Thursday, September 30, 2004

Criminals usually don't get guns legally: "Guns that are purchased and carried legally are not usually involved in crimes, law enforcement officials say. "A lot of the criminal element doesn't go to your local gun store and get a gun, nor do they come to the Sheriff's Department and get a gun permit," said Tulare County sheriff's Lt. Keith Douglas. "A large amount of weapons that are used in crimes, the people that have them don't have permits." Xavier Garcia, manager of Best Jewelry and Loan in Visalia, said the process for getting a gun, including the waiting period, helps prevent criminals from buying guns.'"

The dangers of democracy: "In order to understand why the right to keep and bear arms is crucial to a free society, it is first essential to realize that true freedom cannot coexist with coercion -- even if said coercion is perpetuated by a majority rule -- democracy. By its very nature, democracy is mob rule -- the many imposing their will on the few. And by its very nature, democracy is inconsistent with freedom. In a democracy your rights can be trampled by a simple majority vote -- without regard for objective, moral principles of right and wrong. And as Ilana astutely explains in her razor-sharp condemnation of Tony Blair's Britain, 'A right that can't be defended ... is a right that exists only in name.'"

A "successful" anti-gun policy: "In his 25 years of picking up fares, Roger McKinnon has been shot at, kidnapped and burned on the hand with a cigarette. During that time, six cabdrivers he knew of were killed; two of them were his friends. One was shot in the back; one, in the head. ... Yellow Cab's 350-car fleet is equipped with GPS tracking, two-way radios, on-board computers and panic switches installed in secret locations. ... But none of the cabs has a partition, and neither company allows drivers to carry guns."

Gun control never works: "Gun control never works because the logic behind it is completely flawed. Criminals do not purchase their weapons through legitimate gun retailers. They buy them on the street, where they are cheap and cannot be traced. Or they simply steal them. Putting gun control laws in place, only help to separate decent people from their constitutional right to own a gun. Thus, giving the upper hand to the violent criminals."

Wednesday, September 29, 2004


"Senator John Kerry has recently attacked President Bush for allowing a ban on military styled firearms to expire thereby confirming the Democrat candidate's true beliefs regarding the right to keep and bear arms.... Throughout his campaign, Kerry has sought to project an image of himself (just like the home movies of his Vietnam exploits) as an outdoorsman and sportsman. Hence we have all been treated to photos of him waving guns around and dressed in hunters garb. Contrary to NRA recommended safety practices, Kerry often appears not wearing the necessary ear and eye protection even while firing or ejecting spent cartridges. Experienced hunters were no doubt amused when Kerry was asked what kind of game he preferred. He responded, "I'd have to say deer. I go out with my trusty 12-gauge double-barrel, crawl around on my stomach." Seems like more Vietnam fantasizing to me. Apparently, Kerry's knowledge of shooting and hunting is as limited as his understanding of this ban, which is dangerous in both cases. Was he too busy downhill skiing or windsurfing or biking to study the history of this legislation to know of its profound influence in elections over the last decade?

John Kerry charges that President Bush "misled" the country on the war in Iraqi, but it is indisputable that Kerry is misleading the people on the question of assault rifles. Kerry exclaimed, "And so for the first time in ten years, when a killer walks into a gun shop, when a terrorist goes to a gun show somewhere in America, when they want to purchase an AK-47 or some other military assault weapon, they are going to hear one word: Sure." This is patently false. True assault weapons that have full automatic fire such as the AK-47 and the Israeli Uzi were banned from importation in 1989. Machine guns of any type have been illegal since 1934 and gun stores do background checks.

Kerry said allowing the ban to expire would only increase the threat from terrorists. He said such laws were "not just to fight ordinary crime but to take on terrorists." Such "thinking" ignores the obvious fact that terrorist are not likely to obey such laws. Why would a terrorist use an inferior weapon when they have access to fully automated true assault weapons? Kerry also said, "George Bush chose to make the job of terrorists easier, and the job of police officers harder." Not true. Banning such firearms only removes another tool from law-abiding citizens with which they can defend their homes. Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America refers to this type of gun as the "homeland security rifle."

In September in St. Louis, Kerry claimed, "I support the Second Amendment. I have been a hunter all my life." Earlier he has said, "I believe that the Constitution, our laws and our customs protect law-abiding American citizen's right to own firearms." So he says. But his voting record and endorsements clearly state just the opposite. During his time in the senate, he has cast 59 votes on 2nd Amendment matters nearly all of which were against the fundamental right of individuals to own firearms. He has received an "F" rating from the NRA and 0% rating from the Gun Owners of America. Conversely, the Brady Campaign (formally Handgun Control, Inc.) has given him a 100 percent rating as did the American Bar Association's Special Committee on Gun Violence and the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. He has even gotten 100 percent approval from the Humane Society of the United States and Fund for Animals.

In addition, Kerry has co-sponsored S.1431 that would empower a U.S. Attorney General to prohibit any semi-automatic rifle or shotgun based on military or federal law enforcement agency design. Kerry was given a Remington 11-87 shotgun by the United Mine Workers in Racine, W. Virginia that could very well be restricted by the new law. Kerry has also mentioned that he has in his possession a Chinese AK-47 assault rifle that he brought home as a "reminder of his service" in Vietnam. Would it be impolite to ask the elitist John Kerry why he should have his own arsenal of assault weapons but will not allow others to do the same? This is just one more example of why you can't believe anything the Senator says.

Targeting President Bush for not pushing for renewal of the weapons ban will likely backfire on John Kerry.... Why would Senator Kerry risk political fallout by flogging this dead horse of useless mostly symbolic legislation? Is he so dim to see there is no political capital to be gained out of this? How does he expect to make points in the huge hunting states of Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania when such laws could be extended to include the ever-popular semi-automatic shotgun? Some 47 percent of households and 54 percent of union households own guns. Contrary to appearances, Kerry does possess a set of convictions. He just can't share them openly. If Kerry has ever been consistent on anything it has been his opposition to the right of Americans to defend themselves. When asked to explain Kerry's commitment to the ban despite the political risks, advisor Joe Lockhart said, "'s a matter of principle."

John Kerry claims to be a champion of the Constitution, yet he has shown nothing but distain for the 2nd Amendment. His remark was, "I have never ever thought about going hunting with an AK-47 or an Uzi or anything else." This statement alone is sufficient to display Kerry's complete ignorance of the purpose for the Amendment. The Founding Fathers did not institute the right "to bear arms" to protect hunting, but to protect all the other freedoms outlined in the Bill of Rights. Justice Joseph Story regarded the amendment as "the palladium of the liberties of the Republic'. It's a shame that a Senator from Massachusetts, home of the Revolutionary Minutemen, would be so opposed to the very right that gave birth to freedom on this continent".

More here


"The so-called assault weapon (SAW) controversy is one that lends itself to plain reasoning. Just off the cuff, how many instances of gun crime nationwide and especially locally can you think of that involved sustained Hollywood-style gunfights between police and criminals? The typical exchange of gunfire is usually just a few rounds. One New York City study showed an average of 3.8 rounds fired by the police per incident. So much for the hazard of police being "outgunned."

As gun researcher Gary Kleck points out, nearly all studies of firearm-caused police fatalities put those killed by SAWs anywhere from zero to five percent of the total. In other words, officers killed by SAW-wielding criminals are an extreme rarity.

Do the high-capacity magazine weapons pose a greater danger to police than other firearms? Common sense indicates that a criminal with a 10-round firearm is virtually as dangerous as one with, say, a 20-round magazine. FBI data bear this out: 85 percent of all victim officers killed by firearms never fire a single shot, let alone get outgunned by a criminal with more ammunition.

Small wonder that Tom Diaz of the anti-gun "Violence Policy Center" said: "If the existing assault-weapons ban expires, I personally do not believe it will make one whit of difference one way or another in terms of our objective, which is reducing death and injury and getting a particularly lethal class of firearms off the streets. " Because, he explains, Washington, D.C. is surrounded by localities with softer gun laws. He seems to have forgotten that the assault weapons ban was nationwide while acknowledging it didn't help public safety.

Kleck points out that SAWs are not the choice of gangs or drug dealers. Looking at studies from 1989 to 1994 that dealt with firearms that President George H.W. Bush outlawed from importation, Kleck discovered that the banned weapons made up only 1® to 3 percent of the firearms confiscated from gangs and drug dealers. "Thus, assault weapons are virtually never used by drug dealers or juvenile gang members, just as is true of criminals in general." Too bad. The assault weapon boogeyman is yet another beautiful liberal theory mugged by a gang of facts.

More here:

Tuesday, September 28, 2004


Rollback in D.C. could be influential

WASHINGTON--When I moved here as a student in the early 1980s, I was appalled to learn that the city had passed an almost complete ban on the ownership of firearms, leaving me with no real means to defend my home or property. On Wednesday, the House will vote on a bill to restore to the residents of the District of Columbia the right to defend themselves.

