Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Anti-weapon campaign runs on fiction" "Touring the country in an effort to renew the 10-year-old ban on so-called assault weapons, the numerically challenged Million Mom March has been conducting a campaign built largely on fiction. As far back as 1988, gun prohibitionists figured they could fool the public into supporting a ban that, as history has shown, has been essentially symbolic. Sixteen years ago, Josh Sugarman with the Violence Policy Center put the campaign in its proper perspective, admitting, 'The weapons' menacing looks coupled with the public's confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semiautomatic assault weapons -- anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun -- can only increase that chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons.'"

Keyes can read plain words -- unlike anti-gun nuts: "Disabled gun control activist Jim Brady weighed in Wednesday on Republican U.S. Senate nominee Alan Keyes' declaration that the U.S. Constitution grants private citizens the right to own and carry machine guns, calling the remarks an 'insane' call for a return to 'the Al Capone days.' ... Keyes, a former presidential candidate from Maryland, said Tuesday he supports a system in which people undergo different levels of training before they would be allowed to own and carry various sorts of weapons. Keyes said the Second Amendment grants properly trained Americans the right to 'the kind of weapons our ordinary infantry people have access to,' including machine guns."

Monday, August 30, 2004

Taking guns from people who REALLY need them (in South Africa) : "KwaZulu-Natal continues to take the lead in destroying the most number of illegal firearms and today over 1000 weapons were destroyed by police in Prospecton, south of Durban, as part of Operation Sethunya. Sethunya was launched primarily to recover unlicensed firearms and ammunition and to ensure compliance with the Firearms Control Act. It forms part of a number of projects and operations that the South African Police Service (SAPS) has embarked on nationally to rid communities of illegal firearms and to make them safe and secure."

Feisty gal: "Jennifer Hawk stepped up to the demonstration kiosk at the Fraternal Order of Police's national convention in Orlando Fla., curious to see how she would fare in digital target-shooting. 'The instructor asked me, 'Are you sure you know how to do this,'' Hawk remembers. 'I'm like, 'Yes.'' The ensuing display Hawk put on left observers in awe, including an Orange County (Fla.) cop, who was beaten by Hawk in a friendly competition. 'He was kind of embarrassed,' Hawk said. 'That was something.' That was seven years ago. Hawk was 11 years old. Ever since, the soon-to-be senior at Penns Valley High School has maintained her sharp-shooter's eye."

Armed society is a polite society: "I read Sara Darcy's essay 'Of guys and guns.' I do not wish to be either disrespectful or flippant, but would like to suggest that there is an inextricable link between true political freedom from the oppression of the Central State and sovereignty over one's own homeland on the one hand, and the right to bear arms as articulated by the Founding Fathers of the United States in the 2nd Amendment. Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Russia are but two tragic examples from the last century regarding what despots and statist philosophies like Fascism and Communism can and will do in the face of unarmed citizens."


Sunday, August 29, 2004

They Couldn't SWAT a Fly

Government goons no substitute for self-defence

"Federal and Colorado officials have transformed the April 20 killings at Columbine High School into a law enforcement triumph. Attorney General Janet Reno praised the local police response as "extraordinary," "a textbook" example of "how to do it the right way." President Clinton declared on the Saturday after the shooting that "we look with admiration at...the police officers who rushed to the scene to save lives."

In fact, the excruciatingly slow response by Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams and other lawmen to the killings in progress turned a multiple homicide into a historic massacre. And federal aid to local law enforcement, by spawning the proliferation of heavily armed but often flat-footed SWAT teams, may actually undermine public safety......

Jefferson County Sheriff John Stone later explained: "We had initial people there right away, but we couldn't get in. We were way outgunned." Jefferson County SWAT Commander Terry Manwaring, whose team entered the school but proceeded at a glacial pace, said: "I just knew (the killers) were armed and were better equipped than we were." SWAT team members had flak jackets, submachine guns, and fully automatic M-16s--rather more formidable protection and weaponry than the teenagers' shotguns, semiautomatic rifle, and shoddy TEC-9 handgun (which Clinton ludicrously described as an "assault pistol").

SWAT teams made no effort to confront the killers in action, but devoted their efforts to repeatedly frisking students and marching them out of the building with their hands on their heads. Jefferson County Undersheriff John Dunaway bragged to the Denver Post that the evacuation of students "was about as close to perfect under the circumstances as it could be." Even though none of the SWAT teams came under hostile fire, Denver SWAT officer Jamie Smith claimed: "I don't know how you could have thrown in another factor that would have made things more difficult for us."

Television cameras captured a SWAT team creeping toward the school behind a firetruck, each officer taking one small step after another, with the group hunched together as if expecting an attack at any moment. This maneuver occurred long after the perpetrators were dead.

SWAT team members did not reach the room where the killers lay until at least three hours after the shooting stopped."

More here.

Wacky toy-hater: "In the effort to eliminate guns in the United States, Rhode Island Attorney General Patrick Lynch has become a prominent crusader. Lynch is leading a campaign to smash toy guns throughout the state using a machine built by students at the New England Institute of Technology. It's called the Bash-O-Matic and it's used to pulverize the toys during Toy Gun Bash events. To date, the "Bash-O-Matic" has destroyed upwards of 1,000 toy guns, everything from water guns to gun replicas, according to Michael Healey, a spokesman for the attorney general's office.... While "sweeping the city's streets of toy guns," Attorney General Lynch disseminates his gun-control platform to educate the general public. He's stated that "children and adults alike find it hard to distinguish a toy gun from a real gun." (!!)

Saturday, August 28, 2004


"Every gun turned in through a buyback program means potentially one less tragedy," President Bill Clinton declared at a Sept. 9, 1999, White House photo op with mayors and police chiefs. Clinton was announcing that the Department of Housing and Urban Development would be allocating $15 million to buy up to 300,000 guns from private citizens.

Unfortunately, such programs have serious flaws. For instance, gun buyback programs have made no attempt to round up the guns of one of the most aggressive groups in society: federal lawmen. However, after the Elian Gonzalez raid, it is clearly time to reduce the number of machine guns in the hands of the INS, the Border Patrol and other federal law enforcement agencies. In the now-famous photograph, a Border Patrol agent pointed an HK MP-5 toward a 6-year-old boy and his fisherman rescuer. The HK fires 800 rounds a minute. Most experts agree that, when carrying out a nighttime raid on a home with unarmed men, women and children, weapons firing only 700 rounds a minute are sufficient.

Since 1995, the Pentagon has deluged local law enforcement with thousands of machine guns, more than 100 armored personnel carriers, scores of grenade launchers and more than a million other pieces of military hardware. Instead of relying on street smarts, police departments are resorting to high-tech weaponry courtesy of Uncle Sam. There are some cases in which government agents need high-powered weaponry. But, too often, the possession of the weapons has induced G-men to use far more force and intimidation than is necessary.... "

More here

Dangerous loony no loss: "A southeast Las Vegas [NV] homeowner was not expected to face charges after fatally shooting a mentally ill neighbor who broke into his house early this morning, Metro Police said. The incident unfolded about 1:30 a.m. in the 5300 block of Modena Drive, near Hacienda Avenue and Pecos Road, when a couple awoke to a loud crashing noise, Sgt. Mike Thompson of Metro's homicide section said. The male homeowner grabbed a handgun and told his wife to call 911. As the man stepped out of his bedroom he was attacked in the hallway, he told police. They got into a 'violent struggle,' Thompson said, and the homeowner received facial injuries. Fearing for his life, he shot the intruder."

Canadians scoff at gun laws: "More than a million guns remain unregistered in Canada, 18 months after a registration deadline, a document released by the Canada Firearms Centre confirms. The total number of valid firearm licence holders who still haven't registered a gun stands at a whopping 406,834."

Friday, August 27, 2004

Canadian nervousness: "Ed Hudson, a 59-year-old veterinarian and gun enthusiast, can't get himself prosecuted for being an unlicensed owner of 50 unregistered guns, no matter what he does. He has been arrested three times and had two shotguns seized after pulling stunts where he practically begged the police to charge him under the Firearms Act. But the charges that were laid -- having a weapon in a public place or obstructing a police officer (under the Criminal Code, not the firearms law) -- were always dropped. ... Hudson, who has been a Canadian citizen for 24 years but still speaks with the southern drawl of his native Atlanta, is impatient for the hearing to be held, eager to make in court constitutional arguments about a right to bear arms that he thinks would blow a hole in the federal gun licensing and registration law."

Homeowner won't be charged in shooting: "A Lowcountry homeowner was acting in self defense when he shot a 16-year-old intruder in the leg last May and will not face prosecution, Berkeley County [SC] Deputy Solicitor Blair Jennings said. Homeowner Jerron Richburg of Cross fired a shotgun at the teen, who is accused of breaking into the home using a file and a screwdriver. The teenager, who has not been identified becuase of his age, had to have his left leg amputated because of his wounds. 'Based on the information we've got now, (Richburg) acted lawfully,' Jennings said. 'The house is a person's domain. Clearly, you have the right to defend yourself in your house.'"

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Ban icecream vendors! "Porous enforcement and limited government oversight have allowed unlicensed ice cream vendors around the Valley to operate nearly unwatched, and that has some residents and officials concerned about the peddlers' primary customers: children. Cities and law enforcement essentially work on the honor system and count on those who want to operate ice cream trucks to apply for permits with a city where they could be subject to fingerprinting and a background check. However, many vendors simply take to the street. The vendor requirements have come into question after the rape and impregnation of a 9-year-old Maryvale girl in June reportedly by a Phoenix ice cream vendor. Adrian Gonzales Cruz, 24, of Phoenix, who was arrested in connection with the crime, did not have a license to sell ice cream." [A licence to sell icecream would prevent rape? Wow! That's powerful! Just like licencing guns prevents killings, I guess]

Fem guns: "In 1985, Robee VanNorman dreamed of opening a gun shop. Not knowing how, she put the idea on the back burner to pursue a medical career. Now, she and her partner, Nancy VanNorman, operate Lavender Guns, Inc., which they believe to be the only female-owned gun shop in the state [of New York]. They incorporated the business a little over a year ago. ... Both women are certified by the National Rifle Association and take pride in working patiently to learn why a customer wants a particular product and how it will be used. At a recent gun show, they were amused when prospective male customers told them they'd wait to talk to the male representatives of the business. 'Our focus is towards women. ... don't get me wrong, we'll sell to men, but our goal is to educate women on the legal use of firearms and to gain confidence in protecting themselves and their families,' said Nancy VanNorman."

Wednesday, August 25, 2004


This is one of the best comeback lines of all time. It is a portion of a National Public Radio (NPR) interview between a female broadcaster and US Marine Corps General Reinwald who was about to sponsor a Boy Scout Troop visiting his military installation.

