder rate is far lower than Mexico's. It is Mexico's absurd gun laws that prevent law-abiding citizens from protecting themselves against illegally armed criminals.

Guns are effectively outlawed in Russia. Private handgun ownership is totally prohibited. A permit is required to purchase a long gun. All guns are registered with authorities. When transporting a long gun, it must be disassembled. Long guns may only be used for self-defense when the gun owner is on his own property. By the way, Russia's murder rate is a staggering 30.6.

It is surprising to learn that there is gun trouble in the tropical paradises of Trinidad and Tobago. Here a permit is required to purchase a gun. All guns are registered with the police. In spite of (or perhaps because of) these restrictions, Trinidad and Tobago together have a murder rate of 11.7.

In all fairness, it must be noted that many of the countries with high murder rates have governments and cultures very different from our own. Even so, the fundamental measure of gun-control success still applies. The countries I have discussed, along with many others, have gun laws that are more restrictive than U.S. laws, yet their murder rates exceed the U.S. murder rate. These laws clearly do not meet the fundamental measure of success, which is ultimately to save lives.

What anti-gunners all over the world fail to understand is that people everywhere are basically the same in one important respect. They are determined to protect themselves and their families. If their governments will not allow them to have firearms for self-defense, then they may obtain guns illegally, even at the risk of harsh punishment. It is a natural human response to danger.

Try as they might, Sarah Brady and her bunch will never be able to defeat man's primal instinct to protect himself and his family through whatever means necessary. This fundamental human truth may offer some small measure of comfort to law-abiding gun owners around the world.

Find this article at:


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We the Well-armed People
« Reply #53 on: January 29, 2005, 02:55:33 PM »
All the murder rate comparisons in that article are with more or less 3rd World countries, so it's not really surprising they have high murder rates. Why not compare with countries like Canada and the UK, which have murder rates around one quarter that of the US?

As you said earlier in the thread, Buz, it's better to compare regions that at have at least comparable social factors.


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We the Well-armed People
« Reply #54 on: January 29, 2005, 08:31:15 PM »
All the murder rate comparisons in that article are with more or less 3rd World countries, so it's not really surprising they have high murder rates.

Finland, Switzerland, Israel, Russia, and the US are all cited; they're hardly third world, though I 'spose you could argue the point where Russia is concerned. My guess is that the citizens of Brazil would also object to the third world label.

The thesis of this piece is that strict gun regulation does not assure a low crime rate, nor does limited gun regulation assure a high crime rate. I'm not sure how you would explore this thesis without examining nations with strict and limited regulations. What would you have had the author do?

As mentioned before, the equation is a multivariable one, and if the imputation is that factors other than access to firearms need to be considered, I'd certainly agree. If, however, the claim is that disparate murder rates in three Western democracies are primarily driven by the rate of gun ownership in the US, then I'd strongly disagree. As also mentioned before, the areas of the US with the highest murder rate are those that most restrict private firearm ownership.

Most murder, and crime in general, occur in areas of the US with the most draconian gun laws. Subtract those areas and my strong suspicion is the remaining sections of the US would compare well to the other countries you cite. I note, moreover, that crime, murder included, is falling in the US, most quickly in those areas with the least amount of gun regulation. I'm not sure about Canada, but crime in general, murder included, is rising in the UK.

There is a lot of room to debate the cause of these disparate, nuanced, and changing crime rates, and there is certainly plenty of fodder here for further discussion. I remain convinced, however, that criminal enterprise is first and foremost an enterprise: perceived risk figures prominently in all criminal cost benefit analysis. First world or third, allowing law abiding citizens to provide for there own defense is the simplest, surest way to moderate criminal behavior?one of many benefits conferred by an armed citizenry.


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« Reply #55 on: January 30, 2005, 01:11:30 PM »
Quote from: buzwardo
All the murder rate comparisons in that article are with more or less 3rd World countries, so it's not really surprising they have high murder rates.

Finland, Switzerland, Israel, Russia, and the US are all cited; they're hardly third world, though I 'spose you could argue the point where Russia is concerned. My guess is that the citizens of Brazil would also object to the third world label.

Yes, in this context I consider Russia and Brazil third world, in that they have a high percentage of very poor people leading to high crime rates.

As for Finland, Switzerland, and Israel, you've missed the point: They are referenced in the article as having low murder rates, which you would expect them to have anyway given their social and economic situation.

We already debated this point on page 3 of this thread, where you cautioned me about comparing apples with oranges because I pointed out the UK murder rate is one quarter of the US rate. There are many significant social differences between the high- and low- murder rate countries in the article.

Saying that, I actually don't believe the US needs more restrictive gun laws, I'm just pointing out a flaw in this particular article.


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The Contrarian Clause
« Reply #56 on: February 01, 2005, 04:46:26 PM »
I 'spose we could devolve and deconstruct, though those sorts of circular locutions rarely prove interesting. Thought the ?all? in the "all the murder rate comparisons" clause was pretty comprehensive; if I missed some nuance I apologize.

If I only posted things I agreed with 100 percent I'd be doing a lot less cutting and pasting. There's a common perception that guns cause gun crime, a perception the article in question directly addressed. If I was writing a public policy piece I probably wouldn't cite this article as the comparisons within are indeed a pretty blunt instrument. If I was trying to demonstrate instead that lotsa guns don't mean lotsa gun crime, I?d use the piece without a second thought.

Be that as it may I'm pretty eclectic and eccentric so if you're looking to set your watch by my meanderings you'll most likely arrive early or late. Thumbing one?s nose at consistency and convention is one of the perks of being a contrarian and iconoclast; count on me to avail myself upon that perk frequently.


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Re: The Contrarian Clause
« Reply #57 on: February 02, 2005, 01:38:46 AM »
Quote from: buzwardo
Be that as it may I'm pretty eclectic and eccentric so if you're looking to set your watch by my meanderings you'll most likely arrive early or late. Thumbing one?s nose at consistency and convention is one of the perks of being a contrarian and iconoclast; count on me to avail myself upon that perk frequently.



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Mas Ayoob Interview
« Reply #58 on: February 15, 2005, 09:53:54 PM »
Mas Ayoob is widely acknowledged as a lethal force expert. More than a little of the Dog Brothers' ethos can be scented in the following interview.

An interview with a lethal man

By Peter and Helen Evans
web posted February 14, 2005

Massad Ayoob is arguably one of the most lethal men around, in
fact he even trains others in the use of deadly force. Many
people cannot distinguish the difference between 'dangerous' and
'lethal.' When they hear that someone is an expert in handgun
combat, urban rifle, knife/counter-knife, close-quarters battle
and stressfire shotgun, they automatically think of someone to be
feared. However, after reading the following we believe you'll
recognize a good guy who balances lethal force and compassion.
Only the bad guys need fear him.

Mr. Ayoob has had stories about him and interviews in various
publications and news shows such as the Los Angeles Times,
Boston Globe, New York Post, ABC's "Turning Point",
National Enquirer, PBS "Frontline", ABC's "20/20" and the
BBC News Magazine and we are privileged to interview him

Q: In your book, "The Truth About Self Protection," you say we
have the right to protect ourselves. How do you respond to
those who say it only promotes the "cycle of violence"?

A: I refer them to Biology 101. When the predator chases down,
destroys, and consumes its prey without intervention, the cycle of
its violence continues. When the given predator is taken out of
circulation, then by definition, its cycle of violence is ended for
the duration. The criminal is the actor, his prey merely the
reactor, and the cycle is dependent on the action of the predator.

Q: You also say, "sympathizing with a criminal in the prison
visiting room is like sympathizing with the timber wolf caged
inside its bars at the Bronx Zoo. It's safe enough there, but you
don't want to meet either of them in their natural habitat?These
predatory people are not like you. They aren't people like you.
They are a different breed." How do you respond to those who
say we should just reason with them, or try to rehabilitate them?
Or that we should not be threatening to them, as in dis-arming
security and prison guards?

A: You can only reason with the reasonable.

 You do not reason with your food; you eat it. A violent attacker
 can be expected to respond the same way.

 Your violent criminal tends to be a sociopath or even
 occasionally a psychopath. You can only reason with such an
 entity by giving it a better deal. Throwing the baby from the
 sleigh is one approach to bargaining with the predator, but as
 the Europeans discovered along about World War II, it's a
 temporary and unsatisfactory solution. The way to reason with a
 predator is to make it aware that it can live in a cage, or it can
 die, but it can no longer prey upon us.

Unarmed prison guards survive because the structure of the
prison environment, and the certainty of retribution for violence
committed upon the corrections officer, acts (most of the time)
as a deterrent to attack. The citizen abroad in the land and going
about his business has no such protection from human predators,
because the public environment lacks the element of control that
pervades the penal environment.

Q: You've also said in your book, "I no longer believe that there
is no such thing as a bad boy. I changed my mind after I met and
interacted with and interviewed, human beings who were evil.
There's no other word for it -- evil. I never lost my sense of
compassion for them or for their loss of human dignity -- I never
arrested a person I didn't feel sorry for -- but that compassion
has been tempered with control. "I'm sorry for you and the things
you felt you had to do, but you won't be allowed to do those
things to me or anyone under the mantle of my protection, and
that's why my gun is pointed at you, and that's why you will be
docile as we put these handcuffs on you." We also wanted our
readers to see this side of you, just in case they don't follow our
recommendation to read your book. It's clear you've examined
your soul about the use of deadly force. Where did you find the
compassion for someone who harms others?

A: I have never arrested a criminal, or interviewed a convict in
prison, for whom I could not feel sorry in at least some small
way. Broken homes. Molestation in childhood. Poverty.
Discrimination. Something twisted in their brain. Something that
kept them from being a normal human being.

The key is not allowing your compassion to seduce you into
sacrificing yourself or a victim you have the power to protect, in
the name of your sympathy for the long-lost child who is now a
dangerous adult criminal. Watch the old Disney movie "Old
Yeller" as an adult with adult eyes. In the end, when the dog has
become rabid, the boy does the right thing by shooting him. The
situation has reached the point where further compassion would
endanger the innocent.

Q: You said you ran with criminals as a kid, but broke out of the
mold. How did you break out of the mold?

A: In my teens, I ran with a rough crowd, what the other high
schoolers called "hoods." Not evil kids, but wild kids, and
occasionally laws were broken. None of them harmed innocent
human victims. But it was getting out of control. It reached the
point in my senior year when out of perhaps twenty in a loose-
knit clique, there were only two of us who had not been
arrested. I could see what the arrests did to the families, and to
the kids. Confidentiality laws regarding juveniles in the criminal
justice system notwithstanding, the gossip in a small community
marks a kid and puts a brand on his head. Soon, the bad kids
are the only ones who'll hang out with him. Criminality then
becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

That other kid and I saw the handwriting on the wall. We knew
what it would do to our parents if we got arrest records, and
more for that reason than anything else, we separated from the
group. He went on to become an executive in a Fortune 500
company, and I went where I went. Neither of us would have
been able to do those things with our lives if we hadn't changed
our lives and lifestyles when we did.

Among the others, not one achieved what he should have with
the rest of his life. Some were successful, but not as successful as
they would have been without criminal records. One committed
suicide in his late teens. Several struggled with alcohol and drugs.

The answer is not something the Government can give. In the
same sense that this society has made drunk driving and cigarette
smoking unacceptable as social norms, kids need to be reminded
that there are people counting on them to be there the next day,
the next year, the next decade. Kids think about their futures
more than adults remember or realize. In 30 years of carrying a
badge, I've been able to help some young people turn their lives
around. It's one of the most satisfying parts of the job. But the
decision to change, to do the right thing, ultimately comes from

In his studies of men under fire, General S.L.A. Marshall noted
that the soldier bonded to his peer group would fight valiantly on
their behalf when he might have given up if he was alone on the
battlefield. I remind my students that those who fight to come
back to their loved ones will fight harder and more successfully
than those whose only motivation is themselves. I've taken the
same approach to this particular issue, and it seems to be equally

Q: Do you see a significant difference between a "terrorist" and a
"criminal"? Do we protect ourselves from them differently?

A: Yes and yes. The difference is in the motivation. The one is
often disguised as the other.

You can reason with a criminal ? particularly a professional
criminal, who is the ultimate pragmatist. The implicit statement
when a criminal is taken at gunpoint is, "Cease your assaultive
behavior or die." This generally works. It is why, police and
armed citizen alike, the overwhelming majority of incidents where
good people take bad people at gunpoint end in surrender or
flight of the subject, as opposed to bloodshed on either side.

This does not work for the religiously as opposed to politically
motivated terrorist. With the politically motivated, there is still
something to reason with: you are offering him a chance to live to
enjoy his martyrdom in the spotlight, and to perhaps later be
traded for a prisoner or hostage from the other side. The
religious fanatic who practices terrorism cannot be reasoned
with, because there is nothing you can threaten him with, and no
alternative you can offer him that is more palatable than his
genuine belief that if he dies fighting you, he will be greatly
rewarded in afterlife. Only swift and extreme force can stop him.

Q: You write about Threat Management and that the average
citizen might not like to confront the idea of crime in their lives.
You liken it to the trade-off between having cancer or having the
treatment. When we read your book we found ourselves getting
resentful of the "bad guy" because we have to change our lives
because of his anti-social actions. Why do you think people do
not want to acknowledge that ?it's dangerous out there'?

A: It is the nature of the civilized human in a comfort-centered
society and environment to avoid discomfort. In a word, the
answer is 'denial'. The morbidly obese patient who refuses to
diet or exercise is in denial. The individual who refuses to wear a
seat belt or learn rudimentary first aid is in denial. Similarly, the
person who pretends that he can't possibly be a victim of violent
crime is in denial.

Q: Being both a Captain on a Police Force and of Arabic
descent, what do you think of profiling?

A: I think profiling is one of those terms like "street justice" that
can be misunderstood because the thing itself can be abused.

 When a cop catches a kid vandalizing property and instead of
 running him through the criminal justice machine and giving him a
 record, he makes him apologize to the victim and repair the
 vandalism, that's street justice at its traditional best. When
 "street justice" is administered with the non-illuminating end of a
 large black flashlight, it's no "justice" at all.

Similarly, if "profiling" is taken to mean stopping a motorist
because he is an African-American in a Caucasian
neighborhood, it's wrong. Victims call it "DWB": "Driving While
Black" or "Driving While Brown." That sort of profiling is,
obviously, unacceptable.

At the same time, if the profile of committed al-Qaida members
is Arabic, with little or accented English, late teens to mid-forties,
then it is understandable that good people who unfortunately fit
this profile come in for additional scrutiny, but the scrutiny is
logical and reasonable given the prevailing circumstances. In my
case, as a frequent flyer with an Arabic name who has to declare
firearms at airport check-in counters, life has become more
interesting the last few years, but I shrug it off because I
understand where it comes from.

Let's say that you are driving a white Audi with Virginia plates
through the community I serve, and an hour ago there has been a
vicious murder perpetrated by a suspect driving a white Audi
with Virginia plates. You can expect that I, or one of my brother
or sister officers, will pull you over. Some would call it profiling,
but under the circumstances, we would call it common sense and
fulfillment of duty.

Peter and Helen Evans (, a
husband and wife team - are international teachers, freelance
writers and speakers and teach a philosophical approach to
conservatism. They are also real estate agents in the Washington,
DC area.


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« Reply #59 on: February 16, 2005, 01:23:51 AM »
Similarly, if "profiling" is taken to mean stopping a motorist
because he is an African-American in a Caucasian
neighborhood, it's wrong. Victims call it "DWB": "Driving While
Black" or "Driving While Brown." That sort of profiling is,
obviously, unacceptable.

At the same time, if the profile of committed al-Qaida members
is Arabic, with little or accented English, late teens to mid-forties,
then it is understandable that good people who unfortunately fit
this profile come in for additional scrutiny, but the scrutiny is
logical and reasonable given the prevailing circumstances.

Why is the former 'obviously unacceptable' while the latter is 'logical and reasonable'?


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Rhetorical Vortices
« Reply #60 on: February 16, 2005, 11:13:09 AM »
Alex asks:

?Why is the former 'obviously unacceptable' while the latter is 'logical and reasonable'??

Hmm, sounds like you?re holding me answerable for another person?s beliefs. Had stated in an earlier exchange that I don?t necessarily agree in total with everything I post. ?Spose I?d best also mention I?m not particularly inclined to deconstruct or otherwise ferret out an author?s deeper meanings. Seems I left my Ouija board at home today, and besides Crafty doesn?t pay me enough to apply the tools of biblical scholarship to every wan post.

Perhaps a better way to phrase the question would be: ?Why do you think the author believes the former is ?obviously acceptable? while the latter is ?logical and reasonable??? Phrased in that manner speculation is implicit, I won?t feel that I?m being backed into some authoritative corner, and perhaps we can avoid the rhetorical vortices we often find ourselves in.


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« Reply #61 on: February 17, 2005, 09:43:20 AM »
Why do you think the author believes the former is ?obviously unacceptable? while the latter is ?logical and reasonable??


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Funny you should ask. . . .
« Reply #62 on: February 17, 2005, 05:13:49 PM »
Alex asks:

"Why do you think the author believes the former is ?obviously unacceptable? while the latter is ?logical and reasonable?'"

Funny you should ask. In a nutshell, all I think you can ask of an officer is to make an informed choice with the data at hand. If that choice is based solely or primarily on race then I don't think it's an informed one. If the choice is based on context, experience, training, specific threat profiles, and so on, I think it's what officers are paid to do.

Somewhere between the extremes of questioning everyone for anything, and questioning no one for nothing, there has to be a place for informed choice based on multivariable considerations. My read is that Mr. Ayoob favors informed choice based on overlapping factors and is against choice that is dependent on monolithic criteria. But hey, like I said, I left my Ouija board at home.


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Re: Funny you should ask. . . .
« Reply #63 on: February 18, 2005, 12:12:32 AM »
Quote from: buzwardo
If that choice is based solely or primarily on race then I don't think it's an informed one. If the choice is based on context, experience, training, specific threat profiles, and so on, I think it's what officers are paid to do.

This is what he said:

if the profile of committed al-Qaida members
is Arabic, with little or accented English, late teens to mid-forties,
then it is understandable that good people who unfortunately fit
this profile come in for additional scrutiny

That is a profile based primarily on race.

But hey, like I said, I left my Ouija board at home.

You obviously felt some connection with this article or you wouldn't have posted it. If you didn't want to discuss the issues raised why post it in the first place?


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Heat Less Illumination
« Reply #64 on: February 18, 2005, 02:59:07 PM »
Alex states:

"You obviously felt some connection with this article or you wouldn't have posted it. If you didn't want to discuss the issues raised why post it in the first place [?]"

As mentioned before, posting something doesn't mean I'm obligated to defend it, agree with it in total, deconstruct it to your liking, or involve myself in unproductive arguments. You have latched on to an element of an article and now want to play a game of "gotcha." Well hey, go nuts, have at it, and pat yourself on the back when you?re done.

If I had any desire to further this conversation I'd posit Ayoob's criteria contain implicitly contextual elements, but what's the point? I think you're interested in heat instead of illumination and hence derive nothing of value from our exchanges. As such snipe away. I've got better things to do.

In closing I'll mention that, though I'm not much of a martial artist, sometimes I train with people less skilled than me. I don't use the occasion to lord my superiority, preferring instead to do what I can to maximize the training value for both my partner and me.

