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G M
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« Reply #350 on: January 23, 2010, 11:04:58 PM »

So, are you asserting that illegal aliens and felons have a constitutional right to keep and bear arms? Do legitimate gun owners and the firearms industry have a moral, ethical responsibility to prevent such individuals from purchasing weapons at their venue?

The fact that the blogger cites Alex Jones of Prisonplanet.com says this is typical fever swamp paranoia.
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prentice crawford
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« Reply #351 on: January 24, 2010, 01:07:26 AM »

  I think it's fairly obvious that I made no such assertions about felons and illegal aliens having gun rights and futhermore the firearms industry and individual lawabiding citizens do act responsibly at gunshows and obey the law and are perfectly within their rights both morally and ethically to make legal transactions while they are there. As for who is charged with the responsibility to prevent these illegal purchases and sales, that's easy; it's the U.S. Government and its law enforcement agencies that have the authority and duty to secure our borders and round up illegal aliens that get pass them and it's also their duty to arrest and prosecute criminals that illegally sell guns. What's more, the people making this deal to only sell through a FFL dealer, are making the false assumption that this will stop illegal gun sales. It won't. Are they so naive to believe that a person willing to sell a gun illegally or an illegal alien that wants to buy one, will go through the check? All they'll do is move the sale out to the parking lot. This won't stop criminals, but it does put an unnecessary invasive burden on lawabiding citzens making a lawful transaction. That's the theory at work here, that we should restrict the freedoms and rights of responsible lawabiding citizens and punish them for the wrong doings of others and the ineptness and failures of politicans and the government agencies they mismanage. I see something fundamentally wrong with that. What kind of deranged upside down swamp fever delusion could make someone think that way? That's not how things are suppose to work in our Constitutional Republic but it is something that we see more and more of all the time; individual freedoms being attacked and left undefended because of the Liberal virus we have been infected with. It's getting to the point where people are beginning to believe that we are all born guilty instead of free.tongue It's through intimidation by politicians and bureaucrats that abuse their power that citizens are fleeced of their rights, and being shamed by ideologues for not behaving morally or ethically to make them question their own integrity, when if fact it's the accuser that lacks these very qualities. When that doesn't work they dismiss you as being ignorant or hysterical or suffering from paranoia, and all of it is intended to strip you of your will to protect your god given rights as a free human being and allow yourself to be inslaved. Don't fall for it guys.
                       P.C.
                                    
                                                
« Last Edit: January 24, 2010, 05:21:09 AM by prentice crawford » Logged

G M
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« Reply #352 on: January 24, 2010, 11:17:41 PM »


**Here is a nice article on Alex Jones and paranoia**

http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200909/field-guide-the-conspiracy-theorist-dark-minds
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Field Guide to the Conspiracy Theorist: Dark Minds


Alex Jones is trying to warn us about an evil syndicate of bankers who control most of the world's governments and stand poised to unite the planet under their totalitarian reign, a "New World Order." While we might be tempted to dismiss Jones as a nut, the "king of conspiracy" is a popular radio show host. The part-time filmmaker's latest movie, The Obama Deception, in which he argues that Obama is a puppet of the criminal bankers, has been viewed millions of times on YouTube.

When we spoke, Jones ranted for two hours about FEMA concentration camps, Halliburton child kidnappers, government eugenics programs—and more. When I stopped him to ask for evidence the government is practicing eugenics, he pointed to a national security memorandum. But I found the document to be a bland policy report.

Jones "cherry picks not just facts but phrases, which, once interpreted his way, become facts in his mind," says Louis Black, editor of the Austin Chronicle, who knows Jones, a fellow Austin resident. When I confronted Jones with my reading of the report, he became pugnacious, launching into a diatribe against psychologists as agents of social control.

Conspiracy thinking is embraced by a surprisingly large proportion of the population. Sixty-nine percent of Americans believe President John F. Kennedy was killed by a conspiracy, and 42 percent believe the government is covering up evidence of flying saucers, finds Ted Goertzel, a professor of psychology at Rutgers University at Camden. Thirty-six percent of respondents to a 2006 Scripps News/Ohio University poll at least suspected that the U.S. government played a role in 9/11.
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G M
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« Reply #353 on: January 24, 2010, 11:24:39 PM »

http://www.nraila.org/Legislation/Read.aspx?id=5313


Texas Gun Show Statement
 
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
 
NRA has received many inquiries about reports that the Austin, Texas Police Department and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives tried to stop private gun sales at an Austin gun show.
It appears that these reports refer to a voluntary agreement concerning the transfer of firearms at the Austin gun show, evidently reached among law enforcement agencies, property owners and managers, and the gun show promoter in question. This was a self-imposed regulation, not a rule from the BATFE or an ordinance of the City of Austin.

NRA and our state affiliate, the Texas State Rifle Association, continue to research and investigate this matter -- including examining whether this show was unfairly targeted. We will inform our members of any new developments.
 
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prentice crawford
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« Reply #354 on: January 25, 2010, 12:22:12 AM »

Woof,
 I don't know Alex Jones, I'm just saying that I don't see questioning the motives behind this agreement as being paranoid or part of a conspiracy theory. Alex Jones may say all kinds of crazy things but that does not mean that everything he says is crazy. To label anyone and everyone that has concerns about gun rights issues as being paranoid just because some nut job weighs in on it, is what I call crazy. JFK is a Left Wing conspiracy isn't it? Oliver Stone? grin And the NRA response seems to be measured and reasonable but since I'm not paranoid and seeing conspiracy theorist everywhere I'm not sure I can trust my own eyes.
                                       P.C.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2010, 12:27:44 AM by prentice crawford » Logged

G M
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« Reply #355 on: January 25, 2010, 12:46:51 AM »

The NRA's position is rather than create new gun laws, law enforcement needs to enforce the laws currently in existence. The gun banners are pushing the "gun show loophole" that needs to be addressed by new federal legislation. Is it better to have gun shows work in a partnership with law enforcement to go after criminals at these venues or do you want to give the gun banners "ammo" to use against us?
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prentice crawford
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« Reply #356 on: January 25, 2010, 03:02:24 AM »

Woof GM,
 The gun banners are not interested in stopping crimes, they are interested in eroding individual rights. Giving in to these people is more ammo for them to use. Appeasement never works. And let me define what the so called "Gun Show Loophole" is: first there is no loophole and gun shows have little to do with the law that the gun banners want to pass. What they want to do is make it illegal for a citizen to sell a gun that they legally own, to another citizen that can legally buy it. That's the loophole and it won't be limited to just guns sold at gun shows, it will be for any sale, anywhere. In other words they want to make all private sales or trades or other transactions of firearms illegal. So if granddad wants to hand down his shotgun to the next generation he'll have to go to a gun shop or other FFL holder have a background check done on his grandson and fill out the paperwork so there is a record of it and then pay the FFL holder a fee for his services. It's already illegal to sell a gun to a felon and it's already illegal for a felon to buy a gun. Again, what dumb ass felon or gun runner would go through a check? The answer is, none of them. They are still going to do the illegal transaction. So why impose all this government B.S. on the law abiding, unless what you really want is information on law abiding citizens and their guns? Guns that they own legally and have the right to own. It's none of the government's business on how many or what kind of guns private citizens own. This is an invasion of privacy and infringement on second amendment rights to keep and bear arms. This is what freedom is, not having the government be your babysitter, looking over your shoulder, prying into your daily life, treating you with mistrust and suspicion even though you have done nothing wrong.