The citywide gun ban is one of the country's strictest, requiring even the few rifles and shotguns that are allowed be disassembled, unloaded and locked up.... Preventing law-abiding people from owning guns in their homes (there is no talk of allowing residents the right to carry concealed handguns) has done nothing to reduce crime, which has skyrocketed in part due to police mismanagement and corruption. In the five years after the ban took effect in 1976, the murder rate rose to 35 per 100,000 people from 27. In fact, in the three decades since the ban took effect, the annual murder rate has only once fallen below what it was in 1976. In 2002 the murder rate hit 46 per 100,000 people. Robbery rates have also risen dramatically.

Washington residents tell me that the police response times to reports of crime are atrocious, and inner-city residents and the elderly are more vulnerable because the bad guys know they will likely be unarmed. Little wonder that last year six local citizens filed a civil suit in federal court seeking to overturn the gun ban..... District officials did reluctantly legalize pepper spray a decade ago, but they have turned a deaf ear to those who point out that district residents in high-crime areas are helpless until the police are able to respond to a call. That's why Rep. Mark Souder, an Indiana Republican, has introduced a bill that would restore the right of law-abiding, mentally competent citizens to own rifles, shotguns and handguns in the district.

Mr. Souder has assembled a diverse group of co-sponsors, including 41 House Democrats. Among supporters of ending the gun ban are Rep. Ciro Rodriguez of Texas, chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and Rep. Sanford Bishop of Georgia, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus. Another supporter is Carol Moseley Braun, the famously liberal ex-senator from Illinois, who told district residents during her presidential campaign that she supported ending the gun ban because she believes the Constitution guarantees the right to own guns.

Once Mr. Souder's bill has passed the House it will be sent to the Senate; between 48 and 51 Senators either favor it or are leaning in favor of it. No doubt this is one bill liberal senators will filibuster, so it won't become law this year.

The debate over the district's draconian gun ban should provide valuable lessons for other cities that have foolishly tried to fight crime by disarming their citizens. Chicago's gun ban, passed in 1982, has done nothing to curb that city's murder rate even though its police force is well-trained and well-equipped and has a good relationship with neighborhood leaders. Chicago's murder rate was 5.5 times as high as that of five surrounding counties in 1982, when gun control passed. During the next five years the murder rate soared to 12 times as great as in the neighboring counties.

Gun control is bad for public safety, in large part because criminals ignore gun bans that honest people feel compelled to follow. Bob Levy, a scholar at the Cato Institute in Washington, says lifting the Washington gun ban is a moral issue. "Right now, if someone breaks into a poor person's home here, their only choice is to call 911 and pray the police arrive in time," he says. "That's not good enough, and let's hope members of Congress grant the right to bear arms to people who can't afford to live in the safe neighborhoods they go home to at night".

More here


Opponents of bear hunting in Maryland said they plan to file a lawsuit today aimed at stopping the state's first bear season in 51 years, which is scheduled to begin late next month. The hunting opponents said yesterday that their suit will allege that the state Department of Natural Resources did not do enough research on the black bear population.... They should essentially have to do their homework before rushing to judgment and deciding that bears have to be killed for trophies," said Michael Markarian, president of the Silver Spring-based Fund for Animals. The suit names as plaintiffs the fund, the Humane Society of the United States and three Maryland residents, he said.

Heather Lynch, a spokeswoman for the department, said yesterday that the agency would not comment. In the past, state scientists have defended their estimates of the bear population and said a hunt is the best way to control a bear population that threatens to spread into more populated counties in the state's eastern half.....

The state banned bear hunting in the 1950s when only about a dozen bears were counted. But the animals have come back in Maryland and across the East Coast, helped by limited hunting and forest re-growth. State biologists, reacting to an increase in complaints about bears raiding cornfields and trash cans, this spring proposed a new hunting season.

More here.

Monday, September 27, 2004


"John Wayne Kerry has unveiled his new counter-terrorism initiative. Naturally, it's a panacea liberals have been pushing for the past 40 years: gun control. Kerry claims George W. Bush is soft on al-Qaeda, et al., because the president didn't twist congressional arms to get an extension of the so-called assault weapons ban, which expired on Monday. 'Today George Bush chose to make the job of terrorists easier and to make the job of America's police officers harder,' Kerry squawked...

Try to imagine the following scenario: Abu Jihad al-Slay-the-Infidels saunters into a gun shop and asks to buy a military-style assault weapon - say one with a menacing pistol grip or a magazine that holds more than 10 rounds. (Are these weapons of choice of holy warriors the world over?) Now, thanks to Bush's alleged caving to the gun lobby, he can get one by snapping his fingers. But prior to September 14th, when blocked from legally purchasing a TEC-9 by the ban, he presumably muttered Arabic obscenities, sulked and turned to peaceful protest. Only a Democratic presidential candidate would ask us to believe something so improbable.

In a 1993 letter to a constituent, Kerry confessed: "It is certainly true that many criminals do not obtain handguns through legal means; thus waiting periods do nothing to prevent them from getting guns." So, waiting periods won't stop common criminals who get their pieces illegally, but crafty and fanatical terrorists (hardly law-abiding citizens) were supposedly thwarted by the recently expired prohibition.

More here


Tim Lambert has a post about the efforts of Australian shooters to get guns on the agenda for the Australian Federal election on October 9th. I reproduce it in full (but without links) below. I think they are pissing into the wind myself. Australia's conservative government is very anti-gun and the Labor party opposition are only marginally better. Australia does not however have a violent black and Hispanic underclass so guns are less needed for personal protection here

"A commenter on my earlier post on John "I hate guns" Howard wondered: "If Latham wins, will the public generally credit this issue?" Some shooters have a plan to try to make it an issue:

You Can Send John Howard And Canberra A Message From NSW Shooters

*Stop victimising sporting shooters
*Crime control, not gun control
*Stop confiscations and buybacks
*Restore our rights

In this election the Coalition of Law Abiding Sporting Shooters is standing candidates under the Outdoor Recreation Party banner to send a message to Canberra about gun laws. All candidates are sporting shooters standing on a pro-shooting platform. A vote for the Outdoor Recreation Party, in this election, is a vote for shooters rights.

In the Senate (Upper House): Vote 1 Outdoor Recreation Party above the line. Preferences will help to keep out a Green.

In the House of Representatives (Lower House): Vote 1 Outdoor Recreation Party in Eden-Monaro, Greenway, Page and Dobell, and then put Labor ahead of the Liberals and Nationals, Democrats and Greens. Preferences directed this way will help to drive a wedge between the parties and break down their anti-gun bias.

Will their plan work? Well, I don't think they'll get that much support in the urban seats, but in Eden-Monaro and Page they have a chance of getting a decent number of votes. You can bet that the major parties will be looking very closely at where those preferences go. Both seats are very merginal so even a couple of percent of the vote could make the difference. If they do cost Howard two seats, it will certainly discourage what plans he may have for further gun bans, even if he wins the election".

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Girl shoots rapist: "A 16-year-old girl opened fire on her alleged rapist in Tijuana on Tuesday. The shooting took place in the La Presa district. The girl told authorities she shot her cousin's husband four times when he entered her home. The teen said she didn't tell anyone after the 39-year-old man raped her two weeks ago. She told authorities that she was alone when he tried to go into her house Tuesday. The girl reportedly used her father's gun to shoot the man, who remains in the hospital Wednesday. There is no word on his condition."

Oppression by nonsense: "'It is not about putting a barrier between persons and their statutory rights,' Falls Church [VA] City Manager Dan McKeever explained to the City Council Monday about his new policy toward individuals bearing guns in public places. ... McKeever devised the policy in reaction to a new state law prohibiting local jurisdictions from prohibiting the right of individuals to carry guns into public buildings. He said it was designed simply to clarify the intent of an individual who carries out that statutory right. It calls on City employees to notify the police whenever a person is encountered who is carrying a firearm, and that police should interview the person to assess his or her intentions. 'It's a common sense way to ask police to evaluate the reasons for a person to be there with a firearm,' he said, noting that an individual would not be required to cooperate."


I am sure the anti-gun nuts would say he should have called the police instead

"Muldoon resident Gary Boyd was walking his boxer puppy Wednesday afternoon along the popular "tank" trail in the Chugach foothills north of Campbell Creek when he heard something big crashing through the brush behind him. "I thought it was a moose, but then I saw it was too low for a moose," said Boyd, a former Army helicopter pilot and retired maintenance chief. "I just had time to pull my pistol and spin around."

A massive male brown bear erupted from the forest less than 20 feet away, claws tearing up hard-packed earth as it charged toward the 57-year-old . The bear, later estimated at 750 pounds, had apparently been guarding the remains of a moose taken in a Fort Richardson bow hunt in the woods about 75 feet off the gravel track used by hikers, bikers and dog walkers.

"I fired the first shot, and I aimed at its shoulders," Boyd said. "When the first shot didn't faze it, I fired the second time, and it turned into the ditch, and I shot three more times, and it went down." With one shot remaining in his .44-caliber Magnum revolver, Boyd called Anchorage police on his cell phone and walked out a trail to the end of Klutina Street to meet Alaska state trooper Kim Babcock. It was about 12:30 p.m.

