Wednesday, October 19, 2005

A lesson from the Third World about the value of gun control: "I've never owned a gun, nor do I plan on owning a gun in the future. I've never really felt the need to own one. I don't hunt. I'm not in law enforcement. I don't live on a farm where I might need one for varmints. I'm not involved in anything else where a gun might be needed. I've never felt the need to own one for self-defense. I've shot guns at targets or for practice once or twice, but that's about it. Part of the reason is that for most of 18 years, I lived in Papua New Guinea, a Third World country that has very strict gun control laws. One expatriate was kicked out for having a pellet gun. Yeah, a pellet gun. They didn't want any guns at all. Period. You would think in this country that had very strict controls on who could own guns that there would be little violence, right? Wrong. Their murder rate is twice that of the United States. And guess who had the guns? Sometimes not even the police because the criminals would steal them!"

Alaska shows the way: "Starting Wednesday, handgun owners won't need permits to carry concealed weapons in the seven Alaska cities where they're still required. There also will be no more restrictions on keeping a firearm in a vehicle. A new state anti-gun control law that goes into effect will essentially bar municipalities from passing gun laws that are more restrictive than state law. The National Rifle Association, which helped Republican state Rep. Mike Chenault write the legislation, says except for the concealed weapon permit requirements, most Alaska city and state gun laws are the same. What the NRA wants to do is prevent cities from passing more restrictive laws in the future. It calls it state pre-emption, and Alaska will be the 44th state to have such a law on its books. "We are looking to make it uniform to all 50 states," said NRA spokeswoman Kelly Hobbs. "Without it, it creates an unfair, inconsistent and confusing patchwork of local firearm ordinances."

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