Monday, January 31, 2005

Texas: Homebuilder shoots suspected burglar in head: "A homebuilder, who police believe was tired of thieves targeting a home under construction, shot a suspected burglar in the head early Tuesday morning. .... homebuilder Ricky W. Otis, 47, of New Caney, spent the night at the home after having fallen victim to several overnight thefts of construction materials from the house in the Northcrest Ranch subdivision off Texas 242. He decided to spend the night Monday in an upstairs bedroom of the partially finished home. .... Otis told investigators he was awakened by the sound of a downstairs door being forced open. He called the Sheriff's Department before going downstairs to investigate, Sheriff's Department spokesman Lt. Dan Norris said. When Otis went downstairs, he found two men loading building materials from inside the home into a van that had been backed into the driveway .... When confronted by Otis, one of the men reached into the vehicle, according to the Sheriff's Department. "Not knowing whether the man was reaching for a weapon inside the vehicle, the homebuilder used deadly force," Norris said. Otis fired a shotgun at the man at least once, striking him in the head and upper back."

Virginia: Senate panel defeats victim disarmament bill : "Virginians can continue to pack heat the real thing, not toys -- in child day-care centers. The Senate Courts of Justice Committee yesterday killed 8-7 a bill that would extend the gun ban that currently applies to schools to privately operated day-care centers. The sponsor, Sen. Yvonne B. Miller, D-Norfolk, did not cite any incidents in which a gun was used in a day-care center in Virginia but said she was worried about the potential."

Sunday, January 30, 2005


MPs stepped up their bid to ban ball bearing guns after new figures showed an increase in gun crime. The latest statistics show violent crime is continuing to rise, with more youngsters and criminals using " alternative" weapons including replica guns, air pistols and the ball bearing firing guns. Wirral West MP Stephen Hesford has been leading the campaign for a BB gun ban since his constituent David Hazel was left paralysed from the waist down after a ball bearing ruptured his spine. He said: "Urgent action needs to be taken now to ban these dangerous weapons. "My constituent suffered horribly because these guns are too freely available."

In the 12 months to last April Merseyside police recorded 483 gun crimes, excluding air weapons and imitation firearms, up from 318 the previous year. Yesterday's July- September national figures showed a 15% fall in the use of handguns, but a 48% rise in the use of imitation firearms and a 41% increase in the use of weapons categorised as "other firearms" which include BB guns. General firearms offences rose by 5% in the year to September, while overall violent crime jumped by 6%.

West Derby MP Bob Wareing said: "I hope that these figures will push the Home Office into responding to pressure from MPs by banning BB guns." Riverside's Louise Ellman said: "There should be a clampdown on those who use firearms and efforts to take weapons, including BB guns and air pistols, out of circulation. "They are not toys, but weapons which can maim, cripple and kill." Birkenhead MP Frank Field said: "These disappointing figures show that we have to put even greater effort into countering violent crime. "They are linked to a fundamental change in how people's behaviour, a lack of respect for one another, escalates to violent misbehaviour and gun crime. "We have to hold the line better but we also need to tackle the root causes of anti-social behaviour amongst young people and the irresponsible behaviour of adults."

More here

Israel: Is this the nuttiest of all? "Last Thursday, the civilian head of Hebron's security apparatus, Yoni Bleichbard, who is employed by the Defense Ministry, received a phone call from an officer in the Hebron brigade. She notified Yoni that his weapon's license, permitting him to carry an M-16 rifle, had been voided and that he was now classified as 'weapons-negated.' The reason: unknown. The source of the decision: somewhere up there -- Central Command or higher. The result: yesterday, Yoni was forced to 'return' his rifle to the authorities that be. In other words, Hebron's security chief is forbidden to carry the primary tool of his trade, that tool which is used to offer protection and defense, should the need arise, to any of the Hebron community's hundreds of residents or thousands of visitors."

Fruitcake gets his reward: "Last Thursday, Travis ran into the Ayesh Food Market at 19th and Hampton with a knife over his head like the shower scene in 'Psycho' and yelled, 'Give me the money or I'll kill you.' Store workers chose neither option. The cashier grabbed a revolver and leaped over the counter. By then, another worker had run to the back of the store with Travis in pursuit. Travis then cornered the cashier, who emptied the gun into him. Too many of these corner-store robberies go the other way. The clerks, even those who cooperate and hand over money, are killed by the intruders. Travis fell victim to an occupational hazard. Gun trumped knife. Store owners can legally keep firearms behind the counter. Anyone in need of fast cash does well to remember that."

Saturday, January 29, 2005


Today, 96 years ago, London was rocked by a terrorist outrage. Two Latvian anarchists, who had crossed the Channel after trying to blow up the president of France, attempted an armed wages robbery in Tottenham. Foiled at the outset when the intended victims fought back, the anarchists attempted to shoot their way out. A dramatic pursuit ensued involving horses and carts, bicycles, cars and a hijacked tram. The fleeing anarchists fired some 400 shots, leaving a policeman and a child dead, and some two dozen other casualties, before they were ultimately brought to bay. They had been chased by an extraordinary posse of policemen and local people, armed and unarmed. Along the way, the police (whose gun cupboard had been locked, and the key mislaid) had borrowed at least four pistols from passers-by in the street, while other armed citizens joined the chase in person.

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

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

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

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

More here

Some progress in Houston: "A showdown about the right to carry concealed handguns on Metro trains and buses had a peaceful ending today. Metro's board unanimously approved the policy change this afternoon without discussion. It removes a section of a 1995 regulation that stated no exception to the authority's weapons ban was provided for concealed-handgun license holders. The new rule prohibits ``the possession of dangerous weapons'' and ``the unlawful carrying of a concealed handgun in or on Metro facilities or vehicles.'' According to Metro attorneys, the old policy was valid until the Legislature passed the 2003 law banning governmental bodies from prohibiting the lawful carrying of concealed weapons on government property unless those locations are specifically mentioned in the law. Transit vehicles and facilities are not among those locations exempted from the concealed-carry law. ``Metro's resolution must be amended so that there are no conflicts with existing law,'' said director George DeMontrond. ``This would bring us into compliance.'' "

Friday, January 28, 2005


There is a factual bias against states which trust their law-abiding citizens to actively provide for the common defense through the issuing of concealed carry permits. These citizens have been proven to be more law-abiding than average. For example, in Florida, 2,675 concealed carry licenses have been revoked due to crime after issuance between October 1987 and December 2004, out of 340,288 valid licenses. This is a crime rate of 786.1 per 100,000, while Florida�s overall crime rate (violent and property crimes) in 2003 was 5182.3. The average Floridian is 6.6 times more likely to be involved in crime than a concealed carry permit holder.

An analysis of the arrest rates for all Texans over age 21 found that they are about 7.5 times more likely to be arrested than concealed permit holders. Brady Campaign�s alleged concern about �gun violence prevention laws� amounts to nothing more than an unsubstantiated premise that concealed carry laws contribute to violence.

More here

How to ignore the evidence in one easy lesson: "Sherlock Holmes could teach deductive reasoning to the National Academy of Sciences. Holmes, the quintessential detective created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, knew that by eliminating all other factors, the remaining one must be the truth. An NAS panel created during the Clinton administration -- and infested with gun-grabbers -- issued a 328-page report on gun control. It studied hundreds of articles, books, government publications, gun-control laws and its own empirical work. But its exhaustive study -- analyzing the former ban on so-called assault weapons, the Brady Act, one-gun-a-month buying restrictions and gun locks -- could not identify any benefits of gun control. Crime was not reduced. Accidents were not lessened. But after studying each specific issue, the panel's inductive reasoning only concluded that more study was needed. Citizens in more than 30 states may carry concealed weapons legally. If they were injuring others or themselves, it surely would have produced front-page, above-the-fold stories with screaming, large-type headlines. Mr. Holmes also knew what silence could say. Because the guard dog did not bark in 'Silver Blaze,' Holmes easily deduced the truth about a horse thief. Since the panel's findings leave proponents speechless, deducing the truth about gun control is just as easy. Elementary, actually."

Thursday, January 27, 2005


Call me a "gun nut" if you must. But I'm really not one. Still, I did give my sweet, innocent 5-year-old daughter a gun for Christmas. Not just any gun, mind you. It's commonly called a "street-sweeper." It's automatic or semi-automatic. Honestly, I don't really know much about guns. My wife is horrified. It's not that she is anti-gun; it's just that when you pull the trigger, it is awfully loud. Especially when the trigger is pulled in the house. Did I mention it's a toy gun?

Which certainly didn't make it any easier to find. Had I wanted a real gun, one would imagine from watching TV news that finding a gun is child's play. But a toy gun? None in the toy stores. Slim pickings even on the Internet (and I'd waited too long to have it shipped). It was as if toy guns had been banned. Not that superstar-shoppers like my wife wouldn't have uncovered one, somewhere, but this amateur was willing to admit failure.