Babcock and Boyd returned to the scene and found the bear still alive but unable to move. Babcock finished the animal with a shotgun slug to the heart, while Boyd shot it in the head. The Alaska Bureau of Wildlife Enforcement trooper said she believed Boyd acted appropriately in defense of his life and was glad he had been armed and had the skill to hit the animal with so little time at such close range....

Boyd said he thought the bear had been reacting at first to his dog, a 22-month-old pup named Katie, as she ran ahead on the trail. Both Babcock and Boyd said they were amazed that someone else hadn't been attacked earlier in the day. It had been a big, mature animal, measuring 81/2 feet, a boar in its prime. "We hadn't had that bear dead within three minutes when 12 cross-country runners from the high school came by," Babcock said. "I'm just amazed that he didn't get somebody before me," Boyd added. "I see so many people back here that don't carry a weapon. Someone would have gotten hurt back here or killed."

More here.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Law needs changing: "A burglary victim became a defendant in the case when he fired off several rounds of a semiautomatic rifle as the alleged thief tried to flee, police say. Brian Napier, 46, was booked with illegally discharging a weapon after catching a man allegedly trying to steal fishing equipment from his garage. Chris Albarado, 43, of Bridge City, who was not hurt, also was arrested later while driving a van riddled with bullet holes, authorities said. He was booked with burglary, Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office spokesman Col. John Fortunato said. 'If someone is in your home and you feel that your life is being threatened, you can use whatever force is deemed necessary,' Fortunato said. 'He (Napier) was arrested for illegally discharging a weapon for shooting as the suspect was fleeing from him.'"

The first law of nature demands a Second Amendment: "Individual security is not the constitutional responsibility of government. More than one judicial decision will confirm such a statement. In other words, it is you, the individual that is obliged to make provisions for your own safety by adhering to the First Law of Nature. You must respond to this fundamental law, or perish. I recognize that this is harsh news for the politically correct sensibilities of most Americans, but this revelation is a simple fact of life. Self-defense is the natural and honorable stance that we must all promote. Without decisive steps to defend self and family, 'security' is only a word."

Mixed progress: "The governor of California exercised both his pen and his veto on Monday, resulting in a mixed return for the issues I've been watching. Here's the bad news: Schwarzenegger signed two gun control measures. One, SB 1858, prohibits public display of fake guns that look real. He also signed AB 2431, which will require police to return firearms seized if owners pass a background check showing they can legally own a gun. SB 1858 is silly -- it's another measure banning toy guns to help the police avoid shooting kids playing cowboys and indians. While I don't really have much problem with regulating toy guns, is it too much to ask for the police to evaluate the situation before shooting a kid? Who is the real threat to our children in this scenario?"

Friday, September 24, 2004


"Kwazulu-Natal's farmers feel under threat -- from criminals, the government's plan to phase out the commando system by 2009, and new gun laws that will curb farmers' 'firepower.' Spokespeople for the police and the army say farmers have nothing to worry about, and that a plan is in place to maintain law and order, even after the commando units are withdrawn. At the annual congress of the Kwazulu-Natal Agricultural Union in Pietermaritzburg, some farmers said recently promulgated gun laws would strip them of their ability to defend themselves against attacks on their farms. It was suggested that out of 12 500 recent firearm licence applications -- for self-defence reasons -- just 572 had been approved. This, along with the decision to do away with the commando units, was seen as a threat to rural security."

Nonsensical bear shooting case: "A Letcher County [KY] man pleaded no contest Monday to illegally shooting a black bear in his back yard in June. The plea came after his day in court ended in a mistrial when the jury said it was hopelessly deadlocked. ... Brock entered an Alford plea, in which a defendant does not admit guilt but concedes there is sufficient evidence for a conviction. ... Brock said he tried to frighten the bear away by banging on the side of his mobile home and yelling while his wife called the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources for help. Craig Nicholson, a dispatcher for the state agency, said he took the call from the Brocks. 'My statement then was, 'Ma'am, if the bear is threatening you or your livestock, shoot the bear,'' Nicholson testified. Conservation officers charged Brock with illegally killing the bear on June 2."

Ban knives! : "New Yorkers are at least four times as likely to be punched to death than to be killed with an assault-style rifle, unpublished state crime statistics show. The eye-opening figures -- obtained by The Post from the state Division of Criminal Justice Services -- reveal that New Yorkers are also at least twice as likely to be clubbed to death than shot dead by an attacker wielding one of the semi-automatic rifles previously covered by a federal government ban that expired last week. The most recent statewide statistics -- murder-by-weapon-type figures from 2002 -- also show that New Yorkers are at least five times as likely to be stabbed to death with a knife than they are to be shot with an assault rifle."

Thursday, September 23, 2004

A little gun talk: "I have collected large-frame revolvers, both single and double action, for decades now, and have them in three inches, four inches, four and five-eighths inches, five inches, six inches, six and a half inches, seven and a half inches, the aforementioned eight inches, and eight and three-eighths inches. There are a great many other choices offered, and I'm presently hankering after a five and a half and a ten. But what I've recently rediscovered is that the best all-round choice you can make if you want a good, reliable, sturdy weapon and you don't want to start a collection, is a five-inch double action revolver."


"Tough new anti-gun legislation comes into force in Brazil on Wednesday, in a bid to curb what the UN says is the world's fourth-highest murder rate. Under the new rules, anyone carrying a gun without a licence will face a prison sentence. Permits will be issued only to police, security guards and others in high-risk professions - but they must be at least 25 years old. Anyone else caught carrying a firearm will face up to four years in prison.

"Those who currently have permits can carry their weapons until midnight, then they turn into pumpkins. After that, they'll be breaking the law if they take their guns out of their houses," a Brazilian justice ministry spokeswoman said on Tuesday, before the law took effect."

More here


A dealer forced underground by the sound of it

"Los Angeles police seized 388 guns from one man, more than were recovered in the city all last year, a police spokeswoman said. Police seized 11 guns from the car of Wayne Wright, 56, along with another he had illegally sold to an undercover officer. After his arrest, police searched his home in the nearby suburb of Simi Valley and found 376 more firearms.

"Last year there were 348 firearms seized in Los Angeles. This year there have been 411, including the 388 that were seized from Wayne Wright," Officer Sandra Escalante said. "There were rifles, shotguns, handguns and assault weapons" recovered from Wright's home, Escalante said.

A silencer and thousands of rounds of ammunition, including armour-piercing rounds, were also recovered from Wright's home, Escalante said. Possession of a silencer and armour-piercing bullets are felonies in California".

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

South African gun owners hold rally: "Gun owners will protest on Friday and Saturday against new legislation on gun ownership. 'This unjust law must be scrapped,' the Black Gunowners Association (BGA) and Victims Against Crime (VAC) said in a joint statement on Friday about the newly-implemented Firearms Control Act. The protests would begin on Friday in Cape Town outside parliament with a lunch-hour 'solidarity' demonstration by VAC followed on Saturday by a rally in Johannesburg. BGA chairperson Abios Khoele is expected to address 'thousands of gun owners' at the rally. The two organisations said the current procedure to qualify for firearm licence was 'cumbersome, very expensive, frustrating' and discriminated against the disadvantaged who could not read or write."

Firearm fever in Russia: "After the recent terrorist act in Beslan, Russians began purchasing legal means of self-defense. Some even address direct letters to different law-enforcement agencies across country with a plea to authorize sales of hunting rifles and self-defense firearms. State Duma plans to adopt certain amendments by the end of this month, aimed at restricting the overall turnover of firearms and explosives in the country. The amendment however will apply only to Russian special services. At the same time, many delegates express their affirmative views to make the firearms market more liberal. According to them, if the state is unable to protect its citizens, let them have the right protect themselves, writes 'Izvestia.'"

Brazil gun buyback plan : "Brazil's federal police force says a government campaign to cut gun crime by offering to buy back weapons is going twice as well as expected. Police said they had met their target of collecting 80,000 guns in under three months, rather than six months. Brazilians who hand back their weapons are eligible for up to $100."

Tuesday, September 21, 2004


Democrats in West Virginia know that many of their state's voters guard their gun rights jealously, and that their fear in 2000 that Al Gore was out to take their weapons -- stoked by Republicans and the National Rifle Association -- helped seal the former vice president's defeat.

That's why Kerry stood on a stage here last week, proudly hoisting a shotgun and telling a throng of mine workers that he would like to go "gobble huntin' " with them as soon as possible.

The scene boosted Kerry's image with at least one voter attending Kerry's Labor Day rally. "It cleared one problem up for me, with the guns," said Paul Cooper, 62, of Madison, who wore his Navy garrison cap under the hot sun. "He can't be against our guns, or want to take mine, if he's got one of his own."

The potency of the gun issue also explains why party officials hope Kerry will find time to go bird hunting here before Nov. 2 and create another unmistakable snapshot West Virginians can take to the ballot box.....

Still, conquering the gun issue will be a stiff challenge for Kerry, who describes himself as a hunter since childhood. Even as he strives to avoid being seen as an antigun liberal, the candidate is trying to appeal to independent voters who predominantly favor gun control.