In a similar vein, I post to this list for reasons of growth I feel no obligation to explain to you. I derive nothing of value from tit for tat exchanges with the rhetorically challenged and so choose, for the most part, not to participate in them. There are folks on this list whose opinions I respect; I trust they?ll understand that my unwillingness to engage does not connote an inability to do so.


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84 Year-Old Man Shoots Burglar
« Reply #65 on: February 18, 2005, 04:19:32 PM »
Homicide justified according to police

Tired of having his home broken into, Bob Birtwhistle was prepared and police say this was a justifiable shooting

Posted: 02/16/2005 03:35 pm
Last Updated: 02/16/2005 03:41 pm

Story filed by NewsCenter16 Reporter
Robert Borrelli

Mishawaka, IN - An intruder was shot and killed Wednesday morning by the 84-year-old homeowner.

Over the past several years, the home of Bob Birtwhistle has been broken-into before.? The intruder was never caught but on Wednesday, Birtwhistle says he took care of the problem himself.

"And I hear that dude just a raisin' hell trying to get in here, and I got this pretty dang well protected," said Birtwhistle.

Having his house on Third Street in Mishawaka broken into before and been beaten, Bob grabbed his gun when he heard the intruder.

"I fired that shot to let him know I was armed and it didn't make a bit of difference, he still kept coming in," explained Birtwhistle.

Birtwhistle fired again but 40-year-old James Rosebush kept coming, and wrestled the elderly man to the floor.

"My gun was in my hand, down in under.? He grabbed that gun out of my hand and was trying to get it in position to shoot me.? And, I was ready to give up.? But before he could do that, he just relaxed," said Birtwhistle.

Investigators with the St. Joseph County Metro Homicide Unit and the County Prosecutor's Office say the shooting was justified.

"He just didn't want to get hurt anymore. He'd been beaten up several times and he just got tired of it," said Daniel Keiling.

After being beaten and robbed several times before, the senior citizen, who doesn't like guns, took care of himself.

"I done what I had to do, that's all.? And I don't feel guilty about it, spiritually."

Birtwhistle says what happened early Wednesday morning was, "the hardest thing he's done in his life," but the retired electrician says he doesn't feel guilty about defending himself.


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Re: 84 Year-Old Man Shoots Burglar
« Reply #66 on: February 18, 2005, 06:30:04 PM »

Birtwhistle fired again but 40-year-old James Rosebush kept coming, and wrestled the elderly man to the floor.

"My gun was in my hand, down in under.  He grabbed that gun out of my hand and was trying to get it in position to shoot me.  And, I was ready to give up.  But before he could do that, he just relaxed," said Birtwhistle.

Investigators with the St. Joseph County Metro Homicide Unit and the County Prosecutor's Office say the shooting was justified.

I don't get it.  Why doesn't the article say anything about what happened when Rosebush relaxed or how Birtwhistle got the gun back?



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Re: Heat Less Illumination
« Reply #67 on: February 20, 2005, 02:37:49 AM »
Quote from: buzwardo
In a similar vein, I post to this list for reasons of growth I feel no obligation to explain to you. I derive nothing of value from tit for tat exchanges with the rhetorically challenged and so choose, for the most part, not to participate in them. There are folks on this list whose opinions I respect; I trust they?ll understand that my unwillingness to engage does not connote an inability to do so.

I'm not looking for a fight Buz, I just rather foolishly assumed that you post was for public consumption since you posted it in a public place. If you didn't want to defend that aspect of the article you only had to say "Actually I don't fully agree with what he said there" rather than acting like I'm behaving inappropriately by wanting to discuss parts of something you posted.


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« Reply #68 on: February 21, 2005, 10:20:07 AM »
Like the saying goes: God created man, Mr. Colt made them equal:

911 Call Reveals Woman's Struggle With Purse Thief

Woman Held Suspect At Gunpoint Until Police Arrived

POSTED: 1:52 pm CST February 17, 2005
UPDATED: 5:22 pm CST February 17, 2005

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Oklahoma City police released a 911 recording Thursday that reveals a dramatic struggle following an attempted purse-snatching in south Oklahoma City.

Barbara Gesell, 83, had just pulled into her garage when a man ran inside her garage and grabbed her purse, which has hanging across her shoulder. A suspect, Robert Campbell, was arrested shortly afterward on suspicion of attempted robbery.

Police said the story might have ended differently if Gesell's daughter, Theresa Gesell, had not taken action.

According to police, Theresa Gesell ran behind Campbell and tried to catch him when he ran from the scene. While she was chasing the suspect, she called 911.

"A man has attacked us in our house, and we are fighting him in the yard," Theresa Gesell said to the 911 dispatcher.

As the struggle moved down the street, a neighbor -- whom Theresa Gesell identified as "Hershall" -- stopped to help. Theresa then grabbed her .45-caliber pistol and continued running after Campbell -- despite the dispatcher's plea for her to drop the handgun.

"I am going to go get my .45 ... you all are too slow," she said.

As the call continues, the dispatcher asks Theresa to get rid of the weapon. However, after the suspect tried to escape along a creek bed, Theresa and Hershall used the pistol to make sure he didn't leave.

"You can go put that gun up now," the dispatcher said.

"No sir," Theresa replied. "We have the gun pointed at him ... he must have been a city fellow because he didn't know anything about the woods."

Seconds later, police arrived and arrested Campbell. With Hershall's help, the Gesells retrieved Barbara's purse.

Campbell is currently housed in the Oklahoma County Jail. He is expected to be charged with assault and attempted robbery


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« Reply #69 on: February 22, 2005, 03:15:37 PM »
Taking Down the Outlaws
By Amy Doolittle
Published February 22, 2005
In Hollywood, outlaws are either gunned down by lawmen, like Gary Cooper's character in "High Noon," or are portrayed as anti-heroes, like Robert Redford and Paul Newman's characters in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid." But in the real world, the bad guys are truly wicked, say brothers John and Robert Waters, and the sheriff isn't always around to stop them. In fact, some of the most notorious outlaws in history were killed or captured by ordinary citizens.
????"You see all these movies and stuff about the heroic sheriff who runs the outlaws out of town, but you don't see a lot about the ordinary citizen defending themselves in their towns," said Robert Waters. "I wondered what really happened, so I began researching it and found in American history there were numerous accounts of [such] stories. I thought it was important [to tell them] because they had not been told."
????In their new book, "Outgunned: True Stories of Citizens Who Stood Up to Outlaws and Won," the Waters brothers collected accounts of ordinary people taking down the bad men. Among the stories related in the book:
??????Notorious outlaw Henry Starr was captured after a bank robbery in Stroud, Okla., after being shot by 17-year-old Paul Curry, using the sawed-off .30-.30 rifle the Curry family kept for slaughtering hogs.
??????"Black Jack" Ketchum, a killer, robber and cattle rustler who once hid out with Butch Cassidy's gang, was captured after trying to rob a train in New Mexico. Frank Harrington, the conductor on the train, foiled Ketchum's plan by shooting him with a 10-gauge shotgun.
?????After a botched robbery attempt in Midland, Mich., the robbers' escape was thwarted by a dentist. Dr. Frank Hardy, an avid hunter who kept a .35-caliber rifle in his office above the bank, shot and wounded robber Anthony Chebatoris as he drove away, causing him to wreck the getaway car. Chebatoris' partner, Jack Gracy, then attempted to escape by hijacking a truck but was shot through the head by Dr. Hardy at a range of nearly 200 yards.
?????George Birdwell, a member of the "Pretty Boy" Floyd gang, thought the Farmers & Merchants Bank in the all-black town of Boley, Okla., would be easy pickings. But Birdwell and two partners made the mistake of trying to rob the bank on the opening day of hunting season in 1932, when the town was filled with armed black farmers. Birdwell was fatally shot by the bank's bookkeeper, and dozens of townsmen opened fire on his accomplices as they tried to escape, killing one and wounding and capturing the other.
????Most Americans aren't aware of these stories, Robert Waters said, because of political correctness: We have been taught that guns are evil and used so often for wrong, he said, we forget that they can also be used for right.
????But now there is a growing awareness of the positive value of firearms, he said.
????"In the past few years, stories of people defending themselves with firearms have come out over the Internet and talk radio and occasionally in the mainstream media," he said. "The perspective of Americans has changed and people realize that guns are basically a tool. They can be used for evil and can be used for good."
????This shift was evidenced, he said, in the 2004 presidential election. Democrats, who traditionally support firearm restrictions, "would not touch the anti-gun issue with a 10-foot pole," he said. "Even [Democratic candidate Sen.] John Kerry pretended to be a hunter in order to get the people who were in favor of guns to vote for him."
????One problem with Americans' perspective on crime and guns, Mr. Waters said, is that popular culture sometimes celebrates criminals as heroic " a view that has a long history.
????"A deep populist strain has always existed in middle America, an ingrained suspicion of those in authority and those who control vast amounts of wealth," he and his brother explain in their book.
????"Instilled in this mentality is an inclination to root for the underdog. Those who looked on criminals as heroes admired the outlaw as an individualist who followed his own path."
????The sympathetic portrayal of criminals as underdogs is very widespread in contemporary Hollywood, said Ted Baehr, chairman of the Christian Film and Television Commission.
????"For many years during the golden age of Hollywood when Mr. Smith went to Washington, you had positive heroes and good guys who wore white hats," he said, but that changed in the late 1960s, a period that "produced the anti-hero."
????But that doesn't mean that there are no real heroes in theaters, Mr. Baehr said.
????"The good news is that since 1985 there has been an increase in the good guys who wear white hats," he said.
????But, Mr. Baehr warns, the anti-hero will always have some residence in the artistic community. Robert Waters said this is probably because Americans find criminals interesting and different " a perspective he said that overlooks the heroism of law-abiding citizens.
????"Criminals are fascinating, but on the other hand, I find the ordinary citizen to be very fascinating," Mr. Waters said. "What would draw someone to pick up a gun and defend another citizen and defend their town when the bank is being robbed? Maybe they're not heroic in the eyes of Hollywood, but I think they are heroes."


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« Reply #70 on: February 24, 2005, 09:29:33 PM »
By: MARK COLLETTE, JACQUE HILBURN & KENNETH DEAN, Staff Writers February 24, 2005
BYSTANDER KILLED: Tyler police investigate the scene of a gunshot victim on Spring Street in Tyler, Texas Thursday. (Staff Photo By Herb Nygren Jr.)
A Tyler man embroiled in a bitter child support dispute opened fire Thursday on his ex-wife and son with a high-powered rifle, killing the woman and a bystander who attempted to intervene. Several people, including three lawmen, were wounded in the exchange, which began about 1:25 p.m. outside the Smith County Courthouse. Police ultimately shot and killed David Hernandez Arroyo Sr. after he fired repeatedly at officers during a two-mile chase that ended off U.S. Highway 271.

The 43-year-old suspect, who was wearing multiple layers of body armor, died in a hail of police gunfire after authorities rammed his pickup and he emerged, gun raised and firing.

The scene around the normally quiet courthouse turned into chaos as people dove for cover to escape the gunman. Office workers scrambled to lock doors and crawl to safety.

Authorities said it was the bloodiest day in recent memory.

The dead, both of Tyler, have been identified as Maribel Estrada, 41, and Mark Allen Wilson, 52, a personal trainer and gun enthusiast. The wounded include David Arroyo Jr., 23, the suspect's son, five law enforcement officers and two bystanders.

Authorities surmised afterward the deceased never had a chance.

Details continue to emerge, but preliminary evidence suggests Arroyo planned the ambush to the minutest detail.  He was armed with an AK-47, two types of body armor and hundreds of rounds of ammunition, said Tyler Police Chief Gary Swindle. Authorities were still trying to determine how Arroyo obtained the weapon and body armor, and officers were searching his home in Tyler Thursday evening.

Within a span of about two minutes, the downtown square in Tyler was transformed to a landscape of shell casings, broken glass and stunned witnesses.

"I saw people lying everywhere that had been shot," said a dazed Nathan Hoffman, an attorney working directly across the street from the courthouse when shots rang out.

"I saw a guy walking down the street with a high-powered rifle shooting at the courthouse," Hoffman said. "I said, 'Everyone move to the back of the office!'" By then, the scene erupted in chaos.

The gunman, Hoffman said, was "just running down the street shooting."

Witnesses said Arroyo ambushed his ex-wife and son outside the courthouse and started firing.  Ms. Estrada was struck multiple times and died on the lower steps on the east side of the courthouse, officials said.
Smith County Sheriff's Deputy Sherman Dollison, 28, who was serving as a substitute bailiff for the day, was shot multiple times while standing on the landing of the courthouse steps.

He is listed in critical condition at East Texas Medical Center with injuries to the lungs and liver.  SCSO Lt. Marlin Suell, 38, and Tyler Police Det. Clay Perrett, 54, were injured by stray gunfire - Suell in the back of the neck and Perrett to the side of the face.

Repeated shots fired by the suspect shattered glass and sent bystanders scurrying for cover, behind benches, bushes and vehicles.  Several people were wounded by flying glass and one man fell unconscious after suffering a seizure, a hospital spokeswoman said.

The noise prompted Mark Wilson, a gun enthusiast, to intervene as Arroyo continued to fire on his wounded son.

"They traded shots, missing each other, and then the gunman hit Wilson and Wilson went down," said Nelson Clyde III, publisher of the Tyler Morning Telegraph, recalling the shooting as he watched from Don Juan's.

"The gunman walked up to Wilson and shot him while he was on the ground," Clyde said. "I couldn't believe what I was seeing ... it was sickening."

"He was either wounded or dead, but the guy (Arroyo) shot him again to make sure he wouldn't get up," said witness Brandon Malone, a Tyler builder who was lunching inside Don Juan's.

Witnesses said Arroyo calmly walked to his truck, still trading shots with an unidentified man lying beside a Chevrolet, and climbed inside.

"He slowly backed up a bit, and drove away at normal speed, right past a patrol car," Clyde said.

Wilson approached the suspect and fired several times, but the shots appeared useless due to the multiple layers of body armor, witnesses said.  He was wearing both a bulletproof vest and a military flak jacket.

Arroyo turned and fired on Wilson, killing him just a few feet outside the front door of Levine's clothing store. The suspect climbed into his maroon Chevrolet stepside pickup and sped away.

Witness Ron Martell, a military veteran who watched the killing spree, trailed the fleeing suspect and pointed him out to police.

"At first, I couldn't believe it," he said. "I watched the suspect shoot that guy at least seven times. Then he got into his truck and casually drove away. I followed him."

City, county, state and federal law enforcement officers rushed to chase down the suspect and tend to the wounded.

Sirens wailing, authorities began chasing Arroyo, who fired at officers and the courthouse as he sped away from the killing scene.

The caravan of officers pursued the suspect to North Spring Avenue and onto East Gentry Parkway, trailing him to the area of U.S. 271 and Duncan Street.

Witnesses up and down the corridor rushed for cover from stray gunfire as Arroyo continued firing at officers.

"When they came through, there were a lot of shots flying around," said Henry Lee, manager of Rayson Automotive, 2021 E. Gentry Parkway. "I ducked."

A deputy rammed the man's vehicle, prompting him to emerge firing.
Officers returned fire, striking the man several times, at least once in the head. Sobbing relatives rushed to the location, but were held at bay by authorities. Authorities spent hours searching the highway for spent casings. Dozens of tiny markers documented the number of shots fired.

"Obviously he came prepared because he came with a bulletproof flak jacket," said Chief Swindle. "Witnesses reported seeing him reload."

Swindle said of the law officers on the scene, "They were simply outgunned. They were armed with handguns and he (Arroyo) was armed with an AK-47."

Arroyo had previously told his wife he would kill her if she pressed the issue of child support, authorities said.

"He came here with one thing in mind," Swindle said. "He had the act set in his mind to murder his ex-wife. He has a history of assaulting his ex-wife and several weapons offenses."

Authorities credited Wilson with possibly saving the life of Arroyo's son, who was reported to be in fair condition.

Swindle said the armor worn by Arroyo was designed to withstand not just bullets, but also landmine explosions.

Staff writers Patrick Butler and Roy Maynard contributed to this report.

Mark Collette covers Smith County. He can be reached


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Half the Story, All the Time
« Reply #71 on: March 03, 2005, 02:57:34 PM »
Good Samaritan Gun Use

Thursday, March 03, 2005

By John Lott, Jr.

A multiple victim public shooting last week outside the court house in Tyler, Texas, stemming from a custody dispute, resulted in the murder of two people and the wounding of four others.

Killings like this frequently make the news, and this story was carried by all the television networks and most major newspapers. ABC and NBC evening news coverage was fairly typical; they noted, respectively, that ?David Hernandez Arroyo (search) fired off more than 50 rounds. He killed two people before police shot him dead? and ?A gunman killed his ex-wife and a bystander and wounded four others between--before being shot to death by police.?

Of the 71 unique news stories found by a computerized Nexis search of stories in the four days after the attack, 38 percent mention that an AK-47 (search) or high-powered rifle was used by the attacker. As usual, gun control groups called for more gun control.

Eric Howard, with the Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence (search), said ?These are military-style weapons that pose a significant risk to civilians and the police officers trying to protect the public.?

Only two stories mentioned that the AK-47 was a semi-automatic, not a machine gun, and, while it is understandable, none of the articles provided context by explaining that Arroyo?s weapon functioned the same as deer hunting rifles, firing the same caliber bullets, at the same rapidity, and doing the same damage.

Seems like pretty standard media coverage. But what makes this case different is that 21 percent of the news stories actually mentioned that a citizen licensed to carry a concealed weapon used his gun to try and help stop the attack.

The citizen, 50 year old Mark Wilson, was one of the two people murdered. As CNN reported, ?Everyone here agrees, Wilson saved lives.? Fox News' website quoted the sheriff as saying "if it hadn't been for Mr. Wilson, [Arroyo's son] would be dead."

Wilson, a licensed concealed handgun permit holder, heard Arroyo?s shots and saw the commotion from his apartment window. He grabbed a handgun and headed toward the attacker. Arroyo had already wounded several police officers and there was no one left to prevent his rampage.

Arroyo had also shot his 22-year-old son and was about ready to shoot him again from very close range when Wilson fired his gun, hitting Arroyo several times in the chest. Arroyo was wearing a bullet resistant vest and flak jacket and Wilson's shots did not seriously wound him. Yet, Wilson?s shots forced Arroyo to come after him, and it used up a couple of minutes of his time. Unfortunately, in the exchange of gunfire, Arroyo eventually fatally shot Wilson. With police arriving, Arroyo fled the scene and was later shot to death by police as they pursued him.

Neighbors described Wilson as ?one of the nicest, sweetest guys I've ever known.? Others pointed out that ?He's not going to sit back and -- when he could do something about it, and just let it happen? and called him a hero.

It is not remarkable that someone such as Mark Wilson was there at the scene to stop the attack before police arrived. For example, in about 30 percent of the multiple victim public school shootings that have captivated Americans? attention starting in 1997, people used guns to stop the attacks before uniformed police were able to arrive on the scene. Few people know about these cases because only about one percent of the news stories on these cases mention how the attacks were stopped.

What is remarkable is that this heroism--an act of defensive gun use (search)--did receive some national attention. Undoubtedly, much of the coverage came from the fact that Mark Wilson was killed by Arroyo, but it still doesn?t take away from the fact that many stories admitted that he had saved at least one life and a few stories quoted police saying that he had probably saved multiple lives.

