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."

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