Last week in Washington, Kerry attacked President Bush for failing to push for an extension of the federal assault-weapons ban, a measure that gun rights groups have fiercely opposed. The Massachusetts Democrat had rarely mentioned his support for gun control laws until the ban was about to lapse, aware that many members of his own party who represent rural areas oppose such restrictions......

Kerry's approach mirrors a strategy presented last year by the gun control group Americans for Gun Safety in a paper about how Democrats could tap a so-called "gun swing" group -- voters who would otherwise back a Republican but would be willing to vote for a Democrat who stressed gun rights and gun safety, rather than staying silent on the issue or talking only about gun restrictions. Democratic pollsters Mark J. Penn and Peter Brodnitz found that up to 21 percent of voters they polled fit this description......

Still, Kerry's attempt to tack toward the middle on the gun issue has invited accusations from the Bush campaign that he is being disingenuous. Kerry is trying to "present an image to American voters that counters the facts, and the fact is that John Kerry has an F rating from the National Rifle Association," said Kevin Madden, a Bush campaign spokesman.

Andrew Arulanandam, an NRA spokesman, said last week that Kerry "is talking out of both sides of his mouth."

More here

Monday, September 20, 2004


Excerpts from a very amusing article

The political class was busy this week trying to figure out why, after months of sucking up to the gun-owning public, John Kerry tossed aside all his hard work and condemned the end of the "assault" weapons ban. Was it a play for the soccer moms? Were his advisers on a coffee break?

There is another possibility, one that even as I write millions of rural Americans are praying is the correct answer. Perhaps John Kerry has given up trying to pretend he's one of them.....

Watching someone try to be something he isn't is always embarrassing, but there's something particularly painful about watching Mr. Kerry try to convince you that you'd want him in your duck blind for eight hours. Certain elites still believe that all you have to do to fit in with "country folk" is put on a flannel shirt and gush about firearms. But none of that counts for much if you still don't know a gun rack from an art installation.....

His other credibility problem is his record. Guns have been a big voter issue for a long time, and there is no shortage of organizations on both sides of the debate to keep track of votes. Whether you ask the NRA or the Brady Campaign, the word on John Kerry is the same: He has voted for every gun-control bill in the Senate over the past 18 years.

That fact led to national snickering when Mr. Kerry was pictured in West Virginia brandishing a new shotgun that was a present from the United Mine Workers of America. One gun expert noted that in accepting the gun and taking it back to Massachusetts, Mr. Kerry could break certain gun laws (undoubtedly many of which he supports), at least one of which carries prison time. Oops.

The October edition of "Outdoor Life" will feature interviews with both presidential candidates. When asked about their favorite guns, President Bush responds: "My favorite gun is a Weatherby Athena 20 gauge." Mr. Kerry says (reminding us yet again where he was 35 years ago): "My favorite gun is the M-16 that saved my life and that of my crew in Vietnam. I don't own one of those now, but one of my reminders of my service is a Communist Chinese assault rifle." So Mr. Kerry's favorite gun is an "assault" rifle designed for war. Funny talk coming from a guy who just went ballistic over the end of the "assault" weapons ban.

More here.

Sunday, September 19, 2004


The news from Britain about the fox-hunting ban is pretty bad. Only the House of Lords has held the ban up so far and the ban looks set to be forced through by the House of Commons despite the opposition of the Lords. Here is a pictorial coverage of one of the protests that male readers will no doubt find heartening, however.

For background on the attack on a traditional sport by British Leftists, See here.


"The ferocity of the reaction against the hunt protesters was not motivated by the way that they made a little scene in the Commons. It was motivated by the fact that many in the political and media class think that these people are scum. This provides an instructive insight into the limits of New Labour's much-vaunted belief in social inclusion. We are forever being lectured about the importance of tolerance, minority rights and respect for other people's lifestyle choices in modern Britain. But the vitriol poured on the hunters' heads shows that there are new dominant prejudices at play. The illiberal elite cannot tolerate the choices of these people, whose attempt to exercise their 'rights' is deemed not just wrong but repugnant.

It is often said that this hatred of the hunters is a class issue, because they are all 'Toffs'. The upper class types who invaded the Commons certainly seemed to be trying to live up to that caricature. But even if that was really what it is all about, what would be the point of such a petty 'class war' today? It is not as if the aristocracy exercises any power over the rest of us any more. But in any case, this is no old-fashioned class war. It is more like a one-sided twenty-first century culture war against people who do not conform to the norms of New Labour's Britain. Everything about the hunting community - traditional, rural, conservative, parochial - flies in the face of how we are supposed to live now. Hell, these people even insist on treating animals like, well, animals!

It was striking to see how, in dealing with the pro-hunting protests outside parliament, the Metropolitan Police took their lead from the illiberal elite. Under New Labour since 1997, the police have largely felt able/obliged to remove the iron glove that they used against inner-city rioters and striking miners in the 1980s, and briefly against the poll tax rioters in 1990. This week they chose to put that iron glove back on, in order to deal with a crowd of self-consciously respectable rural citizens. The hatred directed at those whom the Mirror branded 'Tally Hooligans' gave the Met the green light to baton charge the men and women in waxed jackets.

You do not need to be a toff or a foxhunter, or support their silly PR stunts, to want to oppose the puffed-up witch-hunt against them. The campaign to ban hunting is a politically motivated crusade about sanitising society by taming 'wild' people, not saving foxes. In response to the pictures of bloodied hunt supporters who had been beaten by the police outside parliament, many on the left sneered about 'toffs getting a taste of what happened to the miners'. Those of us who defended the miners in the past would do more for the cause of democracy by taking a stand against the victimisation of hunters today.

When an opinion or a pastime that goes against the tastes of our illiberal elite can be dismissed as 'Out of bounds' - something that should not only be opposed, but outlawed - it ought to be obvious that the pressing threat to political freedom does not come from five posh boys being rude to some MPs.

More here.

Saturday, September 18, 2004


Expiration of gun ban a victory for crime fighting: "The Law Enforcement Alliance of America (LEAA) proclaimed the expiration of the 1994 Clinton gun and magazine ban a victory for crime fighting. LEAA Executive Director, retired New York police officer James J. Fotis, spoke out in support of the gun ban expiration, 'this marks the end of an era, the end of the Clinton gun ban days when real criminals were ignored in favor of failed gun control. From this point forward our nation's lawmakers can focus on laws that target real criminals, not cosmetic firearm features.' LEAA's Fotis added that law enforcement has nothing to fear from the expiration of the Clinton gun ban, because the ban never prevented criminals from obtaining firearms. 'Even the Bill Clinton and Janet Reno Justice Department admitted that this law has had no impact on crime,' said Fotis, referring to DOJ studies on the impact of the Clinton gun ban."

Bait'n'Switch: "At midnight tonight, the federal ban on so-called 'assault weapons' expires. As a constitutional moment, the expiration is as significant for the Second Amendment as the March 3, 1801, expiration of the Alien and Sedition Acts was for the First Amendment. These federal laws were not found unconstitutional by any court, but the laws expired in disgrace because our political system, as expressed through congressional elections, determined them to be infringements on the Bill of Rights. As detailed by Leonard Levy in his book "Origins of the Bill of Rights", the political defeat of the Alien and Sedition Acts resulted in a much broader, more speech-protective understanding of the First Amendment. It is possible that that the political defeat of the gun prohibition will have a similar effect."

"Assault weapon" ban a dud: "We got up this morning and, lo and behold, the streets were not filled with criminals carrying menacing looking 'assault weapons' raping and pillaging the nation despite the expiration of the ineffectual, so-called federal 'assault weapons' ban. After a decade of real-world experience, it actually turns out that putting a military style grip on a long gun used for turkey hunting does not, in fact, lead to lawlessness and anarchy."


Kim Du Toit tells me that, although lots of people read his blog, far too few read his wife's blog. To help set that straight, below is a big excerpt from one of her posts that all gun-fearing women should read

"Many women are afraid of guns. These fears are manifested in activism, such as the Million Mommies, and others. Some might argue that these anti-gun groups are not based on fear, but on some other deep-seated control issue. For some, that is likely the case, but their funding and their support comes from people who are deathly afraid of guns. How do I know this and am so certain it is all based on fear? Because I used to be one of them.

It probably won't thrill people to know that the wife of the creator of National Ammo Day was once a gun-fearing, gun-grabber. It is not something I like to admit. I share this information and make this confession because I think my insight into this issue and these irrational fears can help.

I didn't grow up around guns. I was raised in an urban area, where only cops and robbers had guns. I never knew anyone who hunted, engaged in gun sports, or had any positive role models for safe gun use. The only experience I had with guns was 1), being robbed at gunpoint, and 2), helping my sister recover from a near-fatal shooting....

The transformation from gun-grabber to staunch gun rights supporter didn't happen overnight. It happened over a process of many years, with the enduring patience of my husband. He didn't lecture or belittle me. He spoke calmly and presented reasoned arguments that challenged my opinions.