Of course, gun control advocates draw their usual conclusion from all this. Kristen Rand, legislative director for the pro-gun control Violence Policy Center (search) in Washington, D.C., claims the Tyler shooting last Thursday shows that criminals are undeterred by people potentially carrying concealed weapons. But, in fact, more nearly the opposite is true. When Arroyo faced the choice of continuing to shoot others or defending himself, he was forced to defend himself. Making Arroyo's attacks more risky caused him to change his behavior.

More generally, though, it is strange that Rand points to one case as evidence that deterrence doesn't work. In the book, The Bias Against Guns, Bill Landes of the University of Chicago Law School and I examine multiple-victim public shootings in the United States from 1977 to 1999 and find that when states passed right-to-carry laws, these attacks fell by 60 percent. Deaths and injuries from multiple-victim public shootings fell on average by 78 percent.

Many people find it hard to believe that 18 national surveys by academics as well as national polling organizations show that there are 2 million defensive gun uses each year. After all, if these events were really happening, wouldn't we hear about them on the news? Yet when was the last time you saw a story on the national evening news (or even the local news) about a citizen using a gun to stop a crime? ABC?s and NBC?s news coverage continued this pattern, but at least some CBS and CNN news reports provided some balance and Fox News? website also gave the full story.

This misreporting actually endangers people's lives. By selectively reporting the news and turning a defensive gun use story into one that merely says "police shot him dead," the media give misleading impressions of what actions saved the lives of people confronted by violence. As Wilson's case demonstrates, defensive gun use is not a guns-rights myth. Guns have been and are used by law abiding citizens to protect and save their own lives and the lives of others.

John Lott is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and the author of The Bias Against Guns (Regnery 2003) and More Guns, Less Crime (University of Chicago Press 2000).


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« Reply #72 on: March 03, 2005, 06:12:11 PM »
Buz et al:

Lott is always excellent.

In a lighter vein, here's this:


      A) The number of physicians in the U.S. is 700,000.
      B) Accidental deaths caused by Physicians per year are 120,000.
      C) Accidental deaths per physician is 0.171.
      Statistics courtesy of U.S. Dept of Health Human services and is a
      conservative number.

      Now think about this:

      A) The number of gun owners in the U.S. is 80,000,000.
         Yes, that is 80 million.
      B) The number of accidental gun deaths per year, all age groups is
      C) The number of accidental deaths per gun owner is 0.0000188.

      Statistically, doctors are approximately 9,000 times more
      dangerous than gun owners.

      Remember, "Guns don't kill people, doctors do."


      Please alert your friends to this alarming threat.
      We must ban doctors before this gets completely out of hand!!!!!

      Out of concern for the public at large, I have withheld the
      statistics on lawyers for fear the shock would cause people to
      panic and seek medical attention.


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« Reply #73 on: March 09, 2005, 10:11:56 PM »
WOW!  DOJ says right to bear arms is individual, not group!


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« Reply #74 on: March 10, 2005, 10:21:56 AM »

Judo throw deals thief a blow

KASHIHARA, Nara -- A powerful judo throw from an elderly Kashihara farmer has thwarted a wannabe armed robber's plans to steal from him, police said.

The 66-year-old farmer disarmed the man demanding money from him at knifepoint and forced him to flee. He repelled the would-be robber while sustaining only minor injuries to his hands.

The elderly farmer had belonged to a judo club at high school and remains physically fit, having completed five full marathons while in his 40s.

"It was all just a reflex action," the farmer said.

Police are looking for his assailant, describing him as being in his 50s or 60s and wearing a gray uniform.

Police said the mugger had rang the farmer's doorbell early on Sunday morning, telling the farmer's wife he was a newspaper deliveryman and waiting outside the front gate of their home.

Suspecting something was amiss, the farmer went out to greet the man and was confronted by him brandishing a knife. The farmer grabbed the man and hurled him over his shoulder, slamming him into the ground.

The knife clattered out of the man's hands. He got up and ran away and the farmer returned to his home and alerted the police. (Mainichi Shimbun, March 7, 2005)


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« Reply #76 on: March 20, 2005, 06:43:40 AM »
The martial spirit in action:

"We are safe in port of Aden. It?s been 3 days repairing the damage. 30 bullets holes in deck, cabin house, dodger, and alas, newly varnished mast. Our bow shows evidence of a satisfying crunch. Our new paint job was not meant to be. Dinghy on deck was seriously wounded but in stable condition, much repatched. No wine was hurt.

This is the "official" report filed with the Yemen Coast Guard, Yemen Navy, Aden Port Control, US Coalition 5th Fleet, US Embassy and State Department? but not Carol?s mother. Unfortunately, the poor guy that shoots has to write up the paper work. The one that rams does not engender any paper-work, except sand paper work.

March 11, 2005, written by Rodney J. Nowlin, USN Retired
Pirate Attack off Yemen Coast

On Tuesday, March 8, 2005 at position 13 Degrees 28 North / 49 Degrees 07 East, in the infamous Pirate Alley of the Gulf of Aden, two sailing yachts, Madhi and Gandalf, were moving SW 30 miles off the coast of Yemen proceeding to the port of Aden from Salalah, Oman.

At about 0900 local, two outboard powered fiberglass longboats, about 20 feet long, each containing 3 men, passed off our sterns moving south at about 25 knots into the open Gulf between Yemen and Somalia. An hour later they returned, one coming quite close and looking us over carefully. The second boat passed off our bows but quite a ways away. These boats were obviously not engaged in a normal activity like fishing. At that time we were south of Al Mukalla, Yemen. The area around Al Mukalla is well documented as being a piracy, drug & people smuggling problem area and we maintained a careful watch for anything out of the ordinary.

At about 1600 we observed two different boats approaching us head on from the west with the glare of the sunset in our eyes. These were 25-30 feet long, had inboard diesel engines and higher freeboard. We immediately motored closer together. As soon as they saw us close ranks they started coming very fast directly at us. There were 4 men in each boat. They separated at about 200 yards with one boat coming down Madhi?s port side, shouting and firing into the cockpit. The other boat, firing automatic weapons came at Gandalf. There were no warning shots. Carol on Gandalf began sending Maydays on every frequency.

The first boat swung around behind Mahdi?s stern to come up and board us. At that point, I , Rod Nowlin aboard Mahdi and armed with a 12 gauge shotgun loaded with 00 buckshot, started shooting into their boat. I forced them to keep their heads down so they could not shoot at us. I am not sure I hit anyone at that point. I could see the driver of the boat crouched down behind the steering console. After firing three shots at them, their engine started to smoke and I swung around to try to shoot at the second boat ahead. At that point I saw Jay Barry on Gandalf ram the second boat amidships almost cutting it in two and turning it almost completely over. I turned back around to shoot at the boat still behind Mahdi. That was when they turned away from Mahdi and headed toward the stern of Gandalf. Gandalf was beside us about 100 feet away. The bow of the pirate boat came right up against Gandalf?s stern and two men stood up on the bow with guns to board Gandalf. That was a serious and probably fateful error on their part. I shot both of them. That boat then veered away and I shot the driver, although I am not sure of the outcome because they were farther away and I didn?t knock him down like the other two trying to board Gandalf.

Mahdi & Gandalf kept going at full speed to put as much distance between the pirates and us as possible. As soon as we were out of rifle range, we looked back and both attack boats were drifting and seemed to be disabled.

A merchant ship nearby finally answered our Mayday and diverted course to position itself between the floundering pirates and the fleeing yachts. They said they would contact the authorities? by Sat phone and then sailed alongside us for 4 hours after dark to make sure we would be all right. Best speed was made to the Port of Aden 180 miles away.

If Jay on Gandalf had not had the presence of mind to veer over into one boat and ram it, the outcome of this attack would have been totally different. All the guys needed to do was stand off a ways and shoot us to pieces with automatic weapons. We were extremely lucky. We broadcast Mayday calls on VHF 16 and all HF radio frequencies, including two HF frequencies that were supplied by the US Coast Guard near Oman only a few days before. Frequencies which the Coalition Forces Warships in this area were supposed to be monitoring. There was no response. The pirates were well organized and well armed. There were at least 4 boats involved. They had set up a picket line out from the Yemen coast probably covering 75 miles out, so if you transited the area during the day they would not miss seeing you. The two attack boats appeared to have come from the south before positioning themselves ahead of us in the sunset.

There has been speculation in the past that this ongoing piracy problem off Yemen?s coast was being carried out by Somali pirates. Given the number, the types of boats involved, and the direction the supposed spotter boats were coming from, this does not appear to be the case. The men in the attack boats looked both African and Arab.

There was no evidence that this was a people smuggling operation. There were no men, women or children cowering in the boats. These were not fishing boats with nets or overhead sun protection. They appeared to be purpose-built boats, 25-30 feet long, with wooden splines or poles fashioned above the gunwales to which a plastic tarp or shield was hung chest high for the men to hide behind after shooting. The problem is getting worse and the pirate attacks are getting deadly. One could only expect that the Yemen Government will take more direct action At very least, allow yachts to group in Salalah, Oman and at some point along the NW Yemen coast request an escort until Aden or the Straits.

Rodney J. Nowlin, USN Retire
March 11, 2005


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« Reply #77 on: March 20, 2005, 05:39:44 PM »
Fighting Crime the 11th Century Way....

By Peter Apps

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Tighter gun ownership laws are pushing South Africans to buy crossbows, spears, swords, knives and pepper sprays to protect themselves from violent crime.

"We've had to build an entirely new shop because the demand from people is so great," Justin Willmers, owner of Durban Guns and Ammo, told Reuters. "It can be anything from a Zulu fighting spear, battle axes, swords, crossbows."

New gun controls came into force last year under South Africa's Firearms Control Act, but some weapons shop owners say high crime rates are pushing law abiding citizens to look for alternative means of defending themselves.

Despite official figures showing the murder rate falling 10 percent in the year to March 2004, South Africa's Arms and Ammunition Dealers Association says individuals face a one in 60 chance of being the victim of a violent crime in any given year.

Many houses are surrounded by razor wire and electric fences, but with police turning down 80 percent of firearms license requests after an 18-month application process, Association spokesman Alex Holmes said people were forced to look at other options.

"It's not really a matter of choice," Holmes said. "Licensed firearms are not used in crime at any great rate."

Estimates of the number of illegal firearms in South Africa vary between 1 and 4 million, he said, but the real problem is from some 30-40,000 hardcore criminals using a small number of illegal guns.


South Africa began a firearms amnesty on Jan. 1 that to date has netted some 13,000 weapons, officials told Reuters, but critics say most of the weapons handed in are old and would never have been used for crime.

"It's mostly been grannies and grandpas that are handing in weapons that are probably unusable anyhow," Willmers said. In the meantime, people from all walks of life are acquiring weapons not restricted by law.

"The guys have just had enough," Willmers said.

Men are buying machetes to fight off hijackers or crossbows to shoot people breaking into their property, while women are more likely to buy a pepper spray, he said.

One customer successfully fought off three hijackers with a machete, slashing one, he said. A beggar had bought a pepper spray so he could fight off those who tried to steal his shoes as he slept on the street.

With some homeowners worried about prosecution if they kill intruders, the crossbow is particularly popular because of its silence and the difficulty of tracing the firer from forensic evidence, he said.

With no legal restrictions on sales, weapons shop staff had to exercise judgment in who they sold to, Willmers said.


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« Reply #78 on: March 23, 2005, 09:08:45 AM »
March 23, 2005, 7:44 a.m.
Disarming Facts
The road to bad laws is paved with good intentions.

By John R. Lott Jr.

The last ten days have seen three horrific multiple-victim public shootings: the Atlanta courthouse attack that left four murdered; the Wisconsin church shooting, where seven were murdered, and Monday's high-school shooting in Minnesota, where nine were murdered. What can be learned from these attacks? Some take the attacks as confirmation that guns should be completely banned from even courthouses, let alone schools and churches.

The lessons from the courthouse shooting are likely to be different from the other two attacks in that there were armed sheriff's deputies present. Even if civilian gun possession were banned at the courthouse, the officers still had guns. Not only did they fail to stop the attack, they even facilitated it, because the 200-pound former football linebacker who was facing trial for rape was able to take the gun.

Guns are most useful in stopping criminals at a distance. The threat of using the gun against a criminal can allow one to capture him, or at least can cause the criminal to break off his attack. Police have a much more difficult job than civilians. While civilians can use a gun to maximize the distance between themselves and criminals, police can be satisfied with simply brandishing a gun and watching the criminal run away. Their job requires physical contact, and when that happens, things can go badly wrong.

My own published research on criminals assaulting police shows that the more likely that an assault will be successful, the more likely criminals will be to make it. The major factor determining success is the relative strengths and sizes of the criminal and officer. In particular, when officer strength and size requirements are reduced because of affirmative action, each one-percent increase in the number of female officers increases the number of assaults on police by 15 to 19 percent. The Atlanta-courthouse shooting simply arose from such a case.

There is a broader lesson to learn from these attacks. All three attacks took place in areas where gun possession by those who did the attack as well as civilians generally was already banned ? so-called "gun-free safe zones." Suppose you or your family are being stalked by a criminal who intends on harming you. Would you feel safer putting a sign in front of your home saying "This Home is a Gun-Free Zone"?

It is pretty obvious why we don't put these signs up. As with many other gun laws, law-abiding citizens, not would-be criminals, would obey the sign. Instead of creating a safe zone for victims, it leaves victims defenseless and creates a safe zone for those intent on causing harm.

A three-year prison term for violating a gun-free zone represents a real penalty for a law-abiding citizen. Adding three years to a criminal?s sentence when he is probably already going to face multiple death penalties or life sentences for a murderous rampage is probably not going to be the penalty that stops the criminal from committing his crime.

Many Americans have learned this lesson the hard way. In 1985, just eight states had the most liberal right-to-carry laws ? laws that automatically grant permits once applicants pass a criminal background check, pay their fees and, when required, complete a training class. Today the total is 37 states. Bill Landes and I have examined all the multiple-victim public shootings with two or more victims in the United States from 1977 to 1999 and found that when states passed right-to-carry laws, these attacks fell by 60 percent. Deaths and injuries from multiple-victim public shootings fell on average by 78 percent.

No other gun-control law had any beneficial effect. Indeed, right-to-carry laws were the only policy that consistently reduced these attacks.

To the extent attacks still occurred in right-to-carry states, they overwhelmingly happened in the special places within those states where concealed handguns were banned. The impact of right-to-carry laws on multiple-victim public shootings is much larger than on other crimes, for a simple reason. Increasing the probability that someone will be able to protect themselves, increases deterrence. Even when any single person might have a small probability of having a concealed handgun, the probability that at least someone will is very high.

Unfortunately, the restrictive concealed-handgun law now in effect in Minnesota bans concealed handguns around schools and Wisconsin is one of four states that completely ban concealed handguns, let alone not allowing them in churches. (There was a guard at the Minnesota school and he was apparently the first person killed, but he was also apparently unarmed.) While permitted concealed handguns by civilians are banned in Georgia courthouses, it is not clear that the benefit is anywhere near as large as other places simply because you usually have armed law enforcement nearby. One possibility is to encourage prosecutors and others to carry concealed guns around courthouses.

These restrictions on guns in schools weren't always in place. Prior to the end of 1995 when the Safe School Zone Act was enacted, virtually all the states that allowed citizens, whether they be teacher or principles or parents, to carry concealed handguns let them carry them on school grounds. Even Minnesota used to allow this.

Some have expressed fears over letting concealed permit holders carry guns on school campuses, but over all the years that permitted guns were allowed on school property there is no evidence that these guns were used improperly or caused any accidents.

People's reaction to the horrific events displayed on TV such as the Minnesota attack are understandable, but the more than two million times each year that Americans use guns defensively are never discussed ? even though this is five times as often as the 450,000 times that guns are used to commit crimes over the last couple of years. Seldom do cases make the news where public shootings are stopped or mothers use guns to prevent their children from being kidnapped. Few would know that a third of the public-school shootings were stopped by citizens with guns before uniformed police could arrive.

In an analysis that I did during 2001 of media coverage of guns, the morning and evening national-news broadcasts on the three main television networks carried almost 200,000 words on contemporaneous gun-crime stories. By comparison, not one segment featured a civilian using a gun to stop a crime. Newspapers are not much better.

Police are extremely important in deterring crime, but they almost always arrive after the crime has been committed. Annual surveys of crime victims in the United States continually show that, when confronted by a criminal, people are safest if they have a gun. Just as the threat of arrest and prison can deter criminals from committing a crime, so can the fact that victims can defend themselves.

Gun-control advocates conveniently ignore that the nations with the highest homicide rates have gun bans. Studies, such as one conducted recently by Jeff Miron at Boston University, which examined 44 countries, find that stricter gun-control laws tend to lead to higher homicide rates. Russia, which has banned guns since the Communist revolution, has had murder rates several times higher than that of the United States; even under the Communists, the Soviet Union's rate was much higher.

Good intentions don't necessarily make good laws. What counts is whether the laws ultimately save lives. Unfortunately, too many gun laws primarily disarm law-abiding citizens, not criminals.

? John Lott, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, is the author of The Bias Against Guns and More Guns, Less Crime.

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« Reply #79 on: March 25, 2005, 10:29:57 AM »
Note: Needless to say this is very good news for us. John Bolton was the dominant force at the 2001 UN Conference on Small arms.

Bush Selects Bolton As New U.N. Ambassador

WASHINGTON (March 7) - Undersecretary of State John R. Bolton, a controversial Bush administration figure whose strong statements on North Korea's nuclear program irked the leaders in Pyongyang, is President Bush's choice to be the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, three government officials said Monday.

Bush, already viewed suspiciously in some sectors of the United Nations for his pre-emptive attack in 2003 on Iraq, reached out to a tough lawyer and arms control expert who rarely muffles his views in diplomatic nuance.

Last month, for instance, in a strongly worded speech in Tokyo, Bolton lashed out at China before an international audience for not stopping its munitions companies from selling missile technology to Iran and other nations the United States considers rogue states.

He also took the lead in strongly opposing plans of European allies to lift an 15-year embargo and sell weapons to Beijing.

In his current post as undersecretary for arms control and international security, Bolton, 56, has traveled the world several times over in the past four years, mostly to try to halt the spread of dangerous technology.

Before the 1991 Persian Gulf war, as an assistant secretary of state for international organizations, Bolton collaborated with then-Secretary of State James A. Baker III in organizing an alliance with European and Arab countries for the war with Iraq that liberated Kuwait.

Bolton, who has served as Washington's top arms control official, would succeed former Sen. John Danforth, who retired in January.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice informed the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., and the senior Democrat, Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware, of the selection. She also notified U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, said a government official knowledgeable about the situation.

Bolton must be confirmed for the post, which is being filled temporarily by Anne Patterson, a career foreign service officer, who took over for Danforth.

North Korea was so incensed by his public denunciations of their nuclear weapons program that it refused to negotiate with him and he was removed from the U.S. delegation to the now-dormant talks.

An attorney, Bolton has been under secretary of state for arms control and international security since May 11 and earlier held a variety of high-level government jobs at the departments of Justice and State under Republican administrations.

Bolton has been a sharp critic of autocratic regimes, such as the one in Pyongyang, and of many proposed international agreements.

Danforth, a former U.S. senator from Missouri, served on the job for just six months. He left on Jan. 20, at the end of Bush's first term, saying he wanted to return to his home in St. Louis and spend time with his ailing wife.

Bolton was born in Baltimore and graduated from Yale University and Yale Law School


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« Reply #80 on: March 25, 2005, 11:40:19 AM »
Woof All:

FC, would you care to flesh out Bolton's role at the Small Arms Conference?