FEMALE INTERVIEWER: So, General Reinwald, what things are you going to teach these young boys when they visit your base?
GENERAL REINWALD: We're going to teach them climbing, canoeing, archery, and shooting.
FEMALE INTERVIEWER: Shooting! That's a bit irresponsible, isn't it?
GENERAL REINWALD: I don't see why, they'll be properly supervised on the rifle range.
FEMALE INTERVIEWER: Don't you admit that this is a terribly dangerous activity to be teaching children?
GENERAL REINWALD: I don't see how. We will be teaching them proper rifle discipline before they even touch a firearm.
FEMALE INTERVIEWER: But you're equipping them to become violent killers.
GENERAL REINWALD: Well, you're equipped to be a prostitute, but you're not one, are you?
The radio went silent and the interview ended.


"Here's my favorite example of a crime-control measure that is evaluated using exactly the wrong data: gun buy-back programs. Politicians regularly tout the number of guns collected as evidence of the programs' success:....

District of Columbia Police Department Press Release: "Saying that lives will be saved as a result, Chief of Police Charles H. Ramsey today announced the Metropolitan Police Department took in 1,787 firearms on Thursday, Friday and Saturday during the first phase of `Operation Save A Life,' the District of Columbia's gun buy-back program. . `Every one of the nearly 1,800 guns collected represents a step towards making the District of Columbia safer, and this weekend's buy-back served both as a national model and as an inspiration for buy-backs HUD is supporting in other communities throughout the nation,' he said."

Another press release from the same source: "`Getting one dangerous and illegal firearm off our streets or out of a home is significant because of the potential pain and tragedy that single weapon can inflict,' said Chief of Police Charles H. Ramsey. `Getting more than 6,200 firearms off our streets and out of our homes is a momentous victory for safer children, safer families and safer communities throughout our city.'"

The problem, of course, is that purchasing a gun doesn't necessarily mean reducing the number of guns in the hands of the public. The gun buy-back might encourage the trafficking of guns into the region, if the price is high enough. If the price is low, it still might encourage people to trade-in old guns so they can purchase new ones (much like when an auto dealership offers to buy your old junker). And even if gun buy-backs succeed in reducing the stock of guns in the hands of the public, who's selling them - criminals, whose livelihoods depend on their guns, or law-abiding citizens who rarely need their guns? While it's possible that gun buy-backs reduce crime, the number of guns collected does nothing to prove it.

When I think about gun buy-backs' effectiveness, I recall the old story (possibly apocryphal, but still instructive) about the town of Abruzzi, Italy:

The city was plagued by vipers, and the city fathers determined to solve the problem by offering a reward for any viper killed. Alas, the supply of vipers increased. Townspeople had started breeding them in their basements. [from S. E. Rhoads (1985), "The Economist's View of the World: Government, Markets, and Public Policy", Cambridge University Press, p. 58]

And I'll bet that one of the city fathers trumpeted the success of the program based on the number of dead vipers turned in for the bounty.

More here

Tuesday, August 24, 2004


Yes. I know it was the Pharisees who said that! The point however is to see that gun deaths, like everything else, are relative. If even doctors kill and injure people whilst otherwise doing good, why should we expect any different from guns?

"The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) seems to believe that the only safe gun is no gun at all. This has been the view of most doctors who publish in medical journals in this country.

Data that have been collected about fatalities caused by America's health care system suggest that the anti-gun fervor of some doctors is born of a desire to shift the blame from their own shortcomings. Deaths from guns are more highly publicized than are deaths from malpractice, hospital-induced infections, careless prescriptions and other health care system causes, and that makes guns a handy target for diverting attention from medicine's own death toll. It is not good science to depict guns as the biggest threat to America's children, but it sure beats accepting responsibility for one's own shortcomings.

In an article by Dr. Gary Null, et. al., government statistics were gathered to present an overall picture of the extent of death-by-medical-system that afflicts the United States. Here is a summary of the data supporting Dr. Null's conclusion that the American medical system is the leading cause of death and injury in the United States.

For comparison, in 2001, the heart disease annual death toll was 699,697, and the cancer death toll was 553,251. The medical system death toll was 783,936!

Murder committed using firearms accounts for less than 10,000 victims and the accidental firearms death toll is little more than 1,000. About 120 or so kids under 14 are killed by gunshots. The medical system mortalities break down this way: adverse drug reactions: 106,000; medical error: 98,000; bedsores: 115,000; infection: 88,000; malnutrition: 108,000; outpatients: 199,000; unnecessary procedures: 37,136; surgery-related: 32,000. As Dr. Null explains, these are conservative estimates that do not attempt to overcome the considerable limitations of self-reporting regarding error and negligence.

In view of this information, it might be asked, is the patient more at risk at the hospital when the nurse and doctor are in his room, or when four of his armed buddies are visiting? When the pediatrician, following the AAP's advice, invades his patient's privacy and asks if daddy has guns and where they are, who or what is the most dangerous -- the pediatrician or daddy's guns?"


Monday, August 23, 2004


Michael Moore in "Bowling for Columbine" tries to portray NRA president Charlton Heston as a racist. The trouble is Heston was campaigning for black civil rights before Moore left diapers. Heston has no qualms about his support for both civil rights and the Second Amendment. There is a great speech from Heston about it here. Excerpt:

"As I have stood in the crosshairs of those who target Second Amendment freedoms, I've realized that firearms are not the only issue. No, it's much, much bigger than that. I've come to understand that a cultural war is raging across our land, in which, with Orwellian fervor, certain acceptable thoughts and speech are mandated. For example, I marched for civil rights with Dr. King in 1963 -- long before Hollywood found it fashionable. But when I told an audience last year that white pride is just as valid as black pride or red pride or anyone else's pride, they called me a racist. I've worked with brilliantly talented homosexuals all my life. But when I told an audience that gay rights should extend no further than your rights or my rights, I was called a homophobe". See also here.


Colin Greenwood on the 1688 English Bill of Rights (Excerpt):

"The full version should begin by referring to the various complaints against the Catholic King James II who had endeavoured "to subvert and extirpate the laws and liberties of the Kingdom".

There were thirteen specific complaints and the sixth of these, set well above matters such as free elections, was that King James had "caused several good subjects, being protestants, to be disarmed at the same time when papists were both armed and imployed contrary to law." The Bill did not seek to disarm catholics, but merely to place protestants on an equal footing by asserting that "the subjects which are protestants may have arms for their defence, suitable to their condition and. as allowed by law".

This statement must also be taken in the context of its day. The right to keep arms was a long established part of English Common Law but, because the Common Law is capable of change by various mechanisms, the right was not absolute and Charles II had modified it through his Militia Act of 1662 which continued the practice of requiring subjects to keep arms of a particular type according to their `condition and degree' -- that is their rank in society and their wealth.

The rights and liberties of Englishmen continued to expand under Common Law. In the 17th century, many of the supposed rights did not, in practice, extend to the bottom of the social ladder but by the 18th century, Common Law rights were well established. and of such a nature that Sir William Blackstone, in his Commentaries on the Laws of England (1765) was in no doubt that the right to keep arms was a vital part of the Common Law. Blackstone listed the rights or liberties of Englishmen and showed that to vindicate these rights when attacked, the Common Law provided that the subject was entitled to justice in the courts, the right Of petitioning the king and parliament for redress of grievance and, "the right of having and using arms for self preservation and defence."

It was Blackstone's statement of the Common Law which formed the basis of the American Constitution, for the revolutionaries complained that their Common Law rights had been violated by the Crown and, in the light of their experiences at that time, they placed great emphasis on their right to keep arms"......

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Hey! Haven't Britain's strict antigun laws made this unneccessary? "A new drama about the growing gun culture is to tour Liverpool communities. The play, The Trouble With Guns, has been written by Liverpool writer Robert Awork.'I wrote the play knowing that people I had known had suffered as a result of weapons,' he says. 'I wanted to try to pass the message on to try to dissuade more young people from going the same way.' The play follows a spate of shootings in Liverpool. ... The drama will highlight the tragic consequences for young people that can result from easy access to firearms amid the growing gun culture in English cities including Liverpool."

Avoiding genocide: "It is long past time for the United Nations and the rest of the international community to do more than bemoan genocide after the fact. It is time for formal international law to recognize the natural right of self-defense, and to acknowledge the universal human right of 'having arms for their defense' so that, as a last resort, victims can 'restrain the violence of oppression.' As history has shown, as long as dictatorships exist, the only way to ensure the primary right to life is to guarantee the auxiliary right to arms."

19th annual Gun Rights Policy Conference. Marriott Crystal City Hotel. The theme of the conference is "Ban Gun Bans." The goal of the conference is to educate people on how to protect and advance the right to keep and bear arms across the country and in your communities. Books, monographs and other materials -- enough to start a Second Amendment library -- are free, as are Saturday Luncheon, Friday and Saturday evening receptions and morning and afternoon snack breaks. Other meals, travel and lodging are to be paid by attendee.

Pitcairn again: "At Pitcairn, the Brits have gone too far, interfering in local marriage customs and trying to steal twenty lousy guns from a poor people who need them to feed themselves. Knowing perfectly well what happened after Dunblane and in Australia, we have to ask ourselves if this isn't a deliberate, calculated attempt to elevate the island's violent crime rate as part of some long-repressed revenge they're getting on Fletcher Christian and his pals. Whatever the case, Great Britain must now be expelled utterly from the company of decent nations."

Saturday, August 21, 2004

ALL self-defence is now suspect in Britain: "A man who admitted stabbing a suspected burglar with a bread knife to protect his wife and child is being investigated for assault. Antonio Caeiro, 33, who said he wounded a 19-year-old intruder at his home in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, said yesterday that he would do the same again to defend his family. The incident has similarities with the case of Tony Martin, the Norfolk farmer who was convicted of manslaughter and jailed for shooting dead a teenage burglar in 1999."

Gun ban didn't reduce violence: "The federal assault-weapons ban, scheduled to expire in September, is not responsible for the nation's steady decline in gun-related violence and its renewal likely will achieve little, according to an independent study commissioned by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). 'It is thus premature to make definitive assessments of the ban's impact on gun violence. Should it be renewed, the ban's effects on gun violence are likely to be small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement,' said the report .... NIJ is the Justice Department's research, development and evaluation agency -- assigned the job of providing objective, independent, evidence-based information to the department through independent studies and other data collection activities."

Guns count in presidential politics: "In most of the world, the language of human rights and liberty is used to discuss universal issues, like the right to vote, to speak freely, to chose the place you live and work. But here, as in much of small town U.S.A., there is a peculiar 'right' that sits curiously close to the American heart: The right to own and shoot a gun, which is protected by the vaguely worded Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. ... With the U.S. Presidential contest between President George W. Bush and Senator John Kerry just three months away, the right to bear arms is for many rural voters a passionate close-to-home campaign issue -- one that trumps more distant conflicts like a War in Iraq or more abstract ones, like a growing budget deficit."