 Now what happens if they do get this law passed, do you really think that will be the last gun law ever? Of course not because the crooks are still going to buy and sell guns, so then the gun banners go after another so called "loophole". To them the second amendment is a loophole; am I getting through to you with any of this or am I just wasting my time?
                                        P.C.
                                
« Last Edit: January 25, 2010, 05:33:45 AM by prentice crawford » Logged

prentice crawford
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« Reply #357 on: January 25, 2010, 04:48:04 AM »

 I saw this the other day;

           HOW TO CALL THE POLICE WHEN YOUR OLD

 George Phillips, in his 80's, was going to bed when his wife told him she had heard noise coming from their garden shed. George opened the back door and saw that there were some guys stealing stuff and sitting it outside to take away. He dialed 911 and told them what was happening and the dispatch asked him if they were trying to get into his home.
 
George said "No but they are stealing from me."

 The dispatch said "Sir all our units are busy right now but someone will be there in about 30 minutes."

George, hung up the phone, waited 30 seconds and dialed 911 again. When the dispatch answered he said, "There isn't any hurry in getting the police here now, I just shot them thieves!" and he hung up.

 Within 4 minutes a half a dozen patrol cars, SWAT and emergency crews pulled up at George's house and the officers caught the thieves in the act.

One officer asked George "Why did you lie about shooting those guys?"

 George snapped back, "Why did that jerk, lie about how busy you were?"
                                          
                                                                                                            P.C. grin





« Last Edit: January 25, 2010, 05:30:27 AM by prentice crawford » Logged

G M
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« Reply #358 on: January 25, 2010, 08:42:07 AM »

Woof GM,
 The gun banners are not interested in stopping crimes, they are interested in eroding individual rights. Giving in to these people is more ammo for them to use.

**Look at who the president is, and both houses of congress. With the MSM pushing "Gun show loophole", you better believe it can get passed.**

 Appeasement never works. And let me define what the so called "Gun Show Loophole" is: first there is no loophole and gun shows have little to do with the law that the gun banners want to pass. What they want to do is make it illegal for a citizen to sell a gun that they legally own, to another citizen that can legally buy it.

**I know this. Again, this is why it's in every gun owner's best interest to make sure the laws currently in existance get enforced. This is why it's a good thing for a gun show owner to work with law enforcement to keep those who want to make illegal purchases away from his venue.**

 It's already illegal to sell a gun to a felon and it's already illegal for a felon to buy a gun. Again, what dumb ass felon or gun runner would go through a check?

**A private citizen selling a gun has no way to check the buyer's background, that's why they look for private sellers.**

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #359 on: January 27, 2010, 08:32:48 AM »

I believe the great majority of the Mexican issue to be a red herring.  The armaments used by the gangs are not available to civilians in America.  Just as the Zetas were originally trained by the US govt, so too automatics, grenade launchers and the like are available only from govts-- including the Mexican govt.  The Mexican army is IMHO a major source of the arms purchased by the narcos.
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G M
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« Reply #360 on: January 27, 2010, 08:49:22 AM »

Crafty,

The US guns to Mexico is a red herring. The legitimate issue are the illegal aliens who use the guns here for illegal acts. Aside from the guns that originate from the Mexican gov't, the drug cartels can purchase military grade small arms from around the globe.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #361 on: January 27, 2010, 08:51:25 AM »

Yes.

As I am sure you already know, the real reason a big deal is made of this though is part of the deep plan to subvert US C'l gun rights via international treaty.
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G M
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« Reply #362 on: January 27, 2010, 09:25:46 AM »

Gun control advocates are pushing the "US guns going to Mexico" meme. The real threat is the Mexican drug cartel affiliated gangs operating CONUS. Bitch about the BATFE all you want, but they are one of the most effective law enforcement agencies as far as targeting violent criminal gangs.
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G M
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« Reply #363 on: January 27, 2010, 09:32:24 AM »

**Oh my god!  Recommendations! How horrific!**

http://www.news8austin.com/content/your_news/default.asp?ArID=264390

APD makes recommendations on illegal sales at gun shows
1/19/2010 7:36 PM
By: News 8 Austin Staff

The Austin Police Department said in the last year, eight people were arrested and convicted for illegal gun possession.

All of them were convicted felons or illegal immigrants, and all bought their weapons from unlicensed dealers at shows at the North Austin Event Center, on North Lamar Boulevard.

Now APD is making recommendations to crackdown on illegal sales at gun shows.

It's not illegal for an unlicensed dealer to sell at the shows, but APD is urging promoters and property owners to require their vendors to have a license.

"There have been questions posed to us about whether or not we are trying to create new rules regarding the private sales of guns. We are not. We are just making recommendations to the property owner and how he can control the activity on his property in order to avoid ongoing violations of the law," APD Detective TJ Vineyard said.

APD also recommends that promoters provide onsite security, so that sales are prohibited from taking place in parking lots.

So far, police said all property owners and managers have agreed to follow the recommendations.
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #364 on: January 27, 2010, 03:15:19 PM »

So you don't think the Brady Bunch et al are using the "gun show loophole" as a backdoor attempt to ban private sales of firearms?
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G M
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« Reply #365 on: January 27, 2010, 04:05:44 PM »

Sure they are, which is why it's important for legitimate gun owners and dealers to work with law enforcement to make a good faith effort to keep firearms out of the hands out of felons/illegal aliens.
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prentice crawford
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« Reply #366 on: January 28, 2010, 09:22:17 PM »

Quote
**I know this. Again, this is why it's in every gun owner's best interest to make sure the laws currently in existance get enforced. This is why it's a good thing for a gun show owner to work with law enforcement to keep those who want to make illegal purchases away from his venue.**

 It's already illegal to sell a gun to a felon and it's already illegal for a felon to buy a gun. Again, what dumb ass felon or gun runner would go through a check?