And now, here's this:

Crafty Dog

"The great object is that every man be armed. ... Everyone who is able may have a gun." Patrick Henry during Virginia's ratification convention (1788) in "The Debates of the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution" at 386, Jonathan Elliot (New York, Burt Franklin: 1888).

Could Patrick Henry be more specific? After all, he was directly involved in the process of adopting the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.

"That the said Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms." Samuel Adams during Massachusetts' U.S. Constitution ratification convention (1788), "Debates and Proceedings in the Convention of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts," at 86-87 (Pierce & Hale, eds., Boston, 1850).

Could Samuel Adams, an American Revolutionary leader who was actually there during the process, as was Patrick Henry, have been more clear about an individual's right to private gun ownership?

"The Constitution preserves the advantage of being armed, which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation ... (where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms." ? The Federalist, No. 46 ? James Madison, America's fourth president, known as the father and author of the U.S. Constitution.

"The people are not to be disarmed of their weapons. They are left in full possession of them." Zachariah Johnson Elliot's Debates, vol. 3, "The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution."

"? the people are confirmed by the next article in their right to keep and bear their private arms." Philadelphia Federal Gazette June 18, 1789, page 2, column 2, article on the Bill of Rights.

"Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone under independence. ? From the hour the Pilgrims landed to the present day, events, occurrences and tendencies prove that to ensure peace security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable. ? The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere restrains evil interference ? they deserve a place of honor with all that's good." George Washington, America's first president, known as the father of our nation.

"The constitutions of most of our states assert that all power is inherent in the people; that ? it is their right and duty to be at all times armed. ? " Thomas Jefferson, America's third president in a letter to Justice John Cartwright, June 5, 1824. ME 16:45.

"The best we can help for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed." Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers at 184-8. Hamilton was a lawyer and delegate to the Continental Congress.


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« Reply #81 on: March 25, 2005, 05:16:01 PM »
Stephen Hallbrook's book That Every Man Be Armed, the Evolution of a Constitutional Right does the best job I've seen of comprehensively examining the genesis of the second amendment. Many of the quotes cited above are examined in context. Well worth a read, IMO.

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« Reply #82 on: April 01, 2005, 07:48:17 AM »
Hi all,

as the one that gave me the info didn't explained exactly what role J. Bolton took at the Small Arms Conference, I made a search recently, here's what I've found:

In mid-2001 Bolton announced at the UN Conference on Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons that Washington opposed any initiative to regulate trade in small arms or in non-military rifles--or any effort that would 'abrogate the constitutional right to bear arms.'

Accompanying Bolton to the conference were members of the National Rifle Association (NRA). 'It is precisely those weapons that Bolton would exclude from the purview of this conference that are actually killing people and endangering communities around the world,' said Tamar Gabelnick, director of the Arms Sales Monitoring Project at the Federation of American Scientists.

She charged that the U.S. delegation, led by Arms Control Secretary Bolton, single-handedly destroyed any possibility of consensus around the Small Arms Action Plan.

many of the sites that refers to J. Bolton are mainly hoplophobic ones, I will made another search and if I find something more precise or interesting, I'll edit my post

besides, I've found an article on the Guns&Ammo 's site about this conference, quite interesting even if that's not surprising:

Quote from: Guns&Ammo

Global Gun Ban A Bust

In the words of a firearms prohibitionist, here's why the U.N.'s push to disarm American citizens doesn't hold water.
By Dr. Paul Gallant & Dr. Joanne Eisen

The conference did more harm than good to those fighting against the spread of small arms. Small arms proliferation must be addressed with incremental measures, not bold policy initiatives. --Laudable Failure, Aaron Karp, SAIS Review, Winter-Spring 2002

The "laudable failure" referred to by Aaron Karp was the U.N.'s "Conference On The Illegal Trade In Small Arms And Light Weapons In All its Aspects." Held in New York City in July 2001, the conference was touted as "the crowning event of a decade of political activism."

Many gun owners know that the U.S. put a temporary halt to the U.N.'s plans for global civilian disarmament. But media fanfare that accompanied the conference has camouflaged the depths of the failure Karp described.

"[T]he outcome could hardly have been worse for those who believe that small arms proliferation is a serious challenge for international peace and security. . . It is no exaggeration to say that efforts to deal with the issue would be more aggressive today if the conference had never taken place.

"Even worse than the underwhelming final document," Karp lamented, "was the climate of hopelessness it left behind."

The most palpable aspect of the debacle was Under-Secretary of State John Bolton, who vigorously represented the U.S. at the conference and refused to accede to the "visionary proposals" that would eventually strip us of our firearms. But according to Karp, "[e]ven without Bolton's fireworks," the conference was doomed, and "the outcome would have been much the same."

Aaron Karp is Senior Consultant to the Small Arms Survey, a Geneva-based research project that maintains that small arms "are made to maim and kill" and "have imperiled [sic] human security in every way." Karp's political allies are in dire straits. His insightful assessment of the state of the global anti-gun community should give U.S. gun owners refreshing encouragement in the never-ending fight to secure a safer world for our children.

The hidden goal of the conference was to create long-term international pressure for severe restrictions to be placed on the possession and use of firearms by the world's civilians, but especially by American gun owners. Controlling our firearms is crucial to the U.N.'s agenda. Of a total estimated 638 million firearms on this planet, about 375 million firearms are in private hands. Of the 250 million guns in America, 98 percent of these--245 million--are privately owned. Looking at it a different way, about 65 percent of the world's stockpile of privately held firearms are in the hands of U.S. civilians. If the Bush administration had caved, that would have gone a long way toward furthering the U.N. goal of global civilian disarmament. But Bush and Bolton stood firm.

The Conference presented the global gun-banners with insurmountable hurdles. For one thing, many countries have become justifiably leery of the U.N.'s propensity for filching bits and pieces of their sovereignty; Bolton was only "joining in the global tidal wave of sovereign reassertion."

Add to that the growing admission and acceptance by firearm prohibitionists that the black market is intractable, wishes and dreams can never control it, and that human nature itself will ensure its survival--the best-laid plans of lawmakers notwithstanding.

Consequently, "There was no agreement [at the Conference] on whose guns were culpable or how to restrain their use."

But what had become irrefutable is that past social policies premised on civilian disarmament have proven disastrous. "The small arms issue rose from a broad desire to do something to ease the carnage of global crime, ethnic strife and secessionist warfare," and that philosophy has failed spectacularly. Where the U.N. has been in control, and where disarmament has been attempted, increased violence has often been the result, contrary to all promises.

For example, the U.N. sent peacekeeping troops to northwestern Cambodia in 1992 to disarm warring factions. The operation was deemed to have achieved only "limited success." Nevertheless, between 25 to 50 percent of the combatants were believed to have been disarmed. A study conducted after the departure of the U.N. peacekeeping force found that firearm-related injuries increased, relative to the level existing prior to U.N. intervention.

In Bosnia in 1995 more than 7,500 men and boys were massacred in the border town of Srebrenica following a U.N. embargo on arms into the region and peacekeeping efforts based on demilitarized "safe areas." The massacre has been called the worst in post-World War II Europe.

Civilian disarmament has never achieved its stated goal. It's difficult for those who would ban firearms to accept that, in the U.K., what started out as a glorious moral policy of arms reduction turned into a less-than-glorious social disaster for all to see.

With all semblance of a moral underpinning gone from the philosophy of civilian disarmament, what remains is the ugly reality that disarmament doesn't make for a safer world. Instead, it renders innocent people victims.

What has replaced the optimism of the global gun-banners is the fear that they may well have "triggered a response from gun advocates. . . [and] small-arms activists [read: prohibitionists] must contend with organized opposition."

Is this the death knell of the global disarmament crowd? Not by a long shot, for even when forced to confront the failure of their philosophy, they persist in their lethal agenda. "Progress toward this goal will come exclusively through incremental steps. . .it has to include those small arms already in public hands. . ."

The global firearm prohibitionists will simply not let go of their warped "vision of society in which small arms have a progressively less visible role. . ." As Karp noted, "the issue was permanently logged on the global agenda," and "the small arms community must bide its time..." He continued, gun-banning "small arms activists will have to reinvent their work, adapting to an environment requiring enormous dedication and determination while accepting slow results. . ."

Finally, Karp let the cat out of the bag when he stated, "Gun advocates have long spoken as if there were an international conspiracy to get rid of their guns. Perhaps it is time for advocates of restraint to become more as they are described."

We are forewarned: "The price of liberty is eternal vigilance."


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« Reply #83 on: April 01, 2005, 08:33:25 PM »
I wish this was an April fools joke, but it appears there is a NJ Assemblyman who wants to confiscate homes where an "illegal" gun is found. Maybe we can quarter British troops in these confiscated homes and thus violate the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th, 9th, and probably the 14th amendments in one fell swoop.

Manzo favors house seizure in gun cases

Wednesday, March 30, 2005
By Michaelangelo Conte
Journal staff writer

The spate of slayings over the first three months of the year has prompted Assemblyman Louis Manzo, D-Jersey City, to introduce a bill which would make it possible to confiscate a home or car in which an illegal firearm is found - even if the gun doesn't belong to the owner.

"Simply put, we cannot afford to lose another life, at a time when it has become a daily routine to read about another life lost in our neighborhoods as a result of gun violence," Manzo says in a letter asking state Assembly Speaker Albio Sires, D-West New York, to expedite a vote on the bill.

"Now is the time to send a message that the consequences for harboring an illegal firearm are severe and will not be tolerated by our law-makers, communities or families," Manzo says in the letter.

Manzo said the bill will make the stakes so high that people will "think twice about driving a friend (they) know carries a gun, and about allowing a family member to harbor an illegal gun in the home."

Even if the bill were passed, however, it would likely be challenged as unconstitutional, said Frank Askin, director of the Constitutional Clinic at Rutgers University in Newark.

"I'm skeptical the New Jersey Supreme Court would uphold it under the state constitution," Askin said yesterday. "I think under the state constitution there would at least have to be a innocent owner exception.

"The New Jersey Supreme Court has been much more protective of private property rights than the Supreme Court has been in recent years," Askin said.

Askin said confiscating a person's house, especially in a case where the gun found did not belong to the owner, would likely be seen by the court as excessive.

"Taking the house is so disproportionate to the crime, I think it would constitute cruel and unusual punishment," Askin said. "I would certainly say the American Civil Liberties Union would challenge that."


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« Reply #84 on: April 06, 2005, 01:21:46 PM »
House Passes Public Self-Defense Legislation
By DAVID ROYSE The Associated Press
Published: Apr 6, 2005

TALLAHASSEE - Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said Tuesday he intends to sign a bill that would allow people who feel threatened on the street, in a bar, at a ball game - or just about anywhere - to ``meet force with force'' to defend themselves without fear of being prosecuted. The measure, the top priority of the National Rifle Association in Florida this year, passed 94-20 in the House. It had already passed the Senate.

The bill essentially extends and codifies a right Floridians already have in their homes or cars, saying that there's no need to retreat before fighting back. People attacked in their homes generally don't have to back off. But in public spaces, deadly force can only be used after trying to retreat.

``I'm sorry people, but if I'm attacked I shouldn't have a duty to retreat,'' said the bill's sponsor, Rep. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala. ``That's a good way to get shot in the back.''

Baxley said that if people have the clear right to defend themselves without having to worry about the legal consequences, criminals will think twice.

``Some violent rape will not occur because somebody will feel empowered by this bill,'' Baxley said. ``Somebody's child will not be abducted ... you're going to prevent a murder.''

Opponents said the idea will legalize shootouts in the streets.

``This bill creates a wild, wild west out there,'' said Rep. Eleanor Sobel, D-Hollywood.

Bush, who has championed tougher penalties for people convicted of using guns in crimes, said he believed the measure was a good idea.

``I'm comfortable that the bill is a bill that relates to self- defense,'' Bush said. ``It's a good, commonsense, anti- crime issue.''

The measure makes it clear in state law what courts have generally ruled in Florida - that there's no duty to retreat before fighting back if you're in your home, workplace or car.

But it also extends the right outside the home, saying that ``a person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be, has no duty to retreat.''

The bill says that person has ``the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so, to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another.''

The sponsor, Baxley, also led the failed legislative effort to keep Terri Schiavo alive by blocking the removal of her feeding tube - and decried a growing ``culture of death.''

``For a House that talks about the culture of life, it's ironic that we would be devaluing life in this bill,'' said Rep. Dan Gelber, D-Miami Beach. ``You are telling people when they are in the midst of an emotional moment ... you can stand your ground until death happens.''

Baxley and other supporters, however, said the measure brings Florida in line with the law of much of the land. Alan Korwin, an author of several books on gun laws and papers defending gun ownership, said the right to use a gun for self-defense in most situations is ``longstanding law that's well established.''


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« Reply #85 on: April 14, 2005, 07:19:04 PM »
Great, Great Grandmother Shoots Robbery Suspect

POSTED: 1:32 pm EDT April 14, 2005
UPDATED: 5:47 pm EDT April 14, 2005

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A 64-year-old great, great grandmother behind the counter at a Westside convenience store knew when to do when an masked robber came in Thursday afternoon and fired two shots: she grabbed her gun and shot back.

"It scared the hell out of me. It really did," Janet Grammar said. "He shot twice at the back, past behind my head and he was getting ready to shoot me in my head. I had a gun under the counter, and I pulled it out and shot him in the chest."

Grammar told investigators she was pretty sure she hit him twice, and police found a blood trail and a gun in the Apple Gate Food Store. The suspect managed to run from the scene, prompting an intense search that included a helicopter and K-9 units and caused a brief lockdown of Wesconnett Elementary School, just across the street.

The search was cancelled with the suspect showed up less than an hour later at the emergency room of Orange Park Medical Center, police said. The suspect, who police have not named, was stabilized and flown by air ambulance to Shands-Jacksonville Medical Center.

The Apple Gate's owner said the store has been robbed three time in the last two weeks, and he think this suspect is the same man who's robbed him before.

"She was just defending herself, that was all," customer Charles Schoff said. "I'd probably do the same thing."

Grammar's twin sister, Denise Overstreet, told Channel 4's Dan Leveton she's not surprised her sister wasn't intimidated by an armed, masked man.

"She's not scared of her own shadow, let's put it that way," Overstreet said. "Maybe this will wake people up and maybe not come to this little store -- a mean lady works there."

There's no word on the condition of the suspect or what charges he'll be facing.

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« Reply #86 on: April 15, 2005, 09:36:58 AM »
Hi all,

here's more information about John Bolton's role at the Small Arms Conference (and about this conference itself) that I've found recently:

Tuesday, August 7, 2001

Bypassing U.S. Voters

Rejected by the American electorate, antigun groups find themselves at home at the U.N.

Read about it: National Review

Mr. Kopel is research director at the Independence Institute.
August 3, 2001 9:10 a.m.
Editor?s note: This is the third installment in an NRO series on the United Nations Conference on Small Arms (the previous installment: #2).

Rejected by the electorate last November, American gun prohibition found the United Nations Conference on Small Arms to be the friendliest of venues.

Appalled by the Bush administration's insistence that the U.N. conference not become a springboard for the destruction of Second Amendment rights, a coalition of antigun groups organized a demonstration outside the U.N. during the conference. In conjunction the demonstration, the groups released a joint letter stating that the conference proved the necessity of additional antigun laws in the U.S. The groups included the Children's Defense Fund (an anti-welfare reform group), the Brady Campaign (formerly known as Handgun Control, Inc., formerly known as the National Council to Control Handguns), Physicians for Social Responsibility, "Million" Mom March chapters, and various other local groups. The letter read: "The Cold War is over, but the international community is suffering from a new source of terror: the glut of small arms and 'civilian' weapons that are seeping from many industrialized nations, through channels both legal and illegal, to virtually all four corners of the globe."

Note that the very idea of "civilians" owning weapons had to be put in quotation marks.

The "Million" Mom March, hadn't been doing very well before the UN met. The group had trouble getting attendance into three digits at its last Washington rally, turned out to be a political liability for Al Gore and many other candidates, had to lay off 30 of its 35 staff, was kicked out of its free office space in San Francisco General Hospital when it was discovered that the space was obtained by fraud, and finally ended up being absorbed into the Brady Campaign, unable to exist as a viable separate organization. But at the U.N., the group's leader, pretending that she represented and strong, independent grassroots organization, won a standing ovation from the delegates.

And if the group could claim that 850,000 people showed up at its Washington rally in May 2000 (when the true size, based on D.C. transit figures and crowd photos, was 100,000 or less) why not increase the mathematical fiction? So the "Million" Mom March now claims to be an organization representing a "Billion" mothers worldwide. As if a billion women have even heard of this failed US group.

But the U.N. made its support for the "Billion" prohibitionist movement clear. The press conference announcing the new group was run by U.N. Under-Secretary-General Jayantha Dhanapala, head of the U.N. Department of Disarmament. Dhanapala called the group "vital" to global disarmament, and urged the billion/million members to act "through their legislatures and governments to ensure that the program of action is in fact implemented."

The anti-Bush demonstration featured five huge ugly puppets representing the United Kingdom, US, Russia, China, and France, created by the U.S. gun-prohibition group Silent March. (Apparently the fact that the U.K. and France were working hard for Silent March's agenda wasn't enough to get in the way of some mean-spirited street theater.) The U.S. puppet, resembling President Bush, wore a gaudy Uncle Sam hat and a necklace of bullets, and was smoking a cigar that on closer inspection was also a bullet. The puppet sported an "NRA" sticker, and the sign worn by the person holding this puppet read: "US: Puppet of Gun Lobby?"
Silent March revealed a lot about its overall political orientation when it decided that dressing somebody up like Uncle Sam was an insult.

The conference provided an opportunity for several international groups have come out of the closet on their antigun stance. For years Amnesty International has organized and coordinated international antigun work, but has insisted that it is doing nothing to promote gun control. But at the Conference, Amnesty International USA Executive Director William F. Schulz said, "Gun trafficking is a critical human rights issue around the world, but the problem begins at home." He blamed "Loose gun regulation ? in [countries such as] the USA, Russia or Liberia."

"Should human rights abusers be given arms?" asked Amnesty International, although the group had nothing to say about arms for people resisting human-rights abuses.

The International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) is the global consortium of antigun non-government organizations (NGOs). The IANSA site happens to be hosted on the website of Oxfam, a world hunger group with wide-ranging hard left agenda. Save the Children and World Vision also complained about the U.S. position at the conference ? revealing the strong leftist tilt that careful observers have seen in these organizations in recent years ? but which has, discretely, not been publicized to the organizations' American donor base.

July 16 of the conference featured two hours of speeches by anti-gun groups, plus a half-hour for pro-rights organizations. The gun prohibition forces claimed to be motivated by saving innocent lives, but their rhetoric showed much more interest in stopping guns than in saving lives. In case of a conflict, they clearly preferred the former to the latter.

Neil Arya of Physicians for Global Survival in Canada asserted that physicians don't care where a shooting was the result of a suicide, accident or homicide, or whether the shooter was a gangster, a soldier, or a law-abiding gun owner. In other words, his group sees no distinction between a gangster murdering a robbery victim, a victim saving her life by shooting the gangster, a Nazi soldier shooting a Jew, and an American soldier shooting a Nazi soldier.

A press release from Silent March complained that the U.S. had "rejected a call for states to stop arming guerrillas in other countries." The press release came after Undersecretary Bolton had explained that the U.S. objected to the provision because it would prevent aid to groups which were resisting genocide. Silent March promotes itself as a humanitarian group concerned about gun death, but this concern apparently vanishes when the victims are being murdered by governments.