Filipino wild West needs guns too: "Veteran print and radio journalist Juan Balagtas does not leave home in the volatile southern Philippine city of Zamboanga without a loaded handgun. He drives a van with tinted windows and pays a bodyguard to watch his back as he heads to the local radio station where his popular programme attacking corrupt politicians and Islamic militants airs daily. ... Six reporters have been killed this year. Police are investigating whether the killings were work-related and said they would ease restrictions on gun permits for journalists. The move has triggered heated debate in a country where a proliferation of unlicensed firearms is blamed for rising crime."

Friday, August 20, 2004


Gun violence at school: Do measures to stop it make it in fact more likely to happen? Is the violence partly caused by all the hype about how dangerous gun-possession can be?

"But whatever the explanation for why a few weird and unstable American teenagers choose to vent their spleen through shooting their classmates, the preoccupation with school safety that has made fear of violence in schools into a national obsession probably has not helped.

The preoccupation with safety in schools and the fear of violence in schools predates the infamous school shootings in Columbine (April 1999) or even Jonesboro (March 1998). Since the early 1990s, school boards and principals have been keen to enact high-profile 'zero tolerance' campaigns against weapons in school.

State legislatures have also put much energy into being seen to take the matter of school safety seriously. A whole range of measures are now commonplace in US schools, from surveillance cameras on school buses to metal detectors at school entrances, and from the banning of anything that could be deemed gang insignia to the permanent police presence within some school campuses....

When all of this is taken together, it is clear that US schools convey a very clear message to students. Students - especially teenagers - are to be feared and, without rigorous regulation and policing, adults believe students will naturally be violent and dangerous. In this kind of atmosphere, is it so incredible that some nutcases choose to play the part?"

Prohibition generally is counterproductive:

"The psychology of prohibition can inform our views about how censorship works. A few weeks ago, in the now-completed trial of Frank Quattrone, the judge ordered the media not to release the names of jurors pending the trial's outcome. Despite the fact that there was general agreement among the media that jurors' names should not be released, several newspapers hired a lawyer to protest the judge's ruling. The judge had, in effect, made something appealing that had previously had no appeal.

Many years ago, when struggling author Mark Twain released his book "Huckleberry Finn," he got an unexpected gift from the city of Boston. The book was "banned in Boston," and naturally went on to become a must-read everywhere. Federico Fellini, the Italian filmmaker, once said, "Censorship is advertising paid by the government."

Want Howard Stern's show to attract a few more listeners? Get Clear Channel to pull him of the air. Ted Koppel read the names of soldiers killed in Iraq without embellishment for half an hour. One media provider blacked out the show on its ABC affiliates and viewership climbed by 30 percent."

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Your government will protect you: "Federal air marshals protect less than 5 percent of daily U.S. flights, and the numbers are declining, despite assurances by the federal government that most planes would be protected, according to estimates provided by marshals, pilots and a retired airline executive. 'They are flying on a relatively limited number of flights due to availability,' said Capt. Stephen Luckey, chairman of the national-security committee of the Air Lines Pilots Association, which represents 64,000 pilots. The number of federal air marshals who protect planes from terrorist attacks is classified, and the Department of Homeland Security has refused to discuss it. The sources said they are confident that terrorists already know the numbers based on open-source documents that can be found on the Internet, ongoing surveillance in airports and aboard planes, and in news reports."

Ban all knives! "A schizophrenic allegedly beheaded his father with a knife, a court heard yesterday. Christian Simionescu, 25, briefly faced Burwood Local Court in Sydney yesterday charged with the murder of his father, Emil in June. According to facts tendered to court, Simionescu was arrested the day after the alleged murder in Roselands when police found he was allegedly "prone to violence and has a fascination with knives". A knife was found at the scene. The victim's body was discovered by his wife on the living-room floor. His head was found in a bag on the garage roof".

Robbery foiled: "An adult video store clerk shot a robber in the arm, and then himself in the hand, while fending off the assailant who came in demanding money Saturday afternoon, Suffolk [NY] police said. John McMurray was working at the store on Jericho Turnpike at about 4:30 p.m. when a man armed with a metal pipe arrived, police spokesman Officer Sonny Di Stefano said. McMurray, 67, of Bohemia, gave the man, Stanley Hagzan, 50, of 29 Johnson Ave. in Kings Park, some cash. Hagzan then tied up McMurray, Di Stefano said.The clerk was soon able to free himself and then reached for his licensed revolver and shot at Hagzan."

Burglar who was shot by homeowner gets seven years: Chicago Sun-Times "A Chicago [IL] man who was shot after he twice broke into a Wilmette home pleaded guilty to residential burglary Thursday and was sentenced to seven years in prison. Mario Billings, 32, a convicted thief, entered his plea before Judge Timothy Chambers in the Cook County courthouse in Skokie, a spokesman for the Cook County state's attorney's office said. Billings also pleaded guilty to possession of a stolen vehicle in the 2003 incident. The case drew widespread attention from gun-rights advocates after prosecutors determined the homeowner, Hale DeMar, shot Billings in self-defense but still charged DeMar with failing to renew a firearm card. The charges were later dropped."

Would-be victim shoots robber: "Police say two robbery suspects face capital murder charges for the death of another man who was working with them, even though neither actually shot him. Reginald Scroggins, the man whose bullet killed Cortelyous Johnson, has not been charged because it appears he was acting in self-defense. ... The men charged with killing 28-year-old Cortelyous Johnson are 22-year-old Jarrett Johnson and 23-year-old Gregory Williams, 23. They're also charged with two counts of committing a terroristic act and four counts of aggravated robbery."

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Boy arrested over BB gun: "A concerned mother whose teenage son was arrested for carrying a ball bearings gun in town is warning people it is illegal. The 42-year-old Bracknell woman was shocked after her 13-year-old son was detained by police for possessing the imitation firearm in a public place. The student was unaware her son had bought the BB gun on a shopping trip to Bracknell on Tuesday, August 3. ... Police are warning youngsters that in line with new legislation in the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003 which came into force in January this year, anyone seen carrying an imitation firearm in a public place without reasonable excuse may face a six month prison sentence or 5,000 pound fine."

A gun rights victory: "It's a victory for gun rights advocates this morning. Guns are now allowed back in Henrico County [VA] parks. The Board of Supervisors approved the ordinance at last night's meeting in a 4 to 1 vote. The county approved allowing guns back in public parks to bring the county under compliance with a new state law that took effect July 1st. That law says counties no longer have the authority to regulate firearms."


I noted on 13th that the authorities in at least one Australian State have now started banning "realistic" toy guns. There was a similar move in Britain last year -- which drew the following acerbic comment from Mick Hume of "Spiked". (Excerpt):

"It may come as a shock to new Labour policymakers, but criminals do not obey their rules. Gangsters can always get guns, and the proposed restrictions on replica weapons and airguns (which can be adapted to fire live rounds) will simply give them more laws to ignore. The people affected by Britain's ever-tighter gun controls are the citizenry, denied access to firearms for leisure or self-protection. Talk of a 'gun culture' in Britain is wildly exaggerated. Insofar as there is an increased use of guns connected to the inner-city trade in drugs such as crack cocaine, it is a complicated problem with deep social and economic roots. An opportunity, perhaps, to make good Mr Blair's promise and get 'tough on the causes of crime'.

However, the authorities seem to have one thing in common with the Birmingham murderers: they are tough enough only to shoot at easy targets. The supposed 'causes of crime' that politicians and police chiefs appear keen to crack down on include gangsta rap music, violent video games, and other aspects of 'teen culture'. There are also proposals to tighten controls on visitors from the Caribbean and the Balkans. If we could just stop those Albanians coming over here, listening to our So Solid Crew CDs and playing shoot-em-up Playstation games, no doubt all would be well in inner-city areas such as Aston...."

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Laws enforce zero tolerance for common sense: "In January, Adam Liston made a serious mistake. Liston, 18, a senior at Davis (CA) High School, dropped off a few friends at school on his way to the gun range with a new shotgun in his gun rack. Someone reported seeing the gun, and the next day, the vice principal asked to search Liston's Ford F-250 truck. Liston readily agreed.Six police cars arrived and officers swarmed the truck. As they searched, his heart sank. He realized he had forgotten to remove the shotgun, unloaded and still in its original box, from his truck after target shooting. Liston broke down in tears as officers confiscated the gun and arrested him. He was handcuffed and taken to the Yolo County Jail."

Feisty reporters: "A radio reporter and his two companions survived an 'ambush' Thursday night on Natalio Bacalso Avenue, Cebu City [Philippines] by firing back at their assailants. Using an Ingram machine pistol and .45 caliber pistols, George Benaojan, a reporter of El Nuevo Bantay Radyo, said he and his two volunteer reporters scared the gunmen away with superior firepower."

Texans fought for their right to arms: "In September 1835, Santa Anna sent his brother-in-law, General Martin Perfecto de Co's, to Texas to confiscate the inhabitant's arms and to arrest Santa Anna's political opponents. Like the Americans in 1775 who demanded their English common-law rights, the Texans of 1835 demanded their rights under the Mexican Constitution of 1824. They realized these rights could be protected only by an armed populace. Sam Houston, commander of the Texas citizens army, urged the North Americans: "Let each man come with a good rifle and one hundred rounds of ammunition and?come soon. Our war cry is `LIBERTY OR DEATH!'"... Now, as in 1836, there are those who would deprive Texans of this most basic right of free men. All other rights flow from this one: Without the means to resist oppression, none of our rights can he guaranteed.

The real agenda behind the assault weapons ban: "The 1994 semiautomatic or so-called assault weapons ban expires Sept. 13. The media drumbeat to reauthorize it has begun, and some politicians are dancing to the familiar tune. Instead of merely reauthorizing the ban, however, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-L.I.) seeks to ban more guns and implement a national registration scheme. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the assault weapons ban sponsor, said on CBS' '60 Minutes,' 'If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate for an outright ban, picking up every one of them -- Mr. and Mrs. America, turn them all in -- I would have done it.' The gun control agenda has never been stated more honestly."

Monday, August 16, 2004

Home invaders lose: "According to police, two young men were the victims of an apparent home invasion, by two other young men armed with guns. The victims inside the home had guns of their own and shot at the two intruders injuring one of them. One injured man made his way to an Aurora [CO] hospital later in the day. The other suspect is presumably on the loose. Police report the intruders were shot by a teenager inside the house."

Making gun-sport easier on the ear: "Having never fired a gun in her life, Faamati Winey pulled up on a flying clay pigeon and dusted it with the latest version of the Quiet Gun. A small audience at the Metro Gun Club in Blaine gave an enthusiastic cheer for Winey, who grinned and said, 'Hey, this is easy.' Inventor Wendell Diller, who developed this shotgun with its characteristic long barrel, beamed proudly. He then watched as Winey, his boss's wife, broke another clay target, scoring 2 out of 4 in her introduction to shot gunning. 'People look at the long barrel and think it's going to kick or that it's too hard to shoot,' he said. 'Well, we're here to show that's not the case.' Three more shooters put the shotgun with a 31-inch extension barrel to their shoulders and dusted clay targets, while the gun emitted a pop slightly louder than a pellet rifle."

