Saturday, April 11, 2009

Gun Rights News Roundup

Articles, news stories, and op-eds of interest to gun owners:

Don Kates opines on gun control (article has some crime stats for the stats geeks):
The March 21 murder of four Oakland police officers by Lovelle Mixon, a convicted felon wanted for a recent parole violation, epitomizes the futility of “gun control,” or the banning and restricting of gun ownership for law-abiding adults. Using the officers’ tragic deaths to further an unrelated agenda — stripping away the Second Amendment rights of honorable citizens — is both harmful and distracting.

Mixon was not an anomaly. Felons commit over 90 percent of murders, with the remainder carried out primarily by juveniles and the mentally unbalanced. The United States already has laws forbidding all three groups from owning guns, which, by definition, are ineffective against the lawless. “Gun control,” therefore, only “controls” those who have done nothing to merit such regulations.

Arguments for gun control rest on deceptive claims such as National Coalition to Ban Handguns’ allegation that “most murders are committed by previously law-abiding citizens.” Americans are deluged by literally dozens of supposedly scholarly articles asserting such falsehoods — but with no supporting references. For there are none.

Notably, only 15 percent of all Americans have criminal records, yet more than 90 percent of murder suspects have a history of crime. Their criminal careers average six or more years’ length, including four major adult felonies, in addition to their often extensive juvenile records.
Na├»ve, well-meaning people often respond to such facts with, “Still, wouldn’t this be a better world without guns?” After many years of studying guns as a highly effective method of self-defense, I reply, no, the world would be immeasurably worse off without the only weaponry that gives the weak a real chance against predators. After all, there was a time, hundreds of years ago, when there were no guns. Without guns for self-defense, survival was measured by the strength of men’s arms, as women, children and the elderly huddled in terror, escaping only by abject submission to their predators. ...

Op-ed in the New American on the recent mass shootings:
The press has sensationalized recent sprees of mass shootings across the nation. From Jiverly Wong’s murder of 13 (plus killing himself) in a Binghamton, New York, language center to the shooting of three police officers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to the murder of eight by another gunman in a Carthage, North Carolina, nursing home just weeks earlier, the incidents are all over the press.
If we ban guns nationwide (despite the prohibition of that in the Second Amendment), the gun-grabbers respond, then gun deaths would drop. This fails to explain the explosion of gun violence in gun-controlled Mexico. But the gun-grabbers have a ready reply: The Mexicans are getting their weapons from another country, the United States!

That statement is tantamount to admission that national gun control laws can’t suppress gun violence. And national gun control doesn't work.

Meanwhile, nobody’s saying that police can save people from mad shooters. At the Binghamton shooting spree, police took more than 40 minutes to respond after the first 911 call was placed. "Nobody could have been saved if the police walked in the door that first minute," Broome County District Attorney Gerald Mollen told reporters at a press conference, excusing the extended police delay in response. [emphasis added]

If police can’t defend people from gun shooters, and national gun control laws don’t work, then the only real problem was that guns were in far too few hands in recent weeks. Law abiding people need easier access to firearms in order to fight off the lunatics.

That’s the only real logical lesson to be learned from these crises. And it sure beats the logic of the gun grabbers.

From the Left: Gunmen in mass shootings had permits:
They had more in common than unleashing carnage — nearly every gunman in this monthlong series of mass killings was legally entitled to fire his weapons.

So what does that say about the state of gun control laws in this country? One thing appears certain: the regulations aren't getting stricter. Many recent efforts to change weapons laws have been about easing them.

Despite eight rampages that have claimed 57 lives since March 10, "it hasn't sparked any national goal to deal with this epidemic. In fact, it's going the other way," said Scott Vogel of the Freedom States Alliance, a gun control activist group.
"I think you're seeing a continuing change of culture," Vogel said. "I think the gun lobby wants to take away any stigma to gun ownership. I think they feel emboldened, like who's going to stop them?" [emphasis added]
"In retrospect, this is probably not a guy who should have had a gun," said attorney Jeffrey Chamberlain, a former Rochester prosecutor and chief counsel to the New York State Police. "No one likes to see things fall through the cracks and it looks like this guy fell through the cracks."