**A private citizen selling a gun has no way to check the buyer's background, that's why they look for private sellers.**

Woof GM,
 Our freedoms are based on trust and through the Constitution and the Bill of Rights the government and its agencies have no choice in the matter they are bound by law to trust us and respect our rights under the law. If the gun show people make some kind of deal where by they impose their own gun law, forcing people at a public event to give up their rights at the door, then all they are, are surrogates for the police. If they give people a choice whether to do the check or not, I'm O.K. with that and I'm sure the NRA would be too. If it's forced then I would boycott any event these people held. As far as being a responsible citizen, I can't imagine selling a gun to someone I don't know without asking to see a drivers license for proof of age and residence and keeping a record of his name. I think most responsible citizens do that but the ones that don't shouldn't be used to paint all of us as being untrustworthy.
 If you want to live in a perfectly safe society then we all should be considered guilty at birth and kept in a prison cell until we die. Freedom comes at a cost and their are risks involved, some people will betray the trust. It is those few that should be punished and no longer trusted and that is how our laws and our legal system is set up and it's the government and its agencies that are responsible for enforcing those laws. We are innocent until proven guilty and the government has no authority to infringe on the rights of law abiding citizens or arbitrarily force people into doing anything against their will. When the government does this kind of thing, even though it may be well intentioned, and even though they might think it's in the best interest of safety, it is an act of  controling the activites of the population, which is what happens in a police state and then we are no longer free. The consequences of that are much more dangerous than a few guns being sold illegally. The criminals will find a way to get guns regardless and the rest of us will be left defenseless; this kind of thing is not about safety, it is about trust.
                                                 P.C.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2010, 05:11:10 AM by prentice crawford » Logged

G M
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« Reply #367 on: January 28, 2010, 10:02:22 PM »



 If you want to live in a perfectly safe society then we all should be considered guilty at birth and kept in a prison cell until we die.

**No one is sugesting that. Take an absolutist position if you want, but the courts and the general public understand that individual rights get balanced with the greater public good.**

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prentice crawford
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« Reply #368 on: January 28, 2010, 10:33:10 PM »

Woof
 I'm not taking an absolutist position, the law is what it is and our rights are what they are and if the choice remains with the people then I'm O.K. with that. The law enforcement agencies of our government has the duty and power to enforce the laws we have. They are restrained from going beyond the enforcement of those laws. If the law is changed by Congress per the will of the people then they can enforce it, but they don't get to make the laws up as they go nor can they strongarm citizens into giving up their rights. That is the balance, and in this case they may have stepped over the line and if people turn a blind eye to this kind of thing and don't clearly mark where the line is, governments have a long history of getting use to crossing that line at will. Do you see the danger here and what is truly for the public good? Illegal gun sales are bad, police states are worse, much worse.
                                      P.C.
                                          
« Last Edit: January 31, 2010, 05:12:46 AM by prentice crawford » Logged

G M
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« Reply #369 on: January 28, 2010, 10:47:28 PM »

Meeting with a gun show owner to make recommendations to prevent illegal aliens and convicted felons from accessing firearms is hardly the acts of a police state.
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prentice crawford
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« Reply #370 on: January 28, 2010, 11:51:02 PM »

Woof,
 If that is all there was to it I might agree with that, but when the gun show people make it mandatory and don't give people a choice, I have a problem with that and would advise my fellow citizens not to attend shows where these rules were forced on them. I would also have a problem with the police if they used some type of threat of repercussions or bribed the gun show folks with some kind of special consideration to make them implement the rule. That would be an abuse of power. The same kind of thing was tried by President Clinton when he got Smith and Wesson to go beyond what is required by law when selling their guns back a few years ago. People boycotted them and they almost went out of business because of it.

 http://clinton3.nara.gov/WH/New/html/20000317_2.html

http://hunting.about.com/library/weekly/aa010515.htm

 I'm all for law enforcement but when these agencies or government leaders start looking at our rights and freedoms as obstacles and start circumventing our system of governace by doing end runs around the will of the people, then that has got to be challenged. I don't care how smart they think they are or how right they think they are or how easy it makes it for them or how safe they think we will all be. I would rather be free. If a cop wants it to be that easy then he should get a job in Iran. If a politician wants to dictate and impose his ideas of gun control on a nation, he should stage a coup in Venezuela. But here they should damn well respect our rights and our system of government and they are just going to have to trust us until we do something wrong.tongue In the meantime they should do their jobs; protect our borders, enforce our laws and punish the criminals; if they did that then they wouldn't have any time left over for social engineering and meddling in the lives of law abiding citizens; if they can't, then they shouldn't swear an oath to protect the Constitution of the United States and then try to subvert it. To me, that makes them a traitor.
                                          P.C.
              
« Last Edit: January 29, 2010, 11:44:52 PM by prentice crawford » Logged

prentice crawford
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« Reply #371 on: February 05, 2010, 05:17:57 AM »

Woof Rarick,
 Interesting read; thanks.
        P.C.
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #372 on: February 08, 2010, 06:19:51 PM »

How the right to arms saved the non-violent civil rights protesters
David Kopel • February 8, 2010 3:42 pm

Over at The Faculty Lounge, there are some pictures of sit-ins from the early 1960s.  Regarding a 1963 sit-in in Jackson, Mississippi, TFL writes: “By one account, members of the all-White Jackson police force stood guard outside, while several FBI agents (the guys in back wearing shades) ‘observed’ from inside. That White guy at the counter, that’s Tougaloo professor and community activist Hunter Gray (John R. Salter) who helped organize the Jackson sit-ins.  And that’s blood on his shirt.  All of the protesters had been covered in slop, and some were beaten with brass knuckles and broken bottles.”

The non-violent Civil Rights protesters allowed themselves to be beaten in public while the media watched; the images helped win sympathy for the Civil Rights Movement in the North, and proved to be crucial in developing the political will for the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

In a limited sense, the media’s presence provided some protection for the protesters; there was never a case in which a civil rights protester was murdered in front of media cameras. At night, when everyone had gone home, things were very different. As Salter later explained:

I was beaten and arrested many times and hospitalized twice. This happened to many, many people in the movement. No one knows what kind of massive racist retaliation would have been directed against grassroots black people had the black community not had a healthy measure of firearms within it.

When the campus of Tougaloo College was fired on by KKK-type racial night-riders, my home was shot up and a bullet missed my infant daughter by inches. We received no help from the Justice Department and we guarded our campus — faculty and students together — on that and subsequent occasions. We let this be known. The racist attacks slackened considerably. Night-riders are cowardly people — in any time and place — and they take advantage of fear and weakness.

Later, I worked for years in the Deep South as a full-time civil rights organizer. Like a martyred friend of mine, NAACP staffer Medgar W. Evers, I, too, was on many Klan death lists and I, too, traveled armed: a .38 special Smith and Wesson revolver and a 44/40 Winchester carbine.

The knowledge that I had these weapons and was willing to use them kept enemies at bay. Years later, in a changed Mississippi, this was confirmed by a former prominent leader of the White Knights of the KKK when we had an interesting dinner together at Jackson.

In the 1970s, I was Southside director of the large, privately-funded Chicago Commons Association. Our primary focus involved assisting minority people in developing sensible community organizations — vis-a-vis schools, city services, anti-crime.

We were opposed by white racist organizations (e.g., Nazi Party) and various youth gangs of many sorts. My staff and I received countless death threats, there were arson attacks on our offices, and, on one occasion, men with weapons came to my home and told my wife and children that they intended to kill me. (I happened to be at work.)

Again, I was glad I had many firearms and, again, we guarded our home and let this be known. We responded to hate calls on the telephone by telling the callers we were quite prepared for them.


