Tuesday, November 15, 2005


It's not easy to do, but gun control advocates in San Francisco have come up with an anti-firearms measure that embarrasses even some gun control advocates. The red-faced ones may realize this one is not likely to work even if it is upheld in court, which it almost certainly will not be. But the pointlessness of the initiative didn't stop San Franciscans from approving it by a hefty majority.

Proposition H outlaws the sale, manufacture, transfer and ownership of handguns and ammunition in the city. Unlike other cities that enacted bans but allowed residents to keep weapons they already had, San Francisco included immediate confiscation in the deal: Anyone who now has a handgun must surrender it to the police by next April. The only people allowed to possess these firearms will be police, soldiers and security guards.

So what's wrong with this plan? Just about everything. Start with the fact that it appears to conflict with the state constitution, which gives the state sole jurisdiction over firearms regulation -- a defect that doomed San Francisco's last handgun ban, passed in 1982. University of California at Berkeley law professor Franklin Zimring, a staunch supporter of gun control, says the new ordinance is a "sure loser" in court.

More here

Power to the People: "The solution to Brazil's high murder rate seemed obvious to the Brazilian government, the media, and United Nations: Ban guns. They all went to great efforts to pass an initiative doing just that last month, but in the end almost two thirds of Brazil's voters rejected the proposal. It is hard for most Americans to imagine what Brazilians are facing. For the most recent detailed numbers, the U.S. murder rate was 5.5 per 100,000 people in 2004. For Brazil it was 28.3 in 2002. That's just a little less than three times the record U.S. murder rate at the height of prohibition in 1933. Brazilians have a right to be skeptical that yet more gun control is the solution. Strict licensing laws that have been in effect in Brazil since 1940 have not solved the problem. Since 1941 it has been illegal to bring a weapon outside one's house without authorization."

Indiana: Mother threatens burglar with gun: "A gun-carrying Merrillville mom didn't pull any punches when a man wearing a black ski mask tried to break into her house Wednesday night. She threatened to shoot him with the 40-caliber handgun she was holding and he backed off and ran away, police said. The woman, who lives in the 5300 block of Cleveland Street, told police she was changing her baby's diaper at about 7 p.m. when she heard a noise, Detective Lt. Don Toth said. She told police she went to the front of her house, opened the front door and observed a man in a black ski mask attempting to break in. The woman slammed her door shut and pushed back as the man continued to attempt to open the door with his shoulder, Toth said. She yelled she had a gun and would fire if he continued, and the man fled on foot."

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