Binghamton police chief Joseph Zikuski said Tuesday that no robbery occurred and there was no merit to review Wong's gun permit.

In New York City, gun permits are reissued every three years.

Yet, regulations differ only slightly between states, Chamberlain said. "They're fairly typical — don't be a felon, don't be a drunk, don't beat your kids or your wife. Don't be so mentally unbalanced that you need be in an institution."
To Chamberlain, the answer to gun violence lies not in stricter regulations, but in answering the question, "Why are we so tolerant of having guns in this country? The answer to that is historical. We've had guns for a very long time. [emphasis added] ...

Comment: This is the sort of clueless anti-gun ignorance we're up against, folks. The "stigma" of gun ownership. Can you imagine Mr. Chamberlain asking why we're so "tolerant" of, say, free speech, or freedom of religion? Perhaps it's because we just like "clinging" to the "stigma" of freedom.

Buckeye Firearms Association on the gun banners selective memory:
In a recent editorial entitled "Gun Lobby Working Overtime to Normalize Abnormal Behavior," the Joyce Foundation's anti-gun blog "GunGuys" asked if readers would be willing to "sip hot chocolate with your toddler at Starbucks while a fellow patron openly displays a gun at the table next to you?"

But before they chide gun rights activists for advocating the practice of open carry, they might want to consider some of the comments made by their fellow gun ban extremists in Ohio during the battle to establish a concealed carry law in the Buckeye state.

Before Ohio's concealed handgun licensure law was established in 2004, citizens had suffered under a ban on the carrying of concealed firearms for more than a century.

Despite the enumeration of a right to bear arms for self-defense in the state constitution, Ohioans were told that the archaic ban was not unconstitutional, because the practice of open carry was still legal.

The trouble for the GunGuys is that, back then, it wasn't the gun rights advocates who were arguing that openly carried firearms were the answer to the increasingly loud demands for the restoration of a right to bear arms for self-defense. ...

[Arkansas] Resolution opposing new AWB fails:
LITTLE ROCK — A resolution asking President Obama not to renew the 1994 federal ban on assault weapons narrowly failed in a House committee Tuesday.

In a 10-7 vote, with 11 votes needed to advance, the House Judiciary Committee rejected House Resolution 1032 by Rep. John Woods, R-Springdale.

Woods and Rep. Eddie Cooper, D-Melbourne, who spoke for the measure, said later they would probably bring the back to the panel Wednesday for reconsideration.

Woods told the committee U.S. Reps. Mike Ross, D-Prescott, and Marion Berry, D-Gillett, along with 65 other congressmen recently sent a letter to the president asking that the assault weapons ban not be reinstated because there was no statistical evidence to show that crime had been reduced.

“I just see this as something we’re coming together on,” Woods said. “It’s a bipartisan effort. I think is a strong way to say, ‘this is how we feel, these are Arkansas values and this is how we feel about the Second Amendment.’”

Cooper said he opposed any legislation that would place restrictions on the right to own weapons. ...

[Maryland] Governor takes exception to D.C. gun exception:
As D.C. officials fret over the public safety implications of a congressional push to limit gun control in the city, the administration of Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) has voiced its own objections, arguing that the legislation would put a costly burden on the state's system for regulating firearms.

In Virginia, however, a spokesman for Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) expressed no immediate alarm over the measure, saying Kaine and the Virginia State Police want to study the proposal before offering an opinion.

At issue for the District's neighbors is a key provision in a much-debated amendment to the D.C. voting-rights bill on Capitol Hill. Besides stripping the District of much of its power to regulate guns, the amendment would create an exception in federal law for D.C. residents, allowing them to buy handguns in Maryland and Virginia. ...

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