First and foremost, I was frightened to have guns in the house, because I have children. I had been successfully brainwashed into believing that a gun in the house meant that my children were in danger. My husband alleviated those fears in two ways, first by showing me how irrational those fears were, and showing me that with the proper precautions, guns were no more dangerous than the power saw in our garage or butcher knife in the kitchen drawer (neither of which were ever kept under lock and key). The second way was to show me how the facts had been distorted-that children do die of accidental causes with guns, but the accidents were so infrequent (given our huge population), that the fear of it happening in our home, with our proper precautions, simply was not a risk. Guns weren't left around for children to play with or access.

Other facts helped too: Knowing how many times guns, in the hands of law-abiding citizens, were used to PREVENT crimes made a big difference. I should add at this point, that I'm a numbers person. I understand statistics and understand how they can be misused and used to distort the truth. When someone says something like, "every day a child is killed by gun violence" I understand that what they are really saying is that about 365 children are killed a year. It sounds much more alarming when it is said as "every day" rather than as a raw number, "365."

I don't think anyone would argue that even one child dying accidentally is too many, but it must be taken in context. There are 275 million people in the U.S. Tens of thousands of people die in car accidents each year. More children die in bathtub and swimming pool accidents than with guns. When it really began to sink in was learning that 1.5 to 3 million crimes are prevented each year by private citizens with guns. If we compare the accidental and intentional shootings of children, with the number of times these actions are prevented, it's not difficult to understand that guns actually save more people each year than are harmed by them-and the ratio of prevention of crime versus risk of crime, is just too enormous to dismiss.

The statistics that showed that gun control actually increased crime was one of the final straws. Again, these weren't minor changes in crime rates, the decrease in crime when concealed carry permits were allowed (for example), were too convincing to ignore....

This last hurdle was a tough one and I don't think it's a hurdle everyone has to take. It is enough that someone stops being a harm to gun rights and a hindrance to gun advocates. That can be enough, but I want to talk about that last hurdle, because I think it is an important one.

I was still afraid of guns. I understood that other people were not afraid of them, my husband for one, but I was perfectly comfortable being protected by him, and didn't think it was important that I was able to protect myself. Then, one time when my husband was away on a business trip, I heard a noise in the house. There I was, a gun not two feet from my reach, but I had no idea how to use it. I knew enough about the issue to know that a gun in the hands of an untrained user was more dangerous, and so I sat there, helpless, worried about the noise. The best I could hope for was that I'd be able to get to the phone and call 9-1-1. I knew right at that moment that if someone intended to harm my children, or me, there was nothing I could do to stop it. What I realized on that night was that I was not able to protect myself. And more to the point, I was not able to protect my children. I was lucky that time. The noise turned out to be nothing, but goodness gracious, that was irresponsible! 9-1-1 would never be able to reach us in time to stop me or my children from being hurt, the best anyone could ever hope for is that the cops would be able to catch the guy, but AFTER he'd done whatever it was he came to do.

I expected other people to protect me. I expected my husband to do it when he was home and I expected a cop to be there to rescue me if something happened to my husband. Yet I was perfectly happy for a criminal to be shot, by someone else, if he threatened me or my kids. Shame on me."

Friday, September 17, 2004


The liar speaks: "Democratic presidential nominee John F. Kerry said [Monday] that President Bush was directly responsible for terrorists and murderers who try to buy AK-47s and other assault weapons at US gun shows and stores or who move into unsuspecting neighborhoods. Kerry, who has accused Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney of using the threat of terrorism to scare Americans into reelecting them, used some of his darkest language to date as he came to a working-class Washington neighborhood to mark the end of the decade-old ban on assault weapons. Surrounded by police officers and victims of gun violence, Kerry accused Bush of caving into the gun lobby and not asking his congressional allies to extend the ban, which the Republican endorsed during the 2000 campaign."

The whine continues: "The federal semi-automatic assault weapons ban ended Monday, but groups are preparing to lobby for a state restriction on the firearms. Gun control advocates argue that Capitol Hill's failure to reinstate the 10-year ban puts greater pressure on states to pick up the slack. 'When the ban is lifted, you will have an increase in accessibility. Increase in accessibility means that you have an increased probability that these guns are going to be used in our schools,' said Chris Boyster of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence. 'These guns are going to be used in our streets.'

Good riddance: "Perhaps the most pathetic attempt to spin the law's demise came from a list of medical organizations claiming in a September 7 press release that gun violence (public-health-speak for armed hoodlums on the job) is 'an ongoing home-security problem.' Nice try. ... As the assault-weapon panic fades, gun-control activists will find another kind of gun to demonize. In fact, they already have. On California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's desk lies a bill to ban .50 caliber rifles, a target rifle fancied by well-to-do hobbyists. Gun controllers have ginned up a myth of .50-caliber rifles as the new weapon of choice for terrorists, just as assault weapons were supposedly preferred by criminals."

Nibbling away at liberty: "Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Monday signed into law a gun control measure restricting the sale and ownership of a powerful rifle critics said might be used by terrorists. His signature on AB 50, by Assemblyman Paul Koretz, D-West Hollywood, came hours after the Republican-led Congress allowed the nation's assault weapons ban to expire, and as Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry used the lapsed ban to attack President Bush on the campaign trail. ... The California measure adds .50-caliber BMG rifles to the state's list of so-called assault weapons and bans the sale of .50 BMG ammunition. Those who already own the rifles would be required to register with the state. Schwarzenegger, a Republican, is on record as a gun control advocate although he had not publicly taken an early position on Koretz's measure."

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Even replica guns bad: "Some Gilroy [CA] police sergeants aren't happy that a local hobby shop sells 'airsoft' guns, which look like real firearms but in fact shoot plastic BBs. They would like to see a law limiting the possession or sale of these replica guns, such as one that will ban their possession in Morgan Hill public places as of Sept. 24. ... Airsoft guns are perfectly legal to buy, sell and possess, regardless of age, but when someone mistakes one for a real gun, police respond with their own -- very real -- sidearms drawn. It's only a matter of time, the sergeants say, before an innocent child or teen-ager makes a wrong move and is shot, perhaps killed."

Police pick on whoever is handy: "Two Sonoma County [CA] men who voluntarily turned in their handguns after being contacted by detectives probing the mysterious slaying of two Christian camp counselors last month complained that they have unfairly faced suspicion simply because government records list them as gun owners. The two Bodega Bay residents said investigators visited their homes this week seeking permission to conduct ballistics tests on their guns .... 'If this is going to help them, great,' he said. 'But while they're in here, they're asking, 'Hey, you got anything illegal we need to know about? No, except for the meth lab in my bathroom.' C'mon guys. This is a fishing expedition.' ... The other man who surrendered his guns said he, too, thinks his think civil rights were violated when two detectives showed up unannounced and asked if they could come inside to make sure the weapons were 'safe and accounted for.'"

U Maine offers storage for student guns: "For a handful of students at the University of Maine, buying textbooks, fine-tuning class schedules and checking in weapons are all normal parts of their back-to-school routine. Student hunters, martial arts enthusiasts and paint-ball fiends are welcome to live on campus or in fraternity and sorority houses, but they must lock their weapons up at the UMaine Department of Public Safety, where a room is earmarked for that purpose. ... [A] 2003 nationwide poll of 150 schools showed that UMaine is one of only 11 schools that has storage facilities for guns on campus, according to Alliance for Justice, an association of advocacy organizations."

Wednesday, September 15, 2004


After gun ban, just business 'as usual' in NH: "About the only material difference New Hampshire gun enthusiasts are likely to see after the federal assault weapons ban expires tomorrow are lower prices for high-capacity gun cartridges that hold more than 10 bullets, gun owners and dealers said. Under the 10-year-old ban, semi-automatic assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips that hold more than 10 bullets were not allowed to be imported or manufactured. It was, however, still legal to own, buy and sell these guns and magazines that were already in the country before the ban took effect. During the 10-year ban, there was still a supply of these guns and clips. It’s just that the prices had gone up considerably."

Ban or no ban, assault weapons lock and load the same: "Guns never interested me, and I didn't own one until 10 years ago, just a few weeks before the semiautomatic assault-weapons ban became law. If it had been a pink-anvil ban, I would've loaded up on anvils like a madman. I'm contrary like that.
Since it was high-capacity guns being banned, it seemed like a good idea to Rambo-up. .... After spending several hundred dollars on ammo to gain some proficiency with these guns, I sort of lost interest. Firearms still aren't my thing. .... But it was nice to have these guns (and to know how to use them) immediately after the Twin Towers fell, when we didn't know what was going on. Any terrorist creeping around my neck of the woods would have to be picked up with a sponge. But the absolutely galling thing about this whole experience is that the "assault-weapons ban" wasn't a ban at all. I could have saved my money.That same AK is still available and has been all along and is even cheaper now than when I bought mine."

Who gets the credit for the demise of the useless gun ban? "So who gets the credit for this bad law going bye-bye? Lots of parties will take credit, of course. But who really deserves the credit? Who stopped this law from being renewed? In a word: we all did. The combined efforts and tireless activism of many groups and individuals prevented Seig Heil Feinstein and her shamefully disobedient cronies from renewing, strengthening and making permanent this particular assault on your right to keep and bear arms. While listing them all would be impossible, naming some names and giving some praise is certainly in order on this day of celebration."