Second amendment does not bar assault weapons: "Putting aside the fact that the banned guns are not really 'assault weapons,' our right to protect our lives, liberty and property isn't limited by someone's notion of which firearms we can own to do so. Those rights are protected by the Second Amendment, set up by the Founding Fathers in a time when the militia was our nation's defense from enemies, foreign and domestic. Despite the argument that those militias have become the National Guard, we hold to the original intent of the Founders, that firearms in the hands of citizens are one of the surest ways to protect the liberties we all enjoy. In order to do so, those citizens must be independent of government, national or state. To argue that the government will protect us from the excesses of the government is self-contradictory."


The Australian security guard who shot the man who robbed her as he was making his getaway. Excerpts:

"Australia does have a "statistical problem" with rising violent crime rates. So does Britain -- and both countries took unprecedented steps a few years back to not only regulate firearms, but to confiscate them. Australians spent at least half a billion dollars to collect and destroy hundreds of thousands of legally owned guns, and the result? No decrease in violent crime, armed robberies up by 166%.

These disturbing trends have given a new weapon to the North American gun lobby, which also points to a dramatic drop in violent crime in the U.S. during the same period, as state after state -- 20 in the past two decades -- relaxed the rules for carrying concealed handguns for personal protection.

The connection between stripping citizens of the right to bear arms and the likelihood of their becoming victims of crime is "really hard to tease out" of available data, says Gary Mauser, a professor of business at B.C.'s Simon Fraser University. "The advocates on both sides tend to cherry-pick their numbers," says Mauser, who wrote a paper last year for the Fraser Institute on the "failed experiment" of gun control in Commonwealth countries.

But he added the increase in gun ownership and parallel decline in violent crime in the U.S. is "the most reasonable link" yet to firearm possession and personal safety."

More here

Sunday, August 15, 2004


Which is what the media would like people to believe

The late actor Robert Stack was right on target when he said, "You meet the nicest people at a shooting range." But the general public doesn't know that because many people have never touched a real gun, let alone shot one or been to a range. And as John Lott Jr. points out in his most important book "The Bias Against Guns," the media have a heavy negative bias against gun owners and firearms manufacturers. People need to understand who gun owners and manufacturers really are in order to make reasonable decisions about gun issues and see through the anti-gun hysteria.....

In "Shooters: Myths and Realities of America's Gun Culture," (Oxford University Press; $29.95) anthropologist Abigail A. Kohn uses ethnographic research with recreational shooters to shed light on America's gun culture. Kohn paints accurate portrayals of those who she interviews and demonstrates that the core values of gun owners are freedom, independence, individualism and equality.....

To Kohn's credit, she admits she was not a shooter when she began her research and she expected to find people fitting the popular negative stereotypes. However, when she met so many friendly, safe and sane people as you tend to find at shooting ranges, she was transformed. Kohn has not only has written a much-needed study about who firearms owners really are, she has ended up becoming a cowboy-action shooter herself.

More here


Recent years have been bad for anti-gun freaks

"Old stereotypes die hard and the vision of Britain as a peaceable kingdom, America as "the wild west culture on the other side of the Atlantic" is out of date. It is true that in contrast to Britain's tight gun restrictions, half of American households have firearms, and 33 states now permit law-abiding citizens to carry concealed weapons.

But despite, or because, of this, violent crime in America has been plummeting for 10 consecutive years, even as British violence has been rising. By 1995 English rates of violent crime were already far higher than America's for every major violent crime except murder and rape.

You are now six times more likely to be mugged in London than New York. Why? Because as common law appreciated, not only does an armed individual have the ability to protect himself or herself but criminals are less likely to attack them. They help keep the peace. A study found American burglars fear armed home-owners more than the police. As a result burglaries are much rarer and only 13% occur when people are at home, in contrast to 53% in England."

More here

Saturday, August 14, 2004


"Fear" is enough to disarm people?

"Pitcairn Islanders have been ordered to hand their guns to British authorities amid fears a six-week sex trial on the island could lead to violence, officials said today. Seven Pitcairn Island men face 96 charges over allegations of sexual abuse. Some of the alleged offenses were committed up to 40 years ago. The trials, which are due to begin on the island on September 23, have caused rising tensions in the tiny island community. Pitcairn Deputy Governor Matthew Forbes, who is based in the New Zealand capital, Wellington, said the island's governor, British High Commissioner to New Zealand Richard Fell, had ordered residents to surrender their firearms, which they use for hunting and shooting coconuts out of trees. If people do not hand in their guns, authorities will legislate to suspend all firearm licences on the island and guns would be taken from residents, he said. Mr Forbes said the island's 47 permanent residents held about 20 weapons.... the British governor's order drew "immediate, stunned reaction from Pitcairners on and off the island." ... "we are being treated as if (we) are a murdering, suicidal bunch of good for nothing sex-crazed cowboys"... islanders regularly used guns to hunt wild goats for meat, shoot breadfruit and coconuts from tall trees and occasionally to shoot sharks."


John Lott on the Swiss experience: "Swiss gun laws have already started to give up some of this freedom that they are so well know for. In January 1999, nationwide regulations greatly restricted people's ability to carry concealed handguns. But the new proposals - including registration - represent the greatest challenge to Swiss traditions. As some Swiss point out, registration in other countries has often preceded confiscation.

Registration could supposedly help identify criminals and prevent them from getting guns. For example, if a gun is left at the scene of the crime, registration could allow it to be traced back to the criminal who used it. Nice theory, but it just doesn't work. Despite spending tens or even hundreds of thousands of man-hours by police administering these laws in different areas of the United States (such as Hawaii, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.), there is not even a single case where the laws have been key in identifying someone who has committed a crime."

The irony is that to stop crime Switzerland is seeking to emulate the strict gun-control regulations of its neighbors, when the reverse should be the case. Neighboring Austria, France, Germany, and Italy, all with stricter gun-control laws, had murder rates during 2000 that were 21 to 112 percent higher than Switzerland's".

Friday, August 13, 2004


In the State of New South Wales

Toy gun a 'prohibited weapon' in Australia: "NSW Police have outlawed a toy pistol that has a similar appearance to a genuine Glock handgun and has bullets than can travel up to 30 metres. Police urged the public to keep the pistol out of circulation, since it could cause serious injury when fired. It could also be mistaken for a real weapon and cause "very serious repercussions" for everyone involved in an incident involving the toy, they said. A number of the toy pistols have been located in shops in the Sydney metropolitan area and on the NSW Central Coast, Deputy Commissioner Dave Madden said today. The toy is capable of firing a number of projectiles and can be reloaded with a separate magazine, he said."

An Australian gun advocate responds:

"Toy Guns should be encouraged, not Banned. Young people should have the opportunity to learn about self-control and Individual Responsibility and what better way than with a toy spring operated "air-safe" gun? There has never been a Death, nor any serious injury when these toy guns are used, in accordance with the instructions; schools in Europe even hold competitions with similar ones. To say that they "have a range of 30 metres" is deceptive, since at that distance the B B pellet would have no force left. At best, they have about as much "sting" as a well hit tennis ball.
No wonder we have so many Deaths and Injuries, when young people get behind the wheel of a high-powered car; for most, driving a car is the first time they have had to be in control of a potentially dangerous piece of machinery. Kids are deprived of learning safe use of a firearm at age 10 or 12, by the overprotective, State Government control freaks.

Is getting rid of toy guns REALLY the highest priority for Police Minister Watkins? Has he ignored the more than 80 armed hold-ups, in Sydney so far this year? (Criminals seem to have no problems getting hold of REAL guns, knives, hammers etc) Is he not aware that rape is at an all-time high?

Watkins's comment about "illegal handguns" and "30,000 weapons handed in" totally ignores the fact that all had been owned legally, by decent Law Abiding Citizens, who had never any intention of committing any crime. Not one handgun handed in was from a criminal.

The statement, "these replicas could be used by Criminals to intimidate innocent people", makes about as much sense as placing a ban on all cameras, because they could be used for Child Pornography! Are Police Minister Watkins and Deputy Madden for real, or are they playing a part in some modern day version of a Gilbert and Sullivan Musical Comedy?

The sad part about this "toy-air-soft" gun ban, is that in this Third World War we are fighting against Terrorism, our enemies teach their Children to shoot, dismantle, clean and re-assemble REAL AK-47s!!! "

Thursday, August 12, 2004

The U.S. semi-automatic ban: "The ban on magazines and firearms -- passed in 1994 -- represents one of the most hated pieces of gun control ever enacted. But with less than two months to go (and Congress being in recess most of that time), the ban is scheduled to sunset on September 13, 2004. Anti-gun Senator Dianne Feinstein, however, is not giving up and is pushing hard to get the semi-auto ban tacked on to some other bill."

"A farmer has been arrested after allegedly shooting an intruder he found on his property. The injured man is now under police guard in hospital. Lucy Kite reports. The shooting happened here at Keys farm in Ockbrook near Derby. Around 6 o'clock this morning. The farmer, a 73 year old man discovered an intruder apparently trying to break in to his garage and called the police. As the burglar fled the farmer fired a shot gun. ... Detectives say the farmer had been burgled on two other occasions in the past three weeks."

Swiss stick to their guns: "Even Switzerland's defence minister Samuel Schmid admitted he was thinking the unthinkable this week when he mooted the end of an age-old tradition that has turned every fit young Swiss man into a combat-ready pillar of the country's defence force. Schmid triggered an outcry on August 2 when he raised the idea of abolishing conscription, which in Switzerland uniquely translates into several weeks service a year with the militia army for each adult male until the age of 30. ... Next month Switzerland's government is due to discuss Schmid's suggestion, which is at one extreme of a range of options the defence ministry is floating for the long-term future."


70-year-old man wrestles down one suspect, shoots at others

"The message was clear, and it was delivered by a feisty 70-year-old man twice in one night last week. That message -- I refused to be victimized. Robert Gillum thwarted a pair of burglary attempts Wednesday in his Douglas Avenue [Chillicother, OH] home, sending the would-be thieves scurrying away without any money."


"Patricia Cantrall, nicknamed the "Annie Oakley of Modoc County," straps her .38 backward on her left hip. "I prefer the cross draw," said the gregarious 65-year-old county supervisor and part-time cafe waitress. Cantrall and about 270 fellow residents of this sparsely populated corner of northeastern California routinely carry concealed handguns. When it comes to packing heat - at least legally - no other county in the state surpasses Modoc. According to state Department of Justice statistics, about one in 29 residents here has a concealed-weapons permit. That compares with one in 800 residents for the rest of the state.