Then, just days before Christmas, I went to Global Foods, a local grocery store that caters to Asians and Latinos. I like to go there because they have vegetables I've never seen or heard of before. It's very educational. And they also carry vegetables I actually recognize. Cheap, too. On this enchanted day, I bumped right into a display of junky toys. Laying there, telepathically calling to my macho-kid-Christmas-neurosis, was a shiny black submachine gun. The kind of gun that might not have worked so well for playing cowboys and Indians, but my goodness would it shine in any remake of the Untouchables or in an imaginary battle with the Nazis, with me as part of the underground resistance, or a member of an elite commando squad.

Just what my daughter would want! Right? Needless to say, I plopped down my eight dollars.... My 5-year-old makes a heckuva lot more sense than those who fear, without a shred of evidence, that playing with toy guns will somehow turn kids to crime. She makes more sense than the school in Indiana, where officials altered their school's mascot - a Minuteman - to remove the musket he carried. They feared the armed minuteman symbolized gun violence. I guess they hadn't yet gotten to American history. Her toy gun is just a toy. But it is a grand symbol of freedom, self-defense and a healthy disdain for political correctness.

More here

The impact of firearms on crime, business, and politics: "The other day a news item stated that for the last 10 years the crime rate in the United States has been dropping, but the "experts" don't seem to know why. Nothing in society is simple, and there are all kinds of factors operating at any one time, but one of the things the media and the so-called experts have apparently overlooked, consciously or unconsciously, is the plethora of new laws that allow law-abiding citizens to carry concealed weapons. Just a few decades ago, there were almost none, but today 37 states have "right-to-carry" laws on their lawbooks. Nine others, plus Washington, D.C., allow carrying with restrictions, and in the remaining four the right is denied."

Wednesday, January 26, 2005


On Friday, 24-year-old Johnny Lee Williams scowled as he was led away in shackles. On Saturday, his mug shot from inside the Cochise County Jail shows the same angry demeanor. Williams is a former decorated Marine who served one tour in Operation Iraqi Freedom during 2003. The Pentagon says he received a bad conduct discharge for marijuana use last February.

Willams had recently been living in his hometown of Tyler, Texas, where he allegedly kidnapped 19-year-old Wal-Mart employee Megan Holden as she was leaving work Wednesday night. On Saturday... Holden's body was found in a ditch near Stanton, Texas.

An APB had been out on Holden's truck since the kidnapping. Early Friday morning, a Willcox police officer spotted the truck, and Williams outside a local hospital, ending the interstate manhunt.

So why was our black gentleman at the hospital? Because his next act was an attempted holdup of a gun-owner named Ritchie:

[Ritchie] says, "I just drew and fired." His one shot went thru 24-year-old Johnny Williams's shoulder and through the cinder block of the building.

Ritchie doesn't want his last name known. He says the suspect walked into the Mountain View RV Park in Bowie at 5:45 a.m. and told him this was a robbery and to give him all the money in the cash register. Ritchie says, "I saw his gun coming out. He reached inside his sweatshirt. I saw a gun and I said 'Oh well, time to react.' I reacted faster than he did." Ritchie told Eywitness News 4 that after he shot the suspect, he called 911, looked out the window, and saw the would-be robber running through the parking lot and getting into his parked truck.

Ritchie was the wrong man to mess with. His weapons instructor told Eyewitness News 4 that all the locals know he carries a sidearm. "We've never been robbed, seeing it changes a lot of people's attitude. It's an attitude-adjustment tool," Ritchie says. It's that tool, Ritchie says, that saved his life and probably the lives of others. "He put my life in danger by drawing his weapon. He brought on it himself."

See here and here

Super wacky! UN pressed to adopt treaty on global gun tracing: "Arms control activists urged U.N. treaty writers on Monday to approve a system for tracking small arms sales around the world, saying it was easier to track lost airline luggage than a machine gun.Amnesty International, Oxfam International and the International Action Network on Small Arms called for a legally binding global marking and tracing treaty covering small arms and ammunition at the start of a two-week U.N. conference weighing how to deal with the problem."

Tuesday, January 25, 2005


Hypocrites too

Two tenured art professors have resigned from the University of California, Los Angeles, because the school refused to suspend a graduate student who may have used a gun during a classroom performance art piece. Chris Burden and Nancy Rubins, internationally known artists who taught at UCLA for more than two decades, filed their retirement papers Dec. 20. "They feel this was sort of domestic terrorism. There should have been more outrage and a firmer response," said Sarah Watson, a director at a Beverly Hills gallery that represents the couple.

In the brief performance on Nov. 29, the student appeared to point a loaded handgun at his head and pull the trigger, a student and law enforcement officials told the Los Angeles Times. The weapon didn't fire, but after the student left the room a noise that sounded like a gunshot was heard outside. Police said no one was hurt and it wasn't known if the firearm was real. Prosecutors said there wasn't enough evidence for charges, said Jane Robison, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. The student was allowed to continue his studies after the dean's office decided that suspension wasn't warranted.

Burden, 58, oversaw a program that includes performance, installation and video art, while Rubins, 52, taught sculpture. Burden did performance art in the 1970s and his best-known performance featured an assistant shooting him in the arm with a .22-caliber rifle. That work was different because the audience never felt in jeopardy, while the UCLA performance inspired "genuine fear," Watson said.


Two robbers shot dead by remisier: "A remisier shot dead two armed men who tried to rob him in his bungalow in Section 19 here this morning. Two others escaped but one of the men is believed to have been injured after being shot by the 51-year-old remisier. He was arrested at the Sultanah Aminah Hospital in Klang where he sought treatment for his wound. The remisier suffered a head injury after being slashed with a parang during a scuffle with the armed men. He received several stitches. ... He said the four robbers, all in their 20s, climbed into the compound of the bungalow in SS19/4A and entered the house when the remisier's wife opened the door to go into the front yard at 6.30am." [Note: A remisier is also known as a 'Commissioned Dealer's Representative' -- an independent agent attached to and registered with a stock broking company]

Monday, January 24, 2005


For the eighth time this month, bat-wielding young men attacked someone walking alone at night on a Nassau street, usually punching and pummeling the victim with the weapon during a robbery, police said. The same type of crime has occurred in six Nassau communities over a span of 20 days. Nassau police are urging residents and merchants to be careful when walking through the streets or making deliveries. The latest incident occurred about 8 p.m. Thursday in Roosevelt in front of 82 Manhattan Ave., when a worker for Freeport-based Papa John's Pizzeria made a delivery, said police spokesman Sgt. Anthony Repalone. The 24-year-old deliveryman gave the food to two girls who were about 15, Repalone said. That's when the two men, each about 25, attacked from behind, punching the deliveryman and hitting him with a bat. Police said the two men and two girls ran behind the house after taking the deliveryman's money and food.

More here

Ulster: New gun laws to cut restrictions: "New firearms legislation that relaxes some restrictions on guns will come into effect at the beginning of February, the Northern Ireland Office has announced. Under the new law certificates for holding firearms will be extended from three years to five years, although the NIO says renewals will be more 'rigorous.' The new law also says low-powered air rifles, paintball guns and de-activated guns will no longer require certificates, and there are provisions to allow shotguns and estate rifles to be loaned out. New firearm holders will be required to demonstrate they can shoot safely, as will shooters already holding a certificate but wishing 'to acquire a firearm of a significantly different type.'"

Sunday, January 23, 2005


Trouble came crawling through Henrietta McCormick's bedroom window Tuesday morning. After calling 911 to report a man breaking into her northeast Sarasota home, McCormick, 82, screamed for her 79-year-old brother, Julian Scott. Minutes later, George T. Jackson was in McCormick's cramped living room nursing a head injury after Scott hit him with a handgun. Jackson, a 24-year-old resident with a lengthy criminal history, died hours later at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, Sarasota County Sheriff's deputies reported. "I don't feel good about it at all, and I'm sorry it had to happen, but I'm glad I was here to protect my sister," said Scott, shaken from the episode.

It was after 2 a.m. when McCormick told a dispatcher she heard a man pounding on the front door then checking the windows. Deputies headed out to McCormick's single-story, cinder block duplex in the 2600 block of 24th Street. By then Jackson was climbing through McCormick's bedroom window. "He had a rage in him something fierce," she said. McCormick screamed for her brother in the next room. Groggy, he reached for his handgun and confronted Jackson, who lunged at him. The two men struggled for the gun. A shot fired into the ceiling, deputies reported. "The brother overpowered him and hit him on the top of the head with the butt of the gun," said sheriff's office spokesman Chuck Lesaltato.

When deputies arrived, Jackson was conscious but incoherent. Deputies arrested Jackson on charges of residential burglary, possession of rock cocaine and possession of marijuana, and then took him to Sarasota Memorial Hospital at about 3 a.m., where he died at 7:36 a.m., deputies reported. "We don't believe he died from the head injury," Lesaltato said. The medical examiner's office and detectives continue to investigate the case and Jackson's cause of death, he added. Scott isn't expected to be charged, Lesaltato said.