The 'Assault Weapons' Ban and the Patriot Act

"The 'assault weapons' ban expires today, and liberals are exploiting the occasion to mouth a lot of nonsense. The increasingly fatuous John Kerry warns that it is now easier for terrorists to acquire their weapons. Unlike his opponent, Kerry is articulate. But it is no good being articulate if you have nothing sensible to articulate. The notion that terrorists would arm themselves with semi-automatic rifles -- which is what these supposed 'assault weapons' are -- is ludicrous given the availability to them of fully automatic weapons -- not to mention fully loaded jumbo jets. It is worth recalling that terrorists are criminals, and criminals by definition have no respect for laws.

What Kerry, Sarah Brady, Diane Feinstein, and the rest of the Brady Bunch won’t tell you is that the ban that expires today pertains to semi-automatic long guns. Fully automatic rifles, 'machine guns', were made illegal in the 1930's in the USA and remain illegal. A semi-auto fires one round with each pull of the trigger until the clip is exhausted, unlike a fully-automatic which does not require a separate trigger-pull for each round fired. Bear in mind that semi-automatic pistols have been legal all along.

Why would anybody need such a weapon? Any conservative can answer this question, but the best strategy for a conservative is to reject the question altogether. The right question is not: Why does the citizen need to be armed? The right question is: By what right does the government violate the liberty of the law-abiding citizen? Gun-ownership is a liberty issue similarly as taxation is a liberty issue. With respect to taxation, the right question is not: Why should citizens be allowed to keep their wealth? The right question is: What justifies the government in taking their wealth? The onus justificandi is not on the citizen to defend his keeping of his money; the onus justificandi is on the government to justify its taking of his money. The same goes for guns. The burden is on the government to justify its curtailment of individual liberties, not on the citizen to justify his keeping of his liberties. This is because governments exist for the sake of their citizens, and not the other way around.

You might think that liberals would understand all of this. After all, to a man and to a woman they have been decrying the Patriot Act and its supposed threats to our civil liberties. George McGovern began his interview on C-Span’s Book Notes last night on this note. Pick up any book by any liberal these days and you are likely to find this theme. (E.g, Lewis H. Lapham, Gag Rule: On the Suppression of Dissent and the Stifling of Democracy, New York, Penguin, 2004).

Although liberals are absurdly sensitive about First Amendment rights, nary a peep will you hear from them concerning Second Amendment rights. And yet, it is the Second Amendment that backs up the First. Chairman Mao was right about one thing, namely, that power emanates from the barrel of a gun.

There is a curious inconsistency here, is there not? If liberals believe that our civil liberties are under serious assault from Ashcroft & Co., then why are they so unwilling to ensure that real power remain in the hands of the people?

There is something schizophrenic about contemporary liberals. They have a libertarian streak: they want to be able to spout any kind of nonsense, no matter how offensive and irresponsible, and have it protected as 'dissent'. Fair enough. Though I find Michael Moore contemptible, I would defend his right to pollute the air waves with his ideological flatulence. But when it comes to gun rights, liberals become as collectivist as Hitler or Fidel Castro. It's curious, and a worthy theme of further rumination."

Post lifted from The Maverick Philosopher. For non-Americans: The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects free speech and the Second Amendment protects gun ownership

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Sociable gun-maker: "Smith & Wesson has launched a program to communicate better with customers and stage events in Springfield and elsewhere to draw gun buyers. The program is dubbed Club 1852 in honor of the year in which Horace Smith and Daniel B. Wesson first went into business together. Almost 10,000 customers have signed up for the program in the several months Smith & Wesson has been shipping information about it with new products. The program will include a series of shooting and social events, including an annual meeting in Springfield for program members. Yesterday, Smith & Wesson held a ceremony to promote the program and enroll all its workers in it. The company employs about 600 at its Springfield headquarters."

Homeowner: "I had to shoot dat baar": "Bachelor Gulch homeowner John Tietbohl shot and wounded a 150-pound bear Tuesday outside his Daybreak Ridge [CO] home. 'I had to shoot the bear,' said Tietbohl. 'It was determined to get inside this house.' Craig Westcoatt of the Colorado Division of Wildlife Wednesday followed the bear's blood trail but lost it after a quarter mile. He said the animal was bleeding heavily. He guessed it was 2 or 3 years old. The Colorado Division of Wildlife is investigating the incident to decide what, if any, charges will be filed."

Sam Colt still right: "Gun ownership is like wrestling in water -- it levels the playing field. A 110 lb woman who pulls a gun out of her purse can instantly stop two 250 lb drug crazed rapists. Gun ownership allows citizens the ability to protect their life and property from criminals. Police will rarely be in a position to stop a rape, a mugging, or a car-jacking. In these situations, only an armed female stands a good chance of surviving unharmed."

Monday, September 13, 2004

Guns helping the poor: "Middle-school teacher John Annoni needs his guns. Growing up on some of Allentown, Pennsylvania's meanest streets, Annoni says hunting kept him on the straight and narrow. 'Being able to rely on that firearm, being able to go and shoot, took me away from a lot of pain,' says Annoni, who's been hunting for 'about 22 years.' So he started Camp Compass Academy, luring a new generation of inner-city kids off the streets and into the wilderness with the promise of hunting and fishing. Voters like Annoni see any increase in gun control as a potentially slippery slope that could lead to taking their guns away."

Guns for civil liberties: "A lethal moment in Bogalusa shocked the Klan into the realization that blacks were no longer chattel punching bags. During a 1965 summer desegregation demonstration, white hecklers turned violent and threw a brick which struck Hattie Mae Hill. The white mob surrounded the car the Deacons were using to attempt an evacuation of the terrified girl. As the mob threatened to break into the car, Deacon Henry Austin shouted that he had a gun. Then he fired a warning shot from his .38 into the air. The mob kept closing in. Austin then fired almost point blank into the chest of Alton Crowe who was in the front of the mob. While Crowe survived, the fun of beating up on blacks died that afternoon in Bogalusa."

Confiscation of registered guns begins: "The Chicago Police Department and the Illinois State Police have teamed up to make good on Mayor Daley's pledge that, if it were up to him, nobody would have a gun. Daley and his elite 'CAGE' unit are apparently taking advantage of gun privacy loopholes to pinpoint certain individuals for inclusion in the confiscation program. The ISRA is following up on leads in one case that has disturbing implications. An elderly first-generation Chicago resident was recently paid a visit by an Illinois State Police trooper. After asking to come inside the man's home, the trooper asked if the man owned a gun -- to which he replied yes. The trooper then directed the individual to surrender the firearm. The man complied with the officer's demand and the trooper left with the gun. And the story gets better."


With its battle to kill the decade-long U.S. ban on assault weapons won, the National Rifle Association is now setting its sights on the Nov. 2 presidential and congressional elections.

The 10-year ban on importing or manufacturing certain military-style assault weapons expires on Monday because Congress never renewed it. While many decried its expiration and polls showed a majority of Americans supported the ban, few were ready to engage in a major fight with the NRA, the powerful gun lobby whose large financial war chest and committed 4-million membership has made it a political power for years.....

The NRA, which generally supports Republicans, has not yet formally endorsed President Bush's re-election bid. But its Web site calls his Democratic opponent, John Kerry, "the most anti-gun presidential nominee in United States history" despite efforts to paint himself as a gun owner and hunter.

NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said formal endorsements would not come until Congress recessed next month, but he did not hide his preferences for Bush's record on firearms. Although Bush said in 2000 he would back extension of the assault weapons ban, he never pushed for its passage and has embraced other NRA policy priorities. "It's pretty clear where gun owners that care about their guns are going," LaPierre said in a telephone interview last week. He said Kerry's efforts at portraying himself as a sportsman showed the Democrat recognized his vulnerability.

"That gun in Kerry's hands says more than anything I can say," LaPierre said. "He wouldn't be doing that if he didn't realize it's make-or-break-it for a candidate out in the heartland of the country."

Some analysts say Democrat Al Gore's narrow defeat in several states with a large pro-gun electorate cost him the 2000 presidential election and that the Democrats lost control of Congress in 1994 because of NRA campaigning against them......

Congress did pass the 10-year assault weapon ban in 1994 and President Bill Clinton signed it into law, but the NRA has since made the death of what LaPierre called "faulty legislation based on cosmetic nonsense" one of its top priorities.

While its demise was a win for the NRA, the year has not been all victories for the gun lobby. Another top priority, a bill to limit civil lawsuits against the gun industry, passed the House of Representatives but failed in the Senate. NRA allies killed it themselves after the Senate added to the bill a renewal of the assault weapon ban.