Modoc County issues almost as many permits as Los Angeles County - which has more than 50 times more people. Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca has approved only 377 permits, mostly for judges, prosecutors, public defenders and retired federal agents.

Modoc County Sheriff Bruce Mix says he feels comfortable with the high number of guns because he knows most of the county's 9,400 residents. "I pretty much know who is reliable and who is not," said Mix, 57, the head lawman and coroner here since 1988. Besides, Mix said, he doesn't have enough deputies to adequately patrol the vast reaches of woods, desert and lava fields that cover the county's 3,944 square miles.

Mix said he believes everybody who lives in his county has a constitutional right to self-protection. But bearing arms here appears to have little to do with fear of crime or violent confrontations with humans. Often, said Undersheriff Mark Gentry, people seek to arm themselves before venturing to large California cities. "Someone will come in," said Gentry, "and say, 'I'm going to San Diego, I need a gun.' "....

In the Surprise Valley, across the Warner range from Alturas, John Estill, 45, is a sixth-generation Californian and owner of the sprawling Bare Ranch. The property, which includes thousands of acres of deeded land in California and Nevada and holds grazing permits to more than a million acres in the surrounding hills and desert, is one of the biggest in the state.

"Everybody up here has guns," Estill said. He pointed to a visiting reporter and photographer: "It's just like you have a pen and you have a camera." Estill supplies guns to shepherds he brings in on special immigration visas from Peru to manage his sheep in the high mountain ranges. As he spoke, ranch hand Duane Herbert pulled up in a pickup, wearing a broad, flat-brimmed hat and a .32 magnum on his hip. Herbert said he uses his gun to kill rattlesnakes, coyotes and other creatures he encounters in the mountains......

Records kept by the state attorney general's office indicate that violent crimes occur here at less than one-third the rate in Los Angeles County. According to FBI statistics, there was only one homicide in Modoc County from 1993 through 2002. Sheriff Mix says the county averages about one "questionable death a year, including suicide."

A permit allows a person over 21, not previously convicted of a felony, to carry a concealed, short-barreled, loaded weapon anywhere in the state. In counties with fewer than 200,000 residents, the weapon may be openly displayed.

County Supervisor Cantrall, who serves as postmaster in the ranching community of Likely when she's not working at the Likely Cafe, said she first obtained a concealed-weapons permit 22 years ago for protection when she traveled to San Francisco and Sacramento. She said she also carries it when she rides horses in the mountains because, "I do not care to be dinner for a wonderful mountain lion." So far, she said, she has used her weapon to kill snakes, coyotes and one very aggressive badger.

"People up here were born and raised with firearms," said George Wistos, 70, owner of the Belligerent Duck, a gun and outdoor goods shop in Alturas. "To them it's a tool." Wistos said that lately he's been selling a lot of lightweight handguns to women who jog alone along mountain trails.

More here

Wednesday, August 11, 2004


"Gun owners have been paid almost $94 million in compensation by federal and state governments for surrendering 68,727 handguns and 328,891 firearm parts and accessories in the national buyback scheme. Final figures for the buyback obtained by The Sunday Age reveal Victorians handed in 18,626 handguns - more than any other state. Victorians also surrendered 45,229 gun parts and accessories and were paid a total of $23.18 million. In NSW, 17,735 guns were collected, while 15,777 guns were given up in Queensland.

The buyback and tougher rules for obtaining and keeping handguns came after two students were killed by a licensed gun owner at Monash University in October 2002.

Federal Justice Minister Chris Ellison said the buyback exceeded expectations. "This really does put to rest the critics of this plan, who said it was just a sham," he said. Senator Ellison said he believed the Government had struck the right balance between not penalising genuine sporting shooters while removing from the community the types of guns favoured by criminals. "Criminals like concealable handguns and that's what we targeted in this handgun buyback," he said.

But sporting shooters and the anti-gun lobby said the buyback failed to tackle the problem of criminals with guns and did not substantially reduce gun numbers, because shooters used the cash they received for illegal guns to buy legal ones or to upgrade. The Victorian president of the Sporting Shooters Association, Bob Cooper, said all the guns handed in came from law-abiding sporting shooters. "The actual success of the buyback can't be measured by the number of firearms handed in," he said."

More here


Email from a Melbourne correspondent

"The vast majority of firearms surendered at the 1996 and 2002/03 "Buy-backs" were legally owned by licenced persons, and mostly used for hunting and target shooting on police approved ranges.

As for the benefit of such activity as a method of controlling crime, in the first twelve months following the 1996 buyback, murders involving the use of a firearm increased 200% in Victoria. Such projects are described by criminologists as "crime control by photo opportunity"

I was a "victim" of both buy-backs, losing about a dozen legally owned firearms over those two periods. I also lost the legal authority to participate in a sport that I had legally and harmlessly enjoyed for over twenty years. I have never been charged (or convicted) of any criminal activity, I am a former soldier, who for the past dozen or so years has been employed by the Victorian Department of Justice. My guns were never "on the streets", they never harmed another person, they were at the range, a mate's farm, or safely and securely locked in a police approved cabinet, with amunition stored separately. My guns and I (like thousands of other law-abiding Australians)were the target of these buy-backs.

Gun buy-backs have nothing to do with "crime control"."

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

ANTI-GUN RANT FROM THE Decatur Daily Democrat

"Ever since July 1 -- when yet another gun-lovers' law loosened up Virginia's already lax governance of weapons -- it's been one big macho-fest for heat-packers who get their courage from strapping on pistols. Not every diner may relish the sight of six armed men at the next table, but unless the General Assembly comes to its senses next year, families out for a gathering will have to get used to pistols and ammo belts with their burgers and fries."

Note: "The Decatur Daily Democrat's" home state, Illinois, has a per capita gun death rate more than half again as high as Virginia's -- but of course, that's less important than some diners being upset by the intrusion of reality into their little illusions


An email from a reader

"Britain has some of the toughest gun laws in Western society. They have a total ban on the possession of handguns, a comprehensive registration and permit system for rifles, and lawful gun owners must have a 'genuine reason' to possess firearms. But - once again the facts show that so called "tough" gun laws don't work. They don't work because they are mostly "tough" on responsible and lawful persons. Laws that deal effectively with firearms misuse have two main supports:

(1) They encourage responsible gun owners (who will then co-operate with Police and Government) and

(2) They deal severely with ALL CRIME - and the criminal misuse of firearms - which is a small segment of all crime.

Read this report of the big leap in UK crime revealed in 2003 - and note that the 'reason' for the increase in crime is "new police methods of recording crime where incidents seen by officers are logged even if they have not been reported"

Ha Ha! I guess that means that previously such incidents were 'non crimes'? What about the crimes that are reported but NOT recorded - the Brits seem to be good at that. The Police slang term is apparantly "cuffing"!!"

The idea that the police are rushing to record crime they did not record before does stretch credibility to breaking point. Police HATE paperwork! See here

Monday, August 09, 2004


Iraqi gunmen free four Jordanian hostages : "In an extraordinary assault, gunmen in the city of Fallujah stormed a kidnappers' lair and forced the overmatched militants inside to flee, freeing four Jordanian truck drivers held captive, local officials said Wednesday. The raid, in a city that has long been hostile to the U.S. military and supportive of Saddam Hussein, marked the first time local gunmen had broken foreign hostages out of captivity."


Gun hypocrisy: "While it remains to be seen whether a termination of the 1994 assault-weapons ban in September might yet infuse gun control into the 2004 election season, Democrats have moved so far away from the issue that they 'almost sound like Republicans.' Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) spoke on the need for the ban's extension during the Democratic National Convention, but her call for Congressional action on gun control has become a rarity within a party that once championed the issue. While the Democratic party platform does call for reauthorization of the ban, it also states that the party 'will protect Americans' Second Amendment right to own firearms.' And Democrat after Democrat, including Presidential nominee John Kerry, has used language about 'Second Amendment rights' during their campaigns this season."


Court decision could "allow" guns in courthouses: "If handgun enthusiasts win an appellate court order allowing [sic] guns in courthouses across [Pennsylvania], Westmoreland County commissioners say the consequences could be dire. 'I believe in the right to carry a firearm, but you start crossing borders, particularly when you have people with Children's Bureau cases or divorces. Someone could get drunk and upset and they have a .38. That wouldn't be good,' Commissioner Terry Marolt said. A state law allowing [sic] guns to be barred from courtrooms and their 'environs' has been interpreted to mean entire courthouses in most of Pennsylvania's 67 counties. But a recent county court decision that permits gun owners to carry weapons in rural Jefferson County, and its subsequent appeal, could decide the issue."


Guns for oldsters! "Some arrive at the indoor shooting range in wheelchairs. Others use walkers. A few are missing limbs lost in previous wars. They call themselves the 'Senior Militia,' a group of about 20 gunslingers mostly in their 60s who meet twice weekly to shoot the breeze -- and their guns. They are vigilant about their standing date for target practice because they think that off the range they are the targets. 'Old people tell me they feel like sheep, because they're so helpless,' said John McCormack, 80, unofficial president of the group. McCormack and other members of the group are part of a growing population of Americans older than 65 who are the most likely of all age groups to own guns."

Sunday, August 08, 2004


"Tuesday's primary defeat of anti-gun Missouri Gov. Bob Holden should serve as an object lesson for other politicians who place political correctness ahead of the personal safety of their constituents, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) stated. "Although they tried to downplay it, both the St. Louis Post Dispatch and Kansas City Star acknowledged that Holden's veto of concealed carry legislation cost him critical votes, especially in rural Missouri. The governor and his political advisors should have seen this coming the instant that Missouri lawmakers came back to Jefferson City last year to override his arrogant veto."

CCRKBA Executive Director Joe Waldron added, "It takes examples like Bob Holden to remind anti-gun politicians that they should never underestimate the fury of gun owners, who may not even show as a blip on the political radar until they swoop to the polls. Grassroots activism in the firearms community is alive and well, as Tuesday's primary vote demonstrated."

For more than a year, Missouri gun owners have been waiting for this opportunity, the gun rights leaders noted. It was the first time in state history that an incumbent governor was ousted by a challenger from his own party. "Bob Holden's veto last year got Missouri gun owners mad," Gottlieb observed, "and Tuesday, gun owners got even. The governor's other leadership problems on education, the economy and social issues certainly crippled him, but his anti-gun philosophy was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back."

"You do not take a position that undermines the personal safety of your constituents, leaving them defenseless against criminals," Waldron stated. "Politicians who think they can give lip service to gun rights and personal protection, while voting or vetoing otherwise, should take a lesson from Holden's precedent-setting primary defeat. Gun owners are out there, in the tall grass, and they don't forget."