For Salter, the right to own a handgun was apparently a crucial part of his ability to exercise his right to defend himself and his family, which was a sine qua non of his ability to stay alive in order to exercise his First Amendment rights to advocate for enforcement of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Yet in modern Chicago, decent law-abiding citizens are forbidden to own handguns. As I detailed in my amicus brief  in McDonald v. Chicago (pages 39–45), many people find that a handgun is best choice for family defense, especially in urban areas such as Chicago. As the history of the Civil Rights Movement demonstrates, the denial of the constitutional right to own a handgun could endanger other constitutional rights, particularly the rights of community organizers.

http://volokh.com/2010/02/08/how-the-right-to-arms-saved-the-non-violent-civil-rights-protesters/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #373 on: February 09, 2010, 07:52:20 AM »

BBG:

Nice find.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #374 on: May 06, 2010, 08:49:39 AM »

Gail Collins is an arch liberal progressive columnist for Pravda on the Hudson, the NYT, but what do we make of the question presented here?

================

Congress, Up in Arms
By GAIL COLLINS
Published: May 5, 2010
There seems to be a strong sentiment in Congress that the only constitutional right suspected terrorists have is the right to bear arms.

“I think you’re going too far here,” said Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina at a hearing of the Senate Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday. He was speaking in opposition to a bill that would keep people on the F.B.I. terrorist watch list from buying guns and explosives.
Say what?

Yes, if you are on the terrorist watch list, the authorities can keep you from getting on a plane but not from purchasing an AK-47. This makes sense to Congress because, as Graham accurately pointed out, “when the founders sat down and wrote the Constitution, they didn’t consider flying.”

The subject of guns turns Congress into a twilight zone. People who are perfectly happy to let the government wiretap phones go nuts when the government wants to keep track of weapons permits. A guy who stands up in the House and defends the torture of terror suspects will nearly faint with horror at the prospect of depriving someone on the watch list of the right to purchase a pistol.

“We make it so easy for dangerous people to get guns. If it’s the Second Amendment, it doesn’t matter if they’re Osama bin Laden,” said Paul Helmke, the president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

Graham wanted to make it clear that just because he doesn’t want to stop gun purchases by possible terrorists, that doesn’t mean he’s not tough on terror.

“I am all into national security. ... I want to stop reading these guys their Miranda rights,” he said.

The Obama administration has been criticized by many Republicans for having followed the rules about how long you can question a terror suspect before you read him his rights. These objections have been particularly loud since the arrest of Faisal Shahzad in the attempted Times Square bombing. No one seems moved by the fact that Shahzad, after being told that he had the right to remain silent, continued talking incessantly.

“Nobody in their right mind would expect a Marine to read someone caught on the battlefield their rights,” Graham said.

Terror threats make politicians behave somewhat irrationally. But the subject of guns makes them act like a paranoid mother ferret protecting her litter. The National Rifle Association, the fiercest lobby in Washington, grades every member of Congress on how well they toe the N.R.A. line. Lawmakers with heavily rural districts would rather vote to legalize carrying concealed weapons in kindergarten than risk getting less than 100 percent.

The Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing on “Terrorists and Guns: The Nature of the Threat and Proposed Reforms,” concerned a modest bill sponsored by Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey. It would allow the government to stop gun sales to people on the F.B.I. terror watch list the same way it does people who have felony convictions. Because Congress has repeatedly rejected this idea, 1,119 people on the watch list have been able to purchase weapons over the last six years. One of them bought 50 pounds of military grade explosives.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City and his police commissioner, Ray Kelly, dutifully trekked down to Washington to plead for the bill on behalf of the nation’s cities. The only thing they got for their trouble was praise for getting the city through the Times Square incident in one piece. And almost everyone had a good word for the T-shirt vendor who first noticed the suspicious car and raised an alert. Really, if someone had introduced a bill calling for additional T-shirt vendors, it would have sailed through in a heartbeat.

Gun legislation, not so popular.

Lautenberg’s bill has been moldering in committee, and that is not going to change.

“Let me emphasize that none of us wants a terrorist to be able to purchase a gun,” said Senator Susan Collins of Maine, who nevertheless went on to argue against allowing the government to use the terrorist watch list to keep anyone from being able to purchase, um, a gun.

“Some of the people pushing this idea are also pushing the idea of banning handguns,” said Graham, darkly. “I don’t think banning handguns makes me safer.”

The terrorist watch list is huge, and some of the names on it are undoubtedly there in error. The bill would allow anyone denied the right to purchase a firearm an appeal process, but that would deprive the would-be purchaser some precious gun-owning time. Before we subject innocent Americans “to having to go into court and pay the cost of going to court to get their gun rights back, I want to slow down and think about this,” said Graham.

Slow is going to be very slow, and the thinking could go on for decades.
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G M
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« Reply #375 on: May 06, 2010, 08:57:49 AM »

You can deprive a person of their rights, but only through due process.

This differs from engaging an enemy on a battlefield. When the Marines waded onto Iwo Jima, they were not serving a search warrant on the Japanese bases on the island and placing the Japanese troops under arrest.

Placing a person on a watchlist is a law enforcement tool for internal use. Placing a person on a watchlist does not remove their core constitutional rights. Until you establish probable cause for an arrest, and it's upheld by judicial review, you cannot deprive them of freedoms.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #376 on: May 23, 2010, 08:35:02 PM »

 

"The Gun Is Civilization"

As the Supreme Court hears arguments for and against the Chicago, IL Gun Ban, I offer you another stellar example of a letter (written by a Marine) that places the proper perspective on what a gun means to a civilized society.

Read this eloquent and profound letter and pay close attention to the last paragraph of the letter...

The Gun is Civilization by Maj. L. Caudill USMC (Ret)

Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and force.  If you want me to do something for you, you have a choice of either convincing me via argument, or force me to do your bidding under threat of force. Every human interaction falls into one of those two categories, without exception. Reason or force, that's it.

In a truly moral and civilized society, people exclusively interact through persuasion. Force has no place as a valid method of social interaction, and the only thing that removes force from the menu is the personal firearm, as paradoxical as it may sound to some.

When I carry a gun, you cannot deal with me by force. You have to use reason and try to persuade me, because I have a way to negate your threat or employment of force.

The gun is the only personal weapon that puts a 100-pound woman on equal footing with a 220-pound mugger, a 75-year old retiree on equal footing with a 19-year old gang banger, and a single guy on equal footing with a carload of drunk guys with baseball bats. The gun removes the disparity in physical strength, size, or numbers between a potential attacker and a defender.

There are plenty of people who consider the gun as the source of bad force equations. These are the people who think that we'd be more civilized if all guns were removed from society, because a firearm makes it easier for a [armed] mugger to do his job. That, of course, is only true if the mugger's potential victims are mostly disarmed either by choice or by legislative fiat--it has no validity when most of a mugger's potential marks are armed.

People who argue for the banning of arms ask for automatic rule by the young, the strong, and the many, and that's the exact opposite of a civilized society. A mugger, even an armed one, can only make a successful living in a society where the state has granted him a force monopoly.