This is the moral upside-down world of the United Nations culture, in which victims who resist genocide, and governments which help the victims resist, are condemned as immoral.

The gun prohibition groups also talked a lot about the need to keep guns out of the hands of "children." These demands who not limited to keep guns out of the hands of child soldiers. Rather, the groups were following Hillary Clinton's position that children and guns shouldn't even be in the same sentence. U.S. gun-prohibition groups have been long at work to frighten parents into not allowing children to participate in the shooting sports, and to enact gun licensing laws that prohibit young people from hunting or target shooting, even under immediate parental supervision. (For example, in New Jersey, it's a felony to take your ten-year-old to a target range and let the child use a Red Ryder BB gun while you supervise.)

Stymied in free elections in the United States, the gun-prohibition lobbies in 1998 turned to the courts, filing meritless suits against gun manufacturers, with the hope of imposing de facto prohibition through bankruptcy. As the lawsuit strategy falls apart, gun-prohibition groups now seek their victory through international law. The further that the locus of decision moves from democratic, American control, the better the chances for success of the prohibition movement.


Monday, July 30, 2001

Score One For Bush

The United Nations "small arms" conference has concluded, with no immediate damage done to individual rights - thanks to the "hard-line position" of the Bush Administration.

Read about it: National Review

The United Nations "small arms" conference has concluded, with no immediate damage done to individual rights ? thanks to the magnificent performance of the Bush administration. But the conference will be back five years hence, and the next five years will see continued efforts by the United Nations to find ways to undermine the right to keep and bear arms.
The beginning of the conference on July 9 was commemorated with the celebration of the U.N.'s "Small Arms and Light Weapons Destruction Day." Around the world, governments made huge piles of firearms ? not firearms owned by the government, but rather firearms seized by the government from other people.

Even more enthusiastic promotion of Destruction Day could be found at the website of the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA), a collection of antigun non-governmental organizations (NGOs) ? and also the best web source of documents relating to the Conference.

Of course guns meant for destruction could simply be crushed ? but mere crushing would not excite the special symbolism of destruction by burning. Destruction by burning provides the spectators the joy of watching the burning take place slowly. That is one reason why heretics were often burned at the stake rather than executed in a less time-consuming way.

July 9 was not the first time that governments had lit bonfires to destroy resistance to the power of the government. Germany's Josef Goebbels ordered all Jewish books to be burned in public on May 10, 1933.

University towns were centers of Jewish Books Destruction Day.
As the V?lkischer Beobachter ("Populist Observer") reported on May 12, 1933, "The German student body of the Berlin universities assembled yesterday for a torchlight procession on Hegel Platz. They formed up, accompanied by a truckload of 25,000 books and writings harmful to the people. The procession ended at Opera Platz, where as a symbolic act, these Un-German writings were set aflame on a pile of logs."

The burning of Jewish and un-German books was followed within a few years by the burning of Jews and other un-German people. Jewish Books Destruction Day helped change popular consciousness so as to pave the way for genocide. Likewise paving the way for genocide was the systematic disarmament of Jews and all other opposition elements, in Nazi Germany itself and in conquered territories.

How long until a U.N.-declared official day of hate is celebrated with governments actually killing people?

That day has already come. The U.N.'s Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention (UNDCP) has declared that every June 26 shall be celebrated as United Nations's International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking. June 26 is the anniversary of the signing of the declaration at 1987 International Conference on Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. The declaration is the basis for the U.N.'s 1988 Convention Against the Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychoactive Substances.

This treaty commits its signatories, including the United States, to maintaining a policy of domestic prohibition.

As I'll detail in upcoming columns, the long-term objective of many at the Small Arms Conference was to replicate the success of their predecessors at the Drugs and Psychoactive Substances Conference ? creating an international regime of prohibition, enforced not only by individual governments, but by transnational power ? and explicitly designed to destroy the freedom of individual governments to choose to change their prohibition laws in the future.

So China celebrated U.N. drug hate day by executing 59 drug criminals. Although the Chinese Communist government asserts that all the executed are "drug traffickers," Amnesty International has shown otherwise. In one case, a young woman was returning to her home province from her honeymoon in January 1996. An acquaintance offered to pay her to carry a package for him, as is common in China. On the train, she became suspicious, and attempted to open the package, but could not. A ticket checker noticed her agitation, and notified the police. The Guangxi High People's Court sentenced her to death on June 26, 1996, in honor of U.N. Anti-Drug Day.

At a 2001 press conference, U.N. deputy spokesman Manoel de Almeida e Silva was asked about China's execution festival. While acknowledging that "as far as I am aware the convention does not provide for the application of the death penalty," the U.N. spokesman did not criticize the Chinese executions.

According to Harry Wu's Laogai Research Foundation, Chinese doctors are required to promptly harvest organs whenever a group of anti-drug executions is scheduled. Kidneys, other organs, and even skin are sold for as much as $15,000.

Colombia, Afghanistan, and other nations held events in conjunction with the U.N. which did not involve any executions, but instead dedicated the day to fireworks and various forms of anti-drug propaganda.

What does the future hold as "Small Arms and Light Weapons Destruction Day" on July 9 works its way onto the U.N. holiday calendar? Will the mass burning of weapons help set the stage for mass executions of "gun traffickers"? Will the U.N. sponsor events around the world designed to reinforce fears about small arms, and to forestall dissent about small-arms prohibition? Regardless of whether one likes or dislikes the U.N. anti-drug program, it provides the tested blueprint for a long-term U.N. program against guns.

Already, the public-relations effort to equate guns and drugs has begun. The U.N. Development Program announced that drugs are the largest illicit business in the world, and arms trafficking is second. At the Small Arms Conference, Durga P. Bhattarai of Nepal expressed the commonly held view that (non-government) guns were as pernicious as drugs, as he asserted that guns turn children into "addicted killers."

Back in the U.S., Second Amendment activists declared July 9 to be National Firearms Purchase Day, urging citizens to buy small arms or small-arms ammunition.

As July 9 approached, hundreds of American sent the U.N. angry e-mails, protesting the upcoming small-arms conference. The U.N. adopted a two-fold approach: 1. Turning many of the e-mails over to its security office, apparently under the theory that anyone who holds strong opinions on Second Amendment rights must be dangerous ? even though not one of the letters made a threat.

2. Producing a press release claiming that the conference posed no threat to law-abiding gun owners. The last claim was a patent falsehood, although of much the American media took the U.N.'s public-relations arm at its word, and failed to observe the massive evidence that restricting domestic-gun ownership was very much an intended purpose of the conference.

The two-week conference was the result of General Assembly Resolution 54/54, adopted Dec. 15, 1999. According to the U.N. itself, the conference "was convened to address the increasing threat to human security from the spread of small arms and light weapons and their illegal trade." Note that "illegal trade" is only one part of the threat. "The spread of small arms" is considered a threat in itself.

At the conference, speaker after speaker made it clear that "excessive" quantities of guns (i.e., any guns in civilian hands) was a problem in itself, separate from the issue of illegal trade. Rey Pagtakhan, the Canadian secretary of state, condemned "The excessive and destabilizing accumulation and uncontrolled spread of small arms."

Ireland's U.N. delegate declared, "States must stop exporting of small arms and light weapons to all except other governments. All states must suppress private ownership of small arms and light weapons."

Yemen's Abdalla Saleh Al-Ashtal explained: "The goal is to prevent any further increase in the traffic in small arms. It is a problem which relates not only to the illicit trade, but to all issues connected with the legal trade." He touted the situation in Yemen, where "individuals voluntarily surrender their weapons. The media is used to convince people to hand over their weapons."

Burchell Whiteman, Minister of Education, Youth and Culture of Jamaica called guns and drugs "a double-barreled force of evil and mayhem." Since the imposition of Jamaican gun prohibition in the 1970s, the Jamaican government has used gun and drug prohibition as justifications for eliminating almost all privacy and due-process elements of the common-law legal tradition.

"The time has come," Jamaica's minister continued, "for the international community, particularly States which manufacture arms, to consider the implementation of measures that would limit the production of such weapons to levels that meet the needs for defence and national security." In other words, Jamaica's ban on gun possession by citizens should spread worldwide.

Proposed language required signatory governments to "seriously consider" banning civilian ownership of small arms "designed for military purposes" ? a proposal that would outlaw the M1 carbine, M1 Garand (designed for World War II), many antique firearms (designed for the Civil War), and scores of bolt-action rifles (designed for World War I). Since almost all guns are derivative of military designs (with a few obscure exceptions such as biathlon trainers), the language would have been a wedge for near-total gun prohibition. The U.N.'s January 9, 2001 " Draft Programme of Action" mandated that: "Where appropriate, moratoria on the production, export and import of small arms and light weapons will be developed and implemented on a regional and subregional basis."

The opening of the conference was marked by the unveiling of The Art of Peacemaking, a five-ton sculpture created by Canadians Sandra Bromley and Wallis Kendal with a subsidy from the Canadian War Museum. The sculpture consists of 7,000 firearms welded together into a giant cube, designed to remind viewers of a tomb or a prison. This sculpture perfectly symbolized the U.N. philosophy of guns: violence comes not from the human heart, but from bad objects, and the duty of the U.N. is to destroy those objects.

The American media blazed with fury that the National Rifle Association was impeding U.N. efforts to control rocket launchers. But the U.N. definition of small arms plainly did include ordinary firearms, and encompassed revolvers, self-loading pistols, ordinary rifles, "assault" rifles, submachine guns, and light machine guns. The "Light weapons" category included heavy machine guns, mortars, hand grenades, grenade launchers, portable anti-aircraft or anti-tank guns, and portable missile launchers.

Notably, Small Arms Destruction Day and the "Art of Peacemaking" sculpture weren't about grenades or rocket launchers; they celebrated the destruction of firearms.

The U.N.'s draft protocol for the conference called for "tighter control over their [firearms and ammunition] legal transfer," for "strengthening current laws and regulation?concerning their use and civilian possession," and for "enhancing accountability, transparency and the exchange of information at the national, regional and global levels." This latter goal (a euphemism for universal gun registration in U.N.-run databases) was to be achieved by "systematic tracking of firearms and, where possible, their parts and components and ammunition from manufacturer to purchaser."

Government-owned firearms were to be explicitly exempted from these controls.

The "European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control, affiliated with the United Nations" was somewhat more explicit:

>Bringing the diffusion of firearms under control is not merely a legal act, it requires to overcome the latent gun culture whose 'virus' is more firmly established in some societies than in others. Unfortunately the propagation of the gun culture is presently well entrenched in the global electronic media. Some non-governmental organisations like the US-based National Rifle Association strategically sponsor the gun culture.

The European Institute called for "obligatory liability insurance" for gun owners, plus an "ammunition tax" and "firearm recycling deposit" ? whose proposed benefits including making guns less affordable. Further, ammunition calibers "5.56 (223), 7.62 (.308), and 9mm would be reserved for the military and police." So "In a period of less than ten years compulsory changes of the calibers of weapons in private possession could be implemented." An ammunition ban "should be acceptable to all nations because it does not directly interfere with national regulations of private ownership of guns."

Likewise pushing for
severe domestic restrictions was the " Eminent Persons Group" (no kidding) consisting of 23 anti-gun busybodies. American members included U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein and Robert McNamara, who followed his tenure as the worst defense secretary (leading the U.S. into what he knew was an unwinnable war in Vietnam) with an even more destructive, albeit quieter, tenure as president of the World Bank, in which he shoveled aid and loans at third-world kleptocracies which used the money to oppress their subject peoples. The indigenous victims of the World Bank/kleptocracy alliance are the kind of people whom the Eminent Persons Group does not want to have guns.

Formally, the conference was only supposed to lead to a nonbinding protocol. But Norway called for a legally binding document. And gun-prohibition advocates insisted that even a nonbinding document have led to a mandatory review of national responses.

In short, the U.N.'s protestations that the conference had nothing to do with American gun possession was true only in the hypertechnical sense that Bill Clinton's claim that he "did not have sex" (meaning sexual intercourse) with Monica Lewinsky was technically true. The point of the conference was to create long-term international pressure for severe restrictions on American gun rights, even though the conference itself would not directly impose those restrictions.

U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan equated small arms to nuclear weapons or chemical warfare weapons ? thus demonizing them, and implying that they should never be in civilian hands. He said that small arms are "'weapons of mass destruction' in terms of the carnage they cause." Annan compared the current campaign against small arms to the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) ? whose objective, of course, is total prohibition. The ICBL, by the way, proclaims that it is about "much more than the eventual elimination of landmines", and is furious at the Bush administration's stance at the U.N. Small Arms Conference.

On July 9, the opening day of the conference, U.S. Undersecretary of State John Bolton ruined the mood of Small Arms Destruction Day. Bolton's opening statement warned that "the United States will not join consensus on a final document that contains measures abrogating the constitutional right to bear arms."

Bolton added: "The United States believes that the responsible use of firearms is a legitimate aspect of national life ? Like many countries, the United States has a cultural tradition of hunting and sport shooting." He laid down the U.S. position: "We do not support measures that would constrain legal trade and legal manufacturing of small arms and light weapons." Bolton stood against "the promotion of international advocacy activity by international or non-governmental organizations" and against "measures that prohibit civilian possession of small arms."

At a news conference, Bolton explained that the U.S. was eager to deal with actual problems of misuse: "If the conference can concentrate on the central issue of the flow of illicit weapons into agreement. But if it drifts off into areas that are properly the area of national level decision-making, then I think there will be difficulties."

Rep. Bob Barr, a Georgia Republican who also serves on the board of the National Rifle Association, was the only legislator who was an official member of the U.S. delegation. Since the U.S. has the world's strictest controls on arms-broker exports, Barr pointed out that "the U.N. Conference is an effort by its many liberal members to accomplish through the international arena what they and other gun-control advocates have been unable to achieve domestically expanded registration and control of lawful, non-military firearms. If these nations are serious about combating illegal firearms trafficking, they should strengthen their export laws to parallel those of the United States, instead of attacking our nation's Second Amendment rights."

As a measure of how much the 2000 election mattered, consider that when the draft protocol was prepared in December 2000, it was the Colombian and Mexican delegations (!), not the American delegation, which offered optional language recognizing that some countries have legitimate traditions of sporting and other gun use.

Much of the U.S. and world media reacted with horror at the U.S. position. But the Chicago Tribune and Denver Post, newspapers which generally support gun control, did criticize the U.N. Conference for attempting to invade the rights of American citizens.

That Bolton could be criticized so severely for stating that the U.N. should not promote civilian gun prohibition is rather clear proof that that the U.N. agenda really is about gun prohibition.

The United States was denounced by the Toronto Globe & Mail (July 12), asserting that "the purpose of the U.N. initiative is not to take hunting rifles away from American good old boys. It is to stop the international trafficking of machine guns, rocket launchers and other lethal weapons."
To the contrary, the U.N. definition of "small arms" encompasses rifles and pistols. And if the U.N. conference were just about rocket launchers, the conference never would have attracted the support of the U.S. and international gun-prohibition groups or opposition of the U.S. and international gun-rights groups. Bolton in fact argued for a narrower definition, encompassing only military arms.

Besides blasting the U.S. stance, the media trotted out various factoids invented by the United Nations, such as that "small arms" kill a thousand people a day, mostly women and children. (Meaning 300,000 in war, and 200,000 from murder, suicide, and accidents.) Claims were made that half the small arms in the world today are illegally held.

Garnering far less attention were the gun-ownership facts contained in the Small Arms Survey 2001, published by the Graduate Institute of International Studies, and released for the conference. While the study was laden with pro-control advocacy, it reported that almost all small arms killing of civilians is perpetrated by organized crime, pirates/bandits, and rebel groups. Collectively, these groups possess about 900,000 guns ? only two-tenths of one percent of all the small arms in the world. Fifty-six percent of the world's 551 million small arms are held by private citizens, 41% by armies, and 3% by police forces.

In other words, in the world, as in the United States, over 99% of firearms are in the right hands. Firearms misuse is perpetrated almost exclusively by criminals who own a fraction of one percent of all the guns.

If the real objective were to reduce misuse, then nations would follow the lead of the United States, which has extremely strict laws on the export of small arms, including firearms. All firearms made or sold in the U.S. must have registration marks, allowing for tracing. The American export controls are far more rigorous than the controls of the hypocritical nations like the U.K. and Sweden, which impose near-prohibition on their own people, while turning a blind eye towards exports to terrorists and gangsters.

And as in the United States, the misuse of 2/10th of one percent is a pretext for prohibitionists to outlaw everything.

Tony Brown, Executive Director of the pro-rights Canadian Institute for Legislative Action, detailed the obvious falsity of the Kofi Annan's claim that small arms "exacerbate conflict, spark refugee flows, undermine the rule of law, and spawn a culture of violence and impunity. In short, small arms are a threat to peace and development, to democracy and human rights." Brown pointed out:

Canadians citizens own as many as 15 million small arms, one of the highest rates of private firearms ownership in the world?If the simple presence of privately owned small arms sparked violence amongst the citizenry, Canada would be bathed in blood. But it's not. Canada enjoys one of the lowest murder and violent crime rates in the world. Do firearms create international conflict? No. Canadians are privileged to share the longest undefended border in the world with our friend and partner, the United States. . . . Do the presence of so many small arms create poverty? Once again, no. The United Nations has consistently rated Canada, along with Norway and the United States, one of the best places in the world to live. Interestingly, all three countries have very high rates of civilian firearms ownership.

The conference's rhetoric about protecting "women and children" was a pretext for its dominant objective of protecting governments by disarming the governed ? as I'll detail in an upcoming column. The United Nations burns guns in giant bonfires for the same reason that the Nazis burned books in giant bonfires: because people who vigorously exercise the fundamental human rights which are recognized by First and Second Amendment are the kind of people who are difficult to for tyrants ? including a tyranny of the majority ? to control.


Read about it: Washington Times Online

July 6, 2001

Gun rights activists protest arms talks
By Betsy Pisik



An outcry by American gun enthusiasts, who fear the United Nations will trample their Second Amendment rights at an upcoming gun conference, has prompted the world body to issue a statement saying it isn't so.

At least 100 letters and e-mails have been received at the U.N. headquarters in recent months, expressing "irate and strongly worded" fears over next week's international conference on small arms.

"The United Nations Charter (Article II, paragraph 7) specifically forbids the U.N. from intervening in matters that are within a member state's domestic jurisdiction," says the fact sheet.

The U.N. fact sheet also stresses that pro-hunting and firearms-safety groups such as the National Rifle Association will be participating in next week's conference, dubbed the U.N. Conference on Small Arms and Light Weapons.

None of the missives received thus far appear threatening to the United Nations or any of its officers, said U.N. Undersecretary General of Disarmament Affairs Jayantha Dhanapala.

Nevertheless, since guns are involved, Mr. Dhanapala said he was taking no chances and had turned over the correspondence to U.N. security for a threat assessment.

"We have had in the weeks leading up to the conference a flow of letters and e-mails from essentially gun rights activists," Mr. Dhanapala told reporters yesterday.

He said that gun owners of other nations were apparently not concerned. "This is an American phenomenon."

Mr. Dhanapala, a disarmament expert from Sri Lanka, carefully refuted the allegations, saying, "we are not looking at the question of domestic gun control as far as crime prevention concerned. ... The legal ownership of guns is not being interfered with."

Representatives from 120 nations and 177 non-governmental organizations will gather in New York starting Monday for the two-week conference to battle the illicit trade in small arms.