More here

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Gunmaker survives assault: "An Alameda County [CA] Superior Court jury yesterday found that firearm manufacturer Beretta U.S.A. Corp. was not responsible for the tragic 1994 accidental shooting death of a 14-year-old boy. Kenzo Dix was killed when his friend played with a firearm that was left loaded and unlocked by an irresponsible parent. The jury deliberated only five hours before returning a verdict in favor of Beretta U.S.A. Corp., finding the pistol's design did not cause the accident. This was the third time the case had been tried.The lawsuit was filed in 1995 on behalf of the parents of Dix by lawyers from Handgun Control Inc. (since renamed as Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence)."

'Gun-Free Zones' are usually freely roamed by dopers, carjackers, ganbangers and assorted thugs, all armed to the teeth, plus mass-murderers creepin' around lookin' for masses to murder. They know where the easy prey is. After all, those gun-free signs even have graphics to accommodate illiterate crooks. The only folks unarmed are the law-abiding types.In fact, when you look at the mass shootings occurring in the U.S., over the past several years, just about all of 'em have happened in supposedly gun-free areas. That's just wrong, guys. I think what we need are some 'Gun-Rich Zones.'"

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Hmmm.. I think I need to come to the aid of one of my fellow Australian conservative bloggers. A Leftist blogger by the name of "Darp" (?) attacked Mike Jericho over his enjoyment of guns and such things -- a rather common theme among conservative bloggers (the esteemed Kim Du Toit does rather spring to mind as another example). And Mike was hornswoggled enough to replace some of his martial graphics with a picture of some nice mountain scenery. Leftist attacks on gun usage are of course ho-hum stuff on the political scene (even I get hate-mail for my occasional pro-gun postings) but they also figure in psychology -- with the claim being that people who like guns are "death merchants" etc and are also of course thoroughly deranged. I review and attack one such claim in the psychological literature here. What our trembling Leftists overlook of course is that man evolved as a hunting animal and a liking for hunting and weapons (lacking aggressive teeth and claws, mankind unfortunately needs weapons for hunting) is therefore throroughly NORMAL. Mike is the normal one and he needed to make no apologies for it. And we won't mention the Molotov cocktails, clenched fists etc that feature so often in Far-Leftist iconography. They are pretty death-oriented but have no redeeming connection to hunting. And all the megadeaths of the 20th century were the work of socialists so if "death-merchants" are deranged, it is pretty clear who the deranged ones are.

Gun control at work: The full scale of law and order breakdown in Britain was revealed last night. Gun crime has soared by 35 per cent, .... In the 12 months to March last year there were 9,974 offences involving firearms. Handgun use rose by 45 per cent, said official Government statistics. The figure has doubled since the post-Dunblane ban on such weapons from 2,636 in 1998 to 5,871... But the Government shrugged off the shock figures... The number of males murdered in shootings was up 41 per cent this year.... Paul Hampson of the Association of Chief Police Officers added: "The rise in gun offences concerns us all."... The number of gun crimes recorded in London was 4,192 versus 2,817 in the previous year.

Ban kitchen knives! "A Japanese man confessed to stabbing seven of his relatives to death early Monday with a kitchen knife and setting fire to a family house, a grisly spree rare in a country that takes prides in a low crime rate."

And ban all security guards too: "A knife-wielding security guard at a Beijing kindergarten went on the rampage yesterday, slashing 15 young children and killing one of them -- a four-year-old boy, Chinese state media and medical sources said. Three teachers were also injured when the security guard attacked children and staff at the Beijing University Number One Hospital's kindergarten with a kitchen knife, they said".

21 July, 2004


"WE do rash things when a gun's easily at hand"? So this Australian Greenie says .... Have others got to pay for her lack of self-control?

"New South Wales Premier Bob Carr is being called on to show leadership on gun control and convene a summit to further tighten firearm laws.

A recent triple murder-suicide has prompted the Greens' Lee Rhiannon to say there are too many guns in circulation. She says while most licensed gun holders abide by the strict controls for gun storage, others do not.

"We all know we all lose our temper in the heat of the moment," she said. "We do rash things when a gun's easily at hand on top of the cupboard, in the boot of the car, people grab it and regret using it afterwards."

But the Sporting Shooters Association says it is the state of mental services which are the problem, not guns."

More here

20 July, 2004

An excellent essay in the WSJ about Americans being called "cowboys": "When foreigners see us as cowboys, they are not mistaken. As a people, we still exhibit a high degree of courage, independence, aggressiveness, competence, and spirit. Diplomatic Europeans have responded to tyranny over the latest century mostly with accommodation... Cowboy Americans, on the other hand, have hungered to confront and defeat tyrants, in real life as in legend". The whole essay is an excellent evocation of the American spirit.

18 July, 2004


Or does this dear little soul think that banning guns will prevent suicide? Wouldn't it make more sense to restrict the availablity of knives? -- a knife being the only murder weapon used in this case

Greens MP Lee Rhiannon has called for an overhaul of New South Wales firearms licensing system after yesterday's triple murder-suicide in the Hunter Valley town of Gresford. Michael Richardson, 32, is believed to have stabbed his wife and suffocated his two children, before turning a gun on himself.

Police have confirmed Mr Richardson lost his gun licence last year after a failed suicide attempt but had it reinstated by the firearms authority several months ago.

Ms Rhiannon says it is unacceptable that the licence was renewed. "The New South Wales licensing system needs a big overhaul," she said. "It is extraordinary that a year after he attempted suicide that the police renewed his cancelled licences.

"We're not blaming any individual officer but clearly the current system is inadequate, there is also the issue of the availability of guns that needs to be considered as well."

From Australian ABC

16 July, 2004

Gun realism in India: "Bangalore City's spiralling crime rate has had one major spin-off. Instead of looking up to the guardians of law for security, why not arm oneself? This seems to be the one of the motives behind the gradual but steady rise in the number of gun licences among Bangaloreans. Going by statistics with the police department, there has been a two-fold increase in demand for gun licences during 2003 as compared to previous years. While in 2001, there were 145 applicants for gun licences, the figures have shot up to 399 in 2003. In 2004, as on June 24, there are 141 applicants. This includes the sixty licences that are yet to be issued. According to Deputy Commissioner of Police (Administration) N Shivkumar, people arming themselves is a healthy trend. 'Guns give people confidence. It is not always possible for the police to be there at the spot every time a person is attacked. Self defence is the next best alternative,' he says."

5 July, 2004

One of my readers writes: "Historian William Marina, an anti-Iraq war paleocon has an article that should be of interest even to conservatives who are strong supporters of the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. There are two points of interest. Firstly he points out that the US war of independence was a broadly popular revolt. The Left, for reasons of their own, like to make great play of the myth that the American revolution was supported "by only 1/3rd of the population". This myth is a salve to their elitist agenda. They are forever advocating radical social change without popular grassroots support, hence their modern reliance on bureaucratic and judicial activism, not the ballot box, to engineer their reforms. The American 'revolution' was a broadly popular reassertion by the American colonists of "the rights of Englishmen". The very kind of rights the modern left is most opposed to. Secondly he points out that militia forces are by no means ineffective or obsolete. Indeed the US military is running into considerable difficulty with Iraqi militias of different persuasions. So the argument used by the gun controllers that the need for an armed populace for defence purposes has been made obsolete by modern technology is void. Of course an armed populace alone is insufficient for national defence but it still packs a sting, even against well armed opponents."

3 July, 2004

"The gun-control movement's stock has tanked. Violent crime overall has continued to drop, leaving partisans to fret over the much smaller problem of accidental gun injuries. Most of the holdout states have now passed laws allowing citizens to carry personal-protection firearms -- and civilization as we know it has not ended. The 1994 Clinton ban on semi-automatic rifles is set to expire in September, and even some of its biggest supporters now agree that the law failed to cut crime. Still, gun-control foot soldiers in organized medicine churn out articles for relatively obscure scientific journals. Their message is increasingly devoid of any useful findings; it is mostly an attempt to paint gun owners as sociopaths or Neanderthals."

Crime and gun-control in Australia: "As with Britain, Australia invoked massive gun control following a mass murder, where a mentally ill man used firearms to commit the crime.... As with the UK study, it is important to establish a pre-ban baseline and then compare it to similar research after the ban to determine crime trends.... Here are some key findings about Australian crime trends for the period of 1995 (pre-ban) to 2001 (post-ban): The rate of assault has increased steadily from 563 victims per 100,000 people in 1995 to 779 per 100,000 people in 2001. In 2001 the rate for robbery peaked at 136 per 100,000 people- the highest recorded since 1995. The rate of sexual assault was 86 per 100,000 people, which is higher than any previous year. Here is the comparison in violent crime trends between Australia and the United States for the period of 1995 to 2001... Homicide: AUS down 11%; US down 32%.

Rah for the Pink Pistols! "Initially three, then later, four members of the Central Ohio Pink Pistols, a group promoting the safe handling of firearms in the GLBT community, were threatened by the Executive Director of Stonewall Columbus, who wielded a 2-foot club, and up to 30 volunteer security personnel at the Stonewall Columbus Pride Event on Saturday, June 26. The Pink Pistols were repeatedly ordered to surrender their legally-owned and carried firearms by a steadily-growing army of guards. Knowing the law was on their side, the Pink Pistols refused to surrender their property or knuckle under to illegal threats of violence, search, and seizure by Stonewall Columbus personnel. Police were summoned at Pink Pistols request. No firearms were surrendered or confiscated, and no arrests were made, as no laws were broken."

Indian enterprise: "With a view to provide a cheap and country-made weapon to the common people of the country for their self-defence, he had manufactured the weapon. This fact was revealed after interrogating Mahesh Sav, the person who had sent a pistol and a cartridge to President APJ Abdul Kalam last week in a parcel. Sav was brought to the Capital by a police team. He is likely to be produced before a court. The police said that during the interrogation, it was revealed that Sav has no criminal background. He is a small-time shopkeeper in Mojahidpur village near Patna and the idea to make a pistol struck him all of a sudden. He said he has been working on it for many years. He wanted to make an indigenous, cheap weapon for self-defence of the common people. A senior police official said that he got this idea a few years ago when he saw an advertisement of a country-made pistol in a newspaper."

10th anniversary of concealed weapons in Arizona: "Major civil-rights legislation reaches its tenth anniversary one month from today, and prospects for a vigorous future seem strong, according to industry experts. 'None of the hoplophobic (weapon-fearing) horror stories released ten years ago turned out to be true,' said Alan Korwin, author of The Arizona Gun Owner's Guide. 'Widespread reports about impending shootouts in traffic or in restaurants can now be seen, in 20/20 hindsight, as virtually delusional ...'"

24 June, 2004


Simple logic too much for Leftists: "The framers of the constitution understood the necessity of American citizens to keep and bear arms. Unfortunately, our society has been infected by so many of those on the left, that many of us now believe that we should give up that right ... Thus leaving ourselves, our homes, and even our loved-ones at the mercy of the criminals. You see, gun laws only affect the law-abiding. We constantly hear about the importance of background checks being implemented by gun store owners. Criminals do not now, nor have they ever purchased their weapons in legitimate gun shops. It is cost prohibitive (Why would they pay several hundreds of dollars for a gun, when they can buy one on the street for a fraction of the price?), and it leaves a paper trail. However, those on the left choose to ignore this fact. Background checks and waiting periods do nothing, except put barriers between American citizens and their ability to defend themselves."