More here

New York: Moron Mayor: "For the first time in the nation, gun makers and dealers are now liable for injuries or deaths caused by the criminal use of their weapons, under a landmark law signed yesterday by Mayor Bloomberg. The law -- one of four bills signed regulating gun sales and possession -- goes further than any other city's effort to hold the gun industry financially responsible for crimes involving their weapons. 'We need to do everything we can to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and out of the hands of children,' said Bloomberg. 'There's just no argument here. Guns kill people, it's time to get them off the street.'"

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Maryland police: Repeal gun ID system: "A law requiring Maryland State Police to collect ballistics information from each handgun sold in the state has not aided a single criminal investigation and should be repealed, a state police report has concluded. About $2.5 million has been spent on the program so far. Col. Thomas E. Hutchins, the state police superintendent, said he would prefer spending the money on proven crime-fighting techniques. Maryland was the first state to adopt a ballistic fingerprinting law in April 2000. New York is the only other state to have such a database."

Defending the right to bear arms: "I carry openly. I do this for political reasons -- the same reason I make it a point to sit in the smoking section at restaurants when I go out to eat by myself, even though I don't smoke. But that's another story. I carry openly, precisely because it invites comment (it shouldn't, but such is the sad state of our society). Some of the comments are good, a few are bad, and many more merely serve educational purposes"

Friday, January 21, 2005

Virginia: Victim disarmament rules at Capitol raise ire: "Hundreds of people file into the Capitol every day to visit their state legislators. Some bring paperwork. Some bring cupcakes. Some bring guns. In the past, rules about firearms in the Capitol and adjoining legislative office building were virtually non-existent. People with concealed weapons were required to show their permits, but those who openly carried pistols walked past Capitol Police officers, no questions asked. This year, new rules ban any public display of firearms, effectively barring anyone who has not been approved for a concealed weapon permit. The restrictions have angered gun-rights groups and even some lawmakers, who are trying to rescind the regulations."

Borrowed gun saves the day: "The Toluca homeowner who shot and killed a drunken intruder in late October had just borrowed the gun from a friend and practiced using it the day before the shooting, a Marshall County coroner's jury was told Friday. Homeowner Bradley Burns had been threatened recently during an unrelated fight at a bar where he worked part time as a bouncer, and a friend loaned him the 9-millimeter pistol with which he fatally shot Douglas A. Sullivan on Oct. 26. ... The jury ruled the death 'homicide, which was justifiable under the circumstances.'"

Second Amendment activist fights to open gun range: "It all started in La Grange, Kentucky when local residents ganged up on Second Amendment activist and real estate developer, Barry Laws. Laws, a resident of Los Angeles County, wants to restore an abandoned building into an indoor shooting and paintball range. Nearby residents have, oddly enough, taken a position you might expect from a city like Los Angeles where the U.S. Constitution is regularly denigrated. Anti-gunners in La Grange claim that the range's proximity to a nearby apartment complex and bus stop jeopardizes the safety of the children. They have taken steps to prevent the range from opening and have alerted local media. And, if we know anti-gunners, the organizing, protesting and whining won't stop until they have successfully stomped the life out of the Second Amendment."

Thursday, January 20, 2005

A 17-year-old robbery suspect died late Thursday or early Friday after he suffered a gunshot wound when a storeowner fired in self-defense, police said. Rashawn Edward Linnear, of Detroit, was armed with a .45 caliber handgun when he and two other teens -- 16-year-old Miguil Andrew Jackson and 15-year-old Deandre Lamar Benson -- entered the Oakland Party Store on Ten Mile Road in Southfield at about 9 p.m. Wednesday, Local 4 reported. The three ordered the store's owner, 51-year-old Maurice Gorges, and a customer to the floor at gunpoint, police said. Gorges, of West Bloomfield, said he asked the teens to leave after he emptied out his register for them. "They kept saying, 'No. Give us the safe and the videotape (or) we're going to kill both of you,'" said the customer, whose name was being withheld. Gorges, who purchased a gun eight years ago after his store was robbed, said he fired his weapon when Linnear pointed the handgun at him. "I didn't want to do that . I gave him a chance, but that's his choice," Gorges said. The 17-year-old suffered a gunshot wound to the head. He was taken to Providence Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. Jackson and Benson, both from Detroit, were arrested by Southfield police. One was chased and captured by a police officer and the other was tracked down by a K-9 unit, police said. The teens were charged as adults Thursday afternoon. Police said they do not expect the storeowner to face charges

Ohio: Parolee's sub shop robbery attempt "torpedoed": "The Dayton Daily News is reporting that a robbery suspect was shot in the arm Friday by the manager of the Subway restaurant he is accused of trying to rob in the 2800 block of East Third Street. The newspaper reports the suspect, whose name was not released, was taken to a local hospital to be treated for the non-life-threatening wound after police caught up with him at his sister's house in the 1-99 block of Philadelphia Street shortly after 1 p.m. According to quotes in the DDN attributed to Dayton Sgt. Michael McCune, the manager fired a 9 mm at the suspect, who was holding a .22 caliber handgun. The suspect dropped his gun and ran out the front door to his sister's house, a block away from the restaurant. The sister called 911, police said."

Wednesday, January 19, 2005


On 12th I mentioned the upcoming ban on .50 caliber rifles in California and said "I can't say I would be greatly bothered if this one were banned" -- on the grounds that getting handguns UN-banned nationwide is a far more important cause for energies to be expended on. In response, Jack Flannagan wrote to me as follows:

On Wednesday you said that you are in agreement with Arnold's decision to ban the .50 rifle in California. The second amendment says:

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

To my mind the important thought in this amendment is `the right shall not be infringed'. If keeping and bearing arms is a right not to be infringed, how can you accept banning a particular caliber of weapon? If a .50 is too big, how about a .45? The Brit snipers use a .338 - is that too big? The .44 Magnum handgun with a 9 or 12 inch barrel is effective out to several hundred yards, in fact I understand that in the American west they are used as hunting arms. Is that too much gun for personal defence, and should it be banned as well? How about a Bren 10 with 10 or fifteen cartridges in the handle? The constitution seems to me to give the citizen the right to decide what arms he may keep and bear. Anything else would be an infringement.

If keeping and bearing arms is a right, which shall not be infringed, who decides which weapons shall not be available to the citizenry? If you look at the second amendment in the light of the times in which it was written, I believe that its meaning is very clear. The framers of the constitution wanted to promote the availability of a citizen army available to defeat the country's enemies by being called up at short notice and reporting for duty with their own weapons and ammunition. The concept of a well regulated militia has changed from local companies commanded by a local landowner or other prominent person, to the National Guard, but the principle of an armed citizenry is still enshrined in the constitution. I think that it is all part of the original American concept of the people being served by the government, not the current Liberal concept of the government being served by the people. I have a suspicion that the second amendment was written with a mind to keeping the government honest. When every man has at least one gun, crooked politicians get nervous.

Since I am a Canadian, I don't have a personal interest in the gun debate in the U.S., but I do believe that the U.S. Constitution has got it right in most areas, and has stood the test of time very well. In my country a succession of so-called Liberal governments has turned what was once a proud country with a strong military history into a bunch of snivelers who will accept any stupid idea as long as it does not look American. You may have heard of our gun registry, which was to have cost $2 million and save lives all over the country. It is now heading for $2 Billion, and the people in Toronto still kill each other with illegal guns at an increasing rate. The government knows that the registry does not work, will never work, will always be too expensive, and doesn't save lives, but they will not correct this stupid situation, for to do so would cause a loss of face, and require an admission that yet another Liberal touchy-feely attempt to solve a real problem has failed.

And John Lott has of course had his say on the matter too. Excerpt follows:

"Now it is the 50-caliber rifles' turn, especially with California outlawing the sale of these guns since the beginning of the year. For years gun-control groups have tried to ban 50-caliber rifles because of fears that criminals could use them. Such bans have not been passed because these guns were simply not suited for crime. Fifty-caliber rifles are big, heavy guns, weighing at least 30 pounds and using a 29-inch barrel. They are also relatively expensive. Models that hold one bullet at a time run nearly $3,000. Semi-automatic versions cost around $7,000. Wealthy target shooters and big-game hunters, not criminals, purchase them. The bottom line is that only one person in the U.S. has been killed with such a gun, and even that one alleged case is debated.

The link to terrorism supposedly provides a new possible reason to ban 50-caliber rifles. But the decision to demonize these particular guns and not say .475-caliber hunting rifles is completely arbitrary. The difference in width of these bullets is a trivial .025 inches. What's next? Banning .45-caliber pistols? Indeed the whole strategy is to gradually reduce the type of guns that people can own.

Sniper Central, a site for both military snipers and law-enforcement sharpshooters, claims that "For military extreme long-range anti-personnel purposes, the .338 Lapua is king. Even the .50BMG falls short. (Due to accuracy problems with current ammo)." The .338 Lapua round simply has what is called a better bullet coefficient, it produces less drag as it travels through the air.