Then there's the argument that the gun makes confrontations lethal that otherwise would only result in injury. This argument is fallacious in several ways. Without guns involved, confrontations are won by the physically superior party inflicting overwhelming injury on the loser. People who think that fists, bats, sticks, or stones don't constitute lethal force watch too much TV, where people take beatings and come out of it with a bloody lip at worst. The fact that the gun makes lethal force easier works solely in favor of the weaker defender, not the stronger attacker. If both are armed, the field is level.

The gun is the only weapon that's as lethal in the hands of an octogenarian as it is in the hands of a weight lifter. It simply wouldn't work as well as a force equalizer if it wasn't both lethal and easily employable.

When I carry a gun, I don't do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I'm looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don't carry it because I'm afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn't limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force. It removes force from the equation... and that's why carrying a gun is a civilized act.

By Maj. L. Caudill USMC (Ret)

So the greatest civilization is one where all citizens are equally armed and can only be persuaded, never forced.
 
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G M
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« Reply #377 on: May 23, 2010, 08:55:45 PM »

A constant theme emerging here is the need for Libertarians to abandon their Utopian fantasies if they wish to actually make any impact on the body politic. You might be armed, but the force of law has the upper hand in using force and that is the ultimate form of persuasion.
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #378 on: May 23, 2010, 09:08:38 PM »

Yeah, and Catholics should abandon the Trinity and Druids trees. That'll fix stuff, too.  evil
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JDN
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« Reply #379 on: May 23, 2010, 10:57:37 PM »

Maybe not appropriate to this forum....
But I include knife in the definition of "well-armed people".

NEW YORK - After stabbing two men to death on a subway train, a criminal justice student insisted to authorities that he was trying to save himself from an abrupt and brutal attack.

Brenddy Garcia was vindicated Friday as a grand jury dismissed all charges against him and prosecutors said "significant evidence of self-defense" had emerged after his arrest. Jailed since early April, the 19-year-old Garcia was expected to be freed later Friday or early Saturday, said his lawyer, Lawrence Fredella.

"Brenddy Garcia never wanted this to happen. He never intended to kill anyone," Fredella said. He said Garcia, who sobbed in court when he was arraigned last month, had been distraught over the incident and the charges and wanted to extend condolences to the slain men's families.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2010, 10:59:53 PM by JDN » Logged
G M
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« Reply #380 on: May 23, 2010, 11:28:01 PM »

The Magna Carta and English Common Law recognized an inherent right to self defense. This is quite different than the "I don't need no gubbamint" posture of some loonatarians.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #381 on: May 23, 2010, 11:51:00 PM »

GM: 

I would be very interested in learning more about exactly that.  If you would be so kind as to post on the American Creed: Constitutional thread on the SCH forum I would greatly appreciate it.
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prentice crawford
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« Reply #382 on: May 24, 2010, 08:40:21 AM »

A constant theme emerging here is the need for Libertarians to abandon their Utopian fantasies if they wish to actually make any impact on the body politic. You might be armed, but the force of law has the upper hand in using force and that is the ultimate form of persuasion.

Woof,
 Yes, and I would invoke the reasoning behind this saying; Better to be tried by twelve than carried by six.
                                   P.C.
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G M
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« Reply #383 on: May 24, 2010, 08:52:29 AM »

Even better is to not be carried by six or tried by twelve.
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prentice crawford
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« Reply #384 on: May 24, 2010, 08:56:43 AM »

Woof GM,
 Excellent point! cheesy
                       P.C.
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #385 on: May 29, 2010, 09:42:10 AM »

More Guns Mean Less Crime
by David Alan Coia (more by this author)
Posted 05/29/2010 ET


In the new edition of More Guns, Less Crime, economist John R. Lott, Jr., easily dispels any lingering doubt that allowing citizens to carry concealed handguns is strongly associated with—if not a direct cause for—lowering the rates of violent crime.

“The hypothesis that more guns connects to less crime has stood up against massive efforts to criticize it,” Lott writes in the book’s third edition, now available from the University of Chicago Press in the United States and on June 14 in the United Kingdom. He backs that statement with cold, hard facts.

The new edition, which includes data and analysis from 39 states and now covers 29 years (1977-2005), will make it much more difficult for Lott’s critics and anti-gun groups to continue their attempts to disarm law-abiding Americans. In fact, Lott frequently turns the tables on his critics by demonstrating how their own data actually support the More Guns, Less Crime thesis.

“There are large drops in overall violent crime, murder, rape, and aggravated assault that begin right after the right-to-carry laws have gone into effect,” Lott writes. “In all those crime categories, the crime rates consistently stay much lower than they were before the law.”

From the time states passed right-to-carry concealed handgun laws, the average murder rate dropped from 6.3 per 100,000 to 5.2 per 100,000 nine-to-ten years later—“about a 1.7% drop in the murder rate per year for ten years.”

Overall violent crime rates similarly dropped from 475 crimes per 100,000 people to a range of 415-440 after the second full year that concealed-carry laws were passed. Rapes dropped from 40.2 per 100,000 people to 35.7 per 100,000 nine to 10 years later (a 12% drop).

“Of all the methods studied so far by economists, the carrying of concealed handguns appears to be the most cost-effective method for reducing crime,” Lott wrote in the second edition of his book. 

Based on National Institute of Justice figures, Lott estimates in the new edition that the economic loss resulting from a murder in 2007 dollars at $3.9 million, with the average loss from rape and robbery at $115,260 and $10,758 respectively. “If we use these figures [including the costs of aggravated assault and property crimes], the 29 states that we study save over $30 billion a year, with over half of that coming just from the reduction in murder rates.”

Dozens of academics have published studies that “have either confirmed the beneficial link between gun ownership and crime or at least not found any information that ownership increases crime,” Lott says, adding that “not a single refereed study finds the opposite result.”

Lott demonstrates that not only does the presence of concealed handgun carriers—just more than 2% of American adults—lower rates of violent crime, but where gun bans are imposed, violent crime has consistently risen—in the United States and abroad.

“Great Britain banned handguns in January 1997. But the number of deaths and injuries from gun crime in England and Wales increased an incredible 340% in seven years from 1998 to 2005,” Lott writes, identifying detrimental effects of gun bans in many other countries including India, Jamaica, Germany, Finland, and Greece.

“One big difference between the earlier work on right-to-carry laws and the current discussion on gun bans is that with 39 states passing right-to-carry laws we have had the same experiment over and over again in many different years in many different places,” Lott points out.

Unfortunately, most mainstream media reports do not focus on instances in which armed citizens defend themselves successfully without firing a shot, but instead focus on criminal shootings or shootings in self defense.   

A national survey conducted by Lott in 2002 “indicates that about 95% of the time that people use guns defensively, they merely have to brandish a weapon to break off an attack.”

Other survey results “indicate that citizens use guns to stop violent crime about 2.5 million times each year—a large order of magnitude bigger than the reported number of crimes committed with guns.”

However, news organizations typically report the atypical event in which a shooting ends in a fatality, leaving the impression that “some events appear to be much more common than they actually are,” Lott writes.