The "crazies" excuse for gun control: "In the words of an old billboard I once saw, 10 out of 10 criminals prefer their victims disarmed. Disarming crazy people does not make them less crazy or less criminal. It just leaves law-abiding people defenseless. Evil abhors a vacuum. When you disarm innocent people, bad things happen."

What gun controllers don't want you to know: "I used to support gun control, meaning civilian disarmament. There was no reason, the rationale went, for a private citizen to own a gun. The only ones who wanted guns had small genitalia, were paranoid crazies, and criminals. All this was assumed, without any empirical or statistical research to base it upon. Due to the influence of one of my clients who is a person of great honor, I began to research the issue of gun control on my own. Having been a college boy who loved library research, I knew how to ferret out fact from fiction. It was interesting to find that the claims of the NRA, John Lott, et al., were easy to verify from neutral or even slightly pro-gun control sources. More ominously, I found that the gun control groups consistently lied or twisted minor factoids taken out of context in their articles. This begged the question: if they are lying to advance their agenda, can we really trust the utopian outcome they promote as true?"

An ex-cop on preventing rape: "While the prevalence of rape is greatly exaggerated by radical feminists, it happens. What can a woman do to avoid it? ... A fair number of women of my acquaintance in Virginia have quietly come to the same conclusion: The most workable approach is to get a concealed-carry permit and a small revolver. The idea is shocking to the highly liberal. It is, however, remarkably effective. Being shot a half-dozen times usually causes the assailant to reconsider his priorities. Except through a miracle, a woman isn't going to fight off a determined attacker, but a woman can pull a trigger as well as a man can.... When I took the carry course, some of the instructors were women."


20 June, 2004

"Gun control has not worked in Canada. Since the new gun registration program started in 1998, the U.S. homicide rate has fallen, but the Canadian rate has increased. The net cost of Canada's gun registry has surged beyond $1-billion -- more than 500 times the amount originally estimated. Despite this, the Canadian government recently admitted it could not identify a single violent crime that had been solved through registration. Public confidence in the government's ability to fight crime has also eroded, with one recent survey showing only 17% of voters support the registration program."

14 June, 2004

Good to see that one of the parents of students killed in the Columbine massacre did not turn into an anti-gun nut: Read his comments here. He blames the anti-Christian elite for the tragedy instead. I myself think that nobody can conclude anything from what two mental-cases did.


Students for Academic Freedom has a win at University of Nevada: "A conservative student at the University of Nevada in Reno has successfully contested a discriminatory grade he received for supporting the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

In her advanced Organizational Behavior class, Professor Linda Barrenchea had asked students to argue the gun control issue using the utilitarian approach to moral reasoning. Jeremy Rosenstengel and several classmates took a pro-Second Amendment approach to the assignment and argued against gun control, and because of that, received lower grades than classmates who argued for gun control. The former University of Nevada student, who now has his bachelor's degree, contends that the professor allowed her personal opinions on the gun control issue to enter into her evaluation of students' tests. 'After going through my education,' he says, 'I really found that, in a lot of classes, if you don't kowtow to what the teacher believes -- not even what they're teaching, but what they believe -- your grades will suffer, not just on paper but through in-class intimidation.

After Rosenstengel confronted Barrenchea with further evidence to support his position, she reluctantly raised his test grade from a score of 70 percent to a 100 percent. However, the instructor would not apologize and still questions the validity of the pro-Second Amendment argument'"

8 June, 2004

Reality creates another conservative: "The afternoon of the day I was attacked, I drove into the nearest town and bought a gun. In the report I had already filed with the police, I described the stranger who broke into the house while I was taking a shower. 'Go away,' I screamed. He told me to shut up. After a kicking, howling struggle, which took us from the bedroom to the living room, he ran off. He was gone, but I felt panicky and powerless. I had seen into the heart of reality and been permanently changed. What kind of fool would be nonviolent in a violent world? I laughed at my old liberalism, my empty prating about the evils of violence and the value of human life. The man who attacked me didn't have those scruples, and I had lost mine in a heartbeat. If I hadn't fought back violently, I believe I would have been raped, and I might have been killed."

27 May, 2004


A reader who takes more of an interest in guns than I do has emailed me as follows:

"The Australian compulsory gun "buyback": See the red line in slide 17 of this Australian Institute of Criminology report (PDF). (Background to the report here). Note that the "gun buyback" happened in 1997 but the national homicide rate showed not a twitch in response.

A more international flavoured report is here (PDF) which describes Australia's gun-buyback scheme and associated bans as a "failed experiment". The article concludes: "In all cases, disarming the public has been ineffective, expensive and often counterproductive". Also of note is this summary of the Australian statistics -- showing that "The number of (firearm) offences has increased even when 642,000 guns were destroyed".

It is not necessary to agree with Lott's contrarian "more guns equals less crime" hypothesis to support the long established right to own firearms -- as this summary of British history shows. This Austrian paper (PDF), for example, accepts as a starting position the idea that reduced gun availability would reduce crime, but then argues that the cost of enforcement and the extent of evasion undermines the practicality of the whole scheme. The real value of Lott is that his work dramatically shows that the much more widely believed "less guns equals less crime" hypothesis is based on not much more than wishful thinking. Sometimes science requires stirrers to shift the dead weight of unthinking complacency. The relationship between guns and crime is probably complex, changeable, highly dependent on other factors, highly variable between societies and even generations within the same society, and not easily subject to any simplistic "one size fits all" rules.

Unfortunately legislators and antigun zealots think we belong to a deterministic world where humans behave as predictably as Skinner-box pigeons. As humans are not pigeons, their ham-fisted legislation almost always fails, usually producing unintended consequences that the hapless social engineers never imagined. In general the great cost of establishing and enforcing these systems is money that would be better spent on more direct crime prevention and law enforcement measures. Something many police forces have actually pointed out: "The New Zealand government discontinued firearms registration in 1984 after the New Zealand police recommended it's termination. The Canadian Police Association was at the brink ofwithdrawing it's support of the firearms registration because of it's serious shortcomings. At the height of the Austrian gun debate some two years ago leading police officials stated that a then called-for prohibition of handguns would not only be senseless and a waste of time and money, but that itwould be outright dangerous because of it's impact on the black arms market." (Source again here [PDF])

This Canadian site calls gun control advocates. Hoplophobics. It's great to see the old leftist debating device of psychologising every competitive opinion (eg xenophobia, homophobia etc) used against them!"


26 May, 2004


Tim Lambert is a computer maven at the University of N.S.W. -- where I spent most of my teaching career many long years ago. He seems to have an obsession with catching out John Lott Jr. on gun-usage statistics and he has an occasional blog which seems to be mostly devoted to that. He does also however takes some interest in other scientific issues such as climate change. He has sent me copies of several of his past posts that I have not linked to because I thought that they were too intemperate. Not much light is generated by arguing with an angry man, in my view, and I think all conservative bloggers have to get used to ignoring rage-filled emails from Leftists. Leftists are very good at rage. It seems to be their principal emotion. I did nonetheless address on this blog what substance I could see in Lambert's various posts. Being a terrible tease from way back, however, I deliberately posted here recently another quotation from Lott. I wanted to see what heights of wrath Lambert might rise to this time. Sure enough, another email from Lambert popped into my inbox shortly thereafter. He seems to be learning, however, as his comment this time is principally factual. So, although I am no expert at all on the matter, I thought I might make a few comments on some of the points Lambert raises -- in case John Lott Jr. does not see fit to do so (I could say more about Lambert's whole post but I think that would be too tedious).

Lambert accuses Lott of selective use of statistics but almost any use of statistics has to be selective so the only interesting question is whether alternative selections of statistics show substantially different results. Lambert presents statistics to show that Australia's 1996 gun-control laws have been beneficial. He disputes Lott's claim that serious crime has risen since then. What Lambert's alternative statistics show to me, however, is more a pattern of no change than anything else. Deaths by firearm are surely the biggest issue but Lambert's table shows that the average rate of murder with a firearm before the bans was 0.37 compared with .30 after the bans -- with the figures in most individual years being .20 plus or .30 plus. Given statistical error and the range of influences which could have affected the averages concerned, the bans would seem to have achieved nothing significant -- a very poor result considering the vast expense in money and the significant loss of liberties associated with the bans. I note too that even the slight difference in averages observed seems to have been largely the result of a single very anomalous year in 1997 -- making the averages used a poor guide to any underlying trend. I think that for trend calculating purposes it would in fact be most appropriate to exclude both 1996 and 1997 -- and when one does that the "before and after" difference becomes very small indeed: .31 versus .28. The differences for other gun crimes also seem to be too small to assert a real underlying difference. And even Lambert admits a lack of a clear pattern when he notes that the "assault-with-firearm rate has increased". So Lott's statistical selection shows ill effects from the firearm ban and Lambert's selection shows no clear effect. It seems to me therefore that NEITHER set of statistics support the ban.

24 May, 2004

John Lott Jr.: "Crime did not fall in England after handguns were banned in January 1997. Quite the contrary, crime rose sharply.... Before the law, armed robberies had fallen by 50 percent from 1993 to 1997, but as soon as handguns were banned, the robbery rate shot back up, almost back to their 1993 levels. Australia has also seen its violent crime rates soar after its Port Arthur gun control measures in late 1996. Violent crime rates averaged 32 per cent higher in the six years after the law was passed (from 1997 to 2002) than they did the year before the law in 1996. The same comparisons for armed robbery rates showed increases of 45 percent."

13 May, 2004

A million ... er, 2,000 march against guns: "About 2,000 people celebrated Mother's Day yesterday by attending a Million Mom March rally at the Capitol to demonstrate support for extending the nation's ban on assault weapons." Interested Participant uses the occasion to comment on the way the media usually accept Leftist overestimates of numbers.

3 May, 2004

On Saturday I linked without comment to an article about gun control that referred to work by John Lott. John Lott has of course been much criticized by Leftists because he could not produce the original data behind one of the surveys he quoted --- a fact originally brought to light by a libertarian blogger. Lott says he lost the data in a computer disk crash. As I have myself lost stuff that way despite being generally very careful about backups, I sympathize with such problems. Conservatives are divided over Lott's claim but I note that The person who knew Lott's work best at that time has testified in Lott's favour and that even the Leftist Mother Jones says that the particular survey concerned "isn't central to the argument".

There is a recent scholarly paper by G.A. Mauser here (PDF) surveying the results of gun control in Britain, Canada and Australia which describes Australia's gun-buyback scheme and associated bans as a "failed experiment". The article concludes: "In all cases, disarming the public has been ineffective, expensive and often counterproductive".