More here

Sunday, September 12, 2004

John Lott Jr.: "With the federal assault weapons ban sunsetting on Monday at midnight, the gun-control movement has a lot to fear, but not what most people think. Despite claims that letting the 10-year-old ban on some semiautomatic weapons expire will result in a surge in gun crimes and police killings, the fact is that letting the law expire will probably just show the uselessness of gun-control regulations. A year from now it will be obvious to everyone that all the horror stories about the ban -- a cornerstone of the gun-control movement -- were wrong".


What's next? Toy guns? Actually, the British government this year has been debating whether to ban toy guns. As a middle course, some unspecified number of imitation guns will be banned, and it will be illegal to take imitation guns into public places.

And in July a new debate erupted over whether those who own shotguns must now justify their continued ownership to the government before they will get a license.

Despite the attention that imitation weapons are getting, they account for a miniscule fraction of all violent crime (0.02%) and in recent years only about 6% of firearms offenses. But with crime so serious, Labor needs to be seen as doing something. The government recently reported that gun crime in England and Wales nearly doubled in the four years from 1998-99 to 2002-03.

Crime was not supposed to rise after handguns were banned in 1997. Yet, since 1996 the serious violent crime rate has soared by 69%: robbery is up by 45% and murders up by 54%. Before the law, armed robberies had fallen by 50% from 1993 to 1997, but as soon as handguns were banned the robbery rate shot back up, almost back to their 1993 levels.

As understandable as the desire to "do something" is, Britain seems to have already banned most weapons that can help commit a crime. Yet, it is hard to see how the latest proposals will accomplish anything.

Banning guns that fire blanks and some imitation guns. Even if guns that fire blanks are converted to fire bullets, they would be lucky to fire one or two bullets and most likely pose more danger to the shooter than the victim. Rather than replace the barrel and the breach, it probably makes more sense to simply build a new gun.

Making it very difficult to get a license for a shotgun and banning those under 18 from using shotguns also adds little. Ignoring the fact that shotguns make excellent self-defense weapons, they are so rarely used in crime, that the Home Office's report doesn't even provide a breakdown of crimes committed with shotguns.

During the 1990s, just as Britain and Australia were more severely regulating guns, the U.S. was greatly liberalizing individuals' abilities to carry guns. Thirty-seven of the 50 states now have so-called right-to-carry laws that let law-abiding adults carry concealed handguns once they pass a criminal background check and pay a fee. Only half the states require some training, usually around three to five hours' worth. Yet crime has fallen even faster in these states than the national average. Overall, the states in the U.S. that have experienced the fastest growth rates in gun ownership during the 1990s have experienced the biggest drops in murder rates and other violent crimes....

Everyone wants to take guns away from criminals. The problem is that if the law-abiding citizens obey the law and the criminals don't, the rules create sitting ducks who cannot defend themselves. This is especially true for those who are physically weaker, women and the elderly.

More here

Saturday, September 11, 2004


Victims of the sniper shootings in Washington DC and their families have settled a lawsuit they brought against a gun company and a gun dealer. They had sued the two companies for negligent distribution of weapons. Lawyers representing the victims' families described the settlement as historic. They believe it could change practices across the firearms industry.

Bull's Eye Shooter Supply, who sold the rifle used in the shootings, agreed to pay the families $2m. Bushmaster Firearms, who made the gun, settled on a half-a-million dollar payout. The deal with Bushmaster is the first time a gun manufacturer in the United States has agreed to pay damages for negligent distribution of weapons.

The sniper shootings terrorised areas around Washington DC two years ago. Ten people were shot dead with a Bushmaster rifle. John Allen Muhammad and his teenage accomplice, Lee Malvo, have so far been found guilty on one count of murder.

Lawyers representing Bushmaster said they had decided to settle to avoid rising legal costs and stressed there was no admission of liability on their part. But as part of the settlement, the company has agreed to educate its dealers on gun safety.



Great news: "The fight to renew a favored ban on assault weapons effectively died Tuesday after the lead Senate sponsor of a bill to continue restrictions on the sale and manufacture of some semi-automatic weapons conceded defeat. 'Absent the president twisting arms, it's nil,' said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., of the chances to get a bill passed before midnight Monday, when the law expires. President Bush has indicated he would sign an extension of the 1994 law if Congress got it to his desk. But Bush has not asked the House to pass it, and congressional Republican leaders, including House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Sugar Land, have refused to bring it to the floor for a vote."

Armed Females of America: "It appears that the final bell is going to toll for the so-called 'assault weapons' ban on Monday September 13, and the gun banners are staging a concerted whine fest in their attempts to foist an extension of this unconstitutional legislation. ... And still others claim that not only do we, as a populace not NEED these weapons, but that they are not fit for hunting, which is what the Second Amendment is, after all, right? Wrong! The Second Amendment has nothing to do with hunting, and historical documents specifically show that the Founding Fathers fully intended for the citizens of this nation to be at least as well armed as the government agents to whom the people grant their authority."

Let the gun lie die: "The embarrassing dirty secret is that no government agency dares claim that the ban has produced any reduction in crime. More embarrassingly, no agency predicts benefits from renewing the ban. That's because the banned guns are neither the choice of criminals nor more powerful than common deer rifles. They're functionally identical to guns owned by millions of hunters and shooters across America. Yet most media, including USA TODAY, willingly abandon a professional duty to edify and clarify such a simple issue. Too many propagate the fraud, even to the point of retaining the likes of Michael Moore. ... Gun owners have seen through this lie for a decade. More and more, so do members of Congress, who will represent their home districts rather than the editors of USA TODAY."

Friday, September 10, 2004


"With the federal ban on assault weapons set to expire Monday, gun manufacturers are marketing military-style firearms and are ready to sell them as soon as Sept. 14, a consumer group said Tuesday. "The gun industry is champing at the bit for the ban to expire," said Susan Peschin, firearms project director at the Consumer Federation of America, a nonprofit association of 300 consumer groups that released the study.

The consumer group interviewed gun-industry experts and marketing representatives and surveyed manufacturers' catalogs and Web sites. For example, ArmaLite Inc., a gun manufacturer in Geneseo, Ill., is advertising a "Post-PostBan Rifle Program," offering consumers attachments to convert their firearms to their pre-ban configuration, with shipping available Sept. 14. The company is offering a nonrefundable prepayment option to those who wish to get a jump-start. "The program offers customers a way to avoid the risk of delay, yet also have the benefits of a change in law," the company says on its Web site.

The 1994 law, signed by President Bill Clinton, banned 19 types of assault weapons but included a "sunset" clause that said it would expire in 10 years if Congress did not renew it. President Bush has said he supports the ban, but a number of attempts to extend it in Congress have failed.

The Consumer Federation of America predicted that manufacturers will introduce new models of popular weapons banned under the 1994 law, such as AK-47s, TEC-9s and Uzis. Manufacturers will also be able to circumvent a ban on the import of "nonsporting" assault weapons by combining foreign-made components with U.S.-made parts, the study said. It said it also expects more U.S. gun companies will stockpile imported firearms in "custom bonded warehouses" in the United States to be reconfigured into legal weapons".

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Ho hum: "Gun manufacturers are gearing up for the scheduled expiration next week of a 10-year-old federal ban on assault weapons and are taking orders for semiautomatic rifles and high-capacity ammunition magazines that may soon become legal again, according to a report released yesterday. The report by the Consumer Federation of America, which favors greater regulation of the gun industry, concludes that "assault weapons will be more lethal and less expensive" without the ban and argues that police "may be forced to adopt a more militaristic approach" as greater numbers of firearms flood the market."

High school locked down. Airgun found: "League City [TX] police officers and Galveston County Sheriff's deputies sealed off Clear Creek High School after a student reported he saw another student with a handgun. Nervous students were kept in classrooms while authorities searched for the weapon, but that did not keep teens from calling their parents. ... Clear Creek ISD spokesperson Karen Permetti said, 'There was a BB gun, an air type BB gun, that was found in a locker. It looked like a handgun, but it was a BB gun.' ... Like all school districts across the country, Clear Creek ISD has very strict rules when it comes to weapons in the school. A BB gun qualifies as a firearm."

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Amazing: U.K. farmer who shot suspect burglar is not charged: "A 72-year-old farmer who shot a suspected burglar will not face criminal charges. Kenneth Faulkner was arrested after shooting in the leg a 22-year-old man he thought was breaking into a garage at his remote farm near Ockbrook, Derbyshire, in the early hours of Aug 6. He had been burgled twice in the three weeks before the incident and fired his shotgun as the intruder was fleeing. Mr Faulkner and James Rae, the suspected burglar, were arrested but yesterday Mr Faulkner, who was released on bail, was told the Crown Prosecution Service had decided there was insufficient evidence to take him to court. ... Yesterday the decision not to prosecute Mr Faulkner was welcomed by Malcolm Starr, who campaigned for Martin's release. He said: 'The fundamental thing is that common sense and decency has prevailed in this case. But I don't think the CPS should put people under this kind of pressure.'"


Now that guns are almost all banned in Britain

"ROBBIE WILLIAMS fled Britain frightened for his life after finding two bullet holes in a window of his home. Robbie wasn't in the house in Notting Hill, West London, when the shots were fired but he was staying in the country. The world knew he had just signed a œ30million record deal and he became paranoid that he could become a target for kidnappers. He was also scared by the sensational Beckham abduction plot that had made headlines at the time.