The American delegation will include John Bolton, undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, who is slated to deliver the U.S. speech from the General Assembly podium.

American gun owners have long regarded the U.N. conference on small arms with suspicion, concerned that foreign diplomats might try to write treaties that would infringe on the U.S. constitutional right to keep and bear arms.

An Internet search of "United Nations" and "Second Amendment" turned up scores of Web sites, most of them framing the discussion as a potential assault on American sovereignty, or an attack on the right to defend self and family.

The letter and e-mail writers were apparently not part of an organized campaign, said U.N. officials, who noted that the missives appeared to be written individually.
Most of them came though a U.N. Web site that features the upcoming conference,


July 29, 2001
A stand for principle at the U.N.

Bob Barr

Read about it: Washington Times

The United Nations just concluded a conference on small arms. This conference never should have taken place; but thank goodness it took place under President Bush rather than President Clinton.

In recent weeks, the Bush administration has demonstrated a clear and welcome break from the eroding disrespect shown the Constitution during the Clinton administration. Through a series of statements and policy decisions, and in the face of left-wing criticism from the national media and international community, the new administration has stood in strong defense of law-abiding Americans' Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. The new respect for and loyalty to our constitutional freedoms by President Bush comes at an important time; a time when strong leadership is needed to defend the Second Amendment against increasing attacks by the left.

Recently, I had the opportunity to attend the U.N. Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons, as an observer member of the U.S. delegation. The disdain which many in the international community held for America's constitutional freedoms was evident immediately.

Proposals under consideration at the outset of this conference and the speeches that accompanied them sought an internationally enforced system of gun registration, the limitation of personal firearms ownership in member countries, including the United States, and an unprecedented level of power over the way America would be allowed to conduct its foreign affairs.

I firmly believe if this conference had been held just one year ago, the Second Amendment would have been subverted and the U.S. delegation would have caved, in favor of international appeasement or to curry favor with our erstwhile allies intent on diminishing freedom in their countries and whose leaders resent the freedoms enjoyed by our citizens.

Fortunately, to the surprise of many in the international community, who for the last eight years had come to expect appeasement over principle by the United States, the U.S. delegation, led by Undersecretary of State John Bolton, stood firm; refusing to bend America's constitutional principles to further the U.N.'s anti-gun agenda.

The Bush administration told the United Nations it shared the important goal of limiting violence in Third World nations, but instead of infringing on our Constitution, it would be better served encouraging these countries to adopt the same strong export controls already employed by the United States. Rather than working with us on this important, common-sense goal, the international delegates instead reacted with astonishment as to why the U.S. did not recognize, "the need to establish and retain controls on private ownership of these deadly weapons, and the need for preventing sales of such arms to non-state groups." I say to them it is because we finally have an administration that follows principle, rather than appeasement; an administration committed to a representative government, and national freedom, not a one-world government.

The repair needed to restore our Second Amendment principles is extensive, and it is a fight far from over; but thus far it has been met with a consistent and principled commitment by the Bush administration.

The Justice Department, led by Attorney General John Ashcroft, recently reasserted a very basic, common-sense principle that all law-abiding citizens have the right to keep and bear arms; a principle dismissed by the Clinton-Reno Justice Department. Attorney General Ashcroft also broke from Miss Reno in supporting our right to privacy, by moving to destroy the personal records of lawful gun owners after they passed an instant background check. The House of Representatives recently supported this measure, by rejecting a proposal by Democrats to retain personal records on file in government offices for up to 90 days, after it is determined a citizen is not disqualified from purchasing a firearm.

These small, but very important measures should not go unnoticed by those who cherish our constitutional principles. The strong defense of the Second Amendment by the Bush administration is a stark contrast from the last eight years of the Clinton presidency. I commend President Bush and those in his administration for standing firm and hope this principled commitment continues in the coming years. The alternative is to relinquish our constitutional rights to delegates at the United Nations; sacrificing principle over appeasement.

While the document adopted at the U.N. Small Arms Conference should never have come up in the first place, at least it did so during the Bush presidency. Our task now is to keep sufficient light shining on the U.N. to ensure its future actions do not move us backward.

Bob Barr, Georgia Republican, is a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and serves on the House Financial Services, Judiciary, and Government Reform Committees, and is a former federal prosecutor.

I take advantage of the occasion so as to warn that I'll certainly not be present anymore from now on as I will enlist myself in the French Foreign Legion on Monday, as the basic training session last 4 monthes it will be impossible for me to have Internet access during this period.

I made this "announcement" just for a matter of politeness :)

French Cat


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« Reply #87 on: April 15, 2005, 10:09:52 AM »
Well, this is one of those raging debates with no clear answers. Should guns be banned? What is gun control? Who gets to decide? Should citizens have the same equilizing force as the police? Should guns be limited to homes and not for carry? And so on and so on...

I remember as a child there was this T.V. movie (Icant remember the name) in which this guy (I think his wife was killed in a supermarket robbery) lobbied and got this town to allow people to carry guns. Its interesting as it covered a few different sides of the spectrum.

And last but not least,

I was once told by a senior LEO (law enforcement officer) that most gunfights take place with the opponents usually/roughly 8 ft from each other. I dont know how true it is.
Im taking this from a post at another site that I thought made an interesting point.

Where to begin?
Ever heard of the Tueller drill?
If you're ever at a range that is outdoor and allows holster draws or are in the field away from people in a safe area to shoot, try this:
Stand facing downrange, pistol in holster.
Have a friend stand behind you facing a clear direction, either right or left of you.
As the friend taps your shoulder and starts to run...draw your pistol and fire a shot at the target downrange.
Your friend stops running as soon as he hears the shot.
Measure off how far he's run...if he is in decent shape it can be as much as 30 feet!
Action is faster than reaction.
Armed with a pistol in a holster, an attacker with a knife can pose a threat as far away as 30'
Some police departments have adopted an 18' rule or a 10' rule...I'm of the opinion it could and should be 30' . tueller advocated 21'.
Keep this in mind whenever you hear someone talk about "equal force".
There was a Police Department in the mid-1980's that involved a deranged homeless guy armed with a Buck 110 and a policeman who shot him...the "equal force" argument was used, his own chief hung him out to dry stating, "None of our police officers should use a firearm to stop a man with a knife."

The name of the department and officer escapes me, but a demonstration of the Tueller drill in the courtroom was instrumental in exonerating him and in changing department policy.

Sgt. Dennis Tueller, Salt Lake City Police published an article "How Close Is Too Close" in SWAT magazine (Survival Weapons and Tactics) 1983.
In this article, he discussed the results of a series of tests he had run.
His tests showed that, with people of various ages, weights, and heights,
they could on average close a distance of 21 feet in about 1.05 seconds.
That time: 1.05 seconds was the "drill time" taught by Col. Jeff
Cooper at GunSite for drawing a handgun and firing two aimed shots. Knowing
that people who have been shot do not always or perhaps even often fall down instantly, or otherwise stop dead in their tracks; Tueller
concluded that a person armed with a knife or club at the so called
"intermediate range" of 21 feet was a potentially lethal threat. The
"Tueller drill" is a standard part of my Personal Protection Course, along with a similar drill I can't tell you about because it only works once.

Mike searson post

So for the Anti-gun people, with the above said, will you now ban any sharp object like knives, screwdrivers, toothpicks? Then what next will you ban. Boots? Will we all have to walk around in linen sandals? Anything sticklike? Brooms, mops, plungers? Hardcover books?

Of course thats a little extreme but I think that there could be a middle ground between the two groups. But then again, most people just like to to disagree and argue about anything. Lol.
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« Reply #88 on: April 15, 2005, 11:52:27 AM »
Jayceblk relays:

Sgt. Dennis Tueller, Salt Lake City Police published an article "How Close Is Too Close" in SWAT magazine (Survival Weapons and Tactics) 1983. In this article, he discussed the results of a series of tests he had run. His tests showed that, with people of various ages, weights, and heights, they could on average close a distance of 21 feet in about 1.05 seconds.

That time: 1.05 seconds was the "drill time" taught by Col. Jeff
Cooper at GunSite for drawing a handgun and firing two aimed shots. Knowing  that people who have been shot do not always or perhaps even often fall down instantly, or otherwise stop dead in their tracks; Tueller
concluded that a person armed with a knife or club at the so called
"intermediate range" of 21 feet was a potentially lethal threat. The
"Tueller drill" is a standard part of my Personal Protection Course, along with a similar drill I can't tell you about because it only works once.

IMO this is why cross training with a variety of weapons at a variety of ranges is so important. Think the foot jab is a great tool when being rushed, but shooters don't practice it, nor do MA practitioners train it while drawing a practice gun. Think those of us who are accustomed to drifting across curriculums and snagging what works have a leg up, so to speak, on those whose training is more compartmentalized.


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« Reply #89 on: April 16, 2005, 04:51:59 AM »
French Cat:

Thank you for that post-- and all the best to you!  Happy & healthy hunting.

Crafty Dog

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« Reply #90 on: April 17, 2005, 08:11:44 AM »
Quote from: Jayceblk
Well, this is one of those raging debates with no clear answers. Should guns be banned? What is gun control? Who gets to decide? Should citizens have the same equilizing force as the police? Should guns be limited to homes and not for carry? And so on and so on...

IMO guns shouldn't be banned. independant criminologists have made a lot of studies concerning the role of guns about increasing people's safety by dissuading criminals,  besides, as the police oftenly need at least between 30 mins/ 1 hour so as to arrive, it becomes obvious that the person who has the most of chances to defend herself efficiently is yourself...

my reaction about people that don't like guns is simple: if they don't like guns, that's ok, if they don't want to carry one, that's ok, but if they want to prevent me to be able to defend myself by banning guns, no.

why those that want to live in a state where guns are banned don't regroup themeselves in a state in which they'll ban guns or make their own laws about weapons, letting those who don't agree with them to live in a state that allow people to own and carry weapons ? that's the best solution I've found...

Crafty Dog:

that's ok for my last post, it gave me the opportunity to inform myself at the same time :)

thanks for your wishes, as we say in France: "bonne continuation !"

that could be translated by "good continuation" but I don't know if this has any meaning in English... anyway, all the best to you too !

French Cat

PS: if someone is curious about what is the French Foreign Legion:

=> ;)


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« Reply #91 on: April 19, 2005, 08:48:14 PM »
On this day (April 19 ) , , ,

This morning in two small towns just outside of Boston government forces
attacked bands of gun owners in an attempt to disarm them and restore public safety. The citizen bands disobeyed lawful orders to surrender their weapons and go back to the safety of their own homes where the government could better protect them.

As expected with so many hotheaded gun owners in one place shots were fired and people were hurt and killed. All of this could have been avoided if the citizens had only surrendered their arms and allowed the government to protect them.

The date was April 19, 1775, and the two small towns were Lexington and

On this date in Warsaw, Poland, Nazi authorities decided to finish what they had started in the summer of 1942: the annihilation of all Jews in the
ghetto. Only about 37,000 of the Jewish population's almost 450,000
remained, the rest having been removed to Treblinka and other labor and
death camps. The diseased and starved out population decided that if they were going to die, it might as well be on their feet.

The resistance, armed at first with clubs and Molotov cocktails and small
arms purchased clandestinely from the Polish army, held off the destruction of the ghetto for almost a month. Even then, some of the Z.O.B. (the Jewish Fighting Organization) escaped through the sewers before the Nazis flooded them. They joined other partisan groups and continued their guerilla war.

Today, let's all take a moment to ponder and remember these brave men, women, and children. Imagine how much more effective they might have been if they had not waited until they were starved, diseased, and more than 90% exterminated to resist? Trapped within their prison, they still held the most modern and ruthless military in the world for almost a month.

We should never take the Second Amendment for granted. We must never give up our arms. Every time you see or hear anti self-defense propaganda, remember young Mordecai Anielewicz and his 750 brave fighters. Remember April 19, 1943.


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« Reply #92 on: April 26, 2005, 01:07:59 PM »
It's kind of hard to imagine this UK "fad" catching on in a concealed carry state. When criminals know 100 percent of the potential victim pool is disarmed this kind of petty thuggery becomes fairly risk free.

Concern over rise of 'happy slapping' craze

Fad of filming violent attacks on mobile phones spreads

Mark Honigsbaum
Tuesday April 26, 2005
The Guardian

In one video clip, labelled B*tch Slap, a youth approaches a woman at a bus stop and punches her in the face. In another, Knockout Punch, a group of boys wearing uniforms are shown leading another boy across an unidentified school playground before flooring him with a single blow to the head.

In a third, Bank Job, a teenager is seen assaulting a hole-in-the-wall customer while another youth grabs the money he has just withdrawn from the cash machine.

Welcome to the disturbing world of the "happy slappers" - a youth craze in which groups of teenagers armed with camera phones slap or mug unsuspecting children or passersby while capturing the attacks on 3g technology.

According to police and anti-bullying organisations, the fad, which began as a craze on the UK garage music scene before catching on in school playgrounds across the capital last autumn, is now a nationwide phenomenon.

And as the craze has spread from London to the home counties to the north of England, so the attacks have become more menacing, with increasing numbers of violent assaults and adult victims.

In London, British Transport police have investigated 200 happy slapping incidents in the past six months, with eight people charged with attacks at south London stations and bus stops in January alone.

The Metropolitan police have no overall figures but recorded a number of attacks in London boroughs earlier this year.

Following a spate of random attacks last December on pupils at Godolphin and Latymer girls' school in Hammersmith, west London, police posted extra officers in the area as a deterrent.

But as police have become more vigilant, so the gangs have become more sophisticated, seeking victims in parks or public areas where their crimes are unlikely to be spotted by the authorities or captured on CCTV.

Liz Carnell, the director of Bullying Online, a Yorkshire-based charity set up to combat bullying in schools, said that since the start of the year she has heard of increasing attacks both on children and on adults. But she fears many incidents are not reported.

"In most cases the worst that happens is a minor scratch or a bruised ego," she said.

"What the people behind these attacks have to understand is that technically they are committing an assault. And if they then upload the images on to the internet or a phone system they could be prosecuted for harassment."

What makes the attacks all the more bewildering is that many victims do not realise they have been happy slapped until after the event.

Earlier this month James Silver, 34, a freelance journalist, was attacked while jogging on the South Bank in London. While one youth blocked his path, another hit him with a rolled-up magazine.

When he spun around another teenager - who had been hiding behind nearby scaffolding - leapt out and hit him hard in the head. When he staggered to his feet he noticed the rest of the gang were jeering and pointing their mobile phones at him.

Silver admits that while the attack left his "ego smarting" he did not think it worth reporting. "At the end of the day I was unharmed but it was pretty shocking at the time," he said. "The worry is that while the bulk of the attacks are trivial, some of these youths could be carrying knives."

Earlier this year, schools in Lewisham, south London, and St Albans banned camera phones because of worries that the fad was leading to an increase in playground bullying.

In a comment recently posted on a London community web forum, "Happyslapper2" described the craze as a "joke", writing: "If you feel bored wen ur about an u got a video phone den b*tch slap sum norman, innit."

However, in a sign of a gathering backlash, other forum members disagreed. "It's hardly a joke ... it's f*ckin rude and pea-brained," wrote "slappersidiots".

"If this happy slapping fad continues it will only be a matter of time before someone is seriously hurt," predicted another.


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« Reply #93 on: April 28, 2005, 05:21:21 PM »
A subtle point made in this piece has to do with the folly of making concealed carry permitees (CCP) repeatedly unholster and reholster their weapon. Many accidental discharges (AD) are caused by un- and re-holstering, but as a feel good measure CCPs often have to remove their firearms, potentially resulting in ADs far more dangerous than keeping the firearm holstered in the first place.

Armed pilots
Posted by David Hardy ? 28 April 2005 12:28 PM
Times magazine has an interesting article on armed airline pilots, noting that they are now making more flights than are air marshals!

In his state of the union address, President Bush singled out federal air marshals?undercover armed agents who fly on U.S. airlines?for helping make "our homeland safer." But he neglected to mention a flying security force that has quietly grown even larger than the marshals: the nation's pilots. Two years ago, the Federal Flight Deck Officer program began training pilots who wanted to carry guns on flights to protect the cockpit.
Aviation sources tell Time that more than 4,000 pilots are authorized to carry guns, and each day they fly armed on more flights than do air marshals. The gun-toting pilots, who fly unidentified, now constitute the fourth-largest federal law-enforcement group in the U.S. Pilots in the program, as well as the Transportation Security Administration (tsa), which runs it, claim it has been a big success.

Rather humorous, considering the massive TSA resistance to the idea when it first came up. Here's a recent (yesterday's Congressional Quarterly) story on how it's still resisting....

Guns in Cockpits Program Still Half Cocked, Some Say

By Caitlin Harrington
CQ Homeland Security Daily
April 27. 2005

Two years after the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) launched a program to train pilots to carry guns in the cockpit, critics say lingering problems with the Federal Flight Deck Officer (FFDO) program still discourage pilots from participating.

Since the program's inception in 2003, pilots groups have expressed frustration with TSA policies on gun storage and identification. The policies, they say, put the safety of deputized pilots at risk and run contrary to the intent of Congress, which wanted as many pilots as possible to participate.

"They've created a program that is so unfriendly that tens of thousands of pilots have changed their mind about volunteering," said David Mackett, president of the Airline Pilots Security Alliance (APSA), a group formed after the Sept. 11 attacks to lobby for the arming of pilots.

The Department of Homeland Security's inspector general is investigating the program.

APSA estimates that only about 4,000 pilots have been trained and deputized - a fraction of the approximately 95,000 commercial pilots in the country. APSA estimates about 50,000 pilots who were initially interested in the program changed their minds after learning about certain TSA policies.

TSA defends the program, which has been widely praised by both Democrats and Republicans as a cost-effective deterrent to hijackings. The agency continues to deputize more pilots every week, said TSA spokeswoman Amy Von Walter.

But critics say participation would be greater if TSA changed some of its policies.

One of the most controversial requires pilots to store their guns in boxes whenever they are not in the cockpit. Both APSA and the Air Line Pilots Association, the nation's largest pilots union, say it is far safer to carry the gun in a holster at all times than to frequently transfer it to and from a box.

As it stands, a pilot might have to handle a loaded gun up to 10 times a day, APSA says.

Pilots have also raised concerns about the plastic cards that identify them as federal flight deck officers. They say they need to be able to hold up a shiny badge to prove their credibility if an incident occurs on an airplane. They also say they sometimes run into problems carrying guns at the security checkpoints because they do not have a badge.

TSA chief David M. Stone told The Washington Post earlier this month that "one or two" pilots authorized to carry guns have been put on the TSA's selectee list in the past year. Selectees are singled out for additional screening at checkpoints.

DeFazio Goes Forward

Rep. Peter A. DeFazio, D-Ore., was expected to offer a package of aviation security amendments to the first homeland security authorization bill on Thursday evening, including a provision designed to fix some of the problems with the FFDO program.

"We need to enhance their ability to [protect passengers] by removing any obstacle that discourages otherwise willing pilots from being trained and armed," he said.

"The FFDO program has been successful, but I believe it would see more participation if improvements were made," DeFazio said.

His bill would require DHS to issue badges to deputized pilots; set up a program to allow pilots to carry guns in holsters rather than in a lockbox; and make it  easier for pilots to get the training required to become deputized.

Pilots groups have also voiced concern that federal flight deck officers are not allowed to carry guns on international flights, and say that there need to be more training facilities in the event more pilots decide to join. Today, all federal  flight deck officers are trained in Artesia, N.M.