Gun Control Advocates Lack Credibility

Lott is troubled by the way so many reporters’ uncritically accept opinions of groups that aim to disarm Americans , groups that are dishonest in their presentation of facts. 
Lott illustrates how “the Brady Campaign and other gun-control organizations cherry pick a few cases, while omitting important facts, such as whether the permit holder was found to have used justifiable force.”

“Probably most telling,” he writes, “is that the Brady Campaign and the Violence Policy Center keep track of arrests of permit holders, not convictions—ignoring that defensive uses frequently result in arrests simply because a police officer can’t be sure what happened.”

Accurate accounts contradict the points the Brady Campaign attempts to make and show that “concealed handguns, in fact, help to protect people from getting killed when attacked.”

Law-Abiding Citizens

Lott shows that “concealed handgun permit holders are extremely law-abiding.” For example, “Permit holders committed murder at 1/182 of the rate of the general public.” And permit revocation rates are typically well below one-half of one percent, with the revocations almost never relating to the use or misuse of a gun.

A National Association of Chiefs of Police mail survey of 22,200 police chiefs and sheriffs found that 92% believed law-abiding citizens should be able to purchase guns for self defense. Furthermore, “support among the rank-and-file police officers and the general population for the right of individuals to carry guns for self-protection is even higher than it is among police chiefs,” Lott says.

HUMAN EVENTS reported in December that the number of police officer deaths declined with the rise in concealed handgun permits.

Many lawmakers have heard the message. Lott notes the “surprising fact” that many state legislators now have concealed carry permits. “In South Carolina, 20% of the state legislature had permits [to carry concealed handguns] in 2008. In Tennessee, 25% have permits. Exactly a third of the 24 Virginia state legislators from the area around Norfolk, Va., have permits.”

However, Lott points out that reductions in crime rates do not occur evenly in all locations. Clearly other factors exert an influence, such as the extent to which crimes are prosecuted and the liberality of the right-to-carry laws. States that reluctantly allow citizens to carry concealed handguns—requiring high fees, inordinately long training periods or that require frequent renewal of permits—do not experience the same level of crime rate reduction as states that impose fewer restrictions.

Unfortunately, only two states—Alaska and Vermont—impose no restrictions on citizens’ rights to carry concealed handguns.

Lott presents the most thorough and credible analysis of the effects of concealed handguns and crime rates. Any serious discussion by the media, legislative bodies and the courts must include a thorough reading of the 2010 edition of More Guns, Less Crime. The opinion of anyone who has not read the book but who professes an understanding of the effects of concealed handguns on crime rates should not be taken seriously.


Mr. Coia is a freelance journalist based in Arlington, Virginia.

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=37245
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #386 on: June 02, 2010, 10:31:59 PM »

Once again the gun banners are embracing some incredibly specious arguments as a means of circumventing second amendment protections. In the latest instance, they use heavily massaged stats to draw the conclusion US gun sales are responsible for Mexican drug cartel violence. This piece begs to differ.

Mexico City newspaper points to source of drug cartels' guns--the government

June 2, 12:28 PM · Kurt Hofmann - St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner

     The fable of the U.S. civilian gun market being responsible for "arming" Mexico's brutal drug cartels has become so deeply entrenched, that to question it is to be labeled a "right wing gun lobby shill."  The claimed numbers, though, as National Gun Rights Examiner David Codrea points out, have continued to drop, as more light is shed on the actual facts.

Hence, the Brady Campaign's and Violence Policy Center's claims of "95 to 100%" of Mexican "crime guns" coming from the U.S. civilian market first dropped a bit to "over 90%," and now Mexican President Felipe Calderón has settled on 80% (with Brady Campaign backing).

What  those who toss these numbers around rarely mention, if not pressed, or under oath, is that whatever the percentage they're currently quoting, that's the percentage of guns submitted to the BATFE for tracing (and successfully traced).   We've discussed the fact that Senator John Kerry (D-MA)--no friend to gun owners--admitted once that only about a quarter of the seized guns are ever submitted for BATFE tracing.  Go to Mr. Codrea's piece to see the details (here's the link again), especially the National Shooting Sports Foundation's (NSSF) explanation.

Today, let's take a look at a second part of what the NSSF is telling us.

In recent years as many as 150,000 Mexican soldiers, 17,000 last year alone, defected to go work for the drug cartels -- bringing their American-made service-issued firearms with them. It has also been well documented that the drug cartels are illegally smuggling fully automatic firearms, grenades and other weapons into Mexico from South and Central America. Such items are not being purchased at retail firearms stores in the United States.

That brings us nicely to MexiData's  "An Inside Look at Mexican Guns and Arms Trafficking."  Quoting the Mexico City newspaper El Universal, it tells us about a Mexican "crime gun" source that Calderón, the Brady Campaign, the Violence Policy Center, and others would like us not to know about, because it's obvious that no combination of restrictions on American civilians can do anything about it.

A percentage of the weapons, the seller said, come from Mexico via Ministry of Defense personnel who provide [them] in part from weapons seized in raids, or stolen from the ministry's own arsenal.

Corruption in the Mexican government?  I'm shocked, I tell you--shocked!

Another of Mr. Codrea's articles took an in-depth look at the U.S. government's (indirect) role in arming the cartels.

If traced by the BATFE, any of the firearms above would return as "originating in the US."  Origination in the US clearly does not equate to an origination in the lawful US civilian market. Is it possible that the Mexican government is not making the majority of seized weapons available for BATFE tracing in order to cover corruption?

Perhaps the U.S. State Department should be required to have an FBI "background check" run on all foreign government organizations to which they wish to transfer firearms.

http://www.examiner.com/x-2581-St-Louis-Gun-Rights-Examiner~y2010m6d2-Mexico-City-newspaper-points-to-source-of-drug-cartels-gunsthe-government
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #387 on: June 03, 2010, 06:47:49 AM »

Good find.
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G M
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« Reply #388 on: June 03, 2010, 09:59:34 AM »

I strongly encourage the Mexican government to secure the border to keep guns out of the otherwise eutopian wonderland they have created.
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #389 on: June 10, 2010, 01:44:27 PM »

Think Tough Gun Laws Keep Europeans Safe? Think Again...

Contrary to public perception, Western Europe, where most countries have much tougher gun laws, has experienced many of the worst multiple victim public shootings.

     
It wasn't supposed to happen in England, with all its very strict gun control laws. And yet last week Derrick Bird shot and killed 12 people and wounded 11 others. A headline in The Times of London read: "Toughest laws in the world could not stop Cumbria tragedy."

Multiple victim public shootings were assumed to be an American thing for it is here the guns are, right? No, not at all. Contrary to public perception, Western Europe, where most countries have much tougher gun laws, has experienced many of the worst multiple victim public shootings. Particularly telling, all the multiple victim public shootings in Europe occurred where guns are banned. So it is in the United States, too -- all the multiple victim public shootings (where more than three people have been killed) have taken place where civilians are not allowed to have a gun.