With a 50-caliber rifle it is possible for an extremely skilled and lucky marksman to hit a target at 1,800 meters (versus 1,500 meters plus for the .338 Lapua), though most marksmen say that the effective range for any of these guns is around 1,000 meters.

The worst abuse that 60 Minutes focused on was the Branch Davidians in Waco in 1993 having a 50-caliber gun. Yet, no one was harmed with the gun, and the Davidians surely had many other weapons. 60 Minutes also tried to scare people with incendiary and explosive ammunition, but the ammunition discussed is already illegal.

Fighting terrorism is a noble cause, but the laws we pass must have some real link to solving the problem. Absent that, many will think that 60 Minutes and gun-control groups are simply using terrorism as an excuse to promote rules that he previously pushed. Making it difficult for law-abiding Americans to own guns should not be the only accomplishment of new laws".

Tuesday, January 18, 2005


Gun control advocates often cite the ease with which a person can purchase a firearm from retail outlets and worry that such outlets are arming criminals in huge numbers. Lawsuits have been filed against wholesalers and retailers alleging that their marketing practices make it easy for criminals to get guns. These advocates continually push for more restrictions on firearms purchases in vain attempts to keep guns from criminals and others who shouldn�t have access to them. The problem with such laws is that criminals routinely ignore them (after all, they are criminals). Law-abiding citizens who have every right to purchase and own firearms are the ones who pay the price for these laws.

In the wake of the 1999 Columbine shootings, Colorado voters passed a law requiring background checks for all firearm sales at gun shows. The argument in favor of the law was that criminals were taking advantage of the fact that such checks had been required only if a licensed firearms dealer was selling a gun. But if a recent report from the Justice Department is any indicator, this law and others like it are likely not very effective.

The study noted that the number of criminals who obtained guns from retail outlets was dwarfed by the number of those who picked up their arms through means other than legal purchases. The report was the result of interviews with more than 18,000 state and federal inmates conducted nationwide. It found that nearly 80 percent of those interviewed got their guns from friends or family members, or on the street through illegal purchases. Less than 9 percent were bought at retail outlets and only seven-tenths of 1 percent came from gun shows. So much for the much-ballyhooed closing of the �gun-show loophole.�

The Justice Department�s interviews also showed the falseness of the notion that so-called assault weapons in private hands decrease the safety of police officers and citizens. Only about 8 percent of the inmates used one of the models covered in the now-expired assault weapons ban, passed under Bill Clinton in 1994. If the supposed increased firepower of these firearms truly made them attractive to lawbreakers the percentage would have been much higher. And so another gun-control myth ends up on the ash heap.


Victim disarmament groups give New Jersey high rating: "New Jersey has received an A- rating from the nation's top gun control groups for the way it regulates firearms. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and the Million Mom March said Wednesday that the rating, the same as last year's, is based on the Garden State's regulation of the sale and possession of guns for kids, laws that make adults liable for having loaded weapons around children and requirements that handguns be childproof in the future. New Jersey also requires state-approved safety locks and a permit for every gun sale. Only five other states -- California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland and Massachusetts -- received ratings in the A-range. Thirty-one states were given Ds and Fs."

Monday, January 17, 2005


A few excerpts

No doubt, the most important work was forcing the semi-auto ban to sunset this year. Reading the quote above, you can see that GOA members and activists like yourself played a HUGE role in realizing that triumph. This was a tremendous victory that has set the anti-gun movement back a decade. But while this was certainly the most prominent achievement, there were other good news items to celebrate as well. To this end, here are a few of the things that we have accomplished together this year.

IN SEVERAL STATES, anti-gun legislators anticipated that the federal ban on semi-autos might sunset, so they tried to enact state versions of the Clinton ban, largely to no great effect. For example, GOA activated its grassroots alert several times in Maryland and was successful in encouraging pro-gun legislators in the state to kill the gun ban.

IN ILLINOIS, GOA helped fan the flames of support for a bill that gives new legal protections to gun owners who use a handgun to shoot home invaders. Lawmakers introduced the bill after the town of Wilmette prosecuted Hale DeMar for using a handgun to shoot a burglar in his home. Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) eventually vetoed the bill, but GOA activists helped persuade their representatives and senators to override the governor's veto in November!

IN NEW HAMPSHIRE, GOA supporters helped push a Vermont-Alaska style concealed carry bill over the top in the state senate. The bill would allow law-abiding citizens to carry firearms for self-defense without first getting a permit -- while still allowing people to get permits if they want reciprocity with other states.

On a surprising note, a New Hampshire lawmaker called GOA headquarters in Virginia with some very disturbing news after the carry bill passed the senate. The lawmaker warned that the sponsor of the carry bill, Sen. Andrew Peterson, was getting "cold feet" and was planning to stab gun owners in the back. Peterson wanted to appease police groups that opposed the legislation, so he tried to kill his own bill by preventing it from going to the state house. When that failed, he attended the House hearings and actually testified against his own bill!

GUN OWNERS OF AMERICA SUBSEQUENTLY PUNISHED the "flip-flopping" Senator during a September primary that he lost by only 268 votes. (GOA helped distribute hundreds upon hundreds of leaflets that detailed Peterson's treachery to gun owners in the district right before the election.) The winner, Rep. Peter Bragdon, is a committed supporter of Second Amendment rights and a die-hard defender of real concealed carry. This is definitely an issue that GOA would like to revisit in 2005.

ON A MORE EXCITING NOTE, pro-gun forces won a huge victory in March when Senators voted down several gun control restrictions that had been inserted into the gun makers' protection act. Senators were being pressed to pass the bill, even though it had been saddled with amendments to effectively abolish gun shows, to renew the semi-auto ban, and to require Americans to "lock up their safety." The pressure was on. Senators were given the vague promise that if they voted for these anti-gun provisions, the bill would be "cleaned up" later -- but this is a very dangerous strategy which has failed many times in the past. At the same time, thousands upon thousands of GOA postcards were being dumped on Senators' desks. The timing could not have been more perfect.

GOA postcards stopped these gun control restrictions -- including the Feinstein semi-auto ban -- from passing out of the Senate. The postcards made it quite obvious to Senate offices that we were not about to swallow very minimal Second Amendment gains in exchange for gun control. In the words of one Senate staffer, the GOA mail made it clear that "no deals" were acceptable.

Even after the defeat of the semi-auto ban in March, Senator Feinstein said that she would look for any and every opportunity to get her gun ban passed. To combat this, GOA worked hard to get Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist to use parliamentary maneuvers to keep gun control amendments from being offered to other bills. Senator Frist (R-TN) had refused to use those parliamentary techniques when the gun makers' protection act was being debated in March. He said it couldn't be done. Of course, GOA knew that wasn't true. So we posted the specific details on GOA's website -- at -- and documented how Senator Frist can bring up a bill for a vote, while using parliamentary roadblocks that keep antagonistic amendments from being offered. GOA then asked its members and activists to contact Senator Frist's office -- to make sure he not only read the document, but was prepared to use all the weapons in his arsenal to stop Senator Feinstein. He listened to you. When Senator Feinstein threatened to attach her gun ban to a legal reform bill, Senator Frist blocked her amendment.

Altogether, the Gun Owners of America -- Political Victory Fund (GOA-PVF) helped 14 pro-gun challengers get elected in the House and Senate. GOA's general policy is to restrict our support to challengers, since incumbents have obvious advantages in raising money and name ID. Topping the list of targets was the obstructionist anti-gun Senate Minority Leader, Tom Daschle, who has finally been deposed. Replacing him is former Representative John Thune, a strong pro-gun ally supported by GOA-PVF. But while ousting Daschle was certainly one of the most crucial races this year, there were six open Senate seats that anti-gunners had their sights set on. GOA-PVF played an important role in thwarting that plan and helping to elect strong pro-gun advocates to five of the six open seats.

More here

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Shot in the dark : "The most pre-eminent scientific group in America has produced a definitive analysis of our decades-long experience with gun control and shattered what has become an article of faith among proponents. The 328-page report by the National Academy of Sciences is based on 253 journal articles, 99 books, 43 government publications, a survey of 80 gun-control laws and some of its own independent study. It could find no evidence to support the conclusion that government restrictions on firearms reduces gun crime, gun violence and gun accidents."

Brandishing does the trick: "A Horton party store owner played a hunch and, with a suspected burglar in custody this morning, his inkling turned into a sure bet. After being burglarized a week ago, Doug Harrington of Griff's Party Store, 389 Moscow Road, figured he'd be hit again. So, he laid in wait with a 12-gauge shotgun in his lap after the store closed Tuesday. About 12:30 a.m. today, Harrington was greeted by an intruder. He ordered him to the floor. "I wouldn't have shot him," said Harrington, 59, an Army veteran who said he barked at the suspect like a drill sergeant. "I didn't want him to know that. He didn't like looking down the barrel of a 12-gauge shotgun." A 17-year-old Horton boy, whose name is being withheld pending arraignment, is in the Jackson County Jail. He was expected to be charged with burglary. State police said the teen admitted also being involved in a burglary Jan. 4 at the store, where an undisclosed amount of cash and a 9-millimeter handgun were stolen. The pistol was later recovered at the boy's home, the store owner said."