DHS' inspector general is investigating the training procedures and efficacy of the program, and is expected to release a report in June.

"TSA dropped the ball in a big way, and that's basically why we have the shell of the program that we should have," Mackett said.


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« Reply #94 on: April 29, 2005, 07:03:39 AM »
About the happy slapping thing.

Nothing new about that. When I was in my 20's the thugs/gangs of the neighborhood used to play knockout (theyd pick a memeber of the group and hed have to punch some innocent passerby as hard as he could in an attempt to knock him out) in the area. They also traveled in groups of 10 and up.
I knew alot of them from the neighborhood so it never happend to me but Ive seen them and others at a distance doing it. I used to tell them all "Someday your going to hit the wrong person who will not only not go down but will probably pull out and blow a hole in you one by one." which they then went through a round of what they would do to said person.
My only point is literally this, most of these kids are punks. They attack lone travelers or those who they consider the weak. However being thatthye travel in large groups they will occasionaly dare someone to take on a harder looking target and goad them into it. That could be anybody here. All the martial arts in the world might not help you against 15 to 20 drug crazed teenage punks bent on hurting you. Whetehr you carry or not, sometimes discretion is the better part of valor.
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« Reply #95 on: April 30, 2005, 10:16:53 AM »
Hi all,

as you can see I'm back... I've eventually decided to quit, those who are curious can ask me why if they want, no problem

a friend of mine sent me more informations about John Bolton and the UN Conference, so I post it here as usual ;)


U.N. Out of North America
The Small Arms Conference and the Second Amendment.

Mr. Kopel is research director at the Independence Institute.
August 9, 2001 10:00 a.m.
Editor?s note: This is the fifth installment in an NRO series on the United Nations Conference on Small Arms (the previous installment: #4).

This is not the end. This is the opening skirmish of a war," announced retired Rep. Charles Pashayan (R., Calif., 1979-91), a U.S. delegate to the July 2001 U.N. Small Arms Conference. Pashayan warned that issues of restricting private ownership of firearms, and of banning gun sales to persons not authorized by a government (e.g., freedom fighters), would return, even though they were defeated at the conference.

 As he explained: "All of this has to be understood as part of a process leading ultimately to a treaty that will give an international body power over our domestic laws."
U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) didn't like the conference's results either. But she did agree with Pashayan that the battle was just beginning: "[T]he Conference is the first step, not the last, in the international community`s efforts to control the spread of small arms and light weapons."

The U.S.'s biggest loss came when it acceded to demands for a follow-up conference within five years. John Bolton, head of the American delegation, noted that the mandatory follow-up "serves only to institutionalize and bureaucratize this process" ? which is precisely what the gun prohibitionists wanted. At the next round, there will be pressure to replace this year's non-binding Programme of Action with a legally binding Convention. And the European Union has already begun pushing for legal strictures.

In the meantime, the U.N. and related institutions will continue their propaganda campaign against gun owners. The Canadian antigun lobby, for example, is using a recent UNICEF report to demand a tightening of Canada's already severe gun-storage laws. (Canadian law now requires that firearms stored anywhere near a child must be kept unloaded and locked. Prohibitionists are further demanding that all guns be stored at police stations, to be checked out when needed for sport.) The Coalition for Gun Control touts a requirement that all guns be sold with a trigger lock.

Small Arms Destruction Day, on July 9, is just one gun-hate celebration to emerge from the Conference. The antigun NGOs have declared July 11 to be Children and Small Arms Day. Pro-rights activists responded by declaring July 9 to be Buy a Gun Day ? July 11 ought to become Take a Child Shooting Day.

One function of the propaganda war is to portray guns as germs, and gun owners as disease carriers. The World Health Organization, a U.N. body, will play a major role in promoting intolerance against gun owners. Speaking at the Small Arms Conference, Etienne Krug, Director of WHO's Department for Injuries and Violence Prevention, claimed: "The ready availability of small arms has been associated with higher small arms-related mortality rates."

But this is just plain false. In both the United States and the United Kingdom, for example, the regions with the highest gun ownership rates tend to have the lowest gun homicide rates. And, more generally, Krug's focus on "small arms-related mortality rates" cleverly ignores total death rates. In this century, genocide by government is the overwhelming cause of violent death ? far ahead even of deaths from war. Genocide is perpetrated almost exclusively against groups that have first been disarmed. Therefore, it is the absence of firearms that bears a strong association with astronomical rates of violent death ? as detailed in the new book Death by Gun Control, by Aaron Zelman and Richard Stevens (forthcoming this fall from Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership). Moreover, cross-national research by Jeffrey Miron of Boston University finds that prohibition of handguns, or of all guns, has a statistically significant relation to higher homicide rates.

Nevertheless, Krug made it clear that WHO is just beginning its antigun work. New reports will gather data to marshal the case against small arms, and the WHO has already funded a "Weapons for Development" program to pay individuals (but not governments) to surrender their firearms. The Solomon Islands have been one target of this program; Niger is next.

Also joining the campaign is the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), based in Cambridge, Mass. Their antigun "medical" conference is slated for Sept. 28-30 in Helsinki. Among the speakers will be Mr. Jo?o Honwana ? chief of the Conventional Weapons Branch of the U.N. Department for Disarmament Affairs.

Opponents of American sovereignty complain that the United States "isolated" itself by stopping the Small Arms Conference from becoming a springboard for disarming freedom fighters (and everyone else not on a government payroll). It's true that the United States took a lonely position by defending the fundamental human right to keep and bear arms. (Although there was tacit support ? for economic rather than ideological reasons ? from Russia, China, and Arab countries, all of which export arms.) But such isolation is a sign of courage, not bad diplomacy.
Under the Reagan administration, for instance, the U.S. often stood alone at the U.N. when supporting democratic Israel, or when condemning Communist human-rights abuses. So long as America stands for the principle behind the Declaration of Independence ? that the only legitimate governments are created by the people to protect God-given human rights ? we will never be popular at a United Nations where dictatorships are the majority, and to which even democratic governments go to evade public accountability.

As detailed by the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute the U.N. has become a haven for radical social planners seeking to impose their will, free of public scrutiny.

For instance: Days before the Small Arms Conference opened, newspapers reported on the public discussions at a U.N. Conference on HIV/AIDS. More significantly, however, was the "intense debate . . . taking place in basement conference rooms about the very nature of human sexuality, and whether or not the U.N. should promote the complete transformation of sexual norms."

Guidelines created in 1998 by the U.N. High Commissioner on Human Rights favor "penalties for vilification of people who engage in same-sex relationships." Such a provision would make priests, ministers, or rabbis into criminals, simply for reading aloud what the Bible says about homosexuality.

The Sixth Amendment guarantees that any person accused of a crime has the right "to be confronted with the witnesses against him." But the U.N. Guidelines would allow people to "bring cases under pseudonym."

Americans almost unanimously oppose forcing children to view pornography ? but the U.N. Guidelines demand mandatory homosexual education for children, with the proviso that the education be so explicit that it be exempted from "censorship or obscenity laws." The U.N. Guidelines also require the legalization of homosexual marriage.
Strong objections ? especially from Islamic nations ? prevented the Conference agreement from including the U.N. Guidelines in the Draft Declaration of Commitment. Ireland, through its membership in the European Union, argued in favor of adopting the Guidelines ? which would have allowed European courts to impose them as binding law within Ireland.

Section 41 of the Irish Constitution requires the Irish government to "to guard with special care the institution of Marriage." But, at the U.N., Ireland could promote a radical transformation of marriage. The weekly Irish Catholic newspaper exposed the delegation's activities, only to be met with implausible denials from the Irish government.

As C-FAM's report on the incident concludes, there are "worries that this pattern will be repeated in many of the other states now seeking membership in the EU, states including Malta, Poland, and the Czech Republic. The EU will provide an opportunity for these countries' elites, who are usually more liberal than average citizens, to change their own constitutions without the consent of their own people."

As the Irish case illustrates, the U.N. is an ideal forum for governments to surreptitiously impose policies they could never impose through national, representative institutions. This is one reason why U.S. gun- prohibition groups reacted with such fury to the Bush administration's stance at the U.N. Small Arms Conference.

The U.S. delegation consistently rejected efforts at "compromise," which would have kept some antigun language in the treaty, but made it softer and ambiguous. An American delegation that was terrified of being "isolated" would have accepted the ambiguous language ? on the theory that Americans could later apply a pro-rights interpretation to the ambiguities. The Bush delegation was wiser: It recognized that, at the U.N., a conference final document is just a starting point. From there, U.N. bureaucrats will "monitor" how a country "complies" with such documents, and the bureaucrats resolving the ambiguities will favor their own radical agendas. The U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, for example, is being reinterpreted by U.N. bureaucrats in ways never agreed to by the governments that signed the convention.

The U.N.'s assault on Second Amendment rights is merely one aspect of a far-reaching attack on nearly every aspect of the American Bill of Rights. Consider, for example, the U.N. World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, scheduled for Aug. 31-Sept. 7 in Durban, South Africa. A U.N.-convened "expert seminar" on anti-racism remedies came up with the following standards for acceptable anti-racism laws:

First, "the highest priority should be given" to "reparations" for "descendants of slaves." (Don't expect that this clause will lead to African governments ? successors to those governments which profited most from the slave trade, by supplying captured enemies for sale to European traders ? to send money to African Americans.)

Additionally, the premise of "innocent until proven guilty" is not acceptable to the United Nations. The U.N. seminar insists that "In allegations of racial discrimination, the onus of proof must rest with the respondent to rebut the allegation made by the victim of racism."

Commendably, the Bush administration is considering boycotting the conference, or downgrading its delegation, in part because of Arab efforts to have Zionism proclaimed a form of racism.

The Small Arms Conference helped alert Americans to the nature of the U.N. threat. Yet while dangers to gun rights, property rights, and family rights are becoming well known among pro-freedom activists, the U.N.'s campaigns against due process and free speech have remained more obscure. La Verkin, Utah, recently declared itself a U.N.-free zone ? forbidding U.N. symbols on city property, stating that U.N. orders are invalid in La Verkin, and banning city contracts with businesses that work with the U.N. The "U.N.-free zone" movement is backed by a group called U.N. Watch, which provides cities with model language.

U.N. spokesman Fred Eckhard responded: "I would just hope that the people of La Verkin would see the United Nations for what it really is ? an intergovernmental organization working for the betterment of humankind, and not a threat to the people of La Verkin." He's right ? if you consider the Bill of Rights to be an impediment to the betterment of mankind.

American grassroots groups are just beginning to educate the American people about the efforts of foreign tyrants to disarm them. The Tyranny Response Team, in conjunction with the Second Amendment Sisters, Gun Owners of America, and other groups, staged a protest at the U.N. on July 14. The Heritage Foundation's U.N. Assessment Project ? concerned with U.N. attacks on American sovereignty, and on the Bill of Rights ? plans to seek official NGO status at the U.N., to obtain a better platform to speak for liberty, and to warn Americans about U.N. activities. A Heritage Foundation conference on the U.N. is scheduled for September, in Washington. In Congress, H.R. 1146, the American Sovereignty Restoration Act, would end U.S. membership in the United Nations.
George Washington never saw a United Nations conference, but he knew enough about human nature to see the dangers of all that the U.N. represents. Washington's Farewell Address urged: "Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government."


U.N. Gives Tyranny a Hand
Dictatorships are using the U.N. to promote the firearms policies of Hitler.

Mr. Kopel is research director at the Independence Institute.
August 6, 2001 2:25 p.m.

Editor?s note: This is the fourth installment in an NRO series on the United Nations Conference on Small Arms (the previous installment: #3).

At the U.N. Small Arms Conference, Iran took the lead in promoting a ban on weapons supplies to non-states. The "non-state actors" clause would require vendors "to supply small arms and light weapons only to governments, or to entities duly authorized by government." This would make it illegal, for example, to supply weapons to the Kurds or religious minorities in Iran, in case Iranian persecution or genocide drove them to rebellion. Had the provision been in effect in 1776, the sale of firearms to the American Patriots would have been prohibited.

Had the clause been in effect during World War II, the transfer of Liberator pistols to the French Resistance, and to many other resistance groups, would have been illegal.
The United States stood firm against this clause, rejecting "compromise" efforts to revise the language, or to insert it into the preamble of the Program of Action. Although Canada pushed hard on this point, the U.S. delegation would not relent. U.S. Undersecretary of State John Bolton pointed out that the proposal "would preclude assistance to an oppressed non-state group defending itself from a genocidal government."

Bolton's statement, by the way, reflects the enormous contribution that Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership has made to gun debate, through historical research demonstrating the victim disarmament is the sine qua non of genocide.

More recent research by constitutional attorney Stephen Halbrook has detailed how the Nazi regime used firearms-control laws, enacted by the democratic Weimar Republic, to disarm potential opponents of the regime, and to facilitate the persecution of Jews.

U.N. Deputy Secretary General Louise Frechette (of Canada) explained that in some parts of the world, an AK-47 could be obtained for $15 or a bag of grain. Small-arms "proliferation erodes the authority of legitimate but weak governments,'' she complained.

U.S. delegate Faith Whittlesey (ambassador to Switzerland, under Reagan) replied that the U.N. "non-state actors" provision "freezes the last coup. It favors established governments, while taking away rights from individuals. It does not recognize any value higher than peace, such as liberty."

According to the U.N., any government with a U.N. delegation is a "legitimate" government. This U.N. standard directly conflicts with the Declaration of Independence, which states that the only legitimate governments are those "deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."

In a letter to the New York Times, answering a Times editorial criticizing the U.S. for not allowing the conference to be used as a tool to disarm civilians, Whittlesey elaborated:

The highest priority of freedom-loving people is liberty, even more than peace. The small arms you demonize often protect men, women and children from tyranny, brutality and even the genocide too frequently perpetrated by governments and police forces. The world's numerous dictators would be delighted to stem the flow of small arms to indigenous freedom fighters and civilians alike to minimize any resistance.. . .

The right of individual self-defense in the face of criminal intimidation and government aggression is a deeply held belief of the American people dating back to 1776, when small arms in the hands of private individuals were the means used to secure liberty and independence.
The United Nations Conference on Small Arms was held in a room where a large poster proclaimed: "SMALL ARMS KILL WOMEN & CHILDREN." (Meanwhile, the U.N. propaganda office and its accomplices in the U.S. media claimed that there was no antigun agenda at the conference.) The U.N. says that small arms kill 500,000 people a year: 300,000 in war, and another 200,000 from murder, suicide, and accidents. Put aside, the fact that most war deaths are caused by governments, which wouldn't be disarmed under the U.N. program. Also put aside questions about whether the U.N. antigun program would really disarm murderers. And forget the topic of whether antigun laws might reduce gun suicides or gun accidents, but would save few, if any, lives ? since self-destructive people have many potential tools available.

Let us assume that the U.N. antigun program ? which, as I detailed in a previous column, is a program for slow-motion disarmament of everyone except the government ? would save every single one of those 500,000 lives.

Now, compare those half-million annual deaths with the 170 million civilians (not soldiers) who were murdered by governments in the first nine decades of the last century, as detailed by University of Hawaii political scientist Rudy Rummel.

Given that democide ? Rummel's term for mass murders by government ? appears to be confined almost exclusively to regimes which have attempted to disarm their victims, it is reasonable to conclude that if every man and woman on this planet had owned a working firearm and ammunition, many ? perhaps nearly all ? of those 179 million lives might have been saved.

If small arms are really as destructive as the U.N. claims, it would still take 340 years for small arms to kill as many people as died from 1900 to 1990 due to the lack of small arms. Stated another way, even if we accept every one of the premises of the antigun advocates at the U.N., gun prohibition appears to be about four times deadlier than gun proliferation.
Gun "proliferation" begins with "pro" and "life." Gun prohibition begins with registration, and ends with genocide.

Besides serving as the sine qua non of genocide, civilian disarmament helps dictatorships maintain their power ? as demonstrated by the string of dictatorships that rose to support U.N. efforts to disarm everyone except the government.

Djbrina Moumouni, secretary general of the cabinet of the president of the Niger called illicit weapons "a scourge" which cause "drug trafficking, mass displacement, slow economic development and recovery, and the exacerbation of conflicts. The Niger has not escaped that fallout, and has suffered armed rebellion for some years now."

The Niger delegate's speech was a euphemistic reference to the fact that the pastoral Tuareg people of northern Niger, in the Sahara, spent much of the 1990s fighting for their independence from Niger. The Tuareg objected to uranium being extracted from their region, while profits went to people connected to the far-away central government.

To stay in Niger, the Tuareg wanted federalism and some regional autonomy. Their desire to leave was greatly intensified when they starved en masse in 1984-85 thanks to the Niger government's venality and incompetence. And the central government of Niger, which tends to alternate between military dictatorships and one-party civilian dictatorships, hasn't exactly been a good place for people to work within the system.

A report from the European Centre for Conflict Prevention, a pro-disarmament group, describes these problems in Niger quite straightforwardly, and explains that the UN's solution is to disarm the Tuareg:

The United Nations have not been directly involved in managing the conflict, but the organisation is dealing with a closely related issue: the proliferation of small arms in the region. In 1993, it set up an Advisory Mission on the issue, at the request of President Konar? of Mali. The mission produced its findings to the Secretary-General in 1996. It identified a variety of causes for the unfettered flow of arms, including political instability, poverty, unemployment, ethnic and religious differences and the spill-over of intra-state conflicts into other states. This was said to apply to most of the states visited during the mission, including Niger.

What the European Centre and the U.N. (and their prohibitionist allies in private organizations) fail to understand is that in places like Niger, small arms are part of the solution, not the problem. The Niger government only began to make small steps towards treating the Tuareg better when the Tuareg were able to initiate an armed rebellion. One of the reasons that the Niger government never had the choice of following the policy of the Rwanda government (perpetrating genocide against a disaffected ethnic group) was that the Tuareg were armed.

Likewise presenting an articulate defense of the pro-dictatorship position was Gaspar Santos Rufino, Vice-Minister for Defenze of Angola: "African leaders, in analyzing the causes of the proliferation and illicit trafficking of small arms, suggest that Member States and the suppliers should be more transparent in their conduct and go beyond national interests. This means, so far as possible, to impose limits on the legal production of certain basic goods, to exercise rigorous control of their circulation, and even to destroy surplus production of goods.

"It should be possible to do this with small arms and light weapons, as they are not basic goods and will not be missed by our people."
Mr. Rufino, of course, is the Defense Minister of a Communist dictatorship which was installed by the Cuban army's small arms and light weapons in 1975-76, and which has permitted exactly one election (criticized by some as fraudulent) in the last quarter-century.

Rufino complained: "In Angola, men with guns in their hands have opposed the legitimate Government for many years. It should be clear that it is imperative to destroy surplus arms, regulate their production in the legislation of manufacturing countries, and sell them to legally constituted and authorized entities."

The "men with guns in their hands" are the men of UNITA, one of the groups that (along with Rufino's Communist organization) fought against the Portuguese colonial regime until Portugal surrendered in 1975. Rufino's side would have lost the civil war which followed, but for Fidel Castro's modern-day Hessians.

What makes Rufino's dictatorship ? created by Cuban "men with guns in their hands" ? legitimate? As Rufino shows, beneath the veneer of humanitarian rhetoric, the objective of small arms prohibition is to ensure that unpopular dictatorships enjoy a monopoly of force.
Yasir Arafat's U.N. delegate charged that Israel arms its settlers illegally, thus turning them into a militia. She demanded that Israel to disarm the settlers.