Look at recent history. Where have the worst K-12 school shootings occurred? It has not been in the U.S. but Europe. The very worst one occurred in a high school in Erfurt, Germany in 2002, where 18 were killed. The second worst took place in Dunblane, Scotland in 1996, where 16 kindergarteners and their teacher were shot. The third worst high school attack, with 15 murdered, happened in Winnenden, Germany. The fourth worst shooting was in the U.S. -- Columbine High School in 1999, leaving 13 killed. The fifth worst school related murder spree, with 11 murdered, occurred in Emsdetten, Germany.

With three of the worst five attacks, Germany may be a surprise to those who believe in gun control. Even by European standards, Germany has some of the strictest gun control laws. Indeed, these laws are far stricter than existing gun control in the U.S., or for that matter, the restrictions currently being discussed in the United States.

Though not quite as tight as U.K. regulations, Germany has strict licensing and registration requirements. German licenses are only valid for three years and to obtain a gun license people must demonstrate such hard-to-define characteristics as trustworthiness as well as convince authorities that they have a necessity for a gun. This comes on top of requirements against mental disorders, drug or alcohol addictions, violence or aggressive tendencies, and felony convictions.

The attacks in Europe might not get as much attention in the U.S. or even in other countries in Europe besides where the attack occurred as the attack in the U.S., but multiple victim public shootings appear to be at least as common in Europe as they are here. The following is a partial list of attacks occurring in Europe since 2001. As mentioned, all of them occurred in gun free zones, places where guns in the hands of civilians were not allowed:

- Zug, Switzerland, September 27, 2001: a man murdered 15 members of a cantonal parliament.
- Tours, France, October 29, 2001: four people were killed and 10 wounded when a French railway worker started killing people at a busy intersection in the city.
- Nanterre, France, March 27, 2002: a man kills eight city councilors after a city council meeting.
- Erfurt, Germany on April 26, 2002: a former student kills 18 at a secondary school.
- Freising, Germany on February 19, 2002: Three people killed and one wounded.
- Turin, Italy on October 15, 2002: Seven people were killed on a hillside overlooking the city.
- Madrid, Spain, October 1, 2006: a man kills two employees and wounds another at a company that he was fired from.
- Emsdetten, Germany, November 20, 2006: a former student murders 11 people at a high school.
- Southern Finland, November 7, 2007: Seven students and the principal were killed at a high school.
- Naples, Italy, September 18, 2008: Seven dead and two seriously wounded in a public meeting hall (not included in totals below because it may possibly have involved the mafia).
- Kauhajoki, Finland, Sept. 23, 2008: 10 people were shot to death at a college.
Winnenden, Germany, March 11, 2009: a 17-year-old former student killed 15 people, including nine students and three teachers.
- Lyon, France, March 19, 2009: ten people injured after a man opened fire on a nursery school.
- Athens, Greece, April 10, 2009: three people killed and two people injured by a student at a vocational college.
- Rotterdam, Netherlands, April 11, 2009: three people killed and 1 injured at a crowded cafe.
Vienna, Austria, May 24, 2009: one dead and 16 wounded in an attack on a Sikh Temple.
- Espoo, Finland, Dec. 31, 2009: 4 killed while shopping at a mall on New Year's Eve.
- Cumbria, England, June 2, 2010: 12 people killed by a British taxi driver.

So how does this compare to the United States? The University of Chicago’s Bill Landes and I have collected data on all the multiple victim public shootings in the United States from 1977 to 1999 (for a discussion of that information see the newly revised third edition of my book "More Guns, Less Crime"). If we only examine those cases where 4 or more people have been killed in an attack, the worst such attack was the Luby's Cafeteria shooting in which 23 people died. On average 10.56 people have died each year,

One reason for limiting the cases to attacks with 4 or more deaths is that I haven't collected all the cases in Europe, and the quick review here will miss fewer of the larger cases.

Obviously, my list above for Western Europe will not have many cases where 4 or more people have been killed in a multiple victim public shooting, and I have not included attacks in Northern Ireland. That said, the average number for Europe over the 9.5 years from 2001 to the present is about 11.8 deaths per year -- essentially the same as the U.S. rate.

On the other hand, Western Europe’s population over the last decade is about 48 percent larger than the U.S. population over the earlier period (about 387 million to 262 million). To have the same per capita rate as the U.S., Western Europe would have had to experience one more shooting involving 4 people killed per year in six of the nine-and-a-half years. Whether a more detailed search would find that many more cases isn’t clear, but that is surely possible.

Large multiple victim public shootings are exceedingly rare events, but they garner massive news attention and the ingrained misperceptions they produce are hard to erase.

When I have been interviewed by foreign journalists, including those from Germany, they usually start off by asking for my opinion as to why multiple victim public shootings are such an American problem.

And of course, they are astonished when I remind of attacks in their own countries and I point out that this is a universal problem, but with a common factor: the attacks take place where civilians are banned from carrying guns.

John R. Lott, Jr. is a FoxNews.com contributor. He is an economist and author of "More Guns, Less Crime."(University of Chicago Press, 2010), the third edition of which was published in May."

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2010/06/10/john-lott-america-gun-ban-murders-multiple-victim-public-shootings-europe/
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bigdog
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« Reply #390 on: June 10, 2010, 04:53:10 PM »

I like John Lott... a lot.  It seems like this http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/europe/09/04/russia.school/ might deserve a mention though.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #391 on: June 14, 2010, 06:47:40 AM »

http://www.todaystmj4.com/news/local/95999354.html
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Freki
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« Reply #392 on: June 14, 2010, 07:59:59 AM »

1st rule of self defense......be aware of your surroundings.  May not have helped but I bet it would have.........    This is the type of story that will work against Texas open carry or any pro gun carry law, very frustrating.
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G M
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« Reply #393 on: June 14, 2010, 08:29:06 AM »

Now that's funny! Maybe open carry advocates can STFU now.
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #394 on: June 14, 2010, 08:41:01 AM »

No foolin', GM. Not only should stupid hurt, but attention whoredom should to, and I've got a local candidate I'd nominate for the beta test.
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #395 on: June 17, 2010, 06:06:26 PM »

I'm an NRA Life Member and certified instructor and so am not usually one to argue against them. They, however, have made a Faustian bargain with Democratic lawmakers who usually seek to do them ill to exempt themselves from the "Disclose" bill soon to be voted on in the house, a bill that looks to me like it's narrowly tailored to prevent some types of political speech while leaving other unhindered.

I think the NRA's stance is tremendously short sighted. As I put it elsewhere, the good news is that the NRA struck a deal where the 3rd amendment is concerned, too, and such won't have to quarter troops at their corporate headquarters. The bad news is that the rest of us need to make up the guest bed. An article that speaks to a related sentiment follows:

NRA exemption shows campaign disclosure bill's cynical, fatal flaws
By Cleta Mitchell
Thursday, June 17, 2010; A21

The cynical decision this week by House Democrats to exempt the National Rifle Association from the latest campaign finance regulatory scheme is itself a public disclosure. It reveals the true purpose of the perversely named Disclose Act (H.R. 5175): namely, to silence congressional critics in the 2010 elections.