Belgium: Party calls for tougher gun laws : "Belgium's social-liberal Spirit party has called for a total ban on the private use of firearms after new figures shows that 2 million guns are in circulation in the country. The figure, published Wednesday, means that theoretically one in every five Belgian residents owns a gun, although only 669,273 guns are registered in the central registry."

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Texas: Robbery suspect dead after gun battle: "Police say a man found shot to death in south Houston early today is believed to a would-be robber who exchanged gunfire with a homeowner's son a couple hours earlier. A woman who lives on Darlinghurst near Fleetwell told police she saw four armed, masked men breaking into a nearby vacant home about 11 p.m. Monday, and called her son to come to her house. When he arrived, police said he retrieved a gun from his mother's house and the two went outside to check on the suspected burglars but suddenly found themselves confronted by the group. Police said the woman was grabbed by one of the armed men and held briefly. When she struggled free, her son exchanged gunfire with the men as they ran away."

Crossbows illegal in Australia: "Thousands of Tasmanians are breaking the law by owning crossbows without written permission from the Police Commissioner. New legislation that came into force at the start of this year makes it illegal to use, carry or possess a crossbow unless authorised to do so by Commissioner Richard McCreadie. But Tasmania Police has received only 33 applications for crossbow authorisation, of which only one has been granted so far. Two others have been rejected and the rest are yet to be finalised. However, crossbow dealers estimate several thousand Tasmanians may own crossbows."

Florida: Violent, mentally ill attacker shot: "Opa-Locka police said George Hernandez was on a violent rampage when he forced his way into a neighbor's apartment and allegedly beat up the 40-year-old woman and 79-year-old man inside. According to police, Hernandez then went to the third floor and attacked another neighbor, Marta Castro. Castro's husband tried to stop him, but when Hernandez continued his attack, he shot the suspect. Police said Castro's husband shot the man at least two more times as Hernandez continued his attack on the woman. Neighbors describe Hernandez as mentally ill. They said he is aggressive and many of the residents in the area fear him."

Friday, January 14, 2005


More a reflection on the courts than anything else

Buford Furrow used an illegally obtained weapon to kill Filipino-American letter-carrier Joseph Ileto and to wound five people at a Jewish day care center in a pair of Los Angeles-area attacks in 1999. Ileto's mother, Lillian, and families of the survivors have sued Glock Inc., the gunmaker, China North Industries Corp., RSR Management Corp and RSR Wholesale Guns Seattle Inc. contending they are liable for the attacks because they knowingly facilitated and participated in an underground illegal gun market. A federal judge threw out the case, but it was reinstated in 2003 by a divided 9th Circuit panel of judges.

Christopher Renzulli, the attorney for Glock and the RSR companies, has said the gun Furrow used to kill Ileto was originally sold to the police department in Cosmopolis, Wash., by the RSR companies. Court records indicate the police department then exchanged the weapon at a gun shop in exchange for a different model. That shop made a legal sale of the firearm to a gun collector, who then allegedly sold it to Furrow - an ex-convict prohibited from owning guns - at a gun show in Spokane, Wash. So between Glock et. al. and the killing were several other handlers of the firearm who are not mentioned in the lawsuit, among them law enforcement.

If Glock and the RSR companies are liable for for Ileto's death by "knowingly participating" in the "underground" gun trade - even at so many degrees of separation from Ileto's killer - then just as surely the Cosmopolis, Wash., police department and the gun's resellers are guilty as well. So why are they not being sued?

More here

Why liberals love gun control: "The goal of gun control is not to actually control guns and make the world a safer place, but to control people. It is not as important for you can pass a criminal background check so much as it is that you feel obligated to ask the state for permission to buy a gun. Liberals know gun control laws will not stop criminals, but it will erode the sense of independence and self reliance of regular people until they feel that they can do nothing that does not meet government approval."

Thursday, January 13, 2005


If you had a flat tire, would you fix the problem by replacing your car's muffler? I know, it sounds funny. But that's exactly the logic permeating throughout San Francisco's City Hall. When San Francisco's murder rate spiked in 2004, it could only be expected that local politicians would seek a solution. Why they would seek to emulate a bad solution is anyone's guess.

Understanding the problem and using a bit of common sense could go a long way in dealing with such a serious issue, but the idea being floated around City Hall leaves a lot to be desired. Several San Francisco supervisors have proposed a ballot measure urging voters to approve a sweeping handgun ban. If you think that Mr. and Mrs. Law-Abiding Citizen are to blame for a surge in murder, then I've got oceanfront property for sale in North Dakota. In fact, they are exactly the ones who would suffer because of this myopia.

Is firearm violence out of control? Not according to the National Crime Victimization Survey. It found that from 1993 through 2001 violent crime declined 54%, weapon violence went down 59%, and firearm violence decreased by 63% ... But, alas, San Francisco wants to join Washington D.C. at the forefront of gun prohibition. D.C. has nothing to brag about, however, after its handgun ban went into effect nearly 30 years ago. Not only is it our nation's Capitol, but in 14 of the past 15 years, Washington D.C. has the dubious distinction of also being the murder capital of the nation.....

If you want to fix that flat tire, grab the spare out of the trunk. If you want to deal with gun violence, go after the hardcore criminals responsible for the carnage. Proactive law enforcement targeting crime-infested neighborhoods has been proven to be the most effective way of curbing violence. With the help of federal authorities, local cops can target felons in possession of firearms sending them away for a decade or more under "Triggerlock" or "Project Exile" laws. Couple this approach with tough state legislation such as "Three Strikes," and you have a recipe for success. What an interesting concept: actually utilizing current laws to prosecute offenders!

Cities across the nation that employ a "zero tolerance" approach to violent crime are reaping the benefits. New York City, which leads the way in policing tactics such as CompStat, saw its peak of 2,245 murders in 1990 drop to 571 in 2004. Chicago, the nation's murder capital in 2003 with 598 homicides, watched as numbers fell to 447 in 2004..... We live in a world where violent, brutal people threaten our livelihood. I wouldn't recommend bringing a knife to a gunfight. As the old saying goes-God made men, but Sam Colt made men equal.

More here


"I now officially pronounce the gun control issue "dead" for the Democrats. Most of them have realized this already, which is why you hardly ever hear a Democrat mention guns these days, unless it's to brag about how much he loves them.

In the ideological battleground in the marketplace of ideas, you win some, you lose some, and most of the biggies are forever left unresolved. But we've won this one, friends. Decisively. Let's go celebrate. Dig out that old Walther or Sig-Sauer and take it down to your neighborhood range and plink through a brick or two of ammo!

Here are some more interesting stats from the poll:

More than half (53%) of Republicans own guns, compared with 36% of political independents and 31% of Democrats. Whites are more likely than nonwhites to own (44% and 24%, respectively), according to Gallup.

Residents of the South are significantly more likely than those living in other regions to report owning a gun. More than half of those living in rural areas (56%) own a gun, compared with 40% of suburbanites and 29% of those living in urban areas."


Wednesday, January 12, 2005


I can't say I would be greatly bothered if this one were banned. It is handguns that are needed for citizen protection. Getting them made legal in all jurisdictions is clearly the top priority

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger decided there's a weapon that's too dangerous to be in the hands of private citizens. This past week, a new law went into effect in California banning that weapon. It's the .50-caliber rifle, the Rolls Royce of sniper rifles. It's a big gun, a favorite of armies around the world, and it's still available in 49 states in this country to anyone over 18 with a clean record. It is, without a doubt, the most powerful weapon you can buy. And, as Correspondent Ed Bradley reports, it's powerful enough to kill a man or pierce armor from more than a mile away. A Senate report said that a bullet from a .50-caliber rifle, even at 1.5 miles, crashes into a target with more energy than a bullet fired at point-blank range from Dirty Harry's famous .44 Magnum.

The .50-caliber rifle, one of the world's best combat weapons, was invented 22 years ago in Murfreesboro, Tenn., by Ronnie Barrett. How did he come up with the idea? "I was just a 26-year-old kid, and didn't know any better," he says. But he knew enough to design a weapon that today is used by the armed forces of 35 different countries. He showed 60 Minutes a semi-automatic 82A1 rifle. "This was the first rifle that I designed, and has been our most popular rifle," he says. "This is the one that the United States Army ordered. Matter of fact, this is a U.S. Army rifle here."

Even though the .50-caliber rifle is a military-grade weapon, federal gun laws treat it like any other hunting rifle, and Barrett can sell the gun to civilians. He says he needs to, because military sales vary widely from year to year. "If it weren't for the civilian sales, I wouldn't be here. There's a lot of defense contractors that would not be here," says Barrett. He has sold thousands of .50-caliber rifles to private citizens who, he says, want the guns for target shooting and big game hunting.

