Friday, January 19, 2007

Israel: Police hold rancher over shooting of Bedouin: "A Negev ranch owner, who shot and killed a Bedouin man and seriously wounded another as they were trying to break into his ranch, was kept in remand Sunday morning as prosecutors sought to charge him with murder. MK Yisrael Katz said that the law should view resistance to domestic break-ins as self defense. Katz said he intends to submit to the Knesset a bill to that effect, in similiarity to the laws in some states in the U.S. He told police that he had fired at four figures who had come to the ranch to steal, and that his life had been in danger. He said the intruders had poisoned his dog and cut the locks on his sheep pen."

Pro-gun laws: "Last month, Greenleaf, Idaho, adopted Ordinance 208, calling for its citizens to own guns and keep them ready in their homes in case of emergency. It’s not a response to high crime rates. As The Associated Press reported, “Greenleaf doesn’t really have crime ... the most violent offense reported in the past two years was a fist fight.” Rather, it’s a statement about preparedness in the event of an emergency, and an effort to promote a culture of self-reliance. And it may not be a bad idea. While pro-gun laws like the one in Greenleaf are mostly symbolic, to the extent that they actually make a difference, it is likely to be a positive one. Greenleaf is following in the footsteps of Kennesaw, Ga., which in 1982 passed a mandatory gun ownership law in response to a handgun ban passed in Morton Grove, Ill. Kennesaw’s crime dropped sharply, while Morton Grove’s did not. To some degree, this is rational. Criminals, unsurprisingly, would rather break into a house where they aren’t at risk of being shot. As David Kopel noted in a 2001 article in The Arizona Law Review, burglars report that they try to avoid homes where armed residents are likely to be present... Likewise, in the event of disasters that leave law enforcement overwhelmed, armed citizens can play an important role in stanching crime. Armed neighborhood watches deterred looting in parts of Houston and New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita...."

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