The NRA "carve-out" reaffirms the wisdom of the First Amendment's precise language: "Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech."

Congress can't help itself. Since 1798, with the Alien and Sedition Acts, incumbent politicians have yearned for legal duct tape for their opponents' mouths. The Disclose Act is a doozy of a muzzle.

For its part, the NRA -- on whose board of directors I serve -- rather than holding steadfastly to its historic principles of defending the Constitution and continuing its noble fight against government regulation of political speech instead opted for a political deal borne of self-interest in exchange for "neutrality" from the legislation's requirements. In doing so, the NRA has, sadly, affirmed the notion held by congressional Democrats (and some Republicans), liberal activists, the media establishment and, at least for now, a minority on the Supreme Court that First Amendment protections are subject to negotiation. The Second Amendment surely cannot be far behind.

Since the court's January decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission that corporations cannot be constitutionally prohibited from making independent candidate-related expenditures, Democrats have been hyperventilating at the notion that corporations might spend millions of dollars criticizing them. To foreclose that possibility, the Disclose Act would impose onerous and complicated "disclosure" restrictions on organizations that dare to engage in constitutionally protected political speech and on corporations that dare to contribute to such organizations.

Democrats would effectively neuter the court's decision by requiring the names of multiple donors to be recited in ads (thus shrinking the time spent on actual speech), requiring the CEO of a corporate donor to personally appear in campaign-related ads, expanding the coverage period to virtually the entire election year, and including myriad other rules that the NRA described last month as "byzantine" and an "arbitrary patchwork of reporting and disclosure requirements."

The NRA's wheel-squeaking bought it an exemption from those requirements. Tea Party organizations arising spontaneously since 2009? Out of luck. Online organizations with large e-mail followings but perhaps no formal dues structure? Forget it.

Receiving less attention than the NRA "carve-out" but no less cynical is the bill's sop to organized labor: Aggregate contributions of $600 or more would be disclosed. Why start at $600? Why not $200 or, say, $500? Because most union members' dues aggregate less than $600 in a calendar year and thus members' contributions to labor's campaign-related spending wouldn't need to be disclosed . . . even to the union members whose dues are spent for political purposes.

In Citizens United, the court held that the First Amendment doesn't permit Congress to treat different corporations differently; that the protections afforded political speech arise from the Constitution, not Congress. Otherwise, it would be tantamount to a congressional power to license the speech of some while denying it to others.

The NRA carve-out is a clear example of a congressional speech license.

The ostensible purpose of the legislation is benign "disclosure," upheld in Citizens United as permissible under the First Amendment. Even conservative Justice Antonin Scalia has expressed skepticism about the constitutional infirmity of disclosure requirements in another case argued this term; Scalia intoned in oral argument that "running a democracy takes a certain amount of civic courage."

That's true. Indeed, the law upheld in Citizens United requires all donors to candidate-related expenditures to be publicly disclosed to the FEC in a timely manner.

But the Disclose Act isn't really intended to elicit information not currently required by law. The act serves notice on certain speakers that their involvement in the political process will exact a high price of regulation, penalty and notoriety, using disclosure and reporting as a subterfuge to chill their political speech and association.

It is only disclosure, say the authors. And box-cutters are only handy household tools . . . until they are used by terrorists to crash airplanes.

This is not just "disclosure." It is a scheme hatched by political insiders to eradicate disfavored speech. There is no room under the First Amendment for Congress to make deals on political speech, whether with the NRA or anyone else.

The writer is a partner at Foley & Lardner who works in campaign finance law and is a member of the NRA's board of directors.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/16/AR2010061604221.html
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #396 on: June 17, 2010, 08:18:44 PM »

That seems well reasoned.  May I ask that you also post it in the Constitutional Law and the Free Speech threads as well so as to facilitate its discovery via future Search requests?
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prentice crawford
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« Reply #397 on: June 21, 2010, 10:56:59 AM »

Woof,
 Boy, those gun control laws they have in Chicago are really doing the trick aren't they? tongue

 www.suntimes.com/news/metro/2415428,weekend-shooting-roundup-062110.article

                                   P.C.
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #398 on: June 28, 2010, 09:47:08 AM »

Woo Hoo! Looks like the Second Amendment just got incorporated. The 5-4 margin is perplexing, however. . . .
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #399 on: June 28, 2010, 11:39:13 AM »

Second Post:

The Court Restores a Fundamental Right

Posted by Ilya Shapiro

Today is a big victory for gun rights and a bigger one for liberty.  The Supreme Court has correctly decided that state actions violating the right to keep and bear arms are no more valid than those taken by the federal government.

It could not have been otherwise: the Fourteenth Amendment, coming on the heels of the Civil War, says clearly that never again would the Constitution tolerate state oppressions, and that all individuals possess certain fundamental rights.  It is equally clear that the right to keep and bear arms is one of those deeply rooted fundamental rights, not least because the Framers thought so highly of it as to enumerate it in the Second Amendment.

Still, Justice Alito’s plurality opinion leaves a lot to be desired, in that his ultimately correct conclusion rests on a dog’s breakfast of Substantive Due Process “incorporation” doctrine that arose only because the Privileges or Immunities Clause was strangled in its crib by an 1870s Supreme Court that refused to reconcile itself to the changes in constitutional structure wrought by the Fourteenth Amendment.  Justice Thomas’s response to this tortured attempt to fit a square fundamental right into a round procedural guarantee is the right one: “I cannot accept a theory of constitutional interpretation that rests on such tenuous footing.”

Only Justice Thomas grapples with the original meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment, surveying the rich history of the terms “privileges” and “immunities” to find that the right to defend oneself is part and parcel of the inalienable rights we all possess—and indeed it is “essential to the preservation of liberty.”  The Framers of the Fourteenth Amendment—the most important “Framers” in this context—plainly deemed this right “necessary to include in the minimum baseline of federal rights that the Privileges or Immunities Clause established in the wake of the War over slavery.”  All arguments to the contrary lack legal, historical and even philosophical basis.

And so it is a very good thing, again for liberty, that the Court needs Thomas’s fifth vote to rule as it does: while the plurality declines to reconsider the old and discredited Privileges or Immunities precedent, Thomas’s clarion call for a libertarian originalism provides a step on which to build in future.

Finally, as we celebrate the belated recognition of a precious right—the one that allows us to protect all the others—we must be shocked and saddened to see four justices (including Sonia Sotomayor, who at her confirmation hearings suggested she would do otherwise) standing for the proposition that states can violate this right at will, checked by nothing more than the political process.  This is a nation of laws, not men—a republic, not a pure democracy—and thus it is disconcerting to see, as we do time and time again with this Court, that the only thing separating us from rule by a crude majoritarian impulse is one vote.  Thank God that, in this case, that vote was Justice Thomas’s.

http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/2010/06/28/the-court-restores-a-fundamental-right/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Cato-at-liberty+%28Cato+at+Liberty%29&utm_content=Google+Reader
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