But he scoffs at critics who claim that .50-caliber rifles are too dangerous in the hands of civilians. "The .50 has an excellent record. You know, as far as the abuses with .50-caliber rifles, they are so few, if any, that all other calibers ought to aspire to have as good a record as it has," says Barrett. "And it's a long rifle. When you hear people say it's a criminal's weapon, this is 5-and-a-half feet tall, or something like that. This is not a weapon that a criminal would use."

It's not convenience store robberies that worry Tom Diaz, a gun control advocate who was an expert witness in the California campaign to ban the gun. Diaz says the .50-caliber rifle made by Barrett and other manufacturers is a menace in the hands of terrorists. "This gun is designed and built to smash things up and to set things on fire," says Diaz. "It's a battlefield weapon. Yet it is sold as freely on the American civilian market as a .22 bolt action rifle."

What's wrong with Barrett's product? "I'm glad Ronnie Barrett makes his rifle for our military forces. I think it's a great thing on the battlefield," says Diaz. "I just think that there are certain occasions when we say in our society, this product is such a threat to our health and safety, and in this case, our national security, we will not allow it."

But isn't any gun in the hands of a terrorist a threat? "Well of course any gun is. But it is a gun that is unparalleled by any other small arm available to civilians," says Diaz. "We control every other kind of weapon of war you can think of - machine guns, plastic explosives, rockets. But this thing has flown under the radar for about 20 years."

Why would you need a weapon this powerful if you're not fighting a war? "It's a target rifle. It's a toy," says Barrett. "It's a high-end adult recreational toy. Any rifle in the hands of a terrorist is a deadly weapon."

More here

South Africa: Gun lobby vows court action against license rules : "The chaos surrounding the relicensing of legal firearms deepened yesterday with promises that the standards to apply to existing owners would be challenged in court if left as published by the National Qualifications Authority. There have also been charges that standards for the relicensing of existing weapons are being manipulated to make it as difficult as possible to challenge them. The draft unit standard for an individual to renew a gun licence was published only in mid-December while the time allocated for public comment runs out this Sunday."

Suspended sentence for man with guns: "A one-year suspended sentence has been handed to a former Saskatoon police staff sergeant who illegally stored guns in his home. Thomas Vanin had previously pleaded guilty to three weapons offences. Nearly 100 guns were discovered in his house and on his property more than four years ago. The 61-year-old man collected the weapons when he was in charge of destroying illegal firearms."

Tuesday, January 11, 2005


On Dec. 17, the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel announced its conclusion that the Second Amendment "secures an individual's right to keep and bear arms." This is huge. For generations, gun control advocates have made many misleading statements, and many lives have needlessly been lost in reliance on the wrong-headed philosophy that individuals should not have guns.

Those buying into the gun control movement have very sadly come to experience the realities of being unarmed and defenseless � the District of Columbia and the United Kingdom most recently. They are rethinking their position of banning guns, with renewed debates and bills introduced to permit private ownership of firearms once again. The D.C. bill's sponsors realized that an unarmed citizenry is at the mercy of criminals. The U.K., also experiencing a horrific rise in violent crime since banning guns, is revisiting being gun-free. Similar gun-free countries � Australia, South Africa, the Philippines � are experiencing a tragic rise in crime.

But what about vigilantism and chaos? In those states where right to carry concealed weapons is law, this has not been the case after decades of experience with both veteran and new permitees. This year, President Bush signed the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2003, which in 2004 became Public Law 108-277, putting not more cops on the street, but, in licensing retired officers, the law in effect put more armed private citizens on the street. The president also signed into law Dec. 17 the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act, a move that is not unconnected to the nationwide movement to organize defenses. The FBI and other authorities show that though about 47,000 persons a year are shot or killed by guns, more than two million crimes per year are thwarted by the legal and proper use of a gun, often without firing a shot. The number of acts not permitted to escalate tells the story.

Washington state now recognizes concealed carry permits from other states. With one more state added to the list, many citizens can legally carry concealed weapons in nearly two-thirds of the states of the Union, but where right to carry is needed most � in California, for instance � it is frustrated the most. At present, a gun ban for San Francisco is proposed. Nationwide concealed carry is a necessary action worth completing, and with many bills pending for just that, constituents are urged to contact their representatives to see them through. A few examples are HR 990 for nationwide concealed carry, and, of course, D.C."s bill. Variations on these nationwide concealed carry bills are in the works. All of these actions are part of an intelligent movement to recognize the true authority of the people as an immense and dependable resource not only in time of threat to the nation, but also for local, individual self-defense in time of violent crime and other instances where first responders are not immediately available.

The significance of the DOJ announcement is stunning. For the first time in a long time, it represents the beginning of a shift in the professional relationship between the government and the governed. Even though law-enforcement officers are divided and not monolithically against citizen concealed carry here, one of the distressing notions handed down as training is exemplified in the December 1999 issue of the FBI's Law Enforcement Bulletin. That article emphasizes that officers should notice political stickers on a stopped vehicle, where NRA stickers and the like should warn the officers of a "violence potential" of the motorist. The DOJ announcement represents a possible turnaround of this attitude (which should next be handed down as training as well) and proper recognition of the individual not as an interference with law enforcement, but of being the first line of defense for individual and for community.

The announcement fortifies the argument against national identification cards, which are objectionable on so many grounds, not the least of which is the further alienation of constituents. National ID cards shouldn't be imposed on Americans, but on aliens, and that's where it should end if it isn't entirely abandoned as an idea.

The DOJ announcement suggests strongly that officials may come around and view constituents as a resource in the defense of America, not someone to sit on the sidelines, or worse, to be suspect. A national ID card would not serve national defense if, by its very existence, it states that law enforcement cannot discern the good guys from the bad guys and has to know everything about everyone.

I am so pleased with the Office of Legal Counsel's conclusion recognizing the realities of being disarmed, and recognizing necessarily the American people as a resource willing to participate in their own governance and defense. Informed and heard � and certainly not suspect � the individual citizen as the first line of defense is the ultimate homeland security.


Monday, January 10, 2005

Illinois: No charges in fatal shooting following break-in: "State prosecutors say they will not bring homicide charges against a 61-year-old Harvey, Illinois man who shot and killed his 21-year-old stepson. Harvey police say the older man shot John Shedrich on Friday afternoon as Shedrich attempted to force his way into the home he had formerly shared. They say Shedrich had thrown bricks through a window and kicked down the front door to get in. Police said the stepfather, whom they declined to identify, fired only in self-defense."

Connecticut: Resident fatally shoots home invader : "Three home invaders were repelled in a shootout Sunday night with a homeowner that left one of the attackers dead and one seriously wounded, police said. [Bridgeport] Police said 47-year-old Edwin Vega was one of three people who broke into a DeKalb Avenue home. The homeowner opened fire on the assailants, killing Vega. The two others fled, but not before one was wounded. The homeowner was also shot and wounded in the attack."

New York: State deal muzzles toy guns: "A settlement with major national wholesalers has pulled thousands of toy guns that violate New York state law from shelves, many of them from a new target -- costume shops. The wholesalers were estimated to have distributed more than 12,000 toy guns in 2001 alone in violation of a state law that previously had been applied only to retailers. The settlement with New York state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer's office is different from past actions in that it targets wholesalers and companies that specialize not in toys, but costume props and novelties. Spitzer said the distributors sold toy guns that violated a 15-year-old state law that bans realistic-looking toy guns unless they had permanent, usually inch-wide, orange stripes running down both sides of the barrel."

Sunday, January 09, 2005


Readying for a constitutional showdown over gun control, the Bush administration has issued a 109-page memorandum aiming to prove that the Second Amendment grants individuals nearly unrestricted access to firearms.

The memorandum, requested by Attorney General John Ashcroft, was completed in August but made public only last month, when the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel posted on its Web site several opinions setting forth positions on various legal issues. Reaching deep into English legal history and the practice of the British colonies prior to the American Revolution, the memorandum represents the administration's latest legal salvo to overturn judicial interpretations that have prevailed since the Supreme Court last spoke on the Second Amendment, in 1939. Although scholars long have noted the ambiguity of the 27-word amendment, courts generally have interpreted the right to "keep and bear arms" as applying not to individuals but rather to the "well-regulated militia" maintained by each state.

Reversing previous Justice Department policy, Mr. Ashcroft has declared that the Second Amendment confers a broad right of gun ownership, comparable with the First Amendment's grant of freedom of speech and religion. In November 2001, he sent federal prosecutors a memorandum endorsing a rare federal-court opinion, issued the previous month by the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, that found an individual has the right to gun ownership. President Bush adopted that view as well, saying that "the Constitution gives people a personal right to bear arms," and doesn't merely protect "the rights of state militias," in an interview published days before last year's election in National Rifle Association magazines.