2 May, 2004


Hurting kids is no problem for Left-leaning teachers. Such "compassion"!

Amanda Conroy, an 18-year-old senior at Barron Collier High School in Naples, Fla., drove her mother's car to school Tuesday, and it ruined the rest of her high school career:

Police conducted a random search of students' cars and, after a trained drug dog alerted investigators, Amanda was asked to open up her mother's Durango.
The teen had forgotten about her mom's stun gun.
Amanda described the day as progressing in a kind of surreal fashion, as school administrators explained the zero-tolerance policy for any weapons found on campus.
Bob Conroy said his daughter's punishment increased throughout the day as he talked to an assistant principal, the principal and then an assistant superintendent: from a five-day suspension with no prom, to a 10-day suspension with no graduation ceremony, to expelled from school and no diploma.

1 May, 2004


Guns save lives: "How strange it must be to be a liberal. Driven by slogans, blinded by superstitions, dazzled by fantasies, the liberal stumbles through life oblivious to facts. There is almost nothing the liberal thinks he knows about race, social policy, sex roles, individual differences, and even history that is not some combination of slogan, superstition, and fantasy. John Lott's soberly brilliant More Guns, Less Crime could not possibly be a more convincing demonstration that what liberals think they know about guns is fantasy, too. The liberal view, of course, is that private citizens should not have guns and that gun control will stop violence. Prof. Lott, who teaches law and economics at the University of Chicago, makes an air-tight case for the opposite view"

Shoot attacking cougars or wave at them?: "California game wardens now visit elementary schools, advising children to stand still, wave their arms and shout when they encounter one of these deadly predators. It's good advice as far as it goes -- the animal is far more likely to take a small human for prey if it tries to run away. But shouldn't the kids yell something else, first? Something like, 'Daddy, shoot the cat?' For most absurdly of all, the pathetic bedwetters who have taken over the state of California have made it almost entirely illegal to carry a firearm for self-defense in precisely the places citizens are most likely to have this kind of unpleasant encounter -- the state's parks and recreation areas."

And in Alaska, the do-gooders fight bears with pepper spray. How dangerous can the antigun mania get?

Peter Hitchens has a good article on the gun-control lunacy in Britain.


1 April, 2004

"Convicted felons say that they are more deterred by armed victims than by the police. In the United States, where roughly 50 percent of households are armed, only 13 percent of burglaries occur with residents at home. In contrast, in Britain, where homeowners are disarmed, 50 percent of home burglaries take place with the residents present"

27 March, 2004


"Study after study shows that increasing gun control laws leads to an increase in crime rather than a decline. ... a successful defense against a criminal has a ripple effect amongst society. Criminals get to understand that crime isn't as easy and profitable as it might have once been, more criminals are on hiatus -- in the jail or morgue, and finally, people feel safer. People feel safer, people feel more empowered to take responsibility for their own lives, become more independent. Society loses criminals and gains productive workers without having to afford the enormous costs of huge prison complexes. The government has no excuse to increase control over its subjects."

What makes these morons think that their laws are going to do the slightest bit of good? "High-powered rifles are the target of a new ordinance that will be introduced by the Contra Costa County [CA] Board of Supervisors at their meeting Tuesday. The proposed law would prohibit the sale of .50-caliber rifles in the unincorporated areas of the county. Supervisors John Gioia of Richmond and Gayle Uilkema of Lafayette, who are recommending the ordinance, say the ban is intended as a public safety measure. Telecommunications towers, industrial plants such as oil refineries, and railroad cars could all be vulnerable to serious damage from the high-powered rifles, said Uilkema."

John Lott on gun control in Australia: "For much of the past century Australia had lower crime rates than the US or the UK. Violent crime rates have gone up dramatically in Australia since the 1996 Port Arthur gun control measures. And violent crime rates averaged 20 per cent higher in the six years after the law was passed (from 1997 to 2002) than they did in 1996, 32 per cent higher than the violent crime rates in 1995. The same comparisons for armed robbery rates showed increases of 67 per cent and 74 per cent, respectively"

Borowitz has a good satire on the claim that guns kill people.


"A man who stabbed to death an armed intruder at his home was jailed for eight years today.

Carl Lindsay, 25, answered a knock at his door in Salford, Greater Manchester, to find four men armed with a gun. When the gang tried to rob him he grabbed a samurai sword and stabbed one of them, 37-year-old Stephen Swindells, four times. Mr Swindells, of Salford, was later found collapsed in an alley and died in hospital.

Lindsay, of Walkden, was found guilty of manslaughter following a three-week trial at Manchester Crown Court."

More here

20 March, 2004

Attempts to regulate gun shows to 'reduce crime' are just baloney: "It comes as no surprise that a "study" praising the alleged benefits of Colorado's Amendment 22 -- the law that requires Brady registrations for private sales at gun shows -- has been released just as some U.S. Senators are contemplating a national law in the same vein. Never mind the Bill of Rights.... The "study" is manifestly pseudo-scientific nonsense.. "The report does not identify how many of the guns that were later used in crimes had been sold at gun shows."

10 March, 2004

David Friedman has a great description on how debates about the deterrent effect of capital punishment or the relation of guns to crime are handled in the media. He says these debates go through three phases: Amateur statisticians comment, Professional statisticians comment and Amateurs abuse the professionals for their inconvenient conclusions.

28 February, 2004


These PC wackos just love punishing kids. Only the pressure of publicity caused them eventually to back down.

A third-grader at Sun Valley Elementary was suspended this week for bringing a G.I. Joe toy handgun to school. Austin Crittenden, 9, and his family say the school in eastern Birmingham went too far by sending him home for bringing a tiny plastic handgun that accompanied a G.I. Joe action figure. "It's about an inch long," said Vicki Stewart, the boy's grandmother and guardian. "(The principal) had to tape it to a piece of paper to keep from losing it."
The length of the suspension has yet to be determined, said Birmingham City Schools spokeswoman Michaelle Chapman. Possible punishments for a Class III violation such as this one include expulsion and alternative school, she said.
There have been questions recently about whether strict adherence to such codes has gone too far, especially after a Clay-Chalkville teen was sent to an alternative school for violating the school's zero-tolerance policy after being caught taking a Motrin. Last April, two boys at Oak Mountain Middle School received one-day suspensions for playing with toy guns one had brought for a project on Treasure Island. A 10-year-old was arrested in October at an Alabaster school, accused of threatening someone with a toy gun.
It's not just Alabama: Last month, an 8-year-old was suspended from a Spokane, Wash., public school for taking two similar G.I. Joe guns to school.
In cases like this, it's up to the community to let schools know how they feel about the policies, said William Modzeleski, associate deputy undersecretary of the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools. But it's the schools' responsibility to use common sense enforcing them, he said. "The punishment has to fit the crime," he said. "On some zero-tolerance policies, the punishment far outweighs the crime."
More here

22 February, 2004

Australia's beloved "Middle-Easteners" again: "Up to seven shots were fired into a car yesterday morning during a dramatic road-rage incident in Sydney's southern suburbs. Several shots were fired, with three bullets lodging in the driver's side of the Honda. Police described the shooter as a male of Middle Eastern appearance". Great that Australia's strict gun-control laws keep guns out of their hands!

16 February, 2004


Pioneer Americans were mostly good guys who worked hard for their living

The "Wild West" was not the violent place Hollywood and gun control advocates imagine: "Excluding the Indian wars of the mid to late 19th century which were lopsided affairs conducted by the United States government, we find that the allegedly inherent violence of the West was not noticeably any greater than that of points east."

1 February, 2004


Results don't matter to anti-gun nuts: "For nearly 30 years, the D.C. government has conducted a public policy experiment based on the theory that if you deprive citizens of their constitutional right to keep and bear arms, you'll reduce crime. Two weeks ago, federal district court judge Reggie Walton, a George W. Bush appointee, ruled that that experiment should continue. In his decision in Seegars v. Ashcroft, et al., Judge Walton rejected a Second Amendment challenge to the District's comprehensive gun ban. Of course, Judge Walton is under no illusions that depriving citizens of their right to keep and bear arms actually results in a safer city. Nor, interestingly enough, is the D.C. government attorney defending the ban in Seegars."

26 January, 2004

A fat lot of good Australia's gun bans do: "Five people are in hospital with gunshot wounds after two shooting incidents in Sydney overnight, including one where shots were fired at people queuing to enter a nightclub."

22 January, 2004

The Davis (Calif.) Enterprise reports that Howard Liston, an 18-year-old student at Davis High School, was arrested last week "for possession of a firearm at school." The 12-gauge shotgun was in the cab of the young man's pickup truck:

Steven Sabbadini, a lawyer representing Liston, said the teenager had bought the shotgun for his 18th birthday. A member of a local shooting range, Liston has taken hunter safety classes and has hunted and engaged in target practice with family and friends for years, Sabbadini said. "On Wednesday, (Liston) completed his classes at noon, went home to change with the intent of taking his new shotgun to the range for target practice before going to work," Sabbadini said today. "He decided to have lunch with friends. After lunch, he dropped his friends off at the Davis High School parking lot. "He was only in the parking lot momentarily on the way to target practice," the attorney added. "His shotgun was in his gun rack, unloaded and being transported lawfully. The shells to the shotgun were locked in a utility box in the bed of his truck."

The next day, he absentmindedly left the gun in the truck. Though the firearm was unloaded and the truck was locked, the school called the cops, and Liston now faces expulsion and possibly a fine or imprisonment for violating the Golden State's kooky antigun laws.

See "Opinion Journal"

15 January, 2004


The billion dollar bungle of the Canadian gun registry is now well-known but it seems that Australia is having similar problems. See how you can rely on bureaucracy to keep you safe?

This article shows that it is only by playing fast and loose with the statistics that gun-control advocates can claim that Australia's recent restrictive laws have reduced the overall death-rate

14 January, 2004


As in Britain, guns are exceedingly incorrect in Australia and there is a comprehensive article on the dishonesty of the Australian gun-control "industry" here

But here is the other side of the story:

Gun reality: "I don't have laser alarms, or window locks, or, indeed, a front-door key. Like most of my neighbours, I leave my home unlocked and, when I park the car, I leave the key in the ignition because then you always know where to find it. I'm able to do this because ... I live in a state with very high rates of gun ownership. In other words, if you're some teen punk and you want to steal my $70 television set, they're likely to be picking bits of your skull out of my wainscoting. But the beauty of this system is that I'm highly unlikely ever to have to blow your head off. The fact that most homeowners are believed to be armed reduces crime, in my neighbourhood, to statistically insignificant levels. Hence, my laconic approach to home security."

"Second Amendment supporters say strict gun control has made Chicago the most murderous city in the nation for the year just ended".

12 January, 2004

Unbelievable. Airline pilots still not armed: "They fly by the Capitol, but the bureaucrats won't trust pilots with guns.... "