Nguyen Thanh Chau of Viet Nam, a communist dictatorship which shot its way into power, called for "a comprehensive approach to the prevention, reduction and eradication of the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons at all levels."
Sar Kheng, Minister of the Interior of Cambodia, represented a nation which, under its previous rulers, had taken care to confiscate guns before slaughtering a third of the population.

Cambodian gun control had been a legacy of French colonialism. A series of Royal Ordinances, decreed by a monarchy subservient to the French, appears to have been enacted out of fear of the Communist and anti-colonial insurgencies that were taking place in the 1920s and 1930s in Southeast Asia, although not in Cambodia. The first law, in 1920, dealt with the carrying of guns, while the last law, in 1938, imposed a strict licensing system. Only hunters could have guns, and they were allowed to own only a single firearm. These colonial laws appear to have stayed in place after Cambodia was granted independence. The Khmer Rouge enacted no new gun control laws, for they enacted no laws at all other than a Constitution.

As detailed in the book Lethal Laws, the moment the Khmer Rouge took power, they set out to disarm the populace. One Cambodian recalls that
Eang [a woman] watched soldiers stride onto the porches of the houses and knock on the doors and ask the people who answered if they had any weapons. "We are here now to protect you," the soldiers said, "and no one has a need for a weapon any more." People who said that they kept no weapons were forced to stand aside and allow the soldiers to look for themselves. . . . The round-up of weapons took nine or ten days, and once the soldiers had concluded the villagers were no longer armed, they dropped their pretense of friendliness. . . . The soldiers said everyone would have to leave the village for a while, so that the troops could search for weapons; when the search was finished, they could return.
People being forced out of villages and cities were searched thoroughly, and weapons and foreign currency were confiscated. To the limited extent that Cambodians owned guns through the government licensing system, the names of registered gun owners were of course available to the new government.

The current (non-genocidal) Communist dictatorship in Cambodia does not trust its people with arms any more than its predecessor did. The UN delegate called "illegally held arms" (e.g., all civilian arms) major obstacles to efforts to reconstruct and rehabilitate the country and to the building of democracy and respect for human rights."

He explained:
The Government of Cambodia has designated management of all arms and explosives as its major task, and has instituted several measures, such as collecting and confiscating all arms, explosives and ammunition left by the war; instituting practical measures to reduce the reckless use of arms; and strengthening the management of weapons registration.

Those who possessed weapons during the civil war wish to continue possessing them for self-protection. On the other hand, criminals have no intention of giving up their weapons, because they need them to carry out their criminal offences. However, with assistance from the European Union and from non-governmental organizations (NGOs), there has been some success in raising the awareness of the problem among a majority of Camobodians.

To date, more than 112,000 light weapons, together with several tons of arms, explosives and ammunition, have been collected. More than 50 per cent of those weapons and some 4,000 landmines have been crushed and burned in public ceremonies under the slogan "Flames for Peace."
Like Cambodia, Pakistan has a dictatorship determined to possess a monopoly of force. According to Human Rights Watch, the military dictatorship perpetrates torture and many other human rights abuses.

Moin-Ud-Din Haider, Minister of the Interior, said, "Pakistan has become a victim of the proliferation of small arms and light weapons?" "It has threatened our political stability," he explained, meaning that arms held by the civilians threatened the power of Mr. Haider's military dictatorship.
"Since February of last year," he boasted, "we have not issued a single license for any weapon" ? demonstrating how a licensing system can be easily converted to a prohibition system.

He continued: "We have also prohibited the public display of weapons" ? a parallel to his dictatorship's ban on public rallies and demonstrations.
"We have started a weapons collection programme composed of two phases. In Phase I, the Government announced general amnesty from 5 to 20 June for voluntary surrender of illicit weapons" ? similar to the gun surrender program run by President Clinton's Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, and recently terminated by the Bush administration. Under both the Clinton and the Pakistani program, the targeted weapons firearms owned by civilians, regardless of criminality.

Pakistan's delegate turned to the gun licensing system: "At present, the campaign to recover illicit weapons from those who did not surrender their weapons during the amnesty period is in full swing. During the amnesty period, we acquired a total of 86,757 weapons. In Phase II, we plan to cancel all automatic weapons licenses, which were loosely issued in the thousands by previous governments. Revalidation of existing arms licenses will be handled with great care."

In other words, the gun licenses which were issued by the democratic government would be eliminated by the dictatorship. As in Weimar/Nazi Germany, the licensing law created by the democracy proves to be a useful prohibition tool for the dictatorship.
Finally, the Pakistani Interior Minister made a brief pretense of pretending to respect Pakistan's traditional culture of gun ownership, before announcing the government's plan to obliterate it:

It must be emphasized that in segments of our society, possessing and carrying arms has been a proud cultural legacy. However, to their credit, many such people voluntarily surrendered their weapons. Thus, while the Government has sought to implement sound strategies, the real winners are the people of Pakistan, whose concern, cooperation and willingness to make ours a weapon-free society went a long way in launching our campaign on a promising note.

The wretched dictatorships endorsing the U.N.'s antigun program wouldn't have surprised the federalist Noah Webster. Arguing in 1787 for adoption of the proposed American Constitution, Webster urged Americans not to worry that the new federal government could become a military dictatorship, for "Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed." (An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution (Philadelphia 1787)."

The "United Nations" was originally a name for the coalition that defeated the Axis in World War II. But today, gun prohibitionists and dictatorships are using the United Nations to promote the firearms policies of Hitler and Hirohito: First, preventing aid to victims to genocide and tyranny. And second, obliterating the moral distinction between free governments, which are founded on the consent of the governed, and dictatorships, whose victims have the God-given right to remove them by force of arms.

about happy-slapping

Quote from: jayceblk
However being thatthye travel in large groups they will occasionaly dare someone to take on a harder looking target and goad them into it. That could be anybody here. All the martial arts in the world might not help you against 15 to 20 drug crazed teenage punks bent on hurting you. Whetehr you carry or not, sometimes discretion is the better part of valor.

that's why I carry everyday an OC Spray... creating a "cloud" can always be usefull so as to help you to escape IMO


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« Reply #96 on: May 04, 2005, 10:13:30 AM »
Over on the Eskrima Digest (ED) a discussion arose about the impact of concealed carry on crime, among other related tangents. The EDs moderator, Ray Terry, prefers to keep things focused on Eskrima, so I thought I?d move the discussion to Crafty?s forum. What follows is my response to a post by PD, an escrimador in the UK.

PD avers:

y the reference to an increase in the attacks on tourists, its obvious that the crime is simply being displaced. Now while it may not register on people being shot, where is the crime being displaced to as i dare say the demand is still there to satisfy drug habits and the other motivations for terrorising people into handing over their property.

There is a choice here that is being utterly overlooked: rather than risk encountering a piece of lead moving at 1000 feet per second plus, criminals may choose instead not to commit crime. Can?t speak for the UK where, as I understand it, various nanny state policies have created a rather permanent rate of high unemployment, but here in the US it?s not too hard to find a job flipping burgers, an avocation folks with a criminal penchant may view with increased favor if one of the alternatives is intimate acquaintance with 230 grain hollow point moving at high speed.

Indeed, my guess is that most crimes are ones of opportunity; when the opportunity fails to present itself, so does the crime. There?s a saying that locked doors keep honest people out, which I take to mean that a prudent measure can provide people with reason to make the proper choice. I think concealed carry takes this notion to the next level; those predisposed to criminal behavior never really know if they are looking at an opportunity or a locked, dangerous, vault. The bottom line is the notion that a criminal who can?t commit the crime he originally intended automatically moves on to another crime is a false dichotomy in my estimation. Some crime may be displaced, but overall crime rates drop in US concealed carry states.

For me (dare i even suggest others) to be impressed with the argument that arming people works as well as playing devils advocate, until the people perpetuating this claim can prove where the displacement is showing up only leaves a shallow argument, not worthy of the intellect clearly abundant here on this list.

Clearly abundant intellects aside, there is plenty of evidence out there for those who care to look, with most sources cited in various ED and Dogbrothers threads if you are indeed interested in finding them. I?m not much inclined to recapitulate what can easily be found if you are truly interested in investigating the question, though I will cite a survey of the relevant literature that can point you the right direction, John Lott?s The Bias against Guns. One of the nice things about Lott?s work is that he cites the opposition in a well-annotated manner as he demonstrates the specious nature of their arguments. All sides of the question, in short, are well sourced and represented in his book.

An aside here: one of the dirty little secrets of this argument and many others is that both government and media have made it difficult to wage an informed debate. I know someone, for instance, whose job more or less is to write term papers for the US Congress. When the congress critter that requested a report doesn?t like the conclusion supported by the data, the report is often quashed or otherwise messed with. On many occasions my acquaintance has said cavalierly something along the line of ?the requester didn?t like our findings so we?re recasting the question,? which to my ear sounds like they?re cooking the data, though the practice is so common in Washington that most don?t bat an eye at it.

Similar practices are common in the media: most second amendment scholarship confirming the right goes unreported, though when a researcher claiming to have found that 18th century probate records demonstrated few guns were owned in the colonial US, various MSM organs trumpeted the finding as it suggested seminal colonial second amendment practices are a myth. When this researcher was shown to have faked the data, however, few members of the MSM found call to pay that turn of events commensurate attention. Similarly, when a Center for Disease Control report found numerous ?gun control? measures had no impact on crime, few members of the MSM felt compelled to relay the information at length, preferring instead to focus on an anecdotal, and to my mind demonstrably spurious, claim regarding concealed carry.

Be all that as it may, since I maintain that any expectation of crime ?displacement? amounts to a false dichotomy and that there is plenty of peer reviewed material out there for people inclined to find it, I suppose the ball is in your court. What beyond outlining the arguments and pointing you toward the source material is required to establish the available depths? Are you indeed seeking to be impressed or instead setting an expectation for proof that can?t be met without some work on your end?

n the UK, after years of finding your car stereo missing amongst the broken window glass, the car manufacturers made great improvements in the design and security of the said item. Since this is no longer an easy way for someone to generate the quick funds for bag of scag, we have seen a dramatic rise - at least in my city - of handbags being snatched from women and youngsters held up for mobile phones, mp3 players and bikes.

Train, license, and arm law abiding citizens and I?d be quite willing to bet, and give long odds, that women, kids, phones, mp3 players, bikes, et al could walk the streets unscathed. Don?t see that happening, alas, in the UK where every policy failure seems to result in calls for more policies doomed to failure, witness efforts to ban knives in Scotland.

[N]ow to me it would seem that while treating the symptoms, we should also deal with the cause. For the drug trade, in the war on terror for example we have seen the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan restored and the poppy fields blossom. A fair question would be to ask if the people who are profiting off selling the military armour might be the same people who are also profiting from the increase in sales of civilian weaponry. Perhaps to those people, the war on drugs doesn't make good business sense?

Hmm, never had a greedy-corporate-combines-conspiring-with-an-evil-government exchange do anything but devolve into further non-sequitur and gibberish so I?m not much inclined to engage here. Will say that the few times I have tried to sort through this kind of amorphous mess it became clear that not only is everything the US doing wrong, but also everything it isn?t doing is wrong, too. Bottom line is this stuff is good for working up a self-righteous froth, but of limited utility otherwise, IMO.

With that said, I do have some strong opinions about aspects of what?s mentioned above. I think US drug policy is a counterproductive abomination, for instance, that does little more than create an immense profit motive while assuring poor quality control. Alas, think much of the relevant information isn?t disseminated in a useful manner thus assuring jingoistic gibberish instead of informed policy choices.

Where i live, the crime is a result of poverty or drugs. I agree with empowering people to be able to defend themselves but i also think we need to deal with the root of the issue otherwise we bring up our children in a far less secure society.

And what causes poverty and drug problems? My political bent is pretty Libertarian; I?d argue an intrusive and reactionary government is a root cause. Governments rarely create wealth, but they?re great at siphoning it off; poverty is often a result. The drug policies of most Western democracies exacerbate the associated pathologies instead of addressing them. Any ?solution? that requires more government meddling it tantamount to ordering additional ice for the Titanic, IMO. I?m all for attacking root causes, let?s just make sure it?s the right root and not some tinfoil hat circumlocution.


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« Reply #97 on: May 06, 2005, 10:22:50 AM »


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You go, girl
« Reply #98 on: May 11, 2005, 08:39:43 PM »
Wow, an MSM story that casts the Second Amendment in a positive light. Who'd a thunk it?

Rice: Gun Rights Important As Free Speech
By BARRY SCHWEID, AP Diplomatic Writer

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, recalling how her father took up arms to defend fellow blacks from racist whites in the segregated South, said Wednesday the constitutional right of Americans to own guns is as important as their rights to free speech and religion.

In an interview on CNN's "Larry King Live," Rice said she came to that view from personal experience. She said her father, a black minister, and his friends armed themselves to defended the black community in Birmingham, Ala., against the White Knight Riders in 1962 and 1963. She said if local authorities had had lists of registered weapons, she did not think her father and other blacks would have been able to defend themselves.

Birmingham, where Rice was born in 1954, was a focal point of racial tension. Four black girls were killed when a bomb exploded at a Birmingham church in 1963, a galvanizing moment in the fight for civil rights.

Rice said she favored background checks and controls at gun shows. However, she added, "we have to be very careful when we start abridging rights that the Founding Fathers thought very important."

Rice said the Founding Fathers understood "there might be circumstances that people like my father experienced in Birmingham, Ala., when, in fact, the police weren't going to protect you."

"I also don't think we get to pick and choose from the Constitution," she said in the interview, which was taped for airing Wednesday night. "The Second Amendment is as important as the First Amendment."

The First Amendment protects religious, press and speech freedoms as well as the rights to assemble and petition the government. The Second Amendment guarantees "a well-regulated militia" and "the right of the people to keep and bear arms." Gun-rights supporters and those who favor gun control disagree over whether the amendment guarantees individual gun ownership.


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« Reply #99 on: May 16, 2005, 08:40:48 AM »

Barking Up the Wrong Tree:
Who Will Help the Helpless?
David Nissen Kahn, M. D.
?2004 All rights reserved.

In a recent article (Myths of the Gun?ght-2, Tactical Operator Newsletter, 8, 2; Nov/Dec 2004), combatives/shooting instructor Gabe Suarez observes, "First of all, Grossman's On Killing to the contrary, it is NOT unnatural for humans to kill each other. Historically, we've been doing it with skill and gusto for ages." And he goes on to explain:
The problem with this facet of the [Grossman's] study is that much of it is based on the study of police actions. [Actually, the work is based on historical analyses of military combat, but the conclusions are still valid.] In case you don't realize, police are NEVER trained to be gunfighters, or trained to call up their level of violence in "official" schools. In fact, most "offcial" schools, as provided by the state, are pure garbage. The officers that DO get further education generally do so on their own (a very small percentage at best). And of those who will have their minds right in a fight (because they are warriors at heart and they've decided beforehand to do so), are an even smaller percentage of that (sic).

As our lawyer friends have it, res ipsa loquitur, the thing speaks for itself. But we-the people who teach and support self-defense and personal security-aren't listening.
The unnaturalness Grossman talks about, the hardwired resistance to killing within one's species, appears real, and he makes a careful, logical case for it. Gabe really doesn't contradict it; in fact, he solidifies Grossman's argument. Untrained-or improperly or inadequately trained-people are much more likely to fail, to freeze or to hesitate when they are confronted with physical force. Grossman's whole point is that proper conditioning, not only physical but mental, is essential to getting desired responses to stimuli. Most people don't fight, much less kill, without conditioning. And that's the key. While we do pretty well with the people we train, we don't attract nearly enough of them. And that's our failure.
Most of the citizens who study any sort of fighting-knife, stick, gun, empty hand, whatever-have already decided that "it" might happen to them. They've confronted themselves and decided that they can hit back, or think they can, and want to. Even so, some people come to the event, whether in training or in real life, and wilt. Mas Ayoob thinks that, sometimes, it's a failure of technique. Maybe so, sometimes; but clearly sometimes it's not. Then it's a failure of will. And that's a failure of attitude and worldview.

Well, then, if supposedly well trained people can fail, what about the "average" person, sliding through daily life without a constructive thought about it. He or she's already given up before the fact. Who's helping him or her? Because they can be helped.

We all recognize that "having a gun just makes you a gun owner." But even having a gun-or any other tool-is a step ahead of most folks. As a bumper sticker reads, "When you buy a drill, you don't want a drill. You want a hole." The great majority of the population isn't able to use the tool, never mind to get the requisite skills, because they don't have the mindset to do it. And they don't have the mindset because they don't see that they need it . . . or, worse and more blameworthy, no one's shown them that getting it is an achievable goal. Or an appropriate one.
That's our fault. We smugly preach to the choir, educating, training and explaining ourselves to each other: we're isolated from the larger community. And, bewilderingly, we're not displeased with that. We've looked at Dave Grossman's well-argued, solid work and taken only part of the message. And we're guilty of failing to squeeze all the juice from what we have taken.

Gabe makes the point again that attitude is everything. Who among us doubts that? Sun Tzu said, "Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win." Well, of course. That's the whole point of all our exercises. But if we continue to keep the knowledge among ourselves, we disserve ourselves as professionals-and we disserve our society as well. We're in a situation akin to scientific investigation: unpublished, unused discoveries are trivial beyond puffng up egos. Especially in this unhealthy 21st Century environment, in which everyone is called to the battle-even though with silly, meaningless, colored coded "threat levels"-it is singularly important for people who know to evangelize people who don't.

Personal security, self-defense, safety must be demystified and made commonplace, acceptable and expected. Knowledgeable people realize that those things may be complex in practice, but they're simple in theory-and that that theory is the foundation of attitude, and that attitude and mental lifestyle are the keys to individual and group well being and survival.

If the face we present to the larger world is only that of the warrior-hard-bitten, grim, cold, disdainful of everyone else-then we surely lose our credibility with the very people we can help. Must help. True enough, much of what there is to be taught is bleak, and the great majority of people will never be joyous, exalted fighters. But so what? If they do the right thing and then spew up their breakfasts, defecate in their underwear and weep, who cares? The good guy isn't dead. The terrorist attack didn't kill awful numbers of people. And we've done a sufficient, professional job. Not every solution is elegant or precise or on script.

We must discard our reassuringly superior, self-congratulatory, dismissive attitude toward the "sheep people" and replace it with studied, sympathetic compassion. Most combatives instructors are busy-especially now-and they simply don't have time to preach to the unbelievers. Or, often, want to. So, some of their disciples must "get out there" and talk to and teach ordinary, everyday people how to think about their world and their security. Some of those people will be converted fully to the faith. And those folks will study the arts and expand the base. That'll be wonderful, and good for them.

But that's not the primary goal. The goal is to make everyone able to see problems and know how to decide what to do. When to run. When to call for help. And, for some, when to fight. Relatively few people will ever be armed citizens; fewer will become warriors; fewer still will be masters of any discipline, and even fewer will study more than one. But such niceties don't matter. We can be satisfied with ourselves and proud of our work if more people just understand and live in Condition Yellow-because most of the time, unglamorous though it is, that's enough. It's enough for warriors; it's enough for everyone else.

If we can achieve that-no matter how partially-we'll have fulfilled our professional obligation, and our moral one, too. Fewer bad things will happen to good people. Fewer people will be afraid of the world. And, eventually, the world will be a nicer, better place to live. That's a reachable goal. But we have to begin. No one else can do it. And no one else will try.