The new Justice Department memorandum acknowledges that "the question of who possess the right secured by the Second Amendment remains open and unsettled in the courts and among scholars," but goes on to declare that "extensive reasons" support seeing it as an individual right, while there is "no persuasive basis" for taking another view. The Supreme Court's 1939 opinion, upholding a federal law requiring registration of sawed-off shotguns, found that the amendment didn't guarantee "the right to keep and bear such an instrument," because it had no "reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well-regulated militia." The court didn't go further to say what firearms rights the Constitution did guarantee, but federal courts subsequently have dismissed challenges to gun-control laws on Second Amendment grounds.

More here

Tennessee: Judge refuses to jail "geriatric" gun seller: "A federal judge in Knoxville has refused to send an elderly flea-market gun dealer to prison. Senior U.S. District Court Judge James Jarvis cited Henry Bostic's failing health and age of 84 years in telling prosecutors he wouldn't follow sentencing guidelines and put Bostic in prison. Bostic was one of 23 aging gun dealers, dubbed 'the geriatrics' by law enforcers, who were rounded up between 2000 and 2002 for illegally selling firearms at flea markets, gun shops and homes in Tennessee. Authorities bought more than 600 guns from these defendants during the two-year period and confiscated 1,000 more at their homes and businesses."

Saturday, January 08, 2005


Bummer about the reward, though

A man who was killed while attempting to rob a store last week was responsible for three recent rapes that had spread fear among students and workers in the city�s relatively safe downtown area, authorities said Wednesday. Camden County Prosecutor Vincent P. Sarubbi said the state police DNA lab confirmed that Antonio Diaz Reyes, 32, was the rapist. �The DNA results were a perfect match,� Sarubbi said at a news conference.

The rapes in November and December were brazen daylight attacks at knifepoint. Investigators decided to check Reyes� DNA against samples taken after the three sexual assaults because the would-be robber used a method similar to the earlier attacks.

Reyes� death was captured on a store surveillance video. Authorities said he entered the Camden City Wireless and Fishing Supply store in East Camden on Friday afternoon and held the store owner�s wife at knifepoint. The owner, Ngoc Le, 28, saw what was happening, grabbed his gun, which was legally registered, and told Reyes he would let him live if he released his wife, atuhorities said. Reyes would not let the 26-year-old woman go and threatened to kill her. From about four feet away, Le fired the handgun once, hitting Reyes in the head. Reyes died at the scene.

Reyes was the 54th and final homicide victim in a deadly 2004 in a city that was named last by one crime analyst last year as the nation�s most dangerous. Le, who has an address in Philadelphia, will not be charged with any crimes, Sarubbi said. While authorities said they do not want to encourage vigilante justice, they did speak of his killer as a hero. �He was placed in the situation and he took the appropriate action,� said Camden Police Chief Edwin J. Figueroa.

But he was also unlikely to be eligible for a $30,000 reward offered by a Rutgers University�s Camden campus and a local law firm, Sarubbi said, because he did not give a tip that led to the arrest of the rapist.

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Nearly 36 hours after sheriff's deputies and officers began a manhunt for a Portland bank robbery suspect, an unemployed plumber caught the man and held him at gunpoint Wednesday night. Steven W. Driffill, 56, of West Valley, Utah, was apprehended about 5:30 p.m. at a residence in the 4400 block of Kalama River Road. Police believe Driffill robbed a branch of Sterling Savings in northeast Portland Tuesday and is the man who led them on a 100 mph chase up Interstate 5 to Kalama Tuesday morning.

When Leon Dalsing saw someone run behind a wood shed near his parents' home, he ran into the house, grabbed a .30-06 rifle, loaded it and ran out the front door. He confronted a man wearing a baseball cap and ordered him to his knees, he said. Meanwhile, his mother, Helen Dalsing, called 911, and Cowlitz County sheriff's deputies Brad Bright and Tory Shelton arrived a few minutes later to find Driffill on the ground with Dalsing holding him at gunpoint, according to Helen Dalsing.

Deputies found a 9 mm automatic pistol in Driffill's belt, according to Charlie Rosenzweig, chief criminal deputy for Cowlitz County. Rosenzweig said Driffill, who was soaking wet and had spent an icy night along the Kalama River, offered no resistance. Deputies believe that he spent some time in the river and crossed it at some point. Rosenzweig said Driffill complained about being cold, but he warmed up after he received dry clothes at the sheriff's office. He then was turned over to the FBI, which took him to a federal jail.

Authorities would not say whether Driffill had any stolen money. Investigators say Driffill may have been involved in Nov. 24 robberies in Tigard and Eugene, Ore. Rosenzweig said Driffill was arrested three miles from an abandoned Ford F150 pickup found Tuesday in the 1300 block of Modrow Road. The truck is the one involved in Tuesday's chase. "We received lots of tips, and this really paid off," Rosenzweig said, touting the "spirit of cooperation between the public and the sheriff's office that continues to pay big dividends in solving cases like this."

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Friday, January 07, 2005


This article from the year 2000 still seems very relevant

Americans tend to believe Britain a peaceful place with little crime. Post-confiscation, quite the opposite proves true: the crime rate in England and Wales is now 60 percent higher than in the United States. Indeed, it is higher than in every one of the 50 states.

As in Australia, British police are incapable of stopping this growing anarchy. Despite having more policemen per capita than the U.S., despite installing more electronic surveillance equipment than any other Western country, robbery and sex crimes have shot ahead of U.S. numbers, property crime is now twice as high, and assaults and muggings are now between twice and three times as high as in America.

Perhaps the most telling statistic is the "hot burglary" rate; i.e., those burglaries which are committed while the homeowner is present. In the United States, these burglaries account for just over 10 percent of the total: criminals fear getting shot. In post-gun-ban Britain, however, "hot burglaries" account for more than half of the total, meaning that vastly more Britons face an armed intruder each year, with absolutely no way to defend themselves either from the burglary itself or from whatever other assaults, rapes or murders the criminal may choose to commit.

The contrast between this horror story and the American experience is vast. The U.S. crime rate has fallen precipitously throughout the 1990s, largely driven downward by those states which have enacted concealed-carry laws. And in fact, gun ownership has been shown in survey after survey to be one of the single most important factors in preventing violent crime.

Of particular note, Janet Reno's Department of Justice commissioned a survey in 1994 by the openly anti-gun Police Foundation. That exhaustive study, "Guns in America: National Survey on Private Ownership and Use of Firearms," was completed in 1997, and its conclusion was clear: "Guns are used far more often to defend against crime than to perpetrate crime."

In the year studied, 1.5 million Americans used guns to defend their homes, families or property. In the words of the study, literally "millions of attempted assaults, thefts and break-ins were foiled by armed citizens during the 12-month period." And as the study itself admits, its conclusions are "directly comparable" to other similar studies: the Police Foundation's work was the fifteenth national survey to reach this same conclusion in the past twenty-two years, every one of them having found results in the same range.

The common sense of gun ownership is inescapable: a family, or a single mother, alone at home, facing an armed intruder in the middle of the night, does not have time to call 911. By the time the police arrive, no matter how competent they are, no matter how quickly they respond, she and her children will be dead. It's that simple. She can defend herself and her children, or she can face her merciless predator, alone.

The fact is simple: guns save lives. Lots of lives. Every day. Criminals would far rather prey on the weak than on someone who can fight back. Private gun ownership means people can help protect their families and keep the peace; it also makes certain that crime does not pay.

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Your government will protect you: "Eighteen-month-old Kaylynn Alicia Shelby Gaddie was murdered several days ago, and her body was dumped in Jefferson Memorial Forest. The murderer was a man who was supposed to have been in prison since September. Unfortunately, the police hadn't served the warrant to put him in prison, so he was on the loose and took advantage of his freedom to murder Kaylynn. According to the Courier-Journal, 'Maj. Troy Riggs, chief of staff for Metro Police, said picking someone up on a warrant isn't as easy as 'knocking on the door.' ... Kaylynn died of head injuries but an exact time of death could not be determined." Since when is protecting us from the bad guys supposed to be as easy as knocking on the door? Is that the standard the government uses? -- If it is as easy as knocking on the door, we'll do it; if not, we

Thursday, January 06, 2005


A Gallup Poll released this morning reveals that the average American owns 1.7 guns, with the average gun owner possessing 4.4 of them. The press is quick to promote stereotypes of the average gun owner as a white male, most likely Republican, living in a rural area or the South. But how well does reality match the image? The new Gallup Poll shows that the stereotype is not that far off, but with several twists. For one thing, one out of three American women say they own a gun. That's not much below the overall mark of 40% for all American adults.

As for other elements of the stereotype: More than half (53%) of Republicans own guns, compared with 36% of political independents and 31% of Democrats. Whites are more likely than nonwhites to own (44% and 24%, respectively), according to Gallup.

Residents of the South are significantly more likely than those living in other regions to report owning a gun. More than half of those living in rural areas (56%) own a gun, compared with 40% of suburbanites and 29% of those living in urban areas.

From 1959 through 1993, an average of 47% of Americans reported having a gun in their homes. Since that time, household gun ownership has dropped to an average of 40%.