A pal of Robbie's told me: "He was in London when the shooting happened and it really shook him up. He didn't say anything to those around him until a month later but privately he was completely freaked out. The more he thought about it the more he realised what a target he was. With a huge record deal behind him he was an easy mark for anyone wanting to make some money out of him. He had also had some nutty letters in his time and it crossed his mind that this could be an obsessed fan telling him to watch out. He joked that at least with all the photographers outside his house, if someone shot him they would probably be caught on film."

Robbie fled his home country within weeks of discovering the bullet holes in a frosted front window of the luxury pad he shared with his pal, telly presenter JONATHAN WILKES. That was two years ago and he now has the place on the market for œ7million. Robbie has since settled for a high-security lifestyle in America. He is now protected behind gated walls at his new house in a posh suburb of Los Angeles. As he is not as well-known in the US Robbie feels he is less liable to attract the sort of unwanted attention that he so feared at home".

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Wednesday, September 08, 2004


"A doctor who left a loaded handgun in an employee's bathroom at Salem Hospital's emergency room has been suspended with pay, while the hospital and the state Board of Registration in Medicine investigate the incident, his attorney said. In order to let both institutions complete their inquiries, Dr. Richard L. Pinegar has agreed not to practice medicine until Sept. 15, Boston attorney Paul Cirel said.

Pinegar, working an overnight shift at the hospital, left the gun inside the bathroom early Monday when he stepped out to answer a page from another doctor, Cirel said. Another staffer found the gun and alerted hospital security, which in turn contacted Salem police, his lawyer said.

Pinegar, who has a valid license to carry a firearm, immediately acknowledged the .38-caliber Smith and Wesson revolver was his and took possession of it, Cirel said. When the police arrived, Pinegar showed the officers the gun and was allowed to keep it. "He grew up in Iowa around guns. He's a member of a sportsmen's club, and he keeps his gun locked in a gun safe," Cirel said. "He also works crazy hours in a hospital ER and has to find his car in the parking lot at night. It's his decision, and he's done it by following the law."

Cirel said Pinegar was not aware the hospital had an anti-gun policy. "If they don't want him to bring this (gun) to work, then he won't," Cirel said.

In a statement that did not name Pinegar, the hospital, part of the North Shore Medical Center, said, "North Shore Medical Center is deeply committed to the safety of its patients and employees. We take this incident very seriously. Our policy clearly prohibits possession of firearms or other weapons" on hospital grounds".

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Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Imitation ball-bearing! Nothing worse! "Armed police officers arrested a man after receiving reports that a man was seen walking past a hotel in a Mid Wales town, carrying a handgun. They were called to the Bell Hotel, in Commercial Street, Newtown, during the early hours of Tuesday morning. After searching the area officers found the man the Llanfair Road. Officers disarmed him after a search revealed he was carrying an imitation ball bearing gun. He was then arrested and taken into custody."

Bullets are better? "A proposal to ban stun guns in Indianapolis [IN] is still alive despite a City-County Council committee's decision Wednesday to delay discussing the measure. Democratic council member Sherron Franklin -- who is an Indianapolis police officer -- said she hopes to craft a new proposal that conforms to state law and could be ready later this month. The proposed ban, which currently would impose a $250 fine for buying a stun gun, is intended to protect police officers, who could be incapacitated by them, Franklin said."

Monday, September 06, 2004

Police criminals: "On August 5, JPFO mailed an alert headed 'What Happened in Oshkosh? And Why Should Gun Owners Care?' We were following up on a mid-July incident. Details of that incident were unclear, but one thing was absolutely certain: Following the wounding of an officer, Oshkosh police confiscated firearms -- without consent and without warrants -- from homes of innocent men and women. The police violated these Americans' Fourth Amendment rights and left them defenseless, knowing full well there was a sniper on the loose in their neighborhood. We just received a copy of an August 8 article from the Oshkosh Northwestern newspaper in which police try to defend their action."

Wicked starting pistol: "A television advertisement for Land Rover featuring a woman firing a gun has been banned by regulators after it prompted more than 300 complaints from viewers. The advert for the Freelander Sport was accused of glamorising and normalising gun culture and encouraging dangerous driving. It featured a woman taking a gun from a drawer and brandishing it as she hurried after a man seen leaving her house. As he climbed into the vehicle, she took aim then shot into the air. It became clear that the gun was actually a starting pistol. The man smiled and drove off."

Sunday, September 05, 2004

"Brandishing" does work: "A Redondo Beach [CA] man thwarted a burglary at his home when he opened the blinds and waved a handgun at the potential intruders, who fled. Police officers quickly caught up to the two women and 16-year-old boy who allegedly tried to break into the house Monday not knowing someone was inside. The suspected burglars ended up in jail."

Sunset of weapon ban to fire up gun debate: "The war in Iraq and the economy may dominate the fall presidential campaign, but with the federal assault weapons ban set to expire in two weeks, the gun debate is sure to intensify. Peter Hamm, communications director for the Brady Campaign to Stop Gun Violence, said it was 'premature' to predict the level of importance the gun issue would play in this year's presidential and national elections. However, if the assault weapons ban, which took effect in 1994, is left to expire, Hamm promised that the Brady Campaign would try to make elected officials who allowed it to sunset 'feel as much pain' as possible at the voting booths."

Sounds like they WERE out of line: "Two Uinta [UT] High School students aren't in class today ... they've been suspended for bringing pellet guns on school property. A witness saw the boys pull guns from their car and walk into a football game. Deputies tracked down the teens, questioned them and ... confiscating these two pellet-type guns. In addition to suspension, the boys will be referred to Juvenile Court."

Saturday, September 04, 2004


"We recently took the safety course required to obtain a "concealed-carry" permit for a handgun..... We were very impressed by the confidence and alertness of our instructors and others in class. One instructor told us that when he is carrying his gun he does not play the role of "devil's advocate," nor act provocatively, because he realizes confrontations can escalate and deadly force is not the solution to mere disagreements. In our society, where most people seem to assume an entitlement to a second chance whenever they make a mistake in judgment, it was refreshing to encounter the attitude that our actions have consequences. The class stressed that one shouldn't handle guns when drinking or even when fatigued. Those who can legally carry deadly force are that much more aware of the consequences of making stupid mistakes, in every aspect of their lives. Such an increased awareness and alertness would make the world a safer place if more people adopted it....

There is a tremendous difference between shooting at targets on the range and trying to save your life when being attacked by an armed assailant! Statistics reveal that even expert police marksmen only achieve about 40% accuracy in such stressful situations. Take this into consideration when the media tells you how many rounds the police fired during a shoot-out, trying to imply that "unnecessary force" was used.

In Virginia, you cannot legally use deadly force to simply protect your property. You should only resort to it if you fear serious bodily harm to yourself or someone else. We were told in no uncertain terms that if we shoot and kill someone, it's a homicide. A jury will determine if it was a 'justifiable' homicide. In fact, except in your own home, it is your duty to retreat, to remove yourself from a public situation if possible before it becomes dangerous. Isn't that comforting? The law-abiding citizens who go through the trouble and expense of acquiring a handgun, taking the training and getting a permit are actually those who are most likely to use deadly force responsibly. They're not the trouble-makers. This of course, does not mean you can't call the police, but a gun permit does not mean you're a law enforcement officer.

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Friday, September 03, 2004


"Recently, Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge upgraded the nation’s alert status because of credible intelligence that several financial buildings in New York City; Newark, New Jersey; and Washington, D.C. — including the building housing the New York Stock Exchange — are intended terrorist targets. Immediately, heavily armed, submachine-gun-toting government agents surrounded the buildings — five in all — and tightened security in the area. Police closed streets, rerouted traffic, established checkpoints, and searched vehicles in the vicinity.

What about other potential targets? While federal, state, and local police were guarding these buildings, who was guarding the thousands of other potential targets throughout the United States? How long can this level of security be maintained at these five buildings? What if the terrorists wait until the extra security is removed, and then act? What if they strike at unguarded buildings somewhere else?

This is where the wisdom of our Founders comes into play. They advocated a nation-at-arms where everyone who wished would be armed. They went so far as to guarantee this right in the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. As men of wisdom, intelligence, and education, they knew that no one can always predict the type of threat the nation might face. So they prepared for every eventuality by providing not only for national and state military (and naval) forces, but also for an armed populace.

Why? Beyond the obvious need to counterbalance government gone awry, they understood that point defense is better than area defense. That is, a building, farm house, home, bridge, or road intersection is easier to defend with few people than is a collection of buildings, farm houses, or homes, or a wider geographic area. Since national and state forces are, by their very nature and numbers, insufficient to provide point defense of all such structures and places, it stands to reason that the owners or inhabitants of these structures and places would be in a better position to guard and defend them. Besides, they would have a vested interest in doing so. The national and state forces would then be free to conduct offensive operations to subdue any hostile force rather than scatter its limited resources throughout the country attempting to defend inadequately everyone’s home or business."

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