Gallup also asked those with guns in their households about the total number of guns they have. A majority of gun owners (62%) have more than one gun on their properties, including 29% who say they have five or more guns.

But do guns make you safer? �Americans are divided on the topic,� Gallup reports, with 46% saying that having a gun in the home makes it a more dangerous place to be, and 42% saying guns make households safer.


New Jersey: City merchant kills attacker: "The owner of an East Camden store fatally shot a man attempting to rob the business while holding the owner's wife at knifepoint Friday afternoon, authorities said. ... The man walked into the store and grabbed the proprietor's wife ... 'He reportedly threatened her with a knife and told her he was robbing the store,' said Bill Shralow, a spokesman for the prosecutor's office. The owner, who is in his 30s, drew a handgun and told the man to release his wife, who is in her 20s. When the man refused, the owner shot the man once in the head."

Tucson resident will lead NRA : "Sandy Froman heard a strange noise in the middle of the night. She peered through the peephole and saw a stranger trying to break into her home. Fear gripped her. As she waited for the police, she tried to scare the man off: She banged on the door. Cranked up the stereo. The man left, but the feeling of helplessness was life-changing. 'I realized that no one was going to take care of me but me. The police can't be on every street corner. You need to be prepared,' said Froman, who lived in California at the time but now lives in Tucson. This spring, Froman will takeover as the president of the National Rifle Association, a 4 million-member organization that is one of the country's most powerful lobbying groups. ... Froman's goals are to diversify membership and dispel what she calls the 'myths of the NRA.'"

Wednesday, January 05, 2005


Beware the lethal combination of alcohol, New Year's Eve revelry and a loaded gun, according to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, which in its latest press release, pointed to the threat posed by "overexcited and under-intelligent" gun owners. Those people, the Brady Campaign warned, might "welcome 2005 with an act of stupidity," defined in the release as "the indiscriminate unloading of weapons into the air," or "celebratory gunfire." And "they may kill an innocent in the bargain, too," the anti-gun group stated.

However, even the gun control group, Americans for Gun Safety Foundation, found fault Wednesday with the Brady Campaign's use of the words "overexcited and under-intelligent" while referring to gun owners. "I don't think that any gun owners are likely to be persuaded by a press release that effectively calls them stupid," said Casey Anderson, executive director of the Americans for Gun Safety Foundation. "I certainly think that people ought to be careful how they handle and store their guns. But I doubt that a release of this type of tone is likely to persuade many people to take this advice seriously," Anderson added.

In urging Americans "to leave the guns locked up on New Year's Eve," the Brady Campaign contended that each year, on New Year's Eve and Independence Day, "scores of people place others at risk of injury or death as a result of celebratory gunfire. When a bullet is fired into the air, the bullet has to come down somewhere."

Celebratory gunfire is a major problem in Miami, New Orleans, Phoenix, Los Angeles and in towns along the U.S./Mexican border, according to the Brady Campaign. The group pointed to the June 1999 death of a Phoenix teenager, Shannon Smith, who was killed by a stray bullet while talking on the telephone in her backyard. "Shannon's Law," named for the 14-year-old victim, now makes it a felony to fire a gun into the air within Phoenix city limits. According to the Brady Campaign, 95 cases of random gunfire were successfully prosecuted in the city in 2003.

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Is the pendulum finally turning? "Fortunately, a critical mass of gun owners has been awakened. Thanks to their organizing, to the new medium of the Internet which allows them to bypass a hostile 'mainstream' press, and through political involvement, 1994's so-called 'assault weapons' ban has expired. Now is not the time to rest, but to understand how we got to where such clear infringements of the Second Amendment were considered politically feasible. Be forewarned: more 'gun control' laws are waiting in the wings the instant we let down our guard. Where we will be 50 years from now, when GUNS will hopefully observe its centennial, is up to us."

Good people can put guns to good use: "[G]un control advocates tell us that without the availability of guns, fewer people -- meaning fewer bad people -- would have access to them, making us safer. That is also difficult to argue with. Fewer guns mean fewer bad people with guns and, therefore, a safer community. But here in the real world, in our own communities of Western New York, there are bad people, and they do seek to injure good people. And twice last month, seemingly good people who had guns were able to prevent a crime or an even greater tragedy. So the real lesson is that in the real world -- even in Buffalo -- there are some bad people (thankfully not too many) and that sometimes good people with guns can help stop them and make our community a better place to live."

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Florida: Rubber bands banned: "Where do you stand on the rubber band issue? Are they useful doodads for holding things together, or missiles capable of shooting someone's eye out? ... Young Middle Magnet School of Mathematics, Science & Technology in Tampa, perhaps stretched beyond its limit, has banned the band. In a December newsletter, the Buffalo Bulletin, administrators warned parents and students. ... 'Rubber bands are not permitted at school. If students are in possession of rubber bands for any reason they will be subject to consequences that may include out of school suspension. When rubber bands are required for classroom use, they will be provided and collected.'"

The ethnic dimension of gun use illustrated: "Vanderbilt running back Kwane Doster was shot to death after his friends and a group of other men exchanged 'trash talk' about their cars, Tampa police said Tuesday. ... Doster, 21, was shot to death at a sandwich shop after visiting a local club with two friends about 1:30 a.m. Sunday. While leaving the club, Doster's friends had a discussion with three other men about their cars, said Tampa police spokesman Joe Durkin. Both groups were driving what Durkin described as 'show' cars, and the arguments centered on whose car was better. ... The suspects were riding in an orange Infiniti. Blocks later, Doster and his friends pulled into a sandwich shop. The Infiniti pulled up, and one man got out and opened fire with a handgun, Durkin said. Doster, who was sitting in the back seat of his friend's car, was killed with a single shot. No one else was injured."

Felons and guns revisited: "The first misconception I see today is that most felons are violent. This simply is not true. In these days of mandatory sentencing guidelines, most criminals who did more than spit on the sidewalk or jaywalk are felons. Most drug possession charges are felonies. Most hot check charges are felonies. Most tax offenses are felonies. Most frauds are felonies. As a result, you have a huge group of felons today who are guilty of either unintentional or victimless crimes, and the majority are entirely non-violent. One of my closest friends today wrote some inadvertent hot checks thirty years ago, when she was all of seventeen. Today, she is an ordained minister who spends most of her time helping people. Nevertheless, she is branded as a felon forever -- and forever barred from purchasing a firearm, although the State of Texas will generously permit her to possess a firearm in her home. And what firearm would that be? A gift that could get the giver in a lot of trouble? A firearm belonging to her spouse? Or perhaps a borrowed firearm? This is a recipe for disaster if I ever read one!"

Monday, January 03, 2005


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

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

The inferior status of the peasantry having been affirmed by civil disarmament, the Samurai enjoyed kiri-sute gomen, permission to kill and depart. Any disrespectful member of the lower class could be executed by a Samurai's sword. The Japanese disarmament laws helped mold the culture of submission to authority which facilitated Japan's domination by an imperialist military dictatorship in the 1930s, which led the nation into a disastrous world war.

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

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

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San Francisco political leaders recently proposed a complete ban on private gun ownership in addition to a city ordinance prohibiting gun-related activities such as gun shows. This anti-gun move is a result of the city's high homicide rate, according to officials. Yet, there are many crime experts who believe San Francisco's zeal for disarming law-abiding citizens is based on a myth: that gun ownership causes violent crime.

When the FBI's annual crime report -- the Uniform Crime Report or UCR -- revealed that only 26% of violent crimes involved a firearm, the naysayers in the news media and anti-gun lobby denigrated the statistics and continued their opposition to citizen gun ownership. Yet the US Department of Justice's annual crime survey appears to confirm the FBI's findings. In fact, the DoJ's figures were even lower for gun-related violence than the FBI's. The FBI Uniform Crime Report is based on voluntary reports obtained from local police agencies, while the National Crime Victimization Survey is based on interviews with actual crime victims.

Estimates from the DoJ's National Crime Victimization Survey indicate that between 1993 and 2001 approximately 26% of the average annual 8.9 million violent victimizations were committed by offenders armed with a weapon. About 10%, or 846,950 victimizations each year, involved a firearm. From 1993 through 2001 violent crime declined 54%; weapon violence went down 59%; and firearm violence, 63%. Males, blacks and Hispanics, the young, and those with the lowest annual household income were more vulnerable to weapon violence in general and firearm violence in particular than their respective counterparts.

For the 9-year period beginning with 1993, 23% of white victims of violence and 36% of black victims were victims of violence involving an offender armed with a weapon. About 7% of white victims and 17% of black victims were involved in incidents in which an offender was armed with a gun. Forty-five percent of all violence with a weapon involved victims between ages 25 and 49, and 38% involved victims between ages 15 and 24. Blacks were about 9 times more likely than whites to be victims of gun-related homicides (25 per 100,000 blacks age 12 or older versus 3 per 100,000 whites.)

While victimizations involving knives comprised 6% of all violent crimes resulting in an injury, these victimizations accounted for about 24% of all serious injuries experienced by crime victims.

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